The Power of Personal Branding in 2018 with Jessica Zweig

It all started on Instagram… it’s where I started stalking Jessica Zweig and fell in absolute awe of this accomplished Lady Boss from the Midwest USA.

Jessia Zweig
Jessica Zweig, The Founder of SimplyBe Agency, a personal branding company. @jessicazweig

I highly recommend you watch the entire episode below to get the most value out of the time I spent with INC.’s Top Digital Marketer to Watch, Chicago based Jessica Zweig.

If you’re time poor and can’t invest the next 27 minutes into learning from one of the most sought-after brand masters on the planet – then I have created a quick ‘Key Takeaway’  blog below just for you!

Key Points for the Time-Poor

Jessica went from nobody knowing about her magazine (Cheeky) in Chicago to around 100,000 readers at its peak.

As the founder of Chicago’s largest digital magazine for women, Jessica was working with major brands including Nike, Bloomingdales, and Heineken. It was at this point that she became obsessed with storytelling, to her, that’s what branding is all about!

We will call this quick recap “What Jessica Says…”

On the power of personal branding

“I realised that when you build equity in your name you are synonymous with a story or expertise, this is your ultimate business card.”

“It opens doors for you without actually having to speak.”

On discovering her own personal brand

“If I preach anything, its authenticity, like don’t be anyone else but you. In order to have a really strong personal brand you need to know who you are, you have to have a really strong sense of self.”

On helping clients discover theirs

“I guide my clients through a process to identify three to four pillars which are the things that really concretely make up their lives, the things they truly care about and the things they truly know.”

“I take those pillars and I micro them out into content, I mean to be honest what you share online makes you a complete person.”

On whether personal branding is an act of vanity

“People say gosh that’s such an act of vanity, I don’t really want to put myself out there. I am uncomfortable doing that – or that’s an ego thing.”

“First of all, that’s just fear of your own greatness.”

“People come to the internet to help themselves, why wouldn’t you be a thought leader?”

On backing yourself and valuing your gifts

“You have something by virtue of your own life experience that no one else has. No one else has what you have, no one else knows what you know.”

“If you’re going to build a personal brand, you have to do it in the generosity economy, you have to believe that the more you give, the more you will receive.”

“In 2018, everyone is a media channel if they want to be – when you put yourself out there as a personal brand you have the opportunity to bring back some humanity and connection.”

On what you should be sharing online

“If ( your social media content) is not appropriate for your boss to see, it is probably not appropriate for anyone to see.”

“Being really intentional with how you’re showing up, no matter who is reading it because it all matters and the internet is written in ink.”

On what it was like to work with Bethenny Frankel and the brand Skinny Girl Cocktails

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“It was my first entre into consulting in social media.”

“It was an amazing experience, and I actually did get to meet Bethany. She was awesome, I mean I was the social media manager for the brand for a year, so Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube, I managed, and I also wrote blogs for all the Skinny Girl Cocktails website. I got to travel with her to a couple different cities to do her launches for her new products in the portfolio, so I got to go to Aspen with her, I got to go to LA with her. You know, I was there on her team, you know her agency team, I was on my phone the whole time capturing behind the scenes on social media for her, she was very professional, she was very sweet, but I didn’t really get to talk to her.”

On tips for entrepreneurs in their first year of business

“Team is everything. You cant do it all yourself, you have to outsource, you have to learn to delegate.”

“I always say that you can teach someone how to do anything. I can teach you how to use Hoote Suite, I can teach you how to send out an email on Mail Chimp, I can teach you how to run an event, but I cannot teach you ambition, I can’t give that fire to you, you either have that or you don’t.”

“Read the book Traction, it’s seriously the best book I have ever read as an entrepreneur, I check it all the time.”

Traction by Gino Wickman

Where to go for more information

https://www.jessicazweig.com

 

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10 Things to do Before Going Back to Work in 2018

Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week ~ Spanish Proverb

Welcome to 2018!

If you felt completely out of control in 2017 then read on, you are not alone! I quit my job in March 2017 to start not one, but two separate business ventures and fell into the common trap of chasing pay checks over unpaid tasks like personal organisation and setting up business systems.

So with a New Year ahead of me, I have finally sat down and devised a list of 10 tasks to complete to better prepare myself for the year ahead.

  1. Get the email inbox back to zero! I am currently sitting on 850. My plan is to get in there and unsubscribe to a bunch of automated emails and then set rules to some of the regular, non-urgent incoming emails so they can be automatically filed. I used mailstrom and liked it so much that I purchased a years subscription to their service for $39.95. It got the job done in just under an hour.
  2. Back up the iPhone Full disclosure here, I currently have 27,531 Photos and 1,599 Videos on my iPhone and its causing me daily anxiety and there are studies out there that show clutter, even the digital kind can impact your performance.
  3. Delete Apps you don’t use The typical smart phone user touches his or her phone 2,617 time every day, according to a study by research firm dscout. If your scrolling across pages of apps to find the one you’re looking for you’re wasting time!
  4. Tidy up your Instagram feed It’s amazing how many people I still speak to who know nothing about Instagrams Archive feature. The feature lets anyone on Instagram hide their old posts without deleting them. Just go to the … in the top right hand corner of the image you would like to hide and the menu will pop up.10 things to do before going back to work in 2018
  5. Conduct your own digital audit Have you ever stalked yourself online? Is your Linkedin profile up to date? Have you triple checked your privacy settings on Facebook to make sure your personal information and images are on lock down? Is your website up to date? Are all the links are working correctly and do you have a recent blog post? If you’re failing to look organised and up to date online it could be sending that same message to your potential clients or employer.
  6. Manage your files  I upload important client documents into Wrike and I also use Google Drive and Dropbox to store files. I learned about the importance of backing up to a cloud based system earlier this year when my MacBook died at just 6-months-old. Delete any files you no longer need and keep your computer free of clutter – it will run better that way too!
  7. Set up your workspace I am one of those people who can’t work from a cluttered desk. I am also stationery addict. I thrive in a colour coordinated work space with a view to the outside world but I’m even happier working outside all together.Amanda Williams in Neutral Bay, Sydney NSWThere are also people who thrive in organised chaos too so what ever your style is, just make sure it’s exactly how you need it to be to be happy and productive when you’re at work.
  8. Make a vision board Up until now, I have never made a vision board and it’s not because I don’t believe in them. I have done research around what to include and I’ve read that its more important to focus on how you want to feel rather than the materialistic things you desire. There are no rules as to what you put on your own board. It is totally up to you but the general consensus is to include things that motivate and inspire you to be a better version of yourself.
  9. Start a journal Some of the most influential people in history wrote journals detailing their daily lives. I purchased the Best Self Journal a few months ago but failed to start using it despite my best intentions. The reason I bought this journal over a regular notebook was because it guides you through the process making it easy to follow if you’re a newbie like me.
  10. Map out the year ahead I purchased a $3 planner from Kmart for 2018. It shows a month at a glance so you can go through and map out all the key dates in your business as well as some personal time-out. The planner also becomes an effective tool in creating a content map for the year. You can expand on the key dates in your calendar to meet your monthly, weekly and daily content goals.

Why I left Politics to Freelance

In October 2008, I was bawling my eyes out on the way back from the Best Bum final in Paris. After spending 10 days in Europe with amazing new friends I didn’t want to go back to my old life.

So instead of going back to real estate, which was this space that I had been working in for five years, I decided to enroll myself into university. I was 24-years-old.

Like every other person in my communications degree studying journalism, I wanted to be a host on Getaway but little did I know I would end up somewhere completely different.

I was offered a job six months out from finishing university to work in politics as a media officer. At the time I thought that would look pretty impressive on my resume.

My last day at Parliament House in 2015
I took a selfie stick to work this day so that I could get a photograph to mark my last day working in Parliament House in 2015.

Even though I never dreamed of working in Politics, I spent six years working for politicians. I worked incredibly hard, traveling between my home base on the Gold Coast and Parliament House in Canberra on sitting weeks.

I spent roughly 22 weeks of each year in Parliament itself. When I was there, I basically wrote a million speeches and watched the chamber like a hawk. We worked some big hours from 7:00 in the morning to about 10:00 or 11:00 at night most days.

As a result of my own experience flying in and out for work (FIFO), I have gained so much respect for people who do FIFO. It’s really tough, you do miss out on some important milestones and celebrations with your loved-ones.

After four years, I decided my time in Federal Politics was at an end. I wanted to be more permanently based at home. 

This brought me to the next stage of my political career, working for the Queensland Parliament which lasted about two years. 

It was Christmas time last year where I just really … just had the burning desire to get out and do something for myself. So many people would always say to me, you know, you’re very good at what you do, if anyone can run a business it is you.

