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Is being "Authentic" Inauthentic? Engineering a Brand Built for Trust - Jennifer Anastasi

Is it possible to be inauthentic precisely because you are trying to be authentic? Well, yeah! This week’s Trust Cast is all about engineering the perfect trustworthy brand.

Show Notes

Is it possible to be inauthentic precisely because you are trying to be authentic? Well, yeah! This week’s Trust Cast is all about engineering the perfect trustworthy brand. To do this, you need to be true to your purpose and values.

Meet Jennifer

Jennifer helps entrepreneurs grow their business by bringing in more (and better) clients. She helps them create a professional strategy and plan that maximizes their marketing so they can attract those ideal clients consistently.

  • Jennifer started her career as a software engineer.
  • She was always interested in UX and the experience that a user has when they interact with software.
  • Jennifer started her own business and had to do marketing and she realized that there were a lot of parallels between software engineering and marketing.

Engineering a Brand

  • Engineering is finding a creative solution to a problem.
  • There are a lot of ways to accomplish the same thing. The trick is finding the BEST way to accomplish the task. What’s the most efficient way to achieve the goal.
  • At the end of the day, you start with a goal and create a step-by-step process to get there.
  • It’s the same way in business. There are a million ways to make money.
  • Marketing is the engineering to figure out how to get there.

Finding a Purpose

  • A brand is all about having a purpose and values.
  • Jennifer worked with an opera singer who wants to completely change the industry and achieve equal pay for women and men.
  • Now that they knew the purpose, they needed to find the ideal client to align with that purpose.
  • Talk to your target audience and learn about their pinpoints.
  • Find data that backs up your assumptions.

How to make an authentic brand

  • Don’t make the mistake of keeping your brand in your head. Write it down!
  • Distill your brand down to a core framework.
  • Every decision you make should now be run through those core messages to make sure they align with your brand.
  • Your actions need to align with your brand values.
  • Don’t fake it!

How do you come up with the right values?

  • You already have an innate set of values inside yourself.
  • What are you personal values? Start there!
  • If your business values don’t align with your personal values there will be a misalignment, and it will come back to bite you.
  • Other people that have the same values as you will be attracted to your business.
  • Marketing is asking someone on a date. Branding is what makes them say yes.

Let's Talk about "Authenticity”

  • Authenticity is a big buzz word right now.
  • Everyone wants to be authentic.
  • What does authentic actually mean though?
  • If you have to try to be authentic, you’re automatically being inauthentic.
  • Podcasts are a great way to learn who someone really is.

Execution: Creating a Trustworthy Brand

  • Put your money where your mouth is.
  • If you claim to be a high-end business, you need to make your experience “high-end”
  • Create an incredible customer experience from the beginning.
  • Great brands treat their prospective clients as if they’ve already spend money with them.

How Can We Convince More Businesses to Invest in Branding?

  • It’s all about education. Thankfully, the market is moving in the right direction.
  • We need to show them what is possible. Think about the lost clients that come because of bad branding practices.
  • COVID seems to have helped. Big brands are creating great value messages.
  • The Gen Z and Millennial generations care about brand. They are willing to spend more money to get a brand that they align with.

Funnels and Automation can Kill Relationships

  • Funnels become an excuse to say that loosing potential clients is okay.
  • We should only loose prospects if they don’t align with the brand and aren’t the right fit.
  • We need to create real relationships and real interactions with people.
  • Automation is a double edged sword. It can be a powerful tool, but it can also take human relationships out of business.
  • Do something at least 5 times before you automate it.

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Meet Jennifer [00:01:02]

Jacob Harmon:

I'm super excited today because I have Jennifer with me and she is a branding expert and that's what this podcast is all about is creating an authentic, trustworthy brand.

So I think it's a perfect fit. We finally figured out the technology we've hit a couple of bumps today, but it seems to be working. How are you doing today, Jennifer?

Jennifer Anastasi: I'm doing fantastic. How about you?

Jacob Harmon: Doing good. Doing good. I guess to get us started, I'd like to talk a little bit about your background and how you got into marketing, because looking over your LinkedIn profile, it looks like you were actually more of a software engineer. And it's interesting. Cause I've had back-to-back to people who aren't marketing people in their background, but they got into marketing.

So I'm just curious, how did you get into what you're doing now?

