Gina Rau is the founder of a brand called Mighty Big Impact. She is a brand specialist who has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry as well as startups, helping them stand out in the market where everyone sounds the same. Her ability to sprinkle some powerful magic helps companies and people discover and differentiate their special sauce and use it to find their audience and make an impact.
In this session, we talk about:
- What branding is and isn’t
- Wrong approaches in branding
- How to find your uniqueness
- Case studies of Gina’s client and their success stories
- About having an elevator pitch
- Process to figure out your story to tell
- 3 Steps to define your authentic brand
You brand is not your logo, name or website. It is actually how people feel and think about you after they’ve interacted with you. It is how you stand out. You cannot copy successful people in your industry, doing exactly what they do and expect to get results like them. It’s a noisy world out there and instead of blending in, you have to be able to stand out and make your message heard. You have to create an identity that is unique and natural.
To develop that authenticity, the first step is to get in touch with yourself and understand who you are, what your values are, your mission and purpose in business. It is your ‘Why’. Next you figure out a story to tell and it isn’t always dramatic or heroic for everyone. It’s a story to get people to know and like you. Once you got that figured out, you need to be able to describe your ideal audience. You can’t serve everyone. You need to zoom into a niche that you can serve and your messaging will compel them to say “Yes”.
Now, here are the 3 steps to define your perfect brand:
- Know your why. Why this?
- Get clear on your gift to the world. What are your super powers?
- Look outwards. Why is it important to your audience and why should they care?
Gina: I feel like I need…
Jam: Well, we are recording live here. Wow! That was the best start ever. Gina Rau’s like…
Jam: I hope you have your mug of tea or coffee here or bourbon, whatever you like to start your morning with. I’m Jam at Peaceful Media. I’m the co-founder of Peaceful Media and the chief of optimism and I have a very special guest who I know is going to sprinkle some very powerful magic dust over everyone who is watching us taking the time to understand how they can elevate their brands and stand out in a busy market.
I have my special guest and friend here in Portland, Gina Rau. She is an amazing big-hearted person who also founded a brand called Mighty Big Impact and she is a brand and storytelling specialist who has worked along some of the, some of the biggest corporations out there but also hearing the ways of people who are just getting started, starting up their brands, starting up their companies and trying to find out how to make a difference but also like really stand out in a market where everyone’s start to sound the same. It’s become the ubiquitous that everyone has a website, everyone’s out there on social media trying to stand out and very few people are rising to the top and what Gina does in the magical secret sauce of her creative problem solving is usually the difference from people who just keep churning through things and people who are companies and brands that really start to make an impact and start to find the resonance and find the audience and start like, “Wow, I keep seeing this person everywhere and I keep feeling something different than I’ve been experiencing with all these other noisy voices out there.”
She’s an amazing big-hearted person. We just recently met for coffee and she was just excited to start to help people like that we’ve been serving here who really have a big dream but don’t have that framework for that sort of secret sauce, the brand juju that makes you stand out and so, I asked her to come and share like what she’s been doing for the Nordstroms and the Disneylands and the whole foods and the big, big huge brands out there McDonald’s I mean. Was it Taco Bell too? Did you help them…?
Gina: Oh yes, oh yes. Back in the chihuahua days. Absolutely.
Jam: Anyways, yeah. So, now she gets to take all that big, big idea, big corporation stuff that she has learned and done the weeds of like really crafting a story and a message in advertising and bring it down to help people like you. So, I’m really excited. It’s an early day so get your coffee. We’re going to cheers over here. Gina, I don’t know if you’ve got your…
Jam: There you go. Oh what is that? Oh, Portland. Yes. Yes. I’m really happy that you’re here Gina. Welcome to Peaceful Media. I don’t know what to call this. This is sort of freedom lab’ish. This is sort of just helping our audience do what they do even better. So, welcome
Gina: Thank you. I am so excited to be here and sharing whatever I can to help your audience today.
Jam: Yeah. So, you’re a brand specialist, right and it’s not uncommon for people mistake what branding is. So all the time I hear like when we’re talking about creating a brand or a brand identity who will go, “Oh well, I already got my logo.”
Gina: Oh, yes.
Jam: Yeah, okay a logo is one thing but that is just a little itty speck on the top of the iceberg of what branding really is so could you just kind of set the table of what you do and what branding means when you go to work.
Gina: Absolutely, I love this conversation because I am a marketer but I’m a very, I call myself a brandful marketer and what that means is that I take sort of brand first approach and you would say like, “Oh, what does that mean?” Your brand is not your logo. It is not your name. It is not your company name. It is not anything that you can really look at.
