Promote Profit Publish | Gina Hussar | Captivating Audiences


Join us for an insightful conversation with Gina Hussar, a seasoned brand strategist, as she shares her journey from marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue to founding a successful branding and copywriting agency. Discover the crucial elements authors need beyond their books to thrive in today’s publishing landscape, including the importance of building a brand and cultivating an audience. Learn how Gina’s expertise can help you navigate the complexities of branding and messaging to stand out in a crowded market. Plus, explore how visual branding and consistency across platforms can elevate your brand presence and attract your ideal audience. Don’t miss out on this valuable discussion with Gina Hussar, where she unveils the secrets to creating a captivating brand and crushing the competition.

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The Soul Factor: Secret To Captivating Audiences And Crush The Competition With Gina Hussar

Welcome to the show. Our guest is my friend from the olden days in digital marketing, Gina Hussar. I’m excited to introduce you to her. She’s got some exciting things going on, one of which is doing some marketing for Kathy Ireland’s Publishing company. You guys will really enjoy her. While we’ve got your attention, talk to us about our tours.

We have some of the former Simon & Schuster publishing people working on our tours. They’ve got the contacts. They read the book. The tours are much more in-depth and aligned with your topic than if you hire that guy out there who says, “I can get you on some podcasts.” They guarantee that you’ll have twenty good podcasts, at least, on the tour and it’s aligned with what you’re doing.

Most of the podcast companies out there do not read your book. They have contacts and put the same people in the same shows or different people in the same shows all the time. Come and talk to us about that. We’re getting our new site up. It’s going to be Book Buzz Pros. Come and see how we can help either reinvigorate or publish your book and get it on tour as well. You can do that by getting on to Schedule an appointment and see if this is for you.

Gina Hussar is here to help creative visionary entrepreneurs build and rock their passion-filled businesses. The best way she can describe what she does is to think Sex and the City meets Oprah meets Steve Jobs. Building your dream business and brand should be a fun and nurturing experience in which you extract the gold from within and your unique value and blend it with a cocktail style with powerful messaging and business strategy that aligns with your vision. It’s not the vision of all the people who send you emails and product pitches, but your big, beautiful, “I can’t believe this is my life,” vision.

Gina is a published author. She’s an internationally published magazine writer, certified Law of Attraction and business coach, total book nerd, and mom of three who geeks out on finding the exact words that perfectly capture your brand and set you center stage with a big old neon spotlight. I will tell you from personally working with Gina that her vision is glossy, beautiful, and eye-catching.

Full disclosure, she wrote the copy on my Superbrand website. I felt like she really captured that inner know-it-all, or it might be outer, too. She captured the essence of the sassiness and the desire I have to revamp the book industry. There are a lot of people out there who blow a lot of smoke up your ass, but don’t make you do the work that you need to become a good book publisher or a book author. Stay tuned for Gina.


Gina, welcome to the show. I’m so excited to have you.

Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

I explained a little in the intro that Gina and I used to work for the same company back in 2016. We are back on our own. We learned a lot of lessons during that time, I’m sure, about what to do and what not to do. I have Gina here because Gina is a brand strategist. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into that?

By accident. I started in marketing. I worked for Saks Fifth Avenue for a while, and then I decided I wanted to be in the personal development realm. I am a trained writer. I have been writing for years. I wrote for magazines. I started helping people on Facebook. I would see their copy and would be like, “Not to be rude, but can we tweak this?” It grew into this full-blown, luckily, very successful branding and copywriting agency. It has been twelve years.

Why You Need A Brand

If you look at her stuff, it’s glossy, beautiful, and really nice. When it comes to authors, you have a blurb on your website that I love. I want to steal it. We’re going to talk about it. It’s, “Here’s the truth. If you want to be an author, you need a lot of things. Let’s start with you need a brand.” Explain that a little bit, please.

It’s so different. Before, if you had an amazing book, it was more than likely going to get published decades ago. Now, you have to be so much more than your book. In fact, it’s to the point where most of the bigger publishing houses won’t even read a manuscript until they’ve gone online, Googled you, seen your online presence, and calculated how many followers you have across all social media platforms. It’s frustrating for those of us who are writers by trade, but good or bad, it’s more about the platform before publishing.

