Tag Archives: Caribbean entrepreneurs

Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship Social Media

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

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.

Often times, saying what should or needs to be done is easy but actually following through is most times where the difficulty lies. I firmly believe that action is the only true agent of change, so I thought the best way to strengthen my points was to follow up with an article highlighting someone of reputable standing that is practicing exactly what I outlined in my first two pieces. I thought who better to feature than the Caribbean Queen of Bacchanal herself Destra Garcia. In my opinion, Destra does a great job with social media and have built a raving community around her brand online. She uses her music to give people in different cities around the world a view of Caribbean, especially her home country Trinidad and Tobago, without really being there.

Her latest single, “Luv with the Riddim“, which is a cross between soca and pop, is a classic example of how she is able to infuse a Caribbean flavor into everything she does. While it is easy for me to provide my opinion on why Destra perfectly epitomises what I spoke about in my last two articles, I thought it would better to get the views directly from The Queen of Bacchanal herself. So I spoke with Destra, and I was absolutely blown away. Blown away not only because she is awesome, and I am a fan, but by the fact that she embodies everything I have been speaking about. Caribbean artists, especially those on the rise, should definitely take a page from her book to see that what I have been writing about is indeed possible.

In terms of helping shape and control the image and reputation of Caribbean countries, Destra indicated that whenever she goes to any country to perform, she does not tailor her performances to suit the country. Although she is blessed with the unique ability of versatility with many different musical genres such as reggae and the likes, she is primarily known as a soca artist, as evidenced by her eleven captivating albums. Consequently, when she performs, it’s authentically Caribbean. She brings a colourful display, energy, and plain fun to her performances which are all synonymous with soca and by extension the Caribbean.

In all fairness, a number of other artists carry the Caribbean with them wherever they go and try to help control its image. For instance, I clearly remember when the regrettable death of a tourist occurred in Grenada, Hollice “Mr. Killa” Mapp, one of Grenada’s cultural ambassadors, took to Facebook to address the issue and tried to dispel some of the rumours that were circulating at the time. However, not all Caribbean nationals and entertainers, particularly soca artists, take advantage of social media in that way to help shape their country’s image and build their brands.

Additionally, as a digital marketing strategist, one of the things I enjoyed most about my talk with Destra was how active she is on social media where she has cultivated a huge community around her music. While many popular figures have social media managers, Destra sees things differently. Therefore, to build a level of authenticity, she believes that it is imperative that she does it herself. Just like Gary Vaynerchuk, a social media mogul and chief advocate of its use, she is very engaging with her online community. Every tweet, mention, comment, like, retweet, and reply all come directly from The Queen of Bacchanal herself and not someone acting on her behalf like most people of her caliber do.

I believe that the Caribbean has a lot to offer and not only where music is concerned. For instance, if most Caribbean nationals, regardless the number of followers they have on Instagram or social media on a whole, decided to take matters into their own hands and not let the media houses in the large countries shape people’s perception of the Caribbean, huge changes may result. I also believe that Caribbean soca artists, entrepreneurs, athletes, and others need to use social media to build their brands and communities around their brands. Consequently, social media is certainly the way to go.

At the end of my talk with Destra, I was left with an interesting tidbit however. I asked her to name one thing a lot of people do not know about her, and she responded that many people do not know that she speaks three languages namely English, French, and Spanish. This was rather interesting to me since, I speak the same three languages. Well in all honesty, my French is terrible, but soon it will be as fluent as hers. More importantly, I even thought to myself that with her ability to speak multiple languages she is in a privileged position and has greater potential to share the Caribbean even further with foreign audiences if she so chooses.

I will keep advocating for Caribbean nationals and entertainers to help shape their countries’ brands online, and with renewed vigour after my conversation with Destra, The Queen of Bacchanal, who is a chief proponent of my belief, I will continue to encourage Caribbean people to use social media, the fastest, easiest, and off course the cheapest way, to build their communities around their brands. Why is Destra able to dominate social media and build a thriving community around her brand? It is because she stays true to herself and not afraid to help shape the narrative of the Caribbean wherever she goes.

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Facebook Social Media

How Grenadian and Caribbean Soca Artists can use Facebook and Instagram to build their Brands

When I younger, I wanted to become a soca artist. I even started writing songs with my friends, but I quickly realized I didn’t have what it took, so I decided to focus on what I was good at. In the past, soca artists advertised themselves to the public with the help of radio stations, DJs, and promoters, who booked them for shows. Therefore, artists didn’t have much control over their brands; however, because of technological advancements, the script has been flipped. Today’s technology now gives artists a significant say regarding the distribution and exposure of their musical products. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram practically give soca artists, regardless their stature in the industry, a somewhat even playing field. Artists now have the power to control and build their brands while bypassing the “badmind” DJs who often times intentionally neglect to share their music. Consequently, social media platforms are now making it easier for thriving musicians.

