business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing

Branding Is What People Say About You

The hardest concept for a business owner who has been around for more than ten years is “Branding.”

Branding was your logo.

Branding was your Est. Date.

Branding was the product.

Branding was actually never those things, but it was easier back then to draw in customers with those details.

Today, in the Digital World, Everything is About Information.

Our hand-held devices are the authority on just about everything. Should we eat at the corner restaurant? Ask Yelp. Should we buy that pair of shoes? How many stars does it have? Is this business something I can trust? Let’s Google them.

And I know that you know this fact, but do you really understand that telling customers how great you are is not the same as building your brand?

Look closely at this illustration. Now compare it is message to your last five Social Media Posts. How much information are you sharing? How often are you yelling at people to Buy Me? How many posts are sharing about why you do what you do? Customers want to “see” behind the curtain. How often do you do that?

How Do You Think Customers “Understand” You?

“Back in the day” there use to be that wonderful marketing principle about “three people who tell three people.” Remember? Personal recommendations, key placement print advertisements, and those loyal “three customers who told their three friends” were what made the lines of people wrap around your cash register. Today things do not quite work like that. Your customers are not placed within a 25-mile radius of your location (thankfully!) The promise of the Internet was that if you built a website, people from around the globe could possibly be your customer, right?

Google is Searching For Thought Leaders Who Share Information

All that you posts, write, and share about you and your business are thrown into a large river called “Google.” This large information system is hungry for anything that can be offered to the millions of people asking questions on their hand-held devices. Questions that need answers, right now!

Consumers do not want to know how great you are. They want to learn more about you through reviews, blogs, articles, and posts that you share. They have a very sophisticated way of determining if you are worthy of their time and trust and it is not just those “Millennials” who use this information system anymore. The fastest growing demographic for tablets and iPads are over 65! We are all using the Google-sphere to direct our attention– and our dollars–whether we like it or not!

And you want to know what’s even worse?

We Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish

In 2013, statistics noted that we had an 8-second attention span when it came to digital information. By many accounts, today it is merely 6-seconds to catch me before we “X-Out” of a page to find something more interesting. You have less than 6-seconds to catch people in your headlines, articles, advertising, and even in the books, they read…..

“Front-load your best material in the first few chapters before readers put your book away.” -publishing agents everywhere

So How Does This Determine Your Brand?

Ask yourself the following questions: Where are you supplying information? What are you writing about in your Blogs? What new information are you sharing in your posts? On your Instagram feeds? How often does the content on your web page change? How often are you sending interesting content via email?

Information is what we seek. Problem-solving posts. How To’s. How Not-To’s. Content, rich with keywords and images that delight us in the first six seconds of our interaction with you and your business. And don’t be fooled by the occasional article in your local newspaper or local living magazine—these PR tactics will only enhance the regular and consistent information that your business is already sharing on a daily basis.One-hit-PR does not a brand make!

Thought Leadership is How You Get Found

And thought leadership is a long-term view of a digital marketing strategy. The question is: How are you sharing information that will get you found?

Maria Bereket is a Digital Media Marketing Consultant and Coach, LinkedIn Strategist, and Social Media Trainer. Her work focuses on bridging the gap of the digital divide by teaching people how to use social media to grow their business through social media thought leadership. She is an innovator and creative task master, so don’t contact her if you are not looking for growth and change. Teaching people to embrace technology and learn how to communicate in a digital world is her super-power. Connect @mbear88 or email her at Maria@DesignBearMarketing.com

Original Post on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariabereket/recent-activity/posts/

Personal Brand, Social Media

The Awkward Feeling of Standing Out

duckWhat if Prince had decided to be like Hall & Oats, Billy Joel, or U2?

Those were the top names when he recorded Purple Rain.  He didn’t choose to have the same 80’s look and feel of those other guys, no, he became different because he was different.  And his career grew larger than life the more  “himself” he became.

Today it doesn’t take songwriting or a purple velvet jacket to become a “pop star” in your career.  It takes a personal style that means you must stand out, be taller (or shorter) than the competition.  It takes acceptance of that slightly off person that you know you are. Are you the square peg that squeezed into the round hole your whole career? Own It! You have to find yourself and stand proud.

