March 22, 2021

Building Your Brand: Engaging With a Specialist

Mar 22, 2021

During this episode of The Confident Advisor Practice Podcast, Bill Bush and Chad Soileau speak with Jaci Russo of brandRUSSO and Brand State U about branding strategies, different ways to engage branding professionals in support of your business, and more.

Episode Highlights:

1:12 - Jaci Russo is a brand strategist with over 25 years of experience and is co-founder of brandRUSSO.

2:15 - The key first step is to define what you mean by brand before you start talking about it.

2:25 - Brand does not mean your logo; that’s the brand identity. The brand is the emotional connection between a person and a company, product, or service.

3:50 - Branding isn’t just demographics, but psychographics including how people feel and behave.

4:48 - brandRUSSO has just released a book called He Said, She Said: Branding, about their trademark strategy called Razor Branding.

5:05 - Razor Branding is made up of 4 core elements, and the first is focus. Who are you talking to?

5:30 - Next is promise: Why should they listen to you? What do you have to offer them that other advisors don’t?

5:50 - Next is connection: What are you going to say, and where are you going to say it?

6:18 - Last is harmony: If you’ve done the first three steps, this should take care of itself because you’ll know who you’re talking to, what you’re going to say to them, and how and where to say it.

7:44 - Jaci will be leading a 5-day challenge starting on March 15 about content creation for social media.

8:10 - Jaci loves creating mind maps as a starting point to create your social media content.

8:20 - Write down everything that is a challenge for your target audience whether or not you have a solution for it, and then you’ll have generated content ideas that are about your audience and not yourself.

9:10 - The new marketing strategy is to make your target audience the hero in the story instead of making yourself the hero in the story who will save your target audience.

9:46 - Jaci recently launched another company called Brand State U to help people who can’t afford an agency to still get low-cost professional branding support.

13:00 - Every few years, Jaci had to change the industry focus of her business, so she’s used to curveballs like COVID has thrown us.

13:26 - Despite being based in Lafayette, LA and not a major city, Jaci and her husband have had clients from all over the country and world from day one; about 80% of their revenue is from outside Louisiana.

16:19 - If someone is hoping to engage a brand strategist, they should first look within at how much they’re willing to change so they know what level of assistance they need.

19:12 - In building a team, for brandRUSSO, it started with the benefits package and extends to Jaci’s firm belief in work-life balance as more than just lip service.

19:54 - They have a robust virtual internship program that they hire at least one full time employee out of each year.

20:25 - Jaci also invests about $5,000 per employee per year in professional development.

22:05 - Brand State U takes everything clients have asked Jaci and turns it into an online course.

23:07 - They have live classrooms twice a month to get your questions answered along the way.

23:19 - Brand State U has a membership for $49/month, which is much less than clients would pay to work with Jaci one on one.

3 Key Points:

Your logo is not your branding; it is only one small part of your branding, which is really about the emotional connection formed between a person and your business.

Today’s winning brand strategy is about letting your audience know that you understand them and the challenges they face.

There are a lot of resources online for you to get better at branding for a low cost, so whether you engage a professional strategist one-on-one has to do with how much time and effort you’re willing to make versus how much you’re willing to spend.

Tweetable Quotes:

“It’s not about how you see yourself, it’s about letting your audience know that you understand them and what they’re going through." –Jaci Russo

"There’s not one way to get 100 clients, but there are probably 100 ways to get at least one client." –Bill Bush

"I think that every entrepreneur has to have a little bit of bravery and a little bit of stupidity, and the ratio balance changes over the years." –Jaci Russo

"If you have the resources, the money, to hire an expert, you do that, because you’re gonna end up getting a better deal in the end. If you have time, not money, then you learn how to do it yourself." –Jaci Russo

Resources Mentioned:

brandRUSSO website

He Said, She Said: Branding book

Jaci Russo: Website, Twitter

Brand State U website

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