Bring Your Brand to Life

Through the Power of Story

Author: Susan


Untitled-3Blurry brands languish. To make the greatest impact, focus your message and narrow your audience.

In the effort to create a cohesive brand message around your core values, we will narrow your sphere of influence in two ways. First, I  want to ensure that you are connected digitally with the thought leaders and mentors who can influence you and Secondly, I want to ensure that your ideas are shared with those you want to influence.  Social media is a two way street: It’s not only a place for you to share — but it’s a place for you to learn.

There’s another crucial aspect to target — what are your key message points? What are the keywords that will identify who you are in the digital landscape? These words should naturally appear in your LinkedIn profile, and all content you share onine.

I will review your current social media profiles and help you streamline your time and your efforts to ensure you are in the places where you can make the most impact.

Your Vision


The more bold, authentic, and concise your personal brand is, the more easily you’ll attract those you’re meant to work with. That’s how a personal brand works–it defines you, but first you must define it.

The key is to get at the core at what’s truly important to you. This is why I start with an interview of your key peers and mentors. The answers to these questions provide tremendous insights, as I want to get beyond, “I think you’re great.”

1. What made you decide to work with me in the first place?
This is a good baseline question for your marketing. You might learn about the personal connection or culture that felt right in this question.

2. What’s one thing I do better than others you do business with? In this question, you are trying to discover something that you can work with as a true differentiator. This is probably the question you’ll need to work hardest at getting specifics. You want to look for words and phrases and actual experiences that keep coming up over and over again, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you. If your customers are explaining what they value about what you do, you may want to consider making that the core marketing message for your business.

3. What’s the one thing I could do to create a better experience for you?
On the surface this question could be looked at as a customer service improvement question, and it may be, but the true gold in this question is when your customers can identify an innovation. Sometimes we go along doing what we’ve always done and then out of the blue a customer says something like, “I sure wish it came like this,” and all of a sudden it’s painfully clear how you can create a meaningful innovation to your products, services and processes. Push your customers to describe the perfect experience buying what you sell.

4. Would you refer me, and if so, why? Why haven’t you referred me? Yes. This will be scary. But just ask it… and sit there and wait for a response. This is the one thing that if you do it, it will liberate you in so many other areas. This is the ultimate question of satisfaction because a truthful answer means your customer likes experience of working with you. Try to find the exact words and phrases your client might use when describing to a friend why they like to work with you.

5. What would you Google to find a service like mine? What words do they type in the search bar for you? Critical question. Understanding what this answer implies is very important. If you want to get very, very good at being found online, around the world or around the town, you have to know everything you can about the actual terms and phrases your customers use when they go looking for services like yours. Far too often, businesses optimize their web sites around industry jargon and technical terms when people really search for “stuff to make my life better.”

Branding Packages

Have you defined your personal brand? Or have you let it be defined for you? Taking ownership of your personal brand is a leadership necessity.

If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.


How it Works

Pay online, and you will then schedule your first coaching call.
Contact me with any questions.

Terms of service.

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[contact-form-7 id=”1833″ title=”Lets Get Started”]


Select Branding Package

Professional Branding Packages

Have you defined your personal brand? Or have you let it be defined for you? Taking ownernship of your personal brand is a leadership necessity.

If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.


How it Works

Pay online, and you will then schedule your first coaching call.
Contact me with any questions.

Terms of service.

[wpt id=”1830″]


[contact-form-7 id=”1833″ title=”Lets Get Started”]


Select Branding Package

People Don’t Go To Facebook To Be Sold. Why Social Media Isn’t Driving Sales

Data collected by Gallup’s new State of the American Consumer report, shows that “relatively few consumers consciously take into account what they learn from social media when making purchases.”

We do know that 93 percent of businesses use web search to begin the information discovery process, according to the Acquity Group. What pages are they looking for? Pages with solutions. This is why it’s vitally important to have customer stories, with quantifiable facts and data, published, and ready to be viewed on your website.

While social media may not be driving sales directly, social media is a critical strategy in positioning, market leadership and credibility. Let’s take a look at some of the business leaders and how they employ social media as a strategic business tool.

Customer Success: A study by Dianna Huff and KoMarketing Associates found that the number one piece of missing content when making purchasing decisions was customer success stories. These stories give prospects quantifiable results from peers that validate their purchase. If you take a look at Oracle, IBM, Intel and Honeywell’s Facebook pages, you’ll see a feed that is focused on customer results.

Customer Focus: American Airlines, SmartPak, Oracle, and UPS are just a few of the companies who receive daily complaints on their Facebook and Twitter pages – and aren’t they lucky to know about them. These companies aren’t afraid of these valid concerns, even though they know they’re being watched. And that’s precisely the point: what better place to showcase their responsiveness and commitment to the customer than by addressing the concern swiftly – right in front of an audience.

Be An Informational Resource For Your Audience. When you see a question pop up in your industry, answer the question. Look at how Cisco, Intel, Oracle and IBManswer with depth, relevance, data details and solutions. Showcase stories that reveal how you helped a customer solve this issue. Post the answers on your social media channels. Create a solutions database on your website, and share these posts through multiple social media channels and platforms.

