What Does Your Brand Say About Your Business?


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charly-picYour brand represents your face or image in the market place. Why is this so important? If consumers are not impressed with your look, they will look elsewhere to do business. Your business brand is the foundation upon which all of your marketing efforts will be built. So…what does your brand say about your business? Here are some things that should be carefully considered as you market your business.

1. Your business brand is either appealing to, or repelling your potential customers. Unfortunately, people do judge a book by its cover so you had better ensure that your cover is appealing, inviting and interesting.

2. Consider having a professional logo designed. The old adage says that a picture is worth a thousand words and in the business world – it may be worth thousands of dollars. A logo keeps your business in the minds of consumers because it builds brand recognition. When people shop around, they are looking for a familiar face to do business with and a logo they recognize is a much more suitable choice for consumers to investigate.

3. Establish your logo and use it consistently. This again, leads to the power of brand recognition. If people see your brand used properly and consistently across all mediums of your business, it gives the perception that you operate an established professional business.

4. Consider what your brand is saying about your business. Your brand, when carefully chosen, can deliver a very specific and powerful message about what you can offer your customers. This message may be what you do, the benefits of doing business with you or the value proposition that you offer. Choose carefully because people will be trying to identify your business message through your brand.

5. Build a strong brand image. A strong brand is built when it is used consistently over a period of time, and thus becomes an inexpensive way of marketing your business. When customers continue to see your brand or logo on your marketing materials, websites, social media networks, promotional items and other mediums, it can often motivate consumers to do business with you. Because of the various and numerous sightings of your brand, it establishes credibility.

6. Engage a professional brand master to help you develop your brand. If you need a logo, get a real graphic artist. If you need a website, hire a web designer. If you need marketing materials, find someone who has the expertise and skill needed to create branding materials that will look professional and polished. Focus on what you do best and invest in your brand.

Yes, there are other methods to find success with your business, but the importance of establishing a brand in the marketplace cannot be understated. Your brand says, “I am open for business. I am professional and capable of meeting my customers’ needs.” A professional brand says powerful things about your business. So, what does your brand say about your business. Invest in your brand and you will surely enjoy a healthy return on your investment.

Charly The Pearl is a graphic and web designer and the founder of Ultimate Business Solutions. She not only establishes a strong internet presence for her clients, she serves as a content writer and business development coach focusing on internet marketing.  The primary goal of her efforts is to help businesses understand and succeed at selling their products and services online.   http://ultimatebizsolutions.com / 404. 518.8336

Crowdfunding and Benefits To Your Business


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Categories :Articles, Crowd Funding

web-cynthia“There is no such thing as free money.” That was a true statement until Crowdfunding came on the scene. If you ever wondered what crowdfunding is all about and how it can benefit your business, you are not alone.

But I admit it – the money isn’t exactly free. I wanted to get your attention. But it is the closest you can come to free money. The caveat is that you do actually earn it, but not in traditional ways, i. e. it’s not a loan nor is it a grant. It can come from family and friends, and – here’s the exciting piece – it can also come from strangers.

Crowdfunding is the Internet phenomenon that provides a means to fund legitimate projects of various kinds, some related to business; some very personal. The projects are as diverse as the users on the Internet. Projects have included paying off exorbitant and extraordinary medical bills, funding a new type of mosquito repellant specifically designed to help stave off malaria in Africa, generating funds for writing and publishing a novel or a musician’s time in a sound studio. It can even fund projects involving pets and animals.

If your project appeals to the reader, it just might get funded. Crowdfunding is similar to a grant in that there is a need identified, there is an ask and there is a response. Hopefully, the response can come from multiple sources (individuals.)
There are two models of crowdfunding. One is donation based where supporters will donate specific dollars for your project. Often the donations fall into different categories of giving and, as the recipient of the funds, you offer some type of thank you for donations coming in at the various levels you desigante. For instance, if you are a novelist seeking funds for the ability to publish your novel, you might offer an autographed copy of the finished novel at one level or you might offer to have the donor’s name listed in the book at another. You might even name a character in the book after your highest donor. You get the picture.

