by R.A. Rowell; Branding Professional
Personal branding has become more important than ever. It matters in job hunting, freelancing, and building any sort of business – even a side-hustle! On the flip side, business brands are becoming more and more like people all the time. The social media accounts of brands you love – and brands you love to hate – have become their own personalities.
Sure, you still have celebrity endorsements. But, more and more, people want to connect with people who are directly connected to a brand. Giving faces and voices to the people that build the brand from within real people who are completely invested in what your brand stands for, makes your business more human than ever..
The power of interviews has long been known for building personal brands. Yet, many business brands – and even some people with successful personal brands – don't realize realize the true brand building value of doing an interview. Not only is it essentially free exposure, but you put a face to your brand, which is invaluable in our socially super-charged world.
If you're trying to build your personal brand, building your reputation, and marketing your skills, doing an interview with a venue that has a decent audience can be invaluable. There are many kinds of interviews. They can be done on audio podcasts, in YouTube Videos or Facebook Live chats, or in text form on blogs. Whichever type works best for you is fine. They all are effective in their respective ways.
What an interview does is to bring new dimensions to your brand, both your own personal brand (as an author or designer, for example) and your business brand. Obviously, you want to find an interviewer that asks the right questions. But, even interviews with more general questions are fine, as long as you have good and engaging answers to give.
You may not think you're great at giving an interview, but you're probably better than you think. After all, the whole point of an interview is to put you on the spot. You're going to get some unexpected questions and how you answer them can go a long way towards giving people a good impression.
So, the best thing about doing an interview? You don't really have to do the research. That's all on the interviewer to do. You just have to answer some questions. Being prepared is good, knowing the interviewer and all that. But your main job is to just be you and answer questions as honestly as you can – within reason, of course. The smarter your answers, the better you and your brand will look, of course.
Think of an interview as a conversation about your brand. Try not to stress about what questions are going to be asked. The whole idea is to come out from behind your brand and put yourself out there. That can be very difficult to do. But the rewards are well worth it. Not only do you get yourself and your brand out in front of new people, but you also bring personality to your brand and give it a face. People like to relate to people, and the more your brand becomes like a person, the more people will want to interact with it.
So, if you have a chance to do an interview, don't delay. The sooner you do it, the sooner you give you personal brand - and the brands of your related businesses - a new chance to grow!
Want to become a Brand Hero? But, not sure where or how to start? Hire the Brand Shamans and we’ll show you how!
by R.A. Rowell; Content Creator Coach
"You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra
Oh, Yogi, of course, you can observe a lot just by watching!
The great Yogi Berra was an amazing baseball player and later a very good team manager and coach. He's also famous for saying a lot of things. Many of them, often known as "Yogi-isms" seem odd at face value, and many of which seem obvious. However, sometimes if you really think about these "Yogi-isms" you realize that there's more to it.
Observing Means Paying Attention to the Right Things
What Yogi Berra meant is that you can learn a lot from observations if you pay attention to the right things. In baseball, as well as football and other sports, there are little things to watch for to give you a competitive advantage. You may have heard of "stealing signs." Indeed, cracking the code to your opponent's coaching signals certainly helps. It's a big deal in American football, too.
Just by watching the social media pages, blogs, and other public channels of companies who are in a related field as you, or even your direct competition, you can learn a lot. Seeing how people engage with other brands can tell you what they might be doing right. In fact, you can also see what's not working, too, which is just as important. This is called competitor research. You can then adapt some of these things that are working for them to attract the same sort of brand engagement.
Beyond just taking cues from your competition, you can learn a lot by observing your own brand engagement, as well. You can glean valuable insights into what you may or may not be doing correctly just by how people interact with you (or don't). If people aren't interacting, you may want to consider how to increase brand engagement. The best question to ask yourself is "how can I offer more value?"
Watching Your Own Brand Engagement Closely Can Give You Clues About What to Do Next
Watching how people interact with your brand should give you an idea if something should work or not work. Obviously, if something you post on your blog or website is getting more views than usual or more likes on social media, then you're doing something right.