To be the “pop star” of your world….it takes a voice.

Sorry folks, what it really takes is a Blog.

So Here is The Short List:

#1 A Blog Sends People To Your Website.

Interesting articles and materials that are found on Google searches mean that people, potential customers, will eventually click through to your website.  This is the virtual goal of anything social.  Clicking through to the home base of your business.  Sure, you could run $500 a week ads on Facebook, but why not find people genuinely interested in what you have to offer?

#2 A Blog Helps to Market Your Products & Services

What better way to give us all the behind-the-scenes look at who you are and what you do?  Selling art? Caring for children? Cleaning teeth? Bridging the digital divide?  They are all problems that need solutions. And the super highway of information can collect your thoughts and show me the roadmap to all the things that you can offer to help.

#3 A Blog Exposes You As An Expert.

Who wouldn’t want to stand next to Bill Gates when it comes to expressing your views on things that you are good at?  And don’t let the Bill Gates reference scare you away from standing up to thought leaders in a world of noisy advertisers. People today want genuine, authentic, organic information.  They want the voices of experience and understanding.  They want industry insiders who know how to change, correct, fix, guide, and fulfill all the promises that can be filled. We don’t want “snake oil” salesman with slick graphics and a cool video, we want authentic experiences that can impact us.  That would be (could be) you!

Think of blogging as an opportunity to contribute to the world’s problems.  One post at a time, reaching out to people, to your niche.  LinkedIn has over 414 million members.  What if just 1% of 1% of them read what you wrote and reached out to you?

You do realize that is over 40,000 people, right?

I don’t know about you, but if 40 thousand people were reading my thoughts and solutions, I would be a Pop Star!  

So Write.  Plan.  Solve.  And STAND OUT.

Note: I have one question.  When I “spell-checked” this piece the “snake oil” reference was flagged as “politically incorrect.”  Anyone have any comments on how this impacts society?

Maria Bereket is a Social Media Consultant, LinkedIn Strategist, and a very animated Speaker. Her work focuses on bridging the gap of the digital divide by teaching people how to use social media to grow their brands through thought leadership. Her passion is working with small businesses and non-profits because she feels that it is through their work that our communities will be stronger and better for everyone. Teaching people to embrace technology and learn how to communicate in a digital world is her super-power! For a different perspective follow her @mbear88 or just email at mbear88@gmail.com  

business, customers, innovation, Leadership, Marketing, Uncategorized

Distraction or Reluctance? It’s Time To Decide.

business, innovation, Leadership, Personal Brand, Uncategorized

A Different Perspective

When Your Life Experiences Matter

At a recent conference, I was stopped after my talk by a woman who thanked me and then told me that what I said didn’t apply to her.

Ok. My topic was Using LinkedIn to Build Your Personal Brand.  She was convinced that she had “no brand” and that when someone (like her) worked in so many different fields and jobs, there was no way to build a brand.

Now I was on the stairs of an old mansion, people were shuffling up and down between presentations, and although I gave her my card and doubted a follow-up, her comments really resonated with me.

No person ever has the same training and background.

That in itself is what makes all our work an amazing opportunity to see and do great things– because our own, unique perspectives make finding solutions possible. My whole life has brought me to this moment and there is no one else out there like me, with my unique perspective of problems.

I worked in several industries–none specifically related to each other.  I had different titles, different paths, needed different skills—but each one held an element of my marketing passion.  Each one was a perfect fit, at the time, because they filled a need in my process of growth, and I showed up just as they needed someone, like me, to solve their unique problems.

Every job we have ever held holds the keys to our current success.

All our experiences form for us the ability to solve problems with “new thinking.” Where we grew up, who our friends were, the places we traveled, the books we read, the summer camps, the concerts, the classes we enjoyed, our hobbies, our grandparents stories, our part-time jobs, and our internships all form who we are today.

It is a matter of tapping into that wisdom of our collective experiences that make the personal brand so powerful.

