On this episode of The Savvy Social Podcast, I’m sharing my interview with Brad Powell on the Thursday Standout Business Show.
We had a great discussion on the evolution of influencer marketing, the power of storytelling in content creation, and the delicate balance between showcasing your personality while avoiding the “bragging” trap.
We also talked about the emotional connection behind successful storytelling and provided practical exercises for developing relatable content.
Join us as we uncover the secrets to building an authentic and engaging brand on social media.
In this episode of the podcast, we talk about:
- Bragging Rights
- Influencers, authenticity, and connecting with your audience
- Leveraging data and trends for impactful content
- Replicating the comfort of in-person interactions on camera
- Using personal stories to connect with clients
- The social media mirror
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Welcome to the Savvy Social Podcast, the show that blends stories and strategies to help businesses create engaged and profitable online communities using the unique power of social media. And now, your host, Andréa Jones.
Andréa Jones (00:29):
We have entered the era of personality driven brands. And this is not new, but in this conversation, I want to talk about the evolution of that personality driven brand. And specifically those of you who are listening who are like Andrea, showing my personality on social media has nothing to do with my business. How do I marry the two? In today's episode, I'm sharing a recent interview I did with Brad Powell on the Thursday Standout Business Show. In this episode, we talk about the emotional connection behind storytelling and how to develop relatable content without crossing some of those personal boundaries. And I shared tons of stories in here about how I do this personally as well, specifically how to create that cozy comfort feeling when you're talking directly to a camera and no one else is in the room. So I'm excited to share this episode with you today. Enjoy.
Brad Powell (01:22):
Alright, Andréa, welcome to the show.
Andréa Jones (01:26):
Thank you so much for having me, Brad. I'm excited to be here.
Brad Powell (01:29):
As we open this conversation, I want to just have a kind of baseline when we're talking about a personality driven brand and this whole idea of bringing ourselves who we are as a person into the kind of messaging that we bring to the world, the kind of ways that we are showing up, how do you define that? And even further and deeper, what do you see happening in the world where people are just not stepping up to the plate on this?
Andréa Jones (02:00):
Yes. So personality driven brands aren't new. When I think back to marketing, the marketing of the olden days, back when it was print marketing, oftentimes brands would use celebrities as the personality. So even in radio commercials, television commercials, celebrities tend to be a spokesperson of sorts for the brand. Well, fast forward to today, we've gone through the era of reality tv. We've gone through eras of influencer marketing. And so what consumers tend to enjoy is connecting with an individual and a person versus an entity. Now, I say tend to because entities can also be very personality driven, but a lot of the people that I work with tend to be consultants, coaches, experts in their own. And so when we think about marketing, specifically social media marketing, the tendency is to go one way or the other. The tendency is to either go all the way towards influencer marketing and we're posting the breakfast we ate this morning, or we go all the way to being completely professional and missing the mark when it comes to connecting with audiences. So the strategies that I apply tend to be focused on that middle ground. How do we create a marketing campaign that tugs at heartstrings that informs, that entertains all while promoting our offers, selling our services, getting more clients to customers in the door? And so it's that middle ground that I like to play with when it comes to personality driven marketing.
Brad Powell (03:39):
Yeah, it's interesting because I was just listening this morning to a podcast interview with an author whose book is called Bragging Writes. I was like, oh, that's so interesting that this is the title of her book. And of course, this I think is one of the pieces that hangs people up when it comes to bringing themselves into their marketing and their messaging, the feeling that, well, I don't want to appear boastful. I don't, in fact, and they leaning away from, well, I don't want to be that influencer who is all about look at me and look at the great things I'm doing and how great I am, and all that kind of stuff. And yet the idea that we can, if bragging isn't the right word, at least showcase our talents and our skills. And not only that, but the actual work, the results that have been happening because of the influence and the work that we've been doing, those kinds of things seem to be something that a lot of people are missing the boat of like, oh, no, I don't want to be that. I don't want to be this super braggy person. As a result, they're missing this other opportunity,
Andréa Jones (04:53):
And it's one of the dangers of social media. We can see what everyone else is doing and we can go, I like that one. I don't like that one very, very easily and clearly. So I think it's a lot easier now to go, there's this atmosphere in certain pockets of the internet where people are bragging, they're being very boisterous. The way that they're presenting themselves is not how we would want to present ourselves, and it's so unaligned with what we want to do. And yes, we can observe that, but then also I challenge the same people who think those things to look at the people you do follow, who are the influencers, the thought leaders, the types of content pieces that you do connect with, that you do resonate with, and how can you replicate that in your marketing? A lot of times when we log into social media, we don't want to be sold to, we don't want to go, I wonder what I'm going to buy today.
