Acknowledging What You Don’t Know!

What Problem Is Your Brand Solve? .png

As a business owner or entrepreneur, there are so many hats to wear in order to operate and grow a successful business. But what does success look like for you? Branding and marketing are a HUGE part along with increasing cash flow and maintaining client relationships are all imperative. Actually providing the service or product is a very important part as well. All of these make up a whole business model according to how you designed it and operate in it.

For the most part, none of it works without Branding and Marketing. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you not forget this important piece of business. It is the critical piece to your success and how others see you and your business. All of these have a major part in the overall impact of business success. 

Your Brand and Marketing are Key Pieces to Any Business.
— Elyshia Brooks, MBA

So many entrepreneurs and businesses forgo marketing and branding, because of either cash flow challenges or they just lack the quality information on how to actually do it. Yet, the word "Brand and Branding" are being thrown around like it is candy and has become watered down, because some just don't know and they are confused between branding, marketing, PR and sales. Marketing is so needed and undervalued, that it goes to the sidelines, when it really should be at the forefront of any business plan or model. Without a brand, they cannot differenitiate you from the others out there. Marketing is crucial on how your business will grow or survive? It is an intricate vital part of the whole puzzle that needs daily attention.

Marketing is what keeps you in front of your current and potential clients, so that they will know you are still in business and desire to grow. If one of these parts of your business is lacking, because either it is not your expertise or interest or you just don’t value it, what do you do? Do you allow it to continue to go unnoticed or do you bring someone in to operate in their gifts and keep your business growing? 

"Growth" is a process or a stage of development that has not been fully reached. What does growth look like for you? Just as success is different things for different people, such as success could be the number of clients you serve who bring in a specific profit level or it could be the "BrandNique™ Experience" you serve others. However, either way marketing and branding a business is essential to getting the word out and increasing potential growth. By acknowledging what growth looks like for you and what you have the capacity to do, can either bring success or hold it back. I would venture to say to you, "Really take into consideration that if branding and marketing, finances, or building client relationship are not your strengths... then by all means, find someone who can assist you." 

Your business success and growth depends on it. Own what you don’t know and make a way for the other pieces to fall into place. But you cannot afford NOT to do anything! Acknowledge what you don't know so that your business can thrive and you are able to work in your business and not always on your business. 

 

    BrandNique™ Tips To Do! 

    ~ Decide what you can do and what you know you need to let an expert do. 
    ~ Make a decision and take action to build a solid team around you that have your best interest at heart. 
    ~ Be teachable and coachable. 
    ~ Schedule weekly or bi-weekly meetings with them to hold yourself accountable. 
    ~ Go Out and BE SUCCESSFUL!! 
    — Elyshia Brooks, MBA

    “BE” About Your Business and Your Brand!

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    When you decided to start your business, you made a commitment to yourself and you shared it with your family, friends and the world that you are going to step out on faith and live your passion. When you decided to create a business that speaks to your purpose and passion, you are looking at it from the lenses of what “you” know, your experiences, education and other entities that sparked your love for what you do. However, when you are truly committed to this new venture, YOU MUST BE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR BRAND!!! Which means taking your business and brand seriously!! 

    You realize that you cannot do everything and you do not know everything. RIGHT? So when it comes to “Being About Your Business and Brand”, you cannot take it lightly, because you are always on display and you are always being watched. Let me explain what I mean about “Being About Your Business and Brand…” To BE about your Business and your Brand, consider a few things:

    1. When you are not quite sure about something, inquire with someone who has the expertise, you are making the investment in not just your business, but in yourself. So stop making excuses about getting it done.
    2. Take care of your business! When you say that you are going to do something, DO IT and FOLLOW THROUGH! All you have is your word when you are building your brand. 
    3. Never underestimate what you are able to do, but know your limits, because promising something that you cannot deliver, will harm and tarnish your brand. 
    4. Watch what you say at all times because people are always listening to you. Your words and actions play a huge role in your business and brand. 
    5. Don't allow just anyone to speak against your brand. I encourage you to have a Brand Crisis Reputation Plan in place, just in case something were to happen with a client or even you may say something that will hurt your brand, as we are seeing with the world today with our leader recently. 

