The Lucky Titan

Supercharge your marketing with authentic brand storytelling to drive more sales With Adam Force

February 12, 2021 Josh Tapp
The Lucky Titan
Supercharge your marketing with authentic brand storytelling to drive more sales With Adam Force
The Lucky Titan
Supercharge your marketing with authentic brand storytelling to drive more sales With Adam Force
Feb 12, 2021
Josh Tapp

As a father and entrepreneur with 20 years of professional business experience Adam is an expert in branding storytelling, digital marketing and user experience . After working 10 years at WebMD as Director of Strategic Marketing Adam started his second business, Change Creator, a lifestyle and education brand with their signature program, The Captivate Method, the Change Creator Podcast with 200+ expert interviews, and 30+ editions of Change Creator Magazine reaching over 140+ countries including exclusive interviews from the most impactful entrepreneurs on the planet such as Seth Godin, Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson.

Show Notes Transcript

As a father and entrepreneur with 20 years of professional business experience Adam is an expert in branding storytelling, digital marketing and user experience . After working 10 years at WebMD as Director of Strategic Marketing Adam started his second business, Change Creator, a lifestyle and education brand with their signature program, The Captivate Method, the Change Creator Podcast with 200+ expert interviews, and 30+ editions of Change Creator Magazine reaching over 140+ countries including exclusive interviews from the most impactful entrepreneurs on the planet such as Seth Godin, Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson.

Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan podcast and today we're here with Adam Force. He's the founder and CEO of this guy has had a pretty extensive track record in the branding space, you know, he's worked with Web MD is the director of strategic marketing. You know, he's worked in a lot of different large companies in a branding and marketing role and so he took those skills, leverage that into his own company, and now they've been able to do some amazing things in the branding space. And when I heard his interview on entrepreneurs on fire, I was like, yep, there's a guy we got to have on this show. So I'm excited to have you on here, Adam. So say, what's up to everybody then let's hop in, man. 

Adam: What's up, everybody? Thanks for having me here, man. Appreciate it. 

Josh: Yes, sir. All right, brand, or excuse me, Adam. Just got off another interview. So here we go, Adam, I'm excited to have you in here, man. So let me ask you this. I want to start off first with kind of your what is your brand strategy that you use for your own company?

Adam: my brand strategy? Yeah. So it gets I break it down into a couple parts. We focus on building brand equity by having a polished look, we like to be professional, we believe first impressions matter. We like to have a strong brand story because how we communicate with people is not just the verbal communication, it's part of that visual expression. And we believe that a story is how we create meaningful change, right? It's a shift in values and I think those two components out without getting to overcomplicate it and deal with those primary things are really important to a brand strategy. So if you're focusing on that brand story, it's kind of becomes the driver for your brand visual and everything else that trickles down. So I can even narrow it down to that one step really. 

Josh: See and I love that and so it's all about not all about but it's very heavily dependent upon the visual elements of branding. So you're talking logos, websites, your podcasts or what have you. Is that correct? 

Adam: Yeah, I mean, so for example, you know, the way we approach that is we integrate the founder story as part of, or I would say, the backbone of the business, right, it becomes the backbone of the marketing strategy. Because now we're helping take elements of someone's life and vision and the promise, they're making to the world the things they believe in, and they're threading that through the marketing strategy. So that is expressed, it is the ethos of the brand, right? When you start looking at that, and you start understanding what that is, and then who you are attracting with that information, and how you're helping with your expertise in your background, all of a sudden, you can start seeing well, what would someone expect from this brand? If they come to Harley Davidson? Are they going to see a pink website with bunnies? No, that's not the expectation you know so it's really when it comes down to the visual, it's driven by all that other research insights about yourself, how you're connecting the customer profile, and all these things so you've got some legwork to do in order to get to that visual expression.

Josh: Yeah, and I love that I'm looking at your website here. And I think you guys did an excellent job of that with your own company, which is good, because sometimes, branding companies are like. 

Adam: it's true. And you mentioned the visual stuffs. And so like that story, you know, it starts with the logo, you know, a lot of people, I mean, does the logo have to say everything about the brand? No, I mean, you look at Google, you look at others, you know, like those words meant nothing when they started. And it can be done, but you're not making your life easier right? So change creator, take a stand with your brand, right, hit the tag line, as you keep going through it, it just unfolds deeper and deeper. But it's all connected, right? It's cohesive.

