Episode 166: How to Survive 8+ Months with NO Social Media, with Shanna Skidmore - the Creative Empire podcast

Today, Christina and Reina are joined with second time guest Shanna Skidmore. At the beginning of the episode we dive right into the decision Shanna made to leave social media and how it has affected her. She shares about the scary side of silence in your business and how to market more effectively in your business. Lastly, she talks about her signature model, the Blueprint Model.

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Main Takeaways:

  • How getting off of social media has affected her [0:01:05]
  • How it was going from saturation to silence + the transition [0:06:03]
  • What to focus on if you do not have a huge community [0:13:14]
  • Why to find out who your audience is + where are they hanging out [0:15:55]
  • What the best ways are to market your business [0:21:15]
  • Who is your "power of one" - meaning who are you serving [0:23:06]
  • What are the foundations to be focusing on [0:28:38]
  • What her Blueprint Model Program is + who it is geared for [0:38:26]
We are trained and conditioned for saturation. That is scary. We don’t like quiet.
— Shanna Skidmore
Serve the people right in front of you.
— Shanna Skidmore


Shanna Skidmore is a business strategist and financial coach. Nicknamed the “dream-releaser” by her clients, she helps entrepreneurs make money doing what they love by building profitable & sustainable businesses. For the past 10 years she has been immersed in the world of small business development and finance. By studying patterns of success, she now coaches and consults with creative entrepreneurs on business principles she found to be key indicators of success. Her background in finance, psychology and art, have allowed her to marry the world of business and creativity. Her greatest joy is watching others transform their stories and build businesses & lives they love!

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92: Lisa Funk, How to Create a Company Culture of Connection - the Creative Empire podcast

Reina and Christina talk to Lisa Funk of Handlettered Design during this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast. Lisa is great at creating connections and encouraging people on Instagram, so they ask her to share how she has created a company that is so encouraging. Also discussed in this episode is what business owners should focus on instead of just numbers, how to get more comfortable with selling, and what advice Lisa would give to new business owners. 


Show Highlights:

  • How Lisa became an "accidental" business owner and how it's impacted how she does business
  • What mindful lettering is and how it's helped Lisa through hard times
  • What advice Lisa has for new handlettering business owners
  • What helped Lisa pivot in her business and how she gained clarity on what she really wanted to offer
  • What former students of Lisa's have gone on to do
  • What business owners should focus on instead of numbers
  • What Lisa's main goal for her Instagram account is
  • How Lisa got more comfortable with selling
  • What tips Lisa has for building a business that is encouraging

Show Notes:

Lisa’s Bio:

Lisa Funk is a hand lettering artist and creative founder of Hand Lettered Design. During one of the most challenging times in her life, lettering saved her - as a creative and meaningful outlet and she loves sharing that with others. What started as selling prints at holiday pop-up shops turned into several custom jobs and lots of different experiences including creating designs for Hobby Lobby, selling in local stores and teaching at major conferences. She and her partner Addi teach chalk art and hand lettering workshops and have now taught more than 700 students at their in-person classes and more than 1600 students online. She is passionate about helping women live intentional lives, focusing on what matters most. Lisa is a wife and mom to three littles, life-long Californian now living in Gilbert, Arizona where she loves living by family and being a part of an amazing creative community. She loves visiting art museums, traveling anywhere she can (especially the beach), dark chocolate, delicious food and real conversations about real life.