Content-rich posts, full of customer successes with data and facts, are the types of posts and updates that generate shares and likes. This is also the strongest, and probably the only way, to build up the search engine keywords on your site that will drive traffic to your website.

Customer Testimonials


Sometimes it is difficult to find a client willing to be vulnerable enough to let us write a case history. Susan makes our customers look like the hero every single time. Our case histories are the biggest leverage tools we have. Susan takes the time to really understand our customer’s pain, and develop a universal message that our prospects relate to. Her knowledge of our products allows her to show how Gentran helped our customers do what they do best, even better.

Shelly Boggs
Sterling Commerce


Susan is a content marketing and social media expert who increased our ticket sales, while inspiring and educating our readers. She added tremendous value in creating and building the social media program for Stef’s Celebrate Life Tailgate. She helped us through a website re-design, and introduced us to many best practices, tools and tactics. She is hardworking, creative, efficient and is a delight to work with. I have no doubt that you would be extremely pleased to have her be a part of your team.


Sue Fitz, Stef’s Celebrate Life Tailgate Board President



We are faced with the challenge of reporting clinical trial results to our shareholders. Sometimes this is good news for our investors, and sometimes this is not. Susan keeps our specific needs in sight at all times and has helped us strategize to create a communication program that builds on our successes. Her ability to get quick results, I believe, lies in her ability to stay highly focused, while paying close attention to detail. Also, Susan is a delight to work with. Her qualities of integrity, loyalty, quickness of mind and her ability to work well with staff on all levels are evident very quickly. She has become an important part of our company “family.”

Judy Barnes
Corporate Communications


The Ohio State University

Comprehensive Cancer Center

Susan, I’m pretty sure that we owe you and the SCLT team all of the thanks! The substantial and ongoing support from SCLT benefit our organization both in terms of the culture/warmth/support that fills our halls and offices and in the significant operational benefits your contributions bring to the Center each year.

Steven A Kalister, MHA, MBA
Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center



testimonals4ESusan, thank you for organizing the communications efforts for all of our plants, nationwide, a task that seemed too formidable for us. More importantly, you helped us preserve the integrity of our organization through our communications efforts. Your role in teaching us how to identify our most “marketable” strengths and to showcase these in all of our marketing efforts, is making a dramatic impact in our processes and the way we are communicating our story.

Susan Pardoe-Russ
Vice President
GenCorp Automotive


Susan is talented. She uncovers all the details, hidden or not, to create a compelling story. Susan quickly adapts technical information into pragmatic articles. Specifically, she interviewed our staff and clients and wrote an in-depth article that highlighted a new product we created. Then, she placed the article, verbatim, in National Public Accountant, a key resource to help us build credibility, just on the cusp of tax season. Susan has a solid understanding of our business, our client’s business and the editor’s needs, and is able to provide counsel in tailoring our message in a way that made the trade publication receptive to our story. In the specialized field of tax preparation software, we found that Susan has a broad range of media relations experience and persistence that was effective in establishing our presence in the trade media.

John Graves
President & CEO

ohio dominican

Susan, we feel certain that the media coverage you generated was an important factor in stimulating the level of giving we received in our latest appeal brochure. The brochures you helped to produce, with Kelly Allan, have had a tremendous positive response. We fell certain that the appeal brochures contributed much to the above average level of giving. We wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your part in making our appeal a success. Working with you has been such a pleasure. You have a gracious way of making things happen in an unhurried fashion while still maintaining deadlines – a fete not easily accomplished.

Rita M. Busch, OP
Director of Development
Dominican Sisters, St. Mary of the Springs


Susan, the article you wrote for us is amazing! This, combined with the marketing book you created for us, is making a positive difference on our bottom line. We already have new clients. Thank you so very much.

Betty Nally
Marketing Manager



She’s patient with us! She listened to our history, our needs and where we want to go, and using her own knowledge, was able to build a business plan for us that we are more than happy with.

Carlo Fortunato & Rodney Harrison

testimonals4ASusan was an instructor for Portfolio Creative’s Illumination Bureau and did an amazing job. She taught our attendees how to bring their brand to life with a story. Additionally, she emphasized the importance of the ‘hero’s journey’ and shared compelling examples. Susan is a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend her!

Jennifer Brown
Marketing Manager
Portfolio Creative

How Can You Harness the Power of Social Media?

The key is to understand that social media is ultimately about stories; social media provides the perfect platform to share stories.

Susan Owens builds and transforms your success stories into unique, pervasive, and powerful social media assets to ensure your audience discovers, engages with, and is inspired to action. To be successful, the message needs to be carefully and thoughtfully constructed so that it has meaning and value—the story must entertain, inform and inspire.

24×7. How do you feed the never-ending social media machine?

Susan Owens helps clients strategize which channels to focus on, which audiences to reach, while tailoring social media content to match the platform. Social Media is never static. There is always the process of fine-tuning the content and the platform to optimize the program based on the results and engagement we see.

Look at some examples of how Susan helps her clients build a strong sustainable community through social media.


