Susan Baroncini-MoeExecutive Coach, Leadership Expert

Founder: Baroncini-Moe Executive Coaching // Leadership & Life Strategist to Extraordinary Women // Stepmom, Fur Mom, and Wife // Reader, Gardener, Lover of Most Crafts and Hobbies

Recent Answers

First, congratulations on your success!

When I work with clients who are looking to bringing a new team member, we begin with a clear identification of the corporate mission, the position role, and its responsibilities. Only when you have clarified your corporate culture and the role this individual will play in that culture can you find a good fit with both the personality type and the skill set you require. Then you can either reach out to your existing team with the full description - you never know who your team knows - post the position on your web site (and even to your list - you never know who your clients know), or bring in a retained search firm to find exactly the right fit for you and your company.

On the other hand, are you sure you need a full time employee? Often an outsourced marketing company or agency can bring far broader and deeper expertise to the table than a single employee, at the same or lower cost to you. Just a thought.

If you'd like help in clarifying your description or have any follow-up questions, I'm happy to help.

I work with clients on rebranding all the time. It's a challenging process, because it does require so much creativity. But your target market can guide you - more on that in a minute.

Since you're under a time crunch, I took a couple of minutes to look at your web site to try to understand exactly what you meant by "1 week to renew the name or pick another business name" - I realized quickly that your domain is coming up for renewal.

So the question is actually that you're not sure whether you should renew the domain name you own or buy another domain and rebrand.

Here's the deal: you should renew the domain either way. Domains are cheap, and a little research indicates that you already have sites linking in to your existing site and enough traffic that if you don't renew this domain, all of that pre-existing work will be lost entirely, and I don't think you want that. :)

Renewing the existing domain not only gives you a little "thinking space" for the rebrand, but you'll also want to redirect the domain to the new web site once the rebrand is complete, so you don't lose the relationships you've built under this brand.

Now, to turn the attention to the rebranding itself...rebranding is difficult because it requires enormous creativity - that's why companies are paid big bucks to do it for others. It's not easy. But with the right guidance, it can be done, and can be guided by a full and complete understanding of your target market.

Since you're getting a significant pushback on the branding, you know that a re-brand is necessary, and I frankly agree.

I'd be happy to talk through the process of re-branding and how I can guide you through it to get the best result. But you have more time than just one week. :) Renew the domain and then let's talk about next steps.

This is a tricky question, because it's very difficult for a consultant or PR firm to get major press like this for a startup unless the startup has an amazing, innovative product, is doing something so incredible that it has to be talked about, or has a fantastic story behind it.

A PR firm is only as good as its clients' stories, and they often can't get the press the client wants.

There are strategies for getting into the press on your own without spending a fortune on a PR firm that may or may not be able to get the tech press you want. As well, there are things that a consultant can do to help you build the narrative to make your startup as appealing as possible to get into the national tech press.

We've gotten major national press (Inc., USA Today, Fast Company, Technorati, MSN, Yahoo, Intuit, Tech Cocktail, etc.) for ourselves and our clients. I'd be happy to talk with you about what we can do to help.

What a great question!

Nonprofits are always hard-pressed with resources - I understand your pain! It's rough when you're doing good work and desperately need the help of qualified marketing professionals...but barely have the funding to bring in a totally unqualified college student...or worse, an intern.

When it comes to looking at freelancers, you're right - it is difficult to decide which ones are qualified, much less trustworthy. And if you go to a site like eLance or Odesk, all too often the quality is low (as you've already experienced) or there is a language barrier that cannot be resolved.

However, your budget isn't quite as bad as it seems. As others have calculated, assuming a 40-hour workweek, you're looking at $400/week, $1600/month.

I'd recommend that you avoid hiring someone on a full-time basis, at least for now, and instead look at how you can make best use of that $1600. It might take a bit of time, but it would be well worth the investment to ensure that you have a solid marketing plan - ultimately if you have a strong marketing plan, that is what will help you with funding development, and may eventually yield enough funding to cover a more qualified employee.

For example, in the first month or two, you could hire an outside marketing consultant for a few hours to work with you to develop a plan. In another month, you might have the consultant train a staff member to implement some of the simpler strategies the consultant has recommended. In another month or two, you could have a new web site built (if that's needed). There are so many ways to wisely utilize the resources you have available that I think it would be better put to use with a good consultant who can guide you and help train your staff in the implementation strategies.

Some consultants may be willing to extend a discount on their regular rates for non-profits, especially if your cause speaks to them personally.

I would be more than happy to talk through some of these options with you and let you know how we can help, if it turns out to be a good fit on both sides.

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