From my experience, most politicians aren’t really very open to doing anything super creative. Everything that you do in public relations and politics has to kind of fit within a box, which normally comes with shell media releases.

I wanted to be able to break out of the conservative political communications world and show my creative talent and skill to others who would appreciate it.

There was only so much that I could as a media advisor in the political space. I had some great ideas, particularly around how social media could be utilised to connect authentically with voters but by and large, Pollies don’t feel comfortable sharing their personal lives. 

They know that everything they say and do can be scrutinized so they are in a space where they don’t usually feel comfortable sharing that side of themselves. 

I want to work with people who can. I want to work with people who are very sure about who they are, and they have a very strong brand awareness and need help looking super awesome online and in the media.

It’s essentially what I did for six years.

With a plethora of platforms to get your message across, like YouTube, podcasts, blogs. were not just working with the traditional press, TV and radio media channels anymore.

There are several ways to get your message across and I just love helping people plan a tailored media management strategy.

In fact, I am just a huge fan of plans full stop. With a super creative mind and an understanding of small business, I get a real buzz out of combining all of my experience and knowledge within my own consultancy.

If I love what I do, I will never work a day in my life!

The entrepreneurial rollercoaster sure has its ups and downs but I’ll take freedom over security any day of the week.

At least for now!

How FitAzFK Cashed in on Social Media Success – WITH TIPS

Originally published as FITAZFK ENTREPRENEURS HIT THE GYM TO CASH IN ON SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS at Business News Australia.

AFTER repaying the initial start-up costs of their e-commerce business within the first two days of trading, the founders of FitazFK are muscling their way into the Brisbane Gym market.FitAz-25.jpg

The latest venture for founders Georgio Batsinilas (pictured right) and Aaron McAllister (left) is a 650 square metre gym facility in Brisbane’s inner-city suburb of Kangaroo Point is set to become one of the most prominent gyms in Brisbane.

“Leveraging off our success with the online FitazFK market, we’ve been working on creating the ultimate gym experience at our new FitazFk gym,” says co-founder Batsinilas.

The fit-founders, with an Instagram following of more than 700,000, are confident their latest move will pay off with 250 people piling onto the waiting list within their first two weeks of advertising.

“We’ve got around 300 people on a pre-registration list now which we are working through, and we’ve signed up our first 100 founding members already,” says Batsinilas.

The odds of success are in the duo’s favour if previous records are anything to go by having sold more than 50,000 fitness and nutrition guides online and transforming over 38,500 bodies.

“Initially, FitazFK repaid its capital investment within two days and the growth since then has allowed us to not only invest in the gym but also into Ryan Greasley Fitness which paid for itself in just 10 hours of going live,” says Batsinilas.
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A major factor in the Brisbane boys success story has come from the unique username @FitazFk which grew to 50,000 followers in just four months and a savvy social media marketing strategy.

“If you want to be successful in social media marketing you really need to live it and breathe it.”

“I became obsessed! I read lots of books, attended seminars and even joined mastermind groups who really understand the power of social media and we share our knowledge.”

“In the process, I also learned a lot from my fiancé, Thessy. She is literally the QUEEN of social media! Her skill to understand the psychographics of her customers is next level.”

“If we only cared about likes and based our success of followers we would probably not make much money but would have double the engagement and double the followers.”

In addition to attracting the right followers, Batsinilas says it is important to build honest and loyal relationships with key influencers.

“We are in the golden age of influencer marketing – it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.”

While preparations are underway for the gym to be up and running by the end of October, the entrepreneurs are also planning a trip to China to take their manufacturing side of the business to the next level.

Georgio Batsinilas’ 7 Tips for social media success:

1. Spend time learning what other successful brands are doing

2. Our social media page is kept to a theme. My theme is built around people coming to our page for aspiration in the fitness space – we want to inspire our customers to be their best version of themselves!

3. I always post clear images and always make sure I credit everyone I feature

4. Network! This is something a lot of people miss. Instagram is more than just posting an image. It’s about interacting with other brands/pages. You have to collaborate with other pages that are likeminded to yours to gain new followers and get exposure

5. I wanted to be different and I made sure I was. I created a username people wanted to repeat. I had a page called Fitaz_health which took me a year to grow to 4k. I created a new page called FitazFK and grew 50k in 4 months

6. I also made sure I knew every algorithm that was out there at the time and that it was most influential. If Instagram were favouring pages that received heaps of interaction from big pages, I would negotiate with these “bigger accounts” so they would like my posts. Tip – today, Instagram is favouring stories, get onto this asap, in a month it will be something different.

