June 21, 2014

How to Turn a Love of Fashion Into a $500,000 a Year PR Firm

turn your love for fashion

Starting a public relations agency isn’t necessarily the most traditional path to find work in the fashion industry. But a love for art and fashion eventually led Katherine Niefeld to do just that – and it allowed her to realize her dream of working in fashion.

An art history and psychology major at the University of Michigan, Niefeld spent her summers assisting fashion editors at Teen Vogue Magazine in New York. There, she had the opportunity to spend time with the magazine’s extensive clothing and accessories collections. That is where her love of fashion really blossomed. In an email interview with Small Business Trends, Niefeld said:

“When I moved to NYC after college and worked with Teen Vogue, my love for fashion really grew and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

So in order to make fashion a part of her career, she attended New York University obtaining a Masters Degree in public relations.

turn your love for fashion

Then in 2009, she launched her own boutique PR agency, BlinkPR. It was a gutsy move, but she chose the agency’s name based on one of her favorite books, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. She said the book taught her about the importance of going with her gut and just making her dreams happen. So she jumped into her new career and kept her focus on what originally drew her to it in the first place.

BlinkPR specializes in PR for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands. Often, the PR concepts Niefeld and her team use for their clients are the same that might be used for clients in other industries. But BlinkPR also specializes in helping with fashion shows and similar events. That gives Niefeld the opportunity to work with style collections and models, and to facilitate photography and videography interviews.

turn your love for fashion

By staying focused on that specific niche, Niefeld was able to help BlinkPR stand apart from other agencies and find success. In 2013, the agency made over $500,000 and is projected to continue growing in 2014.

Even more important than the success, Niefeld says, is simply the fact that she’s been able to break into the industry she loves. She says that the fast paced environment and her ability to work with fashion designers are her favorite parts of the business and career she’s created.

The post How to Turn a Love of Fashion Into a $500,000 a Year PR Firm appeared first on Small Business Trends.

The “Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing” Will Set You on Your Path

beginner's guide to content marketingI don’t know how to tell you this, but you’re not going to get away from content marketing, no matter how hard you try.

There have been countless books written on the subject, with no signs of stopping.  But the problem isn’t a lack of books or how-to information. The problem is finding a book that meets you at your level of expertise.  And, I have to say, while there are lots of books that are very complete and detailed on the topic, few are approachable enough for the content marketing newbies among us.

I’ve just received my review copy of The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business by Matt Mansfield (@MattMansfield) and I have to say that this might be what the content marketing doctors have ordered.

Yes…You Can Do This!

Matt Mansfield is truly a content marketing expert.  You know how I know this?  Because he’s able to simplify his message without diluting the impact or effectiveness of what he’s teaching.  In other words, he understands content marketing so well, that he can explain it to a twelve year-old.  And if you’re a small business owner who is wearing at least five hats in your business – you will appreciate this.

Matt works with small businesses as well as Fortune 500 companies to create powerful content that drives targeted online traffic.  More targeted traffic means more targeted customers.  This is a good thing but only if you do it right.

You won’t have to worry about that with this book.  It’s truly easy enough to read through once within a couple of hours and then go through it again to actually put Matt’s suggestions into practice.

A Quick Tour of The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing

There are three sections to the book:

  • Section I: Understanding Content Marketing Basics so You Can Decide Whether It’s Right for Your Business
  • Section II: Take Your First Steps Toward Creating Great Content
  • Section III: Discover Where You Can Learn More About Content Marketing and Find Help

What more can I tell you? These section names are fairly self-explanatory.  In the first section, he’s helping you decide if content marketing is good for you – you can just assume that it is and move on.

The meat of the content is in section two, where Matt gives you step-by-step instructions that you can use to start implementing.  You’ll really enjoy the section on how to use Google Keyword Planning to determine what to write about.

Just to be clear, this isn’t a comprehensive how-to book or section, it’s just enough to get you comfortable and not feel overwhelmed.

Finally, in section three, you’ll learn how to get help in creating your content.

And Then Some

Don’t think that this little, easy-to-read and implement book is all Matt Mansfield has to offer.  You see, originally this book had something like 32 chapters and 5 appendices.  Then he had this a-ha moment and realized that no small business owner would have the time or inclination to read that.

So, he decided to chop that content out and use it as separate little ecourses.  So once you’ve gone through this Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business, you can head over to his website and check those out as well.

If you’ve been thinking about using content marketing, but haven’t quite gotten to it, Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business is a great first step that will get you going in the right direction.

The post The “Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing” Will Set You on Your Path appeared first on Small Business Trends.

June 18, 2014

Paypal Passport

PayPal is looking to help small businesses expand their boundaries with PayPal Passport.

Launched this week, the PassPort website is intended to help small businesses grow international sales by educating business owners on cultural customs, international holidays, taxes and currency-related issues.

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June 17, 2014

States Rated for Small Business Friendliness

All else being equal, would-be entrepreneurs should consider moving to Idaho, Texas, Utah, or Virginia, and fleeing California, Illinois, and Rhode Island. The first four states received A+ grades for small-business friendliness in a study published this week by local services startup Thumbtack and the Kauffman Foundation. The last three states got Fs.

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June 16, 2014

Tax Break for Small Businesses

The House voted Thursday to make permanent a tax break allowing small businesses to write off up to $500,000 in new equipment purchases.

While the move adds to momentum for congressional efforts to extend a range of now-temporary tax breaks, it also sharpens a conflict between the House and Senate over whether to extend the breaks permanently or temporarily.

Thursdays vote was 272-144, with several dozen Democrats joining Republicans to support the measure.

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