Ultimate Entrepreneur-Trifecta 2012: Live blog Feed

The room is full of women, except for the one man on the front row. Maybe that’s because the conference is being put on by three women, or maybe it’s because there are just a lot of ambitious women in this town. Either way, there’s going to be a lot of women entrepreneurs ready to take their business to the next level after this.

We are starting off by listening to Rebecca Servoss. Rebecca is a graphic design and branding guru who is going to walk us through branding for our businesses.

Branding speaks for a company through images, through words, and through text. Find out upfront what the message is which gives your branding a roadmap to send the right message.

We are going through the branding lingo right now. It’s something that might seem elementary on the surface, but it’s the building blocks. The foundation. Try outlining the following for your business:

My promise

My identity

My image

My process

Branding=putting all of these things together.

So what’s the point of branding?

Well, it all started with the cows. People started “branding” their cattle with hot iron stamps. Today, we do the same thing with our businesses. We give a promise with our brand. When someone sees our logo or name, they will associate this promise and brand with that. So, we must make sure to be clear and concise.

The branding process:

Decide-research-position-define-identify-launch-manage

We are going through each of these, step by step. We are deciding who we are selling to and why we are running our business. It’s important to figure these details out before we can correctly brand ourselves and our products.

Have you ever thought about how you can offend your consumer? If we create literal brands, we can seem condescending and elementary. Make sure you know who your audience is so as to create a brand that peaks curiosity and draws customers in.

So, once we’ve figured that all out, it’s up to us to care for and feed our brand. This allows us to more effectively elevate our business. Our reputation is HUGE. 89% of people say that reputation is a tiebreaker between equal products. Thus, we want the better reputation to bring the highest traffic of consumers in.

We are talking about re-branding now. Gap and Tropicana both had recent flops when they changed their logo and packaging and customers revolted. AOL is doing it the right way by bringing the consumer in as part of the experience and offering a whole new package along with the new logo.

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And with that, we are moving on to the next section: Marketing. This part is hosted by Michelle McCullough, managing director of Startup Princess.

Part 1:

To start off, we are asked if we think marketing is important. We all agree that it is. Thankfully we are all on the same page and we can move on to the good stuff.

Marketing is sharing the right messages to the right masses through the right mediums so you can make money. Consistently.

Our home court advantage is our website or store/retail site. This is where we can create a powerful promotional outlet. Our goal is to bring people home. We need to get them from where we are marketing, to our home court advantage. Get people to our website or blog or store.

Be the expert. Continue to put out information that leads to you becoming the expert in your field and creates a space for people to keep coming back for more. And on that note, we have to make sure to be consistent. Post an article on your blog once a week or update your Facebook page a few times a week. This gathers trust from your readers and consumers and creates a community.

Marketing Campaigns=a campaign carefully defines the step-by-step marketing actions you will take so you can get your prospects to take informed action. We first must make sure to research. A successful marketing campaign cannot be carried out without doing the work at the front end and figuring out who to target and how to go about it.

Create a customer loyalty KIT. Keep in touch. Make sure to follow up with your customers to get their feed back, send thank you notes, and find ways to show you really care. This will create trust and loyalty.

We are finishing up section one of marketing by talking about email lists. How do we grow them? How do we use them? It’s an easy way to bring people back to your “home” by sending out newsletters, deals, and links to e-books or downloadable PDF’s.

Part 2:

We are back from lunch and ready to jump back into marketing. Michelle is starting us off by talking about strategy. We would be smart to create a marketing map that plans out the next 3 months in detail and the next 12 months on a more broad scale.

  • Define our budget. Figure out your scale for advertising and learn where to place ads and where you can afford to spend the money on those ads.
  • Always make sure you are putting out QUALITY content.

Schedule and write out all of your social media content. Create your tweets in advance and sales should be less than %15 of your tweets. Use Twitter to build your email list, give promotional value, motivate, and inspire.

Take action-give yourself a deadline for finishing certain tasks and stick to it.

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Moving on to our last presenter today, Tiffany Peterson of The Lighthouse Principles is talking about sales.

We start with a brainstorm about what are our challenges in sales?

  • fear
  • too much information
  • confidence
  • money

We acknowledge that we are afraid of making people feel uncomfortable, being too pushy, or being obnoxious about our business. So she asks us this question:

Am I willing to be uncomfortable to have the results that I want?

And then she says: “Your life works to the degree that you keep your commitments” –quoting Warner Earhart. We all felt a little uncomfortable after that, because we all know it’s true. A little hard love is necessary for results.

Rather than looking at ourselves as “sales people” we should see ourselves as a “solutions provider”.

Tiffany just talked about a really great point, that people buy and promote those they trust. We must remember this in networking and building relationships. It is worth taking the time to follow up after networking and conference events. Take time to schedule in a relationship nourishment hour into your week. Send a few handwritten cards or heart felt emails that will build your relationships.

It costs twice as much to recruit a new client as it does to maintain a client relationship. If you take care of your clients, your clients will take care of your business through reputation and referrals.

“Stop having million dollar dreams and $10 efforts.” Now that one cuts deep.

Now we are talking about interactions. She just gave us this big statistic: 60% of all business transactions (sales) takes place after the fourth interaction with you, your brand, or business. This plays back into relationship building, as well as marketing. We have to keep putting ourselves and our products in front of people.

When looking to make a sale, ask questions of your prospective clients that will have them contemplating and answering their own questions. This allows you to not have to by “salesy”. You don’t have to pitch anything, rather they are being drawn in to what you have to offer.

That ends the instruction part of the conference. I’m off to ask questions and chat with the amazing women in the room!

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