BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND – WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE?

Build Your Personal Brand Tips by Jeffrey Shaw

  • Build your personal brand by uncovering your unique area of expertise.
  • What your customers want is to feel is that you get them. That they feel aligned with you, that you as a brand and a business, that you get their values, that you've done the work.
  • Is your business crisis ready?
  • What are your unique characteristics? What makes you who you are? What is your brand voice?
  • When your ideal customer feels like, “Man, this company, this brand, gets me, they're speaking my lingo.” Then you've built a business of attraction.
  • For Jeffrey, success is being empowered with choice.
  • Make a list of compliments and pay particular attention to those that you want to brush off because it's so natural to who you are, it's no big deal to you but it is to somebody else.

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Doug: Welcome back, listeners to another episode of Real Marketing, Real Fast. Got a couple of questions for you to get started today. Imagine if every one of your customers was an ideal customer. What if you were recognized for your expertise more often? What if you got paid what you're worth? What if you went from being overlooked to overbooked? What if you had a whole lot more fun? I heard a friend say, “Entrepreneurship is becoming the person that we're truly meant to be.”

Having a keen eye isn't just for what one sees, but also for what one senses. Having been one of the most sought-after portrait photographers in the US for more than three decades, my guest Jeffery Shaw, aka the Lingo guy, uses his honing intuition to teach entrepreneurs how to attract their ideal customers by speaking their secret language. Jeffrey is the host of the popular business podcast Creative Warriors. He's a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker, business coach for entrepreneurs and the author of the bestselling book Lingo: Discover Your Ideal Customer's Secret Language And Make Your Business Irresistible. So Jeffrey, welcome to the Real Marketing, Real Fast podcast.

Jeffrey: Hey Doug, I'm thrilled to be here with you, thanks for having me.

Doug: It was so great to meet up with you in San Diego and be able to sit down and have a meal and learn a little bit about you and pick up your book. So do you want to fill the blanks? Is there anything that I missed or anything that you want to update our listeners on since we last got together?

Jeffrey: Well what could be missed, I guess you could say, which … to be honest with you, very often our own stories get boring to us and the fact is what I don't put in my bio anymore, well it does say that I was a sought-after portrait photographer and that seems to be one of the most common questions I get. People are always like, “Well how did you go from becoming a photographer to a business coach? From a business coach to an author?” A friend of mine, who I'm in a Facebook group with for professional speakers, it's a closed group, he wrote this beautiful post acknowledging unique aspects of various members and of me, which I thought was really sweet, he says, “Jeffrey Shaw transitions from one career to the next like one changes their shirt.” I love that, like yeah, that's kind of true. So it all kind of sounds smooth in a bio but yes, there's been a lot of career transitions, you could say.

Doug: Well, and I think lots of times what we see on social media and people's bios and websites obviously doesn't tell the whole story and when we sat and chatted, you did give us some details on your career as a photographer and how that took you all over the world and into the homes and rooms of some of the world's wealthiest people. So yeah, that was a very interesting backstory. But today, let's talk about marketing. You're the bestselling author and you're going to teach us how to find that secret sauce, that secret language to talk to our customers so we make more money.

Jeffrey: Mm-hmm (affirmative), sounds good.

Doug: So how does this work? That's a mouthful, that's a big promise.

Jeffrey: Yeah. So it is and it isn't. I think it's just another revolution. I think in marketing, sure a lot of your community will understand this, the big buzzwords in marketing for a very long time now have been buyer persona and avatars, which great, we've been talking about it, it's one of the first suggestions people say and to me, it's just scratching the surface and I don't think it's going to hold up in the future which is why the concept of lingo, I believe is really important to get out there. Because the consumer's today demand more than you knowing their demographics, their statistics, they demand more than … that you even know their behavior, or even that you're tracking them with pixels and cookies.

What they want, and I believe that demand is only going to increase, what they want to feel is that you get them. That they feel aligned with you, that you as a brand and a business, that you get their values, that you've done the work. That's why I referred to it as … Lingo to me is not a jargon, although that may be the clinical version, but to speak one's lingo is to speak their essence. It's like you've carved out a language between you and your ideal customer. That to me is what speaking one's lingo is all about and I just believe wholeheartedly in the future, customers are going to demand that we speak to them with more heart, more empathy, more understanding and honestly, Doug we're seeing this every day. It's crazy, literally almost every day. The other day Roseanne was canceled on TV and that was a big decision for ABC by the way because it's going to end the season, the third biggest show.

