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Branding

This Time It’s Personal

you are your brand

How do I juggle building both my business and my personal brand?

For over a year I’ve struggled with this question and would discuss it with anyone who’d listen.

Everyone I asked agreed that I did indeed need to build my personal brand. But when I’d ask how I was to create consistent content for and properly promote both I was met with shoulder shrugs.

You see, I do A LOT. In addition to being the founder of See Jane Write, I’m a full-time teacher and a part-time freelance writer. And save for the occasional intern and event volunteers (and my incredibly supportive husband), the See Jane Write team is made of me, myself, and I. So how can I find time to build two brands on top of all of that?!

Then some conversations with a few friends got me thinking. “You are Jane,” they said.

I never thought about it that way. See Jane Write started as a writing group for women that eventually became an award-winning membership organization and business. I don’t see myself as Jane. The women who rock with me are all Jane.

“But you built this. See Jane Write, as it is now, wouldn’t and couldn’t exist without you,” they insisted.

And that’s when I began to realize that See Jane Write is my personal brand, or at least it could be if I got personal.

And so after more than 12 months of mulling this over I made a decision to treat the See Jane Write brand as my personal brand, to share more personal stories of trials and triumphs on the See Jane Write blog, and to give my followers a behind-the-scenes look into my professional and personal life on the @seejavaciawrite channels on all social platforms including Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. I made a decision to get real while also remaining relevant.

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7 Ways to Build Buzz for Your Blog, Book or Brand

build buzz graphic

We had a packed house Saturday at the See Jane Write workshop, How to Build Buzz.

During this free workshop I shared with attendees the story of how I’ve grown See Jane Write from a small women’s writing group and BlogSpot blog to an award-winning business.

It all started on March 24, 2011 when I gathered with a group of about 14 women at a local Mexican restaurant. Most of these women I had never met before, but these women and I all had one thing in common — we all loved to write. And I’d gathered them there that evening  to ask them what they wanted and needed from a women’s writing group. This meeting would be the first See Jane Write event.

Two months later See Jane Write hosted a workshop on Twitter that drew 40 women.

Two months after that we hosted a panel discussion that drew 75 women.

See Jane Write was in full swing!

crowd
We had a packed house at “How To Build Buzz” Photo Credit: Christina J. Wade

Eventually I started to get quite a bit of attention because of See Jane Write and even started winning awards. In 2012 I received the SMART Award from the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, an award given to local women who are doing innovative things in business, education, or the arts. In 2015 I was named one of the city’s Top 40 Under 40 by the Birmingham Business Journal and just this year Southern Living magazine included me on its list of Innovators Changing the South, a list that included the likes of the iconic Dolly Parton and actress Reese Witherspoon.

After this recognition people started to ask me my secret. They wanted to how I was getting so much attention for myself and my brand. And I told them, “I know how to make a scene!” In other words, I got really good at self-promotion.

If you’re still stuck in the mindset that self-promotion is somehow dirty or wrong, read this.

Go on! I’ll wait…

Now here are the seven ways I build buzz and make a scene!

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Build Your Brand with Speaking Engagements

See-Javacia-Speak

I have three speaking engagements over the next two weeks. (More info on those below.) Though I’m getting paid for two of these gigs, I didn’t really accept any of these offers to speak for the money.

Speaking at conferences, meetings and other events is a great way to get the word out about who you are and what you do. Speaking engagements are a great way to build buzz about your blog, book, or personal brand.

If you want to delve into public speaking, but you’re not quite sure how, here are a few tips to get you started:

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See Jane Write founder makes Southern Living list of Innovators Changing the South

innovators changing the south

Yesterday I got so many Facebook notifications my phone nearly died.

Yesterday Southern Living magazine released its list of Innovators Changing the South, a list that included people like Reese Witherspoon, Dolly Parton, and Brene Brown. A list that also included — ME!

