eBusiness Blog

Is Your Business PR Ready?

Is Your Business PR Ready?

5 Ways to Build Public Relationships With Your Clients and Customers in the New Year

In the age of social media – which is here to stay if anyone was wondering – the traditional field of public relations has taken a shift online in many more ways than the PR gurus first predicted.

In addition to simply being another “vehicle” to “get your message out” it has become a whole forum and place to build relationships.

Public Relations has always been about relationships in one way or the other but never more than now. In fact one very well-respected company in Canada, formerly known as Argyle Public Relations, has recently renamed their company Argyle Public Relationships.

It’s the sign of the times that differentiates Public Relations from being a traditional PR company to more of what the field is really all about – building relationships.

And why is social media a gift to PR? Because now, more than ever, companies can build relationships with their clients and customers outside of lunches, client dinners and networking events.

Relationships can be formed, fostered and nurtured online.

When was the last time you met someone online outside of a dating chat room? I have many colleagues, clients and service providers who I have never actually met in person. We have developed relationships through online connections, social media conversations, and video meetings over Zoom and Skype.

In many ways, I am in closer contact with my virtual partners and clients than those business connections with whom I typically only meet face-to-face.

Virtual relationships are available at the flick of a button, the touch of a “thumbs up,” and the speed of a share.

So, when I ask if your business is “PR Ready,” I am asking are you ready, in 2018, to build relationships with your clients and customers? Are you ready to build Public Relationships?

Let’s take a look at 5 ways you can build public relationships with your clients and customers in 2018.

  1. Host an event

    This can be in-person or online. Holding regular client events for the people who keep your business, well, a business, is a good thing.
     
    These can even be annual events, but having a way that you connect with your clients regularly in a way that is meaningful to them will keep your business going for years to come.
     
    You could host an annual summer BBQ or holiday cocktail party, perhaps an event that’s tied to a local holiday (for us in Calgary, Calgary Stampede parties are de rigeuer for 10 days in July), or is there a speaker you could bring in who could elevate your company’s brand or serve your clients in some way?
     
    Creating a way to connect with your clients – in person or online – in a way that brings them together will help build your public relationships.

  2. Make news

    If you have something to announce, a patent you can boast about, a new program you have developed, a milestone you have achieved – these are all things you can make your own news about.
     
    News-making is also about building relationships.  
     
    Even though “announcing” news is “one-way” communications, which means your company is sending information out and not necessarily receiving it back, your clients and customers will relate to the news in some way.
     
    With social media, you can encourage interaction with your announcement, thereby encouraging the Holy Grail of public relationships: “two-way” communications.

  3. Create conversation

    Do you have anything interesting to say? Does anyone you know or respect have anything interesting to say?
     
    You don’t even have to be the one with the original thought, if you can create conversation, you are having a relationship with those with whom you engage in conversation.
     
    Identify those topics of conversation that interest your ideal customer or client group, and have those conversations online. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linked In are all great places to have those conversations in a daily, real-time way.

  4. Host a Training

    Would your customers or clients benefit from free or low-cost trainings? Hosting a meet-up or short workshop can bring your clients great value in addition to giving your company exposure.
     
    These meet-ups can be in-person or online with similar result – creating conversation, and building relationships with the people who matter most to you – your clients and your potential clients.

  5. Publish Content

    Publishing content is now as easy as a free WordPress template. And while in days gone by publishing content was a decidedly one-way activity, now when you hit “live” on your web content it’s instantly in the public domain and ready to invite conversation.
     
    Encourage relating to your audience by posing questions and perhaps even sparking controversy. What gets your ideal customer hot under the collar, or inspires them to sit up and take notice? Write about those things and you will be adding to the relationship you have with your customers.

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.


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.


5 Ways to Create a Culture of Innovation in Your Business

5 Ways to Create a Culture of Innovation in Your Business

The ABC’s of Business Basics Series – I is for Innovation

What’s one really big advantage a small company has over a large one?

The smaller company can adopt innovation and introduce change quickly.   Innovation can result in increased revenue, cost reduction, better client relations, improve your competitive edge, and create an exciting work environment.

