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Hidden Gems: Meet Geovani Salazar of Vani Marketing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Geovani Salazar.

Hi Geovani, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Before I could advocate for the importance of marketing for Hispanic businesses and educate them on how to use free tools to obtain some digital clout, I had to identify that there was an issue. I used to work at a bacon processing plant. I was working more than 40 hours a week and had reached a point where I desired more out of life. I looked up some easy ways to get money online and found that door-to-door flyer distribution was one of them. I went ahead and pursued this concept, creating a website and filling it with content. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was practicing blackhat SEO – a nono in today’s search ranking process.

I flooded my website with terms that would help me get consumers, and my website began to rank for top spots in my area, and the customers began to pour in. When I visited with a customer, on most occasions I was given a stack of 250 to 3000 fliers to distribute.

What drew my attention was why these individuals printed flyers for their business; they were inexpensive. However, inexpensiveness does not imply quality. After working with dentists, realtors, computer technicians, and mechanics, I learned that they were looking for ways to digitally market their business but were unable to afford to launch a campaign, so they settled for a less expensive approach that produced mixed results. This was their only affordable form of advertising.

It was heartbreaking to have one of my customers invest his last few dollars in flyers, unsure if they would generate the revenue he required to keep his doors open. Fortunately for his business, it worked out well enough for him to start receiving customers. He then upgraded to a digital business to assist him with digital marketing, but it came at a significant cost.

This was back in 2012 when most people were aware of SEO and marketing, but not fully of the cost, so firms exploited this. It made my blood boil to see an agency charge a big premium for work that was usually outsourced to other companies. These small businesses were receiving substandard work at a huge expense. I continued my involvement in marketing jobs, where I learned a lot from the businesses that trusted me to master new skills. I was essentially being paid to learn, and as a result, I made mistakes, learnt from them, and continued to polish my skills and learn about the ever-changing world of traditional and digital marketing.

Now with over 11 years of experience in marketing, I’ve honed my skills to assist small business owners in utilizing the many free tools available to help them market their company online. I offer my marketing services through my agency at a fair starting price that enables them to launch campaigns. I talk to Hispanic business owners about how important it is to change one’s mindset about marketing; it’s not a myth; it works. I inform them that they must adjust to the way this country operates, or risk losing their clients and business because if they don’t, someone else will. I want to see someone’s dream grow past their realization. The success of my Hispanic community matters to me because I care about my community being seen as more than what people who don’t like us portray us to be.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Along the way, I have met real obstacles from those I want to help the most. In the Hispanic community, marketing is seen as a scam. It is not seen as profitable for those who still hold reservations about it. In Latin countries, word of mouth is still the best method of marketing. Everything is so condensed that you have what you need around the corner. It is not like that here, and my biggest obstacle is trying to inform them about the importance to adapt.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Vani Marketing?
I am a digital marketer. With a focus on helping the Hispanic community of business owners understand the importance of marketing their business.

I speak to many small business owners about the use of free tools so they can have a handle on their own digital marketing efforts, and if they decided to hire an agency like mine to do the work for them, it is something they can afford.

I am proud of my brand because I focus on my Hispanic community. I continue to meet small business owners one by one and hope to soon offer seminars that can show people the importance of marketing.

What would you say has been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I have learned that yes, everyone can market themselves and their business. But how to start and which direction to go is something that people get lost on, and it is the first step meaning people are researching and trying to find out who they are, who they want to be, how they want to market themselves or their business and with all the information available it can become daunting so I learned that people sometimes need a starting guide, which is why I allow people to ask me anything marketing related and I would answer their questions without cost.

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