Welcome To the Join Up Dots Podcast with Shahla Hebets
Introducing Shahla Hebets
Todays guest coming onto the show brings over two decades of branding and digital marketing experience with her everywhere she goes
She is the author of the book What’s Working Now? YOU-centric Marketing, and also the founder of Think Media.
She has been featured in Yahoo Finance, The Ecommerce Times, The New Food Economy, and Brand Experience Magazine, just to name a few, as a branding expert.
She has personally worked with brands such as Kellogg’s, Visa, Marriott, and Apple so she knows what goes into advancing a great brand. She’s overseen multimedia divisions ranging from a few million to over $300 million in revenue.
Now when she isnt spending time in her Denver home, with her husband, two kids and dog, she leads a team of talented digital marketing experts.
From strategy, to creation and production, to execution, they know what it takes to deliver the performance and customer experience outcomes that your brand desires.
As she says “Work doesn’t feel like work when you’re passionate about helping customers grow. We want to help your business succeed. We want your customers to think about your brand first when making purchasing decisions.”
And this focus can help with low brand awareness, a huge problem if you are in a pool of huge competition, or reaching new customers.
To stimulating those comments, re-shares and customer engagement on Social media.
So why do we see time and time again, companies and individuals fall into the trap of being boring with their branding, instead of insightful and uniqiue?
And what are the things that any newbie can pay attention to when trying to get their branding right?
Well lets find out as we start joining up dots with the one and only Shahla Hebets
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Shahla Hebets such as:
We share how every entrepreneur struggles at the beginning and fall into a miserable world of “where did i go wrong?” but this is perfectly ok..
Why great branding is sharing a vision that insights and inspires the customer to see themselves in a different way
Shahla discusses the myth of the overnight success and why the world is more and more looking for the lazy way to success.
We talk openly about the “scare” factor of putting yourself out there, but its the key to getting the success that you want.
How To Connect With Shahla Hebets
Return To The Top Of Shahla Hebets
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Shahla Hebets Interview
David Ralph [0:01]
Once upon a time there was a guy with a dream a dream. He’s Jobs for himself online and have a kick ass life working when he wanted him where he wanted across the world. Little did he know that dream would lead him into a world of struggle, burnout and debt. Until he found the magic ingredient and knows drunk was became a thing of the past, of course, was bad person. And now My dream is to make things happen. BU Welcome to Join Up Dots.
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:56]
Yes, hello there. Good morning, everybody. Good morning. And welcome. Welcome to Join Up Dots. Yes, the podcast that is rolling into its sixth year, rolling out to about 2000 episodes. And still people come along and say I just stumbled across here. So if you have just stumbled across this, thank you so much for being here. And of course, thank you so much to today’s guest who has rolled out of bed at six o’clock in the morning. She’s probably looking out at darkened windows and thinking what the hell am I doing? Well, we’re going to find out what she’s doing because she is a guest coming onto the show with over two decades of branding and digital marketing experience. And she takes that with her everywhere she goes She’s the author of the book what’s working now you centric marketing and also the founder of think media. She’s been featured in Yahoo Finance, e commerce times, but new food economy and brand experience magazine just to name a few as a branding expert, of course. Now, if that’s not good enough, that’s quite sexy on it is she’s personally worked with brands such as Kellogg’s, Visa, Marissa and apple. So she knows what goes into advancing a great brand. So it’s not just creating one is actually pushing one on to bigger and bigger results. She’s overseen multimedia divisions ranging from a few million to over 300 million in revenue. And now when she isn’t spending her time in a Denver home being dragged out of bed by an excitable podcaster from the United Kingdom, that’s me, that’s me. Spending time with her husband, two kids and adults. She leads a team of talented digital marketing experts from strategy to creation and production to execution. They know what it takes to deliver the performance and customer experience outcomes. But a great brand desires as she says, work doesn’t feel like work when you’re passionate about helping customers grow. We want to help your business succeed. We want your customers to think about your brand first when making purchases decisions. And this focus can help with low brand awareness a huge problem if you’re in a pulled up huge competition or reaching new customers. Just stimulating those comments and those we shares and customer engagement on social media. So why do we see time and time again, companies and individuals bought into the trap of being boring with their branding, instead of insightful, unique and helpful? And what are the things that any newbie can pay attention to when trying to get a branding? Right? Well, let’s find out as we start Join Up Dots with the one and only Charlotte habit. Good morning, Shahla, how are you?
Shahla Hebets [3:29]
Good morning. I am wonderful. How are you?
David Ralph [3:32]
I’m always wonderful I am. I reflected on that the other day. And as I talk a lot on Join Up Dots. I know, hey, it’s my show. So I talk about myself a lot. But when you start anything, you go into it with all the enthusiasm in the world, but it’s going to be easy and we’ve been about six weeks, you’re gonna have the dream life. And for more of us, it becomes a bit of a nightmare until it becomes really good. And now I’m in a really good phase where I’m clinging to the miserable Stage, I want to remember that because I don’t want to get so far away from it. But my advice to my listeners becomes inaccurate because I can’t quite remember. Do you remember the dark days? Charlotte? Do you look back on it and think when THiNK Media wasn’t thinking at all, it was just something that was occurring?
Steve Jobs [4:20]
Oh, absolutely right. We’ve all had that pain of growth. And the struggles that come with it.
David Ralph [4:28]
You can give us a bit more than that. Charlotte is a podcast. It’s a podcast. That’s what we do. We I asked a question, and then you answer, and then I asked extra questions because I’m interested about your answer.
