Miriah Whitehurst

North Iowa Women In Business Series Featuring Miriah Whitehurst

Meet Miriah Whitehurst of All Things Advertising. I met Miriah Whitehurst a few years ago and it’s been fun to watch her business evolve. As with any business owner, Miriah and her business  continue to evolve as she listens to her clients needs. One thing I really love about Miriah is her passion for helping others. She not only wants her clients and their businesses to succeed, she wants them to succeed in everyday life, as well. It’s evident that she is one busy lady and does not let much grass grow under her feet.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS?

All Things Advertising

WHEN DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?

November 2013

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A WOMAN WANTING TO START HER OWN BUSINESS?

There will never be a perfect time to start your business. If you wait for your product or service to be perfect, someone else will.

Miriah can be found working with business owners and employees at different events throughout North Iowa.

Miriah educating others

WHO HAS MENTORED YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS OF BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS?

We have so many great opportunities and people in our community who will support you in growing your business. The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, ActionCOACH Andy O’Brien, Polkadot Powerhouse and the North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club are just a few.

DO YOU BELONG TO ANY BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS, IF SO, WHICH ONES?

I enjoy serving on the board for United to Serve, a nonprofit organization that focuses on building Leadership Education in our area, helps facilitate community involvement while helping to keep North Iowa on the map. I also enjoy volunteering on the Events Committee for the Mason City Chamber of Commerce and attending leadership events, where I was recently on Jeffrey Gitomers Sell or Die Podcast. I am also a founding member of the Polkadot Powerhouse Clear Lake Chapter.

Editorial Calendar

How To Remain True To You and Your Business

I have been in this online space for 10+ years and I’m always curious as to why people do what they do. The easy way out, in my opinion, is to do what everyone else is doing. In the grand scheme of things, who will want to do business with you if you don’t set yourself apart from the masses? You need to be you! Be you and you will go far and make a lot of waves where ever your business takes you.

Sara Tuckaway Shores

Fact: The North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club exists because I saw a need for real-life connections, with folks with an interest in social media. It became such a hit that I even wrote an ebook on How To Start A Social Media Breakfast Club.

FACEBOOK GROUPS

It seems these days that there is a Facebook Group for this and that, and many join every single one that pops up. This is an example of how not to grow your business and how to follow the masses. It’s no secret that Facebook Groups offer fabulous business opportunities, yet we each need to know why we are joining these groups. Remember that Facebook Groups offer a sense of security, and people often forget that these groups are still the world wide web. Understand why you need to be in these groups and make sure you are not in them to follow the masses because someone else is doing this. Tip: Never add people to Facebook Groups without their permission.

KNOW YOUR WORTH

It’s important to know your worth. If you don’t, how would you expect others to know your value? I see a lot of people going online and asking people what they should charge for this and that. In reality, it’s your business, your rates and you are in the driver’s seat. Why would you, the business owner, let others determine your worth? I’m still trying to figure this one out.

FIND YOUR PEOPLE

Now, this does not mean that you join every networking group on the planet because everyone else is joining this and that group. What this means is that you join a group that will support and help you grow as a person, which in turn will help you grow your business. I have found my people through the North Iowa Bloggers, Polka Dot Powerhouse, North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club, Midwest Travel Bloggers and the friends that have welcomed me into the auction world as the social media instructor at World Wide College of Auctioneering. When you find people to connect with in real life, that is where the magic happens.

Sara teaching auction school

The relationships that you form offline are valuable in our ever-connected world today. I’m a firm believer that there is a time and a place to connect online. But, time and time again, I continue to see the best movers and shakers in any industry are the ones that build offline relationships. How are you remaining true to yourself and avoiding the temptation to follow the masses? I’d love to hear how you have tackled this issue.

Jessica Tierney

North Iowa Women In Business Series Featuring Jessica Tierney

I love it when I meet women that are rocking the business world in North Iowa. Jessica Tierney is one of these women that is a mover and shaker. Her passion shows through her love of what she does and I know you will enjoy getting to know her. There is never a dull moment when you are near this entrepreneur that is making a positive difference 365 days of the year, wherever her business takes her.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS?

