Ep 396: Creating Superfans with Brittany Hodak

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Did you know that creating superfans of your personal brand is the key to long-lasting success?

Joining us today on the Influential Personal Brand Podcast is our friend, Brittany Hodak, to tell us all about her new book, Creating Superfans: How to Turn Your Customers into Lifelong Advocates.

Brittany is a marketing and customer service expert, keynote speaker, and author.

In this episode, she shares her definition of what a superfan is, what the ladder to ‘superfandom’ entails, and some of the mistakes most companies make.

You’ll also gain some insight into Brittany’s game-changing CX system, the SUPER Model, and how you can use the tools she provides to create superfans and build a successful brand.

All of these things are outlined in detail in her book and, if you stay tuned, she even offers us a special link to get the first four chapters for free!

You won’t want to miss out on this incredibly informative episode, so go ahead and hit play now.

KEY POINTS FROM THIS EPISODE

  • Introducing our phenomenal guest, Brittany Hodak, and a brief overview of her career.
  • Brittany gives us the definition of a superfan.
  • The ladder to ‘superfandom’ and what each step entails.
  • Mistakes that a lot of companies make: thinking they need more and more reach.
  • The meaning of the superfan acronym.
  • S: what it means to start with your Story and why it isn’t vain, self-centered, or arrogant.
  • U: the importance of Understanding your customers’ stories and caring about them.
  • P: why you need to Personalize your interactions (and why your logo isn’t a gift.)
  • E: exceed Expectations, plan ahead, and make interactions positive.
  • R: Repeat!
  • Don’t forget to email us your review to get free access to our most popular video interviews!

TWEETABLE MOMENTS

“Essentially, a superfan is a customer who creates even more customers.” — @BrittanyHodak [0:03:02]

“If you want followers to love you, you have to love them first.” — @BrittanyHodak [0:09:02]

“If you can’t tell me why you’re the best, how in the world is a prospect ever going to be able to figure it out?” — @BrittanyHodak [0:11:26]

“Your customers are going to have expectations that constantly rise.” — @BrittanyHodak [0:32:06]

About Brittany Hodak

Brittany Hodak is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and customer experience speaker who has delivered keynotes across the globe to organizations including American Express and the United Nations. She has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands and entertainers, including Walmart, Disney, Katy Perry, and Dolly Parton. She founded and scaled an entertainment startup to eight figures before exiting, and she is the former Chief Experience Officer of Experience.com. 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Creating Superfans (FREE First Four Chapters)

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Brittany Hodak on Twitter

Brittany Hodak on Instagram

Brittany Hodak on Facebook

Creating Superfans: How to Turn Your Customers into Lifelong Advocates

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

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Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

