By Caroline Vazzana
The summer after my sophomore year of college, I landed my very first internship in New York City, but most importantly, it’s when I discovered Instagram. At the time, I was working for a women’s wear designer and about halfway through my internship I got my first iPhone. (Back then I was technologically challenged, so luckily the other interns were happy to show me how to use it.) Immediately, a fellow intern insisted that I download this new app called “Instagram.”
I had no idea what Instagram was nor could I have imagined the impact it would have on my career both as a blogger and an editor. But in the years since my very first download, I’ve become acutely aware of how mastering social media has helped me build my very own personal brand. Here’s what I’ve learned…
Be Consistent Posting content on a daily basis is a big part of gaining (and maintaining) followers. I stick to fashion-related and New York City-centric content to keep everything cohesive. Sticking to a few topics helps my followers know what to expect and look forward to.
Post Regularly Posting everyday or every other day is the key to keeping your followers engaged. In addition to my daily content on Instagram and Snapchat (@cvazzana), I created #WhatsonmydeskWednesday, a weekly series that gives my viewers an inside look into my workspace. On my Snapchat, I designed my very own geofilter for #whatsonmydeskwednesday. This regular series has drawn in so many viewers because they enjoy the consistency.
Create a Color Scheme I choose bright colors and vibrant filters for my pictures. Always use the same filters for your Instagrams and opt for the same editing tools when retouching pictures. This helps keep the colors unified. Your Instagram is a story and the pages should all look like they’re from the same book.
Partner with Brands I’ve worked with several brands on Instagram takeovers, which has really helped in building my brand and reaching a larger audience. In preparation for a takeover, you will schedule all of the specifics, including where you will be taking the pictures and how many posts they expect on your end. It’s important when doing a takeover to stay true to your personal brand and your voice. If a brand wants to work with you, it’s because your personal brand already compliments their aesthetic, so be yourself.
Develop Your Aesthetic Who are you and what is your style? This is something that took me several years to figure out. I can confidentially say I have a colorful and eclectic sense of style and my goal through my website, MakingManhattan.com, is to lend career advice to the future fashion generation in a fun and informative way. I’ve tried my best to create colorful and approachable social platforms so that my followers always feel comfortable reaching out to me and asking for advice.
Align All of Your Accounts Managing a multitude of platforms including Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and my blog, can make consistency a challenge. This is why your very first step in personal branding is to figure out who you are and what your message is. Finding what sets you apart and makes you unique is essential to creating a successful personal brand. Once you know what your message is, you won’t have to second-guess yourself before hitting the “share” button.
Caroline Vazzana is a fashion writer, editor, and stylist living and working in her hometown of New York. She began her career in the industry working with Anna Sui and has since gone on to spend time at Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and most recently InStyle. She has collaborated with designers from Betsey Johnson to Diane Von Furstenberg, and has styled celebrities for red carpets including the MTV Video Music Awards and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Caroline is currently the Founder & Creative Director of MakingManhattan.com where she hopes to shed light on the industry to the future fashion generation. Make sure to follow her everywhere @cvazzana for an inside look into her day to day in NYC.