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Becoming A Rock Star Brand: Understanding The Right Elements In Branding with Amber Griffiths
Our guest is an accidental guest. One of my clients introduced us and I rolled my eyes and went, “She’s from my hometown. She’s one of those.” It turned out when we chatted that she wasn’t one of those at all and I won’t even get into what one of those is. She knows what I’m talking about. Amber Griffiths is a branding expert and rock star. She’s dedicated to helping entrepreneurs exponentially increase their profits, work with people who excite them and revel in the genuine thrill of getting paid to do what they love to do. Amber chaired the Educational Committee for NAWBO and is a member of the eWomenNetwork, Public Speakers Association and Women’s Coaching Association. She speaks to audiences across the country and in Europe to educate and support business owners as they create their rock star brands.
She is a two-time best-selling author and was awarded The Best of the West in Branding award. Amber enjoys everything music-related, attending live concerts, impromptu dance parties in the kitchen with her daughter and singing anywhere the acoustics will allow. If you spend more than twenty minutes with her, you’ll hear at least one movie quote and a handful of Amberisms. If you haven’t yet seen Real Genius, Amber highly recommends that you do so immediately. It’s totally ‘80s and wonderful and will help you understand at least 20% of her sense of humor. We have to watch a TV show to get you. Is that what you’re saying?
You will thank me, watch that movie. It’s one of Val Kilmer’s first ones. You will thank me when you’re done.
How are you? Welcome.
Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here. This is a great way to spend my day.
Thank you. I appreciate that. It’s so funny because we live so close and yet you’re in your living room or your office and I’m in mine. She literally just lives across the freeway from me. We’re going to talk about branding. What exactly is a rock star brand?
I am so glad you asked me. Rock stars are one of those words gets thrown around a lot. Branding is one of those words that get thrown around a lot. In my little world, here’s what it is. Your brand is so much more than your logo. It is everything you say and everything you do to nurture and develop and support a powerful profitable experience for your ideal client. It goes beyond your level, beyond your business cards. Your brand is that part that is easy to share. If you ever had that experience where you’re like, “I’m not even quite sure what she does but you have to meet her,” that’s part of your brand, that experience, that story, that time spent together that’s easy to share. That’s brand. It drives your marketing.Being a rock start brand means claiming 100% who you are and working with 100% of your ideal client. Click To Tweet
You have rock star and a rock star is often, “She kicks butt. She’s awesome. She’s a rock star.” In my little world, in addition to my music background, rock star means no apologies, no caveats, no disclaimers. It’s you claiming 100% of who you are and is committed to working with 100% of your ideal client. When you put those together and it’s a rock star brand, that means you’re claiming 100% of your voice and owning every single thing about that. You’re committed to serving your people with everything you have all across the board from your social, to your printer, to your web, to your interactions, to the places you network, all of it with no apologies. It’s being 100% of who you are and saying, “You’re welcome,” when you’re done.
That is so awesome because I think when so many people start out, they are somebody else. I don’t know if you have this happen, but we deal with books. People bring us and they’re like Jack Canfield or they’re like, “I want to be like this person over here,” and you’re not that person. People can feel when we’re getting into the neuro marketing area. People don’t know why they can feel it but they can feel it that something is really off.
You can smell nonsense a mile away. It’s one of those things I don’t think it’s sustainable, especially if you’re just getting started, “I understand that I have a mentor, I have a coach. I’m looking around to see what there is in the industry.” If you try to do it just like that, it’s not going to work for you in that same way because that’s them, that’s their story, that’s their ideal client. By being true to who you are, you can make way more money and you get to do it while you giggle. Do it that way. It’s more sustainable and it’s way more fun.
I’m going to share a little story. It was around 2015, I was with a coach who was trying to make me into her. She actually at one point said, “You don’t even like your audience.” I thought about that and about a month later, I rebranded and I quit working with her. I was like, “It’s not that I don’t like my audience. It’s that I’m in action. That is my brand.” Hers was really sweet. I remember my webinar guy, I had this thing in my webinar where I was holding my hand out with a gift and he literally looked at it and he’s like, “Who is that? I’ve never seen you do anything like that.” You have to be because people feel it. Once I changed, I totally took off. People got that was really me and you have to be like that from the start.
If you think it’s something as simple as that gesture. When it’s not you, you probably felt very awkward going, “Here, this is me. They told me this is what we do,” but it’s not you and it comes across as awkward. You are uncomfortable with it. There’s no way your client’s going to go, “That’s me. Let’s do this.”
What are the biggest mistakes that businesses make when it comes to branding?
