Two MAJOR Things to Consider When Looking for Community Partners

shaking-handsThis year I did a soft launch of my organization Curate Your Life, and since then I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes work in terms of ironing out the blueprint, creating my programs and getting things in order for the BIG launch in 2018. In the interim, my goal has been to continue to generate buzz and continue branding through community partnerships and sponsorship while hosting small and sporadic events along the Eastern coast.

Here’s the thing about community partnerships, they can either be the best things for you in terms of reaching your organization’s goals OR they can be your organization’s worst nightmare, so if you are looking to make community partnerships and sponsors for your organization, here are some things to consider.

Do A Culture Check. 

No, I don’t mean culture in terms of race, ethnicity and societal norms, what I mean by culture is the look and feel of the organization you’re interested in partnering with. Are the employees happy? Are the people they service happy? How effective is this organization to the population it serves?

This is important because your organization is important to you!  The last thing you want to do is open up your organization to another organization that doesn’t have a high morale because how are people going to get excited about what you have to bring to the table when the table is messy. Which brings me to my next point:

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Is the Organization Ready for a Partnership?

I’ve learned that before change can happen, there’s a lot of rootwork that is sometimes required. It’s like clearing out all of the weeds and preparing the soil before you begin to plant the seeds. Ask yourself these questions: Is the organization I’m looking to partner with in a good place for partnerships? Do they have a solid foundation? A strong clientele or customer list? Are they unorganized and is there a lot of things unclear and out of order that could prevent you from executing what you want to do effectively? Otherwise, planting your organization can lead to a lot of unwanted chaos and more work on your part in the aisle clean up department.

You want the partnership to aid in sustaining and growing your organization. You don’t want to walk into a situation where you find yourself helping their organization fight to stay afloat to the point where you don’t have space and opportunities to roll out your services and showcase what you wanted to offer.

Fostering community partners can be a challenge, but the most important thing to remember is who your audience is and what the potential synergy can do for both brands involved. So moral of the story, do your research, observe the day to day operations of the organization before expressing interests in a partnership, and make notes on what they currently offer and how what you have to offer can enhance their brand, but keep in mind, what you stand to gain and/or lose in the process.

 

Curating Your Social Media for a Happy Life

There are a number of reasons why we use social media. You might be an entrepreneur using social media to market your brand. You might use social media to keep in touch with friends and family in other states, cities or countries. You might use social media just for fun, but for whatever reason there are always those Negative Nancys that slip through the cracks and onto your feed with their dark rain clouds ready to ruin your parade. Here are some ways to make sure your feed is feeding you positive energy and how to get rid of the negative energy.

2000px-f_icon-svgFor Facebook: Get acquainted with the “Unfollow” button

I cannot tell you how tired I get logging on to Facebook and seeing a plethora of fight videos. You would think adults would have more sense than that to know it’s never okay to post videos of people fighting. It’s not edifying to anyone and what does fighting solve anyway? I cannot tell you how tired I am of seeing people use Facebook as their personal diaries to attack others. Okay, you’re hurt…someone made you upset, handle it like a mature person offline. I. Am. Tirrred, but that’s nothing a quick unfollow can’t fix. You don’t have to completely unfriend them if you still wish to stay in touch, but unfollowing is step one to getting rid of that negative mess. BUT if all else fails, you can just unfriend that person…seriously, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

twitter-iconFor Twitter: Mute

So Twitter has this new feature that allows you to mute certain topics or trending hashtags so if someone is tweeting about those things, they will never come across your timeline. In a world where we love to hate Trump, I cannot tell you how helpful that is. I mean sure I like to be aware of what’s happening in the world, but give me an emotional and mental break from it all. Some days I just love scrolling up and down my timeline seeing all of the powerful women and men I follow with their powerful and inspiring quotes and tweets. Sometimes you just need to wrap yourself in a bubble of positivity and leave that other mess on the outside.

instagram_new-512For Instagram: Unfollow

News is never “new” for long and it’s only a matter of time before it’s just completely over-saturated with the same things. Example: Beyonce announcing her pregnancy, well for starters, that’s not news to me, but seeing that SAME damn picture up and down my feed for two days straight annoyed the crap outta me. Everybody posting the same thing at the same time. The same memes, the same quotes cropping out the originator to make it seem like it’s theirs. The same twerk videos, the same fight videos, nonsense. Just hit the unfollow button. You won’t miss them. Trust me.

Sometimes when using social media we confuse being informed as being immersed and we spent hours scrolling and clicking through our social media apps and when it’s laden with negative images, bad news, and just overall ridiculousness, it can affect our mental and emotional health and leaves us in a bad state of mind. Just as you designate certain days to clean house, make sure you are taking the time to clean up your social media often.

xoxo

Imma Throw Shade if I Can’t Get Paid

Disclaimer: In no way is this post a means to throw shade, but I get asked often if I’m still freelancing for certain media sites and my answer is NO. I’m just putting it out there for inquiring minds before I get started. 

Monday mornings, 3-5 pitches a week, research, deadlines, and pay per work contracts were a normal part of my daily routine as a freelancer. I would have to brainstorm 3-5 pitches each Monday to send to my editor for approval. There were days when my “word well” ran dry and I found myself surfing the web and other media sites targeted to my audience to see what was popular or trending. I would even use personal experiences and encounters as the basis for many of my articles.

There are several perks to freelancing should you decide to make a living out of it, but there’s also a high level of discomfort and unrest when trying to make it your sole means of income. First, the perks…you in a way work for yourself. You create your pitches and sometimes when you find yourself stump on ideas, they’ll provide some for you. You can freelance from anywhere in the world as long as there’s internet access.

On the downside, however, you are working for someone else when it comes to getting paid, although you can freelance from anywhere in the world as long as there’s internet access, you can’t really afford to be anywhere in the world other than home or local because you just don’t get paid enough with these pay-per-work contracts. Worst of all, you don’t get paid when you’re supposed to.

Whenever you sign a freelance contract, there are pay dates. Some freelancers get partial payment if it’s a one time project and will get the rest at the completion of the project. Some freelancers get paid bi-weekly just as a regular employee and then some get paid an accumulated sum of money for the work they’ve done for the month. Finances are unpredictable. You save, but then an unexpected bill surfaces, or you have to tap into emergency funds or you’re expected to get paid on a certain date per your contract, but when it doesn’t happen it messes up your entire flow. I found myself there all the time. Pushing deadlines, trying to keep my content creative and original, late nights because I can’t seem to get what’s in my head onto the computer screen only to be told that my payment will be late without even knowledge of when I can expect it by. So I’ve found myself in the red with so many bills, things getting cut off, subscriptions being cancelled, not being able to pay for things because I couldn’t get paid. We’re halfway into October and I’m just receiving payments from July. I haven’t even gotten August’s payment and I have no idea when I will.

So my logic is…you want your work on time? Pay me on time? Other wise I can do this s**t for myself.

What am I doing now?

My own s**t. I’m resurrecting this blog site after a two month hiatus. I’m editor in chief of Black Girl Magik where I’m managing writers and contributors. I’m also editing a teen fiction manuscript. At the end of the day, you can’t make people appreciate your work and your time, but you can do that for yourself.

xoxo