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Behind the “Seens” with the “Getting To Hell Yes!” team

Let’s go “Behind the Seens” with Alexandra Jamieson and Bob Gower, co-authors of the recently launched book, Getting to Hell Yes! The Conversations That Will Change Your Business and The Rest of Your Life and my go-to branding expert and project partner, Vicky Vitarelli of The Organized Brand.

Vicky and I had great time working with Alex and Bob and were excited that they were able to share how they decided to write and ultimately publish their book.

 

(sorry for the wonky image – darn Facebook – but video works fine)

 

Theirs is not the typical publishing story.

Alex and Bob knew that to get their book Getting to Hell Yes! into as many hands as possible, the ultimate goal, it was going to be necessary to find new ways to brand, publish and market their first joint project together.

The premise of their book is that it provides a 4-part conversation structure and teaches you how to talk about emotional or highly charged topics in an easy non-confrontational way. It’s a tool they use and teach. They received so many requests for the guidelines that they began writing up what was first imagined as a simple Word document to share with clients and friends.

It then became clear that this should be a book and a resource. The goal: as many people as possible benefitting from having better conversations.

They intentionally made the book short and concise. You can read it in about 90 minutes or so. That was deliberate so that people are empowered to learn the system and then use it. It’s meant to be a practical resource that’s used often.

 

Don’t miss these great insights on their journey to Getting to Hell Yes! launch:

  • Hear how Bob and Alex decided to make this book come to life. The early decisions and the method for getting it into as many hands as possible.
  • Vicky shares how they figured out what the brand could be and how that was decided.
  • The branding process explained. Both Bob and Alex have personal brands and the new brand is resonating with both audiences which was the goal, but at first it was hard to see how to make that happen.
  • Bob shares the back story about how they created their avatar for the book.
  • Find out why “taking it home” was so important to the authors.
  • How to “Chicken Soup for the Soul” the message and framework. This is huge!
  • Hear how they determined what success with this book would look like.
  • The title Getting to Hell Yes! was strategic and they explain it in the book. A smart strategy!
  • Why they decided to offer this for FREE!
  • The (un)expected bonus from more people and companies knowing Alex and Bob as a result of launching the book.
  • Why a big launch wasn’t the goal and why longevity was the driving decision behind the website components and the free download idea.

This was such a fun project because it allowed for some out-of-the-box thinking and approaches to book marketing. It also proved there are a myriad of ways to plan, execute and measure the success of your book launch when you are clear about your message, your audience and your goals!

To learn more about Alex, Bob, and Getting To Hell Yes!, check out these these resources mentioned in the interview, and download your FREE Getting To Hell Yes! copy today!

Get brand clarity in 5 steps

Get Brand Clarity Now in 5 Easy Steps

As we’re halfway through 2018, now is a perfect time to take inventory of your brand and gain the clarity you need to make any needed shifts to ensure you end this year on top with focused and successful marketing.

I’ve recently been working on some projects with Vicky Vitarelli of V dot V Marketing, and we wanted to share what we think is a basic and practical approach to branding and marketing. We did a Facebook LIVE video to break down the 5 steps or elements to clearly defining your brand.

 

What is a brand?

VV: It’s how you tell the story about your product and/or services to your customers. It’s how you differentiate yourself from your competitors or entice people to engage with your brand and become clients.

NS: I’ll add that it’s important to figure this out because when you have your brand elements clearly defined, it’s much easier to put your marketing plan in place. You aren’t guessing, and you can be much more consistent in all areas of your marketing.

VV: As we jump into these 5 elements I want people to think about this as a lens that they use to see their brand. You know when you go to the eye doctor and they have you look through the lens and say better/worse? Use that approach to hone it on what parts of these elements are already great and what needs changing or updating.

 

Brand element No. 1: The physical attributes.

What does it look like? It will include your logo, your colors and fonts used on your materials. All of the things that you use to visually represent your brand identity.

NS: Many people stop right here, but this is just one element of your brand.

