Entrepreneurship

Google x Chase Partners To Service Harlem’s Small Businesses

Google Digital Coaches Harlem

I recently attended JP Morgan’s “Harlem Innovation Lab Launch” with Google at their Chase Bank location on 125th street and Lenox Ave. What was once a typical bank branch has been partially transformed into an open creative space perfect for fireside chats and events. The location will now serve as the Harlem center for Google’s Digital Coaches program.

Google’s Digital Coaches program brings digital coaches and workshops to ‘communities that are underrepresented on the web as well as in Google’s customer base’. These workshops will focus on digital skills development for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. The Google Digital Coach for Harlem is Sandra Garcia Lowery. Lowery is a marketing and brand strategist whose resume includes companies like Clear Channel Outdoor, Time Warner Cable, CNNmoney.com and People Magazine to name a few. She is also a small business owner. Her company ‘Encounter’ is a full-service marketing and PR agency serving a variety of clients. Along with spearheading workshops at the branch, she will also be providing 1:1 coaching to small business owners.

Source:  @sandy_garlow
Event sponsors included Angela Yee’s new subscription based juice company  Drink Fresh Juice  &  Melba’s .

Event sponsors included Angela Yee’s new subscription based juice company Drink Fresh Juice & Melba’s.

For the night, Lowery served as the moderator for a fireside chat with The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee and Lauren Maillian, founder of LMB Group which is a strategic marketing and brand advisory company. There were many gems dropped that night but here are 3 major takeaways I got from the chat:

Live in permanent beta

Coined by Reid Hoffman (venture capitalist and LinkedIn co-founder) living in “permanent beta” is to always be improving your product/services by adapting and evolving to what's new. It’s working out the bugs (cause trust, there will be bugs) and never seeing a project as “finished” because there’s always something to improve on.

Marketing yourself doesn’t have to break your pockets

“Before The Breakfast Club and Sirius XM, I was in marketing,” said Angela Yee, one of the most well-known radio personalities in hip hop & pop culture. “Marketing has helped me a lot with everything that I’ve been doing. With very little money I’ve always been good with getting myself and my businesses out there. Networking consistently and marketing has helped get me to where I am because that’s what can set people apart from one another. When I worked at Sirius and I started doing radio, we didn’t have a budget for anything. I was always figuring out creative ways to do events and things of that nature. That really helped put me on the radar.”

Google Digital Coaches Harlem

Elevator pitch

Lauren Maillian says every entrepreneur should know three things… their mission, vision and values. Once you know those things you are on your way to creating a bomb elevator pitch! Questions to ask yourself:

1.) What is you/your business mission?

2.) What is the vision of your business and how what are you doing to achieve that vision?

3.) Lastly, what are your business values? What are the basic beliefs of your business? Are you working towards a cause?

Source: The Adam Report

Source: The Adam Report

The next talk at the Google X Chase “Harlem Innovative Lab” will be happening Tues. July 30th. Sandra Lowery will be speaking with restaurateurs Karl Franz (Solomon & Kuff, 67 Orange, Society Coffee) and Brian Washington-Palmer (co-owner of Ruby’s Vintage Kitchen), along with Henri Pierre-Jaques (Managing partner at Harlem Capital Partners) on overcoming ‘the trouble 2s’ in business. Feel free to RSVP here: bit.ly/HarlemCoach. See you in Harlem ✌🏾.

5 Must Have Social Media Tools

5 Must have tools.jpg

Social media marketing is essential for expanding a brand/business's reach and connecting with it's audience. In an ideal world, a business would have it's own social media marketing team but in reality most entrepreneurs (and freelancers) have to create and execute their own social media strategies especially when first starting out. But no need to fear! From time management to analytics, I've rounded up my Top 5 apps for ROCKING any social media plan.

1. Time Management: Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the leading social media management tools and has been around for a while. This tool can manage your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts. The free version allows you to manage 3 social media profiles and includes post scheduling and basic analytics

It’s pro plan that starts at $9.99 a month allows you to manage up to 50 social media profiles and allows up to 9 team members to contribute. It’s a great plan for the solopreneur as well as small businesses with up to 500 employees. This is one of my favorite tools because it save me so much time when I need to share content across multiple platforms.

