Social Media Business Hour with Nile Nickel

Most Entrepreneurs think branding just means what their logo looks like.  Fortunately, we’re not most entrepreneurs, because we know nothing could be farther from the truth!

Although it can be overwhelming to really understand all the things branding touches in your business, our guest, Mimika Cooney is here to help.

Join us on this great interview and you’ll get…

- Four Proven Tips For Any Company To Create A Successful Brand
- Why “Branding” Is Absolutely Critical For Your Success
- How “Branding” Should Be Defined And Implemented



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South African born Mimika Cooney is an international award winning photographer, TV Host, published author, speaker and business branding, video and marketing expert. Mimika has run four successful businesses in three countries. She is the host of MimikaTV, a web show that inspires passionate entrepreneurs to build a business around doing what they love.

Mimika has been an award-winning photographer for 12 years in two countries, she has authored two books on the business of photography, is a public speaker, and has experience as a live television broadcaster. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Mimika's passion is helping entrepreneurs attract their perfect clients and build a brilliant business brand. As a digital marketing, branding and video specialist; Mimika teaches her signature courses and offers executive coaching on branding, online marketing and video skills.

If You Think That Branding Is All About Your Company Logo And Name, Then Mimika Cooney Will Tell You - That You Have It All WRONG.

When someone asks you about branding, what exactly comes to mind? As an entrepreneur, do you really know what branding is? And, why is it so important to your business?  If you think that branding is all just about your company logo and having a catchy name or tagline -- then Mimika will tell you that you have it all WRONG. Mimika says in this interview, that branding goes way past a logo…and it is not about having an appealing organization name. She advises us that when you're thinking about your company  image, you have to consider the whole client experience. That is everything from your logo, to your site, your online networking encounters, the way you answer clients questions over telephone, email and even clients visiting your office and the way they encounter your staff. When you take a look at the expansive meaning of branding, it can be overpowering to consider what is included in your brand. To put it plainly, your brand is the way your client sees you. A decent brand doesn't simply just happen. It is a well thought out, heavily considered and deliberately arranged experience.

How Should “Branding” Be Defined Exactly?

Many small organizations and start-ups neglect spending the necessary time to intellectually think about their brand in a broader sense and the impact it will have on their business. Mimika tells us that branding is very important as it represents you and your company, especially with the following aspects:

  • How you walk
  • How you talk
  • How your website looks.
  • How you engage and give your support to your prospects.
  • How you introduce and behave publicly.
  • How you treat your customers.  (Does you company have a really good turnaround time or do you make people wait to hear from you?)
  • How you think of yourself as the brand ambassador of your business.
  • How you make an emotional connection with someone - even without meeting them in person.
  • How your products and services provide a good experience for your customers or subscribers.


Mimika’s Four Proven Tips About Having A Successful Brand For Your Company.

The best branding is always built on a strong idea. An idea that you and your staff can hold onto, can commit to, and can deliver upon. Your brand needs to permeate your entire organization. When your organization is clear on the brand and can deliver on the promise of the brand, you will see tremendous results while building brand loyalty with your customer base. Below are Mimika’s Four Proven Tips On How You Can Elevate Your Brand To The Next Level.

  1. Develop Your Story

    Mimika’s “Spot On” advice includes developing your story. She says, it always starts with, knowing yourself first. It is essential that you know who you are, your history, your triumphs and failures, your skills and expertise, etc. If you don’t consider who you are first, then building a consistent and powerful brand will be almost impossible.

If you don’t know who you are and what you stand for, then people won't genuinely connect with you. Mimika says, your story, skills and experiences can be used to find great connections with prospects and customers.  Especially with people who have been through similar circumstances as you. Creating an instant connection with your prospects and customers a great way of elevating your brand…and often absolutely necessary to create a connection.

  1. Create A Video.

    Branding your products through emails is good. It is a very good way of warming up your customers about how amazing you and your products/services are. However, all of the important messages that you are trying to communicate through emails can actually be combined in one, well-done video. Be comfortable sharing your story and telling people the parts of your story that relates to your product or services. Being comfortable in sharing your story is a vital component of connecting effectively.
  1. Know Your Customers.

    Taking the time to understand who your clients are will make your business more successful because there is no point of giving information to prospects and customers that do not relate to them. Knowing your audience puts you in a terrific position to get their attention. Understanding the demographics of your clients allows you to better market your business to them. This will establish a strong business/client relationship and creates an environment of trust and comfort for mutual success. Always bear in mind that
    “People will always do business with people they Know, Like and Trust”
  1. Create A Good Strategy

    Mimika shares some of the ways she creates a terrific strategy in this interview.  She calls her time-proven strategy “reverse engineering”.

It is because she knows and following her client's and their background before figuring out a working strategy that will bring her clients to where they want to be.

Biz in a box

Why Is “Branding” Absolutely Critical For Your Business Success?

