Today’s guest left a corporate career and started his own branding agency that helps accomplished CEO’s & Founders who are ready to leverage their business achievements to become influencers in their category. Since then he’s been featured on Entrepreneur, Inc, Forbes, ABC, CBS, and more.
He’s here to give you free advice on how to build and leverage your own audience online. Please welcome Jeff J. Hunter.
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Everybody loves bacon. Everybody loves bacon. Jeff J. Hunter, thanks for jumping on learning from others. Woo. So, um, what’s, uh, we’re in some wild times right now. I mean, um, you know, this is like wild, wild West, right before we hit record, we were talking, um, you’re like, you’re, you’re telling your kid, Hey, Hey buddy helped me out with the lights.
And, um, I’m over here telling you, Oh my kids in the other room doing karate. Cause everybody’s home right now. So like. But don’t be doing your iOS in the background. Just kind of tone it down a little bit today. And then, uh, my internet cuts out and then when I come back, your internet cuts out and then we get back on and we’re talking about salads and bacon.
You know what we live in amazing times. Um, if there’s one thing that the whole coronavirus pandemic has taught me, it’s how to, uh, how to survive with. Your kids home for a lot longer than I’d like. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I’m, I’m pretty fortunate. Um, you know, I’ve the majority of my 13 year agency career.
I’ve, I’ve owned office spaces and whatnot, but I prefer to work at home. And so my routine hasn’t been terribly different, but it sure feels different. Yeah. Well, that’s what I, uh, in unfortunately, your, your, your listeners weren’t able to tune in before, but. I feel like there’s two types of people right now that are business owners.
Um, because the people look, the people that go in and have to go into work every day, they’re screwed. You know, the businesses are being closed down by the government and they’re being told not to go in. There’s even here in California that, uh, electric, the electricity company and the water companies like literally like turning off people’s power and water.
So they can’t. Go go in like even business owners that like really just don’t want to like financially destroy themselves, um, and try to stay open. Like they’re being forced to close, you know, but those of us that have our own digital agencies or our consultants, coaches, um, you know, service providers for digital, like online, it has been.
Not a whole drastic change to our daily lives outside of the people that we serve, you know, for sure. Yeah. Yeah. I agree. And, and, um, I think that, you know, obviously there’s the, there’s bad in what’s happening right now, but in many ways I think that this is going to leap us forward a decade or two sooner to where we need to be anyway, but we’re just.
We just weren’t moving in that direction. So I think there’s definitely going to be some positive out of it. Just, you know, might not seem like it right now for a lot of people. But, um, I think this is the sad realization that sadly it has taken events like this in human lifetimes and spans to evolve us faster.
Because if you think about it, humans react to one thing the most, which is pain. Pain is such a huge motivating and driving factor for people. I know for me, it is, that’s why people go along their lives in the treadmill of life until all of a sudden, you know, their wife decides that she’s out of here, she’s going to leave him and she’s got a new boyfriend.
And then, then after they get a divorce, he decides he’s going to start going to the gym and start caring about the way he is. Yeah. Right. It takes those types of things. And I feel like we’re at that turning point right now where a, we haven’t focused on our lives. We haven’t focused on our health. We haven’t focused on our families.
And you know, the two industries that are going to change the most Damon one is tele education. There’s absolutely no reason why we need to have our kids go into a school every single day. There’s no reason. Secondly, it’s going to change the workplace now, because now I’ve already been preaching this for 10 plus years.
If you want to attract the, the, the, the company of the future, if you want to attract the youth today, if you offer two days a week or three days a week, where they can remotely work from home. Hey, it’s going to save you money. People are willing to take a pay cuts and be able to work from home.
Yeah. And B, you’re going to be set up for a situation just like this when something else goes wrong and your team is still able to know how to work effectively and productively from home.
Yeah. Yeah, there there’s a lot of what you just said that I agree with. And, and we could go in on, well, you know, the kids like the kids in school thing, I have three kids and I, I often questioned, um, you know, the basics are important, math and English and things like that. But the rest of the things, I’m kind of like, ah, I think they’d, there’s a lot of value in them just learning in the real world, being exposed to different cultures and societies.
And this is just such an uphill battle to discuss that with the local education systems. And, um, I, I’m actually super excited to see what changes that brings, but now here’s what I want to do because there’s a lot we can talk about. And I know you’ve got limited time. So I think we can kind of segue from what we were just talking about into the value and you know, what do you do now?