That's not really how we start our exploration. And so coming at it from that perspective as a business owner does feel a little bit of a disconnect, which is why the personality driven brand, how can we actually connect with humans on a human level in a way that doesn't feel like we are saying, I'm so awesome by my stuff. And oftentimes this just comes down to conversation the same way I like to use the dating analogy a lot. So it's the same way you wouldn't go up to someone that you're interested in and say, here's all of my perks and qualifications. Here's why you should date me. Usually that's discovered through the relationship. And the same thing happens on social media. We usually don't start off with, here's every reason why I'm awesome and why you should follow me. There's a discovery process that's involved that it does take a little bit of time, but the relationships are so much richer when you go through that process, which is what I love personally about social media.
Brad Powell (06:47):
Yeah, absolutely. Well, there's something I'm really curious about because I know that in the work that you do, particularly with your agency, that a lot of the product that you're putting out there is very data driven. And so to me, this creates this interesting dynamic. It's like, okay, well, I want to be more myself. I want to find out what my authentic voice is. I want to express my personality, and how am I going to do something as nerdy as mind data to do that? I mean, just last week I was talking with my guest who has this AI tool, and our conversation was about how do you use artificial intelligence to find your authentic voice? And I was like, is that even possible? How can artificial intelligence help me find the real me? And this is the same kind of thing that I want to ask you because I know that this is a big part of your work. So how do you help your clients figure out the parts of themselves to be shining when you're looking at the data and the results and the stuff that they've done in the past?
Andréa Jones (08:00):
And that is the hardest part, right? It's basically orchestrating, amplifying parts of your personality that resonate most with people. And we do this naturally as humans. You ever go to a party and maybe it's Thanksgiving, you tell a joke and everyone laughs, and you remember it so that you could tell it again. That's basically what we're doing here, except we're using data from the platforms to do that. So going in, looking at the themes that resonate the most. So an example is one of my clients is an executive coach in corporate America, specifically working with black women. And a topic that we notice works well for her is gaslighting in the workplace. Now, she's been talking about these topics for years, but recently the terms gaslighting in the workplace work really well for her. So we're using that data to create content, but we're not distracting from her story, her message, the way that she delivers it.
We're simply noticing the trends and, oh, that worked really well. Let's do that again and let's try it maybe a different way. Use a different hook, use a different call to action, use it with a different story. So that's how we apply data to the personality piece. Some of it though is X factor. Some people just attract more people to them than others. And so having a third party person or ai, I have not explored that quite yet. I'm very curious, but having a third party person go, oh, here's the angles that work really well for you. Here's what really resonated with you. Here's what works for me, is a great way to have that reflected back to you. And that's basically what we're doing with social media through likes and comments and shares. We get public feedback every time we post something. So the process, while it can be tedious, once you start getting with posting, you definitely can start to see trends and topics, trends in styles of presentation and trends in how people take action on your content.
Brad Powell (10:14):
Yeah, that's so interesting. The trending part, I think is something that, again, a lot of people miss a trick on. When people think about trends, they're thinking about, I don't know the song that's popular on TikTok, and they tend to, rather than doing something that stands out, they'll tend to copy that styling. So they have a song that's the trending song, and then they'll have captions on their reel and they'll be pointing to the thing, which is, okay, those things could work for you. But I don't know that they're necessarily particularly personality driven.
Andréa Jones (10:58):
And this is where I love to draw the line between strategy and tactic. So to me, strategy is kind of the overarching way that you approach your marketing. So for example, for me, I am definitely a video person. I am a talker. I have a podcast, YouTube videos. That's what I do. I've been doing it for over a decade. I'm not really a writer. So if there is a strategy that I'm going to apply, it's probably going to be video, the tactics and how I deploy that strategy. It could be TikTok, it could be Instagram reels, it could be all sorts of things. Those are all tactics that kind of align under the strategy. So where trending content tends to come in, it's a tactic, and some of those tactics do work, some don't, but you want to make sure it's aligned with your overall strategy.