Josh: Well, and like you're saying it speaks across all the platforms. And I think that's one of the things that we've even seen as a scaling side. That's absolutely crucial, especially as you try to scale past that seven figures mark. And so I do want to ask you this question for the kind of the newer entrepreneurs, at what point do you think they should really be focusing on their logos, their websites and things like that?

Adam: I mean, I could sit here and say, you could start selling without a website out of the gate, and you can and maybe you should, I think it's early on that you start focusing on your story. You have to understand yourself, right? So people are setting goals for 2021. We're not setting goals, we are just determining who we need to become right in order to get where we want to go to the destination. And as you're thinking about those things, you have to start thinking through it. And this is a part that people don't want to do as their branches. So if you're starting a company, you've got to sit down and think about it.

What does what do? I'm like, what, who do I need to become to be to build this vision that I have, I have this idea. And they don't want to spend the time to, like think through it and kind of map it out, they just want to start creating things in Canva, or Photoshop and just doing stuff. And, you know, I get, I get that. But if you can, it's kind of, you know, what I use is the three little pigs analogy. You don't want to be the little pig building their house out of straw, because you're rushing to get to the stuff that you enjoy and want to have fun with, right? You got to do the house out of bricks so that it has a strong foundation and that's where digging into your story. So like, for example, I always did a self inventory. Like that's how I started change creator itself, doing a self inventory, understanding all the components of my life that were very important and finding these common intersections, right. Because just because you have a lot of skill in something doesn't mean that that's something you want to do. And just because you are talented in something else doesn't mean that that's what you want to do. So you got to find like that balance but I think right out of the gate, get into what you're all about why you're doing this, you know, the famous Simon Syunik why, right? And you get into that stuff. And now, as far as the visual goes, I don't start a business without a pretty website, because there's no excuse today anymore for not having a pretty website. And if you want people to take you seriously, it's my belief that that only helps you right. So I was selling deals before I even had a product, because I was able to give beautiful handouts, and I had a landing page, those types of things, right? 

Josh: Yeah. And I love that. I want to repeat a comment you said in that because I love, love, love love that. So who do I want to become to fulfill on my vision or the vision of the company like that? I love that you mentioned that first. Because really, you know, the first few months years, depending how long your business journey takes should be about finding that story. You know, I mean, it's, it's kind of like, the cool thing to do to start a business in your dorm room or what have you. Right? I did that. And we got a lot of good stories, we fail a lot of times along the way, because of time constraints and money constraints or what have you. And a lot of those things have fed into our story. But I know that for a lot of people, they're, they're coming out of the gate, and they, they kind of have a lot of different stories, but they don't really understand how their story relates to the people that they're trying to sell. And I think that's what you guys are doing so beautifully is saying, Let's get a story that really resonates with your audience and then, you know, leverage that story instead of just your life story.

Adam: You nailed it, I mean it and you'll find pieces, like we do certain parts of our process in our program. And we're like, people go through it. And they're like, Oh, my God, I haven't talked about that years, I haven't thought about that. And they're like, it's like percolating things about them that are it's like deep inside. But all of a sudden, like they're growing more confident, they're thinking about these things, or they're becoming more vulnerable. And it just strengthens the brand connection, we call it a story bridge, because we're bridging them with their story to connect to that perfect customer for them based on who they are and what they're all about. 

Josh: Yeah, I love it. Well, and I have to kind of, like poke it at one of your theories on this too, because like you said, I think everybody needs to have a beautiful website and a great logo and something that really represents who they are I'm a big believer in that. And the one caveat I would throw in there and you can dispute this if you'd like to is I don't think you should ever do it yourself. I think too many people are there waiting to try and close sales before they've until their logo and their website, everything's done and if you're waiting for that, it's never done. I mean, your website is never finished, it's always, always going to add a new page or a new SEO iteration, or you need a new logo, or you need a new product, you know, demo or whatever, right? There's so many different things that are going to be changing. So instead of waiting to make the sales, be doing it while somebody else is building this for you, in my opinion. 

