Dress For Success? How About Relocate For Success

t's a man's world, at least in the world of startups. But that's quickly changing. The number of female entrepreneurs is growing. Twenty-three percent of entrepreneurs seeking angel investing were female in 2018, up from 19 percent in 2014

Of course, women still face challenges. For example, studies show women who apply for business loans generally receive 45 percent less capital than their male counterparts. Others show, the overwhelming majority of venture capitalists are men. Throw in lingering concerns about the interruption of women raising families while running a company – and many funders and supporters questions a woman's ability to succeed.

With those challenges and more facing budding female entrepreneurs, the truth is that WHERE you start your new business may be just as important to its survival as the type of business. With that in mind, FitSmallBusiness.com ranked each state in the country to determine which are the best for female entrepreneurs -- the second annual study of Best States for Female Entrepreneurs.

Only two of the states that made our Top 10 Best States for Female Entrepreneurs list last year, were included in this year's Top 10. This is due to a variety of reasons including new legislation, and saturated markets. For example, Texas jumped from eighth place last year to first place this year, and Georgia moved from first to tenth. You can find the full list HERE.


  1. Texas

  2. Ohio

  3. Minnesota

  4. Washington

  5. Alabama

  6. North Carolina

  7. Massachusetts

  8. North Dakota

  9. Wisconsin

  10. Georgia

FitSmallBusiness used the following metrics and weights to analyze and eventually rank the Best States for Female Entrepreneurs:

  1. General Business Climate/Opportunity (25%) 

    • Rate of startup growth and share of scale-ups 

    • High-growth company density

  2. Outlook for Women in Business (25%) 

    1. Percentage of minority business owners 

    2. Number of SBA women's business centers

  3. Economic and Financial Health (25%) 

    1. Cost of living index 

    2. Corporate tax rate

  4. Livability for Females (25%) 

    1. Women's economic and social well-being rank 

    2. Women's health and safety rank

"There are many variables that can prevent a startup from taking off," according to Eric Noe, Editor-in-ChiefFitSmallBusiness. "With the information that we've collected, women entrepreneurs can see which states offer them the best chances for success."

Bevel Introduces Skincare Collection

Known for its Shaving System, Bevel is excited to introduce its new skincare collection which is launching January 9th. The skincare line is designed to target concerns such as hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and dullness, key skincare concerns for men of color. The line includes a Face Wash, Exfoliating Toner, Moisturizing Face Gel, and Spot Corrector. See below for more information on the line and let me know if you’d like a sample! Additionally, the products will be available in Target starting in February.

Toner helps with clogged pores and removing dead skin. Acts as an exfoliator while also decreasing the likelihood of ingrown hairs, razor bumps and acne. Blend of Lavender, Green Tea and 10% Glycolic Acid for a deep cleanse without harsh microbeads. Also includes Aloe Vera to help protect from UV damage and soothe the skin.

Moisturizing Face Gel ($13.95, getbevel.com, target/target.com)

Clear hydrating gel hydrates and balances the skin’s natural oils to offer a smoother, more even complexion. Infused with Vitamin C to help protect against aging, Algae Extract helps hydrate the skin, Manuka honey helps with preventing breakdowns and skin irritation.

Spot Corrector ($15.95, getbevel.com, target/target.com)

The spot corrector helps reduce and prevent hyperpigmentation and scarring from any shaving irritation or acne. Goes on clear (unlike other spot treatments), just a few drops can help reduce appearance of dark spots and imperfections. Contains 9% Lactic Acid, Green Tea Extract, Shea Butter and Vitamin C which work together to reduce appearance of dark spots, scarring and sun-damaged skin.                                                                                                                    

Face Wash ($11.95, getbevel.com, target/target.com)

Cleanses and brightens dull, tired-looking skin to give a fresher, healthier appearance. Formulated with Witch Hazel Extract to help reduce irritation and speed up the healing process for scars and blemishes. Coconut Water helps to hydrate the skin. Tea Tree Oil has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which make it ideal for treating and soothing skin conditions. Niacinamide helps to improve enlarged pores and even the skin tone. 


Herbal Essences's Disrupts the Beauty Industry

herbal essence packaging

Photo Credits: Herbal Essences

Inclusivity has finally become a major theme among brands in the beauty industry, making customers of various skin tones and hair types extremely happy with the larger range of products. However, there’s still one group of people that’s been generally left untouched by the inclusivity movement, and it’s about time that’s officially ended.

Those with disabilities—specifically blindness—have struggled with their cosmetics from the beginning. However, like all other aspects of their routine, individuals with low or no vision have developed ways to ensure their routine is a bit easier day-to-day, even when it comes to simple tasks like differentiating between their shampoo and conditioner bottle. Since most companies make the bottles identical, it can be difficult to know which one to use while showering if you're blind—until now, thats is.

In an announcement released on October 11 (aka World Sight Day), Herbal Essences revealed they are altering their packaging to ensure those with vision impairment are able tell their products apart. The new initiative will redesign the brands Bio:Renew line of botanical shampoos and conditioners by adding raised lines on the back, lower section of bottles to indicate shampoos and raised dots in the same area to indicate conditioners. This new design will allow people to feel which bottle is which in order to avoid any future mix ups.

As an added benefit, a new video released by the brand to explain the new change also points out that this helps both people with low or no vision as well as those with English as a second language. For such a small design change, this will make a huge impact on a lot of lives, making us hope that other brands will follow their example in the future.

