Monday, March 28, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Alison Silbert of Passionate Web Creations

Last month I came across Alison's Passionate Web Creations website, and reached out to her for a Spotlight on Mommy feature.  Alison kindly sent me a copy of her book, Boost your Revenues by Turning People Away, which I will be sharing a review on this Wednesday.  In addition to writing two books, Alison also offers online marketing, website creations and maintenance, along with social media coaching through her online website.  Here is my interview with Alison, where she shares more information on her business and how she balances work and family.   

Don't forget to check out my review of her book on Wednesday.  In addition to my book review, I will be offering one lucky Inspired by Savannah reader a chance to win a FREE website review, valued at $350.00.

Name: Alison Silbert
Company Name/Product/Service: Passionate Web Creations, online marketing, website creation, maintenance; upgrade and social media coaching. Also have 2 online marketing books available "Winning Websites" and "Boost your Revenues by Turning People Away"
Company Location: #1500, 4 Robert Speck Pkwy, Mississauga
Company Website:
Facebook URL:!/profile.php?id=730852200
Twitter Handle: @alisonsilbert
Age of Company: 8 yrs.
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: "You can get anything you want if you help enough other people" - Zig Ziglar
Favorite Book: "7 habits of highly effective people" and "Excuses Begone!"

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.:

Two children: Ben: 3 1/2 & Stephanie: 2 yrs.

Hobbies: Jigsaw puzzles, rough-housing w. the dog (we have an 8 yr, old Sheltie named, Coco) and going out for a good steak dinner

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?:

I was downsized after 9/11 and started working at my Dad's company in early 2003. In a lunch date with my Dad, he recommended I take some business courses, to learn the ropes of running a business. I started the 'Introduction to Business' course in the September, and within 3 weeks we were discussing entrepreneurial life. I loved it. I asked my teacher to help me start a business helping people figure out this website creation thing (I had previously trained as a programmer and discovered a love for internet programming). My teacher took me aside and helped me put together some basic marketing materials and told me to go and meet people, telling them what I was starting to do. Within 1 year I had a profitable business. Within the next 2 years, I was starting to outsource key elements of business life. In 2007, I closed the business temporarily due to pregnancy. Two children, two published books and 3 years later (in early 2010), I restarted Passionate Web Creations.  In 10 months, I have re-established a supplier base, started some PR marketing, have cashflows to sustain an office and have internship students working with me.

What is a typical work day like?:

 I go into the office and check up on various client status reports, pick up messages and then get writing - either marketing materials for the company or content for a client's website (the intern students I hire are capable of moving files from one location to another). When I need a break from writing, I call new prospects & get inventive on where to find the next client.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company?: 

Convincing new clients to trust us. Too many other online marketing companies promise the earth and deliver next-to-nothing.

What did you do in your past work life?:

Worked at the University of Toronto as a technical writer, and then worked with my father's company in all areas.

What have been some of your major successes?:

Put together various e-commerce websites from scratch, worked with University of Toronto (Mississauga campus) assisting with SEO and conducted Ron Starr's social media campaign during the municipal election this past summer.

What have been some of your major challenges?:

Finding time & corresponding events to get out and market the business. I had to be innovative and find clients online.

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?:

The kids; knowing that in spite of the challenges, it can only get better & that somehow God will make it work out.

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?:

Time management and the ability to quickly 'flip' from one thing to another.

What is next for your business?:

Duplicating my sales efforts so the business can grow exponentially and figuring out how to plan and implement a bestseller's campaign.

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?:

Do what you love, manage your time, and believe that you'll get through the bad just as easily as the good times.

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