Steve Jobs [4:39]
Okay, perfect. Yeah, you know, I mean, to elaborate. I mean, I think it’s exactly what you said, right? You start out with these aspirations, these visions of how you’re going to go out, you’re going to change the world and you’re going to, you know, really connect with companies and they’re going to understand everything that you’re saying and then, you know, you get in there and you’re having a couple And you realise, oh my gosh, you know what I said? Just one, you know, didn’t connect with them at all, and they don’t get it and, and is anybody going to get it? And how will I modify this such that, you know, it makes sense and, and I’ve certainly experienced that, you know, many, many times, not only in the beginning of starting my business, but you know, even today I have those conversations where I get off the phone and I think what just happened? You know, but it’s, it’s more about, you know, I think finding the right audience and realising that your message isn’t necessarily going to connect with everybody. But when it does, that’s when you really can move your business forward and their business
David Ralph [5:43]
is interested enough. Hey, that was a great answer. And I don’t I don’t want that sarcasm afterwards. Show that you see. This relationships going bad already. I don’t know what’s happening here. Now one of the things that I realised early in the day was bad, a lot of my marketing that I was doing and my conversations that I was having with people, even though I knew the stuff inside out, was falling flat, and I couldn’t understand it. And people were like listening. And over again, that’s wonderful. Thank you so much for that information. And then I realised, but actually, I wasn’t painting a vision of where they will be because of what I know in my head and what I can share. I was very much giving them the technical aspects, I was teaching them how to drive a car, but not saying because of this information, you’re going to be whizzing over that mountain, you’re gonna have sexy people all around you, you’re going to have the wind in your hair, is that we’re sort of branding falls down because I look at some people’s websites. And to be honest, it’s just boring. I look at it and I think it’s just about them. And it’s not about the customer and it’s not about the promise of what the customer is going to get by working with you. It doesn’t excite me at all.
Steve Jobs [7:00]
Exactly, I think that’s exactly what it is, you know, it’s so funny, we, I always refer to that as sort of brand speak, you know, a corporate speak, it’s, you know, we have a tendency, and I understand it. But we have a tendency to sort of fall in love with our company, you know, and sort of say, Oh, it’s so obvious, right? so obvious that what we do is going to change your life is going to change your world. So I’m just going to use a lot of, you know, jargon and a lot of, you know, terms that I think, you know, resonate with me my brand and all our benefits and everything that we bring to the table. And the truth is, that’s just noise. And it is boring. And it isn’t something that incites anything outside of let me move on. And I think sometimes we just fall in love with the brand and we we do that with the right intention, right? Of course you fall in love with your brand and your brand. But what we tend to find is that the customers thinking about themselves, know the customer is thinking about why does this matter to me How’s it going to move me forward? What educational value do I have? Does it motivate me? Does it inspire me? And that’s why I think so many brands fall into this trap of, you know, me, me, me, me, me and the customers and I wanted actually to be about, about what’s happening in my life. Yeah, yeah. How I can grow.
David Ralph [8:19]
And is that something that comes across on because I tell you, once again, I’m going to talk about myself, but my business really took off really took off when I had burnout. And when I had corporate burnout, and I really struggled and about giving everything up. It sounds like you’re making a coffee. Are you making this? Is that the first morning coffee? I can hear clinking away?
Unknown Speaker [8:43]
Yeah, it is. I’m sorry. That’s good. That’s good.
David Ralph [8:47]
We like we like to feel like we’re in your life. And I imagine you sitting there in a nightie now I’m not gonna go that far. But anyway, so so you’re drinking your coffee and most people out there when they are looking at bear that sort of branding right at the very start, they failed to actually get that insight into the person’s life. And so when I get that corporate brand brand burnout, I realised but from that point on, I had to share more about that and I had to share but I found a better way of operating because of that. I had to go through that. Now. You sitting there with your cup of coffee and your you know, and your pyjamas, my pyjamas, that’s better. And the fact that you can connect with customers all around the world. Fat is great branding material, isn’t it? But there’s people out there thinking that’s what I want. I want to be drinking coffee. I want to be talking to that sexy guy. And I want to be in my pyjamas at six o’clock. No, maybe not six o’clock in the morning. But everything else sounds great. Why do people not throw that out? Why do we not show behind the curtain?
Steve Jobs [9:53]
You know, I think it’s vulnerability maybe you know, it’s it’s I don’t want to come out and show you sort of the reality of my life. And, you know, the all of the things that I have gone through and, and my storey, right. It’s really my storey when it’s all said and done, it’s also the brand storey and, and I think sometimes people say like, Oh, you know that that part isn’t important. That part isn’t sexy at that part makes me look like I, you know, I didn’t wake up out of bed and become instantly successful. I don’t want to talk about that. And and the truth is, is that what works with branding is the emotional connection. And so if I can connect with somebody over my cup of coffee and my jams, you know, then, and I can tell them really this is, this is the reality of who I am. This is my storey, you’re going to find people who are going to say that’s my storey. That’s my storey, too. And that actually breaks through the noise more than anything is that sort of heart centric, you know, we’ve all been there. Let’s do this. Let’s let me share the growth that I’ve had so that you can have the same experience or at least you can perhaps get a bit of inspiration out of it.
David Ralph [11:00]
is I have had an epiphany recently, but it’s one of those epiphanies that I’d realised all the way through my life, but it suddenly struck home that the world is full of lazy people. And they basically want the maximum results with the minimum effort.
Unknown Speaker [11:19]
David Ralph [11:20]
I’ve been speaking to people time and time again and I’ve been saying to them yeah, I will work with you, they come through to me and we have this discussion and I, you know, we we talk about things and even though that I can show them exactly how to create, you know, in a microsite, a multiple six figure business, its work involved in it now Vax the stumbling block master bit when they go, there’s work involved in it. Oh, I thought I could just click a few buttons and stuff. And so through there, I’ve been delving deeper and deeper and deeper to try to find a business that I can share with people, but they can literally do whatever they want in the world. Whenever they want to do it. I don’t need a lot of investment. And I’ve got one, I’ve got one, but I’m playing around with at the moment, and it is sexy times. It’s sexy time. But I know still that when I promote it and market it to people, people still want easier that they want easier. Now, that’s wrong, isn’t it? I’m I thinking that life is about work and is not about play, or is it more about play and not work? What do you think?
