Becoming An Influencer Power Player For Good With Tracy Hazzard Biz4Good Show With Bobby Glen James & Ryan Pilkington
Being a true influencer is all about impact and doing something bigger and better for the world. However, many influencers only care about making money, even if it’s through unscrupulous ways where their products or content aren’t any good. Inc. columnist and the co-host of three top-ranked podcasts, Tracy Hazzard, joins Bobby Glen James and Ryan Pilkington on the show to talk about how to become an influencer power player who creates impact and ripples with whatever they’re doing. Tracy is a branding expert who helps Amazon sellers and inventors by launching original products for eCommerce sellers that out-design, out-source, and out-profit their retail competition, using the right things in the right order with the right resources.
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We’re on episode 103, Becoming an Influencer Power Player for Good with Tracy Hazzard.
Welcome to the show, Tracy.
Thanks for having me.
She sat with us nice and patiently while we have all of these technical problems and she’s super fun.
We hit one episode over 100. We’ve got to relearn our technical stuff.
That’s the whole thing of business. The whole thing of everything that you do, you’ve always got to keep moving forward, doing something more. You get problems. You have things that happen and that’s what helps you grow. People are afraid to move forward because they’re afraid stuff will go wrong, but that’s what pushes us to do more. That’s the difference between people that sit on the couch and people that are successful.
That’s why we reached out to you because you are a doer.
I believe that the true secret to success is one word with two letters, “Do.” If you want to get somewhere in life, do something. You agree with that, Tracy?
I believe in doers.
Action is the key. We talked to many highly successful people and it always comes down to, they work. It takes work.
I talk about this all the time that I see great ideas, great passionate plans, products that are cool, but 99% of them won’t do it.
They had no implementation or they don’t stick with it long enough. Those are the highly successful people are the ones that everybody said, “That’s stupid. It will never work,” and they didn’t quit. Elon Musk comes to mind. An electric car, “What in the crap are you thinking?” Tell us about the show, Ryan. We are getting off track done.At the end of the day, branding is what people think of you. #Biz4GoodShow #BobbyGlenJames #RyanPilkington #PodcastInterview Click To Tweet
We’ve got Tracy Hazzard. She is an Inc. columnist and a cohost of the three top-ranked podcasts Feed Your Brand, listed as one of the CIOs top 26 entrepreneur podcast to listen to in 2018, the launched members-only Product Launch Hazzards, WTFFF?! and the 3D Print Innovation Start Point featured as one of the exclusive live podcasts at the SXSW in 2018 with a constant stream of content and products from her authority platform reaching over 100,000 listeners and viewers each month. Tracy influences cast branded content and $2 billion worth of consumer products and innovation around the world.
This is the real deal ladies and gentlemen, Tracy Hazzard. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show. Two fun, adventurous entrepreneurs sharing the experiences of the real secret to success in business, doing all things with a be good, do good mindset. There is so much bad noise in the world. Let’s fight against the noise by flooding the world with the good, get us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Subscribe on iTunes and all those other great places. This is not just a show, it is a movement. We are here for the good.
Definitely go on Instagram and share your good stories using the #GoodAgainstTheNoise. There’s this thing that we love to talk about.
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Be sure to click on the affiliate link if you want to become an affiliate. What I like about it is you didn’t just click and create and drag. You don’t have to do any coding.
What you see is what you get. If you can use Word, you can create a website. Something new that we are going to do on the show is we want to start giving action items for people that we have done and learned. Ryan, being the guru graphic man that he is. I tell everybody I meet, “Ryan is a graphical genius, but he understands branding.” You understand how to look at a company. When you do graphic stuff for companies, you sit down with them and you find out their core and what they are, and then you create this brand for them. I’ve seen it over and over again. I know we’ve got graphic stuff all over the studio and it’s all Ryan. You understand how to pull out this brand of a company that there are not many people that have companies that can do that. We’re going to start highlighting that and talking to Ryan about Branding for Good. What have you got for us about Branding for Good?
