Are You Properly Selling Your Brand to Consumers?

storyDo you know how to tell your brand story?

We live in a world where grabbing and keeping your audiences’ attention isn’t always easy. Good storytelling can break through the marketing noise and make your brand stand out.

Good storytelling can also forge an emotional connection with your customers that will keep them interested and loyal.

So just what is the power of storytelling?

Here are four things good storytelling can do for your brand….

Boost Engagement

Storytelling is engaging. People have been getting together over a good story for years, from creation myths around the fire to the latest gossip around the water cooler.

If you can tell a strong story about your brand, you can get customers engaged with it.

Take for example the popular Taster’s Choice coffee ads from the 1990s.

These classic ads are a quintessential example of how to tell a story. Viewers stayed tuned for years to find out what the Taster’s Choice couple would do next. The campaign boosted sales and even spawned its own spin off novel and CD compilation.

Give Your Brand Personality

Good storytelling gives your brand a strong personality. With so many brands competing for your customers’ attention, a stand out personality can keep your brand fresh in their minds.

Apple is one of the best-known brand personalities, and for good reason.

Their fun, stylish, easy-going brand persona has its finger on the pulse of the latest developments, and consumers respond to that.

Create a brand personality that your customers will relate to, and you can use that personality as the focus for your brand storytelling.

Find Common Ground

Telling a story about your brand can help you find common ground with your customers.

The story you choose to tell and the way you tell it says a lot about your brand values and ethics.

Customers who share those values and ethics will feel a connection with your story. You’re letting them know that your brand understands them, and knows what really matters.

The article “Chewing Gum, Engaging Your Audience, and the Power of Storytelling” gives the example of Wrigley’s and their recent campaign featuring a father making origami cranes for his child throughout the years.

Wrigley’s touching campaign demonstrates family values, love and tenderness. Customers who value those things will feel a connection with Wrigley’s as a result.

When telling your brand story, ask yourself what values you want to demonstrate to your customers, and how you can best go about doing that.

Forge Emotional Connections

A strong emotional connection is an absolute boon for marketers.

There’s an old adage that people will forget what you said or what you did, but they won’t forget how you made them feel. This stands true for your brand.

If you can make your customers truly feel something, they’ll remember you. Storytelling is an effective way to do just that.

Take GoPro’s ad featuring a firefighter rescuing a tiny kitten.

It would be hard to watch it and not be moved. The ad doesn’t focus on the product, but rather on telling an emotionally charged story that will stay with the customer after the ad ends.

Storytelling elevates your marketing to a new level. You can use it to forge a deep connection and keep customers hooked on your brand.

Don’t just market – start telling your story today.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a variety of topics including social media, how to build customer relationships, content marketing and how to tell your brand story.

The Importance of Global File Sharing for Enterprise Business

worldHaving the ability to share and access data is more important than ever in the world of business.

Previously, the sharing of data took days, weeks, or even months when sent through traditional mail services, but thanks to the Internet, business owners can share information nearly instantaneously.

Whether through email, video conference, instant messenger, or other method, it’s easier today to share data than ever before.

Operating Globally

The business environment today is also global, even if you’re a small business.

For example, if you operate a retail store, you’re likely to receive at least some of your goods from overseas. This means that you will need to provide access to important data across various time zones and across differing customs and exchange rates.

According to the article, “The Importance of Global File Sharing for Enterprise Business [Video]” your staff, wherever they are located, will need access to important files globally. If you aren’t able to provide this access, your business may lose out.

Business is on the Move

In addition, data sharing isn’t just limited to desktop PCS these days.

More and more, business owners are turning to mobile solutions, such as smartphones, to conduct business online. Customers are also increasing the demand for mobile data sharing.

For example, your business could have a dedicated app that customers can download to receive updates on products, place orders, and talk to customer service.

If you don’t currently have an app available to customers, now would be a good time to invest in having one created.

Keep Business Growth in Mind

Something else to consider when examining global filing sharing options is the growth of your business.

Even if you’re small now, you may end up becoming an enterprise company in time. This means that your file sharing systems will need to be able to be scaled along with your growth.