The new products will be available for purchase in January 2019. For more information on how this initiative came about, check out Herbal Essences’s video, below:

Marketing: Can Michael Kors' Capri Become the American LVMH?

dallas influencer marketing

Versace acquisition prompts the question

When the news broke that Michael Kors Holdings paid $2.12 billion for Italian fashion brand Gianni Versace S.p.A., people were surprised at the price. Calling the offer “a rich one,” the Wall Street Journal reported the brand had generated only $17.5 million in profits last year.

Investment analyst Oliver Chen with Cowen and Company was more bullish about the deal. With estimated sales of $775 million in 2018 and expectations to reach an ambitious $850 million in 2019, Chen put the enterprise value on Versace at 2.5x and EBITDA around 13.9x, which on both counts are within the luxury sector averages for acquisitions since 2011.

Along with the Versace news, Kors also announced it will change its name to Capri Holdings Limited, upon closing the deal in the fourth quarter, after the famed Italian island “long recognized as an iconic, glamorous and luxury destination,” the press release stated.

This is the second of Kors major luxury acquisitions, following Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion last year. At the time, Kors CEO John Idol told CNBC that “This will not be [Michael Kor’s] last acquisition.”

Idol said, “Acquiring Jimmy Choo is the beginning of a strategy that we have for building a luxury group that is really focused on international fashion brands.” He is keeping that promise.

As a result, obvious comparisons to global luxury-leading conglomerate LVMH come to mind.

With Versace’s management team of creative head Donatella Versace and CEO Jonathan Akeroyd continuing to lead, and likewise at Jimmy Choo, the Kors vision of collecting a family of luxury brands was described by Greg Furman, founder and chairman of the Luxury Marketing Council, as “LVMH-izing American luxury.”


Walmart Doubles Down On Its Transformation Into A Technology Company

At this past June's Walmart Associate and Shareholders Meeting, CEO Doug McMillon continually referred to Walmart as a “technology company.”

That had many people scratching their heads saying, in effect, Walmart is not Microsoft, Google or Amazon, for heaven’s sake. MIT Technology Review asked, “Walmart wants us to believe it’s turning into a tech company?”

Doubters need to step down. Walmart has partnered with two of those tech leaders – Microsoft for cloud computing and Google for voice-activated shopping – and made a number of acquisitions and investments to elevate its ecommerce platform, along with investments in in-store automation that will eventually enhance operations efficiency within its nearly 5,000 stores.

Walmart is executing on its digital transformation. Following Walmart’s October 16 Investor Community meeting, Oliver Chen, Cowen and Company analyst covering retail and luxury goods, came back convinced.


Discover Your Luxury Competitors' Strategies

Unity Marketing just wrapped a new survey among 600 luxury industry executives across a wide range of vertical sectors (e.g. fashion, jewelry, home furnishings, travel, hospitality, design) and companies that support the luxury industry in marketing, advertising and technology strategies. 

It takes you behind the curtain to get a unique perspective on the luxury market from the point of view of those that compete in the luxury industry.

The study, conducted in partnership with Luxury Daily, the world’s largest luxury business publication, found that the industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities revolve around the same trend: the rise of the digital economy.

Long-Term Partnerships: The Next Wave of Influencer Marketing


Influencer marketing is paying off for brands. In fact, a Tomoson study found that for every dollar a brand spent on influencer marketing, it made $6.50. That’s no small chunk of change in an era when up to 24 percent of a company’s budget is allotted to marketing.

Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that influencer marketing is predicted to swell to a $10 billion industry within the next five years. With significant ROI and relevant, cost-effective marketing tactics, influencer marketing represents an appealing way to reach the masses. This dynamic environment is what makes every day at Two Pillar Management, our firm that helps match companies with influencers, an exciting and engaging one.

The problem is that it isn’t always so easy to reach the masses. A study by TapInfluence and Altimeter revealed that more than two-thirds of marketers struggle to find the right influencers. Influencers come equipped with their own interest areas, tone, and audience — selling points that can quickly become drawbacks if they don’t line up with the company’s own branding.

That’s why smart brands that have found their ideal influencers are trying to seal the deal indefinitely.

I recently attended a company meeting of VPX Sports, a manufacturer and distributor of sports drinks and supplements. Jack Owoc, the company’s CEO, gave an in-depth presentation on the company' social media efforts. The company employs more than a hundred influencers that it calls “Elites” on long-term contracts to promote its Bang brand of sports drinks. In doing so, it has created the comraderie of a team-like working environment amongst its influencers. Meg Liz Owoc, the companys CMO, noted that these longer term influencer-based programs have given the Bang brand its social media edge and growing market share over its more entrenched competitors Red Bull and Monster Energy.

What’s in It for Brands?

The most obvious benefit long-term partnerships offer brands is trust. As influencers devote more blog posts or more Instagram real estate to a specific company, their faith in the brand becomes more visible — and their followers are likely to develop a stronger affinity for it as well. That ongoing support appears much more genuine.

Likewise, transitioning an influencer into a brand ambassador can bring with it exclusivity and the opportunity to explore new angles. An influencer who’s producing multiple posts in conjunction with a company isn’t locked into covering just one aspect of the brand — she can use different posts to highlight different elements or ways to use the product or service. That means she has the potential to reach different people grappling with problems the brand can solve.

