PivotPath

[Infographic] Branding Woes: How to Pivot, Tackle and Excel

Over the weekend – (aren’t you glad it’s Monday?!) I’ve had eight conversations about personal and business brand marketing. Many young professionals like myself are slowly but surely redefining themselves, discovering the hidden talents and passions we now refuse to tuck away from the world.

“Find a good job that makes good money and stick to it!”… Thanks for the advice, Mom – but Why?

We no longer live in a time where you must choose one career path with the sole motivation of monetary gains. With the world more interconnected than ever, professionals are rediscovering their paths, and rebranding their identities to do what gives them an element money can’t entirely provide: A sense of Purpose.

Now, I won’t go on a tangent about money-motivation or the psychology behind the state of “Purpose” (unless you’ve got an extra 30 minutes to spare). However, I do want to touch on 3 key ways to define or redefine your personal or business brand. Whether you’re an existing business owner, nonprofit founder, or an aspiring entrepreneur, take a journey with me on how 3 steps to strategically position and market your brand.

To commence the redefining stages, you must have an understanding of Marketing 101 (or at least Marketing 99C).

Ask what marketing is and most people will say it advertises a business or service: It sells things.

Marketing sells things. That is true. Advertisers can spend millions of dollars trying to overcome the fatigue with evermore flashy campaigns, but it’s futile if it feels inauthentic.

To overcome this, we need to rethink marketing. What is marketing, beyond traditional advertisements?

Marketing is the art of persuasion, the spark of inspiration, and the connection between a company and the world.

Marketing is the language of engagement between your brand and your targeted audience. It tells a story. This brings us to the first element.

To commence the redefining stages, you must have an understanding of Marketing 101 (or at least Marketing 99C).

Ask what marketing is and most people will say it advertises a business or service.

It sells things. 

Marketing sells things. That is true. Advertisers can spend millions of dollars trying to overcome the fatigue with evermore flashy campaigns, but it’s futile if it feels inauthentic.

To overcome this, we need to rethink marketing. What is marketing, beyond traditional advertisements?

Marketing is the art of persuasion, the spark of inspiration, and the connection between a company and the world.

Marketing is the language of engagement between your brand and your targeted audience. It tells a story. This brings us to the first element.

Step 1 Discovery: Who are you reaching or trying to reach and why?

In order to market something people want, you must understand who they are and what they need. We start by carefully defining your target audience; the narrower the focus, the faster the growth.

Have you identified the problem you set out to solve? What motivated you along the way to perfecting your brand? There’s your master key. After you’ve determined your audience, you’ll be propelled to the next phase:

Step 2 Storytelling: Don’t create a pitch, tell a story

In the world of startups, pitches are essential to inviting funding opportunities from investors; but it is the power of storytelling that supercharges the pitch.

Crafting a message that translates your brand is essential to aligning with your targeted audience. The audience probably won’t remember your years of experience, your amazing accomplishments or other fun facts, but they will remember your story. They will remember the value your brand can potentially bring to them. That’s when you reel them in.

Step 3 Connection: How will you connect your content and drive action?

By humanizing your brand, people to want to learn more. Connect your customers with your “must have” products and service with a single call-to action. Embed this messaging in the resolution of your story. “Contact me for a consultation.” or “Learn more about our services” are just a few.

Discovery. Storytelling. Connection. Ready-Set-Go! Now it’s time to retain and grow. After giving your audience a reason to connect and consume, focus on creating loyal, passionate customers of your brand. Keep your CRM (customer relationship management) processes on point by keeping in contact with leads and prospects.

Emails (please not too many or your open rate might decline), events, phone calls, “thank you’s”, special offers, follow-ups, magic moments, and cards with a personal touch etc. that occur constantly and automatically at defined points in the pre-sales, sales and post-sales process. Bring back those dormant contacts and don’t stop showcasing the value you bring (or can bring) them.

Overwhelmed by the thoughts of the rebranding journey? Don’t freight! PivotPath brand development services are perfect for brands at any stage. Contact us today for a consultation on how we can help you!

PivotPath’s Women In Business Features: Marie Metzger

Michael Jordan, “I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.”

This week we feature another AMAZING #WomaninBusiness: Marie Metzger. Marie is the the Owner and CEO of Marie Metzger Agency, an insurance agency serving the Atlanta Metropolitan area. 

Becoming an entrepreneur takes courage, tenacity, and risk that is fueled by a greater goal and purpose. All business owners have a powerful story behind when/why they took the leap into entrepreneurship and that’s what keeps them going.

