eBusiness Blog

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".

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".

Why Defining Your Ideal Client Attracts More Paying Customers

Today’s eTip is all about the most important step you should take when starting your business.

 

Define your ideal client

I’ve talked a lot about this in the past and the reason myself and many others hammer this point home is that after you’ve experienced initial success from your business you’ll hit a very familiar wall.

When your established connections have finished congratulating you, the phone may not ring as much or not at all. You had a blockbuster opening full of encouraging sentiments and then suddenly…reality sets in and you now have to start finding ways to bring new people in to see what you sell or do.

So now it’s time to ask yourself: who do I want to work with?

Do you need to target local, national, or international? If you want to target international you need to be specific about where and really think this through.

Types of ideal clients

What income level will you be after? It’s important to make all groups distinct in your marketing since each group will have different reasons for agreeing to buy from or work with you.

For example: If you offer a weight loss program don’t just look for people who know they’re overweight. Look for people who have symptoms of being overweight but don’t even know it. Focus on the symptoms they’ve identified and target users who have them.

Bad knees or trouble with mobility? Those users may need what you offer but are out looking for patches for the symptoms of their real problem. They don’t know their problems stem from their core issue (their weight problem).

Target them by offering a solution to their problems.

As mentioned, income level is a big factor too. Ask yourself if the target you set can even afford what you offer. There is no sense marketing to a demographic who can’t afford your product or service.

Think about the case of a business who’s target (they think) is a young mother. If you’re after that market take into account that the children come first so any income they bring in is likely spent on themselves last. That makes it much more difficult for anyone to market to them. So is that demographic going to produce enough business?

Focus on bigger picture goals and not just leads who may turn into one off customers. Referrals are much better.

Look for clients who will refer people to you. eVision Media has grown based on referral business so take into account the opportunities some potential clients may offer in the way of referrals.

90-95% of our business comes from referrals!

Once I get a referral I analyze how it came about. What value did we provide that was good enough for us to be referred to our client’s friend or associate? We work towards building more connections like that when we do our marketing and when picking who we target.

Are all your ideal clients the same?

Assess your strengths and understand that while you may have a great product it may not seem that way too all generations. How old is your market and if it is younger, what makes those leads distinct?

What kind of message will you need to come up with in order to establish trust with your potential client? Building trust from one generation to another is not easy so make sure you really pay attention to the details.

So BEFORE you create your logo, business cards, or hire a professional web developer you should sit down and define your ideal client(s).

This analysis acts as the blueprint for all the marketing from the logo to the website and all other creative and marketing components.

Before you invest anything, get to know your market and get a clear indication that you have a market out there. It’s not worth wasting your time and money on something without a market for it!

If you have any questions about finding the ideal client please comment below and 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".

The True Costs of Not Having a Customer Loyalty Plan

Customer Loyalty Plan

The ABC’s of Business Basics Series – L is for Loyalty

As the old expression states, “people come and people go.” In your personal life, it can be easy to shrug off a person and move on. However, when it’s your business, this can be a very costly attitude to adopt.

The creation and implementation of a customer loyalty plan is necessary for all small businesses.

Look at the costs of customer acquisition vs. customer retention. While sources vary, they do agree that it costs between 4 and 10 times more to find new customers than it does to keep the old ones happy.

First, let’s look at the cost of acquiring new customers.

Do you know how much your company spends on attracting new customers and getting them to buy? It’s called the ‘Cost of Acquisition.’

There are varying ways to flush out this important number. You can look at what it costs to send out an email, an advertisement, purchase Google Ad words, or arrange a visit from a sales person.

However, you also need to look at other costs such as training, agency costs (if you use one), or internal costs for marketing. Once this number is added up, owners are usually surprised at how high the initial costs of acquiring a new customer can be.

How about the customers you attract through the door or by getting them to click online and shop?

Here’s the reality for you. It can take several transactions with that customer before they become loyal (Source: www.refresher.com/the-real-costs-of-losing-customers/).

How much is it costing your company every time you attempt to draw them back?

If you are unsure of what to review, look at performance indicators like marketing and advertising costs, employee costs, cost-of-goods, the hard costs of keeping your business open such as rent, hydro etc.

Customer retention is the name of the business game. Here’s a statistic that should give you incentive: “A 5% increase in retention yields profit increases of 25% to 95%” (Source: Bain & Co. 1990).

So, in the big game of business and profit, it’s all about loyalty.

