Digital Transformation for Restaurants: Jamlite Innovations

With the recent spike in cases of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Jamaica, forcing the government to implement an 8:00 pm curfew, many restaurateurs are citing a 10 percent drop in sales. Jamlite Innovations’ director of operations Tyrone Williams had some insights on how restaurants can be more effective in the age of COVID-19.

Jamlite Innovations is a digital transformation driven company that specializes in empowering Jamaica’s commercial industries through point-of-sale and payroll management platform Jamlite POS

Open earlier and adopt effective systems

“Until the vaccine becomes mainstream, we will, unfortunately, have to deal with curfews. For restaurants to stay afloat, they need effective systems to manage the change in closing times,” says, Williams. “If restaurants are closing earlier, perhaps they should opt to open up before 11:30 am, giving employees more time to prepare for the lunchtime rush.”

While many quick-service and fast-casual dining have adapted by upselling on with delivery and takeout, many have closed down.

“Some restaurants are still writing things down in a receipt book. We offer contactless point-of-sale systems that cut out a lot of the processing time. All inventory is stored in the system, so all the cashier has to do is press a button, receive payment and issue a receipt. There’s even an option to have the receipt sent via email. This cuts down the time it takes to process each transaction by 10-15 seconds.” he says.

By definition, a point-of-sale system, is used by the merchant to calculate the amount owed by the customer, indicates that amount, prepares the invoice for the customer, and indicates the options for the customer to make payment.

Incentivize customers with loyalty programs

“Incentivizing your customers to purchase from you is the quickest way to build repeat customers. By using a reward program, customers will love the idea of being able to use their card to earn something, even if it’s something small.” Williams adds. “Our point-of-sale systems make it easy to add customer’s emails, so you can build loyalty programs, like sending them a discount on their birthday,” he said.

Up your social media game

“Building customer loyalty is crucial in these times. By posting regularly on social media, you create interest. Don’t be afraid to show behind-the-scenes as people want to know how their food is being prepared, that you are using local produce and all the personalities they miss seeing from not being able to come in.” he continues.

Post menu online and use QR codes inside

“For fast casual and quick-service restaurants, I suggest posting the menu online, this helps cut out the time it takes for consumers to decide on their order. By adding a QR code in key places, customers can order before they get to the counter or at least see the menu online and make a buying decision before getting to the counter.” he adds.

How small businesses can use social media to pivot in 2021

With the Jamaican economy contracting by 9.4 per cent in the December quarter of last year, small businesses need to stay afloat.

While most small businesses are attempting to limit their interaction with the customer, because COVID-19 is known to be spread by direct contact, social media has become critical to marketing in the pandemic.

Kesi Gardner, the chief storyteller of The Storyteller Agency. Co, which consults medium to small businesses operating as a collective of creatives that focus on food, travel, and lifestyle, specialising in creating robust, integrated campaigns to help brands stand out above the noise.

“Our ethos is rooted in brand storytelling. Storytelling when used correctly, is a powerful business tool and skill that every business building a powerful and long-lasting brand should aim to master,” she says.

Gardner who has over 20 years experience working in marketing and advertising, has a blog,, that has been hailed as one of the top 200 marketing blogs on the web by FeedSpot.

Here are some tips, she suggests medium to small businesses can use to boost their visibility online with a limited budget:

Use the art of storytelling

Use storytelling to bridge the gap between brand and consumer. According to NPR, “When you listen to a story, your brain waves actually start to synchronise with those of the storyteller. And reading a narrative activates brain regions involved in deciphering or imagining a person’s motives and perspective, research has found.”

“Telling stories about what inspired you to start your company really resonates with people and personal branding is becoming more and more important as people need to feel connected,” she says.

Use the original content

Using original content is key to building customer loyalty. According to Google, the world’s biggest search engine, takes notice of original content and takes it in as a factor for contributing to a website’s credibility, which increases its likelihood of ranking higher in search engine results for the keyword involved in the text. 

“If you want to be seen, you need original, relevant content. Jamaican photographers are making some interesting content these days, but if you can’t afford one, don’t hesitate to use your smartphone,” she says.

Use free photo-editing apps

Once you’ve taken the photos in the most natural light possible, you can edit with free photo-editing apps downloaded from the Apple or Google Play store. Some suggestions include Snapseed, Lightroom, VSCO, Adobe Photoshop Express, and Lightroom.

You can use royalty-free stock images

If you can’t afford original content, Kesi recommends using some royalty-free stock image sites like Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay. Check the site’s privacy policy, which will cite if permission is given to use without credit.

Invest in influencer marketing

 According to Harvard Business Review: “The allocation of marketing budgets towards influencers is on the rise, up to 7.5 per cent from 6.5 per cent a year ago and expected to rise to 12.7 per cent in the next three years.

“As online traffic continues to increase, it will be critical for brands to identify the right influencers to attract target customers and identify growth segments.

“It will also be important for social media managers to invest in influencer training and relationship building. Influencers are a great way to build trust and authentic relationships with followers, who may end up being paying customers. Scheduling individual and group touchpoints with influencers to discuss product updates and gain feedback on trends they are observing will go a long way toward fostering a mutually beneficial partnership.” 

