Tag: brand story

30
Aug

3 Things I Learned from My Recent Failure

Every failure feels like a crushing defeat that makes me question my self-worth and purpose. While I desired to wear multiple hats, meet every request, and bring a success, my toolset is incomplete and my skill across all disciplines is far from mastery. I can be chef and sous chef and wait tables, but that dilutes my genius. Attempting to focus on my strengths, I was asked to “stretch” and I agreed. In this effort, I could not reach far enough fast enough—though I gave my all in every attempt.

The course-corrections taken did not lead to smooth sailing. Resources were slim to none and new demands came on so strong, it was like drinking from a fire hose. I kept trying … and I will continue to seek the most productive outcome in every endeavor… still, I have not met with the delight of complete satisfaction.

Sometimes when you try to be and do everything, you become nothing, or a lot less than all.

However, when asked to step up to the plate, you gotta give it all ya got! Especially with a startup gig. The rush to get on base often requires concurrent planning and execution. Stutter steps happen along the way as the path becomes clarified and players come in and out of the game.

My “lane” is the strategic development. I create the brand plan—and the client team implements it. Areas for possible trip-ups include that there isn’t complete buy-in and there aren’t resources for implementation. Both of these bumps were present on this path, along with other challenges.

Still, when working for the vision, it is tough to realize disappointment. The victories drive action while defeat deflates momentum. I can only own my role — the few ways I could make a stronger player.

There were moments of victory. The joy of accomplishment fed my spirit till the next shoe fell behind in the race to forge ahead. When the brand plan was embraced and approved, things looked promising. And then there were the “squirrels” and distractions. Clients often desire to refresh the look before it takes hold. They want variety for the sake of amusement—not for the efficacy of impression. And, in the end, the client is always right. I can only create the plan, get approval, and remind them to stay on plan. When it is insisted to veer, I can only attempt to redirect traffic. And, often, I did.

I dared and I fell short of desired results. It would be tempting to come up with a single reason that things didn’t work out. But it isn’t that simple. And I must wrestle with, scrutinize, and learn from every misstep—as well as the few successes along the way. Perhaps I shall awaken to a new calling—all I know is that I’m trying to find my way. Here are the key takeaways from this unanswered prayer.

FIRST, make sure there is a PLAN.

If there is no plan, then there are only two choices. One is to create a plan and two is to walk away. I accepted an invitation to assist with marketing and branding projects for a startup in transition. There was a website, there was a business structure that was being revised for multiple entities — The Icon, The NonProfit Organization, The ForProfit Organization.

There was no plan. No vision. No mission. No strategy. At least, nothing in writing. Nothing shared. Here I offered to craft a short-term solution but the priority was set otherwise. I should have insisted on that being created or established in writing before proceeding. Instead, I took the carrot and ran with the project and its evolving particulars.

Thus, when I agreed to create a brand strategy for The Icon, it was an effort that stood alone and actually would be expected to lead all other actions. However, I was not in a position to be a leader in the developing organization structure, and there was no staff on board in the organization(s) to lead.

This leads to, SECOND, make sure there is staff or PERSONNEL to assist with execution. 

After attempting to bring in colleagues to flesh out the talent pool, and realizing personality conflicts with the client, I made the mistake of attempting to fly solo and find resources along the way. I was in charge of developing the overall strategy for The Icon brand, however, it became clear that there was no implementation team. While there was an intention to assemble and hire a team, there was not a network in place.  

Wanting to bring my “superpowers” and to realize success for the project, I took on the tasks of implementation across platforms that, strategically, required being revised, updated, or created. I spread myself too thin and I employed my adequate but not masterful skills of design, webmaster, leader, and etc to attempt translating the brand strategy across marketing efforts. I called for help and called out the gaps. Some were filled. Others remained gaping.

