Do people love your social media account?

I started my first blog in 2008 after I shifted to India. It was a personal blog about me in India, and people loved it. The stories were more like observations. And, honestly speaking, it didn’t have any unique value as I didn’t add anything special to it – just India and me, that’s it.

Two years after, I decided to replace my Indian blog with a food blog about Indian food and travelling. My idea was simple; I thought people need something from me, and so, here I’m, with the story about Indian spices and some recipes. The idea allowed to accommodate all my passions; I love to cook, to photograph and I wanted to know more about Indian spices. I’ve created a super-cool logo, applied a beautiful theme and added some posts, expecting more love from my readers. But hear the feedback I got, “Sorry, but when I’ve read you before, it was all about you, it was honest and real, and now I feel I am reading some corporate blog and waiting till it starts selling me something.”

That was a terrible feeling. I so consciously calculated the value, that I’ve just lost myself. And it’s a common problem with many blogs or social media accounts. We try to be something more and take examples from the huge corporations or big websites. By doing it, we underestimate the authentic power of our self. The social media account of the small business or entrepreneur, it’s a journey for a reader when they decide whether they like to work with this biz or not. If you are honest with yourself and do what you love, the Social Media account or blog will have more readers, than one created without a heart.

So the first thing I did to fix the situation, I’ve changed my logo to my best picture and named all my accounts related to that blog “Eve from Spice & Food”. I’ve gotten an immediate response; people started messaging me because even though they would love to discuss my topic before, they also wanted to talk to a human. I got more followers and more traffic to my blog.

So, here is the tip.

About a year ago, I experimented with my personal Twitter account. (I like Twitter — it responds fast to such experiments). I choose four themes which I’m interested in. Those were art, photography, branding, and business. I was already subscribed to many relevant pages on Facebook, so it was not difficult to grasp the information. I also subscribed to many museums and galleries to add more to the art section (Well, I spent six years of my life in art school and then another six in Art Academy and 90% of my friends share some art news on a daily basis). So, I start posting about what I read or I wanted to read later. I started sharing only news valuable to me, without even thinking if somebody else is interested.

As a result, I got followers who are genuinely interested in these four themes. They were interesting enough to be followed back. I earned more trust and got a real crowd around my account (fewer fake ones).

I practically understood that being myself is better than pretending to be helpful. That focus on particular themes gives relevant followers. That regular posting on twitter, (I did post about six to eight times per day) works better than lesser activity (for other social media platforms, figures might be different). And more importantly, you do not need to search some exclusive content for it, you are already reading it every day, just share it more often. After all, the key is honesty, if you will drop a few comments on the chosen topics, it will only add a character to your account, and just a few thoughts here and there.

Do you agree with me? If yes comment below, if not share your opinion in the comments as well.

Cheers 🙂

Make your Freebie Rock

Last week I did a little research on freebies, even created some for some super talented coaches. And here are a few thoughts which came to my mind.

Freebie represents your brand more than anything. It’s usually the most downloaded piece of content. If you have an online business and especially info business, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a freebie. And if you are already thinking how to create or re-design your old giveaway material, check these tips.

How to name the page where you locate your free products?

Many people ask about it. They don’t want to use the word free not to underestimate their services, but they still need to have some free stuff to build their mailing list. Here’s the thing to know. People love gifts; they are free, fun and somehow useful, and they give pleasant emotions. The word “gift” is a great substitute for the word “freebie.”

Make it personal.

Most of the people love the personalised stuff. They put their pics on the mugs and t-shirts, they like to see their name in e-mailers, etc. Who doesn’t? So when you create a name for your page with gifts (sometimes it’s your landing page, but it’s not necessary), think about minimal personalisation. Call it “Your Gifts” or “Gifts for you” or similar. It sounds simple but does make a big difference.

Be Consistent

For most of the people, “consistency” is a rule which they don’t know how to follow. So let’s have a quick look at how “consistency” works for your brand. When your free content is following colours, fonts, and the tone of the voice of your brand, it prepares people to a particular experience. Let say you have a sophisticated brand for successful ladies entrepreneurs, the words “ladies” and “successful” would predict our freebie look and feel. When they buy your program, or read your blog they know what to expect and that make them feel safe and happy. Consistency shares the confidence and as a result the trust.

