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WHY #PAY TAMPA BAY

Florida is home to the third-largest cluster of insurance and banking companies in the U.S., making it an ideal location to launch and support a fintech venture.

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#PAY TAMPA BAY | 02.20.2020 | EMBARC COLLECTIVE
#PAY TAMPA BAY has opportunities for speakers, sponsors and supporters.

On my recent trip to Las Vegas for the Money 20/20 event, I received a lot of questions about #PAY TAMPA BAY. I’m writing this blog to share my vision for this unique event.

First and foremost our technology corridor is experiencing tremendous growth with startup incubators and accelerators in all three major cities, Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater. Huge investments from business leaders and local government cooperation is expediting growth.

Tampa Bay Lightning Owner, Jeff Vinik is collaborating with Bill Gate’s Cascade Partners to revitalize the downtown business district with a new innovation hub as a keystone in the project.

Strategic Property Partner’s $3 Billion dollar Water Street Project will catalyze the city and it’s technology oriented growth for 2020 and beyond. Water Street Project Website

As a native of Tampa Bay this is exciting news to me and it provided an opportunity to showcase this growth to the financial services industry. We want to attract attention and investment to the area to aid in growth and prosperity.

Embarc Collective is a 33,000 square foot, $12 million dollar, state-of-the-art innovation hub opening in 2020. #PAY TAMPA BAY is the first official event following the grand opening. The hub will have private workspaces, a public cafe, outdoor lounge and lending library. 

“We’ve created an urban porch for this historic, brick warehouse,” Jan Barna, president of Kreher/Barna Design Studio, said in a release. “And designed an interior that reflects a microcosm of our urban environment.”

To make the massive space a little more close-knit, it will be split up to “mini-neighborhoods” which are intended to have the tenants create close connections with their neighbors.

“You have different companies in private offices that have a small shared area, so it’s a community inside of a community,” she said. “These companies get to know each other, cheer each other on, but in a much smaller community.”

As important as this infrastructure is, it’s the people and their passion that make the difference. We have found that Tampa Bay is full of passionate leaders that are highly involved in fintech.

Two of those people are Rosa Shores and Gabe Higgins, Founders of BlockSpaces. We have partnered with this blockchain innovation studio that is focused on creating value-added solutions to organizations looking to leverage emerging technology to organize and present this upcoming event at this brand new, downtown innovation hub.

There is a number of other local passionate leaders in the fintech realm here in “the other Bay Area”. Numerous financial services giants are opening their doors in the corridor to leverage our burgeoning fintech industry and perks of a warmer climate.

Today, Florida is home to the third-largest cluster of insurance and banking companies in the U.S., making it an ideal location to launch and support a fintech venture. We’re reaching out to the fintech industry in many different ways to attract attention and investment to the area.

Recently a cohort representing St. Pete’s financial services leaders joined the Greater St. Petersburg Area EDC in Times Square on October 25 during the Finovate Fall event to talk to New York-based companies about the business opportunity in the Sunshine City.

Greater St. Pete EDC President, J.P. Dubuque was joined by Intrinio, Presence, Raymond James, Dynasty Financial Partners, and the City of St. Petersburg, who shared their Florida Fintech story with the Finovate Fall delegates and members of the media.

“St. Pete is young and vibrant, it’s a happening place. It’s one of the most up-and-coming cities in the Southeast”

Shirl Penny, President & CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners.

“Financial services companies don’t need to be in New York, they can be in St. Pete, thrive, succeed and be much happier” said St. Pete EDC President.

“I think we need to pump our chest out and be proud of who and what we are, and even more so about what we’re becoming” said Tash Elwyn, President and CEO of Raymond James, Private Clients Group.

“We need to continue to do more of this, we need to tell the story, work together and we need to make sure everybody knows how special St. Pete is”.

I personally find a great challenge in this and am joining the ranks of those already working to attract attention and investment to the area. I have committed my company to organizing this event with the intention of helping to build progress, talent density and take part in the growth and transformation of this thriving technology corridor.

#PAY TAMPA BAY has opportunities for speakers, sponsors and supporters. We want to challenge companies in the financial services space to get involved and participate in this special one day event designed to bring fintech leaders to the Tampa Bay area.

If you want to support innovation and gain insight to what Tampa Bay has to offer please contact us. We’re happy to discuss your organization’s participation in this unique and inspiring event.

The Mandalay Group Inc. www.paysymposium.com | [email protected]

Bruce Burke is the Founder of The Mandalay Group, the company that organizes the #PAY Symposium & Exposition events. Bruce is a pioneer in the financial services industry, having developed the Social Mobile Payments conference series and now has reinvented himself with the #PAY Fintech World Tour. Join the #PAY Revolution as we blaze a path across the globe over the course of the next decade of payments.

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5 ways to create a successful personal brand step by step

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Many people are surprised when I explain that I did not consciously develop any strategy to start creating my personal brand. In fact, I started working on my personal brand with almost no intention of doing so back in 2010. At that time I had a well-functioning affiliate marketing company and had no interest in building my brand.

Little did I think that the blog would be the catalyst for many of my current projects and that it would make my personal brand what it is now.

I didn’t know how I would make money with the blog but it was something I wasn’t interested in knowing at the time either because I didn’t intend to monetize it.

I remember that before I decided to offer my services in the blog, when I was contacted by companies that wanted to hire my services, I told them that I was not hiring. Everything was going well for me and I didn’t want to get involved in other Tech projects.

But my personal brand thanks to the blog was growing and becoming more and more popular, and the demand for my services was increasing. I realized that I was fooling around and that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do business, so I turned my speech around and started offering my services.

Today that company I had at that time does not exist and I am partly glad because my professional life changed radically from the moment I closed it and started to focus on my personal brand.

Entrepreneurship changed my life, but creating a blog and working on my personal brand were undoubtedly the best decisions I could have made in my life for all the good that came after.

Personal brand

What is personal branding?

Other definitions of personal brand

We live in the age of Google

Things to know about personal branding

Advantages of personnel branding

Steps for creating a personal brand

Examples of personal branding

Tips for developing your personal brand

Practical tips to improve your personal brand

Personal brand books

Conclusion

Personal brand

What is personal branding

To define what a personal brand is, I like to go a bit outside the definition given by Wikipedia and I usually define it as “the mark we leave on people”; it’s how you are perceived by others.

A great quote from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says that your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not around.

“Your personal brand is what they say about you when you’re not around.” Jeff Bezos

And that’s because personal branding is something we can’t control. It’s not what you say you are, but what others perceive you to be.

Other definitions of personal branding

As you can see, the definition of personal branding is very open. Here are some other definitions of personal branding that will go down in history:

“A personal brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that together represent a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” – Seth Godin

“Personal branding is about managing your name, even if you don’t have a business, in a world of misinformation, and semi-permanent Google results. Going on a date? Chances are your date has googled your name. Going on a job interview? Exactly the same.” – Tim Ferriss

“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” – Zig Ziglar

“If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, it will define the history of your brand for you.” – David Brier

“Focus on identifying your target audience, communicating an authentic message that they want and need, and project yourself as an ‘expert’ within your niche.” – Kim Garst

“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” – Zig Ziglar

We live in the age of Google

The google era

I always say that we live in the age of Google, in which the most knowledgeable and the most experienced have no more chance of finding a job, no. In this new era, the one who has more possibilities is the one who knows how to move intelligently and has more visibility.

You can be the best in the world doing your job, but if you don’t manage to reach the public that can hire you, it’s no use.

Whether you are a professional who wants to find a job or is looking to specialize in a certain sector, you will need to work on your personal brand.

And I think that nowadays you can have it a little more complicated than if you had started a few years ago, because the market is saturated with professionals and every day it is more necessary to stand out from the competition.

Don’t worry, I’m not saying it’s impossible to stand out with your personal brand today, far from it, but you do have to know that you will need to make an extra effort and a lot of patience.

And above all, and keep this in mind, what will make you stand out in this saturated market is specialization.

The generic no longer sells or hooks: there is a lot of everything. However, finding what makes you unique and different, as well as specializing in something specific, is the key to success for your personal brand.

The personal brand is the future, and the Knowmad movement is based on working correctly on your personal branding. Raquel Roca, author of the book “Knowmads, the workers of the future” explains it perfectly in this interview that I recommend you to listen.

Recently I was talking with Berto López about a new batch of bloggers that had come out last year and analyzing some months later which ones are still alive after some time, I see that they are those who have known how to find their specialization.

Things to know about personal branding

1. Patience will be your best ally.

The personal brand is not built overnight, it is a long-distance race that takes time to complete – not to mention that it is a long-distance race that you never stop running.

I don’t like to talk about times when creating a personal best but in my opinion it’s very complicated to build it in less than 1 year and a half or 2, if you start completely from 0.

