Where SSS for Success and EASY Brand Marketing Specialists Part Ways

Hello and welcome to Small Business EASY Branding Tips and this week’s podcast.  Brought to you by EASY Brand Marketing Specialists, working to help Small Businesses Survive through EASY Sales.

Throughout many of the past 17 weeks, I’ve talked about “The Basics of Branding and Why Anyone Can Do It”, and I detailed the “4-Step Common Sense Branding Strategy” that I think most small business owners should be aware of when seeking to create, build, and enhance their company’s brand.  

Those steps were:  
Step 1: Determining & Defining Your Brand.  
Step 2: Researching Your Market and Positioning Your Brand to Capitalize on a Sector of it.  
Step 3: Launching Your Brand.  
Step 4: Managing, Monitoring & Tweaking Your Brand.  

In this week’s podcast episode, I talk about Step 4, and give a real live example of “tweaking a brand” in action, as SSS for Success separates from EASY Brand Marketing Specialists.


Over time, I’ve found that the need for Specialized Social Media and Tech Consulting is too great for it to continue to remain as just a step with the EASY Brand Marketing Program.  Plus, I’ve found that there are people who just aren’t at the stage where they’re ready for the EASY Brand Marketing Program, and that’s okay.

For this reason, I will branch off SSS for Success into a specialized market that focuses primarily on businesses that are sorely in need of Web 2.0 survival skills, and the great thing about this plan is that eventually, some of those same SSS for Success customer will become EASY Brand Marketing clients!

The EASY Brand Marketing Blog and the EASY Brand Marketing Program will stay the same, as I will continue to churn out regular content that is designed to help small business obtain sales the EASY way!


As a Small Business Branding Tips Blog visitor, you’ll see very few changes, with the exception of some of the contact information that will change, along with a few other minor things.  The content will continue to be fresh, relevant, and useful, and hopefully you’ll continue visiting this blog, and downloading our podcast, as well as taking a look at the re-branded SSS for Success company!


As always, the content of this blog will stay the same, as I continue to educate and show you the way to EASY Sales.  So, if by chance, you would like to learn more about how EASY Sales can help your bottom line, then give us a call at 615-336-4325.

Even though it’s not a “sad” occasion, I couldn’t help but play “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” by Boyz II Men:

Reminder: Within the next few weeks, I’m going to have a podcast episode devoted entirely to questions and answers from you, my listening audience, so please submit your Small Business Branding Questions for that upcoming episode.  You can visit our website easybrandmarketing.info and go to the Contact Us page to submit your question, or reach out to us via email at “podcasts[at]easybrandmarketing.com”.


Also you can submit your feedback about this site here: Small Business Branding Tips Blog Survey.  If you’re a Small Business Owner that has been in business for a while, please fill out this survey.  We’d really appreciate your input on both, if you have the time.

Have a great day!
Kindra Cotton



If the player above isn’t displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free!

By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email us at “transcripts[at]sss4success.com“.

When EASY is not a SCAM

Hello and welcome to Small Business EASY Branding Tips and this week’s podcast.  Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists), working to help Small Businesses Survive through EASY Sales.

It’s come to my attention that a few people have caught wind of the EASY Brand Marketing Blog and the EASY Brand Marketing Program, and have questioned the appropriateness of using the term “EASY” in relation to anything that has to do with small businesses.  I get it, but for me, it was one of those things that didn’t quite jump out at me because I’m not always necessarily looking for a scam.  More importantly, the original conception of the acronym that represents the steps of the branding process I’ve developed actually spelled out about 10 – 15 different words and EASY seemed like the best fit.  

Though the work involved in the EASY Brand Marketing Program is not easy for those doing (that is, my company) the results achieved by the benefiting company will be.  Essentially, you’re hiring a company that can show you how to Establish the profile of your “ideal customer” (using market research), Analyze your product & service offerings and tailor them for your “ideal customer” (through business intelligence and analytics), Secure the most effective ways to build and maintain customer relationships (by analyzing internal and external uses of technology), and finally Yield an enhanced brand that increases sales by attracting more customers and repeat business (by insuring your company’s brand message is solidified in print and digital mediums).

