This is the transcript for Episode 016 | Personality Marketing: How Authentic should you be? with Queer Creative. In it, we discuss on how important it is to be authentic in your creative business. Visit this post for show notes.
Jack: Welcome back everybody to another episode of Get To Art. Once again I’m your host Jack Roach, the world’s funniest indie author, and I’m joined by my lovely co-host and first wife.
Jennifer: And current wife.
Jack: For now.
Jennifer: For now, yes. I’m Jennifer Roach and I’m Atlanta wedding photographer.
Jennifer: Atlanta wedding photographer.
Jack: I got you trained and then you back off on it.
Jennifer: I know. It’s just not as funny when I do it.
Jack: Now we are once again alone in at the Atlanta studio but from across the magic of the Internet we do have some guest. So why don’t you guys introduce yourselves?
Renessa: Hi, I’m Renessa Ciampa.
Jonah: And I’m Jonah Kilday, and we’re the Queer Creative Podcast, usually Queer Creatives.
Jack: And we thought that this week we would have them on to talk about expressing your personality and identity in your creative entrepreneur. What do we call Jennifer?
Jennifer: Like in your marketing, you’re marketing yourself, your personal brand.
Jack: Now this is only a half hour show. I want to get straight to the important point and this is really what, not only this episode, but the whole podcast is all about. Are you guys drinking enough water?
Jonah: Yes, for real.
Renessa: Yes, especially this weekend.
Jack: It’s been hot.
Jack: What’s the temperature been running up there?
Jonah: It reached to hundred today.
Jack: I don’t care for it. It’s global Warming stuff. Thank you, Obama.
Jennifer: Yeah, I know right.
Jack: So Jennifer…
Jack: I going to start with you because I know you’re the best.
Jack: I know that your website when you go to it and say hey book a wedding, you start off not by saying, “I’m a great photographer and I take all these pictures and whatnot.” You say, “I like Friends and I like Disney princesses.
Jennifer: Yeah, pretty much and that change to that has worked really well for me and I think it’s really important to use your personality to distinguish yourself from the masses of other people around you that are also waving their hands saying, “Hey, I’m a wedding photographer too.” And I think that people want to connect with someone on a more personal level and feel like that they know them and so instead of using my website to tell people about you know how great of a photographer I am or blah blah blah that we could find some common ground to connect with. And so now all of my inquires that I get also mentioned how much they love Friends or how much they also love Disney and then that gives us something, you know, a common ground to start from, to start talking about.
Jack: We’ll call that middle ground.
Jack: Where no personality in, you know, middle aged white straight guy. I got nothing to say. I wrote some books. If you’ve got some free time why don’t you read them. I understand if you don’t, so that’s on my end. You’re the middle ground. But you two on the other hand are way off on the other side for me. When did you guys start expressing your identity through your work?
Jonah: Well, I think we’re actually on both. I have an interior design studio.
Jack: So you would say for that your initial contact is more business like straightforward.
Jack: I don’t know much about interior design but do you work directly with the client in that process?
Jonah: Oh yes. [unclear – 3:44] so I leave a lot of my personality out of the interior design…
Renessa: You could scare some people away.
Jonah: I could scare some people away, yeah. I can be brainy. I can be high [unclear — 3:56] I guess. My sense of humour is pretty dark as well.
Jack: Something that Jennifer and I discussed on the previous episode is she came back from this expensive ass conference.
Jack: And told me that you can be as repulsive as you want to be.
Jennifer: I didn’t say repulsive.
Jack: You did say repulsive. I can go back to the tapes.
Jennifer: I said repel. It is different. Yeah, we talked about the idea of how you can use your personality and your identity not just to attract potential clients who would identify with you and have common ground with you but also you can use that to repel people away who might not be an ideal client for you.
Renessa: Absolutely, that is so absolutely true. Yeah.
Jennifer: When I was first starting out the idea of repelling anyone was awful to me. I don’t want to repel anyone because I want the money.
Jonah: Yeah, same here.
Jennifer: So I wasn’t going to turn down any business at all.
Jack: Now she is any sense of mega hat or confederatism.
Renessa: Yeah, yeah, that’s great. I think it is right with experience you start to realize whether it is like your niche client or just the type of person that you generally do or don’t want to work with. Yeah, being able to market yourself either toward that niche or anyway that the people that won’t be the right fit for you. Turn away.
Jonah: Yeah, I’ve been. I’ve had awful times and I was that, I’ve lost money on. It’s been just all around.
