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Let’s Talk

Join Me! Social Media Selling for Your Business

A 2 day, hands-on workshop perfect for any small business owner
Filed Under > Everyday

If you’ve been following me for while then you’d know that before I was “Martha” I consulted with hospitals and health systems all over the United States coaching and planning their social media strategy. And now as “Martha” I do the same, but for all sorts of small businesses. Helping other businesses understand the wild, wild west of social media is a true passion of mine, so I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be hosting a private 2 day social media workshop in conjunction with The Southern Coterie, here in Atlanta in two weeks!

My entire business has been born and grown because of social media. One hundred percent. I mean think about it, we’re living in a time where you can completely brand, build and grow your business just by harnessing the power of the FREE media platforms that are available to you. That is as long as you know how to use them. Social media while a blessing changes every single day, and understanding it is a full-time job in itself, and one I take very seriously. And I’m serious when I say it changes every single day. I just gave a similar, but much smaller talk in Sea Island in February and do you know Instagram has already changed the shopping function since then which has changed my opinion and strategy when it comes to tagging products?!

Did you know I run all 3 of my Instagram accounts myself. I have apps and planning tools, and a bit of assistance here and there, but other than that it’s all me. I tell you this not because I want a pat on the back, but because I want you to know that you don’t have to pay someone big bucks to do it. You can do it!! Which is just one of the things we’ll be covering during the workshop. But before I get too far into the weeds about what we’ll be talking about, I feel I need to give everyone a quick run down of Waiting On Martha (WOM).

Late 2011 – Worked in corporate America helping hospitals & health systems all around the country with their social media strategy. Was in dire need of a creative outlet so started beading bracelets and selling them on Etsy under the name of Waiting On Martha.

2012 – Started a Blog Waiting On Martha and at the same time became incorporated and started an e-commerce home & gift store, Waiting On Martha Home. Moved to Atlanta. Still making and selling bracelets on Etsy, still working in healthcare.

2013 – Opened my first pop up shop in Atlanta for 6+ months to test the waters. Between 2013-2016 would open up 3 additional pop up shops all around town. Still beading bracelets, still in healthcare. Hired my first employee.

2014 – With the blog and e-comm taking off, along with the pop up’s couldn’t manage beading bracelets any longer, closed my Etsy store. Still in healthcare.

2015 – Left healthcare, became “Martha” full-time. Moved my e-commerce storage out of my garage and into an actual warehouse. WOM grew to 4 full-time and 2 part-time employees. Pop-up shop still in full swing.

2017 – Opened Waiting On Martha Home Brick & Mortar. Grew to 4 full time and 5 part-time employees. Surpassed a million dollars in annual revenue.

2018 – Grew Waiting On Martha Home 44% in point of sales revenue 28% online revenue.

2019 – Welcomed Waiting On Martha Everyday, an apparel and accessories shop to the family, officially opening my second brick and mortar. Grew to 6 full time employees, 7 part-time employees, and countless contractors. Currently up 43% YTD. Plans to launch a 3rd business, late 2019.

This timeline is definitely the cliff notes version of my business. If we really got into it, in between these years you’d see all different ups and downs, major collaborations, speaking events, and whole lot of blood, sweat and tears. But the most important part of all of this is in the 7+ years of business I’ve never ever had a non-growth year, and my entire business has been built for FREE on social media. Sure, I invest in social media ads and campaigns now, but that didn’t begin until last year because let’s face it social media is tricky enough without pouring money into until you full understand it. And understand it you will my friends.

My goal from these 2 days is that you walk away understanding the social media landscape, a new vision of what branded social media channels can and should look like, and the tools you need to run successful social media campaigns and accounts. Here’s a quick look at what we’ll be covering, as well as a round-up of my growth stats for Waiting On Martha Home over the past year or so. And remember, this is a QUICK look. The dive will be so much deeper than what I could ever write or share here.

  • selling through…
    • different social media outlets and mastering the current algorithm
    • crafting your message to hit the right consumer audience for you and your needs
    • mastering how to create paid for social media ads & understanding the different types of ads. For example, Mandy will share how a $5 a day continuous ad on Facebook grew WOMH’s Facebook followers to 22,000 in less than 9 months.
    • email marketing & automatic email marketing (ie. abandoned cart emails)
    • creative ways to engage and grow your audience “outside of the feed”
  • selling through email marketing
    • how to grow your list
    • how to set up a great abandoned cart emails
    • best practices for creating email campaigns (times, days, platforms, etc.)
    • mastering the email algorithm (yes, there is one and it’s likely hurting your current email list)
    • why you need to be “cleaning” your list quarterly
  • hands on exercises in
    • creation of audiences
    • sponsored/paid social media ads
  • working smarter, not harder: apps and programs used to run the life of any entrepreneur

Aside from all the information you’ll walk away with, you’ll also be forging and forming relationships with other individuals from across the country that are in the same boat as you. And if I’ve learned anything from these past 7 years as an entrepreneur is you better surround yourself with likeminded people who have gone, or are going through what you’ve gone through. Support is everything!

