September 20, 2021
Emma speaks with India Jackson of Flaunt Your Fire about brand values. We talk about defining your values, bringing your business into alignment and being more confident in your content creation.
In this episode Emma speaks with India Jackson of Flaunt Your Fire about brand values. We talk about defining your values, bringing your business into alignment and being more confident in your content creation.
India is the CEO of Flaunt Your Fire and co-founder of Pause on the Play, and works to help entrepreneurs amplify their influence without changing who they are. Her brand visibility agency and podcast now help clients ditch stale marketing, break out of industry molds, and build authority by being themselves.
I hope you enjoy listening to this chat about values, authenticity and the humans behind the numbers.
06:06 Defining brand
08:00 Where to start
09:52 Explicit and implicit
19:57 When things don’t align
28:05 Finding a new audience
33:35 Building a connection
44:44 A fun biking analogy
42:38 Building confidence
48:49 Website traffic
49:20 Favourite place
50:26 Looking forward to…
51:52 What to do next
Find India Jackson
Find Flaunt Your Fire
Find Pause on the Play
India Jackson 0:00
I think it really is a process of unshedding, who you thought you needed to be, so that you can actually be more of who you already were out loud and proud about it. And I think that when we can view it in that way of not becoming something we weren't, but actually just being more of who we were and not hiding that, and being proud of it, and recognizing that there is someone out there for everyone, and really fully being the individual human that you are and allowing your team members to do the same and fully, like own that and honor it. Then we can begin to stand out.
Emma Peacock 0:43
Welcome to the Digital Hive Podcast where we talk all things digital marketing for small businesses. On this episode, I spoke with India Jackson of Flaunt Your Fire about brand and values. We talk about defining your values, bringing your business into alignment, and being more confident in your content creation. India is the CEO of Flaunt Your Fire and Co-Founder of Pause On The Play and works to help entrepreneurs amplify their influence without changing who they are her brand visibility agency and podcast now help clients ditch stale marketing, break out of industry molds and build authority by being themselves. I hope you enjoy listening to this chat about values, authenticity, and the humans behind the numbers.
Emma Peacock 1:23
Welcome to the podcast India. So glad to have you here.
India Jackson 1:27
Thank you for having me.
Emma Peacock 1:30
Start us off with the big question. Tell us about you and your business.
India Jackson 1:34
Oh, the awkward question we get asked on the podcast is to talk about yourself. I guess I would start with I started in my career as a model and really began to see that you're pretty much a human coat hanger and that people kind of you're being paid to be whatever the industry needed you to be or the client needed you to be. And I think that that, you know, it's an interesting career field and I really enjoyed the time that I had there. But I noticed that as some of the models would start to invest into photography services, marketing services, and things like that no one really shifted out of seeing them as a model that they get to shape who they are, and instead ask them who they want to be, and how do they want to be perceived? Or what do they want to be remembered for? Or known for? And I noticed this time and time again, and just really saw an opportunity to kind of step into an industry that I was already in, I was already taking pictures as a photographer and consulting people here and there. And saying, you know, people could totally use another option that is asking you the deeper questions about who you are, what matters to you, and where you want to go before they start laying out a strategy for your brand. And so that just kind of began the transition for me probably about 15 years or so ago into going into stepping from behind the camera, to stepping from in front of the camera to behind the camera, and then leading into offering strategy services specifically for people's brand visibility. And about 11 or so years ago, I started what is now known as Flaunt Your Fire, an agency that helps people really dig deeper into laying out their entire branding strategy based on what they want to be known for.
Emma Peacock 3:34
Amazing. So how did you, as you started to, like, mold your offering, how did you land on how you deliver your service?
India Jackson 3:47
Oh, that's a great question. And I'll say that, like, I mean, its been years of experimentation, and, and being transparent. I think that in the beginning, it looked like purchasing courses and investing in coaches to support me with, you know, their perspective of how this could be done. But I found that back then it was really still coming from a lens of this is how everyone else does it. And the one thing I'll say that I've discovered about myself over the years is that if you're into human design at all, you'll know what I mean. But I'm designed to be like a disrupter and to find new ways and learn from what doesn't work and create kind of the innovative way going forward of how to approach something. And so I found that as I was laying out my offerings back then it looked like initially photography service, and maybe some visibility services or offerings to help people be guided through like what their image would look like. So what colors are you pulling from in your wardrobe, your makeup, and things like that, so your brand stays cohesive over time, my degrees in art and design so also, you know pairing that with their logo and their brand colors and things So your brand is cohesive across the board. But I found that something was missing, I spent more time talking to my clients about who they were. And really, why they weren't getting to where they wanted to go, or what felt disconnected than I did about the tangible pieces. And so I really realized as time went on, that I was actually doing consulting services and strategy, and not charging for that. And so eventually, I transitioned the business and to kind of restructuring it to start with strategy first. And then that became after the strategy and the deep dives into who you are, what your brand is here to do. If it's a brand that has multiple team members, what your team members care about, and their values, and then going into based on this as the foundation, here's where we go from there. And I say this meaning based on your brand values is where we start is, here's what you value as a human. Now, here's where your brand values will go. And here's how you build up from there.