Let’s not confuse innovation with creativity. WhatIs.com defines ‘Innovation’ as, “an organization’s process for introducing new ideas, workflows, methodologies, services or products.”

As Siyana Sokolova states in her blog:

“Creativity goes hand in hand with innovation.  And there is no innovation without creativity. While creativity is the ability to produce new and unique ideas, innovation is the implementation of that creativity – that’s the introduction of a new idea, solution, process, or product.  

Creativity is the driving force behind innovation and the incorporation of looking at things from a different perspective and freedom of restrictions by rules and written or unwritten norms.”

Here’s a recent example of a simple, but impactful innovative idea. 

I recently took a WestJet flight on my way home from Costa Rica.  After boarding the plane in Liberia, the plane was reversing, preparing to taxi to the landing strip.  I looked out the window and saw 5 men walking towards the plane, all in a row.

They all stopped and unfurled a banner with a WestJet logo on it.  The banner was held and directed towards the plane.  It read, “Thank you for visiting Costa Rica.  Come back soon.  Pura Vida.”

The whole planeload of people laughed, smiled, waved and took pictures to post on social media when they arrived home.  What a powerful way to make a lasting impression!

Someone had come up with the idea, and then a team had created a plan to carry out the farewell message for every WestJet flight that left the country.

Here’s 5 ways you can create a culture of innovation in your company:

  1. Hold regular idea generation meetings and involve your staff whenever possible. At each meeting, pick one area of the business to concentrate on.  Pose a pre-planned question or two. 
     
    For example, if you are a retailer you might ask the question, “How can we sell more at our POS?” or “How can we get our staff excited about the new fall line-up?” Be sure and give everyone an opportunity to share ideas. 
     
    Remind your staff that there are no bad ideas.
  2. Hold follow-up meetings with your leadership team. Use the terms, ‘feasibility’, ‘desirability’, and ‘viability’ as your guidelines to evaluate ideas.
  3. Keep the great ideas stored somewhere. Not every idea can be adopted right now, but you never know when they can be used.
  4. >Once an idea is adopted, create an action and implementation plan. Examine current practices and brainstorm new ideas for improved efficiency, increased revenue, or better client relations.
     
    Identify who will be involved and what specific steps need to be taken, then attach working deadlines.  Hold everyone accountable to the process.
  5. Book time in your management meetings for discussion around innovation. Create a culture of research.  Encourage information sharing, both from a local and global perspective.  
     
    Monitor trends, and be open to new ideas.  Encourage outside the box thinking.

Business innovation is crucial in our fast-paced world.  Technology often demands response quickly. 

Be brave.  Be unique.  Be innovative.

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.


A ‘How-to’ Guide for Earning Small Business Media Exposure

A 'How-to' Guide for Earning Small Business Media Exposure

You have dreams of being a guest on Oprah Winfrey. The Today Show is calling your name (they just don’t know it yet!)… Even a short media appearance on the local breakfast show would be great.

Ok. Can I just have a few lines in the business section of the city newspaper? Anyone??

What does it take to get that traditional media exposure you are coveting? If they only knew about you, you’d be busier than all get out! You just need one big break… right?

Right?

Wrong. (unfortunately)

Building a media presence for your small business takes time, consistency and the know-how to get yourself noticed in front of media audiences who are interested in what you have to say.

And notice I am using the word “earning” media exposure instead of “getting” or “securing” media exposure.

Yes, you have to earn it.

Unless you are paying for it (which is called advertising, by the way) it is not up to you if you will get covered, how much you will covered, or even what the media might say about you. That, my friend, is all up to the media outlet who is telling your story for you.

That’s not to say you can’t exercise some influence, however. You can absolutely doll yourself up (meaning, your business) and make what you have to say attractive to the potential media outlet.

It is important that you have something to say that people want to hear.

Here are nine steps to earning traditional media exposure for your small business:

  1. Know What You’re Selling

    This may seem obvious to you, but often this is the first stumbling block for my   clients. They know what they are selling, and what their services are, but can they explain it in a way that people will clearly understand?
     
    If you were called for that appearance on The Today Show, for example, what would you say? What is your story? Is it compelling?
     
    It is important to develop your key messages and be able to deliver them clearly, concisely, and with impact.

