Online Entrepreneurs Wear Many Hats…

April 5th, 2016

stackofhatsJust because you wear many hats as a small business owner and an online entrepreneur, doesn’t mean they all wear well and fit right!

You may have figured out how to create a logo, or how to setup your blog or newsletter for your online business, but that doesn’t mean that you are really good at it! Inferior quality of design or content on your website is a sales killer. If your site looks poorly put together, who is going to buy from you?

If a job function for your business takes an enormous amount of your time that could be better spent somewhere else, hire a professional. They will be able to do the work in a much, much shorter time than you can and it would look…hey guess what? Professional! Sure, you can keep practicing in your spare time, but who has spare time when you are juggling so many job functions?

So be completely honest with yourself here..what are you doing poorly that you could use some professional assistance to help grow your business, rather than spend your time trying to do it all yourself? Or what areas of your business are you stumbling around on trying to figure it out?

Here are some top pain points for many online entrepreneurs for you to consider hiring a pro;

1. Design
This is a very critical area. Not everyone is proficient enough to come up with great images for their website, or for that matter, good site design. Poor images and poor design will make your potential customers run, because your store will look very amateur hour and no one wants to purchase from a site that looks inferior to others online. You want to attract business, not drive it away! The last thing you want to do is allow your business to look unprofessional, so hire a professional to help you out here. If you have a store hosting company already, they generally have a great pool of designers that are aces on that particular platform to choose from to help you. Stay with that companies recommendations! Those people/companies are approved as a designer for them for a reason! Because they are GOOD at it.

2. IT (Information Technology) 
All the techie things that makes stuff work. From your computer to your website, there are many technical things required to make your online business run. Sure you can Google for help, scan through forums where the conversations turn into how much they love cats… or you can hire a tech team to help you. Why spend time learning about all the technical aspects of your business when you can hire a professional who will look after your site or who will keep your computer running smoothly? Also, keep updates in mind! Part of the tech consultant job is to stay on top of the latest changes to site security, payment processing changes and more. With a professional watching your back, they can make sure that all this runs seamlessly for you. Keep in mind that many hosting providers have built in help, but for extra you can get more personalized help, so if you need that extra level of security to feel warm and fuzzy and that everything is OK, then hire a pro!

3. Accounting and Taxes
With great programs like QuickBooks available, Accounting and Taxes are so much easier to manage. Sure, you can keep track of your sales and expenses via spreadsheets, but with a program like QuickBooks, it will also make tax time easier because it keeps all your info in one place, and the software even generates the details needed on the specific tax forms for you! But, just like with everything, you have to monitor it, and keep it up to date. Many stores can tap into QuickBooks to record sales automatically with an API, but your expenses need to be accounted for as well and that will you input manually. If you let these things pile up, then you will have a nightmare on your hands when you try to sort it all out. Hiring an accountant can be pricy, but if you use your accounting programs right, you can use your accountant just for tax time. Another great thing about a professional for tax time is that they can find great deductions for you!

4. Content / Writing
Just like with Design, Writing takes creativity. Not everyone is blessed enough to form coherent and engaging sentences and paragraphs about your business or about your products. If you are passionate about what you are selling, I know that you can most certainly come up with ideas for content, but putting the content together, with the right wording and the right feelings you want to express can be a challenge. Poor content will scare customers away. Content riddled with typographical errors will turn people off. Use of too many exclamation points or using the wrong word to describe something can offend people. If you get writer’s block every time you want to write a blog post, or if you want a new way to describe something, or if you want to expand your marketing to include article distribution, then hiring a professional is the right way to go.

5. Marketing
This is a scary word for most online entrepreneurs and it’s a VERY IMPORTANT part of your business. If you don’t have time to manage social posts, create social posts, check your social accounts for messages from customers,  create ads, find places to advertise, write articles, blog posts, PR and so much more, you can find a freelancer or marketing agency to help you. Or maybe just hire one to get your business off the ground and once they lay the groundwork, take it over. Some marketing groups have someone for everything in their company. One person that is a writer, another a designer, another an SEO expert, another a PPC ads expert. With just one group, you can take care of many of the aspects that your business needs.

If you’re looking for a job, it’s a great idea to learn how to become a product manager because there are businesses out there who want to sell their products at a much quicker pace and with great volume.