Promote Profit Publish | Gina Hussar | Captivating Audiences

Captivating Audiences: You have to be so much more than your book. Most of the bigger publishing houses won’t even read a manuscript until they’ve gone online and Googled you and seen your online presence.


In fact, we have our author traffic website. We created it because two book agents came to us and told us that that’s the first thing they look at on a proposal. If the numbers aren’t there, which equal 100,000 legitimate, it goes into the garbage. You could have the best book, but they’re not going to do anything with it.

A lot of people are going, “I’m going to bypass that and go the self-publishing route.” That’s even harder. It’s even harder that you have a brand when you’re going the self-publishing way because we live in a content-driven society. People are nosy. They want to get to know you. I’ve seen people do very well self-publishing after they’ve spent a year building their brand, posting content, generating an audience, and getting these people to engage with them every day. It really is a chicken before the egg situation.

You don’t know what you don’t know when you self-publish. I have a client who has self-published six other books, and as we’re going through the process, she’s like, “I never did that.” I was like, “Anybody who’s professional that looks at that book knows you didn’t do that.”

It’s easy. You can self-publish a book in half an hour. A lot of people have, but that doesn’t mean anybody’s ever going to read it, take action after it, or whatever. That’s where the branding comes in.

Why You Need Content

Exactly. You already touched on the next topic, which you need content.

A lot of times, the mistake I see people making, especially entrepreneurs who become authors, is they think that their content has to be exclusively professional. I like to see a good mix. I’d like to see maybe a 70/30 mix. You have to test which way works better with the 70/30 because, at the end of the day, nobody wants to be lectured to. At the end of the day, we are nosy. We want to peek inside people’s personal lives.

They’re buying from you. They want to see the author behind the book. They want to see snapshots of your life mixed in with excerpts from your book, anecdotes about your writing process, publishing process, and business, and pictures of things you’re doing during the day. It’s really important that people get to know you as a person and not just an authority on one particular subject because that’s easily commoditized. If you’re a financial planner, for instance, writing a book, there are thousands of financial planners. How are you different personally? Let’s be honest. A lot of the financial planning tactics are written. They have to be the same across the industry. It’s that personalization that sets you apart.

It's important that people get to know you as a person and not just an authority on one particular subject. Share on X


Why You Need An Audience

The other thing about that as well is that, for us, we’ve got skiing pictures. We show your personal life in there. Most of the time, I may offer the same thing you do and they’re going to hire personality and compatibility. If they don’t see that, you’re not even putting yourself in the game with it. You need an audience. We already talked about this, but if you don’t have an audience, nobody’s going to buy your book.

There are multiple ways to generate an audience. Social media is one. If you hate social media, it’s a necessary evil. You don’t have to be on all of them, but I always encourage my clients, “Pick one platform that you really love that you don’t mind spending some time on. Write all of your content on a Monday. Schedule it to be posted so that you don’t have to think about it the rest of the week.”

There are also joint venture partners. There are paid ads that you can lead to if you want to start a community. I see a lot of authors doing that who are starting membership communities that are free. They start building this group identity of people who are interested in their material. That’s really smart, too, if you can build a Facebook group of people interested in whatever genre you’re publishing in because the most successful audiences are the ones that start to run themselves. It’s the ones that start to engage with each other and ask questions. That’s one thing to think about, too. If you hate social, then you have to try to run ads to an opt-in page, get people on an email list, and use partners, but you do have to have readers.

Promote Profit Publish | Gina Hussar | Captivating Audiences

Captivating Audiences: The most successful audiences are the ones that start to run themselves, engage with each other, and ask questions.


Why You Need A Point Of View

For those of you who are video-inclined, you’ve probably seen our trainings with Fran Asaro. You can do a membership over on Rumble or YouTube. Those are really viable places where you can jump on. You don’t have to jump on a lot because the video is doing it all for you. You need a point of view.

Consumers and readers are very savvy. Their BS detectors are pretty high. I really applaud the people who are not afraid to express their authentic point of view at the risk of offending or losing some readers. That’s okay. All that does is help you qualify your fan base and get crystal clear on who you’re writing to.

If you do decide to go the big publishing route, that’s one of the things you’re going to have to present. You have to present your book like a business plan if you’re going in that direction. Also, to JV partners, if you know exactly who your audience is and isn’t, you know who is a good JV partner and who isn’t. In your point of view, you should extend beyond the subject matter of your book.

