Food Network SOBEWFF Festival

It's been a dream come true to consult about social media for Food Network for the last two years.

Last month, I joined my Food Network family for an unforgettable weekend at the SOBEWFF festival in Miami.

Never has there been more love (or delicious food) under one tent. 

Hollywood Endings at the Academy Awards

Here's to Hollywood endings.

Last week, I attended the Weinstein Company's 89th annual Academy Awards event, along with some dear friends.

Cheers to an unforgettable evening. 

Bronzeville Audio Series

It has been an incredible month working with Bronzeville Series, a pivotal new audio drama starring Laurence Fishburne, Larenz Tate, Brittany Snow and Tika Sumpter

The 10-part audio series, set in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, follows the lives of those involved in the numbers games, the illegal lottery that had a large impact on black communities in the 1940s. 

On February 9, we celebrated the launch of the Bronzeville Series at Spotify HQ with some of the series producers, cast members, sponsors and fans.

See what Hollywood Reporter, Deadline and Yahoo are saying about the popular series, and catch the weekly podcast on Tuesdays on iTunes, Spotify and SoundCloud. 

Alienware Miami

Don't hate the player.

Thanks to Alienware and Dell for inviting me to Miami this week to talk about the power of influencer marketing on my home turf. I spoke about everything from the importance of influencers for small businesses to recognizing influencers are paid for their time, not their opinions. 

See you again soon!

Lafayette 148 NYFW Event

As New York Fashion Week storms Manhattan - quite literally - I took a moment to sit down with Lafayette 148 NY Creative Director Emily Smith to talk about the economics of design.

Joining me for the Q&A and post-chat cocktail party were some of my favorite editors, bloggers, designers and entrepreneurs, including Alix Strauss, Jackie Giardina, Kaylin Marcotte, Marci Greenfield, Hilary Sheinbaum, Katie Kiefner, Hallie Friedman, Cailli and Sam Beckerman, Brittney Levine, Nika Vagner, Elizabeth Quinn Brown, Nneya Richards, Stan Soong, Whitney Tressel, Wendy Wollner and Nicole Volynets.

Huge thank you to Lafayette 148 for hosting the event and to Bloomerent for the unforgettable decor. 

Check out the #LafayetteLoves hashtag for some great photos of the event. 

Epson's Digital Couture NYFW Event

© Sarah Richards

© Sarah Richards

NYFW: where print meets digital.

This week, I had the pleasure of covering Epson's third annual "Digital Couture" New York Fashion Week event at Chelsea's IAC building, which showcased 13 design teams from North and Latin America. 

Designers had the opportunity to use Epson's digital dye-sublimation and direct-to-garment printing technologies in the design process, combining textiles with innovative digital techniques.

Check out my full story on the event in Apparel News.  

Wayne's World 25th Anniversary

Wayne's World had a huge impact on pop culture when it was first released - 25 years ago - in 1992. The film not only put bands on the map with its iconic soundtracks; it also introduced some of culture's most popular catchphrases. (Party on! NOT.)

I was so proud to work with New York Film Critics for the 25th anniversary of this iconic movie.

Take a look at the #WaynesWorld and #WaynesWorld25 hashtags to see what people are saying about the anniversary screenings that took place in theaters around the country this week. 

Rock on!

Texworld USA

“Apparel is one of the only industries that has had deflation. You can buy something cheaper now than you could 20 years ago.”

This January, the 11th annual Texworld USA hosted 226 exhibitors from 16 countries and attendees from 54 countries around the world.

The common theme for all guests? Post-election economic uncertainty.

Check out my latest for Apparel News about the retail climate at Texworld. 

Centurion Jewelry Show

No pressure, no diamonds. 

Thanks to FireCushion Diamonds for the opportunity to speak (after Peyton Manning and before Bill O'Reilly) at the Centurion Jewelry Show last week at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale. I spoke about social media best practices to 100+ luxury consumer retailers.

Head to Politico to read Bill O'Reilly's candid comments on Trump, business, and the economy, as first reported on my blog

Special thanks to the Washington Post for picking up my story! 

Bill O'Reilly Talks Trump: "I Used to Call Him Mr. Potato Head, Now I Have to Call Him Mr. President"

"I used to call him Mr. Potato Head. Now I have to call him Mr. President."

Bill O'Reilly took the stage as keynote speaker at the Centurion Jewelry Show in Scottsdale, Arizona Tuesday, speaking candidly about the economy, his career - and President Donald Trump.

Read some of O'Reilly's most memorable soundbites below.

On Trump's temperament: 

"I've known Trump for 30 years. The man didn't win on ideology or personality. He is compulsive, he needs to [act] with a little more subtlety. The thing you have to watch about Donald Trump is impulse... The impulse to strike back at people. [Trump] believes that America is unfair, and as president, he has to level the playing field. I used to call him Mr. Potato Head, now I have to call him Mr. President."

