How to Represent Your Brand at Big Events

In May I was asked to be a part of two amazing events with strong (and unique) brand experiences. First I stopped by the Business and Burgers segment during the Newfronts with Entrepreneur TV to talk TWISTS and burgers. The next day I headed to Northern California to join Tyra Banks at Stanford Graduate School of Business to talk TWISTS for personal branding.

Representing Your Brand on stages like Entrepreneur and Stanford Graduate School of Business

I think you’ll agree, both of these events had their own unique and very strong brand experiences, and in both cases, multiple large brands were involved. In events like these, the challenge becomes how do you make sure YOUR brand connects and stands out?

It all comes down to three Rs…

  • Research
  • Represent
  • Repeat

Let’s talk research.

For years we’ve heard about the importance of doing your “homework”, but for many business owners they skip over doing it before these types of events, and this is where you can lose some important brand leverage.

Before both events, I was in continuous contact with the teams putting on the events so I could know not only the details and expectations, but also how I could best support the event, and the event leaders.

By connecting with them before the event and digging in on my own research I was able to do two very important things.

First I was able to offer relevant recommendations that could help the event and hosts. This allows me to stand out to them, and that’s valuable not only the day of the event or for future events, but for possible partnerships in the future.

Stanford Graduate School of Business Brand TWIST exercise

The second thing it allows me to do is over deliver for the audience. I know exactly who they are before I entered the room and that allows me to make sure my content is directly targeted at them. I am able to make sure they hear it and remember it.

This research can happen right up until you go on stage. Before the Business and Burgers segment, I asked the guest chef about the burger and what the TWIST was. This allowed me to highlight the great burger and talk TWISTING. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I hadn’t taken the time to ask a few quick questions. In case you are curious, it was a pinch of cinnamon added to the lamb burger. YUM!

Let’s talk represent

Representing your brand is more than carrying your card and handing it to everyone you meet. You’re a walking and talking example of your brand. This means you can be a constant visual reinforcement of your brand through wearing your brand colors, but also it means living your brand promise, so think not only about the color but the style as a whole.

Julie Cottineau and Tyra Banks talked Personal branding at Stanford Graduate School of Business

It’s also important to have collateral that represents your brand, and if you have a book – that gets really easy. I went back and forth about carrying books with me for the Business and Burgers events, and I’m glad I did. We ended up having one on the table during our chat. The same thing happened at Stanford. After the class, Tyra went live on Facebook with some students and held the book while sharing how she enjoyed it.

Remember this is all about being visual, what can you put in front of your audience’s eyes that will help them remember who you are? It doesn’t have to be a book, it can be a “report” of findings with your logo loud and proud on the cover.

Let’s talk repeat

One of the most important parts of Brand School is knowing your core brand message, and that’s because knowing that allows us to build everything else. I don’t think you’ll be surprised to know that for me it always comes back to the TWIST.

Julie Cottineau looks for the brand TWIST in a burger

That’s why during my time at Business and Burgers I asked about the TWIST in the burger. I also complimented the hosts on their own unique TWISTS – revving up business content with engaging cooking tips and, fun to eat, delicious (messy) burgers! It allowed me to have another place in the conversation to talk TWISTS. Even better was a way for me to talk about my core message, without just talking about me. It allowed me to highlight that you can find the TWIST in anything.

You’ll also notice in the videos from Entrepreneur TV and Tyra Banks we use the word TWIST a lot because it’s all about repeating that brand message in new and creative ways so that you can connect with the people listening.

It’s important to remember though, my ability to repeat came from doing the research, and visually representing the BrandTWIST brand.

What tips to do you have to help your brand shine during important events? Share them here at our BrandTwist blog.

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TWIST Your Elevator Pitch to Stand Out

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I finally established my full-time career coaching practice but my “elevator pitch” was far from stellar. There were dozens of other coaches saturating the landscape: life coaches, career coaches, purpose coaches, coaches for coaches… so how would I stand out? It was time to hone my elevator pitch, add a TWIST that would distinguish me from other coaches and be more compelling. When faced with skepticism or confused stares, how could I succinctly explain to people what I did for a living, and powerfully demonstrate my value in a less-than-two minute pitch?

And then, I happened to notice a TV commercial for a local gym. Actually, it hit me like a ton of bricks (or maybe a dumbbell): I’m like a fitness trainer, but for your job search and career development. What would it look like if I TWISTED my career coaching business with a gym instructor?

