Category : Featured

Featured Social Media Storytelling

Announcing DIGIConsult- Premium Consulting Service To Scale Your Business Through Social Media and Storytelling

Is your online brand struggling to make an impact on your intended audience? Would you like trusted professionals to apply proven techniques that will improve your online presence? If so, I have something for you.

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Caribbean Entrepreneurs Featured How They Did It-Series Storytelling

How Jamaican David Martin Became an Animation Evangelist

Today on “How They Did It” I speak to David Martin, the Jamaican born Animation Evangelist currently leading the charge where digital animation in the Caribbean is concerned.

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Creative Featured How They Did It-Series Social Media

How Christina Hunte Built A Creative Marketing Agency In Barbados

Christina Hunte

Today on “How They Did It“I talk to my good friend Christina Hunte. Christina is an entrepreneur from Barbados and runs one of the most progressive and forward-thinking marketing agency in the Caribbean. Today Christina talks about how a fruit salad led her to start her business and how she was able to overcome self-doubt and the impostor syndrome. I am a big fan of Christina not only because we both did a webinar on Facebook Marketing some times ago, but she is an all-around fantastic person.

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Featured How They Did It-Series Social Media Storytelling

How Timothy “TIMMAY” Bain Built An Award Winning Bahamian Digital Media Empire

Timothy Bain

This week on “How They Did It” I talked to Timothy “Timmay” Bain, Bahamian award-winning media entrepreneur and Vlogger. Timmay talks about how he founded 3 Amigos Media with his friends, the sacrifices he had to make to get to where he is today and how he was able to overcome being a student and acquiring all the equipment needed for his business by sacrificing lunch money and doing part-time jobs.  Timmay didn’t finish College like his business partners. He dropped out to focus fully on his company 3AM in late 2014 and ended up finding jobs as a Social Media Coordinator for BTC and Marketing Brand Representative for KALIK. He also grew up on New Providence.

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Caribbean Featured How They Did It-Series Social Media

How Destra Garcia Is Dominating Social Media And Music While Staying True To The Caribbean

Destra Garcia

I spent 5 years in Mexico, and one of my fondest memories was the occasional “Fiesta Caribeña” my friends and I organized. We mainly planned and executed the event to maintain our Caribbean identity and culture as well as to help our Mexican friends experience our different countries through us without actually going there. With that said, it then begs the question, how can the average Caribbean national or even better those in privileged positions like entertainers play their part by painting pictures of the Caribbean to others who are not as privileged to be there? My last two articles on the Huffington Post dealt with the responsibility Caribbean natives have to help control the narrative about our respective countries in the media and how Caribbean soca artists can use social media to build their brands worldwide. Those topics are very important to me, and I also think they go hand in hand since Caribbean artists and well-known personalities can make a significant contribution by promoting themselves while eliminating some of the misconceptions people may have about the Caribbean.

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Business Start-Up Facebook Featured Social Media

Starting Your Business From Scratch With Social Media

Social media has changed a great deal over the past few years, and sometimes keeping up with all the changes get overwhelming especially if you are involved in social media part-time. Admittedly, from what I’ve gathered, many entrepreneurs are still not convinced about the importance of social media for their businesses, which can potentially be detrimental to their success based on current trends. Recently, I came across a quote on Instagram which says, “In the 21st century, there will be only two types of businesses, those that embrace digital and social media and those that cease to exist.” Social media has gone beyond being a simple tool to boost businesses online. You can now conceive an idea, do all the research, and launch a business using your computer while sitting on your couch through social media, and my aim with this article is to show you how to do so.

Finding your Business Idea

If you are interested in getting into business but frustrated because you can’t seem to find a feasible business idea that people will pay for, you can now relax. Presently, many social media platforms you can scroll through to get inspiration exist.

Pinterest
Pinterest is a visual social media platform that you can use if you are indecisive. Social media guru Peg Fitzpatrick and other Pinterest experts show how using this platform can boost your business and drive a lot of traffic to your websites etc. I believe it can also be used to generate ideas. By scrolling through your feed and looking at the different visuals people are creating, you can get concepts for fashion, content creation, or even home decoration.


