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Your Personality & Struggles are Part Your Brand with Tracy Raftl

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In this episode of 360 Health Biz Podcast, we have long time blogger & acne coach turned brand & web designer, Tracy Raftl join us to talk about branding your business. Part of Tracy’s success when she started The Love Vitamin was showing her true self – which included being vulnerable and showing her struggles with her acne.

Many health coaches and practitioners think they need to be perfect in order to help others heal and in this episode, we learn that this is not the case. Showing your audience how you got to where you are (and how you continue to grow and heal) shows your true & most authentic self.

In this episode:
- Tracy’s journey from blogging to selling ebooks for adult acne
- showing your personality in your content
- colours & fonts that portray your personality
- the importance of showing vulnerability & struggles
- brands take time to take hold

While your fonts & colours should depict your personality, branding is more than just the visuals. Your brand is your personality, your niche, your service, the way that you work with people. And the most important thing with branding is consistency – maintaining the same look & language on your website, your social media platforms, your videos and your programs & downloads.

Tracy Raftl got her start online in 2011 when she founded the super popular natural acne blog, The Love Vitamin. Now she helps unstoppable women brand themselves online, and builds them impactful, high-converting, personality-driven websites that make them feel confident to go to the next level in their business.

FREEBIE: https://littlebeastdesign.com/brand-style-quiz/

https://littlebeastdesign.com
https://www.instagram.com/tracyraftl/
https://www.pinterest.ca/tracyraftl/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracy-raftl/
https://www.facebook.com/littlebeastdesign/

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TRANSCRIPTS

Christine:
Hello everyone and welcome to this brand new episode of our beautiful podcast, the 360 Health Biz Podcast. And we are welcoming you today to a brand new episode, which is going to be absolutely phenomenal because it's about a topic that Kendra and I love, preach, eye-roll about, vent about, all the time, so stay tuned for that. It's going to be a bomb. But before we actually get started, here's something that we want to share with you. Because we had the wonderful Leah who took the time to send us a personal message on Instagram and she says, "Kendra, thank you for your amazing podcast. I just found it this week and have been binging hardcore. You and Christine are just so fun and knowledgeable. I'm just starting my business and it has been so helpful. I did my training through the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy in collaboration with the Institute of Functional Medicine."

Christine:
Wow, we do love to be called fun and knowledgeable. Thank you very much. So we do take that and thank you so, so much for letting us know. As you know, it's always great to talk to this microphone and to this sort of camera, but not knowing if anyone actually gives a toss. So thanks for letting us know, we really appreciate it. And now without further ado, my beautiful hostess with the mostest is going to introduce our wonderful guest that we have in today. Kendra, take it away.

Kendra:
Awesome. Christine, I'm so excited for our guest today. It kinda goes way back. I'm actually super excited to introduce her because I actually first started following her probably... I don't even know. It was probably 10 years ago, maybe even longer, when I was struggling with acne and I was really interested in natural solutions and I stumbled across her website, which was a huge blog at the time and it probably still is, and I was so inspired by her and her blog and all her articles that it actually led to me starting my own blog, which was not as successful or not even close. It wasn't successful at all, but that's okay. And funny enough, I actually wrote my first guest post on her website and it was about coffee enemas, which is really-

Christine:
[crosstalk 00:02:08] baby. I'm not surprised. Obviously it's got something-

Tracy Raftl:
I was trying to remember and I was like "she wrote a blog post, I know it was something to do with poop" but I couldn't remember what. Of course, coffee enemas.

Kendra:
Totally, and you know what guys? I still love my coffee enemas. I still do them. I think they're great, but I remember at the time, just there were a lot of comments that were like, "This is terrible, who would ever do this?" And I was like, I feel so bad about myself. It was so new. I'd never put myself out there on the internet, so it was quite the experience, [crosstalk 00:02:37] but I kept in touch with Tracy over the years. We connected again through functional diagnostic nutrition when she did the program and then we've kept in touch just through social media. So I'm really excited to introduce Tracy Raftl and just to give her a quick introduction, she started online in 2011 when she founded the super popular natural acne blog, The Love Vitamin. Now she helps unstoppable women brand themselves online and builds them impactful, high converting, personality driven websites that makes them feel confident to take their business to the next level. And guys, you should definitely check out her shit because her design is unbelievable.