Says Gardner: “Influencer marketing is still very new to Jamaica but we are seeing more culturally diverse creators talking about  topics such as travel, fashion and food. I’m interested to see other kinds of influencers come to the fore in other industries like technology, the environment, business and even medicine.”

Guest Post: 10 Reasons Why Affiliate Campaigns Fail: The Common Mistakes

Affiliate marketing has been a popular source of income online for almost 20 years.

However, many influencers and bloggers have come to disregard affiliate campaigns as they are paid more on a paid post basis.

Let’s explore the many reasons why affiliate campaigns fail and the mistakes often made by influencers, content creators and bloggers when trying to craft them.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”

Theodore Roosevelt

Before we dive into the strategies and techniques required for affiliate success, the first step all successful affiliates take is analysing and evaluating themselves, their “show” (blog, vlog, social accounts, etc.) and their audience.

Mistake #1: Not checking in with yourself

This is often overlooked by people because they think, “I know why I’m here, I don’t need to remind myself.”

Don’t make this mistake!

Without first understanding who you are, what’s unique about you, what your niche is, what your sub-niches are and what makes you attractive as a character it is likely you’ll miss a key reason as to why your audience will purchase through you.  

What you need to realise is your show is your business and your audience are your customers. Every business needs to tailor its message, branding and offerings to their existing or dream customers.

Your audience follow you because they respect your opinion when it comes to a particular niche. So, really understanding what your niche is and why they respect you is the key.

(Keep your eyes peeled for a future post on actionable ways to do this ‘check in’)

Mistake #2:  Not paying close attention to website tracking

Once you’ve checked in with yourself, it’s time to take a look at the vehicle you are taking your customers on the journey with…

Website/social media tracking is where you can build a clearer picture of what currently works and what doesn’t.

If you don’t take advantage of the tools out there to properly track the successes and failures of your site then you are much less likely to succeed with your affiliate endeavors.

Valuable insights such as what your top performing posts are, what days are best to post on, what time is best to post and frequency of posts can all contribute to better affiliate success.

Mistake #3: Not taking the time to get to know your audience

Through a combination of knowing your niche, what attracts people to you and what is working on your site, you can build valuable insights about your audience.

The game of knowing your audience is perhaps the most important aspect of affiliate campaigns as you are directly persuading people to purchase products through your links.

You wouldn’t start a restaurant in your local area without first finding out what people would like to eat…

The same applies for affiliate campaigns, you need to be totally in sync with what your audiences’ problems/desires are, find the solution and give it to them.

One actionable way to do this is AB testing your audiences responsiveness to different product categories, brands and timings/frequencies of posting; there’s a ton of valuable insights to be gained from this.

I hope this has cleared up why overlooking the evaluation of yourself and your show can easily result in very poor affiliate results.

Mistake #4: Forgetting Previous Campaign Insights

Continuing this theme of using what you’ve already got, if you’ve ever got involved with affiliate campaigns before then you already have access to valuable insights on what works and what doesn’t…

Not taking advantage of these insights is to not learn from your mistakes or your successes; here is a personalised roadmap of what works and what doesn’t – use it!

What doesn’t work should be as much of a focus as what does work, using the correct strategies alongside some that have failed in the past will lose you more sales than it gains you.

The Wrong Choices

All of the above was about using what you’ve already got to your advantage to gain valuable insights into what sparks the fire with your audience. To make the most of these stay tuned for our upcoming “check in” post.

If you have done the above correctly then you are less likely to make other mistakes like:

Mistake #5: Choosing the wrong products

If you’ve looked at your top posts and delved into what your audience likes then you are much less likely to make a brand or product blunder.

It may be that you like a specific brand or have been offered a high commission rate by them, however this doesn’t matter unless your audience is going to relate to the brand and ultimately end up purchasing from them.

Consider asking your followers what they think of the brand, or better yet, ask which brands are their favourites and which they’d like to see you sport. They’ll appreciate you taking the time to ask and it’ll show you care what they think.

This will all help build a community and turn people into hardcore fans.

Mistake #6: Choosing Quantity over Quality

If you’ve looked into your previous affiliate efforts as well as why your audience follow you and what they expect then you’ll find the right balance between content creation and promotional content.

If you try to sell too often then you’ll lose authenticity and if you don’t sell enough then people might lose interest.

“People will continue to buy from you until you either stop selling them stuff or offend them”

Russell Brand

Believe it or not people want to buy from you, they follow you because you solve a problem for them and if you sell them things that will get them closer to their goal then they are going to WANT to buy from you.

Mistake #7: Lacking Authenticity

If you don’t stay true to yourself and stay true to what you love, people will see right through it.

Remember, they follow you for you and the problem you are solving for them, stay true to this and you’ll be good as gold.

Some other more general mistakes people often make include:

Mistake #8: Poor SEO

As has been pointed out in previous last articles, a key advantage of affiliate campaigns is they continue to provide passive income after the event.

However, poor SEO will reduce organic traffic and mean you have less “hot” (solution-searching) traffic coming in from google problem searches.

Mistake #9: Poor Site Quality

The user experience of your vehicle will directly affect the success of affiliate campaigns. If you think about this it really makes a lot of sense.

