Teana McDonald is a serial entrepreneur. Throughout her career Teana has worked with a number of diverse clients who trust and appreciate her services and unique approach to “getting things done”. She brings her tenacious work ethic and unflappable spirit to every undertaking. In addition to nurturing her businesses, she loves to get involved and give back to the community, especially other women business owners.
3E Connections, Inc. is a boutique Public Relations and Social Media agency. They are experienced professionals who believe passionately in delivering personalized service to each and every client at competitive prices. 3E Connections, Inc. focuses on increasing your total online presence. They will establish, execute and expand a specifically tailored brand strategy to get your product, service or event noticed.
BusinessInterviews.com: Where does your strong entrepreneurial spirit come from?
Teana: I just recently found out that my Great Grandfather was an entrepreneur and he owned a tailor shop in Harlem, NY. Then the light bulb went off and I said, now it all makes sense! I always knew that I wanted to be my own boss but keep fighting the urge to try something on my own (fear of failing). One day it finally happened, the “Divine Intervention” I got a call that I was being let go as a Consultant for MasterCard. I was scared, excited and stressed out all at the same time but I knew that this was a chance to go big or go home. I failed a few times, tried again failed and now I am here to say it all worked out. Through this process I’ve made it my mission to surround myself by other successful women business owners and mentor those that are in the process of opening their own businesses.
This journey is a tough one and in order to keep that spark alive you have to be motivated by more than success and money.
BusinessInterviews.com: What public relations advice would you give a young entrepreneur starting up their first business, especially if their funds are limited?
Teana: Great question! The reason I am running a PR firm is because I could not afford to hire one for myself. I found out that I was good at spreading the good news about my business. I was good at pitching stories and I was good at building relationships and making solid connections. Use the 3 C’s when it comes to PR:
• Communication: what are you communicating to your audience? What does your brand say to them and are they really listening? Answer these questions before you start reaching out to the public.
• Content: how good is your brand’s content? If you are not a good writer make sure you hire someone that is. The media will not give you the time of day if you have a bad pitch or poor content to support your story and your brand. (The press release is NOT dead- write them often)
• Connections: make them, build them, and keep them! It’s not always about you and your brand; what can you help them with? Make sure to make your relationship a 2-way street and become the go to person they come to when they need an industry expert.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are 3 things companies should and should not expect from social media?
Teana: Should Not Expect:
• An immediate following and high level of engagement
• Sales to sky rocket
• To reach their niche market without a plan
• To build and grow their online presence
• An increase in website traffic and SEO
• An increase of followers and engagement with a robust and consistent strategy
BusinessInterviews.com: Many companies struggle with scalability. Can you provide some tips on being able to expand and grow at a steady and consistent pace?
Teana: Yes, we all struggle with this. What works for me is a list or loose plan on where I want my business to go. For example, I started with just social media, added on public relations, added on speaking engagements, and now training sessions. In order to grow at a steady pace we cannot implement all of our wonderful ideas immediately. It’s timing and circumstance. Some of us want to be everything to everyone but we simply can’t. Not even Nike, Coke or Apple can. Test the market, look for the opportunity, map it out then by all means expand, grow and prosper. Also know when to call it quits if it does not work.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some social media trends you’re excited about or think that our readers should be paying attention to?
Teana: The social media landscape is really a HUGE black hole. There a plethora of platforms and tons of information we can use to get the job done. What I am VERY excited about is that social media platforms are really working on expanding their platforms to support businesses. From Twitter ads to Facebook Ads social media is making it possible to reach millions and really expand your business.
These platforms understand that we need them and they need us. Another trend (or just a fact) is that every industry on the planet earth from government to farming is leveraging social media and finally understanding that it’s here to stay and that they need to jump on board. That is fascinating. It has become a movement.
BusinessInterviews.com: If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what business related advice would you give yourself?
• You can’t be everything to everyone
• Slow down and think about how this will make sense 10 minutes or even 10 days from now
• The money will come if you focus on what you are passionate about
• Build your army and know that you cannot grow your company alone
• Have a mentor that’s been there & done that (this will save you lots of time, tears and money)
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