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How to become an influencer and advance your business

I was recently asked by an acquaintance to provide the “secret” to becoming an influencer within a community. I responded that while I consider myself a big fish in a very small pond, the process that I follow can scale and provide big fish in a big pond results.

Pope-Francis-Catholic-Church-of-England-and-Wales-CC influencer

Pope Frances, one of the greatest influencers of our times.

The following are the six steps that I have found to be effective in creating influence within a community. I believe that anyone can follow these steps to begin their journey towards becoming an influencer:

1. Determine the industry/segment in which you wish to become an influencer:

There’s a difference between being famous and being an influencer. O.J. Simpson was and continues to be famous. Better yet, infamous. John Wooden was an influencer. In the sports industry today who do you think is more successful in influencing the community – even posthumously? Wooden, of course. Influencers must choose a community upon which they will focus and serve. They must respect that community and the community must have no reason to disrespect them. While future influencers need not be experts in community matters, they must eventually evolve into subject matter experts before they earn influencer status.

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2. Create content that demonstrates your thought leadership and expertise:

Influencers within any community/industry generally have expert knowledge of matters within their domain. The masses listen and act on the advice of influencers specifically because they are experts. Whether their expertise relates to accounting, art or lipstick, influencers are perceived as being subject matter experts. Individuals seeking influencer status must demonstrate their mastery to the community/industry. In today’s content driven world this means that expertise should be evidenced in one or more content formats, including but not limited to, blog posts, whitepapers, videos, podcasts or any other form of content that is preferred by the community. Expertise and thought leadership must come through clearly in order for the community to adopt the individual as an influencer.

3. Develop public relations to put a face to the name:

Something I continually tell attendees at my workshops is that people do business with people. And people are influenced by people. While the Internet, social media and its many forms of content are essential, at the very core we want human interaction. Individuals seeking tocreatetheirplaceintheinfluencer Hall of Fame must ensure that they walk away from their computer screens and actually meet the community they are looking to serve. Through speaking engagements, networking functions and other face-to-face interactions influencers-in-process can help generate needed buzz from those individuals that read the book or saw the video or heard the podcast and have now put a face with a name. Big time influencers will tell you that it is not possible to meet the entire community or respond to every email, tweet or message. But they will also tell you that they invest time interacting as much as possible.

influencer

Photo credits (Top L to Bottom R) Susana G Baumann at Univision 41 Studios; Susana with Yvonne Garcia, ALPFA National Chair; Susana with Nina Vacca, CEO Pinnacle Group and Pres Emeritus US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Susana with the NAA American Latina Leadership Caucus and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.


4. Build your list:

One of the most valuable investments an influencer can make is to sign up for an account with Mailchimp, Constant Contact or some other email program. Consideration should be given to capturing contact information with the release of every piece of content. Show me a successful influencer and I will show you an effective contact database. In today’s social media world it is also important to develop followings in-platform. This means growing connections, likes, followers, etc. Both email lists and social media platforms are essential to the distribution of content that reinforces influencer status as well as grows influence through sharing.

5. Create collaborations/partnerships:

The biggest mistake an influencer-in-training can make is assume that he/she must do it all alone. In today’s democratized world where a dishwasher has as much of a chance of being an influencer as a billionaire, there are many opportunities for collaboration. Something that my Two Men In Your Business co-host Aaron M. Sanchez and I do frequently with our workshops is to bring in others with an expertise that fits our program. We promote those individuals to our following and they do the same with theirs resulting in greater reach and broader influence. The concept of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours is an effective tool for developing influence.

Elianne Ramos, one of the most influential Latina in politics, with Susana G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us at Hispanicize 2015.

Elianne Ramos, one of the most influential Latinas in politics, with Susana G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us at Hispanicize 2015.

