February 22, 2021
Hey everybody! Welcome to this episode of From Better Half to Boss. I’m your host, Tavia Redburn. We have an epic episode for you today. I am chatting with Lindsay Jani. Lindsay Jani is a Brand Strategist and Business Coach who has worked in the advertising and branding industry with some of the world’s most beloved and iconic brands. Taking what she knows from the big brand world, she helps creative entrepreneurs create their own signature brands to strategically attract and sign their ideal clients all while making business effortless.
We covered a lot in this episode, but my favorite thing that we talked about was how to do a Brand Audit. If you don’t even know what that means, listen to this episode and you will quickly learn. It’s so, so good. Lindsay gave such actionable tips and steps to do this brand audit. So I cannot wait for you to hear it. In fact, we covered so much in this episode. My goal is to keep all of the episodes under 30 minutes. We kind of ran out of time. So I actually have some additional ways that you can connect with Lindsay and I. We’re going to do kind of like some bonus stuff. So make sure to listen at the end of the episode for how to get your hands on that. Let’s get into the episode.
Tavia: I’m really excited on this episode, we are chatting with Lindsay Jani. And Lindsay Jani is a Brand Strategist and Business Coach who has worked in advertising and branding and has worked with some of the world’s most beloved and iconic brands. So she takes what she knows from the big brand world and helps creative entrepreneurs create their own signature brand to strategically attract and sign ideal clients all while making business effortless. I love that. Welcome, Lindsay!
Lindsay: Thank you, I appreciate it. Thanks for having me on!
Brand and Business Coaching for Small Business Owners
Tavia: I want to dive into your business. But first I think it would be helpful for everyone to understand a little bit more about who you are and why you started your business. So, can you tell us a little bit about Lindsay?
Lindsay: Sure. I had previously been in Advertising and Branding, like you said, in New York City for a really long time. And I worked with some really highly-awarded ad campaigns and worked with some really strong brands, some of the household brands that you see today. After a while, I decided that I wanted to start my own business and my own business was as a luxury event planner, production, and designer. And so within that, I met a lot of really great professionals, a lot of really fantastic companies and people to work with, but a lot of them knew my background. So they’d always come to me for advice. And so what I wound up doing was just giving them advice for free, so lucky them, right? And working with them to help them build a more strategic brand that really helped them identify who they were as people who they are as a brand and how to attract their ideal customers.
And one day, one of my one of my friendors or vendors, whatever you want to call it, said, “I would pay you for this.” And I’m like, “Wow,” light bulb moment, right? And so I slowly started to transition into the world of being a brand strategist yet again, but for small businesses. To be more specific, creative small businesses, because a creative mind works very differently than some of the other more logistically-attuned minds out there. So that’s how I kind of started. So I am a Brand and Business Coach and I also offer an online course called Inside Your Business.
Inside Your Business
Tavia: That’s awesome. Yeah. You’re so right. Creatives think very differently. And that’s most people listening to this are creatives and our brains definitely work differently. So tell me about what your business you told me a little bit already, but what does your business look like today? Like you help creative entrepreneurs with your online course, correct?
Lindsay: Yeah. So my course is obviously an online course, but it also has a group coaching and Q and A component to it. So I’m really with my students and also my clients. I do 1-on-1 coaching as well. And I am with them literally every step of the way, because having a guide and having that support is a really important part for people who just don’t have the background and how to properly brand a business, right? And it’s not just about the pretty logos and the typography and the colors. And I know that your group already knows all of this, right. But it’s really about how they experience your brand. A brand is experiential, and we’ll go into more of this in a little bit, but it really helped them along the way. And finding something that really works for who they are and so that they can show up in their business in a really beautiful way. One that they’re really proud of, one that doesn’t have to be perfect, and then also one that just makes them feel really relatable and really attracts their ideal clients.
Tavia: You make it sound so easy!
Lindsay: It can be easy.
Brand vs Branding
Tavia: So like you said, my audience understands the concept that like a brand is more than logo and colors. So how would you describe what branding or what a brand actually is?
Lindsay: Sure. So branding and a brand are sisters. So branding is part of your brand, but your brand is the overarching thing. So branding is, you can consider it more of like the process. This is more of the outward expression. It’s like kind of what you look like. It’s what everybody else really touches and sees at the get-go–it’s your messaging, it’s the colors, it is your logo. It is the things that people experience and help bring people in. It’s more like the door that opens people up into the deeper experience. And so this is what leaves an initial impression on people, but this is not what leaves a lasting impression. And so this is where a lot of people get a little confused and they feel that like, “Oh, I just need to brand my company.” And when they say I need to brand my company, they really are uncertain of what that means. And that’s okay because you didn’t grow up in the space, right? But that’s my job, that’s what I help people with.