About the Author, Pamela Chatry

Pamela Chatry

Do you work too hard? Is your business in chaos? If you are struggling with business issues, contact Pamela Chatry for a complimentary assessment. Pamela has been a trusted and highly respected Business Consultant, Mentor for Women in Business, Self-Employment Advocate, Trainer and Keynote Speaker for over 25 years.

Visit www.pamelachatry.com or call her at 778-856-8970 for help in getting your business to its fullest potential.


How Personal and Business Branding Begins with a Professional Headshot

How Personal and Business Branding Begins with a Professional Headshot

Why it’s Time to Ditch Your Selfie Profile Photo for a More Favourable First Impression

Does your social media profile photo reflect the professional business person you want to be perceived as by prospects?

What about your website or other touchpoints a prospective client might encounter to help them determine if you are the best person to work with?

I find many solopreneurs and business owners are not as keenly aware as they should be about how acutely important professional headshots are to their personal and business brand.

Many solopreneurs aren't aware of how important headshots are to their personal & business brandClick To Tweet

I know I didn’t for many years until I finally broke down and had my first photoshoot done a few years back.

Wow, what a difference it made to my overall brand positioning and the perception others had of me as a business professional!  Suddenly the first impression I was making on prospective clients and business-related connections was far more favourable.

All thanks to Taneane Twele of TT Photography in Mission and Judy Doduk of Judy D Beauty in Abbotsford who have teamed up to provide photography, make-up and even hair services in their Shine Portraits package.

Professional Make-up for Photoshoot with Judy DodukSince it’s been 3 years since those initial photos were taken, I recently headed back to Taneane’s studio to better reflect how I look today.

I know how many business owners strongly resist having professional photos done. Me too. I was overweight and avoided the camera lens at all costs. But somehow, miraculously as far as I was concerned, Taneane was able to position me in various poses that showcased ME instead of the excess weight I was carrying.

Whatever your reasons for avoiding the camera, trust me when I tell you a professional photographer, combined with professional make-up application, will make a world of difference and enable you to be showcased professionally in front of your prospects and clients.

Using a professional photographer & make-up artist makes a huge difference in your personal brandClick To Tweet

Click here to watch a quick video I did with Taneane while on location during our shoot.

At the end of the day, professional photos give the impression you care about your personal and professional image. It’s that favourable perception others have of you that will greatly enhance the success of your business.

If your profile photo was taken years ago or not done by a professional photographer, it’s time to step up and create a better lasting impression by booking a professional photoshoot. And once you have your new photos in hand, ensure you use them!

Here’s several places to incorporate your professional headshot:

  • All Social Media Profiles

    Whether you are active on them or not, people are accessing any and all of your social media profiles at any given moment.
     
    Try to vary your photos if possible. For instance, I use a more personable, friendly photo on my personal Facebook page where a more professional photo is used on the Business page, LinkedIn and other professional networks.
     
    They are each professional photos but what I’m wearing and my pose makes the difference between the friendly and casual look compared to a more polished and professional one.

  • Online Profiles

    If you do any form of content marketing, the odds are good you have bio profiles scattered in several places that showcase you being the author of your piece. Take a look at places like Storify, Business 2 Community, or YouInc and ensure your professional headshot is in place.
     
    Don’t forget about other websites and platforms you might not visit often like Skype, Medium, Alignable, WordPress, DISQUS, Gravatar, and other places that require an avatar to go with your name and bio.

  • Social Media Banners

    If you are the face of your business, then you need to get comfortable with seeing yourself in the spotlight. For instance, if you are a speaker, author or industry leader, then your social media banners should also include your photo.
     
    Have your photographer take shots of you “in action” either posed or live when on stage. This welcomes followers and prospects into your world and gives them a feel for what their experience would be like if they went to see your presentation.

  • Your Website

    Most entrepreneurs are the face of their business regardless of the industry they are in. Placing a professional image of you throughout your website is imperative for prospects to get a favourable impression of you and your business.
     
    Use your About page wisely and ensure your photo evokes trust with your website visitors. You want your photo to give the impression you are friendly, approachable and honest.

  • Email Signature

    How many emails do you send out in a day or week? More than likely that’s a lot of eyeballs you have an opportunity to gain better brand visibility with through an email signature.
     
    Get a professional eSignature designed that includes your photo so when people meet you in person, they feel they already know you and are a familiar face.

  • Marketing Collateral

    Whatever you do when it comes to your print and digital marketing pieces, you are definitely leaving a lasting impression on whoever it comes in contact.
     
    Whether it’s your business card, promotional materials or advertisements, take advantage of the opportunity to have your personal and brand be showcased by using your professional head shot.
     
