Top 5 Reasons Why I Blog…

Let’s just get right to it…

ONE: I can’t think of a better way to increase my ‘expert profile’.
Putting your opinion out there through blogging is a terrific way to show your audience what you’re made from. It allows to to control the conversation about you. Teaching your audience by providing valuable content shows your confidence and willingness to reach out. It also proves that you do indeed know what you’re talking about.

TWO: I love the publicity I get.
One of the benefits of blogging that took me by surprise 7 years ago when I started blogging was the way it attracted publicity to me. Major news sources as well as niche sources have sought out my opinion. This exposure increases my audience. (It’s also a major ego rub) I especially enjoy e-interviews – I don’t know why – I just find them fun.

THREE: Blogging attracts leads for new business.
Blogging has been the vehicle online that has garnered me some pretty significant leads for new business. I have attracted great new consulting clients from around the world as a result of my blogging efforts. Pushing your brand out into the world market, draws back this result. As your readership grows, and they in turn take your link and push it out to their audiences – your chance for business opportunities just increases with each link.

FOUR: SEO as a side benefit.
Because search engine spiders love the fresh content of blogs, even without basic SEO you can get pretty respectable search results. From time to time I Google my name and industry key words and am amazed at the rankings I get as I only do ‘basic’ SEO. It also helps that I, like you frequent other blogs and leave comments. All of these efforts favour search activities.

FIVE: Blogging helps my attitude.
We all get in funks from time-to-time. When I am in a gloomy mood, I turn to writing blog posts to boost my spirits and get my head into a better place. I guess it’s a form of therapy. While it’s not the only time I write, it is one of the motivators that helps me write. I think part of the reason writing posts puts me in the right direction is the simple fact that it allows me to help people by encouraging them to make their business and personal brands better.

That’s about it. I hope these 5 blogging benefits encourages you to consider blogging as a part of your marketing efforts.

How To Avoid Blurry Positioning

Brand PositioningIf you find yourself in the role of consultant, how you express that role speaks to your brand. How you position your brand, is what defines it. Ideally you should embrace the services that best show your passion to your audience. I recently had this discussion with a client of mine. Their consulting services were equally divided between two audiences. Essentially the same solutions but to two disciplines. They had a passion for one, and a responsibility to another. This intrigued me.

I wanted to know why they felt it necessary to split their attention between the two. The client felt that because they were two distinct audiences the service should also be split. On the surface, this seems logical, but from a brand perspective it divides the message. In order for your brand to stand out, it should have a singular thrust. The more fractured the message the larger the risk of confusing your audience. You really want to fine tune your discipline. Choosing one strong direction absolutely focuses your consultancy. I advised my client to choose the avenue where they were most passionate. I felt that that would be the most powerful. They would also enjoy themselves more. And shouldn’t you have fun in your business?

I showed them that if they embraced their passion and put all their energies is succeeding in that area, their clients who are entrepreneurs would by nature bring their other businesses into the fold.They would get all their business naturally. Initially, my client felt that targeting the two areas was the better strategy, but now focusing on their passion gave delivered their ultimate goal more organically. It was also a more honest and natural approach. My client is now much more focused and excited to take their brand in a distinct direction. Compared to their competition, they are no longer a generalized service but a differentiated one. They will be seen as a strong leader in a category populated by generalists.

All too often businesses feel the urge to be all things to all people. This is fine when you have the customer through the door. But the process leading up to that awareness is a little more refined. In order to capture new business, you’ve got to distribute a message that resonates and gets them to notice you. This is where branding shines if done properly. Strategically. Keeping focus pays off. Avoid the temptation to sell everything all at once. One caveat of this strategy is that if you forget to mention it – you don’t do it. And for every service mentioned you also invite competition for that that service. Focus the message reduces the competition and delivers your brand powerfully.

Brand Booster 21 Day 21: Wrapping It All Up

finish

Well, that’s it! This is our last day and today we’re wrapping it all up here for the Brand Booster 21 Series. We have gained so much from this experience and truly hope it’s helped you think more about your brand and how you will develop your brand in different ways.

We will be going through each day and answering all of  your questions that were brought up. So if you still have any questions, feel free to stop by any of the days and post your questions, we’re here to answer and respond now. In fact I will be sharing some of the best questions and answers here pretty soon.

