Why Face-to-Face in an Internet World Matters

Why face to face in an internet world matters

Branding expert and author Dorie Clark first came on my radar when I saw a powerful video about bravely being yourself and not allowing others to define your brand. Inspired, I began following her work: Harvard Business Review, Forbes and Entrepreneur columnist, TEDx speaker, professor at Duke University, consultant for Fortune 500 companies.

This woman clearly knew how to build a recognized and influential brand that stands out.

And she seemed so…..nice.

In 2014, I boldly reached out to her to offer a free copy of my book, Branding Basics for Small Business, 2nd Edition. If you dig it and you have the time, I emailed, I would so appreciate a kind Amazon review. She didn’t know me from Adam. But she kindly read the book, enjoyed it, and gave me a lovely review.

We developed an Internet friendship: Sharing posts, retweeting each other, and occasionally emailing.  Dorie is seriously one of the most generous people I know.

In 2016, we finally met in person when Dorie kindly invited me to an intimate dinner gathering. She was in town for business and curated a group of interesting and accomplished people who simply “needed to know each other.” It was such an amazing night! I met authors, philanthropists, and savvy business consultants. Dorie even facilitated the lively discussion so we could share both personal and professional happenings.

Dorie is smart and savvy and understands how valuable these face-to-face connections are in an Internet-fueled world. They open doors, build your personal brand and enable you to connect and promote in a friendly, comfortable environment.  She organizes these dinners everywhere she goes in the world.

To learn more about why and how she organizes these dinners, so you might do something similar, please read this great article she wrote.

You can’t just hide behind your screen 24/7 and expect to make a name for yourself or your business.  I know, the introverts out there are shaking in their boots, but you can do this in intimate groups or one-on-one, not just at chaotic, crowded conferences!

If you want to increase your visibility and become a recognized expert, make time for face-to-face connections. (TWEET THIS!)

The personal touch cuts through the clutter. Nothing can build your brand like shaking hands, sharing a cocktail and looking each other in the eye. And yes, giving each other big hugs at the evening’s end!

Image Credit via Flickr

4 Tips for How to Sell Without Selling Your Soul

Sales with with a soul

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you love being creative, dynamic, bold, innovative.

But there is one thing that you probably hate with the white-hot passion of a thousand suns:


Which is unfortunate, seeing as how that generates revenue. Women business owners especially struggle with what they perceive to be “annoying”, “slimy” or “sleazy.”  We see those kinds of pitches every day.

And so we think, “I hate sales. I hate talking about myself.

Well, good. Because it’s not about you. It’s about them.

See, the best sales pitches are conversations.  Listen and engage so you can show them how your offerings solve their problems or help them achieve their goals.

I’ve been in business for over nine years. I’ve never once had to “pitch” a client. I’ve lost out on proposals, sure, but I’ve never had to do a “sales” presentation.

Always, they are conversations. (Tweet this!)

Pushy salespeople are the ones who are all about their own agenda: Take my business card! Buy my product! Here’s why I’m so great.”

Here are four tips to sell without “selling:”

  • Be consultative: Stop pitching and just discuss their goals. Be generous with guidance, resources or connections. Don’t work for free, but offer simple “teaser” advice. Believe me, if they see value, they will pay you for it.
  • Ask questions: Like a good date, don’t just brag about yourself the whole time. Find out about them. What are they struggling with? What do they value? You can then organically sprinkle your value and experience into the conversation.
  • Show empathy: Put yourself in the customer’s shoes, addressing their pains and offering solutions. A past Harvard research study found that “empathy” was the #1 trait for a successful salesperson.
  • Network: I can see you rolling your eyes from here! Get out there and network with people, either in-person or online. Let others see you and get to know your value without ever making a sales pitch. Make connections. You never know who knows who. Warm introductions are always the best (and easiest) sales opportunities.

Here’s the cold, hard truth: You have to clearly confidently talk about the value you provide at some point. Why?

If you are not your own biggest fan…if you don’t believe in the value of your goods and services, why should you expect your prospective clients to care or get excited either?


Image credit via Flickr

Money is Not a Dirty Word

Please run, don’t walk and see the film Equity if you can. It’s on limited release, fresh off of Sundance Film Festival. The writer is a dear friend of a dear friend but that’s not why it’s a great movie. It’s a financial thriller billed as “the first female-driven Wall Street film.”

