Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Amplify Your Brand

The last speaker of the day was fitness guru Andrea Metcalf who has made herself into a brand.  From personal training to writing a book to now producing television shows, Andrea doesn't let anything stop her.  She had a ton of advice - and energy - for all of us.  What can you gain from it?

Amplify your brand. Gain strength in distribution.

There are a few things that will probably sound crazy and out of the box. People ask me where I get my confidence. You just go do it. They'll ask, "Aren't you worried that people will say no?" People say no a lot, and that's ok.

I am a fitness instructor and wrote a book called Naked Fitness last year about feeling good in your skin. I'm a media personality. In the 6am news, we will be doing stand up paddle. I'm also a social media addict. I don't think I'm that bad until people ask me if I can put my phone now because it's not a breathing apparatus.

I decided I wanted to do my own tv show and got $98,000 in funding for a quarter. I didn't have a pilot. I got $48,000 to buy airtime. My sponsors were not the sponsors I thought I was going to ask. When it came down to it, it was McDonalds, an orthopedic hospital, and Meijer. If you own your stuff, you really have to own your stuff. CLTV wanted to change the name and have me host with someone else for a second go around, but that's not who I am. I made a lot of mistakes, but it was my first time around.

I owned a fitness studio and was writing for little local magazines, and I didn't realize I was a brand. How many of you own your brand and accept it and know what it is? A brand needs these pieces to go to the next step. The first thing is mission. You have to know where it's going. What is your mission? Target audience. If you don't have a type or niche, your marketing is never going to work. We have moms who just want to be pretty. We have people who are just normal, and normal is ok. My demographics is 35-55. How many of you need to have money to buy food? How many need money to pay rent to drive here? The further you can get this marketing off the ground, the easier it is to make money at this.

I was a fitness director for a club, and my goal was to get more people in the door. I partnered, and that same thing works today. I went to my local Dominick's and said, "I'll tell my members to go buy their turkeys at Dominick's, and I said I needed two 6 pound turkey breasts. I'm going to bring them into the fitness class and use them as medicine balls on Thanksgiving morning and then play hot potato. Whoever has the turkey takes it home."  It was hugely successful. Now we have social media, and you can still partner. Guest blog. Tweet other people's stuff.

I wanted to make it really fun at my fitness studio. On Fridays, they knew that anytime I blew the whistle, it was going to be a contest. They would get 5 sessions of personal training - singing or whistling or pushups or other competitions. What can you do that is free and costs you just your time?

If you have enough desire and persistence and you have a good mentor, you'll move forward. I emailed the Today Show every day for 3 months before I got a spot. I wanted to do it, and I was as good as those who were on there. I looked in the credits for the executive producers. I asked a client which one to contact. I've now done the Today Show over 17 times. There is no one who is out of your range of asking. How often are you told that you have to talk to a certain person, even if you know they aren't the ones who make the decisions?

My mentors are key. I wanted to a do a tv show, and the chamber of commerce where I live had lessons for four Saturdays from 8-12. That's where I learned how to do a tv show. If you have enough content, you can get them to distribute it, then you can get someone to pay for it, and you make money from the middle. I cold called the president of NBC. You can't be afraid; what's the worst thing that can happen?

My life changed getting on tv and being a credible fitness expert. The woman who introduced me - Beth Rosen - changed my life where I roomed with her at a spa in Mexico. I had just gotten hired as a blogger for Oprah.com. They told me about social media like I'd never known about it before. Through more mentors and connections, I meant the person who helped me launch my book. Those are my people.

The only person not on that list who is my mentor is Madonna. When I was 18, she had a brand. And she's continued to reinvent herself every 3-5 years. I am so impressed by what she does. I'm not just a health and fitness expert. I've moved into tv and production and other places. You have to have more than just this. Try remember what these little sparkles are that you love.

Cold calling - that's what I'm talking about. If you love a brand and now you have some distribution, you can't just have 100 people who listen to you unless those 100 people want to buy the same product you're talking about. It's not always about the numbers but how you influence these people. What do they love about your blog? I look at Lori Moreno and her 245,000 followers, and I only have a percentage of that, and I'm still using social media as my main way to get paid. I've worked with a lot of brands. Cold calling and knowing who I want to work with is how I get there.

Knowing who to call is important. You don't have to call the social media person at the company necessarily. Take the product name and press release and google it. See who is at the bottom. Tweet them, then email, but tweet first. I can call and email and have no response, and in 15 minutes get a response on Twitter. If it's from your heart and someone you really want to work with, and you talk the right way, you'll find that they want to work with you, too. It's a win win situation.