Jennifer: Oh yeah, I think everybody ends up with like the… especially when you’re first starting out and you don’t know that what the red flags are.
Jonah: Right, exactly.
Jennifer: So then they start making this insane request, then bothering you all the time and you don’t see it.
Jonah: And the time comes and you sort of let things go and then you know they pick up on that and then they abuse your kindness, and it’s endless really.
Jennifer: Oh yeah.
Jack: Really starting to sound a lot like my sex life. Especially this losing money but…
Jennifer: Yeah, oh yeah, talk about that.
Jack: So Jennifer.
Jack: Why don’t you lead this a little bit because I know when you first started you are the budget photographer.
Jennifer: I was. I was the budget photographer.
Jack: And now you are the ‘if you don’t like Friends in the office piss off’ photographer.
Renessa: And if you don’t like my price is piss off, right?
Jennifer: Yeah, pretty much, like when I first started out my prices were low and I kind of advertise. I use it as a marketing technique and this was a bad decision.
Jonah: Yeah, I heard that.
Jennifer: Yeah, with the budget, like the lower budget for some reason it comes with like higher expectations and I’m not sure what that is. But those were not the most pleasant clients that I had and as I got better and I was in a business longer and started raising my prices more to where I got to the point where I realize that it’s okay to say no to someone if they want me to photograph their wedding and I don’t feel like it would be a good fit.
Jonah: Yeah. You have to know your worth.
Renessa: That comes with experience for sure.
Jennifer: Oh yeah definitely does. And I wish that would be one major lesson that I would want to impart to anyone who was just beginning on their creative journey is you know spare yourself to the pain and torture of that and just go ahead and skip over for that stage.
Jonah: Yeah. I mean sometimes like I remember a couple of clients that I didn’t knew that it was going to be bad mistake. I was just starting out and I was like I have to do it, like just to me I also needed to get down here and it ended up being an awful experience where I ended up losing money. And then it was a lesson learned but that also helped me to cope better with clients moving forward. So it was a lesson that I had to go through to get where I’m at now I think.
Jennifer: Yeah definitely.
Renessa: For me it’s this money conversation also tie to the personality topic because if you are sort of in meeting someone who was like a service provider but wants to help people, right, so like I wanted to work with non-profit organizations who are doing really cool things and mission driven and they always have the minds. The ones that I’m working with now or responded and they have the money to spend on marketing. But when I was just starting out and I need money to get the experience, I would discount myself because I wanted to help them. That was not sustainable so I had to start thinking in myself first and seeking out those clients that both have their right budget and who are great to work with.
Jennifer: Yeah, you got to find that magic formula.
Jack: You got to pay the rent and good will.
Jennifer: I think that that’s where I was coming from a place like that when I was starting out as the budget photographer because I’ve felt like you know everyone deserves beautiful wedding photos, just the people. I felt like it was like my mission to go against the $5,000 and $6,000 wedding photographers. Like, oh you… $5,000 and $6,000 well that’s you’re still worthy. Your wedding is still beautifully so deserve good pictures.
Jonah: Yeah, not all people. People are garbage.
Jennifer: Oh okay although I got you for? Oh gosh, like $800 or something and then they were you know knit picky, or like asking for partial refunds like no like this is not what I signed up for.
Jennifer: Coming from a place of wanting to be helpful and then.
Jennifer: Yeah. I think any small business owner really goes through the same thing. I think it is a necessary sort of stepping tool to get you where you need to go. It’s a hard lesson to learn, right. I think it’s something necessary to go through and experience on your path.
Jack: These guys feel like you can couple both increasing your rates and narrowing your potential audience by saying, “Hey, I’m a person who likes xyz and I do you know this, this, and this, my personal life.” If you don’t fit that profile, I’m not going to take you on as a client.
Renessa: You know, I think like we all sort of have these maybe it’s not explicitly written like checklist of considerations when you’re talking to like a potential client and there are you kind of go through it in your head and if some of them… If the good sort of outweighs the bad and really want to work on this project of course is a big reason then you’ll take it on. But, yeah, I think like the personality definitely plays into that sort of checklist.
Jonah: Yeah, I recently took a client that I was like this isn’t going to be a huge potential thing for me but I really wanted to work with the client because I admired what she gave her within and I felt so I could learn something from that. I don’t want to reveal their name but I’ve had experiences like that too.
Jennifer: Going back to the idea of using your personality and your identity to attract and repel. Do you think that there has been a time where you feel like you have repelled away or you wished that you had repelled away someone who wasn’t a good fit for you?
