Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | 4 Ways to Stay Confident as a First-Time Entrepreneur

Photo Credit: Steve Wilson via Creative Commons

November 11, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect, Entrepreneur | By

 

Photo Credit: Steve Wilson via Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Steve Wilson via Creative Commons

By Deborah Mitchell

First published in Entrepreneur.com on October 5, 2015

When you are the boss, there is usually no one to pat you on the back for doing a good job or guide you through the daily obstacles of running a business. For the first-time entrepreneur, having no support can be daunting. A slow patch in business, a difficult client or losing out to a competitor may have you questioning your decision to be in business at all.

One of the biggest challenges is staying motivated and confident as you build a new business. So for those days when you are overwhelmed and frustrated by the daily grind, here are a few ways to keep your confidence up when you’re just starting out.

1. Seek out successful people in your field.
If you know of established individuals who are in the same business as you, reach out to them. Your startup is not a threat. Pick their brains for advice. If the leader of the company is on the speaking circuit or writes and shares information through social media, there is a good chance he or she will be available to meet or get on a phone call.

Reach out with an introductory email asking for a specific amount of time and outlining the top three points you would like to discuss. It is important for you to have a flexible schedule and work around their available time since you are asking them for help.
2. Never let them see you sweat.
Each day will not be perfect. Just know that getting discouraged from time to time is part of the business-building process. The key is to avoid letting your customers or employees see you sweat!

If a specific situation or client or employee relationship isn’t working, then take a day or so off to clear your head and regroup. Use the time to brainstorm with a trusted business associate, mentor or friend to figure out the best way to move forward. Once you come up with a plan, it’s time to get back to work.

3. Join a like minded group.
Support from friends, family or strangers can go a long way. Nowadays, social media contacts can quickly become very useful “friends.” Seek out and join Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit and Google+ groups related to your industry to find virtual friends. Local meetups are also a good way to meet people in person. These are the places to ask questions and exchange information.

4. Focus on one business step at a time.
A good friend of mine loves to use the expression, “Don’t compare your business beginning to another’s middle.” As a new entrepreneur, it is easy to look at the competition and think that is where you need to be. But if your competition has been at it for several years longer than there is no way you should expect to be at the same place. Your competitor has spent years making their mistakes and growing. Run your own race and focus on taking one business step at a time.

When it comes to being a business owner we all need a cheerleader, especially when just getting started. Having periods of doubt is par for the course for any new entrepreneur. I am sure successful business owners still have moments of doubt.

If you don’t have a cheerleader on hand, go out and find one. While you are searching for that cheerleader, use this time to dig deep, trust your gut instincts and believe in your abilities to get the job done. Working for yourself is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but the rewards when you succeed make it so worth it.

How do you stay confident while building your business? Let us know in the comments section below.

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell – Graphic Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (Social) |#TBT How One Entrepreneur Grew a Global Business From Her Facebook Friends

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October 29, 2015 | Posted in Entrepreneur, Social TV | By

 

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First published in Entrepreneur.com

By Deborah Mitchell

When Evita Turquoise Robinson first shared her passion for travel on Facebook with 100 like-minded travelers four years ago, she couldn’t have imagined what it would become. The group, Nomadness Travel Tribe, now has over 10,000 members from all over the globe. What makes the group unique is that  while it is open to travelers of all ethnicities, it is primarily African American, age 25 to 40, with 80 percent women. Members live in cities around the world. The economic demographic runs the gamut from the underemployed to professionals who earn six figures. The global trips are so affordable that it allows the diverse groups to connect no matter your income bracket.

Robinson, an artist and filmmaker, was bit by the travel bug right out of college when she took her first trip to Paris. A stop in Tokyo to teach English and then a trip to Thailand as part of a travel web series rounded out her global travels by the age of 25. She founded Nomadness Travel Tribe in September 2011 to connect with urbanites who travel as part of their lifestyle, not just as vacation.

Robinson wanted an intimate group, so she invited people from her Facebook friends list with the prerequisite that the potential members had traveled at least once and had one passport stamp. Today, through word of mouth and social media, Nomadness Travel Tribe has grown to a little more than 10,000 members worldwide.

“There is no place that I can go in the world today where I don’t know someone there,” Robinson said.

Social media was the key to the group’s growth. “There are so many social media outlets: Twitter, Periscope, Instagram. Instagram and Periscope- — the live-streaming app — allow anyone to follow along on our trips,” she said. “If the Internet was a geographic location, Facebook would be the capital. It is where everyone is. If you can start someplace where everyone is and then push out from that point, you have the opportunity to do something special.”

