The Heather Sager Show

How To Include Your "Why" in your Brand with Dawn Foster

December 02, 2020 Heather Sager Episode 65
The Heather Sager Show
How To Include Your "Why" in your Brand with Dawn Foster
Show Notes Transcript

Joining me today for a conversation around branding is marketing strategist and branding expert  Dawn Foster.

If you’re a personal brand based business, sometimes it’s hard to detach yourself from the marketing decisions (hello, attachment to our precious creativity!). Dawn’s approach to marketing is rooted in data, and her insights will help you incorporate YOU into your brand WHILE making strategic decisions.

Get the show notes here including links mentioned in this episode.

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CONNECT: For daily tips and inspiration, connect with Heather on Instagram @theheathersager.

Dawn Foster  0:00  
Tracking everything, the numbers can show you, okay, of the people that came to your website, no one's coming from Tiktok, so it doesn't make sense. The traffic coming to your website, the people that are actually using your product or converting may not be coming through from your YouTube videos. You may be sending an email every week to your audience but your unsubscribe rates may be high, people are not opening those emails, they're not clicking those emails, so don't do it. The numbers will help you figure out what you should be doing, what you shouldn't be doing, areas that there may be more opportunity that you just can't even find because you're spreading yourself too thin. 

If your goal is to get more people to your website, then look at those numbers. Don't look at how many, how big your email list is. Don't look at how many emails you're sending. Look at how many people are actually making it from your email over to your website. That's where you start when you want to look at the numbers, which numbers tie directly into what your goals are. 

Heather Sager  1:24  
Well, hey friend, welcome to another episode of the Heather Sager show. I'm Heather and I believe that people don't connect with marketing, they connect with other people. So if you want others to see you as a go-to authority, you've got to start showing up using your voice and sharing your message with intention. So consider this show, right here, your new playground to become an influential speaker so that you can actually start making strides towards that dream on your vision board. Let's go!

Alright, welcome back to another episode of The Heather Sager Show. I am joined this week by a phenomenal guest. I'm so happy to introduce you to Dawn Foster. Welcome to the show.

Dawn Foster  2:14  
Thank you, I'm excited to be here. 

Heather Sager  2:17  
Tell this is going to be a good conversation. We were chatting before we hit record here around the topic that we're speaking on today. Spoke to me, immediately, I get a lot of pitches through my inbox and quite frankly, I ignore most of them because I'm really protective of my audience, and you know, podcasts. There's a lot of choices for that but when we came through around this idea of helping people infused themselves in their brand and infusing their why behind things I was like, Yes, I'm always like a student of this, of figuring out how can I bring more of me into my brand? How can my students, my clients bring more than the brand so I am thrilled for this conversation today. So let's kick it off by going, why don't you just introduce yourself real quick? And I'll slow down and say, who are you? Tell us a little bit about your business, of what you do.

Sure, so I'm Dawn. I'm the owner of D. Faster Marketing Consulting. I provide marketing and branding services for small business owners and solopreneurs that don't have a team or a marketing arm for their business and they need to source that out. I step in to help them either put a complete strategy together where either they've been doing something and they don't know what they're doing, or they haven't been doing anything and they still don't know what to do. So I come in and help them strategize, or sometimes I come in and help with just specific projects, like a new launch of something or a rebranding, refresh of something that they already have going on. 

How did you fall into that of the agency model?

So my background is in graphic design communication. Over the course of 15 years, I've done everything from the design side to the planning and strategy side of things. I started my career as a design intern, worked all the way up to an art director and then made the transition in to planning a strategy when I saw that, hey, like, my analytical side can come together with my creative side, and I've been doing it since then. So it's because my background is in creative, I have creative connections. That's kind of where like, I know the graphic designs to copywriters, I speak their language and I love spreadsheets. I got to the point in my life where I have a hard time communicating if it's not in the spreadsheet so I've been able to merge the two and allow me to function as a full service agency. 

Yeah, okay I love that. You don't hear about that often, right? The analytical with the creative, it's usually one like separate thing where people don't really communicate in the other language. I love that you recognize that that was a specific skill that you had that, quite frankly, is beautifully abnormal, right? Creative and analytical and you kind of toggle in between so how cool it is that you were able to hone in on that skill and then go, huh! Other business owners are either analytical or creative and they have a difficulty time bringing the two together. That's really interesting. Can you talk a little bit more about that cross section when you talk about design, communication? Like how how does that show up? What does it mean to bring those two things together?

