Audio Blog 5 mins.
Over the past six episodes we’ve talked about some of the basic tools in your branding kit and I do hope you’ve pulled it all together! Many thanks to those who have contacted me, and we’ve worked on your branding…I’m happy to know that you are already seeing positive results.
Now is the time to look more closely at applying those tools to specific applications. You’ve worked hard at building your toolbox …so what can you do with those tools to really make a difference in continuing to grow your business and of course grow your most valuable business asset…that’s right your database?
Like everything else in business, it all starts with your goals and what you hope to achieve. You’ve had your eye on the pie the entire time, because in creating your branding tools, each one set you on a path to a specific purpose. Because business is ultimately about profit, we’ve learned that looking strictly at profit can sometimes blind us because we may lose sight of more important factors like people.
You created your branding tools with your clients in mind, and you can look at the various platforms that will take your message farther and help you build more relationships. During the next few sessions, I’m going to delve into some of the most popular marketing and promotion strategies…all with the ultimate goal of building your database. I’ll be referencing a few different business categories, but I believe you will soon see a familiar set of threads weaving a path towards success!
Of course, your Website is your hub, and you’ve already set it up with your brand, compelling content, you’ve got videos, popping images, stories, and testimonials, you’ve beefed up your SEO insertions, you’ve created listings in local search directories… you’ve even attended some in-person and virtual meet-ups…you’ve done a lot to bring attention to your business …you’re looking good, and you’re feeling good but still you are not getting the numbers you’d hoped for. And you’re asking yourself what else does it take?
I think, deep inside you know the answer to that question, but I’ll lay it out for you…it takes more hard work, more time, more patience, more consistency and more of everything you’ve been doing …and that’s okay right? After all your business is like your baby and you’re prepared to do everything that’s required to help it develop and grow. So enough…what’s next?
For one thing…and there are a zillion things…You will need a strong networking strategy to build your online footprint on several different platforms. I try to avoid the term “Social Networking” because while it can be social, it’s all about business and your actions need to reflect that.
I’ll be looking for you to tell me which networking applications you’ll be putting your efforts into. LinkedIn, Facebook Business Pages, Instagram for Business X-Formerly Twitter, or any other platforms And so that’s one of the first actions you’ll need to take … learning WHERE your clients live online and making your brand footprint in those places.
I’ve had this conversation with you before…and some of you still insist on trying to please all of the people on all of the platforms all of the time and that’s not going to happen. Do your research or you can set up a strategy session with me for some pointers.
So let’s put first things first …Reach out to me in the comment section of my blog or any of the networking links on my site…let me know exactly WHERE you found your best clients are active online…that is …which platforms you KNOW they frequent most, and tell me WHY you believe they would support your business. I’ll be back with the most popular responses along with advice on how to use each space you report to grow your most valuable business asset…and of course that would be …your database!
Until then bye bye!
This is Paulette Smith with your DonPaul Marketing Moments.
This 6th installment, about your Banding Kit will be a conversation about an obvious, but often overlooked tool or should I say set of tools to help you build your most valuable business asset…your database.
Please take a few moments to look back at what we’ve covered thus far …each Marketing Moments tip is 3 to 5 mins so it won’t take you long to refresh the most important points of your Branding Kit such as your logo, Taglines, Slogans, Jingles and Colors.
Audio subscribers as well as online blog visitors, we appreciate you. Of course, there’s a lot more to a branding kit depending on your business, and this is just what we’ve focused on.
So here we go on the topic of “Contacting You” …We may never meet, speak with one another or even be so called friends on social media, but I still want you to succeed in your business. I don’t have to know you to root for your success. But if I say or do anything that helps you reach your goals I hope you will drop me a line …not to say thanks but to allow me to share the good news!
It’s a given that the “Contact Us” button is supposed to be a-call-to action and it’s prominently on every website, and every landing page in existence. And yet some how the number of people you supposed were going to contact you have not been beating down your door.
I believe we’ve established branding is important, but what we have not dived into is how "Contact Us" process needs to be designed to enhance recognition, build trust, ensure consistency, differentiates your brand, creates an opportunity for interaction, and improves the overall UX or user experience.
Your Contact Us Page should involve a plan and a system. It’s worth taking the time to learn what works for you. The good thing is that most of the work is foundational, so it only has to be done once and refreshed as technologies change.
