Lifting Women Up and Celebrating MidWest Women Wins!
Jan. 9, 2024

71 | Cultivating a Brand that Resonates with Strategist Asia Dore

71 | Cultivating a Brand that Resonates with Strategist Asia Dore
The player is loading ...

Ever wonder how a small business can shine in the shadow of corporate giants? 

Asia Dore, an Alaska native now Wisconsin resident and the mastermind behind transformative brand strategies, joins us to discuss the art of authentic branding. She walks us through her evolution from photographer to brand guru and reveals how staying true to the human element can elevate a brand beyond just a logo and color palette. 

This episode will leave you equipped with the tools to showcase your expertise, communicate your unique value, and magnetize your ideal clients—all with the genuine warmth that's become Asia's signature.

Tune in as we discuss:

  • the importance of a consistent brand message, 
  • the patience required for organic growth
  • the pitfalls of instant gratification 
  • the significance of a focused strategy in establishing trust and a strong brand presence.

 

Ready to transform your business with an enduring brand identity? 
You Betcha You Are!

Special Offer for You Betcha She Did! listeners - Asia is offering a free 30-minute brand audit. 

Support the Show and Rayna's Work to Elevate MidWest Women!
Buy Me a Coffee

Want to grow your brand and elevate your voice this next year? Then consider starting a podcast or YouTube Channel with the Ladies First Digital Media Company in 2024. Already have a podcast or YouTube channel but need a stellar producer to take things off of your plate and help grow your audience, consider the Ladies First Digital Media Company.

Schedule a 15-minute call with Rayna to talk through your ideas - no strings attached. Email Rayna at rayna@ladiesfirstdigitalmedia.com and write "15-minute call" in the subject line to get started.

If you love the show, please subscribe, share it with your friends, and leave us a positive review 🙂Follow You Betcha She Did on Social Media



...

Chapters

00:03 - The Power of Authentic Branding

12:23 - Building a Brand

21:01 - Trust and Consistency in Building Brands

Transcript

Speaker 1:

Did she really do that? You, betcha? She did. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of you, betcha. She Did the podcast where women entrepreneurs, leaders and changemakers, especially in the Wisconsin area, share their wit and wisdom. I'm your host, rainer Rikiki. Today I have Asia Dorr in the studio. I'm excited for you to meet her. She is an Alaska native who recently moved to the Wisconsin area. She's a brand strategist on a mission to simplify and revolutionize the concept of branding so that every entrepreneur can take full advantage of it to grow their business. So, again, if you are an entrepreneur, you know how important branding is, and even if you're not, if you're just someone who uses social media, you are building a brand right there. So this might be something you're really going to want to dig into. So Asia welcome to the show.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, raina. I'm really happy to be here and, like you said, I just moved to Wisconsin last year and I know that you're highlighting Wisconsin entrepreneurs right now, so I feel like I really weaseled my way in here, I know.

Speaker 1:

That's all right. You're welcome everybody to do this great land, the Third Coast. So let's kind of start maybe at the beginning. And what made you want to become a brand strategist? How did this come about as a business for yourself?

Speaker 2:

I started my business back in 2014 as a photographer and I just kind of moved through like the niches of that. I started with everything. I moved to weddings and then elopements and then brand photography, and I loved brand photography. But what I realized is that it is such a I mean, it's an art. Obviously it's photography, but it's also kind of a science, in that you are taking a, like an abstract concept and you are turning that into something tangible and visual. And what I realized is that there were so many entrepreneurs who wanted and needed really great brand photography, but they didn't have any strategy behind their brand. So when it came to representing their brand visually, we kind of got stuck because they just didn't know how to explain their brand. They didn't know what their goals were for their brand. So what I started to do was help them develop the strategy part in order to give them great brand photos. And then I realized like, oh, actually, like the strategy part is the part that really gets me excited, like the photos are fun and cool, and maybe by that time I was, you know, a little bit burnt out because I had been photographing for so long, but the strategy part really just fired me up, so I think it was in 2019, I decided no more photography, we're just going to focus on brand strategy.

Speaker 1:

Cool, and so you've had a lot of experience, obviously, in this space for quite some time. What do you think is the biggest mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs make when they build their brands?

