Hello. Nick Venturella here...I'm writing to inform everyone of some directional changes and new endeavor I'm embarking on.
Nickvmedia.net will no longer exist in the way you've come to know. The nickvmedia.net site will still continue to exist, but at the domain, www.nickvmedia.weebly.com. This change will begin August 1st.
I plan to continue writing useful blog posts about marketing, online brand communications and various entrepreneurial insights, but they will be posted to my new site and blog over at www.growloop.com.
GrowLoop is my newest endeavor. I am becoming a certified life coach and with my training, entrepreneurial spirit and marketing experience I plan to offer success coaching and marketing services to help solopreneurs, creative professionals and small business owners sort through the many necessary hats you have to wear and decisions that need to be made to help your business grow successfully.
I will work with clients as their outside business partner to help them gain the most out of their investment – in their business and personal life – by being their thinking and accountability partner to help sort through the decisions that need to be made to take action quickly and confidently toward success.
The name of my company is GrowLoop. As you take action to reach your business and personal goals you become more confident and positive – that good energy is contagious, what goes around comes around, and opportunities will begin to loop back to find you.
posted by: Nick Venturella
Lately I’ve been reading The Referral Engine (Amazon Affiliate) by John Jantsch, the author of Duct Tape Marketing (Amazon Affiliate). The Referral Engine is essentially about how to make your business a highly referable business to more easily generate leads that are likely to close.
I’m only part way through the book, but one of the lessons that stands out is the idea that most business operations fall into two general camps: wired businesses that utilize technology and social media, etc. and more traditional off-line businesses that are more person to person relationship-based. Here’s what I like about what Jantsch is getting across. Jantsch basically says that if you’re a wired business you need to find ways to develop more person to person interactions and relationships, and if you’re more traditional business you need to find more ways to utilize technology to help further connect. A referable business has a good balance of both.
These days one can use technology to help conduct their online brand communications toward the goal of generating and furthering business relationships, but we can’t forget that technologies are tools. There are still people behind the technology, and vice versa, people need help connecting further, farther and faster in today’s economy simply to keep up, so those who typically don’t want to embrace technology will find themselves left behind if they don’t.
However, the commonality here is that people run businesses. Technology can help you run your business and that’s a good thing, but it’s only a tool. Likewise, tools are good, but the real value in any business is the relationships created and maintained between people.
Posted By: Nick Venturella
I'm a big fan of David Airey's site and design blog. He just recently posted a blog about a logo design request he received, similar to other job requests he receives from time to time. This request had the potential client telling David exactly what they want their logo to look like, and that they essentially just need a designer to execute their design.
The point of hiring a designer to help create and develop your company's logo is to utilize someone's creative talents and experience (a skilled designer) to work with you and offer a design that is better than anything you could have come up with on your own. If you already know what you want why would you pay someone else a bunch of money to execute the design?
Leave the creative heavy lifting to the experts. A good designer will want your input and will listen to your thoughts and concerns. From there it will be apparent that the designer understood what you wanted and pushed your vision further than you could have on your own.
That's why you hire a designer, or a writer, or someone to help you build a strategy, because they have talent and experience and a creative approach that can elevate your initial thought of what could be in these realms. Otherwise, you're really just looking for someone to simply execute your own ideas, which is totally fine, but if you're not really an experienced designer, writer or marketer the end result may be less than it could be.
I will say that I am a proponent of empowering solopreneurs and small businesses with tips, tools and advice to help them discover and/or create their own marketing materials as a result of their small budget and need for cost-effective solutions. This usually becomes a learning tool for the small business - they learn enough to be dangerous and get what they need done for the time being (and some actually find that they have some talent in these areas, which is great), but most do what they need to for their businesses current start-up necessities and move toward hiring a professional as they build their company beyond those beginning stages that required such tight reigns on various costs.
The result is they learn a bit about what goes into the design, writing and marketing strategy-building process and they gladly hire an experienced brand communications specialist to do the heavy lifting with a better understanding of what they're paying for.
So, I’ve recently enrolled in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (Amazon affiliate), which is a 91 day personal finance course. I do alright with my personal finance, but I’m always looking to improve.
One thing that really resonated with me in the first session was Ramsey’s description of money as being amoral. Amoral, means something is neither good, nor bad, it simply is. Ramsey speaks of money being amoral, neither good, nor bad, but it’s what we as humans do with it that makes it seem good or bad. The choices we make with money to become greedy jerks, wealthy goodhearted folks, poor resentful people or working class good souls is up to us as humans - the money just is, it doesn’t care one way or another, it’s amoral.
That got me thinking about social media, and many business’ fear of the chaos that realm may bring onto their brand. Social media is amoral, it’s neither good, nor bad, but what businesses do with their marketing and online brand communications in that arena could impact your company and it’s brand in a positive or negative way.
Something to think about.
Posted by: Nick Venturella
The following is a visual representation of an Online Brand Communications content strategy. This is an attempt to help visualize and somewhat simplify the flow of info/content in such a strategy.
Let me know your thoughts by commenting.
This morning I simply wanted to make you aware of a new section on the Nick Venturella Media site. Introducing (Do It Yourself) DIY Education. This is an online book store (Amazon affiliate) with useful and empowering books that I’ve read and recommend for other business owners and creative entrepreneurs.
