Specials Are Ending Soon!

It has been a pleasure to offer all of the Specials that have been available at SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialsts), but all good things, must come to an end!

As I stated when we announced them, they were only available at these prices for a LIMITED time, thus at the Close of Business on Monday, July 26, 2010, the following specials will be ending:
  • The Personal Branding Special: $150 for a 30-minute Tech/Social Media Consultation, a Professional & Stylish 4-Page Website, a personal email address (i.e. you@yourname.com), and a full-page (Color) Digital One-Sheet (print is available at an additional charge).
  • The Authors Special: $150 for a 30-minute Tech/Social Media Consultation, a Professional & Stylish 4-Page Website, a personal email address (i.e. you@yourname.com), and a full-page (Color) Digital One-Sheet (print is available at an additional charge).
  • The Authors SEO Special (for established authors with a web presence): $150 for a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Analysis Report, a 60-minute Technology and Social Media Consultation, and a 30-60 Day Self-Guided SEO Action Plan.

If you’d like to take advantage of one of these specials before they end, please get in touch with us through the Contact Us page on our sss4success.com website, or call us at (615) 336-4325.

Thanks,
Kindra

EASY Personal Branding Tips: Why You Need a Personal Brand

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.  This week’s topic is: “EASY Personal Branding Tips: Why You Need a Personal Brand”.   

I was recently asked the importance of personal branding, and today, I want to talk about Why You Need a Personal Brand.  Whether you are a business owner, or a job seeker, there is something to be said for the level of professionalism that you project to potential clients and/or prospective employers.
 

As a personal branding strategy, I would advise that you acquire your own personal email address (e.g. you@yourname.com), in addition to a website hosted at the domain of your name for both you, as well as for your business, if for no other reason than to be proactive, rather than reactive about what’s available about you on the web.

In this week’s podcast, I give an example of how I incorporated personal branding into my own life, and how it’s helped me improve both my personal and professional life.  What I did was take control of my name, Kindra Cotton, and the information on the web about me and what you find whenever you perform a Google search for my name.

I sought to script a better narrative about me on the web, by first creating my own personal web portal, then by using blogging, podcasting, and the other social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, that I already had in my arsenal.

Within three months, I was able to change the search results for my name from obscure references from several years ago, to what you see in today’s search results, which more than likely point you to my personal web portal, or one of the many blogs, online communities, or publishing platforms that I’m associated with, most of which still probably link you back to my personal web portal.

As a business owner, its important to me to script a proper narrative about myself and my company, and in this economy, I would think it would behoove the savvy job seeker to put their best foot forward and use the web as both a business card and a resume so that potential employers can learn about you from you.

And I don’t just say this because I have created a Personal Branding Special at my company SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists), because I created the Special to specifically meet an immediate need I saw in the market. 

Having your own personal brand is important because it helps you take control of much of what’s available about you on the web, since you put it there.  I’ve also found that I love when people contact me and quote stuff off of my blog or personal web portal.  It tells me that what I’ve put out there to be found in Google searches is working, and that people are learning a little bit about me ahead of time, so when they call me, they’re already “warmed up”, and this is a valuable asset.  

Also keep in mind that as a business owner, you can use your personal web portal as a compliment to your businesses’ websites, and provide yet another way to feed people to your business blog or site.

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 @ 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.


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“. 


EASY Podcasting: Building Web Traffic Through Expertise

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. 

This week’s topic is: “EASY Podcasting: Building Web Traffic Through Expertise”.  In a previous post, I talked about “The Basics of Branding and Why Anyone Can Do It”.  In that post, 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: 1st: 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 (Note: That’s “tweaking” your brand, meaning make minor revisions, not tweeting your brand, which is more so a function that occurs under Step 3).

In this week’s post, I talk about how to use podcasting (or digital audio broadcasting) to build bring web traffic either to your blog or to your website, and to enhance your overall brand, so we’ll specifically be talking about Steps 3 & 4. 


Podcasting is like broadcasting your own radio show, that isn’t live, and people can choose to download it and listen to it at their leisure.

I recently got into podcasting and it’s an activity that I enjoy because it’s another way to connect to my audience, and I’m going to give a general overview as to how you can get started with EASY Podcasting. 

The first step towards having a successful podcast series, is to have a website or blog, just so your audience can have a central location to gather, and/or find your information if they choose to look somewhere else beyond their RSS reader.  You don’t necessarily need a website or a blog, but if your goal is to build your brand, then you should certainly have one or both.

Creating the actual podcast episode itself is something that requires 3 steps:
 

  1. Creating the File: To create a podcast episode, you need to have a microphone, and audio editing software.  In order to record a decent quality podcast, I purchased the moderately priced Logitech ClearChat Comfort USB Headset, and downloaded the Audacity Free Audio Editor and Recorder with an MP3 encoder plug-in to allow me to export MP3 files.
  2. Uploading and Storing the File: I upload and store my files on the web hosting and storage accounts I already have at my disposal, but an easier alternative to this would be LibSyn (short for Liberated Syndication).  While I don’t use LibSyn personally, I would highly recommend it because it’s economically priced (starting at $5/month and up), and they provide a lot of the tools you need to upload and distribute your podcast files.
  3. Disseminating the file to RSS readers:  If you use LibSyn, this part will probably be taken care of for you, but if you choose to do it yourself, you can take your website/blog URL over to Feedburner and burn a Feedburner RSS feed, then submit it to iTunes, as well as the Microsoft Zune Marketplace.  My experience has shown the iTunes process to be easier and more user-friendly, and their turn around time for getting podcast episodes listed is great!