Speaker 2:

Well, first of all, we all come by it honestly and it happens to all of us. So not trying to shame anybody here, I mean I don't say of it too. This is a no shame zone. But you know, if you've ever Googled anything about like how to build a brand or how to brand my business, you are just flooded with article after article that tells you to build your brand like these just massive, multi-billion dollar corporations like Apple or McDonald's or Nike, because wow, look how successful they are, look how profitable they are, like the poster children for strong branding. I'm doing air quotes if you're listening and not watching this part, which and I'm not going to argue that those are successful businesses, right Sure, they are very profitable, they are very, they have a lot of influence. But the thing that I think we really get wrong, and the biggest mistake that I think that you can make as a small business owner, is branding your small business or yourself. If you're building a personal brand, just like a massive multi-billion dollar corporation does, they are very focused on just like manufacturing and identity, creating this entity that's outside themselves, and then pouring millions and millions of dollars into controlling that image that they want for themselves. We don't have that luxury as entrepreneurs, right? We really don't. We don't have the extra millions of dollars. So, instead of trying to control perception about how people feel about us, we actually have to do and say the things that make people feel the way we want them to feel, and that's not a bad thing. That is authentic branding. When we brand like a corporation, we take away all of the wonderful, beautiful, messy stuff that makes us humid, like it sucks all of the humanity out of ourselves, out of our businesses, out of our brands, and like that's so silly because human, like people, buy from people, right, business is all about relationships between people, so why would we want to take that away? So I just wanna encourage everybody to not lose the part of themselves that is going to be exciting to other people, that's going to magnetize other people, and the other thing that happens is we diminish our expertise when we try to create this entity that's outside of ourselves, because we're trying to be someone that we're not, and you cannot build a genuine and effective brand if you're trying to be someone you're not.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that was a lot of good info in a short bit, yeah, so I mean just reflecting back. It sounds like you're talking about people need to be authentic, but also continue to establish their expertise, right? So how do we do that? Do you have any tips? I don't know. That's a big ask, so see what you can do.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, I mean, that's really the best part about branding, in my opinion, is because, like, specifically, the clients that I work with, like they are just really so brilliant and they have all of this experience and knowledge and modalities and methods and expertise, but to them it's so normal and obvious that they just like diminish it. They're like, why would anybody want this? And that's like, are you kidding me? Like, look at what you can do for people. So building a brand in a way that allows you to become known as an expert, as the expert is, it can be a really powerful tool, not only in getting more clients right, making more money, but also in the impact that we're able to make. Cause, when we diminish our expertise, we're not able to help people to our fullest capacity. And then what is the point of having a business that you're passionate about, right? So there's five things, and they're very simple, and I don't want to confuse simple with easy, because I would never say that branding is easy, but it is really simple. So the first thing you need to do is figure out exactly what you do. When you're combining all of this knowledge and experience and modalities and all of the things, it can get really convoluted, like, oh well, I do this, but I also do this, and I also do this, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but we need to figure out how to combine all of that in a way that is very specific so that people know immediately. Can this person help me?

Speaker 1:

right, yeah, going along with that. I mean, do you ever advise people to? You know, maybe they're so broad in what they do that you're like you have to niche down, or is it? I don't know? You know what I mean. I feel like sometimes people have too many hats and you're like maybe you need to narrow it down.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, and I have a love hate relationship with the word niching, not only because no one knows how to pronounce it is it niche, is it niche?

Speaker 1:

I know, I was thinking guess myself.

Speaker 2:

I was like niche, niche, which one is niche, but I think that like niching is not necessarily bad. But I think when most entrepreneurs think about niching, they tend to get really specific, but in generic ways. So like, for example, you could say, like I'm a massage therapist for 30 to 50 year old women who live in the suburbs and they shop at Target and they're stressed about work Right. On one hand, sure, that is a niche and it does give us some information, so it's better than nothing. But my question then would be to someone who said that like, how is it going to translate into really effective marketing content? Like, how are you going to know, once you've achieved your mission right, why would someone go to you instead of the thousands of other massage therapists, and why 30 to 50 year olds, and why women and why are they stressed right? What are their fears, what are their desires? Why are you the best person to help them? And so this is where I prefer to focus on brand positioning rather than niching, because positioning forces you to get really clear about those kinds of questions. It forces you to go deeper, because you're literally like brand positioning is literally trying to position yourself in someone's mind. In this conversation, you now know, like Raina now knows, asia is a brand strategist and that's what she does, right? And I want to be very clear that that's not a manipulative thing, it's just a fact. I'm a brand strategist. Now you know, I'm a brand strategist, right? And so, when it comes to niching, yes, we want to be specific, but we want to be specific in the right ways.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so step one is that clarity piece, like be very clear about what you do. Yes, what exactly do you do? What is step two then?

