- How to Give Your Passion A Chance to Succeed Online
As an entrepreneur, you have demonstrated that you are not only courageous, but you are intrinsically a dreamer. In your soul, you are a go-getter. You have put aside fear and anxiety to enter the marketplace independently. For this reason, I admire you. I respect your tenacity and your determination. What I love most about you, the brave entrepreneur, is your willingness to sacrifice and dig deep to get the strength to carry on yet another day. In the lean times, you get tough. You are the defender of your hopes and dreams – I appreciate that about you. For these reasons and more, I made the decision years ago to help you navigate your way to success.
You see, I understand everyone doesn’t have the time, interest or capacity to study marketing. For many, the task of marketing haunts and terrifies them. For me, not so much. As a social worker, I had a natural interest in people, how they think and how they come to make their decisions. During this time, I found it interesting how some people make the decision to rise above social challenges to fight poverty and its’ residual effects. Further, how those who are disenfranchised combat their reality in order to be productive citizens living fulfilling lives. As a social worker, my goal was to support those who society had left behind from the “American Dream.” I wanted to help those in need, navigate their space in the most effective way possible. Help them see outside their realm and expand their thinking to the possibilities of the world. In short, helping people expand their mind so they can dream, visualize and pursue a better life.
My work with entrepreneurs is very similar. My intention is to help business professionals see outside of themselves to the greater market to determine where they fit within and outside of it. I am intrigued by the person who could easily earn a living as an employee on any level, enjoying all the comforts of a steady paycheck, lucrative compensation packages and paid vacation time. Yet, they are willing to give up that security to seek fulfillment. They want to be their own boss and do business as they see fit. The person that decides to take their education, skills and talent on the road is not only brave but a true leader.
Unfortunately, independent business professionals are not in step with mainstream conventional living. By giving up their ‘day job’ the entrepreneur is placing himself outside of the norm. He is turning his back on the custom of working hard for a company for 20-30 years, receiving a gold watch at 65 years old and retiring in the usual (hopefully) comfortable manner. For this reason and many others…you need support. You need resources, strategies, tools and best practices to make your leap of faith meaningful and rewarding.
When I began my journey into entrepreneurship in 2006, I was simply looking for a way to use my natural skills, talent and special gifts to serve others. I was looking for fulfillment and peace. I wanted to leave a legacy of goodwill and service. Although I no longer wanted to do “traditional social work” I certainly wanted to continue to support, inspire and guide others to live their best life too.
Studying marketing was a very easy transition for me. I have always been fascinated how people make their buying decisions. How they come to be loyal to one brand over another, so I have read 100+ books on marketing, branding and public relations. It was joyful reading because they are subjects that excite me.
It was long before I was missing the part of social work that touches individual lives. I didn’t just want to study buying patterns, trends and the changing market – although I do love that too! I wanted to change minds, ignite passions and inspire dreams. So here I am 8 years later with many failures, hardships and lessons under my belt. I have change my business model too many times to mention here. I have changed my business name and structure on more than one occasion only to come full circle to my original intention for starting my own business.
I wanted to teach, coach and lead others to fulfill their dreams and live their best life. Specifically entrepreneurs who are dedicated to using their skill, dream or hobby to leave a legacy and make a positive impression on the world. So, today a just a few months shy of my 9th year in business, I am back on course. Welcome back Callahan, welcome back.
If you are a regular visitor, you already know, branding is going to be my first order of business for you. When you have a dynamic brand, all of your marketing strategies will fall in line and the foundation will lie strong enough to carry the burden of every business decision necessary.
Your brand is the image that people observe, develop, and relate to. It connects you to your customers and prospects. The branding process, including the planning and decision process are important. These decisions have an impact on your future success. By working through this checklist, you’ll have established a solid brand and a plan to move forward and integrate it into all of your marketing and sales efforts.
My Top 10 List for Effective & Purposeful Branding
Go down the list and verify that you can check each and every point. If you can’t…you got some work to do.
I’ve identified colors that best represent the brand I want to portray. These colors embody the vision and mission of my business along with the message I wish to convey. In addition, they provoke the feelings in my clients I want them to experience.
I’ve chosen a brand name, business name, that is easy to remember, easy to spell, and can be registered as a domain name. It’s important to make one programming note here: I realize, I always say it is important to be unique, however, you want to make sure your business name is pronounceable and easy to remember. So be careful with hyphens, apostrophes and the like.
I have a solid understanding of who my ideal client is and clarity about their needs, interests, and goals. I know how my branding efforts influence my unique target client. My ideal target client is someone that thrills me to work with and who is as equally as excited about working with me.
- How do I benefit my clients?
- Why do they like me?
- Why do they buy from me?
I’ve created a logo, or preferably hired a professional to create a logo for me (no clip art folks), that conveys my brand in a way that is simple and easy to understand. Only my brand colors are used in the logo and the logo supports my vision and mission.
I’ve created a brand personality – a statement or list of characteristics that best describe my brand. My brand personality embraces elements of my personality so that I can create a stronger connection with my audience. A stronger connection results in a stronger brand. My brand personality is aligned with my personal values, integrity and purpose.
I’ve created a brand promise – an emotional statement that connects prospects to my brand and my company. My brand promise and message both evoke a positive emotion and service benefits. The key is to create a connection with people in order to build a collaborative relationship where in part, you are meeting some need or want for your ideal buyer.
- Social media profiles –where appropriate
- Email signature
- Phone message
- Networking associations
- Printed collateral shared Online – postcards, letterhead, flyers etc.
Your brand is who you are, what you represent, and what makes you and your business unique and different from your competition. Spend time creating your business brand and working through this checklist to ensure a comprehensive and clear brand – a brand your prospects won’t be able to resist.
I would love to hear from you. Please share your comments and share this post with others.