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THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO TURN YOUR HOBBY INTO A BUSINESS

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More and more, we see a phenomenon expanding in the economy: skilled workers opting to stay at home and choosing to do contractual jobs over the internet. They take on employers based on task-specific contracts, going through several employees one after another. Sometimes, they even juggle several employees at once. They hand in excellent work, the arrangement expires, and they go on to the next contract.

This is the gig economy.

If making, hacking, and creating on the side isn’t enough for you, you may be thinking of taking your hobby legit. However, turning a hobby into a business isn’t just a matter of scaling up. Whether you’re selling creations, ideas, or services, here are three things you need to cut it in the business world.

A Platform
It doesn’t matter how awesome your products or services are if you don’t have a way to sell them. To monetize your hobby, you need a way to get the word out.

One option is selling through established marketplaces, including Etsy and Tindie. These platforms offer the benefit of already existing, so all you have to do is upload your information and list your items. However, with so many makers, crafters and DIYers using these marketplaces, it can be hard to stand out and find customers.

If you’re serious about your business, create an e-commerce website to list your wares. You can drive traffic and gain customers by marketing your business through social media, attending Maker Faires, and networking with your local maker community. Traditional marketing channels not doing it for you? Read Neil Patel’s guide to growth hacking for creative ways to expand your business.

Collaboration
Working from home has its limits. While a home office is great for focusing and cranking out work, it’s not the most creative environment. For exposure to new technologies and fresh ideas, seek a workspace you share with other makers.

Not only does co-working offices and maker spaces provide a place to work, but also these collaborative workspaces host events where you can learn, socialize and hear from leaders in the field. Make the right connection at a networking event and you can land yourself a partner for your newest project or an investor with a passion for your work. Collaborative workspaces expand your social capital and provide access to tools and technology that you might not be able to afford on your own.

To find a maker space in your area, check out the directory at Make.

Financial Savvy
The difference between a hobby and a business isn’t in how much time you commit to the pursuit. Rather, it’s all about how you handle the finances.

If you’re considered a business by the IRS, your business expenses are fully deductible. However, businesses have to check a few boxes, such as keeping financial records, paying estimated taxes and generating profit. You can learn more about the business-hobby distinction at The Simple Dollar.

You’ll need to keep financial records such as business expenses and income, receipts, invoices and inventory logs. How you maintain these records is up to you. While many small-business owners turn to software solutions like QuickBooks, when you’re first starting out, basic spreadsheets may be sufficient. However, some tech solutions are worth the effort.

Two apps that every new freelancer, side-gigger, or small-business owner should have in their pocket are a receipt-tracking app, and an invoicing app. A receipt app collects receipts in one place using pictures, so you’re not sorting through stacks of faded, crumpled receipts at tax time. An invoice app lets you send invoices right from your phone, so you can keep your business running on the go. More importantly, it makes it easy to see which invoices are outstanding so you don’t forget to get paid!

Turning a hobby into a successful enterprise is every maker’s dream. However, running a successful business requires more than passion and a great idea. If you want to see your dreams come to fruition, you need to pay just as much attention to these behind-the-scenes details as you do to the main attraction.

Article by Lucy Reed, lucy_reed@gigmine.co>The Gig Mine, http://gigmine.co/.

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Wow, I Have Really Been Off my Game!

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I really owe you my dear reader, an apology. I haven’t posted since April 2018. What have I been doing? You know life isn’t supposed to get in the way of your business, but mine sure has. Like many of you, every so often we reach a crossroads in our life. Where am I and what should I do next? I know I love all of you, your notes and your phone calls so I don’t want to leave you. I want to make it more interesting. I’ve put together a bunch more for you! By the way, I’ve started sending new weekly emails through Followyourcustomer–I am adding you to the list. You can opt out if you don’t like them.

I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE!

Many of you know I spend a lot of time at the gym—Yoga, Pilates and lifting weights. I also meditate. This helps me stay centered and clear out my thought process. I also attend lots of movies; they give me different ideas.

I am working on a series of online video training programs; when they are ready for release,  you will be the first to know. I am also intending to do a weekly show, WHITEBOARD WEDNESDAY, A FIVE MINUTE TIP AND TRICKS SERIES. I’m intending to make everything fun and would love your thoughts and ideas on what you would like.

