A brand is a simple thing, but because we can’t put our hands on it or hold something tangible up to show what a brand looks like, it’s a bit mysterious. And to the small or solo business owner can feel all too much like a weird waste of time. That unfortunately leads too many people to ignore their brand and go about doing the work of their business.
In fact, there are a number of famous marketing consultants and speakers who will tell you to forget about working on your brand and just figure out what you’re going to do for marketing. I’ve heard some even say something akin to “branding is stupid.”
The funny thing is the same “branding is stupid” people will turn around and have you write every single detail about your ideal customer, determine how you want to position yourself in the marketplace, and make your marketing share a cohesive message about who you are.
Newsflash: that’s branding.
Your brand includes your logo and your website, certainly, but it doesn’t stop there. Here’s how I define your brand:
BRANDING: The perception of you in the marketplace based on the experience of YOU – both personal AND your business – that you provide through all the methods of communication you use including social media, video, email, on webinars, on stage, and face to face in person. It’s what you say, what you do, and how you say it and do it.
While my Mom and Dad were recently visiting, the topic of Facebook came up. Overall, my parents disapprove highly of Facebook and they don’t like how and what I post. They think “it’s too personal.” My husband, also a small business owner, and I tried to explain to them Facebook, for anyone in any kind of business, is about building your brand one post at a time.
Here’s a snapshot of my most recent Facebook posts from yesterday:
What can you learn about me from these posts:
- I like food: Food is one area of commonality among all human beings. We must eat to survive. Food is the great equalizer. HOW I eat and what I eat tells a bit about me and how I live my life. That’s part of the experience of me.
- I’m in business: Social media is about being social, yes. But don’t forget if you are in business, you need to throw in a business post or two once in a while. As you can see, neither of my two business-related posts on this day suggested you go “buy my stuff.” But the message is clear, I have a website, and I’m leading a challenge right now.
- I have a life: I’m wishing a friend and colleague happy birthday and sharing a story about my family and our dog.
Well, from just these 5 Facebook posts on this one day you can learn a lot about me. You can see I use smiley face emoticons and more than my fair share of exclamation points, and post funny, quirky, inspirational, sweet things and often with gratitude, regularly connecting to and directly mentioning others in my posts. Looking back now at those words, that’s pretty much my personal brand summed up.
So when people contact me about working with me, or having me on their stages or podcasts, they don’t ask what it’s like to work with me. They usually only ask, “What kinds of programs do you have and how can I get started?”
I make A LOT of sales to people I am connected with on Facebook and other forms of social media. Why? Many have told me directly it’s because they enjoy the experience of me as much as what I can teach them or help them achieve.
When you are 100% clear on the experience of who you are and what you want people to feel and think and learn ABOUT as much as FROM you, making a sale becomes easy because you’ve already built a relationship with the person – sometimes only in their minds. People will feel like they have gotten to know you, without ever meeting you, or even without ever interacting with you online because you share openly and freely who you are and what you’re about via social media, video, on stage, on webinars, and through your email list.
You’re far from vanilla.
It’s impossible to fade into the background and look like everyone else.
You’re YOU and the only YOU there can ever be.
It’s as close to being magnetic as you can get. Being you is how you attract the kind of people who will love to work with you – and who you love working with.
And that is where the problem comes in because it looks almost mystical. But nothing could be farther from the truth.
When you tap into the experience that is YOU and know how to share that effectively, business (and life!) becomes a lot more fun and profitable.
When you get clear on your brand and communicate that effectively, your business will change and life gets a lot more fun in the process. It’s one of the things I help my clients do. If you are interested in learning more about how I work with my clients, you can check out a few details on my website here.
I’m tired of it!
You know that crazy roller coaster of entrepreneurial income? The one where you feel like a millionaire rock star one month and a pauper the next? The one when you work like a wild person and make a ton of cash (hopefully) but then when you don’t (or can’t) work you have to start scraping for coins in the couch cushions, at the bottom of your purse, and in the seats of the car? Roller coasters I LOVE, but THAT one, well it’s long time to get off.