I figure today I would recap the top 3 posts of the entire series:

1) Coming Out From Behind Your Brand: The Dreaded Video – You really don’t need video to brand your business, it’s just not required. But I think that it helps build a relationship with those who come here to the site. I also wanted to try it out to see if it’s worthwhile to add here and figured it was worth a shot.  The video turned out being played 388 times, which is pretty cool! I’m including a screen shot of my Audio Acrobat account so you can see (I use AA because it’s super easy to put together videos and podcasts – fool proof).

player

2) What Is Your Brand? –  This was the very first day to our Brand Booster 21 Series and it talked about how you can distinguish yourself from your customers, what your beliefs are, and ultimately it’s the CUSTOMER who determines your brand. Here’s a quote from it:

Branding is all about what the customers perceive of your company. Your brand is the promise that you intend to make to the customers. The ultimate goal is to spark an emotional connection in order to create a positive feeling resulting of loyalty to a specific product from the customers.

3) Brand Booster 21 Day 7: Unique Selling Point or Positioning Strategy – This was a pretty cool day and my personal favorite in this entire series, mostly because I think it’s one that most people including me get stuck on. And I don’t think it ever goes away, we should always strive to get to know WHO your customer is. The better we understand our customers, clients, and fans the better we can come up with solutions to help them out. This day started out with this statement, pretty bold words and I think pretty darn good!

This proposition absolutely sets you apart from the competition. In many cases it eliminates the competition all together by virtue of positioning.

What We Learned From This Experience – This whole series was a great learning experience for us. It forced us to plan ahead and this was just a thought between Ed and I in September. We literally whipped up the series and got it all loaded. Sure it wasn’t perfect but we both put our hearts into it and followed through with our own promise, this series. We have alot of plans for the future and we’ve realized how much we enjoy working together so watch out for more “RaposoRoach” stuff coming your way. 🙂

Now we’re off to respond to every single day of the series so if there is anything you’d like answered, please feel free to post and we’ll respond.

What we’d love to know is did you learn anything about branding that you either were not aware of OR realize how important it is to your business?   

Brand Booster 21 Day 20: Public Speaking and Other Promotional Vehicles

publicspeakingPublic speaking for me was quite a hurtle. I knew this was a very effective way to promote my brand but the idea of it made my palms sweat. The first time I did it I spoke to a group of about 50 business woman. I was received well but they were not aware of the flubs and the number of times I lost my place. It occurred to me that I couldn’t rely on a script and memorization. I had a tendency to go off in another direction when I got into my subject. A buddy of mine gave me the one piece of advice that changed everything. Peter said, “Ed you know your stuff, just talk about it.” He suggested that I use the presentation frames to set the topic. To move through the presentation, give a quick glance oveer your shoulder and speak to what is on the screen. When I’m finished covering it, I glance again and move on.

Your Notebook To Do:

todo

Answer the following Questions and put the ACTIONS in your To Do Notebook

  • Where are some places you can start speaking?
  • Is there a small local group you can begin with?
  • Decide where you’d like to start and begin!

Brand Booster 21 Day 19: Get Out There & Nuture Your Brand

nutureGetting one on one with the customers is very important. You need to talk to the customers and let them know that you are there for them if they have questions and that you really exist. Companies need representatives of a business so they are existent. It is hard for a business to gain exposure when they don’t have someone to actually talk to.

If your business targets a local community then it is important to get out there and talk to the community. Remember you are looking for the audience who is going to benefit from your product. These are the people you want to talk to.

If you have a business on the web then you will need to get one on one with the customers by providing access to a direct chat option. This gives customers a good feeling but they know that someone really exists. When you offer a direct chat they have the ability to contact a live person rather than talk to a machine. Customers despise machines, automated phone systems, and more. They will try to avoid them and it can give them a bad taste in their mouth about the business. Try to be as responsive as possible with the customers.

Local business events are extremely important. Not only do you want to target your local or national audience but you also want to attend other business events. You may find a company struggling that may need your assistance. You might find a company that you can work with together on a project in trade for advertising or even help you build your credibility.

Local business events help you network in the big industry that you may be working in. It is important to talk to companies and let them know you are out there. Maybe you will recommend one company while they recommend you. Always talk to other businesses, let them know about who you are and what you are all about, what their benefit is by knowing you, and how you can help each other. Give them something to remember you by and make an impact.