Doug: Yeah, that was crazy when I saw that on the news, yeah.

Jeffrey: Right? Really interesting how quickly they responded but smartly, because I tell you there would have been more damage done if they hadn't done it if they hadn't responded. Because I love the fact that consumers today, whether we're watching TV or buying a product, or supporting a company, we have no tolerance for companies that are misaligned with our values. Uber made a huge mistake right? They finally unseated their CEO, I don't know what took them so long, he's been saying the wrong things for years. They finally went too far where people were like, “Yeah, no.” Millions of people, myself included, dropped their app from their phone.

Jeffrey: So if you look at what's the negative that's going on, that people will not do business, will not lend their financial support to companies that feel misaligned in values. Then the reverse is true too. The reverse is true. We will pay a premium price to companies that we believe really get us. We will also buy products and services such as Tesla because we have bonded with Elon Musk. Yeah, I think a lot of people buy a Tesla not only love the beauty and art of the car, but it's also in support of the mission that Elon Musk has made clear through his personal life.

Doug: Totally makes sense, you're right and it's funny how the world is shifting. The consumers at one point had very little voice in the marketplace and now with the onset of social media, for sure, Roseanne being an example, you can very quickly respond on social and show your dislike for somebody's comments or their behavior.

Jeffrey: Yeah , most definitely and I just interviewed Melissa Agnes recently, she wrote a book called Crisis Ready, and this is her area of expertise, is preparing companies as if … it's almost like a fire drill, but preparing companies to be crisis-ready should something come along because these things can catch on on social media, some true, not true, who knows? But is a company actually crisis ready to manage it and there's a huge distinction in the outcome of whether a crisis turns into an opportunity or whether a crisis brings down a brand and there's a big difference based on whether they were prepared for that? That comes down to actually having staff members. Do you have staff in place who knows how to jump on these things?

Yeah, we're living in a … We've been talking about corporate transparency for a lot of years in business and to me, this is … it goes beyond corporate transparency because I'm always amazed at politicians and business leaders that say and do stupid things and don't think in this age that somebody's going to find out. It's just remarkable to me that you can be that stupid. I like that fact that the world today, consumers in particular when it comes to marketing, are holding our feet to the fire. From a marketing perspective, I think that opens up a huge opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs to create that relationship bond by speaking the lingo of their ideal customers because it's going to be harder for big companies to make that shift. How did they get so personal when we as the smaller guys, we can make it personal and make it personal quicker.

Doug: Well the big companies often struggle with innovation and bringing new products and that sort of in-depth research from the consumers into the marketplace because the entrepreneur, the smaller business has the agility to do that and the big company doesn't. You're right, it's probably going to be tough for them to work through all their layers of ad agencies and VPs of marketing to get to the CEO to say, “This is the way that we need to structure our language around our business and our marketing and our communications.”

Jeffrey: A good example of a company that had the right idea, but because of corporate structure, that wasn't able to follow up is TD Bank and I'm a customer of TD Bank and for the most part, I'm a happy customer. For the most part, I'm not going to blast them as a brand because I find it interesting, being this lingo guy, I feel like I can't un-see lingo. I'm staring at it all the time and I see these breaks and this is a company, TD Bank, that I loved everything they did at the beginning, they were busting up the previous bank lingo. They were making fun of velvet rope lines and the fact that pens were chained to the tables and that typical banking hours were when real people worked.

So they did everything right in brand messaging but procedurally, none of it holds up. When you actually experience the bank, they are one of the most … To get anything done at that bank is so not user-friendly, everything's so … I went to go get something notarized and it had to do with my mom's will and they're procedurally not allowed to notarize something that's connected to a will. I'm like, “Are you kidding me?” So I walked down to Chase Bank a block away, who I also do business with, they notarized it in two minutes.

