The following is the full transcript of Remarkable Episode 9: Danielle Watson on How to Stand Out, Get Noticed, and Be Remembered
In this episode of Remarkable, I have an in-depth conversation about branding with an unconventional anthropologist who has spent more time digging in pocket books than she has digging in the dirt.
She uses her education and experience to help others gain confidence and turn their personal quirks into high-value professional assets.
She’s an enthusiastic story-teller and inspirational mentor, a TEDx speaker, and is a frequent guest on podcasts, radio, and television programs.
During our conversation, we talk about how to build a strong personal brand, how to discover your own brand, and the key concepts behind standing out and being remembered.
You’ll also learn the importance of developing branded systems, how to transfer your skills from one industry to the next, and what you can do to build a loyal audience and like-minded individuals.
She’s known as The Pocket Muse and the creator of the Purse Process, here’s Danielle Watson.
Dave: Danielle, welcome to the Remarkable Podcast!
Danielle: Hi David, thank you!
Dave: Yeah, thank you for giving us some time today, I look forward to hearing from you and getting your insight. Just to give a little bit of background, we met last July at the Podcast Movement Conference, and we kind of connected online from there, and I’ve been following you.
So I was looking forward to getting a little bit more into what you do and your thoughts on personal branding and building an audience.
So just to get us up to speed for those that might not be familiar with what you do, can you just give us a couple sentences on what you do today, and what’s your day job?
Danielle: Yes, I would love to, but first I’m going to turn the tables on you a little bit!
Danielle: Yes, we met at Podcast Movement, and I am so curious for our listeners to hear what it was about me that you remember, because I think that will really shed light on what a personal brand is and how to niche yourself in a way that stands out.
Dave: Yeah, that’s a great question. Thanks for asking. So I remember that we met in, I think her name is Lea Thau, who had a session on the art of storytelling, and I think I walked in after it had already started.
I always look for someone to sit next to or close to so that I can try to make a connection since I’ve gone all that way. So I picked a sit beside you and I think we chatted and shared a little bit of information. One of the exercises was to write down some things about yourself.
I think that sparked a conversation, and then I remember you telling me that you had some history, or studied anthropology, and that you’ve taken that into personal branding, looking into purses and pocketbooks.
So that stood out to me, and I think that probably says a lot for you and your brand.
Danielle: It absolutely does, so you really highlighted what my market differentiator is here. My background and training in anthropology and archaeology. And then, David didn’t mention it, but when you meet me in person, I’m a big girly girl.
I was probably in a big poofy dress, with red lipstick and high heels and that is really what makes my brand pop. Not only am I in a crowded market of coaching, but I am a woman coach.
Those are a dime a dozen, right, but how often do you meet somebody with a background in anthropology and archaeology, and then further how often do you meet a woman who has a background in anthropology and archaeology, and then layer on top of that not just a woman, but a woman who doesn’t wear cargo shorts, doesn’t like to dig in the dirt, and has no interest in camping?
So those are the really essential pieces of my brand. I took something very traditionally masculine- anthropology and archaeology, and I juxtaposed it against my authentic self, which is a very feminine female.
By taking those two things and putting them right next to each other – two things that seem almost irreconcilable, I made something that every single person who hears it remembers.
Dave: And that’s great – I love it. That’s why I wanted to talk to you, because clearly you put some thought into that and it sticks.
Danielle: I did! And my doing that, I get to do what I love to do and the way I love to do it. My brand is called ‘The Purse Process.’
So I took three very basic principles of archaeology, which anyone could learn by taking a very basic textbook for archaeology off the shelf, and anyone could learn these, and I applied them to the contents of a woman’s handbag.
So that’s another piece of my brand. I took something that was very girly and I sort of appropriated these very masculine, very traditional tools, and I used them in a very unconventional way, I used them on a woman’s handbag.
And it’s funny because, whether man or woman, when I talk about the fact that a woman’s handbag is like an archaeological dig site, you can see the lightbulb going off over their heads.
They automatically understand the connection and how this applies. And although I love my Purse Process, it’s highly inventive and creative and fun, you know after you’ve been doing something for a while, it can get kind of boring.