It was a disaster at best. The issues were many-fold. Time ticked away at its unforgiving pace and I was losing efficiency bouncing from one last-minute priority to another as deadlines flew in my face like pixels in a video game. People came in the fold for a while — for instance, a woman stepped up to take charge of social media — and the relief of assistance was further taxed by the need to train and align them. 

For this, I created a plan — the Social Media Strategy was developed to assist brand presentation across Facebook and YouTube. From distinguishing a Profile from a Page and then concurrently creating a Celebrity Page on top of the existing NonProfit Organization Page plus planning for an eCommerce Page for exquisite items in the warehouse, this effort quickly scaled beyond reach. And, then the social media manager left the building.

With my hands full, I failed to pick up the threads and weave them into place, and I realized there was no clear path for reconciling all the loose ends. There was nowhere to turn.

So my last major key lesson is, THIRD, make sure there is a PROCESS—or that there are many processes—in place to support success. 

Key processes include Defining, Supporting, and Reporting. The reporting structure needs clear definition so that attention can be brought to the weaknesses and shortfalls in order to thwart disaster. In the changing business structures, the Board of Directors members revolved in and out of the organization, and then disappeared. The one consistent Director traveled for work and was not a businessman so had little efficacy in leading the pack, though he took responsibility for funding all.

Expectations were often unclear and the scope of work changed during each project. I created and executed a series of Social Media posts that were determined to be off-brand after the fact — so I deleted all of them. Getting aligned was difficult and getting approvals was even more difficult. All input and feedback came from The Icon, who really should not have been bothered with such detail, and yet there was nowhere else to turn.

A process for defining the details including deadlines and every duty would assist progress to the plan. And a system of support is critical. Weekly meetings would veer off agenda so effective review didn’t happen and next steps were not certainly determined. I failed to create a place to give shared visibility to all so that changing dates and demands would be communicated undeniably and in a timely fashion. 

I failed to uphold “no” when demands grew beyond my ability to stretch. I failed to “stop” and regroup to ensure alignment and support. I failed to find a way to voice requirements for success in a way that would capture attention and yield success that was better than haphazard. “Step up!” it was commanded. Get ‘er done! Then, even the victories got lost in the fog of let down.

I couldn’t dissuade the escalation of activity so disappointment was the way. This won’t be my experience next time, not at the next opportunity.

And a bonus key comes to mind; FOURTH, make sure you are a fit, PERSONALLY.

Camaraderie and cohesion aid accomplishment. While I met weekly with The Icon, I rarely felt heard. While I respect and revere the position of The Icon, I worked to remain objective. I did not find a way to drink the kool-aid and still serve in my hired role. Keeping out of the grey area meant keeping out of the cultural current. I attended a couple events to get to know the energy of The Icon’s work, as direct experience assists understanding and the ability to message it. Still, I felt it important to serve in my role rather than be served by The Icon. I stayed on the sidelines, in my lane of hired hand.

So again, perhaps I am not a fit in this as I see the newly hired full-time staff immerse themselves in the flow while taking on challenges full force. Or perhaps this is the plight of a contractor vs an employee — always on the outside looking in.

While I am drawn to The Icon and the work, I have a perspective of an observer and I keep my personal boundaries with great care. It is, perhaps, not the best alignment for this particular client. With full-time staff on board, there is a new direction emerging. So be it. I will hang on to the glimpses of achievement in the sea of simultaneous engineering this startup went through. Growing pains. Awkward like adolescence. Now taking off to experience the next stage of expansion.

My goal is to learn from this adventure in failure. To hone my strengths and shore up my weaknesses. And, one day, the people who doubt me will be the ones who talk about the one day when they met me. I might even be one of them.

I should have declined projects when we discussed that I was the wrong person for the detail work. It was out of alignment with my skill set. When asked to step up, I did. I should have said no. Still, some things went well. Overall it was disappointing. In trying to be everything, I was reduced to nothing.

