brand building

The Dating Game: Brands & Bloggers

I have been a personal blogger for a few years now, almost 10 actually.   I have seen a LOT of changes in the blogging world, the platforms, the popularity and the allure to marketers have been but a few.  That last one has been the biggest one.  For me it was a gradual evolution from blogging for me to being on the brand radar and becoming a ‘review’ type blogger.  Nowadays that seems to be it…you start a blog and BAM you are on a list and getting emails from PR agencies and brands.

The 2014 list of Top Mom Bloggers will notice that the spotlight is on them right away.  Not only are they connected to a well-connected site but being on that list has proven that they have a following on and off their social media channels.

Numbers are it…..if you have them….you are important to online marketers.    You ARE your Twitter following.  What is a more perfect person to invite to your event than someone who can tweet it out to 5,6, 7 thousand and more followers?  Far more reach than your average journalist.  Hence why bloggers-no matter their niche-get invites to almost every sort of event that you can think of.  You will see more ‘mom’ bloggers at a red carpet movie premiere than you will film bloggers or traditional media now.

I have myself enjoyed the opportunities (and stuff) I have received thanks to my modest little site.   I have truly grateful for the experiences my blog has allowed myself and my family.  It truly has been a boon to us.  Hence the growing drive for everyone to have a blog….they all want ‘free stuff.’  But really…it isn’t free.  Our time and influence are valuable and it is an ongoing discussion on the myriad blogger forums and sites about our dollar value should be depending on our stats and reach and just how much that brand wants that reach.

However,   it is a two way street and I think that point is being a bit lost in the shuffle.

I have spoken about blogger etiquette and manners when it comes working with brands and with each other.   Sometimes we tend to believe our own hype a little too much. Or we buy a bit too much into the flattery when being approached by a brand or agency. I think sometimes perspective is lost on just where the blogger fits into the marketing machine.    Bloggers and especially the world I am most closely related to, the world of “mommy” bloggers sometimes get a bad rap for being greedy and not living up their ‘importance’ in the world of influence.       The gossip flies on the interwebz.

If anyone has heard me speak or read any of my other ‘rants’ about blogging is that in order to maintain its status as useful tool for brands and marketers, a bit of class and professionalism needs to be adhered to.

As a blogger, I have developed some great relationships with various PR professionals and agencies and am truly grateful for the time and effort that they have put into getting to know my blog, my life and my readership.   As those relationships have grown they have been bolder about asking for ‘more’ or at least being more specific about their needs for the project.  In return I tend to get rewarded with projects that are more than just showing up at something or writing a product review.  Their effort provides me much more meaningful content.

But this shouldn’t be a slow dating process.   Agencies and brands should be able to ask for what they perceive is fair value for their efforts too.   Agencies and marketers tend to keep things fairly simple for brands who are unfamiliar with blogging and online media and just want numbers and stats.   But I think a bit of education should be part of the ‘sell’ for why it is worth the extra effort of finding the right bloggers for the right project and the definition of RIGHT should go beyond mere social media channel numbers.B Bloggers also need to learn to say no…no matter how sweet the offer…if it doesn’t truly fit their own brand or niche.

Through my network and great group of bloggers I have met online and real life, I am hoping to create a database of bloggers that are willing to that extra mile for the agencies and brands that are keen on blogger outreach.   I also want those agencies and brand that know me or are interested in getting to know me to talk to me about what they want from a campaign BEYOND mere numbers.  Let’s drill down the demographics and the TYPE of reach you want when it comes to bloggers.

Think of your dream blogger.  What sort of outreach would that blogger do for you or that campaign?  What sort of marketing message are you wanting? What sort of voice do you want that blog to have?  Does that blogger represent YOU as an agency or more important…does that blogger as a person….a marketer…represent your brand the best way you can imagine?   Do you want a blogger who represents the brand or just the experience or ‘free stuff’ they are so thrilled to receive?   Are you getting what you bargained for?