Right. A lot of it will be redundant for what you said. You’ve been preaching this for awhile, but. I think what’s important is, you know, depending on the listeners industry, there’s, there’s obviously some business verticals that have been impacted more than others. And so there’s not going to be a magic solution for some people, but I think what we can talk about about the importance of personal branding is that even if it doesn’t bring you right back, totally out of the red, it’s going to help a little now, but a lot later.
So. Why don’t we start with, you know, why just the basics of personal branding, like the 32nd elevator pitch, like, what is it. Sure. Well, let’s do a, let’s do a COVID-19 19 version of personal branding, one Oh one. Um, this is a new way page and see, this is, this is why I think this has really impacted people more than the other.
You have to think about this. If you’re just an employee going to work, right. You’re obviously way more impacted. You’re just a number at that point. But if you have, if you’re an entrepreneur, Right. Or even a consultant or even a, you know, you have some sort of a high level role instead of a company. The personal brand is so important.
Hey, it’s job security because they’re going to start doing cost cutting measures. And they’re going to say, who are the most valuable people? And let me tell you the people they don’t know about, that’s the people that are going to get cut. Yeah. Okay. And it’s the same thing for your own personal business?
If you’re an entrepreneur, I know a lot of people listening to your show are entrepreneurs. If you’re working with clients and here’s, here’s something that has been very interesting. Uh, over this whole pandemic, I’ve had my clients come to me and some of them have said, Oh my gosh, Jeff, you know, we need to cut back.
We need to figure out what’s going on. We need to know be like, hold on a second. Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Now. This is the complete opposite of what I would recommend right now is the time to go in on your personal brand right now is the time to go all in on the marketing. Why two main reasons one advertising spend is at an all time low.
The cost is absolutely low right now. I think Dennis, you who, I think you, you know, uh, he’s a master at Facebook ads. He says that right now, Facebook from the research he’s been doing, you know, he’s, he’s spent over billions of dollars in Facebook ads. Um, he says that right now, he’s seeing that the cost on Facebook ads is about 30 to 35% lower than he seen it in a long time.
It’s just 35% lower right now. Secondly, right. There’s more eyeballs than ever before. People are home. People are home, they’re looking for things do, and instead of doing some awesome hustle it and getting some things done or doing some podcasting and getting some work done like you and I are, people are sitting there on Netflix and then they’re on their phones scrolling because they’re bored, bored at the they’re.
There there’s even a song that’s trending right now. It’s a meme and it’s like some, some guy and he’s like, you know, making his own sound. I don’t know if you can hear that. But he’s making his own sound on the desk and he’s like, I’m here at the house with them, you know, like there’s, there’s like a trend of people being bored and I’m like, how can you be bored at a time like this?
You know, like, Well, that’s what’s so what’s clarify briefly on why Facebook ads are cheaper. And so, you know, if any listeners haven’t done Facebook ads and you can give me a different version if you’d like, but it’s basically like an auction system. And so, because there’s less people putting money in the demand, the demand drives the price.
Exactly. Right. Yeah. And so. That’s self explanatory, but I think what’s more important is what you just, the last comment you just made about, you know, you can either be the one that’s sitting at home watching Netflix and just actively seeking distraction, or you can be the one that’s setting yourself up for.
Future success and not even longterm future success, but near term future success just by establishing that brand. Because like you said, what’s, it let’s even pretend that more eyeballs weren’t on the internet, which clearly they are. Let’s just say it was the way it was a couple of weeks ago. You still need to do this because even more so now, because people buy based on, on trust largely historically and even more so now than ever.
So here’s your opportunity to be building that brand awareness, putting out free value and establishing yourself as an expert in whatever you are an expert in. And then if you’re suffering that might bring those. Those middle sales that you need to stay afloat. And then once we get past this hump, longterm your gold, because a lot of people predators, aren’t going to be getting a head start that you can get on.
Bingo. And I’m going to break it down to three things real quick. Listen, I kind of went over, over this already, right? So we’ve have the ad spend all time lows. We have never, before seeing global audience online, stuck at home, looking at screens, whether it’s computer screen or a phone or whatever. Okay.
And people have a massive amount of time right now to consume information with those stay inside orders. So the other thing you have to understand is there is an abundance. And as a marketer guys, this is going to sound, you know, take it as you will, but there is an abundance of fear and uncertainty right now, and people need bold and competent leadership.
And that’s the opportunity that we have as leadership, you know, as, as entrepreneurs, as people that are providing services, you know, we’re looked to as the trusted authority in our space, and if you’re not. You’re missing out, right? You’re missing out because you haven’t done the work in your own personal brand to do that.
And people are out there looking for, they’re looking for solutions, they’ve got new problems and I’m not talking about toilet paper. Yeah. That’s true. That that might be the, a problem they’re looking for, but what they really need Damon is they want to figure out a way to earn more money or at least replace income they’re losing in these challenging times.
They want to be able to attract more business and attention. They need to find resources and tools. This is a Haven right now for affiliate marketing. You know, how much money I’ve made just by referring people to my tax accountant, because she’s helping people fall for those SBA loans. Right. I’m making, I’m making a heyday.
I think I’ve sent over 10 people. She said are all signing up and she’s paying me a couple of hundred bucks a pop. Okay. So that’s, that’s the thing. Um, you know, you have to think about the content you’re putting out. This is the time to start your podcast. This is the time to start recording those videos that you didn’t have time to do before.
This is the time to build out your network while the attention is free. This is the time to start building out your emotional connection. This is the thing, Damon, when it comes to the personal brand. Do, does your audience have an emotional connection if they think of your industry? Are you the person that they think of?
That’s the key with the personal brand? Are you top of mind when they need something? Are you the person they think of to solve that problem? Well, top of mind is the key right there. And it’s interesting and I’m sure you you’ve had similar experiences, but before we got on the phone today, um, Being top of mind and being thought of as the leader in, you know, in my space, as, as an authority in SEO, I get the people that follow me.
I’ve got several personal messages that just say, Damon, I’m thinking about you. And so you establish these relationships above and beyond business. And obviously. The money side of things is nice, but you actually build a loyal following, which has rewards in other ways, but it’s been really fascinating for me to get these personal messages and I get them.
Uh semi-regularly anyway, but just in the last week I had a lot of just straight up. Hey, wishing you well, helping your family say things like that. And so you really lock in like a loyal audience that you can grow with. And, you know, I think since we’ve got what, less than 10 minutes left on this podcast, I like to give them some actionable advice they can do to build their brand, start building that emotional connection to their audience.
What do you think? Yeah, let’s do it. So one, I want you to think about why people should trust you, right? Why people should trust you. And I want you to do a real. Hard look okay. And this isn’t going to be easy for some people to look at your social media presence, whether it’s LinkedIn. I know you’re killing it on LinkedIn, Damon.
That’s probably what your number one social media source. Yeah, for sure. Um, I love LinkedIn. It’s fantastic. I think, you know, people aren’t on there to look at cat videos and, and, you know, discuss Corona virus, you know, theories. Um, they’re on there for business. Um, so, you know, think about how you can build a deep, emotional connection with your audience.
So one of the ways you can do that is just create lessons about your heart stories. And lessons that have made you who you are and why you do what you do. A lot of people don’t focus on that. They’re always thinking about talking about their services and things that they provide and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, even, and even results like yeah, people like results.
But let me tell you something. People like to do business with people that actually care. Yeah. Um, I know Damon, you care immensely about the work you do, but I’ve had clients who come back to me, even after things haven’t worked out because they knew that I cared and their want to try something else. And we, and I, and I, I worked my butt off to make it work.
Right. Yeah. Um, so create content from your heart. That’s, that’s helping you build that connection out. Number two is how are you? Relevant to people, especially in this time of need. How do you establish your expertise in your field? So that’s where you need to develop content that creates trust and authority.
So that’s putting out training guides and lessons, and you’re really great at that because I love what you do on LinkedIn with your PDFs. I love those. Those are really fantastic. Um, guys putting these little PDF guides that people can just easily download and see, you know, some valuable information and, and just throw your, your name and your logo on there.
Yeah. And the little button that says, you know, call me. Yeah. Well, let’s, let’s clarify that briefly too. And the importance is that it’s not a hidden sales pitch, right. Obviously you’re doing it for the longterm benefit of sales, but you’re building a relationship before the sale. And so your content should not be.
I’m awesome. Pay me because I’m awesome. Or here’s the things that I can do for you. If you pay me what it should be is here’s these things you can do on your own. And then by doing that, you become top of mind. And that’s when the sales is going to come in, is down the road is when they either say, Hey, I remember that Jeff does this thing.