Adam: I agree. And I mean, you don't want to get stuck with that perfectionism. You don't want to get stuck doing things that maybe you're not good at, right? I happen to be a designer, like I can like throw up website logos and all these things very quickly. And you're right, like, if that's not your thing, don't sit there and try to learn Photoshop, or maybe whatever, you can just put up a basic text logo. Look at most logos today. The modern trend is a simple, interesting typography that just says, you know, Lonely Planet, or whatever REI is just very simple stuff. Google, it's just, you know, a few letters. That's it, so you don't have to sweat it so much. And you know, the pretty website and all these things, it helps. There's a lot of programs out there that if you're not a designer, they give you the templates, you can put something up so it just doesn't look like an old 1990s hack job right? And you don't have to go crazy over it. So I agree with you don't get stuck, don't tread water on it, don't wait for it and any of that stuff.

Josh: What we found is with a lot of the people we've worked with, we had a guy Who, he was literally closing six figure deals before he had his website out, you know? Yeah, you would have people asking me why? Or Where's your website? You know? And he's like, Oh, I don't have one would that make a difference? If I had a website, you know, if I can guarantee you these results and provide this value to you, do you need a website? And, and so he argues that you would actually never need a website. I personally disagree. I think it's a great place to send people who are kind of on the fence and the way that you guys I see that even with your websites, it becomes kind of that tipping point for a lot of the, the logical buyers who haven't been sold emotionally on it yet they want to first get the logical side of it seems to be kind of that emotional push over to actually buying? 

Adam: Well, it's Yeah, so I think my response to that person would be I agree with you is what I would say, Okay, I agree, I can go out knocking on doors, hitting LinkedIn pages, dming people on Instagram, whatever it might be going to conferences and connect with people. And I can do all the legwork myself, to help them understand who I am to help them understand what I can do for them how I can solve the problem, you could do that. But if you want to pull back a little bit, and you don't want to just do that person to person to person to person yourself, and you want to start automating a business and creating a system like think like an investor, I want this business to be like a machine that's working. Well, a lot of that legwork can be done through your email series through your website through your, your ecosystem online, right. So it's not just the website, it's everything that it's attached to as well. And we call that that digital conversation. Right? So this is no different than him having a one hour sales call saying, hey, and what does he do? He's going to handle the objections that come up. Oh, well, you know, let me tell you a story about this. And then you know, if someone's gonna misunderstand something, there's so there's a misconception, oh, well, no, you're misunderstanding that, and here's an hour long, and he can navigate that conversation. But what we're doing is we're we're embracing the digital environment, because it's powerful. It can automate. And now we're saying, We're gonna take that old school conversation, we're going to put it online in this digital ecosystem and now Where are people based on where they are online? Where might they be in the buyer’s journey? And what stories and conversations should we be having at that point? So if you can do that, you just have a smarter system. He is just cool with hacking it old school. And that is cool, too.

Josh: Yeah, and I love I love how you, you're articulate that because it really does come down to the strategic vision of, of your company, you know, and, and, I mean, what, what you're explaining what he does is what a site does, essentially as well, you know, it's it's meant to overcome objections and kind of guide people through that buying journey. So let me ask you this, you know, and a lot of people will see this, maybe you already have a kind of semi stable brand at this point, right? They maybe have their website, they might have, you know, a logo and things like that. But what, what are kind of the high-level strategies you would recommend to anybody who's looking to scale their company?

Adam: to scale? Yeah, so I mean, that gets behind the scenes, right? So like any, but I always say anyone can buy attention, but you can't buy trust, right? So you want to make sure that when you think about your marketing strategy, and your digital systems that you're building trust, it's not just, you know, the reason and I'll just kind of define this, we say digital compensation, because we want it to shift our perceptions here at change creator, and how we think about marketing, because they are human beings. So we want to re-humanize with the boom of the internet. What happened was, it was all about people having lack of patience for anything was immediacy, and it's clicks, targets, right conversions and all these things. And we're looking at the funnels as the systematic pieces and widgets, and we're like this, click this, target this that and we're like, No, no, we're talking to people in the end that's really what's happening here. And if we can think about it, that way, we start saying different things, we start doing different things, even in the digital space. So, it makes a big difference in the behavior pattern when you are implementing these things. So now we go deeper because we are saying, well, I got to build trust. So what does that mean then? So now I need a site that instead of just trying to get a sale up front, well, maybe I offer them a small commitment, which is like the traditional lead magnet call to how about a content offer. And then I am going to send them these eight emails, I'm going to tell them about this and how it relates to this product that we do this, I'm going to tell him a story about one of our customers and how amazing it is and how we help them. And what how we express our values that we believe into our business. All of a sudden, now I'm building trust. Now I'm building a relationship. Now we can think about timing. When do I pitch the business? So now timing is a crucial factor, right? Just like the old adage, don't just walk into a car dealership and someone's like, Hey, you want to buy a car right now? No, like, you know, it's just like, you got to Work it up, right? gotta build a relationship. 

