Are You Denying Your Inner Chunky Monkey?
01/03/17 Good Juju and Brands that Have It , How to Brand Your Juju , Personal Juju # , , , , ,

Are You Denying Your Inner Chunky Monkey?

Yesterday I had a wonderful question from a participant in Unforgettable U, my online branding program. In effect, she asked, “Juju, what if I tailor my branding and my message to a specific audience, and in doing so, I push away everyone else?”

 

In essence, she asked, what if I limit my possibilities with my brand?

 

I love this question, because it gets straight to the heart of truly powerful branding.

 

Developing an effective brand is an act of bravery.

 

It involves looking deeply inside yourself – and your business – to identify what you believe, what you stand for, and what you can bring to the world.

It also involves looking deeply into the specific hopes, dreams, fears and frustrations of potential clients or customers.

And most importantly, it involves making a promise that what you deliver will be designed to address those very hopes, dreams, fears and frustrations.

 

When you do that, you’ll be a serious turn-on for a very specific group. Others will feel lukewarm about your promise or offers. While still others will be turned off, or entirely repelled.

 

But there’s an important lesson in this:

 

You will go further, faster, with a smaller group of raving, loyal fans who are committed to you and your message, than with an enormous group who could take it or leave it.

 

Great branding is kind of like ice cream…

 

Nearly everyone likes vanilla and chocolate ice cream. If you bring either of these to a birthday party, just about everyone will eat the cake – with the ice cream – and be fine. They may even be satisfied. But they’re not going to talk about the ice cream. They’re not going to say, “Oh, my God!! Who brought the vanilla?!! I love vanilla! I haven’t had vanilla in ages!”

 

You feel me here, right? No one ever created a “moment” with vanilla ice cream.

 

On the other hand, if you bring Chunky Monkey (Ben and Jerry’s banana ice cream with fudge chunks and walnuts), there will be folks in the crowd who RAVE over the ice cream. They will come back for second helpings. They will BOND with you over your ice cream choice. They will tell you stories about the first time they ever had Chunky Monkey and how they sneak away to eat it. They will make the most guttural sounds of delight and satisfaction as they lick their spoons and wink at you.

 

Other people will look at you as though you are insane. They will say things like, “Banana ice cream with cake? Seriously??!! Whose idea was that? Why not just a simple vanilla or chocolate?”

 

Now, here’s what you need to understand:

 

You ARE Chunky Monkey. You were BORN Chunky Monkey. We’re ALL Chunky Monkey. Each of us, and each of our businesses, is chock full of DIFFERENCES. Quirks. Specialties. Back stories. Personality characteristics. Beliefs and values. Crazy combinations of FLAVORS!

 

And If you search deeply enough, and show yourself completely enough, you will likely become polarizing. Some are gonna love ya. Others are gonna leave ya.

 

You can pretend that you are not Chunky Monkey. You can pretend to be vanilla. Or chocolate. You can water down all the interesting flavors in the hope (which will undoubtedly go unfulfilled) that you will please everyone and offend no one.

 

But you know what? No one will talk about you after the party.

And the next time you meet the guests who thoughtlessly gobbled your vanilla… they won’t even remember you.

 

So I invite you – I IMPLORE you – to get your Chunky Monkey on. To work toward ATTRACTING those who love your particular flavor. And to cater JUST to them. You’ll be narrowing your crowd for sure… but they’ll be telling everyone about your exquisite taste long after you’ve left the room.

 

And if you want to learn more about attraction – more about how to BRING your Chunky Monkey to the party – meet me at a live webinar tomorrow morning (Thursday, 9:00 a.m. Pacific.) We’re going to talk about how to make your target audience LOVE and CRAVE you. Click here to register.

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Conquering Goliath… With Intimacy
26/01/17 How to Brand Your Juju # , , ,

Conquering Goliath… With Intimacy

On Monday there was a great post on BrandingStrategyInsider.com (one of my favorite places for super smart brand stuff) about how today’s small brands can win. The author, Mark DiSomma, talks a great deal about one of the positions that I hold near and dear to my heart:

 

Branding is about intimacy. It’s about connecting with a consumer over things that really matter.