Usually, when you think about marketing and advertising, you think about what it looks like and what it's saying. On the back end of that, so you've got two sets of creative, two different visuals, same headline. On the back end of that, you can look at the numbers to see what people are responding more to, to then know how to tweak with that creative is so that you can continue to build and do better with whatever that marketing initiative, what's the channel is. It's all going to funnel up to a complete strategy, but you can tweak and hone and really perfect to make sure that you are capitalizing on what your opportunities are, really speaking to your audience. 

Yes. Okay. I love that and anchoring in the numbers, because I think one of the things as business owners,  we get a little too precious about our creative ideas where we're so tied  to the visuals or to the whatever that like the face thing is. You don't want to change it because we don't want to, but the numbers really anchor us and the more we can anchor in that, we can make better decisions for the business, not just

Absolutely, absolutely. I've been there. I fit in that boat where what I where I start, oh, it's gorgeous but to someone who may not know what it is that I do, the services that I provide, am I still getting that message across to them? And that's when you have to shape and really massage things, and then perfected, the more and more that you continue to build.

Yes. Okay, so in the spirit of this piece around being kind of tied to the design, or the  face value of whatever we're creating with our branding. The conversation we're gonna have today is around how do you infuse yourself and your why into your brand which I would imagine the more me I bring into the brand, the harder time I'm going to have detaching myself from the what it looks like and feels like allowing the numbers to make the decision so I bet there's going to be a level of conversation we're going to have here. Can you talk a little bit about this topic and why this is one of the most popular topics you talk about? What does it mean to infuse your why and your brand? And why is that so important?

So there are some reasons why you want to have part of a who you are and the reason why you do, what you do as a brand because think about the times where you've been out and you've interacted with someone, either at their job, their own business, kind of like, oh, what's wrong with them? You can kind of feel when people aren't connected with what it is that they do. When you aren't showing up with that same passion, people tend to kind of pick up on that for sure. So when a hopefully people are doing what they love, and you can show up with that passion in your brand. Even outside of that the way we live today, people want to connect with who you are. Honestly, there's no way around it but there are smart ways to do it where you can still feel like you're kind of, you're protecting yourself but still putting some of yourself out there in order to connect with your audience to build your brand and solidify what it is that you do as a business.

Let's hit on that piece. You mentioned that like the protecting yourself or shielding yourself. I think there is a little bit, especially newer entrepreneurs who are building this personal brand, there comes this fork in the road very early in their business of going, I see other people share about their babies. I see people brands posting their breastfeeding. I see people talking about like their business products like it's kind of a gamut. And you're trying to figure out like, what do I share? What am I not? Talk a little bit about how do you make decisions around how like what to share and what to not share? Let's talked about that because it is a very interesting conundrum because you see so many people who have businesses, but they seem based completely on their personal lives. 

My own personal  feelings, I'm gonna try not to get too much into my feelings

Let's get on your feelings. I'm okay with you. You're the guest today, so you could say whatever the hell you want.

Honestly, this is a touchy subject for me because I've seen those business owners that may have a product but let's come up with a hypothetical product. Say you are an acupuncturist and you are on social and you want to show part of your person, you're who you are. I've seen people show their kids. How does this relate to acupuncture? I've seen people show like what they may be doing on the weekend, food they may be eating. There's an overshare which is what I'm getting to. You can be smart about it by if you are an acupuncturist and you're sharing your family or your weekend, is it something that has to do with your business? So you can pull back the curtain a little bit, hey, this is what my family and I are doing today that relates to what it is that I do for my business that I want you to engage with but I don't need to see the bicycle riding, I don't need to see the first steps. I'm going to come off my soapbox and just say, I don't like the oversharing. I have this post where I say just because you can share a video does not mean that you should share a video.

I think it comes down to, something about, you have to figure out what you sell and what your brand is. I think this is what would the conversation we're having today is how do you get to that point because your point around if you're an acupuncturist and the people following you are prospective clients or existing clients, you have to define what your brand positioning is. They're most likely there for health benefits, where if you share some of the behind the scenes stuff, those things are good. But let's flip it and say okay, you are a lifestyle brand. Like, let's say me, I'm not a lifestyle brand. But I am a speaking coach with online business. I work with other people who have online business and I talk about speaking skills. I talk about entrepreneurship and I talk about balancing this life as a as a mom who runs a business in this very flexible world. For me, yeah, I share my kids, but I'm very conscious around how much I share and if that could relate to I run an online business with most of my clients run online businesses and they have kids at home. For me, it's not a I don't share everything going on but it's I share it for a reason as the relatability with my audience because they are living that too and assuming the delineation there. Talk about how do you make that distinction between an intentional share versus an overshare.

