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How to tell your story

How to tell your story:

  1. How did you get to the place you are at now? Tell us about your journey.
  2. How did you know that you wanted to do “this” for a living?
  3. Core Values – What are your core values and how can you add them to your products or services? (We have a lot of resources o our website on core values)
  4. What makes you different? How do your products or services stand out from the others?
  5. What do you say when people ask you “What do you do for work?”
  6. Who is your target market? What problem are you solving for them or what pain point are you addressing? This will tie into your WHY!

Notes:

  • Once you have your story written down, make that your “About Me” page or create a blog post out of it. Also, create a video that shares your story, Add it to Facebook, Pinterest, make a short one for Instagram.
  • You are creating your Personal Brand with your story
  • Make sure you are fulfilling your target markets needs, are you solving a problem or fixing a need? By writing your story it will help you fill in the gaps you may be experiencing.
  • Check out your competition. Both locally and nationwide, look at what they are doing well and look at what they could be improving on and take notes!

Once you have your story complete and you are ready to move into the marketing piece and really being able to speak to your target market, you need to know first what are they searching for? What keywords are best for your business to be blogging about that will reach your target market and attract those perfect customers or clients.

You are on your way to creating SEO-Friendly content for your website and blog! Please sign-up for our FREE  training video on performing keyword research to improve the SEO on your website and blog posts.

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Interested in learning more? Take a look at the following videos:

Internal and External Goals

Setting Your Business Up On Autopilot

Finding Topics Your Tribe Will Love [Video]

 

Social Media Audit

How many of you created your business Facebook page well over a year ago? Or have had a Twitter account for more than a couple years? With social media being around for over 10 years, it is important to make sure your profiles are updated with your current brand image and message. It is key to be consistent in the digital marketing world from your website, social media profiles, to your marketing materials. Everything should have your brand colors, brand message, website, and logo.

In this video, we run through each platform on how to check your profiles to make sure they are updated!

Interested in learning more? Take a look at these videos: 

Tools for Entrepreneurs

Setting Your Business Up On Autopilot

Setting your Social Media Goals [Video]

Learn how to create branded images on Canva to help keep your brand consistent on social media.

Core Values, Why They Are Important To Your Business

What Are Core Values?

Core values are a set of standards for your business that everyone involved in your business must use in order to deliver the best possible product or service.

Core values force you to raise the bar and set the standard, the tone, and the cadence of your business.  Make sure you are doing what you can to set the right standards for your business to get the outcome you are looking for.

This video will help you establish core values for your business.

What is a personal brand?  

A personal brand is a feeling, an emotion and an expectation about who you are as a person and and a professional.  Your personal brand tells people what your character is and what they can expect to experience when working with you.  

How Do You Build A Strong Personal Brand?

Our 3-Step process will help you identify what your personal brand looks like.  Once you identify what your personal brand is, it will be your job to nurture, grow and tweak it along the way.

STEP 1:  WHO YOU ARE

Identify 3-6 core values that describe you.  Core values are those things that drive you and make you who your are.  They can be anything from trustworthy, respectful, innovative, leader, etc.

  1. _____________________________________
  2. _____________________________________
  3. _____________________________________
  4. _____________________________________
  5. _____________________________________
  6. _____________________________________

Power Tip:  

Need help?  Use Google to do some research!  Type “List of core values” into the Google search engine and see what comes up.  Select core values that really describe who you are and how you want people to perceive you.

STEP 2:  WHAT YOU DO

Write out a descriptive statement of what problem you are able to provide a solution to.  

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The point of this descriptive is to illustrate how you think and want people to perceive you.

STEP 3:  THE VALUE YOU PROVIDE

Strong personal brands deliver value ALL THE TIME!  With everything they do, there is always a piece of value available.  Two value-focused brands that quickly come to mind are:

Facebook:  Provides people the opportunity to connect with friends, family, and businesses everyday!

Google:  Delivers information instantaneously!  It costs you nothing to do research from the comfort of your own home!

Make a list of all of the pieces of value you offer to your target market:

    • _______________________________________________________________
    • _______________________________________________________________
    • _______________________________________________________________
    • _______________________________________________________________
    • _______________________________________________________________
    • _______________________________________________________________
    • _______________________________________________________________
    • _______________________________________________________________
    • _______________________________________________________________
    • _______________________________________________________________

 

 

Putting it ALL Together

Now that you have a clear picture of:

  • What makes you who you are
  • The solution you provide
  • The value that you offer…

You begin to see what your brand looks like.  From here, you can go anywhere!  With every piece of marketing you do, the product you deliver or conversation you have, you can design it all to reflect how you want people to perceive you, your business, and the product or service you deliver.

