“Ancora Imparo: Yet I Am Learning!” — Michelangelo, age 87
Always be learning. This is something that I was not always good at. I will admit, all throughout my school years I was bored. Or I thought I was bored. Who knows the real cause, but for some reason, I didn’t fully engage. I know that my teachers and professors realized that back then and tried their best to get me to plug in. But it just didn’t happen. As a matter of fact, some of my college professors were so surprised that I graduated they actually applauded as I crossed the stage with my college diploma.
Just so we are clear, I am not saying that I am proud of all that wasted time and energy trying NOT to learn. Quite the opposite. As a late forty-something looking back, I wish that I had been more engaged. Or found a way to NOT be bored, or whatever. (I actually blame rock ‘n roll, girls, and the ’80s in general, but that’s for another article.)
As a late forty-something looking forward, I am wishing that I had more time to invest in learning and knowledge in general. There are so many good books, and documentaries, and movies, and songs, and cultures, and people…just not enough time. Or at least not enough time for me to learn it ALL. But I am doing what I can to feed my brain. I have realized that in order to serve my clients better, I need to keep learning. To investigate. To follow a thread that interests me, even if it leads me down a rabbit hole. The more we learn, the better equipped we are to tackle the challenges thrown at us.
So to that end, here are some of my favorite online learning platforms for your review. I am not an affiliate for any of these, except for one which will become obvious. I am simply sharing these in case you have never heard of them or need a refresher. Feel free to leave or send in comments about your favorite learning platforms. Maybe you know of one that can spark someone else’s interest.
- Udemy.com — https://www.udemy.com/ — Not only can you take courses here, but you can create and sell your own and educate others.
- Lynda.com — https://www.lynda.com/ — Lynda.com is now part of LinkedIn. They provide courses on everything from software to photography and design.
- Audible.com — https://www.audible.com/ — If you love books but have trouble finding time to actually read, Audible is the place for you. They have audiobooks on just about every subject. From Best-Sellers to even one by yours truly.
- Project Gutenberg — http://www.gutenberg.org/ — If free eBooks are your thing, check out Project Gutenberg. They have over 57,000 (and growing) eBooks available for download.
- Shameless Self Promotion — http://kellyrosskerr.com/products/ — Thanks for indulging me. This page contains one of my webinars, links to my book in all of its forms, as well as the online course version of my book. I would appreciate it if you would check it out and recommend it to your friends.
As always, I hope this has been a help in some small way and that maybe I helped you learn something today.
Learning is essential to business growth and leadership development. When we stop learning, we start dying. It is said that top CEOs and business leaders read up to 65 books per year. Now that’s a lot of learnin’!
Here are my top 10 picks of books to get your brain bubbling with new ideas.
1) Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
2) 7L: The 7 Levels of Communication – Michael Maher
3) Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
4) The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas Stanley
5) Purple Cow – Seth Godin
6) The Go-Giver – Bob Burg
7) The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
8) Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
9) Start With Why – Simon Sinek
10) The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash
Building a brand is hard. I’m not going to lie. It takes thought, time and effort. It also takes a definitive WHY, clear goals, and a roadmap to achieve those goals.
I know, you’re thinking “Wait! What? How does my WHY and my goals for my business relate to my branding? I am confused! I thought my brand was just my logo and tagline.”
When we talk about building a brand or “brand strategy”, we are ultimately talking about a long-term plan to develop a successful business in order to achieve specific goals. Things like creating a great product or service. Making x-amount of dollars. Creating security for our families. Yes? Well then, a well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all areas of a business and is directly connected to the “WHY” and goals of the business/owners.
When working with a client on their business goals and branding, we work through the following questions:
- What is your WHY? Why do you do what you do? What gets you out of bed every morning?
- What is the main goal you want to achieve for your business? Is your goal bigger than you? Is it a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)? – Click here for more info on BHAGs.
- What are your secondary goals?
- Are these a result of the main goal or are these steps to reach the main goal?
- What do you feel are your most URGENT needs to reach your business goals?
By working through these five areas before anything else, we will come away with very specific reasons why you do what you do and targets to hit. From there, we begin laying the roadmap to achieve those goals. Ultimately, this will give us a great start on a brand that connects with you, your employees, and your potential customers on an emotional level.
Marketing any business can be a challenge, especially a startup. Money is tight. Every penny is dedicated to developing the product or process. You are busy doing what you do and marketing comes in second or third or maybe even fourth on the “I’ll worry about that later” list.
Here are five easy tips that take little to no money, and only a little bit of time, that will help your startup grow and thrive.
- Discover your WHY. Why are you doing what you do? What gets you out of bed every morning? Write it down, pin it on the wall, put it on a post-it note on the mirror, live it.
- Share your WHY Story with the world. People connect with businesses that align with their core beliefs, so put your WHY Story on your website and any marketing materials, share it at networking events. The more you tell your story, the more chances you have of connecting with your tribe.
- Once you connect, build your tribe by keeping them in the loop. Share your wins and losses. Tell them more of the story as it unfolds. Utilize your favorite social channels to share and communicate with your fans and followers. Actually, have a conversation with them if possible. Conversations build relationships. Relationships build businesses.
- As those relationships grow, ask your tribe to help you succeed. Ask them to share your story. Ask them to refer you to their friends, family and network. Ask them for the sale. If you have done steps 1-3 correctly, your tribe WILL help you succeed.
- Deliver and over-deliver. As your ride or die fans start supporting you and referring their connections to your business, make sure you deliver over the top sales, services, and products. Do whatever it takes (within reason) to ensure that your customers have the best sales experience possible. Getting this right will grow your business exponentially. To quote an old shampoo ad, “they will tell two friends, and they will tell two friends” and so on.
A strong WHY story and the ability to build and nurture relationships are key to growing any business, especially a startup. Make time to network and meet people, tell your story, nurture those relationships, ask for help, then deliver.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, or if we can help your business grow and succeed, contact us and let’s schedule a quick strategy call. We would love to hear your WHY story.
I am excited to announce that Amped Up Digital has added new services: Fractional Marketing and Fractional CMO Services
In business, you may find yourself needing a hand and Fractional Marketing might just be your new best friend.
So what is Fractional Marketing?
For most small to mid-size companies, a full time Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or Marketing Director is out of reach. Also, some may find that their marketing needs vary from project to project or season to season. Businesses these days need to work smarter, not harder, so a fractional marketing plan will fill the gaps. It provides the knowledge and experience of a full time Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or Marketing Director on-demand and on budget. But only when you need them.
Oh, and they rarely work alone.
Fractional CMOs and MDs will usually call upon the skills and experience of their network, in-house personnel, or subcontractors to help in the development and implementation of strategic marketing plans.
So in short…
Fractional Marketing means you get the skills and experience of a full-time CMO AND access to their network of marketing professionals to tackle all kinds of projects, from content strategy and execution to implementation of strategic marketing initiatives and impartial executive marketing development.
Call us TODAY, or email, and let’s have a conversation about how we can help you meet and exceed your business goals with our Fractional Marketing services.