How to Be the CEO of Your Household: Running Your Home Like a Business


Kailynn Bowling, ChicExecs Marketing Agency’s Co-Founder/Co-President shares her tips and advice on finding the balance between home and work on Forbes blog.

It’s the eternal struggle: Parents fight every day for balance between their lives as professionals and their duties as involved parents. But some days, it feels like you just can’t win. The pile of dirty laundry is several feet high. Your clients are calling you after hours in a panic, and you can barely think about getting through the day, let alone the workweek.

As tough as it can be, a balance between home and work is critical. This not only makes your home life more enjoyable and less chaotic, but it helps you be more productive at work, too. How do you streamline your home life to be less chaotic? Instead of reading more parenting books, look to your 9-to-5 job for the answer.

That’s right: You can run your home like a business. After all, when you run a business, you’re orchestrating people and tasks. Are client deliverables really that different than getting Olivia to take out the trash? Not really. So appoint yourself as the CEO of your home and whip the household into shape.

Go from Chaos to Boss in Your Home

1. Divide tasks by job title. If you want something done, you need to assign it to one person. Give yourself, your spouse and your kids official job titles.

2. Be accountable for your role in the household. The best plans mean nothing if you don’t follow through on them. You can build accountability into your home roles, much like you do at work.

3. Consider outsourcing. If it’s appropriate and feasible for your budget, hire experts to do the heavy lifting when you need help. That may mean hiring someone to clean, mow the lawn, cook or care for your children.

Work-life balance is an eternal struggle. While it’s impossible to achieve total balance, you can make things easier at home by running your household like a business. Be the CEO both at home and at work, enjoying a more fun and organized home and returning to work refreshed.

Read Kailynn Bowling’s full blog for more helpful tips on how to become the CEO of your household to achieve a healthy work/life balance.

10 Benefits of Working with Microinfluencers


ChicExecs VP of Public Relations and Digital Media, Kristen Wessel, share some of the benefits a company can look forward to when using microinfluencers on Forbes blog. Kristen participated as one of 10 experts from the Forbes Communications Council. This invitation-only organization is for senior-level communications and public relations executives.

Businesses around the world have realized how important it is to get their products in front of the right audience. One of the ways they’ve decided to do this is by using influencers who have a massive following. However, influencers can be extremely expensive to work with, and the more followers they have, the less likely it is for your messaging to reach your target niche. Luckily, businesses have begun to realize that working with influencers with smaller but well-targeted audiences can yield a better return on investment.

Kristen explains that when it comes to influencers, it’s better to have a target audience and focus on quality over quantity. Quality influencers who represent your brand in an authentic and meaningful way will show more of a return on investment (ROI) than an influencer that isn’t aligned with the overall brand messaging.

“Followers want to feel that the brand is authentic and finding reputable influencers will help overall credibility,” she said.

Other microinfluencer benefits include:

Authenticity. Finding an influencer who has the same or similar values as your brand is key. It shouldn’t be about size, but rather values, trust, reputation and authenticity.

Unique ROI. Since microinfluencers have fewer overall followers than macro, their audiences are often more engaged, offering a higher engagement rate.

More meaningful results. More followers do not always equate to better engagement and conversions. Relevance and authenticity are far more impactful.

Microtargeting. Microinfluencers can offer a way to identify and reach highly-targeted audiences with customized messaging, specific to their needs.

Targeted, highly-engaged followers. The benefit to your brand is reaching highly-engaged people who may not have responded to your broader campaigns.

Greater loyalty. Microinfluencers have loyal tribes that are small yet mighty.

Improved thought leadership profile. Collaborating with microinfluencers can be extremely powerful for brands because of the association with thought leaders in your industry.

Reliability and trust. These influencers have enough of an audience to persuade their audience on buying decisions, but are also members of our communities that we trust and know.

Maximized Reach To Niche Audiences. Use microinfluencers to promote our events, as the target audience is small, either in social impact or health inequity.

Read Kristen Wessel’s full Forbes blog on the benefits microinfluencers have on your target market.



How to Reinvent Your Business After 15 Years


Nikki Carlson, ChicExecs Marketing Agency’s Co-Founder/Co-President, shares four tips for reinventing your business after running it for 15 years on Forbes blog. At 15 years of age, your business is almost old enough to start driving. Your years of experience have created a thriving, established company that’s been in business for quite a long time. After the thrill of owning a startup fades, you might not be as growth-minded these days. But every company, regardless of its size, should be poised for growth. A lot has changed in the last 15 years, and you might be missing out on new revenue streams, better processes and affordable tools that can take your business to the next level.

