Branding Challenge  Day 8. The Importance of a Vision Board

Branding Challenge Day 8. The Importance of a Vision Board

Some of you are struggling as you’re going through the branding challenge. The main problem seems to be you are not sure of your direction or your brand. Today I’m going to go into the mindset. I want you to be able to visualise what you want for yourself. If this vision becomes clearer through a law of attraction collage, you will be able to go forward more easily.

Law of Attraction Board

A Law of Attraction collage is a board where you put pictures, words, and quotes that you’ve found of things you want to attract into your life.

These items are a representation of what you want to have happened in your life. The purpose behind having a visual board is for you to draw to yourself the good things that you want.

What this means is that when you visualize something, you subconsciously begin to alter your life so that it reflects the things that you want as shown on your vision board.

These visuals give a concrete projection to your desires, and that enables you to go that direction subconsciously.

Styles for a Vision Board

While visions boards all usually cover specific areas of life, the boards can be one of several different types. You can make the vision board as unique as you are.

One type of vision board that’s popular is the goal vision board.

This one is for people who know exactly what they want in life. The gaol board is for individuals who don’t want to “graduate college” but specifically want to “graduate college with a teaching degree in Science.”

These boards are not as open as other boards because they’re not open to things that steer you away from your goal. When you’re doing a goal specific board, you’ll want to choose visuals that reflect these specific goals.

The next kind of vision board is the open to change board.

This board is for people who struggle to specifically identify what they want to attract to their life. They’re seeking something, but they can’t really name what it is they’re seeking.

Branding Business

This may well apply to you if you are struggling to know how to brand yourself in business. I have a mantra I speak each morning and several times during the day.

“I have a magical business, in a magical way, I give magical service for magical pay!”

It works for me!

It often helps to work backwards from what you want. Visualise in your head what you would do if you were successful and put these visions on the vision board. See if you can see a pattern emerging?

For instance, if you have covered your board with animals or at least 80% of your board it may indicate you love animals more than people, and you should be able to consider that as your niche.

The happiness board

Other people, they’re seeking happiness, but they don’t know what it would take to make them happy. These kinds of boards can be fantastic image tools because they can lead the person who doesn’t know what they truly want to attract to discover what it is.

To create these boards

You simply look for the images and words that speak to you. It doesn’t matter what they are. For some people, discovering this kind of board has led to making career changes or making a move that brought them profound joy after they realized their images were leading them in a certain direction.

The Importance of a vision boardAnother kind of vision board is an area board.

These boards are for people who desire to use the Law of Attraction with a particular area of their life. For example, if they’ve had a string of bad relationships they can choose to create a relationship board.

For this board, they would use images depicting the kind of relationship they wanted to be in and the aspects of that relationship. These boards are good to use for people that feel that their lives are already utilizing the LOA except in this one area.

Most people have discovered that whatever area needed changing usually held some level of negative energy. Once they created the board, they were able to see what they’d been attracting and how creating the board led to getting what they wanted instead.

Supplies You’ll Need for Your Vision Board

The first item that you’ll have to get in order to create the vision board is poster board. You can find this at stores such as Target or Walmart usually in the stationery or the school aisle.

Some people use the tri-fold presentation type boards. I personally love wood so my vision board is made of cork. Whatever you get, just make sure that the board is durable. After you get the board, you need a list of what you want to attract in life.

These wants should be a list of everything that you imagine for yourself in the areas that affect you. For example, you could have a list dealing with your job or career, your education, your finances and your health.

Depending on how many areas you want to include on your board, you may need to use an extra large one – or some people use more than one board and each board is divided by category.

Multiplee Boards

What some people do is take a large square board and they cut it into a big circle. Then they divide that circle like you would the slices of a pizza. Each slice represents an area of life.

In the center of the board is a circle that holds either a photo of the person creating the board or an image or phrase that’s particularly meaningful. Once you have the board, you’ll need to start gathering your images and any quotes or words relating to your goals that you want for the board.

How to find images is through the use of magazines.

If you don’t have a wide variety of magazines at home already, you don’t want to make the mistake of rushing out to buy a big selection of them because it can be too expensive to buy them individually.

Some magazines now cost five dollars per monthly edition. So you’re doing to want to find some free or cheap ones to use for the board. Many libraries offer free magazines because patrons donate magazines. The library usually gives these away.