Sazan Hendrix, who is a respected beauty, lifestyle and fashion influencer, is focusing more and more on longer term brand ambassadorships vs. shorter term one-off posts for random brands. Most recently, she has entered into longer term agreements with Maybelline, Olay and CVS. Sazan commented that “it is far easier to create organic and honest integrations with brands over time as opposed to an individual post here and there for random companies”.

Long-term partnerships also provide both brands and influencers with the option to do testing they couldn’t do otherwise. With both brand elements remaining the same across multiple posts, companies and influencers can do A/B testing on different approaches, formats, images, and messaging. By isolating the piece that’s changed, they can test and tweak in a live environment and make immediate shifts.

Digiday noted that the trend toward long-term partnerships even includes more in-person appearances on brands’ behalf, as well as morality clauses to prevent damage to the brand hitching its wagon to the influencer. They’ve also afforded brands the ability to capitalize on the move to video more easily: “We’ve seen cost per view being the most important pricing model as video formats have overtaken static content,” explained John Kalis, vice president of U.S. business development at indaHash.

What’s in It for Influencers?

Influencers who seek to build careers on their influence get a big boost from long-term partnerships with brands: It’s guaranteed work with a brand that fits their message and audience. That affords them the flexibility to turn down one-off requests that feel like a stretch or would be viewed as off-brand by their followers.

Because these brands are familiar with influencers’ work, they’re given more creative freedom. This plays well with A/B testing, but it also lets influencers stretch their wings to try new filters, fresh phrasing, or distinctive approaches. Many influencers originally won attention through their unique style, and diluting that to meet the expectations of brands that don’t understand what they bring to the table can be demoralizing. Long-term partnerships counteract that by allowing influencers to maximize the trust they’ve earned.

More recently, brands are using marketing strategies such as influencer capsule collections and co-branded products with influencers to build longer term associations with influencers with mass appeal. Recently, influencer Jay Alvarrez designed a travel and luggage bag line for the Norwegian company Douchebags. The company is giving Alvarrez the flexibility to shoot his own iconic content and to promote the line in his own style over an entire season. Company CMO Vetle Brevik commented that the company was very pleasantly surprised when sales far exceeded expectations for the campaign launch. Brevik attributes this success to the natural passion Alvarrez exudes for the brand: something that is certainly linked to the brand being a collaborative effort between the influencer and the company.

It would be dangerous for brands to overlook the importance of influencer-follower connections. Influencers know their followers well and interact with them regularly. If they also happen to love a specific product or service, they’ll go to bat for the brand behind it, and they’ll find ways to communicate their appreciation to their followers. The longer an influencer engages with a brand, the more synonymous his or her name becomes with the company — and it’s a good thing when fans see brands and influencers in alignment.

As the FTC reminds influencers to clearly disclose their relationships with brands, long-term partnerships remove some of the anxiety and hassle that accompany these disclosures. More transparency can make influencers like they’re removing a barrier and allowing followers to see the real relationships they have with beloved brands, not just the parts they want them to see. It explains why an influencer like Joy Cho from Oh Joy! has put in years of work with Target to design bandages, benefiting both.

These long-term partnerships may make influencer marketing feel less risky to both influencers and brands while, ironically, allowing them to take more risks in their marketing. Brands that have found relevant influencers are locking them down, and companies that don’t want to fall behind will feel pressure to find their own long-term matches.


2018 Men of Influencer (Dinner and Networking)

2018 Men of Influence Dinner - Amin and Company

Cocktails - Dinner - Conversation  ... and MORE!

Celebrating men in the DFW that are doing major things within their own respective fields.


They event will be held at the new PAZZO Uptown.

First 25 attendees, also leave with a goody bag!


5-7pm: Outdoor patio networking + cocktails + light bites

6-7pm Seated Private Dinner

7-8pm After Party Networking


2018 Women of Influence (DFW Influencers)

cocktails - dinner - conversation (2).png

Cocktails - Dinner - Conversation  ... and MORE!

Celebrating women in the DFW that are doing major things within their own respective fields.

The 2018 "woMEN OF INFLUENCE" event will celebrate 18 LOCAL extraordinary women for one night. The event is produced by local strategic marketing firm, Amin & Co., and DFW Influencers, the largest database for local bloggers and social media enthusiasts.

They event will be held at Corrientes 348, the chicest NEW Argentinian Steakhouse downtown.

Please join us for dinner as well. 18 LUCKY women will get to sit down with these lovely women for an intimate private dinner.

Dinner includes a 5 course meal for $54.99/ this also includes pre-dinner networking and discounted cocktails.

First 25 attendees, also leave with a goody bag!

If you just want to come and network or have dinner, you are welcome to! RSVP below!

To RSVP for dinner, please contact: 972-835-5699 ask for Lorena.


5-7pm: Outdoor patio networking + cocktails + light bites

6-7pm Seated Private Dinner

7-8pm After Party Networking


EXCLUSIVE Perfume Launch at Target

At Target, they know what guests love new, incredible beauty products …

From exclusive-to-Target brands to the latest trends, they're curating an assortment of beauty products that they believe guests will love to find during their Target runs. With last year’s launches including a K-beauty collection, a celebrity haircare line and a major natural skincare brand, 2018 has some big shoes to fill … so they're kicking off the new year with an exciting announcement: Target’s launching a new fragrance brand exclusively available at Target, Good Chemistry!

