Entrepreneurs talking business during the COVID-19 virus
Fashion Potluck is a women-driven social media platform focused on female related content. Launched in 2016 and originally meant to be a fashion-look sharing site, due to our women users and their posting activities, the site naturally evolved into a social media platform. This allowed our users to create content on a variety of topics, interact with each other (through likes, comments, and messages), and grow together with us. Currently, we cater to over 65.000 monthly active users globally, having achieved over 1 million unique page views, with a growth rate of 8% monthly.
Vision: Every woman has an opportunity to create content, be heard and seen, be supported through a strong and authentic women community.
Mission: To become the point of reference for women-generated content.
Values: Authenticity – Women Empowerment – Support – Freedom of Expression
How has your business changed in these uncertain times?
FashionPotluck.com has seen a significant increase in both traffic and user activity leading to the faster growth of the platform. We believe that this is in line with greater overall social media usage during this time as well as increased e-commerce sales as experienced by big online vendors as well as specialty online stores. There are some challenges in regards to our sales activities, as many companies have frozen their online marketing expenditures while they reformulate their strategies.
What measures are you currently taking?
Our main measure at the moment is – to grow. We launched a Marketing as a Service (MaaS) offering allowing companies to access our niche women community as well as providing valuable tools that enable brands, big and small, to have innovative and successful campaigns.
In these times of remote work and social distancing, we have become more reliant on e-commerce and online businesses in general. As such building online communities around our companies is ever more a priority. We have deployed our AI-Powered Influencers Search Tool which allows companies to find users on Instagram according to Gender, Age, Region, and Topic. It also does the basics of Engagement Rates, Following, and Followers. It is all automated and fast. No need to pay agencies to find individuals that can be your influencers, ambassadors or simply find people to grow your online community.
Regarding expenditures and investments, we are having to be extra careful with our budget management. These times present challenges, but also opportunities for those who are able to hang on and weather the storm. As well, it is important to mention that we understand the challenges faced by companies in general, and therefore offer a trial period to get a taste of our tools & the platform.
An important note: When you sign up for our Brand Category, we will be donating 5% of your monthly subscription to two women supporting NGOs – Womankind (UK) & Rise Up (US), which tackle different issues and together fight for a better world.
How do you arrange everything with your staff?
For over two months we have been working from home. Although this can be a challenge in terms of communication and even emotionally, the fact is that being an online business we have the privilege of continuing without that many distortions. A particularly important aspect is motivation – when you have a clear goal and a vision of it, you are driven and extra-motivated to achieve it. We are lucky, as all of our team members are very committed to what we are doing.
Yet, of course, we all have down periods. Keeping the team spirit up, vision focused, and urgency when it comes to execution of important tasks can be a challenge. We make it a point to greet each other all the time, video chat to catch up, and give freedom to all of us to just ring a team member up for questions or comments. Keeping the leadership structure as horizontal as possible and with little bureaucracy.
What opportunities do you see at the moment?
Traditional commerce has been struggling for years, trying to come to terms with an ever-increasing online consumer. The coronavirus crisis has accelerated this transition to e-commerce which, we believe was inevitable. For companies, this means an increase of competition online. Social media platforms become over-saturated with ads, making brands fight for relevant audiences. In our opinion, this can lead to a search for new marketing outlets, niche audiences, and niche communities on the internet.
Fashion Potluck has an ever-growing niche women community. These are women content creators and audiences ages 21 to 35. They are urban dwellers, university students ready to graduate, and young women professionals who write about the products companies sell. Most importantly, these are open-minded, authentic, and engaging women. As such, we offer brands of all sizes the possibility to promote their products and services in a more segmented and successful manner then the traditional Facebook Ad campaigns. We can support brands in their challenges, help them reach people in a more meaningful and financially successful way.
Positive thought to conclude with:
Communities are built by reaching out, listening, and supporting each other. What might be common sense for one might be valuable information for another. What might be in abundance for one, might be in scarcity for others. Hard times come and go and how we, as women and as a community, support each other, will make the difference in our strength and success going forward. Let’s keep at it!
“We need to organise our work better ánd smarter” says Martine Meijburg. Meijburg founded Second Degree in 2013; the first LinkedIn marketing agency (worldwide). A success, as the agency became one of the fastest growing companies in the Netherlands (Silver FD Gazellen Award in 2016), servicing clients such as Philips, KLM and Microsoft.
Martine is an author, public speaker and was listed in The Next Women 100 in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and the Adformatie100 in 2017. She shares with us her experiences as an entrepreneur and member of The Next Women.
She got into the world of recruitment because she showed talent for it and acted on that: at TNW we love playing out your strengths. Now, with her own company and being a mother of two, Dayanara Vonk Ilaria reflects on her journey: “Leadership really is learning how you can influence yourself.”