8
Mar

Pearls of Wisdom

It was an honor, a privilege, and a joy to step out on stage and present “Script Your Shift” to the Pearls of Wisdom tribe. What a perfect place to cut a groove in this new chapter of my life. In case you missed it, here is the video. For a Pitch Perfect session, eMail me at Tamara@TamaraParisio.com. Let me assist you to create the script for your starring role in your success!

SCRIPT YOUR SHIFT. Write down your goals. Business Plan, Personal Manifesto, or Strategic Map, put pen to paper to improve performance. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants (it only takes 30 to be statistically significant). She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. A modality employed to make the process entertaining rather than daunting is to approach your plan as a script for your success. And, you are cast in the starring role as the lead character. Here are three examples of clients who stepped into the celebrity of their success.

Anita Miranda the Official Lipstick Reader

CHARACTER

From psychic fairs to celebrity parties and luxury events, Anita Miranda stepped up into high heels to expand in stardom as The Official Lipstick Reader.  

CAST

After establishing her starring character, Sherry Anshara attracted the supporting cast, including influencer Vishen Lakiani of mindvalley.

SCENE

To set the scene, Donna Sparaco shows up in full character, Daily Dose A Donna, to motivate and inspire with her proprietary program, Set Your Dial to Joy.

Download a pdf of the Script Your Shift handout.

21
Aug

Positioning Your Product or Brand

Positioning is a facet of the marketing strategy that aims to give your product or brand a distinct perception — relative to competing brands — in the mind of the customer. An historic campaign for Avis reflects this: “Avis Is Only №2, We Try Harder.”

In developmental stages, determine the positioning you intend for your product or brand. Research and market feedback will help you discover if it is aligned with actual consumer attitudes. If not, then marketing messages can help close the gap or change perception.

Positioning is an art. Great positioning tells a compelling, attention grabbing story — a story that resonates with your audience. — Rebel Brown

The positioning process begins with identifying a market problem or opportunity, then developing a solution — often based on market research, segmentation and supporting data. Once positioning is determined, it will help align and guide marketing efforts and business objectives. The perfume I use is the indulgent scent for pleasure seekers. Thus, the tone and manner of messages, images, events and PR are created to consistently express this in all communication.

Again, positioning is the perception of your product or brand in the mind of the customer. Perception is reality. Aim to establish the highest and best use for your brand among your audience. And, be open to emerging alternate audiences, too. Here are some examples of common positioning strategies and how they might translate in the marketplace.

DEMOGRAPHICS Place your solution among those best served by gender, age, income, area, etc. If you try to be everything to everyone, you may not appeal to anyone.

PRICE Present your solution as an affordable option with a low price point or elevate your products or services among the competition with a high price point to create a perceived value (or reflect a real value).

DISTRIBUTION The environment and locations where you sell your product communicate quality and value propositions like convenience or specialty items. Select your sales channels to align with your desired positioning.

AFFINITY Find your tribe. Those who desire to align with your proposition. Position your solution to engage group loyalty of customers with a common, personal denominator.

Positioning is how you communicate benefits of your solution to your audience. Everything from where you make your product, how you make it, where you sell it, and for how much will convey subtle queues to the market. Align positioning elements with the overt messages employed in promotions, advertising, and public relations. Ultimately, positioning is how your market sees your solution among the alternatives.

21
Jun

6 Tips to Hone Your Investor Pitch

There’s the windup, and then there’s the pitch.

The pitch is critical to every startup. It’s your story; your identity; your compelling reason for being. And you have to get it in the strike zone in order to keep your company alive and to ensure that it thrives. Pitching your startup to investors—or to potential customers—can be overwhelming.

You have to know your stuff—your budget, your offerings, your advertising, your brand story, and more. This is your lifeline to resources. And, your future rests on the success of your delivery. To assist you to perfect your pitch, here are a few tips to get your story straight.

Know your why.

Storytelling is all the rage in advertising, and now in business branding. Sharing your story in the most compelling, powerful manner builds connection and credibility among potential customers and with investors.

