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

business woman

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

business woman

First appeared in Entrepreneur.com

By Deborah Mitchell

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. You don’t recognize yourself anymore.

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

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

2. It’s too much to handle.

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

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

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

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

3. The thrill is gone.

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

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

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

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

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

Syler also believes in measuring your success in realistic terms.

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

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

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

Deborah J. Mitchell

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

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

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Ready4Air (Social) | FREE WEBINAR Tomorrow With Special Guest Rene Syler

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May 5, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Image courtesy Blogging While Brown

Image courtesy Blogging While Brown

Okay, we are gearing up for our first webinar tomorrow afternoon courtesy of Blogging While Brown. If you tune in to us from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST, you’ll get tips on the following:

Getting On A Producer’s Radar

Getting Camera-Ready For Your Interview

How To Prepare and Master Your 3-4 Minute Interview

Rene Syler

Television personality Rene Syler, who heads Good Enough Mother, will be stepping in to give her advice on what to do before and behind the camera.

Blogging While Brown is the premier blogging conference that brings Black social media experts, speakers, and independent content creators together. Dedicated to education, collaboration, and innovation among bloggers of color, the conference allows them to use their influence in social media and technology.

If you’re around on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. EST, get online to get tips on on how to ace your television interview.

Click on this link >> http://bloggingwhilebrown.com/tvinterview to register for tomorrow’s FREE WEBINAR and to get more information about the upcoming Blogging While Brown conference taking place in Austin, Texas, on June 19 and 20.

See you online tomorrow!

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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#TBT Ready4Air (Brands & Bloggers) | Foodie Friday: Fine Disney Dining with Mickey and Minnie

Disney Fantasy
Photo Credit: Rene Syler

July 10, 2014 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect, Culinary Cues | By

I am still getting my sea legs back for today’s Foodie Friday. I returned home yesterday from spending three fun filled days and nights on the newest Disney cruise line ship Disney Fantasy.  It was the inaugural preview cruise before the ship’s maiden voyage.  When we think of Disney we think of kids and families and when most people think cruise they think of food, lots of it, buffet style.  The Disney Fantasy has both of the above plus a little extra for the foodie adults on board. It turns out Mickey, Minnie and the entire Disney gang enjoy gourmet dining too. But first I’ll tell you what foods made the kids happiest.

Disney

Disney Fantasy, Animator’s Palate

Traveling with friend head GEM Rene Syler  and her kids 15 year old Casey and 13 1/2 year old Cole was the perfect way for childless me to experience food through kid’s eyes. First observation, kids eat a lot and when they like a food they can eat it all day long.  Cole discovered early on that the food was “free” and he could eat as much as he wanted too and he did.  His favorite meal was hamburger with his special sauce and no pickles.

Cole’s second favorite, ice cream.  There are machines filled with vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and banana flavored ice cream, cones and cups located all around the Disney Fantasy for easy access day or night. Everywhere you turned someone was eating ice cream. Rene, Casey and I guess Cole ate at least 20 ice cream cones during the trip. As you can see he wasn’t alone in his love for the frozen treat. I will  also admit that I  ate way too many cones, franks and french fries.
Disney Fantasy, Enchanted Garden

Disney Fantasy, Enchanted Garden

Cole and Casey took a break from burgers and ice cream to enjoy a sit down 4 course dinner at the  Enchanted Garden. It took a little cajoling from their mom to get them there but in the end they admitted they enjoyed it. While restaurant server Peter and Roxanne took excellent care of the kids Rene and I were invited to dine upstairs at Palo Disney Fantasy’s northern Italian cuisine restaurant. Chef Silvio  Aragona who is from Italy’s Amalfi Coast and learned to cook from his grandmother is in charge of the menu. Italian specialities include lobster with mascarpone in freshly made ravioli and grilled tuna with truffle-infused potato risotto with garlic marinated artichokes.  Everything was yummy!

We were happy with our Italian feast and didn’t think anything could top it until our last night at sea. Our second dinner invitation was to dine at Remy the ship’s intimate adult French restaurant.

