Chloé Nwangwu

Why Free Value Is Costing You Customers with N. Chloé Nwangwu


TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED Diane: [00:00:00] Hey, Hey, today's guest Kobe. Juan goo is a brand scientist, behavioral strategist, and visibility expert. And she helps brands, leverage science to make them impossible to ignore. Hey Chloe, welcome to the show. Chloé: Thanks for having me. Diane: So let's kick things off with a little intro to you and your business journey. Chloé: Ah, goodness. Where do I start here? I suppose I'll say that I didn't go to school for what I'm doing right now. In fact, I My grad degree was in International Mediation and Conflict Resolution. So that's… It's social psychology and super high stakes situations, essentially. And the way that I got to what I do now is I was brought in to consult on a civil war. I was brought in to consult as part of a team on the civil war in Yemen. And I hadn't realized this at the time when I sort of accepted the project, but the folks who had brought us in, turns out they weren't actually part of the UN peace process. Even though they were pretty sizable chunk of the ethnic population. And so what they wanted from this team that they'd assembled was. To become part of the peace process, which is going to determine sort of the future of their country. And, again, the civil war in Yemen is still ongoing. You know, all of these things. So I'm speaking in the past tense because my involvement is in the past tense. And so, with that particular file, with that particular project, I had something of a crisis of faith. Because most folks who go into conflict resolution or mediation, they go into it because they want to level the playing field, right? Like, I can control the dynamics in the room so that there are no… Like, even if there's like a lieth in the room, it doesn't matter because like, I am there to like, keep things equitable, right? And that was especially my focus, that my whole deal was using what… We know about how the brain works and how behavior works and how we interact with each other to make those [00:02:00] processes more effective. But the fact that folks who needed to be in these negotiations in order for them to be sustainable and 5 10 years, the fact that those kinds of folks weren't even getting in the door. Because of who they were, just, gosh, I remember being devastated and not knowing what to do. so over the course of my work on that file, I started Trying to put together a plan of like, okay, you know, like what, what skills do I have at my disposal to make sure the right folks are getting into these rooms where I have control of the dynamics. Right. After a lot of research and watching the more senior members of this team, I came to realize that, Oh, it's brands. Oh, wow. Really? Brands. That's the thing. Yeah. And it turns out it's, it's brands because what brands do in their largest sense is they tell others how to treat you. Every nation state has a brand. Certain countries know not to mess with other countries in certain ways because of their brand, right? And so, ultimately, the work that I did, or the, like, the corner of the work that I did, in addition to all of the peace negotiation knowledge, was starting to help construct a brand for this, And by the time I was done with my my time on that team, they were part of the peace negotiations. Diane: Here jaw open and I've heard Chloe talk like loads of times and I'm blown away. What an incredible origin story. Chloé: Yeah. Thank you. And I mean, I know, I know that some folks are gonna be like brands. How did you get there? Right. Like, and honestly, a couple of places, right? I think the first, the first thing that I would say is that I grew up as a tech nerd, so even though I did not go to school for tech stuff, I supported myself through school by doing tech [00:04:00] stuff on the side, right? And so when you are the young person at a nonprofit, you're always asked to like handle the tech stuff, right? But then it turned out. People realize that I was like this high functioning tech nerd who like knew how to code and like could build computers and like all these things. Right. And so for that reason, they're like, Oh no, really though, could you handle all of the tech stuff? And that includes like building us a website, the social media, like all of these things. Right. Taking care of the impression that we share. out in the world online. And as more and more, usually small small to medium sized non profits heard about the work that I was doing more and more of them asked me to support them in that way. And so that's why brands were kind of on the brain for me because I had this deep experience in what tangential, of course, but like this deep experience in what folks in my field at the time called digital diplomacy. And so being someone who was a specialist in digital diplomacy and someone who was also an international mediator. When, you know, those things combined and I was looking at the problem that I had in front of me, that's kind of what came up. So yeah, I would say that's the first reason that brands were on the brain for me. I'd say the second reason is that. And my understanding of what brands are came from a very weird perspective, right? like I said, I didn't go to school for this. So it wasn't like I was like, Oh yeah, unique selling proposition, blah, blah, blah. And niching, even though if we have the time, I can tell you why some of those things are problematic. Right. But that's only after years and years of study. But what. What I did understand brands to be because of the kind of work that I was doing at the time was a system of ideas that influences the behavior of other people. [00:06:00] Said another way, My perspective on what a brand is at the time and currently now still was that a brand was a type of influential real estate in somebody's head, Diane: Your origin story is such a Unique spin on how powerful a brand can be. Because I think we really think about personal brands, like celebrities, and we think about big commercial brands. So we tend to think of brands in terms of money, not necessarily as much influence in the business world. I'm sure in nonprofits, it's not the same thing at all. Chloé: Oh, you'd be surprised Let me not come for anybody's neck here, but, but the, but the nonprofit industrial complex is a thing. It is alive