Arionne Nettles, or Arialyssa as we have come to know her, has done a tremendous job of keeping herself relevant and at the forefront as a journalist and marketer. Her brand is consistent, positive and just the kind of inspiration that others need to learn to use their personal brands to grow their businesses. Read more about her below.
Describe your personal brand in three words: Enthusiastic, Optimistic, Fly
30 second elevator pitch, go!: I'm a professional storyteller—journalist, business writer, and content marketer—specializing in helping people and businesses share their stories on a number of platforms and to a variety of different audiences. Under my company, Fourth Concept Media Group, I apply "4th estate" knowledge of media and journalism to help these brands create content that can leave a mark with their target markets. Additionally, I teach Chicago-area teens the power of words through Write Chicago's "sicker than your average" writing workshops.
Current Position: Currently, I'm juggling a number of positions between my company's projects and companies that I work for on a contract basis, but I love how every day is different. One day's focus may be to redesign a website and the next, may be to edit a manuscript. The very cool (and sometimes very hectic) life of anyone in a writing-related field is that it generally involves multi-tasking throughout a ton of different projects.
How have you developed your brand? I've developed my brand by staying true to what makes me who I am. As cliché as it may sound, everything isn't for everyone and after trying a lot of different things, I learned that what I'm consistently good at and what I enjoy doing is writing. Once I was able to hone in on a particular focus, I was able to brand myself as a professional in that field, working only on projects that I felt were similar to my interests and that didn't go against any of my beliefs. I still think that I'm a Renaissance woman, doing a bunch of different ventures all at once, but they are all still related to that focus.
Explain the role that your personal brand played in getting you to where you are today. I've always been a very optimistic and motivated person and it's always been a goal of mine to be well-rounded. In high school, I was captain of the cheerleading team AND in the society of physics. I'm still a nerd, and I know it, but I'm also a "cool kid" when I want to be. I've always been the girl-next-door and I've implemented that throughout my personal branding. I think that I have the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between industries and to help people see that you can enjoy and know a little bit about everything.
How did you garner press coverage and media attention? I started getting media attention by using media to shed light on others. People like information and they like to know stories. Once I started to focus on other people and their stories, the attention somehow started to turn towards me—people wanted to know how I did what I did—and I realized that storytelling is an essential part of building brands.
Personal brands attract opportunities. What has been the greatest opportunity you have gotten? The greatest opportunity, as far as recognizable, would be writing for JET Magazine. Everyone knows JET and its history so it was amazing to be writing on a platform that's recognized by people of all ages, since prior to that, much of my writing was geared towards millennials and those even younger than us.
Who are some of your mentors and why? Cameka Smith from the BOSS Network and Tone Swep from Pure DOPE Magazine are two mentors that I'm extremely proud to work with and that I attribute my personal growth to. Not only are they both creators of amazing businesses, but they've given me opportunities to showcase my talents and grow my brand. They're more than just mentors at this point—they're definitely my advocates and I'm lucky to have them!
What were the steps you took in college that impacted your professional success? In college, I soaked up every opportunity available. College is all about experience so being involved in real-world projects helped build my entrepreneurial spirit and I didn't even realize it at the time. I was always a leader, in every organization, and it taught me how to work with people, how to motivate your team, and how to make people excited to work with you.
What would you say to a young person who wants to work in your industry? I would say to get a strong grasp on English by reading and writing as much as possible. No one is perfect, so being committed to working on your craft and getting better is essential. Also, read at least 3 business or news articles per day. You'd be surprised how many great networking conversations you'll have about the topics you'll find there.
What can we expect from you in the near future? In the next few months, I'll be focusing more on journalism and will be writing for more publications. Additionally, I want to build more collaborative projects and relationships that will allow me go full out in helping clients and partners grow their current content marketing strategies.
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