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Category Archives for Branding

Three Things You Need When Starting A Business

When starting your own business you need to make sure you have certain things to help you spread the word about your business. If you set up your business and do not promote it properly then it is hard to gain a following and get customers, and it limits the amount your business can grow. Here are a few tips to help you get your business started.

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Setup social media

A lot of promotion and advertising is done through social media these days, so making sure you have social media accounts set up is crucial. This will help you spread the word about your business and build your online presence. The good thing about social media is that it helps to spread the business further as your current followers will share your content then their followers will share it and so on, this then reaches even more people so it isn’t just going to reach your followers.

Depending on the sort of business you have will depend on the best social media platform to use, if you have a shop whether that be physical or online then facebook and Instagram are good to spread the word about your products and offers as they are mainly picture based which is good for showing off stock. If you offer services as your business then a mixture of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram would be best.

Build a website

When setting up a business the most important thing is to create a website for it. Other than your social media this is the best way to show off your service you offer or have your shop setup, it makes it easier for purchases and also allows you to track purchases made so you have an idea of the demographic you are reaching and what is best to run a promotion on.

You can build a website pretty easily these days, you can do it yourself using an online web builder or have it done professionally from scratch and choose your website design. Because the website will be the main point of interaction for your business you need to make sure it looks great and is professional, if your website is poor or hard to navigate then it will impact how many people browse your site, leading to you losing money.

Get business cards

Spreading the word about your business through social media is great but it isn’t the only way to create business and travel to your site. If you get business cards with your business details on then when you attend events you have something to give out to potential investors and partners. Also, you never know who you may bump into in the street or when out and about so having business cards to hand will allow you to spread your business easily and professionally.

Starting a business can be hard and isn’t something you can just do on a whim. There are general things you need to do when starting your business, especially in this day and age when social media and the online world makes or breaks businesses. If you follow these tips you will have the best chance to get your business up and running.

5 easy ways to maximise social media potential

It’s undisputed that social media is one of the best ways to grow your business in this day and age. Despite talk of algorithms, pay to play and reduced organic reach, social media remains the top way to promote your business online. So how do we maximise it’s potential? We get organised and we have a plan.

1. Understanding your business heart

At the core of everything in your business, you must clarify your brand. Your brand tells people why you exist, what you want to achieve, why it matters, and if you are a good fit for them. It’s really important to do in-depth work on this and really get to the core of the heart of your business.

Spend time exploring why you do your business, why you do what you do, and how you want to make a difference to someone’s life. Once you know the message and purpose of your business it’s time to get communicating it.

2. Your content is your sales person

To get our brand and content out there, we use social media, typically Instagram and Facebook. So we need to get to grips with our content. Our brand and content have a very very important job. They become the salesperson in our business.

We are not there in person to build rapport with the customer, to explain the benefits and features of our products and services. We aren’t there to handle any of the reasons they may not want to buy. So we have to rely on our brand and content to perform this role.

For this reason we have to use our content carefully and in a considered way. We also have to be consistent and maintain a presence on social media.

3. Planning is key

Okay so you get how important it is to be consistent and have a social media presence, but how do you now fit that into your day around the 3,492 things you have to do in the business?

After spending a lot of time using social media to promote businesses, I came up with a plan and things I do regularly. I settled into this simple routine, it didn’t take up much time and it got results. My social media grew (check out my Instagram, I’m on 14K as of Jan 2019 and I started the account in May 2018). I felt organised and had time to do other things in my business.

I’ve taken part of my own planner and turned it into a free downloadable planner if you’d like to try it out. Click here to access.

It’s important to use your content wisely to make sales for you and planning is key for that.

4. Connections and Collaborations

Social media is about being social. It’s fantastic for getting customers directly, but there’s another way to use it. Take collaborations for example. Find another person within your niche, who’s not a direct competitor, and has a large audienc. In collaborating with them you are now being exposed to a brand new audience.

