Blog

When Is It Time For A Rebrand?

Two years ago I launched a freelance business by the name of Diggs Media. It was a great side gig that helped a lot of beginning businesses get social and website traffic, but it really wasn’t something I took seriously. I was young and just thought it was cool to use skills I already had to generate another stream of income for myself. After awhile I decided to call it quits for a year and really evaluate what I’m actually passionate about, which I how J Diggs Media came to be.

J Diggs Media is a brand storytelling agency that believes that every business has a story. And through storytelling, businesses can connect to their customers on a deeper level. Unlike Diggs Media, we didn’t have a purpose, a voice, or a mission. Diggs Media was a quick way to make cash from small businesses that could benefit from the valuable social media experience I had. Well, J Diggs Media is so much more than that. We’re not only your social media solution for a problem you think you might have. We’re your mentors to help small and medium businesses with their entire online marketing. We help find your brand story and then make sure its spread to the people who matter. J Diggs Media is a solution to help owners take control of their company message with a solid multichannel strategy.

Yup, this is a total rebrand and I’m actually pretty excited about it. You may be asking yourself when is a “good” time to rebrand? Here are a few reasons why I decided it was time and maybe you can relate:

Demographic audience has changed

Diggs Media clients we’re more up-and-coming business owners who completely didn’t know where to start with marketing themselves online and I happily took them in and helped increase their revenue. At the end, it felt amazing to help them, but it was also very difficult preparing and implementing a strategy with a shoe-string budget and the high expectations those owners had. With J Diggs Media, we’re targeting small to medium-sized businesses that are already allocating a budget to some form of marketing. I know It’s hard to trust what you don’t know and with owners that have never developed a budget for marketing before, it’s a little hard to get their trust when you give them estimates or strategies. We’re also going to work with businesses that have a brand, but aren’t sure how to use it to get new customers and convert them into loyal returning customers. There’s also a few other characteristics I look for when qualifying a business to work with J Diggs Media but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If you’re interested in working together, let’s have a quick chat and see how we mesh. 😉

Mission and values have changed

Your mission and values should guide how your brand develops. So if they change so should your brand. At J Diggs Media, our mission is to aid small and medium businesses in finding and presenting their brand story through social media & marketing strategies, to strengthen their relationship with customers and partners. We want to provide our clients with a comfortable space, where they feel heard, nurtured, and guided towards prosperity within their business. This brand mission and values are a little different from the “just give me money and I’ll help you” mission of Diggs Media A.K.A. Young and Dumb.  So J Diggs Media is opting in for a sleeker logo and a more inspiring, trustworthy, and relatable change of voice.

It was just a mess

Diggs Media was a side gig and it served it purpose. Unfortunately, the branding was not polished at all. I literally got a business license and asked a graphic design friend to make a quick logo and that was it. I didn’t think about branding and guidelines. I didn’t consider how my company would seem through video, blogs, print, etc. If there was a business branding version of the television series ‘Botched’, I would be on it. Fortunately, J Diggs Media is totally different. In the next coming weeks and months, you’ll see bits and pieces of this new brand that’s been designed with our audience and goals in mind. It actually feels great taking the right steps to prepare J Diggs Media for growth and not failure or stagnation.

There’s never a right or wrong answer to the rebranding question. You just have to make sure you’re considering your audience. If your current brand isn’t appealing to your target audience, then maybe it’s time to look into rebranding. It’s that simple. You just have to be the one to decide like I did.

My Experience at Start! Peninsula

November 5th was such an important day for me. I finally took the leap and decided to attend Start! Peninsula. At this event I wasn’t just another entrepreneur desperate to make connections. Nope, I was actually chosen to be a mentor for 10 entrepreneurs as they work to craft the perfect pitch for a chance to win up to $10,000 cash and other important resources for growing their businesses. It was such an honor to to help these people with great ideas and passion. Since the program has ended and the winners have been selected, I wanted to share a few takeaways I think every entrepreneur should know.

IT’S OKAY TO PIVOT YOUR IDEA.