7. Respond to EVERYONE in comments, DMs, mentions – the lot. You are never too big, and no one is ever too small. That’s what is going to differentiate you from being just another brand. You’re becoming the customer’s friend.

When you Party with Kase Media

What do you get when you mix champagne, two content marketing gurus, a stylist, a make-up artist and five other kick ass female entrepreneurs?

GREAT video content – and some fabulous friends!

I am one of the lucky few to experience the first ever Kase Media Party first hand and let me tell you, it was the best $150 I have spent in my business since I started freelancing seven months ago.

I have been REALLY struggling with being myself – especially on camera. After too many years wearing a suit and corporate mask I have been struggling with the concept of letting my own personality shine through in my business.

I don’t have to fit in a predetermined box anymore. It’s one of the perks of being your own boss – if people don’t like what they see, that’s ok. I know that in the long run, my vibe will attract my tribe!

Storm and Kristine have encouraged me to embrace what makes me unique. As a result of working with them for one day, I have come back inspired to make some big changes to how I portray myself online.

For starters, I rewrote the landing page on my website. I used to talk about what I do, but now I’m telling my audience who I am, what I’ve done and what I am still yet to achieve.

Words can only do so much on their own so I will be working with the girls in the near future to create more video content which will help complete strangers get a better gist of the personality behind the brand.

Kase Media Team
With Storm and Kristine from Kase Media @Kasemedia

As a result of being immersed in a full day training with Kase Media, I produced this quick little video. The girls asked a range of weird and wacky questions which at the time I thought was quite random. They then supplied the footage to me and I did my thing on iMovie and I ended up creating the video below.

I shared this video as soon as I got back from the workshop and I’ve had some great engagement!

Who would have thought toilet humour would be so relatable?

It’s now safe to say, Storm and Kristine have created a monster.

I can’t wait to produce my next clip!

Today I started filming a travel guide on doing New Zealand on $1000 budget, watch this space!

 

 

When my Butt took me all the way to Paris for FREE!

You probably didn’t know this.. butt! Nine years ago I was strutting my stuff on a catwalk in Paris…

If I were to write a how-to guide on bagging a title like best butt and landing an all expenses paid trip to Paris to strut my stuff on a catwalk it would go something like this:

1- Be open to opportunities, especially those staring you right in the face.

That’s how I found out there was a competition for the Best Butt. I was at K-mart and there was this GIANT sign advertising the competition.

They were looking for a male and female over 18 years-of-age who had a perky rear. Having been genetically gifted in that department It became a big YES from me.

2. Challenge yourself and keep your eye on the prize

So at the time, I had gained some weight and I thought this would be a great idea to help motivate me to get in shape.

I remember logging into the competition online, uploading my photos, and checking my ranking every day… The more my votes climbed the harder I went in the gym.

When I landed in the top 10 I almost wore the conveyer belt off the treadmill – I wanted that number one spot that much!

3 – Invite other people on your journey.

I entered my brother into the competition – we did it for a bit of a laugh but as it turned out he was climbing the leaderboard alongside me and it wasn’t long before we both ended up on a catwalk in Woolamaloo Sydney. Having the time of our lives might I add.. SOO MANY Zoolander moments..

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4 – Make it about something bigger than you.

When my brother and I took out the Australian title ( I know right, what a PR dream) we won some prize money as well as an all expenses paid trip to France for the world title.

During a live interview on the Channel Seven Morning show, we announced we had decided to give our prize money to a family we knew back home who were dealing with some devastating news.

I won’t go into too much detail about it here but let me just say they got a big shock when they tuned in and saw us standing there on national TV in our underwear announcing the decision.To this day, its one of the best memories of my life.

5 – Be present, take in every moment while it lasts.

The competition in Paris was unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. After 35 hours of travel, we didn’t even get to check into our rooms before we were in front of the camera at our first photo shoot.

Even though we were exhausted and jet-lagged we were just so excited to be part of the production. As all the competitors rolled in from all around the world we became fascinated with their stories.

Remember this was 2008. Myspace was pretty much the only social media platform which I paid any attention to and getting to know strangers on the other side of the world was still a very new concept to a lot of us which is why it was so great spending the week we had together with our new friends.

