Emilie Downs of Imago Visual writes "A brand is a promise about who you are and what products/services your business delivers." She goes on to say "Having a purposeful brand can mean the difference between success or failure for your business venture."
In the image above, Emilie calls this a Brand Pie. And one she developed, she shows us that Brand is really comprised of several things, not just a logo:
Once you begin to put these pieces together, you have to start thinking about your whole Digital Footprint. These are all the places on the Internet that you spend time "showing up". Be it Facebook, YouTube, Quora, MLS, Trullia or Realtor.com, you have a presence there.
It is very important that you remain consistent in your wording, your voice, and your images. An example of that could be, your signature on emails, your background images on Social Media, etc. We must remember that people are bombarded with so much information from so many places, that making it easy for them to know they are on the correct page for your business is very important. If there is any doubt that your customers or potential customers could be on the wrong page, they'll leave and most likely won't come back.
Using a tool like Canva can make this very easy. Canva allows you to create and Brand all your graphics. I've put a couple of examples below. Canva also allows you to upload any of your own photos. They offer templates that you can customize and you can even use your Brands colors. Think of Canva like Photoshop for dummies. Canva has all your marketing needs already done and sized for you. Canva has a free version as well as a paid. Though their paid account is still very reasonable (120.00/yr), you can just use the free version. Canva also has lots of tutorials.
If you're interested in learning how to use Canva effectively and cut out the learning curve, go to our Realtors page and find out when we are having our next workshop. I hope to see you there!
Some of you may have heard me say that Social Media blew into our lives without an instruction manual. It's sort of like when you have a baby. They don't come with instructions either. Trust me, I know!
But with Social Media came all these other things that we've had to learn. And by learn I mean sometimes we just use them because everyone else uses them, but we really don't understand the "why" behind it.
Well, Hashtags are the perfect example. They appeared, they're used everywhere, and most don't understand why, for what or really how.
In an article written on Hashtags.org the author writes:
"The First HashtagChris Messina, a social technology expert, is credited to have come up with the very first hashtag on Twitter. He first posted the hashtag #barcamp in August 2007. The whole tweet appeared like this: ?how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?? Messina came up with the hashtag with the purpose of gathering discussions and online exchanges regarding Barcamp, a technology unconference gathering activity that spans worldwide."
So what is a Hashtag (#)? If you're around my age, then you first identified this symbol as a pound sign. Now it has new meaning. Hashtags allow users to find and follow conversations. Here are some examples of Hashtags:
Hashtags are searchable. You can use Google or search in any of the Social Media Platforms. They all use them, recognize them and allow you to do a search. There are some rules to follow when creating Hashtags. In the image above, there is a guide to creating your own Hashtags.
In our Realtor's Social Media School hands on workshops, we talk about Hashtags and uses for them. We will also develop appropriate Hashtags that you can use as part of your Brand and integrate into the content you'll be sharing. Are you ready to take your Social Media to the next level? Go take a look at the classes we are offering HERE
I hope to see you there! Let me help you make your Brand Remarkable in Social Media.
When we are talking about Social Media and getting clients, communication is everything. Don’t you agree?
Depending on what kind of client you want, you will communicate your offer and value differently. That’s one part of communication. But, there is so much more to it than that.
Let’s take a look at a few different industries. I’ll start with my personal story.
When I decided that I wanted to do Social Media, I truly didn’t know where I wanted to start, but I knew I wanted to work in a different industry than I had been before. In other words, I knew I didn’t want to work with lawyers, because I had worked in the courts for so long. I knew I didn’t want to work with kids, because I’m not patient with them. I knew I didn’t want to work with not for profits because of the Library and it’s a difficult space. So I thought I would look for a space that could really use my help. I decided to work with Beauty Schools. I researched the industry, talked to experts and decided that they really needed me and my services. As time went by, I realized that when I was talking to schools, and they were asking questions, I didn’t have the answers! Why? Because that wasn’t an industry I had ever worked in and I didn’t know as much as I needed to know about them!
So I pivoted and decided to work with IT. Afterall, my husband works in IT and I love technology, so how hard could it be to reach this demographic? Again, it didn’t work and I found myself beyond frustrated! What was going wrong?
I re-evaluated and it suddenly came to me that I wasn’t communicating my value and worth in a way they understood. Why? Because I’m not an engineer. I have never worked in that space and I just didn’t get how they wanted to receive information. I didn’t understand how they interpret information, even though I “thought” I knew.
So here I went again, pivoting to a new demographic. This time I gave in, so to speak and went to lawyers. What I knew by now was that It was imperative I understand how my demographic wants information. How they interpret it, how they receive it and how they process it. Alas! I found the right niche! I was so excited! I knew, I was convinced that they needed me. I was researching their profiles and I could see they were a hot mess! So now I just needed to get my foot in the door. It’s definitely harder than I thought.