The ones that don’t give them away will often offer them at very little cost from five to ten cents per copy. You can also get slightly out of date magazines from doctor’s offices or other places just by asking.

One of my favourite places is charity shops

Think your local area

Some schools and colleges pitch magazines that were unused at the end of every school year so you might want to ask about getting those. Also, you can contact magazine publishers and ask for a free sample.

Many of them still do that. Brochures with images on them that you might like are also available from hair salons, car dealerships, real estate offices and more. In today’s world of technology though, you can also print out any image that you find that you feel suits your LOA desires.

Some of the stock photo sites have great images on a variety of topics that you can buy fairly cheaply to use for your board. Or, you can just print out images you find on the Internet. Wikipedia has free images as does pixabay.com

While it can be tempting to start putting the board together as you gather the images, you don’t want to do that. You want to completely finish gathering all of the images you need first before you start to work on the layout.

You’ll need scissors to use for cutting out images of magazines and other print media. You’ll also need an adhesive to make the images stick to the poster board.

You don’t want to use regular kid’s school glue because this type of glue has a tendency to over-saturate the images. Even if you’re careful to use only a little bit, the glue can still make the images take on a wrinkled appearance.

Instead of school glue, you can use either photo adhesive, dots or squares carried in the craft or photography section of many retail stores. Some people use glue sticks or rubber cement and those will work just as well.

Putting the LOA Vision Board Together

If you’re like most people, you’ll find that you’ve collected an abundance of images and words that speak to you. To help narrow down what should go on your board, you need to follow your instincts.

Put the pieces that stand out the most to you on your board. You’ll want to group the like themes together. For example, put things related to job or career in one area of the board.

If you want to return to college and that move could help you with your job or career, then you could both of these topics in the same area. Don’t worry about trying to make the board look perfect or polished or like a work of art.

That’s not what this is about.

Building the board is about using the Law of Attraction to bring into your life what you want the most, so use your board as a flexible tool and let it reflect that genuine desire rather than trying to make it look perfect.

Once you’ve selected the images and things that you feel belong on your board, you’re going to want to create a pre-layout. This means you should put the images and words on your board as you would want to attract them.

Whatever is the most important to you should go in the very center of your board. Seeing the images creates within you positive emotions, which in turn helps you send out positive energy into the universe.
Once you have the images that you want placed around your board, you’ll want to put any quotes, phrases or words on there, too. Some people use simple one-word descriptions of what they want to attract to themselves such as “joy” or “happiness” or “abundance.” Others use phrases or full sentences.
After you have the images where you know you want them to stay, then you should glue them on. Around these images, you can feel free to write inspirational thoughts or something that would motivate you.

So today I will leave you to create your visual board .Tomorrow we will expand out the ideas.

Are you Breaking 13 Amazon Affiliate Commandments?

Are you Breaking 13 Amazon Affiliate Commandments?

During every week, I see lots of ways that new members to wealthy affiliates fall foul of Amazon’s terms and conditions. Am I breaking 13 Amazon affiliate commandments is not a question people ask themselves when they’re in a hurry to make a profit? Unfortunately, Amazon is not very forgiving when you break their rules.

This article is an attempt to summarize the 13 worst things you can do as an Amazon affiliate.

Some of these things are common sense. Nonetheless, when it comes to Internet marketing, common sense is sometimes relatively uncommon. Some of the conditions you probably would never dream of for instance did you know that you can’t put affiliate Amazon links in an e-book? No, I thought not!

1.Not reading the terms and conditions

Read the terms and conditions here.I am going to put that here, at the beginning of the article, even though I know you won’t bother to read them! You are legally bound, by this agreement, as an Amazon Affiliate. If you transgress these terms, Amazon is within their rights to kick you out of the affiliate program.

2.Becoming an Amazon affiliate Before You Have Traffic

You only have a limited time to make your first sale. If you haven’t made a sale within, this time, your affiliate account will be terminated. If you haven’t got any traffic, then you won’t make any sales. If you don’t make any sales, you fall foul of their agreement, and you will lose your right to become an affiliate. You can reapply at a later date but who needs the hassle?

3.Shortening a URL


Facebook recently changed their conditions, so they limit the number of people who can see your posts. You can get round this to some degree if you use only the link, without the preview.

Amazon affiliate links are very long so it would make sense to tidy them up and make them shorter, but this is a violation of their terms and conditions if you use bitly.com. You have to use a special link, the full complete link. Amazon monitors sales from shortened links. Not only do they rescind your right to be an affiliate but they also block the sale. So, it also means the customer is unhappy. If you have your own Amazon store that’s not a great place to be.

