- Savvy U Branding Part 1: What is a Brand? (cynthiagratzer.com)
- Donald Trump's Top Three Tips for Dominating Your Niche (copyblogger.com)
I am a firm believer that people will work with you and/or buy from you because of YOU not your product. This doesn't mean your product isn't important but if you and your brand are respected so will the company and products you choose to work with. Why? Trust.
Example in the Corporate World: Apple announces a product launch and people are out the door waiting to purchase something no one has seen or tried. It you already trust Apple you know you will buy something that is innovative, fun and has that wow factor.
Example in the MOM World: It is nomination time for the next PTA President. Do you nominate the Candidate that has been on the board one year, attended all of the meetings, you know what her focus is for the schools needs and how they compare to yours and she consistently steps up to volunteer. Or do you vote for the person that has been on the board three years, has followed through with her duties and made some fantastic contributions but has not been to all of the meetings to make herself well known. Both are qualified candidates and done their jobs. Who do you vote for? Why?
Trust and preconceived notions are what will drive your brand. It is up to YOU to define those before anyone else defines them and to stay consistent. There are several parts to creating your brand. In the case of this post series we will be focusing on your personal business brand. This involves the impression when one thinks of you emotionally as well as the continuity and professionalism of your brand. You will need to brand yourself consistently online and offline as you build your business. To help you with this I am going to break this into a series of post to walk you step by step. Don't worry, it may seem like a lot of work at first but once this is done you will have the framework for the lifetime of your business. This is a crucial step that many business owners put on the back burner and before they know it they are out of business. In today's economy you can succeed as an entrepreneur but you must standout. You had a "Why" that gave you the drive to go into business now determine the "Why" people should choose you.
By definition Brand is:
1) A class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer
2) A characteristic or distinctive kind
3) An identifying mark burned on
4) A piece of burning or smoldering wood
5) The poetic/literary definition: sword
This provides a great guideline to establishing your brand. This series will cover all five of these topics related to your business brand. First things first though! Before you can do any of this you need to ask yourself questions and do some research. Focus on the questions below to get you started on defining your brand. These are just a few to get your mind going. Really look at who you are and what you want others to see.
What is your target market? (For me it was Moms)
What is your niche market? (Moms that balance work and home with a focus on Entrepreneurs)
Who do you want to be indentified as?
What characteristics describe you?
How would your friends describe you?
How would your last manager describe you?
How would your clients or past clients describe you?
Are what you are wanting people to think about you and what they are thinking about you lining up?
What do you like to write about?
What do you like to read about?
What experience do you have?
What are you best at?
What do you need to work on?
What is your goal?
Does your target audience share in that goal?
Who do you look at as a mentor?
What is your greatest success?
What feelings do you want your brand to convey?
List in the comment section any questions that have helped you in discovering your brand and any tips!
Over the next 2 weeks I will be continuing this series.
Email marketing can be profitable for any business, no matter what kind of product or service you offer. It is significantly cheaper than other advertising methods and, if done right, helps build loyalty and trust with customers. As a result, you generate more sales and more profits!
The foundation for successful email marketing is a targeted, permission-based email list. Marketers call contact lists their “goldmine” because it can generate much of their sales revenue. If you’ve built up a list of opt-in subscribers that are qualified and interested in what you have to offer, then you’ve completed the first step and are on your way. Now it’s time to “mine” for gold!
Below you’ll find several list-building and retention ideas that will help you get the best results from all your email marketing activities:
1. Provide useful, relevant content. Your visitors will not give you their email addresses just because they can subscribe to your newsletter free of charge. You have to provide unique and valuable information that will be of interest or use to them.
2. Add a subscription form to every page on your website. Make sure it stands out so it is easy to find. If it doesn’t look cluttered, you may want to include more than one on some pages. For instance, if your opt-in form always appears in the top-left corner of your site, you may want to add one at the end of your most popular articles.
3. Add subscription forms to your social media pages. Make sure that you don’t waste this valuable source of revenue opportunities. Integrate your sign-up forms with Facebook and more!
6. Provide samples of your newsletters and Ezines. This lets potential subscribers review your materials before they sign up to determine if it’s something they’d be interested in.
7. Archive past newsletters and articles. An online library of past newsletters and articles is both appealing and useful to visitors and builds your credibility as an authority. In addition, if your articles are written with good SEO techniques in mind, they can increase traffic to your website through enhanced search engine positioning.
8. Give gifts subscribers can actually use. Offer an opt-in bonus for joining your subscriber list! Write an ebook or provide a PDF business report, or even hire a programmer to create downloadable or web-based software. But don’t limit yourself to offering gifts to opt-ins. Give them out when your readers fill out a survey, provide a testimonial, success story, or a great product idea. Let them know when they can expect the next gift offer. Everyone likes to get something for free! And if you pass out “goodies” throughout the year, your subscribers will feel truly appreciated − and that’s good for business!
9. Ask your subscribers to pass it on. Word of mouth is a powerful viral technique that works great with email marketing. If your subscribers find your content interesting, amusing or informative, they’ll probably share it with their friends. This can be a great source of new customers, so make sure to remind them to “pass it on”.
