Category Archives: mompreneurs

Can you build your brand with no money?

As a startup or an entrepreneur who has just started their business, this is a question that often pops up. I totally understand we all have our bills to pay and priorities to take care. It is really hard to come up with the extra cash to spend on “brand building”. Not only that, in the initial stage when nothing is coming, it is hard to justify too.

It’s a horrible feeling to feel stuck between having this great idea or passion and being able to actually make it real. I know what it feels like, because I have been there. Simply put, as entrepreneurs we know, it takes money to make money.

Let’s not get me started on how life somehow keeps adding extra things to your plate when you finally decided that this month, you’d buy that domain or pay for that company logo. I get it. I’ve been there. In spite of all these, we understand that we need to invest in building our brand. We’ve all been there, most brands don’t start with investors and I personally, am not rich. But I did have a plan. Coming from marketing and communications background, I understood that in order to make this happen, I’d have to make some sacrifices and be diligent and conscientious in my approach. I had to make it happen, no matter what.EVERYTHING

No Funds, No Big Deal

Most business owner when starting does not have funds. Does that mean, you just sit and watch? So, what should you do until you have the funds? You can still create a voice for your brand that people love, without spending a dime. In today’s day and age thankfully, there are plenty of ways to establish your brand while you’re getting your business finances together.

Most people have not even scratched the surface with the potential of social media. You can start a blog, social media profile, videos that has potential to go viral that enforces the brand. Not only is it free but it is also in your control. People are always on social media, they can access your brand story from anywhere across the globe. You can establish yourself as an authority in your industry even before you are ready to promote and sell your product or service – rather you should do it.

Here are some of the things you can do to get started and these are things that I did as I am building my brand as a business strategist and an author:

 Company Name – Based on the service I am going to provide and my expertise, I would decide on my company name. Once I have done that I want to make sure that it is available for me to brand it.

Logo –I made my own logo, at first. It wasn’t amazing, but it served its purpose until I was able to rebrand and invest in a new one created by a professional graphic designer.

Domain and Web Host –Today there are so many ways you can get a domain name. You can services like GoDaddy, 1&1 Internet where you can not only get the domain name but also hosting should you chose.  (Note: There are numerous online promotional offers for a “free domain name for a year” along with coupon codes from trusted web hosts; research the best host for your business needs.)

Website –When you buy the domain name and the hosting you have the ability to create your website through WordPress if you are open to learning. If you have a techy friend to help you set up your WordPress domain and you can pretty much take it from there. You can also use website builders like Wix.com, Square Space, etc. who offer amazing and user-friendly resources to create your own website. I suggest learn to create the website in WordPress as this is a skill you should know and it will help you customize your website the way you want. Later, I used the barter system to get an even better website. I gave business to a budding web designer and in exchange he finessed my website.

Content – Content is king and I cannot emphasize how important it is for you to launch your brand. This is one area where you get the chance to differentiate yourself from your competition. You need to do a very small investment for this. You can create some amazing visuals with simple apps like Canva, Pickmonkey etc. Also if you need some specific images, you can purchase a camera and created visuals to go along with the content. (Note: You can create great, free visuals with most smartphone cameras on the market today, and the right lighting.) I recorded and edited my own videos on iMovie and upload it on You Tube. By the way the editor of You Tube is equally easy to use. Learn what kind of content you need to put on social media, because there is always a method to madness in a good way.

 Marketing – Before you invest in building your brand, figure out what your brand stands for and get familiar with the art of guerrilla marketing. Stand for something that your target audience can relate to so they can join in on your mission. You’re attracting a tribe of people that believe in your brand values. You are the voice, and your goal is to create brand loyalty. Once you are considered an industry authority, launching products and services will come easy.

As you start to build your brand through the above mentioned tips, and start to gain some traction, make sure you are communicating with your audience regularly and growing your base. You can then get into taking to the next level by using Pay per click (PPC) as this would give you the control on your budget and the type of target audience.

 

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Winding down 2015


imagesIt’s that time of the year when we are looking back at the year to see how it has been, the gains, the losses, the wins, the failures and the memories we were able to create. Indeed, it just happens by default that as we are winding down the year, we tend to start focusing on the introspection. Have you ever thought of doing this at the end of every month? Do you think your year would end up differently? There must be a reason why corporations look at their balance sheets month to month – we all take part in that if you work for a company. Why have you never thought of implementing it in your own life?

We all make our resolutions for the new year, but it is equally important to make sure you are on track with those resolution. As we all know, 90% of the resolutions made are never followed through. That’s why you see the gym full of people from January to February end and then it goes back to the regular people because most people cannot stay on track.

It is great to have the intention to change, however in order for change to happen there needs to be a mental shift. If you knew how to bring about the change, you would have done it by now. So to do things differently, you need to think differently. That means you need to program your mind differently and for that you need to seek out knowledge. I recently did series of 10 videos on Success Mindset Tips that talks about various processes you can follow, some books and also suggested. You can check it out at https://www.facebook.com/onwardsjourney/videos/957380884335561/

Success takes work and it takes a conscious effort. Do not let another year go by with the same work ethic and thinking. Be open to change, be willing to listen and learn. Here is wishing you all a great 2016!

