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!
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!
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.
Audio Version 3-mins
In my last blog, I stressed the importance in using a professional email address to grow your database (contact list). So thanks to all of you who wisely decided to use an email address to match and brand your business
Today, let’s look at another tool that's been proven to increase awareness for your business or organization and grow your database, Video Commercials.
Many small business owners believe the cost for producing a professional, effective video commercial is beyond their budget. Now's the time to reconsider.
Video commercials are a great way to gain more attention and to attract more clients, There’s never been a better time to place a professionally produced video commercial on your Website and on all of your social media platforms.
There are fewer marketing tools that have the proven power to attract new clients, retain existing clients and generate more revenue.
Those of you who have a long term relationship with DonPaul Enterprises already know that our core marketing strategy is rooted in the AIDA method; Attract, Interest, Decide, Action. Video content is instrumental in every step of this strategy.
We recommend the AddVoyces Video Production Company because they have a proven record of producing quality video commercials at affordable prices. If you are shopping around for a video vendor, you’ll want to consider one that you can afford to use repeatedly.
AddVoyces provides all of the heavy lifting: don’t know exactly what to say? They provide script support, need appropriate images? They provide images. Need video clips inserted or edited? They have expert editing services. Need music? They got the right music. 30 secs not quite long enough to convey your message? They’ll accommodate you with extra seconds!
So check out the video in this message and imagine it’s all about you and your business or your book or your organization!
The ball is in your court …. all of the possible reasons or excuses you may have had for not enjoying the benefits of your own video commercial …yes, all of those reasons have been eliminated.
So I’m looking forward to seeing your video real soon!
Last but never least, please think on this…building your video library is a tremendous marketing tool in the strategy of building your most valuable business asset…and you know… that’s your database!
Until next time, bye-bye
The Audio Version - 4 mins
Word for week 43: Question
Meaning as noun:
1. a sentence in an interrogative form, addressed to someone in order to get information in reply.
2. a matter of some uncertainty or difficulty; a problem.
Insight: Comes from Mrs. Michelle Obama, who says: “Focus more on learning than on succeeding. Instead of pretending that you understand something when you don’t, just raise your hand, and ask a question.”
So here’s a question…how does the word “question” fit into a database building strategy?
I can tell you, at every twist and turn! Starting with the question: “What is database building?”
The briefest answer I can provide is: “It’s the system you use to build your client list.”
Sounds pretty simple right? Old school methods (some still in use today) included business cards, telephone calls, flyers, and even door-to-door visits played a part in building your client list.
You’d take all of the information, whip out the paper and pens and spend hours trying to decipher various hand-written notes. Even later, when spreadsheets came on the scene, those who were not experts with excel had to hire an admin, or personally take on the challenging job of typing all of the information with accuracy and then managing it in ways that produced really useful results.
We’ve moved ahead quite a bit, from the rather clumsy, time-consuming, uncertain methods of gathering and managing our client lists …so far ahead in fact, that the question I hear most often now is,
“How do I select a system that will help me build my client list?”
The answer of course starts with your individual business requirements, however, once you’ve identified your target audience, the tools we recommend are proven to help you attract more clients.
Most start-up and small business owners are short on time and money, so another question I get a lot is “How much is this going to cost me?”. I like that question a lot because it costs nothing to learn more, a consultation is free, and it costs nothing to use the tools.
The final question I frequently hear is “Does it really work?” To that question I’d point you to many of the clients we’ve assisted in growing their client list, but more importantly, if you’ll take an opportunity to chat with me, you’ll see very clearly, in just a few moments how well our guidance can work for your business or organization.
In the end, it is pretty simple after all …as an owner of a for-profit or the founder of a nonprofit, you need a system that will allow you to nurture your relationships, keep your audiences engaged, reach your target audience wherever they are, integrate with social media and provide you with the information you need to make better business decisions.
Schedule a chat with me …get your questions answered, and see how it all comes together, to help you grow your most valuable business asset…that’s your database!
Until next time … bye bye.
The Audio Version - 3 mins.50 secs
Word for week 37: Commitment
This week's insight: Commitment is pushing yourself, when no one else is around. - Taken From: QuoteMaster.org
Here's another one of those words that can cause some of us to cringe and some others to smile and carry on. Too often we find ways to "wiggle" around commitments or to glaze over our original promises as related to our goals. Why do we do that? This week I've inserted an actual screen shot of the definition(s) for the word "commitment" and if you are an audio fan, it's okay because I'm going to talk it out, so I'll keep you in the loop.