And to what you’re saying, I think people make that mistake of what? “I have a logo. I have a website. That’s my brand. I have a pen with a name on it. I must have a brand.” I hear that a lot but your brand, I think it was, actually, I’m not going to say who it was because I will probably get it wrong but your brand is what people say about you or feel about you when you’re not in the room.
So, when you think about, when you think about brand that you love. Brands, an easy one to think about is Target. How you feel when you think about going shopping at target? Not at the holidays time though. That’s just crazy.
But when we did research a few years ago for another retailer people talked about Target and their faces light up. Target is like an adventure. Every time I go there…I don’t know what I’m going to find. Like target is, they talk about target as the shopping they love to do not the shopping they have to do so all these feelings and emotions about shopping at target that’s the brand.
When you think about Disney, you think magic, you think fantasies coming to life. That’s the Disney brand so the brand is how people, how do you stand out? How people think about you when after they’ve interacted with you, after they’ve tried your products that’s your brand.
Jam: Yeah and it’s really obvious when it’s missing and can I hear it in the voices of people who probably come to you and come to us. There’s kind of two different markets here who can, who really need to listen to this message, I think. One is a person who has just starting from scratch and maybe got inspired by another expert guru like some of our clients like Jeff Walker, Brendon Burchard or the Marie Forleos of the world.
They see those people and they go, “Oh gosh, I want to go create a business just like that.”
What they need to do is just go like technically get a website and put together three videos and offer video and all that stuff.
Gina: Just like them.
Jam: Just like them.
Jam: And pretend to be just like them and they’re missing the point. And there is this market of people who’ve been in business and found some success but as they listen or didn’t listen to their customers and started to find some traction or slowly some traction, it’s an opportunity to re-imagine what our company is and stands for. That’s branding. What does it matter to these people?
Gina: Yeah, I get that a lot. If you don’t have brands, if you don’t; your brand is how you stand out. Your brand is how you differentiate. You remember, maybe, it was in the 80s there was like a brand of beer just called like beer. It was like a, if I remember correctly because I’m sure I was underaged. It was like a tanned can and it just said “Beer” on it.
That’s, that’s, that’s not having a brand. Although in today’s Portland…
Gina: How to brand, how to distinctly brand, you just blend in and it’s a really noisy world out there. When you’re trying to engage on social
When you’re trying to engage on social media for example you are not just competing with other people in your fields, you’re competing with everyone in my Facebook strength. You’re competing with my mom, my husband, my kids, my friends, people I really care about, I want to hear their messages and you’re just kind of creating noise.
So, if you can’t stand out and immediately compel your audience in such a way that they get you and they see how you’re different than other people in your fields, they’re going to pass you up like vanilla ice cream.
Jam: Yeap, yeap.
Gina: No one chooses Vanilla at 31 at Baskin Robbin’s.
Jam: Totally. Yeah and you’re right Portland is a little bit unique like we might be, we in Portland would be attracted to a nondescript beer on a white label. I think, actually, I think Costco sells that now as like just this white can that says Beer in big black font. But that’s a very Portland thing. Most of the time, we need that.
And that’s why that photography and design and what all those new answers of how we present our brands have come forth as well as the story of how you got to this place. I know storytelling is a huge, huge part of what you do but I’m going to put that, I’m going to put a pin in that because.
Gina: Okay, we will come back to that.
Jam: I want to know what you see people doing that’s this sort of thinking or what’s the wrong approach to going and creating a brand? There’s going to be a keyword in here called pretending.
Gina: Yeah, there’s yeah.
Jam: or copycatting or whatever it is.
Gina: Yeah, I see a lot of that. The issues or the problems that I see are wide ranging. From people who have no brands, no brand identity, they are the vanilla world of abundant flavors and so, they’re not standing out, they are easily passed over because they stand for nothing. There is no easy way to tell what they’re about or why I should talk to them or give them my attention. I’ve had a lot of clients come to me because they don’t know who they are and so they don’t know how to show up and they don’t know how to have a brand and a presence.
And then, there is people who like you said earlier, they see the Jeff Walkers and the Marie Forleos and they think, “Well, I will just be like them because they’re successful, I should be successful.”
And the thing that makes Marie Forleo, Marie Forleo is that she’s Marie Forleo. It’s not … content is actually, it’s great. Content. But it’s not that unique. Other people are saying it in different ways but it’s Marie’s personality, that’s her brand, that’s what’s coming through in every video and every piece of content that she shares. Same thing with Jeff Walker, Brendon Burchard; all these thought leaders it’s their personality and their story that’s their brand, that’s what makes them so unique.
So, the copycats sadly do not experience that kind of success because it’s not truly them and here is what happens. When you copycat, it’s really easy to be inconsistent because it’s hard. I mean, unless you’re a trained actor, it’s hard to be someone else 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. So, could you imagine trying to; I have to say it would be exhausting for me to try to be like Marie Forleo every day. To be something that you’re not is really hard work and eventually you’re going to slip and as soon as you slip, you’ve lost all the trust that you’ve gained with your audience.
