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Angela Durant is a Brand Strategist and the Founder of the Be Brilliant Movement where she helps established Business Owners and Brave Entrepreneurs build their brands from the inside out, so they own themselves, run profitable businesses and they’re positioned to make a significant impact in the lives of others. A talented speaker and master storyteller, Angela has the ability to inspire companies and individuals to take action and show up powerfully in business and in life. For more information:
SmallBizLady: What do you mean when you say you build Brands from the Inside Out?
Angela Durant: Many people think of Logos, Colors, and Fonts when they think of branding, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The most powerful part of the brand is what lies beneath the surface. And that’s what separates ordinary Brands from Iconic Brands. It’s what lies beneath the surface that causes people to go out of their way to buy your products or services even when they can get a comparable product just down the road. And they’ll be willing to pay more for it!
SmallBizLady: Why do you believe that having a Brand is so important today?
Angela Durant: Walter Landor said, “Products are made in a Factory, but Brands are created in the mind. I love that quote because it is so true. Brands are so important today because how we do business has evolved. It changed from Products to Features, to Benefits, to Experiences and today the strongest pull is for Identity. If you can connect with your clients on an Identity level, you’ll have a customer/an ambassador for life.
SmallBizLady: Where should our listeners start if they want to build a Brilliant Brand?
Angela Durant: They should start by asking 3 powerful questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Why does it matter?
The last question, “Why does it matter?” is the most powerful. Because “Mattering” is the new Marketing.
How to Earn Trust as a Small Business
Melanie Deziel is a keynote speaker, author, award-winning content creator, and the best-selling author of “The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas.” Melanie is also the Co-Founder and VP of Marketing at TheConvoy.com, a B2B marketplace that helps small and independent businesses save money on their everyday expenses so they can invest more in themselves and their communities. Her second book, “Prove It: Exactly How Modern Marketers Earn Trust” is being released in October 2022. For more information: www.TheConvoy.com
SmallBizLady: What is important for small businesses to earn trust before pitching their products and services?
Melanie Deziel: It’s easy for us to focus on sales or business success metrics like “demos scheduled,” “total sales,” or “new subscribers,” but each and every one of those key performance indicators must be preceded by trust! If your customers can’t trust what you say, they’re not going to subscribe, buy, download, schedule, or anything else! Your success rate on any of those metrics, though, will be greatly improved if you can establish and even increase trust before you pitch.
SmallBizLady: What are the 5 claim types?
Melanie Deziel: The five most common types of claims that businesses make—and need to provide proof for—are claims of convenience, comparability, commitment, connection, and competence.
- Convenience includes claims about how fast, easy to use, or compatible your products or services are. Think Geico’s “15 minutes could save you 15% or more” or Visa’s old “Everywhere you want to be.”
- Comparability claims are those that establish something about your brand, like durability or quality, in comparison to another. An example would be Energizer’s campaigns with “it keeps going and going and going and going…”
- Commitment claims are those that establish how much value you place on something, whether that’s a commitment to your customers or a commitment to things like diversity and sustainability. Patagonia has been great about proving their commitment to the environment, in keeping with their purpose: “We’re on a mission to save our home planet.”
- Connection claims are those that testify to a relationship you have, often with your customers or your community. (These may seem similar to commitment claims, except that they involve a two-way relationship, not just one-way effort). Think Olive Garden’s slogan of “When you’re here, you’re family,” or anytime a business says you’re not “just a number.”
- Competence claims are those that have to do with how well you do what you say you do, and often highlight your experience, expertise or legacy. Many companies make claims like these by highlighting how long they have been in business for with phrases like “established 1912” or “since 1987” or by highlighting an anniversary.
SmallBizLady: What are the best ways to build social proof?
Melanie Deziel: One of the easiest ways to build social proof is to use corroboration, in the form of quotes. Whether you quote industry experts or the customers, clients and employees who’ve witnessed the truth of your claims, these quotes ensure it’s not just YOU saying nice things about your company. Your audience won’t have to take your word for it—they can hear it from someone else too!
How to Leverage SCORE to Grow Your Business
Betsy Dougert serves as Vice President of External Relations for SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration that provides free business mentoring and education through a nationwide network of 10,000 experienced volunteers. Her ten years of experience in marketing and communications have built brand awareness and inspired increased investment for educational institutions and non-profits. Betsy leads SCORE’s national public relations, social media, government relations and alliance partnerships. For more information www.score.org
SmallBizLady: What is SCORE?
Betsy Dougert: SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. Since 1964, we have provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs. SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Thanks to this generous support from the SBA and because of the selfless contributions of our more than 10,000 dedicated volunteers, we can deliver most of our offerings at no cost. SCORE provides a wide range of services to established and budding business owners alike, including mentoring, webinars and courses on demand, online resources and more. Formerly, SCORE stood for Service Corps of Retired Executives, but that is not the case anymore – as more than half of our volunteer corps are still working as successful small business owners – so SCORE is the full name.
SmallBizLady: How can a small business find a SCORE chapter in their area?
Betsy Dougert: Current or aspiring entrepreneurs can connect with mentors in their area by heading to www.score.org/find-mentor where they’ll be connected with a free, expert small business mentor in their local community. Small business owners can also do a quick Google search with SCORE and the name of their city to look into local chapter efforts in their area on social media and online.
SmallBizLady: Does SCORE offer any special program for women entrepreneurs?
Betsy Dougert: Absolutely! There are 13 million women-owned businesses in the country that employ 9.4 million workers, so we provided this segment of entrepreneurs with their own centralized resource hub called SCORE for Women Entrepreneurs. The hub includes webinars and original educational online content, free, expert business mentoring, and inspiring women entrepreneur success stories.
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