Building Bridges to Build Your Brand



I have been a lifestyle writer for a few years now and while I love writing about fitness, humor, and the best-kept secrets in Seattle for local publications, I sometimes struggle with how to tie everything back to what I care about the most, my music! Between Youtube, blogs, Facebook, etc. it can feel like the content ends up splitting the audience as opposed to driving them back to a main site. However, through partnerships and diversifying what I do, that ultimately helps drive awareness to my brand, even when it may seem unrelated.

I recently agreed to write an article about holiday shoes for a local publication, Bellevue Lifestyle and Neiman Marcus provided the shoes and clothes for the shoot. I had the BEST time trying on uber fancy outfits and feeling super fly in some of the best designers around. However, I feel it imperative to state that I am not a model by any means and decided to get out of my comfort zone for the experience. You know that episode of Sex and the City when Carrie agrees to model for Dolce and Gabbana? That felt all too familiar when I was telling the Neiman Marcus rep that I would need “normal people sizes” and felt it necessary to reiterate that I am not, nor am I trying to be a model. :) The increased sizes aside, I am so glad I did it because I had an amazing time, got some great content out of it, and will be tagging Bellevue Lifestyle and Neiman Marcus in all my posts about it, which just builds credibility and shows other brands what I can offer.

The point is, do it! Seek out and don’t shy away from these opportunities because they can only help you. Here are some tips that have allowed me get out my comfort zone and get to out-of-the-box thinking…

1) Always say Yes to a meeting

Even when I’m not sure if I want to participate in something, more times than not when I sit down or have a call with the person pitching the opportunity, I find that there are more overlaps and angles for a partnership than I originally thought. And if not, it doesn’t hurt to come up with creative solutions yourself and then pitch those as a secondary option. Even if you ultimately decide to decline, you never know when making that connection can turn into something down the road.

2) Know your brand

Only you know if something is a good fit for you and your brand. If you’re a punk rocker, it probably wouldn’t make sense to partner with an Americana Hat company. There have been times earlier in my career when I said yes to something, got the product, and realized the quality wasn’t something that I could promote. That makes things a lot more awkward than just declining the first time around. If there’s a product or brand you already love and use for live shows or practice, reach out to them to see if they need reps to use a new product at your next show.

Partnership with Bellevue Lifestyle and Neiman Marcus

Partnership with Bellevue Lifestyle and Neiman Marcus

3) Cross-promotion is key

The whole point of partnerships is to expand your audience! Both for you and the brand or company you’re partnering with. That’s what make collaborations so powerful these days is the fact that musicians already have a following so if you do a duet with someone in your same genre or record a song with someone in a totally different one, you can double or triple the exposure by tagging each other when you promote the final product.

4) Get out of your comfort zone

Like I mentioned above, I am not a natural model nor (like most women) am I completely happy with my body - we ALL have insecurities and a lot of times the ones we obsess the most about are the ones that other people don’t even notice. But if you don’t ever push what you’re comfortable with, you’ll stay in the same spot. Obviously it’s OK if something just isn’t a good fit for you, but if the only thing that’s holding you back is YOU, don’t let those thoughts win. You’ll be surprised where those experiences will take you and what you’ll learn.

Winter boots.JPG

So basically, the key is to not only always be open to new opportunities, but be on the lookout for angles, campaigns and partnerships that would benefit both you and who you’re working with. We live in a world where social media has no limits so take advantage of the fact that there’s a whole audience at your fingertips! Also, look out for the December issue of Bellevue Lifestyle to see all the amazing winter shoe looks from Neiman Marcus!

Much love,


Susan G