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small business Archives - Jen DeVore Richter

Inspired Mission Statement

Crafting Your Inspired Mission Statement

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And how you can find clarity in “The Why”

Doing Good

If your BOLD Vision defines where you’re going, then your Inspired Mission Statement defines how you will get there. It becomes a roadmap of sorts to keep you focused on your journey to becoming a Rockstar Professional.

A Rockstar Professional is one who has advanced from the ordinary and has become an industry standout. They have separated themselves from the competition because they are sharing their unique purpose, passions, and gifts with the world.

When a business has been living a rich and giving mission, the community stands behind it and supports it. People want to do business with companies that do good.

The values of a company, and “doing good,” are communicated through the company’s vision and most importantly, the Inspired mission.

Even if you’re marketing for a company and it’s not your business, it is helpful to have a defined mission statement. Do you know the company’s mission?

If not, then this exercise can be shared with your manager, director, or boss and you will look like a hero!

How To Craft Your Inspired Mission Statement

To understand how to craft your inspired mission, we need to know the answer to this question:

Who do you work with, what do they want and why?

Take a moment to record your initial response to this vital question, trying to do so in 15 words or less by filling in the blanks.

I work with _______________________ who want to __________________ so they can

______________________________.

Recently, my business partners and I held a training with some key local influencers to test pilot the idea of a mastermind with them. Our conference room was filled with about 10 entrepreneurs at various stages of their careers. One gentlemen in particular, I will call him Ray, was feeling stuck on which direction he should take his business. He wanted to help everyone and was having a hard time finding focus.

I asked Ray to answer that question and a light bulb went off in his head! By answering the question he was able to narrow his focus and find clarity.

Personal Branding Speaker Jen DeVore Richter

This exercise is so important that many savvy business owners will put the statement on the front home page of their website. You can see mine at http://jendevore.rocks. (I won’t give away the answer here- it’s a little surprise for you.)

What is important to note is that this is not an ordinary mission statement. It is inspired. It is inspired because of the last section: the why. Knowing who you work with, what they need, and why is vital.

As a fun exercise, I took the McDonald’s mission statement and made it inspired:

Here is their existing mission:

McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.”

Here is my take on an inspired mission for them:

“At McDonald’s we work hard to provide your favorite place to eat and drink so you can focus on enjoying life.”

The difference is in adding “The Why” I need to bring my kids to McDonald’s as a busy working mom. It’s so we can enjoy life and not stress about meal prep.

Why am I Telling You This Story?

Because once you have your Inspired Mission clearly communicated, your marketing efforts will resonate with your audience.

The main takeaway here is that by answering “The Why”, you are now able to find focus and clarity instead of wanting to help everyone. Just like Ray! This “Why” will help you to stand out in your industry as a Rockstar Professional.

 

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Connecting with your audience and building influence

Connecting With Your Audience & Building Influence

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Connecting With Your Audience

In this article, we’re going to be discussing how you can truly connect with your audience in ways that go beyond social media shout-outs, and blog post comments, with real life connections that have the potential to be life-changing.

Recently, I was on an airplane flying from Jacksonville to St. Louis for a speaking engagement. As I boarded the airplane early in the morning I realized that I was assigned the middle seat. The woman who was sitting by the window appeared to be having a very bad day when I struggled to put my belongings under my seat and dug the seat belt out of the seat cushions. I gave her a small smile and said good morning. She looked at me with a little bit of sadness on her face and I could tell that she was on the verge of tears. I asked her, “Are you okay?” and she said no. “I thought my flight was at 8 o’clock this morning,” she said,  “but it was actually at 8 o’clock tonight. So I’ve started my morning off frustrated trying to rearrange my flights and am just having a really bad day.”

Take Time To Listen

Her name was Layla and I listened as she told me story after story of how she felt like life was beating her down. She had lost her job recently. She was having problems with her relationships. And was searching for a purpose in her life. She told me that she really wanted to start a business but she lacked vision for how to do it. 

I felt when she said those words to me that God had put me in that middle seat at that time in the morning specifically to meet Layla and to be an encouragement to her.

I said to her you’re not going to believe this but I am in the Bold Vision business. I told her that I was on my way to the speaking engagement in St. Louis and that I had just written a book that helps people gain clarity over their lives and the direction of their business or career choices. Her eyes widened as I took a copy of my book out of my bag and handed it to her as a gift. She asked “Really? I can’t believe my luck! This is turning out to be the best day ever!” She smiled as she thumbed through the book and told me that she was so happy that her day had turned around and that I was sitting next to her. Layla and I had a great connection that morning on the airplane. I was able to be an encouragement to her using not only my personal friendship but also using my work and the purpose that I find as a speaker. What started out as a terrible day turned into a new connection and I hope a renewed sense of direction for Layla.

