Joy Ubani



Everything becomes easier when you know who you are and are courageous enough to share it with the world.

I've discovered that there's a certain time and place for humility when it comes to taking up space in your industry (climbing the career ladder ain't it). This is where self-promotion comes in -- albeit it can be a murky territory because with self-promotion there's a fine line between sounding pompous if we overshare, and missing opportunities if we don't share enough. I've met people who seize every opportunity to self-promote and share who they are, and I've met those on the opposite side -- who would rather stand in one space and casually sip their drink while pretending to be fascinated by whatever they found on their phone screen (guilty!). But whichever category you fall into, self-promotion is a skill worth mastering, and I'm breaking down the art to doing so successfully:




  • Start by identifying your voice and your offering. In a few words, can you sum up who you are, what you do, and what you offer? Try condensing your 'story' to a few words doing your best to humanize yourself and create a personal connection to your voice and your offering. For example something I may say is: My name is Joy and I've always had a heart for helping people thrive in their business and personal life. Identifying your voice and offering will help you 
  • Rehearse this “pitch” with close friends, peers, and maybe a mentor.  I've found that it's often most effective to bounce ideas off your peers and someone who is more senior and more experienced. Once your gain feedback, rehearsing your pitch will help you gauge if people outside of your immediate industry can easily grasp your who/what/how. Be confident about your pitch (even if you must fake the funk). A confident delivery will make people believe in you all the more.
  • Have a goal and be reciprocal: Before you self-promote, have a goal in mind. What do you hope to offer this person or what do you hope to gain? By now, it's likely you've discerned that self-promotion goes hand-in-hand with networking. The best self-promoters are those who are genuinely interested in others (and who can find a way for their brand to service others).
  • Announce yourself and knock on doors: Now that you've perfected your pitch, it's time to share it with others and self-promote. I started self-promoting literally by announcing myself. Send an email or message to your network and contacts letting them know what you now offer. If you have a portfolio to attach to this message, send that along too. When I first made my career pivot, a friend of mine (hey, Naomi B.!) gave me this advise, and when I followed, doors flew opened as I knocked. Who are three people you can reach out to via email or social media this week?
  • Use your resources and practice in your online space: I'm a firm believer in making good use of what's in your hand. Are you already plugged in on social media platforms? If yes, start self-promotion there. Make sure your bio reflects your voice and your offering. If you're a photographer, go ahead and update your bio to reflect your offering. If you're a fashion influencer helping your community to look and feel stylish, take your profile a step further than sharing carefully curated photos and add your offering to your bio. And a bonus step in self-promoting is announcing yourself! Share your offerings on your feed with a call to action photo and caption. Embrace your audience in your Instagram story by using your voice and again, announce your offering. (Ex: If you want to be booked for photography, let them know you are available and back it up by sharing BTS of a shoot or the finished product of an edited photo).
  • Attend events with intention: Make it your aim to speak to at least one person in the room (with your goal of speaking to them in tow) -- you'll check one thing off your list which will boost your confidence. 
    • Master small talk: Before you self-promote, be mindful about getting to know the other person. Ask questions about them that go beyond the “what do you do”? You can compliment their work (or style), ask how they heard of the event, or even where they travelled from to attend. Small talk (which I'll be the first to admit, can be dreadful, but, when crafted mindfully, it can lead to bigger (eventual) opportunities.
Small talk can lead to bigger opportunities.
  • Create business cards and distribute when necessary. I honestly did this last because I underestimated it’s value and purpose. Reality is, a number of people will likely store your business card at the bottom of their purse. Others will copy your information and email you after your first meeting. Have business cards handy after ever coffee catch up, during every event, and even when you grab a drink from the local mom and pop bakery (they might need your services too, or know someone who needs to attend your event).
  • Look the part: Believe or not, a large part of self-promotion (and networking) dwell on your presentation and personal brand. It goes beyond your perfect pitch and overflows into how you carry yourself. Does your personal presentation match your voice and your vision? (I share more on personal branding here). 
  • Follow up: Don't be afraid to connect further with someone after your first meeting and initial pitch. Self-promotion goes beyond the initial self-promotion -- drop an email, connect on social media, and nurture the new connection that you've just shared your voice and your vision with.
What's your go-to method for self-promotion?

