Google Digital Coach Vicky Sepulveda builds community in Austin
Vicky Sepulveda has dedicated herself to helping underrepresented small business owners navigate the online world. Vicky is a Google Digital Business Coach. She is also the Senior Director of Small Business and International Initiatives at the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
We asked Vicky to look back over her fondest memories from 2017 during the pilot phase of the Google Digital Coach program.
Vicky, what gets you up in the morning?
Helping people achieve their dreams. Every day, I work with entrepreneurs and small business owners who aspire to be online-savvy. I help them each build an online presence for their business and become tech-confident.
I create programs to assist our small businesses–networking events bridging the digital divide, tech talks on cyber security, and online marketing. I conduct Marketing AdWords 101 workshops. We go over analytics and promoting their goods and services. I work one-on-one with people to help build their dreams.
I can’t imagine more satisfying work.
What brought you to helping people who are starting small businesses?
I am a firm believer that if you are doing what you love, success is inevitable. Work with your heart and the rest will follow.
My love of entrepreneurship comes from my dad, and my strength and perseverance from my mom. I am one lucky Latina!
My mom is from Monterrey, Mexico; she came to Brooklyn, New York not speaking any English. New country, new language, no family. She learned English, how to drive a car and work, all on her own. She encouraged me to be the strong woman I am now.
My father, who is from Puerto Rico, was the entrepreneur in the family. I learned my love and respect for starting a small business from him.
So, what are some highlights from your year?
Oh, my, there are so many good stories!
One of my favorite 2017 clients was Viridiana Reich. She is a wonderful entrepreneur, with her own small shop in Austin. She imports Mayan clothing and home goods from Guatemala and Oaxaca, Mexico. Her products are high-quality, hand-made and quite beautiful, but her business success was limited to accidental discoveries of her store and word-of mouth recommendations.
Like many people, Viridiana was unsure how to navigate anything online. Don’t get me wrong, she is a very business-savvy woman, but the online world was mythical to her. She attended one of my workshops and was really engaged. We talked afterwards. She was excited to create an internet presence for her business, but she didn’t know how to begin. We scheduled a one-on-one meeting, so I could give her that confidence and knowledge. I encouraged her to get her business website completed, which she did (mayanexpressions.com), and we created her online ad together. Her online skills improved so much! It was gratifying to see her gain confidence quickly. With just a little more help, she was editing her ad from her phone!
There are so many other people that I’ve worked with in 2017. Just a few more are Patricia Bedford, a very hard-working woman. She hosts a Black business owners meetup in the nearby town of Pflugerville. I met her when I was doing a workshop for that group. Patricia owns and runs a custom cake shop in Pflugerville. Her website is sugascakery.com. It was a joy to work with her, developing her online Google AdWords campaign. Patricia said that she "immediately saw an increase in website activity and phone calls when my AdWords was placed."
I helped a very nice Hispanic gentleman, Lazaro Castro, who had a waterless car cleaning service–basically, a waterless car wash. As a small business owner, he has been wanting to expand his business into other cleaning and maintenance services. And, wow, has he been successful! His website is ecomastermaintenance.com. I helped him develop an online ad, and, as we ran the ad, he started earning contracts for facility maintenance and cleaning in both Austin and nearby cities. Potential customers could quickly get to his social media and his website.
Nick Barreiro imports tile from all over the world. He has been in business in Austin for three years, and his website is clayimports.com. His business noticeably increased when we ran the online ad that he and I developed.
2017 has been a very rewarding year. I’ve been able to personally help Austin entrepreneurs gain on-line confidence and success for their small businesses. I feel like I am making Austin a stronger community, and it feels good.