This is an audience you have put no time in to build and nurture, you just get to enjoy someone else’s hard work to benefit your business!

That said it works both ways, and the larger and more engaged your audience is, the better collabs you will get.

A good way to start can be with brand reps. Ask for people who are enthusiastic about your brand to talk about it and share content in return for a discount or freebies. The larger the audience and reach of the brand rep the better.

You may want to consider doing a contract if you do use brand reps. For example 1 social media post per week in exchange for 1 free product a month. This will cover you if they just take the product and disappear!

5. Promo opportunities

It can be a good idea to promote your account. You can do this in various ways. You could pay for ads, run a competition or use an influencer account.

I won’t go into paying for ads as this is a huge topic on it’s own! Social Media Examiner have some great resources on running Facebook ads.

Competitions where you ask people to like, comment and share are great for growth and engagement. It will create excitement and brand awareness at the same time.

You can also ask influencers to share your social media accounts. This does typically cost. However, if you pick an influencer account within your niche it can seriously help growth. For example if you sold bikinis, you’d look for an account which showcases bikinis from many different designers or stores and ask them to feature you. Their large audience is primed and ready to follow the particular niche and so it’s perfect for targeted growth.

I hope this gave you something to think about in using your social media to it’s full potential and you get some use from my free planner!

To Succeed You Must Treat Your Blog Like a Real Business

Some people have a blog as a hobby, and other take it far more seriously and want to turn it into a business. That is possible, as blogs can be your business without a problem if you go the right way about it.

 

Have A Plan

 

If you want to turn your blog into a successful business you need to treat it as though it is one. Any business needs planning and a blog is no different. You should start by deciding what your niche is and then do some research about the audience you will be targeting.

 

If your blog will be a review site, for instance, you should be planning which items you will be reviewing. If it is going to be a lifestyle blog, are you able to arrange some interviews maybe with some of the well-known lifestyle guru’s? Can you find someone to sponsor your blog and perhaps give you some freebies or you to use as prizes in a contest? All these things need considering and should be part of your plan.

 

When you know exactly what your niche is the next thing you need to plan for is how you will promote it. It is not much use having a brilliant blog if no one knows it is there.

 

You need to set up your website which should be attractive to anyone that views it. It needs to be very user-friendly so that they can easily navigate through the different pages, or they will not bother going past the first one.

 

Assuming you do not have a fortune to spend on marketing, you should dedicate some time to social media. Even the largest of businesses do this, as it has the potential to reach more people than any other way with the only cost being your time. Use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to start connecting with your target audience and post on them on a regular basis.

 

You have to do this, as your blog is always only as good as the last post you did, and those are soon forgotten. Never be afraid to put a link through to your website.

 

Blogs are writing about a particular subject, but videos and images can be used too. They are becoming more popular, and it is said they will drive more traffic to your site, as people are more likely to watch them than read some written text.

 

Lastly, plan your goals so you have a very clear picture what you are aiming for. Plans can change, and you need to be flexible in case that happens, but with no plan in place at all, your blog will never turn into a successful business.

 

Be Organised

 

You will need to be organised in the way you work and in the way your upload content to your blog. Have clearly defined categories that people can access without a problem.

 

On your landing page, it should be apparent how to get into any articles, how to find your contact details and how to go back into the archives. An about your page is always good as well, as people love to hear the stories of how bloggers and others businesses started.

 

If your blog looks organised it will inspire confidence in the readers, and in any potential advertisers.

 

You should not let the blog take over your life. Organise definite working hours. Treat it as you would any job and have a starting and finishing time. There may be occasions when you have to work ‘out of hours’, but as far as possible stick to your allotted working day.

 

 

Establish Your Brand

 

Thousands of new blogs are started every week, each one of them hoping to be a success. Just putting content onto a site may bring you a bit of interest bit that will soon wane. You need to establish your brand so that you stand out from the rest.