WHAT I'M WEARING:

Navy Oversized Blazer: ZARA (old)
WHITE Button Down Blouse: H&M 
Mom Fit Jeans: ZARA (similar)

PHOTOGRAPHS BY FEMI OLUBODE


Wow! It's been a while since I've shared an update on my blog and connected with you all on this platform. I'm still alive and kicking! The last time I updated you all, I was transitioning from a full time high school counselor, to a full time fashion and lifestyle publicist, consultant brand marketing manager. Since leaving my job in April, I've had the opportunity to travel to Paris, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles for client engagements, each focusing on launch projects. I thought I'd share some important strategies with you here. (If you attended the latest Beneath Your Beauty: Mastermind Edit event, you got a dose of these strategies on the day). Anyway, let's get into it!

  1. Research like-brands: You already have your idea. Now, it's time to take a look at your competitors. Yes, there probably is another brand out there selling a similar product or sharing similar content. Don't let that scare you -- instead, use it to your advantage. Take a look at their online and offline presence (if your business is product based) to get a sense of what they're doing right, and what they've missed. In marketing lingo, this is called a SWOT analysis where you make note of their strength, weaknesses, opportunities (for improvement), and threats (within the market).
  2. Define your target market/target audience: Before you announce your launch, it's important to determine who you are targeting. If your brand already exists, consider segmenting your audience into first time consumers, loyal consumers, or consumers who have subscribed to your mailing list, but yet to take any action or interact with your content/products. Segmenting your target market will help you tailor your launch campaign to reach this specific consumer. You want to do your best to make sure your launch campaign is relatable and attracts their attention.
  3. Engage with your audience and solidify your online presence: Creating a consumer profile and segmenting your audience is the easy part. Engaging with your audience takes a bit more time and intentionality. Find key spaces your audience occupies, drive them to your content, and convert them into loyal consumers. For example, if your audience already lives on Instagram, find them in that space by previewing how like-brands are engaging with them. If you're an existing brand, perhaps they've tagged your brand in a post recently. Use that as leverage and draw their attention to the new product you've launched. Check the comment section. If a member of your target audience has mentioned a specific need that your launch addresses, grab their attention and direct them to your mailing list. 
  4. Develop a clear communications strategy: I can be that nagging marketing manager that consistently reminds clients to have consistent language and clear imagery. If you're reaching your target market through social media for example, remember this platform relies heavily on imagery. Invest in a photographer and get clear, sharp imagery that will capture the attention of your audience. Be sure that your language on all your platforms is clear, consistent, and engages your audience. And if this weren't enough, it's important to work out a plan that details where and how you'll share information. Using softwares like Mailchimp or Infusion Soft are a great way to communicate with your audience via email. Apps like Planoly and Unum are an effective way to plan your Instagram communications strategy and see a layout of your (clear and sharp) imagery before your audience does.
  5. Create buzz: I've worked with clients that have chosen to round out the above steps with a launch event. If your budget can accommodate this, events are a surefire strategy to gain interface with your target market. You'll provide a space for them to interact with your product (or with the face of the brand), and potentially purchase products on-site. Remember, audience experience is one the the most important factors to gaining loyal consumers. Other great ways to create buzz around your launch campaigns is by collaborating with other brands, and creating affiliate programs with influencers (but this is an entirely larger topic that we can get into in a next post!).
Thinking of launching or re-launching your brand? Join my mailing list for more resources on launching, and perfecting your brand's strategy.




