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".

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".

Website Planning: Why Strategy Beats Design Every Time

Website Planning: Why Strategy Beats Design Every Time

What to Do First Before Designing Your Business Website

I see it all the time.  People are excited about their business.  They set out to hire a web designer.  They share their vision for their website and excitedly wait for the big reveal.

Then, disaster strikes.  “You got it all wrong.”  they say.

Design dollars are wasted.  Revisions begin.  Everyone scratches their heads and wonders where it all went wrong. And before you know it what should have been a simple project becomes a nightmare.

This doesn’t have to happen to you. 

Without a map, it’s easy to get lost in unfamiliar territory.  The same is true of website development. Before you begin you really need to have a solid plan in place.

Avoid website design disaster by having a plan in place firstClick To Tweet

That’s the real difference between working with a full-service marketing firm or a solo website developer.  A marketing firm can help you do the proper due diligence and analysis needed to make sure the website designed for you truly meets your business needs.

Much of the design process breaks down to a few simple steps:

MESSAGING

Who do you serve? Defining your ideal client is one of the most important steps before building a website. The more specific you are about who your ideal client is, the better you’ll be able to speak to their needs when they visit your site.

Here are some questions to ask yourself while doing an ideal client analysis:

  • Who do you have a passion for serving?
  • What are their biggest pains?
  • Are they men or women?
  • What level at they in their business or situation: newbies, established, or experts?
  • What are their values?
  • What are their biggest goals?
  • What is their personality?

This clarity helps you laser-focus your messaging to speak directly to their needs.

Being clear on your ideal target market will ensure your website messaging speaks directly to themClick To Tweet

Everyone has the same basic human needs.  Knowing and understanding the pains of your target market is critical.  Tell them how you will help them overcome their challenges or how your products will alleviate their concerns.

Having credibility is also important.  Most prospects haven’t heard about you upon their first encounter with your website.  So it’s your job to build trust that you have knowledge and experience and proven results.

Credibility comes through testimonials, media clippings, blog articles and sharing results you have achieved with clients. Showcasing the education, training and credentials you achieved also shows prospects you have expertise in what you do.

FUNCTION

Another critical part of the web design and development process is being clear on the website’s function.  The layout for your website will vary greatly depending on your business goals.

  • What is the goal of your website?
  • Will it be an online store?
  • Do you want to build a list and online community?
  • Will it serve as a free information site where you gain revenues on advertising and affiliate sales?
  • Are you selling services?
  • Is your website an online brochure?

Once armed with this clarity, your designer will know if you need a landing page, chat tool, email list management software, online booking tool, or other special features in order to support your vision.

Knowing the path you want visitors to go and take the desired action helps your designer put the right elements in place to accomplish that.

LOOK AND FEEL

If you have ever gone shopping in a store with a friend you have probably experienced that we all have very different tastes.  The same is true when you design a website.

Even though you have described what you envision, the web designer may have something entirely different in mind. The goal for both of you is to create a visual brand that is appealing to your target market. It needs to immediately say to them they are in the right place.

Before sending your designer a bunch of colour swatches and other websites you want your site to look like, the better approach is to create a brand standards guide first that encompasses the colours, fonts and style of your overall business brand. This process should be done at the time of designing your logo since your logo functions as the basepoint of your brand.

The key is to remember you are designing a website for your target audience in relation to your business, not for you personally.  Yes, for many entrepreneurs, your personality is directly infused into your brand but it is possible the look and feel could be quite different from your personal taste.  It all depends on who you are trying to attract to your business.

Website design is for appealing to your ideal target market, not for your personal tasteClick To Tweet

In saying that, it doesn’t hurt to still send your designer sample websites that you like and be specific about what exactly you like about them. That kind of feedback is very valuable especially with the layout and overall messaging of the site.

THE DO IT YOURSELF DILEMEA

It’s easy to think when you start out doing it all yourself is a better way to save money.

But how much is your time worth?  How much do you know about copywriting or effective marketing strategy or design?

