Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Opinion Super-Sized!

I've put together a two volume collection of all my articles over the past 2 1/2 years. Every now and then I get requests for articles I've written and so that has inspired this collection. I'm offering both at a price that saves you 66%.

Branding and its principles are timeless, so all the tips and direction presented will be an enlightening read. All of the articles offer up practical tips and direction that will inspire you to strengthen your brand. There are over 100 articles across 2 volumes that are aimed specifically at entrepreneurs like you.

Looking Back For Business

We are always looking ahead for new business. Wondering what is over the horizon. One often over-looked direction for new business is behind you.

I'm talking about your legacy clients or past customers. The folks you did business with as far back as your beginnings and have lost touch with for what ever reason. Use this reconnection as the perfect opportunity to re-introduce yourself to them. Tell them what has changed with your company since you last spoke. Take the opportunity to listen to them. If they take you up on the offer, then you have your warm lead.

Ask to reconnect over a cup of coffee. There may be money in the those memories. Who would have thought that something old could be something new again.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Is The Internet Undermining Brand Profit?

I've been reading opinion online that suggests that the internet by it's nature is undermining the brand and by extension reducing profits of companies. Before the internet allowed people to search for goods and services globally, there was less downward stress on price. The internet throws many industries into the abyss of being just a commodity. Ebay and other auction sites make the only relationship a person has with a brand solely commodity based. Commodity is the enemy of profit.

You see it all the time - service and goods providers openly boasting how they can provide what you need for the cheapest price. Any business they pick up will be lost next time when the buyer finds it for even less someplace else. This is a never ending downward spiral.

The manufacturing industry has seen this model with with reverse auctions from customers. With global competition comes a reduction in profit from the shear scale of it. In years gone by, you competed in a market where the standard of living was on a level playing field. Today that dynamic has changed. In some sectors, a particular price is lucrative where in others it is inadequate, but commodity being what it is, there is no relationship to bank on and price wins out at the expense of profit.

Building a strong brand is one way companies are combating this issue. Companies like Apple have successfully leveraged brand to offset a reliance on price based promotion. If companies are successful in building strong relationships with customers, price is not the main impetus for purchasing. If the brand is powerful, then profit has fighting chance.

While the internet offers a broader audience for a brand, it is a double edged sword. There is probably no better reason to strengthen your branding efforts and using the power of the web to nurture a relationship with your buyers. Ignoring the brand relationship with eat away at your profit margins unendingly.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Co-operative Networking IS Smart!

If you’re smart, you’re looking into promoting yourself online using html email. You know, that’s email where you send a graphic instead of just text. The graphic also has the ability to link to other locations. Perhaps to your website or a special splash page promoting an important product or service.

In order to be effective, you have to have a decent mailing list. Like any other form of direct mail, it’s a numbers game. The more names you have, the greater the possibility to make a sale. If your email list is a modest one, I would suggest joining forces with a friend whose contacts compliments your industry and combine your lists. If you could do this with three to five friends, your
email promotion could take on a mini-virtual trade show.

How cool would that be?

I'm Quoted On "Online Branding" Story

Check out today's article in the Windsor Star (Windsor Ontario, Canada) on branding yourself online.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pump Up The Volume!

One thing a challenging market accomplishes is, it lets you know how safe your brand has become. It's a scary place to be. From the day you opened for business, until this revelation, your brand has had its ups and downs. For the most part, you've done an outstanding job just making a living by doing business in the moment. Building a brand that takes you forward, takes an focused effort. That effort has you pumping up the volume on your brand awareness.

What can you do to build your expert profile, and push your brand to the point where customers search you out? Over time, they come to rely on you for your expertise as much as anything else. Focusing on your brand and how to improve it, will invigorate you to the point that your worries about the economy drift away and you start to recognize opportunities.

Developing a brand positioning strategy that differentiates you is an inspiring goal. Where once, you watched and sometimes reacted to what the competition was doing to determine your sales initiatives, you now are poised to take a leadership role. Your brand has the momentum it needs to jump up and shout - THIS IS WHAT - ONLY I CAN DO FOR YOU TODAY!

What ever you do to enhance your brand, pump up the volume and make it better. If it is important to your brand values that you take an interest in your community, pump up the volume and go the extra mile. Actively participate, rather than just donating funds. If your team decides that it has to reach out and open up new markets, pump up the volume and go global. Embrace the fear of failing and crush it!

If your brand is to reflect a company who knows no bounds, then it is your responsibility pump up the volume and take the risks that deliver results. This market is not for the business person who loves to wait and see - that's the mind set of a follower. This is your chance to pump up the volume and make an winning impression.

How have you pumped up the volume in your search for success? Many of us here can learn from your story, please share it with us in this space. Pump Up The Volume!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How To Use Compliances To Beat The Competition.

Compliances - those nasty regulations that are imposed by business associations and the governments can actually be used to your advantage. The notion is to develop your own self-administered compliances and market them as differentiators. Drop by my compliance blog, Compliance Brander to read my 5-step solution to making this happen. The great news is that this technique is relatively new in branding, so it's the perfect time to jump in on the ground floor.

Compliance branding is a classic example of changing a negative to a positive and using that change to your advantage.

Friday, February 6, 2009

You Can't Keep An Entrepreneur Down!

Who is Margie Stein?

Margie Stein is an entrepreneur from Naples, Florida. Together with her husband Michael, they own Stein Builders. Stein is a premium home builder in the greater Naples area. The sub-prime fallout has dampened the new home building market there, not unlike anywhere else in North America. Margie could have just sat tight and sucked it up. But that's just not in her blood.

Margie is an inspiring individual who makes her own opportunities. Margie also happens to be a client of mine and I was taken by her tenacity to learn new skills and succeed.

What she decided to do was start a new business online. With little to no training, Margie has managed to generate more than $15,000. in the last few months alone using the business model (Shop for Income) with a minimal entry fee. She didn't have the benefit of an extensive email list or expensive coaching. Margie achieved her modest initial goals through her circles of influence. Imagine what she'll be able to earn after her first year, when she's had the chance to really promote this opportunity. If you'd like to discover how Margie did it, email her and she'd be delighted to share her knowledge with you.

If you're a start-up looking for something that has real potential online, from the comfort of your home, this might be something to investigate.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Made The Homepage of Business Week!

I got a great compliment this week over at Business Week. I just happened to be on their blog and commented on how I handle personal presentations. Shirley Brady, their Community Editor contacted me asking if I wouldn't mind them putting me on their homepage with a link to the story. I of course love it. Go and check out the article and see if there are tips that will help put you at ease the next time you have to present in front of an audience.
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