eBusiness Blog

Deck Out Your Business Website and Social Media in Holiday Style!

Deck Out Your Business Website and Social Media in Holiday Style!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; a time for celebration of the holiday season…

As we deck the halls with boughs of holly and trim the tree, it’s also time to get your business showcased for the holiday season.

This is the time to make sure your social media profiles and website are ready for the festive season.

Are your social media profiles and website decked out for the festive season?Click To Tweet

Here’s some ways to dress up your website and social media for the holidays:

Decorate Your Website Home Page

Place your best holiday deals front and center on your website.  Here’s a great example from retailer J Crew who held a “5 Days of Merry. 5 Surprise Sales” recently.

J. Crew 5 Days of Merry. 5 Surprise Sales

We’ve added a holiday banner to our site that provides holiday wishes from each of our team members: www.evisionmedia.ca

Design a Customized Christmas Logo

Why not create a fun holiday version of your logo for the holidays?  Google has been doing this for years.  Here is an example of a past Google holiday logo:

Google Christmas logo design

Host Holiday Gift Ideas

Tell your customers what to buy for the person who has everything.  When you make gift-giving easy they buy!

Target does a great example of this right on their home page with a gift ideas list. Listing gift ideas at different price points makes it convenient.  For example Target lists gifts under $25, under $5-, and over $50.

Target gift lists

Create Festive Holiday Content

Find fun ways to share your content with a holiday flair.  For example, All Business posted a great article on “The 12 Days of Christmas Retail

12 Days of Christmas Retail

Spruce up Your Social Media Account Too!

Design a special holiday Facebook Cover Image – Show customers your holiday spirit by designing a festive holiday cover image. Our eVision Media Facebook page incorporates our brand colours and logo into our Christmas banner.

eVision Media Facebook business page

Post Family Holiday Pictures

On my personal profile, I’ve posted a picture of our cat Taz by the Christmas tree.  Taz has formed min-celebrity status on Facebook. Moreover, a lot of people can relate to what it’s like having pets and hoping they don’t attack the Christmas tree.

It’s a fun image that helps us connect with our audience.

Taz sitting under the Christmas tree 2017

Use Holiday Hashtags

Make it easy for holiday enthusiasts to find you by creating holiday hashtags.  Some popular ones include #diy, #stockingstuffers, #holidays, #newyears and so on.

Display Holiday Hours

If you plan on taking time off for the holidays let your customers know.  A graphic for social media and your website is the perfect way to remind them.  Look at this example from The Comedy Spot.

See you soon! Closed for Christmas, back on December 26

So don’t be a Grinch.  Show your customers your holiday spirit!

Celebrate by sharing website and social media updates that you are decked out in holiday style.  ‘Tis the season. Set the mood for holiday shopping and you’ll be rewarded.

What has your business done to show Christmas spirit for the holidays? Post your examples below!

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Deck Out Your Business Website and Social Media in Holiday Style!Click To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Why Hiring a Makeup Professional for Your Headshots is Important

In this eTip I’m with the amazing Judy from Judy D Beauty. She had just finished making me look like this with her fabulous makeup techniques for when I had new headshots done.

I had a quick chat with her about the importance of having makeup done professionally for your headshots, it makes a world of difference as you’ll see!

A great makeup professional is essential for professional headshots

This eTip was shot at the Taneane Twele Photography studio when I had my headshots done a while ago. My hair was done. My make-up was complete and our next step was to get me in front of the camera to get some professional headshots.

It’s been close to three years since the last time I had headshots done so it was time to get this done again. My personal branding has changed and evolved since then, including releasing over 90 pounds! It was a no-brainer for me to invite Judy and Taneane again to do my makeup and the photography since they had done such an incredible job the last time.

Now the question at hand is: why should you bother with a makeup professional rather than doing your own makeup for your headshots?

Judy says it’s because the makeup that you use everyday is definitely different than the makeup that a professional would use. The lighting can result in very washed out, unprofessional headshots and only someone who has experience seeing the results would know that and what to do about it.

Knowing what makeup works best for high definition images is not something everyone will know. As is understanding framing and what else is in the image such as your neck or chest. Having a professional take the pictures is having someone analyzing you as well and taking into account your hairline, your ears, and the shape of your face.

Getting professional headshots brings experience. Judy’s experience in TV makeup means she knows what to use for the ideal outcome of the photos. People without the right makeup and experience will wind up with photos not really suitable to showing to clients or peers.

