My good friend and fellow branding buddy Bruce Turkel is an amazing writer and talent. I’ve been reading his blog ever since we met at a comedy workshop for the National Speakers Association. Recently I [...]
CNN’s Anderson Cooper created the Ridiculist, where he features questionable news items, actions and interesting people with his signature full on snarky smile. FOX has Bill O’Reilly and his Pinheads, a noble collection of his favorite idiotic personalities doing really stupid things. This week I’m rolling out Brand Bummers, my official list of brands, people and organizations doing things that I scratch my head and go WHY?
All right, maybe not everyone who reads my blog or gets my ezine is guilty of this brand-busting sin but a bunch of you are. Your voice mail message, on your office phone or cell phone, is an important brand touch point. And it cost nothing more to sound impressive. This is free branding. Often those messages are the first impressions you give to a prospective client, a business colleague, a strategic partner, or a new friend. So don't even think about using the non personalized recording that comes with your phone. That's LAME with a capital 'L". So, is your message giving the best first impression? Give yourself a call. If your message is not on brand, re-record it using these tips
This past week, I received an email from a fellow entrepreneur. It was a notice, that after five long years, he was taking his company off the respirator and closing it down. The news was sad. I know he and his team gave it their all. I could feel his pain in the letter he sent to his customers and friends, it was as if someone had died. My friend lost more than money. His entrepreneurial soul took a traumatic hit too. It’s never easy to pull the plug on a business you started. Especially when you are an eternal optimist, which most entrepreneurs are. You cling on to hope. You believe in miracles. Your ego screams, “No freakin way can you bail and be branded a quitter”. Egos do not always give the best advice. There comes a time in business, when quitting is the wisest action to take. Postponing it will just delay your next success.
Last week I had drinks with a retired colonel from MacDill Air Force Base. This guy had been to 2 wars zones, Iraq and Afghanistan, three times. He had been inches away from grenades exploding and been literally shot at from 10 feet away. Fortunately, the bullets missed him. Many in his platoon were not that lucky. He knew I was an entrepreneur. He’d been to my websites. This is what he said to me. “Karen, you are so brave and courageous. I admire that so much. I don’t know that I could do that, be a front line entrepreneur like you. You've got to hustle business every day, be such a self-starter and operate with so much uncertainty". WOW, here’s a soldier who risked his life for our country, thinking I’m the tough one.
Being a successful entrepreneur is no candy-coated, sweet-cake walk. It's often more like a grueling marathon. If it were an easy ride the unemployment rate would be less, fewer people would be upset about capitalism and they wouldn't occupy streets in America being the 99% frustrated over the economy. Instead they'd be focused on finding 99 solutions to grow their business. Nothing against the protest, that's a great American freedom, it just seems like no mission, no message, no plan. We all make choices and if you've made the choice to be a successful entrepreneur and love life with all its ups and downs, do read on. Entrepreneurship is a highly challenging game. To win you've got to be fit and possess a sustainable, sharp, entrepreneurial competitive edge to thrive. Here are 5 tips that have made a difference in my journey.
Staples, the world’s largest office products company asked “Moi”, or as many of you know me the Branding Diva®, to provide small business branding tips as part of their new and improved Copy and Print shop services. The branding tips I provided are being featured in their national media campaign and in hundreds of news sites around the US. Plus, until November 11, 2011 Staples is offering 30% of any printing or copy job over $30.00. Here’s what I said about small business branding: “If you’re a small-business owner, creating a distinct brand image for your product or service is essential – and can be accomplished through some very simple methods,” said Karen Post, the branding diva® and author of Brand Turnaround. “Staples new print service has everything a small business needs to make their brand stand out with brand image, consistent and high quality marketing materials and develop customized business cards and stationary.”
Internet photo police are a real thing. I learned this lesson the expensive way last year. I received a formal letter from Getty Images citing that an image on my blog from 2007 was copyrighted and the image company had no record I paid for use of the photo. Apparently, big photo houses now have teams of professionals watching the web and also use special image tracking software to find illegal photo usage. I immediately looked into their claim and found that the blog article and photo in question was posted by an intern who had worked for me. I was not aware that there was a violation as I trusted that the intern knew the rules of copyright protected images and usage.