In starting this blog branding was the number one thing I had to figure out how to do. What name did I want to make for myself? What was my cause? How was I going to get the word out? Attending the Indie Fashion Week Fashion Workshop was an amazing learning experience. Ian Callender of Suite Nation and TaKeyia Dickens of Haute Hipsters Media both gave very useful insight into how to start and maintain a successful brand.
The first thing both panelists spoke on was the necessity of having an identifier. This means be clear on what your brand is and how someone can parse you apart from the next brand. Be You. is my brand. This brand focuses not only on fashion, but building an individual from the inside out: Mind, Body, and Soul. Although it is clear to my followers that I have an incredible passion for fashion it is also clear that Be You. is so much more than that. “Motivation Mondays” is my time to use my life experiences, questions from followers, and lessons I’ve learned to try and help and inspire others. “Workout Wednesdays” are my moments where I can stress the importance of not just a healthy mental life, but also a healthy physical life by eating healthy and exercising. “Fashion Fridays” is my chance to explore my love for fashion by researching what’s new, up-and-coming, and/or do's and don’ts of the fashion world, and portray that information to my followers for his or her ease. By using these tags and the same day each week it makes it easy for my followers to know when his or her desired interests will be covered. It also makes my purpose and vision clear for what Be You. is about.
As Ian Callender said, an identifier is something you want the public to know, and how you get this information from point A (the brand) to point B (the public) is key. TaKeyia Dickens followed by stating the importance your appearance plays in this transfer of information. Everything you embody as a brand must be cohesive. Your look, the look of your website, the look of your social media, etc. should all be of the same grain. For example, for my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter I use similar usernames, pictures, and set-up of information. Everything I post is consistent with the other pages of my media, and the message I want my followers to understand. If you are having trouble finding your inspiration TaKeyia suggests making a vision board. This board is something you can add to, take from, and/or adjust on a visual and physical plane that can help get your thoughts, wants, and needs all in one place.
TaKeyia admits that not having a clear vision for her brand was one of her first mistakes in starting her public relations business. She didn’t know what she was doing, why she was doing it, or how she was going to do it. All she knew was that she wanted to do it and she was good at what she did. And it’s ok to start there, but what I believe she was eluding to was the necessity of organizing your brand before presenting it to the world. Ian Callender discloses his largest mistake in starting out was spending to many resources on his personal passion for shoes and not enough on branding the business. Although it is an event firm that does occasionally host sneaker symposiums he suggests that if you are interested in going into this type of branding then you should spend more time on the actual branding. Once you are up and running the ability to continue supplementing your desire for the best and newest products will come, but it’s also important to stabilize your brand name first.
In closing, both entrepreneurs suggest using media as much as you can in the way that is most comfortable for you. A large part of building a brand is getting the name out. Ian Callender advises spending the money on getting a domain name for your e-mail and website, personalized business cards, etc. These things seem small, but are well worth the money and effort. TaKeyia Dickens recommends making yourself searchable on Google. That way when people are looking for you they know exactly how to find you. Keep your personal websites and media separate from your professional/business media. They can overlap for some things like birthdays or special occasions, but should overall be kept separate. If you find that your personal media has more wild things on it and that’s the way you like it then keep that page private, or opt to not have a personal page at all. Those types of media should NOT by any means be uploaded on any business media. Although your personal and professional pages should be separate they should also be cohesive (especially if your personal media is not private). You should not be two separate people on each account. You may have different media uploaded to each page, but when looking at both you should still be able to see a common thread of who you are and what your business represents as a whole.
If you have any further questions or are curious about Haute Hipsters Media or Suite Nation please feel free to contact TaKeyia Dickens or Ian Callender on any of the social media below!
Suite Nation Website: http://suitenation.com
Suite Nation Twitter: https://twitter.com/ianeyecan
Suite Nation Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ianeyecan/
Suite Nation YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQtZIaTbnjE7A04yhZrNtHg
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