Steve Jobs [12:29]
I mean, everything requires work, you know, everything requires adjustment. I mean, businesses is no different than life. Right? If I find that amazing because I think you’re, you know, you’re spot on in terms of, there’s this notion that and maybe it’s social media, social media, but you know, maybe it’s this notion that oh, you know, you you just arrive and everything just is easy and everybody knows your your storey and everybody knows what you’re trying to do, and then they get it and you just want around this, you know, sort of perpetual bliss. And, and the truth is, is that, you know, there are everything that you do is going to require learning and adjusting and modifying. And that’s work. And you know, if you sit down and you say, Hey, I’m going to build out this business, and then you, you get out into the marketplace and you think you’re rolling out this wonderful idea. It’s sexy, and it’s exciting. And everybody goes, huh. I don’t really get it. You know, then you’re, you’re you’re starting a new you’re figuring out how do you communicate it in a different way? And I think that’s a, that happens a lot. You know, we see that with people who will say, Well, I just want to skip the brand awareness. I just want to get the results.
David Ralph [13:42]
Why Why? Why would they say that? Let’s let’s delve into that. Because Surely, brand awareness is the absolute foundation that everything is built on is that understanding that customers will remember you and even if they don’t buy at that time you stick in their mind, you know, we all remember you know, I’m loving it McDonald’s now I bloody hate McDonald’s. I think it’s disgusting food. But I still remember the little tune in my head. And although that is what brand awareness really is, you shouldn’t skip back should you
Steve Jobs [14:16]
never and you know, and I think the reason is, is that they don’t want to go back in and champion to their box at Hey, you know what it might be a little while before we really see these efforts pay off that it might take a little bit for us to really get exposure in the marketplace, it might be a while where we just sort of pound this, you know, these storeys into the minds of our consumer base or client base. And I think they don’t want to have that discussion. They don’t want to, you know, really paint the picture of what it actually what actually goes into building a strong brand and it absolutely is brand awareness and it is being able to, you know, remember the catchy tune from the channels. And that takes work and that takes time. But you know, I think that we’ve been sold on This notion of well, it’s, you know, just get the lead and get the sale and, and make it happen immediately because we only have a short period of time before we can get this thing rolling. And it’s like, you know, it doesn’t tend to work that way. And if you’re gonna, you know, you’re either going to earn it through brand awareness that you’re going to pay for, or you’re going to earn it through trying to skip the process and paying through the nose. Because you don’t have brand awareness. Well,
David Ralph [15:27]
yeah, let’s just talk about that. Because I’ve got listeners out there won’t grasp what you just said. But effectively, by skipping brand awareness and building stuff, you’re effectively leaving 98% of your money on the table. Customers are going to come across No matter how much marketing you do, they’re going to land on your website and they’re just going to bounce off. Now we can talk about having funnels, we can talk about having retargeting, we can have all the sexy marketing stuff around behind the scenes, but still be memorable and making somebody smile and feel inspired is the key to making a success, isn’t it?
Steve Jobs [16:09]
Exactly. That’s exactly what it is. And you know that the thought behind it in terms of you know, hey, making it memorable making people will connect with you making somebody smile. Of course, that’s going to be the sauce, right, the secret sauce to success, but we have this, I think we tend to fall into this thought process that, you know, I, my product is so great. My service is so amazing. And again, you know, there’s something wrong with that. But the truth is, is if the customer doesn’t get it, then the customer doesn’t get it. And we are in a very crowded space, right? We’re in a very crowded space every every market is crowded, right? And it’s not like there’s just as you know, perhaps every once in a while there’s a really novel idea and a novel product that is so unusual that it Sort of captures your attention. But that is almost never normally it requires that you’re, you’re putting that messaging out there, you’re connecting with the customer, you’re doing it again. And again and again. Because the customers thinking, well, you are just very similar my eyes to everybody else’s out there. And so I always liken it to, you know, in the health and wellness space, you know, a lot of times we work with people in the health and wellness space. And you know, they’ll say, but our product is organic. You know, our product is fair trade. Well, those are wonderful, fair trade and organic is lovely, and important. But there are 50, organic and fair trade products, you know, on the market and the customers looking at us saying I don’t know which one’s different. The brand, the brand awareness is the thing that gets the customer to go, Oh, no, I like this brand. Yes, it’s organic. It’s fair trade, and I’m so happy for those attributes, but what I really have about is how this brand makes me feel how my identity is wrapped into this brand, how this brand is a reflection of me. And that takes time it takes earning it. And it takes repetition. And it takes, you know, some business for you to actually break through the noise so that when somebody is looking at 50 products that seemed awfully similar. They remember you. Yeah. And your brand.
David Ralph [18:24]
Yeah, I also, I’m going to play some words now. And we’re going to delve back into this because it’s key. But here’s Oprah.
Oprah Winfrey [18:30]
The way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this stuff. What is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move and the next right move and not to be overwhelmed by it because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment. You know, you’re not defined by what somebody says is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.
David Ralph [19:02]
Now if we take those words and we we reflect on the fact that she says Just be quiet and think most people will come to me with a snappy Logan logo or a slogan and say that’s my business. And I say to them fats, not chia business bad. It’s just a slogan, that’s a business card. And I say, what is the promise? What is the promise that you are delivering? What is the thing that somebody can’t get anywhere else? And how do you emphasise that through every part of your material? Now if we I’m going to do a quiz? I’m going to do a quiz with you. Okay, so I’m going to give you some slogans. Okay, being being Mrs. Branding expert out there and see how you do with this. Okay, so who said because you’re worth it
Unknown Speaker [19:57]
I don’t know actually.
David Ralph [19:58]
Move. Yeah. Hair hair product. Right? Okay. Okay, and if you could move slightly closer to the microphone you’ve just gone slightly, slightly dipped. Okay. Oh, sorry. What about think different? Apple? Apple? Brilliant. Okay, what about melts in your mouth? Not in your hands.
Unknown Speaker [20:17]
David Ralph [20:19]
Mas OM m&ms. Yeah, somebody? Yeah. Okay, what about finger licking? Good.
Steve Jobs [20:28]
David Ralph [20:29]
KFC. So all of those not only do they have something that’s memorable, but they have something that is right for the customer. It’s it’s finger licking good. You’re going to enjoy it so much but you you’ve got to get every single part of your your fingers you don’t want to just leave it in the box, you know, and L’Oreal because you’re worth it. Yeah, you’re going to use the shampoo and you’re going to feel great. Those words are worth billions aren’t by because it just those four words you translate what the Bible Business is offering what your promises. I sound like I know what I’m talking about, don’t I?
