Branding Matters

Amanda Russell - Crack The Influencer Code

July 15, 2022 Branding Badass Episode 68
Branding Matters
Amanda Russell - Crack The Influencer Code
Show Notes Transcript

My guest today is Amanda Russell, an award-winning brand strategist, author, keynote speaker, Olympic-level runner and former model. She’s a PhD who has taught at some of the top schools in the world, including Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, London Business School, Harvard Business School, The Wharton School and Stockholm Business School.

Amanda is also an advisor to top global brands including Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.  Cedars-Sinai International and Lionsgate and she speaks around the world on influence and the future of marketing. Her latest book, The Influencer Code is the official resource to influencer marketing for college programs worldwide. 

I invited Amanda to be a guest on my show to talk about influencer marketing. I wanted to learn what myths surround the term “influencer.” And I was curious to get her POV on the difference between attention and influence.

𝗚𝗲𝗻𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗸 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀. From promotional products, custom uniforms, and clothing, to sports co-branding, web stores and warehousing - Genumark  is your #1 partner for creating brand awareness. And being ISO certified – you can rest assured ethical sourcing and sustainability are front and centre. If you’re looking for help  with your next project, email brandingmatters@genumark.com

Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a 5-star rating along with a brief review.

I'd love to hear from you so let's connect!
Insta - @Branding_Badass
LinkedIn - Joelly Goodson
Website - BrandingMatters.ca

Joelly Goodson :

Hi, I'm Joely, your Branding Badass, and welcome to Branding Matters - a podcast I created and host to help you create brand equity. Branding Matters is brought to you by GENUMRK - one of North America's most trusted branded merch makers for over 40 years. Branded merchandise is one of the best ways to create brand awareness. Whether with your team or your fans, there's no better way to show your appreciation, connect with your audience and build community, than combining thoughtful design with great products that tell your brand story. When you partner with GENUMARK, you get more. More personalized service, more creativity, more innovative solutions. And more importantly, you get it all from a talented team of branding experts who have the experience and know-how to make your job easier and best of all, more fun. From promotional products, custom uniforms and clothing to sports co-branding, webstores and warehousing, GENUMARK makes it happen. And being ISO certified, you can rest assured ethical sourcing and sustainability are front and center. GENUMARK is big enough to matter, but small enough to care. So if you're looking for the right partner to help you create brand awareness, email brandingmatters@GENUmark.com to start your next project today. That's Branding Matters @ G.E.N.U.M.A.R.K.com. My guest today is a real powerhouse. Her name is Amanda Russell and she's an award winning brand strategist, fitness icon author, keynote speaker and former model. She's also a PhD and has taught at some of the top schools in the world including Northwestern Kellogg School of Business, London Business School, Harvard, Wharton School of Business and the University of Stockholm Business School. Amanda is also an adviser to top global brands including lambertini cedars, Sinai and Lionsgate and she speaks around the world on influence and the future of marketing. Her latest book, The Influencer Code is the official resource to influence marketing for college programs worldwide. I invited Amanda to be a guest on my show today to discuss the truth about influencer marketing. I wanted to learn about the myths surrounding the term influencer. And I was curious to get a point of view on the difference between attention and influence. I am so thrilled to have you here today. Amanda, welcome to Branding Matters.

Amanda Russell:

Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, it's great to have you. So where are you right now? It looks beautiful. I can see behind you.

Amanda Russell:

I am currently in Austin, Texas. I've been all over. But yes, I'm calling Austin, my newest home.

Joelly Goodson :

And so you're originally from a small town in Canada, and I'm in Canada, too. What small town are you from?

Amanda Russell:

I'm from North Bay.

Joelly Goodson :

You're from North Bay. Okay, so I do my research before I bring guests on. And I learned about you and your high school and your gym teacher had a really, really profound effect on your life and basically change I think the trajectory of your life. Can you share about what she how she changed your life so dramatically?

