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personal brand

Your personal brand, an asset or a liability for your business?

Is your personal brand a benefit to your business or career or it carries a load of negative reputation? The way people perceive you -customers, professionals you deal with on a regular basis, potential partners or investors, bosses or colleagues and more- can make or break your future!

A version of this article was published on Abasto Magazine for the July/August 2017 issue. 

Abasto Magazine personal brand

 

At LatinasinBusiness.us, we basically tell stories: stories of success but also stories of struggle; stories of ideas people have developed through their businesses or careers; their vision and perspectives, of innovation and achievement. We also tell the story of the journeys that have led them to be who they are now.

Telling your story is a simple way to refer to your personal brand, one of the most important skills to acquire if you want to be successful in your business  or career and stand out from the crowd.

Companies invest hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly to define and refine their brand. Your company brand is the most valuable asset you have, as it tells your customers about your company’s culture, your products, your services and your position in your community. The way your customers perceive your brand is instrumental in influencing their behavior to be loyal to your products or services. As consumers, we buy products from brands we like.

However, as a business owner, you are the face of your company and your personal brand matters… a lot.

Are you familiar with the story of Oprah and her struggle with poverty, abuse and weight loss, her determination to build a media empire and focus on education of underrepresented youth? Or the story of Sofia Vergara, a Colombian actress who struggled in her country of origin only to become a Hollywood icon and one of the most powerful Latinas in the country?

The same way, your personal brand matters to your customers; they want to know who they buy from. Are you a role model in your community? What is your purpose? What were your struggles when you started your business or what personal sacrifices you had to make in order to be where you are now?

Technology and privacy affecting your personal brandpersonal brand

In today’s world and with the expansion of technology, we have all become public figures –yes, if you have a cell phone or you are connected to the Internet, your life is not private anymore.

Taking control of your story or personal brand is instrumental, not only in advancing your vision in the middle of millions of other stories but also in narrowing the potential for damages to your reputation or blowing chances for access to opportunities.

Only you can tell your story in a unique way that can then be multiplied by your network, your industry or the social media wave. In the same fashion, someone else can take it to pieces and multiply it virally; and that might cause irreparable damage to your reputation or take a long time to be restored.

Think of all the opportunities you might have at telling your story in a unique way that can help you advance your personal or business goals by getting the attention from a potential client, a leader in your industry or a crowd in front of you.

Superheroes, a new path for your personal brand

We also live in a world of superheroes, and everybody is looking for the next superhero to come rescue them –corporations, customers or voters alike. You can become your customers’ superhero or superheroine if your unique story fits into their needs.

Whether it is a large corporation for which you are trying to become a vendor or your regular by-passer customers, people you deal with on a regular basis have now a world of resources to get to know who you are at their fingertips.

Instead of letting those resources plunge you, you need to take control and present yourself as the hero or heroine of your own story. Tell them your “secret” unique ability or combination of abilities that can “ease their pain”–being helping them solve a problem, advancing their organization’s mission or improving their profitability. And those abilities need to be intertwined in your unique story.

This is one of our clients’ testimonials about telling her story on LatinasinBusiness.us:

Carmen Milagro, Borbon Skincare personal brand

Carmen Milagro, Borbon Skincare

 

“First, the simple fact that the story of the birth of Borbon Skincare is out there in print is phenomenal, but the article also allows readers to know me as a real person, not simply a faceless company.

“Second, it has allowed me to ‘see’ my story unfold through the eyes of a reader and that is an invaluable tool for me. I am constantly evaluating and learning the way in which I speak and how it comes across to others. This helps me in presentations, interviews, as I am constantly learning about myself.”

Carmen Milagro, founder and CEO of Borbon Skincare

 

If you are in business, you sell ideas, products, and services but most importantly, you sell your own reputation. Don’t let your personal brand become a liability for your company. Learn to tell your story and let your personal brand become your biggest asset.

Do you want your story to be told on LatinasinBusiness.us for FREE*? Are you a Latina business owner with 5 employees or less? Do you sell your own products, services or ideas? 

Then email me at Susana@latinasinBusiness.us and you will have your glowing moment of fame on LatinasinBusiness.us! 

*Certain restrictions apply.

