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2021 WEES

THRIVE! What to expect from deep-dive workshops at 2021 WEES

Don’t miss out on these fantastic deep-dive workshops and our signature peer-to-peer networking sessions at the 2021 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit!

2021 WEES, deep-dive workshops

Register for the 2021 WEES to participate in deep-dive workshops in three key areas: Personal Power, Financial Wellness, and Business Innovation.

This year’s 2021 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit theme is, “THRIVE! Imperatives Shaping the Future of Women Entrepreneurs.” The theme is reflective of the changes and trends generated by the COVID19 pandemic and the event will bring together corporations, minority women entrepreneurs, and students to take advantage of tools and insights that will propel YOU forward to THRIVE in the “new normal.” 

This must-attend hybrid event will feature a variety of deep-dive workshops in three key areas: Personal Power, Financial Wellness, and Business Innovation. Then, after each workshop session, take part in our signature Peer-to-Peer Networking Sessions, where you will have the opportunity to engage with the Workshop Facilitators and share your own best practices in a collaborative group learning discussion. 

2021 WEES

Register Now to save your spot so you too can gain the tools to THRIVE! 

Join us for our Deep Dive Workshops! 

Are you ready to THRIVE? Make the jump to a better you by joining us for our deep-dive workshop sessions. Choose your path from PERSONAL POWER, FINANCIAL WELLNESS, and BUSINESS INNOVATION. 

SESSION 1 Workshops

PERSONAL POWER – Taking Care of Your Inner Self: The Road to Resilience (2:00 PM – 2:30 PM) 

How to harness your potential by learning how to manage stress, personal care, and relationships. These insights will help you empower your business, career, and life beyond the pandemic.

 

Jennifer Garcia, Interim CEO at Latino Business Action (LBAN)

FINANCIAL WELLNESS – Getting to Series A: Advancing your Business to the Next Stage of Growth (2:00 PM – 2:30 PM)

You may have launched your business with seed capital, which was invested by friends, family, or your own savings. Now it’s time to attract investors for the next stage of growth. Learn what Series A can do for your business, if it’s right for you and how to go about securing this crucial funding for your next stage of growth.

Speaker: Jennifer Garcia, Iterim CEO, LBAN

BUSINESS INNOVATION – Sustainability and Digital Transformation: Upgrading your Tech to Optimize your Business Performance (2:00 PM – 2:30 PM)

Google is not just a brand; it is a verb! Have you tried to “Google” your business?” Have you ever wondered how potential customers can find your business online but never dared to try?

In this workshop, you will learn how Google Search works and how you can improve your website’s visibility with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The session also introduces products like Google My Business, Google Trends, Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Ads, and more.

You might be interested: 2021 WEES: Announcing THRIVE! Men’s panel speakers 

SESSION 2 Workshops

Speaker: Dr Ginny A. Baro, PhD, Executive Bound, Author, Healing Leadership

PERSONAL POWER – The Sandwich Generation: Thrive while Homeschooling, Caregiving and Running a Business (4:00 PM – 4:30 PM) 

A recent study found that school closures, stay-at-home orders and balancing family responsibilities disproportionately affected working moms more than fathers. In this workshop, we will learn ways to tackle the tough decisions, unique anxieties and challenges women still have to face while trying to balance many priorities as we approach a post-COVID world.

Speaker: Dr Ginny A. Baro, PhD, Executive Bound, Author, Healing Leadership

FINANCIAL WELLNESS – Why Am I Not a Million Dollar Company? Understanding Alternative Sources of Funding  (4:00 PM – 4:30 PM) 

After years of running your business, do you find yourself asking, “Why Am I Not a Million Dollar Company?” Ask the Experts instead!

You know you need capital to expand, hire and prototype new products. We’ll explore funding options to help you grow your business to where you always knew you could be: a million-dollar company.

BUSINESS INNOVATION – Bottom Line: Sustainable Practices that Increase Your Business Bottom Line  (4:00 PM – 4:30 PM) 

Integrating sustainable practices into a company’s operations can not only motivate employee engagement and encourage technological solutions, but it can also actually save the company money. Find out which sustainability practices you can readily implement without increasing your overhead and boost your company’s bottom line.

