Category Archives for Branding

Stephen Hart in Growing Business using Personal Branding

TSE 1252: Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing  

Stephen Hart in Growing Business using Personal BrandingBusinesses often make mistakes in marketing campaigns and as a result, don’t maximize their exposure. Let’s discuss how strategic decisions about your online presence can make a bigger impact. 

Stephen Hart is the host of the Trailblazers.fm podcast and is also a digital brand strategist. Stephen enhances marketing and communications for a global software firm by coaching individuals and businesses to improve their own brand. Through his experience, Stephen is seeing the need for people to address their brand presence and their digital footprint. It’s important for your brand to represent your product well and this is done by your prospects associating your online presence with a reputation of quality. 

Digitally sophisticated 

People today are more digitally sophisticated. Employers and consumers often end up going to Google or asking Alexa and Siri for answers to their questions. The same is true when consumers are looking for products or services.  They research and ask relevant questions using social platforms before making a final purchasing decision. People look at company websites, verified reviews online, the company’s social platform, and their customer service and support. 

People want confirmation online long before they ever speak to their first salesperson. There are many touchpoints that consumers look for and by the time they make the decision to meet a product or service rep, most of them have already made up their minds. Ignoring the digital part of things is one of the mistakes in marketing campaigns.

Five key areas of branding

Branding is critical because it’s a visual representation that lets the consumer know what you and your company are all about. Stephen has five key elements that entrepreneurs should consider to define their personal brand. These 5 elements that will help your digital presence include:

  • Color
  • Font
  • Mood and vibe
  • Logo
  • Voice or the tone of your written content

Colors in branding

Color is important because it’s one of the elements that offer people the first impressions about your brand presence. Research has shown that people make a judgment within 90 seconds based on color tone alone. This is especially important for salespeople and business professionals with a global touch who are dealing with people from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds. 

There are websites that can help you decide what color palette works best with your vision.  Think about two or three colors that set the tone and an additional one or two colors you might use as an accent.  The website can help you work out these different combinations.  Mistakes in marketing campaigns happen when you put too many colors on your site and it clashes.

Hex Code 

The hex code is a hexadecimal code that refers to the specific color that you want to choose. You can use this hex code to have a consistent color for your brand. You can document your six-digit color code throughout different platforms so you’re consistently getting the right color and shade. This will come in handy when making PowerPoint presentations, images in Canva, and more. Just type in the hex code and your color will automatically appear. 

Even beyond your website, the colors you should choose should carry into your social media. Use them when you create motivational graphics for your social media posts and other areas you want a digital footprint. You want to create a cohesive visual feel across all platforms. This trains people to think of you when they see your color combinations.

Be involved in building your brand

While it may be a good idea to have experts and professionals handle the execution of your branding campaign, it is equally important to be involved in building your personal brand. It’s important that the final product accurately and authentically reflects the message you want to portray. Suggest color and tone so you can give the experts a launching pad and a sense of the energy you’re trying to create. 

Focus on the personality of your brand as well. What kind of message do you want to convey? If it’s hard to see with clarity, consider creating a visual mood board.  Similar to a vision board, your mood board will be the place you can put images that capture the tone and the vibe of your business, and you. The more specific your vision is, the easier it will be for your marketing team to put a package together that will make your brand stand out from your competition. 

Another thing to consider is the tone and the voice in which you write your copy throughout your website, social media, and marketing tools. Is it playful, technical, serious?  Make sure you have a consistent voice that reads the same, across the board, to avoid consumer confusion about what they can expect from your business.

Optimize Your Profiles

Your social media accounts are mission-critical for your brand. With that in mind, make sure you optimize your profile. Use a profile picture that can be found on all platforms, duplicate your cover photos from your website, and use uniform fonts and colors to show consistency and professionalism. 

Use your LinkedIn account to expand your network.  For your profile, be strategic about how you use the different fields.  Your summary, your positions, experience, and education, for example, should keep pointing back to your central message. Be mindful of keywords that are high on the search. 

“Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing” episode resources

Stephen advises business owners to take care of the story you share online. Begin by creating a personal website and optimize your social channels. Take care of your personal brand and your digital footprints. He is having a free webinar on October 4th where he will talk about the things that he’s mentioned in this podcast. This is a digital brand workshop that Stephen is leading for individuals who are looking to maximize their personal brand. Avoid mistakes in marketing campaigns now! 

You can check out his website and social media accounts including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Satisfy your thirst and let us answer your sales queries. You can also talk to Donald about it via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

We have a new semester beginning on February 14th and we would love to have you and your team join us. Follow this link to apply to the program. 

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

Personal Branding, Content, Sales Leader

TSE 1153: Creating An Authentic Personal Brand

 

Personal Branding, Content, Sales Leader

Creating an authentic personal brand is important because everything that we develop in business is based on creating a personal brand. As sales reps, polishing your personal brand must be a priority to stand out to everyone no matter where you go or where you are. 

Emily Soccorsy and Justin Foster are co-founders of intrinsic branding practice Root + River. They have combined their experience and expertise in branding and passion for personal growth to guide individuals in combining authentic original brands that attract new opportunities and levels of possibilities. 

The intrinsic practice 

Both Emily and Justin believe that every great brand is a spiritual experience. As coaches, they guide individuals regardless of the roles they play in the organization. Their goal is to make them understand that deep foundational soul of their brand and put that into practical use every day. 

Branding is a practice, which means you need to do it every single day whether you are aware of it or not. Intrinsic practice will help you be aware of the things that you do and get organized around them so that those things will have far greater impact for a longer time. 

What is branding?

In simple terms, a brand is how other people experience what you believe. The brand is how people experience you in everyday situations and conversations. If you understand what that experience is giving to people, you can tap into that in a more conscious manner to help build your brand in a way that has greater impact. 

Frank Rogers is a good example. He is a great salesperson who developed a thought leadership brand. He doesn’t wait for the market to tell him what to say. Instead, he leads from the front. 

Chip Scholz from North Carolina is another example. He is an executive coach with a very memorable brand who uses a direct and Socratic approach in his coaching. 

Regardless of the audience you are talking to and the role you have, whether you’re a coach or a sales leader, you must follow the same principles because you are responsible for two brands. First, you’re responsible for your personal brand, and second, you’re responsible for the brand that you are representing. 

There are three specific qualities in intrinsic branding: inner traits that show up in the outer world. 

  • Be original. 

Don’t be a karaoke singer or cover band. Be an original thinker, an original producer. 

  • Articulate well.

Learn how to tell your story eloquently, consistently, and compellingly. Do this without hesitation and insecurities. Share your story from the heart with conviction. 

  • Be vulnerable.

Do not give a packaged version of yourself. It is best to carry the lightest armor you can because when you do, you emanate something. 

All three traits help to make a brand a positive contagion. 

Originality 

Anyone in any position has an opportunity to take an inventory of what their true expertise is and what they are better at doing than anybody else. If you are good in sales, ask yourself how it manifests, what it looks like for you, and in what aspect of the selling process you are crushing it. 

These are difficult questions to answer because most times, what comes easily to us doesn’t get much value. But if you are able to tune into the things that you are good at and able to share those with people, you’ll have the opportunity to be an original thinker and brand yourself as a thought leader in whatever sliver of space that is. 

Make sure that you share the tips that you have and give feedback to people who are open to it. You begin to build your brand by being a thought leader when you differentiate yourself in those conversations. 

Fear

Many feel apprehensive in speaking and expressing their original self because of two reasons: the fear of becoming an over-promoter and the social emphasis on humility. 

There is a fear of overdoing things and the feeling of bombarding people with content they don’t really need. But sharing is a moral obligation if the content is good and you are producing something that is helpful for the community. 

The second one is humility. 

While humility is a beautiful trait, it is unfortunately a terrible brand strategy because you have to suspend the idea that you’re not special. 