“You will not cloak, hide, spoof, or otherwise obscure the URL of your site containing Special Links (including by use of a redirecting page) such that we cannot reasonably determine the site from which a customer clicks through such Special Link to the Amazon Site.” –Amazon Affiliates Program Participation Requirements,

“In addition, you must not use a link shortening service in a manner that makes it unclear that you are linking to an Amazon Site.” –Amazon Associates Program Linking Requirements

So it has been established that you can’t shorten an affiliate link with Amazon? Not at all! There is the Amazon way or no way. There is a link shortener on each product on Amazon’s affiliate homepage.

Another option is to use Amazon’s own share on Facebook or share on Twitter options.

4.Purchasing Through Your Own Affiliate Link

You can’t encourage or ask your friends relatives and neighbors to purchase through your link. You will see quite a lot of posts within Wealthy Affiliates where members have blogged that they have had commissions deducted, because of this.

“You will not purchase any Product(s) through Special Links for use by you or for resale or commercial use of any kind. Similarly, you will not request or encourage any of your friends, relatives, or associates to purchase any Product(s) through Special Links for use by you or them or for resale or commercial use of any kind. Further, you will not offer any Products on your site for resale or commercial use of any kind.” –Amazon Associates Program Participation Requirements,

 Breaking 13 Amazon Affiliate Commandments

5. Quoting Prices

There’re two reasons you should stop this practice.

First of all, it will get you banned from Amazon Associates.

It’s very tempting to do this especially when they run end of line discounts. These discounts are massive and it is tempting to quote them. Unfortunately, affiliates forget to update their prices within the posts when the offer ends.it is against Amazon’s terms and conditions to quote a price under any circumstances.

The second reason you should avoid this is because creating a banner which says “check the price on Amazon here” is more likely to get you a click through. Once they are there within Amazon you will be credited for any sale they make at the time.

6. Not Investing In A premium Theme

Amazon affiliate websites have been popular amongst Affiliate marketers for a long time, partly because they are an easy way to monetize a site.

Unfortunately, in many cases, they are thrown up very quickly. Most affiliates use the standard default WordPress theme. They either use the standard text header or they have a crappy cheap nasty logo.

If you want to make your affiliate site profitable then you have to make it look professional. If it isn’t then up your game.

This will help you improve your conversion rate for direct sales. It will also give you more opportunities for link building.

7. Posting 300 word articles.

Back in the day, it was very easy to rank in Google for niche sites. A five-page site, with 300-word articles and lots of affiliate links, would cut it!

Fast forward a few years and this method no longer work. You still see people copying and pasting affiliate reviews from Amazon (which is itself against the terms and conditions). And posting 500-word articles.

A much better the idea is to do authentic keyword research. Make blocks of keywords and group these together to write authority articles of at least 1400 words. Use these articles as a basis to build links. No article should ever be under a thousand words.

8. Not Linking to Amazon Correctly

It’s unbelievable how many people get this wrong.I don’t know whether people are frightened of being penalized by Google for too many affiliate links? As we’ve already said, an article should be 1400 words at least in length, and there’s nothing wrong with having a longer one. Use at least 12 links within that. Don’t forget to link directly to images because images ranked last in Google.

As Matt Cutts clearly says, all affiliate link should be no follow. Making your Amazon links no follow will not incur a penalty from Amazon.In addition to this, it will reduce the amount of times you are in competition with Amazon’s product page.

9. Leaving Dates On your Reviews

Having a date on your review is just stupid. If you are reviewing a product in 2012, then the chances are five years later nothing has changed.

If your content is evergreen it is still reverent relevant and the majority of products you produce should be evergreen. However, your readers perceive something to be out of date and old-fashioned if they see it as an old article.

10. Using Exact Domain Names

Exact match domain names work there’s no doubt about that.When you use an exact match domain name you are limiting your site. For instance, if you say nutribullet400.com, you are not necessarily limiting yourself to the Nutri bullet 400 machines. But you are limiting your site to the Nutri bullet brand.

In addition, you might as well plaster all over your site the words this is for profit only! You making it super obvious to your reader that you’re in it for the money.

It’s far better to go with a brand and then you can expand into other markets from a position of authority once your site is established.