6. Reputable Suppliers
We have heard so many horror stories over the years about new online sellers working with fraud suppliers, middlemen or sub-par suppliers. Either scamming them out of thousands of dollars, or constantly running out of inventory, or not delivering products to your customers. If you are retailing products online, having reputable suppliers is very important. Bad suppliers = Bad customer experiences and creates so much more work for yourself, plus can leave negative marks against your business. We have been finding and qualifying suppliers for over a decade. That’s ALL that we do, so we are the professionals at it. Yes, you can find suppliers on your own, but do you know how to check if they are legitimate suppliers? Do you have the time to find them and play phone tag to see if they would even consider working with you? If you have that time, and know what you are doing, great! Then please keep at it and I hope the rest of this article was helpful to you! If not, then take our membership into consideration. One time fee -LIFETIME membership ($30.00 discount), to an always growing Directory of Wholesale Suppliers that will work with online retailers.

Keep in mind, that all of these things are very doable for one person to do. But you do want to have a life as well. You might have a family that needs you or another job. So taking that step to hire trusted professionals to help you or to at least get you started is beneficial and worth considering if you are struggling to keep up or even to get started.

Brand Archetypes -The Jester and The Sage-Part 7

March 11th, 2016

As talked about in my first blog post of this series, having a distinct identity is essential to online success. It raises your visibility and allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal emotional level. So discovering what your brand archetypes are, is central to positioning your company and products in a unique way. There are 12 of them, and we have already discussed The Innocent and The Regular Guy/GalThe Hero and the Outlaw/Rebel and The Explorer and The CreatorThe Ruler and The MagicianThe Lover and The Caregiver, and now the final two.. The Jester and The Sage.

TheJesterThe Jester:
The Jester’s goal is to bring joy to the world. They are fun, have a great sense of humor, light-hearted & mischievous. A drawback to this trait is that they can sometimes be seen as frivolous or disrespectful. To get a good idea of who fits this archetype.. think of Jim Carrey or Jack Black or even Bart Simpson. At their best they are carefree and joyous and at their worst they can be cruel & irresponsible, but with a light-heartedness about it all.

Jester customers don’t want boring, regular type ads. They want to be entertained. They like things that are unusual and playful, especially ads that make fun of the seriousness of life.

Jester brands promise entertainment and generally are targeted at younger audiences because of their silliness. Jester brands use outrageous imagery and sometimes fall along the line of “teasing” their customers.

Some brands that do this well? Skittles and yes, Old Spice!

Skittles ads are fun, light hearted and represent Skittles in a variety of ways. From being a “chicken pox” type epidemic that is contagious, to Skittles being a “pet cloud” for an elderly woman that rains Skittles. Skittles ads are just absolute silliness, but their intention is to create ads that younger audiences will share with others and they succeed in that very well! Skittles slogan is Taste the Rainbow, but they pair that with other things that relate to their ads.. for example, the pet cloud? Pet the Rainbow, Taste the Rainbow. and the “skittles pox”, Contract the Rainbow, Taste the Rainbow.

Old Spice, used to be more of the Hero Archetype, with a ruggedly handsome man promoting their aftershave. But now, Old Spice has added body wash & other new products and when they did, they now create humorous ads. Yes, the men are still strong & ruggedly handsome, but with a comedic side.  They are in a way, mocking themselves and mocking their “manly, macho ways”.  First targeted at women.. “Ladies, does your man look like me? No. Can he smell like me? I don’t know..”, then going into the ad with asking ladies if they want a man that smells like he can bake a cake in a kitchen that he built, or swan dive off of a waterfall onto a waiting motorbike. “Should your man smell like an Old Spice man?” is the ending sentence. Then the next ad.. “Hello Ladies, look at your man.. now back to me.. now look at your man…now back to me…sadly he doesn’t look like me, but he can smell like me…” I absolutely love the humor in the Old Spice ads, and so do millions of others. Old Spice now fits the Jester archetype perfectly.

So if your products or brand has an emphasis on humor, fun & light heartedness, then keep these brands in mind when creating your advertising.

TheSageThe Sage:
The Sage’s main goal is to help the world gain insight and wisdom. They are knowledgeable, a trusted source for information, thoughtful & analytical. They are mentors, gurus & advisors that can cover a large range of ideals. The only drawback is that they can be too opinionated. Some good examples of Sages… Yoda from Star Wars or Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. They are wise, articulate, and open minded, but can also come across as cold or self-absorbed in certain situations.

Sage customers understand that growth comes from knowledge and they are always seeking to educate themselves more. They want to see ads that challenge them and make them think differently.

Sage products and brands promise wisdom & education, and so they often use higher levels of vocabulary and imagery. They trust that their customers understand their difficult intellectual jokes and ideas and the biggest mistake a Sage brand could make, is to dumb things down to their customers. Some good examples? Rosetta Stone and National Geographic.

