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Posts Tagged ‘Melinda Emerson’

Small Business Influencer 2011 Champions: Some Special Shout Outs & Recommendations for Next Year’s List

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

As you know, KikScore was nominated for the top 100 list of the Small Business Influencer’s 2011 list of Champions. Late Monday evening, the winners for this honor were announced. We are happy to see those who made it in and couldn’t help but notice some names that are particularly important to KikScore. These people have been a great help to KikScore as well as the rest of the small business world and we cannot help but admire all they’ve done. It is with this that we are proud to give a special shout out to a select group of people!

Some Judges We Want to Mention

Ramon Ray – Ramon is an editor and technology evangelist for Smallbiztechnology. He has written tons of great articles, including a write up on KikScore on BusinessInsider. We’re really grateful to have had Ramon take the time to help market KikScore and build the brand. Great job with everything you’ve been up to, whether helping us out or judging the Champions list!

Anita Campbell – Anita is a publisher for Small Business Trends and BizSugar, as well as another one of the judges for Small Business Influencer 2011. What makes Anita so special to us is her constant support of KikScore. She got us invited to the webinar for Focus.com on security for small and medium businesses and has suggested small businesses to use Kikscore. Thanks for all your help and keep up all of the amazing work Anita!

Ivana Taylor – Yet another judge, Ivana is DIY Marketers’ small business evangelist. In a nutshell, she’s an incredibly helpful source of information for all things small business. Our hats go off to you, Ivana! We can’t wait to see what you do next!

The Champions of this Year

Shashi Bellamkonda – Shashi, the business swami of Network Solutions who made it into the top 100 list of Champions, has been a huge supporter and incredible help to KikScore. Among the many things he’s done, Shashi was a big part of Social Commerce Camp DC, which was a blast. You’ve been and continue to be an enormous help to all of us at KikScore and we want to congratulate you on making it into the top 100!

Melinda Emerson – Also known as SmallBizLady, Melinda has also made it into the top 100. Among many things, Melinda is the host of Twitter’s weekly talk show, #SmallBizChat. Needless to say, she is the whole reason KikScore got the opportunity to be the guest of honor on #SmallBizChat one week. Congratulations Melinda! You’ve helped us so much and we’re really excited on your making it to the top 100!

John Lawson – Another Small Business Influencer 2011 Champion, John is CEO of 3rd Power Outlet and ColderICE Media. John helps KikScore out with introductions as well as with The KikScore Startup & Small Biz Daily. His efforts have been a great help and we at KikScore are lucky to benefit from his expertise. Thanks for all your work John and enjoy your Champion position!

Laurie McCabe – A partner at the SMB Group and a small to mid-sized market expert, Laurie is yet another deserving Champion. A while back, Laurie took the time to interview KikScore for one of SMB Group’s podcasts. This was a great opportunity as well as a great honor. You’ve been great Laurie! We’re so happy to see you make it to the top 100!

Our Recommendations for Next Year

Tinu Abayomi-Paul – Tinu is part owner of the amazing Free Traffic Tips. She is truly an example of a small business expert as well as great person. Thanks for all of the guidance you’ve given the small business community, Tinu!

Shonali Burke – Owner of Shonali Burke Consulting and editor of WomenGrowBusiness, Shonali has a treasure trove of advice for us all. Alongside being a PR expert for small businesses, she truly is digital PR pioneer. Keep up all the great work, Shonali!

Jill Foster – Jill has taken on many different roles. The founder of Live Your Talk, a public speaking advocate, a blogger, and the founding editor of WomenGrowBusiness, Jill has a thing or two to teach small businesses. You continue to teach us all and for that we thank you!

To those who made Small Business Influencer 2011 possible as well as those who provide inspiration to countless small business, thank you! To everyone who made it to the Small Business Influencer 2011 top 100 list, congratulations! We think it’s awesome what is being done to recognize the folks who enable small businesses’ success and are so happy that we were nominated! We hope to see you all make the list again next year!

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Posts Tagged ‘Melinda Emerson’

Talking Employedpreneurs & Steps to Success for Businesses with Tai Goodwin – A KikScore SmallBiz Interview

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Earlier this year I have the pleasure to meet the fabulous Tai Goodwin on Twitter.  Tai is the founder of the site Launch While Working.  We “met” each other when we were both participating in the fantastic Wednesday #smallbizchat that is organized by Melinda Emerson (@smallbizlady).  Tai and I really bonded over a unique trait that we share and that is we are launching businesses while we work full-time jobs.  Tai has an awesome and super descriptive term for this growing phenomenon and she discusses it in detail during our KikScore interview of her.