And you know it wouldn’t be a TSC event without really pulling out all the stops. There will be a mix-and-mingle event with cocktails and pie from Southern Baked Pie. The all-workshop will be held at the Arron Terrace Gardens, and ope-air venue at Braves Stadium in the brand new Battery. We’ll have breakfast by Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. And so many more sweet surprises that are, well surprises!

Read more about the event HERE, and definitely grab a seat! We’re making this a small gathering so I believe there’s only about 10 seats left and 5 seats for the add on workshop. Yes, there’s an add on workshop specifically for anyone who has a brick and mortar, physical store. The add on workshop is focused on the daily operations and practices that make a physical store successful as well as out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to events and attracting new customers.

I cannot wait to see you here in my home town next week! Truly, MKR

P.S. Membership to the TSC is definitely something you should look into, but you do NOT have to be a member to sign up for the workshop. The workshop is open to all.

Photography, Kathryn McCrary

Back to Blogging

What 3 months "off" and a Hallmark Movie taught me
Filed Under > Let's Talk

I’ve been sitting here staring at the computer cursor blink for going on two hours now.  Is it possible to have so much to say and so little at the same time? 

To catch everyone up, this past May I made the decision to take the summer off of blogging.  I was over-committed with the other areas of my life and creatively burnt out.  The months leading up to my break all I kept thinking was; “Did I even want to blog anymore?” In a world where it seems that everyone has become a blogger is there anything left to say? “Do I have anything left to say?” And apparently, since I’ve been staring at this blank page for the past two hours, maybe I don’t have the answer I was so sure I had a short time ago.

When I pressed pause in May I felt a huge wave of relief rush over me. By saying no to photo shoots, contracted partnerships, and having to write and create “fresh” editorial content three-plus days a week I would have time for all those areas in my life that had taken a back seat to WOM. 

I would go to bed at a decent hour. I would re-focus on my health. I would meditate. I would get back into my yoga practice. I would take late night strolls with my husband, barefoot in the grass while fireflies romantically buzzed about. Okay, maybe that last one was a stretch, but you get the point. I would finally have the time to re-focus on what’s really important.

So did I regain my focus? No, but I did gain some clarity. 

May, and I’d say even early June was complete bliss. I didn’t miss blogging at all. My head felt clear. My days seemed manageable. And I had even read an entire book, Emily Giffin’s “All We Ever Wanted,” it was GREAT, read it! But by mid-June somehow my calendar had filled up again. 

I signed five new contracted social media partnerships, moved our entire WOM operations to a new space, opened a summer WOMH Outlet (WOM downstairs), hired two new full-time employees, decided to re-brand and re-launch all of our websites, and began the first steps to start two new businesses. That was June.

Then sometime after the fireworks of the Fourth, I sat up late one night crying to my husband that I didn’t understand why I had NO time! And there deep in my wine-fueled waterworks I realized it; the problem doesn’t lie in the Blog, the problem lies with me. 

Sure I’ve always known that I’m not great at balance. That I’m either going full throttle or basically dead-to-the-world-in-bed.  However there was a big difference in always knowing something, and actually seeing that something in action.

But regardless, that way of doing life has always in my opinion been a secret to my success. It’s allowed me to say yes to a plethora of opportunities. It’s allowed me to juggle a lot of different things at once. And it’s allowed me to persevere when many would have folded. 

Which brought me to the question that filled up my entire month of July; if that all-or-nothing, do-do-do mentality has played such a large part in what I’ve built then is it really a problem?

Sure, I needed to set boundaries, and really give this balance thing another shot, but was it really a problem-problem? And just as quickly as I had tried to talk my way around that thought I remembered a quote from one of my favorite authors Shauna Niequist. “The very thing that makes you YOU, that makes you great is also the thing that left unchecked will ruin you.”

I remember the first time I heard those words. I re-read them over and over again. “The very thing that makes you YOU, that makes you great is also the thing that left unchecked will ruin you.”  It was a true Oprah “ah-ha” moment.  Of course, taking time off from blogging didn’t give me more time, because I filled that time with new opportunities, new projects, new commitments.  My desire to build what’s next was rearing it’s ugly unchecked head in all its glory. I mean do you know how many yoga classes I had taken by this point? If you guessed zero you’d be right.

So as August approached and my lightbulb moment still shining, I had finally figured out that the Blog wasn’t the reason for my lack of time. Which left me at a bit of a crossroads. If I was truly going to work towards getting a handle on my time management and try to find some sort of balance in my life then I will have to say no to some things.  Would that be the Blog? Do I love it enough to make it a part of my finite daily time? I didn’t have an answer.  Luckily a Hallmark movie did.