Once you have your why—the reason you do what you do—it is much easier to find those interested in that passion. And, it is often said that when you are focused on your why, the how shows up and the what doesn’t matter.

Have a plan—a booming business plan.

The greatest idea in the world will not have a chance in surviving execution without proper planning. A solid business plan that clearly expresses your strategy and tactics, including how capital will be used, plans to scale the business, and reasonable anticipated growth will give an investor confidence that there will be a return on their money.

A solid plan shows the investor that you are knowledgeable about your product, the competitors, the market opportunity, the industry, and the future of your business. Reinforce your business plan with the critical details. Determine your break-even point, then customize the plan to demonstrate monthly cashflow. When the business is your baby, your pitch is especially essential to build a community of credibility and support.

Show sustainability.

Sustainability is continuous viability and longevity. It is key to obtaining funding from VCs and angel investors. It is also critcal in earning respect from industry professionals and gaining credibility among potential customers. There’s a difference between a flash-in-the-pan and an idea that inspires early adoption.

Customers and investors are savvy enough to know when a product has the potential for longevity. Everyone who will invest, purchase or support your company needs to know that you will be around for the long haul and you have a plan for how to do that successfully.

Know thy audience.

Tailor your pitch to your audience, whether it’s potential investors, a sea of customers, or a panel of judges. When speaking to investors, focus on the numbers, viability, and sustainability of the company. Let them know what’s in it for them—in the short term and in the long run.

If you are competing in a startup battle, presenting to a panel of judges, focus on your business as a whole. This will be the broadest pitch you give. Don’t leave out important details when you cast a wide net. If your investors are new to the industry, be sure that you speak in clear terms—don’t lose them in jargon and acronyms. Regardless of how well a panel understands your business, remember that you are in charge of the effectiveness of your pitch. No excuses.

Rehearse, a lot.

It may seem obvious, yet people often neglect proper practice. They may feel too much practice could make them seem stiff. While actually, the more you practice, the more relaxed, comfortable, knowledgeable, and “natural” you’ll be. This gives the impression of expertise. And, the better you know your stuff, the less likely you’ll be thrown off course by questions or derailed by nervousness.

The mere thought of public speaking makes many people nervous. The good news is that presentation skills can be honed, making the experience less worrisome. Practice is the secret to elevating your skills. Create and rehearse a variety of pitches so you can readily respond in different situations. From a one-minute elevator pitch to a thirty-minute talk, preparation and practice are the keys to communicating your message powerfully.

Show your stuff.

Give your audience a reason to remember you. Create a memorable phrase or give your audience hands-on time with your product (if possible) are a couple ways to be remembered. Consider what distinguishes you and what differentiates your product. Communicate that clearly and powerfully to ensure that, at the end of the pitch, your audience won’t stop thinking about your business.

Pitching your business starts with the proper wind up. It’s about the mechanics. It is like casting a fishing line with the appropriate bait into the hungry crowd and then waiting patiently for the bobber to dip with a fish on the hook.

Take all of the advice you have studied, ask for feedback, perfect your pitch, practice, and learn from every experience to improve with each and every presentation. Hone it and own it. And know that when you simply deliver your well crafted, well rehearsed elevator pitch, you have got the room interested in what you have to say.

15
May

5 Point Outline for How to Write A Blog Post

— A Basic Outline With Insightful David Ogilvy Quotes

Content is an important marketing tool for all businesses. It takes your message from advertising to advertorial — making the customer the star of your story. There are so many ways to show and sell with storytelling. So, get started. Here is an outline to guide you.

Topic & Working Title or Headline

Start with intention. Build a working headline to focus your efforts, and perhaps, provide a theme. Ultimately you will revise this to make sure it grabs attention and get readers interest.

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy; when you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. — David Ogilvy

Introduction

What’s the big idea? Summarize the net takeaway(s) to be addressed in your article. Write the key idea(s) you want readers to get out of reading it. Consider posing a question to engage your audience. Or make a compelling statement to pique curiosity. This is where you set the stage for your tale.

