Building your brand with Microsoft Office

"Know what you’re good at and most of all, enjoy yourself.” These were the words of Anna Hart as she spoke at the bloggers’ Brand Building Workshop on Thursday evening (5th May).

08 Apr 2018

An initiative between Currys and Microsoft Office, the Workshop saw twenty-five attendees listen to Hart at a packed central London venue.

Hart writes at South Molton St Style and runs One Roof Social, a marketing company that pairs brands with influencers. Every blogger, she asserted, can wield influence. It’s about knowing how to hone your USP to catch a brand’s attention. “A simple USP works best. A brand has to be able to get you.”

To demonstrate this, she split the room into pairs. The first person explained their USP to their partner. Then their partner had to guess the three dream brands they’d most like to work with. If the guesses were correct, the USP was clearly defined. If not, it needed simplifying.

Hart emphasised the importance of staying true to yourself. “I stopped obsessing about followers and decided to be myself.” There are aspects to the job that can be a grind, she admitted, “but never hit upload if there’s not something in a post you’re proud of.”

Microsoft Office

Dealing with brands means knowing your Google Analytics. Equally, SEO is important. “I’m a great example of someone who got SEO wrong,” Hart admitted. “My name is Anna Hart, but I share that name with an Anna Hart who writes for The Telegraph.” She lamented not deciding to use her middle name sooner to offset confusion. Equally, her blog, South Molton St Style, is comprised of common competing phrases. “South Molton” is a town in England while “South Molton street” is situated in London. And “style” is extremely common.

The upshot? Choose your name with search engines in mind.

Here’s how you take your brand to the next level

Next on the agenda was a demonstration of some of the new features in the Office 365 suite, useful for any blogger or entrepreneur looking to develop their work. Unlike Office 2016, 365 gives subscribers access to new features as soon as they’re made – there’s no waiting for the annual update and many of the tools are geared directly to entrepreneurs and creatives who run their own business.

Microsoft Office evangelists Dale and Monica demonstrated a few exciting additions:

  • It’s now possible to add 3D animations to PowerPoint presentations with “Morph”, giving your slide deck added appeal.
  • Looking to add research to your work? “Researcher” takes care of the heavy lifting in seconds and adds citations to boot.
  • Any time you collaborate in OneNote, you can rewind and replay someone else’s ink strokes to follow their train of thought. Suddenly collaboration is made easy and pain-free no matter where you’re based thanks to “Ink Reply.”

Pricing your product or service: what to consider

Anna took to the stage again. This time, she got stuck into the nitty gritty of pricing one’s services. “How many of you have ever felt you’ve priced yourself too low?” In answer, nearly every hand in the room was raised skywards. “How many of you have ever felt you’ve priced yourself too high?” At this, no hands were raised. “Interesting,” Anna said, before suggesting that the bloggers look to the rate cards housed on websites like Conde Nast to get an idea of what industry heavyweights charge.

She addressed common questions. Should you blog full time? (“A personal decision.”) Do big brands have bigger blogging budgets? (“Not necessarily”). Should someone be worried about an audience that only comes from one location? (“Quite the opposite, it makes you perfect for brands wanting to talk to that demographic”).

In the end, what matters is finding your niche and having fun, Anna asserted. Blogging can be a competitive business, but when spurned on by doing what you love, no roadblock is too big to overcome. Follow the conversation using the hashtag #BloggerBrandWorkshop and find out more about Office 365 today with Currys and Microsoft.

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