Thank you so much for sticking with me; for some of you it has been almost 10 years! I started blogging on July 25, 2008! Maybe I should recycle some of them? Actually I like one called “Overcoming Objections: What about the Ones you Can’t Overcome?” I will find it for you.

Here are some photos of the garden, it’s been a rough year for one of my kitties, Rainyday. He has a terminal disease but he is still making the most of life.

Again I thank  you for bringing me into your life.

Hugs, Lisbeth

Lisbeth has been a motivational speaker and trainer for over 20 years. Her book “Red Hot Customer Service” was voted one of the top customer service books. Look for her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To book a consultation, call her at 518.495-5380, EST, or email her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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By |2018-06-20T10:05:00+00:00June 20th, 2018|Blog, Building a Brand, Building relationships, Motivation and change|Comments Off on Wow, I Have Really Been Off my Game!

Magnetically Attract the Best Customers by Becoming a Community Hub

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Attract customers by becoming a community hub

“Is Amazon coming for you?”

On November 9th I will be the guest expert on FCNews Marketing Mastery Webinar.

Amazon has created huge disruption in retail by making it easy to buy virtually anything on line, and they are now expanding into brick-and-mortar.

 

Box stores have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into advertising to create brand awareness. It may seem hopeless but it isn’t.

As a small retailer, you have advantages the big boys don’t. By using the right strategies you can out maneuver the big players and run circles around them. I will be revealing a powerful strategy to outmaneuver the big companies, and attract a LOT more customers during the upcoming fCNews webinar called:

“HOW TO TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS INTO A COMMUNITY HUB”

For more info and to sign up: http://marketingmasterywebinar.com/Lisbeth

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How to Thank People so it Really Matters

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Children thanking the bus driver for being so nice.

Children thanking the bus driver for being so nice.

In May 2016, I received a call from Rochelle M. Howard, Deputy Director of the District of Columbia Office of Police Complaints. Prior to her phone call, I had no idea who she was or what her agency did.

Her request was a quote on 30 tests from the BEST Inventory, Communication Tests. These are short inventories, simple to administer and based on William M. Marston’s, Ned Herrmann’s, and James Brewer’s work measuring the dominant patterns of behavior in individuals.I have used them over the years.

I was flabbergasted and asked how she found me. She said that the owners of BEST Instruments had referred me. How super I thought. All of those conversations I had with the owner had given me something I never though about–a customer. I liked the owner very much and spent considerable time on learning how to administer and interpret the tests as well as just chatting. It actually never occurred to me that she might be in a position to refer me or my work.

 

Remember to thank people is a very important skill. Social media makes it possible to ‘like’ organizations and businesses that are important to us as well. Although people appreciate a business like, it is still very impersonal. If you do like a page, write a personal note about why you like the page–that will help.  Her are a few more ideas for ‘upping’ your like quotient.

 

  1. Get to know your suppliers and people that are in a position to refer your business. Remember they have other customers who reach out to them and may ask for help. You might be the person to supply this help. If you get a referral don’t forget to thank them publically for their help and brag about their products.
  2. Don’t forget to get referrals from as many customers as possible. Some of your customers have more clout—don’t forget to us them. In this case I happened to have done volunteer communication testing for a high level government agency close to my home. They gave me a terrific testimonial that I know helped me get the job in Washington.
  3. Be as personal as possible. Thank people publicly and privately. A phone call for you can mean the difference, even if the favor doesn’t bring any immediate results. Just remembering to pass your name along to a potential customer, or bragging about you while sitting with a group of stranger’s matters. A third party endorsement is better than anything you can say about yourself.
  4. Get to know people who hire you; their likes and dislikes. If they like to cook or like a favorite dessert or tea, send it to them! The gifts don’t have to be expensive. You just need to go out of your way and give someone something special. If you’re a house guest send something wonderful to the host or bring something with you. It’s often easier after because you have a better idea about their likes.
  5. Keep a ‘gift notebook’ of people you want to thank. Sometimes we forget the most important people in our lives.
  6. Ask how you can help. If someone does something for you call and ask if there’s a way to repay the favor.
  7. Encourage people you know who do a good job. Everyone loves encouragement and few do it. Even big kids need encouragement.
  8. Social media is a good way to thank people but go beyond the like. Make a comment to them, send them a message and tell them thank you. Are you grateful? Say it if it’s so. It goes straight to the heart.
  9. Send an old fashion thank you note. They mean a great deal event in 2016. Don’t ask someone else to do it for you!
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By |2017-03-03T12:06:48+00:00July 5th, 2016|Blog, Building a Brand|0 Comments

5 Reasons Why Not Utilizing Social Media will be Your Demise

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What's going on with your social media?