And so once I built my Purse Process brand, I started talking a little bit more about how — what we’re talking about today. How do you figure out those things about yourself that, you know, maybe you don’t want to share?
I know for myself, I didn’t really want to share that I’d spent tens of thousands of dollars becoming an anthropologist and I never actually used it for anything for a long time.
Danielle: But I started talking about digging out those pieces of yourself that you maybe weren’t entirely comfortable sharing, and maybe how you could use those to leverage your skill sets that you already have as a market differentiator, and a personal brand.
Dave: I want to understand a little bit more about, to use a pun, I do want to dig in a little bit deeper. But to rewind the clock a little bit, what did you study in undergrad? What did you study in college?
Danielle: Same, anthropology and archaeology.
Dave: And what led you to that? Were you passionate about something related when you were younger?
Danielle: You know it’s funny, I’m in the process of filling out a profile for a feature in a local paper here, and I was just asked that question. I was thinking about it, and what I realized, in really considering that for the first time.
You know, why, other than I just thought it was interesting and I liked it, what I realize was at the time I would have told you that I wanted to understand people.
I wanted to understand humans, and I thought that understanding them through space and time, which is really what anthropology looks at, different peoples throughout different times in history, in different parts of the world, I would have told you that I wanted to understand different people.
And I wanted to be able to get on in the world. But looking back, at this point in my journey, what I have come to understand is that really what I was looking for was to make sense of myself, and to find what my place was in the world.
And you know, at that young age, when we’re choosing what we do for college, I just don’t think I could have articulated that.
But looking back, that’s the real truth of it. Yes, I was interested in other people, and other cultures, and how other people did things, but what I really wanted was to figure out what the heck was going on with me, and who am I, and what is my place in this big wide world where I feel like this very small, insignificant sort of person.
Dave: I can really relate to that. I’m self reflective, and have thought a lot about how I got to where I am, and I’d always thought of myself as kind of an entrepreneur and a marketer, but as I’ve thought about what I’ve always enjoyed doing, I’m more of a researcher and problem solver.
It just happens to be that in the world of entrepreneurial and activities there’s a lot of problems that need to be solved.
I really enjoy just solving people’s problems and connecting the dots, and reading and researching. It just happens to be that I landed in the marketing world.
Danielle: I can completely relate to that. One of the things that I am really good at is being able to listen to what somebody’s saying about their story, about who they are, about what’s stopping them. And being able to read between the lines and connect those dots for people.
Archaeology is sort of the science of doing that. You’re looking at a bunch of discarded objects instead of thoughts, and trying to figure out what the connection is between those things and read between the lines, what it meant to the people who used them.
Dave: So you got your degree, and then you got your masters degree.
Dave: What did you do after that? Where did you work? How did you support yourself shortly after that?
Danielle: You know, it’s funny, when I finished my masters degree was when I moved from California where I was born and raised and went to college, to Northern Virginia.
And I’m about 45 minutes without traffic outside of Washington DC, and being in my early 20s, I thought. ‘Oh! I will just go get a job at one of the Smithsonian’s, or something like that,’ just not having any concept of the world or how competitive that would be.
Well, when I moved here, I also hadn’t taken into account the epic levels of traffic that we have here.
So I quickly learned that what looked like a 45 minute commute was more like a 2 hour commute. And I wasn’t willing to do that. So I scrapped the idea of even bothering apply to any museum sort of jobs, and like a lot of people who have done nothing but school their whole life, I got really depressed.
Because I was an overachiever, and suddenly I wasn’t achieving anything. No one had any goals for me. I had no real place in the world, I recognized for the first time, that although I had followed my passion and enthusiasm, I had no real marketable skills.
And I was living in a new place entirely across the country, and anyone who has moved from east to west or west to east knows that there’s some culture shock that goes along with that.
Dave: Yeah, it’s very different.
Danielle: Yeah, so it was a really, really rough time. And for a while I didn’t really do much of anything. My husband supported us, I tried to sort out what it was I wanted to do, I took a couple of temp jobs, I was completely miserable, but the one thing that I did on a regular basis, and that I had begun doing in college to keep myself from spontaneously combusting from trying to over achieve all the time, was practice yoga.
I was going to yoga class all the time, trying to reduce my stress level and try to keep myself from falling into truly deep depression, the kind that would require medication or some kind of intervention.
