New Job? Now What?

Picture this. You walk into your new office on your first day on the job. Suddenly, you realize how nervous you are. Who do you talk to? What do you say? How should you act? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed while going through a new transition in your life, so here are some tips of things not to say on your first days. Take it from us at DFSCC, we live by these tenets.

  1. Don’t talk about what you learned at your previous job

Yes, you may have learned a lot from your former employer, but constantly questioning the new things you are being taught is a surefire way to come across as a know it all. Chances are that things are done differently depending on where you work. Embrace the change and stay open to learning.

  1. Never ask about office drama

Odds are if you’re anything like me, you will want to get involved with the new social aspect of the office. However, it is important to never ask new co-workers about gossip, because this can reflect poorly on you. There is a difference between making friends with your co-workers and gossiping, so make sure you steer clear of the latter.

  1. Try not to complain about your old boss

Okay, so maybe the boss you left behind was blind in one eye and would yell whenever you made a minuscule error (I really hope not). Even so, you shouldn’t be complaining about it at your new job. This will make you seem like you talk behind peoples backs, and will leave your new employer wondering if you will say the same negative remarks about them. These kinds of comments can also make you seem like a negative person rather than the ray of sunshine you truly are!

  1. Stay away from everyday complaints

Things like, “I’m so tired!” or, “I’m ready to go home and nap!” are usually not well received from a new employee. You may be attempting to be facetious or just make conversation, but try to avoid things that make you sound lazy. Chances are, you’re not the only one to think those things, but just because you think them doesn’t mean they need to be said!


Stand and Deliver

Public Speaking. It’s like a middle-school relationship. It’s awkward and uncomfortable and it leaves you with sweaty palms (side note: What’s with the excessively damp glands of 6th-grade-boy hands? Asking you WebMD writers out there).

But let me tell you something about public speaking and young-love, you can improve both with a few tips from those who are more experienced and with lots of practice. Luckily for you, I’m here today with vast knowledge from my Public Speaking-101 course and a little help to help you ease those big-crowd-jitters.

Confidence is Key. A saying that is true in pretty much all aspects in life, and is no exception when it comes to the delivery of your speech, presentation,  or elementary wedding proposal. Your confidence level affects your audience’s attention, participation, and ability to connect with what you’re saying. So say it loud and say it proud.

A huge component of your audience buying into your confidence level, even if you’re totally faking it, is your body language. The way you present yourself will arguably do more speaking than you will. So here are 5 tips to looking more confident.

  1. The Box: Imagine that there is a cardboard box in front of chest and confine your arm movements to the inside of that box. It turns out that exaggerated movements are interpreted as “untrustworthy” to an audience.
  2. Hold the Ball: Pretend you’re holding a basketball while speaking, it will subconsciously suggest to the audience that you are literally holding your idea and thus exude more confidence.
  3. Pyramid Hands: Shaking hands giving you away? Not anymore. This idea comes straight from those sturdy Egyptian pyramids to settle your trembles. Those babies have been around for about 5000 years and haven’t flinched. Not once. Mimic our model by clasping both hands together in a relaxed pyramid. Now you’re calm, cool, and collected.
  4. Wide Stance: Channel your inner Beyonce (minus the leotard) and stand proud with your legs shoulder distance apart. This will exude control the whole way through
  5. Palms Up or Down: If you occasionally gesture with you palms up,  it indicates openness and honesty. While if you gesture palms down, it can be viewed as a sign of strength and authority. Either is a win! Just make sure to use them intentionally and that your gesture matches your mood.


I’ve feathered your wings and you’re ready to fly! So fly, my child, fly! *I say with a wide stance, with my palms down as I gently flap my “wings” with in the box, obviously*.




6 Ways to Being a Better Listener

Being a #girlboss can sometimes be exhausting. The constant grind, working to get it done, and staring at a computer screens can really drain your energy. When we finally have human interaction, it can sometimes be hard to pay attention and listen to the other person.

