In order to get clients and grow your business, you need to put on a suit, be stiff and rigid, talk professionally and pretend to be someone who you’re not or at minimum, put on a good show….at least, that’s how I felt when I got started in business.
I’m not sure if that narrative was drilled into me in traditional school or my brief experiences in the corporate world and that may have been true for generations past but thankfully the tables have turned.
In fact, nowadays, being real, authentic and more personal are actually the quickest ways to separate yourself from your competitors, build trust with your clients and grow your business.
In this episode, one of my close colleagues, brand strategist and world-class designer, Lisa Breedt, shares how Brand Authenticity and “Being Real” in your website, copy, designs, marketing and socials can help grow your business and separate you from your competitors.
Enjoy this one!
In this episode:
00:00 – Introduction
04:20 – Greeting to Lisa
06:00 – Advantages of technology
11:46 – Adapting to different personalities
16:09 – Show up authentically
18:09 – Use your team to fight fear
21:33 – Repetition creates comfort
27:52 – How to personalize your brand
38:46 – Social media stories
41:46 – Keep boundaries
43:56 – Share within a social strategy
51:38 – Authenticity is easier
57:45 – Attracting relationships
1:08:05 – How video helps personalize
1:17:00 – When to be protective of your brand
1:23:46 – Brand style guide
Connect with Lisa:
Featured links mentioned:
Episode #153 Full Transcription
Hey, friends, welcome to the show. This is episode 153. Super excited about this talk. For a lot of reasons, I personally am very, very passionate about what we’re about to dive into right now, which is essentially authentic branding and how to put more personality in your business so that you can grow your business. And you can build likability trust and authority quicker with potential clients. I’m really passionate about this, because I’ve seen it play out in both my web design agency. And what I’m doing now. And I’ve seen a lot of my students have a lot of success with personalizing areas of their business. And I wanted to bring somebody in who is knee deep in branding and strategy and authentic personalization.
This is actually one of my close colleagues. This is Lisa breed. She’s a web design student of mine. She’s also in my web design club. And as you’re going to hear in this talk, she’s awesome. She is someone who has a very intense intensive and purposeful approach to branding, because she is not just a web designer, but she is a brand specialist. So she offers a very high intensive type of service for her clients, which are mostly female entrepreneurs. And she helps them from the ground up, come up with their branding, their mission, their values, she helps them translate that to actual design and branding elements and comes up with style guides. And she takes that all the way through actually taking it into their online presence with building their website.
So she has a very, very unique perspective on branding and the importance of authentic branding nowadays, which as you’ll find out, this conversation is more important and more exciting than ever. Because as you’ll find out, the more personal you get. And the more real you are, the quicker you’ll build trust, likability and authority with clients. Therefore, the quicker you can grow your business. And the quicker you can get awesome clients who you want to work with and who want to work with you. So I’m so excited about this conversation, we really dive in and out of the various methods and strategies for being more authentic and how to brand your business with some personality and how to humanize your brand.
It’s funny because we’ve been talking about this a lot recently on the podcast back in episode 148. I had the community manager from Gravity Forms on and talked about their strategy with humanizing Gravity Forms. And I do want to say, a perfect complement to this episode, once you get to the end of this one is to go back and listen to episode 150. If you haven’t listened to that one yet, and that episode, I give you my top 10 ways to personalize your business. I think that’ll perfectly accompany this episode, because Lisa and I really get into a lot of the mindset and strategies and methods about authentic branding and how it can help your business. I found this conversation fascinating. Lisa is awesome. She really is a wealth of passion and knowledge about this topic. So I’m super excited to hear what you think.
And before we dive in, I just want to say you’re going to hear about this a lot as we bring it up in the interview. But Lisa is a part of my web design club. She’s a founding member. And this club that you hear about is not like some special thing that I have for only a certain amount of people like it is open to you. Now, if you’d be interested in me being your coach and being able to chat with me regularly and being able to meet awesome web design entrepreneurs like Lisa, and a lot of others who you’ve heard on the podcast, I want to welcome you into my web design Club today. You can go to Josh hall.co/web design club. All one word, there will be a link for the show notes of this episode to at Josh hall.co/ 153. I would love to welcome you into my web design club so you can hang out with me regularly and meet Lisa and other amazing members to have a support system around you. Really, really excited to help you alongside your journey. And without further ado, here is Lisa brand strategist, expert in personalization and humanizing brands. I can’t wait to hear what takeaways you pull from this conversation. Enjoy.
Lisa, welcome to the podcast. So great to have you on.
Thanks so much for having me, Josh. I’m really excited to be here today.
Yeah, so we we had to do redo a couple intros because of some Wi Fi issues and stuff going on. But I think Third time’s a charm. I’m really really excited to chat with you today. You are somebody who is in my mind, an expert brand person and I love your design style. I love what you’re up to. I’m really excited to pick your brain today about branding and design and authenticity. But I would love to start out with maybe where you’re based out of and then if you could just give us a snapshot of what you do with your business that could be a great place to Start for those who don’t know.
Yeah, absolutely. So I’m based on the southernmost tip of Africa, in South Africa, a small coastal town called Meisner, I moved here about three years ago from a very large city or capital of South Africa, Pretoria, where there’s about 13,000 people living and now I live in a town with 70,000 people. So it’s quite, quite a change in, in, in setting, but we were just looking my partner and I were looking for, you know, a more relaxed way of living being closer to nature, obviously, being at the ocean is a big bonus. And, you know, with technology nowadays, you can literally live and work anywhere. We have video technology, we have zoom, we have websites, we have social media, there’s just so many tools at our disposal at our disposal, that we can literally connect with anybody over the world. Just just to maybe expand a bit on that. I don’t have any clients that live where I live.
I my was wondering about that. Yeah,
Yeah. Because I mean, I meet with them, like, we are now meeting on Zoom, I never never meet them in person. And this, you know, even happened pre COVID, I would meet my clients on video calls, as opposed to, you know, fighting traffic and just wasting time around meetings, etc. But what do I do? Two years ago, I started a boutique creative studio, where I focus and work with female owned businesses or female entrepreneurs, I assist them to basically build a visual brand identity, and then translate that into two websites. I basically help women to tell their stories in the new digital space by making sure they have a consistent and cohesive brand identity.
That’s beautiful, well said. And I am curious about how you got some of those clients remotely so we’ll dive into that. But it really is interesting, though, that you came right out the gate and talked about technology and how you can work with anyone, anywhere you are in a place in the world. And one reason we had a couple of attempts at the intro. And this is actually a call that was rescheduled, because you guys had some power issues, apparently, the grid is different. They’re in South Africa, right? Then we’re used to the states, it says that how that works, I get to share power and stuff like that.
I mean, sometimes the grid goes you know, it comes under under strain, so then they have to learn it, it doesn’t happen often. But it when it happens, it can be quite disruptive. So you would not have power for like three hours. And sometimes that’s twice a day. So you’ll be load shaded in the morning and in the evening. So you’ve got to learn how to work around those things, obviously. But yeah, that’s that’s just, again, where technology come to play. Because if you were going to have meetings with people in person, now maybe because you don’t have power, it’s difficult. So when it’s discussion, I suppose, you know, use mobile devices, make sure everything is is on charge. But what’s nice about being in control of your day and using technology, you can always reschedule. And it’s not such a major story than in person meetings and events.
That’s a great point. That’s a really good point. Because a couple days ago, we were going to have this call and you said you let me know what was going on with the power. And you were like I might be able to do it. But I’m a little worried about, you know, my battery goes out, the lighting goes out. So I said let’s just reschedule no big deal. You’re exactly right. If we had driven to a studio somewhere or you made an hour trip, or I made a trip, it would be a whole different ballgame.
So yeah, what an amazing time we’re living in right with technology and, and just the fact that I don’t want to derail us too far in the beginning. But that’s no shocker for this show. I’m really, I’m really excited about this time of technology right now, for a lot of reasons that you’ve already mentioned. But also, I feel like so connected with so many people, and I’m learning so much about different cultures and different countries. And you’ll be proud of me, Lisa, I actually, I’ve learned to tell accents better.
So because you’ve been a suit of mine for a while and you’re my web design club. We’ve had quite a few calls together. I love the South American or South African accent by the way, I love your guys’s accent. I’m so curious about it. But I say that to say I was watching Shark Week this summer. And the guy talking had an interesting accent and my wife was like that accents kind of weird and I was like, That is a South African accent. I know it and then he was like what based in South Africa and it was for like, I know you guys have like great white sharks out there. So but it was so funny. I was like I know that accent because I talked with Lisa who’s in my club. So I just think it’s really cool. I’m really excited about this time and I think you are as well sounds like.
