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C.O.O.K.I.E. Cocktails: Top 8 Brand Building Takeaways
(L-R) Renae Bluitt, In Her Shoes; Alee-Sha Steward, iPlanEventsNYC; Patrice Cameau, The C.O.O.K.I.E. Life; Candace Montgomery, Chic Busy Mom
By In Her Shoes Contributor: Brandis Snagg
Last Thursday night a bevy of beauties headed to Manhattan’s newly remodeled 40/40 club for The C.O.O.K.I.E. Life’s female entrepreneurs event. The forum, moderated by In Her Shoes’ own Renae Bluitt, was dedicated to one of my favorite topics – creating your own opportunities and building brands.
Renae led a no holds barred conversation with the multi-faceted Candace Montgomery of Chic Busy Mom. Candice dropped precious jewels on how she maneuvers between her demanding job as the Director of Events at ESSENCE, a wife and mother of three. As they sat in the center of the room, Renae pitched her first question which was “how do you balance work and family life? ” Candace swung back with an answer I didn’t expect, but it was the most honest I’ve ever heard. “There isn’t a balance, you juggle everything and make it work,” she said.
Both Candace and Renae reassured the eager audience that running your own business is no easy feat and offered up these accouterments to move toward their goals. Tips I took away from the night were:
1. Use the skills you already have and utilize on your day job, for your side hustle. Candace was able to grow her blog business by applying her marketing background.
2. Own your brand and create its own unique voice. Now package it properly to pitch to larger brands for partnerships.
3. Engage your following instead of focusing on your numbers. Renae reminded everyone that quality outweighs quantity and brands like to see how much you really engage and nurture your online relationships.
4. Aint no half steppin’. Working for yourself is not easy. Be willing to put in 110%.
5. There’s enough opportunity out there for everyone so support each other and kill the cattiness.
6. Create a plan. Set a vision for your blog or business that spans 6-12 months ahead.
7. Strategize. How are you going to achieve the goals outlined in your plan?
8. Take action! You’ve put your plan on paper, now it’s time to make the necessary moves for execution.
The event ended with the attendees swapping ideas, words of encouragement, and business cards. What remained with me was Candace saying “Don’t be discouraged. You will hear many NOs, but there’s enough room out there for us all.”
Photo Credits: U. Kay Photography