“The Transcript Is Auto Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors”
Tyler Jorgenson 0:01
You’re listening to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. This show was created for entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers and dreamers who want to learn from the experts of today and drastically shortcut their own success to build a business that supports their dream lifestyle. Since 2011, Tyler Jorgensen has been interviewing business thought leaders from around the world a serial entrepreneur himself. Tyler also shares his personal insights into what’s working in business today. Welcome to biz Ninja, entrepreneur radio. Welcome out to business inja entrepreneur radio I am super excited to have a fellow clickfunnels Top 30 Designer here on the show with me today, someone who I met in Boise, Idaho, which is such a funny place to meet someone when neither of us are from there. It’s not not a weird place in general, but Be gentle. Did I say the last name right? Because I always want to make sure I get that right.
Kri Gentile 1:04
I have had so many pronunciations, Gentile genteel, I say Gentile, so that’s fine. The Italian proper way is gente les but yes, it’s courageous.
Tyler Jorgenson 1:14
All right region to a welcome to the show. We’re super excited to have you. Today we’re going to talk about branding, creative, the importance of having a consistent and meaningful brand as an entrepreneur or as any kind of business owner. So I’m going to start right at the beginning, Cree, one was the moment in your life that you first realized you are an entrepreneur.
Kri Gentile 1:34
Wow, that is it goes as far back as I can remember, honestly. And just before I even get into this, I want to say thank you so much for having me on the show. I’m so excited here. And I really hope your audience get some value packed information from this, but so we can go back to where it all started. I was born into a family of entrepreneurs. So my parents were wedding photographers and My brothers are all entrepreneurs, a lot of my other family members are all entrepreneurs. And so when I was growing up, I was growing and being a part of, you know, a wedding photography household, they had a, we had a studio in our house. And so I was always in front of and behind the camera and I learned at a very young age, what it was like to kind of set scenes and style and stage and communicate behind the camera behind the lens. And that’s where my passion really started with, you know, how can you take something that is innate within you something that you’re passionate about and create a career out of it and actually make money and earn money doing it? So, my whole life I’ve been finding creative ways like I would style my friends and then we would do photo shoots and I would make some quick cash on the side. And then you know, as I got older, I went to school I graduated with a BFA in design because at the time I had known photography, I’d kind of mastered photography and I wanted to incorporate You know, I saw a lot of trends at that time for graphic design, building logos and colors and really helping businesses establish themselves. So I knew the photography portion. I knew some web design portion. So I really wanted to kind of culminate and bring everything together. And that’s where I went to school, got my BFA in design, went to corporate America right away, I got a job as an art director, worked my way up the corporate ladder super fast. I worked at many marketing and advertising agencies. And then at one point, I kind of decided I was not cut out for corporate America. I just
Unknown Speaker 3:36
wanted to get a real realize
Kri Gentile 3:38
it was about four and a half years. Okay, that was about three years of kind of deciding it and then about a year and a half of finally taking the leap because I was totally afraid
Tyler Jorgenson 3:48
that’s cool. And so and your business is
Kri Gentile 3:50
creative co which is a creative agency. We help business owners and entrepreneurs and coaches and consultants to create brand identities that stand apart,
Tyler Jorgenson 4:01
don’t why is it important for a speaker, coach, consultant entrepreneur, expert to have a brand identity isn’t isn’t just whatever they talk about isn’t that their brand?
Kri Gentile 4:11
You know, every single thing that we do is a part of our brand. It is intrinsically involved and incorporated. I like thinking about brand identities as almost like human personalities. So we all have innate characteristics. We all have personalities, some of them we’re aware of, and some things we’re not aware of. But having a brand personality, a brand identity as a business is your way of communicating your vision, your values, your essence, your style, what you care about what you don’t care about, what you’re willing to fight for, and not. And so it’s just having a brand identity is kind of your way of communicating as a business to the world. You know, where you stand and without it, you’re kind of lost, right? Like you’re lost in the shuffle.
