Tag Archives: business lessons

View Yourself as Your Brand

If you were senior VP of marketing at Pepsi, you would have no problem tooting the horn of the product line you represented. Why is it different when You are the brand you must toot.

We were all raised to be humble and modest and that’s well and good.

To successfully market you and your work, you must be able to step out of your being and view yourself as the “work of art”, “the product”, the brand”. It’s very hard to do at first, but practice and you will develop the confidence to see the points others need to learn to KLT (know, like, and trust) and you will be able to promote You.

One place to start may be to write up You in the form of your marketing plan. You will be able to see how You stack up against your competition.

What are 3 things you can say about You, your work, and You, the brand in your Marketing Plan? Let’s start there.

If you get stuck, call me. I’ll be glad to help you view yourself differently than ever before.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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Boost Your Brand

Boosting Your Brand Builds your Business

Build a strong professional image everywhere you go and everywhere you show up.  That means on and offline.  Emphasize your strengths and make sure your brand supports your goals.

Clean up your online presence.

If someone who wants to know more about you checks you out online, what would they find? A well-branded online presence sets the tone and is critically important today, more than ever before. Google your name and review the first page of results. Does each listing support or weaken your professional brand? Take the steps to improve these results by overhauling your online brand.

Early birds still get the worms. When you next attend an event, get there early and grab a seat at the table so you don’t end up in a chair on the outskirts of the room. This way, it will be easier to join in the conversation and voice your opinion. If you have something to contribute to the discussion, speak up – don’t wait for an opening to appear, as you may miss your window.

Never stop learning. The best way to maintain a strong brand is to never stop learning. Seek out professional development opportunities through relevant webcasts, Meetups, and other membership associations.  Prove that you are a valuable resource to your following by sharing what you’ve learned that may help others.

Get involved. There’s no better way to become know and to build your brand in the process of having fun.

Recruit a mentor. When I first began to think about having my book published, I knew I didn’t know anything about that industry.  I joined a professional association and quickly found a mentor in that group. The right mentor can shape your professional skills, teach you the ins and outs of your industry, help you navigate, overcome adversity, and introduce you to the right people and resources to advance your work.

Toot your own horn. If you want to get ahead, you not only have to deliver results above expectations – you have to be recognized for your accomplishments. If you’re working on a project that’s going well, don’t be afraid to share your enthusiasm with your following. Let them know your milestones. Share your results.

All of the above steps will each in their own way help to grow you and your brand.  What are your most successful tips and don’t be afraid to also share your biggest failures…we all have those and they cease being a failure as soon as we learn from them.

Marcia Reece is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com.

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Right person + right topic = Free PR

Although media relations can be frustrating, with the power of web archives, you can identify the right journalists for pretty much any topic you pitch. Reviewing what they choose to cover gives you strong hints to determine the right stories to offer. Find a creative way to weave your message into the topics they cover and…bingo…you have a much better chance to having your story picked up. 

But it helps if you are consistently contacting journalists and bloggers with useful info. Not necessarily pitches. Your outreach shouldn’t always be about your company/client.

Marcia Reece is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com.

When you are consistently in your key targets’ inboxes or Twitter mentions with useful info, they are more likely to engage with you. And that’s when they actually tell you things they are looking for or places they are going.

Cultivate relationships with five absolutely crucial influencers. These are your right journalists.

Following their work will reveal the right stories.

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46 mornings in a row precisely at 9:00 a.m.

The value of being determined and consistent became Very Real to me many years ago when I was trying to get Wal-Mart (when they had only 66 stores) to buy my product.  I called my buyer every morning, precisely at 9:00 a.m.  I did not call at 8:57 a.m. and I did not call at 9:02 a.m.  I called for 46 mornings in a row precisely at 9:00 a.m.  On the 46th morning, my buyer’s assistant told me my buyer would see me at 11:00 a.m. that day!!  Well, the rest is history and the consistency of that phone call started a chain of events that changed my life and grew my company to 70% worldwide market share … far beyond my wildest dreams.   