Enough about all of that…let’s go forth with no fear.
When a visitor clicks “Contact Us” you may expect that to actually happen, but it’s not happening Why Not?
Take a look did you create your Contact Page with as much care, imagery and media as you’ve done on all of your other pages? Or does it sit cold and empty except for a form …no real invitation in words that would attract the search engine, no images, no video …nothing to say without a doubt why the visitor should contact you and how it would benefit them if they did. What a missed opportunity.
Let me be very clear here… This is not about the contact form itself…that’s another blog this is about the warm presentation and essential branding that you wrap around the contact form.
Well, I’ve got at least 10 other reasons why you should be using your contact Us page to enhance your brand. But this is called marketing Moments for a reason.
I’d love to share it all with you…so hop on over to may Contact Page at DonPaul.com and get on my mailing list …if you are already a valued client then GREAT! there’s a place for you there too…let’s revisit your contact us page and making sure it’s helping you grow your most valuable business asset…that’s right your data base!
Until next time bye bye!
Audio Blog 5 Mins
This is Paulette Smith with your DonPaul Marketing Moments. This is a continuing conversation about your Banding Kit and how each tool in your kit can help you build onto your most valuable business asset…your database.
For those who are just catching up we’ve looked into some of the tools in a Branding Kit such as your logo, Taglines, Slogans, and Jingles and Colors for your brand and if you are an audio subscriber, we appreciate you. You’ll find active links to all these topics in my online version of this blog @ donpaul.com tap on MM_Blog. Today, a few thoughts about typography…you know…typography, that’s very simply the style and appearance of the printed matter in your branding kit.
I say “very simply” when actually, the style and appearance of your print and typeface can play a critical role in the way your target audience relates and reacts to your brand.
Remember when we touched on colors and how colors can evoke certain emotions within your audience? Well, typography, depending on the arrangement of letters and text can elicit certain emotions as well, and convey subtle messages to the people you are trying to reach.
As with all skilled and professionals, a typographer could probably dazzle you with wonderful ways to set up your messages and such, and if your budget allows, then sure you should consider hiring someone, however, you can set yourself apart from your competitors by keeping your goals and your audience in focus.
Here are just three things to think about as you set up the text and letting style for your brand:
1. Consistency: Some folks who are new to business, may think that using different styles of text and lettering can be fun and interesting, when in truth it can be distracting and appear unprofessional. And so, as with many other tools in branding your business … consistency is key. Yes I know …you are creative soul, and you like to switch things up a bit…but the recommendation is to be cohesive with your website, logo, ads, and everything that touches your brand…it will save you time, energy, money and give your audience an opportunity to build trust.
2. Readability: So … you sell flowers and you’ve found a wonderful flowery script font that speaks to you and you are certain will speak to your audience as well. May I suggest that you go a little easy with the fancy fonts? Why? Because what you can see may not be as readable on all platforms and devices, additionally, one problem I often encounter is when my client wants a certain term in capital letters but the font they selected does not translate. We all know to use capitalization sparingly, but I suggest you use the old-school method of typing out every letter of your chosen font in lower case as well as upper case. Use a phrase like “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’s back”. Often you may find the need for a more toned down version of a font to accompany your script version.
3. Visual Identity: Yes it’s important to set your business apart and to do that with certainty you can even have a unique set of fonts created just for your unique purposes. Once again I ask you to think long term and while consistency is extremely important, there may come a time when you will need to change designers or the vendor who originally equipped you with your glorious typeface. Therefore, be sure to keep all records whether you are using free fonts or a purchased font…save a back up of the set or sets in the cloud along with all of the specifics that can be used in the future if need be.
I’ve got lots and lots of tips about the oh-so-seemingly-simple world of typography and I’d love to share some more information with you, I hope you’ll consider having a chat with me, visit DonPaul.com and click on contact. Let’s get exactly what you need in your branding kit to help you grow your most valuable business asset…that’s right your data base!
Until next time bye bye!
Audio Blog 4 mins
This is Paulette Smith with your DonPaul Marketing moments. We’re still working on building a Branding Kit for your business that will ultimately lead to growing your most valuable business asset…that right your database. In the previous two blogs we touched on your logo and Taglines, Slogans, and Jingles.
