Miss USA 2017, Kara McCullough, conducts a science experiment with youth.
Social media has changed the way we compete in pageants. There once was a time when the judges' first impression of you was when you walked into the first stage of the competition. However, we no longer have that luxury. Social media has made the world a smaller place, where everyone can know anyone and be anyone. (Read: How to Use Social Media to Help You Win the Crown)
In today's pageant world, it is important to market yourself before you even step on stage. While social media is a large part of it, it is not all social media. What we're talking about is your pageant brand. It's something you can work on before you ever compete in your first pageant. (Read: How to Build up Your Pageant Brand)
Marketing through appearances
Appearances are a great way to market not only yourself but the pageant in which you are a contestant. When creating your appearances, be sure you are making the most of your time. That means making sure they are meaningful and purposeful. (Read: 8 Tips to Plan Successful Appearances as a Titleholder)
Also, be sure to let other people know about your appearances. Have you ever heard of the saying, "pictures or it didn't happen?" That doesn't just mean posting all of your photos on social media, either. Remember that archaic ancestor of social media, traditional media! Reach out to your local newspaper or local news station to see if they would be willing to feature you. Magazines and blogs are also a great way to market yourself and gain publicity for your hard work and dedication to the crown.
Marketing through hobbies
Do you have a special hobby that you spend a lot of time and put a lot of dedication into? No, not beauty pageants, something outside of those! Perhaps you're an award-winning all-star cheerleader, or you are very involved in a spelunking club. If you have a hobby, you can market yourself through that activity to help you win the crown. All hobbies have a trade organization, so find out what those are for your hobby and reach out to them to partner with them on a project. Now, not only are you doing something you love, but you will be able to share your love of your hobby with the pageant community and you can, in turn, share the world of pageantry with your hobby's community!
Your pageant brand
Marketing yourself before a pageant mostly includes building your pageant brand. Your pageant brand is what you are known for in the pageant community. Are you a scientist like Miss USA 2017, Kara McCullough? Or are you a military soldier like Miss USA 2016, Deshauna Barber? Before either of these beautiful girls ever stepped on the Miss USA stage they each had solid marketing and a solid pageant brand. (Read: How to Become a Famous Pageant Girl through Marketing)
Decide what you want to be known for and find a way to make yourself synonymous with that trait. Work on building your pageant brand by asking others for help.
Community service is also a great way to market yourself in pageantry. Most pageants require their titleholders to do so many hours or community service based appearances a month. You as a titleholder can leverage your community service projects to better market yourself for the crown. (Read: How to Promote Your Platform Through Community Service)
What is it you are most passionate about? Children? Health? Financial literacy? Whatever it is that you are most passionate about, market and advocate for that cause which, in turn, will serve as a marketing strategy for yourself. Partnering with a charitable organization is also a great way to expand your reach and make a greater impact on your community.
In today's pageant community, what you do on stage isn't all it takes to capture the crown anymore. You have to be well rounded on and off the stage and effectively market yourself. With the rise of social media and the accessibility of information via the internet, all it takes is a quick search on your name and a judge can find all they need to know about you without ever having to read your contestant bio. How do you plan on marketing yourself before your next pageant? What has worked for you in the past? Let us know in the comments below!
Her tip is: "Enjoy networking and remembering you are competing against yourself not others!"Learn More