COM0014-Personal Brand

Building a personal brand is a constantly evolving process. As we understand ourselves more deeply, we can better articulate our brand out into the world. For my personal brand, I am a fitness professional who loves to share my fitness journey with the goal to inspire other busy parents to be active from home. I am a working mom of 2, an enneagram 8, a personal development junkie, an avid reader and a dance music lover.

Before 2020, I was an active gym goer but with covid, I had to pivot to full time at home workouts. As part of that process, I started posting on Instagram as a way to document my journey. This documentation has turned into a small online community of fellow parents. I use my platform to encourage and connect with other at home workout community members.

My colleagues would describe me as outspoken, opinionated and encouraging. I am the team player who stands up for what is right and the team’s needs.

I am most proud of my self-discipline. With the switch from going to the office to working from home, I was able to maintain routines throughout the chaos.

As I dig deeper into how I want to show up online, I know my personal brand will evolve and change. But the core will always be there, the desire to inspire and help.

In my home gym with one of my minis

COM0014-Blog 4 Soft Serve Clothing Co

As the tide of working from home (wft) began to rise in 2020, there was a massive push for comfy new office wear as the Corporate world put away their business suits, heels and dress shirts in exchange for sweats. Despite the fact I live in athletic wear (hazard of my job) I too began to notice the online marketing and my desire for even more comfortable wfh gear. I kept seeing ads for a company called Soft Serve clothing.https://softserveclothing.com/ Soft serve is a USA hoodie company that kept popping up on my Instagram feed and claimed they made the “softest hoodie ever”. My interest was piqued. Yes, I wanted the softest hoodie ever! Of course I did!

Soft Serve Clothing Co is a Business to Consumer (B2C) Company that thrives off Instagram and Facebook ads, flash sales and limited edition products. From personal experience, they respond quickly to direct messages on both Instagram and Facebook. Due to the shipping delays with the pandemic, my first order took months to arrive but they were always happy to respond to any inquiries I had. From personal experience and reviewing their social media interactions, they are highly responsive and engaging.

When I received my first hoodie, I was actually a little disappointed. The fuzzy side on the outside of the hoodie left fluff on my leggings and the inside, which is supposed to be smooth felt a little itchy. After a wash, though the hoodie stopped pilling and was much smoother inside. I have gone on to buy a second hoodie and actually had to remove myself off the mailing list because they kept tempting me with more and more beautiful colors. So is their marketing working? I would say so!

Rocking my Soft Serve Hoodie

COM0014-Blog 3 Who is your avatar?

Understanding your target audience is important as a content creator. What is even more useful is curating your target audience. By developing your avatar- or in other words your ideal client, you can better direct your social media marketing efforts.

So what is an avatar? Your avatar is a specific and detailed ideal client. This is your niche. By taking the time to determine, exactly whom you want to work with or whom your product is precisely for you can create the best ways to reach your clients.

We all know that not everything is for everyone and when we try to sell our product or services to everyone, it is a struggle to develop a voice. Let us say for example, you are an online life coach. You provide a very specific service for working moms who are heading towards burnout. This service is not for everyone. Therefore, you develop your avatar to attract the ideal clients.

Imagine your perfect client. As an example, your perfect client is female, aged 35; she is a mom with a couple young children, makes $85,000 a year as a corporate manager and is struggling with balancing it all and avoiding burnout. Knowing these details about your perfect client, you can develop marketing material that speaks to her pain points, mom guilt, struggles with balance and a need to find a solution.

Understanding these details, you can then develop your social media marketing that will speak to and attract your ideal clients.

Do you know your avatar? Are you directing your marketing to attract the perfect clients?

Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com

COM0014-Story Telling and Social Media

Through this week’s content reading, I learned about the inverted triangle method to writing. This was new to me. I had not learned a methodology to laying out my content before. In the past, I would write by what made sense to me. Story telling in an important part of how our history is passed from one generation to the next. Without stories, we wouldn’t have the lessons that previous generations have already learned. It is like that famous quote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana. Stories are how we remember and learn from the past.

With the growth and popularity of social media, how we tell stories is constantly evolving and changing.  It is common to use Facebook or Twitter as a way to gain knowledge on what is happening in the world. The struggle is sources like Facebook and Twitter are not necessarily reliable. The benefit to social media is anyone can share their stories for the world to see. This ability allows individuals to learn about stories that relate to them even though they are an ocean apart. For example, if you had a rare disease you could share your story online and find others with similar conditions. You could then share therapeutic practices and remedies, which was not possible decades ago.

