Why You Need to Build Your Personal Brand (FREE AUDIT INSIDE)

Whether you have just started branding yourself online, not exactly sure why you need to be doing it, or you have been at it awhile and not seeing results–this Personal Brand Audit is for you!

Social media is the fastest and most effective way to position your personal brand. There is value in developing your story, from a senior in high school to a senior executive. The best way to plan an effective brand strategy is to know where you are starting from. Once you have a point of reference, you can really start making changes and measuring growth. Use this audit to figure out where your brand currently stands, what you are saying online, and how you can improve your growth strategy.

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Rihanna Gave Me Business Advice!

rihanna biz

Recently it was announced by Forbes that Rihanna is the wealthiest female musician alive now.  She’s out earned Madonna ($570 million), Celine Dion ($450 million) and Beyonce ($400 million).

It’s interesting to note, Rihanna hasn’t released new music since 2016. So how in the world is she the wealthiest female musician? Diversity of income.

Rihanna is a prime example of why it is important to diversify your financial portfolio personally and professionally. Her business acumen should be modeled.

She’s more than a singer, she has become a business woman that rivals the Diddies, Dr. Dres and Jay-Zs of the world. More importantly, following Rihanna’s business model can help you grow your business and here’s how:

Serve>Sell

Rihanna continues to win because she doesn’t sell, she serves! I cannot tell you enough times this is the secret sauce! If you look at your business as not “how can I sell, but how can I serve?” you will always profit! Also, find the gap and serve an undeserved market and you are golden.

Where is the Gap?

Serving over selling to someone not represented is how you differentiate and position yourself as an industry leader. Rihanna has been very outspoken on how her brands are inclusive and representative of women, especially women of color. As a black woman, Rihanna saw the limited options in cosmetics, especially the lack of different hues in foundations.

Side bar, black women have the largest buying power. It’s estimated over a trillion, that’s not a M, or B, over a TRILLION! As a result, it decides mainstream culture.

When Rihanna released Fenty Beauty to the marketplace, it disrupted the status quo. Fenty Beauty came through to serve women with darker hues, various shades of skin. Not just the one or two that most major cosmetic brands sold. She SHOOK the industry! Not only did she have makeup foundation for the darker shades, but for the lighter shades on the spectrum. She fulfilled the needs of even albino skin!

When she released her lingerie line, SAVAGE X FENTY it opened up with rave reviews. The line is for ALL body types and she put all on the stage to model  it! She had slender, curvy, even pregnant represented on the stage.

What is the emotional connection? 

People buy off two emotions: pain and pleasure. That’s it. If you can relieve the pain or create a pleasurable experience, you have no choice to win…just like Rihanna.

Baby, You Aren’t Nike, But Just Do It!

beach

I waited patiently as those three little dots popped on my phone screen…
And then disappeared.
To reappear seconds later.
And there it was, her vulnerability, her rawness, her BIG idea, her brilliance all summed up in a blue message that illuminated on my screen as I sat on this very beach.
I was blown away. Like how? How was she sitting on this excellence?
I feverishly texted back.
To give her the co-sign she needed.
To give her the permission that so many of us long for.
If you need confirmation, a sign, or
permission.
Here it is!
Baby, you aren’t Nike, but Just Do It!
Many of you are sitting on BRILLIANCE!

Like y’all got the next best movement in between your ears, between those tear-stained pages, in between the grocery lists in the Notes section of your phone…STOP OVERTHINKING AND LAUNCH IT!
Can you believe in short of 3 months is a brand new decade!?
Don’t wait. What will you do today that you have been putting off?

