by Cindy Ratzlaff
You may know Moll Anderson from her award-winning entertainment reporting or appearances on national television programs such as “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” HGTV and E! Entertainment’s Style Network. An accomplished interior designer, and lifestyle expert, Moll Anderson’s celebrity and private clients are drawn to her “seductive living” brand. She’s also an author, now on tour promoting her newest book, The Seductive Home.
Moll’s expanding digital footprint helps her share her brand message with a whole new audience.
I spoke with Moll recently about the process of expanding her personal brand, and asked her to share some of the things she has learned in the process.
Cindy Ratzlaff: Is there one lesson or takeaway that you’d share with first year entrepreneurs who are transitioning from corporate life to running their own businesses?
Moll Anderson: Hire a great Business consultant! If I leaned anything in business so far it’s that you need to know what your strong suits are! I am a total visual, creative and positive person. I’m smart enough to know that because I did not go to business school that I needed to hire someone that could guide me and challenge me continually. Most importantly help me to make a strong business plan. Always surround yourself with a strong and positive team.
Cindy Ratzlaff: How do you determine which new projects are right for your brand?
Moll Anderson: Continually ask yourself, “Does this help the brand?” For me, I am the brand so it’s quite simple. If it’s not good for the brand then we have our answer. Choose ventures that will aid you in advancing your brand in the direction you are pursuing. Set a path and follow it. Whenever I speak to marketing classes, I tell them that my company and brand are unique. Why? I am the thing that my little company sells and it’s different for each and every company. For example, if you’re a company that sells cups, then you can hire salesman to go out and travel around to sell cups. When you think of my company, I am the cup. No one can sell me like I can; If I get sick or I don’t look good or I need to take time off, it affects the company. It’s just not the same for anyone else to show up. I am the brand and the business.
Cindy Ratzlaff: Promotion is always challenging for entrepreneurs. Any advice for entrepreneurs on what works best? Advertising, publicity, social media? What works for you and your brand?
Moll Anderson: The challenging part of promotion is the financial commitment. Print media is great but costly. However, in social media you can reach a lot of people quickly at a much more cost-effective rate. There comes a time in business, and with entrepreneurs, when you need to say “Go big or go home.” Do it, do it right, or don’t do it at all. It will serve you well.
Cindy Ratzlaff: You’re a designer and you are very visual. Where should start-ups focus their attention when developing their own visual identity for their brands?
Moll Anderson: Nothing should begin visually without first creating a strategic brand statement. You must know your brand and who your audience is before you can begin to start any visual. When you have your statement in place, you’ll find the visual easily follows because it speaks for the brand.
Cindy Ratzlaff: As a business owner or entrepreneur begins to grow and branch out with new brand extensions, they face challenges about how the new products fit their current brand. You’ve done a fabulous job of staying true to your core brand by adding new touch points for fans with video, television, books, and live events. How do you determine what’s a good fit for “Brand Moll,” and do you have any guidelines you’d recommend to others facing expansion?
Moll Anderson: I’m very lucky in that, once again, I am the brand so for me it has to make sense. If you are authentic to what you sell and you believe with all your heart that what you are selling is important and needed then the doors open that are part of your path and doors close that are not. My favorite saying is “That’s mans rejection, is God’s protection”
Cindy Ratzlaff: What’s next? Tell us a little about where you see your brand going in the coming year.
Moll Anderson: Wow! I’m really excited about this year. We finally have turned a very important corner in gaining traction in media awareness. We still have a long way to go, but what I am experiencing is very positive. We are launching a new book this month, and are developing products that compliment our brand messaging.
Moll’s digital footprint includes a Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube Channel, Pinterest, a recurring guest column at Magazines.com and her own MollAnderson.com website. She’s currently traveling to promote her newest book, The Seductive Home.
As entrepreneurs, we are all our own brands and everything we do or offer as products or services are our brand extensions. Asking ourselves the question “does this represent my brand” will help guide the development of brand you.
What are your biggest concerns, questions, or challenges in developing and delivering your brand message? Let me know and I’ll find the experts to answer your questions.