 

And do you know what really matters?

 

Not product features (they kinda matter). Not pricing (that kinda matters, too).

 

What really matters is how people feel.

 

The same things that are true in your real-life relationships hold true in your relationships with customers:

 

  • Common values are required for long-term connection.
  • Trust is essential.
  • Everyone wants to be recognized, heard, and respected.
  • And love conquers all.

 

I love DiSomma’s language when he describes what a small brand must do in order to thrive and survive: it must “scale its empathy” and “maintain eye contact.”

 

If you’re not looking directly into the eyes (and souls) of your prospects and customers, you’re missing out on your biggest opportunity for growth and long-term competitive advantage. 

 

Read DiSomma’s post here. I’ll bet you find comfort in the fact that when big brands mistake visibility for effectiveness, it gives you a chance to move right in, and steal the girl (or boy).

 

This is some seriously good juju.

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AC/DC and the Black Keys — Through a 50-Year-Old Audio Filter
25/01/17 How to Brand Your Juju , Personal Juju , Uncategorized # , , ,

AC/DC and the Black Keys — Through a 50-Year-Old Audio Filter

Last Sunday night we barbecued a beautiful steak dinner – in the pouring rain – to share with a group of folks we love and cherish. Our gorgeous friend, Norm, who has been a Broadway performer for many years, encouraged our 15-year-old son, Christian, to bring his electric guitar downstairs to play for the group.

 

Christian has only been playing guitar for about a year, and he’s not altogether comfortable with performing. But with Norm’s encouragement he became emboldened, and we were treated to some super cool riffs and some full-length songs, as Christian covered the Black Keys, Pink Floyd, the Violent Femmes, and AC/DC.

 

While Christian played, each of us became lost in a different head space, while Norm looked on, fascinated. When Christian was finished, Norm praised him, and then said, “That was unbelievably cool. And the coolest thing about it was how each of you experienced it.”

 

He went on to explain:

 

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A Crash Course in the Dream 100. Lesson #3: Spreading the Love
18/01/17 How to Brand Your Juju , Uncategorized # , , , ,

A Crash Course in the Dream 100. Lesson #3: Spreading the Love

Most of us are pretty checked out on how to build love relationships. We begin by anxiously scheduling that first date. Then, over dinner, bowling, or Frisbee golf (depending on how cheap of a date we are), we share our hopes, dreams, beliefs, and values. If they jibe with our companion for the evening, we set that next date. Over time, we build a real relationship, based on the things we share.

 

As it turns out, we’re not quite so checked out on how to build relationships with our customers. In fact, we often don’t even make it through the first date. That’s because we focus on the transaction; we’re 100% wrapped up in getting to “yes.” But when we convince someone to buy our product, download our content to opt in to our list, or sign up for our webinar, we’ve done nothing more than schedule that date. The part where we share beliefs and values, and build real connection? Screw that. We’ve already moved on to the next potential “yes.”

 

Imagine what your love life would look like if you constantly scheduled dates, and then never really showed up. It would be a social shit show.

 

Trust me, the same holds true with your business life. If you want to attract customers and keep them over the long-haul, you have to start thinking about what happens after the transaction. You have to show up, share, and connect.

 

And one of the best ways to create real connections with your prospects and customers – the kind that lead to healthy, long-term relationships – is to utilize a Dream 100 strategy.

 

With the Dream 100, you create a list of 100 influencers who share your beliefs and values. Then maximize those relationships to add value to the lives of your customers, followers, fans, or prospects.

 

For the past two days, I’ve been going super deep into the Dream 100 strategy. First I introduced the what and why (click here to read that), and then I explained just how to provide value to your Dream 100, in order to get noticed (click here to read that).

 

Today I want to talk about how to utilize the Dream 100 strategy to create lasting connections with your clients – about how to add real value to the lives of people you should care deeply about.