What’s going on with your social media?

I reached out to an old friend and asked him what he had been doing. During the conversation he told me he had been ‘forced’ to learn about social media. At first I was a little amazed and then excited that he was entering into the new ‘sales game.’

Some aspects of selling have really changed.  Sales professionals can use social media to reach out to and influence their customers. They can also meet new ones.

In fact to grow a business, it’s essential to reach out to your customers. If they don’t stay connected to you, they will make new friends with your competitors.  If they make new friends, they will just disappear.

Below are 5 reasons why social media is a good thing for salespeople.

  1. Statistics tell us that 73% of customers will not make a buying decision before asking their friends for advice. Yes, both men and women. You may have experienced a longer buying cycle with your customers and wonder what’s happening. According to Google, customers often leave a store and then go to social media to “checkup” on the store and the salespeople. (This makes the case for a strong LinkedIn profile.)
  2. This is the age of transparency and customers want to know who they’re buying from. You probably realize that we are entrenched with reality television. Everything from “Hoarders” to “Swamp People,” we are engaged in other people’s lives.
  3. Do you know what customers are saying about you online? Managing your online reputation is essential if you expect to get good referrals. These days the referral business is up from 80% to almost 95%. If the customer doesn’t know who you are, it’s unlikely they will do business with you. It’s important to ask customers to write referrals for you. You should Google your business and see what customers are saying about you.
  4. Social media will expand your customer base. New customers will be more likely to be interested in your products and your services if they see you online. Each salesperson should be posting information about their latest jobs, products and staying in touch with possible customers. You can’t have too many Facebook friends and fans!
  5. Blogging is a way to expand your expertise. Consumers want to know about you and what your business can do. They are also interested in ‘who’ you are. No you’re not ‘Swamp People’ but you’re just as interesting. Don’t shy away from getting ‘personal.’

I suggest that salespeople contribute to social media daily. Some people hire outside consultants to manage their social media—not such a good idea. You want customers to stay close to you, not to  your marketing people!

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses build sales and marketing strategies for over twenty years. It’s time for all businesses to merge their sales and marketing. Who knows their customers better than your salespeople?

To schedule a consultation or have Lisbeth speak at your business, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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Why you Can’t get What you Want

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Not getting what you want can be a blessing.

Not getting what you want can be a blessing.

We really are a society, of ‘I want what I want now.’ I spent most of my younger life wanting something. One year it was a new car or another car, and then it was more clothes and a different color hair. At one point, I had four cars in various states of restoration.

Yes, I wanted something but I never knew what it was. I was attracted to ‘bright shiny objects’ and wanted everything. It never stopped; I had to have every color lipstick and shoe.

At this point, I can own up to the facts—I was trying to be more desirable.  One day, I realized that I was being taken on a ‘proverbial ride.’ Not only that, but my credit card bills were mounting, and my bank accounts weren’t growing. I was adding to everyone’s success but my own! I was being seduced by marketing geniuses and my own need to cover up my insecurities.

I was looking outside myself for the answers to my life. It has taken me many years to realize that what’s important to me not anyone else. Why do I care what others’ think about me?

The point is I believe you can get what you want if you know what it is. As I listen to people talk about their next new car, when there’s a perfectly good one in the garage, I ponder whether they’re wondering why they need a new one. Think about the millions spent on advertising that tries to make us feel like a new soft drink will make us smarter and a new car will make us sexier. (One of my friends told me he felt sexy in his new car. This is a sad commentary on how he views himself.)

So what’s the solution?

Before you run out of money and need a second or third job, stop and think about what you’re trying to accomplish with your buying.  Take a good look in the mirror and do a self-inventory. Ask yourself, who am I looking at?

Stop being afraid of who you are. Eckhart Tolle tells his own story of depression and discontent in his first spiritual teaching, The Power of Now. He could no longer live with himself. And in his repetition, he then asked, “Who the ‘I’ is and who is ‘myself’?” These are powerful questions.

