Haley Hebert is the CMO & Co-Founder of AirProxima. Haley’s focus at AirProxima is on using new technology and machine learning to broaden the accessibility of the charter industry. Reaching new customers (not just the 1%) with a better way to travel is her passion. Her personal motto: Be Kind.
Leslie Wong: Can you tell us a bit more about AirProxima and what is it about the company that excites you?
Haley Hebert: I love being in an underdog position in new industries. Our founding team comes from Amazon and the technology world, and we’re applying those skills to the private aviation world to make it more accessible to everyone, not just the 1%. That’s what excites me most – partnering with the best private operators in aviation and helping them use technology to reach new customer sets they couldn’t reach previously.
LW: You left a senior role at an established digital marketing agency to go all-in at this startup, what inspired you to go for it? HH: During my time at the agency I met one of my co-founders, Bill Banta, who became my client and ultimately brought me into AirProxima (Bill is also a pilot). I worked with Bill to help him launch CENTR after his stints at Apple at Square. I took on the launch of the 360-Go-Pro-competitor as a passion project, leading the go-to-market strategy, PR, helping Banta raise more than $900,000 on Kickstarter, and eventually see it get acquired by Amazon. After that experience, I was hooked on the idea of entrepreneurship.
LW: That passion project paid off! So you made the leap. From the perspective of a millennial woman, what it’s like being a young woman co-founder working in aviation? HH: I’m in two worlds that are often a “boys club” – tech and aviation. It’s empowering – I like being in those type of worlds, changing people’s perceptions on who the key players should be and what they should look like, and attempting to break the mold.
LW: What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago? HH: You know more than you think and you are more capable than you realize. Don’t let other people who “look good on paper” intimidate you.
LW: What kinds of exciting projects are you working on right now? HH: We’ve spent the last 18 months building patent-pending machine learning technology – essentially “Uber pool” for private planes. We just launched the marketplace in its beta form two months ago, and I’m excited to get customer feedback and tune to the product and see the technology evolve to the full vision we have for it.
LW: As a startup co-founder, there is never a dull moment. Versus balance, let’s talk about self-love. What does it mean to you? HH: Self-love means not being too hard on myself and knowing when to let go. It also means treating myself to a massage or a mani-pedi when things get rough and I need to take a step back!
LW: Who is one woman you look up to and why? HH: I’ve recently started reading more content from the CEO of Ellevest and her story is one I really admire and would like to emulate. She came up in the male dominated world of finance and investment banking and did a lot to change the mold in that industry and eventually launch Ellevest.
Haleyis the former head of a global top 20 marketing firm and was the firm’s youngest ownership partner. She has over 10 years experience in digital commerce with Fortune 500 brands and high-growth startup companies. Find her on LinkedIn.Learn more about AirProxima at Airproxima.com or on Twitter, Instagram @AirProxima and LinkedIn.
Have you ever been doing what you love, but felt lonely while doing it? Natalie Franke was a successful wedding photographer after college, but she lacked the resources and support necessary to build her brand. Creative entrepreneurship felt isolating for her, so Natalie decided to close the gap between her passion and community.
She started the Rising Tide Society in 2015 and the organization now hosts chapters internationally to foster support for creatives. Rising Tide Society is also a part of HoneyBook, which offers management software for creative businesses. Natalie serves as the head of community for HoneyBook, and regularly posts video blogs and some very motivational Instagram stories. The University of Pennsylvania graduate is now an educator, writer and community builder.
Listen here as Natalie speaks with Burgundy Fox intern Nicole Fallert about neuroscience, social media advertising and what she wants to be when she grows up.
Follow Natalie on social media @nataliefranke or catch up with Nicole @nflrt6789. Got questions or comments about Seamless? Email email@example.com.
Seamless take three explores the social media strategy and career risks with Dannie Fountain, a self-defined “marketing expert, business strategist, author, educator, digital nomad and whip-smart whiskey drinker.”
In this episode, Burgundy Fox intern Nicole Fallert speaks with Dannie about how she turned a side hustle into a full-time job and still finds time for wanderlust.
Hey! It’s Nicole and welcome back to Seamless.
In this episode, we’re talking hustle. That’s the word Dannie Fountain uses to describe her work as a marketing strategist, writer and teacher. She’s traveled the world, worked in the corporate sector and now she’s an entrepreneur helping other business owners build their brand, seamlessly.