Jam: Right. I think that goes back to the title of this webinar which I failed to say it upfront, which is how to build a…how strong branding can help build your business but also help you feel in flow with your business. The good about doing this work and I see a lot of people come to us exhausted because they’re doing just at their; not only are they trained to copy the technical aspects and thinking that’s the key to success buy also using the same mediums that may not be in alignment with an authenticity of how they can best voice their message.
Jam: The down and dirty of, if you’re a great writer then is it your best, is it your best venue to go out and do all Facebook live? Probably not.
Jam: Yeah, something you dabble in but don’t get rid of your bread and butter talent and message medium.
Gina: Right. I think it’s really easy to sort of follow the roadmap of these thought leaders and what they’ve done and how they’ve done it—whether it’s their brand or their tactics. But I was just having a conversation with a client yesterday about podcast and video and written content and she had just listened to a podcast about podcasting and I had just listened to a podcast about a video and we were saying how her approach, she would rather be behind the camera and so she does not want to video. She wants to do podcasts. She would love to have her audience hear her voice, her authentic brand which is part of her voice and personality can come through like it can’t in the written form but she doesn’t want to be on camera whereas I love to be on camera. So, you have to build an authentic brand and an authentic business that should go hand in hand and when they do everything comes natural, you are consistent which builds trust with your audience and it’s easy, it’s so much easier when you’ve build an authentic brand.
Jam: I imagine that people coming to you, they come with a very nebulous idea of what branding is and imagine you’ve created a system or a process that helps these ideas, these stories, these unique flavors of what your business is, come forth. Can you kind of walk through some of those watching this, walk through what you would do with them to help them find their unique voice and brand?
Gina: Sure, sure. So depending on who the client is, I have seen different approaches but it really kind of boils down to, gosh, getting in touch with yourself and the first step is really to understand who you are, what are your values, what’s your mission, what’s your purpose and not necessarily maybe your purpose in life but what is your purpose in this business? Why are you doing this? It’s your why. Simon Sinek is all about the why and if you don’t know your why, it is so hard to build an authentic brand.
Jam: So note that. Go if you haven’t read Simon Sinek’s book Why, go grab that because that’s going to be the foundations of your conversation with someone, a brand strategist, a marketing strategist such as Gina.
Gina: Yeah. Your why is really important. I’ve actually had to stop working with, not stop working with but pause some of my engagements because when we got to step 1, what’s your why, people froze up. They didn’t have their why. They just thought to your point, they saw someone else doing something, they thought they could do it better and so why not just do that. They really didn’t think about why they were doing this and how they wanted to serve their audience or what outcomes they wanted or how it would benefit or impact the world. They just want to do something.
Jam: Yeah. Now you’ve obviously created great successes for the clients who were more in tune with that. What have you seen happen when someone goes through this process sort of like a before and after case study of some of your clients successes. Just so that people can really like entrench the value of branding and knowing your purpose, knowing your mission, knowing your vision and why you are doing this.
Gina: Sure, sure. So, I had one client a few years ago who came to me and she was in a position where she was often meeting people who she would define as her ideal audience. These were people, she had done some work and through a little bit of trial and error had figured out who her ideal audience is and who they are not.
And so, by just through her social network and her community, she would often find herself at parties or events with these people who represent ideal audiences and they would ask her, “So what do you do?” and she would freeze up.
She had what she called, she had no elevator pitch, she didn’t know how to talk about what she did or how she did it or why or anything. She would just choke up and so she came to me saying, I need a story, I have probably missed hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in income because I don’t know how to talk about what I do.
And so, we started with her brand and that was so integral in her business and how she served her clients because it was a very personal relationship she had with her clients and so it was about her and how she served and her values and her mission and her purpose and her why. So, through this work we gave her words, we gave her a story that she could go to a cocktail party and I remember, right after our work together it was the holiday seasons were coming and she knew she was having all these different events coming up on her calendar and so she finally like confidently went to these events feeling like yeah, man, this opportunity is going to present itself and I am going to have all of the exact words to say and by January her plate was full. She had no more opportunities, no more basically space on her calendar because she had booked up all client slots.
Gina: Just from having words, just from having a story to tell.
Jam: Well, you mentioned a couple of things. Having the story to tell is critical. That’s going to not only be your elevator pitch at a cocktail party but it’s also something that lands on your website and all of your marketing.
Gina: Oh, yeah.
Jam: And finally makes the impact. So if many people are just having a website with no understanding of what Gina is talking about here honing in on that niche and honing in on that elevator pitch and that’s why you get no traction. You’ve seen this all the time. Yeah.