It’s great to have an amazing idea, but you have to consider a few other variables. Are there other products out that do the same thing your startup is doing? How will people react to the product. Does it make sense or is it just another cool idea? During the Start Peninsula Alumni panel, Nisha Wit, President & Co-Founder of Aesop Technology, told us a story about how she had to pivot her idea of solar powered changers. Her first idea was to provide solar energy powered phone cases. As Nisha went into development she noticed that the variables didn’t really have a driving force on receiving an ROI. That’s when she decided to reevaluate her idea, which lead to developing Hampton Roads’ first solar powered bench where people can charge their phones outside.

BE WILLING TO WAIT FOR YOUR FIRST SALE.

Past participants in Start Peninsula admit it taking about 18 months to 2 years until they received their first transaction. As I watch the fresh entrepreneurs eyes open wide, the alumni broke it down for them. Realistically, depending on your idea, there are just way too many variables for you to set deadline on when your first sale will happen. If your idea depends on a certain product to be made, you have to consider the time it takes for third party contractors to make it for you. Then, you have to consider the cost of everything else. If you’re a startup, most likely you don’t have a strong  financial backing. So, it may be a little difficult to find people to help when you can only pay them close to nothing. Most often the entrepreneur is learning how to manage all these variables themselves to help keep the cost down.

NOT ALL INVESTORS ARE CREEPS.

That’s right. They aren’t all bad. We’ve all heard the awful stories of a rich guy in a suit promising to support your dream and all you have to do is give up more than half the ownership of your company. Guys like that are definitely bad news, but there are other investors who are willing to support you on terms that make you both comfortable. Don’t think you have to do everything by yourself. Finding an investor with business expertise, connections, and funds to expedite your startup is worth the search and negotiation. Every investor partnership is different. It’s up to you to clarify your ideal terms and choosing a partner you mesh well with.  

Overall, I really enjoyed attending Start Peninsula. I always make my clients attend networking events and do things that are clear business building techniques, but I never take my own advice. Honestly, I hate networking. It gives me so much anxiety and I always think the worst scenarios will come true. It must be the introvert in me, but I knew it was time to practice what I teach and it actually wasn’t bad at all. I met so many people that appreciated the advice I gave and now I’m pumped to participate in more mentoring opportunities!  

If you’re curious about who the winners were, check out the replay below.

Jamar Diggs Selected as Start! Peninsula Business Mentor

NORFOLK, VA (November 2, 2016) – Jamar Diggs, Social Media & Marketing Strategist of Diggs Media has been selected as one of eighteen mentors at START! Peninsula entrepreneur event on November 4th – 6th. As a business mentor, Jamar Diggs will offer advice and encouragement to the entrepreneurs as they construct the perfect pitch.

Start! Peninsula is a weekend long, 54-hour “mosh pit of business,” bringing together dozens of passionate entrepreneurs and business leaders under one roof with one purpose: To identify the best ideas and create new businesses within one weekend. START Peninsula combines the collaborative efforts of people who have great business ideas with you the professionals with design talent, programming experience, management know-how, and marketing skills.

Jamar comes to Start! Peninsula with over 5 years of experience in digital marketing and brand storytelling. He’s worked with a variety of entrepreneurs and organizations such as children’s book authors and consulting firms.

***

Jamar Diggs is a Social Media & Marketing Strategist specializing in brand storytelling. He harnesses the power of storytelling and mixes it with out-of-the-box marketing strategies to tell a story that connects with their clients and customers. With his expertise in social media and marketing strategy, Jamar has been able to help businessmen and women turn their business around, increase their income, build social confidence, and improve their overall brand.

5 Ways to Increase Your Engagement With Facebook Live

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past months, you’ve probably seen a few of your friends “going live.” Facebook Live has made incredible strides since launching the live streaming functionality last summer and I think it’s only going to get better. Let’s face it – people love being nosey and now with the Facebook’s live  streaming feature friends and family can see what others are up to in real-time.

So, how do you get your business in on the fun and actually receive an ROI from it all. Here are a couple of things you can do to increase your engagement on your Facebook business page with Facebook Live.

1. STREAM YOUR EVENT

If you’ve already planned to go on a business trip or attend a conference, this would be a great way to jump right in and start live streaming. Use Facebook Live to bring your followers with you and allow them to see everything you do. While broadcasting, tell your audience a few fun facts about the area, the event, or ask them what questions they want you to ask during the event. Then, have a recap afterwards to review all you’ve learned.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 12.21.23 AM

2. GIVE LIVE REVIEWS

Is there a customer that always raves about your work? Ask them to get on Facebook live with you and have them share their story. Client testimonials are super effective when trying to generate more customers. If you can, try doing at least one live review a week. Remember, people trust reviews from other  people so the more real life reviews you get, the more others will buy into your business.

