Tonya and Michael are international bestselling authors, hosts of the Be Bold Branding Podcast, and partners in BrandFace.
They have helped and inspired authors, podcasters, coaches, sales professionals, and business owners in 5 countries and 43 US states to stand out, overcome obstacles, and become an authority in their market through the power of personal branding.
-Their passion is unveiling inner stars.
-Their mantra is "People don't do business with a logo. They do business with a person."
-Their most famous quote is: "Great branding doesn't just change the way others see you. It changes the way you see yourself."
Intro: Welcome to the Lucky Titan podcast where you will learn how to fill your favorite platform with tons of your dream customers from some of the world's top entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Josh Tapp now let's get started.
Josh: What is up everybody, JosTapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan and today we are here with Tanya Eberhardt, I had to like look at your names, I forgot how to pronounce it ever and Michael Carr, super excited to have these two on here, we very rarely get two people to show up to an interview and we very rarely get them to show up on the same camera so I'm excited that you two decided to nail your personal branding right off the bat, because that's we're here to talk about. So we're here to really talk deep into personal branding into building your brand face these guys that their company is called Brand face and they've got a great podcast you should all check out will link everything in the description below but I want to kick this off today by just saying, can you guys once again, tell us the story of how you two got into business together because you're not spouses, I assume yes?
Tonya: Sort of
Michael: Yeah. One time if we dated any, each other in which our answer was we don't need anybody else.
Tonya: Right? It's a way of answering and not answering at the same time.
Josh: It's a partnership and a partnership. So I love it.
Michael: total partnership from the word go and that's why we use it can do pretty quick interviews with both of us. So
Tonya: yeah, so how we got met it how we met is that Michael became my client in 2013 and he needed help with his personal brand who was coming off of off of the road of seven years of traveling as a real estate auctioneer all over the country, and and was licensed in 31 states as an auctioneer and a broker and he was coming back home because the Oreos and the foreclosures were kind of closing down, right and he was coming back home to build his real estate brokerage. Well, there's a funny story, which we won't take you through all of it but my aunt, she was in her 70s at the time, she tricked us into meeting each other. She She was one of Michael's real estate agents and told Michael, Tonya is expecting your call and she told me Michael is expecting your call and she also told Michael, what did she tell you about your marketing.
Michael: it stinks. She's in your market, you need my niece to help you.
Tonya: So that's how we got together but then in the first year of building Michael's brand, in the very first year, his revenue actually quadrupled and that was a big sign this like, hey, you know what this works incredibly in this space. You know, of course, personal branding works in every space and the principles are exactly the same no matter what industry or genre that you're in but it worked so well and we realized at the time that there that there was a partnership here, there, there was a an opportunity and so I asked him to help co-write the second book in the series, which was brand face for real estate professionals and then a couple of years later, we did brand face for entrepreneurs together as well and so that kind of brought our partnership, you know, fast forward, and then he became a partner in the company and I don't know if I left you much answer Michael.
Michael: its all right. That’s exactly how I answer
Tonya: Get to the point.
Josh: I mean, I didn't I didn't intend to send you down a hole anyway. So that was great. I think thank you for being concise on that. I love that you too, have been able to not only thrive in business, but be able to show it in a way that is unique. Right? That's, that's a great personal branding tool and I want to kind of use that as a dovetail into my first question for you, which is really, you know, there's a lot of different people out there say branding, personal branding, whatever and it's just kind of thrown out there as it's like clumped into marketing, or it's, it's completely separate or it's part of sales or, and the truth be told, I don't think there's like a definitive answer what branding is so would you mind giving us your definitive answer on that?
Michael: We have the definitive answer. Well, Tonya wrote the definitive answer. Yeah, marketing is using various platforms to get your message out there billboards, radio, print ads, whatever, whatever, you know, Facebook ads, whatever you're gonna do YouTube ads, your brand is that message and this is where people mess up, the most. This is the number one mistake we see with entrepreneurs. It was a mistake that I made in my business, you must have a brand and a direction and a message to the right ideal person before you start marketing so the number one mistake that we see entrepreneurs make is what I did, you go out there and you spend a lot of money in marketing hoping that something makes the phone ring and then you hate marketing because marketing doesn't work, when you build a brand, then you have a trackable way of making your marketing dollars work, you have a trackable ROI and then you can scale and build your business from there. You have to have a brand she taught me this and I have preached nothing but that for the last eight years.
