In a continuous effort to bring you the information you need to possibly move you forward in life, RFFocus attended the Insight One20 small business conference over the weekend to see if we could gain a few tips for growing a small business. City National Bank hosted the Insight One20 conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center Saturday for over 500 small business owners. The conference began with keynote speaker, Seth Godin, author of “The Icarus Deception,” telling the conference attendees that the entrepreneurial spirit is an art and needs to be consistently cultivated for concrete results. With City National Bank serving as the main sponsor, visitors where also treated to exhibitions booth from KNX 1070 News Radio, the Small Business Administration, Botlon & Company, and a host of others. From start to finish, the panels, exhibitors, and other keynote speakers would follow suit and give all of us in attendance the necessary key performance indicators to growing a small business.
Although the conference was rich with information on various topics of business, ranging from, “Maximizing Your Global Potential” to “Crowd Funding for Small Business,” the two we would like to focus on are “Effective Use of Social Media and Content Marketing” and “Successful Brand Strategies, The Importance of Identity.”
Your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and all social media platforms are “Your Voice” according to Latina entrepreneur, Michelle Ruiz who joined Jane Pak,CEO, National Association of Women Business Owners to talk about the power of social media. The overall theme of the social media panel was based on letting your audience know it is really you behind the tweets, pins, and posts. Jane and Michelle both expressed the importance not being a afraid to be yourself on social media. Keep your audience engaged (For More on the Insight One20 Conference Click Next) by letting them know that you have a heart and actually care about what they think as well. Your customer’s opinions are valuable and they can provide powerful insight and testimony regarding your business. They also stressed the importance of having a platform on all the various social media platforms. Youtube, Pinterest, Twitter, and all the rest have a place in your marketing strategy and you must determine which platforms are the most effective for you. By studying what your audience pays attention to, you can develop powerful social media strategies that take your business to another level. Once you have their interest, the sky is the limit in regard to growing your audience and your business simultaneously.
The “Successful Brand Strategies, The Importance of Identity,” which was keynoted by Laurence Vincent, author of “Brand Real” was quite insightful. Yes, the pun was intended. The premise behind his keynote address was simple but effective. Branding is a promise and not just making a new logo. “Treat your brand as a promise,” he said. He spoke on six different brand promises; Access, Features, Approach, Personality, Cause, and Lifestyle. In regard to Access, he used Visa as an example. Visa’s tagline was “Everywhere you want to be,” basically saying if you own this card, you don’t have to worry about where you are because we are there. An example of personality would be Oprah. She resonates with people and the majority of the world knows her so using her image or someone that has an audience, strengthens your brand based off their simple endorsement. Lifestyle promises where taken to a new level with Abercrombie & Fitch. All of their ads were concentrated around half-naked people, yet they sold clothes. They used the idea of having a sexy lifestyle to sell their clothing. It was a very simple approach but highly effective for the brand. Laurence Vincent also spoke about the importance of knowing your identity as a brand. He spoke about Virgin Airlines. Yes, they are an airline but Richard Branson has done a brilliant job of creating a nightclub in the sky, which is what differentiate them from other airlines and they attract a certain sort of clientele because of it.
In the end, the main two things we took out of the Insight One20 small business conference were: 1. Don’t be afraid to be you and express your voice and make sure you establish your identity. 2. It’s about self awareness and convincing others that you are worth investing in because you honestly believe in investing in them and their interests. Now go out there and grow your business! For more info on the City National Insight One20 conference, check out the website at http://www.insightone20.com.