3 Tactics to Successful Branding…It’s About the Relationship

Jenelle in Action - Blogging Session 7

Speaking on “Getting Started with Business Blogging” – Fremont Chamber of Commerce

Building a brand takes time, patience, and diligence.

This has been a HUGE takeaway for me over the last year and a half.  If you’re looking for short-term results that pay off now, your marketing efforts may not last the long haul.

If you’re looking for long-term results that get better and more profitable as time goes by through building relationships with your audience, roll up your sleeves and get ready to dig in. Successful branding is more than just a sales tactic

or pushing your products and services. It’s becoming the first thing your customers think of when they have a problem you can solve.  It’s connecting on a deeper level evoking an emotional response from those you engage with.

This takes time and great care to truly be long lasting.

It’s becoming a trusted expert, resource and friend in the minds of your audience.

As a micro business owner I have real conversations with real business owners helping them see a new way to implement online marketing.

Meaningful relationships are even more important today.  Believe it or not this is attainable even in this highly digital world.

Consider three basic steps to reach this status:

1) Offer your customers what they want. Spend some time discovering this. Then figure out how you can give it to them.

2) Speak in their language. Do research. Learn what your audience wants, share your solution by focusing on the value add. Pay attention to cyclical shifts. Apply frequency, consistency and anchoring.

3) Get in front of your audience on a regular basis. Do this consistently, remember to speak to people’s needs, anchor your message in their minds be the first one they think to solve their problems.

If it seems like a lot of work, you’re right: It is. Passing up the opportunity for quick profits from push-marketing tactics can be hard, especially when you have bills that need to be paid.

Building relationships and helping your audience get to know, like and trust you is critical to success in this era.

During a recent consultation a business owner expressed a need to assess current marketing tactics and implement new elements in hopes of getting their phone to ring with new leads/customers.

The client was more concerned with implementation.

The problem with this approach?  Remember the saying, “If you don’t where you are how can you figure out where you want to go?”

During our conversation I helped the client slow down, take a deep breath.  By helping empower them to begin analyzing the

competition, customer need, and begin creating an online marketing strategy designed for long-term benefits.

What every brand and marketer must remember is it is not about YOU.  If we miss what a client really needs we will never have the privilege of doing business with them.

What has been your surefire way of solidifying the know, like, and trust factor for your company/brand?  Have you yielded results taking this approach?

Join the conversation!


Customers for Life – 3 Marketing Tips to Get You Closer…

Original post by, 

As a small business owner, you’ve probably given some thought to your target market. After all, you’re not trying to sell life-coaching services (or basket weaving classes, or SEO eBooks) to everyone in the world. Right?

You’re simply trying to sell your product or service to the people who want and need it most.

Finding out who those people are, and learning to connect with them in a meaningful way, is what marketing is all about.

When you get crystal clear about your target market, niche, and ideal client, you’re able to create marketing materials that easily turn prospects into paying customers.

The terms target market, niche, and ideal client get tossed around an awful lot. The first step to streamlining your marketing efforts is to understand the difference between the three.     

Target Market – This is the broadest section of the population you’re targeting.

Consider what group of prospects will get the best results, in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of effort because of working with you.

For example, perhaps you run a private cleaning company in Philadelphia. Is your target market “everyone who lives in Philadelphia?” Certainly not!

Why? Because not everyone in Philadelphia needs or wants their house cleaned. Of the people that do, who is it that needs and wants what your company has to offer?

Do you do your best work with affluent, college-educated married couples with children? Then perhaps you brand your company as an upscale, top of the line and exclusive service.

Do you consistently get business from coupon clippers, single parents or young professionals on a budget? Then perhaps you brand your company as the most affordable cleaning service in town?

There is not necessarily a right answer to who is your target market. However the wrong answer is “everyone”. The old saying “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” definitely applies to target markets.

Niche – What you do for your audience

Target market deals with your customer. Niche is all about you.

“Health and wellness” is an industry. “Private pilates coaching” could be your niche – that is, what you offer to people interested in health and wellness.

“Dating and relationships” is an industry. “Dating advice for new divorcees” could be a niche to pursue within that industry.

You can’t differentiate yourself from thousands of other businesses if you attempt to market a “travel website” or a “weight loss product.” There are millions of travel websites and weight loss products out there. What makes yours different?

Here’s what niche-ing down looks like:

Travel agent -> Solo travel expert -> Career break solo travel -> Career break solo travel for 40-somethings

Business coaching -> Business coaching for solopreneurs -> Business coaching for tech-challenged solopreneurs

Ideal Client – The detailed description of your perfect client or customer.