Lisa’s Social Handles:

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65: How to Turn Your Blog into a Business, with Luisa Hammett - the Creative Empire podcast

Joining Reina and Christina for this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast is Luisa Hammett. Luisa is a successful blogger and shares a lot of insight on how to turn your blog into a business. The trio cover everything from how to earn money blogging to when to start charging + how to approach brands. If you've been thinking of starting a blog or you already have a blog + want to take it to the next level, this episode is for you! [audio mp3="http://creativeempire.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/27-560-post/EP-74-Luisa-Hammett.mp3"][/audio]


Show Highlights:

  • How to make money blogging
  • What some reasons are that non-bloggers might want to have a blog + how it can help their business
  • Why consistency is important + how to be more consistent
  • How to come up with time to take pictures
  • What life looks like as a really well-known blogger
  • How to decide whether or not to collaborate with a brand
  • When to start charging + how to approach brands
  • How to grow your blog readership + social media following
  • How to deal with haters

Show Notes:

Luisa’s Bio:

Born in Colombia, raised in the South, currently living in the beautiful city of Atlanta. I recently graduated with my Masters in Clinical Nutrition from Georgia State University and completed a dietetic internship at Southern Regional Emory Healthcare. I am currently preparing for the final step, which is taking the registered dietetics licensure exam to become a registered dietitian (RD). Peaches to Pearls has been one of the best experience of my life because it gives me a platform to share my two biggest passions, food and fashion. Whether its a new healthy recipe or an affordable, chic outfit, Peaches to Pearls is for any woman trying to live a prettier life.

Luisa’s Social Handles:

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Episode 63: How to Brand Your Photography Business, with Vanessa Velez - the Creative Empire podcast

This episode of the Creative Empire Podcast, Reina and Christina are joined by destination wedding photographer and intentional brand strategist Vanessa Velez. She gives practical tips and advice this episode for photographers and non-photographers alike on branding and visual strategy. Vanessa curates a beautiful online presence through her website and social media and shares how she does so.


Show Highlights:

  • How Vanessa's background in marketing has helped make her a successful destination wedding photographer
  • What changes she's seen in the photography industry in the past ten years
  • How Instagram has helped her business + how she's grown her Instagram following
  • How knowing the client you want is helpful + how to figure them out
  • What photographers who are struggling to book anybody should do
  • What happens when you have a really strong visual branding strategy
  • What 3 practical tips she has for people to take their client experience up a level
  • What Vanessa's secret is to curating such a visual presence
  • What non-photographers can do to improve their Instagram feed + captions
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Show Notes:

Vanessa’s Bio:

Vanessa Velez is a Destination Wedding Photographer and Intentional Brand Strategist who has a deep passion for the creative business and weddings. She has been documenting events for the past decade and it is a romantic at heart. As a Destination photographer she has traveled to places like Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, New York and Paris. When she is not shooting weddings she is helping creative businesses create brands with intention, that can connect with their audience with authentic and true voices. She is also an advocate for community over competition as the Fort Lauderdale leader of Tuesdays Together. When she is not working you can find her cozy in bed with her daughter eating vanilla ice cream with an excess of whip cream and almonds.

Vanessa’s Social Handles:

62: How to Get Started with Video, with April Bowles-Olin - the Creative Empire podcast

Video queen April Bowles-Olin of Blacksburg Belle joins Reina and Christina to chat about how to start using video in your business and why it's important. April really believes that video breaks down barriers + allows people to connect with you in a whole new way. She gives tons of great tips on making videos, from ways to come up with topics to what equipment + software you need. If you're feeling scared or uncomfortable, April has great advice and encouragement to try. We hope this episode inspires you to start making videos for your business today!


Show Highlights:

  • Why videos are important + what you actually need to get started making them
  • What to consider if you feel scared to even start making videos
  • What the value is of sharing content that is uniquely you
  • What you can do if you feel uncomfortable on camera
  • What to use to edit your videos
  • What situations warrant investing in professional filming/editing
  • How sharing content in general is good for your business
  • What you should do if you want to be on CreativeLive someday
  • What some very practical ways are to do a live video this week, even if you're a complete newbie
  • How to figure out topics for your videos

Show Notes:

April’s Bio:

April Bowles-Olin graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in human development and a minor in psychology. Then, she obtained her master’s degree in social work from NYU. While studying at NYU, she worked with homeless adults who were diagnosed with HIV and AIDS and in a combination middle and high school providing counseling services to the students. After graduation, she worked with high-risk adolescents in the Bronx and Brooklyn providing individual, family, and group counseling. April realized that something was missing and she felt emotionally drained, so she looked for other job opportunities. Soon after she started blogging, she left her career in social work and started Blacksburg Belle. The rest is history. April has spoken at the Etsy Success conference, and has been featured on my many websites and blogs including Etsy, Design*Sponge, and BlogcastFM. She has worked with thousands of creatives via one-on-one consulting, group coaching and online courses.