Created specifically with beauty guests in mind, the niche fragrance brand includes four collections inspired by different personalities: Confident and Charming, Good and Grounded, Vibrant and Playful and Cool and Collected. Each collection then includes four unique scents that come in perfume, body sprays and rollerballs, so there’s truly something for everyone.

“Beauty at Target is all about the joy of discovering products that work best for you, and we want to ensure this philosophy rings true in fragrances,” said Christina Hennington, senior vice president of Beauty and Essentials at Target. “That’s why we are reinvigorating our fragrance collection by introducing Good Chemistry, an exclusive brand that is all about inspiring our guests to find unique scents that they love.”

The vegan and paraben-free scents are made with essential oils and will be available in all Target stores starting Jan. 21. To help guests find their best scent, they can test out the different fragrances in store before selecting a favorite.

Also launching on Jan. 21 are eight new fragrances from Pacifica, a fan-favorite specialty beauty brand. 

Marketing: POWER of Building Relationships

It takes a dedicated amount of time and energy to build good, strong, lasting business relationships today. They are such an integral and necessary part of success, but people don’t seem to want to put in the work.

Alert: lasting business relationships just don’t happen and develop without the dedicated, consistent work.

Our business network should be a qualified, selective group of people we count on, tap into and rely on for support, direction and insight. We have to find that balance of being givers and takers. We can’t just give or take, we need both. Far too many people don’t ask for help when they need it and that can be fatal in small business.

Selectivity, consistency and engagement are essential for finding great people and growing relationships with them.

Here are ways to build lasting business relationships in today’s professional world.

1. Be Authentic

This is pretty simple. Be who you are and accept others as they are. It’s easy to create a false persona, especially online, but that is not the way to start a relationship and short lived when we start qualifying people and companies. Find people and companies you feel a natural connection and ease of communication with and things you both have in common. The authenticity of connecting personality, beliefs and point of view can accelerate relationships.

2. Identify Shared Goals and Values

We seek out people in life we like, share similar goals and values with. Are they honest, kind, knowledgeable, helpful? How do they treat others? This is about moral character. Do we respect them? I have sadly seen too many people present themselves one way only to take advantage of people, once they have their trust. We may not always share the same point of view with everyone, but the shared values are a must.

3. Develop Mutual Respect

I find this takes time, unless someone is referred to you by a trusted connection. We prove ourselves over time and through different activities and experiences. Join a chamber, professional group, or online community which are all great environments to develop relationships. Be patient, selective and watch people in action. Building mutual respect is an essential for growing relationships.

4. Share Some Vulnerability

We are human and sometimes that means sharing and supporting people through difficulty, challenge and change. Showing our vulnerability is part of our authenticity. One word of caution: this is best shared with a select few rather than more publicly. Use good judgment here.

5. “I’ve Got Your Back”

Let people know that you have their back as a way of showing loyalty to them. I have been at way too many events where gossip and unnecessary conversations go down among people that simple shouldn’t be doing that. As tricky as this can be, I have selectively addressed certain people directly and respectfully asked them to reconsider those conversations and choose not to continue interacting with them.

6. Make Meaningful Connections for People to Network with Each Other

The greatest compliment in business is a referral. We should be thoughtful, have the right motives and be connecting people for the right reasons. Not all referrals work out. It takes two to make it happen and work, so don’t be doing all the work.

7. Get More Personal

If you really want to get to know people, ask them to go for coffee so that you can talk more personally, one on one. Be willing to share experiences, ideas, points of view and simply learn more about each other’s story, family and professional history.

8. Plan Something Fun to Do Together

All work and no play makes us dull! Be willing to go out and do something fun together that may not have anything to do with work. Music, art, entertainment, meet ups and community events are all fun things to do to see different sides of people. Not to mention some random and memorable conversations and laughs that can come out of it.

9. Let Go of Expectations

Always go into relationships with an open mind, realistic expectations and never assume. People are only who we think they are based on what our interactions have been with them. One of the best pieces of advice I got from a client was: accept the way people are not as you want them to be. If we have preconceived expectations of people, then we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.

10. Schedule Brainstorming Time

Block out dedicated time to brainstorm, engage and do business together. Best to set a regular time, a time limit and an agenda for what you want to accomplish in it. Leave some time unexpected discussion.

11. Offer Something Before Asking for Something

In 2010, Trendwatching.com came out with a trend brief that highlighted “serving is the new selling”. They put a name on what we were already knew was the trend shift in sales and marketing and now it is the norm in business, social media and content marketing.

When we educate, help and inspire others with our experience and expertise, we are building the foundation for trust that underlies relationships that endure. When we blog, create content, speak, do a workshop, webinar, write an e-book, go to events, we are serving and helping.

When we get more serious and engaged on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media where community gathers and exchanges ideas, we are serving and helping . Serving and helping builds trust like nothing else.

Trust is the one ingredient that builds strong, long lasting business relationships.

If you put in the time and work, you will be rewarded.

Events: Amin & Co. Chats with Francis Kurkdjian

Look for the FULL interview in DFW Beauty Guide (www.dfwbeautyguide.com), later this month. If you haven't read my "Meet the Expert" interview with Francis from last summer, click HERE.