So remember, a freebie is not just a random piece of content to add subscribers. It’s your manager, your PR agency, your visiting card. So make it look and feel like your brand and let it be magnetic and result-driven stuff. Your future buyers will eventually say thank you for this.

What Brand Elements You need? Logo

Most of the brand experts will tell you that brand is not a logo, and they are right. The logo and the symbol (sometimes, they are also called ‘logo group’) are vital elements of the brand, but not the brand itself. The Visual Identity of the brand isn’t based on the logo; it rather reflects the deeper aspects such as philosophy, values, etc. Yet, the logo is often a starting point where many businesses begin their way to an exceptional brand.

So, let’s talk about challenges first.
The main mistake that many newbies make is being overexcited about the fonts. Secondly, they choose on the basis personal likeliness, not by logic. Let’s say you like pink colour and a very complicated calligraphic font — that doesn’t mean your logo has to look pink in colour and a non-readable disaster. However, in many cases, it looks exactly this way. If you want to have a good logo, no matter from the designer or DIY, put attention on these few things:

  • The logo represents your brand’s values and promises (think of them before you run to a designer).
  • The logo has to be readable and recognisable.
  • When it’s printed on a pan (super small size) or when it becomes a sign on your shop/company/office (super big), it still has to look similar. You may have several logos for different occasions (a bit bigger, a bit smaller, vertical, horizontal versions). But better stick to one.
  • You must have a single colour option of the logo! And a black/white version as well.If you choose two colours for the logo, it is good, don’t go above four. (some gigantic enterprises have seven colours in a logo and if you have a couple of billion dollars to spend on ads then go for it. If not, stick to two. The Lesser the better).
  • The symbol has to be recognisable with the text and without text (if you decide to use the symbol). Otherwise, your text logo may transform into a symbol eventually (take HBO or Sony).
  • All parts of the logo have to have a printable or squeezable size. So when you re-size the logo, nothing is lost and the logo still makes sense. (If you choose fancy font with thin part or tiny text, it may be difficult to resize). Once again, avoid super complicated calligraphic fonts with gaunt parts.

Here a few world-known brands which managed to get a very recognisable identity.

Let’s start from those which use a text logo without the symbol.

What Visual Brand Elements You need? Logo

Here are some symbols which can speak without any text. By the way, most of the software identities are built and based on the icon recognition. The icon is not always a symbol from the logo group. It’s an individual element. However, sometimes the icon and symbol may look the same.

What Visual Brand Elements You need? Logo

Here some logos which we know as a group. They evolved with time, but the colour scheme makes them memorable, so people could easily recognise them even after re-branding.

What Visual Brand Elements You need? Logo

Did you notice fancy fonts from the free font sites? No? Me either. What you probably noticed that you reacted to many logos emotionally. All logos would evoke some sentimental connection if you ever bought something from these companies.

So when you create a logo with a designer or by yourself, remember this: “The logo indicates an emotional connection between the customer and your brand”. If it’s readable, easily recognisable from the first sight, and translating the brand values — your business wins a buyer’s heart. If not, well, many businesses like to think that the brand and a logo are the same things.

5 Reasons to have a better brand for a successful business. The reason No. 3

The reason number three is internal. What do you think is more motivating – to work in an average company and do a routine job, or to have a thorough understanding of what you are doing on this planet every single day? Many people want to do something important in life. But let’s face that the big part of our working life is a routine. It doesn’t mean that the job you provide is meaningless, it just seems so.

The first people who fully use these principles to increase their profit are now known as “Unicorns”. Recently, I read an interesting article on how an elder person is perceived as a part of the Unicorn culture” by being an insider, and even though he criticised it a lot, we can use a bright side of it.

  • Motivated workers are valuing their job and trying to do it better than the non-motivated ones.
  • Inspired employees are more creative and grateful.
  • As a result, the overall mood in the office is more peaceful. Obviously, happy people can provide more.
  • Happy, grateful people tempt to get into healthy competitions, to show the best they can do.
  • Motivated people are more loyal to their company.
  • Inspired people network better. Logically a company may grow its presence naturally just by “word of mouth”.

