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This business coaching episode explains how to implement effective branding strategies on a budget.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • 10 Branding Logos: 3) Email address and email signature
  • Action Step: Create a professional email address. (First and last name and company name) Example: JohnSmith@Thrive15.com
  • Lesson Nugget: Take control of the communication process in your business by having employees use specific company branded emails for each department.
  • Action Step: Create email addresses for departments, not individual employees. (Position@YourCompanyName.com) Example: Sales@Thrive15.com
  • Action Step: End each email address with the name of your company, rather than Gmail, Yahoo, etc. Example: CalebTaylor@Thrive15.com

-All right, number three, your email address and email signature. Why is this important to have high-level branding?

-It's a little bit hard for me. True story, I did a speaking event a while back and this guy says he's a new attorney. Said I'm a new attorney, I'm an attorney, I'm-- he's an attorney but he's new to this industry, the steel industry. Awesome, he said I'd love to work you. I've written a new book, I'd love to connect. And he says go ahead and email me, and it's something like crazyjeff@yahoo.com.

I'm not ripping Yahoo.com, not ripping Crazy Jeff. I'm sure there's a credible Jeff who uses a crazyjeff@yahoo.com email, but it was some email that was kind of weird. Or you'll meet a lady-- sweet lady, sweet guy-- you meet him at a networking event.

A lot of times at speaking events, I meet these people and they're like, hey, email me, I would love to work with you on your branding. And you're like, what's your email? And it's like, hotmama47@aol, and you're like what?

You don't want that. What you want is you want a professional email where it's like calebtaylor@thrive15.com or whatever it is.

-How important is it to have your company name after that @ sign and not @gmail.com?

-Well, in your case, it's not important all. In my case-- no, it's important. The thing is, is that if you're going to scale anything-- and this is probably a little bit deep-- but like if you-- QuikTrip's one of my favorite companies.

MAN: Yes.

-And at QuikTrip, when you have a customer service complaint, you don't email a specific person, you email customerservice@quiktrip.com. If you have a problem, you email HR-- human resources-- @ let's say, IBM.com.

You have to be thinking about your business this way, and so many small businesses do two crazy things. One is they give everybody their own individual email address.

MAN: That's crazy.

-So now customers are emailing these people while they're on vacation or they're gone or they got fired, whatever, and no one's responding. So now who's in control? You or the employees, if you give them all individual email addresses? And then the other problem is, is that there's no way to manage it and follow up, that kind of thing. But if it all goes into one centralized area, it's easier to manage.

-So how much money could this potentially cost? Do people make that judgment decision really right when they see your email?

-True, really crazy story. We'll say there's a man in an elective procedure industry who I know, and I said, "homes, that last girl you let go, have you been checking her emails?" "What do you mean?" "I mean, was her email set up at such and such @ yadda yadda.com-- your company-- or was it at her email?" A long awkward pause. "Well, I don't know." "Let's get in there."

I'm not exaggerating, hundreds of customer inquiries, which to him were worth half a million bucks.

-Wow.

-So this stuff-- just be serious about your business, take it seriously.

-So what do I need to do, though, to improve my emails? Is it the signage at the bottom of the email or is it just the email itself?

-The email address needs to have-- basically, you want to make it, if you're a small business, you want to make it for a department, so like sales@whatever the name of your company is .com.

-OK, so that's the first action.

-Human resources @ whatever the name of your company is .com.

-Action item number one, make sure that the departments are represented with each email, not necessarily individuals.

-Yes, and as you start to scale your business, get off of it as soon as it makes sense financially. It's like a buck a month, get people off of the Gmails and the Yahoos and get them into your company so it ends at yadda yadda .com. Don't end it @gmail.com, end it with your company name .com.

-So how important are the sign-offs, the signatures there at the bottom of the emails?

-That's really important because that can help-- emails get passed around. So be careful with that. Every once in a while I'll send an email that's pretty intense, and I'll let people know, if you share this, I hope you share it because I want people to know how poor of a job you did, so share this email, please.

But the problem is, if you write something nuts in your email, people will share that. What's also good is people share emails that are really, really powerful. So most big companies have a statement at the bottom that says you cannot share this information without the permission of Yoda, Moses, and Congress. They'll put that at the bottom.

-It's hard to get.

-They eat pizza together a lot of Thursdays, you can go and find them at the pizzeria in town. So they put the disclaimer at the bottom, that's big, and the other thing is if you put something like learn more about our new product by clicking here, then everyone who sees that email will learn about the new product or the new service. So it's almost like a newsletter on every email.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Lesson Nugget: Connect your email signature to credibility-boosting links so you can build perceived value for your business.
  • Action Step: Utilize your email signature so it reassures the value of your company with every interaction.
  • 10 Branding Levels: 4) Business cards
  • Ask Yourself: What is something that would make my business card memorable that is applicable to my business?
  • Lesson Nugget: Your first impression is vital to business relationships; the business card can solidify professionalism and allows for follow up.
  • Action Step: Create a business card that is readable, memorable, and professional.

