Yes, Clydie, you were right.
This week I posted an interactive question on Soul Expressionz's Instagram, asking if anyone can guess what I am currently writing about. My goose friend Clydie, responded that I am writing about "Inspirational women [laughs] since it's the month to do so"
ding ding ding!
At that time, there were two articles simultaneously on the works and yes, both of them are about women that are currently on the short list of "Women Mays Alejandra Admires - 2022".
This blog in particular, is about a businessperson I interviewed last December and even though I did not tell her, I have been actively studying her business acumen for the past three months. This personal project of mine involved constant observation of her social media behavior and interactions, and here is the result:
The Female Entrepreneur
Karina Bol Torres is an avid reader of personal growth articles. She listens to inspirational podcasts and posts her findings on a weekly basis on her blog which can be found at Giggedbz. She also shares the article with her LinkedIn followers, on Instagram, and Belize Entrepreneurship Network, a private group that she founded as well.
Karina is also learning German at the moment. I can attest to hearing her say "Danke" to her roommate (and long-term bestie) while we both prepared to be facilitators for last weekend's Webinar.
On a more personal note, she is a devoted aerialist, is a vegan and stays committed to her health regimen.
She is eager to help other Belizean entrepreneurs grow and be better versions of themselves. For her, it's not just about sharing new insights, but encouraging the reader to try the posted weekly challenges. If any of you have tried and actually implemented any of them in your life, please reach back to her and let her know how it has changed your personal and/or professional life. Most times we don't receive feedback from those we have helped along the way. While I cannot say it's discouraging, I can say that sometimes we do question the reasons why we carry on with certain selfless quests.
In this blog, I will focus on her business quest:
After my in-person interview was carried out, Karina was invited to appear on three National TV stations in Belize:
1 Open Your Eyes, Channel 5 Belize.
The Morning Show, Love FM Belize.
Belize realizes that there is a NEED for such platform but it has been taking a little long for Belizean service providers to know about it and enlist. I am happy to share that ever since the platform was launched for testing last year, 70 service providers have now enlisted their services. For the platform to be successful, it needs more!
Tell yuh ma, yuh pa, yuh sista, yuh bredda, yuh neighba, yuh granma and yuh granpa, tell everybady!
If you Google "giggedbz", it should be the first item on the list and defined as "Your Go To Service Marketplace in Belize"
As you double click, you are greeted with an easy on the eyes online platform, with sliders introducing how you can become a member of the "marketplace".
Easy to Use:
Overall, it’s a safe platform where Belizeans can become members to either look for service providers or sell their services.
General example: Let's say, I Mays Alejandra, want to sell my marketing services for e-commerce purposes. I create blog posts, Instagram posts, write reviews for companies. I would join as a service provider.
Simplified example of how to look for a service provider (log in as member):
Last weekend, you hired me to "chop yuh yard". I was careless and let my weed eater's blade come too close to your main water pipe. It cut the pipe in half! Oopsie!
But oopsie doesn't cut it for how you feel about your water bill. Now, I have no idea what to do about the once a puddle now a stream running infront of your yard.
(*hurries to type giggedbz on Google search.)
What are you looking for bar: plumber, Tab next search bar, Location: Belize, Date? ignore... Search!
Okay, so do you know why that didn’t work? Caz none a uno knew you can tell your plumber friends to enlist as a service provider on the platform. Go ahead, check your FB, Instagram and TikTok friend's list and tell your plumber friend to become a member!
Now I have to call BWS!
Let's try again, (fingers crossed):
So, this weekend, you have a date with that person who makes your heart pound faster than a hummingbird can flap its wings. But you want to look clean/you want your hair to flow like the Nile River, but you don't know who offers this service nearby.
You type "giggedbz" on the Google search, and on the platform you go directly to the search bar:
Type: hair stylist, Location: Belize, Search!
If you continue to click on the item you will see the full description of the service provider, their location in Belize. The platform provides you with a calendar to choose the date and time so can schedule your appointment. If you think that the price for the service you require will be different, you can choose the "contact seller" option. After you have received the service, you can leave a review on the page to allow others looking for the service know what to expect.
That's basically how the page works for you the member.
What if you want to become a service provider?
Ms. Bol has set up a foolproof system where she has the service provider go through a rigorous vetting process to ensure that they are trustworthy, exude high level of professionalism and are accountable for the excellent service they commit to perform.
The wanna-be Gigger, as the service provider is dubbed, sends a WhatsApp message to Giggedbz and waits to be contacted by Karina by call or message.
They provide details of their service, the cost, where they are located, why they should be allowed to join the platform, etc.
Once Giggedbz approves, they will receive an email congratulating them and inviting them to enter their details on the website by following a link.
To get gigs, ideally, the Gigger should invite his/her friends to join the platform as members.
To get more gigs, the Gigger should ask those who contacted him/her directly from the Giggedbz platform to post a review. This allows others to believe in the Gigger's professionalism and work ethics.
What are the services offered:
The top three services I would go to Giggedbz for are: 1. someone who can offer me a diet plan, 2. a beauty salon, 3. a babysitter. Here are some ideas for what you could go looking for in the platform:
Someone who can...
manage your social media accounts,
design menus for your restaurant,
help you with your documents to register or incorporate your business,
clean up your accounts, do your bookkeeping, prepare and file your taxes,
design your logo or business cards,
clean and organize your office space,
create websites for your business,
fix or maintain your AC
Solving the Problem:
At the moment, Belize has many FB groups where Belizean businesses are able to post their newest product on the market. The problem I see with these groups is that they are not allowing customers to join the group so the customer engagement is nill or close to zit.
Any business looking to be more visible, get more likes and attract more customers, knows that they have to create and run their own FB business page, Instagram account or TikTok page. They are aware that they need to spend a lot of time creating posts to lure customers in. It takes a lot of work - TRUST ME - I'm an e-commerce marketer!
For the service provider, it's even more challenging because their work requires a lot of time! So, of course they have little to no time to be creating posts and constantly interacting with customers.
That's why Giggedbz would be the perfect place where they can advertise! They should take advantage of an existing, externally run and managed online platform so that it does the work for them. Don't you agree?
Imagine you working full time, managing such platform on your free time, setting time apart to focus on your physical and mental health and still managing more than 4 social media sites to remain visible. My girl Karina is a superwoman!
Kar, I need that pomodoro!
Am I (Soul Expressionz) earning a Commission from this?
No darling, you have to remember that my blog posts are geared towards promoting those that will ultimately build Belize and help Belizeans prosper. Go ahead and ask any one I have written about, if I ever asked for monetary compensations for these blog posts. ;)
I mean I should! But for now I am doing it out of the kindness of my heart ;)
Will I (Mays Alejandra) join the platform?
I have been invited to join the platform to offer my compelling writing services..ahem. [I'm a self-confident gal] I would like to make a little cheddar on the side, the clean way. As I write this blog I am leaning towards a yes.
Make sure you go and leave a review for me, eh!