What Are the Challenges When It Comes to Branding?

Branding is NOT easy!

It is not just about giving a name or attractive logo or slogan.

It is one of the most challenging tasks you will ever face as a small business owner.

If you are able to manage these challenges you will be able to build your brand.

Below are the three biggest branding challenges, I have faced as a Marketing and Branding Professional over my 16 years career:

Challenge 1: Cash

The challenge of cash, or dealing with short term financial concern, is the biggest single challenge businesses face.

Executives who deliver quarterly profits are rewarded. However all of a brand’s value resides in the future and the current financial returns are actually a very small part of the total.

However if a manager is forced to choose between investing in a brand and missing a short term financial targets, most managers choose to hit the shorter term numbers. This is usually a career optimizing decision. This ultimately leads to “branding doom loop”.

The doom loop begins with a manager struggling to deliver a short term profit target. To boost sales and profit, the manager deploys a program that have a significant short-term impact, such as price promotion.

To fund price promotion manager reduces investment on brand building programs.

However, as the short term financial results improve, competition responds to nullify the impact of the price promotion, leading to less than desirable results on the medium term.

Moreover, consumers also start expecting promotion and delay their purchases and wait for the next price promotion. Thus the long terms prospects of the brands decline as:

  • Overall Brand strength declines due to the lack of brand building programs
  • Price and margins come under pressure due to competitive response
  • Consumers start expecting price promotions and delay their purchases
  • The perceived price-value equations shift downwards
  • Brands get into a dangerous downwards spiral

Challenge 2: ConsistencyBrands are created through a wide range of touch points; every time a customer interacts with a brand they form associations.

This means that everyone in a company has an impact on the brand.

Therefore the second biggest challenge of branding is consistency or getting an entire team to live up to the promise over time.

However, if an organization does not understand, believe in, and own the brand, if the message, the brand, and the product are not consistent- the vision remains unfulfilled.

Challenge 3: Clutter

Consumers are bombarded every day by hundreds and sometimes thousands of advertisements and promotions. Breaking through this cluttered environment is exceptionally difficult.

It is hard to get anyone to pay attention to your brand, and harder still to form meaningful associations. To stand out a brand needs to be focused and unique; great branding means something unique in a consumers mind.

Having a clear positioning is a great beginning, but not sufficient. Brands need to create attention by creative advertising and innovative use of media.

Building Your Personal Brand: Are You Qualified or Disqualified by Your Internet Presence?

In a social-media crazed, internet browsing society, it seems that precious little is sacred anymore. Every day, a combination of voyeurism and stagecraft can be seen cluttering our news-feed. Many things that we once kept to ourselves are now a veritable free-for-all in the mysterious vortex of the World Wide Web. And not all for the best. Even with increasing internet privacy concerns, consumers continue to put their personal lives on display for all to see. As Mineo (2017) suggests, “In the internet era, consumers seem increasingly resigned to giving up fundamental aspects of their privacy for convenience in using their phones and computers, and have grudgingly accepted that being monitored by corporations and even governments is just a fact of modern life”. Still, amidst the myriad of cat videos, political banter, memes, recipes, and personal photos, there can be seen the emergence of marketing genius. The internet, in conjunction with social media, has become a marketplace where individuals as the product come every day to advertise their personal and professional brand. There are some things that one should consider in terms of exactly what is being advertised when you, as the product, enter the global marketplace.

1.) Can You Be Found?

To see what my personal brand looked like I Googled my name and found everything but me. The search revealed everyone from an artist to an actor’s son, but not me. Now, when I added my current city to my name, I finally found a ruggedly handsome rogue that looked remarkably like me. I utilized two other sources, including Klout, and WebMii. This led to the startling revelation that I will not be going viral anytime soon. While it is better to have no presence than a negative presence, hopefully, my diminished online visibility will one day be replaced with significant civic and academic achievements.

2.) Are You a Product Worth Buying?