The movie opens on our successful investment banker heroine, speaking on a panel to ambitious young women. She’s asked, “What makes you get up in the morning?” Smiling, she says, “I think the simplest answer is, I like money.”

She goes on to say, ”I am so glad that it’s finally acceptable for women to talk about success.”


But whether you’re female or male, the point here is that you run a business. Ergo it needs to make money, or it’s just a hobby. Hobbies are totally awesome. Just stop calling them businesses.

And it’s acceptable to want to make a living doing what you love.

Passion and profit (or as I like to always say, cash flow and creativity, are not mutually exclusive (Tweet this!)

In almost 9 years (eek!) of consulting, I have seen too many brilliant and passionate entrepreneurs completely fall apart when the M-word comes up. They set their prices too low. They don’t know what metrics to track or how to set budgets. They lose money on projects, just to be nice and serve others. They have no idea what cash flow means.

Now, this is all from the gal who HATES numbers, ran up over $30K in credit card debt in my late 20’s and who pays big money every year to let my accountant worry about taxes because the IRS terrifies me.

But what I know as a brand strategist is that one of the most important brand decisions you can make is price. It creates a value impression,  defines who you will attract and symbolizes where you play in the market.

Money is not a dirty word! It enables you to do more good in the world and have more impact. 

Whether you’re a coach, consultant, boutique owner or massage therapist, pricing right is the key to financial success. But how do you decide? Where do you start? How do you know if you’ll meet your financial goals? What metrics should you care about?

Well, I’m so glad you asked….this topic is so important, I’m hosting a FREE teleseminar on November 16 with my good friend,  cash flow efficiency expert and business coach Debbie Page Whitlock.

How to Price Right + Conquer Cash Flow

A FREE teleseminar to help you with pricing, budgeting, cash flow…and all the other financial stuff you hate!

Wednesday November 16, 2016

11 am to Noon Pacific Time/2 to 3 pm Eastern Time


During this free (+ fun) jam session, you will finally discover:

  • Why brand success and pricing go hand-in-hand
  • How to set prices for your offerings to attract the right people
  • How to set realistic budgets and yearly financial goals
  • What are the Five Financial Factors you need to increase revenue and profit in your business. HINT: Focusing on small adjustments here can have a big impact!
  • How to understand cash flow and make it easy

Debbie is equally as feisty and tough-love as me, so you KNOW this is going to be a great training.

Register now and reserve your spot. Can’t wait to “see” you on the line!

Image Credit via Flickr

How to Spread the Word About Your Business

You open that coffee shop you’ve been dreaming about for ten years.

You start that consulting business based on your long, successful career in Corporate America.

You start writing that blog you’ve been told to start a thousand times.

But where is everybody?????!!! (cry-face emoji)

They are living their lives, that’s where they are!

We can talk about marketing, brand strategy, social media, blah, blah, blah all day long. In fact, we do quite a bit around here. But at the end of the day, what any entrepreneur, author, or artist really wants to know is:

How do I spread the word about my business, project or big idea?

Of course, that’s why marketing exists. You need a clear brand strategy that outlines who you target, what value you offer them and how you want to present yourself to the world. From there, you build a marketing plan to reach the right people with the right message at the right time.

But what can you do right now, today?

Here are six Macgyver-style tips to spread the word about what your business. Doesn’t mean you get to skip the strategy and planning part! Just some creative ideas to get your juices flowing:

  1. Start building your email list: Like, now, today. You can’t do all this awareness-building on your own. You need an army. Create an audience of raving fans who support you and share some goodies with them every now and then. Until you get your ongoing content marketing plan together, just START BUILDING THE TRIBE! Install a simple MailChimp, Constant Contact or other email platform widget on your website and start building that list. For now, just offer them a one-time incentive for signing up: a tip sheet, a discount coupon, a free eBook. Whatever you can quickly and easily create to stop delaying doing this important step! You can always change it later.
  2. Notify everyone you know about what you’re doing. Seriously. Everyone. Every friend, relative, past or present colleague, your Moms club, your poker buddies, your Facebook friends. EVE-RY-ONE. People know people. I’m always shocked when I find out friends of mine have published a book or started a business and they never bothered to tell me! If you’ve been going for a while, then send them a personalized, “Here’s what’s new in my world” email and let them know what’s going on. This may seem “Duh!” to you, but 90% of my clients completely miss this step. Oh, and while you’re at it, if they are the right customers for you, invite them to join your email list (#1) so they can stay in the loop on more goodies and events.
  3. Host a Party: Interpret this however you want, but live events are powerful things. Nothing fancy, nothing super expensive. Hold a holiday shopping party at your boutique and promote it in the local paper, or post flyers in coffee shops and community centers around town and by telling all your friends to tell their friends. Invite a group of ideal clients over to your office for a wine and cheese social with a discussion topic and a guest speaker. Partner up with a few other colleagues who do something complementary and host a free workshop. For example, if you’re a marketing consultant, invite a web designer, a copywriter and a stylist to hold a “Build the Perfect Image” seminar for new business owners. You all promote the event, you all get great leads and, yes, you start spreading the word.
  4. Network: You have to get out there. Sorry introverts!  You don’t have to join every group but find two or three that fit your style and attract the right audience for you. If you’re a life coach, find a business owners group or coaching mastermind in your area so people now about you. Networking with peer groups puts you in the mix to get referrals. But also join groups that attract your target buyer: clubs, meetups or professional associations. You can even search online on LinkedIn or Facebook and get into the conversations. Not just to push your stuff, but to connect and genuinely add value. Nothing spreads the word faster than building a personal reputation as a knowledgeable, generous resource! People will want to support you and know what you’re up to.
  5. Sponsor Community Events: Is there an appropriate local event that you can sponsor which aligns with your brand and attracts the right people you seek? A new coffee shop could sponsor the neighborhood fair. An online baby-clothing company and mom blog could sponsor a Moms Club event. A fitness coach could sponsor the city marathon. Make sure if you go this route, the event really and truly attracts your ideal customer or you’re just wasting your time and money. This is a great way to get the word out on a mass scale.
  6. Get Social: Social media is wonderful for getting your name out there, IF you use it correctly. If you’re just starting out, try picking one social network you enjoy using and building an audience base there. Post consistently. Don’t just “sell” but provide useful or interesting information. Interact with your fans and followers.

For all of these quick-hit tactics, you want to make sure you give people a reason to reach out to OTHER people to tell the world about you. Offer a coupon or incentive that rewards them and one that requires them to share it with a friend. If you’re a service business, create a referral program and give them 10% of whatever their contacts book with you. Hold a series of events or workshops that enable them to invite other people the next time.

If you’re a local brick and mortar business, you’ve got to pound the pavement a bit.  Post flyers. Make friends with local press and pitch them article ideas that relate to your business but are of interest to their readers.  Invite the community to your location in some way, shape or form. Hold creative events such as “Free Coffee for Police Day” or “Halloween Costume Party: Get 15% off if you dress up!” or “Mom’s Spa Day: $25 credit on any massage or facial.” And then make sure to promote those specials or events to the right groups of people via email, a personalized letter or even a phone call!

You can’t just build it and expect people to come. You’ve got to reach out and tell them about it! (Tweet this!)

Image credit via Flickr

Why (and How) to Trust Your Gut

Why (and How) to Trust Your Gut

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. 

So said William Bruce Cameron (or Albert Einstein, depending on your source)

Business owners and marketers count a lot these days: Twitter followers, site visits, conversion rates, email opens, CPM. All great data that leads to insight and action.

But not everything that counts can be counted. You need to learn how to listen to your intuition. (Tweet this!)

Now, I’m not getting all woo woo here. I’m talking about sound business sense. If you have any life experience whatsoever and you have expertise in your field, you can sometimes smell a rat or spot an opportunity without really knowing why.

Knowing is in your head. Knowing is facts, data and experience.

Intuition is your “Spidey Sense”. It’s knowing without really knowing WHY – it just IS.

And I submit to you that your intuition or “gut feel” is often based on the collective facts, data and experience you already have. But it expresses itself through your heart.

Of course, there will be business decisions you need to make based on solid facts. But my good friend, Andrea Rae coaches many entrepreneurs that listening to your body is just as important as logically thinking through tough decisions.

So where do you start?

Andrea teaches that the first step is to discern your Inner Yes and No.

