Don’t Be Polarized By Criticism

img_4832

“Well behaved women seldom make history.”

I will definitely be the first to admit that when it comes to writing I am extremely protective of my words and the last thing I want to have happen is someone dislike my point of view.  But guess what…it happens and it is what it is.

However, as I continue to move forward with writing and exposure I understand that I must keep writing to getting better as I work on other projects (specifically books) that I hope to engage a greater following.

Diving into what’s socially acceptable or not is a slippery slope and being too careful can make you boring.  But the realistic goal at the end of the day is to create a spark around your name.  I have heard the questions about why I write about the things I post and how my content shifts from branding to personal, but in reality this is my style.  I am working on staging my work to show my progress as a writer/blogger and self-published author because I am my brand.  I want to do things myself (have complete creative control), so as I take my time to get some things done behind the scenes, please understand that this is indeed a massive process.

Some of the blogging experts suggest pushing for tasty content…

What are you trying to teach someone?  What expertise do you bring to the issue and trending topic?  How will your insight transform the minds of those that follow your action steps and why they should listen to you?  I learned the need to be tasty while tuned into a live session one night with one of the notables.  On the other hand there is another expert that simply says all authors should have a blog because it sharpens your skills.  I have negated my ideas of me being my brand…and just when I was supposed to have a photo shoot to do some promo shots for my website and do what I thought was best for my website and image those plans fell through… It Simply Was Not Time!

Socially Acceptable Behavior

I’m glad I’ve taken the time to regroup and reconsider what I need to do for me.  My social media platforms garner attention in several ways and the whispers have spread into full out conversations about my uncensorship in some areas and my overly outright spoken feelings in other areas.  Just yesterday a colleague laughed with me about my snapchat (@tilyarealeyes) diaries.  I use it to vent, to laugh, and to BS my way through the day sometimes.  It’s all in fun.  And as us creatives, business-minded, entrepreneurs work out our niches it is easy to be “polarized by the criticism of others”.  We see it day after day from everyday people like me that create with care on up to celebrities that post a simple picture because they are living their life that keeps us all highly entertained.

I am sure that as I continue to share my voice, my thoughts, my concerns, and my journey there will be someone standing on the sideline with a sign that reads…”Not a fan!”  But I can’t be concerned with the negative questions and thoughts of others because they are not in my shoes running this race.   It would be too easy to just scroll pass what someone dislikes because they feel that their opinion is needed and justified.

I have played around on my platforms and while it’s a process to build my presence online it’s not the people that I don’t know with the questions and fake concern, it’s the ones close by that I know personally that have the most to say about what I’m writing.  I write about my real life and real experiences.  So hearing that I’m “heavy” on social media made me chuckle a little and damn near put me on the defense.  Who are these people to question what I’m doing?  And just to be clear I am too busy building my name to worry about what others don’t understand about what I’m doing.  I have sparked a conversation so evidently I’m doing something RIGHT!

I completely separate my personal life and my blogging life.  What I write about may be influenced by my day to day but my LaTilya Rashon blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will depict what I want to have.  This hat as a writer and continuously improving author is completely different than my everyday job as a teacher.  I can teach people about life (love, relationships, parenting, coping, and simply LIVING) on my blog and how to cope with shit on a regular basis.

The struggle is real when no one understands your vision and what plans you have for your career.   My being socially acceptable on my platforms is for me to decide without the negative criticism of others.  I said a long time ago that people find favor in you when they like what you have to say and represent.  But I’ve also learned the lesson that my friends are not my target audience so I’m never surprised by the local feedback or lack thereof.

I am constantly thinking of ways to be impactful with my writing and the out pour I receive from inbox messages, reshares of my blog post, and new followers edges me along. I appreciate all of the support and encouragement I receive!

I welcome all feedback because I have made up in my mind that nothing will deter me and I will not stop because others think that I should.

If you would like to keep up with me on Facebook please follow me here atimg_4830 LaTilya Rashon “TilyaRealEyes” 

Connect with me!

Advertisements

Why Personal Branding Is Great For Your Career

March is a new month for new beginnings, new goals, and new focuses.  I’m challenging myself to focus on one thing this month and that is my personal branding.  To be honest I cringe at that word because it is thrown around so much online and on reality shows that I’m literally confused every time I hear a different person say it.  Nonetheless, my goal this month is to set myself aside and become more identifiable and produce quality work.  That’s what BRANDING is all about right!?!

