Branding as a whole is a science as we know in the world of marketing and advertising. Small and fresh brands, including self-branding, have the hardest work ahead of them in creating a household name for themselves. But the one thing to remember is each huge-name brand we know today started out as a small, no-name paradigm. Self-branding on social media and in person can also be a difficult task, and networking is something every student learns in college is the most valuable thing.
More valuable than grades, GPA, and book-smarts combined, networking will get you where you need to be. Whether that is at a large firm in New York, a small firm in Philly, or in-house at Disney, networking will procure the contacts you will need to raise your brands awareness.
I am interning at a small wedding website based in Philadelphia called In Bliss Weddings. The best part of this experience was to help them build themselves as a company and raise awareness. Coming into In Bliss, I was basically a general intern. I helped write small articles and caption pictures. But I knew there were ways I can integrate my branding skills with my tasks.
At one point, I was responsible for creating and procuring contacts for advertising in their upcoming online magazine. One large piece I knew was the phrase “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours,” which is one of the most valuable sayings to me personally. Networking is important, but the reality is people are more eager to work with you when they are receiving something out of it. That could even mean they are simply getting the satisfaction of watching you succeed. However, you have to let that person know you will absolutely succeed, and you will absolutely thank them for what they’ve done.
When it came to In Bliss, I knew this aspect was key to raising brand awareness, and it costs no money. I looked for other small businesses to partner with knowing that small businesses are like a union– they band together in hopes to raise each other up. “You scratch my back, I scratch yours.”
My last big project was to write an article about unusual wedding bouquets. I turned this project into an opportunity for more partnerships. The unusual wedding bouquets turned into a 3-week long project of searching Etsy.com for small businesses in the bouquet and wedding business, and asking them permission to be incorporated in the article. I made sure to greet them warmly, tell them who I was, that I was an intern, and my article was going to be fantastic. I also made sure to give each of them a link to the In Bliss website so they knew it was a serious matter.
Without my even asking this of them, 3 out of every 4 craftsmen I talked to were thrilled to be included and asked me to let them know when the article will be up so that they can share it on their business’ social media sites. “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
This journey has really meant a lot, and it has just further proven how very important partnerships and colleagues are for businesses and for people. Creating lasting relationships really helps drive traffic to your cause, as well as help the person opposite of you in different ways.