When she’s not helping creative entrepreneurs build successful businesses around the lives they crave, you can find her snapping pictures of her three adopted lab mixes, discovering nifty spy tricks while watching Burn Notice with her husband, and reading every young adult novel she comes across without shame.

April’s Social Handles:

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49: Building Relationships as an Introvert, with Brooke Saxon-Spencer - the Creative Empire podcast

Brooke Saxon-Spencer of Belong Magazine joins the Creative Empire Podcast to talk about how to be an introvert in the creative community of extroverts. She covers how to conference as an introvert and why you need an introvert ally (and what that is!). She discuses how to reach out and build relationships with other creatives. Brooke covers the benefits of online communities such as Facebook Groups and Instagram, but also the fall backs of dwelling too much on these. She highlights the importance of celebrating the little wins in your business, even if you're not making money yet.


Show Highlights:

  • How to be an introvert in the creative community of extroverts
  • Why you need an introvert ally (and what that is!)
  • How to reach out and connect with people
  • What are the benefits of communities like Facebook Groups
  • Why you shouldn't read into people's Instagram lives

Show Notes:

Brooke's Bio:

This is Brooke. Introvert, Starbucks addict, M&M fiend, wife to her college sweetheart, mother of three, work-from-homer, midwestern girl at heart living in SoCal, super multi-tasker and pursuer of Christ. She founded Belong Magazine out of her desire for community, a desire to encourage women to use their voices and be confident in their value, a hope for women to use the screen in front of them to connect beyond that screen—to discover “their place” and find “their people”. As a print and digital publication, she wants Belong to serve as a map directing women to one another while celebrating the art and community of blogging, entrepreneurship and social media.

Brooke's Social Handles:

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41: How to Move Your Business Across the Country, with Shelby Steckbauer - the Creative Empire podcast

Shelby Stechbauer of Shelby Rae Photographs joins the Creative Empire Podcast to talk about how she successfully moved her business across the country. Many creatives may find it difficult for their business when they find themselves moving to a new city or state. Shelby discusses how she overcame this and built her local and online presence. She talks about how to create your ideal clientele and meaningful relationships with people. Shelby also explains how to cater to different types of clients so that they receive the best experience possible.

Show Highlights:

  • How to successfully move your business across the country
  • How to build your local and online presence
  • How to cater to different types of clients
  • How to create your ideal clientele
  • How to create meaningful relationships with people

Show Notes:

Shelby's Bio:

My name is Shelby Steckbauer and I am a portrait & wedding photographer based out of Atlanta & Wisconsin! I am a natural light photographer that thanks the Lord each and every day for allowing me to capture moments in people's lives. I found that my love was not just taking photos... but it was PEOPLE. This job has brought me to meet the most amazing clients & friends that I will cherish my whole life. My passion lies in the moments that I can connect with my clients, whether it be chatting about fashion with my fashion bloggers or planning wedding details with my brides… These are the moments I cherish. I have a little furry office assistant named Miss Lola that loves to welcome each client in to my office/studio with kisses and hugs.

Shelby's Social Handles:

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25: How to Run a Successful Facebook Group, with Heather Crabtree - the Creative Empire podcast

On this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast the ladies are chatting with Heather Crabtree about how to run a successful and engaged Facebook Group. Heather talks about how she maintains an involved community of thousands of entrepreneurs, but also how to instill guidelines and rules so that it doesn't become spammy. She also dives into how her father's death affected her not only personally and emotionally, but also her business. Heather explains how finding a coach and trusting her instinct helped her overcome this personal tragedy and made her stronger. Heather talks with Reina + Christina about how she spots potential in people and in turn how she's hired and grown her team over just a few years. 