10 Free Marketing Strategies that Really Work

10 Free Marketing Strategies that Really Work

  1. Create Clear Marketing Goals
  2. Develop a Content Calendar (30 Day Social Media Planner)
  3. Create videos sharing helpful tips
  4. Define your ideal client
  5. Write blog posts from frequently asked questions you receive
  6. Create a Facebook Group and Page
  7. Create an Instagram Page
  8. Engage and respond to all comments (first 30 minutes are crucial)
  9. Like and comment on 10 accounts that specifically are tied to your industry
  10. Like and comment on 10 accounts your ideal client follows

 

 

3 Steps to Higher Instagram Profits and Engagement

 

Here are 3 steps to put you on the path to profitability:

Step #1 – Serve before you sell: Want people to invest their time and money in your products and services? Share VALUABLE tips, strategies, techniques and methods they can use to transform their lives and businesses. Remember it is about serving them, not selling to them.

Step #2 – Show up and be consistent on Instagram: Just like you have to show up to the gym and be consistent with your workout and eating habits to see significant change, is the same for your Instagram presence. You will never build influence or an engaged and dedicated audience by inconsistency. Nobody will know what you do and what to buy if you don’t tell them. Posting selfies, a highly curated photo, meme and motivational quote is NOT enough. If you want people to invest in your business, you must make sure they know the benefits of doing so. Showing up and consistently providing valuable content + consistency = boosted credibility and ultimately sales.

Step #3 – Engage with your current and potential audience: Imagine Instagram is a cocktail party and you arrive in the room and people are complimenting your outfit, but you don’t acknowledge them at all. Wouldn’t it be considered rude, offensive, and unpleasant? After a while, people will stop complimenting. It is the same thing with social media, I see it all the time…people post all day long without getting a single comment or double tap. What are they doing wrong? They’re spending countless hours posting and no time socializing. You see, social media is NOT just about sharing content, it’s about conversing with your audience – asking questions, commenting on THEIR posts and showing up as the solution they’ve been craving.

And there you have it – 3 steps that’ll get you headed in the right direction.

 

SUMMER WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA: 4 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW!

Have you ever done a social media detox? I am deleting my IG/FB apps from my phone because I need a break.

I am joining my friend and a few others on a Summer Without Social Media starting Monday, June 10-August 1, 2019. I am coming back on the scene a little earlier because my birthday and I have some fabulous things planned. So I will return July 25th.

Enough about me. Going off social media can seem extreme, drastic, and challenging. We are literally addicted to it. The notifications, the likes, comments, etc release dopamine in our systems and gives us a high, it is scientifically proven.

But how many of you know that everything must unplug sometimes to be plugged in again to work optimally? Do you know the same is for you?

Here’s what I know: I need to breathe. I need to be present this summer before I turn over into a new year. I am expecting great things to happen in my new season.

On the real, I know how nervous you can be on going dark, but I assure you it is a chance to recalibrate. Here is some advice and tips on taking the plunge.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

We take better care and protect our phones more than we do ourselves. We make sure the battery never dies, if it does, we quickly recharge it. 

If we only invested this much time in self. 

When is the last time you recharged yourself? Where you truly unplugged from all electronics and social media platforms before plugging back in. There are times we just need to refresh and relax before the recharge. 

There doesn’t need to be a profound reason/epiphany to step away from social media and devices.  If you are just tired of scrolling through your feed looking at the same ol’ same ol’ then maybe it is time.

Many of us fail to realize the occasional  ‘surfin’ is affecting our productivity, If so, it is time for a detox. 

Throw the whole phone away. 

Ok nothing that drastic, maybe not throw…but PUT the phone away. 

Here’s what happens when you unplug from the matrix:

1.) No one notices that you have disappeared. No one cares you are off the grid.

If you don’t think so, deactivate/log off your accounts and tell no one. You will soon join me at the dinner table for a dessert: humble pie. Out of sight, out of mind. No one notices, no one reaches out at all. If they did notice, they didn’t tell me. 

In fact, my first social media detox it took one of my friends at the end of week two of my ghosting to realize I was off the grid. 

“Are you off Instagram and Twitter,” she asked.

“Girl I have been off for almost 3 weeks now,” I revealed.

Eventually more of my friends did notice, but I had been nearly off for six weeks by then. 