I think I can help shape the future relations between agencies and bloggers.  If you want to chat more about these ideas, do contact me, I would love to chat about the future of blogger and brand relationships.

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Shaking Hands by bajita111122

Let’s Build LONG Term Relationships Between Brands & Bloggers

Shaking Hands by bajita111122

It was great to read about Marc Smith’sSpeed Dating for Bloggers & PR’ event, although I wish I had been a part of it as this is an area that I am very vocal and passionate about.   This response to the experience from Rachel Thexton a PR professional who attended the event, points out a key issue that is not being discussed when it comes to the “using” bloggers.

Bloggers have been gold for PR because of inviting journalists whose reach only goes as far as the readership of their paper or magazine, or viewers on their show the next day or set publication date…a blogger will happily report the event live to their usually THOUSANDS of avid Twitter followers.   Bloggers, mostly being ordinary folks tend to enjoy being invited to things and are also therefore fairly easy to impress.

However going beyond events, and live reporting, one of the biggest issues between brands and bloggers these days is compensation for their promotional work.  Bloggers are looking at receiving more than ‘free stuff’ for not only their time and writing efforts but for the influence that they were contacted for in the first place.

Rachel is quick to point out that PR is not about paid reach and that they are still apparently uncomfortable in broaching this subject.  Why?  Bloggers are a new media, many brands and businesses don’t really understand the why’s and hows’ of bloggers apart from what they are told or read and many just feel that they should be working with them but not really ‘getting it’ and if PR professionals and agencies are uncomfortable about explaining  the why of  budgets for paying bloggers, then perhaps again, we should be looking at how to change that.    Or perhaps PR should not be the first contact between bloggers and brands in the first place?

Digital marketing and blogger outreach is continually hobbled by comparisons to ‘old’ media and traditional public relations outreach.   This has to change.  I was reading about bloggers being paid for publicity efforts in the form of Visa gift cards.   Would a journalist accept this as ‘PAYMENT??’ No.  They would not. If content marketing and digital publicity is so crucial to brands and the agencies they hire to reach out, fair compensation has to be dealt with.

I was glad to see Rachel the importance of taking the time to focus on the right blogger for the right project.    Right now because of the lure of those big social media numbers and wide reach, I feel the quantity over quality model is being used far too much and in my opinion not pushing the huge potential that digital and blogger relationships could really do for brands.  Brands, PR and Marketing professionals need to think outside the box a bit more than what we are seeing.   Marc himself is a great example of going beyond the ‘norm.’   But it would be nice if it wasn’t always the bloggers teaching the ‘professionals’…the ones who actually get PAID for this stuff, to push it out creatively when it comes to digital marketing.

I say get beyond the numbers and the analytics.   Find and build relationships with bloggers that truly fit that brands demographic and then go that bit further.

Perhaps instead of speed dating, Marc let’s look at some sort of round-table where bloggers and brands can hash out new ideas and concepts for the future that works for all involved.   I have lots of ideas. :)



From Pear Analytics Article

Open Letter to Bloggers and PR Professionals

I love marketing and promotions. I probably should have had a career in Public Relations. I did take a few courses on top of my Communications minor but then got distracted by children and social media exploded and that was even more distracted, so here I am.

Where am I? Oh yes.  I love marketing and I love marketing concepts used in social media.  One of those concepts consist of using bloggers for outreach.  I am a personal or “lifestyle” blogger too and therefore am on a LOT of mailing lists when it comes to the various PR firms out there.   This means I get a variety of pitches…personal and directed at my blog, general blog outreach and say it and spray it press releases.

I find all to be useful even the ‘dear blogger’ one’s AND the say it and spray it releases. Many bloggers don’t and get a little miffed if the release is not directed at them directly.  This, in my opinion is foolish.   The general press releases are just that…..information to you and all the other media that they are trying to  reach.  They are not trying to piss off  bloggers.   They are not trying to lure you into doing free work….it is just that: Information that might be of use to you and your site.  Nothing more and nothing less.   In fact,  I have use these general releases to contact the PR firms and collaborate on a more personal campaign when the event/service/product was a good fit for my site.   PR firms LOVE bloggers who come to them with big ideas.