I'm learning that career progression often depends on certain characteristics and habits we develop overtime. Character traits and habits that will push your business goals, or hinder you from achieving all that you can. It's the little things that move you forward, which you don't necessarily learn when you google your craft, but you learn on the job; while you're communicating with others, and from the feedback (in your face or behind your back) you gain after your assignment. I'm sharing certain habits I've been more intentional about developing since my recent career shift:
  1. Write everything down: 
    • For planning sake: I've gotten into the habit of planning out my week every Sunday night. In my notepad, I write out overall tasks I'd like to accomplish in that week, then take it a step further by writing out what I need to do each day of that week. At the end of each month, I go back and conduct an audit of the tasks I've done to help me better plan the next month. 
    • For memory's sake: Writing everything down also applies to conversations with clients and staff. I learned from early on the importance of documenting what was said and what was agreed on so you always have a point of reference.
  2. Taking initiative pays off: As Sheryl Sandberg says in her book Lean In: "It is hard to visualize someone as a a leader if she is always being told what to do." During a recent Beneath Your Beauty masterclass, Dan Ogunsanwo, one of our guest speakers, echoed this sentiment. You have to assume authority and make those around you (clients included) believe that you are an authority in your field. Take initiative by presenting new ideas and marketing strategies; getting to the boardroom a few minutes before your boss; anticipating the needs of your consumers and having that extra item or incentive ready...just in case.
  3. Be approachable and available (so people can talk to you): There's a level of trust people should have when they think of your brand (or the face of your brand). I find that since a number of us are often interacting with our audience online, we miss the point of being truly social. People should feel comfortable approaching you. I've learned that (in addition to a good work ethic), kindness is one of the driving forces behind success. So when someone reaches out for a coffee date, say yes (within reason). Don't be afraid to have conversations and get to know people. As they say, your network is your net worth, so lead with kindness and openness.
  4. Don't take it personal (but assume others will): Working in my field has taught me invaluable lessons -- one being leave emotions out of it. There have been times where I've felt offended at how a colleague spoke to me; undervalued because a client didn't seem appreciative; and disappointed when I didn't receive credit for an idea. And let me tell you, I'm an emotional person and often let my emotions lead. So when things happen that call for an emotionally charged response, take a breath before you respond. (Yes, you should respond to what's bothering, but learn to do so delicately and honestly without your emotions hindering your progress). From her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg says "communication works best when we combine appropriateness with authenticity, finding that sweet spot where opinions are not brutally honest, but delicately honest."
  5. Always ask for feedback: Lately, I've found so much value in soliciting ideas and input -- from clients, and from other colleagues in my field. Contrary to popular belief, needing help or a second opinion is not a weakness, but it's a step to finding a path forward. So, talk to your consumers or your clients. Find out what you're doing well, and find out what needs improvement. Requesting feedback can also help build your relationships with consumers, clients, or even help you form a mentor relationship with those excelling in your field already. During a recent work trip to London, I sat down with two women excelling in my field and didn't hesitate to ask for their insight on certain aspect of the job I'm still learning. For the first time since I started this journey, I exchanged ideas with women who were unafraid to grow together. That's the way forward.
  6. Be an expert in your field: Don't be content working with what you have and what you know. Constantly research, and be open to learning. If you're an influencer, read up on photography so you're well versed on how to improve your imagery. If you're in ministry, go beyond what you know and read literature on a topic you want to explore. As a fashion brand, don't stop at designing your merchandise; learn how manufacturers work, study trends and do a deep dive of your consumer market.
As a bonus, I'll add a tip I'm still mastering: don't doubt yourself. I'm learning that the actions I take must match up with God's word over my life. So if God tells you you are fearfully and wonderfully made, act accordingly -- stop second guessing that event you want to produce, that blog post you want to write, or that job you want to apply. You get ahead by believing you are qualified for that specific task.

P.S. I have a mailing list! Sign up here for marketing & PR tips directly in your mailbox.

WHAT I'M WEARING:

FLORAL JACQUARD BLAZER: ZARA
White SHIRT WITH FRONT PLEATS: ZARA 
MOM FIT JEANS: ZARA
*Literally just realizing how much I love Zara! Ha!

PHOTOGRAPHS BY FEMI OLUBODE

Project Manager, Intern Role

I have an exciting opportunity to share! I'm looking for an intern to work with me across the Beneath Your Beauty brand. Essentially, I need a partner in crime! The focus of this role is to provide support for Beneath Your Beauty events and masterclasses. This is a very broad role that involves lots of learning, chai tea, and the occasional girls day out to Elan Cafe.

The ideal candidate will need to be resourceful, take initiative, and work fast.
What you should know:
  • The role is part time and may turn into a full-time stipend role after the initial period
  • Commitment of 2-3 days weekly is required 
  • Must be London based (with weekday availability)
  • Previous experience with events is required
  • Tech savvy (proficient with Google Drive + other productivity apps)
  • Experience in social media (content creating and copy writing)
Responsibilities include (not limited):
  • Email management (as it relates to upcoming BYB events/masterclasses)
  • Support and lead on project management + liaising with relevant third parties
  • Support with research, design and strategy for various BYB projects (events/masterclasses)
  • Assistance with organization BYB London events/masterclasses
This is initially a part-time + 3 month interim role that will begin immediately.

To apply, click here.





I remember when I first started blogging back in 2013. If you can't recall my work from that early on, it's probably because you never actually saw my posts. I would write raw pieces based on my post-grad experiences, and document my favorite thrift finds with styling tips. Yet, I never shared any of it. I'd coyly send over each blog piece to one friend of mine. Initially, she read the posts, and emailed me a response to let me know her thoughts and words of encouragement. Eventually after about 3 months in, she asked me to stop sending them to her, challenging me to actually share them with others on social media. "You're work is good, Joy! I can't be the only one who reads it. And why have a blog if no one sees it?," she asked. (Clearly, she was annoyed). I was shook, with no response.