You are selling other people’s products/services to your audience; would you purchase something from a site that loads mega slowly or that is confusing to navigate?  

Mistake #10: Lack of Salesmanship behind the campaign

The art of selling and copywriting are going to dramatically affect the success of your affiliate campaigns.

An affiliate campaign involves convincing members of your audience to purchase a product or service from another brand, and so you are acting as a third-party salesperson for that company.

This means you will need to be as effective as a salesman/woman if you are to be successful.

Not taking the time to educate yourself on the strategies and techniques employed by such professionals will certainly have a negative impact on your affiliate campaigns.


I hope this has piqued your interest and you are ready to learn how to create widely profitable affiliate campaigns.

Be sure to refer back to this post to help you achieve more with your next affiliate campaign!

Our next affiliate post will be the first of our ‘Affiliate Success’ series where we will take your through the steps required to create successful affiliate campaigns!

Author bio

A.K.A. Green Lantern, George Spain-Warner is a Co-founder of Kinsume, the world’s first eco-affiliate marketplace, and Author of the Exploratree Marketing Blog. Kinsume’s ethos is there’s always a win-win, which is why they’ve given their marketing platform and blog tree planting initiatives. Learn more about them and their story here.

There’s always a silver lining in every cloud: ROAD TO FISHERMAN’S INN WITH ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR JAMAICA

Staycationing in Jamaica can be a great experience. Jamaica has so many hidden gems and one such place is Fisherman’s Inn, in Falmouth, Trelawny. There are so many parts of the island I haven’t seen and so this year I decided to go for it!

The COVID-19 cases in the parish of Trelawny (34 cases as of September 2020) are small in comparison to Kingston and St. Andrew (over 1,195 cases) makes Trelawny a low-risk zone for exposure to the virus.


Love Not Likes Ja (a blogger network I founded) partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car Jamaica for the trip to Falmouth. We decided to go with the KIA Carnival 2020 model, which fit all eight of us very comfortably. 

Creators present, included YouTubers @bicana.brown, @annesha.adams

Bloggers:, @suetanyamchorgh,

Influencer: @myrepeatoffender

Photographer: @jamie_barnett

KIA Carnival 2020 Model parked safely in Fisherman’s Inn Parking lot

The features of the car are: 

  • Fits up to 8-10 people
  • 8-speed automatic transmission.
  • Multi-function steering wheel
  • Diesel engine (much better for fuel efficiency)
  • The 7.0-inch infotainment display supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while also giving you a good-quality reversing camera. 
  • Reverse parking sensors
  •  Automatic headlights
  •  Lane-departure warning and 
  • Adaptive cruise control.

KIA and Honda family models include sedan to SUVs, so if you wanted a CITY or CRV you have options. 

Enterprise Rent-A-Car on Oxford Road (beside ATL Automotive dealership) has a complete clean pledge which is an enhanced sanitation standard and it’s consistently audited. 

The General Manager,  Mark Pike says “the benefit of renting with us is that we have Jamaica’s newest fleet of 2019/20 Kia and Honda models, with the highest standards in service. Our rental brands are always #1 in service across all online platforms. You also have the option for complete online check-in, payment via an online link, the rental agreement signed online.”

To book with Enterprise Rent-A-Car Jamaica, go here

Once we arrived in Rock Wharf Falmouth, Trelawny, we had an amazing view of the Luminous Lagoon off the docks of Fisherman’s Inn.  I used a tripod with a self-timer to take pictures. Purchase one here

Once we arrived in Rock Wharf Falmouth, Trelawny, we had an amazing view of the Glistening Waters off the docks of Fisherman’s Inn.  
There’s always a silver lining in every cloud.

My king-sized room on the second floor of the white-washed building has a view overlooking Glistening Waters, which is a sight to behold.

We had our meals at Hopscotch Jerk Centre which serves traditional Jamaican cuisine —jerk pork, chicken or fried and steamed fish, with sides of fried breadfruit, fried dumpling, and green banana.

I stayed in a king sized room for two nights at Fisherman’s Inn Hotel, in Falmouth, Trelawny with a view of Glistening Waters


At 7:30 pm we took the lagoon tour from the dock at Fisherman’s Inn which can be booked through the hotel. There are only a few other places in the world where you can experience nature’s light show on the water, called bioluminescence. 

According to Visit Jamaica’s website, “At night, the lagoon sparkles and glistens when disturbed, as these microscopic organisms produce an eerie glow, reflecting the outlines of fish and other objects in the water. The Luminous Lagoon is said to be the largest and most brilliant of four in the world, a fact that continually attracts and awes visitors and scientists from around the world.

We didn’t get to have the bioluminescence experience because of rain, so if you want to know about that, read fellow LNL member DiedreinWanderland’s review of the Luminous Lagoon, here


Free parking, room service, pool access, air conditioning, and refrigerator in each room. The rates start at $12,000 per room served with complimentary breakfast

but they are offering discounted rates for locals. Use our code ‘LOVENOTLIKESJA’ to get a 10% discount until November 20th, 2020.