It’s difficult to connect with a nameless, faceless group of people, even if you’ve done your homework and “niched down.”

That’s where an ideal client profile comes into play. An ideal client profile is a made-up person who represents your perfect customer. They have the exact problems your best customers have, they need your help, and they’re ready to buy right now.

By creating a detailed bio of your ideal client, including biographical information and emotional needs, you’ll be able to create email newsletters, blog posts, website copy and products that resonate with your audience on a deep and personal level.


Because using an ideal client profile is like writing a letter to one person instead of thousands – the result is that each person who reads the letter feels like it’s written just for them.

Remember, choosing a target market, niche and ideal client is for the purposes of your marketing efforts. You will likely attract people who don’t fit what you’ve chosen and that’s ok! We’re not talking about turning anyone away. We’re talking about F-O-C-U-S-I-N-G the limited time, money and energy you have to spend on marketing on the people that will yield the best results.

Define your target market, see if you can “niche down” within your chosen industry, and spend some time crafting your ideal client’s bio and backstory.

The more specific you get, the more effective your marketing will be and the more qualified your leads will become as you begin to create customers for life.

Sydni Craig-Hart, The Smart Simple Marketing Coach, is founder of SmartSimpleMarketing.comKnown for her easy, strategic and results-focused approach to marketing, she also has the unique ability to find untapped profit centers in her client's businesses so they can create money NOW. Visit www.SmartSimpleMarketing.com for your FREE training course, "5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom" and apply for a FREE "Profit Breakthrough" session with Sydni!

Mid-Year Review – Are you reaching your 2014 goals?

Jenelle in Action

Have you made progress or completed your 2014 goals?  Are you doing "stuff" and not really accomplishing what you'd set out to?

With bulging daily to-do's we can easily continue to move forward and not take a moment to reflect and refocus for increased success.

Popforms does a wonderful job of sharing leadership ideas and simple strategies to lead with purpose.

A few weeks back Popforms wrote a post focused on the importance of conducting a mid-year review.  With all the productivity tools, tricks and tips, we

often just need quiet and focus to be more strategic about goals, in life, business, and as a person.  Check that post out here.

A key few areas to review mid year are:

– Uncovering strengths and weaknesses

– Defining values and principles

– Crafting your purpose

– Reflections of the past

– 5 year plan

Like many I'd like to think im super-organized, have it all planned out, and am working progressively toward intended goals.  The challenge is life throws us many curveballs testing our agility at every turn.  I'm still in the process of reviewing and recharting my course as necessary.  What about you?

Do you take time for a mid-year review?  What adjustments have you made after doing this?

Let's continue the conversation!  Use #midyearreview2014 on Twitter and I'll tweet you back.

Be effective in ALL you do!



Visual Content for Social Media with Guy Kawasaki & Peg Fitzgerald – #CanvaConvert


Last week Mari Smith, Peg Fitzgerald, and Guy Kawasaki tag teamed to share great tips on

FREE visual content and social media.

Visual content is needed to supercharge engagement on social media.  Canva makes graphic design

accessible to beginners and advanced users.

Canva will be one of my top  tools for creating graphics with text and for updating my Facebook page.

added to the task list 🙂

For helpful tutorials see the Canva Youtube page.

Here are 10 tips shared to help create visual content for social media that pops!

1) Think like NPR 

 Daily many of us visit this news site and find engaging, entertaining, and educational info.  Ask whether you’ve achieved this with each of your posts.

2) Be Bold.

Feel free to express your opinions.  This works especially well for platform builders, freelancers, and entrepreneurs.  For corporate consider company policies and norms.

3) Add DRAMA.

Images can say a lot with minimal text.  Add the wow factor by using GREAT graphics.  Try www.canva.com.

4) Give credit where credit is due.

When using images or others posts make sure to reference the author.  It’s the neighborly thing to do!!

5) Size matters for social.

Be aware of how your post images look on different media.  For instance a G+ post will have a different appearance on a desktop versus mobile.  People view their social media on mobile devices.  Plan accordingly.

6) Schedule posts.  

Social media can be time consuming.  Organizing yourself by scheduling posts can help keep consistent presence online.  Need tools to help?  See #9 & 10 below.

7) Spread out posts.  

Remember to trickle your info out.  Depending on your audience the frequency of posts have to be considered.

8) Take the temperature of your social networks.

Listen and engage with your audience.  The whole point of social media is to engage.  Respond when possible and listen to your audience.  Relationship marketing is a two-way street.

9) Services for social media.