Is your visibility high or low? What are you advertising about yourself? Very often, the information available about an individual reflects the kind and quality of character they possess. Many employers and human resource professionals actually take the time to thoroughly research online profiles then subsequently judge an applicant’s personal brand. In one case, A reporter at the Arizona Sun was fired “for posting unprofessional and inappropriate tweets to a work-related Twitter account.” He had opened the account at the Sun’s urging and identified himself as a reporter there in his lil’ Twitter bio. He tweeted about how bad his paper’s copy editors were and got a warning. He later posted some insensitive things about area homicides and criticized a local TV news station. That led to him getting the boot (Hill, 2011). So, aside from that photo of you winning the ugly sweater contest at the office Christmas party, it would be worth your time to think about whether the product you’re putting out there can get you hired. Or fired.

7 Crucial Elements to Building an Effective Personal Brand

How to Gain More Income, Influence and Impact Through Building a Personal Brand

It used to be that if you had a logo and a website you had a business brand. But today’s consumers demand a lot more. Branding for them is about the experience of being with you, the owner of that business.

Today businesses have to look a lot deeper when it comes to creating a personal brand that is in harmony with their business brand.

When you have a strong personal brand, you become a mini-celebrity in your field. With that strong brand comes clout and credibility. People look up to you.

When people think of your industry, you’ll be the first one to come to mind. It also gives your offerings a higher perceived value – suddenly you can charge what you are worth to clients who are happy to pay.

If you want to build a dynamic and effective personal brand that will help grow your business but don’t know where to start, let’s break it down…

7 Key Elements of a Personal Brand that is Infused with Your Business Brand

1) Embracing Consistency

When prospects know what to expect of you it creates a feeling of familiarity and trust. That’s why consistency of everything you do and how you present yourself is so important.

But many business owners go willy-nilly with their brand, not paying attention to colours, fonts, graphics or style of messaging that all makes up a personal and business brand. This can be confusing for your audience. Your brand should be developed with consistency and standards that reflect well on how you want your business to be perceived.

For instance, take colours – one way to be consistent with your business brand on a personal level is to wear similar colours to your visual brand. For many years, Mari Smith wore her signature turquoise blue wherever she went, which was a match to her business brand. She has since changed this strategy, but it was very effective in her brand positioning while she was building her leadership presence.

Dana J. Smithers, one of our long-time clients is another one who fully embraces her brand messaging by consistently wearing only her business brand colours: Black, red and white. (Stay tuned for an upcoming eTip where I interview her on this subject.)

Consistency is king when it comes to branding. Aside from your personal appearance, other things you do also affect your personal brand. For instance, if you say you provide a weekly newsletter, you need to honour that commitment and make sure a newsletter goes out every week. If you post twice a day on Facebook, keep up that frequency.

That kind of consistency will win over the trust of your followers, which will make them more likely to make a purchase when they are in need of your product or services.

2) Forming a Compelling Story

Your story is the single biggest differentiator for your business. Make your story be a part of your personal brand.

Hundreds of people may sell what you have, but you are the only one who is exactly like you.

Your followers yearn to know who you are, how you got to where you are at and why you love what you do. Think of it as your Cinderella rags to riches story. It allows people to see how you came from no-where, learned the lesson, and came out on top.

Connecting to your story gives followers that feel good, heart-to-heart connection with you. Once you craft your story you can add it on your about page, your bio, in presentations, your book, and more!

3) Owning Authenticity

When you share from your heart you inspire and connect with people on a deeper level.

Share the real you. Let them see your values. Talk about what you stand for. Give them a peek behind the scenes so they feel included.

4) Being Visible and Accessible

Out of sight means out of mind. There are many ways you can showcase your personal brand by becoming more visible in front of your target market. Here’s just a few ideas:

– Have a great, professional headshot.

– Post photos of you in action at work.

– Leave your office and go to networking meetings.

– Get featured in the media.

– Be a podcast or telesummit guest.

– Show photos of events you attend and the people you meet on Social Media.

– Hold webinars and Facebook Live Q&A sessions with your followers.

