MIH 049: When Should I Rebrand?

MIH 049: When Should I Rebrand?

Listen to “MIH048: When Should I Rebrand?” on Spreaker.
First off, let me start by saying that I have experienced a myriad of phases of “the company rebrand” over the years.  In other words, I’ve reinvented myself and my offerings over and over and over again. How did I know when it was time to rebrand? Do you ever ask yourself: “When should I rebrand?”

Should I Rebrand My Business? - a podcast for mompreneurs, helping you to figure out when to rebrand

As a solopreneur and mompreneur, my reasoning for rebranding has mostly hinged on my own needs to re-express myself, my goals, and mission for my blog and business. There were also moments that I just felt plain bored of the same old thing and wanted to shake things up a bit. Said simply, I like to redesign my business every so often, giving it a fresh coat of paint and brand new life from the inside out.

I can’t honestly say that I’ve always had legitimately solid reasons to rebrand.  It’s just what I said above: it’s all personal preference for me.

How about you? Should you rebrand your company?  There are a few reasons you might find rebranding a beneficial thing for you. Let’s dig into some reasons why you might want to rebrand…or not.

When Should I Rebrand?

Your business has changed names

Name changes obviously require a rebrand with a logo change being one of the first things to get shifted. With a logo redesign comes the opportunity to change your business colors and other graphic elements and marks that will make a difference for the new representation of your company.

I recently changed my logo from:

to:

I wanted to give my logo an updated look: a fresh coat of digital paint, an updated heel, and different typography to express my sentiments for Mompreneurs in Heels even better. In doing so, I also ended up freshening up my website and changing out my social media as well. I created a brand board with colors that express the mood I want to convey through Mompreneurs in Heels, which was really exciting.

Can you tell I love design?

So…back to reasons you should rebrand…

Your vision has changed.

To answer the question, “When should I rebrand?”: in the case that your brand no longer reflects your vision, it’s time to rebrand. Maybe the name doesn’t match your new geographical region. Perhaps you’ve changed gears and want to do something completely different than what you started off doing. Maybe your passion for designing logos has waned and you want to now begin a new journey of life coaching.

It’s okay to switch gears, to rediscover your interests, and to rebrand your business, your self entirely.

Check out Should I Change My Blog Topic? (episode 034)

You’re not attracting the right clients.

You might find that you’re attracting a certain type of client…but not your type. You know who your ideal customer is and hopefully you have created a customer avatar and have begun to pursue this type of clientele. If the wrong people are showing up at your virtual doorstep you’ll need to ask yourself if perhaps you’re presenting your company in a bad light.

What does your ideal customer see when they land on your website? Do they feel attracted to what you offer right away or do they have questions about your credibility because your brand doesn’t reflect what you are trying to project?

So, again, if the question: “When should I rebrand?” is on your radar, then ask yourself these questions to see if it’s time to rebrand, my friend!

That’s all for today’s episode. If you enjoyed it, don’t forget to sub!

 

MIH 046:5 Ways to Set Yourself Up as an Expert

MIH 046:5 Ways to Set Yourself Up as an Expert

Listen to “046:5 Ways to Set Yourself Up as an Expert” on Spreaker.

Are you an expert? If not, what’s stopping you?

Setting yourself up as an expert online isn’t rocket science, but I admit it takes some leg work.  Running an online business might seem pretty intimidating if you’re unsure of your digital marketing strategy– or how you plan to get known online.  It’s one thing to own a website, another thing to keep it updated, and an entirely different program to use your blog as a platform to display your expertise.

Mompreneurs: How to set yourself up as an expert online.

So, what’s stopping you from  setting up yourself as an expert? 

Is it fear of the unknown?  Lack of information on how to go about doing it exactly? Fear that maybe you’re not actually an expert?

Let me calm your fears a bit- you don’t have to do much to be an expert. You just need to know yourself.  Know your business. Know what you bring to the table.  And most of all, be confident in your field and in your expertise.

If you’ve done any of the initial groundwork and the laid the foundation for your business it won’t be so difficult to know what your expertise is.  This groundwork includes discovering your passions, setting up your online presence, developing your pricing model, discovering your customer avatar, and maintaining relationships with your tribe. You can find out more in my book.

The first step is to acknowledge that you are, indeed, an expert. Then you’ll be ready for the following steps.

1. Crank out awesome content!

Developing an online presence that matters means cranking out awesome content, and on a regular basis. I shared about batch scheduling a few months ago, and it’s one way I manage to keep content rolling at my three blogs.

You’ll need to do a bit of research and find out what your audience likes. You want to give them the kind of content they’re looking for, so keep their questions answered and keep them happy and looking for more from you.

There are more ways than one to deliver content (as you’ll see in my following points), but blogging is definitely a great way to start building your expertise online.

There are a few steps to creating a great blog post and it’s necessary to make sure you follow a decent format so that your audience knows what to expect when they read your blog. After a while, once you start getting pretty comfortable with blogging, you might even feel confident enough to reach out to sponsors for support and partnerships which can definitely further your brand a do a lot for your business!

2. Give your audience good visuals.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to maintain consistency with branding and to create visuals that flow well with your brand. I haven’t always done this and I’m guilty of brand conflict. What do I mean by this?

Well, typically it’s a good idea to have your social media profiles all match with your business brand being the same throughout. I haven’t always stayed on top of this in my own social media profiles and just so you know, it is confusing to viewers who come to my Twitter page and see an entirely different logo than the one they see on Facebook.  So, I’ve gone through a cleaning spree this year to ensure that I get a lot of this brand mix-matching cleaned up.

Another important thing about visuals to note is that when you are blogging you have an important opportunity to capture an audience of image lovers- right there on Pinterest! So, including a Pinterest-friendly image with each post you write is going to be of paramount importance if you plan to incorporate Pinterest into your digital media strategy.  By Pinterest-friendly, I just mean images that are the best size for Pinterest so that they are more likely to be re-pinned and give you that extra boost of traffic to your blog.

I can affirm that Pinterest works for traffic-building and good visuals make the difference.

Your images definitely connect your audience to your brand and help them to connect to you as an expert in your field.

3. Consider public speaking, podcasting, or both!

Public speaking in front of a live audience isn’t my thing, but it might be yours- in which case, you should start booking some speaking engagements! This is probably one of the best ways to establish your expertise.  You’ll have an audience at your fingertips who want to hear from you and they are eager to hear your words.  This makes you an expert.

Since I don’t currently do live speaking, I decided that my best ways to connect with an audience on a more personal level was through podcasting and vlogging.  These two forms of public speaking behind a camera and a microphone have been my way of connecting to moms and entrepreneurs for the past 10 years and it has worked for me. My kids were young and I couldn’t get out and travel so I made the decision to build my business from my laptop.

I LOVE podcasting and vlogging because it’s a significant way to connect to my audience, hear from them, and establish relationships with them (some of whom I enjoy phone chats with or get to see in real life).

4. Take advantage of social media.

I get it- social media takes time. But if you can, carve out a little time to batch schedule your social media posts, using nifty tools like Post Planner or Meet Edgar.

With Post Planner I’m able to plan out weeks in advance of Facebook posts and tweets. I use Tailwind for Pinterest sharing also and that has been major for me in driving traffic to my site from Pinterest.

Other social media platforms that have been proven beneficial to me are YouTube (mainly for my homeschool platform) and I use Google Plus for SEO benefits only.

The key is to find the social media platforms that work for you and work them.  I don’t especially like Twitter much, so I don’t use Twitter often. I only use what I love and what works for me.

Using social media will help to draw your tribe and help you establish your expertise across many platforms.

5. Leverage the power of search engine optimization.

Last, but not least, is the power of SEO. You don’t have to do it every time you write a blog post (although it’s optimal) but if you have strong search engine optimization habits you’ll land your blog in a better position of getting noticed in Google.

Remember your titles and header tags and to include pertinent keywords in each. Add your keywords in your blog post description and in your images as well. If you need a little help figuring this out, simply installing the Yoast SEO plugin can help you navigate through these steps.

You have an awesome piece of content- so why not ensure Google finds your blog post one of the relevant ones on the topic and rank your site high for it? Just doing a little extra prep work in advance and learning how to use your keywords effectively throughout your blog posts can be extra helpful and go a long way in helping you establish your expertise online.

That’s it guys! I loved sharing this podcast (and blog post) with you and hope that this episode helps you to see yourself as an expert in your field.

Leave comments below if you’d like to add to this conversation! I always like hearing from my listeners 🙂

 

MIH 042:Branding, Life, & Business with Stephanie Ciccarelli of Voices.com

MIH 042:Branding, Life, & Business with Stephanie Ciccarelli of Voices.com

Listen to “042:Branding, Life, & Business with Stephanie Ciccarelli of Voices.com” on Spreaker.
On this podcast I am super excited to bring to you an awesome guest and mompreneur, Stephanie Ciccarelli!

Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com and has contributed content to such publications as The Huffington Post, Backstage Magazine, and Upvoted, and her company has been written about in the LA Times, New York Times, Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. Stephanie is also the author of Voice Acting for Dummies and has been listed on the PROFIT Magazine’s 2013, 2015, and 2016 W100 lists, a ranking of Canada’s top female entrepreneurs.

What is Voices.com?

Voices.com is an online marketplace that connects people who need to get a voiceover recorded with talent that can record for them.  Over 200,000 clients and 200,000 talent are connected on their platform.

Just a bit about her background: Stephanie grew up surrounded by music- involved in world-renowned choirs, and attended a school that was music-focused.  She found her career path through finding her voice.

What does the voiceover talent landscape look like today?

People come from various backgrounds and industries and are bringing their voices to the platform.  If you are a voice artist who has a background in a niche area, you could record projects related to your industry.

What are some ways actors can transition into voiceover more smoothly and to break into the market?

The answer is pretty simple: it really boils down to your ability to read well aloud and picture an audience of one (rather than many), then delivering your message as a believable expert.

How can women begin the process of branding their own business?

Get to know yourself before you start developing the brand.  You are the brand since the business is an extension of yourself.

Also, finding out your personality type can be helpful in building your brand.  You can use a number of different tests tools such as Myers-Briggs,  The Disc Method,  and Social Styles to discover your unique personality type. It’s important to understand how you are a part of your brand and getting to know your own personality can be quite helpful in this process.

Some other key factors you should know when developing your brand are:

  • what drives you
  • what your values are
  • and how you want others to perceive you

On family life and business balance…

Stephanie Ciccarelli agrees that it’s important to keep family first. Within her company, her husband is the CEO and she is the Chief Brand Officer.  They have found ways to keep family life afloat even amidst her travels, by securing needed help and building business around family obligations.

In the beginning, Stephanie was working from home and as her business evolved and the kids grew older she found herself in a different season.  Important points to note are:

  • We should acknowledge that there are seasons in life when we won’t be able to focus so much on business.
  • There are also seasons when we need to push a little more energy into our business to get things moving.

Stephanie talks about the three different circles we tend to live in and how it’s a balancing act to keep those circles from touching each other so that we don’t allow different aspects of our lives to spill into one another.

An example: keeping business separate from family life and remembering that home is home, not the boardroom.

How does Stephanie see her business as part of her purpose?

Voices.com is way to give people a chance to create their own stories and to have a voice. She believes she was meant to use her voice, and she took the guided steps necessary to get where she is today.  By stepping in faith, Stephanie is able to use Voices.com as a connecting tool to bring people together all over the world.

You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.  Zig Ziglar

A business essentially exists to solve a problem. Voices.com gives people tools to help them deliver their message. 

How to reach Stephanie:

Twitter: @stephciccarelli

Stephanie’s Instagram

Purchase her book: Voice Acting for Dummies

Voices.com on Facebook

Voices.com on LinkedIn

Voices.com on YouTube

Voices.com on Instagram

And, of course, visit: Voices.com


I truly enjoyed speaking with Stephanie today!  Thanks for listening in and let me know your thoughts. How are you branding your business as an extension of yourself?  How are you balancing family and business?

How To Start a Blog Sponsors Notice

How To Start a Blog Sponsors Notice

5 tips on how to start a blog sponsors notice.

I’m happy to share this information with you today because working with sponsors has been helpful in my money-making endeavors through blogging. I give you even more juicy details in my book.  For now, let’s dig into making blogs that sponsors will notice.

how to start a blog sponsors notice

Have you been approached by sponsors for the opportunity to sponsor their brand in partnership with yours?  If not, is this something you want for your blog?  I honestly think that if you learn how to start a blog sponsors notice, you’ll receive so much benefit in your blogging business- and the benefits will blow your socks off!  Without much additional effort on your part- you could possibly link up with big brands and find an income accruing on your blog just from these partnerships.

I’m going to share with you a few tips that will help you link up with these brands.

I hope you enjoy the video as well!

 

5 tips on how to start a blog sponsors notice…

Stand out from the crowd.

In order to truly start a blog sponsors notice, you first have to stand out from the crowd.  Make sure that your blog is different than others in your industry.  Stand out by being extremely niche-specific in your market and who you are trying to reach.

On each of my blogs (both my homeschool moms blog and this blog for mompreneurs) you probably noticed that I am very narrow in my  approach to my target market.  I’m not just reaching moms, but homeschool moms, and not just homeschool moms, but faith-based homeschool moms of a particular faith.  Here at Mompreneurs in Heels I’m focusing on not only women business owners, but moms in business- and specifically moms who consider themselves mom entrepreneurs- or “mompreneurs”.  My focus in being this specific is to to ensure that whatever I write about at these blogs is so narrowly focused that there is no doubt at all who my target audiences are.

Brands love this narrow approach because it helps them to see just how well they can partner with you.  If they are certain who your target market is, they are better able to determine if your blog is a good fit for their product before they ever approach you.  Here’s a podcast I did recently about changing your blog topic. I share this one because it goes into detail about why a focused blog topic is so important.

Blog regularly and consistently.

Blogging consistently lets brands know that you are still in the loop, still active, and giving great value to your readers on an ongoing basis.  You are not just some run of the mill, hit or miss blog. You update your content regularly because you care about your readers.  This is especially important to brands as they want to make sure their product will be promoted to avid readers of your blog.

Blog authentically.

Being yourself is what being authentic is.  Make sure your blog’s tone sounds like you and not anyone else.  This goes without saying, but so many bloggers start off a little intimidated of producing so many blog posts that they begin to copy the style and voice of other bloggers out there.

Being yourself is important because brands (and your readers!) will pick up on it if you are not.  Being authentic is the most important quality of working with a brand because they want to know your opinions about their product in a real way.  Storytelling is important, and bringing your side of the story into the equation will be important in getting your audience on board with the brand you’re promoting.

[tweetthis]Sponsors love authenticity! Be authentic at your blog.[/tweetthis]

Keep your stats up to date.

If you plan to work with companies you’ll need to have your blog stats up to date. Companies working with you will want to know how large your audience is.  They will, of course, be more willing to work with you if you have a larger audience that they deem is a ticket to their marketing campaign.

When figuring out how to start a blog sponsors notice, keeping your statistics up to date should be one of the first things on your agenda. Each month at least you should take a look at your analytics as well as check on the growth of any of your social media platforms and record this on your media sheet.  That way, when a company says, “We’re interested in working with you. Can you send us a media sheets?” it doesn’t take you a week to figure it out.  It’s already prepared and ready to send as an attachment within 15 minutes or less.

Creative attractive packages.

You need to prepared to work with sponsors by knowing up front the type of partnerships you are willing to create with sponsors.  Would you like to participate in product reviews?  Promote brands through your Youtube channel?  Share their company banners on your blog?  Write sponsored posts?  It’s really up to you.  Figure out the types and ways you’d like to work with brands and begin building sponsorship packages along with pricing so that you’re ready to talk when brands approach you.