You can find Judy right here in Abbotsford and get in touch with her via her website at www.JudyDBeauty.com

Visit Judy’s website and sign up for her newsletter and 4-part video series where she walks us through the entire process of putting on my makeup in preparation for this photoshoot!

If you are from the lower mainland give her a call or you can also contact Taneane from Taneane Twele Photography. They will set you up and make you feel like a goddess (or a god by the way, she does men too). Do yourself a favour and do this for yourself – you are worth it!

By the way during today’s photo shoot we had Keith Dobie Abbotsford videographer there and filmed all this.

That’s it for today’s eTip and don’t forget that if you liked what you saw here please subscribe to our YouTube channel or newsletter so you can get updates and videos for small business entrepreneurs every week!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

8 Personal Branding Mistakes that are Hurting Your Business

8 Personal Branding Mistakes that are Hurting Your Business

There’s no denying consumers crave a deeper connection with the companies they do business with. And that’s why these days having a fancy website and logo isn’t enough to define your brand.

Consumers crave a deeper connection with the companies they do business withClick To Tweet

Therefore, it’s very important to thoughtfully create a personal brand that truly shares who you are and what you stand for.

If a brand isn’t appealing to your audience or not genuine, it can repel customers.  But the process of creating a brand can be intimidating for some.

So how do you avoid personal branding blunders when it comes to helping instead of harming your business?

Here’s the biggest personal branding mistakes to avoid:

  1. Thinking you don’t need a Personal Brand

    Whether you intentionally create a brand or not, every communication and experience you have with customers and potential customers is shaping your brand.
     
    That’s why it’s critical to create a positive brand communication.  If you don’t take time to define your brand, your message can get wishy washy.  That lack of clarity will hurt your marketing efforts.

  2. Using Copycat Branding

    Often when people start out in business they feel like imitating their top competitors is a good idea. Don’t imitate, instead innovate.
     
    Accentuate what makes you unique.  Differentiate yourself.  Show why your differences make you a better choice.
     
    Do this by creating signature systems, products and messaging that sets you apart.

  3. Not Being Authentic

    Some people take a dress-up approach to branding.  They feel like they must be something they are not in order to attract customers.
     
    Authenticity in marketing matters more than ever before.  Being honest and transparent builds trust.
     
    A brand should be genuine and always maintain consistent messaging that is in alignment with your personality and brand.

  4. Lacking Consistency

    Your personal brand promise and message should be clear with every communication.
     
    The more consistent your brand is, the stronger it will attract followers. So as you write blog posts, eBooks and social media posts etc., make sure the thoughts, opinions and information shared is consistent with your personal brand.
     
    Every communication should reflect your brand personality and values.

  5. Not Writing Your Own Stuff

    Content marketing helps you develop leadership in your industry. Your fans want to hear from you – not the same old thing that everyone else is writing.
     
    Every time you write it’s a communication that builds a relationship with your followers. They experience your personality and voice. Make time to write your own tips, checklists, guides and freebies for your content marketing efforts.
     
    Writing unique articles also boost your website SEO.

  6. Not Defining Your Niche

    No business can be all things to all people. It’s really important to define your target market.  Period.
     
    The more narrowly you can define your target market the better; otherwise, you risk confusing your customers and you’ll have a harder time attracting the right kind of clientele that you want to serve most.

  7. Not Loving Your Tribe

    Your tribe is a group of people where an unconditional love and connection exists.
     
    Raving fans will tell the world how amazing you are.  That’s why it’s important to give special treatment to your tribe.
     
    Find your tribe. Love them hard.  Give them special offers.  Allow them behind the scene’s peaks.  Share advanced notice about things coming down the pipes.

  8. Forgetting Quality and Professionalism

    The Internet knows all so if you make a mistake, someone’s going to catch it.
     
    When you send a newsletter with typos or broken links it reflects poorly on your brand.  When your customer has a problem and calls customer service, they want their issue resolved.
     
    Pay special attention to your appearance.  Watch the language you share on social media. Your demeanour should be humble not arrogant. Display ethical behaviour when attending public events. Answer the phone professionally.

Take these lessons to heart and keep them at the core of your personal branding strategy. Even if you feel good about your branding efforts, it’s smart to step back and take a look at your existing strategy and double-down your efforts to protect your personal brand.

What stories do you have where your personal brand made a difference for your business?

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

8 Personal Branding Mistakes that are Hurting Your BusinessClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Embracing Your Personal Branding Uniqueness for Business Success

Today’s eTip is about how important it is to let your personal brand shine so you show off the real you and the best you!

