This week I’m thrilled to welcome my good friend Lauren Davis to the show. Lauren lives in Rockford near Chicago. One of the things I love about Lauren is that she never stands still. She knows exactly what she wants and she executes consistently to achieve it. Her clients are some of the biggest names in social media, She’s a friend and advisor to me and I’m really excited to share her with you.
Many people are intimidated and frustrated by trying to highlight their personal brand effectively. Lauren Davis lives close to Chicago in Rockford Illinois and works with people over the world to overcome their personal branding discontent and grow their presence so that they can focus on sales, exposure, leadership and community impact.
Lauren Davis was named one of the 20 People You Should Know in 2013 by the Rockford Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and one of the Rockford Register Star's "People to Watch" in 2018.
When she is not running her two local businesses in Rockford Illinois, she is traveling the globe learning at conferences and workshops and bringing that knowledge back to serve her community.
Lauren is also the executive director of Winnebago Buy Local, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect local businesses together to collaborate and bring the community closer to them, creating raving fans.
Lauren's passion revolves around seeing people and organizations that "do-good" succeed.
Links and mentions :
Lauren's website : https://laurendaviscreative.com
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Hi there. Thanks for joining me for this episode of gravity, the digital marketing and internet business podcast. I'm Bob gentle and every week I'm joined by small digital marketing business owners, creators, consultants and practitioners who share what makes their business work. Whether you run your own business, or you're just thinking of stepping out on your own for the first time, you're in the right place. If you're new to the podcast, and welcome along, just take a second right now, to subscribe to the show in your podcast player. That way you won't miss a new episode. And you can dig into some older episodes once you're finished this one. This week, I'm thrilled to welcome my good friend Lauren Davis to the show. Lauren lives in Rockford new Chicago. And one of the things I love about Lauren is you never stand still. She knows exactly what she wants, and she executes consistently to achieve it. Her clients are some of the biggest names in social media. She's a friend and advisor to me, and I'm really excited to share her with you. So welcome along. And let's meet Lauren. Lauren Davis, Lauren Davis created. Thank you very much for joining me on the podcast. You want to start by just telling us a little about who you are, where you are, and the kinds of things you do.
Yeah, um, thank you so much for having me. This is so awesome. And I am from the Chicago area, specifically Rockford, Illinois in the US. And what I really do is I focus on personal brands. And I do that through marketing through PR through social media management and marketing and strategy. But right now, I'm really focused and excited about Instagram.
Yeah, I mean, I see you most on Instagram, and you just, you take everyone to school on, it's so good. Attention to detail is just fantastic. So I should just tell anybody that's listening. This is the first time that we've done this with video as well. If you're listening to this on iTunes or Stitcher or something like that, you're not seeing the video. So if we seem a little bit more awkward than normal, that's what that's all about. And if you're watching this on video, and we seem awkward, it's the first time we've done it. That's why it's awkward, because it's awkward.
So much fun, though, it adds a whole new element of surprise.
Yeah. So yeah, thanks for being my guinea pig. I'm really grateful. But to maybe introduce our relationship a little bit, I met Lauren at Chris Tucker's you printer summit event in November. And we've been sort of hanging out online a little bit since then, just being sort of helpful. And basically being friends online, which has been great fun. You've been a big support to me and my Instagram growth, what there is it certainly kept a lot of fun. So what does your day to day work look like what kind of clients you're working with.
So I have been really focused the last couple months on helping thought leaders podcasters entrepreneurs who are looking to build their personal brand and lift their personal brand, kind of out of the shadows, I find that a lot of people don't really know where to start. And so I have such a comprehensive background of graphic design, PR, journalism and marketing that I'm able to kind of help those people clarify where they need to go and pull all those little pieces together, and help them to succeed. And like I said, I'm having so much fun on Instagram, because it's kind of like this new territory for thought leaders. And they all they all need a little bit of help and a little bit of a push and just kind of like, where do I go from here. And I love being that for them.
And what does a typical client look like for you.
So a lot of podcasters a lot of thought leaders, a lot of speakers, people that are entrepreneurs that are building courses or trying to build up their personal brand. So it could be it really could be pretty much any person that is looking to build a personal brand. Because they a lot of them are kind of all in the same area. If they're looking to build themselves as an influencer, a thought leader, that's the kind of person I look for.