Tonya: He's very passionate about it. I love that. Yes. And I would like to just add did that, you know, there are like you said a lot of definitions. Some people define brand as reputation. Some people define brand as perception and it is all of those things but here's the way that we look at it. Okay, no matter what it is, we look at it as why if when you have an opportunity to influence the way that you show up in the world, in other words, your branch should teach people how to treat you. Why wouldn't you influence the way you show up so thoughtfully pull together, who are your ideal customers, what are the things that make you unique, right? There are five questions that every great brand should answer and they're, who do you serve, how do you serve them? What qualifies you to serve them? How does it make their life better? And what makes you different from everybody else in your space, also attempting to serve those same people? So to us, that's what a brand is, is telling that story that gives that perception that teaches people how to treat you.
Josh: Yeah. Love that. See and what what I love about that, is that, you know, when we look at we look at Brands brand voice, you see, it's done in different ways, right and I'm kind of curious, your take on this, because you have the people who say they need to be branded under an ideal, right so I mean, you look at like the funnel hacker community, right or it's the lady boss community, you look at the Apple community, right? Where it's, it's like a badge of honor to wear their logo, right where, whereas then there's then there's the personal brand side, where it's building your own name and having that name recognition, like a Dean Graziosi, Tony Robbins type person, right. So that being said, Where Where do you start? Like, where what should be you should be focusing on?
Tonya: Well, first of all, you need to focus on those five questions, truthfully, because it all starts with your passion, though, certainly, you know.
Michael: I agree.
Tonya: and you can speak to that, you know, I think this is a great opportunity for you to speak to why you started your brokerage.
Michael: I got tricked into that, too. It was not my plan to do it but it just sort of made sense, I came back to my hometown after traveling after having offices in Irvine, California, Seattle, Washington, Manhattan, Miami, we were all over the place licensed in 31 states, you know, good auctioneers are always working themselves out of a job, that's what I did. It came back home, I bought some property. I was young, I was like, what am I going to do now and then the other side of that said, Hey, we weren't gonna get let's open up a brokerage and that's what I did. And then after that, is when I began to realize the importance of to your question, what is the difference in personal branding, or an ideal of, and we teach that personal branding is important to any entrepreneur that is forward facing in their business, right so especially in the service industry, it's very important that people know who you are and we already know in a world of the internet, they're going to look you up before, like calling you, they're gonna, they're probably going to reach out to you in some other way, besides picking up the phone and calling you, right. And that message needs to be concise and perfect to want to that ideal customer, why they should want to contact you back and it has to answer those five questions. Now, you can still be branded personally under an ideal, or for what you stand for, or for what your experience level is. There's dozens of different ways to do that. But we find that people do business with a person, they don't do business with a logo. So you can not just say, Hey, I've got a photo, and I've got a tagline and I've got, you know, a logo, a logo picture and a tagline and now I'm branded, that's just a portion portion of being branded, there's plenty more elements to actually building that culture.
Tonya: Because in and of themselves, the logo, the photo, the tagline that does not tell your entire story and the brand cannot be complete without the why and you can't tell the why and a logo, right? You have to tell the why and a story
Michael: to use my example. They they I've been actively involved in over 78,000 routes, residential real estate transactions, that's more than any one broker in history ever. It just was the way it worked out, I was licensed in 31 states have sold hundreds and hundreds of properties. I was involved with an auction in the LA Convention Center where we had 10,000 bidders and we sold $122 million worth of residential real estate in one day. If we'd had Dennis there, we'd be in the book, we just didn't have the foresight to put it there right.
Josh: So when it comes to personal branding, right, you guys are you're saying you need to focus on not only just the personal but but it can be an object or an item, is that what you're saying? I'm a little bit confused on that.
Tonya: Okay, so when you say an object or item, can you clarify for me the question,
Josh: so what you guys were talking about was saying, you know, it could be like a, you could be a funnel hacker, you could be a Titan, like in our case, that's how we brand is like, hey, become a Titan? Like, how do you how do you visualize that?