So I help people find what their brand is and that is their identity. It is what their strategy is. And I know that strategy can feel like kind of overwhelming and confusing thing. But if you think about your brand as a person, and your brand is actually you, by the way. There’s no way to separate the two of you. Because how you show up in your brand is how your brand actually is, and you need to be connected with it. It is really about all the things that you have in place on the backend because how your brand or your business works behind the scenes is also how it works outside.
So if you have a chaotic inside, you’re going to portray a chaotic outside, whether you realize it or not. But if you have something that is running effortlessly and in a beautiful way, it’ll feel that way on the outside too. It’s kind of carrying the energy from the outside to the inside. So if you were to think about it as a person, like if you’re having like an ‘eh’ day, how do you think that you portray yourself to other people? Like if you go to a store and someone approaches you, you probably be like, “Oh, I’m doing okay.” Or if a friend asks how you’re doing, “Oh, all right.” But if you have a brand that really works on the inside, all the little components and you really feel that joy, you’re going to show that joy on the outside too, right? So it’s an inside job when you’re really working on their brand. It’s the difference between having just a business and having something that feels irresistible, a rock solid foundation that you can always fall back upon. And so that’s really, it. Does that help you describe like what a brand actually is, is all encompassing. It’s like your habits, it’s literally the world.
Tavia: How you make people feel, right? You use the person as an example. So if I bumped into you, how am I going to feel? And that branding is based on the brand of yourself. So it’s like, well, how’s my brand doing, so how’s my internal business doing as far as systems and how we have things that people use. And if we have all of those things, then that appears in the overall branding. That really made a lot of sense in my mind, as far as the brand being the person. Like, I like that analogy. So if your internal systems and processes and things are clicking and working, it’s easier to have a branding experience that makes people feel a specific way. Is that accurate?
Lindsay: Exactly. So for instance, if I were to show up with my hair just washed and no makeup on, and I, gosh, I was, you know, wasn’t very clear on what I was talking about. Your brand is really the way that you look, but it is also the way that you project yourself. So if you think about it, your brain can be like the logic center, right? This is your systems or processes, how you do your finances. But then you have your brand voice, which is how you speak. That’s more of an internal thing and that’s more about your DNA and how you were brought up and all the things that have conditioned you to who you are. And then you have your brand purpose and your personality and that’s all in your heart, right? And so if you start to think about it, but then there’s the outward expression, how you dress, how your hair looks, how you present yourself, that’s also part of your brand. And it is all about this foundation and who you are, because just how you look, it’s not who you are, who you are on the inside is also who you are. So it encompasses everything. And how you show up in your business and how you really integrate everything about your DNA and everything about you into your business. Does that help?
Doing a Brand Audit
Tavia: Yeah, that’s good. That’s great. Okay. So how do you know if your brand is attracting your ideal clients? Like doing a Brand Audit is a thing, right? Like that’s the thing people do?
Tavia: Okay. I feel like I’ve heard that term before. And I was like, did Tavia just make this up in Tavialand or is this a real thing? Okay. So how would you do a brand audit to know if what you’re doing is working or not? How do you know?
Lindsay: Sure. First and foremost, this can be really simple. If you’re feeling like you’re not attracting your ideal clients, you aren’t. Period. And so you can really ask yourself, if you’re getting a whole cacophony, a group of people from all different places, different interests, and everything else, your messaging is far too broad and you’re likely getting just to every walk of life and you’re speaking to everybody and I’m sure everybody has heard, but at this point, if we’re speaking to everybody you’re speaking to nobody. It’s very true.
But also if you’re attracting one specific type, even though they may not be your ideal client, you are attracting those people to a certain extent, and you really need to understand why you are and where you can up-level that experience, right? So when you’re looking at doing a brand audit, there is really about–I’m gonna break it down into seven steps, if that helps.
Tavia: Oh, I love steps! Absolutely. Please bring on the steps. Yes!
7 Steps to Audit Your Brand
Lindsay: I’m going to use this as a little checklist for you. A brand audit really helps you get real with who you are. It is the full truth. It’s the full picture. A lot of people are afraid of doing this because they just don’t want to know. And sometimes ignorance is bliss, but also ignorance can get your business into a lot of trouble. Understanding this, and you don’t have to share this with anybody else. This can literally be an exercise that you do with yourself, but understanding where you are starting is a really important part, so you’re able to figure out where you need to improve. And if it’s an all places, that’s great, you know where you need to start. But if it’s in one specific place, you know where to focus your energy. So it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
After the Audit
Tavia: Oh my gosh. Let’s just like, everyone, end this here, go pay Lindsay some money because that was money. That was so valuable. And I don’t want people to just skip over that. Literally, pause, rewind, go back, write down the steps that Lindsay just said and do it. If you want to have a brain that attracts your ideal client, if you want to have a brand that attracts where most of you want high-end clients, go back and listen to what Lindsay just said, do this brand audit and look at your results and think, what questions should they ask themselves? When they have this result, what should they be looking for and asking themselves to determine like what their next step should be?
Lindsay: Right. If you’re finding it to be overwhelming to do all at once, you can chunk this up into a week, but give yourself a deadline and a timeframe, because you can say, “Yeah, I’m going to start this,” and then it gets really hard to send out that first survey. So I say like, just do the survey, get that thing out really quickly, because it’ll take some time for people to get back to you. But when you start getting that feedback, you’re going to see some really great things too.
And so you’re going to get constructive criticism and just know that you need to be disconnected from what they say, because what they tell you is exactly what they want and now you know how to deliver it. And now you know how to be different because you’re looking at what your competitors are doing. You look at what you want to be doing. It’s about being really intentional with your brand. And I know that this can be a buzzword, but it’s really about how do you sink yourself into having purpose in literally every single thing that you do.
How Often Should I Collect Feedback?
Tavia: Yeah. And back to point number one or two, I think where you said to interview people that you’ve enjoyed working with in the past, if anybody is listening to this and they’re in Marketing School for Birth Photographers, we talk about this in Module 1, and I give you the questions in the format to like go and survey your people. So if you have not done that, you should do it. And Lindsay is just validating that for me, how important it is. And Lindsay, you reminded me, we need to do it more often. Like we need to have it be a part of our regular systems, because this is not like a one-time thing that you do this should be, what do you think like quarterly would be beneficial?
Lindsay: I think, after your client service was done. So every single time that you do a wrap-up, there should be a part in your process where you have a follow-up sequence. And so this doesn’t have to be anything that feels really automated, but you should just know in your mind exactly. Like, well, you know, I send a thank you and then afterwards I say, “Hey, I would love your feedback so I can make sure that I’m showing up for you in the future or for other people. And I’d really love to know what you think.” And anybody who is asked what they’re thinking, they’d love to provide feedback. People, if you ask, they will provide, especially if they had a great experience and if they are your ideal clients. And so just understanding what this is, they know that this is a relationship and if you’ve curated this experience for them all throughout, they will be more than happy. Even though they might be a little tired from a new kid, they will be more than that. You might have to do a couple of follow-ups. They will always be happy.
Setting Expectations of Constant Improvement
Tavia: Stephanie and I were just talking about that at our team meeting on Monday. It was like, “Okay, how can we follow-up without being annoying?” Because yeah, we do. And a lot of people listening to this do have the added thing of “they just had a baby!” So we’re like, you know, pinging them or whatever. And it’s, you know, if you don’t get it from everybody, that’s fine. But we do get it from a lot of people. And it is really beneficial.
I will say, you know, I had someone on my team read the feedback because I was like, I can’t handle it if it’s negative, you know. Like you said, we’re so tied to our businesses personally. So if you get feedback, just be aware of the mental space that you’re in when you’re reading it and if you need to let somebody else in your team, let your partner, let a best friend, somebody read it and give it to you nicely if you need to. Because I definitely did for my photography studio and for the online business, you put so much of yourself into it that I realized after I read a few negative things, I was like, “Okay, I have to protect myself a little bit and get this delivered to me in a different way. So that’s totally fine too.
Lindsay: But the best way to go about doing that, even if you are the only one reading the feedback, ’cause you know, sometimes people are like, “Well, I don’t want to read the feedback, but I don’t want anybody else to read the feedback. Especially if there’s something I can improve upon.” We’re human. We can always improve ourselves. Right? So I think going in with that expectation, we are always constantly improving. And if you are not, you are actually doing something wrong. No one is perfect in business. It’s a process, it’s progress. It’s not perfection. And so if you go in looking at it, if I hear something that is something that I can improve upon, see it as your biggest opportunity.
And if you flip it from feeling like, “Oh, I’m not going to feel great about myself” to saying “Wow, I’m going to figure out where I can do better and what my next opportunity is.” And that will help you grow your business exponentially.
Common Brand Mistakes of Creative Business Owners
Tavia: Yeah. I love that. Okay. So I know we’re kind of like pushing up on time and I want to be respectful of listeners and yours as well. So really quickly-ish, what are some common mistakes that you see creative business owners make when it comes to their brand?
Lindsay: Sure. So there’s a lot of them. I’m going to go through them quickly. I actually wrote them down.
Tavia: I figured there were probably a lot!
