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General

The importance of speaking directly to your audience

Do newsletters still have a place?

Do EDMs have an impact?

Will people actually work with you after reading your emails?

YES. The answer is yes! And I learnt this lesson again in 2020 when I finally launched my own newsletter.

I know I know. A communications specialist who doesn’t have an email newsletter. It seems like it would be the first thing I would have set up, but no. I was one of those people who felt that my audience was hearing from me enough.

I am fortunate to have a lot of work that comes through referrals and word of mouth. Over the years, I’ve focused on networking and maintaining connections in person and online and many of my clients have come to me in this way. So why would I reach out on mass?

Do I really have something to say? 

Do they really want to hear from me, again? 

Isn’t social media enough?

The answers here are yes, yes and no!

There is so much power in EDM and being able to speak directly to your audience through their inbox. Getting to connect with your audience and send a message directly to them is a wonderful thing. And the privilege of them giving you the permission to means that it’s more than ok to reach out through this medium.

What took me so long?

The funny thing is, I actually knew all of this and often talk to my clients about it but wasn’t applying it in my own business. You know, plumber with leaky taps and all that.

But in 2020, I decided that it was time and I wanted to speak to my lovely clients, colleagues and audience directly. 

We set up a template, I had the ideas and all I needed to do was put it together. 

But I didn’t push send!

Something held me back. 

All I needed was to put the content, the ideas and stories I wanted to share with my audience, into the template. But I just wasn’t doing it. 

The fear of the above seeped in and I was questioning:

  • Do they really need it?
  • Is what I have to say really that important?
  • Will anyone read it? 
  • Isn’t there enough content already out there on the internet.

I let these thoughts and the pressure to ‘perfect’ take over and hesitated on sending.

Finally in November 2020, I launched my newsletter (which you may even receive, thank you!) I took some deep breaths, started typing and before I knew it, the first copy was ready and before I could back out again – I pushed send!

That afternoon, I received a reply from a woman I’d met through some Facebook groups and had had the pleasure of meeting IRL (in real life) for a coffee once. I hadn’t seen her name for a while, and actually didn’t even know that she’d subscribed to the blog – but there she was – right back in my inbox!

“I’ve been thinking about my brand a lot lately and your email came at the perfect time. Can we talk soon?”

I had a beautiful call with her the next day and we began work the next week!

So 7 months of hesitation and then a beautiful client to work with! I couldn’t believe the opportunity I had missed and the gorgeous conversations I could have been having, had I just reached out to my audience directly.

Your audience want to hear from you

This little lesson reminded me of something that I speak to m clients about all the time. Your audience wants to hear from you.

They have followed, subscribed, connected, clicked “yes” so that they can hear your message.

Whether it’s an audience of 5, 500 or 5000, they are wanting to connect with you and by not reaching out directly, you are both missing a great opportunity.

Not every email is going to translate directly into a client. If it does, yay! But it can lead to the building of trust and a relationship. 

Off the back of that first email, I also had some wonderful replies from my audience that I hadn’t spoken to in a while. It sparked a conversation and it reignited our connection.

Don’t be afraid to put your voice out there. You never know who needs to hear the message you have to share. 

Points to remember with EDM

  • Add value – share stories, information and tips
  • Be personable – think about how you’d communicate one on one
  • Subject lines matter – this is how you engage your audience
  • Keep it simple – include only what you need, be mindful that people do receive a lot of emails
  • Check your frequency – be consistent but that doesn’t mean spammy
  • Show up – when you connect, be authentic and share you. Build genuine connections
  • Always include your contact information – don’t make your audience work to reach out to you

 

Happy connecting!

Categories
General

Personal Brand vs Business Brand

The difference between business brand and personal brand

So, this is a common question I get asked about business brands versus personal brands. 

And the conversation comes up more for people who are in small business or freelancers or sole traders. Whether to invest in creating a brand around a business name and the business persona, or whether to invest in promoting yourself. 

Now, the schools of thought have changed over the years and certainly when I started my business in 2009, it felt that you needed a business name to be taken seriously. So the business had a name and the brand and the logo. 

Personally I didn’t have a website for the first few years, but I was told those were the things you needed to start. And so a lot of people did do that and spent time and effort and energy creating a brand. 

Well, the challenging thing is then how do you talk about yourself under that brand as the business owner? And how do you talk about the business is it is it we do this and we do that as “we” Lovelly Communications?