I think we’ve just touched on one of those is looking around at what everybody else’s doing and then trying to imitate it. If you take something, there are no new ideas. There’s only the customization and implementation of the fundamentals. Everybody has a social. Everybody has a newsletter at some point. I’ve been doing this since the late ‘90s. Everybody has a newspaper ad, everybody has a business card but it’s the way you do it that makes it amazing and it brings in your people.
I watched entrepreneurs and it’s not just the startups. I would love to give the corporation’s a big pass that they are guilty of it too. They get caught up in what everybody else is doing on the outside or whatever the shiny new trend is and they just jump without thinking, “Is there cheese at the end of that tube? What was the result I’m going to do?” It’s part of why and it’s a little touchy-feely, but it’s that vision you create in your business that keeps you super-focused and super-driven. If something comes along you can say, “Is that an opportunity or is it a distraction?” You can answer that by saying, “Does it take me where I want to go?” If it doesn’t, then you let it go and you’ll be done. There’s no energy about it. There’s no, “Let me think about that for a week and be worried about it.” It’s just, “No, it doesn’t take me where I want to go.”
The more you are clear about what you are creating, not what you thought you were. It’s one of those things you need to visit often. We visit every six months to a year because we change. Hopefully, we grow, “This is where I want to be and now I’m here. What’s next?” Maybe you start doing something and you’re like, “I don’t want to do that. That was wrong. Let me back step a little bit.” I think paying attention to what you do and what you’re trying to create and don’t worry about what other people do. There’s no satisfaction in that. It can’t work as well as it does for them. It’s their stuff
I’ve seen a lot of people try to copy other people’s stuff which you can you see that because they don’t get all of the knowledge that other person brought to the table to create that. One of the things that I see a lot too is people who go into business and they pick colors and they pick it based on what they like instead of the feeling behind it, the meaning behind it. Can you speak a little bit to that?
I think people in the same way they will say, “Red’s an action color so I want to use red because that way people will be driven and they’ll come to me and they’ll take action. They’ll pay me money.” Is that what your brand is? Is that what the story is? Honestly, it was something that took me a while to accept. Colors are just colors and things are pretty whatever, but if you think that blue doesn’t have some impact, you’re wrong. If you ignore the power of the color, I think you do so at your own peril. It’s part of that brand. It’s part of what drives your marketing is if you understand the message you’re trying to convey and if you understand and can speak clearly about the benefits that you create then you can say, “How do I want my idol client to feel? How do I want them to react to my stuff, to my marketing, to my brand?”
If you’re going to use red, make sure that actually makes sense to you. We’re a meditation company and we’re going to help you calm down and meditate and then you’re going to use red and orange anyway, that’s incredibly high action, high energy. Be aware that you’ve got the color green, but there are lots of different green. You have a green that’s money in life. You have a green that’s gangrene. Be careful with that and the other thing I would tell you is it’s hard to brand a color. Everybody has that blue, everybody has that purple. It depends on how you use it and what it means to you so that you can stand behind it. There’s no wrong answer as long as you understand why you’re doing it.
Someone I know, when he has a race car behind him on his branding and it always is odd because you meet him and he’s a big teddy bear. You have to remember those things like that when people meet you they’re like, “I don’t get race car. Where did that come from?” It does have to be in alignment with who you are as well so that people can identify with it because then it confuses them. That’s one thing people don’t understand is with marketing, anytime someone’s confused, they’ll just go away.
They will say no. They won’t take the extra time. One of the things I tell people all the time is don’t be clever, be clear because people will not take time. They don’t know you well-enough to invest time and to understand what you’re saying. Take it right at face value until they get to understand you and if you are not clear enough, your benefits aren’t clear enough they won’t invest that time. Don’t confuse people. There’s nothing in it for you.By being true to who you are, you can make way more money. Click To Tweet
You’ve made such a good point. Let’s define what clever looks like. I have a few things to add to that. Clever is when you make up your own words and you think that people will get them and they’re like, “What does that mean?” What else is clever to you?
Unique spellings like there’s a silent Q in the middle of your word. For example, anything that’s exciting or exit or extreme and use an X instead of an EX as you spelled incorrectly, which a lot of that we can understand especially if it’s a short word. However, if somebody says, “By the way, that’s exit A, B, C,” and I go, “Google that,” I’m not going to spell it with an X. I’m going to spell it correctly instead of the way you had it, which means I probably won’t find you. If I’m trying to assume what your email address is or assume what your URL is, I need to be super clear about that. With that, please don’t use the word mompreneur. This is just my PSA for the moment. Preneur is not a suffix so don’t just go adding stuff to the front of that.
I did authorpreneur one time. It’s back in the olden days when I thought it was cool.
It’s that thing where you think, “This means a whole lot to me,” but if people can’t get their teeth into it and if they can’t find you, it ceases to be fabulous.