Robinson was able to bring strangers and friends on her urban travel adventures, something new. “Nomadness Travel Tribe was the first group to spearhead targeting diverse millennial travel,” she said.

This year alone, Nomadness Travel Tribe has appeared in the New York Times, The Daily Beast and on several national television programs, all without the help of a public relations agent. The press has approached them. “We have not used outside media outreach to grow the membership,” Robins. “People within the group have shared their amazing stories because they want the group’s authentic story to be told.”

Robinson said Nomadness Travel Tribe became a business by accident, but it was born from a place of passion. “This group could not have existed without social media. Social media is this generation’s megaphone and our way to communicate. I don’t think we could have had the same impact in that time span without social media.”

Robinson always knew she was going to be an entrepreneur, but she did not know what it was going to look like. While she is an artist first, Evita Turquoise Robinson is still figuring out the world of being an entrepreneur and knows it is important to trust the process. If you have a passion and want to build it into a business, Robinson has a few tips.

Just do it.
Break out of analysis paralysis. Nothing starts in perfection–it does not matter who you are or how much money you have. At some point, you have to jump and build the parachute on the way down. Just do it.

Learn as much as you can.
Robins said when she launched the business she was “a little bit of a lone wolf where I tried to learn everything. I never want to create a business where if one person leaves, they can derail the entire system, so I try to learn as much as I can. You should know how to do as much as possible.”

Ask for help.
“You feel like you can be an island, but learn to open up and ask for help,” Robins said. “Once you see your idea has promise, put the proper people in place. I picked my team from my members, so I did not have to sell people on the idea, they were as passionate about it as I am. I know they will get the job done.”

On Saturday, September 26, the Nomadness Travel Tribe will have their first travel conference that caters to the urban traveler. The sold-out event in New York City will have about 150 attendees. Hopefully, I will see you there!

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Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) 3 Signs That You Should Shut Down Your Business

business woman

October 23, 2015 | Posted in Entrepreneur, Social TV | By

business woman

First appeared in Entrepreneur.com

By Deborah Mitchell

I haven’t spoken to an entrepreneur yet who has not thought about walking away from a business at one time or another, especially if the business is only a few years old. The grind, lack of money and pure fatigue are usually the top reasons why business owners are ready to throw in the towel.

Rene Syler, CEO and founder of lifestyle brand Good Enough Mother, discussed in a recent blog post that she is still surprised when people complain about how much work is needed to build a brand:

“This is hard! It’s supposed to be. If it wasn’t, everyone would be doing it. There is not a timeline, no expiration date. You just have to keep going until it pays off. Or quit.”

Making the choice to quit your business is not an easy one. Owner and publisher Julie Wilson made the difficult decision this spring to close the doors of her Kentucky lifestyle magazine, Story, after almost four years.

“My passion for storytelling was no longer what was driving my business, and therefore, it wasn’t honest,” she says, adding that she knew it was time to let it go.

If you are business owner who is not sure if it is time to shut your doors, here are Wilson’s telltale signs that it might be time to close up shop.

1. You don’t recognize yourself anymore.

As a business owner, you want to be a better version of yourself. You may be a little different, but not completely unrecognizable. Wilson says she eventually morphed into someone she didn’t know anymore.

“I realized that toward the end, I was working so relentlessly to save the business that I had become a completely different person,” she says. “I was no longer the wife and mother I wanted to be. The business version of myself was a bit uncomfortable, though. The Julie I knew would never be using terms like ‘P&L statements’ or ‘accounts receivable,’ but I did what it took. I drafted a real business plan, then a working strategic plan, and all of this has to be referred to on a regular basis to make sure you stay on track. The snowball effect takes over, and you just try to stay one step ahead of it.”

2. It’s too much to handle.

As a business owner, you cannot and should not do everything yourself. It is a recipe for disaster. A business needs someone to plan present and future strategy, handle day-to-day projects, market and promote and handle the finances. If the business is expected to grow, then you need a bigger team.

“For the majority of the time we were in business, we had a daily staff of two that did everything from sales to publishing,” Wilson says.

With such a small staff, she admits that “marketing got the shaft.”

“One of the heaviest facepalm moments that I still struggle with is that we received a huge order for our last issue (more than double the number from the previous issue), but we were just too small to meet the demand,” Wilson says. “We created a champagne product on a watered-down Pabst budget, but in the end, there wasn’t even enough beer left.”

