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Build Your Small Business Brand by Avoiding These 5 Common Pitfalls

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Every business starts out with the hope of a bright future, but some companies just can’t build a solid reputation or overcome obstacles as they climb the ladder.

Building your company’s image, or branding, is as essential as the products or services you actually provide, and you’ll want to steer clear of these common mistakes.

 

 

 

 

Common Pitfalls of Branding

 

Offending Consumers

Crass humor, stereotyping and patronizing customers is rarely an effective branding method, but accidental offense is also avoidable. A diverse company and marketing team is one way to make sure you won’t step on any toes. In fact, if you can locate the consumers that the competition offends, you might find yourself a profitable niche.

 

Being Too Rigid

CEO of GoDaddy, the Web hosting and domain company, Bob Parsons, is a creative leader. Not only is he the one who came up with the idea of GoDaddy girls, but businessman Bob Parsons explained his advertising strategy in an interview with Inc Magazine, in which he said there was no real advertising budget. Bob Parsons simply open to opportunities, even ones that pop up at the last minute. Allowing yourself to roll with the punches is necessary. Others will want to work with you when you develop a reputation as flexible.

 

Poor Name Choice

Choosing the right name for your company comes before Web sites, marketing campaigns and printed materials. For many, their own name also represents the business. You may play on words or use industry ideals. Whatever your name, it must represent your company. Changing names at a later date is confusing and costly. Because you’ll use your company name in so many places, consider the following:

  • Is it too long or short?
  • Is it difficult to spell?
  • Is it overly common like “John Smith”?
  • Can you use it as a domain name? Who Represents might be a good business name but “whorepresents.com” is slightly less than ideal.

Test out your company name with friends, family and associates before you print it on your business cards.

 

Broken Promises

While your company might not be running to become President of the United States, you can learn something from the oversized branding that presidential hopefuls, and even winners, participate in. Political campaigns like Obama’s in 2008 involved a lot of big ideas, promises and hope. It was certainly the idea of “Yes we can” that helped to get Obama into the Oval Office, but then reality hit. Obama wasn’t able to make every promise into a reality. Partisan arguing has led to a less effective socialized medicine law, for example, that still has some conservatives upset. Even when you do make good on your word, people will have something negative to say, so it’s best to only make promises that you can fulfill from the start.

 

Lack of Passion

What is causing your customers’ unhappiness? What issue can you solve for them? Once you answer those questions, advertising and branding falls right in place. The things that worry consumers and pull at their heart strings often encourage them to open their wallets, but if you lack emotion, you’ll miss this opportunity instead of empowering consumers. Furthermore, everyone wants to feel as though they’re talking to a real, live human being and not a computer. This is where showing emotion helps you stand out from the crowd.

 

Feature Image: Deposit Photos
 

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5 Women Who Revolutionized Tech and Made Millions

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There are many female entrepreneurs in today’s world revolutionizing the tech industry and owning their own unique craft. Before, technology and business was seen as a more male-dominanted industry that women rarely crossed into. That’s no longer the case. (more…)

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The Truth About Marketing Every First Time Founder Should Know

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While starting your own business is an exhilarating experience, many start-up founders struggle with successful marketing more than any other area of business. So if you’re thinking about starting a business, here are some of the key things you need to know about marketing before you take the plunge. (more…)

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Lessons I Have Learned About Scaling a Business as a Startup Founder

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When I set out to start my own business three years ago, I never imagined bright lights and private jets to New York or Shanghai for business meetings. Good thing I didn’t because it is nothing like that at all. It was a struggle from day one and I had to embrace the grind to grow. (more…)

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5 Hacks to Improve Your Writing Skills in English for ESL Learners

Phil Collins

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Studying in college is hard for everyone, but ESL learners arguably suffer the most. Moving to a foreign country, learning a new language, and keeping pace with the rest of the class may seem like an unbearable burden. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but you have to pull through and not give up. 

In moments like this, it’s always a good idea to seek help. Whether you go to WriteMyPaper to order an essay or just talk to a friend, admitting vulnerability is an important step towards improvement. In this article, you will find some tips on how to get better at essay writing, even if English is not your native language.

 

Control Your Environment

Improving your language skills is all about constant practice. Living in an English-speaking community is the first thing you should do to start your practice. It might be tempting to surround yourself with people who already speak a familiar language. However, this way, you won’t be practicing English on a daily basis.

You need to make those lessons almost intuitive in a way that you don’t have to do anything to learn the language. If you live in an English-speaking community, for example, if your roommate speaks English, you will have to practice the language, whether you want it or not.

Still, make sure you don’t take it too far. Taking care of yourself is still as important as ever. Feeling like an alien for the sake of education is not worth it. Remember to keep in touch with your friends and family, talk to them as often as necessary.

 

Practice Constantly

Practicing language is not just about doing your homework. You can make practicing English a normal part of your daily routine by watching TV, listening to music, and reading books in this language. 

Yet, this is a bit tricky. When being surrounded by white noise, people tend to learn not to notice it. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen. As you watch movies or read books, maintain your attention on what you’re doing. If you hear or see a word that you don’t understand – translate it and write it down. Be mindful and remember what you’re doing this for.

 

Writing Is The Answer

If you want to specifically learn to write, you need to do one thing, and that is to write. Continuous practice will help you understand what mistakes you often make and, in time, eliminate them. Focus on your goal, and don’t get discouraged when something’s not working. After all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Get a journal and write in it daily. Pick a new topic every time and note everything you can think of. It’s also important that you write by hand, a spelling checker in your computer is tempting, but it will not help you remember how to spell words correctly. 

Besides, journaling as a habit has multiple health benefits, and it can be therapeutic. It can help you get in touch with yourself and process your emotions better.

 

Learn In a Group

It’s proven that learning in a group is more efficient due to the sense of competition. Find a bunch of like-minded people who want to study with you or join an already existing one, like a speaking club.

The benefit of such activities is that you get all these people from entirely different backgrounds who are all good at various things. This will help you exchange experiences, which is impossible if you’re alone.

Schedule regular meetings, come up with topics to discuss and activities to do. You could watch videos or movies together, or talk about common things. Having assignments like describing an event can also be beneficial for the entire group. This way, while one person speaks, the rest think about how they would say the same things differently. 

This will help you feel more confident in your skills and, consequently, speak and write better.

 

Expose Yourself

The most important thing about learning a language is not to be afraid of making mistakes. It’s inevitable; you just have to take it as a natural part of a learning process. 

A child that is learning how to walk doesn’t give up after falling once, and you shouldn’t either. It’s most likely that your friends understand that you’re just learning a language, and they won’t laugh at you for misusing a word or a few. 

Get over that fear of error and make as many mistakes as it will take. Treat it lightly, and don’t beat yourself up for it. On the other hand, try to attend as many events as you can that will expose you to the foreign language. Not only will it boost your English skills, but also improve your social confidence!

 

Wrapping Up

Learning a language is hard; there’s no arguing about that. However, it’s going to get easier with time. Take every hard thing that life throws at you and turn it into a lesson. 

Watch your favorite movies in English, converse with native speakers, and you’ll see the improvement very soon!

Remember to be patient about it. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over something that you have so little control of. Good luck!

 

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