Some generations worked hard and felt rewards of just doing.  Some generations were given clear paths to success, and some generations grew up with technologies that defined their perspective of the “one-world-with-a-million-possibilities.” Just accept that we are changing in every generation and that every generation offers solutions.  

The conventional wisdom isn’t always the right solution

Look at Nokia or Blackberry.  Focusing on the best solutions with the best thinking of the time put them out of business.  They mocked the “other guys” as computer makers and forgot that their customers didn’t know what they didn’t know.  Had they brought in a team of people from other industries they might just have been innovative enough to still be strong and successful.  An outsiders view of an insiders world can make all the difference.

So to the lady who stopped me on the stairwell…

Embrace every single experience, job, position, and different opportunity you have ever had.  And find someone who sees the possibilities of that power you have to see things differently. Learning how to leverage who we are as a unique individual is what personal branding is all about.  YOU. Your unique gifts.  Your super-power.  Your collective perspective of the world.

Maria Bereket is a  Marketing & Social Media Consultant. Her work is focused on bridging the gap in the digital divide, and her passion is working with small business owners because she feels that their work is going to change the world making it a better place to live. Follow @mbear88  or email me if you need a different perspective mbear88@gmail.com

business, Marketing, Personal Brand

“The Cost of Being Wrong is Less Than The Cost of Doing Nothing”: How To Change In Two Steps

closed

Whether in your business or your personal career, refusing to accept change will cost you more than the cost of changing.

It is a mouthful, but it is real.  And if anything were “more real” than ever, it would be this: When you stand on your sinking ship of denial, well you know, you sink.  And I get it, change is hard (so very hard indeed!).  Who has the time to learn all the new stuff?  And how do you know where to start?  It is an endless list of unknowns.  But doing is always better than not doing.

Step One: Decide To Change

It is that simple.  You get out the wet cloth and wipe the slate clean…and then you write out what the new is.

It doesn’t matter who you were, or what the founding principles use to be.  What is today?  Right now? The direction in which you are headed today determines not only where you are, but what you are–right now!  And right now, how are you? 

Are you on the right path? Is everything working out?

If the answer is yes, then you got this, keep going.  But if the answer is no, then what is holding you back from taking a different track?

“Where you head now determines where you soon are, where ever you are limits where you can go”

These are the wise words of James Gilmore and Joseph Pine the authors of the Experience Economy. We all know its true, but there we stand, paralyzed by our own habits and past success.You do not need permission to change. Just make different happen.

So maybe tattoos are not your “new” style, but making a decision to be yourself in a world of so much noise and choice is a good thing.  And that is the point of what Seth Godin is saying when he says the cost of doing nothing is more. Because you need to succeed.  You need a new career, more sales, a better life for your kids, happiness, and a future that takes you into a better place.  But none of that can happen without a decision to do something new.

Step Two: Pick a Destination and Go.

The single best advice I ever received was “pick a lane.”  Pick a lane?  YES, pick the lane you want to be in and then merge into it.  Forget about the other lanes.  Pick the one you want to be in.  Your lane.  Your vision of the future.  Not your competitors future, or your co-workers, or even your neighbor.  It’s your choice! And the beauty of the choosing is that once you decide to do it, everything falls into place. Because having a strategy changes everything.

So if there are more than a few nights with little sleep, know that it will be worth it.   Happiness is the cure for just about anything.  Still need permission?  Ok, Here you go, your permission slip: “I give permission to ______, to go out into the world and try something completely new.”  Have fun, and don’t forget to send me a postcard!

Maria Bereket is a  Marketing & Social Media Consultant. Her work is focused on bridging the gap in the digital divide, and her passion is working with small business and entrepreneurs because she feels that their work is going to change the world making it a better place to live. Follow @mbear88  or email
mbear88@gmail.com

business, Leadership, Personal Brand, Social Media

You + Brand = Relevance

outdated

Understanding your professional reputation is all about relevance.

