Twist Personal and Business – Quick Twist Video #9

 

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Keeping it real makes you and your brand more relatable. Julie Cottineau, BrandTwist and Brand School founder, author of TWIST and former VP of Brand at Virgin, explains how TWISTING your personal and professional brands can make you unstoppable.

More Quick Twist Video tips here.

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TWIST: How Fresh Perspectives Build Breakthrough Brands by Brand School founder Julie Cottineau.

“Julie’s rich experience as the vice president of brand for Virgin has been brought to life in TWIST – a wakeup call and a road map for building brands that break through and get noticed.” - Raul Leal, CEO Virgin Hotels

A Creative Business and Travel Twist

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We hear from work-from-home business owners and solopreneurs how they often  feel isolated and how challenging it is to remain inspired and innovative when they are alone in the same space day-in and day-out.  Something as simple as a little TWIST in the routine, like working from a local coffee shop or library can be a refreshing change – for the short term. A vacation provides some needed rest and relaxation but won’t hone your business skills. What if you had the opportunity to really break free of the isolated work-a-day routine while making new connections and keeping your business thinking cap on?

Take Match.com, twist it with Travelocity.com, and you get Jobbatical, “It’s a word made up of “job” and “sabbatical”. It means a professional career break where people use their skills and knowhow to work on an exciting project in a new team in a new environment – without dipping into your life savings.”

Jobbatical took a look at the growing temporary and part-time employment trend and created a service to bring together employer and employee in a way where each can add value to the other’s business skills and enhance one another’s creative thinking – all while providing a rejuvenating travel experience.

Where would you love to go to get paid AND see the world?

Keeping the creative ideas flowing is essential to keeping your business and brand fresh and alive in your customer’s mind. At Brand School you will connect with an exclusive community of like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners. Our team of experts share their skills and give you the tools you need to innovate and grow your business. Now enrolling HERE.

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“Working with Brand School is an invaluable experience and a really great use of resources because it opens up so many doors and affects so many areas of  your business.” - Sarah Hinawi, Executive Director, The Purple Crayon Center for Learning and Innovation

Being an Entrepreneur Can Be Lonely – But It Doesn’t Have to Be

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Solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and small business owners end up spending a lot of time alone, immersed in running their business, working from home or by themselves in an office – and it can be lonely and draining. A highly effective way to break out of the solitary rut is to spend some time at the latest trend in workspace innovation – shared workspaces.

I urge you to check out venues like the Stamford Innovation Center. You’ll be able to interact, exchange ideas with others, and soak up inspiration in beautiful environments that will support you and keep you and your business in the brand-building zone.

Many of these workspace venues offer educational workshops that allow you to interact with like-minded business owners determined to take their brands to the next level. At each workshop participants share their enthusiasm, creative ideas and positive feedback.

To learn more about the effectiveness of in-person workshops, please check out this article, Twist Up Your Space – Wake Up Your Brand.

And, if you’re in the Greater New York City area, please JOIN US at one of our workshops. These interactive workshops will get you ready to launch into high gear with practical advice and tools you can start using that very day. We’ll show you how to:

▪   Create an achievable plan to grow your brand

▪   Reach your most valuable customers

▪   Generate fresh ideas – with a twist!

▪   Connect with like-minded entrepreneurs for powerful results

Sign up for our mailing list to receive word of upcoming Workshops, Brand School Master Class and a one-on-one Brand Health Check Strategy Session.

 

 

 

Twist Up Your Space – Wake Up Your Brand

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Many entrepreneurs tell us it’s a challenge to stay motivated. When you work day-in and day-out on the same business in the same category it’s hard to keep the fresh ideas flowing. How do you rejuvenate your self and your creativity to stay in the zone?

SHAKE UP YOUR SPACE.