Rosetta Stone is “a global education company that develops language learning, literacy and brain-fitness products from Observer that are used by millions of individuals and thousands of schools, businesses and government organizations”, according to Wikipedia. They are best known for their language learning software. Their ads focus on empowering people to learn new languages to open up more of the world to them. With slogans like… “Their future begins with language” and “The world is yours if you ask for it” and “Create a Smaller World”. Their ads are inspiring and make you feel that if you learn another language, you can connect better with the people around you and how different the world would be if we can connect better by understanding each other better. This greatly appeals to the Sage archetype, because.. they are learning and expanding their knowledge, which is what they are always seeking.

National Geographic, either their channel on television or their magazine, is all about education. Everything they offer is non-fiction and factual content, that covers a large range of areas; nature, science, culture & history mixed with entertaining programming. “See today’s world though tomorrow’s eyes” is a slogan that they use to advertise their HD channel. But something that National Geographic cannot be beat, is their imagery. Their amazing jaw dropping shots of animals, landscapes and other places around the world, is what grabs readers and watchers attention. National Geographic, in my opinion, is still the front runner when it comes to this type of imagery education. National Geographic appeals again to the sage so they can continue educating themselves and National Geographic is a trusted source for it.

So if your brand is about education & promises wisdom by using your products, then keep these brands in mind when creating your marketing.

Archetypes_with_linkinBrand archetypes are a very powerful tool to help you understand where you fit into the market and ALL successful brands are built on these ideas. They are used to create compelling personalities for your companies brands and products and help you to create BETTER marketing ideas for your company.

You don’t have to choose just one! There are several archetypes that bleed into others, just for the simple fact that people do not have just one distinct characteristic to their personalities or one brand doesn’t just fit one personality. Someone can be a hero and a sage, or someone could be a lover and a jester. But what you CAN do, is take your brand, and look at it from the different archetypes and create advertising that will appeal to a large range of consumers.

Let’s do an example for fun. Let’s say, my company was created to offer cleaning products.

I could appeal to the Jester, who likes humor, by creating funny ads with a main character pulling pranks on people that end up creating a mess, and my cleaning products are perfect to remove that mess so you can make another one.

I could appeal to the Caregiver, who likes to take care of others, by creating touching ads about how my cleaning products make taking care of your home and family easier and safer for your children.

I could appeal to the Ruler, who likes things organized, and create ads about how my cleaning products can restore order to your kingdom (home or business).

There are many directions that you can take these, and I hope that my blog series inspired some ideas to how you can better engage with your customer base. If you can identify the archetypes that fit your business, and work on those advertising angles, you will find that the world of marketing isn’t as daunting or complicated as you might think and it can be a lot of fun!

Brand Archetypes -The Lover and The Caregiver-Part 6

February 9th, 2016

As talked about in my first blog post of this series, having a distinct identity is essential to online success. It raises your visibility and allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal emotional level. So discovering what your brand archetypes are, is central to positioning your company and products in a unique way. There are 12 of them, and we have already discussed The Innocent and The Regular Guy/GalThe Hero and the Outlaw/Rebel and The Explorer and The CreatorThe Ruler and The Magician and now we are ready for two more…The Lover and The Caregiver.

The LoverThe Lover:
The Lover’s goal is to create intimacy and to inspire love. They are passionate, sensual, intimate, romantic, warm, committed and idealistic. They represent everything that is dreamy & wonderful about life. A drawback to this archetype is that they can be too selfless or not grounded enough.

The Lover consumer values beauty and that means they are drawn to products that will make them more attractive to others.

Lover brands promise passion, beauty and intimacy. They are generally higher end and indulgent brands that are glamourous and have an emphasis on sensuality.

If you want to market to this type of consumer, think about how you would market to Kim Kardashian. She is the epitome of this archetype.  Lover marketing needs to focus on how the product feels and/or makes you look. Lover brands cannot come across as bargain products or businesslike. That will steer the Lover consumer away, as that is not their aesthetic.

Lover brands that come to mind to me are Victoria Secret and Godiva Chocolates.

Victoria Secret has created a fantasy world. Their models are what men want and what women want to be. Even though they are more of a luxury brand, they make themselves accessible to everyone. With their highly televised yearly fashion show, their always talked about models, and their breakthroughs for women’s undergarments, makes this brand one to follow & watch closely if you also want to market to the lover archetype.

Ahh Godiva Chocolates, indulgent gourmet chocolates. Any mention of gourmet chocolates makes a women melt..and Godiva is a front runner. Their ads are sensual in nature and many have the slogan.. “Every woman is one part goDIVA” with an emphasis on Diva. Beautiful women are mainly in their ads shown in relaxing positions, biting into a piece of chocolate in a sexy manner or holding a box of chocolates or a box of chocolates sits nearby.  Godiva ads make emotional connections between one’s “sexual” interests and chocolate. Their ads create a sense of pleasure, which is what the Lover archetype is all about.

