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 WAHM > Work at Home Mom Business Success Stories > Shannon Cherry of Be Heard Solutions


Shannon Cherry of Be Heard Solutions - Internet Based Mom

Interview by Annette Elton, Staff Writer for InternetBasedMoms.com

Shannon Cherry, owner and President of Be Heard Solutions and Cherry Communications is this week's inspirational mom in business success story.

Women find inspiration to become WAHMs in a variety of ways but Shannon found her inspiration in the direst of circumstances. 

Shannon cites an evil boss as her main impetus for becoming a WAHM.  “After 3 months working at this nasty man's PR firm, he chewed me out, cussing and calling me names I won't ever repeat, for only getting a client on Good Morning America.

He thought that wasn't good enough.  I walked out the door then and there. As I sat weeping in front of my husband, I realized I could create a company that was so much better than that.

By the end of the day, my husband bought my first domain: Cherry Communications - and the company was born.”


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That was 2002. 

Today, Shannon operates two businesses focused on Public relations and publicity services, CherryCommunications.com and BeHeardSolutions.com.

“When I got started, I thought it was going to be a traditional PR firm, but after a year, I realized that I could make my business as a completely virtual company.

And soon, I noticed that my niche market was really women in business, so I developed Be Heard Solutions.” 

Both companies provide public relations and publicity services: writing press releases and other marketing communications as well as distributing those materials to the appropriate media contacts and resources. 

Shannon also provides coaching services, trainings, workshops, seminars, and offers information products for people to learn PR basics. 

For Shannon, who takes her business very seriously, being a mompreneur means the freedom to make her own hours and spend time with daughters.  “I love this life. I'm able to be home with my toddler twin girls.  I go to story hour at the library each week.  I take every Friday afternoon off and simply have fun with the girls.  Plus, I have lunch with my husband almost every day!” 

Shannon’s husband, the instigator of her startup in 2002, has been one of her strongest supporters.  Additionally, Shannon credits her success to a collection of esteemed colleagues and supporters. 

“My first business coach, Melanie Benson Strick, really got me to think about my business differently - taking it to a whole new model. And today, it's a lot of people, mostly WAHMs who keep me on my toes and inspire me. Kelly McCausey is one person who comes to mind.  I've never seen a woman who is got her hands in so many things - and makes it look easy! How does she do it?” 

Balancing work and family for WAHMs is often a struggle.  For Shannon, the key is to let things go.  “I think I got a crash course in learning to let things go, once the twins were born in January 2006.  It's ok if the house isn't perfectly neat.  Dishes can wait.  Vacuuming can wait.”    

She also finds strength and structure by organizing a plan for every day.  “I plan every evening for the next day.  Does the plan always work? Of course not—that’s where learning to let go comes in.  But it guides my actions every day.” 

Trust industrious Shannon to have a handy tip for other work at home moms, she posts make-ahead meals on her blog, www.mommy-inc.com.   

She also has several other practical tips for moms entering the world of working from home.  “First, have a plan.  That includes how much you hope to earn, your goals, and how you're going to get there - strategies to meet goals.  I made the mistake early on of not doing this, so I floundered for at least 6 months.”

As a public relations professional, Shannon also stresses the important of continually marketing yourself.   Don’t pause and don’t let your marketing efforts slide.  Her suggested rule of thumb is to spend about 20% of your work time on marketing yourself. 

“Even I - a professional marketer - made that mistake at first.  Sure I marketed my services - and got a few clients, but then I stopped to do the work for clients.  Once the work was done, I had no income coming in and had to start over again.  So marketing needs to be consistent, even when you are doing quite well.”  

Want a quick bit of expert advice?  Shannon advises WAHMs to avoid two common mistakes, mistakes that tell your customers that you’re not serious about your work.   

1.  Don’t use free domains to host a website. If you’re short on cash you should still get your own domain name which is no more than $8 a year. Do, set up a blog for free and redirect the domain to the blog.   

2.  Don’t use a free email address like hotmail, gmail or yahoo, as the main point of contact for a customer.  Do set up at least on email address on your domain name.  You can always have it forwarded to your free email account. 

She also advises WAHMs to invest time in research their business.  Network before you start.  Many people will have experience and advice that you can benefit from.  “I find WAHMS and mompreneurs are always willing to help - so ask! In the long run, a little research will save you time and money.” 

Got a penny?  Shannon also offers a low cost, easy approach to quality public relations for business owners and WAHMs.  Penny Pinching Publicity, www.pennypinchingpublicity.com, provides business owners with monthly press releases, information about media outlets and key contacts, requests from reporters who are looking to interview people, and much more.

“You can get it for the first month for only a penny!  It's much cheaper than hiring a PR firm - and you get much more information!  Many WAHMs are already members, so why not check it out and see all you can get for one cent!” 

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> Visit Shannon online at http://www.BeHeardSolutions.com

Come on over to Mom Masterminds and grab your FREE 7-day Trial pass and full access to mentoring, learning resources, networking and everything that work at home mom needs to succeed.  Click here to learn more.


 

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