Smart Woman Online: Kim Kipfer
Jane Blogs On

Jane Tells a Story or Two

There are a number of transformations going on at Dickless Marketing and Windsor Media Enterprises these days. Jane (aka: Yvonne DiVita) is juggling a full plate, and hoping not to drop anything! While the work is taxing, it's also a lot of fun. The bridges we are building will help us make the trek to greater business success, a place we sincerely hope all of our readers achieve, also. If you read Lip-sticking merely for the chatty way we write our news, we hope our baby steps towards a national presence serve to inspire you, as well as entertain you. Today, we would like to share two stories.

One revolves around the business meetings we've been attending of late. Any good marketer will tell you that networking is a must-do, and that it doesn't mean bobbling into a large group of professionals, exchanging business cards, then swishing out the door. In fact, one of our friends in the blogosphere, Michele Miller, wrote a nice story about networking at her blog, Wonderbranding, just this week. Her advice rings true, and yet, Jane enjoys the local networking groups in her area because they aren't like most networking groups.

In our area, the networking Jane participates in is full of camaraderie, support, and fun. We think it's because most of Jane's networking involves groups of women...doing the kind of thing Michele was talking about in her blog post-- building relationships.

This week, Jane met some exciting new women business owners, women she is signing up for Thursday interviews! In one particular meeting, NAWBO members and guests (National Association for Women Business Owners), gathered to learn more about each other by telling stories. Each woman was invited to share a particular story from either her childhood or something about her recent business development, with the rest of the group. Jane cannot relate all the stories here -- but some of them brought tears to our eyes! In this small, about 30, group of women, there were numerous women who overcame obstacles that would cripple most others; one woman was widowed at the age of 34, left with 3 young children to raise, and no way to support them. She prevailed and is a successful business planner today. Another woman is the owner of a packaging company, and decidedly male dominated area, but she thrives in it and it shows on her smiling face! Several attendees were there to 'feel things out'. They are giving entrepreneurship the eye, and they came to see what those of us who have been entrepreneurs for some time now had to say about it. All of the women were eager to tell stories, listen to stories, and take home memories of real people, not just small cardboard representations of those people.

And the food was really good, too!

Another story that involves networking, of a sort, comes from a local business plan contest Jane is participating in. Our incubator, High Technology of Rochester, is helping some local folks work on their business plans to make them more effective, in order to present them to investors, and perhaps win $25000 seed money. Our first workshop was this past Wednesday night. The discussion was on understanding your market, reaching your customers, and building a strong executive summary. Throughout the two hour workshop, the facilitators told stories. Jane was impressed with the focus on stories and story-telling as a way to get to know one's customers better, more intimately.

Jane had her book, Dickless Marketing: Smart Marketing to Women Online displayed on the table and it generated some stories of its own (generally it gets oohs and ahhs and laughter from women; the men either smile in amusement or glare at us). In fact, it attracted the attention of one of the speakers, who invited Jane to speak on marketing to women online to his marketing class at a local university. Two other participants asked where they could buy Jane's book. It was a very successful evening for Jane. Because she has learned that sometimes, instead of tooting your own horn by giving a 60-second elevator speech, it pays to merely have a piece of your business with you, openly displayed, ready for comment, while you focus on letting the people around you tell their stories.Storytelling2

Before we sign off today, we would like to let our readers know that our recent accomplishments (winning the "Up and Coming Businesswoman of the Year" award from the Rochester Women's Network, and our being a finalist in the Stevie Awards) generated attention from Entrepreneur. On Friday afternoon, we were interviewed by Lee Mirabel on her radio show at WSradio, on the topic of blogging. Visit this link to hear the whole interview. We had such a good time!

What's not to like about that?


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