First thing’s first,
You’ve made it into 2017! And lucky me, you decided to spend some time with me today! So whether this is your first time meeting me or your thirtieth, just know I’m doing a little happy dance that you’re here.
No, literally. I’ve added this little finger-point number to my other, more difficult signature moves – the cabbage patch, the running man, and the cry-baby.
And bare in mind, my cry-baby still needs work after 20-something years of living. I promise I’ve been practicing in front of floor length gym mirrors whenever I’m sweaty and alone. I even keep this music video on my iPhone nearby for reference. So I know I got my setting and tools DOWN-PACT. I just can’t seem to capture the perfect curve and agility necessary to look sexy instead of walrus-y while I thrust against the floor. So maybe the cry-baby isn’t the move for me; I’ll keep you posted lol.
But this Teyana gif brings me to the point of today’s post. There’s been so much buzz about new year resolutions, new goals, “new year, new me“s, and proclamations of success and growth! And I get it. With every new 365 days, optimism levels tend to skyrocket! BUT, whether your resolution is to get Teyana Taylor fit in 2017, to turn your business around in 2017, or BOTH (*raises hand*), you and I both know that progress doesn’t come from sitting on your ass nor from cry-babying on the gym floor or in your bed. As much as I would like to perfect the cry-baby, one move alone will not get me Teyana’s abs, legs, or booty. Only hard work will.
In 2017, I don’t want to see anyone cry-babying that their business or brand isn’t growing! So here’s the deal. I want to leave my readers with some SMALL, REAL branding tips to start implementing now. Beyond the usual tips you’d find online. And each tip is REAL, meaning none of them is just a trick to join my newsletter, and #3 won’t be fluff. The BIGGER branding changes? I’ll save those for the lucky few who’ve signed up for my FREE e-mail course dedicated to defining your brand in 2017!
Feel free to check out The #1 Tip To Defining Your Brand in 2017 for another tip if you haven’t already! That’s an ICONIC post, but enough chit chat.
TIP #1: JOIN TWITTER
Most bloggers find that Twitter is their #1 source of traffic to their blog. And its an obvious reason why. Whereas the people who love visual stimulation are on Instagram, the people who love to read are on Twitter. So while you may have more of an audience on Instagram, and your pretty picture gets a lot of likes, those two things alone will RARELY move your follower to read your caption let alone to take action to check your bio for your latest blog post. It’s going to take a REALLY good caption and strategy to convert an Instagrammer into a reader.
Until a month or two ago, most of my blog readers were Twitter followers who happened to click my links after a couple of times of seeing it. NOW, my main source of traffic actually comes from Instagram. And if you’d be interested in learning more about converting an IG follower to a blog reader, you’ve gotta sign up for my free e-mail course! But the point is: if you’re just starting out, Twitter will likely be your best bet for traffic, networking (i.e. twitter chats), and inspiration. You’ll have quick access to others’ content and you’ll be able to network and support your fellow blogger with just a retweet!
That being said, I’m hosting my first Twitter chat ever TOMORROW, January 5th at 8 PM EST. The topic is “Creating Outstanding Content” and I’m thinking it’s gon’ be lit! Take some time to network, contribute, and learn some tips from other bloggers whether you’re new or old to the blogging scene! You can follow me @NC4OT.
TIP #2: GET ON VIDEO
If you aren’t already, get comfortable with video! There’s a reason why so many social media platforms are about video or dishing out video – Instastories, InstaLIVE, Periscope, SnapChat, Twitter, YouTube, YouTube LIVE, Facebook LIVE, the list goes on. Video is all around us at this point. It could just be that society’s fascination with reality tv shows has invaded our cell phones and now every one wants to star in their own sitcom.
Whatever the reason, you need to get on one of these platforms and start showing your true self beyond paper. DJ Khaled, for one, is out here winning because he regularly uses Snapchat. Start actually sharing your thoughts, your day, your hauls, your meals, any little or big thing you’d like on video. Man, even share your favorite lotion! Khaled received a Palmer’s cocoa butter deal just because he lathered himself with it on a daily basis. You can’t tell me the power of video isn’t real. I’m definitely working on my video skills this year. Finding my comfortability on camera, being myself on camera, finally purchasing lighting, possibly restructuring my YouTube, getting onto Periscope. There’s a lot I’m still considering, but not being on video is NO LONGER an option for any one who wants to BRAND or partner with brands!
