With the barriers to entry becoming lower and lower, many people are deciding to ditch their corporate job for the world of entrepreneurship. And while choosing to head down an innovative path is commendable, it isn't easy -- especially when it comes to standing out from the crowded marketplace. One of the best ways to do this is to have your company at top of mind with consumers, a tactic that involves impeccable branding and marketing. While employing this type of strategy is a necessity in a competitive landscape, it isn't easy and mistakes can hamper or kill a startup's concept.

Have a Burning Business Question? Ask the Expert: Joanna Lord.
CMO of BigDoor Joanna Lord
Image credit: Joanna Lord

Thank goodness for Joanna Lord. As the chief marketing officer at BigDoor, a Seattle-based startup focused on branding and loyalty programs for big brands like Pepsi, Starbucks and Microsoft, she knows a thing or two about the world of marketing -- and she is looking to help newly-minted founders.

"Entrepreneurs have an exciting time ahead of them," she says. "There are some brilliant brands out there doing remarkable things, and the opportunities open to this next generation of big thinkers are huge. I’d love to help them in anyway I can."

Related: How Steve Jobs Blew Up the Rules of Branding

Prior to her CMO role at BigDoor, Lord was the VP of growth marketing at inbound-marketing and SEO software company Moz, where she managed acquisitions, retention and brand marketing. Throughout the years, she has taken her marketing skills outside the business confines by mentoring at both TechStars and Founders Institute, while also teaching students at the University of Washington and making her way on the speakers' circuit, discussing an array of relevant topics.

Besides cutting her chops in the world of marketing, Lord has been an entrepreneur herself, as she is the founder of ISITaYES, a social-shopping app. This experience has allowed Lord to know the inside workings of startup life, a world that isn't as sexy as many perceive it to be.

Related: Brand Like Your Company Really Matters

"When I talk in front of newly minted co-founders or startup teams I like to point out how hard it’s going to be. I like to throw at them all of the things that went wrong and all the lessons I learned the hard way," says Lord. "I like to remind them it's not about the exit, that they probably won't have a salary for a while, and they just entered a relationship with their desk. Then I like to point out I’m sharing all of this with a big smile on my face because I couldn’t be happier." 

For this month only, Lord is looking forward to answering your questions pertaining to the world of branding and marketing. Her expertise runs the gamut, so feel free to include queries about growth marketing, analytics, community marketing, consumer engagement and how startups can build a brand. Submit your questions in the comments section below or tweet us, using the hashtag #ENTexpert. One topic will be selected by the editors of Entrepreneur and addressed by Lord in a weekly write up here. 

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