Paige is the founder and CEO of the company, Mavens & Moguls, which a global strategic marketing firm. She is a marketing, communications, and branding expert. She is also a very well-known speaker, board member, and writer. She has written for Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazines. Paige did her BA from Stanford and did her MBA from Harvard.
And, we are so glad to have a chance to talk to a diva like her on our podcast.
Topics covered on the podcast:
Paige: I started my career doing corporate marketing. I worked at big companies, like Proctor & Gamble, and Coca-Cola. And then, when the internet got started and startups took off, I left the big companies to join three startup companies as the head of marketing. And all of those were really exciting, very young companies, to help them get established.
And then, 19 years ago, I started my own company, a marketing service, doing marketing consulting. And so, now I’m an entrepreneur. So, I’ve seen it from the inside at a big company, from the inside as a small company, and now, a standalone as my own business
Minnie: Wow, great. So, you left P & G and Coca-Cola, when were you working, in the ‘90s? When did you do this?
Paige: Yeah, I started at P & G in 1990. And then, I was there for about three and a half years. I actually left P & G to go run a joint venture for the Olympics that were gonna be in Atlanta, the 1996 Olympic Games. And then, when the Olympics were over, I went to Coca-Cola as the Assistant Chief Marketing Officer at Coke.
And then, it was the late ‘90s and the internet was really starting to get busy, and startups were very popular, and they were looking for people to help them do marketing. So, I kind of closed the chapter of the big company marketing and started a new chapter doing startups. And that was a very exciting time. It was before the market crashed, before 9/11. So, startup companies raised lots of money. And so, it was really an exciting time.
Minnie: It is tougher, yeah. How can they take the first step as an entrepreneur?
Paige: So, the first thing you need to start thinking about is in the world today, you almost do not exist unless you exist online. Today, everything is done virtually, and especially now, with the coronavirus. People are shopping online. They’re doing all of their business activity online. So, if people look for you and they can’t find you online, you don’t exist; you’re invisible. And that’s a very bad strategy, no matter what business you’re in, if it’s transcription or something else. You have to be able to be found.
So, even if you build a very simple website, it’s important when people type your name into Google, what pops up. You want something to pop up, a simple website, maybe your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a great place to start because of all the social media, LinkedIn is the most professional. And people think, oh, it’s just for finding jobs, or oh, it’s just a Rolodex, it’s just a network.
Well, the truth is, before people will hire you or talk to you or meet with you, many times, they want to look you up on LinkedIn and see your profile. Who are you? Are you real? Are you a robot? Do you exist?
And then, they want to look and see if you and I have any contacts in common because LinkedIn will match my contacts and your contacts and say, you have six people that know both of you. Well, immediately, that gives me comfort and gives me confidence that you’re legitimate. If people I know are also connected to you, you must be real. We must travel in the same world. So, it makes you acceptable and safe. If you and I don't know anybody in common, that might be a problem. I will trust you more and think more highly of you if we have more in common, more connection.
Minnie: Yes, yes, I agree.
Paige: So, you want to make sure people know you exist, that you’re professional, and there is a high degree of confidence that you’re legitimate. And once you get a website, once you get a LinkedIn profile, now you want to make sure that whatever you have that’s out on the internet is optimized, because search engines are looking always for ways to categorize people.
So, you want to make sure that your website or your profile has the right keywords, that it’s set up in a way that makes it very efficient and effective. And if people are looking at it on a smartphone on a small screen, that they can read it, that it makes sense. You have to be very aware of the context and the audience. So, that’s the first thing I would do, is to make sure you exist online and that you’re building a solid foundation.
And then, once you’ve done that, you have to really start thinking of yourself like a brand. And I think a lot of people, especially small business people think oh, I’m not a brand, because I’m not famous. They think they have to be Oprah or LeBron James, or Michael Jordan. That’s a brand; I’m not a brand. But the truth is, everybody is a brand, and especially today when everybody exists online, you have to be the author and the creator of your own brand. Because if you don’t, people will make assumptions, and they will brand you instead of you controlling the message.
So, I would highly recommend that everybody listening really begin to think of themselves as a brand and the image that they are projecting, and especially in a business that’s competitive, and I assume transcription services are competitive.
Paige: The reason people will pay more for you than one of your competitors is because the perception is, you’re a higher-quality brand. If you don’t build a brand, you become a commodity. And with commodities, people only pay low prices. So, if you want to charge more, you have to build a brand that makes people think they’re gonna get something special or different, higher quality.
Minnie: Do you think building your profile is the same as building your brand?
Paige: So, they’re interconnected. A profile is a piece of a brand. A logo, a tagline, when you send emails, do you have at the bottom of your email a little signature that says who you are? Do you have a URL so, it’s not Minnie from Gmail, it’s Minnie from Transcription Services? So, that’s part of your brand.
When people call you, if you have music or if you have a recording on the line, what does it say? Is that consistent with your brand? If you have videos on your website, do the videos reflect your brand? So, you want to make sure each touchpoint ties into the brand. LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile, is one piece. But it’s a puzzle, and all the pieces need to have the same thread so that they stay connected.
Minnie: Is there any specific mindset that is needed to succeed as an entrepreneur?
Paige: So, to be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to be confident and have a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve. I think entrepreneurs see opportunities where other people just see roadblocks or challenges. But as an entrepreneur, you say no, this is a great opportunity for me to help you. So, they are excited by the challenge. But there are gonna be a lot of people – when you’re an entrepreneur, you’re trying to raise money. You’re trying to recruit talent. And it can be tricky because there are lots of roadblocks or challenges along the way.
So, I think to be successful, you have to have a clear vision. You have to be able to communicate very clearly what you’re trying to achieve so that you can get people to write you checks so you can raise money, so you can build your team and get others to help. And along the way, people will always tell you no. No, it’s a bad idea. No, I’m not gonna give you money. No, I’m not gonna join your team. But the entrepreneur has to stay focused and stay positive and be resilient because you’re gonna get told no. The door is gonna slam. And you have to get up the next day and try again a little bit harder.
So, I think being resilient is really important. Having good communication skills is really important. Having a good sense of humor so that you stay positive. To be a good listener, because even though people are telling you no, they may be giving you very good feedback and, in a way, if you can keep your ears open and you hear what they’re saying, it helps you be better next time. Because the next time somebody says that, you’re gonna have a better answer. So, you have to have thick skin.
Don’t take it personally. It’s a business, and when people say no, no can mean not right now, but if you come back with better communication, a better offer, a better product, a better service, next time, they might say yes.
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