I recently gave the keynote speech at the Flourish Media conference in Miami where I shared my VJMedia startup story with fellow and budding entrepreneurs. As I ended the speech, a few guests asked if those same nuggets of wisdom on my own brand success were accessible somewhere that they could reference for their own businesses. So I decided to put pen to paper and share my simple but life changing method that have allowed me to propel VJMedia into a 360° multi-media brand. I hope these tips serve as a spark for you to refine your business goals, embrace your inner badass and level you up to crush those business goals.
For VJMedia, the success model all comes down to preparation and clarity. Getting super clear about my vision for each project or event and then working backwards to make sure I’m executing on a micro level to achieve the goal. Oprah recounted her own entrepreneurial journey on an episode of Super Soul Sunday where she spoke candidly about luck. She frankly put it “when preparation meets opportunity, this is when luck happens”. Lady ‘O’ couldn’t be more spot on and I believe this to my core. Luck really is preparation disguised as serendipity (at least that’s been the case for me).
When I first started my business, it was out of necessity – a way to pay myself for the freelance voiceover and hosting work that I was doing after my career in radio. Early on, when a colleague asked me for an invoice and EIN from my business I was perplexed. I had none of those assets ready therefore couldn’t get paid. But I never shared that with him. Instead, I researched those basic business necessities and incorporated my company within a week. Another instance: an agent whom I wanted to work with on a big studio project asked for a demo showcasing my recent VO work – I researched, connected with fellow actors in my circle and had a demo made within a week and booked the job. And recently, a network called and asked if I was comfortable in front of the teleprompter as they had me in mind for a new digital series. Although prompter wasn’t the strongest attribute, I practiced and rehearsed sample scripts to be ready for that on-camera moment and nailed it.
I’ve used the notion of staying ready at various stages of my career to help propel me forward. How can you run a successful business if you don’t have the basic fundamentals in order like being able to pay yourself? It’s a must. Once I implemented that method of proactively preparing my business for success, I worked ahead to ensure that each client had what they needed before they asked.
Nugget: You’re going to be called upon for opportunities when its your time. Stay ready and prepared and find ways to navigate the inevitable moments that creep up when you may not know or have something available upon request. Remember – things are only new to you until you get better at it.
If you’re leading a large scaled company or a solo entrepreneur, here are a few essentials tips to keep in mind to ensure that you’re ready to receive bigger opportunities already on the way:
- Make sure your online footprint is polished and timely. Remember your digital footprint is a reflection of your brand. Make sure it says what you want it to say. Example: Are you a printing company with excellent costumer service? Does your website and social media footprint reflect that? Are you a photographer or creative in the digital space? Are your latest photos, projects, etc easily shareable for potential clients? You’d be surprised how many business owners have outdated websites, social feeds, broken pages that go nowhere.. Or they have a website with outdated information to connect with potential clients. Fix that quick! The ability for people to reach you and receive a timely response is essential in getting repeat business and keeping your business alive and thriving.
- Create and continuously edit your brand media kits, demos, pitches, website, etc.. Years ago a client asked for a rate card for hosting a series of events and I didn’t have one ready. I quickly had one created by my graphic designer but delivered it to the client four days later. Four days may seem like nothing to some, but to an agency it’s a lifetime. That never happened again. My turnaround time for any assets like these needed by a client is same day if not within hours unless it’s a special request that requires additional time. If I can’t deliver something I always respond and communicate with the client on when they can expect feedback. Don’t ignore the people that pay you for your work.
- Use social media your advantage to build and connect with your audience and potential clients. How? Remember that social media is free. Use the advanced tools offered by Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter for example to your advantage to let your audience know what your business has to offer and share consistently and often. For example, if you’re an online floral boutique, clients may want to know about sizes, delivery, etc. Welcome those questions and be accessible with the timely answers.
- Your Follow-up and Follow-through game should be flawless. As simple as this sounds, you’d be blown away by how many clients have shared that it took weeks to hear back from fellow creators that they wanted to collaborate with. Often it’s not the most talented person who get the work, project or job, it’s the most consistent. This x-factor alone keeps clients coming back and creates repeat business. Follow-up, follow-through and do it with a smile… I can’t say it enough!
- Stay open to smaller opportunities, they often turn into bigger opportunities that you didn’t see coming. While you’re focused on that big partnership, big deal, big synergy, be open to smaller ones that help you polish your craft and gain insight into a company as you await the big gig. They often open the doors to new people and new connections that can help propel you on your journey.
Of course, entrepreneurship doesn’t have a one size fits all playbook, but what I’ve come to learn is that success as an entrepreneur often involves the same basic fundamentals as a large corporation. So, have a plan and continue to polish and chisel that vision until you achieve success. A mentor of mine mentioned something that I still utilize to this day. He said, “pursue your goals with passion but always be malleable about how you get to the end result”. Define what success means to you and be ok with the evolution of that idea. That’s where ‘being open’ works in your favor.
Staying ready really comes down to preparing for the success that you crave. If you can visualize it, it’s already yours.
Wishing you all the best for your business and on your journey’s this year. If this post resonated with you or know someone who needs to see it, share it forward!
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