Proud Moment for An Owner

 

I am beaming right now.  BEAMING.  I’ve got a little glow, my cheeks hurt and my heart is about to burst out of my chest.  You might think I’m still beaming from seeing the flipbooks this weekend in person inside the Greenbrier at the Dallas Auto Show.  Yes, I’m not gonna lie.  That was a proud moment and I loved it.  But what I am referring to this morning is the training session we did last night with a new up-and-coming group of staff.

I feel we had our most successful training session yet, and I’ll tell you our method.  We broke our office down into Stations and each Station focused on one detail of the process to make flip books.  How to direct guests to make a good video, how to set the perfect lighting no matter the ambient lighting in the venue, how to safely and properly load the vehicles, etc.  We taught them the proper way to calibrate the machines and then messed it up and had the new team members correct it.  We even had an “Oh crap” session with fixes for anything we could think of that could go wrong and how to take care of it to produce a flawless event.

And as I stood back momentarily to watch my core team train the new ones, that’s when it started to happen.  My chest started to puff up and a smile spread across my face.  PicFlips has moved beyond its founders.  I am not needed to eagle-eye over every event.  You better believe I still quality check sample flipbooks brought back from events, and we have systems in place to confirm consistency in our process, but I don’t hover.  It’s what every business owner dreams about.

And I couldn’t be more proud.

A Day at the Media Circus with Collin County’s SBDC

 

Collin County SBDC Media Circus LogoMy head is just spinning from all of the helpful and insightful information I just picked up at Collin County SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and Constant Contact’s event called the Media Circus!  There was so much info packed into a small amount of time, but it was just what I needed to energize my passion in strategic marketing and feed my entrepreneurial soul.  Sometimes I get so bogged down in the day-to-day activities and events that I forget to look up and use some of that energy to further the growth of PicFlips in the long run.

I haven’t been to a seminar or class lately at Collin County SBDC.  We’ve been in our busy season and I, honestly, haven’t been to many networking events or seminars at all.  But when my friend, Denise, told me about it this morning, I finished my work early and zoomed over there.  I just knew it would be worth my time.  …And they didn’t disappoint!

Derick Shaefer and Jerod Morris of Orangecast talked about Taming the SEO Beast and Juggling Social media, respectively.  (This company is I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E.)  Julie Niehoff from Constant Contact spoke about making an impact with the Cannonball Email Blast, while Dane Miller of Azure gave a wonderful overview of Clowning Around with Multimedia.  Carol Thompson of Prism Web Media wrapped everything up for me with a talk about Walking a Tightrope to a Better Website.  Since you probably weren’t able to make it, I am going to give you my 5 favorite nuggets of wisdom:

1.)  When writing content for your social media, find out what you are an expert in and give tips that are valuable to other people.  By providing value and not self-promoting, you will gain followers and repeat visitors.
2.)  Using videos as part of your media strategy helps you connect with your audience and build a relationship, as well as showing off a product or service that can’t always be described in words (hello…flipbooks??)
3.)  However, when starting out with any social media for business, develop a clear strategy of what you want to accomplish, who you want to reach, and the tone you want to take (funny, informational, etc).  When dealing especially with videos, also take into consideration where it will be viewed and the quality you want to have (friend’s help vs. professional).
4.)  New to blogging and need some tips?  Check out www.how-to-blog.tv for step-by-step pointers!
5.)  Just released last week from Constant Contact….*drumroll please*…NutshellMail.com – a free service that takes all of your social media sites and simplifies them into one email message.  I like simplicity.

And in true Collin County SBDC fashion, the details weren’t forgotten.  The participants were treated to cotton candy, large salted pretzels, animal crackers, peanuts, popcorn and drinks!  YUM!   Marta Frey and her team had fun hats on, and you can’t forget the stuffed tiger in a cage on the table as a centerpiece – too cute!  The price for the seminar was a little steep….oh, wait!  Did I tell you it was all FREE?!?  Unbelievable.  If you are a small business like we are or are looking into starting your own business, please, please check out your local Small Business Development Center.  The mentoring is free (thanks, Steve Falldine!), the seminars are free, the classes are free.  Finally, I agree with the way our government is spending our tax dollars 😉  Take advantage of it!