3. The thrill is gone.

It’s thrilling to say that you own a business, to hand out your cards and to find your website in a Google search. But the business of running your business can eventually take toll. As the boss, you are responsible for everything, including producing goods and services, payroll, providing health benefits and good customer service.  It’s a lot to juggle and maintain.

“I am a journalist by profession, but as the owner, the business side took more of my time than the creative,” Wilson says. “In the beginning, it was exciting — like I was doing research for an article about what a CEO looks like. Quickbooks, payroll, revenue reports — I learned all of it. I always felt like my type A/creative personality was a slam-dunk for playing the role of business owner. And I still think it is — I mean, I won the 2014 NAWBO Small Business of the Year Award — but when the business demands started overshadowing the time I could spend developing content, the creative spark was growing faint.

“When playing the role of CEO becomes a façade and not just a part of who I am, that’s a telltale sign,” she continues. “One area where I have stayed true to my personality is that I am one gutsy broad, and it took as much guts to call it quits as it did to start the business. For the first time in 15 years, I will not be working on a print magazine — and I’m OK with that.”

For some entrepreneurs, quitting is not an option. I circled back to Rene Syler, who has been building the Good Enough Mother brand for the last 10 years and asked her if she has ever experienced any of the above signs.

“Yes, I have. Every single one of them. But they typically plague me when I am tired or stretched too thin,” she says. “How do I handle them? I put myself in time out. For real. I understand that what I am doing, building a brand, takes time. Building anything of value does. So when I feel myself getting burned out, I take a step back, understanding that this is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Syler also believes in measuring your success in realistic terms.

“Sometimes, I take a look back at where I was a year ago and compare that to where I am now. That gives me a more accurate picture and reminds me that I am making progress, even if it’s not as fast as I would like it to be,” she says. “I would just urge people to ask a couple of hard questions: What are you going to do if you do throw in the towel? Are you willing to forego calling your own shots for a steady paycheck with less freedom? Is what you are feeling the result of short-term fatigue? Can you just take a step back and get rested? It’s not for everyone, but as difficult as it is, quitting now is just not an option for me, and I can’t see a time when it ever will be.”

Saying goodbye to a business can be an emotional and conflicting journey. When I spoke to Wilson by phone recently, she told me that even though she’s 99 percent sure she made the right decision in closing her business, there is still that nagging feeling that maybe she can start it again.

Have you ever closed or thought about closing a business? When did you know it was time to close the doors for good? Share your story in the comments section below.

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell – Graphic Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT 3 Ways to Give More and Be Proactive at a Networking Event

networking

October 15, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect, Entrepreneur, Social TV | By

networking

 

First published on Entrepreneur.com

How much do you give when you attend a networking event? When I met Mark E. Sackett at a networking event earlier this year, he told me that he found networking events to be empty and didn’t believe they actually work. I slowly looked around the room of hundreds of people ready to meet and greet and then asked him why not.

Sackett explained that people are too preoccupied with the sell.

“The reason for showing up at a networking event is to build your business, and once you have determined that you cannot do business with this person, the sorting process begins,” he says. “Asking ‘what do you do for a living?’ is a sorting methodology, a method of selling. Depending on the answer, people begin to shut down, they don’t engage, their body language changes, they start glancing around the room and they try to figure out how to extract themselves from the conversation so they can move on to the next more productive person in the room.”

Sackett says that people need to understand that it is not always about the sell.

“Don’t always make it about the sell,” he says. “We are well trained in the sell but not in the listening and giving.”

Related: Networking Is a Contact Sport

An entrepreneur, Sackett is also a speaker and founder of the networking organization The Art of Active Networking, where he encourages people to shift how they do business with the giving of themselves with the simple question, “How can I help you do better right now?” Sackett’s mission in business and life is to shift the conversation from “the get to the give.”

In a later phone conversation, Sackett reminded me that in the end, people choose to do business with people they know, like and trust. So whether it’s meeting at a networking event or somewhere else, here are a few ways to build a more giving relationship and be a better networker.

1. Make it a give and not a get.

Instead of trying to sell yourself or your business, work on building relationships. Listen carefully and engage with the person you are interacting with at the event. Practice asking these four questions:

  • What is your name?
  • What do you do for a living or what do you want to be doing?
  • Why are you here tonight?
  • What is it in life that you are most passionate about?

If someone states something that they need, figure out how you can help them by thinking, “What can I do to help that person do better?” If you offer to help someone do better right now, you are more likely to build that know, like and trust needed in a business relationship.

