Sunday, September 18, 2011

Supercharge Your Drive By Following Your Industry Experts: Ana L. Ochoa-Monaco, One Of My Inspirations

With so many talented artists, businesses and other professionals who already have a well-known respected mark or presence, pursuing a career in the entertainment industry can be a little intimidating. Yet there are many, like myself who are driven and ambitious that regardless of the competition or obstacle, continue to pursue their dreams. If you lack experience and you still haven’t landed that internship or industry part time gig you’ve been wanting, how do you stay motivated? Are their leaders in the industry that inspire you to continue fighting the good fight? In what ways can you promote your skills, your brand and get the exposure you have been dreaming about?

Feelings of discouragement are normal when pursuing a challenging career. Even though you may get upset for not getting a job you wanted or didn't get the recognition you felt you deserved, to stay in this game, you must stay grounded, learn to step out of your comfort zone, use social networks to your advantage and not let your emotions deter you from achieving your goals. In other words, whether you are or not, seeking to be the next hottest R&B singer, best horror flick producer or aspiring to be a manager of a well-known music production company, there is hope and your chances of claiming your spot in the entertainment industry depends truly on your efforts and creativity. If you lack experience, a great way to get exposure and to get an insight look in your field, is simply by interacting with leaders who already play a role in the industry and have access to industry events. To me, seeing how leaders interact with others online, how they manage their businesses and how successful they are in maintaining their personal and professional online profiles, is not only inspiring but also plays as a great point of reference. If I am lost when it comes to a business procedure or need the lowdown on industry events, I can always refer to that leader for help.

As a Latina, as a mom and as a woman, I am always inspired by other Latinas who are excelling in managing their own businesses, that have the ability to empower other women and who successfully maintain their reputation online as well as offline. On my top 5 leaders list is entrepreneur Ana L. Ochoa-Monaco, known as @latinaprpro who is the owner of Padma Media and Marketing, Inc., is a designer, a PR expert and the creator of the #Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Group. Alongside her business endeavors, she also manages a personal blog titled “(Tienes) Una Cabeza de Coco” which she defines as being hard headed. What I love about this leader is not only her consistency throughout social networks and online activities (through #vllblog, #llblog tweet chats, Facebook and other groups) but her willingness to help others as well as her commitment to empowering female Latina bloggers. Some businesses today are still having difficulties in managing their online business profiles let alone have the ability to create a group based on a good cause. Although Ana has a lot on her plate, she manages her endeavors with flair and is very good at what she does.

Whether you are new to blogging, are establishing a business or simply want to know how the pros do it, keeping @latinaprpro in your Twitter timeline is an excellent way to go. Having her on my Twitter and Facebook timelines allows me to learn about not only current trends and topics for my blog but also a helps me to learn how leaders interact with followers, gives me a network to refer to in my field and keeps me in the loop for upcoming events.  One event you don’t want to miss out on is “The Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Group #Vllblog National Conference and Blogger Junket” which will be held on October 20, 2011 at 6pm, at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is sure to be educational and motivational, a showstopper! From personal branding workshops, to blogger presentation skills, to sessions on blog monetization, fashion and beauty previews, freebies and much more, it is the event that you’ll certainly want to be a part of!

As you can see having leaders to refer to in your field when you have questions, when looking to take your entrepreneurial skills to new heights, or need a dose of inspiration are a definite must. If you feel stuck and unmotivated or need some guidance, seek a leader in your field and make sure you choose wisely. As one of my favorites, Ana is an amazing person not only because she is professional and successful but also because she is a great role model to many women that have aspirations of becoming successful business owners. I have my favorite industry experts, do you? What leader motivates you and have you interacted with them today? Don’t fright, reach out to one of your industry experts today; the experience and knowledge you can obtain from an industry expert is often very rewarding, simply priceless.

To learn more about the conference, please visit the following site:


Friday, September 16, 2011

Creating Your Personal Online Networking Experience With A Cultural Cap: How The LATISM Group Has Helped Me Refine My Leadership Skills

Besides the advantage of speaking more than one language, there are many perks to being multicultural. From new job offers, to exclusive invitations from secret online social networking groups and invitations from group leaders to attend other culture specific conferences and events, joining a social networking group of your preferred culture or having an ethnicity theme can be quite enriching. If you are like me, and have a multicultural background, why not expand the quality of your social networking experience and use what you possess to your advantage? 

Besides setting up an account and creating your online presence on Facebook, Twitter and similar sites, engage in one or two groups relating to your culture and or ethnicity. To that effect, once you have selected a group, make a commitment to participate in that group. Your commitment and engagement to the group can be displayed by posting daily on the group's message boards, by promoting the group's content or by promoting the group's leaders, by responding to other members' posts, by joining the group's tweet chats and by participating in the group's weekly events as well as joining the group's twitter parties.

As an American Latina, I have embraced social networking to its fullest, by connecting with others and joining groups that relate to my interests, passions and more importantly my heritage as well as my culture. It is social networking not only on an American page but also with subcategories that are in tune with my cultural background and it is practically my world! It is pure brilliance if you ask me! Joining several online social networking groups not only has helped me to be more aware of the issues that affect my culture and community, but has also allowed me to connect with people who share similar passions and interests as well as the opportunity to take that the online community experience and bring it to the offline world, via the group's exclusive conferences and events.

One of the groups I joined was the Latism group, also known as Latinos in Social Media (#Latism). I first learned about this group through one of my followers on Twitter. The Latism group, is a non-profit organization that focuses on empowering Latinos online and offline by creating learning opportunities through discussions and events, on health, education, business and other topics. After learning about what the group was all about, I immediately started following the group and participated, one or two times a week by posting an article or replying to others' comments in the group's hash tag. After a few weeks of engagement, noticing familiar faces and recognizing members who had similar interests, I decided to take my experience to the next level by joining the group's weekly Thursday night’s chat. After that, I participated in the group on a daily basis by communicating with other followers, promoting the group online, by creating posts with the group's hash tag and by replying to others' posts.

Currently, I can say that the knowledge I have obtained and the people I have met have played a significant role in my leadership skills. I am more confident in my field and because of Latism I have a group that I can always refer to whenever I have questions or need expertise. This year for the first time, from November 9 to 11, 2011, I will be attending the Latism Annual National Conference in Chicago, Illinois and I am completely elated! I am so excited because this conference will allow me to network, promote my brand, create connections and because I will finally get to meet some of the leaders who took me under their wings and showed me the ropes when I was first developing my online presence. 

Quality engagement, learning from the leaders in my fields of interest and the connections I have made are truly just some of the experiences that make the Latism group a winner in my book. Alongside my engagement in general online networking communities, having an alternate group to refer to that relates to me on a personal level is a great foundation for my educational endeavors as well as my business related goals. Whether you are building a site for your business to get exposure, or perhaps you are wanting to establish more contacts in your field or you want to know the facts from the experts in your field, joining and online group with a cultural specification has the potential of creating a quality online experience for you as well as for the establishment of your business. 

The next time you are considering a multicultural group online, I suggest you check out the Latism group or to select a group that relates to you culturally or shares similar career interests. Taking advantage of your abilities is accepting your uniqueness and by using your cultural heritage, you will be able to create a personal online experience that is richer and quality based.