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Welcome to Raising the Bar
I know a lot of very smart people. So, since I’m hopefully on an international flight today (send up thoughts and prayers to the airline gods), I thought I’d re-share some of the amazing wisdom from everyone who’s guest blogged for me this past year. Even if you read them, they’re worth reading again. 
 
Here’s how to make your life easier
Nancy Ruzow

Branding, identity design, and logos play a huge role in the perception of your company. They send signals to potential clients and help guide their decision-making process. Just like my black-rimmed glasses and t-shirt are part of my brand, everything that represents you is part of yours. Your brand can be the uniforms people wear or the things they say when they answer the phone. It can be the music you play in your office or store or the snacks you serve in the meeting room. Whatever it is, make sure you consult professionals to nail your brand — it will make your life easier!

Make your life easier
 
How newness is not your weakness in business
Lisa Mullis

You might be new in your business. Or you might be at the start of learning a new skill or modality. You might be working with new clients. You might be new to managing a team. Really, no matter how long you’ve been in business or what kind of business you’re in, there will be many moments of new throughout the journey. When you can celebrate being a beginner, you can step into the energy and delight of newness.

Celebrate being a beginner
 
How my niche found me
Ilise Benun
For almost 20 years now, I’ve been teaching creative professionals “how to get better clients with bigger budgets” — that’s the evolution of my elevator pitch. I went from organizing to self promotion to mentoring. I’ve followed the needs of the market and my brand has evolved as well, from CMM to The Art of Self-Promotion, to eventually, Marketing Mentor. The market is growing and the need for help with marketing (and money) is great. So my brand will continue to evolve as I build more products to serve more creative professionals.
Find your niche
 
Don’t let your brand be the best kept secret
Matthew Wolf
How many organizations out there do you know who are doing great work but their brand doesn’t reflect it? As the owner of a graphic and website design studio, I’ve worked with countless clients in this exact situation. They’re running a non-profit, a department at a university, or a fast growing medtech company. They’ve hired an amazing team, do incredible work and make a major impact in people’s lives except their “front door” is really looking a little shabby and their “business sign” is in need of some touch-up paint and repair. The common thing I’ve seen over and over is that most people don’t know where to start when addressing this mismatch problem or they’re stuck in a cycle of DIY-ing things themselves, even when they know they need help.
Stop being a secret
 
Put an end to the pandemic of Meetings
Linda Secondari

Is it me, or does it feel like our meetings consume our days? Yes, I know the meeting load was big in the before time, but it seems worse since the Pandemic started, and most of us decamped from working IRL to our living rooms and our sweat pants? If you want to get some of your productive hours back, you should first evaluate the meetings you currently have. Start by conducting a meeting audit to determine if your currently scheduled meetings are necessary. Once you know what kind of meetings you have, you’ll be better able to determine which can be eliminated, reduced in frequency, or re-envisioned as asynchronous communications.

Meetings be gone
 
Embracing your authentic brand makes business easier
Theresa Cifali

Once I got super clear on what it meant to build a personality brand, everything in my business got easier. The lessons I learned not only helped me love my business, but improved my productivity. You’re thinking, “Huh? Branding improves productivity?” Absolutely!

Productivity means doing what’s effective in an efficient manner. In other words, it’s doing the right work with as little effort as possible. The right work for your business is the strategies, tactics and tasks that actually help you make progress on your goals. While your goals should inform your actions, so should your brand.

Be authentic
 
How transferable skills can power your personal brand (for your dream role) 
Linda Lautenberg & Judy Schoenberg 

The Great Resignation isn’t going away — with over 4 million Americans quitting every month for 11 months straight! And now we’re seeing employees in the 40-60-year-old group looking to reinvent themselves professionally. When you’re looking to make a change, ever get stumped by a prospective employer saying: “But you don’t have experience in this industry,” or “You’ve never worked in this role.” Whether you’re relaunching your career after a break, searching for a new position within your field, or have decided it’s time to make a change, transferable skills can help you land new opportunities.

Power your brand
 
Stand for something, or sit down
Jessica Korthuis

Any marketer worth their salt will tell you that your brand values matter. But why? Because in a world where commoditized products and services are everywhere, your brand story matters. Marketing is the act of pulling customers toward your offers through varied channels and strategies — these strategies are dynamic and should evolve over time as the business grows. Whereas on the other hand, your “brand platform” (which includes your mission, vision, and value statements), include the anchors of your brand’s core identity. These are the values that keep you going when times get hard, and they’re the same values you employ when faced with the many perils that come with entrepreneurship. Your brand values are enduring, and they’re your key to differentiating your business from others in your space.

Stand for something
 
Surrounded by awesomeness
I’ve been called a branding and marketing genius, a rebel of the universe, an authentic human, all-around awesome and like He-man, only better. Four of these are accurate. Eh, who am I kidding, they’re all accurate.

 

I help individuals and institutions to develop their Genuine Personality Brand, creating content that sounds like you and giving you the space to truly be yourself in your messaging.

And while I can’t pull a rabbit out of my hat, I can hone your brand message, engage your audience and deadlift your employees, but not at the same time. That’s just irresponsible. (note: I’m available for office party tricks and accept payment in bottles of Bordeaux.) – Danielle

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