Chef Arnaud Lallement from l’Assiette Champenoise, a Michelin two-star restaurant outside of Reims France and Chef Scott Hunnel from Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World Resort have created an amazing menu. Of course at Remy there is ratatouille. It was served with olive oil infused ice cream.     But first we began the evening with a little Taittinger bubbly.
Our party sat down to dinner at 8:30pm and enjoyed a wonderful tasting menu, that included wild turbot and wagyu beef, for 4 hours. By midnight we were having dessert and toasting a great night.  Our three night Disney Fantasy voyage ended on an incredibly delicious high note!

And by the way when we got back to the room Casey, not Cole, was awake and hungry of course. Thanks Cole, Casey Mickey, Minnie and Disney for reminding me how much fun it is to be a kid again.

Disclosure:: Thank you to the fine folks at Disney for the opportunity to experience my first Disney cruise on The Disney Fantasy. While I did not pay for the cruise, all opinions are my own.

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Coming Up: How To Choose A Public Relations Firm 

Deborah J. Mitchell

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

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

 

 

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Ready4Air (TV) #TBT: So You Want To Be On TV: Building A Studio At Home

GoodEnoughMother Rene Syler’s Home Studio
Photo courtesy Rene Syler

February 6, 2014 | Posted in Social TV, TV Production | By

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

While you are getting ready for your big break to appear on local or national television I encourage you to practice your on-air skills at home by creating your own videos and building content on your YouTube Channel. Remember one of the first things a producer checks when seeking to book you on a show is to review your “on-air appearance.

Last week in our post  So You Want To Be On TV: Look! More Brands And Bloggers Are Connecting On TV, we had a chance to check out how bloggers Mary Hitchings and Vicki Winters produce video content differently.  Both ladies did a good job on camera and I’m sure we will see them do more videos and get better as time goes on.  However, when the opportunity presents itself, one sure way to be   comfortable in a professional television studio is to practice beforehand in your own studio at home. What? You don’t have a studio at home?

GoodEnoughMother Rene Syler’s Home Studio Photo courtesy Rene Syler

GoodEnoughMother Rene Syler’s Home Studio
Photo courtesy Rene Syler

Well, don’t panic it turns out building an at home studio is easier then you think.  All you need is a spare room or corner, a few lights, cameras, and action!  TV personality and website Goodenoughmother  founder Rene Syler took her years of television know how and with a little help from YouTube built a semi-professional studio in a spare room.  Rene is on the road a lot these days hosting a new show Sweet Retreats that debuts in mid January on the Live Well Network and when she’s home, her studio is home base (TV talk for main location when reporting) for many of her YouTube videos.

GoodEnoughMother Rene Syler’s Home Studio Photo courtesy Rene Syler

GoodEnoughMother Rene Syler’s Home Studio
Photo courtesy Rene Syler

Rene loves to say “I may not know everything but I’m smart and I have YouTube.” Syler told me “I learned 3 point lighting on YouTube and I got the light kit from Amazon.com and I think it was less than 500 bucks. The camera is a Sony.”

If you want to get a little fancy with your shooting, add a green screen effect. With green screen, it’s easy to superimpose anything or anyone into any shot. You can transport yourself to look as though your riding the waves on a surfboard or appear in your favorite cartoon.

Rene has used the green screen in several of her videos to create unbelievably funny and unique videos.  “The Green Screen is fabric I bought online as well, but you can make your own by painting a wall . You can use I think it’s called Candy Apple green paint ( you can Google how to create a green screen for the exact info). When I use it, I make sure all the creases are out of it. “(obviously, LOL!).

You’re smart and have YouTube and Google too.  It may cost a few extra dollars to purchase the equipment for your new home studio but consider it an investment in your blog.  An investment where your YouTube videos will look better than ever and the payoff could be more eyes on your site.  All good news since you never know who might be watching.

Take a few minutes and check out Rene’s use of the green screen in her at home studio. Always feel free to drop us a line with any questions and stay tuned….

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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.  If you are interested in “Book Case TV” or 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.

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Ready4Air (TV) | TV Hosting 101: Driving A Segment And Interviewing Guests

Mike Sargent with Valli Dawn Hart & Stephanie R. Green on Arise On-Screen
Photo Credit: Mike Sargent

February 5, 2014 | Posted in Pros Talk TV And Social Media, Social TV, TV Production | By

 

Rene Syler with Arthur Kade Photo Credit Debbie Mitchell

Rene Syler with Arthur Kade
Photo Credit Debbie Mitchell

Most of the time, when someone enters the television industry–whether in front of or behind the camera–they get jobs in smaller markets with the end goal, if desired, to work in the #1 market, New York City. If and when someone gets to New York City, it indicates something about their skills and ability to get the job done.