Branding For good is a segment and I’m glad that we have guests here because she can bounce off of this better as well as with me. It’s called Two Sides to Every Brand. We’ve got the business and the personal side of branding. I wanted to talk specifically about the perception versus reality. You get your website up and you think it’s looking awesome and you’re like, “This is what my company is.” When they call you and then you’re interacting with customers, is it even relating to what’s on your website or on your branding material? Consistency and perception. I would say take some time and do some art brand archetyping and understanding your brand personalities so it relates to what your brand is and what your target audience is.
Make sure your company is that. I used to love it. We’d go to networking meetings. I’m sure Tracy’s probably had this too. You go to a networking meeting and this person is like, “I’m a marketing expert.” They give you like a cutout business card that has fringes on it that they probably made on their printer. It’s like, “I’m sorry.” It’s a Gmail account, email, and whether you like it or not, you are your brand.
I’ll go to a lot of networking meetings and I get their business cards and it’s sad because they missed an opportunity to look. They give me a piece of paper that they got off of their printer and I’m like, “You missed the boat.”
What do you think, Tracy?
I am a big proponent of what I call hypothesis brands at the very beginning. When you aren’t sure who you are or how people are going to perceive you because, at the end of the day, branding is what people think of you. That’s your brand. It is not what you put out in the world. It is how it’s perceived, how it’s received. At the end of the day, if it’s being received badly, then you’ve done something wrong. Having something where you get started to have that dialogue, because a lot of people get stuck when they’re first beginning and they don’t put themselves out there because they’re afraid of, “If I print this, I’ve got to print up a thousand and it’s expensive.” They get caught up in that and I’m a big fan of putting a stake in the ground.
You’re getting out there with what you truly believe you are and where the most unique value lies. From there, letting it go to have a dialogue back and forth, start to find out what people think of you. Our brand has shifted multiple times over time because the more we converse with our customers, the more we realized, we were not what we thought we were. That’s okay. Go ahead and shift, go ahead and move, go ahead and make it what people are seeing and then live by that. Be that.A true influencer is all about impact and doing something bigger and better for the world. #Biz4GoodShow #BobbyGlenJames #RyanPilkington #PodcastInterview Click To Tweet
That is the key. Live by that. I love what you said, business and personal because your personal life is still your brand. If it doesn’t connect with your business, people are going to know that. In this day and age, they are together whether we like it or not.
We can’t divorce that because we’re all out there. We’re all doing our livestreams and we’re out there and talking about it. At the end of the day, your brand is you too and how you are received. If you’re received in a really valuable way, in a good way and open-minded way, then it makes a difference.
Let’s get to know Tracy. You’ve got any juicy stuff for us so we can go? That thing that’s in her head that she goes, “I’m not sure.” I want to say that’s the one we want, that one right there.
I’ll tell you what fascinates people the most. I work with my husband for many years. He is my partner and that fascinates people. They cannot believe that we’ve worked together on and off. Not solidly had a business together for many years, but we solidly had this business together for almost ten. This formation of our business, we’ve had for almost ten together, and people can understand how we can do that. It blows their mind. Not just that, we added our 23-year-old daughter to our business and she killed it. She accelerated us a year beyond what we expected to be able to do. Now, we have a real family business.
Do you have a 23-year-old daughter?
That’s the other thing that blows most people’s minds. I also have 9 and 4-year-old with the same husband.
I’m proud of making it 23 years and my wife won’t have anything to do with work that I do.
That’s the way it is for a lot of people.
Would you say that you’re your best friends?
We started out as best friends before we started dating. Both of us went to Rhode Island School of Design together. We met in that environment. We truly found our skills compatible and we used to do projects together and critique each other’s work. We found we were better together. This is something that’s amazing when you experience it. If you can get that and it doesn’t matter if you’re married or not, but if you can get a partner and where your mindshare becomes bigger than you, that’s amazing and it’s great. Most people are like, “How do you have time off? How do you get a date night?”
That’s something we learned early on. We never shut off the creative process or talking about business. We don’t have like, “You can’t talk about it after 5:00.” Our daughters get a little upset at us sometimes, but because our minds are working in the creative process and the way that we work, that doesn’t shut off in our own heads. We’ve learned to say, “It’s okay. Go for it and mention it to me.” If I’m like, “No, I can’t handle one more thing today. I’m on overload,” then we’ll stop talking about it and put it off until a better time. For the most part, we don’t create that hard and fast line and it’s made our whole work and home life a lot easier for us.