It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. — David Ogilvy

Key Insights

Brainstorm all the things you want to deliver in the post and list them. Organize them, then group them into main idea(s). Break up your insights into sections so that thoughts are lumped together by theme. As a benchmark, create three to four sections. Expand on these. Beef up sections with some or all of the following:

  • examples
  • quotes
  • how-to or directions
  • easy-to-implement advice
  • benefits
  • personal experience
  • what worked, what didn’t work
  • supporting or helpful information or statistics

Then read it. Revise it. Reorganize information until it makes sense and tells the whole story in the most captivating way.

The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be. — David Ogilvy

Wrap up

In the end, summarize the post with an actionable takeaway, promise, or benefit of the lesson or experience. Leave the reader with results they could expect. And include a call to action: do this … now.

What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it. — David Ogilvy

Extras

Include hyperlinks that would lead to more information expanding on ideas, people, or features mentioned in the blog. And, always include an image when you can. A picture is worth a thousand words.

I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. — David Ogilvy

Enjoy the journey as you write your way to success. Share your self, your style, your vision in a way that attracts your tribe, one reader at a time. Create the spin to win.

18
Apr

SCRIPT YOUR SHIFT 4x4x4

Live on purpose. Select your scenes! Don’t leave your life to chance. You don’t have to be caught up in trauma and drama. And you don’t have to allow your self to be pulled along by every character that pops on to the scene of your life! Write your story—your Life Script!

Realize that you are the Star of your life story. You are the Producer. You are the Director. You are the Screenwriter. Write the script (thoughts, beliefs, actions) in a way that serves your stardom (or get assistance to do just that!).

Give your word and live your word (the Life Script). Write your way in and out of the experiences you desire, require, and deserve to enjoy—professionally, personally, and potentially! Be the Star Performer of your world, the center of your universe, and play your part for an award-winning experience!

4 Steps You Can Take To Star In Your Own Life Story

  1. Listen. Tune in to your inner voice, notice what you are saying to your self.  Consider what your thoughts say about what you believe. How do your thoughts affect your actions? Awareness is a key step in change. Become and observer of your self. Then, continue doing what serves you and adjust otherwise.
  2. Align. Get in accord with your self. Pay attention to your thoughts, words, and deeds. Do they support and nurture how you desire to live your life? If not, change your internal message. Again, continue doing what serves you and adjust otherwise.
  3. Prepare. Make a plan, a guide, and let it be the script to your live. By considering potentialities and the outcomes desired, you set up your self to act in accord with your desires. You will be in a position to recognize and act on opportunities that serve you.
  4. Act. Live intentionally, on purpose by creating habits that align with your desires. If your goal is to be fit, make it a habit to exercise daily. Create a habit of eating to fuel your health. Be the Star Performer in the experiences you create for you. To build your business, hone your message and consistently uphold it.

Starring in your story takes focus and intention. It starts with writing down your goals. Most people don’t bother to write down their goals. They wind up drifting aimlessly through life. Is this you? Are you wondering why your life lacks purpose and significance? Are you willing to give your self an aim? Committing your goals to writing is the beginning of creating the life of your dreams. The key to accomplishing what matters to you is committing your desires in writing. This is important for at least four reasons.

  1. It forces you to clarify your desires and set your destination. Writing down your goals and milestones compels you to select something, to get specific… to choose the outcome you desire for your life.
  2. It motivates you to take aligned action. Write down your goals, articulate your intention, and execute in alignment with them. Writing down goals and reviewing them regularly keeps you mindful of the destination and prompts you to take action. It provides a filter for opportunities that could otherwise become distractions. The more successful you become, the more you will be presented with opportunities. Maintain a list of written goals by which to evaluate opportunity, take appropriate action, and stay on course with your goals.
  3. It fortifies you to face challenges and overcome resistance. Every meaningful goal encounters resistance. When you focus on the resistance, it will only get stronger. Overcome it is with focus on the goal. Write it down and review it often.
  4. It enables you to recognize and celebrate progress. Life  is particularly difficult when you don’t see progress. You feel like you are going nowhere. Your written goals act as mile-markers. Review them to see how far you have come. Outline steps for where you require to go. And take the opportunity to celebrate when you attain a milestone.