You already do this: When you look at a restaurant menu, you peruse it and think about what you’d like to eat and usually go with what you ‘feel’ like having.

The way to listen to your intuition is by tuning into your body. “When we tune into the sensations in our bodies,” says Andrea, “we might notice a tightening in the chest or stomach, a contracted feeling indicating we really don’t like that choice, or that the choice is not resonating. Or we might get a calm, peaceful even excited feeling in the body when we think about that option. ”

When you’re faced with a decision, close your eyes and get into your heart space. Breathe. Shut off your monkey mind for a minute. Then, turn your decision into a “yes” or “no” question and tune into your body, taking notice of how your body reacts. Does you chest or stomach tighten or do your muscles constrict?  Or do you feel calm, lightness or excitement?

Some examples of how to apply this to your business:

  • Should I take on this client? If someone is unorganized, late, and high-maintenance from the very first interaction, how does that make you feel? My motto is that, unless there are extreme circumstances, most things finish as they start. Pay attention if your gut is telling you to let this one go.
  • Should I partner with this company? If a potential partnership keeps you awake at night, wondering if you’re getting “screwed” or you just don’t trust something in their voice and demeanor, pay attention. Your subconscious could be trying to remind you of a past similar that ended badly.
  • Should I do this? If you are constantly putting off a marketing or business task, such as blogging or networking, and the thought of it makes your stomach hurt, explore this resistance.  Yes, it could be because you’re outside of your comfort zone but look deeper. Will it actually move you toward your goals? Is it really that important? I find that if I keep putting something off, it’s for a reason. So I either face the challenge, take it off my to-do list or outsource it. At least you will move the ball forward!
  • Do I want to invest? If a sales pitch or webinar invitation makes you feel “icky,” pay attention to this reaction. I get this feeling when I see ads for “Secrets to a Six-Figure Business!” or “Manifest Your Ideal Clients NOW!” Is this really the right style and approach for you? Can you trust this person? Maybe someone else who comes at this from a different angle would serve you better.

Andrea shares 3 tips to get better at tuning in to your intuition:

  1. Spend some time in meditation, connecting to the heart, body and energetic boundaries, and practicing your yes and no response with simple questions to which you already know the answer. Focus on the body sensations. Observe, don’t think and analyze.
  1. Journal about the areas in your life where you honor your inner communication and where you do not. What are your blocks to listening to inner guidance? Download this free guided meditation. 
  1. Find time during the day to stop before automatically doing something. Stop and ask yourself if this is what you want to do. Notice the information that reveals itself. Ask yourself questions. Your body sensations will communicate simple yes and no answers if you just pay attention

Yes, gather all the data and information you can to make a good decision. But at the end of the day, you have to feel good about making that decision.

Image Credit via Flickr

Yes, You Can Ask!

09.13.16 Ask (blog)

Sitting in a coffee shop, I overheard two professional photographers comparing marketing notes.

They talked about pricing, contracts, packaging and how to create additional service offerings for new target markets. One seemed to be coaching the other based on his success, which was cool to see. It was lovely to see such mentoring and collaboration.

But this exchange stopped me in my eavesdropping tracks:

Him: You need to ask your past or current clients to refer business to you. This is how you generate word-of-mouth.

Her: Really? Just “ask them?” I thought word-of-mouth meant that you just do good work for people and hope they recommend you. I didn’t know I could ask them to refer me.

Him: If you deliver value for people, they will want to refer you! It’s your obligation to share the good work you do with people who need it.

“I didn’t know I could ask them to refer me.”

We are sometimes so afraid of the word “sales” that we deem any request for business as pushy, slimy or in-your-face.

Being “pushy” is an attitude, a tone of voice. It’s not the act of asking that’s pushy. It’s how you do it.

If you deliver honest work that gives great value to your clients or customers, then this guy is right: you have an obligation to ensure others who need what you’ve got can find you.

Don’t rest referral responsibility solely on the shoulders of your clients’ goodwill. We all mean well, but we get busy. We forget. We don’t post that stunning Yelp review or think about how your services might be perfect for a friend of ours.

Sometimes, you have to ask. Lovingly. Kindly. Confidently. (Tweet this!)