Take It One Step Further…

Put your brand to the test.  Work with a trusted colleague, mentor, or friend, someone who will give feedback, and tell you what you NEED to hear, not what you WANT to hear.  Ask them how they honestly see your brand and the product you deliver.  If they are unable to identify the problem you solve, how valuable your product or service is or if they are unable to identify any of the 6 core values you listed above to describe you and your business, you have some work to do.  You must either change one or all of the steps above or you must change yourself.  

Personal branding is a marathon, not a sprint, and, it is definitely a journey.  You will need to constantly work at it and improve it each and every day.

Many times people use the terms personal brand and personal image interchangeably but, they shouldn’t.  There is a BIG difference between the two!  Once you understand the difference between them, it will make a difference in your business.

Let’s dive in…

Personal Image:  

Everyone has one!  It what helps people form a mental picture of you.  Here are some characteristics of a Personal Image:

  • Sense of humor
  • How you talk, the language you use, the accent you have
  • Sense of style
  • Favorite color
  • Your overall preferences of what you like and what you do not like

Personal Brand:  

A personal brand is how people perceive you and it sets the expectation of how you will conduct business with another professional.  Your personal brand:

  • Sets you apart from others in your industry
  • Broadcasts your skill set
  • Describes your work ethic is
  • Provides insight into your character and values
  • Illustrates the expected level value you provide

Think of your personal brand as your professional reputation on steroids.  Your personal brand is the emotion, thought and an idea that is conjured up each and every time your name and business name are mentioned in your target market.   What do you want that thought or idea to be for you and your business?

Now that you know how important your personal brand is, you must protect it at all costs by delivering a consistent message each and every time you interact with your target market whether it be on social media, through a marketing program, during a meeting, consultation or a deliverable product.

Picking your brand colors

Do colors really mean anything for your brand? I mean it’s just colors, right?

WRONG! There is a whole lot of research done behind the meaning of colors!

When you think of your ‘Brand Identity’ what does that mean to you?

Personality is the emotional, and human, association to a brand. Identity is the image created and used by a company to relate to consumers. An identity can include all forms of communication and visuals such as logos, colors or fonts. But the two are symbiotic. A brand’s identity should be part of its personality.

This is one of our favorite color meaning charts: Attribution http://blog.visme.co/color-psychology-in-marketing-and-brand-identity-part-2/  

When you talk about creating a brand it all starts with the colors, fonts,  and styles.

Here are a few steps to get you started

  1. Mood Board Inspiration
    *Types of things that inspire you: Colors, Styles, Textures, Images, Fonts. Pinterest is a great free resource to look at types of brands you like.
  2. Color Palette & Fonts
    What color makes you happy? What’s your favorite color?
    – Which colors and fonts are you naturally drawn towards?
    – Are there certain colors that can represent your design niche the best?– Which colors would you prefer to avoid?
    -Are there certain colors that can represent your design niche the best?
    -What do I want the identity of your business to say to my clients?
  3. Primary Logo
    Primary Logo is: Do you have one? Do you have a stacked logo for social media?
  4. Social Media & Marketing Graphics
    What social media platforms do you have, that you need to make sure your graphics are correct?
  5. Website & Consistency – Keep your brand’s tone and personality consistent across channels

Is your brand identity unique?
Does it have passion behind it?
Is it consistent?

What are brand colors

WRONG! There’s a whole lot of research done behind the meaning of colors!

When you think of your ‘Brand Identity’ what does that mean to you?

Personality is the emotional, and human, association to a brand. Identity is the image created and used by a company to relate to consumers. An identity can include all forms of communication and visuals such as logos, colors or fonts. But the two are symbiotic. A brand’s identity should be part of its personality.

This is one of our favorite color meaning charts: Attribution http://blog.visme.co/color-psychology-in-marketing-and-brand-identity-part-2/  

When you talk about creating a brand it all starts with the colors, fonts,  and styles.

Here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Mood Board Inspiration
    What’s a mood board?

It’s a collection of different items that can help you get a feel of what your brand is all about. It can contain images, textures, patterns, typefaces, and other design elements. You may even put together a mood board with logos, website, images that you like the feel of to maybe replicate.

How to make an effective mood board:

Don’t set limits.