I’ll give you a great example of where this matters and why. There’s a big fiction author out there who’s very popular. During COVID, he wrote this book that was a fiction novel. They expressed his views that were very anti-Trump. He has backed off on that because he got so many people in his existing audience who wrote bad reviews and said, “I don’t read fiction to hear your political view.” It’s not only having that audience and having that point of view but knowing that your audience shares that point of view. People were hesitant to buy his next book because they didn’t want to be preached at again.

That’s where discernment comes in. If you have strong political views but are a fiction author writing science fiction, romance, or whatever, you have to get in front of that objection. You have to talk openly like, “My views may not be your views,” or you can separate the two. I had a very political and polarizing client but also brilliant at what she did in the IT space. She had something called her Monday Rant, and you could subscribe to it or not. If you didn’t share her views, you could get information about IT, her writing, and her books. That allowed her to manage her audience, segment them, and not anger too many people.

That’s a great idea to do. It’s even getting that feedback there. My son is writing a book. My son-in-law read it and he deemed one of the characters as furries. My son is changing it. He’s like, “We’re not doing furries.” Getting different points of view from your own to see what people think too is very helpful, but you have to have a point of view first. You have to know who you are and have a point of view, which goes back to brand, too. If you don’t know who you are, your brand’s going to be a mess, in my opinion.

You have to walk that line between authenticity, sensitivity, and respect. That’s where it helps to have a strategist come in or a beta reader who says, “This is how I took this part of your book. Is that what you intended?” You can say, “Absolutely. That’s what I intended,” or, “I didn’t realize it could be taken that way. Let me go back and tweak the language a little bit so that it’s a little more universally applicable.”

I ran an idea by a bunch of my friends and they were like, “This is amazing.” I then ran it by somebody who was an expert on the topic. He was Jewish as well. He said, “This is insulting.” I was like, “It wasn’t meant to be. It was supposed to be a love story.” You never know until you get out there and test it to know what people are going to do. This is the part I want you guys to all know. Probably 70% of you come to me with nothing to sell. The book, you’ll probably not get ROI from your publishing package. You better have an idea of where you’re going to get the ROI on the other end. Can you talk about that?

The Book Is Your Business Card

For sure. The book is the business card. I like to think of the brand as your house and the book is one of the doors people can enter. They can come through the front or the back, but you’ve got to have reasons for them to stay in your house. There’s got to be calls to action sprinkled throughout the book, like an offer that it leads to.

The book is the business card. Think of it like the brand is your house and the book is just one of the doors people can enter. Share on X

It’s so important that you use the book as positioning. I say this even to people who don’t have a business. A romance author still needs other streams of revenue most of the time. I’m seeing a lot of authors teaching classes on how to write romance or whatever. Always be thinking about your brand as a house and a ladder, like a house with stairs and climbing the stairs. You’re like, “What does this stair lead to next?” You’re right. The reality is those big paychecks from the books are few and far between.

You guys would be shocked at the biggest check I’ve ever written. You’d be like, “That’s big?” In terms of many of us, it’s not that big. Especially for me, it’s like one package. This next piece, you’re really good at. You need a place for all of your awesomeness. I like how you put that.

Your Brand Is Your House

That’s your brand. Tour brand is your house. It’s a world that you’re inviting people into. I see this a lot. We’re trained this way in the network marketing space and the direct marketing space. You need an offer and a landing page. It’s all very logistical. You should have features, benefits, and all the buzzwords. At the end of the day, there is a difference between a business that you’re buying from and a world that you are invited into.

You and I talked about eventually doing training on big brand secrets you can steal. This is one of them. I buy candles from a company called Mythologie Candles. They’re stupidly expensive. They’re $60 a candle, but the brand is so on point. They have created this magical world. Every step of the process of buying the candle supports it. You get a scroll. Everything is very mystical and mythological. It’s a world. It’s a feeling when you buy it.

The same is true for Disney. They’re not dull. Politics aside, they have mastered the art of inviting you into their world. Everything is personalized. They know exactly why people go there and the values they need to push. That’s why despite all the special effects and everything with the rides, what you see in the commercials are families with kids. Pretty soon, you’re buying a $20 lollipop that looks like Cinderella’s head and you’re fine with it. You’re fine throwing your money at them. That’s why. It’s because it’s not a business. It’s a world that you get to come to. It’s an invitation.