Also, it also doesn't hurt to hint at things that you're trying. It's a sort of passive market research. Social media, in particular, is a great place to test out ideas before you commit to them. But, what if your brand is consistently getting no real engagement? What is there to watch, then?
You just have to watch the right things. If your website and/or blog is getting page views, that's something. If people are liking your page, that's something. Engagement isn't always super obvious. But, it's watching the less obvious things that can give you the most important information.
For example, say you have a blog post that consistently gets views when you share it on social media. You may also have a post that gets a lot of search traffic on its own. Obviously, people are attracted to that post. Creating social media content around that post, taking quotes from it, and making attractive images out of them, is one strategy. Sometimes, you can just reshare popular content that doesn't compete with your brand, but complements your brand's values. Use a variety of strategies to attract engagement to your website and social media. Then, focus on the ones that bring the most engagement, and of course, any that bring you sales and new customers.
The knowledge and insights you need to take your brand in the right direction are likely there already for you to see. You just have to take a step back and observe. Sometimes, it's what's not being done by others, or done as well as you could do it, that you end up seeing.
The key to increase your brand engagement and jump-start your business may even already be right in front of you! Need help with creating engaging content or doing competitor research? Hire the social media, content marketing, and branding specialists at Brand Shamans and we’ll show you how!
by R.A. Rowell, Branding Professional
Remember the time that Harley Davidson tried their hand at making bike soap? Yeah, that didn't go over so well.
It is very possible for a brand to do too much. Whether it's a personal brand, a company brand, or any kind of brand, people come to expect a certain image. A brand is meant to encapsulate the ideas, concepts, and values your brand stands for. When you step outside those bounds, your brand can take a serious hit.
Which branding mistakes can seriously hurt your brand?
Most Branding Mistakes Won't Kill Your Business, But the Worst Branding Mistake is to Fail to Be Consistent With Your Brand
While most mistakes will not destroy your brand, you do have to be careful. Whatever you do with your brand, you have to be consistent. If your brand goes and does something out of character, it's going to have a negative impact across your whole brand.
Yes, you can recover. Harley Davidson did, after making a lot of their hardcore fan base mad. And the product is still out there, but they no longer focus on it. So, you can backtrack and be fine. However, don't be the brand who did too much.
One thing that some brands do is try and take advantage of trends. While it's great if you do it right, plenty of brands make some weird choices. But usually, it's one ad campaign or one bad product launch, and you can go back to your brand's strengths and be fine.
But, then, brands take some really huge risks that don't make a lot of sense.
Taking Risks with Your Brand Purely to Take a Risk is Not So Bright
Take, for example, the "crunchless" Doritos for ladies. I'm not sure where that idea came from. Not only was it strange, but the way that they launched was actually kind of offensive. So what, chips are messy? Frito-Lay made a major branding mistake with that.
They actually had an interesting idea, but they launched it very badly, and it came off as sexist. Also, "crunchless" chips is NOT something you would associate with DORITOS. It was just a really bad mistake. But, you know what? They're a huge brand. They took a risk, but they bounced back.
Most brands, though, can't bounce back from a PR disaster like that. That sort of mistake can actually ruin a brand.
However, sometimes you still have to take risks with your brand, as long as that risk makes sense.
Do Everything You Can with Your Brand... Within Reason
I'd like to draw on a "brilliant" quote from Ashleigh Brilliant: "Not being able to do everything is no excuse for not doing everything you can "
While Ashleigh was not specifically talking about branding in this case, like people, brands can find themselves not doing as much as they can. As long as you are taking your brand in a positive direction, building on your brand's values, it's OK to take risks here and there. But never assume that you can survive taking massive risks that go against what your brand stands for.
So what if you don't want to ruin your brand? Create another brand. Yes, it's actually OK to create spin-off brands. Companies do it all the time, and sometimes the spin-offs even surpass the mothership brand.
Also, if the brand fails, the backlash is not going to be ANYWHERE near as bad as it could be. Sure, people may know your brand was associated with it. But people tend to forget the missteps by a lesser-established brand.
