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Liana Zavo is the chairwoman of her company WMW LOUNGE and also the CEO of ZavoMedia her communications company based in New York has integrated and materialized her ‘dream come true’ corporate story as a mother, entrepreneur, writer, online personality and speaker.
Tell us about ZavoMedia. How did you come up with this idea?
Liana Zavo: It all started as I became a brand ambassador for small luxury brands and that led me to become a female luxury brand marketer. I decided to drop out of college and use my expertise in marketing and public relations. It was a difficult time for me, I was getting divorced, and my son was only a few years old. It was one of the hardest moments of my life to juggle life, work, and find the perfect balance. Hearing someone’s success story is always bliss as it is our tendency to adopt qualities from others and inspire ourselves to reach the zenith. Everyone, the media or the audience wants to know the bright side and their journeys of failures and losses get muddled and disappear along the way. My lowest point gives me more inspiration than anything else. Everyone has to remember where they came from and for me, the mantra of my success is the failure that is defeated time and again. I built my confidence over the years, for those women who are handling motherhood and business like a lioness, I salute their resilience, patience, multitasking skills, and persistence that pushed them to accomplish their dreams.
As a female luxury brand marketer, I established hundreds of relationships with luxury brands that utilize my expertise and my target audience to drive their sales. Even though my life wasn’t perfect, I decided to become my own boss and establish a communications company. I help leaders represent their brand and scale it to 7 figures by coaching and consulting their brands. I am the Founder & CEO of ZavoMedia Group, a New York- based communications company, working with inspired people, influencers and luxury brands. I established my full service boutique-size PR firm primarily for the professional ambitious millennial women. Furthermore, I decided to take the leap of faith and help the next generation of emerging female entrepreneurs by mentoring them in the business arena to jump start their business. Growing up, I was told that women need to know their place in society, and that it’s impossible for women to be making the same amount as a man. I have never conformed to any of those ideas, and knew better that women are powerful beyond measure. It’s unfair that girls are being brainwashed, judged and belittled, and I decided to educate the next generation by giving the necessary tools for them to rise and shine.
I am the host on my weekly show a business and lifestyle podcast “What Makes A Woman,” interviewing groundbreaking women, who share their secrets to success and the tips and tricks of running multimillion dollar businesses. As an organization, What Makes A Woman academy also known as WMW academy, we provide mentorship for girls from high schools, orphanages and first year of college. It is our due diligence to stand by them, raise their awareness to become independent and successful and make them a part of a strong female led organization. Our mission is to inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs by giving them the guidance and mentorship needed to become successful in all of their endeavors. I live by a quote; “We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.”—Anonymous
Moreover, during these hard times, What Makes A Woman branched out into loungewear to support women with a daily dose of confidence. We decided to give back by partnering up with a non-profit organization No Kid Hungry, the proceeds go to children around the world.
How did you promote your company in the early days?
Liana Zavo: In the earlier days before the pandemic, we would network in groups and host meetings with hundreds of people at my family’s restaurant in NYC. Looking at everything now, it’s done virtually and zoom meetings are on the rise like never before. As a communications company we need to stay adaptable, going forward this will be the new normal. My team at ZavoMedia sends out more emails now than ever before, to stay connected to each individual and support them during a pandemic. It is important to keep my staff of 15 full-time employees employed and support their families. As a company we rolled out our pandemic relief program to hundreds of women, we are hiring and helping women that lost their jobs.
How have you been able to grow your business?
Liana Zavo: As a small business I was able to grow and scale my business first off by having a solid staff that can help me achieve my company’s growth trajectory. Most importantly hiring the right people, and promoting them accordingly. I focus on established revenue sources rather than trying to acquire new customers. Risk taking is an inevitable part of starting and growing a business. However, there are plenty of ways to reduce unnecessary risks within the company. One trait that successful startups often have in common is the ability to switch directions quickly in response to changes in the market. The most important factor in business; to be adaptable and to stay relevant to the situation. Customer’s perceptions can really make or break your business. Focusing on my customer experience is vital. Throughout my business experience and especially in the early stages of my business it is critical to make sure that you’re redirecting any revenues back into the company. In my opinion it is vital to invest early and heavily in order to grow quickly. Planning your next step while anticipating all possible scenarios, is the best way to stay grounded and secure as your business evolves.
What are some secrets to virality/sales in your most successful platform (Fb, Twitter, IG, Snap, Ecommerce, etc)?
