Ways to Boost Your
Ep. 271 with Whitney Lee
“The whole point of PR is to consistently stay out there in the right light.”
Uncover the keys to success in the dynamic world of marketing and PR with Lesley and Whitney. Discover actionable insights for understanding and connecting with your target audience and how you can differentiate yourself from a saturated market.
If you have any comments or questions about the Be It pod shoot us a message at [email protected]. Or leave a comment below!
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In this episode you will learn about:
- How to boost marketing skills and pick the best platform.
- Why clear target audience definitions matter and ways to get direct customer feedback.
- How to prioritize visibility and set goal benchmarks.
- The benefits of brand partnerships and capitalizing on uniqueness.
- Cultivating a problem-solving approach and avoiding emotion-led decisions.
- Whitney Lee’s Website: https://www.truestorypr.co/
- True Story: The PR Podcast – https://truestorypr.co/podcast/
- Whitney Lee’s Instagram – @thewhitneylee, @truestorypublicrelations
- Whitney Lee’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/whitney-lee-sociallee/ and https://www.linkedin.com/company/truestorypr/?viewAsMember=true
- She Who Wins Whitney Lee episode – https://msreneebauer.com/e116-the-struggles-sacrifices-joy-and-freedom-of-being-a-high-performer-with-whitney-lee/
Lesley Logan: Just because we’re experts, not every single thing we do works perfectly on the first try. Hello, I jokingly say like we’re like little scientists, like we make a hypothesis based off of our education and our experience. And then we try out the hypothesis. And then we see what happens and we tweak from there. You know, like, it’s okay, if everything you do, it’s not going to, I’m going to go ahead and make that like clear statement, not everything you do is going to work on the first try. And most of the time, it’s not going to work on the first try. But the difference is they’re just people who push through and keep trying.
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and fitness business coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guests will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to put yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.
Lesley Logan 0:04
All right loves, so today’s guest I’m so excited about. First of all, I’m more excited than my voice sounds. I don’t know why it’s gone. Always gonna Be It Till You See It for this whole intro. I have one of my dear friends on her name is Whitney Lee, she is phenomenal. She’s such a badass bitch. And I, I just love being around her. I love the conversations I have. I love how honest and vulnerable she is. And she doesn’t, she’s she, what I love about what she does in her life is that she doesn’t take things that happened in her business personally, she really truly is like, let’s look at the facts. And let’s make these things happen. And I love that as an inspiration to all of us, whether it is a business that you’re listening to this podcast for, or your or a personal goal, the things that are happening to us are not personal attacks on us. They are just interesting obstacles for us to get some information from and move forward. And so when you get to this part of the conversation, that’s going to come about feelings, I hope that you stop, listen, rewind, pay attention again. She’s fucking phenomenal. And and so today I had her on because I love talking to PR people because they are like an ultimate be it till you see it when it comes to business. But she also has such honest advice that you can use to create your own PR and be your own self. And if you remember from Hillary Heartlines episode about branding that even if you’re not a business, you are a brand because it’s how you leave people feeling. If you listen to that episode and this one back to back, babe, I think you’re gonna have a great fucking day. So here is Whitney Lee.
Lesley Logan 1:32
Hey, Be It babe. So I’m super excited. This can be a fun conversation with a friend. I’m so happy to have met. We have a lot of friends in common many who’ve you’ve heard on the podcast before. Whitney Lee, we actually met at She Who Wins. She has a PR company called True Story. And she’s just phenomenal at what she does. But we met at the She Wins Conference, which is like a bunch of amazing women. And you’re just I went to your workshop and you’re just a delight about PR and making it so accessible. So I had to have you on because I wanted to share your amazingness with our listeners, can you tell everyone who you are and what you rock at?
Whitney Lee 2:28
Hey, friend, thanks for having me. My name is Whitney Lee, So, my company is True Story. We’ve been in business about 10 years now. So we do a lot of PR we also do social, social media paid and organic. We do a lot of email funnels. But honestly, like, at the end of the day, what I would say our superpower is is like business owners are so overwhelmed with all this crap that they see. Should I be doing email marketing, text messages, Google ads, billboards? Should I have my own podcast, they get so overwhelmed with all these different, I should be doing this to promote my business, we help kind of like, bust through all of that and just say no, no, here are the things you need to focus on. And let’s crush these things. So for some clients, we’re actually their team, we’re the ones executing for them. And then other clients, especially some of the smaller businesses that we work with, we just build a plan for them. And we teach their team how to take it and run with it. So
Lesley Logan 3:26
Freaking so cool. I mean, like, I love, there’s a lot of things I love, first of all, 10 years is an it’s like a lifetime, in a in a business like that. Not everyone makes it to 10 years. So congratulations. That’s humongous. (Whitney: Thank you.) but also, what an interesting 10 years it’s been to be in the PR industry. And like I imagine the things you guys have had evolved to do because PR has changed so much. And just these last 10 years, you know, going from like doing the, you know, death sides and all the different things with the magazines to actually like we can create our own PR without using any of these outlets. So what muscle you had to learn?
Whitney Lee 4:05
Oh my gosh, well, you know, I always say like, you know, some people go to school to become this or you know, like a nurse or this or that. And once they learn the skill, they have it forever, right. But like, this is the one job that I see that like, if you don’t continue to learn, like you’ll literally be out of date in three months, and you’ll just be clueless. So it’s like continually pushing us to like learn new stuff and to stay on the edge of everything. But I mean, that’s what makes it fun, right?