It’s a long, drawn-out process, and it’s a lot of work done by my company on your behalf, and surely your cooperation and assistance are needed, if any of the work the EASY Brand Marketing Specialists team is doing is to be effective.  But, in many respects, for you as the small business owner, it’s EASY.  It’s saving you the time of conducting your own market research, doing your own internal operational analysis, and trying to figure out the overly complicated feat of navigating the terrain of the Web 2.0 environment, which more than likely would result in your finding out that you don’t know what you don’t know.

So, with that being said, when folks talk about “EASY money” or “EASY grant money”, or “Free Money to Change Your Life”, or things along those lines, it probably is a SCAM!  (Note: I call Matthew Lesko’s “Free Money to Change Your Life” book a “scam” because its simply a republication of government documents which are the same documents you could find yourself at your local library or by search the Government Printing Office database.  I admit, it’s a perfectly legal business, and Mr. Lesko has probably made MILLIONS selling people things they could get for FREE if they just did a little research…but I digress…).

But “EASY” doesn’t always have to be a word that denotes a SCAM.  There are plenty of tools that have been introduced in our society to make like easier.  Think of the calculator!  So, the EASY Brand Marketing Program is “EASY” in the sense that the calculator made math “EASY”.  IT IS NOT A SCAM!
 

But, I’ll show you this better than I can tell it to you, so stay tuned in the upcoming weeks as I talk about each of the steps of the EASY Brand Marketing Program.  

Now, in terms of the fate of the EASY Brand Marketing Program, I’m going to stick with the name for now, but remain flexibly adaptable.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve continually mentioned Step 4 of the “4-Step Common Sense Branding Strategy”, which is “Managing, Monitoring, and Tweaking Your Brand”, therefore I am surely up for some revisions if I find that my own brand needs tweaking.

Right now, I’m in the process of doing my own research and finding out what people really think about the business and its name, and what they think of whenever they see the term “EASY”.  Finding out the results should be fun.  In fact, if you look to your right, you’ll see the poll I’ve added to this blog, so feel free to give me your opinion there.

For the most part, I’ve found that people who think that “EASY” denotes a scam aren’t in my target market, and of those that are within my market, they’re favorable to the term “EASY”, so even in the early stages of research, I have a lot to think about, and in order to remain viable within my industry, I will adapt.
 

And speaking of revisions, there’s a “re-branding” of sorts taking place between SSS for Success and EASY Brand Marketing Specialists.  The companies are separating to further focus in their respective niche markets, where the EASY Brand Marketing Program will continue to help small businesses achieve EASY Sales, and SSS for Success will focus primarily on Specialized Social Media and Technology Consulting.
 

Be on the lookout for a few stylistic changes that will be happening as the EASY Brand Marketing Specialists gets their own site, and SSS for Success gets a completely new design.  

Reminder: Within the next few weeks, I’m going to have a podcast episode devoted entirely to questions and answers from you, my listening audience, so please submit your Small Business Branding Questions for that upcoming episode.  You can visit our website easybrandmarketing.info and go to the Contact Us page to submit your question, or reach out to us via email at “podcasts[at]easybrandmarketing.com”.


Also you can submit your feedback about this site here: Small Business Branding Tips Blog Survey.  If you’re a Small Business Owner that has been in business for a while, please fill out this survey.  We’d really appreciate your input on both, if you have the time. 


Finally, if by chance, you would like to learn more about how EASY Sales can help your bottom line, then give us a call at 615-336-4325.

Have a great day!
Kindra Cotton



If the player above isn’t displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free!

By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email us at “transcripts[at]sss4success.com“.

Using Twitter Chats: Highlighting Your Expertise Through Social Media

Hello and welcome to Small Business EASY Branding Tips and this week’s podcast.  Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists), working to help Small Businesses Survive through EASY Sales.

Almost everybody has heard about Twitter, and people use it for both personal and professional reasons.  

My understanding of Twitter and its usefulness has come full-circle in the past few months, as I’ve seen how it can be used to enhance a business and further solidify a brand.  One of the best ways I’ve seen this done, is through using Twitter Chats.  

A Twitter Chat is a group of people, usually meeting at a designated time, to discuss a particular topic via Twitter.  They do this by using what’s called a “Hashtag”, which is essentially a word with a pound sign before it, and you participate in the conversation by making your comment, and including that hashtag within your comment so that others following the chat can keep up.