Thanks to the work I do through See Jane Write, I made the list. I jumped up and down and skipped through my house until I was out of breath. And I think I typed the words “Thank you” 200 times as congratulatory messages from friends came pouring through on Facebook and through texts.

Now I know you might be wondering, “How did Javacia make it onto a list that includes famous people?” And I should be mad at you for being such a hater, but instead I’m going to let you in on a secret.

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How to Keep Your Personal Brand “Popping”

tanesha and tiffany

One of my favorite Birmingham-based businesses is Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co. I’m a fan of this company not just because the popcorn is delicious and not just because the company has been supportive of See Jane Write, signing on as a sponsor for our Scandal watch party and for our upcoming 5th anniversary party. I also admire Tanesha Sims-Summers and Tiffany Turner, the women behind Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn, because they’ve done such a great job developing their brand.

If you’re not familiar with Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn, don’t worry. You will have plenty of chances to get to know them (and taste that delicious kettle corn). This weekend on Saturday, March 12, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, they will debut a new flavor at Shamfest at the Red Shamrock Pub in Mt. Laurel. What will the new flavor be? You’ll have to be there to find out!

Also you’ll find Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co. at Oak Mountain State Park on March 26 for its 9th Annual Easter Egg Hunt and they’ll be back at the Pepper Place Farmers Market starting April 9.

And if you attend the See Jane Write 5th Anniversary Party on Saturday, March 19 at aloft Hotel’s wxyz bar, you’ll have a chance to win a Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co. variety snack pack (which will include the new flavor).

But before you go to figure out what you’re going to wear to the party, here are four tips I think we bloggers and writers can take from Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co. as we’re building our personal brands.

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Why You Need a Logo for Your Website or Blog

you need a logo

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Laura Vincent Printing & Design, presenting sponsor for the 2015 Bloganista Mini-Con, but all opinions are my own.

At last year’s Bloganista Mini-Con afternoon keynote speaker Megan LaRussa Chenoweth said that getting a new logo for her blog was one of the game changers that helped take her business to the next level.

Could this one day be your story, too?

When Dionne Love of Laura Vincent Print and Design signed on to be the presenting sponsor for this year’s Bloganista Mini-Con I was so excited. I knew her talent and knowledge about designing logos would be invaluable to the women of See Jane Write.

“A logo will help your business become more recognizable, but it also establishes credibility with potential customers,” Dionne says. “It is the fundamental component of branding and marketing that reflects your personality, your values and principles.”

And this doesn’t just apply to big-name businesses like Nike or Apple. As Megan’s story shows, this applies to bloggers, too.

LAURA VINCENT NEW LOGO CIRCLE

 

Here are five things Dionne recommends you keep when mind when creating a logo for your blog or personal brand — whether you’re working with a company like Laura Vincent or designing the logo yourself:

1. Keep it simple. Consider again logos like that of Nike or Apple, or even McDonald’s. They are some of the most popular logos around but yet also the simplest.

2. Make an impression. “The ultimate goal of all businesses is to have their logo image imprinted in your memory and to make a lasting impression,” Dionne says. So be sure your logo is memorable.

3. Find a font. “Selecting the right fonts is one of the most important steps in logo creation,” Dionne says. Choose a font that’s easy to read but distinctive. Also, Dionne says you shouldn’t use more than two different fonts in your logo.

4. Get color coordinated. When choosing colors for your logo remember that color can create an emotional response, Dionne says. Also keep in mind all the different places you’ll need to display the logo such as across your various social media networks.

5. Be versatile. Remember that your logo will not only be used on your website or blog and social media accounts but also on stationery and business cards. You may even decide to sell merchandise with your logo. Be sure that your logo looks great on any medium.

“So invest the time in developing a great logo,” Dionne says. “You and your business will reap the rewards!”

Dionne Love of Laura Vincent Printing and Design will be available at the Bloganista Mini-Con to chat with attendees about logo design and more. She’ll also be giving a discount on her logo design services to one lucky attendee. 

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