I want to hire them now. Or I tried it on my own and I’d rather, you know, I have more money than time and I’d rather somebody else spend their time on this project. You know what that is the perfect attitude, because what I like to do is I like to give them everything they need to do on a silver platter.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to do exactly what I do. But 99% of the time, people aren’t going to do it. And the people that do do it. They’re not the type of people that I, that I want to work with you in. Don’t get me wrong. They’re probably great students. They probably buy all my courses and things like that.
But, and by the way, that’s why I create courses. I create courses for the people that can’t afford to work with me. Right. Yeah. They’re not in that position yet. So usually there’s the pendulum of life, which is the more time you have usually the less money you have, the more money that you have, usually the less time you have.
Right. So there’s the pendulum of life. So. Here’s the other thing. Okay. We talked about building a deep, emotional connection with your audience. We talked about relevance and how you could become, you know, an expert in your field. And I like what Damon said, position things to where it’s like, look, here’s how to do it.
Here’s exactly what to do if you need help reach out. Right? Yeah. The third thing is about omnipresence and this is where a lot of people mess up. And it’s funny too, because some people are really good at omnipresent, but they really suck at building relevance and they really suck at building connections.
Some people are really good at building connection, but they don’t have any relevance or on your presence. Right. And this is, this is really the trifecta that I get omnipresence is about blowing up your visibility. So whether it’s going all in on one platform like LinkedIn, And a lot of people think that omnipresence is, you know, all channels.
Exactly. All channels. It’s not, you know, like if you’re doing omnipresent, right. It’s actually where your audience is. That’s where you want to be. You want to be where your audience is. So like for me, I know a lot of my audience. Is not really on Instagram. They want to be on Instagram, but they’re not like my audience are CEOs and founders of successful companies.
Um, some, uh, actresses celebrities, entertainment, um, who basically have. Unintentionally built a brand because they’re on like a bunch of shows. Are they like my, one of my clients, one of my clients is a Playboy playmate. She’s been on, you know, dozens of films and she’s married. She’s married to a famous athlete.
You know, she’s friends with Kris Jenner and you know, all the Kardashians and she, she has, if you Google her name, there’s all these things that come up about her, that she has no control over. Her her literally her bio online was written by somebody who she has no idea of, and it’s a completely trashed bio.
So that’s actually one of the things that we’re doing for her right now is just managing her, her brand reputation online. So we’ve, uh, you know, I, so I had to reach out on her behalf because she doesn’t have time to, to these companies and say, Hey, look, this, this is not an approved bio. And then I ha of course.
She sends me a copy of her, her ID and stuff, and wrote me a letter to say that I handle her stuff. So I’ve been going out there, me and my team to clean up her profile. Omnipresence is really about being where your people are or so are they on Facebook or Instagram? Are they on tick talk? Are they on LinkedIn?
Wherever it is. This is the time to drop your content. You need, you need to really focus on those three things. Connection. How do you build a deep, emotional connection with your audience? That’s how you build trust B how do you stay relevant to them? So they actually think you’re an expert in your field and can help them solve their problems and see.
How can you show up where these people are? Maybe it’s maybe it’s Forbes, maybe it’s, you know, maybe it’s on TV show, local vicinity of where you’re, you know, if you’re, if you’re a local. Business in San Francisco, maybe you need to get on Bay area focus like the TV show. I was on CBS San Francisco, you know, wherever it is, you need to focus on those three things.
How do you build a deep, emotional connection? How do you be relevant? And then how are you in front of those damn client, potential clients all the time. Yeah. And, and I’d say to pick one platform because, um, be good at one before you delete yourself and be mediocre at several. So you don’t have to be on all of them guys.
Like there’s like Charlie, uh, she’s the newest sensation on tick talk. Uh, Charlie, I don’t even know how to pronounce her last name. D D something. Um, she’s literally 15 years old and she has like 40. Million followers on tick tock. She’s getting paid, sums, huge amounts of money. Now she’s even doing a paid and sponsored campaign from a government agency in, uh, in coordination with another, uh, you know, like, you know, company that are paying her to make a video of her dancing and telling people to stay home.