11. Not Leveraging Social Proof

Encourage comments on your work website. Admittedly this is pretty difficult to do in a niche review site especially when it’s young.

If you go to your WordPress comments manager you can edit spam comments. I would delete the website link and change the comment, making sure you include the keyword.

You may think this unethical. Once you have done this to 3 times for every post your website looks more legitimate. It’s also more likely to encourage quotes and comments from real people.

12. Not Having Affiliate Disclosure

Every single website that promotes a product from Amazon has to have the affiliate disclosure.You don’t necessarily have to make it super obvious i.e. the second page next to your “about page”. It is legitimate to put it in the footer.

Here’s the text you have to add:

“[your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name (amazon.com)].”

13.Limiting your site to Reviews

If you only include reviews on your Amazon site it looks like one large sales page. It’s always a good idea to include content without links which is educational.

When I say without links I mean without Amazon affiliate links you can include links to similar products and share a sale, or ClickBank.

For instance, if you are reviewing dowsing sticks or pendulums, include an authority of article on how to use a pendulum or a dowsing stick.

As you will see, from this article some of the transgressions above will get you banned from Amazon. Others will just reduce your profit. However, Amazon commissions are so minuscule you don’t want them cut even further.

Branding Challenge Day 7 – Support The Competition

Branding Challenge Day 7 – Support The Competition

 

So many marketers promote products that tout a way to CRUSH your competition. I’m here to tell you that your competition isn’t your enemy. In fact, this day of the challenge is all about the support the competitors get from you.

You may have seen me do this quite a few times. I’ve told my readers about PLR providers who I compete with – without using an affiliate link at times. And let’s say I’ve written a blog post promoting a certain product, but someone who I know to be regular reader posts a link to an alternative product in their comment, I don’t snarl about how it might siphon off my earnings – I allow it!

Why would I have this unusual reaction to permit and encourage the promotion of my competitors?

Because I care about my readers, plain and simple.

You need to care SO much about your readers that you’re willing to share the spotlight and even the earnings with marketers in your niche.

Why not hog them all for yourself?

Well, think about it from a consumer’s point of view. When you want to know about a non-fiction niche, you don’t choose just one person to learn from, do you?

I don’t know anyone who does.

We usually look for multiple resources – whether it’s cooking, knitting, relationships, marketing, parenting or any other topic.

Whenever I chose to homeschool my kids for a few years, I bought up dozens of books about it. When I wanted to lose weight, I nearly spent as much money on how to books as I did diet foods. When I was having my first baby I asked for every resource on the topic imaginable.

The Best Thing About Supporting Your Competition

Your readers have found and subscribed to you because they trust you. They like you. They respect your insight and your connection to them.

The respect that you’re going to earn when you share other people and products with your readers s going to feel amazing to you.

Support The Competition

It’s okay to share products as an affiliate and form JVs with other marketers and earn income from those affiliations. But it’s also good form not always to make everything about money.

It’s always a good idea to promote something without an affiliate link. You will also notice that this page has nothing to sell on it. It contains useful information and asks nothing in return. That is apart from building loyalty.

When I promote a product without using an affilaite link my readers write and tell me they appreciate it.

Here’s another perk – because of your good deed in supporting your competitors, many of your competitors are going to return the favor. It can also lead to many lucrative paid joint ventures and product collaborations.

As for branding, not only is the good will button pushed whenever you do this for your readers (providing good resources to them), but let’s say you create a blog post promoting someone you’re competing with in a positive manner.

They may very well link to your blog post to their own readers. It’s like their way of saying, “See? I’m considered an expert even by my competitors!” (Only in a non arrogant way).

When someone is sent to your support of another marketer they already trust and respect, then you instantly become someone worth looking into as well. It’s like leveraging another person’s list – if you want to look at it selfishly.

Don’t Support Just Anyone

That brings us to making sure you don’t damage your branding potential here. You have to be careful about who you link to. There’s no willy-nilly supporting going on here – you want to promote like-minded marketers.

Going to ClickBank and just doing a search for hot gravity products and people to promote is dangerous. You have to conduct some research and become a fellow fan before you stick your neck out for this person.

If you’re totally unfamiliar with someone in your niche, then start digging. Start signing up to lists (use a special email for this). Start buying a few products to gauge quality.

Make a list of what you like about the people you’re investigating. Look at things like:

  • How they communicate with their subscribers.

If they spam their subscribers, that’s not a good sign. People will blame you if they sign up to that person’s list and then receive a flood of spammy emails.

