Posts Tagged ‘Brand Strategy’

UB blog Help wantedA blog tends to be a very personal piece of writing, to many writers. A blog represents you, your identity and your expertise. If blogging is all you do then you can typically find the time to come up with enough posts daily, weekly and monthly. And while some people take pride in what they post on their blogs, others view it as a chore or a burden. To some, a blog is simply another way to get a message out there; a means to promote their business or brand.

The alternative choices. . .

Do you find yourself saying, “I have no idea what I am going to write about this week!” or “I haven’t written and posted a blog in over two weeks!” or “I have no time to commit to writing these blogs and I really don’t like to write.” If you feel overwhelmed writing your own blog there is always the option to hire someone to write your blog for you. I am biased with this as an option because it’s one of the services we offer. We can write your blog and we can post it for you. Another alternative is to ask someone to guest blog for you. More than likely there are plenty of people you know who could guest blog for you. Maybe you’ll decide to have a guest blogger once a month. If you only post two blogs per month half of your work would be done.

But who?

A few suggestions for you before you hang out your help wanted sign asking for guest bloggers.

Other Bloggers: Do you read other blogs that also talk about your area of expertise? You can ask these bloggers if they would be interested in guest blogging on your site. Most will immediately take you up on your offer because your blog gives them added exposure.  

Experts in your industry or field: Pick a few people you feel really know their stuff when it comes to your field.  I’m not suggesting going to your competition. But find someone you respect who also writes and communicates well.  

Employees: You may have an employee who writes well and who you trust with expert knowledge on a subject.  I will throw out one caveat to this suggestion. You have to decide if this takes your employee away from something more important, especially if it interferes with adding to your revenue stream.

One more benefit. . .

When you find someone to guest blog for you they will more than likely promote your blog on their website and other social channels. After you thank them for agreeing to write the blog let them know you are okay with them directing their fans and followers to the blog. In return you can share their sites too as part of your social campaign.

Help wanted!

If you think you’d be a good fit here and would like to be a guest blogger, let me know. I am always excited to share original content from passionate people.  

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Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlue Digital Media: A New Awakening for Brands, Businesses, Individuals and Agencies. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN)  in the Chicago Area. 

LOGO_onWhite_noTagMany of us might make the mistake and assume that our friends, family and connections know exactly what we do for a living. But how often have you heard someone say, “I didn’t know you do that!” You think to yourself, “How didn’t they know? I’ve told them more than once.” Without sounding like an annoying sales person, a friendly reminder will put you front of mind when they hear of a potential opportunity for you/your business. So here is my “friendly reminder” about what we do at ÜberBlue. Thank you for keeping us front of mind.

  • Brand Audit
  • Social Media Audit
  • Brand Strategy
  • Social Media Strategy/Plan
  • Social Media Personal Assistant
  • Blogging/Content
  • Website Content
  • Website Creation and Development
  • Landing Pages Programming & Development
  • Press Releases
  • eNewsletters
  • eMail Marketing
  • Video scripts
  • Video Production
  • Music Production/Original Music
  • PPC, Adwords, Remarketing Campaign Consulting
  • Email HTML
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Social Media/Digital Media Training and Development Sessions
  • Recruitment Audits
  • Graphic Design/Logos
  • Animation

Be sure to let people know what you do. With so many ways to spread the word you have no excuse. Choose now to remind people people so they will remember you.

When is the last time you heard, “I didn’t know you do that”?

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlue Digital Media: A New Awakening for Brands, Businesses, Individuals and Agencies. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN)  in the Chicago Area. 

Video CameraA few months ago I started shooting brief videos of entrepreneurs and business owners sharing some nuggets of information/advice that they felt would be helpful to other entrepreneurs and business owners. As they shared, I shot their responses in short-format, using the least amount of production time and equipment. The videos were minimally edited, to keep the flavor of the chat in a conversational mode with the idea that you (the viewer) are actually having coffee or a meal with the person in the video.

Why do I shoot these videos? Because it gives you, the viewer a reason to check back and see what’s new. This is an opportunity for you to learn something and to be inspired with information which can help you grow your business. It also gives me interesting content I can share. But the videos also represent who we are as a branding and social media agency. We are in the business of helping other businesses succeed.

Do you have an interest in shooting and uploading a video? The topic of your videos will naturally depend on who you are and what you do.

We don’t always have to make things complex when it comes to video. The KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid (or if you don’t like using the word stupid I suggest replacing it with “Sweetheart”) still applies in many scenarios. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give any thought to the topic, the audience and the desired outcome for the videos. I’m saying that the more complex you make the project, the more expensive and time consuming the project will be. This quite possibly will lead to your being less likely to shoot the video, .resulting in a failure to execute. Don’t fail to execute something that can be this simple.

Once you have the video edited and uploaded don’t forget to optimize the descriptions, tags, thumbnail and category. These are important items that many people forget when they upload their videos. This means they are missing out on the opportunity to “be found”. One other important step is to push the video out on all of your other social networks. You have the content. .  .use it.

Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlue Digital Media: A New Awakening for Brands, Businesses, Individuals and Agencies. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN)  in the Chicago Area. 