Josh: Yeah. And that trust is something that I mean, obviously, in the online space is super, it appears almost impossible to do. But I mean, what you guys are talking about doing is kind of baking trust building exercises into your current funnels sales processes, and what have you. Is that correct? 

Adam: Yes, you have to trust is probably one of the most important resources today, because it's limited. You know, one of the things we teach and captivate is right out of the gate in the beginning earlier sessions is we do a background on discovering the history of like, understanding how marketing has evolved, you know, people's red flags are up, why, like, what is going on what's happened in the digital space that's causing people to feel this way, consciously or unconsciously? Right? Once we understand those human drivers, and how Tech has created that human behavior, we can start saying, Okay, I'm understanding people a little bit better now. And I can start to build those bridges of trust and give them the genuine, authentic information they're looking for. You cannot do that. If you don't know you don't do your research, you don't know how these things have evolved and why they are the way they are. Right? It's like trying to play a piano, but not knowing anything about the piano.

Josh: Yeah, and I mean, the reality is with that is that you know, if you're not building that in the sale are going to slow eventually, because you can really only do so much based off of direct outreach. But what you're talking about is saying, hey, let's, let's create a system so that they will continue to come back to us, and you're creating advocacy with people, that referral partnership with a lot of people. And that is what the real sales come in, right? 

Adam: It's true, when it depends what you're selling, right? Let's just be clear for your audience. Like if you're selling a transactional $10 widget, okay, you don't have to build that much more trust, the higher the price point, the more trust and time you're going to build into this process, right? If I'm selling a $2,000 product, I'm not pitching the sale right out of the gate. I know, we need to kind of connect a few times. First, we need to talk you need to know a little more about our program about us. Why would you trust us to teach you anything, right? So then we can ask them for the sale when it's appropriate. But you got to get to know when that is. And the more if it's a $50,000 solution for a service. Again, tell me one time you get on a call, and you sell a $50,000 solution right out of the gate, it doesn't happen. Okay?

Josh: The sales cycle is longer, right? Some people would argue that you could do it for sure. But I think they've really leveraged that the trust relationship, and most people will say, oh, I've been building trust with this person so that I can close in one call. Right? And and that's, that's where I think that, especially for most of the people listening to this right there, they're a coach or an agency of some sort. Maybe they run a mastermind, and they are saying, Okay, I'm trying to figure out how to sell high ticket and at scale. And what you're talking about is incorporating some strategies into your, your actual, I would say more of your digital presence so that you can close more sales. I have to ask you this, like, what are some of the best trust building pieces that you can do as an entrepreneur? Especially in one of those, you know, as a coach or an agency? 

Adam: Yeah, I mean, there's different kinds of acts and stories, right. So one area of trust would be providing, like sticking to what you promise, right? If you have a digital download, you're, you're trying to build your email list deliver on what you say you're going to deliver. Don't just use all these hyped-up words and headlines to get like that clickbait thing going on, you know, most ultimate best guide ever, no one can beat us, you're gonna sell a million dollars in the next three months. And then they're gonna download it. It's like some lame word doc, that tells you almost nothing that they could care about. Okay, trust gone, right? So deliver on what you say you're going to deliver on authenticity. People don't just want to know what's in it for them anymore. We used to call that with them, right? What's in it for me? They want to know what's in it for you, too. Right? Why are you doing this? Why are you trying to sell me this? What's in it for you? So if you're willing to be vulnerable and put yourself out there? Here's what I'm all about. Here's why I'm doing this. Here's what's in it for me. Like there's stories there that you can be sharing through your ecosystem that help people relate to you in that sense. You know, we literally have people come to us and they're like, Man, you guys are just so genuine and real. I just, I already trust you guys. I just need to come up with the money and do this and do that. Right. So the objection of trust goes away, right? The other part of it is getting into these like emails and videos where you're talking and you're telling stories. So you know, what we teach is in captivate is not just, here's your brand story or founder story we're digging into that stuff for your brand expression. We call that the core sort that's the core of the business, the backbone. But we also need sales stories. And I can make up stories for my sales stories, right? Talk about baking a cake and all these other things I've done it. But I, if I have something relevant, I'll talk about, I remember when I was living in New York City, and I did this, I remember when I was wrestling as a young kid, and I went to the Nationals, all of a sudden, I'm using my story to demonstrate a sales point, a sales story, but they're also at the same time learning about me. And guess what's happening? Oh, I used to wrestle too. Oh, I did it. And all of a sudden, the trust starts just sinking ups and get out there getting to know me from every video that we talk about. Right. That's how we do it. 