Here’s one way to ask a client for a referral at the end of an engagement:

“I’m so glad you’re happy with my work. It’s been great working with you, and I’m looking to help more clients just like you achieve results. If you have any friends or colleagues who could benefit from my work, could you please send them my way? If they end up becoming a client, I’d love to offer you a (discount/gift card/free session) as a thank you!”

One way to ask a colleague for a referral:

“Our services are really complementary and I noticed that those who work with you first get a lot more out of our work together . If you’re game, would you like to refer more clients my way (and vice versa) and perhaps we can do a 10% referral commission together?

One way to ask an existing customer for a referral:

“We love that you dig our style! We noticed you buy gifts and accessories from us every month and we wanted to say thank you. If you’d like to share the secrets of your gift-giving superpowers with friends or family, please send them our way with this code xxxxx. If they end up loving us as much as you do and spend $100 or more, we’ll reward you with 25% off your next purchase plus a free bonus gift. On us!

None of us can grow our business alone. Don’t be afraid to ask. Especially from those who already know the caliber of your work.

What will you do today to get your happy clients or customers to refer you? Book a 90-minute Brand Booster session with me and let’s figure out a gameplan!

Image via Flickr


Why You’re Looking at “Time” the Wrong Way

8.23.16 Saving Time (Blog)

We have a funny relationship with time.

When we don’t have enough, we desperately wish we could find more.

When we have too much, we get impatient.

But ask someone “What is your time worth?” and you’ll get conflicting answers.

Entrepreneurs are willing to spend hours on social media, giving away their work for free or banging their heads against the wall launching marketing campaigns that result in zero new sales.

But ask them to spend the time required to make those activities count? Um, sorry. Too busy. Kids. Clients. Launches. Busy work. Errands.

And I’m looking in the mirror here, friend. I do it, too.

Your time is valuable. And that means that sometimes you have to invest it wisely.

Here’s the thing:

If you take a step back and spend the time putting together your brand strategy, getting super clear on your audience and message, developing valuable content, engaging your tribe before selling to them and building a strong foundation, guess what can happen?

You will do less marketing and achieve better results
You will be more consistent and memorable to your audience
You can get better results from fewer marketing tactics
You will stop getting overwhelmed by thousands of decisions
You will stand out from the competition
Your Facebook ads will convert better
Your events will sell out
Your client docket will fill up
Your products will sell
Your message will be heard
You will engage a raving fan base who will hang on your every word
You will win an Oscar! (OK, maybe that’s just in my own fantasy)

Assuming you deliver a quality product or service that people need, of course.

TOUGH LOVE TIME: Please stop wasting your valuable time. Right now. This minute. (TWEET THIS!)

You may think 12 months is too long to master your brand and marketing and slay your overwhelm in my MOMENTUM program.

“Ugh, really? That’s such a long time. I’ve got things to do! Do I have to?”

No, you don’t. You are free to keep spending your valuable time engaging in “random acts of marketing” that don’t work or result in sales.

Or you can spend 12 months with me to build a strong brand strategy and marketing foundation, brick by brick, step by step – all while still taking action each week – so that your precious time (and money) GETS RESULTS.

I’m in a one-year course with this format right now and I LOVE IT. When I’m busy, I just skip the week’s assignment and file it for another time. You can do the same with MOMENTUM. But always, the focus and support keep me moving forward.

You know. It helps me keep MOMENTUM!

We all need to get things done.  But if you want those efforts to be more effective, if you want to engage your audience, end your overwhelm and do more with less, please don’t skip this crucial step.

Make the time, even if it’s not with me.

But, c’mon how much fun will this be?! I invite you to join us in MOMENTUM for a year and see what happens.

I dare you!


Image Credit via Flickr

How Do You Learn Best? (Free Sample!)

How do you learn best?

Do any of these situations sound familiar?

You bought a digital course for $79. Once you downloaded the files, you never looked at them again.

You went through a week-long, self-guided course and devoted yourself to completing the lessons. And you never did anything with the advice.

You signed up for a four-week workshop and attended every class religiously. You still have your intended actions lying in a notebook somewhere. Actions that you never took.

Yep. All happened to me.

Look, we’re all busy. And I’ve been seduced by the quick-fix promises just like everyone else.

But let’s be real: How many times have your learnings and good intentions simply ended up in a file on your laptop, never to be referenced again?

