How to Boss Your Personal Brand as a Creative, Grow Online and be Seen in the Mass Media

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From content creation tips to influencer marketing and collaborations online to utilising the traditional press to promote your skills and share your story…

Bending over backward on a global stage – I never imagined that it would be my love of Bellydance that would finally give my voice a platform in the media that I desired.

Whilst the beauty of creation derives from the most unique spaces, in our minds, bodies, and the universe, we discover seldom-heard stories in the most unique of places.

Accept that this wasn’t just getting into journalism through the backdoor it was quite literally bending over backward and not even having shoes on to break through the glass floor of the industry but shimmying into it until someone heard my story and more importantly, the voices of my community.

Ironically this wasn’t a stint, it was just me expressing my soul story through a different language other than the words I liked to write on a page.

And whilst I had connected with an unusual type of communication it was this very form that finally got the world to hear me. People beyond my current community reach, an impact on the wider world, and a chance to share my story of a ‘mixed-race’ ‘young’ ‘impoverished’ woman who had been shunned and assaulted by society, and only ever previously heard within the draconian darkness of a ‘victim’ inside a courtroom.

But it was the flickering bright lights of the entertainment world that finally embraced me, albeit with the conditions that I represented the ‘rags to riches’ tale, the ‘curvy’ dancer tale.

I had discovered from a young age how to adapt the way I strutted over challenges by staying connected with my core values, my soul purpose. I

could navigate the sumptuous sparkles of show business with the same grounding that I could learn from the murky headlines which humans had cast over my head not allowing them to cast a shadow on my spirit.

I had grit and the glitz of a heart to guide me, I knew I could empathically help and heal others through my holistic story-telling. By showcasing my own soulful story, I could demonstrate that I could sensitively narrate theirs. My primary medium is the written language.

Except I always felt I was straddling two divisive worlds of rich and poor, segregated and secure but actually very much like me – strong but fragile, the light and shade of a sparkle… I realise that we are all one perfectly imperfect gem.

Whether you see it as a refined jewel or a grim rock. That’s the beauty of telling a life story. It is one whole gem of light and shade that is the foundation of any story with the ebbs and flows echoing the beautiful rhythms of nature, much like the Japanese Aesthetics of Wabi-sabi which appreciates the beauty of nature reflected in imperfections.

This is just one fragment of my own life story, something I candidly share in my newspaper columns. I draw out themes that I feel are relevant in today’s times.

Whilst my burning fire to articulate stories creatively may have derived from my background, my western meets eastern and Yorkshire heritage, my own life is more of an internal prompt to challenge my own beliefs and more importantly to me, to empower others to share their story.

For me this is the beauty of journalism, trying to decipher fact and fiction, conscious and subconscious bias, and utilising our skillset to embrace the responsibility of telling the truth of stories that need to be heard. Challenging ourselves, query those we are institutionalised to listen to, and always explore all echoes of one chamber of news.

I love ‘slow news’ much like the meditative art monks adopt to make a cup of ‘Cha’ or a brew if you’re me.

The simplicity of the human story is discovered whilst we carefully listen to the stir of the tea leaves blending with the hard water, combined with the complexity of accurately articulating that story so that it is consumed by the desired audiences which makes the power of the story so important. Our own stories are infused in a complex swirl that sometimes we ourselves don’t understand, but our responsibility as narrators is to navigate the facade of the chunky mugs, delicate China cups and plastic flasks whilst also delving into everyone’s unique blend of tea leaves.

As journalists and story-tellers we not only have the honour of sipping on plenty of varieties of tea but we must also carefully remove the froth and find a way of serving that perfectly imperfect beverage to the audiences we want to digest it.

Whilst the written word resonates with my soul as a writer, I love creatively exploring new ways of sharing and telling stories from vlogs to blogs, from podcasts to social media posts… as the designated server, it is my responsibility that our guests connect with a cup that makes them take a pause from the rush of the rat-race.

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