The value of letting your personal brand shine

Building a personal brand is important and you put a lot of work into it so don’t by shy about who you are. Too often as women in business we’re told the expectation is to be demure and reserved but there is a lot to be said about simply being yourself if your business and brand are built around who you are.

When building up your personal and business brands you should have taken the key step of defining your ideal client so with that in mind you should remember that your deal client wants you! If you restrict yourself you’re actually doing yourself a disservice.

It may even mean potential clients outside the spectrum of your ideal client are put off but that’s totally okay because what you really want for both your business and peace of mind are the clients you’ve defined as best suited to you and your business.

Be confident in your personal brand and own who you are. 

Do you swear a lot? Hiding that from the offset of client interaction creates the expectation that you will consistently hide it and eventually the client will get to know the real you. When that happens and you’ve presented a false version of yourself it can create issues that would have been avoided had you showed the real you at the start.

While it’s not for me personally and does not align with my personal branding there are many examples of successful people who curse!

Promote what makes you unique

The more unique you are the more likely you will stand out to potential clients.

Let your personality shine through so everyone knows what you’re about. In saying that you should also keep in mind that your accomplishments should be worn on your sleeve. Never shy away from telling people about what you’ve accomplished in the past.

This doesn’t mean telling people that you think you’re great or what you think you’re great at; tell them why you feel that way and what you’ve done that has instilled confidence in you in your skill set or product.

Use key terms like ‘I accomplished’, ‘I generated’, ‘I completed’ and follow up with something genuine that you’ve done that makes you confident in yourself.

Accept praise with grace

This is a personal fault of my own. It’s sometimes tough to respond to a compliment but I highly recommend you take a moment and accept it. Thank them and let them know you appreciate it. Never deflect or reject praise.

Now the goal is to surround yourself with your target market so when you are being yourself you’re around the right people for it.

Not everyone appeals to everyone so put yourself in places where your ideal clients will be present. Mixing water with oil will just cause you unnecessary problems.

By placing yourself in the right setting and letting yourself shine with a strong personal brand you will lead yourself to your ideal clients so you have a much better time working with with people who like who you are and what you do.

Trying to be all things to all people can lead to hurdles that are best avoided while you build out your client roster with people who fit well with you.

That’s it for today’s eTip and don’t forget that if you liked what you saw here please subscribe to our Youtube channel or newsletter so you can get updates and videos for small business entrepreneurs every week!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

5 Steps to a Strong Personal Brand on Social Media

5 Steps to a Strong Personal Brand on Social Media

Social media is everywhere and having yourself on it can be great; however, your professionalism doesn’t stop at your professional profiles.

If you’re an influencer in your industry or the face of your business, then paying attention to personal branding is essential in your social profiles.

To be an influencer in your industry, personal branding plays a key roleClick To Tweet

So how do you get personal branding working for you?

Here’s 5 steps to ensuring you have a strong personal brand that will help with your business success:

  1. Audit Yourself

    A quick audit of your personal profiles is a good idea so you can prune anything you wouldn’t want associated with yourself professionally. It will give you a chance to update all your profiles as well.
     
    Make sure all your profiles are connected so users can easily see the relationship. The idea here is that you are an extension of your business and all social profiles clearly indicate to the user who you are and what you’re about.
     
    When posting to your personal social media accounts, keep in mind your business goals and remember optics is key. When someone searches your name, what do they find? Remember anyone may repeat that search so if the results aren’t good you could lose a potentially warm lead.

  2. Set Goals

    Being the face of your business can also lead to you being an influencer in your industry. But that doesn’t just happen automatically. You need to set targets for yourself. And not just in terms of the metrics of measuring success but in how you will achieve the higher standing in your industry that you’re after.
     
    Look at people already established in your niche. They may have a business profile but then on their own how are they presented? Successful personal branding should show their personal profile is aligned with the style of their business.
     
    Once you see what content has been effective and how often your peers have been successfully posting, you can estimate how often and what kind of materials you should post.
     
    Also pay attention to where they post and you’ll see what platforms have returned results for them.  Then you’ll know where to focus your efforts.
     
    This element and the audit can be time consuming and confusing so don’t hesitate to reach out to social media experts if you require assistance.

  3. Create Your Social Media Strategy

    You have your goals set and you know how often you want to post and how many new people you want to see your content.
     
    Now it’s time to incorporate the previous steps and develop a goal-based strategy aimed at realistic growth.
     
    Achieving your goals is a dynamic process where you will consistently evaluate your successes and refine your approach until you start seeing the results you want.
     
    Share other people’s content while promoting your own to establish yourself as an authority in your industry and not just a self promoter.
     