Part one of the definition makes a statement about being dedicated and part two of the definition makes a statement about "restriction of freedom of action"
Both parts of the definition have keywords. Part one: has words like dedication, devotion, allegiance, loyalty, faithfulness, and fidelity, while the keywords in part two go on with words like obligation, liability, burden, duty, and yadda, yadda, ...That's when the word "commitment" starts to mean something unattractive to many business owners, and that's typically when we begin to lose focus. After all, gaining so-called freedom and escaping some of this burdensome stuff that comes with a "regular job", that's why many people go into business in the first place right?
Well, guess what? It's the keywords you find in the first part of the definition that keeps your business in business and keeps your database growing...humm ...all except "fidelity, unless of course you're also business partners with your marriage partner ...yes then you can throw in the entire upper level key-word list ...including "fidelity".
What you need to keep your client list strong, indeed, to keep any aspect of your life strong. can be found in first two keywords of definition #1.
The more dedication and devotion you put towards building your business relationships (not just making sales) the more allegiance, loyalty and faithfulness you'll see coming from your database.
Over the years this is what I've observed; people who are passionate about their business, who strive to become a solution provider and do not lose focus on their intent ...well, those folks rarely succumb to feelings of simply performing a duty, or carrying a burden.
It doesn't mean that the words in definition #2 are not true or not a reality, it simply means that definition #2 is not a part of their plan and never will be.
If the words in definition #1 mean something to you, but the pandemic or any other circumstance is making you feel pressured with the words from definition #2, let's have a little chat. It'll be complementary ...and it will be intentional ... getting you back on track with your commitment to growing your most valuable business asset...your database....until next time Bye-bye
The Audio Version - 3 mins.15 secs
Word for week 36 – Criticism
Meaning: found more than 20 ...listed them all in the message ... pick your poison
Insight: John Wooden - You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one.
I went to work, reviewing the content, images, call-to-action, ease-in-navigation, you know ... all of the typical stuff that visitors and and search engines look for in a new site and all of the reasons why a visitor wouldn't join his database. I found approximately a dozen, small, fixable items. I sent my report off, including possible recommendations and solutions, and moved along to another project.
A day or so later, I received a fiery letter from the owner expressing his disappointment in all of the "criticisms" (his word) that I'd reported about his site.
I wasn't upset by his letter. I knew immediately there had been a misunderstanding, because I didn't have any criticism about his site. I only provided tips and recommendations on how to help his business reach the goals that he himself had projected.
Long story short, the consultation was free and there was no obligation, but it did start me thinking about the word "criticism" and yes, I was surprised when I came across more than 20 ways to use the word! I've place them all here online, because if you have my curiosity you'll want to browse the list.
The lesson I learned is this: I'll always be honest when I'm asked for advice about the alignment between a Website, it's social media presence, it's database and it's business goals.
If that's the kind of honest evaluation that could help you add more contacts to your client list; then please connect with me.
There will be no criticism, just enlightenment to grow your most valuable business asset...your database. Until next time, Bye-Bye
The Audio Version - 4 mins
Word for week 35 – Jewels
Meaning: precious, special, and often considered valuable.
Insight: Juvenal - Many individuals have, like uncut jewels, shining qualities beneath a rough exterior.
I recently received a letter from a blog visitor who pointed out that my keyword list, while long and impressive, did not include a word starting with the letter “J”. I was happy to receive the message because it meant she had not only taken time to check out my blog, but also to send me a personal note.
I promptly responded by thanking her and confessing that my keywords are intended to evoke thoughts on ways to grow one's database and business contacts. I’d never thought about the alphabet, but I promised her that I would consider a word starting with J, and hence the word “jewels” popped up.
When we think of jewels, we typically envision things that are brilliant and attractive, but how would that vision relate to database building for your business?
Well, like the quote for this week, shining qualities in individuals can be very much like jewels. Each contact that comes into your database can hold a resemblance to a precious gem and just as no two stones are identical, your contacts are unique. Here’s a huge difference; while value may be placed on an heirloom like a cherished diamond or ruby, your business database is priceless.
For sure, there are case studies conducted to make sound business decisions and to teach students a structure for determining what’s called the “CLV” or Customer Lifetime Value, and I’m not disputing the use of this knowledge or the studies.
The point I’d like to make is that every relationship has a beginning and from the very start to respect the possibility that you may be touching an uncut jewel. Take the time to learn what matters to each and every prospective client. Don’t assume you have the answer until you know exactly what’s pressuring them and even then, remember …it’s their belief that you can provide what they need!
So keep your vision, stay focused and keep adding jewels to your collection. If you come across a stone that you’re not certain will yield it’s brilliance, be patient and use a consistent strategy of polishing and buffing until the shine comes sparkling through!