If you are overwhelmed … or if you are focusing on your star performance and desire for assistance with the other stuff, get in touch with me to script your shift so you can shine! And if you are looking for a place to start, consider these tips.

4 Tips for Writing Your Life Script

  1. Focus on your desired result in each area of your life (fitness, health, career, finances, intellect, relationships, and spiritual).
  2. Write your story in the present tense—as if you are living it now.
  3. Engage all of your senses and make it active—walk through your home and surroundings, note the things do, what you see, sounds you hear, scents, what you touch, and how you feel.
  4. Be the main character in the visualization—dream big and make it as realistic as possible to convince your self and to believe it is a potentiality for you.

The process of writing your Life Script brings opportunities to you just by changing your focus to what you desire. This benefit from shifting your focus from what isn’t working to your dream experience takes place during the creation of your Life Script.

Many are challenged with describing what it is we desire to create. We have an easier time describing what we do not want, which isn’t a bad place to start; but don’t leave your focus there. Instead of wishing to be less fat, focus on how good it will be to feel more fit.

Create and star in your dreamyiest life … get in touch with me to script your shift so you can shine!

 

15
Feb

Set Up Social Media Success in 6 Simple Steps

Social media doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, it can be your best sales associate and your favorite marketing tactic. The key is to focus so you don’t get overwhelmed. It all begins with your message. Here are five steps to go from strategy to scheduled for social media success.

#1 Create Your Social Media Strategy.

For your Brand, you have a strategy. Now, align that with Social Media. Determine your niche—your target audience. Consider pain points and interests; and your solution for them. People seek solutions and benefits!

Brand strategy is a long-term plan for development to achieve specific goals. It is your playbook. Goals, strategies and tactics are outlined to give you a game plan.

Your brand is not your product, your logo, your website, or your name. It is much more than that. It is tangible and intagible, purpose driven, mission focused attributes that are your reason for being. It’s a feeling that separates powerful versus mediocre brands.

Your brand strategy considers:

1. Your industry & design trends
2. Your ideal client’s desires
3. Your brand personality

Distinguish your brand — how do you differentiate yourself and speak to your audience in a way that attracts them? There are many ways to give your brand a personality. From your logo and colors to tone of voice, messaging must align with your audience while remaining consistent in delivery style. Imagine your brand talking with one customer. And then, replicate that conversation consistently in the marketplace. This is where the social media strategy comes in.

Now, create a plan for social media that addresses your target audience where they are. Design a communication and messaging strategy to deliver information that is helpful to them and of interest. Relate to other topics that they are engaging with across platforms.

Check out this article of interest — Perfecting the four P’s.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Know what makes you different from your competition.
  2. Define your target audience and the solution you provide.
  3. Translate this to your Social Media strategy.

#2 Choose Your Social Media Platform(s).

You aren’t required to be on every Social Media platform to be successful. Pick one, possibly two to start. Avoid overwhelm!

In the beginning, fewer and BETTER is the focus. Facebook is the logical first choice for most brands. Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or YouTube are strong second choices, depending on your niche.

With Facebook, create your personal Profile then set up your Business Page. From quotes to images to video, you can dominate presence in your niche. Facebook Live amplifies the possibilites. You can benefit from low cost, highly targeted Facebook Ads to generate leads and build your list.

Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest along with LinkedIn and YouTube are great online real estate for your message. Your strategy will assit you in selecting the one or two places to start so that you speak to your tribe and align with your message.

To get a feel for the social media channels, check out this article of interest — Social Media at a Glance.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Set your goals — what you aim to accomplish.
  2. Select the Platforms you will use to START.
  3. Set up your social media sites.