As a born and bred New Yorker who studied media and graduated college in the Big Apple, I was lucky enough to begin my career in New York City and have spent my entire professional life here. As a result, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the best of the best in the television industry. Journalists like Geraldo Rivera, Bryant Gumbel, Barbara Walters, and Harry Smith are a few I grew up watching on television and eventually had the opportunity to produce and work with later in life. However, with the great opportunities comes the pressure of doing well and the chance to soak up a long list of valuable lessons.

Ready4Air | Gimme The Mic: Speaking With Authority

Photo credit: Debbie Mitchell

Photo credit: Debbie Mitchell

When it comes to hosting or anchoring a show, the job may appear easy, but it is much harder than it looks. I spent four years as Geraldo’s cohost on his daytime talk show, Geraldo, where I answered one or two questions during the hour, and it was hard. Geraldo, the pro, saved me from a few fumbles and mumbles, reminding me that it’s not easy to walk, talk, and be smart. While some personalities are born naturals in front of the camera, others have to work really hard to look and sound natural.

Related Post: Ready Teleprompter Is Tricky Michael Bay: Use These Tips For Next Time

As a producer, I realized over the years that although each on-air personality I worked with was very different, they all shared a few of the same qualities that made them shine in their jobs. Here is what I’ve observed from those successful personalities over the last 25 years.

TV Hosting 101: Driving A Segment and Interviewing Guests

Do Your Homework

As a television host, you are juggling several different things in your head at once. Names, facts, dates, etc. all in front of your guests, crew and audience so the pressure is on for you to be accurate. It is a producer’s job to keep your information up-to-date and accurate, but most personalities I’ve worked with did additional homework. Bryant Gumbel was known for doing his homework. As a producer on CBS News The Early Show, you researched and wrote at least 10 suggested questions for the segment. Once the interview began, Bryant had come up with different questions. If he used one of your questions during a segment, you were lucky. Harry Smith once told the producers to always find one nugget of information about a guest that no one else has revealed.

Know Your Guests And Elements

Show producers are responsible for gathering research, conducting the guest pre-interview and gathering all the supplemental elements (video, photos, and graphics) that are related to the story. Your producer should know the story inside out. In addition to reading the notes your producer has prepared, talk to the producer. He or she might be able to give you a few valuable tips about dealing with the guest that is not translated in the notes. As a producer on Geraldo, we were responsible for giving him a guest and show overview a few minutes before the show. This is once Geraldo finished reading stage manager Mike Jacobs’s blue card interpretation of our notes. LOL! We were also backstage during the show and could fill-in any important notes. Geraldo was also never one to stay on script. So once a producer put together what you thought was a good flow for the show, he would change it around. I will admit his changes were usually right and made for a more exciting show.

Mike Sargent with Valli Dawn Hart & Stephanie R. Green on Arise On-Screen Photo Credit: Mike Sargent

Mike Sargent with Valli Dawn Hart and Stephanie R. Green on Arise On Screen
Photo Credit: Mike Sargent

Be In The Moment, Listen To Your Guests, And Follow Up

Every host goes into an interview with questions and ideas of what they want to talk about, but it’s important to listen to what your guest is saying. If your guest says something that is amazing, unexpected, or newsworthy, then your job is to follow up. Yes, it will take you off your planned path of prepared questions, but it could lead you down a more exciting road. The only way you will know is if you listen.

Drive The Show Or Segment

As the host of any show, you are in charge of keeping the energy up, your guests engaged, and the conversation flowing.  The guests will follow the host’s lead. The hosting job is a delicate dance where the host, within an allotted timeframe, must make sure the guests have a chance to talk, respond, and introduce their points. If the host does his homework (see above Do Your Homework), then he or she will be successful in driving the key points in the conversation to hit all the important talking points and elements. In some cases, the host might have to gently cut off a guest and keep the conversation moving, all while reading the prompter and paying attention to cues from the show stage manager.

Finally, if things begin to fall apart, just take a minute and breathe, that way the producer in the control room talking to you in your ear can help get you back on track.

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Coming Up: A Night with Mozzarella Cheese

 

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

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.  If you are interested in “ Book Case TV” or 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. If all else fails, her resourceful assistant, Sang, will find her.