Most of the time we’re on auto-pilot, always stopping at the same coffee shop, the same take-out place, even taking the same exact route to and from work each day. This kind of familiarity can be comforting – but it can also be the enemy of creativity. Shaking things up can give you big-time business breakthroughs. Seek out new environments – even if it only means changing the layout of your office. Move your desk to another corner of the room; face the window instead of the door or vice versa. For even better results – get inspired by Kiva. This microfinance organization gives employees “No-Meeting Tuesdays.” Workers have the option to work from somewhere else or from home. You can do the same – get out of your office all together and spend a few hours every week working from somewhere new, like a coffee shop, shared work space, local library, or even your own backyard.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TWISTS TO STAY MOTIVATED AND INSPIRED?

Brand School is a unique brand-learning program that teaches best practices of successful large and small brands and shows you how to leverage lateral thinking and apply those practices to freshen up your business or personal brand. See if your brand qualifies for our next session HERE.

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“Motivational! I’ve given recommendations to several clients about Brand School.” - Liz Osting, Founder Herucliz Design

What’s Your Brand Theme Song?

Every detail plays a part in starting a business – you need the vision, the plan, the team, the perspective, and the ability to execute. Carolyn Browning, founder of MEETing Needs, LLC, shares how a Brand School workshop exercise “Identifying your brand’s theme song” helped her bring it all together and formulate a plan for success.

This entry, from Carolyn Browning, is another in our guest blogger seriesRead more about Carolyn in her bio below. If you would like to be a guest blogger for BrandTwist contact Jamie@BrandTwist.com for more information.

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If you are anything like me, there is always music playing – whether in the car, exercising, preparing dinner or working. The type of music varies, but having something in the background helps my mood – it calms me, energizes me, and keeps me focused.

So I was excited when some pre-work for a workshop I recently attended entitled “The Brand of You” (led by BrandTwist’s own Julie Cottineau), was to choose a song, poem or quote that described my personal brand.

Editors note: This workshop has passed but you can read more about how to effectively tell your brand story, in Julie Cottineau’s article, HERE. If you want to make sure you hear about future events like the one Carolyn attended, sign up for our mailing list.

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 I immediately decided that I’d choose a song – but which one to pick? What would best describe my company – MEETing Needs? My brain was bouncing in different directions as I started listening to the radio. I happened to be tuned to the Broadway show tunes station when, it hit me – “Putting it Together”, a Sondheim classic from Sunday in the Park with George, about an artist who is trying to overcome objections from his manager, investor and wife, about his style and the direction his art is going in.

I started singing some of the lines

“Bit by bit, putting it together… Every moment makes a contribution; every little detail plays a part. Having just a vision’s no solution, everything depends on execution….”

This really resonated with me and my new brand and it ties together the three core facets of my business. Here are some of the other lyrics and the correlations I drew:

“Link by link, making the connections”

In my speaking/training area – I love helping people connect concepts together.

“First of all you need a good foundation, otherwise it’s risky from the start”

When facilitating a meeting or retreat for a group, a good foundation and vision is critical

“Mapping out the right configuration… starting with a suitable foundation… til you have a balanced composition”

This applies to meeting management, planning things out – keeping harmony among the various parties – balancing the stakeholders needs.

“Putting it Together” could be the soundtrack for my life, both personally and professionally – almost everything I’ve done has to do with putting together people and ideas. From organizing activities for my sisters and I, to planning parties, to leading clubs in school, to training the sales team on a new product, to building a strategic plan with an association board, or finally starting my own company. Every detail plays a part – you need the vision, the plan, the team, the perspective, and the ability to execute.

Identifying your brand’s theme song was a really helpful exercise and just the beginning of this incredible workshop. From there we delved into creating a cohesive story that resonates with our target audience. We pinpointed personal stories that could be used to define us and our brand; linked the personal story to our professional experience and finally tied it all together in our ‘elevator pitch’.

