Top Tips for Creating Your Own Brand & Getting It to Grow

More people are realizing the benefits of entrepreneurship. As a result, many people are building their own brands to achieve professional dreams. If you’d like to do the same, understand that it’s a process. There are a few things you’ll want to practice and implement in order to achieve success. To lay the foundation, start with these four tips.

Create a Website, a Business Bank Account and Business Cards

If you put the necessary systems in place, you won’t have to scramble later on to get things done. Start by purchasing a domain name. Create a simple website. Even if you don’t have technical skills, you can easily use a template and create a professional-looking site. Register your business as an LLC. Get a tax ID number and a business bank account. When you’re operating with money, you don’t want to mix up personal finances with business finances. Also, once you’ve solidified your contact details, you can put all of the information on your business cards. Details like your website, email address and telephone number should be on the business card.

Create Offline and Online Marketing Strategies

Don’t make the mistake of solely focusing on online marketing strategies. Create a mix of offline and online strategies so that you can build through multiple portals. If you’re selling an incredible hair product, reserve tables at hair shows. Do your best to promote your product at different events and allow your presence to serve as an offline marketing strategy. Some online strategies include building a social media presence, developing an email list and maintaining a consistent blog.

Be a Walking Billboard for Your Brand

If your company is a clothing retailer like Capsule Corp Clothing, for example, make sure that you wear the clothes that you sell. If your latest line includes fabulous Dragon Ball tank tops, wear new pieces from the line every day. You should serve as a walking billboard for your brand. When people look at you, they should know that you are proud of your business and that you represent your business. The same goes for your employees. If you represent it well, more people are likely to buy into whatever you’re selling.

Develop Habits of Professionalism

Always be professional, timely and considerate. Be responsive to various inquiries that people have. Be reliable and operate within integrity. When people see that they can trust you, they’ll do business with you. Make sure you do this with every single interaction because each interaction speaks volumes.

Look at entrepreneurship as a marathon. Most people operate as though entrepreneurship and brand-building are sprint races. When you develop a mindset that understands that you want to build a brand that lasts more than 20 years, you’ll be able to pace yourself and create a sustainable business.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

6 Common Reasons Your Marketing Plan Isn’t Generating Leads

Marketing has never been easier according to the experts. Today, an entrepreneur with zero experience and an internet connection can learn the tricks of the trade. All of the info is available online at the click of a button. As a result, businesses and blog and the platform of your choice can compete. Forget about the size as it doesn’t matter. Whether big, small or medium, there is nothing you can’t achieve concerning marketing.

So, if this is the case, why are you struggling to generate leads? It isn’t as if you don’t use modern techniques such as search engine optimization. And, you also invest in paid marketing such as pay-per-click. Still, the amount of leads coming back to you is poor, and you can’t figure out the problem. It’s a head-scratcher.

Without a steady flow of leads, it’s challenging to make conversions and increase sales. Sadly, failure is always an option in business so it’s essential to fix the issue as soon as possible. Without knowing the details, it can be very tricky. The good news is that there are six common reasons for lack of leads underneath. Hopefully, these will be able to help you reverse your fortunes.

Your Aim Is Off

Regardless of the plan, it isn’t going to work if it is aiming at the wrong people. There is no point throwing darts in the dark because it’s a waste of time and energy. Oh, and don’t forget the money either. The key is to optimize every feature to give it the best chance of succeeding. The first step then is to find a base of people who are going to be interested. That way, there is more of a chance that it will grab their attention and make them curious.

You may have an idea of the base, but there’s also a chance that you don’t fully understand the demographic. Are women or men more likely to buy the product or land on the site? What age range? Why do your services seem to resonate with this group? Delving into the specifics should help you find your perfect customer/visitor. Once that person is in your sights, aiming at him or her, and millions more like them is straightforward.

A buying persona should keep you on the right track. For those that don’t have one, visit Lead Forensics now and check out the post for more info.

And So Are Your Methods

The people aren’t the only thing to consider; there’s the method too. Every individual has a preferred contact setting depending on their tastes. For example, the older generations are advocates of speaking on the phone. Some hate cold-calling because it’s annoying, yet they like the directness of talking to a human advisor. Your job is to figure out which people like which platform and then use the info to target them.