Tyler Jorgenson 4:57
What are the components of a good brand identity,
Kri Gentile 4:59
so First and foremost, we start with our clients. We like to get, you know, do some research, figure out where they stand, you know what position that that our brands stand in their marketplace. So once we kind of figure out the position that they want, where they want to stand, it’s really about positioning yourself in front of the right audience, understanding who you’re going to serve, understanding, you know, the feelings and the emotions that you want your clients to have when they come to you. So positioning is a key part of a good having a great brand, positioning yourself correctly, then it moves forward into you know, how do you communicate that position that you’re standing, you know, your stance, how do you communicate what you’re doing. And so then it starts to, you know, we start to develop a brand, like a logo and a name and colors and fonts and your colors and your fonts and your logos. These are all in intrinsically like they’re created specifically to communicate certain things. So you’ve got your brand assets like your logos, your colors, your fonts, then it moves into you know, your website and your social media. media in your presence online and offline, your printed work like you know business cards and stationery, and every single thing that’s going to leave your office and touch, you know, one of your customers. So there’s all of that. But you know, a personal brand and branding in general is so much more than just the printed version or the online version, it’s really your essence in total, and it’s really just communicating that to the world, how you do things differently than other people and and what sets you apart. So it’s really
Tyler Jorgenson 6:32
about that. There’s a lot that goes into creating an entire brand identity, right and that that’s what I got from that is it’s not just a logo or a color palette, or coming up with a cool tagline and it’s not just the things that you may say or do right because some people say Hey, your brand is your brand is what other people say about you and things like that, but really your brand identity and the contents of that are a lot broader and should be there for more strategic. What is the number one mistake that many experts Make with their branding?
Kri Gentile 7:03
Yeah, definitely oh my gosh, one of the biggest mistakes is that they assume that it’s just a logo. Literally, I don’t know how many business owners will come to me. And they’ll say things like, I just need a logo, or, you know, I just created this new business and I need a name. And sure, those are important. Obviously, it’s just like you and I, we have names and someone’s gonna call, you know, you’ve got to call you something. But that’s the tip of the iceberg because there’s so much more involved in our personalities and our beliefs and the way we do things and why we do things. So all of that is wrapped up into branding and having a really strong brand, something that kind of, when you have a really strong brand identity, you almost create a culture around everything that you believe in and everything you know, your way of being and acting and believing and, and really it’s a call for others to come and join that culture and be a part of it as well.
Tyler Jorgenson 7:59
Awesome. So if many experts at the mistake that they make are many people, entrepreneurs and businesses in general, the mistake they make is that they think, Oh, I just need a logo or I just need to get, I just need to pick a name real quick, and then I can move on. It sounds like it’s similar to many parts of business where there is a short sightedness. Now, sometimes I often say there’s a mistake of ignorance, they didn’t know that they needed more than that, right? Or it’s just a mistake of, you know, apathy or they just don’t care. Right? I would say most of the time, it’s that they don’t realize the importance they didn’t know. Oh, my gosh, like, the logo I pick is going to be something I should probably fit into the rest of my business over time. Right. So what do you say to someone who’s like they’ve picked a logo, they’ve gotten started, they’ve already like, printed their business cards and done that, but they’re like, Hey, I think I need to take the next step. What is the next step?
Kri Gentile 8:50
Yeah. So the next step is really just building your presence, getting people building a following building a community, building a culture. So everybody big brand that you can think of like Nike or Adidas or target. You know, they all have these followers that diehard, you know, believe in their culture and believe in their products and believe in what they do. And they share them and they boast about them to everybody that they know. And it’s really you know, as a business owner, having other people recommend you and share about you and you know, purchase from you is the biggest goal you know, of at all. So, the bigger that they can grow their audience, the more they can connect with the right audience and attract the right audience, the more successful they’ll be as a business.
Tyler Jorgenson 9:35
So in a lot of businesses, the thing that you do really well for others is sometimes I think that you struggle with yourself, but you’ve got a cool brand identity. Right. So what process did you go through when you launched creative Co? To make sure that you, you know, drink your own kool aid, and follow your own advice?
Kri Gentile 9:52
Yeah, that’s such a good question. You know, no one’s ever asked me that before. And that’s awesome. Because there’s a lot that we did when we looked into You know, the psychology of colors and the way that I wanted people to feel when they approached us. And when they work with us, I wanted to make sure that it was warm and inviting. I wanted to make sure that we were friendly and easy to work with. I wanted to make sure that I you know, we were able to make the branding process simple. Simplicity is one of the biggest assets in the world that I hold near and dear to my heart. Like I just I strive for simplicity in every single aspect that I can. So when we built our brand, I wanted it to be simple, but I also wanted it to communicate, you know, high quality and this idea of comfort that you can trust and you can we can collaborate because I love collaboration. So we picked colors like yellow and black. Yellow is a very energetic color. It’s a creative color. You know, it’s innovative, and so we wanted to represent ourselves that way. Black and White are all their colors that we lean on and those are sophisticated and they demonstrate quality. So you know, we there was a lot Psychology with how we actually designed our brand identity and the look of it. But moving forward, it’s in the little things that we do. I like to believe that we go above and beyond we go deep with our clients, you know, we like to make things as easy and streamlined as possible. We have clients all over the world, we’ve service clients, I think in every single continent. So in order to, you know, communicate with them and make things easy and streamlined, we’ve created a ton of, you know, service like questionnaires and things that make it easy for them. So, I think that we did a good job with you know, really communicating through our website and our branding. If you didn’t know me, and you didn’t get the chance to actually meet me that, you know, these attributes and characteristics would still be demonstrated. And, and
Tyler Jorgenson 11:50
so when you got started four and a half years ago, five years ago, I think it was you said, what was the thing that you thought was going to be easy that ended up being challenge that you had to fix and how’d you overcome it.