    This will help build upon the valuable “Know, Like and Trust” factor you want to achieve with your target market.

Sadly, the truth of being a business person is prospects are going to judge you based on your appearance. That first impression could literally make them decide whether or not they can trust you to do business with or move on to your competitor.

If you want to give a lasting and positive impression to your followers and potential clients, make the small investment to get professional headshots done. This type of business investment will get you great returns – it did for me!

Have you resisted getting professional photos done for your business? Share below your reasons.

To your success,

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:

How Personal and Business Branding Begins with a Professional HeadshotClick 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 A Professional Headshot Is A Must For Business Owners

When you run your own small business, you understand that first impressions can make or break valuable relationships.

 

Oftentimes, the only thing standing between you and a new client, is a good first impression.

What makes a good professional photo?

If you’ve ever looked at a photo of yourself and cringed, you understand on some level the complexities of a great, photogenic photo.

You also probably relate to the feeling of taking a photo that makes you feel like a million bucks!

If you’ve never felt that excitement, you’re missing out.

Here’s the biggest takeaway I had from working with Taneane from Taneane Twele Photography: No matter how bad you think you look, you are the only one who thinks that.

And that’s never more clear than when you get a professional headshot done.

Your face is treated like a canvas, with all the subtleties and flourishes that make pretty pictures into masterpieces.

If you have any questions about professional headshots, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. Or if you are interested in more information about how to market your business, sign up for my free newsletter.

Until next time,

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or finding it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
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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 Ways to Strengthen Your Brand Identity

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Brand Identity; How the Business of Branding Works to Meet Your Sales and Marketing Goals

How the Business of Branding Works to Meet Your Sales and Marketing Goals

One of the most important elements in making sales is the ability to build trust and rapport with prospects.

One of the most important elements in sales is building trust & rapport with prospectsClick To Tweet

In person it’s easy.  You shake hands, strike up a conversation and build a connection.

But online sales are a bit different.

Often times you are doing business with strangers who have never met you.  They have doubts about who you are, if you can create the results they are looking for, and if you are specialized enough to understand their needs.

Moreover, today’s consumers are craving more connection and authenticity from companies they do business with.

And this is where business branding comes in. 

Business branding helps connect prospects with companies on a personal levelClick To Tweet

Your business brand defines who you are. It’s the heart of your business.  Branding helps to identify and differentiate your business in the marketplace. It defines and positions your business in order to separate you from a sea of competitors.

Branding creates an emotional connection and turns regular customers into raving fans.  But how do you build an effective brand?

Here’s 5 ways to build a business brand that will strengthen your relationship with your target market so they will be more inclined to do business with you:

  1. Claim your Niche. It’s really important to define who your perfect customers  Brands that try to appeal to a wide audience are weak.
     
    Instead, when you define your target market with a specific niche, it allows you to speak more powerfully to their needs.
  2. Be the Top Expert. Being a dentist in your home town puts you in the same class as all the other dentists in your area.
     
    But what if you are the top holistic dentist using all-natural products running a “green” dentistry practice?  That brand may attract clients from all around the country.
     
    Accentuate your strengths.  Claim your title.  If you are not the best, you can be the first, the biggest, the #1 trusted choice.
     
    Find a way to set yourself apart as top dog in your industry.  Then constantly read, learn and grow to keep your leading edge. When consumers see you as an authority they’ll seek you out.
  3. Be a WowSeth Godin talks about “Purple Cowing” your business: “Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable”.  Offering VIP value to your customers helps you stand out.
     
    Instead of just being an oil change shop, imagine if you have a cappuccino maker, offered a mini back massage, and had a big screen TV within a high-end lounge that customers could wait in. You could charge premium fees for a business with “over the top” service and amenities.
     
    Maybe you offer “freaky fast” service like the Jimmy Johns sandwich chain.  Or perhaps you offer personalized services that make your customers feel special.
     
    Do what it takes to stand out from the crowd and be remembered for something your customers will be wowed over. The more you strive to make your existing customers feel special, the more they will tell others about you.
  4. Build a Tribe. Create a community your fans can be a part of. Some ways to do that are:
    • Share frequent updates with your fan base on Social Media and in your newsletters.
    • Tell them insider information about future offers, releases or launches.
    • Give them exclusive discounts or gifts with purchase.
    • Reward them for their loyalty. We offer incentives for those who refer others to us.
    • Recognize top fans publicly.
  5. Give Back. Want your brand to become legendary?  Find ways to give back so your business brand leaves a legacy.  Here’s some ideas:

Find your own way to touch the world and leave your mark in a way that only your company can.