The thing is it doesn’t matter how long or short of a time you’ve been in business. It doesn’t matter at what point of income you feel like a prince(ss) or a pauper. We all know the feeling. And if we’re being honest, it happens far too often.
So OK, for a minute, let’s say you’re a smarty pants and you’re thinking, “I make more than enough money speaking/coaching/consulting/serving clients. I have no idea what you’re talking about Felicia.” Good for you. And here’s the thing — ask yourself:
What happens in your business on the days you don’t work?
Or if you’re in a day job, and you take off? Maybe the kids are sick, or you’re feeling under the weather yourself (you knew you shouldn’t have gone to that hole-in-the-wall restaurant!), or maybe you get diagnosed with something serious and have to take off for more than just a couple days. What happens with your business then?
You likely don’t make money, that’s what.
If you’ve ever struggled through that, you’ll certainly agree that feeling like you *have* to work with clients, be on stage, or show up “or else” is not a fun way to live.
I learned that hard lesson last year when I had to take almost 6 months off work throughout the year because of serious health challenges. And I found out the hard way I still had some work to do.
Well, I’ve found the answer.
Actually, I’ve found 21 powerful yet simple ways to create passive income streams so on those days when you can’t (or don’t want to!) show up to work, you can still bring in cash! AND the great thing is because of my relationship I’ve built with David Perdew, the founder of NAMS where he’s had me keynote speak twice and teach on his faculty time and again, he’s given me a “super secret I’m the only one doing this right now” coupon code so you can get access to it all – valued at almost $200 – for FREE! Just use coupon code: FSPassive.
I’ve worked hard this year to develop more passive income streams, but after diving deep into the content David Perdew and my friend Nicole Dean, another faculty member at NAMS, have created and that you can get for FREE but only through tomorrow, is that I still have a long way to go and much more passive income to gain!
Today, right now: I’m throwing it down. Let’s build our passive income streams together!
Yes I know it’s the holidays. Yes I know it’s a busy time. And that’s exactly WHY you should seriously consider joining me in this challenge. When you’re busy and want to be doing fun things away from your business or want to put your head down and write your next book or create your next speech, you still want (and need) money coming in. That’s what passive income will do for you.
So together – let’s get it going. I’ll be posting my progress here on my blog and I’ve even made a dedicated Facebook group to support anyone who wants to join in the challenge with me.
Be sure to pick up the Found Money passive income workshop to get some ideas and get started. The original price of $197 is a great investment into your business but as I said, I managed to clinch a great deal for you as my valued customer.
For a limited time, you can have it at zero cost but hurry.
Go to this link then download and devour everything!
This offer goes away for good on December 8th.
If you miss this one, you are likely to find yourself in exactly the same position as you are now. Let’s change that and make money while we don’t work!
Add your comment below to let me know you’re in and join me on the Passive Income Challenge for Speakers, Authors, Consultants & Entrepreneurs Facebook group to keep accountable and bring in more passive income!
What if you had a brilliant marketing strategist, who regularly hauls in more than $10K a month every month (and has for years), someone who can help you organize your business ideas and plans, teach you how to create and run all your systems online, and how to travel across the country whenever you feel like it for speaking engagements, work and fun — what if THAT person was coming to your house for dinner? Or even staying overnight all the way up to 48 HOURS?!
What would you ask that person??
That’s the opportunity I have right this very minute and I thought I’d share my good fortune with you.
You see, as a speaker in the marketing community I’ve had the extreme good fortune to get to know many of the best and brightest folks doing business today. In fact, I still pinch myself that I get to call many of these people my friends. And one of those friends is Bob “The Teacher” Jenkins.
A few weeks ago Bob asked me if he could spend a couple of his vacation days here with me and my family (who adore him!) while his girlfriend is teaching a program not too far away. So now I find myself in the enviable position of having his business brilliance all to myself for the whole day today and much of the workday tomorrow. We’re cooking up some cool stuff on our own, but I wanted to check with YOU – what do you want me to ask him for you?
I’ll record his answers on video or somehow get you his responses. Check back here by the end of the week for links, an article, or something special… who knows what it could be?!
So RIGHT now in the comments below share your questions. I’ll feed him a good breakfast and we’ll get on those answers today and tomorrow.
