June 2018 Newsletter

This June marks the end of Sheprd’s first school year of operations, and we’re proud to have completed over 6,000 rides. I am proud of how dedicated this amazing team is to getting kids safely from A…


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How to Transform Your Business with Personal Branding

Want to build a dynamic personal brand, but don’t know where to begin?

Eager to create buzz around your business, build authority, and design a branding strategy that builds momentum fast?

You can!

If you have expertise in a specific area, building a credible brand creates the differentiation you need.

Read on to learn how you can develop your personal brand and then join me and author, international speaker, and dynamic branding strategist, Debra Trappen for our event on November 2nd.

And don’t forget to grab the Infographic at the end to get a sneak peek.

It might seem strange that I’d start with a code. I mean, what is it really? Some secret word that unlocks a “brand in a box” strategy?

Nope, sorry. Nothing as cool as that.

Your code is what you subconsciously or consciously live by. It’s the driving force behind all that you do.

It’s the one thing that’s been prevalent in your life and business, helping you CRUSH any outside negative forces.

That code is what keeps you on track, acting as your moral compass. But more than that, it’s your commitment to yourself.

As you’ve grown, it’s grown with you, helping you shape and design your best self. Through it, you’ve set the goals you want to achieve, defined your version of success, and intentionally nurtured your mindset.

But what happens when your code is out of alignment with your words or actions? Here’s what that could be for you:

Living out of alignment with your code (an embodiment of your values, vision, passion and purpose) causes tension in your life and business.

And when you feel the tension, your clients, fans, and followers feel it as well.

If you want to establish a strong personal brand, you need to bake trust into everything you do.

The only way to do that is to stand firm in your beliefs and share those without reservation. It’s when you step outside of that (doing or saying something that doesn’t feel true to you), that you create internal and external conflict.

Like it or not, your beliefs are what drive your core values. That means the lens in which you see the world is how you communicate your values. They’re the internal beliefs that dictate your life and create a strong business foundation.

According to Wikipedia, they’re the…

When you look at it that way, sharing what you value most shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Let’s take a look at what that might look like.

Let’s say you value reliability in your life. In your business, that would translate into a commitment of always saying what you do and doing what you say.

If you’ve yet to sit down and define your core values, it doesn’t have to be complicated. After all, you’ve lived with them your whole life.

Once you’ve gone your own soul searching and reflected on that list, write down 3 that speak to you the most.

Have you ever read a post that felt it was written just for you? It’s as if they reached into your world, overheard a conversation, and provided the exact solution.

That’s what knowing your audience does for your brand and business. It infuses life into your content and communication. It allows you to empathize, but not in a trite, “I feel ya” kinda way.

Instead, you stop talking and start showing. Your actions say to your fans that you know exactly what their pain is because you’ve, “been there, done that, and found the best solution to their challenge.”

Now if you’ve wondered why no one is listening, responding, hiring or buying from you, think on what I just shared. Because that is your answer in a nutshell.

Stop worrying about what needs to be changed: your content, what or when you’re posting, the amount of content you’re sharing. None of that matters if you’re not incorporating one simple aspect into the mix: speaking your audience’s language in a real and authentic way.

Because whatever you’ve read or heard about defining your target market, identifying your persona, or any other marketing speak, doesn’t matter if you haven’t gained clarity around your audience.

So, before throwing the baby out with the bathwater (such a bizarre phrase, but you get what I mean…), answer these questions.

As I’ve written the course, emails, social posts, and all other content, I speak to “Sophia,” not a blank face, but a woman whose particular challenge I’m eager to solve. Feels far more authentic, don’t you think?

Kind of like talking with a friend as opposed to shouting out a window to a neighbor you don’t know. Pretty weird, right?

Take the time to get to know your “Sophia, and then speak to her in everything you do.

It makes you instantly recognizable and creates a distinct point of separation between you and the competition.

If you haven’t taken the time to design your brand style, here’s a few steps to take.

Your style is a combination of each ingredient that makes up your brand. It allows you to express your personality and define your style within the marketplace.

If you’re happy, then this is the place to let that shine. If you’re somber, melancholy, or serious — let that come across in your brand style.

Your style is also portrayed through the consistent use of your logos, brand name, trademarks, communication, core visual elements, advertisements, signs, brochures, and presentations.

Think of it as all of your brand goodness fused into a likable, shareable, and highly contagious brand that your community can’t get enough of.

Your brand identity should never be compromised. What do I mean by that? Think about how inconsistency hurts you.

For example, if your logo and brand colors are one thing on your website, another on your blog and something completely different on your social networks — your audience is going to have a difficult time understanding who you are, what you do, and how you help.

