from cyberdreams to reality: 9 questions for ::MIRRORCHECK::

Inspiration for those of you who want to quit your day job. (Note: I prepared this MONTHS ago, and good things have happened for Krystle since then! Be sure to check out her blog.)

–Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Krystle Michelle a wardrobe stylist, and style blogger.

–How did you end up doing this?
I spent my senior year in college wondering if I had made the right career choice as a computer programmer. In my heart I knew that it was definitely the wrong choice. Even though I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree and a job that provided me so much necessary security, I wasn’t as happy as I saw myself being. I asked my parents for guidance on what I should do and they told me I had two options: leave my job to pursue the happiness I longed for or stay and get over it. (lol) I worked for almost two years and left my corporate job. I felt like my passion for pursuing my dreams was being held back by the comfort of being secure. Since leaving my job, I’ve had the opportunity to gain more styling jobs and personal shopping clients.

–What social media platforms are you active on (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)? –Which has been the most useful for you, and how?
I use Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, and in the process of finding a way to use Tumblr effectively. These sites are the more general social media outlets that I use. I use Blogger for my style blog. Twitter has been the main avenue for promoting my Blogger site. There are other genre specific social media platforms that I use to promote myself in the fashion industry, those are Chictopia, IFB, and Model Mayhem. If I were to compare those to any of the more general social media sites, they would be similar to Facebook.

— Can you describe a specific instance where social media was instrumental in helping you achieve a certain goal?
I use Twitter all the time to find emerging fashion and accessory designers to feature and interview on my blog. Four of the interviews I’ve conducted have all come from an interaction on Twitter.

–What’s next for you/your brand?
I am working on building my styling portfolio. I would love to get in contact with all types of designers and complete more interviews on my blog. I also want to open an ecommerce store selling clothing as an extension of my style blog.

–What’s your dream project?
I’d love to get with an amazing creative team and gather fashion editorial submissions for magazines. I ulitmately want to have work published in Vogue Italia.

–Tell me about someone who’s social media presence you admire–an entrepreneur, a blogger, a brand, etc.–and what makes them great (and a link to them, of course!).
Unfortunately, no one comes to mind.

–Where can we find you on the Internets?
www.mirrorcheck.com and she’ll help you find my cyber existence 🙂

…and I’m back! sort of.

Hello, dear readers of this poor, abandoned blog!

First off, my deepest apologies for the abrupt and unceremonious cessation of posting. To put it simply: life got in the way. I moved, to another apartment. In another country. I got married.  (I also took a social media break, which everyone should do from time to time, especially if you work in social media.) You can read all about it over at tatianainflux.com, which is where my primary blogging activity takes place these days.

But my fascination with media hasn’t gone away! I don’t know what the schedule will be like yet, but I’ll definitely resume posting here. So, thanks so much for your patience, and I’ll be seeing you soon!

tatiana

 

business advice from tyra banks

Not sure how I missed it, but last year Tyra Banks wrote a series for Vogue Black called “How to Be the CEO of Your Own Life.”

Step 1: Take a Moment http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-black/tyra-banks/2010/04/come-essere-ceo-di-se-stessi
“Think about all the things you need to do change to take charge of everything you do.”

Step 2: Build Confidence http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-black/tyra-banks/2010/04/come-essere-ceo-di-se-stessi-step-due
“First impressions are key in being your own CEO.”

Step 3: Dress to Impress http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-black/tyra-banks/2010/04/come-essere-ceo-di-se-stessi-step-tre
“…clothing is the first thing people will judge you on.”

Step 4: Make a Plan http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-black/tyra-banks/2010/05/come-essere-ceo-di-se-stessi-step-quattro
“You should make daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals.”

Step 5: Build relationships! http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-black/tyra-banks/2010/05/come-essere-ceo-di-se-stessi-step-cinque
“I would never have accomplished my dreams without the help of others.”

Step 6: Practice Humility http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-black/tyra-banks/2010/07/come-essere-ceo-di-se-stessi-step-sei
“Take credit for what you should and give credit to those who deserve it.”

