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

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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.

YouTuber Annesha Adams on Profiting from Passion

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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.

How artists and creatives offer hope during the COVID-19 crisis

To launch my Creatives of the Future e-book, (to sign up to receive it, click here) I researched creatives who are using their platforms to spread awareness about taking precautions in fighting COVID-19: including wearing masks, staying home and social distancing.

More and more everyday people are being diagnosed with COVID-19, critical resources are stretched, the very essence of our freedom is shrinking – and yet we are moved inward, to the inner space of our thoughts and imagination, a place we have perhaps neglected. Of all the necessities we now feel so keenly aware of, the arts and their contribution to our well-being is evident and, in some ways, central to COVID-19 confinement for those of us locked in at home. For some, there are more pressing needs. But momentary joys, even in dire circumstances, often come through the arts and collective expression.

People on social media are sharing favourite Apocalypse playlists, Netflix movies, TikTok videos and even artwork to reach out beyond isolation and share what they love.

Artists are also finding creative ways to keep people connected during a pandemic that keeps us apart.

Besides the usual IG lives, some Jamaican creatives are raising awareness by swapping physical performance spaces for virtual ones. Londie Murray teamed up The Fix, a podcast usually reserved for interviewing dancehall artists to live stream on their YouTube channel of over 111,000 subscribers.

VIRTUAL LIVE MUSIC SERIES: SUNDAY LIVE!

 Sunday Live! is an online concert series that aims to give artistes the chance to reach an audience that they’re not able to physically due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

They’re trying to raise funds to purchase masks to donate to the infirmaries in St. James and an orphanage & battered women shelter in Montego Bay. 

Sunday Live! is sponsored by Sagicor Bank Jamaica, Rainforest Seafood, Buzz Caribbean, Pier 1, MDLink, John Swaby Entertainment, Orijin Juices and iCreate.

Watch the lastest episode with ft. Joby Jay, Royal Blu & Indie Allen – 

Sunday Live! is an online concert series that aims to give artiste the chance to perform for the public that they’re not able to physically reach due to COVID-19 restrictions.

COMMUNICATING SOCIAL DISTANCING

Phillip J Clayton created an Facebook frame to create awareness about social distancing

public awareness campaign is a marketing effort to build public recognition of a problem through media, messaging, and an organized set of communication tactics. These campaigns target a large number of people over a specific period of time to try and generate specific outcomes or achieve pre-determined goals

Art connects us to the foreign, the exotic and the impossible – but in our current context, it also connects is a means to educate. Phillip J Clayton created a Facebook frame to create awareness about social distancing. Click here to add a Facebook frame to your profile picture.

If the story about Covid-19 is told from a different perspective, the communication could focus on something deeper for greater impact…all groups of people are at risk, and can be infected or be affected in some way – Children will lose parents, it’s everyone’s duty to participate with the guidelines provided by the WHO, CDC and all relevant agencies and governments- Phillip J Clayton

SPEAKING IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE PEOPLE

Kenia Mattis the founder of ListenMi, an animation pre-production and design studio for diverse content created Fimimoji, which are free Jamaican Whatsapp stickers to help you share how you really feel in a creative way. From a mask emoji to the ever essential cleaning agent Dettal, there is something to share your expression of the reality of the virus.

We need to be socially distant while staying connected with those we care about. But how we communicate is as important as what we have to say. The team, led on this project by Jenille Brown, wanted to create Whatsapp emojis to help people share important messages the way Jamaicans can; with creativity and vibes. There’s lots of serious and positive information to share. We hope these stickers help people get their audience’s attention– Kenia Mattis

Download today 

BREEDING EMOTION

As more cases rise some creatives are speaking to emotion. In times of crisis, design and visual messaging are more important than ever.

I feel at this time creatives should dedicate some time and create awareness through their skill set- whether through animation, motion graphics, graphic design or any creative gift of expression.