Mimika tells us that your brand should reside within the hearts and minds of your customers, clients, and prospects. Always remember that branding is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions, some of which you can influence, and some that you cannot. Having a strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. It's vital that you spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all, your brand is the source of promise to your consumer. It's a foundational piece of your marketing communication and one aspect of your business that you do not want to be without. [content_toggle style="undefined" label="Click%20Here%20To%20Read%20The%20Entire%20Transcript%20Of%20The%20Show" hide_label="Hide"] Mimika:           Welcome to social media business hour with Nile and Jordan. My name’s Mimika Cooney and today I’m going to share with you three tips for building your business brand. Woman:          In business and know the way forward most include social media. Perhaps you find it a bit confusing. Even frustrating. Well, you have no idea how to make it work for your business. Fear not. We interview some of the best social media experts in business who will share their experiences, ideas and knowledge. Plus offer tips and tricks to make using social media a breeze. Leverage the power of social media and grow your business now. Welcome to social media business hour with your host Nile Nickel. Jordan:            Hello and thank you again for joining us. This is Nile’s trusty sidekick and co-host Jordan and I’d like to take a moment to share with you how you can benefit from Nile’s incredible experience using social media for real business success. If you’re an entrepreneur or thinking about starting your own business then using social media might be the most cost effective and time effective way to get your business real results. That’s not to mention much of what you can do to get those terrific results on social media is even free. Take Linked In for example. Nile always says it’s the best social media platform for business today. And that’s why I recommend you go to and start your social media education today. Sign up for Nile’s free tips, tricks and strategies. Once again, it’s free and it only takes a few seconds. Go to today. You’ll be glad you did. Nile:                 Hey Jordan, I’m really excited about social media business hour. We’ve got a lot of listeners around the world now. Jordan:            Yes we do, don’t we? Nile:                 We do and I’m really finding that amazing and something new. You know I do Linked In focus. I can now say I’m an international provider because I contracted with some European clients now if I could say that. I know. It will get better before the show’s over. Jordan:            Well, that’s great. So we can say that you are now internationally known. Nile:                 Renown. Jordan:            Internationally renowned Nile Nickel. Nile:                 Well, you know why I say that? Because we’ve got a good southern girl on the show tonight. Jordan:            Really southern. Nile:                 Really southern. In fact, could you hear that southern twang in her laugh there? I heard it. Mimika:           Well, you all I’m not southern. I’m southern African. Nile:                 Well, that’s still southern, right? Mimika:           It confuses -- exactly. When people say what part of the south are you from? I’ll go I’m south but way south like Africa, South Africa south. So yes. That’s where we are from but I’m talking to you from Charlotte, North Carolina and we mentioned this earlier. Back in March I got my American citizenship so I’m officially African American. Jordan:            Hey, congratulations. Mimika:           Thank you. Nile:                 And you can truly claim that title. Mimika:           Exactly. Nile:                 I love it. I love it. well, obviously people already know you’re south African born but you’re an international award winning photographer, a TV host, a published author, speaker and business branding video and marketing expert. You’re sort of the everything girl. Mimika:           And that’s been a bit of a problem. As you can tell I think I talk really fast and I suffer from the shiny object syndrome. There’s always something like oh, swell. Something shiny and I get to figure out things that I like to learn and then I start being all over the place but what I’ve learned over the years is that I do have to use the F word a lot which is focus. I’m reminding myself every day I’ve got to focus, focus, focus. So yes. But through all of that we can definitely have a lot of school of hard knocks and lessons we’ve learned along the way. I’m excited to share that with everyone today. Nile:                 That is outstanding. When you said the F word I thought I was going to hear some French. Oh, that’s an F word too. Jordan:            No. I thought you were going to use -- Mimika:           Exactly. Parlez-vous Francais? Jordan:            That’s right. Nile:                 Oui, oui mademoiselle. Now we just picked up some French audience. Mimika:           Exactly. But hey, if we really want to get this party started I could start explaining things in Greek because my dad is Greek but then it’ll just be Greek to you, right? Nile:                 Yeah. It’d be all Greek to me. I love you already. It’s determined early in the show here. Mimika:           Oh, yeah. Thank you. I should’ve put my bright lipstick on just for the occasion. I know no one can actually see it but a girl’s got to look good even though when she’s talking so there you go. You could just imagine. Nile:                 Just the mention of it made me feel better. Mimika:           Oh, good. There you go. Nile:                 You talk about focus though but with all of those things that you’ve done -- you’ve ran four successful businesses in three countries. Now, we know South Africa, we know that you’re in Americas so where else are we talking? Mimika:           In the land of tea and cupcakes darling. That was in England you see. Well, the story goes is that I like airplane rides a whole lot and people always ask me oh, well how did you get to America. And I always say well, airplane duh. But via England you see. My mom and my sister live in England and my husband and I being South African born we started our business in South Africa. But the rest of the world ignored us for years and south Africa was considered the butt end of the world so trying to get a more international flavor and reach with our business we really had to become -- well, establish ourselves in a first world country which was in our -- England in our instance because we had family there already so yeah. We spent six years in England. Nile:                 So what prompted the move to the States just out of curiosity? Mimika:           The weather. No. not really. Well, again, it really came down to business. When we started our business in South Africa it was the days of Google -- not Google. The days of internet dialup so it was really trying to do business overseas. People are like where? South Africa? Where? Everything from time zones to money tree. Trying to take money from people overseas, there were all of these exchange problems and we really felt we wanted to be able to move towards being having a reach in England and Europe and my husband has a British passport so naturally we went there in the time. I would not advise this to people. But we immigrated and within six months we had a baby and started a business. So it’s not the ideal way of doing things but I’m always into just throwing myself into things head first. Nile:                 You sound a little crazy to me though. I mean, starting a business and having a baby in that period of time, that’s insanity. Mimika:           Yeah. Pretty much so. But I don’t take the easy route. Nile:                 I take that. I take that. Well, you’re the host of Mika TV, a web show that inspires passionate entrepreneurs to build a business around doing what they love. I love that because the saying goes if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life and so many people, they just -- they don’t learn to work in the area that they really love, that they’re passionate about a lot of times until later in life. Mimika:           Yeah. And I think it’s really got do with the way society is tailoring -- especially now I have two kids that are in high school and it just annoys the snot out of me when I have to see how these teachers are pushing them towards following the status quo about going to college. I’m not saying college is bad. I didn’t have a chance to go to college but I was always able to make success out of life thinking a little differently. But where there’s a will there’s a way, right? Nile:                 There absolutely is. Well, as we talk about these four successful businesses -- I’m going to come back to that because one of the things that I know is you’re also an award winning photographer for 12 years in two countries. Mimika:           Yeah. Well, this is what happens when you make your passion into a business, right. So the whole story goes is I -- working with my husband, we were in the internet business and then I really loved taking pictures of my kids. It’s the typical mom with a camera. Always in their face taking pictures. And eventually I was like I really love doing this. I wonder if I could make this a career. And in England things work a little differently. It’s a boy’s club to say the least. And back in those -- it was like 2003 on the cusp of when digital cameras came out. I actually learned how to shoot on film and actual fact slide film which is very unforgiving which basically means it’s probably the hardest way to actually learn. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me so I really felt this could be a really good business but coming from the business side, then becoming a photographer really helped a lot and a lot of creatives have it the other way around. They’re creative and then try to make a business or you’re not even a creative -- you have an idea for a business and because you love it so much you will actually do what you love for free because you just love doing what it is. But there comes a time when we have to really put our big girl panties on and start to think of this like a real business. So yeah. There were some really great lessons I learned along the way taking my knowledge about business and branding and marketing and turning it into a photography business which we then moved again from England to the USA. My husband stayed in business, internet marketing. He started getting a lot more clients here in the US and this is some way we really wanted to be. So we eventually made the move after living in England for six years and we’ve now settled in Charlotte, North Carolina and we’ve been here for nine years. So yeah. It’s been a little bit of a roundabout way but that’s where we are now. Nile:                 Serious question. I mean, it’s going to sound funny and I’m making a bit of a joke about it but I’m also serious. I couldn’t imagine -- I have difficulty understanding all of the laws in this country. All of the tax laws, business laws, internet laws, what you can and can't do. You haven’t had to learn that once. You’ve had to learn it three times. I mean, again, this sounds like it’s back to insanity to me. Mimika:           I know. Really is crazy. Sometimes I’m like what the heck are we doing this for, right? But it has -- I think it’s got to go back to when I think about the way I grew up in South Africa. I had -- my father has always been a serial entrepreneur and he’s always been -- we lived through that feast and famine. Like when he did well he did really well. And then he became a millionaire in South African terms when he was 25 but he lost it several times over. And for me, I was always used to that sort of risk. You work really hard, you put your mind to it, you do what the -- and failure is just one of those things. It’s fine if you dust yourself off, you get on to the next thing. It’s like being a horse rider. You fall of the horse, you don’t sit and boohoo. You basically pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get back on and teach that horse a lesson. So for me it wasn’t like -- I’ve never seen failure as a stumbling block. It’s more like just a learning exercise because there’s nothing like failure to really teach you what not to do, right. But for us it’s always also been about just having this really determined desire to do something and we’ve been thrown several sort of obstacles and had to jump through so many hoops and even now we’ve been here nine years. We’re still not over that. In actual fact, my 16 year old was having a hissy fit earlier because she wants to get her driver’s license. But to get a driver’s license you have to be a citizen. And to be -- and to get a social security number you need to be having American citizenship so before that we had to be green card holders and before that we had to be Visa card holders and before that we had to prove that we could live here. So it’s been a very long process but I can tell you I know we’ve done it completely legally. It costs us a fortune but knowing the way -- the rules of the land has really helped us to take advantage of what we feel are the opportunities. Nile:                 We haven’t got in the good parts of the -- what you’re promising to tell everybody and I’m really interested in that but I’m fascinated by this international experience and all of that. I have to ask a question just for my own interest but you mentioned you’d become a citizen. What does -- how does that apply to your children? What do they have to go through? Mimika:           Well, let me tell you this. Let’s back it up. So my eldest daughter was two when we lived in South Africa so she has a South African passport. We then moved to England. My husband is on a British passport. I then had my son who then acquired British citizenship. And then I then applied for my daughter and myself to become British citizens so again, that was our first example of going through the citizenship process in another country so we did that for five years and then once we were all on British passports, then we came to the US and then I had another baby. So she’s American. So we are a real colorful family. But now, nine years later, we all are American so depending on what our mood is, what kind of passport _____22:16 way that immigration Mimika in and out so it’s -- yeah. Kind of bizarre. Nile:                 Well that could absolutely be handy in traveling today. That is certain. But I only know one other person that has three passports. Mimika:           Oh, there you go. You know another one. In actual fact, I have four. Don’t tell anybody. I have a Green as well but I haven’t bothered renewing that once so you can imagine I have a bag under my bed that is like all the -- my cash, passports, new identities. I could be like an international spy. Nile:                 I think we’re talking to a spy here Jordan. Little did I know. Mimika:           Exactly. You don’t really know, do you? Nile:                 She’s going to give us a lot of secret knowledge. Mimika:           Exactly. Nile:                 But to get that secret knowledge -- you know what? You’re going to have to listen to our second segment on the social media business hour and we can't wait to get back and get into it. We’ll be right back. Jordan:            Hello and thank you again for joining us. This is Nile’s trusty sidekick and co-host Jordan and I’d like to take a moment to share with you how you can benefit from Nile’s incredible experience using social media for real business success. If you’re an entrepreneur or thinking about starting your own business then using social media might be the most cost effective and time effective way to get your business real results. That’s not to mention much of what you can do to get those terrific results on social media is even free. Take Linked In for example. Nile always says it’s the best social media platform for business today. And that’s why I recommend you go to and start your social media education today. Sign up for Nile’s free tips, tricks and strategies. Once again, it’s free and it only takes a few seconds. Go to today. You’ll be glad you did. Nile:                 Jordan our first segment was so interesting. You always have a plan when we get ready to sit down and talk with somebody. And so many times now I sit down to talk with somebody and you end up learning all sorts of things through that talking process that you never sometimes get to the questions you’ve got. Jordan:            Your plan goes right out the window. Nile:                 It does. And our South African -- I’m sorry. Now she is a African American. Jordan:            Yes. Yes. Nile:                 From North Carolina so that would make the south there. Anyway, I’m just totally blown away. How about you? Jordan:            Me too. This is absolutely fascinating and you were asking in the first segment all the questions that I would’ve asked. All the things that I wanted to know. Nile:                 So Mimika, what did we miss? Mimika:           The stress, the tears, the tantrums, the throwing my tiara out the window. Do you want all that too? No? It’s okay. We’ll skip past that and just say we survived, we are excited to be here in the USA but I tell you. I definitely need to write a story about all of this one day. About the whole travels and the whole -- how to actually get here and what we’ve had to travel in order to prove ourselves to be legal citizens to be able to make use of this American dream. Nile:                 Well, again I’m fascinated because I’m adopted and I’ve been on an adoption search recently. Recently found my adopted mother and found that I had a sister and some things like that. But now that I’ve got a bit to study and learn about my family tree -- trying to trace people and things like that is very, very difficult. I can't imagine if you were my birth mother and I was trying to track you because it would be virtually impossible. Mimika:           And if we really want to get technical, back on my father’s side two generations ago they had to change their name to avoid being -- during the Greek Turkish war they actually changed our Greek family name to avoid being thrown in jail so ha-ha. It gets even more interesting. Nile:                 It does. You find out many fascinating things when you tend to look in somebody’s sort of family tree and where they’re from and all of that. Mimika:           Oh, yeah. I love that stuff. Nile:                 One of the things that I know that you do is you help people brand their business and design that brand. Now I’d imagine based on your experience that gives you really a pretty wide berth of experience to bring to bear there. So when somebody comes and they say hey, I need to brand my business. How do you start that process? Mimika:           Well, that’s a very good question. So really, for me, anything that I ever teach people is usually after having learnt it myself and for me, I really fell in love with this concept of branding because I was doing it unconsciously but not realizing that I was doing it anyway along the different ways of -- whenever we started our business because back when I was in south Africa, when my husband and I first got married I actually started a web design company when the internet first came out and at the same time I was always thinking what kind of clients do I want to have, how do I want to be perceived in the market and how am I going to be competitive compared to the competition. And how it