Which leads me to the main point of this post.  As a blogger I am in a lot of groups and forums that consist of brand friendly bloggers.  I am part of the Digitally Yours team where one of our main goals is to create an even playing field for brand/blogger relations.    Brands and bloggers can do amazing outreach together  and there are some amazing PR professionals out there and brands who trust them who have wowed bloggers and there are the outreach campaigns that seem to just piss of the bloggers.

The anger seems to rise mostly when a blogger feels ‘used.’  This feeling comes when they feel they are being asked too much for “free.”  Free is a weird word when it comes to bloggers and blogging as most are happy to have service, events or products as payment.  But many of the top review/brand bloggers only work for dollars and this is where PR and bloggers tend to get into hot water.  But it is still a very fluid word and its definition changes depending on the blogger you talk to.

When I am on blogger forums I seem to spend a lot of time explaining what a PR firm actually is and what they are supposed to do for a brand versus an inhouse marketing team for example.  PR companies work in the “Earned Media” world.  Earned Media is where the customer or blogger becomes the marketing and word of moth channel for the brand.  This includes word of mouth (social media channels), reviews and viral content.     This is why you get a general press release in your inbox.  It is not to piss you off…it is a general announcement going out to their media list.    PR  does not generally pay for promotion.  That would fall under marketing or advertising or “Paid Media.” PR firms would rather create awareness campaigns that a blogger can be a part of….this leads to much more impartial marketing for the brand.   

The biggest thing PR agencies have to remember is that a blogger is not a professional media business or journalist (mostly) and that when approaching a blogger, probably a brief explanation about what YOUR place is in the grand scheme of marketing for the brand is and why you want to work with that blogger.   A lot of the forums I frequent are filled with bloggers trying to decipher what the PR person is trying to get them to do and if they are being ripped off or not.      I think if the PR firms could take a moment to show WHY they value that blogger – for their site or their social media channels and then be happy to negotiate a bit (some $ are nice), then bloggers would be understanding of what part of the great marketing machine that they are now part of.  Conversely I think any blogger that is keen on working with brands for product or monetization needs to take some time and do their research about social media marketing   Find out what a PR firm does and why a brand hires them.   Find out where and why YOU as a blogger might be important to a brand or agency and then create your niche….make yourself a marketable commodity and in demand.

Knowledge is power.

From Pear Analytics Article



Art of Marketing 2014

There is no doubt in my mind that the industry affected the most by the power and popularity of social media has been marketing.  Marketers have had a steep and fast learning curve to get on top of the power of social media to help propel their clients in front of an audience bored with the traditional mediums like television and print.

Facebook just celebrated its 10th anniversary.  Twitter was founded in 2006 and has 200 MILLION active users. In a very short time, there is now no marketing without social media marketing.   Gone are the days of Mad Men.   Marketing and Advertising now faces an extremely aware and savvy audience.   It takes a lot more than glossy pictures and clever tag lines to lure people these days.  Brands are judged harshly, quickly and very publicly for their marketing #failures.  These days it is vital to be up to date and on board with the latest trends and technologies and that is why one day events like the Art of Marketing are crucial to attend.

One day, packed with high caliber speakers who are on top of their game and willing to share with you.   The Vancouver event on March 14th has an amazing list of speakers including probably the most quoted social media and marketing “guru” Seth Godin.

My husband is a marketer too.  We live and breathe the world and I think we have had books in our house from every single speaker at this event.   And books are great, but hearing it from the authors themselves is what get us fired up and ready to take on this fast paced world with more energy and determination to not be left in the dust.

The conference is not just for those ‘in the biz.’  Anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit or launching their first startup needs to know what these experts can share.  John Jantsch is a marketing consultant,  and Duct Tape Marketing and the Referral Engine are fantastic sources for small businesses looking for that extra edge.