So through that, one day I was at class, and I was looking at the teacher, and I thought ‘I could do this. I’m really good at yoga. I could do this.’
And so I went up to her and I asked her ‘How do you become a yoga teacher?’ And I remember so clearly, like it was yesterday, her placing her hands, one on each of my shoulders, and looking into my eyes, and her saying ‘you would be so great at this. You have just the right personality for this.’
Because I’m very nonjudgmental of people, and very supportive and a great listener, and people just understand that about me. So, um, my very first thing I did out of college was I became a yoga instructor.
But I quickly learned that you can’t make any money teaching yoga. So that’s where the entrepreneur in me came out. I went ‘aha! If I do private yoga I can make a lot more money!
And if I can come up with a market differentiator, not only am I going to teach private yoga, I’m not going to do it at a gym, I’m going to open a mobile yoga studio, and I’m going to offer private sessions in people’s homes.’
And where I live, there is a great deal of wealth. So that was a completely viable market. So that was my first business that I built up over a number of years. It was tough to let go of, but it trained me for what I needed to do for when I finally got to the Purse Process. What I needed to do to build that into a success as well.
Dave: Fascinating. So how did you make that transition into the Purse Process business?
Danielle: Well, at first I started out by hiring a coach to help me figure out what the heck it was I wanted to do. I was at a place in my life where I was just utterly miserable, and I just couldn’t win, no matter what. If I had a lot of clients, I felt exhausted because I was working and I was working at something I didn’t want to do anymore.
And if I didn’t have clients, I was miserable because I had no money. And so there was no winning. So I knew that, well, if I can’t win at this that means I need to get out of the game. And so I hired a coach to try to help me figure out what it was I wanted to do.
But I made a mistake. I thought that all coaches were there to try to help you figure out what you wanted to do, and what I hired was somebody who was going to teach me about how to make my yoga business better. She had no interest in helping me figure out what it was that I wanted to do. And that was, you know, just ignorance on my part.
I remember feeling so taken advantage of, because I had spent thousands of dollars on something that wasn’t what I wanted. And I know a lot of people do that.
And I want to share that story because it happens to the best of us. And when you figure out that you have purchased something that is not going to help you, you just have to let that roll off your back and go at it again.
So the second time I hired somebody who was business coach and who was there to help me figure out what I wanted to do. And we quickly figured out that I wanted to get into helping people in a coaching capacity because that’s really what I ended up doing in my yoga business.
I was really helping people with their problems, we just happened to also be stretching. So that was a natural fit for me, and the Purse Process didn’t present itself right away. In fact, that process was born out of a sarcastic comment that I made.
Completely random, not planned, I wish I could say David that I sat down with one of those lovely worksheets that people are always giving away, and I wrote down all the skills I have and who I want to work with and all this, and it neatly just tied itself into this really sexy bow called the Purse Process. That’s not how it happened.
Once I decided I wanted to get into coaching, I didn’t really know how to talk about that, and so I hired a copywriter. I knew I needed to get a website up, I knew I needed to get some language about what it was I did. I didn’t know how to do that, so I hired her.
And she, of course, asked me the dreaded question ‘how will you know your ideal client?’
And for me, when somebody asks me a hard question or a question I don’t really want to answer, they get sarcasm. And so my reply was, well, ‘I could look through her purse.’
And instead of completely laughing me off, which is probably what I would have done, she caught it. And she went, ‘what do you mean by that?’
And so I started describing this process based on three basic principles of archaeology, and they simply are ‘objects convey meaning, objects in a collection convey meaning in relationship to one another, and an object or objects convey the most meaning in their original context.’
Those are the three basic principles of archaeology. I started talking about them in relationship to a purse, and she was just amazed. She was like ‘this is amazing.’ And my thought was ‘ppft! Anybody can do that!’ Isn’t that the thing always?
Dave: Yeah, it seems to simple.
Danielle: Yeah, it’s too simple. Because it’s the way we think. Whether we’ve been trained that way, or because we naturally think that way, we totally throw that out and discount it as being anything worth doing.