Lesley Logan 4:32
Yeah, yeah. And I think like, what you just said, might someone be like, Oh, my God, you’re right. If I don’t do this, in three months, I don’t even know how to use that app anymore. And it’s like, what’s so great is you’re like, hi, we actually will tell you if you need to use that app. We we’ve done the stress for you.
Whitney Lee 4:48
Yep, and half the time that’s what we see is like people that are doing all the things but they’re just in the wrong places. It’s always one of two things like they’re either putting their message out in the wrong place and they’re actual their people aren’t in that in that zone like you’re, you’re doing, you know, social media, but you’re, you know, Avatar is a 65-year-old man. Okay? You missed the mark. So they’re either in the wrong place, or they’re just saying the wrong thing. And people aren’t clear on what they do or what they serve. You know how they serve some.
Lesley Logan 5:17
Oh my god. Okay, so yes, I love we just dove right in. So I want to highlight it’s true, a lot of people are in the wrong place for the person to hear them. Or they’re in the right place, but their messaging is wrong. So half, I guess, like, how, how do people the obvious thing is like, just go where people are, but like, how do you have to, how do you find where people are? Like that’s so people, it seems like people are everywhere, and everyone’s on Tiktok, but actually Tiktok is not for everybody business to be on, like, let’s just be real. So like, how do you find out where people are?
Whitney Lee 5:50
Oh, my gosh, well, I think it just comes down to like, being really clear on who you serve, you know, if you serve moms that are between the ages of 30 and 45. Like there’s so many demographic information out there that can tell you like where those women are, you know, and also like, I’m a huge believer in just asking people, like, you know, asking the people that you’re already serving, like, how they heard about you where they found you, sometimes it is literally that simple. I think I just tell people, I’m like, you have to remember that, like, customers, and consumers don’t think the way we do as like marketing and PR people. For example, like we used to have a functional medicine practice. And people would go in and we train their front desk, people to say, How did you hear about us? And all the people would always say, Oh, well, Google, Google’s had heard about you. But that’s not necessarily true. What it is, is that they saw the billboard, they saw a social media ad, and then they Googled to get the phone number or the address in their mind. Oh, I found you on Google, because they found your phone number on Google, but they didn’t. What we’re trying to get to the bottom of is like, where did you first hear that we existed? You know, like, where all of a sudden, did you hear about us originally? Not where did you get my phone number or my address? Yeah. Did you originally hear from me? It was at a friend that told you about it? Did you see my billboard? And then Google me like sometimes it’s kind of hard to get into the brain of a consumer.
Lesley Logan 7:19
Yeah. You that’s, I mean, like, first of all, I love that you’re just like, I just ask people like, it’s, it’s that simple. But also like, really making sure the question is very specific, like, where did you first hear about me? You know, that actually, like, I was like, we were doing all this stuff. Just trying to get more people to hear about our online membership for Pilates and everything. And finally, I was just like, everyone just finds us on YouTube. What are we doing on YouTube to make it actually better? Because if everyone’s following us on YouTube, and then they’re somehow making their way to Instagram, and then they’re somehow making the way the list? What if we just like shorten that up? So we’ve made YouTube our bigger focus versus like, other any other social media platform, they’re there. They like, definitely highlight the experience in there and additive there. But like, it’s like doubling down on where people actually find you. The first time is going to be for us, I think, the most effective use of our time.
Whitney Lee 8:12
Well, and I would love to know, well, here’s the kicker, too. If someone truly did find us on Google or find you on YouTube, I would say what did you search? (Lesley: Ooh, yeah) that is kind of the key. And then they’re like, Oh, well, I was searching like, I was looking for this one Pilates machine. Or I you know, I went to a class and I didn’t understand this machine. So I got on YouTube and typed in reformer. And then you’ll start to learn like, what are the words? What are the words?
Lesley Logan 8:39
Oh my gosh. Whitney, how did you even get started in PR because everyone’s gonna kind of like people love to know like, what’s the journey? Like, were you like growing up? Like, oh my god, I’m gonna be Emily in Paris or Okay, so but like, what was the, what was the step? What was the journey?
