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Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Over and over again, I see the same story with business owners. They create a product or service and then as an afterthought put up a logo. Or they have somebody from Fiverr design the logo. And there is no analysis, no strategy. Just something that looks “cool” or “pretty.” I end up having to correct the work and the client has wasted time and effort with cheap and free services.

So how do you create an effective logo? What do you need before the design is even attempted?

Here’s seven questions to get you started in the right direction:

1. What does your business and you personally do well? Not do well?

2. What is the attitude you have toward your target market?

3. What is your target market? Who are you in business for? Who is your audience?

4. How do you want your business to be seen/perceived? How is it perceived by your audience or your target market? Read More→

Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerBusiness Plan by Dana BeasleyThe New Year is an excellent time to make a business plan for your home business. If you want to succeed in branding, writing a business plan is essential!

If you already have a business plan, now is a great time to update it.

Why create a business plan? Because if you don’t have some measurable goals, how do you know what to aim for? As the Bible says, without vision, people perish.

And without a plan, your business could fail!

So if you want to take your business seriously and really experience branding success, here are seven must-have items in your business plan to skyrocket your revenue!

1) Mission, Vision, Goals
If you are going to succeed in your home business, you need to understand why you exist. Having clarity on this one issue will help you grow more and more, as a business owner and as a person.

Your vision is where you want to be in the future, what you want to accomplish through your mission. This takes imagination and wisdom.

Goals need to be measurable and time-based, specific and directly related to your mission and vision.

2) USP
Your Unique Selling Proposition is what makes you stand out above the competition. It’s the reason why your customers will be drawn to you rather than another company. It’s your particular strength that you do better than anyone else out there. USPs are often used for slogans and taglines.

For instance, when my husband was planning his architectural business, we came up with the slogan, “Safeguarding lives through strong and robust building design.” This is based on his unique strength of designing quality buildings made from reinforced concrete, not studs.

3) Marketing Objectives/Analysis
You need to understand what problems your market has and what solutions you offer. You need to know who your target market is and where they are. You also need to strategize on how you are going to reach them. These objectives and analysis can be fleshed out in greater detail in a marketing plan.

4) Competition
It’s important to understand who your competition is, both directly and indirectly. You need to understand how saturated your market is. If it is saturated, how are you going to provide a needed product or service that people want and desire, and are in fact desperate for? What is different about you that people want to purchase through you?

Let me give you another example: I have a client in the essential oil business. Now, as of late I have noticed that oils are a very popular business. Many work at home moms especially are selling these. But my client found a passion of hers related to the oils to help a specific target market. That is how she is branding herself. That is how she is distinguishing herself above the competition. As she works out her plan, she is tremendously excited and motivated. Her business holds much promise and I know that her team is growing.

5) Financial projections
You will want to do cash flow projections, revenue and sales projects, expenses, etc. If you are looking for investors, this is especially important.

Read More→

Dec
29

How Your Brand Can Effortlessly Draw Your Audience

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-attractionClient attraction. It’s a buzz word these days that if you’re like me, you see everywhere.

And we see it everywhere because it is, indeed, a very important strategy. And that is where branding comes in.

A good brand distinguishes you from the crowd. On the Internet especially, it is so easy to get lost. It’s kind of like cookie cutter homes. Every time I drive through one of these neighborhoods, I get disoriented because every house looks alike!

Think about a custom house, though. Doesn’t that stand out in your mind? Aren’t you unconsciously drawn to it? Isn’t it more memorable in your mind?

This is just an analogy but a very effective one. Your brand needs to be customized to your business, to your Unique Selling Proposition. A one-size-all logo that looks like everyone else’s logo is not going to help you distinguish yourself from your competition. You will be lost in the crowd!

So when you have a customized brand, tailored to your mission, vision, and values, then you will attract customers to you.

This is because you will understand your target market and you will create a brand image that appeals to them. But a brand is more than a logo. It is the message that you are communicating. When you have clarity in your message to your audience, then what you have to say creates a resonance. You become attractive and they want to find out more.

It’s the difference between pushing and pulling, between a rubber band and a magnet. A good branding program will serve as that magnet that will attract prospects to you rather than you having to pull them in.

Read More→

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Dec
15

When It’s Time for Re-Branding

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerRebranding by Dana Susan BeasleyYou may have been in business for awhile and have all your branding done. But is it time to update your look?

That is exactly the position I find myself in. Over the years, my business has grown from greeting card publishing to ebooks to homeschooling curriculum to educational business resources. Now I am expanding into inspirational fundraising books.

As my company has grown, I have grown and changed, too. Because of all this growth, I feel it is time to update my brand.

But my changes are minimal. I needed a color scheme that fits more with my personality and one that could complement all my products and services.