Amanda Russell:

She did. And it's ironic that you mentioned that because she just just retired this past week and i i did a video for her retirement for the whole athletic banquet. Like she just had upset that they played at her at the end of the athletic awards. No, or how she changed the lives meet won't for so many. But for me, especially. And she was the one that introduced me to the ideas of a bigger world. So, you know, I had never really left the square radius a couple hours, my my hometown, and didn't know I had never been to the US. I didn't know what what was out there. You know, what the opportunities were? And she had comped, she just gave me confidence inspiration. She encouraged me to join the running team, the cross country running team and I remember being insulted almost saying like, why would you? Like that's the team that you don't the only team that you don't try out for? True? Yeah, it's the only team you don't have to make you just everyone else goes but she saw something sheet and she changed the narrative around it. And she she said you got potential on that. And it's this non that's the only sport that's not subjective. A time you know, if you run track, or a time on a track or a time in a distance is a time anywhere in the world. And you know, you you're built for running basically what you were saying was I want to play basketball and she was like, I was I don't apparently I don't think I was that good. And I had no chance. And so instead of saying you know you're going to be cut from the team and you have no future, do something where there is potential in the future and that's when I she told me about this word scholarship and not the West had these different divisions and that I you know, if you run certain times you could get a full athletic scholarship to these Division One schools and get your whole academic career paid for and you could travel and I remember the moment she word used the term scholarship because it was a foreign word, and I didn't know what it meant. And I became I would say, obsessed. And that's been a theme to my career is obsession. I'm in my life, I became obsessed with I wanted to get this for what did I have to do. And the thing about running, which is such a beautiful metaphor, for life and for business is that the goal is very defined. And the training plan may differ and change along the way like a business plan does. But the ultimate goal is usually the six still stays the same. And that's much bigger picture than a lot of what people confuse as objectives. So she became a to this day, she's very much a dear friend and confidant and mentor. So it really taught me the importance of who you surround yourself with and how one person can make such a difference.

Joelly Goodson :

So can you what's her name? Can you share it big shout out, of course. Dr.

Amanda Russell:

Laurie, Dr. Laurie Gazzara. Some Professor land. This Laurie best nap, Laurie Vesna? Yes, I will. And now that she's got the shout out, she will have to hear she will have to listen to this podcast. Yeah, definitely.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, cheers to her, because clearly, she had such a big impact on your life. But here's the thing I also read. So thank you for sharing all that. But then I also read that you hate running. And I found that was really interesting. Is that true?

Amanda Russell:

Correct? Very correct. I hate running. And I hated it every single day in my life. I like the feeling after but i That's why I think it's such a first when they tell, especially young kids, like you have to find your passion and be passionate about what you do. Because how could you possibly even know what you're passionate about unless you try and done everything. And I think there's a really big difference between following a passion and being passionate about what you do. And I was passionate about where running was taking me I was passionate. When I started doing well, I was passionate. When I got a scholarship when it started to give me an identity. When I started feeling like I was being productive and going somewhere, you become passionate. And you start to learn themes, but to follow a passion. I mean, if I were to follow my passion, I probably be sitting on a beach drinking a really dirty martini every day. Following my passion. And I also think that that's a false advice. Because if you know, I think it's, and I hate to call them out with Gary Vaynerchuk says, you know, wake up every day and look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what you want to do. And that's what you should be doing. Well, again, when it gets it, that's what you're doing, then when it gets hard, you're gonna quit. So again, I use running throughout my business through consulting through teaching, because running is such a great metaphor, because there are certain people that say they love running. And I mean, I applaud them great. I'm so happy that you just really enjoy pounding the pavement mile after mile. But it is hard. People don't run because it's hard. And when they do they they are applauded for their discipline. And the challenges and there are a lot of days, most days that you don't want to get into bed at five in the morning when it's pouring rain or it's freezing cold or it's 100 million degrees, and pounding the pavement and you're hot and you're tired, and you're burned out. And Racing's a lot of pressure and runnings, a lot of pressure. And it's physically uncomfortable. It's every sports punishment is running miles. So there's a reason for that. And so when it gets hard, you you learn it's almost like you know the drill, when it gets hard you, you become so mentally strong. And I remember at a point in my college career when I was a freshman, and I was roomed with the captain of our team, my very first our very first meet, and it's super high pressure, and I had won my first race and there's no division. So it's like freshmen through seniors are all in one category. And so when you when there's nowhere to go, but down, and that was kind of a curse. And the pressure then for this next race was very, very high. And I locked myself in the bathroom in this motel room in the middle of I don't even know why Indiana or somewhere and was crying because I thought oh my God, what did I get myself into? How am I going to do this for four years? This is insane. We're training twice a day, we're on the road on a flight or on a bus every single weekend. We have no social life. Our whole life is just running and training at school. And it's so hard. And so she asked me she said what Come on, and what's wrong? And I said that how did you do this? And she said, Well, I had the same thoughts you did when I started and it was my dad that said to me, you can either have these thoughts, but if you do you question yourself every single day, then you should just quit now but if you decide you make the choice that you're going to be in this then you need to turn the switch in your brain but let's any doubts Any questions, any dread in your head and you have to turn that switch off, and you have to exercise it like a muscle, and you just become machine like and you get up and you just do it. And it doesn't matter how bad the weather is, you do have to replace the negative thoughts that you are going to do this, that this is a privilege, it's a privilege to be able to be at that level to do that. So you have to decide, and that has become the best advice. And I've applied it to everything I've ever done. More so in my professional life now, before and