So it's things like that. They had the right idea but they weren't able, corporate-wide, to institute the practices to support the idea. This is the problem that companies have, that smaller businesses and entrepreneurs don't. We can follow through and make it a complete example.

Doug: Yeah, so good for the marketing company and not so good for the implementation.

Jeffrey: Well as you know, being a business guy, those two departments don't talk very often.

Doug: No, I find most companies … there's all these silos. So walk us through, how do you transition? I still talk to people, when I talk about customer avatar and demographics and they come back with, “Everybody's my customer.” So let's leave those guys alone because this is way too deep, but for people who have built an avatar and they think they knew who their customer currently is or should be, what's the next step to dig deeper and to learn their lingo?

Jeffrey: So can I actually, hopefully, you'll let me, can I answer that in a different way which is I think most people define who their ideal customer is wrong.

Doug: Okay, sure, absolutely, okay.

Jeffrey Shaw: So let's start with that, because I think that's a huge problem because I think because of the practice of avatars and buyer personas, what that forces you to do is to think about … it's like an hour process, you're immediately thinking of who your ideal customer is, so you're putting the attention on them, when actually what I believe is the right way to define your ideal customer is to first look at yourself and ask yourself some really important questions which are, what is … and it depends on the size of the business, but let's say it's a small business, or you've got an entrepreneur venture, what are your unique characteristics? What makes you who you are? What are the details about your character there? For example, I'm a complete neat freak, I really am-

Doug: That's funny.

Jeffrey: … and I drive people in my personal life crazy, nobody really likes being around a neat freak but you know where that characteristic really worked for me? As a photographer for rich people, because wealthy people love the attention to detail. They embrace that characteristic, for which I've been made fun of most of my life, it became my biggest selling proposition because every detail … They never had to worry about whether their hair was out of place or their clothes would be askew, which would embarrass them. I'm too detailed for that. So I think it's important to first look at the unique characteristics that you bring to the world.

Secondly, what is the brand voice? What's the personality that … Some brands have a comical brand voice, so again, what is your brand voice? What is the skill set? The talent? The product, the thing that you're bringing to the world, what is that? Lastly, which I think is really important, is what is your unique perspective as a company or as an individual, what is your unique perspective on why that brand, product or service exists?

A unique perspective is, I believe, the biggest distinguishable factor today because different is no longer different. When everybody's trying to be different, it's no longer different. But what I do think is as unique as DNA is our perspective because your perspective as a founder, creator, inventor, innovator, is a culmination of all your life events, right down to childhood impressions to your work experience, your career experience, relationships you come in and out of. All of that has these little imprints that give you a view on why you do what you do that's different than the person down the street.

This to me is the competition buster because there's hardly any field where there isn't multiple … a lot of competition. The way you distinguish yourself, there could be 10 … look at auto manufacturers, why are they typically lined up down the same street, as car dealers? Well, because they all have their own unique perspective. Some might be about utility vehicles, some might be about luxury, some might be about speed. So they all offer a unique perspective, and that to me is the biggest … The litmus test of that is in any given family with multiple siblings, it's always amazing how siblings will have a different perspective of their childhood.

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Doug: Yeah, that's funny.

Jeffrey: So I think to me-

Doug: I'm not going to comment in case my kids are listening to the podcast.

Jeffrey: Yeah, it's crazy, right?

Doug: Yeah.

Jeffrey: But I truly believe, like I said, our unique perspective is as unique as our DNA. So the way to define your ideal customer is to put those pieces together, your innate characteristics, your brand voice, your skillset or whatever you're bringing to market, and then your unique perspective and then ask the most important question of all to define your ideal customer which is, who will love that? So you're looking at what you're offering first, what's unique, and then you can imagine, “Well then who would love that?” Usually, you'll find that there are multiple audiences. You'll find multiple audiences that can benefit from your service or product.

This way you're building a business of attraction instead of selling. So if you take what you've got to offer and package it together with good brand messaging and visual branding, if you make that loud and clear such that your ideal customer feels like, “Man, this company, this brand, gets me, they're speaking my lingo.” Then you've built a business of attraction instead of, “This is what I've got and I want you to buy it.” Which is an outbound selling technique which nowadays does not work. They feel like they're being sold to, they back up.

