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This business coaching episode explains basic yet highly effective branding principles.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Ask Yourself: What are my intentions for posting on social media and do I have to post it?
  • 10 Branding Levels: 9) Vehicle signage
  • 10 Branding Levels: 10) Anything the customer sees
  • Lesson Nugget: When committing to vehicle signage for your car it is important that the wrapping looks professional.

-So the thing is, is that people will post, like, look, I just got this massive tattoo from the neck to the arm. And it's not like--


-It could be, like, of a naked person, let's say.

-Oh, yeah.

-And they give you have a tattoo, that's fine. If you don't, it's fine. But I'm saying, they've got a naked person. I'm not kidding.

We had an employee who literally applied for a job. She's like, I'm a mom. I really need this job. I really want to work here. I've just, I've been going through a tough patch, and I just need a little help to get there.

And I'm like, cool. So, she sends me an invite on Facebook. Hey, loved the-- great first day. We loved it.

So my wife and I, we're normal humans, so we hit the friend request thing. Check, boom! It's like the entire half of the human is naked with a tattoo.


-And we're going, hmm. I feel-- I don't feel different all about this person. I feel the same. In fact, I feel more likely to promote this person to a position of leadership because I don't see patterns. I don't judge. So the next day I come to work, and I said, you should probably be in charge.

No, I didn't! I started looking around, going this person's probably an idiot.

-So how do I take these two warning signs as a business owner and apply them right now? What do I do? As far as social media--

-Well, before you're posting on social media, one is, just ask yourself, do you have to?

-Action item number one. Before you post, do I have to? I'll do this. On social media, I certainly don't feel the need to respond. I get people all the time, who are like-- this guy literally sent me a message last week wanting to know if he could borrow books?

No. Buy a book. I've already given you the book.

-So that kind of leads into the second danger, is don't waste your time.

-Can you borrow a book? No, you can't borrow a book. I'm not a library. No.

-This is clearly a touchy subject, so we'll just move kind of right along here.

-That'd be like, can I borrow your shirt? No, it's a stupid question.

-No, I'm going to keep this one. So, don't post something you're going to regret and don't waste your time on there. Make sure that everything on social media has a high level of branding.

-Yeah, can I borrow that tie?


-Right now?

-Move on here, number nine.

-Or a book?

-This is the vehicle signage. Clay, this is something you're proud of. I know you've got that beautiful white Hummer.

-Just ready to wrap. I am pumped.

-He's going to wrap this Hummer here pretty soon.

-We got a beta boys. It's on.

-Why is this valuable? I know we sound like were joking with the tone of our voice, but he really is going to wrap the Hummer and his face will be on it.

-Honey badgers everywhere.

-Why is this important?

-Well, because you're driving anyway. You might as well have a little moving-- an example. I hand painted a 1999 Mazda MPV. It was a maroon, majestic--

-We have a picture of this.

-Queue up the romantic music, please. Queue it up. So it just, the romantic music-- this is a Mazda. It was a V6.

-I can see it. I can see it now.

-You had this little gear. You could put it in a different gear. You get through-- sometimes in snowy weather, you could stay on the road longer without slipping. It never went to four wheel, but--

-So you painted this, though?

-Hand painted it with a paintbrush in one shot. It's called One Shot Paint. One Shot Enamel. I was listening to Drew Hill--

-As you painted it?

-No, I was. The entire Drew Hill album. Listened to the whole thing. A lot of Drew Hill at that time. I'm painting the vehicle--

-So what did this look like? Why did you paint it?

-Because every time I would pause, I would park my car in front of Panera, because I quit going to McDonald's. And is still looked terrible, by the way. I should have slapped myself. But the point is, people would call, almost in fear.


And I get two calls, almost every two or three days. One is like, hey, you idiot. Why don't you get a real paint company? Ha ha.

-Right. Thanks, bud.

-Thanks, buddy. I'll see you anyway. Then the next guy would go--


-Hey. Almost scared, though. Hey, how much is a DJ? Because it's such a crazy paint job.


-Do you DJ? I'm like, yeah, I DJ. So, what day are you looking at? And they're like, this is a normal person. And I would book at least, I don't know, 75 or 100 events a year just off my car.

-So, if you're going to do this though, some of the same elements apply, right?

-Do it right, though. Don't do what I did.

-Don't do it. Yeah. If you're going to do what I did, just go taser yourself first. Save yourself the pain.

-But if you do it, do it right and include the company logo.

-Yeah, company logo.

-Social proof.

