We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘man up’, well ladies, we can do the same, in heels of course. The ‘Level Up with Woman Up’ is a one-stop conference for the ideal woman on the go. Walking into the conference on Saturday morning, I was immediately overwhelmed with the presence of black and brown women, an empowering representation of what has become the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States.
The conference took place at the University Community Center in Tampa, Fla. Its host, Aicha Ayana, is a Tampa-based branding and business coach and founder of the WomanUp Network.
Ayana started with an event and network with an audience last than 20 people in 2014. Today her WomanUp network spans in the thousands and stretches across multiple states. Her WomanUp Network’s conference is an annual entrepreneurs conference that continues to grow each year. The WomanUp Network reaches out to at-risk women and teens who aspire to level up from their current situations. Outreach initiatives include seminars, expos, classes, and conferences on education, employment, affordable housing, healthcare and of course, entrepreneurship.
Ayana has a humbleness and a genuine spirit to see other women win.
“When you think of WomanUp, you would usually think about ‘me’,” she tells the women in her opening speech about marketing and branding. “That’s what you have to successfully brand your brand to do, put a face to it.”
Ayana discussed how failure can teach us about our biggest successes and offered tips on how to grow your brand on the biggest platform on the market right now, social media. Her tips included:
- Following people in your industry
- Dedicating one hour a day to your business
- Be nice and interactive with your viewers
- Use hashtags
- Do not be afraid to do free work, if it is a good trade-off for a business connection
She also touched on the importance of staying genuine to your brand and not to get caught up with other people’s successes.
“Comparison is the root of all evil because sometimes you don’t know what people did to get where they are,” she says.
Another guest speaker, Dr. Neshia McClendon, touched on the importance of investing in your health, making those essential, annual doctors’ events and mediation.
“You shouldn’t be treating your car better than you treat your body,” McClendon says.
Additional guest speakers included Tampa-beauty blogger, Breonna Queen and founder of Werk, Pray and Slay, Koeryelle Dubose.
Other topics discussed included business financial literacy (i.e. credit education), blogging and tackling the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Women traveled across the state of Florida to attend this conference; women such as Alicia Graham and Evan Christina Williams of ProPlayer Insurance Group in Fort Myers.
Earlier this month, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, declared March 2nd as ‘WomanUp’ Day. Last year, Ayana was the recipient of the Tampa Bay Black Girl Rocks award for her humanitarian work in the community.
To learn more about WomanUp click here
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.