 

Brand element No. 2: Your communication style.

What to do you sound like? Are you a leader, a guide or authority? What type of vocabulary do you use in your messaging? What is the tone? How do you want others to hear you? Soft and nurturing or empowering and bold?

NS: How do your customers experience the way you communicate? How do they hear you?

VV: Right! It’s important to remember that every touch point that your customer has with you is significant. Brand voice shows up everywhere. In your invoices, your web copy, your blog posts. Each part of what a client experiences should have the same voice.

NS: Yes! It’s important not to let some areas become boiler-plate. If you outsource copy and writing it’s important that they understand as well. It’s not just about the facts and figures, they also need to understand the voice and how you want to sound so you stay consistent.

 

Brand element No. 3: What is your brand promise?

You may be selling a service, or a physical product or a book or a combination of those things. Let’s say people are selling consulting services. That’s not really what your clients are buying. They are buying the solution. An author is selling a book, but they are also selling the messaging in the book. The solution is what your client is buying.

This is also a great place to get clear on why people are buying from you or not buying? Often, digging in to find out why your message is different is a good way to really get clear your unique brand promise.

VV: A great example is the Mastercard “Priceless” campaign. At the time this was conceived, Mastercard was number 2 in their industry. We decided to use that and say Mastercard is for those special purchases, the ones that have to happen, the ones that are not every day. And it worked!

NS: Your brand promise are the benefits around what you are selling and what your clients are looking for.

 

Brand element No. 4: Who are you selling to?

I often hear people say “Everyone can use my product or service.” And that might be true, but everyone isn’t looking for it and everyone isn’t necessarily going to purchase. If you want to market to everyone it requires a massive budget to reach everybody.

Instead, let’s focus in on who will get the most benefit of what you are selling and really clarify that. Demographics are one part. Men or women? What age? Sometimes a geographic component might be important.

Even more important, what is the mindset? What are they thinking? If everyone can use what you’re selling why don’t they have it already?

NS: When you’re clear on this it then makes brand voice so much easier to define as well. When you know exactly who you’re “talking to” you can use tone and vocabulary that fits them specifically and will resonate with them. Writing for “everybody” means generic communications that aren’t going to resonate with anyone.

Who are your people, your tribe? When you get really clear here and it makes everything much easier.

 

Brand element No. 5: How do you know what your clients really want?

Do client research. Talk to them and ask them to share their experience with your company. Not just the product, but all aspects. The buying experience, customer service, ease of use etc. How did the product or service impact their life? Why did they choose you? How did they find you? What else did they consider before buying from you? Did you meet their expectations?

If you are new and don’t have clients, interview your prospects and find out from them why and how they go about making the decision to buy from you.

You will be able to understand their pain points and then you can shape your messaging to speak to that in a well-defined way.

NS: Remember that anyone can do this too. You don’t have to have access to a research firm. You can track these things from reviews, comments online, responses to your emails, as well making it a practice to ask customers for their feedback. Make it easy for them to let you know and they will be happy to share that with you.

VV: Creating ways to listen to your readers, clients and customers on a regular basis will help you create marketing strategies that stay relevant and resonate.

Summary: The Five Steps To Do Your Own Brand Audit

  1. What do you look like?
  2. What do you sound like?
  3. What is your brand promise?
  4. Who are you selling to?
  5. Listen, ask and stay mindful of comments of customers to continue to guide you.

Branding means different things depending on our background and where you are in your business. This approach is meant to keep it simple and focused, so you can identify what you want to say, who you want to say it to, and how to best communicate the way you serve your clients or customers.

Are you clear with all of the elements of your brand? Where are you stuck? Where do you need help? Leave a comment below or connect on Facebook and share!

 

Top picks for best planners

Planners, Calendars & Journals, OH MY! (Top picks for planners)

This timely guest post comes from my uber-organized, proficient planning, brand-strategizing friend Victoria Vitarelli and originally appeared on her website, V Dot V Marketing.

A hope is a dream without a plan.

