Posts tagged ‘Entrepreneurs’

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“.

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“.

    EASY Ways to Get Traffic to Your Website

    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, we recap our previous tips, as well as highlight some more ways you can drive traffic to your website.

    First, we talked about blogging and how it can be used as a way to build your reputation as an authority on your topic, by delivering timely content that insures that you stay relevant with your core audience.  Getting started with blogging is fairly easy, as you simply need to:

    • Choose a Blog Service. 
    • Customize your Blog with your brand: (e.g. blog.yourcompanyname.com or www.yourcompanysblog.com). 
    • Incorporate Good Content. 
    • Allow Reader Comments and Feedback and Cross-link and Promote other Bloggers. 

    Next, we moved on to email marketing and newsletters, and how you can not only build your reputation as an authority on your topic, but you can also stay connected with your audience through email, and possibly lead them to a call to action of your choice, based on your relationship with them that has been enhanced through email marketing. 

     
    Getting started with email marketing and newsletters is pretty easy too, since all you need to do is: 
     
    • Sign up for an Email Marketing Service and use all their tools effectively (especially the Analytics): MailChimp has a great “Forever Free” option that can get you started with email marketing if you don’t already have a list, or have a short list to start with.  They give you up to 500 subscribers and you can send up to 3000 emails a month on this free plan.
    •  Add people to your list (ethically). 
    • Create Interesting Topics. 
     
    The next topic we talked about was podcasting (or digital audio broadcasting), and building traffic to your website through talking about your expertise via broadcasting your own radio show, that isn’t live, and people can choose to download it and listen to it at their leisure.  The great thing about podcasting is that it’s fairly simple to set up and get going, where all you need to do is: 
     
    • Create the Podcast File: Using a computer, a microphone, and some free audio recording software like “Audacity”. 
    • Upload and Store the File: With a service like LibSyn. 
    • Disseminate the File to RSS readers. 
     
    Then finally, last week we talked about “EASY Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) Tips” and things you can do to be sure that your website is search engine friendly and can drive organic traffic through search results.  The main idea here was to be sure that you give search engines enough information to be able to make the right choices about the relevancy of your website in relation to keywords that are specifically optimized on each of your site’s pages.  Those tips only scratched the surface, so if you’re really interested in learning more, here’s a great resource: Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies by Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza.  It’s a great 10-in-1 book that gets into just about everything you need to know, and it gets into the finer points of Search Engine Marketing, and it also includes a $25 gift card for trying out Google AdWords. 
     
    In the next few weeks, we’ll be talking more about ways that you can drive traffic to your site, specifically delving into the topics of Pay-Per-Click Advertising, and how to leverage your participation in online communities and visiting other’s blogs to continue to build your reputation with the time that will eventually lead people to your 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[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“.


    EASY Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) Tips: 10 Tips for Making Your Website Search Engine Friendly

    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. 
    Last week, we talked about how search engines work, and laid the foundation of understanding for what needs to be done in order to search engine optimize your website.

    This week, we have “10 Tips to Make Your Website More Search Engine Friendly”: 

    1. Design your site first for a blind person, then add visual elements. 
    2. Use a simple technology to build your site (like HTML).
    3. Choose unique title tags, META Description & Keyword Tags for each page. 
    4. Fill out the ALT IMAGE tag for all of your images. 
    5. Optimize each page for 2-3 keywords, with at least 250 words of text.
    6. Use keywords in your text links, and also use enriched (bold) text on keywords and within the headings and sub-heading on your page.
    7. Link to pages that are relevant to your content. 
    8. Avoid using Frames, Flash, Query Strings, and graphical navigation menus. 
    9. Avoid deep directories and long, over-hyphenated URLs. 
    10. Try the Lynx Browser (Text-based) viewer: See what search engines see when they crawl your page. 

    There are TONS of resources on the web where you can learn more about this, on great resource is: Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies by Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza.  It’s a really great 10-in-1 book that gets into just about everything you need to know, and it gets into the finer points of Search Engine Marketing.  It also includes a $25 gift card for trying out Google AdWords.

    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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