The technology industry has sadly been lacking women based start-ups, but in our Women to Watch interview today you will meet Natalie Sisson who’s aiming to change that.Natalie’s the Founder of WomanzWorld, an awesome resource for other women entrepreneurs to connect and learn, and Co-Founder of ConnectionPoint Systems, the smart tech company that created Fundrazr – the Social Commerce app for Facebook that provides relief from headaches caused by fee and donation collection.
Self described as an Evolutionary Entrepreneur, find out what inspired Natalie to turn her tech idea into a successful business, how her entrepreneurial journey is helping other women entrepreneurs, and the role social media has played in her success so far.
To start off, Natalie, could you please describe what you do and how you earn your living?
I’m the passionate Founder of WomanzWorld.com – the Ultimate Resource for Female Entrepreneurs. I’m also Co Founder of ConnectionPoint Systems, a technology startup that has created FundRazr, a Social Commerce application on Facebook.
What most influenced you to launch your business?
I was fortunate enough to meet my business partner at a networking event over a wine and cheese board and was sold on his idea to provide relief from fundraising and fee collection headaches. Having managed several sports teams I knew how frustrating it could be collecting cash, checks and IOUs and knew that a solution that allows you to tap into your social networks do all that online would be so beneficial. It’s been an amazing opportunity to take an idea through to conception and launch.
WomanzWorld.com came out of my desire to connect with more women in the technology industry. The first thing I noticed is that it’s dominated by men, yet I knew there were plenty of women in business that I could benefit from meeting and collaborating with.
WomanzWorld became a platform to reach them from and also to write about my experiences as an entrepreneur and share my learnings, as well as interview amazing women in business and profile useful resources and tools to help female entrepreneurs grow their business.
Up until now it’s been purely a passion and hobby however I’ve had such a great response and seen incredible growth that I am turning it into an online business that provides value to women in business and to myself.
Why do you think the female factor is so important in today’s economy and business world?
Women have so much to give that I wrote a blog post about the Unique Advantages and traits of women entrepreneurs. The main factors that point to why we’re playing such a huge part in the success of the economy and business are:
Emotional Intelligence, intuition and instincts, ability to multi-task, our ability to connect with each other, persistence and patience, natural marketers and networkers and we’re consistent in our actions.
Women are starting businesses at double the rate of men right now and it’s also been proven that women make more effective leaders.
Have you used the marketing concept of tribes in your business? Do you feel this concept can help other female entrepreneurs in their business pursuits?
Definitely, women are incredible at supporting and promoting each other, especially when faced with the same situation. In the workplace I’ve seen a tendency for unhealthy attitudes and competition, but what I’ve noticed as an entrepreneur is that it’s the complete opposite. Every woman I’ve met is there to help and be helped.
It’s ironic that I’ve recently launched the Vancouver chapter of Tribal-Truth – a community of women empowering women. I’ve also started the Dream Squad with some close friends and women in business purely for the reason that I find a collective far more powerful and valuable then my own individual efforts.
I’m so excited to see the tribe that’s building through WomanzWorld.com and the mutually beneficial relationships that are coming out of it.
How do you use social media for your business?
Social Media has been an incredible benefit to me both personally and professionally. I’ve been able to build relationships and access audiences online that have transcended to offline. Had it not been for Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn I may never have known, let alone met so many amazing people.
What’s more the social networks and social media tools allow for me to spread my message to people that are interested, and allow them to spread it further if they find it useful and beneficial. It’s word of mouth marketing gone viral.
Submitting my articles to social bookmarking sites and to forums like those on LinkedIn has led to excellent discussions, real engagement as well as a remarkable increase in traffic to my site. I recently got asked by ForbesWoman to be featured on their site which I attribute to the visibility that social media has brought me.
I’ve been writing a series on Social Media Workouts for Entrepreneurs that talks about using an integrated social media campaign to deliver value to your business at little to no cost and that anyone not taking advantage of them is losing out.
How about social media ROI? What aspect of social media have you found to be the most help and/or most hindrance to your business?
Social Media can be liberating and energizing or a black hole that sucks away your time. I’ve found that if you remain focused and disciplined you can use it so effectively. It takes time, energy and commitment but it’s so worth it.
It’s also taught me many lessons about personal branding, being cognoscente of being your true authentic self, and being mindful of how people can perceive what you say in a different manner to that in which it’s intended. It’s definitely a constant learning opportunity that I embrace.
Have you had a mentor and if so, how has that helped you?
I only started approaching mentors last year and I’ve found them to invaluable. I’ve had a formal mentor through the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs program and then three informal relationships that I call on when I’m having specific issues that I’d like their expertise on. I’ve found it to be a two way relationship where you end up helping each other. I highly recommend it.
What would you say is the single biggest reason for your success?
I’m not sure I’d call myself a success yet…. I measure success based on being able to do what I love every day and have others love it to. So on that level, yes I feel successful and extremely lucky. I think success comes from being truly passionate and committed, from applying focused actions to what you do every day, from persevering where others give up, and by being true to your values no matter what.
If you could step back in time to when you were just starting out, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?
Give yourself a break. Women are especially hard on themselves and often doubt their abilities. If they’re not achieving perfection they feel their failing. Although it’s been hard I’m learning to embrace failure as a pivotal aspect of succeeding. It’s there to teach you a lesson so you do it better next time.
I’m learning that it’s all about the journey not the destination, and that so long as each day you’re taking one or two steps towards achieving your goals then you’re doing an amazing job. Success is not an overnight phenomenon. It’s a long and wonderful journey so enjoy it.
Can you share with us any plans or lifetime goals (personal or business) that we can look forward to from you?
I’m super excited to be launching my first products on WomanzWorld, these will be valuable products aimed at women entrepreneurs who want bite-sized tools that help them grow wildly successful businesses and achieve work life balance.
They’ll be a culmination of eBooks, online coaching programs and consulting based off a survey I ran to find out what challenges entrepreneurs have and what solutions they’re looking for.
What is the best way for our readers to learn more about you or contact you for more information?
I’d love for readers to visit WomanzWorld.com and join engage with me on @womanzworld and @nataliesisson.
All my points of contact are on my online business card natalieisson.tel
Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us, Natalie! Congratulations on all your success with both Connection Point Systems and WomanzWorld (Yay! for your Forbes feature!!). I am definitely looking forward to your new product launches coming soon and sharing much more with you in the future. You Rock!
** COMMENT AND WIN !! **
Natalie is offering two lucky winners a great opportunity! Receive a complimentary Social Media Analysis of your existing online presence and customized recommendations to make your brand sparkle!
All you have to do is leave a comment below sharing one benefit you picked up from Natalie’s interview and tell us how a customized Social Media Analysis will make a difference in your business. I will choose two random winners on Monday and make an announcement.
Bonus: Receive an extra entry for commenting on any other post on Market Like A Chick to increase you chance of winning. All comments must be legitimate and relevant to be considered valid.
To Your Success,
P.S. ~~> If you would like to be featured on Market Like A Chick, just check out the details on my Be Featured page. You can choose to write a guest article of your own or be featured in an interview like this. We want to hear from you!