North Iowa Women’s Self-Defense Initiative

WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?

I spent 13 years working with victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse, which is what first got me interested in self-defense. I have been in the self-defense field for 20 years. I had gotten more into training other self-defense instructors across the country over the past several years and wanted to get back to my roots of working directly with women. I wanted to help them with personal safety and self-defense skills, which is why I founded NIWSDI. Violence against women is a prevalent issue in our society, even here in rural North Iowa, and I am passionate about empowering women.

Jessica Tierney

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A WOMAN WANTING TO START HER OWN BUSINESS?

You’ll probably be spending a fair amount of time and energy in your business, so I think the most important thing is making sure it’s something that you are passionate about, something that excites you and makes you happy. A strong support system is vital, as well; a group that is going to celebrate your successes and give you strength and support during the times it’s not going as well. Surround yourself with strong, positive, supportive women. Organizational skills and good time management are important as well. Your business should be your passion, but that doesn’t mean you want it to take over your entire life.

DO YOU BELONG TO ANY BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS?

I am a member of the Mason City Chamber of Commerce. I am also a member of the Polka Dot Powerhouse, which is a networking group of businesswomen that has given me a ton of support and assistance. It’s an organization that I would definitely encourage every businesswoman to get involved with.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY:

I have been married to my very supportive husband, Jeff Tierney, for 24 years. I have 18-year-old twin sons, Drew and Xander, and a 113 pound dog named Turner.

 

Laptop and Phone Social Media

Reasons Why Your Community Needs To Be Instagram Worthy

My eyes were again opened to the fact that there are many places that are losing out on getting their name out there because they are home to a historical landmark that is not Instagram worthy. I was recently in a large city in the Midwest, traveling with two friends. One lives on the east coast and the other lives on the west coast. Many of you know that I pride myself on what we have to offer here in the midwest, but I will admit it, I was downright embarrassed when I took them to a site that should have been warm and welcoming. Lo and behold, the site was downright dirty and disgusting.

Sticks and Leaves On Sidewalk

 

Here’s the issue at hand. I know that the general argument is, “We are coming out of winter.” My traveling friends from the east and west coast don’t care, they expected to take photos of this historical site, possibly write a story about it and even pitch it to a large magazine or newspaper. Due to the fact that it was so downright ugly and not Instagram worthy, not one story will be written or a photo shared on social media. Living here in the Midwest, we often become immune to how things look around us during the cooler months of the year. This photo that I took captured what the rest of the area looked like. If you live in the Midwest, I’m assuming you are thinking, “So what?” Well, it’s time we start turning the “So what?” into something that is Instagram worthy.

This should be a wake-up call to business owners everywhere. How many times have you lost out on a story, social media shares or positive conversations about your business at your local coffee shop due to the fact that you were not paying attention to how your business appeared? With more than 800 million people using Instagram it makes sense to have used a broom or maybe opened up a gallon of paint.

The irony of this particular place is that someone opened the gates so we could walk through this historical site. The windows that held clothing and other items worth viewing were so dirty that a one minute wipe down of the window would have done wonders. The person that opened the gates, in my opinion, could have used a broom and/or rake in places. Again, I’m sure there’s an excuse.

The point being, if you make excuses for everything that drives business away, in the long run, you will not have a business. So, my challenge to you is to look around. Does your business need a little tlc to make things Instagram worthy? If it’s not Instagram worthy, it’s probably turning business away.

 

 

Julie and Bruce Steinberg

North Iowa Women In Business Series Featuring Julie Steinberg

One of my favorite things to do is share the faces of women in North Iowa that are making a difference. These are the women that are setting goals and going above and beyond. Julie Steinberg of North Iowa Collision Center is no exception. She understands customer service and she knows the value of building relationships.

 

WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS?

North Iowa Collision Center

WHEN DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?

November of 1999 was when we officially opened our doors.

North Iowa Collision Building

WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?

