Archive for the ‘Branding for solopreneurs and small business’ Category
TIME: 1 minute
LOCATION: A snowfield at timberline, McCullough Gulch Trail, Colorado
THE KEY VIEWPOINT: In addition to clarifying the value you offer (aka Unique Selling Proposition), it’s vital to clarify the contrasting point of view: the benefits and results your clients receive. This is critical for your website content and other marketing tools.
THEME: “Objectivity & Perspective”
TIME: 1 minute
LOCATION: Overlook Trail, Eleven Mile Canyon, Colorado
THE KEY VIEWPOINT: As a solopreneur or small business owner, it’s challenging – yet vital – to gain objectivity and perspective on your brand and on your business.
TIME: 1 minute
LOCATION: South Fork of the South Platte River, Colorado
THE KEY VIEWPOINT: Embrace the value that is specific to you as a solopreneur, infopreneur, or small business owner – there’s so much power there!
THEME: “The 10,000-Foot View”
TIME: 1 minute
LOCATION: Timberline at Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Colorado
THE KEY VIEWPOINT: When consulting with my clients, I often say, “Let’s go to the 10,000-foot level to get a strategic view.” Here’s a breathtaking vista at timberline – a literal view of this vantage point.
First, pick up your business card or look at your website Home page. Next, put on your “customer hat” to look at your marketing tool from their perspective.
Now take this quick quiz …
When prospects look at your business card or
visit your Home page, can they quickly discern:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What they get – the top benefit or result they get from your consulting, coaching, speaking, or books
Why does this matter?
Because your prospective clients are busy people! They rarely take time to read a lot of content and connect the dots.
This means your brand – your key messages (not your logo) – must be clear, compelling, and consistent throughout your marketing toolkit:
- Speaker one-sheet or author one-sheet
- Business card and stationery
- Social media
- Even your elevator pitch!
How’d you do on the quiz?
When prospects see your website, business card, one-sheet, LinkedIn page, or other marketing tool, can they immediately discover (1) who you are, (2) what you do, (3) what they get? (These 3 points are pivotal in my Nail Your Brand™ process, refined over years of teaming with solopreneurs.)
Take a second to comment below – I’d love to hear how you did!
For guidance to clarify your brand, read my article: Take 1 minute to clarify your brand – Identify your Brand Elements™
Spoiler alert …
This weekend, I’ll be presenting at the Author U Extravaganza in Denver, leading an interactive session to guide authors to transform their author one-sheet into a hardworking marketing and sales tool – simply by using my 3-point branding guide. Participants will learn to clearly and quickly communicate (1) who you are, (2) what you do, (3) what they get. See you there!
Do you have brand colors for your business?
Do you need brand colors?
Recently, a client asked if we should select a color palette before our designer creates the new logo.
My philosophy on brand colors for solopreneurs is more organic than for corporations.
Corporate design firms invest a great deal of time creating a brand color palette and style sheets, which ad agencies must strictly follow.
For solopreneurs, arriving at brand colors is an easy, fun, and organic process!
I believe two Brand Elements™ dictate brand colors for solopreneurs:
- Your photo
- Your logo
To create a logo for the client I mentioned, our designer will leverage the colors in his photo – including his striking blue eyes! This is VERY different from corporate branding!
In my “Nail Your Brand” process, I don’t force color choices. I rely on a good designer to create a logo or website design – a design with colors that (1) complement the solopreneur’s photo and (2) help to convey the brand’s message. For example, the logo for a technology consultant may present cool colors whereas the logo for a life coach might dictate vibrant colors.
Why do some branding experts emphasize color palette?
Because their branding approach is based on design. For example, many designers and branding companies believe “new logo = new brand.”
Instead, we must first clarify fundamental marketing concepts about you and your business.
My “Nail Your Brand” process pivots on my belief that we must clarify:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What they get – the benefits and results your clients receive
Next, we turn to a professional logo designer and photographer to work their magic.
This is an organic process, yet a surprisingly strategic process.
Teaming with the photographer and logo designer, we hold in-depth discussions about your clothing styles and colors, indoor versus outdoor shots, and even your eye color!
- You get a professionally designed logo that hits the mark (and that you love)
- You get a GREAT shot, not a headshot
- You get brand colors!
Want to make a BIG IMPACT this year? Want to clarify your brand? Want to make your website work hard for you?
Then mark your calendar and register today for 2 information-packed presentations in February. Join my Feb 12 lunchtime presentation on branding – and my Feb 15 workshop focusing on strategies for a hardworking website.
Wednesday, February 12
DTC-Colorado Business Women
“Nail Your Brand: Get clear, get moving, feed your family!”
A lunchtime presentation with Patrice Rhoades-Baum
When someone asks THAT question – “What do you do?” – do you hem and haw? Think for a minute? Sputter out a laundry list of services? Here’s the key: Clarify your brand, and your elevator pitch will flow naturally. Plus, you can ensure “what you do” clearly resonates in your website and marketing tools. Do this, and you have built a solid foundation – or launchpad! – to promote and grow your business. Join us to step through a simple process to clarify your brand. Then you can ensure “what you do” is crystal clear in your website, brochure, and even your elevator pitch!