6. Remain active and innovative: 

The first five steps above represent the tactics necessary to establish oneself as an influencer. However, in order to remain successful the tactics must be consistently applied and revised based on feedback. An influencer is not a state – it is a way of life. Successful influencers are consistently seeking new ways to grow their community, new approaches to deliver content, new presentations of old content and the development of new content and ideas.

Using these six tactics will allow anyone to develop into an influencer. I credit my big fish in a small pond success to these tactics. Perhaps it’s time to move to a bigger pond!

 

Jesse Torres has been named to the list of the Top 20 Most Influential Community Bankers in Social Media. The title was bestowed by the Independent Community Bankers of America.

 

Pope-Francis-Catholic-Church-of-England-and-Wales-CC

6 Steps to become an influencer and advance your cause

Pope Francis, a massive influencer, in front of the Vatican.

Pope Francis, a massive influencer, in front of the Vatican.

I was recently asked by an acquaintance to provide the “secret” to becoming influential within a community. I responded that while I consider myself a big fish in a very small pond, the process that I follow can scale and provide big fish in a big pond results.

The following are the six steps that I have found to be effective in creating influence within a community. I believe that anyone can follow these steps to begin their journey towards becoming an influencer:

  1. Determine the industry/segment in which you wish to become an influencer.There’s a difference between being famous and being an influencer. O.J. Simpson was and continues to be famous. Better yet, infamous. John Woodenwasaninfluencer. In the sports industry today who do you think is more successful in influencing the community – even posthumously? Wooden, of course. Influencers must choose a community upon which they will focus and serve. They must respect that community and the community must have no reason to disrespect them. While future influencers need not be experts in community matters, they must eventually evolve into subjectmatterexpertsbeforetheyearninfluencer status.

    USHCC Nina Vaca, one of the most influential Latina business owners, and  Susana G Baumann LatinasinBusiness.us in Las Vegas 2014

    USHCC Nina Vaca, one of the most influential Latina business owners, and Susana G Baumann LatinasinBusiness.us in Las Vegas 2014

  2. Create content that demonstrates your thought leadership and expertise.Influencers within any community/industry generally have expert knowledge of matters within their domain. The masses listen and act on the advice of influencers specifically because they are experts. Whether their expertise relates to accounting, art or lipstick, influencers are perceived as being subject matter experts. Individuals seeking influencer status must demonstrate their mastery to the community/industry. In today’s content driven world this means that expertise should be evidenced in one or more content formats, including but not limited to, blog posts, whitepapers, videos, podcasts or any other form of content that is preferred by the community. Expertise and thought leadership must come through clearly in order for the community to adopt the individual as an influencer.
  3. Develop public relations to put a face to the name.Something I continually tell attendees at my workshops is that people do business with people. And people are influenced by people. While the Internet, social media and its many forms of content are essential, at the very core we want human interaction. Individuals seeking tocreatetheirplaceintheinfluencer Hall of Fame must ensure that they walk away from their computer screens and actually meet the community they are looking to serve. Through speaking engagements, networking functions and other face-to-face interactions influencers-in-process can help generate needed buzz from those individuals that read the book or saw the video or heard the podcast and have now put a face with a name. Big time influencers will tell you that it is not possible to meet the entire community or respond to every email, tweet or message. But they will also tell you that they invest time interacting as much as possible.

    Nelly Galan (R), influencer and founder of the Adelante Movement, with Susana G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us

    Nely Galan (R), influencer and founder of the Adelante Movement, with Susana G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us at Hispanicize 2015

  4. Build your list.One of the most valuable investments an influencer can make is to sign up for an account with Mailchimp, Constant Contact or some other email program. Consideration should be given to capturing contact information with the release of every piece of content. Show me a successful influencer and I will show you an effective contact database. In today’s social media world it is also important to develop followings in-platform. This means growing connections, likes, followers, etc. Both email lists and social media platforms are essential to the distribution of content that reinforces influencer status as well as grows influence through sharing.
  5. Create collaborations/partnerships.The biggest mistake an influencer-in-training can make is assume that he/she must do it all alone. In today’s democratized world where a dishwasher has as much of a chance of being an influencer as a billionaire, there are many opportunities for collaboration. Something that my Two Men In Your Business co-host Aaron M. Sanchez and I do frequently with our workshops is to bring in others with an expertise that fits our program. We promote those individuals to our following and they do the same with theirs resulting in greater reach and broader influence. The concept of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours is an effective tool for developing influence.