In July 2008, I attended my first Internet marketing conference. That was my introduction to a whole new world, live and in person.
Because of events that happened at that 3-day conference in Chicago, within a couple weeks I was quickly propelled to success in the Internet marketing crowd, being interviewed on radio shows by some of the biggest name “gurus,” being promoted by others, and began speaking on stages across the country about communication and public speaking. Effective communication is a skill you need in any business and Internet marketing is certainly no different.
It was a very exciting time. Except over and over again, I kept hitting a brick wall in that marketplace. His name is Frank Kern.
Frank Kern has created a persona of himself as “laid back surfer dude done good.” He’s built a wildly successful Internet empire based on his solid concepts and content, which honestly is always good, but isn’t exactly rocket science or anything new. However, because he packages it well and is a master at selling himself, his persona, and his products, Mr. Frank Kern has become a very wealthy and successful man. Good for him.
Along with that success, over the years Kern has accepted many invitations to speak on stage to his marketplace, and has recorded dozens of talking head videos. As he should, he maintained his “surfer dude” persona while onstage or on video, typically wearing shorts, t-shirt, ruffled hair and an unkempt beard. And, even though I’ve never met the man personally, he caused all kind of headaches for ME.
As a public speaking consultant, I talk to my clients and audiences all the time about the importance of looking the part of a successful business owner and dressing to that image of success. Then here comes Frank Kern, who, dressed in whatever he wore to bed the night before and cursing at his audiences, is hugely successful with a large following.
The most savvy of business owners in his market realized all along he was dressed that way and speaking in that manner because it worked for his persona. Keeping up that image was a large part of his success, with the implicit message to others just beginning their Internet businesses, “You can do this too.” That led to an interesting phenomenon.
Thousands of 20-something young men believed they could curse and dress like slobs all the way to millionaire status success, because Frank Kern did it. Never mind that persona was completely orchestrated. Like a theme for a party or special event, Frank Kern stayed true to character and his fans ate it up.
Until last week.
Last week, Frank Kern released what he calls his State of the Internet Address. As you can see from the screen capture of the video, Frank Kern has cleaned up a lot. He’s wearing a custom-made suit. He’s trimmed his beard, cut his hair, and is sitting behind a desk in a large office. As of this writing more than 1,900 people have clicked “Like” on Facebook for the video.
In a subsequent post to his Facebook fan page, he talked about how a few people gave him some flack about the new look, but the overwhelming majority of comments were all about how pleased his audience members are to see him cleaned up and dressing the part of a wealthy and successful business owner.
Even in our “occupy movement” world, business owners want to look up to someone who is successful. And that means looking the part.
So this is a public thank you to Mr. Frank Kern. You just made my job a whole lot easier. Here’s what Frank Kern did with this video that made me smile and that you can emulate for your business communication while speaking on video:
- He dressed the part. Finally a guy who’s making millions looks like more than a surfer dude, even if only for one video.
- He used a “Talking Head” video. With all the resources at his disposal, Kern could have chosen to produce ANY kind of video and had it look and sound like Hollywood quality. In fact, he actually employed the services of an Emmy-award winning editor, but at its essence, this is a basic talking head video in a location that screams, “Professional who knows what he’s talking about. Take notice and listen.”
- He was deliberate in his communication decisions and it showed. Here’s the thing: I may not have ever met him, but I’m personal friends with one of Frank Kern’s business partners, and I can assure you, Kern’s decisions about his persona and communication have always been deliberate. But now, with the release of this video, those deliberate decisions are obvious.
So what do you think? How do you “look the part” when you speak? Do you think your appearance matters when communicating credibility?
Whew!! Now THAT was a fun party 🙂
It took me a day to recover — but now I’m back & ready to make sure everyone gets their prizes they won at the party!
Below you’ll see the list of prizes along with the names and/or Twitter IDs of the people who won each.
You may be wondering…. so, Felicia, how did it all go? Was it worth the effort?
My answer: absolutely!
During the time of the party I added 100 new registrants for my Signature Speech Secrets teleseminar happening tomorrow night. I also got quite a bit of buzz going on Twitter, added a bunch of new followers (something I honestly did NOT expect!), and helped a whole lot of folks with nuggets of public speaking throughout the party. Plus it really was FUN!