There are a variety of Twitter Chats that occur all throughout the day and night on a number of topics.  There’s #brandchat, #carchat, #dogchat, #jobhuntchat, and my personal favorite #SmallBizChat.  

Navigating a Twitter Chat using the Twitter website can be problematic, and that’s why I use Tweetgrid, a website that lets you separate your Twitter streams based on a search term or whatever criteria that you’d like to set.  

Using Tweetgrid helps make a Twitter Chat a lot more manageable, thus turning Twitter into yet another social media platform that you can use to highlight your expertise and your brand, either by establishing your own Twitter Chat, or by participating in a topic that’s of interest to you.  It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people and network.

Most of the Twitter Chats were started by people that found they had an interest in something who decided to be a bit more solution-oriented about their communications.  Many are organized by someone who takes on the task of determining weekly topics and archiving the chats for chat members and other interested parties.  

If you’re a person that’s reluctant to use Twitter because you don’t see the professional usefulness of it, this takes care of that.  I encourage you to check out a Twitter Chat on a topic that’s of interest to you in the near future.  

Specifically, check out the upcoming #SmallBizChat happening TODAY September 08, 2010 at 8PM ET on Twitter featuring me (@KindraCotton), where I’ll be talking about “How to Write a Marketing Plan”.

Here’s a brief tutorial on Youtube that talks about Using Twitter Chats via Tweetgrid:


Reminder: Within the next few weeks, I’m going to have a podcast episode devoted entirely to questions and answers from you, my listening audience, so please submit your Small Business Branding Questions for that upcoming episode.  You can visit our website sss4success.com and go to the Contact Us page to submit your question, or reach out to us via email at “podcasts[at]sss4success.com”, or finding SSS for Success on Twitter (@sss4success), or leaving a comment below.  Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook Fan Page and let us know you LIKE what we’re doing.


Also you can submit your feedback about this site here: Small Business Branding Tips Blog Survey.  If you’re a Small Business Owner that has been in business for a while, please fill out this survey.  We’d really appreciate your input on both, if you have the time. 


Finally, if by chance, you would like to learn more about how EASY Sales can help your bottom line, then give us a call at 615-336-4325.

Have a great day!
Kindra Cotton



If the player above isn’t displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free!

By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email us at “transcripts[at]sss4success.com“.

More about EASY RSS Feeds: Using RSS Feed Readers to Get Content

Hello and welcome to Small Business EASY Branding Tips.  Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists), working to help Small Businesses Survive through EASY Sales. 

Over the past several weeks, we’ve talked about EASY Small Business Brand Marketing Tips, ways to build traffic to your website and/or blog, and “The Basics of Branding and Why Anyone Can Do It”.  We detailed the 4-Step Common Sense Branding Strategy that I think most small business owners should be aware of when seeking to create, build, and enhance their company’s brand: 

  • Step 1: Determining & Defining Your Brand.
  • Step 2: Researching Your Market and Positioning Your Brand to Capitalize on a Sector of it.
  • Step 3: Launching Your Brand.
  • Step 4: Managing, Monitoring & Tweaking Your Brand 

A few weeks ago, I talked about RSS feeds, or “Really Simple Syndication” feeds, which are also known as Web feeds, or news feeds, and I mentioned how I found them to be particularly perplexing when the idea was first introduced to me.  Since that topic, I’ve had some questions that has encouraged me to delve a bit deeper into the subject, so in this episode, I’m going to talk more about the real uses of RSS feeds and how you can get the most out of them both for distributing content, as well as reading the content of others that’s of interest to you.

Here’s a recap on RSS feeds. They’re about TWO things:
 1. Creating news feeds to disseminate information, and 
 2. Subscribing to those feeds for the information that is of interest to you.

In this week’s podcast, I talk more about the types of RSS Readers that you can use to subscribe to RSS feeds.  I specifically talk about web-based and application based RSS Feed Readers.


Web-based RSS Feed Readers:

  • Google Reader: My preferred reader. Great if you have a Google account.
  • Bloglines: Simple set up and easy-to-use interface.
  • MyYahoo: Another great tool if you already have a Yahoo account.



