Brand Positioning: It’s not you, it’s me. Actually, it’s you. You’re boring.

Branding is a hot topic around these parts (parts = my office chair). I’m obsessed with lots of things but brand strategies is in my top 3 along with close, authentic relationships and ‘Hot Now’ Krispy Kreme Donuts. The inventor of Spanx is a billionaire because donuts {and bacon} are delicious (honestly, I can’t take credit for that one because I saw it in a birthday card the other day).

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Information Overload: 3 Strategies to Make Your Marketing Good

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Our world is loaded with these and many other demands. Everyone is trying to get you to buy their product or get you on their mailing list. Let’s face it… it’s what we call Marketing! And you know what… we DO it too! We want your business and for you to like us, just like everyone else. And I bet you want people to buy into what you are selling or offering and like you too. It’s all part of your marketing too!

So how do you get your target to bite without sounding pushy or being like everyone else? How can you stand out from all the rest? With the information overload that your potential target market is on, how can you make them see AND trust you? Luckily for you, I came up with some helpful tips that we live by at B&A, and so should you.

Our top 3 tips to help you get through the information overload:

  1. Be yourself: Yes I said it… BE. YOURSELF. No one wants to buy into a fake personality or product. We preach that the brand of your company is what you do and why you do it. It’s about you. You can’t sell something you’re not and be successful. You have to be yourself. Your target will know if you are not sincere or authentic. Humans communicating to humans, what a novel concept. (and yes, I am aware that we have beat this to death in everything we write, but IT’S THE TRUTH AND NEEDS TO HAPPEN!)
  2. Know your target: You can’t market to everyone all the time. You have to know who it is that needs your product or service and can’t live without it. Part of knowing your target is also knowing how to reach them. Not everyone loves Facebook or Twitter. Oh let’s just say that you are an engineer. Chances are your target prefers email over social media avenues. So to market to that target, put your information into an email strategy. Now if your targets are young professionals between the ages of 23-35, chances are very high that adding a social media strategy into your marketing mix will resonate with this target group. Know who it is that needs what you are offering and how to reach them… we CANNOT stress this enough.
  3. Make your information fun: As you know, we love Champagne. So we created our Champagne Thursdays. Even wrote an ebook with our top 5 marketing tips paired with our favorite Champagne recipes (if you don’t have yours, go here to get our free ebook. Shameless, I know!). Along the way we have added Wine Wednesdays and the B&A book club to our social mix. What is something fun that you do in your business or with your employees? USE IT!! Market it, tell your peers and talk about it, put it to your advantage to stand out and be a little different. Make your information fun! Don’t make everything so business-y, business-y.  Offer your uncorked (yeah, see what I did there… another reference to Champagne) idea as a free gift. Draw them in to buy what you really want them to. If they like you and trust you, they will love the information you are giving them.

Being in today’s market as a small business, you need to have a great personality and stand out above the rest. That will get you noticed. So hopefully you are following the 3 tips we laid out for ya. If not, maybe you should start. Have fun with your business and make it fun for your customers and clients.

xoxoxo,

 

BE CONFIDENT! Don’t just think you are confident.

Be Confident in your Communication and Stand Out from the Crowd.png

Are you confident? Or do you think you are confident?

Believe it or not there is a difference. And I am just figuring this shit out… in my 30’s of all ages. I guess it is better late than never, right? (I don’t sound very confident there do I? See I am still working on this confidence thing.)

In today’s world, T.V., magazines and every other social stimulus out there are telling us how we should look and feel. It really breaks down your confidence doesn’t it? It does mine. Women especially have a much harder time with this. We are constantly thinking we aren’t pretty enough or we aren’t thin enough or our hair isn’t the right color or… seriously the list goes on and on and on… Even men are starting to exude less confidence.

WAKE UP PEOPLE AND STOP LISTENING TO THE SUPERFICIAL WORLD OF SOCIETY!!!

Sorry, I get a little out of control sometimes! I hate feeling inadequate, like I don’t measure up to what society thinks I should be. And THANK GOD I don’t have little girls. I wouldn’t know how to curb this nonsense to make them feel confident, when I can’t feel confident myself. Now I will say that the older I have gotten, the more confident I have become. I was always quiet and just went through the motions of everyday life, not standing out, or wanting to be recognized… but DAMNIT I want to be noticed and recognized now.

This is where the difference comes into to play. Don’t think you are confident! ACT CONFIDENT!!

  • Walk with your head up and shoulder’s squared! Good posture and looking ahead reeeeeaks CONFIDENCE!
  • Don’t second guess your decisions people! Stand firm on what you price your products or services. Talk like you mean it when telling people your decisions; don’t make it sound like a question.
  • Make eye contact and smile! You would be amazed at the respect you earn from just this alone. You will exude the confidence you need to close that deal or get that client.

So what is my point if you haven’t figured it out by now? If you act confident, whether you truly feel it or not, you will be confident. Eventually it will rub off… even on yourself, and you will start believing in yourself and your confidence. Being confident is a must when running a business. You have to look and act like you know what you are doing in order to grab those clients. Confidence plays a big part in closing that deal. Customers, clients and peers will respect you more if you have that confidence to say “Yes, I am a marketing expert. Yes, I can help you. This is what I can do for you. Yes I am worth $125 per hour.” You catching my drift!  So go on out there with your head held high and a smile on your face and…

BE CONFIDENT! Don’t just think you are confident.

Jenn.png
 

To Post, Or Not to Post: The Social Media Conundrum

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Ever wonder if your friends actually read your social media posts? Do the people that you associate with on a daily basis know what you do for a living?

Over the past several months I have pondered on these questions a lot. It could be because some of my friends will ask me “What is Bartles & Associates?” “Are you in sales?” “What type of marketing do you do?” “Why couldn’t you come to lunch on Friday?” “Who is Ronii?” and the list goes on and on and on…. Sometimes I want to just look at them and say “REALY?!?!?! HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT? ARE YOU LIVING UNDER A ROCK?”

I am pretty sure the answer to all those questions is somewhere on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn page. #Justsaying…

It makes me wonder, do people get on social media just to post what they are doing and don’t care to see what their network is up too? Are people really that self-centered that they want you to know what they are doing but don’t care about what is going with you?

And then I have those friends, that are like…”Didn’t you see her status this morning?” Or “How could you not know what B&A is, just look at the post from yesterday?” This makes me feel better. Because obviously someone did read what I took the time to write and let the world know. You guys ROCK!!!!

In today’s society, we post everything from what we had for dinner, to who we ran into at the store, to how our job is going, to…. (you fill in the blank here) as a status on our social media pages. So you would think that everyone around you knows what is going or what you do. Right? Or is this just my thinking? Because working for B&A, selling Premier Designs Jewelry, being a Mom and just being me… I post A LOT about my day, from pics of my boys to what is going on at B&A and my life, on FB, Instagram and Twitter, and I have many friends that do that same thing.

I mean come on… running a business and working for a business I need to get my information out there, right? Plus as a Mom, I need to vent and know that I am not the only one dealing with the crap my 4 and 6 year olds do. It’s a way of being heard and understood. So it only makes sense that my peeps should know what B&A is and what I do there. (Cause really I talk about it ALL THE DAMNED time). Or why I couldn’t make lunch on Friday… because I was reading to my son’s class and tutoring a child that needs some extra help. If you read my FB post you would know that. Thank you to my peeps that know and call everyone else out on it. ;)

Being a business owner, I am sure you have similar concerns whether or not people are reading your posts on your social media pages. We have that same concern at B&A too. My advice is to not give up and keep telling people about your business and about yourself. Eventually it will catch on. That’s what we do at B&A because someone somewhere is reading them and passing on our content. Today’s life revolves around social media. Your information is out there and is being read by someone (probably us, we read a lot). Everyone else will catch on. Be yourself and it will pay off!