Conditioning

From a very early age, we are conditioned to put the emphasis on other people and not on ourselves. People who talk about themselves are looked down upon. 

But the truth is you have a voice and you have a message. You have something that transcends the product or service that you are selling, and you have a piece of yourself to offer to the world. You can’t do these things if you choose the road of humility. 

As a sales rep, it is your role to share your gifts with the world, and the way people can access your gifts is through your products and services. 

Consistent authenticity 

Authenticity comes from knowing who you are and what you can do. It stems from acceptance and conviction. When you discover who you are, the next thing you need to master is how to achieve consistency. 

Austin Kleone mentioned in his book Steal Like an Artist that you need to steal from the people who inspire you instead of copying them. 

Brene Brown is a great example. She built her brand by investigating what she found interesting and curious about the world. She shares what she learns and talks openly about it, and she is authentic and consistent in what she does. 

The same is true for Gary V. Many would say he is  “too much” but that’s the way he builds his brand. He shows up, answers questions, and talks a lot. But still, he is being paid for it because he is sharing something that he is good at. If you’re going to hold yourself accountable to something, hold yourself accountable to authenticity.

Inspiration

The TSE brand prides itself on being personal to our clients. Even now with thousands of people listening to our podcasts, we make it a goal to be the same people we were before. When people connect with us on LinkedIn, we try to communicate with them and send something personal.  

In Justin’s assessment, The Sales Evangelist brand strives to be inspirational before it’s informational. As it turns out,  peoples’ brains are full of information, but there’s always room for inspiration. People welcome inspiration because it’s nourishment to the soul. 

Listen to your audience 

Listen to your audience. People often talk about the ideal market in terms of sales but we don’t like that language. We favor the ideal audience and what you need to do with an audience is to take in their feedback. Your audience can give you energy and you can respond to that. It will help you hold things a little bit longer and move through things a bit quicker. 

Salespeople must be responsive to the audience from an emotional standpoint. You don’t do this by sending out surveys every other day. You do this by asking them questions, listening to them, and incorporating the things they said through your work. 

Articulate 

When you have something to say, you need to say it well, which means you need to write and speak with a level of excellence. Building a great authentic brand requires one to both write and speak well because it’s the only way that the audience can access you. You need to find a balance. 

You can make a system where you go out, do things, and speak. Learn how to produce interesting and consumable content. Learn how to create an explanation that’s going to incite curiosity and interest to engage people in conversation. 

It is important to simplify your message and infuse energy and emotion as much as possible. It’s got to have the unexpected quality as well. 

Simple, unexpected, and emotional are the three ingredients in making interesting content that people would be inclined to share it to the world. 

This is what articulation is and it comes from practice. It is a type of discipline. The skill of articulating well isn’t a natural ability; it’s a product of frequent practicing. 

Vulnerability 

You have to push back against several thousand years of biological and social programming to become a great brand. Branding is far more about conviction. It comes from having an open front and strong back, according to Brene Brown. It is important to show your audience a little bit of the behind-the-scenes. Vulnerability means sharing your true self to the world. It is about being honest and telling people how you are doing or what you are doing. 

Many find this challenging, however, and the line between what’s private and what’s public is difficult to cross. 

Being vulnerable means sharing parts of the journey: the little lessons and failures along the way and opening yourself up to feedback. Contrary to what many think, vulnerability isn’t about confessing everything. It’s about showing your client that you are human and that you are relatable. 

Michael Jordan failed so often that he was cut from his team, but he was able to push through, and that made him more human. It made him relatable and people have hope because of his story. They believe that they can do it, too. 

Show the mess a little bit without being too self-deprecating. Vulnerability means a lot of different things but for us; it’s a behavior and an action. 

Who you are as a brand

Set aside time to dive into who you are as a brand. Ask some thought-provoking questions and do the deep work with the intention of translating that into your action. Remember that you are your first client. It is important to practice self-care and to take care of the energy centers of physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health. 

Be better so that everyone around you benefits. The world needs the best version of you, not a worn-out version of you. There is no better brand than vibrancy, and vibrancy comes from nourishment. 

“Creating an Authentic Personal Brand” episode resources 

Check out rootandriver.com for resources on how to create an authentic personal brand. Connect with Emily Soccorsy and Justin Foster on LinkedIn.

Sales Management Simplified by Mike Weinberg is a great book that teaches simple concepts about sales leadership. Check it out and tell me what chapter of the book you liked the most. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Audible, your one-stop shop for thousands of books across genres. Go ahead and check out audibletrial.com/tse to get a free book and to enjoy the 30-day free trial. 

It’s also brought to you in part by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a helpful course for sales leaders and sales reps in finding better prospects, having more meaningful conversations, and knowing how to ask the most powerful questions to close deals. Don’t miss the opportunity of becoming a sales savvy and check out the program. The first two episodes are absolutely free. Visit thesalesevangelist.com/freecourse to find more information about the program. 

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Jaron Rice, Marketing, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1149: The Power of “Cause Marketing”

Jaron Rice, Marketing, The Sales EvangelistSupporting a cause as part of your business model can help you establish your brand and create a personality for your company, and “cause marketing” can draw customers who want to do business with you. 

Cause-based marketing stems from a business or a business owner that champions a cause that they believe helps with their personal branding as well as the company’s brand. It benefits a specific cause while it generates more business for the company. 

Jaron Rice is the founder of Magothy Payments, Maryland’s highest-rated merchant services provider. He helps businesses become more profitable by lowering their costs of credit card acceptance and helps organizations save money on payment processing. 

Payment processing

Businesses have to pay fees in order to accept payments from their clients. The transaction is called an interchange and it’s set by the card brands: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. The fees are paid to the issuing banks and then there are dues and assessments that are paid to the card brand. 

At the same time, there are merchant service providers that sell similar services. A typical merchant services agreement is a three-year contract that has a $495 cancellation fee. Also built into that contract are canceling penalties called liquidated damages. In effect, the merchant services provider is arguing that if the business takes their processing volume somewhere else, the bank or merchant services provider will suffer financial harm. The fee generally amounts to about $150 a month for the remaining months in the contract. 

Jaron often interacts with small businesses and discovers that he can save them about $200 a month with his services. For a main street business, that’s a substantial savings unless the cost of breaking the contract will be $4,000. At that point, it isn’t worth switching providers.

Unfortunately, these fees aren’t usually disclosed on the contract agreements. 

Terms and services

Penalties present a major issue for the industry because the typical contract is about three pages long. On the last page of that contract, companies often include a URL that links to a 75-page PDF document full of clauses and information about cancellation fees. These fees aren’t actually presented to the merchant at the time of signing. 

Worse yet, some companies require you to have an account with them before they allow you to view the document. These companies have created a shell game that keeps businesses locked into unwieldy contracts for years. 

Then, to make matters worse, there’s a small 30-day window at the end of the contract during which companies can cancel their existing agreement in writing. If they don’t, the contract automatically renews. 

Bad reputation

Jaron discovered upon engaging with this industry that it has a bad reputation. He brought on a small hobby shop business as a client, and at the time they signed a contract, he asked whether the owner had any outstanding contracts or cancellation fees for its payment processing. The owner assured him that he was 4 and a half years into a three-year contract, so he was good. 

The owner signed a month-to-month contract with Jaron, and 9 months later he contacted Jaron to ask about a $179 charge on his bank statement. 

The charge originated from a merchant services provider, but the identification number didn’t match Jaron’s company. It turns out the previous company had been charging him $179 a month for the previous 9 months despite the fact that he sent a certified letter canceling the service. 

When the owner called the company about the charges, the representative said that they were charging him $179 a month because the company figured he would rather pay that than the $2,400 plus cancellation fees that were spelled out in his contract. Because he hadn’t canceled his contract, it automatically renewed. 

The next day, the company randomly took $600 from his account. 