Emma Peacock 6:06
Perfect. So brand and branding get thrown around a bit. And generally, it boils down to some of the same things. But often people, when they talk about brand are talking about some different things sometimes. So how do you define brand?
India Jackson 6:26
That's such a great question. I look at it, I think many people when they think of brand, they can go straight to brand identity. So logos, website, colors, graphics, specific typography that you're using every time that you post something or create something. But I look beyond that. And I say that your brand really is bigger than your presence. It's bigger than the tangibles. It's actually like, what would someone say about XYZ name, whether your brand is your personal name and your identity, or the name of your company, when they have to explain it to someone else, or someone else asked them about it, and you're not in the room. To me, that is your brand, it truly is your reputation. And these tangible pieces, you know, kind of form your reputation, someone who wears, you know, bright red lipstick and colorful colors like me might be perceived and have a different reputation shaped from that than someone who was very minimalist and wears all black. And you know, is more natural in their makeup or hair appearance. Versus the language, if you're cursing and things like that, you know, it comes off very different than someone who's extra polite, and whatever that may be. But at the end of the day, the brand is truly reputation. And it's built from all of these different aspects, from your actual brand identity to your actual content strategy, and what you're discussing how you discuss it, and also who you're associated with, and what other brands they affiliate with yours.
Emma Peacock 8:00
Oh, that's so true. It's like all of the little parts that add up together. So when you're working with clients to define their values to kind of have that base that everything comes from, where do you start?
India Jackson 8:15
That's a great question. And I'm kind of curious to know what that looks like for you, when you're getting clients coming in that maybe don't already have that. I can say for me over at Flaunt Your Fire, and I also own Pause On The Play. It's an online community that integrates values into your visibility. But we really do start with looking at your personal values. Because I think so many times we think about brand values as like the separate thing outside of ourselves, that totally represents our company and our team, if we have a team, or if it's a personal brand, the personal brand facade that you have online, which is still not completely you, no matter how authentic, you try to be with it. But I think that really the starting place is looking at who are you as an individual? And if you have a team, who are your individual team members as humans, and what do they value in their everyday life because we don't leave who we are at home when we come to work, or when we get on social media. So I kind of start the process of going through what does someone cares about? And what matters to them? And sometimes that question can be too big and people may not really have an answer for that. And that's okay. So we dig a little bit deeper and some some other questions that can help like, you know, what do you see happening in the world that you'd like to change? What do you see happening in your community that really has you upset or inspired? You know, and typically, under those answers can give you some insights into what you value and also what kind of impact you want to have in the world.
Emma Peacock 9:52
Yeah, for sure. I definitely don't frame it when I'm talking to my clients as like, what are your brand values because they would look at me like my head had exploded. So I tend to like turn it into those other questions of like, what do you do differently to your competitors? What are you trying to achieve for people? What are your clients and customers care most about? And yeah from that, you can kind of pull it, pull it out. And so then what do you do from that step? Like if you've pulled it out of them, rather than them fully knowing it? Do you have kind of like a discovery part of your strategy that helps people kind of then get fully understanding of what those values are, so that they can then explain it if someone then asked them again?
India Jackson 10:43
You know, it's interesting. We actually have a masterclass called From Implicit to Explicit Masterclass and in that process, we literally look at the personal values, we help them pull out what those things are, through conversation. It's actually a live masterclass, it's not something pre-recorded, because we feel like this is so personal. And many times it requires a bit of guidance and talking through things. And I also take a look at like, how are you living through those values, because it's one thing to say a word, it's another to actually back that up in your day-to-day actions. And from a place of integrity, right? I think that we've had an interesting last two years as a whole, but specifically last year, where so many people are feeling the pressure to say that they value certain things. And maybe that's not coming from them that's coming from outside. So we also take a look at like, what are your everyday actions. And you can find that, if you look at someone's everyday actions, they have values that they forgot to even put on the list. An easy one that I can think of that many people have, and I'm sure you may have some stories about it, too, is like being environmentally conscious. So like, do you use a reusable tote bag when you go to the grocery store? You know, are you using reusable straws? Are you trying to avoid like single-use plastics, it's something that when we think about brand values, we forget these everyday things that matter to us as a human. And they're important too. And sometimes these things, you know, need a right to prioritize. So many times, we have a list of like 20, 30 things that matter to someone. And then we look at what matters to the clients that they really enjoy working with the most and what more of like, if they could clone them, they would clone them times 20. Because that can inform what kind of values might a client need to have in order for you to continue to draw more of who you like the most in. And then we prioritize those in order of priority. And then we narrow that down into typically three to six brand values, I find that like four is kind of the sweet spot. And then on the other side, my my counterpart Erica Courdae, she's a diversity and inclusion coach, she will look at the values that all of your team members have if you have a team. Or if you don't, sometimes that looks like your VA, your podcast production company, your bookkeeping company, technically, they don't work under your brand as an employee, necessarily, but you're still working with them. And she helps you to shape what your company values will be. But all of that is to say that these aren't just fluffy words in a list. We attach these to actions. And so you know what you will do and what you won't do based on those final brand values. And many times we find a way of integrating your personal values that didn't make that final list into how you do business.