Joelly Goodson :

it's the same thing. You know, it's funny, not on the same level, but it's the same thing I like to work out or again, I don't like to work out. I actually hate working out. But I do. I do like brushing my teeth every day. Because I know it's good for me. And I like the results. But when I'm doing it, I'm not having fun. You know, I actually don't enjoy it.

Amanda Russell:

We have to start looking at the outputs versus Yeah, yeah. So what

Joelly Goodson :

do you think the biggest thing that taught you then as far as business goes, was it discipline? Or did you know you talk about when you just can't go on anymore and making that switch?

Amanda Russell:

I think it's resourcefulness honestly. And here's why from the very beginning, you have to figure out what you want to achieve, and what's going to help you get there. And basketball obviously was not going to help me get there. But running could my career ended pretty abruptly with an injury and it ended my running career forever. And I remember thinking I would, I was so crushed, and felt like a failure on so many levels. Because at that point, it was my identity. It was my career. It was my US visa, it was everything. And I was faced with having to go back to Canada, because I wouldn't, you know, have a US visa anymore. And I and in order to work, I would need a sponsor and to get corporate work experience, you need experience to get a corporate job in America, you need experience. So everyone told me, okay, go home, go to Toronto gets worked for a corporation there, get 10 years of experience and then go to New York because I was like, Well, I gotta go to New York, because New York is the Olympics of corporate America. And people were like, Are you kidding? Like, you have no work experience. That's crazy. And even my parents were like, you're gonna lose your health insurance. If there's you lose our support, not that they could, you know, financially, they lost even my moral their moral support, they thought I was nuts. But I thought I just have to, I just And I've always been that way that there's there has to be a way I will figure it out from the ground up. And there's something to be said about failure, and failing on that level that removes any ego. And I felt like, rather than going home with my tail between my legs and living with my parents for a while, I mean, I honestly I say this, not because I have bad parents. But just because I was just the mindset that I was like, I always dreamed of New York, I'd rather be homeless on the streets of New York and figure it out. And when you are hungry, and when you don't have a safety net, you become resourceful on a superhuman level. And I moved to New York City, I couldn't get a cell phone, let alone apartment because I had no credit history. And I learned to use what you have stopped competing on what you don't have and use. What do you have? Why did I go into running because I felt like a runner, not a basketball player. I didn't have work experience. But that's where I really understood the power of influence was I have all this I was hired sponsored by Nike I qualified for Olympic trials, I had all this discipline and work ethic. And so I set a goal which is like number one and running right. So if your goal. And mine was like get sponsored, it doesn't matter where just get big, big, big Nash international firm needs to sponsor me. And I narrowed it down and I said, like boxes of shoes to each of the firms with these personal notes and my us running Nike running shoes that said, I have all this work ethic and dedication. And you could probably imagine what it might take to be a competitive runner. They didn't know me, but they knew Nike, they knew the Olympics, and they could imagine what it might take, right? So that got their attention. And the influencers were Nike and the Olympics that meet that built their trust. They're like, that's all built. We don't know her. But these are legit companies in things and events. And that at least caught me some of the interviews and ultimately got me the job of my top choice firm, knowing full well that I didn't want to work there forever, but that it would be my stepping stone. And so I learned the power hindsight. So it's 2020. And because of my background, my SEO on the internet where I when I started a YouTube channel and in business school and some of the different things that I've done my profile, it looks all over the place. But there were very strategic steps that I took for a reason. And oftentimes those steps when you have a goal in mind, to the public, look sideways or backwards. And trust me starting a YouTube channel when no one had respect for YouTube known path people didn't know what it was well after I had quit my consulting job and gone back to school full time and because I couldn't work and go to school visa situation, and my parents saying so what are we supposed to tell people you do YouTube videos for a living like what what there has to be you have to have confidence in the dirt as long as there's a goal. The Roadmap might vary, but you have to again show Get your mind off to the naysayers and then there has to be, that's not like jumping off a cliff and then just hoping you're gonna land, there has to be they call them in business called KPIs key performance indicators, all it's just a fancy word for there has to be milestones that you set for yourself that you know, okay, I'm going to get to here. And if I'm not here by that I know I need to pivot, change directions, whatever that is change things up. And that's something that I was really good at, thanks to running and continue to apply that throughout my career.