I evaluated some copy from someone who had a spa. When I looked at the name, I was like, “This sounds like a shot of tequila.” Make sure that whatever word that is that you made up actually has the feel you’re trying to create.
I think one of the things I have done before but I’ve caught myself doing it like, “I was just way too clever.” I was going to do workshops and I was having symphony because it’s all music and rock star. I’ve done creating my brochure for a moment, “What am I selling? What have I offered?” It was so clever and so themed and I had no idea what it was. An extra pair of eyes would never have that I got, that’s lovely. Are you going to sing? Are you going to play the violin? I show up here, the concert series. What is that? Get caught up in your story.
When we were doing copy for a company, they brought us another company’s copy and I was literally on the phone with them and I’m like, “What does this mean? Does this actually say something in your world?” They’re like, “No, that’s why we brought it to you,” and I’m like, “They’re lovely words but I still don’t know what to do.”
It’s very poetic that I don’t know what you want me to do. I’m confused as to what I’m buying, especially if it’s at first glance. They don’t care enough to put extra time into it.
This is going to be a good question because you wrote it, not because I made it up. What is the difference between a target market and an ideal client?
I love this and it’s one of those things that people get very confused about. I got back from a great big conference, there were probably 800 people there. I remember one of the women said, “This whole room is full of my ideal client.” I said, “I hope not because there are people here from all around the world, different sizes of business, different backgrounds and different lengths of being in business. There’s no way that they are all your ideal client. It’s entirely possible that this room is full of your target audience.” If you get surfaced and say, “I want to work with women business owners from the age of 30 to 55 who have been in business for a couple of years, they’re making X amount of dollars and have X amount of employees.” That’s what makes up a target market and there are people who could benefit from your service.
An ideal client, these are your raving fans. These are the ones that will sit in the front three rows of every single concert. They will bring their friends with them. They know all the words to your songs. They will buy and wear the concert T-shirts. Not only that but you like them just as much because I can serve my target audience. If I say anybody who wants me can come work with me, I’m going to end up with some charts and not because they’re bad people but because it’s not a good fit because they’re not my people, like our sense of humor doesn’t jive, our timing doesn’t jive. An ideal client, you want to work with them as much as they want to work with you. They do not say, “Could you just?” “Could you just,” that phrase is a red flag from hell, just run. “Could you just do one extra thing? Could you just give me a discount? Could you just have this done yesterday?”
It’s that fuel for people who want you to work outside appears on a genius. They want something more. They do scope creep, those kinds of things so that even if they’re going to get a lot of you and they really want you which is what a target market is. Your ideal client, you are so excited to work with them because everything you do for them, they respect you, they don’t question your value. They let you do your thing and respect your genius. That’s an ideal client, the ones where you do light up every time you get to work with them. That’s ideal. That’s the difference.
I want to point out from a marketing standpoint too like target market, your psychographics, your demographics, knowing where those people sit on the needs assessments. What their top priorities are, that’s what a target market is. When you go out and find your ideal clients, Amber has one of our quizzes, you’re actually going out and looking for those people who were excited about what you had to say. Book that appointment and then Amber gets to decide whether she wants to work with you. That is a huge shift in that ideal client and you probably hear this from entrepreneurs all the time too, “I don’t have enough people. I’m talking to people all day that don’t have money. I don’t have enough of the right people.” It’s going out and determining what that right person is and manifesting more of that, seeing the patterns and what they’re all about. It’s knowing that you’ve got the right person on that phone and you’re excited about it. That’s a very good question because I don’t think people know the difference. What is the first step to claiming your voice? Because I’ve gone through your branding stuff and you take a little bit of veer off from the normal stuff here with claiming your voice.
Your voice goes beyond your story. That is your genius, your expertise, your flaws, your eccentricities. This is everything that makes you. Usually where I start with people is with your core values, especially if you go into a corporation you’re like, “By the way, CEO of $10 million, let’s talk about your core values.” They look at you sideways. The bottom line is that your core values affect your behavior and they will drive your business because you choose to partner with people who are in alignment with your same core values. The first step is to identify what your core values are. It’s an exercise a lot of people do. The common ones I hear are integrity, honesty, loyalty and then they get a little deeper and it’s attention to deadlines, punctuality and stuff like that.Your brand is so much more than your logo. Click To Tweet
Especially when it comes to building your brand and building a business, that’s going to make you money and make you giggle. I don’t think just being aware of those core values is enough. I think you get to take it one step further. I ask you to rank them and decide which ones are good ideas and which ones are absolute deal-breakers. If you have ever walked away from a business deal, from an opportunity to work with a client, a joint venture, whatever that looks like and you’ve walked away and you can’t quite pinpoint because something felt off. It was giving you a little bit of an, “It wasn’t a firm yes.” It’s probably because something in the pattern, something either in the other person on the other side of the table or something in the contract wasn’t in alignment with your core value. If you’ve left money on the table, the chances are that’s why.
