Janet Giampietro, Creative Consultant, Designer and Social Media Strategist
Janet Giampietro’s BIO
Janet Giampietro is a Creative Consultant + Social Media Strategist.
With over 20 years of creative development experience, Janet has extended her creative thinking to social media strategy. Janet utilizes her extensive communications and marketing background to help startups, small businesses and nonprofits enter the social media sphere, build their communities and integrate their messaging. As a consultant to Ventureneer.com, Janet has developed and managed its social media presence.
Janet was the Founder and Creative Director of Studio Francesca, a design and communications firm that developed award-winning materials for companies and nonprofits. She has produced communication materials for JPMorgan Chase, Pfizer, The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Janet also served as creative consultant to the nonprofits: Abilities!, IDA-NY, and Agenda for Children Tomorrow (ACT). Her work has been recognized in national publications including Print, ID, CA, Non-Traditional Design and Idea.
Janet has been active in Literacy Partners and School Power Lunch Programs in New York City. As an adventure traveler, she has visited many developing countries and believes in giving back. After five years of serving the Young Heroes Foundation in a pro bono capacity, Janet is currently its President and QOO.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
1. Oprah Winfrey has been inspiring us each month with her unique approach to life and to creating our very best lives so, as a tribute to her, A La Oprah, what did you know for sure when you decided to be a solo business practitioner?
Janet: In many ways, it’s a good personality fit. As a previous small business owner and freelancer, I’ve been my own boss. I like challenges, adventure and managing my own time.
2. Take us through a typical day with your schedule from start to finish.
Janet: With no crises looming, a typical day is: Up at 7am and doing 20 minutes of Pilates 3xs a week before digging in. Between 8 // 8:30am, I’m easing into the first few hours with admin, answering email, reading current news/feeds, then moving onto returning calls. Then it’s onto the actual project work, meetings, conference calls or whatever for the bulk of the day. My social media and blog updates are scheduled at the end of the day, 3xs weekly. A lunch break is a necessity even if it’s a half hour walk.
3. What are a few of your “can’t live without” applications on your personal computer/smart phone?
Janet: On my MAC, there’s CS4, MS Office, Quickbooks, iTunes. I’m working in the cloud more and more with clients. On my iPhone – apps: NPR News and NPR Addict, NYTimes, WSJ Mobile, Dragon Dictation, HootSuite, Facebook, and myPantone.
4. What are your tricks for time management?
Janet: Knowing one’s personal strengths and weaknesses is the best impetus for planning. I work best doing admin/answering emails etc. in the morning, catching up with news and feeds. Creative/strategizing happens later in the day for me. With a few exceptions, social media time is scheduled between 6–7 3xs a week. That’s reading/updating my accounts and updating my blog content or finding new blog topics. For me, that has to be scheduled, dedicated and finite time.
5. Best advice received when you started your business?
Janet: Tailor the business to your strengths and don’t try to do too much.
6. When did you know for sure that starting a consulting firm was the right path for you to take in your career?
Janet: I had been considering consulting for a while. With the economic situation as it was, people were flocking to social media for networking and engagement. Many people were (are) unclear as to what to do in that space and others were (are) terrified of it. I saw social media as changing the way forward, and felt that I had skills and advice to offer small businesses and nonprofits getting started in it.
7. If given an extra hour each day to seek new ideas and brainstorm, what are some sources you turn to?
Janet: I read a lot of travel essays and nonfiction on international politics. In both cases, these types of books open up my mind to different possibilities, lifestyles and methodologies. I like doing research and scan many news feeds daily. I also mine my social media accounts for news, trends and thought patterns.
8. Given the current economic climate, how has your strategy for your consulting firm changed for the short-term and long-term?
Janet: In this current economic climate, I’m still untangling the new NEW, so these strategies are evolving.
What’s been your proudest achievement as an entrepreneur?
Continuing to learn and grow, and find new ways of expanding and applying my creative/marketing background.
9. If you could re-start your business, what would you do differently and why?
Janet: Since this is a relatively new venture, I’m still doing analysis and adjustments. I’m sure there should have been more research, and better planning.
10. What are some of the ways that you achieve balance in your life?
Janet: Travel is both my escape and refresher. It’s one of the few ways for me to truly disconnect. When that’s not possible, I love to exercise – I’m a walker and hiker. Family and friends are my anchors.
11. The one book you would recommend highly to our readers (and why?)
Janet: I’ve most recently read DIFFERENT: Escaping the Competitive Herd by YoungMe Moon. I reviewed it in a recent blogpost. The author has a strong storytelling style and stresses differentiation, not as a marketing tool, but as a mindset – similar to a design thinking state of mind. The book is a refreshing and informative read.
12. If you received a surprise bonus equal to half of your monthly salary, what (if anything) would you spend it on?
Janet: A fabulous bit of adventure travel – somewhere in Africa.
13. What are some of your most rewarding charitable involvements and why?
Janet: I’ve done pro bono creative work for a charity founded by a friend called Young Heroes, which provides food and hope for Swaziland’s orphan families. Young Heroes’ founder, Steve Kallaugher, has recently entrusted its management to me.
My involvement is rewarding for many reasons, but two specifically: In a very small way, I’m contributing to a project that may have a profound effect on someone’s life. And secondly, I’m learning new skills and expanding on existing ones.
14. Who has been the most influential person to you as you’ve advanced in your career?
Janet: Geri Stengel, founder of Ventureneer.com and a serial entrepreneur. She has consistently reinvented her talents and built upon her previous successful ventures. She’s quite a motivator.