Beauty: Rose Oil


Rose oil is a known body treat from the country of Bulgaria. The oil is a popular choice for aromatherapy with its rich scent. Recently, rose oil is making a lot of noise in the beauty world. The oil proves to contain rich hair care and skin care nutrients. Today, the market for skin care is continuously growing. More and more brands are introducing their own versions of the precious rose oil.

Healthy Hair Lifestyle is everyone’s reliable guide to total hair care. The site gives the people an idea of how some of the newest hair care products work. Consumers and beauty junkies will find helpful information about the latest hair care and skin care products like essential oils.

Essential oils in cosmetics

The rise of essential oils in the beauty market comes shortly after serums made a mark in sales. These serums prove to be highly effective and they provide faster results. Beauty brands started doing the same treatments with the precious essential oils. Now the market offers beauty oils that are advanced when it comes to treatment quality. One highly popular brand that shows a promising start in the essential oils market is the brand called Shiny Leaf. The brand released its first line of products which are the castor oil, rose absolute oil, and pomegranate seed oil. These oils are highly popular, especially to the beauty enthusiasts.

The popularity of these oils brings more way for counterfeit products. Knockoff products swarm the market together with the best oils you’re you can get. This is exactly where pages like Healthy Hair Lifestyle are highly important in choosing the right products. Studies have found that counterfeit products consist of chemicals that are extremely harsh for the skin. There are also findings that some of these products contain wastes and other unhygienic components.

The hype for rose oil

One of the most popular oils that came out along with the rise of essential oils is the well-known essence of rose oil. This oil contains rich chemicals that are great not just for calming the senses. Studies found that rose oil contains rich hair care and skin care properties.

Using rose oil for the hair can help keep and soothe the hair and skin’s dryness. The oil contains rich moisturizing properties that are needed to by the skin and hair regularly. For more skin and hair care benefits of the rose, look for more guides and tips at Healthy Hair Lifestyle https://www.healthyhairlifestyles.com/

Events: Mary Kay, DEC Partner for Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit


Mary Kay announced Tuesday it will host its inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit Jan. 27 at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas.

“For 53 years Mary Kay has been empowering, mentoring and promoting women entrepreneurs. Our founder, Mary Kay Ash herself was one of the greatest business minds of all time and millions of women around the world have built successful businesses by following her proven leadership and sales techniques,” Mary Kay’s Chief Marketing Officer Sheryl Adkins-Green said in a media release. “No one person or company has more experience with women’s entrepreneurship than Mary Kay. We believe that the Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit will help inspire current and future female entrepreneurs.”

“We can think of no better partner than Dallas’ own Mary Kay to provide effective tools and resources for the next generation of women innovators.”

Mary Kay is partnering with The DEC (Dallas Entrepreneur Center) to bring together experts and thought leaders for the summit that will focus on women business owners. 

“We have seen a great increase in women entrepreneurs starting businesses in North Texas in recent years, and we believe programs like this Summit are invaluable in helping these companies grow,” co-founder and CEO of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center Trey Bowles said. “We can think of no better partner than Dallas’ own Mary Kay to provide effective tools and resources for the next generation of women innovators. We hope to bring some of the success-proven mindsets, processes, and practices to the women that attend this inaugural Mary Kay Women’s Summit.”

Businesses will get a chance to pitch their ideas in the first-ever “Pink Tank” for a chance to receive seed funding from The DEC. Judges will include Adkins-Green; Abe Minkara, director of business development for Mark Cuban Cos., and fashion designer and CEO Abi Ferrin. If you want to apply to pitch your business, visit this link

Gloria Mayfield Banks, internationally renowned motivational speaker and No. 1 U.S.-ranked Mary Kay Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director, will be the featured keynote speaker. There will be breakout sessions throughout the day, as well as opportunities for networking and mentorships. 

Sessions will include:

  • Why Women Make Great Entrepreneurs — featuring Amber Venz Box of RewardStyle and Valerie Freeman of Imprimis Group.
  • 10 Questions You Need To Answer Before You Become An Entrepreneur — featuring Shama Hyder of Marketing Zen and Yasmeen Tadia of Make Your Life Sweeter.
  • How To Build the Best Team For Success — featuring Sheryl Chamberlain of Cap Gemini, Kristi Libby of S.W.C./SoCu, and Jill Scigliano of The DEC.
  • Customer Development: How To Find And Grow Customers — featuring Melissa Youngblood of LCC Management Consulting.
  • Building Your Brand —  featuring Heather Capps of HCK2; Holly Mason of Mason Baronet; and Jessica Nunez of True Point.
  • Fundraising: How To Fund Your Business  Julia Taylor Cheek of Everly; Louise Kee of Golden Seeds; Cynthia Nevels of Integrality, and Cristin Thomas of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business.


Time: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Date: Jan. 27
Place: Fairmont Hotel, 1717 N. Akard in Dallas.
Registration fee:  $100 per person through Jan. 1, includes breakfast, breakout sessions, lunch, keynote speakers, mentorship opportunities, Pink Tank and post-event reception. Starting Jan. 2, the registration fee will be $125 per person and $150 at the door. 

For more information or to register, visit www.marykaywomenssummit.com or info@thedec.co.

Business: Overlooked Fundamentals

Amin & Co. - Dallas Marketing Firm

Running a business is complicated, which means there are some factors or tasks that tend to get overlooked. From basic concepts to more involved processes, members of our small business community have plenty of tips for dealing with those sometimes overlooked business tasks. See the full list of tips below.