Once you figure it out, offer to help by giving them a business card and say, “I know a number of people who might be able to help you. Call me to get their information and I will make the introduction.” There is a good chance this person will call you and that is the beginning of a business relationship.

Related: 3 Reasons Your Follow Up Sucks

2. Follow up after your meeting.

Seventy-five to 80 percent of people who receive a business card at an event do not follow up. Sackett and I found common ground immediately by talking about something other than work. When you hand someone a business card, it is a form of respect and there is an obligation to follow up. It may take time, but you should always follow up. It is never too late.

It’s also important to know what you want and what you’re going to say when you follow up. If someone follows up with you, have integrity and follow back. Respond and say something: either advance the conversation or end it. If you follow up with someone, do not start with the hard sell, just say, “Hi, it was a pleasure to meet you. If there is any way I can help you, please let me know.” Offering up your network to strangers is a great way to break the ice.

3. Continue to show up for people.

It is easy to reply to an email and say “stay in touch.” Say it and mean it. Decide what you want and what you can give. Do your best to build relationships. I know I personally cannot send out emails each week. So when I meet people, I make notes about them: how and where we met, if we know anyone in common, their birthdays, etc.

Also, don’t immediately ask for a favor when you connect with someone. I will help you, but you also need to help yourself. Be clear about your ask, know what you want and be specific so someone can tap into their networks to possibly help you.

With about 135,000 to 150,000 people in his network worldwide, Sackett says there is an art to having conversations and building relationships. When it comes to networking, Sackett encourages people to “give their network referrals. Think of the people in your network, who can help the people you know or are having new conversations with and make an active, energetic referral for that person. Pay it forward and shout them out.”

Today, with social media, this is as easy as pushing a button.

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell – Graphic Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT What To Do When Final Payment Is Due And The Client Won’t Pay

Photo credit: freeimages.com/Penywise

February 19, 2015 | Posted in Entrepreneur | By

Photo credit: freeimages.com/Penywise

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On February 2, 2015

At least once a week, I think about the client who owes me $25,000 after skipping out on paying his final invoice. Two years ago, in January 2013, I found myself — as a new entrepreneur — trying to collect the balance due on a project we had completed during the previous holiday season. It was a huge social-media-outreach campaign for a client who had been recommended. We signed a contract and secured a 50 percent retainer before starting and then completed it on a tight deadline.

Once the job was done and all the final reports were submitted, we sent the final invoice for payment. That’s when the client disappeared. We knew where to reach the client. We sent emails and left messages and even got several “point” people on the phone, but still no money. The contract clearly stated that payment was due immediately upon completion of the project, and the brand was now in breach of contract and past due.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | Celebrity Apprentice: Geraldo Talks About Fundraising And His Foray Into Reality TV

So how do you handle these kinds of situations?

Have a solid proposal and contract
Outline a proposal before you sign a contract. In the proposal, show a monthly status report for the project in addition to a payment schedule. This is a good way to keep all parties internally and externally motivated and on track with the process of the project.

Make sure you have a solid contract that is very specific, ensuring that there are late fee ramifications and legal fee clauses. Collect a retainer — at least 50 percent up front before the start of the job — and, most important, document the work thoroughly, just in case you have to go to court.

Get a lawyer
Hopefully, this will be a last resort. If you haven’t gotten anywhere with collecting your payment, it’s time to get legal assistance. Hire a lawyer who works on breach-of-contract cases. Of course, retaining a lawyer will cost you up front, but if you win, the client should cover it as outlined in the contract.

Send a certified letter, including the proposal, a copy of the original contract, and let them know that you are going to proceed with legal action. Send these items to the immediate contact, a company attorney if available, and in-house public relations professionals. A serious letter from an attorney threatening to go to court usually gets people to pay attention.

Go to court
Depending on the amount at stake, you have a few options. If the balance runs between $2,000 and $7,500, then small-claims court might be your way out. State laws vary, so you will want to check if this applies to your case, but it’s usually the best way to get your money.

If the amount is higher, you can either turn to arbitration, if there is such a clause in your contract, or take the longer, more arduous way of litigation. The question is, how much money can you afford to spend to collect your payment? It all comes down to the numbers, so do the math, set your budget, lawyer up and head to court.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | The Biggest Lessons I Learned Working Solo In 2014

Don’t put them on social media blast
I know you might be tempted to conduct a public shaming, but don’t. It’s always better to take the high road in these cases. Remember, you have other clients who are watching how you do business, and you never want to make a bad impression. Keep it professional and classy.

