Brand Consistency = Brand Recognition

I have a pet peeve. Well, I probably have lots of pet peeves, but one I’m thinking about right now is something I think people can easily start working on, no matter what their capacity is for marketing.

Look at your social feeds: Instagram specifically if you use it.
Look at your marketing material: business cards, signage, brochures, etc.

  • Do you have 742 different colours?
  • 61 different fonts?
  • 14 different font weights?
  • 22 different imaging styles: memes, to professional headshots and product shots, to blurry poor quality pictures?

What is happening there? Why are you all over the map?

While I’m not a huge fan of highly curated social media content, where everything is perfect and the same and ya, just SO perfect, I am a HUGE fan of keeping your brand recognizable. Your social media and marketing material should tie into your website visually. Rather than thinking of your marketing channels as total separate entities, think of them as extensions of each other. Try to keep with the same font, and incorporate the same colours as used on your site. Compliment each other. Consider them the best of friends. Don’t send someone from your social to your website and have them feel like they just walked into a different home. It’s confusing. And the last thing you want for your site visitors to be, is confused.

Even if they aren’t confused, they won’t remember you because the next time you show up on their feed, there will be no visual recognition to the site they were just on.

This goes for print too. Do your brochures, signage, and correspondence have the same look and feel as your site?

If you take nothing else from this post, take this and tuck it into that corner of your brain that you use when creating content or marketing material:

Brand Consistency = Brand Recognition

Now. Let’s say you don’t know your font. Or the hex codes for the colours used on your site. That’s nothing to be embarrassed by, I can help you out! Just shoot me your name, email, and link to your website right here, and I’ll send you your font names, sizes, font weight, and colour codes.

What are my design elements?

So there goes that excuse 😉

Unless…you hate your site and don’t want your marketing to look anything like it. Then that’s a whole new conversation we should have.

 

Know your brand

You need a website. That’s a for sure.

But when?

What goes on it?

When do you reach out to me?

HOW do you even start this process?

It’s important to know your brand before this part of your marketing begins. And I mean knoooow your brand. Don’t get hung up that it is forever, because brands grow and evolve over time, and so should they, but know who you want to connect with and who you want your clients to be.

Know your brand. 

What does that even mean?

  • What’s your voice?
  • Who are your ideal clients? If you say everyone, you have more work to do. 😉
  • Is the tone straight up conversational or all out business? How do you want to connect with your people?
  • What feel does your brand portray? What impression is it giving your site viewers or storefront visitors?
  • If you asked other people what they thought your brand was, what would they say? It may give you a good idea if you are hitting the mark, or not.

You really can’t have a website – a $999 one, or a $150,000 one without a clear understanding of who you are as a business and who your clients are.

Spend the time and do the work. I promise you it will be worth it!

BUT…don’t let it paralyze you. Websites are mean to be fluid, to grow and change just as your business does.

JUST START.

And if you need help, reach out. I’ll fire 9 million questions at you that will help you get there.

You have your website, now what?

YAY!!! We launched your site! Watch the site visitors and clients come rolling in!

Slow down cowboy.

Launching a site does not automatically generate site visitors….I mean really, yesterday you weren’t on the internet and ping – all your potential customers get a notification you are now? Sorry friends, as wonderful as that would be, that is not a reality. You need to tell people you are out there! And not once, not twice, but on the regular. Tell them on Instagram, tell them on Facebook, tell them on LinkedIn. Yell it randomly in the streets. Update ALL your profiles everywhere on the world wide web to include a link to your site.

And as a side, ditch the www if you’ve hired me to do a site. It’s 2020 and we don’t need the www in front of your domain, it makes you look old, haha! For instance, I’d be sharing unlimitedbs.ca – not www.unlimitedbs.ca – see? I look 10 years younger already!

Think about these listings…

  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Social Profiles
  • Organizations you are listed with, can you add your website to your profile now?
  • Marketing Material – your website should be on ALL your marketing material (without the www remember)

Your website is 100% your marketing toolkit, but it can’t market itself.

Consider running Facebook ads for your new site.

Blast it E V E R Y W H E R E.

Build it and they will come? Absolutely, but you still have to install the signs so they can find their way there 😉.

 

Need more direction? Sign up for my Random BS newsletter and get a free checklist on marketing your site!

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your problem, and how can I fix it?

That is what it all boils down to in the grand scheme of marketing your business, isn’t it?

What is your solution to someone’s problem?

  • Are you providing a product that eases a pain point in their life?
  • Are you providing a service that removes something from their plate, making their life easier? More productive?
  • Are you saving them money?

Frame your website’s purpose with just that question, “What is your problem, and how can I fix it?” Look at your ideal customers through that lens and you will be able to make the emotional connection that makes the sale.