Emma Peacock 13:45
I really like that, I feel like in a way of like turning it into those behaviors and what you actually do, it's just so much more like it can become tangible, rather than just like a feeling that's maybe a document and a business plan or something like that, where people might have thought of like what is our collective like purpose, but are you living it in every aspect of the business? And how that then comes through and your branding and marketing.
India Jackson 14:17
No, because I think that that's so important. It allows us to continue to do what is creating the impact that we want to have on the world that we're already doing. And also it allows them to be aspirational and say, you know what, maybe we're not doing this yet, maybe we do still have bubble wrap when we pack things instead of crinkle paper which is more eco-friendly. But now I see an opportunity to evolve our brand and to doing the thing differently in the future. So values can also be aspirational. You don't have to be there yet and really is there a there anyway.
Emma Peacock 14:55
Very Sure. So do you advise your clients to literally name them on their website? Or is it more of like, it's woven in through everything so that people can kind of as they visit that content, walk away with it? Or is it like explicitly stated on say their about page?
India Jackson 15:16
I think it depends on the brand. And what you do. And also, I think it depends on who you've attracted up until the point that you've laid these out. And then also, if you want to track going forward, and sometimes if there's a stark contrast between that and you're making a major pivot, you may need to put it on your website front-facing to kind of be a filter to say, if this is what you're supporting too we're the right place for you. And if it's not, you know, it's time to maybe look for a different a different brand to partner with or to, to work with. But I don't think that there's necessarily a right or wrong answer there. It gets a little tricky because many times putting values on a website can also look like virtue signaling, depending on the type of business you are, where people can feel like you just put that there to say, here's what we're doing. So you can get money from certain demographics of people. But maybe you're not really doing the work. I personally find that both are important. But I think if you had to prioritize one, I always lean towards my clients integrating their values into everything that they say and do before they start to make like a huge public statement about it. Because then there's really nothing that the public can see tangibly to back at what you're saying. And that accountability is so important, especially right now.
Emma Peacock 16:40
Yeah, for sure. If you're not going to like it can seem so like disingenuous sometimes when brands come out with a statement about what they're going to do. And sometimes I'm like, you probably could have updated your content before you made the big announcement. And often, sometimes that's they've made some other drastic change, like a leadership change, or something like that. But the way that people are going to understand it better is when they see it through through everything as well, whether you're explicitly setting them or not. Yeah.
India Jackson 17:17
I agree completely. And I know that I saw in the last two years, so many brands decided to make a statement before they made change here in the United States. I'm wondering if you started to see that as well, where you are?
Emma Peacock 17:29
Yeah, it was definitely the same here. And I think, particularly to it was, people were saying things about things that were happening in different countries without actually thinking about whether it was happening here as well. And it was kind of that thing of like, Oh, that's the, you know, rather than reflecting on ourselves, looking at what's happening outwards, and thinking that wouldn't ever happen here, when, in reality, the specifics might not, but the general, unfortunately, is on there are things that we can do about it, rather than like externalizing the problem.
India Jackson 18:08
I'm so glad you said that because owning a diversity and inclusion community that focuses on all values, not just that, we saw a lot of that too, where people would say, you know, I'm in New Zealand, or I'm in Canada, or I'm in Australia, you know, and that's not a concern here. And it's like, but it is it's just different. It might not be this aspect of environmental sustainability, but maybe it's that aspect, or it might not be Black Lives Matter, but indigenous lives, you know, and some of the things that have happened to indigenous people in places. It's been interesting to see that.
Emma Peacock 18:45
It is funny how similar we are all across the world. Yeah, in good ways and bad. Yeah, yeah.
Emma Peacock 18:56
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Emma Peacock 19:57
So what about a business partnership context, how do you work through it? If maybe there's some common values, but certain things aren't always as common among, say, two or three business partners? How do you get people to give it a come, come together with that?