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RV (00:02): Well friend, you are in for a treat. I’m gonna introduce you to one of our best friends in real life. This is Brittany Hodak. Our kids go to school together and we actually hang out with them and we love them. She’s also a client of ours and I am now a super fan of hers. And she has written a book called Creating Superfans, which I’m gonna go ahead on record and say this is one of my all-time favorite books, period in business. And specifically in the area of customer experience. And you could call it customer service or marketing just in general, but I would say customer experience, which is really what her expertise is. In fact, she’s the former Chief Experience officer for experience.com. She was the c e o of a company and the co-founder of a company called the Super Fan Company. She’s worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. Walmart, Disney, Katie Perry, Dolly Parton. The other night I was flipping through tv. I was on watching like mainstream national television, and there’s some show about Britney Spears. And all of a sudden Britney Hodak pops on the screen and I’m like, wait, what though? What the, wait, that’s Brittany, what are you doing? Like, why is Britney in my tv? So buddy, it’s so great to have you. I cannot wait for you to share your expertise with our audience. Welcome. BH (01:21): Thank you so much my friend. It is always great to be here with you, and thank you for the very kind words about the book. It means a lot, and I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again and again. I could not have written this book without the support of you and AJ and the entire team at Brand Builders Group, so I’m glad I did. You proud. RV (01:37): Yeah, you, you totally, you, you you did me proud. And then like, one level above, you know, I endorsed the book without reading the whole thing. And then after it came out, I, I, I have read this book cover to cover, which, you know, I cannot say that about every single guest. You know, I try to like, be familiar, but like I have read it cover to cover. I absolutely love this so much that I, you know, I’m recommending you to our clients and like our keynote clients. So let’s talk about super fans. As personal brands, obviously we understand we gotta have super fans. We gotta have people loving us, sharing our content, buying our books, telling their friends. So I guess gimme the, gimme the definition of a super fan in your, in your world, and then we’ll talk about how to create ’em. BH (02:24): Yeah. So I define a super fan as either a customer or stakeholder who has such a great experience with you that they become an enthusiastic advocate. Mm-Hmm. So they not only wanna work with you again, but they tell their friends about you. Exactly like you just said. They make those introductions and those referrals. Essentially, a super fan is a customer who creates even more customers. RV (02:46): Yeah. I mean that, and that is the, you know, one of our BG mantras is the, the most powerful form of marketing in the world is a changed life. And it’s like no ad, no, no webpage, no copy. Like nothing does the job that like a customer going, you freaking rock. And all of my friends, you know, tell, they tell other friends, enthusiastic advocate is super duper clear. So let’s just jump into the super fan. I know you have the, you have a, you have a great methodology, you have a great framework. I think it’s totally applicable to what we do. Well actually, so before we do that talk, talk about the, the, the, the layer. Talk about the levels. Ta talk about the layers of I forget what you call them, but like the, the spectrum sort of, of like where customers are at. BH (03:42): Yeah, absolutely. So in the book, I talk about this idea of the ladder to super fandom. And you know, the more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy, the easier everything gets mm-hmm. when you have people who are willing to show up and do the work for you. And that’s why it’s important to get someone to the level of being an advocate. So in the book I talk about how you do that. I know in BBB G lingo, one of the things that we talk about a lot is what is the problem you solve? What, what is it that you’re helping people with? And I always say that the problem I solve is one that’s not on a lot of people’s radars, and that’s apathy. Not a lot of people show up and say, oh, I have an apathy problem. BH (04:17): Like, not enough people care that I exist. But in reality, and especially with personal brands, it is so prevalent. So in the book I talk about this idea of the ladder to super fandom, and the very first rung of that ladder is apathy. But people try to skip over that. They try to start with awareness of like, I want somebody to know who I am and that I exist. But the problem is, if you don’t have a compelling enough story, if you’re not able to connect what you do, what your purpose is with the need that they have, then they’re never gonna care. It’s gonna be like the, you know, the analogy I use in the book is that carnival ladder where it’s easy to get somebody on the first step and maybe even the second step, but then they just fall over because apathy is everywhere all around you. BH (05:01): There’s never been more competition for our attention. There’s never been more competition for somebody to care about the thing that you do. So throughout the book, I talk about this idea of transforming from a commodity provider to a category of one, going from a transactional relationship and mindset to an experiential one where it’s about more than just your products or your services and even more than your relationships. It’s all about that experience. So the idea of the laddered super fandom, and