Next on our list is Colors for your brand and we covered the topic of colors and emotions in an earlier article. (Note) If you are an audio subscriber, we appreciate you. You’ll find active links to previous topics when you check out the online text version of this blog.
Moving on, this session is all about Images and videos. of course you know your images and videos need to be sharp, clear, relevant and sized properly, but of course as with everything that touches your brand, there’s a lot more to consider.
If you’ve hired a professional, or if you have resources to create for you then kudos, but if you are on the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) path, there are many graphic apps available to help you create stunning images like Canva.com for example and many generous talented photographers who have contributed their work to free stock image sites.
A word about some of my favorite stock image sites like Pexels, Pixaby, Nappy, and Unsplash, you find that experimenting can be so much fun…however you’ll want to always keep in mind that when it comes to your BRAND, you’ll want to BALANCE your individual creativity with marketing best practices that align with your audience, that means align with the people you want to serve, the people you want to sell to and the people whom you want to see your business as their go-to solution.
Always follow the rules and be careful of the sites you visit to avoid picking up a virus or a bug. Oh and remember… that anything claiming to be free, has a cost…either in flexibility or freedom; so be sure to read the fine print.
I’m including video creation in this discussion, because videos follow some of the same rules, meaning lots of freemium creation apps and trusted statics have proven the power of video is an awesome tool to help build your brand by attracting new visitors.
Finally, I’d like to encourage you …whether you’ve hired a professional, a freelancer or going DIY, be sure to tag your images properly use alternative tags on your web site, and blogs, and in your social medial posts use hashtags. Be consistent with that practice. The search engines love textual tags and it makes a better user experience for your visitors as well.
Team DonPaul understands that images and videos are very important tools in your Business Branding Strategy. We want to help you visualize how your Branding Kit relates to your overall success.
If you’re here, reading or listening and you want to be sure your branding kit is up to par, this is an invitation to chat with me! Let’s make the most of your brand …and building your most valuable business asset…of course you know what that is…right? Correct, your database. That’s all for now, until next time, Bye-Bye!
Audio Blog - 6 mins
We’re going to continue the discussion on your branding kit …we’ve look at the kit in general and started identifying specific tools in your kit. First it but not necessarily in this order, there’s your logo, and today the topic is formed around branding assets like Taglines, Slogans, and Jingles.
So what about a tagline? We all know how popular Indeed.com is and they say: If your business has a descriptive name that tells people what you do without needing extra information, Then you might not need a tagline.
This is what I say: if you can come up with a tagline, a slogan, or a jingle, that you believe moves your audience to want to build a relationship with you, and take your call-to-action …then yes…you should go for that.
First, let’s wrap a simplified clarification around the difference between a tagline and a slogan. A tagine is typically tied to the business in general and may last forever, a slogan is usually tied to a specific product or service and may change or evolve. I’m going to use mine as an example, Keeping your business online on target and on budget.. and I’ll give you one of my slogans later.
Here are just 3 of many essentials we found on another popular marketing resource Formulate.io that you may can consider when “highlighting your brand, your story, and keep your product, or service, top of mind.”
1. Benefit-driven. A benefit-driven tagline get’s straight to the point in telling your target market what’s in it for them, (we call that the wiifti) Our tagline tells you that our services are designed to keep your Web presences online, we’re going to keep you on target with your business goals and we’re going to keep on budget. We’ve never changed our tagline over the years, because our clients are still looking for the same benefits and we’re still passionate about providing the same benefits…Everything there is in alignment.
2. K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Sweetie). Simplicity, similar to most online branding and advertising principles, is the key to catching the attention of the viewer easily without any distractions to the message conveyed. Some businesses create a tag line that’s so ambiguous the meaning of the tagline needs to be researched. Good luck in today’s competitive market believing anyone will actually do that…no, they’ll just skip to the next company.
3. Unique. There’s only one YOU in the entire world. Use that uniqueness to your benefit If your tagline is very similar to a competitor, or immediately brings a competitor or a bigger company to mind, that could cost you loss of impact and make you look like an impostor…or simply cause you to be ignored as just another brand in an ocean of brands.
And a word about the world getting smaller everyday…when creating your unique tagline, remember to consider words have different meanings in different languages, countries and cultures…and that’s why copyright and trademark professionals are becoming more and more essential.