This is a gradual process as I incorporate my new logo into my website, marketing materials, and products. In fact, one of my big goals this year is to completely revamp my website.

So when is it necessary for you to re-brand?

It may be, like what I described above, that your home business has grown over the years and your logo no longer reflects what you do. It might be that you need to update it slightly for the times. The most important factor is consistency. That’s where my brand was experiencing trouble. I needed a logo to tie in all my different products.

The other important factor is what I call perception versus reality. If your target market perceives you are one thing and in reality you are another, than you have problems and you need to re-brand.

This decision requires careful consideration, though. You may have what’s called “brand equity.” This is name recognition with your audience and you don’t want to risk confusion of your identity. This could trigger loss of revenue.

Read More→

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Dec
08

3 Ways to Create a Customer Retention Program

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerChristmas. It’s a time when we’re all thinking about giving and receiving gifts. But have you thought about what to give your clients and vendors? And in a bigger way, have you thought about creating a customer retention program?

They say the best customer is your current customer. Think about it. How much does it cost you to acquire each customer? What would happen in your business if you had repeat business from your current clients?

For instance, in a recent Gift Guide campaign I did for Christmas gifts, my strongest customer was my returning customer!

That’s why creating a customer retention program is so important!

So here are some ideas to get you started:

 

1) Send them a gift basket.

To really make your best customers feel special, assemble your own gift basket and send a thank you card with your company brand. If it is appropriate for your business, send them a sample packet. For instance, if you sell cosmetics, send them samples of your products. Be sure to include your business card!

When I worked at a Christian non-profit as a graphic designer, I always felt so appreciated when our vendors, like printing companies, would send us gift baskets. It made the days leading up to Christmas vacation so much more festive and cheerful! And believe me it helped us be loyal customers!

 

2) Give them a branded product. There are thousands of products that you can apply your business logo to. Bags, USB drives, mugs, iPhone covers are just some ideas out there!

You can create your own products through print on demand sites like CafePress or Zazzle.

One of my favorite promotional products I did was chocolate. Yep. I had my logo applied to a gold wrapper of chocolates. Yum! And they were very well received. Only two problems: 1) I had to keep them in an ice chest in the summer, and 2) my son discovered the “business candy” and loved them, too!

Read More→

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Dec
01

Publicity Ideas to Create Visibility for Your Brand

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerPublicity Ideas to Create Brand Visibility by Dana Susan BeasleyPublicity. It is often the forgotten marketing method to increase brand visibility. So how can you use publicity to effectively increase your presence in the marketplace?

Here’s some ideas to get you started.

1) Find out what your needs are in the community and apply your gifts, talents, and donations. Look for sponsorship opportunities where you can support great causes while at the same time bring brand awareness to a wide audience. Christmas time is a wonderful time to do this. A networking group I belong to in Colorado Springs does this every year for a charity called Christmas Unlimited. Last year they gave away $20,000 in toys to needy children. And I know that in the end the sponsors benefited from all the brand recognition!

2) Another way to get involved in the community is by offering your talents. For instance, recently I had the idea of creating a special book to help fire and flood survivors in Colorado. I sent out around 80 press releases to local media up and down the Front Range. I also have been on local radio a few times to bring awareness to my project. While my motive is to help those in need and to uplift and inspire those who read the book, I have also increased the presence of my company in my region. .

3) Enter local contests. Several years ago, I entered a balloon festival logo contest and I won! The logo I designed was on t-shirts, bags, pins, and much more. The local paper did a story about me. It is an event that I frequently use to illustrate my credibility as a designer. And plus, my prize was to ride in a balloon. Who could beat that?

4) Use PR services like PRWeb.com. For a nominal investment, you can have a press release go all over the Web. It is easy to do. Just have a newsworthy event, like publishing a new book or offering a new program or winning an award. Sites like PRWeb.com will walk you through it step by step.

Read More→

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Nov
16

What to Do When You Lose Motivation

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerWhat to Do When You Lose Motivation by Dana Susan BeasleyLet’s face it. Building a business isn’t easy. There really is no magic pill out there.

So how can you keep motivated to keep increasing your brand recognition when you feel burnt out?

First of all, take a look at your marketing plan. Does it include tasks that you dread? Do you have enough tasks in your plan that you truly enjoy?

For me, I’ve found that I need to concentrate my marketing plan on what I’m really passionate about. That includes Facebook, writing articles, radio shows, and producing videos, just to name a few. It’s easy to get so spread out with all the marketing options available that you spread yourself too thin! Try concentrating on what you really love to do and apply yourself wholeheartedly to those projects. You might find yourself having new motivation to do the work of increasing your brand awareness.