I am very excited to be attending the conference this year and hope to come out inspired and ready to do the best for my client’s current and future.   To share the excitement I have special code for you readers to save you up to $100 on your ticket purchase.

When you register, type in the promo code:  TWITTERFAN32. Purchase from 1-3 tickets – save $50 per ticket with code TWITTERFAN32 or purchase 3 or more tickets – save $100 per ticket with code TWITTERFAN32.  What a deal.

The conference is on Wednesday March 19, 2014 at The Centre located at 777 Homer Street.


mSummit: Stay Strong & Create Change

On November 16th all of Meghan Simington’s hard work became a reality with her re-branded and re-imagined MomInc took the stage as the mSummit – the showcase of her ReInventingM site.   The event was a full day down at the lovely Westin Bayshore and the energy from the vendors, keynotes and speakers was amazing.


Sadly I was not able to attend the Mentorship Breakfast with the likes of Jill Earthy and Tamara Taggart and missed most of the morning workshops, but was told that Emily Chow of Chow Communications blew everyone away with her fantastic ideas.   I did arrive in time to sit down to a lovely lunch and what seemed like a truly heartfelt talk from entrepreneur and author, Arlene Dickinson.

I enjoyed Arlene’s talk.  Her honesty was refreshing.  The message at the core of her talk was  really – to go back to a cliché – when life brings you lemons, make lemonade, or to be less polite – what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.   Live in the moment and see opportunity in every situation you find yourself in.

It was the right message for the right crowd.  ReinventingM isn’t about changing US necessarily to fit in, it is about being a change maker.  Being a mom, let alone a working mom or an entrepreneurial mom is all about flexibility and adjusting to situations as they happen.   Our super power is multi-tasking.  We ARE change.  However I think for many of us we saw being a mom as a negative or at least something that held us back in our career goals.

I still wonder whether the term ‘mompreneur’ should have ever been uttered.   I fear that the ‘mom’ in the ‘preneur’ detracts from the business itself and the accomplishment.  Instead of looking at the skills it takes to juggle a family AND a business as ‘marketable,’ I still feel that “man’s world” of business looks down on the mere mention of our reproductive accomplishments.

Hence the need still for women’s focused conferences like mSummit.   It wasn’t like it was exclusionary to men, but the subject matter and focus on how we WANT to do business is crucial into pushing women up to the next level.  I think so anyway. J

As well as helping promote the event, I was honoured to host not one but TWO panels.   The first of the day was a panel on Public Relations today.   I had an amazing line for the panel with Raj Thandi of Pink Chai Media, Andrea Vance of West Coast Family magazine, and MiYoung Lee, host of CBC Late News.  The panel was great because we all agree that thanks to social media and online marketing, PR today is more about community engagement and connecting on a human level with media and vice-versa.   Salina Siu and Tazim Damji do a bang-up job of covering the key points.  Thank you both for the feedback.

With our addictions to social media and the power that online marketing and technology, the trend for PR, marketing and media has been to reach behind that technology and see the human beings who created the business.    The most successful online marketing has been when people have felt comfortable with how that brand interacted online as it reflects how they will treat you in real life.  It is the same for mainstream media.  They want to be connected to the community and YOU  – the business – should be heart of your community, no matter what you do.

I finished up my speaking jobs with a super fun panel about blogging.  Janice Croze of Five Minutes for Mom was in another room speaking about monetization at the same time, which was a shame as you can’t monetize until you actually have a site worth the money.   Our amazing panel that included Dai Manuel, Rebecca Bolwitt, Eschelle Westwood, Monika Hibbs and Melissa Carr were kind enough to share WHY they started blogging and what keeps them going.  Where do they find the passion to keep doing what they do?  It was a lot of fun and a great honor to “moderate” a group of such high caliber bloggers.   They are all great examples of the many many types of blogging styles out there and what makes them successful is that…they are honest and true to themselves and don’t try to copy other formulas or formats.  They all write from the heart and that is what makes your blog successful.  If success means monetization….having a marketable blog is the place to start.