Julie’s technique of finding a theme song as a way to explore what is unique about my personal brand really inspired me.  I came away energized to tell my story and might just be adding some theme music to my website…

About guest blogger Carolyn Browning:

Carolyn Browning is the Chief Solution Strategist of MEETing Needs, LLC. After years of freelance meeting planning, developing association leaders, leading certification prep classes and being a super-volunteer, she decided to combine her passion for teaching, facilitating and designing meetings to start her own company, MEETing Needs. She is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), holds a Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM), is a multiple-award winning member and two-term past president of the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) WestField Chapter. In her “spare time” she manages the family schedule for her husband and two busy teenagers. If you’d like to find out more about Carolyn or MEETing Needs, contact her at crb@carolynbrowning.com, follow her on Twitter @crbcmp or visit her website, www.carolynbrowning.com.

Branding Lessons From Summer Camp

To see more of our articles for  Women Business Owners Today (WBOT) click HERE.

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There is something magical about summer. Splashing in the lake during the day, roasting s’mores over a campfire at night and …. building stronger brands. Summer and branding? Yes, you heard me right.  Summer, and more specifically summer camp, is a great resource for brand building.  As you know I am a big believer in finding inspiration in unusual places and TWISTING it to create stronger brand promises, more effective marketing, and turning casual users into raving brand fans.

Check out my article for Women Business Owners Today, “Branding Lessons from Summer Camp.” Learn how s’mores, color wars and campfire songs can inspire and rejuvenate your brand and enliven your business. See the article HERE.

Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, delivers the tools and steps you need to strengthen your brand and your connection to your customers. Get our free brand-building tips and receive access to updates about Brand School’s exclusive programs when you sign up for our newsletter at BrandSchoolOnline.com. 

“If anyone needs to understand the PROPER professional way that WILL make a difference for branding your business, Brand School is your go to source.” – Mike Sass, Entrepreneur

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Build Your Business On Vacation

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A Business Building Vacation sounds like an oxymoron, right?

Wrong. You can actually take advantage of some “down time” to come back with fresh ideas that will help you re-energize your brand and your business and hit the ground running when you come back at work.

Summer vacations  are a great time to make note of new brands and exceptional customer service experiences that surprise and delight you. Pack a Brand Safari notebook (along with your sunscreen) when you go to the beach, Europe, mountain resort..wherever you are headed.

Write down specific elements of your summer experience (right after they happen so they are fresh) and think about how you can apply those lessons to your own brand.

You can build your business and work on your tan at the same time!

Build your business  with a brand that gets noticed! Brand School, our highly effective, premier branding program, gives you the tools and techniques you need to keep your brand shining. Receive more information about Brand School’s next session and get free brand-building tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

 

“What an excellent experience. You have turned our business on its head! We are in the process of re-inventing our brand and company!” - Gavin Meiring, CEO, Rugged PC, South Africa

Do You Get Your Best Ideas in the Shower?

A while back a wrote a post Lather, Rinse, Repeat about how I often get my best ideas in the shower (I think it’s something about turning your brain off) that allows the ideas to flow.

But I lamented the fact that I couldn’t find a place to write them down (all wet and soggy) when the inspiration struck.

Well know thanks to a BrandTwist reader I just found out that one company, Aqua Notes, offers a solution to this.

Keep reading »

This Holiday, Go on a Brand Safari!

Here’s a way to make tedious holiday shopping a bit more palatable.

While your trudging around the malls and stores this holiday season,  don’t look it as a chore, look at it as a brand adventure.

Or at very least… brand research.

Notice which shops have the longest lines, what branded shopping bags are people walking around with.

Ask the shop keepers about the hottest items.

And make a mental note of what people are wearing.

Take your flip cam or a notebook and write it down.

Think about t what trends are revealed by these facts.

And then reflect on how these can be applied to your brand.
Keep reading »

Carve out Time for Creativity

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I admit Halloween has gotten too crazed and too commercial.

All the candy fueled hoopla and rush to find the perfect costume often gives me a “whopper” of a headache.

But if you can manage past all that, there’s also a positive side.

Halloween is a terrific time for kids (of all ages) to tap into our creativity and get inspired by all the magical, mystical things around us.

Case in point: The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton on Hudson, Westchester.

(Under an hour from Manhattan by train).

Keep reading »