Absolutely. I mean even if I think of the web design club that you have, I’ve met so many people from across the world and it’s fascinating to just jump on a quick call with them. Get to know who they are, you know learn a little bit about their culture the accents are fascinating were definitely are I just see how different people operate with the same industry because we kind of all in web design and branding, etc. But how the kind of business model works in different countries, and also to learn from one another. I mean, it’s, it’s fascinating. It’s just the world has really become our oyster, if you use technology to your advantage, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t.
Yeah, a good point. And I think, on this topic of branding and authentic branding, more specifically, I think we really have an opportunity as web designers to set ourselves apart from the competition if we are genuine, and we are ourselves. Now, interesting point there, though, at least, I think it’s a great point to dive into certain countries, certain cultures are a little bit different. Case in point, we have a lot of UK members in the club that are some of our best friends. Now, they’re a little more reserved tipic, typically not our members as much, because you know, they’re getting out of their brains and their shells. But it does seem like some English cultures are a little more reserved about expressing their true feelings or being really open about stuff.
So I think some of the members in the web design club I’ve seen really stand apart because they are doing that they are putting pictures of themselves out there, they are being more of themselves and messaging. I don’t know if you guys say this in South America, but a big thing I see in UK and Australia, is everyone will sign off with like Best regards, or sincerely yours. There’s something that’s really like uppity and stuffy. And I’ve always encouraged people talk like you talk, which really comes into play with authentic branding. Have you seen that as well, with just different, you know, cultures and how they come across with their branding?
Absolutely. I’ve had, you know, I’ve had like the opportunity to work with a few UK clients at the moment, and they are very different. So, you know, I’m quite an energetic, enthusiastic individual. That’s just who I am. But some people are quite reserved, and that can sometimes catch you off guard, because it feels like you’re not getting any feedback, necessarily. So you’re like, Am I making sense? Are they getting what I’m saying? Because maybe they’re not as energetic as you are. So that’s, that’s one side of it. I mean, people are different personalities are different.
But I do think one needs to play to your strengths. And I also think, you know, we are humans crave connection. So if you can find a way to tell your story and to bring your vibe and to bring your energy to your brand to your touch points, if you can personalize it. It mean, I mean, you don’t have to now become an energizer bunny, you don’t have to do that. But you’re going to have to step out of the comfort zone ever so slightly, if you want, if that’s something that you want to do. I mean, obviously, you know, it’s all dependent on, you know, where do you want to go? Where do you want to position your business? Which clients do you want to reach? I mean, if you want to work with, say, American clients or South African plants, then you’re going to have to maybe be a little bit more energetic.
But I mean, if you mainly work in the UK, and that’s kind of the way people operate, and they don’t expect you to be an energizer bunny, then it’s fine. But I do think the personalization is key. So being authentic, being real, being genuinely interested in people and your clients, and then bringing that authenticity because here’s, here’s, here’s a fact, I mean, every single one on this planet, 7 billion or 7 billion plus that we have on this planet, are unique individuals like yourself, Josh, you have had a unique experience on this planet, you’ve got your own experience, you’ve got your your life experience, you’ve got your skill set, you’ve got ways that you package a product and a service that’s absolutely unique to you. It’s your blueprint, and you have a tribe out there in the world that’s looking for exactly that. And if you package in an in a way, and you tell that story authentically online using the tools, you will attract that tribe.
So it just depends on what your goals are and what you really want to do. For myself, I want to build an international clientele. And that’s what I’m busy doing. So I have to put myself outside of my comfort zone, I have to do things that maybe normally wouldn’t do, because I now have to work harder at connecting with different cultures and finding out really what makes them tick and how I can match my product or my service to their needs if they are my target market.
That’s fascinating. See, this is why I was so excited to talk with you. You’re so passionate you have such gold advice when it comes to authenticity and personalization. And this is really big with branding and web design because as you You just said, Lisa, it’s, I think the quote that kind of summarizes what you just said was Your vibe attracts your tribe. So however you come across, those are generally the kind of people you’re going to get Now, are you going to get the exact same personality type for every client? No, of course not. But depending on how you put yourself out there, you will attract certain it could be personality types, but it will often be certain categories of industries or types of businesses.
So that that is fascinating to me, I think that’s a great, great foundational point, and kind of a challenge for everybody to maybe get out of our comfort zone. I love what you said there, you don’t necessarily have to be a super charismatic, like, wildly energetic kind of person. And that’s not me, either. I am, I’m a little I’m probably on the same energy level as you I feel like but then I see these entrepreneurs that are like, hey, you know, buy my product, Bubble Bubble, blah, and I’m like, I, that is not what I’m interested in doing. I’m stressed out listening to that guy. And like, videos going so fast. I’m like, I don’t I just I’m gonna scroll right past this. So I think it is, I think it’s a good point to be yourself. And then in some cases, maybe just be the most energetic version of yourself, if you’re if you’re going to sell or, you know, if you’re going to put yourself out there.
Absolutely. And I just think you need to show up authentically. You know, I think sometimes people are scared of showing up, they’re just scared because we feel and I put myself in that category, we feel we’re going to be judged, or what maybe we’re not good enough, or, you know, imposter syndrome. We’ve spoken about this. There’s all these things that play out in your mind. And those are the things that make you hesitant in putting yourself out there.
But you know, what I, I think what it is, or some advice I could give because I mean, I battle with this and I have battled with this, but I just overcame my fears is you only have to take one step, you know, you know, the proverb that says a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step, you only have to take that first step, you don’t have to go from nothing to being the next, you know, whoever you aspire to, but it’s going to take consistent little steps that’s going to make you better. And that you can see, okay, that was a little bit of a base, or maybe I wasn’t as good they are, maybe my energy lacks lackey, they’ve you re-watching a video that you perhaps did, or you took a photo and you don’t like the way you looked in it, you can redo it, you can always tweak, but just start.
You know, it’s better to have things done than perfect. – Lisa
If we strive for perfection, and this is what I battle with. It’s the you know, constant, things need to be perfect before we launched, things need to be perfect before we take the next step. You know, it’s better to have things done than perfect. Just take that first step, you can always course correct, you can always improve as you go along. It has to be professional, yes, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just great points. You know, put yourself out there. And another tip that I can just maybe think of, because there’s this fear, especially when it comes to camera and switching the camera on. Start, you don’t have to start with outward facing video necessarily. Start with your clients inward. Start with your team start there where you know, it’s not like oh my gosh, a whole world is going to see my video, start with clients do those little loom short clips.
If you if in the past, you used to only email your client or you know, maybe send them a voice note, maybe the next step for you is to actually switch the video on and just send them a quick two minute video. If they give you a referral, do a one minute quick video where you thank them in person. I mean, people are blown away by those kinds of extra touches that nobody else is doing. It’s going to make you stand out. And it’s going to help you to overcome the fear of actually switch them to the video on the next time when you have to produce a video for your homepage.
You want to actually start doing tutorials. I mean, we don’t have to be the next YouTube star. We really don’t. It all depends on your goals and you know what you want to what you want to achieve and whether you actually should be doing lots of videos, maybe it’s not part of the strategy for you because it’s not going to help you reach your objectives or what you’re trying to achieve. But personal infusing your brand infusing your website infusing your copy infusing everything that you do with your personality, with your essence and with what you stand for and what impact you want to make is key because that’s what brand or thing to just use all of that
Gosh, that’s so well said Lisa. I’m so glad we’re starting with this topic and they are this this idea as a framework because well I’m sure we’ll get into some more tactile things, but there’s no use of like creating a plan on where you’re going to put your personalized content and videos and images if you’re not ready to do that yet anyway. So I love that you’re really talking in depth about starting small. And I hadn’t really thought about that my the way I got comfortable on camera was mainly Just doing screen sharing like you just said I wasn’t actually camera facing and five years ago me on camera completely different I think didn’t did you see some videos that I shared in the club that was even just four years ago and some of the videos I did do like there was a video for the my local chamber of commerce that I did. And I was just like a like I was really monotone. I just yeah, it was just, it was not good.
But I did it over and over and over and over repeated, repeated until I got better, I got more comfortable. But the key was, I did start mainly doing just screen sharing. So I actually wasn’t personally on camera. That is a great point. Something else you hit on there that I think is a really, really great kind of test run for everybody who’s not yet comfortable on camera and putting themselves out there is the team thing. I didn’t really think about that. No one’s ever talked about that. But sure, instead of just emailing your team, maybe you’ll try sending some loon videos, and you just get a little more comfortable doing videos with people who you’re comfortable with.
That is an amazing tip. Lisa, I think that’s something that’s very overrated. And I haven’t heard anyone talk about that. So what a great tip tarts start small, start with people you’re comfortable with, and then expand out from there. I’m actually curious to hear from you. You said you, you know you used to be where I was terrified on camera or you had some fear imposter syndrome. How did you get over that? Was that repetition? Was it something that did you get more confident in your services? And that inner confidence came out from that? Like, how did you get over that fear of putting yourself out there?
