How to Start Promoting & Marketing Your Brand Like A True Pro

Brand Awareness, brand management, brand publishing, brand reputation, branded content, Fitness Marketing, market research, marketing demographics, Marketing in the Moment, marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, word of mouth campaigns

Watch this short tutorial on the three no BS things you must continually do to grow your business.

Most small businesses have a limited budget for marketing and advertising and need to better understand where their promotional dollars will be well-spent.
  • Will targeted Facebook ads bring in new memberships or subscriptions?
  • How about creative outdoor advertising?
  • Maybe collaborating with micro-influencers?
  • Partnering with other neighboring businesses?
  • Try a refer a friend email campaign with a promotional offer for each friend who signs up? Should we invest in a new service, like a juice bar?
  • A direct mailer with a big seasonal discount?
An ongoing approach to market research is the beginning of a blueprint for growth for a business owner and it serves two main purposes.
1. It helps the business become more competitive.
2. It will assist in building a more profitable brand.
Good market research should also tell you (if you are open-minded) what services your customers and clients are not happy with, what needs improvement and what you should be offering that you are not.
Do you have questions about building your business? Drop me a line at hello@mj.works or comment below.

How to Build A Brand from Scratch

Blogging, brand reputation, branded content, building brand trust, code of conduct, content writing, entepreneur, Guiding Principles for Success, Marketing Strategy, website design
When building brand awareness, aim for collaboration over self-promotion.
When building a brand voice, shoot for sincerity over originality.
Worry less about being authentic and more about being honest and sincere.
Monday Motivation

Building Brand Awareness for Health, Food & Fitness Startups

Brand Awareness, branded content, Content strategy, entepreneur, instagram, Key Messaging and Talking Points, LinkedIn, madeline johnson, Press Kits, Star Powered PR, Uncatergorized

Note to reader: I have included examples of digital press kits and timely news angles in this article that you can download. They may be helpful for you as you build out your stories to share with top tier media and influencers.

Examples from the Front Lines of Digital Marketing

One of the reasons I continue working with startups and emerging entrepreneurs is because it keeps my ear to the ground and in touch with the true pain points and biggest challenges that many new brands struggle with when it comes to marketing and promoting their products and services. The obstacles they face become my opportunity to help.

Case Study #1  – The More They Burn, The Better They Learn

GettyImages-626964604-1024x683

Matt Gardner is a physical education teacher and health and wellness professional speaker from Novato, California. Championing kids to be more active and healthy on a daily basis, Matt has created PEbyDesign,, a program to help elementary school teachers get their students moving in the classroom for at least 60 minutes a day (a requirement from most states and the federal government).

I have been helping Matt build his side hustle, working with him on everything from his website user experience to building his own authentic voice while creating his digital press kit and all of his social media platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Right now I am conducting one-hour consulting calls with Matt and screen sharing video web chats with him to help him build out his social media strategy.

Case Study #2 –  The Best Place For a Financial Wellness Check up

financial Wellness

The best place to start your financial future and an empowering tool for financial wellness, I have helped R.J. Irving, a former Morgan Stanley advisor launch this SaaS platform to help Millennials understand how much to allocate to their 401K savings, health plans, and rainy day, emergency accounts. I created his digital marketing decks and press kit and scheduled and executed his strategy for Twitter and LinkedIn.

A sample of marketing collateral and digital press releases in a downloadable PDF file here Melius General Presentation-2.

Case Study #3 – Celebrating The Millennial Home Buyers Journey

home

Hearth & Beam’s creator Kyle Rothschild hired me to write his digital press kit, timely news stories, and social media strategy.  Hearth & Beam was created to document and share everything that makes a house a true home.