Change your billing practices
Building a successful business has a lot to do with learning from your mistakes. The first time you are faced with a client who will not pay, you will feel frustrated, but it is up to you to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Instead of asking for a deposit and billing for the balance at the end of a contract, divide your fee into a payment calendar, and distribute your payments into two or four invoices. For each portion of work you provide, send an invoice. Once the invoice is paid, move forward with the work.

As for my deadbeat client, five months into being a business owner, we got burned when this client refused to pay up. The client continued to ignore our emails and phone calls for payment. The truth is, we didn’t have the extra resources needed to hire a lawyer. By the time I hired one, I read that the company had filed for bankruptcy and left a long line of disgruntled contractors who were suing for monies owed.

For this entrepreneur, the unpaid past due payment of $25,000 was a hard and expensive business lesson to learn.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Film) Lights-Camera-Jackson gives his 2015 LCJ Movie Awards

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

TV/Social Media Producer Debbie Mitchell is an Emmy nominated producer who is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She is currently a member of the James Beard Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee. Deborah is Executive Producer of Arise On Screen a global and socially interactive movie review show. If you are a brand interested in Social TV, blogger outreach campaigns, or a blogger or personality interested in television placement follow Debbie Mitchell @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air | 5 Tips To Get Active On Twitter And Reach Your Brand’s Audience

Social Media

January 29, 2015 | Posted in Entrepreneur | By

Social Media

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On December 15, 2014

As social media continues to evolve in marketing, brands are constantly feeling the pressure to be more social on all platforms. But which platform is right for you?

Someone once told me this, and now I pass it along to my clients: Think about your online audience in three ways. Facebook is for the people you know, LinkedIn is for the people you need to know, and Twitter is for the people you want to know. With about 232 million “monthly active users,” Twitter is an insanely popular micro-blogging platform with an incredible reach of people you may want to know.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Social Media) | Creating Social Media Buzz For Arise On Screen

Here are a few tips on how to increase your Twitter followers and keep your platform alive!

1. Work on your social media voice.
Your brand should have a personality and voice on social media. There is a good chance that your brand is being discussed, hopefully in a good way, online. Every platform has a different audience, so identify that audience and cater your voice and message to them. Try and be a part of real-time conversation.

If you want to hire someone to converse on your behalf, make sure they are familiar with your brand’s message. Hiring an intern to save money is probably not a good idea. It could backfire. While the tone may change depending on the platform, your brand’s message and authenticity should be intact.

2. Make it easy for your audience to find you.
There is no question that people are moving quickly — reading articles and watching videos on their mobile devices while on the run. With this in mind, make it easy for them to share your information. Place share buttons on your company website pages, your blog posts, on your other social platforms and in your email signature. Put the buttons in a place where they are easily accessible.

3. Be proactive.
A good way to increase your followers is to follow people you know by importing your email contacts to Twitter. Make sure that this list is updated with all your recent email contacts and your LinkedIn connections, as well. Once you are following them, you will be surprised at the number of followers you will get!

Related Post: Ready4Air (Social Media) | Breaking News: Social Media: On The Scene

4. Tweet often and increase numbers.
According to a study by Mashable.com, it takes about 10,000 tweets, on average, to break into the 1,000 followers mark. Without compromising the quality of content, make sure you remain a consistent and prolific presence. Even better, join real-time conversations by setting your Twitter time to the peak time your audience is online.

Tap into the moments that matter and that people can relate to and can create a conversation. Your brand may benefit from shared discussions about cultural events, sports, pop culture, news events, etc. Stay grounded in popular demand and trending topics. This can only contribute positively to your social presence.

Be careful and conscious of participating in controversial topics that may put your brand in a spotlight you might not be interested in.

5. Use compatible hashtags.
Your industry has hashtags that are already being used. Join the conversation with relevant content and use them, as well. #ThrowbackThursday, #ShopSmall, #Entrepreneurs are a few good ones. Also, expand your reach by following prominent names in your field, sharing posts or articles, and including them on the tweet along with the hashtag.

Remember, tweets are not just bits of conversation. In mass, they have the power to affect your business. The sooner you join that online conversation, the better!