  2. Know Who You’re Selling To

    Who is your key audience or ideal customer? Who do you think would most benefit from what you are selling?
     
    Another way to think of it is why do you want people to know about you? What do you want them to do with the information?
     
    Once you know your ideal customer, you can better tailor your message and marketing and communications strategy to reach them.

  3. Know Where Your Customers Hang Out

    Now that you know what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to, where do they hang out? What online media do they use? What traditional media do they use?
     
    How can you reach them? What television shows do they watch? What do they read? Where do they consume their media?
     
    All these factors must be considered as you are developing your media relations strategy.

  4. Make a Media Outlet List of Contacts

    Now that you know what media you would like to appear in, who do you need to reach to earn that appearance? Do you have a relationship with them already?
     
    If not, depending on how big your media ambitions are, you would be wise to hire someone to help you who does know who to talk to and who has a relationship with the media, or you can introduce yourself and go from there.

  5. What Would Interest Them About Your Product/Business?

    Once you know who you want to reach, get familiar with their media outlet. What kind of stories do they like to tell? And how?
     
    Do they do on-camera interviews? Do they do 30-second clips at the end of a new cast? Do they publish in-depth interviews?
     
    How the message will appear can help you frame what and how you share your story with them.

  6. How Can You Tell An Effective Story?

    For example, if you are a sporting equipment company and you want to cover your new product line, there are a number of ways you could go about gaining interest in your product.
     
    You can simply share the factors that make your product great. Or, you could promote the person behind the idea who created the product.
     
    Another way could be to host an event that promotes your product and invite media to the event so they can see your product in action.
     
    There are many different ways to tell the same story.

  7. Pitch Your Idea

    Now that you have your plan together, it’s time to pitch your idea.
     
    Most news outlets prefer email. Make sure your email subject line is to the point and attention-getting. And be sure to include information about your story idea in the body of the email.
     
    You can attach it in a document as well, but the fewer “clicks” a media contact has to take to review what you have to say, the better the chance they will actually read it.
     
    And that’s the first step. You can follow up with another direct message or even a phone call to ensure they received your email, but it’s best not to start there.

  8. Tell The Story

    Once you are successful in gaining the attention of your media contact, it’s time for you to tell your story.
     
    The story may have already been in the body of the email; however, you may also have the opportunity for a media interview or to meet your media contact at a live event that you are appearing at.
     
    Be sure you are ready to answer those questions from the media and if you only have 30 seconds to tell your story, make sure those 30 seconds count!

  9. Repeat

    Whew! That was a lot of work. Great! You earned some media attention and scored a few interviews and some media coverage. Fantastic! Pat yourself on the back and be open for more opportunities to do that again.
     
    Depending on your product, you may have opportunity to develop relationships with key media and pitch ideas monthly. Other businesses may just go out twice a year or even annually. Still others may not go out at all. It’s up to you to decide what you can manage and how often media exposure would benefit your business.

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.


Marketing eTip: Why Discounting Your Products or Services Is a Bad Idea

Why Discounting Your Products or Services Are a Bad Idea

Today’s eTip is about discounting your products or services.

Every entrepreneur and business owner falls into this trap. Sales are slow, times are getting tough, so the first thing that they feel they should do is hold a sale. Put everything they offer on at half price and hope to get some cash flow going.

On the surface this seems logical, you get a quick cash infusion so you can pay your bills. But the long-term dangers this tactic has can prove to be more harmful to your business in the long run.

The harm is that when you discount your offerings, you’re devaluing your business.

Warning: Discounting your products or services also devalue your businessClick To Tweet

So instead of offering a discount, offer a bonus with purchase instead. This could be an additional download, a complementary coaching session or a gift with purchase.

By doing this, you’re adding more value to your product offering and providing a reason to do a marketing campaign around the promotion.

The purchasers feel like they’ve got a lot more for their money and you have not cheapened your offering.

I’d love to hear what you think – do you tend to put something on sale in order to get some cash flow going? Share your response below in the comments section or if you have a question, I’d be happy to answer.

To your success,

P.S. New to online marketing or you 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.
If you want to learn about the entrepreneur industry, I recommend Lee S Rosen Blog, CEO of healthy bees business.
CLICK HERE: www.socialblastcoaching.com

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".

