How to Thrive in Marketing


shAMA: Ask Me Anything – Episode 8

I’m so excited to answer your questions on ‘Marketing and the World Around It. To get your question answered on the show, write to me using the hashtag #shAMA!


Click here for the full transcript!

Hey guys, welcome to this week’s edition of Ask Shama, so you guys send me lots of questions. I get them from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, across the board, and I love your questions, marketing questions, business questions, and of course, on the Ask Shama segment, I like to answer said questions for you. Let’s get started.

The first question comes from Rick. Rick asks, any advice for me as I transition, Shama, after forty years at J.C. Penney into freelance HR consulting?

Absolutely, Rick. I think what you are asking specifically is how do you go from being an employee to an entrepreneur, and first, let me just say congratulations. Very exciting journey for you, and I would say leverage everything that you have right now as you transition your business over.

A couple of things to keep in mind, you’re not going to have your standard structure that you did at a company, so you’re really going to have to create that for yourself. I think a lot of people find when they go from employee to entrepreneur that that’s a big shift because they can now wake up any time and do things, you know, kind of on their schedule, but that being said, I do recommend having a schedule and sticking to it.

Also make sure that you reach out to colleagues, vendors, past bosses, people that you’ve cultivated relationships over these past forty years. These guys are going to be your best clients moving forward. These are the people that are going to be your best sources of referrals, so make sure that when you walk away from this, you’re not just dropping one part of your life and starting another, but that there is a lovely bridge, that you are taking everything you’ve learned, but also these connections that you made with people, and that you are using these connections to launch your new venture, so congratulations once again, very exciting, and don’t forget to market yourself, brand yourself. Remember, coming from a bigger organization, they did a lot of that for you. Starting your own business, that’s something that’s really going to fall on you, so make sure that you have a plan of action and that you are ready to wear lots of hats.

Second question comes from Julia, who says, hey I wanted to reach out to you for help because I’ve just been hired as a personal assistant in a fur and shearling business, and I’ve been asked to help with social media. My background is in real estate, so not really familiar with marketing and social media, but would love your advice. So the factory seems like it’s a small factory, and she says we work with clients like Coach and Oscar de la Renta. What’s your advice on how to best market our business and goods online and create a social media presence?

So Julia, great questions. Congratulations on your new position. Here’s my big question. Make sure that you understand who your audience is, so the question being who is your audience? Is your audience business owners that you’re hoping will give you manufacturing contracts or are you looking to create consumer awareness? Those are two very different goals, and how you market this business is going to depend on the answer to those goals.

If this, you say is a B2B business, a manufacturing facility, and you’re looking to attract more higher brands to come work with you, then you’re going to have a different strategy. I highly recommend LinkedIn for B2B marketing. It’s a great platform. You can be very specific and targeted on who you reach out to, and your entire marketing strategy is really going to revolve around why you’re the best choice as a manufacturer for some of these top brands.

Now, if you’re going the B2C side and you’re trying to create broader visibility, you’re going to have different tools you use, like Instagram, Facebook. You’re really going to go after the consumer audience. You’re trying to create buzz and visibility for what you guys do and make your own brand better known, so that’s really the first question I would say that you need to answer. Are you marketing a B2B business or are you marketing a B2C business? Hopefully that will drive a lot of your strategy and tactics.

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed the answers. If you have questions, please feel free to ask them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. You can find us across the board, and watch for your answers on future episodes, and be sure to subscribe at so you don’t miss a beat so you get lots of future content that we have in the works for you. Thanks so much for watching. Tune in again soon.


–Episode Questions–

Question 1 from Rick: “Hi Shama, any advice for me as I transition after 40 years at JCPenney, to freelance HR Consulting?”

Lesson #1: “Leverage existing assets as you transition your business.”

Lesson #2: “Create a structure that works for you as an entrepreneur.”

Lesson #3: “Reach out to existing contacts to launch your new venture.”

Lesson #4: “Market and brand yourself!”


Question 2 from Julia Jacobs:

“Hi Shama,

I came across your blog online, and wanted to reach out to you for help. I just got hired as a personal assistant to a fur and shearling business owner to assist him in daily tasks a well as help him market his business on social media.

I have a real estate background and was very busy without the need to “market” and advertise, so I’m not really familiar with online and social media marketing.

Our factory in Manhattan is small and we work with clients like coach, oscar de la renta etc. What is your advice on how to best market our business and goods online & create a social media presence?”

Lesson #1: “Understand your audience and market accordingly.”

B2B: Business to Business

B2C: Business to Consumer


–Connect with Shama–
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