I’m a baker and candy maker. I specialize in gourmet brownies, blondies, and caramel apples! Our goal is to ship all over the world but we’re currently struggling with getting our website and mobile app. What’s the best way to get our name out there? We’re currently getting sales from different social media platforms and we also sell in different local events. -Tamika from Memphis, TN
Have you built a consistent sales campaign? This is key to your branding and social media is fantastic. But you need to create a day each week to highlight your product.
I am a singer/performer/entertainer and I have been doing shows for years but now I am in an arena where I can make more money by creating my own shows for cruise lines all over the world. My question is how do I make sure I market myself and cover myself legally with all of the band members I will employ and have a price point that is competitive enough to get work but also increase my annual intake?
-Keia from Memphis, TN
Congratulations! I used to work on cruise lines and it was the most fun in my entertainment career. Now, most cruise ships have a house band. All you have to bring is the music. Also reduce your band and complement the rest with track music. This is your career, don’t build it on a band member who may quit on you. This is a great move and can carry you to great success.
Hello & thank you for doing this. I’m an author and am about to embark on the assisted self-publishing journey. I can’t afford the package that includes social media marketing assistance. I was hoping that you would have some advice on how best use it to get my work noticed. –B.F. from Birmingham, AL
Social media is providing you with the ultimate marketing tool. Your Facebook page should be your primary campaign point, because you can encourage your friends to promote your book! You should use Instagram to promote passages from your book. You should use Twitter to hype your book. Finally if you ever do a book reading or signing, please use Facebook Live to promote and broadcast the event. You will not become a best seller overnight. Please make sure you have an excellent editor prior to publishing your book.
I am looking for investors to help me fund some new projects. I have developed a business plan. What other information do I need to provide? -Heddrick from Queens, NY
A business plan is great, but you should also produce a creative deck that visually outlooks your pitch or a sizzle reel.
Baking is my passion and I prayerfully want to do it full time. What was your greatest obstacle when branching out and how did you overcome it?
-Emeline from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Your greatest obstacle will be you. You can pray about it, you can seek encouraging words from family and friends, but the bottom line is what is your plan and are you ready to commit 100%?
With extremely limited funds, how can you step toward financing your vision? I am an author, playwright, choreographer/dancer, youth mentor and more. I even have a nice following on social media, where I sow nuggets for free. My work is well received…but I need to step it up one thousand notches – but it’s going to take funding. -Candice
You are operating online. There are no expenses involved in your blogging or publication. So you need to expand your brand by visiting churches. You have to let all the churches in the city be aware of your brand.
Happy Monday, Rushion McDonald.
Thanks for taking my question. I’m building the brand for my Inside Acting radio show (a weekly podcast featuring interviews with not-well-know and well-known actors, directors, comedians and producers) by constantly working my major definite purpose to secure advertisers. I’ve had some success in that regard. My question is how do I identify/characterize and find my “true fans” and increase their number? -William
It is summertime so you need to add a movie critics corner to your podcast. Also, you need to engage your fans in the hot shows on TV like Empire, Lil Big Shots and Game of Thrones. Interviews are great, but you need to communicate more with the every day person.
My life long passion is to build a real estate investing empire. My vision will provide jobs and upgrades to the community. I purchased my first home in 2006 but after a bad divorce I’m now facing chapter 13 bankruptcy and I’ve lost the property to foreclosure. Despite many disappointments I’m still in the fight and I belive in my dream and I’m willing to start over. I just want to be equipped with knowledge this time around. Any tips on budgeting would also be appreciated. Thank you so much.
-Artisha from Joliet, IL
Budget is always based on what makes you comfortable — what you need and what you can live without. Despite having to file for bankruptcy, you can still get a secured credit card.
I am in the process of forming a non-profit organization to complement my business. I still want to sell products through the LLC, so how do I differentiate between the two business entities? Do I need to separate the books from the workshops?
Yes you do need to separate what is charity and what is business for tax purposes. You would write off the value of your books under your charity window. Do not write off what you would charge for the books.
I am a writer/blogger who posts content on issues related to being single and dating. I’d like to eventually become a panelist to advise singles at conferences and other events. How can I work toward that goal? -Kristi from Atlanta, GA
You will get there based on your success stories and your social media following. Your Facebook page needs to be updated and to stop looking like a relationship expert Facebook page. You need to start building your brand through consistency and it starts with you updating your cover photo. It should be about your career in relationship planning.