With friends like these...

I know a lot of very smart people. So, since I'm hopefully on an international flight today (send up thoughts and prayers to the airline gods), I thought I'd re-share some of the amazing wisdom from everyone who's guest blogged for me this past year. Even if you read them, they're worth reading again.


Here's how to make your life easier

Nancy Ruzow

Branding, identity design, and logos play a huge role in the perception of your company. They send signals to potential clients and help guide their decision-making process. Just like my black-rimmed glasses and t-shirt are part of my brand, everything that represents you is part of yours. Your brand can be the uniforms people wear or the things they say when they answer the phone. It can be the music you play in your office or store or the snacks you serve in the meeting room.


Whatever it is, make sure you consult professionals to nail your brand — it will make your life easier!

 

How newness is not your weakness in business

Lisa Mullis

You might be new in your business. Or you might be at the start of learning a new skill or modality. You might be working with new clients. You might be new to managing a team. Really, no matter how long you've been in business or what kind of business you’re in, there will be many moments of new throughout the journey.


When you can celebrate being a beginner, you can step into the energy and delight of newness.

 

How my niche found me

Ilise Benun

For almost 20 years now, I’ve been teaching creative professionals “how to get better clients with bigger budgets” — that’s the evolution of my elevator pitch. I went from organizing to self promotion to mentoring. I’ve followed the needs of the market and my brand has evolved as well, from CMM to The Art of Self-Promotion, to eventually, Marketing Mentor. The market is growing and the need for help with marketing (and money) is great.


So my brand will continue to evolve as I build more products to serve more creative professionals.

 

Don't let your brand be the best kept secret

Matthew Wolf

How many organizations out there do you know who are doing great work but their brand doesn’t reflect it? As the owner of a graphic and website design studio, I’ve worked with countless clients in this exact situation. They’re running a non-profit, a department at a university, or a fast growing medtech company. They’ve hired an amazing team, do incredible work and make a major impact in people's lives except their “front door” is really looking a little shabby and their “business sign” is in need of some touch-up paint and repair.


The common thing I’ve seen over and over is that most people don’t know where to start when addressing this mismatch problem or they’re stuck in a cycle of DIY-ing things themselves, even when they know they need help.

 

Put an end to the pandemic of Meetings

Linda Secondari

Is it me, or does it feel like our meetings consume our days? Yes, I know the meeting load was big in the before time, but it seems worse since the Pandemic started, and most of us decamped from working IRL to our living rooms and our sweat pants? If you want to get some of your productive hours back, you should first evaluate the meetings you currently have. Start by conducting a meeting audit to determine if your currently scheduled meetings are necessary.


Once you know what kind of meetings you have, you'll be better able to determine which can be eliminated, reduced in frequency, or re-envisioned as asynchronous communications.

 

Embracing your authentic brand makes business easier

Theresa Cifali

Once I got super clear on what it meant to build a personality brand, everything in my business got easier. The lessons I learned not only helped me love my business, but improved my productivity. You’re thinking, “Huh? Branding improves productivity?” Absolutely!

Productivity means doing what's effective in an efficient manner. In other words, it’s doing the right work with as little effort as possible. The right work for your business is the strategies, tactics and tasks that actually help you make progress on your goals.


While your goals should inform your actions, so should your brand.


 

How transferable skills can power your personal brand (for your dream role)

Linda Lautenberg & Judy Schoenberg

The Great Resignation isn’t going away — with over 4 million Americans quitting every month for 11 months straight! And now we’re seeing employees in the 40-60-year-old group looking to reinvent themselves professionally. When you’re looking to make a change, ever get stumped by a prospective employer saying: “But you don’t have experience in this industry,” or “You’ve never worked in this role.”


Whether you’re relaunching your career after a break, searching for a new position within your field, or have decided it’s time to make a change, transferable skills can help you land new opportunities.

 

Stand for something, or sit down

Jessica Korthuis

Any marketer worth their salt will tell you that your brand values matter. But why? Because in a world where commoditized products and services are everywhere, your brand story matters. Marketing is the act of pulling customers toward your offers through varied channels and strategies — these strategies are dynamic and should evolve over time as the business grows. Whereas on the other hand, your “brand platform” (which includes your mission, vision, and value statements), include the anchors of your brand’s core identity. These are the values that keep you going when times get hard, and they’re the same values you employ when faced with the many perils that come with entrepreneurship.


Your brand values are enduring, and they’re your key to differentiating your business from others in your space.