Are You Making Your Mark?

Storytelling…it is not the new ‘it’ thing. If you haven’t been telling your story, you’ve been missing out on a crucial part of brand building.

Guess what? You, yes YOU are a brand. The way to cut through the noise is not the outlet through which you tell your story, it’s the story itself.

You are your brand. As an entrepreneur, you are the pulse of your brand. And you and only you can verbalize this.

Amy C. Cosper, Editor-In-Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine says, “Building a brand is one of those mission critical but challenging exercises that all entrepreneurs, really all companies, go through to define how the world views them and their business. Brands represent the soul of your idea and its values, your story and its authenticity.”

Branding is a monster all on its own. It is a process that brings together emotions and values and how you want the two conveyed to others. It’s not a logo. It’s emotional. Its purpose is to trigger an emotional response from your customers. And when it comes to emotions, well, saddle up Chica…that is where it gets serious.

Branding is not just the messy narrative, it’s about claiming something as your own. The only way to truly leave your mark, is by telling your story, but more importantly, knowing your story.

The latest issue of Entrepreneur is dedicated to the idea of establishing your brand. Be it by your packaging, a meme or a gif…the end goal is to tell the world what you take a stance on, authentically. That my friend, is branding.

How Are You Making Your Mark? 

12 Steps to Building A Fabulous Personal Brand

Building a personal brand is something that you work on on different levels. It genuinely begins with knowing yourself better and knowing what you stand for. You then need to understand what you want to communicate to your target audience.

A personal brand is a vision and when you speak about your brand, it should always become about your message.

Here are 12 Steps to consider while building a fabulous personal brand:

1: Determine your unique value proposition

Stop. Take a minute and spend some time thinking about what makes you different. Think about your strengths, your passions, and your goals. Know who you are -most importantly, who you are not.

2: Find out how others see you

Ask trusted colleagues, co-workers, and friends for 3-5 adjectives they would use to describe you. Ask specifically: In which areas do they view you as “irreplaceable?” What are you good at? What are your strengths? Use these adjectives in your marketing copy.

3: Identify your goals

Where would you like to be in 30 days ? One year? Five years? Defining your goals helps you craft a message that helps you reach your goals.

4: Identify your target audience

Just like Dunkin’ Doughnuts knows that their target audience is coffee drinkers, you need to understand who will be receiving your message. This will help you master your message and to deliver it in the right places.

5: Reevaluate your priorities

As an independent business owner, woman, spouse, mother…you’re probably used to putting yourself last. While you still want to be loyal to your clients, colleagues and family, please remember to be loyal to yourself, first.

6: Pay attention to the details

Everything you do contributes to your personal brand. Once you’ve defined your brand, make sure that the way you dress, your body language, how you interact with others, the emails you write are all consistent with your brand message.

7: Update your resume

Go through your resume to determine if it resonates with your brand and that it accurately defines who you are, and is in alignment with both your short and long-term goals.

8: Become a social networker

If you haven’t already done so, set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and ask those in your target audience to follow and subscribe to your pages. Make sure you update on a regular basis. Make sure your updates resonates your message.

9: Build your own website

That’s right. Your website should be about you. It should highlight your professional accomplishments, your skill set and your knowledge, what you stand for, and your value. Make it about you, not your company or clients.

10: Blog

Blogging makes it easier than ever to promote yourself to your target audience. Make the commitment to posting 1-3 times a week on topics that your audience will find interesting and educational. These posts should highlight your skills and experience.

11: Get published

Write the book. Let me write that again: Write a book! Also, contribute to industry publications and update the content on your site. Being published is a great way to promote yourself as an expert in your field.

12: Pound the Pavement and Go Offline

Make sure that you are promoting your brand in person as well as you are online. Join and participate in industry groups, give talks at conferences, or lead a project that showcases your unique talents.

 

Self-promotion is an extremely important part of building your brand (if no one knows of your accomplishments or the company you work for, then how are they going to do business with you?), the biggest factor that separates you personal branding from shameless self-promotion is value.

Your Marketing Checklist for 2016

I know you’re probably on ‘New Year, New Goals’ overload…BUT if you want to rock out your marketing in 2016, please bare with me.

