Introducing PerkettPR’s New Interview Series – “Persuasive Women”

PerkettPR is excited to present a new series of interviews entitled “Persuasive Women” – featuring women entrepreneurs whom we admire.  These influential females will share their thoughts on how they’ve built their businesses, give insights on the hurdles they have encountered, and highlight some exciting tidbits on what they have planned next.

The first “Persuasive Woman”  we are featuring in this series is none other than the fabulous and witty, Melanie Notkin, otherwise known as “SavvyAuntie.”  Melanie is the founder of SavvyAuntie.com, an online community for aunts (Aunties by Relation, Aunties by Choice, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and all women who love kids) and author of the best-selling book Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids.  Melanie has over 17,000 followers on Twitter and is known as one of the most powerful women in social media.  Her site is on the Forbes Top 100 Sites for Women list and Melanie’s column over at Huffington Post is both entertaining and thought provoking.

You can follow Melanie on Twitter (@savvyauntie), check out her site SavvyAuntie, or join in the fun on Facebook at Facebook.com/SavvyAuntie. We hope you enjoy this new series and please feel free to share your comments below.

You recently celebrated three years of SavvyAuntie.com.  Has it turned out to be what you expected? Is it what you envisioned many years ago?

Savvy Auntie has turned out even better than I expected. I had always envisioned Savvy Auntie to be a multiplatform media company, and with the addition of popular social media platforms, TV appearances, spokesperson gigs and a national best-selling book – that it is! But the journey I’ve been on is most wonderfully surprising. Finding potential I hadn’t realized until now has been the best reward.

A lot of us have ideas from time to time and many of us sit idle waiting to find the time to commit to the new project or idea. How did you push yourself to move forward with this concept?

I woke up one day in June 2007 and decided I was an entrepreneur. That morning I went to a class on how to write a business plan. It wasn’t the right class for me – but I was determined to do something that day to move forward. It was about momentum. I started to invest time and money in the business. And I never looked back. I knew if I did, my idea would turn into a statue of salt and I’d never move forward. You just have to keep going.

What was the biggest hurdle as you worked on growing the business?

I’m self-funded so what I earn goes back into growing the business. Bandwidth suffers from that but I felt if I took investment dollars, I’d be following someone else’s vision for my brand. That’s not why I became an entrepreneur.

Who was your biggest supporter?

Me.

If you could name one thing that truly made a difference in bringing your business to the next level, what was it?

Unconditional belief in myself and my business.

You recently published your first book which has become a best seller.  Will there be another book and if so, what can we expect?

I’m working on what that will be now! It’s very exciting. If it happens, it will be much more personal and closer to the voice I have in my Huffington Post column.

What TV or movie character are you most like?

If I had to pick one, I’d have to say Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City - but I have more faults, fewer shoes, and bigger ambitions.

If you could have dinner with one big celebrity, who would it be and why?

Jennifer Aniston. We’re the same age. No kids – and I think she handles the pressure about that extraordinarily well. I think we’d be friends… No point just having dinner if it can’t lead to Sunday brunch one day soon after.

What’s next for SavvyAuntie.com. Are there any new features to be added or new partnerships you would like our audience to know about?

Well, I just launched SMITTEN by Savvy Auntie: Deals Curated with Love by Melanie Notkin. It’s a partnership with Saveology so I can bring the Auntourage deals designed just for them and their lifestyle. https://www.saveology.com/offers/savvyauntie. There’s more to come but I can’t talk about it just yet. Needless to say, I’m thrilled and excited for what’s next.


photo credit: Ana Schechter

Persuasive Picks for the week of 04/25/11

Jumping20 Blogs Every Entrepreneur Should Read
Whats that? You’re looking for some new and exciting content to read? This Business Insider post from Alyson Shontell and Bianca Male has enough recommendations to keep small business entrepreneurs busy for quite some time!

Four Ways Leading Companies Are Using Social Media: Lessons For Us All
Ramon Ray shares four easily digestible social media success stories from some well-known brands – in this post on SmallBizTechnology.com.

