Branding · Entrepreneurs · Inspiration

How To Develop a Personal Mission Statement

Rosetta Thurman is definitely one of the women I have been blessed to connect with on Twitter. She is passionate, knowledgeable and entertaining! Such a good balance. Image

I read one of her tweets about developing a personal mission statement and it definitely hit home. So I plan to dedicate some time to this over the weekend. Below is a quick excerpt as well as a link to her article:

There are three important steps toward developing a personal mission statement: 1) identifying your values, 2) envisioning your values in action and 3) writing your personal mission statement. For most people, it is truly an eye-opening process to write out your values for your life and then compare them to how you actually balance your priorities. But what, exactly, is a personal mission statement, anyway?

Personal development website Dumb Little Man offers this great definition:

Your personal mission statement should be a concise representation of what’s most important to you, what you desire to focus on, what you want to achieve, and, ultimately, who you want to become. In its purest form, it’s an approach to your life, one that allows you to identify a focus of energy, creativity, and vision in living a life in support of your inner-most beliefs and values. Also remember that your mission will change over time as you and your life change.

Branding · Marketing · Public Relations · Publicity · Social Media · Strategy · Uncategorized

What makes a good brand?

That is the million dollar question. However, before we can answer that, we have to answer the obvious question: what is branding and how can it effectively help your product and/or service?

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

Therefore it is safe to say that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about positioning your company to prospects as the “go-to” source for providing a solution to their problem.

A strong, trusted and identifiable brand can not only help you sell your product and/or service, but it can also open the doors for future community and business partnerships. People want to work with (and buy from!) established brands that have positioned themselves as leaders in such a saturated world.

With that said, I think it’s impossible to answer the question: what makes a good brand. Rather, a strong brand can help to deliver a message clearly. That message could range from new product developments in the marketplace to the benefits of a purchasing cell phone plan from Verizon over AT&T.

A strong brand can also motivate the buyer. This is where the importance of knowing your target market comes into play. If you know the attributes, behaviors and circumstances that motivate your buyer, then you can apply these into your branding strategy.

Furthermore, a strong brand builds customer loyalty. Effective businesses view their brands as tools that allow their messaging to cut through the noise of an overcrowded marketplace. They also position themselves as trusted brands based on the fact that their product and/or service has delivered on its’ promises in the past.

“The lack of a solid foundation for a brand will ultimately undermine its future success. This foundation goes beyond the logo and brand fascia and provides the underpinnings of legitimacy and ability to deliver real value.”

– Bill Nissim

If you are new to the branding world and working on creating a branding strategy, ask yourself this one question: What is my brand value and how can I use it to keep consumers coming back? That answer can vary depending on the scope of your business.

Branding · Campaigns · Marketing · Social Media · Uncategorized

The Power of Facebook Marketing

The Power of Facebook Marketing is amazing. Think about it: it’s a social media tool that a gazillion people use daily. Why wouldn’t your brand or company be on there?

That’s like…total.branding.suicide.

Not sure if you checked out my client work page, but i’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m a social media marketing consultant for this company; which means i’m in charge of their online consumer engagement and increasing their revenue through social media interaction.

As such, I spent a lot of my time today researching and brainstorming ideas on how to share creative content and get those “like” numbers up. Then it dawned on me, well actually, it dawned on my supervisor. Photo Contests!

Everyone is sharing their lives via instagram anyway. Why not make it beneficial for both of us?

She came across this great site for Offerpop; which is a third-party fan marketing platform (if you didn’t know, Facebook basically forces you to remove their name from all contesting and giveaways) that will allow you to effectively run viral marketing campaigns. Awesome right?! I think so.

I’ve been reading notes on a few of their past retail campaigns and I came across a case study for one of my favorite national clothing retailers. Forever 21. I’ve recently become a local boutique-hopping chic…yes, I know you care 😉

The national retailer has already created a lot of viral campaigns through Offerpop but this is one that stuck out to me:

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From Offerpop’s website: “Forever 21 ran their “Heart2Art Contest” using Offerpop’s Photo Contest app. Young fans submitted t-shirt designs explaining why their school is cool. The winner received $1000 for their school and had their t-shirt available for sale exclusively on forever21.com.”