Liana Zavo: As a communications company we have mastered the target audience. Viral content is effective if it speaks to people in a way that they are eager to share the content. Building a marketing persona is crucial to understand what is important as they consider a purchase and share content online. Our social media platform that is widely used for content is Instagram, where a series of Instagram Stories or an image with a caption can spark viral shares online. Boosting visibility with advertising, investing in paid ads on social networks can boost the visibility of a campaign. We partner with social media influencers, which has been effective. Nearly 95% believe that this strategy is a game-changer. Furthermore, providing a clear call to action which encourages the target audience to sign up for a free trial or to a discounted purchase are effective ways to use the power of viral marketing to grow customers.
Teach us something new
Liana Zavo: As an organization, What Makes A Woman academy has developed a high-impact mentorship program, which makes it easy for us to start, manage and give appropriate coaching techniques in business. We match mentors and mentees for more successful mentoring. Build productive learning experiences with step-by-step guidance and measurable outcomes. We impact more participants by scaling the program across multiple locations. A women’s mentorship program is a great way to create an environment where issues can openly be discussed. The conversations will be constructive, therefore experience females will be able to provide advice and perspective to the women they mentor. Some tips for creating a successful women’s mentorship program consists of forming a group to lead the program, involve women from the leadership team, create goals for the program, and recruit women to participate in the program. After putting together a team of editors, writers, and media experts, we went through a tough time pitching our idea to investors but our undefeated impetus and conviction led to a successful set-up. The company runs podcasts and interviews where C-level female executives serve as mentors and pass down their wisdom by coaching young girls from schools, orphanages, and colleges. The leadership programs are aimed at building confidence and empowerment so that the next wave of women entrepreneurs can effectively and effortlessly balance their corporate and personal fronts. My podcasts are based on topics of personal branding, content marketing, brand awareness, leading with confidence, authenticity and pushing past adversity.
What do you think you do better than most people? How are you able to do it?
Liana Zavo: I am highly emotional, therefore I have the ability to empathize which allows me to navigate the unpredictable and often hostile social environment. As an individual, I am highly emotional and I inject these feelings into conversations with people effortlessly which distributes their point of view. I can connect and develop deep relationships. Being an emotional person, I am passionate and understand that a life laced with significance requires deep, healthy relationships. My ability to bounce back after a fall is an underappreciated personality characteristic. As an emotional person, I am more resilient because I am connected to my “why.” An emotion turns an obstacle into a lesson. By nature I am a storyteller, you can hear all of my stories on my business and lifestyle podcast, and these stories are effective at conveying meaning by injecting genuine emotion into the tales. I am better at storytelling because emotion ignites my words with meaning and purpose. My ability to create which makes me achieve my higher self. I achieve by creating, which resides deep within my identity. Sharing the same space that my emotional self is found and therefore creativity and emotion are innately linked. I am a confident, emotional leader that finds compliance seamless and unquestioned.
What are some of your most favorite books you’ve ever read?
Liana Zavo: In my WMW book club, we read books that leave a long-lasting impression. Some of my favorite books that left an impact on my life and my students’ lives are Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav. These books help me escape and redirect me in my life. They are the prerequisites to our mentorship program in our WMW academy.
What advice would you give the next generation of entrepreneurs?
Liana Zavo: The advice I would give the next generation of entrepreneurs is never believe that your age or gender is an obstacle to achieving great things! Surround yourself with family, mentors and friends who will encourage and challenge you to be the best you can be. Even when things get tough, learn to encourage yourself, celebrate your successes and take time to enjoy the journey of life. Remember life is a marathon, not a sprint.
Where do you see yourself and your product, company, or brand in the next couple of years? What is your dream?
Liana Zavo: In a couple of years, I see myself taking the stage and speaking to thousands of people, just like my mentors Suze Orman and Gary Vee. My mission is to transform people’s lives by coaching them on how to push past adversity, raise their self awareness, and become a top branding coach throughout the states. As the next groundbreaking life coach and mentor, I will transform thousands of lives. It would be a goal of mine to become an author and write a book about the secrets of successful women in business. Decisions never cease to change and one must always choose that path of happiness for themselves first before helping others. I have emerged as a true role model and I lead the way for the future wave to claim the throne of terminal happiness. I will continue to spread the words of wisdom for my fellow womanhood.