One of our vendors recently mentioned how much they “LOVE” our brand.
She went on to point out how much it “appears to really irritate” our competition.
When I asked her to explain, she offered, “You know you are a success when (your competition) is jealous of your brand. You provide MORE of all the things they aspire to be . . . creative, authentic, trusted, experienced, dependable — you know — that air of excellence.”
I’ll take that as a compliment . . . although I never specifically intended to irritate anyone. Not sure if one would call that a “side benefit”?
What is your MORE . . . your
Magnificent Outstanding Reason for Existence?
Seven Actions for Creating a MORE Authentic Brand . . .
- Define your mission, vision and values. What is your WHY? What matters to you? What matters to your clients/customers? How do you help them? Within your answers lies the basis for your mission, vision and values.
- Recognize your brand personality. As a small business owner, you are the face of your company. It’s a “package deal.” How does your passion, talent and expertise better serve your tribe and grow a better business? What is it that ONLY YOU offer?
- Create a niche AND boundaries. Know your customer and understand why they need YOU. Offer them the relief they seek, but also know when to draw a line if they ask for far more than what they are willing to pay.
- Be YOU. Let your audience get to know you. Be real, share stories of success, vulnerability, and near-misses. Your vulnerability will feed the path of “Know, Like, Trust.”
- Create consistency. Keep your message consistent, and share on a consistent basis. Whether through your website, social media, speaking engagements, or networking events, consistency builds brand equity.
- Honor your commitments. This is a big one. Yes, it’s great to keep promises, meet deadlines and return phone calls and emails . . . but we’re also talking about honoring our commitments to ourselves, as business-owners. It’s great to put our clients first, but equally important to make time for “re-fueling” our own reservoir . . . be it taking a walk, watching a movie or sneaking in a nap on the weekends.
- Be the competition others want to emulate. As our vendor pointed out to me, “You know ‘you’ve made it’ when your competition either tries to imitate you and/or decides they don’t like you.” Not everyone will want to play in your sand-box. And that’s OK! Stay true to your mission, vision and values, and you’ll gain the respect from those who matter.
We Brand. We Design. We Publish.
We take your business to the next level.
Contact Cathy for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
No thank you.
Not gonna happen.
I’m busy right now.
Last week brought another opportunity for me to turn down an author’s request to work with us. Although the book may have had merit for a very small audience of aging “Mad Men,” it was not the type of book I could get behind and allow myself to support. As we are discussing the project, I pull the book up on Amazon, and I immediately KNOW my answer will be “NO.” My brain begins to circle around possible exit strategies as I hear the person on the other end of the phone continue to ramble about why we should help them rebrand and market their book.
Uh . . . No.
No thank you.
Not gonna happen.
It’s simply not a good fit.
I’m averaging about one of these opportunities a month, lately. As I get more comfortable with saying “No,” I’m also noticing an increase in the types of clients we LOVE to work with showing up out of “NO-where” (or is that NOW HERE?!).
connect people, create community and contribute to
an overall happy, healthy, heart-filled planet.
division, isolation and separation.
in with Davis Creative?
We help you navigate
your way out of the
In addition to the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, an often-violent protest culture in America, and a generation conflict, these teenagers had to cope with a very personal tragedy on the brink of the season. “Bull in the Ring” is the story of how football and their faith became a refuge for them then, and the place that season has held in the lives they went on to live. It is available in paperback and e-book via Amazon, at the Chesterfield Barnes & Nobel, and everywhere books are sold. You can also read Bill McClellan’s highly complimentary review here.
We Brand, We Design, We Publish.
We Take Your Business to the Next Level.
We help our clients look good, help more people,
and make a difference on a daily basis.
1. What is “Publishing Myopia”?
Also know as “shiny object syndrome”, Publishing Myopia happens when an author gets so excited about becoming a “published author” they lose sight of their priorities. Authors who fall prey to Publishing Myopia get caught up in completing the book, rather than maintaining a level of excellence . . . which ultimately undermines their brand. It becomes more important to be called a “published author” than to produce a high-quality book.
Never let budget be the excuse for publishing a less-than-optimal product. What I have found, is that every time an author cuts corners and hires their publishing team based upon price vs. experience, they get burned . . .
- They end up spending more $ in the long run than if they had hired professionals in the first place
- Their book shouts “self-published” and subliminally turns potential readers away
- Their overall sales suffer . . . no matter HOW MUCH marketing they do
- Readers who buy their book end up walking away with a tainted opinion of the author’s brand, and rarely send referrals their way
Save your brand and avoid Publishing Myopia by working with publishing professionals who come highly recommended and know what they are doing.
2. How does publishing a book affect my brand and my marketing?
Branding is WHY you do what you do.
Marketing is HOW you get your message out there.
Your brand is . . .
- the core-essence of who you are and what you stand for
- the foundation of all your VISUAL, VERBAL and VIRTUAL marketing messages
- much more than the basic essentials of logo, business card, website and social media
A published book now takes the place of the old, 3-panel brochure.
It “tells your story” of who, what, when, how, why you do what you do. Having a published book is a great way to expand your brand when you take the time to produce a quality book. If you are an entrepreneur or serviced professional in the business of helping others improve their lives, having a professionally published book solidifies your brand and becomes a great marketing tool for several reasons:
- Builds credibility
- Instills perceived value
- Grows your tribe
- Identifies your niche
- Increases recognition
- Develops JV partners
If your intent is to reflect a high-quality brand, then your book better be a high-quality production. If you cut corners just to be able to say you are a published author, it sends the message that you cut corners with your clients.