Jonah: I do really high ends, mostly high end residential, and it’s in New York too so I feel like I reign in my personality a lot. I’m usually working with big personalities, so it’s a lot of me just sort of navigating their personality to be honest. I bet for you it’s a different thing.
Renessa: Yeah, for me it is more like a process that I use and so you might be thinking like that my creative process like that serve separate from my personality as a person. I actually think it’s like the sort of process that I’ve arrive at it because of like my experience as a person and my personality so I definitely feel like I’ve successfully repelled potential clients that with my process because they are the type of clients that want something done very quickly. Say like a website and I sort of just think of it as this product that you just whip up and my work is like really strategic and so I think I started to repel like those smaller individual clients where I used to want to help or even more maybe like traditional corporations who are just sort of like machines and that’s kind of people that they want to work with and that’s not who I am or how we work else so yeah.
Jack: Alright, so we’ve been talking about your day jobs.
Jack: But at some point you guys decided well let’s do a podcast and at some point in this podcast we’re going to tell a story about how the hot speaker guy came over and saw my back door…
Renessa: That’s so no story. Jonah just look to me like what he is talking about?
Jonah: Yeah, yeah. I mean people get a glimpse of our personal lives for the first 15 minutes in show, roughly 15 minutes it can be longer for some episodes. It’s just a good way for people to sort of get to know the host, as you know to get to know the host because we do ask very personal questions of these creatives that we interview. So yeah, I tend to don’t hold much back during those intros.
Renessa: But that is your personality 100% so yeah.
Jonah: And I don’t embarrass.
Renessa: So yeah, it’s been a really, really fun in a different way from our “daily jobs”.
Jonah: It has actually help me with enjoy my day job for because I feel like I have an outlet now that is completely separate from my financial company but, you know, so for me it takes some stress out, I feel.
Renessa: Yeah, and I almost wonder if we’re talking about like, oh eventually getting sponsors and you’re getting compensated on the podcast or we just started doing it for fun because we wanted to talk to other people like us. But I almost wonder if once if we did if it is going to become stressful because it can be a job.
Jack: Just call adamandeve.com, they’ll be okay.
Jonah: Yeah, they would be great for our show.
Jennifer: Yeah, we’re still in that little timeframe too we’re we’ve been doing this for I think this is like fifteen or sixteen episodes and starting to look at like what Season 2 will be like and what we want to do in the future. Do we want to try to go that way and would it be harder because you know right now we don’t have anybody to answer to. We just do it for fun.
Jack: And both of our listeners seem to be pretty okay with that.
Jennifer: I think we’re up to three now, so.
Jack: Oh. Did your mom subscribed?
Jennifer: Yeah, we’re moving up in the world.
Renessa: But I even think my own mom. I know my father was but… My mother barely knows how to like use her iPhone.
Jonah: My boyfriend listens to me all day long. The last thing he wants to do is listen to my podcast.
Jennifer: Listen, do you talk more?
Jonah: Yes. We’re wrapping up Season 1 now and then talking August to regroup and Season 2 will begin airing in September.
Renessa: How long are you guys taking off in between seasons?
Jack: We’re probably only looking about a month I think.
Renessa: Yeah, okay really.
Jonah: And then how many episodes are you doing a season?
Jennifer: Is it twenty? I think we said twenty.
Jack: Ten to fifteen I think.
Jennifer: I thought you said twenty at one point.
Jack: We have a list of topics under a general theme of making money and somewhere we have Google Doc list of potential ideas and narrow that down or widen and see what we tackle.
Renessa: It’s great.
Jack: Our themes tend to be pretty planned. Not necessarily scripted but we have the main point outlined.
Jonah: You’re lucky. You don’t have to work with… You’re a writer?
Jonah: Yes, so you don’t really have to work with clients. That’s great.
Jack: Nope but I don’t sell me either so.
Jennifer: I think that’s another interesting point of what we’re talking about identity and in your brand and everything but Jack you are hilarious and you are a humour writer. Like you talking about how you have like this like blunt person white guy personality but you don’t really bring any of this stuff on to your website or any of that kind of stuff.
Jack: But I do at work. That’s a friendly… This is probably the most buttoned up I am is when we record this podcast.
Jennifer: Yeah, which is weird because you’re not showing your personality out there.
Jack: I don’t want to put that e-tag on the podcast.