Whitney Lee 8:59
I’m about to go throwback here for a moment before Emily in Paris was even born, okay. We were all watching Sex in the City, right, in like the 90s. And they are like (Lesley: Oh my God, yes. Kim Cattrall’s character.) Yeah, of course. Yeah. Samantha had her own PR agency. And it’s so funny because I say like, that’s what people think we do all day. Like, I just wear these fancy bright colored fun business suits. And I just flood around town and drink martinis. And I go to parties every night and I just meet people and that’s my job. Like, people think that’s legitimately what PR people do. No, honestly, like, I really don’t know how I got into PR specifically, I went to school for communication because it was really broad. And I was like, I know I could take that and do that with a lot of things. People used to tell me all the time that I should be like a news girl. (Lesley: I could see that.) What’s funny is I ended up I did end up hosting my own show like my own, like local news show for several years, but it, so I got into communication because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. And it just kind of spiraled. Actually I went, I did grad school I did undergrad at Southern Miss. And then I did grad school at Florida State and one of my professors, he was a PR consultant and like, his clients were like Cindy Crawford. And, I mean, he was like, 70 years old at the time. So like, and also I was in grad school, like over 10 years ago. So he’s much older. But he represented Cindy Crawford, that was like his biggest client. And he uses, he opened my eyes to what the heck a consultant was. And I was like, that’s so cool. Just the idea that he had all these different clients. So one day, he’s talking literally about Xerox machines, and helping Xerox get their name out there. And then the next day, he’s dealing with Cindy Crawford, you know, like, it was just so interesting. I know, right? It was just so interesting to me that like, you didn’t just go to a desk and sit there all day and like, crunch out, you know, information. So after grad school, I got my start in the hotel world. And that’s really honestly kind of where the agency leans most now is like, just from my connections in that world, as a lot of hospitality clients, a lot of people think hospitality and they think hotels, but like, it’s a lot of food and beverage. So we have like a group of Indian restaurants. We have a chain of burger joints, we have several different hotels, we have a huge shopping center. You know, and we also have a medical marijuana practice. So like, it’s pretty interesting. We’re I, you know, for the most part, we have a lot of hospitality clients, but we do have, you know, a few other, you know, we’ve done retail, like clothing lines and things like that. So it’s really fun. And every day is different.
Lesley Logan 11:45
Yeah, like, there’s not a day that’s the same. So yeah, maybe sometimes you’re at an event living your Samantha life, but most of the time, you’re like in an office, trying to help people get their message out there. That’s really what
Whitney Lee 11:57
Yeah. And really, like I said, you know, people think of PR, and they like don’t even get it. They think it’s like, Samantha out giggling and drinking martinis. But the whole if I had to sum it down into one word, like PR is visibility. (Lesley: Yeah.) Like, how do you get your name out there in a creative way, and get it to the right people with the right message. And, and people always think that marketing and PR are the same thing. They’re totally not. (Lesley: Right.) Like marketing, the point, the goal of marketing is sales, the goal of PR, is visibility, more followers, you know, like, more clicks more, you know, that’s the point of PR. So I have to tell all of our clients coming into it. Like, you’re not sometimes you’re not going to be able to equate, like, Oh, we got a feature on the Today’s Show. And then you’re not going to overnight, sell a million dollars worth of products, like, sometimes that will happen and we’ve had that happen for clients, not necessarily to the date. That’s Today’s Show. But the whole point of PR is to consistently stay out there in the right light, you know.
Lesley Logan 13:06
Well, like, you’re right. So like, I got, I got a call in 2013. It was like, hey, congratulations, your Los Angeles best Pilates instructor for LA magazine. Like we we chose you. And I was like, Oh, I thought people paid for that. I thought someone’s be our first and got them that gig. And they’re like, no, no, you you’re it so we’re gonna put you in this thing it’s in the best best issued cup of this party was so fun. And I had people go oh my god, you’re in yet so many clients from this you guys. I’m gonna tell you right now. I got zero. I got no client, however, but you know of that I know that I know of. You’re right. You’re absolutely right. However, I do know that I got to say last I’m like, I’m best voted Best Pilates instructor in Los Angeles by the LA magazine, the PR that came from that the the there’s like notoriety. There’s some there’s some stuff that we can use from that. But it wasn’t it’s not like the marketing that I do where like we actually like I intentionally promoted my classes, you know, where that would be the difference? In the two things right there. So I, I guess I want to know, I’m very curious. Because it takes a special person to do a job, where every day is different. And everything that you do, doesn’t exactly like always look like what you did here, equated to this over here. So you show up every day, and do this amazing, very essential job for people knowing that like you’re kind of having to sell yourself to them all the time. Because for especially for a small business, it’s not it’s a lot of money for them to consider. Like I wanted to hear this answer just because I think a lot of people don’t realize like everything that we do is like selling our dream to the people that are around us. So um, you have a very unique job or you have to do this all the time.
Whitney Lee 14:53
Yeah, and it’s just always being creative. So I think you just have to what I remind our clients is like we call them benchmarks, right? Like in in marketing, it’s like your benchmark is like, how many click throughs did you get how many sales? Did you get? What was your return on investment? Like, how much did you spend on the ad versus what did you sell in advance? Or what did you sell, but PR, I think we just have to create different goals and stay on, on track that, like the goals for PR are just different. You know, the goal is to establish yourself as an expert, right? That’s what that that award did for you. It’s an immediate, like, people are like, wow, I’ll give you an example. So we’re working with an international client that sells I would say like party supplies for the most part, so they have like party and like they sell like gift bags and and notebooks and markers and pens and things like that to like Joanne and Michaels. So their social media and PR, our goal is not to sell more markers. Our goal is to get their name out so much that the buyers for those companies are like, whoa, have you heard of those new glitter pens? Like they’re everywhere, they’re listed here, they’re listed there this influencer’s using them, like we need these glitter pens in our store. So like, it’s a totally different, you know, like, not a single one of our social media posts is going to be like, buy this pen now. Link in bio. No, the whole point of it is to elevate and get people talking about that product so much that the buyers at Michaels, the buyers at Hobby Lobby are like oh my god, I keep seeing this stuff everywhere. We have to sell these, we have to sell these.
