Blogger Leslie Presnall talks virtual happy hour club and new video series
When local blogger Leslie Presnall started Southern Flair in 2010, she had no idea just how far her reach could go. Fast-forward to 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic and Presnall hasn’t skipped a beat. Prior to social distancing, Presnall hosted a monthly Southern Flair Happy Hour Club, encouraging women from all over the Capital region to come together to share laughs, ideas and cocktails. However, with Baton Rouge restaurants closed and a stay-at-home order in place, Presnall decided it was time to take the club digital.
Recently, we digitally met up with Presnall ourselves to find out how her girl gang is adapting to this new normal and to get the inside scoop on her new video series, The Localpreneur Show:
1. How did you get the idea to convert the Happy Hour Club to a daily digital version, with members taking turns sharing their skills and interests?
Once we were asked to stay home, I knew we wouldn’t have our regular monthly meet-ups. We haven’t skipped a meet-up in over two years now! I tossed around the idea of virtual happy hours, but knew that would be more one-sided with just me on live video. We have a group full of local women with cool businesses and hobbies that they could share with us, and I thought it would be a creative way to get new faces in the group. We get to learn from each other also while getting to know each other. It’s a way for us to still connect and be alone together.
2. How does the planning process work?
I have a daily schedule listed in the group with a morning and evening time slot available. Whoever is interested direct messages me with their topic, date and time. Then I add it to the schedule. When it’s their turn to go live, they just click the LIVE button in the group and start sharing.
3. What are some of the most interesting activities that your community has shown so far?
We’ve had hair and makeup tutorials, cooking and baking demos, DIY home projects, flash sales with local store owners, a live meditation, various types of workouts, a flower arrangement tutorial, a hand-lettering lesson, home tours and so much more!
4. How do you see this impacting the way the Happy Hour Club functions even after quarantine is over?
This is something I want to continue doing even after the quarantine is over. Although I started the Happy Hour Club as an extension of my blog, it’s really turned into its own community with its own mission. I love seeing other women taking charge and making it more about them and the real friendships that are being made. Once we’re able to meet in person again, I think more people will join us. It can be intimidating to come to meet-ups not knowing anyone, but now we are getting a chance to know each other during quarantine.
5. How can people join the club? When do people need to tune in?
You can search for Southern Flair’s Happy Hour Club on Facebook or I have a direct link to the group on my blog, southernflairblog.com. We have live videos and conversations happening daily in the group. If you miss the live videos, you can still catch the replay.
6. How did you get the idea for your Localpreneur video series?
I’ve been a local-focused blogger for a decade now, and many local business owners ask me how to reach their customers who live right here in our community. This has turned into a full marketing business for me, where I help small businesses with their local and online marketing. I can only take so many one-on-one clients, so this video show was a way for me to share what I know about local marketing and growing a small business with a larger audience. Since I already have a blog at Southern Flair, I wanted a different way to deliver the content. I decided on a video show since video is so big in the online world now. Video isn’t my expertise (yet), but I also want my show to be an example for business owners to challenge themselves and get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
7. What does the series focus on? Why this topic?
The weekly show will focus on growing a LOCAL business. There’s so much information out there about online marketing, but it seems to be geared toward growing an online business and reaching people all over the world. There isn’t a ton of information out there that focuses on brick-and-mortar or local services. We’ll cover social media, email list building and general marketing topics. I’ve learned a big part of running a successful local business is also your time and mind management, so we’ll cover that too.
8. Is the series free or paid?
It’s completely free! The shows are hosted on my website lesliepresnall.com and I email the new episode out each week.
9. What are your hopes for the videos?
My hope is that these videos can help transform local businesses. I want to give them ideas and inspiration on how they can grow and thrive–now, during COVID-19 and on the other side of all this.
10. How do you see the series progressing? How does it tie in with the rest of your online content?
I will still blog regularly at Southern Flair–nothing is changing there. The Localpreneur Show will be a separate platform just for local business owners. I’ve gotten to know so many Baton Rouge business owners over the years, but the content I’m sharing can help entrepreneurs and local businesses anywhere. Social media and online marketing changes constantly, so this video show will allow me to share what’s working for local businesses now, so they can keep growing and running their businesses.
For more details on all things Southern Flair, check out lesliepresnall.com, and let us know how you’re continuing to connect with your favorite locals in the comments below.