Do you ever zone out while talking to someone and allow you mind to drift off to a project that’s due in three days, or a meeting you have to be to in an hour, or maybe a tropical island with a delicious drink in your hand? (Okay, the latter of the three might come to mind more often than not…) Of course you do! We all have been there. It’s hard talking to people and listening to what they have to say. It’s one thing to talk to someone and respond to them, but it’s another to really absorb what they’re saying and relate to it.


Here are 6 tips to help you in future conversations so that you can really allow yourself to listen.


Tip one: listen to learn, not to be polite. Sometimes we allow ourselves to become wrapped up in a conversation out of generosity, not curiosity. Instead of feeling like we are gifting someone with our presence and conversation, we should instead engage in conversation in order to truly listen to what the person has to say. We should be learning something about the person. Each day we should ask ourselves: what we are curious about and what we are wrong about. Editor Steward Brand says that this allows our ears to be opened and it gives us a beginner’s mind-set when walking into a conversation.


Tip two: try to quiet your agenda. Instead of thinking about the meeting you have in an hour and the project due in a few days, you should try to quiet your mind while in a conversation (meditate that mind). Keeping your mind clear helps to allow new information to flow. Instead of blocking out the conversation, you are allowing it to take hold in your mind.


Tip three: more questions! As my former high school literature teacher frequently said “the more questions you ask, the more you learn.” This couldn’t be more true. When someone asks questions of another it builds trust, allows one to be open and honest with you, and it shows people that you care about what they have to say (and who doesn’t love that).  Not only does it show you care about what they have to say, but you allow yourself and others to become more open.


Tip 4: Pay Attention! Always remember the 2:1 listening to talking ratio when in a conversation. As much as we want to share things about ourselves and dominate the conversation, we should allow others to talk more and we should try and engage on the subjects they bring to the conversation.


Tip 5: Repeat back what you hear. I am currently having flashbacks to zoning out and having an undergraduate professor call on me, “Can you explain to the class what this passage we just read means to you?”… Well, no I cannot; I am exhausted and was dreaming about chocolate fondue. (Sorry.) Unfortunately, in the business world, you can’t afford to zone out in a conversation. The response “I’m sorry what page are we on?” does not work. Be alert and attentive when listening to others and be able to repeat what was just heard.

Tip 6: Let the other person finish talking! As much as we want to input our thoughts into a conversation, we have to remember that the other person wants to do the same. We must remember that one important thing about listening is patience. As difficult as it may seem to find the perfect moment to formulate a response to what someone has said, it can be done.


The Face Behind the #GirlBossBlog: Caroline Tucker

As Caroline has been writing about everyone else in the office it occurred to me that through the nature of this project, she has not written about herself. Which should come as no surprise, due to her unassuming heads-down-computer-screens-open attitude. So it’s my turn, actually honor, to write about the originator of the #GirlBossBlog.

When she first came to me with the concept, I was wary. “Will I need to ACTUALLY do anything for it?” I asked. After her marketing presentation, selling me on a dream and an idea she had, I couldn’t very well say no. (I mean really, you can’t say no to Caroline. You just can’t.) The result has been wonderful for DFS Creative Concepts in numerous ways. A lot of self-evaluation, introspection, analysis of what we do and how we work. . . It’s all come about because of Caroline.

So get to know the REAL face behind the #GirlBossBlog. The one who keeps it going, in essence and perseverance. You won’t regret learning more about our very own ray of sunshine.