Overall, we enjoy working with people and helping them with their needs. Additionally, we started our business to have a bit more control of our working lives and to try to ensure a job for ourselves rather than working for another employer. We hoped to have a few employees with us on our venture. Looking back, we have accomplished our original goals. Over time we have almost tripled our workspace, over quadrupled our workforce, and far exceeded our highest sales goals. It’s grown into something much more than what we had originally anticipated. For that we are grateful.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A WOMAN WANTING TO START HER OWN BUSINESS?

There was (and still is) a lot of planning, which will be continued through the life of the business venture. We started with an idea and built out what we wanted that to look like from there. Having a good idea of what you want, forming and molding that idea until you are solid on which path you are going to follow is important. Never losing sight of your big goal, but having open eyes to what is sensible for your grand vision along the way is priceless. Building a good, solid reputation. That is done easiest and best, in my opinion, by building relationships. Working with a team that is outside your organization is very important too- your banker, your CPA insurance agent, John Pappajohn Small Business Center, and a business coach. These folks can be instrumental in keeping you on track and helping along the way with sensible decisions.

WHO HAS MENTORED YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS OF BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS?

I would have to say there have been 2 individuals that I would consider my mentors, my husband and business partner, Bruce, and our CPA Tom.

DO YOU BELONG TO ANY BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS, IF SO, WHICH ONES?

Clear LakeMason City Chambers of Commerce, North Iowa Networking, Polka Dot Powerhouse- Clear Lake Chapter, and I do attend social media breakfast as often as possible.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY

Having interests outside of work helps to keep you “fueled” for work. I love to travel, spend time outdoors, photography, reading music and spend time with family.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL US?

Business ownership takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. But it is very rewarding when you get that repeat customer, a customer referred a friend or family member, or a thank you card in the mail, or the best….. a relationship built with another person.

 

Laptop and Phone Social Media

It’s Time To Bring Back The Social In Social Media

Do you remember the day you first hopped on a social media platform? I do and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I signed up for a Twitter account and spent a lot of time watching how to use the platform. I am grateful that I took the time to observe before I jumped in with both feet. I quickly realized that Twitter was a place for conversations and a place to meet new people.

We are now more than 10 years later and it is really disheartening to see how social media has evolved. There are good people in the world, but those trolls seem to be appearing fiercer than ever before. It’s discouraging to see people be so mean and uncaring to each other through social media. It’s also disheartening to see friendships split in half over a post through social media. In the grand scheme of things, I am here to tell you that being mean has never and will never get you very far in life. Use social media for good and life will treat you well.

Social Media Thrivent

So, you may now be asking me, “How do I do that?” Start with the Grandma Rule. If you don’t want your Grandma to see it online, don’t post it. Don’t get caught up in an emotion, your post will catch up with you in a way you did not imagine it would. Common sense goes a long way. Have conversations that matter with people. Listen! I challenge you to listen to what your friends are saying. If you don’t like what your friends are saying, chances are, they are not your friends. It’s time to find new friends that are nice, caring and genuine. Life is too short to fill it with people you don’t like or trust.

Be social on social media. Treat it as though you are having a conversation *gasp*! Yes, I’m saying that you do need to talk to people online. It’s not a place to link drop and treat others in a rude way. I challenge you to have real conversations with your friends and see where social media takes you. If you treat others the way you wish to be treated, social media will be good to you.

Swing by a friend’s Facebook page and say Hi, both of you will be glad you did. If you received awesome service from a business, swing by their Facebook page and give them the five-star rating that they deserve. If you see a Tweet that speaks to you, re-tweet it and share it with your followers. When you fall in love with a Pin on Pinterest, repin it. See how simple it is to be social on social media? I challenge you to step up your social game and see where you find the good in all of this.

 

Blog Buttons

Blogging Into 2018 And Beyond

There’s a lot of talk about how blogging is dead. Here’s my take on this topic. If you believe blogging is dead, it is. If you believe it is not, it is not. Sounds simple, right? Your blog is your online resume and if you don’t look at it this way, it will probably die out at some point.

