Success is just a frame of mind. Success comes to those who are willing to look at things different and then work toward it. Last year, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. According to everyone, it’s the ‘best cancer’ to have with a 99% success rate. So while I’m pretty much healthy now, I went through a grueling three months last year where between diagnosis, surgery, and treatment, I was combating hormone adjustment and dealing with nausea from the medication. This meant that I did the bare minimum computer-related work required of me. There was no frolicking on the internet for fun, no enjoyable Kindle readings, and really there are only so many movies you can watch before you get sick of that too.

I needed something to do. By serendipitous circumstance, I ended up making jewelry. The irony here is that my father was a master jeweler for the King of Afghanistan, a legacy passed down from his father. I never dreamed I had any remote talent here. Cancer led me to discover that. So, in those three months I sourced materials, designed, and hand made one of a kind pieces. Friends and family that came to visit me during my recovery ended up buying every single pieces. I made more. I sold more.

I thought, “why not turn this into a little side business?” You see, writers are notorious crafters. We spend so much time in front of the screen that we really do need a creative outlet. Since I had already painted all our interior walls, turned my two year old’s room in a Wonderland of sorts, I was clearly in need of a new outlet. This was it.

I got on Etsy and set up shop, calling it “Qahani” (which means “story). I used my existing blog as a natural platform for the line. Next, I built an entire brand though a full spectrum social presence.

Here’s how I did it…

I looked at my brand and tried to find three keywords that described it. I came up with: old-world vintage, romantic, clean.

I used those three words and extended their application across newly set-up social media sites. I created an entire new Facebook page for it and incorporated both photos and posts that enveloped history, culture, and relevant contemporary trends. I did the same for Pinterest, creating boards that match the same feel, almost like you’re in a storybook. The end result is a full branded presence on the social media spectrum. Now, with the next move delegated to a PR friend to get some press coverage, reporters searching for interesting stories have come across a small business that has offers a big bang. I’ve already gotten inquiries from reporters that have learned more from my social media sites, gotten a better taste of my background from Facebook and aesthetics as well as audience from Pinterest, that they’re keen to do a feature on the line.

Social media is really great for setting up an image that let’s you ‘fake it till you make it’, but to do this you really have to commit to a brand. You have to use social media to tell your story.


作者 Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Benchmark Email's Online Marketing Specialist and Small Business Advocate. An Orange County based writer, Shireen specializes in online marketing and public relations. She has written for over 75 publications and has launched nine successful new media campaigns to date. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Denver Post, the Oklahoman and Green Air Radio, among others.