10. Let others reprint your newsletter as long as the content is not modified. If you’re happy to share your content with the universe, then why not! Many webmasters and newsletter publishers are actively looking for high-quality content and, if they reprint your newsletter, you’ll get new subscribers, and more traffic and links pointing to your site.
11. Include a “Sign Up” button in your newsletter. If you’re using plain text instead of HTML, be sure to provide a text link to your subscription page. You may feel that this is not required because the subscriber is already on your list, but remember that readers will forward your newsletters to others, or reprint them online. Make it easy for them to subscribe!
12. Add a squeeze page. A squeeze page has one goal − to acquire opt-ins and build your list. Think of it as a mini-sales letter to go along with your subscription or opt-in gift. It should feature a strong headline and a couple of powerful benefits that should make subscribers salivate to sign up! Once created, use a service such as WordTracker to find hundreds of targeted keywords, and promote your offer using pay-per-click advertising from Google, MSN and Yahoo. Now that should make a splash!
13. Include testimonials on your squeeze page. This is crucial. Put one or two strong testimonials from satisfied customers on your squeeze page. This can be in any format, but you may find that multimedia (audio or video) is more “believable” and inspires more people to action. To further enhance believability, get permission to use actual customer names, locations and/or urls (Don’t use “Bob K, FL”). Add a note inviting others to participate. After all, it’s free publicity!
14. Blog religiously. Blogging is a great way to communicate with prospects and potential customers, and creates a nice synergy with your email marketing. Be sure to include your newsletter sign-up form on each page of your blog. You can start a free blog at Blogger or WordPress.
15. Post on other blogs. Post thoughtful comments and information on similar blogs with a link to your squeeze or opt-in pages. Also comment on others’ blogs through trackbacks. In most cases, your comments will be posted on their blogs with a link back to your site. This is an easy way to generate new traffic and subscribers, and get your brand out there!
There are options for AutoResponders to work with your email list but I completely stand behind Get Response. It is easy to use, they have training videos, endless tools to help your business needs and the customer service is amazing. Check out the video to see the back office of Get Response and some of the services.
Since starting my blog I have so many friends that are wanting to set one up. So, I am going to do a series where you are essentially looking over my shoulder on how to do this. Super easy!! This most important thing I can say is don't be intimidated! I had been wanting to do one but thought it would be way over my head and didn't know who to ask. YOU can do this! Having a blog is great for keeping families up to date on happenings. They are also great for any businesses etc. Maybe you are a budding photographer or a musician and want to have a web presence. This is a great way to get yourself out there. A few things I will be covering in the series are how to set up blogs on different systems such as WordPress, Blogger or WordPress.org. After that I will then go in depth on some tricks to add to your blog by adding widgets and plug ins. If you are ready to move ahead and I haven't covered it but you have question feel free to call me or shoot me an email. You are also welcome to post questions on here and I can give you the answer : )
Here is the first in the series. You can watch it here or connect to my You Tube page with the buttons to the right where is says follow me.
Setting up a WordPress Blog…
1. You must have a web presence. Brand yourself and have a place that people can learn about you and your product. Even a personalized domain name to direct your Blog to as I have done with this Savvy MOMpreneur blog or or your Company Replicated Site. You DO NOT have to know how to set up a site! If you are working with a company that provides you with a replicated site that takes you directly to your personal sales page (for example Southern Living) simply purchase a domain name (maybe your own name .com) and forward the website to your personal Domain. Sound hard, it isn’t trust me if I can do it so can you. Call me and we will do it together! A web presence is a MUST! To purchase your domain go to Dream Host Website.
2. Set up a WordPress.org Blog. There are two WordPress products out there but I suggest using WordPress.org. This is self hosted so you control all of your content. Here is an explanation of the difference.http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/
3. This is actually why I suggest Dream Host for domains and also. Dream Host has so many “one click” installs and WordPress.org is one of those installs along with several others. This service is so easy to use and I love that is isn’t “high techy” looking and confusing just very clean and laid out steps. You can set up your wordpress.org blog through Dreamhost. Once you purchase hosting go in the back office and click “One Click Install for WordPress” and BOOM… you are ready to role! As a bonus from me to you, use the promo code SAVVY when setting up for a Free Domain Registry with your Hosting Service. Dream Host Website
4. Social Media is imperative! People will work with you for YOU. Social Media is often your first impression to potential customers and partners. My personal suggestion is to not waste the time trying to design things yourself for your Facebook Page, Twitter Page, You Tube Page and/or Blog. Turn to the professionals that can knock this out super quick and know what you will need. This is an investment that will pay off quick.Social Media Stardom did mine and he is so easy to work with!!
5. If you want to grow your business, whatever business you are in, you need to have a list of prospects. Contact and communication are key! With an auto-responder system you can create email campaigns that run automatically for you. Total auto pilot! There are plenty of auto-responder companies out there. Get Response stood out for me because of it’s ease of use, ability to easily set up multiple campaigns and it has a Video Email feature! They have also added in pre-designed opt-in boxes that you can customize and add to your website or blog. Today this is one of the fastest ways to build a relationship and make an impact with your client.