Entrepreneurs: Here’s Ten Secrets to a Successful Book Launch

10 Secrets to a Successful Book Launch

Ahhh, the excitement of finalizing your book and that all important book launch.  It’s a thrilling time because all your hard work comes together and you get to reveal to the world your expertise on a given topic.

Now is the time to both celebrate and get to work.

Let’s show you ways to have more success with selling your book and that all important book launch.  Doable tips to help you make the most out of all you do.  Let’s go!

First, start thinking about your launch while writing and finalizing your book.

As the author, who knows their target audience better or knows the important key points of the book that would matter most?  When you start jotting down those notes, the result is a more personalized and targeted marketing plan.

Next, start to get everything in place to gear up for your launch.

This includes:  Your marketing plan, your media kit, press releases, pitches to journalists, articles on your topic, web copy and sales landing pages, newsletters, autoresponders series, social media, and so forth.

Remember the first few months after a book is published take more energy to market, but the more prepared you are, the better.

But keep in mind one vital marketing tip as well.  Where many authors fail is they build and get ready for launch day and the upcoming weeks they go gangbusters, then that’s it.  It’s like they disappear from the face of the earth. Whatever you do in your marketing make it consistent and think long-term strategies.

Let’s break down what all you need for a successful launch:

  1. Marketing Plan – We all know the basics to a good marketing plan, so let’s dig right in on specifics to a book launch. In addition to writing down how you plan to market, don’t forget those goals.  Do you want to sell more books or get speaking engagements?
     
    By knowing what you hope to accomplish you focus more in those directions. Also include a realistic budget knowing the first few months might require more as you get everything set up.
  2. Website and/or Sales Page – Your website should clearly point out who you are as the author and well as clear and compelling information about your book, speaking, etc. Think benefits and why you are the expert.
     
    Remember many will be coming here for the first time to learn more about you. The more information you provide, the better experience it can be. Let your personality shine through, but also keep it professional and branded.
     
    Additionally, don’t forget to include other books you have authored, links to all your social media channels, media mentions and testimonials, and above all else, make it easy to purchase your book or contact you to speak.
  3. Book Reviews – Getting book reviews is again one of those things you need to consider well before the launch. Your reviews will go in your media kit, on Amazon, your website, and more. Of course, you can send to friends and family, but don’t stop there.
     
    When someone sees your Amazon reviews and everyone has the same last name as yours, they don’t feel it’s a “real review.”  Also, create a database of professional book reviewers (we use Cision) and send to those who cover your type of book.
  4. Radio shows, TV & Speaking Engagements – Line up numerous events for the week prior and after your launch by sending out pitches well in advance. Outline in the pitch why your book would be a great fit for their audience and also again, why you are the expert to share it.
     
    Don’t forget to include your local media as well.  Just don’t overdue it.  You want to sound fresh and excited and if you have too many scheduled with all the other PR taking place, it can have a negative effect.  You end up exhausted, over-extended, and not get to enjoy your great accomplishments.
  5. Newsletters / Autoresponders – These can be crafted well in advance as well and scheduled to ease the stress of book launch week. Include exciting details about your book launch, but also provide tips from the book or material of value.
     
    Yes it is great to announce you have a book coming out, but even better when you provide examples of what’s in the book. Also, don’t forget that all important “freebie” or IFO for when they sign up to be on your list.  Make it targeted and of real value to your audience.
  6. Joint ventures with others in your industry – Often times they can provide additional targeted giveaways that add to the excitement of your launch. They share with their networks and your book gets more exposure and they get to be part of a newsworthy event.
     
    The key to success here is to make it easy for those who contribute to participate and also keep it consistent.
  7. Media Kit – Media kits vary, but consider adding in the following. Sales Page, Introductory Letter or Pitch, Bio, Press Release, Testimonials, Excerpts, Q&A.   To get the most from your media kit, use all the components in your marketing.
     
    Tailor the pitch or introductory letter so it can be used for multiple purposes such as securing book review, speaking engagements, etc.  Of course, these will need to be fine-tuned, but a lot of the basics remains the same.  Also, the press release should be sent out as well.  Let’s get to that next.
  8. Press releases – These capture the attention of your audience, whether it’s a local reporter, potential reader, etc., and should be sent out regularly and especially with your launch.
     
