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!
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 2021, I spent the year talking about the mind set it takes to grow your database. I ended each message with a single phrase "Your database is your most valuable business asset."
I’d like to congratulate all of you who followed my recommendations and added customers, clients, subscribers, members, volunteers to your company I know you made more sales, booked more consultations, filled up more Webinars ..and well … that’s the point…you did it, even with the pandemic still affecting our lives and our businesses, you did it.
This year, I'm not moving away from the importance of mind-set, but I'm adding messages about tools.
Getting into conversations about tools can be tricky because various tools work differently for various categories of businesses and what works well for one business may not produce the same positive outcome for another. But we’ll cover that in future sessions.
I'm going to simply share with you some knowledge that’s proven to help grow your most valuable business asset…your database … no matter what kind of business model you follow B2B, B2C or nonprofit or what type of product/service you provide.
Let’s get started with the importance of using a professional email address. That’s a tool that can help grow your database in a subliminal way. If you use "@Gmail.com, or any of the other top email services " for your business address opposed to using "@MyCompanyName".com or .org." You’ll want to consider making a change, and here's why
Using your company name brings you many advantages, ultimately leading to database growth.
Oh well, I could go on and on about but the benefits and importance of using a professional email address, but I believe you get the message...and the message is the investment you make in creating a professional email address is well worth it.
The cool thing is that you don't have to break the bank to get it done. Of course, you'll need a URL or domain name, but if you're not ready to create your site, you can still create your professional email box. If you already have a website then your provider can help you set up a professional email and usually for less than $50 a year! You can then have your mail forwarded through Gmail, Yahoo, or whatever service and keep the conveniences that you love!
Team DonPaul can help you with all of this and we can set you up…so if you still have questions about the importance of having a professional email address?
Just use this link or click the button to schedule a chat we’ll go into another year of growing your most valuable business asset...your database!
With Paulette Smith