February 2nd, 2012
by Kelly Kohen
I virtually met Jess over two years ago, when she contacted Web Marketing Therapy to discuss some changes she wanted to make to her website. I was so inspired by all of the things that Jess was involved in that I immediately hung up the phone and called Lorrie and said, “We need to work with her!” Two years later, and I still feel inspired by Jess each time I see a Facebook post or Twitter update!
I have been wanting to interview Jess for a LONG time, and the stars finally aligned to allow the tiniest break in her very busy schedule, so I got the chance to hear from Jess about how SHE became a Wild Web Woman as well as learn more about what drives her passion to “Create a Confident World Together” and how she creates such a wonderful online community. Read on to be inspired, to laugh and to learn! There is a reason that Forbes.com named Jess one of the top 14 Power Women to follow on Twitter – she has a LOT to say!
1. Why did you choose your current career and how did you get started?
I don’t know if I chose this career or if this career chose me? I started my first business at the age of 21 and I’ve been an entrepreneur for 17 years. I wanted to find a way to turn my passion into a profitable business model and have been able to do so – running a boutique consulting firm specializing in media strategy, authentic brand management, and utilizing my skills as a speaker, author and confidence expert.
2. What is your favorite tech-y word? (i.e. “tweet”, “Facebook poke”…etc.)
I love Tumblr – because of the horrible grammar involved – w/ tech talk we become masters of short cuts but I can hear all of my English teachers from school groan collectively when we leave out the “e” on Tumblr.
3. As far as utilizing social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to communicate your business to your clients, what are some of the challenges and what are some of the benefits to your business?
A challenge is that I work with and sometimes represent large brands and businesses where my ability to be as candid or spontaneous in social media isn’t always an option due to corporate policy. But within my personal brand I find using social media tools gives my fans and clients such an instant access to what inspires me, informs me, and moves me in the world. It’s and efficient, concise and authentic way to connect and since those words define the DNA of my business – it’s great.
4. Out of all the social media tools on the web you use, which one (if any) are you most “addicted” to just for fun?
Hands down: Facebook. I can lose hours of my life looking at your cute baby photos, your parent’s anniversary pictures, or reading crazy rants by my very outspoken friends!
5. What are some of the valuable mistakes you have made in the past regarding online marketing and what have you learned from these past setbacks?
What I’ve learned in online marketing is that not everything is one size fits all. Even though something may be a great trend it doesn’t make it great for my business. So I try to be unafraid to take my time and find the best tools that work for my unique brand of work. Also, I’ve learned that everything – especially our websites are pretty much always in beta mode – so I am working on being more flexible creatively and within my own strategy online.
6. Looking at your history of great professional achievements, what are some of your proudest accomplishments? Reflecting upon these, what skill or personal factor do you believe helped you the most in achieving this accomplishment? (i.e. What motivates you to your success?)
My motivation is simple: I’ve wanted to entertain, inspire, and assist people as they grow personally. I’ve chosen the path to get me there by creating a platform that sits at the intersection of PR, Marketing, and Corporate Social Responsibility. I work directly within the media because it’s the greatest platform available to reach my audience of women and girls. The reason behind my success is also simple: My family, friends, and mentors. Without the strong foundation of a family who said, “YES” to my dreams and the everyday support of friends who are there to pick me up when I fall – I wouldn’t have been able to do this work. And mentors have literally opened doors for me in business that have made me lots of money and created my next level of success. I’m eternally grateful to this amazing group of cheerleaders.
7. Do you have a personal mantra that you would like to share with other Web Marketing Therapy readers?
My new favorite quote – and one that I have written on the dry erase board in my office is my new mantra for 2012: “Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.” I use this to remember who I am when I’m making deals, cultivating my dreams, and reviewing offers for work. I choose now to create and participate in work that makes me feel alive!
8. If you were shipwrecked on an island and had to run your business from there, what three web tools would you bring with you to use?
I’d really bring 2: Facebook and LinkedIn. You can find anything and anyone between those two. And the third tool I’d bring is a stack of legal notebooks. I still do my best creating longhand (take that technology!)
Join us on Monday to hear more about what motivates Jess and how she has utilized social media to inspire women and girls all over the country !