    In your release include book information, author information, a quote from you, call to action on how to get the book, and complete contact information.  The key to success here is the angle that makes it even more newsworthy.
  9. Book Blog Tour – Jot down places you frequent that would be a good fit for your book as well as blogs you feel would be on topic. Send a pitch and introduce your book.
     
    Offer several options.  They can do a book review, contest, post your articles, etc.  When you give several options it helps as the can choose what fits in best with their blog.
  10. Social media – Announce on all your social media networks about your book launch and also any media you receive.  Develop a social media plan to keep the excitement going week after week.

These are the basics to a successful book launch.  Just remember have some fun.  Don’t get so caught up in the “must do’s” that you forget your accomplishment of writing a book.  Seek help if needed.

Are you thinking of writing a book?

About the Author, Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She's the co-author of Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA.

Sign up for her PR Tips at her site and email her at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com to receive her "pitching the media audio" from her PR Success Classes.


Personal Branding For Women Leaders

I came across this great article by Kathy Garland I wanted to share about personal branding – it’s not just about a logo!
Sue

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Branding and personal branding are hot topics in business and personal development now. Why all the buzz? Businesses and people with the strongest brands are the most successful and make the most money. You may think it is odd that a person would have a brand. A brand is more than a logo. In the case of a personal brand, your brand is a sum of your behaviors, attitudes, actions and personal style. It’s what you are known for and makes up your reputation and image.

It’s the same for business, except businesses use logos, websites and marketing materials to represent those qualities. To be noticed and be a successful leader, you should be able to define your personal brand. Your personal brand is a combination of who you are and what you stand for.

Wildly successful, Oprah clearly knows who she is and what she stands for – empowering women. Her personality, vision for and commitment to women has contributed to her phenomenal success.

Who do you admire? What are her personal qualities? What contributes to her success?

You can strengthen your presence, your leadership, your results by focusing on and identifying your personal strengths and talents (who you are) and what difference you want to make and what results you want to create (what you stand for.)

You’ll know you have a strong personal brand when you show up and people say about you:

I need to meet her

She is someone I need to know

Or other people will say, “You need to know her” about you.

Other ways you’ll know you have a strong personal brand are that you are top-of-mind for special projects, promotions, big opportunities, new clients. People trust you because they know who you are and what you stand for.

Women don’t always take time to focus on who they are. We try to be everything to everybody in order to avoid conflict, be helpful, keep the relationships. This comes from that outdated superwoman myth. Time to abolish that notion!

Top leaders know what to say yes to and when to say no, which I find is a skill women often need to learn. You strengthen your personal brand and leadership style when you understand when to say yes and when to say no.

I firmly believe that women can be leaders in restoring the economy by focusing on who they are and what they do best. It’s a great time to identify your personal brand of leadership.

To get started on your personal brand:
1. List three to five areas where you really shine. Identify situations where you felt the most satisfied. One of my personal examples is a team sales pitch I led for a former employer that resulted in winning a large account with a Fortune 500 company. The skills and talents I used to lead that process are part of my personal brand.

2. Purchase the book, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton. It comes with a code for an online assessment that will identify your top five talents. The book offers suggestions for each talent identified.

To know what you stand for, take some time to think about:
1. What do I want to create? What results? What relationships?
2. Where are my passions? What difference do I want to make?

Mother Teresa stood for ending poverty and hunger. Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, stood for helping tribes in indigenous cultures create micro-economies. Women like Mary Kay Ash and Estee Lauder had a unique vision and used their talents to innovate both cosmetics and a business model that supports women.

Your personal brand is already within you. When you are clear on who you are and what you offer, you can be unstoppable. Defining your personal brand will enhance your reputation, build your confidence and empower you as a leader.

© 2009 Kathy Garland, all rights reserved.

Kathy Garland, http://www.kathygarland.com is a transformational leader who works with women leaders on their brands, client acquisition and creating focus for the future and frequently writes and speaks on these topics. She resides in McKinney, Texas and works with clients on branding and client acquisition across the U. S. and Canada.

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