Doug: It's got to be easier to be taking that approach because you're really, if you're starting with your innate traits, that's your personality style, that's your default anyhow, so when you're in a situation, whether it's selling, direct selling, talking with a customer, writing copy, engaging with and presenting, it's going to be an easier conversation for you because you're going to be speaking the same language they're speaking, I guess is what you're saying? Yeah.

Jeffrey: Yeah, exactly. Somebody asked me recently, how do you know the difference when you're working with an ideal customer or not ideal customer? I love the question, I said, “For one, you can feel it. There's a feeling of flow when you work with your ideal customer.” The other, I think a blatant example of it, is in business how often we jump through hoops or we run around in circles for the customers that spend the least amount of money.

Doug: That's right.

Jeffrey: Right? And then, on the other hand, there are those customers that are just, the whole thing was smooth, we actually … we were at our best, we created our greatest value and it was the most profitable. Well, my theory is, you want to work with those. Now, can you figure out what their lingo is and craft a business, a brand messaging that attracts them?

In my book Lingo, I refer to, “Busting up the Pareto principle.” The Pareto principle's the 80/20 rule which of course states 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. Now I'm not going to argue whether it's factually true or not, but I will say what that's really saying is that eight out of 10 customers are a waste of time. Now, I don't know how many businesses can afford to waste their time on eight out of 10 customers. So to me, the biggest shift we can make in business is to carve out our unique perspective, our unique brand messaging, hone it in on the ideal customer, carve out our own lane such that we result in a business where all, or almost all, of our customers, are ideal customers that are the most profitable, easiest to work with, we have fun.

Doug: Well, and I sometimes think that people, they just don't associate having fun with business, I've always said, “Have fun, make money, not necessarily in that order.” Why would I go work for … I left working for someone else because I didn't like it, so why would I want to work for myself, work with people that I don't like?

Jeffrey: Yeah, and I think … I guess having fun in business can sound trite to some people. I'm not … I was going to say I'm not dancing around but I actually do, I work at home so in between interviews and phone calls I probably am dancing but it's not just that, it's … When we speak of fun, to me it's like the ease of flow. Somehow, entrepreneurs in particular, but many businesses, we want to get paid for what's hard. We feel like there's always a due to pay so we instantly think that if it's easy, it must not be good enough or valuable and it's one of the biggest struggles with entrepreneurs, particularly creative entrepreneurs that I work with is that they have a hard time charging for what is actually easy [inaudible 00:17:43]. But what's easy for you is your gift because it's not easy for someone else. It actually … to command the highest price.

So you're right, people think we shouldn't have fun but I think it's also … we can redefine fun, to me it's just the fun I'm looking for at work, is really the ease. I just don't want to spend, and I don't want the people I work with to spend all day trying to convince people of their value. I want you to build a brand message that attracts the customers that already value what you have to offer. So you're not spending your day trying to convince anybody of anything, you're working with people who already see value in you and that comes from speaking the lingo of your ideal customers so that those are hopefully the only ones that are showing up.

Doug: So do you have an example you can share with us of somebody that you helped transition and what that looked like to their business?

Jeffrey: Well, there's somebody I'm working with now that I think is kind of a fun story and it's always … people more current always pop into mind, but I think this is kind of interesting. So this is a woman who came to me, she has a really interesting product and I really support what she's doing. She has a six-month parenting program that's $10 grand. So it's $10 grand for the six-month parenting program for new parents. So a new parent would hire her to help them navigate through all the changes of life that come along, keeping the marriage intact, keeping the sex life alive, still maintaining their friendships but let's face it, it's $10 grand for six months.

So her customer's not everybody and she's in Manhattan, which is my hometown and I kind of consider it the Upper East Side moms. I know her ideal clientele. So you have to understand, in order for her business to be profitable, in order to create the business and lifestyle she wants, she needs to charge $10 grand, so that's kind of a known fact. So we then have to figure out what clientele, not everybody can afford that, not everybody's going to invest in that.

