The IT industry is expanding year by year. If earlier the industry included such basic areas as development, testing and data analytics, now it is important to think about branding as well.
Anastasia Roshina, a marketing and brand manager from Russia is the next guest of IT Park. Anastasia held several seminars for startups in Uzbekistan, where she shared her experience and vision for developing a personal brand.
In an interview, Anastasia spoke about her journey into the world of marketing, about the methods used in her work and why it is important to remain yourself even on social networks.
Anastasia Roshina have graduated from Moscow State University. After that, she worked as a teacher of Russian for foreigners, and also taught English to adults and children. As the guest of the column recalls, she always had plenty of students. By that time, the youngest student of Anastasia was a 7-year-old child, and the oldest was 55 years old.
At some point, the girl realized: the future belongs to digitalization, which means it’s time to go online.
“Six or seven years ago, almost no one was engaged in online teaching. My students were categorically against this format. They wanted me to come to them, because such interaction was more comfortable for them. But by that time I was tired of driving, because the road in Moscow took a lot of time and effort. Then I decided that it was time to look for students online. I started with Instagram, which I almost did not lead, except that occasionally I added photos and corresponded with friends and acquaintances.
So the girl began to study marketing - what it is, how the process is built, how social networks work.
“The first time was not easy. I did not fully understand how it all works and was guided, rather, by intuition. But then, having figured out all the intricacies, without a budget or advertising, she gained the first thousand subscribers in a new account. Then I used a simple trick: I made flatlay layouts and wrote materials about the English language. After a couple of months, I had 3 new students in an online format.”
After about six months of development of the social network, Anastasia closed her account and all activities related to teaching and tutoring. She focused all her attention on the child, as well as promoting her husband's small business.
“During my maternity leave, I realized that I wanted to work and earn money. I started working as a helper for my friend. I interacted a lot with bloggers, PR people, studied targeting. Once my friend and I were sitting in my kitchen, and I suggested to her: let's open an agency? We both have so much experience.”
Opening an agency, as time has shown, was a brilliant idea. The girls received large orders and projects, among which were state and projects of other media holdings.
Among the agency's projects are international competitions, educational projects, alcoholic beverages, and even the promotion of a company that develops engines for rockets and aircraft. The advantage of the team, according to Anastasia, was observation. All projects were completely different, so they understood how each niche could advance qualitatively and interact with the audience.
After 6 years of interaction, the professional paths of the friends diverged. As Anastasia admits, she began to get involved in brands and decided to go into mentoring on this topic.
“I do personal brands and brands in general. I am engaged in the fact that I help people convey to the audience the essence of myself and my activities, mission and my product. In my work, I adhere to the rule that it is important to communicate with the audience in an understandable language. And even if it's a commercial brand, it has to be promoted through personality.”
Any commercial brand, the guest of the column continues, is, first of all, the personality, face, thoughts, values and feelings of a particular person.
Anastasia helps them open up, accept their strength and realize their mission, and from this point begin to contact the world.
“Business is something inanimate, and it causes neither joy, nor desire to help, nor sympathy. Today there is business, tomorrow it is gone. First of all, people are drawn to people, to something sincere, warm. Remember how in the times of COVID, when many companies were closed, only those who spoke about their problems and asked to help them, not the business, survived. Because people support, first of all, the personality.”
However, Anastasia continues, not everyone is interested in developing a personal brand, and this is also normal. Anastasia believes that you should not engage in a personal brand in cases where a person is satisfied with the current state of affairs. That is, when there is no desire or need to develop, expand, scale, and employment and income are completely satisfied. In all other cases, it is worth engaging in a personal brand, even if it is a small beauty salon.
Anastasia considers one of her most successful cases a project from the Department of Territorial Development named after V.L. Glazychev.
“They approached us before the launch of the training program. This program usually enrolls graduates of urban programs and universities, or city managers, that is, mayors, officials. In 10 days, starting from the start of interaction with the audience and ending with an invitation to participate, despite the fact that it was necessary to write a rather complicated essay, we collected 4-5 times more applications for admission to this competition. As a result, we completely closed two groups - both budget and paid places.”
There are many similar successful projects as such. This result is achieved through mutual work between her and the client.
“First of all, this happens due to the fact that we connect the internal and external. People feel as comfortable as possible, they do not have the feeling that they are trying to mold something incomprehensible or far from their inner values. After that, they already stop being shy, start making videos, where they themselves participate, actively perform, participate in networking and get to know each other.”
The main method of creating a cool personal brand, the girl believes, is to be yourself, not to be afraid to go out to the audience with all your vulnerabilities, pluses, experience, knowledge, falls, failures. It is important to be sincere and not to lie, because people read it.
“I will single out, perhaps, two rules. The first is to be real, the second is to do. I always tell all students and clients what is important to do, nothing will come of it without trying and failing. And also, when you do something that ignites you and brings pleasure, the same thing will happen with the audience that will come. It will not be necessary to invent something specially for them to be interested. If it's interesting for you, it will be interesting for them too.”
In the process of work, Anastasia also mentions to the system of archetypes created by Jung.
“Marketers use this system as one of the tools in their work. Many brands are created just on the basis of this system. I can’t say that I completely trust only her, but this is one of the tools with which I help the client and the people who buy products and services from him. The system helps to form a clear understanding of what a person/brand is, and with the help of a set of some attributes, for example, with the help of photography, clothes, triggers, you can unconsciously understand what this person represents.”
According to Anastasia, a person has all 12 archetypes, but the main and manifest ones are from three to five, from which a picture of a person’s personality is built.
“First, we determine which archetypes a person belongs to, and then we suggest visually building a blog or brand on these archetypes so that people do not have to solve the riddle for too long.
Now people don't have time, they don't want complexity, they want "real" and simplicity. But, of course, it is important to understand that each archetype in different people can manifest itself in different ways.”
The girl considers the IT sector the most developing area.
“Now there are so many useful things that make life easier and help to systematize everything. If we talk about the branding of the IT sector, I noticed that startups often forget about themselves, and many of them do not know how to show up. For example, someone created a project, but we don't know its name. And we think: who is this genius who created such a necessary product? It is important to learn how to speak and declare to the world: look, I am the genius who created this project. If each project has a face and a name, the IT sector will sparkle with new colors. We are used to the fact that IT people are boys and girls with glasses sitting at a computer and creating something very smart. But it’s so easy to just show yourself to the world.”
On the other hand, Anastasia continues, the too rapid development of the ICT industry is sometimes frightening: it seems that soon a lot will replace human labor. Many people ask her how she feels about the new bots that can create posts with the help of the TK of the delivered text. Perhaps, the girl believes, technology and artificial intelligence will indeed replace a lot, but some human side will still remain irreplaceable. It's about personality, individuality, authenticity. Of course, a robot can write beautifully, but the problem is that it will not bring the identity and soul that a person can bring, Anastasia is sure.
As for personal brands, according to the mentor, a bot will not replace any text written by a person.
“I am always for experts and businessmen to write texts themselves, or voice their view in order to convey their feelings and emotions, use the metaphors and speech strategies that they use in life. So there is a feeling of real live communication.”
The girl is sure that the IT sector will develop further for many years. But still, the human hand, the human look and, most importantly, the soul will be important in combination with these smart programs, robots, etc.
As Anastasia admits, the topic of motivation was a mystery to her for a long time.
“I tried to find motivation and went in some banal ways, I tried to get things together, work things out; I was motivated by my achievements and the achievements of others. And then I realized that it either does not work with me, or it works for a short time. It felt like I was running short distances in respite - I ran for an incomprehensible motivation to the other end of the island, caught my breath, and then ran again. This leads to burnout.”
Now Anastasia is motivated by the cases of the people she works with, their successes, the way they begin to look at themselves with different eyes.
“What inspires me is this: at the very beginning, my clients say: “I don’t understand who I am, what I’m talking about, what I can convey to people, and are they even interested in all this?” And after interacting with me, their eyes spark, they say that this is what they needed, this is what they wanted. They fall in love with themselves again, become bright and are no longer afraid to present themselves through their values and soul.”
Recently there was a case, the mentor continues, she was approached by an expert girl who has two promotion channels - Telegram and Instagram. In Telegram, publications are made by both herself and the SMM manager, and Instagram was completely given over to the SMM manager, who made templates using expert photos.
“I told the expert: from this day on, you must create content on her own. Whatever way it turns out. But you will make it yourself, the way you see it.
At first, the client said that she had some kind of inner resistance. It seemed to her that she was writing nonsense that was of no interest to anyone.
But later she changed. Her account is live. She has become a living expert, not an expert behind the picture. In addition to posts about her main activity, she began to post something entertaining, even recipes for her favorite dishes. And the audience saw her real, and the account grew noticeably in terms of statistics.”
According to the girl, she does not like to plan for years ahead. However, among the plans for this year there are two main points.
“Now I am working on creating my own branding agency, which will work with personal brands of experts, entrepreneurs, startups, businessmen and all those who are willing, ready and aware of the need to make themselves known to the world. I have assembled a part of the team; the rest will be outsourced. The agency will help experts to promote themselves in social networks, since not everyone has the time, energy and desire for this.”
The second goal is to reach the international level. According to the specialist, she has many clients living outside her country.
“I sometimes look at European marketing standards, SMM, and understand how the Russian-speaking audience has moved forward. Therefore, I want to develop my English account and enter international projects.”
Anastasia advises founders of startups not to be afraid and to believe in themselves.
“Now I am working with one girl who has already launched one startup and is working on several more. She has so much knowledge, skills, energy, she has such talent. But she hides all this and do not tell anyone about her projects. I want to say: do not be afraid to show yourself, to show yourself alive and real.”
The mentor advises even telling the audience about your mistakes and failures, because this is also part of success. In addition, the audience wants to see a real person with all the flaws, and not an ideal and flawless character.
“Actually, people are following us. It doesn't matter what project you are creating, what project you will create in 2 years. Perhaps you will have many different startups, businesses, cases. But people will follow you, no matter who you are, a cook or an English teacher. People will trust and follow you because they will follow your personality first. So don't be afraid to be yourself, don't be afraid to be vulnerable. People are tired of shiny, ideal pictures. They want to observe sincerity and understand that everything on the Internet is not only about success, but about the path of a hero with all the ups and downs. And who knows, the audience may be inspired by your story!”