If you ever work with the boss who always yells at you, you know eventually you would leave. You know this company is not your future. You won’t put attention on your routine tasks if the company doesn’t value you.

If your brand can show its values to employees, it does a great job in increasing the revenue of an enterprise. And if the system established is right, people get it on their own. It’s almost an automated system which guides better people to your business.

So reason No 3. Having a better brand means to create a bunch of super motivated, loyal people who also convert the world around into your customers. Good brand means — healthy, happy, emotionally satisfied team. Because when buyers are purchasing your products, they choose your brand’s values, moods and promises and not just any other thing in the market.

Check all 5 reasons to have a better brand:

No. 1 “Branding helps you create a unique impression and gives you a chance to be memorable.”
No. 2 “The brand is in sharing the values and attracting like-minded people to your products and services.”
No. 3 “Good brand motivates your team and customers”
No. 4 “Branding helps you advertise effectively &creates a connection between the product and the customer.”
No. 5 “Brand adds value to your business”

Brand vs Personal Branding

Recently grabbed some random course on branding and jumped. Everything was so messed up. “The brand is you,” says the branding “expert”. Really? The girl who teaches this didn’t know what the brand is. The lessons are free and many people will learn this “truth”.

Do you want to know what is a brand and what is the difference between personal branding and branding for business? Let’s assume that you do 🙂

In a case of Personal Branding, People become brands. This practice helps them create a better connection, find more business or better jobs. But Personal Branding, when “You are the brand”, always based on the particular person behind. This concept is also called self-packaging.

On the other hand, a Company Brand is a promise which you share with your customers. The value, philosophy, style, qualities, experiences represent a single company. The brand forms an image in a client’s mind. People refer to this image any time they see your identity elements (such as a logo) on your promo materials. For example, when they see the Nike logo, they may automatically think “sport, dynamic, young”. So the Brand is a promise and the image in a customer’s mind. It’s not you, he or she. Every single person has his own image of the brand in mind. The only way you can control it is by providing consistent quality of your goods and relevant messages through various information channels. The primary goal is to create a connection between identity elements, logo, style, and your company products or services.

So, as you see while Your Personal Brand is You. The company Brand is a whole system and maybe not you at all.

Next time we will talk about who or what is going to become a Brand. You? Your Biz? Your Product?

Who to Brand. You? Your Biz? Your Product?

That happens quite often. Once the Business starts working, the owner decides to establish the brand. It’s a big responsibility; that means the stronger your business, the better experience you can deliver to your clients. And, here are three branding ways to choose.

The first way is to Transform You into a Brand.

Name your site with your name and promote your photos on every banner or poster you share. That works well for artists, dancers, Stylists, and Photographers or any other creative entrepreneur whose product depends on the creator’s personality.
There are pros and cons. If you are not comfortable with the publicity, it may be a bad idea. If you want to sell this business sooner or later, it might be difficult, but not impossible. A bright side – you don’t need to create much, the ready-made persona is already here. With some polishing and adjustments towards Leadership and Personal Branding – all is done.
Examples: Marina Abramovich, Picasso, Karl Lagerfeld

Second is to brand your company.

Creating a Brand for your business means to create a promise to your customers. The Product Quality, Presentation, Promotion Material all follow the particular rules to deliver a consistent and recognisable result. Once the buyer experiences the product, it also gets a set of information which goes with it and creates a connection between clients’ emotions and the brand.
There are pros and cons as well. It’s a tough job to create a very complex system which promotes your business even when you’re asleep. The brand has its value, it adds to the cost of the company if you want to sell it. You can delegate the work to other people as the enterprise isn’t associated with a particular person.
Examples: Disney, Lego, Samsung

The third way is to brand your Product

If your company has many products, you may like to brand products. Just like Unilever has Dove, Knorr, Lipton, Surf and many others. Their products, even compete sometimes, but it benefits the main company nevertheless. So if you have a broad range of goods, you may like to choose this method of branding.

After all, it’s all about the three “How”s. How are you going to present yourself, How you are going to attract clients, How you are going to make them buy your products or services?