Archives for October 2013

#8 How To Build Brand Presence With Videos [Podcast]

Like it or not, the time for ignoring video in your marketing has come and gone.

It is easy to discount video by saying most people you know don’t like watching videos but do they really? Next time when you are researching a product, pay attention to your behavior. In addition to reading about the product and clicking pictures, there’s a good chance you will watch a short video to witness for yourself how the product looks and works.

Besides instructions, video can be a great branding tool too. These are exactly the things we talk to Lou Bortone about in this episode.

SBBPodcast

Key Takeaways

  • Video personas and where you fit in
  • Why you shouldn’t be solely dependent on YouTube
  • Ways to lead people back to your site from video sites
  • How to take advantage of Youtube advertising
  • How to create videos without being in the video
  • Why you should stop creating viral videos
  • Ideal length for videos
  • Ways to re-purpose your content into video
  • Turning podcasts into videos
  • 60% of Internet traffic is video
  • Should you to talking head videos

Resources & Mentions

LouBortone.com

AutoSiteSaver – Website backup service

Stupeflix.com

Livestream.com

Teleprompt+

Newsjacking: Your Path To Media Coverage?

Here’s an interesting presentation I came across. I’d never heard of the term newsjacking before but it’s pretty interesting. The slide shows you two examples although one is in French so if you don’t read French, you’re left with one example. It’s still pretty clear how it works.

In short, you do a soft pitch relating your solution to an event that is happening or developing. Then write your press release.

#7 10 Ideas To Being a Blogging Machine For Busy Entrepreneurs [Podcast]

Aren’t there a lot more important things for busy entrepreneurs to do than write blog posts?

I suppose you could say yes, but on the other hand, if you want to utilize the Internet to help market your business and your brand, you need to create content. It’s the currency of the Internet. It buys you some attention in a very noisy world.

In this episode I share 10 ideas to crank these posts out. Listen closely because there are a few suggestions how you can systemize the process so you can semi-automate the publishing process without tech involved.

SBBPodcast

Key Takeaways

  • Content marketing works even for local offline businesses
  • Start with what you know
  • Get rid of distractions
  • Make it short and sweet (we also talk about why this can be good)
  • Re-use your old content (great ideas here)
  • Research later
  • Find images after (wonderful example how to automate this here)
  • Start at the end
  • Use a template
  • Use keywords
  • Have a conversation
  • Edit later (another automation idea here too)

Resources & Mentions

How A Boston Appliance Store Grew Business Through Content Marketing

AutoSiteSaver – Website backup service

Balancing Design, Branding and Selling More Stuff on Your Website

Design & Branding Support Your Bottom LineMake no mistake about it – the design and branding elements of your website matter. Without a quality design you’ll lose potential customers, as new visitors quickly click away from your site. And without strong branding elements it will be difficult for visitors to remember your site once they leave it.

Design and Branding Support Your Bottom Line

All this doesn’t mean that you should put all of your time and energy into your website design and your online branding efforts. Design and branding shouldn’t be business goals in and of themselves. Rather, design and branding are techniques matter only insofar as they help you boost your bottom line sales numbers.

For just about every type of business, the single most important metric is going to be sales. Everything else you do with your website, on your business-focused social media accounts and every other promotional technique should ultimately have growing your sales as the goal.

Your Design Must Enable Sales

When you sell your product online, then it should be fairly obvious that in order to boost more sales you need to drive more traffic to your website. Design and branding can help you do this. For example, if your site is unattractive or boring in its visual composition, prospects are likely to assume that your products are similarly unattractive or boring. And if your site is poorly designed in a way that makes it difficult or confusing to navigate, then your prospects may assume that your products or services are equally as confusing.

Your Logo Must Not Distract From Sales

Your logo may be a strong part of your branding efforts, but from a design perspective you don’t want to over-emphasize it on your site. If your logo takes up a majority of the space “above the fold” on your home page, then you’re giving up the opportunity to make better use of that space. For example, you can use this space to better grab a visitor’s attention with an optimized headline or short marketing copy. Remember that your logo, and its placement on your site, should help you sell more of your product.

Design and Branding Need to Translate into a Better Customer Experience

Remember that you’re doing all of these design and branding things for a reason – to boost your sales – and you don’t want to lose sight of this ultimate goal. For example, let’s say a prospect comes to your website after they’ve already become well familiarized with you and your products – and they’re ready to buy. At this point, the hardest part of your job is done; someone is coming to your site prepared to give you money.

How easy have you made it for them to take this last, most important, step? Is your site’s purchasing or ecommerce function easily found on your home page? How many clicks does a prospective customer need to make before they can actually purchase? Does your website design make it easy for someone to purchase?

The issue can be exacerbated by a site design that’s particularly flashy – having such visually compelling elements in the main part of your page can draw too much attention away from the other parts of the page.

Don’t assume that a single small link or button on your home page (even if it’s at the top of the page) is going to be enough. You may have to test different website designs in order to find what works best for your product and niche.

In fact, that’s good advice for every other aspect of your website. You should always be monitoring and measuring what visitors do on your site so that you can optimize your sales.