You know how tough it is to run a business. You should pat yourself on the back for coming so far. But remember, there are many more mountains to climb.  No matter the age of your business, there’s always room to grow.

Make the next 15 years even more spectacular starting with these ideas:

1. Adapt to changing technology. Going into 2020, business owners have to be 100% on board with digitization. This isn’t about sticking to what you’re comfortable with. You have to change with the times to run more efficiently.

2. Rethink your brand. Fifteen years is a long time to run your business. You’ll eventually need to adjust your brand to the times. What is it doing today that doesn’t make sense? Is anything about your brand dated or irrelevant?

3. Be open to new ideas. The world is going to keep changing, and open-minded entrepreneurs are one step ahead for that reason. But it’s hard to consider new ideas, especially after you’ve been running your business for a decade and a half. Nobody knows everything, and it’s important to keep learning.

4. Use your mistakes to grow. Have you ever made a mistake and thought, “Ugh. I’m so stupid. How could I have done that?” Every business owner feels that way at some point. The problem is, when we look at mistakes through the lens of failure, we’re overlooking the purpose of mistakes.

Read Nikki Carlson’s full Forbes blog for more helpful insight on how to reinvent your business after 15 years.

12 Ways Leaders Can Inspire Their Social Media Followers

ChicExecs VP of Public Relations and Digital Media, Kristen Wessel, explores how leaders can communicate more effectively with their social media followers to build a connection and become an inspiration to them on Forbes blog.

Leaders are unique individuals with the charisma and the ambition to encourage others to reach for their goals. Social media presents a novel approach for leaders to reach out to their followers. With the right words, phrases or speeches, leaders can help their followers grow, encourage them and build them up. On the other side of the coin, these same leaders can break their followers down, all with a well-placed criticism. What any leader aspires to, however, is truly inspiring their followers to be better.

She explains how leaders can post motivational quotes to inspire their social media followers.

“People want to be inspired! Find motivational quotes that appeal to the vast majority of followers. Make your feed inspiring by touching people with your wisdom or wisdom from other notable authors. This will keep people engaged and they will come to rely on your feed for positive reinforcement.”

Kristen participated as one of 12 experts from the Forbes Communications Council. This invitation-only organization is for senior-level communications and public relations executives.

Other shared expert tips include:

  • Be honest and vulnerable
  • Share your failures
  • Be relatable as possible
  • Share the “dark” stuff, aka your imperfections
  • Speak all of you and speak on behalf of yourself
  • Share your experience of working in your industry
  • Show your true self to your audience with “ask me anything” style content
  • Be bold to stand out and get noticed
  • Share event insights
  • Embrace and elevate your followers by responding to them
  • Use visual storytelling and videos

Read Kristen Wessel’s full Forbes blog on the 12 ways experts can inspire their social media followers.

How to Make Your Brand Stand Out in a Global Marketplace


ChicExecs VP of Global Strategic Accounts, Lydia Vargo, shares her six tips to help brands stand out around the globe on Forbes blog.

“As the VP of global strategic accounts at a PR and retail strategy company, I’ve counseled both national and international brands,” she said.

The U.S. is unique when you compare it to other markets around the globe. What works in other markets doesn’t always translate to the U.S., and that means international companies often have a hard time cracking the code for U.S. buyers.

The good news is that, if you can make it in the U.S., there is a good chance you can make it anywhere. That means your brand should be trustworthy, credible and researchable. Contrary to popular belief, global marketing is not about spamming consumers across geographic borders. Today, brands should prioritize trust and value before moving in with a hard sell.

Here Are Six Tips to Build More Buzz Around Your Brand—No Matter Your Geographic Location

1. Switch to a “PR-First” mentality. A PR-first strategy is from trusted third-party reviews. This means taking, “We are the best,” and backing it up with, “They really are the best.”

2. Create a professional website. You need to have a professional, modern website—no matter what. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and uses concise language that is fully SEO optimized.

3. Show off your people. You have to establish authority in a global market. Who are your founders? What do they stand for? What’s their story?

4. Give back. Millennial and Gen Z shoppers may prefer buying from companies with charitable initiatives.

5. Respect all cultures. Hopefully, this is common sense, but if you want to appeal to shoppers on a global scale, you need to exercise cultural sensitivity.

6. Piggyback on global news stories. What’s going on in the world right now? Subscribe to global news alerts or to news cultivators to stay on top of the latest happenings.