For example, Google Drive is a great way to share data online with employees, teams, and customers, and it’s a great solution when you need to collaborate on a small scale. However, when you’re talking about a company with hundreds or thousands of employees, a more advanced option may be required.

Security is also an incredibly important feature of any global file sharing system.

Your provider needs to be up to date on the latest in cyber-security technology, and updates and upgrades need to be made on a regular basis in order to protect your information.

If you don’t know what to look for as far as security is concerned, consult with an independent expert before signing a contract.

About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include business development and cloud technology.

Is It Time to Boost Your SMS Marketing Campaigns?

SMS_marketingTaking advantage of SMS marketing is a great outreach approach for your business. However, not all SMS campaigns are built the same.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to give your tired, stale SMS marketing campaigns a much-needed boost.

Here are just a few examples of how to do exactly that:

Put Your Call to Action Front and Center

As with any marketing campaign, the success of SMS marketing relies heavily on the proper placement of the call to action. If it’s buried too deep within your SMS message, then your recipients and subscribers may never take advantage of your offers and promotions.

That’s why it’s important to put your CTA front and center.

Whether it’s a link to a mobile coupon or a redirect to further information on your website, your mobile CTA should be easy to find within in your marketing message.

It is okay to preface your call to action with some directions such as “Want more information? Click here … ” or “Visit our website to get the ball rolling”.

Because you don’t have much marketing real estate to play with in SMS messages, it’s also wise to imbed your CTA in the actual content within the message – doing so will also help put it in the spotlight.

Revamp Your Messages

If your SMS messages aren’t working, then your marketing campaigns never will. In order to give your SMS campaigns the boost they need, you may need to revamp your messaging strategy altogether.

The article, “Does Your SMS Marketing Campaign Need a Boost? Try One of These Creative Messages” mentions the advantages of overhauling your SMS campaigns.

For example, shortening your messages to well under 160 characters and eliminating those annoying abbreviations are all steps in the right revamp direction.

Additionally, starting with an attention grabbing word or sentences like “Sale” or “20% Off Everything” are just some of the ways you can encourage recipients and subscribers to keep reading.

Poll Your Way to Perfection

If your SMS campaigns don’t seem to be getting the traction they deserve, you may need to gather some opinions and thoughts from the source: your recipients.

By sending out SMS polls about your business’s marketing activities, you can get a first-hand look at what your business is doing right, and more importantly, what it’s doing wrong with its marketing efforts.

Your business can also use SMS polling to get an idea of the kinds of products and services your customers like the most.

Not every recipient will participate, but the ones who do will help improve your business simply by responding to the poll.

Get the Timing Right

Sometimes all it takes is a little timeline planning to boost your SMS marketing campaigns. If you use an automated service, make sure your SMS messages are sent at the most opportune time, such as late mornings, afternoons, and early evenings.

Likewise, if you’re promoting a national SMS campaign, don’t ignore the time zone changes. Sending an SMS marketing message an hour late or earlier makes a huge difference in its success.

When you’re ready to take your SMS marketing campaigns to the next level, consider some of the helpful pointers mentioned above.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including SMS campaigning and marketing.

The Right Hires Can Make All the Difference

people_potentialjpgThe hiring process can make or break a business. This is probably why so many business owners look to successful companies like Google to learn more about their hiring methodology and apply those strategies to their business.

But before you start formulating the ideal interviewing format or sample tests, it’s vital to understand why hiring the right people can take your business from good to great.

Impact on Company Culture

The right new hire will not only excel at the responsibilities of their new position, but they should be a valuable contributor to the overall company culture.

Hiring based on nepotism or cronyism can torpedo a company’s overall morale whereas truly fresh hires can reinvigorate a team’s enthusiasm and positive attitude.

As the lines between work and life continue to blur, it’s more important than ever that you hire people you actually want to spend time with.

Value of Diversity

New hires are also the ideal opportunity to infuse diversity into your team.

When you have more representation within your staff, you’re getting a more diverse set of perspectives that lead to innovation you wouldn’t otherwise achieve.

Likewise, if you have diversity internally, your employees can help stop preventable PR gaffes by calling attention to potential insensitivity in things like your marketing campaigns.


As technology evolves, so should business.