88% of people trust online reviews by other customers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.

3. DO LIVE Q&A SESSIONS

Make use of Facebook Live’s comment section by allowing your audience to ask questions during the live stream. Anyone who’s watching your Facebook Live stream can type a message that will show up on your screen in real-time. I get how this option can be a little scary to some owners since your audience could ask you about anything, but it also helps create a stronger connection between your brand and its community. Transparency is huge when it comes to building and maintaining a customer base. Give your people a place to be heard and ask them to evaluate your product. Use this feature as a medium for customer research. You’ll be surprised with what you can learn if you just ask.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 11.53.33 PM

4. GO BEHIND THE SCENES

How does a typical day look? What’s your favorite thing to do during the day? Who are your employees? Customers are curious and you can deliver them the answers through Facebook Live! This is your chance to show the company culture and your personality as a business owner.  Give your customers a sneak peek of your favorite place in the office to go and think or show them what happens at your team events. Have some fun and do an employee takeover where one of your employees has a chat with your live streamers. Maybe they’ll go on an office tour or maybe they’ll just have a fun story to tell. No matter what you choose your audience will have a more realistic and personable view of your brand.

5. STREAM A PRODUCT RELEASE

Build curiosity and buzz about a new product or service when you share bits of it with Facebook Live. Hold a live tutorial on how your product works or share a few solutions your service offers. This allows you to bring your product or service to life and generates interest with the public. Your product instantly moves from being just another offering you have to a realistic solution to a problem your customer has.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 12.14.24 AM
It’s not late to jump on the Facebook Live bandwagon. Invest the time in building your live streaming audience and you will soon gain more first time customers. Think of it as your very own video channel that appears in the news feed of your followers. Good luck and don’t forget to have fun! If I missed something, feel free to let me know in the comments. Also, please show some love and share this article out via social media with your friends!

Interested in using Facebook Live, but still need some help on planning what to do? Contact me for a consultation! We can start brainstorming on what you can do with this new live streaming feature specifically with your business.


Also published on LinkedIn Pulse

5 Ways to Kill It On Instagram

So you’ve dabbled in Facebook and Twitter. Now, you want to dominate Instagram. Instagram has been very popular and with over 300 million monthly users how could you not be drawn to it? Users rely on this platform to find trends and document life with just a single photo, giving you the perfect place to share the story of your brand.

How do you tame this photo sharing beast? Take advantage of these tips and you will be a rockstar brand in no time!

Embrace The Video

Photos are nice, but if you want to really win your audience over make sure video is your best friend. You have up to 15 seconds to tell your story, but if you need more time don’t be afraid to speed things up with Hyperlapse. Try making a video to showcase an event or a mini series. Once you get the creative juices flowing there will be nothing stopping you.

 

Hashtags Get You Engagement

Hashtags will help you get the traffic and engagement you want on your posts. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, the number of hashtags you use on Instagram doesn’t matter. In fact, Interactions are higher on posts with eleven or more hashtags.

If you feel like going crazy on the hashtags, add only 2-3 of the most relevant ones in your caption and save the rest for the comments section. This will keep your Instagram caption short, clean and the post will still be seen if a user searches one of your hashtags.

Start off with the very popular #TBT (Throwback Thursday) and then take a look at the common industry hashtags your bigger competitors are using. After awhile you may even be inclined to start creating a specific hashtag for your brand.

 

Link Your Content

Let’s say you just created an awesome article and you want to share it on Instagram. If you paste the link in the caption of your Instagram post no one will be able to click on it. To solve this dilemma just replace your website URL in the bio with your article. When you share your Instagram post simply tell your followers to go to the link in the bio to see the article. Taking advantage of this tip will open many possibilities for you. Start thinking of other ways you can use the URL section and add it in the comments below!

Edit Descriptions

Instagram has blessed us with an edit caption feature. No more publishing long paragraphs only to realize you have a few misspellings. Thanks to this feature you can fix your errors in seconds.

 

Engage With Your Audience

Engagement is always important with any social platform. Keep the conversation going by replying to comments and even sharing cool content your followers are creating. Tools like the Repost App makes sharing and tagging Instagram posts even easier. Spending a few minutes a day to engage with your followers will mean the world to them.