So if dancing and pointing is part of it, then go for it. That aligns with your strategy. Absolutely. Most of my clients, that's not for them. For me, I cannot do a lip sync video to save my life. I mean, I've tried it. My job is to explore all of that, but it's not my ministry. So some of those things, while they do work for people and while they can catch on, for example, one of our clients who's a relationship coach, went viral on TikTok doing a simple lip sync video. It was aligned with her strategy. The message was aligned, fit with her brand, it got over 2 million views, and that worked for her. It's not going to work the same for everyone. So this is where that line between strategy and tactics is super important. And understanding where trends relate to you personally.
Brad Powell (12:38):
Yeah, well, you could challenge that client to a lip sync battle.
Andréa Jones (12:43):
I would lose,
Brad Powell (12:45):
Just see what happens.
Andréa Jones (12:47):
I would definitely lose.
Brad Powell (12:50):
That's too funny. Well, yeah, I mean, right, exactly. I mean, don't lean into the stuff where this is the thing that you are most comfortable doing. If this is the thing, and I often talk with people about, mean, my work is all about helping people get on camera and do video, and most people have at least a healthy level of discomfort when it comes to facing the camera. They're just like, I'm going to know if that's for me or not. And it's just a matter of putting the context of, well, what do you like doing? Do you sitting across the table from at a cafe with someone and talking with just one person? Well, if you like that, if that's for you, there are ways to replicate that in an on-camera experience that will make you feel that same level of comfort when you're speaking, for example.
And so I want to talk about a little bit, we're talking about social medias. If it's this single block, and of course it's not. It's this many armed animal that each arm is quite distinctive and different. And so tell me a little bit about your way of helping guide clients through the social media choices that are myriad in terms of they want to be the face of their brand and they want to be showcasing the things that they believe in and the things that they stand for and all of that kind of stuff. And yet they're wondering, well, where should I be and how do you help them make that kind of choice?
Andréa Jones (14:23):
Yeah, it is complex. As you mentioned, there are so many options when it comes to social media. Most people have a preference already. That's typically where I start. For instance, if you are on Facebook frequently, you enjoy the platform. You love it. I say, oh, you have to be on Instagram, and you go join Instagram and you don't like it. No matter how much I say it's good for you, you're not going to use it because it feels like eating your vegetables. So for a lot of my clients, I start with their preferences. Where do you like to spend time? Already most of the major platforms have so many, such a wide variety of audiences and pockets of audiences we typically can work with in those parameters. So preference is first. The second thing I do like to take into consideration is delivery method. So some of my clients are writers, they like long form content, or maybe they like to think through their written work a lot more, and they kind of tense up when it comes to video content.
So we'll take that into consideration, some other preference. And then lastly, I would look at things like where their audience spends time. So if you are a consultant, for example, working with other business owners and you prefer written content, I'm probably going to recommend LinkedIn to you because there's a wide variety of people that you can connect with on that platform. If on the other hand you prefer video content and maybe you work with photographers and you coach them through starting their business, I may recommend Instagram for you because there's a large segment of that audience there. So there's a lot of factors that play into it. I actually have a free resource on this too. I don't know if I'm supposed to share a link or not. Go for it. Share it. Okay. It's on my website. It's online drea.com/platform. And I walk through all the platforms. I actually just updated in August of this year of 2023. So we walk through all the platforms, the considerations for each platform and help you navigate because it is confusing and I recognize that.
Brad Powell (16:29):
Great. Alright, well I'll make sure that links to that are in the show notes so people can go and grab it. That sounds great. So people showcasing themselves and showcasing their personality on social media. One of the ways that seems to work and be really effective in terms of having your brand be more memorable is in telling stories and sharing anecdotes and story seems to work pretty well in terms of a type of content. And so how do you help and guide your clients in terms of collecting and choosing the kinds of stories that they want to be telling?
Andréa Jones (17:10):
Yes. And this is a skill that needs to be developed. So I like to ask questions about their clients specifically. So this is where there are so many stories as an expert that you have that you don't even realize you have. So for example, I was working with one of my members in the Savvy Social School around this. She helps temporary rental companies think like people who have Airbnbs or Vbrs, things like that. She helps them get booked. And she was stuck on, what do I post on social media? So I said, well, what's the last question your client asked you recently? And she was like, oh, well, they were wondering this, that, and the other thing. And I was like, that's the story. So now we go on social media. She likes video. So in video we're going to say, Hey, are you wondering about this, that, or the other thing?