That’s what your brand needs to be. When I say brand, I don’t mean your title, your logo, or your tagline. It’s your website and every page on it. It’s all of your social media platforms. It’s the paperwork. If you have a client agreement or anything that’s boring and legal like that, does it still support the world that you are inviting your clients into?

I have a very rock-solid client agreement. There’s the legal side of it, and then I have an addendum to it, which is our energetic agreement. That’s part of my brand. The energy has to be aligned. I’m like, “I’ve got to like you and you’ve got to like me. There’s got to be trust.” I put that in there. It’s places like that that people forget is an opportunity to reinforce your brand everywhere.

You probably don’t know this, but Gina wrote the copy for my website. One of the things that happened as part of that was that I had an enormously expensive coach that year who told me that I couldn’t tell people that this industry was hard. This industry is hard. I didn’t want to be a false advertiser. If you go read the copy that Gina wrote, it’s a know-it-all like me, but it’s also, “This is hard. You need to step into it.”

It was amazing when that happened because the other felt so inauthentic. My business took off. Once we got that done and that was my brand, that was authentic, you met me, I was a know-it-all, and I did tell you it was hard, you were like, “Thank you because I talked to four other people and they told me how easy it was.” That’s one of the things where you really need to be authentic within that. Do you have someplace you’d like to send us? You agreed you would do a brand.

I do want to talk about that, but really quickly, I do want to mention this if we have two seconds. We did the visual branding for your business, too. That was important, too. You very much knew what kind of feeling you wanted people to feel. Sometimes, people forget that humans are visual. There’s a lot of behavioral psychology going on when it comes to a visual brand. I see healing centers using a red stop sign. It is multi-layered to have a really solid brand. You’re looking at visuals and aesthetics. You’re looking at linguistics and messaging. You’re looking at strategy and offers. You got to go layer by layer and make sure the whole ecosystem is working.

Gina’s Complimentary Brand Audit

That’s a perfect segue into what I want to offer your audience. We are offering a complimentary brand audit. We do have deeper audits where I give people a pretty lengthy brand intake book. It’s a discovery book where they go through it. It takes a couple of hours. They write their answers. People love it. It really lets them think about their brand.

We are doing cold audits. We’re going to take a look at your brand across all platforms. We’re going to see how it’s looking to your audience, stepping into consumer behavior shoes. Is it a user-friendly experience? Does it make sense? Does it look the same across all platforms? Is it confusing in any way? Are all the marketing triggers where they should be? You’ll get a breakdown of what’s working, what’s not, and what we can do to help.

I love that. Authors, I love you all. Please take this criticism as love and not criticism. On any given day, we will put a message together, and three days later, you and your shiny objects will appear. All of a sudden, we don’t have a consistent message. I love this because Gina is somebody who can look at every platform and say, “Consistent. Not consistent. You’re confusing me. You’re insulting me,” or whatever it is that you don’t understand that your platform is doing. Where do we get a hold of this brand audit from you?

Anybody who wants it can email me. It’s Put Brand Audit in the subject. My team will see it and I’ll reach out.

That sounds so fantastic. Thank you for taking the time. I know you’re super busy. I’m excited we’re reconnecting. I always enjoyed you.

Thank you. Me too. It was fun. Thank you for having me.

Have a great day.

You too. Bye.


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About Gina Hussar

Promote Profit Publish | Gina Hussar | Captivating Audiences

Gina Hussar is here to help creative, visionary entrepreneurs build (and ROCK!) their passion fueled businesses.

The best way she can describe what she does? Think Sex and The City, meets Oprah, meets Steve Jobs.

Because building your dream business and brand should be a fun and nurturing experience in which you extract the gold from within, your unique value, and blend it cocktail style with powerful messaging and business strategy that aligns with YOUR vision (not the vision of all the people who send you emails and product pitches) but YOUR big, beautiful, “OMG I can’t believe this is my life” vision.

She is a published author, internationally published magazine writer, certified Law of Attraction and Business Coach, total book nerd, mom of three who geeks out finding the EXACT words that perfectly capture your brand and set you center stage with a big old neon spotlight.


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