Many people blog for different reasons. One of these is the fact that many blog for therapy and an outlet to write. That is perfectly fine. One of my favorite bloggers that writes with a passion of doing good for others, is Beth Ann of It’s Just Life. If you have not visited her blog, do it now! When you read her stories, you can hear her voice. Authenticity is the key when it comes to building your blogging community.

books and blogging

It’s true, a blog on your company website gives you the opportunity to share your story. Who doesn’t love reading a good story? Write stories that showcase your business and boom, you have new customers. Once they land on your company blog, this encourages people to click around and shop. This is one simple way to grow your business through online activity. If you are not a writer, your money could be well spent hiring someone to write stories on your company blog.

If you are new to the blogging space, as many are. The best advice I can give you is to write. The more you write, the more you share, the better you will become. I can tell you that Travel With Sara has evolved and continues to evolve. The Walking Tourists have worked hard and their new book is scheduled for release this spring.The blogging space is not dead. Make sure you have a plan. What does your plan look like and what is your end goal?

If you want to be a part of an accountability group in 2018, I have some spots open. The group is limited to 5 people and during our three-month journey together, we will take your blog & business to a new space. If you would like more information on this opportunity, email me at socialmediasara@yahoo.com and I will email you the details. The first five people to commit, will complete our group this go around.

Happy Blogging and here’s to business success in 2018!

 

Jenni Honn

North Iowa Women In Business Series Featuring Jenni Honn

Our North Iowa Women In Business Series continues. Meet Jenni Honn. Jenni is an up and coming woman in business in North Iowa, as a Rodan + Fields Consultant. Jenni was looking for something to help her grow as a person and she is soaring high in North Iowa.

WHEN DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?

After using the products for close to four years and referring my friends and family to my sister, who is also a consultant, I decided to jump on board as a Consultant in June of 2016. At that time I thought if I could just earn enough money to pay for my own products I would be happy. In the past year, however; it has provided me so much more than that, both financially and personally. The personal growth I have had has been amazing!

WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?

I have always suffered from terribly dry skin and had what I like to call a “product graveyard” in my bathroom cabinet. I tried it all, from cheap to expensive products, all claiming to be the best but none of them worked. When I started using Rodan+ Fields products, I immediately could tell a difference in my skin- it was no longer dry and flaking off. I loved the products but it just wasn’t the right time for me to become a consultant. Fast forward four years later to June of 2016, the company is quickly growing (the fastest growing skincare company in the U.S. for the past several years), my skin looks and feels great, and not a lot of people have heard of Rodan +Fieds. This company was founded by two practicing dermatologists that have clinical data to back their products and they have a 60-day money back guarantee. To me, these things were very important, so I decided to jump right in and see what happened. I had a fear of missing out on something big. This company is (and still is) in its infancy. I have seen first hand what this company has done for so many people across the United States. You get out of it what you put into it, as there is no glass ceiling. There is unlimited earning potential and who wouldn’t want that, right?

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A WOMAN WANTING TO START HER OWN BUSINESS?

Take a chance and figure it out after that. My team name is “Team Chance” because I felt like I was taking a chance on myself and this company. I also appreciate the fact that my team also feels the same way. When it comes to the Rodan + Fields business opportunity, I tell people to jump right in and learn how to do it later. One of the best things about this company is that they give you all the tools and materials to be successful. There are resources galore. If you use them, you will find success.

WHO HAS MENTORED YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS OF BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS?

I can’t name just one person. There is a tribe of people (men and women) that want me, and other consultants, to be successful and are willing to offer me advice, give me tips on what’s worked for them, coach me, and challenge me!

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY

Jenni Honn and Family

I have been married to my amazing husband for 16 years! We live in Mason City with our sons, ages 11 and 5. I volunteer my time to activities that my kids are involved in and like all adults, I am very busy! I literally have found success with Rodan + Fields by fitting it into the nooks and crannies of my everyday life.

For more information on the Rodan +Fields products and/or business opportunity, please email me at jennihonn@gmail.com or visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/honnjenni/

 
Social Media Thrivent

Tips For Helping Your Business Shine In The New Year

With a new year upon us, it’s never been easier for business owners to introduce themselves to others. Social media has changed how we all shop, receive information and educate others about our businesses. How will you step up your marketing game in the new year? Here are some tips on how you can shine above the competition.