How much more revenue could you create if you focused on business building and outsourced your web design and marketing?

Finally, you can’t put a value on the insights and expertise that a marketing team brings to the table.  It’s well worth investing in a polished website that converts clients.

Whether you are building your first website or redesigning your existing one, taking time to carefully plan it will save you time, headaches and money.

If you’re looking for a qualified web design and marketing team to help you with your website development project, let us know and we’ll go through the above process with you.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

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

Website Planning: Why Strategy Beats Design Every TimeClick 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".

What A Business Award Nomination Can Do For Your Brand

If someone nominates you for a business award in your sphere of influence, the advantages to your brand are pronounced.

What many don’t know is: your brand can also reap some killer rewards when you’re the one doing the nominating.

Business Advisor and Mentor Pamela Chatry explains in this quick interview after we were both nominated for a Woman of Worth Award:

 

What’s the value of nominating someone for a business award?

The value lies in reciprocity.

Of course, the act of giving recognition is, in itself, rewarding. But you can also use that opportunity to benefit your own brand.

Here’s how that works:

Usually, when you nominate someone for any kind of business award, they reciprocate, which opens up avenues for some wickedly effective networking.

Additionally, you get recognition from other influencers whose words have more weight than your average reference.

So, even if there’s a nomination fee, that amount means precious little when you consider the untapped return on your investment.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more effective use of your advertising dollars.

If you have any questions about nominating a business for an award, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. Also, if you’re looking to boost your digital marketing to the next level, sign up for my free newsletter.

Until next time,

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find 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.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

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

What A Business Award Nomination Can Do For Your 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".

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.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

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".

6 Highly Effective Ways to Position Your Business Brand Like a Super Hero

6 Highly Effective Ways to Position Your Business Brand Like a Super Hero

How Christine Awram Successfully Created a Powerful Brand for Women

I recently attended The Tammy Moyer Woman of Worth Awards Gala event created by the Woman of Worth founder, Christine Awram.

I was honoured to have been nominated in the Business & Prosperity category by Dana Smithers of Empowered Women in Business. In addition, I was doubly honoured to find out I was one of the 5 finalists in that category!

Woman of Worth award finalists 2017

Even though my name wasn’t called as the winner, I still felt and feel like a winner.

And the reason for that?

The entire experience Christine creates during and in between events such as this.

Her mantra is “all women are leaders and every woman is a Woman of Worth [WOW]” andit’s the platform on which she’s built a very successful brand.

To quote Christine:

Christine Awram WOW awards 2017“Twelve years ago it was just an idea, and now we’re impacting the global empowerment of women. WOW takes us a step closer to a world where ALL women collaborate and are powerful, prosperous, peaceful and on purpose. I began this adventure with a burning desire to make a difference.

There were many times I wavered and despaired, and if there was a mistake to be made I made it, but I kept the vision and kept moving forward. I’m humbled by what we’ve created together as a community. WOW is incredible.

My invitation to every woman: Celebrate your magnificence, turn up the volume, step up your leadership game, and GET WOWED.”

Over the years, Christine has created several one-day events and workshops specifically for women, and WOW, these events are incredibly empowering! (Pun intended.)

How does she do it?

It’s all in how she has positioned her business brand.

Business brand positioning is how a business owner comes across to others and are perceived by their target market.  Christine has found the perfect brand formula that has positioned herself as a champion for women.

Brand positioning is how you come across to others & are perceived by your target marketClick To Tweet

Wonder how she did it? Here are six tips to replicate her crazy success:

  1. Be clear on who you are and what you’re about

    When it comes to building a strong business brand, it’s imperative you understand how your personality makes up that brand.

    Be clear on how you want to be positioned in front of your ideal target market. Then be consistent on how you come across to others in everything you do.

    Christine does this beautifully with every encounter someone has with her. Whether it’s a social media post or approaching her in the foyer at an event, she’s consistently clear with her branding message, even when she is sick with pneumonia as was the case this weekend!

  2. Be clear on who makes up your ideal target market

    Before you can build a successful business brand, you need to be crystal clear on who you want to serve.