Speaker 2:

Step two is you have to know who you're doing it for. In other words, who's your ideal client? I know the ideal client avatar gets such a bad rap Like we do not want another ideal client avatar worksheet. Please don't make us do that. No, we don't want to. But you cannot sell to someone if you don't know who they are. You cannot market to someone if you don't know who they are. You cannot help someone solve their problems if you don't know what their problems are. Our brands are built by us, but they are built for our ideal clients, like your brand is not for you, right? So you have to know that crucial step if you're going to build an effective brand, because otherwise it's not going to be effective, because no one's going to know who it's for.

Speaker 1:

So really know your ideal client? Yes, kind of narrow that down.

Speaker 2:

Step three is you have to figure out how you do what you do differently than everybody else. And you know, it's really easy to get hung up here. It's like, okay, well, I'm just a brand strategist, I'm just a photographer, I'm just a hairstylist Like how am I possibly doing it differently? But this is really where you have to think about the combination of all of the things that make you good at what you do. A lot of times we get hung up on the one thing that's going to set us apart. Right, we have to figure out the one thing. Is it that I'm good at customer service? Is that I've had lots of years of experience? But really, what we need to do is figure out the combination of all of those things that mean one thing to your ideal clients.

Speaker 1:

I mean, it seems simple, but it definitely doesn't seem easy when you say that, so I get it.

Speaker 2:

Simple, not easy. It's like true branding where it takes a lot of self-reflection and deep work, but it is worth it. You know, once you have the clarity, it is worth it.

Speaker 1:

I promise yeah. I'm not going to mention 100%. All right, so that's go ahead. Let's move on to the next step.

Speaker 2:

So step four is you have to figure out why you're doing any of this. What is the point? And obviously the point of business is to make a profit. We don't have to shy away from that at all. We are here doing business to make money. But if you're going to build a brand, you have to think about the impact that you want to make. You want to think about how you are literally going to change people's lives, because business is about solving problems, right, and they don't have to be life-saving problems, but you do need to change someone's life in some way when you work with them, because if you solve their problems, you're changing their life.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Right Now, that makes sense. I mean, that's why people hire people. They're like I need you to solve this problem for me, exactly, exactly, and we don't shy away from that.

Speaker 2:

We really dive into that. Why am I here doing what I do? What is the impact that I'm trying to have, not just on the clients I work with, but also the whole world? If we're being honest, just because what we do isn't saving humankind, that doesn't mean it's not important, and that goes for luxury industries as well.

Speaker 1:

Plus, that's such an important part of just being a business person entrepreneur it's like you need to know your why. Why are you passionate about it? Why do you want to keep pouring this energy in, not only for yourself, but again for the client side? Yes, we want to make money, but ultimately, how are we trying to make the world better in some small way, Right?

Speaker 2:

And I feel like your listeners are not going to have any issues with that. They're going to be like oh yeah, no, I'm here to find meaning in my work, so I don't even think that we need to justify that. I think, we all agree. This is what we're here to do.

Speaker 1:

All right. So what is the fifth step now? The fifth actionable step?