2. Analytics: Iconosquare

Analytics for Instagram?! Say what! Iconosquare allows you to analyze, manage and engage with your audience on Instagram better. This tool is one of the most in-dept analytics and management tools to be created specifically for Instagram. Iconosquare allows it’s users to

  • See daily gained and lost followers

  • See top followers

  • Identify where your influencers are located

  • Discover your best time to post according to the number of likes, comments or engagement rate you get

  • Discover the most influential posts on hashtag.

  • Track up to 5 of your competitors.

  • Compare your performance with theirs – engagement rate, followers, likes, comments…

  • Export data to build your own report.

3. Influence: SocialRank

SocialRank is my boo. No seriously, out of all the apps in this list SocialRank has a special little place in my heart. I’ve used this tool for many things. It’s a great starting point for finding potential influencers when creating an influencer campaign for a brand or business. SocialRank allows you to see which of your followers have the largest following and are the most engaged with your account. I’ve always found greater success when working with influencers who are fans and supporters of a brand before hand. This tool is also great to find out “who” my followers are by using the keyword bio filter to search for keywords in my followers bio. For example, I was looking for more women to feature in amy recent blog post 10 Women Share The Hardest Thing They Had To Overcome Within Their Careers and What They Learned From ItI used that filter to search words like entrepreneur, freelance, and creative to find which of my followers would potentially be a great fit for the article.

4. Research: Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a great tool for content creators. A great content strategy starts with research and strategic planning. Buzzsumo helps you find content that resonates with your audience by allowing you to search the most shared content from 24 hours ago to 12 months ago, review how many times your topic area is shared on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to give you a better feel of. It also shows you which form of content is shared most often (infographics, videos, long form, etc.) and what domains are shared most often. Note: I wouldn't be a bad idea to check those site to see what type of content they're publishing.

5. Creativity: Font Candy

Now I’m a photoshop type of girl but sometimes it’s just better to keep it simple. Font Candy is a photo editor with allows you to add typography captions via text overlay and other creative graphic designs. I use this app most often to create quote pictures to share on social media or within blog posts.  It’s super simple and easy to use but creates a wide array of different looking graphics.

Do you use any of these social media tools or are you interested in giving any of them a try? What social media tools do you use to ROCK your social marketing? Let me know! Feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me @RosiSellers. I’m always looking for more new things to add to my social media toolbox! 

10 Women Share The Hardest Thing They Had To Overcome Within Their Careers and What They Learned From It.

Being a boss woman isn't easy and the race to the top is filled with many obstacles but with women being the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America, it's safe to say that obstacles and barriers are just a small part of the game.  I recently spoke to 10 amazingly ambitious women about some of the challenges they had to overcome on their journey to success and what those challenges taught them. 

1. Teena Thach (@Teena_ThachTeenaThach.com

Social Media and Marketing Specialist at @Socedo

"Nobody should ever look back and wonder what if." 

One of the hardest thing I've had to overcome in my career is being able to speak up for myself and to not let others step all over me, even if they're in a higher position. Being fresh out of college (graduated last June), I was new in this industry so I wasn't as confident. I just did what I was told and after a while I realized I wasn't happy. I didn't feel valued which made work dreadful. I hated that. 

Social media to me isn't just a place for fun. I firmly believe that people can use these platforms to generate business. I knew I had experience/talent with social and I wanted to show it, not let someone do the work for me. So how did I overcome it? I talked to an experienced friend in the industry, took notes, set up a meeting and said how I felt. I didn't know what the outcome was going to be, but I'd rather be honest than to sit there in misery. Luckily, I didn't get fired and I was heard clearly. I wasn't scared anymore and I knew that I was valued in the company.

Nobody knows you better than you. People can't read minds and know exactly how you're feeling. In order to enjoy what you do, you must take initiative, go after it and be the change you wish to seek. 