The right new hire will be a person that understands this fact and makes a concerted effort to stay curious about how they can further develop their skills.

As the article, “People Are the Soul of Every Organization” points out an experimental spirit within your team can boost technological development.

Whether it’s learning social media strategy or mastering a coding language, the right hire will want to take their personal development and infuse that back into your business.

Team Players

One of the biggest fears of hiring managers is finding a genius candidate with boundless talent that can’t play well with others.

The right hire will undoubtedly have a stellar resume, but they’ll also have the capability to be a team player.

Putting in the effort to hire one of these candidates can even help you retain the talent you already have on staff that may be on the fence about staying with your company for the long haul.


On the most practical level, finding the right hires is essential to keep your company great because it saves money. High turnover and constant hiring and firing prove costly.

Posting job listings and hiring recruiters can drain resources and conducting interviews is time-consuming for your staff, especially upper management. Getting hires right the first time around helps the bottom line.

While cracking the code for the perfect interview is still in the works, one thing is for certain.

Hiring the right candidates from the get-go can save companies time, money, and headaches.

About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including hiring and business development.

Planning Your Onsite Fitness Center

Whether you’re planning on incorporating an on-site fitness center in your office building, a residential apartment complex, or any other location, it’s important to choose the right design plan.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways a fitness management company can help you throughout the design and decision-making process.


Equipment Capacities

One of the biggest factors in designing a fitness facility is the amount of room required to house your fitness equipment. This is exactly where a fitness management company comes into play.

The right management company will help you choose the most ideal fitness equipment for just about any sized space.

From large, dedicated facilities to small, multi-purpose community rooms, management companies can give you pointers on choosing equipment that allows you to optimize the amount of space you have available.

Equipment Type

Once you know what kind of fitness equipment your space can handle, you then need to choose the type of equipment you want to include in your fitness facility. Fitness management companies can assist you in choosing equipment that’s best suited for the clientele you’ll ultimately serve.

For example, elliptical and weight machines are ideal for older users where weight assistance, safety features, and controlled movements are necessary.

For younger fitness clients, free weights are usually a better choice. Or, you could even include a mix of the two.

As the following article looks at, choosing the right fitness equipment is just 1 of 5 reasons to hire a fitness management company when designing your facility.

The right management company will ensure you choose fitness equipment that all of your clients can use.

Facility Layout

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best layout for your fitness facility. Sure, space is always a consideration, but you also want to keep the flow of your facility in mind.

Does one workout area naturally flow into the next? Will you create “traffic jams” on busy days when clients are walking between rooms? Fitness management companies can help you come up with a logical layout for your facility.

For example, making sure your clients don’t have to walk through the cardio room to get from the free weights to the weight machines is all part of a proper layout.

Fitness management companies are expertly trained in designing the most appropriate layout for any given fitness space.

General Maintenance

There is a lot of wear and tear that fitness equipment goes through each day, which can make general maintenance a full-time job.

Most fitness management companies take care of all the necessary facility and equipment maintenance. This is a major benefit, especially if your facility is simply an add-on to a larger business.

Equipment Updates

Providing the most up to date fitness equipment should be a priority at your facility.

Fitness management companies keep track of the latest fitness advancements and can recommend the best free weight, elliptical, and weight machine equipment to house in your facility.

If you’re thinking about opening a gym or small-scale fitness facility, then consider hiring a fitness management company.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including fitness and gym ownership.

Why Being Your Own Boss is a Win-Win Situation

entrepreneurNobody likes a bad boss.

Perhaps that’s why so many people are ditching the 9 to 5 in favor of becoming entrepreneurs and essentially their own boss.

Between easy-to-build website templates to cost-free social media, there’s a wealth of resources for anyone that wants to start their own business.

But what are the perks of being your own boss and what does it take to stay on top?


Build Your Own Workplace

One of the most immediate benefits of being your own boss is that you don’t have to go into an office everyday if you don’t want to. You can work from a home office, a renovated garage, or anywhere a laptop will travel.

If you work in a creative field this is especially helpful in that new environments can spark inspiration and new ideas you may have never come up with in a traditional office environment.

Ultimate Flexibility

As the article, “Thought Leader Series: Hairstylists: Advantages of Being Your Own Boss” points out, you can not only determine your own hours but you can set your rates too.