Speaker 2:

So the fifth step is to take all of that information right and again simple, not easy and conclude some message, some very specific message that you are willing to share over and over, and, over and over again, forever, until you're sick of it. And then you keep sharing it, because it's one thing to have a brand strategy, but if nobody knows about it, if nobody knows what you do and who you do it for, and how you do it differently and why it matters, they're not going to, first of all, they're not going to care, but second of all, they're not going to care because they don't know. You have to be willing to go out and share it forever.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I think that's kind of a hard part sometimes, right? Because when you're on the content creator side and sharing about your business, you feel like, well, I have the bio, am I you know whatever Instagram page or LinkedIn or my website? And it does seem redundant to keep sharing over and over again what you do and why you do it. But it's I've heard that from other people too you have to keep sharing it, and so I mean, is it because people have such short attention spans or you're just there's just always new people filtering through that you need to keep staying the message again and again? I mean what?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, it's both of those. It's both of those things. But it's also just like people are busy, people have errands to run and family coming to town and they're making dinner and they're stressed about stuff Like we, we. It's really easy to think that, just because we're saying a bunch of stuff, everyone's listening to all our stuff. Everyone's reading all of our stuff. You know, when you do an Instagram story and then you watch it a few times and you get a little dopamine hit, you're like oh yeah, I did that. No one else is doing that right, unless you have a stalker or it's like your mom, maybe. But, no, no one else is doing that, so it's. It's really just about letting go of control of who sees what when and just consistently sharing it, because that's your responsibility. If you're here to help people, you need to let people know that you're here, otherwise they're not going to know and you can't help them.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense because I even for my own personal experience, I'll see something on. Instagram and I'll be like oh that's a great idea or I like what that person's doing, but I won't take action on it. I'll. I'll let it just kind of filter in my brain and it'll pop up again Another week I'll be like oh yeah, there's that great idea again. Maybe by like the fifth time I was like, oh yeah, maybe I should sign up for their newsletter, or you know, whatever it is, the thing is you definitely don't do it the first time.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I don't think most people do so yeah, no, I think I think it used to be. You had to see something seven times and I think now it's even like 12 or 15 or something. I don't know if that's a fact. I'm, I'm, I think, that's what I heard. But but I mean, I can see how that's true in my own life. And I think, especially if your audience is, if you're an entrepreneur, your audience is other entrepreneurs. I think it's even more so because we're all focused on our own businesses, right? So like we have the life side of things, but then also we're thinking about our businesses. So people are just busy and that's OK. Let them be busy, be available for them when they do have time.

Speaker 1:

Can I pick your brain a little bit about platforms too, and I know you know there's lots of platforms out there Instagram, tiktok, linkedin, youtube, podcasts and so on. Do you see any trends in terms of platforms, or does it really depend on your audience, like where you're going to find your people? What's been your experience with that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, I think it really all comes back down to who's your ideal client and where are they. I have done a lot of marketing on my own, obviously, in the time I've been business and I've also helped clients to a point with their content and their marketing. But I don't want to claim to be a marketing expert, especially with everything changing so quickly and all the platforms changing so quickly. So just a copy out there to. I don't want to give any false advice, but I would say a good general rule is figure out who you're targeting and figure out where they are. But you also have to figure out where you're going to feel most confident showing up consistently over a long period of time, because building a brand is not a quick thing. Building a brand takes time. So choose somewhere that you actually want to be showing up, otherwise you're not going to do it. I think a lot of times we get hung up on like the new tactics and the trends and oh, there's TikTok and now there's threads, and if you're excited about that and you find a community there, awesome. But if you're forcing yourself just to do it, you're not going to be creating good content and nobody wants to read bad content. No one wants to watch bad videos, right? So I think it's about finding a form of communication that feels good and is exciting and is where your people are, and after that, once you get the ball rolling, you know, repurpose your content for other, more secondary platforms If that makes sense and you have the time and money and energy to do it.

Speaker 1:

I like that. Repurpose has been key for me because there's only so much time in the day, so it's like make a piece of content but then figure out how you can apply it to these other places and reuse it.

Speaker 2:

Sure, and the other thing that I want to bring up, too, is there is no harm in like, for example, I like recording videos, but I don't want to edit it. I don't want to do like. You know, maybe the SEO, like all of that stuff, is messy and weird but that's why people like you exist right. There's nothing wrong with outsourcing the things that you don't like to do or that take up just time and energy and decisions 100%.

Speaker 1:

It's like this way you can focus your passion on the things you really like doing and then outsource that other stuff Absolutely so, seeing as you've you know you've been in business for over 10 years now think deep into your brain. What has been some advice that someone has given you that has really helped you along that you can share with our audience.

