Sometimes I feel that as a business owner I’m called to be super human. There’s often so much to do, and so little time to do it that setting a list of priorities is the only way to survive. I’ve gotten pretty good at being able to recognize when something needs to shift, when something is a priority, an opportunity, and a distraction and I’ve seen many business owners struggle and suffer by NOT knowing the difference.
The good news is, it can all be solved with a calendar and schedule. I know that seems overly simplistic and possibly not even real, but stick with me, I’ll explain exactly how this concept can change your life.
Let’s face it, building and managing a brand (i.e., your business) requires a lot of energy. The more energy you have, the more you can do. The less energy you have, the less you can do (or the worse you are at it!). I try to keep my energy at a high by eating well (I’m vegan and sugar free) and making sure I get at least some moderate amount of exercise, but that’s not enough.
When there’s a deadline, an issue comes… Read the full article...
Yesterday I rented the DVD Silver Linings Playbook and cuddled up with my dog Samantha for a few hours to some chocolate coffee and cake to spoil myself with a little me time. I didn’t know much about the movie before I rented it, but had received some good recommendations from a few friends at my office. I knew a few things:
1) I knew it had won awards
2) I knew it exceeded the producer’s expectations for it
3) I knew it was over a year old
So, I hopped online and looked at Netflix, but the movie wasn’t there. Then I hopped over to Amazon to see if they had it, and they did, but even though I was a Prime member it would still cost me $12.99 (yes, even 18 months after this movie was released that’s the price they were looking to charge), so I put it in my queue but before I pressed purchase I hopped on the Redbox website to see if one of the boxes near my house had it in stock.
Bingo! They did.
So I reserved the movie online, hopped in the car, retrieved the movie from the kiosk on my… Read the full article...
If there’s one thing that keeps a business in the black (profit) it’s innovation. It seems counter-productive to do something different but the reality is that there can only be a few successful copy cats out there and their life span is very limited. My experience shopping in New York is a great example of this.
Do you remember bootleg CDs and DVDs, or knock-off purses and watches? When I first moved to New York you could find “good looking” fakes everywhere. I always thought the real thing was better than the imitation, but there was enough of a market to keep the imitators in business… until there wasn’t.
Is the greatest form of flattery imitation, or is it the kiss of death? What got me thinking about this so much lately is the increasing number of copy cats I’m seeing on the market. There are two distinct ways I’ve been seeing this: At events and in marketing.
Now, obviously there are some fundamentals that need to be done in every business operation. That’s not what I’m talking about here. Today I’m specifically talking about the copy cat formula that is being washed, rinsed and repeated without any adjustment… Read the full article...
Have you noticed how inundated your inbox and banner ads have been with Marie Forleo’s B-School lately? If you’ve been in business and marketing online for more than a year chances are you’re in the midst of a B-School blitz, and love it or not, it paints the picture of how powerful it can be for your income and your brand when you use the enthusiasm and support of others.
I haven’t been through B-School myself, but for the past few weeks I’ve received promotions, offers and insights for it on a daily basis. It’s fun to see and it’s a powerful tool that you can use in your business as well, no matter where you’re starting out at.
Whether your business sells products or services, online or brick-and mortar you have options to leverage ambassadors to grow your business too. Sales make business work, and the more sales you have, the stronger your brand becomes.
So what is a brand ambassador? Simply put, they are people who are already fans and supporters of the products you sell and the work you do. They can be friends, family or former clients but the best ones are those who… Read the full article...
I’ve been on both sides of the advertising table, first as a model, and then as a project manager. When I was modeling the price for being talent in a local commercial averaged a few thousand dollars, and the price for producing them was in the tens to hundreds of thousands. A local 30-second spot was expensive. Imagine my surprise when, as an entrepreneur, I found out that you can advertise on tv for about the same cost, or sometimes even less than you’d pay for a website (but get that website first, you gotta have someplace to send the consumers to).
Two types of advertising are available: Broadcast and Cable. The name is as it implies. Broadcast is when you want to have a spot on a major network, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX and cable, well, obviously, it can run the gamut. There are regional cable channels, local channels, (like your community college may have) and regional channels. What’s great is that most cable channels have reached an agreement with the government where they MUST offer low cost advertising to small businesses. That means the supply greatly exceeds the demand.
Don’t you just love secrets? Me too,… Read the full article...
I got an email from a friend on Facebook the other day, right after my hiatus, asking me if I was now modeling.
That brought such a smile to my face, and I told my friend “no, those days are over” but ironically, just a couple of weeks ago I hired a stylist based in Los Angeles to do a brand style strategy session with me because I was feeling a bit frumpy when I covered my skin.
Can you relate?
We’d all like to believe (at least I would) that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but what’s on the outside is always, always, always the first thing anyone will notice you for, unless your blind or on the telephone.
So when I reached out to Sybil Henry, a friend and trusted colleague of mine who has worked in branding for over a decade just like me, I knew I was working with someone that wasn’t just going to tell me to dress “trendy” but who was going to consider who I am, what I like, and what my strengths are, and play to that.
It was so much fun. In my 43 years of life I… Read the full article...
The vicious cycle of Facebook. Have you ever found yourself experiencing something and feeling an urge, or even a requirement, to share it on Facebook? Do you ever have thoughts like:
- “This is awesome news. I should share this on Facebook so that people know I’m doing well”
- “Eww… I didn’t post about that new contract I won yesterday… I better do that so that other people want to work with me”
- “[celebrity name] and I should get a photo together. When people find out that I know her, they’ll think I’m special”
- “No one knows what I’ve been up to for a few days. I need to fill them in…”
- “I’ve got 3 trips in the next 3 weeks. I’m a jet-setter. I should show people the “lifestyle” that I’m living.”
- If I’m absent from Facebook, I won’t make any money
I just imagined those specific scenarios from the top of my head, but I’ve battled with similar ones many times. Social media has turned us into reputation slaves in a way, and as a result we can often feel like if we don’t put it on social media, We won’t matter.
It’s one of the biggest… Read the full article...
Today’s article is contributed by Bonnie Halper at StartupOneStop.com
Back in the 1970s, liquid hand soap was sold by one guy: Robert Taylor, and his small company Minnetonka. It was his invention, and he knew he was on to something big. Test audiences loved the product and, despite barely having enough resources to do so, Minnetonka decided to go all in and make a push to take the product nationwide.
There was only one problem: Nothing he was selling could be patented.
The concept of liquid soap wasn’t new, and simple pumps had been around since the dawn of civilization. As a result, Taylor knew several huge soap manufacturers were ready to happily steal his idea the very moment it looked like it could succeed on a large scale. Armed with superior resources and the ability to quickly R&D an imitation product, the industry giants were ready to crush tiny Minnetonka.
Taylor, however, was ready for this.
Before any other company had the chance, Taylor decided to go shopping one day and bought a few plastic pumps. And by a few we mean F**KING ALL OF THEM. There were only two companies nationwide manufacturing those little… Read the full article...