In this week’s episode, I interview by beautiful friend Amy Selbach about how to clearly communicate your brand.
Amy’s story is fascinating. If you thought marketing your personal brand or the brand of your small business was hard… try marketing a country!
Yep, that’s where Amy developed her expertise in branding and marketing, by working with entire countries to identify and communicate their brand.
She’s then moved on to develop brands and marketing messages in businesses she owns from huge restaurant chains to yoga studios to building her own personal brand online and marketing that.
I know you’ll love Amy’s wisdom and methodical approach to identify your core brand and then how to communicate your brand.
You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below.
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- We talk about the role of education as a marketer
- Amy’s number one rule when you communicate your brand
- Language differences and we’re not just talking about different countries here
- How to easy alienate your customers
- We talk about Brand Strategy and Unpacking Your Business and how you actually do that.
- Website design: What should be on the first fold of your website
- 4 ways to communicate your brand – action steps for you to take this week
- How to name your products
- Your Call To Action: Share your ah-ha’s below.
- Look at your website – can your ideal client see what you do and how you can help them in the first few seconds on your site?
- Collect testimonials, survey responses and any other material that gives you insight into the language your customers use. Does your brand use this language?
- If you haven’t surveyed your potential customers – here’s my survey template I’ve developed for my business – yours to plug and play.
- Follow Amy’s advice about how to word the benefits of your product and services
- Join the Romance Your Tribe Facebook Group – you don’t need to do this alone
- Congratulate yourself on taking action. Dip into the Celebration Box.
- Share below your ah-ha’s from this lesson and also any tips other viewers may find useful.
- If you loved this episode, I’ll be grateful if you can leave a review over on itunes so other people can discover this podcast too
Introducing Amy Selbach
Amy Selbach is a brand and sales strategist, entrepreneur and mother to a toddler (her favorite role of all). She has traveled to over 65 countries for both work and play, usually a combo. She started negotiating at 2 years-old (later bedtimes and more snacks) and ended up selling millions of dollars in sponsorship deals to international governments and CEOs.
She has lived and worked in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe devising marketing and communications brand strategies for both countries and companies from non-profits to Fortune 500s.
She has worked for 15 years helping small business owners take the first steps to launch and market their businesses. She leads brand development workshops, marketing courses, and coaches entrepreneurs 1 on 1. She is also the founder of Taut Body fitness studio in Nairobi, Kenya and has her own teacher certification program.
Her signature 4 week live workshop, “The Spark Incubator” is done quarterly in 2018. Email [email protected] to learn more. She helps ACTIVE + EXPLORER brands to get clear, connected and committed to their own unique path at www.amyselbach.com.
Read The Transcript Here
Janet Beckers: Hello and welcome everybody. Janet Beckers here from Romance Your Tribe Radio. And I'm so happy to be able to introduce you to my gorgeous gorgeous friend Amy Selbach. Good day, Amy!
Amy Selbach: Hi, Janet! How are you?
Janet Beckers: I'm really really good. Now the reason why I invited Amy apart from she is just such a delightful person to spend any time with so we've actually before we can even record today, we've been yapping for an hour. She has just got such an amazing wealth of experience when it comes to building your business. So what you know the reason I invited Amy is this is a woman who has used her marketing prowess to market countries. Yes we will talk about that. How to market a country. And to marketing huge restaurant chains to marketing yoga studios to building up a brand online and marketing that. So when it comes to talking about marketing who better than somebody that has been able to apply and to see results across such what would seem to be totally unrelated circumstances. So as always we're going to attempt to give you best value with actionable content in about 20 minutes which means that we're gonna cut through the kind of things that a lot of times people may spend time over podcast which is going to be that sort of lovely, you know, lovely get to know you all those sorts so you know I used to live in a rolled up newspaper in the middle of a road type thing we're gonna go straight to actually give you actionable content but so you can get to know a little bit of Amy, the way that I'm gonna get feel to get the most insights into Amy is to ask you Amy, who is it that you help and how do you do that?
