Before Wyclef Jean became known as the famous musician, actor, and entrepreneur he is today, he was just a boy from the small town of Croix-des-Bouquets, just outside of Port-au-Prince in Haiti. When he was only nine years old, his family migrated to Brooklyn New York. Upon arriving, he only spoke Haitian French but later started learning English from listening to Rap music.
A few months after moving to Toronto, I went to a networking event for entrepreneurs. I met some fantastic people, some of whom I am still in contact with today. I remember speaking to a business coach at that event; we talked about my business aspirations. I told her I wanted to work with Caribbean entrepreneurs; I felt a need to help them, I felt the Caribbean was getting left behind where Social Media was concerned. The advice I got was, don’t do it, Caribbean entrepreneurs are not a good market if you want to make money. Fast forward a few years, I didn’t listen, I still decided to work with Caribbean entrepreneurs and businesses and even though the advice wasn’t bad advice. I am Grenadian, and home is where the heart is.
I have been consulting a lot with clients lately about their social media strategies and something over the past few weeks; something stood out to me. Lots of entrepreneurs do not understand some of the fundamentals of using Social Media for business. I never thought that I would find myself trying to convince a “Marketer” to put out content that has practical value for clients. I didn’t think I would have to say to a digital entrepreneur that you need to have a Facebook page to run ads. I didn’t know that I will have to convince someone who spent the last six years in marketing that developing thought leadership will not negatively affect you. I couldn’t understand how being known as an expert in your field will reflect poorly on you. Nevertheless, these are some of the things I had to deal with, so today I decided to write this post for all the awesome people out there doing social media right.
Entrepreneurs are people who make a difference in the world by converting visions into reality and creating products and services used by the general population. There are many problems being faced in the Caribbean today that can be easily solved if a culture of entrepreneurship is to be developed and more entrepreneurs are created. While not everyone will become an entrepreneur, the Caribbean will be better off if there were more of them. Here are 10 commandments of entrepreneurship for Caribbean Entrepreneurs.
Ok, I get it, when our family and friends migrate they tend to make the countries they migrate to looks like heaven. And mind you, I am not saying they are wrong, for me I know Canada is pretty awesome. I think there are some things Caribbean People should know before migrating.
There are many articles and blog posts out there that take a look into some of the things that every entrepreneur needs to do. While different people have different views as to what entrepreneurs need based on their experiences and expertise, I believe, however, it is important to note some of the things that entrepreneurs do not need when starting a business.
On a daily basis, I get invitations to like different pages on Facebook and from friends and contacts. I see various ads in my newsfeed from people trying to increase the likes on their page. But today, does likes on Facebook equate to anything meaningful, I mean at the end of the day, organic reach is so low that whenever you post something does anyone sees it?
One the #AskGaryVee Show, Gary was asked about his social media strategy for 2016. I thought his answer was quite interesting and its something I am into and I believe you guys will find value from it as well. Tell me what you think in the comments below.
Lately, a lot of changes have occurred in the business landscape. One such change I firmly believe may be the best is the use of social media. My opinion is also held by many successful entrepreneurs like social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk, who normally refers to social media as the current state of the internet. However, I am appalled by the number of small businesses owners that are not making use of the opportunities that social media presents. Additionally, I feel compelled to mention that in this current business climate, which is marshalled by useful tools like social media, THE SUCCESS OF ENTREPRENEURS/ARTISTS/CREATORS NO LONGER STRICTLY HINGES ON OTHERS. For instance, if you sing, it isn’t absolutely necessary to use a studio to approve your music or a producer to work with you. Instead, all you need is a smartphone to record yourself singing then upload your product to YouTube or Facebook to start building a community around your music. Also, if you are an aspiring writer, you don’t need the permission of a publisher; instead, you could start a blog and populate it with your pieces.
In this day and age, individuals shouldn’t be given the privilege to dictate the direction you take in your life as an aspiring entrepreneur or personality. Instead, let the market determine whether you succeed or not. Therefore, if you are courageous enough to put yourself, your idea, and eventually your product or service out there, the market will reward you if it up to standard and satisfies the needs and wants of the consumer. One of the best examples of this truth is in the movie industry. The Legend of Tarzan received terrible reviews from critics, but it still went on to be a big winner at the Box Office. Consequently, the trend insinuates that it is possible that the influence of critics may not seriously affect the success of a film; instead, the market will determine its success. Therefore, one should be willing to be proactive, ignore the naysayers, and let the market determine if success is possible.
One morning, I was sitting on my couch watching CP24 Breakfast, and Steve Anthony was interviewing a member of LMFAO; I believe it was RedFoo. He said something that stunned me. He was speaking about how hard it was to reach his fans and to get their music out, especially on Facebook. As a Facebook marketer, I was genuinely appalled by his assertion and potentially misleading statements. Admittedly, it’s true that organic reach on Facebook is down, and the company recently changed its algorithm to show more posts from friends and less from businesses forcing us to pay to play. However, looking at the situation logically, any network with over 1 billion active users should be worth your time, so I still believe it is the best platform to reach your desired audience. You just need to figure out how to maximize its capabilities, and the market will reward you. Also, you should utilize Facebook advertising, even if you feel forced into a situation where you have to pay to reach your community. Consider this scenario, would you prefer to pay a monthly rate of $1,000 for television ads with no guarantee you will reach your target audience or pay Facebook as little as $5 dollars a day to reach your potential customers? Personally speaking, I think I’d prefer to pay for ads on Facebook any day.
Moreover, if you have a dream to start a business, don’t worry what anyone says unless that person is part of the target market you’d want to reach. Instead, give your idea a chance and build a community around your business for free or at worst minimal cost using what may be the best thing to happen to entrepreneurs in the modern era, social media. Again I must emphasize that you shouldn’t be afraid to start. However, please be mindful that the market rewards good but by the same token, it kills the inferior. Therefore, you should never offer substandard products with the hope that marketing would be the solution. However, at least give your idea a chance by starting and properly incorporating social media because based on recent business advances, the market significantly influences success.