We all love validation.

The great thing about a viral campaign is simply that…it’s viral. Meaning the hardwork (ie. the power of the ‘like’ ‘RT’ and ‘share’ button) is in the hand of the consumer but the return on investment (ROI) is given strictly to the company.

Have you shared and/or entered any viral campaigns?

Blogging · Branding · Social Media · Uncategorized

Spell Check Queen!

I never considered myself a geek; but honestly, i’ve always been one. I can proudly say that this was me in elementary school.

Never mind the fact that my mom was Editor-in-Chief of her High School Paper..

Flash forward to college. My friends still tease me to this day about always studying. Or working. Or interning. Granted, I did all of these things…but the weekends we’re reserved for fun!

Now my current position, and all of the previous ones up to this point, involves writing. A sometimes stressful yet enjoyable task. As such, I consider myself a spell check queen! I cringe at published work (even tweets, fb posts etc.) that feature misspelled words! Eek!

Lets all make a personal commitment to spell check everything (with the exception of texts; shorthand is second nature!). We all probably send out on average about 25 emails a day. No excuses though. As celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins often says, GET IT DONE.

Ps. I totally NEED her as my personal trainer. Who wants to lend me $2000 dollars? Don’t you all jump at once now! 😉

Blogging · Branding · Entrepreneurs · Inspiration · Social Media

Professional Blogging for Your Personal Brand

I wrote this article years ago for Socialtik Magazine. It’s amazing how things come into fruition. 🙂

The world has truly become virtual. Plenty of companies, professionals, entrepreneurs and the like are investing in the power of developing a professional blog.

If you do enough research, you can find a blog for almost every industry that exists. In addition, plenty of professionals are establishing blogs to showcase their talents and expertise.

Having your own professional blog is another way to increase your online presence while connecting with other young professionals worldwide. However, as every other aspect of life, it requires dedication and attention in order for it to reach the magnitude that you desire. Below are a few tips that can help you to start your own professional blog.

Take time to find your voice and niche

There are a lot of blogs out there. What is it about your blog that someone should actually stop and read? What is your writing style? Are you informative? Then you could possibly have a blog featuring the current news of your industry. Are you a critic? Then your blog could feature product designs and reviews on them.

Also, spend some time writing some drafts. It will help you to find your beat and what your passion is. In the midst of your planning,  be sure to visit other blogs to capture a sense of their tone and style of writing.

Search for different hosting sites and formats

WordPress and BlogSpot are popular hosting sites that have free services. However, like all products and markets, the blogosphere has its own set of existing products and channels. Be sure to do your own research and explore sites that are prevalent for professionals in your field.

As such, be very strategic with what type of format you desire to have. Will you update daily, weekly, or monthly? Will you have more of a casual tone or do you desire to be a primary news source? All of this should be properly assessed and researched.

Familiarize yourself with how to drive in traffic

Social media like LinkedIn, Twitter and Face book are perfect for this but there are a variety of other ways to drive in traffic as well. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a huge way to drive in traffic. They key to SEO is keywords. Creating your own is a sure way to increase readers and awareness.

Have fun!

This is not your full-time job. If you do not enjoy updating your blog, then stop blogging. Likewise, if you enjoy it, then be sure to connect with some paid bloggers and gain advice on how to make your goal a reality!

Advertising · Blogging · Branding · Campaigns · Inspiration · Marketing · Public Relations · Publicity · Social Media · Strategy · Uncategorized

Writing an Effective “About” Page

My “About” Page is still in progress. I’m sure i’ll update it periodically as I continue with my research. I feel like that is the beauty of blogging…constant updates, with no backtalk!

Came across this great article today that features 10 ways to create your “about page”. I think these are great points. Feel free to check it out here.

What are some pertinent factors that you believe should be included in an effective “about” page?