Failing to Succeed


Many of our clients are solopreneurs (love this term!) who are sole proprietors of a business and don’t have a large staff or the knowledge to manage effective marketing strategies for their businesses. The overwhelming notion of big ideas, slim resources and a shoestring budget can result in failure at times.

We are taught at a young age in school that failure is something terrible to be avoided at all costs. Everyone is afraid to fail. The word ‘fail’ evokes negative emotions, anxiety and a gloomy outlook.

No one wants to hear it or experience it. You failed! Now, bury your head in the sand in shame.

But, wait a minute?  Does failing at something actually mean you’re being successful?

The businesses that implement lots of ideas will most likely have many failures, but the chances are, they will reap some impressive successes too. By trying many different things, we improve our chances that one of them will be a home run. From there, we develop more confidence; learn new things and can move on to running the bases into home again.

We all need to realize that everything we do does not have to be a success. Believe it or not, if everything we do succeeds, then we are truly failing. Why? We are not taking enough risks. Taking risks is part of the territory. The innovative leader encourages a culture of experimentation and risk taking, and is not afraid to fail.

Tap into the positive power of failure because it’s not permanent. It is an opportunity to learn something that you did not know before. Take time to analyze what went wrong and put measures in place so it doesn’t happen again. Then, move on to the next exciting venture in your business.

When you take your failures personally and see each one as a challenge to your confidence and your ability to succeed, then you will inevitably fail more often because you will become weaker in spirit with each one.

Remember this next time you are struck by failure in your business. Hold your head up and know that each failure can lead to broader knowledge and greater things.

Be cautious when taking risks, but take them in your marketing. You may fail at some of them, but it will lead you to a path of successes, and you just might knock a few into the stands along the way!

The Forecast Calls for Holistic Branding


Businesses often begin with one parent brand and then develop a family or umbrella of companies, or sub-brands, which inevitably creates a challenge to choose the best name, logo and website design that will clearly communicate their unique organizational structures.

A uniform system is necessary to help people distinguish between your brands and various products and service offerings, and to help them make informed decisions.

Right from the drawing board, an architect analyzes all aspects of a design against project objectives and benchmarks, including the viewpoints of customers and other stakeholders.

Apple is really good example of corporate brand architecture. There are the Apple iPod, the Apple Watch, the Apple operating system, the Apple iMac, and others under this umbrella. If you single out a marketing campaign for the Apple iPod, it’s going to be different than a campaign for the iMac, but all of the brands and products — no matter how diverse they may be — roll up under a single brand.

As a best practice, a holistic vision for your brand architecture will define and order the relationship of your sub-brands. This applies to any size business. As you build sub-brands, a portfolio of products or services, this type of strategy helps prepare for growth, innovation and changes with your business and in your marketplace.

Consider your ideal brand portfolio at the start from an integrated, holistic perspective — under the umbrella of names to logos, and from print and packaging to website design, and more.


Hitting the Wall and Breaking Through


If you want to learn more about maintaining stamina and endurance, look to a marathon runner. They must overcome a known phenomenon referred to as “hitting the wall.”

This is a major drain in energy that typically happens at the 20th mile when a runner has exhausted all of his or her energy reserves and is simply physically incapable of going any further.

It is a depletion of glycogen and carbohydrates that affect muscle operation. The preventative measure is to take in a lot of starches and sugars shortly before a race, but often runners will hit the wall anyway despite their efforts.

Hitting the “proverbial” wall can apply to many things we do in our business as well. Maintaining “marketing endurance” is a challenge. Here are a few tips:

  • Watch the Walls. Be prepared to hit the walls a few times – because you will. Don’t give up and stare at the walls, watch them. This involves reviewing best practices in your industry, and learning from others’ mistakes and the walls they have hit. Keep updated on what is happening by joining social media communities, networking at events and local business meetings. Read business news that applies to you and your company.
  • Break Through the Walls. Don’t get discouraged when you hit a wall. Put action plans in place to break through using your strengths in marketing, PR and social media. If you don’t have these strengths, surround yourself with experts that do. Take a course, join a committee or attend a webinar or seminar that will help you build strength in areas you may be lacking.
  • Tear Down the Walls. You will find the right time and endurance to tear down a wall or two with a big idea. Perhaps you are ready to host a webinar, make a podcast or start a magazine or radio show? These are not that difficult to do once you find the right resources and methods that work best for you and your company. Maybe simply starting a small newsletter or blog can prepare you for a major tear down. Start small, but dream big and don’t be afraid of the walls.