    There are various content aggregation tools available that will make it easier for you to find relevant content. And the bonus is you’ll get to read more about what you do!
     
    Alltop and POPURLS are some favourites but there are many more you can choose from.
     
    Try tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to help you schedule out your posts but remember to check in often for any engagement. The best thing you can do to establish yourself as an authority is to provide feedback and commentary on other users that shows you know what you’re talking about.
     
    By making it a conversation you are becoming an influencer. Other users will see that dialogue whether its tweets or comments and they’ll see your expertise in action.
     
    Each approach will vary but there should be consistent elements to any strategy such as choosing which platforms you are going to be able to log into on an ongoing basis and what kind of content is best suited to your industry.

  4. Update Your Profiles

    Having a professional headshot is a great idea for your personal branding.  If you don’t have that already make sure you get one and place it as your avatar on each social media profile – both personal and business profiles.
     
    Each platform’s profile should easily convey a connection to all others. Users should see consistency in both the visual elements and the content you’re posting.
     
    If you’re having trouble with the various images and sizes required, it’s quite easy to set up a free account with Canva, which has predefined image sizes for all platforms and is very user friendly.
     
    Use Canva for graphic social media design

  5. Hire a Mentor

    It never hurts to have a third party review your profiles. While asking friends for help may seem like a good idea, an experienced, professional personal branding mentor will know what has and hasn’t worked in the past.
     
    Look for someone who has helped others achieve a solid personal brand and reputation in their industry and contact them for assistance.  But make sure they know this is about your social media presence so you get someone with relevant experience to your goals.

Personal branding is not as easy as a lot of people think. If you are ready to start but not sure where or how then please contact us and we’d be glad to help. We’ve helped many people perfect their personal and business branding and I’m sure we can help with yours as well.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

5 Steps to a Strong Personal Brand on Social MediaClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How to Make an Impact with Your Personal Brand at Live Events

In this eTip I explain what it takes to make yourself known when you’re at networking events by getting your personal brand to work for you.

How can personal branding help you when in a group environment?

If you watched last week’s video you saw my interview with personal branding expert Dana Smithers. Carrying that theme through today’s video will be focused on that established personal brand and how to get it working for you when you’re networking and meeting new people.

Many people don’t realize just how much of an impact their personal brand can make and this is especially true when at conferences or other large networking events when you could connect with your ideal target market.

Sometimes we forget about how we come across to others when at these events. While these events are not about networking make sure you’re aware that you have to be open to the idea of meeting potential new clients.

While at the Woman Of Worth event I saw many examples of personal branding being showcased. One author even had her hair dyed purple which caught the attention of the MC. Some showed off tattoos and other eye grabbing details while others were in comfort clothes.

The contrast between the two stood out to me. While not there to build out their client list they were showcasing their brands. Wearing a hoodie and sweatpants at an event like that conveys the message that they’re not concerned about quality. By not paying attention to their personal brand they send the message about how they run their business too and it isn’t a good message.

Make sure that you’re dressing the part when at events. Be a brand representative and remember that you’re appearance and demeanor are being judged. You could be arms length from a great lead and not even know it so dress for success in case that potential lead is looking for what you provide.

Think it through and it should make sense to you. If you have tattoos and own a tattoo parlour then it makes sense to show those off in your personal brand. If you’re a lawyer then it may be a better idea to dress conservatively and hide the body art.

Even if you’re an introvert you can bring out your personal brand in a measured, conservative way. You don’t have to change who you are but don’t use any social barriers as an excuse for missing an opportunity.

The takeaway is to showcase your unique selling position in your personal brand. At any given moment you could be face to face with your ideal client. Make sure you’re in a position to capitalize on the opportunity if it’s presented. Wear your brand colours, show off a style that helps convey your business goals, and remember to smile and enjoy yourself!

Don’t forget that if you liked what you saw here please subscribe to our Youtube channel or newsletter so you can get updates and videos for small business entrepreneurs every week!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Secrets to Creating a Visual Brand Identity That Sets You Apart

Secrets to Creating a Visual Brand Identity That Sets You Apart

8 Key Areas You Want to Keep Your Visual Brand Consistent

Have you ever wondered what your social media followers think about you?

Is it possible you are sending mixed messages to your prospects?

This month we’re talking about the importance of personal branding and how it helps your business. This article ties closely in with that regarding your visual brand – essentially how you come across to others.

Over the years I have seen a lot of business owners who haven’t taken time to define their brand. They don’t understand when businesses stray from their brand, it dilutes their brand power and impact. Or worse, they have nothing about them that sets them apart.

