Technology is so awesome. We finally figured out how to add a video of a TV interview to our website. Please do take a look.
Jill Hart and I were interviewed on HomeKeepers for our latest book. So You Want to Be a Work at Home Mom. So many mompreneurs were included in this book. Ellen and Pat, Lesley, Cher, Julie, etc. We are so thrilled with their help!
We are also going to appear on November 4th on Cornerstone TV. Another opportunity to meet Jill. I can’t wait.
Diana Ennen / VirtualWordPublishing.com / Virtual Assistant Mom
Years ago, I would never have been able to pronounce the title, “Los Peces en el Rio” let alone sing a whole song by that name – in Spanish! Yet, we just did, thanks to the help of Tina (Banina), Diana (Ariss), Erica A., Vicki P. and all my “kids” in Paramount, CA. The song is coming out on a LONG overdue “Winter Sampler” which is going straight to digital (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) We couldn’t have done this without some of the most talented musicians around, and also new technology that has leveled the playing fields in the music industry.
We just finished up recording 3 songs – we were shooting for 4, but ran out of time. The sampler will still be a 4-pack though, and will include “Ave Maria”, “O Come O Come Emmanuel”, “Los Peces en el Rio” and our previously released Christmas single, “I am a Carpenter.” The cool thing is that because of the way digital sales work, a person can buy a single or the whole sampler (brings me back to the days of 45′s and 33′s – yes, I was alive way back then ) and even be able to listen to a portion of the songs before buying them! Halleluiah!!! Gone are the days of buying a whole flippin’ CD, having heard one good song on the radio, then bringing home the CD, poppin’ it in the stereo and the rest of the album stinks. It’s about time! The music industry is in such a flux, and it is a great opportunity for all musicians to take creative control of their work and produce the best music possible!
Next year, once we are done recording more Christmas songs, if we do release a physical CD, it will all be based on demand, and limited runs. So let us know if the demand is there, cuz we’re listening. In the meantime, fire up those iPods – and get ready to sing along – in Spanish, Latin and English.
Hello folks! Here are a few links to some press just to keep you in the loop.
Okie Dokie, onto business!
Wednesday (tomorrow) I’ll will be doing a live teleseminar with friend Traci Bisson, Founder of The Mom Entrepreneur. It’s free, but space is limited so please sign up now!
http://www.themomentrepreneur.com/oct-09.html#sharktank Hope to see you there!
I’ll give you a quick update on business, and then I want to get in a little “Pink” business since we are winding up Breast Cancer awareness month. Sales since the show are better then they have ever been and I’m still excited to see what my inbox brings every morning. On the wholesale front, I have tried to get on with QVC before, but have not been successful. Most recently the buyer mentioned something about not wanting to take on many new “unproven” products in light of the economic uncertainty. (This is last year about this time and I’m sure you remember just how “uncertain” things were November of 2008). Well I’m going back for another try! A broker (which is how many folks get on to QVC, is through a broker) whom I met a while back is really hopeful that this media attention recently is what will push them over the edge and take a chance on Grill Charms™. In the past, QVC never had the opportunity to “see” the inventor and the product in action, and now they will have the added benefit of seeing about 15 minutes of how I do in front of a camera. We are hoping for a spot on one of their Father’s Day gift giving special programs next year. If you think Grill Charms and I would do okay on QVC, feel free to make a “suggestion” https://quality-s.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx/main.html.file.|cs|cs_email,html/left.html.file.|cs|cs_nav,html/
(and maybe even give them a link to the show: www.hulu.com/watch/99124/shark-tank-week-7)Hee hee
Okay, on to thinking Pink! October is almost over, so I wanted to get in one last push for raising awareness and support for the cause. For those of you who are just joining me, I am a breast cancer survivor as my mother before me. We both were diagnosed in our 30′s. I have two daughters and two sisters so I do what I can to raise awareness and help find a cure before my daughters turn “THAT” age. A very talented photographer friend of mine took a powerful, inspirational and admittingly a tad bit shocking photo entitled “Hope”. It is a photo of my sister and me.
Without getting too technical, the reconstructive surgery that I had after my bilateral mastectomy is called DIEP. It is a relatively new and “all natural” procedure that does not involve the use of any implants. The results look and feel “natural”. The primary market for “Hope” is reconstructive surgeons that perform this procedure as the scars in the photo are completely un “photo shopped”. It is not only a powerful and inspirational photo, but it also shows the results of the procedure (to some degree) and gives “Hope” to women in their offices faced with trying to look “normal” again. Ironically enough, about 6 months after the photo was taken, my sister (whose arm and tattoo are featured) had her own bilateral mastectomy and natural reconstruction by the same wonderful doctors I had. She had hers done prophylactically as she didn’t want to wait for the other shoe (or in our case, the other boob) to drop.