Consider balancing traditional and digital marketing. Integrated marketing campaigns with a consistent message can generate the measurable results, which are essential to build your business and marketing strength quickly and effectively.

Whether there is a small hole in the wall to peak through or you knock it down, we’ll see you on the other side soon!

Great Leaders Seize the Moment

Why put off tomorrow what you can do today? Great leaders don’t let opportunities pass them by, they seize the moment. This is a common trait of successful leaders because they don’t allow their fear of failure to define them.

They know this fear exists, and they overcome it. They define the moment with mental strength, faith and confidence, and they seize the opportunity to make a difference.

“You may delay, but time will not.” -Benjamin Franklin

Everyone has been there at one time. You come up with a great idea and set a goal for your business. You say, “I’m going to do this now!” Then a little fear may set in, and the next thing you know, you are talking yourself out of doing it.

You see all the obstacles that may be in the way and negativity blocks your mind to act and to achieve what you set out to do.

Either that, or you get distracted by things around you like tv, phone calls, and aimless internet surfing and surfing….yeah, you know what I mean. Pretty soon, your entire day is wasted and you haven’t accomplished what you set out to do.

With positive thinking and committing yourself to action, you can make a golden opportunity to break away from the limitations and make positive things happen for you personally and your business.

Complaining and doubting will only detract you from your ultimate objective, and drain the energy you will need to work and achieve success. It’s important to develop the positive attitude of seizing the moment when it comes along.

Here’s an idea…Evolve your marketing. Carpe Diem!

The evolution of digital marketing has forever changed the way marketers strategize and execute campaigns to build and manage a brand. Balancing traditional and digital communications channels requires effective strategy, writing, design and relationship building.

Let’s face it, entrepreneurs and micro businesses do not have the big budgets or the time to create and manage big integrated marketing campaigns. It’s critical to focus on the essentials of what you can do and what time can be given to certain tasks.

It’s through meaningful engagement and the introduction of useful content in the right channels that will help you influence your audience and earn ongoing relevance.

Seize the moment by evolving your marketing strategy.

Do it today or the opportunity may just pass you by.

A Science Lesson in Social Media


With the proliferation of social media channels, the opportunities for referrals are endless. According to social media expert Brian Solis, we can left-brain compartmentalize and color code everything in its place in a trendy Conversation Prism.

At a multi-colored glance (careful, you may need your glasses!), you see nearly every instance of where you can blog to your heart’s content and also learn how to leverage content and multi-media online like the pros.

You even get a science lesson as you enter Twitter’s own ecosystem! You can discover the unique behaviors of its inhabitants. In a delicate balance, twitterers help to sustain one another in regular patterns of blogging and networking.

The origin of Twitter’s ecosystem will intrigue many and will also blow others’ minds. You need to understand the past in order to ‘follow’ the future of its system evolution. How better to do this than to discover Twitterverse?

Twitterverse also helps centralize communication and relationship management tools, incorporate trend analysis in your marketing, and find avenues for stream management and event coordination. And don’t forget the mobile stuff – techies will get lost in app after app.

Whether you prefer to climb the TweeTree or run with the Dingos or become a TweetDroider, there is an ecosystem within Twitter that is right for you and your followers. Joking aside, the Conversation Prism and Twitterverse are must-have guides to help you understand just what the heck is going on with online conversations.

Find the best practices for your business and industry and don’t forget to check out what’s happening in your city. Knowing the Local Chirps may help with building local awareness.