She was so impressed by it, and the information I was able to extrapolate about her, and the insight I was able to give her about what her default patterns were, so that she could then start making some much more conscious deliberate decisions about what she wanted to do in relationships, in her personal life, in her business, they were all related to this decision making process that I was able to suss out by just looking at her stuff.
And so I thought ‘well, I’m just going to play with this toy.’ Just to see what happens.
And I started asking any woman who I thought wasn’t going to call the police on me if I could dump out her purse and look through it and tell her about herself.
And surprisingly, and I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I’m of diminutive size and have a happy face, that a lot of women let me do that. And so I started getting known as this Purse Process lady who could look through your stuff and tell you things.
Well, it quickly developed into a reputation as a purse psychic.
Dave: Which is exactly what you’re going for.
Danielle: Yeah, it’s exactly what I was going for. No, I hated that so much. Because although I’m big on following my gut feeling and things like that it was like ‘no! No this is based on actual like documentable science!’
So I finally figured out that what I needed to do was to make this something that was easy for other people to digest. So I created four purse process personality archetypes.
I gave them fun names like ‘Dumpster Debbie’ and ‘Vanishing Veronica’, and the minute I did that and other people could see what I saw, and self select which bucket they belonged in, everything changed.
Because then it wasn’t just ‘Danielle, really clever, pulling a fast one on me,’ or some kind of purse psychic, it was ‘oh, this woman has a methodology, and I can see how this actually relates to me.’
Dave: I love that story, and I love your process, and the questions, and that you have a system. What is it that clients pay you to do? Are you a life coach, or a business coach, or a marketing coach?
Danielle: You know, sometimes I will call myself a coach or a mentor, but really, I’m an anthropologist. I did not go to coaching school.
Dave: Right, right.
Danielle: When I first started my business, people did pay me to perform the purse process for them. It was a service activity. I have long since retired that. I give away the information about the profiles for free, it’s on my website. Anyone can read all about them.
What I did was I transitioned into ‘okay, you have this information about yourself, it’s really fun, and we all have a good laugh that your purse tells you about yourself. But now that you know this about yourself, your gifts and your challenges, how do you want to break free of that?’
And that’s really, much more the work that I have transitioned into. It’s ‘okay, you know who you are, you know what you’re doing, now what are you going to do about it? And if you’re not getting the results you want on your own, I’m here to assist you.’
Dave: So you provide some sort of a consultation over a period of time to help people go from where they are to where they want to be?
Danielle: I do.
Dave: Okay, awesome. What has been the biggest challenge from getting the Purse Process or consulting business up? What’s been the hardest thing to overcome?
Danielle: The biggest, hardest thing to overcome was my own darn self.
Dave: How so?
Danielle: Well, I am a big old introvert. I have a hard time being visible and letting myself be seen, and letting people want things from me, and interacting with people over a long period of time. I really value my time by myself. Being with people – like you, and other people at podcast movement is exhausting to me.
It drains me, it absolutely drains me. I remember taking a photo of myself in my hotel room the second night, and I’m just laying over on the chair, I’m completely spent. Even though I’m having a great time and I love people and I have an outgoing personality, I can turn it on.
It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just that it exhausts me. It takes something from me. So learning (1) that I had to just stop giving myself a pass and saying ‘well, you know, you’re an introvert, you can’t do this thing. I had to stop giving myself a pass on that and say ‘you know what, if you want to make this work, you have to get out there.
And then (2) figuring out how to manage my energy. Figuring out what are the things that I’m excited to get out here and do?
That will help, if I’m not dreading, you know, going to like a local Q&A, I will have more energy. And then figuring out, okay, well how much can I really do?
I mentioned to you when we chatted before, I did what I called my purse process tour, and I traveled around the country and going to networking events and meeting people and making appearances and all these things. And it was so, to the bone exhausting.
And figuring out that yes, there was a season for that, there was a time I needed to do that, but I can’t sustain it. And so figuring out other ways to market myself.
Dave: Through your travels, and through the process that you’ve been through, have you built an audience or a fan base yourself? Or are you always looking for new people that just kind of come in through your website or through a search of some sort?
Danielle: Well, of course, like anyone in business. I’m always looking for new people. One of the best ways I find of meeting new people is actually through shows like this. People hear a podcast where I’ve been a guest, and they go ‘where ha this woman been all my life? I’d love to talk to her!’