Yeah, I know your clients mainly in the US, are they all over the place,
I started getting some more clients all in not just the US. So I have a new client in Canada, I have worked with some people over in the UK as well. So right now I'm dabbling internationally. And I don't see why it would be an issue, as long as we are connecting on the same page and where we're working together and have the same goals in mind. And that's always the ideal client.
So in terms of the service range that you offer, just looking on your website, there's a large breadth of things that you bring to bear on your clients. of all of that, do you find that you tend to revolve around the same few shorthand to rz, really, you're bringing everything in at once.
I do, typically more the most that I do is i'm very centered around graphic design and social media marketing. that's usually where a lot of my clients need the most help. But I really get a lot of joy out of managing publicity or creating press releases and getting my clients into the publications or the media, places that they want to be in. So I love doing launch parties like that. And I love covering it with social media, and just providing the whole scope because I feel like a lot of times you've got one thing or the other, but then there's all these little other things that are missing and I can I have the unique ability to see the whole picture.
And is there a particular piece of work that you enjoy the most? I mean, what what does your ideal client look like with Who do you really want to work with?
That's a really hard question for me, and I've never quite been able to nail that down to be completely honest with you. That's something I'm working on, on figuring out, I know that I stay away from people who do not communicate well, I stay away from people who are, you know, they who don't value, the services that that I would provide. And so those are the types of people I kind of exclude from the equation. But as far as everything else, I really just love getting to know people, I love getting to know what they're doing. And I think that there's some real magic and seeing when someone is passionate about something. So I can almost get energized and excited about just about anyone's career. Even if you think it's boring, you know, it's usually really exciting for me, because I just love seeing people follow their dreams and find their passion. And I love helping them bring that passion to life online.
And when people are on their journey of building their personal brand, obviously, it's something that has to start somewhere you have to make that first step. Or your clients normally at the point where they're just taking that first step, or are they a little bit down the road.
A lot of my clients, I would say are a little bit down the road. So they've already started something, they they say, you know, I've got an Instagram, or I've got these social media channels, and they are wondering, okay, what's the next step? How do I pull all of these pieces together? How do I pull? You know, I'm about to, to go to this and speak at this event? How do I make the most out of speaking at this event? Do I send a email out to my list? awake? Do I need to post on Instagram? Oh, man, do I need to post on Facebook about this? How about LinkedIn? Where do I post these things? Do I send out a press release? How do I like make the most out of every experience. And so I think a lot of them are somewhat already established. And they kind of have an idea of what they would like to do. But they don't really know the steps to get there. And they need help. Are they need someone saying like, okay, here is a roadmap of how you should do this, and how you should bring that to life. And my clients have seen great results. And it's really exciting for me, because I just love to see them living out their dream and also seeing like the success we can get them. And the various platforms, I guess
as well, when you're doing the kind of work you're doing for the kind of people you're doing it for. There's an element of confidentiality as well, because they don't necessarily want it to look like somebody else is doing what you're doing for them. So I'm not going to press you on who your clients are. But I know some of them are kind of a big deal. Because having a little bit of insider knowledge. Yeah. At least in our world. Terrific deal.
Yeah. A lot of the speakers, like there's some speakers that have no, you know, they, they kind of like the idea of saying like, okay, we're doing an Instagram takeover. My friend Lauren Davis is taking over for me for the day. And then many of them Yes, as you said, like they want it seemed very organic, they want their voice in their voice to come from them. And so what I do is I really study my clients, and I really study how they talk, and how they present themselves and, you know, use their own voice to create all of these different outlets and help them figure out their strategy, think trying to jump inside their brain and think exactly the way they think.
Yeah. And I guess when you're a speaker, that's actually that period when you are speaking, or if you're a touring speaker, it's extremely stressful, you have a lot going on, outside, what's going on inside your head, is probably even more. So having somebody like you to just take that and take care of it actually must be a huge relief,
I find that there's, like you said, there's so much going on on the last thing that they're thinking about is what they need to be posting on Instagram or like if they should do a boomerang, or if someone's going to help them take photos of them signing a book or have them, you know, taking photos with fans or something like that. And so what I love to do is say like, okay, let's set this up. So you have someone to do this, let's make sure that all of these little moments are captured while you're speaking or while you're doing something that needs you know, because there's so many little moments that you might not think are social media moments, people get very caught up and curating like the best most photogenic moment. But there's all these other little moments that people want to see, they want to see behind the scenes, they want to see your gratitude, they want to see an exit interview, they want to see that beforehand, and how you're feeling. And all of these things go into making accounts successful and making people feel connected to you. And when you're a speaker, you might not realize that those moments are happening right before your eyes. And that's my job, I can see those moments and help them carry this through.