Lesley Logan 16:39
Right because like, I mean before the pandemic I used to hear would take seven to 17 touchpoints before anyone click on anything. So now that’s like probably, it’s probably like 35 So you’re like just like being everywhere, omnipresent with a product or a mission or a restaurant so that people go oh, that thing I need to have that thing. Let’s go get that that thing.
Whitney Lee 16:59
I’ve or it’s like a qualifier. You know, like when somebody thinks about your business or whatever, they go scope you out, right? That’s the first thing you do is like when someone hears about something, they Google it, and they’re like, Okay, I just need to scope this, this brand or this business out. So they probably Googled you and they’re like, damn, okay, she was LA’s top, she was L.A. what was it?
Lesley Logan 17:20
L.A.’s Best Pilates instructor in Los Angeles.
Whitney Lee 17:22
Yeah, she was L.A.’s Best Pilates Instructor and immediately in their brain, you are legitimate. Yeah, whether what’s sad and some of it you have to be careful because some of this PR stuff can be totally fake, is that somebody could pay for an award like that, that unfortunately, that does exist. But it’s an immediate qualifier in that person’s brain, whether they know if you paid for it or not. You know, they’re the immediate qualifier is like, she’s legit. You know, and so that’s a lot of, you know, PR’s like reputation, visibility. Okay, I haven’t heard another so partnerships and sponsorships. We do a lot of this. I saw recently. Okay, so Skims has bathing suits, right, anybody who’s out there listening, Kim Kardashian’s brand Skims, they do bathing suits, and they just did a partnership with Body Glove if anybody remembers Body Glove from the 90s remember the baby suit brand that has a zipper all the way (Lesley: Yes, yes.) So the body gland body glove has kind of been out for a while right? It was a thing in the 90s and it was cool back then. But it’s not really super relevant now. Well, whoever is their freakin PR person is a genius because they went to Skims they got a partnership with skims skins is all hot now. And I guarantee Body Glove is going to be a thing again now. It’s like this whole partnership is blowing up they did a collab and now it’s like Body Glove suddenly is back on the scene. (Lesley: Yeah) and I guarantee their whole brand is about to be revived. Just thanks to like this collab that they did you know.
Lesley Logan 18:56
So and so I love this because the what you’re you keep focusing on is like, being out in front of the people with the with the with with what you’re doing and not trying to sell to them just trying to be like show almost like show off like show off how these glitter pens work like show like, oh, look (Whitney: Show who they are.) Look how cool Body Glove is. They’re friends with Skims, you know, like that kind of a thing. So, I guess I want to say like, I talk a lot about collaborating. When we business coach. I’m like, just like you’ve guys have no idea how many clients I got by teaching at NARS. Like, who would have thought NARS NARS big makeup company like oh, yeah, you can come teach Pilates in our store. But we did I did it all the time was so much fun. And because my clients while I was like my, my client, my lady, she wears makeup like, right like she’s gonna be at the cool place. So how do you work with? How do you consider like, who to collaborate with? Is it always like who’s the hottest on the market? Or is it more like what’s what are you guys? What’s the criteria you look at to make sure someone’s a good partner?
Whitney Lee 19:59
Exactly what you just said, so like, you know who your woman is so well, right? You know, the woman that’s doing Pilates. And you also know that she’s a makeup girl, you know, she’s probably also a hair girl and a nails girl, like, you know, you know who your person is. And all you have to do is find other brands that they are that mean, that’s like literally a perfect example and other brands and other products or other services that aren’t competitive to you necessarily. But you know that that person also uses that, you know, so like, gosh, if I was Lululemon, I would be out partnering with some mom brand, every mom, you know, they’re all wearing Lululemon, you know, like, go out and partner with some mom brand of anything. I mean, I’m not a mom. So I don’t really necessarily know all the brands and businesses that moms use, but done that that’s a great partnership right there. So I think it just goes back to like being clear, really clear on who your person is. And not just how they use your product, but the other things, the other aspects of their life. And then you hit them in those other angles. And just like you said, it’s so key is like, it’s not all people don’t want to be sold stuff all the time. Just show up and serve. And, and let them meet you and see who you are and see your personality and see what you stand for. And the people that align with that will immediately be drawn to you. And I guarantee they’ll be even more drawn to you by the fact that you didn’t try to cram something down their throat.
Lesley Logan 21:31
Yeah. So something that I I’m, I know that like some of our listeners, we think it’s like, yeah, I get that guys, but like, I’m, I don’t know that what makes me like uniquely different like we have, there’s this thing about our women, a lot of women, they have a hard time identifying their unique differences. Is this something that you talk about with the businesses that you work with? Like, are there key? Are there things that you look at? You’re like that makes you different than you know what you can’t read the label inside the bottle, so you can be a fairly confident person and still go. I don’t like to be different from these people over here.
Whitney Lee 22:03
Yeah, I don’t know if you are the one who taught me that saying I literally said that on another podcast like a week ago about like, you can’t see the label inside the bottle. And they were like, That’s genius. And I was like, I can’t take credit for that because someone else told me that. So I don’t know if it was you.
Lesley Logan 22:19
But someone definitely told it to me too, because I was probably in a moment where I’m like, I don’t understand it like well, you can’t read the label inside the bottle. So it’s a good saying everyone should like remember it.