Use Your Influence to Lift Others Up

I am sharing this story with you to encourage you to look for real ways of connecting with your audience. When everyone else is wrapped up in social media followers and fans, we need to be focused on lifting each other up. available on itunes

Shifting Your Mindset

This attitude will require that you take a mindset shift away from always looking to your phone as a way to connect to your audience, and instead open your eyes and heart to those around you.

Actions You Should Take

The action that I would like for you to take this week is to look for one person that you can uplift in business. Perhaps it’s sharing a tip or trick that you know could save them lots of time and money. Perhaps it’s just saying an encouraging word and giving a compliment.


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Storytelling to Grow Your Business

Using Story Telling to Grow Your Business

By | branding

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Story Telling to Grow Your Business

Story Telling has become a powerful tool in marketing because technology has leveled the playing field. Technology in the palm of our hands has enabled brands both big and small to be able to reach new audiences, spread their messages farther, and create movements around their businesses.

According to a recent article in Forbes Magazine, storytelling is important in this new economy for brand engagement and the best way to engage your audience members and potential customers or clients is  by tapping into their emotions. Stories are the mechanism for building emotional engagement with your brand.

If you are looking to build a Purpose Filled Business this means that you are mission-driven. You have a message to share, a movement to create, and something bigger than you to build. In order to create a platform for your movement you will need to have a collection of stories related to your company and the impact that you are making on your community. available on itunes

Stories to Grow Your Business

Let me use a story to demonstrate how stories can be used to grow your business. This week I launched a new service offering in my company Rock My Image. It is called VIP Days.

In a VIP Day, a client gets to work with me one-on-one for either a half-day or full-day to focus on a marketing issue that has been frustrating them. As I was beginning to create the marketing pieces for this new VIP Day, I stopped to take a moment and reflect on a recent client success story that I have that would demonstrate the value of working with me one-on-one as a coach. Fortunately, I have had a very big success with one of my clients named April.

April is the marketing manager for a very high-profile attorney and April had been very frustrated with her social media and blogging efforts. She was feeling overwhelmed because she never knew what to write each month and was spinning her wheels trying to get content created on a regular basis. Through working with me as her coach, I was able to give her a super easy and simple system that she can follow for creating content. We actually were able to plan an entire year’s worth of social media and blog content in one day which resulted in a 407 percent increase in their content marketing score for the year in a very short period of time. I used my client success story with April as a story to demonstrate and launch the new VIP Day service offering to great success. Personal Branding Speaker Jen DeVore Richter

Your Stories Matter

Stories matter in companies because they build a legacy that can be passed down much like a family history can be passed down. When the influencers inside your company know the stories and are able to communicate them they can build your company’s legacy for you .

So telling your stories and creating a collection of company stories is vital. It is very important for you to tell the stories of your clients and customers, those of your successes, and even those of your failures, in order to build that emotional connection and impact.

Being Relatable is Key

Being relatable is key. You must share stories that your audience can relate to. They need to be able to see themselves inside the story or it needs to be universally appealing. Your company story should not be “inside jokes” or  “you had to be there moments.”

Build a Library of Stories

The best way to ensure that your company stories are used effectively is to build a library. You can use a simple system like Google Documents, Evernote, or another text editing documentation system that lives in the cloud, in order to ensure that you were leadership and customer services teams most importantly, have access to them. 

It will also be important for you to record your brand and business stories on video so that they can be shared on social media and an email marketing or anywhere content lives on the internet and your audience is listening.

Why am I Telling You This Story and Giving You This Exercise?

I am giving you this information to inspire you to begin to think about how you can document the stories of your brand. You already have these stories at your disposal. They may just be locked away in your memories somewhere. The other key that you will want to do when you document your stories is to match them up with the problems that the story demonstrates and that you solve. You can easily index your library of stories by key terms in order to make this process easy and fun.

Shifting Your Mindset

Beginning to tell a brand story is going to require a mindset shift. It is going to require that you move away from only focusing on your services, or the features and benefits of your product. While those things are important for you to communicate in your marketing, remember: stories sell.

Actions You Should Take

The action that I would like for you to take this week is to think of one problem that your business or brand solves for  your customers and think of one story from your company’s history that demonstrate how you solved that problem for someone else. Be sure to write this down the story and if you’re feeling ambitious record it on video and share it with your social media followers. I can’t wait to hear your stories and see your Purpose Filled Business grow.

