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5 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Got Started: Elma & Amra Beganovich of A&E

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“Don’t listen to individuals… Listen to the market and what the data tells you”.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Elma & Amra Beganovich of A&E. Today they run a top digital media agency in New York City, but as glamourous as their life may be today, it didn’t come without sacrifice. Born to Bosnian immigrants, these sisters were merely children when their parents decide to pack up and move to a foreign land. Growing up, their parents stressed the importance of a good education and they both landing positions in top Universities. By 2012, they both had a very bright future ahead of them. However, like many great entrepreneurs that came before them, they decided to take a big risk to explore their true calling. I was truly inspired by their story of triumph, bootstrapping a company to one of the top social media agencies in New York.

Gene: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

I was at Georgetown Law pursuing my LLM in securities and financial regulation, and Amra was working as an economist on World Bank projects. One night over dinner, we were discussing just amongst friends how to make a face mask out of your kitchen ingredients. A friend suggested to put these recipes on a blog and that this sort of content was much more relatable to an everyday consumer than the advice from Cosmo or Vogue; let’s be frank, most people cannot afford to spend millions on cosmetic surgery or tens of thousands on skincare. After our guests left, Amra stayed up all night trying to figure our HTML, CSS and JavaScript and set-up our first blog on Blogger. Shortly afterwards (only 3 months later), our DIY posts were receiving over 100,000 unique monthly visitors. This was when brands began knocking on our door.

Gene: Please tell us what exactly your company does?

A&E is a leading New York-based digital marketing agency with a focus on social media, influencer marketing, business growth and photo/video production, i.e., making brands explode digitally. We work with Fortune 500 companies and growth stage brands to boost ROI through social media, spectacular content, innovative digital strategies and influencer marketing. Currently, we are focused on releasing our proprietry technology, A&E Influencer Analytics, for brands to be able to quickly find influencers who share their target demographic. Brands are able to search and analyze the influencers, anywhere from their engagement and reach to their growth rate.

Gene: How do you use your influence as a leader to give back?

We work with a variety of non-profits, like Rescue Dogs Rock NYC, WWF, and BCRF, to donate and raise awareness about their causes through our social influence. We have worked on everything from photo production for Rescue Dogs Rock NYC to promoting Earth Day and World Rhino Day across our social channels for WWF.

Elma Begonovich Co-Founder of A&E

Gene: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you founded your company?

In the beginning, I was flirting with the idea of raising capital (much to Amra’s opposition), thus we had gone to a sort of speed dating investor event. Investors would switch chairs while entrepreneurs presented their companies. One of the venture capitalists came over to our table and asked “so, how do you plan to scale this?” We both turned to each other and then back to the investor and asked “what do you mean by scaling?” Now, I can look back and laugh about how much we didn’t know but I suppose that is part of the journey – being open to learning and stepping outside of your comfort zone every single day.

Gene: What project are you working on that truly inspires you?

I believe we are all connected: humans, animals and the environment; as humans with this sort of a super brain and with our technology, we have an enormous responsibility to take care of our environment and of the animals we share this Earth with. Hence, we work with Rescue Dogs Rock NYC; they are a truly inspirational group of individuals because of their humility and selflessness and all in order to rescue and save abandoned and abused dogs and puppies. They are a diverse group of volunteers. A variety of people, from stay at home moms to truck drivers, who rescue, raise funds to treat and foster abandoned and abused dogs. Amra and I are huge advocates for animal rights and environmental conservation. Hence, Rescue Dogs Rock NYC and WWF really resonate with us.

Gene: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

As a digital marketing agency with a focus on social media, I think Amra and I stand out because ultimately the proof is in the pudding: we have invested an enormous amount in our content, capturing images from some of the most desirable destinations around the world, have a following (about 2.3 million), and have worked with industry leaders like Johnson & Johnson, Uber, HTC, and Avon. Many agencies only recently started their digital divisions after working for decades on TV and magazine campaigns.

As a technology company, there are only a few influencer platforms that serve as directories to find influencers and analyze their following and engagement rates. Furthermore, these influencer platforms certainly do not have the background of working with brands as influencers and as a social media agency as Amra and I already do with A&E.

Gene: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

This is one of my favorite questions because I do not believe in individuals as mentors; I believe in the market as a mentor. In other words, do not listen to individuals because if they knew, they would do it themselves. Listen to the market and what the data tells you. I have never been more wrong than when blindly listening to “mentors” because their experience is limited not only to their industry but to their time, that time when they succeeded in their craft. The market is a lot more objective.

Gene: What are your “5 things I wish I knew when I got started”

1. Create a product that the consumers actually need and can afford. With technology and the Internet, you are able to reach a wide consumer base for a fraction of a cost; hence, work on having a quality product that people need and can afford. This is your priority. In other words, there are options outside of taking VC (or angel) funding. Focus on generating a healthy revenue rather than over leveraging your company. Then use whatever revenue the product generates to support your operations. Be resourceful, like using influencer marketing, social media and e-commerce, to reach a wide consumer base. Lastly, one does not need a fancy office space and rockstar employees to get the ball rolling; hire contractors or part-time employees, and park into a humble office space. Focus on generating actual sales rather than supporting fancy operations.

2. You don’t need mentors. Listen to the market.

3. You don’t need rockstar employees to get your operations off the ground. Find individuals who are committed and consistent.

4. Don’t be afraid to bargain with your contractors and employees. Remember that salaries and hourly rates are whatever the market dictates them to be. Some people need jobs more than others; find those individuals and offer them positions.

5. Don’t take on an enormous amount of debt until you have a proof of concept that the market actually wants to buy your product. See point #1.