Whitney Lee 22:29
Yes. And now I totally forgot. So we were talking about
Lesley Logan 22:32
Oh, like how to figure out like what makes you uniquely different for the person who’s like stuck in the bottle. They’re like, also they’re like imposter syndrome. They see like these other brands over here like what makes me different than them. It’s so funny to me. I’m getting inside my own question, but maybe this will help. In my neighborhood. There are four coffee shops, locally owned coffee shops, four of them. They are two across the street from each other. The other two one is down the street, one block and the othe’s around the block. So like to me these four business owners are like there’s enough there’s enough to go around we can each have a coffee shop and they’re all different like one a little bit more Cuban one definitely is like a bit more like a like a Dunkin Donuts it’s a little clinical and there it’s like not super exciting. Then there’s one that like they are their signature latte is cardamom or the other one. The signature latte is Rosemary. Right? It’s very strange. One is very hip to working. So like they eat for like, how do I be uniquely different person we all are? They’re all doing lattes. Yeah, but they all are serving a different clientele. One is very hipster. One is very punk. One is very businesslike. Right. So I think that that’s really easy. They can totally highlight who they were talking to. But when I work with people who work for themselves, they are their own business, I find that the hardest thing to get them to understand is that there’s a unique difference to them. Because it’s all like they it’s almost like they’re bragging or something like art, something like that. So I’m just wondering, like, how do you highlight? Or how do you figure out what that is to highlight with this with someone?
Whitney Lee 24:00
Yeah, and you know what we talked about this sometimes in brandbuilders group too of like, I’m not the first PR person to ever exist. But there’s something different about the way that I deliver it, or there’s something different about my personality or my angle or my way of thinking I watch Shark Tank all the time. I’m such a nerd. It’s just so interesting to me. And I felt like I learned so much about business. So Mark Cuban used to say like you’re either the first, you’re the best, or you’re different. So am I the first PR person? No, not never. Am I the best? Well, of course we all think we’re the best and unless you have an award, you know, if you have an award, definitely put that out there to show you’re the best but if you’re different, how do you portray that you’re different and I think even some of that can go back to like talking to the people that you serve now. Like what made you pick me over some other PR person or you know, and also just really getting to know like what is your superpower? You know? So for me, what I like recognizes is that I think my superpower is like taking things that are really complicated. And making it super approachable and easy for people to understand. You know, even like when I spoke at She Who Wins, like, when I speak in front of people, it’s not my, my goal was not to make everybody in the crowd think I’m smart, Ooh, hoo, cool. My goal is for everyone in the audience to like, walk away with something that they’re like, Wow, I can actually do this or like, Wow, it’s really not that complicated. So I would say that my superpower, again, there are so many great publicists out there. But I have such a good way of making things so simple for people where they don’t feel stupid, they don’t feel overwhelmed. They know exactly what the point is. And it’s simple to them. So you know, again, sometimes it’s not always the service that you’re doing is different. It’s your way of thinking about it, or your way of delivering it is different to people. And some people just jive. You know, like, you know, some people meet me and my personality, either totally jives with them, or it totally is like, not their thing, you know, and sometimes it just boils down to like personality and connection.
Lesley Logan 26:14
Yeah. I really like that you broke down like you’re the first year the best or you’re different. I think like that is that’s an I’ve really highlighted because like, not the first place instructor. Yes, I was the best in L.A. for who they and I did not buy that. I was like, I really did think that people like pay for those things. And that issue, maybe people do, but they actually did come to my class. I looked at my receipt and was like, Oh, this is the person. Okay. I saw the email. I was like, ah, but I’m not. So yes, maybe voted the best. But like, I’m a classical Pilates instructor, which means I teach the same exercise, it just applies to it. So here like, I like how do I differentiate myself, in a world where like, I literally am teaching the same thing that someone has been doing for for a century, right? So so so I, you know, in our companies, we make things colorful, we’re very much about being not being perfect. And then we use, we use like, 80s, 90s stuff, like we make ourselves extremely different than what was perceived for the longest time. It’s like a classical Pilates world, which is like everyone wears all black. Everyone’s a dancer. Yeah, no offense to the dancers, or people who wear all black, it’s totally fine. You can be different that way. But for us, it’s how we differentiate ourselves. Because it was the only way to stand out in a market where like, there’s people who like, clearly have been teaching this for 30, 40 years, so I’m not gonna ever I can’t compete with that.
Whitney Lee 27:37
Yeah, yeah. And you’re not the most experienced, you’re, you know, and sometimes it also comes down to like, the way you package or price things. It’s hard. Sometimes it’s hard for me to like make generalities, because we don’t know the people listening to this about like, what business and industry they’re in. But sometimes it can be the pricing, maybe you are the most luxurious and the most expensive, you know, or maybe you are the most cost effective. Or maybe you don’t make people commit to X amount of time. Maybe you I mean, there’s like so many different differentiators. So I think, you know, I think it’s people have mixed feelings about looking at their competitors. And I don’t say to look at them to spy on them or copy them, but look at them to see how they’re structuring things and to see you something many times you will immediately see how you are different than them just by looking at what other people in the industry do.
