Julie at BrandTwist

Posts by Julie at BrandTwist

Build Your Business – Exclusive Offers for BrandTwist Friends!


We are happy to share with you BrandTwist guest blog posts from innovative entrepreneurs and business owners that graciously share their business-building tips and takeaways AND have generously made exclusive offers available to Friends of BrandTwist. These articles, products and discounts are designed to help your business spring into action now that the warmer weather is (nearly) here.

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Solving a personal problem can lead to powerful innovation. Tired of winter snow and slush ruining your boots?  Cassandra Droogan, Founder & President, PYSIS Inc took her inspiration from her father’s galoshes and created an exciting new product with a TWIST. Read her guest post HERE – it might inspire you to pursue that idea you’ve been musing about. And make sure you see her special April offer for BrandTwist readers – you and your shoes will be ready for April showers.


Finding the balance between your business’ visual and verbal communication is essential to presenting a solid brand identity and building consumer comfort and loyalty.  But how do you know which “tone” defines your type of business? You’ll find all the answers in this free webcast replay from BrandTwist Founder & CEO Julie Cottineau and Rebecca Swift, Head of Creative Planning at iStock: “The Ying and Yang of Powerful Brand Stories,” all about visual and verbal branding. PLUS receive 10% discount on any of IStock credit packs for friends of BrandTwist. checkout. Promo expires March 31, 2014.  Webcast replay and promo code HERE.

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Did you know that when people Google your name, LinkedIn is one of the highest ranked sites? Do you want to know you how you can get more for your business out of one of the largest job searching and business networking, marketing and branding sites in the world? In this series on Linkedin, guest blogger, Leslie Hughes, Principal of PUNCH!media, Professor of Social Media and corporate trainer, shares her insider tips. Catch Leslie’s Linkedin tips and info. about her SPECIAL OFFER for Friends of BrandTwist HERE.

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How do you distinguish your brand and its products and services in a competitive market? One way is to develop a “video brand bumper” that accompanies your every presentation, video, or workshop.  Read Dr. Marina Kostina’s, co-founder of Bookphoria, guest post HERE. In it, she shares with you more about what a video brand bumper is, why every author, speaker and expert needs one, and a 3-step process to develop an effective bumper for your brand – and take advantage of their offer for a free consultation.


BrandTwist ‘s Julie Cottineau had the good fortune of working at Virgin as VP of Brand for North America for five years and during this time she gained invaluable insight into best practices in branding, marketing, and corporate culture. Whether you are a corporate CEO or a recent grad just starting out your career, these tips are designed to help you learn from one of the best-loved brands on the planet, and one of its most successful entrepreneurs. Each tip contains valuable lessons from Virgin and food-for-thought for your own business. Receive our “Brand Like a Billionaire: 5 Tips I learned from Richard Branson” when you join for our email list HERE.


Looking forward to summer? As you plan your fun in the sun, make sure to make some plans for your Brand too. Take advantage of the longer days of summer to re-energize your business with Brand School Summer Session.

This is a streamlined version of Brand School Master Class where you get the best of the Master Class core principles in less time so you can hit the ground running in the fall for better business results. Attract more profitable and loyal customers, tighten your brand story, create a more professional and distinctive brand… and more!  Enrolling now. Find out how to grab your seat HERE.


The 3 Key Areas To Brand Yourself Properly On LinkedIn

Did you know that when people Google your name, LinkedIn is one of the highest ranked sites? Do you want to know you how you can get more for your business out of one of the largest job searching and business networking, marketing and branding sites in the world? In this series about Linkedin, guest blogger, Leslie Hughes, Principal of PUNCH!media, Professor of Social Media and corporate trainer, shares her insider tips. Read more about Leslie and her SPECIAL OFFER for Friends of BrandTwist, below.  If you would like to be a guest blogger, please contact Jamie@herculiz.com

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What do Beyonce, Richard Branson, and Mark Zuckerberg all have in common?

They are all personal brands that stand out beyond their original company brand.

Did you know that when people Google your name, LinkedIn is one of the highest ranked sites?

As taught in Brand School’s Master Class: effectively telling your “elevator story” in 1 floor instead of 20 is essential for making a lasting first impression.

You want people to see that you care about your presence and you’ve taken the time to craft a really professional presence.

The 3 areas that you must focus on are:

  1. Your headline
  2. Your professional photograph
  3. Your LinkedIn Summary

Tip: Use Brand School’s exercise on crafting your pillars helps you to define what makes you unique.

