After a holiday, it seems like it's that much harder to get back into the swing of things in terms of finishing your lookbooks, making final updates to your site, etc! I find that this time of year I am always running to get everything in order so that I can be included within spring assortments and events that will showcase my jewelry. I spent my Thanksgiving at my sister's and decided that as opposed to doing "work" I would browse for fun and spend some time on Twitter just chatting and finding out about many of the followers that I have that are not as vocal as those I interact with daily. If you follow me on various networks, I am always on but sometimes it's nice to be on there without doing other work as well. I didn't think that on Thanksgiving that people would be on; however, I found that many of us were checking in, giving updates on the parade whether along the route or watching it from the TV. In fact, it felt like an extension of family as we wished one another well, shared Black Friday plans and hopes for a successful Cyber Monday.
Be friendly, open and interested
We were media mavens, designers, boutique owners, etc simply sharing with one another. Social Media is time-intensive in the sense that the more networks that you create, the moretime you have to spend time on cultivating them and participating - but the benefits are tremendous. Don't forget that while you build professional networks online, to make time to develop friendships by sharing what you're up to and what you're interested in. Understand that you are apart of an ongoing conversation that has many dimensions to it. The more natural your communication is, i.e. the less "pitchy" it is, the more interested people will be in your story.
If you can help, help!
In addition, Social Media is not only of benefit to you but to your contacts. The other day, someone sent a post asking to get a handbag for a show they would be on. Although I'm not a handbag designer, I knew of people in my area that could turn this request around in minimal time. Being open to situations and having a good relationship with others meant that a designer received a great PR opportunity. In addition, the PR individual valued my support and now I feel confident that should an opportunity arise, I can ask that my items be included within a celeb goodie bag or worn at a charity event.
The importance of being natural and genuine is just as essential as maintaining the message that you want others to walk away with. You want people to feel that although they have only interacted with you digitally, in person you read the same way and introductions aren't necessary. You want your presence to be profound and yet not overbearing so that you are thought of in the midst of an upcoming opportunity.
Professional VS. Personal Brand
In next few weeks I will be focusing on networks that work very well for those that are in fashion. When using these networks, you want to make sure that you are maintaining good content flow, a blend of your personality as well as your business or service. In addition, when I find myself pitching something to a PR house, designer, boutique (whether it is my jewlery, blogs or social media services in general) - I find that presenting myself as a whole personal brand and not as a segment (I am all of these things, so why not tell the whole story) is essential.
So, while developing visual collateral is important for showcasing your brand and providing a cohesive look there is nothing wrong - and much to be gained - by thinking about your own personal brand. If you blog. well that's another dimension and gives someone something to think about in addition to what you initially presented to them. You may obtain access into something because you are an authority on budget shopping which leads to an opportunity where your small collection on silk dresses are chosen by a stylist. You are a whole person and not a mere portion, or as the adage goes, you are not your job! Social Media allows all of these parts to be seen without distracting from one another.
Remember to approach social media relationship building from a genuine place and allow opportunities to unfold naturally. Help out when you can. Consider your own personal brand, personality and how to integrate all of your activities into your social media presence. This approach is sure to guarantee you success as you build relationships online.
(Image: Friends By Elsie Heung)