In the field of hair-styling this means that entrepreneurs don’t have to abide by salon standard rates. In other freelancing fields like writing, this means that you get to collect a full rate because an agency isn’t taking any fixed cut.

Flexible work hours allow you to work not only when you want, but during the time of day when you know you’re most productive.

No More Miscommunications

Anyone who has ever worked in an office can attest to the fact that miscommunications between you and your superiors can happen all the time. When instructions get lost in translation, workflow can bottleneck and the quality of your service can suffer.

But when you’re your own boss, it eliminates the problem of multiple parties. You are the one solely responsible for your work and there’s no one else to blame if things go wrong.

Being Your Best Boss:

Get Organized

As mentioned above, when you’re in total control of your business, it’s your responsibility to stay organized.

This means everything from managing a database of clients and keeping track of invoices to more complicated matters like being familiar with taxes and the legalities of registering your own business.

Connect With Other Entrepreneurs

You may be running a one-man or one-woman show but that doesn’t mean you should be without guidance or support.

Other entrepreneurs will know exactly what you’re going through and advise you on the mistakes they’ve made as well as share strategies that worked best for them.

You can connect with communities specific to your industry online or even rent space in a co-working office specifically for self-starters like yourself.

Stay Passionate

When the initial thrill of being your own boss fades and the difficult logistics set in, it’s important to remember why you created your own business in the first place.

Take time to check in with your passion to get a clearer sense of the big picture in your decision-making.

While being your own boss is a clear win-win, it’s just as important to follow these strategies to ensure you’re being the best boss you can be.

About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including entrepreneurship and being your own boss.

What Impact Could Ransomware Have on You?

iStock_000008869356XSmallWith stories of massive security breaches and identity theft sweeping the news, it’s more important than ever for your business to protect its data.

This is especially the case when it comes to your network computers being taken over by ransomware.

Here are just a few examples of how ransomware can impact your business:

Ransomware in a Nutshell

In its most basic form, ransomware can limit your access to certain information within your business network. Ransomware is a form of malware, which means you likely won’t know you’re a victim of the intrusion until it’s too late.

Ransomware gets its name due to the fact that most attacks result in the intruder demanding money in return for access to your files and documents. The most sophisticated types of ransomware can encrypt your business’s entire computer system and bring your online operations to a standstill.

Unfortunately, according to leading online security authorities such as Symantec and McAfee, ransomware attacks will continue to rise in the coming years.

That’s why it’s important for your business to stay informed on the topic of ransomware.

Types of Ransomware

The most widely used form of ransomware features false messages that require payment if action isn’t taken.

With this type of ransomware, victims aren’t actually aware their systems are compromised because the ransomware comes in the form of a message from authoritative sources, such as payment for the reactivation of software.

The article “Ransomware: What it is, How it Works, and What to Do if You Are Victimized” mentions the fact that ransomware messages can also impersonate government agencies that seize your system.

Another form of ransomware to be aware of is encrypted file ransomware, such as CryptoLocker malware.

With this type of ransomware, victims are fully aware their systems are compromised and they must make a payment in order to gain access to their files and documents. This type of ransomware also comes with the threat of file destruction if payments aren’t made in a certain amount of time.

What to Do in the Event of Ransomware

There are a number of steps your business can take if you become a victim of ransomware.

For starters, many experts recommend disconnecting from the Internet the moment a ransomware threat or message is detected. Doing so will limit the amount of data that can become compromised.

In addition, it’s also wise to contact your local FBI branch.

Ransomware is a form of extortion, which is something the FBI handles. The FBI will also let you know other steps to take in eliminating the threat.

How to Avoid Ransomware

Avoiding the threat of ransomware altogether is always the best course of action. By using reputable firewall and antivirus software at your business, you can drastically reduce the chances of ransomware threats.

In addition, you should back up your business data to a secondary, non-Internet enabled device regularly.

Likewise, you should also enable popup blockers within your browser, which can help you avoid accidentally clicking on infected ransomware messages.

Don’t become another victim: keep in mind the information above and steer your business clear of ransomware threats.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator content. He writes on a variety of topics including online security and business technology.