Tag Archive for 'connecting with customers'

Small business brands in the 21st century

There was a time when most people thought having a brand was just for big companies - you know, like the Nike swoosh. For years, I’ve been telling small businesses that they have a brand, too, maybe even more than one.

But for small businesses, our brands are less tangible. The thing that makes customers remember us is more about the experience they have with us, including the relationship they have with our employees, the way we customize our products and services to their individual requirements and, just maybe, the fact that we remember them every time they connect with us.  Yes, my friends, these are the critical, often intangible, elements of a small business brand.

Recently, on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked about the intangible, emotional, impressionable brand concept with long-time Brain Trust member and world-class brand expert,  Tom Asacker.  Tom reveals how your attitude about your business and behavior around customers is also part of your brand and what compels customers to do business with you - or not. You can find Tom, his many books on branding and his work at acleareye.com.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to this important conversation about what small business branding looks like in the 2nd decade of the 21st century. And, as always, be sure to leave your own thoughts.

Listen Live! Download, Too!

What is a blog anyway and why should small business care?

A blog is the contraction for web log; it’s a 21st century way to easily and inexpensively publish your ideas online. With a blog you can connect with others who read what you wrote, have a point of view or question and begin a “thread” of comments about that topic.

By this point on the social media time continuum, many people think that defining a blog is such an elementary task that it’s tantamount to describing a computer. Those same social media elites should know that here in the real world, where Main Street small businesses live, most people actually have many un-Tweeted thoughts.  But none of the foregoing diminishes the fact that small business owners should be connecting more online with their customers, present and future, and one of the best ways to do that is through a blog.

Small business owners typically don’t appreciate how much they are world-class experts on their industry and product applications, including what not to do. They also too often don’t realize how much their customers want and need to hear that kind of information.  And what about that “I can’t write” excuse? Well, it pains me to say that their customers would rather hear from a get-to-the-point person they know than from some smart-alecy wordsmith like me.  Then there is that “I don’t have time” excuse. Once your platform is set up, blogging doesn’t take much time, it costs virtually nothing and the ROI can be enormous.

Recently, on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked with a long-time member of my Brain Trust, Karen Cortell Reisman. In the two segments below we talk about blogs, how they work and what the value is for a small business. Karen is President of Speak For Yourself®and a world-class expert on customer communication. Take a few minutes to listen to our discussion and, as always, leave your comments.

What is a blog, anyway?: Listen Live! Download, Too!

What would a small business blog looks like: Listen Live! Download, Too!

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