It’s crazy. Yeah. Yeah. , that’s a great, that’s a great point. And I know you got to go soon here, but that’s a great point to pick what you’re an expert in. Well, there’s my beeper. I was ahead of my time on my beeper here. So, but it’s great to pick a platform that, that your audience is at and that you’re good at, you know, you kill it on Facebook and I see you on LinkedIn.
I suck at Facebook, but what’s interesting is I will get. My lead inbound via link. And then they come over to my smaller. Audience of Facebook and then convert on Facebook. So it’s really interesting. So you don’t have to be killing it on all of them, you know, just be consistent on what your messaging is and then wherever they follow you, as long as they, they keep that trust, as they see your visibility across different platforms, they’re going to convert at some.
I want to say something here. And if you don’t agree with me, say it right here, but I would say it, but, but here’s the thing I’m not afraid to offend. Yeah. I admire that about you, by the way. I know that it’s important to like filter out your audience, but I just, I just can’t fully get that. I get, I can get there a little bit, but not fully.
Yeah. You’re you’re still, you’re still corporate, bro. You know, even though you weren’t for yourself, you got that corporate vibe. But listen to this, listen to this. All right, I’m going to, this is a great place to close it out. The best thing to do on LinkedIn. If you want to start getting really good business.
Is to get people off LinkedIn. So move them into your calendar to move them to your Facebook, to move them into messenger, to move them into a Facebook group or community because the LinkedIn app, and this is LinkedIn’s fault, by the way, the LinkedIn app sucks. It was brutal. It’s so brutal. And then when I talk to people, when I tell them about the success I have with social proof on LinkedIn, there w the, the most common response I get is.
Really cause I like it. It’s a bunch of spammy messages and I’m like, well, yeah, that, that, that, that part hasn’t gone away, but you don’t live. I have in the inbox, like you live on the con and another thing I, I had a guy messaged me and he says, well, I want to target contractors. I don’t think they’re on LinkedIn.
Cause when I checked my wall, I don’t see any active contractors. And I’m like, who cares what your wall says? That needs to be what you’re pushing out. Wow. Uh, I think you just, you just dropped the mic, so there you go. Alright. Well, Jeff, I appreciate your time. Um, but what, where can people find out more about you, about you and what you got going on and keep in touch?
Well, I just got Google verified now. So now you can officially Google me, Jesse, the letter J Hunter. Um, and my website will pop up. Of course you can add me on LinkedIn or Facebook or anything like that, guys. Um, I’m always open to, to offending people in my network. So if, if you’re open to, you know, some controversial posts about the Corona virus, I might even mention Trump here once in awhile.
I know he’s a big trigger word. Um, you know, it’s an election season, so we’re going to have some interests. Yeah. If you want entertained. Follow me. Yeah, definitely entertainment value, but you it’s almost like you intentionally go. Alright. Okay. Yeah, we don’t have to, we don’t have to go into the post, but the other day it was like abortions and I was like, Oh damn, Jeff.
I was just trying to keep it real. What I was saying is at that time, there was 400 people had died from the coronavirus and that 2,400 babies are a border of the day. That’s all I was saying. And, um, you know, a lot of people got triggered by that, but I think it’s a very interesting, you know, realization that, you know, Hey, here’s another thing too, like, like let’s talk about the coronavirus for a second.
Sure. The coronavirus is one of the most highly contagious, uh, diseases or viruses that have ever been unleashed on mankind, at least in recent history. But the mortality rate in America has still less than 3%. Matter of fact, it’s closer to 2%. If you add in all the people that have gotten sick and never been reported.
Um, so, you know, it’s a, it’s very interesting, you know, cause I just like to call things how I see it. I say look because it, is it worth destroying the economy? Um, look, I I’m all about saving lives and what’s happening in New York right now, actually pretty bad. I think like the majority of the deaths have been in New York, like 2000 or something like that.
But I do want to make people realize how many people die. I mean, 50, 55,000 people died of pneumonia last year. Right. So I just want to put things in perspective. That’s all Damon. Is it fair to put things in perspective? Well, here’s where corporate Damon steps in and says, says, Jeff, thank you for your time.
And if you want to be entertained offended, or both Jeff J. Hunter catch him on Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever your platform of choice is and for where I’m going to leave this off is for another time. We will discuss why Jeff J. Hunter is also known as the underwear entrepreneur I’m in my underwear right now.
There it is. Jeff J. Hunter. Thanks everybody. Thanks for NAB.