Graduate Blog / Graduate Life

A Day with Martha Stewart: How sleep, storytelling, and social media can improve your business

Last Processed with VSCOcam with c4 presetweekend, I had the honor of attending Martha Stewart’s small business and entrepreneurial summit in New York City. Various panelists, all of whom are attached to the title of Entrepreneur, spoke to us throughout the day and answered questions along the way. The day was filled with inspirational key notes, tips for business owners/starters, and lots and LOTS of delicious pastries…obviously. The fact that I had any business being at an event like this was cool enough, but I benefited so much from hearing and speaking with people who have turned their passions into businesses. Below is a recap of some of the things I learned that I felt would be helpful for any future business owner or entrepreneur to hear.

Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, gave a keynote based on her new book, Thrive. She explained the importance of not only having sustainable products, but maintaining a sustainable life. This includes taking moments to put technology down and SLEEP. Especially as master’s students, it’s easy to forget to rest; however, getting enough sleep is extremely important, and is a habit we should be starting now. Here’s Arianna’s TedTalk about how sleeping leads to success.

Storytelling is a common concept here at Babson, and it’s a staple for successful startups. A panel also spoke about how important it is when you’re working on raising funds for a new venture. Mike Del Ponte, co-founder of Soma water, the water filtration system that was funded through Kickstarter, says that if you have a powerful enough story, there will be a community of people waiting to support you. Check out this article Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days to hear more of their story and how they used storytelling to fund their business.

Social Media
How do you tell your story? Better yet, how do you tell your story inexpensively? Popular blogger Lo Bosworth, Buzz Marketing Group founder Tina Wells, and popular YouTube star Ingrid Nilsen shared their tips on how they tell their stories online. Here were the key takeaways:

  • Be authentic. Like my networking post, it’s all about being yourself. People will be drawn to authenticity. Ingrid Nilsen started online as a teenager, and has now since grown up in front of her millions of followers. She equates her success to the fact that, in the beginning, she was focused solely on building relationships with her followers, which led to organic growth, and eventually a full-time business as a Youtuber and online influencer. “Showing authenticity is critical to building loyalty and relationships.”
  • Define your voice. Almost every business/person out there is on social media these days. What’s going to differentiate you from all of them? Identifying your voice is extremely important to your brand, personal or otherwise, because it’s what is going to help you stand out in all of the other “clutter” online, as Lo put it. Your voice should be unique to your brand, easily identifiable, and most importantly, consistent throughout every channel you have.
  • Not every tool is right for you. Less is more. It’s natural to feel as though your business or brand needs to be on every site, but that’s not always the most effective approach. Once you identify your audience, find out where they are and use the tools that are right for your business and audience. “You don’t need to be on every channel…not every channel works for your business!” said Wells.

Overall, I had a fantastic time in NYC learning from business men and women from across the country! I hope to return again next year – maybe this time, having a business of my own!