So if your products are sensual, passionate and inspire love, then keep these brands in mind when creating your marketing.

The CareGiverThe Caregiver:
The Caregivers goal is to care for and to protect others. They are caring, nurturing, selfless, generous and compassionate.  A drawback to this archetype is that they are easily taken advantage of, taken for granted or exploited.

The Caregiver consumer wants to be recognized for all that they do. So emotionally driven ads will appeal to them more so than aggressive or “doomsday” ads. A fantastic example of a caregiver archetype? Mothers!

Caregiver brands are all about helping people care for themselves or helping others help you. They offer protection, safety and support.

Caregiver brands that immediately come to mind are Campbell’s Soup and Johnson & Johnson.

Campbell’s Soup ads evoke the memory of a mother lovingly serving hot soup to her sick child. With their Mmm Mmm Good slogan, the thought of Campbell’s soup makes you feel warm and fuzzy and what do most people gravitate towards when they are ill? Soup!

Johnson & Johnson’s brands includes many household names of medications and first aid supplies, such as Band-Aid, Tylenol, Johnson’s Baby Products, Neutrogena skin & beauty products and others. All of their ads appeal to the caregiver archetype because their products are affordable and needed for at-home care. Let’s take one.. Band-Aid..with their catchy jingle.. “I am stuck on Band-Aid brand, ’cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me”, (which I’m singing in my head right now) usually shows moms and dads putting Band-Aids on their children’s cuts and scrapes. Their ads are cute, loving and greatly appeal to the caregiver.

So is your brand catered to helping others help themselves? Does your brand offer safety or protection? Keep these brands in mind when creating your marketing materials.

There are only two more archetypes left! CLICK HERE for information about The Jester and The Sage.

Brand Archetypes -The Ruler and The Magician-Part 5

January 21st, 2016

Sorry! With the Holidays, this thread of posts was delayed.. but we are back on track now!

As talked about in my first blog post of this series, having a distinct identity is essential to online success. It raises your visibility and allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal emotional level. So discovering what your brand archetypes are, is central to positioning your company and products in a unique way. There are 12 of them, and we have already discussed The Innocent and The Regular Guy/GalThe Hero and the Outlaw/Rebel and The Explorer and The Creator, so now we have two more.. The Ruler and The Magician.

The RulerThe Ruler:
The Ruler’s “MO” is to control, and to create order from chaos. They are leaders, role models, responsible & organized. A drawback for a person under the Ruler Archetype is that they can lack a common connection or can be too authoritative or controlling. But good rulers are confident, responsible and fair.

The Ruler consumer likes marketing that is not “dumbed down”, as that is beneath them. They want to see ads that reinforce their feelings of power. The Ruler customer likes products and brands that keep them organized, to restore order and that gives them control, as well as products that create stability and security.

Ruler brands promise power, they speak authoritatively & spread they idea that they are the best of the best in their field. Ruler brands images do tend to be “masculine”. Some brands that currently cater to the Ruler archetype? American Express and Dyson.

American Express has had many slogans over the years and often feature top celebrities. Such as the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin and Queen Bee (Queen B), Beyoncé, who recently sported a shirt that read: Queen Bee, I call the shots. Of course those ladies are not masculine, but they are at the top of the world with their accomplishments. I just watched a commercial for American Express from several years ago with Martin Scorsese going to a film developing store where he was having his one hour photos developed. He comes in and says.. “it’s been an hour”.  The employee hands him his photos and Martin starts looking through them and is very upset about the quality of the images he took. But it was images of a little boy’s birthday party! Martin continue to go through them making comments about being no life in the images, it doesn’t make sense, images are far too nostalgic, lighting is bad, angle is off and etc. He was very upset with how they turned out and finished with he is going to re-shoot and calls his nephew on the phone and asks him if he wants to turn 5 again. The ad ends with the slogan, The Official Cards for Perfectionists.

Dyson is a British brand that offers “The Most Powerful Vacuums”. Dyson ads first featured the inventor and founder Sir James Dyson, talking about how he could never find a vacuum that never loses suction, so he created one. Dyson professes to be the best of the best for home vacuum cleaners and because of this claim, they can assign a hefty price tag compared to other brands. But people still want to buy, because if you need to vacuum, might as well do it right the first time and not be hindered by vacuum bags and clogs.

So if your products are intended to restore order, keep organized and products that give control to their users, then keep these brands in mind for your marketing.