As a result, they complain they are attracting the wrong customers or hardly getting any leads at all…

This “me too” method of marketing that mimics what competitors are doing isn’t effective. 

The 'me too' method of marketing that mimics competitors is not effective.Click To Tweet

That’s why I feel compelled to share more what a visual brand is and how to build a strong one online.

Whether you’re creating a new brand or updating your existing one, your brand’s visual identity is the most important factor in your marketing.

Your brand is so much more than a website and a logo.  It’s a user’s total experience and perception of you.

So every touchpoint a prospect has with you should have one consistent look and theme.  This includes your logo, website, stationery, social media, videos, brochures, business cards, and of course your personal brand in how you dress and present yourself to the world.

Watch: Here’s how Dana J. Smithers integrates her personal branding with her business brand.

A solid visual brand:

  • Helps people know what to expect from you.
  • Promotes professionalism and purpose.
  • Draws prospects who align with your ideas, attitudes and values.
  • Enhances confidence, trust and rapport with your followers.
  • Builds upon the existing brand experience they have with you in a positive (or a negative) way.

Visual branding adds real power to your marketing.  It increases engagement and understanding.

Visual branding adds real power to your marketing.Click To Tweet

With all these benefits to personal and professional branding, it’s more important than ever to brand your visual content and images so you stand out from competitors.

How Can You Keep Your Brand Consistent?

You write blog articles and posts every day.  You are working back and forth on projects.  How can you be certain that all the marketing you do resonates with your core brand?

Creating a style guide makes it easier to keep your marketing pieces consistent.

Firstly, ensure your brand is consistent in the following areas:

  • Headshot – Having a professional headshot goes a long way in developing brand trust.
  • Logo– your logo is the nucleus of your brand, everything else stems from that. Ensure it’s designed properly that includes the psychology of what it represents.
  • Colour Palette – Colours that will resonate with your target market and be meaningful to your brand.
  • Brand Message – This is the essence of your business that includes your slogan or tagline of who you are, what you do, and how you deliver value.
  • Fonts – Being consistent with the same one or two typefaces throughout all written materials as well as graphics
  • Design Elements – The use of borders, lines, shadows and filters should all become familiar to being associated with your visual brand.
  • Tone – Set the tone of your business presence and stick to it – whether serious, high-tech, sarcastic or soulful, this is a big part of building a solid brand presence.

For example: our eVision Media colours are purple and green.  Our typeface is: Asap.  Our logo is: a mother Emperor Penguin and her baby chick. Our slogan is “creating your brand, showcasing your business, nurturing your dream to reality” as seen here in our website header:

creating your brand, showcasing your business, nurturing your dream to reality

We have also created a template that we use for our marketing eTips and inspirational messages, so people instantly recognize them:

Visual Branding of eVision Media Social Media posts

 Create a Style Guide as Your Road Map

A style guide acts like a map that helps your team to stay on track. Sharing your style guide with key members of your team can ensure everyone knows the style guidelines and can follow them.

This is especially important for companies with virtual employees spanning in multiple geographic regions. Make it easy for your team to access your logo, fonts and templates. Always protect your brand. Double check when new marketing pieces come in that they conform to brand guidelines.

Here is a snapshot of our current style guide:

Visual Brand style guide for eVision Media

With this style guide in mind, here’s 8 areas you will want to keep your brand consistent in everything you do in your business marketing and social media efforts:

  1. Website

    Your website is the biggest brand statement your business has.  It serves as a reference to make sure all other brand elements are in alignment.

    That’s why I am so against people who use cookie-cutter template sites.  They may look polished, but they lack the warmth, connection and personality of a branded website (not to mention how badly they are built.)

    Make sure the images you use are reflective of your ideal client.  Use language that resonates with your target audience.  Create an about page that helps your visitors understand your backstory and why you are passionate and good at what you do.

    The more your website looks and feels like you, the stronger attraction tool it will be for potential clients.

  2. Professional Headshot

    Professional headshot before and after of Susan Friesen

    I was very camera shy when I first started my business.  So when it came time to get some updated headshots, I dreaded it.  But I found that going through the process brought me confidence.

    My new headshots are used as a personal and business branding tool that help me to be more recognized online.  They are on all my social media profiles and on our website.  As a result, people recognize me when I attend local networking events.

    Investing in new headshots can truly jump start your brand and success.

  3. Sharing Photos

    visual branding with Dana Smithers, Julie Salisbury and Susan FriesenSharing photos makes your marketing more personable and showcases your personal brand.  Consumers love seeing the real person behind the business.

