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3 Questions Which Will Help You Form Or Strengthen Your Brand Identity

BusinessDiana TrinhComment

Imagine your business is a machine. The nuts and bolts and screws are your daily tasks, the bits you and your employees need to do to keep the machine moving. The nuts and bolts are rarely seen, but without them your business is going to fail because quite simple there wouldn’t be a business.

What IS seen is the outer casing.  The beautiful or quirky casing that covers the nuts and bolts of your business operation. This casing is your branding. But how do you decide what it should look like? Are you going for modern or chic, or stripped down and industrial?  

There are a gazillion materials to choose from and even more shapes and colours.

This analogy clearly depicts the issues many business owners have when defining their brand identity. There’s so much choice.

Branding in today’s business world is so important, just think of Google & Apple, the worlds most valuable brands. We are visual beings and marketing is heading heavily towards a design intensive route.

If your brand could do with a little bit of sprucing or you are building it from the ground up, here are 3 questions which will help you.

1. Who are you serving and how are you serving them?

Wherever you put your energy it grows.  You’ve probably heard this saying before.  Well, if you start off in one direction you had better make sure it’s a direction you want to head in before you do.  Course correcting and changing half way through is one of the most common reasons for new business failure other than running out of money.

So getting clear on WHO you want to serve is the first step.  Who are your ideal customers? Who do you want to speak to on a weekly basis? Once you have a clear idea the next step is to define HOW you will serve them.  Find their biggest pain point which your product or service can solve.

When I founded Bluchic, I knew that I wanted to work with Girl Boss’s and Female Entrepreneurs who were business savy and creative.  I also identified that many of them were very creative but didn’t have the technical skills to develop their own website.

As a web designer, this is what I wanted to help them with.  To make it super, super easy for them to get a beautiful feminine website and take away the pain of needing to spend a huge amount of money hiring a web designer.

Get as specific as possible.  You want to paint a very clear picture of how your product or service is going to serve your ideal customer and take away their pain.

2. What is your single-minded proposition (SMP) and how can you convey this uniqueness to your customers?

A Single-Minded Proposition (SMP) is about defining your proposition in house so that you have a very clear picture of how you intend to serve your customers.  It doesn’t need to be a statement you go out with but something which sets the tone for all communication.

Ideally, your SMP highlights the one aspect which separates you from your potential competitors

Here are 3 steps to take to help you write your SMP:


1. Identify your product's most important features.
2. When you identify the important features, figure out each feature's benefits.
3. One of those feature/benefits will be the compelling reason to make a purchase.


Now form this all into one compelling statement.  Take a step back and be honest with yourself.  If you were to find your ideal customer in a cafe, walk up to them and give them your Single Minded Proposition would they want to work with you?

Once you have your SMP check back to this statement every time you put out a large piece of communication, does it align?

3. Is your tag-line results focused?

Your tag-line is a single sentence which you use to market your business and paint a vision of what your product or service can do for your customer.  

For example; Apple’s tagline is “Think Different”.  Absolutely nothing to do with the technology they produce. They focus on what the result of buying their products will do, and in the process they capture a market who are early adopters and rule breakers which is the reason they have people literally queuing round the corner when they release a new product.

Usually companies focus on the What they are delivering not on the results.

Let's take a look at some examples of each to help illustrate the difference.

Take your dining room to the next level with our ergonomically designed chairs.

See how our proprietary software can redefine the ways that your company conducts business.

Both of these statements are focused on what is being delivered. These are great SMPs, but they don’t tell the user how the product will improve their life or solve their pain.

Take a look at these two examples:

Changing your digital life one web page at a time.

Trust, growth and reliability: turning your house into a home.

In both of these statements, we can see much more of a "vision" than a proposition. The reason that these approaches can be so effective is that they cause the client (or potential client) to imagine the role of your product serving them in their life and then they wonder how they have ever done without it.

Guest Post : Kathie of Bluchic

Kathie is the founder of Bluchic and designs beautifully crafted feminine wordpress templates for creative entrepreneurs and business women.  For more information about branding and how to launch a website see Bluchic’s in depth guide. Follow on Twitter l Instagram l Facebook l Pinterest

 

How to Run a Successful Blog Tour

Blog TipsDiana TrinhComment

You might have heard the buzz about blog tours, but you have one major question: what is a blog tour? A blog tour is when you ask fellow bloggers to write a post related to the book, product, program, or service that you are launching.  At the end of their posts, they will provide a brief description of whatever you are selling with a link to your sales page. In return, you will want to promote a page with a list of links to all the sites on the tour. This way, everyone gets more visitors to their sites!

Want to host your own blog tour, but you don’t know where to begin? Read on for the steps you need to run a tour of your own.