Then you have negative aspects of global online sharing. Think of the example of the former President Trump. He had the liberty to say anything he wanted without the use of common sense or a filter. This would not be as much of an issue for the common human but with the title of being the president, he had immense influence on the population. This influence lead to confusion and the passing on of misinformation and “fake news”.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

How do you like to share your stories? Are you more traditional with word of mouth or do you prefer the use of social media?

COM0014-Remember Vacations?

Once upon a time ago, pre March 13, 2020 we used to do a fun thing called going on vacation. Vacations were an opportunity to not only leave your house but to actually go to someplace completely new, even to another country! Vacations for the past year have looked very different. Now a vacation looks like throwing on a mask and heading (childless) to the local Costco. My how times have changed.

Annually, my family used to leave Canada, drive for two days and arrive in a beautiful location surrounded by the ocean at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Our trip took place every May the week of Mother’s Day. We would have an assortment of different family members join us each year plus a few consistent friends. This trip was something we looked forward to each year. It was an opportunity to breathe in the ocean air, enjoy some sunshine, feel the chill of the ocean water and indulgence in the local fare. 2020 put a halt to that.

The last time we went south was in 2019. We packed up our two young children, drove for two days and arrived at our rental home. These annual trips started in 2012 with my now husband then boyfriend Grant. He had been going to North Carolina with a friend of his for several years to go kiteboarding. The trips have evolved from a sporty kiteboarding week into a family oriented beach vacation. The first year I went I even brought my 80 year old grandma! Since then we have hosted both sets of parents, siblings and family friends. It’s become a family affair.

Our trips to North Carolina are filled with many happy memories. It’s where we got engaged, both my children grew up going there and many family games were played. I look forward to the year when we can cross the border and safely travel again.

The past 12 months I have reminisced about going on vacation and breathing in that salt ocean air. Quarantine, varying states of lockdown and social isolation have been hard on all of us. I’m sure given the chance, many will jump on the opportunity to resume travel. In the meantime, we can dream and plan future vacations. Until then it’s masked trips to Costco.

Do you miss vacations? What sanctions need to be lifted before you’ll consider travelling again?

Pandemic Proof -Streetparking

In February of 2018, I became pregnant for the second time. I was a hard-core gym goer and loved to workout but pregnancy changes everything. I realized I wasn’t going to be able to continue going to the gym for 2 hours a day 6 days per week with a toddler and a baby. That’s when I found Streetparking.  

I had followed Miranda Oldroyd as she was known now Miranda Alcaraz on Instagram for years. I kept seeing these posts about this program called Streetparking and videos of her doing these at home workouts while pregnant. Miranda was a famous CrossFit Games Athlete, which is the biggest of celebrities in the CrossFit world. And here she was being raw and real while pregnant and training at home. I wanted in!

So I signed up within weeks of finding out I was pregnant and it completely changed my life! Because I signed up, my best friend signed up, she brought in two other women who are now my tribe. Then my husband joined. Now he works out at home too instead of going off for two hours per night at the gym. Then my brother who lives across the country signed up and now I get to virtually workout with him every morning at 6am. I have gained an incredible at home workout program, new best friends, time with my husband and a deeper relationship with my brother.

Streetparking Summer Camp with my Tribe May 2019-personal picture

How did Streetparking do it? A simple at home workout program? There are hundreds of online workout programs. Every fitness celebrity, influencer and trainer has an online training program but few have had the reach that Streetparking has. Streetparking who’s numbers reach over 30, 000 members around the globe did it through optimizing social media.

They built an incredible community on facebook, they have an extremely active facebook group of members that celebrate each other’s accomplishments and share in each other’s tears. They hired talented people to coach and moderate in the facebook group. They actively use Instagram to connect and reach out with their members. They respond and give back to the community.

On top of all that, they have created incredible workouts with tons of options every day so that you can make it work no matter what. No equipment? No problem, there’s something for you too. There is a huge library of educational and informational sources on their website www.streetparking.com.  Along with The Streetparking PODCAST and Vlog on Youtube they have utilized countless social media platforms to reach out to their community.

Add in the pandemic and they are untouchable- It was as if they had a crystal ball and could see into the future. The whole world sheltering in place and needing to exercise! Here is the answer- Streetparking!

Do you use an online fitness program?