Workplace Leadership: Dealing with Different Employee Personalities

A one-size-fits-all leadership style will only go so far when it comes to dealing with employees. The more people you have on your staff, the more likely you are to encounter different personality types. Fortunately, you don’t have to develop a split personality to work with different types of people. An awareness of various personalities and how to work with and guide them will help you develop a workplace environment that’s positive and productive. The following tips and insights can help you lead your employees in a way that instills trust, loyalty, confidence and good workplace morale.

Personalities

Dealing with Different Employee Personality Styles

  • The Introvert. Quiet, shy people are often mistaken for employees who have little to offer at meetings or during projects. But when introverts are given an opportunity to communicate in ways that are more comfortable, you’ll generally find they have a lot to contribute. Introverts are more private, which means they prefer forms of communication that don’t require speaking in front of the entire staff. Provide written communication options, as well as email and one-on-one communication to tap into the knowledge and expertise of your introverts.
  • The Competitor. The competitive employee is always striving to do better than others or even his or her own personal accomplishments. This employee loves conquests, as well as access to management and executives. Tap into this personality by making this individual part of your goal-achieving team. Sales, account management and other competitive departments are a good location for this employee.
  • The Believer. Every team needs a cheerleader, and your believer is the person who will be on-board for every new project, goal and mission. Be careful in how you use your believer personalities. They’re effective for encouraging the pragmatists, but need to refuel their optimism by spending equal amounts of time with other believers.
  • The Pragmatist. The pragmatic employee isn’t necessarily a negative person, but he or she is more likely to be skeptical and hesitant when it comes to something new. This individual prefers to research all the possible pitfalls before deciding on the benefits of something. They’re also more likely to question things and people, which can be worked in your favor.
  • The Work-Life Balance Seeker. More people are seeking work-life balance than ever before. This personality type is likely to be as ambitious and gifted as your competitors and believers, but they are also highly efficient and use their efficiency to attain balance between work and life. The work-life balance seeker makes a good manager, particularly when working with people he or she likes.
  • The Toiler. Toilers view work as a means to an end, such as spending more time with family or going on vacation. Even though this individual is not likely to become a star executive, they are necessary to the ongoing functions of the business. Work with this individual to promote efficiency, and your toiler will get things done.

Bringing the Whole Team Together

A range of employee personalities can be overwhelming to deal with, but when you consider the variety existing in your team, you’ll find there are many ways to bring them together. Cohesiveness is vital to a team environment and, many times, different personalities complement one another to make a well-balanced team. As the leader, it’s your job to encourage the best parts of each personality to come out in full force, while tempering the personality aspects that the team needs less of.

The leadership sets the tone, which means you have the power to bring everyone together or allow personality differences to create an insurmountable gap. With consistent effort and genuine interest on your part, you can achieve the former. Start by learning about the personality types that exist in your workplace, and then consider each of them as you plan each day, week, meeting and goal.

What’s Your ROI With Branding?

Return on investment or ROI can be realized in any number of ways. As a starter, one good way is to have a look at the brand as it sits today – before the branding process. What ever that perception is, it’s the reality of the brand. Then when the process is complete – maybe six months to a year out, evaluate the perception again and see what the difference is. Any positive bump contributes the brand’s ROI.

A lot of companies headed by boomers are looking at the future and their place in it. They are using branding to improve the position and appearance of the company as a part of their succession plans. Whether they are passing it along or selling, branding helps put the brand in a great and positive position. I have client right now who is looking to retire. Branding is helping the firm continue to strengthen its influence. New players brought in don’t have the connections that the past owner has and branding is helping position their brand to build on their other strengths.

Effective positioning allows the company to absolutely differentiate themselves. The positioning, changes the conversation in their category with a powerful strategy that draws new business their way.

Sometimes a goal to initiate branding is to increase awareness. Companies find themselves lost in the clutter. Nobody really knows what they’re up to. Out of sight – out of business.

Many business owners want to know what the deliverables are. That’s part of their terminology. Branding delivers on the branding values – which are the foundation of the brand. Personality which uncovers deficiencies and opportunities. Positioning which makes them a leader. Brand standards keeps the visual part of brand in line and consistent and a large one being we will be talking with their customers. I’ve found business owners to drool over the prospect of getting customers input on their brand.

ROI comes in many forms, not the least being the ability to resonate with customers bringing new business to the door.

#6 Growing A Powerful Brand Through A Loyal Community [Podcast]

Never before has community been so useful to help small businesses build their brands. This is always a fascinating topic because if you can pull it off, a loyal community will spread the word and defend you when you hit a rough patch.

This week, we talk to Lain Ehmann of Layout a Day. Listen to her talk about how she built a loyal following and a fantastic brand from something she enjoys doing – scrapbooking.

SBBPodcast

Key Takeaways

  • Find your unfair advantage and leverage it.
  • Be intentional. Find ways to bring your identity to life in every piece of communication.
  • Be careful not to get clannish. Think of ways how to make the community something people want to be part of but not be exclusive.
  • Allow your community to ‘own it’.

Resources

PowerPay – Get a free merchant account.

Layout a Day – Check out Lain’s site.

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