You don’t always have to be in classroom or have formal education to gather the knowledge you need to run your business. I’ve learned plenty from the books in this section, in fact, the majority of my business education came from these books and my application of their ideas...and yes, failing, reflecting and improving as I keep moving forward.
What I like about learning this way is that with each book I get to piece together my own self-paced curriculum tailored to me and my business.
Within this section I plan to feature one book each month, which you’ll see right at the top of the page. This month it’s Richard Branson's book, Business Stripped Bare (Amazon affiliate), which I also reviewed in the nickvmedia brand communications blog.
posted by Nick Venturella
I thought Richard Branson's book, Business Stripped Bare (Amazon affiliate), was a pretty good business book. Because it was a part autobiography/part ‘how to’ business book it had a genuine human quality that made it easier to relate to as a reader than some other business books.
I like how Richard Bransons thought process behind running a global brand like, Virgin, is to run it as a series of small businesses bearing the same overarching brand.
By running each area of the Virgin brand as its own business entity (Virgin’s airline, trains, financial businesses, etc. all running as separate businesses under one brand) Branson ensures enough revenue diversification to see through any one entity’s failure as the others pick up the slack.
Perhaps, it’s a concept he learned in his early days running Virgin Records. The basic concept is, a record label has several artists on its roster, some of those artists will sell well and others may not, but by having multiple streams of income spread across separate entities (in this case artists/albums) if all sell well things are really good, if one or two do not sell well it won’t sink the whole operation. The trick is to have the majority of artists sell well. Also, if the diversity of artists is enough to overlap audiences into new areas and vice versa it can create a great cross-pollination that can build brand loyalty, and certainly more profits. Branson understands this on a global scale with various business ideas and industries.
I like how Branson talks about adapting his businesses as their model evolves or is no longer viable. The example he gave was how Virgin’s music retail stores began to add films and video games to it retail product offerings because music CD sales were declining. Because of the audience the Virgin music retail stores served, I believe, was Branson’s catalyst for coming up with Virgin mobile (pay as you go mobile phones and plans that appeal to young tweens and teens). Essentially, if Branson can justify his interest in moving into a new market or industry with the Virgin brand he’ll adapt what he’s doing to move in that direction, and because Virgin is actually made up of a bunch of smaller business entities Branson keeps Virgin nimble enough to make such moves happen.
The Virgin brand itself is one of innovation and outstanding customer service/experience. I think that’s Branson’s general litmus test – any Virgin endeavor needs to meet that criteria.
Posted by: Nick Venturella
How do you establish credibility for your brand when you are a new business or start-up?
One way is to complete a few projects early on, perhaps for friends or other small businesses in your area, and capture some testimonials. A great small business book, Duct Tape Marketing, by John Jantsch outlines this idea in more detail.
Get a few small projects under your belt and then ask those you did work for if they would endorse your work. If you're starting out in business, and the service you're offering is a smaller project you may even do the work for a lower cost in return for a testimonial--make it part of the initial offer.
It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway--once you've secured your first couple of projects do a good job so the business you did work for will want to say good things about your work.
Once the project is complete and you have a testimonial from your latest client about what a good job you did and how easy you were to work with, etc., then it's time to use that testimonial in your promotional/marketing materials--in print and online to help you communicate credibility for your brand leading to more projects.
posted by: Nick Venturella
by @neuideas, http://tpdsaa.tumblr.com/
So last week I came across this blog site called Things Real People Don't Say About Advertising, and its posts are fictitious ad images with humorous copy that pokes fun at the advertising industry by speculating the perceived mentality of the ad folks who create such advertising.
I personally think it's hilariously entertaining, being a marketing professional myself. However, I think there is some real value in these fictitious ads, here's how... If you're planing on running an ad for your company, go to this site and review as many ads on it as you can. It will likely give you an idea of what you might want to change about your own company's ads before you run with them.
Posted by: Nick Venturella
Download your FREE Basic Brand Building Kit
Planning your strategy for just about any of your brand communications activities is a good idea. In my opinion if you're going to use the 80/20 rule, the majority of your work is in your planning - 80% plan, 20% execution. The execution is usually the fun part and certainly where rubber meets the road to produce results.
The point is, a thought out plan, even if fairly simply, can help you focus your thoughts toward the actions necessary to reach your envisioned results, but the key is that action does need to be taken to reach your goals. So be careful not to fall into the analysis paralysis trap.
Below is my simple weekly blogging schedule to serve as an example of how basic your plans can be. I often write out my plans or arrange them in a way that allows them to be sort of a working visual model of my ideas - nothing fancy, but certainly functional.
The plan is simple, yet effective in showing which of my blogs I'll publish a post to on which days of the week. As you can see I plan to publish a blog post to my Brand Communications blog (here on the NVM site) twice a week, I post to my Resourceful Musician Blog on The Local Music Journey site on Wednesdays and if I have something worth sharing again on Fridays. Then finally, my new Song Blog on the Nick Venturella Music site gets published on Tuesdays.
Simple, easy to follow plans can help you organize your thoughts and approach to your brand communications.
So start planning, but more importantly take action.
Posted by Nick Venturella