Steve Jobs [21:07]
David Ralph [21:10]
Just for that moment I hold real well there. Okay. So, so when somebody starts, they’re businessmen and they come to you, do you how do you start it? What’s a good way for a newbie? Is it better to grow the business and then start thinking about actually, their, their key proposition that they can develop into? Or is it a case of finding that first and then building the business around it?
Steve Jobs [21:36]
No, I think it’s really it’s exactly what you said it’s finding it first and then building it around it. You know, I think that that that notion of exactly you know, finger looking good, I mean, great example, or Apple, I’m a huge Apple fan. But you know, that notion that, hey, if I if you want to connect with somebody in a way that is actually going to move the needle for your business, then you’ve got a start in the fundamental And you’ve got to figure out what is it from the very beginning stages that are going to make you feel very human in your approach and very connected and relevant. And so you have to really start from the ground up. And you’ve got to really challenge that. And I think, you know, the, the quote that you’ve said from Oprah is exactly it. You’ve got to get still, you’ve got to, you’ve got to think about what am I trying to accomplish here? What am I? What am I? What do I want to be known for? What is going to make me resonate with my audience in a way that feels like I get them? And it’s also, you know, it’s not only that piece, but it’s also really understanding your customer. You know, so often I see brands that maybe they have already a great slogan, maybe they already have a great promise, but it’s more that they they have a miss on the customer. You know, they think, Oh, this is going to resonate with this person. And this person, you know, we worked with a company at one point, that, you know, they were convinced that their product was You know, completely connected to bodybuilders, you know, and male bodybuilders and what they found out through a lot of sort of pain was that actually, it was a female that likes to have a tasty, you know, energy bar when she was going for a hike. Yeah, she was active, but she wasn’t in there, you know, she wasn’t in there just, you know, going crazy in the gym, that wasn’t their target audience. And I think what happens is that we get this notion of, Okay, this is where it is, this is how it’s going to resonate. This is the customer that I’m going to connect with. And what ends up ultimately happening is that your customer can be very, very, very different than you think they are. And that’s the piece that you work at, right. That’s the piece that you’re constantly fine tuning because as you’re doing more with your messaging, as you’re doing more with your branding, you’re learning a lot more about your customer and who that customer truly is and what really moves the needle and what is really going to make your brand storey Now for them
David Ralph [24:01]
is I realised through the process of running my business for the last six years, there was a point when I thought people wanted the money, Show me the money. And they were, they were desperate for that. And through the process, I realised that people actually don’t want the money. They want the freedom, they want the stress free. And now let’s see everyone that I talked to, who actually come through my coaching programmes, but they always say to me, David, if I can just pay my bills, that would be a great way, that would be a great way if I could pay my bills and have four days off each week, even better, and they’re willing to do the work, you know, because they sign up and they start learning the structure, but it’s not the money. And I always thought it was because I thought if you get the money, you know, that’s, that’s happy days. But then I look back at myself and I realised that actually, I used to be into telephone numbers. I used to think Yeah, you know, each month had to be better financially. When the before, but now, I’m just happy to live a happy life. And I think once again, when the words are coming out of your mouth and you’re living those words, your branding just kind of starts to take shape somehow it it becomes congruent with your personal beliefs. And that comes out for your company. Would you agree?
Steve Jobs [25:21]
I absolutely agree. Yeah, you know, this need for just basic, you know, that everybody has this need for an enjoyable life and enjoyment. It’s, it’s, I always think of it in terms of financial freedom isn’t necessarily just, it isn’t how much money you have in the bank. It’s, can you do what you want to do when you want to do it? Yeah. And I think that’s a you know, it’s a huge piece of, you know, sort of the fulfilment and the more that you feel, it’s like anything else, it’s like the energy that you put out, right, but the more that you that you live, and you you Read that reality and you, you come from that place, the more your customers feel it.
David Ralph [26:06]
And, and the amazing thing is to emphasise what you said there is, when you can do what you want to do when you want to do it. More often than not, it’s so cheap, you know, you don’t actually need the money. You know, I’m taking my wife to Venice for four days. And it’s a return flight, which is about $22 or something like that, you know, which is nothing. And because we can do it whenever we want, I just looked at the cheapest day to go out and the chief cheapest day to go return and you know, that’s it. Now, if I was working in the time where I’m restricted by kids holidays, for example, because I don’t know if they’re like that in America, but over here, the company screw you over as soon as you have kids, by you know when the school holidays are and everything becomes three times as pricey after bat because of fat and because of having worked with restrictions literally that would have cost me 250 pounds might be free or hundred dollars you know, having the freedom to choose who tells a cheaper is cheaper everything is cheaper so subsequently you don’t have to earn the millionaire salary to have the millionaires lifestyle
Steve Jobs [27:20]
right absolutely And isn’t it interesting too I mean that financial freedom I’m terms of doing what you want when you want it It also it’s it’s almost like this once you get the pressure off you know once you’re like well I can I can do this whenever I can. I have the freedom to pick the date that I want to everything opens up right then you find the great deal then you’ve got the oh I’ve got the points for the hotel. Yeah, I mean it’s I feel like it’s that it’s once you get yourself in that sort of in that energy of being in flow and and living the purpose and doing the things that you want to do. The fact that you don’t have that pressure anymore. It opens up your world and every other way to,
David Ralph [28:01]
it really does. But to emphasise what we said at the very beginning, you’ve got to put the work in to get to that point, you’ve got to I don’t see anyone sitting there, cross legged, humming and the universe will just deliver it. Now there is that kind of thing that the more three have fought, and the more relaxed you are, the better the results and I can see that now. If you’re if you’re pushing, pushing, pushing and pushing against the wrong thing, you’ve got to sort of find the easy way of doing stuff. I can see that but still, it does take hustle, it takes networking, it takes connections, and it takes desire, doesn’t it?