So when she first came to me, and this is a … what I'm looking for as a branding coach when people come to me, I'm looking to initially helping them with closing the gap in their brand messaging but it winds up being a lot more than that because when I'm working on one's brand messaging, the biggest and most important result that happens is the commitment to the direction they're going in is actually what comes forward. But she comes to me and she shows me her website and on the cover of her website it said … had a lovely photo of her and it said, “Less stress, more sleep. Now that you've set up the crib, the mobile and diaper changing table, now focus on your child,” or something like that. And I looked at that and I knew immediately, I don't know if you're picking up on it and a lot of people don't initially but imagine this big headline, “Less stress, more sleep.” I looked at her and I said, “Your clientele's not losing sleep, they have baby nurses.”

Doug: That's right, they have nannies, they have help.

Jeffrey: Exactly and it's stuff like that. So now you can imagine if she goes to the marketing effort, this is how you wind up with a business that's following the 80/20 rule because maybe she gets two out of ten customers to happen to land on it, that they're the right customers. What I'm concerned about are the other eight customers that are going to her website. She's going through great effort to drive traffic there, they're getting there and thinking, “This isn't for me.” It's not speaking … I'm an Upper East Side Manhattan mom, this is not speaking my lingo, I'm not losing sleep, right?

Doug: Yeah.

Jeffrey Shaw: So then you tap into to, well what are the values and what is the lingo? To me, the lingo, this is what we're developing for her website now, the lingo is around … for that clientele, is their driven desire to be the best parent they can be. That's the pressure they're under. As people who can afford a $10,000 parenting program, they were under pressure to get into the better colleges and when they have children, there's a certain amount of pressure to be … I told her, I said, “They will throw money at you to feel like they dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts to be the best parent they could be.” Right?

Doug: Sure, absolutely, yeah.

Jeffrey: So we need to speak the lingo of responsible parenting and making sure you've dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts, you did everything you could. This way, if the kid turns out to be a mess, it wasn't your fault. You did everything you could.

Doug: That's funny. Yeah, you're right, so there's a perfect example of not everyone's her customer-

Jeffrey: Right.

Doug: And I have clients that are like that. They have the … the husband works, or my client's works, the wife's at home, they have two kids and two nannies, someone cuts the grass, someone cleans the house, so yeah, they're not losing sleep and they're not-

Jeffrey: They're not losing sleep.

Doug: … and their hands aren't all dry from washing dishes, because they don't wash dishes either.

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Jeffrey: Yeah, exactly and there are other factors, both parents may want to return to work because again, that clientele, it's like, they've lived … and this is the messaging thing we're working on in the copy it says, “You've lived a good life, and just because … and you have that child, should make it better.” Right?

Doug: Yeah.

Jeffrey: Because these are not people, if you've got that kind of money, your life is not negatively impacted by having a child. If you don't have an abundance of money, your life is impacted. It might impact your finances, somebody might have to stay home or you have to get a nanny, you can't go out as much on Friday night, you might start losing friendships because you don't socialize as much. There's an impact on most families, middle America, most families there's a pretty big impact on having a child. I have three kids, they're not horrible, I love my kids, but when you have children, as a new parent, it has an impact, a negative impact on a lot of us, right?

Doug: Yeah.

Jeffrey: But not if you've got money. If you're affluent, you still want to maintain your social circles, you may still want to go back to work because … both of you may want to go back to work so that you are maintaining the credibility you worked so hard to gain up to that point and you still want to be able to take vacations. So it's a different lingo.

Doug: Yeah, I heard Matthew Kimberley explain it that having money isn't bad, it just gives you choices.

Jeffrey Shaw: Absolutely, that to me … Somebody asked me recently in an interview, what's my definition of success which I always, even to this day, I always find kind of a hard question to answer and actually I think this is probably, when she asked, I was probably the clearest I've ever gotten to the answer which I said, “To me, it's being empowered with choice.” I just want to have choices. There's nothing more paralyzing than not feeling like you have a choice because you're not financially successful or you haven't built your life in a way that you can make choices that make you feel better. So to me, success is about choice.

Doug: Well and it's not always just all about yourself. It's often, like Matthew, assuring that when we had a child, there's a situation where somebody needs something, they need a surgeon, they need a this, they need a that, and as a parent, I've got three kids and now I've got a grandchild, so we've got our first grandchild, second one coming, it's nice to be able to go and help all of the kids and pick up some extra stuff and not sweat it. It would be horrible to say, “Hey we can't help.”