Let’s move on to slogans…what about them? They can be pretty similar to taglines and as I mentioned, are typically tied to products or services which may change over time and if you research famous taglines and slogans on multiple resources you see they are used interchangeably. For example, with our SuperScarves.com product our slogan is someone you know needs a caress. That slogan is tied to three elements, the feeling of soft silk in the, the ideal gift factor and sales support our maternal mental health initiatives.
And now, what about a jingle or a little tune? Well, once again your business goals and your target audience would play a big role in the creation, along with your marketing tactics. If it is your plan to provide video content to your audience, and we highly recommend that you do that, then a jingle could work very nicely into your broadcast intro and outro. Jingles are memorable, because they get into people’s heads and stay…and stay and well you know what that’s like!
The really great thing is that with today’s apps, tools and resources …it’s much easier to build your brand with a custom tagline, slogan or jingle. If you want to strategize on getting started, just schedule a chat with me, I’d love to connect with you and learn more about your business.
And Hey, if you already have what you need, but your looking for new ways to grow, that’s a good reason to chat with me as well! Let’s make the most of your brand and building your most valuable business asset…of course you know what that is…right? Correct, your database. That’s all for now, until next time, Bye bye!
In my last message I covered some of the basics related to building your branding kit. That’s the global template or content that defines the overall look and feel of your brand.
In the next few installments, I’d like to and talk about why each is important and why you should not take certain shortcuts.
Your logo was at the top of the list and as important as it is, many people tend to overthink designing their logo, while some others don’t put enough thought into it at all.
There are lots of free software and apps to help you create a logo, so I’m not going tell you what to do. When people come to me with logo already made …and I find it almost impossible to use the logo for their website or social media page without some serious make overs…that’s what I want to help you avoid.
This may be helpful if you have not yet settled on a logo or if you are considering a change.
Of course, each business is different, but I’ve found some basic tips apply and I have some clients who have developed their logo into some well known branding, so I feel comfortable sharing this with you.
1. Colors - I’ve provided an entire blog to the importance of colors and emotions and I hope you’ll check it out at some point, but for now, let’s just say, discovering the relationship between colors in your branding and how it can relate to the emotions of your ideal audience is important. It’s not so much about YOUR favorite colors, as it is about what is appealing and enticing to your audience.
2. Backgrounds – Most any designer will say that a transparent or very simple background is best and there’s reason for that….over time your logo may appear in various places, your website, a tee-shirt, a coffee mug, or even on the side of a truck. Each platform may have slightly different requirements for your logo to appear at its best. Depending on your product of service try a variety of outcomes and remember to always include a black and white version. And oh yes…your favicon…what’s that? Well that’s the little, teeny, tiny, image of your logo that appears in the browser window when a visitor has your site open. Really Intricate logos do not size down very well and these important little guys can get to look pretty cra, cra when made tiny.
3. Because I’m talking about size, let me stick with that subject and recommend your logo be designed as large and scalable as possible. If created in the proper format, images can typically always be made smaller. Unfortunately, they cannot always be made larger without stretching, blurring and pixelating. Another not so well known fact: most platforms where you’d like your logo to appear will be partial to square dimensions, therefore if your logo is vertical and long, then your expectations may not be met when it has been sized to a square output.
4. I should not have to mention, but I will anyway…copyright infringement. There is no guaranteed way to know if your logo may closely resemble some else’s, however, using the Google Image Identifier aka Google Lens. While it is by no means the be all and end all of finding similar images, knowing what logo image are similar to yours is important. Just image if you’ve completed your design, put it in front of the Lens and up pops an very similar logo in a business category that inappropriate, insensitive, or just plain something you don’t want people to find when they are looking for YOU on line.
5. I’m only going to make 5 points today, so I’m going to end with focus groups. Did you know that you can get the help of some top focus groups for no charge? Most large focus groups offer a free trial to analyze items like logos and profile pics. While you may not be able to hone your finished product to the point where it passes the muster, you can certainly get some valuable information on what your audience might think of your logo. For an upgrade you can typically go all the way and these companies do not usually lock you into any contract. Just keep in mind, the feedback can be brutal…but you want honesty, so don’t take it personally.