With your podcast episode recorded, uploaded, and ready for subscription, be sure to use Twitter and Facebook, and all of the other social media tools out there to bring attention to your blog, and encourage people to visit your site and hopefully subscribe to your content, if they find it helpful. 

There are certainly a variety of ways that you can go about setting up your own podcast series, and tons of helpful resources out there to get you started.  What I’ve talked about today is what I’ve done, but you’re more than welcome to check out the many websites and other resources out there on this topic.  For example, you can visit Cliff Ravenscraft’s Podcast Answer Man website and check out his Podcasting 101 podcast that helped me learn the basics before I started podcasting.

Please keep in mind that we here at SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists) are always here to help with our Social Media & Technology Training Packages to help you get a better grasp on podcasting and all the variety of tools and resources that are out there, and how you can learn to use them for yourself to grow your business.

Note: 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 @ 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.

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“. 
 


Transcripts Now Available Upon Request

The method of posting a long list of transcripts on the “Transcripts” page, simply isn’t working.

It isn’t efficient for us to post, and it surely isn’t efficient for readers to have to scroll for pages and pages in order to read a new week’s content.

Therefore, Transcripts are now available upon request.

If you’d like a transcript of a previously posted episode, please email “transcripts[at]sss4success.com” with the title and/or date, and we’ll get one promptly sent out to you.



If you know of a solution to getting transcripts disseminated in a more seamlessly integrated way, please let me know.
 

Thanks for your continued support.

Kindra

How to Build Traffic and Enhance a brand with EASY Newsletters

Hello and welcome to the podcast for 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. 
This week’s topic is: “How to Build Traffic and Enhance a brand with EASY Newsletters”.  In a previous post, I talked about “The Basics of Branding and Why Anyone Can Do It”.  In that post, 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: 1st: 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 (Note: That’s “tweaking” your brand, meaning make minor revisions, not tweeting your brand, which is more so a function that occurs under Step 3).  

In this week’s post, we talk about how to use newsletters and email marketing to build bring traffic either to your blog or to your website, and to enhance your overall brand, so we’ll specifically be talking about Steps 3 and 4. 

There are a number of reasons why creating and disseminating a regular newsletter is important for building traffic and enhancing a brand:
  1. It builds your reputation as an information resource to your core audience, and it lets your audience know that you know what you’re talking about.
  2. It keeps you connected with your audience, and it gives you the opportunity to stay relevant and provide useful information that your audience will appreciate.  
  3. If you sell things, or at one point will want to promote something, it’s a great way to have a “pre-sold” audience who trusts you and your opinions.
  4. It helps you build traffic and enhance your brand, while engaging in activities that help your bottom line. 
Here’s a brief rundown of what I discuss further in this week’s podcast.  Here are the steps you can take to get started with email marketing and producing a newsletter with very little money:
 
  • Establish a web presence (if you haven’t already): If you don’t have a website, visit this quick guide on Web Publishingmaximizingthenet.com/web/webpublishing.html
  • Sign up for an Email Marketing Service:  I’m currently using MailChimp under their “Forever Free” program that allows you to have up to 500 subscribers and send 3000 emails per month.  MailChimp is very easy-to-use and they have excellent support that is always timely and responsive to queries.  Feel free to click the badge below to get started with your “Forever FreeMailChimp Subscription.  Another option you have is one of the market leaders in email marketing would be Constant Contact.  They have monthly plans that start as low as $15 a month, and they offer a lot of additional solutions like online surveys, event marketing solutions that assist with planning events including tracking registration and payments for events.
  • Add people to your list (ethically):  I want to emphasize “ethically” because there are rules and regulations to how you can add people to your list.  For instance, just sending a blanketed business-related email to everyone in your email address book can be considered “spam”, especially if you did not acquire their email through a legitimate business transaction within the last 18 months. Remember: Do not randomly add people to your newsletter list without their permission.  
  • Use the tools of your Email Marketing Service:  MailChimp lets you not only see statistics on who opened your newsletter and when, but also what they clicked on, and if they forwarded it to someone.  You can set up automated messages or “autoresponders” that send a message to your mailing list (or even only a subset of the mailing list that you identify) at a specific time or date in the future. 
  • Create Interesting Topics: As a general rule of thumb try writing one (1) newsletter article per week, and work on creating “evergreen content”, which is “timeless” content that can be reproduced again over the years without much information that gets “dated” quickly.  One great tip I would suggest would be to write out in advance, 52 topics that you’d like to hit with your newsletter within a year. 
  • Watch the Analytics of Your Newsletter: Use that information and analyze it for what it’s telling you about your audience.  What do people click on most? What doesn’t get any clicks?  What type of subject lines get opened the least?  And be sure to integrate a feedback survey at some point, to get feedback from your subscribers and find out what they think of your newsletter directly.
Speaking of which, be sure to complete this “Small Business Branding Tips Blog Survey”, and if you’re a Small Business Owner that’s been in business for a while, please complete this survey as well.
Please keep in mind that we here at SSS for Success (EASY Brand Marketing Specialists) are always here to help, either by providing services as an “Email Marketing Branding Specialist” producing newsletters content and publishing them on your behalf, or via our Social Media & Technology Training Packages to help you get a better grasp on email marketing tools and how you can learn to use them for yourself.

Note: 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 @ sss4success.com”, or finding us on Twitter (@sss4success), or leaving a comment below.

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!

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