What do you feel was the most helpful thing that jumpstarted your career?
Not waiting for anyone to save me and deciding to create the experience necessary to qualify for the positions I was interested in. I’d also say, my life for learning is probably a competitive edge. I read, research and study my field often to stay up on latest trends and teach myself how to do a lot for myself. Being self-sufficient is so necessary.
What does it mean to be a black woman in media to you?
It means winning! Black culture owns social media and much of it is inspired by the black woman. We’re beautiful. We’re smart. We’re funny. We’re enterprising and I’m so proud of the representation we’re experiencing right now. I do, however, recognize that there are still barriers for us to work through and in optimistic that room will be made for more of us in leadership.
What inspires you to keep going in this industry?
My personal drive to succeed honestly. This industry will break you if you let it. Living for the applause of others is a setup for failure. You’ll be disappointed and frustrated doing it that way. You have to truly be passionate about what you create and focus on outperforming your last big success. I’m hungry and I fight hard to never get too comfortable. I’m constantly asking, “What’s next? How can I level up?”
I also try to only follow social media accounts of other professionals thriving in their industry. That reminds me that anything is possible and helps cut down on the distractions. (Only a little though. Sometimes it’s possible to get caught up in the pace of others so be mindful.)
How did you start offering your services to others and what’s some advice would you give to someone who has services to offer but don’t exactly know how to market them or get clients to start?
Well, people asked me for my services and I ran with it! Lol I would go to these events and provide a full recap for publicists, or I’d freelance for the local radio station. Finally, one publicist just booked me as a photographer about a year in to my re-boot and the rest is history.
Share something about your position or the industry that you wish you would’ve known before going into it.
I wish I would’ve known that hard work alone is not enough. One of my mentors gave me a gem I’ll always keep with me, “Make people want to see you win.” Your passion and dedication is your competitive edge, but relationships, attitude and politics play a huge part in what opportunities are available to you. No one wants to work with someone who makes life harder in a high stress environment, so try to make things better wherever you are.
I’d encourage anyone just starting out to be mindful of those things. When people like you, when you’re easy to work with, when you exceed expectations you’ll move ahead— sometimes even if you’re under qualified in other areas.
How did you go about starting your brand and building your own name so that you could go out and do interviews representing yourself and your brand?
I just started. People want to see traction before they invest in you. I also present my small business as a fortune 500 company. Quality is the key. From my email pitches, to the posts that I publish I never look at myself as a little guy. People believe what you tell them. I’m very observant so I would be a fly on the wall at my early events to learn who does what, when, where and why. That helps make research easier— you’ll know what to ask whom.
Who are some women you look up to in the industry?
Man, the list is way too long. A few who instantly come to mind include:
Miss Diddy LA
What has been the most difficult situation you’ve had in your career or with starting your career?