Take center stage with our Peer-to-Peer Networking Sessions

Each workshop session will be followed by a networking and group discussion session. Take center stage at this multi-participant discussion with the Workshop Facilitators! Attendees have the opportunity to engage with the Facilitators and each other by sharing their feedback and voicing their reactions to the content.

Participants are encouraged to share their own best practices with the group related to the topic discussed on the panel. This Peer-to-Peer Sharing is a tried-and-true collaborative learning experience that helps everyone expand their business knowledge.

The time to THRIVE is now! Register for #2021 WEES today!

resources for Latinas in business

10 Free online resources for Latinas and other women small business

Latinas are unstoppable! That’s why we decided to bring you these 10 free online resources for Latinas in business, to take your business to the next level. Of course, if you are a woman entrepreneur or small business owner, you can also take advantage of these resources! 

resources for Latinas in business

10 Free Online Resources For Latinas In Business

If you’re looking for the best free online resources for Latinas in business, that means you are serious about business! Let us show you the best resources we’ve found so far for Latina business owners.

We know there are a lot of specialized tools out there, but when we are starting with our business we need to save every penny we get. That’s why we wanted to create this list of free resources to help your business grow: 

Marketing Resources

These are some of the most useful platforms to get the marketing part of your business right on your first try.

Hubspot’s Website Grader

free resources,

This free tool allows you to analyze your most important customer touchpoints. It looks at things like SEO or responsive design and gives you a grade from 1 to 100. 

This is a particularly useful tool if you are not sure why you are not getting visitors or conversions. In short, this tool tells you which areas are working and which ones don’t.

SocialOomph

When dealing with multiple social media accounts, this is a very useful tool that can help you keep track of what you post and where. 

This tool also lets you schedule your posts and it offers you a keyword tracker. If you are starting your business and don’t want to lose track of your social media interaction, the free version of Social Oomph is for you.

Google Keyword Planner

free resources

Good ol’ google! This tool is designed to help you deal with everything related to SEO. It gives you some valuable insight into keywords and search trends. This platform can even help you predict if which keywords will work the best for you. It is free to use, but you need to have a Google Adwords account.

Free Digital Design Resources

If you don’t want to invest in a Graphic Designer, we have 3 options that can help you get a professional-looking webpage or post, in minutes.

Canva

free resources

By this time, you should have heard about it. It is a very friendly platform that allows you to create some basic design. The best part is there are a lot of pre-made designs! You can just take one, change text and images, and that’s it! 

Elementor

This is a web design platform that you can use in your WordPress website. It lets you create your page, and add images and text by just dragging boxes.

Once you got your WordPress account you just have to download and install Elementor and you can start improving your webpage. The biggest benefit of this platform is you don’t have to know anything about code or graphic design to create an amazing site.

LogoMakr

When you start a business, getting a proper logo can be expensive. So if you want to have just a quick logo to start your Facebook or Instagram page, you can use Logomakr. This tool lets you make very basic designs, add text and create simple, but colorful logos for your business.

free resources

Business Development Resources

Platforms and resources that can get your business on its feet or support you to make it bigger.

SBA 

The Small business Administration of America helps people to manage, star, build or grow their businesses.

This institution has been with us since 1953, bringing aid, counsel, and protecting small business owner concerns.

You might be interested: SBA to Prioritize Smallest of Small Businesses in Paycheck Protection Program

SCORE

SCORE is a non-profit organization and partner of the Small Business Administration. This platform is a huge network of volunteers and business mentors that has helped thousands of businesses to grow or get started since 1964. While they have some paid products, most of their programs are offered at no cost.

Hispanic Online Marketing

While the platform offers many services at a cost, their blog contains a lot of useful resources and network opportunities for Hispanic people.

As they put it, they feature best practices, case studies, and research.

