Key Thoughts…Silver Keys Media’s Blog

What I Learned In Theater Class | Part 1

As an actor you study life in order to authentically portray it on stage or in front of the camera. You use sociology, a bit of psychology and observation in order to develop a character that can tell a story…with and without words.

You Can Say So Much Without Uttering A Word

You don’t have to hang around me long to know that I am a bit dramatic..in a good way. I enjoy stepping on stage or in front of the camera as a form of creative expression. I also enjoy using theatrics and what I have learned as I have continued to develop this craft in other areas of my life.

As an actor you study life in order to authentically portray it on stage or in front of the camera. You use sociology, a bit of psychology and observation in order to develop a character that can tell a story…with and without words.

We are no different in real life! We tell stories without uttering a word and it is important to be aware of this. When we speak, we should also be dialed into what our bodies are saying.

I teach a workshop specifically on this topic and here are some of the main areas we cover.

Body Stance
Point of Energy
Eye Focus
Hand Positioning and Gestures

Although these are just a few elements of how we use body language, they are key to beginning to understand how you can polish and manage the messages you are saying.

Claim Your Business | Top 5 Local Listings You Should Grab

As a small business, free marketing is always a welcomed resource. Claiming the local listings for your business is one of these free marketing tools out there…but the #key here is to make certain you are optimizing this opportunity and spending time on the listings that will give you the most value for your time and efforts.

As a small business, free marketing is always a welcomed resource. Claiming the local listings for your business is one of these free marketing tools out there…but the #key here is to make certain you are optimizing this opportunity and spending time on the listings that will give you the most value for your time and efforts.

What is a local listing?

Think of this as tapping into the “yellow pages”

Of course there are paid marketing packages that each of these will offer and there are also services you can sign up for that will set these up for you and manage them (Yext). If you have the marketing budget and want to try these things out, my suggestion is that you try them out one at a time and make certain you have some time dedicated to testing/tracking these services so you know what the return is on those hard earned dollars.

Yelp

Great for services based businesses. If you are not familiar with Yelp already this is a community platform that allows consumers to leave feedback, rate their experience and reviews. Simple set up…create an account, provide correct information about your business and upload logo/images.

Yahoo Small Biz

This is one of the top sites that pulls up when consumers are searching for local services and business. This listing is a must so you can have control over the information that potential clients are seeing about your biz. Simple set up…create an account, provide correct information about your business and upload logo/images.

YP

This is how Yellow Pages came into the digital age. This is similar to the Yahoo listing, another way to take control over the information that is provided to the digital community. Simple set up…create an account, provide correct information about your business and upload logo/images.

Google+

In order to fully use the free tools that Google+ have available, you will need to create a Google+ profile for your business and then also set up the Business Page that is then tied to your Google+ page (of course this is also tied to your YouTube and personal profile. You will need to verify your address by having Google send you a postcard to the physical address associated with your business. This postcard will have a verification code that will unlock you ability to fully optimize your listing.

Bing

This is tied to Microsoft, so you will need to set up an specific login with Microsoft to then login to this platform. Bing is a leader in digital marketing and is used as a primary browser landing page for many. In addition to their free listing there are opportunities to advertise, which if you have some extra cash flow and time to test is a good place to put some marketing dollars. You will need to verify your location via phone number through either a call or text code.

Five Tips to Get A Rockin Business Headshot

No matter how wonderful the product or how amazing the cause, when you are the owner or on staff in a customer connected position, people will want to see who are. Several years ago, there used to be more of a refined control over the “face” that was associated with the company. The consumer did not get to see “behind the curtain” so to speak. But now with a shift to content marketing, social media and the need to have a strong visual presence for search engines like Google, the community can research to find out more about who is associated with a company.