We are fighting against the ugliness of poor design communication but we can come together and create something impactful or emotional to drive the seriousness of the situation that’s in effect currently.

Yes some of us were laid off, some of us have lost revenue but let’s also bring hope as a community. -Keifer Simpson

HEALING THROUGH ART

It is recognized that adult coloring activity has great virtues in our behavior and on the brain. Indeed, adult coloring will allow you to isolate yourself, to cut you off from the world for a pencil stroke. This is why many people call these drawings anti-stress coloring. In addition, the advantage of these colourings, is of course the possibility to remake them to infinity with new color palettes, and thus give them a whole other aspect. Hours of fun and relaxation to color these coloring pages for adults! At each mood, its colors!

Download here

Guest Blog: Kevin Jackson: Advice for Filmmakers During Quarantine

Jamaica has taken a blow from the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe. Education, Farming, Fitness, Financial, Food, Manufacturing. You name it, they have taken a hit. Disney recently furloughed 43,000 employees from their theme parks alone in the United States. Geez, can you imagine 43,000 people who got paid to entertain kids, now have to go home to entertain their kids 24/7 and not get paid for it. Yikes Talk about irony.

In Jamaica some people are already being sent home without pay. In the local film arena Palace Amusement, the cinema monopoly in Jamaica has closed their doors till further notice. No more of those succulent salty hot dogs and buttery popcorn. Well, I have Act II Popcorn in my cupboard, so I don’t miss that as much, but those hot dogs though. Sigh, I digress. 

Sadly, at a time when Filmmaking is experiencing a renaissance in Jamaica, Video Production crews are forced to stay home. A literal production hell nightmare.

JAFTA Propella

Award-winning Film Director Kia Moses being interviewed about her short film, “Flight.”

One programme that has been pushing the barrier with film is the JAFTA Propella script to screen initiative of the Jamaica Film and Television Association. In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a great way for filmmakers experienced and inexperienced to get a “Buss”. The word “Propella” is just Patois (Patwa) for Propeller, meaning to move forward.

Every year around November they have an open call for submissions of film treatments (Basically a synopsis of your story…NOT A SCRIPT), a blind judging process shortlists 10 projects during its first round. After submissions of a draft script and other items, 4 – 5 projects are selected and are awarded (subject to certain conditions of course), a partial production funding grant, and each project’s above-the-line participants take part in developmental workshops, towards creating a short film. In case you don’t know what “above-the-line” means, it’s Hollywood talk for the people in charge like the producers, director and writer.

This programme started in 2016 and to date has yielded 14 short films which have premiered in Trinidad, France, South Africa, Atlanta, Guadeloupe, Germany, Florida and a bag of other places. Combined the projects have raked in over 20 international awards like the Black Women’s Film Network, International Du Pan African De Cannes, Nouveaux Regards Film Festival, GATFFEST Film Festival, Bentonville Film festival and we’d be here all day if I listed anymore. 

One of the films, “Flight” written by Kia Moses and directed by Kia Moses and Adrian McDonald aired on HBO Zone On February 3rd of this year. “Origins” by Kurt Wright received local funding to create a 60 minute slot pilot episode. “Mango Wars” by Kyle Chin and “This City of Mine” by Danielle Russell both signed distribution agreements with “Kweli TV” an African Diaspora Video On Demand platform regarded as the Afro-Descendant Netflix or Black Netflix if you want to straddle the lines of political correctness.

This year’s JAFTA Propella submissions closed the end of February just before COVID-19 hit Jamaica and concerns grew as to whether the programme would be postponed or even cancelled. Thankfully that is not the case. Had a chat with JAFTA President Analisa Chapman and she said there is no cancellation. The productions may be delayed however the steps that take place before production starts will be conducted virtually. In fact, the virtual ball has already started rolling. 