On how Trump will affect business:

"He's going to do what Reagan did, knock out the regulations. That will help small business. Long run, you don't know. Short run, you should have a nice Christmas 2017."

On Trump's relationships with Mexico, China and Russia:

"Trump has to speak to Mexico like you would to your kid. You don't embarrass them. He has to be firm, [but] he doesn't do this the right way. 'We want to love you, but you have to stop smuggling heroin.' Same with China. There's a billion and a half people there. 'You're going to take more of our products, you're going to buy them. Or we're not going to buy your products.' Most people in China don't have electricity. If you take away the little they have, they're going to rise up. I don't think Trump has figured that part [out] yet. Same with Putin. 'Every time you do something we feel is harmful to the U.S., we're going to do something twice as bad, because we're more powerful than you.' That's how you deal with it. But you don't deal with them publicly."

On his Super Bowl Interview with President Trump:

"He called me [to ask]: 'It's going to be at halftime right?' Let's do [the interview] at Mara Lago.' So he could play golf. We're filming the interview Friday, but within Friday to Sunday, he could invade Somalia."

On whether or not Trump will succeed as president:

"People ask me, 'Are you optimistic about America? Do you think Trump will succeed?' I don't know. It's a massive amount of power, and he doesn't have the most patience. He's a little rushed. And this is serious business. But I do believe he will jazz the economy, at least in the short term. They're going to try [to impeach him]. I told him that himself. I said 'They're gonna try; you have to be real careful about what you're going to do.'"

On the price of membership at Mar-a-Lago going up:

"Anyone who pays $200K to be a member of Mar-a-Lago is crazy." 

On the Women's March:

"I was impressed by that (march). They just practiced democracy. They wanted to protest Trump. They don't like him."

On if he'd ever run for president:

"I would never run because... I'd much rather be your watchman. That's much more rewarding to me."

On why he became a journalist:

"The only reason I became a journalist is because I wanted to do something exciting. Every human being has talent. That's why I believe in God. The key to life is figuring out what the gift is. And then you figure out 'I have this talent, I like the talent, now I have to figure out a way to make money doing it.' So you're not taking a job that you hate. 'What do I do well?' I was given the gift of blarney, I can talk. Can I draw a flower? No. Can I write music? No. Can I put gas in my car? Barely. My tombstone will read 'He finally stopped talking.'"

Update: Head to Politico to read a report about Bill O'Reilly's candid comments, first reported in this post, and check out Washington Post's mention of my story here

Première Vision New York

"We all cook with water."

The recent election fueled the conversation at Première Vision's New York show this week at Pier 94

I had the pleasure of interviewing International Exhibitions Director Guglielmo Olearo about how the world of fashion will be impacted by the recent election of President Donald Trump - and talked to exhibitors about everything from the effect of fluctuating global markets to the importance of establishing relationships in the fashion business. 

Check out my full story for California Apparel News. 

Celebrating Canada's 150th Anniversary with Air Canada and Fairmont Hotels

This week, I flew up, up and far away from the election to the great white north to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary.

The trip started on a high note (literally) with a fabulous private flight courtesy of Air Canada and Air Canada Jetz, followed by an equally fabulous stay at three beautiful Fairmont Hotels.

Shoutout to Burton and Ugg for keeping me warm and stylish.

And happy 150th to our neighbors! 

Facebook Live with Martha Stewart Weddings

Weddings and tech go together like a horse and carriage.

This week I had the pleasure of joining Martha Stewart Weddings for a Facebook Live to chat about some of the biggest wedding social media trends. 

The biggest trend I'm seeing? All things digital. 

From bouquet Go Pros and 3D printed cakes to wedding drones and custom-designed Snapchat Geofilters, bride and grooms are looking to tech for their big day. 

With digital invitations, digital save the dates, digital registry, digital thank you notes and digital RSVPs, couples are enjoying convenient new wedding options that - as an additional bonus - are saving the rainforest! 

Check out the full Facebook Live video for some of the top digital wedding trends and tips, including:

  • Cute ways to use social media to announce your engagement
  • Crowd-sourcing for wedding planning questions
  • Sharing wedding planning milestones
  • Guests sharing images on social
  • Creating the perfect wedding hashtag

New Podcast Goes Insides the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme

It's been nine years since former stockbroker Bernie Madoff pulled off the biggest financial fraud in American history – a $65 billion Ponzi scheme that sentenced him to 150 years in prison and left thousands of unknowing participants asking "how"? And "why?"

A new original series by Audible Channels aims to answer those questions.

Hosted by journalist Steve Fishman (and available free for Amazon Prime users), Ponzi Supernova features exclusive insights from Madoff himself, along with interviews with the FBI, SEC, former investors, victims and more.

"I finally examined a question that had always bugged me," says Fishman. "Why did Madoff succeed for so long?"

(To say I'm hooked on this podcast would be an understatement.)

Listen to Ponzi Supernova here, and send me a Tweet to let me know what you think!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.