– Follow up and nurture your network through newsletters so you are unforgettable.

5) Creating a Value Proposition

This is such an important brand element but sadly most businesses do not have a clear value proposition statement.

A value proposition is a clear declaration that explains who you serve, how you serve them, and why your solution is better.

A good one is clear, specific and easily understood. When you can articulate this in a compelling way, it’s a powerful client attraction tool.

6) Defining a Focused Ideal Client

Many businesses aren’t clear about their ideal customer. They cast their net too wide when it comes to customers.

Once you clearly identify who is in your tribe, it not only supercharges your marketing messages but also helps you better understand how to present yourself in front of them in order to win them over.

7) Showcasing Your Expertise

Personal branding also means being the best and most knowledgeable at what you do. Don’t just be a follower of other top experts, instead lead the industry with your perspectives, findings and views.

Create studies to publish new results. Develop your own signature system. Craft terms that become the coined phrase for the industry.

The more you differentiate yourself from others in your industry the more you will become the go-to expert people will be drawn to.

Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

What Is Viral Marketing And Why Is It Right For Your Brand?

Viral Marketing – what do you think it is? Well, if you have no idea, let us clear it to you. It is one of the common marketing strategies to drive a flood of customers that raise awareness of your brand among more and more people. In simple words, it is a type of marketing that spread like a virus and encourage word-of-mouth that has the power to increase conversion. It has a number of benefits for your brand and in an order to know why it is right, scroll down and look below.

A Quick Look Into The Benefits Of Viral Marketing

  • Create A Buzz: One of the major benefits of viral marketing is that it helps to create a buzz about your offered products and services and give your buyers a reason to invest in it. The louder the voice of your brand, the more it increases the public interest.
  • Build More Credibility: Another benefit of viral marketing is that it spreads like a virus and helps to build more credibility among users. If your brand will gain credibility, it may win the faith of the customers and drive the traffic, increase conversion and doubles your revenue.
  • Doesn’t Cost You An Arm And A Leg: The major benefit of viral marketing is that it increases your conversion and brand visibility that too without breaking your bank. Investing your time and money in this form of marketing really worthy and you shouldn’t hesitate to do so.
  • Advertise Your Brand Globally: Viral Marketing helps to promote your brand among a wider audience in each and every cornerstone of the earth. It helps you get more and more opportunities from every part of the world.
  • Convey Your Message Easily: Viral message spreads among people like fire and conveys your message easier than before, which automatically promote your brand. But for this, you have to increase the quality of your content, as this is the only way to grab the more audience for it.

Aren’t the benefits of viral marketing pretty amazing for your brand? So, what are you waiting for? Tighten your belt and jump on the bandwagon to reap its benefits. Viral Marketing is not hard, it just requires a little bit of knowledge and your courage to do it with full dedication. If you think, you are not aware of all its techniques, don’t hesitate to take professional support from a well-known SEO Company that helps you increase your brand visibility.

How to Build Your Professional Brand Using Digital Strategies In The Construction Industry

Are you looking for ways to advance your professional brand in the environmental, engineering or construction industry? In a technology age where employers and industry leaders are using digital platforms to connect, engage and collaborate, establishing a solid presence online is vital to staying current in today’s strategies. Being active online will give you the slight edge, separating you from other colleagues in your niche.

As you’re advancing your career, here are 3 unique ways to position yourself as an expert and leader in your respective industry.

#1 Grow a Blogging Presence

Building a blog is one of the best ways to solidify your expertise in the environmental, engineering or construction industry. According to HubSpot, blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate information. Blogging allows you to share useful content to colleagues, influencers, and those seeking to expand their career in these industries. As a result, you’ll grow a loyal following while building an impressive professional presence online.

Choose a blogging platform such as WordPress or Medium to create your own blog. Brainstorm topics, common questions, and problems that are known in your industry to craft blog content ideas. Establish a blogging schedule and be consistent. With a regular blogging cadence, you’ll create a vault of posts to share with your social media networks, forward to your colleagues, and present to future employers as you advance in your career.

