The grand finale of 2016 will help you get a jump start for next year!
Image and content expert supporting women entrepreneurs for What Color is Your Communication LLC.
What is your professional background?
I have 15 years of experience in the field of communication in Belgium. I worked as a freelance journalist and also as part of the communication department of a private company. I had many opportunities to explore different areas of communication : internal and external, strategy, PR, copywriting and the transformational changes brought on by to social media.
In layman's terms, how does one become an image and content expert for women entrepreneurs?
In my previous job, I had to present a TV show. I was not comfortable with my image realizing it is a key part to enhancing ones confidence and credibility. I was lucky to meet an image and color coach, which became a true eye opener. I moved to the US in 2014 and based on my personal experience, I developed a global approach for French speaking women entrepreneurs, mixing image, content & web marketing. I narrowed my target to focus on more impactful messages and test my approach. Now, I only work virtually.
What’s your average day like?
I share my time between clients and marketing. Thanks to my virtual Skype meeting room, within a single day I can travel from Philadelphia to Brussels, and stop by Montreal! From time to time, I organize workshops among the French community in Philadelphia and soon in Washington DC.
What has been your greatest accomplishment at What Color is Your Communication?
The company is still in its infancy. One of my biggest challenge and therefore part of my greatest accomplishment is the ability to effectively connect with the “unknown” client, one who was not previously in my known network. When you work from a distance it is amazing to realize that you can effectively and efficiently work without ever meeting physically the person. Overall, helping my clients to gain confidence and visibility is my day to day greatest accomplishment.
What are the most common challenges that women entrepreneurs encounter?
Women entrepreneurs are dealing with a career and a family which leaves little time to get organized with their communication. Also those who work alone, being too focused on getting things done, potentially miss the ability to leverage external resources and constructive advice.
What should entrepreneurs know before setting out on their own?
Entrepreneurs should know that starting a business is fun but it also requires courage and determination. It is also sweeter if you are surrounded by allies. A group of people you can leverage to ask for advice and have interactive discussions. And of course, entrepreneurs, especially when they start, should not underestimate the importance of effective communication
What opportunities are now becoming available for businesses to take advantage of?
In a way, the technology brought new rules to the game. The rise of social media brought countless opportunities for businesses in diversifying their ways to communicate. It is ’s an ongoing process of trial and error and learning from these various experiments. But at the end of the day, customer service and word of mouth are still the cornerstones of success.
What do you foresee in the near future?
Let me have a look at my crystal ball! Joking aside, I think there will be more and more women entrepreneurs willing to lead their own ship, making a living from their passion. One just needs to look at the current trends, according to a Forbes article of January 2016, they was a jump of 30% of women entrepreneurs in 2007.
What books/blogs/materials about entrepreneurship would you recommend?
There are so many great inspirational speakers in the US. I recommend to read Robin Sharma (The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari), Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) or to follow Fabienne Fredrickson and Gary V. The Zen of Social Media Marketing, by Shama Kabani is a good start, regarding the importance of social media.
What advice would you give to women looking to becoming entrepreneurs?
I would advise them to get all the help they need. Their overall enterprise will only be strengthened. Personally, my business coach was instrumental in getting me going, otherwise, I would probably still be thinking about my business plan! As an entrepreneur, you cannot possibly know everything on everything. You have to rely and trust others who have been there before, who know how things get done effectively. And beyond the planning, the hard work, you have to believe in yourself, in your concept, this can make such a difference!
Find Caroline Dubois-Legast on LinkedIn.