Joelly Goodson :

Well, and it's being strategic, right. I mean, I think that's what it's all about is every move that you do, and you talk about all your things. I mean, I is it fair to say, Amanda, that you're A type personality a little bit?

Unknown:

He's still to this day, we're still in touch. And he calls me A with three plus signs.

Joelly Goodson :

I get it. I'm A type too. But I mean, that's what drives you. And you know, when you when you're, you're related. Sounds like you're very laser focused on your goals. And that's why you're and I think all those things eventually come together. I mean, talk about a triple threat when I was going through your bio, and I just want to add on top of all that, you're gorgeous, too, which is like an added plus.

Amanda Russell:

Aww thank you! That's very, very sweet of you

Unknown:

I love that you brought that up. And you know, it's

Joelly Goodson :

Of course you are! I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you that and smart. I mean, I could go on and on. But you know, you touched on attention economy and the power of influence, which are two huge things. And attention is always funny I you can so tell when hosts have done their their everybody's currency. We're all have so much going on. But I want to know what your take is on that. And what's the research and clearly you have done an incredible amount of difference between attention and influence? research. So it's, it's refreshing. Well, I enjoy it, honestly. I mean, that's why I love podcasting, because I get to meet interesting people and learn so much about you. And that's, that's my favorite part. So yeah,

Amanda Russell:

So you also be a great podcast guest as well. Attention Economy. Yeah, that's something that's always bothered being you hear like, there's TED talks on it, there's, it's like a whole, it's a whole movement of like the attention economy. And a really great example is look at all the things that we are because almost every brand, when they've sent any kind of marketing PR advertising objective, will say they want awareness. And awareness is very, very different than conversion. It's very different than any kind of action. You can be aware of something all day long, but it doesn't mean you're going to do anything. And awareness can be is a stepping stone, you have to be aware of something in order to be able to take action, whether that's to bind to an idea, a product or service, or a choice that you make or a thought that you have but it's it's just a drop in the bucket. It's just the first step. It's not having its i and i This is what really made me think about this more than anything. I remember when I was living in Los Angeles and I had started guest lecturing at UCLA and my studio was in West Hollywood and the drive from West Hollywood to Westwood, we're UCLA as you drive I used to drive along sunset and which is like one big traffic jam. And I would always be stopped at this one stop for this big billboard was and they would always announce like the the newest Netflix show or the newest movie or the new bus, whatever. And I was hyper when I you know, the marketer in muse, I always questioned things. And it wasn't until like one day that whatever movie it was, I forget now it was like it whatever it was, that weekend, I was at brunch with some girlfriends, and they started talking about this show. And I thought the frequency illusion, right? I was like, Oh my God, I know that show. Why do I know that show? Oh, that billboard. And because it was the combination. It wasn't that if they were just talking about it, I probably would have been like, hey, because I'm not really a big TV person. And the billboard was enough to drive me. But it was the combination of the two of them. It's like a, like a flywheel effect. That drove me to do it. Because if it's just I had Attention all day long, how many impressions did that billboard get? It's no different with social media. Look at all the things that we mindlessly, mindlessly even like like something just to show our support or whatever. Attention is very, very different than influence. In order to influence you have to have the trust of the audience, whether that audience is the chairman of the board and one person that is going to decide whether you get they invest in your idea, or whether it's a million fans that are gonna buy your record, but you have to have the trust, and more and more like celebrities and these macro social media stars are great for awareness, but especially when it comes to higher investment decisions, investment, meeting capital, but also meaning how it's going to impact your life. We are moving away from this idea of celebrity and macro social content creator and more people trust people in a world where technology and data and automate is becoming everything. I think we need to lean into the more human People are screaming, they are starving for human connection. So they are resonating with friends and family, people that are in their close circles, their doctors, their teachers, and people online, that feel like friends and family, and that they trust.

