We believe that bringing brands, content, celebrities and influencers together makes storytelling more meaningful and impactful.
As social media is now one of the largest components of marketing and branding, it has led to the need for brands to have a more personalized branding. The best way to maintain relevance is to have a perspective on issues that are relevant to your business. But how do you craft your personalized branding to better resonate with your demographics?
Recently, our CEO Stacy Jones sat down with an expert on the topic of personalized branding to discuss how brands can maintain a presence that best resonates with their consumer. In this blog, Hollywood Branded learns how to drive your business through brand positioning and personalized branding from the expertise of Lysa Miller.
to Lysa Miller is the CEO and founder of ladybugz.com and the UnAgency, a mission-based agency she recently launched to help B2C companies better focus on e-commerce to generate revenue and grow. She formerly was the co-founder of an agency that specialized in B2B consulting, and is also the founder of both the Sales Empowerment Summit for Women and MetroWest Women's Network. Lysa has been featured in Entrepreneur, Fortune, CIO, DailyWorth, and Business Insider, and has also been named in Agency Spotter's 10 Women-Owned Agencies You Should Know.
Question: What I'd love to do is have you tell our audience a little bit more about how you got to where you are today. What brought you to here, where you are now actually just recently launching a whole new business to help people?
Answer: I am ancient when it comes to the world of the internet, I started working on the web right out of college, and so I've always loved freelancing and design, but I'm really technically a writer by trade and a PR person. That's what my background is in. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. So that happened, and I started a family and did all that, and like many women, the workplace doesn't always offer a solution that works when you have children - so I went out on my own. I already had the domain name called ladybugz.com, and I freelanced for quite a few years in tourism and hospitality. I had some really great clients and got to work with lots of great local restaurants, Relais and Chateaux restaurants, which are world-renowned.
About seven years ago, my kids were getting a little bigger, and I really wanted to grow my business. I started promoting Ladybugz, doing a ton of social media, and I built that company on my personal brand. I built my Twitter account, LinkedIn, Facebook, and provided a lot of logging resources for people back then that weren't being provided around social media. The timing was definitely really great.
Fast forward three or four years, I had that agency going. My clients were getting bigger, and I needed a larger web development company to help me with these larger projects I was getting. I partnered with 3 Media Web, which turned into a co-founding and a partnership there. So I was there for four years. I helped grow that business. We started doing a lot of different types of businesses, but we honed in on B2B, and that's what they do now. They do websites and digital marketing for B2B companies.
I left that company because of my passion for B2C companies and just felt like I could help more people than just B2B companies. As an owner of the company, I eventually got to the point where I wasn't working in the business anymore. I was promoting the business and helping grow the business, but I wasn't working in the business. As an entrepreneur, I was starting to feel like I didn't have a purpose anymore. My purpose is always to help people, and you said you really enjoy that too. So if somebody says, "Lysa Miller helped me," that's worth more than gold to me because I think we're all put on this earth to help other... make other people's lives better. If you can do that through business, and I think about how many people rely on their business for their lifeline.
That's where I am today - I'm starting a company called the Ad Agency. We're going to be a different kind of agency. We're mission-based, so I have a couple of mission statements I want to fulfill, and then I'm going to build the company around that. My goal is to help as many B2C companies as I can grow in this climate and also help them get focused on e-commerce and improving their e-commerce sales. So that's where I'm going.
Question: So when you say you're mission-based, and I hear this from people not all the time, but somewhat frequently, what does mission-based mean to you? What's the driving force behind being mission-based?
Answer: So mission-based, really, is just the way I'm setting the company up. I have certain goals that I want to accomplish, like certain missions, and those missions are all to help people. I have the three missions, which are: I want to help as many people as I can grow their businesses through some kind of affordable solution. Secondly, I want to help them through services, and consulting, and helping them get the right package together to get them moving, and to help find the right resources or provide the right resources for them. Thirdly, I want to change the way that agencies and companies do business. So those are my three goals with the company. How I get to those goals is how the business is going to be built.
Question: That's awesome, and that means that your approach with your agency, as we've talked about as well, is a little different, right? Would you say that you're not just going to be out there and working one-on-one with clients? You're actually creating something that is almost rinse-and-repeatable in some ways where you can leverage it, and scale it, and work with many, many people. Is that correct?
Answer: Yeah, I'm looking to actually create three different service levels, so that in agencies today, they're providing services and labor. Labor costs money, and so the more labor that you incur, the more that costs for your clients and for you as an agency. So if you can create something that people can afford at that cost level and being the perfect agency, that's fine. But we've all learned that through a pandemic, that's not going to work.
