Mary Kay Alegre
Facebook: Search “In-Brief Videos”
What motivated you to start your own business?
A couple years ago I saw an instructional video that I loved. It was different from anything I had ever seen. I wanted to make something like it. After letting the idea simmer, my husband and I tried making our first video in 2009. We got out an old video camera, learned about lighting and sound among other new things, and found a topic. When the video turned out to our liking, we thought we’d try making a business out of it.
When did you realize you had talent in this area?
This is my dream job. I wanted to be a graphic designer when I grew up, but pursued a career in international studies and adult education instead, which I love too. So, now, sitting at my kitchen table drawing paper cut-outs that will educate and entertain audiences on topics of importance, like trade with China, and public health issues-I’m living the dream!
Do you do this full-time or part-time?
Part time, it is a perfect part time job—with morning and afternoon school pickups. If I (cross my fingers) get too much work, I’ll find people to work with me-and remain part-time.
What lessons have you learned along the way?
I worked in an office for about 10 years. When the little ones came along it was great to work online, from home. Recently, once the kids were off to school, I had to decide whether to go to work full time (job security, but in a “cube”) or try to launch the business (flexibility, creativity, no job security!). My practical side often wins out on decisions like this, but this time I didn’t let it. I concentrated on my priorities of a work/life balance, and told my husband to hang in there while we lived on only his income.
We told all our friends and family about our first video via email. We posted it on YouTube. Everyone liked it. Friends shared it. The word was spreading. I prepared for an onslaught of contracts. It didn’t happen like that. But, I’m very happy with our long “start-up mode”. I’ve learned a lot, read a lot, and have had time to envision the company focus.
At first I did everything on my own. Created my own very basic website, tried to design a logo, etc. I read a lot about marketing through social media and business development, but had a hard time knowing when and where to start when it came to my own business. After getting some contracts last year, we felt we could invest in an outside company to help us. It was a great decision.
How do you market your business?
We’re using online social media and social networking as much as possible to spread the word about our videos and our company–Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn. We plan to add meaningful content to our blog on a regular basis, and to create a new video for public viewing every several months. Also, we’re looking into get involved with local organizations whose members might have an interest in videos like ours.
Any special offers to share with our readers?
Find us a new client, and get your video made for half price through 2011.
Can we come back and interview you again in a few months to find out what “next steps” you’ve taken in your business adventures?
Welcome to Nudge Village Mary Kay!