How to Build Connections & Thrive in the Digital Space, with Heneka Watkis-Porter


The Digital Jamaica Podcast with Heneka Watkis-Porter

Who is Heneka Watkis-Porter?

The first thing you need to know about Heneka is that this author, speaker and serial entrepreneur builds platforms that brings all the big names to the yard.  Whether it’s her Podcast or the local Leadercast series, Heneka has the uncanny ability to attract the support and sponsorship of the biggest names in anything, anywhere, period.

Heneka burst onto the scene in 2007 with the launch of her Clothing Line, Patwa Apparel an indigenous clothing line celebrating the Jamaican vernacular, arguably a trend she popularized. This venture afforded her many opportunities to travel, network and experience business from many different perspectives (something she highly recommends).

Wanting to bring these experiences to Jamaican entrepreneurs Heneka switched course.  So, in 2016 she launched the most ambitious phase of her career with the Entrepreneurial You Brand. A platform that targets leaders, entrepreneurs and startups challenging them to excel in life and business. This led to her association with Leadercast, ‘one of the the largest one-day leadership event in the world, broadcast each year from Atlanta to hundreds of Host Sites around the globe’.

Heneka was the first to host a Leadercast event in Jamaica with the Leadercast Kingston and the Leadercast women events. And, as she’s wont to do, has been able to bring some of the biggest names to Jamaica to speak at this event. Past speakers include popular Journalist Gayle King, Iron Chef Marcus Samuelson, Carla Harris who was hand picked by the former President of the United States, Barack Obama to be the Chair of the National Women’s Business Council.

Through workshops and events Leadercast Kingston and Leadercast Women is helping to shape “leaders worth following”. Heneka drives this message home with The Entrepreneurial You Podcast, the ultimate how to guide on business. On the show features a series of conversation with a a menagerie of noteworthy international innovators and business superstars.

What we talked about

The 45 mins conversation was chock full of tips, advice and strategy on how to build digital platforms, develop genuine relationships and establishing your brand on a global scale. Some of the things Heneka touched on was:

  • Staying Consistent

Allow people to recognize that you’re serious about things. People start things so many times, you’re excited about the thing but then you’re not able to be consistent, so consistency is absolute key. 

  • Building Real Relationships

Heneka tells the story of how she was able to develop a genuine, mutually beneficial and reciprocal relationship with her first guest. 

When building  these relationships authenticity is important — making genuine connections with people not for what you can get from them but because you’re genuinely interested in what they have to offer. 

And it doesn’t require grand gestures either, supporting their work, engaging them on their platforms, reaching out to them, asking questions and just becoming apart of their online community. People respond to that and will be willing to reciprocate whne the time comes. 

  • How to Get Started

Start with one, don’t look at the big picture oh I want these 10 people, I want these 20 people on my podcast start with one person  who will believe in you and form a relationship with that one person.

  • Using Your Platform to Build Legitimacy

The podcast is a straegy, it’s not an end in and of itself, but rather a means to an end … The podcast is that platform, that main strategy that would legitimize me, it validates me and my work…”

And lots more

Heneka has established herself as the podcast guru, inspiring and teaching other Jamaicans such as myself how to find their voice and establish themselves through this medium. Legit, this conversation was like a free 45min masterclass in podcasting and digital relationships. It was my absolute pleasure to talk to,  learn from and share with my audience the wisdom and the insight from what is truly a Jamaican digital media pioneer.

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