As I start my own path in this vast blogger world, there are a lot of things to think about. What do I want to say? Who do I want to say it to? What makes me different than any other body-positive, plus size blogger out there? Taking on this task requires a lot of list making, planning, and vision boarding. (I love making lists!!!)
This past week, I attended a class hosted by Fashion Group International, St. Louis. The class was all about identifying your brand and telling your story. I was grateful for the chance to attend and make connections with innovators in the St. Louis fashion scene. The class was awesome, and gave me a lot of ideas to start pondering. Before the class, I honestly had never thought about the fact that being a blogger means branding myself. If I were a business, who would I want to be? The possibilities are endless!
The keynote speaker at the event was Keisha Mabry. She is a dynamic and fascinating speaker, and really knows how to make connections with people. Immediately, I went to Amazon and ordered her book. I am super excited to read, Hey, Friend, a way to make 100 connections with 100 people in 100 days. She pointed out that a huge part of branding is making connections and building relationships with people. I have always felt like I am good at reaching out to people, but how do I turn that into a genuine connection?
Part of what Keisha said in her speech was that your brand is an extension of yourself. What are things that you already do, say often, or love a lot? In other words, your personal brand is a summary of who you are as a person. What do other people automatically see in you? That can be hard to identify sometimes. I’m not sure I would know how to exactly tell people who I am.
So, I went to my tribe… a community made up of family, friends, former students, school parents, colleagues… people who have known me forever, and some who have known me just a short while… people who have a deep connection with me, and people who really know me on the surface. I asked them… “If you were to sum me up in one word or phrase, who would you say I am?” Here is a bit of what they said…
Inspirational. Magical. Disney Princess. Panache. Fun. Honest. Kind Hearted. Sparkly. Beautiful. Sweet. Supportive. Kind. Selfless. Bubbly. Fierce. Trendy. Brave. Girl Got Style. Caring. Plus Advocate. Perseverance. Expressive. Authentic.
What an empowering thing to read those words from so many people that I love. I hope that I can live out those words and thoughts in my life daily. As I work to build a brand that’s worth following, I hope that I can live up to what other people see in me.