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Girls Talk London: Rebranding what it means to be a young woman in the UK

All across the world girls and young women are looking for spaces to express themselves and have their voices heard. While the issues may be different, digital media is providing the platform for young women to create what they wish they could see. Vanessa Sanyauke and Remel London, diaspora women based in London, have come together to create Girls Talk London and talk about the issues facing young women in the UK. Vanessa and Remel shared with us how they’ve gotten corporate leaders to see the value in their organisation, the networking tips they’ve used to connect with high profile guests like Adele’s stylist and the best African restaurant in London. Why is Girls Talk important to young women in the UK? Vanessa: At present in the UK there is not one single talk show that targets young women. We do not have a platform to talk about trending topics that affect us or hear from guests that are of interest to our everyday lives. Girls Talk is made for the everyday young woman in the UK and the hosts have open and honest conversation about current social media trends and have special guests and experts on fashion, beauty, work, relationships & life who give the viewer life hacks and tips to implement in their lives. This show rebrands what it means to be a girl in the UK and the hosts are non-judgemental advocates for women’s issues and rights. Remel: Young women need positive role models and I think that we showcase exceptional talented women from different walks of life and industries that they can aspire to be like. How did you build the business case for corporate partners to see the value in Girls Talk? Girls Talk London the organisation, connects FTSE 100 businesses with female talent-young girls and professional women. The business case is that a great deal of our corporate partners have less than 20% of staff who are women and even less at executive board level. We are the middle-woman and bring talent to them and help them to increase diversity. The UK government has introduced reporting measures which starting this year that requires any business with over 250 employees to report the salary and bonuses of male and female staff. This is another incentive for businesses to really address the gender pay which is currently at 19%. The fact that the government is putting pressure on businesses to treat their female staff better helps businesses see the benefit of working with us. How have you gotten high profile people to serve as guests on Girls Talk? We have built a reputation of professionalism and excellence in all that we do so most speakers can see that we are organised and they will be looked after when they speak at an event. Also, most high profile women are tired of being the only women in the roof and are actually passionate about doing all they can to get more women in their sector so selling the benefits of speaking at our events is not always that hard for us. What networking and relationship building tips can you share with our audience looking to connect with high profile people? You need to show that you are professional and organised so we’d encourage having a website or information packs which provide detail about your work and mission. For speakers and sponsors always show your gratitude for their time and be able to explain what you can do for them. Be confident and concise-high profile people always have limited time so try and avoid long emails and conversations by being clear and straight to the point. What are the hardest parts of getting Girls Talk off the ground and how are you looking to fill in the gaps? The hardest part in getting the talk show off the ground is building an audience. It takes time to grow so we are focusing on our mission, content and produce a show to the highest quality. We fill a gap in the market because we cater to all young women in the UK as our hosts come from all backgrounds including African, British and Asian as well as having a Dean as a host we are able to reach out to male viewers too. In addition, our show helps improve the lives of our viewers because interview guests who are experts in business, careers, fashion and beauty. It is not just about a group of women gossiping! If you had the choice between a powerful mentor and significant business funding, which one would you choose and why? Vanessa: Oh this is a tough one! I would say a powerful mentor because knowledge is priceless and if you have a powerful mentor the money will surely follow with their direction and support. Remel: I personally have a lot of plans and ideas of how I would like to continue to support young women and create opportunities for young people so I would choose business funding.  What’s your vision for Girls Talk and what can we expect to see in the next 12-18 months? Remel: I would love to see Girls Talk go on an international tour visiting different countries to inspire girls all over the world but also interview inspirational women from all over the world.  Vanessa: My vision for the show is for us to expand our audience —we want an international audience and we are looking at partnerships and sponsorships already for series 3 so watch this space! Fast Five with Vanessa Favorite Afrobeat singer? Tiwa Savage Best African restaurant in London? Wazobia on Old Kent Road Makeup must have? Blusher Favorite woman in business? Oprah Topic you’re most excited to talk about on this season of Girls Talk? I am really excited about the interview with Adele’s stylist and also our show on Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose and the sexualisation of women on social media. Fast Five with Remel Favorite Afrobeat singer? Moelogo Best African restaurant in London? Sweet Hands Makeup must have? Concealer!!! Favorite woman in business? Oprah

How to get discounts and sponsors for your next event

When you’re just getting started, the hustle for customers and publicity is real. You need to get your product in everyone’s face in the cheapest way possible. Events seem to be a favourite for their ability to generate brand exposure and activate your fans. But events cost money and most companies just starting out, don’t really have any so the hunt for sponsors and discounts is on. Everyone wants sponsors, and discounted products and brands get requests from everyone all the time. If you want to stand out and get brands on board for your event, follow these steps for your next event. 1. Start early Give yourself at least 3 months before the event to start looking for sponsors. This can be a long and tedious process and you don’t want to rush at the last minute. 2. Pull together your facts Create a budget as if you were going to pay for everything. This way you are clear about what everything you want costs. Then decide what things are the most important and what things you can afford to lose, if you had to. 3. Decide what you are able to pay for Most of the time it is advisable to pay for the items that the event can not run without. This way no matter what happens, you’ll still be able to run your event and be in control even if a sponsor falls through.  However having the money and being prepared to pay for them does not mean you can’t ask for sponsorship. You can also use this during negotiations to let them know that you aren’t just looking for handouts. Brands want to know that you’re investing your own resources to make the event a success as well.  4. Determine if you want a discount, product or cash So many start-ups request cash for their events but that is always the hardest thing to get from a sponsor. Think about what kind of support a brand can provide via in kind services or through exchanges. By being creative in this area, you can strike deals. 5. Decide which sponsors you want to approach and why Beyond just the financial value, think about which brands you want to be associated with your business. Even though you’re just starting out, you want to make sure you’re working with brands that connect to your values and identity. You also want to target brands where whatever you’re offering in return actually matters to them. Most companies that provide sponsorship are looking for the advertising opportunities or to connect to your community. Some may just be happy to support but these companies are few and far between. Generally, everybody wants something in return and you need to figure out what that is. 6. Do your research Call people you know and find out as much as you can about other events this company may have sponsored. Look online for their values and if they have a sponsorship request form. Use LinkedIn to find the right contacts in marketing or communications departments.  7. Prepare a sponsorship package that is targeted at the sponsor Do not ever send a generic proposal. That is the fastest way to get your proposal ignored. Looking for another way to get your proposal in the trash? Have another company’s information in the proposal. That’s a big no no. Spend the time demonstrating that you’ve done your research and know exactly why you want to work with this brand.  8. Send your e-mail Be clear, polite and straight to the point. Ask for a meeting, whether online or face to face so you can explain further and build a relationship. If you have chosen your sponsors carefully you should at least peak their interest in you. 9. Keep track of who you have approached and when If you haven’t heard within 5 days try and follow up with a phone call. 10. Ensure you are able to fulfil the offers you provide sponsors Sponsors can become long term partners if they like your work ethic, product and customer service. Treat sponsors the same as customers. Ensure you have clear agreements so that everyone is on the same page and you keep in touch after the event. Be creative, keep going and good luck with getting them coins!