-Do an as seen on.

-The trust symbols.

-Company of choice for.


-Yeah, you want to put, like, the best, says "Time" magazine, or whatever the truthful statement is.

-And then find a way to actually contact you. So that means your website and your phone number, right?


-Because without those things, it's kind of pointless.

-True that. Not who that? Not who that, people in New Orleans who are signing up for the website. But true that.

-True that.

-True that.

-So number 10 here, this is anything that the customer sees. This is kind of a broad, all encompassing, again, we're talking about branding at a high level here. As though you're using the Tiffany box to brand your company. This is anything a customer sees. Can you think of something else that we haven't covered here?

-Did I tell you about the time I almost killed a man last week?


Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Notable Quotable: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Ghandi
  • Methods For Affording Great Marketing: 2) The trade out method
  • Action Step: If you have a business of value, find products or services you want and negotiate a trade out.
  • Methods For Affording Great Marketing: 1) The budget gourmet frozen food, share one car, ramen noodle method


-You never want to confess to these things on video, you know? But if you do--

-This might be one of those kind of incredible moments.

-Well, I'm a candid guy. I figured--


-What happens is, in the office-- you go to the office. We all like to think we all work in a perfect place-- we have great people on Thrive, by the way. I'm not sure who had done this. But there was a customer-- or an employee-- somebody had left one of those, like, reheatable, like, beef dinners. Like a beef dinner, you know? It's like beef.

I used to eat Budget Gourmet. It's like 90% sodium, 10% protein. It's like $0.70 and it's made by a company called Budget Gourmet. It's in a freezer section at a reputable place near you. And so anyway, this person left it like half eaten like beef stroganoff or something in our lobby. Well, one, it smells like beef stroganoff.

-Which is not something you're always trying to create in the atmosphere.

-I'm not trying to consult, like, yeah, we're the best beef stroganoff consulting company in America. But then people walk in and it just smells. And I run into the bathroom, go back upstairs around the other way. It's probably been three hours. I come back, it's still there. I'm like, oh, this has got to go. So I was mad at myself first. I couldn't just get control of my bladder and deal with what was the matter, which is the beef stroganoff.

-Get control of your bladder.

-But somebody had left it there for, like, half a day.

-That's good.

-It's a bad deal. So all I'm saying is that's something that the customer sees. And I guarantee you, there's a customer, because of my deep-seated jackassery, because I didn't pick it up, somebody walked by it and was, like, this place is terrible.

-You had to have a little candid moment there, kind of lay into somebody, explain.

-In this particular situation, I want you to know, I seriously wanted to slap myself. Because I walked by and I didn't do anything. Gandhi said you have to be the change you want to see. I should have picked it up.


-You know? So I almost killed myself.

-So what we're doing here is we've gone through these 10 moves. We said that we want this to be something that you can actually achieve. You could apply today, even if you have a small budget, right?

CLAY CLARK: Oh, yeah.

-So now what we're going to do is we're going to dive into this here. Like, say you have the small budget. It's kind of that budget I think you've called the gourmet, frozen food.

-Can we be real, real quick?

-Share one car.

-I want to interrupt you for a second.

-OK, go ahead.

-I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

-No, it's fine. We'll go back to that.

-In Wisconsin. Lady in Wisconsin, you know who you are. Wisconsin. A guy in Washington talked to you. If you're the guy in Washington, you know who I talked to. Guy in New Jersey, just talked to you. And if it's you in Dubuque, Iowa. Dubuque, Iowa-- this one's for you. These are all people I've talked to on the site for real who have $1,000 or less, period, to spend on marketing. Period. End of statement. Let's focus on that.

-Yeah. So this budget is for those of you-- like I started to say--


-Those of you with the gourmet, the frozen food, you're sharing the one car, the ramen noodles? This is kind of the ramen noodle method here to branding your company with a low budget, OK? So what is this method all about, before we kind of dive in? I know there's like five steps here. But what is this method all about?

-Well, we talked earlier about it but I want to refresh it and I want to make sure you couldn't possibly watch this and then not get it. Go on to the 99designs.com. Just go up there. Have a bunch of artists compete.


CLAY CLARK: Designs.com. [INAUDIBLE] artists compete for the best logo or best design. They're competing and, ultimately, you pay $50 or $100 because you're branding for you. It's pretty cool. So I would definitely recommend you check that out.

Use gotprint.com. There's other people that print stuff at a discount too. Someone else is watching this right now and going, but I have a site and it's cheaper. Sorry. Just email me. We'll make another episode about how awesome your site is. But gotprint.com is a great resource. So that's a deal where you could have a logo card designed, $100, bam!

