Born Entrepreneur Viri Maldonado On Her Booming PR Agency

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Hi, Viri! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

Hi, My name is Viri Maldonado, founder of Social Click PR, from Houston, TX. I am a first-generation Mexican-American. Both of my parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico in search of a better life. I like to say that I am now the product of their American dream. I have been in the public relations industry for 10 years and love it. The Social Click PR has represented many clients such as the Correa Family Foundation, Ford Motor Company (Ford Latino), WSS, Macy’s Inc., The Bladder Cancer Association, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Latin Restaurants Week, The Latina Power, Power On Heels, Theatre Group Indigo, Marca Unica with SXSW, Thrive Greater Northside, among many others. I am also a proud board member of the Houston Association of Hispanic Media Professionals, Latina United PAC, and a volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

What excites me about being part of the Entreprenista League is the connections I get to make with like-minded women from different parts of the country. I am a strong believer that once a group of women comes together to support each other through resources or advice, we can truly be unstoppable.

The connections are invaluable! What made you take the leap to start your own business?

What made me take the leap to start my own business was actually an opportunity that knocked on my door. At that time, I had just left from working at an agency and felt burnt out. I then began working for my father at our family business and realized that was not my calling. I got a call from a friend who asked to meet with her and a Macy’s representative. After some coffee and an interview, I was offered to take on Macy’s as a client. I submitted my paperwork for an LLC and the rest is history.

Timing is everything! What was your background prior to starting your own business?

My background has always been in media but I have worn many hats from administrative assistant to social media coordinator to public relations.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I come from a family of business owners from my aunts, uncles, grandparents and my dad. I grew up seeing them be their own bosses but with that, I have also seen the struggles and sacrifices that come with running a successful business, yet I never doubted that I one day would also have something of my own.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

When I launched my own business I relied on social media to help get the word out but also on people that knew me and my work ethic. I think relying on the old-school marketing strategy of word of mouth has really worked to my advantage. I rely on my network to help build connections.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?

There have been many encounters along the way but one has to be to save as much money as you can because business can look different year after year. I also have learned that in my industry of PR, you have to pitch and work months in advance to secure a client for the following year. Some clients will hire you for a month-to-month project and you will have a few clients that will hire you year-round. It’s important to understand the business and learn about securing your money.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

The accomplishment that I am most proud of to this date is being able to represent and work with a brand like Ford Motor Company. My father is such a Ford fan, I grew up always having Ford trucks in my household and now being able to have them as my biggest client is definitely a proud moment.

He must be super proud of your accomplishments! Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I do believe in a work/life balance, I think that being your own boss can have its negatives as it can have its positives. For me, learning to spread my work throughout the week, having an agenda to stay organized, and taking breaks during the day to do something you like has been my biggest help. By breaks, I mean going out for a nice lunch with a friend, going for a walk, meditating, or even painting with music on blast. It’s important to find what you like and not let go of those things to create a balance.

Those mid-day breaks can be lifesavers! What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

You don’t have to go through the process of opening your own business by yourself. There are so many free resources through different business chambers and organizations that offer the help you need to build a business plan or even refer you to grant opportunities.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

Recently, I was named as “Women of the Year” through a local digital platform called CBBA. It truly has been an honor to be among different businesswomen in Houston who I look up to. I hope that I too can serve as an inspiration to other young women that aspire to be their own boss.

Such an honor! We’re positive you’re inspiring so many people. What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

I would love to see Social Click PR work with major brands like Dove, Disney, Barbie, etc., but most importantly to grow my agency into a community.

Learn more about the Entreprenista League and join today!

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