The MagicianThe Magician:
The Magician’s goal is to make dreams come true or to create something special. They are visionaries, charismatic, imaginative, idealistic and spiritual.

Magician consumers like ads that are imaginative and inspiring. They need to feel that your products can make them wiser or can influence others.

Magician brands promote themselves as providing knowledge and an experience. They focus on the individual and not the group and flatter the customer enough so they purchase. Magician brand ads should never be structured or without meaning.

Some brands that do this well? Disney and Apple.

Disney ads are full of imagination and imagery. Their ads focus more on the experience of visiting a Disney Theme Park versus their rides or shows. They address the viewer directly and put it in their hands that they can be the influencer of their child’s happiness by deciding to visit.

Apple’s, Steve Jobs, was the ultimate magician. He was the wizard of the tech world, and brought the amazing world of technology to the average consumer. When Apple first released their iPhones, their slogans were “Apple reinvents the phone” and “This is only the beginning”. Since then they have released many iPhones, iPads and other devices that unlocks the Magician in all of us. Their latest ad for the iPad Pro promises to be the largest iPad ever and can take your creativity and productivity to an epic scale.

Do your products make the magician wiser or has the ability to influence others? Do your products inspire? Then keep these brands in mind when creating your marketing materials.

Up next…The Lover and The Caregiver! CLICK HERE!

Brand Archetypes – The Explorer and The Creator-Part 4

December 8th, 2015

As talked about in my first blog post, having a distinct identity is essential to online success. It raises your visibility and allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal emotional level. So discovering what your brand archetypes are, is central to positioning your company and products in a unique way. There are 12 of them, and we have already discussed The Innocent and The Regular Guy/Gal, and The Hero and the Outlaw/Rebel, so in those post, we will discuss two more; The Explorer and The Creator.

The ExplorerThe Explorer:
The Explorer archetype’s main goal is to find fulfillment through discovery and experiences. The main traits are; Restless, adventurous, ambitious, individualistic, independent and pioneering.

The Explorer customer like brands that promote freedom and self-discovery and usually aren’t influenced by domestic and anything to do with the “norm” type advertising.

Explorer brands have ads that show a means to experience the new and then unknown and their brands will be there right there with you.

Have some brands in mind that cater to The Explorer Archetype? Well, for me, the standouts are North Face and Go Pro.

North Face doesn’t really show off their products that much in the sense they are blatantly advertising their goods. Their ads promote the spirit of exploration.  One of my favorite North Face ads has to be the Your Land advertisement with the “This Land is Your Land” song. The imagery is fantastic with different beautiful environments and people experiencing those environments. All the people in the ad are wearing or using North Face products, but they aren’t blatantly advertising them. They are more urging everyone to Head Outside. That was last year. This year their ad is Never Stop…..with the message that exploration is finding the thing we love and relentlessly pursuing it. Again, beautiful imagery, people experiencing amazing things with North Face products, but again, not blatantly advertising their wares.

Go Pro, the company that brought video recording for extreme action into the mainstream. Just like with North Face, their advertising is filled with beautiful and exciting imagery. Go Pro successfully captures what it would be like to experience these extreme activities, but with no blatant advertising. It’s the spirit of what you can do that really captures the consumers attention.

If your products are intended to help consumers experience the unknown or pioneering, keep these brands in mind when creating your marketing materials.

The CreatorThe Creator:
The Creator archetype’s goal is to create something with meaning and enduring value. They are creative, imaginative, artistic, inventive, entrepreneurs and non-conformists. At their worst they are self-indulgent and impractical.

The Creator customer is usually pretty hard to market to. Because they always feel that they can do better..but generally they enjoy experimental & boundary-pushing ads and successful creator brands develop devout fan bases.

The Creator brands promise authenticity and position themselves as the keys to unlocking your creativity. Have some brands in mind? I do… Lego and Crayola…

Lego ads can be inspiring. One of their ads from 2014 was about girl empowerment with the tag #KeepBuilding and with the message to inspire her to use her imagination and watch her #KeepBuilding amazing creations with Lego bricks, because you taught her how to think and dream. It’s a beautiful ad and touches on parents wants and dreams for their children to grow, learn, be independent and to create things that will make their parents proud.

Crayola manufacturers products that appeal to every age level. From very young children, to teens to adults and they create advertising that appeals to every age group. The Crayola brand slogan has changed several times over the years, with slogans like; “Everything Imaginable”, “The Art of Childhood”, “Unmistakably-Crayola”, “Crayola-Make Play” and “The Power of Creativity – Crayola – It Starts Here”. Crayola’s brand essence is that they can help unleash the creativity & originality in any child & they create products that will help kids free their “What If” questions. Crayola says that creatively-alive kids blossom and grow to become inspired, original adults who, in turn, have the ability to inspire the world. This is a perfect brand for the “The Creator” archetype, as it speaks to everything that they are.

