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SDH200: Gaining Success by Following Your Passion with Crosby Noricks

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How do you break into a career field that barely exists? What resources do you search for? Do you know where to search? Who to contact for guidance?

Crosby Noricks has access to those answers! Crosby is the founder of PR Couture, which is the PR sourcebook for fashion and lifestyle communicators. With her business, she aims to support individuals, brands, and agencies with strategy building, job leads and finding business partners and collaborators. They also created the Bespoke Communications Awards, which focuses on recognizing overlooked, high performing players in the PR industry, such as the 2017 winners Rue La La and J Public Relations.

Always having a passion and love for the fashion industry, she couldn’t have been more excited to find that she could mix her two loves of PR and fashion into a profitable career. Though when she began networking in the PR fashion industry, she found it hard to connect with the right people and find sources to learn from. So she took to the fashion blogging world with PR Couture and used her platform to shed light on the decisions being made, and the communication strategies being developed by the behind-the-scenes PR reps.

Launching in 2006, she saw that most PR agencies only had an online Splash page with their phone numbers on them, and relied heavily on selling themselves through a cold call. Feeling like she was too introverted and nervous to let a phone call seal the deal, she networked and built her audience by hunting through LinkedIn and Google for PR reps in fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle. Via email she introduced her blog and asked them for some tips and tricks about navigating the industry, and what their work looked like in the day-to-day. She then used that material and advice for PR Couture’s posts.

While running her blog, she still held a full-time position at a digital marketing agency, where she managed the social media department.  She used that role to further promote PR Couture by using conferences for the agency as a networking opportunity to gain knowledge on different social and digital marketing techniques; as well as community building centering through branding.

With all the opportunities and intel she accumulated through building these relationships, she was able to self-publish a book in 2012 and began to career coach young entry-level talent on how to break into fashion PR. With these other platforms, she continues to help them set career goals, and connects them with PR professionals that she feels they’d clique with, and provide the best assistance to.

Since she has added a job board and an agency directory, that has provided several strong internships and full-time positions at companies across the industry such as Greenlee Swim and Zoi Agency. This has kept them at the top of the search engine results for PR jobs in fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle; which has led to increased traffic and trust from visitors. Crosby has also launched an affordable entry-level course, called Prism, a 3-month online program that teaches personal branding, PR skills, and offers more guidance in career planning.

Hear more about how Crosby continues to expand PR Couture brand, like with their new reality PR web series and helps young PR reps find their place in fashion!!

In this episode, you will…

  • Learn how to support newcomers in your field with your brand and company
  • Find ways to build a network in your field
  • See if your business’s brand will flourish with or without you as the face of it
  • Understand the power of email acquisition, segmentation, and personal and professional support
  • Know if your brand has one or multiple target audiences
  • Figure out how to positively dismantle stigmas about your career with business and brand

INSIGHTS

“I had a lot of questions because when you learn about public relations in college it’s [a] very academic perspective…if you’re a girl sitting there with these big, big dreams of fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, you’re not getting a lot of useful information. I was just so curious. I wanted to know what the work actually looked like in the day-to-day, and so that’s really where the blog started.” -Crosby Noricks

“There was no clear-cut path…the success that had happened was very masculine in approach…I started [PR Couture] because I wanted to share information, and I figured if there were people out there seeking this information like I was, I would take the lead…I will be the person to try to provide these answers.” -Crosby Noricks

“There’s still this lingering perception that because fashion is considered to be a little bit superficial, that those who work in the industry are also superficial…[and] without depth, and that’s been something that I’ve really tried to challenge by featuring the stories, and insights, and boosting the credibility of many of the women that I know who work in the field…and giving them space in the site to showcase their thought leadership.” -Crosby Noricks

RESOURCES

PR Couture Website

Crosby Noricks Profile

PR Couture Facebook

PR Couture Instagram

PR Couture Twitter

PR Couture LinkedIn

The Living Room Strategy by Tara Gentile

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SDH199: Creating Your Business. Taking Risks. Living your Passion with Jen Spencer

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How do you plan to take control of an industry with your business? What would building a foundation for that scale of a business look like?

We get into all of that with today’s guest, Jen Spencer, founder of Authority-Life! Authority-Life is an omni-present brand building company with public relations experts in social media, content building, and video editing. Their goal is to help entrepreneurs share their messages across various channels, and find their target audience.

Authority-Life started when she was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, while working for a tech start-up in San Francisco. She was comfortable at her job, but felt like she was capable of doing more. So she began quietly building her own PR practice, and within a year she had built her side business into a company that supplied her with a six-figure salary!