Christine:
Beautiful. I'm very jealous I have to say.[crosstalk 00:03:24] Very, super envious. With love.

Tracy Raftl:
Thank you.

Kendra:
Thanks Tracy. What's going on?

Tracy Raftl:
Wow. Well thank you for that lovely introduction. It's lovely to be here with you ladies. What we're going to be talking about today, I believe, is just putting yourself out there and just being 100% real and my journey with The Love Vitamin. I think the reason that it was so damn successful was because I was so vulnerable, real about my struggles. So I started The Love vitamin in, like you said, 2011. I was in my early twenties and I had horrible skin. It was horrific. It was so bad. And if you've ever had skin troubles, you understand how embarrassing that is, how... not just embarrassing, but just soul crushing it is. It's just really, really emotionally painful.

Tracy Raftl:
So I, like Kendra back then, I was reading other people's acne blogs and I got really inspired and I thought, "You know what, I will have to share, I can do this." So I started the blog and I had all of those thoughts where it was like, "Well I've cleared up the majority of the severe acne I had," but I was still struggling with mild acne. I was still struggling with the fear of acne, which was a big thing, and so I had those thoughts where it was like, "Oh, who am I to be talking about this? I should have perfect skin, otherwise why should I even bother?" But the thing was, I didn't do that. I shared all of my struggles. I talked about the experiments I was doing to heal that last part of my acne. I talked about all the emotions that I was feeling, about every time I got a pimple, even if it wasn't that bad, it was still emotionally devastating because just how intense it was when my skin was bad. I still have that.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah, just all those emotions. That fear was... it was definitely still there, but I explored all of that on my blog and I believe that that was actually what made it so successful, because people could relate to it. They knew that I wasn't perfect. They knew that... Yeah, people are intimidated by people that are perfect.

Christine:
When did you realize that that was your secret spice, so to say?

Tracy Raftl:
I don't know if I ever realized it, I just kind of did it. I think, I mean... Yeah, I studied business. I took courses to learn how to blog, and I think they recommended, don't hide yourself, don't hide your struggle. And I think being an open book just comes naturally to me. I can't keep secrets basically. So, it was just really natural and I think I saw some of the bloggers that I was following, that's what they were doing as well and I recognized that that was why I felt connected to them, even if I didn't recognize it.

Kendra:
I'll never forget Tracy, I'll never forget the photos of when you had really, and you just posted those online. And I remember just being like "wow", I can't believe she's doing it. But I was so grateful about it because I was just like "She really has struggled with this." To see the transition and I even remember later on I think, I don't know if you were in, I feel like I'm like such a creep cause I like know your whole life. I remember I think you were in Australia and you've broken out a little bit and you were showing and taking pictures and you were like, "I got this like big cyst, like between my eyebrows or whatever." It almost couldn't breathe because I was so ashamed of that at the time. And I just hid it and I would hide inside. And I just so grateful that you were just out there, baring it all.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah. I mean that was a big change because before I started the blog, it was like, I like acne was, I was not going to like, even if they could see it everywhere, it was like that was something I was never gonna like the topic was never gonna come up between me and anyone. And I found that was so, so stressful because it was like, "They can all see it."

Kendra:
Yeah.

Tracy Raftl:
It was like this thing that I couldn't admit or talk about with anyone and it was, it just felt like a pressure cooker. It was like "I am struggling with this. I can't say anything about it." Then when I decided to start the blog and put it all out there, it was a big relief actually. So you listening, you might be feeling the same way where it's like, Oh, you might have this weight of like, Oh, "I'm still kind of struggling with this. I'm not 100%."

Kendra:
yeah.

Tracy Raftl:
Or whatever.

Kendra:
Yeah.

Tracy Raftl:
That you might feel like that's a weight.

Christine:
or have a little setback, you know?

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah, exactly.

Christine:
A lot of people who are just when they're sick, they have a setback and they get they're old symptoms back and it's like, "Oh no, I'm not an expert anymore because..." but it was circumstantial. So yeah, I guess it's nice to [crosstalk 00:08:47]

Tracy Raftl:
Exactly, and even talking through that so that people know when they get setbacks, it doesn't mean that yeah, it's all over, it's all coming back forever, which I know is easy to.

Christine:
Totally. And so what about[crosstalk 00:09:01]

Kendra:
Because I mean most health coaches for the most part are in this because of their own struggle. Right.

Tracy Raftl:
Exactly.

Kendra:
And a lot of people are for niching in the thing that they struggled with. And, I mean, I talked to a lot of health coaches and I just see a lot of them being like, "well I can't talk about anxiety because I still have anxiety or I can't talk about this because I don't have this. I'm super passionate about anxiety. I want to talk about it, but I still have it, so how can I talk about it?" And so they're a bit paralyzed by the fact that they think they're waiting for the moment when that goes away, before they can start speaking about it. You think that does their audience a disservice?

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah, 100%. Because I mean like you can speak to it Kendra like what if I had just decided to never say anything? They want to know everything that's going on. They want to know that you're struggling too. It's so relatable.

Kendra:
Yeah.

Tracy Raftl:
It really helps people if you're just upfront with it.

Christine:
So what about those who come to you? Because obviously now your specialist is in branding. You don't have, cause I'm one of those who don't have their own struggle. For me it was the opposite. I was feeling illegitimate cause I didn't have the struggles. You are this branding specialist now in the house. I'm really excited because you see these two people and you advise them, and you coach them, and consult with them. How do you do that? Basically you figured out at some point that honesty and being out there and vulnerable is the key. When did you figure out, so how do you, first of all, how do you coach these people? But also what was your process to understand what it was you were doing and how did you teach that?

Tracy Raftl:
You're talking about the branding part of it?

Christine:
Yeah. And just being you, that is actually branding.

Tracy Raftl:
Right.

Christine:
I don't think a lot of people know that that belongs to the world or branding. For them branding is a logo.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah. It's definitely much more than that.

Christine:
Why do you think that the struggle with niching will feeling legitimate has something to do with branding? I find a lot of people have no clue what branding actually is.

Tracy Raftl:
Right.

Christine:
So how did that kaleidoscope of thing happen for you?

Tracy Raftl:
Right. Well let's discuss what brand [crosstalk 00:11:20]

Christine:
I know it's lot. We'll deal with it.

Kendra:
So many bombs of questions there.

Christine:
I know. [crosstalk 00:11:27]

Tracy Raftl:
That's a really good question there with the logo because a lot of people think branding is just a logo. Branding is, the whole thing of what your business is. It's basically the perception of what other people think of you and your business. It's a culmination of the visual design, but it's also your brand's personality, your niche, your service, the way that you work with people. The way that you speak. With Kendra for example, you're very kinda to the point and you swear and whatever that's part of your brand, right? It's like what we can expect from you. And so I always, always recommend, I mean... the majority of the time you like if you're a coach. Your brand should be based on your personality. They are slightly different. Your brand is an entity and you are an entity. But your brand should be based on your personality. It doesn't have to be everything that you are, but it shouldn't be something that you're completely not.

Christine:
I love that. So what if you're not included?

Tracy Raftl:
If you're lazy and complaining, you probably don't want to like [crosstalk 00:12:57] too much.

Christine:
Even though that's a brand on YouTube.

Kendra:
Your brand, Christine, lazy and complaining. You like own that shit. It's so funny.

Christine:
I own my laziness like a boss.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah.[crosstalk 00:13:04] You could even put that into your brand, right? That could be a thing,

Christine:
I do.

Tracy Raftl:
You want to highlight the better things and then you could throw in some of that as well. And that can make you relatable as well, right? Because it's like, "yeah, I'm lazy." So it basically, but if you, you know, we're very multifaceted people, right? We all have very... so many different parts of our personality and things that we are, your brand doesn't have to broadcast every single thing that you are. But if you are a super funny person, you probably don't want to create a brand that's super staunch and serious or if you are super chill and soft spoken, you don't want to have like a bold, brash kind of, possibly swearing brand, it doesn't work. People get that there's something off about it.

Tracy Raftl:
When someone is trying to be, someone that they're not, it just comes off as sort of fake. People might not quite know what it is, but there's just something off about it that doesn't sit right and it doesn't feel good to you. It's hard trying to be someone that you're not, right? Sometimes it's hard to be who we are too because we don't know who we are. That's a whole other story. If you're not a funny person, you're trying to be funny. That's hard. It makes business, it makes you more attractive to your ideal client and it makes business just feel better for you.

