May 11, 2020


Crystal Washington: Hello, I’m Crystal Washington, Technology Strategist, and Futurist

Karen McCullough: and I’m Karen McCullough, the millennial evangelist who helps you deal with change. And today we want you to rethink it forward

Crystal Washington: And by rethinking it forward, we mean that there are things that have worked for all of us in the past that aren’t going to work for us in the future. And if we’re, to be real honest, you’re not even necessarily working for us right now.

Karen McCullough: No. So we’re going to talk about a subject that I really am familiar with. It’s money Monday. We’re going to talk about your brand and how at that really helps you grow your visibility and your income.

Crystal Washington: That sounds good. Sounds good to me as I think it’s something a lot of people are struggling with right now.

Karen McCullough: Yeah, they’re they, they’ve always struggled with it, but I think right now they’re trying to figure out how to show up. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Aye. I had been speaking on branding for a long time. I actually, but my long story is I worked with like the King of branding Ralph Lauren back in the day and when I started speaking and talking about branding, I had this four-step process. I would ask people four simple questions. Who are you? What do you do? Who do you do it for, and what makes you different? And if you look at those questions, pretty much we’re talking about defining your core, who you are, what do you do is really what problem do you sell? Because that’s where we are today. Thinking about problems. Who’s your audience? Who do you do it for? And then what’s your differentiator? I think that people forget that one. You know, they’re all into all of these top three things, but they forget that one piece that what makes them different, right? Yeah. I was thinking that your core, who, what makes you different, whoever that was, whatever that product is that you’re selling, whatever your brand is before the pandemic, that’s pretty much holding true right now because that’s what people, they’re going to clean to that because that’s what they remember. Probably not a good time to be rebranding because people have this perception of you from two months ago.

Crystal Washington: I don’t know, Karen, can I play devil’s advocate a little bit? Oh, go for it. If your brand’s sucked before, this is a good time to, uh, to reevaluate. Also, here’s the thing, I actually agree with you in the sense that for many of us it is just bringing that forward. But, um, can I be really Frank?

Karen McCullough: Go for it. What are we doing here? Good point.

Crystal Washington: Some topics, social for instance were speakers, right? Um, but there are authors, there’s, um, there are many things that people do. Some items have lost relevancy right now, right? So, yeah, let’s say that if you are an expert on, I don’t know, uh, let’s say etiquette, uh, particularly table etiquette, right? No one cares about that right now. Most of the time we’re eating alone or we’re eating with sloppy family members. We’re trying to get away from anyways, right? So I think in that case maybe a course of the same, but you have to pivot. Maybe you go into webinar etiquette, but I do think we have to make sure we’re staying relevant because I am seeing some things from people and it’s just like, Oh you didn’t get the message that, that you know that that boat has sailed. Uh,

Karen McCullough: I agree. But I think so, cause I’m, I’m such a, I want to use the word creative. My whole idea of a brand is really that the brands have personality and it’s what do people think? And I guess you are exactly right. I am totally pivoting a lot of my topics into things that are much more relevant. But with that pivot, I’m bringing me into it. So I am bringing this core, so I’m, I am fun. I’m known for that, come in and do really serious webinars right now on the five big problems in the world because it’s not my brand. Right? So I think we’re looking at it and I like this, that we’re looking at it from two different perspectives, right?

Crystal Washington: So I think the other thing that’s happening right now is when we talk about our brands and what they need to look like now, I also think that we do have to shift how we’re delivering that brand. So, you know, Karen, you and I are oftentimes, we both speak to like sales audiences right now. Right? Um, I actually stopped my outgoing sales person. I paused her contract because it’s weird like calling people right now or emailing people right now saying, Hey, buy for me. This is the time or because COVID 19, having a good speaker is more important than ever before. It might be true on the web, but it just feels yucky. I don’t know. What do you think?

