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A picture is worth 1000 words when branding your business

We’ve all heard the phrase before: A picture is worth a thousand words. This couldn’t be more true in our current digital age where visual media has become a key component to how businesses advertise and communicate with clients. As any business owner knows, promoting your company is an integral part of ensuring an organization’s success in a commercial environment. Positive branding allows companies to not only expand, but also attract new clients. While there are a variety of ways to market and advertise a company, one key avenue is visual branding.

4 Interesting ways to promote your business through visual branding

Create a catchy and visually appealing logo or brand image

Many business owners forget that having an attractive logo is one of the first ways to catch a potential client’s eye. There are a variety of free resources online that can help you create a logo for your company, such as Canva. Canva offers a variety of tools and templates that will allow you to create your own personal logo. This is a great option for new, small businesses that may not have the funds to spend on a custom logo. However, if you’re not too artistic and do have the money to spend, enlisting a graphic designer will ensure that you have a one-of-a-kind logo designed that truly conveys your brand messaging.

Use visually-based social networks

Now more than ever, visual branding is a crucial component to a business’ social media presence. Perhaps in the past, social networks were driven more by written content, but in recent years visual media has become the center focus of most social media platforms. From Instagram to Facebook and Pinterest, images are now doing a lot of the talking for business promotion. As customers, we are drawn to eye-catching photos and while we’re told not to judge a book by it’s cover, it’s hard not to make judgement based on visuals.  The truth of the matter is, the better visuals you have as a company, the better you will look to potential customers.
Pinterest

You can easily use Canva to create no-hassle, eye-catching social media posts. Canvas templates are specifically designed to fit each platform’s proportions.

Utilizing visual branding for your business’ social networks is a great way to draw in new customers. On networks such as Pinterest and Instagram, you have the ability to not only share pictures that are informational sources for your company, but also promote and share other resources you may have, such as pictures of your staff, infographics, company events and the like.  And always keep in mind that your prospects and clients enjoy seeing what goes on behind that scenes at your business—it adds an extra layer of personality and uniqueness to your company and what you deliver!

Turn your client testimonials into images

Yes, clients will usually convey their feedback of your company verbally—not visually.  However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative!  Take a quote from a client and using basic tools in Photoshop, Canva, or another image-creating program and devise a simple background and use the quote.  Then brand the image with your logo.  You can then share this simple graphic on your social networks, place it on your website for added “testimonial flair”, or even include it in a brochure.
Enlist the help of stock photos

Stock photos are a great resource that every business can utilize. As a business you do not need to break the bank on professional, high quality photos for your business. May stock photo sites, such as iStockPhoto, allow you to purchase a subscription to access thousands of quality images to compliment blog posts or social media posts. Additionally, there are many free stock photo sites that also provide high-res images for use with attribution, such as Unsplash, Pexels, and Freepik.

By using a stock image you ensure that the file’s resolution will be perfect and you also avoid facing any issues for using a copyrighted image that you find via a Google search. Remember, there are image companies out there that have a staff that simply polices the Internet, looking for any abuse of their owned images.  If you happen to pull one of their images off the Internet and use it without permission and without purchasing the file, you can face stiff fines and even legal action for copyright infringement.
Aside from the benefits of avoiding legal issues, stock photos also allow you to create interesting visual landscapes. Many stock photos are taken by professional photographers who create interesting and creative layouts, such as in the image above. These creative images are eye-catching and exactly the sort of photo that would captivate a potential client scrolling through social media. Many stock photo licenses also allow you to remix and edit their content, meaning you can personalize a stock photo to better fit your company’s brand image.
In closing, always remember that consumers, in general, are visual creatures and they respond better to advertisements, online content, and other materials that have stunning, eye-catching images.  Get creative in how you communicate visually with your clients and prospects and you will be remembered!
This article was originally written by the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce’s Editorial Team and published in 2014. It has been updated for relevancy. 

hiscec_aboutsmallThe Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce is a business to business membership-based business association focused on providing tools and solutions to members to increase their presence online. The Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce offers Internet marketing services that help you to promote your products/services; to build business relationships and to collaborate with potential clients via an exclusive social network and it helps you to increase your sales using the e-commerce and marketing tools that are available for premium members.