 

7 Ways to Spread the Love Using Your Dream 100 Strategy

 

1. Teach.

Give a man a fish, blah, blah, blah… Teach a man to fish and yada yada. It’s the truth, my friend. You will create lasting and enduring relationships by empowering your audience through teaching. I’m doing it right now. I’m showing you how to do a thing. Step-by-step. Bit-by-bit. And here’s the super cool part: it’s not MY thing. I learned it from Russell Brunson (who’s in my Dream 100). And he learned it from Chet Holmes.

I didn’t make this shit up. But I did put my own spin on it. I “private labeled” it with one of my deepest core beliefs: that true connection is created through shared values. Now, you can take these teachings, give credit to me and the greats who came before me, and pay them forward to your audience.

The lessons you’ll provide will have an astounding effect on the recipients. Efficacy – the ability to produce a desired or intended result – is one of the most valuable gifts you can give. And giving is integral to the development of real relationships.

Word to the wise: Don’t skip the “give credit” step when you share the teachings of your Dream 100. And if you’re sharing information that you bought from your Dream 100 – info that’s not available for free to the public – you need to get permission before you do so. Credit and permission are critical in order for the Dream 100 strategy to work. Aside from that, it’s illegal and slimy to plagiarize. So don’t even think about it.

 

 

2. Curate.

Curation is underrated. Don’t miss out on an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey tactic for real and lasting connection. What is curation? It’s the selection, collection and archiving of digital assets. In other words, you pick up stuff from your Dream 100, and you pass it on to your customers, holding it in a well-organized space (like your blog or a social page) for easy access.

What’s the value in that? If I’m part of your audience, I don’t have to search all the hell over the place to get information on something that’s meaningful to me.

Meaningful. That’s the ticket. Everything about my Dream 100 strategy links back to the concept that we create real connections by sharing values and beliefs. So, if you believe in clean oceans, you curate content about the cause. And when I hit your site, if I ALSO care about clean oceans (which makes us fast friends), I can find a bunch of stuff right there in one place, and I can sit back with a cold one, takin’ it all in.

Here’s the best part: once I KNOW that you care about clean oceans, and once I know that you’re gonna curate good shit for me, I’ll keep coming back. ‘Cuz it’s easier for me to rely on you than to do it myself. And that means you’ve done me a big, fat, favor. BAM. Friends do favors for one another. Curation doesn’t rack up as many points as helping someone move, but it’s up there on the list.

 

3. Motivate and Inspire.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m good enough. There. I just said it out loud. When I have this feeling, I go out in search of motivation, inspiration, and validation. I go to women on my Dream 100 list, like Debbie Phillips of Women on Fire. Debbie lights me up. She lights up thousands of women. And because she does, I pay a membership fee, every month, to have access to her motivational goods.

Debbie understands that by inspiring, motivating and validating me, she does me a service, and she creates a long-term relationship with me, rooted in shared values. I trust Debbie. I like Debbie. I agree with Debbie…. Debbie and me? We’re like THIS.

Debbie is in my Dream 100. Who’s in her Dream 100? I can only imagine. Last month she interviewed Gloria Steinem. It was a “holy shit” moment for me. Gloria Steinem??? So, you see, Debbie is further along than me. Her Dream 100 is full of movers and shakers who operate in a whole different realm than I do. And she shares that with me. She lifts me up. She sets me straight. She provides me with the hope and confidence I need to see myself in that realm, too. She puts me on a trajectory for happiness and success.

Use your Dream 100 to motivate your audience. Give them power. Give them hope. Lighten their loads. Brighten their days. Make them laugh. Make them cry. Share your successes, so they can see their own in the future.

 

4. Entertain.

My friends are super entertaining. I love their stories, their jokes, their viewpoints. Time just flies by when I’m hanging out with them. And I look forward to the next time I can see them or talk to them. I cherish them, in part because I associate them with such good times.