The speaking about the business as a “we” was probably more with a growth mindset of I am going to grow the business and I’m going to have more people in the business. Well then yes, of course, it would be a way and maybe you talk about yourself in third person, “Our director does x, y and z”.

However, the challenging part of it is that you can go one of two ways. You can either end up separating yourself and talking about yourself in third person so much that you’re not really able to identify yourself with the business. The other situation that happens often is that people infuse so much of themselves and get so entwined as a person with the business that the business almost ends up overtaking who they are. And they feel so intrinsically linked to the business that if they ever did want to sell it, close it or leave it, there’s a challenge in that separation. They’re  so involved and so tied to the business, personally, that that’s a lot of the brand equity in their name and persona and the brand strength lies with that person. That becomes a real risk. 

So let’s look at a case study of this and a way that I feel it’s been done really well. And that is Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin group.

Sir Richard Branson - The ultimate personal brand

So Richard Branson is certainly my #1 example when it comes to personal brand. If you ask most people to describe Richard Branson, they’re going to come up with the same few words. He is engaging, he is outgoing, he is an entertainer and his brands are fun. And that’s because Richard Branson himself is all of those things.

But you know, also Virgin, the company has taken on those elements without having Richard be there all the time and always be so involved. So, yes, he turns up on a plane every so often, or he goes up to the, you know, originally Virgin Records or Virgin Mobile and rocks up to do some PR. But he isn’t necessarily involved day to day and those brands run on their own. They run independently of him. 

He is still Richard Branson, and they have their own brand. He is the founder and they sit separately. So he infused Virgin with his personal brand without overshadowing it or overtaking it and needing to be so intrinsically linked to it. He can still be himself, he can still live his own life and pursue his own interests, including writing books and doing speaking engagements and things like that without the brand of Virgin being necessarily impacted. 

Back to the question! Personal or Business?

Building a brand is both a time and a monetary investment and you need to decide, where do you want to put your money? 

Where do you want to put that time? 

What do you want to invest in?

Ultimately, the thing that’s going to be continuing and everlasting in your life is your brand. It’s you! 

So working on that foundation, spending the time and the energy, the effort to get back to and reconnect to who you are, and to present your unique self, that’s going to help you to have better connections. And ultimately, when people are working with you, it’s because of you. 

It’s not because of flashy business names and a great branding color scheme. Yes that might attract them initially, but it’s you and the strengths and the skills that you bring that have grown your business and will continue to. 

So infusing your brand with those elements of yourself, pulling out what you want that brand to stand for, and building that up so that it can stand on its own. Pick the characteristics, the strengths that you possess and make those the branding guidelines of your business. Educate and encourage your staff to take that on, but you get to remain unique with your life experiences as well as those combinations of traits. They are independent of one another, yet aligned! 

Really, the time and energy investment is on you and making sure that your brand is strong, your brand is clear and your brand is consistent.. It’s ensuring that when you are engaging with people, they feel connected. They feel connected to you. They want to work with you. 

So, the long answer to a short question is, you do need to work on your personal brand. I feel that  is where the strength lies. And know that from doing this foundational personal development work on yourself, it will become clearer how to communicate your business brand. 

Categories
Personal Brand

Live and Love your brand with Lovelly

In 2019, Lovelly Communications celebrated its 10th anniversary. And it felt time for us to have a transition and a change as I’d evolved and so had the business. So moving from a communications, marketing and social media focus – we shifted to Personal Branding. 

I remember asking someone at the time “but how do I say it? How do I go from what we did to what I’m focusing on now”. And a wonderful friend, colleague and mentor said “you just say it!”

So – here we are. My name is Emma Lovell, the owner and founder of Lovelly Communications, and I am a personal branding specialist. I’m passionate about inspiring people to live and love their brand. I do! I’m Lovelly by name, lovely by nature.

Lovelly Communications Personal Branding Specialist

But you don’t need to have a catchy/ play on words surname to have a brand. EVERYONE already has a personal brand, they just may not be in control of the message or making the most of it.

I truly believe that you have a unique message and mission to share with the world. However, our own brand can often get lost behind titles, roles and expectations. When we are living in alignment with our true, authentic self we can have better connections and a greater impact.

I help people to better communicate their personal brand and share their authentic selves with the world. I support my clients to gain confidence, clarity and connection to attract the work and the life they want.

You might be at the same point in your life where what you “do” has changed or you’re not really feeling connected to who you are anymore. I love helping people in this time of transition to reconnect with who they really are and I’d love to support you on this journey too. 

Contact me today to arrange a discovery call and let’s get you on the journey to living and loving your brand.