But I confronted with a new problem. Did THEY know they needed me? Well, to my surprise, they didn’t. So how to convince them? Easy, sort of. I had to reach out to them and explain what I could offer in a way that made sense to them. I had to wrote copy that spoke to their problems and the solutions I could provide. I had to be sure that the way I was writing was reaching them. Fortunately for me, I know what that looked like. I had worked with attorneys in the courts for 13 or more years. I knew how they received information and how they processed it.
I found, as I started reaching out to them, that it was the younger lawyers, solo practice lawyers and newer firms, that were more interested in what I had to offer. I really wanted older, more established firms, but they didn’t want me. So I revisited what I was offering and sending out and noticed that it was clearly written for the younger demographic. And that’s ok!
What I want to point out here is this. We may think we know who needs us and go after that demographic. But what we fail to consider are these 2 things:
So, are you in your magic space?
Are you panicking about Facebook's changes that were just announced? Are you worried about your Business page not getting any visibility? Are you thinking you’ll have to really start spending money on FB Ads just to be seen.
Well, you’re not alone. Many small business people have the same concerns. So many are wondering what they should do and how they are going to afford to put “real” money into advertising just so they can continue to have some visibility.
Late last year I predicted that this would happen after watching all the testing FB was doing in other countries. I predicted there would be a large shift in Social Media, and FB in particular because of the way and the tone that Social Media was taking. Not to mention, Social Media has been under fire since the election. While the negativity, poor attitudes and cyberbullying have been happening all along, it has definitely taken a front seat in recent months with the #MeToo Hashtag, our government using Social Media now more than ever and women in particular coming forward with stories of abuse and inequalities. So it’s not surprising that FB has taken a stand against this and are looking to make some big changes in their algorithms.
So what does this change in the algorithm mean? Basically what FB wants is for us to interact more with the people we know like friends and family and less with Brands. So what that means for Brands is less visibility unless there is high engagement on the biz page already ( likes, shares and comments on individual posts) and not just the number of people who like or follow the page, Additionally, when you like or follow a Brand, you do not get notifications when the Brand posts something to the page. So you will only see it if you happen upon it in your feed. Historically, only about 2-4% of your followers will even see your posts. But this change is forcing Brands to do one of 2 things. 1. Restructure their strategy entirely and find ways to produce and post highly engaging content; and pay big money for advertising OR 2. Create a Group that is linked to their biz page where you "move" your people to follow the Group. By doing this you will now see content that is posted to the Group in your Notifications. So there is a much higher possibility that your people will see what you're posting.
Here are the steps to setting up your Group:
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I own a Social Media Agency and do Social Media for people in the Legal field. Why, you may ask did I choose that niche? It’s simple, really. I worked as an English<>Spanish interpreter for about 13 years in San Antonio, TX. I worked in the courts and in Law offices, primarily. I worked with other interpreters, court reporters, office staff and paralegals. I really enjoyed the work. It was challenging and exhausting, but rewarding. Except for those days when the cases involved loss of loved ones or abused children, it was interesting work and everyday was different.
Then I worked for a Holocaust Library. It belonged to my father and I had to find it’s next home. I learned a lot about that time in history, about marketing and rebranding. About fundraising and event planning. But in this Library we had a theft and I was responsible for pursuing the case even after my father’s passing. There was also a lot of case law surrounding that time in history as evidenced by the Nuremberg Trials among others. The Library now resides at CU-Boulder.
Then I moved to Colorado. I started my Social Media Agency (Social Media Languages) because I had been self-employed for all these years and I wanted to pursue Social Media Marketing. So I took some formal classes, to add to my Certificates in Marketing and Business. Now I work with attorneys, interpreters, paralegals and office staff to help them maintain or create their Social Media footprint. Having so much experience and having been around Law so much, it just seemed like a natural segway for me.
I love what I do. I know I’m able to help lawyers and their staff unravel Social Media Marketing and create communities around their brand and their name. I know I’m able to help them write their stories and stay within their ethical boundaries. I know I’m able to help them understand goals and ROI in Social Media. But above all of this, I know I’m making a difference and I love that!
If you need help unraveling your Social Media and creating a community around your Brand, or you want to do some Facebook or LinkedIn ads, or you just need a more solid presence on Social Media, I can help. Reach out to me and let’s have a conversation.
In part 1, I discussed and gave some examples of real world situations that have happened to people I know. Joel & Felicia have both had their content, photos and blogs reproduced by someone claiming their content as their own. Read it here.