Amy Selbach: Well I am a brand strategist and life stylist and I help entrepreneurs get clear connected and committed to their brand vision and move forward with a plan and direction and the way that I do it is by combining kind of life strategies with brand strategies to make sure that you're building the right path for you.
Janet Beckers: Yeah well and that's. And it's interesting isn't it because that's exactly how you help people. But the thing that makes you so unique in my eyes is that's incredible wealth of experience that you have that you have brought into what you do now with people. So let's spend just a couple of minutes talking about what makes Amy so uniquely positioned to be talking about branding. So if you wouldn't mind sharing in a nutshell you know how those things were introduced beginning about how you'd gone from those huge huge you know big picture marketing down to the more very specific personal branding.
Amy Selbach: Yeah well I mean it's interesting. I started out, like you said, at this very kind of global level zoom zoomed out where we would kind of do market research on a whole entire country from top to bottom and we would interview and profile all of the country's kind of you know CEOs and ministers and top business leaders in a country to see how we can position that country for, you know, To promote that country for foreign investment. What is unique about this country? So it was really the question you just asked me is what I was doing or countries and governments. And then you know my career has bounced around a little bit but at the root of it all I have always been in marketing and communications strategy and brand strategy. And so I think that whether you're doing it for countries or whether you're doing it for personal brands there are so many similarities overlap. The methodology might be it a little bit different. You know like I'm not talking with countries about you know how to style them for photo shoots and things like that. But we're talking about the same images in which images to use to present the country and you know which which kind of projects within the country to highlight and put forward as, you know, how could it really how could that country really be positioned. Do you want to be positioned as a service or a financial services place like Singapore with a great English language skills and great education or do you want to be positioned as more of an industrial place like, you know, South China for example. So all those things are the same kinds of things you talk about whether you're, you know, you're doing a yoga studio or a restaurant group or a personal brand.
Janet Beckers: And the interesting thing though from I love you just, so quickly then, were able to relate that to personal branding. I could really relate to those examples. Those two examples that you gave about you service-based, industrial-based. Now the thing that's really when you talk when we talk about you know Amy's then gone to build a yoga studio and gone to be doing that the director of the marketing for a restaurant chain at your corner. Now you've obviously you've got an American accent so people are going to assume that these businesses are going to be in America but they're not, are they?
Amy Selbach: No they're not. I just wanted to complicate my life as much as possible so I decided to do this in Kenya, actually. And what actually ended up happening was I was working for. You know I was working on a project called the Kenyan government and landed there and fell in love of course and had to pivot pretty quickly. So you see these businesses are actually in Africa which adds, you know, a lot of cultural nuances to marketing as well. And I think that's very relevant if you're doing an online business and there's so many great P.R. gaffes and PR moments where people have not considered that we now live in a very global world and we cater to a lot of different kinds of nationalities who do not necessarily share our religious beliefs and or shared the holidays or shared seasons, even. You know we're posting stuff about winter when it's summer in, you know, Australia. And so how do we deal with with things like that becomes you know an interesting question in my opinion as well. And I've seen people do it extremely well and I've seen I've seen people make some pretty interesting mistakes on that front.
Janet Beckers: Yeah. And, you know, I think other times it can also come to educating your market as well because when it comes to for example the restaurants the restaurant brands that you are responsible for with the marketing. We were talking about you know the kind of things that you required to be able to educate people on as well. Do you mind sharing a little bit about that?
Amy Selbach: Yeah! Well when you're in a market like, you know, like Africa and you are and we're in Kenya specifically and you are introducing for example a ceviche/tapas bar is one of our brands and it's called Tapas. I mean first of all just the concept of Latin, right, even in Australia you know California Latin restaurants and Latin concepts are a dime a dozen. But over there you know there's a real education process and the product changes, you know, as well. So how can we make sure that we're still Tapas, we're doing the concept, but we're also taking into consideration people's- people's cultural tastes. Do people even like raw fish? You know, like, and can we have a meat ceviche? Like you know. Kenyans are meat eaters. They have something called Nyama Choma. And so how do we make sure that there's enough on the menu to you know also you know satisfy and cater to you know their likes and their preferences and to make it understandable and clear. And I think that the number one rule of you know building a strong brand is to make sure people know where the heck you are talking about at all times and make it you know simple and easy to digest. And you know very very clear that you're not overly doing a concept because people might not know what Chorizo is. You know, how do you explain that? That Chorizo is a sausage so you know may be on the menu we call it spicy sausage instead of Chorizo. So honoring the concept and what you're trying to do but also watching out for the nuances of, you know, culture and who your audience is and how you can really make it as easy as possible to make a selection for them.
