Creating a Brand Message that Spreads

I’ve been on the road for the past two weeks, but while I’m getting back in the groove, I wanted to make sure you caught the interview I did with Srini Rao of BlogcastFM.

In an hour, we talked about my career trajectory, the PR lessons I learned working in politics, making small leaps in the direction of your dreams and knowing your end game.

I also share some of my best communications insights like how you can add value by being controversial, how to create hooks that attract mainstream media and the mistakes people make with media placements.

Tune in for our hour-long convo on creating a brand message that spreads.

Question Your Assumptions via @brigittelyons

Thanks, Srini, for creating this rad image!

Overnight Fame…And How To Prepare For It

A big media mention can crown your business an “overnight success” — but are you ready for an increase in orders? I’ve many a horror story of the bakery that went under, because they couldn’t keep up with the demand after Oprah. Because organized operations aren’t my strong point (I thrive in chaos), I asked Natasha Vorompiova, the Systems Chick, to share her tips on how you can prepare your business to make the most of overnight fame.

You dream of being discovered by Oprah, getting quoted in The New York Times or maybe even shining on The Today Show.

But you’re not waiting for a miracle to happen.

Instead, you’re relentlessly building your media presence — researching the right contacts, nurturing relationships, sending pitches, crafting sound bites…

And then, one day, your hard work pays off, and you receive the long-awaited call.

You’re IN!  Mission accomplished!  You’re ecstatic — jubilant — and feel that you can finally relax a bit before the big day.

Or can you?

As the day of your high-profile appearance approaches, there’s something else that needs to be carefully evaluated and properly set up—your systems.

Publicity can generate a huge rush of orders and requests for information. One piece of the right content shared with the right audience through the media megaphone can easily create a backlog in your business if you don’t make the necessary arrangements.

What measures can you take to prevent that kind of crisis?

Here’s your checklist for ensuring you’re ready for overnight success. Share this post!

 1. Know the dates.

Find out in advance when your “big break” interview is scheduled to air or when the article is being published.

This way you know when to expect the flood of orders or information requests.

 2. Prep your inventory.

Increase your inventory so that you’re ready to ship ASAP.  If this isn’t an option, make sure that you can get your hands on items very quickly when the orders start rolling in.

If you’re packaging and shipping the items yourself, prepare as much as you can ahead of time.  Or, if you’re outsourcing this part of the process, notify your fulfillment partner about the possible wave of orders.

Assign someone to track your inventory.  Otherwise, invest in an inventory tracking software.

3. Hire help.

Have someone available to jump in and help you.  Do you need support with packaging, running to the post office and answering e-mails or phones?

Prepare clear instructions on how to do each task (e.g., guidelines on how to package your product, directions to the post office, scripts to handle phone or e-mail inquiries, etc.).

Meet with each one of the new temporary employees.  Thank them for being there, share with your excitement, and give a brief overview of where they can find each type of information.

4. Cover all the bases.

Begin with the basics.  Make sure your website is up to date.  Confirm that the links work.  Verify that your contact information is accurate.

Then, walk through the process of placing an order.  Make certain that everybody who needs to get notifications about the new order receives them.

Assign someone to do random checks to ensure that the orders that came in are being taken care of.

If your order processing is automated, test it once more and ensure that it accurately relays essential instructions and produces necessary confirmations.

Think outside the box.

Do you have a complementary product or service?  Use it for a 1-click upsell before the client checks out.  Even though it will be offered at a fraction of its regular price, it can significantly increase your profit margin.  It also leaves your customer feeling that they got a great deal.

 5. Plan to delight your customer

Regardless how things turn out, make sure your client care is at its best.

Make yourself or certain team members available to promptly and professionally answer questions.  Turn commonly asked questions into an FAQ sheet/page or even an info packet.

Delight your customer by sending a thank-you note after they’ve made a purchase.  Express your gratitude and give them the contact info for a team member who can assist them if they have a question or issue.

If any order fulfillment falls behind, reach out to the clients, acknowledge the delay and assure them that things are under control and they will receive their orders on a new delivery date.

If you are a service provider and have to ask your clients to get on a waiting list, consider offering a complimentary digital product or short let’s-get-acquainted session to show your appreciation and generosity.

Meet Power with Structure

Media is a very powerful medium that can amplify your message and increase business, sales and partnerships in the blink of an eye.

Download the FREE Overnight Success Checklist to leverage the good fortune and hard work that went into scoring this media coverage and ensure you’re prepared to handle the rush.

Back To You

How well could your business handle a rush of orders?  What items from the checklist above need your attention?

Natasha of SystemsRockNatasha Vorompiova is the founder of SystemsRock, architect of business systems that work and a Certified Book Yourself Solid Coach. Her clients are small business owners who start their businesses with passion and a desire for freedom but find themselves stuck and buried in day-to-day operations.  Natasha creates systems that ensure clients get more done in less time and pave the way for greater profits and long-term success.

Check out the FREE Systems Chick’s Guide to Transforming Busyness Into Business for simple ways to grow your business.


A Frank (and fun!) Conversation with Tara Gentile

Last week, Tara Gentile and I sat down and recording the kind of conversation (aided by some great questions from readers) we generally have over a couple glasses of wine.

She’s bringing me on board to teach the next two sessions of 10ThousandFeet, and this chat is an introduction of sorts, since her people don’t know me half as well as you do.

It’s geeky. It’s fun. And, yes, it’s really real. You can watch the video above, or download an audio-only version below. And scroll down to catch highlights from the conversation.

Download the audio-only version. (right-click then “save as”)

This is an absolutely sales-pitch-free conversation. That said, if you’re compelled to check out 10ThousandFeet, I don’t blame you.

How does storytelling contribute to our bottom lines? (2:00)

“The stories we tell create the conditions our businesses are operating in.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.

“Storytelling in business goes well beyond marketing.” — @taragentile Tweet it.

How do you launch a new product with energy & authenticity? (6:04)

“Allow yourself to nerd out about what makes you excited about your product.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.

Wherein Tara gets vulnerable about telling stories about her clients (a total, and super sweet, surprise for me!) (7:16)

How do you build a relationship with people when ultimately you have an agenda to sell them something? (10:00)

“Everyone wants you to express an interest in the things that they are passionate about.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.

“Just because you have something to gain in a relationship doesn’t mean you have an agenda.” — @taragentile Tweet it.

“Trust yourself as a whole person to bring what is most valuable to every relationship.” — @taragentile Tweet it.

What are your criteria for who you bring on to your team, who will be your mentors, and who you will partner with? (19:05)

“Vibe is so important.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.

What are the top 3 things you can do to promote a new offering? (23:29)

“Give people the opportunity to say ‘yes’ to you.” — @taragentile Tweet it.

“Your inclination is ‘how can I help this person?’ not ‘how can I get out of this?’” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.

“Don’t assume that because the sales opportunity is over, that all opportunities are over.” — @taragentile Tweet it.

“Always assume people are interested.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.

What are our predictions for future online business trends? (32:31)

“Businesses are starting to reorganize themselves to create value instead of just making a splash on the online stage.” — @taragentile Tweet it.

“Online businesses are following the wider trend of being more intentional.” — @brigittelyons Tweet it.