Steve Jobs [28:39]
It definitely does. It takes action. You know, I think so often we have this notion and, and certainly I found myself you know, earlier in my career getting to this space of, well, I just got to get myself mentally in the right space and everything will start to flow. Yes, that’s number one. But number two is what actions are you taking? What actions are you taking action persistently and every single day and doing again and again and again. Because it’s those little actions, those small steps that ultimately get you exactly where you want to go. But you have to keep you have to keep after it. And you have to keep after even when you don’t want to do it. Because you know that the more that you put in the time and the effort and the energy, the more you’re going to reap the rewards in the future, but there’s no substitute for the action. And I think that’s the other piece that, especially with markers, and it probably goes back to the initial question that we talked about this idea that, you know, well, I can just kind of make it happen because I’ve got all these other, you know, I’ve got this great idea about this great service or about this great product, it was going to work for itself. No, it is still going to require the action, it’s still going to require the communication it’s still going to require on the right creative, know it, you can’t substitute those pieces.
David Ralph [29:52]
Now let’s take us back to your company THiNK Media consult, okay, your founder, okay. And as we look at the moment, we’ve got 369 12 members of staff, it seems to say now, all those 12 members of staff, freelancers that are part of your team, and they work when the work comes in, have a full time employees. Tell me about how you grew your business. Because once again, I know so many listeners being How can I get that first member of staff if I’m not getting enough money in to be appetisers? hire them? How can we think around that problem?
Steve Jobs [30:25]
Yes. Yeah. So we I structured my business a little bit differently. And I did this very intently because, you know, what I didn’t want to have for my firm was what I was seeing out in the marketplace in terms of a lot of firms that I would be, you know, in contact with, whether it was through the past or just in casual conversation. It seemed like they would do this approach where they had a generalist doing everything, you know, they hired the employee, but they hired the employee at, you know, maybe at somewhat modest salary and said, Hey, You’re going to do these six things you’re going to do, you know, you’re going to be responsible for paid search and you’re going to do you know, SEO.
Unknown Speaker [31:09]
I’ve done this in the past, you
Unknown Speaker [31:10]
know, you speaking
David Ralph [31:12]
to me thinking, oh $5 I can Paul on this stuff. And I know an expert on everything. Yeah, I’ve done this.
Steve Jobs [31:19]
Exactly, exactly. And then oh, by the way, do our Facebook, you know, do our organic Facebook while you’re at it. And and so they have these people who are way over work, they’re not specialists in anything, they’re not getting the financial reward for it. And no end result, right is that they’re not doing great work because you don’t do great work when you’re not focused on you know, a specific endeavour when you’re not a specialist when you’re not an expert in your field. And so I really started from the beginning and a different mindset. I said, you know if I can find the best people, and I can set up subcontractor agreements with them to say Listen, I know that you live and breathe search paid search as an example. I want you to work I want to work with you. And but I want to set up a contract agreement so that I continue to work with you. But then you can also do your own thing. If you want to, you know, if you want to take on some additional business and you have your own sort of business on your, you know, on your end, great, because at the end of the day, I don’t care if the person who’s working with me is working at 9pm because that’s when the work gets done as long as the work gets done. And so I structured it differently. And I did that very, you know, was it was very much something that I wanted to be able to afford the best people pay them what they were worth, and give them the life work balance flexibility to know that I was always going to get their best. And so I structured it that way. And the people that are with, you know, that I work with are people that I know and I bet and we talk all the time, but I don’t have to be in a scenario where I’ve got a you know, try to give them 16 different jobs and a low cost, I can say I just want you to be a specialist, you charge me what you need to charge and make sure that it’s exceptional. And we don’t have we can pay you that without having all the additional overhead and all the other things that go into having an employee. And so we did that on purpose. And it’s worked out really, really well because we get experts with the with the lifestyle that they want.
David Ralph [33:26]
Right? So I’m scrolling up and down and you’ve got lovely looking ladies and you’ve got heavy men basically that this is how it is. Yeah, right. And so I’m going to focus on the lovely lady so we’ve got say, Hannah, social media. Okay, so how did you find Hannah from social media did you use all the freelance sites because a lot of them are a bit of a minefield, and I have used them in the past. I’m lucky now but I’ve got one or two guys and ladies, but I use when I need and I just Just connect with him. And we’ve kind of we’ve just built up this relationship. But I went through I went through rubbish at the beginning, and a lot of it was I was trying to get cheap rubbish. I look back on it now. And I think to myself, yeah, I was paying peanuts. So you know what, what do I expect? But how did you find Hannah? And how did you better so that you knew that she was going to be good for your social media?
Steve Jobs [34:21]
Well, I am I always do everybody that I’ve ever worked with. I’ve either worked with personally directly now not Hannah. But I’ve worked with them at some point in some capacity, or I, I tapped into my network and ask them so in the case of Hannah, that’s exactly what I did. I just tapped into my network, I started asking people just you know, not only colleagues that I worked with, but just you know, friends that I would be chatting with a you know, you know, somebody who really understands social media, not just the sort of tactical piece, but the real, you know, the strategic piece, and I found my people that way. And, and I think that the referral piece is a really critical component because As if you’ve already you already have somebody who sort of like, yeah, this, you know, this person knows their stuff for you, I’ve seen their work and they really do great work, then the conversation is really more about, you know, what type of structure do they need to do their best and, but I agree with you, you know, some of these freelance sites or, or, you know, just trying to, you know, go through the sort of, let’s see if this, you know, maybe looking at this person via LinkedIn, you know, I mean, it’s it, you can, you can get some rubbish, you really can and you can spend a lot of time and effort on bringing people in that, you know, ultimately realised don’t really have the skill set. And so I’ve been really fortunate because I have been doing this for such a long time. I have a pretty extensive network of marketers that no other great marketers,
David Ralph [35:47]
so it looks as I’m going up and down this list. You don’t do anything. You’ve got a team, they kind of covered everything here. So um, what do you actually do on a day to day basis of events In your pyjamas having cups of coffee,
Steve Jobs [36:02]
you know, I really I really need the discussions actually and I love I love it. I love that it’s gives the impression that I don’t do anything because that sounds wonderful but no i mean i i really what I try to do is really connect with the the client directly. And so of course we’ve got people that are doing a lot of this sort of upfront work but what I always go in I have the initial conversation, I do the initial all the initial understanding and vetting and I do direct connection with my team on let’s look at their analytics. Let’s look at the competitive space. Let’s look at the keywords let’s so I really think of myself as sort of the the leader that makes sure that everything is coming together and it’s exactly what we said we were going to do. I also think of it as really the buck stops with me, you know, if it’s more you know, more often than not if something’s not going well, they’re not calling somebody else or calling me and I actually Really like that, you know, I there for a long time, I would say I sort of struggled against that a little bit, you know, I, I didn’t, I almost didn’t want to be the person that was in charge in some ways. And I know that sounds sort of probably counterintuitive, but I felt like Well, I’ve got this, you know, this great team and that’s why I brought them in and so that they can be the interface and what I really ultimately understood it probably a little bit, you know, later is they’ve come to work with my company as an as an extension of my brand. And they value me. And if I if I am making if I make myself accessible if they know that ultimately I’m looking at every single thing that we’re doing, and I’m and I’m making sure that it’s exactly what we said, and I’m making sure that it’s quality work and I’m looking at the data and I’m the first person that says hey, you know what, we’re going to tweak this because it’s not performing the way we thought it was going to, then I have a totally different relationship with that customer and the trust is there. And so I’ve actually really been looking at my business even recently to say, How do I do more of that? How am I out front more so with my clients so that they know that I’m here, because ultimately, at the end of the day, I want them to be successful. And I take it personally.
