Funneling The Fuel

 Image: Duni Cheri

Image: Duni Cheri

I’ve been in a really reflective state lately about my vision and the direction I desire to go in to expand my brand. What I’m learning is, you have to almost become an expert at changing your method without losing your message. We are alive in a time where the one-trick-pony strategy is just plain out of style. Don’t panic just yet and scrap all of the work you’ve done up to this point. Walk with me as we explore solutions to keep your craft fresh and relevant in the era it’s trying to thrive in.

First and foremost, use what’s available and affordable. With free access to social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, you’re able to follow the latest wave and create your own. How can you tell or show others what you have to offer in a way that’s effective and efficient? When I initially launched my blog, I thought my followers would transition over with ease but instead, having to click on an extra link that took them to another site caused a drastic drop in readers, responders and reviewers. Instantly, all of my planning, the late nights I pulled, and the dynamic team who labored around the clock to make this undertaking a success seemed to fall apart before my eyes. Since defeat isn’t an option, I started to put an excerpt of the entries on my personal pages with the blog link attached so supporters wouldn’t feel inconvenienced. Some enjoy the short paragraphs and go on about their day without exploring further. The curious one, who’s hungry for more, can press a button and get the full course meal instead of an appetizer. With all the apps we have access to now, I could make my encouragement available through video, podcast, or find a beautifully designed template to write quotes in appealing bold fonts that stand out and are shared by hundreds and thousands. The form isn’t nearly as important as being sure it fits the demand.

Most importantly, prune the layers until the overall purpose is lean. In other words, TRIM THE FAT! Make sure your mission makes sense. Sometimes people are either confused or aren’t completely clear about what you’re trying to promote due to the overwhelming amount of information and advertisement. My aim is to uplift, empower and inspire. Everything I put in text or that spills out of my mouth falls under the umbrella of those three words. Does that mean I’m limited or confined to pen and paper or a microphone? No way! I love fashion and most people love visuals so I often use my style as another way to make statements. Mentorship is another arena where there’s a magnetic tug. Nothing gives me greater joy than sharing my experiences with those who are just embarking on their journey. Yet again, I’ve found another lane to drive my wisdom without having to choose a totally different path than the one I want to go in. New avenues just lead to better adventures. Tweaking the plan doesn’t mean disregarding the entire project.

Last but certainly not least, don’t ever knock news you can use even if it’s coming from someone you don’t like. Unfortunately, our pride steps in before potential can arrive on the scene. Whether it’s constructive criticism or someone who is trying to completely tear you down, reject the negative energy, apply and assess what they’re really attempting to communicate and utilize it to reconstruct a greater pitch. You aren’t vying for validation, just allowing your haters to help you reach magnificent heights.

Just like we all have unique fingerprints that belong to only us, you have a special touch for what you do that is solely yours. This isn’t about being a carbon copy of someone else. It’s about finding your niche, then being able to accommodate the rapid shifts and needs of your target audience, as necessary. If the excellent  quality you provide remains steady, standard packaging won’t make a difference when what’s on the inside is premium.