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40 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2019 Branding A very painful lesson I learned is that the key to success is to laser focus on what you do. When I first launched the business, my list of services was extremely large and disconnect- ed. When I rebranded the business, the com- pany name, logo, and services were totally in sync and focused. The adage "you can't be all things to all people" is especially true in this case. Another painful lesson learned is that my personal likes and dislikes do not necessarily reflect what my customers like. Again, as with the logo, I would strongly suggest getting pro- fessional help from people whose job is to un- derstand your market and how your product or services fit in. Once your brand is created, it takes daily dil- igence to build your brand continuously. The biggest lesson to be learned here is that every single contact you have with a customer or po- tential customer is an opportunity to reinforce your brand. Your business card is a powerful tool that can make or break that first purchase order after an introduction. The mistake I first made was to cram my first business card with things that don't belong on a card and fill up both sides. That is the fastest way to get a po - tential customer to toss your card in the circu- lar file instead of adding it to their contacts. I took a minimalist approach with the rebrand- ed card that resulted in a simple, clean look with a blank back. Especially during large meetings and trade shows, people like to make notes on the back of business cards, and since the goal is to get someone to keep your card, this works. Website and Social Media In today's business environment, your web- site is often the first introduction to poten- tial customers. It needs to be simple, visually pleasing, and highly functional. In my case, functional means having all the pertinent con- tact information, a lot of content (articles, white papers, videos), e-commerce, and a call to action. My first website had some of these attributes, but the rebranded version has them all along with a fresh, clean look. Once again, my personal likes and dislikes in the original website proved to not to match my customers. You will be much happier if you step back and let the professionals do what they do. Social media is also a powerful lead-gener- ation and prospecting tool, and if used stra- tegically, can be much more effective than cold calling and knocking on individual doors. There still is a great value to knocking on doors, but that is one lead at a time. I personally don't have much use for Twitter and Facebook, but a tool like LinkedIn can put an article about your business in the hands of millions of profession- als with a single click. Some of the advanced features can target specific audiences by indus- try, company, title, etc., to focus your message even further. Constantly build your social me- dia pages and provide meaningful content spe- cific to your business. Believe me, this takes a concentrated and ongoing effort, but the pay- back is fast and lasting. Conclusion Overall, what I can offer is my most valu- able lesson learned in this transition. It doesn't matter how great your service or product is, if you can't reach your targeted audience with your message, it really doesn't matter. PCB007 Steve Williams is the president of The Right Approach Consulting. To read past columns or contact Williams, click here. ...as with the logo, I would strongly suggest getting professional help from people whose job is to understand your market and how your product or services fit in.

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