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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What You Need To Do To START Your Business in 2019 (Video)

 

What do you need to do to start your online presence for your brand and/or business? Sometimes it’s closer than you think.  You just need to figure out how exactly to do it. Watch this short video on my thoughts and a couple of suggestions on how to make it happen and what you need to START! 

 

 

10 Apps To Uplevel Your Social Media Game in 2019 (So Your Followers ‘DONUT’ Scroll/Tap Pass) 

I love donuts. 

And I love word play so don’t mind me on my playground. 

I am asked on the regular about social media and how I grow my engagement and following organically. The most common question I get is what apps I am using. 

In this list, I have broken down my fave apps. Most are FREE 99! Others require a low cost or subscription. 

Get ready to delete some apps, photos, and messages to give you storage room to save these apps!

Content Creation

Regrammer-allows you to save and repost content you see on Instagram without the pesky watermark. 

Tip: Once you copy and paste the link, click the ‘repost’ button select ‘more’ and it will prompt you to save to your phone. This allows you to repost to IG without the watermark. 

Quik-allows you to create videos with your fave photos and videos and works magic! There’s a reason it has 5 stars in the app store with close to a million reviews!

Over-specifically designed for Instagram Stories and a way to use a combo of graphics, fonts, and filters to engage your audience. 

Unfold-I heard about this app on the radio, Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’s Jenna Owens had Unfold featured on her faves segment. MY FAVORITE OUT RIGHT NOW! This is an app big time social media influencers don’t want you to know about because its a jewel and it’s FREE! You can upgrade for additional cost. If you like the clean, polished look for your stories…download it! 

Planoly-if you want to create an aesthetically pleasing Instagram grid like your fave influencer, this app is for you. The free edition let’s you upload your pictures as a preview so you can see how it would look on your actual ‘gram. 

Editing and Filters

VSCO-intuitive and easy to use, a supply of stunning filters and style options is the reason it is one of the most beloved apps.

ColorStory-once you open and use this, you’ll never go back to another app to edit pics. This app is especially good for food, interior and home decor, and scenery images. 

Inshot-has powerful production features that you would think only can be done on a desktop. It takes images or videos and sizes them to your stories via mobile.

Lightroom-even Adobe is in on the mobile editing game. This is especially made for Instagram and the person who wants to take their feed to the next level.

Perfect365-there’s a reason even celebrities such as J.Lo and Kim Kardashian are avid users! A make-up try on app that creates a full makeover at no cost!

Did I miss any? What are some of your fave apps? 

FG

Hair Isn’t the Only Dead Ends that Need to Be Cut in 2018

“New Year, New Me” is slowly escaping the lips of many as we head out of 2018. Memes will soon follow and fill our feeds and explorer pages. 2019 is lacing up the kicks and waiting by the sideline as 2018 takes its last free throw and taps out. So what is next for you?

GROWTH!

You don’t have to wait until 2019 either to start. Just like you wouldn’t water dead plants, don’t hydrate dead, fake friendships, relationships, or ‘situation’ships. Even if the external is beautiful or Jean Claude Van Damme fine, YOU DESERVE BETTER! Cut it off, let it go…it’s a guarantee when you cut off the dead ends, exponential growth soon follows.

I still remember the time shortly after I moved to San Antonio, I needed to get my hair done, but had no money. I decided to go the cheap route and go to a local beauty school. I had a white girl put a relaxer on my head and apply it like it was color. This is a no-no. Let me edua-ma-cate. When hair has been processed already by a relaxer, you only need to touch up the roots. You only apply the relaxer to the roots and ends when it is virgin hair. My hair hadn’t been virgin since I was six! She also didn’t base my scalp with any grease or protectant so my head had Satan dancing on top. I tried my best to stay calm, but I could clearly see the white girl was in as much distress as me. Black folks’ hair can be intimidating to many people. I eventually asked her to please get an instructor because she had not applied it correctly and Satan wasn’t letting up on the Milly Rock.

The instructor stared in horror and we immediately headed to the shampoo bowl. This basically was the start of a traumatic experience. In just a few days my hair began to come out in clumps and I eventually went back to repair the damage. The next student was on the verge of graduation and was very different. She was confident and black! But she couldn’t salvage my hair and I had to cut it all off! I was mortified and absolutely devastated. I got a big head, I can’t rock a baldie like Lupita…IT AIN’T HAPPENING. But she let me know that the only way my hair could grow, we had to cut the dead off. She reassured me my hair would start to grow and quickly. And correct she was! But it was a process.

The dead hair I was hanging on to for comfort, is so many of us with dead end relationships, jobs, attitudes, beliefs…the list goes on. So let’s get in a warm-up and start now with cutting __________ (you fill in the blank) off and letting _____________ go.  And watch the GROWTH!

-FG

When Life Gives Us Mountains…

“He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains.” {-Psalms 95:4}

⛰⛰⛰⛰⛰⛰⛰⛰⛰

A couple weeks after my 32nd birthday I sat numb in my doctor’s office. Her lips moved slowly and precisely, but I didn’t hear a word…just the typing of the transcriber in the room.

The next couple of hours were a blur. I just remember I called my Mom 21 times. She didn’t answer. I refused to do anything else until I heard my Mom’s voice.

So I sat in my car and waited….and waited…my phone buzzed. Work email. And waited. Eventually my Mom called. She had been out grocery shopping and left her phone at the house.