What does that look like?

  • Making sure your marketing is aimed at your ideal customer’s pain points, make them see you as the solution they have been needing.
  • Make it part of your business motto, maybe your tagline, or your mission statement. “We make your kids LOVE picking up after themselves with our one step program” <—because that would be dreamy, right? SIGN ME UP. That’s a problem I want solved and you nailed it right there, in your tagline. Gold.
  • And 100% make it apparent in all your web content, here’s how:

About page:

Whether you despise talking about yourself, or maybe you love sharing your hobbies, your kids, your adventures a weeeeee bit too much 😉, this section can be overwhelming to some. They get caught up in telling their readers about them.

Wait…what? Isn’t the About section meant to be about you?

Not really. To put it harshly, no one cares about you, haha! They care about about how you can help them. Frame it in that context on you’re well on your way!

Services page:

Lay it out, dumb it down! Don’t assume people know your lingo, know your product, know what you do. The more straight forward you can make your content to digest, the more likely you will engage them enough to take the next step – which equates to business for you.

Don’t be too broad, consider your market, and keep who are you trying to reach at top of mind. How do they absorb content? In what tone?

Give them enough information about your service or product that they feel like they’ve got a good handle what you or your product/service can do for them.

Because remember… That's what people ultimately want...to know what you can do for them. How is your product or service going to benefit them? Click To Tweet

Contact page:

Don’t forget to remind them that you are the solution! Site visitors might be coming only for your contact information so don’t lose that opportunity to tell them how you can help.  Think of your contact page as your connection page – connect them to you!

There’s many ways to communicate how you can help your target audience. Always remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them and go forth and give them the solutions!!

 

So, now you know how businesses are targeting you, here’s my question for you…

What is your problem, and how can I fix it?

 

 

 

Why I unfollowed over 1,000 people on Twitter

First off, I realize how ridiculous that number is. WHY do I even follow that many people and then some? HOLY.  I absolutely do not need to hear from over 3,000 people on the daily. So I sat down and unfollowed so much I couldn’t stop.

How did following 3,500 people happen? I was obsessed with learning all things social media. I followed all the big influencers, all the experts, all the I KNOW THE WAY people. I was drowning in information.

Too much noise. TOO MUCH. I had a Central Alberta list I would primarily follow, but then what was the point of the other 1,500 people? For numbers? To look all that?

via GIPHY

I’m not all that, lol. And I’m tired of all the noise. All the experts. All the opinions. All the American politics. All of it. There are benefits to social media but when it starts getting into your head it’s time to turn it down. Unfollow. Unfriend. Hide from feed. Click To Tweet

It’s not a requirement that you follow a certain number of people, or your Aunt Helen, or everyone in the community. Do what feels good, social media shouldn’t make you feel shitty, save that for eating an entire family sized bag of M&Ms in one sitting. (<—I may have just done that)

I want my Central Alberta peeps. I want to look to twitter for shooting the shit, getting to know people, finding out about new businesses and building them up. I want to know what’s happening in Red Deer, Lacombe, Blackfalds and the bigger centres. Because twitter is the absolute best for ideas of places to explore. News, some inspiration, and some industry accounts. That’s all I’m letting in.

Admittedly, it took more time than I care to admit, but this website: Manageflitter sure sped up the process. I had a lot of inactive accounts that it was nice to clear out too. Check it out if it’s time for some social purging in your world.

Just don’t unfollow me. 😉

 

Are you taking EVERYTHING? Stop that.

Here’s what I know today.

Social Media has given everyone and their dog a platform to tell you what to do and how to do it. It can make your head spin and I’ve got caught up in it way too many times to count. “I should do that! I should try this. WHOA I can quadruple my income? SIGN ME UP!”

Every day there is an article on when to post, what to post, what to do, what not to do, and countless self proclaimed experts telling you you’re doing it wrong. Even shaming you so you throw in the towel because you don’t want to look like the idiot they are making you feel like.

SO many tweets bitching about people cross posting. (Posting/linking to Instagram or Facebook from twitter) While I 100% agree it’s a bit annoying, does it really affect me? Nope. Scroll on by. Unless you want to privately help that person understand why maybe it’s not the best idea for their followers, maybe just shut up. Scroll on by.

Is my blog advice? Sure, maybe to some. But I’d like to make it perfectly clear, all I have to offer is what worked for me, and what I’ve seen work for others. I’m a big believer in never taking ALL the advice you are given. Take what you need and leave the rest.

Accept that we’re all really just sharing what worked for us, what research has shown in a snapshot of time, what the stats are, or whatever the case may be. Who says you aren’t the one to blow those stats out of the water? RIGHT? You could totally be that person.