Beaches nearby are Bearwood, 876beach, and Blue Waters. *Beaches might be closed due to COVID-19 safety restrictions

Follow them @fishermansinnintrelawny on IG.

To book a night at the hotel, email: or telephone: 876.954.3427.

How Influencer Marketing Can Help Save the Jamaican Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

The tourism and hospitality industry plays a major role in the Jamaican economy. Last year, tourism represented 11 percent of GDP, providing some $1.3 trillion in revenue and recognising 1.4 billion international visitors. The occurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, put an inevitable dent in profits for hotels, villas, tour guides, and other businesses dependent on the hospitality industry to thrive. With tighter restrictions on travel, and possible banning of foreigners visiting at any given time due to the spike in cases,  the Jamaican hospitality industry has to now pivot and shift marketing strategies to attract locals to stay afloat.

YouTuber Annesha Adams likes to showcase the real side of Jamaica

More than ever, staycations are being promoted and Jamaicans are being urged to “rediscover Jamaica” as a place to vacation and explore.  Yet to thrive, the Jamaican hospitality industry must find creative ways to be profitable. The onset of Covid-19 and the rise of social media, (as of January 2020, according to HootSuite’s Digital 2020 Report that cites trends, internet and social media data, the total number of Jamaicans who are active social media users is 1.3 million.) means traditional advertising needs to shift budgets to make way for  online marketing and this should  include Influencers for product mentions and endorsements. 

Embracing Influencer Marketing

An influencer from a marketing perspective is: “a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.” By hoteliers embracing the local bloggers and creators they bring a unique perspective and Jamaicans follow and admire their contemporaries enjoying our beautiful island.

Bloggers and YouTubers

 A blogger by definition is a person who regularly writes material for a blog which is hosted on a website. Usually focused on a particular niche, whether that be food, travel or lifestyle. The benefit of using a blog is that it will show up in Google search unlike on Instagram which is limited in terms of search. A blog is also forever and will come up on the first or second page of  Google if SEO is used correctly.”

The Storyteller Agency. Co is looking to revoultionize the Jamaican hospitality industry

As the second most visited social media platform in Jamaica according to HootSuite’s report,  using YouTubers has a great benefit within the market. YouTubers also have their subscribers and they are very invested in their lives. Our strategy is always to look for out-of-the-box ways to showcase an attraction. In the US, brand-sponsored trips are a standard and we want to make that the norm  locally as well.

For us it’s more than just taking a pretty picture. Our approach is always robust, combining mega and micro-Influencers, local content creators, YouTubers and bloggers, to bring your brand story to life and showcase the very best of the attraction or villa/hotel. In the past year, we’ve worked with Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, Worthy Park Estate Rum Tour, Joy Spence’s Appleton Estate Rum Tour, non-profit Kingston Creative to showcase their Art Walk activities and Ministry of Culture, Gender and Sport to promote the activities for Reggae Month.

Last year for International Rum Day, Worthy Park Estate Rum Tour invited a group of 12 bloggers from Love Not Likes to visit the tour and received more than 100,000 impressions on Instagram on the commemorative day. After the visit, each blogger wrote their own review and they received over 500 reads on their blogs collectively.

To target a new local audience means a local voice is needed. Jamaicans are ready to rediscover their island, find hidden gems, and staycation in hotels and villas, but they want to learn about it from a local consumer perspective. Local bloggers can show them the way, where to find the best deals, the hidden gems, stir off the beaten path and patronize the smaller establishments who need  support the most at this time. More and more, local consumers want real-life reviews of the hotel/villa and attraction experience from the ambiance, service quality to amenities. And they want it from people they trust, many of whom are the influencers they follow on social media.

Building awareness for brands using the art of storytelling

The Storyteller Agency.Co.  has partnered with several local hotels, restaurants, villas and attractions to connect with Jamaicans through the use of Influencers and local creators in the past year. By using creators who are travel-centric and like to share their honest experiences, you can have a  deeper connection with your target audience through their eyes. These influencers share their life through the art of storytelling and  their followers are invested in those stories.

Annesha Adams received over 10,000 views and 200 comments on her hotel review of Lashings Boutique Hotels and Villas

For instance, Jamaican YouTuber Annesha Adams  (who has more than 40,000 subscribers) visited Lashings Boutique Hotel in Treasure Beach and received more than 10,000 views in 24hrs with more than 200 comments on her hotel review.  In her video, which now has more than 25,000 views,  she shares her honest opinion of the hotel, details about amenities, local fare and price range.

“Since moving back home to Jamaica from Canada two years ago, I’ve wanted to showcase the very best of the island. From the best attractions to visit in every parish to even the not so popular places, I always share with my subscribers the real life perspective of living in Jamaica. St. Elizabeth is one of my favourite parishes and I liked Lashings Boutique Hotel’s aesthetic and wanted to show my subscribers a different side of Jamaica. Not just the touristy side but the relaxed side as well.” says Annesha.

Follow Travel YouTuber Annesha Adams on IG @annesha.adams.

