Black Blogger Month: Looking Fly on a Dime, The Savvy Shopper

From the unemployment line to online, Patrice J. Williams heads a thrifting blog that's positioned her as a TV personality and budgeting guru

I realized blogging was a business when…

I had to consult an attorney for legal issues (i.e. the trademark). It’s all fun and games until you get a cease and desist letter. The other site owner was protecting their business—and rightfully so—and I had to learn the ways to protect a growing business. I also realized blogging was a major business when I saw other bloggers securing book deals, signing with agencies and pulling in major dollars.

What I’ve learned about branding in the digital space is…

To use technology to your benefit, don’t let technology use you. Social networks can be a time drain but when used properly, they’re advantageous to your business. You just have to choose the ones that are most beneficial for you. My site is heavily visual and readers love seeing my “thrift store scores” or beautiful secondhand pieces that cost a few dollars, so posting photos and captions on Facebook has helped grow that community to 3000+ likes.

YouTube is also another major branding tool. When I created a YouTube account, I had no idea that the managing editor from WPIX-TV in NYC would find me and offer me a job as their first Savvy Shopper reporter. Instead of being overwhelmed by the copious amount of networking sites, I’m strategic with my use of them. With a single click of a button, people can share a post or image and that increases brand reach.

Transitioning to TV has been…

Surprisingly seamless. Luckily I’ve worked with teams who like what I have to offer and don’t want to change anything about me. When The Nate Berkus Show came calling last year, it was my first time on television but it felt so natural and comfortable. They continued to invite me back throughout the season. I’m generally a shy person, but I don’t think about the millions of people watching me, I just focus on having a one-on-one conversation, whether I’m talking to a host or directly in the camera.

The transition to being the WPIX Savvy Shopper reporter was even more seamless. The managing editor found my YouTube channel and liked my style. The station is all about letting individual personalities shine versus having a stiff reporter feel. I was thrown in to the position head first without any television background but I write and produce all of my segments. It’s been a great learning experience and I always embrace a new challenge.

The best piece of business advice I ever got was…

I don’t remember who told me this, but they said “compete with yourself.” It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people are doing that you lose your focus. It’s also a major energy drain. When I see other people succeeding, I know it doesn’t limit my success or make me look at them as someone I need to be threatened by. If anything I look at them as motivation and proof of what’s possible. I want to do bigger and better than I’ve done in the past, I’m my own competition.

I measure success by…

Inspiring people to understand that amazing style can be accomplished at any price tag. I grew up with little money and always remembered thinking my life would be so much better, I’d be more popular and pretty if I had the expensive jeans or latest clothes or a pair of LA Gear sneakers. Obviously my thinking changed as I got older and gained confidence. Also, working in the fashion industry had me surrounded by well-dressed women who had some of the nastiest personalities. If I can help other people to understand feeling good and looking good doesn’t come with a price tag attached, I’m successful.

Be sure to check out the rest of the digital thought leaders as they’re revealed each day by logging on to BlackEnterprise.com/BlackBloggerMonth.

Watch below as Williams reveals the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of Looking Fly On a Dime’s success.

Video shot and edited by Brain Food Film. Shot on location at the 40/40 Club New York.

 

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