To learn more about industry standards for a professionally published book, check out this free download from the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) HERE.
My personal mission in life is to “create positive ripples”, and I’m always thrilled when I hear a story about how one of our designs or books has impacted people in positive way.
This past Saturday, I was giving a publishing workshop in STL, and I had my usual “free” items at the back of the room for those who wanted additional information. Included in the take-aways was a postcard printout of one of our UPSIdaisy.com designs . . .
During our mid-event break, one of the attendees approached me with one of these postcards, and shared the story of how he uses this card at work. As an Activities Director for a nursing home, he recently shared this card during a “poetry reading” exercise, assigning each font color to an attendee. They then took turns going around the circle, reading their “color” words out-loud. Many commented on the irony or appropriateness of the specific phrase they were asked to share. I LOVE IT!
Are you ready to create positive ripples in YOUR life?
If you are a “helper or healer”, a “mender or tender” . . . we can help.
If you are a life-coach, mentor, therapist, physician, educator, speaker, or other professional service provider, we help you establish a brand, build a following and learn to monetize your passion.
Are you ready to ignite your brand?
Our clients love what they do and have built successful brands around helping others. When you work with us to build your brand, we help you look good, get noticed (in a good way), and grow your business.
Contact Cathy about how to update your VISUAL, VERBAL and VIRTUAL brand messaging.
Are you ready to publish your book?
If you are in the business of helping others, let us help YOU share YOUR story. There is SO much more to self-publishing a book than ink on paper! Our clients reach out to us when they are ready to minimize their investment, maximize their return, and avoid self-publishing pitfalls.
We help you complete your book at YOUR pace — no matter where you are in the writing process — and your book will rival those produced by traditional publishers.
“It’s not how well your book sells . . .
It’s ALL about how well your book sells YOU!”
ARE YOU READY TO WRITE YOUR BOOK?
where you are in the writing process — and your book will
Saturday, March 3, 2018, for our workshop, “Self Publishing 101: Creating a Magnetic Brand through the Power of Publishing” at the Center for Spiritual Living, 12875 Fee Fee Rd, St. Louis 63146. No fee, but Love Offering welcome (proceeds benefit CSL)
Monday, March 12th, I will be speaking at Fred Miller’s monthly “No Sweat Public Speaking” Meet-Up at Medici Media Space. Register HERE.
This month’s LIFT profile highlights our client, Don Eggleston, founder of Mission Works, LLC, a teaching and consulting resource in support of the achievement of organizational mission and purpose.
Don enjoyed a 30-year career in health care; serving in the areas of community outreach and organizational development, and concluded his career as vice president of Mission Integration for SSM Health in St. Louis, MO. He has a Master of Divinity degree from Kenrick Seminary and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
- Discover how to align with and cultivate your organization’s purpose and mission
- Uncover ways to lead change in your organization that are memorable, credible and reflective of your mission
- Thrive in your leadership role and avoid burnout
- Transform your daily work into your calling
where you are in the writing process — and your book will
The art of self-publishing is quite a bit like baking. If you have the right ingredients, coupled with the talent and vision of the bakery (author consultant, editor, book designer), you get more than you expect!
More than once this past month, I’ve been handed a self-published book by an eager author who can’t wait to get my glowing opinion and never-ending compliments. Unfortunately, each book shouted, “SELF PUBLISHED!” and as I struggled to find at least one nice thing I could say about each book, I felt sorry for the author. “Nice photo on the cover” or, “Nice blue you picked for your signature.”
Yes, it is quite an accomplishment to reach the point of having a published book in-hand, but if done incorrectly, it can cause your brand more harm than good . . . unless your brand includes, “missing the mark” or “unprofessional”.
If you don’t know what you are doing . . . ASK FOR HELP.
It’s not just self-publishers who let themselves down. It’s very much a “buyer-beware” industry. It’s not my job to scare you with horror stories, but please take the time to educate yourself on the industry, or reach out to a professional author consultant and ask tons of questions. Not everyone who calls themselves a publisher . . . is a publisher. Just about anyone can upload their own manuscript onto CreateSpace, pick out a cover photo and type in their title. And more often than not, the finished book LOOKS self-produced, and becomes an automatic repellent for new business. (If you want to hear about the horror stories . . . give me a call.)
If you wouldn’t dare bake your daughter’s wedding cake, then PLEASE treat yourself with the same respect and avoid self-publishing your book all by yourself . . . and beware of those who oversell their experience with publishing. Settling for a half-baked book is a lot like setting for half-baked cakes . . . no one wants them.
You can also join me for this month’s FREE Lunch & Learn webcast, where I’ll be sharing my signature talk and slides, “Self Publishing 101: Creating a Magnetic Brand through the Power of Publishing.” Thursday, February 22, 2018. Remember to pre-register here.
And you’re more than welcome to have cake during the presentation!
When I worked in downtown St. Louis almost 15 years ago, I parked in the same public garage for over 10 years. It was dark, cold, damp and downright spooky . . . and like most urban areas, downtown St. Louis did not have a stellar reputation for having a low crime rate.
We were all taught as kids, “Don’t talk to strangers!” If you have ever worked in a bustling urban downtown area, you’ll understand that a day does not go by without encountering what you might call a “stranger” — those who unfortunately live on the streets. As much as I tried to leave the office building with others at the same time, on occasion, I would find myself walking into the garage alone. There were certain rules we had been taught: don’t step into an elevator with a strange person, don’t start a conversation, and take the stairs or wait until someone else walks up and enter together. We were trained by our employers to maintain a “DISCONNECT” as a means of staying safe.