Christine:
Do you find that people actually always know who they are or they come across as, so you say, for example,

Tracy Raftl:
No.

Christine:
If you're funny, you might not want a super serious brand. Do you find that funny people know that they're funny.

Tracy Raftl:
Not always.[crosstalk 00:15:02]

Christine:
How they come across.

Tracy Raftl:
They very much get caught up in like, Oh, "I think I should be this or I think I shouldn't be bad, or I'm inspired by that person so I should have a brand exactly like them." And then it's like, "Oh shit, this is really hard because this isn't me at all." So that's why working with a brand expert can be really helpful because they can see you a lot clearer than you can see yourself. If you don't have the money to work with a brand expert, you can ask your family and friends and say, "Okay, give me five characteristics or personality traits that you feel like sums me up." Ask a few different people to get sort of an idea and go from there. I think that's a really great start.[crosstalk 00:15:47]

Christine:
I just want to say, you have to watch the video guys because Kendra and I have both like, [crosstalk 00:15:53] like bobbing their heads.

Tracy Raftl:
I like this validation. Thank you.

Kendra:
Were just like yup.

Christine:
Yup. Preach sister.

Kendra:
I think it's such a good idea. It's something that we actually had our mastermind members doing when we did our a lesson on branding. We were like, you got to figure out who you are. You got to figure out how you talk. You need to speak in your voice. The way I talk, that's just the way I talk. If you meet me in person, what you see is what you get. It's the same shit. But I think, yeah, you're right. A lot of people don't know who they are, they don't understand their personality. And I think that's another reason why building a business is such a deep dive into personal development.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah, it is for sure. You definitely learn a lot about yourself if you want to succeed anyway. You really have to get in touch with that.

Christine:
Are there any certain things that you ask people to do before they come work with you? Because I guess if they're not ready to actually figure out who they are, which might be much more challenging than they actually understand. Being yourself is one of the most difficult things to do. How do you help them?

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah. It's either really difficult or really easy.

Kendra:
Yes.

Tracy Raftl:
Well if you're getting a website done with me, I pretty much make it a requirement that we do brand name work before that. I have a really in depth questionnaire and of course that goes with it to explain all of this stuff step-by-step. They fill it out and then they get consulting time with me. So it's kind of like I make them do it because I don't want to build them a website without them.

Kendra:
Yeah.

Tracy Raftl:
Understanding this stuff because then your website's going to suck and it's not gonna speak to who you want it to speak to and it's not going to be effective. And I don't want to keep the money for that. So we always do that. That's what I'm there to help with. Does that answer the question?

Kendra:
Totally. Yeah. And I want to circle back around to this like idea of vulnerability and sharing. Cause,

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah.

Kendra:
Obviously, the definition of being vulnerable I think is to put yourself in harm's way or to make yourself,

Tracy Raftl:
You're right.

Kendra:
[crosstalk 00:17:59] Right. I think because of what it is, it's scary and it is unbearable.

Tracy Raftl:
Oh yeah.

Kendra:
So what advice would you give to people who, they're new, maybe they haven't shared their story too much or done anything too vulnerable. How can they get started? Cause obviously that you don't just want to go from like zero to nothing cause that's gonna make people shit their pants basically.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah.

Christine:
How can you help them to go, let's take a medium like posting salads or letters on Instagram. To becoming vulnerable. It seems like such a stretch.

Tracy Raftl:
It does seem like a leap. I would start with just sharing your personal journey with how you got to here. If it is your health struggle or proceeding your case. You said you don't have that health struggle, but how did you actually get to, you must have some stories. So how you got to where you are here helping people. Just share that story, but share it in a little more detail than you would and it should feel a little bit scary not too scary, not to shit your pants scary, but just add a little bit in there so that you feel a little bit uncomfortable. You have to feel a little uncomfortable in order to get comfortable with that memorability. I know that's scary. I know. I like to think of fear as just think of it as a sensation. You're not going to die. Nothing's going to happen. The reason that we fear vulnerability is because of that danger in our heads of "People are going to judge me, I'm going to be exiled or whatever."

Kendra:
[crosstalk 00:19:44] I mean let's be honest some people will judge you and you know,

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah. That's the other thing is that some people will judge you and they just don't fucking matter. And I know that is so hard for a lot of people. We want everybody's like us, but if we really want to stand out and speak to those people who are just so bright for us, we have to just not give a shit about the other people, which I know is something that is learned. It's not always, it doesn't come naturally, but once you start to put yourself out there and you start to feel that connection with people, hopefully you'll get to the point where it's okay if some people don't like you.

Kendra:
I agree.

Tracy Raftl:
Happens to all of us.

Kendra:
It does, the more you get out there, I mean I offend people all the time just because sometimes an ass in person, it happens, people take things I say the wrong way and it's fine. But I think it's always a choice whether you want to engage and you don't have to.

Tracy Raftl:
Exactly.

Kendra:
Right?

Tracy Raftl:
No.

Kendra:
And be over with it. But if do choose to engage, like I recommend that people wait until their nervous system has calmed down before they [crosstalk 00:20:54]

Christine:
Sleep over it.

Tracy Raftl:
Everybody who's successful has some people who are, you know, maybe going to write a mean comment. You get 10 comments and you focus on that mean asshole. It's like fuck that guy.

Christine:
And everyone does that. I mean it's just,

Tracy Raftl:
I know like I used to make YouTube videos, I ended up turning off the comments cause people are just fucking assholes.

Kendra:
YouTube is the worst

Tracy Raftl:
Oh yeah.

Kendra:
It's the worst, Cause I think people have accounts that aren't, you can't connect them to who they are.

Christine:
Yeah.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah, it's so bad.

Kendra:
We'll file and whatever. But YouTube sometimes. I mean I've had people be like, "How could I take advice from someone with such a stupid hat?" I live in Canada and it's cold in here.

Tracy Raftl:
Don't make fun of my tuque okay?[crosstalk 00:21:44] Kendra and I are both Canadian by the way.

Kendra:
Yeah. Christine's like, "I don't know what's going on the American,"[crosstalk 00:21:54]

Christine:
What are you speaking about? I don't understand. It's a hat.

Tracy Raftl:
It's a tuque.

Kendra:
People in the States called tuque's like what I'm wearing right now, a beanie, which is ridiculous because I think of a beanie of one of those little [crosstalk 00:22:05]

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah me too with the propeller

Kendra:
That covers like the baldhead of,

Christine:
Yeah.

Tracy Raftl:
It's a tuque.

Christine:
A what?

Kendra:
A Canadian word. A tuque.

Tracy Raftl:
A tuque.

Christine:
All right Canadian.

Tracy Raftl:
It's French Canadian.[crosstalk 00:22:20]

Kendra:
Anyways.

Christine:
So I think we covered like the most important, figuring out who you are either through other people's eyes, but people who you trust or mistake. Don't make a survey on, I dunno, some stranger's website or something like that. And then,

Tracy Raftl:
yeah, get a few opinions.

Christine:
Get a few opinions but people who you trust. How do you translate that into your online presence? Let's put it that way.

Tracy Raftl:
Okay.

Christine:
Well even your own presence, like even the way that you want to show up. I think it's so, like when you do videos, should you dress a certain way? I kind of, I don't wear makeup today, but usually when I know that I'm bashing the videos, I polish myself up a little bit, which people could say it's not authentic, but how do you translate? "Okay and I know I'm comfortable with who I am. How do I represent that in terms of me, my colors, my style, maybe even my fun?" How does that all happen?

Tracy Raftl:
Right. That's why I'm getting really clear on your brand, personality is so important. So when you have those five or more. Start with five, sort of descriptors, then just think about... sometimes it's easier to think about somebody else who has these descriptors and think about, well, how would you know if one of them is, funny, straight talking, whatever. How would that person speak? Right? If they had that personality, how would, like your visual presence. So, for example, if you are like a bold, really bold kind of brash person, you probably want to have bold colors to match that. Right? If your kind of a more soft..

Christine:
We can't hear you.

Kendra:
We just lose audio?

Christine:
Yeah. Tracy? For some reason...

Kendra:
We just lost your audio.

Christine:
I don't know.

Kendra:
That's super weird. Oh shit. Should restart the meeting or?

Christine:
It just went. Maybe if you just quickly leave the room and come back.

Kendra:
Do you want to just exit and come back in? That'll probably fix it. Oh man, you're getting so fired up there.

Christine:
I know. It was just a juicy part. I'm just like, no.

Kendra:
I don't know. I've had these weird zoom things before.

Christine:
Can you hear us Tracy? Okay. So just leave the room, exit the meeting and then come back in.

Tracy Raftl:
Okay. Actually.

Christine:
Oh, now it's working.

Tracy Raftl:
Let me do, I don't know, video settings. Let me just choose the different mic maybe just to,

Kendra:
That's fine.

Tracy Raftl:
Okay.

Kendra:
Cool.

Christine:
So what did we hear last?

Tracy Raftl:
Right. What we were saying?

Christine:
So juicy, it was, Oh, like imagining someone with similar traits, but how would they speak if you have bold colors?

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah, right, exactly. I think I was saying about the visual style of it. You want to choose colors for example, that you like, but also match the brand personality. So if you're bold and brash, choose bold colors, don't choose really pastel muted colors.If you are more soft-spoken, you can choose, softer colors because otherwise it won't match, right? You want to have it just kind of amplify that.

Tracy Raftl:
When you're writing for example, think about how you would actually say that out loud if you were talking to a friend. So if you're writing something, use slang, use contractions. Make it really informal. Don't write it like your college essay, right? You want to write it like you would actually speak and it's helpful to actually say it out loud when you write it. When you're on video, exactly. Just say it how you would actually speak to a friend. Don't try, you swear or don't, if that's not something you do and what you should wear. Generally it's, wear something that you feel comfortable in, like don't wear something that you would never wear. You are talking about, "Oh I like to put on makeup." That's fine. You probably put on makeup if you go out for dinner or something. Right? Like it's like a nice version of you.

Christine:
Yeah.

Tracy Raftl:
You're not like wearing something that, it's not like makeup just doesn't feel like you or that not,

Christine:
No

Tracy Raftl:
Right? So that's still you and that's totally fine. Does that make sense?

Christine:
Yeah. What would maybe use the highlight? Like if I look at my wardrobe just visually, it's pretty muted I would say. But then you have the occasional total crazy frog that I do.

Tracy Raftl:
Right.

Christine:
So just something pop that you can use sometimes, I guess.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah. And something like that. It's like, well you probably don't wear those all the time, but you can just throw that in sometimes. Cause that's part of who you are.

Christine:
Yeah. And it's so interesting because I got, usually my assistant knows me really well, so she creates my newsletters and it all looks very branded cause she knows me very well. But today, she sent me a draft and I was just saying, I didn't know why, it doesn't jive. There was a lot of purple in there and things. Oh no. It's the first time it ever happened. I find that is also, it's difficult to let someone else know what your brand is if they're suppose to do, Kendra and I, we don't do our posts anymore. Like, yes we do, but we don't do graphics for example. I find it really helpful if you do work with a brand specialist to just have that run sheet. [crosstalk 00:28:10] somebody out there who have no clue what we're talking about, what that process is, what the pros are of actually investing in a process like this.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah, exactly. It's very important to, in building your brand is to use the same visual. Those same personality, same tone of voice to be consistent across all of your platforms. So that's your website, your social media, in-person video, whatever. Everywhere you are is to use the same things because then people start to get to know you, they start to recognize you. Consistency. They trust it a little bit more. You seem more professional. To have that consistency, it's really, really helpful to have what you were talking about is a brand guide. So it's just a document that sort of lays out all of these things. So, here's the colors that we use and here's the actual like hex code, which is like the exact code for that color so that you can use it in graphics.

Tracy Raftl:
Choose some, a few fonts and stick to those. Choose that personality tone of voice. That's kind of the basics. There's a bit more if you're working with a brand specialist, but if you're just doing this yourself, you can just create this document and just have it there so that when you're making something, you can refer to it and just use it to just be consistent with what doing. And then when you or if you ever, have a team like Christina and Kendra, then it's really, really, really helpful because you need your team to understand what the brand is and how to use it consistently. That's what a branding specialist can help with. But even if you don't work with someone, I recommend definitely just putting something together for your own reference.

Christine:
Yeah. How do you see businesses shift in terms of success once they've worked with a brand specialist? Like if we have a before and after kind of thing?

Tracy Raftl:
There's never any like obvious,

Christine:
You will make six figures when you work with me.