Show Highlights:

  • How to run a successful and engaged Facebook Group
  • How to launch (even when you're not ready)
  • How personal tragedies can affect your business (and how to deal with that healthily)
  • Why you should just go for it!
  • How to find and hire the best team for you and your business

Show Notes: 

Heather's Bio:

Heather is a Business Strategist for Creative Entrepreneurs and owner of Heather Crabtree LLC. Prior to this business, Heather began in the legal field and also owned an event planning company for 11 years, which she and her business partner sold in 2014. Now she teaches creative business owners how to create and grow a business with their smarts and their heart. She also runs a private Facebook group, Savvy Business Owners, for over 7500 women, has a group coaching program, Savvy Business Circle, and will be launching her online shop for creative entrepreneurs with digital downloads soon. Business aside, Heather is also a proud mom to her littles, London and Lane, and wife of 11 years to her husband, Cole. She believes that life should not be taken for granted and that we should cherish each morsel of every day. She loves to encourage, motivate and share her knowledge with others, but also believes that we can learn something from every person we meet.

Heather's Social Handles:

21: How to Spread Happiness with Your Business, Maghon Taylor - the Creative Empire podcast

In this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast, Maghon Taylor joins the girls to talk about how to spread happiness using your business. She begins by explaining how she crafted a mission statement for her creative business, and why she felt a need for it. She goes on to talk about how to translate an individual business owner's personality to social media. Maghon discusses how to gain confidence and pursue your passion as a creative. This lead to debating the positives and not-so-great parts of being an entrepreneur and how to manage the struggle of going from having co-workers to being on your own. 

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Show Highlights:

  • How to craft a mission statement for your creative biz (+ why you need one!)
  • How to spread happiness using your business
  • How to translate your personality to social media
  • How to gain confidence and pursue your passion
  • How to manage the struggle of having co-workers to working alone
  • What are some of the positives and not-so-great parts of being a creative entrepreneur

Maghon's Bio:

I'm Maghon Taylor and I am the She behind All She Wrote Notes.  I am a sweet Carolina girl on a mission to spread happiness through my handwriting. I have delighted in pretty handwriting all my life -- with a name like Maghon, you can't help it! My sweet southern mama says she spelled it that way because it looked prettier to write. I'm serious.  So, I think I was destined to be a calligrapher. All She Wrote Notes is a calligraphy studio that specializes in celebrating every day!  We believe calligraphy and beautiful handlettering shouldn't be saved like china for special occasions. Life can be full of so many little celebrations and we love to party! We specialize in adding my whimsical handwritten calligraphy to stationery, paper goods, gifts and party supplies. I also love teaching calligraphy and sharing my skills and knowledge through my traveling calligraphy workshop program called Calligraphy Y'all.  

Maghon's Social Handles:

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14: Empire Mentoring Session: How to Market Without Sleaze with Ashley Cox - the Creative Empire podcast

This Empire Mentoring Session is with Ashley Cox of Ashley Cox Photography and Sprout HR. She is coming to Reina and Christina about how to market herself and her business better, without coming off as sleazy. Reina and Christina talk about how and where to give away content, and how that translates into more paid work. Additionally the girls are chatting about how your website should read to help viewers understand your business (and you!), and how to define what you do, concisely! 

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Show Highlights:

  • How to market and sell to people without coming off as sleazy
  • How to get more sales (*hint* it's about giving away content!)
  • How your website should read to help viewers understand your business (and you!)
  • How to define what you do, concisely

Ashley's Bio:

Ashley Cox is the owner of sproutHR, where she helps creative entrepreneurs learn all about how to hire, train, and grow a thriving team. Whether you feel like you're in way over your head hiring your first team member, or you're looking for someone to help you create a strategic long-term plan, she partners with you as your personal HR expert! She'll help you feel more confident in your abilities, while saving you the time and frustration of trying to figure it all out on your own.

