The Right Branding For Your Business


If you own a small business or have dreams of stepping into the world of entrepreneurship, you know how important it is for your operation to have its own unique identity. The best and fastest way to establish this identity is to be very intentional with your marketing and branding, right out of the gate.

Branding is the way that your business says, “Get to know me!” to the rest of the world. From your logo to the graphics on your website, every visual aspect of your business should fit beautifully into a single, thoughtful theme. But, if you are a small business owner, branding could be the furthest thing from your mind. Do you feel as if you’re too busy or intimidated by the cost of professional marketing support? Never fear. There are some simple steps that you can take to start moving in the right direction.

  • Pay for a one-time analysis of your website
  • Unify operations of all social media accounts
  • Have a logo made by a real professional (NOT a clip-art logo made by your well-meaning uncle)
  • Be engaging on social media
  • Work with a professional to establish a strong online presence
  • Start a blog, go live on Facebook, etc.

There are very easy, non-intimidating ways that you can brand with intention. Seek professional help in areas where you may not be as proficient—this may not be as expensive as you expect and could add incalculable value to your small business.

At Vertu Marketing, this is what we do. We work with business owners who need to overhaul their website or simply want feedback on their social media interactions with clients. Ask questions and get help from people who know what they are doing—an effective marketing strategy is important. You don’t have to do it alone.

YOU Are More Important Than Your Job


It is a wonderful thing to find a job you love. Waking up in the morning excited to go into work is a blessing, and many people do not have the joy that comes when their passion and profession meet. Your job is important. While it is great to be committed to the cause, it is all too easy to allow a great job to become a negative thing when it becomes your entire life.

Maybe it started with a late meeting or two or a phone call during your designated personal time. Job obligations can snowball quickly, starting with just one compromise, and before you know it, you are eating dinner at your desk several nights a week and missing important events with friends and family. This is a sign that your job has a troublesome hold over your life, and it is time to wriggle free and set some healthy boundaries.

Taking care of yourself is not a luxury—it is a necessity for your personal, emotional and mental health. You don’t have to sacrifice success for self-care, you just have to be intentional and committed to carving out a full life for yourself outside of work. Don’t know where to start? Try some of these ideas:

Set office hours and stick to them
• Commit to family dinner at least three nights per week
• Exercise regularly
• Get a good night’s sleep
• Take breaks and schedule vacations
• Don’t carry your burdens alone—-build a strong, supportive team
• Eat healthy
• Find time to have fun

If you want to succeed at your job, you must succeed at life by not allowing your job to actually become your life. Despite the pressures you may feel, it is critical to remember that you are more important than your job, so you will need to find a healthy balance. If you can no longer tell when your job ends and you begin, make a change today—you will be a happier, healthier and a better worker.

Olympic Lessons for Everyday Life


The Olympics are here, which means scores of incredible athletes are finally getting international recognition for years and years of hard work. Individual stories of their sacrifices and dedication are frequently featured by commentators, inspiring those of us who are cheering from home.

The Olympics serve as a distinct reminder of what can happen when a person or team is singularly committed to a goal. Everyone, no matter his or her career goals or job description, can gain perspective and insight from some of these most common themes from the Olympic games:

Work hard, even when no one is watching and the competition is years away.
• Sportsmanship and positivity speak volumes about the character of an individual, especially when things are not going his or her way.
• Practice. Always assume that there are areas that could be improved.
• Never lose sight of your goals.
• Mentors and coaches are important.
There is almost always a way to overcome an obstacle, but it may require patience and practice.
• People are capable of doing more than they ever imagined.
• A little progress each day leads to big results.
• Ignore critics. Their discouraging words are just “background noise”.
• A good attitude makes hard work and long hours a little easier.

The Olympics only come every two years, so take a moment to stop and cheer on your favorite athletes, recognizing the unbelievable amount of time that has gone into the pursuit of their dreams. Let this serve as a reminder that commitment and hard work pay off, whether you are at work or on top of a medal podium.

Your Biggest Influence Is You


What you believe about yourself is developed over time by how others treat you, talk to you, interact with you and what they tell you about yourself. Whether you realize it or not, what you really think about yourself has been long established, and was influenced by many factors that were beyond your control.

Your inner voice, the one that you use to speak to yourself, is one of the greatest sources of influence in your life. Whether you build a business, pursue a goal, run a marathon or chase a career dream, it is only achieved if you tell yourself that you can, in fact, do it. This voice holds great power, often more than we ever imagined, and we often blindly follow its instructions, whether or not the voice speaks truth. Have you ever told yourself any of the following?

Think-Positive“You can’t do that–you don’t have the right degree.”

“Don’t take that job. You would be terrible at sales.”

“You shouldn’t start a business because it’s too hard and too time consuming.”

“You can’t…”

“You shouldn’t…”

“You don’t…”

One of the hardest habits that you will ever have to break is to learn to ignore the negative voice that only tells you that you can’t. If you find that what you think about yourself is actually holding you back, preventing you from moving forward or remains a source of negative influence in your life, then it’s time to turn that voice off. What you have been trained to think about yourself your entire life does NOT get to determine your success and happiness in the future. YOU possess the power to say NO to those whispers of doubt and take the fist step toward your goals.

ee356cf7afd9a069cc38ba258f904c88Prove yourself wrong. Make a list of your accomplishments and tell yourself that YOU CAN and YOU WILL continue to move forward. Thankfully, what you believe about yourself can change over time, and those whispers of doubt and negativity will begin to fade. Whether you tell yourself you can or you cannot, you are probably right. When speaking to yourself, choose your words wisely.

Small Details, Big Impact


If you are an entrepreneur, you spend a significant amount of time trying to get people to listen to your story, your pitch and your offer—and it can be hard work. A person’s attention must be earned, but just short of pandering or begging, how should you do it?

We’ve seen them: the unfortunate employees who are assigned the tasks of wearing ridiculous costumes, twirling signs or dancing excitedly while standing beside the road, trying to get the attention of passing motorists. The truth is, they do get some attention, but these efforts don’t translate into the positive attention that leads to actual patronage and profit. Fortunately, you don’t need a costume or really good dance moves to get attention from potential customers. You just need to focus on the details.

detail“The devil is in the details.” It’s an oft used quote, and while the devil may be there, it turns out that your key to success may be in there as well. When you, as an entrepreneur, are keenly aware of how the smallest things can make the biggest impact, you will set yourself apart from the competition. You will get attention. People will view your detail-oriented perspective as a sign of professionalism and confidence.

What does this mean for you, specifically? That’s a question that only you can answer. However, here are some suggestions as to how you can train yourself to take small details and efforts and leverage them for a big impact:

• Talk to customers. Remember their names. Get to know them.
• Launch a thoughtful, specifically targeted marketing campaign
• Listen to concerns and take steps to fix problems immediately
• Find out what your customers actually want and need
• Be thoughtful, considerate and kind
• Make people feel valued and respected

detailsThese are SMALL things—most of the above suggestions will not cost you a penny, but they can have a HUGE impact on how you connect with potential customers and clients. Consider your specific business and niche, and ask yourself how you can pay better attention to the details. Be specific and intentional. Think small.

Dedication to detail—that is how you will get their attention.