Uploading Music Natively vs. Sharing YouTube Links

Facebook is now big on video sharing as evidenced by their push with video ads, 360 videos, and Facebook live. Sometimes, when artists share their music on Facebook, they first upload it via YouTube then share the YouTube link to Facebook. Going forward, however, consider uploading your videos natively to Facebook instead. Facebook is in direct competition with YouTube and unfortunately for soca artists, Facebook’s algorithms punish videos shared with YouTube links. Therefore, you will be rewarded with more reach and views if you upload your videos directly to Facebook. Mind you, you should upload your music to YouTube as well, but just be aware that if you want more reach on Facebook, don’t share the YouTube link.

Share Short Clips on Instagram

Before, videos on Instagram could have only been 15 seconds long. Today, however, you can upload 60 seconds videos. Therefore, don’t be afraid to share a one-minute clip from your video to pique listeners’ interest.

Video Ads

As previously mentioned, video ads are now a major part of Facebook’s product. So do you know that by spending $5US or less it is possible to get thousands of video views on Facebook? Obviously, you would need to know how to setup and run a Facebook video ad, but hey, it’s not difficult. You can visit YouTube for tutorials or contact me, and I will show you how. At the moment, one of my clients is a jazz artist, and we have been using video ads to promote her music and concerts, and the results have been phenomenal. Consequently, I advise soca artists to start taking advantage of this opportunity as well. Instagram ads are now becoming a big deal too, so you should definitely give it a shot also. Just imagine it’s the carnival season, and you are a new artist with a “wicked tune”. However, only the established names are getting radio time. Instead of accepting the status quo, here is a simple solution. You could circumvent the system by spending just $5US to promote your music even if you don’t have an actual music video, which isn’t totally necessary. Many persons, including myself, often listen to music on YouTube or Facebook with just a still picture. Therefore, with such a small but effective investment, you have little reason to sit and wait for radio play when you have the tools to get your music out to a much wider audience than the radio can offer.

Consistency and Building a Community

Shows like Power or Game of Thrones are successful in part because they don’t ignore social media. Even after each season’s finale, they are still active on Facebook and Instagram reminding you of the just concluded episodes and in preparation for the new. With that said, soca artists should pattern their social media habits after those successful franchises instead of using a cyclical approach. From observation, many artists are very active on social media during the carnival season; however, after the festivities are over, they make a huge mistake by going silent. Therefore, they should consider year-round promotions on social media to garner as many supporters, sales, and job opportunities as possible. Also, many soca artists mismanage Facebook and Instagram. Instead of using the platforms as a vital business tool and as a means of building a community around their music, they unfortunately, use them to spread their unfounded information, divisive topics and display unsavory conduct, which may alienate supporters and potential patrons. Consequently, artists should refrain from the negatives and strive to build a community around their music. And if they need help building, their music community, it is advised that they speak to a Facebook or Instagram strategist.

Facebook Live

In keeping with the use of videos, I have realized that some Grenadian promoters now use live streams to increase their business ventures’ reach. Further, as soca artists, you can also live stream your performances through platforms like Facebook Live. Obviously, the actual streaming would have to be done by someone else like a member of your management team or friend of course, but you should consider live streaming your performances, the process of making your music, or practically anything you think will interest your fans to build brand equity. Right now Facebook’s algorithms are very favorable towards live videos so don’t pass up on this opportunity.

Provide Value

Pardon my tone but please stop posting nonsense on social media. Remember that most patrons tie your contributions to your products. Therefore, if you are deemed to be a constant poster of valueless material, it is possible you would tune out your intended audience when it matters. Therefore, please ensure that your posts are entertaining, educational, positive, or provide some kind of significance to your fans. Like I stated above, be consistent while providing value.

Admittedly, many more strategies for brand building can be done; however, these are some of the basic approaches that every Grenadian soca artist and those throughout the Caribbean should take if they intend to make a mark in a potentially lucrative business. At #IamGrenadian, we have shared the stories of many Grenadian soca artists, and as a digital marketing strategist, I felt it was my obligation to write this article to hopefully help others. Also, these methods go beyond soca music; they can be effective for any genre. Therefore, since you now have the power to build your brand using these platforms, just ensure that you use them properly or seek the services of a social media strategist if necessary. Also, for those who may object to getting help because you have a Facebook page and Instagram profile consider this. Having a car doesn’t make you a mechanic, so having access to the necessary social media platforms doesn’t make you a Facebook or Instagram marketer. Consequently, if you are trained in social media marketing, perfect, if not, then get up to speed or work with someone.