Be Sure to Spend Enough Time on Marketing

So how much time should you be spending sharing content or connecting on social media or networking at industry related events? How long should you be spending on marketing in general? It depends. Answer the Small Business Trends poll and see how you stack up against others for amount of time spent marketing your business.

Learn the Difference Between User Experience and Customer Experience

The user experience and customer experience are important considerations for any business. But they’re not the same. And understanding what each is can make a big difference for your business. Caroline Sober-James explains more in this Acumium blog post.

Get Honest Feedback for Your Business Idea

Coming up with a great business idea is, of course, important. But you also need to gather some honest feedback about your ideas if you want them to succeed, as Cate Costa discusses here. Members of the BizSugar community also share thoughts on the post here.

Invest in LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn can be good for more than just keeping in touch with your professional connections. There are plenty of marketing opportunities that the platform presents, as Aaron Agius details in this Search Engine Journal post.

Determine Your Brand’s Social Media Persona

Lots of brands get on social media and just start posting without giving it much thought. But to really make an impact with your social media, you need to determine a persona. This post on the Inkhouse Inklings Blog by Sarah Mitus explains the importance of having a persona for your social media efforts.

Pitch Your Online Content for the Right Audience

Finding your target audience is absolutely essential to any business. And you need to constantly keep that audience in mind when creating and pitching your online content as well. This Two Feet Marketing post by David Lowbridge includes some thoughts on pitching content to your audience. And you can also see discussion about the post over on BizSugar.

Use These Tech Savvy Ways to Tell Your Brand Story

Every brand needs to tell a story. And you can actually use technology to help convey that story to customers and potential customers online. Here, Ivan Widjaya shares some tips about using technology to tell a brand story in this Noobpreneur post.

Improve Your Email Click-Through Rates

When it comes to email marketing, there’s a lot of emphasis put on gaining subscribers. But if you want your email marketing to have any impact, you also need to focus on improving your click-through rates.Here, Neil Patel shares some strategies for improving click-through rates on emails.

Build Customer Trust to Stand Out in a Crowd

There are tons of flashy strategies out there for making your business stand out. But few are as effectively as just building good old fashioned trust with your customers. Sherry Gray of ChamberOfCommerce.comdiscusses more here. And BizSugar members discuss the post here as well.

Use SEO to Get Local Customers to Cling to Your Content

When you think about the importance of SEO, you probably consider how essential it is to online businesses. But local businesses can use SEO and content marketing to reach customers as well. Here, Bhupinder Kaur Chhabra outlines how SEO and content can benefit local businesses in the Blurbpoint blog.


Marketing: Content Marketing Ideas for Health Tech Startups

Dallas Strategic Marketing - Beauty, Spa, Healthcare, Wellness

If you are in charge of the content marketing efforts for a healthcare technology startup, you have lots of challenges and opportunities facing you. Before you start your content marketing efforts, check out these strategies.

Add a Human Touch

One issue that vexes businesses in the healthcare industry is the perception that dollars and data matter more than people. The perfect medium for challenging this perception is content marketing. Create content such as employee bios and your company story. Let people know about your and your staff’s passion for your product and commitment to wellbeing. As you create your overall strategy, be sure your focus remains on showing that you care and providing wellness information rather than pushing sales.

Provide Answers Your Audience Can Understand

Information is important to your audience. Your ability to provide that information in a way that a lay person can understand it, is extremely important. Avoid medical jargon in your content marketing. You may think that using complex terms will increase the perception that you are an expert in your field, but the reality is you will just confuse people and drive them away.

Give a Gift

This strategy is not unique to healthtech. However, the gifts you choose to give should be. For example, if a consumer provides you with their email information to subscribe to your monthly newsletter, you could include access to a free trial of your product. If another customer submits information to receive a free quote, you could provide them access to a free eBook with wellness tips and healthy recipes. Giveaways are a great way to thank your customers when they complete micro conversions. Keeping the giveaways focused on healthcare related products helps to cement your branding.

Lebron Meng, founder at Check Pregnancy says this about using gifts in healthcare, content marketing:  

“People associate so many negative things with the healthcare industry. In fact, if you bring up words such as doctor’s appointments or medical treatment, and people associate that with bills and financial hardship. Even a lot of wellness outreach efforts are seen as guilt inducing. In the midst of all of this, a simple gift is really meaningful.”

Share Customer Stories Not Testimonial

For some industries, testimonials are a great thing. The basic formula of a testimonial is this. Description of problem + description of negative impact of problem + description of how product X solved problem + description of positive results due to solving problem = testimonial. That’s not enough for the healthtech industry. Instead, encourage customers to share their stories, just like you encourage your staff to share theirs. For example, a testimonial might look like this:

I’ve been struggling to make it to doctor’s appointments due to my work schedule. I’ve even had to skip over important well visits with my doctor. Thankfully, the 24-hour clinic that is now available at my local pharmacist can see me at any time. I can even download their app to access my health records 24/7. My health needs will never get put on the backburner again.