evolved is every time I had a chance to restart or rebrand my business I’ve always had to go back to that but the thing that got me in love with branding is it’s often not the first thing people ask me. It’s -- it goes back to with some -- the coaching that I do. People will come to me and say I’m not getting any clients, I’m spending a lot of money on Facebook ads while I’m trying this social media thing and that social media thing or spending on this and spending on that and I’m not getting any traction. And what I’ve realized is that’s just a symptom. We need to sort of backtrack ourselves and start to look at -- that is just a result of previous efforts and having done cold sales as well I realized it’s usually like a three to six month turnaround. The effort you do now is eventually going to come out in three to six months and then you’ll start to see results. But of course everyone wants a quick fix. So they come to me and the first thing I have to realize is I have to say to them you might be struggling with clients but that’s actually the wrong question. What we need to start doing is start to look internal first and then realize who we are as business owners. Who we are personally does translate to our business because actually I totally believe this. Business is personal. Especially in today’s society. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust and no one wants to do business with something that’s sleazy or cheesy and slimy. So at the end of the days, if your marketing tactics aren’t working we need to reverse engineer things and start to look at how have you positioned your business and your brand because maybe you’re swimming in the wrong waters and this is something I learned personally was that even in my photography business I was really getting annoyed that I have clients that wouldn’t give me the creative freedom, they would argue with me about price and then I realized and started to look at this backwards and realized I was marketing in the wrong area. I was attracting the wrong client. Because if you attract a cheap -- low bill client you’re never going to be able to make high end dollars. So it really becomes part of the process and I’ve got it down to a fine art and taking somebody through the process is almost deconstructing what they have and deciding can we move forward with what you have and do some tweaks or do you require a completely new rebrand. And that’s what’s exciting about it. There’s always the restart button, there’s always a chance to do over. Nile:                 As you’re talking about branding there I realized that we probably -- and I think I’m pretty comfortable with branding. Jordan, what about you? Jordan:            I wish I was more comfortable with branding. Nile:                 But I’m not sure that everybody that we’re talking to understands branding so we might want to take a step back and say give us your definition of branding if you don’t mind. Mimika:           Yeah. Sure. And that’s a good question because  a lot of the times I see that people don’t know that perhaps the problem is with their brand because they’re not even sure what a brand is. Now, the first thing is when you say the word branding we think of logo, company name, tagline, right. Based on all the big companies like Apple and Coca Cola and all these things. But really what branding is it’s how people feel about you. it’s those subliminal things that -- those sort of choices we make about a brand based on things we can't put our finger on and once you start to look at it and realize everything -- your brand is how you walk, how you talk, how your website looks. It is your logo but it’s not only your logo. It’s how you answer your social media posts, it’s the layout of your website, it’s how you introduce yourself at a networking event. It’s how you treat your customers. So do you answer -- do you have a really good turnaround or do you make people wait really long. I mean, it’s like any restaurant, right. Let’s compare two Italian restaurants in a nice area. What makes one really busy and one like crickets where nobody is there? It’s how they’ve positioned themselves in the market. They might offer the same product, they might use the same ingredients but if they haven’t positioned their brand properly they don’t have that sort of stickiness that attracts people to their business. So you really need to think about -- and especially as solopreneurs or entrepreneurs who are building a business from themselves -- I’m not talking about people who have preps. They just buy a product, you slap on a price tag and you’re just reselling a product. I’m particularly talking about -- especially when you’re providing a service like whether you’re a coach or you’re a speaker or you’re a author, you’re selling something that you create or something that involves a lot of your time and investment. It’s really how -- we need to think of ourselves as brand ambassadors for our business. So just like -- not that I care to pay attention to like the Kardashians. You have all these beauty brands coming at them, paying them millions of dollars just to be able to wear their clothes or use their makeup. It’s that association with them and that’s what makes them really high paying brand ambassadors. So yeah. That’s -- I would probably say is a roundabout way of saying you are your brand. Nile:                 That makes sense. There’s a lot of different things. But one of the things you mentioned is -- it’s not just buying a product and slapping some sticker on it and that’s branding. But I like to differentiate here and when you were talking about that what came to mind for me was Amazon because Amazon doesn’t really create anything. They collect a lot of things and they make it easy for people to go to one place to buy those things. Whatever that may be. But part of that brand becomes how they engage with the customers, how they deliver things, how they communicate, how the website’s organized to find things. So it may not be your product but your brand can influence sales of the products that you’re reselling. Mimika:           Definitely and I think that’s -- even though Amazon -- you’re right. Does sell other people’s products and I’m not dissing products. All I’m saying is they’ve created the way -- they’ve positioned their brand that you know that if you want something really fast you can order it on Amazon and within a couple of days -- especially if you’re a prime member like two days. You can have that product. And you are spoiled for choice. And it’s really -- a lot of the brands separate