Archive for October, 2012

October 30, 2012

Why it’s Ridiculous to Be Someone Else

by Kate W. Hall

20121030-230450.jpg I post things like this all the time in our Facebook group.

I love humor and find it as necessary as the basic elements to feed me. Is this something that comes naturally to me? Bingo. Does it help my brand? Without a doubt.

It’s so critical to be ourselves no matter what we do, no matter what “conventional” wisdom tells us.

Creating posts, content & ads like everyone else is ho-hum & wont attract readership, nor is it any fun.

So please, if you stop by, let’s talk this through, and bring some fine wine, too please?


October 29, 2012

by Kate W. Hall

Fun way to look at approaches to business.


Which one is your brand? Or what kind of brand that you want to make?

Hope it helps! Cheers! :D

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October 28, 2012

by Kate W. Hall

Awesome post. We must be purposeful in all that we do.

An Entrepreneur's Words to Live By

Question: Someone told me that arrogance and complacency are one in the same. How does one avoid falling into this trap?

Answer: Here’s my challenge to you and everyone – entrepreneur or not. What are you doing today that makes you better than you were yesterday? This is a beautifully simple calculus. Take a look at your life. Do you have a purposeful intent to improve yourself every single day that you walk on this planet? Do we want to waste one precious day of our lives failing to do so?

Purposeful intent is the key to continual improvement. To get started, make an appointment with yourself to catalog the various aspects of your life that you would like to improve – personally and professionally. This needs to be a substantive process driven by a sufficient dose of introspection and reflection. Then spend a moment when you get out of…

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October 28, 2012

Congrats! You’ve Arrived (At The Middle)

by Kate W. Hall


Last Wednesday I was given the honor of being named one of Richmond’s Top 40 Under 40 by Style Magazine. Listening to the accomplishments of the thirty-nine others in my class I was humbled at my blogging and charitable efforts compared to their “roll-your-sleeves-up” hands-on community activism.

Sharing this observation with my manager at Capital One the next day, his response to me was simply: “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Could it be that our team’s endless clacking behind the keyboard is as valuable as planting a garden to feed the hungry?

Debatable, but great food for thought.

The true food for thought was the celebration in the moment, surrounded by my husband, mom, dear friends, brother and one of my sisters.

It was then that I realized that I had arrived at the middle.

20121028-093229.jpgWith Scott Blackwell, former manager, mentor & friend.

The five years of building the brand are behind me; the days of working bell-to-bell less frequent (yet not unheard of.) Now, with a team to support the mission, I am fortunate to have the much-appreciated arms and legs.

Our advertisers are valued partners; we work hard to make sure their investment is maximized and that their visibility is paramount. Our charitable efforts are a vital thread in our offering to Richmond; it keeps us grounded. The readers who inspire us to create new categories/content/contests: they’re just the best.

Yet, with an entrepreneurial-fed lust for innovation, I find myself leading this team through the middle of our journey to excellence. It’s a gift to reflect on the road behind (and to celebrate it, no less) and a dreamer’s dream to imagine what more the future holds.


October 7, 2012

Investing in your Brand: Not Optional

by Kate W. Hall


We’re often asked to promote new businesses (pro bono) on and when appropriate, when we have the space and our team isn’t super-stretched, we’re happy to oblige.

After all, I was a start-up five years ago with few resources and I’ve always felt compelled to pay the kindness I received from others forward. Here’s the thing that’s tough for us to verbalize to a brand-new business owner: one pro-bono ad on a blog with 150,000+ unique annual visitors sounds super-sexy, but truth be told it may not net you one sale.

True branding–staying power–takes an immense amount of investment, content, sources, links, and most importantly–relationships and proven customer service.

I’m not trying to be cold here; anyone who knows me knows I’m a bleeding heart. On this issue however it’s been a long time brewing in my message to new business owners: if you can’t afford to advertise or hire a sales rep (or be willing to market yourself), you likely aren’t ready to launch your business.

The first two years of my entrepreneurial journey were spent networking at women’s groups and Chamber of Commerce events, talking with small groups of parents at any (every) opportunity, and yes spending thousands of dollars on advertising, primarily on the web. Note: I’m not saying this because we derive our revenue from advertising. we’re a niche site and there are countless ways to market a brand.

I didn’t make a cent the first two years I was in business, and I was willing to make that physical, emotional and financial investment to make our blog polished, branded, stoic in the sea of come-again blogs that don’t stick.

I did everything myself at first from knocking on potential clients’ doors to mailing follow-up notes and business cards to standing for hours on end at children’s fairs in the hazy Richmond summer heat. Was I exhausted? YES! Was I frustrated? HELL YES.

If you’re not willing to do that, it’s like launching a business and going out for a swing. It may be a while before the breeze whips through your hair, but with careful investment of time and money + a boatload of passion, it’ll click.


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