So there you are…and just for fun, I’m including a link to 40 of the worst logo published in an article by Plerdy.com Some I actually could find nothing wrong, while others I laughed ….with no disrespect intended.
After all, it’s all about drawing people to you, relationship building and growing your business.
I’ve got tons of tips and I’d be happy to help you develop the perfect branding kit for your business. Here's a link to schedule a brief chat about your most valuable business asset…your database.
In this segment I’ll be talking about creating a Branding Kit … and why you need to do that the as first step in helping you develop a S.Y.S.T.EM. – Saving Yourself Time Energy and Money
A branding kit can be defined as a global template that you use to create your online presence and everything about your business presentation to the public.
An bad example would be if a potential client found your social media page and liked it …then went looking for your webpage and other information about you/your business and everything they found looked different on every platform they visited. So where your “logo” might appear on these pages there would be no other identification…that leads to lack of trust and an unprofessional presentation.
While being creative is a gift, when it comes to clients recognizing your brand across multiple platforms you want to use your creativity to be intentionally consistent about your branding.
What’s in a Branding Kit?
All these elements should be consistently recognizable in every platform facing the public.
Seasoned business owners probably already know this. Those new to business branding may not know the real importance. They may shake it off. It’s easy to take short cuts …it’s easy but not wise.
Another point before I go on …consistency in branding helps every other entity that’s trying to help you grow. It makes it easier for your friends, family, vendors, your fans, your followers, and your potential customers to find you and share your information. And you want to be easy to find.
Whether you are new to business and looking for a branding ideas to help grow your business or you if are a seasoned business owner looking towards your future database growth, check out my recommendations at DonPaul.com That’s DONPAUL.com and schedule consultation, it free, I won’t make you cry and you’ll walk away with at least one idea that you can start using immediately.
All humor aside, wherever you are on your business journey …your database is your most valuable business asset. Take it seriously.
Until next time …bye bye.
Stay safe, stay well, and stay blessed.
You pull out your mobile device, you find some good light, you take a head shot, or you get a friend to do it, then you post it as your profile pic and you’re done.
This is true…but there’s a bit more to it … and this conversation is for business owners who want to get the most out of their networking platforms.
First of all what is your “profile” pic? Well it’s that image that typically shows up in the top right menu or someplace prominently on the page. The primary purpose is to help visitors identify that they have indeed landed on the correct page.
It's good to have accounts only where your audinces live, and to be consistent throughout. This not only serves as a beacon to light the path to your business, but it also builds trust and that helps you to build your database.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about a business or its owner(s) but found it almost impossible to connect with them across various networks because you can’t easily find them?
Your profile image is one of the easiest tools to manage that can bring your unique offerings to your targeted audience. Even though may be a thousand people named Paulette Smith and hundreds of businesses named DonPaul Enterprises, you will always be able to find me and know that it’s me because my profile images personal and business are consistent across the popular platforms.
In summary, whatever you decide to use for your business and/or personal profile image think of your audience, your goals, what you are trying to accomplish?
Be consistent. Use your profile pics to make it easy for your audience to find you, connect with you, share and follow you. Just this simple action can make it easier to grow your most valuable business asset…and you know what that is … right it’s your database.
If you need advice on making decisions about branding for your business, or personal profile, please set up a complimentary strategy session with me. You can follow the links in this message, or if you are listening in, come to donpaul.com and click on Contact Us When you do that, then it’s my promise that you’ll come away with ideas that you can use right away! Until next time …Bye Bye
Audio - 5 Mins - Aligning Social Media Platforms to Your Goals
Thanks for reading or if you are listening in…thanks for that as well!
Here’s what I’m asking you today: How many social media platforms do you post to and why are you posting to those specific platforms?
Many business owners post or don’t post to certain platforms because they personally like or don’t like or have knowledge of or no knowledge of the platform …They are 100% passionate about their business and they post consistently without giving serious thought to the outcome they hope to achieve.
Now let me be clear, I’m not saying there’s a right or wrong application or platform to bring awareness to your business…I’m just saying that all of them have their own agenda and you’d be wise to do the same.
Here’s the breakdown: Your time is very precious. For sure your business needs to be seen by people who have a solid interest in your posts. You can trust that people are naturally drawn to their primary interests, are more likely to stop, read, interact, and share your messages.