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Ready4Air | The 2013 SheStreams Blogger Conference – Going Back To Where It All Began

Framed SheStreams Debbie and Maria Bailey at SheStreams

October 24, 2013 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect, Live Event Production Notes, Social TV, TV Production | By

 

2013 SheStreams Conference, NYC Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

2013 SheStreams Conference, NYC
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

The SheStreams bloggers conference will always hold a special place in my heart since it’s the conference that first introduced me to bloggers and the power and influence of social media.  Last Friday, I had a chance to go back to where it all began at the 3rd annual SheStreams Conference.  This year’s event, hosted by Maria Bailey, was only one day and the theme was video – right up my alley.

I got to see a few old faces, lots of new ones and had the chance to learn a thing or two more about social media.

Related Post: It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Day, It’s A New Life For Me

2013 SheStreams Conference Miss Lori, Debbie Mitchell, Rene Syler Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

2013 SheStreams Conference Miss Lori, Debbie Mitchell, Rene Syler
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

The conference line-up of speakers was great. It included opening keynote speaker, Tory Johnson, a contributor for “Good Morning America” who discussed the importance of having a plan whether it’s for starting a business or losing weight.  Johnson recently lost  62 lbs and counting and looks great!

TV personality and blogger Good Enough Mother, Rene Syler was the closing keynote speaker and talked about knowing who you are in your brand.

2013 SheStreams Conference Brad Montague and Kid President  Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

2013 SheStreams Conference Brad Montague and Kid President
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

At the opening of the event, Brad Montague, creator of the viral video “Kid President” stole the show with his humble, down home Nashville charm.

“Kid President” is 9 year old Robby, Montague’s brother-in-law who has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) a brittle bone condition which has resulted in him having over 70 breaks since birth.  The videos were created as a way for kids to have a voice and Brad is surprised at the attention and opportunities that have come their way since the “Kid President” video hit the internet over a year ago.

The Montague family believes kids can change the world.  Brad and his family have received numerous offers and even got to go to the White House to  meet President Obama.  Brad told a funny story of Robby licking the walls of the White House and picking up the White House phone, only a kid would do that. Montague says he’ll stay committed to the “Kid President” message and keep creating the videos as long as Robby is having fun.

2013 SheStreams Conference - Hosting A Sponsored Live Event That Rocks with Nancy Friedman, Nicole Feliciano and Divina Rodriguez  Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

2013 SheStreams Conference – Hosting A Sponsored Live Event That Rocks with Nancy Friedman, Nicole Feliciano and Divina Rodriguez
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

All the sessions were geared towards online personalities interested in upping their video, live event, and branding game. If you couldn’t be there in person, the conference was streaming LIVE on MomTV.com, an online TV network for moms.

Sessions included:

  • A Face For Video with Elizabeth Field
  • Taking Your Brand From Online To On-Air with “Today Show” producer Alicia Ybarbo
  • Hosting A Sponsored Live Event That Rocks with Nancy Friedman, Nicole Feliciano and Divina Rodgriguez.

I really enjoyed the Hosting A Sponsored Live Event That Rocks discussion because each panelist was concerned with the details. As a producer I understand that the devil is in the details.  The ladies discussed everything from mailing event attendees an “event tool kit” with social media information about the brand and event key points  prior to the event to saying thank you afterwards to everyone who was socially active during the event. Great tips!

Related Post: So You Want To Be On TV: Building A Studio At Home

All in all the conference was filled with great information and I got to play in my two worlds, social media and video production both in one day.

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Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

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.  If you are interested in “Book Case TV” or 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.

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The Week Ahead | SheStreams Teaching Bloggers About Video | SNL, What’s So Funny? | VOTE for Me

2013 SheStreams Conference, NYC.
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

October 21, 2013 | Posted in Social TV | By

 

Debbie Mitchell and Maria Bailey (SheStreams and MomTV.com)

Debbie Mitchell and Maria Bailey (SheStreams and MomTV.com)

This week on Ready4Air, bloggers take their video production up a notch. The third annual SheStreams Conference hosted by Maria Bailey was a one-day affair for bloggers interested in upping their video, live event, and branding game. Bloggers were still talking about being bashed by lifestyle maven Martha Stewart in the news but brushed off the ugly comments to move forward and become even better at what they do, blog.  The New York conference included sessions like Hosting A Sponsored Live Event That Rocks and Taking Your Brand From Online To On-Air with “Today Show” producer Alicia Ybarbo on the panel. “Good Morning America” contributor Tory Johnson stopped by to open the day’s event and TV personality Rene Syler was on hand to close the conference at the end of the day.