The other is investment crowdfunding. It is usually for larger dollars. The donor actually becomes a shareholder. That means whatever is funded, the donor has the potential to make money from the investment in the project. A good example would be the invention of a pen that has endless ink. Now, to my knowledge no one has invented this, but if they did and they needed funds for manufacturing and getting the pen to the market, every donor would receive a return on their investment in a successful funding campaign.

Since crowfunding’s beginning, the number of platforms has increased tremendously. Each platform may address a different type of project, something similar to different genres of books or movies. Some are platforms for medical projects or inventions. Others lean toward the creative side and will fund projects related to the arts.

One of the earliest and best known crowdfunder, Kickstarter, has launched over 61,000 sites and generated over $220 million in donations, according to their sources.

To date there are over 452 crowdfunding platform websites. In 2012, those crowdfunding platforms collectively launched more than 1 million campaigns and raised $2.7 billion. The projections for 2013 are $5.1 billion.

There are fees associated with crowdfunding. The fees can range anywhere from 4% to as much14% of what you raise. Keep in mind that the funds raised have ranged from a few hundred dollars to in the millions. The funds are raised for the project you designated, but you are not required to pay this money back unless that was stipulated in the crowdfunders rules and generally it is not.

Every crowdfunding platform has it’s own rules. Careful research of each is necessary for the fit to your project. The platform provides the template for a funding website and provides the means to share the project through social media.

If you decide crowdfunding is for your business or project, keep in mind that there is lots of competition for the donors. To attract attention on the Internet in general, you must be creative and unique. To attract attention for crowdfunding, you must be even more so.

Do not undertake a crowdfunding project without giving it careful thought or without a well planned strategy for achieving your funding goal. Not surprisingly, there are classes and resources that can help with this.

Crowfunding is a viable source of funds to help make your dreams and vision become a reality through the collective generosity and cooperation of many.

So, ultimately, crowdfunding may be, in sense, free money. Just bear in mind you will put in some work, it will take time and you must do research. Most of all, it should be a project worth funding.

Should you pursue crowdfunding? If you believe in your project, a resounding yes to the possibilities and benefits that crowdfunding offers.

Keywords: crowdfunding, free money, donors, Kickstarter, crowdfunding platform

Freelance writer Cynthia Turner and team are here to help you with your writing needs whether fiction or nonfiction, nonprofit or for profit or personal. http://www.featherwriters.com/

Getting the most out of Business events


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How do you get the most value from attending a Conference or business event? Before leaving your home/office, please consider spending some time preparing for that event. A little preparation will no doubt add value to your overall conference experience.

Here’s a checklist as you prepare:

  1. Decide on a budget. Conferences often have vendors with products you may find useful to your business or products that may benefit your customers. In order to make meaningful purchases, prepare a reasonable budget and try to stick to it.
  2. Emotional purchases. Vendors will probably be there during the full course of the conference. Feel free to browse products, consider the purchase during the conference and then return to make the purchase if you still think it will benefit you or your business.
  3. Carry plenty of business cards. Be sure your cards are clean and not frayed or bent. Read up on the etiquette of business cards and act accordingly.
  4. Prepare and practice your elevator speech.  Tweak it to fit your audience’s needs and practice a smooth delivery.
  5. Be prepared to meet new people. Try to avoid the urge to sit with colleagues you already know. Reach out to individuals you have never met before or that you would like to know better or learn more about their business.
  6. Pay attention to the expected dress code. Feel free to add a signature piece to make you more memorable. This will help as you do follow-up.
  7. If there is opportunity for Q and A, ask questions. This helps with clarification. Make comments if you found something in the speaker’s presentation insightful or if you can share something of value related to the talk and topic.
  8. Use social media to your advantage before you leave home and during the conference. This is an opportunity to touch your customers and your potential customers. Tweet, use Instagram, post on Facebook. to share your anticipation and your positive conference experience. However, refrain from using social media during presentations. Find the time for social media engagement during your breaks and immediately after the conference ends.
  9. Don’t overlook attending the networking reception. This is a great time to further connect with conference speakers and attendees. Share notes and thoughts with each other about what you have heard and experienced.

Of course there are many other great reasons for attending business conferences. In getting the most value from attending any conference or business event, a little preparation goes a long way.  This will ultimately increase your ROI and have a greater impact on your business or career.