Addressing the problem

He went to his bank to find out what recourse he had. The bank advised him that they could block the withdrawals for a period of six months, but that on the 7th month, the provider was likely to try to take the previous six months’ worth of charges all at once. The bank advised closing his account and opening a new one. This was a business owner who had a family to support and employees who worked for him.

Jaron recognized immediately that something needed to be done. About a year later, he connected with a business owner who ran a cigar shop. The two signed an agreement to work together and then spent some time talking about the horrors of payment processing. Jaron mentioned that he wished he could write a law to make these kinds of conduct illegal, and his new client mentioned that he was a state delegate. 

The two generated an idea for a piece of legislation that would protect the small business owners in Maryland from the predatory bank practices of banks and merchant services providers. On the third attempt, the bill passed unanimously and was signed into law. 

Protecting businesses

The legislation requires that the length of the agreement, the cancellation fees, the liquidated damages, and the penalties associated with canceling the agreement must be conspicuously displayed on the contract and that each term be initialed.

The legislation also caps the fees for terminating an agreement at $500 and is applicable to businesses that have less than 50 employees and that are doing less than $2 million a year in credit card volume. This includes about 98 percent of Jaron’s clients. 

The law also stipulates that if the contract automatically renews, the business cannot be charged fees or penalties, which gives Maryland businesses a chance to shop for services. It forces companies in that space to be customer-focused. 

Customer service

One of the problems that emerged was the reality that companies that had businesses locked into contracts weren’t motivated to service the accounts properly. Stories exist of businesses who called seeking assistance and were put on hold indefinitely. 

They provide no guarantees on rates or pricing, so they can change your rates at any time. 

The new legislation will make it easier for businesses to find services elsewhere. It’s forcing the entire industry to focus on servicing accounts and keeping customers happy. 

Jaron acknowledges that many in his industry oppose this change, but it’s typically only those who are only focused on profit. Those who want to establish long-term relationships with their clients and do things the right way have incentive to work to keep clients. 

Championing a cause

He didn’t tackle this cause so he could make more money. He did it because it was the right thing to do. In the end, though, his company is benefiting financially from the move. He is working with the Better Business Bureau and the chambers of commerce to host lunch and learns to help businesses learn their rights under the legislation. 

The bill has teeth and consequences, but businesses must report the conduct. In order to report them, businesses must understand the protections of the law. 

In the end, businesses understand that Jaron went to bat for them, and now many of them want to work for him. 

Other opportunities exist for businesses who want to engage in this kind of service to their own industries. The cause your businesses chooses will depend on your individual situation.

Get involved

Join your local organizations and learn who the delegates are. Many of them are seeking opportunities to help their constituents, so if you have an idea that makes sense, they’ll be willing to get involved. These people have teams who understand how to accomplish these things. 

One of Jaron’s clients started a charity called Burgers and Bands to benefit suicide prevention. Because people near to her have struggled with suicidal thoughts and attempts, the issue has touched her life. As a result, she helps raise money for the cause. 

Aside from the good work she is doing in the community, businesses recognize her as a mom and a concerned citizen rather than simply as a business owner trying to sell them something.

The effort must be genuine, though, or people will recognize it as a fake. 

Company identity

Explore the idea of cause marketing as a way to help build your company’s identity. It helps establish your personal brand and your company’s personality. It reveals how your personality translates into leadership within your company. Your cause is a reflection of who you are, and it helps customers see the human side of the business. 

Jaron has had customers whose situations didn’t lend themselves to switching companies except that they were so eager to work with him they settled for deals in which all they asked of him was the ability to match their current deal. He said that doesn’t happen unless they understand your vision and the causes that you stand behind.

Be yourself. It sounds cliche but Jaron realized that most of his clients are laid-back, down-to-earth, Main Street business owners who didn’t care that he didn’t wear a suit to work every day. Be genuine and true to yourself. 

“Cause Marketing” episode resources 

You can connect with Jaron at his website, www.magothy.biz or find him at LinkedIn. You can learn more about the bill specifically at www.MarylandHB777.com.

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program or free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. 

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using – Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

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Corey Blake, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, BYU-Hawaii

TSE 1120: How To Build a Brand Online and Leverage it for Rapid Sales Growth

Corey Blake, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, BYU-Hawaii

Every sales professional and entrepreneur needs a profitable brand, and the key is to build a brand online and leverage it for rapid sales growth.

Corey Blake is the CEO at MWI, an international digital marketing agency. His background is in sales and business development and he has managed great sales teams over the years.

Validate your brand

When it comes to building a brand and then leveraging it for growth, you must begin by validating your brand. You basically want to turn off any sirens that the potential customer has about you as a seller.

We all know that a stigma exists around sellers, and you likely even experience it when someone gets on the phone with you to sell you something, despite the fact that you’re in sales yourself.

The biggest challenge often originates from the fact that we build great brands and we know we have value to offer, but we don’t know how to convince people to pay for it. How you validate your brand is critical in that process.

It’s simply legitimizing your brand, service, or product. You must find a third party or another way to validate it. You could share that your brand has been featured on certain sites or that you’ve been invited to certain events.

When you’re starting out, go to your customer. Offer to give a customer your product or service in exchange for their use of it. Explain that you think it will make his life better and that you’d like to ask for his testimonial.

Now you’ve got validation and social proof to use in your next sales conversation.

Personal confidence

Seeing someone use your product provides you, as the seller, a certain amount of confidence as well.

If you prefer, you can create great case studies or build a social media presence that includes amazing content. For MWI, for example, they can validate themselves as great content creators by creating great content.

As a bonus, TSE has used those product giveaways as an opportunity to gain feedback during our initial launches so we can figure out where we need to tweak our training or our products. It also helps us build a case study.

Through all of this, you’ll build your own excitement and you’ll develop even more confidence, which is the key to success. Begin your entrepreneur journey by selling yourself on the value you’re providing to the world.

Linking value

Once you’ve established confidence in your value, use your marketing to communicate it to your potential customers. It’s not enough to be sold on your own value, but you must find someone else who is sold on your value as well.

Find a publication that will tell its audience how legit you are.

Once you’ve built this validation, you’ll have an amazing ability to sell your product or service with exclusivity. You’ll find yourself in the driver’s seat and gives you leverage in your communication and makes your sale more exclusive.

If you establish exclusivity, you almost won’t have to sell your customers as much. You’ll simply have to educate them and move them along the sales process. Exclusivity is priceless.

Finding balance

No one wants to be perceived as the typical used car salesman. Don’t come across as gimmicky, selfish, or ignorant. Instead, strive for confident, competent, professional, and controlled. There’s a balance to it.

Assume your customer has never heard of your validation and mention it to him. Within the first 20 seconds, provide that validation to establish confidence and control. Find a way to organically share it without being perceived as cocky.

The alarms about whether you’re legit will shut down. Then you can offer the idea that you only work with a certain kind of brand, and that allows you to operate with a lot more control.

Close early, close often

Make sure you’re asking for the business. Develop specific strategies to close deals. Beautiful branding and validation won’t matter if you can’t close. Consistently think strategically about how you’ll move this sale to the place you want it.

Provide the customer with the right information and the right details so that she’ll be ready to close.

Closing amounts to more than the way you speak, the speed of your speech, and the tone of your voice. These things do constantly lead to close, but you have to figure out how to move to the specific points along the process.

Many sellers are fearful of the conversion side so they hold off too long. Or they get anxious and they ask for the sale way too soon. If you follow the process, that’s where you’ll see the difference.

Sales process

You can have all the right components in place, but without a repeatable sales process, you’ll struggle to support your sales. If your process isn’t organized in a way that leads to close at all times, you won’t succeed.

Determine how to leverage all the components you’ve gathered to move your customers toward a deal. Leverage your value, your validation, your exclusivity, and your communication to ask for the business.

