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How to develop a personal brand from another country: The experience of an international communications specialist.

Polina Ponomareva (Interviewer): Today I’d like to introduce you to Ksenia Mysak, the founder of Libra’s Secret. In 2020, she published more than ten professional articles in various media outlets, was a speaker on foreign podcasts and live broadcasts, mentored and judged startups in top Russian accelerators, and founded a company in the United States. 

Interviewer: You have expertise in international communications. Could you explain what the concept of international communications entails?  

Mysak: International communication is essential to the interaction of different cultures. It includes communication between companies, people from different countries, as well as communication among geographical states. We are all familiar with the phenomenon of globalization, Well, I believe that international communication enhances and aids the process of globalization. Due to cultural and linguistic peculiarities, we and, for example, our colleagues from France, put different meanings in the same words. Therefore, it is important to deliberately convey information using language, etiquette, and visual elements if we are talking about the internet and the global transmission of information. 

Interviewer: Two week after you arrived in the Unite State a lockdown was announced due to the COVID-19 virus. What did you feel when realized that you wouldn’t be able to return to Russia shortly? 

Mysak: I came to the states in the spring of 2020 to develop my startups. One of these startups focuses on robotic prostheses, while the other analyzes reading signals in the brain. Before the lockdown was announced, I had even successfully talked to investors about supporting these business opportunities. I was in San Francisco when the mass panic started. The initial plan was to return to Moscow immediately, but an acquaintance of mine suggested that we stop by New Orleans for a couple of days before leaving. When we arrived in New Orleans, news broke that the USA’s international borders were officially closed. I was of course scared, as I was uncertain of what would happen. I was here as a tourist, essentially without work, in an unfamiliar city during a pandemic. 

Interviewer: Were you fearful of losing customers while you were stuck indefinitely in another country? 

Mysak: Yes, that was one of my biggest fears. That is why it was necessary to figure out how to remain a sought-after specialist. So, I decided to maintain a high-profile professional status, marketing my skills and abilities in organizational public relations and   non-profit assistance.

Interviewer: How did you choose your strategy of action? 

Mysak: I was in another country, which limited my choice of possible instruments and resources. So, I turned my attention to the online platform. I acknowledge that it was more profitable to engage with my audience through public online speeches, webinars, podcasts, and remotely published articles. These different types of avenues allow me to target specific micro-communities. I already had a professional image, but it was mostly offline. I recognized that the lockdown presented a great opportunity for me to increase my media exposure. In the online media marketplace, it is important to offer innovative services that directly benefit people. That is, to remain relevant, you cannot simply rewrite material already written by someone else. You need to convey new information in a structured way. Again, the online platform was a fairly new format for me as a professional. 

Interviewer: During the pandemic, many lost their internal fuse. How were you able to maintain interest and make the decision to continue doing what you love? 

Mysak: As I said, online public activity is a new format for me. I was interested in getting this skill, and a lot of time was freed up for this due to the lockdown. In general, interest is about an inner spark. People think that they like to do something, but then realize that they do not have the proper time to fully engage with that interest. is no time for it. When you have so much free time, you realize what interests you. 

Interviewer: At the time of your arrival (in the states), you were running your startups, which had to be suspended due to the pandemic. At what point and why did you decide to open Libra’s Secret? Could you tell us more about this company? 

Mysak: Yes, unfortunately the startups had to be suspended and the team disbanded. At that time, the idea came to start developing the field of international communication here in the United States.  If I’m going to wait out the pandemic here, I can at least try something new for myself. Much of what Libra’s Secret does is video editing and short free training videos. Communication through video is more effective than printed words, just a voice, or a picture. A video combines several elements at once. For cross-border communication, it is important to use videos as an organizational tool. Regarding international communications, video ads can be understood by people from different countries if subtitles are added, as meanings are often unclear without translation or visual words. In some cases, communicating through videos also helps save advertising campaign budgets and increase brand awareness. 

Interviewer: What are your professional expectations for 2021?

Mysak:I would like to understand how the American market works. Considering that a lot of online content is being created, we will try to enter the market with video editing services. 

Interviewer: Thank you for your time. 

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