TBJA 289 5 Branding Myths That Hold Small Business Owners Back, Maria Ross
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The 5 branding myths that hold small business owners back and what to do to push beyond them. Brand strategist, Maria Ross, shares how to create powerful brand strategies that work. ThinkLikeAJournalist.com

Maria Ross is a brand strategist, author and speaker who believes cash flow and creativity are not mutually exclusive. As creator of Red Slice, she advises startups, solopreneurs and small businesses on how to craft irresistible brands. Maria is the author of Branding Basics for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget, (2nd Edition) and the newly launched eBook series, The Juicy Guides for Entrepreneurs, as well as her powerful personal memoir, Rebooting My Brain.

A dynamic speaker, she has delighted audiences ranging from The New York Times to the Chamber of Commerce to BlogHer and has appeared in and written for numerous media outlets, including MSNBC, ABC News, The Huffington Post, Forbes.com, and Entrepreneur. Maria lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, toddler son and their frisky Black Lab mix. 

Icebreaker: A Quick Fact About You! Something interesting we can talk about at the start of the show.

I was destined for a career in marketing! As a child actress, starting at 6 years old, I did many commercials, voiceovers and film projects. I left that behind to become a business and marketing executive (I think I had the only parents who would have loved for me to pursue acting!) and as an adult, got back into it, doing independent theatre and films in my spare time! I also do professional voiceover work and audiobook narration. Acting and performing is a great skill when it comes to speaking engagements!

Put it out there even if it’s not a 100%. Tweak and refine as you go!

Think Like A Journalist Quote

In America, small business is a big deal. Bob Beauprez

Success Quote

Have a bias toward action. @redslice

The absence of fear is stupidity. @redslice

Pushing through fear is what makes you brave. @redslice

How to set your prices if you’re a service provider.

Career Highlight

Years ago, Maria worked with monster.com on a very powerful storytelling campaign to attract job seekers and campaigns.

When It Didn’t Work!

Maria is a words person not a numbers person. She didn’t properly price her services. When your product is your intellect it’s difficult to properly price it. She learned a lesson the hard way. Find out what happened and how she found “correction is direction”.

Make sure your margin covers your hourly rate.

Know the value of your time. Then mark it up.

5 Branding Myths That Hold Small Business Owners Back…and how to avoid them…

  1. Branding is hard. Creating a branding strategy is difficult.
  2. Branding is expensive.
  3. Branding is fluff.
  4. All branding designers are the same.
  5. Branding works immediately.

Brand is about creating a relationship @redslice

What is one piece of technology, video or multimedia equipment, or app that you just can’t live without?


One book, documentary, or Internet Channel to watch?

Content Rules, Ann Handley

Ready To Be A Thought Leader

Propel: Five Ways to Amp-Up Your Marketing and Accelerate


Twitter @RedSlice

Red Slice website

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Phoebe Chongchua
Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia Brand Journalist, Brand Consultant & Marketing Strategist who is revolutionizing brand communication with consumers. She makes companies remarkable using brand journalism storytelling to grow their online presence, build a community, and gain greater market share. Phoebe is a former TV News journalist who helps brands gain a competitive advantage by learning to “Be the Media”. Phoebe is the host of “The Brand Journalism Advantage” podcast and a “Top 50 Podcaster To Follow”. Listen in iTunes or at ThinkLikeAJournalist.com

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