Join a vibrant group of gals for this fun and informative lunchtime presentation!
CLICK TO REGISTER.
Saturday, February 15
Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA)
“Sell Your Book with a Hardworking Marketing Website!”
A fun, interactive workshop with Patrice Rhoades-Baum
Learn strategies and tips to make sure your website works hard to sell your book and build your brand. We’ll look at different websites and learn what they are doing right and wrong. Plus, CIPA members will have an opportunity to get feedback and advice on their own websites!
This 2-hour workshop will focus on branding, clear messaging, using the right call-to-action, and important features like a blog and opt-in box to build your list, sell your services, and sell your books!
Is this the year you step up? Really put yourself out there? Take your business to the next level? Is this your LEAP Year?
2013 was my LEAP Year …
One year ago – on New Year’s Day – I resolved that 2013 would be my “LEAP Year.” And was it ever! Those two words drove a lot of risk-taking, decision-making, and accomplishments.
My LEAP Year highlights included:
- Firmly resolving to step up as the thought leader in branding for solopreneurs – particularly infopreneurs such as speakers, consultants, business coaches, and authors.
- Clarifying my brand and creating my new tagline: Shine as an expert. Step up as a thought leader.™
- Creating an entirely new website with my team.
- Creating a new stationery package with my new photo and updated Brand Elements™.
- Presenting more “Nail Your Brand” workshops, including the NSA National Convention in Philadelphia.
- Restructuring my service packages, pursuing media opportunities, establishing a new MasterMind “partnership,” delving into video projects, and tackling innumerable other projects, large and small.
What did I get? What were the results?
- CLARITY – Committing to a LEAP Year forced a new level of clarity, decision, and action!
- LAUNCHPAD – By clarifying my brand and creating a polished, professional, and powerful website, I created more than a foundation. I created a launchpad!
- MOMENTUM – Armed with crisp, clear, and compelling marketing tools (including new website), I’m ready and able take advantage of opportunities to promote and grow my business. Already there’s an uptick in new clients, new media opportunities, and new speaking gigs.
QUESTION: Is 2014 your LEAP Year?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your brand need to be clarified or updated?
- Do you trip over your elevator pitch?
- When’s the last time you had your picture taken? Is it a headshot or a GREAT shot?
- Is your website woefully out of date? Does it bring you new business?
- Are your business cards, speaker one-sheets, brochures, and worksheets “homegrown,” with mismatched designs?
- Is your brand and entire marketing toolkit – website, one-sheet, and stationery package – crisp, clear and compelling, both in content and design? Are all the tools in your marketing toolkit polished and professional?
- Do you feel like it’s time to hit the “refresh” button?
IT’S A NEW YEAR – MAKE IT YOUR LEAP YEAR!
It was a fun day, with lots of participation and interaction. Plus, there were lots of “lightbulb” moments while attendees completed worksheets and discussed the unique value they offer – and the specific benefits and results their clients and readers get.
After our workshop, Author U founder Judith Briles wrote a blog article, noting, “Time after time, authors are asked about their books – they go on in perpetuity. They are asked about what they do; what their expertise is; what their books are about – they go on in perpetuity. Stop it. This is a critical part of your work as an author. It is the core of your brand, your authoring business. As Patrice Rhoades-Baum says, ‘Don’t be ooshie-gooshie with your words!’ ” (Read full article.)
“Patrice, what a sensational home run to kick off our year. Our participants loved your energy, your interactive examples and your high content. Your “Nail Your Brand” workshop was the perfect seed for the newbies and the perfect goose for those who need to rethink and morph what they currently have. The before-and-after technique was powerful. We definitely want you again! Thank you!”
– Judith Briles, Author U
Thoughts for the New Year …
At this time of the “rolling year” (as Charles Dickens would say), we start thinking about goals to promote and grow our business.
It’s a good time to step up to the 10,000-foot level (the strategic level).
When guiding clients to clarify their brand, I’ll often say, “Let’s go up to the 10,000-foot level.” Stepping up to a strategic level helps us change our viewpoint, gain a wider perspective, and take the long view.
Meanwhile, I’ve been hearing the phrase “Don’t get lost in the weeds.”
I like the juxtaposition of these two concepts. Clearly, if you’re lost in the weeds, you lose perspective. Up-close tasks may be perfectly clear, but long-term goals (and the path to get there) may be out of focus.
How can you climb up to the strategic level for your business? Set a theme for 2014.
When thinking about promoting and growing your business, one way to step up to the 10,000-foot level is to set a theme for the new year. A theme can be a powerful touchstone, always at your fingertips.
For 2013, my theme was “LEAP Year!” And was it ever! Those two words drove a lot of risk-taking, decision-making, and accomplishments. Highlights include going live with my new website, speaking at the NSA National Convention in Philadelphia, and presenting more “Nail Your Brand” workshops here in Colorado.
For 2014, my theme has gelled into “Allow Time” – for more creativity, new ideas, and plenty of adventure!
What’s your theme for 2014?
I invite you to comment below, and share your theme.
Top photo: “Patrice enjoys long sightlines near Sedona, Arizona,” photo by Michael Baum.
Bottom photo: “Wildflowers at the San Juan River, Utah,” photo by Patrice Rhoades-Baum.