If you’re going to make friends with your prospects and customers, they should feel the same way about you. So entertain them. Share things from your Dream 100 that fill their time in an easy and joyful way. Connect over something you like.  It doesn’t have to be goofy cat videos (Although it certainly can be. Who am I to say you shouldn’t have goofy cat video producers in your Dream 100?)

Fun is, well… fun. So don’t take yourself, or your Dream 100 so seriously all the damn time.

 

5. Enhance financial or personal wellness.

One of my favorite wishes for people I love is, “Be well.” Wishing another well is the ultimate in values-based connection. It matters to me that the ones I love are well: financially, spiritually, physically, mentally. And you can easily pass on information from your Dream 100 to enhance wellness in the lives of those you love most: your customers.

There are all kinds of ways to do this. Interview your Dream 100 members about their higher purpose or their beliefs, and pass the info along. Share best practices of your Dream 100. Show yourself, and your Dream 100, in real life. (Snap Chat is an amazing resource for this, by the way.) Create quick tips, advice, quotes, short stories… anything that will help your tribe to “be well.”

 

 

This is by no means an exhaustive list. But it should certainly get you moving in the right direction.

As you can see, sharing info from your Dream 100 facilitates real connections on so many levels. It elevates relationships. It moves you past the initial “yes” of the transaction, well into that first date, and far beyond.

They say, “Sharing is caring.” And I find, very often, that THEY are some pretty smart cookies.

 

If you’d like to work with me in creating your own Dream 100, and writing a strategic plan to positively influence their worlds and those of your prospects, reach out to me a julia@strategicjuju.com. I’ve got a package for you that’s an absolute dream.

 

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A Crash Course in the Dream 100. Lesson #1: What and Why
16/01/17 Uncategorized # , , , ,

A Crash Course in the Dream 100. Lesson #1: What and Why

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
— John Lennon

 

Everything about brands that transcend – and businesses that remain in business – is connected to connection. We no longer live in an economy driven by transaction. Today, our economy is driven by experience. And no experience is richer, more fulfilling, or more apt to lead to a next experience than one that includes REAL connection through shared values.

 

If I believe what you believe, I wanna hang out with you, man. If you believe what I believe, you’ll be singin’ my song by morning. If we bond over what we both feel is true and right, it beats a pinky swear by a clear mile.

 

Over the course of several days last week, I talked in broad strokes and specifics about how to connect with prospects and customers by sharing your values and beliefs. (If you missed those posts, you can catch the last of them, which includes links to all three, by clicking here.) And one of the specifics I mentioned was the cultivation of a Dream 100 list.

 

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Give ‘Em Something to Believe In
12/01/17 How to Brand Your Juju # , , ,

Give ‘Em Something to Believe In

Yesterday on the blog, I talked about motive. More specifically, the underlying reason you jumped into business in the first place… beyond the cha-ching. If you missed that piece, you can read it here.

 

In short, customers don’t bond with companies. Customers bond with ideals, beliefs, values, and world views.

 

If you want to form real connections (and believe me, if you want your business to be sustainable, you want to form real connections), it’s not enough to get clear on your motives and beliefs. You also have to articulate them clearly to the world. And you need to communicate consistently, over time, so folks will come to see what you stand for, and that you’re seriously committed to it.

 

One of the benefits of values-based connections that’s so often overlooked by business owners is the personal joy and fulfillment that comes as a result of working for a higher purpose. It’s one thing to have great sales numbers. It’s another to change lives or start a ripple in the world.

 

Wanna jump out of bed every morning? Put yourself in a situation where you’re consistently serving others or serving the planet. And then spread the word.

 

6 Ways to Communicate Your Beliefs to Your Customers and Prospects – to Facilitate True Connection

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Is Your Business Capsizing in the Sea of Sameness?
10/01/17 How to Brand Your Juju , Uncategorized # , , , , ,

Is Your Business Capsizing in the Sea of Sameness?

Motive is a powerful thing.

 

It’s even more powerful when it’s pulled from the shadows, clearly articulated, and shared with your customers.

