We should always be prepared to re-invent our lives, careers and spaces, for life is constantly evolving and we must flow in accordance. With the uncertainties of our floundering economy, many of us will have to carve out a new and exciting brand for ourselves to be successful today and in the future. Now is the best time to become the person you always wanted to be.
Five years ago, I decided to resign from my post as singer Jill Scott’s publicist. I was burned out and no longer had the desire to design and implement publicity campaigns. It was better for me to leave my post while I was on top than have my poor attitude reflected in my work. It was a challenging decision. I prayed and consulted my husband, family and friends. I knew that the real Karen Taylor Bass was ready to shine. I did not know that it would be challenging, difficult and depressing at times.
When you work with someone for seven years, as I did with Jill Scott, that becomes the only context in which people know you. You are relegated to that box. I was called Karen Scott, Jill Taylor and only sometimes by my real name, Karen Taylor (I was unmarried at the time). I had become an extension of Jill. I truly had to think about what made me happy; what I wanted in my new life; what that life looked, tasted and felt like. What was my message? Did this vision incorporate my family? Did it require traveling? How would I make money? Did I have a five- to 10-year plan?
It took me four years to figure out the plan and believe it. Below are the re-invention tips that I am using to build my brand, “Karen Taylor Bass.”
• Speak it and live it. I am a PR expert;
• Use the power of the media as an empowerment tool;
• Create a marketing budget for self-promotion;
• Hire a Web designer to create an engaging Web site;
• Be viral and syndicated. Join all relevant social-networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace;
• Become a radio host on Blogtalk-
radio.com to expand your brand globally;
• Start blogging and write about your passion;
• Contribute to magazines as an expert and secure a byline;
• Become a source to reporters as it relates to PR/branding;
• Write an e-book about expertise and retail;
• Speak for free. It’s great practice for building your “expert” status;
• Network. Network. Network;
• Use existing contacts for opportunity and synergy;
• Join “strategic” professional organizations;
• Attend professional conferences and pitch to speak on a panel;
• Create a weekly e-newsletter to promote your company;
• Volunteer at events to give back;
• Challenge yourself and do something extraordinary for different results;
• Be open to strategic partnerships with talented people;
• Send out one to two press releases per month (impressions are key);
• Don’t be afraid to fall, fail, and be broke. It’s all temporary;
• Know and believe that you are a winner;
• Align yourself with the best … then become the best;
• Read and learn from those you respect;
• Secure a mentor;
• Listen to your inner voice and ask God for guidance.
Karen Taylor Bass is a public relations expert, blogger, radio host, author and speaker. For additional information, go to www.karentaylorbass.com.