I decided to switch gears on the SistaSphere entity owned by the 3rd Strategic Institute and transform SistaSphere into a self-branding platform for the sistas here in Atlanta. What we are going to do in a nutshell is create a quasi-agency that allow sistas to create self-branding and promote their brands throughout the Atlanta area. In this article, we are going to show the sistas how we are going to swagger jack the socialite model, incorporate some of the discussions over the years here at Dream and Hustle on self-branding and create an ecosystem here in Atlanta that allow the sistas to basically establish a scene for fashion, modeling, product line and events. SistaSphere was originally a geofenced event solution that was going to “pop-up virtually” for sistas with mobile phones to view offers and events and information in a certain area. We only had one run of SistaSphere years ago and have not restarted it since. Geofencing has become ubiquitous and a feature that is incorporated into many of our other solutions so SistaSphere in this form does not have real market value in our opinion. Instead, what we are going to do is spinoff SistaSphere to be a nexus operator of sista branding similar to what is done in Harajuku, Japan. If you are an African-American woman and been reading this blog and do not know what Harajuku, Japan is then I suggest you start reading up on it right now and stop being ignorant about it. We talked about how the sistas in Japan got together and created their own sista-to-sista economic machine to promote fashion, style, product lines, magazines, blogs, boutiques, IPTV shows and events to create a global scene. Even further, Harajuku culture are also events hosted in major cities like Paris and Los Angeles sponsored by the Japanese government as a cultural affairs event. And we are going to adopt those same patterns and practices to establish a sista-to-sista ecosystem here in Atlanta as the pilot with plans to expand to New York City and Los Angeles before branching out to other major markets. The Socialite Model To understand how SistaSphere and self-branding works, a sista must understand how the socialite model works and swagger jack it. Socialites are traditionally women who married rich or a child of wealth and status who don’t need to work a job or raise her own kids. But she can’t just lay on her back or just sit pretty on the couch all day right? So socialites engage in activities that leverage their status and influence in society to host events and pursue social and charitable causes. So a good example of a socialite is the Princess of England or the United States of America First Lady. Or the daughter of a former King or former President or Prime Minister. And nowadays, the daughter of a famous actor or singer or business tycoon. These women usually host events and fundraisers on behalf of their husband or their father or his legacy and use that as an influential point. Now in modern society which is today, we have the new socialite model of working women who engage in self-branding. For example, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen twins who were child actors but now started their own product line. You have Jennifer Lopez that started her own branding of clothing line, cosmetics and co-sponsored deals with mobile phones targeting the Hispanic market. But we can go further and show women like Jessica Alba who started the Honest Company and leveraging her influence for self-branding. Keep in mind that some of these socialites like Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lopez did not take off until they got married and settled down. So let’s break down what we know about socialites and what they do. Screw Important Dudes. This is where a chick find trust fund brats or successful business guys or someone in professional sports and cling on them to eventually be married to become a socialite. So what happens is the socialite in training marries dude of status and she now in the club with other women and they form social groups and social clubs at the golf course and stuff like that. Divorcee With Money. To be honest, a lot of African-American women falsely believe they get with a dude, break up with him and get alimony and child support and she will become a successful socialite. This is very rare and high society look down on this kind of stuff, taking someone else money in this manner. I do not know any successful socialites like this and if so, they get ran out real fast by the industry. Think of Dwayne Wade ex-wife and how they were quick to tear her ass down and she don’t got custody. Or Usher ex-wife and she don’t have custody either. Or Keith Sweat ex-wife and she didn’t get custody either as she rotate the reality TV market. You will see this as a common recurring theme. Lisa Raye is another example, look how they chased her ass off that Caribbean Island. Party Introduction. A socialite biggest job and influence is helping make introductions. So Joey the auto mechanic is banging the socialite wife of a wealthy aerospace executive and Joey ask the socialite to introduce her son to one of her gatherings. Joey adult son get introduced and he is now in the circle You think this is funny but this is actually exactly how it mostly goes down for introductions. Host Fundraisers and Gatherings. The socialite in this case want to host a fundraiser to support something like adding a clubhouse addition to their golf course or create a dog park in their upscale community. So the socialite have a list of contacts and go around asking for other socialites to attend and bring their spouses and send out invitations and make phone calls. To convince some influential men to go, the socialite bends over a table to reveal she not wearing underwear and let the guy mount her and hammer away to get his promise to show up at her fundraising event to encourage other guys to show up. Brand Ambassador. Socialites become brand ambassador of fashion icons like Versace or Donna Karen or Channel or Gucci and so on. But some socialites become a brand ambassador of political movements or the Red Cross or Planned Parenthood or UNICEF and stuff like that. Then some can become an actual ambassador to Japan or Kenya or Italy and so on. A brand ambassador is a face to be shown for a cause or entity. Create a