Janet Beckers: Yeah. And you know what that comes really is this is actually some things that I've been really noticing about my own messaging in the last couple of years because at the time I was recording this I'm going through the whole rebrand and about to launch a new brand. So I've been putting all new languaging together on our websites webinars and things are creating and it's made me realize that things that I thought I was really good at keeping the language simple. But then I've used some language like attracts a client. I thought that would have been pretty straightforward but then I had a couple of people 'cause I've been, you know, surveying, running things by people who were at a cross-section they've gone, "What do you mean by 'attract'?"
Amy Selbach: Hmm, that's interesting.
Janet Beckers: Simple things or you know talking about your avatar and then people going, "What is an avatar?" So things even simple tiny nuances when it doesn't have to be that you're in a completely different country with such obvious cultural differences. Those cultural differences can simply be a matter of the language that you get used to using if you're talking about marketing in a specific way. And but you're talking to people who might be marketing in a different way and whatever your particular industry that you, my dear listeners, are be super aware of some of the languaging you might just be using normally because it's what you do when you're helping people who get help. Yeah. there are there other moments of cultural differences they where you know you're totally losing the message and you don't realize it.
Amy Selbach: Well that and you know not only that. Catering to every stage in business so to say that I'm a brand strategist and also I'll tell you what. Even to businesses that are very very far along, there's a lot of successful businesses out there that do not know that. They're doing brand strategy without really know that it's brand strategy and so to say oh I'm a brand strategist. What does brand strategy accomplish? What does that actually do? You know there's a lot that you have to unpack for people in order to tell that. You know. And so for me brand strategy is a matter as this is unpacking your business. It's unpacking your messaging. It's how you copy write. It's the tone you take with your customers. It's the relationship that you have to them. Who are you going to be to that person. Are you a hero figure or are you a mentor figure or are you their best friend or are you a guide. Are you a passionate reporter, is that what you use to position yourself?
Janet Beckers: Yeah.
Amy Selbach: Are you just an oracle or are you an information giver? Are you, you know, that kind of thing is is all brand-y. But to say "oh I'm a brand strategist" is just not enough. What does brand strategy do for me? How can it help me? How can it guide me? How can it make my business more successful? That's what people are interested in know me and that is really what's have strong brands say clearly and concisely. This is what I very obviously do for you and if you have a complicated product you don't need to go into all the features. It's called feature dumping or feature loading. You don't need to go to all the features of your product. You just need to in one succinct sentence say how that can help your customer who is about to buy something from you.
Janet Beckers: Just in that short time there, that’s some really fantastic gold nuggets. So what I'd like to do now is let's have a look for people who are listening. I'm really into action and so I know is Amy in fact you have a beautiful beautiful quote that you were telling me before around action
Amy Selbach: Well around action, I say- I don't know if it's a quote or not I could be one. I say I say that the antidote to anxiety is action. For me, for myself. That's the way it works. And then there's other nuances around, you know, the antidote to anxiety being action because I feel like when you know we're able to play and stop and take action automatically, you know, what does it reduce? It reduces anxiety, it reduces overwhelm, it reduces all those things that drew us on track off track. Mindset wise, right? And then when you commit to a project and I think this is where the quote that I was was talking about before and there's there's two different ones. The first one is "There is so much liberation in commitment". So when you commit yourself to a project or commit yourself to taking action you know it's actually this liberating feeling that happens instead of this umm oppressive feeling. Sometimes we expect commitments to make us feel trapped but usually the opposite happens and we do commit to something.