-So do I need to include, I know for some of your sign offs, you have not only that information to link back to your company, but you have supporting evidence of things you've done in the past. Does that always need to be included or just needs to look professional?

-Yes. What you want to do on your email, is you want your email to be deal closer. So for example, you just met me at a conference, and I'm really impressed with your speech. You just gave a great talk and I'm pumped up. And I've decided to hire you to come speak to my group.

-OK.

-So I called you, and you said, hey I'm out of town I'm in Seattle. But, I look forward to talking you soon. Well if you sent that email, and at the bottom of it said, customers love-- or said like "Caleb Taylor and Associates, we get it done. But don't take my word for it. Click here to see what our customers have to say."

-Cool.

-If that's on your email or it says Caleb Taylor, winner of such and such an award. Every time you send an email I see the award, I see those testimonials, and it really does help build up the value in my overall perception, which is all branding is.

-Right.

-It builds up my perception. It puts that Tiffany box around me, and around you and you what you do, I begin to go, man this guy walks on water.

-So that's action item number 2 there, is makes sure that the signature there at the bottom of the email raises that perceived value of you and your company.

-Yeah, exactly.

OK, beautiful. Number 4 here is the business card.

-Business time.

-Have you seen some business cards that weren't really Tiffany box level there?

-Well, as I was stating earlier, the guy with the cards, I felt bad for him honestly. One card I thought was truly tremendous recently, was that the lady had had something on her cart. I don't want to be offensive and rely on cheap humor to be funny. But, she had had--

-[INAUDIBLE].

-No I'm not going to do it. But she honestly had taken, and I'll let you imagination run wild, she didn't mean to, but she messed up the spelling a word so she had a four letter word on every card. So it was just kind of like every single card was saying something awful to every single customer.

-That seems like a bad case scenario.

-I don't know if that's like an upset printer, who just was trying to like, "screw that lady". Or if was her, just being crazy. But I looked at it I was like [LAUGHS]. You know? [LAUGHS] And I have no maturity, so I was like having a hard time. Like, do you know the curse? And so you see that a lot. But more than anything, you see people have a card and it says yadda yadda at gmail.com. Their phone number, they're like, "oh my phone number's not right, let me go ahead and write in on here for you". They cross it off.

-So we have specific trainings on the business card, and you can go watch those. But from a broad perspective, how big of an impact can a professional business card have, versus a very unprofessional looking business card?

-Well, it's the first impression. So if I see you at a coffee shop, or I see you at a conference, all I'm going to do is what? Here's my card. If your card looks like a million bucks-- there was literally a guy I met in Colorado who has the metal card. My wife's here on set, I don't know if she remembers a metal card. It was a metal card, like cut out a metal.

-Wow.

-Sick. This thing was like about $0.70 per card he said. Unbelievable. You got it, and it felt like, wow, this guy just gave me like not $0.70, but it felt like it was like a big value.

-Right.

-You're going, if this guy's card is this awesome, how awesome is he? Well then you go to the website, and on his site-- it was called Blue Onion was the site. I'm bragging on the guy so I'm giving you his website, Blue Onion, based in Colorado, a web design firm. And you go on there, it says, "our designs are out of this world. Can you dig it?" And you click it, and this cranes like [WHIRRS] and lifts up and it's just like, oh, my mind melted.

-I love it.

-Seriously, it makes you want to do business with someone like that.

-I know you talk about, when you're working with your clients the business card needs to be readable, memorable, and professional.

-Now that guy nailed all of them.

-He did.

-Readable, he had it where you knew the name of his company right there. It was memorable, I'm like, a metal card, are you kidding me? It was professional. It was spelled right, things were accurately done. It made me want to find out more about him.

-So have you really seen cards that aren't readable?

-More cards are not readable than are readable. Again, in our office, every time we print cards, I am this close to banning email from my office, because it makes me nuts. Because it's like, "I approved it". Well, yeah, on your freaking screen that was this big, and your face was this close to it, and you zoomed in on Photoshop. But what you do is, you zoom in there, and you just hit print. You print the readable size in color, you look at it and you go, I can't even see that.

-Right

-Well then you're like yeah, you need to make it bigger. So you just need to make sure it's readable. OK? You gotta make sure it's memorable, where people are like wow.

-As far as memorable goes, you gave an example of a guy that was graphic designer you said? Websites. So if I'm a plumber--

-Dude

-As far as a plumber, construction guy, what if I say, yeah he does creative business, so that's easy for him to do something memorable. I'm a plumber.

-Dude, I would have a card in the shape of a toilet. I would do it. I would just own that.

-You would the purple cow.

-I would. I'll tell ya. There's a card, and I'm not even kidding, I would do that. If you're plumber steal that idea. There's so many plumbers on the site, actually. Some new subscribers, that are new thrivers that are plumbers. I'm pumped up for you, take that idea.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Definition Magician: One-sheet - A single document used in sales to attract the attention of buyers to a new product.
  • 10 Branding Levels: 5) Sales One-Sheet
  • Lesson Nugget: All benefits and key differentiators that make your product or service unique should fit onto one sheet of paper.
  • 8 Variables Every One-Sheet Should Include: 2) Social proof
  • 8 Variables Every One-Sheet Should Include: 1) Company logo
  • Lesson Nugget: As seen on CBS, CNN, ESPN, NBC, etc… Use media logos that have become an easily recognizable part of the culture.