So what's the major take-away here? Make sure that you allow your brand to grow – and occasionally make mistakes – as long as your brand's mission is always clear in view. Advance the concepts, ideas, and values your brand has established.
When Should You Create a Spin-Off Brand to Lessen the Damage from Branding Mistakes?
If you really want to create a new direction, build a new brand. It's more work, but the worst that can happen is that brand fails badly and goes away. More likely, you'll create a new brand that brings in a completely different dimension to your business.
Even though brands can appear completely separate to the general public, many companies own several different brands. Some bigger companies own dozens, or even hundreds, of brands. Why? Because if one brand fails, your business still has all those other brands to fall back on.
What if Harley created a new brand for their bike wash products? They could have saved themselves both PR headaches and lost sales. Yeah, Harley-Davidson would have been in the fine print in the commercials and on the bottles. But very few people actually read that. The PR impact may have been completely different. But the decision to use the brand to sell the product did NOT fit and the public responded by backing away from the brand.
And if Frito-Lay had introduced the "Ladychip" as a separate brand entirely, yeah, it would have been slammed. But the new Doritos Blaze chips, which are actually quite good, saved them this time. The Ladychip ad campaign could have ruined the Doritos brand entirely had they not introduced that other on-brand product (And Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones, weird as that Super Bowl ad was, didn't hurt.)
So Frito-Lay even knew they were taking a huge risk and took off some of the heat by releasing a solid product around the same time. PepsiCo also introduced a new Mountain Dew drink at the same time with a partnering ad with Morgan Freeman. Not sure how well that went over – it's not selling at my local supermarket, but the Blaze chips are!
Don't Be the Brand Who Did Too Much
The great news is, like Frito-Lay showed, you can bounce back by having a fallback plan whenever you take a risk. Always seek to build your brand, but don't be the brand who did too much.
Harley took a hit and Doritos took an even bigger one. Doritos just had a better comeback.
Don't make the same mistake. But if you do make a branding mistake, make sure it's a "good" mistake. Make sure it fits your brand's overall plan. Otherwise, you will cause some head-scratching and, potentially, lose valuable business.
Not sure if your brand is not doing enough or may even be trying to do too much? Let us know in the comments below!
by R.A. Rowell, Copywriting Extraordinaire
"Dream big, dream clearly, put it in writing, and watch it happen!" - Lyn Lomasi
Everyone knows what it means to dream big. You want to have a grand vision for your brand, and dream big for your future. Something needs to be worth doing in order to bother investing in building a brand, after all! The bigger your dream, the easier it is to build around, as well.
What does it mean to dream clearly? When you have dreams, you need to not only have a grand idea, but a clear vision of that idea. You need to know exactly what you're trying to accomplish with your brand. If you're just guessing, so will everyone else who interacts with your brand. You need to have a clear idea of the steps it will take to bring your brand's dreams to life.
What's the biggest step in helping yourself dream big, dream clearly, and take your brand to the next level?
Put it in writing.
We all know what a business plan is. But, you have to have a branding plan, as well. A branding plan should exist to keep yourself and anyone else who works for your brand in sync. If you put it in writing, define your brand's goals clearly, and have a specific vision for the future, it helps keep yourself, your brand, and anyone you work with on the same page. A plan also acts as a starting point whenever you're looking to do something dealing with your brand.
When building your brand, there needs to be a unified vision. Putting that in writing is a constant reminder of what exactly that is. Also, you want to put in writing key issues surrounding what your brand is trying to accomplish. You also want to have some clear strategies and tactics defined for both yourself and anyone who works for your brand.
Watch it happen!
No, your dreams won't come true overnight. Your brand and business can take many months and sometimes even years to establish itself. But, if you allow yourself to dream big and put it in writing, you've already made something happen. Yes, words on a page are only a beginning, but they are a strong beginning.
Sometimes you'll find that you have ideas that conflict with your vision. That's OK. The idea is to have the plan so that when you stray off course, you know where to come back to when it's time to regroup. While your brand may take time to mature, as long as you stick to a solid plan built around a big and clear vision, you've at the very least set your brand on the right track!
Dream big, put it in writing, and watch your brand and business grow!
