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Latina Millennial Vicky Llerena shares digital marketing unorthodox tips for success

Digital marketing expert, CEO and Co-founder of Social Vibes Media Vicky Llerena found her journey as a Millennial Latina entrepreneur after feeling bored and unhappy with her corporate job. Her company, Social Vibes Media is a digital marketing agency focused on helping small businesses increase their brand presence and teaches entrepreneurs how to get online customers with unorthodox tips for success.

digital marketing

Vicky Llerena, co-founder and CEO of Social Vibes Media

“I’m a millennial,” she says, “so my idea of highly successful habits might seem quite unorthodox to some.” As for the unexpected, Vicky has some of her own tips for success that perhaps may seem a little unusual.

The highly subjective, ambiguous term “success” can be interpreted in many ways. Vicky’s interpretation is this: take care of the mind, the body, and the soul.

Here are her 4 habits for success:

1. Always take breaks. I can’t seem to sit still. I fidget and toss and turn. My legs itch, my head begins to twitch, and I feel uneasy if I sit for too long. This is the problem I had working in corporate. I almost felt forced to sit still. When I ventured into my business, I felt an ease in taking breaks. Step away from your laptop for 15 min, walk outside, and allow your muscles to relax.

2. Connect with others. I often found that the most interesting conversations happened during the most unexpected situations: on a train ride, at a coffee shop, in line at supermarket, etc. We love to connect with others; it’s part of our inherent human nature. Allow yourself to genuinely connect with strangers (of course, with precautions) because some of these folks might be potential prospects, business partners, or angel investors.

3. Mindful Meditation. Mediate when you are alone or even while typing on your laptop. Writing has been a therapeutic process for me as well. Allow your thoughts to flow in a stream of consciousness style (think James Joyce). Pray or mindful meditation reminds us that there is more to life than a lucrative business plan.

4. Hustle hard

Practicing these four habits will help enrich the mind, body, and soul, and when one is centered and content– both physically, mentally, and spiritually– success is sure to follow.

Entrepreneurial fever

Vicky Llerena, a Millennial Latina digital marketing expert

She began her business after many years working in the corporate world. But how does one suddenly decide to quit their stable corporate job to start their own business?

For Vicky it all started with an itch.

She would sit fidgeting restlessly at her desk. This was the first symptom of what she called “entrepreneurial fever.” Her corporate eight-to-five job just wasn’t satisfying her anymore. She craved more.

“I desired for work that created value in my life,” Vicky shares. She did not know exactly what she wanted to do yet, but she knew corporate was no longer the place for her.

At the time she worked for PRN, a corporate wire distribution service. There she learned about multimedia marketing and how technology worked to connect people to a company’s message. She moved up the corporate ladder from entering journalist information into a database to creating user guides and manuals as part of the editorial team. Loving the world of marketing and helping others build their brands, Vicky began to formulate an idea to start her own marketing agency.

Then one day the fever just took over.

“I told myself, ‘I really want to do this on my own. I think I could help friends and family that have small businesses.’ So, I saved for about a year and then quit my corporate job to launch Social Vibes Media!”

Learning the hard way 

digital marketing

winner of the Withum CPA Entrepreneurial #StrengthStory, Vicky Llerena of @SocialVibes

When Vicky began her venture the first thing she did was open up a business credit card.

“This was one of the biggest mistakes I made as a small business owner,” she says. She did not yet have the customer base to support herself and so quickly she accumulated debt and had to borrow money from her savings.

“You need to first bootstrap while you get your first few customers and start generating revenue,” Vicky explains. “Then, when you’re more confident, you can apply for a loan or borrow money or open up a credit card.”

Another issue she struggled with at the start was utilizing her resources. When the company began, they decided to start and in-house team of videographers, which meant spending money on very expensive equipment– from cameras and tripods to laptops and software. These purchases only added to her debt.

These first mistakes however have taught her a great deal about managing cash flow and being resourceful. She has learned to cut overhead expenses such as tools, software, and equipment, by outsourcing or working in partnership with another company that already has the resources.

“We quickly learned that there was a pool of really good freelance videographers, photographers, and directors that you can work with that have their own equipment, editing tools, and software.”

Art of business and digital marketing

Collaborating and seeking help from other professionals is all a part of the art of business. To be successful in business one must connect with and learn from others. From working in partnerships to saving money on resources to problem solving with a mentor, business is all about team work.

Vicky has found her mentors to be invaluable wells of wisdom and support. She urges aspiring entrepreneurs to develop mentors in their lives and to absorb as much information as possible from them.