So if you can create something that is mass targeted at a mass of people, but you can still create value for them at an affordable price, they can use that service. Then, if they'd want to use other services either with your agency or other vendors who are involved with your agency that would suit them, then that's going to help them. So that's how I was thinking of reaching more people that way is to provide a service of all the years of experience I have marketing businesses, which is 25 to 30 basically, and I've done everything from grow dental offices to help promote them to be multiple dental offices. I've obviously grown from a small agency to an over seven-figure agency. I've helped B2C companies. I've helped B2B companies.
So whatever I can take in all my years, and I'm turning 50 this year, so yay for that, but I have more experience. I've done this my whole life, and I have 10 years more experience than somebody who's 40 or 20, more than someone who's 30. So I feel like I can really bring that value, and I still do it now. So I'm still learning, and I'm still able to teach. But all these tricks and tips on top of the digital marketing that I've learned, I want to be able to bring that to people and have them be able to use it the same way I did.
Why should you have to not do what... Do you wonder how these other companies are getting ahead? They do have these tricks and tips that they try. They try things that might not work the first time. They're willing to go outside the box. Nowadays, if you tell somebody they need a podcast, they look at me, and they're like, "What do I need a podcast for?" I'm backtracking there, and I'm thinking like, "Why don't you have a podcast? That's the question." So I want to help people move forward with those decisions.
Question: So your proposition here is actually creating something where from the get-go, they're able to work with you on any of these levels?
Answer: Yeah, and the other really cool thing is, too, is if you are working with an agency already, you can still do this because you might want to question your agency, like what else could you be doing because - I'm not being negative towards agencies, but we all know that they tend to set it a lot of times and forget it. That's how agencies make money. For the most part, they processize things. They make things repeatable. So you might not always be getting a custom solution, which is fine, but at least if you're involved in consulting with somebody or having somebody else look at your program, like you can help keep your agency at the top of their game. You can say, "Why aren't you guys suggesting a podcast?" or, "What can I do to get on a podcast?" or, "Why aren't I doing a newsletter? I should be doing a newsletter," or whatever it might be so that you're more educated too.
I'm all for agencies, but I'm also for the clients should be questioning the agency on a regular basis like what we should be changing. We're always changing. So something that worked last year is not working this year. If your agency can't change or shift, there's things right now that I would tell everybody to shift. So if your agency is not doing that, I think that's something... If you have a community behind you or some kind of power, like in this... what I want to create some advice, then you can go to them and say, "Okay. Well, why aren't we doing this? Can we do this?" You can actually add to the conversation, and add to the plan, and add to your own success. you know your business better than anybody. So if you can add that and figure out how you can contribute, why not? You're just going to get exponential growth.
Question: So for any of our listeners who are like, "Okay. I need to establish personal branding. I need to establish thought leadership," what are the steps that you suggest they take? How do they actually go about this? Because yes, it is a lot of writing, it is a lot of interviewing, but before you can get to the interviews and before you can get to the writing, you actually have to have a plan in place about what you're going to do. So where do you think it starts?
Answer: I definitely think that building your brand starts online. So making sure that you have all your profiles set up and really taking the time to write in those and make those really speak to your audiences. Part of that, there are some just really basic stuff like having... I hate to say, but having a photo shoot, a lifestyle shoot, and showing who you are personally. But then, once you get those established, you're really going to build your brand by adding value to people's lives. Whatever that might be, whatever field you're in, you need to start talking about the value that you can add to somebody else, and that's really where you grow your business.
Then, as you grow your brand, and then as you start to branch out, you use different avenues to talk about those. So maybe right now you're only comfortable blogging, but you can take that blog, and you can put it on all of your social media channels. You can take different pieces out of the blog and show them different ways that you can build up personality. Then, you can expand it like we just talked about. Then, you can maybe get featured in an article or you can partner with another company you do business with and talk to them about things that are going on in the industry, but you just always want to show value and just build upon that however you can.
Everybody's personal branding journey is going to be different depending on the type of business you are. So I've been building mine for the last four years on this B2B and here I am going back to B2C, but I think that still brings a lot of value because now I've been on both sides. I've been on B2C for much longer than B2B, but I think that that brings a lot of value to people, and my insights alone can really help people, and inspire people, and get people moving in the right direction.
Lysa has SO MUCH of great information from her experience in brand positioning and personal branding, check out the podcast below to learn more about how to drive your business from her advice and expertise!
Every week we have a marketing professional on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our other podcast blogs from earlier this year:
Every week we release a new podcast featuring guest's with so much knowledge about marketing, you don't want to miss one! How can you make sure you don't miss an episode? Click below to subscribe!
Topics: Business Advice, Podcast Interviews