you know, we don’t have to go through all the rungs, is, is how you take someone through each level of, okay, I know how I’m gonna overpower that apathy. Now somebody is aware of my brand. How do I get them to take an action? Now I’ve gotten them to take an action. How do I get them to adopt this? How do I make it part of their, their plan their life, once I’ve got them to adopt it? BH (05:52): What do I do to create affinity? And, you know, most people stop at Affinity. I talk in my book about the idea of the difference between fans and followers, or the difference between fans and super fans. And most people are like, oh, I’m in someone’s consideration set now. They’ve tried me a few times, now they like me. They’re coming back. And that’s where they stop. But if you can create someone, if you can take someone from that like, you know, affinity level of, oh, I like you, to that advocacy level of I like you and I can’t wait to tell other people about you, that amplification is what really makes things exciting, both on the personal brand side and on any business side. Because once you have those customers creating more customers for you, once your followers are telling their friends and growing your audience, it becomes really viral and, and really effective. RV (06:43): Mm-Hmm. . So just to walk y’all through that, right? So it’s apathy at the bottom, then awareness, then action, then adoption, then AFI, affinity, and then advocates advocacy. So at the top, and you know, I think one of the things that I, one of the points I wanted to draw out that hit me hard was to go, yeah, I think of awareness. And I think what a lot of personal brands do, and what a lot of people do, and certainly a lot of companies do, is we go, we need more people to be aware of us. RV (07:17): And I completely overlook as a first opportunity to go, what if instead of trying to make more people aware of me, I took the people who already know of me who have apathy and go, what if I just took the people who know of me already and made them fall in love so much that they became advocates? And I, and I just go, no one in the world is ha no one in the personal brand world is thinking about this. Everyone is going more followers, more reach. I need more people to be aware of me versus going, what if the, the few people you had freaking loved you, they would do that work for you is basically what you’re saying. BH (08:07): That’s basically what I’m saying. And I think that you know, there’s a quote that I love. Albert Einstein said, not everything that could be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted. And I think he was probably talking about Instagram and TikTok when he said that . But it’s applicable sort of across the board. And a mistake that I think a lot of personal brands make is exactly as you just said, it’s that more and more, more I want more followers, more people, more likes, more engagement. Instead of saying, wow, what a privilege and an honor that I have the attention of these 2000 people, or 12,000 people, or 22,000 people. And exactly as you just expressed, the question should be, how can I make their life better? How can I show up and do more for them so that they feel passionate and want to tell people like they wanna become advocates. They’re not doing it because I’m offering them some affiliate program. They’re not doing it because I’m putting an offer out there. They’re doing it because I’ve made their lives better in some way. And one of the things that I talk about throughout the book is this idea that super fandom is mutual. Superfan are created at the intersection of your story and every customer story. So if you want followers to love you, you have to love them first so that they feel it and there’s that reciprocity. RV (09:22): Yeah. And, and I think, you know, I if you just have ask yourself the sobering question, do I spend more of my time thinking about wishing for praying for more people to find me? Or do I spend more of my time thinking about wishing about praying about how do I serve the people who are already in front of me? I have to go embarrassingly. I go, oh my gosh, I am, I am missing the mark badly. In Adley. And I think your your, your book highlighted that in a way. So you, you, you just touched on kind of the premise of the book. The way that you become a super, you make someone a super fan is to connect your story to their story. And this is another part that hit me hard actually, because so super is an acronym and we walk through the, we walk through the steps and the s is story, right? RV (10:16): So we start, we start with our story. And I struggle with this because I go, why does my story matter? It feels like starting with my story feels vain, it feels arrogant, it feels self-centered. And I’m going, why don’t I just start with like, what’s in it for them? And you know, what, what do I provide? And I think your book really hit me hard in this area. So can you talk about what it means to create to, to, to, to share, start with your story, and specifically why starting there is not vain and arrogant and, you know, self-centered? BH (10:59): Absolutely. Well, when I say start with your story, I don’t mean lead with your story. I mean, everything has to originate from you because we are living in an experienced economy. It has never been easier for any competitor to come in and usurp anyone in any category, right? So if you are competing on commodity things, I’m the cheapest. I’m the fastest, I’m the closest to your home. I’ve been around the longest. It is very easy for someone to displace you. So when I say start with your story, what I mean is what is your superpower? What’s your origin story? What makes you better than everyone else? And you know, I’m always, I’m, I, I’m always shocked when I talk to people and I say, why are you the absolute best choice to serve your prospects and customers? And they stare at me blankly or they say something that every single one of their competitors would also say, Uhhuh, that there is absolutely no proof behind. BH (11:53): And what I always say back to them, because this is sort of the idea of apathy and action is, well, if you can’t tell me why you’re the best, how in the world is a prospect ever gonna be able to figure it out? If you can’t even articulate to me clearly why I should care, then how am I ever going to care? So that is what I mean when I say start with your story, not making it about you. Throughout the book, I, I try to say again and again, this is all about customer centricity. This is all about showing up to serve people, but it’s kind of like, you know, we’re recording this. I’m at the airport for anybody who is watching it, this beautiful background behind me is a B n A conference room. Like when you’re on the airplane and they say you’ve gotta put your mask on first before you assist the people with you, because you’ve gotta, like, you’ve gotta do you, you’ve gotta make sure you’re taking care of you. And it’s kind of the same thing when I say start with your story, is you can’t expect people to sign up to say, I am a super fan of this person, or I am a super fan of this offering. If you yourself haven’t done the work to say, why do I deserve a super fan? What am I doing that is better than what my competitors are doing so that I can help serve these customers and make their life better in some way? RV (13:02): Ah-Huh . Well, and it’s interesting, you know, the part of what hit me really hard was going, when I think of telling my story like that question, okay, just take, take me as a real life example. You go, what makes you Rory or Rory and AJ or Brand Builders Group, like what makes you the best in the world At personal branding, my mind goes to why are we better? What results have, like, what have our clients achieved? How many times have we done it? But when I read this section of your book, what really hit me was going, what makes me so qualified to do this is I viscerally to this moment can feel what it was like to be 17 years old watching a speaker on stage, going, I wanna be the speaker on stage. I remember walking through the airport seeing the book on the bookshelf going, I want my book on the bookshelf. RV (14:03): I want a New York Times bestselling logo on my book. And it’s like, what actually gives me the credibility is not just that we’ve done that, that we’ve helped other people do it. It’s that I wanted it so badly and I felt so far away and I felt like it was impossible. And it, it’s like, it’s the story and I never tell that story. I talk about, oh, my credentials and our exper you know, like the, the pe the clients we’ve worked with, which I don’t think is bad, but I go, I think I’m underutilizing the human part of my story a bit to go, that’s what really care they care about. Cuz other people would say that too. Well, I’ve got, I’ve got a hundred clients and I’ve helped clients do this and that and, and blah blah blah, blah blah. But there’s this emotional human bond that happens from the origin story. And I’m going, I don’t even have the origin story on my website. We don’t even have the origin story on brand builders group. And I would never even think to put it there, cuz I would think of that as like not useful to the customer un until you told me it was BH (15:15): Well. And it, and it is so useful. And that’s, you know, we were connected through a mutual friend John Roland. Yeah. And John Roland didn’t say to me, oh, meet this friend of mine who was like, helped a bunch of other people like you. He said, you’ve gotta meet my friends, Rory and aj. And he told me about who you are as people and, and what your origin story is and why he thinks you’re the best in the world. And I know this is something that a lot of business owners struggle with as they’re scaling because they think, well, if I tell my story then clients are only gonna wanna work with me. They’re not gonna wanna work with anybody else. Sure. But, you know, and, and there there is like a murky middle where sometimes that is true. Everybody feels those growing pains of, you know, I had the people who are used to me and now I’ve gotta tell them that they’re, they’re not gonna get as much as my time cuz the business is growing and changing. BH (16:04): And that’s something that I think every entrepreneur has been through. However, I would argue that telling your origin story makes it that much more important because now people are going to understand, okay, this is the person helming this company. This is the person who is not just making the decision of everyone they hire, but training them, making sure there’s an alignment, and then they’re gonna be curious about every single employee’s origin story and what attracted them to come work for you, who you are as a leader, how that plays out into everything that you’re doing. So I think that most people mis or, or underutilized misuse or under util underused their own personal origin stories because of everything you said a few minutes ago. It can feel arrogant, it can feel self-serving, it can feel very, you know, youth centric. But in reality, we learn best when we hear stories. BH (16:56): Our brains are hardwired to react to stories much more so than facts. I mean, there’s every single research study that’s ever looked at it has said yes, people believe stories more than facts and figures. And we trust them more, we remember them better, and that’s why they’re so effective. And when we show up and we talk about the results, or we talk about, you know, the past work or the past clients, people