Episode #8: Weave’s BGS Webinar Series

About the speaker

Among the most popular talks from Weave’s Business Growth Summit 2020 is one featuring Alison Faulkner of The Alison Show.¹ Alison is a branding expert with a top 100 iTunes podcast. She also runs an online brand school that’s instructed thousands of students through online courses and workshops.

Alison has worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies and prides herself on her dancing. “I’m not sane, but I am awesome,” she says. The goal of her keynotes and workshops is to get entrepreneurs to invest in themselves. Once people invest in themselves, they can start building their brands.

4 million people have listened to Alison’s podcast, and it’s given her reason to reflect on what resonates with the audience she’s developed over the course of her 12-year career. Alison wonders what’s caused people to pay attention to her as she’s moved from vertical to vertical, from Instagram influencers to Microsoft executives to mom-and-pop shops.

Alison believes it’s because she encourages people not to just build a business, but to impact the world. Marketing campaigns drive much of our business and politics, and marketing tactics go beyond things like SEO and ROI. You can create values by doing business with people who care.

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So, how do you get people to care about what you have to say or sell?

You have to care

Alison recommends two ways to show you care about your product or service. First, you have to connect to how your product or service fulfills you. Second, you have to connect to how your product or service eases the suffering of your customers.

Caring is vulnerable, Alison says. Nobody knows what you believe unless you tell them. Showing that you are passionate about your business indicates to everyone around you that you’re doing your best, and this passion is infectious.

Alison cites Jeff Bezos, who said your brand is what people say when you’re not in the room. Your confidence stays with people when you’re not around. Alison disagrees with those who say there’s no magic wand for confidence. She insists that confidence is gained when you stop thinking about yourself and start focusing on your product or service, your employees, and your customers.

Ask yourself: why am I doing this? Our society is suffering from a suicide and loneliness epidemic. Connection is the only way out of this predicament. You have to have vulnerability to be able to trust and begin to form authentic connections.

You have to be clear

Can you tell someone what your business does in one sentence? Alison says it’s harder than it seems. Think deeply about how to encapsulate what your business does in a simple message. That central idea will then inform all your other messaging going forward.

be clear-with customers (3)

Each of your marketing efforts should have one specific objective. If you’re creating a video series, what is your intention? If you can’t articulate that intention, then it’s time to take a step back and reconsider why you’re making the series in the first place.

When people are confused, they shut down. That’s why Alison insists that businesses craft clear and concise messaging for all their marketing. Clear messaging cuts through the confusion and the noise, grabbing the attention of those trying to learn about your business.

You have to be consistent

Alison remembers a conversation she had with her favorite caterer. She asked him what the core values of his successful business were. He replied that he cared most about sustainability and community.

However, when Alison looked at his Instagram account, she saw the headline “Get your grub on.” Alison gently chastised her friend, highlighting the disparity between his values and his messaging. Establishing consistency across all your channels is a critical way to get people to care about what you have to say or sell.

values

In today’s market, consumers are overstimulated and oversaturated with ideas. In order to break through to your target audience, you need both authenticity and engagement. Alison tells all her students and clients to say what they believe over and over. Be catchy.

Alison has developed a few messages of her own over the years:

Insight is cute, but action is drop dead gorgeous.

You are already as awesome as you need to be.

Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.

Two quotes

To close her talk, Alison shares two different quotes that sum up her approach to branding. The first is from Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist. He said,

“For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.”

Alison understands that not everyone is going to be as bubbly and enthusiastic as she is. You don’t have to share your whole life in a business setting, but you do have to be exactly you. Show up and try your best. That’s what defines people with a growth mindset; they consistently give their best and keep coming back, even when they experience failure.

The second quote is from General George S. Patton. He said,

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

In other words, put your plan into action now instead of procrastinating it. After all, insight is cute, but action is drop dead gorgeous.

Alison offers us the opportunity to go to her website and utilize her success action plan. Good branding is a tremendous value add to any business, and it’s crucial that you get it right. However, you choose to go about creating a brand that people care about, make sure you yourself care, be clear, and be consistent.

To watch more talks like Alison’s, check out Weave’s Business Growth Summit page and learn more about how to grow your business, communicate with customers, and retain business for years to come.

Notes:

  1. https://thealisonshow.com/