Kri Gentile 12:02
So the thing that I thought was going to be really easy was that when you build it, they will come. And that was kind of an really archaic mentality. At some point, I thought, hey, once I get all these things in line, I’m going to have my website, I’m going to have my brand, I’m going to be able to go. And that was a really big misconception. I wanted to help everyone at that time, I was thinking, you know, I can do this. And I can do that. And we can do this. And we had our hands in so many little things. And so one of the biggest mistakes that I made was not to focus on one thing,
Tyler Jorgenson 12:35
any client, whatever they came, they said, Hey, I need this I cool we can do that. Oh, my God, oh, I need a I need a business card done. We’ll do that. Right. Like right away.
Kri Gentile 12:44
Yeah, right away. And that was our go to and I quickly found burnout doing that. So that was definitely a huge mistake. And once I realized that it really takes focus, when you can focus on exactly who you want to speak to, exactly who you want to work with. First. Have the rest of your life and exactly what you want to do and deliver to them, then your whole life becomes a lot easier.
Tyler Jorgenson 13:06
Yeah, absolutely. And you fixed it by focusing, which is good. Yeah. I love that quote from Mad Men by Don Draper that says make it simple, but make it significant. And I think about that a lot. It’s probably one of the ones that anytime branding or creative or marketing comes up, that’s right, say because somebody will tend to overcomplicate it will make sales funnels 500 steps, and they make it longer than it needs to be, or they make it you know, they strip everything away, if you can get the math, like what’s the minimum that you need to get the message across in a way that communicates it and drives the point home. And I love it. Your branding, I believe, actually really does a great job of that. And so it’s really cool to see. So you’ve focused, but you still have quite a few services, right? You do a few different things. So was the main focus being more linear in the type of people you work with? Was that the biggest shift?
Kri Gentile 13:55
So it was really how we positioned our services. So at the time I don’t even think I had a price menu I think I literally think I just said yes to many things. So what happened was I decided what I wanted to do and what I didn’t want to do. And I also decided what the client needed in order to get from point A to point B, and be successful. And remove everything else. Remove all the other distractions. I came up with a plan for what exactly do we need? What are those steps? And how do we take them and what’s the quickest way to get there, most efficient way to get there. So when I started to distill what we did best and what I started to distill, you know the best outcome that I could get our clients, I realized that there was three parts. The first part was with a brand identity, I can absolutely get you set up with a brand identity to make sure that you’re communicating effectively and to the right audience and attracting the right audience. The second part was your web presence, so it’s 2020 if you don’t have a website right now you are virtually ignored your your In the shadows, and so to get a web presence really glowing, powerful communicating as well, I thought that was another big face that I wanted to make sure I included in our service. Another big phase that I wanted to include in our service was photography, because I’ve seen so many business owners that have websites that are lacking in photos, they use stock photos, and these stock photos communicate. You know, they’re generic, so they communicate a more generic message, you can find those photos on every single person sites or social media profiles. So I knew that with my background in photography, and web and friending that I had to mesh all three together and really give our clients something that was so unique that they couldn’t find in a branding agency. Typically branding agencies will provide the logo and that’s it or they’ll provide the web design and that’s it. So we wanted a way to bring all these kind of together to create one thing and take them through one service. So we came up with our brand trifecta. It’s a three part service. It’s our high ticket service. It takes about six to eight weeks to complete. And then from the beginning to the end, we work with you to develop your brand identity, your website and your photography. We bring them all together to culminate and create something that truly makes you stand out. It’s authentic, it’s communicating in an authentic way, because it’s all canned, created and handcrafted. So that handcrafted, detail oriented way of working with our clients and really creating authentic, creative content is what makes us stand out and really awesome helped us to Yeah, simplify.
