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 (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT 5 Useful Skills TV Producers Possess That You Should Too

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October 9, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

 

producer


Photo Credit: Nick Viagas and Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

First appeared in Entrepreneur.com

When you read through the credits of a television show, you will see various producer titles — executive producer, supervising producer, senior producer, broadcast producer and producer, to name a few. While every producer has different responsibilities, chances are they share a few of the same skill sets and traits that have made them successful in a very demanding industry.

After 25 years in the television industry, I’ve found that producers with longevity and awards in the television business have a few things in common. Whether you are an employee or business owner, here are five useful qualities TV producers possess that you should have to make your business life more successful:

1. Natural curiosity

Most producers have a natural curiosity about things and people. They are either asking or thinking the questions whowhyhow and when? Producers read a lot. Whether it’s newspapers, online articles, listening to the radio or just talking to people, they always want to stay on the pulse of what’s going on.

Related: 8 Tech Skills Entrepreneurs Must Have to Succeed

You should stay on top of what’s going on in your industry. Read trade publications and follow your industry’s leaders on social media. Better yet, reach out to them and ask a question.

2. Great communication skills

Producing is storytelling with words and pictures to a mass audience. Whether it’s for television or your co-workers, it’s important to share your message clearly in different mediums. Hone your writing and practice your presentation and speaking skills. Always think about the group you are addressing and make your presentation relevant, concise and if possible, entertaining. You want to keep your audience engaged and informed.

3. Open to criticism

Television producers are constantly being criticized about things ranging from bad story ideas to a guest who fails to give a good interview. A boss criticizing a worker is a part of any job. This is the perfect time to put your ego away.

Reporter and producer Lyndsay Christian of FiOS1 wrote in a recent post for my blog Ready4Air: “Develop tough skin. Critics are tough. Accept criticism graciously. Learn from mistakes. Always look at the positives in every situation.” This is good advice that can be used in any business situation.

Related: The 17 Skills Required to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

4. Organized

Turns out, being organized is helpful in every profession. In television, producers are constantly juggling several balls at the same time, so it’s important to have your ducks in a row. I am a big fan of lists. Making a to-do list and crossing off each accomplishment as the day or week goes by helps you to keep track of your project. Remember, the devil is in the details so keeping a list is a surefire way to avoid making a mistake.

5. Good collaborator

Producing, just like business, requires teamwork. No two people ever think alike so learning to collaborate as a group is key and doing it with a good attitude is a plus.

Meachun Clark, who was an AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) coordinator for a major cable network, explained to me in a recent interview that one important quality is to be personable.

“It also helps to be personable when dealing with talent, as well as their reps, to get everything you need taken care of,” Clark says.

Finally, it is always important for a team to stay open to new ideas and different ways of doing things. With teamwork and great communication, any television show or business can be successful.

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 10 Skills That Make A TV Producer A Great Hire Or Partner For Businesses

television producer

September 24, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

television producer

Producers can direct a department, coordinate a live event or conference and produce a corporate video. If a company needs in-house help for coordinating an on site-video conference, media training or handling public relations with the press, a producer knows how to juggle those responsibilities.

First published on Entrepreneur.com

The next time you are looking to hire someone for your team and you see a resume, perhaps mine, with “television producer” on it, take a second look. Producing a show is a lot like founding and running a business — you need a message, a team, content or service and great execution. Any company will benefit by having a producer as a consultant or on staff.

Career-reinvention coach John Tarnoff explained during a radio interview on midlife career reinvention that we all have transferable work skills. I would add that television producers have carefully-honed skills that are particularly suited for businesses and brands. We are excellent big-picture leaders, storytellers and managers who are trained to work under extraordinary pressure.

Producers can direct a department, coordinate a live event or conference and produce a corporate video. If a company needs in-house help for coordinating an on site-video conference, media training or handling public relations with the press, a producer knows how to juggle those responsibilities.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | A Good TV Producer Can Make Any Business Better

Here is a list of 10 transferable skills that producers bring to businesses:

1. Team builders and leaders

Just like the employees of a company, producers are usually part of a bigger team where they are charged with leading a production. Business owner Andrew Schmertz, co-founder and CEO of Hopscotch Air, Inc., is, like me, a former television executive producer.

“If you are a producer, you need to involve your staff in the production of the entire program and encourage employees to ask for help and guidance from each other,” he says. “Include people in the decision-making process, even when it is outside their job titles.”

2. Communicators

Communicating with your boss or staff is key. Whether writing or speaking for a three-minute segment or an hour-long special, producers must connect to a diverse audience.

Anjie Taylor, a supervising producer and writer at The Talk, chimes in: “Producers have the ability to write quickly, with clarity and in a style that fits the business culture we are in. The person who best commands language will always be an asset and will usually stand out.”

3. Big-picture planners

As a business owner, you are always thinking broadly about the company and all its components. Producers are big-picture planners.

Investigative producer David Manoucheri confirms this: “Any program has a lot of moving parts that have to fit together like a puzzle. You have to know how it all fits. We have the ability to make the necessary changes without being too married to something. Producers see the big picture.”

4. Major multitaskers

Companies expect employees to perform more duties than ever before, and producers have extensive experience wearing many hats and juggling several balls at one time and dealing with all types of people. Shelly Heesacker, a field director and producer for national shows, says something as simple as making nervous people feel comfortable is a paramount skill for getting anything done.

5. Constant connectors

Producers are great networkers. I have acquired an eclectic list of contacts over the years that I can turn to when necessary. And if I don’t know someone, I definitely know somebody who can connect me.

6. Rock-star negotiators

Business people negotiate every day, whether it is for themselves or their companies. The goal is to eventually make the deal.

“Every TV producer knows ‘no’ is not a final answer — it’s just the beginning of a dialogue on the road to ‘yes,'” says Katherine Ann, a senior supervising producer of an Emmy-winning nationally-syndicated talk show. “We are used to outsmarting roadblocks.”

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT Land On A TV Producer’s Radar With These 5 Tips

7. Terrific troubleshooters

Most producers realize the importance of staying calm under pressure. Producers cover wars, disasters and reality-reunion shows gone amok.

“Producers know how to be a solution, not a problem,” says former CBS News manager Nanci Ross Weaver. “When all falls apart, we have plans B, C and D before reporting in.”

Senior casting producer Sharon Nash Alexander says producers are great troubleshooters and are flexible.

Executive producer and showrunner Eric Streit adds, “We know how to go into any situation at any spot on the globe, take stock of our resources and then adapt to create successful outcomes.”

8. Super salespeople and marketers

Imagine an employee being able to creatively tell your brand’s message in only 30 seconds to anyone who will listen. When producers aren’t producing a show, they are concisely selling ideas to their bosses.

Producer Ava Odom Martin says, “We are able to break through the intricacies of your business to tell your story in the elevator speech.”

9. Master money savers

With companies constantly cutting budgets, money needs to go far. Shows are notorious for wanting a lot of production with little resources. Producers know how to stick to a budget. If we cannot afford something, then we can probably negotiate a deal to get whatever is needed in even the most unusual situations.

10. Organized time managers

Every company wants their employees to put out as much work as possible in a day. Producers understand the value of time, money and meeting a deadline.

Emmy Award-winning talk show producer Joyce Coleman Sampson maintains that “it is extremely important to be organized and pay close attention to details. Effective time management is key because time is money.”

Producers bring these 10 skills and more to the business table, and as I like to say, once a producer, always a producer. If you are an employer searching for that certain someone to add to your team, a producer is that person.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Film) Lights-Camera-Jackson interviews ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ director Genndy Tartakovsky

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 The Top 4 Basic SEO Principles That Increase Your Website Traffic

SEO

September 10, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect | By

SEO

A few basic SEO principles can make a difference and increase any business’s website traffic. Photo Credit: Johnny Blaze via Creative Commons

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On August 10, 2015

Blogger conferences have been a great resource for me as an entrepreneur. In July, New York City was host to two huge blogger events, BlogHer and Blogger Bash, where more than 5,000 bloggers gathered to meet with brand representatives and attend sessions to hone their online skills.

