Hey chickadees! This week I will deviate from fashion (what the what?!?) and discuss the importance of branding. I hold my MBA in Marketing, but I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination. However, I have worked diligently to build and create my own brand and have learned valuable information in the process. I believe everyone can benefit from these tips and suggestions.
You Are a Brand: Yes, YOU!
Back in the day, we were all told "a first impression is a lasting impression". For example: never trust a skinny chef! The first impression that was referred to then was a face to face interaction. Nowadays, with the prevalence of social media, the depth of this adage is even more significant. You are given the opportunity to engage with thousands more people and in turn they are exposed to "who" you are. Your drunken posts, your seemingly bi-polar tirades, your food, drink and outfit pics all give people an idea of who you are and what you are about. You know how a cow &/or overzealous frat boy are "branded" with an iron? That stamp or keloided fiasco is there for the long haul once placed. When I see a woman out in public in a hair bonnet, I cringe. Why? Well, I personally want to be associated with likeminded women. Those who believe that you should always put your best foot forward. The women I am referring to rock invisible crowns...and in case you were wondering, no, a bonnet does NOT fit under a crown. #boop
Make Your Brand Work For You
So, I spent the last week in New York City at a modeling and talent convention with my 18 year old niece-pieces, Gabby. There were over 100 international agencies represented. There were hundreds of models, actors/actresses, dancers and singers in attendance. Now, when I say there were countless 6ft tall, lean, beautiful Amazonian women I am not exaggerating. How does one standout in this sea of above average beauty? Well, first off, for those 5 days in that grandiose hotel, that beauty was "average". EVERYONE had it! In these circumstances you must let your brand speak for you and sell you!
Establishing Your Brand
Your brand should marry your professionalism with your personality in a succinct and consistent way. What do you want to be known for? For example, I am known for my work ethic, sense of style, my sense of humor and my sense of compassion. Oh, yeah and cannot forget my sass #boop. Any and everything that I do reflects all of those aspects of me and are in essence, my brand! Here are a few tips to help you recognize and build on YOUR brand!
Consistency: Always carry yourself the way you want to be remembered. Dress how you would like to be addressed. You never know who you will meet! I met an agent and other influencers last week and I wasn't even trying to! An agent sought me out and told me he had been watching me all week and my sense of style caught his attention. Always use your logo or hashtags to ensure that your brand is recognizable. Not only that, consistently using these hashtags on social media really helps with search engine optimization! Always carry business cards and always have a 60 second elevator pitch ready (I spent soooo much time in elevators last week, lol)!
Create a Buzz: Network. Network. Network! Collaborate with likeminded individuals within the same industry. Host your own events if/when you are unable to find one to attend. Schedule a press release. Host a contest or promotion. Sponsor an event. Get creative doll face!!
Candor: This is super big to me! If nothing else, clients appreciate genuine honesty. Be tactful of course, but always be upfront, candid and honest. In my experience people respond better and are more engaged when they feel that you are 100% real regardless if it is a challenging situation or if it is a favorable situation!
If you have a desire to brand yourself the aforementioned tips and suggestions will definitely get the ball rolling for you. I wish you all the best in making your brand a household name. What will/does your brand say about you doll face? Stylishly Yours, KJ