Brand Positioning - Be Distinctive!

Brand Positioning: Why Should Your Business Exist?

Brand Positioning - Be Distinctive!
Your brand positioning has to go beyond “me too but.” Click the player to hear George & Mary-Lynn share some ideas on The BIGG Success Show podcast.

We know – the question posed in the title is a tough one. But we say it with love. And we share it from our own struggles with this topic.

It’s a crowded marketplace these days. Competition is fiercer than ever. The bad news is that it’s probably only going to get more vicious in the future.

Many small businesses aren’t prepared to compete amidst all the noise. They don’t stand out. They get lost. They remain obscure.

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Santa’s Personal Branding Expert


Hear about Santa’s personal branding expert on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. Click PLAY for some fun holiday sounds.

You may not know it, but Santa keeps a personal branding expert on his staff. The funny thing is we knew about this expert’s colleagues for years before we heard of him.

That’s right – he labored in obscurity.

He was never popular with his colleagues. In fact, they really treated him poorly.

They laughed at him. They called him names. Worse yet, they never invited him to join them in any of their activities.

He felt all alone at work. Like the last kid picked on a schoolhouse playground, he just didn’t fit in.

But all of sudden, things changed.

The economy took a nose dive. Like any good businessperson, Santa tried to understand how it would affect his business.

But the future was foggy. A disruptive force made Santa uncertain that he would be able to deliver on all of his orders. What was he to do?

Santa remembered his personal branding expert. Sure, the expert’s colleagues made fun of him. But only because he was different.

However, it was his singular difference which made all of the difference to Santa.

You see, this expert had an unusual ability to shine light on the path ahead. None of his colleagues could do that.

When the situation looked dim, Santa turned to the one member of his staff who could guide the team through the dark, cloudy times.

Rudolph – Santa’s personal branding expert – came through with shining colors! Santa was able to fulfill his promises. All his customers got just what they wanted, right on schedule.

Thanks to Santa, Rudolph discovered that his uniqueness was an asset, not a liability. It was a cause for celebration, not despair.

All he had to do was to find opportunities where his talent matched the conditions. Then he could serve others in a way no one else could duplicate.

Santa lived up to his brand image thanks to Rudolph. All his colleagues – his fellow reindeer – loved him.

And as we all know, he went down in history, to become the most famous reindeer of all. Now that’s BIGG success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:

Bootstrap Marketing: Unknown Entrepreneur Defeats Established Competitor

Bootstrap Marketing-David vs Goliath

Bootstrap marketing helped an unknown entrepreneur pull off one of the biggest political upsets in history. Click PLAY to hear George & Mary-Lynn share the story and lessons for any business and brand on the BIGG Success Show Podcast.

Bootstrap marketing™ is generating outsized results with limited resources. We recently saw it in action in, of all places, an election.

But this is not a story about politics. It shows David can still beat Goliath.

Before we get started, one quick note: We’re not taking sides. We’re not endorsing anybody. We’re not commenting on the results. We’re simply offering up some lessons that we entrepreneurs can take away from it.

Bootstrap Marketing Leads to Victory

As you may know, political novice Dave Brat defeated well-known House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Not by a little bit. By a lot.

The Washington Post called it one of the biggest political upsets of all time. How much of an upset? No sitting Majority Leader has ever lost in a primary.

The unknown entrepreneur used bootstrap marketing to defeat his much more established, well-known competitor. Let’s dissect this story to find out how.

Bootstrap Marketing Lesson 1: Money isn’t everything

Brat spent $122,793 during the race while Cantor laid out $5,026,626, according to Open Secrets. In fact, the New York Times reports that Cantor’s campaign spent $168,637 on steak dinners alone – more than Brat spent in total!

Stated differently, Cantor spent nearly $41 for every $1 Brat spent. Yet Brat won.

Money isn’t everything. Think bootstrap marketing to find ways to outmaneuver bigger spending competitors.