Finally, syndicate your blog articles on LinkedIn Pulse for greater exposure. This is an excellent way to cement your authority in the industry and get in front of an engaging audience.

#2 Share Informative Social Media Posts

A whopping 92% of marketers share that social media is important to their business. Brands leverage social media marketing as a way to increase awareness, connect with their audience, and attract customers to their websites. Since more consumers are using their social networks to engage with businesses, it’s important for brands to show up for their audience.

Equally, social media can be a viable platform for you to grow your professional brand. You see, you never know who’s in your social network that can connect you with a new opportunity for career advancement. With your social media strategy, you can post valuable content to educate, inform and inspire.

In fact, here are a few ideas to build your social media presence while progressing your career:

  • Post relevant content that your followers can use. Answer questions, share your advice or post facts that are deemed helpful to those in your niche
  • Share industry-related news to keep your audience abreast on current events. Offer your insight or opinion to make it authentic. Take it a step further by going live on Facebook Live to capture attention in newsfeeds
  • Inspire your audience by posting quote images. You can locate ones on Google Images or create your own using Canva
  • Curate and share authoritative content pertaining to the environmental, engineering or construction industry. You’ll be viewed as a reliable source, encouraging people to visit and engage on your page regularly
  • Keep it simple with your postings. The key on social media is consistency and quality. Depending on the network, you can post as few as once a day (LinkedIn) or twice (Facebook, Instagram, Google+) and be effective

#3 Post Useful Videos on YouTubeThere are a plethora of benefits to using video to build your professional brand. Video has a way of drawing viewers into your message and allowing them to experience your personality. People enjoy video because it’s transparent, original, and an easy way to digest your message. Although some may prefer reading your blog post or social media content, many will opt for video.

Lastly, videos help boost your confidence and communication skills. The more videos you create sharing relevant content in your industry, the more you’ll enhance your speaking abilities.

Use this to your advantage for your career. Create and upload videos on YouTube that relates to your industry. Use the same strategy in blogging for coming up with video topics. To increase exposure, be sure to share your videos on your social networks. Additionally, include popular keyword phrases that your audience would use when searching on YouTube for your subject matter.

Developing a video strategy for your professional brand will greatly separate you from other industry colleagues who are simply relying on one platform to cement their credibility.


Many of your colleagues are not optimizing digital strategies to excel their careers. Whether you’re in the environmental, engineering or construction industry, you’ll find that these tactics will help you standout and be noticed. You’ll enhance your portfolio while positioning your professional brand for future success.

Commit to adding each element in promoting your brand. Maintain a consistent blogging schedule to showcase your expertise. Leverage social media to connect and offer invaluable content your followers can use. Then, add videos to bring authenticity to your message while engaging a much wider audience.

The Relationship Between Brands And Influencers

Influencer Marketing is very familiar to marketers, The concept is to build a reputation and visibility for your brand by using the popularity and power of those popular people we call “influencers.” Influencer Marketing requires an overtone approach, packed with a lot more variables in order to be successful. Even before, it is hard to get attention, so in this article, we are going to discuss brand’s relationship with an influencer. What do brands searching for in an influencer?

Fabricate Experiences

Most of the brands think a campaign is more than a share on social media. Brands are searching for influencers who are able to develop and share the experience with their product and making it as a distinctive marketing kit. Brands want commitment and engagement.

Build Connections

A connection is one of the most important things in a relationship, it works on all forms of relationship. Brands are also searching for influencers who are capable of constructing a captivating content that can create a great impact on their audience. The trust that has been constructed between the brand, influencer, and their audience gradually increases when they are closely connected.

Video Acuity

Today, consumers are more interested in watching videos than reading written advertisements and content. Videos are essential to attain an increase of engagement on the mobile market. Have you seen a lot of fashion videos, tech videos that have been circulating on social media? That’s what I am talking about, observe those videos has more engagements than those written one. Let’s face it, everything is modern now, even in marketing, it’s changing and improving.