 

Pick a domain name that is easy to remember and easy to spell. Too many people never find the site they are looking for because they spell it incorrectly. Search engines do a wonderful job of suggesting sites when a word is obviously misspelt, but you do not want to have to rely on yours being included.

 

Have a simple and straightforward logo that appears on everything you do, as well as on any printed stationery such as business cards and letterheads. This will help to brand your business for readers and for any potential business associates.

 

Build Some Trust

 

If you are really serious about turning your blog into a business, you need to build some trust and credibility among your audience. Your reputation can be made or broken in seconds.  To create the trust you need to constantly turn out high-quality content that people are interested in.

 

As you do this you will gain more followers, and the more followers you have the more chance you will have to be able to make money from your blog.

 

If someone comments in a negative way on your blog or one of your social media posts, always reply in a positive manner, as positivity is one if the biggest trust builders.

 

Create Your Business

 

As soon as your blog starts to make money, there are certain legal responsibilities you have. You need to inform the Inland Revenue that you have started a business and they will issue you with a Unique Taxpayers Reference (UTR). This number stays with you for life unless you are ever declared bankrupt when you are given a new one.

 

This part of the process is very easy and can be done by phone or online. However, dealing with your accounts and tax returns is not so simple. You need to find a good accountancy firm to handle these things for you. Tax accountants will generally save you more than they cost, and will take all the stress out of this side of your business.

 

There are a couple of things to remember. Tax accountants charge for the work they do by the hours. Therefore, the better order your books and records are in, the lower your bill with them will be. They will quite happily sort through a black bag that has had all the paperwork thrown in, but you will have to pay for the time it takes to sort it all out.

 

The other thing is that these people have trained for many years to do the job and they will know all the legal ways for you to save on your tax bill. Listen to what they have to say, and do not assume that you know better then they do.

 

 

Find Advertisers

 

So now everything is in place for you to be making money from your blog. You have to accumulate a lot of followers before you can do this, and the more you have the better the returns will be.

 

People who advertise on your site is where the money comes from, but they will not want to do that if you only have 20 people a week viewing it.

 

Affiliate programs are a good way to start. This is when you promote someone else’s products on your site, so they are not technically an advert. However, each time some links to the product from your site and makes a purchase, you are paid a commission. The terms of the affiliate program differ from company to company but the one thing most of them have in common is that these commissions do not stop. They are paid for as long as the affiliation between you both exist, so after a while can be bringing you in a monthly payment with you doing very little for it.

 

Google AdSense targeted text ads generated by Google on your pages. They appear in boxes that are headed ‘Ads By Google’. The ads will show somewhere on your site and are paid for by the businesses that use AdWords, which is the pay-per-click program of Google. The ads reflect the content of your site, so they are more likely to be clicked on. Every time some does click them, you get paid.

 

This is another source of income that you will not have to do much for, except keep your site up to date and relevant to your followers. The more of them you have, the more clicks are likely to happen which will increase the income from this source.

 

Another alternative is to approach companies directly to see if they would like to place an advert on your site, for which you would charge them.  They will only want to do this if they think it might be beneficial to them, so you should only approach companies connected to the content of your blog.

 

The income from these different sources can add up to a significant amount, although it nay tale a little time for it to build up to a living wage.

 

Blogs are becoming a very popular way to start a business and can be very lucrative if you have found the right niche and to it correctly.

 

Where to start if you want to be authentic in your branding

If there was one thing I believed in for brands, and something I try to do for She Hustles Inc, it’s being authentic in all I do. It’s a word that’s bashed about. I’m authentic, I’m genuine. Words are one thing, but actions speak way louder than those words. We write our content – mostly words! So how do we come across as sincerely, honestly and genuinely… honest?

 

Start by exploring your “why”

Why did you start your business? Why that particular business? Why that particular client, or service? Get down with your why.

Your “why” is the whole reason you’re here. The reason you’re on this site even!