Sheryl Simonitis, vice president of marketing at Noodle, a destination education website, shared a few SEO tips that any entrepreneur can use. The startup allows parents and students to make better education decisions in an environment that is completely unbiased so that a child and parent can find the best resources for their needs. Parents need to be able to find the company in an online search, so Noodle is well versed in SEO and are always producing with the consumer in mind. This is an idea every businessperson should follow.

I followed up with Simonitis after the conference to find out the basic SEO principles that make a difference and increase any business’s website traffic.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT Score More Customers With Your Website With These 4 Tips

1. Keywords

When you think about creating content, know the words that people are using to search. Every page should be built around keywords that are most important to you and your company. Do your homework. When you are producing pages for your website, use the best keywords on every post.

Google helps you with your keywords. When you start to type into the search bar on Google, it gives you suggestions of popular words or phrases that people use in a search. If you want to take it one step further, you can use a tool called Google Keyword Planner that will tell you popular keywords. It will tell you true numbers of how many average monthly searches are occurring with those keywords.

2. Image tags

People have images all over their websites, and I am always surprised when bloggers don’t identify the images. Google indexing sites need to understand what the image is and when it should be served up. You must tag your images. If there are none, Google does not know how to identify the image.

In WordPress, Yoast is a plugin that reminds you to label your images. With tags, Google will know what the image is, how to index it, where to store it and when to bring it up in a search.

3. Meta description

Right below your URL on the search page is a sentence that serves as the meta description. This is an important summary that tells people what they will learn on the page. You want it to be engaging and truthful and prompt people to click and learn more. Use call-to-action words such as “learn” and “visit” to engage people and encourage them to find out why the information on your page is important to them.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT Why You Need An Exit Strategy For Your Business

4. Backlinks

One of the things that is highly valued in SEO are backlinks. Backlinks are incoming hyperlinks from one webpage to another — in other words, people linking to your website because they found value in what you’re saying. In addition, you’ll want to include hyperlinks to give your readers more useful information and to help build relationships with other bloggers.

Make sure that the links add value to your readers’ lives. You can never have too many backlinks for an article. You will build high traffic that will help you rise up in the results.

These are tips you can implement with your next blog post to potentially increase your website’s traffic and gain new followers or customers. Give them a try and see what they can do for your business.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) Actress Taraji P. Henson talks travel, Fashion Week Caribbean-style, and Cookie Lyon’s style

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 Why You Need An Exit Strategy For Your Business

exit sign

September 3, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect | By

exit strategy

When you start your business, have a plan for how you want to exit or transition from it.
Photo Credit: Chris Griffith via Creative Commons

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On August 3, 2015

What are your long-term and short-term goals for your business?

Veteran entrepreneur Celeste Hilling, CEO and founder of 10-year-old lifestyle company Skin Authority, stumped me with this question a few weeks ago, but she definitely left me with something to think about. When I started Deborah Mitchell Media Associates a few years ago, I was primarily concerned about getting it up and running, but Hilling explained that an exit strategy should be a part of every business plan.

“At the start of your venture, have a plan for how you want to exit or transition from the business. This will help you be clear in your focus, share a clear vision for your staff, and navigate times when you are confused,” Hilling says. “You can use the end game as your compass. Does this decision put you within reach of your end goal? Do you want to sell the business to a public company, use it to produce cash for your lifestyle, or create a legacy for your children’s future? This decision will help direct your path in channels, distribution, brand profile, partnerships, media, etc.”

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT 3 Luxuries I Left Behind When I Became an Entrepreneur

It turns out, without a detailed exit strategy, I have been working harder, not smarter, with no real plan for the end. Over the years, I have made several changes in terms of the vision for my business, an evolution that is not uncommon.

“This is very normal. Laura and I started DigitalFlash about five years ago and have narrowed the focus many times over the years,” says Sara Walker-Santana, co-founder of the digital agency DigitalFlash. “In the beginning, you want to say ‘yes’ to everything, but over time you realize this can hurt your business more than help it.”

Saying yes to everything is often tempting, especially when you are trying to grow a business. But saying no and offering a defined set of services could be a better route to go.

Walker-Santana says that “finding the one or two things your company excels at and that you enjoy doing, most of the time, is the way to go. You and your clients will be happier.”

Need help refocusing your business? Consider hiring a business coach and explain that you are interested in also developing an exit strategy for both the short and long term. In the meantime, Hilling shared a few tips for any business person planning an exit strategy:

1. Reassess your business.

Have a six-month plan. Again, what is the end goal for your business? Do you want to sell it or go public? With your exit strategy in mind, reassess your business every six months.

2. Is your goal still relevant?

As social media and technology make data available in real time, the business landscape is quickly changing. Are all of the indicators driving toward your end goal? What has changed? Is your goal still relevant to the competitive landscape?

3. How is your brand appeal?

Test your customers, suppliers, and partners for their perceptions of your brand and standing. Use the data you collect as input, but factor in your gut perceptions and perspective for the final decision.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT Hey Loudmouth, Keep It Down! The 4 Most Annoying Cell Phone Habits

“There’s nothing quick about being an overnight sensation. However long you think it will take, double it. Whatever cost you think, double it,” Hilling says. “Don’t be surprised that it will take you at least five years, eight to 10 years on the average, to get to the end game. Make sure you have staying power in both cash and positive motivation.”

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Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) 2tvchicks: Ahhhh, If Only

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 Will The Art Of The Signature Be Lost In The Digital Age?

Photo Credit: Sebastien Wiertz via Creative Commons

June 25, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On June 1, 2015

As an entrepreneur, I am amazed at how much time I spend online. Whether I am writing a post for this site or my own blog–Ready4Air–banking or sending emails, I write frequently, yet most of the time I never put pen to paper. And while I love my computer, I realize that sometimes I miss the feeling of a pen in my hand rolling across a smooth surface.

When I was a teen, I used to practice my signature all the time. My name, Deborah J. Mitchell, was written on any empty white space you could find in my notebooks. I carefully crafted a large capital D and scribbled the remaining letters of Deborah, then a robust letter J for my middle name, Joyce, topped off with an M that resembled a giant W to start off my last name, Mitchell.

This was going to be my fancy signature for when I grew up and had a job, and I did use it. It became my “signature” signature, and I loved it. But I must admit, I don’t use my written signature as much these days.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT 3 Ways To Stay Motivated To Lead Your Business

So when I read that a new study of 1,000 U.S. adults reveals that 30 percent of millennials ages 18 to 34 admit they have a “flexible signature,” I wasn’t surprised. The study by RightSignature, which provides electronic signature software, revealed that 64 percent of these adults say it’s because they use a computer all the time, and rarely put pen to paper.

While 61 percent of U.S. adults said they sign something on paper at least once a week, 49 percent admit they sign in a hurry, and 30 percent just scribble something and don’t really think about it. Ninety-one percent remember practicing their signature when they were younger, but 45 percent of those ages 18 to 24 said they never learned penmanship, compared to 24 percent over 55.

I only recently learned how to recreate my written signature in electronic form when I needed to sign off on a project immediately and email it back to a client. With a little help from my IT guy, I was able to write my name and copy and paste it onto the online document.

Similar to the electronic site I used, RightSignature’s online technology allows customers to create a custom signature on documents that looks like it was created with pen and paper. RightSignature spokesman Steve Stormoen says, “When you’re signing with a pen and paper, a consistent signature is important. Without even the most basic electronic security measures, the signature’s consistent appearance is the only way to establish the identity of the individual.”