Jeffrey: Right, exactly, that's a great example Doug, I love that.

Doug: We'd like to, but yeah we can't do anything, sorry.

Jeffrey: Yeah, that's a great example.

Doug: So can we dive a little bit deeper into one aspect of that? So how do you define your traits? Is there a tool, a method, a process, or am I asking you for your secret sauce here?

Jeffrey Shaw: No, not at all. Most of it comes from our face to face … well not face to face, it's all virtual, it's over Zoom, but most of it comes from our conversations. I'm going to pull it out and both one of my responsibilities as a coach and then also one of my innate skillsets is … it says so in my bio, when you've been a photographer for 33 years, I literally have a honed intuition in my ability to see things or to feel things because I think photography just naturally does that, because as a photographer, I'm releasing the shutter of the camera to capture that image in a fraction of a second. It might be the 1/250th of a second. That's how fast shutters move. Your brain can't process that fast, that it's a gut instinct. When I see the moment, boom, I know when to capture it.

The same is true in my coaching when I'm talking to people and I'm culling for this information, I can really start to know that … sometimes I'll just interrupt, I'll say, “That's it, I just got it.” I felt it or something they said. So one of the exercises that I think someone can do on their own to help you define your innate characteristics, simple, really powerful. Make a list of compliments that you've heard throughout your life and you'll start to see a pattern. Actually, what I love to encourage is especially pay attention to the compliments that you want to brush off.

If somebody says to me, “Jeff, you're so neat, you're so organized, you're always early.” I'm like, “Yeah, yeah whatever.” It's so innate to who I am, I'm like, “Yeah whatever.” I actually didn't know because my mom was pretty neat too so I grew up in a pretty neat household. I did not know there were sloppy people until my first marriage. I've had two-

Doug: That's so funny.

Jeffrey: But yeah, I didn't know sloppy people existed. My world was neat. So that to me, is a compliment I'll easily brush off. So as an exercise I suggest, make a list of compliments that you've heard look … I'll give you an example. I was working with a friend of mine, who's a coach and I was actually just doing her a favor and help her figure out her unique perspective and why … what type of coach she wanted to be, what's something unique she had to offer.

One day we were chatting on the phone as I was walking my dogs and I'm chatting on the phone about one of my life's problems or something, and then I hung up with her and I called her right back and I said, “You know, I realize, I call you every time I need somebody to bring something to a bottom line.” I said, “Have you heard that before?” She's a former IBM executive. She said, “Oh my gosh, my whole life people have always said I have a way of cutting to the chase. Whenever I was on the board, people would say, ‘What does Terri think?'” Because she had a way of just cutting to the chase, bottom lining it. I'm like, ” … and there's value in that.” I said, “I call you every time I need that, that's your unique proposition as a coach.” Be the coach that cuts through people's crap to get to where they need to go to build their personal brand because that to me is a very valuable resource, to have a friend or a professional in your life that you can call upon to help you cut through your stuff, really valuable.

So it's a compliment she's heard her whole life and she was ignoring it, brushing it off. So that's my suggestion, is make a list of compliments and pay particular attention to those that you want to brush off because it's so natural to who you are, it's no big deal to you but it is to somebody else.

Doug: Wow, that's a great suggestion, I've struggled on and off going through different personality style tests and just trying to better understand myself so I can communicate more effectively with people who aren't in my style but I've never heard that suggestion and I'm looking forward to working through that exercise.

Jeffrey: Great.

Doug: So for people that are listening to this and they're going, “Yeah, yeah okay fine.” So what do you think the biggest myth is about this tactic or what do you think the worst advice you hear about this, your approach, to the marketplace is right now?

Jeffrey: This probably is going to stir up some responses-

Doug: Well that's good.

Jeffrey Shaw: … that's what you're asking for. Well, it's in the book so it's nothing I'm hiding. I hate the whole idea of niche and it's so contradictory to what so many people are still saying. I'm like, “We need to get over this.” So in my book, I refer to it as the old niche and the new niche and I hesitated even using the word but okay, I'll go with it. So okay, we'll call it the new niche, just so I can explain the difference. So the old niche is honing in on doing one thing to one group of people and I tell you, in a world and an age where people are so much more creative in their thinking and innovative, nothing is more painful to a creative mind than being told to pick one.

