Are you ready to turn your dreams into reality? Engage with Jennifer Cerna, the mastermind behind Dream Marketing, as she unveils her transformative journey from running a one-stop marketing solution to crafting a niche in brand strategy. Jennifer's enchanting insights will remind you of the power of concentration, and how a singular focus can pave the way to your success.
The episode does not stop there. We take a deep dive into the alluring world of branding, shattering the misconception that it's just about logos. The discussion unfolds to reveal the importance of understanding your audience and the role of AI platforms such as ChatGPT and Jasper in enhancing your brand strategy. Tune in for an eye-opening conversation that will revolutionize the way you perceive your brand and the critical role it plays in today's business landscape. Connect with us as we delve into the captivating world of brand strategy.
Connect with Jenn Cerna
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Hello and welcome to the Maximize Your Day podcast, a place for entrepreneurs who are building their business in pursuit of freedom and flexibility to do the things they love. I'm your host, jessica Rosario. I'm a New Yorker turned Floridian Who knows a thing or two on how to effectively manage your time while juggling multiple priorities. I'm an ex-corporate leader who walked away from my 9-5-ish to launch and grow my business. In this podcast, i share insights on mindset, business productivity, habits and strategies to help you take control of your to-do list and maximize your day, which will help you feel more confident and less overwhelmed and getting more done in less time. I'm so excited you're here. Go ahead, listen in. Welcome back to the Maximize Your Day podcast. I am so excited to be here with you today. I had the amazing Jennifer Serna and I'd love to share her story with you guys. For those of you that don't know me, my name is Jessica Rosario and I am your podcast host, and this podcast is all about productivity maximizing the tools and tips and tricks that are available for you to be able to help you work in a more efficient way, maximizing your time, maximizing your business. When you really look at it, it's all about maximizing your life as a whole. Because when everything is working in a flow, just everything just starts to just work better and you're working from your zone of genius and just feeling more inspired and motivated. So, without further ado, jennifer, just go ahead and tell us who you are and who you serve.Jennifer Cerna:
Yeah, hi, so I am Jennifer. I'm a branding expert and strategic designer. I am the owner and founder of Dream Marketing. I call it an enchanting, creative agency that transforms client dreams into achievements through brand experiences and storytelling, and I just serve small businesses who just want to dream big, and I just try to help them get there and achieve those dreams.Jessica Rosario:
I love that. I love your story and I love your business name Dream Marketing. I think that's so unique and so creative. So, Jennifer, what brought you into brand strategy?Jennifer Cerna:
I've always had this entrepreneurial mindset spirit. My parents brought me up with it and they kind of hammered it in for me And I've always been a very creative person because my mother is that type of person and then my dad is an engineer. So I have that analytical side as me as well And I wanted to find something that marries the two. And you have branding, which is the creative side, and then the strategy to implement that branding, which is the analytical side, and I found that to be the most perfect combination for me.Jessica Rosario:
I love that. So would you say that in the time that you've been in business, you always started out with brand strategy?Jennifer Cerna:
I did not. actually, i started off as the end all be all marketing agency solution, which was absolutely horrible.Jessica Rosario:
I can't wait to dive deeper into that story, because we'll be talking about the evolution of brand. Right? Someone's brand on day one is not their brand on year 10, right? So tell me more about that transition for you.Jennifer Cerna:
Yeah. So again, i just kind of started off. I started my business not knowing what I wanted to do just within marketing, and set up my business And you think you have to offer everything under the sun to be in business. I did social media, i did websites, i did SEO I didn't even know what SEO was at the time And a whole bunch of other like range solutions. I was like low design everything. But as I kind of started getting clients here and there, as I started seeing what it really means to be like in that specific niche or area, i should say I just realized I really don't like this, this isn't really what I want, this is not as fun as I thought it would be. So then I started kind of chipping away at the different services and sooner or later I realized it's better to focus on a very specific niche area and drill in deep on that, and if you love it, even better, you know. So that's kind of how I I ended up in brand strategy. I was originally doing websites up until not long ago too. It's just recent that I started to kind of like drilling down on brand strategy, because I kind of appreciate doing websites, but it's not where my heart's at. And then, finally, landing here, everything just clarified, solidified here, and everything just fell into place when I chose the one thing and started really putting everything together.Jessica Rosario:
I've heard that so many times and you know myself I'm a multi-passion entrepreneur. There's a lot of people that know that I own a commercial cleaning business here in Central Florida And, of course, i'm a business coach, which I was a business coach before we started that business, which you know. I will say I am part of the success of the business because I think that if I didn't have that business background, i don't know if we would have still been where we are now, but definitely that was one of the things that helped. So, in your case, knowing the fact that you had to focus on the one thing instead of offering too many things, what did it do for your business? I know you said things started to fall into place, but what was that aha moment that you were like, oh my gosh? you know I should have done this from day one.Jennifer Cerna:
Yeah. so I don't believe in necessarily like a one moment aha. I believe it like continuously, gradually happens until you look back and you're suddenly I've made it this far. So it was in one particular moment where it was light switch. you know. it's more of like suddenly, that gradually chipping away at it being okay, what do I want, what do I focus on, what do I like, where's my area of genius and all that good stuff. And just looking back and seeing what are the different parts that I liked, what I've done before, what I've learned, and all that good stuff, is where I finally realized brain strategy was it? And everything falling into place just really meant I was able to clearly understand the path that I wanted to take. basically, i was able to create my offer suite and do that progression from, you know, my lower offer to my higher offer, because it made sense now, it wasn't all scattered all over the place. I was able to hone in on my brand as a whole and be okay, this is how I want to show up. And that's how I was able to create that little bio that I gave, because I was able to be like okay, this is exactly how I want to show up in that sense, and kind of knowing and understanding what area you want to be in really does help you understand how to show up and how to create that brand story and brand experiences is what I call it And which is essentially what brand strategy is.Jessica Rosario:
I love that you call it brand experience. So how do you define that?Jennifer Cerna:
Yeah, so it's basically any touch point that a client or potential client goes through, where they just I can't figure out another word besides experience of your actual brand in the moment. For example, right now, let's say I'm kind of figuring out my podcast right And I'm kind of figuring out the steps for it, but I'm making sure I'm very intentional of what those steps are. So that's like the journey, and then on top of that, what does it look like? So I'm sending shared notes and that's all branded and being like this is how we're gonna do it. I'm also very type A, so you will be like this is exact structure, this is the questions we're gonna be talking to and all that good stuff, and it's just every single step of the way is basically being like you're in the dream. It experience Like you know. It is dream it marketing, because everything around it not just the visuals, but the feeling you're getting, the emotions, the thoughts that I, specifically, i want you to feel these thoughts and emotions are being felt at the time.Jessica Rosario:
I love that. What would you say is the importance of storytelling in your business?Jennifer Cerna:
I think branding and storytelling are one and the same. I think you can't really separate one without the other, because that's what you're doing. You know we're creating these brand stories and inserting the client into the story, And so it's very important to do storytelling. And a lot of people tell you to do storytelling, but most don't tell you how to do it. So that's one thing that I'm kind of setting out to be making it very clear on how to do it and how to go about it. But it's very important. I include it in just about everything that I do for clients. I include it in everything that I do personally for my business and things like that. What I say is your brand is like a character from your favorite book or movie. You know it has wants, it has needs, it has thoughts and emotions. It's supposed to act like a person to a degree, you know. So that's how I think of it.Jessica Rosario:
I love that. What would you say is a way that you help a business build a strong brand.Jennifer Cerna:
Yeah, so the very first thing is really narrowing down and nailing down who your target audience is Like. That is the most important part. I spend a good amount of time on it with clients for the beginning of the strategy session when I'm finding out who their audience is and then building out their strategy for like exactly who that audience and like persona that we're going to build is. So I think that is the first and foremost thing. If you can't nail that, then everything else is for not. You know, it's basically like building on sand And and then after that it's just kind of establishing that personality that you want to be. It's establishing the parameters of that character that you want your brand to embody and kind of knowing how to show up, because if you're all over the place, nobody's going to get you or understand your brand or you as a person. But if you're very precise and concise about who you are and what it is and how to be, that then someone can be like oh okay, i understand that. I see that. You know people go with what they understand. You know they will not go with what they don't understand. So that's also a very important aspect.Jessica Rosario:
If you were to share with our audience what the top three things that everyone should know when it comes to branding, what would that be?Jennifer Cerna:
Yeah. So the first thing is probably the biggest misconception in branding, which is your brand is so much more than just a logo. It's not just a logo. A logo is like it's the end goal. It's not the end all be all of a brand. It is a visual representation, but that's where it stops, you know. So that's the first thing. Like you can't depend on your logo being a brand and you have, like colors and fonts and everything, and that's not what a brand is. The second thing is, again, understanding that audience persona. You know, creating that audience persona based off of a good, real audience, and doing that research, going through their mind and what their thoughts and feelings are, and going deeper than just the demographics, which is what I call, like Sally, by Seychelles, by the Seashore, she's 24 and on Instagram. That's nowhere near enough. And then the third thing is probably to always just have that audience in mind when creating anything, and I mean anything from content on a copy from a post. Clearly, like you want to target them in marketing, but even design has all a specific purpose. Design can be art, but it's really meant to solve problems. So it's understanding those problems and then knowing how to solve them with the different kind of mediums that you have to reach them.Jessica Rosario:
Awesome, awesome. I love that and I think those are great tips, especially for someone that's starting out and really doesn't know what areas to focus on. Now, how do I know if my brand is working effectively?Jennifer Cerna:
Okay. So the best way to see this is kind of seeing what people are saying about it. That's really what a brand is. It's what other people think and say and feel about or towards your brand. So if they're saying, thinking and feeling what you want them to say, think and feel, then you're on the right track. It's not necessarily about sales and increase website views. They're important goals, but ultimately that's just kind of like side goals where it comes to the brand you know. So ultimately it's figuring out exactly what they think about your brand and if it lines up with what you want it to be, then you know you're on your right, where you need to be.Jessica Rosario:
So definitely hearing from your audience. You know that's one of the things that when I'm working with my coaching clients, i tell them all the time hold your audience, ask them the question, you know, and if you have some other clients or if you hear a trend is somebody comes to you and says something about your Instagram posts whether it was the content or whether it was the image or what attracted them to your site. Definitely keep that feedback because that feedback is important for the growth of your business. So I love that. I love that you're sharing that Now, in this world that we are all about AI, how do you think platforms like Jasper and chat GBT, how do you think they've helped business owners with focusing on building their brand?Jennifer Cerna:
Yeah, i think tremendously. Really, I don't believe that AI will replace certain aspects or certain jobs, but I think it will become a supplement to those jobs And it will be important for those jobs to learn how to use AI in order to be able to still be relevant and still be able to be in business And building a brand. Of course, chatgpt searches the internet for all sorts of information and puts it into the most relevant available piece of information that it can give you with what you're asking it, so it's incredibly useful. I use it all the time, but there's always supposed to be some level of humanity to it, though, whether it's editing or putting in the questions and telling it. I want it to be in this certain way, but there's always some editing and human aspect to it. For example, i was just telling you, before we started recording, that I was using ChatGPT to create my bio, which helped me a ton, and well, it didn't give me the perfect answer. It gave me a lot of different kind of little nuggets here and there, and I had to go in and extract them, edit them, make my own voice and my own emotions that I want to provoke and put it together. So I think it's incredibly useful and it's incredibly helpful and we're not turning back on it anymore from here. We're past the point of no return from it, so it's definitely going to be more helpful down the road, but I definitely think it's something to keep up with and know that it is possible to use it to create and build your brand, just depending on how you use it, because you just can't completely rely on it 100% either.Jessica Rosario:
Right, right, and I agree with you. I think that is one way to enhance what we're doing in business. I tell my clients all the time don't use it and copy and paste it as your own. Just refine it, add your pizzazz, add your own spin, so that people get to know who you are. And the beauty of it is that as you continue to do that with these AI platforms, it continues to get to know you and your brand and your business, so it continues to give you better curated content that you can utilize as you continue to grow Awesome, awesome. So, jennifer, what are ways that anyone that's listening and wants to hear more about what you do? what are some ways that they can work with you?Jennifer Cerna:
Yeah, so of course I offer brand strategy and those are custom sessions and packages that we can talk about how to rebrand or launch a brand like that. And also I have smaller packages such as the brand audit which I'm working with Jessica on and basically going through your brand and seeing where the areas of improvement can be, and all that good stuff. And then I have a free Slack community where I'm helping others build their brand and just creating that community of other small businesses and entrepreneurs wanting that direction and help to build their brand. Basically.Jessica Rosario:
I love that And I'm glad that you brought that up, because I have to say that I've done your brand audit workflow and I got so much information much more than what I truly expected And just being able to see not only how you identify, maybe, some areas of opportunity, but you also identified some areas of strength, and the cool thing about it was that you were able to tell me, hey, this is working, leave this alone, but some areas that you can improve upon are here, and you gave me some really great suggestions and recommendations that I absolutely love. And just being able to build from that because we all need to have someone who's an expert One of the things that I find when working with a client that's building their business, they get so hung up on the website and the this and the that and their colors. And I tell them all the time are you planning on building websites for a living? And they're like no, and I'm like okay, well, why don't you have somebody else that has the expertise look at it and give you feedback And then, if you still choose to do it on your own, you're at least making the changes based on someone that has that expertise that can help support you? Because, let's be honest, we are our very own worst, worst, the worst critics when it comes to our stuff and our business and our tools. So Awesome. Well, jennifer, it was so great having you on the show Before we go. I'd love to ask you how do you maximize your day?Jennifer Cerna:
Yeah, so, like I said, i'm very type A, so I will do to-do list either the night before the day of, i will time block. That's something that's really helpful And I will just try to set deadlines for myself and be able to complete them. It's not always possible, but knowing that I give myself permission to try to hit it, and if I try for it it's great, and if I don't, i can move it to another day unless it's like utmost importance. But yeah, trying like different little things to keep myself on track, because I know my mind wanders And so keeping those things, those things right in front of me, that checklist, the time blocking and all that good stuff is what helps me maximize my day.Jessica Rosario:
Oh girl, that's music to my ears.Jennifer Cerna:
I'm a type A also I love checklists.Jessica Rosario:
I love to-do lists. You know, sometimes I add things to my to-do list just to cross it out. Yeah, i heard I'm not the only one, so I think that's so cool. There's a group of us out there that are doing the same weird things, right?Jennifer Cerna:
I love that.Jessica Rosario:
So, jennifer, where can my audience find you if they wanted to connect with you?Jennifer Cerna:
Yeah, so they can find me on Instagram and on TikTok. I am active in both. I try to be at least, and that's going to be at Dreamit Marketing and that's J-R-E-A-M-I-T Marketing.Jessica Rosario:
Awesome, awesome. I love having you on the show, you guys. Her contact information will be in the show notes, so feel free to grab it there and, you know, take a screenshot of the episode and tag us on social. We'd love to see that. We'd love to hear your feedback and to be able to bring you more content that helps you build your business, build your brand and, just in general, help you maximize your day. So thank you so much for being here, jennifer. It was great having you. Yeah, thanks for having me. It's been a lot of fun, as always. Thank you so much for listening in. Don't forget to subscribe to the show to be notified the second a new episode is released And share with your friends who you believe could benefit from listening. Contact me at justrosariocom forward slash podcast to share your feedback, ask questions, make topic suggestions or even be a guest on my show. You never know if your topic will be next until next time. Maximize your day and own it.