But yes, I have built a community on Facebook, and it’s so funny that you ask this question because, just yesterday I had this idea that ‘you know, I’d really like to have not just my Facebook page, but I want to have my own group of people like me who are fierce overachievers, how are positive minded, who are supportive of other people, and who are just winning at life and enjoying it.
And so I started sending out personal invitations to the women I knew who fell into this category. And so I thought ‘oh, if I can get like 20-25-30 of us together that would be awesome.
And so once I had 35 people the thought entered into my head I wonder if I know 100 women who would like to be in a group like this of positive minded people who are just out there after it.’
And so when I woke up this morning I had 140 yes’s. I could not believe it, I could not believe that I had built that kind of a community, and it’s just been sitting there, for a couple of years now, many of these people, and it only just occurred to me that they should all know each other to!
Dave: And what are your plans for that? Are you going to build a Facebook group? Or a private forum, or have you thought about that?
Danielle: It is! It’s 140 people in a Facebook group, and we’re all talking about what we’re winning at and how we’re just doing things in life, and it’s just this amazing positive energy space, and I really don’t know what’s going to happen with it, and in true Danielle form I pretty much just jump off the cliff and build it on the way down.
And I haven’t crashed yet, so I’m pretty sure that this is going to be something amazing. I can feel the really fast moving energy behind it, and it’s very exciting. Yeah, I could not tell you where it’s going to be in a week or a month.
Dave: Well, just getting that enthusiasm and that many people together at once. It sounds like something good will come of it, like you said.
Danielle: Absolutely. It was just so surprising to have so many people so enthusiastic to join hands with other people who I had connected with. I know every single one of those women, and now they get to know each other.
Dave: I love it. I love it. Let’s go back to the handbag now.
So, tell us, if I’m listening and I’m thinking either I’ve got a podcast or I’m a solopreneur and I’m trying to build an audience, like you’ve got some fans or you’re on shows, what’s some of the first steps that I can take into trying to figure out ‘who am I? How do I brand myself or find out what’s unique about me?’
Danielle: Yeah, so branding yourself is really just being yourself really loud. So the thing about that is that, like you said, you have to figure out who you are, which is not always easy.
Dave: Or quick, it’s not quick either.
Danielle: It’s not quick for sure. And so there are a couple of ways I like to recommend for people to do this. One, is to think about the things about yourself that you really don’t want people to know.
Like I mentioned before, I spent tens of thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours and years of my life studying anthropology and archaeology and then I became a yoga teacher.
I didn’t need a multi tens of thousands of dollars education to become a yoga teacher. But luckily the dots connected later. So yeah, think about those things that are sort of your secret shame or interests of yours that you don’t really want people to know about, and get real comfortable with those.
Decide that it’s okay to trot those out, because those parts of you that you sort of disowned will probably turn out to be a gold nugget.
Dave: Yeah, why is that? Why do you think that is?
Danielle: Because I think the parts of ourselves that we must reject are the things that make us most unique. And the things that make you unique are what will give you a higher market position. Because it will differentiate you from others.
Dave: Yeah, I can see that. I think it also makes us human.
Danielle: Yeah, absolutely.
Dave: If people, even if they haven’t gone through the same experience, I imagine that people can relate.
Danielle: Yes. That’s so key. So giving people the opportunity to relate to you means actually sharing who you are. So people can’t relate to you if you put off this sort of perfect persona.
I really like to talk about that a lot, that we have this idea that we want, and need, and are expected to be perfect. But perfection is actually repellant to other humans, because they can’t connect.
Danielle: So it’s really going to serve you if you take the time to figure out what it is about you that is a little bit damaged, and just use it. Use it to your advantage, and then think about asking people in your life what they notice about you. And it doesn’t have to be all good things. It can be things that they find annoying about you.
And if you can own those things and be okay with the fact that you’re a little bit annoying or whatever it is, those can also be ways that you can differentiate yourself from other people.
But it takes growing a little bit of a thick skin, of deciding that, you know, you’re okay with who you are and those things a re just a part of you, and that other people may not like or accept them but you do.