-So what about the trade out method? You touched on it but talk to us about it. How can I actually do that as a plumber?

-Well, here's the deal. My wife-- I always go back to my wife. I always try to weave in dating tips. Thrive is really kind of like a dating, marriage website, where you talk about business sometimes but really, it's just an excuse to talk about marriage.

My wife, though, I used to like to take her out to eat. I still do. Something majestic about the rolls. They bring out the rolls with the butter. And you're there and then she's there. We look at the--

-You're both there.

-We look at the menu and I'm acting like I'm looking and she's acting like she's looking. They're like, ma'am, what would you like? She's like, I'll just get a water. And I'm acting like I don't know what she's going to get next. She orders the Alice Springs chicken from Outback every single time. I always go, I say, well, maybe I shouldn't, but I will, this one time, get, like, the biggest steak they have.

You know, the biggest steak they have. Baskets of bread. And then you leave and you're like, well, probably can't do that again this year. Probably spent my whole dinner budget right there. Better go sell something. Then it occurred to me. I can do it. I am a DJ. It's OK. I'm a DJ. So I talked to Marc Rollerson who runs an Outback and I said, Marc, can we do some trade out, brother? And he says, what do you mean? I'll DJ, you provide food? He's like, yeah, sure.

I'm not exaggerating. I think I got like $2,000 of Outback. And I ate it.

-That's a lot of rolls.

-Yeah, it's a lot of rolls. That's why my monitor, my watch-- I only have 41 years left. I probably lost 10 of them just eating--

-Did you explain what this is? Explain to us real quick what this is.

-This is a watch that calculates how much time I have left on the planet so I don't waste time.

-That's beautiful.

-So anyway, but I did trade out. I could never have eaten there without the trade out.


-And I've done trade out over and over and over throughout my career. So right now if you have a business of value that you can sell a product or service to customers, then what you want to do is go find the products and services you want and talk to the people in charge and see if you can do a trade out. Say, hey, I'll do this for you if you'll do this for me.

-If you build my website. Cool.

-It takes us back to caveman doing back scratching.

-I love it. That's nice.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Methods For Affording Great Marketing: 3) The zero interest credit card balance transfer method
  • Action Step: Give yourself a goal and put a deadline on it.
  • Action Step: Apply for a credit card with no interest and a no balance transfer fee.
  • Methods For Affording Great Marketing: 4) The stop spending on nonessentials and hire a pro method.
  • Notable Quotable: “If you spend money on the stuff you want, you’ll have to beg for the stuff you need.” - TD Jakes
  • Notable Quotable: “If you cannot save money, then the seeds of greatness are not in you.” - Brian Tracy
  • Notable Quotable: “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” - Dave Ramsey
  • Ask Yourself: Am I willing to make sacrifices now to have financial success in my future?


-So what about the other method here, the zero interest credit card with a balance transfer?

-This move is sweet. A lot of people are like, oh, you're crazy. And I'm not crazy.

-Talk to me about it.

-I talked to a guy-- if you're watching, this guy, you know I'm talking to you. Ivy League graduate. Spent over $200,000 on his degree. Can't find a jobbie job right now.

Well, I don't know, he borrowed $200,000 to go to an Ivy League college, and they didn't teach him a discernible skill or he couldn't find a job. That's a pretty big risk.

Or you can bet on yourself. And you can say, self, I'm willing to invest some money in myself and my business. And so much so that I'm going to give myself, as Napoleon Hill says, I'm going to give myself a goal with a deadline. I'm going to go ahead and put a deadline on it.

So what you do is you can get a credit card, that a lot of these cards will have 18 months of no interest on the card. You can go to creditcards.com and you can apply. You get 18 months no interest on that beast. So see how much you can get. And you get $20,000? Take $20,000 and that's your budget for marketing.

And then at the end of like month 17, transfer it. There's no balance transfer fee on a lot of these. Then you transfer it to another card--


- --and you do it a couple times. So now you get like two years of free money or three years of free money. Have I done it? Yes. Did Sam Walton do a very similar thing? Yes.

Has any entrepreneur who's ever built something big had to take a risk? Come on! But here's the deal. We only have, people-- we only-- it's Thrive o'clock somewhere.

We only have 41 years and 11 months and 21 days and 7 hours and 14 minutes left to live. We gotta do something.