Joelly Goodson :

I love that you said that, because I'm very passionate about branding, because it's all about connection, right? When you are trying to inspire your audience to fall in love with your brand and motivate them to you know, choose you first. Well, it's the same thing as when you're trying to influence someone as far as building trust. But I'm curious to know, as an influencer, how do how do they build trust with their audience, especially if they don't know them? You talked about family and friends and people that are in their lives. But what about strangers that you see on social media and quote unquote, like influencers, big influencers that they've never actually met in person? How do they build that trust and connection?

Amanda Russell:

Well, I think we need to actually like flip the model. So in order for a brand to stand out quality, the argument of quality is all subjective. I don't want to get into that argument. Because everybody you know, and I'm actually giving a presentation in Milan next week on luxury brands. So everybody's competing on quality, right? Well, like if you think about it, luxury brands are a great example, because there's nothing anyone needs. And they're really all buying into the brand. And people buy into a brand they don't buy from a brand. They want to feel a connection. So how do we build trust? We have to actually start by identifying that and this is what brands and marketers tend to do is they go, who are influencers? And it's the wrong question to ask, you have to start by asking, well, who is the target audience that we want to capture. And that could be the audience that we already have that we want to make more loyal, or get more market share from them. Or it could be a new audience you want to tap into? And then we have to become detectives, and figuring out who do they trust? And who do they trust is where are they going for their answers to their questions, problems needs desires in that category. Who are they following? So a great example I had a client who was a housewife, one of the in one of the housewives series.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, really? Can you say who was?

Amanda Russell:

Probably not because they're not gonna like this. The OC one,

Joelly Goodson :

she's on OC and she's got blonde hair and no.

Amanda Russell:

One of the battles was that like, okay, so her lifestyle betrays a luxury brand, right? Like always dressed to the nines, every kind of a handbag, blah, blah, blah, read labels, choose whatever the whole thing. So she would get influx of brands, collaboration or influencer opportunities, and she would post and she would literally legitimately get what they call engagement, which is such a vague term, awareness, engagement impressions, comments, likes, shares off the wazoo all about what a great outfit the handbag what? Well, she couldn't convert to save her life, meaning that no one was going to buy why? Because they didn't study the her audience. First. Her audience was not other Housewives of Orange County. They weren't Housewives of Beverly Hills, they weren't socialites. They were women can only aspire and dream of this lifestyle, none of that love of her mentality. Her level, we're not following her, they were embarrassed by her. So that's where I say you have to start with your audience. And more and more, we're leaning more towards smaller, more micro, where I think educators experts in their field loggers, it's different than it even was just a few years ago, where Chanel could have somebody like Lily Rose Depp, who they were trying to appeal to her Gen Z audience. She epitomize the luxury lifestyle of Gen Z, and she's beautiful, and she was chic. And she traveled in this aspirational lifestyle. But that was a couple of years ago. Now, people in that space are tired, they're there we are burned out of seeing the Instagram life of seeing the celebrity of the macro influencer with the perfect life. And now we're more attracted to the girl next door that seems like us that's struggling with the same things. So go to where your audience is. And the implication here is that to the audience, figure out where they're going, and then build a partnership aligned to in order to gain trust. You have to build a partnership with where the trust already is. That's great.