 

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Special Episode: The Day I Met Sunny – Purpose Filled Business

By | branding

Purpose Filled Business

In business we often become focused on things that are temporary. We focus on leads, sales, money, and recognition. We lose focus of things that are eternal. Like serving, making an impact, and becoming spiritually rich.

I recently met Sunny. A woman who is using her business to become spiritually rich and ensuring each one of her client’s feels welcomed and loved in her business as a nail tech at a spa.

She is truly living out the meaning of a Purpose Filled Business in the most unassuming way. It was inspiring to see her making such a big impact on her clients from a seemingly small platform.

Hear about The Day I Met Sunny on a very special episode of my podcast Purpose Filled Business on iTunes.

Purpose Filled Business

Upping your Game

Upping Your GAME

By | branding

Up Your GAME

G – Give

A – Associate

M – Manage

E – Elevate

Here is why this is an important topic for you to know

In competitive industries, it can become very difficult to win business, and you must “up your game” just to get attention. Companies that sell large-ticket items with many competing alternatives must be creative and clear on the reasons buyers should choose them. For example, car dealers, medical practices, and financial advisers need to market their services aggressively as multiple options exist for consumers in those markets. If this is your business type, you’ll likely need to up your game regularly just to stay competitive.

Let me state with conviction that the Rockstar Professional focuses on upping his or her game regularly and with passion! Doing so drives the realization of the bold vision and inspired mission.

Marketing should be a reflection of what your business is truly about and how you operate. I consider it an extension of your customer experience. Are you aware of the numerous ways a prospect interacts with your brand before, during, and after the sale? What do those interactions say about you and what your brand?

My Experience Story

Give: Our business and personal lives keep us busy, but we must guard against becoming too busy to consider the ways that giving can up our game. Too often business professionals and owners have a what-can-I-get mentality. Try nurturing a what-can-I-give mentality—in an open and genuine, not manipulative way—and see how those efforts turn into organic marketing opportunities. Particularly in networking situations, come with a what-can-I-give attitude and you’ll see that more people will want to connect with you. Be smart about your giving, though, it’s not about how much you can give (you’ll wear yourself and your company out), but how you can give in well-considered, meaningful ways that result in growing yourself and your business. 

Yesterday I was speaking with a prospective client on the phone and provided an asset that I typically charge for to her as a thank you for taking the call. My intention in doing so was to provide real value on our call and exceed her expectations right from the beginning.

Associate : We associate with others on a daily basis. When we stop to reflect upon those with whom we associate, are they positive, energy-infusing people, or are they negative, energy draining people? With whom and what we associate matters— who we’re connected to, what we’re associated with. You can up your game by being thoughtful about your associations and developing ones that are more meaningful.

This is especially important on social media. Be aware of what and who you are associating with. You may not even realize it, but people notice even the smallest details. How can your words and actions lift others up and be an encouragement?

Manage : It’s the classic struggle: how to manage our lives well. By lives, we include our time, relationships, business dealings, basically everything. We recommend evaluating how you’re managing all aspects of your life, on at least a quarterly basis, if not weekly or even daily. When we manage our lives well, it leaves us more time to concentrate on forming and executing smart marketing strategies. A chaotic life cannot support a healthy, growing business.

I call this leaving margin.Your must purposefully and intentionally create margin in your days for valued relationships, personal time, and even prayer or meditation in order for you not to burn out and begin to feel overwhelmed.

Jen and husband Will at Fashion Industry EventElevate : A well-managed life will naturally lead to wanting to elevate ourselves and our businesses. Elevating is about lifelong learning, not settling for mediocrity, and making the most out of our strengths and opportunities while shoring up our weaknesses and minimizing threats. It’s not about being unsettled or dissatisfied with our businesses or ourselves, but about accepting where our business and we as individuals are and continuing to grow from that point forward. Elevating our businesses and ourselves is inextricably tied to our attitudes. The Rockstar Professional cultivates an attitude of consistent elevation and invest in themselves, mind, body & soul.

Why am I Telling You This Story and Giving You This Exercise?

I intend to inspire and challenge you to not rest on your laurels. Challenge yourself to build the business of your dreams be elevating your game.

Shifting Your Mindset

This will require a shift in your mindset towards the abundant mindset. How can you encourage? How can you elevate not only yourself but others? How can you improve your relationships and time? available on itunes

Actions You Should Take

Now, up your GAME. In five minutes, note as many ways you can think of to give, associate, manage, and elevate your business or yourself as a business professional or company owner. We bet you’ll surprise yourself with what you’re able to brainstorm.

