Dominique B. Fluker is an innovative content strategist that specializes in launching effective and impactful programming for high profiled brands…but don’t let me spoil too much of her story. Let’s get to know Dominique:
What was your journey like to get to where you are today?
I’m from East Oakland, California, and the environment that I grew up in shaped my worldview and perspective, but I never imagined that it would alter my life. When I left for Sarah Lawrence College, I had two parents. When I graduated from SLC in 2014; I had one, my mother. In 2013, during my domestic exchange program at Spelman College, my mother called me to let me know that my father had passed in his car due to a stray bullet while I was in my dorm room.
The realization was indescribable, so I’m not going to try to formulate a sentence on how I felt once hearing the news. Still, it taught me a vital lesson; life is incredibly short and that I shouldn’t wait to accomplish and go after my dreams. I’ve always been an ambitious and driven person, but since the death of my father, I kicked it into overdrive. By the time I was a senior at SLC, I had worked one job as a Library Assistant, another as a Public Relations Graduate Student Assistant to our Head of Communications and a babysitter. I was interning in Manhattan for Manhattan Magazine as their marketing intern, all while managing a full course load. I was stressed, unhappy, and physically sick, and due to the pressure, I had my first ulcer. I pushed through because I knew I had to graduate and get a job after graduation, and I also felt like I owed that to my father.
I didn’t know then that I was depressed and overworking myself. However, I was fortunate to have a strong community base at Spelman College, Sarah Lawrence College and through family, mentors, friends, and the Berkeley Community Fund. I also learned several vital lessons of self-preservation, time management, grit, dedication, hope, and how to be humble enough to ask for help.
In addition to my work as a content and social strategist, I would like to believe that I have a budding writing career. In 2018 I embarked on my writing journey with ForbesWomen and ESSENCE Magazine. Within 11 months, I was able to strategize and bring 30 stories to life that are centered in millennial based entrepreneurship, specifically highlighting women of color. In August of 2018, ForbesWomen promoted me to Senior Contributor and invited me to speak on the “Standing Out From The Pack.” panel at Forbes HQ, which highlighted my articles and the decision to profile millennial women of color entrepreneurs in business and the arts.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved to write. However, starting my blog, Werque by Dominique Brielle in 2016 allowed me to write for fun while exploring Q&A/career profiles of millennial women within my network. My blog brought me visibility and creative freedom, ultimately leading me to a ForbesWomen networking event where I met my previous editor. I emailed her some of my blog posts, and she challenged me to think of several different topics for pieces of writing. Although it took me about five months to convince her to bring me on as a contributor, I kept being consistent and was offered a contract to sign on January 1st, 2018. I’m incredibly passionate about telling stories of other dynamic millennial women and helping brands explore the interconnectivity of culture and communication through social media to garner awareness and to create a sizable impact.
As creativities, we get burnt out. What do you do to stay creative & inspired?
Besides keeping abreast on the latest pop-culture and news by reading some of my favorite media outlets frequently (Essence, New York Times, Teen Vogue, Elle, ForbesWomen), I also foster my creativity through reading fiction, mainly fiction literature authored by African-American women. I tend to tap into my creativity by taking time to internalize and focus on what I would like to tackle next. I don’t get swayed by outside opinions or the noise of the internet. Although it might sound cliché, roses, silence, art, and aesthetics genuinely inspire me.
In a world that isn’t always authentic, how do you manage to stay authentic and transparent with your audience and content?
I have to stay true to myself. I’m a highly intuitive person, and I follow my lead. Sharing my story authentically, allows me to connect and resonate with my audience organically. Because I don’t have an “easy” or cookie-cutter life journey, my viewers can easily resonate with drive, grit, and passion for getting to where I am today. I believe every person is multi-dimensional and should be considered as a dynamic human. When creating my content, I think of what my audience needs, whether it’s career and lifestyle tips to sheer inspiration.
You have produced high-quality content for several top brands. What are three tips would you give someone looking to step up their content game?
1. Do your research: Get to know your audiences inside and out. What makes them interested? What do they need or want to know?
2. Personal Brand: Who are you? Do you even know? It’s crucial to establish your narrative early on, so people can understand you outside of the work behind the byline.
3. Know your brand voice: Whether you’re an aspiring copywriter for a Fortune 500 company or editorial writer, be sure that you can adapt while also stylizing the brand’s voice.
This is the generation of shooting your shot. What three tips would you give someone trying to pitch?
Girl! Get in there. Be hungry. Your spot can be taken so quickly. You have to want it. Do the work to back up the talk. A great attitude, extreme work ethic, and a strong point of view will take you far. When pitching media or yourself, make sure you know your narrative inside and out. You have to give a reason for someone to care.
How do you balance everything? You #LiveFabulously, #SlayConsistently & #WerqueLikeABoss.
Jesus, HE gets me through. In all honesty, I would be nothing without my faith and a strong belief in myself and my dreams. At times, I’m not able to balance everything, but I aim to block out my time efficiently. I always make sure to carve out at least one hour per day to myself during the week, on the weekends, I usually give myself a day to any self-care regimen of my choice. My passion for writing, branding, and aesthetics fuel my drive consistently.
What moment has shaped you into the woman you are today?
1. My father being murdered.
2. Becoming a first-generation college graduate.
3. When ForbesWomen believed in me.
4. When ESSENCE Magazine believed in me.
5. Living in Florence, Italy.
6. Meeting someone that believed in my dreams and capabilities more than I did.
What is your favorite quote, and why?
“It’s difficult when you are the first, the only, and different.” – Shonda Rhimes
What would be your last meal?
Pesto pasta with shrimp and the best white wine I could find.
What is your favorite recipe/dish to create for dinner with friends, and why?
I heard that my grilled salmon with wild rice and arugula is pretty tasty. I love straightforward, clean, and healthy meals that can easily be prepared throughout the workweek.