Monthly Archives: November 2013
Tweet of the Week: Online Marketing Success
Congratulations @WarrenWhitlock on bringing this great article by Daniel Threlfell to our attention. It’s an excellent piece on the importance of online marketing and a reminder that it takes time and dedication. Check it out for yourself.
Your Brand Is Human Too: Top Eight Strategies That Will Help You Stay In Business
It’s important to remember, that we are all human. So, when it comes to being able to relate to your friends, acquaintances, and yes; even your clients, why not lighten up and quit with the corporate chatter? The simple fact of the matter is, no one wants to hear your auto-pilot business rants and random sales pitches. Most people are looking to connect with you on a purely human level. Instead of turning people away with gimmicky marketing stunts and hammering in rehearsed one-liners, why not attract more clients to your brand by simply being yourself.
I know, this can seem like a tall order particularly when you are so use to running rugged and filling in the blanks. However when it comes to creating the type of brand identity that resonates with your audience, you mustn’t disregard the fact that your brand is a reflection of you. As such, it is up to you to make people understand exactly why you are doing what you’re doing. People look to you, to help them get inspired for success. It is your job to engage with your clients, ask questions, start conversation and give them content that speaks directly to their needs, wants and aspirations.
If you haven’t yet seriously considered humanizing your companies brand or finetuning your own entrepreneurial identity then I suggest you continue reading this post. I will give you the top eight business strategies that will help you survive in today’s business environment where social conscious brand, and humanization is pivotal to your success. Stop wasting time and start building the relationships you need to garner the respect you deserve.
1) Start From A Place Of Helping People: Ask yourself, “why did I start this business in the first place”? “What did I want to achieve”? Without knowing your own purpose and the impact that you’re working towards it will be virtually impossible to convince your market of the value that you bring to the table. Keep in mind, Purpose must be deliberately conceived and chosen, and then pursued. – @claychristensen – without it a great idea is a dream.
2) Colour Outside the Lines: Your client is everything. Surround yourself with people who speak your language and get to know their stories. What is their background? What do they do? What are they motivated by? Then, find a way to help them get where they’re going. Plug yourself into their conversations both virtually and in real time. Make a meaningful offer to help further their initiative. This collaborative process will serve as a way to encourage communication and create a loyal following.
3) Get Away From The Machines: Connect with people, build lasting relationships. This is great for business but can feel like an uphill battle if you can’t seem to pry yourself away from the computer. Emails blasts, may still have a place when it comes to advertising but they are going to do next to nothing for that human factor in your business. That is why it is essential to continue finding new ways of finding, fostering and nurturing relationships. Host conversations, empathize with the experiences of your clients and they will follow you wherever you go.
4) Show Off Your Personality: Be consistent with how your present yourself to others. Think of personality traits and characteristics that you want people to identify with the most. Do you have a funny bone? Are you courteous and giving? What types of interactions or situation bring out the best in you? By thinking about these questions thoroughly, you will open the door for your clients to walk through; ready and eager to learn more about your brand.
5) Be Present In Your Own Business: Minimize self-serving content. Show your audience you care about their success. Motivate, educate and inspire excellence. Always look to offer a helping hand or advice when needed. The more engaged you are with your audience the more responsive and willing they will be to interact with you. Speak in your everyday tone and don’t forget that people aren’t numbers.
6) Listening Is Not the Same As Hearing: Become part of the discussion and listen without interruption. Be an observer both online and in your day-to-day life. Sometimes, a little bit of silence, is golden because unlike noise, it can give you a better idea of what others need and want from you rather that visa-versa.
7) Remind Your Clients They Are Free to Be Themselves: Don’t pressure people into pretending they understand what you are talking about. Do remind them, that you too, are just a normal person who has a life outside the office. Don’t be afraid to tell a joke, admit to blunders, relax with a cup of tea. After all you get what you give.
8) A Little Emotion Never Hurt Anyone: Real relationships are based on shared emotions. They are largely dependent on our ability to empathize and put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. It is no surprise then, that most successful companies are built on the idea that appealing to people’s human side is the way to go when it comes to building brand identity. If what you do, reminds someone of the way things were or elicits a powerful response you’ve done the job right.
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Friday Cartoon: Cats and Business DO Mix!
Tweet of the Week: Startup Exit Strategies
You’re a startup leader, you’re offered a barrel load of cash to sell your business? What do you do? The NY Times offers up the experiences of entrepreneurs in this exact situation.
9 start-up founders recounted the moment when the money was on the table & the future was unpredictable http://t.co/VogD2CO3Hu
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 19, 2013
Great Brand And Naming Strategies For Your Business
Choosing the right name for your business isn’t easy, it can literally make or break your company. When choosing the right name, make sure it is unique, resonates with your target audience and speaks volumes about the product or service you are selling.
How To Go About Naming Your Company?
