Tag Archives: Appreciation

5 Ways to Make Your Audience Love Your Brand

CHuntly

Without an audience, it’s kind of hard to run a business. A growing customer base will drive your business growth. There are a lot of other brands out there, so how do you get your customers to choose you over your competitors? And once you have their attention, how do you build a loyal, long-term relationship with them?

Here are five ways for you to create a strong and loyal relationship with your audience. Five ways to get them to fall in love with you.

  1. Be authentic: If you are constantly selling and trying to put a spin on your sales pitch, you will come across like a pushy and dishonest salesman who will say anything to get the sale. Your brand should have characteristics that are attractive to your audience – values and ethics that show what you stand for. When you communicate with your audience, find ways to make personal connections with them that go beyond selling. Once they are loyal to your brand, the sale is inevitable because what you are offering will be top of mind.
  2. Talk with them, not at them: Many brands get stuck in a rut where they are constantly pumping out content, but they don’t take the time to interact with their audience. It should be about generating meaningful dialogue on your marketing channels, whether more traditional or digital. In many cases, brands could put out less content if they up the engagement factor with their audience. It becomes a case of quality vs. quantity. And if you are a small business owner wearing multiple hats, it’s about finding efficiencies in your marketing strategy that will get you higher returns on your efforts.
  3. Tell them you appreciate them: That feel-good feeling is pretty contagious. If your existing customers are happy, they will tell their friends. Create opportunities to show your appreciation through loyalty programs and content that is directed towards customers. The brands that do well are as grateful for an audience of 500 as they are an audience of 500,000. You will find that once you start appreciating each individual customer they will start multiplying pretty fast.
  4. Create an experience: You should showcase the positive experiences your audience can have with your brand through your blog, social media, and other channels. Take it a step further and create those experiences through public stunts and events where they can’t help but get involved with your brand. Not only will this showcase what you have to offer, but it will generate an emotional connection with your audience because you are making a direct impact on their lives.
  5. Love yourself: Self-hype can be detrimental if you ignore things that should be improved. However, you can’t make someone else love you if you don’t love yourself. You should always start out looking internally, getting to know your brand, and pointing out everything that is great about your brand. This will jumpstart any successful marketing strategy.

Candace Huntly is the Founder and Principal at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.

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Being a Lady in the Corporate World

 

Praveeni

Business. It’s a man’s world so to speak. Being an entrepreneur is challenging enough but being a female entrepreneur is even tougher. Women in business are constantly subjected to stereotypes and double standards; this makes focusing on growing your business and watching your bottom line even more challenging.

 

Although being a female entrepreneur has its challenges it is not without its perks as well.  It’s always nice to have doors opened for you or to get to sit first at business lunches. However the biggest obstacle women in business face is not earning respect and acceptance of their male counterparts and peers, but learning to be a lady and maintain their femininity in the corporate world.

 

Here are a few words of advice I have with regards to being a lady in the corporate world :

 

1. Dress appropriately

Never dress in a provocative or revealing manner. Marilyn Monroe said it best

“your clothes should be tight enough to show you’re a woman but loose enough to show you’re a lady”

 

Avoid any skintight clothing or plunging necklines that might garner you the wrong kind of attention.  Stick to business attire such a business suit or dress for formal meetings and conservative casual attire for weekend meetings. A lady should be well put together so don’t be afraid to add in accessories such as a necklace or bracelet.  If in doubt always opt for a more conservative look.

 

2. Mind your language
No matter how tempting it may be resist the urge to curse, swear or hurl insults.  Using coarse language will ruin a polished image and make you seem unprofessional and crass. If you are subjected to profanity or insults do not retaliate or engage in a altercation simply walk away.

Remember:

Profanity is the effort of a feeble brain to express itself forcibly.” – Spencer W. Kimball

 

3. Don’t take things personally

In business and in life not everyone will like you or agree with you or the way you do things. You will be faced with negativity. The key is not to get offended. Getting offended and angry never solves anything; in fact it just causes you more aggravation and frustration. If someone doesn’t like you or what you do don’t try to change their mind. It’s just their opinion and it doesn’t determine your success or self worth.

 

4. Show your appreciation

When someone goes out of their way for you, say thank you. Show your appreciation by calling them (yes I said actually calling them and speaking to them) on the phone or sending them a hand written (not typed) thank you note. You can also go one step further and treat them to coffee or lunch. Sometimes sending a text or email just isn’t personal enough.

 

5. Learn to be gracious
Being gracious is one of the key components of being a lady. Whether in business or in your personal life treating others with respect and dignity will never make you seem weak or small. Although the business world is competitive and sometimes ruthless, a little kindness and courtesy goes a long way.