Social Media channel owner and Has local influence

Brands publish new campaigns and have target audience and message. They are searching for a person who has a strong influence in their channels and also their programs’ goals. So even if you are a mini-influencer, you are important if you take care of your community and influence. Those bloggers and influencers who have expert knowledge in social media are hot kinds of stuff on the market, brands are looking for influencers who can showcase their products throughout social media platforms. So if you are an influencer who is able to improve your own posts on social media, you got a great advantage to get chosen by the brands.

Email Responder

We often get an offer if we responsibly respond to emails. Brands would definitely pick those influencers who responds on their email quickly. This is one of those mistakes that bloggers make.


Well, we had already talked about the authenticity before. Brands are more attracted to those people who have authentic contents. They attract more organic users that could turn to customers.

Secrets to Creating a Visual Brand Identity That Sets You Apart

8 Key Areas You Want to Keep Your Visual Brand Consistent

Have you ever wondered what your social media followers think about you?

Is it possible you are sending mixed messages to your prospects?

This month we’re talking about the importance of personal branding and how it helps your business. This article ties closely in with that regarding your visual brand – essentially how you come across to others.

Over the years I have seen a lot of business owners who haven’t taken time to define their brand. They don’t understand when businesses stray from their brand, it dilutes their brand power and impact. Or worse, they have nothing about them that sets them apart.

As a result, they complain they are attracting the wrong customers or hardly getting any leads at all…

This “me too” method of marketing that mimics what competitors are doing isn’t effective.

That’s why I feel compelled to share more what a visual brand is and how to build a strong one online.

Whether you’re creating a new brand or updating your existing one, your brand’s visual identity is the most important factor in your marketing.

Your brand is so much more than a website and a logo. It’s a user’s total experience and perception of you.

So every touchpoint a prospect has with you should have one consistent look and theme. This includes your logo, website, stationery, social media, videos, brochures, business cards, and of course your personal brand in how you dress and present yourself to the world.

A solid visual brand:

– Helps people know what to expect from you.

– Promotes professionalism and purpose.

– Draws prospects who align with your ideas, attitudes and values.

– Enhances confidence, trust and rapport with your followers.

– Builds upon the existing brand experience they have with you in a positive (or a negative) way.

Visual branding adds real power to your marketing. It increases engagement and understanding.

With all these benefits to personal and professional branding, it’s more important than ever to brand your visual content and images so you stand out from competitors.

How Can You Keep Your Brand Consistent?

You write blog articles and posts every day. You are working back and forth on projects. How can you be certain that all the marketing you do resonates with your core brand?

Creating a style guide makes it easier to keep your marketing pieces consistent.

Firstly, ensure your brand is consistent in the following areas:

– Headshot – Having a professional headshot goes a long way in developing brand trust.

– Logo – your logo is the nucleus of your brand, everything else stems from that. Ensure it’s designed properly that includes the psychology of what it represents.

– Colour Palette – Colours that will resonate with your target market and be meaningful to your brand.

– Brand Message – This is the essence of your business that includes your slogan or tagline of who you are, what you do, and how you deliver value.

– Fonts – Being consistent with the same one or two typefaces throughout all written materials as well as graphics

– Design Elements – The use of borders, lines, shadows and filters should all become familiar to being associated with your visual brand.

– Tone – Set the tone of your business presence and stick to it – whether serious, high-tech, sarcastic or soulful, this is a big part of building a solid brand presence.

Create a Style Guide as Your Roadmap

A style guide acts like a map that helps your team to stay on track. Sharing your style guide with key members of your team can ensure everyone knows the style guidelines and can follow them.

– Your copywriter and social media manager will understand how to write with your brand voice.

– Your graphic designer will stick to the fonts and colours your brand is known for.

– Your web design team can make sure your website and landing pages all have the same look and feel.

This is especially important for companies with virtual employees spanning in multiple geographic regions. Make it easy for your team to access your logo, fonts and templates. Always protect your brand. Double check when new marketing pieces come in that they conform to brand guidelines.