Sitting down and putting your brand details into an easy-to-read doc makes sure everything is streamlined.

This one piece can dramatically change all of your online copy. I promise you — if you get nothing else out of this article, nailing down your messaging is HUGE.

One critical aspect of this is how you respond to that all too often uncomfortable question, “what do you do?” Instead of silence, put together a quick, but super specific way of expressing who you help and how.

Here’s a few simple questions to help you craft what will become copy for your website About page, social media bios, and more.

e.g. help people lose weight, eat healthy, house train their new puppies, or better manage their money

e.g. couples looking to get healthy or people who want to create an exercise regimen, or maybe wine drinkers or those that love dance

e.g. what will people achieve through you / think about what they’ll be able to do better, more of, or walk away with after working with you?

Maybe they become a great tennis player or work more fruit or healthy foods into their diet or finally get their finances under control. Again, be as specific as you can.

I want you to think about your answers and set aside 30 minutes. Whether it’s in the morning or afternoon, choose a time when you can do your best thinking.

Here’s how your answers to the above questions might come together:

See how much better that sounds than, “I’m a health and diet coach.” Hmmm… tough for me to understand who your target market is and what makes you so spectacular at what you do.

Think creatively, but honestly as you put yours together. What results can you truly offer?

To be remembered, you must make an impact. Your colors — the dominant, secondary and tertiary colors — help you create an indelible mark in the mind of your audience.

If you haven’t chosen your brand colors yet, here’s a few tools you can use to pick the perfect color palette.

To maximize your personal brand and become known in your industry, you need to create a diverse strategy.

This will incorporate various online tools to quickly accelerate conversation, buzz, and word of mouth.

By incorporating both of these into your web marketing mix, you’re letting your target market (and the media) know what’s going on with your brand, and also creating an extra opportunity to be discovered in search results.

The first step is deciding what you’ll share on your About and Press page. For your About, give all relevant details about your education, work, and personal history.

For your Press page, think about whether it will share press releases, a media kit, company news, media coverage, or something else?

If you’re not sure, ask yourself:

Now write with them in mind.

And don’t forget to optimize your pages for SEO. This is your extra chance to get found on Google, so make sure you use your industry keywords.

Your next step is to choose a place for your About and Press page. You have plenty of options!

You can put them inside your blog, in the top-level navigation, or in a dropdown “about” section.

Find a logical and easy-to-find place for them to reside.

Now, decide what to call them. Your About will be exactly that or Bio or Meet Me. Any variation works.

For your Press page, you can use a title like “news,” “media,” “press” or “company news.”

In this step, I’m going to walk you through a 4- step process I’ve taken thousands of clients through.


Analyze what you know vs. the real intent and struggle of your audience. For example, if you’re a food blogger — is your audience looking for the best gluten free recipes because of a chosen diet or because they want to know how to manage celiac disease?

What you want to get to the bottom of is the purpose behind the connection your personal brand is looking to make. What is going to bring your perfect audience to you?


Identify your top differentiators, objectives, and opportunities.

Where is there a hole in the market or a space for you to put your creative spin on an already established idea? This is where differentiation really starts to happen with your brand.

While there might not always be a new idea, there’s always you and your perspective.



Improve authority and credibility to monetize your social media marketing efforts. This final step comes from consistently sharing your value, solving customer problems, and giving away your secrets.

Because yes — you must give to get, especially on social media.

If you want personal brand success on social media, you need to add value continuously.

This PREP process will help you stay proactive in your approach, making it easy to not only keep up with social media, but also create sustainable growth for your personal brand.

Hashtags are one of the best ways to reach a completely new audience and get the word out about your personal brand. But not every hashtag will get you results, you have to be strategic.

Do some research to find hashtags relevant to your industry. Look for both: the general trending hashtags, and the lesser-known, but more specific ones.

The trending hashtags will help you reach a large or broad audience, while the specific (and targeted) ones will help you connect with people more likely to be interested in what you’re offering.

For example, #socialmedia is broad and while it might be a very active hashtag, you could also get lost in the barrage of content. A more targeted hashtag like #facebooktips places you in front of the exact people looking for Facebook content.

And if you run a local business, make sure you also use location-specific hashtags. Since I’m in the Los Angeles area, I often use #mydayinla or #ILoveLA.

Once you’re done with research, start using the hashtags in your social media posts. But remember to only use the ones that best align with your business.

By using trending hashtags which have nothing to do with you, you attract an audience you don’t want — or need. Sure, you may get a lot of visibility, but no real sales.

Join me and Debra Trappen, professional educator, author, and international speaker, for your 3 day “getting started plan!

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