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Internet Entrepreneur

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!

Screening Calls with 3M

I'm proud to say the world is my office - but sometimes, that means I'm typing emails on a plane, train or automobile, within close quarters to complete strangers, especially in NYC. 

Visual hacking happens every day, with hackers obtaining info in 15 minutes or less.

You can easily prevent this on your laptops, tablets and smartphones with 3M Privacy Filters - which block side views and keep what's on your screen reserved for you. 

Learn more about 3M privacy products here.

Small Business Saturday with American Express

Small business, huge impact. 

As a content creator, small business owner and American Express Cardmember since 2003, supporting my fellow small businesses is not only a pleasure - but a privilege, especially since AmEx helped me start my own business as one of my first-ever clients back in 2009.

On this year's Small Business Saturday, I celebrated a few of my favorite small businesses - Viyet, for helping us style our shoot locations, GLAMSQUAD, for always getting me camera-ready and Splash, who I've worked with for three years to curate my events. 

Learn more about the beauty of shopping small here.

The New Age of Buyer Behavior

In the last 60 seconds, 216,000 photos were posted to Instagram, 1.8 million likes were given on Facebook and 72 hours of video footage was uploaded to YouTube.

From mobile and wearable devices to social media and blogging, the impact of our constantly-engaged digital landscape is forever changing how consumers engage with brands. This past Thursday I had the pleasure of joining [L]earned Media for a candid conversation about the new age of buyer behavior. 

Joining me on the panel were Evan Kraut, Managing Director of Grey Adventures, P.J. Pereira, Founder of Pereira & O'Dell, Brian Shimmerlik, Founder/CEO of Vengo Labs, Rupert Maconick and Executive Producer of Saville Productions. 

Thanks to [L]earned Media for inviting me to participate in a great conversation.

Square Presents: Ladies Who Launch

Meet the ladies who launch.

This week, I had the opportunity to interview some truly inspirational women at Square's Ladies Who Launch event at the Helen Mills Event Space & Theater, which was keynoted by Christy Turlington Burns, Founder & CEO of Every Mother Counts.

Joining me for a conversation about social media marketing were Kay Hsu, Global Instagram Lead, Creative Shop, Kristen Tomlan, Founder of Cookie DO NYC, and Kira Wampler, Chief Marketing Officer at Lyft. 

We discussed social media best practices for small businesses, grassroots digital marketing and the top trends in the shift to mobile marketing.

Thanks to Square for putting together the event and to the brilliant women who joined us!

The Balance: Facebook Live

Business talk has never been so sweet. 

This week, I had the pleasure of hosting The Balance's first-ever Facebook Live, where I interviewed twins Miki Agrawal (founder of THINX) and Radha Agrawal (founder of DAYBREAKER).

We covered everything from the importance of building a great team and encouraging young women in business to the fears that come with launching a startup - all over delicious ice cream sundaes.

Catch my full interview with these inspiring women on Facebook Live. 

Advance Screening: NBC's This Is Us

This week I hosted the NYC advance screening of NBC's This Is Us, a show that The Hollywood Reporter noted as "the fall season's highest-rated launch to date."

The show, which features Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown, is an honest and emotional series following different groups of people whose lives cross in unexpected ways. Written and produced by Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) is about family, love, life and everything in between. 

Don't forget to tune in Tuesdays at 10|9c (and starting October 11, 9|8c, after The Voice).

Motivate Design Presents: Food for Thought Leaders

If there's one thing I love as much as innovation, it's food, and this week I got to celebrate both.

I joined forces with Motivate Design and food industry experts from Maple, Freshly, Epicurious, OurHarvest and Chef Palak Patel for a live panel at Motivate Design HQ in the Financial District. After sharing their individual philosophies on food - from sources and preparation to consumption - the panelists shared key industry trends, from the growing relationship between tech and food to the importance of education when it comes to nutrition and food quality.

Head to Facebook for the live panel discussion, and check out some of my favorite snaps below. 

#FoodForThoughtLeaders

Lafayette 148 New York Fashion Week Event

That's a wrap!

With New York Fashion Week coming to a close, we celebrated the business of style (and a brand new retail location) with Lafayette 148. Some of my favorite bloggers, editors and friends joined me for a cocktail party and live Q&A with Lafayette 148's New York Retail Director, Noelle Dubina.