don’t feel that emotionally. Like very few people ever like got teary eyed or thought me too, over a spreadsheet or like a list of stats and figures. But when you can tell a story, people are like, I felt that, I felt that in my gut when I was walking through the airport and wanted that, or I felt that in my gut when I was a kid. And I said, wow, this is my calling. BH (17:39): So it’s so important. And in my book I talk about some of the tools that people can use, some of the exercises to really step outside of yourself and look at your story through the eyes of your customer to say, what should I be talking about? How am I able to craft this narrative of who I am and where I’ve been in a way that makes it very clear to my target customers that I can help them because I used to be right where they are now. I used to be sitting right where they were sitting RV (18:06): And yeah. And that, and that’s the thing, it’s not, it’s not just telling your story, it’s telling your story in a way that it, it is useful for the customer because they put themselves in the story and they go, oh my gosh, you’ve been through what I’m going through. And and I, you know, and I, and I think that’s the game changer because it’s relatability and it’s credibility and it’s all about that. Which kind of leads to the u I guess in, in the, in the super framework. So to walk us through what u’s all about. BH (18:37): Yeah. So in the book I say that each of these are kind of like nesting dolls, all five letters of the super framework build on the one before. And the u is understand your customer story. So I said before, super fans are created where those two worlds collide your story and theirs. And another reason that it’s helpful to start with your own story is because when you do that, you can better understand your customer story. Because when you think about who you are, what your origin story is, it helps you better understand what that customer or prospect is struggling with, what transformation that they’re looking to undergo that maybe you’ve already gone through, what reservations they might have, what they might be even unaware that they’re feeling, because it’s so deep down. So really getting clarity on your story positions you in a way to understand your customer story in a way that’s much deeper than a lot of people wanna go. And, you know, in the book, I tell the story and I’m curious, Rory, do you remember the first time you saw a teacher outside of school? RV (19:35): Oh yeah. I mean I, yes I do. I vividly remember that. BH (19:38): Yeah. It, and it did it just freak you out? Like what was your experience? RV (19:43): Well for this particular was one of, one of my favorite teachers. And I, I saw her at Buka Depo, like downtown, like, like 40 minutes away from where I went to high school. And it, it was, it just freaked me out. Like it just, it was like, oh, this is a completely different person. And never had dawned on me that like, this person had a completely separate life with like, friends and out out anything outside of like, the classroom. BH (20:08): Yeah. Well, and it’s, it’s so funny. I remember I was in first grade, the first time I saw a teacher, Ms. Beatie at the grocery store, and I was like, oh my gosh. Like, they let her leave school. And it was that same thing, that realization of like, oh, this is an actual person that has all of those things. And when I talk about understanding your customer story, one of the sort of jokes I tell in the book is a lot of people never go deeper than we all went when we were kids. You looked at a teacher and saw someone who was there to like, you know, teach you math or science for, you know, a couple hours a day or whatever it is. But if you look at your customers and say, this is a fully developed person with like a very full life who has goals, who has dreams, who has a history, who has people who people who love them, not only does that give you more empathy in the way that you think about and get to know your customer, but it also gives you more understanding about how your authority can, can matter to them, can help them. BH (21:02): So what I, the reason that I, I make the second step in this framework, getting to really, truly understand your customer is because a lot of people don’t ever do that work or they do it like, just on the surface. So in the book I talk about, you know, really getting, getting clear on the types of questions that matter, the types of information that are gonna help you think more critically and teach your team to serve even deeper when it comes to showing up for your customers and your future customers, or your followers and your future followers. RV (21:33): Yeah. Yeah. And I, and I think you know, another great marketing strategy, you know, I, I said that before about it’s a transform life. The other, another great marketing strategy is to care, is to like care about your customers and the more you like, spend time thinking about them and, and acknowledging I think who they are in real life and understanding it. And, and yeah, you’re, it’s, it’s, it’s ironic that when you start with your story, it forces you to kind of ask that question because you go, how does this story apply to them? And then it puts you in the place of thinking about where are they now? Like where, where are they now? And how can I share how I have been there and, and, and create that connection. And so you really develop a lot of passion and love and affinity and, and appreciation just for who your prospect is. RV (22:24): And just like, there’s such an authentic connection that I feel like suddenly it shows up in your marketing, whether, whether it’s a podcast episode or whether it’s a video or it’s, it’s even an advertisement or a website as they go, they feel that, they