themselves and differentiate themselves for owning something and being really good at that one thing like -- we could even compare like say -- Blockbuster was a really well known brand and business that did well. They never even thought that they would be out of business one day but you have the likes of Netflix has now changed the game. It’s changed the way we do business. So a lot of things are constantly changing and we have to learn to adapt and for this -- personally I’ve been through a rebrand process twice with my business. Once when I moved from England to the US and then after five years of running my business I realized I positioned myself wrong, attracting the wrong clients. I really had to start off the clean slate and totally threw out the old branding and did a complete new one so I was attracting the right clients from everything. From the look in the field to the product selection to the service. Everything had to be different. Nile:                 That’s a golden nugget there and I know that’s inspiring and that had to be a hard decision to make after five years or so to say okay. I’m doing this wrong. I’ve got to do resent and do it right. Mimika:           Oh, definitely. And I think that’s a lot of the time is -- and for me personally the whole story goes is that I could see the signs but I was -- I didn’t want to see, I didn’t want to deal with it. I was almost like no, no. I’ll get to it later. But the problem is unless we admit defeat when we need to admit defeat we can't move forward and a lot of us as I say, we see failure as a huge major catastrophe but sometimes it’s a good sign that something’s not working and you need to pivot and change. And for me personally I built my brand on -- my photography business on who I was and what I delivered and then when clients just -- I wasn’t getting good referrals because I was delivering late or my -- I wasn’t delivering on the promise because I couldn’t keep up with the way that I had to build the business. I really realized that I had to look within and say what do I stand for, what do I value and how do I want people to treat me? So once I realized I was not going to deal with these people who just want to fight with me on price, who were just these coupon shoppers. I can't extent the effort anymore. And once I started valuing what I have to give the world and realizing that my value is not based on a number. It’s based on how my experience, the products and service that I’m offering and how I want the world to see me. Then I was able to look internally and decide. Okay. How do I want to redo this? And there is -- I mean, a lot of people don’t talk about this. They think oh, yeah. We just changed it. but they’re missing a key element is that it’s almost like a loss and for me I felt like I went through a period of mourning where I realized I have to let this business go, I have to let it die and it was really like I got depressed. For four months I was like why am I such a failure, having these little pity parties and -- where am I going to go and I don’t know what to do next and this isn't working. I’m almost feeling like you can't see the wood for the trees. But once I started to be -- to listen to my own voice and what it is that I had been screaming at me for years to do but I kept ignoring it then I could sort of turn up the volume on what it is that I wanted to do and then started to think okay. How do I want the world to see me and who do I want to service. And then it started to evolve from there. Nile:                 There is so much gold in there for people and -- Jordan, I haven’t talked to you about this but I recently had a steakhouse experience in Fort Worth. Jordan:            That’s right. In Texas. Nile:                 And I think it ties in so well to what we’re talking about here. I think we’ll talk about that in the next segment because we’ve got a lot more to come but we’ll be back in the next segment. Please join us there. Jordan:            Hello and thank you again for joining us. This is Nile’s trusty sidekick and co-host Jordan and I’d like to take a moment to share with you how you can benefit from Nile’s incredible experience using social media for real business success. If you’re an entrepreneur or thinking about starting your own business then using social media might be the most cost effective and time effective way to get your business real results. That’s not to mention much of what you can do to get those terrific results on social media is even free. Take Linked In for example. Nile always says it’s the best social media platform for business today. And that’s why I recommend you go to and start your social media education today. Sign up for Nile’s free tips, tricks and strategies. Once again, it’s free and it only takes a few seconds. Go to today. You’ll be glad you did. Nile:                 Hey, welcome back. I have enjoyed learning about branding and it’s not all we’ve got to talk about. So man, this is great. But I told you about a steakhouse that I wanted to talk about in the last segment. And because we’re talking about branding and what you -- what would make a steakhouse different? I mean, a steak is a steak, right? You could cook it differently. Maybe you’ve got a great chef, maybe you’ve got great sides. Jordan:            Well, in some areas of the country just having a steakhouse is special but you went to Texas. There’s a steakhouse on every corner in Texas. Nile:                 Sometimes on all four corners. Jordan:            And sometimes on all four corners. Nile:                 But I went to the steakhouse and it wasn’t overly expensive. It certainly wasn’t cheap. But we went in and we were treated like royalty as soon as we walked in the door. Pretty impressive. And the service was outstanding. And the food was outstanding. So we get home and I get a letter -- a note, handwritten, hand addressed from Del Frisco’s, the double eagle steakhouse in Fort Worth, Texas. I believe they deserve a call out here. But so I get this nice note. Is that a nice note? Jordan:            Yeah. Nile:                 And it says simple. It’s says dear mister Nickel and family, thank you for dining with us at Del Frisco’s, Fort Worth. It was a great pleasure and privilege serving you and your lovely family. We look forward to your return visit soon. Wishing you all the best, Amy who was our waitress. Jordan:            Really? Nile:                 So -- and you know, did the manager come around? Yeah, absolutely. The hostess. All of that was perfect. But -- Jordan:            Wow. Nile:                 