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Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) Gotham Comes To Albany

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | The Biggest Lessons I Learned Working Solo In 2014

2014 American Express Open Forum: CEO Bootcamp
Photo credit: Deborah Mitchell Media Associates.

January 6, 2015 | Posted in Entrepreneur | By

2014 American Express Open Forum: CEO Bootcamp Photo credit: Deborah Mitchell Media Associates.

2014 American Express Open Forum: CEO Bootcamp
Photo credit: Deborah Mitchell Media Associates.

 

First published on Entrepreneur.com
on December 22, 2014

Each year, I learn something new about being a business owner, and 2014 is no different. The lessons this year are both big and small, but no matter the size, I’m very grateful for all that I’ve learned and continue to learn as an entrepreneur.

When it comes to lessons learned in 2014, here’s what’s trending on my list:

1. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate

Collaborations are great options, especially if you are a solopreneur. A couple of years ago, it was clear that having a business partner was not the best option for me. The decision to be a solopreneur was an easy one since I realize that collaborating with individuals was another viable option. All you have to do is ask.

Related Post: Ready4Air | My 2013 Best And Worst Business Moves As An Entrepreneur

When you find the right person to work on a project with, it can be beneficial to both of you. Collaborations allow you to work with someone on an as-needed basis. You can create a project contract with agreed terms and move forward from there. Once the contract is signed, this allows both parties to work together for a limited amount of time.

If the business arrangement is a good one, you will work together again. If the business arrangement doesn’t work out, then, hopefully, you can finish the project together and never have to see each other again.

It is probably a good idea to have release windows in longer contracts so that if the working arrangement is difficult, there is an opportunity to end the relationship sooner rather than later.

2. Money isn’t everything

Yes, I said it! Money is important and we should all get paid for our services, time and talent. However, sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture. If a client cannot meet your dollar amount right now and the project has the potential to be profitable down the road, it’s smarter to take a chance and lose a few dollars up front.

Your goal should be to get your foot in the door, show the client what you can do, and hopefully impress the hell out of them. If all goes well, they’ll want more and come back to you for it. When they have time to plan a better budget, you may be called in to be a part of the team and then negotiate a better fee. It’s a gamble that could land you a jackpot.

Continued on Entrepreneur.com

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Coming up: Build Your Brand By Teaching at a Coworking Space

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

TV/Social Media Producer Debbie Mitchell is an Emmy nominated producer who is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She is currently a member of the James Beard Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee. Deborah is Executive Producer of Arise On Screen a global and socially interactive movie review show. If you are a brand interested in Social TV, blogger outreach campaigns, or a blogger or personality interested in television placement follow Debbie Mitchell @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air | What You Need To Do To Make A Midlife Career Change

Essence Magazine, November 2014
Photo Credit: Nay Ayache and Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

December 10, 2014 | Posted in Entrepreneur | By

Image 7

First published on Entrepreneur.com
On November 24th, 2014
It happens more often than you think. New management cancels a position, a company goes bankrupt or you have an epiphany on the bus home one night, and all of a sudden, you know it’s time for you to switch careers. When that happens, usually in your late 30s or early 40s, reinventing yourself may seem like an impossible task. But with a little preparation and a lot of determination, you can take on change with a clarity that will lead you right into your next dream job.

Take time to regroup. Whether it’s a week without your cell phone or a month at your parents’ country house, it is important to take the time to say goodbye to your old career. If you were terminated from your position, you may need to lick your wounds and rebuild your ego, and that’s important so you can move forward with a clear mind. Even if the decision was your own, it’s always better to make sure that your next steps are built on a plan, not adrenalin.

Shifting from daydreaming to blueprint mode might take a while, but you will find strength in organization. Put your finances in order so you can sustain the blow of a reduced income. Do you qualify for unemployment? Can you live off your savings? Can you take a part-time job while you’re getting ready for your second act? There are always many avenues to take, as long as you don’t see problems as obstacles and keep your eyes on the goal.

Continued on Entrepreneur.com

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Coming up: Jackson Murphy ranks James Bond films this Friday on Ready4Air

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

TV/Social Media Producer Debbie Mitchell is an Emmy nominated producer who is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She is currently a member of the James Beard Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee. Deborah is Executive Producer of Arise On Screen a global and socially interactive movie review show. If you are a brand interested in Social TV, blogger outreach campaigns, or a blogger or personality interested in television placement follow Debbie Mitchell @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (TV) | You’re Never Too Old for an Internship

November 20, 2014 | Posted in Entrepreneur | By

IMG_2184

First published on Entrepreneur.com
On November 17, 2014

When you hear the word internship, you probably think of young students paying their dues while working their way up the professional ladder. Most successful people will tell you that they did an internship while they were still studying, and they usually talk about it with great enthusiasm. But internships are not only for the young.