I’ll definitely do it again.
Now on to the prize announcements:
Bob Burg, amazing speaker and networker extraordinaire, is giving away one autographed copy of his New York Times best-selling book, The Go Giver. <~ This prize was won by @MarkShilensky
Andrew Poletto, The E-Course Guru, is giving away one Ecourse Bedtime Stories, an audio collection of success stories to give you hope, to give you ideas, to give you the green light to go ahead with your idea or concept. If this collection doesn’t give you a chuckle, a smile, an “I don’t believe that was possible” thought, maybe you’re just not the right kind of person to be selling ANYTHING!<~This prize was won by @RoseyDow2
Tim Fahndrich, consultant, trainer, speaker and author is giving away one copy of his blockbuster 2008 Summer Success Summit audio series featuring many successful business owners including Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive and me. <~This prize was won by Jennifer Haubein @JHaubein
Lynne Lee, who is a Christian Life Coach and to market her business learned to be an outstanding SEO expert, will spend 20 minutes of her valuable time doing a website consultation with one lucky winner to identify simple changes that will make a big difference to your search engine ranking and website conversion. <~This prize was won by @DonnaK4
Micheal Savoie, full time internet marketing guy, event tech to the stars, and my fellow Impact Action Teammate, is offering one free month in his MyBloggingSchool.com where he’ll show you how to become a professional blog installer so you can add an extra stream of income to your VA, internet marketing, or other business — even if you don’t know how to do register a domain or upload a file! <~ This prize was won by @LifeAccelerated
Cheri Sigmon, one of the highest-ranking IT professionals in the United States will help you with her “Securing Your Communication” PenTest package. WHAT IS a “PenTest?” Plain English version: With pre-approved coordination and the WRITTEN *permission* from the lucky winner, she will donate a free “penetration test” of your website’s baseline security posture. In other words, just how hard is it to hack your website? This prize includes a free, *customized* report for your site which describes any vulnerabilities found, along with recommended fixes. VALUE: Minimum $1,270 (each pentest) <~This prize was won by @Rosella76
John Allen Mollenhauer, creator of PerformanceLifestyle.com. MyTrainer.com, and NutrientRich.com. and author of the upcomong book Curse of the Capable, let me twist his arm into giving away a free copy of his Performance Lifestyle Manifesto. John Allen’s work has the power to change your life. Yes, really. <~This prize was won by @QuickReply Andrea Chin
Jimmy D. Brown is a king of Internet marketing. And he has some AMAZING gifts for anyone who is using the Internet to build your business. Three winners will each get to choose one report from Jimmy’s business success reports here. AND one winner will get a One Year Membership to Jimmy’s Outsource Weekly.com. <~ This prize had 3 winners! @QuickReply @LotusAmy @AStrongerBond
Nicole Dean, affiliate marketing GENIUS and super fun mega successful business owner is doing something for our party that no one else is doing. She has a gift for EVERYONE at the party tonight. WHOA! You can grab her gift — no opt-in needed– and get her brilliance delivered right to your screen now. <~A BIG thanks to Nicole — everyonehas access to this prize. Woo-hoo!
Aaron Foster, one of my fabulous mastermind partners, and host of his weekly Ustream show all about helping business onwers make a living online, has kicked in a gift he says is valued at $22,579.00. Well, I’m not so sure about THAT (Aaron’s a jokster – just click on his name and you’ll see what I mean) but he does have a generous gift for one lucky winner and that’s a free pass to his 101 Traffic Tactics Teleseminar coming up at the beginning of May. <~This prize was won by @Tina_Williams
I’ll be contacting all winners & those who donated prizes today!
I just got off the phone from my first private coaching session my new Internet marketing rock star coach, Ken McArthur.
I have that feeling I imagine people get when the Publisher’s Clearinghouse crew rings the doorbell and hands over one of those giant checks and says, “You Won!!!”