It’s an interesting question. I think it’s, it’s come a long time for me, because I used to do video back in the day when we recorded video, and we would burn it on CDs in a business that I was involved in. So that was like Lights Camera Action in a semi studio and having to overcome, you know, the fear of just actually switching the camera on and then speaking into it. So I think it is practice, you know, and it’s something that, you know, I had a goal, and I wanted to achieve that. And that kind of forced me to do it. It’s almost like this podcast, you know, saying yes to your podcast. I mean, it was fearful to come onto your podcast, but you know, you nag enough, and eventually I gave in. So here I am.
Sometimes you just have to put yourself out of your comfort zone. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t be someone that you’re not. Yeah, but we only learn and grow when we put ourselves in slightly uncomfortable situations. Otherwise, we stagnant. So one of the things, it’s just repetition. Next is obviously you want to read up about this, how can I do you research? How can I produce good videos, read up about light read up about microphones and cameras, you know, just so that you can be comfortable with the technology that you’re using? And I think that’s key. And then you know, overcoming the fear, you’re just going to have to do it. You know, it’s, I don’t think there’s a there’s a recipe. And as you as you do more of it you become more comfortable
Yeah, I just think that’s that’s where the magic lies. And then, you know, another tip is, don’t re watch yourself, I did that in the beginning, I would spend so much time re watching my videos, actually don’t do that. Just do it take when you make errors, or you or you have something that you just edited out and start from scratch. That’s what I used to do is to start from scratch every single time and that would be totally exhausting. Because I mean, how many takes it you’re gonna do 20 And then two hours later, you still busy with a two minute video? No, just
Been there been there many a time.
And you know what it is this striving for perfection or wanting things to be perfect or wanting things to be overly produced and polished. And this comes back to brand authenticity, the days of being overly produced, polished, so like, perfect that people can’t relate to you or over people see that. Because, you know if you know, a lot of this happened with the arrival of social media where a lot of people were like overly produced and really like using so many filters that they don’t even look like they do in person. Now that’s fine, you can do that. But guess what? The minute you have to meet a person in person and you do not look like the representation you had online, just there you have lost all their trust.
That’s a good point.
Because you have just built up this persona. You’ve built up this energy and this vibe of who you are. But it’s not really you because you are trying to be like others you you you put in too many filters you you actually hiding who you are behind all of that and it’s not really who you are. When you show up in person face to face or on a Zoom meeting. It will show immediately, and they go your trust. So my advice here is, you know, just be you be who you are, make the little mistakes. We are human. No human is like a robot. And we don’t make mistakes. I mean, this was our third take, it happens here, but just flow with the mistakes. Look, you know, if it’s a really bad mistake, you’re edited out, but don’t strive for that perfection, and then you never get out the blocks are gonna be happy with your product.
Yes, gosh, so many great points. Lisa, this is why I was nagging you to come on, because you are filled with such great advice for this kind of stuff. I couldn’t agree more. I think the days of the polished videos and the data type of videos are 100% over you’re totally right, it actually I think almost can harm your business more now, depending on the industry, because people want to just know who they’re working with. And it really is, I think, no matter the different countries and the different cultures globally, we are at a point where people want to know, like and trust who they work with. And there is no better way to build that trust and authority than just personalizing, whether it’s through videos through your copy, I do want to talk tactile or tactically about some of these things.
Those you just have to be yourself. You just said it. And it’s funny, you talked about doing videos in the past, talk about the pressure and feeling you know, really nervous when you have to like go to a studio and the lights are on and then they’re like, Okay, countdown, five, four, like, that’s when this nerves really, really amp up, when you just have a little webcam and a halfway decent like Blue Yeti microphone in your office. That’s pretty much all you need. I totally agree you should get comfortable with the gear. But now that’s easier than ever like that the barrier of the gear is not an issue now. So I couldn’t agree more it really it really goes such a long way.
Tack tactically, here’s the question, okay, that’s people are inspired, they’re ready to get out of their comfort zone. I mean, my my thought is that you’re going to be doing it with clients anyway. Like, you’re going to be on a zoom call, you’re going to be meeting, you’re going to be talking with people at a coffee shop, why not just do it on your website? Why not post a video to save yourself time over and over and over again. But here’s the question. Okay, where do I personalize? How do I personalize?
I know, a lot of people are terrified, because they’re probably like, oh, man, do I need to have a YouTube channel and a podcast and do social media videos every day? And do I need to put a video on every page of my website? No, you said it best. Lisa, you can start small, you can do one thing, and then just get the ball rolling and then go from there. So we could really take this in a number of different ways. But I’m curious. Maybe this is maybe this is maybe a tough question to answer. But what would be one of the most impactful ways you can personalize your business? If you were to just do one thing, if you were just gonna step out and try one thing?
It’s tough. It is a tough question. Because I do think it depends. You know, it depends on how you operate. Like in my case, you know, I am not that visible on socials. I’m not, but I’ve not had the need to, I have a very organic business. I work with women. You know, I found a few a handful of women in the beginning. And I’ve been working on referral based business that have kept me busy, busy for two and a half years. So
I don’t need to use social media. I mean, it is always nagging in the back of my head that you know, at some point, I’m going to have to maybe, you know, start using it. But if I was a business, and I’m looking for, for the one way to really personalize my brand, I want to take one step back and say you have to do the discovery work, you have to do the foundational work first. And what I mean by that is find out who your brand is. If it’s a personal brand like yours, it’s pretty easy to personalize and humanize a personal brand. Because your face can be on everything, your energy, pictures of brand photos of you. It’s easier.
You know, it’s a little bit more difficult when you’re trying to personalize and humanize a business or a bigger brand.
And like we like we spoke about earlier. You know, there is definitely been a paradigm shift where people don’t I mean, we don’t do business with company logos. We do business with people. And many years ago, you know, I we had a smallest agency and we were talking to corporates about basically humanizing your brand. I’m talking 2005. And the whole point of it was to bring the face of the company out from behind the company logo, stop hiding behind the company logo. And this was when social media started becoming like mainstream and a thing and businesses were saying how do we use this new social media for our business to market and connect with people in our audience?
The first step is You have to humanize your brand. Because consumers don’t want to connect with the logo. They want to connect with the team. – Lisa
Well, the first step is You have to humanize your brand. Because consumers don’t want to connect with the logo. They want to connect with the team, the energy of the team, the car, the owner, the founder, who are they? Who are these people? What are what’s important to them? Do I like their vibe? Do I like what they stand for? Do I like how they operate as a business, I can only see that and get that kind of essence of the company and the organization or the person. If they are infusing their brand, their website, they copy the visuals, with the people with the images.
If it’s jargon, like a brochure type website with a logo, it’s very difficult for me to discern, what’s the energy? Who are the people behind this? Yeah, can I get a sense for them? And I know I digress a little bit on the on the question, but it leads me to think about something else. There’s a book called Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. And in the book, they talk, he talks about literally how we make up a first impression of a person, within seven seconds, we have got a complete sense of who this person is seven seconds, within a 10th of a second, we can already like discern, can I trust this person or not? Can I trust this brand or not?
Now, if it’s that quick, that we make up our minds, then it would be in our best interest to actually bring who we are to the fore so that our consumers or potential clients, when they look at our presence online, they can make that decision? Do I gel with this person? Do I gel with this business? So it’s almost like it’s a filtering process. And it goes both ways. It filters from the clients perspective, or the potential client that’s viewing your presence that can say, You know what I like what I see like Josh’s energy, I can quickly watch a video, I can see a picture of him, I get a sense of who he is, I like him, let me take the next step. Which means you’re getting a better person ending up on the other side, because you’ve already done some filtering. And for them, it’s also better they don’t have to waste the call to a faceless called their oil company to find out only on the call that the consultants energy and what they stand for doesn’t resonate with him.
It’s a great point, face cold, sterile, faceless company that is what a lot of bigger agencies and companies do often and marketing. And it’s so interesting, I think it’s good that you’re making a differentiation between like freelancers or personal branded folks versus bigger companies, because I think the challenges are very different than the question I asked you about, what you might want to do first is probably very different depending on the situation. Great Call on that.
Interestingly enough, I just had the community manager from gravity for you use Gravity Forms, right for for your parties. Okay. So Gravity Forms is the forum plugin that I use, and they’re one of the top in the WordPress market, but they are currently trying to humanize their brand. Before nobody really knew what he was behind Gravity Forms, they were just known as one of the best form builders. So I found it really interesting. He was back on episode 148. And we talked about their push to humanize the brand. And he was doing interviews with the owners and the co founders and stuff. And, and I think a lot of companies are doing that on a larger scale. I would say if I had to give a larger company advice, who is currently cold, stiff, and sterile, and there’s no personality, I would say just start with an about page or a team page, just give an option for your clients know who the heck is behind this company? It could be as simple as that to start, right?