Tracy Raftl:
Can't say that. If you are just starting out in your business, you're probably gonna see less upfront, kind of a change. Because branding takes time to take hold, right? It's good to really establish that right away because then your brand has time to grow. People have time to get to know your brand, and you're going to accelerate a lot faster than if you didn't do this work.

Christine:
Right

Tracy Raftl:
If your sort of like, you've been in business for a while and you're like, kind of know what you're doing and you've got, you know, but you just want to take it to the next level, I think that's sort of the point where it can really make a big difference. And a lot of that can actually be just from confidence.

Christine:
Yeah.

Tracy Raftl:
In having all of that defined. Having that brand guide, knowing who your ideal customer is, how to speak to them. Having that really professional visual kind of appeal, that makes such a big difference in people's confidence. So way back in the day with The Love Vitamin, I think it was like 2013 or something, I was making like, I don't know, two or $3,000 a month or something. It was great cause I was making it for my own business,

Kendra:
True.

Tracy Raftl:
But it wasn't like a lot of money. It's kind of hard to live on that. I had always kind of done my own branding and it wasn't great back then. And so I decided to invest in a new website, and new branding and it was that, that kind of gave me the confidence to put out a new course and sell at a higher price. And my business went, that's when I made six figures. So that's a very, clear example of what it can do for you. It's just, it can really take things to the next level. But if I had done that right away, probably not, but it might've accelerated quicker.

Christine:
Yeah. Plus, I think people also need to realize that they probably need to invest in a branding specialist on a regular basis because you just change.

Tracy Raftl:
Exactly.

Christine:
My brand, Strange Brookside, psychic zillion times. I'm happy with the one I have now, but not looking at yours and again, thinking maybe in six months I actually am going to invest again or I mean both Kendra and I have worked with Jamie Jensen to figure out our stories and figure out our main points and because you just have those blind spots and they evolve and they change.

Tracy Raftl:
Absolutely. Yeah.

Christine:
I'll give you that. It's something you regularly invest in as you change, as a business changes.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah, for sure. And I think when you very first start out, often you, sometimes you need to experiment a little like decent DIY, just sorta like get a little bit of a direction because businesses do evolve pretty quickly. You're like, "Oh, I thought I was going to do that, but actually I want to do that." And experimenting a little bit in the beginning is helpful. And then when you sort of start to get, I think that's a good time to invest and then, but yeah, businesses are always evolving. It's like something that felt like you four year, three or four years ago, that might be completely different now. Maybe you have new programs or maybe you just have a completely different style or feel about you. That's how I felt about my website in 2014 when I made it over and then my business went way up. That was me back then. But now I don't feel like that really resonates with me now. So it's like things just evolve. So yeah,

Kendra:
It's such a good conversation because I'm always harping on health coaches who invest like three or $4,000 in a website right out of the gate.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah.

Kendra:
Which, I would never recommend. And I think I was making a story about that and I saw you watch my story and I was like, "Oh, I hope Tracy doesn't take [crosstalk 00:34:25]

Tracy Raftl:
I was like, "Kendra."

Kendra:
She's gonna give me shit for that. [crosstalk 00:34:29] But you don't know who you are. Your niche might change. Like there's so many things that might change and you have so little like business intelligence at that point that you don't really know what works. And I can't tell you how many coaches who have invested three, $4,000 that they didn't really have in a website that not only looks like crap but like isn't what they actually want and isn't serving them. So I'm like you want to just test things out. Personally I think you can start getting clients without even having a website. You know what I think to start like just take the step like get on social media and have a way to build your email list, like have your offer. But once you start working with clients you'll get a sense of who you are and what you actually want to do. And I think at that point when you have that higher intelligence and what you are doing.

Tracy Raftl:
Exactly. And I'm first to admit a website isn't everything, but it is an important piece of your marketing that people can go to and get a sense for what you do and who you do it for. But it's not everything. And yeah, I agree with like when you, right out of the gate it's just, it's not the investment that's the best. I think it's usually when you're like ready to of, yeah.

