Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

Creative Marketing Strategies From Our Alumni Showcase Event

Posted on 11/22/2021 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

LAEDA held an event called Creative Marketing Strategies where graduates from LAEDA’s nine-week Entrepreneurial Development Training Program and Women Business Academy came together along with other participants to not only network and share their business experiences but also to learn more about marketing including how to reach out to more customers, how to create a brand their company, and other marketing resources/ tools to expand their businesses. The event included several alumni panelists: Geovana Villacres (Geo Marketing Alliances Group LLC), Tisha Davis (Image Special Events LLC), and April Ward (Creative Content OnDemand). The panel not only shared their experiences in marketing but also offered tips for growing a business in today’s economy.

The first speaker, alumna Geovana Villacres, is the owner of Geo Marketing Alliances Group which is a digital marketing coaching and virtual assistant company that serves Hispanic and African American owned small businesses in Essex, Passaic, Hudson, Morrie, Bergen, Union Counties (Northern NJ). She offers services such as: Marketing Coaching, Virtual Assistance, and Social Media Management. 

Geovana shared a lot of valuable and informative information about branding. She stressed how a successful brand has to be consistent in communication and experience across all environments (i.e. print & packaging, website & online advertising, content marketing, social media, sales & customer service). The recipe to successful branding is as follows:
Step 1: Determinate target audience by identifying target and meeting their needs
Step 2: Define brand mission by creating a mission statement and embracing it across all channels
Step 3: Research competition by being aware of what they do, differentiating yourself from them and convincing customers to choose you
Step 4: Create value propositions that are unique, valuable and beneficial
Step 5: Determine brand guidelines with visual elements, brand tone, and strategy
Step 6: Market Your brand- Stand out from the crowd and integrate brand into every aspect

The next speaker, alumna Tisha Davis, is the owner and operator of Design Junkie Tees, a custom T-shirt design company. She helps people to market their businesses through apparel. Tisha taught participants how to enhance their business' branding by using technology and resources such as Canva. “We all have really unique personal stories and individual reasons why we wanted to be business owners, but we all have one common dream- to be successful business owners,” Tisha stated. She went on to show a company's visual presentation can make all the difference when posting on a website and/ or social media. Tisha included the different steps it takes to create a visually appealing brand image/ story.

Step 1: You can always look professional with beautiful images
Step 2: Brand your business with consistent colors, fonts, and similar images.
Step 3: Educate and entertain with audio and video
Step 4: Post directly on your social media platforms

She explained how to use a really valuable and effective resource called Canva to create your brand image/ story. Canva allows you to easily create invitations, business cards, flyers, lesson plans, Zoom backgrounds, and more using professionally designed templates.

The last speaker, alumna April A. Ward, is the co-owner of Creative Content OnDemand DBA Fruition Life Media. The company offers two sets of services that include helping businesses grow through photography, social media management, public relations as well preserving family legacies through photography/ videography. April discussed the effects that good press and bad press can have on a business how to deal with both. She even taught participants how to determine what’s newsworthy about your company in order to take advantage of free press. 

So if you have ever asked how can I make the media turn their heads and want to do a story on my business? April explains how:

-Focus on what type of Services or Products you’re providing that help the community.
-Conduct Giveaway Campaigns
-Offer Community Outreach Program or Donations
-Partnership with Non-Profit Organizations like food banks, cloth drives, shelters, and etc.

And if you've ever wondered what the media considers newsworthy about a company? April offered this insight:

-Unique services or products that improve the quality of life
-News/Current Event related to your business industry
-Grand Openings
-Business Anniversaries

Ultimately, it is about creating and maintaining a positive image. How do you maintain a positive image? Keeping a positive image takes work so you first have to make sure that everyone that works for your company is on the same page. You must recognize employees as the face of your business. Next, you must learn how to deal with negative press or comments. You may want to respond as an individual but you must remember you are responding as the business owner. Last, you must always consider the customer experience since they are the people who keep you in business. 

The night ended with alumni telling invited guests about their experiences with EDTP and WBA and how LAEDA staff and alumni were now their family. They stated that networking, staying in touch, and learning from others helps entrepreneurs in making decisions, taking the right steps, avoiding loss, avoiding burnout and, most of all, gaining support, opportunities and guidance toward success.

LAEDA Alumni Connections Initiative is a joint effort of LAEDA and its Women’s Business Center to create opportunities for alumni to connect with each other through networking, workshops, and other events. Reach out to LAEDA because we are here to HELP as Much or Little as you want. LAEDA is available remotely through email, phone, and/ or video conferencing. Please call us at (856) 338-1177 or visit our website at www.laeda.com to learn more about our programs, services, and small business resources.