Even though Lego and Crayola are more considered “Kids Brands”, their ads, slogans and taglines are still the epitome of what appeals to the creative crowds and you should keep these brands in mind for marketing if your products or brand falls under this archetype.

Up next….The Ruler and The Magician! CLICK HERE!

Brand Archetypes – The Hero and The Outlaw-Part 3

December 1st, 2015

As talked about in my first blog post, having a distinct identity is essential to online success. It raises your visibility and allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal emotional level. So discovering what your brand archetypes are, is central to positioning your company and products in a unique way. There are 12 of them, and we have already discussed The Innocent and The Regular Guy/Gal, so in those post, we will discuss two more; The Hero and The Outlaw.

The HeroThe Hero:
The Hero’s ultimate goal is to help improve the world. They are courageous, bold, honorable, confident, strong and inspirational. Their greatest fears are failure and to appear weak or fragile. Hero’s are always striving to be better, so they can better help others.

Advertisers have used The Hero as part of brand messaging and advertisements for a very long time, using the ruggedly handsome hero to speak to the human need for protection and to feel safe.

Hero customers want brands that have quality and efficiency that they think will put them in front of everyone else and they won’t be influenced by cute messages and funny imagery.

Hero businesses promote themselves as being far more superior than anyone else. They feel as though if anyone gets a higher rating or has better value, that is the worst thing that can possibly happen to them.

Thinking of the ruggedly handsome guy, brings up a lot of past advertisement imagery, like the Marlboro Man or the very old ads for Old Spice. Today, brands like Nike and BMW are good examples.

Nike likes to feature top athletes that have undeniable skills in what they do. They are the best of the best and seem almost super human with their abilities. This appeals to the Hero archetype, because if that person can do it, so can they, and having the same Nike shoes will get them there. But you have to go out and work hard and “Just Do It”.

BMW is one of the best selling luxury automakers of the world and has had the slogan “The Ultimate Driving Machine”. Everyone knows if you are driving a brand new BMW, you are somebody, and that appeals to The Hero archetype for their need to always appear in front of everyone else. This doesn’t make The Hero archetype vain, they just value things that are “better”. BMW ads are no-nonsense and show you their beautiful lines of vehicles.

If your brand would appeal to The Hero archetype for being dependable, strong and high quality, then keep these companies in mind when creating your marketing materials.

The OutlawThe Outlaw:
The archnemesis to The Hero, and is pretty much everything opposite of what The Hero believes in. Also known as The Rebel, this archetype wants revolution, to break the rules and to fight authority. They never want to appear powerless. They are rebellious, wild and like to pave the way for change.

Outlaw or Rebel customers appreciate products that are unconventional and go against the grain.  They like content that shocks with no blatant selling messages.

Rebel companies put themselves out there as an alternative to the mainstream and make an effort to stand out from the crowd. Rebel brands have almost a cult-like following where their fans are extremely loyal. The worst thing that can happen to a Rebel brand is to be kitschy or become too popular.

The main brand that comes to mind that falls under The Outlaw archetype is… you probably guessed it.. Harley Davidson and another is Virgin (Richard Branson).

Harley Davidson’s brand is all about personal freedom, and as an iconic brand, they have set themselves apart from the competition. Their latest ads have always remained the epitome of appealing to the Rebel crowd with messages like; “United by Independents”, and “Try living OFF the straight and narrow”, that call to the break the rules and fighting authority traits of these types of consumers.

Sir Richard Branson’s, Virgin Group, has the main philosophy to do things differently, and this appeals to the Rebel. The Virgin Group has done many different types of businesses, but the ones that are still going strong today, is their Flagship, Virgin Records and Virgin Airlines. Virgin Atlantic (airlines), had the ad for 2015 with the message, life doesn’t come to you, so go to it and Let it Fly. Which really speaks to the Outlaw/Rebel archetype.

So if your brand is revolutionary, an alternative to the mainstream and would appeal to the Rebel archetype, keep these brands in mind when creating your marketing materials.

Up next.. two more archetypes.. The Explorer and The Creator.. CLICK HERE!

Brand Archetypes- Innocent & Regular Folks-Part 2

November 23rd, 2015

As talked about in my previous blog post, having a distinct identity is essential to online success. It raises your visibility and allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal emotional level. So discovering what your brand archetypes are, is central to positioning your company and products in a unique way. There are 12 of them, so in those post, we will discuss two of the 12; The Innocent and the Regular Guy/Gal.

