March 20, 2010

Making Things Happen 2010 - That Thing You Do

Over the past few weeks, I have really been soul searching and thinking about so many things. Sometimes the things that come into my mind scare me, but I always write it down. So much so that I now keep a small notebook by my bed or in my purse, when I have vivid business related dreams or just huge ideas. My church Pastor, Bishop Joseph W. Walker III always says that "God never gives you a vision/dream that you can afford, if so then it was simply just a great idea"... you know the whole dream big!

During the Making Things Happen Intensive we explored so many things and one of the things that I keep going back to is Personal Branding. All businesses should have branding but personal branding is you and what you represent. You all know that you are a brand, right? I represent Opulent Couturier but when I started to dig deeper into my personal branding of what I represent its a direct reflection of my overall company brand as well.

When I first launched my business Bridal Opulence several years ago, it was my mission to connect with as many Nashville Wedding Planners as I possibly could. I was so focused in my contacts for coffee, lunch and just going to as many networking events as I possibly could to put a face with a blog or website. I had 1 planner to email back, but we have never connected face to face to this day. After months of reaching out to people and getting ZERO, ZIP, NO replies back I honestly became a little frustrated. I mean who does not respond to emails? Sure people are busy but I am a big advocate of personal connections. I am a person that is known for sending out a quick hand written thank you note to local business owners if I see them on TV and thank them for what they are doing in the community. Not sure where I picked that trait up, but still today, I believe in a great hand written note.

After reaching out to the local wedding community and remember this was over 3 years ago- {things have changed alot}, I made a personal promise to myself to always respond to emails and to connect with others. It was my personal goal to make new planners coming into the wedding industry feel welcomed and comfortable. I love receiving questions from like minded wedding professionals on the business or just general business questions. It may take me a couple of days to respond, but I always respond.

I say all that to say that people watch you from afar, first they see your website, then your blog, then Twitter and the next step if they really want to reach you is through personal contact. I know how I felt when my emails fell on deaf ears so a major part of what makes me tick and what I am finding is a apart of my personal brand is the personal/human connection. I am me, I tried in my younger 20's to be something that I was not, and I failed tremendously so as I am becoming "more seasoned" in life and business I have learned that I can only be Latrice.

I know that my personal brand represents loyalty, a spirit of excellence, very driven & direct (sometimes almost to a fault...but I accept that & its a work in progress), detail oriented, giving, resourceful, caring, creative, and strong logistical execution. All those traits I just listed, I now realize represent my personal brand. Yep personal branding is what you see on the outside and I try to stay consistent with that as well, but more importantly its also the spirit that things are done. How I make a person feel after we connect one on one, or over the telephone. All that comes into play with personal branding. I know that I am still a work in progress in this area but since Making Things Happen in February I really have tried to pay closer attention to what I am showing those that may come across my business or just in life. Those connections can be lasting connections. During the Intensive I spoke about creating a legacy for my children and that is so huge for me. Although I am single & no children, I realize that what I am building now, will be something that is going to be passed down to my children. "Legacy is greater than currency"....think about it!

I want to share this video from Gary Vaynerchuk that I watch when I need a quick boost. I hope that you enjoy it and think about what your personal brand is showing others!! {Disclaimer...there is swearing in the video but the message is powerful}

In closing be you & be the best you that you can possibly be while representing yourself as a personal brand and your company no matter what industry that may be!

Psalm 139:14-18


Kerline Docteur said...

Great post!!! I can completely relate to what you've written here. When I first started my company, I remember how I tried to reach out to others in my industry, only ONE planner in the area responded to my emails and she was the planner that had been in business the longest. Her words of wisdom were priceless to me and until this day, I appreciate the fact that she took the time to speak to me.

Sadly many can be sneaky and deceptive as they try to build their business (I had an experience with a local planner a few months ago that was not nice), however, we must all remember how we first started and how we can leave a positive mark on this industry. Despite that incident, I still believe it is imperative to be a resource. I agree with you completely, you have to be YOU and the best YOU at that.

I love how you finished your post "Legacy is stronger than currency"!

Sarah Boutwell said...

Latrice- Every time I read your blog, what you write strikes me, and I completely identify with your thoughts. I too, feel like encouraging other up-and-coming peers in the wedding industry is important. I feel the same way about responding to emails and being helpful when they ask questions or seek advice. My policy is "treat others how you want to be treated," whether it's a client, a budding photographer who has questions, or a stranger on the street. You never know how much the slightest bit of encouragement or he smallest act of kindness might impact someone's life. The same can be said for treating someone poorly. You're building an amazing brand, which is appropriate, because you're an amazing person. I know that God's going to bless your socks off. Can't wait to watch your journey. Keep making things happen! Wishing you the very best! God bless. :)