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Entrepreneurship Social Media

Avoid this Facebook Fanpage Mistake

The first thing everyone does when creating a Fanpage for their business is invite all their friends to like the page. Whether their friends are interested in their business or not. This is one of the biggest mistakes that are made, while it will build your Fanpage and increase your likes, it will do nothing for your business. At the end of the day, it is customers and sales that grow your business not friends and likes. You need to ensure that the people on your page are either customers or prospects, or people interested in what you have to offer. In this way, when you create valuable and engaging content, these people will interact with your content and build a relationship with you which will make it easier when you want to sell them something. In order to get targeted likes on your Facebook Fanpage, it is best to use a Facebook Like Ad, when targeted properly, you can build your fanpage with people that are interested in your business at a very low cost and these are the people that will engage with your content, build relationship with them and can eventually sell your products or service to them.

Check the video below to hear more about this mistake

[fbvideo link=”https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=457742107722891&pnref=story” width=”500″ height=”400″ onlyvideo=”1″]

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Business Start-Up Caribbean Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name for Your Small Business

One of the most important pieces of real estate that small online businesses can have is their website. While having social media profiles such as Facebook business pages or twitter handles for your business is smart, entrepreneurs do not own these sites. For instance, Facebook can remove a business’ page at any time of their choosing if they think it violates one of their policies. Therefore, for this reason, it is important that business owners create a website for their businesses. One of the most important aspects of a website is the domain name. Consequently, just as entrepreneurs are expected to take the time to carefully select a proper business name, they should do the same for their company’s domain name. The domain name is used for identification on the internet, so it should be easy to find and it should match the business it represents. Below are 5 tips that business owners should employ when deciding on a domain name.

 

  • Make the Domain Name Easy to Type– Using names that are easy to type is crucial because it increases the chance of being found easily online. Persons also should avoid using slangs or even words that have multiple spellings which may affect their ability to be found by customers.

 

  • Use Keywords in the Name– The use of keywords in the domain name will help with the search engine optimization (SEO) efforts that drives organic traffic to the site. Therefore, business owners should always include keywords that are associated with their business in their website’s title. For example, if an individual has a business that is focused on grooming dogs, the person’s domain name can be doggroomers.com. From the onset, such a name clearly indicates what the business is about.

 

 

  • Use the Proper Extension– Depending on the type of business, different domain extensions may have to be used. Whereas the typical domain is .com, there are a number of other domain extensions that can be used such as .org, .net, .info, .co .bi among others based on what the domain name and by extension the nature of the company.

 

domain name

choose the right domain name for your small business

 

  • Keep the Domain Short– When determining the best domain name, it is important that the name that is settled on is short and easy to spell because using lengthy, complicated names have a many disadvantages. Names that are long and difficult to spell increase the likelihood that persons will have trouble memorizing and spelling it which in turn will directly affect the traffic that the site will most likely receive.

 

 

  • Protect your Domain– Protecting a businesses’ domain name is quite important. To illustrate this concept, a real life example from a popular figure Sara Palin will be used. Unfortunately, she learned this lesson the hard way. She purchased the domain name sarahpalinchannel.com. However, Steven Colbert purchased thesarahpalinchannel.com where he makes a mockery of her because as the owner, he can basically do what he wants on the site. The lesson here is to buy different extensions of your name, misspelled versions of your name, and other versions of your name if necessary. Taking such an approach will help prevent competitors from purchasing and tainting the brand’s image. Plus, protecting the domain makes it easy for customers to find the business.

 

The domain name is an important part of a business, and to reemphasize, entrepreneurs should spend the necessary amount of time to ensure that they have a proper domain name that fulfills the criteria outlined above. Additionally, other useful tips about domain names can be obtained from sites like godaddy.com.

After choosing the right domain name, ensure you are not making these mistakes when naming your business

 

 

 

 

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Entrepreneurship Featured Social Media

How to use Social Media to Build Your Caribbean Brand

Many great brands and even small businesses have been experiencing a lot of success with Social Media over the last couple years. Businesses in North American and Europe have all taken to Social Media to amplify their brands’ presence. These companies have all been experiencing different levels of success with Social Media. There are even ordinary people who have been able to build a brand for themselves and a community around themselves using Social Media. Caribbean Brands have been using social media for the same purposes as well, however there are many brands in the Caribbean that are still resistant to change and resistant to the idea that social media can be the vehicle to take their business to the next level.