The Innocent: innocent
This archetype represents the dreamer, young people and simplicity. Their ultimate goal is striving to be free and happy & their biggest fear is to do wrong and reap punishment as a result. Think of Audrey Hepburn in pretty much all of her films or even Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands. At their best, they are honest & truly enthusiastic and at their worst they can be boring, irritating and naïve.

The Innocent customer prefers marketing that is straight-talking with no gimmicks and they are naturally drawn to optimistic fun brands.

Innocent brands promise simplicity and innocent focused companies promote themselves as pure, simple and trustworthy. Imagery to express this archetype is natural and not overly fussy. Think of wholesome imagery and straightforward language. Something that brings a warm smile to your face.

Some brands that represent this to the fullest? I’m sure you can think of several, but ones that come to my mind immediately are McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.

Did you see McDonald’s Super Bowl ad this year? It was all about “Pay With Lovin” Where McDonald’s employees would randomly select customers and instead of paying for their meal with money, they would urge them to call their mom or child and tell them that they love them or randomly dance with joy or even just give a big hug. Brings a smile to your face doesn’t it? 🙂

One of Coca-Cola’s ads this year is to #MakeItHappy, where the ad is about all the hate on the internet today and how you can make a difference by “Make it Happy” instead. The tech spills his Coca-Cola on servers and the Coca-Cola changes messages to inspire love and acceptance.

So is your brand about love, innocence, geared towards younger audiences or wholesome? If so, keep these major brands in mind when creating your sales copy or when writing newsletters, blog posts, social marketing or creating advertising for your business.

the everymanThe Regular Guy or Gal:
Down to earth, wants to connect with others and to belong are the traits of this archetype. Their biggest fear is to stand out and to separate themselves. Think of the everyman.. good representations are Homer Simpson and even Bilbo Baggins from the Hobbit. At their best they are friendly, emphatic and very reliable, but at their worst they are weak, superficial and are easily swayed.

The Everyman customer prefers the familiar and emotionally invests in brands they trust. They want and need, quality and dependability.

Everyman brands promise belonging, and take pride in their down-to-earth beliefs. They project honesty and dependability and solid virtues. Imagery to express this archetype would be getting in tough with everyday folks, with situations that occur in everyday life and giving a sense of belonging by providing imagery that shows…hey, that happened to me or I want to do that or I want that too!

Some brands that represent this? For me, it would be Home Depot and eBay.

Home Depot’s slogan used to be “Your can do it, We can help”. Which appeals to the everyman, because it gives them a sense of belonging to something. Their slogan now is “More Saving, More Doing”. Which is a more simplistic tagline. It’s straight to the point and provides that everyman customer the sense that they can do it, and at a lower cost.

eBay has had many slogans over the years. Such as; “World’s Online Marketplace”, “Whatever it is, you can get it on eBay”, “Buy it, Sell it, Love it” and “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay”. The core of eBay is that anyone can be an online seller and they make it easy to do it. By opening themselves up for anyone to sell products from all over the world, it makes them a huge marketplace for buyers and sellers. This appeals to the everyman, because it gives them a community to belong to, and allows them to work on fulfilling what is everyone’s dream, to make more money as a seller and as a buyer, being able to find pretty much anything they are looking for, and the chance to buy it from another everyman.

So is your brand down-to-earth, dependable and geared towards the guy or gal next door? If so, keep brands like these in mind.

Up next…two more archetypes; The Hero and The Outlaw. CLICK HERE!

What are your Brand Archetypes?

November 20th, 2015

Archetypes_with_linkinHaving a distinct identity is essential to online success. It raises your visibility and allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal emotional level. So discovering what your brand archetypes are, is central to positioning your company and products in a unique way.

According to Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, humans tend to use symbolism to understand their world and he identified 12 archetypes (powerful identities or personas) that makes up the world. Each identity has its own set of characteristics, values, attitudes & behaviors. Advertisers use this archetype concept when creating marketing ads, business messages, and etc. Consumers connect with, or relate to the personality of brands and how they represent needs and desires. And of course, through relating, that brings us closer to that company and their products.

Archetypes are a powerful marketing and advertising tool and cover a broad range of iconic characters, everything from the Good Guy (Hero) to the Bad Guy (Rebel). So take time to learn about each one and how they may apply to your business brand and use these archetypes as a basis for your online marketing and even when writing product descriptions and content for your website.

I will spread the types of archetypes out with descriptions and examples over the course of several blog posts.