India Jackson 20:20
I think it depends on the priority of the value and if that value is one of your deal breakers. And I think it's so important that when we look at brand values, again, we take it beyond, here's this list of things that we're saying. But also, part of our process is addressing what are your deal breakers. And sometimes deal breakers might not make the values list like many brands are not saying, you know, we value honesty, right? But you know, working with companies that are dishonest is a deal breaker. And so in knowing that this values list is the ones that we must meet, every time we work with someone, it kind of gives you that blueprint to say, if these things are not met, then it's not a good fit. And maybe these things over here would be nice to have, but they don't have to be met every time when I think about that I can think of a good example for for one of my clients is that being a woman of color, owned business, diversity, and valuing, like equity and things like that is a must have, as well as, you know, being willing to be vulnerable, because they're a coach. And, you know, it's impossible to build a deep relationship with your client and help them get the results if they're not willing to be transparent about their life and their struggles. And that does require vulnerability. So those are their must haves, but they also are a vegetarian, and really value animals and the planet. And, you know, they're not going to say I'm not going to work with a client if they're creating a lot of trash, or maybe haven't donated to charities that help animals. So it's kind of figuring out like, what's a must have, and then what's nice to have, and you got to have your must haves met, right? In order to feel comfortable working with someone, but also, if you have team members in order for them to be safe serving this client and not feel like they'll be mistreated. And also for that client to feel safe to. And then the nice to haves. It's like I can step it up a notch and say the alignment between who you're attracting and who you really want, the more you can get the nice to haves, the happier everyone will be.
Emma Peacock 22:40
Yeah, I totally see that. Have you ever had a situation in which people within the team have had, once they've delved into it realize they had some conflicting values?
India Jackson 22:53
Yeah. Are you referring to like my team specifically?
Emma Peacock 22:56
No, like as in like, externally, if you had a say a client, and then you kind of have delved into it further and found that like, say, the business owner, and a couple of the team members had differing approaches to things or views on certain things.
India Jackson 23:13
Yeah, that's definitely happened. And I have seen less of that in the last year than I did in 2020. However, I will say that, no, we've been really fortunate that when that's happened, it's been like a really clear. Oh, wow. Okay, so what do we do going forward? And how can we support you know each other, in helping to find a better fit for you to work with, because if that value was a deal breaker, you know, it's not going to work. But you can also find a way to kind of move on to the next place in a very respectful and kind hearted way and support each other through that process. I've also encountered that, you know, being transparent within my own team, we had a company that we were working with, on our podcast show notes. And we knew that like we like to evolve things to be as inclusive as possible. And part of that, for us is also being inclusive to the disabled community. And so we evolved our podcast from being transcripts. And just like the summary that most podcasts have to becoming an article, because the feedback that we got from people who are not able to listen to the podcast and would be reading is that you lose some things in translation when it's just exactly what someone said in conversation. It lands different, and certain things may not make as much sense anymore. And that, of course, was happening during like in the United States, the Black Lives Matter Movement, kind of becoming a really big thing. And I'm geographically like, maybe 15 minutes from Washington DC. So it was like very front facing and the content we were covering. And at some point, they realized that they no longer wanted to have no longer felt like it was aligned to support a podcast that was saying Black Lives Matters. And so we respectfully, you know, found a way to kind of transition out of that partnership and relationship working wise, and started to transition into working with a company that did.
Emma Peacock 25:19
How do you do that in a way? Like, how do you do that so kindly and respectfully, when there's so many emotions often with values?
India Jackson 25:31
Ah, you know, that's a great question. I'm just gonna be honest and say many times, for me personally, it's imperfectly. I mean, we're all humans. And part of that imperfection is acknowledging how we feel about things, and being honest about it. But also finding a way to be kind about it. I really am grateful that, you know, I've built a community as one of my businesses where we navigate difficult conversations with team members, family, friends, partners. And we find a way to be open to a different opinion, right, because being in an echo chamber of everyone thinking exactly the same way is not where innovation happens. But there are also some opinions and things that may not be a good fit to partner with, or to continue to work with. So for me personally, that has look like just being honest that you know, this, let's just be real, if you're watching, you can see I'm a black woman. And I own a business with a very diverse team, from everything to a woman is based in Zimbabwe, to a team member that is black and Puerto Rican. So that's a really misaligned fit to not value that and I think that this person knew that. So we just kind of respectfully looked at, you know, how can we transition out. And also like, being transparent, I still gave them a great review, they did a great service for us when they worked for us. And I know that reviews matter to be able to get more business and but we were also able to talk about how working for a company like mine may not be a good fit for them period going forward, you know?
Emma Peacock 27:20
yeah, is another part of it, too. Like, once you recognize that there's a mismatch, they're kind of starting to do something about it right away, so that it almost doesn't like fester as a terrible word. But that's the word that comes to mind.
India Jackson 27:36
It's so true, though, it can fester. If you don't, I agree. 100%, I think one of the most harmful things we can do, whether we're the team member, or the partner that feels like whoa, what this brand is saying I don't agree with or whether we're the brand that has hired them, is to address it as soon as possible and kindly. Because you know, things like that, that values is a huge part of who someone is. So to let that just kind of sit and linger. There's no good coming from it.