Bootstrap Marketing Lesson 2: It pays to play to the media

Brat got interviewed by top conservative radio hosts. It was the kind of media exposure he couldn’t afford. Yet it’s also the kind of media money can’t buy. So it means more than advertising.

The media business is more fragmented today than ever. They’re hungry for great storylines. They have an audience they need to keep tuned in.

What do people want or need to know about your product or service?

Let’s take a tough example – does a plumber have anything to say of interest to the media and their audience? Sure, a plumber could talk about home safety, the latest technology, etc.

Think bootstrap marketing to craft a media-worthy topic. Then pitch it to media outlets in your area to start.

Bootstrap Marketing Lesson 3: Look for neglected customers

On the night of the election, Cantor wasn’t in his district. He was in Washington D.C. People felt he was more interested in national politics than the local scene.

As a bootstrap marketing practitioner, keep your ear to the ground. People talk about their experiences – especially their bad ones.

Sometimes the best marketing isn’t what you do. It’s what your competitor doesn’t do.

Bootstrap Marketing Lesson 4: Craft a message which drives people to act

Inside the D.C. Beltway, Cantor was a shoe-in. They weren’t giving the race much attention. No one, it seemed, expected the results to be close.

And they weren’t. But not in the way the political insiders thoughts. Brat received 56% of the vote while Cantor only got 44% – a thumping which rarely seen by incumbents. Source: NPR

He highlighted three key issues when he announced his candidacy: (1) fix the economy, (2) restore the checks-and-balances stated in the Constitution, and (3) end crony capitalism in Washington. Source: Huffington Post

Simple. Concise. Invigorating – at least to his target market. Voter turnout was up in the district 28% over 2012 – a Presidential election year. Unheard of! Source: Washington Post

How can you craft a message which turns prospects into customers? Do something most people in business don’t: talk with your customers! You can’t afford not to do this when you’re in bootstrap marketing mode.

Find out what they were thinking as they moved along the buyer’s journey. Get inside their heads so you know what sparked them to vote with their dollars.

Bootstrap Marketing Lesson 5: Make your brand a conduit for expression

Your brand is an expression of you. But it becomes so much more when it becomes an outlet for others to make a statement.

People vote for and against simultaneously. For supporters, a vote for Brat was a vote for a new beginning. It was also a vote against the Washington establishment.

The same is true in business. A vote for Pepsi is a vote against Coke. A vote for Apple is a vote against Android.

Bootstrap marketing necessitates creating connections. Your customers – current and future – want to connect with a concept, a feeling, a cause, and/or a community.

Your brand is a conduit – connect them so they can express themselves and you’ll be a BIGG success!

Why are you connected with your favorite brand?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:

Image from Wikimedia

Video Content-Douglas E Welch-thumb

Creating Video Content: Overcoming Objections

Video Content-Douglas E Welch

Video content has become an important tool for reaching a wider audience, yet most professionals and small business people don’t use this form of media. Today, we’ll take on some of the biggest objections for not doing it with new media guru, Douglas Welch. Click PLAY to listen to the podcast, or just read below.

Douglas is the writer and producer of the podcasts: Career Opportunities, A Gardener’s Notebook, TechnologyIQ and Careers in New Media. He also has a very engaging channel on all of those subjects on Youtube. He has a passion for teaching people how to use new media to market and build their brand.

Let’s take on the biggest objections to adding video content to marketing and branding strategies.

Objection 1: I blog, I don’t need to do video content too.

[Douglas] The printed word can be instant and emotional. When you add audio you get even more intimate with the story. Finally, with video, you are at the most intimate level of interaction with your audience. They can see you, hear you and enjoy your story. So adding video was a natural progression. And When you add in the concept of live streaming with live interaction with your audience, that is becoming a tremendous step above the pre-recorded stuff we’re used to consuming.

Objection 2: I’m too busy, plus most of my client base isn’t even on Google Plus or Youtube, so I shouldn’t bother with video content.

[Douglas] Google Hangouts makes it so easy. Once you get your technology set up, it’s a 1 button enterprise. So there’s no excuse to not use these new tools to find new customers and reach out to a younger generation (though I know plenty “older” people using the technology too). I think it’s so straight forward that even the person still using a VCR can get how to use it.