There are always cases in which personal brands have grown fast as foam, but it is not the usual either. There are also cases of people who have been working on their personal brand for years and have no results.

2. It’s not easy

There are no shortcuts to the top. It’s that clear. If it were easy to create a personal brand everyone would do it (well). It’s one thing to work on your personal brand, it’s quite another to work on it successfully.

If you work on your personal brand together with a blog like I did, you’re going to need a lot of discipline. There are statistics that say that 95% of bloggers abandon their blogs in less than a year, and lack of motivation is the biggest cause of abandonment.

We’ve already said that patience is a key point to develop your brand, so if you’re one of those people who expects short term results you’re going to have a hard time.

Maybe you think that without a blog you can also manage to build your personal brand, but you have to know that although there are people who have achieved this, there are very few cases.

3. Without consistency there is no reward

You have to be very constant, there’s no point in random hits. In my case, until I started to be constant with my blog I didn’t see good results.

When I started to publish articles in my blog I did it whenever I felt like it, no matter what day it was, nor how much time had passed since the last post I had published. It was hard for me to realize that both readers and Google like to see a certain regularity of posts on your blog.

The moment I set out to write at least one post per week I started noticing something, but it was definitely when I decided to post every day (except weekends) that I noticed a big difference in how the rest of the world saw my blog.

4. Planning is the key

Setting goals, defining a strategy to achieve them and planning that strategy on a schedule is the best I could do at the time.

As I told you at the beginning of this article, I didn’t have a strategy behind my personal brand simply because I didn’t know I was going to develop it.

But when I saw the enormous potential that both my brand and the blog had, it was clear to me that I had to take what I was doing really seriously and start making a plan.

5. Your passion will mark your path

You may have heard it a thousand times, but I can assure you that passion is a good guide that should mark your path.

When the lack of motivation fails, when the results do not come, when you want to throw in the towel, the passion for what you do is the only thing that allows you to continue. That’s why it’s so important to do what you really love.

I know many cases in which people who had a passion for a subject have managed to monetize it and live completely from it.

“Be yourself. The other positions are taken” Oscar Wilde

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Advantages of personnel branding

The advantages of personal branding are several, and in my view these are the most important:

1. Anyone can work on their personal brand.

Although I would say that it is less and less optional and more compulsory. Besides, achieving it is often synonymous with work and financial freedom.

2. It does not require great resources or a large investment.

Starting to work on it is within everyone’s reach. You can start working on your blog, your personal domain, create a logo and create an account on different social profiles without having to spend too much.

3. There are opportunities for differentiation in the market.

There are still some sectors in which their professionals are not yet working on their personal brands, which makes this situation an opportunity for the rest of the professionals who want to stand out.

4. Opportunity to monetize in different ways.

Finding work, catapulting your projects, offering your services, selling products, giving training or giving conferences are some of the ways you can monetize your personal brand.

5. Personal branding is flexible, malleable, evolves with you because it is not static.

Many times some professionals ask me what’s better, whether to work on a personal brand or to work under their company’s brand. I always say that it depends on the case, but personal branding when it’s just us on a project can be ideal. Besides, it allows us to introduce new themes or brand territories in new

Conclusion

You still have time to start working on your personal brand, it’s never too late. It’s a great tool you have at your disposal and I recommend you not to waste it.

You have already seen the many advantages it has and why it is important to start now. I was lucky to start at a good time and you can see that things have not gone wrong for me.

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Meet Andrew Evans: The Serial Entrepreneur With The Secret To Success

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Serial entrepreneur Andrew Evans is the host of the Ace Weekly Podcast, one of the top 100 podcasts on Apple Podcasts. He currently owns and operates four separate companies: AI Powered Forex Trading Software, Student Development Company, Ace Weekly Podcast, and a Social Media Marketing Agency.

For as long as he could remember, Andrew has had a heart and desire for entrepreneurship.

“Whether it was starting a landscaping company, performing magic at restaurants or starting an e-commerce site, I always was attracted to the idea of getting paid based on the value that I deliver to others. My perspective is that entrepreneurs are the people that change the world and I love that my work each day has the opportunity to impact so many others,” he says.

At a young age, Andrew was already fueling his entrepreneurial drive with his success in sales. He developed his work ethic, speaking skills, and learned to connect with others by building numerous small businesses, but he always knew that he had a deeper calling to serve and impact others. After breaking sales records at his company throughout the years, Andrew decided that he wanted to equip other young people with the same skills and habits that he’d developed.

In 2018, he began working on the Ace Weekly Podcast where he would be teaching other aspiring leaders how to gain the mentality needed to be successful.

“Ace Weekly teaches people the skills, habits and the mentality that is needed to succeed today. I show others how to dominate their field, and find fulfillment in the process by interviewing high-profile entrepreneurs, CEOs, athletes, and other influencers,” he shares. 

Andrew’s Spartan organization works with more students than any other organization in Miami-Dade County. His mission is to empower young people and transform the way that they show up in our world and in our communities. The reason why he opened his original sales office in Miami is because of the great impact that Vector Marketing had on his life at a young age and he wanted to be able to provide that same opportunity to other young people in his community. They work with more students than any other organization in Miami-Dade county.

“Young people are the future of our country and world, and because of this, I know that when I am able to positively impact and change the trajectory of many students lives and careers, I am subsequently impacting and changing the world,” he says. 

Aside from his podcast and sales office, Andrew is also passionate about creating a financial revolution for individuals across the world. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, his corporation Ace Trading Enterprises is helping provide software that allows the average person to have an easier and more successful experience in the world of trading and investing.

His future goals involve transforming the broken education system by building a non- profit college in Miami. Andrew wants to create a modern curriculum that advances human consciousness and teaches students the information and skills that are most important for young people to learn, all while creating a placement program that ensures that students are graduating with job offers and equipped to be valuable in the industry that they desire. 

When Andrew started the Ace Weekly Podcast, his main goal was to help provide and equip people with the mindset that is required to succeed. As someone with the habits and mentality needed to be successful in life, he is a role model for people who wish to find success.

For more information on this entrepreneur, click here.

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6 techniques to differentiate yourself from the competition

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differentiate yourself from the competition

6 techniques to differentiate yourself from the competition. If you think competition is your biggest problem, you may well change your mind. It’s scary and heady, but it’s not the reason for all your questions.

Instead of looking at what your neighbors are doing, it’s time to look at the big picture and ask yourself what your customers’ real needs are and what paths haven’t yet been taken.

We help you by giving you today six techniques to help you stand out from the competition.

1. Refocus on your customers

You may be so focused on standing out that you’ve forgotten the most important thing: your customers. To make a difference, you already need to be clear about the promise you can make.

What do you want to bring to your customers? What results do you hope to achieve for them? This simple question can already make a difference. It will also allow you to deliver a clear message, focused on the expected benefit for your future customers.

2. Highlight your journey

Branding, or personal branding, if you are independent, is crucial to highlight your track record and how it gives you legitimacy. Thanks to it, you can show your audience that you share or have shared their problems and that you have developed solutions with full knowledge of the facts.

What’s more, your story makes you stand out because every journey is unique. Sharing this allows your prospects to identify themselves, but also will enable you to communicate on a more emotional level, which is essential in any marketing strategy.

3. Position yourself where no one else is

It is not necessarily a question of innovation, but instead of diverting the usual practices so as not to place oneself on the same level as one’s competitors. This is known as the Blue Ocean strategy. This is, for example, what eBay has done with e-commerce. Instead of being a marketplace like any other and having to continually drive prices down, the site has innovated with the concept of auctions.

In the same way, Apple does not target an audience of computer scientists or hackers, but on the contrary, an audience of either professional looking for efficient tools, or people who are not comfortable with computers. Changing the point of view is sometimes the best way to stand out from the crowd.

4. Know your strengths

It is always seen as a lack of modesty to (also) highlight its qualities. But it is nevertheless essential to sell, convince, and attract people to yourself. A simple technique to determine them is to ask. You can ask your customers or prospects to find out what they prefer about you or your company.

The words you use are essential for your communication. They say a lot about who you are and can be reused in your sales pages or about pages, for example.

5. Stay on top of the customer experience

Your customers are your most excellent ambassadors and potentially your biggest hindrance. Successful customer experience can help you build loyalty among your buyers, train them to create positive word-of-mouth about your business.

Conversely, negative reviews have a strong resonance that can significantly damage your reputation and deter future customers from calling you.

Always take care of the customer experience, both online and offline. Likewise, be smart and optimize it by segmenting your audience.

Depending on the data you collect, you can then offer content that is more relevant and likely to bring more value to your customers or prospects.

6. Listen to what you have to say

It is your customers or prospects who speak best about you and the experience you offer them. Always stay tuned. The feedback they give you is valuable. Both to refine your positioning and to identify what they particularly appreciate about you and what constitutes your trademark.

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