feel that, like, you actually give a crap about me. You actually know something about what it’s like to be me. And I think, I think that’s super powerful. So what about the p Okay, so s so start with your story. Understand the customer story. The p this is, this is, this one’s clutch BH (22:58): Personalized. Mm. So p is personalized and you know, again, there’s all kinds of stats and, and, and figures. And McKenzie study just came out a, a couple weeks ago that said 71% of customers now expect personalization from everyone they give money to. So they don’t wanna be treated like just another customer, just another number, just another order. So in the book I talk about the need to balance the high tech with the high touch. Hmm. So what can you automate? What can you systematize, what can you get set up to help drive personal interactions at scale? While also, and this is the key part, freeing up more of your team’s time or your own time to find opportunities to do those high-touch things that can’t be automated. Because it’s all about the human attention, the human interaction being in tune to someone’s need to show up for them in a way that’s going to exceed their expectations. RV (23:56): Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. One, one of the things about this, do you have a great, I I’m pretty sure this is one of like your pillar points or a pullout quote that’s in there, which is like, if you are giving somebody something with your logo on it, that is an ad, not a gift. And like that is so true. And like there are BH (24:14): People who like, are ready to fight me over that. Yes, that is a very polarizing opinion, but I’m like, you would never like Rory, we’re friends. I would never buy you a gift and write my name on the bottom of it to be like, just wanna make sure when you’re using this cooler out by your pool, you don’t forget it’s from me. Like, we would never do that in real life. And yet in business people are like, how many logos can I slap on this? What can I do? Which is fine. Like, I’m not anti swag. I just believe that it has a place and that place is, has an ad, not a gift. RV (24:44): Right? And it’s not, it doesn’t make anyone feel special when, I mean, the, the, the way, the another extreme example of it, I was like, imagine if I sent you a picture of me , like, like happy birthday. Not a picture of us, not a picture of you. If I just was like, happy birthday Brittany, here’s a picture of me. Like, that would be so weird. But that’s what we do all the time with like, here’s my business, here’s my logo. It’s like, that’s not, it’s not a, it’s not a gift. It should be the opposite, right? If anything, I should be sending you a gift which has your logo on it, or it’s, it’s a picture of you. Or it’s like, if I sent you a picture of you and your kids you know, now all of a sudden it’s personalized. It’s still as simple, it’s not as easy to pull off es especially when you say personal interactions at scale. That’s, that I think is, is the aspiration because personal interactions sort of like by definition, kind of feel like they work against doing them at scale. And, and one of the points I loved, which you made cuz you know, we’re huge on automation and, and multiplying time and like all that sort of stuff is that the purpose of automation is not to dehumanize the business, it’s to basically take care of all the mundane, to create more margin so that your people can, can do more personalizations that basically how you are saying it. BH (26:14): Yeah. That’s, I a hundred percent agree with that. And it’s looking for ways, like, as you said, let’s see somebody who’s listening to this and you are you work in real estate a way to make a decision once and scale. It might be every time I sell someone a new home, I’m going to get them a welcome mat with a picture of their family, or I’m going to get them a garden flag with a picture of their family, or I’m going to take their listing photo and turn it into a puzzle for them. And knowing that you have a vendor who can do those things very easily and have someone on your team who knows, like, okay, before closing day, I’ve gotta go on every family’s Facebook page and like, pull a picture that I really love and get that made into a like, welcome to your new home at a b c Apple Street or, you know, 1 23 Apple Street, whatever to create that for them. So there still oftentimes is, is a human element involved, but you’re, what you’re doing is you are eliminating that process of, ugh, let me think about exactly what to do for this person and how I’m gonna make it. Because you already made the decision, you made one decision that you can repeat a thousand times instead of making a thousand individual decisions. RV (27:23): Yeah, yeah. Another thing is, I mean, anything with their family seems like low-hanging fruit there mm-hmm. because it’s like, okay, that’s good. Anything with their business is also kind of like low-hanging fruit. I think the other, the other one is any, anything of their interests, right? But that requires you to actually care enough to know what sports teams do they like, what movies do they watch? Who’s their favorite musician? Like what, where do they eat? Like tho those kinds of things. But it is my, you know, my mom used to say Mar used to sell Mary Kay, you know, that. But one of the things that Mary Kay used to say is she would say the magic is not the, the expensive of the gift. The magic is a $5 gift with a $50 bow, meaning it’s the presentation of the gift and what you build around. And I think this is kind of similar to where you could go. It doesn’t, it doesn’t even have to be expensive. The fact that it’s personal is worth way more to them than the fact that it’s expensive or how much it costs. Oh, BH (28:30): Absolutely. It’s the fact that they took the time to do it. And you know, we both know like when you get something that Jasper or Leah made for you, it’s not about, you know, how expensive that thing is. It’s, wow, I’m going to love this and keep it forever because my kids made it for me and they put love into it. So it’s that idea of showing someone that you spent time thinking about them, you spent time, you gave them the gift of your attention and your care and whatever it is that, that, that materialized into in the form of a gift. RV (28:59): Totally. Totally. So I know that, I know you’ve got multiple mini phases in this, and again, y’all, the, so the book’s called Creating Super Fans Brittany Hodak, of course is who we’re talking to here. The the e is another one that is simple, not easy but another like game changing thing that you go, man, if you adopt this into your culture, it works. Like this actually works. So what’s, walk us through the e BH (29:28): Yeah, all of these are simple, not easy. And that’s, and that’s why I wanted to put them in a framework that would be easy to remember. You know, the idea of, oh, being super, you know, it sounds like something you could almost easily dismiss, but if you do these things consistently, they absolutely will lead to huge growth. You will have more earned revenue, you will have more earned customers, you’ll have people who are coming back more quickly and spending more money with you. The e stands for exceed expectations. And this is probably my favorite pillar in the book just because I’m so passionate about something that I call intentional experience design, which is really looking at every single touchpoint through the eyes of your customers and saying, is this making their experience better, worse, or not having an impact on it? And many of our experiences as customers are what I call net neutrals. BH (30:16): They’re like, nothing burgers, we forget about them as soon as we encounter them. And then occasionally there are those net negatives that are annoying or, you know, cause us to, you know, grumble a little bit. And then very, very rarely there are those positive things. What I encourage people to do is to, you know, using the, the system that I lay on in the book to look at every interaction and teach everyone on your team that they are the chief experience officer. They are the ones who can turn those neutral interactions into positive ones by using intentionality, by using that customer centricity to say, how can I elevate this otherwise like, forgettable moment into something that’s going to be meaningful? How can I show someone that we care more by going a little bit above and beyond? And if you can do that, not only are you like quite literally making the world a better place because you’re improving people’s days, their, you know, their minutes, their, their interactions, but you’re also giving people those things that are friend j bear calls talk triggers. BH (31:18): You’re giving somebody something that they want to tell somebody about, whether that’s online or inline at the grocery store. You’re not gonna believe what this person on the phone just did, or you’re not gonna believe how, you know, this person did this thing that just helped me. And it’s, and it can be, it’s almost always the little things like, this doesn’t have to be big grand gestures. It’s, you know, a week ago I had a bunch of balloons at Publix, so it was my husband’s birthday party and the, the person who was working the door said, here, let me help you out to your car with those. And I said, no, no, no, it’s okay. And he said, no, I, I know a trick. I’ve loaded balloons a lot, I’m gonna, I’m gonna help you make sure that you, that you get these in. And the trick, by the way was to put a piece of paper on top of the balloon and then that they, like, there’s like less static and they go in. But so those interesting little things that you can do to exceed someone’s expectation in the moment and training everyone on your team to look for those opportunities to exceed their expectations. RV (32:13): Mm-Hmm. , so I love the, I I love that. And it’s like you know, I think when you go, okay, what what are those things, generally speaking, you’re talking about, you know, just little, they’re just little things you can do mm-hmm. , but I think the element of surprise is really the, is really the thing here is really going, okay, what’s, what’s the thing I can do for them that would be a surprise, right? There’s some, like, they ex they expect whatever, but how do I do you know, something for them that like, they just, like you’re saying, it’s, it’s, it’s, their expectation is what they’re expecting. So it’s what what is the unexpected, do you have any other like, little tips to, for, you know, how do you train your team? Like your assistant or your, it might be your program manager or like your certainly your customer service team, like who’s fielding calls to go, here’s what you do to create that moment. BH (33:18): Yeah, so that’s a great question. A lot of it is planning ahead so that you can be more present in the moment to look for those little things. Hmm. Of, you know, oh, they’ve got a kid with them, I’m gonna offer them a sticker. Or they’ve got, they’ve got a lot of bags, I’m gonna make sure somebody’s helping them carry them like the, the, the human things. In the book I talk about this idea of intentional experience design, which is how do I bring more intentionality to every part of the experience? Because one of the, one of the things that I talk about again and again in this book is your customers are going to have expectations that constantly rise because they’re not just comparing their experience working with you to the best experience they’ve had with your