Awkward, unpolished, not good with makeup, takes horrible Instagram pictures. These are some of the things I’ve learned about myself (and to be honest, some of that stuff I already knew) so far from working with a publicist. No, she didn’t say those things about me — she’s far too sweet. They’ve just become apparent from the work we’ve done together so far.

Take my very first TV interview — a short feature on the Manhattan News Network. “So what have you learned about business since you moved into your storefront?” the upbeat interviewer asked.

Apparently I was supposed to say something like, “That dreams never die. Don’t stop believing!’

Instead, after furrowing my brow, I launched into a monologue about the importance of foot traffic to a physical location, and the need to be willing to pay a higher lease cost in exchange for more visibility.

“Cut,” the director said. “That’s not the response we were looking for. You can’t say that. You’ve got to be upbeat. Like something positive.”

And I won’t even mention how incredibly awkward I was when shooting b roll, which I guess is just filler footage.

“Pretend like you’re showing customers your products.”

I awkwardly picked up a peppermint whipped shea butter.

“Show it to her, pretend like you’re talking about it.” the producer said, pointing towards the interviewer.

With an awkward smile plastered on my face, I robotically opened the product and shoved it in her face. This was the best I could do…

I am also prepping for my first official photoshoot for which, apparently, my “mom sweats” will not work.

“You have to look aspirational,” my publicist said. I think it was her sweet way of saying, “You dress like crap and cannot do that mess when you get in front of that camera.”

And apparently I know nothing about Instagram etiquette. The other day I emailed her.

“Hey. I noticed someone who produces content at a network liked me on Instagram. What should I do?”

“You should follow them back and like their pictures,” was her reply.

And that probably is self-explanatory for people who are not awkward, like me.

Anyways, here is some behind the scenes footage of my TV interview (which took place in my shop!) I will post the final footage when I get it.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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16 Comments on "All I’ve Learned So Far From Having a Publicist is That I’m Awkward"

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Elle

So happy to see you out there shining and genuine in a BOMB headwrap. While you didn’t give the producers the fluffy answer they were hoping for, you answered like a real businesswoman. Hope the blessings and the sales flow in abundance. While I love the “polished” chicks on instagram, I can’t relate to them. When I see you, I see myself…right down to the freckles. Let us know when the crew comes back to re-up…and where you got that fabric 😉

TWA4now

Wow! At least you are trying. It takes time! You will get it and shine through the awkward moments.

Todra

You’re out there and you’re doing it!!! You’ll get better as you go. When I had my very first news interview I was sooooo nervous I said, “Women love coming to my blog.” Then I suddenly thought I should say something about how men are part of my readership, too, so I looked directly at the camera (big no-no) and said, “Men love to come, too!” Yeah. It was pretty bad. But I did get better. Thankfully. lol

Nijadinma

Hello Leila, I’ve been coming to your website for years and never posted ! Just want you to know that I am one of your fans ! And i love al right awkwardness because I am just like that too! I just bought my first batch of your butters I am so excited to try them out ! Your journey is so inspiring ! Keep up the good work and the lord will continue to bless and guide your footsteps !

Alison HILAIRE

“Awkward, unpolished, not good with makeup, takes horrible Instagram pictures”. It’s not a nice way of talking about yourself 🙁 I think you are beautiful, brilliant and inspiring, but you don’t know yet how to show it with the social media codes. Social media is like flirting. When you see the way women look at the camera, it’s like they’re sexting their partner sometimes… LOL 😀

Mmmmk

You could hire an upbeat clone!

But seriously.. Perhaps you are not labeling yourself fairly. You don’t have to be awkward to feel awkward in an artificial situation. It’s artificial.. so… nothing natural about it..

Jazzythoughts

Leila Noelliste, you have always been inspirational to me(your honest perspectives as well as your awkward ways are endearing). I know you will do well in all your endeavors.

LaSheena

I love love love that you gave real business owner advice when asked that question. Everything is so fluffy and filled with sound bites that real advice never shines anymore. As a small business owner paying rent for an address in an “It” location I can relate on so many levels.

Todra

I was thinking the same thing. If I was an aspiring business owner, the original answer would have been a lot more helpful to me than the “dreams never die” fluff.

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