The 2017 PowerNetworking Conference as passed but I still feel the energy from the trip reminding me of the slogan for the event; economics is the new black power. The PowerNetworking Conference was created in 2000 but stems from FraserNet which has been running for 30 years. FraserNet has been connecting many aspiring and established black business owners through networking, thorough discussions, and expanding their skill set. It has become a central hub to learn new information in order to propel the black community. As a small business entrepreneur myself, I was thrilled at the chance to be part of this opportunity. I am the CEO of Mappdom, a marketing company that caters to businesses within our community doing our part to bridge the economic gap between blacks and other races. I had been brought on by Dr. Fraser himself to be part of the marketing team for the conference. This conference has by far been the best I’ve been to and considering that it was selected as one of the top five conferences by Forbes in 2015, this is no surprise.

The conference stayed consistent to its message celebrating black cultures while also having a series of speakers all related to the same purpose. One part the stood out, in particular, was the introduction to the conference starting with African drumming. We got treated to artists performing with Djembes, a traditional African drum. The music was delightful and set the tone for the rest of the conference, we were here to talk about our people and what we need to push us forward. The faculty that was part of the conference were also very welcoming ensuring they shook everyone’s hand to let them know how welcomed they were. We were in good hands. The speakers included Dr. Diane Moore-Eurobanks, the financial doctor. She is a global business developer and GODSU (Global Oved Dei Seminary & University) Chancellor. Dr. Moore-Eubanks has an amazing track record of serving at the United Nations, as the Director of Education for a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Olof Palme Peace Foundation International (OPPFI) and being ordained in 2016 as a Christian minister, she’s leaving an outstanding legacy each day. Another speaker was Dr. Michael Roberts. He is one of the most successful Black business people in America. He is a social entrepreneur and billion dollar business builder. I loved hearing his story, learning about his life and where, through it all, he became successful establishing Roberts Brothers Properties L.L.C with his brother Steven Roberts. Throughout the whole conference, the atmosphere was strong, filled with pride and hunger for knowledge from some of the country’s best.

And who is the master behind it all? The one whose passion it was from the start is none other than Dr. George C. Fraser. He is an award winning publisher of some of the most iconic black business books including, Success Runs In Our Race; Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the African American Community and Race For Success; The Ten Best Business Opportunities for Blacks In America. He is also an influential speaker addressing the topics cohesive in his book about closing the wage gap. His vision has always been set on servicing and building the African American community and that did not change when he asked me to be part of his marketing team. I am truly honoured to have worked alongside him for this monumental event. I am hoping everyone who was there feels the same excitement I do from this experience.

The biggest role and my company, Mappdom, was involved in was a creating an App for the event. We meticulously planned out what features to include considering all the types of people that were going to be there. The app included attractions around the conference for people who came from far, a message board to connect with other users, and of course the schedule so people knew where to go and when with real-time updates. The App was a success! It helped people navigate the conference and created a single stop for various resources. The people who did not download the app ended up falling behind, getting updates much later as the program book was not able to give them the latest info. Some of the comments we received about the app included that it was clean, robust, functioned smoothly, did not stall and was easy to navigate. Efficiency for conference goers was the mission and we are proud to know we achieved it.

I continued to have people tell me how beneficial the app was to their experience which is very important. Many small businesses don’t know the importance of having an app. Entrepenur.com quoted almost 90% of people’s phone usage being dedicated to mobile apps. SO why haven’t we gotten on board? It is an unfortunate truth the small businesses are often late adopters to technology. Rather than looking at what the biggest companies are doing in technology, we are too focused on the day to day activities. We fall behind almost every time and the people who do catch on hit it big! Look at any successful fitness guru Manissa Montour, creator of Nissafit or Whitney Wolfe creator the the Skimm, a current events newsletter app. Although their services go beyond an app including fitness training and email newsletters, they use an app to create a consistent, reliable space to access their information and content that you may miss in the gym or when going through your junk mail. These two have built their business and continued to with their mobile app and it time the rest of us did as well.

Another unfortunate fact is that as a result of our history, our people have also been late adopters to technology thus pushing us further behind. Social barriers have impacted us for centuries but with the new innovations of technology, we can continue to push beyond the institutions that have created barriers for us. If no one gives you a way, make a way and that’s what many influential black movements and people have started doing. From the Black Lives Matter Movement to the creators of All Dem Shades, certain black influencers, specifically millennials, have been pushing beyond the limitations of news offices and the fashion industry to ignore us by creating their own way. We need to create our own way! Whether it is by monetizing your business through mobile apps or becoming an influencer in your field of expertise, you need to be bold to stand out. This starts by embracing technology and emphasizing YOU in “Your Business”.

Welcome to the new rules of marketing. It is not enough to ask friends of friends to try your product anymore. It’s 2017 and we need to show the world that economics is the new black power. When I have someone come in to do a client intake video, I ask them about themselves, not exclusively their business but them. People want to know about you and they want to see your personality shine through your business. We’ve heard the saying representation matter in the black community so if we are to create successful businesses we must show the future generation that their people are the ones creating them. I go through the process of finding out who you are and creating strategies of projecting this to propel your business into the new digital age. The apps I offer integrate this as well as all aspects of your business. This way you get an app that helped with your marketing through geotagging content to target key users with time-sensitive content and allows you to create close communities with your customers through personal message boards and loyalty programs. You also get a place where customers can easily purchase products rather than going through tedious online purchase forms. There are many other benefits of having a mobile app but best ones are the ones specific to you. Once you go through the intake, I will show you what your app can look like; the features, the benefits, the customization for you and your business.

After the amazing conference I have been gifted to experience, I am ready for a new year full of opportunities. Mappdom’s mission is to build small businesses through innovative and personal marketing techniques. Every business we bring on is personal to us so we ensure the effort is put in to get you engagement and revenue. This is why Mappdom is the foremost world renowned leader in apps for small businesses. Our product is clean, stays on brand, and has personality all throughout. We create marketing packages for you to start understanding where you are in the market and what you have to do to get o where you want to be. We all want to quit our jobs and make the side hustle, the only hustle but it takes focus, effort, income, and strategy. If you are interested in learning more about Mappdom International or Mappdom Mobile Apps please contact me at nakimbebaobab@mappdom.com. Build your vision and remember, economics is the new BLACK power.

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