 

We’re taught to believe that motives lurk behind the scenes and hide in our subconscious minds. Movies and media stories are driven by secret or slimy motives for crimes, wayward political careers, and unintentional moments of truth that expose liars and evil-doers.

 

Motives, my friend, have gotten a terribly unfair bad rap.

 

When it comes to building a brand, a following, a customer base, or a reputation, your motive is your most potent and effective tool for differentiation.

 

Small business owners and entrepreneurs so often find themselves in a crippling space of equivalence. We look and feel just like everyone else.

 

Are you a coach among tens of thousands of coaches? A graphic designer in a never-ending list of design studio choices? A cookie company with access to the same butter, flour, raisins, and cranberries available to every other bakery in the world?

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What’s Love Got to Do with It?
10/01/17 How to Brand Your Juju # , , ,

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

When it comes to branding… everything. Love has everything to do with it.

 

Yesterday I read an amazing quote from Gary Vaynerchuk:

 

The reason we love our parents is because they loved us first. Every single company should take this advice.

 

I couldn’t agree more. That Gary V. is a dude after my own heart.

 

After all, parenting is all about heart, right?

 

When we parent, we constantly focus on four present and future states we want for our children:

 

  1. We want to see their HOPES nurtured and respected.
  2. We want to see their DREAMS fulfilled.
  3. We want to see their FEARS allayed or conquered.
  4. And we want to see their FRUSTRATIONS eased or eliminated.

 

We do this because we love our kids, and ultimately, we want them to be happy. We want to see them master the universe and get what they want.

 

When I build brands for corporations or teach branding to small business owners, this is the first place we begin. We ask the question: “What are the hopes, dreams, fears and frustrations of the clients we serve?”

 

Where Gary V. hits the nail on the head, though, is WHY we do this. And this is the place I most often see branding and marketing go awry…

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4 Solid Ways to Turn Your Brand Into a Profit Machine
18/07/16 How to Brand Your Juju # , , , , ,

4 Solid Ways to Turn Your Brand Into a Profit Machine

As an entrepreneur, you’re pulled in a hundred different directions. It’s easy to be swept away by the moment, day after day… attending to the crisis at hand, selling to the prospect who’s right in front of you, or ticking that next thing off the list.

 

Time for long-term planning? Not so much.

 

Alex Charfen, developer of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type (EPT) and one of my favorite online gurus, recently posted a video in his EPT Facebook group about the 50% Future Focus Rule. Charfen says that in order for entrepreneurs to scale and grow businesses, we must spend at least 50% of our time in strategic, long-term planning.

 

Here’s something you may not have considered:

 

Branding is one of the most powerful strategies for long-term profit.

 

So if you’re seeing your brand as a function of design or an exercise in story telling, it’s time for a mindset shift.

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Calling it Quits on Sales Shaming
10/06/16 How to Brand Your Juju , Personal Juju , Uncategorized # , , , ,

Calling it Quits on Sales Shaming

I grew up surrounded by the car business. My dad was an old-school car dealer. The kind who would say to customers things like, “Whaddya think, we plug these lights into the moon?” or “Whaddya mean you have to ask your wife? What kind of sissy has to ask his wife if he can buy a car?”

 

He carried a wad of cash in his pocket with a rubber band around it, instead of a wallet. He wore Sansabelt slacks that coordinated perfectly with matching polyester-blend golf shirts and pullover v-neck sweaters with little penguins embroidered on the left breast. He golfed 18 holes most every afternoon, and spent his evenings in lounges with high-back red leather booths, velvet wallpaper, and great big porterhouse steaks… a glass of something clear, amber, and on the rocks invariably in-hand.

 

In the 1970’s he broke Nissan’s sales record for the most new vehicles sold in a single month. (They were still Datsun then.) When he died in 2008, the record still stood.

 

When I was a little girl, I thought my dad smelled like 50% perspiration, and 50% California sunshine. I thought he could make money rain from the sky.

 

But I never wanted to be a car dealer.

 

Sales? Ewwww.
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