Tonya: Okay, so So we look at that, in fact, in our 3d process of building a personal brand, we do define, develop and display. So what you're talking about is in that definition phase, right? So first of all, what is it? You do? Right? Who do you do it for? You know, how does it help them answering those five questions we talked about earlier but then in the very beginning stages, we come up with what we call a brand identifier and that's really just a tagline or a slogan, because it helps to get the prospects mind they're faster so it's that 75 mile an hour that if I see nothing else, but abundant life broker, it's like, that's interesting, because that happens to me, Michael's brand identifier, that's what he's known for so if we think about it, like this, Josh, think about it, like the cover of a book and that's really what your brand is, your brand is your story, it's your book, right so however, you cannot put the entire contents of your story on the cover of the book, no one would read it, and no one could read it so you've got to put something on the cover of that book that's very compelling, that stops people in their tracks and gets them to say, ah, that's what this person is known for or that's the space I'm putting them in, in my mind, before I even open the first page of that book because the goal of that is to get your ideal prospects to crack open the first page of that book and so when you say it could be focused on a thing, or it could be focused on an ideal, yes, there's several different things it could be focused on but more than anything, it's like, what do you want to be known for, what does that sticking part or that hook, so to speak, that will get them to want to dig more and dig deeper into the brand?
Josh: Yeah. When you kind of touched on that with the three Ds, you mind diving into those three because, obviously, that's like the leader here.
Tonya: Absolutely. Okay. I'll start off with the define. And in the Define Phase, we look at a couple of different things. First of all, who are your ideal prospects and we even have a great formula to help people choose that that we call the heat code, and we'll go through that in just a moment if you'd like
Josh: Please do.
Tonya: yeah. Okay. So so we help people choose that first and we've looked at four different criteria let you take those
Michael: Yep, yep. Okay, so we look for we get them and we interview with them, and one of our staff members does and we talk about, ah, who can you help, right? When we're trying to bring in focus who you're going to go after what they're messaging A. who do you enjoy working with? A guy who appreciates the work that you do and this could either be a feral or past experience, right and then P who is profitable for you in that space, because profit is not a bad word. It's a great word that's fantastic. And so, you know, it seems simplistic to do that but we know from our own life experiences and business experiences, as well as thousands of clients, that people can grab the shiny as fast as they can grab it, the brand new tool that's going to make them millions, right without ever getting out of bed and that just doesn't work, that's just not real for those of us who know, so that we take the heat formula to help bring into focus the Define Phas because before we can talk to people, we got to know who we're talking to so we know what to say to them because one message doesn't cover it. All right, everybody,
Tonya: and for those people out there who are sitting there thinking, Well, I don't really want to box myself in. If I focus too much in this one little area, I'm going to lose all these people over here. Nonsense. Listen to me carefully. What I'm saying here is, you want to focus on that ideal prospect because you do not want to waste your time, money and marketing effort going after everyone, it will never work. If you put your time, money and effort on who you want to attract into your life. In business every day, that puts you on a path that is undeniable and also guys, your entire business and everything you do from the moment you wake up in the morning, it does not mean that you don't ever work with anybody outside of that framework. Again, it just means you don't spend your time, money and effort trying to attract them. Okay, so that's one part of the define, phase and then the other part is defining your point of differentiation, the one you're going to mark it on, you know, so it's, the truth is, everyone has multiple points of differentiation, we don't just have one thing that sets us apart, we have multiple things so when we take somebody through the branding process, we look at all of those things and we figure we, we factor that in and say, okay, maybe it is this one thing that you want to be known for, maybe it's a blend of two or three things but one thing is for sure, it has to be significant and meaningful to the people you're trying to attract so is there is that formula there and once we complete that, and we come up with this brand identifier that says based on the people, you're trying to attract the things that make you unique, and make you give you the ability to deliver those things this is your brand identifier and what we're going to build that brand around, Michael is the abundant life broker, we built that brand around what he wants to be known for and thats providing an abundant life to all of the agents that work for him so that's the Define Phase.