Emma Peacock 28:05
Yeah, for sure. Um, so if we transition back to talking about like content and sharing that message, once you've kind of honed what your message is sharing that with the world. Sometimes that can mean getting in front of new people and engaging them in a new way, then you have before potentially if there was a shift there, but also an expanding the business growing it. All that kind of scaling thing is often you need to get in front of new people. What do you recommend as like a starting point for anyone who's feeling stuck or overwhelmed about how they could attract those new audiences or opportunities?
India Jackson 28:55
Oh, that's a great question. Hmm. I'll say that I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to, like, do something grand joyous, or that when you do brand values work, you're becoming something different. And so I want to address that first. Because I think before you can start sharing, it's also about being honest about what the work looks like. And I think many times it's not that you're shifting who your brand is, what it's here to do, who it serves, and also who you are as a human that's running this brand, whether you're the CEO of a team, or you're a solopreneur, I think it really is a process of unshedding who you thought you needed to be, so that you can actually be more of who you already were out loud and proud about it. And I think that when we can view it in that way of not becoming something we weren't but actually just being more of who we were and not hiding that and being proud of it and recognizing that there is someone out there for everyone and really fully being the individual human that you are and allowing your team members to do the same and fully, like own that and honor it, then we can begin to stand out. Like it really is sometimes as simple as owning and honoring that. And that's definitely more of the like the mindset pieces, versus feeling like we have to falsify information or take on a new identity altogether, it's who you already are, and that maybe you just didn't give yourself permission to fully be or you thought you couldn't be and still be successful. And so I want to say that if you're listening, and that is resonating with you, that being more of yourself, is actually going to make you be more successful, just in that one small act, there was like a quote that the greatest and most innovative thing that you can do, or freeing thing you can do is to think for yourself out loud. And I still think that that is completely true today. I don't remember who said that, quote, but such a great one. And I really do think that when we're looking at branding and marketing, it separates you from everyone else who was trying to fit in, because you now will stand out from that crowd. A great place to start I feel like is when we're talking about things that might be a little bit more controversial, or like politics or something like that, if you've never done that before, is to start out light and maybe not even necessarily go straight into like, we believe this, you know, because that's gonna come off to other people kind of strange, like, where'd this come from? They're not, they haven't been eased into that from your brand yet. So I find that it can also come off as like we know everything right off the bat, too. And that may not rub people well, I always find the easiest thing to do is to take a look at something that you've recently read, learned, consumed, listen to on a podcast. You know, a great example is this episode, I was listening to this episode, it got me thinking about this. And here's what I learned. And here's what I might integrate into what I'm doing going forward. It's such a human thing to do that we would say in a conversation with someone face to face that we met at a party or at a networking event. But we're forgetting to do online, and it starts the conversation and invites your subscribers or listeners, your followers, whatever it may be into the conversation with you. And you can ask them, what do they think about it, you know, and keep that conversation going. That's sometimes the easiest thing. We all consume something every week that we've learned about the causes or things happening in the world that we want to be a part of supporting. And I think we forget that the things that we're learning are not necessarily the things that others are learning, and there's an opportunity to share without necessarily giving away the services that you do for free.
Emma Peacock 32:59
Yeah, that's awesome. So sometimes when you feel like you're like starting out, or if you have transitioned in any way, maybe from a different career or something like that, one of the things that personally I've found a little harder, is when you feel like you're kind of talking into the abyss, and you maybe don't have what feels like not many people, when I loved the I think it was a TikTok. That was like 30 people might not seem like a lot. But if 30 people walked into my store right now, I'd be very overwhelmed.
India Jackson 33:34
Emma Peacock 33:35
So in certain spheres, the 10,000 followers on Instagram is kind of a thing that people look forward to because of the swipe up and being able to link. And, to me, I kind of think that's almost an illusion of a way that you could get more people to your website, because if they don't feel connected to you, it doesn't really matter how easy it is to get to that link, if they don't have kind of like that reason to want to look at the link, because maybe they don't have that connection with you yet as that referral of that link. How do you talk to your clients? Or how do you recommend to people that they connect with their audience better, so that it can have that knock on effect in terms of marketing?