We’re all unique. And how we want to share our message is unique. Don’t be crammed into a rigid DO THIS NOT THAT plan, pay attention to what your audience is responding to, and let that guide you.

Take what you need and leave the rest. Click To Tweet

Always.

Unless it’s chocolate…take all of it.

 

 

Unappreciated. Undervalued. Insecure.

How’s that for conjuring up words that make you feel like shit?

That’s how it feels when we are busting our butt and it feels like either:

  • no one is noticing
  • no one appreciates it
  • no one gives a shit

And this isn’t just things that affect us as humans, they suck just as bad for a business owner.

I’ve seen it over the years, the passive aggressive #supportlocal posts with an undertone of guilt or shaming. Maybe just not being used in the most positive context. By all means, support local because the benefits are insurmountable to our community, but don’t use #supportlocal as a…

NO ONE IS SUPPORTING ME AND I'M MAD Click To Tweet

Or a #supportlocal for:

I'M JEALOUS, NOTICE ME! Click To Tweet

or…

I'm struggling, for &$@! sake. If you don't support me, you are ruining me. Click To Tweet

Here’s the best solution I can come up with to slow that usage.

Let’s build each other up in our business community.

Build each other up every single chance we get.

Not because they’re your customer, not because they’re your friend, although YA do that too!  All up. All the time.

Had good customer service?

  • Tweet, Facebook, Insta…whatever you do, share it there
  • Write a blog post about it
  • Tell a friend, or 10 friends.
  • Tell the business! Say it, or send it “Hey you frickin rocked today!”

Purchased the best product?

  • Tell everyone you know 🙂
  • Social it – Facebook, Twitter, Insta
  • Tell that artist, designer, business owner

Here’s the important part..do that EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

Save the “your business should be here, therefore you don’t deserve the social shout outs” bullshit.

Not everyone does social, nor do they need to. Just like not every business needs a website.

THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID IT.

Does that mean we shouldn’t send the kudos?

Check yourself. Of course we should.

In conclusion…

Less using #supportlocal as a call for #supportme and more in the context of #supportthiscommunity. Click To Tweet

Ok?

Let’s try it. More building up. ALL UP ALL THE TIME.

I vow to work on that.

 

You joining me?

 

 

Authenticity in social media, is that even a real thing?

Everyone talks about it but is it really going on?

I’ve always considered myself pretty authentic. I say what I mean and mean what I say…pretty much to a fault.

HOWEVER, social media puts that authenticity into question, even for those of us who think authentic will be carved in our gravestone.

Because if I really think about it….no I most definitely do not put all of me out there. I don’t put relationship issues, sicknesses, or drama out. I put my highlight reel.

It’s not in an intentional

“hey look at us all loving life and shit! Yay us! You want to be us!”

way. It’s so not.

I just find repeatedly seeing negative, fear mongering, passive aggressive and poor me statuses/posts/shares don’t do anyone any good. Sure, once in a while it may make someone feel like they aren’t alone in their struggles which is helpful, but all the time is just not helping anyone.

Am I not being authentic because I’m not showing the miserable moments in life or sharing my problems?

Can authenticity and social media co-exist? Click To Tweet
I think so. We just have to remember we’re only seeing one part of what makes up that individual. There’s more to that package on the other side of the computer.

Always.

Instagram & Small Business

I signed up for Instagram because a client of mine wanted it on their website so I figured I’d better check it out. My intention was to use it strictly for business.

ALL BUSINESS ALL THE TIME.

Here’s the thing.

I can’t do that.

Truly, I can’t. And I totally understand why as a small business owner you might be overwhelmed to think HOW am I going to come up with content for that every day without it being a total YAWN? How many images of my product can people take?

I’m with ya. 100%

No thanks.

So I stuggled with that. I locked up my account for a while because I was posting a lot of pictures of my son…which is so unprofessional…right?

Screw that definition of professional.

That may work for some, but not all. And certainly not me if that’s the box I have to be in.

I opened it back up, still feeling like “I wasn’t doing Instagram right”.

Then I started to really think about what I love seeing from other small business (and even big business!) people.  I like seeing their work, their space, their behind the scenes and I love, love, LOVE seeing what they are doing in the community! It makes me feel connected to them. And that’s how I do business.

If you’re struggling with Instagram as a small business owner, here’s what I like to see on there, for what it’s worth…

You…your people…enjoying this community, exploring this city, this province. It makes me interested in you and truthfully inspires me to get out and try different things, to visit businesses I haven’t, and to share with others so they can do the same.

Think of the repercussions of that...if we were all advertising for our city? Click To Tweet

Win win.

Now, go post what you ate today and tag me in it 😉

 

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