Welcome to “5 Questions With,” a new series from Bella Domain Media. This interview style post will be published every other month and I’m so excited to bring you the very first interview!
During my travels and throughout my career, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the smartest, talented and inspiring people, and Maria Ross of Red Slice, is one of my favorites. I met her about 3 years ago on the way to a networking lunch when we started chatting each other up in the elevator. We became biz collaborators and friends and I hope you enjoy this fun and candid interview with her. She has a great brand story herself and I’m certain you’ll even pick up a few tips about defining your own brand promise.
And please don’t forget to enter the raffle at the end of this post to win a copy of Maria’s first book, “Branding Basics for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget.”
1. If there were “one thing” that most people don’t get about branding, what would that one thing be?
Most people fail to see that branding is much more than just a logo. Your brand is the impression you want your business to have, the essence or core of what you’re all about. What do you want people to think or associate with you when they see your name or logo? Saks Fifth Avenue and Walmart have very different brands, focused on different strengths targeted to different audiences. If you think of it more like “reputation” you’ll be much closer to understanding what brand truly encompasses.
2. What does someone need to understand to do branding well?
They need to understand that brand is communicated in more ways than just visually. Brand is conveyed in three important ways: visually, verbally and experientially. People always tend to think of the logo or colors or packaging, which is just the visual component. You also have opportunities to communicate your brand verbally, through your messaging, the tone of your copy or even your elevator pitch. And then, where the rubber hits the road, experientially. Now that you’ve promised me a certain brand visually and verbally, do you deliver? What is actually like to do business with you and does it align to what I’ve been promised?
3. Of all the information you shared, what is most important?
Brand is more than just your logo. It’s not just how you look, but what you say and what it’s like to do business with you.
4. Was there ever a moment when you had an “aha!” around branding your own business and suddenly it all made sense? If so, will you share this with us?
Sure…I initially had trouble combining all my passions under one brand umbrella: marketing expert, writer, actress. But then I simply did what I do for my clients and found the overarching theme that ties all those interests together, which for me is storytelling. I refocused my brand to be more about storytelling, whether for a client’s business, on the page or on the stage and suddenly, I was able to speak to more aspects and resonate with people in a very unique and differentiated way!
5. When you picture how all this information fits together, what comes to mind?
As mentioned above, my brand is evolving beyond just business and marketing topics to be one of telling impactful stories. I’m still serving entrepreneurs, rock stars, and change makers - essentially, people on a mission to act – but with a slight spin on content and offerings. To me branding IS storytelling, and you can’t be a good brand strategist if you can’t unearth good stories! So beyond just pure business topics, Red Slice is all about “stories, advice & strategies to ignite your brand & delight your mind.” It’s not just about a business’ brand but what can ignite the soul of the person behind that brand? I strive to create content that educates and motivates these go-getters to craft their own irresistible story in order to reach their goals. Whether that’s launching a new business, writing the epic novel or amplifying a cause, it’s all about helping them believe in and find their own irresistible story!
Thanks so much, Maria!
To win a copy of Maria’s excellent book enter the raffle and then just click to Tweet to receive a few extra entries. Drawing starts Fri, Sept 20, 2013! (Winner will be announced before noon on Fri, Sept 27th.)
About Maria Ross:
Maria is a consultant, author and speaker who believes cash flow and creativity are not mutually exclusive. As chief brand strategist and creator of Red Slice, she blogs weekly and advises start-ups, solopreneurs and small to midsize growth companies on how to craft irresistible brands. Maria is the author of Branding Basics for Small Business and her humorous and heartfelt memoir Rebooting My Brain. Spark a conversation with Maria @redslice or join her Facebook tribe at www.facebook.com/redslice.
BTW, you can get help with your own brand via Maria’s Brand Bootcamp just by clicking the image below. Check it out — she really knows her stuff!Read More
Did you know I offer a personalized, 2 hr one-on-one learning session for job seekers, career climbers or business owners looking to elevate their use of LinkedIn® for career management or business growth? Were you aware that what you do or don’t do, and what you have to say or share on LinkedIn are equally important? Yes, both are true!
During our session, I’ll take you on a deep dive into your LinkedIn profile as well as your current footprint on LinkedIn in general. I’ll show you ways to capitalize on LinkedIn’s functionality to demonstrate your expertise on your LinkedIn profile. And then we’ll review the many ways you can generate leads, exposure and interest via your overall presence on this powerful social networking tool (including groups). The session will be fun and relevant to your industry or specific goals. For example, maybe you want to move into a different industry or switch your target market? Well, I can help you polish and shift your brand on LinkedIn to support that.
Need a nudge? Please read these:
“My session with Sandy was invaluable at improving and completing my LinkedIn profile. She showed me how to tailor LinkedIn to my personal preferences and professional goals. I really enjoyed her hands-on approach and we worked on updates and edits during the session as she taught me about all the services LinkedIn provides. She has a wealth of knowledge in how to optimize LinkedIn!”
- Jean Santullo, Adjunct Faculty, College of Graduate and Professional Studies at John F. Kennedy University
“The two hours I spent with Sandy discussing my objectives and reviewing my LinkedIn profile were the best, most cost-effective two hours I’ve spent in a long time! Not only is Sandy an expert at virtually every aspect of LinkedIn, but also she makes the entire process fun and enjoyable. What’s more, since I’ve made the changes Sandy suggested, I have seen an increase in both the quality and quantity of my business leads. That’s ROI defined.”
-Emily C, Communications pro, small biz owner
“Sandy’s in-depth knowledge and perspective of LinkedIn is outstanding! As a consultant, Sandy helped me improve my LinkedIn profile in a thoughtful, appealing and SEO-friendly way. Sandy excels in leading you to fresh insights regarding your real goals, interests, and skills, and how to best present them using LinkedIn’s tools. Thank you, Sandy for all your knowledge and expertise!”
-Leslie Nathan, job seeker
Appointments became available starting Mon, March 11, 2013 and continue to fill up fast, so don’t wait! Why not jumpstart your spring and get serious about achieving your goals this year by maximizing your presence on LinkedIn this month?
Note: All sessions are typically conducted via Skype, Google+ Hangout or in Emeryville, CA. (Non-refundable if less than 48 hours notice of cancellation, otherwise, 50% refund.) This training is offered in a mutually convenient location to those in the SF Bay Area or as a phone or Skype/Google+ hangout session for only $279.
This year, take advantage of a 20% discount on all one-on-one and group LinkedIn for Career or Business trainings.
Here’s how to get your 20% discount:
All you need to do is complete my Contact form on Monday, Nov 26, 2012 with which training you’re interested in (some examples below) and you’ll save 20% off any of the 1-on-1 or group trainings I offer. It’s that easy!
Don’t put off getting some expert help on how to maximize your presence on (and use of) LinkedIn so you’re ready for an ah-mazing 2013!
Personalized LinkedIn trainings available:
•An in-person, 2 hour, customized session for a group or team of up to twenty-five (25) people is available (submit PAYMENT INFO HERE).
•I also offer a 2 hour personalized one-on-one session for job seekers, career climbers or business owners looking to elevate their use LinkedIn for career management or business growth. This training is offered in a mutual convenient location to those in the SF Bay Area or as a phone or Skype session at $149.
Leveraging LinkedIn…Beyond the Basics: I can deliver a webinar that includes sixty minutes of customized training for the people on your team already using LinkedIn at a beginner or intermediate level, and now would like to take their use of this powerful professional (not simply social) networking tool beyond the basics.
During a live webinar, we’ll review 20+ slides and do some live searches within LinkedIn that are sure to spark a few new ideas and then have a brief Q&A at the end. Fee: $49/attendee, includes a link to a handy and downloadable LinkedIn checklist.
Feedback worth sharing:
“Sandy’s in-depth knowledge and perspective of LinkedIn is outstanding! As a consultant, Sandy helped me improve my LinkedIn profile in a thoughtful, appealing and SEO-friendly way. Sandy excels in leading you to fresh insights regarding your real goals, interests, and skills, and how to best present them using LinkedIn’s tools…”
- Leslie N., job seeker
“Due to Sandy’s knowledge-base and integrity, I invited her to participate as an Expert at my Virtual Summit for Women. She was a diligent presenter who articulated the content beautifully and provided incredible value. Sandy presented on “Leveraging LinkedIn: Getting the Most Out of this Powerful Professional Networking Tool.” As a result of what Sandy taught, I made over half a dozen changes to my LinkedIn profile… and I’m seeing the positive results!”
- Suzanne D., entrepreneur
Note: All prices increase Jan 1, 2013, so be sure to take advantage of this super Cyber Monday Offer on Nov 26th!Read More
Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we now have Small Business Saturday. Started in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. The effort helps drive sales to small businesses on one of the busiest holiday shopping weekends of the year.
Along with American Express, Small Business Saturday is supported by a bunch of advocacy groups, political officials and corporations throughout the US. This year, my small biz, Bella Domain Media, is getting in on the promotion of this special day and has become a strong supporter of Small Business Saturday by participating with a special offer. Here’s the deal:
So, don’t put off any prep you can do to be ready for an amazing 2013 and let’s all participate and support ALL small business on Saturday, November 24th.
Does your brand need some love? Are you hoping to have a strategic plan for your biz in 2013?
My friend, affiliate partner, and frequent collaborator, Maria Ross of Red Slice, has introduced an exciting follow-up to her popular book, Branding Basics for Small Business. Just this week she rolled out a new Indie Brand Bootcamp program you can follow at your own pace and on your own time table!
I can just hear some of you saying, “Now that’s exactly what I need! I don’t have time for an in-person class or a weekly conference call, but I know I need to give my brand a boost.”
Well, Maria’s program will give you the focus, clarity and confidence you want (and need!) to make the right brand moves and boost your results. Plus, you can do it from the comfort of your own office. Or coffee shop. Or sandy beach (as long as you can tap into some WiFi). And at your own lightning fast or blissfully calm pace. It’s even been featured on Forbes!
I’ve worked on a few projects with her and she REALLY knows her stuff. I highly recommend! Click the image below or HERE to view more details and meet Maria.Read More