Deliver on your promises.

Last but not least, and perhaps the most important part of working with sponsors, is delivering on your promises.  Learning all the ropes on how to start a blog sponsors notice is great, but sufficiently incomplete if you do’t follow through by delivering on your promises to them.

Make sure that whatever you say you are going to do that you are able to follow up on that.  If you agree to deliver a sponsored post with integrated SEO and inbound links by a certain date, this should be completed by that date.

A good rule of thumb is: as soon as you land a contract, go ahead and begin working on your end of the deal asap.  If you are waiting on a product to review, at least go ahead and set up your post, start gathering extra graphics, gathering keywords, anything you can do in advance basically until your product arrives.  When the product arrives begin using it immediately and take lots of pictures and detailed notes.

In other words, don’t wait around to do the job. Get it done as soon as possible so that you don’t run the risk of falling behind on deadlines.

Delivering on your promises is crucial for success in working with brands.

So that’s it! These are my top tips for how to start a blog sponsors notice. Let me know your thoughts!

MIH 035:5 Ways To Brand Your Blog

MIH 035:5 Ways To Brand Your Blog

Listen to “035:5 Ways To Brand Your Blog” on Spreaker.

How do you brand your blog?

Do you sometimes ever ask yourself just why you’re blogging?  Blogging for the sake of it isn’t worth your time, but if you have goals and strategies in place to allow your blog to build your brand, that’s when blogging is worth it.  Here are 5 ways you can establish your brand with a blog.

brand your blog

Write an ebook.

Let’s face it- writing a book is a credible feat. If you’ve ever written a book, you know what I mean. Not only is it a huge accomplishment, but in the blogging world, it sets your brand apart from others and gives you a certain amount of credibility that may not have been as easy for you otherwise.  Writing a book establishes your expertise on a topic and is an incredible way to build your brand. Just to show you I’m doing this as well, you can check out my latest book in Amazon that has been helpful in building up my brand.

Start a podcast.

A podcast not only sets you up as an expert in your field, but allows your listeners to feel engaged with you. When listeners hear your voice they begin connecting with you on a more personal level.  The beauty of this is that your brand should have a personal touch, and that’s exactly what happens when you podcast: your brand begins to have a personal touch.

Create a video channel.

Just like with podcasting, videos establish a personal touch with your tribe, and perhaps even more so than a podcast since your viewers can actually see you. Watching your facial expressions, your demeanor and all that you add with your personality brings a personal touch to your brand that can happen most effectively with video content.  There is so much you can do with a video channel such as YouTube or Vimeo that will make engaging with your prospects and clients a fun experience.

Book speaking engagements (or live workshops and webinars).

If videos and audio keep you engaged with your audience, speaking engagements really engage you. You are face to face with your audience (or voice to voice if you’re in a live audio workshop).  Whether you meet in person at a conference or you meet online in a webinar, there is nothing quite like that personal touch that can be delivered through speaking engagements.  It’s like an extra layer added to what podcasting and pre-recorded video gives your brand: that extra layer of personalization which leads to trust.  A webinar is usually the next best thing to seeing you live and in person. Your tribe can hear you, see you, reach out and shake your hand, or even give you a hug when face to face. A virtual handshake through a webinar is not such a bad idea either. Webinars also give the added benefit of employing what I like to call relationship marketing techniques.  Subscription boxes or squeeze pages can dial in more customers during and after a webinar and can help you grow your tribe and brand your blog.

Get plugged in to social media.

Social media is a given in today’s online marketing world.  We use it to connect and communicate. To most effectively brand your blog using social media, you need to pick a few platforms you’re most comfortable with and begin a campaign of staying current with updates.  Keep Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media you’ve chosen up to date with your latest blog posts.  Be sure to brand each of your channels and profiles to match your blog.  In other words, be sure you are well represented graphically. Include your company logo and tag lines and use a professional profile pic.  Most of all, use the social media platforms that you enjoy using the most. You’ll find yourself the most authentic on those channels if you simply enjoy them.