  • How they interact with their readers on their blog.

I see many blogs where the blog owner posts a blog post, gets comments from their readers but never reply to any of them. I find it rather odd, and almost rude.

  • How much they care to keep current with their niche information.

I love fellow marketers who always have an ear to the ground about what’s happening in their niche. That goes for any niche I’m pursuing or needing information on myself.

  • How good the quality of their paid products is.

Quality counts. Even if you’re supporting a competitor by linking to one of their freebies, you should still get familiar with their paid products because we all know that’s where the freebie is eventually leading.

  • How well they respond to customer service needs or inquiries.

Sometimes it pays just to send a question in. Kind of like putting a note in a bottle in the ocean, you want to see if it gets found, read and responded to by that fellow marketer. I like supporting people who care about their readers – and that means answering emails.

  • How careful they are about people they promote.

What’s that saying about lying with dogs and getting fleas? Well basically, what it means is if they promote shady characters, you have to examine why they do that carefully.

Now I know I promote someone several people have questioned me about – Kelly Felix. But I was questioning him before anyone even questioned me. I gave this guy a second chance to show me he was a quality marketer and he did it – Bring the Fresh was good information, it worked, and I saw evidence of him personally handling his customer service business. People can have second chances with you.

These are all things I personally watch for whenever I want to consider mentioning someone to my own readers. You may have different criteria, and it might even be specific.

For example, if you’re in the health niche, you might have a firm policy against promoting anyone who recommended something you deemed an unhealthy diet practice – something bordering on dangerous.

Ways to Support Your Competition

There are many avenues where you can pour out your support for a person who generally competes with you. That would be a blog, in a forum post, or through your own email autoresponder system.

But what kind of things can you say about your competitor – someone you’ve been trained to hate and CRUSH all this time?

Here are some ways I like to support my competition:

  • Tell Others About Their Rare Ethics
  • Share My Amazement at the Quality of Their Products
  • Offer Commentary About the Cool Personality of My Competitor
  • Envy the Expertise My Competition Possesses

I like to do a mix of this, and it’s something that comes naturally to me. Whenever I feel this way about someone who happens to also be in the marketing niche, I just share it with my readers.

But the reason I wanted to make this part of the official branding challenge is because I know what other people are learning – they’re learning ways to battle with competitors and steal traffic.

That’s so wrong. This world of the Internet is about sharing and labeling quality, not stomping the heck out of each other so that we bury all of the good information in a niche.

If you’re the kind of leader I hope you are – the kind who got into his or her niche because they wanted to change lives – then I know you’re going to start building up the “go to” resources for your own followers – even if that means you may not profit directly from it.

Branding Challenge Day 6 – Being Alert

Branding Challenge Day 6 – Being Alert

Today’s branding challenge is so easy you might feel like you just a free homework pass from the teacher. But being alert is a crucial part of our branding challenge and one that you need to implement.

It’s known as online reputation management and even if you have no reputation to speak of yet. Nonetheless, you want it set up right from the beginning.Many people have had their reputations tarnished beyond redemption because they did not understand that their actions were leaving a footprint.

You know how in the introduction I told you some days would seem slow to you – simply because you weren’t out there creating some big content piece? Well, this is one of those days, where the task is equally important but doesn’t require as much effort.
being alert

Being Alert is Knowing What the Buzz Is

On the second day, we talked about spying on the competition. You went to Google and looked up keywords in your niche. You viewed competitor websites to see what they offered that you didn’t, and vice versa.

Today’s task has you automating your spy system – not only on your competitors but on your OWN brand!

There are soooooooooo many pages out there on the Internet that might mention you, your products, your brand, your ethics, or your ideas (or those of your competitors).

And the better you brand yourself and the more you grow your “rabid fan base,” the more people will mention you. There’s NO way you’re going to have time to go seek them out one by one.

I thought about this task you’re about to learn because it’s something I did early on in my marketing career and it’s helped me in numerous ways, like this:

Share pages that promote you as a positive influencer.

When I get notified that there’s a page on the ‘net where someone is talking about myself or my products in a positive light, it’s nice to be able to Plus 1 (Google Plus), or Tweet or even email my own list the link.

Prevent bad word of mouth from being spread about you

When I see false information coming out about me, like the person who mistakenly thought I was spamming their blog, I’m able to address it rather than letting the rumors spread like a wildfire.

Know who your friends are and who isn’t genuine.

