“What would happen if we just ripped the mask off and were honest before each other even if it was dark, messy, and hurt like hell?” I asked that question in 2004 on one of my very first BLOG POSTS ever titled, Ripping the Mask Off. Two things to note. One, my blog turns 10 years old this April. My blog is a senior citizen in “blog years.” Two, one of my very first posts…was about authenticity even if it meant being messy.
I started blogging as a way to capture my story. I wasn’t trying to “share” it at first. Only 2 people read my blog anyway. I just liked this thing called, “blogging” and from the beginning saw fit to always be honest and to always be Sheena. It’s too much work to wear masks and to pretend and to be fake and to keep up with charades. It’s too much work to only reveal part of me and when its more fulfilling and human to be ALL of me.
I write that because when people ask how did I become a contributing writer for Owning Pink, where my directive is to write about WHATEVER I want to write about or how did I become a lifestyle blogger for Verizon Wireless, a global, corporate, recognized brand or how did I get a sponsor to supply endless vegan cupcakes and another to practically GIVE US her loft to use for my parties…..the only thing I can say to all that is that since the very beginning I have always been SHEENA.
Why sell shit when being yourself is free?
I didn’t craft a message. I didn’t worry about SEO. I didn’t always get the angles right in my pictures. I swear in my blog posts. Sometimes I forget to spell check. There’s that one post about masturbation, another one about leaving her panties on, another one about always wearing your pretty panties…and there are hundreds of post talking about my childhood sexual abuse and there’s the infamous post of Things I’m Afraid to Tell You and I’m a pole dancer and like to say things like “EROTIC”……and yet awesome shit like this happens:
1. This year I got to go to TWO Blackberry sponsored events!
2. There’s also that hug I got from Dolvette Quince when Dr Scholl‘s sponsored an event and I was invited as press!
3. I got to spend a day At TWITTER with twitter people and Nokia, Blackberry, Verizon Wireless and Lance from MASHABLE.com
4. I got to spend an evening at Dermalogica NYC for this special VIP blogger event. My facial was awesome and the food was yum and the wine! (blog post still pending.)
5. I was invited as press to the Halo: Spartan Assault Preview Party which led to my encounter with a Windows exec which lead to being given a Surface Tablet and landed me on the Windows facebook page in a photo album.
I have had such a wonderful year and it started with me writing a post wondering what it would be like if we ripped our mask off. Well, awesome shit happens. You get to be yourself. You get to live in integrity with honor…even if you’re sarcastic, dark and have a love affair with all things sensual. And then people respond to it and opportunities come your way and life rocks.
Two things to note.
Transform your life and become awesome
1. I harp on the fact that these awesome opportunities happened first, because I have “branded” myself as myself. Some of you might wonder…but what if I’m not as dynamic or what if I’m shy or what if…this and that. Well….work on yourself then. Years ago I had to embark on a journey back into myself. I had to transform my mind, change my paradigm of thinking, heal from my depression, get over myself, learn to “forgive”, discover my passion and when I did that, when I committed myself to thriving and living my passion….the entire energy of my life changed.…and well, now I’m awesome. So if you feel like “being yourself” wouldn’t work because maybe you don’t like yourself. Then, transform your life and become awesome!
Capture People’s Attention
2. RELATIONSHIPS. This is key. Having a marketing strategy is probably helpful. Actually I encourage it. Learning the basics of blogging is important. SEO somewhere in the world may help. Being strategic and intentional….always a good think. Networking…eh…kind of annoys me but RELATIONSHIPS…that’s where it’s at.
Here’s part of what I recently shared with a member of the Pole Dancing Bloggers Association who reached out to me recently, “What has worked for me? Well, with most of the partnerships I got, it was based on a relationship that was built prior to my interest in [any particular company]. Or for instance regarding my writing for Owning Pink, under the direction of Lissa Rankin. I never asked to be a main writer for the site. I just read the site all the time, would leave comments and participate in the forums. Random [yet authentically strategic] stuff like that…. but then she somehow saw a personal video I did for a friend’s pole dance dinner party called “moving meditation” and asked if I wanted to write for her site. The big lesson in this for me….keep working on your own projects and publish those projects and experiments. That captures people’s attentions.”
“The dinner party video and the moving meditation video, I was just playing. I wanted to try some stuff out. I had no idea how it would turn out and I hit publish. People took notice. That’s ONE way of going at it. There are many ways on top of that, ….in both cases I had built authentic real relationships with the people with NO agenda to add them to my network for some collaborating reason. Yes, its important to strategically market and make pitches and do all those 10 steps to blah blah blah. I get the value in it but the most rewarding experiences i’ve gotten…and what has truly led to paid things…were based of my little experiments.”
“Another example…based off the moving meditation video i did for fun…a group of teachers asked me to film a dance video for them. It wasn’t paid either but I was given creative license and they covered the hard cost of the shoot. A dance company in Seattle saw that 2nd video and paid me to fly to Seattle to shoot their stuff. So…keep playing…strategically…in alignment with your brand and hit publish.”
In the picture above, I’m sitting next to THE Ann Tran and can you spot all the other SOCIAL MEDIA & BLOGGER influencers like John Paul Aguiar, Monica Vila, Divas & Dorks and the list goes on. Yup, that’s me sitting with them because you know, we’re all part of a group together. My life rocks like that and it started with my writing a blog post about ripping the fucking mask off. Now, I get to dish stories and advice and lifestyle posts about the business of blogging. You can read my other social media & techonology posts by clicking here.