Freshie Feminine Care Review of LatinasinBusiness.us Pitch your Business to the Media Competition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjRbYMoOMqQ

 

Abasto Magazine Latinas in the USA

LatinasinBusiness.us and Abasto Magazine join efforts to support Latinas in the USA

We are celebrating Small Business Week with this great announcement! The reason to join efforts? Latinas in the USA are the largest growing demographics entering the labor force, opening businesses and increasing their economic power but their rise to decision-making position still lags behind other minorities.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to our LatinasinBusiness.us column in Abasto Magazine. You and I will have an opportunity to get to know each other, connect on the important issues that affect Latinas today, discuss trends and innovative solutions for your business or career, and find common ground to help each other grow.

Susana Baumann Tell your Story

Susana G Baumann, Editor-in-Chief LatinasinBusiness.us

A little over two years ago, I launched LatinasinBusiness.us with the vision to build, support and empower a community of Latina professionals, those in the corporate track and small business owners. After over 25 years of working in corporate America, the State of New Jersey and finally starting my own business, I felt that my experience of struggle and success could be of use for many. As a Latina, I was ready to give back one more time.

The experience has been riveting, to say the least. At a professional level, it has allowed me bring a small contribution to the struggle of Latinas around the country. At a personal level, it has also allowed me to meet hundreds of young Latinas like you who truly are the future of this country.

Are Latinas in the USA making history?

I started my business at a time when being Latino was not “cool” as it is today! Even if we still have many steps to climb and milestones to achieve, we have made strides in every industry, field and activity. Nevertheless, we need to keep going!

 

Unfortunately, women in general and Latinas in the USA in particular are still falling behind in many aspects of their professional, career or business development. We need to work harder and smarter in these areas:

Leadership: One in five women in this country is a Latina. However, there are no Latina CEOs among the Fortune 1000 companies and less than 3 percent of board directors at Fortune 500 companies are Asian, black or Hispanic women. Women hold only 19 percent of Congressional seats. The first Latina elected to the Senate was sworn in 2017 and just a few more made the House this year as well.

Business: The fastest growing demographics opening businesses, Latinas in the USA represent 36 percent of women owned businesses with receivables of approximately 71 billion (2014). However, Latinas grab a very small portion of five percent Federal contracts awarded last year to women –for the first time in the history of the SBA- and have the least access to capital of all minority business owners.

Corporate America: In the workplace, the numbers do not look much better. One in seven women is Latina in the workforce and they are projected to be over 17 percent by 2022. However, the outcome is poor: One-fourth of Latinas in the USA live below the poverty line and more than half are living in near-poverty with a pay inequality gap of almost 56 percent.

Education: Latinas in the USA have surpassed their male counterparts in educational achievements. However, they still lag behind other minorities in attaining a high school degree, and only 19 percent complete a college degree. They get the crumbs when it comes to employment or promotions with only fewer opportunities to access decision-making, high-paying positions.

Buying power: Latino buying power has increased 167% in the 15 years expected to reach 1.7 trillion in 2020. Primarily Latina moms make all financial and buying decisions in the family.

Health: Health disparities are rampant among Latinas, with the highest rates of death for breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Retirement: The financial and economic gap follows us into old age, becoming the least protected demographic among all minorities.

 

Not all hope is lost

This evidence is not the only reason that compelled me to launch LatinasinBusiness.us. On the contrary, a deeper knowledge of a vibrant and competent community of talented Latina women, working hard at achieving their potential, was the main reason to create this small window of opportunity: to encourage, promote and bring to the front these wonderful stories of Latino women building family, businesses and communities around them.

Not one person or one movement can achieve this huge task alone. We need to keep holding hands and helping those just starting or on their way up to achieve their best potential because when one raises, the others follow.

Abasto Magazine is giving me today the opportunity to meet with all of you on these pages, tell your stories, and bring discussions to the forefront –the hard difficult questions we need to ask and answer. For that, I need your help: to reach out to me and share your dreams and your achievements but also the difficulties and the battles you have encountered along the way so we can all learn from each other.

Remember: ¡La unión hace la fuerza! We do not need to wait for opportunities to come our way but we need to create them for ourselves. I did it for over 20 years, you can do it too!