Finding the right training format to master your marketing and build your business just depends on what you’re trying to learn and which needs you’re trying to meet.

How to set up your Facebook brand page? Maybe a video tutorial is fine.

How to consistently prioritize and build your self-confidence? Maybe you need months of live coaching sessions before you can get there and make real, lasting change.

Before you invest, ask yourself: What is it that I really need in order to achieve my goals, to have an impact? And what format would work best?

Do you need a quick answer, for someone to share all the information with you at once so you can run with it by yourself? Good for you, DIY-er.

Or do you need ongoing accountability and motivation? If you’re busy or easily distracted, do you need to focus your actions so you won’t lose steam?

When I designed my year-long MOMENTUM coaching program, it was to avoid the “quick-hit” syndrome. Right now, I’m in a program with this same format and LOVE IT. Some weeks, the assignments are exactly what I need to move forward and – bam – they get done. Plus I get feedback. If I’m too busy, I keep the lesson for later. Always, the work is at the forefront of my mind so it gets DONE. Oh, and did I mention it’s fun?!

Guidance. Focus. Motivation. Consistent Action.. Ahhhhhhhh!

But….if you’re still on the fence about MOMENTUM, here’s a tempting little gift:

Enjoy a FREE sample of one of the MOMENTUM lessons: It’s a taste of what you can expect each week. But in the real course, each lesson comes served with your own private Facebook group, constructive feedback, Connection Calls, goodies, incentives…and more.

Oooohhh, it’s gonna be good!

Figure out how you learn best, and what you really need–practically and psychologically–to achieve your goals. Maybe the quick-hits that haven’t been working mean you need to shake things up?

Like this? There’s more where that came from! Check out MOMENTUM right here.

Image Credit via Flickr

What Drives You?

08.04.16 What Drives You (Blog)

No one starts a business without a passion for change.

Sure, many people do so to make lots of money, but what they choose to do, and how they choose to do it order to make that money? That’s often based on a problem they want to solve or an opportunity to make people, processes or communities better.

I’ll bet this is true for your business, too.

Knowing what drives you is essential to your success.  (TWEET THIS!)

Let me share a story about motivation.

In 2008, I left Corporate America. My career included successful stints as a Fortune 500 management consultant, a marketer at Discovery Networks, an ad agency executive and several Director of Marketing positions at Silicon Valley tech companies.

Corporate life was great to me. It offered stability, a clear-cut career path, and benefits.

But as my marketing and branding skills grew, as I studied the greats like Ogilvy and as I saw first-hand what resonated with people and what did not, I realized something:

Many businesses forget that they are marketing to human beings.

This is never more true than in the business to business (B2B) space. So much jargon, overblown claims and eye-glazing boredom. No one talks like that!

Were we talking to robots…or to human beings with needs, desires and problems to be solved? Where was the connection? Where were the stories?

I’m a storytelling addict, in all its forms: An indie film. A moving play. An emotional video. A hilarious joke. A persuasive and succinct argument. I truly believe stories have the power to inspire, provoke, entertain, educate and persuade.

Marketing is not about lying to people. Marketing is simply communication, elevating the truth of your story so that the right people–the people who need what you’ve got–can find you and get on board. Truthful communication, where claims are backed up by proof but served with a side of emotion.

When I started Red Slice in 2008, I was excited. Finally, I could do marketing my way. Truthful. Emotional. Passionate. Human. I vowed to do work I loved with people I liked who were passionate about what they do. Period. No BS.

Honesty was important to me. I would offer tough love to my clients. Constructive feedback. Even if they made a different decision in the end, they would always get the truth.

Why? Three things happened in my early career that shaped this:

One, as a 21 year-old management consultant, I was asked to lie to a client about my age. Didn’t matter that the client valued my work. Today, they call that “managing the optics.”

Two, I strongly advised a client to go one route when she wanted to take another. I was pulled aside by my manager:

Me: But aren’t we supposed to advise the best way for them to be successful? Isn’t that what they are paying us for?

Manager: No, they are paying us to do what they say and not argue.

Three, when asked by a client to make advertising recommendations, I presented several options. There was just too much she didn’t realize she had to first determine. The client complained that I was “wasting her time.” I was asked to do less consulting and simply execute.

Me: You mean, you want me to be her secretary.

