5 Questions to Power Up Your Brand

Mary Foley Uncategorized

As an entrepreneur, do you want a powerful brand and think it’s mainly about amazing images on your website, social, and print materials? Think again. One thing I definitely learned being part of a small, unknown computer called Quantum Computer Services transform itself into arguably the first company to bring the online experience to the masses – AOL – is that brand is way more than a a recognize logo.

Proof is in results. During my 10 year career there, Quantum Computer Services became the brand AOL, a $7 billon dollar company with 23 million members and a wide lead in the top spot.

When I jumped the Corporate America ship and became an entrepreneur, I took everything I learned about branding and applied it to my new business.

Here are five key lessons and questions about creating a powerful brand for your own business:

1. Every company has a brand. The question is, “Is it working for you?”


What’s Missing in Male Business Advice that Women Entrepreneurs Need to Know

Mary Foley Uncategorized

Much of the business advice from male business experts doesn’t fully cut it for women entrepreneurs. These experts haven’t quite figured out how their advice is different for women. Plus, they’ve left out some parts all together!

Don’t get me wrong. The male perspective has some merit, but, it’s not the whole picture.

Here are 7 critical things that’s missing in advice from male business experts that women entrepreneurs needs to know.

1. Most business guru’s miss how women experience life differently than men.


[P.O.W.E.R. Plug Podcast – episode 18] Millennial Social Media Smarts

Mary Foley Uncategorized

EVB POWER Plug: Millennial Social Media SmartsWhen it comes to upping your social media smarts, wouldn’t you love to talk with a millennial who grew up on it?

And since they are so familiar with communicating this way, how can you be smart about setting expectations with millennial and all employees regarding social media during work hours and beyond?

In this episode, I spoke with Lauren Portlock, Marketing Coordinator for EVB, who breaks the common stereotype of a slacker millennial. For the last 2 plus years she’s been the right hand gal for EVB’s Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Hastings Simon. In addition to offering her millennial perspective on the company’s social media strategy, she makes sure this podcast is up and that you know it’s available.

Click to listen and learn:

  • Whether Millennial or Boomer, professional or business owner, how important is it to have a digital footprint?
  • Are millennials so used to social media that they don’t think it applies to them?
  • If you find a less than flattering image of yourself on social media or a website, how can you get rid of it?
  • What should you do if a friend posts a photo you don’t want to become public?
  • Is it okay to have a social media account where you can say whatever you want?
  • Are there any topics or subjects you recommend to avoid on social media?
  • As a business owner with employees, what do I need to consider for creating a social media policy?

Plus, get even more social media smart tips by downloading specific how-to PDFs provided by Lauren!



[P.O.W.E.R. Plug Podcast – episode 17] Capturing Your Authenticity for a Powerful Personal Brand

Mary Foley Uncategorized
Host Mary Foley talks with Kim Brundage on capturing your authenticity for a powerful personal brand
Photo by Kim Brundage Photography

Authenticity is critical for creating a powerful personal brand. But, how can you truly capture and communicate your authenticity, especially online? What’s the real impact of one-of-a-kind images on your business – as well as your confidence? Get ready for some answers!

In this episode, I spoke with Kim Brundage, a photographer in Richmond, VA who specializes in personal branding sessions for women entrepreneurs and professionals. Her unique approach is designed to remove the awkwardness of a photo session so you can capture what your best customers and clients really want – the real, authentic you.

Click to listen and learn:

  • Why creating a powerful personal brand is critical for every business owner and professional
  • Why authenticity is a big deal in today’s market place
  • How to have personal branding consistency without being boring
  • Kim’s unique personal branding process for capturing your essence and authenticity
  • The impact of unique personal branding images on your business and your confidence



[P.O.W.E.R. Plug Podcast – episode 15] Pro Tips to Negotiate a Commercial Lease

Mary Foley Uncategorized

EVB POWER Plug: Katherine Watson Reveals Her Pro Tips to Negotiate a Commercial Lease Your business is growing, you need more room, and you’ve found the perfect space! In all your excitement (and relief), don’t sign on the dotted line until you fully understand the leasing agreement and negotiate what you want. Today’s guest reveals her pro tips to negotiate a commercial leasing agreement so you avoid common pitfalls and get the best terms.