Mexican tacos social media for small businesses

Social media for small businesses, a must-do or die

Social media for small businesses has become an imperative in today’s competitive business world. Here are some tips from four experts in the field. 

“Who has time for Twitter and Facebook?” a Hispanic restaurant owner once asked me. His reasoning? All his clients were local, he was in a very good and visible location well-known for his “authentic Mexican food,” and he was working at full capacity. The man was right in all his assertions; however, if there is something in life you can count on, that something is change.

Mexican tacos social media for small businesses

Six months later, a big fast food Mexican chain opened a store half mile down the road. The novelty and the quick service together with the promise of “fresh and prepared-on-the-spot” dishes drew half of this restaurant owner’s clients to the new place. The war was on.

Soon my acquaintance realized that the old ways were insufficient to play hard against the chain. Not only had he to bring in new customers but also position his restaurant under a different light. The “authentic Mexican food” needed to be now an “authentic Mexican experience.” However, until those customers stepped in the door, how could he show the change?

Social media for small businesses best tips

Social media offers an array of opportunities for small business owners, providing tools that –although not totally free as they require some time and attention–, are manageable at very low cost with great and unexpected results. Yes, it can be overwhelming if there is little understanding of how to use the tools. Also, it can get discouraging if the tools are not being used properly.

So here are some tips for the beginner as well as the intermediate social media user:

  1. Like many other aspects of your business, you need to learn how to use the tools in order to master social media. Understanding what channel is the most adequate for your type of product, how to reach a local clientage that might be interested in your products and services, and how to adequately promote them needs some thought and know-how. Learn from the experts and apply to your particular craft or service. Attend a workshop at a local chamber of commerce –usually for free– or community college.

Michael Fertik, Forbes Contributor and Founder, & Owner, Reputation.com

“Small businesses should identify strong social influencers – bloggers that your customers read, individuals with robust followers – and start engaging with them.  Follow them on their social channels to spark a return follow.  Share their content.  Comment thoughtfully, respectfully and without self-promotion on posts multiple times a week.  As time goes on, the door for conversation will open – as will opportunities for more meaningful engagement like sharing new milestones or promotions, guest blogging or even reciprocal commentary on your posts,” says Michael Fertik, Social Media expert at Forbes (Is Social Media Worth It for Small Businesses?)

2. Once you choose the channels you want to work on, invest time and some dinero in a good page design. It should look as good as your business looks when a customer shows up at your location. A beauty parlor can share pictures of their popular haircuts and hairdos using Pinterest or a video on YouTube to demonstrate how a technique is done. While it is hard to share a recipe in 140 characters on Twitter, you can ask your Twitter followers to make comments about your place, ambiance, music or whatever makes your restaurant attractive in exchange for an offer or coupon. A real estate agent or broker can target potential local customers by showing listings, asking clients to give testimonials and providing tips on how to prepare a home for a quick sale.

Shantosh Kanekar social media for small businesses

Shantosh Kanekar, Advisor to Hedge Funds, Startups & CEOs

“Find out what is relevant to your customer’s life and give them the information that they want.

  • Are you a hiking gear company? Great. Talk about the best hikes in your local area and the world. Talk about the issues which are commonly faced by hikers. Develop Trust. Then weave in your gear story.
  • Are you a corner restaurant? Talk about the latest food trends in your local area and around. Make videos of how you are making your signature dishes. Show your chef visiting the market for picking up his recipe.
  • Are you an accountancy firm? Share the latest in small business accounting. Make your partners generate a video which simplifies complex tax issues. Share how you can help them through your Facebook posts.

Content which helps your buyer journey has to be the focus of your social media.Content is the step before Conversion,” says Santosh Kanekar, Startup Mentor, Leadership Coach and Author, Contributor at Entrepreneur (Social Media Trends for Small Businesses in 2017).

You might be interested: Lorraine Ladish uses social media to build community

3. In Latino culture, personal relationships are important. In person, a handshake, a greeting and a warm voice can close a deal. Be yourself on social media, talk about the issues that matter to you, as a business owner but also as a person. Let your potential customers know who you really are and trust you before they step into your door. Social media is not only a way to offer products and services; it is mainly a way of building relationships.