Gina: Absolutely and it’s really hard to have a story if you don’t know who you are. If you don’t know your why, if you don’t understand like your values and what you stand for it’s really hard to have a story. At least a unique story.
Jam: So, tell me more about how you unearth the story because it may not be a new concept for people so list some process you use to find that magic that creates the resonance for someone who is just stumbling upon one’s brand.
Gina: Right. So sometimes I will; so it starts with a why, it starts with what they’re doing, why they are doing it, who their audience is, who their ideal audience is. I love when I go to events and I remember, I was at Pioneer Nation a few years ago. And someone we were talking about. … I know well I think yeah, so many people around the world are but especially here in Portland.
So, it was a conversation around building products that your audience can’t say no to and this woman stood up and said “So I have a question. It’s really hard for me to target my audience because everyone is a potential customer, everyone in the world. If you have a heart, you are a potential customer.” And I remember who the speaker was but they kind of got in this little banter about, “No, I’m sorry. Everyone is not your audience and if so you’ve got a problem because you can’t sell to everyone.”
So with my clients, I used this sort of visual of like a bullseye and if the world is the outer range, you could have the world as your audience sure. You would need an insane amount of money to target the world. You can’t. Wal-Mart does not target the world.
You need to zoom in until like the finest point right in the middle of the bullseye. That’s your target audience especially when you’re starting and you don’t have large budgets. You really need to focus on your niche, your specific audience because what happens is once you have your brand, once you know your ideal audience and once you have your messaging or your story, you can compel them in such ways that they have no choice but to say, “Yes”. It’s really easy because you’re speaking just to them in a way that attracts them.
Jam: But how does one get that story down on paper? I know your eyes light up because that’s not magic. Bring to as a service to clients but what’s a process for just understanding what parts of one’s story to tell and to not tell.
I see so many people having greater success when they tell a personal story that’s going to relate to their audience but not everyone has or may not think that they have a dramatic enough story. They don’t have the, “I almost died and I had this epiphany that I needed to…” They don’t have necessarily that story so how do you shape a little bit more of a say your vanilla upbringing or non-tragic storyline.
Gina: Right. Right. We can’t all be Brendon Burchard or Hal Elrod with these near death experiences but if you’re building an authentic brand you have a starting point and it is your why, why you are doing this. So, the journey I sort of take my clients on is first identify the brand and I will come back to the 3 steps on how to define your authentic brand.
Jam: By the way everyone, go grab a piece of notepad, paper. Do we still have paper in people’s houses?
Gina: I do. I do.
Jam: We are going to go through a 3-step process you can use to create your authentic brand that Gina uses with her clients. So, go ahead sorry. Go ahead.
Gina: Okay. No that’s good. So, the brand sort of; once you have your brand defined, it helps you stay in voice, stay consistent, more easily kind of tell your story and show up the way you want to show up. Then we look at who is your target audience, the ideal audience. Who do you want to work with?
I have a lot of people who will come to me that don’t fill my ideal clients and sometimes it’s because I don’t want to work with them so I work with my clients on defining I would say 3 to 5 bio-personas or audience personas that represent people that they can uniquely help and they want to work with.
And it’s really just sort of an exploratory exercise when you think about who you’ve been working with. If you’ve done this for a while, it’s easy to sort of go back in time and think about, “Okay, I have these 50 or these 20 clients” and they can represent a persona that I’m going to call Julie and Julie was this and she was this age and she’s kind of in this life scenario, this is what she is looking for. This is how she wants to feel. I’m going to come back to that in a minute. This is where I can find her. This is how she is influenced. This is where she hangs out in social media or what other sites or influencers she may be paying attention to.
So I fully define Julie and then going on to the next persona and I recommend having like really only 3 to maybe 5 of them at most because again the more personas you have, the more expensive it is, the more time consuming it is to speak to them all. Sometimes, some of my audiences or my clients, they have one persona and they really zero in on that one person and it’s really easy to create content and market to them.
Jam: Yap. As you go out to send your newsletter or your promotions or your new blog posts or your video on Facebook, whatever it is, you’re really just thinking of that person, that persona, that client. Maybe it’s based on a client or maybe it’s thinking about yourself when you were your own client.
Gina: Oh yeah.
Jam: You know, thinking about where your head was at, what things were going inside your head in those moments or you really needed some support.
Gina: Right. One company that I worked with, we had five different personas and they each had sort of a fictitious stock photo model and name and bio and we would for everyone who created content in the company, we created little headshots of each of the five personas and they were laminated on their desk. So, when they were creating content they chose a persona and they wrote as if they were talking to that person.