Lesley Logan 28:28
Yeah, well, I mean, like, if you look at Dry Bar, right? In the industry, she was in, everyone went for a cut, color and a blowout, like you didn’t just go for a blowout. So she’s like, well, we’re just gonna do blowouts, like, that’s all we’re gonna do. Like she differentiated in that way. There’s like places where normally people have to do memberships. So there’s been businesses where they differentiate, like, you don’t have to do a membership, you can pay a drop it like we that’s how we’re different. So I think it is like looking at them to understand what they’re doing. And then figure out like, how you how what you the way you offer it, the way you package it, like you said, is the most unique thing. And then, and then like what we hear from our coach would be (inaudible) deal it’s like and then exploit that in the goodness of others.
Whitney Lee 29:05
Yeah, exploit it and talk about it and share it because to someone out there, that is a different that is a defining factor, or that is something that’s going to cause them to take action.
Lesley Logan 29:18
Yeah. Yeah. So Okay. Um, when you were starting your own PR company, which is a very big deal, like, I mean, it’s not the easiest thing to start your own company. Was, was there ever. Was there anything that you had to like, tell yourself or is there anything that you did to like, make it easier for you to show up every day and be new at something like how it was the beginning days, 10 years ago for you?
Whitney Lee 29:40
Oh, my gosh, I remember making my own website, and I felt so dumb. And I was like, oh my god, this is so homemade. You know, we’re very critical of everything we do ourselves. I was also really young. I was in my 20s. And I remember going to like chamber events and young professional events and people would ask me what I would do and I felt so stupid, saying like, Oh, I’m Whitney and I do PR. Like, I had to, like train myself with my little elevator speech. And I used to tell myself all the time, like, people my age were like, oh, cool, okay, you’re trying to do your own thing cute. But people like older people, I kept telling myself like, they don’t take me seriously. Like, and sometimes it was because the things that people would say to me like, Oh, you have your own company. That’s so cute, like a little Facebook company. Or people would call me like, Oh, she’s a little Facebook girl. That’s a, that’s what she does. And I’m like, No, that’s not at all. I mean, that’s a part of what we do is social media strategy, but like, don’t call me the Facebook girl, you know, like, but over time, like I just my, like, impostor syndrome for a while, would like tell me like, people don’t take me seriously, because I’m in my 20s. Like, someone for some reason I thought someone in their 20s can’t own their own business. So when I turned 30, I finally was like, Yeah, people are gonna, like, respect me now. And like,
Lesley Logan 31:06
That’s funny the stories we tell us now that I’m 30. Now they’ll respect my business. Change overnight.
Whitney Lee 31:12
Yeah, suddenly, I’m 30. So I’m legit, like, but also like, I needed to look back because they were hiring me in my 20s. So obviously, if they signed a contract with me and gave me money, they took me seriously, right? So I always tell people, you got to, like get out of a space of like, operating based off your feelings all the time. And you just got to look at the facts, you know. And, I mean, I’m not saying not to have fields and all that kind of stuff. But like, especially as women, we most women operate based off of emotion and how they’re feeling that day. And I am kind of a little bit of the opposite. And the fact that like, when I think or feel something, I immediately start looking for facts to prove or disprove what’s happening in my brain. You know, and I just was grasping, yeah, I try to grasp on to the facts instead of feelings, because we’re gonna have all kinds of feelings, I’m feeling hungry, I’m feeling tired, I’m feeling jacked up from all this caffeine I just had, all those are just feelings, and those are going to go away within a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, or whatever. But like facts are facts. So you’ve got to and I even say this about the business, like we don’t operate our strategies, we don’t come up with strategies off of feelings. Like I feel like this is a good idea for you to do this partnership. No, I look at the facts of like, who is their audience? Who is their database reaching? Oh, their database is reaching women that do this, this and this perfect that that is a good partnership. So like, we gotta get out of the space of like, get out of our head sometimes and stop operating off of feelings. And like, sometimes we’ll come up with facts. Those aren’t facts, you know what I mean? Like, look for the true facts. And and you got to, you know, just be self-conscious, aware, you gotta be aware of your thoughts enough to know that they’re just thoughts.
Lesley Logan 33:05
Yeah, I really, really love what you said there. I think, like, rewind, and listen to that again, like, because I do, I think, like, obviously, there’s gut instinct, or there’s like this intuition. That’s really amazing. But especially if your feelings are like, Oh my god, I’m not good at this. It’s like, hold up, now you’re gonna start making posts, or you’re gonna start doing this, or you’re not gonna do anything at all based on this feeling. And your business is going to suffer or you’re going to attract different people than you want it because you use your feeling instead of going. Actually, fact are even when I was 20, and feeling impostor syndrome, people are giving me money. So I must have been pretty fucking good. Because people did that. So I can’t go off of the feeling like, Oh, I’m just this 20 something PR person, I have to go off of the fact that like, no people paid me to do it. So I was good. You know, so I really liked that. Because I always have this Fuck Yeah Friday thing where like, here at the podcast, I share people’s wins. And then I share a win of my own, and I would love people to have a Fuck Yeah every day. Maybe we’ll make a journal everyone because I think if you like put your wins of the day in, right you like actually keep track of things. You have facts to go back upon. When you’re having those feelings like this isn’t working, nothing’s working. I actually go back and look like I look at our analytics for the website, traffic every week. I look at our analytics of newsletter open rates and click rates every week.