Bring your conversations to reality. How many times have you thought you would like to do change careers but are afraid of what your spouse might think? Maybe you’re worried that it doesn’t’ pay as well as the job you have now.

I’m starting to realize I’m passed the point of trying to please everyone in my life. Of course there are still those I love and want to please but I don’t think a new car will do it.

Lisbeth has been helping businesses for over 25 years get what they really want’—more customers. To schedule a call or have her speak at your business, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:52+00:00July 14th, 2015|Blog, Building a Brand, general, Motivation|0 Comments

Innovative Ways for the Flooring Retailer (or anyone) to Become a “Marketeer”

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The world has changed, have you?

The world has changed, have you?

You know what it’s like; you’re getting plenty of leads, but no one is following up.

At first, just a few go by, but then they start to stack up. You’re also aware that the sales staff isn’t following up on customers who have come into the store and haven’t made a purchase.

Every business needs fresh customers, but what about those who are good leads or have already been in your store?

If you’re working harder at getting new customers than keeping old ones, you’re spending a lot of money on marketing. Think about it this way; every time a customer comes back or sends a referral, the average marketing dollar spent per customer goes down. Furthermore, a good salesperson will be cultivating customers who have bought before or paying attention to “hot leads.” The competent sales associate knows these are easier to sell.

No matter how you’re gathering your leads, they’re valuable if you’re following up and closing them. If you’re not doing either, it’s like throwing money out the window.

If this sounds like your business, the best thing you can do is start capturing customers’ home addresses and email addresses. Stop entering “Cash” on your invoice where it says, “name and address.” After all, if you don’t have customers and good will, what do you have?

The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently said the only way to steer customers to your business is to help them cut down on their buying choices. One way to do this is to send them small bites of information that is both educational and fun so you ultimately become their trusted adviser. An article on “Tips for finding the right flooring retailer” can help influence a fresh lead or referral to walk into your store.

The smart dealers realize that being high tech is not something for the future—it’s here now. I recently spoke with Cary Cass, general manager of Dolphin Carpet and Tile, headquartered in Miami, Fla. With over 30 years in the business and a member of the NFA (National Flooring Alliance), Dolphin is utilizing many online tools to help the customer stay connected.

We realize that once a customer is in our store, we have an opportunity to both sell them and build a customer for life. Our interactive on-line design center makes it easy for the customer to build a profile of her likes and store her choices with us. We’re also testing software that will automatically contact our customers with timely offers and useful tips. It may sound trite, but its not up to the customer to remember us; it’s our job to be memorable. This is not something we have the time or expertise to do by ourselves.

Being consistent with customer communications is the key. “White House, Black Market” a women’s clothing store targeting consumers age 25 and older, does an excellent job of staying in touch with the customer. By receiving their emails, post cards and phone calls, I feel like we’re old friends. I feel guilty not going in to look at their new styles. I know the communications are automated, but they’re still fun, informative and useful.

follow your customersMichael Vernon, president of followyourcustomer.com, gave me this advice:

The goal of any business is to build relationships with customers. In the article, Why the Zero Moments of Truth Matter More than Ever, Google points out there are endless opportunities a business has to ‘touch’ the consumer. The key is to get her to like you because people buy from people they like. To build top-of-mind awareness, these must be sent least 12 to 18 times a year. If they dont, the customer will go to the competitor. Our system will customize your message and automatically keep in touch for you.

Customers have many choices; why not be their first one?

isbeth has been teaching businesses how to improve their customer service and the customer experience for over 20 years. To schedule a consultation or have her speak at your business, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. If she’s not in her office, she can often be found mornings at the YMCA in East Greenbush.

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Why do we Care What People Think About us? 4 Ways to get Over it

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The sassy soprano with no talent.

The sassy soprano with no talent.

Most of us care what other people think; I would say it’s just human nature. However, some people are actually paralyzed by it. Are there people who really don’t care what people think and follow their dreams despite what anyone says? There seems to be one Florence Foster Jenkins, who fits that description.

Capital Repertory Theater in Albany, New York.

Capital Repertory Theater in Albany, New York.

Last night, we went to see “Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins.” Florence Foster Jenkins, she always went by the three names, was born in Philadelphia, in 1898, studied singing and piano starting at the age of 7. Her parents stopped funding her hobby (no doubt they realized she had no talent) but she eventually went out on her own teaching piano and voice.