Jam: Yeah. So, do you recommend particularly for a solo entrepreneurs who are building a personal name brand? Do you recommend revealing and how you got to where you’re at and if so where and how?
Gina: How I got to where I’m at.
Jam: I will give you an example. Someone just reached out to us to upgrade their website. She wasn’t feeling very confident about her copywriting and I will be honest. I went to the website and she’s a therapist and the thing that made me like go, “Oh wow. I would really love to work with this person.”
Not even searching her out but like, I was like, “Damn, this is really compelling and I’m interest.” The piece that got me was her story of how she got there. Why did se be a therapist? Her darkest night story, darkest night of the soul story and she didn’t go into like, it wasn’t a huge story of melodrama or anything but it was enough for me to realize that she is in this for the right reasons and she’s going to understand me.
Jam: And that’s like you were saying. She feels me and I feel her. That’s what we’re trying to do with storytelling.
Jam: So, would you, how do you work with that sort of impetus for why they got into this business.
Gina: Right. So for me, so Jason you’re asking for my story, right? Is that what you’re asking?
Jam: Or for our clients whatever you’re comfortable with. I’m still looking for what do you recommend, how much to tell and how you do it?
Gina: So, how much you tell. Okay so, I will admit, I work with a lot of clients, especially tech start ups that you know, they have a great idea and they think they can make money.
Jam: Yup, yup.
Gina: There is no story there and those details right there that is not the story to sell.
Jam: Max loves that. There is not story there.
Jam: The story is, “I want to make money on you.”
Gina: Right, right and what customers can’t really connect with that story. So, my philosophy and I have seen this so many times, people do business with people that they know, like and trust. And so, in your story you need to allow people to get to know you, get to like you and trust you.
Gina: So, if there is not a story like yeah I had a near death experience and I had a vision and this is my gift to the world then or something has prepared you for your entire life, for this moment then how do you allow people to get to know, like and trust you. It’s the personal stories.
So, for example: I work with a company a few years to go who they were a tech company, they did have a story, they were not just about making money but their story was they were building this travel product, travel technology product for a lack of a better definition because they have not launched yet and they brought two pieces of sort of experience and expertise together.
One of the co-founders was an avid traveler. His world revolved around traveling the world and all kinds of colorful, rich experiences around traveling and then, the other co-founder was also very passionate about traveling the world and sharing that passion but he was, his career is based around project management. And so this tool that they’re building is basically for people who shared their passion for travel but don’t want to deal with the headaches of organizing, planning, and co-coordinating travel. And so, that and there are the nuggets of their story. It’s the passion that they’re bringing to their product and services that lies the story.
Jam: Okay, so where does that story get placed? I’m assuming like they’re posting their passions on Instagram and Facebook and their about section and the mission statement for the outcomes. How does it get applied?
Gina: Sure, so the stories everywhere because so once you know what your story is, it comes, you let it come out everywhere and through your story is how people get to know, like and trust you. So, their stories of course, the very basic, your stories are on your about page, on your website. They’re on every profile page in social media. It’s everywhere.
But then you tell it in chapters and in storylines, sprinkle it around social media in different ways so that it’s not just a won and done. You know, I told my story once and now it’s out there because again, you’re fighting for attention and you can’t just put it out there once.
So your story comes out and you’re right in Instagram, Facebook posts and blog posts, in video. Their’s came out in their investor deck. I mean, it just, it needs to be to truly be effective, it needs to be everywhere.
Jam: Right, right. So this isn’t. The point of this, I think, is not a one-time exercise. This becomes the DNA of everything you do to communicate but also the DNA of your decision making. I will give you a couple of examples.
One was when The Wolf of Wall Street got referred to us. I’m on a call with Jordan Belford. God bless the man. I hope that he is on a healing journey to do something about what he has done in the planet and so when I got in the call with them I listened to what he wanted to do and then I respectfully said, “Yo man, I do think we could serve you but this is definitely not in alignment with what our brand is all about. We’re all about loving more and doing more good in the world and I’m sorry about everything I have seen of you is just polar opposite, to be honest.”
And he said, “I respect your opinion and I’m going to respect your time so all right, peace.” It was a really clean conversation but I had that sort of true north of what our brand’s DNA was to be able to make that decision and the same thing will apply for you. So that’ the values and mission to say that when it comes to how those things get infused into all of your communication, just but for instance: I don’t spend a lot of time on social media posting new marketing tactics or yeah, we got 500% conversions on this funnel like a lot of internet marketing or digital marketing firms or people do.
And so, because of that, we get a very different kind of clientele than the person he is in ‘make money’ that sort of M.O. It’s the person who reads; just yesterday someone said, “You know how I found you guys?” They were big e-commerce, essential oils, e-commerce operation up in Canada. “You know how I found you? There is this one quote you put on Instagram. It was, ‘Work is love made visible’ from Kahlil Gibran and I have that on my vision board for my business and because of that I just knew this is the right outfit for us to help us take our brand to the next level”.