It makes sense, right? Write out lovely posts, take stylish outfit photos, then hide them from the world. My lack of confidence led to a point of inaction (and likely, missed opportunities). Eventually, I accepted her challenge (after I realized that she wasn't being mean, but being real), because hiding my creative side made no sense.

Believe me, since the start of my brand back in 2013 and launch of my business a year later, I've learned the power of boldness and how it can make or break the success of your brand. Here are 5 ways to operate in boldness as you curate your brand:



  1. Lean in: Embrace every possibility of failure and frustration. There's no doubt that you'll encounter those days where you're stuck in middle of a great idea, and the perfect execution plan. Lean in and get ready to tackle those days with just a much grit as the days you're inspired into greatness.
  2. Take risks: I've found that progression in your career often depends on the risks you take. So, post the photo, publish the blog, sell the e-book (ahem), launch the clothing company. Take the (calculated) risk and you'll make progress towards your goal (even if you fail). Remember those Youtubers you've never heard of? Ya, me neither...
  3. Be bold: Stop caring about who's watching (because people will always have something to say). Make great strides no matter who sees (or who doesn't see) you. I found that my favorite brands and bloggers are the ones my friends and I call "ballsy". The ones who launch a new product, the ones who do giveaways, or the ones who post the controversial IG TV videos. They just don't care. Yet, here we are leaning in and watching them closely...well because, we actually thrive from their boldness and we are eager to witness their next big move. Their level of confidence has a positive impact on their audience. 
  4. Set the bar higher: Once you lean in to the possibility of failure and claim boldness, you'll begin to operate in excellence. Set out to aim high in all that you do and stray far from mediocrity. To make your next move better than your last, go ahead and invest in the brand coach, pay for the website service, enroll in that masterclass. Up the quality in each piece of content you produce. Constantly ask yourself, "what am I doing to raise the bar higher" [for yourself and your brand]?
  5. Believe in yourself: God has equipped us with a spirit of boldness, and not one of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). Once you have the vision, God has supplied us with so many resources to execute it. Believe in your God-given ability and share your craft. We're waiting for you!
What are 4 ways you will operate in boldness in the next 30 days? 
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9 

outfit from:

ZARA

PHOTOGRAPHS BY FEMI OLUBODE


#Bossgirl. A hashtag that you've likely seen more times than you cared to. A familiar one that I have to admit carries less weight since I actually became self-employed...or a boss girl. If I'm being honest, I never really intended to be a #bossgirl so soon. It was my human plan to work my way up the ladder, and eventually start saying "I'm my own boss" when I became a highly sought after fashion marketing guru and public relations maven. As chance would have it, here I am, a #bossgirl. Believe me, this new title has been a learning process every step of the way. Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that I love my job and I actually can't see myself doing anything other than brand consulting, marketing and public relations for fashion, beauty, and wellness brands. I realize daily that this is my dream job. And it is so only by the grace of God. Seriously. But, there are some things I wish I knew about self-employment before I jumped ship. This post only grazes the surface.