In this episode, I spoke with Katherine Watson, President of Manakins Farms, a real estate and development company, and Co-Founder of Office Alternatives, a co-working space, both in Richmond, VA. A big part of her day is spent leasing space to tenants. So, we tapped into Katherine’s expertise about what to do and what to avoid to set yourself up for the best commercial leasing agreement possible.

Click here to listen and learn:

  • The biggest mistake most make when entering into a commercial leasing agreement
  • Exactly when you should hire an attorney to review your lease
  • What should be included in a Letter of Intent (LOI)
  • The savvy question that will reveal hidden Common Area Maintenance (CAM) fees
  • How to turn landlord funds for Tenant Improvements (TI) into your rent abatement
  • How to avoid being stuck with HVAC repairs that can blow your budget
  • A big mistake tenants assume regarding water, sewer and utility costs


[P.O.W.E.R. Plug Podcast – episode 14] Why LinkedIn is Changing and How to Use it to Grow Your Business

Mary Foley Uncategorized
Photo by Kim Brundage Photography

LinkedIn is one of the largest social media platforms in the world – and it’s changing. How will the new platform design affect you? How can you use LinkedIn to actively grow your business?

In this episode, I talked with Cheryl Matt, owner of CBM Business Consulting in Richmond, VA. Cheryl implements practical tools and strategies for business owners and professionals to get more done in less time. With four proven strategies, her clients save 2 to 10 hours or more per week – and become more profitable.

Click to listen and learn:

  • How LinkedIn has changed and what to expect from the new platform
  • The number one reason why every business owner should be on LinkedIn
  • Savvy ways to use LinkedIn to identify new prospects
  • Three essentials every business owner must have for a powerful Personal Profile
  • What is a Company Page and how to leverage it to showcase your business
  • Practical ways to make LinkedIn part of your daily routine


[P.O.W.E.R. Plug Podcast – episode 13] How Every Business Owner Can Benefit from Treasury Management Services

Mary Foley Uncategorized

How Every Business Owner Can Benefit from Treasury Management ServicesWant to spend less time at the bank and more time growing your business? Love the idea of the cash in your account making you money while you sleep? Ever had someone try to cash your check with extra zeros?

In this episode, I chatted with Barry Almond, Senior VP and Director of Treasury Management at EVB. You might be thinking “Treasury what?”

Treasury Management at EVB is all about helping business owners just like you save time, save money, make money and protect your hard-earned money. From one-person businesses to organizations with dozens of employees, Treasury Management can help savvy business owners at every level.

Click to listen and learn:

  • How to easily manage your business banking while you’re on the go
  • Two simple, quick ways to deposit checks without going to a bank branch
  • What are bank “sweeps” that have nothing to do with a broom, but offer a possible way to “clean up”
  • How to make money overnight with the cash in a business checking account
  • Several electronic payment options that trim costs and save time
  • The smart way to hold on to your hard-earned money by verifying checks in real-time


[P.O.W.E.R. Plug Podcast – episode 12] Tips on the Most Overlooked Small Business Tax Deductions

Mary Foley Uncategorized
EVB POWER PLUG - Tips on the Most Overlooked Small Business Tax Deductions
Photo by Connie Grant Photography

You work hard all year for your money. So make sure you don’t miss the most overlooked small business deductions when filing your taxes. And make sure you document them in a way the IRS likes!

In this episode, host Mary Foley talks with Donna Barwick, President and CEO of Barwick & Associates, a certified public accounting firm in Colonial Heights, VA. Donna shares frequently missed and often misunderstood write offs from over 30 years working with small business owners.

Plus, she gives great tips about how your business structure can save you taxes and strategic ways your accountant can help you run a better business.