Application-based RSS Feed Readers:

If you want to learn more about RSS feeds in more detail, check out the whatisrss.com website, as well as the books RSS and Atom in Action: Web 2.0 Building Blocks by Dave Johnson, Syndicating Web Sites with RSS Feeds For Dummies by Ellen Finkelstein, and Developing Feeds with RSS and Atom by Ben Hammersley.

I’ve also uploaded a brief tutorial on Youtube that talks about Using RSS Feed Readers to Get Great Content:


Reminder: Within the next few weeks, I’m going to have a podcast episode devoted entirely to questions and answers from you, my listening audience, so please submit your Small Business Branding Questions for that upcoming episode.  You can visit our website sss4success.com and go to the Contact Us page to submit your question, or reach out to us via email at “podcasts[at]sss4success.com”, or finding us on Twitter (@sss4success), or leaving a comment below.  Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook Fan Page and let us know you LIKE what we’re doing.


Also you can submit your feedback about this site here: Small Business Branding Tips Blog Survey.  If you’re a Small Business Owner that has been in business for a while, please fill out this survey.  We’d really appreciate your input on both, if you have the time. 


Finally, if by chance, you would like to learn more about how EASY Sales can help your bottom line, then give us a call at 615-336-4325.

Have a great day!
Kindra Cotton



If the player above isn’t displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free!

By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email us at “transcripts[at]sss4success.com“.

Now is the Time to Get to Know Your Market

Hello and welcome to Small Business EASY Branding Tips.  Brought to you by SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists), working to help Small Businesses Survive through EASY Sales. 

Over the past several weeks, we’ve talked about EASY Small Business Brand Marketing Tips, ways to build traffic to your website and/or blog, and “The Basics of Branding and Why Anyone Can Do It”.  We detailed the 4-Step Common Sense Branding Strategy that I think most small business owners should be aware of when seeking to create, build, and enhance their company’s brand: 
  • Step 1: Determining & Defining Your Brand.
  • Step 2: Researching Your Market and Positioning Your Brand to Capitalize on a Sector of it.
  • Step 3: Launching Your Brand.
  • Step 4: Managing, Monitoring & Tweaking Your Brand 

In this week’s podcast episode, I want to talk about Step 2 of Researching Your Market and Positioning Your Brand to Capitalize on a Sector of it.  I chose this topic this week, in part, because I am featured as a guest poster at The MicroEnterprise Journal Blog this week, where you can see my featured post entitled “4 Tips to Get a Better Feel for Your Market” (thanks to Dawn Rivers Baker, Editor of The MicroEnterprise Journal and its Blog for featuring my article this month).
 

When you venture over to The MicroEnterprise Journal Blog, you’ll read about my experience starting out in business 2 years ago.  When I first started my original business, I was similar to Richard Pryor’s character in the 1985 classic movie “Brewster’s Millions” where I was “in the business of being in business”, and I made the classic entrepreneur’s mistake of answering “everybody”, whenever anybody asked me who my target market was.

Over time, I’ve learned to narrow down my target market to my “ideal customers”, and here are some tips that can help you get to know your market:

 1. Conduct informal research
 2. Try The MiniMarketing Survey
 3. Conduct a formal large-scale market research project
 4. Review your customer records and feedback you already have.


    Reminder: Within the next few weeks, I’m going to have a podcast episode devoted entirely to questions and answers from you, my listening audience, so please submit your Small Business Branding Questions for that upcoming episode.  You can visit our website sss4success.com and go to the Contact Us page to submit your question, or reach out to us via email at “podcasts[at]sss4success.com”, or finding us on Twitter (@sss4success), or leaving a comment below.  Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook Fan Page and let us know you LIKE what we’re doing.


    Also you can submit your feedback about this site here: Small Business Branding Tips Blog Survey.  If you’re a Small Business Owner that has been in business for a while, please fill out this survey.  We’d really appreciate your input on both, if you have the time. 


    Finally, if by chance, you would like to learn more about how EASY Sales can help your bottom line, then give us a call at 615-336-4325.

    Have a great day!
    Kindra Cotton



    If the player above isn’t displaying, or working properly, you can also download the podcast from iTunes for free!

    By the way, Transcripts are now available upon request.  If you want one, please email us at “transcripts[at]sss4success.com“.

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