Creating Your Brand, What’s in a Name?

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Cathy Tripiciano
 Founder, Maple Seed Creative

A common question freelancers ponder is “What should I call my business?” The pressure can feel immediate. “I need to get a website, create my social accounts and make it official on the paperwork. I need a name!” Don’t make the mistake I first did with giving in to the pressure and coming up with a name. If you have a great name that is easily spelled and pronounced maybe it’s as simple as using your name. Well, my last name is not easy to spell. Tripiciano is often confused for a grove of orange trees. I could have used my maiden name of Stevens but I wanted a company name. It all began when my client needed to list me on an award submission, I needed a company name. We brainstormed during a quick phone call and came up with a name. Within a half an hour I had a website, email address and soon after a lingering doubt. The next day I went to the county court house and made it official. I had a business. I was still acting as a freelancer but I was a business in name. I didn’t like the name. My dislike grew over time. Finally I decided I wanted a new name. But what about my emails? Turns out a quick email to my contacts saying I had a new email was not as awful as I thought it would be. People change companies and firms all of the time so no one batted an eye. Once I had a name my brand took shape and I was able to grow. Ahh, a seed metaphor! Not quite. Having a name that means something to you will also help you find what is meaningful in what you do. It will allow you to find focus and your brand voice.

So, how and why did I come up with Maple Seed Creative? I recently told a friend and peer my story and she suggested I share it. Considering that she is a professional writer and editor I decided to take her advice. 

I decided to go with Maple Seed Creative because it meant something to me. That’s it. That is the advice I see over and over again. Choose a name that means something to you. Something that will also reflect what you do. 

When I was a child my Grandfather planted a maple tree in our front yard. He died when I was 8 years old. After he died I would climb as far as I could so I could talk to him. I thought the higher I went the closer I’d be to heaven. Our “conversations” were private and sacred to me. I’d take my books and read in that tree for hours. When I’d “run away from home” I’d pack a bag and go to “my” tree. The tree was at the end of our driveway and close to the road. The type of country road that cars sped down. The type of country road that twists and turns under a canopy of trees. My mother could see me from the window, it was still the days when kids could play outside out of view and were considered safe in their own yards. When I was 12 there was a summer storm. The maple tree was struck by lightning and it split in half. One half charred yet still standing and the other lay across our driveway. I could no longer sit in the tree and read. My mother cried. I cried. I realize now as an adult at a deeper level that the maple tree represented my grandfather to both of us. That summer was an end of innocence. A girl my age, with my same hair color and cut, a girl who looked a lot like me was taken from a similar nearby country road as she road her bike. It was terrible. I was confused and yet innocent to what had happened. I remember my mother remarking about how I would spend hours outside, many in that tree by the road. She always said the lightning was my grandfather protecting me. As a mother myself now I can only imagine the thoughts of worry that went through her mind. How as she was in the house it could have been so easy for me to have been taken from that tree at the end of the driveway while she considered me safe. Loss of innocence and maybe even what we now call mommy guilt. The tree grew strong again and still stands. 

When my grandfather died we started finding maple seeds in places that defied explanation. Out of season it didn’t matter. If it was a major life event we found a seed. My first day running a camera as an intern at at television station, there was a maple seed laying on my camera pedestal. We always said it was him. In 2016 my mom left us unexpectedly.  Now we find maple seeds constantly from her. When I cleaned out my freezer to prep for my first Thanksgiving without her, I talked to “her”  in my kitchen. I then opened the freezer door and there in the middle of the freshly cleaned out freezer was a maple seed. Instead of a it being something that was only acknowledged by my mom and myself it has now expanded to my entire family. As The Beatles sang “When I find myself in times of trouble” there is my maple seed. 

A maple seed represents something more to me than spring time and growth. It represents the unwavering support and encouragement that my mother gave to me and I believe still does.

There you have it, Maple Seed Creative. I took the advice I had read over and over again. Your company name should incorporate something personally meaningful and describe what you do. In my case, Content Creation and Creative Services. Need help focusing on your branding or creative direction? Send me an email and set up a consultation.

 

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“No Tag Backs!”  The Do’s and Dont’s of the Facebook Give-A-Way.

If your Facebook newsfeed is like mine then you see Give-A-Way posts everyday. Your friends and family share the posts in hopes that it will increase their chances of winning. (Like buying ten lottery tickets.) It’s only natural that you decided to do one for your business. It’s an easy way to get your name out there in to the world. Want to know the tell tale sign that you don’t have a professional in the social media arena guiding you? Two words: “Share” and “Tag.”

tagandshareI know you’re thinking. “WHAT?! But I see this all the time.” Yes you do. Don’t make me recite the if your friends jumped off a bridge line. Facebook has rules. Users often violate these rules without realizing that they are breaking the rules. They create give-a-ways based on what they have seen and the cycle continues. Facebook can actually suspend or deactivate your page for not following the rules. The “rules” are actually called the Facebook Terms of Service. 

Facebook Terms and Policies

We have gotten lazy about instructions. I’m just as guilty of hitting accept to the long legalease of apps and apple TOS. Facebook however has written their TOS in laymen terms. They even include links to video tutorials to assist the user experience. In the TOS you can find clear cut answers to how to use your Facebook page to best benefit your brand. Sections are designed for specific popular genres/topics  of pages. 

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Facebook Give-A-Way Rules:

“Promotions on Pages, Groups, and Events. Communicating a Promotion

If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:

  • The official rules;
  • Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
  • Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals).
Required Content

Promotions on Facebook must include the following:

  • A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant; and
  • Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.
Administration of a Promotion
Promotions may be administered on Pages, Groups, Events, or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).

Assisting Promotions

Facebook will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.” (Facebook.com: Terms of Services: Pages, Groups and event Policies. Section 2.)

 

 

So, there you have it! Knowing the rules is the first step to understanding what you can and can’t do with a brand on Facebook. 

Your next step is your strategy and identifying the audience of your give-a-way.  Want to learn how to use platforms in a beneficial way for your brand? Schedule a consultation and personalized tutorial session by filling out the form below.

“Why Do I Need Your Help with My Online Brand & Creative Direction?”

I am often asked by prospective clients what do you do? More importantly, I ask “what can I do for them?”

Here is what I do in a nutshell. I work with clients to manage their brand online and find a creative direction or the voice of the brand. I create partnerships with individuals that allow me to create or post online content for them in their own voice.

Websites & Social Media

I update websites with new material, press releases, write blog posts, images and video content. In addition to managing social media accounts, I also work to assist clients on how to use social media to engage with an audience. I always tell clients that at the end of the day the account has your name on it and it belongs to you, it should be your voice. If you already have personal accounts you may want to create specific accounts for your projects or professional persona to allow some distance between your public and  private selves. I can help you create the sites and manage them with you.  I have found clients really like not having to respond to every tweet or comment, it is kind of like having a personal assistant that handles your online interaction. I compile the online communications for review by the client. I am in constant communication with my clients. I track what is trending on social media as it relates to your brand as well as encourage engagement with your followers and increase traffic to your sites. I monitor the web throughout the day for things of interest to you or involving your work/workmates. I will work with you to make sure that when I speak for you, I am able to do so from your voice and maintain your integrity and direction.   – Cathy