Whitney Lee 34:25
I am so proud of you. That’s like stuff we beg our clients to look at. We’re like look at these really cool numbers. And they’re like
Lesley Logan 34:31
I couldn’t stop myself from looking right away. Because I’m like, we drop a new YouTube video and I’m like, Hold on how many? It’s like, no, gotta let it do the 24-hour thing. You gotta wait a second. But like, I do look at those things because it is the only way to combat the feelings because on any given moment of the day, do you work as a human being who’s not a narcissist. I’m going to have a moment I’m like, nothing’s working. Nothing is working. This isn’t working. It’s like well actually, no, all of these things are working. Look at the look at these stats right here. And also, if one of those stats was low, the open rates would have dropped down. Okay? What happened? When did they start dropping off? What did we do? What? Like, what what did we do before that could work? Because I have the facts. So I don’t have to let the emotions I’m feeling like nothing is working. Rule of the business, nobody, we wouldn’t be able to keep a team if my feelings ran this business.
Whitney Lee 35:20
Exactly. And that’s why, like, you know, it’s like, I think the worst thing you can do is just to hide from it. You know, like, whenever I go on vacation, and I come back, like, I will not get on the scale, because I’m like, Oh, I feel disgusting. Until a few days later, when I can, like detox it out. But like, sometimes it’s good to just know the truth and be like, hey, our email rate is dropping, and like, what can we do to fix this? Rather than like, being so fearful of looking at the number because you don’t want to see the hard truth? Like, it’s okay. Like, put on your big girl panties? Like, look at the hard truth. And, and then that’s when you can actually figure out a way forward.
Lesley Logan 35:57
Yeah. Yeah, I think it’s like, yeah, there are there. Like the days we were like, I don’t wanna look at the bank account, because I just went shopping.
Whitney Lee 36:04
Oh, my God, yes. That’s a better example of the scale. When you’re like, What is my statement balance gonna be today?
Lesley Logan 36:12
That was, that was less than I calculated. But like, when you are aware of these things you can actually make, you can actually make decisions. This morning, the time of recording this, we had a team meeting. And our team is all around the world. So we had to do at 6am. And I’m like I’m doing on the dogwalk guys, because like, I can’t sit in front of a computer at six in the morning. That is, like, if we’re going to interrupt my morning routine, I gotta be on my morning routine. So we’re doing this walk. And it was so much easier to have a team meeting, knowing. In the past last time around this event, here are the mistakes that we notated that we made that we want to fix for the next time. Here are the ideas we had last time here, like all this information, is it’s just it’s key data that allows us to make the decision like these are I mean, it’s a guessing game, we are guessing that these are the best dates to open cart for earlybird. We are guessing that this is the best time to do this thing, even though it’s a holiday in the middle of that, like, it’s all guessing. But based on data from the past, we know people will open up these emails at least 60% of the time we know these things. So we can make those decisions and not feel like I hope it works.
Whitney Lee 37:19
Oh my gosh, well, you know, I tell our clients that too that like not every single thing we do just because we’re experts, not every single thing we do works perfectly on the first try. Hello, I jokingly say like we’re like little scientists, like we make a hypothesis based off of our education and our experience. And then we try out the hypothesis. And then we see what happens and we tweak from there. You know, like, it’s okay, if everything you do, it’s not going to I’m going to go ahead and make that like clear statement, not everything you do is going to work on the first try. And most the time, it’s not going to work on the first try. But the difference is they’re just people who push through and keep trying. Whereas other people just throw their hands in the air and say like, This must not be a fit for me. This must not be it.
Lesley Logan 38:03
Yeah, you’re so right. Also, if it works on the first try, you actually don’t really it’s kind of hard to to recreate that sometimes it’s a little easier if it works. Okay, like our first launch with our coaching program. It was it was it was great. It was great for us we’d like had the biggest launch we’ve ever had. It was if we did those numbers today, I think we’d cry but like, it was, it was it was good. And we’re like, Okay, our mutual friend Keri, she’s like, You guys should do that thing again. So we did it again. And it tripled, right? Because we had information from the first time to like, oh, okay, we did this last time. Are there tweaks I want to make? Okay, let’s do let’s oh, let’s do these things. Let’s pull, let’s pull the dial on this a little sooner. Let’s, this probably didn’t do anything. And we had a survey as well. Like you said earlier, ask questions. We had a survey. So we did it again. The third time we did it, it did not go well. And we’re like, oh, well, what was what was different about this third time? And what we it’s an experiment all we could really actually figure out like we did in the summer. Like yeah, that’s (Whitney: I was just about to say timing) timing. Like, we didn’t mess up our thing, which is like hard for people who are small business owners who have kids and most of the people in our industry have a family for them to get away from for a week. They might be on a holiday that week, right? Like so. So it’s like when you repeat things, you’re able to really understand what worked what didn’t work. And like again, you’re right when some if something didn’t work, if we guess like if we had this goal of like 50 grand on time one and we only did the money we did. We’ve been like up that didn’t work. It’s like well, actually, it how do you know it didn’t work? It’s until you try it again. So I think that it’s true. Like you can’t just give up and try new things all the time because you just won’t actually know.
Whitney Lee 39:45
Yeah, and you also have to just change just a little bit like you have to. It is literally like a scientific experiment. If you change like six different things and something different happens the second time you’re not going to know which one of those six things made the difference. You are like you got to have a control.