David Ralph [38:24]
Now, I love that answer. I love that answer. Because if we sort of take it back to the hiring of the freelancers, so many people out there hire a social media team or a person. And I say to them, how do you vet the results? You know, are you are you paying based on results? And they say, Oh, no, they just do and I said, Yeah, but how do you know that that’s working? You’re just throwing money away? Oh, no, no, that I have a good they’re they’re putting for posters, pictures up and you know, you are looking at the data. You’re looking at the data and you’re actually saying, No, this isn’t working and yeah, Because all the great leaders, if you look at like Warren Buffett, if you look at Steve Jobs, if you look at all of them, they were very strategic about what they did on a day to day basis. You know, Warren Buffett says, I read, I read for three hours a day. And that’s it. He goes in there and he reads marketing material, whatever. And he makes a decision, he gives himself the space to be the best at what he does. And that seems to me to be your perfect answer. But you are looking at the data, you’re looking at the figures, and you are saying to the customer, I’m your person, you know, if this isn’t working, I will tweak this. And that really builds again, that brand, doesn’t it, that brand and that loyalty and that trust all the way through, which I’m going to throw it on its head with what you said to me now. Why do I have to dig so deep into your website to see you? Why Why are you not the front face of it all? Why is there sort of very generic messaging on your front page and You being the lovely you that you are?
Steve Jobs [40:04]
I love that question, David. You know, honestly, I have I have slowly embraced my personal brand. And I know that sounds absurd. And it is actually. Because I know branding and I know the value and the power of a personal brand. But I’ve always, you know, I don’t know, I don’t know if it’s shyness. I don’t know if it said, You know, I don’t know what it is exactly. But I’ve always felt like that, you know, at least initially when I started my business, and certainly this has been something that I’ve come full circle on. I always felt like well let the you know, let the entity you know, be the face and what I found and certainly what I found through trial and error, right? Is that no actually the faces me. And especially if I run my business the way I run it, which was like hey, the buck stops with me. I’m going to be looking at this. I’m going to be paying attention. I’m looking at the market. I’m seeing what’s happening from personalization, I’m looking at what trends are happening. And so it really, the site is a reflection of me being in a different mindset with, you know, initially thinking, Well, I’m just going to put it really on the expertise of my team. And what I found is that actually, it needs to be a lot more centred on what I bring to the table, because I’m the one that’s ultimately driving everything. And I want my customers to understand that they’re not going to be, you know, passed down the line of various people that doesn’t minimise, you know, the people, but it’s actually quite a nice client opportunity when the client knows that you’re invested in it. And I think that’s very unusual. But I think it’s absolutely critical to the business. You know, I’m saying I’ve come to a late.
David Ralph [41:55]
Well, we all come to it, like when I started, you know, I was the voice I was the voice and I was quite happy with being the voice. And when I had my website redeveloped A few years ago, the web team was saying, you’ve got to get some personal photos done. I don’t want to have to do I have to? I don’t really want that. Yeah, we want you to have them. And I pushed back on it, push back on it. Now actually, when I started having the photos taken, I became a bit of a tar and I quite liked it. And you know, I was flicking my hair back and saying, Let’s do another one. And I’ll do this one, and I’ll be into this position. What comes out with yours, and through this conversation, is you’re in total control. You’re in total control of your life and your business. And so you could quite easily have a branding of you sitting in your office with a cup of coffee, and your pyjamas and say, because we know what we’re doing. We can live this life kind of stuff, you know, once again, it’s the branding. It’s the same you don’t need to stress Put your faith in us. We know what we’re doing. And yes, so looking on your website and seeing some guy looks like he’s growing marijuana or something on the front.
Unknown Speaker [43:10]
And you may be
David Ralph [43:11]
Yeah, I’m not sure what that is. It makes no sense to me. It makes no sense from from this conversation.
Steve Jobs [43:19]
Well, I think I, you know, I’m constantly on the process in the process of learning and evolving, and I will take that feedback and really incorporate it because I think you’re absolutely right. You know, it is something that I could be doing a lot more with my personal brand. And it really did just boil down to, you know, missing the mark, when you when you look at it from a personal standpoint, even though I would do it every single day with the client. And he is scared.
David Ralph [43:47]
I have a lot of people connect with me and I say, David, I want to start my own business. I don’t want my boss to know. And I say to your boss isn’t gonna know. Yeah, but if I have my picture online, Know how big online is, you know? Unless he knows exactly what to look for, he’s not gonna find you, you know, you’re gonna have enough customers trouble getting your customers to see you, let alone your boss seeing you. People are generally very secret squirrel at the beginning and I can understand it. It’s it’s uncomfortable, but you have to do it.