Step 7: Get Organized! http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-black/tyra-banks/2010/10/come-essere-ceo-di-se-stessi-step-sette
“If you aren’t organized it is impossible to be successful.”

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5 things to include in your personal media kit

When I graduated college and entered The Real World, my first job was as an education and general assignment reporter. Not a glamorous gig by any stretch, but I definitely learned a lot about the ways people and organizations present themselves to the public. One really useful tool for this is a media kit.

Fancy! Click on the picture to see how it was created.

What’s a media kit? It’s an easily accessible compilation of information about a company, brand or person. Folks that are good at getting steady, consistent media coverage know that the media  expects certain information to be easily accessible, so they have media kits at the ready. And in this era of Internet searches, you should have a media kit prepared, too. A personal media kit, one that’s designed to let people know what you’re all about, and one that’s easily accessible for those who are looking for it.

A few situations where a personal press kit may come in handy:

  • a reporter needs to find an expert for a story
  • a nonprofit is looking for people to add to its board
  • A JOB RECRUITER IS LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO HIRE

So–what should go in your personal press kit? Here are 5 things I recommend:

1. High resolution photo–Your personal press kit should include a current photo of yourself that’ll look good both online and in print. That portrait studio pic you scanned and uploaded? Not gonna fly. Generally, the larger a photo is, the better it is. Here’s a good explanation of how high-res photos work.

2. Short bio— Your bio should be a paragraph or two that tells people the following things: WHO you are, WHAT you do, WHERE you’re from, WHEN you started doing it, and WHY you do it. Two great examples are the bios of the bloggers behind Birmingham Mommy.

3. Grownup email address–If your primary email address is still cutie4U@hotmail.com, it’s time to make a change. Your email is one of your most important means of contact, so it should reflect positively on you and your brand. Mine follows the standard FirstnameLastname format; other people incorporate their stage names or their blog names. Assess what’s best for you.

4. A working link to your internet presence– A website, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn profile or anything else you choose. The important thing is that when people Google you, what pops up is at least one site about you that you yourself control. Right now, I’m a fan of about.me. It serves as a central location for all of my online profiles (and it looks nice, too). And yes, people do connect with me through it.

5. Samples of your work— This could be a portfolio of your photography, clips of your writing, videos of your performances, products you’ve created, testimonials about your performance. The Behance network has a great gallery of portfolios for creative professionals.

Did I leave anything out? Do you have a personal media kit and if so, what’s in it?

the art of cultivating a unique voice

I first met the Shermika and Tamika Dunner, the lovely ladies behind the blog ArtBLT, in June when they sent a tweet to one of the accounts I manage at work. I was instantly smitten with their blog (and with them–they’re so sweet)!  In addition to a consistent supply of cool content (say that five times fast), one of the things I like most about ArtBLT is its voice.  If there were five different posts by five different bloggers in a lineup, I’d spot them easily because of the things they’ve done to make their writing uniquely theirs. These things include:

Unique terminology: Just like Barack Obama owned the word “change” in 2008, so do the Dunner sisters own the word “belle,” identifying themselves as TamikaBelle and ShermikaBelle and peppering their sentences with the word (For example : “Well, a belle sure likes to watch some dance–especially if it doesn’t bore.”)

Tone: The tone of the blog is friendly and conversational, totally matching their personalities. Which brings me to the next point…

Authenticity: The ArtBelles are witty, Southern, artsy women. Their blog posts sound like the work of witty,  Southern artsy women. Their blog feels like a natural extension of them.

[Sidenote: Learn more about ArtBLT in this week’s 9 Questions!]

Most of my favorite blogs and microblogs have these a lot of these traits (check out the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s twitter feed and Very Smart Brothas’ blog to see what I’m talking about). As I’ve experimented with blogging, voice is one thing I’ve had to work on. My main problem was that I wasn’t being authentic–worrying too much about who my potential audience was and changing the way I’d say something. That resulted in writing that bored even me.

So, this iteration of my blog will see a little more slang, culture references and other Tatiana quirkiness. What about you–what kind of things make your voice unique?

observations of communications professional