“While working for another insurance company, I realized just how important it was to educate consumers and build strong personal relationships with clients… So I took a leap of faith and opened my own insurance agency! I’ve been in business since 2014 and have grown my business into a million dollar book of business. I’m the middle of 6 children. My parents moved to the US from Sierra Leone in the 1970’s, living in Buffalo NY before moving to College Park, GA. I attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 2007 with a Sociology Degree.”

Marie Metzger, Owner/CEO of Marie Metzger Agency

As a small business owner, Marie Metzger has encountered a few challenges on her journey, especially in the realm of marketing and business development. PivotPath founder, Elizabeth Oke, asked her about these obstacles and ways she’s overcome(ing) them.

“Building a team and finding the right talent to fit the agency’s needs. Maintaining sustainable growth. In this business, new business growth is necessary and also a challenge.”

Marie Metzger, Owner/CEO of Marie Metzger Agency

[I’ve overcome the challenges of business growth by] embracing social media and educational vlogs. American Family Insurance (AMFAM) sends out a newsletter about trending topics for the industry, and annual review campaign for interacting with clients outside of. [This helps staying versed on popular trends for sales and marketing]. I also hired a Consulting company to assist with building my team and other outside marketing ideas and tools to think outside the box.

I’m constantly developing a CEO mindset: “Working on your business and in not your business”. This is the idea that as a business owner I try to spend my time generating leads, managing my team, focusing on the bigger picture and long term goals. Working on your business is planning for the future. Working in your business is doing the day to day routine things that usually can be delegated to a team member, like making a payment for example. Working in your business is planning for the today.

Marie Metzger, Owner/CEO of Marie Metzger Agency

Supporting small businesses and nonprofits is an act that acknowledges the tremendous risk and challenges that come from following your dream, pushing your creativity into a business, and starting your own your thing. PivotPath realizes these realities and serves as a median to alleviate these challenges by providing brand development, content management, and social media marketing services, customized to fit your specific budget. Contact us today for a consultation on how we can help you discover your audience and connect them to your Story.

PivotPath’s Women In Business Feature: Ajara Marie Bomah

Ajara Marie is a professional, business mogul and marketing executive with over 15 years of experience. She specializes in diaspora engagement and investment in Africa with a critical focus on women in business in Africa. She runs a boutique strategic communications agency that empowers African female entrepreneurs and individuals.

Ajara Marie helps her audience develop their brands and businesses to better position themselves for opportunities in their local and international markets. In addition to her career pursuit, she is a humanitarian working to change the lives of young people, especially girls in Africa. 

As the CEO of an established agency, Ajara Marie aids clients in building out their dreams of entrepreneurship and sharing their branding stories to their targeted audiences; however, she, too, has encountered a few obstacles as an entrepreneur. PivotPath founder, Elizabeth M’balu Oke, asked Ajara Marie about the two most challenging aspects of business, especially as a female entrepreneur in Africa.

Starting and growing a business as a female entrepreneur in a developing country isn’t easy. There are many challenges we face daily in trying to start and grow our brands and businesses. Over the years I have learned that this is part of business.

Two main challenges that most of us face as business owners are

1. Accessing funding to develop our businesses and

2. Finding and building networks and mentors.

Ajara Marie Bomah, CEO of Woman Mean Business

1. Access to funding

As entrepreneur, trying to get funding for business is hard. But, as a woman we are often sidelined more than our male counterparts.

Either we [women] don’t have the right information as to where funds are available or know the different types of funding. Also, some of us don’t know how to develop investment-ready portfolios and pitches. In addition, some of us don’t know how to manage money so that affects how we look at funding opportunities.

Ajara Marie Bomah, CEO of Woman Mean Business

Yes, people feel there is money available for female entrepreneurs. However, when you don’t have collateral to apply for loans, or the interest rate is so high and can’t be lowered, there is not much option. [You just have to] to try and manage with what you have. [Unfortunately], sometimes [this] takes up most of your time and you are unable to work on other aspects of the business.

Ajara Marie Bomah, CEO of Woman Mean Business

2. Finding a Business Mentor

Mentoring and support networks are very important. As a business woman, it is imperative to have one or the other.  

Women Mean Business’ #shemeansbusiness Brunch and Learn

Business is about making decisions and choices that can help in making your business succeed or fail. Therefore, having an experienced mentor who has been down this path before can be helpful in keeping you from making some of the same mistakes they may have made.

Unlike our male counterparts, female entrepreneurs find it difficult to get the right mentors. It took me years to find successful female entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone/Africa that inspire me and were willing to work with me. Being part of networks and organizations that empower females who are in business has also been helpful. So, there are quite a few Facebook groups and local networks that I am a part of that have been helpful.