 

Normally the announcement of the first-round top 10 shortlist is announced face to face at JAFTA monthly meetings but this year we did it via Instagram Live which saw up to 80 people tuning in to see who made the cut.  The first Script Consultation session has already happened online, and participants are currently preparing for the second-round interviews and final judging for the final four projects, workshops, script consultations and more will be done virtually.

The hope is that by the time all the steps leading up to production are completed, the restrictions on movement and gathering in public will be lifted. If not, the productions will simply have to wait until the situation clears up.

Even if we (Jamaica) did have the luxury of filming during this time, practically all the film festivals JAFTA Propella would target have postponed their events. There is no rush to meet any external deadlines. Yes, this delays this year’s delivery of films and exposure of emerging talent, but it also gives the participants more time to polish up the quality of their final film. Thorough preparation almost always produces better results. That and a good team behind you.

What’s Next?

In the meantime, I strongly encourage filmmakers to make use of the down time. Learn new skills. Collaborate online and find innovative ways to use technology and the internet to your advantage. Writers can still write. Producers can still prepare contracts, shot list and call sheets. Assistant Directors and Location scouts can still search for locations virtually in many cases and actors/actresses can rehearse online.  

The show must go on, even if COVID-19 doesn’t go away. We must be prepared when that reality is before us.

Kevin Jackson is a writer, filmmaker and animator. He teaches Script Writing and Animation at the University of the West Indies, the HEART Vocational Training Development Institute and Northern Caribbean University. He currently serves as the outgoing President for the Jamaica Animation Nation Network and out going Marketing and Communications director for the Jamaica Film and Television Association. Oh, he is also the Vice President of the Jamaica Fencing Federation. No not chain link fence. Sword fencing. Yeah…that. Follow him @nivekproanimations

Kristia Franklin: Stylist Capitalizing on the TikTok wave, #DontRushChallenge

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Stylist Kristia Franklin aka MyRepeatOffender uses her personal brand to attract business and brand partnerships.

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. 

  1. What do you do for a living? Owner of @tiaclothesgirl, an online store and a stylist. 
  2. How many followers do you have? 8497 followers
  3. If you could eat any type of food (right now) what would you buy?  Several! Green Thai Curry shrimp from Tamarind, pasta from South Ave Grill, Avocado Spring roll and fried ice cream.
  4. What is your dream job? My dream job is what I’m doing now but on a larger scale and with more free time to travel for luxury and philanthropic opportunities. 
  5. What Netflix series are you binging on? Just finished Ozark.
  6. Favourite Influencer/YouTuber of all time?  I don’t have one to be honest. Just several I like for different reasons. 
  7. How has social media helped your career?  It started my career actually. Instagram has made tiaclothesgirl possible and it has also made my personal brand possible as well. 
  8. What advice would you give others trying to make a name for themselves? Just be true to yourself. Show people the real you. 
  9. What is the last thing you liked on social media? A pic of a bad ass outfit. 
  10. Who is your hero? Jesus Christ
My Repeat Offender’s before look for the #DontRushChallenge where she uses the makeup brush as a metaphor to transform her look.

A sudden wave of challenges have started during this whole COVID-19 pandemic, as more people are flooding to TikTok, the leading destination for short-form mobile video—which now boasts over 800 million users worldwide. TikTok is an app for making and sharing short videos. The videos are tall, not square, like  Snapchat or Instagram’s stories, but you navigate through videos by scrolling up and down, like a feed, not by tapping or swiping side to side.

Creators have access to several filters and editing features. Challenges are quite popular but one causing a stir is the #DontRushChallenge.Various iterations of the #DontRushChallenge include different songs that feature moms,health workers, men, makeup artists, and different nationalities.

My Repeat Offender’s shows you can dress up even if you’re at home

The #DontRushChallenge is a scenario where creators transform from homely to glam to the popular song, Don’t Rush by U.K. rap duo,  Young T and Bugsy while “passing along” a makeup brush used as a metaphorical baton.

Stylist Kristia Franklin, otherwise known as @MyRepeatOffender on Instagram has joined the many other creators in the  #DontRushChallenge by participating in not one, but two of these challenges.

Follow MyRepeatOffender on TikTok

She has collaborated with other creators @cocoislandgal @_ashleycarla, @leighnic, @iam_brandii, @jobyjaymusic, @piavonique, @ruthxrobby, @ashleysaige, @mynamesdora_ , @daanielle.xo, @suebie__, @a.swappstyle, @jenequep. They chose to do the final video to a song produced by @toniochromatic that went viral on social media.

The other #DontRushChallenge she created with her high school friends, which also went viral.

“This #DontRushChallenge has allowed me to collab with other creators,  and keep a connection to my followers. I’m used to getting dressed up and going out and since we’re on curfew due to COVID-19, this is my way of still having that outlet.  I love playing with makeup, getting dressed up and showing different looks, so the challenge was just a fun way of doing that!” she said.

Many creators are doing this, by recording and sharing their videos via WhatsApp, compiling and editing them in TikTok, which has features to make the 26-second video seamless.

Just like any other fashion-focused creator, Kristia has capitalized on this trend by posting her style looks, many of which she recommends to her clients.

Since COVID-19 lockdown, her usual brand partnerships have been on hiatus but this hasn’t stopped Kristia from keeping relevant in the space. 

Kristia doesn’t have 100,000 instagram followers, nor does she own a blog or YouTube channel and yet she’s been able to monetize her social media platform. How does Kristia manage to do this?

Franklin, who was crowned Campari Pop Style’s Most Stylish Female after an island-wide search in 2017, has always been a solo-preneur. She joins a generation of creatives who make more money living their dream than working at a job to survive.

Even as a child Franklin knew that she wanted to be an entrepreneur, “One day we were going to Portmore and I told my mother I wanted ice cream and she told me if I sold one shirt I would get it. I sold three, and from there I knew I wanted to be in sales.” she said.

After attending the University of Technology (UTech) Jamaica, Kristia started selling fast fashion clothing she bought on her travels through her website. Using social media to drive traffic to her website, Kristia would use models to create fashion editorial style photos.

“This created a lot of buzz and my following grew,” Kristia said. However, Kristia also used her personal brand as well by posting three different ways to wear an outfit, hence her Instagram name, My Repeat Offender.

By creating eye-catching, brightly colored, edgy looks, Kristia has drawn the attention of many, with clients ranging from party-goers to businesswomen. She’s worked with Miss Jamaica Universe 2014 and model Kaci Fennel, model and marketer Jeneque Pinnock and publicist and former television producer Alison Moss-Solomon to name a few.

Kristia is known for creating a memorable look that will have photographers begging to capture as soon as they arrive to the event.

She’s also been able to monetize with her social media platform by establishing partnerships with local brands. Working with these companies have allowed her a lot of creative freedom, as most brands want a message that feels natural and seamless.

She does this by creating posting photos of herself in exotic locations both in Jamaica and internationally. This garners many likes and a lot of engagement. “It is my online picture book which allows me to capture the essence of my trips whether I’m on vacation in Bali or taking a road trip to the North Coast.” she says.

Kristia continues to think of ways of keeping her brand relevant during this time by sharing her passion for fashion.

5 Reasons you Need a Website Now More than Ever Before

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The reasons why you might be resisting building a website for your business: “I’m not tech savvy”, “they’re too expensive”, “I don’t have the time”, or the infamous “I have enough business and I don’t need one”. The reality is, you don’t need to be tech savvy, getting a professional website for your business can be cheap and easy, and to make it even simpler for you – not having a website is costing you time and money.

According to Hootsuite’s We Are Social 2019 report , released for in January of last year , 1.58 million of Jamaica’s 2.9 million population are active internet users. The median age online is 31 years of age, and they like to shop!