“We’re very happy to have partnered with The Storyteller Agency. Co and Annesha Adams,” says David Folb, owner of Lashing Boutique and Villas.  “We’ll be using them again when we have our official launch of our new Beach Club in Treasure Beach later this month.” he says. TO GET A 5% PERCENT DISCOUNT, USE PROMO CODE “ANNESHALOVES” ON LASHINGS BOUTIQUE HOTEL AND VILLA’S WEBSITE

“I’m really aware that some Jamaicans don’t like the all inclusive experience you get in the main resorts,  so I have been keen to offer something different. Our hotel and villas offer a more ‘grown up’ approach to tourism – with an authentic Jamaican  experience which doesn’t patronise or exploit. It’s also something more interesting for bloggers to write about or create videos around – beyond the standard bikini shots!”

MyRepeatOffender showcased Turtles’ Nest with this breathtaking photo

After a group of influencers curated by The Storyteller Agency. Co visited Turtles’ Nest earlier this month, the Treasure Beach villa’s Instagram followers grew by more than 500 followers in 24 hours.  Lucy Atherton, the owner, said: “We’re pretty much booked out until Christmas now, it’s been quite amazing for us. I just took a view early on in the pandemic that I would focus entirely on the Jamaican market and that using influencers was the quickest and most effective way to do this. I’m always as generous as I can be to bloggers who stay and I rarely say ‘no’ – so it’s really paid off.



“With the help of Instagram and its influencers, Jamaicans in general are rediscovering a love for their beautiful country, at a time when it’s very difficult to travel abroad. The south coast, which has been largely ignored as a staycation option in the past, is now really benefiting from this.”

Sustaining Profitability for the Hospitality Industry in a Covid-19 world

The way the Jamaican Tourism and Hospitality industry targets local tourists must expand. Incentivizing creators to promote the local hospitality industry so that they can be encouraged to promote off-the-beaten-path villas using diverse local content creators (e.g. bloggers and YouTubers), as well as innovating online are a few ways to pivot. Using platforms like The Storyteller Agency. Co to match influencers with the target demographic to create organic-driven online and influencer campaigns, are key to surviving and finding new patrons. 

Guest Blog: How to Pivot Your Business During #COVID19 Like KFC Jamaica

Photo Credit: @kfcjamaica

Industry: Fast Food | Company: Restaurants of Jamaica

Managed Brands: KFC, Pizza Hut |Years In Operation Locally: 45 Years

When the first confirmed COVID19 case hit Jamaica, on March 10, like many businesses,  Restaurant of Jamaica, owners and operators of KFC scoped the landscape and saw how to best to pivot given the unprecedented times to make ‘painful decisions’.

A week later, on the heels of the Government shutdown which brought the limited operation with a 12 hour curfew, the once high trafficked and high volume stores saw sales plummet by 50%; fewer persons were eating out given the restricted public gathering to 20 persons and out of fear and uncertainty of coming out into public places. According to Director of Marketing Tina Matalon who noted in a July Zoom session, “our biggest challenge was accessibility; we’ve been looking at the delivery channel for a couple of years, the right model and approach to enter it with a brand like KFC; we accelerated that, rapidly”

This spawned two news releases in April:

·       The brand added a delivery option.

·       The brand announced temporary layoff of staff.

Social Media Backlash

Once social media got wind of the layoffs, the brand came under severe backlash online.

Thousands of Jamaicans online begged for their fellow Jamaican workers who by that time would have received lower working hours and possibly been laid off. The challenge? Jamaicans saw no reason to lay off staff when the demand for the brand’s key products was still very high. Jamaica’s Largest food chain, amidst a tight curfew which brought “early closures of our restaurants during some of our most patronized times of the day the options were very slim.

According to the release ‘it has been struggling to cope with significant declines in sales and transactions of more than half of its business.” The company went on to say that it will re-engage employees as quickly as possible. adapt and find creative ways to sustain its operations in order to ensure that it can continue to support its employees for as long as possible.

Digital Shift

“The Jamaican marketplace is behind on a lot of trends that are globally successful when it comes to technology or in the digital landscape; one of the immediate opportunities we saw was opening our access channels”. As delivery partners were small in operation catering to casual dining, the infrastructure was not equipped to take on the robust nature of a high-demand, quick service fast-food model like KFC. The brand worked with partners to scale up and meet the demand quickly with an excellent package, on-time delivery and fast turn-around time.

Thankfully, amidst the flurry of COVID19 and the backlash, not only did the team “keep everyone employed and on the team which was an incredible feat”, social media sentiment  has been returned in a favorable light and  the brand accelerated business models in 3 weeks to:

✔️Adapt to the shift in consumer behavior (stay-at-home or WFH).

✔️Get the product to them (online ordering via 7Krave )

✔️Redefine customer acquisition via digitizing.

The business now has three models – walk-in, drive-up, or order in. Digital ordering and delivery will be a ‘permanent channel moving forward’.

#HowToPivot: Advice to the Caribbean Biz

·      Review your operations and spreadsheet.

·      See where you can meet customers where they are in terms of delivery.

·      Make a big deal of the new options to drive awareness, trial and uptake.Be agile in your approach, listen to feedback and follow all guidelines stipulated.    

About The Guest Blogger

Shane Bennett is the co-founder of Social Media Day Jamaica. A media and marketing strategist by profession, he focuses on digital, experiential and public relations for personal, corporate and SME brands. Find him on Twitter and on LinkedIn sharing tips for digital branding at his @iamsgb handle.