Step 1: Your Headline

Your headline and photo create the one-two punch for a knockout first impression.

By default, LinkedIn updates your headline as your current position. Stand out from the crowd by laser-focusing on your 120-character headline to effectively explain your brand story.

Here are two examples:

Example 1:

Your name

Your title: Helping (insert your target audience) to achieve (insert specific results here)

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Example 2:

Your name

Your title: (Insert what yo do). *Your successful accomplishment)

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Step 2: Your Professional Polished Picture

Your bright and shining smile makes you approachable and may refresh someone’s memory if they’ve forgotten your name.

Ensure it’s a photo of you – alone. No pictures with pets, babies, wedding photos, or cartoon avatars.

Step 3: Craft A Creative Summary

Your LinkedIn Summary is the perfect place to share your accomplishments without sounding arrogant.

Here are some top tips:

  • Write your LinkedIn Summary in 1st person so you appear more approachable (ie. “I am” instead of “Leslie is”
  • Include relevant keywords in the copy and in the specialties section. This will help you rank higher when people search for someone in your field
  • Outline your key target audience. You want people to instantly recognize if you can help them
  • Focus on results and accomplishments. How have you helped people or achieved success?
  • Include a call-to-action: How do you want people to reach you?

Take action now: A 100% complete profile on LinkedIn will provide you with 40x more opportunities, and these three key areas will help you to stand out and become more noticed.

Once you leverage LinkedIn to position yourself properly as an expert in your industry, your profile views will begin to skyrocket and you’ll be sure to receive inbound leads.

This guest post about Linkedin from Leslie Hughes of PUNCH!media is part of our Social Media blog series. Leslie2014highresHeadShot

Leslie Hughes is the Principal of PUNCH!media, Professor of Social Media and corporate trainer.

With over 15 years in both traditional and digital marketing and sales, Leslie has helped clients such as The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, Prozac (Eli Lilly), The Canadian Institute of Business Valuators as well as Guardian Life Insurance Company of America to showcase their brand properly, connect with quality leads and convert business.

From strategic Social Media development to crafting the perfect LinkedIn Summary for executives, Leslie and PUNCH!media helps you to build buzz for your business.

Would you like to know more about how build a stronger Linkedin profile to make a fantastic first impression and grow your business or career? Check out PUNCH!media’s Linkedin Training program, designed for the busy professional and gets right to the nitty-gritty of the essentials.  Leslie has generously made a special discount offer available for Brand School members and BrandTwist friends. To receive more about this special offer, click HERE today, and don’t forget to use the coupon code BrandSchool to receive your savings!

More posts from the Linkedin series HERE.

Leslie is a proud graduate of the inaugural first class of Brand School by BrandTwist and can be reached at leslie@punchmedia.ca.

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All Your Burning Brand Questions – Answered!

Sometimes the terms “brand” and “branding” can feel a bit vague or even overwhelming, particularly for those beginning a business, embarking on the entrepreneur track, or looking to refresh their current brand or business.

Branding is often overlooked as an important initial aspect of building a business or re-building an existing one. Many think that “branding” can be added on after the business gets rolling, but the real value of a strong brand goes beyond what the color, logo, or website offer. If you have a clear grasp on who your business is really trying to reach and what you are promising to deliver, you’ll quickly realize the many ways having strong brand can benefit your business, from taking the stress out of daily decisions, to charging a premium for your product or services, to being forgiven by your following for any blunders. You’ll quickly see why a strong brand can be an entrepreneur’s secret weapon.

But how and where do you start formulating your brand?

Do these questions sound familiar:

  • What is a brand?
  • How does having a strong brand help my business?
  • How do I start developing my brand?
  • I’m not a big business, how can I do what the big brands like Starbucks, Virgin and Zappos! do?
  • How can I make my brand work harder to grow my business?

I recently was interviewed by Jennifer Love, Founder of JenniferLove.com and Co-founder & CEO NibMor for her free weekly video interview series that gives tips and information on building business, sales, and product development. I thoroughly enjoyed  sharing answers to her branding questions and giving tips on how knowing your brand well can help in building your business. There are plenty of tips and takeaways in this fun chat, you won’t want to miss it.

As a followup to the video Jennifer and I answered your branding questions in Twitter chat, using the hashtag #Branding101. It was great fun connecting with Jennifer and the Twitter community. You can read takeaways and highlights from our chat HERE.

If you want to receive notification when Jennifer’s new videos go live, sign up at Jennifer’s site HERE, and you’ll also receive access to special information not available to the public.