Strategy 1 Put Your Own Spin On It: You can choose to create your very own brand identity. One that is entirely based on a desire to wow your market audience with a name that is refreshing, punchy and highlights the major strengths and characteristics of your product or service. This approach allows you to put your own individual spin on the name, one that evokes a particular image in your clients’ minds. Whether or not you choose to go with this approach is largely dependent on the type of emotions and personality that you want to convey.
Strategy 2 Inform And Engage: In this case, choose a name that is informative and makes it clear to your audience what it is you are doing and why. Your clients mustn’t play the guessing game. In fact, the more people know about your business, the more likely you are to have repeat customers and establish the kind of brand loyalty you need. You want to create a name that is memorable and that reminds people of something comforting and familiar.
First, come up with a mission statement (something on the site re: mission statement or my blog post on the difference between a vision and mission statement) that points clients directly to your niche, letting them know why you think your idea is one they can use.
Strategy 3 Word Combinations: Combine words or phrases that are easy to understand, have meaning and value to your clients. You can reinvent phrases and even play around with word combinations and spelling. You must beware of existing trademarks. I recommend you that you research current business trends and test your name thoroughly before going forward.
Naming your business is not a one-size fits all endeavor. It takes time and effort to come up with a name that truly speak to your unique brand and value. This is why, you should consider speaking to an expert. Such professionals can help you avoid naming pitfalls, as well as any legal and trademark difficulties. These business mentors will provide you with the right marketing strategy and advice you need to inspire and and encourage your creativity. You can submit your ideas to us for excellent, confidential advice.
Friday Cartoon: Danger in Acronyms
Tweet of the Week: Remember to Dream
I’m going to let this one stand on its own. Your own little inspiration today.
"If you can dream it, you can do it. Your limits are all within yourself." Brian Tracy
— Albis Consult. Group (@albis_g) November 1, 2013
Women, Disability and Employability
Almost daily I hear friends and family tell me: “don’t stress”, don’t worry”, family will help you figure it out”. One thing that my friends can’t fully grasp is the effects of the socially imposed barriers that arise as a result of being a woman living with a disability. They find it difficult to relate to the very real circumstances we differently abled women face. These include feelings of isolation, unemployment, lack of easy access to available government services and more. It’s these manufactured societal attitudes which serve as a means of lowering ones’ self-worth thus disregarding the true essence of a female with a disability. In my opinion these truths are directly linked to the feminist notions around human rights, equality, low income standards and unemployment.
Being a young, university educated woman I too had aspirations of a successful career in Media and Communications. After five years of hard work like many women my age I attended a graduation ceremony where I received my diploma. Yet nothing prepared me for what was to come; years of struggling to find that job, countless interviews followed by rejection. One thing I was never told while in university was that my disability would dramatically lessen my chances for employment. However this is not simply about disability, these and other everyday barriers are being overcome by women who are perceived as visible minorities. More often than not this results in failure to access proper health care, controlled government assistance, social exclusion with minimal to no room for growth or self-advancement; which brings me to the idea of the invisible woman and the need to bridge the gap brought on by the social perception of the “acceptable norm” or normalcy.
The common societal argument is that any deviation from the “norm” should be medically or otherwise monitored, questioned or collectively frowned upon. Women (disabled women included), who do not fit the standard image of a professional, capable and independent individual should automatically be perceived as incapable, unable, and dependant; like the feminist movement, the disability movement as it relates to women, should focus on breaking down the many societal walls that create unfounded feelings of inferiority in us. It is this fear of being “socially perceived” or rather misperceived that prevents us, women in particular, from achieving our full potential. These misled ideas of dis-ability and the female embodiment are nothing but superficially levied social constraints that stand in the way of discovering the real the possibilities behind acceptance.
About two months ago I got married; I am a wife now, but also a dependant according to societal norms. I no longer receive financial support based on disability. My husband is my “primary” caregiver and although I now run a copywriting business; I am a dependant. My unstable income is seen as not enough to grant me the financial independence I crave. Despite my go-getter nature and an eagerness to get ahead, I know that in societal eyes, I will perhaps always be seen as someone who “needs help” from others, I will keep hearing words like: “you are not quite what we’re looking for”. There is a chance that my future children will be seen as children of a parent with a disability and the stigma that comes along with it.
The fact is, in this fast-paced world filled with constant societal pressures, perception is everything; more than anything else it is about that image of the perfect woman, the perfect, wife the perfect mother. Women like myself who have felt that pressure of knowing they will never fit the mold, also know this has to change. We all need to tell ourselves that we acknowledge that these societal norms are nothing but a way for others to shield themselves from that which they cannot explain. As women we need to stand up and let our voices be heard. Working towards a common norm where our collective differences are celebrated rather than judged is the key to personal and emotional freedom.
For more information on disability and feminism visit: http://disabledfeminists.com/ Also be sure to check out: http://www.feministezine.com/feminist/
This post originally appeared on Feminist Truths, which is now unfortunately offline.