Are you already an Instagram rockstar? What ways can businesses ‘kill it’ on this platform. Leave your answer in the comments below.

Why is Local Social Media Marketing Important?

The average small business owner is always busy. They don’t have all the time in the world to sit down and focus on growth. Instead, they tend to focus on the day-to day operation or the instant revenue generating part of the business. As we evolve more into a technology driven society, business owners are becoming more aware that social media is an important aspect of their business strategy. Business owners are starting to understand that maintaining an online presence is just as important as maintaining sales, customer service and print marketing.

According to Media Bistro, the social media trends are rapidly increasing. Here are a few statistics below:

  • 74% of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions.
  • 81% of consumers are influenced by their friends posts on social media when making purchasing decisions.
  • 47% of Americans say Facebook is their number one influence of purchases.
  • 97% of all consumers search for local businesses online.

With statistics like these it’s clear to see why social media should be an important factor in your business plan. Even though social media marketing is not always a direct source of revenue, it acts as a top influence of consumer purchases.

The keyword in social media marketing is “SOCIAL.” It’s a conversation between you and your customers that love your product. You have to build your loyal fans online and then watch them become your brand advocate.

Need some help incorporating social media in your business? Find out which social channel is best for your business.

Which Social Sites Should Your Business Have?

All of them, duh! No,Just kidding. Stop thinking that. NOW! 

Social media is fun and everyone is on at least one social network. But which one is right for your business? It’s great that businesses are seeing the value in social media, but now its time to understand how much time you have to invest into it. It s essential to choose the best social sites for your content marketing strategy.

My managers would always use the saying “work smarter, not harder.” That saying applies when evaluating which social media sites to use for your business. The social media industry is always changing and creating new sites like Ello, a new independent social network that recently went viral. But does that mean you should join it? No, no it doesn’t. Social networks come and go so it’s not a good idea to invest time in one that could be dead in about 6 months. My philosophy is to focus on the leading social networks and build a following and relationships there first, then determine if there is enough time to venture out to another social site.

Here a few things to consider when choosing the right networks for your business:

Facebook is all about storytelling and humanizing your brand. This social platform is best used for sharing relatable content for your target audience. Keep in mind that Facebook is also the number one influencer of customer’s purchasing decisions.

LinkedIn is for mainly for B2B companies. This social network is great to for those B2B companies to show they are the industry leader and to network with other people and businesses.

Pinterest is great for companies in highly visual industries and have customers that like to express themselves through photos. When it comes to Pinterest you definitely have to consider your audience. Would your customer collect information or images in an organized place to help determine their purchase? Pinterest is basically an inspiration board for its users. Each picture on their “inspiration board” will take them to an article giving more information. So this platform is great for driving traffic to your website, but useless if your audience is not there.

Twitter is a network which the younger generation has taken by storm. It’s a great resource to share quick industry updates or other topic-based and timely information. If you aren’t afraid to engage with your audience you should consider this platform. Because just posting is not enough. Engagement is a must to get any ROI on Twitter.

Instagram is great if your industry is predominantly image based. If you can tell your story in pictures and video, Instagram is for you. This is the place for artistic and high quality photography.

Google Plus is a must for networking and local search engine optimization (SEO). Some consider it the underdog, but they are highly mistaken. This platform can build your business as an influencer in the industry and in turn, makes you more discoverable in search engines because GOOGLE OWNS IT (Duh).

YouTube is the second largest search engine so don’t forget this social network! If you can create or share informative, fun and visually appealing videos of your company, then this social site may be good for you. This network is also owned by Google and increases SEO when it is managed correctly.

Alright, you have this information and now you can choose the platform (or platforms) that are right for your business. Of course, you must figure out the best platform for your audience and what kind of content you are able to find or create. Don’t forget to be realistic about what you are willing and able to do. Are you available to interact on the social channels you choose? Social media is all about two-way communication and your business needs to be present in the conversations that make sense for your customers and your business.

Want to be on all the social sites mentioned, but don’t have the time? Choose your top decision and slowly grow your business and expand your networks according to the amount of time you have to invest. It’s okay if it takes time to get to what you want. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Curious about other social media sites? Leave your questions in the comments and I’ll give you an answer!