I often get asked, “how do you keep track of your ‘EVERYTHING’!?” Juggling my clients, my kids, my mom and life in general. I’ve gotten to the point if it’s not written somewhere, it ain’t gonna happen.

I have notebooks, whiteboards and paper scraps all over for the urge to list and do a brain dump. I have figured out over the years that I need to be disciplined every day and keep one main repository as an extension of my memory. Journals for different topics or goals do not work for me because the arteries of life often bleed into one another.

So I keep my system to a family whiteboard, google calendars merged together and a paper planner – currently diving into Self Journal.

Since my very first job out of college, I’ve kept a notebook to write down my notes – from meetings, calls, thoughts, ideas. I had a plain spiral notebook to “get the job done” and a de rigueur Filofax.

Today there is an onslaught of planners, calendars and such! For me – a lot of fun! However, I have a friend who is paralyzed by the choices to make the purchase. Here are four questions I asked her to help her with her decision.

  1. Do you want to fill in the blanks or have a white canvas? How do you set your goals? Best practices say to write out your big goals; distill them down into weekly and daily to-dos. Depends on your style and what makes you productive vs busy. There are planners that have the year/day date written out and are very structured. They are designed to deliver the general best practices in keeping a goal and getting it done so you don’t have to think about that aspect. There are journals for very specific goals e.g. fitness, business, parenting. Daily Greatness has many specialized versions. If you have your own structure or want to be more creative about your pages, try the Bullet Journal system. You make the rules, but there is a system to writing it down. Here is a video. Bullet journal “porn” is all over Pinterest and Instagram. There are some beautiful, truly amazing works of art out there!
  1. Are you carrying it around everywhere and anywhere? Weight matters!  Certain paper stocks can get heavy and depending on what you use to write with, the ink can bleed through light paper. Details…Details…Most planners have the weight listed on their respective websites. And depending on if you want a defined calendar style e.g. 30 days or week at a glance, full year by the day, quarterly etc. this can make a big difference in weight as well. Also there are various sizes from 8.5″ x 11″ pages to small pocket styles. Think about what you will be carrying this in – purse? briefcase? pocket?
  1. Does brand/color/style matter to you? Once you decide on white canvas or fill in the blank style and weight- the search narrows down. There are hundreds of journals out there by designers, planner brands, etc. I found a Lily Pulitzer planner with every page in her signature style. Some white canvas, purists will stick to a classic marble notebook or the ever-reliable Moleskin.  Both are sold in all kinds of stores in addition to online outlets e.g. Staples, bookstores, Target and boutiques.
  1. How much “woo-woo” factor? We use this term affectionately. There are some that have messages of inspiration and faith as well as planning out your dream days and life. An example is Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map Planner. Per the description, “This planning system incorporates your inner and outer worlds; your gratitude and your goals; your Core Desired Feelings into your daily regime”. Personally, I enjoy seeing a good Zig Ziggler or Aristotle quote to inspire me. And then there are days when it’s just about checking the box and getting stuff done without guru sounding pep talks. This one is very interesting, The Sacred Circle Planner – starting on December 18th, the Winter Solstice. Per the description, “Through the use of Divination, Affirmations, Archetypal Wisdom, Goal Manifesting, and specially designed Spiritual Practices that keep you in sync with the seasons–you have the opportunity to craft a whole new you this year!

As you go through the many other lists and ideas the key is to start somewhere and think about how you get stuff done NOW! You can always shift or try new styles or methods as the year goes on. The key is to find something that is going to support your goals and motivation. These are tools to help us get the job done and get to our destination! The discipline to follow a system is KEY no matter what you use. Happy goal setting and getting stuff done!

Check out Vicky’s video where she test-drives some of the best selling planners and journals.

Also, tune into this recent Plannerpalooza podcast from the “Best of Both Worlds” team of Laura Vanderkam and Sarah Hart-Unger who take planner enthusiasm to a whole new level.

Are you a planner perfectionist? Which one(s) do you use? Please share in the comments.