    So be mindful of when you are working or in group situations and see how you can snap pictures to show followers what you are up to.

    Take a picture holding your new book.  Grab a shot with a new friend you met while networking.  Show the resort you are staying at for your business mastermind.

    Here’s Dana Smithers, Julie Salisbury and myself while at a recent WOW (Woman of Worth) event in Harrison Hot Springs.

  4. Video

    Creating videos helps build a strong following online.  It’s important to have your videos match your brand too.  Dress in a manner that is consistent with your brand.

    You could also shoot it in similar places or locations.  Whether that’s sitting at your desk, cooking in the kitchen, or standing in front of a green screen with a projected background, that consistent setting helps build familiarity.

    Be warm, friendly and connective.  If you promise to offer weekly video tips, then get them out on the same day each week so viewers can anticipate them. Create a custom hashtag for your video tips too – we created our eVision video eTips with the hashtag #eTip for consistency.

  5. Branded Images

    Kick up the interest of your blog articles and social media with images.  There are loads of free tools to help you make graphic quotes, infographics, and other visuals to add impact.

    Make sure all your graphic images are consistent with your brand.  Adding your logo makes it easy for people to instantly recognize the content is from you.

    For instance, the other day we re-posted an older article about “6 Steps to Nurturing A Profitable Business“.  We featured an image of an Emperor Penguin family.  It suggested the idea of nurturing but also tied into our brand with the Penguin theme.

  6. Social Media

    Social media provides so many opportunities for visual branding.  From Facebook cover images to profile pics, to graphics, there are endless opportunities for people to learn more about what you do.

    The images you use can evoke the feelings and emotions you want your brand to convey.  The goal is for someone to look at your social media account and get an impression that helps them understand your unique vibe.

  7. Free Giveaways

    When you are offering free reports, tools, and other goodies to visitors, make sure they have the same colours, logos, and visual feel as your other materials.

    eVision Ultimate Guide Report CoverWhen it looks professional and makes a great impression, it builds credibility.  Plus, it’s just one more piece of the brand puzzle that helps them understand what you do.

    For example, our free giveaway is “The Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website’s Profitability“. 

    The cover features a headshot of me for familiarity, (mind you, this is an old photo so fixing up this free report is a priority of mine.) It has our brand colour of purple and includes our logo. 

    So it looks and feels like eVision Media. If someone forwarded a copy of this to a friend, they would get an accurate sense of our brand.

  8. Email Signature

    Susan Friesen eSignatureA graphic email signature can add visual impact to every message you send.  Services like Wisestamp make it easy to add your logo, picture, and social media links to your email signature.

    We have designed many eSignatures for clients that exactly match their brand and it’s an effective way to enhance their brand with every email they send out.

    Have your virtual team members set up a signature too so you come across as a professional team to your customers.

Are You a Wanna Be or a Real Brand?

It’s really important to take a look at your brand as a whole to make sure everything is in alignment.

Is your visual brand:

  • Clear,
  • consistent,
  • authentic,
  • memorable, and
  • in alignment with changes in the marketplace, your offerings, or your success

Even if your brand was on target 3 years ago, the nature of your business may have changed where your brand no longer accurately reflects what you do or who you serve.

You have become more specialized.  You may have new product offerings.  Maybe you are now the host of a new podcast.

Take a look at your brand with the eyes of an outsider and ask yourself if what you see truly reflect who you are now as a company.

How Does Your Business Score from a Visual Branding Perspective?

At eVision Media, we are experts at building, managing and marketing Brands online. If you need help developing your visual brand or just need some direction, contact us today. Our team of creative marketing professionals can help keep your brand on the path to success.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Secrets to Creating a Visual Brand Identity That Sets You ApartClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Integrating Your Personal Brand with Your Professional Brand

In this eTip I was recently at the WOW (Woman Of Worth) event in Harrison Hot Springs where I had a chance to speak with Dana Smithers about the importance of getting your personal brand aligned with the goals of your professional business brand.

How can you incorporate personal branding into your business?

Dana has had several businesses over the years and we’re lucky enough to have her count on us as her ‘go to team’ for professional web development, graphic design and online marketing services.

Dana embodies her own branding and her passion for her work is reflected in her commitment to owning her brand.

Choosing the colour red was no mistake. Dana picked it to convey her message of education, inspiration, and empowerment and it is a staple in all her branding both for herself and her business. She literally wears it and that consistency is what we’re talking about today.

Dana is now at the point in her career where she is so committed to her brand that her wardrobe is absent anything not part of her style palette: red, white, and black.