Dave: Yeah, and I think from a business or marketing standpoint, I see this sometimes. People are scared to show, you know, maybe who’s not a good client, or to expose that they’re not great at working with everyone and they’re not clicking with, and it’s a really horrible experience, and it’s a waste of time.
Danielle: Oh, it’s so exhausting.
Dave: I totally agree. It’s just so much better to say ‘listen, this is who I am, and this is what I’m not good at and these are my flaws, and if you’re okay with that then we’re probably a good fit to work together, but if you can’t deal with that let’s just not start.
Danielle: Yeah, it doesn’t serve you or the people that you would try to serve to be serving the wrong people. I often get questions about ‘how much of me can I really share?’
That’s a complicated issue, because there are layers to us, layers of intimacy, layers of what is appropriate to share with people. Like you don’t share with your dentist what you would share with your gynecologist.
But, you know, within certain boundaries of propriety, you really do want to share as much of yourself as possible. Project as much of yourself outwards as possible.
There’s really almost no such thing as too much of you for the right person. You cannot say the wrong thing to the right person. If somebody’s on board with who you are and what you do, the more you there is, the more hooked in they’re going to be.
Dave: I don’t want to put you on the spot. Is there anybody that you follow or that you’re a fan of, either a podcast or blogger, or business owner or online personality that you think does a good job of showing who they are in their personal side as well? Just as an example?
Danielle: Oooh. Who is good about being pretty real. Well, I really like Brene Brown’s work, and that’s the idea that she talks about is this idea of vulnerability, and how to share.
It’s hard for me to judge personalities out there, as far as how real, authentic, raw and vulnerable they are being. Because I don’t actually know them, so even though they may be sharing a lot of what seems personal detail,s that’s not always the case, unless you are an intimate friend of somebody, to know who are they entirely.
I’m trying to think if there’s anybody – you know, Sports Gal Pal, Ramona Rice, she has the podcast Sports Gal Pal. She recently lost her husband, and I have really admired her transparency about how difficult that’s been and how it’s impacted her show and how it will impact the future of the show.
So yeah, I think she’s done that really well, she’s shared what’s going on with her, what that’s like, but without just dumping it on everybody.
Because nobody likes to receive somebody else’s baggage that they didn’t ask for. She’s done it from such a beautiful position of strength and resilience.
Dave: Yeah, I met her at Podcast Movement as well, and I would suggest everybody that’s listening to go check out her podcast as well, support what she’s doing.
Is there anywhere that you go to continue to learn about business building, marketing, branding?
Danielle: You know, I really enjoy Mark Asquith’s show, Excellence Expected, because I am extremely excellence minded. You know, I have to say that in probably the last year, year and a half, I have tried not to engage in any sort of business building thought that is not my own.
I have really turned inward and said ‘okay, you’re an independent thinker, and what is it that you want to do rather than chase the next shiny object, because it’s so easy to do that.
So thinking about what is it that I want to do, because at this point in my business, I pretty much know what’s available out there. You know I kinda watched everybody getting on Periscope, and SnapChat, and what’s the uh, the other video …
Danielle: Blab! All of these, and I just went ‘ugh, no.’ I could exhaust myself trying to do all these things and I don’t need to do them, I don’t want to do them, and how about at this point in your business you just repeat what you know works for you, which is going out, meeting people, or being active in social media?
Dave: I really respect that. I find myself doing this from time to time, as I think we hide, or we use fear of doing the work and to let us procrastinate by just researching the next best thing.
So we spend all our time learning how to maximize Instagram and Snapchat and all that, but we’re avoiding the actual work that needs to be done.
Danielle: Exactly! You hit that so square on, it’s so true! I watch people running around trying to build their business because they have this idea that it needs to be the best and the greatest and the latest and, you know, they have to have the newest thing, and it’s like ‘you would be so much better off having your thing that you do well, than having the latest greatest newest best thing.’
Dave: Yeah, I love your perspective on that, as I’ve mentioned before, I teach a lot of small business owners, and one of the phrases that I’ve kind of come up with to help them take this home is to think if nobody’s talking about you offline, then they’re not going to talk about you online.
So are you building a remarkable business that people are happy to share about, because once you get that down, then the social media and the marketing is easy.
Because if you don’t have anything to talk about, then that’s where everything becomes difficult and you waste all of your time and energy trying to promote something that doesn’t really resonate with anyone.