Keep learning, keep growing!

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Success Mindset Video Series

More and more people are learning through videos and it is a great way to share with you 10 success mindset tips leading up to the new year. Every day I will share with you one video to help you off to a great start for 2016.

So here is the first one coming at you:

Success Mindset Tip # 1

 

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Do you have the vision for a vision board?

vision_in_a_bottle

With a year coming to an end, I figured it is a great time to talk about the vision for 2016. If you are serious about changing things for better in the coming year, then you probably have already started jotting down things you would like to accomplish and a plan to get there. If you are someone who is dead serious about setting goals, then you probably have done this with you mentor or guide to the minutest details, because all successful people have mentors. Either way, by now you should be ready with your list of goals for 2016. My suggestion to you would be do not just put goals, be very specific of what you want to get and if possible get an immense clarity on how exactly that would happen.

Our subconscious mind works in pictures and the more you are able to feed the sub conscious mind with pictures, the more it is able to channelize your thoughts and actions towards the image. Hence a great way to embed the goals in your mind would be through visual depiction, which in turn would be a vision board. Vision boards can be a powerful (and fun) tool to help your aspirations and goals become more REAL and tangible. The visual imagery allows you to more readily see yourself living your dream, as if it were already reality. We may think about what we want often, but it has a far greater impact than vague wishing. Making a vision board can be a fun and visual way of keeping your dreams in mind every day.
What is a vision board?

A vision board is a paper with a collage of images on it. Most usually consist of magazine images cut out and applied to a piece of paper. The purpose of a vision board is to help bring your dreams and aspirations to your life but also have a visual reminder of the same.  It is a creative opportunity to create your dreams on paper as a means of bringing them more tangibly into your life, a 3-D focal point for your meaningful life and vision.
Vision boards can be:
Fun: a real pleasure to see your future in vivid color as if it already existed
Meaningful: keeps you “feeling” your dreams
Unique/Custom: specific and clear focus
Inspiring: helps you believe you CAN do it
Powerful Visual Cues: for your subconscious and conscious mind to process and work on

How to show abstract concepts?

You can one single goal or a bunch of them, there are no rules on how many goals you can have. Not all goals need to be literally included on the board. The images and words just REPRESENT what you want – they serve as a placeholder for your actual items. Distill the concepts down to tangible images. Be specific of what you want and source the images accordingly. Saying you want a “better” relationship is too vague. Do you want a more affectionate relationship? Show a picture of a couple hugging. Pay attention to how you feel.
The pictures you put needs to come from your heart, they should move you when you look at them. It doesn’t matter so much what the picture shows, it really matters how YOU feel when you look at it. If it gives you a good feeling that is in line with your intention, use it! If one of the images is supposed to represent “success” but every time you look at it your tummy tightens a bit, find another image. I can’t say this strongly enough: Don’t force the board down too narrow of a path. If you are too strict in exactly what the image includes, it may not accurately represent your vision. The FEELING of what you want is far more powerful than the image itself.

Not yet clear on your goals, but ready to do a vision board anyway?
Absolutely! There is no reason to wait. If you aren’t sure exactly what you want but you do know want more joy in your life, find images that make you feel joyful or that represent joy to you. Perhaps you fill your board with pictures of fields of yellow flowers, people dancing, or smiling faces. Maybe you haven’t been feeling well and feel hazy on your goals but know you want to feel healthier. You can create a vision board full of healthy, active, vibrant people surrounded in colors that make you feel uplifted. The specific images don’t really matter, but your emotions and your intentions do. Take the dream interview to help get more insights.
Seeing yourself on the vision board in the images makes a huge impact. You can take an image of someone doing things that you want to do,print that image out from the computer, put it up on the board and paste a picture of your face over theirs. It instantly makes that dream seem more.

Where are good places to get pictures? 

Magazines are the easiest source of colorful material. You can collect them from friends, save your own, or buy old ones from your local library. Vary the types of magazines you get so you have enough variety in topics and pictures to choose from.
The Internet is also a great place to get free pictures for your board. In addition to regular sites, you can also go to image source websites such as istockphoto.com or Getty Images. They allow you to search by type of image (photo or cartoon, women or men, indoor or outdoor, even on themes like “confidence”), so you can really be quite particular. Copy and paste them into a document, drag them to create the size you want, then print them out.
If you want more money in your future, you can use the checks from the “Bank of the Universe” from the website for the movie, The Secret. Keeping in line with the concept of manifesting, we don’t need to know all of the exact “hows” of where this money will come from, just that the world is full of abundance. Along with pictures you can also have some motivational quotes.

Have fun. Don’t worry about doing it “right,” as long as you know your intentions and are clear on your goals, you are fine. You can even have some friends over to share magazines and have a vision board party!
Enjoy the process and create a vision board you love looking at. The powerful visual reminder of your dreams and goals truly will help you focus on them more — and look forward to making them happen. Your unique board, combined with your heartfelt intentions and effort, helps make your dreams come true.

Make 2016 count for you and your goals!

 

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