We helped her with her branding and she isn’t limited to one shade of red so don’t think you need to be pinned down to a style guide that restricts you. Dana makes a great point that different shades of your primary colours are 100% allowable.

These shades and even your brand can change but make sure it’s always designed to aide in attracting your ideal clients.

Dana recently updated her own site but kept things relatively consistent to build on the momentum established already by her strong branding position which is focused on helping solopreneurs achieve their goals.

Something Dana made very clear was that if you’re thinking of asking a friend or relative to handle aspects of your business, you’re never going to get the same level of service that you would from having a professional team at your disposal.

When Dana launched her book this year she came to us regarding the book jacket and layout. We know her brand inside and out having built it with her so she knew she could expect something that worked with her website and her branding easily and that’s just what she got.

By keeping the consistent colouring that is integral to her branding, Dana has even encountered people whens she’s not in red asking her where the red is in her outfit! They know her brand so well when she appears to deviate it’s noticeable, but as she points out, her lipstick and nail polish are always in her signature red.

Aligning your personal branding with your professional branding goes beyond the visual element we’ve focused on here and you’ll be able to see those elements when you analyze your branding.

By getting these two elements in line, you increase your prospects of being recognized and brand recognition is always good for business.

If you’d like to establish a strong brand both personally and professionally like what we’ve accomplished with Dana, please get in touch. Our team loves helping with branding projects so let us now if you’re interested in taking yours to the next level.

Don’t forget that if you liked what you saw here please subscribe to our Youtube channel or newsletter so you can get updates and videos for small business entrepreneurs every week!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

7 Crucial Elements to Building an Effective Personal Brand

7 Crucial Elements to Building an Effective Personal Brand

How to Gain More Income, Influence and Impact Through Building a Personal Brand

It used to be that if you had a logo and a website you had a business brand.  But today’s consumers demand a lot more.  Branding for them is about the experience of being with you, the owner of that business.

Today businesses have to look a lot deeper when it comes to creating a personal brand that is in harmony with their business brand.

When you have a strong personal brand, you become a mini-celebrity in your field. With that strong brand comes clout and credibility. People look up to you.

When you have a strong personal brand, you become a mini-celebrity in your field.Click To Tweet

When people think of your industry, you’ll be the first one to come to mind. It also gives your offerings a higher perceived value – suddenly you can charge what you are worth to clients who are happy to pay.

If you want to build a dynamic and effective personal brand that will help grow your business but don’t know where to start, let’s break it down…

7 Key Elements of a Personal Brand that is Infused with Your Business Brand

  1. Embracing Consistency

    When prospects know what to expect of you it creates a feeling of familiarity and trust.  That’s why consistency of everything you do and how you present yourself is so important.
     
    But many business owners go willy-nilly with their brand, not paying attention to colours, fonts, graphics or style of messaging that all makes up a personal and business brand.  This can be confusing for your audience.  Your brand should be developed with consistency and standards that reflect well on how you want your business to be perceived.
     
    For instance, take colours – one way to be consistent with your business brand on a personal level is to wear similar colours to your visual brand. For many years, Mari Smith wore her signature turquoise blue wherever she went, which was a match to her business brand.  She has since changed this strategy, but it was very effective in her brand positioning while she was building her leadership presence.
     
    Dana J. Smithers, one of our long-time clients is another one who fully embraces her brand messaging by consistently wearing only her business brand colours: Black, red and white. (Stay tuned for an upcoming eTip where I interview her on this subject.)
     
    Consistency is king when it comes to branding.  Aside from your personal appearance, other things you do also affect your personal brand. For instance, if you say you provide a weekly newsletter, you need to honour that commitment and make sure a newsletter goes out every week.  If you post twice a day on Facebook, keep up that frequency.
     
    That kind of consistency will win over the trust of your followers, which will make them more likely to make a purchase when they are in need of your product or services.

  2. Forming a Compelling Story

    Your story is the single biggest differentiator for your business.  Make your story be a part of your personal brand. (Read my story here or a fuller version on a book I’m a co-author of: Entrepreneurial Spirit Sauce.)
     
    Hundreds of people may sell what you have, but you are the only one who is exactly like you.
     
    Your followers yearn to know who you are, how you got to where you are at and why you love what you do.  Think of it as your Cinderella rags to riches story.  It allows people to see how you came from no-where, learned the lesson, and came out on top.
     
    Connecting to your story gives followers that feel good, heart-to-heart connection with you.  Once you craft your story you can add it on your about page, your bio, in presentations, your book, and more!