Yeah, and I think the impact must be tremendous when you capture those moments. Because as an event like Social Media Marketing World, if you are a keynote, somewhere like that, you really need to capture that because that's a moment in time, it's not going to happen again, for everybody.
Right, it's either not going to happen again, or it's not going to happen again, for a whole nother year, you want to have those kind of things captured. So that way you can use them throughout the year, you can bring up different things you learned and different moments from those those times that you learned. And I use those throughout the year in your content. And like I said, I try to specialize in picking up on little things that maybe wouldn't be the things you think, you know, like a hug or a handshake or seeing someone with the right person, you know that just the things that people might not really ever think about. That's what I really love to find. You
know, I really like the idea. Certainly, if I were doing something like that I would want someone like you around. Because I'm terrible doing these things myself. I know, most people are.
And it is an exclusive service. And I do know that not everyone finds that necessary. But the clients that have decided to have me do that kind of thing for them have consistently hired me back because they see how much value I brought to the table. Yeah. But yeah, it is it's very, it is very exclusive service that, you know, that I just really love doing. And I think it just really makes a difference when the person who you work with is very empowering, and understands and trusts me to carry these things through. And it like it just it works so well together, when both of those things are working at the same pace.
I'd like to take into your business a little bit now. The kinds of stuff you do. That's really clear. How you get paid is a whole nother story. Cuz I'm a beer too early.
I clean water. All right.
A lot of what you describe is the kind of work where you're trading time for money. And yes, it might be trading a lot of money. But it's only scalable to a certain extent. So you and I have spoken and I don't I know that you haven't yet product ties, many elements of your own business. But I know you're involved with other people's businesses that have been product ties. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?
Sure. Yeah, right. I'm not sure when this episode will come out in relation to this course. But right now, I'm currently working on a personal branding course, with Mike Kim, who is a very talented speaker and thought leader in the marketing digital marketing space. He got his start in copywriting. And he is one of the people that I have a pleasure of calling my mentor. But now we also have the pleasure of working together. And so it's been really fun. I'm going to be teaching some Instagram modules within this course, and providing some help on the coaching calls for some of the attendees. And I think that this being part of this course has really interested me in prioritizing some of my services. The thing that I've always struggled with, which is maybe not a struggle, but also kind of funny is that I love doing work, like I love doing the work. And it's not something that I've ever been like, Oh, I hate doing this. I love all the jobs that I do. And so trading time for money has never quite been an issue for me, except for when I have too much work and not enough time. If that makes sense. Yeah, I've always find that balance between the two. And so this is the this is definitely a time in my life where I'm finding that balance a little bit better.
I think knowing you as well, you like to travel to a quite a lot of events, when you've got lots of client work. That must be really tough.
Yeah, I'm, luckily the job that I do is very available to me from anywhere. So I can bring my laptop, I can bring my hard drive. Or I can dump things into my cloud. And I can work from practically everywhere. But yes, it does, it does make a difference, having less of a client load when you're working, you can fully enjoy the moment. And you can or when you're traveling, you can fully enjoy the moment and you can fully enjoy everything that you're doing. And I think that's definitely a reason one reason that I would like to product eyes more of the services I do, because I want to one reach way more people and help more people get the value out of what the experiences that I have. But then to I would just like to be able to live that lifestyle and travel that lifestyle and get to know more people around the globe. And, you know, really help people in that way too. So I think like, both ways, I need to think about both sides of that coin.
Yeah. I think going back to make him I think I listened to his podcast. And he really impresses me so smart and insightful in a way that just constantly surprised me. I really enjoy his podcast with
me listening, every podcast I've ever heard. So,
looking ahead a little bit.
Where do you want to take the business? Because you have lots of opportunity? There's lots of ways that you could grow. But ideally, in your own mind, where would you like your business to be in five years time? Five years? Question. But I'm always I always love the answers.