Your family, friends, followers, and whomever get caught up in their own life with their problems,  day to day, etc. and aren’t paying it any attention. Neither should you, this is a time for you to be more mindful and present in the moment. Don’t be afraid of FOMO, it will be there once you return.

Sidebar:*** If you are a business account or have a huge following this need not apply. But you should have funnels built out to ensure you continue to bring in revenue.

I hate when people make grandiose announcements that they are taking a much needed break from their social platforms. This is attention seeking to me and unnecessary. 

Just ghost us. Will see you when you return.

2. People will reach out to you more because you are not as accessible. 

How many of us send DMs and also text

our friends at the SAME time? 

How about when it is your birthday and everyone posts to your Facebook wall with all the warm fuzzies? 

But your phone is dry.

Not a call, text, or smoke signal sent. I can admit, I am quick to post a happy birthday message to the ‘book’ and check the box complete. 

But do I follow up with a call or text to my friend’s phone? No. 

Isn’t shouting you out on the ‘gram or Facebook enough? It isn’t. 

I must admit that once I was off my social media, there weren’t many notifications coming through to my phone. 

Once my friends realized I was off the grid, the phone calls and texts were more frequent. When you aren’t as accessible people have the time to miss you in a sense. 

Being off the grid for a moment gave a chance for my friends and family to miss me enough to call and reach out. 

3. More time for Self-Care and Productivity 

My addiction to my phone and social media was out of control. I’m embarrassed to say how much face time I was giving my phone. 

If you are an iPhone user, then you may know a recent update tracks how many times you pick up your phone each day, the average amount you spend on it a week, and even identifies your most frequented apps. 

There is even an option where you can monitor and limit the amount of time you spend on certain apps. I have to give kudos to Apple for bringing some awareness to our daily obsessions. 

I had mentioned to my doctor about my lack of sleep and feeling anxious throughout the day. She asked me how did I start my day and how I ended my day. I ran down my routine.

AM

Wake up.

Check and answer work emails.

Scroll through social media. 

Brush my teeth.

PM

Shower 

Listen to music.

Scroll through social m-

And there it was, the root of my sleepless nights and anxiety throughout the day. My doctor suggested I leave my phone on the other side of the room at night and get an alarm clock. Also, to not check social media first thing and only schedule an amount of time to be on. 

I just decided to go cold turkey altogether and immediately saw a difference with my new routine. I quickly realized how easy it was to relax when I wasn’t glued to my phone. 

I slept better, longer, and deeper. 

I also amped up my self-care routine. 

I started with daily affirmations and my devotionals, those periodic facials became everyday routine. I even had time for bubble baths and to just sit still and pray. 

When you don’t have social media to occupy your time, I guarantee your productivity level will grow exponentially. I am a great starter, but horrible finisher. I would start a project and then get distracted by a few minutes of scrolling that turned into hours on social media. 

During my detox, I was able to optimize my time and my productivity level increased dramatically. 

This also helped with reducing my anxiety because I actually completed tasks in a timely manner. 

I read more of my bible, finished three books, exercised more, and even got in the kitchen…not just to eat, but cook! I started keto and so meal prepping was essential. 

My productivity at work even increased and helped me when I moved into my bigger office. 

When boundaries are set and social media is limited, my anxiety is controlled and I am more productive. 

4. No Longer Keeping Up with the Joneses

Social media is powerful in a positive and negative way. Have you ever logged on and immediately your energy shifted from what you saw on your feed or timeline?

One post, like, comment, or share can affect your mind, body, and spirit. And before we know it, we are playing the comparison game. 

You can’t compare your real life to someone else’s controlled online content. We easily forget and compare our behind the scenes to the the highlight reels shown on social media. 

We must be careful on the content we feed our souls. The content we engage or consume can positively shape or negatively impact. 

There is a constant comparison of relationship goals, accomplishments, careers, etc. that if not checked can become very toxic.

