What is YOUR Brand?

A few weeks ago I walked into a vendor event to hear “are you the angel lady that sells Thirty One?”.  It took me a minute but then I said “yes”.  I was totally surprised by the question but grateful the two things were linked together.

Obviously you know I am a Thirty One consultant BUT I also love to make and share my angels.

I have found the perfect way to combine my two loves to make a difference in the lives of others.  My traveling angel pins allow individuals to buy an angel and send one to a person who needs some encouragement.  Know someone who is struggling?  Let me know and I will send them a pin.

Where is all of this leading?  I have (accidentally) branded myself as “the Thirty One angel lady”.  Is it a bad thing? No! But I am grateful to have created my own niche of making a difference.

1. Realize branding does apply to you.

No matter what you do, branding can take your career or business to the next level.  Your brand reflects your reputation — what you’re known for (or would like to be known for). What was once called a reputation is now called a brand.  Don’t we all want to be know for something?

2. State who and what you are (not what you’re not).

Remember positive brings positive into your Universe.  Your branding should be consistent from beginning to the end.  Showcase your accomplishments and expertise but don’t overinflate to the point you can’t follow through.  Authenticity is the key.  I am all about giving back.  Hubby says my tagline should be “I will never be Rockefeller (rich with money)” because I am all about giving to others.

3. Honestly, ask yourself what is your value.

When was the last time you wrote down your core strengths. Prepare a list. Ask yourself what your top 5 accomplishments have been in the past 5, 10, 15 years. Which ones stand out as the most value to your business or your company?

Branding is all about impressing others not ourselves, right?  So, why not ask others what they see as your most positive attributes (family, friends, or colleagues). I know this can be scary BUT you may be surprised to find out how others perceive you. You may actually be surprised to see what things come to the forefront as your areas of expertise.

4. Understand developing a brand takes time.

This is HUGE!  I have been with Thirty One for 6 years.  I have done many things to try and “brand myself” but with the help of Desiree Wolfe, I found my niche.  

What does it mean? Every day, I share things which bring my brand (Thirty One and angels) into the spotlight.  I want to make a difference and I try to do it every day in some small way with everyone I meet.  Remember developing a brand is about adding value which results in you being seen and heard. It’s about distinguishing you from your competitors.

5. Create a blog and write what you know.

I hear the groans of those who say “I can’t write”.  How often are you asked the same question by almost all of your customers?  Maybe it is about a situation or a product or a service.  Guess what?  You answer the question a million times, why not write about it and share the answer.  It’s simple – choose a hot question in your field and just start writing by answering it in an article or blog post.  You have now proven you know what you’re talking about.

6. Interact more than less.

I’m still getting the hang of this.  I don’t want to be spammy or pushy or salesy. I do want to gain attention to me (as the brand) then my products and services which leads to more sales.  I may blog daily but I don’t consistently post comments on Facebook groups or on other blog posts.  You need to decide what works with your schedule and time ability.

Your online identity is a priority in today’s busy digital world. I heard “your online branding as a #digitaltattoo which is so true.  Once it is out there – it stays out there. Wonder where you stand right now?  Google yourself, your brand, or your product/service.  See what comes up.  The biggest compliment I have received is when someone I know as an acquanitence tells me they Googled a subject and I came up.

My angels help me stand out with my Thirty One customers.  The angels help them to remember me!  What is your brand?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Revisiting My Word for 2016

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The last few years, I have selected a word to be my theme for the year both personally and in my business.  This year, my word is ‘CONFIDENCE“.  I have overcome hurdles, HUGE hurdles to move closer to becoming the person God wants me to be.

I believe God created me to be a person who gives so others smile. To fight for the underdog. To believe all people are good and kind deep down – yes, sometimes it’s a little deeper than others.

I longed to see myself as confident, caring, generous, passionate, loving, and creative. A person with faith and courage. Someone who is strong and powerful. Confidence for this year was defined as:

CONFIDENCE to believe when the way is rough. CONFIDENCE to hang on when the going is tough. CONFIDENCE to guide me when my business is slow. CONFIDENCE to guide me as I move forward with the Rays of Hope – Angel Connection. CONFIDENCE to guide me as I overcome doubt with my new contract working with a grassroots non-profit. CONFIDENCE to guide me as I learn to live with my recent diagnosis of MS. CONFIDENCE to guide me as I see and believe in the person others see in me. CONFIDENCE to guide me as I squash the inner gremlins which have haunted me all of my life.