A nice little tip as well, is when you’re feeling a bit blah about your business, connect back to this purpose and it’s will reinvigorate you and get the old creative juices flowing again!

 

Now you know your purpose

Let’s be fair, you probably knew your purpose before, but it’s down and captured in words now. If I was to ask you;

What’s your purpose?

You need to answer it in one short sentence, and ideally describe it in three words or ways.

Now you need to communicate that with your audience. You can mention it in social media posts, talk about it in videos and live video. You could blog about why you do what you do.

Talk about it genuinely and from the heart. If there is a story behind what you do, then tell it. Stories are great for selling!

 

Why this works

This is a great approach for two reasons. Firstly you feel genuine in your marketing efforts. You don’t feel spammy when you talk about your passion. It really shines through. Why – because it’s from such an authentic place!

Secondly, when people feel like they are seeing the real person when they connect over something genuine, they develop trust. Trust in your brand is what you need. When you get the trust you get the sales. Ultimately we are business women and sales need to be made for us to stay in business doing what we love.

 

Conclusion

I hope this has helped in some way! If you can be more authentic in what you do, and you feel connected to your purpose, it so fulfilling when you see your business thrive. I almost think it’s more fulfilling as you have truly poured your soul into it!

If you would like to learn more about the complimentary Growth Sessions I offer, you can find out more here. We can look at pulling your purpose into your branding to help you make more sales in a more authentic way!

Narrow isn’t narrow in a niche; get more customers by targeting less

The ever elusive search for more customers. We all have a bottom line in business. A financial line. Even if you don’t depend on earning money from your business, if you’re in business you need to serve people in your niche for the business to be successful. But what if, despite your best efforts, the customers and clients aren’t forthcoming?

You post on social media, you may blog, you are in ALL the Facebook Groups (are you in mine – The Hustle Hub!?) but you’re still not getting customers! You even planned and scheduled content. You were consistent. But still no sales. Why?

 

Content leads to relationships – but relationships with who? Identify your niche.

So you are putting the content out there. But who are you aiming it at? If you cannot answer that question specifically then if we were to have a consultation session together I would tell you that you are marketing to the world! Yes, the whole. Entire. World.

There will be key points of your business – the selling points. There will be aspects about you that will connect you with people. After all, it is you they are also buying into. These points are what people subconsciously pick out in your content and connect to. That’s where the relationship starts.

If you are marketing to the world, let’s take even just a small cross-section – say 100 general people in the world, you may appeal to just 1 of that 100.

Then will that 1 person buy, maybe, maybe not.

You just put 100 posts out and you didn’t get one sale – sound familiar.

 

Relationships Build Trust

So we narrow down who we talk to and we aim our content at them. Now take a cross section of 100 people, all 100 should now technically be interested! Out of 100 interested people, how many might now go on to make a purchase – yes, you guessed it, more than 1 person that’s for sure.

Use your specific content to build relationships with your audience. People need to trust your business before they buy from you. Don’t force a sale, work on building the relationship with people in your niche.

 

Trust leads to sales

Once people trust you they are far more likely to buy. All this starts with meaningful content and forging connections with your audience. Without knowing who you are talking to how can you ever build this relationship.

 

Don’t be afraid of narrowing down your niche. Done correctly it shouldn’t hinder you, only help you.

I hope this helps you with this topic. For me, it’s an integral part of meaningful marketing. The best marketing should be almost hidden. The customer shouldn’t know they are being sold to and you shouldn’t feel like you are selling. You should feel like you are serving. If you want to chat more with me about this I offer 30 minutes free to think about this for your business.

Feel free to share this post if you loved it and found it helpful!!

Contact She Hustles inc here!

 

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Judging a Book By Its Cover: Why Packaging is So Important

If you run a business which creates products, you need to carefully consider the packaging that you create for it, as well as the products themselves. You might have the most fantastic item in the world, but consumers are not likely to pick it up unless they are enticed by the way that it looks. Not only this, good packaging can provide your products with the protection that they require to stay in good condition while they are being transported around. Here is some more detail about why you need to take your time over packaging design decisions.