Corey’s goal at the end of the sales process is to structure the process so that the _customer_ asks for the next steps without him having to sell it. That’s when you know you’ve hit the nail on the head.

Organizing your tools

Corey worked with James Carberry at Sweetfish Media to help him set up a process of validation. James already had significant validation because he had a large number of podcasts with great guests and he writes for large publications. They simply had to find a way to organize the validation.

In their case, all the tools were sitting there waiting to be used.

Focus on providing real value. Sell yourself on the value you’re providing to individuals and industry. When you love what you’re doing and you aren’t simply trying to make a buck, people will want to be part of that.

Good businesses are built on products that will make a difference. It doesn’t have to be an altruistic notion like ending world hunger. We would all benefit if we could go to work every day and provide value that you believe in to everyone else.

“Build a Brand Online and Leverage It for Rapid Sales Growth” episode resources

You can connect with Corey at Corey@mwi.com. Mention that you heard me on this podcast. You can also find him on LinkedIn @Corey Blake.

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump. If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

Tools for sellers

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Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

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Lindsay Pedersen, Forging an Ironclad Brand

TSE 1101: Forging An Ironclad Brand

 

lindsay-pedersen-author-photoYour brand tells your story when you’re not in the room, and today Lindsay Pedersen shares tips for forging an ironclad brand with sales reps, entrepreneurs, and other business professionals. 

Lindsay is a brand strategist who helps professionals identify the single idea that their business stands for. She’s passionate about working with leaders to harness the power of brand every day. 

Branding

Brand is what you stand for in the mind of your audience. If your audience is a group of customers, it’s the thing you mean to your customers. If it’s future employers, it’s what you mean to them. It’s a crystallized meaning of what you uniquely bring to your audience. 

When you spray a bunch of ideas out, it’s harder for your audience to understand. It’s in our interest for our audience to be able to understand because they’ll be more like to remember us, like us, and talk about us. 

It’s up to us to make it easy by distilling it for them.

Empathy

We want to empathize and understand what it’s like to be our customer. You and your company are not the center of the universe for that customer. They have many other things going on besides your value proposition. 

When you crystallize it into something specific, it uses their worldview rather than their worldview. It makes it easier for them to buy what you’re selling.

Sometimes as businesses, we forget that we’re not selling to a machine or an inanimate object. We’re selling to humans with joys, sorrows, scarcities, worries, and pride. When they feel seen they are more likely to bond with you and want to do business with you. 

Deconstructing brand

One of Lindsay’s motives for writing her book was people’s widely varying definitions of brand. For some people, it’s the name of the business. For others, it’s the logo. Others assume it’s related to marketing budget or television advertising.

 She concluded that the concept was becoming problematic, and she wanted to demystify it. 

There’s some merit to all of those ideas, but she needed to bust the myths about what brand isn’t. Otherwise, we’ll keep having puzzling conversations where people aren’t speaking the same language. 

9 Criteria of ironclad brand

Not all brand is created equally. You have a brand whether you deliberately created it or allowed it to be passively created. 

If you aren’t actively choosing the meaning, you won’t have the brand position you want to have.

  1. A brand needs to be big enough to matter to your customer.
  2. A brand must be narrow enough that you own it. 
  3. Your brand must be asymmetrical so it uses your lopsided advantage to position you with your customer. 
  4.  Your brand must be empathetic enough to address a deeply relevant human need. 
  5. It must be optimally distinct so it strikes a balance between being a familiar promise while also being novel. 
  6. It’s a balance between functional and emotional so that it’s rationally meaningful to your customer but also emotionally resonant. 
  7. Your brand must be a sharp-edged promise that is simple and singular. 
  8. It must have teeth and be demonstrably true. 
  9. Your brand must deliver on time, consistently, every time. 

Vision

When you think of sharp objects as they relate to your vision, those things are easier to see. Your eyes have to do less work. 

Ease is good because when you ask less of your audience they are more likely to learn and remember. An example of this is the fact that people around the world associate the Volvo brand with safety. Same thing with Prius, because people think of fuel-efficient cars. 

Buick doesn’t have this sharp edge in its branding. If you’re the CEO of Buick, how do you feel when your audience doesn’t know what your brand means? Who even is the audience?

The Buick salespeople have to do much more work than the Volvo or Prius salespeople. 

Wide net

We assume that if we can keep the door open without narrowing our message to a target customer that we’ll appeal to everyone. The reality is that it’s an illusion of an opportunity. 

The more an entity puts a stake in the ground, the more authentic they are perceived to be. Customers won’t trust companies who won’t take a stand on anything. 

People respect you more when you demonstrate what you’re optimizing for. 

The other thing is that developing a specific message might turn away the people you shouldn’t be serving anyway, but that’s ok because it’s time and money you could devote to the people who are your target customers. 

Mystique

Remove the mystique of branding. You don’t have to have a good handle on branding in order to intentionally craft your own brand. 

Choose with crystal clarity who your target customer is, but don’t just rely on demographic observations. What are they like? What keeps them up at night? What do they value in life? 

This doesn’t mean you don’t sell to other people. It just means that you optimize with humility on your way to forging an ironclad brand. 

“Forging An Ironclad Brand” episode resources

Grab a copy of Lindsay’s book Forging An Ironclad Brand. She also has a free giveaway on www.ironcladbrandstrategy.com. You can grab the workbook that Lindsay adapted from her book. It’s a supplement that provides a step-by-step workbook-style guide to building your own brand strategy. 

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Stephen A. Hart, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Marketing, FSMSDC

TSE 1091: Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing

Stephen A. Hart, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Marketing, FSMSDC

When you’re looking to grow your business or your brand, it’s important that you recognize the three things small businesses get wrong when marketing.

We’re at the Florida State Minority Development Council expo visiting with my friend Stephen A. Hart. He’s a brand alignment strategist who helps entrepreneurs grow an amazing brand that is authentic, relatable, and profitable.

Mistake #1: Overlooking messaging

Many people hear the word branding and they think of logos or designs. But pretty websites don’t sell things. Words do.

People get unnecessarily caught up on design but what they need to focus on is clear messaging. You have to clarify your message so that customers will listen.

Be deliberate about articulating what you do. In order to do that, you must understand who you’re serving.

Too many people think they are serving everyone with their product or service but that isn’t the case.

If I’m speaking to grandma and I’m speaking to my niece, we’re not having the same conversation. The language is different.

If you understand that you’re speaking to a particular group of people, there is a language that connects to that person. When you understand their pain points and their demographics, you can communicate your message about how your product or service solves a problem.

Dialing in

Stephen recalled a realtor who focused on selling to millennials and young couples. That’s who she was serving, but her message didn’t reach those people. She was trying to serve everyone.

Dial your message in. Understand who you’re truly serving. When you do, your message doesn’t have to be pitchy about your product or service. Your content can create a connection between you and your community.

Then your community will share it with others in the space.

Messaging isn’t a static process. It’s dynamic. You’ll constantly be optimizing your message.

Your brain

We lack trust in those we connect and do business with.

Understand that your brain is trying to survive and thrive. Within that, there are three things it’s trying to accomplish.

  1. You want to make money or save money.
  2. You want to gain status.
  3. You want to associate with a tribe.

Your brain is also trying to conserve calories. So if your website or your collateral is too busy, your audience will tune it out.

For example, how many emails do you receive in a day? Most of them get deleted because the messaging didn’t appeal to you.

It isn’t a design or branding that gets your attention. It’s the message.

Mistake #2: Neglecting web presence

Your website is your digital home, and first impressions last. It allows you to redirect traffic to your products or services or other online avenues.

Studies show that 57 percent of people are afraid to recommend a business because of its website.

Decisions are emotional so if your website doesn’t inspire confidence, you won’t be able to convert the people who show up there.

You must take care of your website, and specifically your home page. Get a good solid web design.

