At South Perry Pizza on December 31st, in between bites of delicious pizza and swigs of equally delicious beer, I arrived at my New Year's Resolution. As with most things that come out of my mouth, it popped into my head less than 1/10th of a second before I blurted it out:
"I will aggressively promote my business."
Which immediately led to the question, "um...which business?" ...Good Question. Officially, there's Rings & Things, Spike and Lola, and Selina Shehan Design. But unofficially...there's absolutely everything under the sun that I've ever done or plan to do.
My business is not just a day job, or a haphazard collection of projects, my business is me, and I am serious about my business. Everything about me adds up to the image I project into the world.
Take a minute and think about you - How many social networking sites are you on? Have you ever been in the paper? Ever been on television? Who are your friends, do they all know each other? How do you dress and what does it say about you? If you had something to say, where would you say it?
What would happen if you Googled yourself? Go on, try it.
I took a screenshot of my Google results (see image below) and I pretended that I hadn't heard of this "Selina Shehan" person, whoever she is. Here's what I assume about her based on the search results:
- "Spokane-based Graphic Designer" - she lives in a town with a silly name
- "25th Birthday"- she is in her mid-twenties
- "ETC, for Rings and Things, sets an outstanding example..." - she has a weird acronym in her job title...hmmmmm...I thought she was a graphic designer
- "Spike and Lola Handmade Resin Jewelry" - a different business? There must be two Selinas.
- "Through the Grapevine - Marquette Books LLC" - yet another random thing, she seems like a job-hopper.
That's a quick impression of me from the internet. Not much info, and certainly not anything that I care to click on or learn more about.
Now, here's what you might think if you encountered me in the real world:
- If you saw me on the street, you would probably assume that I'm a good-for-nothing skateboarder who works part time at Taco Bell.
- If you saw me at the gym, you might think that I'm a hardcore bodybuilder who has a girlfriend.
- If you saw me out with Greg at Twigs in my fancy coat, you could guess that I live on the South Hill, own tiny dogs, and drive a Hummer.
- If you've seen me at a concert or a craft fair, you probably think that I'm 16 and extremely emo.
What I wish you could see all the time is the graphic designer, skateboarder, gym rat, musician, fashion lover, vegetarian crafter that I am every second of the day, and not just when it's outwardly visible.
I want you to know about my jewelry business.
I want you to know about my design work for RiteCare Spokane, a nonprofit speech therapy clinic for children ages 2-7...and I want you to give them money, because they deserve it.
I want you to know that I love where I live and support local business and events whenever I can.
I want you to know about running and skateboarding and snowboarding and everything else that makes my life fun.
I want you to know that I've illustrated books.
This year I'm going to aggressively promote my business.
I want the Google search results for me to read like a transcript from the life of the world's most interesting man. I want people to say, "Oh, I've heard of her," and to know what I do.
What am I doing about it?
So far, I've made a video to promote Rings & Things and Spike and Lola (and myself). I've also put together a press release and gathered some nice photos of my work to send to magazines and newspapers in the area. Then I made a Squidoo lens (it's like wikipedia for projects and businesses), set up a Twitter account, and of course I will continue to blog here.
And that's just to start. This year I am putting on my grown-up pants and applying everything I've learned from years of school, work and life in general to make a name for myself.
I leave you with the following thinkables:
What does the internet say about you? What do you wish it said?
Now...what are you going to do about it?