Billingslea Media
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2014 in Review. Setting the standard for greatness!

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I've never been one to embrace change. But over the past couple of years I have learned to love the changes that have emerged in my life. Looking back on the past year has given me a chance to reflect on all of the positive changes that have happened as I continued to  build my company. Billingslea Media has enjoyed tremendous growth; and the changes in the marketing and technology field are opening up new doors for endless possibilities.

A huge part of this business involves going out and building relationships. I strive to maintain my visibility in the community in order to promote my clients, learn new processes, and create opportunities to link my clients with individuals that will help their businesses grow. I've met some amazing people along the way; and even created opportunities for others outside of my industry. I enjoy seeing the look on people's faces when they realize that their dream is closer than they expected. It's the motivating force behind my company, and it drives me to dream bigger.

Here are a couple of highlights from 2014:

Substantial Magazine

In October of 2014 I was featured in Substantial Magazine. The article highlighted my journey as a businesswoman, and shed light on some of the motivating factors that led me to start Billingslea Media. Aside from being able to express my goals and achievements in the magazine article, we also held an engaging and fun filled photo shoot that captured all of the facets of my personality.

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A month later I found myself engrossed in the mission and potential in the magazine, and published my first article as a Substantial Magazine staff writer. Joining the team has been a perfect marriage of passion, humility, innovation, creativity, and fun. In September we produced our very first awards show in which we honored the contributions of significant leaders in our community. The event garnered the support of hundreds of people across Eastern NC; including university staff members, government officials, and our very own Mayor Allen Thomas. In the coming year, Substantial Magazine will be unveiling a host of new projects and amazing content for our readers. I look forward to applying my experience as a Public Relations professional to the growth of the entire Substantial brand.

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•LinkedIn•

Just as Snapchat is the quintessential marketing tool for the teenage beauty queen, LinkedIn is a necessary tool for the modern day professional who is looking to establish themselves and further their career. Beginning in mid 2014, I decided to increase my activity on the social networking site. I utilized the Premium features of the platform that would allow me to expand my reach.

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Once establishing new connections, I made sure to extend the relationships beyond the home page. I engaged in conversations with my contacts to exchange ideas, establish my expertise, and even make other introductions. My complete LinkedIn profile and publishing page has resulted in connecting like-minded individuals, fine tuning my personal and professional brand, and landing a seat on the board of a local charter school.

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•Tweet Chats•

For years I frowned upon engaging in the "senseless" activity of Tweet Chats. To me, it was a waste of time to sit and look at what other people had to say in response to a professional who was leading the conversation. I didn't have time to filter through their comments, nor did I see the benefit in talking to strangers online.

Little did I know that talking to strangers would be beneficial to furthering my career. Of course it felt a little odd at first, but once I warmed up to the idea of exchanging ideas with others who were seeking more information within my industry, the process became an enjoyable and profitable activity.

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One of my favorite Tweet Chat series this year was the Black Enterprise Corner Office series. The series featured a wide variety of special guests who engaged with the participants and shared information about their areas of expertise. Guests ranged from Actor & Community Activist Lamann Rucker to Entrepreneur and former Apprentice superstar Randall Pinkett. Over the life of the series, Black Enterprise introduced a wide variety of experts who provided an amazing array of pertinent business and community leadership information, and even aided in the introduction of various professionals all over the country. My personal experience with the Black Enterprise Corner Office series has introduced me to several thought leaders who have challenged and encouraged me to grow my business, as well as offer resources to maximize my potential.

•Small Business Saturday

The annual American Express Small Business Saturday provided an opportunity for me to end my year with a bang! Each year, the movement grows larger and larger, and provides free resources for small business owners across the country. Their site offers articles and quick tips to allow merchants to maximize their reach and increase sales. The company also offers FREE marketing materials that are shipped to you free of charge within days. This year's goods were shipped via American Express partner FedEx, and included branded canvas shopping bags, pens, balloons, welcome mats, banners, and extra signage. Business Owners were encouraged to share their ideas and show how they used the promotional materials in their marketing efforts.

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Because Billingslea Media is not a brick and mortar business, being creative in my marketing activities is essential. As I watched other companies and other clients engage in Small Business Saturday activities, I did not want to let the day go by without participating myself. My virtual Small Business Saturday Shopping Spree not only managed to pair several small businesses with one another and allow businesses to increase their weekend sales, but it also caught the attention of CAN Capital. I entered the CAN Capital Small Business Saturday competition, and was one of two businesses who were awarded as the winners amongst hundreds of contestants. As a winner in the competition, I was awarded a $100 Amazon gift card and a one hour consulting session with Entrepreneur, Author, and Consultant Gene Marks.

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The achievements of 2014 set the standard for my company's vision for the coming year. As my network increases in size, I find inspiration not only to continue to service my clients, but also to expand my services and scope of influence. I look forward to the smiles on my client's faces when I show them just how wonderful their dreams can be when they trust their vision to Billingslea Media.

Nonprofit organization gives hope a second chance

Who doesn't love a great story of selfless giving? This article, published on the American Express Open Forum, is an amazing story that reminds us that sometimes its important to dig deeper to discover our inner passion. Catherine Hoke, founder of Defy Ventures talks with Open Forum about her New York based nonprofit that helps formally incarcerated individuals transform negative into positive by participating in a 9 month long training process that helps them become entrepreneurs. Read about her story here: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/building-empire-catherine-hoke-defy-ventures/

Client Spotlight: Terrance Copper

image Here at Billingslea Media we are so fortunate to work with such amazingly talented professionals. Our clients keep us motivated and inspire us to dream even bigger! Billingslea Media client, Terrance Copper is no stranger to motivating people. The former NFL wide receiver has had a history of being a leader,  and is now embarking upon other opportunities to lead within his community.

The former ECU Pirate has recently returned to Greenville NC and has since been committed to making a difference in his community. This past summer, Copper held his annual Pro's Weekend in Washington NC with NFL pros such as Vonta Leach, David Garrard, and Jamar Newsome. This January Copper intends to take his instruction a bit further when he opens The Premiere Football Academy.  The academy will be a top notch training facility teaching the fundamentals of football to youth ages 5-18. Copper intends to develop a program where athletes can learn all aspects of the game including specialized positional training,  safety awareness, leadership, and motivational development. 

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Copper intends to give athletes in Eastern NC access to specialized instruction that is normally absent from small town football. The end result will be producing athletes that are able to compete with others in larger regions,  and positioning them to receive scholarships for college. His talented advisory board is ready to take on the task of molding young minds and keeping them focused on the positive aspects of athletics. 

Students and parents at the facility will be required to take part in educational lectures and videos that teach the importance of safety during organized play. Copper intends to keep parents heavily involved in the students' progress during the duration of their attendance at the camp.

As a former team leader in college and in the NFL,  Copper knows the importance of teamwork and motivation. His goal is to produce successful athletes who are passionate about the game,  and realize that failure is never an option when you are destined to carry out your dreams.

For more information on The Premiere Football Academy, or to join the mailing list please email us at billingsleamedia@gmail.com. 

Top Notch Tuesday: Philanthropist Eva Longoria
Charitable giving and community service requires a certain amount of time management, organization, and introspection. There are so many charitable organizations out there that you have to be selective about how you spend your time volunteering. One woman who has gotten it down to a science is actress and philanthropist Eva Longoria. Longoria became a household name known for her roles on shows such as The Young & The Restless and Desperate Housewives, and has used her platform to draw more attention to community issues and social welfare.
The petite Texas native has devoted her time and efforts to organizations that focus on issues in the Hispanic and Latino communities. She has been very vocal about bringing more attention to health and wellness in the minority communities, as well as promoting education and an understanding of politics and social welfare for minorities. In 2006 Longoria founded Eva's Heroes, a charity for developmentally disabled children. Since then she has received numerous awards and honors for her charitable giving and time spent volunteering in her community. She has  received the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts’ Horizon Award, presented each year to an individual or organization whose work most advances the presence of Latinos in television and film; the Latina Visionary and Community Empowerment Award from the National Hispanic Women's Corporation; the Corazones Unidos Award from The Larry King Cardiac Foundation; and she serves as the national spokesperson for PADRES Contra El Cancer.

In recent years she become more involved in politics, focusing on economic empowerment and immigration reform. In 2012, she was one of seven Californians named to the post of co-chair of Barack Obama's re-election campaign.  She was a featured speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention where she endorsed President Obama's reelection. She even enrolled in a Master's degree program in Politics and Chicano Studies to further her understanding of the needs of her community. She has embraced the notion of using her platform as a celebrity to bring action and attention to social ills. With an increase in exposure through social media and increased speaking engagements, Longoria has proven to be a Top Notch performer in the field of philanthropy and community service.