“I can attribute mentorship to my growth and success,” she says. “My mentors have helped me develop habits, open resources, and create strategies that otherwise would be difficult to figure out.”

Mentors can be life long friends, professional colleagues, or even the author of a book you really enjoy.

Earlier this year Vicky got to meet one of her favorite authors that she had been “obsessing” over. Chris Voss, author of Never Split the Difference, reached out to her after she posted an Instagram picture of her favorite books she had recently read, which included his own.

“He’s a master at the art of negotiation,” she says. “The art of business and sales has everything to do with psychological strategies.”

The two met up for coffee in NYC and Vicky eagerly picked his sales negotiation skills like a sponge that day.

One truly never knows who will end up being a mentor, so it’s important to always be listening, reading, learning, and connecting with new people. Sometimes the best guidance is the most unexpected.

With over ten years of experience in her field, Vicky has worked at Univision and PRNewswire and with organizations such as Rising Tide Capital, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ, Fownders, Latinas In Business Inc. and Small Business Development Center.

She has been featured in NJBiz, Huffington Post, CEO Blog Nation, and many other media outlets. Some of her awards and recognition include: the 2017 Top 25 Brand Builder presented by Leading Women Entrepreneurs, the 2017 Withum CPA Strength Story Entrepreneur Award, 2017 Lead Hudson County Recognition, and in 2016 she was recognized by NJBiz as a growing woman and minority marketing agency.

Media Jurors ready for Pitch Competition at 2017 Latina SmallBiz Expo

Six Media Jurors will help LatinasinBusiness.us create a Star for One Night at the Pitch your Business to the Media Competition, to take place this coming November 9 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Ten brave Latina entrepreneurs are competing to grab the 2017 LatinasinBusiness.us Best Business Award and the grand prize of $1000 in cash at the NJIT Campus Center Atrium, 150 Bleeker St. in Newark NJ.

Proceeds for the General Admission tickets will be donated to Puerto Rico and Mexico Disaster Relief through the Hispanic Federation.

Media Jurors

2017 Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch Competition Media Jurors

“Every year we invite a number of relevant media personalities to help us decide which Latina entrepreneur participating at our Pitch your Business to the Media Competition deserves to be crowned as the Best Business of that year,” said Susana G Baumann, Editor-in-Chief, LatinasinBusiness.us and organizer of the event. “This year, we are honored to have six outstanding Jurors coming from radio, television, print and digital press, and social media,” she added.

Media Jurors will listen to a “pitch” –a short presentation to create interest in a story and to find out if that media is willing to use it for a feature article or an interview. They will choose a winner based on a criteria decided by LatinasinBusiness.us and their own judgment as a media professional and entrepreneur.

A diverse background of Media Jurors to create a Star for One Night

“One of the goals of this contest is to help Latina small businesses promote their products or services in front of media, something that rarely happens because there is never enough budget to buy media space when you are a micro-entrepreneur. I know this very well because I was a small business owner for over 20 year,” Baumann explained.

The participating Media Jurors at this year Pitch Competition come from a diverse background and media outlets:

  1. Angel Vazquez joined Univision New York team in 2016 as Director of Communications and Community Empowerment for WXTV Univision 41 & WFUT UNIMAS 68.

    Angel Vazquez, Univision 41 Media Jurors

    Angel Vazquez, Univision 41

A Puerto Rican by birth and a New Yorker by choice, Angel began his media career working as Sales & Marketing Manager for the disappeared newspaper “Noticias del Mundo”. After the closing of that publication, he became part of “HOY” team as Events Manager. In 2007 ImpreMedia, owner of El Diario La Prensa, bought “HOY” and Vazquez started working as Marketing Director for El Diario La Prensa.

Since his beginning in El Diario, Angel has given his unconditional support, both professional and personal to this task. “When you come to New York, your heart is painted in many colors and we become part of each Latin American country,” says Angel.

  1. A North Carolina native, Laura Calhoun Borton is the Trade Show Specialist and Business Development at Abasto Magazine.

    Laura Calhoun Boro, Abasto Magazine Media Jurors

    Laura Calhoun Borton, Abasto Magazine

Laura has grown up in the Hispanic food industry. Upon graduating from Appalachian State University with a degree in public health, Laura took a job at her family’s Hispanic food distribution company, La Tortillería. Five months into her new job she was introduced to Maria Hernandez, a local Mexican woman who made and sold a traditional Mexican corn bread called “Pan de Elote” to support her family.

A few months after meeting Maria, Laura quit her job at La Tortillería to partner with her and help grow the small business. Once they successfully develop the product and distribution network, Laura decided to pursue other opportunities. She was offered a job at Abasto Magazine at the beginning of 2017. Her advice: “Don’t be afraid to try or start over. Be thankful for new opportunities, even if they aren’t ones you were planning on”.

  1. Kenton Clarke, is the founder & CEO of Omnikal (formerly DiversityBusiness Inc.), the Nation’s largest, inclusive business organization, built to empower all entrepreneurs and small to medium sized businesses through “a powerful social B2B platform” that fuels real growth & success.

    Kenton Clarke, Omnikal Media Jurors

    Kenton Clarke, Omnikal

He started out in the streets of Bridgeport, CT, collecting trash alongside his father and grandfather, some of the city’s first African-American business owners. “Those early days in the trash business taught me the value of hard work and discipline. I spent my early years getting my hands dirty, while other kids were learning to keep theirs, clean,” Clarke said.

He founded Computer Consulting International Inc., which became one of the largest privately held IT consulting firms in the Northeast. He then went on to develop a strategy for helping connect companies who were interested in working with minority-owned businesses. Diversitybusiness.com became the place every media outlet, from Forbes to CNBC, would consider for their facts and figures, and it even won several awards for its content and design.

  1. Vicky Llerena, a Millennial entrepreneur and social media guru, is at the helm of Social Vibes Media, a media communications and content creation company located in the New York metro area.

    Vicky Llerena, Social Vibes Media Media Jurors

    Vicky Llerena, Social Vibes Media

Vicky is Social Vibe Media’s host, content creator, and public relations strategist. No amateur to the media industry, Vicky brings with her over eight years of experience having worked at Univision WXTV-41, Hudson Media Group, and PRNewswire. She works with clients to manage all their media communications needs.

Vicky Llerena founded Social Vibes Media at the age of 28. “Entrepreneurship at that age,” she said, “is not for everyone. Every millennial at some point wants to try to become an entrepreneur thinking it looks like they can achieve an overnight success but I worry that younger generations may develop the wrong idea,” she said.

She does not want to discourage Millennials from seeking entrepreneurial opportunities; she just has a piece of advice based on her experience. “Save for an entire year, reduce costs as much as possible, partner with others, subcontractors and freelancers who can complement your services and join organizations such as your local chamber of commerce or industry associations,” she recommended.

  1. Juan Guillen, a veteran media personality, is the founder and CEO of DigiTech Enterprises Corp., a multi-platform media company that connects with the acculturated Hispanic community, under the brand, LatinTRENDS.

    Juan Guillen, LatinTRENDS

    Juan Guillen, LatinTRENDS

LatinTRENDS mission is “To unmask the struggles and showcase the triumphs, beauty, and rich diversity of the Hispanic culture, and make everyday life simpler, entertaining and inspirational,” he said. “We are committed to listening to the needs of our audience and connecting them with content and brands that will help alleviate their challenges and obtain their dreams.”

Driven by his entrepreneurial spirit, he postponed his studies to open the first of his business ventures at the age of 18. He has owned, grown, operated and sold various businesses in retail, concessions service, real estate and management sectors.

A serial entrepreneur whose passion is entrepreneurship, he enjoys teaching about the entrepreneurial mindset and how this “way-of-being-way-of-thinking” can catapult entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs to unlimited heights. His other passion is inspiring people who feel stuck to see the possibilities they have and confidently take action to get what they want out of life.

6. Bert Baron is currently the morning show host on 1450 WCTC in New Jersey, heard weekdays from 6 to 9 AM.

Bert Baron, Media Jurors

Bert Baron, 1450 WCTC

A recent inductee to the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Radio Hall Of Fame, he is the host of “Jersey Central with Bert Baron”, the show that provides an interesting daily look at “all things Jersey”. From politics to pop culture, to newsmakers and entertainment, Bert covers it all each day.

Bert met Susana G Baumann at a networking event in Perth Amboy and he immediately felt compelled to participate as a Media Juror for the Pitch Competition. “It is not frequent to see this type of event around New Jersey and I felt I could bring a different perspective to the competition,” he told LatinasinBusiness.us

Join us to celebrate the economic power of Latinas small businesses in the Northeast

Please join the Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch Competition this November 9 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm when ten brave Latina entrepreneurs will compete for the 2017 LatinasinBusiness.us Best Business Award and the grand prize of $1000 in cash at the NJIT Campus Center Atrium, 150 Bleeker St. in Newark NJ.

Proceeds for the General Admission tickets will be donated to Puerto Rico and Mexico Disaster Relief through the Hispanic Federation. For registration, please visit: http://latinasbizexpo.eventbrite.com/