Manager: Well……um….kind of…..yes.

Needless to say, these instances devastated me. But they also fueled my passion for my work today.

It’s important to know what drives you. Your unique philosophy. This is what the right customers will find attractive and rally to support.

The same values drove me to create MOMENTUM, my guided program for busy entrepreneurs. Working with me and a kick-ass group of entrepreneurs, you will streamline your efforts by building a unique, useful and honest brand strategy, step by step. Even if you say you “hate” marketing.

We’ll cover how to determine your drive and articulate your philosophy to attract more of the right people to your business.

You will get feedback and support. You’ll probably even get my tough love!

With MOMENTUM, you will learn how to message and share your unique approach as your best secret “client attraction” weapon. You can jump on the wait list and get all the details right here and I hope you’ll join me.

Because like I always say: If YOU are not driven and inspired to promote your work, why should your audience care?

And I promise, that’s the truth.


Photo Credit via Flickr


How to Combine Everything Under One Brand

07.12.16 One Brand (Blog)

I like things tidy…do you? While I’m considerably less organized as a Type A personality than I used to be prior to my brain injury, I’m still an organization freak. My biggest pet peeve is the jumble of wires behind our TV that is now our hub for cable, internet, phone, game consoles and more. The sight of it literally gives me a headache.

But my obsession with organization is a huge benefit for my clients. One of my superpowers is being able to connect dots that no one else can see to create a clear, crisp narrative.

My clients often have an enviable problem: they are interesting people with many passions and skills to offer the world. And they are full of ideas on how to do it. Which is all great. Until you confuse the heck out of your target audience.

First step to clarity? Understand that not everything you love has to be a part of what people pay you to do (TWEET THIS!)

If you have ever asked, “How do I combine everything I do under one brand?”, here are 5 steps to tie everything together:

  1. Take inventory: Write down every offering or skill you currently, or would like, to showcase to your market. Seeing things on paper is a big step to getting it out of your head and into some sort of system.
  2. Identify the common threads: Trust me, there will be some. How do I know? Because they are all stemming from one person or company with its own unique personality! If you are drawn to offering different types of things, there is something linking those all together for you, whether it be a theme, audience or product/service “type”: Do you see a pattern across all your offerings and interests about healthy living? Storytelling? Connecting women? Transformation? Solving complex tech problems? Fine design? What is it that runs through everything?
  3. Define your core audience: If many of your offerings can serve the same audience, great! But if they are all targeting completely different ones, you may have to pare down and get focused. It’s going to cost too much time and money to build your reputation among so many disparate audiences. Plus, people will get confused as to if you are right for them. Focus on the low hanging fruit.
  4. Determine a compelling “Brand Umbrella”: What is the overarching theme that ties everything together? When you find the right one, you will see that you can easily fit all your offerings and passions under that umbrella in a way that makes sense to people. Brands you know and love offer tons of products or services but usually under the same brand umbrella: Method is all about pure cleaning products that don’t harm the planet. Dove is about real beauty and healthy skin. Alexandra Franzen is about writing and self-expression. Hiro Boga is about building a soulful business.
  5. Purge: Anything that doesn’t fit. Maybe those are not your business’ core offerings but simply personal passions. Your brand umbrella can help you find your creative brand hook that can lead to a snazzy title, a unique company name, a signature touch or a unique visual device (juicy fruit that is irresistible to resist, perhaps?!).

For example,  I determined a while back that my brand umbrella was “irresistible storytelling.” I help clients tell compelling stories, I speak at companies and conferences, I write books…I even enjoy acting and voiceover work, which is all about storytelling and even wrote food and wine articles for websites and print – but these are not the core ways I make my money. So I shifted that from an “offering” category to a “passion” category – and now use that personal interest to add color and life to my work.

Personal passions that have nothing to do with how you make money can also be called your Swirl, as publicity expert Melissa Cassera says. This is what gives your work a unique voice and flavor. You can color how you do the work you do with these unique interests. My love for wine and past wine writing experience does not mean I have to go out an create an entire company or offering as a “wine writer.” But it makes my stuff a lot more interesting to read!

A wise coach once told me, ‘You can do everything you want to do. You just don’t have to do it all right now or even with this evolution of your business.” (TWEET THIS!)


Image credit via Flickr