Josh: Do you mind if I ask a question about, I'm gonna give you a scenario? Because a lot of the people listen to this show, we've heard a lot you need to know your ideal client. Right? How do you determine that person, when you already have clients because I know for myself, there have been times, but in other companies I've owned where I would, I'd wake up in the morning, go, I just did not want to work with this person anymore, you know and I think we've all experienced that and I wouldn't say the word hate cuz I don't think hates the right word, I think that we get to a point where we just get burned out of a certain type of person and I'm curious, because a lot of people listening to this show are at that point, or they're saying, Oh, my goodness, I'm working with the wrong person, right but they don't even know where to turn at this point, how to help them identify that because there's an idealistic situation, and then there's, what's the reality of what you actually want?
Michael: Yeah, I will. I mean, you have to make that decision. Right. But you could look, I like to tell my people don't, don't you want to dance for the person you came with? First off, if you've built seven figures, or plus off of one particular person, now you're burnt dealing with that person, we would want to know why, right off the bat, that that would be the case, right and it is possible that, you know, you're just a superhuman is able to work that to build that kind of income with people you don't like, it's usually not the case, you know, what I mean? Usually, there was something that attracted you to that particular clientele and let's figure out why that is or it just is time for a shift in that debate and I, you know, that's the best answer that I can give for you because
Tonya: other than the heap code,
Michael: of course, right and then the heap code is really based upon how you're going to spend your money, because that is the key, like you take the real estate business and people say, Well, why don't I sell a house to anybody that wants to buy one yes, you will as long as you've got time, it fits in your schedule, right but you don't want to spend money on first time homebuyers. If all of your clientele has been empty nesters, why would you do that? Like unless it was time, and you have maximized where you are with your team on that and you want to add that as another vertical, that's a different story for a different podcast, right but if you're talking about as looking for your ideal customer, yeah, we'll sell a house to anybody that wants it but we're going to spend our money on Hey, empty nesters or we're going to spend our money on first time homebuyers or the search some
Tonya: actually, Josh, I have a lot of pain in the area you're talking about. So I'd like to share my quick little story about that, I was in the radio industry for 18 years and when I left the radio industry, I had this bright idea that I was going to open up this consulting firm, and I was going to consult media outlets on how to utilize the internet because that all they were doing was coming to me and saying, Oh, the internet's taking all of our money. You know, and I'm going the internet, you realize no one owns the internet, right so you have the opportunity to utilize that tool as well as anybody so instead of just selling TV commercials or just selling newspaper ads, sell a TV commercial combined with sending them online to a landing page to fulfill your client's needs. Right so I did that, it was miserable, ot was absolutely miserable. I spent probably four, four and a half years doing that and you they were so entrenched in the old way of doing things that you couldn't break that paradigm and so I just hit a wall and even though I was making great money doing it, it was not fulfilling for me so I had to sit back and say, what is it that I really love doing in life and that's when I came to brand face, that's actually how brand face came about was because I was sick and tired of hearing the same thing after so many years.
Josh: Yeah, man. Yeah, that's a great story and I appreciate that. So do you mind moving on, from, from a time perspective to the developer, the display sections because this?
Michael: Yes. So develop is where, all right, you've got the cover of the book, if you will, using that same analogy, they're going to crack the book now, because you got them to stop at 75 miles an hour and recognize something that they liked about your brand identifier, and they want to know more about it, and then to develop phases where we begin to tell them that and a lot of that is where the answers to the questions that every brand has to answer comes into play, who do you serve? How do you serve them? What qualifies you to serve them? How does it make their life better and what makes you different in that space from your competitors, this is where we draw that out and things like a spotlight sheet, your elevator pitch, your biography, everything that goes around with that's all part of the development phase, but it doesn't stop at the words, we have to have the right corresponding pictures and background images, colors, logos, and things that come together to work together to continue to push that story that everybody is really interested in, why they want to do business with you, why did they want to do this? How easy is it going to be to do business with you before they ever start to do business with you? These are things that every one of our clients think about before they do it and then so they those are the areas that I don't think people spend enough time on, we look at 77 different criteria for that. To build that out. Dang, we have to photoshoots and in pictures, because a picture's worth 1000 words but it's got to be the right picture for the right 1000 words, right? You can't you can't write the words for one thing and take a picture for another and you never, you know, begin to work in somebody's mind, that's pretty much the development phase.