Mistake #3: Lacking content

You must have a presence on social media specifically for businesses. You also have to be on LinkedIn.

Sharing content on LinkedIn generates so much more organic traffic than other platforms. It’s a business-related social channel. As result, the income and quality of the people you’re engaging with there.

There are more than 9 billion impressions on LinkedIn every week, which amounts to 468 billion impressions annually. Of those, only about 3 million users are actually sharing content, which means there’s a lot of room available. And it’s all free.

Don’t worry as much about buying ads on Facebook. Worry about who your audience is. Realize, too, that about 98 percent of your leads will come from LinkedIn.

Video and long-form content are your friends on LinkedIn. Write longer posts. The sweet spot is 1,900.

Also write how-to and list posts to bring awareness to your brand.

Be creative

If no one is looking at your business, you’ll never thrive. You must create content of value and place it where the customers are. Put it in front of their eyeballs where they can’t dismiss it.

Have a solid brand presence online. Avoid the three things small businesses get wrong when marketing.

Branding course

Stephen created an online course called Brand You Academy that allows him to serve people and help with branding. It’s a 6-week online course that walks people through Stephen’s 15-year experience in branding.

When people Google you in 2019, whatever appears in your result will either leave people more or less inclined to do business with you.

People who sign up for the course are getting lifetime access to the course.

You can also connect with Stephen on his website and everywhere on social at Stephen A. Hart.

Isolation

The wisdom and the knowledge you gain from relationships is invaluable.

The Florida State Minority Development Council is here to help you grow your business. Your goal is to make money, so you must align yourself with other people who understand what you’re trying to do.

“Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing” episode resources

You can connect with Stephen at his website and everywhere on social @Stephen A Hart. You can connect with the Florida State Minority Development Council for more information about the council and its offerings.

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Social Selling, Personal Brand, Andy Storch, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1071: Building a Personal Brand, Giving value, Connecting with Others

Social Selling, Personal Brand, Andy Storch, The Sales EvangelistSmart sellers can make social media work for them by building a personal brand, giving value, connecting with others, and growing their business.

Andy Storch is a consultant and coach who is always learning new things about sales and who loves the freedom that selling provides. Though he says he still has a lot to learn, he has an advantage over many others because he’s always trying new things.

Because he has the confidence to experiment and discover what works and what doesn’t, he has a leg up on a lot of other people.

Personal branding

Whether you’re selling services or products, there are very few things that absolutely distinguish your offerings from other people’s. In fact, customers can always find an alternative.

In B2B especially, they are buying you. They want to do business with you.

Relationships are so important for sellers which is why it’s more important than ever to develop a personal brand. You must let people know who you are and create authority.

To that end, Andy uses social media to let people know who he is, to create authority, to share knowledge, and to build authority.

Attracting people

As sellers, we initially think we want to get on a call with everybody, but there are a lot of people we just won’t gel with. Social media attracts people who want to work with us and deflects others.

In an era where everyone is creating content of some kind, we have to put our own content out there in order to build our authority.

Given the amount of content that already exists, it’s tempting to wonder why yours matters. Even if you’re regurgitating information you learned from someone else, put your own spin on it.

For some, it’s blogging. Others use podcasting or YouTube. It depends on your style and where your clients are.

Andy points to podcaster Chris Ducker and his business Youpreneur. In his book Rise of the Youpreneur, Chris says that if you build a personal brand, it’s the last brand business you’ll ever need to build because you can take it with you and evolve it into any kind of business.

Five years from now, you may do completely different work, but if you’ve built a brand and a following, people will go with you.

Building a brand

Your personal brand is what you’re known for. Having your own website and your own colors is the advanced part of it.

Are you known for being knowledgeable, trustworthy, and someone that people want to learn from? Andy posts on social media with the goal of helping his friends discover the things that have previously worked for him.

They tell him that he inspires them, and he has created a personal brand as someone who is an achiever, who helps and inspires other people.

You want to be known as someone knowledgeable and trustworthy at the end of the day.

People who need it

Think of your content as giving information to a friend. You are putting it out there for those people who need it and want it at that time, not for people who don’t.

Don’t worry about the judgment from people that your content isn’t for. Most people are rooting for you. Even if the content isn’t for them, they’ll just scroll on by.

Action steps

Andy’s primary business is B2B so he spends most of his time on LinkedIn. When he moved to this business 18 months ago he committed to posting every weekday. Over time he has gained some traction there, though it’s a tough platform to engage on. Until you have a really good following of people, it’s tough to get likes and comments.

Start by finding an engagement group where people are in a group together commenting on each other’s stuff. Be careful with this, though, because if you join multiple groups it can be tough to keep up.

If you find one, it will help you build your following and gain exposure. It doesn’t directly turn into sales, but it keeps him top of mind for people.

You don’t know who’s on there and who’s seeing your content. Don’t put content out just for the sake of doing so, but find ways to be valuable to the people who follow you.

Don’t assume you’ll start generating sales right away. You’re serving people, you’re building a brand, and long-term it will work out for you.

Logistics

The best practice is to schedule content, but Andy calls himself a live-in-the-moment kind of guy who decides each day what to post. He alternates between providing content that targets his ideal clients and general content that would be helpful for larger numbers of people.

His target clients are less than 10 percent of his overall network, so sometimes he wants to speak directly to them, but sometimes he wants to engage a larger group.

Share experiences

Think back to your own experiences and knowledge. Can you turn those into posts or stories that you can tell Would you rather write or speak?

You’ve got to put it out there are hit publish. You won’t get much response in the beginning but you’ve got to keep doing it.

When you have a fear of judgment or criticism, it grows as you let it fester. The more you take action, just like with cold calling, you build more experience so it becomes less scary.

Podcasting

Andy has two podcasts: The Andy Storch Show and The Talent Development Hotseat. He uses the latter to land meetings with target clients who otherwise wouldn’t meet with him, and it’s working beautifully.

Everyone loves to tell their own story and they love attention. Many people don’t know how to do that because they aren’t going to start their own podcasts. Andy gives them a way to share their stories and experiences.

The same people who failed to accept sales meetings with Andy suddenly accepted the offer to appear on his podcast. He’s working to develop personal relationships with these people.

These people didn’t see a compelling reason to interact with him before they discovered his platform.

The added benefit is that he’s growing his authority and building relationships.

Serve don’t sell

Resist the temptation to include lots of calls-to-action and links. Provide value. They want to know that you’re trustworthy and that you have interesting things to say.

“Building a Personal Brand” episode resources

You can connect with Andy at his website, www.andystorch.com, and on LinkedIn. You can also check out his two podcasts: The Andy Storch Show and The Talent Development Hotseat.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, Take Charge, Creative, Outreach

TSE 824: Sales From The Street: “Take Matters Into Your Own Hands”

Donald Kelly, Take Charge, Creative, Outreach

The very best thing you can do for your sales pipeline is to get your content in front of your prospect even before they need it. The most effective way to do that is to take matters into your own hands and utilize social selling to reach your prospects.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re sharing our own story of social selling and why we fought so hard to employ it. Like every episode of Sales From the Street, you’ll hear about the struggle, how we overcame it, and what the results were.

Resistance to social selling

At one of my previous companies, a coworker and I recognized the power of social media for sales professionals who were trying to reach prospects. What we noticed, though, was that our leaders weren’t on board with the idea.

In the early days of LinkedIn, management assumed that if you were on LinkedIn, you were looking for other jobs. Since then, the platform has transformed into a place where sellers can build relationships and find opportunities.

The truth is that very often your prospects don’t know who you are; and being the best-kept secret should never be your goal.

Your ideal customers need to know who you are, because they know who your competitors are.

The marketing department didn’t like the idea. They said any social selling would have to be consistent and uniform. (Translation: they didn’t like the lack of control.) They recognized that we should be doing something, but no one wanted to implement change.