It is one of those phrases we hear a lot about lately–Personal Brand.  If author Malcom Gladwell were to pipe in he would say that we are at the “tipping point” of the process.  That means that it is time to stop and really look at the image you are projecting in your career.

Why is our “personal brand” so important now, when it was something only reserved for corporations for the last 100 years?

Your personal brand is your professional reputation.  It is all the bridge jobs you took to get somewhere more important.  It is the time you were fired, but quickly found a new company more appreciative of your skills.  It is the confidence you project when entering the room. It is as simple as your resume and as complicated as your Twitter account.  Your personal brand is your public life–and today, everything is public.

Branding somehow got confused with the “me generation.”  Personally I believe that every generation is the “me” generation, but in the world of selfies, professionals started to make excuses for not embracing the personal brand.

In 2015, we all have a brand, and it is this “branding” process that directly influences your impact as a contributor, thought leader and business owner.  

Your Brand:

  • It isn’t just what you do, but why you do it.
  • It isn’t as simple as having a smile in your profile photo, but what you wear and how you project yourself–virtually and physically.
  • It isn’t the tie or the high heel shoes; it is which tie and whether or not those heels are worn down and clicking all the way up to the podium.
  • It isn’t just an amazing website, but the content you share on social platforms.

Think about how you look and act, and I mean really sit down, look in a mirror and get to know the person looking back at you.  Is that person the one you “think” you are?  Or is that person still stumbling around trying to get things right?

Imagine yourself walking into a meeting–how do your colleagues, staff, business partners, managers, or clients perceive you?  Late, sloppy, drab, outdated?  Or are you edgy, polished and colorful?  How people define you, their perception of you matters. Perception is reality. So unless you bring something unique and compelling to the table, you run the risk of being seen as irrelevant, or worse yet, not being seen at all!

And do not underestimate your online profile.  We live in a world of information. Every second we experience a virtual treasure trove of facts and images on almost every subject imaginable.  So why underestimate the process of collecting information on you?

The biggest mistake you can make is not to have an online presence.

It screams “outdated.”

When Henry Ford brought the automobile to the every-day man, he changed the world.  He forced people to change.  Some people just pretended to change, but continued to ride their horses into town.  But as dirt roads turned into highways, many people were excluded from the world.

You cannot say “I am not techy” or “I respect my privacy” or even “It’s too complicated for me.”  These are the words of the man with the horse drawn carriage.

And it doesn’t matter how successful you are, how much money you have and make, or how impressive your title is…You are projecting a Brand of Irrelevance.

So be hip and relevant.  Get in the vehicle that expresses who you really are and write out a To Do List:

  • What are my real strengths, skills and abilities?
  • What is my true passion?
  • How do I look in my own mind?
  • How do I want to act?
  • What does my day look like?
  • What is it I want to say?

And then start making that happen every day.  Choose one online profile to change alongside one personal habit.  Get a real photo on LinkedIn and buy a new suit. You will feel the difference, and your customers will too.

Because who you are, who you project, does matter.  Brand YOU isn’t just the catch phrase of personal coaches and style consultants; it is the reality!

You are the product of all the choices you have made in your life up to this point, and if you are still making excuses for not changing and embracing the world we live in today, then realize that this too is a choice. And choosing not to change with the times is just as dangerous as risking something new.

And if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile (or any online profile), well you are not reading this anyway, but I am sure your hipper, more relevant competitor is….

So Start Today.  Ask an Expert. Become Relevant.

Maria Bereket is a Social Media and Branding Strategist.  Her work with non-profits and early childhood education is going to change the world making it a better place to live.  Her personal business mission is to educate every person on the importance and fun of living in a socially connected world.  www.designbearmarketing.com @mbear88

#branding #linkedin #relevance

customers, Marketing, Personal Brand, Social Media

Profile Mistakes: aka Why People Don’t Follow You!

Pop-Art-pictures-Evil-photo

You want to be a “thought leader”?

Have people “follow” you?