Dan Gershenson, Brand Strategist, ÜberBlue Digital Media talks about meeting with your client after they ask for you to, “tell us what you don’t like about our brand”, “what are we doing wrong” and also discuss their “weaknesses”. Dan says, “it’s like telling them that their baby is ugly”.

If you don’t tell them the truth you are doing them a disservice. Hopefully they will listen. But if they don’t even after you share what their vendors, clients, distributors and others are saying that is up to them. At that point the baby also has ugly parents.

Watch and listen as Dan describes it best. . . 

 

Remember this Seinfeld episode? 

 

Have you ever told a client they have an ugly baby?

 

 Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlue Digital Media: HELPing to CREATE a BRAND NEW Story for. . .Brands, Businesses and Agencies. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN)  in the Chicago Area. 

 

 

Last December I posted, “Does Endorsing Your Connection on LinkedIn have Value?

I have been thinking more about the LinkedIn Endorsement feature. Here is one additional thought. When you see that someone has just endorsed you, think about reaching out to them. This is an excellent time to give them a call or email them! You were just on their mind for one reason or another. Maybe they just saw one of your posts or perhaps they were in a meeting thinking about you or your business.

When you contact them, simply start by saying, “Thank you for the endorsement.” If this is one of your connections who you haven’t spoken with in a while, it’s the perfect time to find out what they’re doing/how’s business? It’s also a great time to update them on what’s new with you and your company. Where you take it from there is completely up to you.

Let me know how this works out. Did it lead to a mutually healthy conversation for both of your businesses?

 Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlue Digital Media: HELPing to CREATE a BRAND NEW Story for. . .Brands, Businesses and Agencies. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN)  in the Chicago Area. 

There are many web series out there. Some are well done, others are not, some are strategically planned, some are experiments, some are serious, some are funny and many represent an opportunity for a brand to shamelessly promote their product. I say “shamelessly” in a very positive way.  We have all been exposed to traditional product placement in movies and televisions shows. But you may not be aware of how some of these web series are taking advantage of placing their products. The web series offers your brand a chance to not only show off your product but simultaneously provides a platform to  engage your audience on a very personal level, get them involved, allow them to share the experience and may even let them be part of the show.

The various web series below show a mix of all the elements noted above.

I found the following “Interactive social film” last year and it’s one of my favorite examples of a series that was extremely well done.  Watch a few of the episodes and you will get a better idea of the concept. You can also visit the Facebook page by clicking  HERE to read a few of the comments. When it was being filmed, fans were also given the chance to submit auditions to be a part of the series.

The Beauty Inside. Episode 1: Hello My Name is Alex

Concept: “Alex is in his mid-twenties. He lives in Los Angeles. He restores antiques. And he’s a pretty normal guy. Except for one thing: Everyday he wakes up looking like someone else. And it’s been happening for as long as he can remember. Welcome to, The Beauty Inside. The Beauty Inside is an interactive social film, presented by Intel and Toshiba”. Courtesy of “The Beauty Inside” Facebook Page.

 

Here are a few that incorporate cars. . .

Ford’s Escape my Life

“Finding herself in need of a new car, wardrobe designer Skylar Browning learns from a friend about a Ford marketing program in which high-profile entertainment peeps can try out brand-new cars for free. Skylar meets the head of the program, John Vernon who seems quite eager to help out, but when she gets home with her new 2013 Ford Escape, Skylar is shocked to find that it comes with its own babysitter — a strange man named Barry”. Courtesy of “Ford’s Escape my Life YouTube Channel. On Facebook click HERE

 

Date Better with Sentra: Episode 1

“Meet Jeff and Felicia, two star-crossed lovers who are almost right for each other. If only Jeff could add some smooth to his pickup routine. Luckily, our suave narrator swoops in and name-drops the Nissan Sentra’s CVT transmission, which gets you to your destination as smoothly as possible.”  Courtesy of Nissan’s YouTube Channel. On Facebook click HERE

 

More Shameless Promotion. . .

Interested in learning more about how a web series can help you promote your brand? ÜberBlue Digital Media can help you with your strategy, concept, writing, production, promotion and distribution of your Web Series.  End of shameless promotion… Kind of. . .

What are your favorite Web Series and do they include a popular brand?  Feel free to also share a that you watch purely for enjoyment.

  Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Brand and Social Media Solutions for Brands, Businesses and Celebrities to build their social media success. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN)  in the Chicago Area. 

A friend emailed me today asking about an email he had received from LinkedIn.  The subject line read,   “Bob congratulations! You have one of the top 1% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012!” My friend asked, “Is this a good thing?”

Perhaps you also received a note of congratulations from LinkedIn, for being in the fortunate 1%, 5%, 10% or other %.

Here is how I answered Bob’s question. . .

“Hi Bob,

As for being in the 1% on LinkedIn the question is really how is that converting into business for you? Nice to be in the 1% if customers are buying something or if your firm is getting visibility that is translating to new customers. If you can attribute solid business growth to the 1% or any % on LinkedIn then that is a good thing. So the question for you is ….has LinkedIn done this for you or your firm?