BE PRESENT

This is something we all hear often, but it is true. A recent study with a local business through Home Grown Social Media proved this point. When you do have a presence through social media, local media will quickly pick up on who you are and what your business is about. The business Home Grown Social Media was studying landed in a feature story in the local newspaper, due to the fact that they were present on their Facebook Business Page. When you are present, you and your business are easy to find and it’s easy for traditional media to feature your business.

POLISH UP ON YOUR GRAMMAR

Do you wonder if you are using the correct words or terms? When your spelling and punctuation are correct, you do look like a professional. A simple way to check up on yourself is to install Grammarly. 

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL

If you do not know how to do something, hire a professional. It is NEVER ok to hire your 13 year old niece to manage your Facebook Business Page. And yes, I have personally dealt with three businesses that did this in 2017. The clean up of this practice is ongoing and does take months. If you know that hiring a professional is out of the question, I would highly encourage you to purchase the Beginning Tips For Facebook Business Pages Course. This course walks you through the set up of your Facebook Business Page, so you can get the best organic reach through your page. If you need a professional to manage your page, let’s talk!

Sara at SM Summit

ENGAGE

When you engage through social media, your business shines and takes on a whole new meaning. Your business looks smart and sharp online. You quickly become the knowledgeable person in your industry and it gives you credibility. Many in the business of social media will argue that numbers are what give you credibility. I will not argue that the numbers look good, but when it comes to credibility; engaging and building relationships is where your business will benefit.

The new year brings exciting things to social media. Stay in tune with what is new, as your checkbook will thank you. If you are local to North Iowa, I would highly encourage you to join us for social media breakfast, which meets the 4th Wednesday of every month from 8:30-10:00 a.m. at Fieldhouse, located at 14 N 3rd Street in Clear Lake, Iowa. It’s free to attend with networking opportunities available. When you partner with other businesses, the opportunities for growth are endless. If you are interested in showcasing your business at the North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club, send me an email at socialmediasara@yahoo.com and we can discuss the details.

 

Social Media

Tips For Rocking Your Facebook Group

Facebook Groups are all the rage right now. If you don’t have one attached to your Facebook Business Page, now may be the ideal time to get it going. Let’s face it, we are all struggling with the constant change of the algorithms of Facebook and looking for the best ways to connect with our customers. Here are some tips on how you can keep the group active.

BE PRESENT

I cannot stress this tip enough. Often times business owners wonder why they are not reaching their customers through Facebook marketing and the answer is often that they are not present. Posting one thing, once a week is not going to help you reach your customers. Facebook recognizes the fact that you are asleep at the wheel and therefore, does not show your content to others on the social media platform.  Make it a point to have a minimum of one daily post to keep your group active. The North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club Facebook Group is an active group that shares relevant content related to social media.

Social Media Thrivent

ASK QUESTIONS

Ask questions that are related to your business. For example, if you own a Tupperware business, your Facebook Group would love to learn more about food storage. You could ask, “How long would you keep a container full of chili in your fridge?” This opens up the doorway for discussion about food safety, food storage and allows you, the business owner, an opportunity to share your knowledge. Again, you will need to be present to respond to the comments and questions your Facebook Group Members respond to.

SHARE RELEVANT CONTENT

The members of your Facebook Group expect you to be the expert. Share current content that is relevant to your industry. This can be an article, video, blog post or photo that relates to your industry. When you share the content of others, it shows that you are always learning what is new to your industry and willing to share what others are producing. After all, wouldn’t you like others to share your content? You can share from your Facebook Business Page, as this is a good way to build community. Keep in mind, that you don’t want to share everything from your Facebook Business Page, share the content that will make the most difference.  In the world of social media, it’s important to remember that everything that goes around, will come back around.

If you have been asleep while trying to lead your Facebook Group, I’d love to hear how you will be changing things up. If you are present, ask questions and share relevant content on a regular basis, your Facebook Group will grow and you will quickly become the expert in your field.