Yeah, I would like to see me doing more group coaching. And between, for my my passion has always been helping smaller, you know, to medium sized businesses or entrepreneurs that and you know, a lot of them can't necessarily afford every service that would be on that ladder. And so what I would love to do is some kind of group coaching situation that makes the services that I can provide extremely affordable for the people that I want to serve, and where I can help them and fulfill like my passion of helping small businesses, while also, you know, not working 12 hours a day. And that's, like I said, I love the work. So if I can, like incorporate that, and also do a little work for, you know, select people that I think that would really be my ideal life and get to travel all the time.
Yeah, you do like to travel? I think you're a compulsive traveler, I think. I guess one question I'd like to ask is kind of a question. I'm trying to ask everybody now. But if you could give one piece of advice to somebody, and I'm probably going to go to Instagram, because that's really where you are streets ahead of most of us. But one thing that we could apply to our Instagram workflow or routines or discipline, that would really make that difference. For most people, their key metric is followers. But actually, there's probably other more important metrics, and you know, the algorithm really well. So what would be your go to tip there?
So if the tip was about,
how do I get started on Instagram, the tip would be, just start doing it, just be consistent. Just get on there, be consistent, and start posting things. The tip to really see growth that I would say is to start regularly doing stories, and start paying attention to the people who are watching your stories, because those are the people who want to catch up with you every day. They're the people who are looking at what you're doing. I would say go to those people within your stories and engage with them, talk to them. Because no matter how many followers you have, even if you have 50 followers, if you keep up with those 50 followers, they're going to be the ones that buy your course or buy your product, or want to work with you. And they're going to be the ones that can help you figure out which way your business can go, and all of those things. So
to anybody watching, my lights are in a motion sensor, and I really need to get that fixed. So let's pretend nothing happened.
Okay. Um, so I'd say you need to have some kind of story strategy. And one thing I would recommend is thinking of your story as kind of a an actual story. So have a beginning kind of explain what you're what you're doing within your story. Have a few stories slides, where you use the different things that are available to you like locations, stickers, hashtags, things like that, do a few slides like that in the middle, and then kind of, you know, wrap it up at the end, it doesn't have to be super. And then you can start a new story. It doesn't have to be super regimented. Like if you were to watch my stories at Al Davis creative, you would not you might not even subtly know that I'm doing beginnings and ends, you just it just happens like that. And that's because I've trained myself to kind of just be extremely natural. The next thing I would say is just be who you are online in real life. So if you're interested in certain things, go to those hashtags, and start participating as a real life human. The thing I see people doing so much is like so much of their their posts and making them so perfect. And I do agree that in some ways, curating your feed to make it look really nice to the eye does help. But you got to reach the people, like you got to reach the people who would connect with you. And so think about who you want to connect with you and make your content for that audience Don't, don't try to get caught up in everything being perfect. And don't be caught up in how many followers you have. Because those 50 people even if you have 50 people that are following you, if 10 of those people want to buy something from you, that's huge. You know, that's a huge percentage. Just keep being yourself. And the thing that I took away from Social Media Marketing World last week, from multiple speakers and multiple people, I talked to multiple podcasters. And influencers that I talked to was that Instagram is so saturated now with people who have fake followers, or who have used, you know, software's to, like build their follower count or whatever, that followers have almost no legitimacy anymore. It doesn't even matter. All that matters is how much engagement you can get out of the followers you have, and how much they're communicating with you. And how much you know, if you can monetize those followers, if that is your goal, your end goal. That's what matters. followers are out, don't even worry about them anymore.
Still want to have more followers and my wife?
more followers than you?
With stories, yes, I think this is getting nerdy, but I tend to do this. How do stories contribute to audience growth.