Ashley’s Social Handles:

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12: How to Build Buzz Around a Launch, with Megan Martin - the Creative Empire podcast

This episode we're talking with Megan Martin about building buzz around a launch. Megan stresses the importance of starting early and remaining consistent in branding before, during and after a launch. She also talks about how she builds buzz, and how she finds brand ambassadors from the creative community. Before a successful launch can occur, it is important to choose and then utilize the right project managment tool for you and your team, that's why Megan and the girls are discussing tools like Trello and Basecamp. Finally Megan talks about what she DIYed and what she wish she had handed off to a professional (ie website design). Learn how to avoid launch failures, or at the very least, what to learn from them with Megan Martin! 

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Show Highlights:

  • How to build buzz around a launch
  • How to find brand ambassadors/cheerleaders
  • How to choose and utilize the right project management tool for you and your team
  • How to avoid launch failures (or what to learn from them!)
  • To DIY or not to DIY (that is the question)

Show Notes:

Megan's Bio:

Hey y’all! Yes, I say y’all, love preppy stripes and swoon over Southern accents & all the fixin’s! I am a Jacksonville, Florida girl born and raised and will always call this home, for this is where my heart truly is. It is where my sweet parents chose to adopt me at just three days old, giving me amazing opportunities and guidance I may have never had. It is where I made best friendships that will undoubtedly last till the end of time… and probably longer than that! It is where I met my soul mate and husband, and made my trip down the aisle to tell him, “I Do,” in a downtown New Year’s affair. And it is here that I welcomed our two babies (girls!) and began the journey of learning and loving mommyhood. Like Tim says, “A heart don’t forget somethin’ like that!” Somewhere in all that history I grew a deep passion and love for pretty details, good design and making it happen. I can’t remember how many times I would redecorate and style my room as a little girl or how many on trend magazines I would flip through while mom was shopping. She taught me, and still reminds me, that everyday is an occasion to give a gift, to always kill ‘em with kindness and most importantly to follow my heart and my dreams. All that dreaming has led me to the here and now, designing powerful brands, prop styling, crafting meaningful social media feeds and cheering on creative entrepreneurs.

Megan's Social Handles:

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2: Bonnie Bakhtiari, The Future of Instagram - the Creative Empire podcast

This week’s podcast interviews Bonnie Bakhtiari, creative director and owner of b is for bonnie design and the founder of the illume retreat. In this episode Bonnie talks about the future of Instagram for creatives, a platform we’re all come to love, hate, and every emotion in between. Bonnie discusses how to start and grow the right kind of audience on Instagram, and how to set reasonable goals for the platform. Bonnie describes how giving resources and knowledge on Instagram is a great way to attract and maintain a loyal audience on Instagram, and how ultimately this giving-mentality ends up in real business returns. 

Show Highlights:

  • How to start and grow your Instagram presence
  • How to grow the right kind of audience on Instagram
  • How giving resources away on Instagram results in real business returns
  • How to set reasonable goals for the Instagram platform

Show Notes:

Bonnie's Bio:

Bonnie Bakhtiari, is the creative director of b is for bonnie design, a boutique branding studio for creatives in addition to being the founder of the Illume Retreat, an intimately restful retreat experience for purpose-filled businesses. When she’s not helping clients strategize their most heartfelt brand yet, or educating fellow creatives through speaking or online courses, you can find her with a soy latte in hand, probably swooning over something in a shiny hue of gold! Her heart is centered around the desire to encourage and inspire through design, and nothing gives her greater joy than working with talented entrepreneurs to create brands that are an authentic reflection of who they are. She believes in living life with joy, fierce love and abundant grace as she chases what matters most.

Bonnie's Social Handles:

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