Steve Jobs [44:22]
You know, it’s vulnerability. I mean, it’s back to that piece. Right? You know, and I, after I wrote my book, I remember thinking, Oh my gosh, I don’t want any reviews. And I thought, wow, you know, it was funny, because I thought, I’m putting out this knowledge. I’m excited about it. And then I thought I got this very, you know, sort of weird, you know, programme or, you know, something that was holding me back saying, Well, now I’m worried about what people will think. And I think a lot of people hold themselves back in that regard. And the truth is that everybody has something really unique to offer, and they need to put it out there.
David Ralph [44:59]
I get humbled stuff all the time. And I actually like the horrible stuff that I’m quite thick skinned. With, I barely have sensitivity. Okay, so depending on my mood, it will bounce bounce off me and I don’t care. And then other times I read it and it sort of it gets in somehow, you know, I know that it’s because I’m being noticed. And the bottom line is, whatever you do, people are going to love it, they’re going to hate it. But the majority of people aren’t going to say anything at all. And it’s that middle ground. That’s that middle ground where where the money is. And that is why the branding part is so important, because we’ve got to take that middle ground, the people that have no opinion, and actually remember you and want to have an opinion, how do you take those, those anonymous people to actually hating you or loving you because if they love you, you can convert them to customers quite easily. And if I hate you, they connect with you because I say that I hate you and quite often You can connect, convert them into customers as well, just by speaking to them, but it’s the ones in the middle that just bounce on your website ever look around and they disappear.
Steve Jobs [46:10]
Right? Well, and that’s okay. You know, I mean, I think we always know
David Ralph [46:14]
that it’s not it’s not okay until we say because that’s that’s the bulk of your money. But the middle ground, the invisible people, that’s the that’s the where all your marketing goes, isn’t it?
Steve Jobs [46:24]
No, no, absolutely that’s it’s important in terms of the brand and making sure that you’re getting those middle ground people, but I’m saying if you’ve got a clear message, and you’ve got and you’re going out on them, and you know, you’re resonating with people, right, you’re resonating with them, either, whether it’s they love you or they hate you, but you’re going to win them over because it’s exposure. It’s that same exact exposure that’s ultimately going to move the middle ground to, right it’s the it’s the repeated sort of constant effort that goes into ultimately getting these guys that don’t have anything have an opinion about you to ultimately have an opinion because we get influenced We get influenced by others. And so I don’t think that that necessarily should dissuade people. I think they should feel like hey, exactly what you said. I’m getting noticed. And I think there was that numerous companies,
David Ralph [47:14]
Howard Stern, private parts. You ever seen that film private parts with Howard Stern, the the American radio shock jock. Now I’m a big howard stern fan. And I didn’t know anything about him. When I watched this film, it just come out and I sort of sat there and I thought it was brilliant. And one of the things that I remember distinctly and it stays with me all the time, is that the government we’re trying to close him down for people that don’t know Howard was a sort of shock jock and he, he, his brand was he would say anything. And he was quite sexualized, and now he’s a great interview and he does sort of amazing work. But it was a time that he went out to ruffle feathers and he would rappel every every February could find and he’s boss was standing there with this the scores and I was saying we Gotta get rid of him. We got to get rid of Howard, you know, and the person was saying, but look at these figures. These figures are, you know, people are listening longer and longer, you know, the people that love him and listening for three hours a day. And I went, Okay, what about the people that hate him? They’re listening for four hours a day. Because, you know, they want to find out what he’s saying so that they can criticise and stuff. And I’ve always thought about that. I thought to myself, yeah. How do you polarise your audience? To get such strong reactions? Because that is your business. being unique, being authentic and getting people talking about you? And once they start sharing? You gotta listen to this podcast. He’s dread. Exactly. You know, I hate what he talks about. Really. I’m going to go over and have a listen, you know? I love this podcast. Oh, I might be missing out on something. That is where marketing sort of takes care of itself. It’s the bland painful, but are the the ones that kind of struggle.
Steve Jobs [48:59]
Yes, it’s Ask me, right? I mean, you want to have authentic, you know, you have to be authentic no matter what that is, you know, warts and all right? And, and that’s because word of mouth is powerful. And that’s exactly how you grow your business, you get people talking about you, you get people engaged with you, and then they share it with other people, and suddenly those ones in the middle or in the middle anymore. And that, you know, I think that’s the piece back to the notion of, you know, getting out there and making sure that you’re resonating and a half of that is about how to you now connect it back to the customer because that’s ultimately, how you break through the noise. I’m, I’m interested in what howard stern says, because he’s a, you know, he’s a kook. And I think that’s, you know, fascinating and I like unique people because I’m unique, and I say kooky things sometimes, right. And it’s that connection. It’s that piece that we should all be aiming for. How do we really get into somebody’s sort of psyche and connect with them on a way that they feel like you’re representative of them.
David Ralph [49:58]
Hi. Stop a tell me this is a good episode. This is Emmy Award winning. If I save myself a base is the gold. Let’s hear some words from Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [50:10]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny life karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path and that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [50:45]
Shahla Hebets [50:49]
powerful words? Yeah, I
David Ralph [50:51]
mean, I did I mean to you when you listen to him, do you? Do you think to yourself Yeah, I kind of understand but it’s all right for you your Steve Jobs or have a good Words that apply to all of us?
Shahla Hebets [51:03]
Oh, no, they totally apply to all of us. I mean, I, I think the next step is always revealed is so true. You know, and especially when you’re, you know, let’s say you’re, you’re starting out, you’re building out your brand, you know, you’re, you’re constantly envisioning sort of where you want to go. But the steps that it takes to get there are a friggin mess. You know, they’re all over the place. And it’s later you’re like, wow, that misstep led me here, or this person that I thought was going to be amazing, and that being not amazing. And I had to bring in somebody else. And then I realised that that actually opened the doors to this new client, but then open the door. So this, you know, it’s it’s these things, these things that feels so disjointed, as you’re moving through your, your work. And as you’re doing it, you’re thinking, well, this is a curveball, this is different than I expected. Right? It’s later that you’re like all of it came together and sort of perfect harmony. You know, in hindsight, that leads you down the path and I think I have certainly seen that in my life. Even when I was working in corporate America, you know, I would, I’d say, gosh, you know, how come I had this experience? Why did this happen? And how can I had to work for this jerky boss and you know, and then later I was a five on this, and I learned this and and open this door, and it opened that door, and it led me down this path, which ultimately led me somewhere else. So that’s life, right? And that’s business. And I think the faster we get okay with being uncomfortable, and not knowing exactly where the path is going to go, and said, just taking the next step, the more we’re going to open up the world of huge opportunity for ourselves.