2. Qori Broaster (@SoundsLikeCOREY)

Freelance Graphic Designer www.HelloQori.com

Not all those who wander are lost" - J.J.R Tolkien

The absolute hardest thing I've had to overcome thus far was my fear of failure. I was most recently working full-time in retail management and while it was I job that I enjoyed for the most part, it was stopping me from really fulfilling my dreams. My fear of failure kept me at that job for a very long time. My fear also stopped me from promoting myself as a freelancer/entrepreneur and that CLEARLY can't be good for business, right? I was seeing very little progression in my career so I had to re-evaluate the steps I was taking to reach my goals, and what I could improve on. Once I realized that I was letting the fear of failure get in my way, it seemed so silly - so I had to kick it. I know fear is a very natural thing, but I see it now as a test of character; something you need to push through to get stronger. 

You never know what's going to happen until you try, and even if you fail, you just have to keep going until your failures turn into successes. Plus, those failures make your successes THAT much better!


3. Keisha Dutés (@TastyKeish)

"The minute you've created something, you have succeeded. You are a success.”

Founder/ Program Director of Bonfire Radio. Co- Host of flagship morning show, TK in the AM. Podcast consultant and audio producer.

Having the confidence to start and maintain something new is a challenge. I constantly am fighting in real time.Women are not often ushered into the world thinking they are enough when in fact we go above and beyond to deliver. When I realized that, I said to myself: "Just start."I overcome it by finding ways to constantly educate myself and I became unashamed of learning and implementing things I learned in an unexpected fresh way.

I learned that videos, podcasts, etc is new media. There are no experts. Trust me. There are formulas that work and there is trial an error. Having you're own business in new media is constantly trying new things and taking from the lessons taught by pioneers before us. I study them and I try new things. If something doesn't work out, I stop and try something else.


4. Tara Giuliano (@taragiuliano)

Head of Institutional Marketing, UBS Asset Management Americas

“Build the hell out of your network.  And don’t be afraid to use it.”

The hardest thing in my career has been a constant battle of my young age and pure number of years of experience.  This comes across as a disadvantage on paper but I have found that building a strong network of more experienced executives who are my advocates has been key.  I have found ways to volunteer to lead projects to give me experience I might not have had on my resume or came with my day job to prove myself as well.  And lastly, I have found ways to use my age as an advantage.  When I obtained my last role as CMO of a fast growing company I spoke to the fact that marketing has changed more in the last 5 years than the previous 100 years combined – and only marketers who have spent time in the trenches staying educated on that as well as being part of the modern marketing evolution- would be ideal to lead that firm’s marketing efforts. 


5. Ivy Rivera (@TheIvyRivera)

TV/Radio Personality TheIvyRivera.com

I guess the hardest thing, which I'm sure everyone can relate to, was keeping my faith in my purpose throughout this journey to the top. There were a few times through the years where I really felt hopeless. And having friends who are creatives and chasing after their passions, it encouraged me yet discouraged me because I felt like I was so stagnant. But then I had to remember that my lane of expertise is a complete different ball game. And most importantly, my story will never be like someone else's. So I had to stop expecting and just let things take its place. I realized I wasn't going to get the blessings I deserved in life if I was living in self doubt. So I challenged myself to be one with myself and be completely okay with what I have to offer because I knew this would one day take me far. Everything starts in their heart but their mind can mess everything up. So the key is to make sure those are in sync and once you exude the right energies into the world, the world will bless you triple fold.

I learned that there's no such thing as competition. I learned that the only thing in your way of ANYTHING, is yourself. People feel like they've done everything they can. People feel like they deserve something. And I'm sure we all do. I would like all of us to win. But the ones that do win, make sure that's exactly what they do. There's no game plan. You just GO! And go until you get where you want to be. Stop being afraid of what can go wrong. You're not going to make it as fast as you think you are but the best thing to do is to train your mind to believe that you will make it regardless. You become what you believe you are. So be you and the rest will follow. 


6. Brittany Melton (@xobritdear)

Creative Director & Web Designer xobritdear.com

"Work while you wait on your manifestation."