  1. You will feel fear: It's almost inevitable. I've come to realize that while you're on the pursuit of self-employment, feeling fear is not absent from the journey. As confident as you might be while you're on the journey there are moments when fear will come knocking. For me, fear kicks in during times where I'm tasked to make a big decision, one that impacts myself and my (one amazing) employee. But when you feel the fear, do the task anyway. Take that leap regardless. No matter the outcome, the reward is knowing you've done it and not held back.
  2. You can't leave anything up to chance: When I think of self-employment, the first words that come to mind are action and reaction. Every step you take will have an outcome, be it positive or negative. People fail to realize that the first step in becoming self-employed is being accountable taking that leap...whether you have everything figured out or not. If you work in an industry that makes your job dependent on securing clients, producing content, building a network...you can't survive on chance and hoping for favorable results. You get what you put in.
  3. You must find time to rest: Being self-employed does not mean you are trading your 9-5 for a 9-9 (or whatever they say), it means you are learning to manage your time, prioritize tasks, and rest when the burden gets heavy. (Matthew 11:28). There really is such thing as being a workaholic. But don't give in to the hype of cultivating a 24 hour work environment. Avoid burnout and be mindful about setting time out for rest. After all, if you want to give your clients your very best, how can you pour from an empty vessel?
  4. It's okay necessary to set boundaries (with clients and with family): I absolutely love getting phone calls, text messages, and emails! I get excited for human contact and always think it's sweet that someone took the time to reach out and say hello or make an inquiry. I'm learning that in order for me to have moments of rest, I must set (and abide by) my office hours. As much as I love people, I can't reply at the immediate ping of a notification...and that's okay. #icantkillmyself.
  5. I actually get annoyed when people ask me "did you get a lot done today"?: LOL. I'm realizing that there are some days I spend waiting. While you can't leave everything up to chance, you also have to exercise patience. There are only so many emails to send out, and so much research to do. When you ask if we got a lot done, it slyly implies that perhaps we're just sitting at home watching Netflix, and aimlessly scrolling through our Instagram timelines.
  6. Be assertive without being aggressive: When you're your own boss, you literally have no one else around to get in the rings for you. As an employee, when it gets rough you can turn to your supervisor or HR and seek advise from colleagues when you need resources or a second opinion. I'm learning the art of confidence and the power of exercising my voice (without leaving a negative impression on a client). This means being assertive when negotiating contracts and pay, being bold and speaking up when you feel under-appreciated, and utilizing your resources (mentors, network, Google), when you have questions.
  7. Realize that you are your brand: This one is my favorite and probably one of the most important lessons I'm learning so far. As my own boss (as obvious as this may seem), I've come to realize that I must carry myself in such a way that offers an accurate representation of my brand. With confidence. In the age of social media, we can create content that depicts a brand message and aesthetic that we want our audience to associate us with. I'm learning that this also should transcend into my everyday. For example, dressing  in such a way that aligns with my brand's story, speaking in a way that articulates my brand message, and interacting with everyone in a way that says #bossgirl.

If you're interested in building your personal brand (or business brand), I've created a brand audit to help you with my last point. 



Download it here for free! 

Any hacks on self-employment? I'd love to hear your stories & truths you're discovering along the way. Share with me on insta or on the comments below :)

WHAT I'M WEARING:

Red crepe blazer: Zara
White Joshua 1:9 Scripture tee: forever 21 
red mini skirt: zara

PHOTOGRAPHS BY Femi Olubode


Hey loves!
These past few weeks have been incredibly full and an absolute blessing. I traveled to Mexico to celebrate my sister's last couple months as a single lady, brought in my 27th birthday, then flew to London for yet another Beneath Your Beauty event.

I had a chance to catch up with a friend while in London (who recently launched a fashion label) and he brought it to my attention that I've been a business owner for four years *insert sweaty/smiley emoji* Truth be told, I didn't even realize it's been four whole years since launching Beneath Your Beauty and building my branding and marketing agency! God is so faithful.

One thing I wish I did when I first launched Beneath Your Beauty, is build a consumer profile. (I finally built one two years ago, and it's been so helpful in attracting a specific audience and making our content/events more niche).



What's a consumer profile (or persona)?
A consumer profile is a way of describing your ideal consumer (very specifically) in order for you to create content and/or products that specifically appeal to them. Creating consumer profiles will allow you to reach your consumers more effectively. Now, it's possible you have more than one type of ideal customer (maybe you have more than one focus area), so don't hesitate to play around and have fun when creating your consumer profiles! Without getting too much in depth, I'm sharing things to consider when building your consumer profile.

5 Things to Consider When Creating Your Consumer Profile:

  1. What she values: It's important to have an idea of what your ideal consumer values. This can honestly be anything. Maybe she values family time, saving money, getting to see the world, or equality. Making this determination will enable you to deliver content directly in line with her values.
  2. How she spends her time: Think about a day in her shoes. Where does she go after work?  How does she prioritize her time? How much time does she spend browsing through social media?
  3. How she shops (clothes, food, household): This is my favourite one because I'm an avid shopper. You're ideal consumer probably is too. Consider whether she shops online, in stores, (or in her friend's closets). What are her favourite stores? If you're building a fashion brand, where does get her fashion inspiration?
  4. Her current status (demographic): Where does your ideal consumer live? Is she in a particular age bracket? Is she employed or in school? If so, where? Consider where she works and how much she might earn (hint: this will help you determine your price points if you are selling any content/products).
  5. Her dreams and aspirations: It's also important to cater to the woman your ideal consumer aspires to become. Consider her hopes and dreams and deliver content that will help her reach her personal full potential.
These points might seem overwhelming at first glance. Don't be afraid to have more than one consumer profile (maybe you aspire to reach more than one type of person). You might also consider allowing your brand to evolve as your ideal consumer also evolves. Why is this all so important? Because in order for your niche content or product to have an impact, you have to identify a clear target. Click here to access additional resources and keep an eye out for more posts in this segment! 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Sylvia Chuku
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