India Jackson 34:27
You know, that's such a great question. And I think specifically when it comes to swipe up, it's a lie. Like, I mean, my personal brand that India Jackson has swipe up, and you know, I use the feature, but realistically, the way that Instagram technically works, it's it's designed to keep you on Instagram. That's how Instagram makes their money. So even when you have swipe up, which is supposed to be this more elevated feature that's going to bring all the traffic to you. You're swiping up for the website to still load in Instagram, not in if you're using iPhone Safari, or Google Chrome, if you're on Android, it still loads in Instagram. So even then it's not like, if you come back to your web browser later, that pair of shorts you were looking at, or the coaching service you were looking at, or the lipstick, or whatever it may have been, is still gonna be there waiting for you. So that conversion is still questionably like, is it any different than really clicking on the link in your bio? I'm gonna say I'm not too sure. You know, looking at the stats, yes you might get a couple of clicks from swiping up. But realistically, most people are still going to make a buying decision from going to your website later on from their computer. We're just going to call that what it is. So when you can wrap your mind around that, like, what can you do differently then to begin the relationship. And I did an article with Forbes Magazine where I talked about, like how to build an audience that'll sell for you, right, instead of you having to sell to them all the time. And one of the most important things you can do is to remember that the people following you are humans, like you said, if you had 30 people in your storefront or in your office all at once, that'd be a lot, especially if like your areas still dealing with COVID, you might not even want that many people right now. So remembering that each one of those are individual humans, and treating as such, number one, introducing yourself, if somebody new has been liking a lot of your pictures or followed you and they're engaging, you know, figure out the time that feels right, you don't want to seem pushy, but you have an opportunity to slide in their DMs and say, Hey, I noticed that you've blah, blah, blah, and I saw this on your page. And human a human I find you interesting, let's talk. That's the easiest way to get it started. But it's one of the things that I think people forget to do on social media, they forget to be social on social media.
Emma Peacock 37:02
Yeah, for sure. 100%. Yeah, I can totally see that. And your point of the link only opens an Instagram is so true. And often there's something where I've made that actual connection with the person. And I'm like, I clicked on that thing. But obviously, it's not open on my phone anymore. And then so I go back to the profile. But if I hadn't made that connection with the human, I honestly wouldn't even remember who shared it. So I wouldn't be able to go back.
India Jackson 37:30
Thank you for saying that. Because I think that that is most people's experience. And from the outside looking in, many marketers forget to tell you that piece they sell you on the followers because it's easy to do follow unfollow, or like groups or pods and gain followers, right? So that pulls in your money to pay for these services. But that doesn't actually convert into any tangible revenue for you.
Emma Peacock 37:58
Yeah, I guess to the thing of like a, say an influencer, a content creator, who has over 100,000 subscribers, but potentially never sells anything. Maybe their client is like, you know, sponsors or things like that, versus a business who can have 50 followers on Instagram, and be completely successful and have an amazing business. So focusing on who those actual connections are, who the humans are, what they need. And I mean, there's obviously a thing of like keeping it somewhat relevant to your offer, if it's going to end up making you money. But building that connection on a human level makes so much more sense. Rather than like, these are my followers. Also followers often makes me think of a cult. So I think of like audience because they're the people who are listening to what you're saying. Yeah, no Kool Aid.
India Jackson 38:58
And it's funny, I've slowly started to say like, these are my humans, or these are my people as like a reminder to myself, but also to my team, that theres real people on the other side of that. And it's funny, you mentioned influencers, because some of my client base are influencers where they don't have a product of their own that they're selling per se, they're sending people to someone else's product. Or they're talking about a product that they were sponsored to create content for. That's like a content creator. And even they benefit from having less followers that they actually have a working relationship with that they you know, have conversations with them in DMs so they're offering free value by doing free makeup classes on how to do your own makeup. If they're a beauty influencer, whatever that is, then the influencers have the massive following, which is getting brand recognition for smaller companies that maybe people don't know who they are, but it's not converting into sales. I've seen some brands that have you you know, 100,000 followers, for example, and still do less in revenue from their affiliate links than brands that have less than 5000 followers because of the relationship that that smaller influencer was able to build with the people following them.
Emma Peacock 40:15
And in a way, I guess that's where influencer comes from is like the influence they have. But really, it's just what kind of a human connection do they actually have with those, the people behind the numbers?
India Jackson 40:28
Oh, my goodness, that is a conversation in itself of like, the influencer word, it is so overused, that I'm like, it is not what I think most people are attaching it to you, which is like massive followers and affiliate links. It's actually being influential that people know, like and trust you, and that you have positioned yourself as a leader that they are willing to follow and to take action based on what you're talking about. And I think that, yeah, just like brand, it's like, can we just, like redefine everything in this industry, please?
Emma Peacock 41:02
I feel like the reason I go towards like content creator over influencer is because I almost feel like as a audience member, I get more value, when people focus on the content that they are creating, then the influence they're trying to make. And that's because of the human that trying to create the content for the human rather than the collective. Which I guess also comes into, like, if you're trying to be something to everyone, you can end up being nothing to everyone, because you aren't different, or you or the non fit, like little blip, but in authenticity of it distances you on a human level from people, because I get I mean, people can detect that it's not real. So there's that.