Stumbleupon
Stumbleupon allows you to “stumble” upon different websites that you may be interested in. Many people simply use the site for entertainment; however, it can be much more than that especially for aspiring entrepreneurs. Using the site, you can follow content curators and take a look at what they are sharing in terms of business advice, business ideas, and general entrepreneurship tips. You can also look at topic spaces and get recommendations on what can be done.

Reddit
If you want to know what’s happening in the entrepreneurial world or get an idea for a business venture, you should definitely start with Reddit since it is seen as the home page of the internet for the business savvy. To get started, search the “subreddits” or subject areas which may definitely be helpful. It is also a great place to get information about what your customers’ wants and needs. In addition, marketing and product development teams can definitely leverage Reddit to their advantage.

Additionally, you can also use Facebook and Twitter searches, which I will talk more about in the market research section, to find out what’s going on in the industry you want to enter.

Market Research

After you come up with your brilliant business idea, you should do some research to determine your business idea’s potential viability, if a market exists, or to find information about your target market. Also, to help with your research, you can buy Pat Flynn’s new book “Will It Fly” or utilize the different social media platforms.

Google Search
After determining the business venture you want to tackle, you should use a search engine such as Google and perform a quick search to see if anyone is doing what you are thinking about or something similar. Many experts believe that if no one is tackling your area of interest, it may be a good sign that no market exists, and you should rethink. Most authorities in the business world rely on the common understanding that everything that can be done has already been done, and there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Therefore, it is widely accepted that you can take something that works, put your innovative spin on it, and execute it in a different way. Furthermore, I also believe in that aforementioned school of thought, so if you do a quick online search and find absolutely nothing in the market, you may want to reconsider your idea.

Facebook Audience Insight
Facebook Audience Insight is one of the most effective research tools, and it can be considered as a marketer’s best friend when researching an idea. And get this; it is FREE, oh yes, FREE or as my business mentor encourages me to say, complimentary. Audience Insight like the name suggests, gives insight from a particular audience before you make any investment in them. For example, if you were looking for data about people that are interested in aromatherapy, you can type the word in the interest section of Audience Insight and get information like the percentage of men vs women who are interested, their ages, location, income level among other very detailed information you may not get elsewhere. If you want to find a detailed analysis of Audience Insight perform a quick Google search, and you should come across a well-written post on Social Media Examiner’s website.


Facebook Graph Search
Facebook Graph Search is a semantic search engine that provides results based on the context of your search. If you are thinking of getting into a particular market, you can use Graph Search to see what competitors are doing. Using Graph Search, look up the major players to find out how they are engaging with their audiences, popular hashtags, what people are saying about their business ventures etc. You can also do overlapping searches. For instances, you can search for posts by people who like a particular page or pages. It is really a great way to gather a wealth of information.

SurveyMonkey
Using SurveyMonkey, you can create free surveys to get feedback on your business idea from people on social media and other platforms. Obtaining such information can be vital determining whether or not people are willing to pay to solve their problems and so on.

Once you validate your idea, start putting a business plan together. The business plan will be the blueprint to guide your entrepreneurial venture from its conception and as it grows. Unfortunately, many people get so caught up creating the business plan that they never start their business. Therefore, to avoid overthinking the plan, it is best advised to just draft the basics of what you want to do. Take a look at areas like the people that will be involved, where you will get the funding for the business if need be, your financial management and so on. Afterward, create a marketing plan then launch.

Your Marketing Plan

Making a social media marketing plan is not as difficult as many people may think. Firstly, create your social media objectives and goals that are in line with your business’ overall objectives. Your goals need to be SMART- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Next, perform a social media audit on all your social media profiles to determine what is or isn’t working. During the audit, look at the number of followers, their engagement, who currently runs the social media profiles, what purposes the different social media platforms are serving among others. Being on every platform may be unnecessary, so choose the ones that are relevant to your current and potential customers. You should then look at blogs like Social Media Examiner, Boom Social, Hootsuite Blog for inspiration then create your editorial and content calendars. Also, it is important that you regularly perform audits because social media changes like the weather.

Launching Your Business/Product

After performing the aforementioned tasks, you are now ready to launch your product, and social media is definitely becoming more vital for that aspect nowadays. Consider using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and even your blog and website for the launch. In addition, you wouldn’t have full control of your Facebook business page, Twitter profile, or Youtube channel since these platforms can decide to cancel your profile if you mistakenly or otherwise infringe on their stipulations; however, for the website and blog you may have absolute control over, always ensure that their content is compelling, professional, and involved simply because you are projecting a representation of yourself to the world. When launching, if you use multiple social media outlets, use consistent messaging across different social media platforms to direct traffic to the media you own online. Also, to boost your product or service’s standing, allow credible bloggers and other industry experts to use and write reviews on what you are offering to the market. Additionally, Facebook has one of the most robust advertising platforms on the internet, and it is much cheaper than radio or television advertising. Therefore, if you are willing to pay to get your message about your product or service across, consider using Facebook ads.

Additionally, when launching, you need use social media to build a prospective buyer email list. Therefore, you should use a lead magnet like a free offering or some creative measure to get potential clients to sign up for your email list. Once you have their emails, you can easily reach them to build relationships or sell your product or service. To learn how to effectively create a list, you can get Ryan Deiss’ book, “Invisible Selling Machine” or Anik Singal’s, “Circle of Profit”.

SELL SELL SELL

You don’t have a business if you’re not selling something right? Consequently, once you’ve launched your product, you need to ensure sales are occurring. You can start by selling to your email list that you will keep building overtime. Also, to enhance sales, make use of social media through Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google, YouTube ads amongst others. In addition, as trivial as it sounds, once online transactions are possible, you will need some sort of shopping cart and a means to accept payments from debit/credit cards holders or payal.

It is important to note that depending on the business idea everything that was previously discussed may not work exactly; nevertheless, no matter the entrepreneurial venture, you can use social media to start, grow, and build your brand.

 

Originally Published on Huffingtonpost.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nelson-kimron-corion/starting-your-business-wi_b_9215306.html

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Entrepreneurship Featured

Developing a Culture of Entrepreneurship in Grenada

Over the past years, Grenada has been plagued with many economic problems which unfortunately don’t have a “one size fits all solution”. In an effort to eradicate Grenada’s financial concerns, one of the most popular approaches often taken is that of “passing the buck”. It appears as though persons are content with playing the proverbial “blame game” regarding the country’s economic woes in an effort to stray from the issues at hand. However, such a method doesn’t point us in the right direction towards obtaining a suitable remedy. Personally, I do not believe the persons responsible for our current economic difficulties matter; instead, I do believe our focus should be to identify solutions to these growing problems.

A major problem Grenada currently faces is an extraordinarily high rate of unemployment. Annually, thousands of young people who graduate from the T.A. Marryshow Community College, local and foreign universities as well as other secondary and tertiary learning institutions are in search of jobs. Unfortunately, with every new batch of graduates, the private and public sectors cannot provide the much needed jobs, so the unemployment rate continues to increase. In the past, many poorly planned and run programs and initiatives have been taken to help alleviate the unemployment crisis; however, I believe that if we are to find a better, more effective solution, a change of mindset and a revised curriculum for Grenadian schools are required.

To alter the course or change the mindset and focus of the average Grenadian to steer us away from the turbulent waves of the rough unemployment waters, I firmly support the notion that a culture of entrepreneurship has be cultivated since it is a great avenue for employment generation and wealth creation. Consequently, in an effort to have the most impact, a pro-entrepreneurship philosophy needs to be introduced into our school system. In all honesty, one of the most disappointing statements I constantly hear parents and teachers say to children is, “Go to school and get good grades so that you can get a good job.” Therefore, from a very young age, we are inadvertently cultured to follow the status quo. We are expected to get educated to hopefully have a successful job search, which Robert Kiyosaki rightly calls, “the employee mindset”.

In my opinion, entrepreneurship should be the key driver of our economy, and I firmly believe that fostering an entrepreneurial atmosphere can maximize individual and collective economic and social successes, locally, regionally, and internationally. We need to present entrepreneurship as a viable option to our young people, especially at the secondary school level. Students need to know that after school it shouldn’t be compulsory to look for jobs. Instead, they can be the job creators for themselves and possibly others. Thus, if entrepreneurship is encouraged, young people will be empowered to create their own opportunities which will aid in the fight against youth unemployment.

I have always thought that the help required to foster an entrepreneurial culture in Grenada is insufficient until a friend told me about Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP) and “StartUp Grenada”. CARCIP aims to increase access to regional broadband networks and advance the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) enabled services industry in the Caribbean region.  Also, “StartUp Grenada” through CARIP supports activities which will leverage the regional broadband infrastructure not just to foster employment but to grow the IT of ITES industry. After checking startupgrenada.com website myself, I am convinced that such an initiative is the positive push we need to help propel Grenadian entrepreneurship.

You may ask however, exactly how does CARCIP intend to accomplish its aim, or what does its mission have to do with a push for entrepreneurship? CARCIP will provide financial assistance via grant funding. The programme’s intention is to provide funding to at least 60 small startups or existing businesses in Grenada.  Under CARCIP, approximately 2.2 million USD have been budgeted for that purpose.  A business can get up to $150,000ECD to fund its project, but the venture must have an ICT component since one of the CARCIP’s objectives is to advance the development of an ICT-enabled service industry.

Unfortunately, because of “StartUp Grenada’s” eligibility requirements, which can be found on its website, startupgrenada.com, everyone won’t qualify for CARCIP’s assistance. Some of the basic prerequisites applicants must fulfill are that their companies must be registered in Grenada and their businesses must be legally and financially autonomous operating under commercial law not dependent on the Government of Grenada. Also, don’t think you’ll just get funded without any commitment on your part. Instead, you’ll need to come up with 20% of the amount you’re looking for, but it does not necessarily have to be in “cash”. It can be “in kind”.  So what does “in kind” mean or, where will I get $20,000 upfront if I am seeking $100,000? Different ways to tackle such a situation exists. A practical method for instance could simply be foregoing a few months’ worth of salary. Some entrepreneurs have sacrificed years’ worth of income to get their businesses off the ground, so such a feat isn’t impossible.

In addition, be focused on the task at hand, which should be starting an economically viable business venture. Therefore, when funds are disbursed you shouldn’t have the urge to use the moneys unwisely in any case. However, to aid the ill-disciplined, funds don’t go directly to the recipients who are being assisted; instead, it is paid to the service provider/suppliers assisting with the business’ developmental activity. Additionally, a lot of other useful information can be found on the website, so take a look at it because I sincerely believe “StartUp Grenada” is a step in the right direction for Grenadian entrepreneurship.

You may not have a business, and you may convince yourself that you do not have the potential to be a business owner. However, because of the relative amount of ease to begin a business venture nowadays, with a change in attitude, you too can become an entrepreneur. To start off, one of the first things that you need to do is to have a business idea. Start-up ideas can come from a number of different places such as a skill you possess that you can profit from, you can find a solution to a pesky problem, determine a more efficient way of performing certain a task, or maybe you recognize something that is being improperly done that you can do better.

Once you have your business idea, you need to identify your target customers or the ones who will be paying for your product or service. You also have to decide how you would present the idea to others. Would it be via drawings or working protocols? The ability to effectively sell your vision to other individuals is quite critical. Additionally, you need to identify a team of people who would share your dream and desire to make your business happen. Other areas you will need to know or have a working knowledge about are the resources that would be needed, the purchasing cycle for the product or service, and the sales forecast which should be assessed to determine whether the venture will be profitable. It is also very important to consider whether you have the necessary skills to take this business forward. These are just some of the basic pointers that persons can use to start developing a business.

Grenada and other countries struggling with economic hardship should move towards a culture of entrepreneurship. Such a culture also needs to be supported by government and other institutions such as CARCIP by providing technical support, access to funding, and other forms of assistance to young people. If Grenada strategically cultivates a more entrepreneurially focused atmosphere, the country can make significant strides in many facets especially relating to the constantly growing unemployment rate.