I was being friendly and networking with one individual on Google Plus, sharing his posts to others, “Plussing” them, etc., when I discovered he was being phony the whole time. This moron used his photo in the forum when slamming me, so I got notification of it, and then blocked him.

He lost my friendship, which could have benefited him if he’d been a true friend to me, but once I discovered he was shady, he no longer got any of the online sharing benefits I had to offer.

Be available to answer questions instead of having others answer for you.

Sometimes I see people asking who’s a good ghostwriter and see someone telling others I’m a ghostwriter. I am able, through this system, to correct the branding situation and let the individuals know I don’t do that type of work anymore, and state what it is that I do now.

This is similar to what you’re doing – listening for the approach of a buzz about you, and also keeping tabs on what your enemies are doing to harm your brand. Never be foolish enough to think you won’t have enemies because too many people are TAUGHT to view competition as an enemy.

Get it from the Horse’s Mouth

There is a way to have a system in place where all of that buzz is emailed straight to your inbox!

First, you have to get a Gmail account.

Some of you may already have one and some may prefer Yahoo or 0utlook or whatever but you will need a Gmail account for several tasks, so bite the bullet, please.

Next, you’re going to go here: http://www.google.com/alerts and set up a Google Alert for many different things – depending on how much you want to know. First, let me show you HOW to set up a Google Alert and then I’ll work with you on what topics you might want to have sent to you.

how-to-create-a-google-alert

First, let’s set one up for your name.

So I’ll type in “Catherine Ford” (in quotes). Now I happen to know there’s a psychologist like me who shares my name.

But what if your name is the same as someone who is more well known? You can add a minus sign and a keyword to filter it out, and although it won’t work 100% – it will filter out some of the results for you.

So if you had the name Catherine Ford and you were the artist,(There is one in Canada) not the marketer or porn star, you might make a Google Alert like this: “Catherine Ford” –porn –marketer. OR, make it like this: “Catherine Ford” artist.Mine actually says “Catherine Ford” Author

Making Sense of Those Alerts

When you type in the phrase, you’ll see the preview open up to the bottom right of the screen. But now you want to manage the controls of your Google Alerts.

From the pull-down menu on the left, you’ll choose the type of information that you want. I set mine to Everything. But you might choose only News, Blogs, Videos or Discussions.

Then you’ll choose how often you want alerts. You can do once a day, as it happens, or once a week. I set mine to as it happens. I want immediate control over the buzz of my brand where my name is concerned, but in my niche research, I may say once a day.

Then you’ll set the “Volume” of your alert. I like choosing All Results – but it defaults to Only the Best Results. I don’t want Google determining what’s important and what’s not – I want it all.

And finally, you’ll choose whether you want it to go to your gmail address or to an RSS feed. I set mine straight to my email inbox so I can keep tabs on it quickly.

Be Specific, don’t be vague

Don’t be too general with your Google Alerts. I would never do an alert for “marketing” for example because that’s a hideously broad topic! Even “Internet Marketing” is too broad for me. I might do “ethical marketing” instead to see where the buzz is for something that interests me. I want to be THE ethical marketer, so the buzz about that interests me.

If you want to have Google pursue a phrase or word exactly as you spell it, then put a plus sign in front of it. They give the example of +foard if you want Google to ignore its urge to correct your Google Alert to Ford.

You can also set one up (you can create up to 1,000 Alerts) that brings in results from a particular website, like this: ethics site:warriorforum.com – and that would only bring me alerts whenever the word ethics is on the Warrior Forum.

Or if I put a minus sign before the word site, it would IGNORE pages from that domain.

What all do you want to set up Google Alerts for?

· A name
· Variations of your name – like Kathy Ford
· Product names
· The name’s of your competitor’s
· Your competitor’s product name
· Certain niche keyword phrases

This works really well when you’re preparing a post for your blog like we did in the makeup task. For example, remember the sample topic I created about airbrushed models? Set up an Alert and have the research DELIVERED to you for your debate while you work on other stuff!

Connect With The Right people

And use these alerts as invitations for you to engage with your target audience. For example, if I set up a Google Alert for “ethical marketing” and saw a forum discussion somewhere about it, I could join in and connect with others who were of the same mindset as myself.

Once you have completed this step, click Create Alert, and you go to the main Google Alert screen. This shows, all of the alerts you have set up, and what the settings are for them.