When I was off social media I focused only on me. This detox helped me to become more centered and only focus on my goals and path. 

Social media can be a distraction and slow down your progress if allowed.  So it is important to set periodic breaks to refocus on just you and not compare it to anyone else’s.

-FG

Do you feel like you cannot live without social media? 

Have you overcome it and found a balance? 

If so, what are some tips that you can share about how to unplug from technology and social media?

How to Style Photos for Social Media

 

Let’s be real…if you are wanting to monetize your social media and/or take your business to the next level, you are going to have to know some elements of styling–especially with photos. It is important to make sure you curate a visually appealing feed, especially on a platform like Instagram.

I’m not a professional photographer and I don’t plan on becoming one, but I am fortunate to have an eye. Because of this I have some tips on styling photos that I am excited to share with you today.

Before we get started a couple of disclaimers.

Disclaimer 1: I highly encourage that you invest in a professional photographer eventually. It truly elevates your brand/business and separates you instantly in an overly saturated market. Most photographers are aware of social media photography and how to give you the look and feel you want. It helps with your trust factor and consistency which equals coins!

 

Disclaimer 2: Highly stylized photos doesn’t mean direct sales. It doesn’t work like that, but it does build content for your social media channels and acts as fillers for the high value content you are creating. More than likely, you will not get a ton of likes or engagement as you think, but it is a great way to give yourself a break. Remember this isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. We are in it for the long game.

 

Tip #1: Choose Your Hero in the Photo

Have a main subject around which you can create a theme or mood. Instead of having several things just thrown together, be strategic with your space. Find one main subject, your hero, and have the secondary subjects surrounding it. I like to call it your hero’s supporting cast. The subjects should be distributed in a way that compliments your hero subject not compete for space or attention. The subjects are only there to insinuate the main piece of the photo. My main piece: planner. The notepad, pen, paper clips, and butterfly clips are the supporting cast.

 

Tip #2 Choose Your Color Palette

Remember theme and mood are what we are creating when we style our photos. Colors are a great way to create a theme and communicate with your audience about your brand. It just helps make it more cohesive. Only choose 1 to 2 colors and that they complement each other. Too many colors can be distracting and start to compete with one another. Remember as in the first tip, you want to complement not compete. Pick a main color and you can’t go wrong. A single focused color helps to convey the point you are making more clearly.

Tip #3 Tell the Complete Story

When selecting your props for a photo, make sure they tell a story that is finished. It can be tempting to try to incorporate props that have similar colors, but may not complete your story.  Ensure it drives home your story where it makes sense. Do not be afraid to use the tools you may use to make your product(s) as props.  For example, maybe you are a travel blogger and are heading to one of your fabulous adventures. Think about the tools you use and how you can visually tell the story: a map, passport, sunglasses, your favorite hat, and a travel favorite pouch. In my photo, I am telling a complete story with props on planning, goals, organization, etc.

Tip #4 Crop it Likes its Hot

This is the rule to live by! If you don’t get anything, CROP…CROP…and Crop! Many of us struggle with cropping because we like to show it ALL, but our eye is so smart that it only needs a reference of part of the item to get the full picture…pun intended. When you reference the objects exist, your audience eye will do the rest. A way to crop successfully is style your photo in a circle. The outer props are the ones you can position to crop and still tell a complete story.

 

Tip #5 Gotta Hit Those Angles

You know I had to reference a Drake lyric somewhere. When you have styled the photo the way you want, now you can focus on how to capture it through your camera lens. Try different angles, you want to draw your audience in to your main subject. Where is your subject in the frame? So maybe you angle it off center or direct overview (as my picture is), maybe directly at eye level. This is where the fun continues! Start shooting at different angles and figure what photo you like the best. Always shoot at three different angles to give yourself variety.

BONUS: Now it is time for you to practice. Remember just start doing it! The first few times you will suck at it, let’s just be transparent! BUT! The more you do it, the better you and the photos will get.

 

FG