Related Post: Ready4Air (Social) | Public Relations 101: Choosing A PR Firm For Your Business

There is no doubt the electronic signature on the document was mine. However, looking at it, my lifelong signature seemed foreign. I reminded myself of those writers who refused to make the transition from using a typewriter to a computer, claiming that the words flowed better on the typewriter. I know my written signature online is the same, I just miss the process of getting it from here to there. Like those writers, I will eventually come around.

“The handwritten signature is an ancient symbol of uniqueness, authenticity, and trust,” Stormoen says. “Today, we write emails instead of letters and even do our most sensitive banking online, but there’s still room in the world for an honest, handwritten signature in the world of e-signature software.”

As an entrepreneur, how often do you pick up a pen and put it to paper?

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Film) The animated voice of our time

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 Skip the Coffee Meeting. Instead, Sweat to Success With Clients

yoga

June 11, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect | By

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On May 18, 2015

When Elisette Carlson–founder of SMACK! Media, a marketing and PR firm focused on innovative and authentic brands in sports, health and fitness–authored a post for my blog about working out with business associates instead of meeting for food or drinks, it got me thinking: Now that the weather is getting warmer, I am considering new ways to connect with clients.

Carlson is a big advocate of what she calls sweat-working with clients. She says that going on a hike or a conversational run instead of a coffee date is a great way to build relationships. You connect with someone on a much deeper level because getting out of work mode allows personal sides and passions to show through.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | 3 Rules For Doing A Headstand In Yoga That Help In Business

With this in mind, I reached out to Carlson for guidance on the best way to get started with sweat-working with your clients.

1. Make time to workout.

Prioritize your workouts. Ask colleagues or clients to meet for a walk or run or at a new gym to try the latest barre class. Lunchtime is a good time to get out, be it for a walk, a group yoga class or a boot camp event.

2. Approaching a client to workout.

Paint a mental picture of the sweat-working session. Talk about how it is a great way to break up a day of nonstop work and sitting at a desk. Make a suggestion to meet for a morning run instead of breakfast or a power yoga class instead of getting a drink after work. The worst response you can get is, “No, thank you.”

3. Figure out the best workouts.

Use good judgment about whom you ask and what you ask them to do. Consider workouts that encourage social interaction and light to moderate aerobic activity such as walking, hiking at a scenic spot, cycling, running or basketball. If your client is excited about a stronger fitness challenge, boot camps or CrossFit workouts are an option.

If your client is of a different gender, group workouts are probably a good idea. Invite some other colleagues from both companies and make it more interactive. A larger group hike or an introductory boot camp class together would offer benefits, not only to your specific relationship with that client, but it’s also a terrific team-building opportunity for each company.

4. Practice workout etiquette.

Make the workout convenient and appealing to the client. Suggest a place near their home or office and offer them options. Don’t force a run onto someone who might only be able to handle a good power walk. Don’t ask a client to drive 30 minutes to meet you at your favorite mountain bike trail.

Be perceptive about how the workout is going. If the client is out of breath, slow down a bit and keep it social. It is poor etiquette to sprint up a big hill and leave your client in the dust if you know that he or she is just starting to run. However, there is no need to let the client win simply because they are a client.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT How Much Should You Give Away For Free During A Coffee Meeting?

Carlson is on to something when she says, “In the end, some of your greatest friends will become those you sweat with, and in business, the best partnerships are the ones where people enjoy one another’s company and respect each other.”

I’ve become good friends with business associates who’ve spent time working out with me either in a hot yoga or spin class. It truly is a great way to level the playing field for a few hours and create a long-lasting business relationship.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Culinary Cues) Sip, Suck, Swirl, and Swallow: Wine Tasting 101

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.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT The Startup Life May Be For You If You Have These 5 Qualities

Photo Credit: Jeff Turner via Creative Commons

June 4, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect | By

Photo Credit: Jeff Turner via Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Jeff Turner via Creative Commons

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On May 11, 2015

Five years into my own startup–Deborah Mitchell Media Associates–I must admit that joining or creating a startup, whether you’re just out of school or in midlife, may not be for everyone.

“Hundred-million-dollar investment rounds and billion-dollar valuations have created a romanticized version of the startup lifestyle in the public perception. Some of it is justified and some of it isn’t,” says Joseph McKeating, president of marketing and public relations firm Pulsar Strategy, whose clients are considered early-stage startups in the technology space.

“To students considering joining or creating a startup for the glory, I’d tell them that there are easier ways to make money,” he continued. “If you want to reach new levels of freedom, do it. If you want to truly find out where your breaking point is, do it. If you want to remove the ceiling on your potential, do it. If you want to help change what it means to be a working human being in the 21st century, do it.”

Related Post: Ready4Air (Social Media) | #TBT 3 Other Social Media Platforms You Should Consider

If you are thinking about making the leap, then a startup may be for you if you:

1. Don’t need to follow the crowd

There will always be naysayers in any business, and you might not get the support you need. As a businessperson, you are your biggest supporter. You are stepping out on faith that an idea or business will work, and you will have to find others who believe in you and your vision. It’s not always easy, but you’ve got to go for it. If you’re OK with being a trailblazer, then a startup is for you.

2. Like living out of your comfort zone

At a startup, you may have to live without medical or dental benefits for you or your family. Health insurance is expensive, and when you are on a tight budget it might have to go. There are no guarantees in a startup, so you have to make everything happen. I’ve found that in a startup, it’s all about the ask. Your ability to ask for what you need, for money you are owed, or for collaboration on a project is essential. The worst you answer you can get is “no.” If you don’t have a problem asking, then a startup is for you.

3. Like working 24/7

I sent a text to a fellow entrepreneur at 7:30 a.m. the other day to see if she was up to take a call. She wrote back that she had been up since 3 a.m. The grind is real. Working from sunup to sundown is sometimes what it takes to get it done. Money should not be the motivator. If you are prepared to work harder than you’ve ever worked before, then a startup is for you.

4. Have money and funding

McKeating says, “Only a fraction of startups ever get funded, and if yours does, congratulations and welcome to a whole new world of pressure and problems.”

If you have the resources and you can afford to spend several years establishing your brand without worrying about money, then a startup is for you. There is always the possibility that your startup won’t actually see a profit for a while, so you need to be able to manage in lean times. If you are fine with putting in lots of sweat equity without seeing immediate financial results, then a startup is for you.

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

5. Are good at wearing several hats

Startups are usually lean and mean. They are short on money with everyone wearing several hats, including content creator, marketer, accountant, and, of course, social media strategist.

“With startups usually short on resources, the personal desire and discipline to wear and own different hats in order to build the business is critical,” says Fred Cannone, director of strategic alliances and channel development at Telehouse America, a global data center services provider. “But equally important is having the strength of character to recognize when the hat doesn’t fit. Don’t force it.”

If you are able to juggle many responsibilities, often simultaneously, then a startup is for you.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Culinary Cues) How to coordinate a food crawl

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 Media) | #TBT 3 Other Social Media Platforms You Should Consider

Photo credits: (left to right) AdamPrzezdziek, ShelbyyVictoria, and Jose Moutinho

May 28, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

 

Photo credits: (left to right) AdamPrzezdziek, ShelbyyVictoria, and Jose Moutinho

Photo credits: (left to right) AdamPrzezdziek, ShelbyyVictoria, and Jose Moutinho via Creative Commons

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On May 4, 2015

In April 2014, the World Wildlife Fund gave the world an inspiring lesson in social media and wildlife conservation by using Snapchat for its #LastSelfie campaign.