At one point when I began this writing journey I was on blogspot because I was using my blog as an online journal.  I wasn’t really focusing on the big picture.  All I wanted to do was share my experiences while entertaining the idea of writing a book.  I was second guessing myself!

I switched over to wordpress as I was completing my doctoral program with Nova Southeastern University and my blog then took on a life of its own.  While my education and credentials would have me considered an expert in the field of education: Dr. LaTilya Williams—Doctor of Education: Higher Education Leadership and  Master’s in Public Administration; I find myself coming up short in the blogging/self-published/writing industry.  Oh to be an expert in this field would be a dream come true!

So what must I do?  Yea, you got it! WORK ON MY BRAND!

cropped-cropped-20170110_153240-e14840823819535.png

I have read so many blogs from the experts and they all have this one tagline or statement in common: “I AM MY BRAND!”

Well there you have it!  But not so fast.

While I sit and read, subscribe to mail listings myself, subscribe and listen to podcasts, and emulate the things I see, I know I am closer to hitting my mark and finding my sweet spot.

This journey has been eye-opening because in my research and studying some of the experts say that there is not definite formula to success and making a big impact.  Others say develop a plan and work the plan.  I still stand my truths about blogging because there are some things you discover.  Go check out my epic blog, What No One Tells You About Blogging.  It is one of my favorite blogs and one that I see lasting for years to come as new trends arise.

Now reexamining all do the Dos for content creation and personalizing your brand, all of us side hustlers are told to FIRST BE CLEAR.  I can’t any clearer about wanting to make an impact on new teachers with my book,

My Fourth Year in Middle School; The Truth About Teaching

51-ykyw6rfl-_sx331_bo1204203200_

I truly want to help change the narrative about teaching so that the newbies learn that in order to truly be successful in the classroom there must be a complete understanding that what you learn in traditional training is helpful.  But what you do in the classroom from day today is what’s going to shape your approach, career, and style of teaching.  Now if only I could attract the right audience and individuals invested in my book, I could really make gains as an educational expert.

DRAW PEOPLE TO YOU: It is difficult to create a consistent buzz as a newbie blogger and collecting emails is a task.  Build your brand! Create the leads! Magnetize your audience!  That is a lot easier said than done.  As I look at my social media networks…

I have learned that my friends are not my target audience and I actually get more feedback from people that don’t know me personally.  Now I do have some friends that purchased my book, left a review on Amazon, or told me personally what they thought of my work but I’m hungry!  I want to grow in my efforts and reach the masses that I know could benefit from my experiences.

I want to see my follower numbers convert to sales.  Another one of the DOs that we must be mindful of is CONTENT CREATION.

Visiting my blog is rich and full of experiences that I feel provide knowledge and inspiration.  I think about the goals I have set for myself and reflect on my progress over the years.

Content creation is one thing but the focus must shift to…QUALITY CONTENT in the form of books (Check Me Out On Amazon), videos especially if you are on youtube: check my sidebar 🙂 (Subscribe to me @ LaTilya Rashon), and of course while you’re here browse around read my blogs, comment on what you like and most importantly

Subscribe to the LaTilya Rashon mailing list

Brand clarity is an ongoing process!  Content creation takes a lot of work. I have only been serious about this for the past two years because I know I have message of inspiration.  I’m sure my audience will change by the day but I plan to be authentic and transparent in my approach.  I don’t have it all figured out but I’m figuring it out.

March is not the month for stagnation! New goals! New insights! New material!

Stay Tuned!

 

 

What No One Tells You About Blogging 2018

When I made the choice to write more, work on building my brand (which I’m still sorting through) publishing my book, and networking, I had no clue about the amount of time I would spend obsessing about the details.  Matter of fact I got side-tracked, off track, and overwhelmed by my vision and everything I was trying to do.

For a creative with a fluid stream of thought, bottling up my emotions into multiple blog posts is delicate.  It is also nerve wrecking because you want your audience to believe in your brand.

I have read numerous social media posts about brand building, mail list, and content launching, I begin to ask myself “Am I doing something wrong?”   I have even completed a few email challenges which is why after my last starter kit download I decided to revamp my epic blog… originally posted August 13, 2016.