My internship at the beginning of my career changed the course of my professional life. But after 25 years in the television industry, my career took an unexpected turn when I was terminated from my producing job at CBS News. The reality was that I was thrown into a job market that was in transition — social and digital media were the new ways to communicate, and I didn’t have the skills.

I had to rebrand, and part of my career makeover involved interning again. As an adult, I had to swallow my pride and forgo the monetary value of my years of experience and become a student again. If you are considering a mid-career internship in later life, here are three things you can do to benefit from it.

Related Post: My Internship Is Over, Now What?

 

Continued on Entrepreneur.com

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Coming Up: Ready4Air (TV) | Jackson Murphy’s weekly look at movie theatres!
Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

TV/Social Media Producer Debbie Mitchell is an Emmy nominated producer who is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She is currently a member of the James Beard Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee. Deborah is Executive Producer of Arise On Screen a global and socially interactive movie review show. If you are a brand interested in Social TV, blogger outreach campaigns, or a blogger or personality interested in television placement follow Debbie Mitchell @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

 

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Ready4Air (TV) | If You Want to Land a TV Spot, Know It’s All About Timing

Photo Credit: Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

November 12, 2014 | Posted in Entrepreneur | By

RealityTV

 

First published on Entrepreneur.com
on November 10, 2014

Breaking news is inherently unpredictable, but regular programming is planned according to “evergreens” — topics that follow the events and festivities of the calendar year. Keeping track of the calendar makes it easier for producers to plan ahead, and it gives a chance to entrepreneurs everywhere to pitch stories that relate to the topic of the month to get some much-coveted airtime.

Here’s what you should keep in mind if you want to land a guest spot on a TV program:

Know the cycles. The beginning of the year is anything but blah on the small screen. Quite the contrary, it is during the harsh winter months that you are most likely to see your favorite celebrities at events such as Fashion Week, the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. Health and fitness shows take a large part of the pie as well, with experts trying to help people stick to their New Year’s resolutions, shed a few pounds in time for Valentine’s Day, and get into healthy eating habits in time for March’s National Nutrition Month.

Accountants raid TV channels in time for April’s tax season, and if you file early enough, you might get back some tax dollars to spend on Mother’s Day in May. May is a busy month with Memorial Day marking the unofficial beginning of summer, which really stretches from Father’s Day in June all the way to the kids going back to school around Labor Day in September. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. The fall has the richest topics of all as we celebrate one holiday after the other: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve!

Continued on Entrepreneur.com

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Coming Up: Gina Prince Bythewood talks to Mike Sargent about Beyond The Lights

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

TV/Social Media Producer Debbie Mitchell is an Emmy nominated producer who is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She is currently a member of the James Beard Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee. Deborah is Executive Producer of Arise On Screen a global and socially interactive movie review show. If you are a brand interested in Social TV, blogger outreach campaigns, or a blogger or personality interested in television placement follow Debbie Mitchell @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (Repost) | 5 Things To Do Before Saying ‘I Do’ To A Business Partner

2dRVEup

October 3, 2014 | Posted in Entrepreneur | By

2dRVEup

First published on Entrepreneur.com
on September 24th, 2014

As an entrepreneur, you may at some point consider getting a business partner or co-founder. Maybe you miss working with a larger team that complements your skills, or perhaps you are trying to broaden your market or expand your clientele. Whatever your motive, you should know that business partnerships always start with excitement, but have the potential to end tumultuously. When forming a business partnership — just like a marriage — there are certain key steps to take at the beginning that will help in the transition if your professional relationship should end.

1. Perform due diligence. Yes, everyone is fun over cocktails, but when the time comes to sign contracts and do business, you’d better be sober and confident you’re shaking the right hand. Asking for referrals about a potential partner goes beyond contacting common friends and asking their opinions. Call former partners and business associates, inquire with clients, read comments on their social media pages and look them up on Google. (Keep reading way past page one of the search results.)

By the time you’re done, you should be able to name anyone who dislikes them — from their first high-school enemy to their latest unhappy client. Only then will you be able to either take a calculated risk or a major step back.

(…)

Continued on Entrepreneur.com

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Stay Tuned!

 

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

TV/Social Media Producer Debbie Mitchell is an Emmy nominated producer who is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She is currently a member of the James Beard Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee. Deborah is Executive Producer of Arise On Screen a global and socially interactive movie review show. If you are a brand interested in Social TV, blogger outreach campaigns, or a blogger or personality interested in television placement follow Debbie Mitchell @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.