The photography app, which allows users to view shared pictures and video for a few seconds before they’re automatically deleted, mimicked the very real disappearance threat that plagues animal populations today. The campaign itself was a call to action for Snapchat’s young audience, but it was also a wake-up call for brands that limit their social media presence to Facebook and Twitter.

According to BusinessInsider.com, Snapchat’s audience is mostly made up of young females in their teens and early 20s, and that audience is one of the hardest to reach. Was the WWF on to something?

Snapchat is not the only platform that is pulling the social rug under the more conventional social media. Tumblr and Instagram are also emerging as millennial-oriented, actionable social spaces in terms of marketing efforts and return on investment. Facebook took a hint and launched Messenger as a standalone app meant to enhance the private messaging experience, and while reviews have been mixed so far, the app is clearly rooted in the need to include money and business in the conversation.

As Caitlin Burns, a business strategist for media companies, puts it, it’s hard to tell which platforms will be the next big thing, but she sees a clear trend of moving away from data-hungry platforms into “public-ish” — more private — communities.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Social) | #Repost 4 Do’s And 4 Don’ts For Businesses Using Social Media

Let’s take a look at what each platform can bring to your brand.

1. Snapchat

A video or picture message on this platform will permanently delete itself after a few seconds, which makes each second invaluable real estate. Brands should view this feature as an advantage rather than a limitation.

Instead of trying to fit messages in such a time-constricted social environment, brands should use the time constriction as an angle to its message. A quick glimpse of an upcoming product, a suspense-filled video or an intimate invitation to meet on another platform are all suggestions that can be cleverly implemented. Remember, the sender decides how long a picture is viewed, from one to 10 seconds, so there are ways to control some of the effect.

2. Tumblr

It’s probably not a coincidence that the company just hired its first chief marketing officer, Stephanie Dolgins. A platform that largely caters to the prized millennials, Tumblr has become known for, among other things, its humorous GIFs, but the possibilities are endless.

With its unlimited post character count and the prominent place that is given to visual content, Tumblr is the platform of choice for many brands, such as Kraft or Sephora, to showcase the culture around their products. Recipes, tutorials and how-tos are some of the angles of a brand’s social storytelling that definitely belong on Tumblr.

3. Instagram

Instagram allows you to show a curated version of your brand. If you look at Taylor Swift on Instagram, she projects this incredible idea of intimacy. She might post about her day, her cappuccino or how she’s decorating her house, but it’s a carefully chosen and aesthetically beautiful version of all of these things.

This is the same way teens and everyone else uses their accounts. You can show stylized images of your product, photos of people engaging with your brand, or other photos that help potential customers feel intimate with your brand.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Social) | Social Media Trends: Moving Beyond Facebook And Twitter

“All of these platforms are different tools you can use to be the voice of your business and to interact directly with your customer base, with the audience you’re trying to reach,” Burns says. “Figuring out the best way to put your business out there in the world requires you to know yourself and understand how to feature your project.”

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Coming up: The startup life may be for you if you have these 5 qualities

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 (Social) | #Repost 4 Do’s And 4 Don’ts For Businesses Using Social Media

social media

May 13, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

social media

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On April 20, 2015

As a business owner, you know the importance of social media as a way to make a connection between your business and customers. Whenever potential clients are looking for a new product or service, they generally start their search on social media, not only to learn more about your brand, but also to see what others are saying about a brand or business.

While more companies are creating social media strategies in their marketing, not every strategy is effective.

If you want to guarantee a more effective strategy, Caitlin Burns, a New York-based business strategist for media companies, has outlined a few social media tactics for brands to definitely use and ones to avoid.

1. Know who you are.

Understand your identity, your brand’s identity, and the voice of who is speaking on any social media platform. You’re the one who knows your product, production, company, or brand best. Being able to communicate that is the first thing I recommend for clients so that on whatever platform they use, people have a sense of who is doing the speaking. The rest of the tactics come down to language and specific things that you might do to turn a phrase on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT The 3 Things You Need To Know About Hiring A Social Media Manager

2. Don’t wait until after the fact.

You don’t want to find yourself without a sense of what’s coming next, or responding to controversy in a way that doesn’t seem like it’s coming from the same person who created a status update or tweet. You can get in a lot of trouble if you say one very appealing thing, but you can’t replicate it. Another problem is if what you say goes against what you do in the company.

3. Understand your audience.

It’s important to know who you’re targeting. What do they do? When do they live online? With a savvy social media expert, you’ll be able to figure these things out. Understanding your goals will allow you to see how your successes and failures are working; social media allows you to see that faster than any other platform.

4. Don’t make assumptions about your audience.

It is a mistake to think your audience is going to act a certain way just because you think they will. Treat your audience as a subject, not as an object. Your work on social media is a dialogue, a conversation between you and that individual.

Look at how your audience is changing. Learn about them by communicating with your social media team on a regular basis. They are the front line people who can help you understand what’s working and what isn’t–what people are really engaging with and what they couldn’t care less about. This is an opportunity to quickly understand how your brand is being received.

5. Plan ahead.

Unless you yourself are a savvy social media strategist, it’s probably worth the energy and expense to bring in someone who is an expert. You need someone who is immersed in these platforms to help you measure your goals. Whether your team is very experienced or inexperienced in application, a good strategy is going to put you in a great place to execute.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Social) | Social Media Trends: Moving Beyond Facebook And Twitter

6. Don’t assume that your presence on social media means you know everything about it.

Having a personal account is not the same thing as understanding the scope of what Facebook ads and Twitter-promoted posts can do. Because these platforms are refining and changing these specific things all the time, having an expert on call is going to save you a lot of heartache in the future. It helps to have someone whose job it is to stay up to date on what’s going on.

7. Adopt a test and learn methodology.

Start out with your strategist and social media team to test the waters. Put out a variety of concepts to see what is working with your audience and what isn’t. The more you test out an idea and see if that hypothesis is validated by audience data — which you can get very easily from social media platforms — the better feature concept you’re going to be able to build. Learn what works and budget away from the things that don’t.

8. Don’t get comfortable.

You want to make sure that you’re engaging in a creative experiment to communicate with other people. If I’m out with friends every Friday and tell the same story over and over again, I wouldn’t have friends to go out with on Fridays for very long. You want to keep engaging and developing partnerships with relevant communities. They can help you understand the broad strokes of all the things they’re interested in, which will help you keep your brand interesting.

Finally, take a hard look at your social media strategy and make changes and additions where necessary. Always keep in mind that social media can potentially make or break your business. You want to use the strategies that drive people toward you and your business and make them come back for more.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) One last shot to make the Muppets matter

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.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | 3 Rules For Doing A Headstand In Yoga That Help In Business

Photo credit: Tenzin Senge

May 7, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect | By

Photo credit: Tenzin Senge

Photo credit: Tenzin Senge

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On March 16, 2015

I have been a yoga practitioner on and off for several years, but I threw myself into a regular practice when I lost my job in 2010. Four times a week, I attended morning hot power vinyasa class. While my standard poses were easy to master and repeat, I found that having a wall behind me was a must when it was time to do a headstand.

One day, my yoga teacher at the time, Sherman Morris, told me to move away from the wall and never use it again. He assured me that I would be fine. I was nervous and scared. Just like losing my 10-year-old network television producing job, I wouldn’t have a safety net. But over time, he was right. The fear went away, and you know what? I was eventually able to stand on my head without using the wall for support.

Look mom, I’m doing a headstand!

I have found that several of the rules I practiced while learning to do that headstand are quite useful for being a business owner. Here’s how to transfer those empowering tips.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | Sweat Working: Bonding With A Client Over A Workout

1. Create a stable base.

When you are in a headstand, you are supporting your entire bodyweight on your head, but the head cannot do it all. To do a bound headstand, Sherman showed me how to form a triangle base by clasping my fingers on the floor behind my head on the ground. This allows my forearms to serve as stands, providing a stable base.