When you attend events and network with other companies and people then you provide another form of advertising. Networking works very well because when someone does come across a situation where they could use your product or service they will remember you. Creating contacts is a very big part of branding. It also helps instill your company name in the minds of people around the industry.

Your Notebook To Do:

todo

Answer the following Questions and put the ACTIONS in your To Do Notebook

  • Get out and attend some business events
  • Let other companies know who you are
  • Maybe recommend eachother, trade work
  • Get live assistance on your website

Brand Booster 21 Day 18: Building Your Expert Profile

Confident Businesswoman On A White BackgroundFirst off, you can’t build your expert profile unless you believe in yourself first. If you don’t believe yourself to be an expert, then we have to end right here.

But, let’s face it. You know your stuff and you’ve been making a living for some time now doing what you’re passionate about. If what I’ve just described resonates with you, then guess what – you’re an expert.

Welcome to the club.

Always be aware of your expert profile. You are perceived a certain way. We all are.

What ever the perception exploit it to your benefit (so long as it’s positive). Never cause your audience to doubt that expertise. Be confident in your opinions and actions. Take on speaking opportunities where you can connect and display your passion. Over come any shyness you may have using techniques that also reinforce your brand. For me I have been successful pushing my expert profile out to a receptive audience. Every business task I do, I always have my brand in the back of my mind. I keep asking myself how I can make the relationship experience with customers better?

Media is extremely important when branding a business. There are many different outlets and they can be used in many different ways to your advantage and even for damage control. Proper branding means staying tight with the media as your friend. Some say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer and this is true with the media. They can make you very popular or ruin you but nothing really in between. You need the media on your side at all times.

There are many different local media outlets that you might consider using when you are looking to boost your expert profile. You can use local newspapers to announce sales, events, and other things. The television stations are useful for publicity.

One thing to keep in mind is that public television stations are free and they cannot charge you money to run something on them. If you are a non-profit organization looking to brand your organization the best way to do it is through public television stations. You can announce events like blood drives and other things on public television. This is great exposure and it is free.

Other methods of local media may be local websites for town members. Some towns have a site for the community where people can post things like classified ads and other things. They are free sites and sometimes used more than the newspapers because of this. Article Writing for Press is another way you can use the media to your advantage is to write your own articles and distribute them to the press. This is very beneficial. If the press comes across times they need to fill additional space in their paper they may use them. Sending articles to the press is free. The will not charge you to use them. If you write beneficial articles to magazines in the industry you work in then you may even get paid for the article. You can also use article marketing to web sources making your articles available to other blogs and publications.

One great way of build your expert profile is writing a book or ebook. Nothing gives credibility like your opinion in print. Authors are a relatively small club. It is great buzz. Self-publishing can put a few dozen paperbacks in your pocket for a few hundred dollars. Use these as giveaways or even sell them at presentations and online. What ever you think of doing remember consistency of brand and everything we discussed here at BrandBooster21.

Your Notebook To Do:

todo

Answer the following Questions and put the ACTIONS in your To Do Notebook

  • What are some ways you can build your expert profile?
  • What media will you pursue?
  • Write down everything you can do to build your expert profile, like article marketing, email marketing, media attention..

Brand Booster 21 Day 17: Email Marketing

Email Envelope on White backgroundHow would you like to own your very own audience and market to them rather inexpensively? Well html marketing will resonate nicely with you. It all hinges around having a reasonable op-in email list. This list is your niche audience. Using graphic html, send out strategic messages to them and react to their response. Because of analytics (which is free by the way) you can accurately assume every opened email is a warm lead since they are part of your niche. They are in your list for a reason. They are no doubt searching out information on your mutual topic.

Regular consistent mailings keep your name in front of them and this in turn motivates response. Over time, they build a trust in you and this virtual relationship has a strong potential to cross over into a real relationship that translates into sales. Mailings can also take the form of plain text. In many ways this form has the look and feel of a personal message to the recipient. However you embrace email marketing, the benefit to your brand is dynamic. It should be a part of your long term brand strategy.

Your Notebook To Do:

todo

Answer the following Questions and put the ACTIONS in your To Do Notebook

  • Start an email newsletter
  • how are you developing trust with your market?
  • Plan on regular mailings to develop consistency in their mind.

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