Category Archive: marketing tips
So I got to thinking today that being a single mom has really helped me get serious about my business. Nothing teaches you quite how to juggle than being a single mama. So I’m feeling a little silly today and thought I’d share with you my 5 ways to market like a single mom. Hope it brings a smile to your face.
1. Be Frugal where it counts. What will it cost? In marketing and branding sometimes it’s OK to be cheap. I’ve seen it many times–someone is launching a new product and they NEED to get the word out YESTERDAY! So they spend 1/2 their marketing budget on a “no fail” seo package or a really slick postcard campaign. The only problem is…they didn’t do their research to see if their ideal market would even be interested. Doh! They jumped before thinking! Weigh all of your options before spending the majority of your marketing dollars in one place. The best/cheapest marketing is word of mouth and branding your business can really help with that! Plus give yourself a budget–and stick to it. If it’s too expensive right now it wasn’t meant to be.
2. Organize or be eaten alive. Between work, laundry, sports, school and grocery shopping, every mom knows that you better get your schedule in order or your life will eat you up and spit you out into a pile of unbrushed hair, toothpaste and pantyhose. So take a little advice from me:
So buy or make a calendar that is solely for the purpose of your branding & marketing strategy, write in any major events to come in the next 6 months, then write in any vacations, or personal events that may spring up and distract you. PLAN out 6 months of marketing and branding tasks (but be realistic in your expectations). Next set a deadline every week to do something meaningful for your brand and start ticking things off your list. It’s passe’ to spank yourself nowadays so if you do not meet these deadlines so just take away your favorite treat for a week. But don’t forget to reward yourself should you complete your tasks on time.
Next, Use Microsoft’s Sticky Notes and Notepad. If you have Windows 7 take advantage of the Sticky Notes and Notepad applications. Use Sticky Notes for ideas that pop-up mid-stream during your day. Then during the last 10 minutes of your day copy and paste that text into a Notepad document and save it in your “branding or marketing” folder on your computer. This can also be done easily with OneNote or Evernote.
3. Put on a little makeup, honey. Every single mom knows that just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you need to look like one. (Heck, you wanna be single forever?) So, while looks aren’t everything don’t forget to put your best foot forward. Spend a little on graphics–freshen up your website, dob a bit of “concealer” on the dark circles of your under-slept emails and slap some “lip-gloss” on your blog. Show the world you care enough about your business that you want to make her look her best.
4. Take a moment to breathe every day. Set aside a specific time every day to focus only on branding & marketing, even if you can only squeeze in 30 minutes. That way if ideas pop up during your day, you can simply jot them down and relegate them to that time of day when you have time to really process it. You will start looking forward to this special time of day like you would a relaxing candle-lit bath, well almost.
5. Build a support system. I will tell you first hand, as a single mom you do enough on your own if you’re going to survive you’ll need some help. The same is true in running a business. Things are a LOT easier with a support system, so get out there and make some friends. Find people who are like-minded and have a passion for success. They will be a shoulder to cry on and your biggest supporters when times are rough. They’ll even vouch for you and tell the world how wonderful you are, because, after all they know you really are THAT awesome. So start using Facebook, Twitter and other great networking opportunities to offer a hand to others and get some support when you need it too.
Ok that was fun. Let me know what you think–any other tips out there?
I remember when it really sank in for the first time. It was 2004 and my life coach, at the time, iterated to me words to live by, “You can’t control what other people do, or what happens around you; you can only control yourself and how your react.” This was one of the first times I truly felt empowered. No longer did I just look at hardships through victims eyes, but I could choose how to react in a given moment. As grand as this sounds, sometimes we’re not always in the frame of mind to react in the way we’d prefer. Nonetheless the responsibility for how we handle a given situation lies with us. This idea from the self-help community carries through to branding.
One thing is sure about life: it will constantly change. So how will your brand “react” when things change? You know those moments when Murphy’s law seems to be in overdrive: you’re late for a meeting, you spill coffee down your shirt, the babysitter calls and your son is sick and to top it off the guy in front of you is driving as if he honestly believes his car tops out at 35 mph! Or those moments in business: you’re just about to launch a product and your competitor launches the week before; or your product has been selling like hotcakes and then some company copies it and sells it for half price; or a recession (ehem) hits, your customers get scared and your sales drop all of the sudden! (Side note: that last one happened to my business, AMH Creative, that’s what prompted my brand re-evaluation and the eventual launch of Lucky 19!) When these hurdles hit you like whap in the face–how will your brand recover?
Staying on top when the unexpected happens involves some guesswork, guts and facing your inner strengths and weaknesses (hmmm, much like self-development). In order to feel secure in your position as a human being, or in this case, a brand you need to be self-aware. Building a secure brand foundation, knowing what makes it unique and what gives your brand staying power is much like sending your brand to a life coach. If you have already established your brand’s value, you already have a vantage point and some nifty tools, from which, you will be able to venture in the best direction and not just simply react to a given situation.
Hardships, challenges or changes in the market can be a real gift to the well-built brand. When the storm is brewing around you it does more good to look for the strength that lies within rather than the “dangers,” real or perceived, that lay outward. As in personal life, so much is a matter of perspective. Self-development can be the difference between falling apart and adapting. So branding development can be the same. If you have established your brand’s strengths and weaknesses you will be more prepared to circumvent doom. Consider that you can control your brand’s vision, mission and values, style, product or services, graphics, but you really have no control over your customers/clients, competition, trends, market, economy, etc. If you build your brand around the areas in which your brand excels it will be more likely to have longevity.
I encourage you, today, to make time to answer the questions below, about your brand. They really only comprise a simple jumping off point, but at least they’ll get you “thinking in the right direction.”
- What are the top three “selling points” of my brand (i.e. why the customer wants it)?
- Are any of these selling points based on factors that may change?
- What are my brand’s top three values (i.e. what it stands for)?
- Could those values change?
- If someone copied my service or product, what might be some worst case scenarios for salvaging or retaining my brand’s value?
- Is my brand unique enough to have staying power; can it stand the test of time? If so, how? If not, how can I improve it?
If you have a story about how you adapted your brand during a time of “hardship” please share it by leaving a comment.