Read Lydia Vargo’s full article on how your brand can stand out in any marketplace.

How to Balance Parenting and Work in the Digital Age


ChicExecs VP of Public Relations and Digital Media, Kristen Wessel, shares four tips to help you balance parenting with working in the digital age on Forbes blog.

“Like it or not, we’re living in a “have it all” culture,” she explains. “You’re expected to not only crush your goals at work, but to be the perfect parent, spouse and friend.”

That sounds nice in our heads, but in practice, we just can’t have it all. We’re overworked, stressed and constantly feeling like we’re failing.

While there’s no cure-all for our fast-paced digital lives, I’ve found that we have to set boundaries between work and home life to preserve our sense of sanity. After all, if you’re answering emails while reading Liam a bedtime story, what does that show him?

Kids are very observant. While you might think nothing of shooting off a quick email on your iPhone, your kids might feel ignored. It also sets a dangerous precedent for work-life balance. If you want your kiddos to have a healthy sense of balance, it has to start with you.

The thing is, we’re more accessible than ever before. Work never stops, and that means it’s hard to strike a balance between your family life and work. Sure, smartphones are great, but they can make you feel like you never have a real break from work.

Balance is hard to achieve, but when you follow these four tips, you may start seeing improved clarity at work and better quality time with your family:

1. Set Boundaries. Boundaries set a firm line between your work life and your home life.

2. Have ‘No Phone’ Time. Do you really need to take work with you?

3. Work Smarter. You’re a parent, so you already have the toughest job in the world. You have to get smart about how you manage your time and workload.

4. Take Breaks. Parents are busy and on the go, but the thing is, working yourself to death is counterproductive.

Read Kristen Wessel’s full Forbes blog on how you can balance work and family life in the digital age.

What Makes a Good Salesperson?

ChicExecs VP of Global Strategic Accounts, Lydia Vargo, talks about the five qualities good salespeople should have on Forbes blog. Whether you like it or not, sales makes the world go ’round. The good news is that you don’t have to be a natural-born salesperson to succeed in the world of sales. In fact, as long as you have other people’s best interests at heart (with an eye for growing your business), you already have the makings of a great salesperson.

Sales isn’t about picking up the phone and harassing uninterested people. Great salespeople are trying to build a business. They look at sales not as something they do to people, but as a collaborative process between themselves and the client. Good sales skills can mean more money in your pocket and a better customer experience. As you cultivate these five qualities to boost your sales skills, she explains that this isn’t something that happens overnight.

“Practice and grow your sales skills over time. Hone them like you would any other skill, and you could see increased sales, happier customers and a thriving business.”

Hone Your Sales Skills By Cultivating These Five Qualities

1. Get Competitive – Get energized by the idea of outdoing yourself, your fellow salespeople and your competitors.

2. Listen  Don’t treat client calls as a chance to pontificate; treat them as equitable conversations. You should still lead the call, but you need to give the customer time to respond.

3. Be Resilient – One month you might be riding high on a wave of closings and commissions. The next, no one returns your phone calls and you experience a dry spell. Let rejection and failure motivate you.

4. Be Confident  Confidence is the currency of sales. A good salesperson comes off as confident, in control and informative — even if, deep down they are filled with insecurity.

5. Be Honest – Sales is not about tricking people into buying a subpar product. Good salespeople should be honest from the start and should only want to sell you something that you need for your personal and professional success.


Read Lydia Vargo’s full article to learn more about the five qualities good salespeople should have.




Lydia Vargo on Forbes Business Council

ChicExecs VP of Global Strategic Accounts Lydia Vargo shares her story working with ChicExecs and becoming a regular contributor of content through Forbes Business Development Council on Forbes blog.

“The wonderful thing about Forbes Councils is that it’s very vetted,” she says. “These are like-minded people and we’re all eager to share, but we’re also really eager to learn.” The content Vargo writes is crafted to share thought leadership and to give readers an understanding of ChicExecs’s brand identity. “I really have loved being a part of Forbes Councils,” she says.

When Lydia Vargo first interviewed with ChicExecs co-founders Nikki Carlson and Kailynn Bowling seven years ago, she recalls that “they asked a lot of questions that I felt were assessing whether or not I was a good fit for the company.” Rather than discussing her skills and her resume, which spoke for itself, her potential employers encouraged Vargo to talk about the elements of her career that got her most excited. For her part, Vargo was impressed with “their overall vision of what they wanted for their people. I loved their story and their journey.” “The culture and belief system that Nikki and Kailynn have fostered is very much just empowering people to grow,” says Vargo. “And entrepreneurialism is very, very important.”