competitors. They’re comparing it to the best experiences you’ve had anywhere. BH (34:07): So you need to constantly be looking at even your experiences that you have as a customer with, with other parties around you to say, how can I make this better? And this is not in the book cuz it just happened a few weeks ago, but we were out at a Mexican restaurant after a baseball game one day and the kids were hungry because it was a little bit late. And I was like, oh, we’ll just go to a Mexican restaurant so we can like, feed them fast. They’ll at least be chip and salsa. And the waitress came to take our order and Cato, my five and a half year old said, excuse me, did you know a lot of restaurants have apps and if you had an app, we could have ordered our tacos on the way here and you could bring me tacos right now . BH (34:43): And like, he wasn’t even trying to be a jerk, he was just like, it was in his mind it was like so inefficient that he’s like, why do you have to have a person come ask me what I want to eat? Like someone has already solved this problem. So knowing that your customer expect your customer’s expectations are always going to be getting higher. So looking in that moment, it’s, it’s about how can I serve them quicker? How can I serve them in a way that goes above and beyond their expectations? Like I know I always when I check into a hotel, I notice when somebody goes above and beyond, obviously there’s a couple brands who give you cookies, but if you go to a Margaritaville resort, they offer you a rum punch. A lot of times when you check into a Marriott resort, they have like a wheel that you can spin if you’re a part of the Bonvoy club to like earn bonus points. So just those little touchpoints a above and beyond of am I offering someone a water? Am I offering someone a piece of candy? Am I showing them that I’m happy to have them here? And I don’t think of them as just another customer. I think of them as a person whose life I can improve because we’re, you know, connected in this moment. RV (35:45): Yeah. And, and you know, I think you nailed it with it’s going, how do I stay? You have to be, the real magic is being present in the moment to be going, what can I do to make this moment better? Like, magical for them versus scrambling to just meet their expectations or because your brain is off somewhere else, cuz something else fell apart. So like a lot of it is is caught up in, in, in the, the planning. So Brittany, I know we, I know we have the r which, you know, we can wrap up quickly, but before we do that, where do you want people to go if they want to connect with you and learn more what you’re about and you know, get the book, et cetera? BH (36:27): Well, my website is britney hodak.com and I hope everyone checks out the book. It’s available everywhere books are sold, including on Amazon as a hard cover and an audiobook and an ebook. But if you go to Britney hodak.song, excuse me, my ho my own name is hard for me to say, apparently if you go to britney hodak.com/gift, you can download the first four chapters of the book totally free because I want everyone to get the framework that they can use to start creating super fans in their own personal brand and business right now. So britney hodak.com/gift. RV (37:03): Cool. Very, very cool. Well send us out here. What about the r Yeah, yeah, tell us about the r We don’t, we, we don’t wanna leave everybody hanging too much, but you know, so you got start with so, so super, the acronym, start with your story, understand your customer story, personalize, exceed expectations, and BH (37:25): Repeat, RV (37:26): Repeat, BH (37:27): Repeat. That’s it. I wish customer actually, I I don’t wish customer experience will set it and forget it. I know a lot of people do. I actually love the idea of constantly looking for ways to exceed expectations. But in the fifth pillar, I talk all about the systems and processes that you can use. Another great, great quote, this one’s from Elizabeth Arden. You know, sorry, I know you’re, you’re very Mary Kay loyal, but this is a good quote. Regardless of your preference for, for makeup brands, Elizabeth Arden said, repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers. So it’s about showing up and doing this again and again, transaction after transaction, interaction after interaction because you become what you do. RV (38:09): Yeah, yeah. Which, you know, the other surprising bonus of this is you go, oh, it’s not even five steps, it’s four steps, and then I just do ’em over and over again. BH (38:19): It is, it’s 20% easier than I promise. So hopefully I exceed your expectations with four things to remember instead of five. Yeah. RV (38:26): Well, and frankly, like, if you get the story part right and you really understand who your customer is, and then you repeat a lot of this is about personalizing and exceeding expectations, and you go, all right, those are like two things that I gotta do is, is like, just go, how do I set everything up to be in this moment serving on people, loving on them at a level that’s higher than what they’re used to seeing? And what a great way to be an awesome person and you know, create superfans and drive and make more income in the process. So Brittany, you’re the best. Thank you so much for this friend. Everybody go get the book Creating Superfans. I’m a, I’m a huge believer. I’m a huge fan. We make our whole company read it, adopting it as part of our culture. It’s a big part of, of what we see as the next level for us at, at Brand Milds Group. And anyways, friend, keep kicking butt out there. We’re cheering for you. BH (39:17): Thanks buddy. I appreciate it. I’ll talk to you soon.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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