Want to become a Brand Hero? But, not sure where or how to start? Hire the Brand Shamans and we’ll show you how!
by R.A. Rowell; Branding Professional
Don’t be afraid to take that next step with your business and your brand. Step forward confidently and you will find yourself one step closer to success.
If you're looking for how to grow your brand, here's one simple piece of advice. Don’t be afraid to take that next step you’re not sure if you can take. Sometimes, we’re scared of taking that next step in life, because we’re worried it may be the wrong one. This happens all the time when building your brand, too.
It can be too easy to become complacent and simply be "okay" with how things are. Both in life and with your brand, staying put is not the best way to go. You and your brand must grow together to sustain your march toward success and to set up for future growth and success.
What is the Next Step You Want to Take?
Is there something you could be doing with your brand building, but haven't due to fear of failure? Most steps we could make we simply don't because we feel it isn't worth the risk to do something new. Still, most missteps are only going to cost you a little time and perhaps a little money. More often than that, making mistakes don't cost you anything you will miss in the long term just for having tried. The potential price of failure usually is worth the lessons we learn from what didn’t end up working.
Sometimes, we overestimate risks because there are so many unknowns when it comes to possibilities. So, we have to always assume some risks when building a brand or business. But, when you really think about it, that new thing could change both you and your brand for the better.
Failure With Your Next Step Often Means Growing From the Experience
What if that next step fails? Chances are you'll recover from your venture without much real loss and have learned from the experience. A negative experience with your brand is just like a negative experience in your own life. Often you and your brand are both so interconnected that you'll feel the sting of failure twice.
But, you then should work twice as hard to make another new step. Don’t retreat out of fear of the potential of success is worth it. If you do fail, you and your brand should both recover in time having become better for the experience. After all, what is success worth if it's easy when you fail?
But, what if your next step succeeds and brings a new dimension to your brand? At the very least, if it doesn't fail, that step could at least give you a sense of accomplishment. Continuing to evolve keeps you and your brand on track.
Always Moving Forward is the Key to Creating Success
Really, if it won't hurt you and your brand seriously, there is no reason not to try it. Yes, the best laid plans can backfire. But, as long as you understand the real impacts of risk versus potential rewards, you should be able to overcome your fears of making new steps forward.
If the next step is a big one that could go seriously wrong, but you are sure it is the way you want to go, then just make that step. The worst thing you can do is stay put. Not doing something can hurt more than anything else. You won't learn anything and you’ll have nothing to gain.
Fear should be seen as simply a need to ensure yourself that you know what's best in growing both yourself and your brand. Still, don't let it stop you, even if seems there is so much to lose. As long as that next step is made with growth and prosperity in mind, you should be sure to make it a good one!
Want to become a Brand Hero? But, not sure where or how to start? Hire the Brand Shamans and we’ll show you how!
The vibes your brand puts out there are important to your company's success and image. Is your brand representing its true purpose? Does what your brand puts out there truly align with what you envisioned for the company? Do you know your brand's true purpose or does it even have one yet?
Every Brand Needs A Purpose
Does your brand have a purpose? It should! Each brand's purpose is what helps people connect. If there's nothing behind it except a product, people will have a hard time understanding why they want or need it. Does your brand help people in some way? Does it have a unique meaning behind it? Make sure there is a purpose for doing whatever it is your brand or product does.
Your Brand's Purpose Needs To Be Obvious
Not only does your brand need a purpose, but it needs to be very obvious. For instance, if your brand's purpose is to spread the word about a specific cause, that should be evident in everything you do. Logos, blog posts, social media posts, ads, product labels, shipping packages, and anything else put out there by your brand needs to reflect that purpose.
For instance, our store, Intent-sive Nature shows even within the name that we are very intensive about the intent we put out there and we LOVE Mama Nature! Our products are very intent and nature oriented, from healing jewelry to branding with a spiritual twist. Everything we do is about our main intention to help people find their true selves (in both business and personal ways) and help them heal themselves and their businesses through the power of true self aka nature.
What Vibes Is Your Brand Representing?