In Part II, I will give you some tools and guidelines to keeping it Ethical. We all have amazing gifts to give this world. We all have talents and abilities that we can offer to others to make life easier. Tap into these resources that live within YOU!
Blogging is really about sharing real-life stories and experiences. It can be about how you’ve grown or transformed. How you’ve learned or taught. How you’ve experienced something for the first time or shared your gift with someone else. It can be a way to share a passion or project. Or what you believe in and why. It can be the story of how you got to TODAY, or what your goals are for tomorrow. It can be about how marshmallows look like clouds or how many eyes flies have! As long as it comes from YOU.
We all want the world to see our words. But the key to successful Blogging and Storytelling, is that the ideas, words, emotions, opinions and experiences be yours and yours alone.
Sharing your world with others will open the door to others sharing their world with you. This is how we connect, communicate and support each other. This is how we share each other’s stories, through connections and establishing trust.
Write your story today! We all want to hear it. But keep it Ethical, please. Here are some guidelines to help you:
I like to believe most of us have a pretty good handle on what is right and wrong, And we know when we are doing something we shouldn’t, let me outline some simple things to keep in mind when blogging:
Blogging is a fun activity and can lead to a lucrative business if that’s the way you want to go. But keep in mind that the internet is very unforgiving. If you mess up and put content out there that is not yours, and you market it as yours, you will get found out. And once you burn that bridge, you can not rebuild it. If ever you doubt that you’re doing the right thing, perhaps ask for an opinion from someone or cover your a… (CYA) by not doing it!
Did you miss Part I of this article? Find it here.
Do you have a tip or story to share? I want to hear it, share it below.
“Does anybody know of any groups, resources, or websites that focus on ethics in blogging and social media? The only ones I'm finding have to do with blogging about ethical products, but not code of conduct as a blogger, content producer, or social media "influencer." Thanks in advance!
I’m a member of a Facebook Group where we had another member post this question. It’s a great question because it is a thing (trend we are noticing today, but been around since the dawn of time) on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms where people are posting content that doesn’t belong to them!
Before we really dive into this, let’s clarify some terminology:
Ethics: moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity. Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
I won’t mince words, this is stealing people! And not cool at all. Charles Caleb Colton said “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” If you think about the meaning here, as applied to Social Media, it could be, following people you admire and developing a relationships with them. Show them your authenticity and find ways to engage in conversations. Then. ask for their PERMISSION to repost their content, giving proper credit and linking back to their site or pages, or asking them for a quote that you can include in a Blog you’re writing. This is flattery, and we all LOVE to be recognized for what we have done or created.
I asked my friend Joel Comm who is an influencer in the Live Streaming World, (also author, speaker, entrepreneur & consultant,) if he’s encountered this problem. This is what he said:
“is it a trend?”
“I think people have always ripped others off”
“don't steal other people's' stuff.”
“I've seen people rip my stuff off for 20 years”
“I get a google alerts where one of my books is being shared, an article has been republished my photos are being swiped”
I also talked to my friend Felicia Slattery who is a brilliant author, speaker, consultant and coach asking her if I could repost an update on Facebook written on 2/23/17 where she said this:
“What's in the air today? Some advertiser is advertising a "signature speech," (not as an affiliate for me) which I own the legal trademark on and have since 2007. And then a little while ago in my inbox I got a promo for a "speaker sheet" with the exact copy from my sales page (and blog post promoting the same thing). When I replied and said thanks for promoting my one sheets, the list owner replied back and said she wasn't and that her copywriter had written the email. Ummm... nope, I wrote it in 2014.
Seriously, humanity, we need to step it up. I'm pretty sure thou shalt not steal is still in the top 10 of things not to do, right? Sigh…”
We see what we want to see. And today we chose to see using others’ content and not giving credit, as a problem. Joel keeps his finger on the pulse of what’s happening in his world by using Google Alerts. But it’s been happening all along. However, for some (inexplicable) reason we are just now cluing into this (again?).
In Part II of this article, you can read more about some of the steps you can take to be sure you are staying Ethical in the Blogging World. Click here to see it!
Do you have a tip or story to share? I want to hear it, share it below.
A Social Media policy is a set of rules or guidelines to take the guesswork out of what is appropriate to post on Social Media regarding your Brand. It is also a guideline for employees who have set their “Works at (Your Company Name), what is acceptable to post on their personal pages.
The goal of a Social Media Policy is to protect your Brand in the digital space. Not to suffocate creativity.
So let’s take a quick look at the top 5 things you need to have in place before you can begin to create your Social Media Policy:
I get this question often, and it is a wonderful way to lead into what I do and more importantly WHY I do what I do. Social Media Languages was born from the culmination and cultivation of my life experiences. I chose the name for several reasons. Social Media is what I love and what I do, but Languages came from the fact that I am bilingual, each social media channel has a different “language” and audience and Ethics has multiple languages simply because it is subject to interpretation. So the word Languages can mean many things. What does it mean to you?