Facebook: Are you part of an online fitness community? Check us out! https://bit.ly/3k3p6Mn

Twitter: Join a community that cares #streetparking #onlinefitness https://bit.ly/3k3p6Mn

“corona virus, or whatever you want to call it”

President Donald Trump recently tested positive for covid-19, a virus he has spent the last year downplaying as a concern. In his his video he states he’s going to “beat this corona virus, or whatever you want to call it.”-President Trump.

President Trump discussing his ordeal with covid-19 on twitter.

 Although this is an interesting turn of events, it is not surprising the rise in conspiracy theories floating across the internet. The main one being that President Donald Trump is not actually sick with covid-19.  “In this particular case, however, the flood of conspiracy theories about Trump’s positive test comes against a mountainous backdrop of misinformation built, in part, by the president himself.

Trump has repeatedly misled the public about the pandemic, having consistently denied or downplayed the science regarding the spread of the coronavirus, questioned the need for masks and promoted bogus cures.

In doing so, he has used Twitter to amplify his message to his more than 86 million followers. He has given a platform to the followers of QAnon by retweeting and praising its adherents.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/10/02/trump-covid-conspiracy-theories-emerge-social-media-after-positive-test/5892808002/

Photo by CDC on Pexels.com

As news of the Presidents illness unfolds, the American country is left divided between believing he is actually ill and worried about the reality of what will happen if he succumbs to the disease before the election is complete.  In a way Present Donald Trump’s pervasive use of social media, especially twitter is coming back to haunt him.

President Trump has played a huge role in the controversy surrounding the covid-19 conspiracy theories.

“From using racist rhetoric to promoting dangerous “miracle cures,” President Donald Trump is by far the biggest spreader of COVID-19 false claims, according to a new analysis by researchers at Cornell University’s Alliance for Science, which identifies and combats misinformation and conspiracy theories about science.

The study, published by the university on Thursday, examined over 38 million English-language news articles about the coronavirus from Jan. 1 to May 26. Of those, just over a million contained misinformation or disinformation. Misinformation is any false information, regardless of whether the person sharing it intended to mislead, and disinformation is shared with the specific intent of misleading or deceiving.

Trump, the researchers concluded, is “likely the largest driver of the COVID-19 misinformation.” Nearly 38% of the articles mentioned the president, the study found, making him “by far the largest single component of the infodemic.” https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/trump-covid-19-conspiracy-theories_n_5f75de39c5b66377b27e4747?ri18n=true&guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAGY6q79rbCueQ61K3RWGeZsgVEgIOV2-MKoVC3VNSe5p1CPiGxY7Ro2idJyEYV-6abpIsZD-P6_HZtjRsQbtBn-EXzc5jBOMD-B9hCEF-zyPh_Ns2ibXAG4F45WWZH-xCmvOvoLzj0A6gSU5Lizarx3IOCl9vbfDGNeQaQZFo9UQ

At this point we just sit and wait. Wait to see if the President recovers. Wait to see if he doesn’t. Knowing of course if he does beat it he’ll tweet it!

Are you watching as this story unfolds? Are you concerned with how what happens in this election will affect the rest of the world? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Facebook: President Trump has covid-19 https://bit.ly/36vGx49

Twitter: President Trump has #covid-19 https://bit.ly/36vGx49

References:

Bomey, Nathan. Oct 2, 2020. USA Today. Social media teems with conspiracy theories from QAnon and Trump critics after president’s positive COVID-19 test. https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/10/02/trump-covid-conspiracy-theories-emerge-social-media-after-positive-test/5892808002/

Fang, Marina. Oct 1, 2020. HuffPost USA. Trump Is ‘The Largest Driver’ Of COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories, Study Finds. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/trump-covid-19-conspiracy-theories_n_5f75de39c5b66377b27e4747?ri18n=true&guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAGY6q79rbCueQ61K3RWGeZsgVEgIOV2-MKoVC3VNSe5p1CPiGxY7Ro2idJyEYV-6abpIsZD-P6_HZtjRsQbtBn-EXzc5jBOMD-B9hCEF-zyPh_Ns2ibXAG4F45WWZH-xCmvOvoLzj0A6gSU5Lizarx3IOCl9vbfDGNeQaQZFo9UQ

President Donald Trump. Twitter. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1312525833505058816?s=20

lululemon, better late then never to the #bodypositive movement

The rise of lululemon has been a global phenomenon for the past 20 years. Since its humble beginnings in 1998 to the current world domination as the leaders in athleisure (a name for their style was even created due to its popularity), lululemon has been symbolic of yoga, fitness, and sculpted bums. 

Photo by Karl Solano on Pexels.com

But lululemon has had its share of scandals over the years. Infamously, its founder Chip Wilson was quoted as saying in 2013 “that yoga pants aren’t meant for everyone’s bodies”. https://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/fashion/lululemon-wrong-article-1.1543225

Well 7 years later lululemon is lifting out of its roots!  https://vancouversun.com/business/lululemon-once-chided-for-body-shaming-to-offer-larger-sizes. Sizes will now be expanding from size 0-20 from its previous 0-12 (Sometimes 14) it offered previously. The Senior Vice President of Women’s Design Audrey Milligan Reilly announced on Instagram Sept 15 2020 explaining the company’s new vision about inclusion and body acceptance.

lululemon’s Audrey Milligan Reilly announcing the new updated sizes on Instagram.

Companies embracing larger sizes and more body types comes from years of the #bodypositivity movement a social media campaign that focuses on body inclusivity for all body types.

As a former employee for 5 years, I saw the hurt and heartbreak in women’s eyes when I had to tell them I’m sorry that’s the largest size we have. We had one-style of pants that went above a size 10 and there was often only one or two pairs in stock. I heard the feedback from those women telling me it was unacceptable that nothing was available for them. And I agreed.

Everybody deserves to feel accepted. All bodies need to move and exercise so all bodies should have great clothing that supports those goals. I am proud of what lululemon is (finally) doing. A step forward in making the fitness world more accessible for all is an improvement even though it’s late in the game, it’s better late than never.

Are you a lululemon fan? Do you support body inclusion and the #bodypositive movement? What do you think are the next steps to make the athleisure industry more inclusive for all body types? Would love to hear what you think.

References:

https://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/fashion/lululemon-wrong-article-1.1543225

https://vancouversun.com/business/lululemon-once-chided-for-body-shaming-to-offer-larger-sizes

Facebook: lululemon has made some big changes! Check out my newest blog post @https://bit.ly/3mEFggM

Twitter: lululemon on being more #bodyinclusivity #lululemon @https://bit.ly/3mEFggM

Dilemma or is it inevitable?

The Social Dilemma documentary https://www.thesocialdilemma.com/ debuted on Netflix recently and it has me questioning everything. Like is social media really controlling us? Is social media going to be the cause of the end of the human race? Is this how Artificial Intelligence takes over the world? Are we powerless to stop it? According to The Social Dilemma documentary, we could be on a crash course to the end of the world if things don’t drastically change.

https://giphy.com/gifs/simpsons-apocalypse-eXo5eC1tK7cas

How in control of our social media use are we? With companies like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram creating technology that acts like a drug on our brains, are we really in control? “Social media companies are hijacking our minds by exploiting psychological vulnerabilities to manipulate and control our time and attention.” https://listverse.com/2018/05/23/10-creepy-things-social-media-does-to-control-your-mind/

Simple “mind control” techniques are employed like the use of the red notification symbol to subconsciously force us to click and check to the endless feed that has no stopping point. All social media is precisely developed and planned for longest possible engagement. Longer engagement means more opportunities for advertisements to creep in your feed.

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

After watching this documentary I went and deleted all my social media apps and turned off my notifications, which lasted less than 12 hours (most of which I was sleeping). The notifications are still off but the desire to sneak a peek is definitely still there. So am I addicted? Or am I irrevocably intertwined with the technology that is part of our demise?

What I found most disturbing (spoiler alter) is the claim that with every click and every “like”, these technologies orchestrate and design the world we see online. I’m sure you have noticed when you google something random, let’s say camping tents, every time now  you go on Facebook or Instagram there are advertisements for tents. People used to say that our phones were spying on us, well turns out they really are!

Now, I do not think all of it is a bad thing. Honestly, I like it when I see advertisements for products I actually want on Instagram. I have purchased some cool things that I really enjoy and without Instagram showing them to me I never would have found.

But do I want Instagram or Facebook dictating how I consume my news and politics and only slanting it in one direction? Not so much. This I definitely see as a HUGE problem.

We need to see differing points of views; we need to see the other side. We need to have the OPTION to think critically and make up our own minds. Taking those things away removes what is uniquely human, our ability to think.

Did you see The Social Dilemma? Are you concerned about social media controlling our lives? Agree, disagree let me know what you think! Looking forward to hearing from you.

Photo by Cristian Dina on Pexels.com