Jennifer Anastasi: Yeah. So I am originally a software engineer. I went to school for software engineering. I got my master's. I went into the industry. I did web development at NASDAQ for a while, and then I've worked in a bunch of other companies and I was really focused on the software development process. And it's. A very kind of intense process, but not a whole lot of marketing is there, but I've always been really interested in user experience and the experience that somebody has when they interact with software.

And so surface level, it doesn't always seem like it's a natural fit for marketing, but then. When I learned more about marketing and I started my own business and I started marketing myself. I realized that there's so many parallels there because if you get your brand and your marketing down, it's all about the user experience that somebody has and the various touch points that they have with your business.

And so I found that I could actually engineer my brands and I could engineer my marketing the exact same way that I was doing with these software products. So, you know, I had these methods and these skills and these frameworks and I was like, wow, tweak it. It's gonna really blow up my marketing and that's what's happened.

And it really has been a great transition.

Engineering a Brand [00:03:18]

Jacob Harmon: Yeah. I'd like to dive in a little more to that idea of engineering a brand. Um, I've never heard that phrase before. I've never heard it related to branding. So what exactly does that process look like? And  what do you mean by engineering? A brand.

Jennifer Anastasi: Yeah. So ultimately what engineering is is it's taking a problem and it's finding a creative solution to that problem. So in software engineering, there are 1,000,001 ways that you can code the same thing and the trick, isn't it. Knowing how to code from point A to point B the trick is actually knowing what's the best way to code from point A to point B.

That's going to be the most efficient and is going to work the best and is going to play nicely in the sandbox with all the other pieces of code. And so, you know, engineer a software product, you're not just sitting down and starting to code. You're really taking it. From a very high level of what is it that I want this software program to do.

And then you break it down and you've already written like 200 pages of documents before you even sit down to write a line of code. And so for me, engineering, a brand and a strategy is starting off and saying, okay, what is the goal of this company? What is, and I know every company is like, I want to make money, right?

Like want to make money. You're like, okay. But there's a thousand different ways that we can make money. And for us entrepreneurs, I mean, we are nutso people. We could go out and work in nine to five and we could make a lot more money than when you start out as an entrepreneur. And you're trying to get those clients.

So to us, it's really not about the money. It's about something bigger than that. And so I help my clients a lot of times when we like engineer their brand. We sit there and we take a look at everything and we say, okay, well, what is the purpose here? Why are we doing this? What, what is your why? I guess, um, and then we take that kind of big goal and then we break it down, just like we do with software products and engineering.

And we say, okay, if this is the goal, then what pieces do we need to get there? And then. Literally write them all down. And then we say, okay, well, where are there risks here? Where are the struggles going to be? And then we kind of go from there and we build up a plan before we sit down and even come out with a single Facebook post or a single email or a page on a website.

It all is sort of engineered out beforehand and we can see how the different pieces play together and hopefully play nicely in the sandbox.

Jacob Harmon: Yeah, that resonates with me so much.  I'm actually in that exact point where you were talking about where I can make more money at my, at a full-time job  than I do doing my own business. And in fact, I'm kind of in the middle of  side hustling right now, where I do have a full-time job, but I'm running this podcast and in the marketing agency on the side and.

Finding a Purpose [00:06:19]

You're right. The why for me is not the money. It goes much deeper than that. I'm just curious, what are some of the, the different, why is that you found for the businesses that you work with? What are some of the purposes that people find?

Jennifer Anastasi: Yeah, that is a fantastic question. So I just finished working with a brand and she is actually a business coach, a career coach for opera singers. And I didn't know that opera singers needed business coaches or career coaches, but it turns out they do right. And so her purpose is actually to help women opera singers get paid the same amount as men opera singers, and she's ready to just kind of burn the whole industry down and she's doing a fantastic job of it.

Um, but I mean, when someone comes to you and says, Hey, my purpose is to burn down the current system. I'm like, I am game. Let's do

Jacob Harmon: it.

Yeah. Yeah. That's so interesting. And so let's just take the opera singer example then how do we engineer that brand? So we know the goal is we know the goal is to burn down the industry, to get the women opera singers, to get the same pay as the men opera singers. How do we accomplish that? Where do we start?

Jennifer Anastasi: Yeah. So the way that we started with, so you sat down and we said, okay, so that's the purpose?

Jacob Harmon: Okay.

Jennifer Anastasi: piece of the puzzle. And from there, we had to say, okay, well then who are your ideal clients? Because I have a funny feeling that there may be some men out there that are like, yeah, sure. Let's burn it down.