Here’s my conversation with Dannie.
Nicole Fallert: Can you just tell me what you do?
Dannie Fountain: I am a marketing strategist, author and educator. I work with corporate clients and small businesses to get their house in order and come up with a marketing plan that’s going to really move the needle for them
NF: Can you tell me what you mean by strategy? On your website and your content, I feel like the word strategy is used a lot. That can really run the gamut, so what does strategy meant to you?
DF: Strategy is thinking about a direction that you want to go in. It can be a micro-direction like launching something or macro-direction like pivoting your entire business and essentially coming up with the entire game plan that you’re going to need to work through to get there.
If it’s something micro, you may think what needs to happen so people know about the launch so that it goes well. If it a macro change, you’re thinking through everything that needs to happen so the pivot is successful, be that raising awareness or making sure the brand voice from the old branding to the new brand carries over so the whole transition is seamless. It’s really more than just posting on social media.
NF: I like that you used the word seamless! I want to ask you how you get that transition to be well-layered when working with a business you may not be familiar with or content you’ve never approached. How do you jump in cold turkey and know what’s wrong or what needs to change
DF: The first step of any project I always do is an audit. The client goes through a document and lets me know what they think their business is doing in terms of marketing, PR and social media and the message their business is sending. I’m able to go through and check the reality against what they think and identify the gaps.
NF: Do people have conceptions of their successes and failures are when they self-evaluate?
DF: Folks undervalue themselves! They don’t see that a part of their business is really powerful and people are resonating with it or they think that a piece that’s actually performing well is a waste of time.
NF: What kind of businesses and organizations do you like to work with?
DF: The most fun that I have is in projects where a business is trying to turn an industry on its head. They’re in an industry where the conversation, the way the industry sells and the products have been the same for a really long time and they’re looking to challenge the pre-defined norms through messaging.
NF: How does your background and personal life inform your professional life?
DF: It’s seamless hand in hand. For better or for worse. there isn’t really a separation. I’m a big traveler and I think my wanderlust and desire to find the hidden treasures helps when performing audits and finding ideas that are fresh and new. It’s about the diamonds in the rough in the business world.
In my corporate time, I worked for Whirlpool company, which was a103-year- company old trying to innovate the market while competing solely on price. Flipping that industry so that price wasn’t even a question was a huge learning lesson and there were a lot of takeaways for me.
NF: Leaving that corporate structure and going into your own business was a risk. Was there a point when you said, “I’m doing the right thing.”
DF: My skip from corporate to full-time entrepreneur was an accident. I had been side hustling all along and then in 2016, I got laid off twice in three months. For me, it was a case of, “If the corporate world doesn’t trust me, why don’t I try trusting myself?” NF: What did it feel like to trust yourself? DF: I went from having a steady corporate income and a reliable side hustle income to just my side hustle income overnight. It was believing in the the hustle before I believed in myself.
I had to find value in the hustle so I could find value in making the leap. NF: Okay, so what does “side hustle” mean?
Google defines hustle as busy movement and activity. But what does the word mean in the context of business?
I’ve heard the term “hustle” or “side hustle” more often than not lately, and this may be due to the fact that 44 million American adults have a source of income other than their day job, according to a July 2017 report by Bankrate.
This fact stems from the idea that extra cash means paying off student loans and capital investment for your future. With one quarter of millennials with side hustles making $500 dollars a month, according to Bankrate, why not take on another job?
There’s evening side hustle nation.com, an online source dedicated to the creation of your side hustle. It’s a complete guide to creating a part-time business that’s passion-driven and most importantly, paid.
Now I’m thinking about my own side-hustle possibilities. I have always been good at posting that perfect Instagram…Now, back to Dannie
NF: One thing I’ve noticed on your website is that you’re a really good writer. You have a very strong voice, and I want to know how writing has informed your work. Do you find your voice is changing as you’ve developed your business?
DF: In the beginning, I wrote very safely. I educated, but I educated in a way that would not turn anyone off. The longer I’ve been here, the more willing I am to infuse my personality in my writing, which is interesting. The more I’ve infused my personality in my writing, the better it’s gotten. I was almost doing myself a disservice in the beginning. I would say that trusting my voice has helped my business, and the reason I decided to rebrand from an agency name to my name.
NF: What’s your advice for someone who is considering skipping out of a corporate job structure but doesn’t feel ready to take that leap?