 

Why Caribbean Brands Need Social Media
There are many reasons why Caribbean Brands should be using Social Media, some of these includes;
1. Increase Exposure – Businesses, especially small businesses can get more exposure on social media for little or no cost to them. People spend one hour on average on Facebook alone, and more time on other platforms. You need to be where your audience is.
2. Grow your business – There are three ways to grow a business, you can increase the amount of clients, increase the average amount of transaction per client or increase the average transaction value per client. Social Media is ideal for this because you can achieve all three business growth strategies there.
3. Connect with your clients on a personal level – Social Media allow you to connect one on one with your clients, you can speak to them and they will respond. Also social media allows you to offer customer service to your clients, it’s always amazing when I have a problem with a company and I can tweet them and someone from their customer service team reaches out to me.

How to Implement Social Media in your Business
Implementing Social Media in your business as part of your marketing strategies or business growth strategies is easier that most people would think
1. Conduct A Social Media Audit – The first thing that a business need to do is conduct a Social Media Audit
• Find all your Social Media Profiles and document them, ensure you know
-Why you’re using this profile
-Why you want to use it
-Your main goals for using it

-Whether your Target market is using it

• Check the details of all profiles and fine-tune them, ensure consistency across all platforms with the message being sent and images

Amplify Your Business Online

Go from unknown to well-known online with the proper strategies. Get your free audit done and learn the strategies needed to do so

Click Here to get your Free Audit

 

2. Create a Social Media Policy – A policy will mandate how Social Media will be used in the business. What will be your voice on Social Media, who is allowed to post on behalf of the company, how the company will respond to critics, what type of contents will be posted. Also what employees should be allowed to post since they are a reflection of the brand even on their personal profiles

3. Objectives – You need to decide what your objective is for using Social Media, whether it is brand awareness, brand engagement, to sell a product, launch products among others. Objectives must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely (SMART).

4. Create a Social Media Strategy– Your Social Media strategy should include the following:
• Tools that will be used to manage your social media
• How you will be using Earned, Owned and Paid Media
• Your Content Calendar
• Your Editorial Calendar
• Your Tactical Plan

5. Create a content plan– Many businesses today are having tremendous success from operating like a media company. Creating and curating valuable, informative and entertaining content for your community is a sure way to gain credibility with them. Share useful information with your community and build your influence among them.

These are some quick steps to implement social media in your business as a Caribbean Brand, every Caribbean Business, large or small should be taking advantages of Social Media to help them grow their business. In many cases if they are unable to implement it themselves, they can seek out the services of a Social Media Consultant and amplify their brand presence online. Some Caribbean brands are doing a good job of this right now while there are other up and coming Brands using social media to build their brand online such as Greenz Elite which is a Grenadian reality game show where five contestants go through elimination challenges to come up with a winner. They began with a promotional campaign by spray painting their logo and the words “The revolution will be televised” on abandoned buildings along a main travel area to intrigue potential audiences earning a spot on their local news. Using this as a springboard they opened their Facebook page, (facebook.com/greenzelite), twitter and Instagram. The social media is being used to share production updates, create hype and connect with their audience while “feeling” out the reception of the concept’s pilot from pre-production and its evolving direction during production.

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Caribbean Entrepreneur Barnadette “Camille” Warren: St Vincent and the Grenadines

Today i present to you Vincentian Entrepreneur, Camille Warren, we had a very interesting chat and i wish to present some of the things we spoke about. I do hope this will inspire aspiring entrepreneurs and actual entrepreneurs.
 