Resources For Training

It is always a smart decision to improve constantly, that’s why we have these free resources for you

Association Of Women’s Business Centers

This is an association that works to give economic justice and business opportunities for women. The AWBC also provides training, mentoring, and business development for women in business. 

National Hispanic Media Coalition

This is a non-profit organization that has helped create new business opportunities for Latin people. They focus specifically on Latin concerns within the entertainment industry.

Ser Mujer

In 2014 Ser Mujer was born as a program to empower women entrepreneurship inside the US. This organization collaborates with other non-profits to provide women with educational and business resources.

Funding Resources For Latinas

There are many banks and companies that offer funding plans for the Latino Community.

Wells Fargo

This famous bank has an interesting funding program focused specifically on small businesses. Here you’ll find tips, tools, and guidance to take your business to the next step.

ACCION.org

ACCION.org provides loans and can help you connect with other business owners. ACCION is a large nationwide nonprofit network in the United States that can guide you to achieve your business goals.

Kapor Capital

Kapor is an Oakland-based fund that provides support to startup companies. They provide business owners with funding, but also with education, innovation, or justice.

Network Resources

Pages and platforms that can connect you with other Latinxs entrepreneurs.

CHCI

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute is dedicated to developing Latino leaders in the business industry. It provides leadership, public services, and advocates for the Latino community in the US.

Hispanic Women’s Corporation

The HWC was founded as a response to all the obstacles Latinas face when trying to start a business. This corporation founded in 1981 aims to share experiences and resources amongst the Latin community.

Latin Business Association

A private non-profit organization that’s one of the most active Latin business communities. This organization represents over 800,000 Latino-owned businesses in California.

Conclusion

Succeeding in business as a Latina is completely possible! And with these free online resources for Latinas in business, you will get the business of your dreams in no time!

Did we leave something out? Let us know in the comments!

Written by the team at Chavez Web Design, LLC

_______________________________________

Sources

women-in-tech

Rosario B. Casas is closing digital divide for Hispanics with #Brooklyn2Bogota

Brooklyn2Bogota is a digital incubator for Hispanic business owners created by BCPartnersTech and led by women-in-tech advocate Rosario B. Casas and Felipe Andrés Forero Hauzeur. The program aims to help close the digital divide post-COVID for business owners and entrepreneurs by focusing on empowerment, digital transformation, and business growth through a variety of activities and mentor lectures. 

women-in-tech

Rosario at TEDxTalk. (Photo courtesy Rosario B. Casas)

Women-In-Tech advocate Rosario B. Casas 

Brooklyn2Bogota leaders Rosario B. Casas and husband Felipe Andrés Forero Hauzeur. (Photo courtesy Rosario B. Casas)

Award-winning women-in-tech advocate, Rosario B. Casas is Co-Founder of Business Creative Partners, BCPartnersTech, leading digital adoption and transformation for Hispanic owned businesses. She is a Colombian-born serial entrepreneur, now based in New-York, with over 8 years of practical experience in data and technology platforms and management roles.  

In addition to BCPartnersTech, Rosario is also Co-Founder and CEO of  XR Americas, a company dedicated to expanding the borders of immersive technologies –Virtual Reality, Augmented, Mixed– in industrial applications. Rosario is a Colombian entrepreneur based now in New York.

As a champion and enthusiastic advocate for women-in-technology, she is obsessed with finding more women and Hispanics using technology to solve key global challenges. To further encourage and support women-in-tech, Rosario has co-founded several strategic partnership models, serves as a member of the Big Data Advisory Board at Rutgers University, and has been a lecturer at TEDx, The World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship , and The World Innovation Network TWIN Global, among others.

You might be interested: Venezuelan tech entrepreneur revolutionizes social storytelling with video-sharing app FlickPlay

How #Brooklyn2Bogota is empowering Hispanic business owners 

Brookly2Bogota is a community for digital transformation and business growth founded by Hispanic talent. Focusing on empowering business owners in the areas of Leadership, Products, and Growth the Digital Incubator Cohort offers valuable insights and guidance to participants through a series of lectures and discussions with mentors and experts as well as various activities and networking opportunities. 

digital incubator

Women-in-tech leader Rosario B. Casas is building a community for the digital transformation and business growth of Hispanic entrepreneurs. (Photo courtesy Rosario B. Casas)

The 8-week Incubation Program was initially created as a tool to help reduce the digital divide post-COVID and strengthen the knowledge of business owners and entrepreneurs, especially of Latino origin – both in the New York / New Jersey area and in Latin America.