Dave: One of the things I’ve heard you talk about is using your existing skills or experience to do something that’s kind of outside of the box. I think you mention that in your TED talk, and I’ll link to that.
Danielle: I did!
Dave: Can you give us an example of what that might look like? So let’s say, I think we’re in a time and place where there’s a lot of people who have been trained or have experience in one industry or arena, but whether they’ve gotten laid off, or they’re just tired or they want to do something different, early retirement, whatever the reason, they’re trying to transition into something else.
I think that’s a really applicable context to think about. How do I take my skills and do something different. What are your thoughts on that.
Danielle: Yeah, so in my TED talk I talked about the fact that every single person has skill and knowledge that could be used in unconventional ways. So the example for me is I have this anthropology and archaeology background, and I transferred that skill set to coaching.
I want to say, I can’t remember the name of his show, but John Harrison has a business called ‘Classically Trained’ and he is a video game fanatic, and he figured out a way to use the skills that people gained through mastering video games to transfer those over into using those skills to build their leadership and their corporate careers. Genius. Absolute genius.
So to make this even simpler, because I know people get really bogged down in the specifics. They’re like ‘well, I don’t have an anthropology degree, or I don’t like video games,’ and it’s really not about that. Think about what your skill set is, and then think about what your interest is, and then think about how those could marry.
So I have a skill set in anthropology and archaeology. But I have an interest in helping people, humans. So John, he has a skill set in video games, and he has an interest in corporate training.
So think about how you can take the thing that you’re passionate about, your interests and how your skill set that you’ve received through your work and life experience, that could help you market in a way that you could use. Does that help?
Dave: It does. It does. Have you helped many clients go through that process in the past few months or anything?
Danielle: I have helped people with this. You know I had a wonderful client who was an attorney, and she didn’t like the courtroom. Much like I’m an anthropologist who doesn’t like dirt.
I helped her figure out how she could use her skills in a way that helped people but didn’t require her to go to court. Although we mapped it out and it was a really great idea, she didn’t end up pursuing it. And that was fine, it was part of her process figuring out what she did and didn’t want to do.
I definitely find myself helping people figuring out what their niche is whatever market they’re already in. I really like to do that. I had a client who was an energy worker, and if you know anything about energy workers, they’re a dime a dozen, it’s called the ‘woo woo landscape, right.’
She was very science minded, she had a science background, and so we figured out how to name and position her program in such a way that it was much more evidence based and much more science and forward thinking than sort of la-la land thinking. And that was really cool, I really liked that.
Dave: Yeah, so how do you go about helping people find their ideal customer or their target audience. We talked a little bit about personal branding, and like you mentioned I do know that you kind of tap into that a little bit.
Danielle: I do, yeah, when I do that I got this nickname of The Pocket Muse. A friend of mine said ‘if there was a warehouse that was dedicated to generating ideas, it was full of equipment about generating ideas, you would open the door, and the only thing inside would be Danielle.’
So basically what I do is I just have people get on the phone for a consultation with me, and I just listen to what they’re experience is, what they want to do, who they are as a person, who they want to help, and I read between the lines.
I see the connections. I go ‘oh!, you could do this, and how about this? And you could do it this way, and here’s where you might find your people, and this is the exact thing that you said that makes you different from other people.’
I worked with somebody who has a dog training business last year, and she’s like ‘you now, there’s 101 dog trainers out there. And through talking with her, I realize that her market differentiator, her brand, was that she has a passion for the bully breeds, like bulldogs, and boxers, and pitbulls. Her thing is I help bully breeds keep their forever homes.
Because those dogs have a reputation. She is able to train them that they become a valued and obedient member of the family. And that makes her different from every single dog trainer out there.
And it was easy! I gave her that, and a tagline, and all these things in less than a day. It was so easy for me, because it’s just how my brain works.
Dave: Just a couple more questions. How do you get your customers? I think you mentioned, we talked, you brought up some of the social media platforms, but do you use social media, or do you use email marketing, or is it all in person?
Danielle: I do a little of each. So I have a weekly newsletter that I write, I am an active user on Facebook, I do get clients through Twitter, and then some through in-person, but most people I work with it’s not like a meet and then hire. It’s a meet, they get on my newsletter list, we connect on Facebook, they really get to know, like, and trust me, and then at some point they reach out and say okay, I’m ready.