If you are going to use your head for your business, you need to build a base. The right professional team is efficient, creative, reliable, and present in the business you are building. Take the time to identify your team members’ strengths and weaknesses, and put them in the best position for their skills to shine. This way, you can concentrate and create a strategy for the company’s big picture.

2. Work on your balance.

Once you’ve established the base for your headstand, you should be able to use your core strength to lift–not jump with flailing legs–into the air. If you cannot, then you may need to strengthen your upper body for stronger balance.

More and more employers are incorporating wellness programs, including yoga, into their employees’ work regimen. As a new entrepreneur, you are responsible for everything. The 24/7 entrepreneurial grind can be all consuming, so take time to unplug and have quiet time. It’s a good way to refocus, re-energize, and manage stress. Prayer, meditation, and/or yoga might be lifesavers.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | 3 Questions To Ask To Determine If You Are A Good Leader

3. You will fall.

The first thing to realize in doing a proper headstand, as in business, is that falling is part of the journey. Without the wall, I was worried I would hurt or embarrass myself in a class of strangers, but my first fall was uneventful. No one except my teacher cared if I was all right. I went on to fall a few more times.

In early 2013, I realized I needed to sever a partnership and decided to relaunch my company. How could I do it less than a year into my business? I did it, and it did not matter. Since then I’ve walked away from any relationship that does not work for me or my business.

When people ask, I tell them, “We decided to go our separate ways. I am still available to do the work.” It’s always okay to walk away as long as you keep moving forward.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Culinary Cues) Letting food tell the story in a cooking segment

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.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | 3 Questions To Ask To Determine If You Are A Good Leader

Photo credit: www.celalteber.com

April 23, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect | By

Photo credit: www.celalteber.com

Photo credit: www.celalteber.com

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On January 26, 2015

As an entrepreneur, what is your leadership style? I’ve worked for a variety of bosses over the years, all with very different personalities and leadership styles. Some were obsessive micromanagers while others were hands off and provided no guidance as a manager, leaving me to figure out more than a few important things for myself.

When you Google leadership styles, one of the first results is courtesy of Wikipedia, which gives the textbook definition of leaders as such: “They range from the grouchy, live-in-fear type of boss, to the merry pack leader who builds a relationship of trust with his subordinates in order to increase productivity.” Further research reveals that good leadership traits include good communication skills, creativity, and the ability to inspire workers, all while keeping their staff motivated.

If you are an entrepreneur or plan to become one, ask yourself these three questions and determine what you should do to improve your leadership style.

1. Are you approachable?

A company is not measured by the number of employees, but rather, by the employee culture it promotes and the ability of its leader to generate feelings of loyalty and a sense of purpose among his staff. Work performance is more likely to increase when leaders maintain an open-door policy, engage in non-work related conversations, show a sense of humor and stand by their employees when they are facing challenges.

Implementing a better leadership style:

A good exercise in sound leadership is to encourage activities outside the workplace. Activities where the boss joins along–even for an hour–such as training for a marathon, volunteering, taking yoga classes, or attending a skill-acquisition workshop are all good ways to be approachable and build team camaraderie. It is also a great way to empower team members and provide them with a sense of purpose other than only focusing on the company’s bottom line.

2. Have you created a climate of security?

Creating a climate of security within an organization is a key component to any employee-retention strategy. Bosses should create a bond with employees, often reminding them of their worth and praising them for their performance. In smaller businesses, they should be kept in the loop about upcoming projects and given the sense of security that comes with knowing that they are building their careers on solid ground.

Implementing a better leadership style:

Adding a personal touch–something as simple as knowing an employee’s name or a personal email complimenting them on a job well-done–can go a long way. If there is a problem or challenging situation at the office, meet with the team in person or send an email to address it. Don’t leave it to your managers to handle.

If your company is very large, employees realize that a true friendship with a boss may not be likely, but they want to feel that their contribution counts or at least is being acknowledged. If you are running a small company, then it’s easy to jump on the phone and talk in person when a job is well done.

3. Are you leading by example?

Are you behaving in an unprofessional manner? Employees notice everything, including the behavior and business ethics of their superiors. So if you are cutting corners, lying to employees or clients, or misappropriating funds–you get the picture–your employees have little reason to respect you as a leader. Besides, a sloppy boss will not have enough credibility to criticize a sloppy team!

Implementing a better leadership style:

A leader should lead by example, be reliable and credible, and care about their reputation as well as the company’s reputation. When it comes to a leader’s work performance, hold yourself to a higher standard–one your team wants to emulate. If employees see you being professional, going the extra mile and/or caring about the work in the way you want them to, then you bet they will want to do the same.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT 3 Ways To Stay Motivated To Lead Your Business

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Film) Jackson Murphy’s 3rd Annual “May Box Office Derby” Picks

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.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT 3 Ways To Stay Motivated To Lead Your Business

staircase

April 16, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect | By

staircase

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On March 9, 2015

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, has said in interviews, “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself.”

Long after the thrill of starting a business is gone and you are immersed in the daily challenges of being an entrepreneur, it is easy to lose the motivation to keep going. Being a business owner has its indisputable benefits, but it is a grind and you constantly need to remind yourself why you decided to become an entrepreneur.

Long-established business mogul Branson may have it easier than most entrepreneurs, but here are three ways to keep yourself motivated, regardless of the size of your company:

1. Remind yourself of your desire to achieve.

A successful entrepreneur’s number-one asset is perseverance. When I asked around to learn about what keeps entrepreneurs motivated, ambition and perseverance are two words that kept coming up. The need to achieve and succeed prevented them from giving up after every failure and fueled their drive more than any other factor.

If you find it challenging to maintain your morale in the long run, look around you and identify the people who make up your success team. Whether it’s an older mentor who keeps you in line with your goals, or a younger entrepreneur who inspires you and fuels your energy, surrounding yourself with business cheerleaders helps turn every setback into a lesson, not a disappointment.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT How Much Should You Give Away For Free During A Coffee Meeting?

2. Set realistic goals.

If you are running a startup and your goal is to make a million dollars this year, then you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, set several smaller, measurable milestones so that you can track your progress.

Create a big-picture strategy for your company, and set realistic business goals on how to achieve them. Everything from creating useful partnerships, networking, marketing, ramping up your social media, or even hiring good employees takes time. Establish a plan and be prepared to tackle it one day at a time.

When you achieve the smaller goals, pat yourself on the back.

3. Take care of yourself.

Yes, having your own business means you’re invested 24/7, but invested and overworked are two different things. There is nothing more daunting than spending your day alone in your home office. Make time to take care of yourself.

Business owner Sharon Middendorf says what keeps her motivated is “ambition, exercise, and meditation. This inspires and guides me through the days.”

Set regular times during the week to unplug, hang out with family and friends, sign up for a gym, take walks, read, or watch TV. If possible, take a vacation! This gives your brain time to rest, recalibrate, and be ready to run a successful business.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | Networking To Build Your Client Base

####

Coming up: Ready4Air (Culinary Cues) Saying goodbye to legendary fries

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.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT How To Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Ageism

business woman

March 26, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect | By

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On December 1, 2014

One of my fellow producers was recently asked by a guest on a TV show, “Aren’t you too old to be a producer?” I spoke to a few TV professionals, and they all agreed on one thing: ageism is alive and well behind the cameras of the small screens and in green rooms across the nation.

Ageism is hard to prove, and the victims are usually not inclined to litigate because when unemployment hits, their savings have to be used on supporting themselves rather than paying legal bills.

After I was terminated from my position as a producer at CBS News, I experienced ageism while seeking my next opportunity. I chose to focus my efforts on reinventing myself. I gained so much in the years following that day that I am now convinced that the best way not to become a victim of ageism is to prevent it.