That’s what people talk about, “Don’t bring your work home,” but it’s a part of you. That’s going against the grain, but a good thing. It’s cool that you found a partner that can be with you all the time. That’s the way I feel about my wife. We don’t ever get tired of each other or I don’t ever need man breaks and I know a lot of people that do. I like being with my wife.The influencers that do the best are the ones that are the most authentic. #Biz4GoodShow #BobbyGlenJames #RyanPilkington #PodcastInterview Click To Tweet
We don’t have the same job. We still talk about like, “Who’d you talk to? What’d you do?” Our jobs are not the same job. It still is that way for us and we still have those conversations.
I worked with my wife in a call center and everyone asked, “What the heck? You guys go on the same shift every day and see each other every day?” We don’t have a problem. We were best friends first.
It’s good to hear that we still have people that stay married because if you watch the news, you would think nobody ever stays married.
The other thing is that when you’re building something that’s passion-based or a business that is big, you’re enveloped in that world. You’re immersed in it and it’s hard to make family time then and come out of that and have a relationship. That’s why so many people who build big businesses end up without the relationships at the end of the day. We are on the same path. We’re building the same business together. We have the same heartfelt goals. We want to make the world better. We have that and our mindshare and timeshare is the same. That alignment makes a difference.
That reminds me, we had the CEO of Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter on. If you’ve never had Crazy Richard’s, it’s a national brand. It’s all 100% natural peanut butter. She was amazing. She bought the company from her dad. She grew up running around in the warehouse that you can’t do now because of all these restrictions and then she hires her husband and he’s allergic to peanuts, which is cool. It’s the same thing. It seems like people that are focused on this being good at doing good stuff, relationships matter and they’re important. Even those close relationships like spouses and it’s cool to see that that’s still a thing.
We have asked Tracy and she has accepted the Google challenge. Tracy has decided to take on Google and it is going to be brutal. Ladies and gentlemen, Ryan is going to be putting in the question to Google. The question is becoming an influencer power player for good. We’re going to go to page three and we are going to find out what Google has to say about this. We’ll see what Tracy and Google has to say. What is impact and influence? Impact and influence as a competency is the ability to persuade or convince others to support an idea, agenda or direction. Sometimes we refer to it as a strategic influence. It involves taking a variety of actions to influence others, including establishing credibility or using data to persuade or address a person’s issues or concerns directly. What do you think, Tracy?
That sounds a little manipulative. It sounds like the digital marketer’s definition of an influencer. It sounds like the ones who are using Google Trends and using Google to figure out how to make their stuff rank and how to get above everybody else. To me, that’s not a true influencer. Those influencers do make money. They make money in an unscrupulous way, where at the end of the day, the products aren’t any good and they’re hawking stuff. It’s about money and it’s not about impact, which was the first word that they said there.
I always think that impact means that you want to do something bigger and better for the world. You want to have an impact and ripples that go throughout. If you’re going to do that, then it has to be authentic at the end of the day. While you can use those tools and you should use those tools because that’s what you’re competing against. At the end of the day, it’s got to be authentic to you and that’s what a true influencer is. We have tons of influencers on our podcast platform that we utilize. When I look at the ones that do the best, they’re the ones that are the most authentic. They’re the ones that are the most them every single day in and out and they’re not the ones that are doing the tools.
We say, “The only true way to get above the noise is to be yourself because it’s the only thing you have that is a real differentiator.” Everybody else knows about all those tools. The only way you can become above that is to be who you are and the people that will connect with that will connect with that. I love it. That is cool that this came up and that you were able to take that on because often, we get people that agree with Google, but I think you’re right on the money. This brings us into another piece of being good is being real and authentic to the people that you connect with and sincere. In this day and age, we know when somebody is full of crap. While I was reading it, I felt it. While you heard it, you felt it, we all were like, “This is so right on the money with what everybody tells you, you should do and it has no soul. It has no good energy.”