Yesterday I learned I am part of Ken’s Impact Action Team. What does that mean? I didn’t fully “get it” until just now. It means I was hand-selected by Ken himself to be a part of a team of 18 (or fewer) people who are going to make a huge impact in the life of one other person by spreading the word about that person and his or her cause. That other person hasn’t yet been announced (I don’t know who it is, either) . But that person will be someone who wants to use their life for good. By me being a part of this team, I and my teammates will directly influence the lives of countless people in amazing and positive ways.
Can I say I’m a little nervous? That’s a big responsibility. But Ken said he chose me because he knows I have a lot to offer (wow.) and he knows I’ll make a good addition to his team. So root for me– send me positive thoughts, prayers, and your best tips for staying focused and un-overwhelmed. I think I’m gonna need it!
I’m home from Ross Goldberg’s Master’s Seminar and all I can say is WOW!
And I finally get it.
Here’s the tip of the day: get out of your office. Go to events. Network. Meet new people. Help as many people as you can while you’re there. And something amazing will happen. Others will help you.
Communication is what it’s all about. The best form of communication? It’s confirmed, yet again, face-to-face. Here I’m posting some photos of my new friends. There are some amazing people in here. These are the “rock stars” of Internet marketing — later I’ll share some future rock stars. Because I’m in all of them, I’ll just tell you who I’m standing with.
But seriously. Get out of the house.
I like to pass along good info when I see it –especially if it’ll help you communicate effectively for your business.
I’ve been a subscriber for several months now of Susanna Opper at Shawenon Communications. She offers excellent communication tips in her regular ezine called Web Words. She’s also close to hitting a major Internet marketing milestone of 1000 subscribers, just like me! She’s got great tips she gives for free and if you need help with writing a newsletter or other projects for your business, she can help.
Sign up for her useful newsletter today and tell her I sent you!
I recently wrote about breaking into the Top 10 author list of www.EzineArticles.com for the public speaking category.
Well, this week, I made top 5. Woo-hoo!
Even with the flu rampaging its way throughout every member of my household last week, I managed to get a few more articles written and submitted before I succumbed to the virus. That’s what pushed me into the top 5.
I submitted another article today and began my next article this afternoon. By the end of the week, I will have reached another article-writing milestone: having 50 live articles up at EZA.
As a direct result, my subscriber list is nearing 1000– the “magic number” of Internet marketing success (although I’ve been seeing lots of success long before hitting that number!).
If you want to know I did it and how you can, too, join my mentor Jeff Herring’s upcoming class. I learned everything I know about article writing and marketing from Jeff. He’s an amazing teacher! He’s closing registrations this Saturday, so GET IN NOW!!
Well, I made it!
Ezine Articles (EZA) is one of the busiest websites on the Internet today. It’s Alexa ranking is 755. What does that mean? Well, those who know and study Internet marketing say any Alexa ranking lower than one million is excellent. Alexa ranks the rate of Internet traffic to websites. Those with the most traffic have the lowest numbers. In this instance it means Ezine Articles is the 755th most visited website of every website in existence. To put that into context, Google has an Alexa rank of 4. Amazon has a rank of 34. Typepad (one of the most popular blogging platforms in the world– and obviously where I post this blog) has an Alexa rank of 330. Oprah’s site is 4,179. ABC News (the national site) is 8,113. So EZA at 755 is getting millions of visitors to its site every day.
And I’m in the top 10 authors for the public speaking category! I arrived today.
What does that mean? It means I’ve submitted and had accepted more articles than almost everyone else writing and submitting articles to EZA on the topic of on public speaking (at last count that’s 485 authors– I’m beating 477 of them!). As of this moment I’m at number 8 to be exact. After I write, submit and get published just three more articles I’m in the top 5. And here’s a secret: I’ve already written one of those! I just have to submit it and I’ll be #7 on the list when it gets accepted. Woo-hoo!
Article marketing is one of the best ways to get more visitors to your website. I’ve noticed a big boost in my numbers of subscribers and those who purchase my e-book– about public speaking to market a business. If you want to learn the right way to submit articles to market your business visit the website of my friend and mentor, Jeff Herring, known as The Internet Article Guy. He’s taught me everything I know. He offers two free article writing templates, so you don’t even have to know how to write an article– he’ll give you two ways to do it for free!