Despite the reversals and official duties taking up most of our time, we still managed to make the most of being tourists in Paris.

Its almost been 10 years since we were there but because I felt so present in the moment – I can still recall so much detail.

To this day, I continue to cherish those memories and friendships.

First Vid Feels

Is it just me or is it SUPER awkward filming your first video?

Are people usually gifted with the natural ability to not suck doing this?

I felt so uncomfortable doing this video but I decided it needed to be the first video.

If I am being 100% authentic in this process then this is where the journey should begin – not in another 50 takes when I shake off this feeling and turn into Ron Burgandy.

What are your tips for not feeling like a complete weirdo that’s been possessed by someone else the minute you hit record?

I’ll just keep rollin on these training wheels until I get better at this!

How public relations converts customers with social proof

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If PR is not a part of your marketing program, it may be time to consider implementing a public relations strategy to complement your existing marketing plan.

There is endless evidence to support the fact PR carries a higher credibility factor than traditional marketing methods. Articles generated on reputable news sites are great for social proof.

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior.

When you get featured in the media you have the perfect opportunity to leverage a media mention to gain social proof. For example, you could take a quote from the article and use it to establish authority like I did on my about page or you could upload the logos to a ‘featured in’ section on your website.

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You can also share links to the articles via social media. They make great sponsored posts so put a few dollars aside to ensure you can reap the opportunity when it’s presented. Even better yet, if it is featured on the media outlets own social media page or feed, re-share it for added social proof!

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Due to the multifaceted world of modern-day marketing and communications, PR practitioners now offer a broad suite of services to meet the needs of individuals and brands, including:

– Strategic Advice
– Brand Awareness
– Crisis Management
– Media Relations
– Media Events
– Influencer Relations
– Coaching
– Content design
– Copywriting
– Social Media Strategy

My ongoing PR service includes:

A comprehensive media management plan
Working with your existing marketing material to create a media kit.
A targeted media contact list of ideal media outlets (as opposed to sending a mass email to a generic list of hundreds of journalists spam boxes)
Press Release listing on Medianet (a division of Australian Associated Press) Australia’s largest press release distribution network.
Five hours consulting per month for the purpose of:
– Media coaching if required
– Attendance at event/press conference/television interviews (subject to availability)
– One-on-one communication
An original and engaging pitch/angle for media coverage each month
A newsworthy targeted press release signed off by both parties each month
A 250-word blog on the same topic for use on your website or e-newsletter each month.
All press clips, links etc to successful stories collated and handed over for you to use on your Social Media/E-Newsletters etc.

According to the Public Relations Institute of Australia(PRIA), the average cost of hiring a PR agent on a monthly retainer is upwards of $12,000.

As a consultant, I am able to offer the same results as an agency without passing on the costs associated with hiring a large team and office space. If you would like to enquire into the cost of my monthly PR service then get in touch!

If monthly retainers aren’t your thing, check out my Ad-Hoc PR package.

What to Include on a Social Media Profile

I like to think of the internet as an information and entertainment system. If you’re on there, you’re either searching for information, watching cat videos or stalking people on Facebook.

Oh, and LinkedIn.

Thats where people go to learn about your professional existence and its one of the first places I go to background people I haven’t met before. I like to know as much as I can about the people I am going to potentially work with.

So if I were to stalk you online, what would I find? Is your profile looking after your first impression online?

In my experience, most profiles are either out of date, non-existent or are full of empty claims which lack substantiation.

Since becoming a freelancer, I spend the majority of my time writing engaging online profiles for my clients.

After being exposed to more then 2,000 pieces of content a day, online users don’t want the full spiel in your “About” section anymore.

They want to know what problems you solve.

In other words, your audience want’s to know what’s in it for them. You need to resonate with them as soon as possible by communicating your understanding of their needs. The best way to do that is to use an interesting anecdote or two.

Who doesn’t like a good story they can relate to right?

Another way to engage your audience is to provide examples of social proof.

Social proof can build trust and legitimacy in your business in a world where people can access information online at their fingertips.

Can you make a reference to a glowing recommendation by a well-known authority? Has your company received favorable press that can be mentioned?

Finally, less is more. People are time poor. If you’re after engagement, don’t overcomplicate your profile. If you can communicate with brevity you will always have a better chance of getting your point across.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions on this or other topics related to telling your story online and in the media.