But most men are probably not going to be like, yeah, I want to get paid less. Sure. Why not? So really locking in on who those ideal clients are and who those people that are going to align with her vision of, you know, let's do this. Like she's not going to want someone that's super traditional because that's just not what.

It's going to happen. So sort of figuring out who that ideal client is, and sort of getting inside of their head and saying, okay, well, what are they thinking? What are they dealing with right now? Um, are they going out to different auditions and being told no. Or are they going out? And they're being told yes, but then they get their paycheck and they realize that it's not as good as it could be.

And a lot of times we think we know these answers. Um, but until we actually sit down and we talk to people and until we have these conversations where we say, I have a feeling, this is what's going on, but I need to talk to people. And so, you know, we very much looked at it from the point of view of there's a lot of.

Sort of emotions floating around out there. And she's actually partnered with a data scientist, I believe, um, who does all these numbers. And so they've actually been able to find numbers to back that up on the other hand, because we saw a risk. Well, the risk is that this is just going to sound like it's a lot of just angry talk.

So they've found a way to back it up with numbers. Um, so that's like one of those things where you can engineer that, where you say, okay, where are the risks. What is it going to take and then going out and finding that data and finding that, that sort of information that you need to back it up,

Jacob Harmon: yeah. And I love this idea of talking to people and getting data. And as a marketer, obviously I nerd out on data. I think data is so interesting. We love numbers. We love analytics, um, but really having data to back up your goals and your mission and your why makes a lot of sense.  And it makes sense that that's part of that engineering process. Um,

How to make an authentic brand [00:10:00]

And so the next question I have for you is we have this, Y we have kind of a vision of how to create the brand that we want to create and how do we make sure that that brand comes off on the other end as authentic and as, as a trustworthy brand, because that's what this podcast is all about.

How do you engineer a trustworthy brand? Yeah.

Jennifer Anastasi: So once you have your sort of brand figured out, what I've noticed is that a lot of people make a critical mistake and they keep it all upside in their head and they do not write it down. So what I tell all my clients, part of my, my process with my one-on-one clients is we actually create a book for people, right.

But I tell them, print out these pages of the book and put them where you can see them. And every, like there's a certain section where we go through and we distill everything down to the core framework of the brand, the communication framework. And I tell them like every decision that you make, whether it is a post on social media, Whether it is even the page on your website, where somebody signs up for a call with you, it could be an email or even a business decision.

Should I hire this person or that person, you run it through those core messages. And you say, does this decision, does this post, does this interaction align with what I have defined? As being part of my brand core messaging. So like an example, we get a lot of brands and I'm sure you see this where they'll say I really value honesty and that's like a big thing or authenticity.

And that's like the big buzzword. Everybody wants to be authentic these days. So, if you have identified yourself as a brand, that's really honest and authentic and genuine, like these are some of the words that I hear thrown around, um, using Photoshop and Photoshopping yourself into an image and putting them on your website is not authentic or honest or genuine.

Um, and I, I have clients that will say this all the time. Well, I can just Photoshop myself. Into this photo and it's going to look great. And I'll put that on my website cause it'll look really professional and that's a decision that you say, okay, well, does it pass the value test? Probably not. So I would rather see a slightly less professional photo or looking photo, but that is genuine to you and it, you know, and it is you, um, and put that up on your website and stead.

Or, you know, don't, don't tell people a story that didn't actually happen on social media. That's another thing. People kind of make up these stories and they said, well, no one will ever know. And it's like, no, that stuff does come across. And if you get caught up in something that maybe wasn't a hundred percent true down the line, um, you're going to have to answer for that.

Especially with social media, we. I see this all the time. So, you know, making sure you have those, those things defined and they're written down and then you filter things through it. I don't post anything on social media now without running it through that checklist, does this align with my brand?

Jacob Harmon: That is super interesting. I know that it's, it's actually a very common business practice to come up with core values, right. Or to create a mission statement or a purpose statement. But I think most of the time you write that down and then it goes in a drawer gets saved in a word document that you bury in a bunch of folders and you never ever look at that again.

So. That's really interesting. It's as simple as just if these are the values that I want to live by actually live by them, you know, like pay attention to them.

Jennifer Anastasi: It's so easy to put it in a drawer. I mean, I did the first time I did this with my business, I totally put it in a drawer. I was like, yeah, whatever. My business coach told me to write a business plan. I wrote one there, done check, move on. And you know, and then you kinda sit there and you're like, but wait a minute.

That was a lot of work. And there was a lot of effort that went into it and I paid somebody to help me with this. So, you know, that's the sign of a really good brand is, is those brands that put the time into it, but then apply it.

Jacob Harmon: Wow. You're blowing my mind here. I mean, it's so simple, but it's so powerful. It's just actually living those values. Um, and I guess

How do you come up with the right values? [00:14:36] a question that I would have for you then is how do you actually come up with the right values and something that you're willing  to be authentic to. Um, and how do you make sure that those values are the types of things that a customer is going to build trust with you for.

Jennifer Anastasi: So I think this is when it comes specifically to values. There. I think a lot of people try to fit themselves in a box because we think of, you know, well, this is how I want my business to be. And I think the trick with values is that especially for entrepreneurs and solo business, people were founders of businesses.

They have an innate set of values within themselves. And so to me, what I find. That works best is really digging in to what are your values as a person? Because if your business values don't align with your personal values, there's going to be some sort of mismatch. So like, if your business values, um, include that you really care about the environment, but you don't care about the environment.

So you're like, I throw out like plastic, every chance I get, I have plastic straws. I find them in the grocery store. I stack them up. Like that's, at some point you're going to slip up and you're going to expose yourself as not caring about the environment. Versus if you're someone that has silicone straws and you recycle everything and you focus on being low waste, that's just naturally going to help.

You know, like you're naturally going to put out content and you're naturally going to put that, infuse that into your brand. You're probably naturally thinking, can we use recycled paper for our receipts? Do we even need to put receipts and packing slips in our packaging? Is there a way that we can do this more eco-friendly and you know, you're naturally going to think about these things.

So when you actually look at those values before you make a decision and you kind of run your filter through them, You're going to find that there's really not that that's to, like, there's not a lot. That's gonna stand out there and then it's going to say, Oh, this doesn't fit because it's  unnatural process.

That doesn't mean your business values have to be all of your personal values, but we usually start there and then we'll say, okay, you know, maybe we get a list of like 20 values and we say, we need to cut this down to five. What are the five that makes the most sense for your business? And. There's what 7 billion people out there in the world, your people are going to align with your values.

And if they don't, they're probably not so many that you're going to want to work with anyway. So if you're really into giving the environment, like you're not going to want to  work with somebody that's like, well, can you send  this on four reams of paper? Like. That's just probably going to make you like really upset.

So why do it, you know, everybody deserves to work with someone that gets them and they deserve to hire somebody that intrinsically is going to understand who they are. And I'm a firm believer in that. So it's okay to be who you are. It's okay. To own your own values.

Jacob Harmon: Yeah, I've thought a lot about, in my opinion, one of the most valuable things about building a brand is that it becomes this filter, right? It becomes a filter for your clients and it actually will filter out the people you don't want to work with. Um, my background is in web development also, and I build websites.

And I've had a lot of clients that I've worked with that aren't willing to pay my fees, or they're really hard to work with, or they take forever to get back to me with copy or whatever it is. And I found that as I refine my brand and it's far from perfect, it's something that I'm always working on. But I found that as I refined my business brand, I start to attract more people that I want to work with in the first place.

And that are willing to pay me and everything just kind of starts to align itself. And those people that I don't want to work with, they stop reaching out to me because they realized just by the content that I put out or my website or whatever that is that, Oh, he's not a good fit for me.

And so it's really cool how it really acts as this filtering agent.

Jennifer Anastasi: Oh, yeah, I've been there, done that with clients and websites and yeah. It's so frustrating, but I truly believe that if you are excited to work with somebody and because they are a good fit for you. It shows, it shows in every interaction and you're really excited. And then it makes them really excited.

And when they're excited, they're going to get you back that Muffy and they're gonna be like, yeah, let's work together. I'm so excited. What do you think about this? Oh, you think that idea is worth nothing. Okay, great. What about this? Oh, that one is a great idea. Fantastic.

Jacob Harmon: Yeah. I love it. And I can totally see how brand is so important. And I think that a lot of people think of a brand is just colors and fonts, and it's so much more than that. It really is.

Jennifer Anastasi: Oh for sure. And that's the biggest misconception that when I tell people I do branding, they say, Oh, so you make logos, right? Like what? I work a lot more than that, you know, it's, um, one of the best things that I've seen recently is, and this is not for me. This is from somebody else I'm on the great wide internet is that marketing is asking somebody on a date, but branding is what makes them say yes.

And so your brand is all about how people feel about you. Um, so

Jacob Harmon: Yeah, that's awesome. ,

Let's Talk about "Authenticity" [00:20:20]

I like to talk a little bit more about this trigger word or buzz word of authenticity. Um, I before we actually clicked record, we chatted for just a second and it almost seemed like there was a little bit of a negative connotation there. Um, just because everyone's talking about it.

Right. And I almost feel like the more everyone is authentic, supposedly the less people really are authentic. And maybe I'm maybe I'm wrong there, but what do you think about authenticity? Yeah.

Jennifer Anastasi: I think it is for sure. A buzzword right now. I personally get really frustrated because everybody tells me, well, I just want to be authentic. And I'm like, but what does that mean? Exactly? Like what, what does that mean? And at what, like at what level are you going to take it? So I think a lot of people think authentic means.

Being vulnerable and you know, like there's those vulnerability posts on Facebook that everybody's trying to do right now. Um, you know, be vulnerable. Tell, tell everybody about all your flaws. And I think there's, there's benefit to doing things like that, but I think it, you know, it doesn't mean just by sharing a story where you're like, I'm sad about something like that that makes you vulnerable and it makes you authentic.

Jacob Harmon: Yeah, I totally agree. I think, I don't know. The more you try to be authentic. I think the more you're being fake to look authentic, kind of like that Photoshop example that you gave earlier, where  if you try too hard, it automatically becomes an authentic to me.

And so I don't know to me, authenticity, and this is one of the reasons I love podcasts so much. People are probably sick of me saying that but I just love podcasts because to me. You can't sit down for a 40 minute interview and fake it the whole time, or at least it's a lot harder to do that.

I think that being on a podcast really kind of shows your true colors and it really shows who you are.

Jennifer Anastasi: Oh, for sure. For sure.

Execution: Creating a Trustworthy Brand [00:22:19]

Jacob Harmon: Yeah. Um, so let's talk a little bit more about building a trustworthy brand. I know that we've talked a lot about our authenticity values, kind of building your brand around that now when it comes to the actual execution. Um, so what can you do to. Portray those values to the world, or to show that you are a trustworthy brand to work with and someone that people should do business with

Jennifer Anastasi: Absolutely. So I think a lot of it is putting your money where your mouth is. So for example, um, if you are someone that says that you are very professional and I see this all the time where people are talking about, well, I made $20,000 last month and I'm. A life coach or something like that. And, and we hear these big numbers being thrown around a lot on social media, but then you go to their website and their website.

Is built on free software. And we all know because it's splashed above the bottom, the top and the bottom, and it's not very professionally done. And maybe you sign up for their email list and you get like four of the same email. And so their automation is off. And then you kind of sit there and you're like, but you're telling me that you're making $20,000 a month.

But my experience as someone trying to come into your world has been very poor and not at the level that I would expect somebody having money like this to come in. That's that's a misalignment. And that to me is us. Trust signal has been broken. And once that, to me is you're saying one thing, but the experience is something else.

Then I'm gone. I'm just like, Nope, I'm out. No, thank you. So, and it's going to best money and some of these coaches, they're charging a lot of money and I think that's fantastic charge what you're worth that whole thing. But if you're going to charge a lot of money and take that money from a client as a client, Uh, and as a marketer, like I want to see that that money is being used to make my experience better.

Um, and I think a lot of times that involves prior to purchase. So I get a lot of coaches that I will talk to and they'll say, well, I don't need a website because I'm making money just fine on my own. And I'm like, that's fantastic. But if you've get, let's say 10 clients this month, Is there like, Oh, I'm getting all these clients.

I'm like, you've probably lost over a hundred along the way. Because the experience doesn't fit and some of your best clients could have been in that hundred. And you could have raised your prices to filter out some of those, those people. You could have been a little bit more selective with the clients that you did choose to work with, because if you have a full pipeline and an overflowing pipeline, you have more options as a business owner.

Um, and so, you know, to me, it's a huge missed opportunity. And I see that in so many brands today versus the really good brands treat their potential customers or their potential clients as if they've already spent money with them. And they have a really good experience from start to finish with their free content.