Doug: I hear you, yeah.

Jeffrey: Right?

Doug: Yeah.

Jeffrey Shaw: It's just painful and I've seen entrepreneurs feel forced because some business coach told them, “That's the only way you can be successful.” I'm not saying that it doesn't work for some, maybe it works for many, but I'm also left-handed, I'm a right-brained thinker, as are a whole lot of innovative and creative entrepreneurs today. So if we think other than the perfect logical sequence, there's a good chance that idea of picking one is going to be really limiting and stifling. So I refer to it as the new niche and the new niche to me is to get clear on your area of expertise. Your unique area of expertise. You can say put your unique perspective on that, but what's the thing that you are uniquely good at? Build your personal brand based on that. And then ask, as I said before, who will love that? How many different multiple audiences?

Jeffrey Shaw: So instead of the old niche, the idea of the old niche was half an inch wide a mile deep, my feeling is half an inch wide, go six inches deep, get under the surface and then go a mile wide. You wind up also … not only is it, again back to the fun, not only is it a much more satisfying business model because you're working with multiple audiences and maybe even offering multiple things based on your area of expertise, but it also, it creates multiple streams of income which is just a smarter business model today. It's just too dangerous to be good at one thing because if that one thing is replaced by a technology, you're in trouble.

So that's something I really encourage people to look at is how they can diversify their thinking. The old niche is a very constrictive mindset which does not lead to success and abundance whereas my new niche philosophy is very expansive, I think more abundant mindset. So you're no longer looking at how much can I hone this in? If anything, it looks like an hourglass. If anything, when you're looking at your area of expertise, you might be honing in on your area of expertise so that once you know your area of expertise, you can then open it up and imagine how many different audiences would benefit from that area of expertise?

Doug: I think that's a really insightful and interesting answer and for me, anyhow, totally satisfied if you go have a cigarette now and go to sleep, that would be it. I feel so good after that.

Jeffrey Shaw: Damn, I wish it was that easy.

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Doug: But I also appreciate that this isn't for everybody. There are lots of people that are chasing the shiny object and so I tell people that I'm tactic agnostic when it comes to marketing, I'm just looking for what works and I guess that's how I diversify because I published a book on email but it's not the only thing I do is email, emails is one small piece of the business. So I've heard it said, get one plane off the ground before you get to the other one. So in that example, the scenario that you're talking about the new niche, would you suggest you would focus on one area, get one profitable before you go to the next?

Jeffrey: Perhaps, but I think even more important is just be clear on the direction. Be clear on the direction you're going in, which to me … like when I said earlier when I'm working with my coaching clients and I'm working their brand messaging and that often relates to even their website. I'm not building their websites, it's not what I do but I build the content and then the messaging of the website so that they can then go to a web designer and get it executed and get the right messaging executed. But the biggest result of doing that is their clarity about their direction.

Jeffrey: They suddenly, they're closing more deals. Not only are they attracting the right clients, they're closing more deals because they're speaking with conviction and commitment. They're not processing it in their brain anymore as to why they do what they do or what their core message is, they own it. When you own it, it comes across that way energetically to your customer and then you're showing up … I like to say you're showing up more committed than sales-y, which people will buy into. They'll buy into the fact that you are showing up committed to their wellbeing at heart.

Jeffrey: I think that being clear in your direction is even more … it may be smarter to start with one product line or something, but I think what's most important is where do you want to go? What's the direction? As I sit here Doug and chat with you, I have in front of me about a dozen squirrels. Not live squirrels, those squirrels that are made of wood and crystal and iron because, in my community of creative warriors, I talk a lot about chasing squirrels because I'm about … The same thing with the idea of defining the customer, I'm encouraging people to leverage who they are instead of change who they are. Long history there but same as a lot of us. A lot of us grew up feeling like the whole world was trying to make them somebody different than they are and I'm trying to spread the word to just leverage who you are.