So these little…I mean, so the decisions you’re making on what goes out and whom you work with and what you, you just illustrate your company successes, case studies etc. all come from this nugget of who you are and why you do what you do.
Gina: Yeah and I love what you said to about knowing that, that potential client was not right for you. A lot of times clients will come to me who have an abundance of non-ideal clients and that’s what’s driving the work because they need to, they know they have a purpose, they know that they serve the world in certain way but they also feel like something’s not right.
Jam: Something’s not in alignment. Yeah.
Gina: I am successful. I make a lot of money but something doesn’t feel good inside and usually what it comes down to is that there’s a misalignment in their values and the values of their clients and so through this work, you know, through identifying their values and who they want to work with, who those ideal clients are, it acts as a filter and so, you can very easily say, “Yep, not a good match. You’re not right for me. I am not right for you. We’re going to pass on that.”
Jam: Yeah and it’s amazing how much freedom and space that creates for the right person that come in. Am I correct?
Gina: Yeah, it’s what whole philosophy of yeah, you don’t want to say no but saying no to the wrong opportunity let’s you say yes to so many more right opportunities.
Jam: Yes. So, speaking of opportunities, Gina I love for people to be able to go through your process. You listed 3 critical steps to defining one’s authentic brand and I’d love for you to guide people through that as an exercise here and then in order, we’re going to post this to our blog so below you will be able to see; come on over to MightyBigImpact.com so you can learn more about what Gina does if you are interested in all of her services and amazing insights. She is frequently posting on social media.
Jam: And I we love to, in the comment section, just post your whatever you are jotting down here through these 3 critical steps. Test it out in the comments. This is a free playground to get some insights of maybe some feedback from Gina. Gina I will alert you anytime someone posts something where they’d love to get your insights or feedback on.
Gina: That would be great. That would be great. Yap.
Jam: Cool, so let’s go through that process.
Jam: This is fun and Max geeks out on this whole topic as well and in fact he is another case study as a thought leader who once he got his story and started telling the story of, your personal story, it was like, oh wow, all this flow suddenly ten dozens of subscribers were coming in. It was like, the light bulb just clicked on right?
Max: Gina knew me when I didn’t have a story.
Gina: I know. I love that Max is back there sort of working because we used to work together and you’re right, you had not sort of I don’t know, like maybe, verbalize your story. You kind of put it out there so I love that, hey Max.
Jam: I’m not surprised. All right so the 3 step process, get out your notepads or your notes on your little laptop there.
Gina: Your little Google doc, whatever. Yeah so, the 3 steps are can be flexible but it really is about knowing your why. So, why are you doing this and if you’re immediate instinct is to make money, go little deeper because there are a lot of ways to make money, right?
I want to know why this? Why you? Why this? What are your values? Do you value integrity and trust? What is really important to you that you’re not willing to budge on? What do you stand for? It’s sort of like, what’s your DNA?
Jam: Yeah. Yeah.
Gina: So starting there gives you sort of like, sort of like the first platform. You were building a stage for your story to come to life. Just start there.
Jam: Maybe you pause this video and take a page to just free write and go into your why even if you’re having a business running right now, this is an important thing to do on a frequent basis. So you can make sure you are still in alignment with why you got into this.
Gina: It is absolutely and you know I have worked with companies. Before that companies with other employees who realized when we get to this project, they didn’t have company values. They didn’t have sort of a purpose statement and so to kind of pause and say, “If this doesn’t exist, we need to start there.”
So to have that sort of conversation whether it’s with yourself or a partner. Sometimes, it is easier to sort of have that dialogue with someone else, someone who knows you very well, someone who can give you really honest feedback and input and kind of help that conversation come out and be fruitful can be really helpful too.
Jam: Perfect. So that’s step 1. Now let’s step 2.
Gina: So, step 2 is really getting clear on your gift to the world. Why you? So, we got the why in terms of what you wanted to do but why you? What is it about you and this is sort of the beginnings of your story. What makes you uniquely suited to do this thing? What is your magic? What is your super powers? What do you do that no one else in the world can claim to do? So if you are a copycat this is going to be really hard.
Jam: This part is challenging no matter what. For people who don’t have big ego especially because they want to downplay or downgrade what you, you are a unique person. There is an answer to this.
Jam: You just say, “But I don’t have that pedigree. I don’t have that MBA.” Or whatever is it that you think that you have to have to stand out.