Although it sounds like mind-numbingly long work, it’s not too tricky. Use age as a factor to break the base down into groups. The baby boomers have already gotten a mention, so now focus on the other subsections. Young customers are easy because they love to interact via social media. To optimize their experience, try and figure out which account is their favorite: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. The trickiest people are the inbetweeners. Middle-aged men and women are retro and modern at the same time, which makes them awkward. An excellent tip is to use their personal info. For instance, entrepreneurs and business-oriented people will respond to email blasts. A housewife or husband may prefer an app because it suits their lifestyle.

Whichever one you choose, be sure to engage and interact when possible. Adding value often sticks in a person’s mind and encourages them to follow up.

The Tone Is Wrong

It’s essential to speak to people politely and respectfully. Still, there is no need to be boring. Boredom turns people off and makes them want to run a mile. So, finding a balance is a must to ensure there is value in the interaction. There is nothing worse than picking up the phone to listen to a sales rep babble on without pausing. When the other party can’t speak or ask questions, there is bound to be frustration which will result in them bouncing. This is one sales error to watch out for, but you can visit ej4 today for lots more.

Tailor the experience to the platform. Calls should have a consistent tone and shouldn’t be out of the blue. Cold calling is a sure-fire way to get them to hang up without a word. Emails are less formal and can use a chatty, colloquial voice. Also, there’s lots of room for multimedia such as photos, videos and gifs, so don’t be scared to get creative.

Social media is where the most informal interactions take place. When people log-in to their accounts, they don’t want to see forced, pointed, corporate tweets and posts. The most successful marketing plans center on organic conversations full of witty banter.

You’re Jumping The Gun

From the beginning, the end goal is in your sights. If the strategy can get them to convert or make a purchase, then everything will be hunky-dory. It’s important to keep the result in mind but it shouldn’t be at the forefront of the plan. Otherwise, you run the risk of jumping the gun and peaking too soon. Users hate this because it feels as if they are being forced into doing something rather than making the decision naturally.

Focus on providing the right info at the right time. To do this, analyze the process and where everyone stands on the spectrum. Are they at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end? The answer is essential because what you offer should be totally different for all three. At the start, an interested party wants as much info as possible so that they can compare and contrast. The middlemen and women love to hear about solutions to their problems. And, the guys and girls at the end want a sweetener to seal the deal.

By all means, get in front of them early to catch their eye but don’t be pushy. Everyone knows being clingy is a huge turn-off.

Patience Isn’t Your Strong Point

There is lots of activities available and not enough time to get through every single one. As a result, it’s tempting to discard the ones which don’t seem to work. After all, what’s the point in wasting time and money? Although changes can be positive, they can also be a hindrance. In this scenario, a lack of patience may cause you to throw away a feature which will work in the future. There is no way to tell if it is a failure until enough time has passed.

With that in mind, don’t get anxious when something appears not to work. Instead, let it grow and prosper until you are sure. Otherwise, there may be a lot of money left on the table. Take content marketing as an example. It takes a while to build up a reputable portfolio. Some of the market leaders have been doing it for decades and are still learning.

So, the aim isn’t to throw out as much content as possible and hope for the best. Instead, you need to focus on quality over quantity and build a core brand to get results. However, don’t assume they’ll appear out of thin air overnight because it takes hard work and endurance.

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You’re Not Number-Driven

Some people don’t believe in stats and they have a good reason. If you are unable to speak the language, then a lot of info can get lost in translation. Lots of businesses have developed strategies they thought would work yet they tanked. Why? It’s because they read the numbers wrong and didn’t understand the nuances. Still, marketing is a numbers game.

The reason is analytic software. Today, it’s easy to see who is doing what and why without basic math skills. The program does it all for you and prints the info in easy-to-understand chunks. More importantly, it shows you where there are flaws and what needs fixing. It’s incredible the number of strategies that have glaring flaws yet continue regardless. To put it into simple terms, it’s because the people in charge don’t use the analytic software.

Reverse engineer the data to locate the solutions. For example, go back and see where the leads came from in the first place. Then, compare the different sources to the success rate. Are there some which provide better conversions than others? Use this to figure out what gets you the best quality results, which in turn should reveal the best quality leads. Although it’s easy for analytic software to take a backseat, you need to keep on top of it on a regular basis.

Do any of the above seem like mistakes you are making currently? Could they be the reason lead generation is suffering?

The Expert Seamstress: How to Run a Successful Fashion Business

If you are an expert seamstress, then it may be very easy to turn your abilities into a money-earning career. There are some steps, however, that you will need to take along the way. Here are some points you may want to consider to turn your fashion ideas into a money-making proposition.

Create a Business Plan

You will want to consider the type of sewing that you want to do for the public. Making a list can be a great place to start. Then, think about the supplies that you will need to carry out each one of those activities like an embroidery machine, a regular sewing machine, thread, fabric, tape measures and manikins. Make a list of the cost of each of your expenses and figure out what you need to charge your customers to make money from your sewing passion.

Choose a Location

Many seamstresses work from their home while others choose to open a storefront. Others choose to meet with their clients at a location of the client’s choosing. Decide on which choice is right for you, but remember that you will need a place to work on projects for clients. Often times, businesses find tax advantages or grants that make one location more favorable over others.

Decide on Marketing

You may be a great seamstress, but unless others know about your skills, then you cannot make money using those skills. Therefore, you will need to advertise. Consider creating a website showcasing projects that you have completed. Spread the word using social media. See if you can write guests blogs on other people’s sites to introduce them to your services. Make sure to claim your Google My Business account and your spot on Google Maps.

Network

Make sure that others in related businesses know about your services. Consider letting bridal boutiques who do not have their own seamstresses know about your services. Join community groups so that you get to know others in the community who might need your services such as putting logos on company shirts. Attend area trade shows where you can interact with local people to tell them about you and your business. Take advantage of these opportunities by practicing your elevator speech beforehand.

If you have the skills of a seamstress, then you can make money using those skills. Use these ideas and your own ingenuity to go into business for yourself.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Online Branding Is Critical for The Success Of Every Business

The Importance of Branding

You may already realize online branding is one of the most critical aspects for your business. It makes no difference if your business is B2B, retail, big or small. When you use an effective branding strategy, you achieve a significant edge in a highly competitive market. The best way to define the term branding is as the promise you have made to your customers. Online branding informs your customers as to what they will receive from your services and products while differentiating you from your competitors. Your brand is a reflection of who you are, who you want to be and the perceptions of your target audience.

The Innovation of Branding

The innovation of your brand is the defining factor in how you are perceived online. This can be as reliable, experienced, knowledgeable, etc. Your product perception will be low or high cost, low or high quality and low or high value. It is impossible to be everything for everyone. Your brand must reflect the desires of your target customers and your perceptions of what your brand represents. It is critical to understand your brand is responsible for the success and growth of your company regardless of what you are selling. Your customers need to understand your brand and your mission. This is a lot more than simply the colors you have chosen for your brand. The process of brand development begins with conducting research. Your brand values must be strategically developed and communicated to your target audience to be effective. A brand can be associated with the latest fashions or how to reduce car insurance. There are four critical components to effective branding.

The Competitive Advantage of the Brand

You will be competing for your resources, the attention of your audience, talent and funding whether you are for or non-profit. To be successful in your category you have to have a good strategy to implement and an organizational plan. Your goals require a detailed plan for outlining specific measures and actions. You can outmaneuver your competition by reaching these goals. When this is accomplished correctly, your brand will properly represent your company. This will promote initiatives and strategic areas to improve your company, aid in growth and set you on a path for the future.

Brands are a Stable Asset

Companies will always succeed and fail; some products will not achieve success and every day technology changes. Despite this, a strong brand has the ability to continue moving forward through all the inevitable changes. Your brand should be the most sustainable asset of your company. When your brand is combined with your overall strategy, it becomes the principle for decision making and organization. There are numerous brands that have been in existence for more than 100 years, are immediately recognized by consumers and have an astronomically high value. These facts become even more impressive when you consider the life of the typical corporation is only 25 years. Your brand is your company’s most stable asset.

The Economic Value of the Brand

Every business is segregated into tangible and intangible assets. Your brand is an intangible asset. A study revealed the brand of the company is responsible for over a third of the shareholder value. The greatest values of most companies are intangible. The most prominent asset is the brand. The brand for Coca-Cola is responsible for in excess of 54 percent of the stock market value for the company. Just the brand name is valued at $67 million. The value of a brand is a critical asset. The brand of the Red Cross enables the organization to attract both volunteers and donations. Your brand is exceptionally important for your company because of the unique impact on the consumers. Your online brand is the key to your business because it attracts and influences partners, employees and your target audience. Your brand can create awareness for organizations and consumers, cut through the clutter of the marketplace, attract and develop relationships mutually beneficial for the public, suppliers and customers to help everyone reach their individual goals.

The Expectations of the Brand

The basis for the world you live in is promises. The promise of the airline mechanic is to be thorough, check the aircraft numerous times and ensure the safety of the passengers. Restaurants promise to provide a clean environment and prepare fresh food. The consumer believes their children will be protected and educated during the course of the school day. These promises are not usually bound by legal repercussions. They are a vow based on the ethical and moral code of the business owner. When you opened your business, you assured your customers you would do exactly what you promised. This is an agreement encompassing your services, products and company. Your branding is based on any promises you made to your target audience. The promise of your brand tells your audience what you believe in, who you are and why your product is valuable and unique. When you make the effort to fulfill your promises throughout the relationship, you are helping your business grow and succeed. When these promises are not kept, the reputation of you company is in jeopardy. This often results in failure because your brand has suffered. Keeping the promise of your brand results in the affection and loyalty of your customers

The Bottom Line

People see the promises made by brands every day. Even purchasing a soda from a vending machine engages the promise of the brand. Despite the numerous options available, the consumer will choose their drink based on their past experiences with the brand. The selection has the expectation of receiving exactly what the consumer was prepared to receive. This involves the process of awareness, desire, interest and satisfaction. Many of the greatest influencers are not directly related to the service or product. The influencers are the association the person has with the specific brand. This makes your online brand identity, promises and advertising crucial for the success of your business.

No Business Can Afford to Ignore Mobile Phone Users

Mobile phone users are no longer a market segment you can afford to ignore.

As of 2018, 52.2% of all web traffic was attributed to smartphone users. Compared to the 0.7% of all traffic in 2009, that is a dramatic increase that has been on an upward trend year to year.

Some of this success can be attributed to the fact that smartphones have become more accessible and a lot more useful. The rise in functionality has led us to a stage where our smartphone’s ability to make or receive call is a minor function and no longer the main purpose of the phone.

For businesses, this opens a whole range of marketing possibilities.

Mobile marketing is a cost-effective way of getting your message across. You can choose to use a simple SMS campaign to promote your business or rely instead on a well-designed app to lead your clients to the actual point of buying.

How to Run An Effective Mobile Marketing Campaign

Know Your Market

It is marketing 101, you need to know who you are trying to reach with your marketing message.

What type of campaign would be the most effective?

If you have a target market full of tech-savvy users, a great app, for example, could be the way to go.

On the other hand, if your targeted audience still uses simple mobile phones to make calls, choosing a higher tech option would be the ideal way to scare them off.

What Does Your Market Want?

The best way to find out the answer to this question is to ask them. What are they looking for when it comes to communication from your company? What do they want to read, and what would they ignore?

The key to getting this kind of marketing right is to understand the needs of your consumers and to find out what they actually want. The better targeted your campaigns are, the more effective they are as well.

But enough theory. Let the numbers speak for themselves.

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Link to the infographic https://appgeeks.org/blog/mobile-marketing-infographic/

 

7 Reasons Why Branding Matters

Despite what you might think, branding isn’t reserved just for Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and and it’s not just your logo or mission statement. Branding is important for your company. It defines who you are and what do you do; how you see yourself and how do you want to be seen; where do you want to be and how will you get there; and what makes your business unique out of all the others. Branding requires your attention since it can also increase the value of your company, help you grow, make it easier to connect with customers and determine your success. If you’re still unconvinced, here are seven reasons why branding matters in business.

1. Makes Companies Relatable

When people first heard Apple’s “Think Different” ads they were immediately able to identify themselves with the brand because they shared that vision. Even if most people at the time didn’t own an iMac, or didn’t want one for that matter, they could still relate to the brand message. Since a company is something artificial and distant, branding brings it closer to people, shapes their opinion and how they perceive it.

