MLM & Network Marketing Branding – What Blogging Platform Should You Use

Blogging is simply putting your content on a different platform. It is not just a diary, a gimmick or cheap party trick.

But blogging for your MLM or network marketing business, or just about ANY business for that matter?

Though they certainly didn’t start out that way, blogs are incredibly useful content management systems when set up properly.

If you are marketing your MLM or network marketing business on the web and you don’t have a blog, you will always be beaten down by your competition.

You cannot get ahead by using the tools of Web 2.0 without a blog. Period.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, blog content management systems are the darling of the search engines today, especially Google, the #1 search engine on the web.

A Blog platform allows you to do things no one else in your market can do with shopping cart and static sites.

Using the platform to publish online means you don’t just have a web site, you have a search engine magnet and an interactive community builder that will drive targeted, willing-to-buy visitors to your site.

There are numerous hosted blog programs out there, hosting a blog yourself takes more effort to be sure, but the advantages are significant. Not only can you do more customization, but you can also keep the blog web page on your own server to help promote your own domain.

I would suggest getting blog software that you can host and customize yourself. The one I use is WordPress.

In addition:

  • WordPress has a dedicated community of users that are constantly improving the out-of-the-box software.
  • WordPress has hundreds of themes available for free download.
  • WordPress has hundreds of plug-ins.
  • Nothing beats WordPress when it comes to Tagging and Social Bookmarking. Plug-ins make tagging on your WordPress blog extremely easy.

Being a designer and control freak, I just love the Theme customization feature to make my blog exactly how I want it to look.

There you have it. Start blogging away right now at WordPress.com or WordPress.org.

Restaurant Marketing – Branding

Successful restaurant marketing is contingent on more than simply sending some coupons and taking out a yellow page ad. Branding your restaurant – for your food, your atmosphere and your customers – has as much to do with your restaurant’s success as your location. Unless you have zero competition (which is next to impossible), you need an intelligent branding strategy to earn the customer loyalty that will keep you in business for decades to come.

Importance of a branded image

Branding is important because people purchase on emotion. When it comes to restaurant marketing, they want to feel that they’re eating the highest quality food prepared with care just for them. It’s important to identify and promote your branded identity so you can connect with your target audience at a glance. If your restaurant is not branded, then you’re just another restaurant. There’s nothing that separates you from the competition.

This reduces your potential customer pool to make choices based on factors such as price, convenience and preconceived notions. Without a branded identity, you have no control over preconceptions and therefore you’re forced to compete on pricing and location alone. This is not a way to grow your restaurant. Cheap does not outsell quality, especially in the restaurant industry. This is why franchises such as Papa Johns Pizza have gone to great lengths to market the fact that their ingredients are fresh.

Branding goes beyond locale as well. If you have franchise aspirations, successful branding is critical. Remember that McDonald’s began as a single restaurant in San Bernardino.

How to identify your branded image

Consider how you’re different from your competitors. What do you offer that they don’t (or that they don’t promote)? If you’re the only place to get fresh fish in town, identifying your brand niche is relatively easy; but if there’s massive competition it can be more difficult. Perhaps you have the best food in town, a master chef at work, or provide a particular atmosphere well-suited to your audience (such as a bistro, night club or family restaurant).

To help you define what type of restaurant you are, consider the features and benefits you offer your diners. Understand the distinction between the two. For example, having a world-class chef on-hand is a feature; guaranteeing that your customers will enjoy their food is a benefit. List all of your features and benefits, and pick the most important that also differentiate you from the competition to base your brand on.

Branding through design

Skilled graphic design can transform your restaurant’s branded identity from a concept to a visual motivator. This image is what the world will see, and your customers will perceive the ideals and emotions that your image expresses. The power of graphic design is limitless, especially when you incorporate sound brand identity design principles for your restaurant.

Food is a visual motivator in and of itself, but when you take care to snap the best photos of the right dishes for your target audience and present them in a fresh, crisp light, you can make mouths water through something as simple as a postcard or poster. Your restaurant branded designs should not only say what you offer, but what your customers will experience when they visit your establishment.

Your restaurant colors, logo, corporate identity package, website and other print marketing materials are all a reflection of your brand; so familiar, cohesive design must be applied to all mediums. The goal is for your prospects to be able to glance at your material and instantly recognize who it’s from and what you stand for. When you achieve this, you’ve developed a powerful restaurant brand identity.

Legal Marketing – Branding Your Social Media

Social media has become a major talking point in the realm of marketing and business development. Today, almost every professional has a LinkedIn profile, if not a blog and a twitter account. Whether or not you choose to participate in any of the above, you should know that everything that’s put out into the world needs to reflect your personal brand.

Think about the market you have decided to focus on and tailor your online presence to attract them. What does your bio say about you? Does your firm have a LinkedIn page? If you tweet, what does your Twitter page look like? Does your picture reflect your visual brand? Is your logo clear and recognizable? Here are a few of my favorite tips for making sure your social media is on the right course:

Blogs
Again, keep it consistent. My own blog is very clearly branded. It uses my signature black and complements the color with the same tones as my books and website. Even the title reflects my brand-both in the “black and white” and the meaning behind it. I give simple, straightforward advice; black is my signature color. That’s a personal brand. Content is the same idea… stick to what your target audience wants to know and don’t get off track. Make contact information easily visible and identifiable and always put your logo in a prominent place.