Gene: If you could spend one day with any person (alive or not), who would it be any why?

My day would probably be spent with Walt Disney because of his ability to imagine the unimaginable, persevere against all odds, and never take no for an answer.

Gene: Thank you so much for speaking with me and sharing your inspirational story.

Note to Hufforbes readers: If you appreciated this interview, please click on one of the buttons on the top left to post to your twitter, facebook or pinterest.

Mubashir Khatri Success life. Making people successful in a changing world. Ranks feed

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Clothing Tips Every Woman Needs to Follow

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There are certain clothing tips that can spare you a lot of frustration and headaches, so you will need to know what they are. These tips can also make it easier to find beautiful articles of clothing that will be able to look even more stylish. The more time you take to read through these tips, the easier it will be to put together some beautiful outfits that you can be proud of.

Out With the Old and In with the New

Take some time to go through your closet so you can determine which things can stay and which should go. Everyone needs to clear out their closet once in a while, and doing so will help make room for beautiful new pieces. If you have recently cleaned out your closet and want to try a new look, you might want to Buy Bohemian Style Clothing. These clothes have a vintage look that is very hot and stylish right now.

Stretch Your Shoes Out Properly

Make sure that you stretch out your shoes in such a way as to not cause you any pain. Despite what you may think, this is very possible. Simply take two freezer bags, fill then up with water and slide them into your shoes for a few hours. You should be able to notice a significant difference once you take the bags out. If you are in need of new shoes or clothes to go with new ones, you will find the best bohemian style clothing sold here.

Make Sure Your Jackets Fit

When you are going out to the store to buy a new jacket, it is important that you get one that fits perfectly, because otherwise your entire outfit is going to look messy. Take the time to try on each jacket you are interested in so that you can get the right one. If you are looking for stylish and inexpensive clothes that are true to size online, check out this bohemian clothing boutique. You will definitely be glad you took the time to look through some of these options.

Learn How to Implement Jeans into Your Wardrobe

Too many women just don’t know how to properly implement jeans into their wardrobe, and as a result their outfits end up looking odd and random. It is important that you choose the smaller size if you ever have any hesitation. The last thing you want to do is to buy baggy jeans that are going to look horrible on you. There are many different types of jeans, so you will need to take your time when trying to choose the right pairs to buy. Take the time to try some of the pants on before you take them home.

The more you know about shopping for clothes, the better off you will be. If you want to improve your overall look and self-confidence, it is crucial that you take the time to get this information.

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Dunia Batma and Pierres Mano To Collaborate

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Dunia Batma, the Arab superstar who has been making international headlines with her success, gave a special shout out to Pierres Mano recently. The star popped into Pierres Mano’s famous shop in Casablanca, in order to converse with the famed Othman Sidqui, a Moroccan jewelry ambassador known for exquisite, unparalleled taste. And true to form, Othman Sidqui gave Dunia Batma a special gift during his visit: a pair of real emerald earrings and a diamond. This gift wasn’t just a way for Sidqui to show his appreciation for Dunia Batma: it was a symbolic gift, intended to represent the finalized collaboration between the two names; a collaboration which is sure to make headlines of its own. The collaboration will formally begin in September 2018, during Dunia Batman’s next tour in the United States. Pierres Mano will be the official jewelry sponsor for this tour–so fans should be ready to see some truly beautiful earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more as part of her tour set.

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Why to purchase the hardcore skull silver ring?

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Have you heard of the hardcore skull silver ring that has immensely gained popularity from the past few year? If not so, then here you will read everything about it. Also, you will get to know the top reasons to buy the skull silver ring from the online store. They are famous for men’s as they completely grab one’s attention and fascinate them. The balanced combination of art and design makes the ring much more adorable and attractive. It has all the features that one wishes to have in a skull ring. So, read the article and know about it.

The symbol on the ring in the form of a hardcore skull deeply attracts the customer’s attention. The characteristics and features of the hardcore skull ring are made in such a way that anyone can notice it precisely. They are available in materials such as the stainless steel, wood, gold, silver, and plastic, but the heavy metal rings are famous among the ring lovers. The quality and material used to make it are well notice and are good.

The ring is coated with silver in such a way that it does not affect the skin and the ring can be worn for longer period. When you buy those wonderful rings from the online stores, you will be able to see the reviews and comments of the pre-customers that will help you to know about it precisely.

Always keep in mind whenever you wish to buy the skull ring from the online store note that product is of high quality and is fashionable. The rings are available at the online stores in a number of varieties based on their quality and material used. The highly fashionable ring with utmost durability serves well to the customers. Finding the perfect ring may be difficult, but when you know about the features of it and the reasons to buy it, then it becomes easy to purchase it.

How to choose the perfect hardcore ring:

When you find it online, you will see a vast collection of silver jewelry with well designed, handcraft and affordable prices. At once, the rings will capture all your attention but look for the one that perfectly suits your need and is affordable. Since the skull rings are manufactured and sell over the years, they aim to fulfill the need of the customer’s. You can see the stylish concepts of rings, fine craftsmanship, guaranteed product, trendy rings and blended products, so it will be easily to choose one of your choices.

Reasons to buy them:

  • The first and the foremost reason is that they are trendy and famous. They perfectly suit one’s personality and can be noticed very easily.
  • You can buy it in order to give someone a gift, and since it grabs everyone’s attention, then the individual will simply love it.
  • The price of the silver skull rings is not too high, and anyone can afford it.
  • You will get most of the fashion experience when you buy those wonderful rings.

These are some of the reasons to buy the hardcore skull silver ring from a well organized and trustworthy site.

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