I’ve started a new series where I interview local female-owned business owners. I hope this teaches you the tricks and tips that these women have learned and of course, Social Media lessons.
Valentina with Susan Street – Fifty, not frumpy blogger
I was literally star-struck and speechless when I invited Susan Street from Fifty, not Frumpy to join me as a guest at Faithfully Business lunch at Summit Leadership Foundation, the only successfully thing that I did was take a picture with her. She is even more gorgeous in person. I struggled on what to wear that morning
(even though I’m an ex-Miamian) and even more intimated by her since one of the most successful bloggers that I know, she mentioned that she even has fans in New Zealand! She’s more than a famous fashion blogger, I hope you really get to know the wonderful woman that she is.
Photo Credit, Susan Street
From Susan, her bio:
“My career in the fashion industry began in 1976 when I became the Visual Merchandise Manager for three Belk Department Stores. Later as the Corporate Director of eight Cosmetic Departments for Rices Nachman’s Department Stores and then the District Manager of a chain of boutiques, I learned even more about projecting a professional image that fit my cool skin tone coloring and my subdued personality.
The first business I owned was a consulting firm named ‘Career Image’, which also included public speaking and appearances at seminars throughout the southeast United States to present the concept of using your best colors and clothing shapes to build a wardrobe that works in any situation. I conducted personal consultations at the client’s closet and accompanied them on well-planned shopping trips afterward.
My current position evolved after being a professional boutique jewelry designer for more than ten years. As the President of Vintage Jewelry Supplies Company, I must be aware of trends in fashion and buy what is needed to fit those trends months in advance.
As a blogger, I hope to share helpful information and outfit examples that inspire and motivate women of all ages to look and feel their best every day.”
Q&A with Valentina:
Valentina: Why is marketing important for small biz?
Marketing gets the word out to your customers about who you are and what services or products you offer, but more importantly marketing allows you to create a bond between you and your customer. If the customer identifies with your company as one with values and priorities similar to their own, they will be very loyal to you and your company.
Valentina: What are some best practices you recommend online and face to face?
Always be honest, positive and uplifting with your communication. This is not the time to voice your complaints about anything. Your friends, followers, and clients should always look forward to your posts or in person meetings with you. When people know they will come away with a good feeling or a great quote that makes them stop and think in a good way, they will look forward to interacting with you.
Valentina: Any advice for small business owners? (to get the media attention that you get).
Humor goes a long way with most people. Never try to always be funny but if your comment is well timed and appropriate it can make a big impact. Don’t always make your posts or conversations about your products or services, that can become boring and predictable. Take your cue from the seasons, the weather or a holiday. Post or share comments or pictures that lots of people can identify with and that would make the viewers feel included. Post something every day on social media but share more than just your business. Let your followers see the real you. The one who planted flowers today or burnt toast this morning because you were on Facebook too long. Keep your comments short and sweet and try to make the content be something that a lot of people can identify with or that they would enjoy.
Valentina: Many small businesses are intimidated with blogging, do you have any advice for getting started and advice for maintaining blogs?
Share what you know best. Keep your words few and your pictures large and focused. Blogging is a great way to share info but if you use too many words people will not normally stay around to read them all.
Valentina: What is your secret to balancing your time with your business and your blog since they are two separate businesses?
My business and its needs always come first. Blogging is something I enjoy and do as a hobby.
Valentina: Do you have a plan, for blogging … do it all once a week and delegation to when/where to post each article?
I set aside an hour or so each morning to plan, edit and publish a blog post which may or may not get published that day. Sometimes I need to gather more information or take more pictures to be able to share the complete story.
Valentina: Any other secret that you know that could empower other women that will boost confidence?
Find your bliss. Teach yourself to be an expert in your chosen field. Study constantly. Hone your skills in whatever your field of interest is. Be the very best you can be at that subject. Never stop seeking a better way. Keep an open mind and a receptive nature. Constantly learning something new keeps me interested and interesting.
Would you like to be featured in this Chickie Business Series? Do you think you’ve learned something about your business that could help empower others? Perhaps, even change the local economy? If so, please reach out to me!