The State of ME
Many people are surprised to learn that I am not actually from Maine, because my personal brand is focused so much on my “Maine-ness.” As a matter of fact, when I attend national conferences with organizations like the Society of American Travel Writers, the National Snow Sports Journalists Association, or the Agency Management Institute, people call me things like “Miss Maine” or that proud “Maineac.” Maine is in my blood.
That said, I was a summer person in Maine from the time I was 10… my family had a cottage on Damariscotta Lake where we spent our summers. Actually, we still have our place, thank goodness, and I love going there in the summertime as an adult. I attended college in Waterville at Colby and fell deeply in love with the state of Maine, although I always thought I would move elsewhere to actually have a career and raise a family. But one thing led to another and I never left. And you know what? I’m really glad.
I just love Maine. I love the beauty of it and I love the grittiness of the people here. Maine people appreciate un-phony people who think independently, who don’t care what others think about them, and who live their own lives. I love that Maine is one big small town and it’s really easy to make friends with people all over the state. They say that Mainers are slow to make friends but I don’t believe it. I think if you are friendly to them, they’ll be friendly back and they’ll be deeply loyal friends, the kind you have for a lifetime.
Maine people are really creative about how they spend their free time. They spend a lot of time in the outdoors doing everything from hiking and skiing, to hunting and fishing. Ice fishing is a big sport, which is actually not really a sport since you sit in a shack on a frozen lake and drink while trying to catch fish under the ice. The Maine state beverage is Allen’s Coffee Brandy. I personally prefer Chardonnay, and for that I would probably be accused of being a bit too “foofoo,” or as my friend Crusher says it, “foofified,” but I’m not going to drink Allen’s Coffee Brandy just to be accepted by others. See? That proves that I’m a real Mainer. Maine people don’t do anything just because other people expect them to. That’s just one of the things I love about the state and the people.
Maine people over the centuries have always been really creative. Many great authors have written their novels or poems here, including Harriet Beecher Stowe and Edna Saint Vincent Millay. Artists like Andrew Wyeth, Dahlov Ipcar and Alex Katz have created beautiful paintings here, and we even have one of the world’s most famous (but largely unknown to Mainers) art schools called the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. We also have amazing chefs, farmers, brewers and bartenders who are putting our state on the map as a world-class foodie destination. Some of them make the small plate entrees that are fairly foofoo, but they are still popular, mostly in Portland where the more citified Mainers live.
I’ve owned and operated what has become the largest PR agency in Maine for nearly 25 years, Nancy Marshall Communications. I think I’ve been successful because I am from out of state and I’m a little less humble than a lot of Mainers. Well, to be perfectly honest like a good Mainer, I’m probably a lot less humble. But, I know that and I’m not afraid to say it, which is a good Maine trait. So basically our clients hire my agency to brag on their behalf. And I must say we’re darn good at it. (If I was telling you this in a Maine accent, I might add “YessirreeBob” to that statement.)
I’m also a certified personal branding strategist, which means that I help people to tell the story of what makes them authentic and unique and how to differentiate themselves from others by leveraging their superpowers. My superpower is in networking. I love to network and connect with people all over Maine and beyond. That’s why I’m excited about the Internet and social media because I can sit in my living room and go online and connect with people around the world, some of whom I know already and some of whom I haven’t yet met. I always make it my mission to meet people in person once I’ve connected online, because I feel that authentic relationships are based on face-to-face connections.
So, I am excited that there is a domain for people like me, which is actually .ME. You can have a new website with yourname.me, or yourbusiness.me, and you can embrace your me-ness! Just think of all the businesses that have totally owned their me-ness with slogans like ‘RideMe’ or ‘SkiMe’ or even ‘BeerMe’ and ‘LoveMe.’
Now you can have your website end in a dot ME. Actually, this post was inspired and sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal domains that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are my own, however!
I’m going to work on developing some new websites with .ME. While they’re not technically the official domain of Maine, if you are as into Maine as I am, you might want to think about it, as well.