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Women in Business Interviews: Public Relations Expert Vanessa French (@VanessaFrench) Part Two

Vanessa French

Today continues our interview with Vanessa French, founder and lead strategist of Pivot Point Communications, who was also July’s special guest expert for our monthly Web.com Women Grow Business Twitter chat.

You can read part one of our interview with Vanessa here.

How do you use social media to help your business grow?

Hugely, we get a lead at least once a month from social media.

We also started DC Wine Week with Lisa Byrne and it is often our sandbox for trying out strategies and tactics in social media. Since things change so quickly we can have  brand that we can say yeah we’ve tried that and it works or doesn’t work.

What mobile marketing advice do you have for our audience?

For mobile marketing — you better get on board.

Learn about sites that are mobile and tablet friendly. Know which firms do full on mobile apps. Know the language and difference between operating systems. Even if you don’t do it as an agency identify and partner with those that do. Your clients will want this and need it.

What are your favorite small business resources or tools?

Google Docs and chats are something we can’t live without.  Park Mobile would be right up there.

How do you stay productive on days when you feel like quitting?

I have a fear of this — when will I feel like quitting?

I have been go, go go for four years now. Needless to say, the entrepreneur and small business owner is a different animal. We have to work nonstop, get little sleep and work with a lot of stress. You have to treat work like training for a marathon.

Get sleep – you need it, eat well, exercise but don’t forget your emotional side as well. For me that’s visiting with friends or taking time out with my family. When I take my own advice I am unstoppable — or it seems like it.

Do you have a standard way to deal with difficult customers? If so, how?

The customer is always right but it is our job — in particular when you are doing creative projects — to get their buy in and trust. I

n each case when someone could have been deemed difficult you just really need to think about where are they coming from.  Out of fear, frustration, previous baggage?

Try to see things from their perspective and not yours.  It is really all about them so rather than viewing them as the enemy or as difficult — learn about where they are coming from and what is it that holding them back as it were.

Are you inspired by a woman business leader? Famous or not, who is it?

I am inspired by so many business leaders in my community.

In the past few years many of these women have become good friends or I’ve been inspired by them online. They are kicking you what and taking names.

Women like Leslie Bradshaw, Donna Harris,  Melanie Spring, Jill Foster, Nancy Belmont (who gets credit for coming naming Pivot Point), Kate Michael, Allyson Kapin, and my other business partner Lisa Byrne who I run DC Wine Week with — are just a few names of those who inspire me.

Vanessa French is the founder and lead strategist of Pivot Point Communications. Now in its fourth year in business — Pivot Point Communications is a boutique creative communications firm located in the DC. Pivot Point specializes in integrating new media into traditional marketing and public relations campaigns.

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