Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One Solution to a Scary Economy.

Unless you been away from the planet, you may be unaware of the situation with the financial markets. As bad as it is, we still must make a living, and dwelling on the negative isn't going to get you anywhere. Our initial reaction to is to pull back, take cover and HOPE to weather this storm.

The problem is, recoiling from the situation does nothing for your attitude but have you focus on stress. Take this slowdown as an opportunity to market yourself more. Chances are your competition is cutting marketing and everything else. Step back and look at how you can increase your awareness.

One answer is blogging. Blogging effectively increases your expert profile and in turn attracts publicity and leads. It focuses your attention at your growing audience and helps to keep you positive. The effort you put into your blog will be rewarded if you stick with it and aggressively cast your comments on associated blogs far and wide. These comments draw an audience back to you.

It takes minutes to establish a blog and contributes to your success. Stop letting the economy drag you down and shout your message from the blog. Your audience is waiting for you.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Packaging Your Brand

Once you're happy with your brand positioning, it's time to take careful consideration as to how you package your brand. You want to develop a brand image that compliments your brand values and personalty. Since differentiation is the key, your first step is to look to your competition. Analyze their color use. Discover what the color opportunities are. I use a spectrum chart and I circle the location on the chart a company's brand palette resides. The open unused areas are your opportunities for color. Choose from these open areas, keeping the psychology of color in mind. Color is a very powerful icon.

Next in brand packaging is your brand logo. Keeping in mind the demographic you are selling to, your logo wants to appeal to them. It must resonate with them. A professional image exudes trust, and it also exhibits your brand values. Keep in mind that this image has to exist on many items, both large and small. When you use your brand logo and brand palette, you must be sure to be consistent in their use.

Brand packaging also involves your brand's personality. Understanding this aspect of your brand, you show what flavor your brand image has. It involves the types of photos you use, what the tone of the writing is and what fonts are appropriate. This comes in handy when you develop your websites, blogs and print materials.

Done correctly you will go a long way in strengthening your brand image. This in conjunction with the rest of your brand elements, results in a very powerful proposition to your target audience. Over time it will represent you in the conscienceness of your customer.

This is exactly where you want to be.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Get The Media To Quote You.

Here's a great brand builder. Peter Shankman has a fantastic email service that sends out opportunities that connects you with a journalist looking for professional sources for articles or books they are writing. It's called Help a Reporter. You deal directly with the writer. I use it for myself and I forward opportunities to clients. My hat is off to Peter for such a great idea!

It's free to sign up, and it is great for your customer service and your professional brand.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

FREE Weekly Branding tip Podcasts

I have just launched my FREE WEEKLY BRANDING TIP podcasts on my website. I will also be showcasing new ones here on my blog as they come out. If you would like to subscribe to my FREE WEEKLY MAILING OF BRANDING TIPS click this link, then click on the blue subscribe button.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy producing them. I produced the podcasts with the assistance of Chris over at Forge Infinity.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Raising the profile of product: YOU!

If you happen to be in the service industry, chances are your brand product is you. You are the sole provider of the service and as such you are also the brand. Even if you go by another name, it is wise to enhance your expert profile. You can do this effectively in any numbers of ways. Here are a lucky seven to consider:

1) Public Speaking. This is a great way to not only boost your expert profile, but to pick up new leads. Speaking on a topic you are passionate about positions you nicely. It gives your audience a chance to witness your personality. It is also your opportunity to give something free. In this case, it's advice on a broad scale. This shows your confidence and a willingness to offer help.

2) Corporate Blogging.
For my money, this is even more important than a website. It provides you with a portal to help businesses with no strings attached. A properly maintained blog, keeps readers coming back. Replying to comments and browsing other blogs and leaving comments there is a remarkable way to build an audience for your opinion. The business press frequently browses business blogs looking for experts to interview or inspire stories. These unsolicited opportunities happen more than you might think. Every time it happens to me, my traffic increases.

3) Social Networking. Another very personal opportunity. You can start your own business community and invite the world in. Many businesses treat these networks as genuine communities and are loyal to its members.

