These are certainly exciting times for us as we embark on the journey to build the Avontage community with its roots set right here in the Valley of the Sun.
As a collaborative community, we thought, we all need a better way to get to know one another and connect more; as the wise woman once said: “the power of collaboration starts with connection first”, hence the birth of this weekly blog series to help introduce our members.
So it is with great pleasure that we would like to welcome and introduce Kelly Gannon of The Gannon Edit for our inaugural publication of the Members Corner blog series.
Kelly joined Avontage back in Septemeber of 2018. She embodies the spirit of collaboration that is in the Avontage DNA. She has had great collaborations with Ruben @Cafe Emporos and Craig @Alpine Express, to name a few. If you’re looking for an authentic voice to share your story and the services you offer, she is a great member in the Avontage community to collaborate with.
Her LinkedIn profile reads:
Kelly Gannon, MBA Executive Media Strategist | On- Air Correspondent | Digital Influencer | #TVJunkie Engaging leader and executive strategist with over seventeen years of experience in media and market research. A storyteller and puzzle solver who can help sculpt your vision with a mix of glitz, glamour and quantifiable data. I am a big-picture kind of gal and can help your story unfold in the most engaging way. I like to listen more and talk less while absorbing all I can. Tell me about your brand and I will assist you in taking it to the next level.
As a Digital Influencer on Avontage, Kelly brings you the best of what to see, do and experience in the Southwest…this born and raised Manhattanite is exploring the desert and curating a list of the best of the best so you don’t have to.
To get to know Kelly better we asked her the following questions:
Tell us about your background, hometown, family, hobbies, passions.
I’m originally from New York, I met my husband when we were graduate students at Fordham University. I went to work at CBS after graduation but my background has always been in media…I’ve worked a 93Q in Syracuse, NY, KISS FM in Boston and KRock in Syracuse and well as Lite FM in Utica, NY among others. I love new experiences and exploring my passions with family and friends. From wine tastings to amusement parks I love to experience it all. Skiing is a favorite sport of mine because we can do it as a family and it usually involves great travel, another passion of mine. I also love live theatre. We’ve heard great things about the Broadway series at ASU Gammage. We have tickets to some upcoming shows and I can’t wait to get a little slice of Broadway here in Phoenix. It is oe of the things I’m really homesick for. I’m an only child, I’ve been married to my grad school love for 14 years and have two amazing boys and two adorable goldendoodles. I’m blessed and feel incredibly fortunate to be living my version of the American dream.
What do you love about Arizona?
Arizona has been such a change for us coming from the East coast. But it’s been an absolutely amazing experience. Firstly I LOVE the people. It’s been so welcoming to us out of towners. I also love the diversity. Phoenix offers so much in terms of a large city with great restaurants, museums, theater and more. but in just a couple of hours I can be skiing in stunning mountains, or exploring vineyards in southern Arizona. The resort town of Sedona is stunning and a great place to group and the natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon and the Antelope Canyons are close as well. Arizona really has it all, as well as quick access to the beach. The diverse options with lodging are great as well. You have the option to stay at luxury resorts to camping (well, if I’m being honest…I’m really more about the glamping, but you get the idea) and everything in between and I have been loving every minute of exploring it all.
Tell us about your business. How long ago and how did you get started? What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?
I started The Gannon Edit a couple of years ago to let an East coast audience know some of my favorite things and places to explore. I thought it would be a good opportunity for tourists or people new to town to get an idea of what some good local options would be and it grew from there. I started looking for things to do in my own backyard that would be fun and unique and sometimes things even locals didn’t really know about. Then we found out we were moving it was a perfect opportunity to start curating a list about our new hometown and region. All of a sudden I was the newcomer and trying to explore all the new and interesting things to do in town. The Gannon Edit seemed like a natural way to start curating a local list and letting locals know what was in their backyard and out-of-towners learn about why they needed to visit.
Who’s your ideal client? What’s the biggest problem you solve for them?
My ideal client is someone who wants to showcase their business or product. If they’re looking for an authentic voice to share all the great things they have to offer…that essentially what I do. I get to share their story by sharing my experience.
How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?
I primarily market myself through Instagram and a lesser extent through Facebook. For larger clients, I will also do post boosts and run ads to generate interest. I’ll also partner with other similar influencers to collaborate or partner in Giveaways. I’ve also had strong success with Instagram takeovers with clients accounts. But you can’t discount the value of word of mouth. That type of organic growth where friends tell friends about you or your business is invaluable.
Tell us some of the challenges and lessons you’ve learned since you started your business.
It was challenging to change markets. I had started making traction and establishing a voice on the East coast to start over in Arizona took some time. It takes some time to get people to trust you and want to follow along your journey. You can’t establish that new audience overnight. One of the best things I’ve learned is to have a focus. Hopefully, my community knows what they are getting when they come to me, an authentic voice that shares experiences so they can learn and it new things in our area.
To what do you attribute your success?
Dedication – really committing myself to a focus and staying true to that voice. Just as importantly it’s also really about good friends and strong relationships. When I was starting out my friends were so great about sharing my posts and getting the word out. The support of my family, who at times become de facto photographers and models, is invaluable. They have (almost) unlimited patience when we have to stop and capture a photo to share when we are out.
Whom do you seek advice from for your business? Whom do you like to follow in the business world? Why?
I love Grant Cardone, Barry Fletcher, and Ryan Diess from a marketing perspective. They have done incredibly well in the digital area by identifying needs and filling the gaps. Their stories and advice are always sound and inspiring. They are true entrepreneurs.
Ellen DeGeneres and Martha Stewart are also amazing for different reasons. In her documentary on Netflix (have you seen it yet, if not you should) Ellen talks about knowing who she’s engaging with depending on what hat she’s wearing. She talks about how when she’s hosting her talk show she’s acting as a talk show host, when she’s doing her stand up act she’s acting as a comedian. She knows her audience – she knows who she’s talking with and that resonates. I had to opportunity to work with Martha when I was at CBS and not only can that woman command her space – she defines the home and lifestyle brand as we know it, she commands a set. She knew what she wanted, how to convey it to make whatever she was presenting accessible to all the viewers and had a voice that truly resonates.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Find your niche and stick to it. There are so many people out there trying to make their voices heard, but what makes yours important? Figure that out and you’ll be able to speak above the crowd without yelling. No one likes yelling.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
I’m so lucky to have a supportive husband and children. It makes finding that balance so much easy. It’s all about creative scheduling and really trying to be present in the moment when I’m with family and friends.
Your favorite quotes or book recommendations:
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams – Authur O’Shaughnessy
In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. – Coco Chanel
Anything else you would like to add?
It’s an absolute honor to be able to do what I do for a living and I’m incredibly grateful for it every day!
Help us welcome Kelly to the Avontage community. Go to her profile link below, send her a warm welcome message, check out her Offers, and ask her any questions. She is an amazing member of our community and a great promoter of local businesses.
Contact Kelly here: Kelly Gannon of The Gannon Edit