Does Your Brand Have Staying Power? How to Make Sure It Does

According to the Small Business Administration, 50 percent of small businesses fail during the first five years and 66 percent during the first 10. I feel blessed to say I’ve been in the self-development industry for nearly 14 years. Before becoming a speaker and author, I was in the entertainment industry for 11 years.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner or employee, keep reading. The approach to maintaining your staying power is applicable at work and in the marketplace. Outside of praying, these are the two essentials I do to ensure my brand doesn’t vanish and my business doesn’t fail.

I stay relevant by watching how the market is moving and decide what role I want to have in it. This often requires a redesign of my brand. For example, in 2005 I was an image consultant, motivational speaker, author, and columnist. Around 2007, I dropped the title image and replaced it with branding. My first presentation on branding was at the University of Delaware. It was an audience of about 300 people. From that presentation, Bank of America called for me to present on the topic and the rest is history. Note: I did more than change my title, I’ll share that in another communication.

The second most important decision I make to keep my business on a continuous incline is building significant, influential, and mutual partnerships. My first partnership was with Dr. Randal Pinkett. He’s the owner of BCT Partner, a multi-million dollar research, consulting and training organization. You may remember him as season four winner of The Apprentice. The goal was to collaborate with a powerhouse name for added credibility while diversifying my portfolio. In return, he got a reliable brand.

As I expanded my brand and grew my business, I received a call from Steve Harrison. He’s the marketing mind behind launches of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus. He was creating an online Speaking for Money Program and looking for six proven speakers with established brands. The founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul Jack Canfield and I were among the six.

Being on his platform of over 60,000 people significantly increased my brand’s visibility. After recording the program, he extended an offer to coach his clients. I accepted. For five years, I help hundreds of speakers and authors clarify their mission, craft their message, and assess the value of their brand. And the intellectual property I offered in his online program led to an unexpected call to sign my first book deal with Wiley. What did he get? A bankable brand that helped grow his organization by helping his client create results they were seeking.

Today I’m partnering with the Society for Human Resources (SHRM). I’m with their Speakers Bureau, speaking at their annual conference, and we continue to have ongoing conversations about additional ways to partner to make workplaces better and serve their 300,000 members.

Did you notice my gradual progression? Are you wondering, “how can I make myself appealing to a potential partner?” Consider the following:

Build a bankable brand. Astute business people make critical decisions every day that advance the strategic plan of their organization. Having a track record of continuous growth and success signals, you’re likable, marketable, and credible.

Communicate Your Value. Craft your message that communicates who you are and what you do in a way that pique’s interest to want to know more about you. It should be clear and concise with an appetizing value proposition.

Package, Position, and Promote Your Brand. Before there was ever a partnership offer, there was a reputable, relevant well-packaged brand. I met Randal at a speaking engagement. He spoke in the morning, and I spoke in the afternoon. Being on the same platform, leveled the playing field and created an opening for conversation. I came in contact with Steve at one of his workshops. When he called three years later, he said, “You are unforgettable.” I knocked on SHRM’s door.

Remember, before there will ever be a partnership, there has to be a bankable brand.

S. Renee is a nationally recognized Self-Esteem, Branding, Communication, and Executive Presence Expert, Speaker, and Coach. She is author of There Is More Inside: Personal Essentials to Living a Power-Packed LifeThe Bridge to Your Brand: Likability, Marketability, CredibilityOur Hearts Wonder: Prayer to Heal Your Heart and Calm Your Soul and 5 Steps to Assertiveness: How to Communicate With Confidence and Get What You Want(Callisto, 2018). She is the co-author of Self-Esteem for Dummies (Wiley, 2015). Visit her website at www.srenee.com.

What Is the Worth of Your Words?

I launched my speaking business in September 2005. A friend, Alan Kovitz of Elevations Unlimited invited me to speak to  human resource professionals in Delaware. There wasn’t a title suggested or a fee given.

After my 30-minute presentation, How to Find Your Passion  audience members made a b-line to me to chat–including the director of human resources.  He asked me my rate and if I was available to speak at two upcoming conferences.

I was surprised by his question. Although I was in the midst of writing my first book, There Is More Inside Personal Essentials to Living a Power Packed Life and becoming a speaker,  I hadn’t given any thought to the worth of my words. Thirty-five hundred popped in my head so I confidently said, “$3500.”

It was clear he wasn’t expecting that figure.   He claimed I wasn’t worth $3500. I told him, “you may not want to pay $3500, but I’m worth it”–don’t ask where that came from.

After some back and forth negotiation, we landed at  $1000 for each 45-minute presentation. You guessed it-I took the $1000 and launched my book and speaking business.

Are you still speaking for free? When you step off stage are people asking, “How much do you charge?” If not, you may have a problem with your presence and presentation.

I can help, but in the meantime, ask yourself:

1.  Is my topic and content relevant to my audience? 

2. Do I engage my audience?

3. Am I clear on my purpose for communicating and do I deliver my message with passion? 

If you want to Wow! your audience, I can help.  Let’s connect. Call 888-588-0423 or send an email to questions@srenee.com to discuss your specific needs.

Copyrights 2018 All Rights Reserved S. Renee Smith.

 

 

 

How Do I Know I’m Ready To Start My Own Business?

I’ve built two 6-six figure businesses and I know starting your own business isn’t for the faint at heart. It’s hard work and requires your time, resources and attention.

Let me ask you a question, what does it mean to you to become an entrepreneur? 

Are you thinking about becoming well known and rich? Do you have thoughts of customers beating down your door to purchase your product or buy your services?

I’d like to use this analogy:  starting and building a business is like having a child. The thought of walking around with a baby bump or saying, “We’re having a baby” may excite you, but when long nights, poop filled pampers, temper tantrums and costly education become your reality, the glamour loses it’s shine.

Being in the trenches daily and sacrificing what you want for what your child needs can, at times, can make you feel stuck and wonder if your investment is going to pay off.

Now, let me be clear. Those feelings don’t mean that you don’t want or love your child. But they do signal, your awareness to your commitment, investment and desire for great outcomes.

When you understand that, Welcome to Entrepreneurship!

If you’re thinking about launching a business, consider the following:

1.  What product or service do I want to provide? Before investing your time and money in a business make sure there’s a market.

2. Am I called to do this work? Is this the best path to take to do it? Something has to keep you pushing through disappointment and persevering over the obstacles you’ll face. What is it?

3. Do I have the faith to sustain my efforts? You have to believe in yourself, your product and your ability to reach your goals, which means you have to have a strategic plan. More information on that later this week. Don’t miss it. Subscribe to this blog now via the RSS or sign up to your right.

Do you have a business and after investing thousands of dollars, you haven’t been able to sell your product or land clients, schedule a 30-minute consult with me to discuss. Call 888.588.0423 or send your email request to questions@srenee.com. In the subject line write: Free Consult.

Copyright 2018 All right reserved. S. Renee Smith.