So as we creep towards the new year, I wanted to reflect on the accomplishments and whether or not I had achieved my goal….

Yes, despite all odds I have believed when things got rough.  I believe the health challenges have been a blessing.  I have met amazing people who I never would have met.  I have come to understand the chronic pain my hubby lives with.  Yes, I have hung on when the going is tough.  Ready to push through despite all odds.  Yes, I have kept going when my business is slow knowing the seeds I planted  along the way would grow – and the are!  I had the confidence to overcome the inner gremlins when it came to the tough decision of turning down an opportunity with a grassroots non-profit.  Yes, I have decided to move forward with Rays of Hope – Angel Connection knowing in my heart it is part of the plan.  Yes, I am giving my notice to my part time job and #jumping in faith.  Yes, I am continuing to learn to live with my diagnosis of MS – learning my limits yet not allowing #mstodefineme.

The biggest step has been in stomping out the inner gremlins who have haunted me all my life.  Do they still rear their ugly head? YES.  But I have learned to squash them and move forward.  Along with this step comes the internal realization and the ability to see the person other people see in me.

Please don’t misunderstand, this is a work in progress.  I still struggle with confidence every day as well as playing the comparison game.  Through it all, I trust and believe if I walk in God’s plan all things are possible.

Share with us your word of the year and the changes it has made in your life.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

CELEBRATE Small Business Saturday

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Today is Small Business Saturday…  I have been a small business owner for more years than I can count.  I started as a crafter dreaming of having a full-time business.  Fear always kept me from making the complete transition.  First it was “preemie baby clothes”, then American Girl Doll Clothes.

I was blessed when Belinda was in high school to have a home-based consulting business working with various local non-profit agencies.  A dream come true where I made my own hours, stayed home during bad weather while working with a variety of  AMAZING agencies who provided services to disadvantaged populations.  I LOVED my job but the stress of bidding for contracts always put a damper on things.

For the last 5 plus years, I have been working my Thirty One Gifts – rather inconsistently, if I was 100% honest .  2017 is the YEAR!  Yup, I am #JUMPING…

I am going to DREAM BIG and reach for the stars while continuing to grow my business.  I have seen the potential of building my business with Thirty One for a long time BUT fear always crept in.  As I put together my vision of “bringing a smile and hope to those who are struggling, reminding them they are special and worthy” it is all coming together.  Yes, there have been months filled with struggles of booking parties and reaching my goals.  Yes, there have been months I am overwhelmed by the amount of new recruits joining our Rays of Hope Team family. Through it all, I would not trade it for anything – having my own business.  I am  blessed with a husband who loves me unconditionally and supports my dreams.   AMAZING friends and family who continue to support me on my journey and give me the support I need each and every day.  Words can not express how grateful I am for my customers, my hostess and those who continue refer me to host parties for their friends and family.

In 2017, I will combine my Rays of Hope – Angel Connection and my Thirty One business to continue to make a difference in the lives of others.  To bring smiles to those who are struggling.  To celebrate momentous occasions.  To silently pray for all those who I meet in the hopes I will be able to #impactasoul.  Watch for things to come….

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I encourage you to shop locally, support those small businesses in your community as well as those who you know in direct sales.  It is with your support and purchases, these business owners are able to re-invest in their own communities.

Share your favorite SMALL business with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Holiday Bazaars – Love them or Hate Them?

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Happy Saturday!  It is the first Saturday in November and the first of many weekends filled with Holiday Vendor events.  I LOVE doing vendor events well they used to be called craft shows.  I have about 30+ years experience in craft shows.  I am now an “Angel” crafter.  I love making angels – with bells, as ornaments, and in plastic canvas. This is just one of the styles…

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Yes, I squirreled.  Today I am in Farmingdale sharing the gift of Thirty One:

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As a direct seller it is a great way to meet new people, expand your customer base, book a few parties and who knows maybe even recruit a new team member.  Did you notice that I didn’t say “sell some products”? I know it sounds crazy but the truth is that I never go to a vendor event with the thought of “selling”.  Thirty One – like most direct sales companies – is a party plan business. Yes, we love the retail orders.  Yes, we love to sell at events.  The truth is that “face to face” is “heart to heart”.  The more people we share our products with in the form of a party, the bigger our business will grow.