Tyler Jorgenson 16:40
I love it. So one of the things that I think is really been a consistent thing that I’ve seen in the creative space. So I’ve been an entrepreneur really since I was a kid, but the first time I paid that have somebody else do a logo for me, it’s probably the first time I saw I don’t have to do it all myself. I can hire experts in other industries right in terms of this, but that was like 12 years ago, 13 years ago, so, but one thing I’ve seen since then as I’ve really followed a lot, I have a lot of friends that have done phenomenal photography businesses that have graphic designers. And then you know, we have a lot of people like this on staff, when there’s a massive undervaluing from a lot of people who are your target audience, right? experts, coaches, consultants, these people I’ve noticed, tend to value branding cheaper than like Nike, Nike is going to spend millions of dollars on on their branding every year, right? And so or even smaller restaurants and so they understand, okay, we need menus, they can see the creatives that they need, right that they get utilized, or even a small business owner leaving, you know, a car dealership again, they know what they’re getting. It’s part of their business model, right for a lot of coaches and experts the first part of their business, it’s just done through networking. The second phase of their business is going to require all of these things you’re talking about, right? How do you handle the price objection.
Kri Gentile 17:56
I like to find clients who already understand there Yeah,
Tyler Jorgenson 18:00
way to handle a price objection is people already. Yeah, it’s
Kri Gentile 18:04
just me it has been, you know, when you try to convince someone of something, I don’t like having to feel like I need to convince someone of anything, right. And so I want I look for business owners that want to go to the next level that want to stand out from all of their competition and that understand the value in communicating clearly. And by communicating clearly, I mean, visually as well. So, you know, speaking and networking is one thing, being present is one thing, but what happens when you’re not in the room, what happens when you’re on vacation with your family on the beach, and who’s selling for you at that point. And so at that point, you need to rely on a web presence you need to rely on, you know, your brand to speak for you. So, I’m interested in people who understand that and value that and understand that that is something that they need if they’re truly going to step away from their business and allow it to prosper and grow.
Tyler Jorgenson 19:00
Yeah, big time. And that comes back down to that focusing too, right making sure that the people you’re speaking to, are already resonating with what you’re talking about. It’s like it’s very difficult to convince someone. Oh, you need branding, right? But if you’ve talked about branding, have you talked about this stuff, then obviously, the people that are responding back to you are going to do that. So what is let’s say that you’re talking to someone who’s wanting to become a creative, they’ve got the creative juices. They’re really good at either photography or graphic design, and they want to get into this business. What’s the biggest piece of advice you have for someone who wants to be a creative as an entrepreneur?
Kri Gentile 19:34
Oh, wow, that is so tricky. And it’s an amazing concept because there’s so many of us that start as creatives and we are trained in school to, you know, use our creative freedom. And, you know, we’re almost trained to see things through an artistic lens. And so art is different than design. Art is something that makes you feel a certain way. So that can be So many different things. Design is art that actually it solves a problem. So art is emotional design. Yes, it’s emotional, but it, there’s a driving purpose, there’s a solution that you’re solving. And so, as a creative, it’s really hard to kind of distinguish the two, when you are creative, you want to play with your hands and you want to get artistic and you and you want to, you know, make art. But there comes a time when you have to start when you put on your business cap and your business owner hat and you have to think about, you know, how are you going to generate revenue? How are you going to build a team? How are you going to alleviate all of the time and energy that you know, it takes to, you know, grow and build a business so that you have enough time to continue, you know, being the creative and so, in, you know, a part of it is building a team. A part of it is, you know, getting really clear about your offers and your position in the industry, but it’s really amazing. Shift, you know, you have to go from understanding, yes, you were once a creative person, but you know, now you have to become a business owner. And so it’s making that shift.
Tyler Jorgenson 21:08
So I think you hit that. Absolutely right. The biggest thing that has to happen is you have to shift your mindset because what I love how you explain that how art is different than design. I think this is why I’m going to drill down on this a little bit because this is same in anybody as they shift from their passion being either a hobby, or something that they do, you know, as a job to being a business owner, because one of the biggest mistakes and the things that I think hurts people the most is when they leave a job to become self employed. Because all they’re doing is going and getting maybe one or two contracts, and they have the same work that they were doing as an employee. But with none of the upsides. There’s no perks, there’s no paid time off or benefits, right? And so, if you’re going to take that leap, become a business owner, build a team, right? Have something that’s scalable, that can keep working even if you’re sick, right like you Have to go. And so the biggest issue that I see the biggest risk is stopping in the middle. Now oftentimes, the first step is you got to go from employee to self employed, but you if you don’t, that’s where you stop. And usually I see that people that get stuck, there’s because they didn’t shift their mindset to saying, I need to think differently about this, where I’m not just creating anymore, I need to be able to recognize what’s the problem I’m solving for this business owner? How am I helping them continually solve the problem that they need to sell for their customers? Was that hard for you? Or were because you grew up in a family of entrepreneurs? Did you kind of already have that next level of mindset of on how to become a business owner?