Moving forward, when you post for your business (that is without paying for an ad) do you want crickets? or applause? Of course what you actually want is to build relationships and that takes planning.
So how do you know which platforms hold your ideal audiences? There’s always going to be a need for research and fortunately, the applications and platforms themselves can be of great value to you in learning the answer.
Here’s just 3 things to consider:
1. You must have a clear vision of your ideal audience or audiences; no matter how you refer to them clients, members, customers, patients, buyers, etc. If you have more than one category, then you should clarify the relationship between all of them in your business vision BEFORE starting your research. Don’t assume that everyone will smell what you’re cooking and come running to the table.
2. You can do the research just carve out some dedicated time because there’s some work involved… but it’s good work …like mining for gold …and you’ll need some tools, but there are tons of free resources and unlike mining for gold, you won’t need a back-brace, or a shovel. Okay! And you’ll come away from the mountain with valuable knowledge of what impresses the audiences and the followers that you’re looking to attract.
3. Even if you’ve hired a marketing agency that’s promised to do the digging and the grunt work for you (and believe me this conversation is for small business owners who don’t have that kind of budget) Don’t leave everything in their hands…it’s your business ….nurture your business!
In summary, I still hold that your database is still your most valuable business asset and using certain social media platforms can be a great way to build the relationships you need to grow on.
For more tips on selecting and using the platforms that will take your passion 2 proceeds and grow your database, I invite you to connect with me for a chat! Look for the link here,
AUDIO - 5 Mins - YouTube Clips to Grow Your Database
I just received a shout-out from one of my small business owners saying that she believes she missed the April episode I thanked her …. and assured her that all is well.
I stepped away for a moment to put all of my energy into launching the FOZA Scholarship Fund Campaign. If you don’t already know about our Nonprofit organization FOZA Inc. just follow the link or visit FOZAInc.org and click on the link for the online action scholarship fund campaign. Thanks in advance for getting involved as an advocate for the awareness of maternal mental health. We are grateful for your support.
Now down to the business of growing your most valuable business asset… yes, that’s your database. I know you are always looking for ways to get more business through the door, and I’m always looking for life hacks to help you be more productive and creative with the limited time you may have.
Those of you who know me, have heard my advice about putting a system in place.
S.Y.S.T.E.M. – Saving Yourself Time Energy and Money.
So, here’s what I want to ask you: How are you using YouTube Clips? If you haven’t been using them, I’d like you to consider the benefits.
First of all, you may be asking “exactly what is a YouTube Clip?”
Well, I’m so glad that you asked. A YouTube Clip is a feature that allows you to extract (so-to-speak), a few seconds from your primary video to give your audience a little taste of what they’ll get if they take the time to view your entire video.
We all know that video increases your opportunity to engage with your audience and that in- turn can lead to helping you build your database!
Now you are asking: “How”?? Well just think of the possibilities! For starters you can give a CTA (that’s your call-to-action) in a wonderfully welcoming invitation to your audience.
I remember when I first saw this feature being used by a member in my podcasting circle. I was blown away by the way it made me want to consume more of her content and it’s not just for podcasters…clips can benefit anyone who is incorporating video into their marketing strategy. Talking about a competitive advantage…you’ve got it …at the tip of your finger!
A word of caution here (in the way of a metaphor): let’s you invite someone to dinner, but don’t give them your address. Now they may ask you for it, but they may just assume you weren’t serious about having them for dinner …and then you shouldn’t be surprised if they don’t show up! That means you have GOT to include the links to your call-to-action in your post …not just hashtags!
Not merely a link to your home page, unless your CTA is prominently displayed there, not to your Facebook or social media page unless you don’t own a Web page (and I sure hope you do own a Web page!!) and not even directly to your database unless you’ve prepared it with your free offering.
For example, my free offering is a 30 minute chat that I guarantee you will come away with ideas to grow your database; because I know that no matter what your business goals are, you are going to need people to take the action you are calling for.
And there it is! I hope you’ll try it!
When you create your next video, be sure to include a 30 second to one minute call-to-action.
And then, capture that CTA as a clip! It’s easy to do, just follow the link I’ve provided or search it up in Google Support
After a few posts you’re sure to see grow in your most valuable business asset … yes, you know what that is…your database.
Until next time Bye Bye!
With Paulette Smith