1.You Need to Be Discoverable in Search Engine Results

People don’t just browse the Internet to discover companies they want to do businesses with; more specifically, they visit search engines. Google is the number website for Jamaicans, and when they search with keywords, you want your business to be on the first page. 93% of online experiences start with a search engine. And nearly half of these searches are for local businesses.

So, you need to have a search-optimized company website that can rank well in search engine results. This will ensure consumers are able to find, and connect with, your business.

2. It Can Help You Build Credibility

The 21st century consumer is a skeptic; and they like to look at reviews and testimonials. Having a good website instantly boosts your credibility as a legitimate business.

First impressions matter and websites allow you to make a very strong impression with a well designed introduction for your business.

A website can help showcase your expertise and better position your business. A website can be your number one tool for standing out in a crowd!

3.Your Website Stays Open 24 Hours Per Day

Unlike your business, which most likely does not operate or communicate with customers after-hours, your website stays open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. This means that even when your staff is not available to interact with people looking to do business with you, your website is accessible and able to provide helpful information, serve as a point of contact or even allow customers to make purchases or submit orders.

4.Your Competitors Probably Have One

Most small businesses don’t have their own website. Majority of small businesses DO have a presence online like social media, and it’s likely that your competitors have a website that is appealing to people in your area.

If you want to stay relevant and competitive within your field, it’s important that your business have a footprint online—it not only helps you stay competitive, but it also helps cement your role as a forward-thinking, tech-savvy business.

“If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.”

Bill Gates

5.  It’s not as hard, or as expensive, as you think

You don’t need to be tech savvy to get a website. I can create a custom site for a reasonable cost.

It can be very cost effective. Websites offer a better return on investment than any other form of advertising. If you’re planning to market your business, a website should be your first priority.

To summarize… You need a website, and it’s easier than ever to get one.

In the 21st century, every person including a person should have a site. I have packages avaialble at my company’s website, The StorytellerAgency.co and there is a massive opportunity to help grow your business.

If you’re going to do one thing today to help your business be more successful, it’s to make getting a website your top priority.

It’s easy to be a better business. Get a website.

7 Jamaican-Made Things You’ll Want on Hand If You Have to Work From Home.

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I’ve been working from home for at least 3 months now since I launched my agency, The Storyteller in January. As someone who is used to being at home most of the day, in all honesty the past few days have been difficult.

Being self-quarantined has forced me to enjoy myself more. Here are some things you need to keep on hand now you’re spending more time at home.

1. THE LABEL SNOB water bottle

During the Corona Pandemic, it makes sense to keep hydrated to boost your immune system. These super cute tumblers will save you some trips to the fridge.

Customize tumblers for every member of your family, so that no one has to fight over who gets to use the good cup! You can also keep hot or cold beverages.

2. HERBOO BOTANICALS face & body oil

If you’re practicing good hygiene but your hands are getting dry from all of the 20-second-hand-washing, use Herboo Botanicals mixed with some shea butter to help soothe your dry skin.

Herboo Face & Body oil is made with an amazing blend of coconut oil, jojoba oil and sage essential oil. This unique mixture also allows you to also remove makeup and reduce stretch marks.  Use my code, “KESI” at checkout for a discount.

3. Those Creative People’s 2020 PLANNA

I know we’re used to using those productivity apps, but writing things down improves memory. Being able to fill in the dates yourself gives you the freedom to use your planna at any point in the year, without wasting pages.

A 2020 planner from TCPtings.com helps you stay organized. Use my promo code “LNL-KESI-5” at checkout to get a 10% discount. It also helps you track things like your fitness, water intake and even moods.

4. MICA candle

Burning candles helps to reduce anxiety and lower levels of depression or stress. Using the principles of aromatherapy, scented candles can create the ideal mood and ambience for your home.

Burn this soy candle to help calm your nerves, so you can focus. Soy is better for your health: Soy burns cleaner and produces as much as 90 percent less soot than paraffin, reducing the amount of indoor air pollution produced.

5.Live Juice Bar food delivery service

Plant-based foods are better for you and the environment, besides it comes with a green juice for breakfast and natural juice for lunch. You also get your food delivered two days in advance, so this also saves on delivery costs.

6. JahMah Live Stream

Keep motivated throughout the day with JahMah livestream and play the your favourite hits. They even have playlists based on your mood.

7. One Love Duvet Cover for Naptime

Get ready for naptime and buy it here

You might want to take nap time around 3 p.m-ish. Don’t worry, we gotchu!

What are your essentials now that you’re working from home?

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I trust and the income goes to keeping the site up and running.

How Businesses Can Survive in the Time of Corona and Beyond

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I knew this day would come as I’ve been preaching about Digital Transformation for the past few years now. Since 2002, during the dot.com era when everyone and their mama was making money from building websites, I’ve worked on quite a few.

Somehow that died down in the last decade. Perhaps because of the invention of social media, people feel its so much easier (and cheaper) to focus on building your following on instagram than building your email list and increasing website visitors.

In 2012, I helped a non-profit drive traffic to their website and increased donor loyalty by 25% in a matter of few months . As an international NGO, they heavily relied on funding to implement projects, so this factor was essential. 

Now fast forward to 2020, the Corona virus has halted all major events and social gatherings including weddings, funerals and bank lines for at least two weeks, if not longer. How will small businesses, promoters and event planners survive this massive dent in their income?

Here are some things businesses can do to survive Corona Virus, otherwise known as COVID-19:

  1. Create a website to build credibility. It’s necessary more than ever at this time. Not just for events but for anyone that sells goods and/or services. It allows people to see the services you have to offer as well as, in times of crisis like this, update your customers with the necessary information they need.
  2. Add e-commerce so you can make money online:I wanted to help someone in another country promote their products but they didn’t have a website. How am I supposed to help them promote if they don’t have a way to receive online payments? This also helps you to widen your customer base which is critical in a time like this.
  3. Digital Transformation will be the future of success: For those who are now forced to do remote work, take the time to set up the cloud so you can back up files, digitize your files and include project management systems to increase productivity. Help your staff get digital ready, purchase Google Play gift card for them to buy productivity apps.Then reward them with this .
  4. Create Online challenges to keep people engaged: Show ways your company is helping to fight the Corona Virus by asking your followers to engage in a challenge. Currently, there is the popular #WashYourLyrics challenge but you can also ask people to show how they sanitize their phones or even homes. Or similarly to the #PlankChallenge, they can ask people to show how they are practicing social distancing at this time. Make it fun! It also help to keep you top-of-mind during this difficult time.
  5. By Live Streaming events the show will go on: Have you ever watched a boxing match on pay-per-view? You can also live stream events through your website and ask people to pay to watch it. This is also a great time to set up Eventbrite and Paypal account so you can accept payments.
  6. Brand Partnerships are key: If you’re a promoter, by now you should have your sponsors who you can rely on. If the events scheduled have been postponed or cancelled, they should have some funds in reserve. Ask them to sponsor the live streamed event and show value by mentioning the brand or subtly having it the background while the event is taking place. Encourage people to comment on the livestream and win prizes.
  7. And lastly Care. What as a business are you doing to give back? It’s more than just showing people how to wash their hands. Leave the updates on the virus to the health authorities. How will you help people feed their families and stay healthy during this time? Social good and corporate social responsibility are important so much more now than ever before. 

Love Not Likes: Micro-Influencers and Bloggers Take on Jamaica

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I’ve been working in advertising for over 15 years, and as someone who used “influencers” (there wasn’t a name for it at the time) to sell t-shirts online for 2 years, I understand the value of an influencer.

The community is small is in Jamaica, totaling about 20-30 major influencers made up of mostly comedians, lifestyle, beauty and public figure categories.