What No One Tells You About Blogging

So I thought that I had it all figured out then and sadly, I didn’t then and I’m still figuring things out now.  I’m still tackling the same topics of the experts, products, social media, and the effort it takes.  But I’m also adding another component…NETWORKING!

The Experts

The first thing no one tells you is that the blogging industry is full of experts that have been around for YEARS!  They are the gurus, the go-tos, the coaches, and the mold.  They have been building steadily for five or more years and have their niche, audience, and branding down to a science.  They use every technology tool imaginable and create material that us novice bloggers are working hard at some day creating ourselves.  Having had to learn how to pitch ideas, and step out of faith allowed them to establish platforms and connections that further build their credibility.  I could name a few experts but there is no need, if you simply google them they are everywhere.  So now I’m trying to get in where I fit in so that I can grow my audience and build my platform.  To be an influencer you must learn to move and network like one.  Starting can be hard but they too were once where we are.

The Products:  Workbooks/Workshops/Webinars

In information overload keeping up with the trending concepts is overwhelming. Lifestyle, fashion, inspirational, relationships, everyone is offering advice.  There is tons of help being offered at low and high prices.  Some tools are even available as free downloads and starter kits that are helpful.  Others are confusing as shit so I keep what I like and toss what I found useless.  I’ll be honest some things are more complicated inside some of these free email courses.  Since I’m Type-A, I need things to be simple and spelled out.  If I’m stressed out reading these helpful “tidbits”, I wonder what these creators felt like when they were writing.  Oddly, in start-up, investing in books, workshops, webinars, and other online content comes with an expensive price tag.  It is exciting to see gifs dancing all over your screen, then as soon as you decide you are interested, you are hit with costs ranging from free to hundreds of dollars.  Now I admit some of the leadpages and magnets are fire as hell, but my next big investment is going to be a newer laptop before I go all out.  Besides I still teach full-time so blogging has yet to pay my bills.  But I’m working on it. Don’t go broke investing, take it one day at at time (note to self).

Social Media

img_3670-1

It is up to you to separate your personal life and your business life. Presenting your content on various sites is time consuming and intimidating.  Trying to follow a content checklist to be sure to create, share, tweet, stumble, tumble, press, pin and repost across multiple social sites is both beneficial and aggravating.  I’ll be the first to admit that my posts, my blogs, and my images were not that great when I got started but I can definitely see how I have grown.  Graphics really make a big difference, now if I could just get more into some of the other tools like mailchimp to help me with list buiding, I’d be 100% in the game.  In between using the pen name LaTilya Rashon for Amazon but TilyaRealEyes for everything else I can see how everything is starting to come together.  Setting yourself aside is worth it if your followers engage in your content.  But no one tells you that you need to recycle, update, and revise your content continuously to make it more appealing.  Which is why I’m offering this blog update.  Whew!

All I can say is let 2018 be my year for greater GROWTH!  With that being said, next time you see your favorite blogger, note that they aren’t creating new content as often as you thought. So your content should be consistent.  Be impactful! Shared content impresses followers and lasts longer.

It Is Not Easy

In the beginning of the week, your ideas are fresh, your journals are attached to your hand, and your fingers skip along the home row keys on your keyboard as your ideas flow.  In the middle of the week none of your ideas are formulating and you think that your writing needs an overhaul.  By the end of week you are in tears because no one seems to be paying attention to your work.  It is discouraging!  To top it all off you are expected to follow different people each day, leave meaningful comments on others’ post, and respond to the people that write to you.

Establishing your network and doing your research is important. But be reminded that plenty of others have felt this very same way. I am learning that there is no true right or wrong way to create but as a creative you have to be mindful of your voice and the style you create for yourself.  Bloggers write to establish their platforms, create useful products, and produce content driven to keep their audience engaged.

No one is telling your the perfect formula for creation, because you have to do the work!

xoxo

Create Your Vision

I would be remissed to say that the recent release of my second inspirational book, Brown Sugar Magic: Goal Setting and Reflections Journal has been met with lukewarm acceptance and I want to change that reception.  Receiving the “likes” on my social media is okay, but in true entrepreneurial spirit I would like to see those “likes” convert to sales.

img_0618
Order Here

I have been dealing with so much lately over these past six months, between a divorce being finalized, regaining control of my finances now as single mom, and closing out a school year, I’m surprised I got this second book out, but it was something that I HAD to do.