    Elianne Ramos, one of the most influential Latina in politics, with Susana G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us at Hispanicize 2015.

    Elianne Ramos, one of the most influential Latinas in politics, with Susana G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us at Hispanicize 2015.

  6. Remain active and innovative.The first five steps above represent the tactics necessary to establish oneself as an influencer. However, in order to remain successful the tactics must be consistently applied and revised based on feedback. An influencer is not a state – it is a way of life. Successful influencers are consistently seeking new ways to grow their community, new approaches to deliver content, new presentations of old content and the development of new content and ideas.

Using these six tactics will allow anyone to develop into an influencer. I credit my big fish in a small pond success to these tactics. Perhaps it’s time to move to a bigger pond!

Jesse Torres has been named to the list of the Top 20 Most Influential Community Bankers in Social Media. The title was bestowed by the Independent Community Bankers of America.

 

With Christie and Piera from Latino Mom Bloggers

Hispanicize 2015 reaching new heights in Latino events (photo gallery)

Welcome to Miami

Finally I arrived at Newark airport on Saturday night at around 8pm, despite my fear of cancellations after the Northeast snow storm on Friday. It was over, now back to reality.

During the week I did not have a lot of opportunity to think about the event itself; you just live it, inhale it, and enjoy it as much as you can. Needless to say, now that it has come to an end, tiredness sinks in and voila, you start recalling.

First, kudos to the Hispanicize 2015 team for a very professionally run conference! Managing an event this large and this long, moving people, hosting celebrities, finding venues, and having a Latino event running on time and on schedule for a week? That is almost a Superhero achievement!

I guess you need a grandiose mind –in a good sense- to imagine and then make such an experience tangible for hundreds of people who only attend the event to be pampered and indulged. Every little detail was taking care of, from device chargers to great food and fantastic entertainment, every day, all week.

Starting with the venue, the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami, the place was not only large and comfortable enough but also serviced with excellence. (How did they perfectly cook those fillet mignons for at least 500 people, all served at the same time?)

Intercontinental Hotel rooftop

Intercontinental Hotel rooftop

Sound, lights, technology, all worked seamlessly every time. You expect something to go wrong and that would be perfectly OK in such a large event but al least in what I was able to see or hear –I couldn’t clone myself to be in every session or every show-, I did not hear major complaints. And if problems were encountered or mistakes were made, a casual observer like me was left totally unaware.

Sessions and panel discussions deserve a separate paragraph. Although most sessions were well attended, I found that content was uneven and there was no way to know ahead of time. Maybe making attendees aware that discussion would be generic or for newbie bloggers could help –but I’m not sure if such warning is possible.

Discussions around monetization and working with brands, for instance, were pretty generic and lacked specificity. For new bloggers who are just starting, I would have preferred a little more guidance. Yes, you could pick something here and there but guidance to devise a strategy on working with agencies or brands would have been really helpful. After all, attendees were paying a lot of money to acquire solid knowledge, so brands should really make an effort to openly discuss those strategies.

Looking for Latinas in business, I attended a few panels and I found some discussions really interesting, such as the Public Roundtable with the Nation’s Most Powerful Latina Journalists moderated by Mercedes Soler, News anchor, CNN en español. They spoke about their trajectory as women and as Latinas in media, and how they broke glass ceiling and became a media professional in their own right. A very inspiring session of some of my favorite media Latinas –Maria Elena Salinas, Co-anchor, Noticiero Univision, Shirley Vazquez, Latina magazine Executive Editor, Cynthia Hudson, Sr VP CNN en español, and the friendly Myriam Marquez, Ex Editor at El Nuevo Herald, with whom I shared lunch right before the panel. Kudos to these magnificent ladies who opened doors for all of the rest!