We have decided to bring “Hope” to the masses and are donating 20% of the proceeds from www.keychainforacure.com to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I supposed that’s about all for now from this “inventor mom” for today. I’ll be back soon with more!
Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charms™ www.grillcharms.com
I am always amazed at how many friend requests I receive on social media sites that contain absolutely no context. In some cases there may be mutual friends that we share in common, but beyond that there is often no other clue as to why the other person wants to connect with me.
Many times it will not make or break whether I accept the request, but it is always nice to know the reason why someone is reaching out. Because it is such a simple thing to do, I encourage people to take the brief moment it requires to explain a bit about what has prompted their request.
With that in mind, here are a few tips that will help you stand out from the pack:
Always personalize. This applies especially to a site like LinkedIn. There, you can send your request with the option of leaving the canned, generic response in the message body. This is something along the lines of “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Pretty unremarkable, right? However, the majority of requests I receive use it. It seems to say that the person couldn’t be bothered to add a personal touch to their message. At the very least, address your request using the person’s first name.
Explain why you want to connect. This is probably the most important part of a request. Online, it’s common to associate with people you might not necessarily know “in real life.” This is all the more reason to let the other person know why you think it’s a good idea to connect. A simple message saying you noticed you have several mutual friends, or you admire their work, or that you are interested in finding out more about their industry will suffice. As long as you are shedding some light on your motives, the other person will usually be more than happy to accept. It’s just good social etiquette.
Follow up after the acceptance. This tip is for bonus points. Don’t let your interaction stop after your request has been accepted. Take the time to comment on or send a message regarding your newly formed connection. This can go a long way towards making you stand out from the rest in the other person’s mind. They are more likely to remember someone who expressed appreciation for your newfound relationship–instead of simply boosting their number of connections, never to be heard from again. Now that’s building “social capital.”
The night of the show was one of the most exhilarating nights of my life. There was so much adrenaline, excitement and anxiety. I knew how it ended, but Pa was such a big part of the story and I didn’t know what they were going to show. There was a local film crew at my viewing party and I had no idea how the “Pa” part was going to turn out, so they got my sisters, mom and I boohooing on the couch!! We’ll…. if you’re gonna put yourself “out there” that’s what ya get! I didn’t mind. All of this media stuff is part of my healing in a weird weird way. Okay…enough mush and sad stuff…. WHAT A WILD RIDE HUH???!!! (in case you haven’t figured it out, I think I’m pushing a lot down and just don’t know it) A psychiatrist would have a field day with me right now I’m sure!) Here is the viewing party on the news: http://cfc.wciv.com/videoondemand.cfm?id=49654 I did a Skype interview called “after shark” on AOL wallet pop (http://www.walletpop.com/after-shark-tank ) where I gave a shout out to www.mompreneursonline.com. The coolest part of the night was after my segment was over and it cut to commercial and my friends and family are all high 5ing and yelling and screaming and my phone rings….. IT WAS ROBERT!!! I totally put him on speaker phone and he talked to us all and said congrats again to my family and friends etc…. It was such a great night. Pa was watching and I’m sure got such a kick out of it.
(oh and if you missed the episode all together, here you go: http://abc.go.com/watch/shark-tank/225872/236301/week-7
I also just want to say a BIG BIG thank you to everyone on the production side of Shark Tank. Now you all know that it was while I was there taping that the biggest tragedy of my life occurred. Now you can read this and know what was REALLY going on: http://www.mompreneursonline.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20108
The Shark Tank crew was unbelievable. I can’t thank them all enough for everything they did for me. And as a side note, none of the sharks had any idea that it was my second time. Before you walk out to do your pitch, they know VERY little about you (on purpose). The premise of the show is to get reactions and real first impressions to businesses, people and products. When I walked out there finally (in August) they had no idea that I almost walked out there in July. It was only after it all happened that I wrote/emailed/and told them the whole story. Then we ALL watched it for the first time September 29. Not even the sharks see the episodes before they air.
Since the show, the sales have been wonderful. I more then doubled my monthly online sales average in the 5 days following the show, I received more wholesale inquires in 5 days then I had all year and the hits on my website were about 6000 in the hours following the show.