Training is another key way to keep motivated. Is this something you are investing in on a regular basis? Training is an investment in you. Gaining new skills is so important when building a business. The Internet is full of many opportunities for training. In fact, several years ago I decided that I was going to create my own home study course. I have learned so much! And the exciting thing is there is still so much to learn!

You may want to go even deeper than training and find a coach. A coach can help you grow by leaps and bounds! Again, there are many, many coaches that “hang their shingle out” on the Internet!

You may want to take a step back. Be sure to create time for yourself. Be with your family. Enjoy life. So often as entrepreneurs, we get caught up in our work so much that we forget to live! Take a breath and enjoy the process! I did this very thing a few weekends ago. I attended a woman’s retreat in the mountains far from my home. I felt at first that I was missing out on an opportunity to work. After all, my projects don’t get done by themselves! But I found I needed the time to reconnect with the Lord. He did some major work in me that I know will help me in my business. He also brought about some divine business appointments that I could never bring about myself! Read More→

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Nov
03

How to Approach Sales and Have a Successful Brand

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerHow to Approach Sales and Have a Successful Brand by Dana Susan BeasleyI’m going to be honest with you, I am not a sales person. But actually, I’ve found that to be an advantage. Why?

Because more and more, consumers are resistant to blatant sales pitches. They are looking to develop relationships. The truth is, people don’t do business with businesses. They do business with people they like, know, and trust.

That is why social media is key. By building a following, you are developing a relationship with your target market. By showing them you are a real person rather then slamming them with pitch after pitch, you are creating trust and credibility. Read More→

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Oct
26

How to Write a Business Plan for Your Brand

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerWriting from the heartThe New Year is an excellent time to make a business plan for your home business. If you want to succeed in branding, writing a business plan is essential!

If you already have a business plan, now is a great time to update it.

Why create a business plan? Because if you don’t have some measurable goals, how do you know what to aim for? As the Bible says, without vision, people perish.

And without a plan, your business could fail!

So if you want to take your business seriously and really experience branding success, here are seven must-have items in your business plan to skyrocket your revenue!

1) Mission, Vision, Goals

If you are going to succeed in your home business, you need to understand why you exist. Having clarity on this one issue will help you grow more and more, as a business owner and as a person.

Your vision is where you want to be in the future, what you want to accomplish through your mission. This takes imagination and wisdom.

Goals need to be measurable and time-based, specific and directly related to your mission and vision.

2) USP

Your Unique Selling Proposition is what makes you stand out above the competition. It’s the reason why your customers will be drawn to you rather than another company. It’s your particular strength that you do better than anyone else out there. USPs are often used for slogans and taglines.

For instance, when my husband was planning his architectural business, we came up with the slogan, “Safeguarding lives through strong and robust building design.” This is based on his unique strength of designing quality buildings made from reinforced concrete, not studs.

3) Marketing Objectives/Analysis

You need to understand what problems your market has and what solutions you offer. You need to know who your target market is and where they are. You also need to strategize on how you are going to reach them. These objectives and analysis can be fleshed out in greater detail in a marketing plan.

4) Competition

It’s important to understand who your competition is, both directly and indirectly. You need to understand how saturated your market is. If it is saturated, how are you going to provide a needed product or service that people want and desire, and are in fact desperate for? What is different about you that people want to purchase through you?

Let me give you another example: I have a client in the essential oil business. Now, as of late I have noticed that oils are a very popular business. Many work at home moms especially are selling these. But my client found a passion of hers related to the oils to help a specific target market. That is how she is branding herself. That is how she is distinguishing herself above the competition. As she works out her plan, she is tremendously excited and motivated. Her business holds much promise and I know that her team is growing. Read More→

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Oct
20

Why Professionalism Still Matters In Branding

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-profIs professionalism a dying art? Sometimes I think that, living out here in the West as I do! But professionalism can set you apart from your competition and bring success to your brand.

What exactly is professionalism? Professionalism is having “soft skills,” like dressing appropriately for a client meeting, or shaking a hand in a confident manner, or making eye contact when you talk.

Professionalism is following through with your promises. When you say you will call, call! When you say that you will get a project done, get it done! If it’s not possible, let your client know right away and explain the circumstances. If it’s your fault, offer to make it right in some way.

Professionalism is also communicating well. It’s making the effort to spell words correctly, to form grammatically correct sentences, to write a letter (even an email) that conforms to standards with greetings, introductions, and closings. Of course, you can’t be perfect, but making the effort to be correct will go a long ways, especially in today’s society.

Professionalism also means you act accordingly on social media. Whining over and over again in postings is not going to give you a favorable impression with your network! Neither is acting like everything is perfect. Be real, but be above board, and show yourself as a person who is honest and has integrity. These two values alone will propel your business to new heights. After all, the most successful businesses are ones that have integrity.

Read More→

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