#3 Curate and Create Your Content.

Develop an Editorial Plan to guide your content with purpose. And then you can repurpose the information across your social media channels. This reinforces your presence.

Create a calendar — three, six, nine, or 12 months out. For each month, brainstorm themes and then topics within that theme that would be of interest to your audience. Look at information that will establish you as the “Go To” person in your arena.

Choose themes and topics so you can weave information from one post to another. Look at the map of content so you know what you are sharing each and every day. Content can easily be “re-purposed” and used in a variety of ways, and across multiple platforms.

For more insights, check out this article — Repurpose Key Twitter Posts.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Brainstorm content theme ideas.
  2. Outline topics of interest to your niche.
  3. Create a 30 day content editorial calendar.

#4 Create a Series of Messages.

Now comes all the write stuff. Tailor the words to fit the channel. A blog post can be pulled apart for fodder you can upload to Twitter or Facebook. Specific messages can be developed for each channel and your audience there. If you desire assistance with this, let me know.

Now, get going. Check out this article of interest — Pretty Perfect.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Write your message(s).
  2. Develop content tailored to each channel.
  3. Consider quotes that align with your message.

#5 Select Message Visuals.

There are a number of ways to deliver information—your brand strategy will assist you in selecting the style(s) best suited to your message.

Photos; Infographics; Videos (Live and Native); Blog Posts and Original Articles by you; White Papers; Blogs and Useful Articles by other thought leaders in your niche who do not compete. Make Video a priority as it gets the MOST engagement!

Once you determine the style of information delivery, create your content. Outline it. Find photos and images to add impact. Consider using Piktochart or Canva to create images and infographs. Look at Notegraphy for creating impact with your words. And, find free photos and images at Pixabay.

Check out this article of interest — A Picture Worth 1000 Words.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Consider your brand image and align visuals with that.
  2. Create your message visuals.
  3. Develop content across visual media.

#6 Schedule It.

Effective Social Media Marketing can be done in 30 minutes a day when you have a plan and you WORK that plan.

You can use tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts in advance. This puts your social media presence on autopilot.

Check out this article of interest — Storytelling and the 3 T’s.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Schedule posts for 30 days—consider Hootsuite or Buffer.
  2. Check in every day for 30 minutes to boost activity and interact with your tribe.
  3. Share posts from others who attract your niche.

Define your brand strategy and your message. Choose which delivery method will be best for your message. Make a list of themes and topics of interest. Create your content. And schedule it.

Congratulations! You now have the steps required to command Social Media and dominate your niche for business awareness, lead generation, client contact, and nutured relationships that lead to SALES! For assistance in creating your content, get in touch with me.

21
Jun

2 Sentences with 5 Things Investors Need to Know in the First Moment You Meet Them

Get ready to present to investors. For this opportunity, the elevator pitch is a key to introducing your company and grabbing attention at the start.

Dave Bittner, CEO at Beanstalk CFO Group, suggests two sentences to your elevator pitch. Investors need to know how to compare you to other startups they work with and other companies in the marketplace. Your elevator pitch places you in their mind. This is the set up and it is an opportunity to position your startup for play.

With these two sentences, you provide investors with the critical outline of your business.

Sentence 1: We sell _____ (product or service deliverable) to _____ (target market) who want _____ (benefit).

Sentence 2: Unlike _____ (competitor), we _____ (differentiation) .

So let’s look at the five things presented here.

Product/Service — This is simply your offer—the thing you are selling. What is the thing that appears on the invoice? What is the nut that you deliver?

Target Market — Remember, your target market is not everybody. Everybody doesn’t want what you are offering, you don’t have resources to attract everybody, and investors will lose interest if you are not focused. What is your headpin?

In Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore, he refers to marketing like bowling. Hit the Headpin. When you are bowling, you don’t lob the ball into the pins, you roll it into the headpin — the beachhead segment of the market. You hit it based on your ability to hit it, and it’s proximity to other pins. Let it knock down the other pins that knock down other. A domino effect.