Distribution used to be just tv and magazines and newspapers. It's expanded now. The web and social media are new levels of marketing that you need to use. If I have content with video and a blog and I create a partnership to share content on their pages, I have an exponential reach of eyeballs seeing my content. I'm now distributing my tv show on Facebook TV. There are 400 channels that I'm sharing on.

Don't think of others are your competition. They're peers. you all have different likes and appeal to different people because you are different under here (your heart). When you can start to see that and start to figure it out that partnerships are the biggest win wins, that's how you make money.

You need to have strategic alliances that make lists. That's what allows you to gather followers. Then you need to figure out what they want, and that's how you make money. You have to know what they have and talk about them. You need to know what they want. When you go through your Twitter followers, how many look at what the person does and then put them into a list? I do that so strategically on LinkedIn. Those are things you have to own because those are relationships.

You have to love what you're doing in order for it to work. If you hate it, it's going to suck in the car driving, and you're not going to want to keep doing it. When you have passion about something, people really understand it. You have to tell people why it's good. When my kids didn't want to eat asparagus or broccoli, I told them that's what dinosaurs ate.

You have to know how to sell and overdeliver. I will oversell things because I get so excited, and then I realize there is only one of me. Be very clear as to what you can really get done, and then don't tell them everything you're actually going to do. How cool is it that you have a sundae waiting for your kids when they finish their dinners and you didn't tell them?

How many don't have an agent selling for you? I said that I'm going to launch my book and bring in 10 bloggers to help sell the book based on their experience. Beth Rosen told me to value myself, we can sell 1,000 books, more than that. There are times when we knew what everything was worth. Now, it's hard to figure out what everything is worth. Start believing it. And most importantly, build the relationship and figure out why it matters to them.

Here are the secrets to success:
1) If you are going to get anything done, you need a schedule. I do this for me as a PR brand, a marketing brand, and a fitness brand. I need a schedule for when I'm talking about each of these things. If we don't know when these conversations are happening, then I can't play the game. We can't Tivo them.

2) You need a marketing plan that is seasonal. It isn't just the same all 12 months of the year. It isn't California. How many of you have a product outside your blog? I learned this in personal training. There are only 67 hours I can personal train, plus 26 hour to teach class. I still did corporate fitness, had 3 kids, did payroll, etc. I was done by 9pm. You can't function at that, but I needed to make money. 

We all know that we have certain things that we want in our lives. You have to have things that make money while you're sleeping. You're probably all experts at something, so figure out how to package it and where it can be a freebie, what can be the buy-in, and what's the subscription model. Brands will start using you for your blog, but you all have something good you can share. I used to draw stick figures so people could do exercises on their own. I then made flip cards, then DVDs, and more. We need to use our blogs not to just worry about the blogs, because when we build it, they will come. Is it the story of your life? Is it how you can inspire someone else? Is it the little tips?

3) You need timelines and goals. These are the same things I do for clients to help people lose weight. I have timelines a lot in my life now. I have 30 minutes to do Twitter, and then I'm done. I used to do this with my kids to clean the house, and it was a great incentive. I have 30 days to complete the next project... I have the worst running week of my life for running because of the marathon training. I know I have to do the marathon so I have to do the running. That could be that I have a Plan B in mind in case what you need to do doesn't work out.

4) You go for results. Please keep in mind that Twitter only keeps their data for about 5 days. I'll put together a great hashtag and forget to monitor it. Understand how to count it before you do it. Have your Google Analytics set up for your blog. Get somebody else's opinion - ask them what you think of this post. Create those alliances. Get your brutal answers from your family and friends.

5) Review. In January, I launched a reality weight loss show. We taped almost every single weekend that went into an hour long show due on Wednesday for 12 weeks. I will never do this again. I thought I was going to kill myself, and I finally started to feel ok by week 5 because I knew I only had 7 more weeks. Figure out if something is worth doing again. Will we ever do 6am to 10pm with bloggers again? No. Keep coming up with new ideas. After that didn't work for me, I thought why produce one show when you can produce 12? So we did it. Come up with a new strategic plan, and move forward.

I sometimes think it's funny where I'm standing and where I've been. I've failed at a lot of things, but it still feels great to be able to stand in front of you and know I did a few things right.


Andrea July 31, 2012 at 12:09 PM  

Thanks for the recap and attending the event


Unknown Mami August 1, 2012 at 4:05 PM  

Man, oh man, do I need a schedule.

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