The training program provides tools for participants to accelerate the growth of their company in the new digital world post-COVID and carry out the digital transformation they require while acquiring knowledge and skills related to design thinking and agile methodologies.

Focusing on the fundamental pillars of Leadership, Product, and Growth, the incubation process takes place over 8 uninterrupted weeks where entrepreneurs receive receive theoretical sessions and panels of specialized topics, dictated by carefully selected mentors for each area.

The thematic mentoring sessions between members of the Network of Mentors and the companies participating in our programs provide participants with expert knowledge and guidance as they move through the program. The cohort offers both private individual mentoring sessions and open conversations, many of which can be viewed here


Finally, the program provides participants with a private network that brings together the mentors and participants who complete the program. This network allows for further connection, collaboration, and exchange of ideas in the future and continued growth for entrepreneurs and business owners. 

Recently the program completed their first 8-week Digital Incubator Cohort. The first cohort provided 8 weekly closed live sessions and 23 open sessions, over 61 hours of live broadcast time, 93 individual thematic mentoring sessions, and approximately 110 hours of individual thematic mentoring. 

Applications for the second cohort are open now. See here to join.

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

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.

 

saying no stressed woman stress in the workplace

Saying NO should happen more often in your decision-making

I’m going to go on a limb here and bet that you aren’t saying NO enough.  I know this because I used to be in the same spot years ago.  If someone invited me to a networking event, I would go.  A boring dinner party? Yup. I was there. A second date with a girl I knew there wasn’t any chemistry? I would say yes every time.

saying no advice

Especially this last one, I would say yes because I didn’t want to offend anyone by saying No. “If I don’t ask her out on a second date she’s probably going to feel terrible about herself.  I’ll just ask her out again, suck it up for another boring dinner and just let it all fizzle out and make her think it was her idea.”  I was a lifting women’s self-esteem one date at a time.

I still can’t believe how many nights I wasted putting someone else’s happiness over my own.  It got to the point where I was getting burnt out.  Saying yes to everything wears your mind down.

How I changed my life saying No

By chance I came across this article: No more yes. It’s either HELL YEAH! or no.  It changed my life.

Basically the article explains that if you aren’t super excited to do something, saying NO is your only option.  I immediately started implementing that strategy.

Instead of running from event to event, many of which I had no use for, I was very easily able to draw a line in the sand and see which networking events, dinners, job offers, dates, etc. were the right ones for me.  If I wasn’t excited enough to go, I wouldn’t go.

Actually, I would flat out decline saying NO. Period.

Too many options, not enough time

A great study showed how the more options we have, the harder it is for us to pick something.  The study consisted of giving out samples of jelly in a supermarket.  In one, they put out 24 different jars of jelly as samples.  In the other, they only put six jars.  Turns out that the supermarket where they only had six jars outsold the one with 24 different kinds of jelly by a big margin. The experiment proved that the more options we have, the less likely we are to act upon any of them.

The same happens in our life where we are too afraid to cut down our options.  We say yes to everything because we have a “fear of missing out” (FOMO).

This FOMO is what prevents us from saying NO even though we know we can’t or don’t want to do all the things presented to us.   The same goes for jobs.

Most people apply to all the jobs they see even though they know that it’s too far, the pay is too low, not the right industry, etc., etc.  They do this because they don’t want to miss out on a job, even if it’s one that’s going to make you miserable.

saying no stressed woman

Some time ago, I was offered a job at this energy company here in Houston.  During the interview process I found out that my future boss hated working there, the pay was mediocre, and that the company culture was horrible.  When they made me an offer, I swiftly said NO.  Why?  I knew I could get another job offer somewhere else and I didn’t want to deal with an opportunity that put someone else’s happiness over mine.

How I apply saying NO to persuasive interview

Did you know that I’ve turned potential clients away?  Before I take someone as a client, I talk to them for about 10-15 minutes on the phone to know more about their goals and their commitment to getting there.  If I think they are not willing to put in the work, I turn them away.  For real.

Why do I do this?  Because I want to spend my time working with people who are willing to put the work for their own success.  More importantly, I love working with people who are willing to be honest with themselves and step out of their comfort zone.  Think about it this way: if I spend all my time on bad clients, I won’t have time to spend on the good clients.  That’s why I prefer saying NO.

How YOU can also start saying “No”

Saying NO will be hard at first.  FOMO will probably start creeping in as soon as you start to decline and instead of saying “Thank you but I’m not interested” you’ll end up with a “I’ll try to make it!”. Wrong!

First of all, you have to be honest and brave to say NO.  Some people will get offended, however, most will understand if you explain to them your reasons for saying NO.  A simple “Thank you for inviting me but I don’t have time right now” or “I’m focusing on (my job search/dating life/studying for the CPA).

This second option will not only allow you to gracefully decline invitations, it will also give your audience an idea on how they can help you.

Try it.  You’ll see how well it works. Be Bold!

 

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.

 

personal branding

5 Steps to create a personal brand and become a SME

personal branding

Develop your own personal brand to become a subject market expert SME

As a frequent presenter on matters related to marketing and sales, I am often asked for advice on how to become a more effective salesperson. My first words are always the same, “become a subject matter expert!”

Unless the product or service is one-of-a-kind, most salespeople work in an extremely competitive environment. Most companies have at least one competitor. The majority have many. As such, no matter how great the product or service, at the end of the day, most salespeople are selling a commodity!

That’s where recognition as a subject matter expert, or SME, comes in. A subject matter expert is an authority in a particular field. Recognition as a subject matter expert is achieved through a combination of education, experience, and marketing. The role salespeople play every day makes them ideal candidates for SME status. And SME status makes selling less difficult.

People do business with people. Buyers of products and services, whether they are consumers or purchasing agents, prefer to work with someone they know and trust. Subject matter experts, over the course of developing their SME status, have the opportunity to develop the reputation and trust that places them top of mind with buyers. They are top of mind because they are considered the best in the business. And people want to work with the best.

Salespeople that have worked in a particular field for some time likely possess the skills and experience that qualify them as subject matter experts. While these individuals may already consider themselves subject matter experts, many of these individuals fail to position themselves as an SME in the eyes of buyers. As such, they lose sales to others that have proactively promoted themselves.

Philosopher George Berkeley proposed in his 1710 work, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, an argument with which we are all familiar. Berkeley asked us to imagine trees in a park and no one there to “perceive them.” According to Berkeley, “the objects of sense exist only when they are perceived; the trees therefore are in the garden […] no longer than while there is somebody by to perceive them.” In other words, and by mashing up Berkeley with philosopher René Descartes’ 1637 argument, I think therefore I am…but only if there is someone in the garden next to me while I think!

Is someone truly a subject matter expert if no one recognizes that person as a subject matter expert? I say no. Becoming an SME requires a strategy to create a personal brand that results in subject matter expert status.

THE FIVE STEPS TO SME-DOM

Five steps must be taken in order to achieve SME status and rise to the top of mind. None of these steps are new nor are they rocket science. Further, each step requires continuous attention. Each step comprises a portion of the foundation upon which an SME’s reputation is built.

  1. Networking: Salespeople live and die by their network. A robust network can provide a lifetime of leads to salespeople. A network is an SME’s best friend as it is the members of the network that vouch for and recommend the SME.

Much is said about online networking through platforms such as LinkedIn. While LinkedIn and other social networks provide tremendous benefits, salespeople should not abandon the old school face-to-face networking. Many buyers still prefer connecting a face and handshake to an online profile before making a buying decision.

Salespeople should view their network as a garden. A garden that is well maintained through continuous attention will produce beautiful flowers, fruits, and vegetables. A salesperson can make a good living by properly maintaining a network.

Social Marketing Strategist. Global Business and Social Media Keynote Speaker, Customer Evangelist

Ramon De Leon, WOW, Social Marketing Strategist. Global Business and Social Media Keynote Speaker, Customer Evangelist

  1. Credentials: Three elements are required to establish oneself as a subject matter expert: education, experience, and marketing. Having the right credentials fulfills the education component.

The nature of the credentials is dependent upon the field. For example, an SME working in the field of materials science must likely hold a bachelors, masters, or doctorate. On the other hand, an SME working in the professional soccer industry may not be required to hold an advanced degree but instead may be required to hold an advanced certification from a local, regional, or international coaching organization.

Every salesperson must determine the credentials that will be required to earn the respect and SME status of the community. A useful technique for making this determination is to review the LinkedIn profiles of current SMEs. Are there certain degrees and certificates that they hold?

The lack of a certain credential may make earning SME status a bit more difficult. However, it should not deter a salesperson from continuing with the plan to earn SME status. All it will require is compensation in some other area.

For example, a salesperson focused on selling human resources software need not possess a degree in human resources. A compensating factor may be possession of a certificate issued from an HR organization or a degree in a technical field.

  1. Ambassador: Maintaining a robust network and holding the appropriate credentials goes a long way in earning SME status. However, salespeople who are serious about elevating their status must continue down the path by becoming ambassadors of the industry in which they operate.

There are many ways to act as an ambassador. One technique is volunteering with a local, regional, national, or international trade organization. Salespeople can volunteer to assist with membership drives, conferences, and other activities undertaken by the organization.

This type of activity enhances the salesperson’s network, informs the salesperson of emerging challenges, and provides access to other tools such as best practices. This knowledge increases the salesperson’s value to clients and prospective clients.

  1. Accolades: There is nothing better than independent confirmation of SME status. Most industry organizations, as well as business journals, recognize experts and high achievers through some form of accolade. These accolades include the typical “30 Under 30,” 40 Under 40,” Top 10 CEOs, Top 10 CFOs, or some other similar designation bestowed by an industry organization or business journal. An additional source of recognition can be an alma mater.

Those seeking SME status should research the various accolades available and develop a plan to become nominated for an applicable award. While winning such an award can help solidify a salesperson’s role as a subject matter expert, in many cases a nomination can be just as beneficial. During the Oscars it is not only the winner for Best Actor that benefits. Other beneficiaries include the runners-up.

  1. Influencer: The final element on the path to SME status is establishing oneself as an “influencer.” Becoming an influencer is easier if progress has been made on steps 1 through 4 above. However, it is not a requirement.

    Jim Cramer CNBC's Mad Money

    Jim Cramer CNBC’s Mad Money

An influencer is essentially anyone who has the ability to affect a decision. Influencers have historically been mass media personalities with broad followings. Personalities such as Fox’s Sean Hannity, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and CNBC’s Jim Cramer are typical influencers due to their ability to affect opinion and decisions.

In today’s world, influencers include less-recognized individuals such as bloggers, self-published authors, and others. The social media-enabled world we live in today has democratized the influencer industry. Now it is possible to develop a reputation as an influencer from a living room, local coffee shop, or park bench.

Becoming an influencer requires one basic element…relevance. Examples of influencing activities include the creation of a blog or podcast that provides valuable information, writing and sharing books, e-books, and whitepapers that address technical issues, responding to questions posed on social networks such as LinkedIn, and any other activity that highlights the salespersons expertise.

A bit of advice: do not focus on the sale. Focus on helping. People do not want to hear the pitch. They want to hear the solution. To the extent the solution is of value they will reach out and begin a dialogue, creating a warm lead for a sale.

Salespeople that follow these five steps will develop a reputation as a subject matter expert. The process does not take place overnight. However, the sooner a formal plan is developed and implemented, the sooner the salesperson will earn the benefits that come with being a subject matter expert.