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Ready4Air (TV Production) | 5 Do’s and Don’ts for Making the Most of a Television Appearance

on air

August 12, 2014 | Posted in Entrepreneur | By

channelart

 

First published on Entrepreneur.com
August 7, 2014

Two bloggers covering the red carpet at the recent Daytime Emmy Awards embarrassed themselves and the network, a genuine televised debacle. They clearly were not camera-ready, an example of the importance of being prepared for a TV appearance. When new personalities are tapped to be on television for the first time, being camera-ready is crucial. If you get the opportunity to be on television, here’s a cheat sheet of what you should and shouldn’t do on-air to make the most of your TV moment.

RealityTV

1. Be authentic. Don’t fake your expertise. Faking your expertise is not going to get you very far, and will certainly guarantee that you’ll never get on air again. In the case of inexperienced TV personality Brittany Furlan, one of the bloggers who covered the 2014 Daytime Emmy Awards red carpet, “faking it” was a big television #FAIL. Furlan asked bad questions and made inappropriate comments to guests during the pre-show event. After the event, Furlan admitted on her YouTube channel that she did not recognize a single celebrity face on the red carpet. While not every instance of faked expertise will have such a widespread backlash, trying to fit in a producer’s mold for a segment is never a good idea. The camera will see right through you. You risk embarassing yourself, the producer, and the show.Faking your expertise guarantees you won’t be invited back. If you don’t know something, say so. Better yet, recommend someone who might be a better fit. The producer will remember your honesty and help, and you will get another chance to be on-air.2. Relax and don’t stress. If you want the camera to love you, you have to love it right back! If it is your first time on television, it is natural to be nervous. To reduce your nervousness before an appearance, rehearse with a friend or relative or at least practice talking and smiling before a mirror while answering your questions.You should have your pre-interview questions handy, so set up a mock interview ahead of time. It’s a great way to hear yourself and feel comfortable in your seat. Practice talking with a full voice. Articulate your words and breathe, so you speak from your chest, not your nose. Rehearse how you will sit and where you will place your hands. Prior to your interview, ask for a glass of water and clear your throat.

It’s very important that you don’t show up overdressed, with too much jewelry. The audience is more interested in what you have to say than what you have to show.

(…)

Continued on Entrepreneur.com

 

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Coming Up: Music Makes My Life With Flutist Sherry Winston

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

TV/Social Media Producer Debbie Mitchell is an Emmy nominated producer who is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She is currently a member of the James Beard Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee. Deborah is Executive Producer of Arise On Screen a global and socially interactive movie review show. If you are a brand interested in Social TV, blogger outreach campaigns, or a blogger or personality interested in television placement follow Debbie Mitchell @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.

 

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Ready4Air (TV) | 4 Tips to Being Your Brand’s Champion on TV and YouTube

channelart

July 9, 2014 | Posted in Entrepreneur | By

channelart

 

First published on Entrepreneur.com
June 26, 2014

Marketing campaigns have changed drastically in the past few years. Conversation-like PR campaigns have made it practically mandatory for business owners to have a virtual face-to-face with their audience, whether through a TV appearance or a YouTube promotional video.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) — 3 Tips For Your First Time TV Appearance

You are the image of your brand, so use these four suggestions to best handle your time to shine.

1. Know your audience. As an entrepreneur, you invest the time necessary learning as much as possible about existing and potential customers but the web has made market segmentation more complex. Don’t assume your on-air audience is the same as your current or potential clients. On a morning show, your audience will be mostly female between the ages of 25 and 50, whereas YouTube is visited more often by minority males under the age of 25.

Google is everyone’s best friend, so research the show or platform and adjust what you have to say accordingly.

2. Be innovative. To make your appearance worth watching, don’t rehash what is already saturating TV shows and social media. Come up with something people have not seen or heard anywhere else. People tend to listen to TV more than they actually watch it. If you capture their attention, you will convert those listeners into viewers who may very well follow your call to action.

Sound your calls to action sparingly and judiciously to avoid sounding like a late-night marketer.

(…)

Continued on on Entrepreneur.com

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Coming Up: How To Choose A Public Relations Firm 

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

TV/Social Media Producer Debbie Mitchell is an Emmy nominated producer who is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). She is currently a member of the James Beard Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee. Deborah is Executive Producer of Arise On Screen a global and socially interactive movie review show. If you are a brand interested in Social TV, blogger outreach campaigns, or a blogger or personality interested in television placement follow Debbie Mitchell @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.

 

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