Actress and Model turned DJ Gabrielle Davis: Getting Paid to be Herself

To launch my Creatives of the Future e-book, (you can purchase on Amazon or Gumroad) I interviewed some creatives who were already monetizing their platforms because of their work on social media. One of those people is actress and international model-turned-DJ, Gabrielle Davis.

International model Dj Gabby before COVID-19.

What do you do for a living?  I am currently juggling modeling along with balancing my new found DJ career. 

How many followers do you have? Close to 60K followers on IG.

If you could eat any type of food (right now) what would you buy?  Hmmm… if I could eat any type of food right now I would need a few options. I am a foodie… lol I would go for curry shrimp & a slice of carrot cake on the side. Dessert is a MUST …oh and I love donuts 🙂

What is your dream job? My dream job was to be a child psychologist funny enough, but I am focusing on being successful as a DJ. I would also like to still love to get into the acting business in the near future.

What Netflix series are you binging on? OZARK

Favorite Influencer/YouTuber of all time?  Not so sure if I have a fave influencer … right now I enjoy watching Quarantine radio with Torey Lanez … great for laughs and he’s so entertaining.

How has social media helped your career?  Social media has helped me connect with a variety of people in the industry and has given opportunities I probably wouldn’t have gotten without the exposure. It’s a great platform to share your talent and to connect.

What advice would you give others trying to make a name for themselves?  My advice to anyone trying to make it in whichever field they choose would be to stay consistent, persistent, be positive, don’t allow others to discourage you. There will be times you may have self-doubt but allow yourself to process it. Never give up and never stop trying. Don’t limit yourself and don’t listen to people who tell you that you can’t or that time is running out. Most importantly practice patience.

What is the last thing you liked on social media? The last thing I liked on social media was a video of someone getting their nails done … because quarantine 

Who is your hero? – My hero will always be ME. I’ve never given up on myself. Not for long anyway.

How are you monetizing at this time? – At this time I work with brands who want products showcased and that are true to my lifestyle.

What made you want to be a DJ? – I’ve always wanted to do music for the last 5 years I was just not confident enough but I finally after sharing it with my manager we came up with a plan and we are putting it into motion.

What kind of music interests you? I love music…I am interested in all genres… I can’t just choose one.

The digital space is more important than ever to elevate brand awareness and develop business relationships. Consumers are viewing content from a different perspective than just three months prior, and those that can pivot fast are effectively winning.

Gabrielle Davis otherwise known as “DJ Gabby” has been playing music for only a few months but has been making waves.

More popularly known from her appearance on the first season of VH1’s Love and Hip Hop: Miami in 2018 and her international modeling career, Gabby became verified on Instagram about a year ago and has been continuing to create interesting content for her followers, most notable with her IG live DJ sessions.

Gabrielle who started modeling at the age of 16, has never been afraid of hard work. Although she doesn’t do runway because of her height (she’s only 5ft 4″) she recently walked for costume designer Annaxie for Xamayca International’s Carnival 2020 launch. More than a pretty face, Gabby uses her acting skills appearing in music videos for everyone from Shenseea to Agent Sasco, where she is able to communicate a charming story with just a few slight gestures.

“There will be times you may have self-doubt but allow yourself to process it. Never give up, never stop trying. Don’t limit yourself and don’t listen to people who tell you that you can’t or that time is running out. Most importantly practice patience.

Being a female DJ is not a novel idea in Jamaica, there are a few, but with the trending, IG lives and song battles, most of the related content has been filled with attention seekers, often with no real plan. She hasn’t allowed the lack of outdoor events to stop her from bringing new energy to the platform with themed DJ sessions.

Her music tastes aren’t average, you will find afro-beats mixed in with a few dancehall rhythms but she definitely makes you feel like you’re on an island in Ibiza instead of Jamaica.

Gabby also has an online store, where she shares her favourite things called

Guest Blog by Coach and Mentor Andre Ferguson: Know Your Worth and Invest in Yourself

Andre Ferguson works with you on a personal level to understand your key challenges and how you can overcome them through learning from your back story and taking direct action.

I have been struggling all my life, from when I was a child of only 10-years-old to an adult. My struggles were mainly internal as I was always questioning my self-worth, my purpose, and my reason for being here. 

When I was 10, I struggled with depression and had continuous suicidal thoughts because of the way I was treated by the one person who was supposed to love and appreciate me. Being told that I was no good and that they would be better off without my existence took a major toll on me. All of this coming from the person who is supposed to love and shelter you can have a major impact on your life. While I was grateful that I was provided for at all times with clothes, food, and shelter, I was still left unsatisfied internally. 

Emotional Struggle

While I was young, I would struggle to get a hug or even a word of appreciation. So moving forward, this made things difficult for me emotionally. I was completely detached from everyone, mostly because I wasn’t taught the right things and how to be emotionally attached to others.

When I was in high school, I didn’t know how to express myself to anyone. I was considered a recluse even though I was surrounded by great friends all the time. I was usually the one who sat in the corner and didn’t talk. Even though I wasn’t much of a talker, being at school was my escape from what I went through at home. 

