Branding Yourself: An Interview With Rebecca Barnes, Home Grown Entrepreneur, Marketing Wiz

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Branding Yourself: An Interview With Rebecca Barnes, Home Grown Entrepreneur, Marketing Wiz

Branding Yourself: An Interview With Rebecca Barnes, Home Grown Entrepreneur, Marketing WizAre you marketing in layers? We bet no one has ever asked you that. But you really need to be. So just what is layered marketing?

Layered marketing is using multiple “vehicles” to get your branding and message across.

According to marketing guru and entrepreneur Rebecca Barnes, “You should be driving several vehicles. Guerilla marketing, networking, blogging, social media and paid advertising should all be a part of your fleet.”

Barnes is the publisher of Prince William Living (PWL) and Brides & Weddings magazines. Brides & Weddings sponsors Women’s Wedding Network, a networking event for wedding industry professionals. She also holds PWLsponsored networking and educational events, volunteers in the community, supports a variety of small businesses and nonprofits and runs Give Back Prince William. We think it’s safe to say she knows what she’s talking about.

To elaborate a little more on layered marketing, let’s think about a dinner party. Would you prefer a meal where you were served one option only or a buffet of choices?

We bet if you didn’t care for that main dish, you’d be waving your hands in favor of the multiple options on the buffet. By adopting a layered marketing plan, you’re not assuming that your customers will be sitting in one place and consume the one dish you are serving. Instead, you wisely realize that your audience is milling about and opting for a variety of choices. They are in doctors’ offices reading local publications, perusing Facebook, tweeting on Twitter and attending community events.

Is it all making sense now? To maximize your marketing dollars, you need a solid marketing plan, budget and strategy. In fact, Barnes goes so far as to say that if you don’t, just “write a check for several thousand dollars to cash, hand it to a stranger and close your business. You will be ahead of the game and will thank me later.”

Barnes advises that you should, at minimum, be using social media, blogging and guerilla marketing. Select paid advertising based on your business and what speaks to your audience. “You want to make sure you aren’t ‘speaking into an empty room’ or to a group of people who don’t need or can’t afford your services,” she says.

“Know your customers and gear every marketing step toward them. Know who buys yours products, where they frequent and spend your money on them.

“Marketing is a larger umbrella under which advertising falls,” says Barnes. “Marketing includes networking, advertising and visibility opportunities.”

Programs through Prince William Living and Brides & Weddings help clients with all three. You receive “networking with our events, advertising with our print and online ads, videos and sponsored stories, and visibility through columnist opportunities, calendar events, promotion of specific lines of business, and social media support,” Barnes said.

Barnes’ publications make it easy to layer your marketing and reach your clients in a variety of ways. And as an added bonus, when you advertise in these publications or attend one of their events, you are not just supporting a small business. Through Give Back Prince William, you’re supporting nonprofits and a variety of local organizations and proudly boosting our local economy. You’ll practically be a hero.

Give Back Prince William is a nonprofit (501(c)(3) whose mission is to build a better community by supporting quality-of-life issues; including solid economic development; supporting the arts community and encouraging volunteerism through the local not-for-profits via Prince William Living and other resources. Prince William Living’s mission statement includes local social responsibility, and Give Back Prince William is one way PWL gives not-for-profits a voice in the community.

Learn more about layered marketing and how easy it can be to plan your strategy and stick within your budget with Prince William Living and Brides & Weddings. Email Rebecca Barnes at rbarnes@princewilliamliving.com.

All Things Writing is a full-service content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. Our clients are from the private, government and nonprofit sectors.

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Erin Pittman, Lead Editor

A project manager, writer and editor, Erin Pittman has almost a decade of professional experience in both print and online materials. She holds a BA in English from Randolph-Macon College. Her work has been featured in local and national publications, as well as on various local and national websites and blogs. Writing topics include marketing, personal finance, special needs, military, parenting, seniors, local events, real estate, service industries, business profiles and more.

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