Janet Beckers: Yeah.
Amy Selbach: But the second one was a quote that I was reminded of recently in someone a friend of mine posted on Facebook which was Jack Canfield quote that said "99 percent is a bitch. A hundred percent is a breeze.
Janet Beckers: That is such a wonderful idea. I just love. I'm going to put these below in the blog post if you're listening to this here on iTunes or wherever you're listening to come over to the website or 'cause I'll put all these points in some good graphics actually so that you can go take and use them. The reason I wanted to bring up about the action is because we have a look past that some of the action to do that branding some of those gold nuggets that you gave me because and actually when you were talking about you know really it's about freeing you up because I have found when it came to making some of these decisions many things that you were just talking about and applying it to your brand and then going "You know what, A hundred percent, I am owning this voice. I am owning- this is how I help people". It just frees you up so much. So let's have a look now at those things that you were talking about you know about what your voice is and how are you actually saying things that people is putting that term so that people can see what does a brand strategist mean to me? So now let's look at some steps that people who are listening to take this week things you could do right now so that you can go, "You know what, I'm clear I'm committed. I am 100 percent going in and this is what I do. This is how I help people." So let's look at what some people can do, action steps to apply what you've been- what you've just shared.
Amy Selbach: Well I think I mean just leading off that first one that we were talking about with the relationship. I would you know I always say "Close your eyes and visualize". Visualize your customer and visualize you the two of you in an interaction together and what does that interaction look like. So you know are you holding this person's hands? Are you sitting across the table from them? Are you you know sitting right next to them? Are your feet up on a couch or a coffee table and you're just having like a BFF style chat with them? And that is a great place to start the visualization because it really like it literally sets up the spatial relationship between the two of you. And that's very telling to how you see yourself in a relationship and then go on to really really deep dive and describe the relationship from there. You know what kind of- how is your customer interacting with you? How are you interacting with your customer? Are you the one giving advice or are you listening to your customer and are you holding a space for them and letting them you know vent their frustrations. And are you saying "I understand I can totally relate" or are you just saying "Hang on a minute. Just hang on and here's what you need to do. Stop whining and just do this". You know. And it's really telling in how you interact with your customers and how you're going to set your tone and your personality. Because those exercises are you know just going layer by layer into that relationship and what it looks like can tell you a lot. It tells you everything about the tone and personality that you're going to have right. It tells you about you know how the interaction is going to go what the tone of voice is going to be basically doing that one little simple exercise where you start with what that looks like and I mean I'm talking about a full page of just the relationship when they have this problem. I'm going to do this. When they have that problem, I'm going to do this. And I'm going to respond in a you know kind but firm way or I'm going to respond in a super sympathetic way or I'm going to respond in a more authoritative way and just say look you know, "Get your shit together and get this done". Or are you going to say like "I totally understand". You know so it's just it's all it's all of that. And I would say start by by really writing down and close your eyes and visualize it and then write it down get it on paper and pretty much you know there are so many exploratory questions. I have a 50 page brand exploration cheat for this. But that is the kernel of it all right there. And then I would go to websites like you know click on your website and look above the fold of the home page of your web site and just read it. And is it once. Is it more than one sentence? Number one with a maybe a you know, an additive sentence underneath. And does it say what you do for your customer above that fold? Can they figure it out in five seconds or less?
Janet Beckers: Excellent.
Amy Selbach: And then I would also I have another exercise where I do functional benefits and emotional benefits which is a common branding exercise but the difference between functional and emotion. Functional benefits are, for example, in a restaurant group you know we feed people. We serve food to people. [24.3]
Janet Beckers: Right.
Amy Selbach: But an emotional benefit would be "we create moments", right? People come to the restaurants with their friends and they have a couple cocktails and they have this nice shared meal and they have a nice shared experience and they listen to good music and they and they have this experience that is very emotional that keeps them coming back. And so whether or not the food is excellent, they might still come to the restaurants just based on the amazing memories that they've created there. An amazing ambience and a shared experience.