Absolutely. And I’m like, I know I digress. But to answer your question. Absolutely. That is that is one of the first and I suppose easiest way to bring the people to the fore and not just the CEO the entire team but let’s talk about smaller businesses. I mean, you need to feature on the on the about page and obviously if you have like contractors or maybe other team members or your cat or your dog, that’s your companion you can I know you’ve got I think you had your dog somewhere featured.
Yeah, she was customer relations for a little while.
Yeah, exactly. So if you’re feeling lonely just pulling you know one of your full frames I’m sure they’ll they’ll love the extra exposure you can maybe even get an Instagram account for them and you know, rack up the followers like do really well, finding followers. So two things I’ll mention here, and one definitely what you said an easy one is to have an about page or a team page, meet the team. And here you feature they’re the photographs and just what they do at the company. It can actually just be designation or it can be a little blurb. And this springs to mind. You know a business that I’ve just worked with. It’s a restaurant, two sisters who own this restaurant and they’ve got a team of 13 staff. And this is exactly what we did. They have such a fantastic you know, authentic shop they really busy People love the two sisters energy. But also the staff has this country contagious friendly, they have amazing food, it’s really a lovely experience.
So the idea with them was, let’s bring that energy on to the website. Let’s bring the sisters to the fore. Let’s take pictures of all 13 staff and show them on Meet the Team. Let’s write a blog post that shows the journey of how this company this restaurant got founded. And everything around it, we have another blog where we do announcements of each new team team member that joins the team in a little story about them. When you go to that website, you don’t know them at all. You get their energy from just purely the website, seeing the stories, reading the pictures, and we’re not even using video yet. We’ll get there. You know, this is the first step. But when you arrive at that restaurant, you even though they don’t know you, you will feel as if you know the two sisters, you know their journey, you know their story, and you know all the stuff that just takes it to another level as opposed to just the logo. And here’s the restaurant and here’s our menu and here’s our food.
Yes. So a such a great point, you just said it right there, you said you get to know them. And the big three with getting clients here, here, here it is everybody, the big three keys to getting clients is know like and trust. So if you can get somebody to get to know you, before they even meet you before they ever book a call before they ever reach out that you’re already 30 You know, 30% there, if you can get them to like you, by all the personally personalization that you have on your site, which no client is going to like somebody by just seeing what they do. That’s that’s not like, if I saw that Lisa did logo branding and web design, that’s cool. But I’m not gonna necessarily like you as a person. Yeah, cuz I don’t, I don’t know anything past that.
But if you have personalization in there, and I find out that you have these passions, and this is what you’re into, then maybe I will like I like Lisa, she seems like a really great person. Now all that’s left is trust. And trust can be earned with content and things that in videos, things that you might post later on. But no, unlike, you can just do with personalization, which is what just a little bit of personalization. I’m not talking about massive branding campaigns with tons of different studio images and anything like that I’m talking about as simple as a real picture of you, whether it’s professional or just you in your office, a little bit of personalization, like if you have a like I had my golden retriever on our team page. And then if you do have a team page have have everything on there.
And what’s really interesting about that, Lisa is you did mention my team page for my agency. That was the third most popular page on in transit studios. And I think so if I haven’t looked at the analytics in a while, but it was the third most popular, my most popular was my homepage. The second was the portfolio. And the third was the team, which told me numbers don’t lie. A lot of potential clients were interested in who is behind in transit studios who’s behind this company. So that is a practical case study of how important it is to have your team page.
And one thing I do want to say, for smaller agencies who feel like you know, or maybe even if it’s just a solopreneur, who may hire out with a few people, don’t be afraid to put them on your team page. You don’t have to say they’re your full time team members. What I did was I just had a little blurb that says collaborates occasionally. And I’ll just say you know this is such and such, and he collaborates on certain projects like this. This is such and such she collaborates when we do projects like this, it could be as simple as that. And that goes such a long way. Have you seen any other tips like that for maybe freelancers, web designers and smaller agencies that have worked other than just a team page?
I’m going to mention something which again, I’m not doing but I mean, it’s the two that have just revolutionize the world. And if you really want to build authenticity with some of the digital tools we have at our disposal, and you need to make use stories on social networks. I know a lot of people go 24 hours and the content is gone. I know I think you said that.
Yes, I totally put all this
You put all this effort into creating content and it’s gone in 24 hours. What’s the point? I want to tell you it’s like it’s amazing. I mean, if you watch stories, I mean sometimes I just watch stories in a row. It gives me such a behind the scenes vibe for the people and stories people because it only lasts for 24 hours. You don’t have to be overly polished and have the lights and you know it can really be off the cuff and just natural. This is what’s going on. It’s very relaxed. It’s very casual. Obviously always want to be professional. Yes. But you don’t have to be you can be it’s a behind the scenes. It’s in my lounge and let’s have a cup of coffee. You know, it’s more of a fireside chat there. I’m here to do a tutorial video. So I’m wearing that hat. And it’s a slightly different persona, it’s a lot more relaxer, it’s a brilliant way for companies to actually bring to infuse their brands with personality.
That is a, that’s a great point. And a good challenge for me, Lisa, because I haven’t utilized stories as much, I’m still I am, I am not the best with social media. It’s not my skill set or my area of expertise. I did recently start my Instagram, which is still really small right now. But I am enjoying it actually, I do like the vibe of Instagram a lot more than Facebook and some other places. It’s it’s, you know, you can’t give a thumbs down and there’s much less polarization stuff. It’s a it’s a nice place to be generally.
What I’m trying to kind of balance and maybe maybe I’m gonna I’ve always, you know, kind of coached you but I might have you coach me here. And the question would be, how much personalization is too much? Or is it possible to get a little too personal when we are mixing real life in business? And I have really thought about this recently, because I have two daughters. And I’m a little and I do we get weird requests. Sometimes like my wife, I remember when it was when I was just married, we my wife was in the business. And I was posting a lot of pictures of us and socials. And because I had a YouTube channel that was growing, she started getting weird requests. And that bothered me. And then I was like, Okay, we might need like, how much do I want to put my wife her face in the business? Now? I’m even more so leery about that with my little ones. I mean, as you know, I’m very open about my family life and stuff. But I I am balancing how much do I want to put my personal life into stories into some something public facing? So what are your thoughts on that with how to balance, personal and business? And how far to go with that?
Yeah, it’s, again, interesting question. And I think it’s so different, again, for a personal brand and a company, you know, the lines blur for a personal brand, because you’re often you know, around things that are part of your personal life to your home office, your children are around, etc. But I do think one needs to, you need to give this careful thought. And you need to have boundaries in place where they are just certain things that you will not share, and you make that decision. It’s what’s important to you as a person, and what’s going to build your brand. You know, a good with all these things, I think often what can happen, we have shiny new object syndrome. So because everybody’s on social, we need to be on social because there’s a new social network, I need to be there.
No, that is not, that is not how it is, there’s a couple of questions you have to ask before you get to choosing the technology or choosing the tools, you have to ask yourself, well, firstly, what are what are my objectives for my brand? And could this technology help me reach those objectives? That’s the first thing. Secondly, the people that I am trying to reach and connect with? Where are they? Yes, well, there’s no point in saying, Let’s rush off to tick tock. My question to you is, are the people that you want to do business with that you want to reach? Are they on tick tock? Because if they’re not, you’re just gonna waste your time and your energy, which doesn’t make any sense?
You know, and then what is the strategy? I mean, you need to know, where are the people? What are your objectives? What’s your strategy? How are you going to use this and the strategy? Meaning, how many times are you going to post? You know, what kind of content are you going to create? You know, how are you going to engage with the community because I so often see brands using social media as a one way communication channel. So let’s blast our message. Because it’s another marketing channel. And the comments, don’t get responses. That is the worst thing that you can do. It’s like a person coming into your shop saying, that’s a great product, and you just stand there Pokerface and you don’t say anything?
Great, great analogy. Yeah,
You have to comment you have to be willing to engage. So that comes in with the strategy part, your question where you said, Well, how much do I share? That’s personal and how much do I share? That’s that’s business? I think it’s going to come back to what is my strategy? How am I where am I connecting with people? What are my objectives? And what am I willing to share here? Because yes, we want to bring our personal brand into it. We want to bring our energy and and our humaneness by showing we have a life, but I do think we also require boundaries, there are certain things I will never share online, and it’s a rule I’m not going to break. So once you’ve done that, and you’ve got that understanding of who you are and and and what you want to represent and what kind of feelings and emotions you want to evoke and who you want to connect with, then I think it’s easier to say Well, should I what I’m about to post on social media. Does it fit in with my brand guidelines that I’ve set for myself? That’s a great question.