Dave: So what types of content do you send out in the newsletter?
Danielle: You know, my newsletter, people have described like a Nancy Drew mystery novel. My newsletter I call the Field Notes which is a nod to my anthropology background. It’s basically about my life and the things that I’m encountering and how I’m conquering them.
The idea is to just inspire other people to just go get it, because if I can do it, this little 5 foot tall nothin’ woman, anybody can do it.
Dave: And so do you intentionally try to move them from your email list to your Facebook group, or is that just kind of a natural?
Danielle: You know, I do put some things in there about ‘hey, join me over on Facebook,’ but I think it tends to be more the other way, where people connect with me on Facebook and then they’re like ‘oh, I want to read what she’s writing.’
So I think it actually goes in the opposite direction more often than not.
Dave: And do you put any kind of specials or deals or contact … how do you get people from email to doing the actual contact with you.
Danielle: I put a link in there, not every week, but I put a link in there where people can schedule a chat with me on my calendar, so I don’t actually have to touch that interaction until they’ve already scheduled and we’re having a one on one conversation.
Dave: That’s great, I like that process a lot, I ask because everybody does it a little bit different, and I think we can learn something from how you go about doing that. I know you get interviewed on podcasts quite a bit now. Is there a favorite podcast that you like to listen to?
Danielle: Ooh. You know, Jeff Shaw has the Creative Warriors podcast. I like Mark Asquiths Excellence Expected. What else do I like?
Dave: Are the shows you listen to all interview style shows, or do you listen to other types of podcasts.
Danielle: You know, it’s funny. I pretty much tend to listen to the interview style, but I have a friend, Jonathan, who has the Trivial Warfare show. I keep telling myself that I’m going to listen to his show, because he’s so funny.
I’ve not been much of a trivia person, and I’ve recently had people come into my life who are, and I thought ‘this is my secret weapon, this is how I can get one up on their trivia knowledge.’ So I need to just hit the subscribe button and start listening to that.
Dave: Any parting tips or any advice or insight that you’d like to share with everybody that’s listening?
Danielle: You know, like I said before, personal branding and niching, all of these things are really just about projecting yourself. They are about being yourself really loud.
Any resource you can invest in, whether that’s getting personal help or a book or a self-improvement podcast, or asking a friend, or going through a worksheet. Anything you can do to get to know who you are better is going to serve you in that endeavor and is worth your time and your money.
Dave: I would agree, that’s great. Last question is where would you like to send people to go to learn more about you or connect with you?
Danielle: Yeah, go to my website purseprocess.com, if you put in your name and email address you can download a copy of my Purse Process Personality Profiles.
I get that most of you are really just not that interested in having me tell you which profile your purse tells me you are, because maybe you’re even a man, but I want you to go do it and look at it for ‘how could you do something like this.’
Because it’s such a sexy hook. People love the idea of it, and everyone has something like that that they could hook people with. That they could grab interest with. So go check it out, and think about ‘what do I have that I could position in a similar way that could really get people’s’ attention.
And then of course, come find me on Facebook, as long as you’re a nice person and you post pictures of your puppies and positive things, come friend me on Facebook, or you can find me on my business Facebook page at Purse Process.
Dave: Yeah, and I will reiterate that. I think you’re spot on, even if you’re not interested in the actual Purse Process itself, just I think, if you’re listening, go and get the download, and look at what she’s done and how she’s branded herself, and how you might be able to learn from what she’s done to work on your own personal brand, and doing something that’s remarkable and sticks out.
Danielle: If you do that, and you have questions, if you would email me danielle [at] purseprocess [dot] com and just let me know that you heard me on Remarkable, I’m happy to answer any questions you have.
Dave: Thanks Danielle, this has been really fun. I’ve enjoyed talking to you and I think you’ve shared a lot of great information.
I’m going to add a bunch of notes and links in the show notes, and add a transcription of the show so if somebody wants to go back and kind of read through some of things we’ve talked about. So thank you so much for your time and your generosity.
Danielle: Thank you David, it was my pleasure.
Dave: Take care.