My biggest take away from speaking to people at mSummit was that being confident in yourself and what you are bringing to this world is key to your success.  I was surrounded by lively and passionate women (and men) who are building the lives they want for themselves and their family.  Stick to your convictions.  Believe in yourself.  Don’t give up.


The ROI of Working with Bloggers

As part of the great team of bloggers and social media professionals that the Parent Bloggers Unite is, we have spent a lot of time discussing what makes a good brand/blogger relationship. We discuss blogger reach, blogger etiquette, relationship building and much more. We have had PR professionals come and speak to our group events and discuss what they look for when it comes to working with bloggers.

We are trying to create the outline of what makes the ultimate blogger when it comes to brand partnerships. As we share our ideas within our group and those that attend the networking events, we are building up what is really a code of conduct for bloggers working with brands.

But what about the PR companies and the brands themselves?

I have been a blogger for almost 9 years now. My email is flooded on a daily basis with PR pitches, some are great, some are a good fit and some are meh. With my network of fellow bloggers across Canada and the US I have heard many stories about various experiences with brands that have been good and bad. What I see is the when it comes to bloggers, there are no standards and no true far reaching basis of measuring the value of working with that blogger.

Yes, there are metrics. There are numbers all over the place that you and I can pull up and ‘show’ how well a campaign did. But really…is that what is shows?   After a campaign with a blogger or a group of bloggers, what does the PR company have to show their client.   That their blog posts on that subject had that much traffic.  That the brand was mentioned THIS many times on Facebook or Twitter.     But as a marketing plan…..did working with those bloggers have an effect?    Did awareness turn into sales?

Honestly from a bloggers perspective I am sometimes baffled by what is wanted from the campaign.     The ‘use’ of bloggers stills seems to be a tad hazy.   I would love to hear from brands more about what they are expecting when they think of blogger outreach?

For example.  The uber campaigns that involve hundreds of bloggers doing the same thing…say offering the same giveaway for example.    What is that ROI on that campaign?  Apart from many bloggers talking about your product.  Does that talk turn into something more useful to the brand?    What is the message that it gives for the brand?     Does it create engagement for the brand? NO..not unless the brand IS engaging with people online.   And not all are.     Mostly there seems to be a HUGE disconnect between the PR campaigns and what the brands are doing themselves online.  Hiring a PR company to work with bloggers and then having NO relationship with what the brands own online marketing  plan is a huge problem in my opinion.

Brands and PR companies need to first decide WHAT is successful online branding and then see if that works in their own corporate culture.  You don’t need to copy..but (imo) as a PR company you need to be able to ask the brand the right questions before taking on the projects.

As a blogger I don’t see much evidence of this.   Though Proctor & Gamble Canada do a nice job of connecting their blogger outreach with the rest of their brand building.  There is a tie in .  London Drugs also does a nice job.  Their corporate social media is married to their other efforts.  There is a connection that goes beyond hiring bloggers purely because they can make you ‘shout’ the loudest online.

What are they shouting?  Who is listening?  Who is getting the traffic and Klout from the relationship?  Is not only the

There should be a bit of finesse when it comes brand blogger relationships.  You need to understand more than the numbers before coming up with an outreach plan.   You need to understand what marketing and blogging is together and how that relationship should gel together for sake of the brand.

Brand blogger relationships so be so much more than ‘free stuff’ and a blogger shouting about said free stuff.    It is marketing.  It is community and brand awareness.  It is SALES.roi

If you are a company or a PR representative who is interested in exploring more the ROI of working with bloggers, please contact me and we can set up a time to chat.   I would love to discuss what I have experienced in more detail.



WIBN Conference: Industry Experts Available for Coaching Sessions

Time is counting down. Are you planning on attending WIBN’s Conference & Urban Retreat? I am thrilled to be one of the coaches along with Clare Adams of Bigger Bubbles Marketing on the Monday. We will be covering PR and Social Media for small business and entrepreneurs.  Got a question about using social media for your public relations? Drop by during the break or lunch and ask away.