Boutique or Product Line. You will notice a lot of socialites will have their own boutique of fashion items all over Manhattan or Beverly Hills and that is an extension of their ego and brand they want to influence younger wannabee socialites trying to come up this is what you wear and have to do. Now you see sistas in Atlanta especially on reality TV trying to create boutiques but boutiques are not just selling, it is a training ground to help prep a socialite how to carry herself the same way a real men suit store show a man not just how to wear a suit but how to conduct a business interview, properly take on and off a jacket and cover up a lady with his suit jacket if she appear cold being proper. This is why a lot of sistas boutique don’t last because these sistas fail to bring this element to their boutique. Hire Publicist, Makeup Artist and Personal Trainer. These 3 professionals are what makes socialites who they are in terms of media exposure, physical looks and wellness. You will find these socialites use a publicist to promote their social media channels, send out appearance notice to the media outlets and be the sole contact to address any news and quell any rumors. The makeup artist is a professional responsible for her look and the hot look of the day and this also include hair stylist. And the personal trainer is design to have the socialite a great looking body and feeling vibrant and in shape – and to sexually release her if necessary if the husband cannot perform. Now when it comes to the African-American community and socialites, you see they run reality TV shows where you see black women fighting and snarling at each other, sistas got attitudes and neck-rolling and cannot support their black man who play professional sports or a corporate business man and think their black man in these reality TV shows is someone who just around to get some from her and pay her bills. This anti-black women negative programming in the media is by design to suppress black women having any kind of influence because black women are admired worldwide. The goal of showing black women in negative media programming is to prevent sistas from becoming influential socialites. You should notice these negative anti-black women shows did not proliferate until Michelle Obama became First Lady and it is unfortunate black women in America defend shit like Scandal and reality TV shows and cannot look beyond the fact these shows are designed to attack sistas and tear her down. Swaggerjacking the Socialite Model After reviewing what a socialite does, what should happen next is we extract only the parts of the socialite model that has value. The goal is always to adopt successful patterns and practices and apply to our hustles to ensure our success. Obviously, a socialite giving up some booty to get somewhere and make inroads is not going to be something we are interested in and let the socialites keep that pattern and practice to enjoy for themselves. Instead, we are going to use the patterns and practices of value that we can replicate and reproduce here in Atlanta on the SistaSphere platform. So with that said, let’s talk about what we can implement in SistaSphere and what a sista in Atlanta can incorporate into a self-branding model. Become a Brand Ambassador. We are going to recommend that every sista looking to self-brand have both a for-profit operation and a not-for-profit operation established. The for-profit brand sells product lines and branding licenses while the not-for-profit is a fundraising campaign for charity. What SistaSphere is going to do is help sistas match up with for-profit ventures and not-for-profit ventures and pursue causes and social efforts that increase her brand worth. So for example, a sista can be a brand ambassador of Goodwill or United Way or Komen or her own micro-grant operation in Sierra Leone or India or Nicaragua. Host Parties and Events. These are going to be networking events and fundraising events and SistaSphere will have a listing and resource guides of where to host events and fundraisers and work with local ATL cats on space and venues. Now the interesting part is a lot of events can be held at country clubhouses and apartment clubhouses all over the city or even an outdoor cookout in the hood like Adair Park. We will show how to work with the City of Atlanta to obtain permits and handle schedules and how to host events and sistas can network on how to run an event. This is not competition – it is important for sistas to show up and support other sistas and see how things work and do not work. In fact, some self-branding sistas should want to be the MC or host of another sista self-branding effort. Establish Media Relations. This means contacting all of the so-call fashion writers in Atlanta and put them on notice that if they do not cover the collective group of sistas within SistaSphere, we will collectively tear their ass into the ground and just recruit a new batch of fashion writers, fashion bloggers out of Georgia State and Clark-Atlanta and Spellman to do the writing for us. In fact, we know Harajuku is driven by magazines and blogs and snaps and photo shoots so SistaSphere will help arrange and create our own events to fundraise to help fund fashion bloggers in the Atlanta area and media IPTV channels to be developed for the Atlanta area. Network of Publicists, Makeup Artists and Trainers. Atlanta always had these people but we want to get them involve in shaping up the market in Atlanta for self-branding sistas as a target market in a tighter fashion. There are some good people who can do this stuff in Atlanta but we can allow SistaSphere be a broker to connect these professionals with self-branding sistas and work to create an ecosystem to help match experts with self-branding sistas. How Sistas in Atlanta Should Get Ready for the Self-Branding Ecosystem Technology like SistaSphere do not solve problems, only people who are committed to a solution solve problems and things like SistaSphere only make the solution path more efficient and resourceful and that is with any technology. For the sistas to prepare herself to establish a self-branding enterprise, the following steps need to be taken. Establish the Business. A sista may want to establish a for-profit LLC to promote her product line and other commercial