Ajara Marie Bomah, CEO of Woman Mean Business

We then asked Ajara Marie how she has strategically and successfully overcome these challenges using a form of marketing to reach your targeted audience(s).

Leveraging on my networks to build relationships and building my digital media footprints.

I’m a connector and meet with different people all the time. I often times get great leads but either forget to reconnect or foster relationships with these people that I meet. I believe life is about building relationships and harnessing out networks. You have to be intentional about building business relationships and sharing opportunities with others. By doing so, you build genuine relationships where everyone benefits. Collaboration is also key and can open door for you; it’s also a great way to get business leads.

Ajara Marie Bomah, CEO of Woman Mean Business

I’m also a behind the scene type of person, so I do a lot in the background and tend not to share much about my what I do with the general populous. However, a few years back I realize that people were interested in knowing what I was doing and were inspired about my work. With that, I took strategic steps in putting myself out there and sharing some tips, experiences and things that I have been doing to reach where I’m out.

Ajara Marie Bomah, CEO of Woman Mean Business

“I took advantage of sharing my story on my social media links, digital magazines, collaborating with other to host events and programs.”

In this day of technology, having a digital media footprint is necessary. It can serve as your CV and a way for you to inspire others. I am very big on mentoring and this is another way that I can use my space to mentor others as well.  This has also given me the opportunity to connect with other powerful women doing great things across the world.

Ajara Marie Bomah, CEO of Woman Mean Business

Supporting small businesses and nonprofits is an act that acknowledges the tremendous risk and challenges that come from following your dream, pushing your creativity into a business, and starting your own your thing. PivotPath realizes these realities and serves as a median to alleviate these challenges by providing brand development, content management, and social media marketing services, customized to fit your specific budget. Contact us today for a free consultation on how we can help you discover your audience and connect them to your Story.

PivotPath’s #CharityFriday Features: Hello, My Name is King.

When you know your name, you should hang on to it, for unless it is noted down and remembered, it will die when you do.” Toni Morrison

This week, PivotPath’s #CharityFriday features an amazing nonprofit impacting global communities: Hello, My Name Is King (HMNK). The nonprofit’s mission is to empower men and boys of color to challenge themselves, break barriers, and make a difference.

HMNK’s vision is a positive global movement that serves as a learning and bonding experience for people of all races and backgrounds.

Time and time again nonprofit professionals state how marketing agencies don’t fit within their annual budget. Because of this, we asked HMNK’s talented and heart driven founder, Whitney Stovall, how she’s utilized marketing to spread her mission and connect her audience (and donors) to her story.

“We were born on social media, what started as an Instagram campaign grew into a nonprofit. Since then I’ve continued to use social media to spread our message and reach volunteers. In turn, a substantial percentage of our fundraising dollars, new partnerships, and supporters are people who’ve found us on social media.”

Whitney Stovall, Founder of Hello, My Name is King

Being confident in your organization’s direction is key to a successful marketing program. Organizations like HMNK has mastered The Art of Storytelling and connect with their audience in a way that resonates with them, creating loyal and passionate supporters, volunteers, and donors. For more information or to join the Hello My Name is King movement, visit hellomynameisking.org.

PivotPath’s #SmallBusinessWednesday Feature: FRNTAL

It’s that time again! For #SmallBusinessWednesday this week, we feature Frntal! Frntal is a simplistic peer-to-peer marketplace that allows users to quickly list and rent  event spaces & services locally, on demand.

The concept of Frntal was born with a “Friendly Rental” process in mind. The team is devoted to serving those who own high-demand event spaces & services by providing convenience for a short term renter needing a space fast!

When asked to identify TOP challenges of being a business owner, Frntal founders stated:

“This is a great question. A very common theme I think you will hear from most business owners is leveraging your time efficiently in a way that produces effective results. This sounds simple but there are so many components to it. For instance, prioritizing your action items while balancing the load within your team accordingly based on strengths, at times, comes with a dollar cost as well.”

“In our early stages, we initially only provided a mobile platform on iOS and quickly learned marketing to an iPhone-only audience was not as straightforward as we may have thought. When marketing, you’re reaching a wide audience group either in-person, social media, news outlets, and more. You’re not easily able to segment to just an iPhone audience. It appeared we were limiting ourselves by doing so.  We were able to overcome this challenge by implementing a web-platform that allows anyone with webaccess to use our platform regardless of their device. This approached retained more audiences who were interested in our platform.

An important lesson Frntal founders were taught is to understand analytics and traffic channels. By simply tracking where users are coming in from via Web analytics, they are able to track what marketing types have been most effective towards driving users to our website. This has give them insight to know where to spend more of their resources to continue to drive traffic.