Her singing was absolutely terrible; she didn’t understand pitch or rhythm. Despite this “handicap,” she believed she was gifted and continued to sing. When her parents died, she inherited sufficient funds to get her long-delayed singing career off the ground. She took voice lessons and became involved with many social clubs in Philadelphia, which she funded. She became director of music for many of them and founded the Verdi Club.

She started giving recitals in 1912 and was always the main character of any event. People cheered her on, most likely because of her huge investments in the club. According to what’s written about her, she was convinced she was brilliant. Her accompanist, piano player Cosme McMoon was quite talented and somehow stuck it out with her. If he  tried to correct her, she would tell him the piano was out of tune. Every time he wanted to quit she would remind him he would be a star if he stayed with her because he could publish his own works.

At the age of 76, her fans convinced her to give a public recital at Carnegie Hall. The tickets’ sold out quicker than any other events and more than 5000 people were turned away. Up until this time, no public critics were allowed at any of her concerts but this was a public venue and the reviews were scathing.

Florence Foster Jenkins was devastated but vowed to continue her career. Unfortunately five days later, she had a heart attack in her favorite music store and died.  She is considered to have a cult like following of young and old.

puppetHow can you turn off those voices inside your head?

  1. Stop over thinking the situation. Most of the time when you think, people are judging you, they probably aren’t. Really unless you’re a huge public figure or movie star, why would they care?
  2. What they think about you is “none of your business.” You don’t have any control about what they think about you so why bother? It’s more important that you get a grip on what you think about yourself and do something about that.
  3. Give yourself the freedom to be who you are. You can’t be liked by everyone. It’s your life, enjoy it. Be confident in yourself and stop second guessing yourself.
  4. Learn to control your emotions and respect yourself. Building confidence comes from setting goals and achieving them. Not everyone will agree with you or like what you’re doing. But really whose problem is that? We should all have a little of Florence Foster Jenkins in our head.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses improve their sales and customer service for over twenty years. She believes it all starts with their employees and teaching them how to be more confident and better communicators. To schedule a consultation with her or have her speak at your business, she can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:53+00:00March 15th, 2015|Blog, Blogging, Building a Brand|3 Comments

Tongue in Cheek Brand Building with Kim Kardasian and Jenna Bush Hagar

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The Kardasians, "Naughty and nice."

The Kardasians, “Naughty and nice.”

People are always writing about brand building. I’ve been watching the GoDaddy  “almost made it to the Super Bowl commercial “and wondered if GoDaddy was just trying to be cute; to “whom” might be your question, but it makes us remember them. The commercial makes me wonder what type of brand’s GoDaddy.  Are they smart, cute, outrageous, uncaring or just stupid? Personally I think they are all of them.

And then there’s Kim Kardasian with her “shelf.” This is who she is.

I know her clothes don’t really sell at Sears; they’re a cross between “hooker and nice” but don’t fit real well. I did buy a pair of white, silk short that I really like. Every time I wear them I think of Kim. Crazy huh? My friend Shelia Carmody , who’s a great marketer, watches ‘The Kardasians.’ I thought she was crazy and then I started watching it. It’s a brand builder’s dream; where do you start? Do you create what you want or is it there to start with? How about a little of both.

I remember when I was blogging for the Costumer I found out that Kim uses Ben Nye stage makeup. “True Reflection”  is her perfume and in WalMart. Kim has become the spokesperson for all things “naughty and nice.” And her GoDaddy commercial, cute!

Let’s go Jenna Bush Hagar. I bring her up because I like the Today Show and enjoy Jenna’s no-nonsense approach. Jenna’s background would indicate that she is well-bred, has an interest in making the world better and a bit of a dare devil.

The “Today Show” is building Jenna’s brand. She has become the exercise guru, has become Today’s  first Lifestyle and Fitness Correspondent.  If you go to the site she has become the guru of all things good for your body.

Building a personal brand isn’t as hard as you think. According to the experts, you must display your core values, be personable, always be at your best, be open and honest and a few other things. (Jenna  was only a college student when she had those drinking indiscretions—that just makes her more real.)

Jenna, at 5 foot 8 inches,  was  a guest trainer on the “Biggest Loser.” What I like best about her is that she’s not a wimp, painfully straight forward  and seemingly not afraid to take a chance.   She is growing into her own soul. She has done her matronly part and become a mom and no doubt  soon  will  hiking the entire length of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail with Margaret Laura ‘Mila’ Hager strapped to her back.