Kri Gentile 22:36
Yeah, that’s interesting. It was easier for me, I have to admit, because I did look at things for more of a business perspective growing up, you know, even kind of consulting my parents because as I was in corporate America, I was I still you know, kind of consulted with my parents on their business and what what they were doing and how to contemporize and modernize that what that what they were doing. But I always thought things through that lens of, you know, business owner and how do you commoditize products? And how do you create offers that you aren’t so involved in anymore. And so I had a little bit of an easier transition, but it was still incredibly difficult. I still have urges to just say, Hey, I just want to create all day, you know, I am a creative at heart and that’s where I started. So I enjoy creating and that’s, you know, I’m passionate about taking my visions and making them a reality. But at the end of the day, that isn’t going to grow and build a business at the end of the day. I do need to put on my business cap in order to think strategically about you know, how to launch scale grow. And so yeah, it was difficult for me, but I think it was a little easier because of my background. Yeah.
Tyler Jorgenson 23:50
So what are you guys’s big goals for 2020
Kri Gentile 23:53
so my big goals for 2020 Oh, I have so many but one that is top of mind is I really, really Like to start creating some, or providing some creative events. So I would love to, yeah have opportunities where entrepreneurs and business owners can come to me or we can meet in specific places all over, I’d like to do them all over the world eventually. But I’d love to have these kind of branding retreats where we come together and I help them set up their brand identity their website, their photography and videos and social media presence and do it in like three to four days and get them in and out so that they’ve got something tangible and they can get to work right away.
Unknown Speaker 24:33
When’s the first one of those
Kri Gentile 24:35
decided yet? Oh, man, I know I haven’t decided yet. I
Tyler Jorgenson 24:40
let’s do it this way. Is it gonna be are we thinking like before summer or after summer?
Kri Gentile 24:46
Oh, I was definitely thinking before summers. It’s a little hard here. You know, we live in Connecticut. So it would be nice to kind of do it here but I don’t want to drag everyone here to the snow in the cold. So I have to find a location that is inspiring and Mormon energizing.
Tyler Jorgenson 25:01
When I do events, I like to plan somewhere where I want to be during that time. Exactly. A little selfish. So all right, and what is so one thing you talked about at the very beginning is something that is super important to me. And that is designing the lifestyle that you want. So, to me, if you’re taking the risk of being a business owner, I heard somebody say the other if you’re trading the nine to five for the seven to seven, right, like you’re willing to work more, to start doing everything right, then there’s got to be the plus side of the lifestyle you want. And for me, a lot of that comes down to travel and things like this, but what is one major item on your bucket list that you’re going to achieve in the next 12 months?
Kri Gentile 25:36
Personally, I know people say this a lot. And I know it’s really cliche, but I do live to travel. There’s so many countries that I want to see. So I want to make it to Australia. I want to make it to Japan. I want to make it to Brazil. So there’s a ton of different places that I do want to go and I want to see I just I get so much energy from traveling and taking And food and meeting new people. So whenever I travel, I know that I’m going to get re energized and
Tyler Jorgenson 26:06
we’re good. So I told you before the call, we’ve got a few things coming up. But one of the things we’re planning for probably it’s probably going to be summer ish time is a entrepreneur 48 hour power, john. So I do these quick two day trips to, you know, I went to Dublin, Bogota, Colombia, Barcelona, right for two days. And it’s amazing because I get that energy, but then I get back to work and it’s really, really cool. And so we’re going to be starting to open that up to other entrepreneurs. And like, it’s a totally informal mastermind concept. Like we’re just going to go travel together, where people can talk people can network, nothing formal anyway, so I’ll definitely let you know when we got when we’re doing one of those. I think Dubai has been on the horizon. I was supposed to do Dubai and I ended up going to Barcelona, not like it was in the same direction. But Barcelona was amazing. It was really cool. So Australia, Japan, Brazil. I’m excited to see those trips happen. People please go find Korean At creative co.com and it spelled k Ri ATIV co.com. And thank you so much for coming on the show anything else?
Kri Gentile 27:09
Thank you so much Tyler. I’m so happy to be here. I can’t thank you enough.
Tyler Jorgenson 27:13
Absolutely. My business is wherever you are listening, watching or tuning in it is your turn to go out and do something. Thank you for tuning in to business. Entrepreneur radio. What you didn’t hear was one more very important question that Tyler asks each guest if you want to be a fly on the wall when the real secrets are shared, go to biz ninja.com slash VIP and get your access today. Remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future episodes. And our one last favor. If this episode was meaningful to you, please share this podcast with a fellow entrepreneur so they can grow along with us biz ninjas, it’s your turn to go out and do something