Struggling to Define Your Business Brand?

As much as you may love your current brand, it may not be presenting a very professional image. We can help establish a brand that showcases your business professionally. Find out more about our brand development, brand makeover, and brand communication services today!

To your success,

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 Ways to Strengthen Your Brand IdentityClick 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 Business PR Starts with Knowing Your Ideal Target Audience

Why Business PR Starts with Knowing Your Ideal Target Audience

How well do you know your ideal client or your target audience?

In business, there are many ways to go about getting clients. We have the service-based business where we take on clients where we work with them one-on-one or in small groups, and we have the kind of business where we are selling a commodity.

Each kind of business takes a different sales approach. The first is often more relationship-based, and the second is often more product-based.

Service-based businesses

If you’re selling a service, how often do you, as a business owner, take work that isn’t a perfect fit?

The live client is there and in front of you – so yes! You’ll take the work.

But what if you only took work that was a perfect fit for you and your business? Do you even know what a perfect fit is for your business?

Understanding your ideal client is more than knowing their age, their demographic and where they hang out online.

It’s about knowing yourself and your business offerings.

What is it that you offer that’s unique to you?

Why would people want to hire you over anyone else?

Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you get really clear on what your strengths are as a business and who you’re really after in an ideal client:

Analysis of Core Strengths:

  1. If a complete stranger were to come up to you and you had no idea their background or what their interests might be, what would you tell them that you did?
  2. What do you know you do better than almost anyone else you know?
  3. What is it that you love to do and would gladly do for free? No matter what?
  4. What’s your track record? What are your most favourite clients or projects and why?

Analysis of Ideal Client:

  1. Describe the last client who hired you. What was their:
    1. Gender
    2. Age
    3. Income bracket
    4. How did they hear about you?
  2. Now do a review of the clients who have hired you over the past year. Create a spreadsheet analysis of their commonalities.
  3. Rate, on a scale of 1-10, how much you enjoyed working with each one of them.
  4. What are you learning?

Product-based businesses

What if you’re selling a product?

It’s the latest, greatest thing to hit the travel community or the housewares department.

This involves a broader approach to your sales and still requires you really getting connected to why your ideal client (or target audience) would buy your product.

This can really help when designing PR campaigns to reach them.

What are your target audiences looking for?

Why might they buy the product?

What else can you do to cross-promote the product? E.g. If you are selling a travel accessory, writing articles and creating content that creates an experience for the reader would be a great way to promote your product.

But the catch is you need to know where they hang out, what they read, where they get their news, and what they like to do for fun.

Analysis of Your Product:

  1. Is your product a luxury or needs-based product?
  2. Is your product something that will be repeatedly purchased or is it likely a one-time only purchase?
  3. What need are you filling when people purchase this product?
  4. Can you create an experience around this product? i.e. is it just coffee that you’re selling or are you selling friendship and a relaxing moment in your day?
  5. When would people likely think of purchasing your product?

Analysis of Ideal Customer:

  1. Describe your ideal customer – why would they purchase your product?
  2. What do you know about your ideal customer?
    1. Gender
    2. Age
    3. Income bracket
    4. Where do they purchase your product?
  3. What’s the need you are filling when they purchase your product?
  4. What other things do your customers have in common? For example, if they are purchasing a travel-related product, what else might they purchase and where?

The more we know about your ideal customer or client the more we can use different marketing and communications techniques to reach them.

Here is a list of different ways that you can advertise to your ideal client or customer without them feeling like you’re selling to them:

  1. Blog articles
  2. News media stories that mention your product or establish a need for your product
  3. Speaking Engagements at events
  4. Client or customer contact events
  5. Referrals from previous customers or clients
  6. Social media posts
  7. Sponsorship of causes you care about
  8. Posting opinion pieces that raises your company’s profile
  9. Entering contests that promote your business
  10. Giving away product promotion pieces that have people remember you

The better you know your ideal client or your target audience, the more likely these PR tactics will reach them and turn into sales for you!

About the Author, Susan Elford

Kathryn Wilking

Susan Elford, PR Strategist & Leadership Coach, works with start-ups and seasoned entrepreneurs to help them get real about their strengths and celebrate them so they get more of what they want; clients, exposure and success, while living a life of balance.

Visit Susan at www.elfordcommunications.com for traditional PR support and www.susanelford.com for a look into how she works with her coaching clients.