1. What is your morning mantra?
Oh, man. Considering I’m the usual Monday Mantra contributor, my arsenal of mantras is pretty extensive. But growing up, my parents were big on telling me and my siblings: “Your best is always good enough.” I love that a whole lot. My best might not look like my brother’s best, or my best friend’s best, or Dorothy’s best, or that really picture-perfect fashion blogger’s best. But thank goodness we don’t all have the same “bests,” right? What a boring world that would be. 
(I think this mini rant was the birth of an upcoming Monday Mantra…. stay tuned.)
2. Who is a #GirlBoss you admire? Why?
My dad’s mom, my Nan-Nan, was THE #GirlBoss. She was a writer, mother, fashionista, and devoted lipstick wearer until her dying day. She was a huge believer in women building up women through words of affirmation. She encouraged me to give out at least one compliment a day, and she looooved retail therapy. 
3. What draws you to PR/marketing?
I get to be whatever I want to be – it’s a total chameleon job. One day I’m writing articles (my favorite), the next I’m walking through a venue for an upcoming event, and then I’m at a round-table meeting talking marketing strategy. It’s fast, it’s creative, and it’s ever-changing. 
4. Thoughts on where you’d like your PR/marketing experience to take you?
I’d love to marry my love for writing with the fashion/PR world. . . Maybe to write profiles on really cool people for a really cool publication in a really cool city.
5. You’re favorite office snack:
Dorothy’s leftovers from GB&D. 😉 Their hushpuppies are to die for. 
6. Your go-to office outfit:
An easy swing dress. It’s the best trick for looking like I have my life together regardless of the reality. And then I’ll throw on a long necklace or two and some booties if I reallyyy want to fool people. 
7. Best piece of advice Dorothy has given you:
“Don’t apologize for anything you didn’t do wrong.” Maybe it’s a generational thing, or maybe it’s an unfortunate tendency for young women in general, but it’s my instinct to say “I’m sorry” to everything. Dorothy once heard me on the phone with a vendor who confused an order, and after I apologized and hung up, she goes “Now stop right there.”
This goes for both professional and personal situations. There’s no need to degrade myself for the sake of others. 
8. Describe your experience working at DFSCC in one word:
Undeserved. I don’t know why or how lil ol’ me got this amazing opportunity but I am grateful. It’s fair to say Dorothy and DFSCC have changed my life for the better.
9. Favorite thing about the Village:
There is so much good happening in the Village. I think my favorite thing is the variety of initiatives going on to grow the Village to be a really special place. I’m particularly fond of Mill Community Ministries. I got to listen to the founder, Dan Weidenbenner, speak at a conference and was totally captivated by his vision. I can’t wait to see how it grows in the coming years.
10. Coffee or tea?
Coffee. Black. Or a good chai tea if I’m not that tired (but, really, when is that ever the case?).
So there you have it. Isn’t she lovely? We think so.

Understand Customer Relationships. . . Better

Customers are the driving forces behind your business, and nothing is more important than developing excellent relationships with them. The only problem: we do not always know everything about our customers, and often, they do not always know what they want. So, how then can we begin to satisfy them?


Form relationships with heavy users

There are three types of consumers: Early adopters, repeaters, and heavy users. Aim for the latter of the three. These are people who use your product in high amounts—making them the most valuable. It is very important to keep them happy! In addition, you must figure out what they love about your product and why they always come back. This information could be the difference between another consumer sticking with your brand or opting for someone else’s.


Close the space between being adequate and extraordinary

Consumers may desire something great, but are willing to settle for “alright” if there are no other options. If they are simply settling for your product, then they are easy targets for you competitors. Once you learn to fill the space between satisfaction and longing, customers will continue to stay loyal and others will be drawn to your brand. People don’t want things that are just okay. They want something that fulfils their desires, yet this is not always available to them. It is your job to make sure they always have this option. Create your product so that it is as close to what your customer wants as possible. This way, they will never have to settle for less again. 

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Influencer Marketing: Strategies to Improve and Succeed

Influencer marketing has made serious traction over the last few years, causing companies to begin to turn their heads in its direction. We live in a new era where certain bloggers and people’s personal brands (not to mention companies’ brands) have more following than traditional print media does – changing the game of marketing all together. Luckily, there are certain tips and tricks your company can utilize in order to make you influencer marketing campaigns more effective and successful!


Evergreen content is a must

For those of you not familiar with this term, it essentially means a piece of content that does not expire in a short time frame. In turn, it helps a business establish major credibility and gives customers great information.


Build and nurture relationships with influencers

Once initial connections have been established, make sure you maintain these relationships over time. This way, if you decide to launch a new product or idea, you can use influencers in a focus group or involve them once again on your campaign. If the influencer starts Incorporating your products into their daily lives, you can expect positive reactions from others.


Don’t be afraid to use an agency (cough, DFS Creative Concepts, cough)

Agencies are a great way to connect with the right people for the specific need you have. It can take a lot of time to find the perfect influencer, and even more time to reach out and develop a connection with them. Instead, sit back and let and agency do the work for you.


Reuse your campaign in cross promotions

Don’t let people forget about what you’ve done just because your campaign has ended! Promote it on websites ,blogs, and other social media channels. The paid tool of a Facebook promotion post is also a way to ensure your post reaches more viewers.


Allow creative freedom

Influencers are popular for a reason. Clearly, their lifestyle resonates with their followers. Let them have some creativity with how they market your brand—odds are, they know what they are doing! 

#DFSquad: Get to Know Megan


Photo Creds: Angela Cox Zion

Happy weekend eve, #GirlBosses! We are back with another #DFSquad bio on a girl who is equal parts sassy, fabulous, and hardworking. Megan Womble has a particularly special place in my heart because she introduced me to the DFSCC world, so I am eternally indebted to her. Megan is a workhorse and always has a positive attitude. Read below to find out how she does it all:

What is your morning mantra?

“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” Basically, IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL IT’S OVER! We have to go through the motions to get where we are supposed to be. We go along a journey with our clients to help them reach their goals. In life, we have to take each day as it comes! 

Who is a #GirlBoss you admire?

I admire the #GirlBoss that pushes herself, the #GirlBoss who is an inspiration to others, the #GirlBoss who works hard, and the #GirlBoss who is the best version of herself.

What draws you to PR/marketing?

I love this type of work! It’s constantly growing and adapting to changes in trends/audiences/platforms. I love the challenge it brings. 

Your go-to office outfit:

Booties are a staple piece in my wardrobe– DFS has taught me how to mix patterns and textures to spice up my daily work outfits while being polished and professional. No tight buns and pantyhose here! Outfits are an extension of our personalities– look good, feel good!

Best piece of advice Dorothy has given you:

“Divorce it from your life.” Do away with what is negative in your life. Only surround yourself with the best!

Describe your experience working at DFSCC in one word:

Indescribable. I LOVE my job and everything/everyone/every experience that comes with it.

Favorite think about the Village:

Greenville’s little hideaway is constantly growing, plus The Village Grind is a staple in my work routine. The Village has its own personality!

Coffee or tea?

COFFE over tea, always. Caffeine is a must for the life of a #GirlBoss. 🙂 I have been experimenting with a pump of mocha in my usual morning cup and I 100% would recommend. 

Monday Mantra DFS 4317

Monday Mantra: Don’t Just Stand There

dfs headshot feb 17

So normally, Caroline writes the majority of our posts, followed by the rest of the crew . . . And I round out the bottom of the barrel. Yep, that’s right. Being everything from my own janitor to my own bookkeeper to running my own small business (oh yeah, being a mother to a #threenager and a wife to a husband in tax season, too) has my writing time few and far between. But it’s a rainy day, I’ve actually done a good job with my bookkeeping for the morning, and before the tsunami of work (and, apparently, rain) piles up I thought I’d hijack the Monday Mantra post because there was something I felt needed to be shared for a number of reasons.

I’ll never forget how the women in my life seemed to all be in cahoots in their chorus of advice: WELL DON’T JUST STAND THERE. (Implied: do something.) Every woman I’ve ever looked up to was never just standing around. Whether professionally, personally, ideologically, ethically, or physically. Nobody just stood around and let life happen. Carpe diem, right?

There’s so much to this loaded phrase that has carried me through life.

Seeing another student being called names on the playground in elementary school? Well don’t just stand there.

Seeing another student struggling with high school math (who doesn’t)? Well don’t just stand there.

Want to get into the college / graduate school / job of your dreams? Well don’t just stand there.

Want to pursue a dream you’ve had for a long time, yet lack the self-confidence to pursue it? Well don’t just stand there.

Standing around is easy. Letting life happen to you is easy (whether the good, the bad, or the ugly). Staying in that boring job is easy. Not standing up for what is right is easy. Saying unkind things is easy. (Just to name a few.) None of those aforementioned situations take any thought. In fact, it takes literally ZERO thought and actually no action.

What does take thought, though? Not standing there, not just letting life happen to you, going for it, standing up for what is right, saying kind things, doing what is right, actively being present. You get the drift. It’s so much harder, and takes way more thought and deliberation, to say and do the right thing (by yourself and by others). But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.

When I started DFSCC, I didn’t just stand there. It was extremely difficult to put myself, my name, my time, and all of my heart on the line to pursue a dream (not to mention the sacrifices that had to be made across the board). Were there those who doubted my ability to succeed? Of course. Were there those who, due to their own insecurities, questioned how I could be a working mother? You bet. I still get those side comments. “You’re so lucky you are a weekend mom,” someone once said. Hello, uncensored.

But as one of my favorite quotes from a great lifelong girlfriend goes, “We may stand out, but we never stand alone.” Read: just find the right tribe to stand with you. Tribes don’t have to be big. Just the right people are needed.

So let’s start fresh this week and challenge ourselves not to “just stand there.” Go do something. Pursue a dream, pursue a passion. Be kind to someone who needs it, and even kinder to someone who you think might not need it one single bit.

After all, nobody ever crossed the finish line in life by just standing around.

Also a good pair of shoes makes all the difference. Cinderella proved that a long time ago.

#DFSquad: Get to Know Sally


Photo Creds: Angela Cox Zion

I have a really good track record with great gals named Sally. My great aunt is a Sally and my sister (and bestie) is a Sally. Luckily for me (and all the #DFSquad), our sweet Sally Smith (say that five times fast) is no exception. She gives that classic, girl-next-door vibe you can’t help but fall for. She has given so much to DFSCC over the years with her kindness and get-it-done attitude. Keep reading to find out why we love Sal-Pal!

What is your morning mantra?

Start each day by making your bed. Even if everything goes wrong in your day, at least you’ve done one thing right and come home to a bed that’s made.

Who is a #GirlBoss you admire?

Sophia Amoruso, the founder of NastyGal and the Girlboss podcasts on iTunes. She is a business woman who doesn’t take no for an answer. She is a go-getter and a dreamer. Plus, her Girlbooss podcasts bring together intelligent, creative, witty “girlbosses” of all different types to make a collection of inspiring stories for women who are dreaming big and trying to jump-start their careers. 

What draws you to PR/marketing?

The PR/Marketing world is fast-paced and ever-changing so it almost impossible to get bored! It’s also a great career to go into if you love meeting new people and learning about their stories.

Thoughts on where you’d like your PR/marketing experience to take you?

I’m open to seeing where my professional experience in PR/Marketing will take me over the years, and Dorothy totally gets that. She’s been known to help her emerging GB’s spread wings and take on bigger opportunities, and that’s basically unheard of.  I’m open to new challenges and I enjoy meeting and learning from people. For my career, my greatest hope is that I continue to wake up each morning excited to take on the day’s tasks and that my work doesn’t feel like “work.” 

Your favorite office snack:

Kind Bars…Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate is my favorite!

Your go-to office outfit:

A flowy top, skinny jeans, and my lace-up sandals (spiced up with fun earrings or a necklace!).

The best piece of advice Dorothy has given you:

It’s hard to narrow it down to one piece of advice! I learn something new from Dorothy each time I am with her. With that being said, we should all go take the advice from her most recent blog entry.

Describe your experience working at DFSCC in one word:

Inspiring. Having Dorothy, a great mother and do-it-all businesswoman (and #GirlBoss, amiright?!), run her own company inspires me to never settle and to do what I love most.

Favorite thing about the Village:

The generosity of “the Village people” and the unique variety of businesses.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee, hands down.