 

Customer Decision-Making is Often Based on Packaging

The strength of your product packaging can make a huge difference to your customers’ decision-making. In fact, it is estimated that around a third of customer choices are based on the packaging alone. As well as this, the vast majority of purchasing decisions are still made in-store rather than beforehand. This means that you have a great opportunity to influence consumers which you could be missing out on with poor packaging.

 

Marketing and Promotional Tool

With the explosion in the popularity of social media over the past few years, your packaging has become an even more important marketing tool. If consumers see a product that they like the look of, they are likely to snap a photo of it to share with their network. On the other hand, if they see some major flaw in it, you could find your product going viral for all the wrong reasons. Ultimately, you want your business to be talked about in a positive context as much as possible. And there are also the more traditional forms of promotion such as TV and print. If your product is instantly recognisable through the packaging alone, this will help to provide a major marketing boost to it.

 

Product Protection

 

Whether your product is wrapped in paper, cardboard or plastic, quality packaging can deliver good savings thanks to the protection that it provides to your products. The last thing that you want is to have to pay for damages which were easily avoidable. Not only this, packaging innovations can enhance your product as a whole. For example, just think about all of the food products which are stored in resealable plastic bags to help lock in their freshness. Your packaging can end up playing a big role in the overall enjoyment which your product provides to your consumers.

 

For these three reasons any many more, making sure that you get the packaging of your product right is not a business task which you should overlook. First of all, you can influence the decision-making of your customers in the way that you would like. Secondly, the right packaging can be a fantastic marketing and promotional tool. Finally, you need to think carefully about protecting the integrity of your products to ensure that they retain their quality.

   

 

How to Grow Your Brand Online Without Splashing Out on Paid Advertising

If you are struggling to create awareness about your company in your marketplace, and are spending too much time on promoting your offers, chances are that you will have to start working smarter instead of harder. You will have to up your game and find effective free marketing methods that will improve your reputation and increase your brand visibility long-term, focusing on the markets that are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Below you will find a few tips on how to get things done without paying for your advertising.

 

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Create Various Content

If you are stuck in 2001 and think that blogging alone will make you money and convert prospects into buyers, you need to change your mindset. Today’s audience is more interested in images, videos, recordings, and wants to be entertained. If you are not an expert in infographics and video creation, there are several online tools that will make your job easier. On the plus side, images and videos are much easier to share on social media.

Manage Your Reputation

It is also important that you manage and monitor your online presence and reputation. Once you have set up your social media profiles for your business, it is important that you actively ask for reviews and feedback and answer every single comment submitted on your site. This way, you can monitor the image of your brand that your potential customers see.

Use Press Releases to Create Awareness

It might also be a good idea to create a press release campaign straight after you have launched your business so you can let your market know about what you stand for and what you offer that is different from other companies’ products or services. There are some rules of digital marketing and press release writing you might not be aware of, though, so it can be a good idea to talk to a professional before you launch your campaign.

Team Up with Other Marketers

If you would like to grow your online presence, it is also important that you spot opportunities for collaboration early. Whether you are looking for a brand ambassador or a blogger who has a lot of followers in your niche and seek opportunities to work together or offer an affiliate program for people who have connections and marketing channels to reach out to your potential customers, you will be able to create a win-win situation.

Automate Your Marketing

The good news is that you don’t have to sit in front of the computer all day if you don’t want to. You can pretty much automate your online marketing and test your campaigns, measure your results, and find out more about your target market at the same time. There are several great online marketing tools and social media schedulers that will help you keep an eye on your campaigns and your conversions.  

 

Growing your brand on the internet can be challenging. There’s a lot of competition out there, and you will have to find a way to stand out and work smarter than the rest of the entrepreneurs in your market.

 

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