 

MIH 026:Forming an LLC-Interview with Nellie Akalp of Corpnet

MIH 026:Forming an LLC-Interview with Nellie Akalp of Corpnet

Listen to “026:Forming an LLC-Interview with Nellie Akalp of Corpnet” on Spreaker.

nellie_akalp On today’s podcast we’ll discuss how to form an LLC, creating trademarks, a bit about copyrights, and a lot about Nellie’s ability to balance it all.  Allow me to introduce Nellie Akalp. Nellie Akalp is a serial entrepreneur, small business advocate, speaker and author. Through the various Do-It-Yourselfand Business-Startupservices she has founded since 1997, she has formed over 200,000 corporations and LLCs for small business owners. Her last company was acquired by Intuit in 2005. Today, she and her husband, Phil, operate CorpNet.com where they help entrepreneurs start a business, Incorporate, Form an LLC, set up Sole Proprietorships (DBAs) and maintain a business in compliance with state filing requirements for a new or existing business. Nellie shares her expert tips with readers at Forbes, Entrepreneur and Mashable and is a regular guest expert on the Fox Small Business Center. She was named a Top 100 Small Business Influencer in 2012, 2013, and 2014 by Small Business Trends. Nellie has presented a workshop at Small Biz Expo and sat down with members of Girls in Tech, General Assembly and more to inspire and motivate others to make their business dreams a reality.

How Corpnet was inspired:

She and her husband both attended law school. Back in 1997, Nellie’s husband came up with the idea of taking their law school education and come up with a service that would solve a problem and cater to anyone nationwide by helping them to start a businesses online at a competitive cost.

Nellie Akalp’s story:

Her husband would post information on the internet about business law, and began to think about starting a competitive business online. They purchased a domain name for $100, and began receiving orders and putting together their marketing and branding. It wasn’t long before their business began growing rapidly.  In 2005, they were given the opportunity to be purchased by a publicly traded company, for $20 million. At this time she’d had her first set of twins and also had a toddler and decided to focus her energies with them.  She also began to realize by 2009 that their passions were in helping entrepreneurs form their businesses. To date Nellie has formed over 100,000 LLC’s.

Filing a DBA or LLC- which is better?

Business owners should consider setting up themselves as an LLC if the business is making profit for the following reasons:
  • liability protection
  • credibility
  • tax breaks
  • privacy
For less than $100, you should consider incorporating your business.

The process of creating an LLC:

(Corpnet provides many of these services free of charge)
  • Make sure you have a business name and that it is available
  • Figure out which  state you will set up the LLC
  • Have a business address
  • Have a registered agent address
  • Names, members, or officers of the shareholders of the LLC
  • File the appropriate paperwork. (Corpnet will set this up for you.)

How to create a trademark:

  • Do a simple name search
  • Conduct a trademark search
  • If available, do a comprehensive nationwide search
  • File the application with the USPTO and pay the filing fees, or go through a reputable filing company (like Corpnet) who will partner with you throughout the entire filing process (and add $145 service fee to Corpnet).
Having a trademark filed will protect you against trademark infringement.

Be careful in the blogging world!

  • Copying work and written material and republishing without permission is copyright infringement.  Bottom line: don’t do it!

How Nellie balances family with business:

Nellie keeps a tight leash on her priorities.  Spiritually, mentally, and physically, she stays focused on her goals.  Her order of priority:
  • Taking care of herself spiritually, mentally, and physically.
  • Her husbands and kids
  • Her team at Corpnet and business

Other life balance tips for business moms:

  • Take life  day by day
  • Keep super organized
  • Planning your day
  • Get things done (rather than letting things get piled up)
  • Stay organized and regimented with your routine and lifestyle.
  • Have open communication with your kids at home about teamwork within the home and explain to your children why you’ve chosen your lifestyle of work and how it benefits the entire family.

Please let Nellie know how you enjoyed the podcast here at Mompreneurs in Heels. You can reach her at Corpnet.com.


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