Here’s the scenario:
You’re a small business with an incredible product or service. You’ve got some paying customers and you’re doing pretty good with sales. After a bit, you realize that you need to up the ante with some PR to drive brand awareness and increase sales. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to brand your business in such a way that when people think of your industry, your business is the one that instantly comes to mind.
But you’re a small business and funds are tight. Money and time do not grow on trees, but you know you absolutely must do something in order to get to the next level. So what now?
Well, now you can thank seasoned branding and PR mogul Amanda Miller Littlejohn for developing The Branding Box. Think of it as PR-in-a-box; a blueprint that literally provides the step-by-step playbook on how to achieve PR and branding stardom in a DIY way and, as her mantra states, “package your genius.”
As a small business owner, I know the cost to hire a seasoned PR professional can fall far outside of budget. So of course, my curiosity was piqued when I learned that Amanda had packaged exactly what we entrepreneurs need at a cost effective price. At $397, the cost is a fraction of typical PR fees. I got a chance to catch up with this game changing PR guru to find out exactly how The Branding Box works.
How did you come up with the idea of The Branding Box?
The Branding Box was born out of hosting one-on-one marketing strategy sessions with my clients. After I did quite a few of these sessions, I noticed most small business owners, consultants, new authors, and experts have many of the same questions and many of the same challenges. They seemed to need a blueprint to get clarity around their message, and to get the word out about their expertise.
I thought it would be a good idea, even if only for me, if I wrote down my formula so that I could share it with my clients, and eventually the public. I was always sharpening my skills through online training, and had gotten a little weary of the online course experience. I yearned for something physical and more “in my face.” Call me nostalgic, but I still like reading paperback books.
So I combined the questions I heard most often with the at-home learning experience I personally wanted to have, and packaged all of that together to create what is now The Branding Box.
They say necessity breeds innovation; and it sounds like that’s exactly how the idea for the Box came about. Tell me, what comes inside The Branding Box?
The Branding Box includes a personal brand development toolkit, which is my how-to system (instructional material, worksheets, templates, and exercises) for developing a memorable personal brand. It has a 60-minute audio CD on how to build your brand around your expertise, a pocket-sized book called The Little Book of Brand Lessons – 30 lessons on Branding and Business. It also includes a quarterly brand goal planner. All of these components are packaged in a custom, full-color branded box.
There are a lot of PR professionals and branding coaches these days. How has your unique, innovative Branding Box helped propel your business and set you apart from the competition?
I think the Box absolutely does help me stand out and set myself apart even though that was not necessarily my intention. I think that my clients, and the people who are considering working with me like the Box because it’s evidence of my creative thinking and my approach to problem-solving, delivering content, and branding. Plus, if I am telling them to “package their genius” it only makes sense that I have experience packaging mine.
Overall, my philosophy and my creativity shine through in this product, and that’s what clients are ultimately hiring me to bring to their projects.
In your words, how is The Branding Box different from meeting with you one-on-one?
You could look at it as though you are getting even more than you would get if you met with me one-on-one. Because, essentially, the Box is a decade of my best thinking and ideas distilled into this product that you can work through over the course of a few months.
And although you are not working with me when you work through The Branding Box, the whole product reads like a conversation, or a long letter from me. It’s very personal and conversational—at certain points it’s very tactical; at other points it’s very inspirational because I want you to know that I am there cheering you on, and believe that you can do it.
In addition to purchasing The Branding Box, what are 3 things people can do right now to help brand themselves more effectively?
1. Make a case for yourself by making a point to write three examples of past work where you really shined and added value to either your role, organization, or your client. Detail what you did and the difference that you made and use as many numbers as possible to paint a picture of the impact that you were able to make.
2. Start blogging and sharing problem-solving content online. This is one of the five elements of personal brand positioning which I cover within The Branding Box, but it is one of the most effective ways to position yourself as an expert. When you share problem-solving how-to content, it really helps with search engine optimization because it helps people to find you for the topic you want to be known for and get those people to your website.
3. Lastly, spend some time polishing your LinkedIn profile. For most people, their LinkedIn profile ranks in the top three searches on page one of Google when doing a search of their name. So if that is the first thing people are going to see when they search for you, make sure it is best representing you and your brand.
In addition to The Branding Box, Miller Littlejohn regularly hosts group strategy sessions around the country with plans to stop in Atlanta, New York, Chicago and Florida in the coming year. Sign up for e-mail updates at www.amandamillerlittlejohn.com to stay abreast of which cities she’ll be in next. To keep up with all things Amanda Miller Littlejohn and The Branding Box, follow her on social media:
Gwen Jimmere is CEO & Founder of NATURALICIOUS, one of the fastest growing natural haircare brands in the U.S. She is the brains behind the revolutionary OooLaLocks Hair Box–the only simple, four-step natural haircare system designed specifically for curly hair that is proven to take you from wash to ready-to-style in just 1 hour or less. A longtime, highly sought-after healthy haircare expert, Gwen is also a frequent keynote speaker and panelist on small business and entrepreneurship. Her natural haircare line is sold in Whole Foods stores, as well as in other fine retailers across the US and internationally.