  3. Owning Authenticity

    When you share from your heart you inspire and connect with people on a deeper level.
     
    Share the real you.  Let them see your values.  Talk about what you stand for.  Give them a peek behind the scenes so they feel included.

  4. Being Visible and Accessible

    Out of sight means out of mind. There are many ways you can showcase your personal brand by becoming more visible in front of your target market. Here’s just a few ideas:

    • Have a networking meetings.
    • Get featured in the media.
    • Be a podcast or telesummit guest.
    • Show photos of events you attend and the people you meet on Social Media.
    • Hold webinars and Facebook Live Q&A sessions with your followers.
    • newsletters so you are unforgettable.
  5. Creating a Value Proposition

    This is such an important brand element but sadly most businesses do not have a clear value proposition statement.
     
    A value proposition is a clear declaration that explains who you serve, how you serve them, and why your solution is better.
     
    A good one is clear, specific and easily understood.  When you can articulate this in a compelling way, it’s a powerful client attraction

  6. Defining a Focused Ideal Client

    Many businesses aren’t clear about their ideal customer.  They cast their net too wide when it comes to customers.
     
    Once you clearly identify who is in your tribe, it not only supercharges your marketing messages but also helps you better understand how to present yourself in front of them in order to win them over.

  7. Showcasing Your Expertise

    Personal branding also means being the best and most knowledgeable at what you do.  Don’t just be a follower of other top experts, instead lead the industry with your perspectives, findings and views.
     
    Create studies to publish new results.  Develop your own signature system.  Craft terms that become the coined phrase for the industry.
     
    The more you differentiate yourself from others in your industry the more you will become the go-to expert people will be drawn to.

Want to Stand Out and Get Noticed?

At eVision Media we understand what it takes to succeed online.  We do more than help you look good online through a business brand design; we go to the core of what makes you unique and communicate it with a personal brand that defines you.

Find out more today about our website design, branding, and online marketing services or talk to me about my mentoring options where I’ll help you define your personal brand.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

7 Crucial Elements to Building an Effective Personal BrandClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The Big Impact Personal Branding Has on Your Business

Today’s eTip is about the importance of personal branding for your business where I’m joined by business consultant, mentor, and inspirational Speaker Francesca Sabeya Anastasi who is an authority on the topic.

Do you need personal branding?

In Francesca’s opinion any business with a person behind it, whether it’s the founder or president, needs a face behind the brand that echos the businesses brand.

It’s about showing your most professional version of yourself to the world and it should align with how your business is presented.

Her example is of an accounting firm. Rather than showing someone sitting behind a desk plugging away, the PR shows them off to potential clients in a polished and professional way.

The polished, professional aesthetic should be maintained throughout the personal branding as well. If you advertise yourself one way and the reality is different, you are not establishing any trust with your followers.

Francesca was once an image consultant and advises that people representing a business should mirror the business aesthetic even down to the colours we choose to wear when representing our brand/business. Think about banking advisers. They opt for navy suits because blue implies trust.

Unspoken communication conveys a lot through your image and actions.

If what you convey doesn’t match what you’re offering you’ll find it’s a bigger struggle to get and keep your clients.

Depending on who Francesca sees and speaks with she selects an appropriate outfit so she communicates the proper message.

People tend to make assumptions and decisions about everyone they meet within 5 seconds of meeting them.

In Francesca’s opinion the most important part of it all is to be who you are.

When you’re comfortable with who you are and you’re past the voices in your head holding you back you’ll be in a great position to make a genuine connection.

She advises honesty above all else. Be genuine to build trust.

I advise not echoing the lines you’ve read elsewhere. Be yourself so you’re making a sincere connection.

You started your business to do what you love and bring a service to others. Come from that same place with your personal branding and think about what you would like or need to see in someone selling what you do in order to buy from them or hire them.

Don’t be too casual. Putting in a bit of effort can help you stand out from the crowd.

Anyone starting a business knows it’s hard.

Francesca looks at a business as a whole and when the goals of the business are assessed the solution is often in changes the entrepreneur needs to make.

If you’d like to get in touch with Francesca you can contact her via www.FrancescaAnastasi.com

Try her 7 steps to entrepreneurial success and follow her on social media. She provides a lot of value to her followers and if you have any questions about personal branding please leave a comment below and I’ll make sure she receives them.

Don’t forget that if you liked what you saw here please subscribe to our Youtube channel or newsletter so you can get updates and videos for small business entrepreneurs every week!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.

› CONTACT US TODAY

About the Author, Susan Friesen

Susan Friesen offering 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".