The other thing about your core values is they change. I know by definition they’re not supposed to because they’re your core. The very least is they change the way affect you, they change the way you interpret them. For example, courage is a big one for me. Jump, make your next bold move, do your next big thing, don’t worry about it. It’s all about jumping. You know your stuff, you’re going to land fine so just jump. I remember being four years old and my parents moved and before they even had the truck unpacked, I was down the neighborhood introducing myself to everybody. I’m like, “I’m out here to make friends. I’m four years old. It’s all good.”
My parents were freaking out because they came from a very large town to a small town like, “Where is she?” About an hour later, they found me in somebody’s kitchen eating ice cream, hanging out with my new friends who have given me ice cream. I can look back at that and think now as a mom, I would lose my stuff. This lady said, “You’ve got a brave little girl there.” I thought, “I just wanted ice cream.” To go out and to meet new people and introduce yourself at that point was courage, that was bravery. When I’m 36 years old and decide, “I know, I should be a mom.”
I’ve been married for several years, “Let’s try something crazy and we’ll have a baby.” That’s the respect of we’re going to try something completely new. We’ve never done it. We’re very happy with the status quo. That took a level of courage. Even years later, I can walk away and see this amazing potential “opportunity” and realize that it’s going to make me a ton of money but it’s going to make me miserable. Walking away from that, knowing and assuming and hoping that something else will come to take its place and there will be more of the amazing stuff if I walk away from this great big bundle of fabulous, that’s courage. I think your core values get to affect your behavior differently depending on your situation and as you grow and as they affect you. You have to be aware of them because they get to drive where you’re going to market, who you’re going to partner with, which expos you decide to participate in and which conferences you decide to go to. It all stems from your core values. Not only that but then when you talk to potential clients, potential JV partners, their core values get to be in alignment with you too. Otherwise, it’s going to be miserable. Even if it makes everybody money, it’s going to be everybody looking at you with one eye. It’s going to be hard and it doesn’t have to be that way if you’re aware of why you do the things you do and what makes you tick.
You have a free gift for us.
If you want to spend a little time with me, I would love to offer you a free consultation. I call it a Discovery Duet and you can claim a spot by going to YourBrandByDesign.com/duet. As in one-on-one, the two of us having a private conversation figuring out what’s going on with your brand, what’s broken, what’s not, what’s awesome, what needs polishing? If you want to go to YourBrandByDesign.com/duet, you can find a spot on my calendar that meets your schedule and we will have a conversation. I have been working with Juliet, I’m so excited about this. If you’re not quite sure if your brand is broken, where it might be broken or how to fix it, you can go to BrandingRockstarsQuiz.com. It’s a three-and-a-half-minute quiz. It walks you through the big keys of what it takes at different areas of your brand and you get to decide where things are off and where things are working.
You have a gift in there too. You just did the best description anybody’s ever done on my show of their quiz but now you have to tell them about that Thank You page.
The Thank You page will actually lead you to a Re-launch Your Rockstar Brand Checklist. It’s a full page of, “Did you think of this?” It breaks it down to those pieces where things that you may not think of because chances are whatever your expertise is, it’s probably not branding. Good news for you is it’s mine and I’m going to share that genius with you by going to that Branding Rockstars Quiz page. The Thank You gift is that Re-launch Checklist and it will get you thinking and then you get to move into action and making changes.
Thank you so much for being on. I appreciate you.
Thank you for letting me come play.
- Amber Griffiths
- Public Speakers Association
- Women’s Coaching Association
- https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=_dZEVL5hlTA&feature=youtu.be – Speaking Video
- https://www.YouTube.com/channel/UCrWoVUXbN4y3fwE9_DKRlUg – YouTube Channel to subscribe
About Amber Griffiths
Amber Griffiths is a Branding Expert and RockStar. She is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs exponentially increase their profits, work with the people who excite them and revel in the genuine thrill of getting paid to do what they love to do.
Amber chaired the Education Committee for NAWBO and is currently a member of EWomenNetwork, Public Speakers Association, and Women’s Coaching Association. She speaks to audiences across the country to educate and support business owners as they create their RockStar Brands. She is a 2 time Best Selling Author and was recently awarded the Best of the West in Branding Award.
Amber enjoys everything music-related –attending live concerts, impromptu dance parties in the kitchen with her daughter, and singing anywhere the acoustics allow. If you spend more than 20 minutes with her, you will hear at least one movie quote and a handful of “amberisms.” If you haven’t yet seen Real Genius, Amber highly recommends you do so immediately. It is totally 80’s, and wonderful, and will help you understand at least 20% more of her sense of humor.