It does have some other things on there, but we’ll move on.
It does have some other things, but we might taint all the cool stuff we came up with if they start going on a gun.
What’s your movement? What’s going on with Tracy?
I have two businesses that I run. One is a product-based business and one is a content-based business. The reality is to sell great products, the best peanut butter, the best juicer blender out on the market. In order to do that, you have to have great content. A lot of people do these influencer campaigns where they go find a celebrity, they get Kim Kardashian or whoever to hawk their stuff. It’s expensive. It’s not as useful because they’re going to move on to the next thing and it doesn’t last. How can you become the influencer? How can you become a part of the movement?
If you are making the most amazing juicer blender and you are passionate about juicing as the absolute, most healthy way to go through your life, then you should be the one talking about that. You should be the one who builds that influence and that community around it. That’s what we fell into. I’d been designing products where mass market for many years. Things that you buy at Costco, Walmart and Target every single day. I ghost designed for Martha Stewart and people like that.
You bought my products, but the reality is that when I went to go work with smaller companies and smaller brands who didn’t get on that mass-market level, they didn’t have the capacity to advertise, to get the positioning, to do all of those things at the get-go. They had to build that. The only way to do that was to go from the beginning and build this influencer style campaign because otherwise, they would get a bunch of products and it would be sitting in the garage. They’d have 10,000 units of something and that you spend too much money making product and that’s risky when you don’t know if people will buy it yet. There was no way for them to test it.
I went to Walmart during that crazy Black Friday night. I saw a lot of people getting the quick pot. Is there any influencing going on because it seems like mom bloggers are going crazy on this quick pot thing?
There’s so much of this that is such push marketing and it’s to get people into the store. Here I am, I’m an insider into what goes on the retail and I wouldn’t step a foot or buy a Black Friday sale ever because a lot of the product is loss leader. These are things that they bring in. They don’t make any money on it. It’s defeatured. It’s not the top value product that you want and their goal is to get you in the door so you’ll buy a bunch of other things and then they’ll make back their money. That’s how you hit the black on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and they’re all the same things. It’s a pay per play model. Only the people that can pay, can advertise, who agree to be a part of the sales and discount more so Amazon makes more. That’s the people who are doing that. Are those products any good? Most of the people who have amazing good products can’t afford to do that.
You’re missing out on great messaging, great mission-driven products, great inventors behind them or founders behind them like the peanut butter. You’re missing out on that if you were going straight into what is manipulative marketing. At the end of the day, it’s driving you in to do more and buy more. It’s about consumerism and it’s not about what’s best, what’s the best gift going out there and what’s best for your family. That being said, if there happens to be a toy that your kid absolutely wants and it happens to be on sale, you should get the discount. Go for it because it will be gone.
Take us through what it looks like for maybe a potential client of yours because I think you’re striking it right on the head? Most of our readers are small business owners and solopreneurs. What do you do for people like that to get them to even compete in any kind of a way? Could you give us a little bit of insight?
What I want them to do is to start first without product. When I define product, it could be a coaching package, a course or a book. I want you to start first on what we call the platform for your social good business. I want you to start on that platform building first because if you don’t have the right audience, you don’t have the right type of people to talk to and you don’t know if they will plunk down money at the end of the day for what you might have to sell in the future, then you’re not testing it. You’re testing it with friends and family who love you and they’re either going to be yes men or no men. They’re the ones who say, “Yes. Everything you do is amazing. You guys are the bomb.” Then, you might have your dad who goes back and goes, “No. You shouldn’t do this. Go and get a job.” Those are the ones where no matter what it is, it’s yes or no, but it’s coming from a place of love for you and protecting you. It has nothing to do with the idea or the social good mission that you have.
As much as we love those people, the insight we probably need from outside and getting out.
If you’ve got a consumer product, you better know that women want it. At the end of the day, you better find a way to access women, because women control 86% of the purchases that are made at retail and they either buy or influence the decision. That’s across every product category. It’s even higher on things like travel and services too. It’s a crazy number. If you don’t have a community of women. This is why I’m not a Kickstarter fan because Kickstarter is 70% Millennial male with no money.
We need to come up with a female Kickstarter.