So in stories, if you put a location, or if you put half tags, which you can, but I think I might be wrong about this number, but I think it's like nine or 12 hashtags in a story, you can potentially reach people who are not following you already. There's that. Secondly, your stories are shown to the people who are connecting with you on Instagram, you there, they'll be at your if you connect with someone a lot, their story is going to be in those like top five at the top that come up whenever they post the story. So like, if you were posting a story and you connect with someone a lot, your Bob gentle is going to come up as like one of those top five up at the top there. Um, whenever you post a story, so they're going to be alerted right away. So the thought is, can connection with people, which is what this is all about. Right? can actually connecting with people talking and messages, talking and comments, chatting with them in real life, if you are they are following you, your stuff is going to be shown to them more because Instagram establishes through the algorithm that you have a relationship with them. So if you want to build a relationship with someone online, in Instagram, build an actual relationship with them, like actually talk to them. You know, spend time getting to know them. That is how marketing should work. That's how it's going back to you know, people don't trust brands anymore, necessarily. They trust people and humans, and they trust influencers more than they trust like a commercial on TV telling them what they should buy. And so if you can establish real relationships with people, it's all about that. And that's how Instagram algorithm works. That's how your stories work. And that's how, like your stories are a way for you to give people an inside glimpse of things day to day that are going on they disappeared 24 hours and doing that connecting with the people who are actually following you. That's really where all the gold is. I think I kind of rambled. Did that answer the question?
Oh, no, it was. It was perfect.
I'm also going to take advantage of the fact you were a Social Media Marketing World. Yeah, yeah. And I guess to put you on the spot a little bit, every every year, there's probably a trend or the key takeaways. But what did you spot as the kind of the main theme that everybody was talking about this year?
It's funny that you asked that, because it literally was that followers don't matter. Right? That was the theme. Like that was the big thing I took away from every session. The second thing would be Yeah, I mean, that was really good. It's so funny. Like, that was the thing. It was like talking about, like, every session had some element of how we, how the social landscape has gotten out of control. And like, how there is so much going on with like, you know, how much influence you have, how many numbers you have, what your followers are, but that the actual trend of what's happening is that everyone is going back to this, like very human Main Street feel. Everyone wants to be heard, and they want to be liked, and they want to be loved. And so if you can, and I would never recommend fake Lee, that's not a word, fake Lee loving people or getting to know them. But if you really believe that you love what you do, and you want to help people, then you find those people that you want to help and start actually connecting with them. Right? That's like, that's what I've always built my business around. And that's why, since I started my business, I have never had a time without clients. Um, I think that it has less to do with my talent and more to do with the fact that I really love working with people and I, I, my clients, and I aim to have a very personal connection with them, and build them up and empower them and you know, hope that they will do the same. Yeah, that that's what social media is coming back to. I'm happy to see that. I think that there's going to be a lot of brands out there that struggle in that they keep, they keep not connecting to people or they start doing it in a non genuine way. And when they start doing that in a non genuine way, we're all going to be able to smell it out. It's so easy to spot. So easy.
It really is. Lauren, I guess we should probably start thinking about wrapping up. If people want to connect with you, how would you like them to do it? And I think I know, one hopeful answer is you have a lead magnet thing on your website? Oh, yeah. I'm going to take that word away. And I'm going to say, I know there's a great guide to the Instagram algorithm on your website. I don't know if it's still there.
So the algorithm works. She is in the link inside my Instagram. And then the 12 you plan out your social media for a month for your next 12 posts is on my website. So I can give you both of those links. If you want to put those in your show notes. Yeah, absolutely will offer those as a free resource 100%
of the people want to connect with you. How would you like them to do that?
I'd love for people to connect with me on Instagram. That's where I like to hang out. And I love answering every dm and every comment as much as possible, as much as I possibly can. And so if you want to have a real friendship with me, let's hang out over on Instagram.
And what's your Instagram handle tag ID
l Davis creative
because a lot of people are lazy and they don't go looking at the show notes. So right. Okay. Lauren Davis, thanks so much for your time. I know you're going to join me again at some point soon.
Also going gonna be helping me with some courses that I'm running.
But for now, thank you very much for your time.
Thank you so much for having me. This is amazing.
Laurin lives right on the edge of her comfort zone. And this shows in the rapid success she's having. Her target market is around peer group role models and those operating at the pinnacle of their industry. And this means they can spot inauthenticity a mile off. So Lauren's biggest challenge is just being yourself. And if you think that sounds easy, just take a moment to really think about it. Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe to the show and if you haven't already been join our Facebook group. You can find a link from the website at Bob gentle.com or just search gravity, digital marketing and Facebook and you'll find us easily. If you did enjoy the show than I'd love for you to review the show on iTunes. It would mean a lot to me, and it's the very best way to help me reach more subscribers. My name is Bob gentle thanks again to Lauren for giving us her time this week. And to you for listening. See you next week.