Fly Female Entrepreneur: Angela Burt-Murray
Making the leap from traditional media to the digital world is no small feat but this week’s Fly Female Entrepreneur has made the move appear effortless. As former Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE and executive team member for some of the most respected titles in the business including Teen People and Honey Magazine, Angela Burt-Murray has always had a passion for developing quality content. The talented scribe’s obvious love and respect for the craft shines through in every chapter of her illustrious career and her newest endeavor is no exception. Today, Angela shares the inside scoop on CocoaFab, an online destination that will soon top your list of “must-visit” sites. Read on to find out what inspired her to launch CocoaFab, her thoughts on the future of traditional media, what we can expect from the brand in 2013, and more:
Angela: While there’s been a lot of news and investment for creating large-scale communities, portals and networks for women in the general market, my partner Shelly Jones Jennings and I saw a void in the digital landscape and wanted to create a fun and entertaining network of sites for dynamic young women of color that connected with their passion points. We wanted to curate and create high-quality content and produce original web series that spoke to women that we felt were underserved; and we wanted to present a compelling environment for the advertisers wishing to reach this influential and trendsetting audience.
We hope women visit our site to have a little escape into a fun world of juicy stories, fun web series and gorgeous style and beauty trends. Visiting CocoaFab to get your daily dose of the Who, What, Wear and WTH should feel like a mini girls night out… BYOB of course.
In Her Shoes: As a publishing industry veteran, what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned during your transition into the digital media space?
Angela: Print media is like a one-way street but digital media is more of a high-speed multi-lane freeway with consumers determining how, when and where they consume, share and rate your content. It’s live 24 hours a day and there’s an infinite amount of content that can be created. And that’s very exciting to someone like me who loves coming up with new ideas.
In Her Shoes: Do you have a mentor or someone you turn to for business advice?
Angela: My husband Leonard always gives great business advice and always pushes me to follow my gut and just go for it. He’s my biggest cheerleader!
Jason Wu sandals, a gift to myself to celebrate getting our first advertiser! They are totally CocoaFab!
In Her Shoes: What is a day like in Angela Burt-Murray’s shoes?
Angela: Each day feels like a whirlwind because as a start-up there’s always sooooo much to do; but we love it… Sleep deprivation and all! On Mondays we shoot our three NYC-based web series, Star Style, Fab Five and The Countdown so the beginning of the week is typically a full day on set. The rest of the week I wake up at 6:30 each morning and get my sons off to school and then review all the photo agency sites for new celeb photos and then log onto the site; edit the copy that has come in from reporters overnight and then program the homepage. By 8:30 I start tweeting out first five hot topics of the day with the hottest entertainment and style stories on CocoaFab. Between making and returning calls I’m checking the site traffic; posting new content and photos and sending out assignments to our reporters. I review sponsorship proposals and schedule sales meetings, develop new content ideas, interface with our developers to discuss new tools, review new web series episodes and show scripts.
In Her Shoes: List five things you absolutely can NOT live without:
1. My MAC laptop
2. OPI Lincoln Park After Dark nail polish
3. Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes
4. Anything on Bravo and Scandal
5. My awesome family (Leonard, Solomon, Ellison and our dog Cosby)!
In Her Shoes: Who/what is your biggest source of inspiration?
Angela: There are so many exciting new sites, apps, tools and web series out there. I love looking through Tumblr, looking at boards on Pinterest, reading about other female tech entrepreneurs, watching original video and getting inspired by all the new and inventive ways there are to create and present content and experiences. This really pushes me to find new ways to present content to our audience and plan for the future.
In Her Shoes: What are your thoughts on the future of traditional media?
Angela: I think there will always be a role for traditional media but a certain amount of innovation and adaption to the changing landscape is required because with all the new social media tools, platforms and mobile and tablet devices audience expectations have shifted dramatically and the consumer is in control. Three words: innovate or die.
In Her Shoes: What big plans do you have for cocoafab.com in 2013?
Angela: One word: Innovate. Video is a big focus for us this year so we have several new web series in development and plan to expand into reality tv as well as scripted original programming.
Ready to indulge in a little CocoaFab? Click here and enjoy!