It is true, selling is difficult. But with this five point plan it can be made less difficult. Happy selling!

 

Latinas leaving corporate America, startups, small business, launching a business

Leaving the rat race to launch your dream business

startups, small business, launching a businessBy Jesse Torres

During my Money Talk radio interview on KCAA with Los Angeles area game developer Giovanni Luis, co-founder of MakeData and co-creator of the Papermals Pre-K app, he explained how he made the leap to entrepreneur after 20 years of working for Electronic Arts and Sony.

His work experience gave him the technical expertise and his parenting role gave him the motivation to move from creating blockbuster action games to making high-quality educational apps. “My corporate experience gave me the confidence to go out and create these games,” he said.

He first stumbled upon game development after completing a degree program in industrial design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. “I just happened to know a piece of software that they were using to develop a game called Nuclear Strike,” said Luis, calling the experience a “happy accident.” This resulted in a five-year run with Electronic Arts followed by 15 years of working for Sony’s gaming unit.

As his children began preschool, Luis started to explore the technology used by his school district. He felt that the software and apps available left a lot to be desired, both from the educational and visual perspective. Thus the gamification expert decided to leave the corporate world to start his own company with several like-minded associates.

Luis has another advantage: his preschool and kindergarten-age children. Every day his kids rekindle his passion to develop meaningful apps. His goal is the highest level in edutainment. Luis strived to fashion age-appropriate educational lessons, such as instruction in numbers, sizes and coins.

Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when launching your new business, according to Luis:

  1. Aim to exceed expectations. While Luis’ education apps are less complex than the games he developed for Electronic Arts and Sony, he aimed to develop products that exceeded the ordinary and expected. He wanted his first app to have such a visually stunning interface that the pre-K crowd would adore it and that a high level of engagement would result in solid word-of-mouth referrals from parents and teachers.

Make a product that incorporates the wow factor to increase sales organically.

  1. Know the business landscape. An entrepreneur must be intimately familiar with the industry he’s operating in. Luis wished to market his app as not only a game but also as educational technology. This dual purpose could potentially improve the return on investment.

Keep your finger on the pulse of the market in order to provide timely innovations and provide a product that meets buyers’ evolving desires.latina microfunding

  1. Produce for the masses. Luis learned the importance of economies of scale while developing games at Sony. A single AAA game could take as long as 18 months to develop, cost millions. A large customer market is needed generate a return on investment.

In California alone thousands of new kindergartners arrive on the scene each year, Luis discovered. Papermals Pre-K has Spanish and Mandarin versions to capitalize on the growing Latino market in the States and the large Mandarin-speaking population abroad.

Target growing niches to fuel market expansion and provide opportunities for innovation.

  1. Score a quick win. Luis and his small band of fellow developers needed a quick win to serve as proof of his concept and keep the troops motivated and engaged — and eating! Rather than trying to create an app with an evolving technology like virtual reality, Luis and his team focused on the iOs and Android platforms, creating their first app in three months in the hopes of soon generating revenue.

Identify strategic opportunities that can provide an immediate return on investment so as to support current operations and increase the likelihood of the company’s survival.

  1. Tap into influencers. Luis and his team develop apps for a market just out of diapers. This market does not carry a credit card or use mobile devices. So Luis cannot directly market his product to end users. Instead, he must find the individuals who can influence its purchase, such as teachers, school district administrators and parents.

One impressed teacher could recommend an app to dozens of parents. And impressed parents might engage in verbal and social-media-based word-of-mouth, prompting scores of purchases.

Beginning on Day 1, create genuine relationships with parties that can maintain influence or build relationships with the target market.

 

 About Jesse TorresJesse_Torres

Jesse Torres has spent nearly 20 years in leadership and executive management posts, including executive management roles at financial institutions. In 2013 the Independent Community Bankers of America named him a top community banker influencer on social media. He is a frequent speaker at financial services and leadership conferences and has written several books. He hosts an NBC News Radio show called Money Talk with Jesse Torres.
Follow @jstorres or contact  Jesse@JesseTorres.com

 

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