So I've been talking about chasing squirrels for years, which is why everybody sends me squirrels. I've got squirrel Christmas tree … you name it, I've got squirrels everything, people send it to me. Look, we're going to chase squirrels, I think it's a detriment to tell an innovative or creative mind to stop chasing squirrels, but you do need to make sure those squirrels are going in the right direction. So if you're clear on the direction you're going in, you can harness those shiny objects and squirrels and make sure you're … and if it's not to the benefit of where you're going, then that might be a squirrel you have to send off with a different nut. But keep going where you're going, I think clarity of direction, which I think … honestly, I think it's actually the most important outcome of the brand messaging work that I do is the clarity of direction that people gain from it, because then they know what products to develop for their ideal customers, they know where they're going, they have a clearer vision of what they want their business to look like and they operate with much greater conviction.

Doug: That makes sense, that's really cool. I've really enjoyed your conversation and I think that if entrepreneurs are honest about what they're doing, in most cases there's a lot of people telling them they're going in the wrong direction and like you said, one of your traits people gave you grief for, made fun of you when you were younger, but you took that, you turned that into a highly successful profitable business and so that comes back to what you said. Understand what your traits are and you've learned how to leverage those-

Jeffrey: Absolutely.

Doug: … by developing your voice, identifying your skill and then finding people who love that about you. Well, that is a lot to think about. I want to get off of the podcast so I can sit down, take some notes and walk through your answers.

Jeffrey: Making a list of compliments.

Doug: Yeah, well it's going to be tough to do. I don't know, it depends on your personality style but I'm going to have to think long and hard and I will probably default to a shortcut and that's I'll ask my wife. She pays more attention to that than I do. It's like, “Someone said something nice and you just ignored them,” it's like, “Yeah, okay, whatever.” So I'm sure she'll be able to help me develop a list.

Jeffrey: Exactly, it's human nature. I don't want to say it's human nature actually, it's completely wrong saying it, it's societal nature that we've been taught to brush off compliments. Humility and humbleness have been ingrained in us as great traits. I'm not saying they're bad traits but I think humbleness can be the downfall of brand messaging because then everybody's playing it too quiet, too shy.

Doug: Yeah absolutely. So where's the best place for people to reach out and connect with you, Jeffrey?

Jeffrey: As a rule, I like to … because I'm all about speaking lingo, I like people to feel like we get each other, so rather than just send you to my website, we've created a page specifically for your audience which is jeffreyshaw.com/rmrf as the acronym for your show. On that page, they will find what I call the Lingo media kit. So in the Lingo media kit, there's an infographic of the five-step secret language strategy that I teach in the book, there's a free chapter, which is chapter three, not chapter one, that would be too simple. Chapter three is the chapter about the perspective, I think it's really important. There's an audio version of it and of course, there are links to … you can purchase the book from Amazon, you can purchase the book directly from me and get a signed copy. So everything can be found at jeffreyshaw.com/rmrf.

Doug: Excellent. Hey, well thanks so much. I appreciate your candid response and we're not here to play it safe. Everybody is put on this earth with a purpose and we're supposed to use our gifts and talents and it's just great to have met you and to see that you're following that and you're not playing small, you're playing big. So I really appreciate you taking the time out and sharing with our audience today.

Jeffrey: Thank you, Doug, I appreciate being here with you.

Doug: Well thank you, listeners, for tuning in to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. We'll make sure that we transcribe the interview with Jeffrey and we'll make sure the links to his website and social are there. I would really recommend that you get to know him, hang out with him, start a conversation and just take a deeper look. I know I'm going to be going through these exercises, so until the next episode, make sure you subscribe to our podcast, subscribe to our email list and we'll keep you up to date as we progress and if I'm brave enough, I may even share in my email list the exercise that Jeffery's suggested we do and that will be a list of compliments that people have paid me. Feel free to throw darts at it, or send me back a compliment that I might have missed. So thanks again for tuning in and we look forward to serving you in the next episode.

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Get in touch with Jeffrey

Jeffrey on LinkedIn

Web – Jeffrey Shaw

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Links to other related podcasts and or blog posts:

POWERFUL BRANDING TIPS WITH WENDY BARR

EXPERT TIPS ON HOW TO BUILD A POWERFUL PERSONAL BRAND

BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND – WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE?

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