 

You’re a smart entrepreneur and I’m sure you want to #StepIntoYourPower in ALL aspects of your life and business. Here are 5 strategies to give your marketing a powerful boost:

 

  1. Market less. Say what?!?!? What I mean by this is that you know what isn’t working. So do less of that and also, don’t overextend yourself marketing in places where you don’t have the ability to sustain a long term effort. Focus on mastering 1 marketing platform at a time. Become indispensable in 1 area and in 1 network. And, meet your customers where they are.
  2. Focus on subscribers. The way to do that in a digital arena is by sharing valuable content on a specific date and a specific time. It’s like making an appointment with your audience. Create anticipation and reliability for it.
  3. Amplify your distribution. Creating valuable content is one thing, getting eyeballs to it…another. Build momentum by focusing on your subscribers and audience BUT you may need to consider paid promotion/distribution. Yes, this looks like print/online advertising. Include it in your budget for the year as it’s imperative to keep your business visible.
  4. Align your assets. From a branding/marketing perspective what this means is that after taking a look at all your social media platforms ( Facebook Page, Twitter presence, LinkedIn Groups, YouTube Channel, blog, newsletter, etc.) can you answer this: If your logo fell off your marketing materials, would people know it was coming from you? If yes, AWESOME SAUCE! If no, take stock of your efforts and realign. They should all have the same look/feel as well as an improved user experience.
  5. Mobile is where it’s at. If there is one thing you need to make sure of is that your website is optimized for mobile. Believe it or not, between 75-85% of sales happen on a mobile device. Yes, you read that correctly…75-85%! That’s a crap load of sales or signups that you’re missing out on if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices. Get. On. It!

 

Make 2016 your most successful year ever! Step into your marketing power with these easy strategies to add to you marketing mix! Join me tonight for an in-person discussion! RSVP HERE!

Photo Credit: Mobile-Cuisine.com

Have a question? Please, leave me a comment below!

Personal Branding 101

personal branding

 

personal brand is something you work on building in so many levels. It all starts with getting to know yourself better. You then need to understand what you want to communicate to your target audience. This all happens before even opening your mouth (or posting in social media).

It’s simple really: A personal brand is a vision. And when you speak about your brand, it should become all about the message -not about hard-selling yourself.

While self-promotion is an extremely important part of building your brand (if no one knows of your accomplishments or the company you work for, then how are they going to do business with you?), it also seems that the biggest factor separating personal branding from shameless self-promotion is value.

If a person provides value with his/her content, then all the self-promotion is justified because people will benefit from the content.

Once you really understand your values you’ll know what you want your brand image to be. You must also align your communication and overall message with your target audience, not only the message.

It is not wrong to provide information about the content that you provide. Just make sure that it is targeted to the right audience an be personal while doing it.

I’ll be leading a workshop on personal branding for ETTWomen at our North Jersey Chapter! Join us HERE!

The Craft of Branding Yourself: 10 Ways to Define Your Business Goals

smart goal setting- Photo Credit: 3AM Teacher Designs
Yesterday, Lynette shared with you the process of setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals. Today I want to add some suggestions in the aspect of branding because before you even get started in that process, you have to define what you want your brand to communicate
If you haven’t done that, know that defining your business’s goals is actually a very helpful way to brand your business.
 
Let’s not forget that when you visualize the ultimate goals of your business, smaller goals become more attainable.
 
Defining your business goals also helps you stay on track, and anyone else who may be managing your business in the future. Your goals and a business plan will help you to stay focused.
Here are ten things to keep in mind when setting your goals:
  1. Be specific: unspecific goals will create the problem of losing track of where your business is going.
  2. Create a business plan: it is a great way to outline goals as well as calculate finances and tools that will help accomplish those goals.
  3. Set both short-term goals and long-term goals: turning dreams into business goals, as we should, is very easy…but shorter, more technical goals can help better track your success.
  4. Stay committed: an obvious point, but think of lifestyle changes that will help you commit to the goals that you have made.
  5. Make goals public: Make your business and goals associated with it as public as possible. If you only share with friends and family, then so be it. This will help motivate you to complete goals — keep your business on track, but it will also hold you accountable.
  6. Be realistic: It’s ok to dream, but set achievable goals for a given time frame.
  7. Set relevant goals: If a goal ends up providing little or nothing to the growth of the business, then why continue to pursue it. A relevant goal would be, for example: outsourcing some of things that may be overwhelming your productivity.
  8. Create an action plan for each goal: “I’d like to own my own store some day”, is not enough. Have a goal-by-goal plan to complete broader goals like this: make the goal actionable.
  9. Keep everything in line when working on a new goal: Reaching goals means business and lifestyle changes, so assess  that your finances and other forms of security are still tightly in place throughout the process.
  10. Take a step back to analyze the progress: Take what you’ve learned onto the next goal. As an example, if you’re trying to market your business better, what marketing strategies have worked? Which haven’t work?
ETTWomen Planner and Productivity Guide

