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!

Want to Up Your Social Media Game?

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Yes, I have been in Facebook jail (very recently)!  The truth is that I was trying to connect with potential customers which is a great thing BUT I did it the wrong way.  Yes, there is a wrong way!!!  CLICK HERE for a great article on “How to a voice Facebook Jail”

What I realized is that when I am truly visible on social media, I automatically avoided Facebook jail.  It was when I started to “compare” and “copy” what others were doing, I landed in jail.  Lesson learned!  Continue to stick to the social media basics taught to me by my business coach, Desiree Wolfe and the results will roll in.

Here are some tips that will help you get visible AND stay out of Facebook jail.

1. Consistency

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Remember the old saying “practice makes perfect“?  When being visible on social media, consistency is the name of the game.  It is the key that unlocks the door to increased visibility AND an increase in building connections with potential customers.  Think about it — who are you most likely to check out someone who comes across your newsfeed every day or one that you haven’t seen a post from in three weeks?

Consistency tip: Create a social media calendar that outlines a consistent posting schedule… and stick to it!

2. Branding.

purpose FB coverBranding yourself across all your social media accounts is important in establishing a successful online presence. Basically, this means all your channels should give off the same vibe!  Everywhere you see me – you will see the same consistent message “Rays of Hope” making a difference in the lives of others and Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!  

Branding tip: You are so much more than the products that you sell.  Share your passion and the sales will come.  Believe me, it does work!

3. Utilize hashtags.

Hashtags are a key element in gaining new followers! So, be sure to tag all relevant topics so other users can find you and you can find them.

Hashtag tip: On Instagram, input hashtags in the first comment under your caption so they won’t clog up your followers’ feeds!

4. Complete your profile.

I know that privacy is HUGE and you want to be careful what you share.  I get it.  Keep your personal page, personal.  Have a business or public page so people can find you.  Then be sure it is in tip top shape! Ensure your picture, bio, and other fields are filled in and informative.  Update them monthly.  Check mine out and be sure to “LIKE” my page while you are there.

Profile tip: Your bio should be short and concise, but it should also tell users what your account is about, where you’re located, and why they should follow you!

5. Engage.

Social media allows for users to connect with people we wouldn’t normally run into on a day-to-day basis, so take advantage of it! After all, you’re all in this together, so utilize ALL networking and collaboration opportunities!

Engagement tip: Follow similar profiles, comment on other user’s feeds, interact with your followers, and don’t be afraid to ask them what they want to see!

By following these tips, you will be authentic and as a result won’t land in Facebook jail.  It may take time to see the results – don’t get discouraged.  Consistency will pay off.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Promote Your Business for Free

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Today is all about promoting your business for FREE!  Yes, I said FREE.  In our direct sales  business we usually put little or no money aside for promotion and marketing.  Most of us are a party plan business so that is where our business comes from, right?  What happens when the well of customers/ hostesses starts to run dry?  What do you do?  Where do you go?

Social Media.  Isn’t this everyone’s first stop – Facebook, pinterest, instagram and the list goes on.  We have seen the pleas for orders, recruits and parties.  This is a GREAT platform if you are share what you have to offer instead of being the pushy sales person.

Get involved in community groups and associations.  The best way to meet new people is to get involved in our community, in a parents group if you have kids or attend a local fundraising event.  Just son’t be “that gal” that’s always talking about her business – let the conversations come naturally.

Use constant branding.  Make sure that everything you do for your business is promoting your brand – the more consistent you are, the better chance that people will notice.  Carry or wear your products, wear company logos or quotes that start conversations.

Generate more referrals.  Get in touch with past clients and offer them an incentive to send you referrals – maybe a cut of the sale, or a discount on future work.  Include referral forms in your hostess packets and give you hostess a gift for getting you new contacts.

Network online.  Get out there and make yourself known! Comment on other peoples’ blogs and articles, or write guest posts for other sites.  I also use “Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!” when I end a posting.  It reminds people that I am a Thirty One consultant without selling them something.

Cross promote.  Contact other brands that share your demographic and brainstorm some cross promotions that will benefit both of you. This is part of the reason that I have a Saturday Business Spotlight in my blog.  The businesses that I blog about share the blog and as a result I gain new contacts and customers.

Distribute regular press releases.  Press releases are still a good way to get information out to the public. Make sure yours are interesting and informative or they’ll get lost in the crowd.

Run sweepstakes or giveaways.  A giveaway is an awesome way to get people excited about your products. Chances are, some of the people who didn’t win will still buy something from you, especially if the prize was something you sell!

Donate products to a charity event.  Ok, this one isn’t completely free (you have to pay for the products) but it does give you more than one benefit. Not only are you getting your company name out there for people to see, but you’re also giving back to your community.  I always include a gift certificate (which is FREE until redeemed) with every basket.  This encourages the winner to shop more and maybe even have a party.