Objection 3: I don’t have anything interesting enough to talk about for creating video content.

I am always answering that question for people. We all have tons of stuff to talk about. I push small business people to think about what questions do they answer on a daily basis? That is the source of the material for their social media, blogging, video, podcast, whatever. You’re answering those questions anyway for your clients, why not answer them for a wider audience? This allows you to teach people how to work with you. For example, a small PR agency should teach people how to work with a small PR agency: what does a PR agency do for you, how do you work with them, etc. By sharing how you work with people, they’ll think of you when they need your services.

Objection 4: It needs to look perfect and I don’t have the time to learn how to make it look that way.

[Douglas] I’m very big on helping people get over their feeling of needing perfection in their videos. Perfection is something to strive for, but the fact is, it’s much more important that you do something than it look perfect. Your videos should always be more about the value of the information you’re sharing, rather than worrying too much about the presentation.

No more excuses! Douglas has inspired us to add more video content to our mix, so be on the lookout for that. We’ll keep you posted here on BIGG Success. Do you have any thoughts to share or questions for Douglas? Leave a comment below.

When it comes to Douglas, this is just the tip of his knowledge iceberg! Click here to visit his website.

**We also have an extended interview with Douglas for free members of our Entreprenurturing Center™, join free to access it. In that interview:

  • Learn about the app Douglas uses to instantly upload to Youtube while on the go
  • Find out what video Douglas created that’s received 43,000 views
  • He shares the one important rule about Youtube that he’s learned from Video gamers
  • How to find time to add video content to your mix
  • Simple tech tips for beginners
  • The best way to always have content available to share.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:

Alex Ruggieri a personal brand interview on BIGG Success

How a Local Broker Built His Personal Brand

Alex Ruggieri a personal brand interview on BIGG Success

Think you need to tell your own story to build a personal brand? George & Mary-Lynn talk with a guy who’s built a local and national name, by helping others tell their stories. Click PLAY to learn how he did it.

Alex Ruggieri is a highly-recognized real estate broker and Senior Advisor for Sperry Van Ness. But he’s also a media mogul, with a radio show called Central Illinois Business; a TV segment, Business Insider on WCIA Channel 3, and the Commercial Connections Podcast for the National Association of REALTORS®

A Personal Brand is Born

When starting out as a broker, Alex didn’t have the money to spend on advertising to help him stand out from all of his competition. So he asked himself this question: “What do I have that I can give that would provide value to others that isn’t money?”

He thought about his strengths and what he loved to do.

What he came up with has made him a thought leader in his industry at both the local and national level….

A Personal Brand Grows

As a young man, Alex felt fortunate to be introduced to business people in the Champaign-Urbana, Illinois community whom he considered mentors. People he still looks up to today. He noticed no one was telling their stories.

Alex approached a TV station to pitch an idea for a program that would showcase the stories of the business people in the community. He got the green light to host the show! From there, a local radio station asked him to do the same kind of program for them. That station happened to also own the city newspaper.

Alex was getting exposure everywhere by giving his time to create compelling content for local media outlets. Alex also loved the fact that he was able to give back to the business community by giving them an outlet to to share what they do.

Alex’s media work in his hometown caught the attention of the National Association of REALTORS®, who asked if he’d host their national podcast!

As he says, “If you give enough…the universe will take care of you.”

Alex gets business by doing what he loves…talking about business. Find what you’re passionate about, and use it to build your personal brand. It leads to BIGG Success.

More Personal Brand Building Advice

Become a free member of our Entreprenurturing™ Center to hear our extended discussion with Alex where you’ll also learn:

  • How his work in media has helped his bottom line
  • His “Jay Leno Theory” and how it can work for you
  • His advice on how to find that one thing that can elevate your brand

Plus, Alex shares the BIGG defining moment that pushed him towards the work ethic he still uses today.

Just sign up for our free download to get instant access.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast: