All day, every day, our lives are filled with words. They’re communicated to us in verbal or written form and have a huge impact on our decisions and opinions. That’s why when you talk about your business, having an acute understanding of your audience and what they want to hear is essential to building brand awareness and sales. This applies to the written word as well. You probably put more written words in to the universe each day than verbal, and those are forever searchable courtesy of the Internet. Speaking and writing with intention and authority on your business is something that takes planning and practice.
We’ve all heard the tell-tale tactics of successful people and that their morning routines are a large part of their accomplishments. Certainly you can attribute some parts of your daily life that helped you launch your business and keep it running successfully. Routines, of any kind, provide stability and expectations for people, which make it easier to tackle business objectives and whatever else life might throw their way. As Mike Vardy, entrepreneur and productivity strategist, said,
“Routines are the ideal way to bookend your day. I think they are the building blocks of effectiveness, efficiency, and efficacy.”
Whether you realize it or not, your brand has a tone of voice. You may have a hard time identifying it, but you can bet your customers are aware of it. The good news is that you can control and shape this tone – but you better act sooner rather than later.
The Value of Your Voice
The term “tone of voice” typically conjures up thoughts about spoken words and how we speak in certain situations. However, in the case of marketing and branding, it refers to written words – or the words a brand uses on websites, emails, advertisements, social media, and packaging.
We’ve been talking a lot about how social media is a critical part of any successful business. What we haven’t discussed is how to manage your social media so you are projecting a consistent brand presence without it taking over your entire week. Enter the social media editorial calendar. Establishing an editorial calendar for your social media efforts will save you time and allow you to strategically target and analyze your social media posts.
With the jack-of-all-trades mentality that often accompanies small business work environments, it is easy to jump from project to project and sometimes lose focus of where your resources and time should be spent. By implementing an editorial calendar, your business has a visual representation of what topics are being discussed across your social media presences as well as maps out deadlines so work is delegated and broken down into tangible tasks. Even if you’re a one-man show, this kind of planning is useful.
Working from home can seem like a dream come true: you can work in your pajamas, your commute is nonexistent, there’s no negotiating with officemates over room temperature, and you get to choose your office decor. However with these upsides, there can be drawbacks, which make you less productive and successful than you may have hoped. There are endless distractions to pull you away from your business duties and leave you with squandered time. Mitigate these potential problems by setting yourself up to win with our seven practical work from home tips.
Now while on a personal level this might initially cause you to panic because you have four days to find a token of appreciation for your mom, from the standpoint of a small business owner, you should rejoice. Nearly 50% of shoppers make their purchases 2 and 7 days in advance of Mother’s Day. This means there is a huge audience in need of gifts now! In fact, Mother’s Day spending is on the rise and is the third largest retail holiday in the United States. As a small business, you have an enormous opportunity over the next few days to engage customers who have a serious spending deadline.
National Small Business Week is in full swing! Since 1963, the president has proclaimed one week out of the year as National Small Business Week citing the importance of small businesses to our national economy, and per President Obama’s 2016 proclamation, as representative of “the spirit that has always driven our Nation forward.” This is truly a week of celebration and acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication millions of Americans put forth each day to grow their passions and prosperity across the country. Don’t be fooled, though. There’s so much more to NSBW than festivities and merriment; business and industry findings are revealed, which glean insight into what’s in store for small businesses in the future.
We’ve touched on the importance of your brand, and identified the key components to creating one that is memorable, but today we’re going to hone in on brand imagery. Think of brand imagery as the frosting to your cake; it lures people with its outward appearance and enhances the flavor profile of the cake. A red velvet cupcake is great, but a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting is infinitely better. Get the gist?
Your brand imagery should show the personality of your brand to its audience. When a company has strong brand imagery, you can identify its ads or promotions instantaneously. Coca Cola, Target, Google, and Apple were the first companies that came to mind when I brainstormed this topic. Each has a distinct look, feel, and message to its imagery, and I never hesitate to associate their names with their product promotions because it is so obvious.
Pranks are the name of the game on April Fools’ Day, and increasingly brands are getting involved in the fun. This year we saw a flurry of businesses play into the trickery of April 1, but the majority fell flat. The notable few who rose to the top had viewers laughing out loud and were incredibly memorable. Aside from having viewers giggling at their desks, these brands successfully engaged their audiences through these stunts and turned an otherwise silly cultural holiday into a marketing triumph.
Most people know by now that in order to be successful, a small business must at least dip a toe into digital marketing. But knowing that it needs to be done does not – unfortunately – correlate to knowing how to do it!
Luckily, there’s a specific organization that recognizes that struggle: Do It Digital UK. The organization describes itself as:
“…an independent, not-for-profit campaign that looks to highlight resources around the UK, online and off, that can help small businesses take the next step in digital, what ever their current level of skill and engagement may be.”