India Jackson 41:54
Right. I mean, that's the thing is like, Are you trying to appeal to everyone? Because it's so you're probably appealing to no one. And you're not being yourself. And I mean, I think that so many people have left the corporate world because they want to be happy with what they do. So it's like, don't forget that, you know, why are we we left the corporate world, for many of my clients, I left the corporate world because they wanted to build something that they would be happier with and had more impact. And somewhere along the way, they, you know, it's easy to lose your way and forget that and then start doing what you think is expected of you, but it's not really who you are. And it's not making you happy, either. If you're having a be something or not.
Emma Peacock 42:38
Yeah, 100%. Yeah, I really like that. Um, so maybe this isn't quite how you feel all the time. And we've touched on this a little bit, but you come across as majorly confident. And part of that probably comes from being authentic and your total like yourself that you feel comfortable in. But for anyone who is hesitant and being like the face of their brand online, do you have any advice for them around that?
India Jackson 43:09
Well, first, I am not majorly confident all the time. that's required a lot of work. And I've mastered the art of coming off that way, even when I don't feel that way. I think that authenticity, as you said, it's an overused word. But if we can look at that as also being transparent, and sharing, and remembering that Emma on the other side of this conversation is still another human. All of that helps. I find that many times and I felt the least confident. Its been when I've been still on the like trying to put myself in a box that I think someone else needs me to be in a conversation, or needs me to be visually because I'm representing their company instead of my own. And so I think the more that we can be ourselves, the more confident we will feel. And also like, practice, you know, I think that we live in a culture that says to batch everything, and I'm like the batching queen. So you know, I'm not knocking batching I think that when you're creating your content, or you're doing your photo shoots for your Instagram feed, or whatever that might be, you know, you want to get as much content done in a time as possible, because it allows you to get in that flow, and to kind of find your sweet spot in the middle. And that's where the best work comes from. And also, I think that sometimes what batching can do is get us out of the habit of doing things throughout the week, throughout the month, because we're like, oh, I did it all and I'm done. And then now when it comes a couple of weeks later or a couple of months later sometimes to record a podcast episode or be interviewed or be in front of the camera. Or, you know, hold your phone out and hop on an Instagram Live or TikTik video. It's like you're having to put your training wheels of showing up all over again. So I find that batching is great and continue to do that, and find one small way to show up every day, even if it's just sending somebody a voice DM with no video. So that way you stay in the practice of showing up. I mean, it reminds me of like, it's funny, I rode a bicycle for the first time since I was a teenager. Last year, I think, and you could have like, never told me that it would have felt as clunky as it did to get on a bicycle again, and have to figure out how do I ride without falling off. And also without like leaning too much to one side, or being okay when I hit a bump. And I mean, I had rode my bike so much when I was a little kid, but I just hadn't touched it in like 15 years. So some more extreme example. But an example that many people who have not continued to ride bikes and their adulthood can probably relate to gotta keep riding the bike.
Emma Peacock 46:13
Yeah, I also had a thought there of like, well, when was the last time I actually wrote a bike that wasn't like an exercycle. Beause we were talking about the balancing and everything I was like, yeah, that's the part I won't have practicing when it comes to actually riding up, like an actual bicycle. Because that thing has like four legs that keeps it in place.
India Jackson 46:37
For years, and I'm like,
Emma Peacock 46:38
I know the basics of moving my feet. But the practice of weaving around like the person walking their dog up the street. Doesn't happen when you're batching to the extremes. Yeah, yeah, I love batching as well, I feel like it almost like frees you up to do things in the moment. differently, like, and that's kind of what stories is right? is like, Instagram have kind of, well, no, Instagram can come up with stories, I guess that was Snapchat. But like, as much as people can batch, they'll always be those places of content on the internet that you do live, or like, you should.
India Jackson 47:22
Yeah, and I find that like, one of the things I started experimenting with. So I didn't like create more content than I really needed. Because that's the thing sometimes, too, is when i would i batch most of my content, but in between batching maybe what I'll do is a sprint, I'll do an ask a day for a month. And by an ask a day, I mean, I'm inviting someone into something, even if that's something as a concert to go to with me, like I'm not selling them anything. Sometimes it's making an ask of a prior client to enroll into a new program. I started to do these things through voice and through video. There's a really cool service that we use called VideoAsk where you can send people videos, they can video reply back from any service, whether it's their phone or computer, in case you don't want to get mixed up with their social media DMs. And that was kind of my way of number one continuing to show up and feel like using my voice and my presence visually, is a part of my everyday life. But then also like working my ass muscle because so many business owners just don't feel confident in asking for a sale or a recommendation or referral, or whatever it is that is going to support their brand, sometimes even just a coffee date to get to know someone better. And so kind of got two for one in that activity.
Emma Peacock 48:49
Yeah, for sure. I really love that. So let's go into our quickfire round our not so quick fire quick. So longer explanations are welcome if you feel like you need to. So where do you get the most of your website traffic or your sales from?
India Jackson 49:07
Oh. That's a great question. For Pause On The Play that business, it's definitely the Pause On The Play Podcast. And I would say for Flaunt Your Fire, it's referrals.