Monday, October 7, 2013 – Waterfront Ballroom

Throughout the day: Industry Expert Business Coaching throughout the day on Monday. (Breaks & lunch)
During lunch and breaks gain expert knowledge and tips with leading experts in a variety of industries. Build your business contacts and gain powerful new skills with a power coaching session. Whether a seasoned business owner or just starting out, our experts are here to assist! Areas of expertise include: Blogging, Social Media, Copy Writing, SEO, Business Performance Coaching, On Camera Coaching, Starting a Business, Public Relations, career coaching and more!
Industry Experts Include:
Anne Day | Clare Adams | Emily Chow | Jaeny Baik | Jill Earth | Kerry Sauriol | Meghan Simington | Nicole Breit | Cathy Kuzel | Dawn McCooey | Kath Britton
– See more at:


The Art of Marketing Conference: Vancouver

When I was asked if wanted to write for the BC parenting section of the Huffington Post, I was beyond thrilled.   The Huffington Post is probably the most successful online publication that exists today.  Arianna Huffington created a almost perfect business model and attracts A-level contributors from around the world.

I love marketing.  I minored in Communications at SFU many long years ago and loved my first forays into Communications as an admin at a company I would rather not mention.   Since then my love for social media has only added fuel to my fire.  The world – online and off – of brand building has always fascinated me and I love the opportunity to hear from those at the top of their game.   That is what The Art of Marketing Conference is all about.

On September 17th, you can hear Arianna Huffington share her thoughts on ‘New Media’ and its effects on Communications.  She is just ONE of the great speakers at this one day event at the Vancouver Convention Centre.  I am really looking forward to hearing Tom Fishburne of Marketoon Studios talk about Technology as a means to an end and not means itself….which is a bit different from Marshall McLuhan’s ‘the medium IS the message’ theory. (Thank you Communications 101)

Developed to answer the questions currently facing your organization, The Art of Marketing will
provide a clearer understanding of how marketing has changed, what role it now plays in the buying
decision, its impact on your business and ultimately how the consumer views and interacts with your
brand in a crowded marketplace.

If you want to attend this event, I even have a PROMO code for you!  Simply use TWITTERFAN when you register for the event to save yourself $50.   If they purchase 3 or more tickets, they will get an ADDITIONAL $50 off per ticket.

Please share with me if you are attending as I would love to see you there.  The hashtag is #TheArtOf.  Please check it out for more information as the event draws closer.



Image Source: Social Media Wheel With Icons by smarnad

Thinking Beyond the Basics: What SAHMedia and Bigger Bubbles Can Do For You

Over the last few months, Clare Adams of Bigger Bubbles Marketing and I have teamed up to develop what we think are better ways we can pull our areas of expertise for our clients existing and new.    Clare and I both understand online marketing and social media and we both feel that we can use that to make any business grow its brand presence.       One area of online marketing we are both passionate about is working with bloggers.


Clare has worked with many bloggers when creating awareness campaigns.  Especially for her family focused business clients.   I AM a blogger.     Crunchy Carpets is my blog brand and I have been working with brands and PR agencies for quite a long time now.  I have seen what works and what doesn’t, both from a relationship and marketing perspective.  Unfortunately a lot of brands and PR agencies still don’t quite see the full potential of bloggers and so the campaigns out there are getting a bit stale.  So is the pool (IMO) of bloggers who are continuously courted based purely on page view numbers.    I think there  is a LOT more to working with bloggers than purely the numbers.

Here are a few ideas:

1.  Think outside the box.   Let’s get past the Twitter parties, and product reviews.   The blog/brand relationships that have caught my attention are the one’s who went beyond the usual and actually embraced what the blogger was all about and USED that to market their brands.