 

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Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship Featured

Should Caribbean Nationals Get Involved in Entrepreneurship?

On Thursday September 3rd, I had the pleasure of hosting the first blab discussion of the Caribbean Entrepreneurs Mastermind Group. We spoke about why Caribbean nationals should get involved in entrepreneurship and we had some solid advice worth millions from people like Monique Welch, Daniel Williams, Lovell Felix, Cemal Copeland, Dwayne Clement, Donald Thomas and Devon Wells. I want to share the experience with you as we had a really great time, talking about Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean. We will be hosting this show every Thursday at 10pm Eastern time.

Comment and share your thoughts below and you are welcomed to join us on the next Show on September 10th 2015.

 

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Featured Social Media

Your Basic Guide to Facebook Advertising

Without a doubt, the best platform to reach potential and current customers and build your business is Facebook. Unfortunately, on a daily basis, I see so many entrepreneurs wasting their time and money doing Facebook advertising the wrong way. As time goes by, Facebook advertising is becoming more and more complicated since the ads manager and powereditor change frequently. Also, a huge number of entrepreneurs are not making use of Facebook advertising, therefore limiting their businesses’ potential for growth. Hence, in this article, I will take a look at some basic strategies to get you started with an ad to generate leads and customers

  • Targeting– From the ads I ran in the past, I realized that targeting is one of the most important factors that determines their eventual success or possible failure. Your ads can target likely or present clients based on their interests as well as specific Facebook pages. To determine where to focus your attention, conduct research to find the Facebook pages where your potential customers hang out and target those pages with your ads. These are the two most basic and efficient ways for ads targeting.

 

  • Use a Lead Magnet– If you really want to get warm leads that can potentially turn to customers, you need to give away something of value, which is known as a lead magnet. Lead magnets can take the form of how to guides, tool lists, ebooks, and training videos. Generally, humans have an innate longing for things that are free; therefore, people will willingly give you their email addresses in exchange for your free giveaways. Consequently, once these people are on your email list, you can share valuable content and possibly sell your products and services to them.

 

  • Create a Landing Page– Creating a high converting landing page is an effective way to collect leads. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a programmer to create a landing page. You can use a service like leadpages.net or even optimizepress 2.0 to build your landing page. Thus, once individuals click on your ad, they will be taken to your landing page where they can be added to your email list

The video below will take a more in-depth into Facebook advertising and how to get started with Facebook ads.

 

[videoturbostore_vid-id=”1″]

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Featured Social Media

10 Inspiring Quotes From Social Media’s Finest

As I immerse myself in social media on daily basis, there are a number of power influencers in the social media arena that I constantly go to for information. These people provide invaluable insight in areas such as content creation and curation, social advertising, and blogging. Admittedly, they have been instrumental in my rise through the social media ranks, so I would like them to assist you also. Consequently, I have decided to formulate a list of inspiring quotes from some successful people that I am certain will motivate others like myself as we journey through the world of social media together .

Mari Smith- “We must develop a thick skin. With an unshakeable sense of self – and a commitment to being compassionate – nothing will faze you.”

Kim Garst- “Brands no longer own their message. They can try to control it, but they do not own it. Today, consumers own the message. What they say about a brand carries more weight than what the brand says about itself.”

Jay Baer- “Social media creates kinship between companies and customers, and kinship equals purchase intent.”

Gary Vaynerchuk- “Great marketing is all about telling your story in such a way that it compels people to buy what you are selling.”

Guy Kawasaki- “The biggest daily challenge of social media is finding enough content to share. We call this “feeding the Content Monster.” There are two ways to do this: content creation and content curation.”

Charles Leadbeater- “You are what you share”

Seth Godin- “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”

Michael Stelzner- “Marketing is the process of persuading others that what you have is what they’ve always wanted.”

David Meerman Scott- “Think like a publisher, not a marketer”

Mark Zuckerberg– “People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.”

 

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