Best regards,Erik”

What is your percentage and can you attribute direct business growth as it relates to your activity on LinkedIn? 

 Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions for Brands, Businesses and Celebrities to build their social media success. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN)  in the Chicago Area.

How often do you check to see what FREE tools or applications Google is offering to make your business more successful? What tools and apps do they offer for FREE that you might be able to use instead of others you are paying for from another vendor? If you aren’t checking regularly for these tools, you should begin doing so now. A few examples. . .

I was in a meeting the other day and we were talking about the new Google Maps app. We both commented that the turn by turn narration is fantastic and much better than having to look at the apple map app. True, this isn’t something new. “TomTom” and Garmin have been providing GPS for years. But the question you must ask yourself is, “Why pay for a separate device, when you have a free version from Google?” Are these vendors concerned that Google just took a big chunk of their business?

 

Let’s look at a few of the social media tools Google has available. 

Google + Hangouts. Better than Skype? Allowing you to add multiple people and its free. Skype makes you pay for a party of more than two. Sure it’s only $4.99 per month but why pay? Should Microsoft (Skype’s parent) be concerned? The track record for Skype’s ability to earn money hasn’t been all that great. Many people will still use Skype because they don’t have a G+ account and do not want one. Most people do have a Gmail account and getting the G+ account simply to use Hangouts is very easy.

Google: Social Analytics

If you have a website and you aren’t using analytics yet, you should be. You will learn quickly that you can see what, why and how people are finding you on the web.. There are other tools out there to use, but we are talking about Google’s FREE tools here. If you are already using Google Analytics, you may not be familiar yet with all of the functionality and reporting it offers beyond “how many visitors” you have.  Social Analytics for example, has the capability to provide you with the tools necessary to “measure the impact of social and tie it all back to your bottom line revenue through goals and conversions”.

 

Now anyone can argue pros and cons of free vs. paid tools. But Google is making it pretty easy to take a hard look at why you would want to pay for other tools. The more tools they make available for FREE, the more money you have, to spend elsewhere on getting your brand noticed. And let’s be honest here, Google controls two of the biggest search engines out there, Google and YouTube.  A pretty solid argument for figuring that a percentage of your expenditure is going to be with Google. You just need to determine how to get the most for your money.

Some scoff that Google has spent a lot of money on a variety of tools, products and apps only to dump them later.

 

Tennyson“I hold it true, whate’er befall;

I feel it, when I sorrow most;

‘Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all.”

[Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem “In Memoriam A.H.H. Section 27 (1850)]

Many of Google’s trial tools and apps have been successful and in return have driven millions of dollars in business their way.  Whether you love them or not the entrepreneurial spirit continues to be alive and well at Google.

If there is a tool we can recommend to our clients that’s FREE vs. paid you can be sure we will tell them about it. If the tool is optimal and FREE, the money the client saves can be spent on something else they may need for the campaign or they can simply bank it.

So what are your favorite Google tools, apps, and platforms that you use for business?

 Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions for Brands, Businesses and Celebrities to build their social media success. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN)  in the Chicago Area.

Some people think that members of a Polar Bear Club are among the bravest people in the world on a frigid, sub-zero January 1st morning. Yet others think this group of people is absolutely crazy to submit their bodies to such extremely cold temperatures!  Metaphorically speaking, countless people were ready to jump into the social media waters with both feet first, just a few years ago. And they did.  At the same time of course, others had severe reservations, one might say “cold feet” about braving the waters, never quite comfortable enough to take the plunge.

Where are you today with your social media strategy? Are you swimming in the frigid waters on January 1st, sitting this one out or getting ready to take the plunge?

In keeping with the theme of this post whether you are swimming in the shallow or the deep end you may want to consider a social media “swimming lesson”. I see a lot of frustrated people out there wondering why they originally took the plunge into the social media waters in the first place.  You might even be thinking that social media doesn’t need to be part of your overall brand strategy.  If this is your strategic position you may want to reconsider and ask yourself why you have arrived at this conclusion.

How would you complete the following sentence? Our social media strategy is working because. . .

  • we have ALWAYS done it this way.
  • that’s what our competitors are doing.
  • we are spending a lot of money.
  • I don’t really understand it so it must be working.

If you feel like you are drowning in a sea of social media despair now is the time to take a hard look at your strategy, tactics, resources and goals. The starting gun has already fired and others are in the pool ahead of you. You don’t have to be left standing on the starting block. Before you know it, 2013 will be down the lane and the race will be over.  You can sink or swim or simply sit this one out. The choice is yours. If you make the right choices you may become the greatest social media swimmer in the world.

And now an inspirational video. . .

 

If you are looking for another great post (Yes, I am biased but you will enjoy this one) as you think about your resolutions this year,   I encourage you to look at “Resolve That Nobody Steals Your Time” by our Brand Strategist, Dan Gershenson.  In addition to some amazingly relevant tips about your professional time Dan notes, “This year, I’m going to protect my professional time like nobody’s business.” Read on to see why we all need to do this if we intend to be successful this year!

 Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions for Brands, Businesses and Celebrities to build their social media success. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN)  in the Chicago Area.