Gina: Right. Right and I will say, you know, when you have a product, it’s a lot easier to talk about what makes this product unique and better and different than anything else on the market. It’s really hard when you’re talking about yourself. We don’t go around talking about ourselves like this. Like this is what makes me magical. So, but, a good place to start if you’re …
Jam: By the way, by the way, there are people who have problem with this. I’m more used to this all deprecating types but …
Gina: Right, right.
Jam: But just one little note here. Sometimes, it is simple as, “I’m not just a talking head here. I’m a practitioner. I do this work for my own business.” One of the new answers or unique story pieces or unique reasons why would you want to work with Jam and Peaceful Media and all of that stuff is we’re down on the weeds not just up on the stage talking, “This is what my technical person told me once. I read on a … or a in the weeds with you.” And that’s part of what makes, could make you unique as well.
I got inspired to go launch a business for instance and I went out and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars getting educated and now I get to filter it down for you what actually worked in my business, that’s a unique position for why you are the person to do it.
Gina: Right. Right. Sometimes it’s; I’ve done this. I mean for me, for example: I have been a marketer since I was a teenager. It’s in my DNA. It’s through every experience. It’s who I am and so, it’s all this experience that I bring to what I do. Sometimes, it’s just like, I’ve done this my whole life and it’s worked for me and now I want to share this, this is my gift back to the world.
But yeah, we all have, we all have unique superpowers and with my solopreneur clients who really struggle with “Would I even start?” Sometimes, they will start with like, “Well, you know I can organize a desk like nobody’s business”. That’s not really a superpower. Although, I would love someone to come and organize my desk.
I usually suggest starting with, think about some examples where you were on fire, you were shining, you were doing what you do and everything was right, everything felt right, that you were in flow and you were helpful. You were, everything was just in sync and it was awesome. What were you doing? What about it? What did you bring to that scenario? Was it your insights? Was it your ability to connect ideas? Was it a relationship that you helped bring together? What was it that you did in these scenarios that made them so magical and made them this just amazing experience?
So, starting there and thinking about that usually starts triggering other scenarios like that and what they did and how it felt and that’s a good place to start if you’re kind of thinking I don’t have superpowers.
Jam: Yeah and I know from my work with you on a joint client, you also solicited that from clients right? From the customers who’ve actually said, “Yeah I KLT, know, like, trust you enough to give you a credit card. You want to hear their point of view on this. Why do they choose you over the other brand?”
Gina: Right. With a lot of my bigger clients, we will do work into researching with their clients so I will talk with their clients and ask them, why did you choose them? What was going on? What made them stand out? Why did you trust them? What made you feel like that they would solve your problem?
And it’s amazing that these little truth nuggets that you get when you just ask people. You and I are both in a program where you asked this really great question of people to understand your superpowers, you can ask friends or family or people that you potentially could serve as your audience, why do you come to me? Just that. Why do you come to me?
And what people say, yeah, some people will say like, “You have the most amazing recipes”.
Jam: God, I love your eyelashes.
Gina: Yeah. You know how to exactly help my fizzy hair problem which is what I do with one of my friends. But most people will open up and tell you why they, when they pick up the phone or when they send a text or when they want information or help, why they choose you instead of 50 other people that they could choose? So, that can be a really telling exercise.
Jam: By the way, I will plug for Gina Rau here because he has this amazing ability to; Gina, you have this amazing ability to synthesize and see the 3 lines, the threads, the patterns and then cohesively pull that together into that unique selling proposition or that elevator pitch or the marketing copy so just wanted to plug that. It’s an amazing work that you did for …
Gina: Thank you. Thank you. Thanks.
Jam: So, what’s the third step? You pause the video and you’re going, you did that work. Maybe, that takes you an extra day but do that work. It’s so important to find out what makes you unique and distinct and then what comes next?
Gina: Then turn it around and think about why is this important to your audience? Why should they care that you have these unique superpowers? What’s in it for them? How do you, by knowing who your ideal audience is, if you haven’t done that work, do it as a part of this. Build the persona and when you know what they’re looking for and you know how they want to feel after interacting with you, you weave that into your story, into your brand.
You know like: How do you want to make people feel?
This is also sort of part how you want them to feel but also part how you want them to think about you because they kind of mingle about so one activity that I do with all my clients is sort of a brand attribute exercise and I would put this in step 3. So, think about how, think about the different attributes. If your brand was a person, if you’re a solopreneur, your brand is you, what attributes would you want people to use to describe you after any exchange. It doesn’t have to live. It can be your Facebook post or blog post, a video that they watched, however they’ve…
You create all these little touch points for your brand and after they exchange with them, how do you want them to feel and think about you? Are you thoughtful? Are you insightful? Are you clever? Are you adventurous? Are you playful? Are you serious and professional?
