Crowd funding: Allow the community to help aid the expansion of your brand. September 2014
You say that you want your brand to impact the community. You want the message that you deliver to reach a large span of people in a fast way. In the age of social media platforms, there are many viable resources that have been overlooked in regards to obtaining funding for various entrepreneurial ventures. Crowd funding or crowd sourcing is the ability for people throughout the word to help aid in the funding of a project, prototype, or venture. It gives your business an audience and you a progressive outlet to be able to deliver your message in a way that allows the community to feel involved in the growth of that individual plan.
With the new provision in the 2012 JOBS act, asking for investors to aid in the start or the expansion of a project is not as daunting as it used to be. The resources are out there and there is an audience waiting to help. Many crowd funding sites have partnered with large transaction sites like Paypal to aid in the speedy delivery of funds to ensure successful campaigns without the added hassle. Although Paypal is still revising some its policies to ensure effective timelines and the release of funds, they are progressing and catching up with the pace of community funds exchange.
YOUR ROLE IN THIS
So where do you fit in this equation as someone trying to establish a brand? With a strong and continuous brand, the goal is to allow your potential consumers to align their beliefs with the brand that they choose. Your message has to be powerful enough to reach them at the right time and engaging enough to warrant their financial support. Your message has to be as important as the idea or project you seek support for. Crowd funding sites enable you to pitch your idea to a vast audience in a short time period so make your words count! Set a proper financial goal & deadline as well.
Remember, when it comes to seeking the aid of others, it's important to be as detailed as possible with how the money will be spent and don't forget to give credit where credit is due. If the campaign is successful, people will want to be acknowledged in some form or fashion.
It's good to do your research as an entrepreneur or potential investor. With each crowd fund site, comes a new set of rules and regulations. Some sites only allow an audience with a certain income or net worth to contribute as an investor. Starting in 2014, more provisions will go into effect allowing the investment process to become a lot easier.Social Media will be the driver and the engine for any entrepreneur crowd funding concept. You have to spread your message! It's important for people to have a clear way to find out about your campaign and with all of the platforms that are to your avail, it should be easy to market your fundraising message.
IndieGOGO & Kickstarter are two popular crowd funding sites but below there are several more for you to look through. Its time to get your brand out there and remember Our Best BRAND is YOU!
Perception is Reality July 2013
Establishing Your Personal & Professional Brand
They say "perception is reality." We're not sure how long "they" have been saying it but it is a concept that has deemed accurate time and time again when it comes to the notion of branding a person, place, or thing.
As people who was have been so casually grouped into the various generation categories , we all have different understandings of the show now and tell later façade. The issues lie deep in terms of perception though. Many of Generation Y & dare we say some of Generation X have not completely found themselves yet,to even know where to began presenting themselves as a brand online. These issues would not be so detrimental if in fact, the majority of the hiring managers of the prestigious companies we tend to want to align ourselves with grew up with a cell phone glued to their hip and fell into the occasional hashtag trend topic conversations about idle gossip once in awhile. The fact remains we as a whole have to act fast and aggressive to develop our individual online brands and promote ourselves to highlight our hard and soft skills without question or additional review.
Knowing the Difference
With the influx of smartphones, ipads, and online trends, the resources are there to create not only a personal brand, but a professional brand. The issue is that some people's personal brands are such a stark difference than their professional brands that it leads to confusion amongst the masses. As most of you know, confusion amongst a consumer or targeted market typically doesn't generate the rate of return needed to ensure that the brand grows effectively. We miss the mark when we confuse the two or do not understand what a brand is in the first place. Moral of the story is… the line between an online personal and professional brand image is so precarious that it's almost non existent. Take heed and act accordingly.
In this digital age, the exact same resources are there to empower you and tear you down in the same breath. Make sure you are taking responsibility for your name and image as much as you can. There will always be negatives to counteract positives when it comes to reviews, ratings, comments, etc. but make sure you are doing your part to balance the sea-saw of perception.
Below are a list of tips to get started:
1. Take a few professional photos- Use these to market yourself on sites such as Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest,etc. These rank high in search results and will give you a chance to market yourself in a positive light.
2. Take ownership of your name and how it is presented online. Checking godaddy.com and namecheck.com to see where your name appears online is something that is beneficial. (Its important to see if you are already a brand before starting at a blank slate.
3. Be consistent with how you want to market yourself. If you have various passions in different industries, make sure you market your strengths.
4. Update your information frequently. If you graduated 15 years ago, this shouldn't be the only information associated with you.