It does. It does, I think just the simple idea of knowing the strategy, knowing where your clients are knowing where and how you should get to them, that will help determine those boundaries. Because, for me, looking at my brand right now, the family aspect is a biggie, I’m attracting a lot of folks who are, you know, have young kids and are in a similar path to me now, not everyone, like, I’ve got students, as you know, in all different age groups and life paths and journeys and everything.
But I definitely made it a point to show enough about my family that way people knew I was a family guy. And I, I know what is interesting is I have different boundaries for the club, with you and the other members than I do with Facebook, or Instagram. Because how many times have I brought my girls up on a q&a because they’re outside my door, I’m not going to do that on a podcast or something. Now, I do post pictures of the girls occasionally, like if I ever go to a coffee shop with one of my daughters, and we might be there, maybe I’ll you know, I’ll post something like that. Or if we’re on a walk, I might do that. But it’s a little less frequent.
But that is powerful. And some of the mentors that I have both posts their family, not all the time, but they just kind of sprinkle it in. So that’s kind of my motto, I think it’s a really good path you set out for us, at least with knowing the strategy that’s going to help determine where you’re going to post potential content in user personalization and brand authenticity. And then you can set those boundaries from there because you’ll know okay, the way I post something on Instagram, maybe a little bit different than Twitter or Tik Tok or whatever, like I I’ve tried to kind of be leery about the drawl to those shiny new objects to like, I don’t have Twitter, no tick tock, no clubhouse, not interested in any of that I can barely handle Facebook and Instagram. And with everything else I’m doing.
So that’s kind of my limit. And I think that’s actually potentially another good segue to limiting yourself with the type of content personalization you want to do. It’s probably good to limit yourself with how many places you’re at with your personalization, right? Like, that’s one thing I’ve had to really reel in, like, how many platforms Am I gonna be on? You can’t be on everything, you can’t be everywhere to everybody.
I mean, if you’re not a large agency, and you have several people producing content for all those channels, then you can’t do it physically, you can’t do it, it’s just too much work. So, you know, again, my question to you is, what I want to add to this is, if you are going to be on a social network, then you’re going to have to do a really good job of actually being there. And, and being consistent, because here’s the thing, you’re going to have to be able to show up consistently, day in day out day in the ads, if you can’t maintain that, then you would have wasted the time that you spent in the beginning trying to set it up in any case.
So again, I think part of the strategy should be, you know, where are my people? Who am I trying to connect with? Am I going to get the results that I’m looking for through using these platforms, because if it’s not moving the needle, and I’m not saying, you know, we should do everything to move the needle, but we should, if you know what I mean, we’re not gonna be marketing on social media, because that’s not what it’s about. It’s more like a cocktail party, we’re more connecting, we warming up, we’re showing people who we are we building our brands, it’s awareness for what you do and who you are. And that kind of, you know, naturally evolves into some clients, because people know like, and trust you through those platforms. And then eventually, they go through, you know, maybe your website, and they get you to create something for them, or they enroll in one of your courses, etc.
But one of the other things you mentioned earlier, I think, is critical. And I see a lot of this happen. And that’s where I feel comfortable or closed communities. That’s a perfect place for you to also build your brand. You don’t have to be on networks that face that that that faces the entire world. You don’t have to, again, it depends on what are you trying to achieve. Where are you comfortable? Where are you going to get the best results for your time, you know, the investment of your time, you know, and it’s not only again to create business, but where will you learn the most where will you make the best connections? Where will you and your club is is a perfect example of this it’s a safe place you know, it’s a community of people Yes, we don’t know each other intimately, but we can get to know each other intimately because it’s a safe space and it’s closed. So you can actually be a bit more comfortable in sharing you know, photos off the girls or bringing them onto the video because it’s not gonna come under scrutiny or trolls or you know, whatever else is out there.
Like who is this guy that just Yeah, right like who is this guy like I know like the remember that data is such a good point. It is interesting whether it is someplace like my web design Club, which is a closed community, or whether it is a private Facebook group or a man membership that you’re in or like a meetup network. A lot of times there’s new meetup networks with Divi or WordPress where you get to know people, if you see them regularly that those are great examples, I think often just to, to dip your toe into personalization. Because yeah, it’s very, it’s sometimes tough to do a video or to put yourself out there to the masses.
But going back to what we both talked about earlier, if you do it one step at a time, start small with people you’re already comfortable with what a powerful way to get into personalization. And it really does go a long way. And I was actually thinking, there’s a lot of different ways to personalize that we’ve already covered and I should say, too, I just posted recently, Episode 150, which is 10 tips on how to personalize. So if anyone hasn’t listened to that episode, go back because it’s a little more like a, you know, one, two, there’s a one through 10 ideas that we’ve kind of integrated in here.
But there’s something about just being real nowadays, that I think is more powerful than ever, because one thing that I’ve seen in both personal life and in business life, there’s been a massive shift over the past few years. And I truly believe that people are starving for authenticity. You already said at least it doesn’t have to be super polished, doesn’t have to be you know, like, like it was 50 years ago, I think what’s more important now is you’re just real, and you’re open about what your mission is, who you are who you help, I think that should be really freeing for sales, like, do you feel that the more personalized you get, the easier it is to sell to sell, because that’s definitely how I felt, it takes the stress away from being that sweaty salesman, because you’re just you, this is what it is.
Exactly, it’s gonna be easier for you. And you know, what, you’re not gonna get into clients that you’ve taken on board, because you weren’t real and you weren’t authentic. And then down the line is you oh my gosh, we’re actually not a fit. And now it’s an uncomfortable, you know, not an enjoyable experience for both parties. And actually unfair to the client, if I must be honest, real from the beginning. And, and, you know, maybe you quirky and maybe you’re funny, and maybe you’re a little over the top, as long as you’re a professional, it doesn’t matter what your your your energy is, or, you know, the little quirks you have, there are people out there that will resonate with that they will be you will find each other and you will be happy. You know, it’s like a match made in heaven.
You can’t go from a hands shake to a marriage proposal. – Lisa
It’s almost like, you know, when we finding when we finding a partner these this, and this is the other thing that that maybe we can touch on briefly is, you know, we online, when when you’re when you’re putting yourself out there and your brand, you can’t go from a hands shake to a marriage proposal. And that’s also what a lot of brands are trying to do. It’s like push, push, push, push my message of push what I want to do, I want you to buy my products, etc, etc.
That’s what we want. We want attraction marketing, you want people to come your way not pushing your messages onto them. And the way you do that, is you are you. And like you said, it’s not a lot of work to just be you just be real, you don’t have to freak out oh my gosh, now I have to put up this persona of, of something that I portrayed on my website that I’m actually not. And now it’s hard for me and I’m battling and down the line, I may, I may run out of steam, and I can’t uphold that persona. And then I get found out and then just goes out the window and client is unhappy. And actually the client I attracted is a client that likes the persona I had not who I really am.
Wow, I didn’t even I didn’t even think we were gonna get into relationships and dating here in this conversation. But that is 100% true. How many people have basically just worn a mask just to attract somebody and then you know, you go further in relationship, or God forbid, you get married, and then suddenly that mask comes off. And it’s like, Oh, I’m not who I said I was or this person isn’t who he or she said she was like that is that’s so true in personal life. And in business too. Like that is definitely the case.
I think a lot, a lot of times web designers in particular, will try to put up a front like they’re a big agency, and then they get hired. And then suddenly the client finds out that it’s just one person and maybe they aren’t as well suited for this huge project. And I’m totally fine with solopreneurs I was for a long time, but there’s no there’s no reason you should false. There’s no real reason you should come across false and have a fake version of what you are and the setup of your business. There’s no reason for that nowadays. So what a great point because yeah, if you enter in any sort of relationship, person or business, not being yourself, chances are, I would say 100% Chances are, it ain’t gonna end well.
Exactly. So either parties, so please just be yourself. And like I said, the world is craving that people are are craving just real connections, not polished, not overly produced. not fake, not cold and sterile, just warm human to human. And you know what, here’s the other thing that we need to realize, you do not have to be everything to everyone. You really don’t, you do not need to do business with everybody that reaches out to you. You can be selective. And you should. And sometimes we hide out for clients. And we’ve all made this mistake where we’ve said, Yes, but I’ve got said, this is not the right fit. person does not gel with me. And we said yes, only to regret it for months afterwards, because now they locked into your process, and you have to complete a project. And it’s painful.
So don’t be don’t try and be everything to everybody be a great boy. You know, step into your power as an individual, like I mentioned earlier, your uniqueness, your experience that you’re bringing to the party, your skill set your own unique view of the world, and how you know, you distill it, and how you present it and help others do the same. But that’s not going to be a match to a certain CIG segment of the population, it’s not going to be everybody, and be okay with that, because that’s fine.