Or Here's a challenge my client had recently. So kind of reflecting back what's happening in your business. And so I like to think of social media more of a mirror than a megaphone. And this is where sometimes people get stuck with the storytelling because human nature comes into play and we want to be the best. So instead of reflecting what's happening now we think about how can we make this better? How can we make it bolder? How can we make it brighter? And we get stuck in that loop and we end up spending way too much time creating content instead of simply reflecting back what's happening in the business. Now if you don't have clients, this is where third party stories come into play. Or my favorite is analogies specifically from my own personal experience. So an example of that is the challenge of starting to post is very human.
It is a thing we all have that. We all go through this as humans. So I use a story of I in the pandemic decided to learn how to roller skate. And my brain was like, this is going to be easy. Was not. I looked like a baby giraffe out there. My neighbors were probably laughing at me. And that's how sometimes it feels when you post for the first time on social media. So that's a story from my own personal life that I then can reflect and can connect back to my work and the things that I do. So it does take some time and practice to sit down and think through what are the things that I've gone through recently, what are the challenges that my clients have? And kind of brainstorm through those and then connect them to the work that you do.
Brad Powell (19:37):
Yeah, it's so effective. I mean, just that example is great because the image of the baby giraffe, and particularly the baby giraffe on roller skates,
Andréa Jones (19:50):
Brad Powell (19:50):
Sticky. And it's like, well, we all know what that looks like. Or if we've ever been on roller skates ourselves, we know what it feels like. We can actually literally feel it. And that's the part where especially when you're doing anecdotes, I think why it works so well, because it transfers not only the image, but actually the emotional content. Like the feeling of, oh no, I'm on roller blades and I can't stand up. And we get that. We embody that, which makes it, and we can just carry that with us. That's the part you could go through. Here's my list of 10 things to remember, and people will remember, maybe two of them, but they're going to remember the baby giraffe. Yes.
Andréa Jones (20:39):
And that's the thing. It's about being relatable in a way that is connecting. And I will say this, I always get this question too. There are boundaries that you can set for yourself around this. You don't have to reflect everything. I'm a very private person. I don't post my kid on social media, for example. If I'm traveling, y'all will never know. So I'm a very private person and I still can share stories about things like roller skates or how I'm terrified of spiders because those don't feel like I'm oversharing. So some of this too is kind of figuring out your boundaries, and sometimes you got to push the boundaries to figure them out. I come from a YouTube background. I used to share everything my entire life on YouTube, and then I had to figure out where my boundaries were. And so some of these stories that you think about that you come up with, not all of them can turn into social media content. You can figure out what you feel comfortable sharing and what you don't.
Brad Powell (21:41):
Yeah. This is probably a really good note for us to close on. We're just getting towards the end of our time. Look, we just barely scratched the surface on this. If you have some inspiring thing for someone who's thinking, well, yeah, I really want to lean into creating more of a personality driven brand for myself, what would you care to share with that person?
Andréa Jones (22:03):
Yes. So I talked about how it takes time to come up with these stories. And one of my favorite exercises to do with this is all about feelings. And Brad, you mentioned this as well, because as humans, we do connect on a feelings basis first before we start analyzing the facts. So this exercise is very simple on a piece of paper on one side, right before and on the other side, right after, you can fold in half, draw a line and start going through the feelings that your potential clients or current clients and customers are feeling around your products and your offers. So to come up with something like the baby giraffe, I think about the complete discomfort of creating a video for the first time or writing a caption for the first time. And so that's a feeling, a very visceral feeling that people have.
So set a timer, give herself 30 minutes to an hour and go through those feelings first. And that will really help inform the stories that you tell and help you tie them back into your offers. So before and after feelings. I love the after feelings as well, how people feel confident that they can accomplish something or they feel relaxed now that they've taken something off their plate. And so this exercise can be a very powerful tool because also you're writing dozens of words that you could use in your captions, and it becomes a bank of a resource for you that you can go through as you're building your personality driven brand on social media.
Brad Powell (23:32):
Alright, that sounds great. Well, I have to know, how's your roller skating now?
Andréa Jones (23:37):
I gave up very quickly, I will admit. Oh
Brad Powell (23:40):
Andréa Jones (23:42):
To be honest, I got pregnant shortly after that, so I could not continue that exploration as much as I wanted.
Brad Powell (23:48):
We'll take that as a reasonable excuse. Well, that's too funny. Well, Andrea, thanks you so much for coming on today. This is really great conversation.
Andréa Jones (23:58):
Oh, thank you so much for having me.