Before I started this business, I was the steward to the largest privately held Holocaust Library. It was located in San Antonio, TX and my job with this library was big. The originator, collector and historian who started this library was on a mission to combat Holocaust Denial. He was well regarded in the Jewish Community around the world and had made a name for himself with scholars, other historians and professors. He was well traveled, had been to many of the concentration camps, was a published by Oxford Press and one of the most interesting and eccentric people I’d ever known. He was passionate about gaining more knowledge, human rights, food, wine, friends and above all family. This man was my father. He passed in 2011 and I took over his beloved library.
During my three and a half years, I rebranded the Library, conducted fundraisers, spoke at numerous events, taught about tolerance and the Holocaust to children and adults, worked with The San Antonio Library and San Antonio Library Foundation to start a yearly event on The Holocaust, but the ultimate goal was to find a new home to house this incredible and amazingly large collection and for it to stay together as one collection. You see, this Library had more than twenty thousand books and more than a half million documents and photographs! It was nearly three thousand square feet of material. At the end of my time with the Library, I successfully got it donated and moved to Colorado University in Boulder. It was one of my greatest accomplishments! I will always be eternally grateful to all those who helped make this happen!
It was because of my experience with this Library, and my upbringing that I decided to make a commitment to #EthicsInSocialMedia. What I see posted day in and day out and the lasting effects of these posts, comments, tweets, pictures, videos and memes is why I spend my days teaching and educating on #DoingTheRightThing. I want to see companies achieve success and know, like and trust by helping them create strategies that are Ethical and Responsible and not damaging to their brands. I create Policies for their employees to guide them on company expectations in the Digital space so they too can be on-board with the company's strategy and protect the Brand. I educate our children to manage their digital footprint in a responsible way, and not lose out on opportunities because they made a bad choice by posting inappropriate things online. I want to see a world that is finding ways to reach out and repair itself using good judgement, corporate social responsibility and good business ethics.
These are big goals, but can be achieved with tenacity, strength and passion. This is what Social Media Languages is all about. These are the Languages I Speak.
Over the weekend, I was talking to a family member about how the company they work for wastes an extraordinary amount of materials. Now, this company works very closely with construction as a vendor of items that they need to complete their jobs. He was telling me about how they throw away huge amounts of wood! In fact, we are in the middle of building a carport at our home and he brought home 8 pieces of plywood that were out by the dumpster ready to go to the dump! They are brand new and still have the SKU stickers on them.
So let me ask you, the company you work for, what do they do with “leftovers”? Is it a restaurant, a construction company, a coffee shop? And if it’s your own company, what do you do with goods that you don’t need or want? Do you have any programs in place?
Colorado has a large homeless population. "The most recent Colorado Statewide Homeless Person Count published estimated the number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in the state at 16,203". WOW! That's a big number!http://www.urbanpeak.org/colorado-springs/about-us/research-evaluation/homelessness-in-colorado/) These are not just single men and women, but families too! Can you imagine worrying day in and day out about where your next meal is coming from? Where you’re going to sleep that night? And you have kids to protect, feed and clothe.
Homelessness look different for everyone; it could be because you were in an abusive relationship and this was your only way out; you lost your job and weren’t able to find a new one to take it’s place. There are so many reasons why people are homeless. We don’t walk in their shoes and couldn’t possibly understand what life is like.
But one thing I do know. I am human and I can do my best to have empathy and to try to find ways to give back. I can contribute to their well-being by donating clothes and food. I can volunteer my time at a food pantry or a shelter. I can use my talents to make blankets when the weather changes and give them to those less fortunate.
So let’s come back to what companies can do. Perhaps you work at a cafe. At the end of the day, you have left-overs, What do you do with them? Do you have programs in place so that this food can be donated?
Perhaps you work for a company that doesn’t have goods that can be donated. Maybe it’s a financial institution or a salon. There are ways you too can help. Encourage your team to donate a day of service at a one of the shelters. You could teach them about how to take care of the small earnings they have. Or you could do haircuts free of charge to assist those who are trying to find a job. Or set up some sort of program where your team can bring in donations that get picked up monthly.
We all have things at home. Clothes our kids have outgrown, shoes we don’t wear or like anymore, home goods that are not useful anymore because we redecorated. There are so many ways we can all make a difference! As a company or corporation, what do you do to contribute?
Lastly, think about the impact you can make. As a Company or an individual. Think about how you want to be viewed in your community. Do you want to be known as Socially Responsible? As Ethical and Compassionate? As givers? Comment below.