So there's an intentional share example that I always like to share. I have a colleague of mine, that is an entrepreneur. She has a young child, and she has limited hours that she works because she has a young child. She decided to share a picture of herself holding her son, his face wasn't shown but her intent behind sharing that is you have to know this part of me that I'm a mother, that I have a young child, if you're interacting with my business, because I'm not available at all times. If you book an appointment  with me, it's during the set times in the morning so that was intentional sharing of her child. 

Dawn Foster  13:45  
She's not just sharing like, this is what we're eating this morning. Isn't he cute with the green glob all over his face? That's a little bit different. That gets you into the oversharing if she were to continuously share those things, but her specific posts for that time frame was, this is me as a mother and this is what you get when working with me as a client and that's intentional sharing. Just like you said, you share your kids when you're trying to show Hey, I'm an entrepreneur, I've got a life and I'm making it all work.

Heather Sager  14:22  
I'm laughing a little bit because I know the industry I'm in and who I serve is slightly it's not like a brick and mortar business, right, where I'm selling, I don't know why the example coming to my mind is selling toothbrushes but that's the example. My coaching is my product, but I'm cringing a little bit laughing because literally the post I had on my wall yesterday on Instagram was talking about me peeing my pants in a workout which was highly an overshare but also point of it.

I think this all comes back to knowing your why and what you like, what you stand for and how you want to connect with your audience. Walk us through a little bit about how do you discover what you're about and what your brand personality is to be able to even have the filter to ask these questions around what you share in your marketing.

I think I'm gonna get around to what your question actually is. With my brand, I'm sure you've picked up, I can be chatty. I want to build relationships. I do really great with one to one, if you're going A as part of my personality, and B, I need you to feel comfortable with me because you are letting me into the nitty gritty of your business if I'm helping you put together a marketing strategy because that's part of my personality, and how will interact if you're a client of mine, I want to show pieces of that in my marketing initiatives. In addition to me sharing tips, tricks, things to think about and consider when it comes to your branding and marketing, I may share a quote that I like from a song that I may be listening to. I listen to music. It drives me through the day. I may share a picture of my husband and I but my husband is a business owner as well so that post may allude to something of we're having a brainstorming session. I have great ideas when we sit outside on the patio and have coffee. He's my unpaid, highly opinionated. Those are the things that I share so that you get a glimpse of my life because I want to. It's super important to me that I have some type of connection with my clients.

Yes, I want to hit something that you just said on that because as people are listening, grab a pen and write this piece down, a key piece that she said was her thinking about how she interacts with her clients and customers. Do you notice that there? She's like, Okay, how do we interact with clients and customers? It says, I interact one on one so I want to give them a taste for that. I think that right there a little pro tip in gold. 

I think a lot of times we get caught up in how other people are marketing and whether people do it. That little tip there get recapped centered back with who you're talking to, how do you interact with them and then how do you give them a taste for that. That was a little brilliant golden nugget that you just threw down? Yeah, okay. Thinking about that, that's kind of one piece there. Keep going.

I also want my clients to know that, when you're working with me, I'm going to set you up for success. I'm going to tell you the truth. Sometimes it's great. Sometimes it may hurt your feelings, but that's what you'll get from me.If my post I this, I don't know what the emoji is with the woman holding her hand up like the guilty, kinda guilty. I have posts with that. I've already shared pet peeves of mine. I'll do that on social as well. 

Dawn Foster  18:08  
When you were talking about your branding, and where you may be making missteps, or things that you may not know that you're doing, I have those quick conversations on my social channels or in sometimes I'll put snippets in my email newsletter.

Heather Sager  18:26  
Yeah, I love, I love that. Okay, I'm having this moment where my mind is going off in all these different directions like you're a firework moment. The way that you're talking about this is something that I have not heard before. 

We think so much about marketing people give us formulas and templates around what to post and why. The way that you're describing this, I want to make sure people aren't missing this, you are starting with how do you already naturally engage with people and bringing in that kind of engagement conversation into your social wall. That is brilliant. That helps you instead of like having a checklist around all the things I should post. You're going to your already existing business and life and going do I normally challenge people? Am I a little provocative? Do I push people? what kinds of things would I say to a client? Take that to your posts that. I love that.