In contrast, here’s how a story will look:

Two months ago, I had an important appointment with my doctor. Then, my boss told me I had to work mandatory overtime. I couldn’t say no. So, I called to reschedule my appointment, and I was told it would be six months before I could be seen again. I was devastated. I’d been dealing with painful symptoms for months and had no answers. Now, I was put off for another six months. Why wasn’t there a healthcare option available for people like me, where access was a priority? Thankfully, a friend told me about a new health center that was open 24 hours per day. I can even use their app to access my records and submit questions to the nursing staff.

Put Your Spin on Healthcare News

Think of all of the healthcare stories that have hit the news over the past year. The Zika virus, Martin Shkreli, The Affordable Care Act, and the recent Aetna crisis are just three examples of major news breaking stories. When these stories break, people often don’t know what to think. This is why your input is so important. Keep track of trending healthcare news. Then, take the role of a thought leader and give your expert opinion and perspective.

Beauty: Orly Breathable Nails

Orly Breathable Nail Polish - Halal Beauty - Muslim Beauty - Dallas Beauty Marketing

Los Angeles-based ORLY debuted its new ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color, an all-in-one, long-lasting formula that allows your nails to breathe without needing to go totally bare.

ORLY's technology resembles that of a contact lens, allowing oxygen and hydration to pass through. Their halal-compliant, healing polish includes a blend of argan oil, vitamin B5, and vitamin C, and it eliminates the need for a basecoat and a topcoat thanks to shine additives and adhesion promoters. Just apply two coats, and you're good to go!

In a survey of 500 women, 99% saw a noticeable difference in the overall health and appearance of their nails (compared to traditional polish), and felt their nails were stronger or healthier after using Breathable for a week. They also reported less chipping and peeling, and faster nail growth.

ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color is available in 15 shades (plus a clear Treatment + Shine) starting today at ULTAORLYbeauty.com, JCPenney, and salons around the country.

This launch comes at a time when halal beauty is making serious waves across the beauty industry. Islam states that in order to pray properly, followers must wash every part of their body, which includes nails. 

For many Muslim women, wearing nail polish becomes a daunting task, with having to remove it each time before each daily prayer (5).

This new technology could change EVERYTHING.

Beauty: Organic Personal Care Market Expected To Reach $16 Billion by 2020

Global trends in the organic personal care market is growing, where the market is expected to reach $15.98 billion by 2020, according to a new report by Grand View Research. An increasing amount of consumers are opting for organic and natural hair care, skin care and cosmetic products, which is anticipated to grow throughout the projected time period.

Retailers all over the country are expanding their personal care items to include more organic and natural products to meet the growing demands of consumers. Consumer perceptions are changing to embrace environmentally sustainable and natural products that can deliver results without the use of chemicals or toxins. Along with the market expansion, more approvals for human health and safety regulatory bodies like the USDA and the FDA will also see a correlating rise in certified personal care products.

The projected increase in market worth comes as no surprise as natural and organic products provide consumers with anti-oxidation properties and improved skin immunity advantages compared to chemically-formulated products. On top of that, there's an increase in awareness of the harmful effects that are associated with chemical substances found in traditional personal care products, which is fueling the demand of natural and organic alternatives.

Roger Gore, founder and owner of G Natural Products, a national brand of natural personal care products, can attest to the benefits and changing dynamic of the growing organic market. First and foremost, chemically-formulated products are a recipe for allergic reactions and skin/scalp irritation. With the use of natural and organic products, the consumer gets peace of mind and a safer-to-use product. Second, chemically-treated products might give the individual a temporary result now, but it damages the health of the hair in the long run. On the other hand, natural products will not only give them the results they want, but it will also make the hair and skin much healthier.

"One of the biggest issues people have is adding moisture to their hair and the chemically-treated products just can't deliver the desired results today's consumers are looking for," said Gore. "Natural, organic products made from key ingredients like aloe vera extract, grapeseed oil, milk thistle extract and other naturally found oils can nourish the scalp, hair and skin to promote all-day moisture and shine."

To meet the needs of customers who are looking for natural hair care, Gore developed the L.O.C. moisture product system that's available nationwide in stores like CVS, Target, Wegmans and online. Since the global market for natural hair care products is booming, G Natural is expanding into the European and African markets within the next 12 to 24 months.

Key benefits of the L.O.C. moisture system:

  • L.O.C. represents (L) liquid, (O) oil and (C) crème which is a comprehensive system that focuses on adding moisture to hair to transition away from chemically-treated hair to 100% natural.
  • It includes Oh So Clean Shampoo, Conditioner, All Day Leave In Condition, Hair Grow Oil and more.
  • The L.O.C. moisture system is a part of the entire line of natural hair and skin products that G Natural offers and aims to give consumers an economical and healthy alternative to go natural.

Business: Multiple Ways to Repurpose Content

Image Credit:  Syed Yaqeen

Image Credit: Syed Yaqeen

  1. Create a blog post. Make a bulleted list of the teleseminar highlights and post it as an article on your blog. You could even offer it as a guest post on an industry blog.

  2. Turn it into a short eBook or whitepaper. Get the audio transcribed, put a nice cover on it, and now you have a digital product to sell or giveaway.

  3. Podcast. Take the teleseminar recording and upload it to a place like SoundCloud or iTunes. You can take those links and embed them into your blog for an audio post. This example assumes you’re starting with an mp3. If you’re going to repurpose a blog post into audio, Audacity works very well. I’ve used it to record and edit all of my podcasts.

