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Be the Brand… weaving your story throughout your company

Here are four ways:

  1. Start with the URL. Your URL should immediately give someone the sense of what the site is all about. If there is a disconnect between your URL and your story/content, consider registering additional URLs and making distinct landing pages for your messaging. Keep your story clear,  concise and targeted.
  2. The About page. Your About page should actually be less about you and more about how well you understand your client’s situation. If the story you’re telling doesn’t help your message resonate with your customer – try again.
  3. Your speaking platform – if you are a professional speaker you understand how important it is to begin with a compelling story. How often does that story tie back to your business? Consider the ways to create connections between the two.
  4. Your referral programI previously blogged about Captain Valerie. She is the business owner who shares her stories and at the same time makes those stories a great marketing tool. I know I have personally shared her stories repeatedly since she first told me about her company. To take this even further, she might encourage her referral partners to use those same stories. These can be brought up in all types of settings, making it more personal and less of a hard sell, and ultimately making them more successful in bringing her new business.

Why we Tweet?

In a recent Facebook post, my friend Clarence mentioned that he just doesn’t get Twitter… recalling how I felt before I signed up for Facebook and Twitter I chuckled a bit; then I left a message hoping he would sign up and take a look. His question also made me think about the reasons we are constantly recommending Twitter as part of our client’s branding strategy.

Simply put, we tweet for our clients because public conversations are one of the best ways to build a brand. Unlike Google, Twitter gives you the ability to search for information in real-time. So by tracking your company, book, product or service name you can read and respond instantaneously to positive or negative feedback using Twitter. Not only is it perfect for marketing messages, it can offer a huge reach and awesome way to provide customer care. Allowing companies to share special gifts and time-sensitive information, guidance on where to go, what to do, what to click and see.

It’s an amazing little tool… Hopefully Clarence, you’ll begin to see the possibilities – and hey, thanks for inspiring this post!

creative brands

We are all creative. Some may even claim the title of artist, but lately I’ve been thinking that it’s not the title that really matters — the important thing is the lifestyle you aspire to. Here then is my list of characteristics I’ve noted about people who live with creative intention and build creative brands. I’d love to know if you find yourself anywhere in the description that follows.

From what I can see…

Creative people live in spaces that help them cultivate their ideas and develop new projects. We may find inspiration in a fabric, a photo, or a childhood memory. We use these ideas as a starting point to develop our homes and work spaces to our liking. We use materials in unique and innovative ways. Our home work spaces contain lots of inspiration. We are collectors of ideas and materials. Because we are always creative, our homes serve multiple functions. Our homes are a conglomeration of ideas — a test bed of sorts.

To feed our creative efforts, we shop. We shop for things both old and new. We reuse. We search the past for familiar ideas and make them trendy and stylish again. We may haunt the aisles of large retailers, but we often have a cadre of smaller companies we frequent whenever we need specialized products or services. We love places like Etsy.com, Creativity Portal, Illustration Friday, and a myriad of fun, quirky, and captivating websites and blogs that provide suggestions on new products and services.

We are introspective. We find inspiration from details others may overlook. We play with materials, words, and ideas; we push the envelope. We find joy in creating the simple and the complex. We like to try our hand at multiple things, often with the skill and insight to combine two or three seemingly disconnected things into one cohesive design. We appreciate the imagination and the inventiveness of others. We marvel at our own vision. We are insightful. We are out-of-the-box thinkers and are often called visionaries.

We love to see the impact of our work on others; because much of what we do comes from a place deep within ourselves. We make statements. In our work we capture the beauty and tragedy in life — and all the emotions in between. Sometimes we make things to trade or give; and other times we make things to sell.

We are connected. The internet gives us a space to set up camp and declare who we are. Sometimes we are part of the support system supplying materials and resources for other creative people to use. Other times we are the front line; showing our work and sharing ideas. We join mailing lists, read blogs and create online communities. We move offline and connect in person through clubs, correspondence, conferences, classes and co-ops.

Creative people share. We provide hope, inspiration and innovative techniques. We know the importance of artful living; of passing down our creative knowledge to our children, friends, parents, siblings, partners, and visitors. We keep track of our techniques, and of our progress and setbacks.

We know how wonderful it feels to see a project from its concept stage through material selection, organization of thoughts, and completion. It is like therapy for some. For others it is our passion.

Creativity is what we live. It is our legacy.