Here’s 8 areas you will want to keep your brand consistent in everything you do in your business marketing and social media efforts:

1. Website

Your website is the biggest brand statement your business has. It serves as a reference to make sure all other brand elements are in alignment.

That’s why I am so against people who use cookie-cutter template sites. They may look polished, but they lack the warmth, connection and personality of a branded website (not to mention how badly they are built.)

Make sure the images you use are reflective of your ideal client. Use language that resonates with your target audience. Create an about page that helps your visitors understand your backstory and why you are passionate and good at what you do.

The more your website looks and feels like you, the stronger attraction tool it will be for potential clients.

2. Professional Headshot

I was very camera shy when I first started my business. So when it came time to get some updated headshots, I dreaded it. But I found that going through the process brought me confidence.

My new headshots are used as a personal and business branding tool that help me to be more recognized online. They are on all my social media profiles and on our website. As a result, people recognize me when I attend local networking events.

Investing in new headshots can truly jumpstart your brand and success.

3. Sharing Photos

Sharing photos makes your marketing more personable and showcases your personal brand. Consumers love seeing the real person behind the business.

So be mindful of when you are working or in group situations and see how you can snap pictures to show followers what you are up to.

Take a picture holding your new book. Grab a shot with a new friend you met while networking. Show the resort you are staying at for your business mastermind.

4. Video

Creating videos helps build a strong following online. It’s important to have your videos match your brand too. Dress in a manner that is consistent with your brand.

You could also shoot it in similar places or locations. Whether that’s sitting at your desk, cooking in the kitchen, or standing in front of a green screen with a projected background, that consistent setting helps build familiarity.

Be warm, friendly and connective. If you promise to offer weekly video tips, then get them out on the same day each week so viewers can anticipate them. Create a custom hashtag for your video tips too.

5. Branded Images

Kick up the interest of your blog articles and social media with images. There are loads of free tools to help you make graphic quotes, infographics, and other visuals to add impact.

Make sure all your graphic images are consistent with your brand. Adding your logo makes it easy for people to instantly recognize the content is from you.

6. Social Media

Social media provides so many opportunities for visual branding. From Facebook cover images to profile pics, to graphics, there are endless opportunities for people to learn more about what you do.

The images you use can evoke the feelings and emotions you want your brand to convey. The goal is for someone to look at your social media account and get an impression that helps them understand your unique vibe.

7. Free Giveaways

When you are offering free reports, tools, and other goodies to visitors, make sure they have the same colours, logos, and visual feel as your other materials.

When it looks professional and makes a great impression, it builds credibility. Plus, it’s just one more piece of the brand puzzle that helps them understand what you do.

8. Email Signature

A graphic email signature can add visual impact to every message you send. Services like Wisestamp make it easy to add your logo, picture, and social media links to your email signature.

Have your virtual team members set up a signature too so you come across as a professional team to your customers.

Are you a Wanna Be or a Real Brand?

It’s really important to take a look at your brand as a whole to make sure everything is in alignment.

Is your visual brand

– Clear,

– consistent,

– Authentic,

– Memorable, and

– In alignment with changes in the marketplace, your offerings, or your success?

Even if your brand was on target 3 years ago, the nature of your business may have changed where your brand no longer accurately reflects what you do or who you serve.

You have become more specialized. You may have new product offerings. Maybe you are now the host of a new podcast.

Take a look at your brand with the eyes of an outsider and ask yourself if what you see truly reflect who you are now as a company.

How Does Your Business Score from a Visual Branding Perspective?

Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

5 Steps to a Strong Personal Brand on Social Media

ocial media is everywhere and having yourself on it can be great; however, your professionalism doesn’t stop at your professional profiles.

If you’re an influencer in your industry or the face of your business, then paying attention to personal branding is essential in your social profiles.

So how do you get personal branding working for you?

Here’s 5 steps to ensuring you have a strong personal brand that will help with your business success:

1. Audit Yourself

A quick audit of your personal profiles is a good idea so you can prune anything you wouldn’t want associated with yourself professionally. It will give you a chance to update all your profiles as well.

Make sure all your profiles are connected so users can easily see the relationship. The idea here is that you are an extension of your business and all social profiles clearly indicate to the user who you are and what you’re about.

When posting to your personal social media accounts, keep in mind your business goals and remember optics is key. When someone searches your name, what do they find? Remember anyone may repeat that search so if the results aren’t good you could lose a potentially warm lead.

2. Set Goals

Being the face of your business can also lead to you being an influencer in your industry. But that doesn’t just happen automatically. You need to set targets for yourself. And not just in terms of the metrics of measuring success but in how you will achieve the higher standing in your industry that you’re after.

Look at people already established in your niche. They may have a business profile but then on their own how are they presented? Successful personal branding should show their personal profile is aligned with the style of their business.

Once you see what content has been effective and how often your peers have been successfully posting, you can estimate how often and what kind of materials you should post.

Also pay attention to where they post and you’ll see what platforms have returned results for them. Then you’ll know where to focus your efforts.

This element and the audit can be time consuming and confusing so don’t hesitate to reach out to social media experts if you require assistance.

3. Create Your Social Media Strategy

You have your goals set and you know how often you want to post and how many new people you want to see your content.

Now it’s time to incorporate the previous steps and develop a goal-based strategy aimed at realistic growth.

Achieving your goals is a dynamic process where you will consistently evaluate your successes and refine your approach until you start seeing the results you want.

Share other people’s content while promoting your own to establish yourself as an authority in your industry and not just a self promoter.

There are various content aggregation tools available that will make it easier for you to find relevant content. And the bonus is you’ll get to read more about what you do!

Alltop and POPURLS are some favourites but there are many more you can choose from.

Try tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to help you schedule out your posts but remember to check in often for any engagement. The best thing you can do to establish yourself as an authority is to provide feedback and commentary on other users that shows you know what you’re talking about.

By making it a conversation you are becoming an influencer. Other users will see that dialogue whether its tweets or comments and they’ll see your expertise in action.

Each approach will vary but there should be consistent elements to any strategy such as choosing which platforms you are going to be able to log into on an ongoing basis and what kind of content is best suited to your industry.

4. Update Your Profiles

Having a professional headshot is a great idea for your personal branding. If you don’t have that already make sure you get one and place it as your avatar on each social media profile – both personal and business profiles.

Each platform’s profile should easily convey a connection to all others. Users should see consistency in both the visual elements and the content you’re posting.

If you’re having trouble with the various images and sizes required, it’s quite easy to set up a free account with Canva, which has predefined image sizes for all platforms and is very user friendly.

5. Hire a Mentor

It never hurts to have a third party review your profiles. While asking friends for help may seem like a good idea, an experienced, professional personal branding mentor will know what has and hasn’t worked in the past.

Look for someone who has helped others achieve a solid personal brand and reputation in their industry and contact them for assistance. But make sure they know this is about your social media presence so you get someone with relevant experience to your goals.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

10 Tips to Deciding Your New Business Name

You are starting a new business, congratulations! Now that you know what you want to sell, whether it’s a product or a service, you need a business name. Deciding on your business name requires some thought and research. Take it from me, I’ve renamed my business three times in the last 10 years. The first time because I changed the focus of my business, but the second time because I just didn’t like the name. Hence, I should have put more time and research into it!

Naming your business really is the first brick you lay in building your business. It’s the foundation on which your entire business will rest. A few things to take into consideration while deciding on a name include:

1. Think about what your business objectives are or what describes your company.

2. Try to stand out in a crowd. Be memorable.

3. Do not use odd spellings. This makes it hard for a potential customer to find you online.

4. Don’t get so cute that people have no clue what you are talking about. Avoid puns that only you will understand.

5. Avoid being a cliché. Words such as next level, precision, solutions, services, affordable, global, and enterprise are overused.