RetailROI 2017

This week, I was invited by the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI) to speak about social media trends to 300 or so retail executives at the Harvard Club of New York

From storytelling and video to social networks in the workplace, one of the top trends I addressed was the rise of the social media influencer.

MuseFind found that 92% of consumers trust influencers more than traditional advertisements featuring celebrity endorsements (which explains why so many brands are gravitating toward hiring influencers for their commercials and campaigns).

Thanks again to RetailROI for having me.

Best of CES 2017

Happy new year!

I started 2017 off - as many internet entrepreneurs do - in Las Vegas at CES.

Partnering with Dell, I hosted a music/tech dinner with Intel and The Glitch Mob, a brunch with Dell/Microsoft/Alienware - and I even took over Dell's Instagram for the week to share live moments from all!

Shout-out to some other clients and friends I got to hang out with, including Scripps Network, HGTV, Food Network, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Refinery29, Medialink, Jaguar, Altec Lansing and American Express.

See you next year!

Mashable #BizChats: Tips for a Successful 2017

2016 isn't the problem, and 2017 isn't the solution!

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of joining Mashable's Tracey Edouard for a Facebook Live about how to take stock of your accomplishments and prepare for success in 2017. 

I gave my top career tips - from regularly documenting accomplishments to learning new things every day to asking your employer the right questions at the right time.

Some audience members too chimed in with great questions. Here are a few of my favorites.

  1. What tips do you have to best highlight social media achievements on social media platforms?

    Social media is a priority, not an option, and your online presence is as important as your offline presence. Share your accomplishments, but do so with humility. Give credit where credit is due, and show off your hard work. 
  2. How can professionals get over their fears and take risks?

    This takes practice. Turn your fears into gratitude. Instead of fearing public speaking, be grateful so many people want to hear you speak and gain value from you. 
  3. What are the most valuable lessons of this year?

    It's important to prioritize work-life balance. To work well, it's important to disconnect and take time to recharge and relax. 

Here are the top five things you need to know to become more successful in 2017.

  1. Articulate your goals. Know what you want, how you plan on getting there, and practice your pitch. 
  2. Calendar your tasks. Don't just create to-do lists, but schedule the days and even times you want to get things accomplished. 

  3. Master your domain. 84% of recruiters are using social media. Keep your channels up to date, and list your accomplishments with humility. 

  4. Learn the art of influence. Expand your social networks. Connect with people online and offline, and be authentic in your engagement with people. Check out my previous #BizChats for my top networking tips.

  5. Consider your legacy. No amount of money is worth making you miserable at work everyday. Ask yourself: am I providing value? Do I love what I'm doing? 

To hear my final key for becoming more successful in 2017, check out the Facebook Live video.

Thanks Mashable, for another great #BizChat!

Facebook Live with Refinery 29

This week, I hosted one of Refinery 29's final Facebook Lives 2016 - speaking about social media best practices in 2016 (and some trends we need to leave behind).

Top Social Media Fails of 2016

Before looking ahead to 2017, I talked about some of the biggest social media fails of 2016, from Ryan Lochte's untimely hair Tweet to Total Beauty's Whoopi Goldberg/Oprah mixup. The takeaway from these fails? Always do your research before posting on social media, hire thoughtfully, and if you do make a mistake, take a step back, assess the damage and apologize if necessary. 

Questions from the Audience

Before talking about best social media practices for 2017, I opened up questions to the Refinery 29 audience. Here are some of the top questions and takeaways. 

Q: Do you have tips on doing social media for businesses?
A: It can be difficult to create authenticity, as people tend to connect more easily with people than with brands. The most effective way for a business to create a successful social media presence is to fit into one (or more) of three categories: funny, beautiful, valuable. Give audiences something to come back to you for - time and time again. 

Q: Do you have tips for bloggers? 
A: Differentiate yourself. There are so many blogs on so many subjects, so it's essential to find a way to offer something unique to your audiences. Learn more about how to start a blog in my article for Refinery29. 

Q: Do you think a business needs to have all social media platforms?
A: Put simply: No. Social media is a quality over quantity game. Choose one or two platforms that really apply to your brand where you can post quality, memorable content rather than posting subpar content on every channel. 

Social Media Habits to Expire in 2016

1. Overexposure: You never want social media to be a one-sided conversation. Instead of over-sharing, try to engage with your audience, ask questions and inspire genuine conversation. 

2. Spamming: Avoid overusing hashtags and "follow for follow" or "like for a like" spamming. Be authentic, or your audience will see through your efforts to gain a following. 

3. Avoid Basic Content: Basic content (or posts that are uninspiring) should be avoided. Be creative and stand out. 

How to Nail Social Media in 2017

1. Differentiate. Add value to the community you have formed. 

2. Be proactive and reactive. Keep the social in social media. Engage with your audience. 

3. Focus on quality over quantity. I can't emphasize this enough. Create beautiful content that lasts and makes an impact.

Check out my full Facebook Live to hear more about best social media practices. We'll catch you next time!