In this episode with Nikki Takahashi, we talk about the power of storytelling for your brand.
This episode will give you great food for thought about your brand – whether you are looking to create one or you are looking to refresh your existing one – and having it authentically represent who you are and what you do. As well, you will be thinking about how you can make your brand unforgettable!
Nikki Takahashi is a Digital Media Designer and Brand Strategist who has helped over 300 entrepreneurs embrace and amplify what makes them unique. Nikki is founder and CEO of Fetching Finn – an agency that gets clients noticed in person, online, and in print. She also hosts the Square Peg Entrepreneur podcast, featuring industry disruptors and mavericks in business.
Nikki’s graphic and website design achievements earned her a Governor General’s Medal and the position as spokesperson for Tech 2000. With over twenty years in digital media, she has been featured in marketing articles and on podcasts such as Dissecting Success, Fearless and Successful, and The Business Society Podcast. Her keynotes on brand design and strategy have reached audiences around the globe.
Nikki’s an aspiring videographer and avid traveler who has spent over a quarter century mastering and teaching the art of karate. Her most recent adventures include skydiving over the Canadian Rockies and flying to Berlin for a tattoo. She resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Listen in as we talk about:
- Using storytelling to create a connection between your brand and the market. Nikki shares a very moving story about reconnecting with the love of her life and becoming a stepmom, and how it proves the power of storytelling.
- Always learning and growing. One thing that Nikki loves, in particular, about being a Digital Media Designer and Brand Strategist is the “deliciousness” of learning and growing despite it being difficult.
- Creating a brand essence. Nikki talks about the intentionality behind the components of your brand essence.
- Mistakes to avoid when building a personal brand. Do you know which common mistakes you should avoid making? Nikki shares all about which ones to look out for.
Connect with Nikki:
- Website: https://fetchingfinn.com
- Instagram: @thenikkitak
- Facebook: @niktakahashi
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikkitakahashi/
- Podcast: Square Peg Entrepreneur https://fetchingfinn.com/square-peg-entrepreneur
- Podcast episode shared by Nikki: https://fetchingfinn.com/obsessive-joy-disorder-with-leona-devinne/
Connect with Tiana:
- Website: https://tianafech.com
- LinkedIn: Tiana Fech https://www.linkedin.com/in/tianafech/
- Instagram: @tianafech https://www.instagram.com/tianafech/
- Facebook: @tianafech https://www.facebook.com/tianafech
- Book: Online Course Creation 101: A step-by-step guide to creating your first online course https://amzn.to/3BujR21
USING STORYTELLING TO CREATE A CONNECTION BETWEEN YOUR BRAND AND THE MARKET
Nikki and I met in person at a conference, MamaCon, in Toronto. She shared an incredibly moving story about her one regret in life, which was not having children, and how she reconnected with the love of her life and is now becoming a stepmom.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
This segued into the power of storytelling and how important it is to understand the magnitude of your story and the impact it has. When you are confident in your story, your messaging resonates deeply with those who hear it, and it creates a ripple effect in the community.
ALWAYS LEARNING AND GROWING
One thing, in particular, that Nikki loves about her industry is that you have to keep learning and you have to keep growing. Otherwise, you don’t have clients and you aren’t at the cutting edge anymore. Nikki talks about how this can become harder as we get older. We can get stuck in our ways or committed to a certain style or direction. Social media and brands are moving so quickly that it can be harder to keep up.
Despite it being difficult, Nikki says that there is some “deliciousness” to learning and growing too. It gives the opportunity to stop and say, what do I actually represent as a brand? What do I love about my brand? And – where do I feel comfortable? Then, it’s about having the confidence to just be that in a world where everybody is just trying to keep up with the trends, be accepted, and be the perfect ‘xyz’. Nikki says that sometimes it is cool to just say this is me, this is my brand, I do it well, and I am good with that.
CREATING A BRAND ESSENCE
Creating a brand essence with intention that effectively communicates who a person and brand is, truly helps them get noticed by their target audience.
Sometimes this can be challenging, and it’s often easier to do it for someone else rather than for yourself. Nikki shares how valuable it is to have an outside professional’s eyes helping you create your brand essence, and the ways in which it will drive your message and storytelling home.
When you bring expertise, care and insight to the process, it can be life changing work.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND
The most common mistake Nikki sees is entrepreneurs being really excited about getting a logo.
As she explains in the episode, that seems to be the starting point in people’s heads and that that’s where your brand begins. She shares how, in fact, you get a better result if you pause, take a look at what your brand style, personality, and messaging is. She talks about how important it is to lock that down first, and how it drives the look of your logo and the style of your website afterwards.
There’s a sequence that should be followed to create the best result and get the most return on your investment. So, jumping in and thinking that a logo or a website is a way to start, is likely putting you further behind.
WORDS OF WISDOM
“Lean into your authenticity and have the guts to do it your way.”
Prior to recording this podcast episode, Nikki thought about her previous role as a martial arts instructor as well as her role as a “teacher” to her clients in terms of how to represent their personal brand. They are both very different. Nikki says the important thing is to do it authentically – you. There is so much editing right now. Everything needs to look so perfect and curated. Just be you.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
What is something that you would love to learn about or something that you would love to learn how to do? Be a car mechanic
What is a place that is at the top of your travel bucket list? Cappadocia, Turkey
What is a book, podcast, or TV show that you have enjoyed recently?Book: The Art of Nonconformity by Chris Guillebeau
If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone that you would love to learn from, who would it be? My grandmother
1:00 Meet Nikki.
3:00 The “small world” story of how Nikki and I connected!
5:05 Nikki’s story.
10:45 Nikki shares her thoughts on the power of storytelling.
16:10 Nikki talks about how she supports businesses in discovering and communicating their personal brand’s edge and moving from being unseen to unforgettable.
18:10 Nikki shares the most common mistakes that people make when building a personal brand.
20:18 Nicky turns the tables and asks me to share my branding journey!
23:55 Nikki talks about which industries can benefit from leveraging a strong personal brand presence.
28:50 Nikki shares the story behind the name of her podcast, Square Peg Entrepreneur and what she has learned by engaging in conversations with industry disruptors and mavericks in business.
31:40 Nikki reflects on her favourite teacher.
33:50 What Nikki is most proud of looking back on her journey so far.
35:00 Nikki answers some rapid fire questions.
38:35 Nikki’s words of wisdom.