[THEME MUSIC PLAYING]

-The idea that blew my mind recently? Jeffrey Gittomer. You've got to look this guy up. G-I-T-T-O-M-E-R. He's a marketing guy. He wrote the book called the little black book of this and the little black book of that. Little red book on sales. And he's awesome. His card is-- I want to steal this idea, it's so good-- it's like a baseball card. And on the back, it shows his weight--

-Oh, I love it.

-And his height. And he's not like an athlete, OK? Let me tell you-- his weight, his height. And then, like, awards he's won. And it shows his stats.

-That's cool.

-So like, his gross revenue this year, that year, that year. It's just sick. When you see the card, it's professional. It's memorable. It's readable. You're like, who is this guy?

-I love it.

-It's awesome.

-So what about this sales one-sheet? I'm sure there's some people out here that are watching that don't even know what a sales one-sheet is. So let's start there. What is a sales one-sheet?

-If you go into the world of retail sales, and you're going to go to market, you have to convince buyers to buy your products and put them in the stores. Let me try again. But if I have a product-- let's say I came up with this new product called S. Pellegrino.

-Ooh. That's fancy.

-So if I bought this, and you are a buyer for Walgreens, I have to convince you to buy all of these and to put them into Walgreens. It's kind of the middleman. Well, you're at the trade show and there's thousands of people walking around, all trying to sell products. All of us equally believe that our product is great.

-Right.

-The guy he's selling the back scratcher. Which is a real product you can get at Walgreens. It's a back scratcher. Then there's someone trying to sell this or someone trying to sell--

-So I'm talking to a lot of people.

-Yeah. And you've got to be able to quickly convey your message to buyers. So you want to have an 8 and 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper where you have all of your benefits all in one sheet of paper and everything that I need to know about what makes your company unique so that I can quickly decide whether I want to follow up with you. One sheet of paper.

-So you're telling me there's one sheet. It's not three sheets?

-Nope, not three sheets.

-The one sheet is one sheet?

-Yeah, it is. True.

-That's incredible. I know for your photography business that you own, I think that's one of the best one-sheets I've ever seen. And what we'll do is we'll jump through the different elements that need to be included in your one-sheet. But one of the biggest is that you compare, right? So you do this is what we offer. This is what other people offer.

-Now that comparison thing is something I didn't learn until the last couple years from some people. One of my mentors has sold $60 million of child products in stores all over the country. And when I talk to her about how she sold her products and stuff, she was explaining to me that she uses these one-sheets. And I'm like, what are these sheets? And I look at them and you just show on there-- this is how we compare with the other guys.

-I love it.

-And I love it because the customer's thinking it anyway. So in our photography business, we put "Our service includes unlimited time." The other guys, it's like, four to six hours. And we show like the industry standard is four to six hours. Our company gets it back to you in two weeks. Those guys, the industry average, is, like, two to three months.

-Three to five months.

-Three to five months. And we put it all on one sheet and the brides and grooms and customers look at it and they're like, well, I guess I do like a better experience. It makes it sort of easy.

-So we've already dove into one of these eight variables. But here are the eight variables that must be included on the one-sheet. So the first is the company logo. This probably shouldn't be too small.

-And again, you have that logo from the very beginning. We made that great logo.

-It was a great logo.

-Logo should be nice and readable.

-OK. Big, nice, readable logal. Logo, not a logal. Then you're going to need social proof so "as seen on." Why is this important?

-Most people buy because most people buy. And so it's sort of this weird deal because you have to get it going. We've had a lot of Thrivers recently who their friends are telling them about-- oh my gosh, Thrive is awesome. You should check it out. What is Thrive?

You don't know about Thrive? I've been on Thrive for some time, my friend. It is awesome. Well, they're like, if my awesome friend is on Thrive, I should also be on Thrive and it just sort of perpetuates. But eventually, at some point, you have to trace it back and it starts with no sales.

No one's on Thrive. No one is doing anything. So if you can get featured in the media and you can say as seen on NBC, people are like, it's on NBC. One really bad example about how this works in the hands of the dark side, there's a man I know, we'll just call him "the dude." And he ended up getting on a show where he was featured as this national, like-- you know, there's like the Top Chef, or the top business guy or the Undercover Boss, all these kinds of shows.

He wasn't on those shows but a show kind of like this-- national show. He tricked his way onto the show. So he ends up telling customers, look, I've been seen on this show. He'd never done anything his entire life in terms of real actual success. But he's like, I've been seen on the show such as--

-And that's all people need to hear.

-And he was able to just land major, major accounts. Now, he's very, very close to going to federal prison, which will be a neat place. He can say as seen in federal prison.

-That's nice.

-That'll be a fun one for him.

-That's cool.

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