Bernadette “Camille” Warren is an entrepreneur from the Village of Belair in St Vincent. She is the wife of Taireen Warren, who is also her business partner. Taireen loves business, He has a degree in Business Administration , has acquired knowledge in management, communication and, organizational skills that is quite essential to starting or having a successful business. Camille is creative, charismatic with keen business insights from her previous work experiences. Their passion for business and helping people gave birth to their business Brio Che. 
1.       Tell me about your business, what is it about?
Brio Che is an eco-friendly brand/business offering an array of natural, handmade, health and beauty coconut products. Brio Che means, “A life of fun and vitality.” We currently offer; Organic Virgin & Pure Coconut oil, Organic Coconut Soaps, Eco Friendly Scented Candles in Coconut Shell, Exfoliating Body Scrubs, and Moisturizing Lip Balms all made from coconut goodness. It is also an agricultural, environmental and health initiative to encourage persons to utilize the natural resources here on our island.
2.      What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture? How did the idea for your business come about?
The spark was the moment I was at my grandmother’s house and she was busy processing coconut to make coconut oil. It was something she has been doing for over 50 years and seems to enjoy. I got in on the fun as she passed on her knowledge and expertise to me. My fascination has always been to use the coconut milk to make Gelato (Ice Cream) but this was a bigger idea that required much more financing. It wasn’t long before we decided to start Brio Che with a coconut line to make our own natural products as it was also getting hard to keep up with purchasing healthier alternatives.
3.      How many hours do you work on your business a day on average?
Oh wow no sleep, just kidding. 7am-9pm or 9am-11pm, so like 14hours a day, sometimes 18hrs. Hubby has a fulltime job so he has work at work and work when he gets home, exactly what he says all the time.  We do believe working hard and smart is one of the main ingredients to success so it is necessary. I will get up and get dressed in my work overall/attire as if I was going to work, so that I stay focus and discipline.  
4.      What motivates you?
I draw motivation from every positive thing that surrounds me.  God, nature, love, great people, good books, my desire to accomplish phenomenal things in life amidst the challenges and making people happy. It brings such satisfaction to see the smile on someone’s face after I’ve just helped them in some way.
5.      What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
I despise dealing with overly negative or difficult people. Hubby seems to have a knack for that though so I am learning a lot from him. I can’t think of anything else that I am fearful of right now. I do get nervous about things I don’t necessarily have control over, but at the same time I can manage that by proper planning or improving. I now understand things don’t always go the way you anticipate even with the best plans, so being able to move forward is important.
6.     How do you define success?
Success to me is about being happy with where you are at in life, having accomplished specific or personal goals and making your dreams a reality.  I don’t believe I am successful just yet, but I will be in a few years.
7.      Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Everyone who supports our journey inspires us to persevere.  Happy customers, other business people or organizations that offer their guidance, friends and family that genuinely wants us to succeed inspires us because they believe we can do great things and this gives us the confidence and motivation to always do our best.
8.      What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favourite book?)
My favourite book, Wow, i have a ton of favorites, smiling… especially in audio format like Anthony Robbins, he is my source for motivation. However someone lent me a copy of David Novak- “Taking people with you,” which I thoroughly enjoyed. I really need to get my own copy. His book is a unique insight on personal development, and how to bring out the best in others. It is one of the best, most practical hands-on books on leadership I’ve ever read. My plan is to apply the principles I’ve learnt, to be a charismatic and successful Entrepreneur, and assist other persons along my journey… it really is the only way to make big things happen.
9.      What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
What I love about being an entrepreneur is the ability to make the decisions. Though hubby is the decisive one, having my hubby as my business partner, with his great set of skills and keen business perspective is awesome. The flexibility to work from anywhere is my greatest love and knowing the success of our business is up to us. I also think it is quite fulfilling creating an opportunity for ourselves that may someday create opportunities for others.
10.   Do you think that entrepreneurship is important to your local economy and why?
Yes, I think entrepreneurship is good for the growth of our local economy and is very important. One of our goals was to utilize our resources on our island to reduce imports, while inspiring persons to support more locally made products, so more money stays here to develop our communities.  It is high time we as a small island start exporting too. This will intensify competition, create employment, increase productivity, and offer customers value. So entrepreneurship really does benefit everyone along the way.
11.  Where do you see yourself and your business 10 years from now?
I see myself as a very successful entrepreneur by then, with our very own Brio Che, Health Store and Gelato Cafe not only in St.Vincent but several places around the world. I see myself traveling around the world. I will also like to have an establishment that assists other entrepreneurs. I know how hard it can be to have great ideas and not being able to make them a reality.
12.  What three pieces of advice would you give to students who want to become entrepreneurs? An entrepreneur is one who takes initiative, creates his or her own opportunities and accepts some risks…so be prepared to take risks. Secondly being discipline is important I think the hardest part is the discipline it takes to get everything together. Finally, stay motivated and focus on your goals, you have to have a clear vision of where you going or what you want to achieve.  Finally as long as you are passionate about your business and committed to delivering your best, people will notice. The rest will follow.

 

Please check out their  Website here
Like Brio Che on facebook: Facebook.com/briochesvg

Email briochesvg@gmail.com for more information

Click Here to check out more inspiring stories from other Caribbean Entrepreneurs

 

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