Hispanicize 2015 Latina Journalist panel 2

Hispanicize 2015 Latina Journalist panel

Another excellent panel was the Uncap Your Happiness (presented by Coca-Cola) with Sonja Lyubormisky, University of California, Maria Celeste, Telemundo, Nataly Arias, Colombian National Team, Alba Adamo, Group Director of Hispanic Markets at Coca-Cola, and the extraordinary Nelly Galan, from The Adelante Movement. They all brought an insight of what it means to be happy and how each person can become the true maker of their own happiness.

My favorite time of each day? Latinnovators awards was a special moment when the conference stopped to play tribute to the big ones, those who have made it through hard work and persistence. If there is a value our Latino community should never leave behind is the care for others. We are a caring community, and the words of wisdom from Don Francisco, Arturo Guzman or Ciurana talking about their total commitment with their careers and their communities was not only inspiring but bello, muy bello!

Regrets? So sorry I missed Lori Ruff @loriruff, the Chief Brand Evangelist for ALPFA.org and LinkedIn Diva. I was really looking forward to meeting her!

Thanks for MacDonalds Cruise @MeEncanta

Thanks for MacDonalds Cruise @MeEncanta

A shout out to all my fabulous Latina Twitter friends who I finally met in person –they looked so familiar I swear it seemed I have known them forever: Elianne Ramos, the incredible and laureate @ergeekgoddess; Lynn Ponder, @ponderful –who won three, yes, three TECLA Awards–; Melanie La Bloguera, @melaniegonzalez; Elaine de Valle, @newschica, who won TECLA with Political Cortadito –and with whom we share some journalistic history–;  Cathy Cano-Murillo, @craftychica; Liza Monet Morales, @xoxoLiza; and Jeannette Kaplun, @jeannettekaplun.

The incredible Latina Mom Bloggers, @latinamombloggers, Piera Jolly, CEO and co-founder of Latina Mom Bloggers Network;  Cristy Clavijo-Kish and her twin daughters; and Angela Sustaita-Ruiz announced their new venture, DiMe Media Inc. to conduct customized digital campaigns and expand the relationship between bloggers and brands.

In my view, Hispanicize has raised the bar for every Latino event from now on; I would even dare to say, for every event period. It has reached the levels of excellence that all of us should aspire to achieve in our every day activity. Many generations of Latinos have worked very hard to get here, and Hispanicize is another proof that Latinos  we deserve the place we have earned on the national stage.

Click on any picture to see the photo gallery!

 

Latinas to follow on Twitter 2015

15 Latinas to follow on Twitter in 2015

Latinas to follow on Twitter 2015

Latinas to follow on Twitter 2015

By Lorraine C. Ladish

Who’s trending on Twitter? Who should you follow? Here are a few of the fabulous Latinas I follow and the reasons why. Younger, older, English-dominant, Spanish-speaking or bilingual. Moms, single and childless, bloggers, entrepreneurs, foodies … There’s one of each. This is by no means in order of rank or an exhaustive list. But since it’s all about spreading the word of what our fierce Latinas are doing in the Twitterverse, here goes:

[Continue reading here ]

 

 

Lorraine-C-Ladish_portraitsmallLorraine C. Ladish is a bilingual author of 17 books, writer and editor, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Viva Fifty! Lorraine was most recently editor-in-chief of Mamiverse. She has contributed to People en Español, La Palma of The Palm Beach Post, NBC Latino, Babycenter and Redbook, among others. She was also managing editor of VOXXI Mujer, an online news site for English-speaking Hispanics. She is based in Sarasota, Florida, with her quirky blended family.