Josh: Yeah, I love that. Well, it's funny, because instead of handing them a dictionary worth of pictures, they're not gonna read the dictionary, right, you're trying to say, what's the one thing that you want? What's the one page that you're looking for I love I loved your analogy
Tonya: exactly, exactly. Okay, display is super simple. It means you take everything that we've created with this brand, the brand messaging, all the brand, imagery, the story, everything, and you display it correctly and consistently, everywhere. So you don't want to see one thing on Facebook and something else on Instagram and yet something else on TikTok you want this constant theme of who you are, what you stand for who you serve on everything, the same look and feel you know, you want that across the board, because people come to you from many different avenues or many roads coming at you these days, right and many roads leading to you so you want to make sure all those roads are consistently displaying that brand.
Michael: and believe it or not, Josh is one of the hardest things with our clients. That that consistency of everywhere. Is the magic sauce that most people will be oh, you know, I put my brand on my Facebook ads, but I don't put it on my YouTube or I don't put it on my newsletter I don't put anywhere like No, everywhere has to be
Josh: question that I don't know if you guys notice we have a company that does this. That's why it's funny that you brought that up as my K Thank you, you're nailing it home for us. Right? This will be consistent everywhere that you are. I'm curious, when they're just kind of starting out. Most of these entrepreneurs aren't new, they have a team but but if they're a new entrepreneur, do you recommend starting with one platform or do you recommend saying being everywhere doing it yourself hiring it out. I'm just curious on that, because display is in my opinion, one of the hardest things to accomplish.
Michael: it is very hard to accomplish and it is a never ending road that's way out so I really want to put all your new entrepreneurs at ease. My company is 30 years old, 24 years old in the real estate space, we really just started what we're doing eight years ago, we are still working on platforms to build them out so build them out as you can build them out. There's plenty of resources these days, you can hire virtual assistants, you can get on Fiverr and help people will help you out. There's just literally 1000s of places that you could go where you don't have to hire an employee but you can break down the things that they can do for you to start building all of your social medias out but you don't have to say you know what, I got to spend 20 hours every day build out LinkedIn at the same time as Facebook is saying, pick the one you're comfortable with, get some traction and success for it but just be sure they're still displayed the same so if somebody stumbles up on my LinkedIn, we don't spend a lot of time on LinkedIn in my real estate company but it looks exactly the same. It does if they see me on Facebook, or they go to my website, and they click every one of my social medias, we spent a lot more time on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and we do those others and we're still adding we will continue to add that because there'll be a lot more invented, by the way.
Josh: Yeah, yeah, I agree with that entirely. That's awesome because I do think it's a living breathing thing. I just, it doesn't take hard work in a Saturday, you can sit down and you can have every platform at least look and feel the same way, even if you're not posting to all them daily so I love that.
Tonya: and we love multipurpose.
Michael: Yeah, one of the hardest for my staff was Google. And I kept telling them go, Look, if you post it on Facebook, go post it on Google, I bet I said that 1000 times and now but you don't Google will use it before the device but so you know,
Josh: especially in that niche, that's huge. So I love that. Man. Yeah, great stuff. I could ask you guys questions about this all day but I love the 3d methodology and for those of you who might be saying, well, I'm stuck, I'm lost, I don't know where I'm supposed to go next. These guys are willing to meet with you for free so put your mind at ease, right? This is something I think every single one of you should take them up on because this is a great way to get your kick started towards actually getting your brand in the right place so where can people go to connect with you guys?
Tonya: discussyourbrand.com you know, because that's what you want to do. Right? You want to discuss your brand.
Michael: We love to talk about it. We're passionate about she it's her fault. She
Tonya: I didn’t say that.
Josh: best way is right?
Tonya: I like to think so.
Josh: Well, guys, I appreciate you coming on and sharing all this great advice for entrepreneurs. I just want to ask you one final question to wrap this up so if you could give our audience one final parting piece of guidance about branding, why would that be?
Tonya: unveil your inner star really because your branding is you want to put your best face out there to the world right and I know there are a lot of people out there that say well your customers will decide what your brand is at the end of the day. No to me your customers will decide whether they will do business with you or not but you have the ability to influence how other people see you and view you and you are a star and I want you to know that and that's what we specialize in is really helping you find what are those most beautiful, most special things about you and pulling it out in the brand because you have a lot to offer.