Offer a free class or seminar.  Everyone loves free stuff, so use that as a hook to get people to visit your site. A free seminar will give users some great tips or information, but probably leave at least a few of them wanting more.  Share tips that utilize your products without being the “pushy sales person”.

Send thank you notes.  This is my favorite and gets such great response from my customers.  Showing gratitude will make the likelihood of getting return customers much higher. If you have time, a handwritten thank you card will be more beneficial than a form letter.

Out and About bags for kids and adults.  These are the treat bags filled with goodies.  For kids, I include a coloring sheet with my contact information on it along with stickers and 4 crayons. For adults, a bookmark and a few pieces of candy.  All of the treat bags include a mini catalog, a business card and a discount offer.  A great conversation starter or to quiet a crying child.  Not totally free but I get things at the dollar store and use them in multiple bags.

What are some of ways you get free promotion? Let us know in the comments section below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Brand or Style

 

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Do you know what today is????  I love the picture of this camel and every time I think of it, I think of the commercial.  I mean, be honest – do you know what the commercial was for?  I think it is Geico but I am not sure.  I think they did a better job of branding the camel then they did their product.  I know what does all of that have to do with anything, right?

I got a message from another Thirty One consultant and one of the FIRST things she asked me was “Were you the one in the pink hat at National Conference?” WOW!  I was shocked but it seems like that is the way that everyone remembers me from conference.  Is that my brand or is that my style?  I love hats and I like to have fun but I am not sure if that is my brand.

A good friend took this picture which I thought told who I was – the added bonus is that it is the FIRST picture that I actually liked of myself in YEARS.  A good friend and AMAZING business woman  (can I say that I love her brand) politely told me – this is not your brand, you are NOT a bag lady.  WOW!  I was totally blown away because I want people to know me as a Thirty One consultant.  She said “you are so much more than that”.

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The truth is that “I am so much more than that” BUT I want people to see Thirty One and think of me.  I know that I probably just blew every “branding experts theory” or rule on branding ourselves – but when I dig deep down, yes, I am MORE but this is what I want people to identify with me so that I can grow my business.

So, let me ask you… how do people identify you?  What is the first thing that they think of when they think of you?  For example, when I see “Sweet Frog Ice Cream”, I think of my friend Hope Shortt. Why?  That is a favorite treat for her and her family.  Is that her brand?  So, maybe my “pink cowboy hat” will be the thing that makes people think of me or at least other consultants from National Conference.

“I am a mom, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a blogger, an entrepreneur, a Christian, a Weight Watcher Lifetime member, a football fanatic, a crafter, a leader, a motivator, and I am YOUR Thirty One consultant”.  Yes, I wear all of those hats and I still don’t know what my brand would be other than Thirty One!  Good, bad or otherwise – that is my goal to have my customers tell someone “yes, I have a Thirty One consultant and her name is Hope”.

The point of this blog is for YOU to think about how people think of you…What is your “I am” statement?  Share the one item that you see that makes you think of me…I am curious what people  will say….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

I Found My Brand

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I have been hearing talk about “branding” for almost a year now (thank you Vanessa Coppes) and I am still trying to figure it all out.  I have read countless articles about it, watched videos and have been trying to narrow down my niche.  I have always wondered WHY I need a brand?  Can I tell you that the light bulb came on during a conversation with my hubby.  Okay, so sometimes I am a little slow…

We were talking about my business and I was asking him for input on some new ideas.  He simply said “It is always a party with you”.  You should use “party with Hope” as a tagline.  WOW!  That kind of summed things up for me.  When we talked about Thirty One’s Core Values at a recent meeting – I was unanimously FUN LOVING!

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The thing is, I would have never thought of myself that way.  I let that side come out to play at parties, and a training meetings but I have always wondered what people thought of me (you know the people pleaser) so I would hold back sometimes.  I have made the decision to EMBRACE the FUN-side of me and brand it!

So I headed to GoDaddy.com where I immediately set up a forward page for “www.partywithhope.com” to my Thirty One home page.  This is so much easier to say or for people to type in a web browser.  When I typed that into google – after some Wickepedia things – my blog kept coming up.  WOOHOO!

My 30-second introduction has become “I am an Entrepreneur and Blogger that CELEBRATES – ENCOURAGES – REWARDS women with a Girl’s Night Out! I offer fun, fashionable and affordable organizing products for all aspects of your life”.  I say that with confidence because I LOVE what I do whether it is working with my hostess, my customers or my team.  This always leads into a discussion about Thirty One and my blog!  People are interested and want to know more – isn’t that what a brand is supposed to do?

In direct sales, we are always asked our “why” and as many of you know, I have struggled with finding the deep emotional WHY for me.  Of course, we all want financial freedom, the ability to make our own schedules along FREE products and trips but that doesn’t stir the emotions in me.  I know, crazy right?  What I truly want is to help other women have fun while earning a great income that supports their why, whatever that may be – additional income, girl time, etc.

Now, on to the next step of branding….getting some pictures to go along with my tag line, new business cards and get ready to   HAVE FUN!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!