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Create Your Content, Build Your Brand With Halifax Startup eOLIO

eOLIO,Nova Scotia startup,startup,startups,startup interviewA new startup has sprung up in the town of Timberlea Nova Scotia, just outside Halifax. The startup, called eOLIO, is a content creation, sharing and brand management tool that helps connect people with great content to businesses. The idea came from founder Traci Johnstone after she went on the job hunt and realized there wasn’t a good product online that showed her perspective employers the breadth of her creativity.

Branding, social and web identity are of paramount importance in today’s job race. Everyone has great resume items that show themselves off in the best possible light. How do you translate that to what you can do from your inner depths? Where does your creativity fit into all of this.

Naturally, most employers across the world vet candidates online, through Google searches and through social media. With eOLIO they can also see your creativity. The platform also directs businesses and perspective employers to what you want them to see first.

“eOLIO is about personal branding and our digital reputations — because how we represent ourselves online matters.” Johnstone said to us in the interview below.

As Johnstone prepares to launch her startup at the end of November, she took a few minutes to speak to us. Check out the interview below.

What is eOLIO?
eOLIO is a branding management platform that creates and connects people and businesses with their content.
In layman’s terms, how does it work? (In other words how would you explain it to your grandmother)
eOLIO is website that invites users to create great content to share on social networks. eOLIO is an electronic social portfolio, a collection of content personally branded and digital friendly. An eOLIO can also be saved and printed as a PDF for more traditional uses. eOLIO boasts an amazing user experience, tons of instant share options and several community platforms where we invite eOLIO users to browse other eOLIOs, learn about personal branding, digital reputations and all things social and finally, recruiters – to browse our databases and instantly connect with the people their looking for.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
eOLIO was founded by Traci Johnstone a 35 year old Halifax woman who saw a gap in the online content sharing space. Traci has a diversely woven twenty years worth of work experience in Communications, Design, Customer Service and Startups. Traci is a graduate of NSCC’s Applied Communication Arts and the Advanced Diploma Public Relations programs. She has an impressive story of overcoming challenge and says that the eOLIO startup will be a great piece to add to her life’s story. Traci explains that one day she plans to finish the book she started writing in 2007 that talks about how she’s been faced with challenge after challenge but has always pushed her way through it, finding success.
Where are you based?
Timberlea Nova Scotia, just outside of Halifax
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
Halifax has a thriving entrepreneur’s culture. It’s growing, that’s for sure. If there’s enough money and resources for tech startups before their beta phase – remains questionable. The city does boast however, an extremely supportive bunch of entrepreneurs that help each other and really go the extra mile to help a fellow startup.
How did you come up with the idea for eOLIO?
Traci was looking for a new opportunity. She knew it was time. It as now or never. She started building a business plan, driving toward creative communications but couldn’t figure out what kind of creative communications, particularly. She spent months in planning and discovery mode. And then panicked. She needed to get some income coming in. She applied to a job posting or two, got a call from a local web company – got an interview. Traci was left thinking “there are so many applicants per opportunity, what can I do to stand out?” In her efforts to be extraordinary she developed a digital portfolio with instant connect icons (to her social networks) and dropped it in the interviewers email inboxes shortly before arriving to the interview. While the interview went on Traci used what we now call, eOLIO to navigate through a totally successful interview. She knew then, that what she had done WAS her creative communications vision. She plunged into development. It took months of looking at the market and seeing a better way but she believes she’s done it. eOLIO was created out of a universal need to stand out in the digital space, whether for jobs, business or for the social media savvy. “eOLIO is about personal branding and our digital reputations — because how we represent ourselves online matters.”
How did you come up with the name?
When figuring out what to name this new online portfolio business there were many names thrown around and some serious brand discovery done at that point. Traci toyed with numerous names and strategies before eOLIO came and stuck. She chose eOLIO because the word was easy and just made sense.
What problem does eOLIO solve?
eOLIO solves a few different problems. 1. Virtual introductions and connections are more and more common, current social platforms are templated and offer very little flexibility in properly sharing your information. 2. Social recruiting is a growing trend – more and more recruiters are looking online to find the information they’re looking for. 3. Many people don’t have the time or skills to create great online content.
What’s your secret sauce?
Brand and user experience.
What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?
Two challenges come to mind: 1. Dissolving partnerships. 2. Finding resources and funding to get our prototype completed after months of wasted money and time.
Who are some of your mentors and business role models?
There are many. Too many to count a long the way, but for sure the man that inspired it all, over thirty years ago – my grandfather.
What’s next for eOLIO?
Beta launch November 30, 2012.
Get a beta invite, follow Johnstone on Twitter
Here are more interviews from startups “everywhere else”
Is your startup in the village? It should be!

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