I couldn’t even get it out…I just blubbered like a baby. If there is one thing about Virginia Faye Baker Green…she’s a prayer warrior!

-“Who is bigger Faith? This mountain or God?,” she asked. “Huh?,” I replied. -“You heard me. Who’s bigger? That’s what you ask every time you feel fear, despair, or even this health scare. You already know.” I could feel her smile through the phone.

Fast forward⏭

After many tests, scans, and results, I have experienced a range of emotions, highs and lows, the mountains and valleys. And I know you are experiencing it too and if you aren’t, someone close to you is.

There is a mountain ahead and it’s scary, intimidating, above our scope of understanding and the uncertainty on the other side of it. But guess who’s bigger? I think you know the answer. ✨

 

8 Lessons Learned From Auntie Oprah’s USC Speech! (Yes I Was There!)

I knew something was up when an email went out that our commencement went from a non-ticketed event to a ticketed event. Major Also, it had moved to the Shrine Auditorium and we needed to claim our maximum tickets…I gave a double . I’m like “what USC Annenberg got cookin’ for us?” And then my phone lit up the color purple when the notification came to my phone. MY FAIRY GODMOTHER OPRAH WINFREY WOULD BE THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER FOR ANNENBERG CLASS OF 2018😩😩😩!! I thought…”WHAT IS LIFE?!! FIGHT ON!” 😩😩😩

 Fast forward to over a week later and I am still getting my entire life! I play her conversati…err…speech every morning getting ready for work. The ability Oprah has to connect to us where it doesn’t even feel like a speech, but a conversation is the reason she will forever be Queen. For the ones who have adult ADD or want the Cliff’s notes of Oprah’s poignant, much needed speech…look no further…I got you covered with the eight lessons learned! 

Lesson #1 Be the Truth

In a world where social media surrounds us like water surrounds fish, Oprah urged us as current and future communication professionals to be vigilant in seeking the truth. “The internet and social media is being used to erode trust in our institutions…interfere in elections and wreak havoc on our infrastructure,” she proclaimed. One click spreads fake news stories causing hysteria, an innocent Google search allows advertisers a window to bombard us and our phones have distracted us so much we have walked into traffic.  The solution is to push back with the truth, the only true way to strike down deceit and calm the hysteria. You have to combat the false narratives with real information and solid facts to set the record straight. Your job is to continue to keep the left, right, and center in check by confronting your own bias and reporting only the truth. This will build credibility and protect us from corruption.

Lesson #2 The Darker it is…the Brighter Your Light Can Shine

“You can use your gifts to illuminate darkness in the world. Our time is to rise in this moment, how bad things are, how terrible people are meeting hysteria with hysteria and it gets worse. We aren’t supposed to get locked in. See through it and transcend it. That is how you overcome trolling, meanness, divisiveness, injustices, and hatred. Use the moment to encourage and push you into the rising life.” -Oprah

Lesson #3 No New Lessons in Life

There are no lessons to learn, but relearn the old ones over and over again.

Lesson #4 Pick a Problem…Any Problem and Do Something About It.

The world has enough problems, it needs more problem solvers. Oprah named many problems we face that needs a solution: gun violence, climate change, systemic racism, economic inequality, and media bias were just a few.  Even if the problem is too daunting, do something “because that something means everything to someone.” -Oprah

Lesson #5 Declare War on Your Biggest Enemies

Whether it is procrastination, self-doubt, fear, etc. that lurks in the corners of your mind, it is time to declare war. Oprah focused on the enemy “cynicism” in her speech. We must make sure we do not succumb to our enemies because according to Auntie O it will “cloud our clarity, compromise our integrity, lower our standards, lose our empathy and shatter our faith.” What is your biggest enemy? It is time to declare war on it!

Lesson #6 You Build a Legacy Not from One Thing But Everything

Your story is still being written and you don’t get to decide what your legacy will be because it involves every life you touch.

Lesson #7 When They Go Low, We Take it to the Polls

Vote. Vote. Vote! People died for our right to vote and it really does matter. More than ever now is the time to get civically engaged. Pay attention to the people who claim to represent you, do they truly align with your core beliefs? If not, your vote has the power to make the change for better.

Lesson #8 Put Your Honor Where Your Mouth Is

This was my favorite lesson from Queen O. Keep your word! If you said you are going to do it, do it! Show up do the work, get your hands dirty.

As an added bonus, here are a set of golden rules to live by according to Auntie Oprah:

Eat a good breakfast

Pay your bills on time

Recycle

Make your bed

Aim high

Say thank you to people and mean it

Ask for help

Put your phone away at the dinner table

 What you tweet, post, or share on social media can be used in the interview you do today or tomorrow…or 20 years from now

Be nice to kids and elders

Be nice to animals

Know it is better to be interested than interesting

Invest in a quality mattress (your back will thank you later)

Don’t cheap out on your shoes

If you are fighting with someone you love, life is short even on our longest days

Dont confuse what is legal with what is moral

In life you are principled or not…do the right thing

Do not equate money and fame with accomplishment and character

Your job is not always going to fulfill you…days you might just be bored

Job is not who you are, just what you do along the way

Become so skilled, vigilant, and flat out fantastic your talent cannot be dismissed

Stop comparing yourself to other people