6. Avoid using a geographically based name. What if your business expands to other areas of town or even globally? Don’t burden yourself with a name that keeps you rooted to one place.

7. Be careful if you try to combine two names into one. It needs to make sense and be easy enough to spell so that people can find you online.

8. Don’t pick a name that is too long. This is important when registering your domain name that you will be using for your email address.

9. Naming your business goes hand in hand with finding your domain. Your business name and your URL should be the same. Check if your domain is available with individual domain name registrars.

10. Know that it is okay to change your name as your business grows and changes. (Remember, I’ve done it three times!)

After deciding on a business name, be sure to check with your local county or state office to register it. Registration requirements vary from place to place. Deciding on a name can be confusing at times but just take these few things into consideration, do your research, and you will be building a strong foundation for your business.

8 Personal Branding Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Business

There’s no denying consumers crave a deeper connection with the companies they do business with. And that’s why these days having a fancy website and logo isn’t enough to define your brand.

Therefore, it’s very important to thoughtfully create a personal brand that truly shares who you are and what you stand for.

If a brand isn’t appealing to your audience or not genuine, it can repel customers. But the process of creating a brand can be intimidating for some.

So how do you avoid personal branding blunders when it comes to helping instead of harming your business?

Here’s the biggest personal branding mistakes to avoid:

1. Thinking you don’t need a Personal Brand

Whether you intentionally create a brand or not, every communication and experience you have with customers and potential customers is shaping your brand.

That’s why it’s critical to create a positive brand communication. If you don’t take time to define your brand, your message can get wishy washy. That lack of clarity will hurt your marketing efforts.

2. Using Copycat Branding.

Often when people start out in business they feel like imitating their top competitors is a good idea. Don’t imitate, instead innovate.

Accentuate what makes you unique. Differentiate yourself. Show why your differences make you a better choice.

Do this by creating signature systems, products and messaging that sets you apart.

3. Not Being Authentic.

Some people take a dress-up approach to branding. They feel like they must be something they are not in order to attract customers.

Authenticity in marketing matters more than ever before. Being honest and transparent builds trust.

A brand should be genuine and always maintain consistent messaging that is in alignment with your personality and brand.

4. Lacking Consistency.

Your personal brand promise and message should be clear with every communication.

The more consistent your brand is, the stronger it will attract followers. So as you write blog posts, eBooks and social media posts etc., make sure the thoughts, opinions and information shared is consistent with your personal brand.

Every communication should reflect your brand personality and values.

5. Not Writing Your Own Stuff.

Content marketing helps you develop leadership in your industry. Your fans want to hear from you – not the same old thing that everyone else is writing.

Every time you write it’s a communication that builds a relationship with your followers. They experience your personality and voice. Make time to write your own tips, checklists, guides and freebies for your content marketing efforts.

Writing unique articles also boost your website SEO.

6. Not Defining Your Niche.

No business can be all things to all people. It’s really important to define your target market. Period.

The more narrowly you can define your target market the better; otherwise, you risk confusing your customers and you’ll have a harder time attracting the right kind of clientele that you want to serve most.

7. Not Loving Your Tribe.

Your tribe is a group of people where an unconditional love and connection exists.

Raving fans will tell the world how amazing you are. That’s why it’s important to give special treatment to your tribe.

Find your tribe. Love them hard. Give them special offers. Allow them behind the scene’s peaks. Share advanced notice about things coming down the pipes.

8. Forgetting Quality and Professionalism.

The Internet knows all so if you make a mistake, someone’s going to catch it.

When you send a newsletter with typos or broken links it reflects poorly on your brand. When your customer has a problem and calls customer service, they want their issue resolved.

Pay special attention to your appearance. Watch the language you share on social media. Your demeanour should be humble not arrogant. Display ethical behaviour when attending public events. Answer the phone professionally.

Take these lessons to heart and keep them at the core of your personal branding strategy. Even if you feel good about your branding efforts, it’s smart to step back and take a look at your existing strategy and double-down your efforts to protect your personal brand.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.