 

Ted Rubin

“The real value of social media is the SOCIAL part. That means having conversations with your followers, responding to them, interacting and engaging with them. It boils down to what seems like an obvious statement – to get a return on relationships with social media you have to be social. Ted knows this is a seemingly obvious thing to say, but as he tells me in the interview, “Ray, I’ll make this real simple. Almost everything I preach, almost everything I talk about, people can look at me and say, ‘Well, that’s common sense.’ But the truth of the matter is, common sense? It’s not very common.”

Knowing that the key to accruing ROR is communication, interaction, and engagement with customers, you might say to yourself – I don’t have the time (or the money) to communicate with everyone! Well, you don’t have to. Earlier we told you that return on relationships is “both perceived and real” and THAT is the trick,” says expert SM Guru Ted Rubin, who coined the Return on Relationship ROR benchmark (Ted Rubin on How to Maximize your Return on Relationships) 

4. Follow up with your fans as you would do with a client who visited you at your business. Give them feedback, ask for feedback. Contact them for their services and get truly interested in what they do or have to offer. Social media is a two-way street, not a window to show off.

Brian Hughes social media for small businesses

Brian Hughes, CEO and founder, Integrity Marketing & Consulting

“Small businesses need to have a solid online presence if they expect to be successful. 36% of people surveyed in the study indicated that they might choose not to do business with those small businesses that have no website. This is true for many industries. Small businesses need to be active on social media. It’s crucial to respond to critical reviews to keep customers. The study found that close to one in five respondents will avoid small businesses that are unresponsive to critical comments about the business,” says Brian Hughes, CEO, Founder, Digital Marketing Expert at Integrity Marketing & Consulting (Reality Check: Small Businesses Must Be Using Social Media). 

Increase your networking opportunities and contact those new potential clients afterwards on social media. Meet and greet other Latino entrepreneurs as well as general market businesses to exchange product offers, services and ideas. Don’t miss this opportunity to promote your business in style!

 

Holiday sales social media

Increase Holiday sales Tweet your small business away

Holiday sales social mediaThe Holiday season is fast approaching and small businesses are getting ready to make “their season.” However, with a harsh competition out there and the big stores advancing their offers sooner and sooner –many are already offering “Black Friday” bargains– small businesses might find themselves in a crunch. If you are still relying –and paying– for traditional advertising, like newspaper ads and fliers, or trusting that word-of-mouth will bring you the clients you need, perhaps this is the perfect time to try social media.

Stand out from the crowd!

Through social media free platforms, you can advertise, brand and build your local business, increase profits and hopefully start a promotional campaign that will help you stand out from the crowd and transform local customer into loyal clients.

Increase sales through social media

If you are not using social media, you’re missing out big time. Mobile and web technology allow you to network with new local customer who might be out there willing to purchase your products and services but do not have you in their scope of interest or, worse yet, they don’t even know you exist!

Utilizing these resources will allow your small business to communicate with local customers at no cost, while creating engaging relationships. You may reach people who live and work in your immediate area of influence by creating dynamic profiles, updating your social media accounts and interacting with them to create new relationships.

Do I know all of my followers or have I met with them? Most of the time, my best social media “friends” are people who share some of my interests, we have a common goal or we support each other’s effort to reach out to people who share the same interests.

When I participate in social media, not only I contribute content that I believe would be helpful to all my readers but I also support and “share” or “retweet” what other people is offering, sharing or selling.

Each channel has benefits, advantages and disadvantages. For instance, Twitter is an excellent channel to engage customers and get customer feedback. You can engage then with certain offerings and ask them to give you their opinion or value your business. Can’t beat this free marketing research/opinion focus groups!

By engaging with followers and making changes to your services or offerings, you show that you take their opinions seriously and value their comments.

Complaints can also be addressed immediately through social media. Be aware, though, that some people might use social media to complaint about your business just to take advantage of you. Do you due diligence and make sure their complaint is legitimate. Also, look at their social media profile and see if they are a “chronic” complainer. Handling frustrations might show other customers that you care, but consider taking some conversations offline, especially if you suspect they are illegitimate or might become contentious.