Are you sending out mixed messages or vibes? Does your brand truly represent what you want it to? Listen to your audience. Watch their reactions to what you do. Does it really reflect that purpose? If your brand is about healing, like ours, do all things put out by your brand reflect healing? Make sure that nothing puts out vibes that are the opposite of what you intended. If you've mistakenly done this, no worries! You can still fix it! That's what the Brand Shamans are for! We help heal brands.
If your brand needs help discovering its inner spirituality or purpose, let us know! We can help!
LAST UPDATED 7/23/2022 by Lyn Lomasi
Many brands, communities, and other entities often forget about the connection that needs to happen with their audience and members. This connection is what keeps them interested and also is what keeps your brand or community authentic and focused on what it's all about. We call this brand or community spirituality. If you think about it, your brand or community is an entity that you and your audience or members are dedicated to. There is a spiritual bond. If not, there should be! We help you bring everything into focus surrounding the spirituality (or inner connection) of your brand or community. Once this happens, the rest falls into place quickly.
We Study Your Business And Help You Heal It From The Inside Out!
We'd love to know more about you, your business, and your goals. Drop us an email via the contact form (below) to give us an idea of who you are and what you need and we'll get back to you. If you don't have time to give us a life story, a few lines is fine. We'd love to explore your website for the rest! As a complementary test run, we'll even interview you for FREE to introduce you to our audience and publish the results on one of our popular channels (also FREE). This is one of the very first steps in helping heal your business, brand, or community and it's FREE, so you have nothing to lose.
Is This A Religious Service?
It's whatever you want or need it to be. We base our services on what you would like your brand to be and represent. Brand spirituality refers to your brand as an entity with its own spirit and in itself is not a faith-based service. This is a journey of discovery! You may be familiar with self-discovery. This is the same thing, but for your brand. Though, if you would like a certain faith implemented into your brand, we can help you with that, too! We are spiritual in nature with the owner being a shamanistic healer, though our services are not based on any religions, faiths, or spiritual practices (unless requested). We are open to helping you implement any beliefs or non-beliefs if that is your business' destiny.
Analysis Of Your Brand Helps Discover Its Inner Spirit
Is your brand really doing all it can for you? Is it representing the values and ideals you want it to? What message is it sending? Is it one you agree with? Are you connected with your audience and staff? For a small fee, we can analyze your brand (this includes your website, social media accounts, and more). Brand refers to your product, book, you (if you are an artist, author, actor, etc), or anything else that needs branding. The analysis will be personalized based on your brand's needs.
Your Brand Needs A Customized All-Inclusive Community Building & Engagement Plan
Once one of our Brand Healing Specialists (aka Brand Shamans) has done an analysis, we can outline what we feel will work best for you based on that research. This step is FREE and is where you will gain your FREE insight that is needed in order for us to take action. Actions may include things like email discussions on what your brand means to you, interactions via social media and/or your online community, content marketing that matches your brand, and more! This custom brand healing plan can help you find your brand's inner spirit and begin the healing process on your company's life path.
Why You Need To Take Action!
Once you have your analysis, it's in your hands to take action by having us kick your brand or community's spirituality (voice) into high gear. If there's not enough interaction going on around your community or brand, it's not connected properly. Let the Brand Shamans work together as a team with you and your audience to find your brand's inner spirit and strengths.
Watch Your Brand Or Community's Spirituality & Positive Interactions Improve!
When the connection has been found, watch how your brand or community's spirituality and positive interactions improve! Many companies and communities forget the connection part when it comes to engaging with their audience and members. We help you bring everything and everyone together to find a common ground and purpose surrounding your community or brand. Once this happens, the rest falls into place quickly.
Take Action Now! Get A Head Start On Your Brand's Healing Process Today!
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
Lyn is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! While rescuing civilians from boring business practices and energy vampires, this awesomely crazy family conquers evil and creates change.
They live among tigers, dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and other fantastic energies, teaching others to claim their own power and do the same.
By supporting us, you support a dedicated parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to several causes. Profits from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature support these causes and our beautiful family!
HIRE OR SHOP WITH LYN | CONTACT LYN