SocialBro, Tailwind, HootSuite, Buffer, SproutSocial, Tweetdeck

10) Great content sources.  

Alltop, Feedly, HolyKaw, NPR, Pinterest, StumbleUpon

[Tweet “I am a #canvaconvert. Join me? www.canva.com”]

Need help creating great visual content for your blog or social media?  Let’s talk!

Do you have any handy tips to add to the list.  Join the conversation…



Vulnerability and Your Business – Ted Talk Thursday

Do you find it difficult to show vulnerability in your business branding efforts?   Gary Vaynerchuk encourages businesses to “Use every customer point of contact to weave stories about who you are and what your brand stands for.”  Human connection is at the core of what every human yearns for.  In order to do this effectively vulnerability

is inevitable.  When you think of your business brand, why a customer buys from you, and how you solve their pain points your being vulnerable can be a unique way of winning their business.  Listen in as Brene Brown discusses the Power of Vulnerability.  


Does showing your vulnerability play a role in how you market your business brand?  Share your comments below.

Best wishes,


Building an Online Business – It’s a Journey not a Sprint

Building a business that can compete in the crowded digital space is not for the faint of heart.

Most will tell you it was the little steps that brought it all together.  Consistent, and purposeful

actions can pay off in time.  Has this been your experience?

This slideshare deck gives the visual story of Darren Rowse @problogger.  Do any of these points resonate with you?

Remember your business growth is a “journey not a sprint”.

Forget what you’ve heard…Blogging Myths to Ignore

Business blogging myths abound, tomorrow I’ll be presenting a workshop titled, “5 Blogging Myths to Ignore”.

According to a HubSpot studyB2B companies that blog only 1-2X per month generate 70% more leads than those who don’t blog.

Ready to debunk blogging myths getting in the way of building your brand and business?

See previous post on this topic here .  Also check out recent post by blogger Julie Deneen.


Have you considered starting a business blog?  If you have one what has kept you on course to making it successful?

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 8.04.11 PM

Ignore Blogging Myths – Photo source www.bizben.com


It’s not always about quantity…The Art of Unblogging

The 2nd quarter of this year I’ve found myself a bit delayed with blog posts.  Daily I’ve made a habit of curating, journaling, and reviewing content.

Networking with local business owners has kept me on the road more than usual.

Blogging is a journey not a sprint, a commitment to the task is paramount for long-term  success.

As the old adage goes, “Anything worth having is worth working for”.


This blog post about “unblogging” gave me clarity on why it’s OK to take a break from blogging.  It’s important to find what works for you, your business, and life.  So go ahead you have permission to “unblog” when needed…onward


[Tweet “Blogging is a journey not a sprint, a commitment to the task is paramount for long-term success.”]


FREE Small Business Seminar – Grow Your Biz with Social Media

IMG_1559Many opportunities abound for small business owners to grow their businesses with social media.  The challenge is understanding how to make this an integrated marketing strategy that will get you the results you desire.

The Alameda Small Business Development Center will be presenting a FREE session to help give small businesses more detail about where to start with their social media strategies.

If you’re in the area add this training session to your schedule.

Grow Your Business with Social Media

Fremont Main Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
Monday, April 21
6 pm to 8 pm

Many businesses find themselves seeking the right strategies, tools and tactics to make their marketing efforts as effective as possible. But between Facebook and Twitter, email and mobile, deals, and whatever new social network is rolling out that month—there’s a lot to keep up with. And there are only so many hours in each day. The number of possibilities can feel overwhelming. This session will help make sense of the noise.

What you will learn:
– to make the most of the combination of email and social media for your business or organization
– a greater understanding of marketing basics like goals and objectives
– what a “campaign” is and what to write about and offer in that campaign
– powerful tips for how to get your messages opened and read, shared and socially visible
– tools to help engage with your existing supporters as well as expand your reach to new prospects

Throughout the session you’ll be given opportunities to capture your own ideas and build out the framework of your own “next great campaign.”

To attend this free seminar RSVP to http://acsbdc.org/events2.

For more sessions like this in other regions search by zip code here.

If you are looking for hands on support schedule a business exploration session.  I’d be happy to help.


Small Business Social Media Cheat Sheet

Do you find cheat sheets useful?  If you answered YES check out this social media cheat sheet infographic.

Social media for small business can feel like a HUGE undertaking.

Next month on April 3rd I’ll be joining a colleague to discuss social media and marketing for small businesses.

Did you find this useful?  I sure hope so…

For more information or help with your social media marketing efforts connect with me I’d be happy to help.

Be effective in ALL you do!