The moment you start making a mood board, understand that this is not a place for you to hold back. Put as many elements into it as possible. Remember that it’s always easier for you to take out elements that do not work out in the end. But if you hold back, you might miss out on things that you could have added, but thought twice about

Be detailed and specific.

Sometimes, you would add an image that struck you because of a specific element. A screenshot of a webpage perhaps, or a poster you found online. You may like the font used, or the color scheme applied. In these cases, make sure you add notes that specify what you liked about the image. This way, you can remember which element you should be zooming in on when you encounter the image in your board.

2. Color Palette & Fonts

Your brand identity is not just a logo of your business, but a reflection of your personality. When it comes to creating your brand, color plays a vital role in the process. People choose brands, make buying decisions, change their actions, choose what stores to go into, all because of COLOR, and they may not know they even do it!  

Think of a stop light, you always know Red means stop, Green means Go and Yellow means caution or slow down, right? This changes the way we think about colors and what they mean to us as individuals. At the end of the day, Color is EVERYTHING! These colors will be in your logo, website, social media, print materials, publications, promotional items and so much more, it’s important you take your time and really think about this.

What color makes you happy? What’s your favorite color?
– Which colors and fonts are you naturally drawn towards?
– Are there certain colors that can represent your design niche the best?– Which colors would you prefer to avoid?

-Are there certain colors that can represent your design niche the best?

-What do I want the identity of your business to say to my clients?

3. Logos

Primary Logo—Size and Scaling The logos are all saved to paths—which means they are rendered as vector art and can be continuously scaled. When changing the size it is important to do this proportionally and not stretch the art or change the original proportions. The logo shall not be used below the minimum size shown below
Primary Logo—Color Usage The primary logo may be used in four different color combinations as shown below. The logo should never be used in any other color combinations other than those specified below.
Secondary Logo The secondary logo was created for situations where Highline is more of an endorsement or equal party. It can be used in situations where there is limited space or where the full name is not necessary. It may also be interchanged with the main logo if the name Highline Community College is stated elsewhere.
Secondary Logo—Size and Scaling Like the primary logo, the secondary logo is saved to paths—which means they are rendered as vector art and can be continuously scaled. When changing the size it is important to do this proportionally and not stretch the art or change the original proportions. 

Do you have one? Do you have a stacked logo for social media?

4. Social Media & Marketing Graphics

When you are creating all these graphics, it’s so important to make sure you have the right size for each social media platform, cheat sheet here http://www.visualistan.com/2016/12/the-2017-social-media-image-sizes-cheat.html


What social media platforms do you have, that you need to make sure your graphics are correct?

5. Website & Consistency –

When communicating as the brand offline or via your website, social media profiles, or other online channels, it’s important to keep a consistent tone and personality. If your brand is fun and friendly on Twitter, it should have a similar flavor on Facebook and LinkedIn. Your messaging on LinkedIn may be less casual or more professional, but it shouldn’t sound like it’s coming from a different brand altogether. Think about it this way: there is the “at work” you and the “at home or with friends” you. Your personality is the same, but your mannerisms adjust to the context. The same goes for your brand personality and selected communication channels.

Is your brand identity unique?
Does it have passion behind it?
Is it consistent?

Let’s say you need to buy a new TV. Who do you consult for TV- buying advice? It is likely you go to a family member or friend that is tech-savy. They can tell you all about the TV they have and why they like it. Inadvertently, your friend is a brand advocate for the company that manufactures their TV. This is more powerful than any advertising campaign because your friend or family member is a source you believe is trusted and credible.

Brand advocates are essential to success. Who is advocating for your brand? Advocates give their friends, families, and colleagues advice. Companies should always be looking for brand advocates.  Often, the most obvious brand advocate gets overlooked – the company’s employees. Recall that in the scenario above you went to your tech-savy friend for TV buying advice because they are knowledgeable about the field and you trust them. In the same sense, it is likely your employees know more about the company and the brand than anybody else. In other words, your employees are credible sources and experts in the field. Whether you sell shampoo, vitamins or windows, use their knowledge. Position yourself on social media as an expert in your field, where friends and followers can come to for useful information about your product or service in general (not just specifically about what you are selling).

When you are stuck for content to post, it is a great idea to use your employees as a social media resource. Ask them how conversations go when they are discussing work with a person they just met.  Is the new person interested in your employee’s profession? What kind of follow up questions do they get about your field? Has your employee encountered any general misconceptions about your field?  The answers to these questions should be shared on social media and used for blog content. Ultimately, share these conversations on your social media sites.