On Monday, hundreds of beautiful brown women and men gathered at the Seed Gallery in Newark, New Jersey for the Pose ‘N Post Symposium hosted by Rich Hipster beauty and flower child Chrisette Michele. The ambiance of the gallery was filled with shades of pink, flowers, and diamonds creating a glamorous yet relaxing setting as we were served moscato by Voga and Cupcakes.
Chrisette opened up the event with an acoustic performance that felt like home. She performed Charades and Couple of Forevers that left everyone in dazed. It was like sitting in a really warm living room with your girls. The event was panel style, with very intimate conversations. On the panel were Fash from Lover4fashion.com, Courtney Adeleye of Mane Choice hair and beauty product owner, and Ambrosia Malbrough from Brosiaa. Each women were very opened about sharing their tips on branding and social media marketing. Being that it was a social marketing event, Michele opened up the itinerary for the night with an Instagram icebreaker where each participant had to pair up with other attendees they did not know, take an “usie” create a hashtag, follow each other on Instagram and voila adding more followers to your network.
Chrisette began the Q&A style interview by asking the lovely ladies a series of questions and they shared their tips on branding and social media marketing. Participants were able to openly share their fears and concerns when building their brands. I took away several gems from the symposium that I would love to share with you all. They definitely helped me put building a brand into a different perspective. I will be completely honest when I say it is hard and takes up all of our time, but when done organically it makes the process that much more meaningful. Chrisette shared the beautiful gem, “When it means something to you, it means something to others.” This is how we should build our brands with this same attitude. Here are some of the other gems I took from the evening:
- Timing is important! When building a following, using apps such as Google Analytic, Twitter Analytic, Facebook Analytic and other tracking sites that allow you to see how many people are viewing your content, what time it is most viewed and how readers are responding allows them brand developers to cater their content to their audience and generate more attention. If you see that people are online more in the afternoons, then posting your content at the time will get more attraction. Chrisette suggested spacing posts so that you don’t bombard
- Consistency is key! Whether you have a YouTube channel, online boutique or blog your readers will be expecting new content and updates to keep them active. If you decide to post daily then create a plan such as an editorial calendar to help you stick to that. If you post weekly make sure you have a post ready weekly for your followers otherwise you might start to lose your following. It attracts more followers and keeps your subscribers interested. If you are overwhelmed and burnt out with posting, Michele points out that it is quality NOT quantity that attracts reader attention.
- Read and Respond! Always read and respond to reader comments. Many times readers will have suggestions or tell you what they like and didn’t like and it is important for you to take that into consideration. It also creates a friendly and personal environment. Courtney suggest having a separate “assist” page strictly for FAQs and comments. Ask.fm is a good platform to use that’s specifically for questions and comments.
- Hashtagging is Important! It allows readers to find the content they are looking for. For example if they go to your site or channel and want to see only videos or posts that talk about natural hair, they can search your page for “natural hair” and see all your posts on that subject. Ambrosia pointed out to keep the hashtags to a minimum, but make sure they’re relevant. It makes no sense to have an entire paragraph of hashtags under your posts or Instagram captions.
- Balance is important! Courtney is a business owner in a multi-million dollar hair industry, a full time mother, and wife so she spoke about the importance of juggling things. “Sometimes we’re not prepared, but naturally we embrace the change” Courtney spoke about learning to separate things in her life by being more organized. As a mother and wife she had to learn to turn off work when she was with her family. As a brand developer, sometimes we need to learn how to turn it off sometimes just for sanity. Rest is important. Courtney also suggested learning how to delegate tasks to others. Friends come with many different resources and will support you.
The floor was opened up for a Q&A and one question that stood out to me was “How do you make your business or brand stand out in an industry that’s already heavily saturated?”
Chrisette shared that what allows women to stand out from each other is simply talking about what they know. Finding their niche and sticking with it. Fash is known her her OTTW videos on YouTube, Ambrosia is known for her blog Brosiaa and minimalistic lifestyle, and Courtney is known for her hair line. They all found their place and stuck with it. “When it means something to you, it means something to others.”
We ended the night with more selfies and mingling as we snacked on cupcakes and listened to good music. I had a blast and I hope the gems that I shared are gems to you too.