What are some of your social media concerns? Or how have you combated the social media battles of do they see/read it? What are some of your best social media tips or tricks to spread the word about that great thing you do?

xoxo,

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Use Your Words

A couple of Thursdays ago we had our monthly Champagne Thursday Inspirations session and let me just tell you… IT WAS 4 HOURS LONG! That’s what happens when you work with such great friends. It takes you over 2 hours just to get caught up on life (and maybe a wee tiny bit of gossip). But really that is what makes us work; although sometimes we forget that just because we are great friends, we still CANNOT read each others’ minds…we still have to USE OUR WORDS! I mean, really, we can read each others’ minds to a point, but not all the time. We would totally be the coolest branding and marketing firm out there if we could read minds. But OH WAIT!... we are really cool because we have Champagne Thursdays and send ya’ll awesome tips and tricks and advice. (See we can read your minds. We know you want FREE stuff.)

Ok so where are we going with this? At B&A we are in the process of some refreshing and redefining things. Ooooh don’t worry lovelies, we are not changing what we do, why we do it, or who we are. That would really go against EVERYTHING we preach y’all. We are just making a few minor changes (really some pretty big changes to us but I digress). So watch out for some awesome updates!!!!

Anyway, back to my point… the only way that this refresh is going to work is if we USE OUR WORDS to communicate with one another and our fans. …IMPORTANT TIP AHEAD!!! PAY ATTENTION!!!... Remember in our last blog post when Ronii wrote about the elusive WOW! Factor, to get that you have to… use your words. It’s really hard to give you what you want if you can’t tell us what that is. Ronii does this to me all the time. She has this big vision for projects but then doesn’t use her words so that I make that vision happen because I can’t read her mind all the time (oh, the travesty). You know this. You experience it with you clients too. They don’t tell you what they want. We can’t (insert verb here like: help, buy from, be interested in, etc…) you if you don’t use you words. Just as we can’t help you if we don’t use our words. OMG! Who would have thought that? LOL! So are you getting the picture? GOOD!

So to recap what are you supposed to do with your customers, sales copy, projects, or that contractor you are hiring? And are we (B&A that is) supposed to do so you know what we do and can work together? OMG DID YOU SAY USE YOUR WORDS?!?! Sweet, you got the picture and we were effective at using our words. Makes us feel good that we aren’t just babbling for our own enjoyment on here. So go out and be the absolute best communicators you can be! USE YOUR WORDS!

Communications Intern

Considering the portrayal in movies, television and other forms of media, internships come across as a college student or recent graduate’s absolute worst nightmare: attempting to work under the scowling watch of an overbearing boss while constantly worrying if everything is going correctly, running irrelevant errands such as retrieving that “necessary” Starbucks and buying copy paper, and working in a cubicle amidst several other confused kids who are not fully aware as to what is going on.

However, this potential never-ending horror story has proved to only a myth.

As far as internships have gone, I have had nothing but great experiences. From working for a local record label to an acclaimed, newly established food culture magazine, it has been an eclectic experience.

My most recent endeavor at finding an internship for this semester has gratefully landed me at Bartles & Associates, where I could not be more excited to be a part of. A company that helps clients create the best and most professional brands possible, Bartles & Associates is a company that I am very much looking forward to working with. Providing a company with great press is essential for their success in the business world, therefore I feel as if a good deal of pressure has been put on my shoulders and that surely is not a negative responsibility to take on. As my dad used to tell me, quoting the ever-famous Bruce Springstein, “Walk tall or don’t walk at all.”

Considering that I am in my fifth year at the College of Charleston as a communication major, with a concentration in media studies, this is where what I have learned thus far is put to the test.

And of course that is a huge endeavor in itself: finally finishing my college career. Although college has been an entertaining and, obviously, educational experience, I am ready to take what I have learned and begin my professional career in the field of public relations. Here’s to a good semester at Bartles & Associates!

~Jessica Raymond

Born and raised in Pennsylvania until she was seventeen, Jessica had the, “privilege”, of moving to Spartanburg, SC before heading down to Charleston to start her college education at the College of Charleston, majoring in Communication with a concentration in media studies. Jessica is working towards a successful career in public relations, but in the mean time enjoys the strenuous labor that comes with the food and beverage industry. In her free time, she enjoys reading Kurt Vonnegut, watching violent historical films, and playing basketball.