RELATED POST: Ready4Air | Martha, Martha, Martha: Food Bloggers Are Pissed Off!

In 2011, SheStreams was the first mom  blogger conference I ever attended and it’s where  I saw the true  power of social media.  Last week’s conference featured online personalities with video experience and novices looking to get better at using video.  Find out what I learned when I went back to the conference this time.

Framed bookcasethemelogo1

Watch new episodes of Book Case TV on Monday nights on NYC Life Channel 25 at 9:30PM EST.  Missed a previous episode? Catch up on past shows and season one and two by clicking here.

 Tonight book investigator Frank Debonair talks to female crime writers, Gayle Lynds, Heather Graham, Meg Gardiner and  Laura Caldwell.  So if you love thriller books then join us to hear  more interviews live from the five-day celebration.

Next week a new episode of Book Case TV, with book investigator Frank Debonair, continues season three with a “French Flair.”  A catching title for the episode where Debonair goes back to his roots to talk about all things French. Follow our investigator as he tries to retrieve the stolen hat of the French President, a heinous crime in Debonair’s eyes. Watch as he tries to locate a possible suspect.

Book Case TV viewers hear from authors Antoine Laurain, James MacNamus and Christopher Launois. Laurain discusses “The President’s Hat,” a book about the ordeal of the president’s hat; MacNamus talks about “Black Venus,” a fictional rendition of the life of Charles Baudelaire’s muse; and author Christopher Launois discusses “L’Americain,” a book about his father, famed post World War II photographer, John Launois.

BookcaseTV 10.21.13

The Book World segment goes downtown to New York’s Tribeca to talk with Ian Kern at Mysterious Bookshop. Debonair searches to find out what he is hiding from the public. In Pick Of The Week, Frank Debonair highlights authors Ann Mah, “Mastering the Art of French Eating”; Jean Teulé, “The Suicide Shop”; and “Where Tigers are at Home,” Jean Marie Blas De Robles.

Carolines Comedy Club Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

Carolines Comedy Club
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

The new season of “Saturday Night Live” has come under fire for it’s lack of diversity in it’s newest cast.  SNL added several new cast members this season and has been criticized for not having more women of color on its comedy team.  The show has been on for almost 40 years and has only featured four black female cast members in its history. The most recent,  Maya Rudolph who left in 2007 and now is pursuing a movie career. According to reports, it’s SNL’s sixth consecutive year without a black female cast member and they claim they can’t find a good fit.  So, what I wanna know- what does it take to be funny enough

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And finally I am campaigning for VOTES! I will continue to beg (Yup! I’m not too proud to beg LOL!) for your Facebook votes to become eligible for a small business grant. I need 250 votes by November 15 which works out to approximately 12 votes a day, starting today. Anyone can show support by voting using their Facebook account.

Take one minute to click on the FB logo above. If possible please cut and paste the graph below and share with your FB friends on your FB page !

FB Friends- Can we help my friend Deborah Mitchell by casting a vote for her company?
Thanks in advance for helping.   Here is the link to vote–>>https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/search
The company name is Deborah Mitchell Media Associates and the zip code is 10024. Here is her website http://www.deborahmitchellmediaassociates.com/.

It takes a  social media village!

Thanks in advance.

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Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

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.  If you are interested in “Book Case TV” or 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.

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So You Want To Be On TV: Building A Studio At Home

December 11, 2012 | Posted in Brands and Bloggers Connect, Social TV, TV Production | By

While you are getting ready for your big break to appear on local or national television I encourage you to practice your on-air skills at home by creating your own videos and building content on your YouTube Channel. Remember one of the first things a producer checks when seeking to book you on a show is to review your “on-air appearance.

Last week in our post  So You Want To Be On TV: Look! More Brands And Bloggers Are Connecting On TV, we had a chance to check out how bloggers Mary Hitchings and Vicki Winters produce video content differently.  Both ladies did a good job on camera and I’m sure we will see them do more videos and get better as time goes on.  However, when the opportunity presents itself, one sure way to be   comfortable in a professional television studio is to practice beforehand in your own studio at home. What? You don’t have a studio at home?

