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Step 2: Share ideas and listen.

Yesterday and today provided some clarity. And joy mama, they sure were productive days!

Before I readied myself to head downtown Chi, I spent time twittering and I came across an article and tweet by @PurpleComm, led by Ken Herron that had a bubbly and clever article on Social Media ROI. Perfect, I thought, because that’s something I need to learn so I can also prove to my clients I generate results. Ken is the VP of Marketing and I’m all over Purple Communication’s mission: strengthening emotional connections between biz & customers and provide communication services/technology for the deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing. LOVE it. Ken is really a remarkable personality that Purple is fortunate to have. 

And when I started asking questions, he said “Would you like to have a video call next week for & we can go through a checklist?” I was ecstatic. I grinned like I had vaseline smothered on my teeth. This is just want I needed.  In fact, Ken has also proposed I become a guest blogger on Purple’s blog. Stay tuned. Off to a good start.

The meeting with Willie & Melissa was full of rich conversation, but for today I’d like to share something specific I found myself thinking about last night and today.  My brand and book. Melissa spoke to a PR person who suggested the title “Helping Differently abled people start own business: 100 steps to success”.  I have mixed feelings.

“Good – I’m not DISabled”…but “how Different do I want to sound?” “Bloody heck, who am I targeting? Deaf people? People with disabilities?” “I’m not even Deaf of Deaf (Deaf parents with Deaf kids)” “Who’s exactly my audience?” Thoughts swarmed through my head….

It is also still important to find sounding boards to share ideas for clarity and tap in your network to do so. Melissa & Willie have been great, but don’t limit it.  The more I find myself talking, I’m sprouting with ideas. I just got off the phone with Phil, a seasoned Deaf web designer (@outlawery) aspiring to create an ASL (American Sign Language) web 2.0 site.  I felt a Deaf perspective would help. We gave each other free consultations (The Networlding Way- exchange information and help. NEVER say “I want to pick your brain” It’s a turn off). We concluded that perhaps I should focus on those who use different communication modes (Signed Exact English, American Sign Language, or general foreigners…or People who simply use sign language? Signers? Our language is what defines us as a culture, not a disabled race. In the hearing eye sometimes Deaf means disabled…TSK TSK) But that’s who I am: just a Deaf person that is an anti-mainstream communicator? What are your thoughts? Why don’t I include hearing people too?

In addition, in exchange for helping him think and validate his strategy for his site, he encouraged me to think about my brand/logo.   I am my own brand – Anne Reuss. I’m not coming up with a company name. Favorite color, he asked? Oh, lime green!   Logo shape?  geometric? I don’t know but at least I have some clarity so I can keep going.

Anne Reuss is a guest blogger & Social Media Assistant at Networlding. Let’s mingle on Twitter @AnneReuss

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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