Look around

Identify the changes in your industry and in the market in general. If every job description you see asks for Twitter-savvy candidates and Hootsuite wizards, then you should take a hint–and maybe a class or two in social media.

Are bosses talking analytics and second screen? Is Photoshop the new typewriter?

Make sure you stay relevant by learning all the basic skills that will keep you afloat in your industry. If you can turn powerful business connections into mentors, then you are more likely to stay in the loop about what is needed and where the job cuts will hit the hardest.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | Yes, In TV, Age Matters: “Aren’t You A Little Old To Be A Producer?”

Look ahead

What will be the next big thing in five years? What do all the new hires in your company have in common? If the intern fresh out of school is bringing more to the company than you, then you know you are becoming obsolete.

Stay on top of new technologies and always ask yourself, how is the market moving forward? Are there brand new management teams in your company and across the board at similar companies? Are big names rebranding?

Be mindful of the first signs that tell you where the winds of change are blowing.

Look at yourself

Take care of your body and soul, and don’t immerse yourself at work to the point of not having anything else to fall back on. Have a healthy financial backup plan, exercise, meditate, and moisturize! The most important thing is to maintain enough of a social life to have a group of friends who will be there for you when it’s time to move on.

Finally, always stay grounded in reality. If you belong to a group that is often the first to go, whether it’s because of your age or your color, make sure you are always prepared for the day when you will be unceremoniously propelled into your third act. Start preparing for your 50s like you would for your retirement, so that when the time comes, you will always be exiting gracefully and landing on your feet.

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

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Culinary Cues) In celebration of Something On A Stick Day

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.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT The 4 Necessary Elements of Your Business’ Online Face

website

March 19, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect | By

website

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On July 18, 2014

You’ve all experienced it: Every once in a while, you Google the name of a business or person and can’t find a website, or nearly as bad, one that barely functions.

Whether you’re building a website or you just want to make some improvements, let’s take a look at what can entice your audience to not only visit your online home, but give you their business as well.

1. Make the website easy to navigate.

I’ve heard it said that the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google search results. Your audience should never have to struggle to find you. Contact pages must be placed in an obvious location and should be visible from every page.

If you want specific sections of your content to shine, then they need to stand out in the menu. To achieve this, place a link to that content in the main navigation bar or twice on the website under different categories, maybe once under “About Us,” and then under the appropriate category.

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

2. Guide your audience with color.

You don’t have to be an expert in graphic design to spot a pleasant, inviting website from an unappealing one. Colors have a meaning, a symbolism, and a connotation. You want the visual content of your website to guide your audience towards an emotion, and eventually a call to action.

If you are trying to portray a young, energetic, friendly business, then orange is your color. Are you wise, deep, and want to establish sentimental connections? Try purple! Red makes a hard-to-miss statement, so keep that in mind if you don’t want to drown in the crowd.

3. Share your message with the world.

You have spent a lot of money, time, and energy on your products, so why not make them all shareable? Buttons that link to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social platforms (you’ve set up accounts, right?) should all be placed at the top of the page, or on the sidebar, and open in a new tab.

Your audience is eager to know you, but often needs to be led to the next step: “Like,” “Join,” “Share,” “Pin,” and “Post” are calls to action that are as important as “Buy” in today’s market, so use them liberally.

4. Make sure all the parts work.

Once they are engaged, an online audience tends to spend a long time on a website, so make sure all the parts work. Check all the buttons, double check for broken links, and clarify unclear menu items and services. Have a call to action on each page. You always want people to leave your website impressed with your brand.

When it comes to marketing your business, a website is a key component. It’s the face of your product and often one of the reasons a potential client decides to do business with you.

Now, with all these tips in mind, take a look at your website objectively. When you are done, ask yourself: “Am I giving my business the best face it deserves?” If not, it’s time for changes.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | 4 Effective Ways To Manage A Remote Team

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Film) Jackson Murphy discusses a “Beauty”-ful movie casting

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.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | 4 Effective Ways To Manage A Remote Team

home office

March 12, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

home office

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On February 23, 2015

The virtual workplace is now more the norm than the exception. Technology such as Skype and GoToMeeting and free conference calls allows employers to provide workers with a flexible schedule where they don’t all have to be under the same roof.

For the employee, the virtual work life creates room for a better work-life balance. For the employer, it broadens the pool of qualified employees since location is no longer a hindrance or a cost factor when hiring for a position. If that person is the right person for the job, then working remotely could be the perfect fit.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | Build Your Brand By Teaching At A Coworking Space

Elisette Carlson–founder of SMACK! Media, a marketing and PR firm focused on innovative and authentic brands in sports, health, and fitness–has a team of six remote workers. She believes that there are valuable pros and cons to having a virtual team, “including more efficiency.”

“There are fewer meetings and more time to crank out what’s important,” she says. “We don’t get bogged down with office distractions, water-cooler talk, or meetings and instead are focused on our weekly goals and tasks at hand. Again, if you can manage your own time, we all find ourselves to be more productive.”

But that same efficiency can lead to less connectivity between team members, Elisette admits.

“The inability of being able to have team breakfasts, lunches, or even drinks is missed,” she says. “We make up for it with Skype or FaceTime and do our best, but this does not and will not ever replace real time.”

For an employee working remotely, the virtual work life offers the ability to work flexible hours, avoid office politics, and manage his or her professional and family life. But the tradeoff, a lack of face time with senior management and other team members, can be challenging to navigate.

“Corporate settings have a great advantage that is often overlooked. Employees have the opportunity to reach out to one another for questions, clarifications, and skill-building tips,” says web designer Nay Ayache, who works remotely on my team. “A virtual office does not offer many opportunities to ask for help or learn from coworkers. A virtual team must always remember that working in different settings means having different rhythms and that the inability to see each others’ stressors does not negate their existence.”

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | Top 7 Things I Learned At The iRetreat 2014 Blogger Conference

While working with a virtual team has its advantages, it can be challenging for some employers. Here are a few tips for running an efficient remote operation:

1. Organize a work plan.
Prepare a daily or weekly written plan outlining what is expected of each person on the team. This way, everyone can keep track of their assignments. Since employees are working from different locations, use a project management system to keep everyone in touch. There are several project management systems available. I use Basecamp to communicate with my team. As assignments are updated, each person on the team, as well as clients, are notified.

2. Set regular virtual face time with the team.
Virtual office communications rely mainly on emails and phone calls, and the lack of face time with bosses and colleagues also means that there is a lack of daily feedback about performance. When an employee cannot see his or her manager in person, they miss the information provided by nonverbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions. A solution is to gather the team once a month for a virtual meeting using Google Hangouts, Skype, or other video conferencing software and discuss ways to grow skills collectively.

3. Plan phone time with employees.
Set a time at the beginning of the day to communicate with your team by phone to review and answer any questions. Emails are great, but a lot can get lost in translation. A busy manager may reply to an email with “that’s OK,” and the virtual employee might read the answer and interpret the communication in the wrong way. A phone call allows everyone to hear what is being said and clear up any unresolved issues.

4. Be aware of the team’s expectations.
Since there is no chance of running into the boss in the office, it is important for you to check in periodically with your team to see how they are doing and if they are on track in terms of achieving their goals.

Similar to working in a traditional office, a virtual office should offer an employee the opportunity to grow. Be clear and know what you have to offer them moving forward.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Culinary Cues) Bone broth is America’s powerful new superfood

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.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) | A Beautiful Birthday Weekend | Meet Executive Producer Lora Wiley | Geraldo Gets Power Using Social Media

Arise On Screen editorial and on-air team at Arise TV
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

March 9, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

1

Photo Credit: Lora Wiley-Lennartz

Since my birthday fell on a Saturday this year, I was celebrated during a workday. After a morning taping of Arise On Screen this weekend, my team surprised me with a beautiful cake and champagne!

