The Secret to Selling Yourself

When you’re a solo service provider, it’s often difficult to figure out how to “sell yourself” to potential clients.

For some, self-image is a huge issue. For others, figuring out how to effectively articulate their value is the biggest challenge. Still others have no strategy in place to generate qualified leads who might become clients.

The most serious obstacle, however, is something far worse. When you’re in the business of working one-on-one with clients, you pretty much live and die by your ability to sell yourself.

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Corporate Social Responsibility – Why Sometimes Large Corporations Don’t Get It Right

We need to understand that even the biggest of corporations don’t always get it right. Sometimes when we think about the humanitarian goals of a big corporation, we automatically think that the company is already doing great things, but that is not entirely the case. Yes, companies are giving donations to causes but most likely the causes they choose have nothing to do with the business model. The goals are weak, the projects unrelated, and the financing is not sustainable and can change from year to year.

For example, a major airline may choose to donate money to local charity A. The only connection that the airline has with Charity A is that it is located in the same city. On the day the check is written, a photo is taken and the media covers the one-day event. While charity A is thrilled with the gift, the airline has no more involvement in the outcome of its investment and the services provided by the charity. It may or may not serve to enhance the for-profit business and its stakeholders. The next year the airline chooses to write their big donor check to a different local charity, leaving charity A with a budget deficit because it has built its programs on the previous gift. This is not a sustainable model.

What if the airline took a look at its core business model, its goals, its clients, its suppliers, and its employees before considering its CSR initiatives? Isn’t the airline in the business of travel both for passengers and cargo? The majority of non-profits pay full retail for travel and cargo space. Why? This only serves to use up valuable money in their budget that should be used to help more people. Wouldn’t the airline be better served by aligning with other business clients to support nonprofits through it core competencies? What if, instead, it partnered with a business-to-business client in the pharmaceutical industry and a global health non-profit (Charity B). All of these people could work together to provide life saving medicines to those in need.

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Branding With Inflatables

When you are running regular campaigns that market and promote your brand you have to come up with new and clever ways to position your product or service so you maintain your loyal core audience but also reach out to new customers. If you’ve been in marketing for any length of time you know how hard it can be to come up with something so simple it works beyond what you ever intended. It’s often the simple ideas that make the biggest and most enduring splash and if your business needs a creative boost to enhance its brand image, consider using inflatable products.

Consider the pros of using inflatable products for branding your business: It’s fun, appeals to kids and adults, is available in many shapes including inflatable kiosks, arches, air dancers, costumes and product replicas and can be used at indoor trade shows and outdoor festivals. Straying up with the latest technology and gadgets is difficult enough on your own, applying it to a business can be a nightmare if not done properly and unless you have a savvy IT/developer team maybe you should hold off on applications that may be beyond your means.

Often marketers over-think problems and ignore simple solutions that are right in front of them. Instead of going with something obvious they scramble around looking under every rock for the mind-blowing concept that will shock the world. Honestly, is your business really ready to shock the world? Keep your marketing plans realistic and think of ideas that will be practical and affordable.

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7 Tips to Creating Your Brand

Your brand is one of the essential aspects of your business. But what exactly is a brand? Why does it hold significance on a business? Your brand is what shows people who you are. They gain insight on your services and products as well as determining the type of individual/company you are. Choosing your brand can pose as a difficult talk and there are multiple factors that will influence your decision. The following are tips to helping you create a prosperous brand.

7 Tips for creating a prosperous brand:

1) Be clear and simple. People have short attention spans in our fast-paced society. The rule of thumb is 3 seconds! This means you have three seconds to hook them with your words or materials.
2) Stick to short, easily recognizable words that people can relate to. This goes for choosing a company name as well. You will be more memorable if you choose, Jane Smith Nutrition, rather than a long name that requires explanation.
3) When promoting your business on a sign, think about those driving by. They have about 5 seconds to take in all the information. Your company name, logo and colors need to be prominent and clear. (One of the world’s largest companies keeps it simple – e.g NIKE, check mark and slogan ‘Just do it’)
4) Keep in mind ‘wwgd’ – what would Google do? In our technology savvy society, 85% of people will “Google” what problem they have before asking those around them. They are looking for a solution to their problems with a simple web search. Whether you have a website or not, appearing in a “Google” search for your companies key words will always help business.
5) A logo does not need to be chosen right away. If you already have one that is fine, however rushing into choosing the incorrect logo to promote you company can be a mistake later on. A logo should be simple yet embody your brand at a quick glance.
6) Professionalism – You are your brand. Determining how you want to represent yourself is very important. Whether it is business formal or something for casual, it is imperative to stay consistent. If you exude comfort and confidence then you will attract the clients best suited for you. Remember, be yourself!
7) Focus on one or two areas, research your target and become an expert in those areas. Concentrating on one topic may direct you to another area of interest, your knowledge and experience will expand.

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Brand Management: Team Structure and Organization

The essence of an effective team is in its purpose; teams structured around common goals and commitments become powerful agents of performance and growth. Efficient and effective brand teams are organized as cross-functional teams with a common purpose of brand performance and management. The teams are coordinated four to five years prior to product launches. Though teams alter membership throughout the lifecycle of the product, the common goal, structure and decision-making protocol must be adhered to throughout the process.

Another segment of a brand management team is its patent team, whose main involvement is in maximizing the patent life of a product. Companies must develop a careful planning and internal recruiting process to build this segment of the team. In fact, it is critical to hire the right person – from both a professional and personal standpoint – as this allows for improved performance.

Strong brand management teams have some things in common in regards to consistent patterns of working practices and relationships that support branding activities, even across differences in markets, drug maturity or alliance relationships. Most brand management teams recognize a core as well as an extended team, led by a team leader drawn from the marketing function and reporting into a senior marketing or a commercial executive. Teams representing drugs in earlier (usually pre-launch) stages may report to members drawn from clinical and R&D areas.

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