Shout-out to my friends who came - Lara Eurdolian, Emma Wo, Corey Golden, Alyssa Campanella, Chondra Sanchez, Hallie Friedman, Billie Carroll, Megan Zietz, Jackie Giardina, Kaylin Marcotte, Alix Strauss, Shindy Chen, Palak Patel, Ceylan Kumbarji, Monica Lurato, Awet Woldegebriel, Omri Rachmut, Aliah Banchik, Charlotte Bridgeman, Cheralee Lyle and Brittney Levine

Special thank you to Noelle for the candid conversation about turning passion into reward and to Lafayette 148 for hosting us in your beautiful new store!

Visit Facebook for the live Q&A. 

#20Lafayette148 

New York Fashion Week Brunch with Kali Hawk

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of co-hosting a New York Fashion Week brunch with this crown jewel. 

Kali Hawk - and some of our closest friends - joined at Trademark Taste & Grind to celebrate her new jewelry line, H. Crowne and sip delicious juices by Natalie's Orchid Island Juice Company (you probably already know how much I love Natalie's). Thank you to Alyssa Campanella, Tracey Edouard, Cipriana Quann, TK Quann, Emma Wo, Palak Patel, Hallie Friedman, Chelsea Peng, Emily Bache, Abigail Breslin, Kaylin Marcotte, Lanier Long, Natalie SextonCeylan Kumbarji, and Alix Strauss for joining us. 

Special thank you to Bloomerent for the gorgeous flowers.

#TrademarkStyle

5 Social Media Trends at RIS News' 2016 ENGAGE! Conference

What happens when your personal brand becomes your business?

This week, I attended the RIS News 2016 ENGAGE! Conference at the Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale to speak about just that - along with sharing the top five social media trends that retailers can capitalize on to reach their audiences. 

Here are those trends and some of the most important takeaways: 

1. Brand Ambassadors and Influencers

Influencers don't just introduce an audience to you brand - they add authenticity. In 2017, it’s no longer about finding an influencer who has several thousand followers but one who can authentically promote the brand in a way that get his or her audience to act.

2. Social Networks in the Workplace

Sometimes, your brand advocates can be right in your own office. More and more brands are using their own employees are a social army to promote and validate corporate culture.

3.  Video Trumps Text

Social video - like Facebook Like and Instagram Stories - are easy ways to turn a 50-person event a 5,000-person event.

4. The Importance of Storytelling

Storytelling has been a part of human history for thousands of years, but it's also a crucial marketing component for establishing your brand voice and authenticity.

5. Getting Users to Act

The most important trend for brands is going to be able to drive your fans to take a particular action step - and that doesn’t always mean to purchase. Getting users to react means building a rapport with them and that takes commitment, innovation and great storytelling.

Back to School with Rebecca Minkoff

"In every life phase, you'll be confronted with something that scares you. And you have to go into it being as fearless as you can."

This week, I had the opportunity to interview designer and business icon Rebecca Minkoff in front of an audience of fifty New York University, Parson School of Design, and FIT students. After a great Q&A in June - where Rebecca shared advice with a group of entrepreneurs - she decided she also wanted to share her experience and business advice with the future generation. 

We talked shop (literally) about everything from being confident and landing a job to starting your own business. Head to Forbes for my top five takeaways from my chat with Minkoff, and check out the live Q&A on Facebook

Thanks to everyone who attended, and to NY Magazine and NY Post for covering the event!

#BackpacktoSchool

Forbes: Facebook Live

Normally I don’t believe in brain-picking, but last week I made a one-time exception at the first-ever Women at Forbes Facebook Live, where we I hosted a Q&A about social media best practices!

Followers on the Women at Forbes Facebook page asked a myriad of fantastic questions - from "how many hashtags should I be using?" to "what are the best social media channels for my brand?"