4) Email Marketing. A terrific way to keep YOU in front of your audience. Timed releases keep a consistent message out in your marketplace. When they say, "out of sight, out of mind" they knew what they were talking about. You want your brand top of mind.

5) Regular newsletters also keep your brand in front of your customers. It also gives you a chance to brag and inform, much like a blog. It is one more opportunity. I use all of these avenues to promote my brand.

6) Harvest email to build a valuable opt-in list of business contacts. So long as you are providing valuable information to your audience, you are consistently building an honest relationship with them. This trust in you will eventually translate into new business

7) Make your website a content rich destination. This gives users a reason to linger and thus exposes them to your brand and service offerings.

Anything positive that you do reflect favorably on your brand. Be sure that everything you offer whether it is free or has a fee attached has the same level of quality. Great brands are not built on crap. Be sure your brand image is consistent and reflects who you are. I've seen plenty of free product that looks like it's free. My attitude is that my free material is another form of marketing and as such, its production values must be as powerful as the paid product. This is what will strengthen brand YOU.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Made America's Best Magazine

The cover story for the July/August issue of America's Best magazine is on "Branding Your Business". I was interviewed for this article. In it you will find lots of great common sense solutions for branding your business. Other branding professionals are also quoted to help get the message out. Small Business Branding also gets a great mention. Following the link above will take you to the online version of the article.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

eMarketing - an effective solution.

I've just released the 50th issue of Useful Information, my FREE monthly eNewsletter. That means that I've been sending this out to a select group of businesses for over four years now. Some would suggest that it is very difficult to maintain a newsletter. I some what agree, but I approach it as a marketing effort and as such, I am constantly archiving potential articles and resources that I put into each monthly issue. I believe a newsletter is an effective way to constantly put your name in front of a group of businesses who readily accept it into their monthly reading. It takes me about 4 hours each month to assemble and make ready for distribution.

Other ways that I market myself is through email marketing. This is those email you get that look like a mini web page. Every business that receives my emails are what are known as opt-in emails. Those are people who give me their email addresses to get something - whether it is an eBook, newsletter, digital product or consulting. As I get each new address, they are deposited into labeled folders. I have just started using an email service that automatically builds my database as each new email is added (or deleted).

Starting last Wednesday, I've initiated a weekly branding tip promotion that will get sent out weekly to my master list automatically. Besides getting a weekly tip, the recipients also get exposed to a group of links promoting my services. These service links are all cross referenced so that there is every opportunity to make a sale. The levels of promotion are quite extensive, but it will be interesting to see when they bear fruit.

I've been pretty successful generating business off the web and I have expanded my efforts to this end. Blogging has proven to be the most effective means of increasing my expert profile which has resulted in business opportunities throughout Canada and the United States. A number of my clients have followed my lead and are themselves turning to blogging and email marketing. As I type this I have contracted the services or a production studio to assist me in turning my weekly branding tips into audio podcasts. These will be available for FREE on my website and blog. This studio is also assisting me with generating inspirational branding videos which will also be available to my readers in the video area of my website. Content increases the length of stay on my site and blog. The longer they stay the better the chances they will contact me or make a purchase.

Next month (October) I will be speaking to the Christian Radio and Music Industry in Nashville on the topic of branding. I got this opportunity from blogging. I also network whenever the opportunity arises. My attitude is never stop the promotional wheels from turning. All around us are naysayers - economic revelers in gloom. I keep my positive attitude by surrounding myself in positive energy and constantly looking for and implementing resources to promote myself. Ed Roach is a product. Like this newsletter, I give myself plenty of time to allow the marketing to work. Blogging took a year and I half to generate income. I could have given up early on, but I know nothing happens quickly when you are building a brand. More times than not, businesses give up their marketing efforts too soon. They want instant gratitude. It just doesn't work that way.

When I utilize the email marketing tool, I am able to see just who opens my email promotions and who clicks onward from there. Try that with traditional marketing avenues. Talk about Big Brother - not only do I know if you received my promotions, I now know if you actually read it. I will use this advantage to test messages with my audience in the future - I never stop promoting - getting it right.
More blogs about http://brandcorral/blogspot.com.