TIP #3: BECOME A STORY TELLER
Don’t we all love a good story? Mattie James of Mattieologie mentioned this tip briefly. And since implementing it, I’ve noticed a noticeable improvement in my branding. I started thinking:
From the time we’re born, we’re being told stories. Our lullabies were stories. As kids, we asked for a bedtime story. That depressing love song you play whenever you got/get your heart broken – “Not’ Gon Cry” by Mary J. Blige – listen to the lyrics, that was a story. That terrible rumor about you? A story. Gossip sites, magazines, theshaderoom all make their living off of telling stories, truthful or not. The stories of our lives even go on “Instastories“. And before society learned how to physically record and write, we orated our family’s history from generation to generation. Roots, the movie was literally inception! You watched a story/movie in which a storyteller told the story of his family’s journey into America. And dammit, our obsession with stories are why “Story Times” are so damn popular (and annoying) on YouTube right now.
So here’s a couple of mini tips to become a better story teller/finding your voice:
#1 Talk to yourself.
Have you ever heard: “The more you talk on camera, the more comfortable you get?” Well the more you talk to yourself, the more you find your voice. And if you do it in private, no one will think you’re a freak lol. By talking to yourself:
(1) You’ll get to know yourself a bit better.
(2) You’ll become more comfortable sharing your REAL thoughts on a blank white blog page. It’s just like talking to yourself!
And (3) Talking out loud will get you comfortable enough to get on video (as required in previous tip #2)!
#2 Narrate your life in your head.
The more I narrate my day to day, the more I find myself getting creative with the wording, and finding my true theatrical, drama queen self.
You might sound like this on Day One: Jaleesa scoops out some coffee grinds to make coffee. She’s going to need the pick me-up for the long day ahead.
After some practice: Jaleesa strolls into the kitchen, rubbing crusts from her eye, in search of a much-needed caffeine fix. She glances over longingly yet briefly at her roommates’ coffee maker before she retreats back into reality that she is too poor and too cheap for such luxuries. She turns her gaze to scoop more than the recommended tablespoons of Instant Coffee grinds into her favorite coffee mug. She has a long day ahead of her and knows that 1 tbsp compared to 5 is child’s play for the work she has ahead. And ain’t nobody got time for a nap…
Lol, thats the kind of corny, theatrical narration I think up on a daily. Narrating allows me to keep it real with myself and my audience, but also slightly more interesting and fantastical. And I’m all for the theatrics. Some days, I’m European proper with a bad accent to match (see above). And other days, I narrate like a gangsta, straight outta New York.
The point is: If you can make “scooping instant coffee” sound slightly more interesting, you can definitely tell YOUR BRAND’S story. Whether it’s social media, your blog, YouTube or Live video, and especially through podcast, being able to tell an INTERESTING story will come in handy!
#3 Allow friends to critique your work.
Just like a comedienne shares his act with friends, share your work with those closest with you. Tell your friends your stories. Show your blog posts to your friends and see if they hear YOUR VOICE in your post. Show your videos to your friends and see whether they see the real you shining through or if you’re unrecognizable.
Your audience wants the REAL you. Your REAL story. Your REAL voice. Not cookie cutter you. If you’re not sure you’re being real, ask someone close to you for a sound check & a reality check. Your friends will definitely know when you’re being fake. At the end of the day, your friends and audience want to engage with someone real, not with Barbie. Leave all the fake shit in 2016.
We’ll talk more about finding your REAL voice in my free e-mail course. It’s still in the works!
BUT did you think we were done?? The good deal doesn’t end there! As a special thanks to those of you who’ve signed up for the free e-mail course, you should check your inbox SOON for MORE quick DETAILED branding tips that you can implement in your blog or business TODAY to get those branding juices flowing. Just wanted to give you a little extra for believing in me and trusting me with your e-mail address. Learn the psychology behind Why Your Blog Layout is Turning People Away! #psycholoKEYS Is your blog format decreasing your engagement?
Don’t worry. If ya sign up below or here, you can still get the extra branding tips! Igotschu.
DEFINE YOUR BRAND IN 2017
Don’t forget to attend TMRW’S twitter chat!
Until next time!