GoodEnoughMother Rene Syler’s Home Studio
Photo courtesy Rene Syler

Well, don’t panic it turns out building an at home studio is easier then you think.  All you need is a spare room or corner, a few lights, cameras, and action!  TV personality and website Goodenoughmother founder Rene Syler took her years of television know how and with a little help from YouTube built a semi-professional studio in a spare room.  Rene is on the road a lot these days hosting a new show Sweet Retreats that debuts in mid January on the Live Well Network and when she’s home, her studio is homebase (TV talk for main location when reporting) for many of her YouTube videos.

GoodEnoughMother Rene Syler’s Home Studio
Photo courtesy Rene Syler

Rene loves to say “I may not know everything but I’m smart and I have YouTube.” Syler told me “I learned 3 point lighting on YouTube and I got the light kit from Amazon.com and I think it was less than 500 bucks. The camera is a Sony.”

If you want to get a little fancy with your shooting, add a green screen effect. With green screen, it’s easy to superimpose anything or anyone into any shot. You can transport yourself to look as though your riding the waves on a surfboard or appear in your favorite cartoon.

Rene has used the green screen in several of her videos to create unbelievably funny and unique videos.  “The Green Screen is fabric I bought online as well, but you can make your own by painting a wall . You can use I think it’s called Candy Apple green paint ( you can Google how to create a green screen for the exact info). When I use it, I make sure all the creases are out of it. “(obviously, LOL!).

You’re smart and have YouTube and Google too.  It may cost a few extra dollars to purchase the equipment for your new home studio but consider it an investment in your blog.  An investment where your YouTube videos will look better than ever and the payoff could be more eyes on your site.  All good news since you never know who might be watching.

Take a few minutes and check out Rene’s use of the green screen in her at home studio. Always feel free to drop us a line with any questions and stay tuned….

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Photo Credit: Max Shuppert

Photo Credit: Max Shuppert

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.  If you are interested in “Book Case TV” or 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.

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It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Day, It’s A New Life For Me

May 2, 2012 | Posted in Social TV, TV Production | By

“…and I’m feeling good.”

I LOVE this song. I listen to Nina Simone’s version of “Feeling Good” every morning, but most people recognize Jennifer Hudson’s version from the Weight Watchers commercial. That’s fine, too, since it is all about the words.

This month, the song has an extra-special meaning for me. May marks my second anniversary of leaving my life as a television producer for CBS News. It has been a crazy ride and the last 24 months have been filled with more peaks and valleys, lessons, and personal growth than I could have ever imagined. My departure from the network was sudden and should have been handled better, in my opinion, but it wasn’t.

My 10-year run was over, and I was thrown into a whole new world of communicating in a language of the social and digital media arena that I didn’t understand or need to understand. Or so I thought.

The first I thing I did in my newly unemployed life was take a break and try to catch up on a decade worth of sleep and restart my yoga practice. Once I was rested and ready to make a career move, I tried to go back to what I knew–television production. Yet this time was different. Ninety-nine percent of the time I follow my gut instinct, and something was nagging at me. I felt like it was time for a change, time to create a life that was manageable, where I could still use my talents and have a life. Television news is a lot of things, and manageable is not one of them. Your life is not your own.

I used the down time to reconnect with personal and professional friends, some of whom helped with my job hunt. Although I didn’t love the limited job options (startup talks shows and other morning programs–been there done that), I interviewed anyway. Alas, nothing stuck.

A chance conversation with a former CBS producer, Jessica, reconnected me to former Early Show anchor turned blogger @goodenufmother, Rene Syler. Jessica was scheduled to meet Rene for a lesson in social media, and I was invited to meet up with them at the Upper West Side Starbucks in April 2011.

Rene remembers that first meeting vividly: “I guess there are two things I remember. Debbie had this look on her face, you know the one when you’re concentrating real hard in an effort to grasp something? She had that look on her face for a long time. And the other thing was she kept asking, ‘How do you make money?’ She no longer has either of those things.”

Yes, it is true. I asked about money a lot. I had just spent 25 years working in an industry where I worked very hard and was paid very well. So, yes, my mantra was, “How do you make money?” Even though Rene couldn’t show me the big money in social media, I was intrigued by it. Once the Starbucks session was over, I tossed my PC, bought an Apple laptop, chatted with Rene 24/7, got a social media tutor @theeventOasis and signed up for a webinar @SMA4women. I was converting and loving it.

