Marketing Boot Camp
I had the privilege to volunteer with Empowering Women International (EWI: http://www.ewint.org)
for their marketing boot camp on April 14. EWI is an organization that was created as a way to use
the arts and entrepreneurship to create a cross-cultural exchange and to empower women to start
their own businesses.
I was introduced to LaDon who is starting her own photography company Lens
and Love (http://www.lenslovephotography.com). LaDon has worked in the non-profit sector and is
currently a part-time consultant. She has four children and wants her children to witness her “building
a business and a pathway” for herself. She is changing her career path and plans on launching her
photography company this summer.
LaDon and I sat down during the marketing workshop to brainstorm, talk about photography,
and discuss the launch of her new company. We instantly ‘clicked’ as she showed me some of her
pictures and discussed her favorite styles and techniques. She enjoys photographing people because she likes capturing memories. She wants to start a series of photographs that focus around the first stages of life. She is going to start the series with pictures of soft portraits of the mother-to-be and she will end the series before the baby is a year old. LaDon and I discussed the best ways to launch Lens and Love. She already has a website with some of her photography showcased. We discussed how she can use Facebook as a networking and advertising tool to keep in contact with old clients and find new ones. I reminded her that Twitter can also be used to network, find models, and highlight her services. She will be creating a blog that will detail her evolution as a photographer, artist and businesswoman.
EWI has helped LaDon create a detailed and extensive business plan. She has plans to buy new
equipment and she knows how many clients she would like to have by the end of the year. Within a few years she wants to expand to include other photographers in different markets within the United States. LaDon eventually wants to be in a position to share her talent and her passion with new burgeoning photographers.
I met Denisse in the afternoon session of the marketing boot camp and she
wasted no time in discussing her business plans. I was in total awe of Denisse’s tenacity and the amount of research that went into her ideas.
Denisse, who is a marketing and journalism student, loves art and music. She told me that she
gets inspiration from daily life and she wants to create a venue where music and art lovers can come
together to share, create and enjoy their craft. She started EWI`s Entrepreneur Training for Success so she can network, brainstorm and discuss her ideas now so that after she graduates from her marketing program she will be able to start her business.
First, Denisse and I discussed venue size and services. She took inspiration from BusBoys and
Poets but wanted her establishment to be a little less busboys and a little more poets (meaning more
art and less food). Denisse wants to start with a lounge that doubles as an art gallery. The lounge will
have artists performing music or poetry daily. She will expand it to include music recording and she has already networked with a producer. She plans on using her journalism classes to be able to interview and talk with older and emerging artists. Denisse even had plans to expand it further to include other aspects of performing arts.
Next Denisse and I talked about the importance of keeping informed and being involved in the
music and art community in and around Washington, D.C. We discussed the best way to utilize social
media. I suggested that she should use Twitter to find out about local concerts, exhibits and artists.
Denisse said that she was going to use Facebook to post some of her articles and interviews once
she does more writing for her journalism class and that this will create followers for her that will be
potential customers in the future.
Denisse is imaginative and creative. She has a quiet resolve and a deep and focused vision. I
suggest keeping an eye out in the lifestyle section of the newspapers for her.
I graduated from high school in 2001 and started university the following fall. I did not enjoy university and I quit after two years. I had a series of different jobs over the years. I worked in restaurants and hotels, I worked at a ski-resort, and worked for an energy services company for almost two years. However, my heart was not in any of that work. I decided to go back to school in 2006 and I have almost completed my degree in Political Science from the University of Regina (in Saskatchewan, Canada). After I graduate this fall I plan on working and eventually going to graduate school.