Dawn Foster  19:14  
Yeah, that's exactly what I do. There was a quote, that I can't remember who said it. I want to say Oprah. People will find out who you are, eventually you may as well be who you are up front. So if I'm hiding behind all of my marketing channels as one particular person and then we get into a meeting or we're having to discuss your business, you're going to get something someone totally different. I also want to make sure that I'm gonna gel well with the client as well. I'm going to show up not as if it's the first date when we have our first engagement but this is the person you're going to get when we are continuing to work together. 

Heather Sager  20:04  
Okay I love, I love that piece. I was actually just talking about this. I had a session with a group of bookkeepers this morning. We were talking about that piece around, don't show up on social in like a business suit if you have no intention meeting people in a business suite. Not like Tinder or other dating apps, where you like, see the glamour shot of someone and then you meet them in person, you're like, that's not you. Okay. I love that approach. 

I have a funny story about that. I was doing a photo shoot for my own business. I'm like, yeah, I'm at shop. I'm gonna buy all of these things. I'm putting things in my basket. Things come in the mail. I try them on, I'm like, nope, that's not me. Nope, this doesn't feel like me. I was seeing all of these things that I liked but at the end of the day, it wasn't who I was and I actually ended up wearing just things that were already in my closet. That's an example of showing up who you are, as opposed to someone else. 

Oh, and in a world right now. We're marketing, everything is getting flashed in our faces around, be this or be that or if you're successful, you show up in this way. I think it's getting harder and harder to choose our own authentic selves. It's becoming harder to make that choice because of all the messages we're getting we're feeling like choosing us is wrong like that's not good enough. It's not flashy enough. It's not, I'm not showcasing the seven figure lifestyle or whatever other junk, right, that we consume in our heads. How have you gotten really comfortable listening to your own voice?

Dawn Foster  21:48  
Well, I may look 26 but i'm not. I'm almost 40. I'm almost 40. I'm probably spent a lot of years just doing things or I didn't want to do but felt like I should be doing it. And therapy, like, like I am, who I am, it is what it is. It is too much energy to not be. I want to make sure that I'm staying true to who I am for my business. I want to make sure that my business aligns with the morals that I have, personally, and the tone that I'm setting with my clients as well. 

Sometimes when I have to make a decision for my business, the two questions I ask myself is, how am I, Dawn, the person going to feel with this decision? Am I going to be okay? Am I going to be uneasy? Does this align with my morals? And then I think about that for my business as well? Is this the direction that my business wants to go in? What door am I opening or possibly closing if I make this decision? And how do I want that to impact the person or people involved with that? So it's really just doing what feels good. This is a good conversation. I'm enjoying this.

Heather Sager  23:10  
You hit on the head. I do think that level of confidence comes with more experience, right? I felt that switch between my 20s and my 30s too. In my 30s, I'm like I don't care. I I've had two children. I worn diapers after children like the humility factor is gone. It is what it is. You get more comfortable with it. But I love those two filtering questions. Just shout out guys, I'm gonna write those two questions in the show notes because those are so dang good. Simple, but right it becomes a filter so that you understand that the decisions you're making. I love that distinction, distinction of decision, like when you're making a decision, aligning it to yourself, your values, your ethics, and then asking also for the business so those two lenses brilliant. I love it, Dawn. 

Okay, so from there thinking about that we were circling back around going okay, so how do we start answering the question, how do we show up and bring ourselves more into our brand? How do we infuse that why piece so what are some tips and strategies you have for how helping somebody bring a little bit more of themselves into their brand?

Dawn Foster  24:19  
Typically, when starting from helping someone put together the foundation of their brand, I have them do a questionnaire where I asked them random post. It was such a fun questionnaire like one of the questions on there is my brand hangs out with these three celebrities. 

That kind of gives you a feel for how they envision their brand showing up because hanging out with, I would for my brand, my brand loves Issa Rae. My brand wants to be Issa rae. Hanging out with Issa Rae looks totally different than if I were hanging out with let's say Serena Williams. Even though they're both professionals, they both command attention. I feel like Issa Rae is a bit more fun. She's a little bit more of a wild card. Serena Williams is a bit more predictable so that's one of the questions I'm rambling here. 

Heather Sager  25:20  
I love like, questions where you're going to visualize in your mind. I didn't even realize I was doing this intentionally. But if I described like, when I'm trying to describe my brand to someone I'm like, my brand is like Nordstroms with a heavy dose of Target. I am like, because there's a feel, right, when you go to pay $36 for a tube of mascara, right? I'm scrappy, like I'm scrappy and I'm going to search to the dollar bins at Target when I'm in a mood to go have a cup of coffee and stroll. 

I think a lot of times, it's hard for us define our brand and how we want to show up in it, whether it's the visuals, the messaging, the vibe. It's hard for us to articulate it but I think it becomes a lot easier when we look outside of marketing but towards other brands, other people. I always, this is again a very weird tangent example. 

I have a hearing loss. My peeps know, I talk about this a lot of not being able to hear and wearing hearing aids. I always say it's really hard to describe sound and like the lack of sound. I always joke, Okay, so weird. I remember I was sitting with my audiologist a couple years ago and I got fit with new hearing aids. He was trying to ask me to describe the sound that I was hearing so he can make it better. I'm like, I don't know how to describe it. It sounds yellow. Make sense? But I'm like, I can't put words to it. 

And I think about that like the same for a lot of things in our brand. We can't communicate what we want. But oftentimes, we can communicate what we don't want. So you're seemingly off the cuff ramble was not a ramble. It totally made sense, mine was a ramble. I think that like that question is brilliant because it gives somebody an idea of going, ah, okay, I'm closer to what you mean by that.

Dawn Foster  27:15  
And to your point, it's hard to explain it. If someone has a business, they've already started thinking about what that business looks like. And sometimes for people who may not be creative, to verbally express that, to me, most people are like,  I'm seeing emerald, velvet tones, think Miami and texture. People aren't doing that for me if I'm helping them put their brand together.

 If I have this questionnaire and I can kind of give them thinking about like everyday life, and where their brand may possibly show up, that helps me better put a personality to that brand. One of the main things you want to do is think about your brand and your "why's." I'm giving this brand its own personality.

Heather Sager  28:03  
Yes. Okay. I love that. In thinking about that, where would be some places that our brand personality would show up? Because like, off the top of my head, I'm like, you have website, you have social media, but like, what are some of the places we should be thinking about when we're bringing our brand and our personality to party?

Dawn Foster  28:21  
We've talked about parts of my brand. My colors are orange. I want to be careful which is why part of my colors are orange. I also want you to understand that I have the knowledge, the capability to help your business get on the right path. So to do that, I have thought leadership engagements that I do. I post blogs that help provide that guidance and knowledge for small business owners and solopreneurs. 

It's also important for my business to help women of color and other women business owners build their business, women, and especially minorities are already at a disadvantage so I want to help those groups because of that my brand shows up in those spaces where I can reach more of those people. If I'm doing any type of volunteering, I'm serving those audiences. If I'm mentoring people, I'm serving those audiences so that's how you pick and choose where your brand shows up. It show up where it makes sense for your brand to be.

Heather Sager  29:30  
You know what that instantly gets me thinking about, so on the show we talk a lot about speaking and marketing and kind of putting yourself out there. Even just a simple question to ground this for people, thinking about when you're pitching podcasts, when you're thinking about Facebook Lives to be on, like thinking about where to put yourself out there, asking the questions what brands and other personal brands do you want to associate yourself with? Like that piece there too. 

You were talking about demographics. I think also thinking about other people's brands like for example, I'm not going to link my name to someone if I don't have similar beliefs, if they're talking about things online that I don't believe in, I'm not going to go pursue their podcast. It's like, I think when we think about linking ourselves up and being on different platforms, there's an opportunity for us to strengthen our brand or erode our brand by who we associate with.

Dawn Foster  30:21  
Yeah, absolutely. I'm glad that you touched on that. I feel like it's, we think of that as people like, oh, the neighbor up the street, I don't want to hang out with them. Not with them. You have to do the same thing with your business because people are going to see your business aligned with whatever this other business is and what type of vibes are they giving up because that, honestly, that's going to spill over into your business as well. 

Heather Sager  30:54  
I think that is really, really true. I don't know. I think a lot of times people are so hungry for growth. I want to get out there and want to do this, that we turn an eye on those questions of going back. I love the question you said, how am I going to feel from this decision? Like getting present back with yourself around is this decision one that feels good for you? ethically? morally? From that perspective, how do you really feel from this decision and in a business decision? I think a PR opportunities using those questions you gave us great way to filter this. Thinking about that, what are some other things that you see with clients that you've worked with or on your brands or ways that you see people bring their personality, their brand? I'm even curious around, how do people get playful but still keeping it professional?

Dawn Foster  31:44  
That's a great question. It really depends on I would say, the client and what their business is. If you have a business, yeah, that's not a straightforward answer.