Jennifer: That’s true. You really do not want to put the explicit tag on here. He won’t let me curse.
Jonah: Oh, did I curse?
Jack: No, not yet. Maybe we should bite bullet, and so you know what we’re an adult podcast for adult people and we have an adult need.
Jonah: That’s awesome.
Jennifer: We have like 12-year old entrepreneurs listening to us.
Renessa: Right, right.
Jonah: Well, even if you did. Like I’ve had bubble pops up for a 12- year old that says. “Are you over 18”, they are going to say yes. So they got to be listening anyway.
Renessa: Little brat.
Jack: So, in our last episode the Hustler magazine got brought up a few times, right. I’ve made a link to it in the show notes but the link was disney.com. And Jenifer said, why are you putting that Hustler link to Disney? I said, oh you never told that a porn website you’re under 18. Did you?
Renessa: That’s so funny.
Jennifer: But really that’s what they do to the kids to being under 18.
Jonah: Yeah, I imagine iTunes pick you off or something like that.
Jack: You would say that expressing your personal personality.
Jennifer: A personal personality.
Jack: That’s a great way of phrasing it. Wasn’t it?
Jack: I get paid for that kind of thing you know.
Jennifer: As opposed to my multiple personality.
Jack: Alright, so you would say that expressing your personality in your marketing for your wedding photography business has been a boon for your career?
Jennifer: Oh yes, definitely, absolutely. And I think that you should maybe that’s a point for our next season is try to bring some of that personality.
Jack: I’m not really looking for notary here.
Jennifer: Okay. I’m giving them to you anyway so deal with it.
Jack: So what advice would you give to our listeners when they’re just learning how to market themselves?
Jennifer: Find that thing about you that you could put out there that people can say, oh me too. Like my buddy Jenna Kutcher of the Gold Digger Podcast. She’s the mac and cheese lover and so like people, that sounds they can…
Jack: That is the wildest shit I’ve heard all day.
Jennifer: Well, oh we’re putting the e-tag on. Yey!
Jack: You can have it on me because I was like mac and fucking cheese.
Jennifer: I guess we are really going to…
Jonah: You got to put that e-tag.
Jennifer: Yey! Does this mean the ban has been been lifted? Thank god.
Jonah: Officially. I’m so happy that I’m part of this.
Renessa: I know.
Jennifer: It’s like ground breaking episode. The first time that Get To Art went blue. Awesome.
Jack: You think that was cold and not calculated though. She was like, why people like mac and cheese, sure.
Jennifer: I don’t know if it was or not. That would be…
Jack: I’m like, mac and cheese, pretty sure.
Jennifer: I mean that’s an example. It’s just like something I knew someone else’s that they…
Jonah: No, people love mac and cheese today.
Jonah: It’s really important to be authentic and inject your personality and I think starting these days to show up.
Renessa: Yup, actually, especially if it’s like a personal brand.
Jonah: Like a wedding photographer.
Jonah: Especially… because that would be important.
Renessa: Really intimate and people want to watch your target audience and market to feel like they can relate to you somehow.
Jennifer: Yeah. I think that people are looking for people that they feel like that they can be friends with now. Like they feel like they get to know that person through their Instagram, their social media. Like we’re very personal generation now and like putting all of our information on the internet and putting picture that we take all the time putting up on Instagram. And so I think that people want to know you and feel like they know you and feel like oh well I’ve listened to their podcast and I’ve look to them on Instagram and I’ve watched their videos like I know this person.
Jennifer: Like we could be best friends.
Jonah: Do you used a lot of time on social media? Are you being social media people?
Jennifer: Well, he’s not.
Jack: No. I have so little time that I don’t.
Jonah: Even for your business?
Jack: I will post that occasional picture of a cat because… Maybe two or three Instagram post a week.
Renessa: Yeah, that’s something.
Jonah: I do it for business but I’m surround everyone I know is better I mean you have to be really I think.
Jack: I do have an assistant who post like, she’ll put quotes from the podcast and put stuff on there. But me personally I go on Instagram to look for the hot chicks.
Renessa: Hot chicks and cats.
Jack: Yeah. I don’t care about the cats but…
Jennifer: Well, he cares about our cat.
Jack: I know.
Renessa: Yeah, I hope so.
Jennifer: They post pictures of.
Jonah: Renessa just lost a cat.
Renessa: Yeah, I do lost the cat that I have for about twenty years.
Jennifer: Oh my gosh.
Renessa: Just only three months ago I think yeah.