  4. Audio training. Turn the teleseminar into a digital product that’s for sale on a platform like Gumroad.

  5. Create a video presentation. Services like Tunes to Tube take your mp3 and an image, turn it into a video and then upload it to your YouTube channel for you.

  6. Make a talking head video. Take some of the best nuggets from the teleseminar, turn on your phone’s camera and talk about them. Most phones have simple video editing software and one-click social media sharing.

  7. Create a deep dive teleseminar. Say you created a teleseminar about your 5-step process for organizing closets. Step 1 was purge what you don’t need. You can create an entirely new seminar that goes in depth around that step. For example, you could talk about why it’s important to get rid of old items, how to decide what to toss, where to donate items that are still in good condition, etc.

  8. Make a presentation. Create slides using PowerPoint and then share it via SlideShare.net.

  9. Develop an infographic. Use a site like Visual.ly to make an infographic with highlights from your seminar.

  10. Schedule a webinar. For those who are more visual learners, present the teleseminar information with slides in the background this time.

  11. Newsletter. Highlight the best tips from the teleseminar and share them with your mailing list.

  12. Physical CD for sale. Use an online CD maker to upload your teleseminar and make it a physical CD. This product can now be sold when you attend events or mailed to potential clients. If you’ve done multiple teleseminars, upload each track, add a transcript and sell it as a home study class.

Marketing: 'Magic' Beauty BUZZ Word

Beauty fans world over will agree that when it comes to our favourite products seeing is believing. We’re wowed by before and afters on Instagram, are clued up on clinical studies and will take recommendations from our most trusted girlfriends before parting with our hard-earned cash. The latest beauty trend, however, is turning all that on its head. ‘Magic’ has become beauty’s new buzzword and has little to do with statistics or even science. Instead, it’s something that chooses faith over facts by repackaging the cues of mysticism. Is it a much needed extension of the wellness trend that makes us feel special by transporting us away from an overbearing digital existence or, is all just a bunch of hocus pocus?

“Magic is fun and makes you smile,” explains Julie Bell, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing at Benefit Cosmetics. Their latest and largest brow collection launches this week and includes packaging that’s peppered with images of a magician’s assistant and playful taglines such as ‘the wave of a micro-wand’ and ‘fuller looking brows magically appear’. "For us brows transform your face more than any other feature” continues Bell. “When we were working on the positioning of our new brow collection we thought long and hard about what is the most transformative thing and the answer “magically” appeared. Magic! It’s the most transformative and powerful way to transform yourself and at Benefit we believe that laughter is the best cosmetic and what’s more fun than magic?"

Image Credit: Charlotte Tilbury

Image Credit: Charlotte Tilbury

Benefit aren’t alone in conjuring up links between their cosmetics and magic. Amanda Bell, Makeup Artist for Pixi Beauty, reveals its part of the brand’s DNA. "The founder of Pixi is from Sweden where there is much joy derived from passing down from generation to generation stories about fairies, trolls, pixies and of course magic." Elsewhere and makeup sorceress Charlotte Tilbury launched her beauty line with leading products such as the Magic Cream and Magic Foundation, recently followed up by her Magic Eye Cream and Magic Night RescueHonest Beauty's Magic Balm owned by Jessica Alba is a US best-seller while Korean Spa's Magic Peeling Mitt and Starskin’s Magic Hour Foot Masks have been hailed as the new cult classics in the UK.

Big brands are in the act on too. “L'Oreal Paris loves the word magic or ‘magique’ and has attached it to everything from Revitalift Magic Blur to the entire Nude Magique range” explains BeautyMart founder Anna-Marie Solowij. She also believes the presence and use of magic within beauty isn't a new thing, instead it was a comeback of an old favourite jumpstarted the trend. “The first was Egyptian Magic, a heavy duty moisturiser made of beeswax, olive oil, honey and propolis. This 20 year-old sleeper, mainly popular with makeup artists, came back on the radar a couple of years ago, having been rediscovered by a new generation of bloggers and the smart buying team at Liberty who put it back on the map”.

The popularity of magical products may also be linked to our age. “This generation's interest and excitement about magic grew up with Harry Potter and Manga. They love unicorns, believe in crystals, the supernatural, meditation and other esoteric stuff such as Tarot and astrology” continues Solowij’. On a deeper level, it also appears to be form of escapism. “We’re living during a time that is unnerving – the recent economic crisis, global warming, terrorism, the refugee crisis. To many, the world seems spinning out of their control. Millenials see the world moving in a direction that is frightening and the idea of magic provides an escape”, explains Beauty Psychologist Dr Vivian Diller. The sense of childlike wonder that the idea of magic conveys also takes beauty fans to a world that is less knowing and cynical. In an overwhelming digital world where we constantly reinforce everything with imagery, that is a very appealing idea.

However, there is caution to be had with beauty’s new fairytale. “Promises of magic can lead a consumer to desire a product, but only real results will make consumers feel good and special in the long run. Broken promises actually make women feel duped, so brands have to be careful about making ones they can’t keep,” warns Diller. You have to wonder, why brands aren't allowed to claim a cream will reduce their wrinkles without evidence yet there are no rules when it comes to magic. Soweji feels a more light-hearted approached is best. “Magic is a belief, rather than a claim and adds an element of imagination for the consumer”. Only time will tell whether we’ll get bored of beauty’s new tricks. As for right now, with all its promises of magic and mysticism, the beauty world has us completely spellbound.