Take this with a grain of salt, but I am really tired of looking through profiles that are ridiculous.  Profiles are your life now.  Read anyone of thousands great articles on how to optimize your professional profile, and please, please do not make these mistakes:

PICTURE:  Let’s start with the obvious. And this is a dual whammy for sure.  Using clipart images, or your logo, or a flower for your photo, well, are you that horrid looking that we wouldn’t want to know who the hell you are?  We are searching for information, not a life partner. Get a picture.

DESCRIPTION:   Your quirky, hip tagline is so “hip” that no one understands what you are saying.  Nike already has the best one, so write out something and then ask a Layman before posting.

CELEBRITY:  Ok, so you are a published author, or something else super cool, and you think we all know you…yeah, all 400 billion of us know your book! Duh, come down to earth and write just a few more words about yourself other than the title of a book we never read.

TITLE: Let me be clear here—it is not what you do that interests me super-cool dude and dudette—it why and how you do it that matters to readers.  (oh, look, another author…)

SELLING:  In profiles, whether it’s your twitter handle or a “title” promoting your book or website….a little foreplay would be nice.

ADJECTIVES:  “Award Winning”, “World Renowned”, “Expert”….How about “Totally Egotistical”?  Yeah, that works for me, next!

TMI:  Which means, Too Much Information.  2 Categories here: 1. Waaay Too Personal Stuff.  No, we don’t want to know your “ew” stuff. Or 2. Every single title you have crammed in that small space? Pick one.  If you can’t, we won’t either.

AWARD WINNER:  Thank you, for thanking us, for encouraging you, to do anything in your profile.  “You really like me!”  No. No, we don’t.

CROSS DRESSER:  And I don’t mean clothing here people.  I am talking about the folks who start out being all professional listing their titles and jobs, blogs, and books and then say, “…and eat English muffins.”  First off, TMI, and second, pick your lane.

“HAS BEEN”:  New trend—squeeze in the “now I do this…” then throw in “has been that.”  Resume in 120 characters is really tough.  We are impressed with your ability to squeeze and minimize. Who the heck are you today?  That is what we are looking for! (FYI: includes “former”)

NAME ONLY:  Got it.  You are so famous and recognizable that we must know who you are, who wouldn’t?  400 billion of us are just waiting to follow YOU.  And I know, it could be the total opposite– you are anxious or shy.  Well, one says buffoon and the other is just sad.  Get off the internet.

LACK OF CONFIDENCE:  You are the ones—who explain your title, why you chose that avatar over a photo….Seriously? Get a profile photo and write a description for heaven’s sake.  We will like you, someone will like you.  Trust me, have I told you yet there are 400 billion of us out here?

TITLE ENVY: When you make it so complicated with acronyms and “@” signs, even throw in a cute quotation tagline, well, you got it bad sister.  Title Envy.  Size doesn’t matter.  Passion does.

OFF TOPIC:  This might just be a case of website confusion.  “I love my dogs, am funny, eat sushi…” Do you think you are on ChristianMingle.com? We don’t want to date you.  We want to read content, relevant content and your love of dogs has nothing to do with motivational writing.

THE VISIONARY:  I am not saying that a vision for a better future is not appropriate for your profile description, but when you use “head-in-the-clouds speak” without telling us what you do, how do we really know you are “the one?”

KISS:  To the extreme of Keep It Simple Stupid.  “Hi, I make nice things and I blog.”  Ok.  Cool.  Right on.  When you come down off your cloud, would you mind writing a description of those things you make?  I didn’t get the memo.

Finally,

YOUR PROFILE PIC: 

  1. You and you alone.
  2. Your face please, not your left ear.
  3. Unless you drew it, not a comic character.
  4. Biting anything is just disgusting.
  5. Looking disinterested is not a way to endear the masses. Moody sociopaths maybe…
  6. Surprised? Hysterical? Exaggerated expressions work for drama students and escorts.  Be real for once.
  7. Casablanca revisited might be creative, but it doesn’t really work in a small, very small, low-resolution space. That black and white, distant glance with you sipping, no smoking, no…what is that you are doing?  Are you picking your nose?

 

So there you have it.  The Good, Bad and the Ugly.