Benefit — You may have hundreds of benefits. Pick one, the primary benefit. Feature that. Only that. Clearly.

Competition or Comparison Others — Do not say you have no competition. How attractive can this market be if no one is doing something in it? do the research and stretch to cite competition or substitute for your offer). Unlike the way it has been done before, we do something interesting. Unlike it has never been done before?

Differentiation — What do you do better? Highlight that key facet that distinguishes your company among others who address the problem you solve. This is that one unique selling proposition that sets you apart. A personalized message for every customer. A quirk. An extra step in the process. Or timeliness that sets you one step ahead of the other options. Make sure it is clear—and compelling.

Show your elevator pitch, and include your mission, tagline,brand promise or slogan as a signature to your presentation slides. You don’t speak everything you have on your slide. Supplement information so it works together — spoken presentation and written form. Catch the entire video of presentation tips to put your best startup facets forward.

8
Jun

Positioning Your Product or Brand

Positioning is a facet of the marketing strategy that aims to give your product or brand a distinct perception—relative to competing brands—in the mind of the customer. An historic campaign for Avis reflects this: “Avis Is Only No. 2, We Try Harder.”

In developmental stages, determine the positioning you intend for your product or brand. Research and market feedback will help you discover if it is aligned with actual consumer attitudes. If not, then marketing messages can help close the gap or change perception.

Positioning is an art. Great positioning tells a compelling, attention grabbing story—a story that resonates with your audience.

Rebel Brown

The positioning process begins with identifying a market problem or opportunity, then developing a solution—often based on market research, segmentation and supporting data. Once positioning is determined, it will help align and guide marketing efforts and business objectives. The perfume I use is the indulgent scent for pleasure seekers. Thus, the tone and manner of messages, images, events and PR are created to consistently express this in all communication.

Again, positioning is the perception of your product or brand in the mind of the customer. Perception is reality. Aim to establish the highest and best use for your brand among your audience. And, be open to emerging alternate audiences, too. Here are some examples of common positioning strategies and how they might translate in the marketplace.

 

21
Mar

Storytelling & the Three T’s

Do you have an underlying story for your brand? Is there a consistent message threaded through everything you do Determine the core concepts that resonate with your customers—and with your fans—to create the foundation of your brand story.

Here are some key areas you can investigate to unlock compelling threads that are engaging as your story unfolds.

Topics

Discover what your audience is interested in. A quick scroll among your followers will reveal repeated terms. Identify top keywords used to engage with your brand. Consider looking at areas of influence on Klout.  And take a look at the competition, how are they talking about their brands? This can help you distinguish yourself, recognize important attributes that bring a customer to your brand rather than to a competitor.  Grab on.  Follow the topic as it relates to your product and as it extends in other areas. Have fun with it—even topics that are “unspeakable” can be addressed in a tale or two. Consider the antics of PooPourri.

Trends

Capitalize on the trends. Seasons. Holidays. Events. News. Fashion. Sports. There’s an opportunity to hook your brand story on to what’s happening—as appropriate and applicable—and continue to unfold your story as it relates to current events and timely happenings. When you hook onto a trending concept with your product or offer, you gain awareness among those interested in the trend while staying relevant with your message. For instance, take a look at the Dough Boy taking the the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Many other brands capitalized on the trending event.

Themes

Develop content themes based on trends and topics relative to the goals of your company and your customers. Find the most universal theme to carry your story to the widest relevant audience. For instance, happiness. Show how your product inspires and spreads joy. And then, tell it like it is—with pizazz. Make it memorable. Here is where creativity conquers. Get your audience involved in your story and you will have a life-long fan. A great example of this is the Dancing Guy who was sponsored by various brands, beginning with Stride Gum.

With this, you can build a compelling message that unfolds consistently while continuously telling the tale that is at the core of your brand.