WOMEN WHO LEAD: Kristy Wallace, CEO of Ellevate Network

When I first started to brainstorm ideas of what Be Digable should be, I kept coming back to helping females in business. In my 10 year career in marketing, I have been very fortunate to have worked for very smart and strong female leaders. I know that not every girl is as fortunate as I am to be able to learn from female executives or have models of them to look up to in the C-suite. My experience and drive led me to create Be Digable to help female executives build their personal brands to position themselves as thought leaders. It is important we are seen and heard.

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In my passionate mission to build Be Digable, I have come across some incredible resources and communities for women in business. One of those communities has been Ellevate Network. Ellevate's mission is to help women advance in the workplace, both for themselves and the greater good. They strive to change the culture of business from the inside out - by investing in women. I was so inspired, and yearning for community, I joined their LA Chapter.

I am thrilled to be launching our brand new series, Women Who Lead, with Kristy Wallace, the CEO of Ellevate Network. Women Who Lead aims to highlight female leaders and their unique perspectives on how they got to where they are today. Kristy is responsible for executing Ellevate Network’s mission to close the gender achievement gap in business by providing professional women with a global community to lean on and learn from.  Dive into our Q&A below to learn more about Kristy!

Did you have any bosses or mentors that taught you or modeled what it was to be a great leader?

I've had a number of great bosses.  One boss was incredibly creative, the other taught me everything I know about sales, and another was always my biggest advocate in the office.  What's important is that every boss was different and had their own unique leadership style.  One trait that all of the great bosses shared was a powerful ability to communicate goals, to inspire action, and to acknowledge successes. They also cared a lot about employees and fostering an environment of inclusion and success.

Which females in business do you feel really paved the way for women today?

Sallie Krawcheck!  I've had the great pleasure of working with Sallie for a number of years and I appreciate all that she's done and continues to do to push for gender equality.  I'm really inspired by Sylvia Acevedo, currently the CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, who has a degree in Systems Engineering and worked at NASA, Dell, and Apple.

What is the best advice you received on how to lead a team/run a business?

As a new leader, it can be hard to let go of responsibilities and delegate.  But holding on to prior tasks will weigh you down.  Trust your team and share responsibilities as a way to help everyone grow in their roles.  Another piece of advice is to be very intentional about how you communicate with each team member.  Communication is tough.  Some people love heated debates while others thrive on positive reinforcement.  Taking a few minutes to learn how best to communicate with each team member can lead to stronger alliances and deeper dedication.

How do you keep your team(s) engaged and motivated? 

It is important for me to give everyone in the company a chance to lean, grow, and shine.  I don't want a team member to become a manager never having managed anything before.  At Ellevate we often have special projects that role into our core business objectives and we offer anyone in the company a chance to be a leader and decision maker on projects, to provide input, and to take ownership.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned leading your team/company?  

I've learned to trust my gut and to own my vulnerability.  As a leader at Ellevate Network, I recognize my vulnerability every day. I don't have to be always perfect or right; in fact, I'm very comfortable admitting that I don't know the answer. There is always space for team members to offer up a different opinion, and we pride ourselves on an open and respectful dialogue around the business challenges that we're collectively working to solve. I think this approach makes me a more successful leader because ideas and innovation come from everyone on our team, which leads to a deeper sense of employee ownership and engagement.

When did you start looking at yourself as a leader or realize you could lead?

I always thrived in leadership positions.  From an early age I ran for school president or volunteered to be the leader of a club. Even with my first job i quickly became a manager.  Believe in yourself and your abilities, value relationships in the workplace, and always try to learn new things.  

We believe in the importance of personal branding because it allows leaders to extend their influence from offline to online—why is your personal brand important to you? 

Your brand is what people say about you when you aren't in the room.  Are you creative? Hard working? Trust-worthy? You want to own your own brand and how others talk about your strengths and abilities because these discussions can lead to new opportunities!

What advice can you give women who want to step into leadership roles, but are intimidated by the challenge?

Leverage your Squad!  I have a close group of peers that support me.  They help me role play tough conversations, offer advice on business and career decisions and are my biggest cheerleaders!

Thanks again to Kristy for taking the time to share her experience and insight! You can learn more about Ellevate here and listen to Kristy on the Ellevate Network podcast here.


Tools To Build Your Personal Brand

Time. There is never enough of it. Amiright? 

When I talk to clients about personal branding, they admit they don’t have the time to keep up with it. However, we should make it a priority because it is important. And if you dedicated ONE hour on a Sunday to plan things out for the week—you would be set!

One of my goals is to help clients find time in their week to build their personal brand. I think we all look for ways to make what we do more efficient. I highly recommend Amy Porterfield's Online Marketing Made Easy episode featuring Michael Hyatt where they talk about creating your ideal week to be more productive. 

However, there are also tools you can use that can make it easier to maintain and build your personal brand. Check out a few select tools below:

I don't know about you, but I love a great organized To Do list. Trello is a great project management organization tool. You can create boards for various topics and create tasks under each with due dates + much more. 

Instagram is the platform that the majority of us spend the most time on. Later is a GREAT tool and resource for Instagram. You can visually plan and schedule your posts on Later. They also have an informative blog that has amazing tips and news on the latest Instagram features.

Do you ever look at someone's cute post and wonder, "How did they create that?" Canva is one of the most incredible creative resources and you can use it for FREE. They have TONS of templates for social media and other visual materials. 

This is one of the most underutilized features on Instagram. It is a way for you to save and organize Instagram posts you want to remember. I wrote a blog with tips on how to organize your Instagram Collections here

One of the easiest ways to keep up with your personal brand is schedule some of your posts ahead of time. Hootsuite is one of the most well known platforms for social media management. You can create an account for free and take one hour a week to plan out your posts for the next week, two weeks or month. 

Get these tips and more in our Personal Branding Quickstart Guide! You can download it for FREE right here

Personal Branding Quickstart Guide

Whether you know it or not, you have a personal brand that you are cultivating everyday through your online presence (you will hear me say this alot). I am very passionate about owning your story and utilizing your online presence to share that story. Your story and who you are IS your personal brand.

I believe in telling your authentic story; the good and the not so perfect. We are in an age of finely curated feeds reflecting our finely curated lives. However, it is not reality. My goal in assisting with building your personal brand is to identify the key topics and themes in your business and personal life that you enjoy sharing and in which others would benefit from learning.

My goal is to empower you to own your story and further your career through your personal branding. I have created the Personal Branding Quickstart Guide to help you start growing your personal brand today! In the guide, I will take you through:

  1. Personal Branding Checklist for you to audit how you are using your social channels today
  2. Questionnaire to set the foundation of your business goals to help you identify your personal brand strategy
  3. Platform breakdown to give you tips on how to utilize each platform
  4. Calendar template to give you an idea of how often you should be posting
  5. Resource ideas of tools you can use to make it easier to build your personal brand


Free Personal Branding Workshops

I'm thrilled to share that we will be hosting two FREE Personal Branding Workshops in Los Angeles. This is a workshop on how to tap into the power of your personal brand and leverage it for greater opportunities in your career and/or uncover new opportunities. You will walk away with actionable steps to start becoming more intentional about your personal brand by creating your own personal digital strategy.

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In this workshop, I hope to provide actionable, realistic, and simple strategies to:

Authentically tell your story online
Position yourself as a thought leader in your current or aspirational field
Leverage your personal brand to uncover potential opportunities

Here are the dates of the two workshops:

May 16 @ 7:00pm
General Assembly
1520 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

June 20 @ 5:30pm
We Work Playa Vista
12655 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066

To get ready for the workshop, download the Personal Social Media Audit Checklist now.
See you there!

Daily Affirmations to Fuel Your Day

Quotes litter our Instagram and Facebook feed with inspirational messages on a daily basis. Sometimes it feels like you are seeing the same quotes over and over or maybe you are inundated with too many. However, the reality is how we talk to ourself everyday is how we live our life. It is important to speak to yourself kindly while also uplifting yourself each day. Reading these daily affirmations can make a HUGE difference to our day and how we approach work and personal life. We have a Pinterest board of some of our favorite daily affirmations that we wanted to share with you. Follow the board HERE and skim through the quotes below to get inspired!

Create time in your day for daily affirmations to remind you of your own power and drive! Don't forget to follow Be Digable on Pinterest HERE