Joelly Goodson :

I love that. So what are some myths that are surrounding influence marketing? The top three

Amanda Russell:

influence equals reach which is attention right impressions eyeballs? virality, this vague term of engagement, reach and milligauss but the billboard example that was the example for reach, yeah, influence equals social media. People automatically assume that when I say that I teach influencer marketing, I wrote a book on influencer marketing that they're like, How can I build my Instagram profile? How do I build my these are tools of communication. If I told you that, like, let's say that you contacted me and you were like, you know, I'm coming to Austin. I was just wondering what restaurant Do you might recommend for a sushi dinner? And I tell you, I say, you know, you should really go to Gucci. And so you go and your your friends that you're visiting, say, How did you know about this restaurant? You're not going to be like the telephone influenced me. You're going to say, it was me with her? Oh, yeah, the force behind it. We're confusing social influence has been around since the beginning of time, this term influencer marketing has created this misconception. All it is when we pay somebody to do a product placement, or give them what's called an unkind give product for exposure. That is just modern day, digital advertising. Influencer marketing is a relationship. It's a mutual Win win on both sides. And then the third myth that I think it's important to factor in is that influence is not universal, which is where I really struggled with my book is titled the influencer code. And so my courses actually, I have a course launching here. Here's a real shameless plug, I have a Kellogg, plug away. What's your marketing course, starting June 23, you'll get a Kellogg's certificate from Northwestern, which is an epic marketing program, that number one in the world. And it's called influencer marketing, which was very, very controversial for a program like Kellogg, and we struggled with that because you think about it, influence is an outcome, not a job title. And to say an influencer, is almost like, can you imagine if I told you I was an influence? Like years ago, you would attend? Like, what do you influence? Because it's almost like saying, your God, you're like, all one all being thing. Nobody in this world that I know of anyways, yet, feel free to argue this will have influence over every single person over every single subject, maybe obrah. But seriously, it depends. It is contextual. It is so contextual. It's like there's so many conditions that influence and it's not just people, its environment, its culture. It's what's going on in the economy, it's the weather is going to influence what you do that day, how you're feeling. So there are so many forces. That's why it's imperative that we understand, we spend the upfront time I think of real influencer marketing as building a house versus pitching a tent. And right now, most agencies and most brands that are doing influencer marketing are just pitching tents. They're doing these one off campaigns, which is just social media advertising, in real influencer, marketing takes a lot of upfront time. Think about the best relationships in your life where that trust is built. That doesn't just happen like this, you don't meet your spouse, and say, three minutes later, oh, you checked all the boxes with my aligned brand here of what I want in the marriage. So let's get married. And so when people say, Well, that takes too long, and too much money and too much time, I'll argue the opposite. Because throwing a bunch of spaghetti at the wall is a lot is way more time and wasted resources. And if you look at the cult brands of our time, while we think they were overnight successes, they were not overnight successes, the infrastructure was built, and it was built over a long period of time.

Joelly Goodson :

I love that and I love that you teach a course. So can you share? I know you sort of did a little plug about what you're doing now. But can you just share quickly about the course and how it came to be?

Amanda Russell:

Yes, I launched a course and I taught I actually launched across the EMBA MBA and executive ed programs and the emeritus program at Kellogg, which was quite a feat. And that was a huge plug out and shout out to Milan Sahni, the associate dean who is truly I should say, a legend and not just in our time, but of all time. And what he's done in the world of marketing worldwide. It's just incredible. And to have him back me was really the reason I was able to do and span across so many departments in such a controversial topic in a shorter period of time. And so we teach it actually together we teach the the emeritus program is the only version that people can take without having to enroll and get into Kellogg. So it's an executive education online certificate course, the only emeritus course that is CO taught with two professors, some of myself and Mohan and we have guest lectures that are incredible CEOs of people from all over the world in it that will live for a minimum of five years and I actually had to make the decision to either stay with Kellogg or leave this year because I live in Austin, and I've been commuting and I have had a vision to build out the center for influence, which is Oh, a massive undertaking, but I think it bridges the gap between not just business schools, but all faculties and brands because we're all brands whether you're a doctor or an engineer, you have to know how to position yourself. And that's something that's not taught Cool. So you t, I was teaching at UT as well. So it was going back and forth between UT and Kellogg, and they were gonna force my hand choose one. And I was gonna choose Kellogg and the dean at UT said, what is it that, you know, I know we're not Kellogg, but they're still one of the top five business schools in the US. So I showed him the plan. And they made the offer with all I added some bells and whistles to it. And I live in Austin. So they came through and I'm building out the center for influence the Global Center for influence, which will be the Physical Institute will be here at UT Austin, but we're going to have global partnerships all over the world. And so I'm really excited that I'll start in the fall. But again, I'll still do the emeritus program at Kellogg that'll live in that that will continue to live, but I just won't be teaching live.