LinkedIn
Though it may be harder to brand from a design point of view, you can still be aware of your personal branding when it comes to your LinkedIn account. First, be diligent about updating your information; second, be sure to link to your website, blog or twitter; and third, join networking groups that directly relate back to your area of expertise.

Twitter
If you choose to tweet, make sure you’re staying on topic. Create a filter for the subject of your tweets and make sure all content stays within that filter. On the design side, take advantage of the availability of a custom background. Personalize it with your contact info (or at least your website or blog) and keep colors, logos and photos consistent with your branding. Let people instantly recognize that this is YOUR page and know what to expect.

A few other quick design tips?
• Make sure your logo or tagline plays a prominent role as soon as the page appears.
• Stick with the same colors and fonts as your website, brochure or business cards, (no need to look like a twin sister, but it should look like a family member).
• Be organized in the way you think out placement of buttons such as “search” or “archives” and make sure they are easily spotted.
• Make sure headlines look like headlines and not simply blocks of copy and use links or quotes to enhance the readability of your posts.

Whatever medium you choose to participate in, remember to ask yourself one important question: Can someone easily identify the blog as YOURS upon first glance? That doesn’t mean intricate design or flashy graphics, it simply means bringing a sense of organization to the visuals and reflecting your brand in the color, fonts and logos used. Stay true to your personal branding and you’re on the right track.

21st Century Network Marketing – Brand Yourself Online

If you are reading this article, you have arrived at your 21st Century Solution for Network Marketing. This article is Part 1 of a 8 part series of articles and videos designed to dramatically revolutionize your business.

The New Era of Network Marketing

Today, in the age of mass information people are constantly getting pitched to new businesses and opportunities. So much, in fact that people have set up systems to protect themselves (e.g. pop-up blockers, spyware, adware, antivirus). In the 21st Century there has never been access to more information; however, there has never been so much more to be careful for. So you might ask, HOW does one overcome this big hurdle in finding prospects for your business online? The answer is simple: “Branding Yourself.”

Why is the “old way” is Dead (or Dying)

Before we talk about branding it is important to understand 98% of people starting off in Network Marketing start off by creating huge lists of friends and family to join their business. There are two major reasons why this method is doomed for failure:

  • 1) Calling friends and family to join your business opportunity is NOT marketing
  • 2) When you run out of friends and family…you are OUT OF BUSINESS.
  • Most people get involved in Network Marketing in order to bring financial prosperity to their family. Friends and family are NOT looking for a new business opportunity, and they do not have the same DRIVE that most entrepreneurs have-so it is doomed to fail eventually. As a matter of fact, most companies fail to educate their distributors (or marketing executives) that after 1 year, only 15% of those that join are still in the business.

    So, let us say you do decide to gamble, using friends and family to build your business. When you run out of friends and family, you are essentially out of business. Until you go out, hunting like a wolf, looking for new prospects. People are tired of being SOLD, so you are going to be wasting literally 95% of your efforts. It is demoralizing and it wastes money.

    The Solution: Become the HUNTED, not the HUNTER!

    21st Century Concept- You, Inc.(Branding Yourself)

    You must understand that just because you are in a Network Marketing Company does NOT mean you are a business owner. Consider these 3 facts:

  • 1) You do not own the Products- The Company does.
  • 2) You do not own the Company- Clearly.
  • 3) You do not own your Downline- The Company can get rid of you at ANY TIME, and your hard work is left with the Company.
  • The SOLUTION is to brand yourself. So that if your company “goes under” (as many have, and will) you will still have your list of prospects and can take them with you no matter what company you join. To accomplish this, you will have to take this concept to heart: People Join People-NOT Business Opportunities. People are social creatures and these two business attraction concepts will catapult you to the top of the industry:

  • 1) You MUST have value to offer your target market (without giving them a sales pitch)
  • 2) You MUST have a system they can literally plug into that duplicates the following: Marketing, Advertising, and Training.
  • Your Branding Central Hub- www.”You”.com

    The BEST way to brand yourself in a way that makes you shine on Google (and respected by prospects) is building your OWN blog. NOT a free blog such as blogger, but “You.com.” Google LOVES blogs because they provide content on niche-specific topics that better serves its users.

    How to get you OWN blog:

  • 1) Purchase a Domain. (Usually around $10 per yer)
  • 2) Get a Host (Be sure it has “WordPress” support[most do]).
  • 3) Set it up and Learn How to Customize it.
  • What to Blog About

    Create VALUABLE content that your people need, and NOT what you want them to. Think: People who are shopping for shovels are ACTUALLY trying to dig a hole. Give and you shall receive. We will discuss this in greater detail in my 21st Century Marketing Bootcamp DAY #2- Lead Generate (1/2).

    TAKE ACTION NOW, my friend.

    Your Future Begins Now