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Houston’s Bibi Watts helping influencers grow online presence

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Got internet influencer dreams? Bibi Watts has some advice.

Stafford resident Watts recently released her first book, “11 Steps Playbook: The Beginners Guide to Growing a Community That Trusts and Supports You.”

The book is structured with short, punchy chapters like “Make it Rain,” “Niche it or Ditch it,” “Are you Afraid of Commitment?” and “Applaud Your Audience” and, according to Watts, relies heavily on reader engagement, with a homework section at the end of each chapter.

“This book is for people who have a lot of great ideas and want to start an online brand but don’t know where to start, as well as those who have online businesses and/or brands but feel like they’ve reached a plateau ,” Watts received.

And as she states in the book’s execution statement, “If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like homework, just close the book.”

But for those who aren’t put off by a little hard work when it comes to starting or growing their online brand and potentially monetizing it, Watts welcomes them to read up.

She preaches projecting authenticity online and letting yourself be vulnerable. She also said it’s important to make careful choices when posting content.

“Choose impact over impulse,” she advised, adding, “You don’t have to showcase everything. You can leave some parts of yourself out and still be authentic.”

When deciding whether or not to write a book, Watts said the decision to go for it ultimately came down to what she was hearing from her more than 12,000 followers, specifically many of them asking how they could successfully market themselves via social media.

Watts can relate.

Having spent years working to expand her online presence through Instagram, Facebook and online blogging, she finally ditched her day job as a loan officer at the end of 2021 to move full time to coaching and consulting in the social media space.

What’s more, when she herself went in search of helpful books to teach her how to elevate her online status, she said she came up short, describing books she came across as “fluff.”

“My book is important because I’ve never seen or heard of one like it,” she said. “Unlike other books in its category, mine has action steps in each chapter to ensure you get results.”

She said those looking to make a splash as an influencer can also look to her book for guidance on navigating social media, something she said doesn’t come easily for everyone.

A long-time writer and singer, Watts began performing poetry recitations publicly in 2009, often bringing folks in the audience to tears. It was during one of these performances that she met Melanie Villegas.

Villegas said she was so impressed with Watts’ presence and felt compelled to meet her.

“She had such a light and a vibe, so (after her performance) I went up and introduced myself,” she said.

Since that first meeting, Villegas has followed Watts’ online journey and marveled as she grew her social media following. Watt categorized her brand as a thought and lifestyle influencer – a career trajectory she’s financially benefited from for the last two years.

Villegas also was on hand to celebrate Watts’ launch, which was staged Aug. 4 at Sharespace, a downtown Houston venue. She said she was happy to support her friend’s newest venture as an author.

“She’s a community builder and she connects with other women, and that’s what I love about her,” she said.

Sabrina Dandridge agrees.

A local Houston nurse and influencer who uses the Instagram handle @queendandridge, she and her husband Kin attended Watts’ book launch, answering questions during a panel session on monetizing your social media presence.

Like Watts, Dandridge said coming across as real and relatable is key to building a dynamic, strong and, ultimately, lucrative online community.

“I just focus on being myself and whoever responds to it responds to it,” she said.

As for the “11 Step Playbook,” Dandridge called the book “phenomenal” and praised Watts’ accomplishment.

Watts said she hopes her efforts help people realize that the online social media space can accommodate everyone and that they can use her book and the tools it teaches to carve out their own corner of the internet.

“My ultimate message is that everyone has a story to tell and I want to help you tell yours using the heart of storytelling and video marketing,” she said. “There’s room for everybody to shine.”

Watts’ book can be purchased on Amazon. Find her on Instagram @bibiwattsco and on Facebook at Bibi Watts.

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