As the first post on my new domain, it seems fitting to write about personal branding. I once bought jennchen.org (because .com was already in use) with the intention of setting up a photo portfolio. In my naiveté of personal drive, I thought the $9.99 I paid for the domain name would motivate me to create content. It went unattended for an entire year. A few years later, after establishing two wordpress.org blogs and registering two additional domain names, I finally have the drive to finish what I started. A few weeks ago, I was randomly browsing and Googling myself with select iterations (e.g. jenn chen coffee”) when I discovered that this domain was on sale. I don’t even remember who had it before. Fifty dollars seemed a small price to pay for a name that exists thousands of times over across the globe.
So what is this site for? I wanted an all-in-one: blog, portfolio, consulting services, and a heavy emphasis on social media throughout. My blog is still personal- it’s not solely coffee geek or women’s lifestyle, but a blend that is representative of my personal brand.
On one of my coffee crawls, a participant once said to me, “I learned so much! Now every time I come across something cool in coffee, I’ll see your face. That’s what you want, right?” My reply: awkward laugh, “Yeah.. I’d prefer my logo, though.”
After much thinking (and assuming that she didn’t mean for it to sound creepy), I realized that she was right. Many of my non-coffee drinking friends and semi-coffee drinking send me coffee-related news bits, images, articles, etc. To them, I’m the first person they think about when they read about coffee or experience something so cool that they need to immediately text me. I didn’t do this purposefully. I don’t sneakily feed my friends caffeine laced with more addictive substances. It’s a natural effect of passion.
A few key moments have spurned my desire to create this site & take my life in a new curve (not exactly a change in direction, just a change in perspective). It was like life was yelling at me.
1) When strangers or acquaintances tell you, without solicitation, that you are great at something, PAY ATTENTION.
If you’re not doing this great something currently as a career, ASK WHY. This has happened to me numerous times re: social media, writing, and pulling the coffee community together.
2) Dreams will stay dreams until you do something about them.
Me: “Dream job is eating, writing, drinking coffee, and traveling.” @joshiedoogie: “So why don’t you?” Well, then.
— Jenn Chen (@jennifer_chen) May 13, 2013
At the beginning and end of an 8-month span, I said the same thing about what I wanted my life to eventually be like: eating phenomenal food, drinking coffee, writing, and traveling. Yet, during this time period, I just let that dream stay a dream. Now, I’m taking steps into making it happen. Most of my friends (IRL or online) know I love coffee, some know that I love social media, but few know my love of foodie experiences. Even less might know my love of writing. This blog will fill in those gaps and make it apparent how much I enjoy all of those items: coffee, social media, food, and writing.
What should you, as a reader, expect from this blog? For one, more posts, more often. I have my categories divided into: business, coffee, food, and etc. My goal is to post 2-3 posts weekly in the four categories, without repeating a category within a week. This is an effort to not just create more content, but to improve on my writing across various topics of interest to me. If you want to subscribe via email, use the button at the bottom right corner of your screen and choose the category you want to keep up with.
What should you, as a follower on any of my social media accounts, expect of me? Instagram and Twitter will still have personal twists, but I’ll be a little more curated in my content. I’ll be taking proactive steps on my Instagram account to gain more followers and I’ll be posting more relative & interesting links on Twitter.
My end-goal is not only have my friends think of me as someone obsessed with coffee, but as a coffee professional in business, writing, and social media.
I truly believe that anyone who wants to create a career path for themselves or gain a positive online reputation needs to give some deep thoughts about their personal brand. Caffentures may be only part of “me,” Chicago Coffee Scene is another part of “me,” but this blog?
This is entirely me.