Yesterday after feeling like I had hit a brick wall emotionally and feeling a twinge of being burned out I laid across my bed and began listening to a couple of podcasts by Cara Alwill Leyba.  Her message is clear and distinct and it pushed me to look back at my “do what you love” notebook and really plan out my course of action for these next few months.

I have to remind myself that yes it has only been a year, and my need to be good at everything I do is taking over my thought processes and essentially making me overthink EVERYTHING in my life.  I had taken to Facebook and joined all of these groups and I find that this blogging industry is SATURATED.  Everybody is creating a lot of the same things and the competition is STEEP.  Even though regionally everyone is spread out, and there are some small hubs of creators in the same area, I see why now more than ever I must stake my claim in this creative industry and CREATE MY VISION!

So I see for myself in my vision and my future:

BROWN SUGAR MAGIC

I want Brown Sugar Magic to be my main inspirational platform.  Creating my vision started with setting some realistic and achievable goals for myself.  Through planning a course of action to take and being unafraid to put my words on paper, self-publishing my first book was a personal goal that I accomplished.  My education was not pursued haphazardly, I was deliberate and intentional as I attained higher degrees of education.  I know what it’s like and even sometimes find it overwhelming to want to do one thing but then have to revamp that objective or goal to take care of smaller things first.  God planned my path for me and he innately gave me the ability to aspire for great things and become successful in my own right.

If I can inspire someone to be SMART about their choices in life as they design their future, be in touch with their needs and take care of themselves before they have nothing to offer to the people around them; I take on the role.  Additionally, I want to help African-American women and girls build themselves up to only rely on their independence to see them through life.  That’s not to say that having help in life is not good, but this is to say be able to help yourself so that if you are ever in the position to have to do for yourself, YOU ARE NOT HELPLESS!  As I walk in my purpose, my dream, and define my vision; I will celebrate my setbacks, imperfect moments, and my growth.  I see this as a way to encourage many others.

SPEAKING AND HOSTING

All throughout school I was constantly reminded by my teachers about my continuous talking in class.  I was a fast learner and completed my work often times ahead of my classmates so I was always looking for someone to talk to.  It could have been the fact that I was an only child but that would be an excuse.  I simply just love to talk.  The cheerleader in me wants to be in the limelight spreading inspiration, joy, and motivation.  I have a lot to say about coming from a SINGLE parent home and PERSERVERING through the STEREOTYPES that were placed on me.  I have had to be disciplined, make tough decisions, and show my resiliency to get to this place in my 35 years of life.  I say this time and time again, I DEFY stereotypes and my authentic rawness at times is just the dose of reality people need to know that LIFE
AIN’T FAIR! Put me on a stage…I will rock the party, keep you engaged, but most importantly MOTIVATE!

BOOKS AND BLOGGING

Ever since being told by a teacher my senior year in high school that “MY PEOPLE“ need me, I get tickled at the thought of her saying that often.  I love books and have read what I like over the years and always knew that one day I would write a book of my own.  My flagship book, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching chronicles my transition into what was spoke on to me at the age of 18.  If my people need me, whether it be teachers, African-American women and girls, writers, or whomever feels inspired by my words, I’m glad to be of SERVICE.  I have always wanted to write, and the urgency I feel to be great will take time, after all, I teach full-time and pursue my writing when I am not in the classroom.  I blog as much as possible and I am continuing to find inspiration and write what I think people need to read from me.  Writing what I consider to be my first epic blog, What No One Tells You About Blogging, was the tip of the iceberg.  One day my persistence with pay off!  I am establishing my voice.  This creative journey is personal.

THE EXTRAS

If an ebook, writer’s apparel and other products surface as I make my stamp then so be it.  Anybody can make a t-shirt, cup, bag, and other doodads and it will sell, but I want to be as consistent with my message that I anticipate being with these other endeavors. The ones that are selling everything under the moon, make it look easy from books to lip gloss.  However, I’m learning that when you have a concrete audience, it is doable to make those kinds of sales.  Because I’m still new to this I will limit my conversation on that.

5603

    5602

 Click to Purchase

If it takes me a few years to get this entrepreneurial niche down pact, I will do what I have do.

~LaTilya Rashon