You then see an edit button next to each one in case you want to alter or delete it. It will look like this:
The columns show you the alert, Volume, how often, and delivery place in front of the Edit button. So setup your alerts today and watch what’s coming in. This is a great exercise to see what people are saying about you and your brand. It covers the good, the bad and the ugly.

By the way, this is also how I heard about someone telling me I stole one of their images. This wasn’t true because I always use Pixabay which is non-copyright. But because, I was aware of it, I could address it on MY blog (which I know the forum members read) and to my list.

And by the way, when you encounter trolls disparaging you or your brand online, remember this: Don’t cry because of 1 person. Remember, there are still 6,999,999,999 people to smile at.

Day 5 Branding Challenge -7 Elements of a  Branding Campaign

Day 5 Branding Challenge -7 Elements of a Branding Campaign

Becoming an online marketer means you have the added weight of trying to connect with your target audience in an often sterile, faceless, nameless environment. 7 Elements of a Branding Campaign covers the basics, it’s a recap of the last few days.

Many consumers are used to dealing with nothing more than a domain name and product image online. If you can go the extra mile and build a brand and a connection to your customer, you’ll easily be able to dominate in your chosen niche.

There are basically seven elements you can incorporate into your brand building strategy. We’re going to go over all of them and then you can analyze your own efforts and see where you’re doing things right, and where you need to step up your game.

The Right Name

When you’re working online, you walk a fine line between developing a catchy name and one that’s easily findable and recognizable. By identifiable, we mean a name where the reader instantly knows what your business is all about.

For example, look at the comparison of these domain and business names and see which one you feel is a better option for online marketing:

Choices

* YelpWhisperer.com versus StopDogBarking.com – First of all, who uses the word “yelp” these days? Secondly, dog barking is a more common phrase than yelping, so your search traffic volume might be a bit higher. At the very least, people won’t have to wonder what the site is about.

* BillowOfBad.com versus SecondhandSmokeDanger.com – The first name is vague and odd. Billowing usually describes smoke, but the whole domain name is confusing at first glance. The second one is blunt and obvious to the consumer.

Does this mean you can’t have a catchy, non-obvious name? Not at all. But if you decide to go that route, and choose something where it’s not obvious, then you need to be prepared to increase your branding even more so that people associate the name with what you want them to.

Ideally, you’re going to want your domain name to be the same as your business name – so you want to keep it as short as possible. The more opportunities for mistakes that there are, the higher the chance someone will typo and not be able to get to your site.

Your name doesn’t always have to be a company name, either. You can use your personal name and brand that if you want to. Many marketers do that online – and it works just fine!

Look at Personalities

* Tony Robbins
* Oprah Winfrey
* Dr. Oz

Those are all brands – but a person’s name is at the core.And just because you don’t have your own TV show or aren’t putting on global seminars, doesn’t mean you can’t brand your name, too.

A Well-Branded Design

Your online design will say a lot about who you are as a company and a brand. Let’s take the IM niche as an example first. You can land on two blogs – one has ads crammed into every space on the blog.

There are sidebar ads, ads under the header, pop-up and exit ads, text hyperlink ads, and more. Your whole experience is spent dodging pop-ups and avoiding becoming blinded by the flashing banners.

The other blog is clean with lots of white space, and content is the main focal point. There might be a little bit of advertising going on, but they don’t draw attention away from the content . They simply supplement it.

Just the design and layout of your online site tells a lot about your intentions.

Blog #1 is out to make money by pushing whatever they can on you.

Blog #2 is there to serve.

Design Elements

You want your design to be obviously related to the niche, just like you’ve done with your brand name and domain. If it’s in the diet niche, for example, then you might incorporate these into your design:

* Fresh, clean colors (motivational, not dark)
* Fruits and vegetables
* A tape measure
* Images of happy, smiling, trim and fit individuals
7 Elements of a Branding Campaign

Your Own Design

You can have something created specifically for you – not a template – if you hire a good graphics designer. They can also make sure that everything you use design-wise online matches so that you’re branding across the board. That includes:

* A blog theme
* Your squeeze page
* Personalized Facebook cover
* A Twitter background and profile header
* Your Google Plus profile…and more.

Think about how you want your brand to come across. Do you want to be fun and silly or serious and professional? Your design and graphics should reflect that.

Tagline

A tagline is your motto of sorts. It’s what you want to be known for. It’s typically worked into your WordPress blog profile so that search engines pick it up, but it also can be integrated into your graphic design.