Vargo started out doing PR work for ChicExecs and was then asked to head a new retail strategy team. “I started working with buyers and presenting our brands for retail, which was really exciting, and I loved it,” says Vargo. As the company grew, she then moved into a leadership role on the sales team.

“I never considered myself a salesperson,” she says. “But I think that the best salespeople, their gift is not selling — it’s understanding people and recognizing what they need for their business and then presenting the right options. A good salesperson is willing to walk away if they’re offering a service that the brand doesn’t need.”

Read Lydia Vargo’s full Forbes blog to learn more about her history working at ChicExecs and her past professional experiences.


Why Your 2020 Marketing Strategy Should Include Influencers


Nikki Carlson, ChicExecs Marketing Agency’s Co-Founder/Co-President, shares why brands need influencer marketing in 2020 on Forbes blog.

Many marketers are saving a place for influencers in their marketing strategies this year. Influencer marketing helps brands tap niche content creators to promote certain products and services. Brands compensate influencers in exchange for promoting them to a targeted following.

Why? Because it works. Influencer marketing is a modern form of word-of-mouth marketing. Through influencers, your brand has the power to influence people’s purchasing decisions.

We all know 2019 was a big year for influencer marketing. So the question is: Is it on the decline in 2020? Should you invest your marketing dollars elsewhere? She explains that her vote is no.

“Influencer marketing is very relevant in 2020; it’s just upgraded in many ways for the new year. In a world where 80% of marketers say influencer marketing works, according to Mediakix, you have to create a smart strategy that boosts brand recognition for the best ROI possible.”

Brands Need Influencer Marketing in 2020 for Five Key Reasons

1. Be competitive. Statistically speaking, there’s a very good chance your competitors are already investing in influencer marketing.  If so, that means they have an entire marketing channel at their disposal that you aren’t using.

2. Build immediate trust. It takes months of hard work to build trust with your audience. With an influencer, you have an immediate in with an audience that is primed to trust your message — 63% of customers aged 18-34 trust influencers more than branded advertising.

3. Create better content. Influencers connect with people for a living. They know what content resonates with their audience. Instead of racking your brain to write a sponsored post, let the influencer handle the content side.

4. Amplify and engage. Influencers are motivated to get more results for your brand, which means they’re more than willing to amplify your reach beyond one platform.

5. Boost revenue.  Influencer marketing isn’t a “fluffy” marketing strategy. While 84% of marketers find that proving the ROI of influencer marketing is a challenge, some studies have found that the ROI is as much as $6.50 for every $1 spent.

While influencer marketing will remain powerful this year, it’s important to keep in mind that best practices can change on a dime, and that means what worked last year won’t necessarily work moving forward.

Read Nikki Carlson’s full Forbes blog for three helpful tips when implementing your 2020 influencer marketing strategy.

Budgeting for 2020? Don’t Forget About PR

Kailynn Bowling, ChicExecs Marketing Agency’s Co-Founder/Co-President shares the PR strategies to invest in this year on Forbes blog.

From ad creative to salaries, businesses are planning expenses for the year so they can stay profitable. However, many businesses fall into the trap of overextending resources to paid ad strategies and overlook public relations (PR). Instead of pumping more resources into paid ads, budget with PR in mind first. She explains that paid ads aren’t everything. In 2018, paid ad spending was over $10 billion, and retailers spent a whopping $23.5 billion. Although businesses are spending a ton of money and wishing for good traffic and high returns in this arena, PR actually has more success.

“According to a 2014 Nielsen study, PR is 88% more effective than paid ads when it comes to customer persuasion.”

Consumers typically trust earned media more than general advertising. They find paid ads to be way too self-promotional and product-focused as well as displaying a lack of ingenuity. Word of mouth, customer testimonials and editorial media can have a greater impact on your followers than paid ads. Although they should remain in your strategy, there needs to be a combination of your brand’s own awareness and outside sources talking about your brand. One bonus of budgeting for both: PR isn’t nearly as money-hungry as Facebook ads, in fact, you can implement some strategies for free!

2020 is the year to invest in PR and earned media is the best way to engage with new customers en masse. It’s about building real interest in your products and amplifying it with the right tactics. When you dedicate your budget to the right PR strategies, you can build trust with new customers that a paid ad cannot beat.

Read Kailynn Bowling’s full Forbes blog for the right PR strategies that build genuine interest in your brand.