Daily Sheet from Our Planner

Have you defined your business goals for the coming year? Please share below in the comment section.

 

How Influencers Affect Your Bottom Line: Some Pointers on Influencer Marketing

ASquicci_ETTWoman-16

Think back to your last item or service you bought. Maybe you were looking for a new pair of comfortable work shoes or a new eye doctor. Where did you find the information? Who did you ask? I know you didn’t start cold-call DSW but I bet you you did ask people who you know.

People listen to other people first. They will always trust them more.

Hat day! Ready for a #fabulous #fashion show hosted by @thestyleduo! Have an amazing #ManicMonday 💋 (@JingAiSkin Red Rascal) #BELLANewYork #ThePowerOfRed #BeautyScene #NJ #Fashion #Beauty

People do consume branded content however, they first vet their friends, neighbors and online personalities they know, like and trust before purchasing.

If a brand is using influencer marketing, this is not a problem at all.

You can extend your brand’s reach, inspire user-generated content and boost your sales by:

  1. Identifying the right influencers for your brand, campaign and audience.
  2. Engaging with influencers using an established process.
  3. Keep influencers loyal and vocal with relationship management tips.

The Shelf, an influencer marketing program, finds that 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from other people, even people they don’t know personally, over branded content.

The role of social media influence is equally strong, according to a new report from Deloitte:

  1. Social media influences one in three U.S. consumers’ purchasing choices.
  2. Consumers who use social media when making a buying decision are four times more likely to spend more on purchases than those who do not.
  3. Shoppers who use social media to make a buying decision are 29 percent more likely to make a purchase the very same day.

People listen to what brands have to say, but they’re going to turn to their neighbors and ask, “What do you think? How’s the customer service? Are you happy with the product or service?”

Social isn’t some foreign activity; it’s people’s lives on the go.

The way a brand builds credibility through social is through authenticity and influence. It’s the right person coupled with a targeted message, platform and audience that gets the job done, not the messenger or content alone.

Many brands are focusing on influencers who have a smaller, more engaged following and are the most relevant to their customers and that trend will continue.

 

Influencer marketing is impactful. It grows brand awareness and reach. It can even boost your sales. Most importantly, it can make your brand a little more “human.”

As you develop relationships with influencers, the brand becomes their friend. What do people do when they have a really good friend? They tell their friends.

 

Do you have a question? PLEASE leave me a comment below! 

Some data for this post was taken from Cision.com

Success In a Dress “Sales Tip Of The Week #8”

funnyI know when I say the word “sales” to most people, there are a lot of words that are used to describe what sales means to them. I don’t remember hearing the words exciting, or humorous, or fun!

Let’s be honest, I hear words like pushy, scary, hard, even sleazy. The truth is if you are passionate about your product or service sales can actually be fun! I know for the most part, presentations can be boring. I get that, but again, if you love what you do how hard can showing that be if you really think about it? Just remember when you are presenting your product or service to a potential customer, be excited, upbeat and enthusiastic!

Humor is also another way to break the ice when you are ready to give a presentation and can actually help you to close the sale!

How? When you are ready to begin, tell your personal story and add a funny “short” story that can relate to your product or service, or your situation. You can even fit it in during the presentation if the timing and topic fit at that moment!

Watch your potential client’s body language change. You will actually see the people sitting through your presentation relax and some stress relieved from their faces. It can also help you to connect with them.