ventures and a not-for-profit to operate charity events. Every sistas in Atlanta whether she is a socialite or working a job better set both for-profit and not-for-profit up to establish her side hustle also. In fact, the next time I meet a black woman, she better tell me about her self-branding operation and her non-profit that she has to support a cause if she want to be seen as a real woman here in Atlanta that is about something. Now, sistas don’t have to do this alone, they can group up and co-share the business model if they want to. It is always best to align the for-profit and non-profit with a passion or skillset. Create the Marketing Machine Upfront. This is going to mean gathering media contacts and find out who are the fashion bloggers and other media people. This does not have to be just Atlanta and just a channel to get publicity and write-ups. So you create a social media channel and if you are a sloppy ass sista in Atlanta that like to post up booty pics on Facebook or Instagram to impress thirsty broke men to say “pretty!” or post up a meme of Kevin Hart all crossed-eyed with the caption “damn baby you fine!” then you need a publicist and keep your ass off the social media altogether. Your image matters and very important. You sistas want sistas replying to your social media, not thirsty ass broke brothas trying to see if they can find a money shot in your collection of pics. In addition, the sistas have to know where to appear and where to show up at and take photos and be present. Get the cheapest seats but appear in the photos to be all upfront around the VIPs. Define the Activities. Many ATL self-branding sistas think volunteering is a way to self-brand and that is a mistake and hard work. I’m not saying don’t do it – yes, do it and make sure you can take selfies. But the type of activities I’m talking about is guest appearance on IPTV shows. Avoid radio/audio stuff because cats cannot see you – a diva need to be seen. Don’t be on a cell phone talking to someone on blogtalkradio but you are on a real radio station with headphones on and can talk selfies of you in a real radio station giving an interview. Host fundraisers for your charity multiple times a year and engage in activities and SistaSphere will have activities to help sistas run them. Now some sistas can do things like run a cooking show, run a makeup or salon review and in Japan you see sistas come up in Japan reviewing boutiques and product lines on YouTube for example. Nowadays, the cool thing of a self-branded sista is to DJ at a club like Paris Hilton and Kyary Paymu Paymu. Define what to Sell. SistaSphere will work on this list but we will have a compiled list of stuff that sistas can sell. A sista can sell items through Amazon that are branded and purchased through Alibaba Express for example. Or a sista can sell services like lend her voice or appearance to a commercial or product line. If I create some t-shirts, I can use her face and likeness for a licensing fee or even put her on bottle water to sell in stores. Appearance fees at clubs is a service also, charge it all to the LLC. A sista can create look books based on a theme like they do in Japan all the time. A sista can do trunk hustles to start and go up to a boutique but I prefer a sista do pop-up shops all around town. I do not like the boutique setup in Atlanta because the sistas are not next to each other and spread out. I prefer the clustered Shibuya 109 or Harajuku model of women boutiques and surveying Atlanta to see how to make this a reality – MARTA is the most important factor to consider and Five Points is already established for this but there are other places to consider. Even pet clothes are a good model – I do want sistas to avoid services like nail salon and instead focus on tangible products. Hair extensions are going to be tough if the sourcing is not known for a self-branded sista to scale up properly and we will address this one later. What Is Next? The next steps will be that this project falls under the 3rd Strategic Institute North America meaning I’m in charge of making this happen here in Atlanta. If the SistaSphere concept works, it will be moved into an independent entity and expand to Los Angeles and New York when the weather get warmer. But right now Atlanta weather is good enough to get this model going and Houston or Charlotte can serve as a secondary market if necessary during the winter months. The first goal will be surveying Atlanta and the current ecosystem and if necessary employ creative destruction on the status quo in Atlanta if they are in the way of progress. Then we will focus on establishing marketplace or area to create the cluster economic activity for sista-to-sista development and I have some sites that are interesting and would like feedback. Then I will host workshops and micro-meetings here in Atlanta with the sistas to get feedback and needs and wants to gather a list of things. These events are actually the start of the social development I will find venues to host these meetings to show how to host parties and events and we all take lessons and learn from the results. Then the media ecosystem has to be developed so SistaSphere will be involved in funding fashion bloggers and IPTV media personalities to help cover the scene here in Atlanta for the sistas. Now, later this year I will recruit someone else to take charge of SistaSphere to lead the effort with me just being a minority stakeholder and advisor. So that means someone will need to step up like a sista to help create this ecosystem to full development and expand to other markets around the world like Los Angeles, New York, Miami and so on. Chicago is a tough ass city to establish anything in a cluster due to poor political representation and only someone well-connected can make it happen and I don’t got time for that Chicago games when other cities like Charlotte are easier markets to establish quicker. Progress and further information on SistaSphere will be updated on the Global Urban Collective Facebook group and I have more articles on self-branding to discuss on this topic but I think Atlanta is the perfect place to pilot a model to replicate the Harajuku model for sista-2-sista economic development and I actually believe this is going to work and sistas are going to come out winning.