Josh: Yeah. And I love that. Because I mean, that I love the articulation between the you know, what's in it for me, and what's in it for them? I mean, that's, I would agree with that. I never thought about it that way. This is good eye-opening experience for me. You know, I think people really do want to know, like, what's in it for you and why you're doing what you're doing? Because, I mean, you can I mean, the obvious thing is like, Well, of course, I want to make money, right? And of course, I want to help you and drive impact. And and the problem that I see a lot of times is people kind of choose one or the other. Right? They're like, here's me with my Lamborghinis. And here's me, I'm never gonna take a picture because I'm too humble, quote, unquote and and there's kind of like these extremes. But I really love that, you know, it's, it's like, how can you find a way to relate to them? Maybe on a level that's not business related, especially if you're in the business sector, which most people are who are listening to this? I mean, I love the wrestling concept, dude that's Russell Brunson. He's always talking about that, right. He's like, I was a very successful athletes and so a lot of successful athletes flocked to him. So really cool. I love I love that articulation. Bronson. Yeah, that's the big question. What?

Adam: No, I did. I interviewed him twice. The first interview. I did talk to him about wrestling a little bit, but not too much. But yeah, I think he did He’s gone pretty far with it. I I did as well. I was full time year-round. I went I won states, freestyle states. I went to Nationals. I was on to New Jersey. And I did the whole hustle man, but then I busted my knee twice in the same day. And as that was it, I didn't make it to college wrestling. 

Josh: Dang, I'm sorry to hear that. Well, if you can wrestle, again, childhood Tourette. It'll be a great day. Like our brands are wrestling together, right? Awesome, man. Well, that's, that's awesome. I really do appreciate you coming on today and sharing a lot of this because I hope people have been listening to this and saying, How can I leverage branding to, to my benefit? I mean, yeah, we started off by talking about kind of the visual aspect. But really, I love the core of what you are talking about, which is how do you find the trust? How do you build trust, and it's not as difficult as people would think it's all about sharing a story that relates to them from your life, not finding stories in your life, and trying to figure out how it relates to them. So yeah, 

Adam: three things the right story at the right time to the right, people. 

Josh: Love it. Beautiful. So we could have just ended the episode on that man, dang, I should have paid attention. But I do want to ask you, man, because obviously there's, you know, you're here for money as well. You're here for impacts, to help other people to solidify their story. So we know why you're here. But how can people get in contact with you, from you. 

Adam: So you know, At Change Credit, we're all about making meaningful difference in the world, using our businesses as that solution, right, kind of like building those lives that are meaningful to us. So you go to, you'll find everything there. But if you go to , you'll find some other resources there as well. 

Josh: I love that. So make sure you go check that out, excuse me. So it's Go check that out, guys. Because this is this is the kind of stuff that's going to really help you in scaling your business through brand. So Adam, to finish this off, I want to ask you one final question, 

Adam: what you got. 

Josh: So, you know, we've covered a lot of topics. So, if you could leave one final parting piece of guidance with our audience saying like, this is the one thing I hope you take away from this interview what would that be?

Adam: I would say, focus on understanding who you want to be. What does that look like write down a list of 20 different things you want, I want this much money. I want to be this kind of person, whatever it is, I want to work three hours a week. And then you have to actually start becoming that version of yourself. And that requires not big shifts rapidly, but small steps every day that build up.