Thursday, February 18, 2010

Q&A with entrepreneur Peg Samuel

For my second interview with an entrepreneur, I chose to speak with Peg Samuel. Peg Samuel is an accomplished entrepreneur, author and PR/marketing/advertising expert. She has worked in the interactive media industry for more than 10 years and from that launched Social Diva, a lifestyle and entertainment Web site.

Peg was very helpful and quick to respond to my query. I enjoyed speaking with her and learned a lot from her responses. I hope you do, too! Here they are:

Rachel Wise: Why specifically do you think you are considered an entrepreneur?

Peg Samuel: I work solely on a business that I created myself from scratch. I am self supporting with my business and I create new projects, opportunities and partnerships. I also feel that being an entrepreneur is a boundless energy and spirit that I embrace.

RW: Please briefly describe Social Diva Media.

PS: Social Diva ( is the premium digital brand speaking to a community of powerful, trendsetting woman; the influencer set. They look at our newsletters as the go-to resource for all of their lifestyle needs.

RW: Is Social Diva your first start-up/business?

PS: Yes.

RW: How did you come up with the idea for it?

PS: I was working in online advertising sales, I founded the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association with a group of other Internet marketing pioneers and I was the social chairperson, someone nicknamed me Social Diva it stuck. When I was looking to go out on my own it only seemed natural to create a business around the brand.

RW: How did you turn your idea for Social Diva into a business plan? How long did it take?

PS: I started making money immediately, I wrote a formal business plan when I changed my business model and wanted more clarity and focus around my plans. It was probably 3 years in.

RW: How long did it take to become profitable after officially launching Social Diva?

PS: I launched Social Diva in 2000, as my sole income. I went back to work for a “day job” when I moved to NYC in 2004. Since 2007 I have been running Social Diva Media full time and we are profitable.

RW: How did you initially fund your idea? What eventually became your revenue model?

PS: We are self-funded though an advertising model and sponsorship. Which is my background I have 15 years of ad sales experience.

RW: How did you get the word out about Social Diva?

PS: Grass roots, virally.

RW: What was one of the biggest challenges you faced in launching your idea? In keeping it alive?

PS: One big challenge is the overall workload and finding strategic balance of which role to be focusing on at any given point. Also, evaluating the company as a whole to make sure everything in alignment with the business goals, my personal goal and ultimately the marketplace.

RW: How many people went into creating and maintaining Social Diva? Do you now have a consistent staff?

PS: I am the sole proprietor; I utilize my outside services to get many things accomplished with the business.

RW: Who was your competition, and how did you manage to stay ahead?

PS: Email marketing is a very competitive space; there are a lot of other great newsletters out there. We focus on ourselves by giving our reader exactly what they come to us for, the best content to suit their social needs. Additionally, we host our own created events, something they can’t get anywhere else.

RW: Is Social Diva continuing to grow? If so, by how much?

PS: Yes we see month over month growth.

RW: Where is Social Diva today? Do you still maintain it?

PS: Yes, we are in a massive growth phase which I own and operate the business.

RW: What are you most proud of?

PS: When my readers tell me how much they love Social Diva.

RW: How much of your success would you attribute to your education, and how much would you attribute to trial and error and hands-on experience?

PS: Most of mine is hands on experience. My education is though mentors and consultants.

RW: What advice would you give to emerging entrepreneurs?

PS: Have passion about what you believe in, find a need and fill it.

RW: Is there anything else you think would be helpful to know?

PS: Our main business is email marketing most of our revenue comes from ad sales, we host events and revenue comes in from sponsorships. We are one of the few online companies that embrace online/offline and social media to market brands in one media buy. We have a book “How to be a Social Diva” published by Easton Studio Press. We are currently producing dance music compilations with the top dance label in the world entitled Strictly Social Diva.

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