Bottom line?  Be real. Be who you are and we will find you.  Maybe not all 400 billion of us, but enough to make your world happy.

Maria Bereket is a social media and branding strategist.  Find me here, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @mbear88. Email me too: maria@designbearmarketing.com  I can help you change your profile!

 

business, Design, Marketing, Personal Brand

Is It Time To Change Lanes?

merging-800x398Have you looked at your website lately?  How about that Logo?

Is it Time To Rebrand Yourself?

Ok, so things are going well for you and your business.  Well maybe they could be better, right?  A few more sales, a few more people enrolling in your program?  Am I right?  Isn’t it time you stopped blaming the economy for the dip?  The economy is fine, face it—it’s your brand, and the 2000’s want it back.

So let’s get down the bottom line:

#1 “People Don’t’ Buy What You Do, They Buy Why You Do It” (Simon Sinek)

Stop rolling your eyes.  This is actually a thing.  It is called values.  People want to buy products and services from customers and people that share their values.  I know you value something, or you wouldn’t be in business.  Take some time and think about this one, because you need to get this right.  It is the foundation for your  future.

  • What is your mission statement?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Who are you trying to help?
  • What problems are you solving?
  • Are your customers happy? What makes them happy?  What makes you happy?

This is what defines businesses now.  Think Apple vs. Microsoft.  One makes computer things, and the other makes us feel happy.  Apple knows its passion. It knows its mission.  It knows that people are buying “why they do what they do,” and not “what they do.”

#2 Design Matters

We live in a very sophisticated marketplace.  A world where design highjacked an entire cell phone market from a strong marketplace leader and now dictates what we buy.  People know what “fonts” are, what colors mean, how visuals evoke our emotions.  We live in a world where design matters.

So why is your website still full of text?  Your business card in times new roman and doesn’t have your LinkedIn profile URL?

Take a look at the message you are giving us when we see your “brand” represented.  Is your logo readable and legible?  Can we find your contact button easily?  Can we read your information from our smartphones?  Have you even looked at your website lately?

And in regards to design, does this image you are using, does it portray the core values that you have grown into since you started?  A few simple design corrections can change everything, and I mean everything!

#3 Which Lane Are You Driving in?

What I mean by this, is that when you started out, last year, ten years ago, whenever that was, did you and your business change?  Are you stronger in one area, and not even doing another?  Are your strengths and skills capturing a completely different demographic now than when you started?

Well, you are driving in a new lane, so own it.  Turn off your blinker and get in the lane, it’s yours for the taking. Let go of the things that are not part of your identity anymore, and embrace the ones that empower your mission and values of today.  Keep the old stuff on paragraph three of the “About Us” page and tell us how far you have come.

This lane is your vision for the future.  It is the intention for the growth of your business in the years ahead, and it fortifies the direction of your brand.  So own it.  Show it.  Get a new haircut, new style, new colors, and fix your outdated graphics to reflect this new, empowered you.

#4 Figure Out Who Is Listening To You

Few businesses can survive exactly the same year after year.  Customers grow up and move on, people change, music changes, fashion changes: so why isn’t your business changing?

Even accountants have to rebrand themselves.  Why?  Because clients die off, grow up and move on, and the ones coming up from behind are younger, smarter, savvier.  And guess what?  They also use mobile –can we read your the stuff on your website from our mobile phones?  Have you checked?

You need to figure out who needs you and then discover who is really listening to you.  You might be surprised that your business is coming from a completely different demographic than you originally started with.  Get to know them.  What do they like? What do they read?  How do they get their information?  Then figure out how to give them what they want—not what you want, what you use to do, what is easier for you.

When your sales are so-so, enrollments way off, or phones not ringing, it is time to look at the brand image you are presenting to the world. If you are outdated, then it is probably outdated.  Get a refresh.  Go on, pamper yourself.  Put a little money into a new look and feel for what you know is an awesome product or service.  It is no different than going out and getting a new haircut, new suit, or even hitting the gym to lose a few extra pounds.  Your brand is a living, breathing thing.