Jonah: Like it’s off topic.
Jack: Just so I know how insensitive I’ve been. The cat past away or you took it to the store and it hid behind.
Jonah: She burned it and not it in an urn.
Renessa: Oh my goodness. Yeah, and I’m sure you may have heard it. I was talking about this on the podcast. Yeah, I have to clear the sympathy and live a long night. I haven’t got any kitten yet. I have another cat as well so.
Jonah: Yeah, Renessa is a cat lady.
Jack: You guys are real bummers.
Renessa: Yeah. Jonah brings it down every time.
Jack: You guys love social media because her pet died.
Renessa: He’s got a dark sense of humor.
Jonah: Yeah. Anyone who listens to the show it is a running joke.
Jennifer: Sometimes this goes weird places.
Jack: Again, sounds like my sex life.
Renessa: Yeah. But your question I just want to add about in your branding and your marketing and I think just thinking of like being younger and trying to always kind of like identify with some sort of food more like you know coming up with your own personal branding and looking for inspiration and like thinking about how you can separate and being inspired by another company or photographer and their branding and what they’re doing. There’s a difference between that and like straight up copying them and discovering your own personal branding invoice and image and marketing. Being yourself because there are other people, there are like potential clients out there relate to you if you are. And people can smell fakeness I think.
Jonah: Oh for sure, yeah.
Jennifer: Oh yeah, definitely. If you try to pretend that you are something that you are not then… I mean it’s going to be obvious. I’ve seen it a lot in people that have just clearly just made up something that they felt like people could identify with and put it up and that’s not, that’s not you. Just be you. Just find that one thing that you can put out there and say this is me and this is you know something that I like and you want to find the people who can say, hey me too.
Jennifer: And then they’ll start a conversation with you.
Jack: So I should put my website I like heavy metal and old video games.
Jennifer: Sure why not. I mean you could.
Jack: So before you wrap up guys. I would just like to hear you guys give your best advice for creative types. No pressure.
Jonah: Be fearless. I think be fearless and be honest with yourself and just keep moving. There’ll be ups and downs throughout the process of your career but if you stick to it even when it seems very, very low. I think pushing through these little moments really help you come out on the other side get better and stronger and more successful. Just do your best.
Renessa: Yes, all of that and then adding…
Jack: You guys get your own point. Come on now.
Renessa: Yeah, yeah. I’ll have to…
Jack: He worked really hard on that you can’t just say, yes me too.
Renessa: I’ll have to be authentic and be myself. So spend some time almost every single day on your craft and your work and you will see results. And I think on the other side of what Jonah was talking about is also knowing when you take a break and walk away and try to like force things to come. Go for a walk, or go to the beach and take a break and just let things sort of come to you so sort of two sides of the coin there.
Jack: Alright, well I think those are both two really good things to go out on. As we sign off, why don’t you tell everybody about your podcast?
Renessa: Yeah, The Queer Creative Podcast. We’ve been airing every Wednesday and we talk to all different types of creative professionals, creative businesses, actors, musicians, the whole gamut happen to be queer. And our website is the queercreative.com.
Jonah: Our Twitter is @creativequeer, and our Instagram is @thequeercreativepodcast.
Jack: And you guys should definitely give a listen. Like I said, Jennifer and I have been listening into a lot lately and it’s filled with very raw personal stories about the people behind the art, so.
Jonah: Thank you for listening.
Renessa: Thank you so much for having us. You’re so awesome.
Jonah: It’s awesome.
Jack: No, it’s been great. We wish you all the best of success and going on to Season 2. Hope it comes out strong.
Renessa: You too.
Jonah: Absolutely, thank you. Enjoy your dinner with your jelly…
Jennifer: Yes we will.
Jack: We’re probably going to get Chinese afterwards.
Jonah: Alright guys. Goodnight.
Jennifer: Goodnight. Goodbye.
Jack: Well, as they sign off Jenifer, why don’t you tell everybody where they can find us or at least you.
Jack: Yes, where we can they find you?
Jennifer: I’m on Instagram @jennifermariephotographyga, and my website is jennifermariephotographer.com.
Jack: And I’m on Google at Jack Roach author and try I don’t know funniest indie author maybe that make some head way.
Jennifer: You say your own Google with.
Jack: Yeah, just google it.
Jack: I can’t put in all the work for this people. And you can find both of us at gettoart.org and on Instagram @gettoartpodcast and then ‘till then make sure you to take time off your day to get to art. Thanks for listening.