I recommend my clients. We go through this really fun exercise where I give them like a hundred words and tell them they have to get down to ten and it is my favorite part of the entire process because to watch, usually, it’s a group of like 5 or 6 people go through and figure out you know, “Yeah, what are 10 words” and with client it took 4 hours because they were so; this was just such important work to them.
But yeah, getting down to like, yeah, what is that essence of how you want people to think about you and it gets back to how do you want them to feel? Do you want them to feel assured and trust you then perhaps part of your brand is to radiate a sense of trustworthiness or reliability or what have you. So they really, they … because how you come across is how people is related to how people will feel about you.
Jam: Yap. By the way, when you have this work done, you make a marketing firm or a website development company or a design firm like us, you make our lives so much easier. We usually start with brand and positioning assessment with our clients and the designers love that. That exercise as helpful you’d be guided through that, I guarantee you because we did the same process but yeah, just to be really clear on those words then a designer has that juice to go and help everything, everything subconsciously communicate those words and that essence of who you are.
Gina: Right. So, I talked to you earlier about consistency. Consistency in how you show up, in your brand and what have you. And so, knowing these attributes and how you want people to feel after they’ve exchanged with your brand drives everything from the visuals like your logo development and website, how it looks but it drives how you show up in a post.
Okay, so when you think about Marie Forleo…
Jam: It will change your wardrobe. Everything. There’s the T-shirt brand and then there is the Marie Forleo…
Gina: Right. Right.
Jam: Two thousand dollar dress every time you show up on video.
Gina: Right. I often suggest my client. What was that?
Jam: Is it a five thousand dollar dress. I don’t even know. They look really expensive.
Gina: She has an amazing wardrobe.
Jam: What were you saying?
Gina: When you think about brand like because I’m working with a toy company right now, there is a brand, GoldieBlox and GoldieBlox has this amazing sort of “Go girl power” kind of beastie boys’ish music in their commercials and you would never see a post on their Facebook page let’s just say like, “Hey, here’s some nice toys that you can think about for Christmas this year.”
Like it’s more like, “Hey, we’ve got like the rock and what have you toys for rockstar girls”.
Like everything they do just exudes their personality.
Gina: Until you know who you are, you can’t do that.
Jam: That’s the key. Exude who you are, your brand. Yeah, the more in alignment with it is, who you really are versus the people you’re following, the more attraction you’re going to get, the faster you’re going to get to the peak of this, of your pursuit in business.
Gina: Right and it doesn’t have to be a big personality. You can be, it’s more about just being uniquely you and letting that shine because what happens when you know who you are and you know who your audience is and it’s and you’re showing it consistently as who you are, there’s this almost like magnetic attraction that happens where the people who are right for you are just naturally going to find you and naturally going to like and trust you. It’s this very Kum Bah Yah scenario that just…it’s so much easier than trying to force that relationship.
Jam: Yeah. Yeah. That’s the…because some of the keywords, ‘Exude you’. This will allow you to get into flow all this, it really can make a huge difference. I hope that you will actually go through those 3 critical steps that Gina has listed out and do that work. I’m telling you it’s a night and day difference in how much flow you will be experiencing in your business when you do that work.
And if you want a much deeper shepherded sherpa guide in that process, that creative process, someone else from outside your business, outside your head can start to see the story that can be told here with your brand then go check out Gina Rau here in Portland or if you’re elsewhere go to MightyBigImpact.com so that you can start striking up the conversation with her. Again like the comments below, it’s going to be a great place and I will continually watch those and send those over to Gina as they come in and Gina is there anything else that you’d like to impart on our lovely audience before we take off.
Gina: I would just say that first of all, I’ve had so much fun today. Thank you Jam. This has been awesome. I hope that people will reach out. If they have questions or if something just, just want a little bit of feedback or something, I welcome that. I choose to work with solopreneurs and startups because I love the entrepreneurial spirit and I just really want to help. So, if I can help let me know.
Jam: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. What’s the best way on social media they can reach out to you? Twitter?
Gina: On Twitter I’m @GinaRau and on Facebook I’m on MightyBigImpactPage.
Jam: Yeah, mighty big impact page on Facebook.
Jam: All right. Well, lovely speaking with you. I thank you for taking all this time to put this together and this is kind of cool. You get to build your thought leadership brand in a new medium here and as supposed to our Peaceful Peeps, I’m so excited that you get to see big heart, big ideas, creative person come to you and give you stuff for totally free. This is what it’s all about. It’s really giving back to people so that you can get them into the flow of your business. We just want to see you rise. All right.
So until we see you next time. Let’s see, Gina you how it goes?
Remember to love more, play more and do more good.
Gina: Awesome. I love that.
Jam: All right you all. Peace. I’m Jam at Peaceful Media. We will talk to you very soon.
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