For example, your header image on your blog can include your tagline, as can your Twitter profile’s background or your Facebook cover image. What should your tagline say?

It should be a reflection of what values you hold dear – of what your business or products will provide to the customer. It’s how you act and how they should perceive you.

Tagline Examples

* Think Outside the Bun – Taco Bell – This tagline urges people try something different. They’re saying they’re unique. Better. More qualified.
* Just Do It – Nike – No excuses. This company is all about serious athletes, not part-time procrastinators.

* Because I’m Worth It – L’Oreal – Gives off an air of upscale indulgence, even though it’s not from a spa – it’s an over-the-counter product.

Think of a tagline – the shorter the better – that you can use everywhere online to help brand your business with the right mindset. It’s okay if you don’t cater to everyone – in fact, it’s better to weed out your non-audience.

You want to attract the right people to your brand. If you’re sarcastic, you want people who appreciate that – not people who will constantly complain about that to everyone online.

What Will Your Voice Say About Your Brand?

Your voice will say a lot to the public online about what your brand is all about. You’ll be creating conversational content online – not sterile, college papers for your readers.

Will you be argumentative? Call people or competitors out? Will you be gentle and motivational? Maybe a mix of the two? Figure out what you want your voice to be like online.

This may mean you have to tone down your personality. For example, if you’re usually sarcastic but online, it comes across as rude, and you don’t want that, then you can change it. Or, you might have to ramp up your personality a bit if you’re typically shy and reserved.

Secure Your Brand With Heavy Socialization

If you don’t brand yourself online, someone else will brand you. You never, ever want to leave that up to chance because people are actually more likely to speak up when they have a negative experience than when they have a positive one.

There are at least six areas where you have to socialize your brand online. Let’s start with your blog. It’s up to you to engage in conversations with your blog readers. Ask them to leave comments and then respond to each one.

Try to secure some guest blogging opportunities where you go out in front of another blogger’s audience and build a relationship and brand yourself in front of them. Again, carry on conversations with them in the comments section.

Popularise yourself in forum’s

In your niche’s forums, you can brand yourself online. First, do it by posting and commenting with very valuable, helpful commentary. Don’t post a lot of “me too” posts just to get your post count up.When you have answered a question more thoroughly than anyone else, your readers will want to know who you are. This is as a result of the perception you are an authority.

Make sure you use a signature file with your site links and your tagline, so people instantly know how you tend to perceive your business and how they should, as well.

use as Many of THese as You Can

Get a Twitter account for branding purposes. Twitter allows you to brand in several ways – with your 140-character Tweets, where you can share your voice and message – but also with your background image and header profile graphic on your Twitter page.

Use Facebook as well. Facebook can send you a ton of traffic – and you get to interact directly with your audience and let them share your branding message with their own contacts.

YouTube is excellent for branding purposes – or any video platform for that matter, but YouTube is the most popular one. You can get on camera (or at the very least use screen capture and record your computer screen while you talk and give them audio of you).

Sometimes, hearing your voice and seeing your mannerisms can say a lot about your branding – things that plain text on a computer screen just can’t convey. It works both ways though – if you’re monotone and boring, then it might damage your brand, so make sure you practice.

Google Plus is a great tool rising in popularity. They’ve built a platform perfect for branding. You can use posts like Facebook, but you can also do live hangouts with your prospects and customers and let them interact with you in a live video setting.

Branding Through Email Marketing

Email marketing is a tool that your customers allow you to use to brand yourself to them. They’re giving you permission to access their lives on a regular basis, rather than you having to wait for them to contact you.

You want to stay in touch often enough that they don’t forget you, but not several times a day where you become an annoyance. Email them whenever you have something worth sharing.

It helps if you position yourself as a marketer who is always on the cutting edge of your niche. It’s very easy to do – you just keep an ear to the ground and know what’s coming out about your topic.

Sign up for Google Alerts for keywords in your niche. Check on Google daily to see what the buzz is. Type in your niche, such as “anti-aging” and then click on the News category and maybe the blog category, too – to see what’s being said that day.

You can then use a news story or other blog as curated content (where you take a snippet, link back to the original article, and add your own commentary about it).

7 Elements of a Branding Campaign

Branding campaigns are on-going efforts – not something you’ll set up once and then abandon once it’s done. You want to evolve with whatever social web 2.0 sites get launched, and remain aware of where your target audience can be found.