This lesson came back to me on Friday while lunching with a group of colleagues. One in the group said he had called a potential client 3 times and he stopped after the third call assuming she didn’t want to do business with him.  I told him my Wal-Mart story hoping it would inspire him to continue his chase.

I do believe today we need to find unique and clever ways to reach those we want to do business with. Maybe 46 consecutive calls won’t work today as well as it did back in the 1980’s.

So many emails…Too many voice mails…Snail mail; what’s that?? 

What about reaching those folks by giving them something that will help with their work load. Send them information they can use with no expectation of getting anything in return – except you implant the thought in their minds that you are someone who is generous, knowledgeable, and helpful. Quietly kill them with kindness and they will take your call and be more receptive to your needs. 

Please share what tips you have that helps you reach hard-to-reach contacts. I know there will be some interesting techniques from which we all can benefit.

I look forward to hearing from you.

My best to you,

Marcia

http://www.marciareece.com

#1 Best Selling Author

Secrets of the Marriage Mouse

The Ultimate Online Media Directory

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Just Ask and your wish shall be granted

As many of you read last week, I was smacked up aside the virtual head when I made a social media mistake. Since that time, my focus is on learning how to engage in social media correctly.

One of my peeps asked me how long I had been using social media. I told her just a little over two years. I first put up a website and blog while I was writing my first book. I had been on FB and LI but not in a serious manner for a bit longer.  She laughed and told me not to be so hard on myself. She started her site and social media reach in 2001…14 years ago!!  No wonder I feel so stressed out that I am so far behind the curve.

Another of my peeps is hosting a 10 Deadly Sins webinar on May 8. I signed up!!!  I know I will learn how to correct a few more of my errors there.

Just this morning, I was IM’ing another peep. I had a long-time friend whose emails were suddenly ending up in my spam. I IM’d him and he told me there is a “Not Spam” button which should put her back in my correct email. Well, guess what?  He was right. I checked the box by her email in my spam folder, and presto!!  Her emails are now being correctly sent to my inbox.

This helpful peep also gave me a very brief one liner which is helping me learn how to use hashtags.

BOTTOM LINE:  The most amazing things about social media are:

  1. No one is too old to learn
  2. Someone knows the answer – it’s up to us to ask the questions
  3. Except for the jerk last week, most folks are very willing to overlook the mistakes newbies make
  4. It works.  It really truly does work. Social media opens a whole new world to those who want to learn the correct ways to engage it.

I’ve made so many mistakes learning, but I certainly want to thank Carol Naff, Aaron Stephens, Harmony Thiessen, Debra Jason, and Kelly Mirabella and so many, many others who have helped me (kicking and screaming) come into the virtual world.

TCO: Day 4

#social media

#appreciation

#building relationships

#social media etiquette

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Painters are leaving today

What a good feeling today to have the painters finally completing a small remodel project. As always, the project took much more time, money, and expertise than originally bid. But the end result is exactly what we wanted and looks great.

There are some biz lessons for all of us in even this small remodeling project. We had several companies bid the project. Many came to look at the project, promised us a bid in the next day or two and never reconnected with us. Why waste their time or ours?  (Lesson: Follow through and you have a great chance to get the job. So many don’t these days.)

The company we hired have followed through on each occasion and we appreciate that. They have showed up on time. They clean up after themselves – every time. Their work is more than we expected. Will they get referrals and recommendations from us?  You bet!  (Lesson: Deliver what you have promised and your clients won’t even mind if the job costs a little more than they expected.)

They are even smart enough to position one of their painters as a designer so they can justify some additional fees. They have built features and benefits into their work and so should all of us. These features and benefits allow for extra charges that we don’t mind paying. (Lesson: Upsell is easy when clients are pleased.)

Their work allows us to view this expense as in investment and that’s a great way to position your work with your clients as well.

So if any of you are wanting a truly receptive, responsive, and results driven remodel/painting company, give me a shout out and I’ll confidently share ours with you.

Also must report the wood ducks are getting more friendly with every feeding. While they are still wild, they recognize the sound of the cracked corn container when I feed them.  Mother Nature is a beautiful way to start and end every day.

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