Firmology Founder’s Note: When I transitioned out of the commercial real estate game in early 2009 after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, I parlayed my passion for emerging technology and social media into a new career. How was I able to ramp up my knowledge of digital media trends and platforms in just a few short months? I read hundreds of blogs, news sites, and white papers, attended events like the Social Media Club Chicago and studied digital thought-leaders like Blagica Bottigliero.
While I was still trying to salvage my previous career and figure out how to sell apartment complexes that had plummeted 25-30% in value overnight, Blagica had already established a decade-long career in online marketing at Giant Step, Orbitz, Edelman Digital, and other ventures. Everywhere I looked, I heard of or saw Blagica and how can anyone forget her name!? I was impressed and did my best to absorb as much knowledge from her as possible on Twitter, her blog, and at events. We’re really excited to feature Blagica on Firmology’s How I Power My Business series as she continues to passionately and relentlessly make moves within the digital space with the launch of her own company, Zlato Digital.
Name: Blagica (blah-gee-tsa) Bottigliero
Business: Zlato Digital
Location: Chicago, IL
Smartphone: Nexus 4
Tablet: Nexus 7
Computer: MacBook Air
Other Gadgets: XOOM tablet (aka my daughter’s learning tablet), Moleskine notebook (I’m a reporter at heart)
What’s the story behind your business?
I had the opportunity to take a step back and decide what I wanted to do after my time at Motorola Mobility. I thought I would take a few months off and do nothing but play with my daughter and get ready for the birth of my son. Soon, my phone started ringing. I began taking meetings and realized that the gap between social media and digital marketing was still quite wide.
I had a knack for merging digital marketing and social media in a way that made sense to everyone from the C-suite executive to the junior marketing manager. I spent my entire career with the digital web—I did everything from create website wire-frames to purchasing Google Adwords on a CPM basis (yep that really existed). I’ve layered my understanding of online marketing in a way that works nicely with social media technologies. Realizing the opportunity to merge these worlds into one, I formed Zlato Digital and began working with clients immediately. It’s been a rewarding experience.
‘Zlato’ means ‘gold’ in Macedonian, which is where my parents are from.
What apps or services are essential to the operations of your business?
Zlato Digital uses the Squarespace framework. I am a fan of Google Drive. The way it seamlessly integrates all of my documents into one place and enables easy downloads and sharing. Come to think of it, I am a big Google services user: including Google Apps and Google Calendar. I started dabbling with Google Keep and am liking its simplicity.
I use Skype and Gchat to conference in my team members and I use Freshbooks to keep my financial house in order. It’s handy for now, but I may be transitioning to Quickbooks soon. Lastly, I use Chicago-based Sprout Social to manage my and my clients’ social media communications.
What apps, services or gadgets do you recommend to other business owners?
Biggest time-saver(s)? Pulse. I’m on the hunt to replace Google Reader and may go with Feedly. For now, Pulse’s ability to link all of my devices with one Pulse login enables me to stay current with the copious amounts of articles I need to read daily.
Favorite personal app(s)? White Noise (brilliant when trying to put a baby to sleep), myriad of online shopping apps (I’m a mother who owns her own business, I rarely shop brick and mortars these days)
How can others reach you?
Other (email, phone, etc):blagica at zlatodigital dot com / 312.890.BLOG
Firmology Readers: Let’s hear your thoughts!
Do you have any questions or comments for Blagica? Drop her a note in the comments below!
If you have a suggestion for someone we should feature, questions we should be asking, or would like to be featured on Firmology’s How I Power My Business series, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: How I Power My Business