In Database Fitness that process is more successful when you’ve put a marketing campaign together. There’s still time left in 2021 to reach goals that you may think are unreachable. Take the first step in discovering the hidden jewels surrounding you by connecting with me on a strategy call. And until next time don’t forget… your database is your most valuable business asset. Bye-Bye.
Here's an Audio Version for Your Convenience
Word for Week 30 - Landing …. as in an online Landing Page
Defined: A landing page, sometimes known as a "lead capture page", a "single property page", a "static page", a "squeeze page" or a "destination page", no matter how you refer to it, has one primary purpose and that’s lead generation. In other words to get people to take the action you want them to take … and most often that is to subscribe to your database.
Insight: “Great ideas need landing gear …as well as wings!” – source: Charles Douglas Jackson
Why am I discussing landing as in landing pages? Because there is so much that can be done with them to help grow your database. Of course, you can make a direct sale on a landing page …if you have the right impulse item, like shoes/clothing, food, books, music, etc.
But what if you are not an impulse item seller?
What if you are selling something that takes time and thought or decision making?
How can a landing page help you? One word …CONTROL.
Think of what it takes to land an aircraft. You can use some of the same primary terms for a successful landing page as pilots use for their flying machines … the controls.
And similarly, to landing a plane, your on-line landing page can bring you success. How’s that?
The goal in landing a plane is to walk away alive. The goal in using your online landing page is to walk away with ideal clients.
That’s why when it’s time to land the plane all distractions for the pilot and crew are halted. In the same way the home page of your Web site does not serve effectively as a landing page, too many distractions from the primary goal.
Concentration, know how, and focus will bring the plane smoothly to the end of its journey. The same three elements will bring your campaign smoothly to the meeting of your expectations.
Landing pages are very affordable, efficient, and can be the perfect start for an entrepreneur working with a tight budget. And yet, even well-honed, well-established businesses can profit from using landing pages. It can be the perfect bridge between the best of both worlds; maintaining a well-recognized brand, while expanding into new territory, with no need for major alterations to the primary Website. (Except of course to create a relationship between the two).
What type of Landing Page Should You Use?
It really depends on your goals/objectives, but generally speaking, the more focused your landing page is, the better it will convert. Research has shown, sending visitors to your landing page as opposed to your homepage improved database submission rates by approximately 37%. (source: Omniture)
Well, obviously I could go on about Landing Pages all day …but I know that you don’t have all day, so if you are interested in how Landing Pages could help you increase your client list… Let’s talk about it.
Use this link, or the button that says schedule a consultation! You’ll walk away from our thirty minute consultation armed with knowledge to improve your most valuable business asset your database.
Til’ next time…bye bye
An Audio Version for Your Convenience
Word for the week: Timing
Definition: (Noun) The choice, judgment, or control of when something should be done.
Insight: “Timing beats talent, every time!” - Richard Kall
Have you been looking at the progress you’re making with growing your database and wondering why more of your subscribers are not opening your messages? We all know there are many elements working together for a successful email campaign, but what about timing? What if you knew the best time of the morning, afternoon, or evening for each of your individual subscribers to receive your message? Wouldn’t that be a good thing?
Let’s look at the definition I started with, which is “making choices, using judgment, and controlling when something should be done. But how can you know when your subscribers are opening their mail … and how can you control specifically what time a message you send out at 9am can reach subscribers who may be in different time zones?
Well, there are some really cool “timing technologies” that can work to your advantage and we’re urging you to use them, if you’re not already doing so. The ability to deliver your messages at the best time for your subscribers to receive and open them, can give you an edge over all the other zillions of messages going into your contact’s email box.
The two primary features I’m talking about here are:
1. Perfect Timing –
This feature allows your messages to be delivered at the “optimal hour of the day” when your subscriber is most likely to see and open your emails. That’s right! The email database marketing system “looks” at the subscriber’s trends or habit of opening mail and delivers your message at a time that it is most likely to be seen and opened.
2. Time Travel -
This feature delivers your email at a specific local time, regardless of where your subscriber is located! This is a great feature if you do business nationwide or globally!
Depending on your operations, requirements and goals, these features can play a big role in increasing the success of your open rate! And we all know, no matter how much talent we put into content it all wasted if the message goes unopened.
So now, we’ve come full circle with our insight from Mr. Richard Kall, who said “Timing beats talent, every time!” You’ve put a lot of talent into creating your content, and now you have the ability to let better timing help you make the most of it.
If you want to learn more about putting Perfect Timing and Time Travel to work for you in your business …just follow this link to schedule a chat with me … at a time that’s convenient for you!
Your Database is your most valuable asset.
With Paulette Smith