Our markets were shrinking and our opportunities were dying.

Your own pie

My coworker and I offered to help write content so it didn’t all fall to marketing. Although everyone acknowledged the need for social selling, no one wanted to let us have a piece of the pie.

So my coworker and I created our own pie.

We created a blog and started generating content about our product. We shared the content with our prospects in the form of blog posts.

The important thing is that we took control of the problem and addressed it ourselves. We never did close lots of deals as a result of it, and we didn’t make millions, it helped us realize the need to embrace social selling.

I’ve done the same thing with The Sales Evangelist, using my podcast as a means to connect with people. Early on, I noticed that one of my prospects had been interviewed for a pretty popular magazine. I asked him to appear on the podcast, and he eventually introduced me to other people.

Your own brand

Every seller must have his own brand online, even if it’s only your LinkedIn or Twitter pages. If you’re in the healthcare space, tailor your accounts to that industry.

Create content that helps you connect with your prospects, whether it’s a blog or a podcast or something different.

Just like there are many possible routes that will get you from New York to Los Angeles, there are many ways to utilize social selling to reach your audience.

Don’t be a one-trick pony, and don’t abandon the things you’re already doing. Simply add social selling to your process to help you reach your audience more quickly and efficiently.

Episode resources

If you haven’t already established your own brand, personal brand strategist Stephen Hart specializes in helping service-based professionals and entrepreneurs build their own personal brand.

Successful sellers find ways to think outside the box, because prospects want you to lead them rather than sell to them.

This is why I’ve recommended Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen, brought to you by our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a blueprint for sellers, giving you a first-hand look at what buyers want and the things they hate. Click here for an excerpt of the book.

Check out the Video Jungle Podcast to hear best practices for video and film production and to learn the art of selling your product with video. The podcast is part of our newly-launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Branding, Fabian Geyrhalter , Personality, Story Selling

TSE 768: How To Develop An Effective Brand Personality That Sells

Branding, Fabian Geyrhalter , Personality, Story SellingAs a business owner, you have to create a business brand. A personality that resonates well with your customers.

During this episode, Fabian Geyrhalter shares with us just how to do so and offers some valuable insights from his book, Bigger Than This: How to Turn Any Venture Into an Admired Brand.

Listen and learn how you can improve your personal brand as a salesperson as well.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Fabian:

The Power of Brand Personality

It’s an understanding of who the company is as a brand. This defines the tone, the voice, the visuals around the brand. It has to be something brands can utilize and share with the sales team. You have to make sure it resonates well in the other end.

Why Build Personality in Your Brand

It makes a product easy to understand provided you also have to have a super simple message.

Keep it simple. Don’t complicate things. Otherwise, you lose sales.

Branding is not just fluff. You don’t want to bombard people with different stories when they don’t really understand what you’re doing and the value they get out of it. Nevertheless, brand stories can create extraordinary value.

How to Give Life to a Company

1. Figure out what is bigger than your product and why.

Why would the consumer deeply care about your offering? How do you tell a bigger, relatable, and sustainable story around an offering that can turn into a beloved brand?

2. Write a memorial speech for your brand.

Write down a speech 10-20 years in the future. Strange, sure. But you actually write it as if you would be in front of an audience, talk about what people are now missing.

This is not value-based but all about emotions and feelings.

Figure out the emotional parts that you can trigger with your product.

Examples of Traits in Building Brand Personality

  • Heritage
  • Radical transparency
  • Stories

Fabian’s Major Takeaway:

If you can find a way to connect with your target audience and you can tell a story that really resonates with them because it’s based on shared values, you don’t need a huge marketing budget. Branding is the new advertising. It’s about stories and people trust stories. So you need to gain their trust by telling the right stories and move products based on this.

Episode Resources:

Find out more about Fabian on www.biggerthanthis.com.

Bigger Than This: How to Turn Any Venture Into an Admired Brand by Fabian Geyrhalter

The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Morgan and Michael Lennington

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

Check out the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Stephen Hart, BrandYou, Donald Kelly, Branding and Sales

TSE 673: How to Craft a Personal Brand that “POPs” and Increases Sales

Stephen Hart, BrandYou, Donald Kelly, Branding and SalesDo you have a brand that pops? Well, there’s more to branding than just your logo. You have to have a brand that stands out from others. You have to have a strong brand presence. Learn more from our guest, Stephen A. Hart.

Stephen is a marketing genius, a successful entrepreneur, and he has done amazing things in the real estate industry. Now Steven works in marketing and is launching his own curses to help sales professionals and fellow entrepreneurs to create a brand that pops.

Stephen also has a podcast called Trailblazers.fm where he interviews and connects with successful black professionals as they share their insights and thoughts about their journey. Check out episode 1 where he had me as his guest.

Stephen has also been consulting individuals and businesses on how to really own their brand. His focuses mainly on personal branding, which is something many businesses and salespeople don’t have.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Stephen:

Branding is a promise you’re making to your customer. There are 5 key elements to help you define your personal brand.

Color

This is one of the first elements people perceive from your brand presence. Research proves that subconsciously, we make a judgment within 90 seconds based on color alone.

There are websites that can help you define your color palette. Document those specific colors. Pick two or three – one primary color and a couple accents you’re going to use for, say, the color of your buttons across your website.

Fonts

Select two to three fonts. One for the header, one for the body. Then you can carry it offline into your other marketing collateral.

Move and vibe

Logo

Look at either creating your personal brand or enhancing your social presence.

Voice or tone of your written content

Is it casual, professional, or energetic? What’s the vibe you’re setting for your brand?

Can you leave it to someone else or marketing to define your brand?

Your personal brand is a reflection of you. You have to have an involvement in it because it’s a part of you. You want a brand that reflects you. You want it to be an expression of who you are. It’s okay to pass it on to someone else but you still have to have some influence in that process.

Beyond Color and Tone

Color and tone are hard elements.

But in terms of the mood of your brand, this refers to the personality or the vibe of that brand. Be able to relate what that emotion and feeling is. Without any mood, your brand is dull and boring. Define that mood and vibe you want to set and it will change the emotion and the feeling and it can add interest to the story.

Create a visual mood board.

This is made up of a collection of images that conveys the emotion you want customers to feel when they look at them. Then this allows you to connect to prospects.

Ways to define color:

  • Use a hex code (a six-digit code that defines the exact color you want).
  • When using Canva or PowerPoint, you can actually select this color you want by typing in your hex number and the exact same color comes up for you across the different tools you’re using.

Strategies for growing your network on LinkedIn:

  1. Optimize your branding elements where there are visuals.

This includes your professional headshot, great cover artwork that ties into those brand elements.

  1. Be consistent across the board.

Show your font and colors in your background and profile so you exhibit professionalism once they visit your website and they see those same fonts and colors.

  1. Optimize your copy/text.

Be sure to optimize every single field and categories on LinkedIn. Be mindful of using keywords here as this is what’s going to help you to be found on LinkedIn when someone searching for a particular product, service, or skill.

  1. Focus on what keywords you want to be searched for.

Be sure to lay off the term, ex. digital branding, throughout your LinkedIn profile, so if someone is searching digital branding in LinkedIn search, you’re going to come up in the top results.

  1. Get connected to more people on LinkedIn.

The more people you connect to expands your 1st to 3rd level connections. This affects how you appear in search results as well. If they’re searching for digital branding, you’re going to come up higher than the person who’s their second or third level connection.

Stephen’s Major Takeaway:

Take care of telling a story online that you want people to see, hear, and feel. Address your personal branding. Begin working on creating a personal website. Make sure you optimize social channels you want to be known on and grow a following with. Take care of your personal brand and your digital footprint.