It was then she said she knew she had to make a decision between her full time job and Authority-Life. She loved working with the team, but knew it was time to pave her own path, and with the support of her own network of entrepreneurs, she took the leap.

When she started her business, she knew she had to make a name for herself. San Francisco had an ample amount of start-ups, and entrepreneurs who needed help so she offered her expertise to them free of charge. Her services included ghost-writing, copy-writing, social media content building, and network and brand building. The work was long and time-consuming, but she loved the connections that she was making and the brainstorming process that the projects required. Being a writer as well, her creative home was in the art of story-telling, and she enjoyed coming up with different angles to convey that message.  

One story that stuck with her was of a client who operated a marketing business in college. Over the course of his life, he had seven life-threatening heart conditions, and had to have open-heart surgery. To tell that story, and speak on his case studies within marketing, they went on numerous podcasts which they turned into blog posts, and an article in Forbes magazine.

Some advice she offers to entrepreneurs building their brands is to experiment with platforms outside of Facebook, Instagram, and so forth. The best engagement comes from unique modes of sharing, and if done successfully, you can become a huge asset to that unrecognized platform. If you do share on the traditional social media platforms, make sure your content is varied. One of her favorite platforms is Instagram, and she said she makes sure to mix videos and clips with quotes and photos to sustain audience excitement.

Hear more on how Jen continues to grow Authority-Life’s services and expands her team, learn where your audience lives, and what new platforms you can share your brand and story on!

 

In this episode you will…

  • Know how to combine services of an industry into your business so you can have a competitive edge
  • Learn how to make a name for yourself and your company in order to build your reputation and network
  • Know how to build a team that expands the services of your business and progresses it’s success
  • Find where your target audience lives
  • Hear about different ways you can mix up your content on sharing platforms to keep up audience engagement
  • See how to find events that will help educate you as an entrepreneur

 

INSIGHTS

“In the beginning I was trying to do a lot of it on my own…but as the team grew…it’s been getting people with various skills, whether it’s video, social media, PR, [and people] that can really work well together as a team. That’s kind of how we build that omni-present authority, is really working together and not just working on one aspect.” –Jen Spencer

“In terms of video and podcasting, there’s all these different ways of sharing your story. Don’t be afraid to experiment…a lot of great engagement comes from thinking outside of the box and not just sharing…on those standard platforms.” –Jen Spencer

“I’m big on events… [I focus] on value, and not necessarily looking for big names, but more so [on] is there going to be actual strategies and takeaways that I can get a lot out of, and network with people that can really help grow my personal brand and business, and I can help them and add value to them.” –Jen Spencer

“I told myself I’m gonna actively reach out to as many people as possible, and learn from as many people as possible…it’s a really good strategy to ask people how you can connect with them, help them, and to really get to know people and have other people you can support and support you on your journey. I found that with entrepreneurship, it can get pretty lonely…so that’s been a big thing for me, is taking that initiative.” –Jen Spencer

 

RESOURCES

Authority-Life Website

Jen Spencer Instagram

Jen Spencer LinkedIn

School of Greatness by Lewis Howes

All Things Social Media Facebook Group

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SDH198: Side Hustle to Full-Time with Lauren Benbassat

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How has your business bettered your lifestyle? Improved your mental and physical health? Or motivated you to put yourself, and your well-being first?

For Lauren Benbassat a health scare prompted her and her husband to create Mele, which offers all-natural meal replacement smoothies loaded with ingredients like real fruits, nuts, vegetables, and whey protein. These ingredients are freeze-dried and crushed into a powder, and when you add water, you have a filling smoothie with all the benefits of a perfectly balanced nutritional meal.

Her inspiration for Mele came about when she moved to New York from Florida to pursue a career in marketing. With nothing but her bags and determination, she grinded her way up the corporate ladder, and while success became the pay off, her health declined. After her early morning workouts, she would run head first into work, with only a coffee and office snacks to nourish her for the day. She said she became constantly exhausted because she never stopped to properly refuel her body with the nutrients she needed to sustain her active lifestyle. She noticed her husband, who was a corporate attorney, experiencing the same fatigue as he tried to cram a “healthy” lifestyle into his long and unpredictable work schedule, too.