I was nominated as a People to Watch in 2019, by Kadia Francis, aka the Digital Jamaican who scoured the internet to find micro-influencers and bloggers who write mostly for the love of it and not necessarily the recognition. A micro-influencer tends to have less than 10,000 followers but usually has an intimate community. ( I listed using micro-influencers as one of the 2019 trends in social media. Read here)

We wanted to bring everyone together to bond and network. Most of the people had the same wish–to create content (whether that be in the form of writing, taking photos or making videos, etc), and being able to travel the world while doing so.

list of Jamaican bloggers. love not likes
Love Not Likes Bloggers/Content Creators in the middle of the road at Castleton Gardens

We received sponsorship from Ion Communications and LuxuryJa.

While CPJ, our official refreshment sponsor provided us with Life Span Water and Glinter sparkling water

Photo Credit: Peter Clarke, Rocket Visions JA

Rum Cream, Rumbar rum and vodka came from Worthy Park.

Snacks for the 2.5 drive from National Bakery

Sun Factory provided us with flip-flops for the beach.

Each blogger received customized mugs with their ig handle from The Label Snob , Sharmac Graphics printed the fans for each guest, Just nuff social plan (which includes data and social media) were granted by Digicel Jamaica and TCP offered the bags to carry everything in.

Watch the video of the recap.

The bloggers paid for their transportation and lunch but received reposts and comments from the sponsors, edited photos from established photographers including Machel Witter, Peter Clarke and Darren George (contracted by our partners Ion Communications), to gather content on their behalf. We were even featured on CVM Sunrise. See the full interview below.

So the most burning questions from this experience have been, why call it Love Not Likes? In April 2019, Instagram put out that they were working on changing the platform to eliminate likes, you can read the Forbes article here.

Also, as I said earlier, many of these bloggers do it because they love what they do—sharing their go-to spots in Jamaica, or their beauty secrets, etc. However, they’ve never received corporate sponsorship or even gifted merchandise.

The list of the bloggers/micro-influencers/YouTubers who attended were:

Jhunelle Jureidini: a full-time travel blogger who finds most of the unknown places in Jamaica and highlights them.

Sue-Tanya McHorgh: a website developer and lifestyle blogger who also has an online clothing store.

Diedre McLeod: A travel blogger who teaches travelers how to travel the world on a budget.

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Anybody ever ask you why you always have ONE BAG AH TINGS in your bag? 🤣 Bae is usually guilty amirite!? * You ever checked out the things you are carrying in your bag? Like really looked at what's in your bag? What do you have languishing in there? Old receipts, snack wrappers (cuz you do your part for the environment), broken makeup, random stuff that you not sure why they're ever there in the first place? LoL I may have stopped talking about a bag and now having full-on philosophical ramblings on life 🙊. But honestly, I try to be intentional about what I put in my bag. I don't want to be literally carrying around useless baggage. And this beach bag from @thosecreativepeople can really hold ONE BAG AH TINGS! Fyi it's great for trips not just to the beach. On my last trip to the beach it really shined. It's Spacious. Great for holding towels, water shoes, food, sunscreen and more. Check my blog about "How to do One Bag Ah Tings on your next trip to Portland" to see how handy the bag is (LinkInBio or bit.ly/oneBagAhTings) And tell me if you love it! * * * * * * * 📸@rockstaar_ 👜@thosecreativepeople #gifted #sponsoredpost #iamwandering #wanderoften #tcptings #thosecreativepeople #beachbagswag #beachlovers🌴 #JamaicaJamaica #proud876 #wanderlustcollection #frenchmanscove #jamaicabeach #portlandjamaica #weekendgetaways #blackgirlstraveltoo #fabuplus #blacktraveljourney #weekendmood #whatsinyourbag #cluttered #baggage #beachlifeisthebestlife #onthebeach

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Lucienne Antonio: A blogger who also can secure your next budget vacation.

Kemar Royal: a content creator/droner who lives for adventure

Ronnia Cherry, a creative with multiple interests, all surrounding creating a platform for Jamaican creatives. Learn more about her

Tashi Grant: A media maven who started her lifestyle/travel blog called The Hopper

Rachael Campbell: a travel vlogger who likes to party.