Episode Resources:

Trailblazers.fm

Stephen is hosting a free online workshop on personal branding. Visit www.stephenahart.com. Connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Check out our Facebook Group, The Sales Evangelizers

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

 

Branding, Brian Halley, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 504: Sales From The Street-“Branding Brings Sales”

Webinar, Branding, Donald Kelly, Brian HalleyDo you know how branding and sales can come together to increase your revenue? Today’s guest is the branding guru, Brian Halley. He and I are having a webinar to discuss how you can actually incorporate branding and sales into your process to help you increase your revenue.

Brian Halley has been doing graphic design for 20 years now. He launched the company Right Think where they help small businesses look world-class.

In this episode of Sales from the Street, Brian is going to share with us one of the major challenges he faced with sales and branding and how we was able to rise above it.

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Here are the highlights of my conversation with Brian:

Brian’s major challenge in selling and branding:

The Jelly Belly Experience

Brian got hired to do the international packaging for Jelly Belly Candy Company that comprised only 5% of the company’s total market while another guy was doing 95% of the branding for the national market. After much research and various design mock-ups, Brian’s work got noticed by the owner of the company and he ultimately got chosen to do worldwide rebranding for the next 6 months to a year.

Click Here To Register For The Webinar!

My takeaways from this episode:

  1. Sell yourself.
  2. Sell the business idea.
  3. Sell the branding package.

Golden nuggets of wisdom from Brian:

  1. Respect the people making the choices.
  2. Give different options for them to choose.

Brian and I are doing a webinar to talk more about this idea of marrying branding and sales so you can be successful.

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Episode Resources:

Check out Brian’s website on www.right-think.com and do a 30-minute conversation with him if you want to know more about branding.

Stop wasting time crafting the perfect proposals and check out PandaDoc. Create electronic proposals to your prospects. To get a quick demonstration and a free trial, go to www.thesalesevangelist.com/panda

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.

Donald Kelly, PandaDoc
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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, The BEST SALES Podcast, Regan Hillyer

TSE 401: How To Get Your Brand And Head Right To Sell

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, The BEST SALES Podcast, Regan HillyerAs sellers, we often come across the term “personal branding” but do you really understand its power and the impact it can have to your own success? How do you actually brand yourself in the most effective way possible?

That’s why I’m bringing in Regan Hillyer on the show today as she brings an enormous plate of good stuff onto the table so you can apply these things to your own sales process as we help you get started with creating your own solid personal brand.

Regan Hillyer is a coach, speaker, and an entrepreneur. She helps people unlock their mindset so they can have more success in their life and help them figure out their “why” and the message they want to share with the world, and ultimately how they can take that out, monetize that, and create a massive impact.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Regan:

How to get your mindset and head right:

  1. Your mindset is critical.

Everyone is selling constantly selling all the time. Because people are so used to people selling constantly, they make very fast decisions. You can lose someone in the sales process even in the first 3-5 seconds.

  1. If you’re not in the right energy, don’t pick up the phone.

Get yourself out of it and spend 5 minutes snapping out of that state. Do whatever you need to do in order to bring yourself back.

  1. Focus on your intention.

Know your intention for the call, usually, it’s adding massive value and help someone shift through the next level.

  1. Physically change your body.

Don’t slump down on your chair. Pick yourself up. Move yourself around and get some energy physically into your body.

  1. Know that you’re in control.

You’re in control of everything that shows up in your life, your own emotional state, and your mindset. So you’re in control of the sale. Take responsibility for it. There’s nobody else to blame here but you.

About Regan’s book, Be Your Brand:

Why a book on branding:

  • Realizing that people weren’t buying her product or service but they were buying her
  • Coming from the space of branding yourself, unlocking your true message, and putting it out into the world

Your first steps to be your own brand:

  • Figure out your message.
  • What do you stand for and believe in?
  • What do you have to share?
  • Recognize that you can actually monetize this and live into this space on a daily basis and create a massive impact.

 

What if you don’t have a product or service?

  1. Don’t over complicate things that you have to invent something new. People buy you at the end of the day.
  2. Show up with whatever you want to sell and put it out there as long as it’s adding value and solving a problem.
  3. Find things that are in alignment with what you believe and your core messaging and what you stand for. (Ex. Affiliate products)

How to maintain your own identity if you’re selling for a large company:

  • You have to bring you to the table. People buy you.
  • Get into the space where you trust and know that you can just show up as you.
  • People like people like themselves. The better you are at building rapport with someone and building a connection, they’d do anything for you if you can become their best friend in the moment.

How to connect on a bestfriend level:

  1. Be human in your call.

Talk on a human level. Talk about something that’s going to matter to them as an individual.

  1. It’s not about what you say but how you say it.

Connect in a way where your prospects like to be communicated to. Match them on their pace and tonality. You have to do this in the first 3-5 seconds because that’s where they’re going to unconsciously decide if they like you because you understand them.

  1. Focus your intention entirely on serving them.

People feel when your intuition is off. They might not know why they feel that way, but something unconsciously and energetically doesn’t feel right and they won’t take the next step.

Strategies to accelerate the growth of your brand:

  1. Be clear on what you’re aiming for.

Make a decision that this is what you want to do. Be clear on what you actually really want. Focus on your goal and don’t just be aimlessly selling. Then break down your goals from yearly to monthly to weekly and to daily actions.

  1. Look at how you can increase your sales and level of customers without bringing in more of your personal time.

Ex. Leveraging online products, building a team

  1. Tune your focus into how you can serve your client.

Once you’ve streamlined your goals into the daily actions you need to take realize your goals, focus now on setting that intention of how you can really serve others.

The idea of creating an obsessed tribe with focus on loving them daily:

When you build from this space, where you get a product or service and people will buy it regardless of the price or the product itself because they’re so immersed in the vision and who you are as a person and as a brand that they simply want to be a part of it.

Realize that everyone wants to belong. They want to be part of something, want to be seen, and want to be heard. They’re also looking for a leader. Step up and provide that space for them to do that and show up constantly. Give and give and give and look after them. Add value. The more you give, the more flows back into your business.

Regan’s Major Takeaway:

Everyone is in sales. So realize that sales is not a crazy thing but a natural human thing so build trust and rapport with someone. Add value to them and show them a natural next step. Don’t over complicate it. Go back to basics. Focus on being human and operate from that space.

Episode Resources:

Check out Regan’s book Be Your Brand. Go to www.ReganHillyer.com

Please support us in our Indiegogo campaign, a movement to inspire others to Do Big Things. Simply go to www.DoBigThings.net.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Branding, Marketing, Content, Building Value

TSE 388: Every Seller Needs To Know Their Brand Identity

Branding, Marketing, Content, Building Value As a seller or an entrepreneur, having your own brand identity is paramount to your success. Today’s guest, Gregory Diehl, is the author of the book Brand Identity Breakthrough which is a great read about understanding who you are, why you’re doing what you’re doing, and how to get people to care about it in a more meaningful way.

At age 18, Gregory started traveling the world where he had to learn about salesmanship so he can fend for himself. His vast experience along with his passion for education is what led him to create his own written masterpiece in the hope of helping other people discover their own brand identity so they too can empower themselves to not only become successful but also to be different from what everybody else is doing.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Gregory:

Greg’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer

The concepts behind writing a book about branding:

  • Familiarity and empowerment
  • Clarity on blind spots and understanding the human side of it all

Strategies for creating a powerful brand identity:

  1. Convey your message in the form of stories.

People think in terms of narratives. Know how to present your product in the form of a narrative where you speak to the other person as a very specific type of character in that narrative of a very specific type of journey.

  1. Be able to see your own vision.

Why many entrepreneurs fail to see their own vision:

  • Lack of empathy –  A lot of entrepreneurs don’t look at things from an outside perspective. Understand the journey that someone else is on that lead them to make them certain decisions.
  • Lack of questions – The best sales conversation in the world is a series of real questions where you get to understand where someone is coming from and what their fundamental needs are.
  • Lack of self-confidence – Really believe that you, your product or service is capable of doing a specific thing better in a very specific way. See for your own eyes the value that you provide or you intend to provide. Be comfortable with making really bold claims and not just generic value propositions.
  1. Have an emotional bond with your customer.