Step 0: Develop relationships

You need to develop relationships long before you think about running a blog tour. You are going to have a higher success rate if you are not asking people to participate out of the blue. Comment on people’s blog posts, talk to them on social media, and e-mail them about something inspiring they have done or just to say “hi.”

If you sell makeup, this might look like commenting on makeup bloggers YouTube videos or getting into discussions with them on Instagram.

Step 1: Brainstorm a list of topics and dates

You want to take time to plan out your tour. Grab a pen and paper and write down all the ideas you have for potential topics for your bloggers. For example, if you want to have a tour around your new lipstick, you will come up with topics like “the best lipstick colors for blondes” or “occasions to wear lipstick.” You will also want to look at a calendar to see dates that you are free. You want the tour to run a week or two, and you also want to give yourself time to prepare for the tour and to tie up loose ends after it is over.

Step 2: Choose topics and dates

You obviously will need to actually select the topics and dates for the tour. I would recommend topics that are general enough for people to make it work with their business or blog. Also, don’t choose dates where people are usually busy. For example, the holiday season is not the ideal time to run a blog tour.

Step 3: Research potential contributors

Google is your best friend here. You will want to research tastemakers in your industry and look at their policies to see if they will do blog tours. Write down the names and websites of those who are relevant and seem open to participating.

Step 4: Create a spreadsheet of potential contributors

As unexciting as it sounds, you will want to create a spreadsheet to keep yourself sane during the blog tour. Here is some basic information that you will want to keep track of in your spreadsheet:

  • The person’s name

  • The link to their website

  • When and how many times you have e-mailed them

  • Which topics and dates they picked

  • If you have linked to and advertised their post.

Click here to download the template 

Step 5: Create a packet of materials for contributors

You want to gather all the materials and resources together for your contributors.  What do you need? Well, you will need a little blurb for them to post above or below their post. The blurb usually contains a brief description of what you are selling and a link to your sales page. You will also want to include any images you want posted with the blurb (i.e. your logo of the product).  Finally, you will want to include a link to the page with all the blog posts! Be sure to attach all this information to the e-mail if people say yes to participating!

Here is a sample blurb:

This post is part of Lisa’s Luscious Lipstick blog tour! Her lipsticks come in bright, beautiful colors that will cause your confidence to blossom. You can purchase your new favorite lipstick here (hyperlink to your sales page). If you want more great lipstick tips, you can read other informative posts here (link to blog page).

Step 6: Set up a webpage for the tour

You will want to have a single page that has links to all the posts. Organize the site according to topics, and link to the blog posts as soon as they are published. Be sure to share this page with your contributors.

Step 7: Reach out to contributors

You will now want to send an e-mail to the contributors. Be sure to do this with as much time before the blog tour dates as possible. I am talking about a few months in advance.

Begin by referring to something nice on their sites or talk about a previous interaction you had with them. After that, you want to describe your blog tour and ask if they wish to participate. Ask them to choose a date and topic that would be best for them. Be sure to include all your materials and information! Conclude by thanking them for their time.

Here is an example e-mail:

Dear Molly,
Thank you for posting that wonderful eyeliner tutorial! It helped me so much! Now I feel like I can walk into the office with more confidence.
I am running a blog tour for my new lipstick line! Click here (insert a hyperlink) to check out the new products (I am particularly proud of the red lipstick). Would you be interested in participating? You would just have to write a blog post on one of the following topics:
*How to apply lipstick
*How to pair lipstick with your outfit
*How to know if you are choosing the right lipstick for your coloring.
The tour will be running from October 3-18.  If you wish to participate, please let me know which topic and date works best for you. If you can join in on the fun, I will be sure to promote your post through my social media channels. I have set up a website for all the posts here (link to the page).
If you wish to participate, I have attached all the information you will need. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely, Lisa

Step 8: Follow-up with contributors

If you haven’t heard back from people after a week, send one follow-up e-mail.  That is it. As for those who have said yes, send them a reminder e-mail a few days before the start date of the tour.

Step 9: Advertise the tour

This is when social media and your e-mail list are your best friends. Be sure to advertise ALL the posts on your various social media channels. Also, send one e-mail out to your mailing list with a link to the webpage for the blog tour.

Step 10: Thank your contributors

Of course you want to thank people for their hard work! At a minimum, you should write them a thank-you e-mail. If you want to go above and beyond, send them a handwritten note and a gift card.

There you have it! That is how you run a blog tour. Before you know it, you will be getting more traffic to your sales page, and your contributors will be getting more visitors to their blogs! Who knows? You might inspire them to run their own blog tours, and you can participate in theirs!

