By Yashy Selvadurai Murphy
The third Ladies Who Chai event took place earlier this month at the Residence Inn in downtown Toronto. It was most definitely a full house as over 30 Masalamommas gathered to learn about what it takes to write for their business and how they can translate their social media activities into sales. Entering the social media sphere can be daunting but one that businesses, no matter their size, needs to be active on and these ladies were eager to learn more.
Ladies Who Chai is a forum for women in our South Asian community to expand their network, build their businesses and foster friendships, all over a cup of chai. On arrival guests were warmed up by nibbles and Tea India Chai as they perused through the line of cheeky baby clothing by Chiri Baby and stunning jewellery by Satya Paul Canada. Many #ChaiMoments were kindled as Masalamommas made new connections and fostered genuine relationships.
The art of exchanging social media currency into sales (and real dollars) was one the passionate panel was familiar with and the four ladies featured that evening had plenty of sound advice to share.
Clare having managed to build a brand for herself, has utilized her blog and social media channels to secure TV appearances and speaking engagements. Her advice to the ladies was to focus on a couple social media channels that will drive engagement and to put out relevant and engaging content.
A huge fan of Twitter and Facebook (she engages mainly through a personal Twitter account vs. one for her business), she’s found that one needs to be witty on Twitter and share pertinent articles on Facebook. Clare also touched on the topic of struggles in the social media landscape and the art of balancing it all – you just have to focus on what works for your brand and discover that ‘voice’.
The vivacious Kirin Singh was next in line and as an author and founder of ROI Realty she has created the Ki brand. This brand is what comes to life in all her social media channels and she uses social media has an avenue for socializing. Gone may be the days of party hopping but you can still make meaningful human connections from the comfort of your home. An avid fan of Instragram, Kirin’s strategy is to share it all.
You can find photos of her kids and her home but what’s important to keep in mind is that there’s a story being told. Using your lifestyle to portray your business items or services and in turn sell them, is the goal. Kirin’s sage advice (told with much gusto) was to keep it real , monitor how much time you spend online and to ensure that you use that time wisely. We all know how five minutes online can turn into five hours, oh so easily!
Angela Aiello, is a writer, educator and founder of iYellow Wineclub who has used her blog to transcend into her Wine Evangelist position in today’s society. She took her passion and knowledge and used it initially to network in a new city and build a network of friends. That then grew into what is today’s a 10,000 plus membership of thirsty professionals looking to learn more about the wonderful world of wine. If there’s one thing that struck the audience it was Angela’s quote ‘Find your dorks and embrace them’. Look out for those passionate followers as they will be your best ambassadors. Keep them in the loop and engage with them through your social media channels. She also highlighted that social media takes a lot of work and like in your personal life, surround yourself with people who believe in you and don’t give up, no matter how easy it may seem.
The final panelist Adria MacKenzie, Corporate Communications Manager at General Motors of Canada (GM), brought a corporate perspective into the mix. She manages GM Canada’s image and reputation in the public eye and is a member of their social media council, which means that she knows what brands are looking for when it comes to working with bloggers and influencers.
In a day and age where numbers are flung left, right and centre, Adria says that honesty is what’s most important. She doesn’t look for stats as much as she looks for “authenticity when it comes to identifying influencers.” She told attendees, “It’s okay to not like everything ALL the time. Be honest and remember that your personal brand is often your public brand and image.”
The overarching theme for the evening was authenticity, passionate engagement and wise investment of time. Our evening ended with a surprise wine tasting tutorial lead by Angela and we all learned the art of sniff, swirl and sip. Once the panel wound down, the Masalamommas continued to network, exchange ideas and sip on more Chai with Tea India’s Chai Moments as well.
“I had a fabulous time at the masalamommas event,” said Suds Wyne, an attendee and business owner of her newly launched business, Salam Shop. “Can’t wait for the next one!”
“Great event with inspiring women!” said Tabassum Bhayani, an attendee.
The energy in the air after a Ladies Who Chai event is undeniable and every single person in the audience left with ways of improving their business strategies and with the desire to engage more effectively.
More highlights in this video below:
Stay tuned for the next Ladies Who Chai event in the spring!
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