Speaker 2:

Oh man, I thought we agreed easy questions, Reina.

Speaker 1:

No, sorry, let me just drop that bomb right now and let it go, I mean okay, I hate this advice. Or if there's advice you hate, that would be good to share too. Like people told me this and I found that to be poop I didn't like it at all.

Speaker 2:

Well, there is that too. I know I hate this advice, but it's great advice. Okay, it's both. The advice is really to just trust that, trust the process, trust that your efforts are adding up, trust that everything is just working together. You know behind the scenes, out in the universe, wherever things magical things happen and just just stay consistent, even if it feels like it's not working. There's so much instant gratification, especially for online business owners, especially if we market on social media. Right, because it's like oh, I posted this in, five people already liked it. Okay, awesome, it's doing great. But that doesn't necessarily mean anything. It just means that five people liked it. They might not even have read it, they just double tapped because they saw it was you right. So this is really where trusting not only the process but also yourself comes in and like this is rich. Me saying this is so rich because it's like ironic, like I struggle with this all the time. I want instant gratification, I want things to work right when I do them, but it's really just about choosing a direction and just taking baby steps every single day until you get there, and then you'll set a new goal and not getting discouraged about not having quick results in the process.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that is a great reminder about taking the long game or the long view right. It's like it's not quick, but stick to the path, keep evaluating and keep going and you know, hopefully you will get results, but yeah, they don't happen right away. Okay, I like that because it's so easy to forget that in this world of quick results. Quick, instant gratification.

Speaker 2:

I agree, oh yeah, you want a pizza? Okay, 20 minutes, here you go, yeah. So yeah, just stay the course. You're doing great.

Speaker 1:

Yep, before we go, is there anything else you'd like to share with our audience, tips or tricks or advice or anything coming up in your world?

Speaker 2:

I mean, I think that they're really the only thing that's well not left. I mean, I could talk about branding all day, reina, but I will spare you. I know you have other things to do, but I would really just like to acknowledge the fact that there's like building a brand again. It takes time, it takes energy, it takes effort. It can be really difficult when you have so many scattered ideas and you're multi-passionate and there's all of these things you want to do and that you could do, and it's all just swirling around up here and it feels very scattered. It's really easy to just take action, take action, take action, switch gears, pivot all the time, and it's hard to build a brand that way, though, because we want to be focused. So if your listeners are hearing this and they're like, oh yeah, that's me, oopsies, first of all, no shame, no shame zone, but I would love to invite that person to a completely free brand audit. They're 30 minutes long. We're basically just going to figure out whether your brand that you're building, the stuff that you're putting out into the world is clearly communicating your expertise. We're going to brainstorm new ways to leverage what makes them unique. You know, that's that third piece how you do what you do differently than everyone else. And then we're just going to decide on three simple and practical changes that you can make to just grab the attention of your ideal client. So if you're feeling like I'm doing all this stuff and no one's listening, this is really going to help you hone in on that. And I will be the first to admit that an audit does not sound exciting or glamorous or sexy in any way. But that's kind of on purpose, because if you are just floundering around with all of these ideas and nothing feels cohesive, what you need right now is not like a new jolt of exciting energy. Instead, we need to ground the energy that you're already putting out. We need to, like get all of those scattered ideas into one cohesive concept so that you're able to confidently talk about. That is what is going to give the direction that you've probably been looking for, and direction is so critical because it's the only way to gain momentum.

Speaker 1:

So if you want to get a free brand audit, reach out to Asia in the show notes. I'll have her information linked. Definitely might be a helpful thing to do with 2024, right around the corner, Asia. Thank you so much for being on the show. I really appreciate all the brand info Definitely has given me stuff to think about. In particular, I was like I need to tell people what I do more. Definitely don't do that.

Speaker 2:

That is step number one. But, yes, thank you so much for having me. It really is an honor because I know that you interviewed some really incredible women entrepreneurs, so it really is an honor to be in the lineup.

Speaker 1:

As always, if you like what you're hearing on you, Betcha, she did Don't forget to share the show with a friend, a neighbor, a cousin, maybe a fellow woman business owner. They might need to think about their strategy. And if you like what you're hearing, don't forget to leave us a five star review on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Until next time, take care.