To learn more about has Frntal and the services you might need, visit frntal.com.

PivotPath’s #SmallBusinessWednesday Feature: ActiveNP

To continue in the spirit of National Nurses’ Day, we feature ActiveNP for this week’s #SmallBusinessWednesday!

ActiveNP specializes in mobile and SEO-friendly websites, and online marketing for nurse practitioners and nurse entrepreneurs.  The company helps nurse entrepreneurs achieve and increase online visibility for their businesses. With this, they reach a greater audience and serve more patients.

As a nurse entrepreneur, you can:

  • Choose your own schedule to create a better work-life balance.
  • Be your own boss
  • Speak up about topics that are not typically acceptable within the healthcare setting.
  • Amplify your CONFIDENCE and INDEPENDENCE in your field

Nurse entrepreneurs and nurse practitioners (NP) who own their own practice not only benefit themselves. They are also helping the health industry by lowering healthcare costs. As a result, patients who have NPs as their primary care provider have fewer ER visits and shorter hospital stays. In addition, they also provide a great deal of patient education by participating in research, and serving as mentors.

Are you a nursing professional interested in working with ActiveNP to boost your business? Contact them today! Contact@activenp.com

Charity Friday Feature: Lift Up

This week, we highlight a nonprofit extremely dear to our hearts: Lift Up.

Lift Up is a nonprofit organization that allocates 100% of public donations away. Donors can choose which project 100% of their funds are allocated to, and see the impact their generosity makes around the world. Lift Up’s mission is to “Lift Up tangible projects with the greatest impact around the world”, with a vision of “[exist(ing)] to bring healing to a hurting world.

The organization caught our eye with its heart-felt storytelling and social media marketing. Lift Up uses Social media, Google AdWords and the hashtag #LiftUpFridays, a day where donors share and spread awareness of the organization’s impact, posting Lift Up’s swag on their personal pages. This marketing strategy not only helps spread the nonprofit’s societal impact, but also increases the viewership, followers, and enhanced branding.

Learn more about this amazing organization at weliftup.org!

Whether you have a large marketing budget and ample time on your hands, or are just doing the best with the resources you have,  we have several proven (and easily implemented) marketing tips that you can use to boost conversions, connect with your audience, and save you a pretty penny. 

Being confident in your organization’s direction is key to a successful marketing program no matter what your budget is. You have to start somewhere, right? With PivotPath’s help, you can take advantage of the open source tools and software in the market might just be a good starting point. Converted by your message, your client base will want to share what they’ve found.

PivotPath’s Women In Business Feature: Dr. Lexx Brown-James

PivotPath is honored to present the first Women In Business feature! Today, we shine a spotlight on Dr. Lexx Brown-James.

Dr. Brown-James is a certified sexuality educator and licensed marriage and family therapist. In St. Louis, MO she owns a private practice and contracts with various organizations regarding reproductive justice and accessible, comprehensive, intersectional, and anti-oppressive sexuality education. As an LMFT and CSE, she merges the educational and therapy worlds to help others find their way as sexuality professionals. As a professor at Widener University, she has had the pleasure of teaching budding sexologists, senior sexologists and various types of clinicians. Further, as a consultant, she has had the pleasure to educate counselors, educators, and therapists around the globe.

As a small business owner, Dr. Brown-James has encountered a few challenges on her journey, especially in the realm of marketing and business development. PivotPath founder, Elizabeth Oke, asked Dr. Brown-James about these obstacles and ways she’s overcome(ing) them.

A major challenge as a business owner is trusting others with my business. I get asked all the time by people who want to come in and work with clients or do something with sexuality and I struggle to relinquish any power over to them. A secondary challenge can be selling my skillset. There are times when people do not realize that sexuality is all encompassing and get caught up on just the first three letters of sexuality.

Dr. Lexx Brown-James

To overcome the first challenge, I strategically marketed for an intern regarding programs. This way I could share my business with someone and the more vulnerable part of my business ( my clientele) were not as risk, but we were able to create sex positive, inclusive programming. To overcome my second challenge, I started building referral bridges across diverse businesses through cold-emails, networking events, and word of mouth.

Dr. Lexx Brown-James

Supporting small businesses and nonprofits is an act that acknowledges the tremendous risk and challenges that come from following your dream, pushing your creativity into a business, and starting your own your thing. PivotPath realizes these realities and serves as a median to alleviate these challenges by providing brand development, content management, and social media marketing services, customized to fit your specific budget. Contact us today for a free consultation on how we can help you discover your audience and connect them to your Story.