You’re Invited to the Party

October 25, 2012

Young Female Entrepreneurs is getting geared up for Friday night’s monthly #YFEchat Mixer (8p/11e – set a reminder). Staying in on Friday night? We’ll be up late tweeting with hostess, Shanley Knox of The Nakate Project. Get to know, follow and tweet Shanley before Friday by reading on…

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Shanley Knox

The Nakate Project, owner



Contributor at @bylinebeat. Woman in charge at @nakateproject. ‘Lover of the poisonous caterpillar, afraid of the harmless cockroach.’ Also: Guinness.

NYC/Uganda · http://bylinebeat.com[/note]

[highlight bg="#F9CFDC" color="#FFFFFF"]Q. Why did you start your own business?[/highlight]

I started my own business out of passion. I felt incredibly passionate about beginning an international enterprise that enabled me to do business with female artisans and business women in Uganda. I couldn’t imagine taking eight hours a day to do something else, when my heart and mind were actually focused on my experiences in Africa, and the way they had created this overwhelming desire in me to build something that enabled me to both live out my passion and pay the bills. I wanted my cake and to eat it too, so to speak – and I knew I was willing to do the work to make that happen.

[highlight bg="#F9CFDC" color="#FFFFFF"]Q. Where will you be tweeting from?[/highlight]

Brooklyn, New York.

[highlight bg="#F9CFDC" color="#FFFFFF"]Q. What do you use to tweet (hardware/software)? Q. How do you use Twitter for business?[/highlight]

I use tweetdeck on my laptop, and Tweetbot on my iPhone.

I used twitter for almost every aspect of my business. I use it to find customers and clients. I use it to promote events. I use it for networking – finding new business contacts, events to participate in, and publications we want to reach out to for press. I also use it to form our brand, letting potential customers know exactly what we’re about, how we fit in to the market and what they’re supporting when they purchase from us.

[highlight bg="#F9CFDC" color="#FFFFFF"]Q. What are some social media do’s and don’ts for you?[/highlight]

Do not contact others just to promote yourself. Do not post exclusively about yourself and your personal life – people certainly love to know the “face” behind a business or brand, but we also want to know what you’re offering us. Why should we follow you? What are you going to tell us about the world that we don’t know already? Don’t ask people to follow you – they will follow you based on your content and what it offers to them. Prove they need to follow you, and they won’t be apt to unfollow soon after.

Do bring your virtual world into the physical world – ask for meetings, tell people you want to take them out for coffee or beers – make the connection between your twitter relationship and your life as a business woman. Do ask people about themselves – take interest in their brand and life, and they’re likely to pay more attention to what you’re doing. And – who knows? They could be your next client or customer.

[highlight bg="#F9CFDC" color="#FFFFFF"]Q. Where else can we find you online?[/highlight]

I blog my journey as a social entrepreneur at http://voyem.net and through @socialchangeis. I also write a column on international issues for @bylinebeat: http://bylinebeat.com/tagged/shanley_knox .

[highlight bg="#F9CFDC" color="#FFFFFF"]Q. Why have you participated in #YFEchat?[/highlight]

Connecting with other female entrepreneurs has been one of the most successful ways to grow my business, not to mention make friends that I can both relate to and learn from.

[note color="#F5F5F5"]About #YFEchat

#YFEchat is a Twitter chat hosted by Youngfemaleentrepreneurs.com that occurs every two weeks where entrepreneurial women in their 20s/30s go to discuss topics related to owning a business as a young female (find out more about what a Twitter chat is here). Follow YFE on Twitter @YFEntrepreneur.

PS. Have you registered for #YFEcon yet? It’s YFE’s Online Conference, November 15th.
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