Rock Your Brand founder Rachel Pintarelli believes the power of story and transparency of self are the true connectors in marketing. Her mission is to help small business owners be brave, and find their footing, delivering a message of who they are without apology: consistently, courageously and confidently. We spoke about how the events of the last seven months affected her decision to re-brand her business, as well as trends, and brand do’s and don’ts. You can hear the complete audio conversation with Rachel at www.embarkthepodcast.com.
LS: So, how did you come to ‘Hey, I think I’ll do branding?”
RP: With my years of experience in marketing, I became really passionate about how much brand and messaging work together. When it came time to launch my own freelance business, taking that passion for brand, and scaling it down in a way that was workable for solopreneurs small business owners, was my driving force. I had learned so much on this large scale. [I wanted] to take that and funnel it down in these bite sized pieces that’s approachable and easier for small business owners and solopreneurs.
LS: There’s a story behind your brand that I’d love you to share.
RP: So, Rock Your Brand. I have a very like a bohemian wanderlust side to me. I also have sort of a rock and roll edge. Initially my branding had a lot of rock and roll imagery and very edgy feel to it. And it was it was working. In March when everything stopped, the world kind of stopped. Business also stopped. I had to deal with the world as it was and set the business to one side for just a brief moment. So, I could catch my breath. When I was ready to reemerge late April, early May, I had to take a hard look at my branding [which] no longer a represented who I was. My brand revolved around imagery of rock concerts, and people singing into the microphones in large, huge crowds and this really carefree voice. And that wasn’t working anymore. And so, I had to step back, really examine myself and see how I could transform my brand.
LS: The imagery you have now is very different from what you had. How do you reconcile who you were, with who you are now? And what’s the common thread that goes through your brand?
RP: I think as people we transform and change. My husband and I enjoy going to see live music. We made a huge move from New England and traveled to live in Las Vegas. I went from a very different lifestyle and view of the world…moving to a desert where it is wide open sky and mountains. And if you look at the imagery of my branding, now, that is fully reflected. And that is the reflection of the introspection I had on myself and reconnecting and being brave in sharing that I was changing as a person and letting that change transform and become transparent in my brand. What you see visually from what it was to what it is now is really an accurate transparent representation of who I am as a person.
LS: What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about branding?
RP: If you see somebody that’s being super successful in their personal brand, and they do something similar to what you do that you should follow that same formula. are. The reason that person is having success is because they’re being true to who they are most likely, hopefully. And that is why they are getting response. Do not duplicate what you see. It starts with you and who you are. Obviously, there are some, major foundational things that you should you should be doing, you know, and that is, you know, making sure you’re consistent in your brand and having, some social media platform presents even if it’s just one there, like the basics that you would need to do have a mission statements, but the actual voice of who that person is in branding, do not duplicate. find your own voice.
LS: What you do with the person who says, I don’t know who I am I How can I create a brand when I don’t even have a clear picture of what my own identity is?
RP: I develop a custom questionnaire. I do interview through Zoom where the individual answers some really basic things. You’ve got to examine really important questions about yourself. Why you do what you do and why you’re passionate, how are you different than the way you’re presenting yourself? How do you work with your clients and how you deliver on that? And what are you offering? I think a lot of people get lost because they start with what? Well, this is what I do. But how is that any different than anybody else? And that’s when those deep dive questions of the Why? Why do you do it? Why are you passionate? Why did you start? How do you help people?
LS: Do you ever find that people try to broadcast rather than narrowcast not find their niche because they’re afraid they’re going to lose customers or lose potential clients because they’re too narrow?
RP: Absolutely. to portray your own brand and yourself through the through your brand is a very scary thing. It takes courage. And your first instinct is to just reach out and try to reach any person possible. and support them because you’re afraid of narrowing that niche as he said. And I can tell you from experience that once you’ve homed in on the why you’re doing what you do, and you take a look at the ways that you want to communicate that you will start to attract your niche.
LS: We were kidding around a little bit about this: Authenticity. That’s has been a buzzword over the last couple of years. When does authenticity tumble into the area of too much information? Or people who do a lot of virtue signaling [thinking] it’s authentic. How much do you see in branding? And how can it stop?
RP: If we could banish [the word ‘authentic’] from branding, it would be a great start. And what’s sad is there’s great irony in that, right? I see it every single day in so many different small businesses and solopreneur pages and marketing. And it is exhausting when I’ve just looked at somebody’s page or social media share, and I can go on four other accounts and see something very similar.
It is scary to say, ‘I’m going to put myself out there, I’m going to say this in a unique or different way that maybe isn’t four of the catchphrases that happened to be on fire this month. It’s really digging deep – reflective, introspective work.
LS: What trends do you see in branding? And how does time and circumstance affect branding?
RP: If you’re speaking in terms of the time we’re in right now, when I started to relaunch in April, in May, with the new branding, it was very delicate language, delicate imagery, being very sensitive to the people that you were putting this imagery and your voice and this information out in front of. When you are marketing, no matter what is happening in the world, there still has to be an awareness of the differences that exist, and how your marketing will impact your audience, depending upon where they are living in the world and functioning in the world as it is. I know for me,COVID has been a huge game changer
LS: Leave us with a few guidelines for successful branding.
First, understand who you are in the scope of what you offer. Do the brave, deep diving into what you want to offer, why you want to offer it, who you’re offering it to. That is critical in your branding, because it lays the foundation for everything else. Also make sure whatever you are communicating in your marketing and in your branding, whether it’s your website or a quick social media post. it is error free and professional. Use tools like Grammarly because there’s nothing worse than delivering a message [with] grammatical errors. It takes away from the validity of your business and your professionalism. Finally, understand that imitation is a form of flattery, but that does not apply in marketing yourself. Always send your unique self out into the world, because that is what people will respond to.
Find out more about Rachel Pintarelli: www.letsrockyourbrand.com