She started to feel her body changing and began gaining weight in her stomach and hips. She knew it was probably due to her poor diet and went to the doctor to get some blood work done. When she was told her cholesterol and triglyceride levels were through the roof, it gave her the jolt she needed to finally take action in correcting her diet. She started researching the ingredients inside her food, and found that a lot of products and ingredients were synthetic, didn’t meet any of the macro and micro nutrients that our bodies needed, and the foods that did weren’t flavorful. Committed to the goal of improving her health, she and her husband decided to take it upon themselves to create healthy meals that fit into their hectic world, and started to build Mele.

Initially building their company for themselves, they were extremely dedicated on making a transparent brand with high quality ingredients. This mindfulness can be seen in the smallest of ingredients like their decision to include the powerful and natural brain food, sunflower lecithin. Most food products contain soy lecithin because it's cheaper. However, Lauren didn’t want to spend a dime on it because it is bad for our thyroids, which was a health issue for her mother. Another careful measure they took was making sure the protein used was grass-fed, hormone-free, and an isolate protein. The benefits of using isolate protein is that it's casein-free, so it doesn’t cause indigestion and irritate people who are lactose intolerance.

They were also particular about sourcing, and created all of their recipes from scratch because they wanted their meals to have their personal touch. They contacted different produce manufacturers, and played with fresh ingredients to create balanced macro-nutritional meals that had the perfect carb-fat-protein ratio. This was a process that her husband took the reins of, while she focused on correcting the taste like suggesting peanut butter to add smoothness, or pineapple to cover up earthy flavors created by wheat and barley grass.

Lauren also used her expertise in marketing and design to create the logo, website, and packaging, while also handling the company’s social media presence. As Lauren took charge of the creative, her husband handled Mele’s finances, inventory, as well as the liability and insurance aspects of the company due to his job as a corporate lawyer and his CPA in accounting.

To see if their side passion had legs, they sent out anonymous samples and surveys to their family and friends as a form a market research. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and they gained the confidence to release their product on the mass market. After taking some of their savings and investing in a small product run, they found that they public loved their brand, too, and they quickly sold out. Since then, they have continued to grow as a business, and expanded into a company whose wholesome brand and packaging have attracted the likes of Anthropologie and Amazon!

Though Mele has turned into a success and Lauren’s new full time job, it was painful for her to transition from corporate employee to entrepreneur because she truly loved her job. Mele wasn’t intended to become anything more than a hobby or side hustle, so the level of responsibility it began to demand was unexpected. Even though she was honest with her job about Mele’s conception from the beginning, she saw that they were sadden by her departure. Her coworkers became her family, so to say goodbye to them was emotional.

What got her through that tough transition was remembering the chance her father took when he started his own business, too. Their family had to make several sacrifices when he left his corporate job, but as an adult she became inspired by his passion and belief in his dreams. With him and her husband as her support system, she knew she had to take that leap, and see what road her brand would lead her down.

Her first day as an entrepreneur was overwhelming and daunting as the reality of her decision kicked in, but she picked up the phone, started asking questions, and figuring it all out one project at a time.

Learn more about how Mele changed Lauren’s health and gave her confidence in her abilities to do something scary and succeed!

 

In this episode you will…

Learn how to break up the steps involved in starting a business

Know how to leave a corporate job that you love to grow your company

Learn how to launch and run a business with your significant other

See how to add your own personal touch to your product

Learn how to sell your brand to big companies and manufacturers with your story

Find a way to produce a professional looking brand and product with a small budget

 

INSIGHTS

“You can’t compare yourself to brands that are already there, and you can’t look at this huge, massive picture of where you want to be. It’s good to have goals, but you still have to take one step at a time…” – Lauren Benbassat

“Through the process my passions were pivoting…of course I can…keep this job that I know is there and I enjoy parts of it…but I think in the back of my mind, I would of always wondered what if my company could of gone somewhere…I’ll never know if I don’t try.” –Lauren Benbassat

“I’m so much more capable than I realized. I’ve struggled with imposter syndrome where I think I don’t make qualifications, and I’m not good enough…but in launching a business it was just such a confidence boost that I think I really needed to prove to myself that I was able and I could figure anything out.” –Lauren Benbassat

“Tell your story. I think a lot of our initial partners have just been really drawn to the story of the brand, and the concept, and it being something a little bit more innovative and new.” -Lauren Benbassat

 

RESOURCES

Mele Shake Website

Mele Shake Facebook

Mele Shakes Instagram

Lauren Benbassat LinkedIn

Lauren Benbassat Instagram

The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Staying Healthy with the Seasons by Elson Haas

Women Code by Alisa Vitti

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

How I Built This Podcast with Guy Raz

FounderMade

Shopify

OKReal

 

 

 

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