I was scheduled to go to Toronto this past weekend and film my follow up with Robert, but the trip was postponed. There are only a few weeks left in the season and the film crew was going to fly here to Charleston then follow me to Toronto etc… and get the whole thing on tape for my follow up. There aren’t enough episodes left in the season for it to air, so we are going to wait on the trip and the taping. Not to worry though… as the show states clearly on their website
“And our legal folks need us to tell you that Shark Tank depicts negotiations between entrepreneurs and investor ‘Sharks.’ The Sharks are investing their own money at their discretion”
Regardless of filming or no filming, things with Robert and I are EXACTLY as I had hoped for and I couldn’t be happier (accept for the little disappointment for not spending the weekend up there BUT apparently is was AWFUL weather. Bright side…it was 88 degrees and sunny down here.
Having said all this, I do however stand by my previous blog post of 9/22. Now that the show is a few weeks out, most folks have forgotten about the “charming housewife from Charleston” and it’s MY JOB to keep the momentum going. I do have some very exciting irons in the fire, but they are not things that just fell into my lap. Regardless of what happens in the media, it is not enough to make you millions all on it’s own. There are no short cuts. (Remember that newbie entrepreneurs!)
Thanks so much for riding along with me. I’ll keep the updates coming.
Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charms™ www.grillcharms.com
Been a long time since I rock and rolled… boy do I have music on the brain! We are back in the studio recording some Christmas tunes for the year – I have so much to tell you about! But, it will be in small doses, because I’m trying to stay on a schedule today, and it’s a busy one.
Just to let you know, I come alive when we record – I walk into that studio and feel like I am home again. We were in the studio several times this year singing on jingles and helping with other music projects, but when it is our own project, it just means so much more to me. You know what I mean – it is what we feel as Mompreneurs, having our own products and services – these come from our brains and our hearts, they are our “babies” in a sense. SO I take extra care and pride in this work and it just fills my spirit!
I’ll be documenting the whole recording process, blogging and posting videos, so you can follow along and feel like you are in the studio with us. I’ll also be blogging about the music biz in general, so feel free to ask questions – not that I will know all of the answers, but I’ll do my best to answer or point you in the right direction.
Sooo good to be back!!!
I have been MIA from the mompreneurs online forum for several months sorting out my own world. Interestingly enough I have come back to find several members have spent the summer doing the same. Re-evaluating, stepping back, prioritizing, and some have just been plain old burnt out. We begin these ventures full of excitement and hope. We truly believe that we can conquer the world. This rush keeps us motivated, helps put products on shelves or services into action until BAM, you hit “The Dip”! The Dip? It is the time when your engine has run out of steam and you just aren’t sure where to go next. I swore it would never happen to me because I LOVE what I do. Yet it did. For me it came at the point between the creation and the running of the business. The creating part was amazing….running a business is a whole other story. There is not much glamour or excitement in boxing up your 300th box at 10pm or filing a stack of paperwork. I wanted to keep on creating but in order to do that; you need to keep moving the business side onward and upward. So who should I blame that I can’t build the business fast enough to keep up with my own demands? The economy? The product/service…maybe it’s not as good as I think it is? Or my attitude? Ding Ding Ding!!!!
We can blame the economy but there are success stories that come out every day of people who’ve beaten the odds. We can blame our product or service but, again, there are a million ways people are making money every day that might seem odd to most. I like to compare this journey to driving a car. When we are taught to drive, we are told that in order to switch lanes you don’t need to crank your wheel, you just need to look in the direction of the lane you want to be in and your car will follow. The same is true in business. As long as you sit and blame the world for your Dip, look at someone else thinking they have some magic key that you don’t or doubt your own abilities to be successful; you are leading your car into that lane…the lane heading the opposite direction of your goal.
Instead, let’s look towards the other lane….the one where you are a success, where everything falls into place easily; where your goals and balanced life exist…steer your car in that direction. You can never become successful if you don’t believe it first. Silly daydreaming to some perhaps but the only way you are going to reach your destination is if you point your car in the right direction.
“When you step to the ledge of all the light you have left, and you take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you step upon, or you will learn how to fly.” Unknown
Gwen Austin, RC Art Toys, Inventor of the Color Bug, www.rcarttoys.com
As your social media blogger, I thought I’d share some info on the upcoming free 60 minute teleseminar I’m holding on 10/21 at 8pm Eastern:
“The Top 7 Ways to Leverage Facebook Pages for More Buzz, More Visibility and More Sales!”
The call is Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 8pm Eastern. If you can’t make it live, no worries, you will still be sent the recording.
I know firsthand that Fan Pages are one of the best ways to bring attention to your business and generate more clients, customers and sales. However, there seems to be a lot of confusion among small business owners about how to use Pages effectively. On this call, I’m sharing all about how to make them work for you–and anyone who has been on my calls before knows I always give a TON of meaty, actionable content!
All you need is a phone to join me, so register now for this FREE teleseminar.
Register here: http://communicatevalue.com/fanpagecall