Everything you do is building your brand.

Not long ago I made a vacuum cleaner commercial for Capital Vacuums. It was fun and I’m very happy in front of the camera. From the gym to the grocery store to the Good Will Store; people seem excited that I’m on the television. Somehow that makes me a different person; it gives me discounts and people want to take their photo with me! I can’t believe it. In a short time, I’m on the “brand bandwagon!”

I can’t wait to hear the stories about me and my one minute of fame.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a sales and marketing consultant for over 20 years. She lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York, with her cat Rainyday. To schedule training or have her speak to your staff, connect at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:53+00:00January 29th, 2015|Blog, Building a Brand|0 Comments

Want to Get Noticed? Get a Job in Target

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Whether you’re in the market to sell yourself or your business you will have to build your brand. Your brand is what makes you unique—it’s what makes you.

Mark Zuckerberg in his "hoodie."

Mark Zuckerberg in his “hoodie.”

When I mention “hoodie” who do you think of? Could it be Mark Zuckerberg? He took hoodie to another level.

Don't forget clean underwear.

Don’t forget clean underwear.

My mom used to say, “Your reputation is all you have.” In those days it means a “good” reputation. These days I’m not sure if it has to be good. You just need a reputation!

Alex from Target,  no longer unknown.

Alex from Target, no longer unknown.

Building your brand isn’t easy. There’s lots of competition and everyday there’s a new unknown who’s become famous.  Last week, Alex was a 16 year old cashier at Target, overnight he became a celebrity with 300,000 followers on Twitter. Someone snapped a photo of him, and it went viral. He says he still doesn’t ’ know what has happened but there’s the buzz that it was a PR stunt from Target. It doesn’t matter, 30 days ago he was an unknown, know he is being represented by Shahidi, who is guiding him on next steps. We now have a brand called “Alex.” Alex was wearing a red Target shirt; I don’t think it was the shirt that made him famous. It was probably his innocent good looks. Here’re some ideas for building your own brand.

No matter what you do, you need your own personal brand to be remembered. If you’re in the sales business, you need customers to remember who you are. I remember I had a salesperson that was known as “the really tall, good looking salesperson.” He was 6 feet tall and definitely good looking. It got him lots of repeat business.

Here are some ideas for building your brand.

"A ship is safe in the harbor but that's not where it belongs."

“A ship is safe in the harbor but that’s not where it belongs.”

Be bold. Take a shot, don’t be afraid to be you and stand out. Your boldness may be your clothes, your hobby or your blog. It might be your haircut. Blogs have made many people famous.

Look like yourself.

Look like yourself.

Look good. Just because you’re running to the post office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up. My mom used to say, “Put on your lipstick, you never know who you’re going to meet.” This was the upgrade from my grandmother who said, “Don’t forget to wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”

Practice random acts of kindness.

Practice random acts of kindness.

Practice “random acts of kindness.” We always remember people who are nice to others. It never hurts to be kind.

Recognize opportunities.

Recognize opportunities.

Get known for working hard and doing an excellent job. This will also make you feel good about yourself.

Have fun.

Have fun.

Be fun, don’t take everything so seriously. I was lucky enough to work with Madeline Kahn in the 50’s. We were both college students working in a hotel in the Catskills; she was a singer and I was a waitress. In the afternoons, she used to dress up as Greta Garbo; a famous vamp from the 20’s and lounged around the pool.

Madeline Kahn, "Blazing Saddles."

Madeline Kahn, “Blazing Saddles.”

One day, the owner came out and yelled at her, “His line, Madeline; you have to get serious if you’re going to be a star!”

If you’ve ever seen “Blazing Saddles” you know she was silly and became a star.

Listen up.

Listen up.

Listen to others. A good listen that isn’t critical is always remembered. You don’t have to be a social worker; you just need a kind ear.

Albert Einstein said he wasn't smart, he was curious.

Albert Einstein said he wasn’t smart, he was curious.

See yourself as entrepreneurial. Being entrepreneurial with interesting ideas will always help your brand.

Take a chance.

Take a chance.

As Dr. Seuss said, “Be who you are and way what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a business consultant for over 20 years. To speak with her about your business or have her train your employees, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Historic Hudson Park with her cat, Rainyday.

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