SOCIAL MEDIA MUSTS: BE HONEST, INTERESTING AND DISCERNING
Jodi Guber Brufsky and Michelle Wahler are the Co-Founders of lifestyle apparel brand Beyond Yoga. We asked them for a little Expert Advice:
What advice would you give to someone who feels overwhelmed by the competition? Don’t sweat it. There is plenty of room for many successful businesses. And for every business that is out there promoting your category, the more they are helping to build the marketplace. All you have to do is find your point of differentiation and focus on that. (Michelle)
What top three tips would you like to pass along for those who have just started to use social media? Be honest, be interesting, and most of all be discerning. Too many people post too often and about topics that are too unrelated and the audience gets disinterested – keep people wanting more by posting discerningly and they won’t unfollow you. (Jodi)
When you think of the best people to work with, what traits do they share? Passion, honesty, integrity, authenticity, intelligence, vision, and fun. (Both)
Give a budding entrepreneur your best hiring and firing business practices. If you have a doubt, trust your instinct. I kick myself when I don’t. Be very clear about what your top five needs are and don’t stray or make exceptions out of fear or anxiety – if you have a clear intention, you will find the right person. Have more than one person interview your potential hire as a reference point. As for firing, it’s so tough. The longer you wait, the harder it gets and the worse it is. As soon as you know it’s not right, bite the bullet and do it. I say this from experience. By the time you are firing someone you likely will have had incidents along the way, so make sure to always write those up to have everything documented to prevent any legal ramifications. (Jodi)
Entrepreneurs often say that “you can’t do it all.” What three things do you always outsource? I think it is different for everyone and it depends on what type of business you run. In the clothing business, outsourcing production is a must! You don’t want that headache. As far as warehousing goes, it depends on your sales so you need to run the numbers and see, but I think outsourcing until your sales are big enough makes a lot of sense. And as a small company, we also outsource legal. (Jodi)
What business book would you recommend to someone who is either about to launch or in the early growth stage? Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story by Peter Guber, who happens to be Jodi’s father. (Michelle)
What are your thoughts on raising capital? We are in a unique position where we have been able to grow our company organically and have not raised outside capital. This is not always easy, but I would recommend holding off as long as possible. The longer you can build and the more you can control, the better off you will likely be. The flip side is that there may be times that a financial partner would make sense to help you grow and capitalize on opportunities, but so far we have not gone this route. (Michelle)
What piece of invaluable advice did you receive that you would like to pass on to women pursuing their dream? You can do anything you set your mind to. Don’t be discouraged or intimidated. Have a very clear plan, stay committed and most importantly, have a story. Make your dream have a clear story – getting your audience emotionally hooked is the key! (Jodi)
My best advice to a woman launching a venture is… Surround yourself with like-minded people. Always network – take advantage of every opportunity to meet new people, especially other entrepreneurs. You’ll quickly learn they love to help and see everyone succeed. (Michelle)
What would your advice to your younger self be? Be open, be adventurous, and try everything (well almost everything!) Work for free if necessary to get experience at something you love. And most importantly, be unapologetically yourself! (Jodi)
Finally, please share your top five tips that would benefit an entrepreneurial woman launching or growing her business:
- Don’t Apologize. And I don’t mean when you are wrong, I mean don’t apologize for your success. You deserve to succeed!
- Constructive criticism is imperative, both to give and receive.
- Have integrity!
- Trust your instincts!
- Be honest!