2. Delivers a United Message

Branding connects all aspects of a company. For example, a creative professionals from Studio X achieve this by developing brand strategies that combine physical features (interior and graphic design) with virtual architecture (web design and development). This consistent presence delivers a united message across all channels of communication. Everyone involved with your company, from clients to partners, will have a clear understanding of what your business represents.

3. Supports Marketing Efforts

Marketing plays an important role in building your brand. It allows you to gain visibility with key demographics and creates brand awareness. As your brand awareness grows, marketing can rely on that recognition to support its own efforts. This mutual dependency between branding and marketing will allow your business to grow. Once you start dominating one specific market, the reputation of your brand will make it easier to market yourself to target a completely different audience.

4. Drives a Premium Price Point

Brand awareness can increase the value of the products or services you sell. As people start associating your brand with quality and it starts trending, what you sell becomes more desirable to your audience. This allows you to increase the price of your products. Quality brands are able to put a price on their brand name because people are willing to pay extra to be associated with it. That’s one of the main reasons why Starbucks coffee is more expensive than regular java at your local coffee shop.

5. Encourages Employee Endorsement

A company can improve the extent of its reach if it encourages employee endorsement. Branding helps with this since employees will tend to be more productive and promote the company when speaking to others. By feeling the value of your brand, they associate themselves with its message. This makes them more likely to endorse a positive experience about your brand, and can even turn employees into brand ambassadors that regularly share the company message at their own free will.

6. Creates Trust Among Customers

A strong brand is centered around its customers. When you have your customers (and their desires) in mind first, and profit second, it creates trust among them and marks you as a professional. As customers perceive a company’s intentions as sincere, authentic and transparent, they will transfer those feelings to the products or services you offer. They will believe that what you offer has enough power to improve their lives, and that justifies their decision to buy from you, instead of the competition.

7. Builds a Loyal Customer Base

Branding can inspire loyalty among your customers. After they convert from prospects, customers will ultimately shape their future feeling towards your brand through their experience. If you do introduce the feelings of trust, they are far more likely to make a purchase again.

Not only that, but great branding values customer loyalty and will look to reward it. In turn, your loyal customers will want to repay for your care by promoting your brand. They will become brand ambassadors and will spread a good word about your company, even remaining loyal during bad times.

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

Expert Marketing: How to Get Your Company to Stand out from Your Competition

Getting your business to stand out from your competitors is essential if you want to succeed in business. While you must have a quality product, great customer service and a reasonable price, that may not be enough to encourage people to visit your location. Here are some ideas on how to market your business so that you stand out from your competitors.

Create a Voice-and-mobile-friendly Website

While you probably already have a website, it is essential that it be voice friendly. Making your website voice-friendly allows the user to find your business using their home devices like Alexa, Google Home and Amazon Echo. Use phrases that are naturally spoken, make sure that you list your geographical area and use long-tail keywords. In order to make your website mobile friendly, you should make sure that your website can be viewed on any size device, pick a font that is at least 14 pixels and use high-quality images.

Be Active on Social Media

Being found on social media is essential to separating your business from that of your competitors. Know what social media platform your customers prefer and make yourself visible there. While you will want to post regularly, you will also want to make sure to interact with your target audience. Spending time showing that you care about their concerns and ideas is a great way to build customer trust. When others see customers bragging about your products and services online, then they will want to check your business out.

Build and Upkeep a Unique Building Design

When a customer arrives at your location, they should instantly get a great first impression before they ever walk in the door, get signage companies to put up a new sign that is clearly visible when customers are approaching your business from any direction. Keep the exterior of the business beautiful by painting and landscaping. Make sure that your customers have ample parking and can get in the front door easily. Ensure that the windows are clean and that the sidewalk is free of all trash.

Get Involved in the Community

It is essential that you are involved in your local community. You may want to team up with other business owners to sponsor an event. Join the local chamber or other business organizations. Regularly donate part of your proceeds to a worthy cause while making sure that your donation gets attention in the press. Offer to be a public speaker at events along with contacting local news organizations to offer to be their local expert on topics related to your business.

Using these ideas and your own ingenuity will help you stand out from your competitors. Keep your focus on doing the right things for your community and your business will succeed. You will need to make sure that they can find you when they look on the internet.