And for those of you who think that spending money on social media is just crazy?  Well, you are probably the ones that need the new branding most because people are not using the yellow pages anymore, and that word of mouth thingy you keep telling everyone?  Well, that is what Twitter is for……

Maria Bereket is a Social Media Stress Reliever! She loves marketing strategy, and social media, especially LinkedIn; and she helps business owners and professionals feel stress-free when setting up their social media profiles and marketing programs. Design Bear Marketing is her Social Media & Design Company. @mbear88 http://www.DesignBearMarketing.com .

originally posted on http://www.linkedin.com/in/mariabereket

business, customers, Marketing, Social Media

Finding Your Written Voice

chart 8

The most common concern that people have when faced with the task of writing a company blog, tweet or post is: “what should I say?”

I offer a simple solution:
Forget about what to say and focus more on how you say it!

Your business and professional life are full of stories to write about in social media posts. You can Google topics in your industry and probably write out several months worth of relevant, informative posts that your customers would love to have as reference points. But what makes those pieces of information relevant and authentic is the sound of the voice you speak when writing.

“Sound?” you say. “Written words don’t have sound!”

Of course, written words don’t have sounds, but they do have a voice.

Technology may have made it easier to write out words and then spread them quickly across the internet to thousands of people, but technology left out the human connection that it takes to resonate with buyers and customers.

So think about that quote for a moment:

“Speak to the dog, in the language of the dog, about what’s in the heart of the dog.”

Your written voice must contain within it the values and passion that you have for the messages you want people to hear. Your written voice must carry in it the purpose and reasons why you are who you are. What you do is of no importance to the customer because in our social media world they have already found you among the millions of voices that beckon their attention.

Who you are, matters. Why you do what you do, matters.

That is what is in the heart of the dog: values, passion, emotion, purpose, vision, relationships, and conversations. All intangible things that do not involve profit and loss, line item budgets, and overseas manufacturing.

Start by figuring out why you started your business.
Then figure out what truly drives your career.
And finally, figure out the core passion that makes you different from all the other voices and you will have found your true voice. The voice of the dog.

And then?

“Speak to the dog…about what is in the heart of the dog”.

Not what is in the heart of your business, or your last board meeting, or even in the results of the survey monkey. What is in the heart of your customers is usually a value system that makes them “get what you do” because they know and understand why you do it.

They just get you. And that, my internet friends, is the voice of the dog!

#smallbiz, #content, #contentmarketing, #socialmedia, #designbear, #customers, #values, #valuedrivenbusiness

business, customers, Marketing, Social Media

One Terrifying #Smallbiz Reality

fear

Customers who engage with companies over
social media spend on average — 30% more
with those companies than other customers.
(Hootsuite)

30% More Sales!

When I quote a number like this to #SmallBiz Owners in my networking circles, their eyes narrow a bit, eyebrows raise, and I can just see the sweat collect on their brow as they stop breathing for a second…..

Fear.

I think the reality of knowing that your customers are engaging with companies online is one reason to cause some stress and pain, but having to face the fact that these customers might be spending more money too?

It is bad enough these giant, Mega-superstores sell cheaper products and services, but we all know they also have the resources to hire a team of nerds and geeks to post and tweet too!! Wait a minute, I am getting way ahead of myself here. It is just not true!

The companies that are competing for the #SmallBiz sales are not the ones with teams of people posting, blogging and tweeting. In fact, the statistics show that most of these “big guys” have only one or two people creating the social media buzz.

The beauty of utilizing social media as a marketing strategy is that every employee in the company–from the intern to bookkeeper—can contribute to the social media growth and sales of your small business.

Think about 30% more sales this month.

Is that worth sitting down and making a plan to incorporate social media into your marketing? Of course, it is, and not just because of the 30% sales, but because social media IS marketing!

First part of the strategy is acceptance.

This is what has changed and if #smallbiz does not get on board, then we let the big guys win. And every economy in the world needs #smallbiz.

What are you doing to incorporate social media?

Stay tuned for my #smallbiz tips posts on how to get with the social media plan.

Original post from www.linkedin.com/in/mariabereket/

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