 

 

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The It factor

Top 3 Keys for Determining Your Unique Selling Point

By | branding

And how you can find your “It Factor”

The “It Factor”

When we think of “It Factor” the first thing that may come to mind is being an overnight success, a superstar that got a big break, or someone that has this amazing, wonderful, unique idea that the world has never seen before.

But the way I see it, God has given us each individual gifts and traits that should be used to build our brands and businesses in our own way.

Personal branding is the management of your image. It’s basically Perception Management. So, you can control that part by not being afraid to stand out. Getting noticed, sharing your story, and crafting your image.

But building a successful business, a purpose- filled business requires more than just excellent brand management. It requires the It Factor.

According to research, in small business, only 2 of 10 entrepreneurs will be successful. Yes, only a 20% success rate. 80% fail in the first 18 months.

 

Why do you think this is?

 

Personally, I think it is because entrepreneurs lack the education and information they need to make great decisions about marketing, money management, and other areas of business. But, I have noticed that entrepreneurs with the “It Factor” do tend to survive and thrive in business.

My business partners and I have created a formula for the It Factor and I’m going to share it with you.

Rockstar Professional Formula for Success = Attitude + Expertise + Drive

  • Attitude
  • Expertise
  • Drive

A lot of business owners tend to have 2 out of the three traits. But, it is vital that you have all 3.

This was a pivotal moment for me. After my book Amplify Your Business started attracting media attention, I knew I had figured it out!

Attitude

When you decide that you are going to be successful in business. It requires an Attitude adjustment. First, your attitude is changed away from the status quo. You decide that you are ready for a new life. You are ready for fame, fortune, and freedom. You decide that you want to become a Rockstar Professional and build a purpose filled business.

Being a success in business requires this attitude to come from within. No One can give it to you. You won’t find it in a self help book, 12-step program, or personal development workshop. You will need to believe in yourself.

I actually had someone who tipped her toe in the entrepreneurial pond (so to speak) that gave up after some setbacks say something to me that demonstrates the importance of attitude. She said. “Jen, I’ve decided that I’m not like you. I’m not a leader that can solve big problems. I want to be led. I want someone else to tell me what to do.”

She’s missing the first part of the equation, Attitude. She wasn’t ready.

Expertise

Taking on a position of leadership requires expertise. You need to be an expert in your area. People are going to look up to you and you need to be able to back up what you’re saying.

Being an expert can come from education, training, experience, or all three of these things. But, you do need expertise. As a business leader, it is not possible for you to be an expert in all areas of business. So, you will need to recognize and know what you don’t know and build a team of experts around you that can help you get where you’re trying to go.

I am in business with my two business partners because we each have an area of expertise.

Kenny- technical director

Jen- accounts director

Manny- creative director Jen Book Signing

If we were a band I would be the tour manager taking our show on the road, Kenny would be behind the scenes ensuring that the lights come on, and Manny is the guy who runs the production on stage.

We are each experts in our own area and smart enough to realize where our weaknesses are. That’s why we have each other.

Drive

A few years ago, I was working with a coaching client who wasn’t being very coachable. All the advice I was giving her wasn’t being received. She had put up some mental roadblocks and to me seemed to be self-sabotaging her success.

I mentioned this to her and she said to me, “Jen, if I’m going to go down, I’m going to go down in a blaze of glory.” I was so disappointed. It seemed to me that she had already determined her outcome. She had lost her drive.

Building a business is not easy. I’m not here to sugar coat it. And this part- the Drive- is probably the toughest one to maintain.

It’s easy to start out with a positive attitude, have the expertise to open a business, but the drive is what will sustain you.

How To Find Your It Factor

One key action you can take it to do a self assessment and examine your Attitude, Expertise and Drive.

This doesn’t have to be complicated. You can start simply by asking the following questions:

Attitude– Is my attitude healthy, positive, and focused on goals rather than on challenges or setbacks?

Expertise– What areas of business do I need to invest in education to raise my level of expertise? Are there new partnerships I need to form?

Drive– When times get tough and I face setbacks, what tools will I use to push me through?.

Why am I Telling You This Story?

I intend to inspire and challenge you to think differently about success and make you recognize that this elusive “It Factor” isn’t so mysterious or reserved for the lucky, special, or genius. We all have it inside of us. We just need to dig deeper to find it.