Karen McCullough: Well, I’m going to share something. I’m good. I’m going to start reopening up a little bit more in these because, um, I actually offered a client that I’m, I’m pretty close to free anything. You want a free webinar? Thinking that they were going to go, Oh, you’re so amazing. Thank you so much. Right? And I got back a really nice email and do you know what it said? No, we’re up to our eyeballs in webinars. We need something else. Nobody wants to sit through another webinar. We like you and you know, you’re fun, but not now. And it hit me. I wasn’t really, I was trying to be giving, but at the same time, I wasn’t sensitive to what’s going on right now. So I feel like, for many of us, we’re in kind of a hard place because we don’t really know, um, what the client wants, right? The best way to do this is to communicate. I didn’t get my feelings hurt at all. I realized now, and it kind of opened my eyes to, you know, maybe it’s time to just simmer down a little bit on the webinars and come back a little later.

Crystal Washington: That was really mature of you. You know, I’ll say this, I think that not all clients are in the same boat here. So some of them were like calling st crystal, we need webinars, we have this budget, or we don’t have a budget at all. Um, some are saying we don’t want any more webinars. Can you do videos? And that’s when I’m like, can we do micro-videos like short ones? Cause I think people are, no one wants to sit through a 60-minute video. I don’t, I don’t want to sit there recording a 60-minute video anymore.

Karen McCullough: I wouldn’t say they put their picture on it. They were doing yoga during a webinar, that one. And that really made me sad picturing myself getting ready for a great webinar and people had their little picture on there doing yoga. I don’t know.

Crystal Washington: Yeah. So I mean we’re, we’re all in different places and I will also say that I’m, I think I am working to kind of stretch the limits of webinars too. Cause what I find is no one wants to be on another webinar. But if you can give them an experience through the webinars as a medium and stretch it and do different things and then we’re open cause their people are bored. But think

Karen McCullough: that’s a good topic for next week. Ooh, great webinars. Yeah, that’s a good one. I like that.

Crystal Washington: So yeah, but I think whatever your brand is, Karen, I think you’re absolutely correct. How do we take that brand and bring it into right now? Are there any brands or people that you’re seeing that you think are like killing it?

Karen McCullough: Well, I do love a few because I watch, so I’ve been like the, I’m a master student video of webinars. I’m watching them to see which pieces I want to keep. And I think my favorite client right now, my favorite CEO is Mark Benioff from Salesforce. Just go on the Salesforce website and you will see events and you will see everyone from Bernay Brown. I just listened to Bernay Brown last week to Jack C\ornfield teaching me how to meditate. So I’m going on the Salesforce website because I feel like they have the best videos and they also have, I’m going to read this, they also have another website called and is all about how we’re going to reenter the workplace. So it’s getting a lot of CEOs and anyone that’s really interested in getting back into the workplace. So many tips. I think that it’s a great resource. So I’m looking at companies that are giving, but they’re giving, they’re giving quality, they’re giving things that I want to see. And it’s interesting because when we want to see a webinar, we’re tuned in, right? So when the content is right, when the messaging is right, people connect to the brand.

Crystal Washington: So I think, you know, maybe the thing that we have to make sure like, well even the thing that we want to leave people with is yes, we’re speaking from the perspective of speakers, but there are people who are watching us that sell insurance, that are educators, that are fireman, whatever, like whatever amazing work that you do, take whatever made you successful in that role before and just make sure that you’re adapting it to what’s going on now. But don’t lose that core that made you because that’s what’s going to carry you through no matter what you’re doing.

Karen McCullough: Yes, I think to reflect on who you are. This is a great time, what works, what doesn’t work, and really begin to look at to do a deep dive into your brand, into the brand that you represent as the owner of this company, your business, your coaching services, whatever it is that you do, and reconnect with that. And how do you bring that brand out in this new, this new medium? Okay. Computers and social media.

Crystal Washington: I love that. Can we, can we end with a hug? Can I hug you, Karen?

Karen McCullough: Oh, I just heard that. A high five. Let’s just high five each other instead of on the side. There we go.

Crystal Washington: Alright. Alright. We’ll see y’all in a couple of days.