This is where a headshot comes into play. Believe it or not, this image can make or break a deal. A headshot is often the first impression that someone has of you before you ever meet or talk to them. This is why we have written this post and help professionals create a rockin business headshot. But before we get to the top tips, here is a sampling of what not to do and why:

Bad Headshots | Silver Keys Media
Identities Hidden to Protect The Innocent

So now that you have a visual snapshot of what not to do, here are the top five tips you can follow to make certain you are on the right track

 

  1. Get a professional image.
    Ditch those selfies or cropped image from last years holiday party and make the investment in a quality photo session. However, not all photographers are equal. Make certain to visit their website and take a look at their portfolio. If they know how to take headshots, they will have this highlighted as one of their services. A wedding photographer may capture lovely images, but may not know how to present you in a polished and professional way.
  2. Have photographer deliver it to you in a large format pngThis format will give you the ability to resize and optimize your image for different online sites. Why? because you will want a certain size for your profile image on social sites and a different the size you will likely use on your website. If you are working with a web designer, be sure to ask them what format they prefer your head shot image delivered.
  3. Be prepared with a  few different looks for the photo session to give you variety.
    You want to make certain that you have some choice for your final edited images, so bring a few professional looks. It can be as simple as changing your jacket or add an accessory. Sometimes photographers will have on-site viewing of proofs so you can choose them on the spot and take some additional if you do not like what you see.
  4. Choose a complimentary color, black or dark grey for your clothing.
    Also color is also crucial! Don’t try out a new color, wear shades that you know look good on you.
  5. Choose a look that matches your business personality, yet is professional
    You want to have an image that feels like you. People will look at a headshot and they create a persona in their mind of how you will interact with them. So make certain to identify ahead of time the professional personality you want to have online

Why Should I Care About Branding?

Basically if you have a product or service you will want to have something that the community will identify with in order to create trust, recognition and ultimately a client, customer, supporter or donor.

What is branding anyway? According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:

branding

noun  brand·ing \ˈbran-diŋ\
Definition:  the promoting of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand
First Known Use: 1913

Basically if you have a product or service you will want to have something that the community will identify with in order to create trust, recognition and ultimately a client, customer, supporter or donor.

If you are not sure what your brand is or if you have a brand that is helping you move forward successfully, then you will want to take time to identify what that is. How do you want the community to identify with your company or organization?

While there is not a single fix-all solution to formulating a brand, here are a few things to consider as you examine your current branding or begin to move towards a new one all together:

  • What is your Unique Selling or Service Proposition)? [USP click here to learn more]
  • What problem does your product or services solve?
  • What is your tagline
  • What colors represent best what you do? [yes a bit ethereal, but color does matter! Look for a post soon on this]
  • What are your core values, vision and mission for your company?

NEED HELP? Feel free to reach out by emailing silverkeysmedia @ yahoo.com or fill out the form below if you have questions or if you want to schedule a strategy session to get your story on track.

Five Steps to Create a Solid USP

 

What is a USP?

A USP is a single sentence or phrase that captures your Unique Selling Proposition. It takes a bit of work to get to this piece of your marketing plan, but it VITAL to understanding the problem your business/organization is solving and what sets you apart from others in your community. A USP gives you a clear identity, lets you target your market and will help you with putting together a solid story. Successful USPs can be used as a company tagline and should be incorporated into all of your marketing activities.

Stand out in a crowd
What makes your company or organization unique

 

Step 1: Find Your Target?

You need to know who you are targeting. In this first step you need to be a specific and intentional in your wording.. For example, if you are a business coach with an expertise in fundraising, you may identify your target client as non-profits or community based organizations.

Step 2: What is Your Problem?

This is so IMPORTANT! Take some time and think from your prospective clients’ perspective. What problem or challenge do they face that your business can solve?

Step 3: Identify the Benefits

What are 3-5 of the biggest benefits a client gets from choosing to work with your company?What sets you apart from your competition? These benefits should explain why your services would be valuable to your prospective clients and what would compel them to choose you.

Step 4: Define Your Promise

A HUGE part of a USP is what you will promise to your clients, what are you going to do to solve their problems. This are active words.

Step 5: Put it all together

Now take all of the information you have written down and put it all together into one paragraph. There should be some recurring ideas and thoughts, so you’ll want to start merging statements and rewriting in a way that flows and makes sense.You want your final USP to be as specific and simple as possible.

Here are a few links to some great USP examples:

https://fizzle.co/sparkline/10-examples-of-killer-unique-selling-propositions-on-the-web

http://sales.about.com/od/leadgeneration/tp/Unique-Selling-Proposition-Examples.htm

http://imimpact.com/unique-selling-proposition-examples/

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