Tavia: I love that. And whenever, thinking about what we talked about in the beginning of your brand being a person, and then you talking about trying to learn marketing strategies and not having the brand in place, so would this be a good example?
If you, the brand person, are hosting a dinner and you’re really good at cooking food. And so you’re cooking the food, but people are coming in and you’re not greeting them. You’re being kind of rude, sit down and it’ll be ready in 15 minutes. And you’re being very factual and you’re doing the thing and maybe your food is really good, but when the people are coming in, they feel like I don’t want to come back here because she’s a terrible host. Would that be a good analogy for not for just doing marketing without having the branding piece down?
Lindsay: Yeah. I mean, that pretty much hits it right the nail on the head. You can be doing all the great things in the background, but if you don’t have a solid brand and know what you actually want to say and know what you stand for and know exactly what your people want and need to hear that you actually do, there’s going to be a huge disconnect. And so when you’re actually doing the marketing and the advertising, the basis for all of that is a strong brand. Not the branding, the brand. And so that’s really where it all comes. So you can cook great food, but if people are coming in, they’re hearing like, “Oh, she’s too busy to do this…” they’re going to be like, “Oh, well, I don’t know. I don’t know if I want this.” But you know, what you were serving up is fantastic, but the marketing won’t sink because your messaging, everything is so disconnected.
You don’t have the different processes in place. You don’t know how to put boundaries on when you’re going to stop cooking, so you can spend time with your people, right? And it’s all about this even exchange. Does that make sense? Does that?
Tavia: I love that. Yeah. I love that.
Lindsay: It’s part of your analogy. And I think also one big mistake that they also make is that they try to emulate what they see versus blazing a trail that really gets them seen. So if you’re doing everything in the sea of sameness, how are you going to stand out? It’s about blazing that trail. Maybe saying things that other people aren’t saying, but also being that company that other people aren’t being, serving, giving them what they want. That’s where you’ll get seen. It’s not the people who are all doing the same thing. Like, yeah, you’ll get seen, be like, “Oh, that’s pretty,” but who are they to say like, “Oh, this person is different from them.” They’ll be like, “Oh, it’s like one of those photographers.” One of those that just as like a really nice, fine art look, or more candid, stylish, photojournalistic, whatever it winds up–bang, you’ll be in the sea of sameness unless you start blazing your own trail. So stop emulating people that you admire and start doing your own thing. You are your own person. I know, easier said than done.
Connect with Lindsay!
Tavia: Yeah, no, I love it. This has been so good and helpful, Lindsay. What are some ways that everyone can connect with you after this episode?
Lindsay: Sure. So if anybody has any questions, you can always e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, really easy. Lindsay with an A-Y or you can sign up for my newsletter. Oh, for, um, Lindsay Jani, L-I-N-D-S-A-Y. Jani, J-A-N-I.com. And you can sign up for my newsletter and we can connect there. So, yeah. Is there anything else that I can help you with today or?
Tavia: No, that was great. I think that was really helpful. I think that’s going to give people a lot of next steps and things to chew on and definitely you guys connect with Lindsay. She is obviously, as you know from listening to this, the branding pro, so I know this is going to resonate with you guys. Go connect with her so that you can continue to learn more from her. And thank you so much, Lindsay. This was really, really, really great. We’re going to include all the links that Lindsay just mentioned in the show notes below and yeah, we’ll see you guys next week. Lindsay, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Lindsay: Oh, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
It’s so great to hear about branding from an expert, right? I love how Lindsay just kind of demystified everything cause branding can sometimes be this big, scary topic.
So Lindsay put together an awesome freebie for you guys all about how to do your brand audit. So check it out at lindsayjani.com/free-resources. And we’re also going to link that in the show notes.
Also, like I said, at the beginning of this episode, Lindsay and I have even more great content for you that we didn’t have time for in this episode, all around this topic of branding. So we’re going to be on Instagram Live Friday, March 5th at 11:30 AM CST. And we’re going to talk about how to attract high end clients, luxury clients with your branding. Then we’re also going to continue the conversation on Clubhouse, Monday, March 8th at 8:00 PM CST.
So if you want to talk more about branding, add your own 2 cents or ask us questions, come follow me on Clubhouse at @taviaredburn and put that date March 4th, 8:00 PM CST in your calendar.
The links for all of this will be in the show notes for you. So don’t feel like you have to write all that down. It’s all right there for you. And if you’re enjoying this podcast, make sure you hit subscribe wherever you’re listening. And thank you so much for leaving the show a review on iTunes. I read each and every one and it helps this podcast reach more people. So thank you.
And my friend, if you have a passion it’s not an accident. Not everyone loves the thing that you love. So whatever your passion is, get out there and make it happen. Have a great week.