SMB’s Continue to Increase Social Media Use
Marketing Pilgrim Managing Editor Frank Reed provides highlights from a recent American Express Open Small Business Monitor report that reinforced SMB’s slow and steady march into the deep end of the social media pool.

The shortcomings of Facebook “Likes”
Amielle Lake puts SMS and Facebook “Likes” up against each other to see which can inject a campaign with more juice – in this interesting read on iMediaConnection.com.

Frito-Lay Sets Guinness Record for Facebook Likes
Mashable‘s Todd Wasserman recaps details of Frito-Lay setting the Guinness World Record for highest number of Facebook Page “Likes” within a 24-hour period. Not only is the number they obtained impressive, but Fritos are really tasty when added to a nice bowl of chili and cheese.  :)

Image: Cordey via Flickr

Persuasive Picks for the week of 04/11/11

White HatPR Is Not A White Hat SEO Technique
This post from Nichola Stott on SearchEngineWatch expands on the dangers of using press releases as an SEO strategy that could ultimately “backfire and possibly damage your clients’ reputation.

5 Top Marketing Blogs by Entrepreneurs
I’m always on the look-out for new blogs to add to my newsreader, and this post from ReadWriteWeb‘s Danny Wong provides some noteworthy alternatives to the traditional marketing streams out there.

13 ways to get your clients to think like a blogger
Continuously creating new content for a blog can be a daunting task for some. This post from Arik Hanson provides numerous tips to jumpstart your brain and get the words flowing.

Facebook and Email are NOT distractions, but necessities!
This “energetic” post from Peter Shankman schools readers on how to properly use Facebook and email for business rather than seeing them as distractions.

How to Measure Your Facebook Engagement
This SocialMediaExaminer post from Facebook Diva, Mari Smith provides a wealth of information on measuring your Facebook page’s level of user engagement.

Women as Entrepreneurs – Sharing Inspiration and Lessons

Last night I had the honor of speaking on a panel to a group of women for Girls in Tech’sWomen as Entrepreneurs, Women as Leaders” event at Babson College. The discussion focused on leadership lessons and advice from – and for – women entrepreneurs in today’s technology and business communities. My co-panelists, Amy Cueva, Founder & Chief Experience Officer of Mad*Pow, Heather Margolis, Founder & President of Channel Maven Consulting, and Lynn Andres Stein of Olin College, were inspiring and thoughtful. They shared many tips with the audience based on various years of entrepreneurship – from nine months up to nearly 20 years. Some of my favorite tips, lessons and observations included:

  • Don’t be afraid to be different – entrepreneurs are the core of innovation by thinking differently
  • Women tend to be more emotional leaders – an attribute that can be both helpful and a hindrance
  • Take time for yourself on a personal level – a personal life makes you a better business leader and a happier person all around
  • Leaders make tough decisions every day (the right choices, not the popular ones) – you’ll never have everyone’s approval so stop waiting for it and trust your instincts
  • Be definitive and decisive – know your values and stick to them
  • Women are often their own worst enemies – support each other and our choices to work, to not work; to have a family or not. Only we can force the change we seek in respect for our gender’s choices.

What tough lessons have you learned that you’d share with other women considering the leap to entrepreneurship?

In addition, the audience was chock full of inspiring women. Two of my favorite were these brilliant ladies from Leotus Home Cooling. Katherine Harty, President and Beeni Mathew, VP, have created an innovative home cooling system with a few team members that is “the first effortless air conditioner — providing the comfort you want, without the compromises.” The design is sleek, innovative and sure to be a smash success. I’m sure these ladies will have many lessons of their own to share with future entrepreneurs. If you’d like to support their efforts today, be sure to vote for them in ideablob’s October sprint, where the participant receiving the most votes will win $10,000 from ideablob to further their business idea. (Although, unfortunately, I think requiring registration to vote is hindering the process.)

A special thanks to Kate Brodock of Boston Girls in Tech for asking me to participate.