Hearth & Beam’s downloadable digital press kit here. A writing example of a creator profile Kyle Rothschild, HearthandBeam.com,

An example of FAQ’s for the media and influencers here HearthandBeam.com Media FAQs

My fact sheet writing sample here Hearth and Beam Fact Sheet

And timely and newsworthy story angles here HearthandBeam.com News Stories

Case Study # 3 – Artisanal Gourmet & Organic Condiments 

Horseradish-Mustard-1

Brown Dog Fancy is the purveyor of artisanal gourmet mustard.  Made from organic ingredients and sold online and in stores, I helped the owners of this condiment brand with their marketing collateral, digital press kits and social media strategy for #HowIFancy

Here are examples of a healthy food digital press release that I wrote for Brown Dog Fancy to share their story Brown Dog Fancy Story

Here, timely, news angles and ideas for reporters and influencers Brown Dog Fancy Story Suggestions

More writing samples including answers to media FAQ’s Brown Dog Frequently Asked Questions  and more indepth information about the founders behind the brand Brown Dog Fancy Creators

Two Smart Tips for Better Blogging

Blogging, branded content, Content management, Content strategy, Cool Branding

Watch this short video to learn two tips for creating more followers and engagement. Blogging and VLogging tips from The PR Playbook, your essential guide to growing your online brand.

1. 80% of your content will come from 20% of your posts or videos. Create more of what people what to read, watch and share.

2. Creating helpful resource articles out perform anything that you are trying to create to go “viral”.

If you find these tips helpful, please subscribe. If you need help with your personal brand or business, send me a tweet @marketcouncil or email me m.johnson@themarketcouncil.com

An Easy Guide to Creating a Consistent Brand Experience That Builds Trust & Loyalty

Brand Awareness, brand management, brand newsletters and magazines, brand publishing, brand reputation, branded content, branding on mobile phones, building brand trust, Integrated public relations plan, Uncatergorized

Your website and social media channels are your most visible brand statement to the world and every single page of your online branding should be as consistent as possible.

Your Brand Checklist for Social

Your logo, brand colors, tag line, mission statement, bio/profile, high quality visuals and contact information should be the same on each platform you use.

Why Consistency is so Important

People value consistency which in turn creates accountability. Consistency will also establish your reputation and make you and your brand that much more relevant. Being consistent builds trust with future clients, customers and colleagues and enforces your message.

How to Be Consistent

Be consistent in how you display yourself and your company on each website platform and consistently share information that is helpful, resourceful and useful.

This post is targeted to experts and creators in the fitness, organic beauty, health, wellness, nutrition, spa and medical industries. However the rules apply for all markets and all startups. 

As of March 2016 your essential brand platform list includes:

Your Website and a Vlog/Blog along with the following popular social media platforms where you will create brand awareness about your services and products. I recommend WordPress for both. WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. But in non-geek speak, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.

facebook Facebook  The user profile according to 2015 Pew Research –66% Men 77% Women.  87% 18-29 years of age and 63% 50-64 yrs of age. However, you can really target your posts and promotional offers by age, interests and location with Facebook ads if you have budgeted for them. 

Instagram Instagram 22% Men 29% Women.  53% 18-29  years of age and 11% 50-64 yrs of age. As of March 2016 the posts with the most Instagram engagement have long form (five to seven sentences with about five #hashtags). Instagrammers want to know about the backstory  behind your photo and video so bring your emotional side along for the ride. 

youtube YouTube Distribution of video by content includes female dominated categories – makeup and beauty, skin and nail care & weight loss. Male dominated video includes soccer, strategy games, X Box and basketball.

YouTube tutorials and brand announcements may seem daunting at first so spend some time in front of the camera to become more aware of how you look and sound. Practice before you upload. You can also share inspirational videos on your channel if YouTube’s not for you. 

linkiedin LinkedIn A great way to network for B2B (business-to-business) services, a premiere subscription (not the free version) will have you connecting without having done business before. You can also publish your helpful and resourceful information to Pulse, LinkedIn’s blog.  Stats as of 3/2016 28% Men 27% Women.  31% 30-49 yrs of age.  30% 50-64  yrs of age. 

google +Google + This was Google’s way of keeping up with communities on Facebook and Twitter, but it never really got off the ground. Most use it to help with SEO (search engine optimization) 74% Men 26% Women 55% from the US. Read this for more on why Google Plus is not “dead”. 

Pinterest Pinterest  Be sure to link your posts, videos and favorite content from your own website and vlog as well. Boards are a collection of inspiration for you to review and to share with your community. 13% Men 42% Women 34% between 18 -29

Twitter Twitter While there is talk of this platform dying (read this New Yorker article) there are still hundreds of millions of dedicated users. 24% Men 21% Women 37% 18-29 and 12% 50-64

& possibly . . . think second phase of your growth . . .

snapchat SnapChat 70% Men 30% Women 71% are 25 and younger. Right now it looks like SnapChat is a pre-teen to teen social media platform but those in the industry like #askgaryvee think this platform will begin to be used by those 40 plus. All big media now have a channel. 