2. Listen to the bloggers.   As a blogger, I am always flattered when a PR agency ASKS me for input about ideas.  Although, you need to balance this with a rough plan.  A good PR agency will LISTEN to you.  Marc Smith is a fabulous example of both point 1 and 2 when it comes to this.   The brands he works with listened and they developed plans that work for both of them.

3. Don’t forget that Public Relations campaigns are MARKETING too.   PR should be tied into your over arching  marketing plan.   Make sure all departments are communicating.   I have been a bit baffled when I am hired by a PR agency working for a brand that also has it’s own PR/Marketing campaign and neither tie in together.  An example of this has been some of the work I have done with car companies.  As a conscientious blog partner I ask about hashtags that should be used when promoting my work and 9 times out of 10 they don’t have one and MY campaign doesn’t relate to the hashtags being used by the car company. So basically I am working for the PR agency and not the brand.

new cc logo

Clare and I feel we can do the above for you.   We have learned from our own experiences and see what works and what doesn’t work.

We feel that online marketing and PR is based on relationship building.   Developing relationships with your community – your potential customers – is what can make you stand out from your competitors.  Creating a presence that reflects trust and respect and down right neighbourliness is what social media marketing is all about.   Clare and I have worked hard at building communities and we want to take that experience and share it with you.

If you have never worked with bloggers or tapped the online market, do give either of us a call.   We would love to sit down with you and chat.   Let’s get inspired together.



Life Balance Pyramid Having Family Career Health And Friends by Stuart Miles

WiL: Luncheons that Inspire

Life Balance Pyramid Having Family Career Health And Friends by Stuart Miles

Today I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the Women in Leadership’s Vancouver Women in Business Luncheon down at the Fairmont Waterfront.   Events likes these are essential for women who want/need inspiration wherever they are on their career paths.  It was because of organizations like WiL that I could think of even attempting to forge my own business dreams.  I have to admit to feeling a bit smug when there were so many women in attendance who I consider friends or at least colleagues, and they are all amazing.

I may not be terribly far ahead in my business goals, but it isn’t for want of confidence.  My confidence comes from listening to and sharing with women who are further ahead on their career paths.  I have heard much great advice from networking and listening to great speakers like they had today, which included Suzanne Siemens of Lunapads, Rita Rogers, Tracey Orr of TD Financial and Kasondra Cohen.  And today’s topic ‘Best Advice I Ever Got gave the audience much food for thought.

Rita started with some perfect advice for a roomful of women: “Help one another get there instead of stabbing each other in the back.”  (Paraphrased)  I totally agree with her.   I have stated before that women are creating the new economy of the future.  We are reshaping the job world to suit our needs instead of struggling to fit into the old mold.   Networking, sharing, helping, collaborating are how we can all get “there.”

Tracey Orr shared her story from childhood to where she is today.  She showed that when you learn to expect change, compartmentalize crisis, and look forward instead of back, you can adjust to what life throws at you and learn and grow and make the right choices.

Kasondra Cohen takes that even further with her philanthropic ideals.   For her giving other people the chance to create their own futures is crucial.   She took her own experiences and created a foundation to help others who are not so lucky to come from such an illustrious family.  She is building a fabulous career by giving back to her community.

Giving back is at the centre of Suzanne Siemens business ideals.    After building a successful career on paper, suffering terrible health issues, she listened to her body and her heart and teamed up to create Lunapads….one of my most favorite businesses in Vancouver.   Not only are they giving women HERE an alternative when it comes to dealing with our periods, she and Madeleine Shaw created Pads4Girls to support education and employment for girls and women in developing nations.   They also teamed up with Afri-Pads to create similar products for women in Uganda.

Women helping Women.

This is the message I am hearing at every type of business meetup or organization that I have attended.   When I reach out to other women, good things happen for me.   It is far better to look at the women around you as potential partners instead of competitors.   Social Media is all about community building and when I take that theory into my own business world, things happen.   At the least you learn you are not alone in your struggles.  At the most, you move one step closer to your dreams.

Don’t give up and go join and business network.