Joelly Goodson :

That's incredible. Well, kudos to you. How exciting! Girl from North Bay. Okay, I know you have to go. But I have one more question. You as I mentioned earlier, you're I want to say triple threat. But I would say you quadruple threat you wear so many hats. You're an author, speaker, Professor, you were a model. I don't know if you still are, you're gorgeous. So I'm sure YouTube star and of course influencer. So I might have missed some. But that's just what I have researched. Which one of those hats are you most proud of to be wearing? And why?

Amanda Russell:

I would say it's a mix between entrepreneur and professor. And I think of them as the same thing a little bit, because I never thought my dad was an elementary school teacher. And I never ever thought that like I used to think God for those who can't do teach. And after being an entrepreneur, and learning that how much potential people have opportunity that that they have, and they don't know. That's what it taught me that there's so much there's too many times we don't go for things because we think it's so out of reach or above our status or that we have to do XYZ first. I love I forget who wrote the book, skip the line. But there's always a way and that's what entrepreneurialism taught me the partners I was a managed to get the way I was able to scale it, where I was able to sell it that I was like I never in a million years growing up with the limited knowledge that I had would have ever thought of myself in like, with a partner like this or like name drop here, insert name there, the brand like this. And that taught me that if I can do it, and I'm not I'm not any smarter than anyone else, that so many of these other kids can do it and and to be able to inspire that it sounds really cheesy, because I used to hate on people because they get more back than you do. But I really have found that and I have like this posse of especially young women that have graduated are from their MBAs or there are even some of the senior undergraduates that I keep in touch with and I have mentored them through most of them are that usually like Lumini knees like same aspiration, they want to move to New York. And I thought that's so Potsie that's like now in New York and Los Angeles that I've sort of chauffeured over that way. And I you get, it's so rewarding. They keep me young, they keep me excited. And it really is like to watch them, like I'm proud of them, like they're my children. Some of them are doing I'm like, God, I can't believe your accent at this company now, like, that's crazy.

Joelly Goodson :

Oh, that's amazing. Well, I mean, you are so enthusiastic and love your energy, it just oozes out of you. And you're obviously very, very passionate. It's not hard, you know, to see that and feel that. So thank you so much. It's been so great. The time has gone already. But I just want to really, Amanda, I appreciate you so much coming on here and sharing all that information. And hopefully you've helped some people. You know, you hear a lot about influencer and influencer marketing. And it's, it's really more valuable. I think that people actually realize transformational

Amanda Russell:

when you ask them what it is, yeah, when it comes down to influence every brand in order here is to leave you with this. It doesn't matter. If you are trying to get a promotion, you're trying to pitch an idea, get an investment, scale your company, you have to be able to influence your audience. And knowing what and who influences that audience and how to connect with them. Yeah.

Joelly Goodson :

And build that trust that you mentioned is so important. So if people want to learn more about you, if they want to connect with you, you have a YouTube channel, where else are you on social,

Amanda Russell:

basically, YouTube channel is dead YouTube, okay. LinkedIn is probably the best. And my website is Amanda russell.co not.com, and two S's and two L's and my last name, which everyone gets wrong. So that's yo, there's awesome you can get my book at the influencer co.com, which kind of walks you through it. And in my voice. It's not a textbook. It's kind of a fun, easy read, just something refreshing that I wanted in a world of boring academic books. I love that. Thank you so much for your time and your interest. It's been a pleasure and a privilege

Joelly Goodson :

and right back at you. Thank you. We'll stay in touch and we'll talk soon hopefully.

Amanda Russell:

Sounds great. Bye

Joelly Goodson :

and there you have it. Thank you so much for tuning in. I really appreciate your support and I hope you enjoyed the conversation and maybe learned a few things to help you with your branding. This show is a work in progress. So please remember to rate and review on whatever platform you listen to podcasts. And if you want help getting your audience to fall in love with your brand, please feel free to send me a private message on LinkedIn or Instagram under you guessed it, Branding_Badass, I promise you I reply to all my messages. Branding Matters was produced, edited and hosted by Joelly Goodson - also me! So thanks again. And until next time, here's to all you badasses out there.