But before we get to that, let me tell you about August. August was a turning of the tide. I could feel a desire to start creating again slowly creep its way in. I got back in the kitchen testing recipes. Magazine articles, fabrics, and images got pinned to a new inspiration board. I started slowly sharing on Instagram Stories my latest tips, tricks, and finds. But I still didn’t know if I wanted to translate that all back to a daily Blog.  And then my answer came how one always hopes any answer comes; in the form of a two-hour romantic made for TV movie on Hallmark.  

It was your typical Hallmark romance storyline. Girl moves back to hometown after a failed marriage. Boy, she loved in high school re-enters the picture. Boy and girl rediscover the love they always knew they had and live happily ever after.  In this particular scenario Boy was a big New York City Chef success story (think Bobby Flay-esq). Boy had just inked his third best selling book deal and was about to sign on to his very own reality show. (Stay with me, I promise I’m making a point). He thought he had it all, but after spending a few weeks in his small Texas hometown, cooking in the restaurant he grew up in, and rediscovering the love he thought he lost he realized he was still missing something. So when the time came to hop back on that jet to NYC he looked at his agent and said something along the lines of; “I miss actually being creative; cooking and being in the restaurant. All I am any more is a brand. I sign checks, I manage restaurants, I make appearances, but I miss creating.”

I, like the Boy, missed creating. 

WOM is growing, and I feel like my days are filled more and more with the management of people, analysis of numbers, plotting, planning, and next steps and less and less with why I started WOM in the first place.  To create, to find, to share, and most importantly to hopefully inspire. 

I know that inevitably as WOM continues to grow I won’t be able to be in the day to day creativity trenches. And that’s okay.  That’s a natural part of growth. But that day is not today.

So will I be blogging every day…no. Will I ever figure this balance thing out…maybe. Did I ever get to that yoga class…yes. Two of them actually. Let’s hear it for baby steps. I’m glad to be back friends! Truly, MKR

P.S. Since I’m back to sharing, I’d be amiss to not mention that this Dodo Bar Or Miranda dress is on MAJOR sale right now. Major!
 


 

Photography: Brittany Leigh Photography

Cheers to Summer Break with The Salty Dog Cocktail

Why I'm taking the summer off from blogging
Filed Under > Cocktail Hour

With Memorial Day weekend behind us, summer is officially here.  Break out the white jeans, beach drinks, and long leisurely summer nights.  I mean is there any time of year more nostalgic than summer? When I think of summer I have specific smells and feelings that coming rushing in.  There’s no season that truly makes me long to be a kid again, or in a kind of a sad way makes me feel how far I am from those carefree days, than summer.

That’s why I’ve decided to take a break from blogging this summer.  I’ve never actually taken a break from blogging.  I’ve plowed through every holiday, every date, every season, all the time.  But lately I’ve been feeling very unbalanced and a bit uninspired.  I’ve felt very disconnected from why I started blogging in the first place. It’s almost felt forced.  And forced is the opposite of what I want this space to be about.

So that’s why I’m pressing pause and soaking in every magnificent moment of summer I can.  I plan on taking bike rides, walking barefoot, eating food on a stick at all the local carnivals, playing put-put golf, taking spontaneous road trips, jumping into the lake, and maybe even being a bit lazy.  Yes I am drinking that summer kool-aid (both literally and figuratively as Kool-aid was a major part of my summers in Michigan).

Don’t worry I won’t be totally MIA. I’ll still be sharing all of my adventures over on Instagram and let’s not forget I have a shop that won’t run itself. I hope while I’m on a break you’ll still utilize WOM as a resource for all things home, food, beauty, and entertaining. As I’ve been doing this for five years I’ve built up quite the library of information that still feels rather inspired. And of course don’t forget about the recipe index! So many good recipes to try out!

Which brings me to today’s Salty Dog recipe.  This is the easiest, and perfect cocktail for those lazy days of summer.  Get the recipe below, and whip up a batch sooner rather than later.

So that’s it. I’m signing off until Labor Day.  Here’s to hoping I might just get a glimpse of that inner kid again. Truly, MKR

The Salty Dog
Serves 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 oz. Vodka
  2. 3 oz. grapefruit juice
  3. coarse sea salt for the rim
  4. club soda
  5. ice
  6. grapefruit wedges for garnish
Instructions
  1. rim a glass with coarse sea salt or spicy sea salt for a little extra kick
  2. fill a glass and shaker with ice. to the shaker add grapefruit juice and vodka, shake shake shake.
  3. pour over ice into the glass and top with a splash of club soda and garnish with a grapefruit slice or wedge. enjoy.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/
 

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