-Honestly, that doesn't even calculate the fact that he doesn't sleep much. You are the ManBearPig. You kind of just drink DayQuil here and there. I mean, it's not--

-I feel you're--

-I'm just gonna be honest. All the-- candor. All the cards on the table.

-All the cards on the table.

-Was just being candid. The next method here. The next method is this stop spending on non-essentials and hire a pro. That's the last method here for branding big with a small budget. What does that mean? Talk to me about it.

-Well, this whole situation here is that a lot of us, we think that we're doing-- we think what we're spending money on is an essential, but it's not an essential.

-Like what?

-Let me give you five examples real fast that just irritate the heck out of me. I met a guy recently who wanted to start a business desperately. It's a service business. Met him at a speaking event on the east coast. It's a janitorial, a commercial janitorial business. Nice guy.

And I'm looking through his budget and I'm like, how much do you spend on TV? How much do you spend on movies? How much do you spend on gambling? How much do you spend on alcohol? How much do you spend on-- and when you just go through and you start to look at all the things people spend money on-- we people, not you people, but we people-- spend money on that we shouldn't, you realize there is usually money available for things we value.

So the thing is, if you spend-- oh man, this is deep. TD Jakes for you. This is TD Jakes. If you're not even [INAUDIBLE] Christian, don't worry about it. I'll give you a secular quote a minute. But TD Jakes says if you spend money on the stuff you want, you'll have to beg for the stuff you need.

-That's deep.

-Boom! If you spend money on the stuff that you want, you'll have to beg for the stuff that you need. So what you want to do right now is you want to ask yourself, self am I spend money on stuff that I don't need but I want? And just be real with yourself there.

Another quote that has nothing to do with the evangelical Christian, just to keep it equally balanced. Brian Tracy says, if you do not have the habit of saving, the seeds of greatness are not within you. Or sorry, are not within you. Yeah, are not within you.

So again, if you don't have the-- it says if you don't have the habit of saving, so if you can't save, then the seeds of greatness are not within you.

-And that's from David Tracy?

-Brian Tracy.

-Brian Tracy, sorry. Brian Tracy.

-So again, I'm sorry I mangled the quote, but that's what happens when I try to go off memory.

-That's good.

-We'll have the fact checker, he'll add the quote up there. But the point is, if you can't save money you're in trouble. So just get real with yourself.

-That's a good method. That's a deep method you brought there.

-I'm just being-- if you study the life story of these big companies, you talk about Hewlett Packard, you talk about Apple, you talk about Google, these are guys starting in a garage. So you just do whatever you got to do, man.

-But that's just it. They didn't say, I can't have high level branding because I have a small budget. They found ways to have that incredible branding.

-Absolutely. Here's the deal. If you live like no one else right now, if you're willing to do that. If you're willing to just sacrifice and just go through hell for a year or two, you're going to live like a king the rest of your life.

-Have you done that in the beginning? Did you have to do this by cutting back on the non-essentials? Living like no one else?

-Yeah, we had about three years in my mind that were terrible. And I remember going on the road, we're driving down to Riverside, and I remember looking at my wife, and I said, Baby? It's kind of weird to look at you. I'll look over here.

-That's better. Much better.

-Baby, and I said hey, do you want to get a house? She's like, a house? I'm like, yeah, like a house? Like a new house? Like a house that we could build? Trying to keep her off me at this point. Yeah. Come on, not trying to be professional, I'm in a car [INAUDIBLE] arrested today.

But anyway. All of a sudden, like, we had arrived. We finally were making enough money that I could get a house. And it just was like, bam! We're here. You know what I mean?

-But for a while, you really did have to live below your means.

-No air conditioning. We lived in Oklahoma, so it's like 95. We're in the second story of an apartment where it's--

-It's fairly hot.

-We had one car that worked sometimes. And my wife would walk to work. And we-- and there's people watching this have gone through worse.

But you know what? You just have to fight for your own destiny. You've got to believe that your life is valuable enough that you're going to actually do something that matters.

So you're willing to just get rid of all the crap and all the stuff you don't need, eat a bunch of freaking ramen, load up on the sodium, eat-- just do what you gotta do to make it.

-Boom. I love it. I appreciate you giving us these practical action steps that we can apply right now, no matter what the size of our budget is. You're an incredible American. Your pale skin, I'm guessing, glows in the dark.


And I appreciate that about you. Thank you.

-I want to say this real quick, before I do that.

-I thought I had the last word though.

-I want to say this real quick.

-I try to have the last word.

-I want to say this. You've been married now for several months, and it surprises me.


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