The New Normal: Entrepreneurial Strategy in a Post-Recession, Post-Web 2.0 World

Live blogging from the Mom 2.0 Summitt in New Orleans.

Panelists include: Stephanie Smirnov, Erica Diamond, Shelly Kramer, and Gabrielle Blair

The recession happened.

The Social web happened.

Female entrepeneurs are doing their thing. Let’s discuss:

The numbers:

8.1 million women owned women-owned business in the US.

Generating 1.2 trillion dollars

Yet, when women hit  $1,000,000 dollars and/or 100 employees they hit a wall.  This doesn’t necessarily happen to men. Why???

Maybe because women choose this point so they can integrate work/life balance in their lives.
Great quote:
Perhaps there is another way that women are rising to the top- as entrepreneurs. Rather than occupying top positions, we are paving our own way, on our won terms. Look ahed, not to the way men have shped the workforce, rather, to the new workforce engineered by forward-thinking women.” Megan from San Francisio

Personal Entrepreneurial Stories from the panel:
According to Erika, WomenontheFence.com
Most entrepreneurs end up saying that it takes 10 or 20 years to have overnight success…..
After selling her business since it was too much juggling with the kids and being an entrepreneur, she started writing and has never put $1 into her blog as far as advertising and marketing. She had a vision of her blog being about how women could go there to vent and talk to find out how they could “get off the fence” about their decisions. She’s been blogging for 18 months with amazing guest bloggers sharing their incredible captivating stories.
  • Plant as many different seeds as possible. See which grow.
  • Freebies come with the whole start up thing and you’ll need it to start your business and build your brand. If you do it for long enough and are good enough, it will come back to you.
  • What you put out into the universe, comes back to you in work and in personal life.
As for revenue: She realized that she can spin the revenue by herself as radio correspondant, spokesperson, corporate sponsors and more. She diversifies her revenue and is no Dooce making money via ads.
(Note: I totally agree with this as for most of us, we will never have the traffic of a Dooce.com but instead can make money through a variety of other opportunities. )

Shelly Kramer
She married young, had children young, and never wanted to be a stay at home mom. Her first crop of children grew up on the floor of her office.
One of her special skills is not focusing on herself, but instead, focusing on YOU. All she can think about is the opportunities for others as she is a great listener and great at learning about what others do.
What she brings to the table is helping her clients figure out what the best strategy is for them. She lived a corporate life and was a single mom for 16 years. Then she got married and had kids after 40. (Right now she has 5 year old twins!)
So she decided to try the stay at home Mom thing with her set of twins. But she is still running her company from home, and all her big clients and corporations know that she has kids and they will be in the background. On conference calls she is wiping kids butts and needs to use the mute button!
The mistakes she has made along the way include:
1. Not raising her hand enough to ask for help
2. Don’t assume that everybody knows your story. No one knows your story. Your Dad, your neighbor, the people at the gym!  The point is – tell your story!
3. If you identify how you can help others, feel free to tell them how you can help them. Let them know – and you can be paid for it!
4. Don’t give away your ideas.
Advice:
1. Be careful who you marry yourself to in business. Sometimes you can date very successfully.
2. Tell your story
3. Raise your hand – tell others what how you can help them. And ask for help if you need it!
_____________________________________________________
Gabrielle Blair: @DesignMom
She’s going to share examples of who is doing really well with New Media.
Justin Beiber is doing it best – who could be better?  He is still retweeting now even with his 8 Million Fans. But he is close to his fans and interacts with them in a real way.
Lesson #1
Engage your Audience
@JylMIF in our world does it well. She has institutionalized interacting with her audience in a very real way with her #GNO every week. And her emails are amazing too – instead of a one line response, she helps you so much.
Lesson #2
There is No One Set Path (ex. Justin Bieber)
Disney did offer him a spot in that highly successful Disney machine. So he did his own path.
Real World – example is 5 Minutes for Mom
- They started in e-commerce and then heard blogging would help their SEO and kind of accidentally started it.
-They’ve still refused to ever sign with an ad network. They make more on their own.
- Hired camera crew to come to BlogHer to do interviews with them. They just made this investment. They saw a need and decided to fill it.

Lesson # 3
It never hurts to look good (ex. Justin Bieber!)
If a site looks legit, with a great design it is so important. If you are going to invest anywhere, you can’t go wrong by investing in design.
Hired a design firm to do their logo…. @CoolMomPicks, Gift Guides and it adapts to everything from @coolmomtech to babyshower guides. This logo grows with them.

Where to get good designs for wordpress blogs?
Woo Themes or Elegant Themes are excellent choices

Disclosure: Thanks to LifetimeMoms.com for sending me here so I can do some fabulous learning.

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