Stef’s Celebrate Life Tailgate

imageStef’s Celebrate Life Tailgate brings the funds needed to support the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center(SSCBC) to understand, treat and cure breast cancer.  The challenge was to find a way to sustain the tailgate’s momentum throughout the year, while extending awareness of the tailgate beyond Upper Arlington. Susan began by building content around the tailgate’s key milestones that occur throughout the year, focusing on key areas: event plans, updates from Drs. Farrar and White about the tangible benefits of the funds, and news about donations.

To execute the plan, Susan oversaw a stunning website re-design that included a versatile blogging platform. Each story begins with a blog post that serves as a social media anchor to launch Mail Chimp newsletters, Facebook and Twitter updates. The first year the plan was implemented, the tailgate saw an increase of 25%.


The Academy of  Medicine of Cincinnati

Since 1857, The Academy of Medicine of Cincinnati has been the only professional advocacy group for physicians working in Hamilton County. Increasingly, their member physicians were turning to their smart phones, downloading apps to manage patient care. With no mobile-or social media platform in place, the Academy wanted to serve their members where they already were: their phones. Susan helped to create a mobile voice for the Academy. First, surveys were conducted to determine where members spent their time online, where they were currently getting news and updates, and what information they wanted to share, and with whom.

The key findings revealed that physicians were more interested in using social media as a way to interact with other physicians on peer-related reviews, research findings, health care reform and legislative issues. This allowed the Academy to build a peer-generated social media platform with key content that focused on their needs, ultimately positioning the Academy as their information partner.  The result was a social media network that supports member physicians in their quest to quickly stay informed of breaking health care reform updates, legislative issues and connecting them with other physicians. 




With GPS navigation tools available in cars and Google Maps on mobile phones, AAA needed a way to show its value to its members. Susan was engaged to show AAA’s value, positioning them as a safety and information resource, and a valuable partner for young drivers. Susan conducted keyword research to find out what prospects were searching for in the area of auto safety. Several categories appeared, including booster-seat guidelines, teen driving, winter driving and road safety. Using this data, Susan created stories that appealed to parent’s need for information, while weaving emotional aspects of safety into the stories. Toddler seat selection was combined with the proposition about whether time-saving carpools were safe. Teen driving became a story about the gift of quality time spent with your teen. Weather reports were translated into safe driving tips. Reader engagement was created through contests and Facebook updates. In Ohio, the stories reached over 68,000 viewers in on month.



Neoprobe is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of precision diagnostics and radiopharmaceutical agents. Neoprobe is actively involved in clinical trials for the RIGScanTM CR – to help identify the sites and pathways of undetected disease.  The challenge was to manage the flow of information regarding clinical trials, complying with government mandates, while keeping stockholders, analysts and doctors informed about the latest results and innovations of the company.

With no formal media relations strategy in place, Susan helped to implement a proactive communications strategy, shifting the focus to highlight Neoprobe’s growth and innovation.  At the forefront was a crisis communication plan, along with media training, to prepare executives for interviews regarding less-than-favorable clinical trial results.  This proactive approach highlighted Neoprobe’s positive impact on shareholder return by focusing on the company’s success at bringing to market novel radiopharmaceutical agents, and advancing the company’s pipeline through acquisitions, global partnering and commercialization efforts.




Pelotonia’s blog is updated all year long with a continuous flow of rider profiles, and donation updates. In the summer, as riders need an extra push of motivation to compel them to join the ride, Susan was asked to select one story that would entice the attention of the local media. The result was an inspiring story about Alex Pratt, who overcame his fear of riding after a life-altering crash. The article appeared in Columbus Monthly.


The America Is Your Park campaign is a pathway for Coca- Cola to engage individuals in collaborative efforts to bring needed funds to America’s national parks. Since the campaign began in 2010, Coca-Cola has donated more than $1 million in recreation grants to provide needed repairs, new equipment and infrastructure to our park system. Coca-Cola worked with Susan and select bloggers to select a favorite park in Ohio, inviting readers to create their own party at the park. Participants registered at and linking their foursquare and MapMyFitness accounts. People logged daily fitness activities, attended field day events, and went outdoors to visit their local parks. Social media accounts logged more than 72,000 hours of activity and more than 1.4 million votes. 




The more you move, the more it works. This was the science behind the Degree™ Motion Sense Technology release. Degree approached Susan to help create a campaign to educate women about the protection of their products, inspiring women to do more physical activity, and to create an online community where they could share their adventures. The Do:More challenge is about passion, dedication and defying the odds. By using regional blogs to promote a “move challenge,” readers learned how to log their “miles” into the Do:More Facebook page, to earn points for discounts on Degree products. Within two months, the zero likes on the Do:More Facebook page jumped to 900,000. In addition, the stories appear on the Degree blog, under the banner, “Meet the people who didn’t let anything hold them back,” with stories about the first time parachuting, mountain climbing or skiing. Long established as the celebrity antiperspirant company, this social media campaign effectively positioned the company as the everyday woman’s company that inspires women to do more. 

See customer testimonials here: