Cliquish: Influencer Networking Event

A few weeks ago, a friend and colleague sent me info on a networking event and panel – “So you want to be an Influencer” featuring a variety of veteran and up-and-coming influencers who were going to share their experiences and insights.

I decided it would be fun and interesting to attend and put myself out there in a scenario that was a bit unknown. Not going to lie, I was pretty sure I would be walking into an event where I was the oldest (by a decade plus) and would stick out like a sore thumb. But I decided, in my third decade, to step out of my comfort and just go for it.

Arriving at the event, I was greeted by a variety of faces, women of all ages, interests, race and ethnicity. It was refreshing to talk to so many different women who are passionate about sharing their interests and lives with others in a very public platform.

The panel was a slice of the social world from Ms. Danti, a make-up maven and PhD student, who has been in the game before there was a game to an 18-year old YouTuber, who started blogging in middle school and took off last summer when she made daily relationship challenge videos with her boyfriend. (Apparently this is a huge area of interest for younger girls.)

Loved hearing each of their journeys, tips and perspective. While they were very different, the one common denominator was their desire to connect with people through authentic content and giving others a glimpse into their lives and passion. There’s a lot of power in being vulnerable and opening yourself up to others. And I connected instantly with that part of each of their journeys.

I was reminded that networking is such a powerful tool and got to know a lot of new ladies, and even left with a new friend – a fellow Mama Bear of three, who is also Hispanic and loves sharing her journey of motherhood and passion for fashion.

If nothing else, there is always value in putting yourself out there, meeting new people, talking about common interests and making connections.

This event solidified why I do this. I enjoy having a creative outlet that is all mine, not dictated by others, and the ability to share with people the things I love. If I can make someone smile, try something new or even step out of their own comfort zone, then it’s the cherry on top!

Xo,

Ivette

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Your “online” persona vs. the “real” you: Does it add up?

I’ve recently been invited to speak to a group about “brand management,” but instead of presenting on big companies and recognizable brands like Nike, Target and Apple…it got me thinking about your personal brand. I don’t think enough people consider what they’re saying and the first impressions they are making online.

I’ve seen many a Facebook status update and tweet with TMI. By TMI I mean way too much info…too personal, too whiny, too rude – basically grounds for losing a job or a friend. Certainly unbecoming. Unfortunately, the things you do online coupled with how you present yourself “in person” become your personal brand. Everything you put out there: pictures, status updates, tweets, blogs, comments and even other people’s comments become part of your personal brand.

You may think that some things are private, but when it comes down to it…is there even a difference between your personal and professional brand? Have you Googled yourself lately to see what comes up? You are a combination of the real you (the person your family, loved ones and close friends know), the professional you (your work ethic, creativity, drive) and the online you (your profiles, social resumes, blog posts, pictures, etc.) – when you put all together is it all adding up to who you really are?

If someone doesn’t know you and Googles your name, are you proud of what they find or are you crossing your fingers they’re not that savvy and quit searching? At the end of the day, are you making a statement about who you are or misrepresenting yourself? Have you updated or deleted information to clean up your act? How do you feel about your personal brand? Would you invest in you?