Whether you are a newbie or have tried using social media before with little results, don’t get discouraged! Learn the best strategies to engage local customers and convert them to loyal clients! Register today to learn from a pro! Click on the picture to register now!

Engage with social media Lorraine C Ladish

Engage with social media Lorraine C Ladish

 

HPNG AliCuri

Hispanic Professionals Networking Group

HPNG AliCuri

The Hispanic Professionals Networking Group provides opportunities for Hispanic professionals to grow their networks and develop their careers.

HPNG hosts networking events and offers professional and personal development workshops that address Latino-specific issues.

HPNG workshops include career and leadership development, financial planning and investing, real estate matters, legal matters, networking and other topics. As an event production company, HPNG also creates custom business events for clients with their own branding.

 

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

You’re invited to the HPNG Entrepreneurs Networking Event on October 2nd in New York.

We all know gaining access to the right people and resources is key for any entrepreneurs’ success, but how do you finance your company’s expansion if you’ve exhausted traditional avenues for funding? A possible solution could be angel investors.

Angel investors is a term mostly associated with technology ventures, and that may be why non-tech companies have not utilized this resource, Latino entrepreneurs in particular.

At this upcoming HPNG Entreprenuers Networking Event, we learn from a leading member of the Harvard Business School Latino Alumni Association/HBS Alumni Angels Association how to manage the process of pitching angel investors and how angel investors can be key your business growth. Like every process, there’s an art to every pitch and proposal, join us and learn how to best align yourself with the know-how to move forward with growing your business.

Tomorrow at 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Elmo Restaurant
156 Seventh Ave, New York, New York 10011


Don’t miss it, I’ll see you there!

Lorraine-C-Ladish_portraitsmall

Lorraine Ladish uses social media to build community

 

Lorraine C. Ladish at Hispana Leadership Institute Conference in Dallas, TX

Lorraine C. Ladish at Hispana Leadership Institute Conference in Dallas, TX

 

Lorraine C. Ladish; Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Viva Fifty, is a bilingual author of 17 books, writer, editor, speaker & social media maven.

A bilingual community that celebrates being 50+,  Viva Fifty! empowers middle age women to enjoy life and realize their dreams, showing that age is not a barrier to anything they want to accomplish.

“Viva Fifty is the realization of my dream to build a bilingual and multicultural community that celebrates life and the joy that midlife can entail. My hope is that we can inspire and empower one another to thrive in health and happiness. To that end I invite writers, bloggers and readers alike to share their stories and ideas on how to live life to the fullest, because fifty is not the new thirty. Fifty is the new fifty. And life at fifty is grand!,” says Ladish in the introduction to her site.

With weekly articles and posts on subjects and issues that matter to her target audience, Ladish continues to bring to her readership important news, ideas and personal stories that inspire and educate.

Most importantly, she says, “I promise we’ll do our best to make you feel at home and help you enrich your life, and to give YOU a voice.”

Ladish was previously Editor-in-Chief of Mamiverse.com, the award-winning online hub for Latina moms. She has contributed to People en Español, La Palma of The Palm Beach Post, NBC Latino, Babycenter and Redbook, and was the managing editor of VOXXI Mujer, an online news site for English-speaking Hispanics. She lives in Sarasota, FL with her quirky blended family.

latinas networking

The power of Latina networking

latinas networkingWhether you run a small storefront business or a large corporation, or are looking for a job or a career change, the power of networking can unlock startling opportunities and bring new business or unexpected professional options.

Learning from two successful Latinas who have built their careers through their networking skills could give you easy ideas to follow and help you find your own networking style. Read more

Latinas Empowering Latinas

Latinas empowering LatinasLatinas Empowering Latinas group is to unite, encourage, support, inform and empower Latinas around the world!  We will come together to encourage and offer inspiration to women in their daily struggles.  Together, Latinas Empowering Latinas is here for all of us!!
Please feel free to promote your businesses and notify us of accomplishing goals, such as completing education or achieving careers!
Together Latinas Empowering Latinas’ mission is to make sure that we are not alone! That together we can offer each other the strength and courage to live our life and our journeys to our fullest potential.