Click to listen and learn:

  • What is the best small business entity to reduce my taxes and risk?
  • What are the most overlooked small business tax deductions?
  • How do I legally write off meals as a business expense?
  • What is the home office Safe Harbor deduction and should I take it?
  • What real difference does it make if my personal and business expenses are in the same bank accounts?
  • 3 ways an accountant can help me improve my business beyond filing taxes


[P.O.W.E.R. Plug Podcast – episode 11] 4 Steps to Create a Big Marketing Impact on a Small Budget

Mary Foley Uncategorized
EVB POWER PLUG Podcast - Michelle Hastings Simon Shares 4 Steps to Create a Big Marketing Impact on A Small Budget
Photo by Kim Brundage Photography

Today there are more ways than ever to create a big marketing impact on a small budget. But how do you figure out the right marketing strategy and plan for your business so you aren’t throwing away precious time and money?

This episode I found out by talking with Michelle Hastings Simon, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer at EVB and co-founder of the P.O.W.E.R program. Michelle’s creative brain never stops, which is one reason why she’s been so successful. Another is that her positive energy is contagious.

She’s loaned her talents to agencies like Charles Ryan and financial institutions including Bank of VA, First Community Bank, Cap One and now EVB. One of her biggest strengths is moving easily from vision and strategy to implementation, problem-solving and follow through. Now we get to pick her brain!

Click to listen and learn:

  • Why a marketing strategy is so important
  • 4 steps to develop a successful marketing plan on a small (or large!) budget
  • One common mistake when creating your marketing plan and how to avoid it
  • How to know what your customers really want so you can truly connect
  • Practical ways to stretch your budget and produce results
  • How the EVB P.O.W.E.R. program can help you develop your plan and promote your business


Instantly Increase Your Event’s Value with Easy, Fun, Powerful Networking

Mary Foley Uncategorized
Instantly Increase Your Event's Value with Easy, Fun, Powerful Networking
Image by Fotolia

Every meeting planner knows that powerful networking can instantly increase an event’s value. But more often than not, they feel like Grace who was planning an association’s annual conference.

She told me “We need to do a better job with networking. That’s what people said they want more of and I’m not sure how.”

It’s a frustration I hear again and again. You include networking time into your agenda, but people complain they didn’t make valuable connections.

Truth is, it’s the attendee’s fault. You created the opportunity, but their reptilian brain kicks in. They don’t introduce themselves because the whole networking process feels awkward, stupid or speechless. 

The solution: Add a structured, facilitated experience that takes the work out of networking and makes it easy, powerful and fun.

A facilitated networking session instantly increases your event’s value and you are a superhero!

[bctt tweet=”A facilitated networking session instantly increases your event’s value & you are a superhero!” username=”BodaciousMary”]

Here’s how:

  1. Determine where a structured, facilitated networking session best fits into your event flow

Beginning? Middle? End?

A networking session near the beginning taps into people’s curiosity to discover who is in the room and can set the stage to keep meeting new people throughout the event.

A networking session part way though the event is a great strategy when the group needs an energy boost, like after a meal or day 2 of a 3 day event.

Or, a facilitated, powerful networking session at the end can be a fun way to wrap things up.

  1. Decide how much time

Meeting just one new person doesn’t cut it. Attendees need to have a 5-7 minute conversation with at least 3 new people for networking to be valuable. That’s why you need at least 45 minutes for a structured networking experience.

Sixty minutes is even better. With additional time you can add a short networking how-to, additional conversation rounds, and a group debrief of what happened.

  1. Pick an experienced facilitator

The magic of structured networking is that the facilitator gives everyone the path and the permission to meet one another. This immediately takes air out of the awkward balloon.

It’s important to select someone who has facilitation experience. Hire a professional facilitator or utilize the skills of a keynote speaker, trainer or consultant who is already presenting at your event.

The most effective facilitator sets a positive tone by reminding everyone of the importance and power of meeting new people, provides how-to networking tips, and creates a process with at least 3 conversation rounds.

A big bonus is when there is time for the facilitator to bring the networking session to a close by having a few individuals share something interesting or unique about a person they met and how they felt about the experience.