    If you are just playing business and not sure that you are willing to build an authentic brand and business, then please don’t put yourself out there haphazardly, because it will come back to bite you. Do the necessary work to build on a solid foundation. You must control your Brand and BE About Your Business! I will be talking about this and other topics on BEING About Your Business and Brand over the next couple of weeks, because it is a subject which cannot be taken lightly at any point. I am very passionate about building an Authentic Personal Brand that speaks to who you are at the core and you must protect it at all cost. Have a Happy and Successful Branding Week! 

     

    Relationship Marketing Wins When You Tell Your Story!

    RM Telling Your Story

    Everyone has a story and when you tell your story it should be totally authentic and personable, as it relates to you and your brand. Marketing is now really about building relationships, tribes, communities and likeness around a particular idea, service, or product, interest or hobby. Creating a story that resonates with your divine clients, is what will get you to building a following and on your way to a solid marketing foundation that is built authentically. Your story is about you and how you view the world, industry or the alike. Marketing is now so relational and there is no way around it. If you are going to succeed in your business, it is my professional opinion that you actively participate in social media on some level. The market today is not about flashy advertising but about true, deep connection on a professional level. 

    Your story connects you with others and it has reached new heights with social media, because everyone communicates in some form with it, rather to stay in touch, build a company or brand, and even to tell your story. In hearing your story, you open up the world to your truth and how you live out your authentic lifestyle, you are giving the “open door” effect to your business. You must be careful as to how you tell your story because it should be real, valid, authentic and somewhat life-changing, as it depends on your purpose and intent of what you are sharing. The intentions of your story should be able to relate to a specific person, thing or outcome that your potential divine client can relate to. 

    A story is a point in time that you could share that could possibly be the reason as to how or why you decided to begin your own business or organization. One should own your story and you shall be the one who tells it, so that you can control your words, emotions and the intentions because who you deliver it will determine the perceptions of your brand. However, be enthusiastic and share with feelings about it because it your connection with your divine clients and the world. Relationship marketing is about engaging and delivering with your divine clients with stories that can spread positively. 

    To Begin Thinking About Your Story, Here Are A Few Tips: 

    • What is my overall goal you want to achieve with your audience? 
    • How do you want to connect with them? Personally, Professionally, or other? 
    • What is the audience you would like to share with? Demographics, Firmographics, Special Interest, Roles,etc.? 
    • Who do you read want to serve and how after you share your story? 
    • How can I create my story that connects in a positive way? 
    • What action do you want them to take once you share? 

    Sharing is what provides open doors for relationships and connectivity. It is the foundation of what you are building on for engagement, because people would love to see and know who they are working with and why you do what you do. Connection and communication are both the glue that all business and personal relationships are built upon. Therefore, be strategic on what and how you share your story. 

    Own It! Live It! and Be Your Brand Story because who else can do it like you do? When you connect with others on an authentic level, your clients will “get it” and they will understand the notion behind what it is that you do. Design a Brand Story That Shares Exactly Who You Are!!! 

     

    Building Your Business on Relationship Marketing

    When growing a business it takes a lot of time and dedication to commit to your dream. A business cannot grow nor sustain without clients or customers who like, love and know about your product. Therefore, building a business based on relationships is key to the survival these days with all of the social media and the premise that it is based on “RELATIONSHIPS”. As a business owner Relationship Marketing must be a part of your marketing strategy in order to maintain customer retention. 

    Relationship Marketing is the organizational commitment to developing and enhancing long-term mutually beneficial relationships with profitable or potentially profitable customers. As in the past businesses were determining the value of their customers based on their most recent transaction or purchase. This transaction could be one time or it could be multiple times but the relationship was not cultivated and the exchange was the focus. Today, it has become more important for companies to focus their efforts on building a communications strategy that includes a strong emphasis on "Connection." Connecting and Communication is crucial to any  organization and your client base as it increases influence and impact. 

    The primary goal for creating customer relationships is to increase your customer loyalty and retention. It is a long-term thinking process that should be understood and not limited. 

    As statistics show:

    • A company could lose up to 50% of its customers over a five year period. 
    • Just a small increase in customer retention rates can have a profound impact on a business’s bottom line.  
    • It costs 6-7 times more to recruit or obtain a new customer than it does to retain your existing customers. 

    It has been stated that to differentiate yourself from the crowd there are three major things: (1) your core business model, (2) price, (3) your total relationship and customer experience. These three things are unique to you and you have to know what that looks like for you and your business. As the business environment and the competition gets more competitive, the importance becomes how strong is your relationships with your customers and what does it require to maintain that relationship. As I said "relationships are so important to business’s bottom line profit." 

    When you begin to look at relationship marketing there must be a committed effort on your part that is ongoing and consistent. A relationship requires authenticity, dedication and a commitment to getting to know your customer including their wants, needs, desires, likes and dislikes to say the least. It is more about investing time and energy to cultivating a long lasting relationship that will create brand loyalty and satisfaction. Seek to establish a business community with loyal customers, brand awareness and profit. This requires a long-term plan and the proper investment to build a strong brand that potential clients can recognize and keep faithful to. 

    As you grow your business based on relationships, it is important that (1) your customers understand the benefits that you offer; (2) the advantages of working with you and (3) the construction of building brand loyalty program. Loyalty is the ultimate goal of relationship marketing and can be comparable to influence of satisfaction of customers who are not only loyal, but also would not mind positive word-of-mouth advertising. With deepened relationships and greater efforts of retention, customers will stay with the company longer and creates an opportunity for a better foundation of providing quality and value. 

    Begin, if you are not implementing Relationship Marketing into your marketing strategy, because with how social media is the new normal, you are missing out on a great deal of business and great relationships. As you find which channel is best for you to communicate and build relationships with your clients and prospects, be authentic and open to learning. 

     

    Be Intentional About Your Personal Brand In 2017

    The Law of Intentionality is all about doing something and taking action. It is not standing around hoping that something just happens, but it is taking ownership and responsibility of your own life, your personal brand, and how you chose to show up in the world and be who you are. Intentionality is making, building, and taking control and not just accepting whatever comes your way. 

    To be intentional about building your personal brand from the inside out…is first getting to know you better, investing in you, doing what you need to do to make yourself better. When you take the time to reflect on who you are and who do you want to be along with how do you want show up and be fabulous in the world? Self-Development includes personal, professional and other investments you deem necessary into “YOU” to become the best “YOU” you can be! 

    "Be Intentional about building your personal brand from the inside out..."

    If you were asked the question…”How much do you invest into yourself everyday?” What would be your answer? What do you do everyday? Do you read, listen to positive affirmations, take a class, journal or attend a seminar; something that gets you stirred up to thinking and doing? By completing a self-awareness assessment to check yourself is a great start in, but it goes back to… 

    Your thoughts, values, morals, character, habits and communication, just to name a few, are all what make you special and unique, so you developing and enhancing those traits says a lot about you. When you are committed to investing in yourself, you will go further than a lot of people who just settle for being average and mediocre. That is fine for those who choose to be that, but that is NOT for leaders, eagles and those who aspire to be great. 

    Being Intentional about your Personal Brand means you are taking the time and doing what you need to do to build, enhance, grow and not “Trying,” which is just “Efforting,". Trying and efforting means something is burdensome, trialing attempting, irritating, troublesome, bothersome, stressful, even unpleasant…so you get the point. Intentionality has deliberate, purposeful, conscious, willful, calculated knowing behind it. Do you get the point and see what I am saying when it comes to being intentional about your Personal Brand? 

    You are not giving it over to someone else to tell you how far you can go or whether you can do something or not, perhaps not get an education or go after that promotion or contract. YOU define your destiny and YOUR brand by working hard to be all that YOU can be; taking full responsibility of what YOU do and how YOU want to make YOUR mark in the world.      

    Branding The Authentic You™ Weekly Journal Assignment:

    Take some time this week and reflect on how you can be more Intentional about investing in your yourself, brand, and business…NOT efforting and trying to do something, but really create a plan of action to develop and become your best self.  

    If you want to discuss it, reach out to me via commenting below or visit my facebook.com/ElyshiaBrooksInc page and you can receive more engagement, tools and resources there. I do have a Private BrandNIque™ Elite Group, where I show up giving you all of me, so reach out and touch me! Enjoy your day!

    Top 3 Mistakes In Branding Your Business

    Your business and your idea are really keeping you up at night. You see it and can taste it; you want it to happen so badly, but you don’t know what you need to get your brand together and even if you did, you may need some professional expertise to assist you in doing so. It is great to have a good idea and awesome brand, but if you don’t know the right thins to do to receive brand awareness and build your influence for your tribe, you will make some costly mistakes.

    It is more than just having a great logo and idea, but it is about the passion behind what you want as you protect what you have at all costs. There are some action steps you can do to would build a significant brand that speaks to your authentic self.

    1.) Have The Patience To See It Through. When you are building a brand organically, you must be patient about it, because success can come at its own speed depending on you and when opportunities meet with time. You cannot rush the process, but what you can do is honor the process and continue to work your plan. Have reasonable timelines that are doable and not overcommitting and overcompensating for anything. A few things you can do are putting things into perspective by being flexible and understanding. Know that when you develop your brand, it will take time to do the research in finding those professional individuals to assist you with making it happen, because you understand that you cannot do all things. Be gentle with yourself and love yourself through the process as things can slow down without any control from you, so being patient with yourself will keep the stress down.

    2.) Do The Necessary Research For Your Business. It is so important that you do the research before you do anything, because you don’t want to start something and not know if you are shooting darts in the dark and not aiming at what would yield results. It is so easy to jump right in with two feet and not knowing what you need to do, especially without a plan. You should first have a plan of action, so you won’t be investing in the wrong things and people, nor wasting precious time and money.

    For instance: Knowing who you are and what you are offering, along with to whom is key. Before getting started, have an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. What will make you different and stand out from the crowd? What type of engagement would you want your clients to have? What is the atmosphere you want to offer in your establishment?

    What is your brand personality and identity that you desire? When potential clients visit your website, encounter you, hear you speak, read your marketing materials, what would you want them to know?

    What do your ideal clients look like? Who are those clients you can do your best work with and for? Know what your likes and dislikes, gender, age, class and really be specific about what you want. Make sure you know what that looks like for you, your brand and your business.

    Know who is in your industry? How many are thought-leaders and influencers that are in the spotlight of providing great content information? Begin to look at them not as competition, but what you can do better as a motivation.

    There is so much more, but you need to have the foundation researched, so that you won’t make as many mistakes.

    3.) When You Don’t Know, Surround Yourself With Who Do. We don’t know everything and we should not profess to. It is okay that you don't know, so what you need to do is have those people in your corner that would be there to assist you in growing your business and brand. Take your time to find the right people and check their references. After all it is about your baby, brand, business; therefore, you need to protect it at all costs. Stay away from hiring family members and friends unless they are truly professional Mixing business and family/friends may backfire in many instances. Be very careful even though I am totally against it. It may work depending on people.

    Overall, the key is to know what you want and plan for it. Don’t try and do things that you are not strengthen in, but get the right people around you to help you build a successful brand and business. You must put the investment in for yourself, your business and brand. If you don’t, then who will? Make the decision in what you want your brand to stand for and know that it is worthy of all that you put into it. Value your brand and what you offer. Own It!!!

    How Are You Attracting Your Divine Clients?

    You have the influence to engage your divine clients just the way you desire and you are attracting those divine clients to you, because you are attuning yourself to bring more of those divine clients to you. You have all that is within to attract those paying clients whom you can do your best work for. They will come with ease and you will work with ease because you are in total alignment.

    You must have a clear perspective of what your divine clients look like and who are they, because you are attracting them based on the energy and vibration you put out.

    For instance, I will share my previous challenge before getting clarity, that when I was not totally clear on who I wanted to serve, before my awareness; energy was attracting clients that were broke and negatively speaking that they could not afford me. I had to do some deep self-reflection on how I was giving off my energy, in response was attracting more of that which I did not want. I was always sharing with my mastermind partners that, “I am tired of people telling me they cannot afford me.” My mind and thoughts were always staying in that energy space; therefore, attracting more of those same clients to me that I complained about. I had to begin to attune and align myself towards those clients that I desired to have. I had to change my emotional, spiritual and mental vibration, because I was drawing them to me exactly what the higher vibration was.

    Your Divine Clients love, like, appreciate and value you as a person and the results you love to provide.
    — Elyshia Brooks, MBA

    As soon as I got specific about what I want and desired, I then began to attract those who are really and ready to work with me, because they were waiting on me to get into alignment.

    Are you walking on your path that is not attracting your divine clients? Are you attracting the paying clients that can grow your business? What are you saying to yourself that is keeping you from more divine clients, having more fun and ease in your business and life?

    So as you continue to hold yourself back, how is that working for you? What does it feel like?

    “Branding The Authentic You” Weekly Journal Assignment:

    Let’s do an exercise…Visualize for 20 minutes what your divine clients look like for you and only you. No you are not thinking about the shiny bright objects that others are doing. This is ALL ABOUT YOU! Think and listen to the conversation that you are having with them as you are engaging with them according to your purpose. What does the work look like? How does it feel to connect with them and they did not flutter when you stated your price and they were eager to pay you to begin working with you…be specific and pay attention to how you are feeling.

    They are already on your path waiting on you and then you must align yourself with what you desire and stay in that place and not focus on what kind of clients you don’t want to attract. You must shift the momentum to get you focused on what you are desiring more of.

    You have the confidence and knowledge of where you have been, where you are and where you are going. Stay in the space and own that alignment as you are! BE & LIVE Your Brand!™ Show Up As An Open Vessel To Serve!

    How To UpLevel Your Brand Awareness…

     

    Building your Brand Awareness takes time and it should be done intentionally and not left to fault or happenstance. Taking control of your personal brand is a must, if you are going to build a business around what you do or period. For some, your personal brand is your business and they are not separate; therefore, you must govern it and make sure that you are staying on top of it. There are so many brands out there and for your brand to get lost in the midst and perhaps not even seen, is not your desire. There are some guerrilla branding strategies that will enhance the business brand in a positive manner and there are some that won’t care of what they put out there and it hurts their reputation, essentially your business brand.

    As you seek to up-level you brand awareness, it does not necessarily mean being on every social media platform. I say this, because it is good for social networking, but for your business, you must be strategic. Even when you are socializing personally, understand that you are still building your personal brand and all that you put out there goes back to you. It is your “Reputation!” So be cognizant of what you are sharing and where. As far as your business, learn the key networks that your divine clients frequent and get to know them by building strong relationships and not set yourself up to look as if you are all about “transactions”. The key is to build a brand platform that shares your intellect, passion and desire to serve in your business.

    By staying abreast of the platforms, in which you need to incorporate in your campaign are essential. The social networks are always changing, along with technology, so you cannot be scared. Now that does not mean go and spend hours of research, but just get on some white papers and blogs to see what is new, so you can stay in tune with how you can engage with your clients. The stats to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest may vary as the days go by; but learning how to showcase your brand to receive the best return-on-investment is your ultimate goal.