Tumblr Tumblr is a very visual platform and used by fashion designers, artists and photographers10% of all internet users are on Tumblr – 11% women 10% men. In the future, future possibly Periscope, yet another platform that enables you to “go live” via your mobile device anytime and anywhere. (If you are already on all of the other social platforms than I recommend getting on Periscope now because it is so new.)

As an expert it would also be smart to answer questions on Quora and to dig into conversations on Reddit for future blog and vlog content inspiration.

Follow the Leaders If you are looking for inspiration, check out . . .

I do consult with small brands and start ups, so please email me at m.johnson@themarketcouncil.com with questions or to schedule an appointment.

When to begin Branding? Startup Marketing 101

Brand Awareness, brand management, brand reputation, branded content, building brand trust, Marketing in the Moment, marketing plans, start up marketing

I am working on launching an online class called “The Market Sessions” this fall (Sept 2016) where I will share the most efficient and critical strategies for startup growth & success. Follow this blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel here for updates.

One of the first questions I get from owners and founders of startups and small businesses is “when should I begin branding and marketing my business?” In this short teaser video, I include a brief overview of how and when to start promoting your product or service.

Recommendations include

  • Beginning with a brand name and well a vision/mission and a brand guidelines map for media and strategic partners.
  • A strong Icon that can be used when you grow globally.
  • How to market before you actually manufacturer and/or launch.
  • Taking pre-orders to test the market and help fund the future of your business.
  • Once you start selling, continually checking reviews on Amazon, Yelp, Ebay – where ever customers are talking about you.
  • Marketing IRL(in real life) matters just as much as social media. Make sure you are attending and networking at all important events.
  • How user testing will help improve your website conversion.
  • and why it’s important to stay organized along the way.

Please feel free to email me at m.johnson@themarketcouncil.com or tweet me @marketcouncil with your most challenging marketing or branding question.

Best Practices for Brand Publishing Part 1

Brand Awareness, brand publishing, branded content, editorial know how, reputation management, the future of branding

brand-journalism-typewriterYes you can write, film, photograph and post on your blog or you can do something even more exciting and valuable- like start a movement, a community, a tribe that will take on a life of its own while creating a place with a reason for fans to come back – think American Express Open Forum.

Even more beneficial for you and for your brand, this new community hangout will turn into a lab for market research, trouble shooter for complaints and a discover place for service/product problems as well as a potential loyalty builder.

shutterstock_110730098While your brand’s content – blog, video, photographs will be created to acquire potential new customers, it is not a direct convertor of customers or sales leads. Your brand’s blog should be created to build familiarity about your products and trust with your customers. The content you create must be exceptional, inspirational, unique and credible.

The criteria for your content . . .

  1. . . .to be of service to those customers and clients you work with or want to work with in the future.
  2. . . .should help to create customer and client confidence in your services and products.
  3. . . .will connect with those who need/want what you’ve got.
  4. . . . consistently respond to the most frequent questions that customers/clients are asking.
  5. . . .will encourage customers and clients to share their thoughts and questions.

Distributing your brand’s content

Not as specific as a Facebook campaign when it comes to demographics and geographics, services like Outbrain will help to drive organic traffic, supply analytics and help target geographically.

Competitors like Taboola  started out by considering how people consume content and the patterns they follow as they search the web for things they didn’t even know they were looking for in the first place. Taboola will help build your brand blog audience by recommending your content on websites like Time, USA Today, TMZ and Cracked.

Native advertising is the placement of branded content in the content feed of a publication. The placement is matched to the layout of the site but clearly labeled as an advertiser-promoted article. Examples of native ads are Promoted Tweets on Twitter and Sponsored Stories on Facebook.

The trick is to have your shared content be contextually relevant. Delivering information at the exact time that is relevant to what a customer is currently reading and or watching. A leader in native advertising, Nativo  claims they’ve nailed contextual relevance.