Emma Peacock 49:20
Nice. What is your favorite place on the internet right now?
India Jackson 49:26
Pause On The Play the community. But if I were to pick something that is not something I own. I've really enjoyed the Being Boss community as well as What Works. Those are two communities. very focused on like, figuring out what works in your business for What Works. And I definitely learned from what doesn't work. So being able to share mistakes and things we've learned has helped me to kind of tidy up my systems and backend structure my business and the Being Boss community is just such a great community that goes into, Of course, like laying out your business structure and being the leader of your business. But I've also really enjoyed the pieces of that, that dive into the woo stuff that I've started to go into like crystals. I mean, I have like so many crystals from Emily, who owns its company Almanac Supply Co. And they just give you such great energy to have around you when you're on calls and with clients and for me helps calm my nervous system when I'm going to be visible.
Emma Peacock 50:26
Nice. What are you looking forward to the most in the next year of business?
India Jackson 50:34
Oh. I am looking forward to really taking our community up to the next level, our community Pause On The Play. We've invited some amazing members and and we've had some great speakers along the way. And we've been in a season of building out our resources database, which is like all of our prior live events, recordings, and trainings. And we have some really cool things happening in there to support people with really being able to integrate a giveback strategy as a part of their business, integrate their values into their business and also be more of themselves publicly.
Emma Peacock 51:14
Yeah. What about in the offline world?
India Jackson 51:22
I'm in a really happy place in my life right now. So I'm looking forward to traveling more and spending more time with the people I love. I've had a season of really curating what my family looks like. And I'm so thankful and grateful to have such incredible people around me, especially given the the roller coaster of a couple of years that America has had. And so just being able to get more quality time with them has meant a lot to me.
Emma Peacock 51:52
Awesome. So if someone is listening to this episode, and they want to grow their own online presence, what is the one thing you recommend they do next?
India Jackson 52:02
Oh. I'm going to say to take a few minutes. And really lay out what are some things that matter to you and are important to you? If you're not quite sure, I mean, it's a great place to start is, if you have whether you have a job and like a career, where you own a business, ask yourself what's not working in your industry or your workplace? It's a great place to start, and what would you like to change about that? another great place to start is to ask yourself, what do you see happening in your community that you would like to support more of happening? And what would you like to see less of? And then ask yourself as you come up with those answers to those questions, why? And then why again, and then why again, and each why will kind of help you land on a new value that's important to you. And then from there, ask yourself for each one of these values. What will I do? And what won't I do to continue to live with an integrity of this. So if you value the environment, maybe you make the decision that from now on, you will no longer except the straw when you order food, you know, and so you're not using this plastic straw that gets stuck in animals bodies, it's kind of gross. But what you will do is you'll bring your own reusable straw, small little things like that, that we don't think about are sometimes can feel like they don't matter. You know that when we do them over and over and over again, throughout our life add up to big changes in the world. And allow us to also share with other people some small things that they can do to help further the changes that you want to see happening too.
Emma Peacock 53:53
That's amazing. I love that we start with a big question. And we end with the real big question. Great, amazing.
India Jackson 54:02
So I know you're interviewing me, but I am curious. I want to ask you what are you looking forward to the most in the offline world?
Emma Peacock 54:12
In the offline world I'm looking forward to traveling which is a very fun thing to say right now because as we record this New Zealand is back in lockdown. But, But even just locally within New Zealand and I really don't really see me potentially being able to go back overseas for the next year but just going and adventuring in my own, like actual backyard is what I'm looking forward to the most.
India Jackson 54:43
I love hearing that because I always find that the place that you live has so many like hidden little gems that because we live there, we don't take the time to like go find what they are, or we know what they are, but we just haven't given ourselves permission to make the time to enjoy them. So I'm so excited to hear that you're going to do that. And I'm not going to let you escape without saying what you're looking forward to most next in your business.
Emma Peacock 55:07
I'm really looking forward to this podcast and how it's going to change, I mean it essentially going to change how I do content. But also just I'm so enjoying the conversations I'm having with people and like the conversations that will spark as a result of people listening to it. That's what I'm really looking forward to.
India Jackson 55:29
It's my favorite part is knowing that the conversations keep going after the episode.
Emma Peacock 55:41
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Digital Hive Podcast. I'm your host Emma Peacock, and today our guest was India Jackson of Flaunt Your Fire and Pause On The Play. If you're a native brand visibility, you can find out more at flauntyourfire.com. You can also find the Pause On The Play podcast and community at pauseontheplay.com If you're enjoying the podcast, I'd love it if you could share it with a friend or on Instagram and tag us at Honey Pot Digital. To find out more about Honey Pot Digital and the work we do or to find more episodes of the podcast in handy tips for small businesses marketing online head to honeypotdigital.com