Janet Beckers: Yeah.
Amy Selbach: And I would look at what your customers have said about you for this language. I've named products before based on client testimonials. And understanding what my customers have said about, you know, a certain benefit of my service whether it's, you know. Fitness or food or whatever it is and I think that is a super super useful exercise and then you start to communicate using those benefits focusing more on the emotional benefits than the functional benefits.
Janet Beckers: Yeah. And I love that idea of actually naming the product based on the language that was used when people gave a testimonial. I mean that's really really powerful. It's actually a very simple example in this last week is I have one of my products which is a tool that I've always called the Impact Ease Quadrant or Impact Ease Tool but I put it out to my markets and talk to the people who you know have used this particular tool and renamed it From The Chaos to Clarity Tool. Yes that's what they were saying is you know actually just gives me clarity when everything was seems so chaotic before much. You know I've always called it Impact Ease, you know, because they were the variables, they were the two columns that you have. And so that's you know that was a that's a direct challenge to people here is number one. Do those exercise that I love that you've done that you know visualise you know your feet up or how are you talking and the next thing then comes to and this is where I find that you two have really is once people go, Well you know. It's the example that you gave where you're saying to people "you know this is what you gotta to do", you know, "toughen up Princess" or whatever it is I will quite often apologise for this style going "You know I've really got to tone it down" or "I'm really really supportive you know but I've got to stop being so supportive and giving you know I've got to be tougher". It's just... just own it, baby. In fact, do it more. If you are the sort of the whip cracking tough persona, like really ham it up because that's your brand.
Amy Selbach: And it's so funny because I've heard people say and people need different things at different times, right? Like you know I was in a stage last year where I wanted it like a very nurturing, intimate environment but I have been in other stages of my life where I'm just like just crack the whip and tell me what to do and I'll do it, you know. And so you know really you don't have to be afraid of being you know any one of those things. And as long as again going back to the commitment aspect as long as you kind of commit to it when your voice start to sound wishy washy and you don't know who you want to be that is where things get muddy and confusing and you get confused and your audience get confused and they're getting a different version of you every single time and that's when it all starts to fall apart.
Janet Beckers: I love it you know that's that's a really nice circle back, Amy. So that's probably a good place. I mean obviously we keep on talking for hours 'cause we already have for an hour and a half but I think that's a really nice way for us to be able finish today's podcast is that you know totally owning it because you know 99 percent if you're not really committed. It's hard work but if you are really committed this is our voice. This is what we do. This is what it is like to work with us. And this is how it makes you feel when you talk about those emotional benefits as opposed to features. That's where it becomes so much easier for you so to for people to be able to you know get some more of Amy. How do people get into Amy's world?
Amy Selbach: Well I'm on Instagram @AmySelbach at a S E L B as in boy A C H dot com and my website is AmySelbach.com. And then if you'd like a free one hour brand story planner you would just go under the free resources tab there. So it's AmySelbach.com/free-resources.
Janet Beckers: Excellent. That's fantastic. And for everybody that's listening you know we've given you know some really simple very very powerful action steps that you can be doing this week. So my challenge to you is to set aside 60 Minutes this week and I want you to do these exercises that Amy has talked about specifically around getting clear on what is the voice of your brand and going and looking at your website and being super clear on that.
And one of the things that you can do for Amy and also for myself is to give us some feedback so if you do that exercise and take some action go over to Amy's website and let her know. On this podcast if you come up to podcast to the Web site come to the post where you can we get this and you can see the transcript and all things that would make it helpful for you. Leave a comment for Amy and let her know that you took action because you know as Amy said right at the very beginning you know that action is one of the best solutions for anxiety when it comes around building your business. And so it's incredibly rewarding for us to get that feedback that you've taken action as well. So thank you so much for your time, Amy.
Amy Selbach: Thank you.
Janet Beckers: Thank you, everybody for being here. And yeah. Well thank you so much. And we well can't wait to see what kind of feedback people are giving and what kind of results we get just from our 20 minutes today. Bye!
Amy Selbach: Bye bye!