 

“I think sometimes it’s more important to be gracious than to win “ – Dorothy Kilgallen

 

6. Know your table manners
 Table manners are extremely important in the corporate world as you will be attending business lunches and dinners. Knowing which fork to use and how to behave at the table is as crucial to your success as knowing your product.  If you are unsure about your table manners or etiquette in general investing in etiquette and protocol training is strongly recommended. When it comes to etiquette never assume, always ask an expert.

 

“The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork” – Oscar Wilde

 

7. Expect respect but don’t demand it

As a woman in business you should expect respect from your peers and counterparts, but to expect it you have to earn it not demand it. You can earn respect in the way you act and how you run your business. Know your product, who you’re selling to and why you’re in your chosen field of business. Never demand or force others to respect you and worship you.

 

“Being powerful is like being a lady, if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t” – Margaret Thatcher
Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world.  She can be reached via WebsiteTwitterFacebook or her Blog.

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5 Holiday Tips for Entrepreneurs

Praveeni Perera

The holidays are a busy time for everyone but entrepreneurs have the added pressure of running their own business at the same time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and inundated with work when you’re attempting to complete your Christmas shopping, entertaining family and friends and keep your customers happy simultaneously. Staying sane and keeping calm during the Christmas rush is crucial to getting through holidays with your personal and professional relationships still in tact.

 

Here are 5 tips for getting through the holiday season:

 

1. Get organized
As an entrepreneur it’s important to be organized. If you don’t already have one you should invest in a day planner. In our technologically driven world many people rely solely on their iphone or ipad to store all their data and schedule appointments, but investing in a good old fashioned paper day planner has its advantages – it doesn’t need to be charged and it never crashes so all your appointments and data are accessible all the time.

 

Plan out your time during the holidays and make two to-do lists – one for yourself and one for your business. This will help you determine what your responsibilities are on a personal and professional level.  Remember to update your to-do lists as task are completed and  keep track of your progress. Make a genuine effort to get through the list and you will feel a sense of accomplishment as you check off completed tasks.

 

2. Keep your clients in the know

If you are planning on taking time off during the holidays let you clients know ahead of time. Simply having an out of office reply added to your email does not suffice, you need to inform clients individually. Let them know how long you will be away, what services if any will be limited, and who they should contact in your absence.

 

You should also inform clients of your availability while you are away, how they can reach you in case of an emergency as well as how often you will be checking your email.  Although you are taking time off from your business you never want to tell clients that you are fully disengaged as this will make them feel abandoned.  It’s a good idea to set aside specific hours each day during which you can be reached and will be checking email. This way clients know when they can expect an answer from you if indeed they do need to converse with you over the holidays.

 

3. Show your appreciation

The holidays are a perfect time to show your appreciation to clients and suppliers. A handwritten Christmas card or note is a great way to thank clients for their business and let them know you appreciate them choosing you as a vendor. If you have special clients who have been with you for years or clients who’ve just offered you a large order or contract you might want to show a bit more appreciation and send them a corporate gift. However, be careful with gifting and check the corporate policies of their institutions as some companies do not allow employees to accept gifts irrespective of value.

 

Don’t forget about your suppliers, although you pay for their services they do help you run your business by providing you with the materials and supplies you need to service your clients.  So remember them during the holidays and show your appreciation.

 

If you have come across some potential clients at networking events or corporate gatherings sending them a holiday card or note in appreciation of their time and conversation is a great way of staying on their radar. You can also send your business card along with you note and pass on your contact information for future reference.

 

4. Take time for yourself

As an entrepreneur it’s often hard to schedule in ME time but it’s something that has to be done. Take time to power down during the holidays and make a conscious effort to put your cell phone, ipad, and computer away. This does not mean lock them in a drawer and forget about them, it simply means setting them aside and using them only in moderation.

 

Set rules and boundaries for yourself such as no cell phones at Christmas Dinner or no checking emails during family gatherings, and stick to them.  You can organize your time effectively and schedule in time to check emails and get back to clients  but do not engage in work related activities outside of this time period (unless ofcourse it’s an emergency). If you can, delegate tasks to your team or assistant and let  them handle things while you are away.

 

5. Look at the big picture

The end of the year is a good time to take a step back and look at the big picture, basically look at your business from the outside.  As entrepreneurs we are constantly re-inventing ourselves, making changes to our business models, the way we do business and even the products we sell. You need to be able to see what’s working in  your business and what isn’t.

 

Make a list of accomplishments, failures, and works in progress. Take some time to think about each accomplishments and failure individually, and examine what you did right to achieve your success and what went wrong when you failed: what would you do differently? You will be able to see your business in a new light and apply the knowledge and insight you gained from looking at successes and failures to created a new strategy for your works in progress.

 

Looking at the big picture will also help you set goals for the coming year and identify what areas of your business need to be improved upon and which areas are performing well.

 

Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world.  She can be reached via WebsiteTwitterFacebook or her Blog.

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