1. Tell us about Launch While Working and who you focus on serving?

Launch While Working is a resource site specifically built to service the needs of “Employedpreneurs” like myself.  Employedpreneurs are full-time employees who are also part-time entrepreneurs.

2. What prompted you to launch Launch While Working?

In my first side business, I worked as a career coach. The majority of the clients I attracted sought me out because they wanted to pursue something they were passionate about. In most cases their passion led them to starting their own business. I began helping them use on line marketing and social networking strategies to launch and grow their business. I began to see a need for a community of people who were launching while working. Many of the business coaches I worked with seem to be under the impression that “serious” entrepreneurs were those that quit their job to work full-time in their business. But there’s a huge trend of people that need to keep their day job (for benefits or as a funding source), and are still committed to the vision of launching their own business. The idea was born from there.

3. If you had 2 lessons learned from your business that you could pass on to others, what are those lessons?

Systemize and invest in professional development. Having systems in place will help keep you sane when you are running a business on half of the time that full-time business owners have. Having systems in place for follow-up, client intake, customer service, data retention, bookkeeping, etc…are key to maintaining a professional image and high quality service.

Investing in professional development like conferences, high quality mastermind groups, and coaching is one of the best ways to meet people who are on the same journey as you. In addition to the learning from these experiences, I’ve come away with some amazing connections which have led to incredible opportunities.

4. What is Launch While Working focusing most of its energy on this year?

I work from a three-legged stool approach: The first leg is launching the site, so I’ll be doing lots of promotion to create awareness of the community. The second leg is self-publishing the Employedpreneur book. And the third leg of the stool this year is running the first Launch Circle – it’s a mix between a mastermind group and group coaching for employedpreneurs.

5. Based on your experience as social media strategist, what do you see as 2 new trends for small business?

Blogging for business is becoming important as small business owners and solopreneurs realize the value of building an online customer base. Being visible on social networking platforms is important but once people find you, you need to have a content rich home base (your blog) that can establish your credibility and give prospects a chance to uncover the value you provide.

Another trend, specifically for service based businesses is creating opportunities for passive income through infoproducts. Infoproducts are basically a way to package your expertise and sell it to clients via ebooks, video, audio, etc…It’s a must have for solopreneurs who want to break free from the limitations of one-to-one business models. The one-to-many (one infoproduct many customers) model means that you can generate revenue without adding more hours to your work week.

6. If you could describe the nature or spirit of your business as any movie or movie character, what movie/movie character would it be and why?

Ultimately, Launch While Working is about ambitious professionals who believe that a) work has to be about more than money or titles, and b) working for someone else in corporate America limits their ability to live their vision. It’s about those of us who are willing to take a risk and make an investment of time, money and energy top pursue our passion on our terms. I think the movie that best captures that spirit is Jerry McGuire.

7. If the small business community could have one evangelist, advocate or spokesperson that could make a massive impact for small business, who would you pick and why?

Just one – that’s tough. I think Anita Campbell, founder of Small Biz Trends. She’s a role model for me in that I hope the Launch While Working site evolves into a resource for employedpreneurs, like her sites are a resource for small business owners. Small Biz Trends and its affiliated sites like BizSugar, offer a wealth of information for entrepreneurs. She has assembled the best and brightest small business experts as contributors who consistently provide high quality content for entrepreneurs.

8. What are the two biggest challenges that you think small business are facing today and how do you suggest that they work to overcome those challenges?

One main challenge that small businesses face is being unwilling to go beyond traditional marketing strategies when it comes to promoting their business. It’s something I call “egocentric” marketing and it sounds like this, “I don’t like Facebook (or another social media marketing tool) so I don’t see the value in having my business there.” This is the starting point for many of my customers. However, the reality is that it doesn’t matter what “they” like, if their customers are on Facebook, or Twitter, they need to find a way to engage them there proactively – or someone else will.

Another challenge that many small businesses face is not being flexible enough to adapt to the changing demands of their customers and needs of the market. While it is important to hold on to your vision, it should never be at the expense of building a sustainable business model. Your business plan whether it is one page or fifty, should be an evolving document that scales to put you in the best possible position to serve your clients and generate revenue.

9. Small businesses are always looking for good sources of information to learn from or share information to help their business. What are some good information sources that you often use?

My favorite sources are Small Biz Trends, Entrepreneur Magazine (online), Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner. In addition I use Twitter filters and Google Alerts to stay tuned into specific key words related to my niche.

10. Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers and the small business community?

I’m learning that one of the key factors to building a successful enterprise is having strategic partners. Having a solid core of online and offline partnerships opens the door for learning, growth and opportunities to reach new audiences. No business (or business owner) is an island.


Thanks Tai for the great interview and fantastic tips.  If anyone in our small business community has any questions or comments for Tai, please leave them in the comments.

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