Heather Sager  32:05  
I want to see how your brain works.

Dawn Foster  32:07  
Let me try to do a best case scenario. If you are a pure doctor of some sorts. Typically, you may be a doctor that in regular life, you're cracking jokes, you may be the life of the party as a doctor in real life. But typically, I would say that people want their doctor to be more serious, more, like fact-driven, like I want to be able to take you seriously. And if we're talking about something that's important to me, my well being, please don't crack jokes. You kind of really need to gauge, does it make sense for your business? Can you do it successfully with the audience that you're trying to serve, and does it make sense for your brand? I would say starting there. 

I had a conversation not too long ago about how insurance companies even though it's a serious topic, they have done a really good job of adding humor to a serious topic. If you think of all the big players of insurance companies, they have a humorous marketing that they are serving us. It's interesting that they were able to make that jump, that leap. They've done it, they've done it very well.

Heather Sager  33:41  
Yeah, that's a super specific and interesting example, right? I think sometimes pulling examples outside of our industry is a really good way for us to say, Okay, how does this match? I think also, there's a piece of it. Do you ever have clients come to you or they're like, I want to have more personality in my brand? they have a picture in their mind but that picture doesn't actually match who they are. Like, I get people all the time asked me, Heather, how do I add, I want to be funny in my presentation, and I'm like, you're not funny. You're not even funny, like, The joke's not gonna land because it's my joke. Does that ever happen to you where people want to be something they're not?

Dawn Foster  34:21  
Yeah. It's just that conversation of that doesn't hold true to what your brand is, who your brand is, like, you can't show up and be this totally different person. It's not going to work. I've never seen it done successfully. And there's no longevity in that you're going to get tired of faking the funk if that's not who you actually are. You're gonna think things for the funny, you're gonna think it's funny, but if you're not funny, but you think you're funny, that's a fail like American Idol category like.

Heather Sager  35:03  
Oh my gosh, I just used that example twice in the last two days around. For the American Idol, the only reason I watch the show is for that failure week.

Yeah. Okay, so it's interesting. Something that I see come up a lot in my industry around I've been coaching people with speaking is a lot of people think that they have to be an extrovert to be successful as a personal brand. I'm curious, like, do you see any other like, that's a myth. By the way, I think you can be completely introverted. Some of the best speakers that there ever were were introverts. Do you see any other like, myths or things that people think have to happen when it comes to branding? But it's actually not true? Is there anything that comes up for you?

Dawn Foster  35:50  
Yes, absolutely. That they need to be in every place all the time. That is a myth.

Heather Sager  35:58  
Yeah, you're wasting your belief on that.

Dawn Foster  36:00  
Yeah, you're wasting time. You're wasting money, you're wasting resources being in every place that your audience may not even be in, or showing up, or care that you're even in. When you try to do too many things and serve too many people, you can't be good at the one thing that it is that you need to be good at and serve that one audience. So yes, off the top of my head. That's a huge myth. You don't need to play in every space.

Heather Sager  36:29  
How do you help a client come to that decision? Because that always makes sense, right? We all hear it but then we're like that maybe I can still do YouTube and those things and then we just suck at all of it, right. How do you move from like, yeah, I follow you to actually helping a client believe that to be true?

Dawn Foster  36:49  
Numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers.

Heather Sager  36:53  
Next, you talked about to talk a little bit about that.

Dawn Foster  36:59  
Tracking everything the numbers can show you, okay, of the people that came to your website, no one's coming fromTiktok so doesn't make sense. The traffic coming to your website, the people that are actually using your product product, or converting may not be coming through from your YouTube videos. 

You may be sending an email every week to your audience but your unsubscribe rates may be high, people aren't opening those emails, they're not clicking those emails, so don't do it. The numbers will help you figure out what you should be doing, what you shouldn't be doing, areas that there may be more opportunity that you just can't even find, because you're spreading yourself too thin.

Heather Sager  37:50  
Yeah, okay, this is kind of a controversial thing because we have people in our faces all the time telling us, we have to do this, we have to do that. All these everybody has the secret, right? It's the YouTube strategy, or the Pinterest strategy, or the Instagram strategy, or the whatever strategy, the podcast strategy. 

I think all of them are true. I think all of them work. The question is you have to figure out which one works for you in your brand. I think the numbers is actually a scary thing to look at. Because sometimes the thing that works is not the thing we want to do.

Dawn Foster  38:27  
Yeah. That's great. Yes, absolutely. Yeah, but hey, you're a business owner.

