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?”
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?
You should rebrand if 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 doing. Maybe your passion for designing logos has waned and you want to now begin a new journey of life coaching.
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! I really hope to hear from you.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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-Yourself” and “Business-Startup” services 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 entrepreneursstart a business,Incorporate,Form an LLC, set upSole 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.
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:
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.
Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes and follow Web Success Coaching around on the web!
Donna Marie Johnson uses over 18 years of marketing strategy expertise to help Christian Women Leaders learn and use wiser strategies and make more money in business. She is known as The Love-Infused Marketing and Graphics Strategist. She has hosted the Market Like A Queen Podcast for over two years. She will hold the next annual Market Like A Queen Conference in December.
Our podcast conversation
Donna Marie’s favorite quote is from Genesis 12:2-3.
God has made us gifts unto the world- a thought-provoking idea that we do what we do as business women owners because we are called.
How she got started in business
Donna’s been supporting Christian women business owners for over 18 years. She became an online marketer by helping a local women’s shelter. After her introduction into the online marketing world, her business was completely transformed. From there, she began learning more and training others.
Types of workshops and training Donna offers
Donna Marie offers training workshops on email marketing and YouTube branding at ClubE Atlanta. Also, at AuthorDonnaMarie.com, you can click for updates and receive her free Market Like A Queen YouTube Branding Guide.
What are some of the greatest needs of women in business?
To have wisely instructed and correctly implemented email marketing strategies.
The reasons many women in business and mompreneurs don’t integrate email marketing strategies:
don’t have time
don’t have the expertise
don’t want to do it
There’s more to being an online diva than having an online presence. Email marketing strategy is important because we need to build relationships. Donna has email marketing training programs to assist with this.
How important is it for a woman business owner to stand out and create a brand of her own?
Branding needs to be similar across the board, starting with the company website (home base). It’s important to have a professional header designed (you can even use Fiverr) and carry the same brand over to YouTube and your email marketing.
Also, your brand surpasses your logo. Showing your face in your marketing materials allows others to make a personal connection with you.
Donna Marie shares with us what constitutes a strong brand. It’s about being right where you need to be and doing what God has called you to do. Here are her tips:
Have your overall business vision clearly written out. Template example: I am ______. I have been doing _______ for ___ years. I serve ______ type of clients/customer who struggle with ________ types of problems. I help them get _______ types of results so they can eventually reach _______ types of goals.
If you are seeking mentorship through Score.org, you can get great advice, be sure you have a strong vision of your calling first. Write down your vision.
Some of the challenges Donna Marie has had in business
Knowing how to present herself/brand herself presented a challenge.
Not continuing to build her brand while building a separate with others.
Deciding whether or not to delete her contacts on Facebook and begin again.
She now feels she is operating from a greater place of faith in her business. She is not burning herself out working hard, and success comes when it comes. Because she’s not focused on being online 24/7 she has more space to be involved locally with her business.
Tips on balancing business while making time for yourself, your family, and your friends
She sets up a seasonal schedule.
Builds things into her business that shows love and forethought, and still sets boundaries around it.
Balance, boundaries, wisdom are very important for women entrepreneurs.
Some of her favorite aspects of business Donna Marie enjoys the most and what keeps her motivated
Knowing she’s part of God’s family and His gifting to this world keeps her moving forward. She knows she’s on the right path she’s supposed to be on.
Knowing that despite past mistakes, God is her CEO and she can move forward in faith.
Hi, I’m Demetria– podcaster, blogger, mompreneur of two daughters and Navy wife. I’m passionate about blogging and helping women start an online business through blogging. To learn how to start a blog you can read my book, take my course, or get coaching. I’m here to help you!
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