    Without this insight, you are throwing spaghetti at a wall hoping something sticks enough to get a sale. Understanding what their needs and challenges are and how you can best serve them is fundamental in building a business brand.

    Christine is well aware her target market is dynamic women who wish to be a part of a community for personal and professional growth. She provides and facilitates opportunities for collaborating, showcasing, networking, building community and having fun, all of which her target audience is looking for.

  3. Be passionate about your business

    Have you ever attended a trade show where the person in his or her booth is just sitting behind a table, looking at their phone, completely disengaged from the passers-by?

    When someone is not passionate about what they’re doing, they really shouldn’t be doing it. If you are feeling lackluster in your business, either find ways to get your joy back or see if perhaps there’s something else that will help you feel more on purpose.

    Christine is extremely passionate about empowering women. Everything she does is with the intention of supporting women to help them achieve their goals and aspirations..

  4. Use social media to build a community

    Social media is a powerful way to build a community full of raving fans. This is one area that Christine has mastered. No matter how busy she is, she will take the time to respond to every single comment and post that she’s been tagged in.

    Every. Single. Time.

    THIS is the way to build a strong community on social media. Make people feel special with positive reinforcement, recognition, and support… your brand will reap the many rewards as a result.

  5. Get help

    It’s nearly impossible to create a successful business brand by yourself. It really does take a village! Much as I have a team of skilled people on my team who are experts in their own fields, Christine has also invited people into her circle.

    Sometimes getting help is not in the form of paying an employee; Christine invites volunteers to help her out in exchange for free admission to her events. She also incorporates sponsorship initiatives to offset costs. Plus her network of collaborators help her find excellent guest speakers she would otherwise never have known about.

  6. Have fun

    If you’re not having fun and enjoying yourself on a daily basis, then it’s time to re-evaluate what you’re doing.

    Christine infuses her deep love of wine and chocolate into all of her events and social media posts to showcase her fun-loving personality. Consequently, she’s building the brand perception that if you attend one of her events, you can be guaranteed there will be a lot of fun involved.

Everything you do as a business shapes your brand’s positioning. If you want to be branded a “thought-leader” in a specific area of expertise, use some of Christine’s successful tactics in your business marketing efforts.

Everything you do as a business shapes your brand's positioning.Click To Tweet

And if you need help with your brand positioning, that’s something we specialize in. Give us a call to see how we can better position your business brand for success.

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:

6 Highly Effective Ways to Position Your Business Brand Like a Super HeroClick 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".

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".

Business eTip: What Exactly Is Business Branding?

Today’s video eTip will dive into business branding. Watch today’s video tip to find out why almost everyone has different ideas about what business branding actually is and how you can navigate through that confusion.

What is business branding?

Some people think it’s just your logo.

Other people think it’s your website.

Yet other people think it’s your tagline.

The truth is, your branding is actually the representation of the essence of your business. It encapsulates both you and your business so that people get a feel for what it would be like to either work with you or purchase one of your products.

What is your unique selling position?

The first thing you need to do in order to establish a brand is to fully understand how you want your business to be positioned in respect to your competition; what do you want your reputation to be within your industry and who is your ideal target market?

Ultimately, exploring these elements will help you determine what people would say about your brand after they’ve interacted with it in some manner. In doing so, you can then emulate that “brand story” if it fits your vision or adjust your positioning accordingly to produce an identity that’s more in-line with your business goals.

Making sense of it all

If you’re new to the world of branding and marketing, it’s not always easy to formulate a branding strategy that consistently delivers that “brand story” to your audience. There’s too many elements to keep track of and oftentimes your message can become disjointed and malformed, like a game of telephone.

I can help you with that.

I specialize in streamlining your brand to fit a cohesive narrative that encompasses your logo, website, social media and all supporting marketing materials. Taking this integrated approach is the reason why my clients have so much success with their branding – I help connect your brand with the right audience who are ready, willing and able to do business with you.

If you have any questions about branding or anything at all, 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.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

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".