In September 2011, I attended the SheStreams conference, my first mom blogger event. It was a social media boot camp for veteran and newbie mom bloggers. The lineup of speakers and topics was top-notch, covering everything from how to shoot better video for your blog to monetizing your Twitter. I was impressed with the power and drive of these women. I would have booked most of those panelists for a television segment in a heartbeat. I went to as many sessions as I could and met moms who were juggling motherhood, working outside the home, and traveling to conferences–all while producing content for their social media brand.

I later admitted to the ladies that I could not keep up with their energy and enthusiasm. By the end of each day, I was exhausted while they were ready to dance the night away! I did have an “aha” moment at the conference and the mom bloggers @banteringblonde and @mommycosm saw it, too. They were the first ones to tell me how my producing skills could have a future in the world of social media.

I have been moving forward ever since.

Me, Ted Rubin, Rene Syler at Blogalicious Conference 2011

Me, Ted Rubin, and Rene Syler at Blogalicious Conference 2011.

Rene says she knew the moment it all clicked for me. “It happened at that conference [SheStreams] and the days following it. Debbie understood that social media wasn’t a totally different beast than television; it was just its younger, faster sibling. In other words, at its core, it’s still about communication, only now it’s crowd-driven. Debbie needed to understand (as all of traditional media do) that we are all consumers and producers of content; it’s that simple. And that is what is bringing about this monumental shift in media. And Debbie.”

Next stop for me was the #ShiftNYC conference in October hosted by James Andrews (@keyinfluencer), where several of social media’s top creative minds gathered to discuss the future of social media. While I was there I kept thinking, “I would have missed this ‘new’ social media world if I were still working in the ‘old’ world of traditional television.”

I have always loved television–watching it, producing it, coming up with the ideas, and following a concept from beginning to end while meeting new and interesting people. However, in the last two years I learned that it is the producing process I love, not the TV medium.

Television is good, but it turns out social media is GREAT! It allows you to be your authentic self and gives you the chance to reach a much wider audience. It’s growing so fast. I have attended several social media seminars, including ones by social media evangelist Sree Sreenivasan (@sree) since September 2011.

I just returned from the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Florida, their third annual conference for top influencer mom bloggers and their families. Again, this year’s speakers were noted social media personalities including Peter Shankman (HARO), Chris Brogan, and AmyJo Martin.

Last year, Rene was one of the speakers and moms say she brought the room to their feet after her presentation. Disney knows its brand and understands the power of social media. I saw it at this conference and on their social media preview cruise for the Disney Fantasy in March.

A magazine editor asked me recently if I thought social media is a fad that will go away. I laughed and said with certainty, “NO.” It’s here to stay, so she had better get on board.

Now, I am completely steering the social media ship. Over the years, I have produced several television segments on personal and professional reinvention. And there is nothing quite like experiencing it firsthand. It is not as easy as it looks. I won’t lie to you. As traditional television journalists, Rene and I talk about how social media has forced us to grow in ways we could never have imagined.

Every day hasn’t been easy, but during those days in the valley, she reminded me of two things when it came to reinvention:

#1  Never give up. People don’t succeed because they quit too soon. If you keep at it, you’ll make it happen.

#2  It has to be your passion. It’s not about making money; the goal needs to be bigger than that, though that’s important (to some), too. Identify why you do what you do.

 

Well, I think I have found my “why” and I have the passion. My transition from traditional television producer to social media producer went to the next level when I co-founded The Blogger Connection (TBC), a blogger outreach network. The network connects a variety of bloggers (fashion, beauty food, travel, and moms) with the brands they love. Over the years, I’ve met some great bloggers who I hope to work with again in the future.

UPDATE 10.23.13 — Today, I am putting all my energy into Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, a TV and social media management agency where my team will work and help guide clients in the two worlds that I love.

I want to thank all the folks who are following me on Twitter @SocialTVDeb, have friended me on Facebook, and linked up with me on LinkedIn! I promise to always be authentic, interesting, and hopefully, fun. I am still a work in progress, but, hey, aren’t we all!

Here’s a toast to the next chapter. “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good.”–Nina Simone

 

Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

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.  If you are interested in “Book Case TV” or 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.

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