  • A fitness trainer guides you but you do the heavy lifting. I provide the guidance and outline the career roadmap, but my clients have to take the action themselves to achieve their professional goals.
  • A fitness trainer helps you to be fitter and more attractive. I help my clients polish their professional skills and appear more attractive to current bosses and prospective employers alike.
  • A fitness trainer boosts your confidence. I empower my clients to impress their colleagues at the next big meeting, or crush that important company-wide presentation, or ace their next job interview.
  • A fitness trainer helps you increase your speed and agility. I help my clients achieve their professional goals more efficiently, with less time spent on excuses and more time spent on action; I provide critical support and guidance to accelerate career progress and overcome past hurdles.
  • A fitness trainer is a waste of money if you’re not ready to hustle. I only work with clients who want to improve on their weaknesses and are willing to put in the work on a regular basis. Whether they want to level-up in their current company or switch careers entirely, the path to success often requires weeks or months of effort. It doesn’t happen overnight.

So, much like a fitness instructor, I provide a strategic mix of support and heavy-duty accountability, with a kick in the rear when it’s needed most. Now my elevator pitch has the TWIST to help my business get remembered, “Take a gym instructor and TWIST it with business goals and you have a career coach.”

About the author:

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David Wiacek is a NY-based, globally-minded career coach and copywriter. He helps squash his clients’ fears and brings back wonder into their professional lives. He also crafts catchy copy for businesses—both in print and online. Check out his work at davidthefixer.com

 

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Finding the right TWIST can help your brand innovate and deliver. In TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands, Brand School founder Julie Cottineau provides a clear road map to build a stronger more distinctive brand – complete with examples from real life small business owners who have successfully completed our Brand School program. Pick up your copy today.

Entrepreneur Conversations

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We love it when we find enriching resources for entrepreneurs and business owners, and we love sharing them with you. If you have not come across Daily Life Mastery’s Entrepreneur Conversations radio show with Christine Monaghan, allow us to introduce you. This podcast series is designed to spark, inspire and motivate your inner strength to cultivate a thriving business model by bringing you the wisdom, stories and experience of successful entrepreneurs.

Here is an inspiring conversation with Christine and BrandTwist Founder & CEO and Founder of Brand School, Julie Cottineau on business and branding creativity, challenges faced by entrepreneurs – and their solutions.

Listen to the interview below – and then head on over to Daily Life Mastery and get inspired with Christine and other successful entrepreneurs and business owners.

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You can listen to  another conversation with Julie and Christine on business and brand-building HERE.

 

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“Brand School helped me get the business’ name, brand promise and message clear. I think it speaks perfectly to my target audience, thank you… And thanks also for the networking opportunities which have led to big support in my emerging business.” - Nell Panero, Education Consultant

 

The Ying and Yang of Powerful Brand Stories – Free Webinar Replay

Finding the balance between your business’ visual and verbal communication is essential to presenting a solid brand identity and building consumer comfort and loyalty. The smoother and more consistent you are in presenting your brand’s promise the more comfortable your ideal customer will feel when interacting with you – and the more likely they will be to stick with you as a loyal brand ambassador.

But how do you know which “tone” defines your type of business? How do you map your visual images with your language to tell your brand story with the right feel and attitude?

Recently BrandTwist Founder & CEO Julie Cottineau joined Rebecca Swift, Head of Creative Planning at iStock, to present a free webcast, “The Ying and Yang of Powerful Brand Stories,” on visual and verbal branding.

Click on the video, above, to learn how to:

  • Get your brand noticed by creating a compelling story
  • Use pictures and language to engage your market
  • Search more effectively to find the perfect image
  • Arrive at a verbal and visual balance to help your business succeed.
  • Identify the three main “tones” that resonate with customers, and know which one is right for your business.

The positive responses and feedback we’ve received has been overwhelming and we send a big thank you to all who shared their comments.

We’re thrilled that iStock has generously made this free webcast replay available…. AND DON’T MISS OUT ON MORE:

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SIGN UP ON iSTOCK FOR MORE webinars, inspiration and great visual content to support your business and brand.  Sign up HERE. 

 

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You could receive a BRAND ASSESSMENT one-on-one strategy session with Julie Cottineau. Fill out the form to see if your brand qualifies, HERE .

 

Enjoy the webcast and valuable branding and marketing insight and please share it with friends or colleagues who you feel might benefit.

 

 

5 Healthy Habits of Highly Successful Solopreneurs

Many entrepreneurs and business owners encounter a unique challenge: how to re-charge physically and emotionally and still have energy left for business. This guest post, 5 Healthy Habits of Highly Successful Solopreneurs, gives easy, effective ways to cultivate habits that will increase both health and wealth. It is from the LiveAWholeLife.net blog by Debra Boulanger. Read more about Deb and LiveAWholeLife.net, below.

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As a solopreneur, you drive yourself pretty hard to get the exposure you need to succeed and delight the clients you win over. It takes a lot of energy, heart and mental prowess to engage and attract your ideal clients. What habits can you cultivate that will increase both your health and your wealth?

You may speak from the stage, participate in telesummits, write blogs, record videos, send newsletters, network and partner with other solopreneurs and sponsor events.You likely have a marketing plan, financial plan, and annual goals. Your to-dos are a mile long, but where and how do you show up on your own list of things to do? How do you care for your body, mind and soul to do this important work that you do?

While marketing plans, financial plans and budgets are critical, they are not responsible for your success.

You show up in life at a cellular level. Everything you eat, every thought that has crossed your mind, every emotion you feel and even the amount of sleep you got last night are all a part of what is making up ‘you’ today. Right here. Right now. If you are not taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to serve those around you very well either.

Here are the five healthy habits of highly successful solopreneurs that I recommend you cultivate if you want to run at peak performance:

1. Eat based on how you want to feel. Different foods affect your body and mind in different ways. What’s on your agenda today? How do you want to feel while you are doing that? Eat the food that will make you feel that way.

2. Drink lemon water. Not only does it taste good, it acts as a natural diuretic and helps alkalize your bloodstream – making it less likely that you will get allergies, colds or flu.

3. Add superfoods to your regime. Trouble focussing on one thing? Tired of that afternoon crash? Certain superfoods can calm your anxious mind, even out your blood sugar, give you more energy, have you thinking more clearly and give your libido a boost too. My top two are cacao and maca. See the full list at: MyHealthyFoodGuide.com

4. Get your fill of primary foods. While food is important, rarely do any of us ever go hungry. Yet, sometimes we are starved for love, friendship, and connection. If you find yourself opening the pantry or the fridge way too often, check in and ask yourself, “What am I really hungry for?” Look at areas of your life that may be lacking. Are you spending enough time with friends? Getting the love you deserve? Getting enough exercise? Spending time in quiet reflection? Whatever it is you are hungry for, go get more of that thing. Feed your soul as well as your stomach.

5. Create balance and space. If you work alone in a home office, it’s easy to let the boundaries bleed between work and home. Make sure you are creating balance. Meditation can help you to stop running on autopilot and become more centered in the present moment. Journaling can quell the judging voices inside; get you in touch with gratitude and give you space to reflect on your intentions.

Remember to get up and dance often! Life is a great ride and it’s really, really short.

debraboulingerAbout the author: Debra Boulanger

Debra (Deb) Boulanger is the founder of Live a Whole Life where she helps business women over 40 enjoy greater health, unstoppable energy and the super sharp brain power to rock it in business. As a business owner and a single mom herself she knows firsthand what it’s like to be pulled in many different directions.

Prior to founding Live a Whole Life, Deb enjoyed a very successful 25-year product management and marketing career in the professional services industry.

Today, she’s a certified holistic health coach and runs the very successful Feeding Your Freedom program. She speaks with hundreds of women each year through conferences, teleseminars and syndicated radio. Connect with Deb on Facebook at Live A Whole Life With Debra Boulanger, and on Twitter she’s @debraboulanger.

Branding: An Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon, smallbizdaily

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed about entrepreneurship and business branding by author, columnist and online talk show host Jane Applegate for her column in smallbizdaily, “The Applegate Report.”

smallbizdaily is an online publication dedicated to Ideas, Insights. Information and Inspiration for Entrepreneurs.

Among the questions Jane asked were:

  • How do you define “brand”? Isn’t it just a company logo?
  • What is the biggest mistake business owners make when it comes to branding?
  • What advice do you have for entrepreneurs just starting a business?

That’s just for starters.

You can check out smallbizdaily and read the entire interview HERE.

BrandTwist’s highly effective, premier branding program, Brand School, will give you tools to develop your brand, innovate your business and engage your customers.  Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

“I highly recommend this class to anybody, to both those who have been in business for a long time, and those just starting out because it will put your business on a different level.” - Dr. Marina Kostina, Distance Learning Specialist, CEO of wired@heart

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Engage in the Conversation

This post is part of our series, “Thirteen Tips For Stronger Branding.” See the rest of the series HERE.

en·gage 
v.
 en·gageden·gag·ingen·gag·es
1. To involve oneself or become occupied; participate: engage in conversation.

It’s not enough to talk to a few loyal fans and followers on social media. You must really engage: it’s the only way to get ahead. Read on for another tip that will help you engage better.

TIP #11: ENGAGE IN THE CONVERSATION

Stop observing and start participating. Curious about Pinterest? Create a page and start pinning. Set up a Twitter account, follow those you can learn from, comment on and Retweet other users’ content. Start small; the important thing is that you get in on the conversation. You don’t have to start your own blog, but you should comment on blogs that you read and find relevant. This simple act can help drive traffic back to your site – and may even lead to valuable and enriching professional relationships.

What simple tips have you used to grow your business? Let me know in the comment section or on Facebook.

Check out tip #12 in the series, Innovate New Brand Ideas by Adding a Fresh Twist.

ENGAGE BETTER WITH A STRONGER BRAND THROUGH BRAND SCHOOL

Brand building is one of the single most important things you can do to grow your business but it takes expertise, energy and investment. Julie Cottineau, the Applegate Network’s Small Business Branding Expert and the former VP of Brand for Richard Branson’s Virgin is here to show you how.

Brand School is the premier program for business owners and entrepreneurs who what to grow their business. Brand School takes best practices of beloved brands such as Virgin, Apple, and Zappos and teaches you how to apply their success to your business to build a stronger brand to drive business results. Brand School gives you engaging videos, interactive exercises and exclusive access to a private community of other entrepreneurs. Learn more about Brand School HERE.

“Julie was so generous and gave us so much depth.  I learned my core message and how to package and brand it so I could stand out from the crowd.” – Dr. Marina Kostina, Distance Learning Specialist, CEO of  wired@heart 

Fail Harder

 This post is part of our series, “Thirteen Tips For Stronger Branding.” See the rest of the series HERE.

TIP #6: FAIL HARDER

If you take nothing else, from this blog series, please start to change your attitude toward failure. Most of us are terrified of failing at anything, much less our careers and the things we’re most passionate about, but you need to learn to start embracing it. Why? When you’re failing, you’re acting and also learning from whatever you do that doesn’t work. One of the most important lessons I learned at Virgin was from the disastrous launch of Virgin Cola. Richard Branson and others often talk it about the launch within the company as an important learning moment. It showed the Virgin team a valuable lesson: that the brand should focus on experiences and not products, because there is so much more opportunity in an experience to shake things up and delight the consumer. This was an important learning touchpoint, and ultimately saved Virgin millions of company dollars, moving forward.

Bottom line: a failure, especially a big failure, can be more than worth the money lost as long as you take stock of what drove the failure and apply that learning for a stronger brand moving forward. Read more about the power of failure here.

Check out tip #7 in the series, Show, Don’t Tell.

HOW CAN BRAND SCHOOL HELP YOU TO SUCCEED?

Brand School is the premier program that teaches you how to grow your business by growing a stronger brand. Brand School takes best practices of beloved brands such as Virgin, Apple, and Zappo’s and brings them to life in engaging videos, interactive homework exercises and exclusive access to a private community of other entrepreneurs. Learn more about Brand School HEREAnd to receive updates on the next semester and news of exclusive offers for BrandTwist social media friends, sign up for the BrandTwist newsletter.

“Brand School allowed me to get to the essence of my  brand. I was able to hone and tighten up my brand. Thank you, Julie, it’s a great program.” – Jonathan Flaks, President, Jonathan Flaks Coaching Associates

Slow Down to Speed Up

I was lucky enough have spent most of last week at Canyon Ranch in Lenox Mass. What an amazing place.

The term “spa” doesn’t do it justice. It’s much more than that. Yes it has great spa services (best hot stone massage of my life..Yan I love you) but it offers so much more. In addition to exercise and dance classes, there are terrific  lectures on topics ranging from the science of diet and weight loss to communicating better with your partner.

There’s so much to choose from you can spend all day flitting from a Pilate’s class to a massage to a lecture then back to a dance class an on to outdoor hiking and watercolor painting finsihing the day with an evening cooking demonstration..

Wow! I know it can sound exhausting. But I actually found it quite energizing.

And surprisingly, the thing I found the most energizing was sitting still…literally…in my first ever mediation class.

Keep reading »

QuickBite

“Build wealth for my family, grow professionally, have fun. If a job doesn’t meet these criteria, don’t do it.”

Jeffrey Hayzlett, former Kodak CMO,  Forbes Magazine “Celebrity CMO” and Author of The Mirror Test

I heard Jeff speak earlier this week at the Exact Target conference in Indianapolis. He’s a dynamic speaker, a larger than life presence and has a distinctive “take no prisoners” attitude. He shared a lot of gems, but this is the one that’s stuck with me after 48 hours.

I agree with Jeff. These are great criteria. But as I look around at my own life and the careers of family and friends close to me…it seems like it’s getting harder to satisfy all three of these at the same time in one job.

Do priorities shift in middle age? Does the pressure to provide mean that “wealth” begins to trump the other two and we settle for less than ideal?

I was with a former colleague last night who has been at his current job for decades. I assume given his seniority that he’s well paid.

He certainly has fun with the colleagues and clients he’s known for a long time. Many of whom have crossed the line over to genuine friends.

So what’s the rub?

He’s bored.

Intellectually numb as a shot of Novocaine.

Keep reading »