DF: There is no one-way to go from the corporate world an entrepreneur.
It’s one-third guts, one-third planning and having a process and one-third trusting yourself.
The gut piece being, “Do I know I can actually sit down and get work done, because if I need the pressure of something else in my life to perform, don’t do it.”
The planning piece is, “Do I know where I want my risk to go long-term?” If you don’t have an answer,stay in your corporate job.
The third piece, that’s the hardest, but that’s the piece that connects it all
NF: What’s something that you’re most proud of?
DF: Being willing to be myself in business. To dance the line between corporate and entrepreneur, while owning the fact I side hustled for so long and being an entrepreneur was never really the goal. It used to be something I did to travel.
NF: One thing I’ve noticed a lot is even just my behaviors in my purchasing and my absorbtion of social media are reflected in the advertisements I see on my laptop screen. I’d like to know your perspective on social media advertising.
DF: I was having a conversation about this recently. Take an influencer for example. People are not upset if they partner with a brand. They get upset when this influencer don’t disclose that it was a partnership. I think we’ll see a movement towards honest advertising. We’re going to see brands that can be unafraid to share the painful parts. These will be the brands that do really well.
NF: Let’s say I’m your average Instagram user with a pretty good presence. What would be your advice if that user wanted to build his or her brand and collaborate with actual products?
DF: Be consistent. As you build what you’re working on, you want to be an evangelist. Be the person known for one thing. Even though I’m an entrepreneur, an author…I this, I that, when you ask someone on Instagram what they know me, for it’s my whiskey. I’m always talking about whiskey.
That is the way to build engagement. People come back to see what I’ve tried recently, or if i found something new that I liked. That’s how you build consistent recurring engagement. Virality is good, that’s what gives you hundreds of followers, but it’s not sustainable. It’s not what gives you recurring following.
Got comments or suggestions for our new podcast? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m a digital marketing intern at Burgundy Fox who focuses on blog and podcast content. I curate every part of this blog, from the homepage design to the writing to the graphics. I also work with contributing writers, brainstorm upcoming material and research new brands to feature in Burgundy Fox boxes. In addition to managing our blog, I’ve taken advantage of the exciting opportunity to launch our brand new podcast, Seamless! On Seamless, I interview accomplished and up-and-coming women entrepreneurs and creative thinkers who have inspiring stories to share. I study journalism at Northwestern University and am originally from Pennsylvania.
Why she chose Burgundy Fox
I trained in classical ballet for seventeen years. When I was a little girl, I always thought all women were petite like the prima ballerinas. It took me a long time to accept my body as it was, even if it meant I didn’t have the “perfect” dancer’s form. I love that Burgundy Fox is championing empowerment of the mind and body. I think one of this company’s biggest strengths is its focus on the celebration of all women.
3 Fun Facts
I have traveled to Europe and Asia
I studied ballet from the ages of 3 to 17
I’m passionate about bookstores, art museums and vintage shopping
Who she is
I’m a born & raised Chicago girl. I’m passionate about making people smile–It gives me great joy to know I had a part in adding a little shine to someone’s day, through my work, creating something new, dancing, or cracking jokes. I’m a Digital Marketing Intern for Burgundy Fox, and I absolutely love it! Meanwhile, I am in a Master’s program at DePaul University studying digital marketing and communications.
Why she chose Burgundy Fox
I love Burgundy Fox because I am a firm believer in good karma and doing something that can change the world. The values Burgundy Fox has are honest & what our generation needs right now. Being able to do good & being mindful of all women’s bodies is empowering. This summer I’ll be working on optimizing our website, email marketing, Facebook and Pinterest marketing.
3 Fun Facts
I can ballroom dance and have competed in the past
I’m a proud pug mom, her name is Foxy Cleopatra!
I’ve recently started learning how to DJ
Who she is
I’m the Social Media Intern at Burgundy Fox. I help curate the content for our social media platforms and manage relationships with our brand ambassadors.
Why she chose Burgundy Fox
I chose to work for Burgundy Fox because it is a start-up that has so much potential for growth. Burgundy Fox also aligns with my own personal goal of starting my own e-commerce business. I knew that a position with this company would be a stepping stone in the right direction for me.
3 Fun Facts
I am a very proud big sister
I have at least one piece of chocolate every week
I’ve always wanted to be my own boss no matter my career field