There are some, but they don’t work as well either. That’s what Amazon is. If you can find a way to test your idea by building this community and getting the right people. This is where I go back to what I said at the beginning, which was a hypothesis because you don’t necessarily want to spend a ton of money developing your brand. You don’t want to develop a whole gigantic over complicated website. You don’t want to build it yet. You want to have something simple where you can start to have a conversation and then the next step is to have some conversion, to have some, “Can I sell them something that they buy so I know that they care about my mission and they will buy something because of it?” You want it to be something relevant. Obviously, you don’t want to go for that, but it may not be that final invention, that final course or the final thing. It may be something small. Maybe it’s a book or a small one-day bootcamp. That’s why we started 3D Printing because we do a lot of small run test products before we make 10,000-piece runs.
This connects us with our big question of the day, which we ask everybody that comes on the show. What does biz for good mean to you? What does being good and doing good in business mean to you?
What I found is that I’m a conduit for great ideas. When you tell me your mission and your ideas or you give me your product, I look at it and I go, “There’s a path for this or this is a dead end.” It’s something I have. It’s a gift. I truly see it as that. It’s my intuition-based. When I look at that, I go, “What can I do most?” I can get people to figure out what those actions are that they can take. I can get their path for them to get it to market fastest, to get their message out there, to get their voice out there. I can build that for them or I can show them how to guide along that in the fastest way possible. It’s a speed to market issue.
You don’t have to be first out there, but you have to be fast. How can you get out there and what are those stages along the way where you’re spending as little money as possible, but you’re constantly scaling up that test? “They want this. Now, I can do the next thing. Now, I can add the next thing. Now, I’m ready to make this product. Now, I’m ready to put a shop on my website. Now, I’m ready to do these things. Now, I’m ready to take advertisers on my podcast.” Whatever it might be, “How can I build it in a way that it grows my movement?” My biz for good is that I can grow other people’s businesses. I can give them those tools, path, the fastest way to make that happen for them, because the more people they help, the more impact.
You have a little bit of a passion behind it. It feels like maybe you enjoy assisting other people. It’s off the hip.
We were talking about doers before. I know how to do stuff. I’m a how-to girl. I’ve got it covered. Many people don’t understand that and they get overwhelmed by that. “What do I do? How do I do it?” To me, that is simple. When I can bring that and plug it all in for someone and say, “This is the easiest, fastest way to do it and if I can make it as cheap as possible for you too, I will do that.” That’s my ultimate goal.
That’s hourly focused. You’re not taking a gift that you have and then using it, you’re using it for good and not abusing it.
Money flows when you do that. When you find that connection of your things that can assist people. There are many people out there with business models that when it comes down to it, it doesn’t assist that many people, but when you have something, the money really will flow. Our big mantra is that it’s not about the money, but the money comes when it’s not about the money.
We don’t measure our revenue, we measure our referrals. We reward that way too. I have two businesses. I have the product business, but I have a podcast platform where we grow podcasters. On that podcast platform, if someone refers someone to us, we give them five free episodes. We reward them with production for their show. I have some who’ve never paid for production. Rather than write a $500 check, I give them five episodes. They love that more. We never paid for advertising for our business of the formation of it because it all comes from referrals and we’ve been scaling up on a consistent basis.
Thank you for being on the show, Tracy. You’re a powerhouse. We can tell that being around you, that you’re a powerhouse. Not only the fact that your bio says all of the amazing stuff that you’ve done, but for the hour that we’ve been around you, what an amazing person that epitomizes what being good and doing good is and lives it. The key is to live being that way and it is power. How can people get ahold of you, connect with you and find you?
The businesses are HazzDesign.com. If you want to check it out, check out the podcast, Product Launch Hazzards, if you’re an inventor. The other one is FeedYourBrand.co. If you’re truly on the service side and the podcaster side, Feed Your Brand is for you.
This has been amazing. Tracy is a powerhouse. We want to leave people wanting more. Tracy, thank you.
Thank you both.
Thanks, Tracy for being on the show. I’ve learned so much from you and we hope to have you back on the show soon. We always leave the show with the #BeGoodDoGood.