Praise Him for Growth - How I’m Growing My Brand - Essence Sylvia Smith - Live FinESSe
Ever since I started my lifestyle brand, Live Finesse, the number one question I get is “How did you it?”, followed by the second top question, “Can you help me with my brand?”. I’m all for helping others because I want to see us all win. Since I noticed these common questions I figured it’s time that I share some beginner friendly tips on how I am growing my brand and ways you can grow yours too.
Let me be clear. There’s not much that separates me from the next person. I don’t say that to belittle myself, I say that because most brands share very common concepts, execution, and tactics. However, one thing that sets me apart from most of my peers is the fact that most will not outwork me. My eagerness and hunger to succeed is a driving force in growing my brand. My hunger is driven by my passion. If you want to grow a brand, business, or whatever you plan to launch, be passionate about it. Do not follow trends or go with something that you feel will make money. Trends and fads fade but passion lives forever. You may need to re-spark your passion but deep down within you it lives on. So ask yourself, what is it that you are passionate about? Think back to when you were younger, what are some commonalities that are still here today.
When I was younger I always said I wanted to be a socialite. I’ve always had an interest in looking nice. You can ask my parents, I have always been a people person. I remember growing up, and all my teachers suggested that I become a teacher. I thought to myself “I don’t want to be a teacher and deal with bad kids for low pay”. I was young and clueless. When I got to college I grew a desire to become a professor. Thinking on it now, I am “teaching”. Maybe not in the traditional sense, but I’m showing others how to live finesse, how to style themselves, how to grow a brand, how to travel the world. Sometimes you don’t even realize that your dreams are no longer dreams, you’re actually living them. Sometimes your passion is sitting right there in front of you and you don’t even know it.
(Please keep in mind that the timeline for my growth is from July 2018 - present)
2. Go For It
If you read my blog post, The Reintroduction of Essence Sylvia Smith you’d know that attending Essence Festival lit a fire in my soul to take my brand seriously and go full speed ahead. When I first launched my brand I thought there had to be a perfect time so I launched on my birthday (fail). When I launched again I decided to “just do it”, I made a little progress but even that launch didn’t last long. However, my second launch taught me to just go for it. There is no perfect time. Do you know how many people miss out on opportunities waiting for “the right time”?
Sometimes in life you just have to finesse it, pun intended. Planning is great but sometimes we can over plan. Sometimes we wait so long to do something that we start telling ourselves we aren’t ready or talk ourselves out of it. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s not the haters that stop you, it’s YOU. You can be your biggest hindrance. We must learn to get out of our own way and just go for it. What’s the worst that can happen, failure? I’m here to tell you failure can teach you a lot of things about yourself, and can also be building blocks for your success story.
Before I started building my brand I started to engage with other people. Now, I do this naturally in life but it’s a step that we all have to take. Life teaches us that we don’t need anyone but ourselves. This is a bold face lie. Eventually in life you’re going to need a support system and a circle. This isn’t to say that you will meet them right away but you’re going to need them. I began liking, commenting, sharing, whatever I could do to help the next person come up. I did/do this for two reasons.
I can’t expect others to engage, like, share, or support my brand if I am not supporting.
I want to show other people what true and genuine support is.
Sadly, there are still people who don’t support me like I support them. However, I don’t dwell on this. I could tell you so many negatives but let me share a positive. Building my brand has presented me opportunities to engage and meet so many dope creatives. I have friends all over who support me more than my actual friends.
Know that your friends and family are not necessarily your target audience so don’t count on them to get your brand of the ground. This doesn’t mean that they don’t support you or aren’t your friend but your brand may not be for them. But that’s another post for another time.
Engagement is truly key. It’s like a pay it forward system. You begin to like, comment, share, etc. Most people will pay it forward. They may send friends your way. In doing this you are building relationships. Don’t run from engagement, utilize it. I’ve slid in so many DMs of other brands/bloggers. Though not all of them respond, you would be surprised at the amount of those who do. Most, like myself are willing to give advice or will respond back.
This is an area that I am still working on. Consistency is easy to say but hard to execute. Most of you would say, Essence you are consistent. However, I could do better. No one is perfect. I get into these moods where I allow myself to get behind or don’t push out the content that I know I should . I really don’t have an excuse I just allow myself to get lazy. I can come up with one million excuses as to why but honestly they are just that, excuses. There’s always going to be something in life going on, but that’s why we plan ahead or have apps that we can schedule content on. If you can master consistency I think you will go far with your brand. If you can work ahead on your content calendar, schedule out posts, or whatever it is that your brand needs, you are on the right track.
I’ll give you an example. I am consistent on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest and I have seen tremendous growth and engagement . However, I want to be a lifestyle brand that is thriving across all social media platforms. I am inconsistent when it comes to my YouTube and Twitter. I could do way better on these platforms and I am working to get ahead on content so that I can see the growth that I desire.
Patience is a virtue that most of us don’t have. Going viral seems like the dream and most want instant success. 5 billion items of content are posted each day on Facebook and 500+ million Tweets go out daily. The likelihood of going viral and having instant success is slim. This isn’t me doubting you but think about how many friends you have that went viral and they are still waiting on their big break. Most of us are going to have to work for it and in doing so we are going to have to be patient. I meet so many people who ask me how did you do it? My answer is I am still doing it. Though I am seeing growth, I have a long way to go and I am patient. I know that it could happen overnight but I’m not banking on it. I am continuously on my grind and finding comfort in knowing that my time is in fact coming.
Tell me what you think, was this post helpful, would you like more posts like this? I am thinking of offering some services and writing an e-book to help other growing influencers and brands. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
I wish you much success with your brands and businesses.
And As Always,✨