Purpose Filled BusinessThe main takeaway here is that you don’t have to be a celebrity to qualify for the “IT” Factor. Each and every one of us has one, if not multiple unique and special talents that allow us to stand out from the crowd. You just have to decide how you want to channel that talent and use it to give your business that extra edge.

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Building your brand experience

Building Your Brand Experience

By | branding

Previously We’ve Discussed the 5 Chords Of Branding

  1. Values
  2. Style
  3. Message
  4. Experience
  5. “IT” Factor

Today we will look closer at the Brand Experience you create for your customers. The perspective we want to take is from the outside looking in, so from the client, customer, or patient perspective, what is the sensory experience along the entire customer journey from beginning to end?

 How you are perceived is an experience for everyone that interacts with your company and your representatives. So, we need to show up intentionally, full of hospitality, and from a servant’s perspective always asking the question, “How does this serve my customer?” 

Here is why this is an important topic for you to know

 In order to build a Purpose Filled Business, we need communicate consistently and with care. We need to provide a great experience, and we need to keep the customer, client or patient as top priority. Everything we do is for their good.

To do this we need to examine all of the multitude of ways people interact with your company, before, during, and after the sale. Actions speak louder than words and by creating a great brand experience, you can let your values shine.

 There are 3 main areas to consider when creating a top notch brand experience along the entire customer buying journey.

  • Before the Sale

 Marketing

  1. Word of Mouth referral – check out your Facebook page – visit your website- easy to use and understand? Optimized for mobile? Information up to date and accurate?
  2. Call your office – how is the phone answered? How does scheduling go? What is your recorded message? Do you confirm appointments?
  3. Visit your store- how are they greeted? How does the salesperson act? What is the in-store experience from the 5 senses?
  1. See – lighting, displays
  2. Smell – fragrance, aroma, odor?
  3. Touch – textures of furniture, shop items
  4. Taste – complimentary lemon water, cookies, candy bowl
  5. Hear – music, staff conversations, loud noise
  • During the Sale – use their name, packaging, ease of checkout, thank them.
  • After the Sale – follow up after the sale- thank you cards, VIP event invitations, special offers, useful information and education.

My Experience Story

 One of the best brand experiences I have ever had was when my husband and I got engaged in Atlanta and stayed at a W hotel.

 If you aren’t familiar with the W hotels, I highly recommend that you visit one to see what I’m about to explain. First of all, when booking a stay, their website experience is amazing. You can visit www.starwoodhotels.com to see for yourself. 

 Their website is more than just a brochure with photos of the rooms and a booking tool. They know their customers so well that they are able to provide magazine style content on fashion, music, and design. You can learn about new events and happenings. Many of their target customers will visit a W hotel just to hang out in the hotel lobby bar even if they’re not staying there!

 In the fall 2012, Will surprised me with a weekend trip to Atlanta. When we arrived at the hotel, which was a W hotel, the valet were there immediately to open my door and take my bag. When I walked in the lobby, there was cool, hip music playing, fresh lemon water available for free, and a pleasant scent filled the air. The lobby was spotless, clean and impeccably designed and decorated.

 That night, Will took me out to dinner and when we returned to the hotel newly engaged, the staff had a plate of chocolate covered strawberries and a complimentary bottle of champagne set up for us in a VIP booth in the restaurant. He had just casually mentioned to one of the staff members in secrecy that he was going to propose and they sprung into action. 

Wow! Talk about going above and beyond for your customer! They blow our minds! This is an example of a great brand experience.

How To Build a Great Brand Experience

 One key action you can take to build a great brand experience is to first take an assessment of every way that a customer interacts with your brand from before the sale-during the sale-to after the sale. Just start with a simple text document and list them all out. Then brainstorm ideas for creating a first rate experience on each level. 

 This doesn’t have to be expensive. You can start simply and work your way up through time.

 Also, ask for feedback from your customers using a simple survey. Survey Monkey is a great free online tool you can use to create surveys.

 In addition, have someone “secret shop” your sales process and get their unbiased feedback. We can’t improve what we don’t acknowledge.

 Why am I Telling You This Story and Giving You This Exercise?

 Maya Angelou: People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you make them feel.

This is a valuable lesson in building a purpose filled business.

 How are you loving on your customers?

 Shifting Your Mindset

 This will require a shift in your mindset away from looking at your business only from your perspective. You will need to step outside of yourself and away from your business to see the areas for improvement.

available on itunesActions You Should Take

 Your action for this week is to take an inventory of your buyer journey and then implement one new experience that will thrill your customers. Make it a goal to implement one new idea each month.

 

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