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Thursday, November 1, 2012

CANDY Shop: Tips and Tools From Amin To You: Marketing and Branding

This month Tips and Tools comes from one of our really good friends at WCA Ms. Amin. We hope you learn from what she has to offer regarding branding and marketing. This BOSSchique is definitely doing big things! Check her out. 


My name is Amin. I was born in Nigeria and came the United States at the tender age of 2. I come from a huge extended family. Really huge. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth nor was I raised with one. My parents came here with nothing. I watched them work hard to take care of all of us and put us through school. I remember always having a job; first one being at age 13. I worked at a supermarket chain in the Bronx as a cashier after school (high school) 3 nights a week. Although I felt so bad that the majority of my peers were NOT working in high school or college, I was able to purchase my first home immediately after college. I am truly proud of that. That stays with me till this day. My motto is…”While they sleep, stay up and stay focused on the goal”. I studied Chemical Engineering after deciding that being in the field of medicine or becoming a Doctor was no longer the path I wanted to trek on. I love being an Engineer. It involves analytical skills, critical thinking, technical savvy, and excellent communication skills not to mention that it’s a male dominated field. I find that to be one of the reasons I am so proud of what I’ve accomplished. It feels good to stand with the “good ole boys’ and represent not only women, but Nigerian/African women in an industry that touts mainly males. It’s awesome! I am married to an Engineer and we also have our own business together. He moonlights as a DJ while I moonlight as a Photographer. My short-term goals are to complete an MBA program here in NY as well as a long-term goal of starting an All-girls Engineering Charter school in my hometown of Abeokuta, Nigeria.


I started AminAmeen Photography in 2011. I love Art. I love art in many forms. Media, Digital, Paintings, Photography, Fashion, mixed media art…you name it. I feel that starting my business was just an extension of my creative identity. I use many of my artistic inspirations within my photography work. I now design logos and provide branding assistance to a variety of female (ands male) entreprenuers and small business owners. I get to be creative every day! I started a blog to express who I am and what my interests are other than photography It’s been fun. It’s been an eye opener. I think that as a business owner/entrepreneur, one need to be able to market and brand themselves very well. With that said, everything counts. Your logo, your personality, your communication, your social skills, your company identity and everything in between. You cannot convince folks to hire or work with you if you have not convinced yourself. I believe that in order to brand yourself in a value-added way you need to:


1. Invest time to your craft and work hard: That’s is, put in the required work that is necessary for your field. If you want to be the best shoe designer, you need to travel and see what is currently out there and develop your craft via time and dedication to the field. You’ve got to get down in the trenches and get dirty. You just cannot afford to watch from afar. Do your research and study the market so that you are not a replica of another brand.

2. Get involved: That is, be a “social media socialite”. Let people “see” you on Facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram and other media platforms in order to heighten your company’s visibility.

3. Don’t be all business: That’s boring!: I find that people want to be able to connect with you and your brand on a personal level. While being elusive and hidden may work for some brands, I believe the majority of brands out there that are successful connect with people like peanut butter on bread.
Understand that folks want to be connected to you. If you are a photographer or designer, don’t just blog about pictures or clothing. Blog about your “other life” once in a while. Namely, your kids, your husband, your 9-5 job, your hair, your lipstick, your food cravings etc.

4. Determine what your “Egg” is: I metaphorically consider my business a cake mix. In a cake mix, all of the ingredients come together to make a delicious cake. Without one of the essential ingredients (such as an egg), the cake will not come out soft, moist and delish!. So…I always ask myself. “Amin, what is your egg?” what is that critical component of my business (cake mix) that resonates with my clients. When you start to think like this, you will be one step closer to discovering your brand identity. That “something” that folks remember you by. That something, that folks think about every time they see your logo somewhere. For me, it’s creativity and dedication. What’s your egg?

If you want to hear more about my take on Branding, check out my recent blog post (you can link it here)

Here is my contact info.

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