Spending time at home was the worst considering the constant backlash I would receive. The idea of being alone in the house and hearing nothing but continuous criticism from that person was something I wanted to avoid. There was not a single spec of love within the household. Being told that I wouldn’t be able to do anything in my life by the person that was supposed to do the opposite was the main reason for my struggle. These feelings stayed with me as I grew up and became a major part of me throughout my life. 

The Impact Of Internal Struggle On Life

When I moved to the UK, these struggles stayed with me and there was no running away from them. Even after turning 30, I continued to struggle internally as nothing would be good enough, no matter what I do. My struggles manifested in different ways over time. I became a perfectionist, I wanted to make sure that everything was perfect; the way I want it. This took a toll on my children and my other relationships as well. I had a lowered sense of trust in others. 

Throughout my life, I had a problem trusting women mostly as the underlying reason for my struggles revolved around a woman who didn’t love me. The only thing that would come to my head when I would be with a woman is that they would hurt me. This was one of the deepest and extreme struggles I have had since I was young. Because of this, I struggled in school even though I had enough ability to get my school work done but I was emotionally drained and damaged to do anything so I focused on thinking about other things. I struggled to connect with others and create lasting relationships. 

Because of how I was raised, I started treating women a certain way. Since being hurt again by a woman was not an option, my defense mechanism emerged into womanizing. All I thought about was that nobody was going to love me or appreciate me. To get rid of the feeling, I would have numerous girls around me all the time. It was difficult for me to trust them and I knew that every time a woman stepped out of my house, they would take a piece of me. I would hurt myself and hurt them simultaneously. But I didn’t want to accept the truth behind what I was doing and it carried on for years. 

This is only a small part of the struggle that I dealt with. I struggled with emotions, understanding, acceptance, hope, kindness, and more, all of which I didn’t have while growing up. 

Andre’s partner, wife,for the last 5 years has been a blessing . She helps keep him grounded and supports him fully through everything. Having someone who loves and appreciates you makes you want to do better.

Know Your Worth And Invest In Yourself

During the last 10 years, I have changed myself and started living the way I wanted to and the way I should have been living since the start. I still have a long way to go but I am on the road and I’m closer to where I need to be now than I was ever before.

For a major part of my life, I would claw, push, and fight to get the attention that I wanted. I felt like nobody could see me and that made me want to fight for the attention always. But over time, things have changed, and I have learned to accept myself.

The only way I got out of this situation was after I took sabbatical for a year. This made me analyze things and made me realize my self-worth. I accepted how I hurt myself and others around me while I took a break from every wrong thing that I was doing. 

You can only truly get over the trauma and struggle once you invest in yourself and come to terms with things that go on in your life. It was after I took time out myself that I realized what my true worth is. 

Even though I will always be susceptible to some form of emotional trauma as I have been through a lot. But I need to fight it off myself and accept myself. This has led me to be surrounded by people I can rely on.

My partner, my wife, since the last 5 years has been a blessing for me. She helps me keep my ground now and supports me fully through everything. Having someone who loves and appreciates you makes you want to do better. 

In the end, it is okay not to be okay. But we need to continuously work towards accepting who we are and where we are. This will help us write our own story and reach the place where we want to be.  

Andre Ferguson is a family man, Speaker, coach and mentor who helps the modern man go from struggle to victory, making him realise the reasons for his struggles and bringing him to live his purpose. Learn more about him on You can also follow him on instagram at andreoferguson

How Brands and Creators can benefit in the Age of COVID-19

We tell stories to our friends and colleagues all the time. We love the way a story brings people closer together: how it always reminds you of a person or time, brings the children closer together at storytime, keeps us on the phone with our girlfriends a little longer, keeps us up late in bed to read one more chapter – just to hear a good story.

I launched The Storyteller Agency.Co in January 2020 and we had a great start building long-term partnerships with a non-profit, creating content for brands that needed to connect using locally relevant imagery. To date, we’ve worked with brands such as Joy Spence’s Appleton Estate Night Rum Tour with Freddie McGregor, Ministry of Culture, Gender, and Sport covering Reggae Month, visited by invitation only the home of Cafe Blue, Clifton Mount Estate in the Blue Mountains and several launches and appearances. We were set to work with a regional restaurant chain in March but that got put on hold. Now in its fifth month after doing some great projects, much of our activity has slowed due to COVID-19.

We often pitch to brands and are constantly working on building brand partnerships for the talent on our roster which includes YouTubers, celebrity photographers, bloggers, and influencers. 

In February 2020, Hootsuite issued their annual Digital Report, of the 1.63 million internet users there were 1.30 million social media users in Jamaica*(January 2020). That study also showed that the number of social media users in Jamaica increased by 106 thousand (+8.8%) between April 2019 and January 2020. In February 2020, Instagram had 660,000 users. However, Google search still gets far greater traffic. is the number one website and search engine in Jamaica. It’s the first place Jamaicans go to search for anything. Yet brands are still using influencers who are only on Instagram. For Reggae Month our influencer campaign was robust, it included Instagram posts and IG takeovers but were supported by blogs to spread the key messages and coverage of the campaign. The blogs ranked on the first page of Google, second to major publications.