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(clockwise from left) Nick Viagas, Lance Huff, Chuck White, Steven Ramey, Julian Roman, Jamaine Kingston, Mike Sargent, Catherine Smalls, Lora Wiley-Lennartz, Michelle Lynne Madar, Debbie Mitchell, and Monica Castillo
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

Oh, I LOVE my team! We know how to have fun under the craziest circumstances. Line producer Steven Ramey, host Mike Sargent, and producer Lora Wiley-Lennartz–who baked the birthday cake–led the team. PA Michelle Lynne Madar, our interns Nick, Lance, and Catherine, and editors Jamaine and Chuck were part of the team that pulled off the surprise. Again, love you guys for making me feel like a queen on my birthday! My birthday partying continued through the day to include a small dinner party with friends and dancing into the wee hours of the next morning. Therefore, today’s post is going to be short since I’m still recuperating.

Related Post: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!

3

Jacqui Farmer, Paulette Brown, Lora Wiley-Lennartz, and Debbie Mitchell at Red Farms Restaurant, Upper West Side
Photo Credit: Lora Wiley-Lennartz

Speaking of Lora Wiley-Lennartz, her story in “My Life In Television” will start off our week. I’ve known her for over 25 years; we first met as producers on Geraldo’s daytime talk show. Today, we work together at the start-up network Arise News. Lora is the executive producer of the seven-month-old program Arise & Shine, a live weekend morning show on Arise TV hosted by actress/comedienne Rain Pryor and International News correspondent Priya Sridhar.

Over the past three years, I’ve written about the challenges of working on a start-up show. This week on Ready4Air (TV), Lora Wiley-Lennartz shares more about her life in television including the best and hardest part of running the weekend show. “The hard part is the challenge of growing a new show within the frame of a start-up network. However, these challenges have forced me to expand upon my creative problem-solving skills, which is a positive.”

Geraldo Rivera, Runner-up NBC's  The Celebrity Apprentice

Geraldo Rivera, runner-up of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice

Looks like I’m going back to the Geraldo family again this week. When I caught up with journalist and former talk show host Geraldo Rivera a few weeks ago–right before The Celebrity Apprentice finale–we talked about his first foray into reality television and his love of social media. I noticed that during The Celebrity Apprentice airing, Geraldo talked a lot about using social media during his many project challenges. I was impressed that at almost 72 years old, he has embraced and mastered the new media tools. But I really shouldn’t be surprised at all.

This week on Ready4Air (Social), I ask Geraldo a few questions about the world of communicating through social media. Rivera, who admits he didn’t embrace it right away, now says, “Generally speaking, it levels the playing field. I’m as powerful now as The New York Times, or any gossip columnist. I can respond, and if you make a charge against me, I can come after you with equal vigor and equal visibility.”

4

And finally, in my recent post for Entrepreneur.com, “4 Effective Ways to Manage a Remote Team,” we share a few tips on how to work as a virtual team. “For the employee, the virtual work life creates room for a better work-life balance. For the employer, it broadens the pool of qualified employees since location is no longer a hindrance or a cost factor when hiring for a position. If that person is the right person for the job, then working remotely could be the perfect fit.”

Stay tuned to find out how to make your remote team work more efficiently.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | 3 Simple Rules For Brands To Get The Most Out Of Bloggers

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) Learn how networking can help build your client base

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.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | 3 Simple Rules For Brands To Get The Most Out Of Bloggers

Multi-Ethnic Group of People and Brand Concept

February 25, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect | By

Multi-Ethnic Group of People and Brand Concept

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On January 19, 2015

One of the key findings in a recent study by Burst Media, which represents independent web publishers and their communities, is that bloggers cast an influential net with their audiences. Findings revealed that overall, more than half (57 percent) of respondents surveyed of the 1,453 U.S. online adults aged 18 or older say they read blogs. It also revealed that more than half of the respondents said that a brand mentioned or promoted in a blog influences their purchasing decisions.

Our team at Deborah Mitchell Media Associates knows firsthand the advantages and power of working with bloggers. Social-media outreach–where brands work with mom bloggers, food bloggers, travel bloggers, and lifestyle bloggers–is now a viable marketing strategy that allows brands to connect with their audience in an authentic way. Whether the social-media outreach is online, in person at an event, or both, brands have found value in working with bloggers.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | Build Your Brand By Teaching At A Coworking Space

Deborah Mitchell Brands & Bloggers

While bloggers enjoy working with brands and want to give you the best in social-media outreach, some brands are still trying to understand blogger outreach and how to effectively use bloggers and their incredible influence. Here are a few things brands need to keep in mind:

1. It takes time to execute a social media campaign.
Be mindful of the time it takes to execute a campaign. The more advance notice you give, the better. With notice, you allow time to gather bloggers’ social-media kits, impressions and audience reach.

The holidays are the worst time of year to contact bloggers at the last minute since they are busy attending events, meeting deadlines for sponsored posts, and trying to get ready for their own holidays. If you have a campaign for the holiday, start approaching bloggers in the summer. If you want a campaign executed in the summer, start coordinating the project now.

2. Brands should take the lead in a social-media campaign.
You may not know it, but bloggers put in a lot of daily work writing, editing, and posting. It’s important for them to be organized and clear about what is expected of them. Bloggers get frustrated with brands not taking the lead in their outreach needs, changing deadlines, and not providing sufficient information.

In some cases, a blogger will walk away from a campaign in frustration because brands or PR agencies do not fully understand the concept of social-media outreach.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | When Brands Get It Right, A Press Trip Is A Fun Job

3. Blogging and social-media outreach is work.
As a brand, you should be able to detail your needs and expectations for these digital influencers. If you want to send a blogger on a press trip, know that the trip is work for bloggers. Brands want Instagram pictures, Facebook status updates, Twitter activity, and follow-up blog posts.

“It’s the blogger’s responsibility to promote the event on all your social-media platforms. It’s work!” said Maria Colaco, the active voice behind The New York Mom blog.

With money, time, and proper planning, any brand can increase the prospect of reaching additional customers online with an effective social-media campaign. As you plan your campaign, be prepared to answer a few questions for your bloggers.

Once they know what’s expected and the message and goals of the campaign, they’ll be able to deliver the best possible results.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) The highs and lows of the 2015 Oscars 

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.  

Read More...

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.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | #TBT Land On A TV Producer’s Radar With These 5 Tips

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image17270888

February 12, 2015 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect | By

 

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image17270888

First published on Entrepreneur.com

On October 2, 2014

Getting to a television producer can be a tricky task–unless you know that the first thing producers look for in a potential guest is how you appear on camera or video. What will a producer find when they look for you on video?

Here are five ways to maximize your chances of landing on a producer’s radar:

1. Create videos and a sizzle reel.

Whether you’re a musing blogger or a software engineer willing to share some knowledge, video topics are endless. You can present yourself in a colorful bio, demonstrate products, start a how-to series, showcase your DIY skills or even indulge in a vlog.

Creating a sizzle reel that highlights your best on-camera moments is a great idea, since a busy producer will get to size you up within minutes. Consider the sizzle reel a visual version of your elevator pitch: tell your story in two minutes, with compelling images punctuated with telling sound bites. Include video footage, pictures and even voice-over sound bites.

A sizzle reel should give the viewer a fast but thorough glimpse of what your brand is about.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | When Mom’s A Producer: 2TV Chicks, The Pilot…A Guilt Trip!

2. Create a YouTube channel.

This is as fast and easy as creating a Google account. Once the account is created, give your new YouTube channel a name, preferably yours or your brand/blog’s. Title your videos appropriately within the allowed 100 characters, triple-check your spelling, use carefully chosen keywords, and when possible, enable captions to give your SEO efforts an extra boost.