In the meantime, here is a list of the archetypes that we will be covering.. I’m sure that you can already attach certain archetypes to well known brands already!

1. The Innocent                              7. The Ruler
2. The Regular Guy/Gal                   8. The Magician
3. The Hero                                    9. The Lover
4. The Outlaw                                10. The Caregiver
5. The Explorer                              11. The Jester
6. The Creator                                12. The Sage

Click for the next!

Yahoo! Small Business is now Aabaco Small Business

November 18th, 2015

Aabaco_yahoo_424x204On Monday, Yahoo! Small Business officially changed their name to Aabaco Small Business to better align themselves with their soon-to-be parent company; Aabaco Holdings.

Don’t worry! All the great services that Yahoo! Small Business provided will still be there, but just with a name change.

What does that mean for you? Nothing, other than trying to remember what their new name is. 🙂

It is not uncommon for major companies to change their overall business name. It’s happened many times in the past. Google used to be called BackRub. Sound of Music is what Best Buy used to be named. Brad’s Drink changed their name to Pepsi-Cola and Blue Ribbon Sports is now called Nike.

We have recommended Yahoo! Small Business for a very long time, and we trust them, so should you! “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” -William Shakespeare

SEM and SEO Basics

June 24th, 2015

Realistic vector magnifying glassWhen you launch your website, it doesn’t naturally sit at the top of the search engines. It takes time, creativity, due diligence & sometimes cash.


Let’s start with SEM.
SEM = Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing is the process of purchasing ads to get your site to the top of the search engines. Ads always display first, so this is the quickest way to get your site noticed, but it can get VERY expensive! So instead of going straight to Google, which is the most popular search engine and the highest cost, start with smaller lower cost search engines. But do your research & check what the costs are for each one.

With ads you pay per click. So you need to stay on top of your ads and monitor them closely, because they can be quite the cash drainer. So think about how much you can afford to pay each month, and setup your ads to only pay that amount each month. Many ad services allow you to pay up to so much, and then once you reach that amount, the ad will automatically stop until funds are available for the next month.

Google Ads – Google ads and adsense. These are two separate things. But for what we are talking about here, Ads is what you want. Google is used by over a billion people every month!
Bing Ads – Bing and Yahoo are combined, so you get more bang for your buck. Bing & Yahoo are used by over 300,000,000 each a month, so that is around 600 million users per month!
AOL Ads – AOL is used by over 120 million people a month.

There’s more to check out, so do a search for most popular search engines and check out if they have available advertising space. Some search engines use Google’s ads or Bing’s ads, so you get even more coverage across those search engines if you advertise with one of those.

If paying for top spots doesn’t seem like something you are willing to watch over, maintain and work on, plus you don’t have the extra funds for it, then SEO would be the next option for you. I personally recommend both, or pay for ads and work on your SEO and then cancel your ads!

SEO = Search Engine Optimization, this is the process of optimizing your site with the right keywords so your site is relevant for what someone searched for. This is what keyword research services is doing.

Basic SEO is choosing popular keywords & phrases that describe what you are offering and placing them on your site in your content to engage readers. Always be careful with how you do this, because if you are spamming keywords, the search engines don’t like that and will penalize you for it. So, my advice would be to work with a SEO company like who can help you and your company develop an effective keyword strategy. For instance, you can list out keywords in your meta tags, but don’t list keywords on your site in a big paragraph, they must be embedded in your content. So make a list of keywords and stick to those keywords in your meta tags and your content. You may also try to look for  to assist you on this.

Meta Tags: Google’s Keyword Planner is perfect for finding a multitude of keywords, and the number of searches for those keywords. For example, do you sell soy candles? Then your keywords would be things like.. soy candles, scented soy candles, vanilla soy candles, home fragrances,  soy wax candles, pillar soy candles and etc. Look at keywords that have more than 1000 searches per month, and use those keywords in your meta tags.

Site Content: In your site content, you don’t want to have big paragraphs of keywords. So in your product descriptions, just make sure that those keywords are repeated in your content.

For example, if the product is a soy vanilla scented pillar candle, my description would be;
Ahh, the lovely scent of vanilla! Enjoy these scented soy candles in every room of your home for a refreshing & calming home fragrance. Our scented soy wax candles come in a variety of sizes; Pillar Soy Candles, Taper Soy Candles and Votive Soy Candles.

That’s just a basic example, if it were my site, I would probably have more to say about it! But this gives you a good idea. So you can see that I used 6 keywords, just in that very small 2 sentence paragraph! So writing your own product descriptions to match your site keywords and of course to add your own personality, is very important!

Have some SEM & SEO tips for our readers? Comment below!