iGirlTech News Interviews Valerie Jennings about Social Media, Tech & Female Entrepreneurship
iGrilTech News interviewed Valerie Jennings, CEO of Jennings Social Media & MarTech (JSMM) and Viral Bolt Media (VBM), about social media, technology and female entrepreneurship. The blog, iGirlTech News, is dedicated to reporting on the most recent trends and influencers in the tech industry while showcasing inspiring, passionate women within the field. In the interview, Amber Turner, host for iGirlTech News, talks with Jennings via Skype from the comfort of their homes in the Kansas City and Los Angeles areas. Watch the full video, or take a look at some of Jennings’ responses to Turners’ questions below:
Turner: What are the most significant changes in social media you’ve seen in the past few years, or even the past few months?
Jennings: I’ll start with the past few months– Google continues to dictate how social media performs, its popularity. If Google pulls out support in social media, boy, I don’t know; it’ll be another paradigm shift. But, because search engines are driven by the social media activity, businesses are getting it. They’ve stopped asking the question, why social media? They just kind of went, oh, we have to do it. Now it’s a question of who does it, how well is it done and what types of best business practices exist? So, in the last few months we just continue to see the nuances evolve with search engine optimization and quality content actually valuing people who have a journalism background…
Turner: You started the company at the age of 24, what are some difficulties you faced as a young entrepreneur?
Jennings: I can think of about 80 things to tell you, but I’ll try to simplify it. I’ve been asked frequently to come in and present in front of startups and people who are in the early stages of going to market with their companies, and I look at them and am like, you have financial backing, you’ve been through an education program, you’ve been picked by your colleagues and peers in the industry, you have all of these people around you that are helping you get to that next best point. So, your errors and omissions decrease, and your success ratio goes up. I didn’t have any of that– I didn’t even think about it.
I knew I needed to do something different with my career. I knew I had a bunch of skills I wanted to pull on and bring into my business. I didn’t think about, I have to have a corporate lawyer, or a really awesome finance person I am in contact with 24/7. I always say to people, make sure you have a great corporate lawyer and a great money person, a great financial advisor, because you cannot make a single decision about your business without talking to your financial advisor every day.
Turner: For women who are thinking about starting a business, what advice would you give them?
Jennings: For women who are thinking about starting a business, I would say, why stop? I mean, women, we can conquer anything. Look at everything we do on any given day. We take care of kids, we run the household, we can run the books, we know how to run a business, we’re great with people and we’re very intuitive. If any woman has any doubt about starting a business, I would say why would you even question it? We’re designed to divide and conquer. We are designed to delegate. Why would we even question that? If you have a great idea and you feel like you divided it up and you’ve figured out your pros and cons, risk and rewards, you know how much time it would take and you have the group, why stop?
That would be my advice, especially to younger women . Younger women are experiencing rapid grown in their careers. They are realizing that they don’t have to climb the ladder like the generations before them had to. I had the honor of working with a lot of successful female executives that are older than me and I’ve learned the value of being respectable, asking them a million questions about their carer, understanding the challenges that they still face in corporate America and really appreciating that I don’t have to deal with that. But, I want to understand because what’s happening is that the trailblazers that has gone on for the younger generations is why younger females are having more success today.