If you choose to upload content generated by a third party, make sure you have the proper authorizations to benefit from the proceeds of advertisements and avoid having your videos removed.

3. Build a studio at home.

Having a studio at home is far from unrealistic. All you need is a spare corner of your home and you have a set. Amazon is one of the many online retailers that sell affordable tripods and light kits. YouTube is full of instructional videos that educate you about three-point lighting.

You can create beautiful, visually-appealing footage in no time. If you want to bring your video to the next level, you can either invest in “green-screen” fabric or paint your wall green. This would be useful if you want to change the background and place yourself in a virtual world, such as a cartoon or a Caribbean beach. The camera itself is a no-brainer, with most phones shooting perfect videos.

If you have the skills to sync video with audio on your computer, you can record the audio in the soundproof environment of a closet for a more professional feel.

4. Promote on social media.

You do not have to spend thousands on promoted tweets to gain attention. Maintaining a presence on the platforms where your audience is spending time is more than enough if you put some energy into it. Post your videos on Facebook, pin them on your most popular Pinterest board, tweet the link with relevant hashtags, and place the sizzle reel in your LinkedIn summary to make a great intro.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | The Rundown: A Show Roadmap

5. Find the producers.

Following your favorite producer on Twitter is one way to go, but the odds of them following you back so you can direct message them are not very high. If the social degrees of separation are not in your favor on LinkedIn, you can invest about $50 in the Hollywood Creative Directory, which is also known as the phone book to Hollywood. It is readily available on Amazon.

If you know the name of the production company or the producer, you can look them or their assistants up online. When you send that email, make sure it has a clear subject line, and include the links to your website, social-media platforms and phone number.

Nailing a television appearance may be part luck, but you have to be ready when the opportunity presents itself. Create videos using inexpensive tools, make sure every video tells a compelling story and put your work out there for the world to see.

Producers are always on the lookout, and if your image is professional and connects with a show’s voice, you will be the perfect candidate for that guest seat.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Lifestyle) Marian Rivman writes about her travels to the Philippines and Hong Kong.

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.  

Read More...

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.  

Read More...

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 Production) | Keep Your Productivity Up On Business Trips With These 4 Pro Tips

Image-12-copy

November 5, 2014 | Posted in Festival of Cannes 2014, TV Production | By

2014 Cannes Film Festival Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

2014 Cannes Film Festival
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

First published on Entrepreneur.com
on November 3rd, 2014

Earlier this year, I worked on location at the Cannes Film Festival in France with the production team of Arise On Screen, the movie review show I produce. We were on a tight, five-day schedule as we taped shows on location and then fed the video back to New York where post-production was done. The long shoot days and the seven-hour time difference with our colleagues back home made things even more complicated.

While it’s tempting to think that the only prerequisite to a successful business trip is to have your trusty laptop, you can quickly miss the convenience of your office when you’re thousands of miles away. Replace Cannes with the destination of your choice and use these helpful tips on how to handle out-of-town business.

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

Establish your communication needs. Internet access, roaming charges, data usage — these are all things you have to think about before leaving for your trip, not when you get to your hotel. A call to your phone company before you leave can prevent any surprises on your trip. If you are traveling abroad, you should activate your phone for international travel. Can you make and receive phone calls? What is the rate for the country where you will be based?

Another option is to buy a local phone in the country in which you are traveling and purchase credit as you need it. This is also an easier way for you to keep track of your business expenses. I ended up buying a phone in Cannes and it worked out perfectly for the trip.

Identify your local assets. Who are your contacts on the ground? It is best to coordinate a book of everyone’s contact information including email addresses, phone numbers and any social-media information. If you are staying in a hotel, find out where the office center is located and its hours of operation. It is also important to make note of any wi-fi charges or expenses that might apply for using the office center.

We had our set and crew ready when we arrived. Thanks to our solid contacts and organization, we hit the ground running.

Arise TV shooting at Cannes Film Festival 2014 Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

Arise TV shooting at Cannes Film Festival 2014 Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

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

Be ready to wear a few different hats. When you are on the road, you may have to work twice as hard as when you are in the office. Whether you’re alone or traveling with a smaller team, all the little things the intern or office assistant usually handles may become your responsibility. No job should be too small for you if the need arises. It is probably best to find out the skills of everyone on your business team since multi-tasking takes on a new meaning when you’re on the road!

Sleep when you can. When you are on a business trip, every minute counts as you fill your schedule with meetings and business events throughout the day and night, which means you will probably get your eight-hour beauty sleep — spread over five days. When you get time to nap, take it! Naps are a useful way to re-energize. A short nap of 20 to 30 minutes is good for improving your alertness and performance. Make sure you find a quiet and comfortable place to lie down and catch a few quick zzz’s.

Doing business on the road can, and should be, fun! But unless you’re prepared and your trip is planned, your productivity might take a blow. So follow these tips and bon voyage!

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Coming Up: Buppy Hipster’s Tips for Self-Published Authors

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 The Week Ahead|Tips From A TV Production Photographer |The TV Job Hunt Pep Talk | 5 Things to Do Before Saying ‘I Do’ to a Business Partner

Arise On Screen set before taping.
Photo Credit: Nick Viagas and Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

September 29, 2014 | Posted in Film, TV Production | By

Arise On Screen set before taping. Photo Credit: Nick Viagas and Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Arise On Screen set before taping.
Photo Credit: Nick Viagas and Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

 Happy first week of fall, everybody! Since it’s all about being more social and posting interesting information and photos, we’ve all had to become used to having our pictures taken. On our set, resident Arise On Screen photographer Nick Viagas, who is also an intern, is always lurking with the camera to capture the best and most interesting shots. Because he’s always doing the shooting, I had a hard time finding a photo with him in it. LOL! Most Saturdays, Nick is in charge of getting the great shots that we use on our social media.

 

This week in Ready4Air, Nick tells us just what goes into getting those amazing candid shots.

 

Kimberly Miller, Stage Manager

Kimberly Miller, Stage Manager

 

Long-time television stage manager Kimberly Miller knows firsthand what it’s like to be unable to enjoy fall’s back-to-business spirit. In a guest post this week, entitled Yes, I’m Networking!: TV Jobs Are Really Hard To Find, Kimberly returns and writes about her ongoing job hunt and how to stay positive in the process in an industry where who you know is more important than what you know.

 

This week in Ready4Air, Kim writes about finding support and visualizing your work future.

 

 

Speaking of visualizing your work future, are you about to venture into a new business relationship? Last week, Entrepreneur.com featured my latest article, 5 Things to Do Before Saying ‘I Do’ to a Business Partner, on their front page. I was psyched. As it turned out, the piece resonated with a few folks out there. The last time, I checked the post had been retweeted 51 times! If you missed it, we’ll repost it this week on Ready4Air.

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

Film critic Jackson Murphy of Lights-Camera-Jackson. Photo Credit: Jackson Murphy

Film critic Jackson Murphy of Lights-Camera-Jackson.
Photo Credit: Jackson Murphy

 

And finally, coming off of the weekend, our favorite teen film critic Jackson Murphy ranks the only twelve stop-motion animated movies ever made. This weekend’s The Boxtrolls got slammed at the box office by the Denzel Washington movie The Equalizer, but that doesn’t mean the movie is a dud. The film is about a boy named Eggs who is orphaned at birth and then rescued by trash-collecting trolls. When a villain threatens his new life, Eggs has to fight and save his underground family.
This week on Ready4Air, The Boxtrolls is one of a dozen stop-motion films that Jackson reviews (Spoiler alert: he’s not a big fan of Coraline. LOL!).

 

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Coming Up: Lights -Camera- Jackson Reveals Stop-Motion Animation’s Best Films 
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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