And, you know, when you want to talk to them, they're showing you a professional business, every single step of the way. I certainly am going to feel much more comfortable forking over $5,000 to a coach that has been professional throughout then to a coach that has great social media content. But the rest of the experience just falls apart.

Jacob Harmon: Yeah. I couldn't agree more. I think that really a brand is about every interaction, right? So from the first time they even hear about you to being a returning client paying 10, $20,000 a month, even, um, depending on the scale of the business. Uh, so. I guess

How Can We Convince More Businesses to Invest in Branding? [00:26:27] the next question that I have for you is how can we convince businesses to invest in branding?

Because I have talked to so many people that they just see branding, like we said earlier, as colors and fonts. And I go it's, I know that I need to do that, but it's not important. So how do we actually explain the importance of branding and make sure that people will start investing in what it's worth?

Jennifer Anastasi: That is the question. Isn't it. So that is like, once that gets solved, uh, the whole world is going to just be all puppies. So, I mean, what my take on that is I really think it's an educational piece. I think a huge part of it. And I do think the market is moving in the right direction. I think the people that I've been talking to lately are in the phase where they say, no, I understand that I need a solid brands.

I know it's more than colors. I know it's more than a logo. But they're not at the point where they're ready to invest all the time. There's still, people are still very much hesitant to spend money on it. And I think it's just a huge educational piece where you show them what is possible. So again, it's that you may be getting 10 clients, but for every client that you're getting, you're losing.

10 to 20, that is a huge opportunity there for a business. And it starting to look at it from the point of view of lost clients, through bad branding exercises and brand strategy, or a lack of brand strategy in a lot of cases. And I think it's showing the possibilities of here is a company that. You know, did, did a rebrand where, but it wasn't just the logo.

It wasn't just the colors. It's a different experience now and there's different feelings and  you know, and we start to see that. I do think that the market is moving in that direction. I think we're going the right way. I think people are starting to get wiser. I think COVID has helped for sure, because people are very, very much.

Driven on values. And I also think that the millennials and generation Z are helping because they are value driven consumers. They will spend more money on the same product, but they will spend more money if it's with a company that they feel aligns with their values. And so I think brands are starting to take notice of this.

Um, I never watched commercials, but, um, lately, I mean, I'll watch whatever's on TV at this point. Cause I haven't. Um, and I'm I'm so I'm starting to watch commercials again and these big brands, they're all we believe. And then they do this fantastic value based commercial. And so the big boys are definitely changing the way that they're marketing.

To these younger generations that are just massive buying power at this point. I mean, millennials and gen Z, like they are just totally dominating the market right now. And they're very, very passionate about their values and how they buy. And so I do think we're moving in the right direction. We just, we got to get there.

We got to get these companies to see it that way. Yeah.

Jacob Harmon: Yeah. when you mentioned gen Z in particular, so technically I'm a millennial and I feel like there are definitely certain things where I will always buy the better brand, but there's also other areas where I'll buy whatever's cheapest, you know? And so it's interesting trying to self-analyze myself, but I was talking to my little brother just the other day and he, it was black Friday and he was.

Buying a bunch of clothes, like brand name clothes. And I told him, you know, you could have bought all that way cheaper at Walmart. And he said, but it was like half off. It was black Friday. He's like, it was almost as expensive as stuff normally is at Walmart. I'm like, yeah. But I bet the stuff at Walmart was discounted too.

So we were having this conversation and it was so fascinating to me how important the brand was to him. It was so important. He did not want a shirt. That's just a generic shirt. He wanted this particular brand and he really cared about it. And I was like, wow, like what did they do? What did this company do to make you love them so much?

And I, I want to go back and ask them now because it's just fascinating to see, but you're right. The younger generations really do care about brand and they care about the values of companies.

Jennifer Anastasi: I am  a millennial and so I understand the millennial mindset and, and I, I get it. And we are a large generation, but gen Z is bigger than we are. And they're grad, like I have a younger sister that's in gen Z and she's graduating college and they're stepping into this.

Hey, we have all of this money and we're ready to spend it now. And so I think we're going to start to see. Just everything shift as they get a little bit older. And we, and I say, we, as in like the older generations, we start to take them a little bit more seriously and we stop looking at them. Like, you're just little kids now.

We're like, no, no, no, you're fully poor people. You have money to spend.

Funnels and Automation can Kill Relationships [00:31:51]

Jacob Harmon: yeah. A hundred percent.  so before we wrap stuff up, is there anything that we haven't touched on? Any topic you'd like to dive into?  or any question I haven't asked that I should have.