Jehmeil Shrouder: a YouTuber on a mission to be successful.

Ornella Green: A lifestyle/beauty blogger who aspires to travel the world.

So I wanted to make them feel special, i.e. find a way to show them and the world, that micro-influencers have value. Many influencers only big up a brand because they are getting paid, which sometimes loses its authenticity.

So let’s even get more pedantic, people think influencer is a dirty/bad word. What is an influencer, really?

An influencer is an individual who’s capable of affecting (i.e., influencing) people’s purchase decisions because of his/her knowledge or authority. What’s more, this individual has a following – usually on social media – in a specific niche, such as fashion, food, fitness, photography, and so on. YouTube marketing is also quite common.

Tech Jury ( see article here)

According to influencer marketing research, many companies will hire brand ambassadors to promote their products. While the most visible brand ambassadors are celebrity influencers, micro-bloggers can often get in on the action, too – they increase a brand’s visibility more locally. Another sponsored content format consists of paid for articles and blogs, which appear as editorials in an online publication.

So now we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the alignment with the government’s growth strategy. Chris Dehring spoke at the Jamaica Diaspora Conference a couple of months ago and he talked about the importance of creating alternative job opportunities for young people.

The insights that came out of the trip was that most of them want to live a digital nomad lifestyle. It seems pretty simple, but when you live on an island, you tend to only think about Jamaica and even some think smaller–only Kingston and St. Andrew.

Our aim is to create a network and community with bloggers/micro-influencers who want to monetize. We’ve invited Lauren Dunn, otherwise known as Lauren O Lauren to give a masterclass at CoWork on Thursday, July 18th. Lauren has been working in Silicon Valley and has been able to grow her following and monetize for the last few years. Please call 876 881-7830 to purchase tickets.

We’re also building a community of bloggers, content creators, photographers who want to collaborate. Please follow @lovenotlikesja on Instagram or email us at lovenotlikes@gmail.com for more information.

Confession: I’m a Social Media Snob and the Apps You Should Use to be one too.

So someone called me a social media snob the other day, and I’m not arguing. I like an aesthetically-pleasing feed.

Honestly though, I’m tired of the DMs from people asking me how they can get their feed looking good. This is very valuable top-secret information that I’m sharing with you (no it’s really not you can find it on the internet but i’m tired of the DMs guys…)

So you can get an Instagram husband to take pictures of you with a DSLR but most people use an iPhone and it works perfectly fine. If you don’t have someone to take pictures of you, you can get a tripod to set up your camera.

If you don’t have a lot of time to take pictures (like I do), you can try the following:

Free Stock images: UnSplash, Pixabay, Pexels. So although I am a content creator, some of the images on my feed aren’t mine. Yes, some of the images I get from free stock sites that match my aesthetic.  You don’t have to credit the photographers based on the license but they always appreciate it when you do. These images are copyright free. If you do decide to use someone else’s images, please get permission and credit them.

So once, you have your photos, you can mix them with quotes. I use a free tool called Canva . This is a great because there are templates you can use. There really isn’t any excuse as to why your feed can’t be off-the-chain.

Preview: Now die-hard social media people will know this app but for those of you are new and want to step up your game, it allows you to load your images and curate your feed. They also have a stock of free photos to choose from. This allows you pre-plan what your feed is going to look like.

So the idea is to seek balance and symmetry through colour. Choose images that are the same tone and match each other (but it ultimately depends what you’re looking for)

And you can use HootSuite to schedule and it’s free! I post in threes to keep my grid perfect. I’m also OCD, so I will delete something if I feel it doesn’t match my aesthetic.

Learn more about how to grow your instagram here.

Here some grid ideas so you can make your own cool feed.:

You can win with a checker board design

 

Create a white border to give this gallery effect

 

Tile your feed