51,501 L’s raised here for Wigs for Kids. Only 2 days left to pledge to receive my shape. I mentioned last week I would cover the process of creating your own brand. Why would a Second Life model, business owner or designer do this? To increase their exposures to the market and in turn, their profitability, of course! You spend a great deal of time and money to become the best model you can be, don’t you want to maximize your potential when your training is done? I hope you don’t expect to go to a modeling academy, graduate and expect designers to come hunting you down. Unfortunately, it takes a little more business savvy than that. But with a little patience, and a lot of ground work, you too can be an icon of the fashion industry, just like a Miaa Rebane, Mimmi Boa, or Diconay Boa.
The very first step, define your brand and become an expert on you. Take the time to do some soul searching and determine exactly who you are and what makes your brand you. I would first learn everything there is to be a model because if you aren’t going to learn the basics of style, color concept and put 100% in being the best you, it doesn’t matter how good you look, no one will want to work with a visual disaster from the neck down. That learned, time to create from the neck up. Look at the triangle area from the eyes to the lips. In Western cultures, the sexual dimorphic cues of coveted feminine traits are bigger eyes and fuller lips. That said, play with the look until you are uniquely and beautifully you.
The next step to branding is to establish a presence. You’re being googled, flickr’d, facebooked and many other social media outlets by friends, co-workers, and potential customers (designers) so make sure your branded content is what people find when they Google your name. One way to do this is to build a basic online presence through your own website domain or blog and promote it inworld. Don’t forget to link all your social media outlets together. While search engines will pick up on your social media pages, having your own domain will produce a more finite result.
Generate brand awareness (name recognition) through networking. You should be connecting with other models by using social networks and commenting on their blogs. I can’t stress this step enough, sure we are all busy people not just you, and no one’s going to follow you if you don’t follow them too. Networking is one of the best ways to become known in the industry. By forming relationships with people in your audience, you can grow your brand/name for the long-term.
Remember the 3 Cs of branding. Clarity, consistency, constancy. Be clear in who you are and who you are not. The model who immediately comes to mind most often when I think of this step is Absinthe Resident. Her look is consistent, her style amazing, but if you are looking for a cute model to pull off flouncy pastel gowns, pass her by, it’s not part of her haute couture branding. Don’t sugar-coat your qualifications. Express your brand across all of your social media networks. Determine where you want to fit in (your niche area of expertise) and then remain visible to your target audience.
And sometimes most important, get feedback from those who know you best, designers, other models, and those friends who don’t balk at critiquing you. The true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Notice how they introduce you to others. Ask them what your top brand attributes and core strengths are. If they can easily tell you, then you’ve succeeded in branding you. If they have to hunt to come up with an adjective you probably need to sharpen your selling points as a model.
Take from? Certainly, especially today since the blog model related. The work involved in uncovering your brand may seem daunting, but your efforts can benefit you immeasurably. Your unique face/brand message differentiates the best you have to offer, gives a good indication of what you’re like to work with, and shows how you make things happen. And having this established early on in your career will increase your exposure and keep you as a sought after icon of Second Life fashion for many years to come. Thanks to Tania Tebaldi there is a list of the SLURL’s to the stores participating in the Love Donna Flora event! Link