Is this branding Mimika? Mimika:           Oh, for sure. How did you feel about that experience compared to some other experiences you’ve had at steakhouses? Nile:                 Well, I thought it was a good steakhouse like I said and I thought about the food a couple of times, my wife and I talked about it so they did a good job on that. but when I got this today -- if I’m back in the Fort Worth area I’ll be there and you know who I’ll ask to see? I’ll ask to see Amy. Mimika:           Exactly. So that’s exactly branding done right even though they’re a steakhouse and maybe the steak is the same as the one down the road. How they treated you and how you felt about your experience is completely branding done well. And that’s what’s great about branding. It doesn’t have to be this huge, major makeover where you completely have to spend a ton of money to change the way you do things. Sometimes it’s the little things. And for me in my photography, I like to do hand written notes too and to -- every time someone spends and invests money with me I want to make sure that they know that they feel taken care of and it’s at time that I haven’t been consistent with my brand way -- maybe I see a client three times in a year. The first time it’s all great and the second time I forget to do a handwritten note. Even though the first time was great, if you go -- if you lack that brand consistency you go and shoot yourself in the foot. So you really need to think about who it is you are and what you want to stand for even if it’s just customer service. Or just the pretty packaging or the quality of the food or -- you can pick something and really put your name on it and say this is what -- how we want our brand to stand for. Nile:                 Well, I look at this as a branding differentiator and all told and maybe this cost between the card, the postage and the time investment maybe it cost two dollars. Is that fair? Jordan:            Sounds about right. Mimika:           Yeah. I would say. I mean, a little extra time and look how much more it’s done for their business. Neil:                 Well, yeah. I mean, they get a call out on the show. Okay. Great. I know that that’s why they did. Not. But the thing is doing this with every customer they’ve got they’re building relationships. They’re not a steakhouse. They were -- you come home and you feel like you’re family. and it really was outstanding so I love what you’re talking about in the way you’ve approached branding that we did in segment two so -- to segment three here. there’s a lot of things that we could talk about branding but I know one of the things that you do to build your audience, grow your list, attract clients, even part of your branding I know is video marketing so I am dyeing for you to tell us how you got into video marketing and I know that you do some neat video marketing products. We’ll talk about that in a little bit. But in the meantime I would like to talk about your video marketing. Can you tell us how you got into that? Mimika:           Yeah, sure. Well, I mean, for me, I’ve always loved the visual format and in South Africa before we moved out and before we started our internet business I worked for two years in a TV production company and totally fell in love with the medium. And then when we went to England I had an opportunity to actually be a TV host or a broadcaster for a live morning breakfast magazine show that had no budget so we had no wardrobe and no styling and we would arrive at places like -- it was one day it was an underground cave and then there was a hanging war place and there was a ski place and then there was one that was like a racing car track and literally we would arrive, the director would say here’s the information love. Read up about it and we’re on in 10. And I’d be like okay. So I have to read what the thing is about and  come up and just add lib and entertain and ask questions and interview people so kind of thinking on my feet. It really helped with that. But telling a story with visual format especially video is so -- it goes a long, long, long way because seeing a picture of me is great. It’s better than not seeing a picture of me, right. But seeing me talk and when you can hear my accent and you can see me waving my hands around like a lunatic and just you get to see somebody’s nuances. You connect with people on a much deeper level when you use video. But let me tell you this. I’ve heard several times over. A lot of people get stumped and hold themselves back from putting themselves in front of the camera because they don’t know where to start or they feel totally shy about being on camera. And these are the things I like to adjust or deal within my courses that I do and training people and it doesn’t have to be that hard. You just need to put yourself out there. But why I feel this all ties into branding is that if you were making an emotional connection with somebody other than meeting them in person video is the next best thing because they can see you, they can hear you and that’s part of the tips that we talked about in the beginning is that giving you these three tips that I want to share with you about branding. Number one is to develop your story. If you don’t know who you are and you can't share what you’re about and what you stand for people won't connect with you. so using a story and looking back at your skills and your experiences and using that to find those connections like if somebody else has been through the same position as you they then feel that connection with you and then that’s another notch up the ladder to liking your brand. So using video I really feel is going to totally change the way people do business in terms of getting that connection and really shortening the sales cycle because if you have the  same copy of the copy and you’ve got these sales funnels and I mean, I have them myself set up in Infusion Soft. You want people to read them and you’re basically trying to warm up what you would probably do in four, five emails you could probably do in one video. But being able to be comfortable sharing your story and telling people the parts of your story that relate and would connect with them is vital. And then knowing -- the other tip is knowing who you’re talking to. It’s having your client avatar. If you don’t know who you’re aiming it at -- like before we started recording I asked you about your client avatar for the show because there’s no point in me telling you information that doesn’t relate to your audience. They’re not going to find it useful. So the same thing