Friday, January 8, 2010
My journey of online marketing and brand building through model advocating
"The start is the most important part of building anything." isobella jade
I first came on the scene on publishing blog FishbowlNY, known as the petite model who wrote her memoir at the Apple Store and since then I have used social media and web 2.0 to build a brand around my advocating about being a self-made model.
My online marketing stemmed from becoming an author, my memoir (which I originally wrote at the Apple Store) is called Almost 5'4" and then what followed was my graphic novel is called Model Life: The Journey of a Pint-Size Fashion Warrior. Writing my memoir inspired my next move of sharing my experiences to inspire others through online formats. I became a podcast radio show host and the model-blogger of petitemodelingtips.blogspot.com, and I use social media daily to promote my tips, advice and insight. YES, social media has greatly effected my business in ways of capturing a following on my niche topic: Modeling for all sizes and shapes. I am known as the go-to-girl for unconventional modeling advice. Daily I share tips and advice for girls off sizes on how they can model.
However, in an ironic style, there is a fine line between using the Internet for a business and using a the Internet as a model. I discuss these differences very often on my blog and do not support model-sites or girls promoting themselves on the web. My brand is build on advocating, through books, my podcast radio show, my popular blogs, and web videos. All which cross market and also lead my reader to my books. I share information about working as a model in these web formats in hopes girls will find me, my information, before they fall for an Internet scam. Usually my reader or follower is Googling a modeling term, such as: modeling tips, petite modeling, modeling agencies, print modeling.
I know this because I have been there, and my early pursuits as a model stem from Googling to find information on how I could work as a model despite my petite size, what I found was not help however, I found regret, model-sites an amatuers and scams.
(I wrote about the highs of lows of being a self-made model in the Internet-age in my memoir Almost 5'4")
And although I have an established modeling portfolio today and have worked with national brands and retailers, I can relate a lot, very close, to the experiences my reader is having when they land upon my blog and advocating outlets. I have been there, looking for information and wishing my own advice was out there when I was at the very early stages of my own pursuits.
My podcast Model Talk Radio receives over 20,000 downloads a month alone. My podcast is also set to autoplay on my blogs, Myspace, website and there are links on my Twitter, and Facebook as well. Having a podcast on the Blogtalkradio network is free.
I use Blogger, for my blog, which is free. I do not pay for Google ads or placement on Google. I capture Google, because modeling is my niche and I talk about it every single day, and I shape each subject of my posts around what my following would be typing into Google searching. So the words, petite model, short model, models, photography, modeling agency, modeling scams, appear often in my posts.
Also Google Analytics can tell me what my readers have searched for and how they landed on my blog, so I know what keywords led them to my blog. Right now the top ten keywords are:
1. short models
2. petite models
3. petite modeling agencies
4. petite model
5. modeling tips
6. petite modeling
7. hand model tips
8. petite modeling requirements
9. commercial modeling agencies
10. print modeling agencies
Since I am using the free social media and web 2.0 tools of the web, the actual interaction on the web and marketing costs me nothing.
I have a Logitech camera, about $100, and this camera allows me to easily put up how-to-videos on my Youtube, and share it through other social media, I have also hosted video content for AOL's Stylelist.com and been easily able to do in-store web video features at beauty retail stores by simply hooking the camera to my laptop.
Also I read the news, I try to be in the know of what is trendy or buzz worthy around the topics I write about relating to models and being self-made. When America's Next Top Model was on this past fall, it was the first ever petite cycle, and my readership is mostly girls who are not tall who want to be models. With my online presence on this topic I was approached by Zap2it.com and Buddy TV and others to share comments,recaps, advice, and quotes of my thoughts of the season. My podcast each week was targeted around the show and my blogs and announced myself on my Youtube videos as the were as well. I hate America's Next Top Model, I will not be watching any other cycle, but I knew my audience would be watching and the topic of petite models would be the hype, so of course I was on top of it.
Also I set up my Google alerts for email when the word petite models is used in the media, and if it is a topic I want to share with my readers, or even if I want to approach the reporter and let them know what I do.
Also I am a great self-publicist. I have been featured in the New York Daily News, Glamour, The New York Post, Publishers Weekly, MediaBistro, Ad Age, Gawker, The Los Angeles Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, The New York Times, (hence, just Google me and see) I've gained press by reaching out to reporters who write on the topics that relate to me, my books, and business. Usually I do this through emails, or through direct postal mailings.
Whether the press is online or in print I welcome it. However, especially in this Internet anddigital age, there is a different feeling of acomplish within getting print exposure still. And I have MANY copies of MANY of the print press I have gained. Yet, getting a plug within an online publication is sometimes more worthwhile to my branding because my audience is on the web. They find me there.
When it come to marketing and getting press, even in the Internet-age I find personal attention is more affective. If I write an email I make it personal. Always. When I send a press kit in the postal mail, I write a handwritten note. I find something relatable to the person I am pitching to myself and business in hopes they find me interesting. It has worked.
I have bigger goals beyond blogs and social media, and there are many books I am planning to publish, and I have plans to write for TV and Film in the near future. However when it comes to building my credibility, step by step, day by day, it stems from the online marketing of my self. I am positive that where I go, what I do, create, become, will have been in a major way from my online marketing.
This is not an ad for Google, but Google is a major part of how I get readers, listeners and have built a brand around my advocating.
I do like that my readers, listeners, and my following of girls striving to be who they want to be, and those who buy and read my books have found me,--by putting my self out there, thinking about what my readership is Googling, and teaching my self from the ground up how to share my insight in many online formats. I am proud to say it has been a build, not an overnight success, I enjoy learning new ways to communicate and I have built a brand around the theme of "the higher you aim, the more you get" and that, like my business, it is a journey, and to give it all you can.