As I mentioned in the live session, there is no shortcut to growing your social media audience. It takes time and practice. Here are my top five tips from the Q&A:

  • Always exercise judgment and restraint on social media!
  • If you make a mistake on social media, take time to assess the damage before you determine what needs to be done to fix the problem. 
  • Social media is a two-way conversation. Make sure you're posting content that is relevant to your followers and that you're regularly engaging with them.
  • If you are trying to make money on social media, make sure you can relay the value you are providing. Do your homework first, and make sure you have data to back up the rates you are going to be offering advertisers. 
  • Hashtags can be a valuable tool, but the quality of your post is the most important thing. No matter what number of hashtags you use, if it is not a quality post, you're not going to get the attention you're looking for.

Finally, whether you're just getting started on social media or re-branding, your ultimate goal should be to make your online self a good reflection of your offline self.

For more tips, grab a coffee, and head over to Women at Forbes for the entire Q&A. 

Evolve Your Summer

You can sit with us. 

This week I hosted a summer soiree with Evolve MKD in the stunning Park Lane Hotel Rooftop Suite. (Fun fact: This is the former apartment of real estate tycoon Leona Helmsley). Joining me at #EvolveYourSummer were some of my favs in fashion, beauty, media and blogging, including Maybelline, Lafayette 148, Viyet, Motivate Design, Cuddl Duds, Mashable, and Good Housekeeping

Shout-out to Ted Baker for this perfect dress, Getty for the great photos and Park Lane for the amazing Central Park views. 

E-School for Girls: The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

As a small business owner, there are few things I'm more passionate about than helping the next generation of female entrepreneurs. (I even give them a plug in my latest for Forbes.)

Over the last year, I've had the honor of working with the E-School for Girls pre-college program, which gives young women the opportunity to learn how to innovate and create their own businesses. (Learn more about our February launch event with Microsoft and NYU.)

This summer, I mentored the girls during their two-week dedicated program and watched as they learned valuable skills like interviewing clients, honing their writing skills, building a great bio and LinkedIn profile - and creating a professional social media presence.

We even hosted a pitch contest (think: Shark Tank) where students presented their original business ideas to a panel of entrepreneurs, including yours truly.

You can learn more about the tremendous work that E-School for Girls does here.

Palm Springs Film Festival Tech Day

Don't hate the player - or the game.

This week, I sat down for a panel discussion with three video game producers at the Palm Springs Film Festival's ShortFest to talk about the creative process - and how the internet is revamping the video game industry. 

Alongside me were filmmaker and creator of Kismet David Chontos, Senior Producer of Narrative Content at Cloud Imperium Games John Schimmel and chairman of the Writers Guild of America Videogame Writers Caucus Micah Wright

From the growth of mobile gaming to crowdfunding to social media, head to Forbes for my full article about the event, and Facebook Live for the full Q&A.

Not Our First Rodeo

This was #NotOurFirstRodeo, and it certainly won't be our last. 

Last week I left the city and headed to the hills to host my annual L.A. summer dinner party with some of my closest friends at the beautiful Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel. I was joined by Alyssa Campanella, Torrance Coombs, Trisha Cummings, Remy Weinstein, Jessica Naziri, Paul Germain, Natalie Zurawin, Lauren Bohbot, Kalyn Hemphill, Laura Long, Ginger McCartney, Aton Ben-Horin, Emil Garner and Leah Jacobson. Guests enjoyed a fabulous rooftop dinner by Chef Olivier Rousselle, all while taking in beautiful views from the Luxe Rodeo Rooftop. 

A special thanks to the Luxe Rodeo Hotel, Getty Images, Carolina Herr, and Luna Garden Events for making the event one to remember.

Check out this Just Jared Jr. feature about our dinner for more snaps and some more love for my favorite newly-weds, Torrance Coombs and Alyssa Campanella

Rebecca Minkoff Talks Shop

Photo: Grant Friedman

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing designer Rebecca Minkoff at her Soho boutique in front of an intimate group of bloggers, editors and fellow entrepreneurs.

Check out the video of Rebecca and I talking shop (pun intended) to watch her discuss everything from how she started her business to the instrumental role that social media has played in building her brand. As a small business owner - who turned my 2008 layoff into a business opportunity (more in Marie Claire) - I took away tons of helpful advice - from tips about funding to exuding confidence to managing a team. 

Read my story in Forbes for more, and check out this LinkedIn story about how Rebecca Minkoff uniquely reimagines the customer experience.