Jennifer Anastasi: No, I think we've covered a lot. I think for me, it's just really stressing in, you know, making sure that as businesses are building. That they keep this branding in mind because it does shape everything. And it does make a huge impact on the way that people view you. And I, I really dislike the idea of a funnel is like, like it, it just sets me off when people are like, Oh, I'm just going to set up a funnel because.

In that funnel method, you know, in, in that visual, like the actual visual of the funnel, the idea is that people fall out of the funnel and that's okay. It's fine for people to fall out of the funnel. And I think people use that, um, unintentionally, they use that as an excuse to say, well, if I lose a hundred people and that's just the natural way of the funnel, And I think that we do naturally lose some people we're going to repel some people, they get to know us a little bit better and they're like, Nope, that person's not for me.

And that's acceptable. But I think that this idea of, well, if somebody doesn't like a particular email, but it's not the content of the email, it's the fact that, you know, it, it just looked totally unprofessional. There were 17 spelling mistakes. They said, Hey, first name. And you're just like, totally put off by that.

And you click out. That's the wrong way to lose people out of a funnel. And I think a lot of people lose sight of that. Um, and they forget that that's branding. That is how somebody feels about your business. When they get an email that says the first name, and they're like, well, that doesn't feel like you're talking to me.

Like this is clearly an automation. You didn't even take the time to correct it. Um, and so I. You know, I think that's just so important as businesses build up their, you know, their interactions with people to just keep that in mind to say, okay, I do want to repel some people, but it's gotta be for the right

Jacob Harmon: Yeah, it's gotta be because they don't align with my business or they're not the right fit.  like we talked about earlier, that's super interesting to me because. I feel like there's this balancing act between the automation side of marketing, which is becoming super powerful. I mean, you got automated DNS on social media, you've got automated emails and drip campaigns, like there's so much automation going into marketing, but the other side of that is you can lose the personality.

You can lose trust building, right. And the real relationships. In fact, it drives me crazy. I'm super active on LinkedIn and I love that platform. But I hate, hate, hate the, the messages that I get on there. Someone will connect with me and immediately I get this sales pitch. And then after about two days, if I don't respond, I get a follow-up and I know that they didn't write that.

I know that they're using a piece of software and I'm just like, Is this how we build relationships now, like there's something broken and I understand that arch companies can't have a real human being necessarily writing every piece of every word. And so I just, I it's hard to know where that balance is, because it's hard.


Jennifer Anastasi: yeah. I tell people do something at least five times before you automate it, do it manually and make sure that it's, it's got that human feel. And I mean, I, I think we all have to use automations at some point. It does really help. But, you know, it's also important to audit those and to say, okay, are people feeling like I'm human?

And I mean, we all know. We all know when we get those LinkedIn conversations and. Tell people, like if you're struggling to get clients, the first thing you should do is turn off automations and just start treating people like people again. Cause that's, what's doing health these days, you know, we're all over burden.

I send people Facebook messages when I'm new friends with them and I'm like, Hey, how's it going? And they're like, don't you try to pitch me? And I'm like, I'm not, I just wanted to know who you are, but we're so burnt out with these just automations that people get. They're just there. They're really skeptical these days.

Jacob Harmon: totally, Yeah. It's, it's so true. And. I still don't know what the answer is a hundred percent, but that's part of the purpose of this podcast to me is like, I want to find the right way to do business and the right way to build relationships. thank you so much, Jennifer. This has been awesome. And we're connected on LinkedIn.

I'm going to go ahead and throw your LinkedIn a link in the show notes. Is there anywhere else that people can find you, if they want to talk to you about branding or want to ask some follow-up questions or anything like that?  

Jennifer Anastasi: I do have a Facebook group  called strategic marketing from winging it to unforgettable messaging. And that is primarily where I hang outs. So, um, you know, come on in, join the group. Let's hang out. Let's chat, branding, let's chat, marketing, and, uh, have a good time.

Jacob Harmon: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Jennifer. I really appreciate it. I have learned a lot and I've had a lot of fun, so  I hope it's just as useful for, for the people listening.

Jennifer Anastasi: Thank you so much. This was so much fun. I love hanging out on podcasts and chatting with people that kind of get it.

Jacob Harmon: anytime we'll have to have you back sometime and dive a little deeper, so thank you.