Lesley Logan 40:00
Yes, yes, yes, I mean, so true. It’s the same thing like when I teach people a Pilates session like, I’m not going to give you an entirely new session the next time because if you tell me Oh, I like hurt here or actually has a little more sore here, I’m not going to what? I’m not going to know what was what was the thing was different. But if I only added five new exercises and go, Okay, well, there’s only five different ones that we did. So like, let’s look at these five, it makes it so much easier. Oh my god, we can just keep going. I fucking love you.
Whitney Lee 40:25
Like, we’re talking about PR, but we’re also talking about science and neuro pathways. And I think there’s a lot of science and, and a lot of psychology, I have people on my team that have a degree in psychology because it is very much so a psychology of like, how to get into someone’s, you know, life and brain and, and speak to them and what, what motivates people to do what you know, so like, there’s a lot of psychology to it, which is why I always say like, PR is not hard. It’s not it’s not freakin rocket science. Anybody can do it, anybody can. But the differences is like, just A) connections and relationships go a long, long way. And B) that just the repetitive of trying and failing, trying and succeeding, like, you know, that’s the world of PR.
Lesley Logan 41:18
Okay, we’re gonna have to have you back at some point to just talk more, because you’re just a brilliant wealth of knowledge. Maybe we’ll have a panel with all the amazing women who’ve been on the show. (Whitney: That’d be awesome.) So fun. So I want to take a brief moment and have to find out how people can find you follow you work with you and your Be It Action items.
Lesley Logan 41:35
Okay, Whitney, where do you like to hang out? Where can people learn more? See if the that’s the right fit to work with you or just follow you for amazing advice.
Whitney Lee 41:43
Yeah, okay, so um, if you want to find the agency, check out truestorypr.co – not .com -truestorypr.co. Also, we have our own podcast, which you can go and listen to my episode with Lesley, it’s True Story the PR Podcast. So it’s a cool mixture of just marketing and PR PR advice, but also like hearing people with really cool stories and brands and how they got to where they are today. So check us out on the podcast, you can find True Story on all the social media platforms. But if you want to connect with me personally, on Instagram on The Whitney Lee, T-H-E Whitney Lee, or you can find me on LinkedIn. It’s Whitney Lee.
Lesley Logan 42:20
I love it. So we’ll also put all that in the show notes. We’ll to put the episode links on your podcast in the show notes because it’s so fun. Okay, you have given us amazing tips already. So so if I would love for the you know, bold, executable, intrinsic target steps people can take to Be It Till You See It. What are some action steps people can take today?
Whitney Lee 42:38
Okay, I would definitely say start showing up on social media. I think everybody says that. So that’s kind of a lame one. But definitely showing up on social media authentically. Stop it with the overly manicured photos like get in your stories on the daily like, figure out what how you’re different and talk about that on social media. It’s more about storytelling than anything. Um, action items, I would definitely say talk to the people if you’re a business owner, talk to the people that you’re already serving. That is probably the number one thing and find out why they chose you where they heard about you all these valuable things. People will absolutely tell you their opinion. You just have to ask and sometimes people tell you before asking but you just have to ask and you have to ask the right questions. So I think some of the most low-hanging fruit is just truly talking to the people that you already serve and the people who love you. So I think that would be number two and number three I would say put yourself out there you know like that is all that PR is like we we send out pitches on pitches on pitches all day for earned media coverage for partnerships for speaking engagements for podcast tours, is you have to just continually put yourself out there because good things will come to you even when you don’t even realize what you’re what you’re gonna generate is just like consistently putting yourself out there so it just depends on your your brand or your business but even if it’s reaching out to 10 different podcasts and saying like here’s the value I can provide to your audience. It’s not about you don’t lead into it with I am a best-selling author I am a this I’m a that it’s like here’s what I can share with your audience. So I always say educate and give without asking for anything in return is the the best angle to go at it. From the get go and it will come back to you. It’s a long game. It is not going to be overnight. But it will come back to you.
Lesley Logan 44:44
I love all of those Whitney. I again could just talk to you forever. We’re gonna have to have a coffee date or a happy hour on Zoom. I miss your face. Guys, how are you going to use these action items in your life? Tag Whitney Lee, checkout True Story Podcast and let us know what your favorite takeaways were, what were the things that inspired you, what got in your head that makes you go oh yeah I mean I love the feeling, I’m so all about that. So, Whitney, thank you so much and everyone else until next time. Be It Till You See It.
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of the Be It Till You See It podcast. One thing that would help both myself and future listeners is for you to rate this show and leave a review. And, follow or subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to introduce yourself over on IG at the @be_it_pod on Instagram. I would love to know more about you. Share this episode with whoever you think needs to hear it. Help us help others to BE IT TILL YOU SEE IT. Have an awesome day!
‘Be It Till You See It’ is a production of the ‘Bloom Podcast Network’.
It’s written, filmed and recorded by your host, Lesley Logan and me, Brad Crowell.
It is produced and edited by the epic team at Disenyo.
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music. And our branding by designer and artist, Gianfranco Cioffi.
Special thanks to Melissa Solomon for creating our visuals and Ximena Velasquez for our transcriptions.
Also to Angelina Herico for adding all the content to our website. And finally to Meridith Crowell for keeping us all on point and on time.
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