Christine:
And it's so interesting cause I wasn't a monster man last October, where we met and we were all kind of six figureish rich hovering people above, below just below, but similar States of businesses. And they were on two or three brand specialists there. And one of the biggest struggles was that people had a completely wrong perception of what branding actually was. So they attracted a lot of newbies who were expecting just a website. I didn't understand that they had to do all of this ground work. And so now you really have to differentiate, well what I tell people between a website designer who will take a branding portfolio and then do the website for you and a brand specialist, it's two very different things. A lot of people have no idea. We were just brainstorming, is brand strategists still the correct term? Because it's eighties in a way, what people think that it's just such an interesting development in that profession.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Branding is definitely, it's an ethereal thing that people think they know what it is, but it's not really, but it's so important that you need it. And I mean it's definitely more important than a website in itself. So that's why I said it's kind of a non negotiable, when I work with people I make them a website. But yeah, I had no direction.

Christine:
Yes. So anyone listening before you invest into Facebook ads or before you invest into other crap for thousands and thousands, take your time and when you think you know, then get to a brand specialist and be ready to be ripped apart and put together again.

Tracy Raftl:
100% I think if it is like, yeah, you can go out and do your marketing, but marketing takes a lot of time, money, effort that you would get so much more return if you were really clear on this brand stuff first.

Christine:
Yes.

Tracy Raftl:
There was something I posted on my Instagram that I saw somewhere, some quote that was like, what was the quote? Now I'm gonna forget. It was like marketing is asking someone on a date and branding is the reason they say yes. That's kind of like that and underlying [crosstalk 00:38:04] I like it.

Christine:
I like this. Sometimes people are like,

Kendra:
Oh, it's good shit. Awesome.

Tracy Raftl:
I didn't make that up. So yeah, I mean to

Kendra:
Some person credit out there, so Tracy, I would love you to tell the audience like how people, I know you have a little like gift. You have your little brand quiz, which I actually did and I think I was minimalist chic. Is that a thing?

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah. We're all chic.

Kendra:
Sweet, cause I'm totally a minimalist. I'm like, yes.

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah, I like that one.

Kendra:
How can you access that quiz?

Tracy Raftl:
Yeah. If you go to a littlebeesdesign.com/quiz or if you just got a Little bees design that you'll see it. It's everywhere. What brands sell are you or what's your brand personality? It's based on visual branding knots. Not so much the underlying personality, but we get way deep into that if we work together.

Christine:
So can I just have one last question? How did you come up with the Little Bees design?

Tracy Raftl:
Well at first I was like I'll just name it after me and then I had a friend who was like, "ah, don't do that name." It's probably an interesting insight. I was racking my brain. Well, I'm a very, very tiny person. I'm like very short. I'm small. There's that. I mostly driven and ambitious, so it was kind of those put together.

Christine:
It's super cute. I love it.

Tracy Raftl:
And I have two little dogs. So they factored in, there was, it was a bunch of stuff, but it just felt right. It was like, yes, it's memorable and it just feels right to me.

Kendra:
So Tracy, do you still do The Love Vitamin or is that kind of,

Tracy Raftl:
I don't put any effort into it, but it exists. And if you need help with acne, all my programs are there and the 500 blog posts or whatever are still there, which is crazy to me. Then I run that many. If you want to check that out, you can go to thelovevitamin.com and yeah, see what I've done with that because it was, it's been super successful and if you want to like have an example, it's worth checking out.

Christine:
Brilliant. Well thank you so much for your brain and sharing [crosstalk 00:40:18] listeners. I feel this was really clear about what branding is and what branding isn't and why it's important. And again, like we really, we really hope people take this to heart because I think it's going to save you tons of money.

Kendra:
Yeah, absolutely. Awesome.

Tracy Raftl:
All right. Thank you.

Christine:
Well that's it, shall we call it a day?

Kendra:
I think we should call it a day. Thanks so much guys. We appreciate it. If you loved this episode, as always, we are asking you for those two minutes to give us a five star review on iTunes or wherever else you can give reviews. I think it's just iTunes. I don't think so. You can on Spotify. I'm not sure. Anyways, if you can give her a review, give it to us and we will give you a shout out on air [crosstalk 00:41:03] or a beautiful face's and like the weird things we do, what we record, you guys can check out our YouTube channel and watch the video for this episode. And I think that's it. So we'll see you guys in one week for our biz mom episode, which is our super quick, quick tip series where we just blow your head off with a fist and in two weeks for the next full episode. Thanks Tracy.

Tracy Raftl:
yeah, thank you.

Kendra:
Talk soon. Bye.

Tracy Raftl:
Bye.