See blogs here:

JARIA Awards 2020: The public votes for Mortimer

Down in Jamaica Where I Born and Grow

A Toast to Reggae Month 2020

More people are spending time on their phones due to curfew but we also know that there is more to connecting with an audience than Instagram. An IG Live stays up for 24 hours and then disappears. I’m suggesting that brands also focus on YouTube which is ranked the second most frequented site on the internet for Jamaicans. YouTube has a far greater reach and stays “live” forever, even if you go live. 

YouTuber Annesha Adams used to create travel tips for tourists wanting to visit Jamaica. She also did series on best places to go in Manchester, St. Elizabeth and so on. She had to make a shift since beaches are closed, so she’s sharing more in-depth tips on how to start your own YouTube channel and how to make money online until this is all over.

Some ideas for brands to sponsor during this time are highlighting home consumption and building an emotional connection, by sponsoring Netflix reaction videos, easy to make at home recipes, reviews of tech products and give room makeovers.

Instagram has just started a beta monetization platform, so influencers and musicians will only benefit through brand sponsorships. By going Live on YouTube, content creators can still reap the benefits of monetization even after the event has ended.

YouTuber Annesha Adams on Profiting from Passion

To launch my Creatives of the Future e-book, (to purchase, click here) I interviewed some creatives who were already monetizing their platforms because of their work on social media. One of those people is Jamaican-Canadian YouTuber Annesha Adams.

Subscribe to Annesha Adam’s YouTube Channel

What do you do for a living? I create lifestyle content on YouTube
How many followers do you have? On Instagram 5,000 and YouTube 30,000. I am currently really working on growing my Instagram following.
If you could eat any type of food (right now) what would you buy?  Jamaican Curry chicken and white rice. OH SO GOOD!
What is your dream job? My dream job is to be an entrepreneur and work in the tourism industry in Jamaica. But the rest is a secret I will share soon!
What Netflix series are you binging on?  Oh, I don’t really watch Netflix. I’ll watch a movie on it, once every 7 months.
Favourite Influencer/YouTuber of all time?  Oh this one is difficult. I have so many because I like each influencer for a specific reason. But, I really admire the influence Vybz Kartel has. It may because he has been sovereign in his field, consistent for YEARS, trendy and abnormally creative but, his willpower is impressive. He could influence anyone to do anything. He could talk about how much he loves a certain flower, and everyone would buy and love the flower as well. He could laugh a certain way and then everyone would want to laugh like him as well. It’s impressive I tell you.

How has social media helped your career?  Social media has helped me in every way possible. My career is social media! Social media connects me to brands, people from all around the world, educate me, assisted with being my own boss, live anywhere in this world and increased my income! I could go on forever.
What advice would you give others trying to make a name for themselves? No matter what field you are in and what you love, consistency will help you to grow and be successful! Consistency brings results! In addition with branding. Branding yourself through photo, video or audio creates trust and legitimacy with others. Be consistent with your branding and people will follow and share. These two things will help to make a name for yourself and for you to be sovereign in the field you are in. Oh, and everything takes time, your patience will be a reward!
What is the last thing you liked on social media? A Jamaica travel photo ️
Who is your hero? I don’t have one. Well, I would think all my heros are my black activists around this world who had fought and continue to fight for black rights.
How did you get into YouTube? I got into YouTube a few years ago after noticing people could profit from their passions. It inspired me to do the same!
Where do you see your career going in the next few years? I see my brand growing, evolving and being successful.
What inspires you to create? Life. things that happen in everyday life, people and scenery. The things I do on a daily inspire me to come up with helpful YouTube videos. The stories my friends, family and I share amongst each other and the daily life experiences learnt helps me to create content to share on YouTube! For photos, my inspiration is scenery. While I’m driving or walking, I’m always looking at the scenery around me. I get inspired by seeing ‘pretty’ scenery which then inspires me to plan a photoshoot there. Also, I get inspiration from other people on YouTube and Instagram, seeing other people’s consistency, creative and beautiful work continues to drive me to consistently work smart, learn more about the fields I’m in and grow!

“I really admire the influence Vybz Kartel has. It may because he has been sovereign in his field, consistent for YEARS, trendy and abnormally creative but, his willpower is impressive. He could influence anyone to do anything.”

Ever since she could remember, Jamaica has held an important part of her life. Being introduced to such a distinct, vibrant, creative and confident culture and people, made her fall in love, and she never looked elsewhere. Being Jamaican is definitely an experience she would not change for the world. She considers Jamaica, the land of wood, water and wellness because of the calming spaces like the countryside and the beach.

Originally from Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, born September 9th, 1996, Annesha comes from a big family of seven sisters and one brother all from the same parents. She was first introduced to the island by her proud Jamaican parents who raised her, authentic Jamaican cuisine, non-stop dancehall and reggae music playing and vibes! Although, she is Jamaican through descent, being a part of the culture has been one thing she grew up being aware of. She now lives and resides in Mandeville and makes a living as a YouTuber, vlogging about everything from the best places to visit to how-tos and hair tutorials.

Annesha was nominated as one of Bashy’s YouTubers to watch in 2020.