Guest Post by : Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is a novel writing coach and editor who helps ambitious authors start and complete their novels. When she is not working on her own novel, she writes for Quirk Books and Imaginary Book Club. You can find her thoughts on writing and pop culture at www.thebookishfox.com.

The Perfect 4-Step Email Funnel to Sell Your Product

BusinessDiana TrinhComment

Very early on in the digital entrepreneur industry, it’s drilled into our heads, “build an email list.” In fact, many thought leaders in the entrepreneur space have built their empires off a successful email list.

So, it’s safe to say that you’ve probably got an email list if you’re reading this. It’s also safe to say that you might feel like you’re in a rut when it comes to connecting with that audience within your email list.

As a copywriter who specializes in email funnels and website content, it’s one of the more common conversations I have with my clients – how to write a good email funnel for your product.

In fact, for any entrepreneur – especially ones just starting out, it’s a big question. That’s why we’re going to demystify the perfect email funnel, right here, right now. Don’t worry about taking notes, there’s going to be a link to download all the templates discussed in this post. Including optimized titles! Click here to download the freebie and get started! 

 

Let’s jump in.

“How long should my emails be?”

Let’s leave this question right here at the beginning of this post. I’m sick of hearing people fixate over the length of their emails.

For one thing, you should use as much words as you need to get your point across, not some prescribed length that’s passed around in social circles.

However, one trend that I can assure you of, is that shorter emails work better when your prospects are just getting warmed up to your idea, and longer ones when they’re super interested in what you’re offering them.

My email funnel strategy reflects this ideology. Plus, it’s a short funnel of only four emails – so you have all the flexibility you need to either add them to your existing one, or use it as a standalone.

Cool, right?

Email 1: A Memorable Icebreaker

This email is basically a refresher course for all those who were already on your list, and an introduction to you for those who’ve joined your list specifically for the product that you’re launching.

Here’s what you’ll need to cover in this email:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • How long you’ve been doing what you do
  • An ideal that drives your brand’s mission and is in line with why you want to launch your product

The last point is actually quite important. It makes your audience feel like they can be a part of something much bigger that just putting money in your pocket, or enhancing their own lives. It can be something as simple as creating financial security for single mothers.

Choose something with resonance that you audience can link you with. You want them to think something like, “Oh, she’s the entrepreneur who wants to help single mothers by teaching them how to build great online businesses? Let me see what she has to say…” when they see your name come up in their inbox with the next email.

Email 2: Emotional Solutions

If you aced your first email, you’ll have a pretty good audience for your second one. Your second email is going to be all about what you can do for your audience, but look at it from the emotional perspective – we don’t get into financials and dollar figures in this email.

This email is dedicated completely to the emotional benefits of taking hold of your offer. Here’s what you need to include in this email:

  • Pain points (that you’ve researched!) of your audience
  • A personal experience handling this pain-point
  • The emotional benefits of the solution that you have

An age old way to get response from your audience in the copywriting circle involves appealing to their emotions.

People are only interested in things that make them feel good. It’s your job in this email to highlight the aspects of your product that do just that.

Email 3: Social Proof

This is the email where you kick everything into high gear and bring out all the stops. You really dive into the core components of your offer and all the convincing, analytical stuff you had probably written down while brainstorming your idea.

This is where you get the chance to toot your own horn. Here’s what you need to talk about in this email:

  • Educate them about your offer
  • Bring out all the analytics like stats and figures
  • Social proof to prove that you’re the shiznayee

This email is normally the longest of the bunch. It’s at that place in the funnel where your audience will be interested in what you’re saying, so you can write a longer email than at the beginning. Include a one liner at the bottom of your email with a link to purchase.

Email 4: Wrap it up

This is the last email in the funnel, so here is where you’d include any bonuses you’re offering with your package. The key to this email is making it like a personal invitation (not a plea!) to get your audience to buy your product, or sign up for your course.

In this email, you HAVE to include:

  • A personalized message that speaks directly to your audience and connects with them
  • Any bonus offers you have included in your sale
  • A minimum of two links to purchase, artfully placed within your email

As the final email in this funnel, it’s important to end on a good note. A positive closing line with the inference of the reader purchasing your product is great, not a negative one highlighting what will happen if they don’t.

And, there you have it! A simple 4-email funnel perfect for selling your product. No more stumbling over what to write. As promised, here’s the link to download your free email funnel templates!

All set? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear your results with this funnel. I hope I’ve made your life as an entrepreneur that much simpler.

Guest post by Devonnie Garvey 

Devonnie Garvey is a copywriter for entrepreneurs at who want to attract with their ideal clients and connect with their audience in new and creative ways. She also runs a blog, The Femme Agenda, which is dedicated to helping young women start, build and sustain successful online businesses. Send her an email, or follow her on twitter.

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