Relate it to the fundamental human emotions that drive someone to make a purchasing decision with you. Identify what the fundamental needs are and why does somebody care enough to spend money on this.

  1. Empathy: Understand your customer needs and their buying experience.

Come up with avatars of customers who all share enough similarities in where they’re coming from and what they need so you can come up with a message, story, or identity that speaks enough to their specific situation.

  1. Content is king but context is god.

Know how the product knowledge specifically fits into the vision of the specific customer which is the intersecting point between what your customer wants and what you have.

Gregory’s Major Takeaway:

Don’t be afraid to go deep. Inquire, philosophize, understand your customer more – where they’re coming from, what they want, what they do, and how best to present it. Why are you in the business you’re in? Focus yourself on where your assets are put to best use.

Episode Resources:

Check out Gregory Diehl’s book, Brand Identity Breakthrough or send him an email at contact@brandidentitybreakthrough.com.

Please support us in our Indiegogo campaign, a movement to inspire others to Do Big Things. Simply go to www.DoBigThings.net.

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Register Today!

Do BIG THINGS, West Palm Beach, Florida, EMKO, Donald Kelly, Travis Thomas, The Sales Evangelist, LIVE YES AND

Jeffery Charles, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, LinkedIn, Branding, Sales

TSE 260: Developing A Brand That Sells!

Jeffery Charles, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, LinkedIn, Branding, Sales When you talk about branding, you talk about purpose. As a sales professional or entrepreneur, you need to be able to convey your purpose by giving value to your customers. Add that with a strong conviction to help and people will get naturally inclined to connect with you. You don’t sell anything. All you need to do is help and this will help you achieve success.

I’m bringing in Jeff Charles on today’s episode because of the great value that he has to share. Jeff Charles is the founder of Artisan Owl Media, a content marketing agency that helps entrepreneurs earn more business by helping them learn how to persuade more effectively.

In his recent article Selling with Conviction: Your Brand’s Purpose, Jeff emphasized some points and insights which are paramount in the world of selling.  

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jeff:

Jeff chose to write the article on branding to emphasize these points:

  • Branding should be on the top of your mind.
  • You don’t connect with the product, you connect with what they stand for.
  • Make your prospects trust you more.

Elements that make a brand trustworthy:

  1. The Human Aspect

Social media has made it easier for corporations to reach their customers. The fact that you exist more than just your product or service is what attracts people to you.

  1. Mark Di Somma, Senior Brand Strategist at The Blake Project and branding guru, laid out 5 questions a person should ask themselves when establishing their own brand’s purpose when starting a business:
  1. What did you see that you wanted to change?
  2. How can the pursuit of that change make a big difference?
  3. What change do others want to see in the world? How does your brand fit into that?
  4. How can you articulate a purpose that will inspire your audience to trust and support your brand?
  5. How will your purpose motivate everybody that you come in contact with?

How to stand out from competition:

  • Who your brand is is the soul of what you do.
  • Purpose is what differentiates you from somebody else.
  • Stand for something more than what you sell.

How can the pursuit of change make a big difference?

Do some soul searching. Go deep. Why did you decide to start the business you started? How does you offering translate into making a difference in the world around you? Think higher than what you’re selling.

Provide distinct value to the people that you want to sell to.

  • What do they want to change?
  • What are their problems?
  • Why are you doing this?

Stay in touch with your “why” to allow you to pursue that change.

“Stop selling, start helping.” – Zig Zigler

  • Look at every person you talk to as somebody you’re looking to help and not to sell.
  • Help the person get what they want.
  • If you’re convincing someone to do something that’s going to make their life better, you are doing something awesome.

Many people buy for emotional reasons.

Your conviction is what makes people want to act. If you believe so strongly in what you’re selling, that is far more convincing than just throwing out some facts and figures.

Create a movement.

  • Keep your mind above what you sell and not just on the nuts and bolts of what you offer.
  • Look at sales as a way to improve the lives of the people you’re interacting with.

Case study: Dove (the company that sells soaps and other hygiene products)

What makes them different is their overall mission which is not to sell soap and hygiene products but to make women feel better about themselves and raise the self-esteem of women across the world.

Through the Speak Beautiful Movement, Dove noticed that a lot of women say bad things about the way they look on social media. They countered that with this movement encouraging women to post things that are positive about their body.

That’s what makes people connect with them.

Jeff’s Major Takeaway:

Find a way to stay in touch with your purpose. Branding and purpose are synonymous. Write it down and keep it in your desk. Anything that reminds and keeps you in touch with what is going to help you keep from focusing on the nuts and bolts. Remind yourself of your purpose as often as you possibly can.

Connect with Jeff through www.artisanowlmedia.com or on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Episode Resources:

Read Jeff’s article: Selling With Conviction: Your Brand’s Purpose

Simon Sinek’s TEDTalk Start with Why

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Branding, Personal Branding, Marketing, Prospecting

TSE 202: Sales From The Street-“How To Develop Your Own Personal Brand”

Branding, Personal Branding, Marketing, Prospecting

How To Develop Your Own Personal Brand

Honestly ask yourself – Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why are you in sales?

Regardless of why you’re doing it, you gotta know WHY you’re doing it. If you’re doing it just for the money, you might want to re-evaluate yourself because you may be doing it for the wrong reason.

Our guest today, Patty Elizee, shares with us the power of knowing your why… that leads to your purpose… which eventually leads to your fulfillment. These, my friends, make up the essence of developing your own personal brand.

Patty E. (to add a lil swag to it) is the host of the podcast Brand YOU Economy Podcast, where she seeks to Entertain, Educate, and Empower people to leverage their lives. Coming from a background in aviation electronics, Patty eventually ventured into the corporate direct sales industry learning a lot about branding, sales, marketing, and different channels. Today, she helps people find their own why and grow their tribe through the power of effective branding.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Patty:

Top Keys to Creating Your Own Personal Brand:

  1. Believe in your product.

You can’t sell to other people if you’re not even confident in your own product.

  1. Understand your why.

Why are you doing it? If you’re selling just for the money, you may just be selling for the wrong reason. Find your why. Find your purpose for you to live on that purpose. Why leads to purpose. Purpose leads to fulfillment.

  1. Have your mission statement.

Your people should not only believe in your product but also in your mission. People tend to gravitate more towards the mission, the belief, the drive, or the dream than the product itself.

  1. Know who YOU are.

Patty says one of the biggest mistakes in personal branding is people’s tendency to imitate others. Don’t be a carbon copy. Be your own person. Follow your own individuality. Take no shortcuts.

  1. Convey your message and enable your tribe to have the testimonial for you.

You can say you’re this and that but it makes no sense if no one’s getting it or understanding your message. Your message and other people’s testimonials go hand in hand. They’re the yin and yang to personal branding. Getting testimonials from your community means they resonate with your message.

How to Establish Your Brand Online:

  1. Know your audience.

Patty recommends Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. You need to understand the fundamentals and foundation of where your audience is.

  1. Know how to speak the language.

When you’re in LinkedIn, know how to speak the LinkedIn language and so with Facebook and other social media platforms.

  1. Focus on one area.

Gravitate to where most of your target audience are. Again, know your audience, where they’re hanging out, and how they speak. Then focus on that area to not waste your energy.

 

Patty’s Major Takeaway:

Just be comfortable with who you are. Be confident and believe in yourself. Then people will see that light within you and they would radiate in your light. Like a diamond, just shine!

Episode Resources:

Get in touch with Patty through visiting her website www.pattyelizee.com

Check out Patty’s podcast: http://www.brandyoueconomy.com/podcast/

The Sales Evangelizers, Donald Kelly, Sales Facebook Group