You know, I was listening to a podcast the other day. And it’s, this guy was talking about his, he’s a very successful brand strategist. And he was talking about, he’s built like a extremely successful career over 25 years. And he made the comment that his entire career was built on four people, four people that he initially did projects with, but by staying real staying, you know, throughout this process, being himself, obviously, you’ve got to do good work, obviously, that is a part of the equation. And if you’re not as good as you would like to be, then take Josh’s course, and become better. And you know, just get, enroll in courses and improve your skill set practice. But if you do that, and you offer a really great personalized service to a handful of people, you can be busy for 25 years on referrals.
Yeah. It’s so true. And especially for web designers. That’s, that’s one reason I love web design, you don’t need to get a new client every week, you can do a really damn good job for a dozen clients, and then eventually a couple dozen clients. And you can get to a healthy income for your for whatever you want to do in your life. And you could scale it, or you could keep it right where you like it. You could minify things you could scale, you know, you could go larger, you could do whatever you want, which is super freeing, and so awesome. That’s such a great point.
I really, and I think that’s where if the more real you are, the more authentic you are, Your vibe attracts your tribe and the better relationships you have with your good clients that you actually want to work with. If you pursue them and add more value to them, that will help grow your business. And you don’t need to be that sleazy salesman. And you don’t need to worry about that whole side of the business as much like, I look at my journey, as a web designer for over a decade. And there were times where I was very, I was too focused on getting new clients. And I had a handful of amazing clients that I kind of wish I would have just sunk more and invested more into.
I know, they would have bought more services from me, I know they would have paid more. I know they would have been open to a lot more things that I would have offered them. But I just didn’t. And it took me unfortunately, oh, later in my career, when I look back and realize like, wow, I kind of you know, there were still clients in mind. But and I hate to say like, I didn’t milk them enough. That’s that’s not what I’m talking about. But you just want to add more value. And I think the more real going back to this this conversation of branding and authenticity, the more real you are, the better connections and deeper connections you’ll make with your real clients. Which which is key. I actually wanted to ask you these six, I’m curious. You said that a lot of your clients, actually all of them are abroad. I’m guessing you had to be authentic in personalizing your branding to attract them if they never met you in person, right? Like, how did some of these relations relationships come about? And how did you use this idea of authentic branding, to help land clients that are abroad that never met you in person?
Okay, so so they’re not all abroad. But what I mean, they’re not in my physical location. So obviously,
South Africa, you know, a lot of a lot of clients in South Africa. And then I’ve got a couple now in in the UK. But I think, you know, for me, it started out with with a friend, build the website for a friend, you know, often we start there many, many a web designers story starts like that. And, you know, again, just made sure that I over delivered, and I really, I really, you know, brought my experience of my life and kind of where I was at with I wanted to help other women to step into their power and tell their stories in an authentic way. Everything we spoke about today, basically, I did, you know, to help her build this online presence in terms of her website, and that just spun off to, you know, to to other clients, which were referrals from her.
But then I would connect with them very soon on a zoom call, that’s how I would do I would not handle that on email. Because to me, that’s a warm lead, I need to get to see them, and they need to get to see me so that I can immediately you know, exchange like kind of energy blueprints with each other and see for effects. And that just resulted in more business more websites that I built, and kind of every single site I’ve build have had at least one other woman that have come through a site I’ve bought, sometimes two, three.
So that’s what I’ve done, you know, I’ve just tried to connect with, with these women very soon in the process, always on a zoom call. And yes, I can’t jump in a car and go visit them or, you know, go see them for a quick meeting, I know a lot of a lot of people work in their physical location, still, I know COVID change that a lot. Because it is actually a good thing, in a sense, because it showed people that you don’t need to get in a car, yeah, and achieve the same, if not more and be more productive. And if you use technology, because you don’t have to commute. And I mean, you’re really not with a meeting, there’s no chit chatting in the front and touching it at the end, and there’s no community.
So you can achieve a lot more. And if someone needs to cancel a meeting, you haven’t blocked out three hours for the commute and the meeting and going back, you’ve actually you can actually just carry on because you’re already at your laptop, and you’re more productive and more effective. So yes, it was just putting myself out there in terms of, I think getting back to the impact I want to make and getting into my, my essence and my goals of what I want to achieve. And, and one of that is to really help women to tell their stories in an authentic way and to, you know, help them use digital tools and, and a visually esthetic brand that’s beautiful and feminine and infused with their energy and translating that into a website eventually, that to me was very important in imparting that knowledge. And that kind of almost a picture a promise of, of how this could be for them on a zoom. So that to me was
That’s, that’s what’s so interesting. Like, there was a really simple strategy you had, which was you started with a friend, you were, I’m sure very real and personal and authentic with her, which gave, which helped her attract the right people to bring to you. And you differ from a lot of web designers in the fact that you wanted to get on a zoom, you wanted to get on a call. I know a lot of web designers are leery about that.
I would encourage everyone to do that more in the early days, like sure you can scale your processes. And as you get more comfortable on camera and stuff, you can bypass potential discovery calls by having videos and stuff. But what you did, since you’re not you are a quality over quantity, type of setup and person, which is awesome, I’d feel you there. So what was really cool is that by just going the Zoom route early on, you were able to build those relationships by being real sharing your passion and your vision, like you just said, and I think a lot of web designers tend to want to be the the low touch, like I don’t even want to take a call from a web designer, I just want the or from a client, I just want them to find me go through my form, and then pick a template and then we’ll do the content. I don’t even want to talk to them ever and web designers are doing that you can do that.
However, if you do, it’s going to take a completely different sales strategy, it’s going to be much harder to build trust and likability and authority because there’s not too many clients nowadays that want that type of service. Most clients want to have somebody they know like and trust. And I’d venture to say a very high percentage of a typical business owner, no matter where they are in the world, want to be able to talk to their web designer. Now we just recently had Emma Kate on who was one of our colleagues who I love Emma and what she’s up to, and we talked about boundaries with clients because that does come into play you you definitely kind of like what we talked about with setting boundaries with how much you’re gonna personalize yourself. You do need to set boundaries with how personal you’re going to get with clients.
But the more you do that the deeper relationships you’ll make and the the suddenly again going back to the the less you have to sell because you’ve got really good clients who are very rarely going to leave you. If you keep doing what you say you’re going to do and you’re going to add good value. So I just wanted to make that point because some people again want to go the opposite route from you Lisa, And you can but just know, it’s probably gonna be a lot more work, it’s honestly a lot easier just to be you just to be real, get on a zoom call, and you will build so much trust in that little window. And you are a shining example of that. I love that. I know, you look kind of like that’s kind of a simple answer. But it was a simple way to get your business started. And that’s often the best. So like, what a great, what a great little case study and look into the the window of what you did, which was just get that personal high touch pretty quick.
Yeah, yeah, I do I do understand, you know, can become an issue where you’re saying, okay, so it’s an hour, because normally they’re an hour. Call that, you know, how many hours can I fit in? And what if they don’t become a client, then I’ve spent or wasted an hour, you know, on Zoom. But again, it depends on who you’re dealing with. It depends on the target market, you know, I am looking for, you know, high end woman that’s quite established in her business already, or, you know, she’s wanting to transition into something, it’s not typically a startup or smaller, to understand, but just wanted, it’s a woman that wants the high touch.
And because, you know, I don’t only do website, I actually do a whole brand discovery process with my clients where we go into mission and visions, we, you know, mission and vision week, we go into, you know, the essence of who she is we look at, you know, what is her brand going to represent? What are her superpowers that discovery work? It’s quite intimate work. So therefore, it’s a match for me to set the tone when I’m working with a woman, I cannot do that via text. So simply do as a video, you know, that someone can work through without me doing it live? Absolutely. And maybe I’ll get to that. But for now, it’s working, you know, messing with that recipe at the moment. Yes,
Yes. And you’ve been through my business course, you know, what I teach on how to funnel you want to follow you essentially, just for everyone’s, you know, give it give you my insight on funneling potential clients, you want to separate qualified leads from questionable leads, the questionable people that come through, they go through more of an automated process, but a qualified person, like in your case, Lisa, again, your quality over quantity. So yeah, you can absolutely take as an hour zoom call, if you’re only doing one a week or one every couple of weeks, I’m sure that’s very manageable.
Now, if you are getting 10 inquiries a day, of course, you can’t, you can’t take 10 calls a day, but with where the way your business is set up. That’s the beauty about that. And what I would say is, I would just do that separate the questionable leads from the qualified leads. And just everyone, anyone who hasn’t been to my business course, you can set up a potential client page or a weed out type of page, just sharing a little bit about you being personal, a personal video or just about your business and your packages or whatever. And then if they get through that, then suddenly they’re a qualified lead, then you could set up a call to really take to the next level.
So there’s a lot of ways to go about that from a service perspective. And I know one thing that I implemented last year, actually, maybe in the year before, and I think you’ve been on the receiving end of this is a personal video, when a new student signs up for a course. I forget where this idea originated from. But I think I had just heard some podcast about the power of just short videos. And I thought, man, if like, if I sign up for a course, if the creator sent me a quick video and just welcomed me in, like, How amazing would that feel to me. So that’s what I started doing. And it is time consuming. Sometimes what I tend to do is just do it once or twice a week, I’ll let them you know, kind of and then I’ll just cook through like 20 or 30 videos. And that little personalization technique has been a game changer for my business because i i sit did I send you one when you joined a course or did I start?
Okay, yeah. So this is a first, this is absolutely a first. It’s brilliant. And I have to commend you on that. And that’s one tip that I got from you in your business course about sending personalized videos was proposals, game changer for me, because so many of the Woman Yes, I do a zoom with them upfront before the proposal, so they already get my energy but even doing the video with the walkthrough of the proposal. So many of them have said to me how novel I’ve never I’ve never received a proposal in this way. So it is really impressive because firstly, it shows again, your personality, it shows you but it shows you care, because you’re going to be genuine when you do it because again people smell a rat, just be genuine are doing it. But I mean it is really a high touch technique that will separate you from the rest.
And that’s the big I was just gonna ask you how this helps us. separate ourselves from the competition, that little trick in particular, those little videos that you include alongside a proposal or an onboarding sequence, those are the biggies. Those are the things that people really remember, because a lot of people do discovery calls, in zoom calls. That’s not technically super novel. But not too many people, like he said, are doing a video with a proposal. And just like adding that extra little bit of personal touch, like, Hey, I’m really looking forward with the opportunity to work with you, here’s a quick overview of the proposal just to fill you in on just kind of give you an understanding of what this is. It’s not like, here’s everything you’re going to get with this project. And it’s only 1999. You know, it’s not talking about No, it’s not.
It’s it would be like in because I know, a lot of people listening might still be like, Well, I’m still, even if I’m not comfortable on even just sending a voiceover or any sort of like screen-share, what I would say is imagine yourself, and I’d be curious to get your thoughts about this with how to personalize this little communications. My thought is, if you were to sit down with your potential client, and you just had about a minute or two to just show them, you know, the proposal, and you said, so here’s the main goals, this is what the objective is. And then here’s this, you know, the, the list of deliverables that are going to be included. And then, you know, here’s some final information. And this is what you know, this is, this is what the total is going to be and, and then it’s like, here’s, you know, I’m really, really excited about the opportunity to work with you guys. And I really can’t wait for the chance to tell bring your brand to life, in your case, Lisa, to get your vision and mission across and to help you come across online and then eventually, you’ll be your partner in crime to help you build your business moving forward.
That’s what I would say something like that, if I were sitting with somebody, you know, in person. Have you ever thought about that? Do you have any tips for people who are wondering like, what should I be like when I send those small little videos, whether it’s a thank you video or proposal video or any of those little little touch points?
Well, if you’ve been listening, you should be you. Just be here.
Don’t try be salesy. You know, don’t try and clinch the deal. Just be you like, how would you? You know, explain to the person I mean, I don’t go through everything word for word, because that’s boring. They can read it. I give them just a high level overview of what are we going to be doing? What, what will we be achieving for your brand, but then I do something that I think is a little different. Because remember, I do the branding plot too, I show what a mood board looks like I show how that translates into a logo, I show how that translates eventually into a brand style guide, and then and then a website.
So it’s kind of a small little visual thing I add while I talk about the proposal, just because I have my brand discovery package plus website is normally what my proposal includes. That helps to take the focus of the proposal, and more on the deliverables of this is what your brand could look like, we do this process with you. So maybe there’s another way of you know, doing that with websites to just showing something visual. But I must also say to you, you know, my videos can sometimes be a little long, and I want to work on making them shorter, because I feel shorter is better. But because I’m showing a little bit of the brand discovery process and some visuals, it takes a bit longer.
Also, it’s a little different with your service, Lisa, because you are that you are in intensive type of service, you are working with somebody who you’re going to make a big impact on their life and business and they’re likely going to be with you for a very long time. So if they can’t sit through a five to 10 minute video, that’s just about to pull the trigger that I don’t know if they would necessarily be the best fit because that’s a huge deal. I like if I’m going to trust somebody to design my logo, do my branding, do my colors, help me with vision and mission and content and copy and then also do the website? That’s a lot. So I Yes, of course I want to have a more intentional onboarding and, you know, funneling kind of kind of period. So that makes total sense.
But I think even for web designers, that same idea, yeah, we are service business, we’re a lot different than an auto mechanic who’s gonna change your brakes, or change your oil. Like they don’t need to be like, Okay, I’m gonna walk you through how we’re going to do the oil change. And then here now that I’m showing up, change oil, I don’t care I’m getting ready to get out of here. That’s a complete you know, like there’s a completely different business. The businesses like that compared to services like a creative service. So this is where I, I almost said, I dare say, this is like, this is one of one this is necessary to get ahead nowadays is to personalize as much as you can in your business with all the tips that we’ve we’ve talked about so far. I am curious, how are you on time, by the way, at least I meant to ask Are you are you tight on time or anything?
No, I’m good. I have a few more minutes.
Okay, I just because I wanted to ask you about this, it just came up. I thought about it earlier, I wanted to bring this up, when you are going to personalize your business when you have subcontractors or a team, this is what’s kind of tricky. And this is why I think as a business, if you have your mission and your values and stuff in place, it’s really good. But I know a lot of people are, are somewhat leery about like, well, if I have my subcontractor, you know, talking to clients, how how I want to make sure they represent me and my brand. And I want to publicly thank you for something you said, for the web design club when we started doing member calls, because I had a lot of people who weren’t able to make the weekly q&a. And there is a much there was a bigger need for for people who wanted to connect weekly or every other week or once a month with other members. And so what we did is we initiated these member calls for as of right now there’s three calls a week in my club where all members can join.
You said something that was really interesting and profound to me, which was you said, Josh, are you because I did like a just for everyone’s reference. I did a call with my closest colleagues in the club, which is you were one of them, Lisa? And you asked me, Are you a little worried about people? You know, leading a call and this representing your brand? And of course, the Brandon gal? You are? I love that question, because I thought it was so respectful of me and what I’ve what I’ve you know, built here. But it was a good point. I didn’t really think about that until you mentioned that same thing can apply to businesses who grow it’s like if they’re going to grow a team, are they leery about these even one subcontractor not representing their brand? I guess the question would be well, so first of all, I just want to say thank you for that. I thought that was super thoughtful. Secondly, how do we combat that? Like, how do we is it just a matter of almost being more real authentic with our team? And people who work with us? Is that maybe a way to, to help that? Because I think it’s an interesting problem. A lot of people face if they scale at any level.
Yeah, it’s your choosing spring to mind. I think one, like you said, it’s about culture, I suppose at the end of the day, I mean, what’s the culture of your team? How are you? It’s a difficult question to answer, because I don’t really work with, you know, very large companies, per se. So I don’t know if I will be able to give you the correct answer. But let’s try this. I mean, I think your culture of who you are, you’re going to have to find some way of imparting that was your contractors, or your employees so that they don’t misrepresent you, when they are on a call, I mean, that’s going to be critical, or dilute your brand.
I think that’s the word I used when, when when the member member calls came up, it’s will this not dilute your brand you and you have to be protective of your brand, you have to be almost like a mama bear over her cubs, because you have worked so hard at building this, it takes a lot of energy, it takes a lot of investment to build a brand, but it takes just in the blink of an eye, you can destroy it, or you can you know, break it down. So though, that’s a very important question, I think to ask. For me, I’m quite protective. I, you know, I also have a contractor that I work with now. And at the moment I’ve structured it, I’m still working with the client. So you know, it’s a white labeling arrangement. And I don’t see that changing right now. I mean, it may change in future. But at the moment, I don’t I think you’re in a better position to answer the question you’ve asked me.
Well, no, that’s great. That’s great feedback, right? They’re just protecting, I think just the idea of protecting your brand is something a lot of people neglect, or overthink. A lot of people are sometimes are so busy, they’re just quick to scale. And they forget about what they built. So I think what you said is perfect. I think that’s a great answer. There’s a lot of good, really foundational points that we can often overlook if we’re busy, or if we’re scattered or if we haven’t maybe respected our own brand enough. I forget a viewer if you watch the recent q&a we did in the club, but one of our members, Sandy is starting to scale and she had asked me and she said I’ve it’s always been me so I’m a little leery about scaling. I don’t want someone to basically misrepresent my brand. And I told her the same thing. They don’t need to be client facing yet they can report to you. So you can still you can be the one that have control if you start to scale. And then once you feel like they do reflect to you, then you can bring them client facing.
For sure. And I think you know this should be with all brands but I mean especially with my brand because I’m so hands on because it’s such a personal issue. experience because I work so deeply with my clients, I have to protect that with everything because it’s it’s just important. And this goes for any client. I mean, you want to protect that relationship. So yes have subcontractors but you oversee, obviously they work. It’s quality control. It’s your brand at the end of the day. I mean, if the subcontractor does a shoddy job, client doesn’t know about subcontractor, it’s on you.
So go for it remain hands on, in my opinion with the subcontractors. And then next, again, like you mentioned, you handle client queries, initially, I know later, maybe you’ve scaled to such a size where you can’t do that anymore. But then maybe by then you’ve got a couple of people around you that are bought into, you know, your ethos, your your philosophies, and your kind of brand essence, and they can actually represent you in that way. I think your club has become a little bit like that, like, because people in the club have been around you for a while that kind of no justice, justice, energy and and you know, there’s a certain kind of, I suppose, your energy and and what flies and what doesn’t that organically happens?
And people will say, within that kind of sphere, if anybody’s out align, the rest will most probably get that person in line. So, yes, I just think you need to protect, you can scale, no problem, but don’t scale so fast that you’re handing over critical pieces or processes with your client that will just be a complete fail. If you hand it over to someone that doesn’t have you at the core, or your brand. They don’t have that they don’t have a blueprint kind of any body kit.
Yeah, and people you know, when you’re the leader of a business, no matter what size is, even if you just have one subcontractor, they will look at what you’re doing and how you’re communicating. When I hired Jonathan, and he became my lead web designer, he started talking like me in Basecamp. And stuff, which is really cool. Like, he didn’t he wasn’t being fake or anything. But he’s started kind of assuming how I would talk to clients and stuff. And it was really cool. And what I found is that, yeah, you kind of tend to mimic the the people who are in charge, which is really good. But you can not forget the importance of Yeah, like you just said, the business and your value, and and all those things that are often easily overlooked. Because not many people set up a mission statement, or their values.
Most most web designers I didn’t it was years before I did that, because I didn’t really plan on starting a business. So. So that is really important. I know one thing that I did in the case of the member calls it really helped is I just made a little handbook, I forget if you have seen that, Lisa, but it’s just a little three page document that says this is what the calls are about. This is how it should be handled. This is as if you’re going to be if you’re going to host a call this is you know, very simplistically, this is what I expect. And you know, we’re not talking about in depth about what you can and cannot talk about or anything. But these are just the the guidelines to abide by just a little handbook.
And I the the idea for creating that was when I was a blogger for Elegant Themes. That’s what they sent me through. In order to become a blogger, I went through their handbook, which expressed a lot of the similar things. And then I knew exactly what I was going to do and what I was expected to do and how I should come across, and how it was community empowering. And it was all about helping and and that really helped. So it could be as simple as that. It could be a Google Doc that you just put together. It’s just a handbook that people go through, right? Like it doesn’t have to be anything wild or complex. It could be as simple as you know, here’s a little here’s a little one pager on a on a document in a Google Doc.
I’m actually glad you raised that because you know, I put together a brand style board or a brand style guide that shows my client once the brand has been developed. This is your logo, this is your color palette. These are the brand new typography, brand fonts, these are patterns. You know, this is how you use those the different variations of your logo, the different colors. This is how you would use it all together so that they can be consistency when they take over or if they get another designer on board to design something for them down the line is this guide book guidelines so that it stays consistent and congruent and doesn’t get broken down.
Same here have a small guidebook like you’ve just said, give some guidance doesn’t have to be a rigid like 5000 page just a little bit distilling your essence. What’s your brand voice? What are your values? What are you trying to achieve and how they can embody that when you’re there with clients, but I think what you touched on is key. We have to remember, I think this is really critical that people come to us for business. So if you’re especially if you’re a personal brand, they come to you. So be careful when you scale to not lose you in the process with the client relationship. Because then you might you, yeah, you might lose some of your, I don’t know, some of your success or some of your essence or some of your personalization may may be gone, if you remove yourself completely become business manager, if you understand what I’m saying,
I totally do, I definitely I had to balance that when I did grow a smaller team, I was never a massive agency. But I did have a team. And at one point, I had three or four people talking with clients. So I needed to make sure to reel it in and make sure to keep the in your terms the essence of the business and what we stand for and over communication and a really good service and care and attention to detail. Yeah, those are great things.
Gosh, Lisa, this, this, this has been a really, this has been a blast of a chat. I really, really enjoyed talking with you about this, we did a member call that I was on months ago. And I mean, we you and I have chatted before one on one. And you’ve been you’ve been on the Q and A’s a couple times. But I was just one of these member calls, I occasionally hop on and you I think I had hopped on and you were talking and I was You were you were so eloquent and passionate about I think the idea of not be on every social media channel. And I just love what you were saying. So I was like, I gotta get you on the podcast. I’m so glad you agreed to come on, I really I think this, I think this chat is gonna benefit so many people and help personalize their business and, and help with branding and authenticity, I feel really empowered and more confident than ever to be myself. So this was really helpful for me, I hope it was for you too. I mean, I really, I really value your insight in this. So thank you,
Thanks so much. Thanks for having me, it was it was amazing to have this chat. And I’m really glad that we could unpack it. You know, it wasn’t as structured, as structured as I thought it would be. It was actually really organic and, and lovely. Just to dive into these topics, which I think is so important in the day in this in this period of life that we find ourselves in, it’s just to be yourself, be authentic, find your tribe. You know, we don’t have to do things that we don’t like to do anymore. We don’t have to, we don’t have to force ourselves to have that in jobs or sit at a place where we hate every second I think life is too precious. Just, you know, find what what really switches you on, find your passion, and then find your tribe there are there, you just have to find them.
Oh, that’s a great final point. That’s a great, great final thought there. I do have one last question for you real quick. But before we get to that, where would you like people to go to find out more about you, Lisa. They’re not going to find you on Tik Tok or anything. But where would you like to go? Somebody’s?
Not at all YouTube. My website would be the best. So it’s live creative.co dot Zayday.
Awesome. And of course, we’ll have that linked in the show notes. I’m just curious. Final question, as we as we in this call. What is your personal favorite personalization technique? Is there one that you just love doing? Is there? Is it? Is it the videos for proposals? Is it? Is it the Zoom calls? What is your favorite, right now that you just you feel like makes a big impact for your business and you just love doing?
I think it must be just that first Zoom call that I have with a you know, potential client, but again, a person that’s been a referral. So it’s, you know, a person that it’s a warm lead? Yeah, I do. I do think that personalization, even though it takes a lot of my energy, you know, to do that. And I get pretty worked out before because it’s just who I am. It’s my personality. So it takes a lot of my energy. But I love painting that picture and just seeing kind of the brain goes click on the other side or just see a sparkle in the eye of Wow, okay, I can use these tools and I can actually put myself out there with art without you know, but having having this person that will help me through that process. So I’m not going to do it on my own. I have someone that can hold my hand. I think that personalization to me is is definitely my favorite. And of course, the proposal videos too.
My favorite is I have to tell you my favorite now I still have like you did when you sent me a video back after my video. That is my favorite because I see names come through in orders all the time and I see names everywhere. But for me, because I don’t have a intensive like one on one type of service. I don’t often get to know my students, although that’s one of the main reasons I started my club was to get to know you and others in it. But when a student sends me a video back, it doesn’t have to be quality or anything. It could just be on their phone while they’re in a car or something. I love that because suddenly when You met when you sent me a video back? I got to know Lisa a little bit. And you said Josh, I even said like, I’m blown away. They sent me a video. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. And it was so cool for me because Yeah, I saw your order come through in the business course Lisa breed from South America or South Africa, excuse me. So it’s like, oh, cool. Yeah. But I didn’t know you at all. And then when you sent me a video back, it was it was so cool. So that’s my favorite thing. So thank you because the personalization, reciprocity, reciprocity, there we go. Something like that. That is awesome. That is awesome to me. So everybody’s send me a video back. I love them. And I watch them all.
Lovely. So we’re gonna bombard you with videos from now. Let’s do it.
Let’s do it. I’ll take it. I love the video. So, Lisa, thank you so much for your time. I know we went. We went quite a little while here. But gosh, I really enjoyed chatting with you. I think everyone’s gonna agree. I love the South African accent. I just love it. I can talk to you all day. I kind of want to have you like read me a book. Maybe if you ever get into audio books, I will take any any books that you read. I just love your accent. So thanks so much for joining and thanks for your thoughts.
Thanks so much, Josh. Really appreciate it.