with any author and speaker and coach. If you’re wanting to position yourself and you want people to connect with you you need to be able to share your story and talk to one person. Like this is Susie, she’s 30 to 45, she has kids in school, she drives an Audi, she likes to -- goes to yoga on a Friday. I mean, all those little particular things. You are describing a person and that’s how you develop your avatar. And then thirdly the other tip is once you know who you are, who your audience is then you can use strategies. Because going back to what we said in segment one was people ask me well, my Facebook marketing isn't working or Google Ads isn't working. And I always say that’s the wrong question. Once we’ve figured out and reverse engineered your story followed by your avatar, then we can figure out your strategy of where you want to be and then tactics and how you measure those tactics fall into place so it’s definitely -- there is an art and a science to it. Nile:                 I have to go back and let Susie know that I really didn’t tell her everything about you Susie. Honest. I didn’t. Just wanted Susie to know that. No. I couldn’t agree more and I think those tips are invaluable and I know that you’ve got so much more but time is not always on our side as we talk about this. What I’d like to do is I know that you’ve got some really great video products and courses and tips and information that you share. Tell us a little bit about what you have and where people could find it. And of course, everybody knows that listens to the social media business hour on a regular basis, we have all these tips for you on the social media business hour page on show notes. This is episode 122. Makes it easy for you so if you’re running, you’re working out or whatever don’t worry about stopping and grabbing a pencil. We have all the links for you. But share some of that information if you would. Mimika:           Sure. Well, I like to keep things simple so any social media platform is my name Mimika Cooney but where you want to get the good stuff is on my website so you go to and you will be able to access -- I have a free video series which is "Three Tips of Building your Business Brand so really we sort of fast tracked through the tips but I go into it in more detail and you can grab that at and then once you’re on my email list I like to share a lot of good stuff. As we mentioned earlier I also have my own video podcast where I interview other people who then help with the whole branding and marketing strategies. And then the course that I’m known for is Confident video so you go to you can get another three free videos that will help give you some really actionable tips for you to get started with video because it doesn’t have to be that hard. We cover everything from lighting to sound to performance, how to speak nicely on camera, how to get your -- put your -- or edit your videos and even social media ideas for using video for like Facebook. And my latest favorite thing is Periscope. Are you on Periscope Nile and Jordan? Nile:                 Absolutely. Absolutely positively. As a matter a fact we haven’t Periscoped our show in a while or scoped our show to use the terminology. Jordan:            The slang. Nile:                 The slang. Mimika:           Scope you out. Nile:                 Yeah. We haven’t scoped in a while but we typically scope the show. Mimika:           Well, there you go so people can get a little bit of the behind the scenes skin on what you’re doing, right? Nile:                 Absolutely. Yeah. The biggest channels we had -- but for those that don’t know it’s mobile platform based so you’ve got to be a mobile platform. The biggest challenge that we had is making sure that we’ve got all the sides of the audio on the scope because we’re not using monitors in the room here. We’re on headsets and so that made it a little bit more difficult to do that but after a while we figured it out and it worked out fine. Mimika:           Oh, good. Well, I’ll definitely be checking you out on Periscope so if anyone wants to see -- I’ve been challenging myself to do it more often. I’ve been doing it once a week but I definitely -- I’m stepping it up now but I’d love to be able to cover things that I like to talk about and in actual fact the one I did yesterday was -- it’s on my blog. I figured out how to actually reuse the content and save it on my blog. Nile:                 Oh, yeah. Mimika:           And using which is a great little app and I went through all the takes so if you want to know like what -- ideas for sound and making yourself look good and I’m going to be covering a lot of that in the scope. So yeah. Definitely check me out there. Nile:                 They’ll definitely want to check you out because there’s a lot of good information you could find that way. I would love to talk more and as a matter of fact I think that -- Jordan, I don’t know if you agree with me. We’ve got to have Mimika back. Jordan :           Oh, absolutely. Nile:                 One is she’s fun. Two, she’s beautiful but not everybody gets to see that. But three, and probably most importantly she’s got great information. Jordan:            Oh, yeah. Great golden nuggets. Mimika:           Oh, I’d be delighted to. We’ve got loads we can talk about darling. Nile:                 Oh, absolutely. I want to thank you Mimika for joining us on the social media business hour and to you, our listener, I want to thank you as well. You make this show. Hopefully you learned a few ideas or concepts. Maybe you were just reminded of a few things you already know but you haven’t been doing to improve or grow your business. Our desire is that you take just one of the things that you learned or were reminded of today and you apply it to your business this week. We know that a small change could make a big difference. I’m committed to bringing you at least one new idea each week. I know today -- I don’t know about you Jordan but I got about four or five new ideas. Jordan:            Absolutely. Nile:                 And all I have to do is take one of those. Just one small change and implement it and find out what a big difference it will make for my business this week. Your business as well. So thank you for joining us. Till next week, this is Nile Nickel. Now, go make it happen. Woman:          Social media business hour is powered by For show notes, updates and to pick up the latest tips and tricks head over to Until next time. Thanks for listening. [/content_toggle]



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