In complete honesty, the hardest thing was finding experience in my niche. I went from doing corporate web design on a part-time freelance basis, to full-time design, because I lost my job. I was behind on bills, I had no clients, and I didn't have a portfolio in my desired niche. I wanted desperately to switch from corporate design to design for creatives and bloggers. After getting over the initial panic of broke-ness (which honestly took a month or two), I decided that I would use my blog as a way to showcase my expertise. I was tired of business based blogs, so I decided to write on design instead (I'm a web designer after all). I started by giving photoshop advice to bloggers, and creative business owners. I showcased my skills via tutorials and unique image editing. I critiqued images for people, and tweeted about easy, Photoshop tweaks that could take your photos from lame to extraordinary. I made a name for myself as the Photoshop girl with the dope selfies and my business grew from there.

I learned that you have the skills you need to make magic happen. Keep your head down and work on ONE task that will lead you to the ultimate goal. Worrying about what you lack is time that can be used developing a marketable skill. Find your next step, and pursue it wholeheartedly. 


7. Shanice Parker "Ms. Parker" (@BillzProductions)

"Always be willing to learn from someone, always be willing to educate someone."

CEO/Founder of  BillzProduction www.billzproductions.com

What was the hardest thing you had to overcome in your career thus far and how did you overcome it? What did you learn from it?

I feel like for any entrepreneur like myself one of the hardest things to overcome is obtaining consistent clientele each month. Some months are extremely lucrative and some months can be challenging especially in the production field. Realizing there are other entrepreneurs that go through the same exact challenges it is important to reach out and ask for advice.

One of the best pieces of advice I have received so far has been to record my monthly strategies for obtaining a client, that way I can have on file what worked for my sales and what did not work towards sales. Now that I have this information I make it my business to record each of my monthly sales to have a consistent workload.


8. Eboni Jazzmine (@Cosmic_Siren

Content Creator & Visual Marketing Specialist 

"I'mma keep running 'cause a winner don't quit on themselves!" - Beyonce

I would say the hardest thing to overcome in my industry is time management and keeping myself content under pressure. In the media and scene of entertainment in Atlanta I have many roles: photographer, writer, speaker, event coordinator, consultant whatever as a sort of taste-maker; juggling around time and organization to some balance. I have to deal with a lot of different people (mostly men), and they can be frustrating... from sexual harassment, lose jobs to other men because I'm a young female, paid less, having to prove myself, entitlement, competition, or belittlement. As a female you don't know what anybody will come at you with; they could be a joke or the real McCoy, a jerk or good person. I had to obtain tough skin and be on guard at all times in my surroundings whilst doing my job and maintaining great vibes. 

I overcome this by being confident and assertive; paying attention to my mistakes. I don't let my emotions take over on my work or relationships. I know what’s in my best interest as well as my worth. I'm not here to look pretty for the male consumption or slave for somebody for free. I came to be compensated for my time and effort or take an mutual opportunity as anybody would. 

As long as I keep blazing to my goals with ambition then I can do anything. I also do not need certain people in my life to get where I am going if they are being problematic. I create my own medium and platform If I'm not given a chance.


9. Sara Crawford – Jones

Designer and Stylist for Anara Original, Author of the Playbook to Essential Style, And Editor of Blondie Jones.

"Success begins with happiness, if you’re happy than you’re winning!"

As a small business, the cost of overhead for your business needs can become overwhelming and expensive. I began to plan better, evaluate needs vs wants, and streamline my thought process. We can get carried away overthinking the actually process or what we think we need.I began to work smarter not harder.

I learned that I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel – I just needed to identify a strategy and technique that would work best for my business and that would allow me to execute the financial goals I needed to achieve.


10. Miriam O’Shea (@Miriamoshea)

Digital Marketing Executive at BooksGoSocial and Founder of Wild Island Records

In college I spent every weekend in various studios recording tracks for producers. I used to put professionals on a pedestal which caused me to chase what others wanted for me for a couple of years. What I should have done was to stand my ground and follow my gut, both musically and professionally.

In the end I learned that good things only start to happen when you stop caring what others think and start doing your thing. When you’re a creative person you just shouldn’t take everything personally. You’re brave enough to put yourself out there and show the world what’s really going on inside your head, so of course it won’t resonate with everyone.