David Ralph [52:39]
I remember in the early days, I quit my corporate job and I set up Join Up Dots and I worked or like a maniac, and I used to go out but now I don’t really connect with the people I used to work with. But there was a time that I was still my mates. So I used to so go out and have a drink with a Mr. And they used to say hi so amazing. What you’re doing is brilliant. And I used to say yeah, it is It’s really, really good and everything’s amazing. And I used to think, I don’t know what I’m bloody doing, really. I’m just making it up as I go along. And every day, I go up to my recording studio in my office, and I do stuff. And I waste so much time doing stuff. And then little bits of it became kind of good. And I started to think, Oh, this is where I should be heading. And then I moved into new areas of I don’t know what I’m doing. And literally, I think the majority of people out there about starting their business, if you get a couple of drinks down them, and squeeze the honesty will say, I don’t really know what I’m doing, you know, now, I know exactly what I’m doing, to where I am. Now, if I want to take what I’m doing to you know, multiple millions and stuff, then that’s new. I don’t know where I’m going mode, but you still have to take the action and get out there and accept that. That’s what it is. It’s just learning self development. wasting money, trying to find your way through. And little by little, as long as you focusing on the customer, the customer will tell you what they want. And you should listen to them, and then stop messing around and think to yourself, okay, I don’t have to be a genius to build this. I just need to build what they’re telling me they want.
Steve Jobs [54:18]
Absolutely. Yeah, you know, I, recently we were, we were talking about, you know, it’s knowing the customer first, right? Finding the customer and then building out from there, because a lot of times what you find is that it’s different than you thought. And the more that you kind of hone in on sort of what are these students? What does this customer really need, then you can massage your business and you can, you can modify it in a way that really speaks to their needs, which ultimately grows your business. But if we thought think with this process, or we start with the process of I’m going to I’m going to have this all mapped out. I’m going to know exactly where I’m going. This is exactly how it’s going to play out. This is exactly how I fit in the market. We find that never is the case. It just is it you have to be you have to just get into the action, you’ve got to take the next step that learning is valuable. You know, the learning is always valuable. We, we hate it, because it, it’s not what we want it to be. And oftentimes learning is failure that comes in the form of failure. Well, that didn’t work. But it tells you exactly the path because it’s it’s giving you that feedback and saying, no, go back at it, look at it again. Chop, try different angle, get creative. And as long as we allow that to happen, right, as long as we say it’s okay, I don’t have to beat myself up for every wrong move. This is business business can be this way. All businesses this way, depending on your life cycle, but also, just that’s how it is, the more that we get okay with that and the more that we’re that we’re open to this is the feedback that I’m getting that’s driving me to the path that I’m I need to be on. The more I think that that the doors start to become so much more That the doors that you’re going through aren’t scary anymore.
David Ralph [56:02]
Perfect. I think that is perfect. And that’s the bit that you should have on your little speed dials or whatever you having technical Well, I don’t know anymore and make that first out your phone every morning, press that button and have that playing. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Just accept it and keep on chipping away little by little. Well, this is the part of the show that we’ve been building up to it. And this is the bit that we called a sermon on the MC when I’m going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Charlotte, what agent What advice would you like to give her Well, we’re going to find out because I’m gonna play the music and when it paid to up, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Steve Jobs [57:07]
I love it. All right, I’m going to go to 12 how’s that for going way back in my my younger self, but the advice that I would give my my 12 year old self is really perfection is not the goal. And you know, the perfection really, if you’re, if you’re striving for perfection, you’re always you’re basically just beating yourself up and you’re you’re creating low self esteem. Because you can never, you can never be perfect. And if that’s the measuring stick, you’re always going to fall short. You’re always going to feel like you’re not, you’re not doing the right thing. And really, it’s, it’s okay, right, it’s okay to fail because failure is the is how you learn and that’s how you grow and you’re never going to be perfect, but if you’re striving for doing your best, that’s really where you should be. Put putting your effort and And also to forgive yourself for the failures because the failures are what ultimately brings you the success.
David Ralph [58:07]
Perfect advice for everyone and for the audience out there, what’s the number one best way that they can connect with you.
Steve Jobs [58:15]
So my website, THiNK Media consult.com, you can just contact us there, you can reach out to me on LinkedIn, just shower habits. And my book is available on Amazon. So multiple ways to get in touch.
David Ralph [58:29]
And we’ll have all the links in the show notes to make it as easy as possible. Charlotte, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Charlotte, thank you so much.
Shahla Hebets [58:47]
Thank you, my pleasure.
David Ralph [58:51]
Charlotte habits so branding is about the promise is about what you’re delivering and you can’t be too frightened about putting Self into it. Once your personal brand becomes you, and people identify with your personal characteristics and your personal beliefs, then things become a lot, lot easier. They really do. But I understand that the very beginning it’s scary time and you don’t want to put your head to fall out because people will look at it and go, Oh, I used to work with him and what’s he doing that for and what she doing that for? But you can move through and success will come your way. Until next time. Oh, if anybody wants. No, I’m not going to say that. I’m going to build up to it. Okay, I’m going to leave you hanging because I’ve got some sexy offering coming soon, which I’m testing at the moment, and it’s working like a dream. But now I’m going to leave that and until next time, I see you again. Cheers. Bye bye. Join me each month as I show you how you can follow our process to start an own your own life changing online business. This is business masterclass at its best, head over to Join Up Dots dot Calm and book your place for the next training session. And I’ll see you there.