    There are some good benefits to building your platform for your personal brand via social media. These include:

    • Brand Credibility
    • Increased Exposure
    • Enhanced Client Relationships (Professional)
    • Showcase Your Brand on Various Levels
    • Stronger Online Presence as a Thought-Leader, 
    • Cut Traditional Advertising Costs
    • Ability To Share Your Story
    • Build Connection

    These are just a few. Your business-enterprise brands on social media are a huge important factor in building and maintaining client/customer relationship (52%), along with brand reputation management. Research shows that 82% of the buyers are those who feel a trusting connection with that president or CEO, because they have made themselves approachable. In relation to content marketing, such as email marketing, free content, image-based content and video rank at 77% in increasing traffic and ultimately closing a sale. A lot of the time it is the initial connection via social networks platforms that your potential clients encounter you and then from there, it is up to you to build the relationship and keep them engaged.

    It does not just end there, because to get seen, you must have your SEO in place to be found. Searches drive the traffic to your site and results in an average of 14.6% close rates. It is stated that 16% of Google searches are never seen, because the SEO is not set correctly.

    I say all of this to say that, it is not easy to build a strong brand that will stand the test of time, but you must know the tools to get started and sustain them. The key is being intentional, consistent, provide value and always remain engaging on many levels. You may not know all the strategies to incorporate, but you can find a brand manager or coach to show you how and the best way build your brand. If you don’t know, find someone who does and make it happen. Take control of your personal brand and stay focused. BE & Live Your Brand!

    “Being BrandNique™ From The Inside Out”

     

    What does branding from the inside out really mean? You may ask - I am glad to share with you just what that looks like. What really resonates at the core of your being as you build your business and personal brand to attract your divine clients you are purposed to serve? As you build a business, which speaks to your passion, will be shaped with a meaningful heartfelt vision, guiding you from your core strengths to develop a Personal-Centered Brand℠. It is finding your voice that is in true alignment and is engaging with all of your tribe and divine clients and infused in all of your branding and marketing efforts as your core brand message. Essentially, it is what you do everyday and where most of your intentional energy is channeled to grow your business and personal brand.

    Your Personal-Centered Branding Journey℠ stems from setting out to live your soulful purpose and become the BEST YOU! Your personal and soulful message attracts others to you, because you are building a trusting brand that shares your journey and it becomes how you relate and communicate with everyone you connect with on a deeper, more heartfelt level. Your divine clients become more in-tuned with your experience, knowledge, expertise and your voice; whom then become your tribe or community who shares similar beliefs about what you are offering or providing. It is showing up on a personal level based on a foundation of truth and authenticity.

    Personal-Centered Branding℠ is not about being self-boasting, pushy, inattentive, or self-serving; but about how you come to serve from a unique place in your heart and soul. It is building a brand that stands on true personal values and is intended to grow, shift mindsets or enhance the betterment of others. When your purpose and passion are to build people up with your services or products, it then becomes what will last, because you are intended to do good emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually that creates synergy for all. Moreover, it is all about relationships and how you cultivate them in this world of social media.

    So what type of business or personal brand are you building? One that is Personal-Centered or one that is transaction and product focused on sales and no connection? If you are not building a Personal-Centered Brand℠ that is fine, but know what your authentic intentions are in terms of how you want to present you, your business and personal brand, so that you will yield your desired results. Everyone’s intentions are not for connecting soulfully or coming from a heart-centered place; however, just know the foundation in which you stand, because that is how your business will forge forward unless there is a shift. Now don’t get me wrong, do what is right for you and your business brand, because that is what works for you and you cannot possibly please everyone. Yet, there are major shifts in how client~consultant relationships are developing, because of the energy and nature of how society communicate and connect socially. All in all, just be totally clear and intentional on how you want to build your brand personally and professionally.

    “Branding The Authentic You™” Weekly Journal Assignment:

    Knowing what your core competencies are for YOU and what you value, is what will sustain you when growing. It is your foundation in which you have developed your brand. List what those are and really take a look at how they could show up in your business, being more intentional about weaving them in your brand story, message and the lifestyle you chose to live.