If you tend to be on the quieter side, or even stiff and rigid while you are giving a presentation -you need to change it up!

Start to add something funny that truly happened to you that you share on your next presentation and see what happens.

We are constantly growing, learning and mastering our sales craft. It is o.k. to critique yourself and change and add new techniques. We are all always evolving no matter how long we’ve been in sales. You just may see that after you add some humor and become more enthusiastic and add more excitement to your presentation, you will close more business!

Have a question?

Contact me Lmb0516@live.com or tweet me @lynettebarb

Also, please ‘like’ us on FB.com/ETTWomen

Top 5 Lessons From #TheDress

715

Have you been living under a rock? I didn’t think so. This means you have seen/participated in the global phenomenon that was “The Dress”.

More than Kim Kardashian’s behind, more then Ellen’s Oscar selfie, the dress sparked shares and conversations around the world. Was it a trick? Was it a clever promotion? Nope, just a woman taking a picture of a dress to share with her daughter in consideration for a wedding.

As a small business owner, it is my dream to have something I share make this much impact. So I have been studying what we can all learn from it.

Here are my top 5 Lesson from #TheDress:

  1. Perception is reality.
    Blue and Black or White and Gold, it didn’t matter how you saw it, it was right. If your customer’s see your brand differently then you do, it is time to either adjust your own thinking or your focus to put you both on the same page.
  2. Conversation is key.
    It’s a dress that got people talking. If you are in product based business, putting your items into unusual environments might garner the wanted results, service based businesses may want to discuss misuse or abuse in your industry and how you don’t do that.
  3. Use what you have.
    All she had was a picture of a dress, posted it on tumblr and asked a question. Engage with your audience where they are. Ask them questions, give them advice, play games. You don’t have to do this everywhere either. If you love pinterest, use that. I am most comfortable on twitter (@traceyknits) and talk there more than anyplace else.
  4. Trending.
    You can tie-in anything. Note how I took the topic of the dress and turned it into something else. If everyone is talking about it, it is easy to get people to be interested in what you have to say about it.
  5. Keep it simple.
    A dress and a question. For you it could be a picture of a grumpy cat and a tagline about your business. Don’t overthink it, you never know what is going peek someone’s interest, just keep trying different things.

So what color did you see? And what did you take away from this viral sensation? Would love to know, leave me a comment below!

Tracey Rediker is owner of Tracey Knits,
maker of playful hand-knit golf club covers.
WebsiteFacebookTwitterYoutube

Photo Credit: Buzz Feed

REAL RELATIONSHIPS AND APPRECIATION FOR VALUE

Although numbers are important to show growth or stature, should the focus of a business be on the quantity or the quality of their customers?
The quality and AWESOME service a business strives to offer should be their presentation letter and establishing REAL relationships should be their goal.

So, when receiving a message like this one, we continue to focus on making your experience with us, valuable:

“WOW! I did it – a whole week of blogging completed and I actually am enjoying it. Who would have thought that this technically challenged woman would be able to accomplish such a thing.

I just wanted to share a few thoughts:

  • Blogging is not as hard as it seemed if you talk about what you know. Thank you Vanessa Coppes and Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, LLC for helping me to see that.
  • Be yourself!
  • People actually read what I write. I know this sounds crazy because why else would you blog, right? I didn’t think I had anything to say – SURPRISE! I love sharing about things that mean something to me. Who knows somewhere along the way, it might actually help someone else that is struggling.
  • Along with this goes the fact that if people read it, you may be asked to step out of the realm of cyber space and actually share in person about what you have written about in your blog. Welcome to “stepping out of your comfort zone”!
  • Lastly, the easiest way for me to keep up with the blogging (since Vanessa said do it for 30 days – EVERY DAY) is to make a list of things as I think of them. Then in the morning I can look at the list if I can’t think of anything to write about, and I have a list of topics or ideas to get me going.

I will share more of my life’s journey – the good, the bad and the not so pretty – as time goes on. ” HOPE WISSEL

Workshop & Think Tank With Jalanda James

On April 9th, 2013 at The Goddard School of Marlboro, 15 School Rd. E, expert NYC videographer Jalanda James discussed the importance of video as a powerful marketing tool for business.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons