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“It takes mistakes, maturity, and madness for you to get out of your comfort zone and figure things out.” with Vicky Llerena and Phil Laboon

Business success is great when it happens, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes mistakes, maturity, and madness for you to get out of your comfort zone and figure things out. Don’t quit. Mistakes are part of the battle. As part of my series of interviews about “How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business”, […]


Business success is great when it happens, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes mistakes, maturity, and madness for you to get out of your comfort zone and figure things out. Don’t quit. Mistakes are part of the battle.

As part of my series of interviews about “How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vicky Llerena is the CEO of Social Vibes Media, a digital marketing agency focused on helping small businesses increase their brand presence. She brings with her over ten years of experience having worked at Univision WXTV-41 and PRNewswire. Vicky was named Top 25 Brand Builder by Leading Women Entrepreneur in 2017. She works with organizations, such as Rising Tide Capital, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ, Fownders, and Small Business Development Center to teach entrepreneurs how to obtain online customers through social media. Vicky was featured in NJBiz, Huffington Post, CEO Blog Nation, and many more media outlets.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

The truth? I got tired of working for corporate. Corporate was a learning experience at it conditioned me to be disciplined, but not creative. I worked for PRNewswire (my corporate job) and learned the ins and outs of the business and how the industry transformed from text to multimedia releases. I started freelancing for friends and family. The goal was to save enough capital and leave in one year to launch my business. Everyone looks for financial freedom and a different motivation when one launches his/her business — I was chasing that same feeling.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I was involved in a severe car accident in the summer of 2017 . I left a gala event late at night and car pooled with some friends to head back home. We were on the highway and an SUV opposite our direction swerved into the wrong lane and struck our vehicle. This was a drunk driver. I lost consciousness that night and woke up in the emergency room. It sounds like a nightmare but it was also an eye- awakening experience. I accepted one truth: there are no guarantees in life, only the day you live.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The worst mistake I made when I started was to financially over invest in a business I knew little about. Take your time to learn about your business, your customers, your products or service. Get your name out there or your brand name. Remember, if you are a new business , no one knows you and it will take time for people to recognize your brand . Work the fields, try marketing your services both online and offline.

Business success is great when it happens, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes mistakes, maturity, and madness for you to get out of your comfort zone and figure things out. Don’t quit. Mistakes are part of the battle.

Let’s talk about LinkedIn specifically, now. Can you share 5 ways to leverage LinkedIn to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

LinkedIn’s less noisy ecosystem makes this platform a winner for business professionals looking to get leads. These are my favorite LinkedIn tips that I share with business owners if you are looking to grow your network and increase referrals via LinkedIn:

Optimize your LinkedIn profile — make sure you have a professional headshot and your description uses specific keywords related to your service or industry. Avoid any sales pitches and position yourself as industry expert rather than a pestering salesperson.

Start taking your website blogs and repurposing that content on LinkedIn article posting. The article posting feature is one way to keep users engaged on your LinkedIn Profile

Hire a virtual assistant to comment and share your networks posts on LinkedIn. Engagement significantly increases your LinkedIn visibility.

Make more organic video content on Linked. LinkedIn now allows you to create and post videos from your mobile devices. In fact, LinkedIn algorithms are video friendly which means videos will get you more views and engagement .

Finally, download Dux Soup extension on your computer. You will use this tool to connect and engage with targeted profiles on LinkedIn

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Open the internet to the world. Invest in Crypto Currency and Quantum Conputing . I have no doubt we will evolve into some form of hybrid humans. Globalisation coupled with technology, which is already in effect, has the potential to decrease poverty in third world countries. I see it and I know it.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love to meet futurist Ray Kurzweil. His predictions birthed the Iphone or confirmed the investion of the Iphone (he gave a speech over a decade ago that discussed having a computer the size of our hands). Ray Kurzweil predictions continue to come true, machines will be smarter than humans in just a few years. This man predicted the technological singularity — the crucial moment when machines become smarter than humans — will occur in our lifetime.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!

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