Heather Sager  38:40  
You got to make the decision and saying, but I want to do it anyways. And that's okay. So for, for example, like the email thing that you brought up, maybe the numbers are showing that it's not working well, but in your gut, you know, that email will be important to you and your long game. So you're willing to go, Okay, my numbers for the next few months or a year or whatever, are gonna not be great but it's an art that you want to get better at. 

Make the conscious decisions but don't get delusional of thinking that all your traffic is going to come from this source that it's not. I don't know, maybe that makes sense. 

Dawn Foster  39:15  
Yes, that does make sense. I would put that into, okay, we're going to test it. I like to give every initiative at least three months to really get a solid set of numbers to really evaluate what's working and what's not working. Yeah. So if there's something a business owner may want to do, and I just, if I've said, hey, it's not working, I've looked, then I'll say, Okay, this is what we're going to pay attention to. We're going to get on a schedule. We'll start now and in three months we'll look to see what the return on it was and evaluate if you want to continue spending your time there with the longevity may look like and where you may be able to put that energy in order to get closer to your goal faster.

Heather Sager  40:09  
Okay, so you're talking about some of the metrics and numbers around how to make those decisions. Let's say somebody is listening, going, Hey, Dawn, I love this. I'm not quite at that point to have an agency support my business. What are some things that business owners specifically solopreneurs that maybe don't have the budget yet to go down this route? What what are some things they could be doing to look at these numbers now.

Dawn Foster  40:31  
Most marketing, platforms that you use, whether social email, etc, is going to give you just your general standard reporting numbers. I would say, before digging into whatever that platforms numbers are that it's providing you with, look at what your overall goal is. If your goal is to get more people to your website, then look at those numbers. Don't look at how many how big your email list is. Don't look at how many emails you're sending, look at how many people are actually making it from your email over to your website. That's where you start when you want to look at the numbers. The numbers tie directly into what your goals are.

Heather Sager  41:22  
And for for my audience, for them, it's most likely going to be a people come into the website actually convert on the email list, because the email is typically where most of my audience sells from so whether it's their coaching programs, packages, digital products, or whatnot. It's usually through some kind of launch an email. So I would bet that the looking at the website conversion rate and who's actually converting over into their list and staying that would probably be an important metric.

Dawn Foster  41:50  
Yes, for sure.  If your goal is to sell courses, where you're starting people, the introduction of where you want them to go, look at how many people are making their way all the way down that funnel and pay attention to those numbers. So yes, absolutely. 

Okay. That's, that's cool. Okay, thinking about thinking about the infusing their personality in it, are there certain platforms that you recommend over others or those things? Because you say, like, pick a platform and go all in? How do you typically make a recommendation for what kind of platform to use for a client?

Heather Sager  42:32  
It depends on their business, their audience, and their budget? Those are the three main things that I start with to determine, okay, we're gonna prioritize these different channels for you. But it's not a one size fits all. I think that that's going back to your misconception question. I think that that's a misconception that a lot of people think that marketing is a one size fits all, but it's it's really not. It's figuring out what works for specifically for your business, your brand.

And I'm curious, when you do interviews, or you're working with clients, what is the question that you wished people asked you but you never got to talk about?

Dawn Foster  43:25  
I don't think there is one because I'm gonna go there if we need to go there.

Heather Sager  43:32  
Is there something that you find yourself repeating over and over again, to your clients that you wish that they would like get, but there's something that they're not getting about it? Putting you on the spot a little bit here.

Dawn Foster  43:46  
Let me think. I do ask a question. I have some clients and I love the energy that they have and excitement that they have about their business, where they say, I want to do this, I want to do them, thinking of expanding this. I will start to kill that why question? Why do you want to do that? Okay, what does that, it's not just one thing you want to do that ties into all the other pieces of the puzzle. So even though it may feel like a simple like we're gonna do this one thing, it's not. There are a lot of moving pieces that go into successful brands and marketing. 

When you introduce one thing, you have to think about a very strategic thinker. You have to think about, okay, if we do this, what does it mean for every other aspect of our business, not just the marketing, but your operations team. If you have a sales team, like how are you going to push that one idea through and asking why helps cut down on a lot of those would seem like a great idea but we need to table those for Q1 of next year, like we need to build to the point to be able to withstand that idea. 

Okay,I love that and for the dreamers in the audience, I think that's a good gut check. Sometimes we think in our head, I'm a dreamer. I'm like, Oh, yeah, it's just gonna be so easy and that it's so much more complicated than we think. You know, it's interesting, my business coach gave me a tip around this why question. Thinking about, a lot of times when we ask the like, but why do you want to do that? A lot of times when they are our precious big ideas, what's funny is even when we ask ourselves about, we can get a little protective of it, and like, almost defensive, so a word swap that I've been using lately is going like, what is it about that that gets you excited? Or like, what will be  possible if we were to make that happen? Or what's the big picture that we're going off here and using the word like, what to ask a slightly different question. 

Heather Sager  45:58  
People thinking about that, like defining what it is they want and thinking about the possibility and out of the defensive of protecting their like, big idea. I've started using that lately, and I've noticed the conversation with myself has changed but also it's helped me pinpoint with clients what they're really after.

Dawn Foster  46:16  
Yeah, that's great. I'm gonna steal that. 

Yeah, you should steal it and let me know how it works. 

I'm just like why. Yeah, and why? And what is not going to do? So yes, that what is it that you're hoping to accomplish? Yes, that will get me there faster because then I can say, Oh, well, we've got these things that have covered half the distance what you're trying to get to so maybe we can tweak those things? 

Heather Sager  46:44  
Yeah, I wonder if that would actually help you lean on your strengths of the analytics, because it actually pushes people into that and out of the emotion.

Dawn Foster  46:50  

Heather Sager  46:52  
Look at us like brainstorming here.

Dawn Foster  46:55  
We need to have a monthly check in call.

Heather Sager  47:00  
.I love that. I love that. Okay, so we're kind of wrapping up here.

I do want to know, before we start tying down here, at the end of our interview. Before I forget, I know there's going to be people are going like I love this idea of anchoring what I'm doing down analytics and better understanding things with strategy. Where can people learn more about what you do and hang out with you online and see your brand and action?

Sure, so I can be found online at and I'm fairly active on LinkedIn. Honestly, LinkedIn is my social media channel of choice. I'm there as Dawn Foster and my business is under D Foster marketing,

Perfect and I will link to all of those in the show notes to you guys be sure to check it out and give some love. I am not as active on LinkedIn. I have talked about that before. Like, it's always one of those wishful things. I post when I remember there, but I will absolutely be tagging you over there and make sure you guys give some shout outs too.

As we wrap it out today here Dawn, I would love for you to think about for just a moment. If you could give someone listening, your best asterisk, the best you can come up with right now, piece of advice around how to how to level up their brand by being more of themselves. What advice would you have?

How to level up their brand by being more of themselves? Take it slow and be strategic.

Okay, that was an unexpected answer. I love that thing more.

Dawn Foster  48:34  
Don't be too fast. Don't be too hasty with it. Like, think about what you are willing to do and how long can you sustain that. Right now you may be super excited about the idea and you may want to share like a post, like twice a week. Can you stay with the twice a week of that personal sharing? Do you have something going on twice a week that is share worthy? So take it slow. Think about what you can repeat, what you can build on, start small and then continue to grow. But yeah, take take it slow and be strategic about it.

Heather Sager  49:18  
Okay, and on the fly answer that was pretty damn good like that that is great. I think I didn't get again in a world where we're being conditioned to move quickly. We're  chasing shiny objects. We're chasing things. I think there's something to be said. Our personalities like we are who we are and we need to go at the pace that works for us. So I love that the beautiful thing. Dawn, it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you today about what you do. Thank you so much for being here.

Dawn Foster  49:44  
Absolutely. This was a good time. I have fun. 

Heather Sager  49:48  
Yeah, interview should be fun. We should have a good time in case if you guys have a good time listen to the show. Be sure to take a screenshot. Tag us both in the comments. Dawn, are you also on Instagram?

Dawn Foster  49:59  
I am - dfostermarketing.

Heather Sager  50:01  
I will link you there too. So if y'all want to share in Instagram about the episode, I would love to know how you're going to infuse we talked about today, bringing more of you into your brand so let's take action on it. Don't just take notes. Take action, and Dawn, thanks for being here guys. We'll see you in the next episode.

Hey friends, thanks so much for listening to today's episode. If you liked what you had to hear, and you're looking to make a bigger splash with your brand online, then you've got to check out my brand new free video training. You can get it over at heathersager com/minitraining where I'm going to teach you the three speaking strategies that every online business owner needs for this virtual world here in 2020. Hint: You don't have to be some big pro speaker to make speaking work for your business. Go grab it now. heathersager com/minitraining and I'll see you on the next episode.

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