According to Lynn Bardowski, Million Dollar Party Girl, here are some basic questions to ask BEFORE you commit to doing a vendor event:

  1. Is this the first time you’re holding the event?  If not, how many attendees did you have last year?
  2. Who attends (Moms, families, etc…)? Note: Pets and children are big distractions.  If you decide to do one with children, have something for them – stickers, coloring sheets, etc.
  3. What kind of marketing are you doing for the event?
  4. Do you have a Facebook event page I can share and post my website link on?
  5. How many vendors total (be wary of too many vendors)?
  6. Will you provide a table? If yes, what size is it? 
  7. Is there a fee? Note: Most will ask for a table fee ($25 – $30 avg) or a % of sales, and  a $25 door prize donation. I prefer a % of sales because it only costs you money if you make money. Everything is negotiable. Ask if you can donate a % of sales instead of an upfront fee before you say yes.
  8. Are you going to have duplicate vendors (more than one of a product type or industry)? This is a no-no in must direct sales companies per their Policies and Procedures.
  9. Tell me about your school/group/charity…how many active members do you have? (The more active members, the more successful the vendor event will be.)
  10. Do you have access to electricity and/or wireless internet?

For me, the most important thing is foot traffic.  If there is foot traffic then I have an opportunity to share the gift of my business with everyone that walks by my table.  The truth is that when I changed my perspective from “getting sales” to “making contacts”, I found that I had sales.  Relationships are the key to every direct selling business.  You start building those relationships at the event and then continue them as you do follow-up.  Remember the “money is in the follow-up“.  If you don’t plan on following up with people, why are you taking their information, right?

Did you know that 70% of direct sellers will make 80% of their money during the holiday season?  Don’t get me wrong, that is GREAT but wouldn’t you like that business to carry throughout the year?  Use vendor events as a stepping stone to build relationships and your business so that you can make money all year long.

What is your best tip for a successful vendor event?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Bored with Life?

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When was the last time you had a lazy Sunday afternoon?  You know the kind where everything is done and you are not quite sure what to do with yourself.  If you are a mom, you are thinking, “REALLY? This never happens”.  Okay, so maybe you are feeling like the ONLY things you do anymore are the things you have to do…. run the kids, cook meals, grocery shop, go to work and the list goes on, right?  Maybe you are just bored with your life, going through the motions.  I can attest to the fact that I have been there!

But what about your happiness, your need for inspiration, your absolute requirement for fun and excitement?

Did you put all of those things on the back burner?  Wouldn’t it be GREAT to have just ONE fun thing every month that is just for YOU.  I would say more often but that might scare you away. You can include the rest of the family too but this would be something that brings you pure happiness.

Here 5 ideas that could be a lot of fun and leave you feeling ready to conquer the next hurdle.

1. Host a Potluck Party: No, this should not cause you more stress.  Friends are not coming to see your how clean your house is, they are coming to enjoy your company.  Invite only people you love who make you laugh and you know will leave you with a warm glow at the end of the night.

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2. Take a drive with no set destination: Pick a timeframe, pack appropriately, take a friend if you’d like, and do it the old-fashioned way – see where the road takes you. Make plenty of stops along the way, talk to people, and just be spontaneous! This brings back so many memories of Sunday drives with my parents.  Just heading out for the day, no plan just a picnic packed and maybe a general direction.  I am sure they picked a general area, got us there and then we wondered the roads stopping at little shops & enjoyed the sights.  We like to do this when we are in North Carolina ’cause Jersey is just too crowded anymore.

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3. Pick up your old hobby.  What was it? Do you even remember? Painting, drawing, music, playing chess, or underwater basket-weaving, it doesn’t matter. Just do something you used to love. I would have gone back to playing the piano but alas no piano.  So, I went back to crafting angels.

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4. Help Out. There’s truly nothing like the feeling of helping someone in need. Whether you choose to volunteer, give some change to a homeless person, or donate your used items to charity, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that what you do gives you that glow inside.  This is a great way to get the whole family to #shareyourgifts.

5. Watch Mother Nature ‘Cause she’s awesome. Start paying attention to everything – the clouds in the sky, the change of seasons, the flower, the moon and the ocean waves.  I have really started to appreciate the beauty of the sky while I am driving.  It is also a great stress reliever when you are sitting at a red light.

If you’re bored with life, it’s a sign that you need to do something different. Start today!  Share with us what you are going to do today!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!