and well, and it's like a bit problematic. So like for sure money is a, yeah, absolutely. They're probably thinking about it in similar ways if Diane: So you come at brands from this really unique perspective of one, I think a brand can be life changing and two, you have a real kind of social science research data gathering perspective on things. What do you think coming from that perspective, our traditional teachings on branding don't take into account? Chloé: Oh my god. Diane: Is that too big a question? Do I need to narrow it? Chloé: No, this is like my favorite question. I told you that I came in into our call with a lot of rage. This is exactly like, you've unlocked perfection. Diane: sit back now for 40 minutes. Chloé: Yeah! Diane: Chloe, Chloé: Let me just unload. Diane: the host of this meeting. Chloé: Oh my God! Just like the little Zoom notification popping up. Look, okay, so, so many things. But I will say, at the core of it all, at least through the work that I do, is this idea of under recognition. Right? That… All of the traditional approaches and tools and methods, like all the things that we have learned, whether or not it is as online executives, [00:08:00] whether or not it's as, you know, executives in the brick and mortar world founders, what, you know, like whatever it happens to be right, all of the things that we have been taught, don't account for the fact that some of us literally have an invisibility cloak placed over us as the default, right? That people have been conditioned to overlook us. And. Because the tools and approaches and strategies and tactics and all those things don't, don't account for the fact that that invisibility cloak is there. Those tactics, strategies, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. XYZ aren't like, they don't work the same for everybody, but people pretend like they Diane: So it's kind of like, you can do all of the things right, you can do all of the seven step framework, you can do all of those things and you're still like, I don't know, Harry Potter in the library with like, whatever his cloak is called, like you just, you just don't exist on the interwebs. Chloé: Yeah, no, that's exactly it. That's exactly it. Right. And so, so under recognition, and this is for those who are unfamiliar. I did, I did recently have an article come out in Harvard Business Review about this. So if you are interested in reading more, we can provide a link, I'm sure. But under, under recognition is, It's just a concession to the fact that all human beings allocate their attention in discriminatory ways. And so what that means is that visibility isn't neutral. What we pay attention to is not neutral. And the cause of that is something that I call visibility biases. Right. So I'm sure we've all heard of implicit bias or various cognitive biases, right? So visibility biases are just a category of cognitive bias. They're the category of cognitive bias that are responsible for under recognition. And a really great example of one is not one that I discovered, [00:10:00] actually. But one that comes out of some research from 2021, it's called the racial attention deficit. And what these researchers were able to demonstrate empirically is that white Americans, and again, this study was limited, right? But white Americans are 33 percent more likely to overlook their black peers. And that's even when they've been incentivized to pay attention to those peers, right? So one. And two, even when they know that that black peer may have information or knowledge that might Help them solve a pressing problem, right? So what folks who are in marketing and communications and branding might call like brand saliency or something like that, right? So when both of those things are true, the gap is 33%. Imagine when those two things are not true, right? And I know that anecdotally, folks have told me that the number feels higher. And yeah, absolutely. That tracks with the research that was done in this study, because again, it was necessarily limited, right? It looked at race in a very limited scope, and it didn't really even look at gender, right? So it didn't look at, okay, is this different with a black woman? Black man, a trans person. It didn't look at sexual orientation. It's like socioeconomic status. It didn't look at any of those various other identifiers. Right. And really the only dimension of gender that they did include was to say that they didn't see any significant difference between white men and white women when looking at their black peers and this gap, that's really the only way that they looked at it, but otherwise not really. Right. So another caveat I'll add is that this is, this is a number that pertains to work online, right? So if your relationships are in person, this number is likely higher. And the researchers say this, say as much in their study, right? So this is an example. This is just one example. Diane: though it's, it might be a [00:12:00] limited in scale study, anecdotally, women have been saying that they can say something in a meeting and a man can say the exact same thing two minutes later and it's, and it's genius. This is just adding a different dimension and a different bias that's showing the exact same thing. Chloé: it's exactly true. It's exactly true, right? And that actually points to another reminds me of another visibility bias, which also was not discovered by me, but one that was the, the phrase was coined by Mary Ann Siegert, who wrote this excellent book called The Authority Gap, right? And so that sort of speaks to what you're talking about, right? The, the, The negative feelings, maybe I'll say if I'm trying to be neutral here, that folks have about women in positions of authority, right? Which can lead to all that stuff that you're talking about, right? A woman saying something and it just Diane: I Chloé: being completely ignored until it's repeated by a man. Diane: we're almost saying that like, unless the person is similar to you, you under recognize their contribution. Whether that's in a work environment or whether you're being influenced by their Chloé: Exactly, exactly. Here's the kicker. We've all been conditioned this way, right? And so what that means is that it's not even that I, as a black woman, am more likely to recognize the contributions of black women, right? No, because this actually happens within groups as well, right? And so I, as a black woman, I'm still more likely without like doing my own internal work, right? I'm still more likely to, to recognize or over recognize in some cases, the contributions of, let's say a white man, right? Versus the contributions of a black woman like me, right? Or a white woman, you know, like that. So that, that sort of unspoken recognition food chain. Exists for all of us and doesn't necessarily really shift without like [00:14:00] real intense internal work. That's why it's a default, right? That's why it's the status quo. And so I bring all of this up to say, right, that like, Like, if you, if you completely ignore that this is a reality, then yeah, it totally makes sense to give somebody the advice like, Hey, just provide value for free and like things will happen. Right. Where it's like, Diane: Or, or the, the all time classic, If I can do it, you can do Chloé: Oh my God. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. You're just like, okay, Diane: so we're A lot of dollars to build our brand we're spending a lot of time on our websites and on social media, and if we're in an underrecognized category, we're not getting the full ROI for all of that effort is essentially where we're coming. Chloé: absolutely. Diane: We can only control ourselves, so we can do as much intense personal work as we can possibly do to try and shift our own contribution to this problem, but we have to assume that the greater majority is select, is choosing not to do said Right. So if we can only control ourselves, what can we do with our brand? Like, how do we know that this is happening with our brand? And how do how do we make ourselves more visible, I guess, in a world that maybe doesn't want us to be that visible? Chloé: I'll answer the first one first. Usually I'll answer, I answer the second one first, but now I think the first one first this time around. to the first question, how do we know that this is happening to our brand? Honestly, if, if, if you come from a traditionally under recognized community, this is happening if you want to know for sure I do have an assessment and we can also provide that link where I sort of explain the four phases of visibility and you're able to sort of. Assess which of these four phases you happen to be in. Because not only will this tell you, Oh, okay, yep, for sure. Under recognition is a thing that I'm dealing with. But it'll [00:16:00] tell you what the, It'll suggest or give you more clues as to what you want to be focusing on as a solution, given the phase that you're in. Right? Because, Something that I do see a lot is folks will be utilizing a strategy or a tactic that works, but not for the phase of visibility they're in. And so they'll be being really strategic with the kind of attention that they're drawing, right? For example, right? When really what they need to be focusing on is like, A proper download of their brand, right? So you can also be doing again, doing all the right things, but in the wrong order. Diane: so first of all, no one is seeing us. We're in our little invisibility cloak and now not only are they not seeing us, we're also potentially shooting ourselves in the foot at the same This is such a cheery episode. Chloé: So cheery, I'm so sorry. Oh my gosh. I do not mean to bring only bad news. I'm sorry But also I think it's better that we that we know instead of Beating ourselves up over what we feel is a personal failing. Right. And that's the thing. Lots of folks will come to me. They're like, Oh, I know. It's like, I'm not consistent enough on social media or no, no, I know. I'm not, I'm not leveraging the exposure that I'm getting well enough. Right. Or whatever it happens to be. Right. Meanwhile, I'm sitting there being like, sweetie. No, like this is not a personal failing. This is a systemic one, right? Like this is not you. You're like, you're awesome and you're doing incredible work. It's just, there's this other barrier here that was made special just for you. And you weren't aware of it until now. Diane: I just had this flash of an image and I don't know if this made it to the U. S. news, but over here at a European athletics the, one of the shot putters did the hundred meter hurdles because their [00:18:00] teammate was sick and they weren't going to be able to do it. And in order to not be disqualified, someone from the team had to do it. So she stepped up and literally, it's one of the cutest things to watch because she's like literally like climbing over the hurdles and stuff, but I had that flash of like, Oh, congratulations. All the hurdlers are over here. And here's you like the shot putter trying to be like, I'm coming. Hold on with all these like specially built obstacles just for you. Chloé: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Diane: mentioned like giving value for free. Can we use that as an example for like how we could, how we could maybe think about what we could do in our brands? Because that's really traditional like marketing advice, like go value for free, like jab, jab, jab, right hook, right? That's Gary V's Chloé: Mm mm. Mm. Oh my God. Oh my God. Diane: to pick the most quintessential person for you to like riff off GaryVee fans don't come for us. Chloé: Look, okay, I'm gonna be, I'm gonna be dead honest with you. I barely know anything about this man. Like, I truly, truly, I think I saw one Video of him like on Instagram, or it might've been on YouTube and I was like, Nope, this is not my portion. It's fine. I don't need to. And anytime I see anything about Gary Vee, I just kind of avoid it. So I don't really know what his personal philosophy is. I can imagine Diane: personal philosophy is give away a ton of value Chloé: Oh yeah. Okay. So yeah. Okay. Here we go. Diane: I think that's an easy one for people because they understand that and they're probably all doing it and that's where consistency and all the, all the rest of it comes off of. If I hadn't invoked the rage I have now. Chloé: You truly have, like I just, it's fine. I also have a resource for this. I have a blog post . The people like Gary Vee, who if I'm remembering correctly is He's a white man, right? I could be wrong, but that's what I'm remembering, right? And he's well off, it sounds like, and I think it sounds like he's able bodied and [00:20:00] straight and cisgender and all those things, right? So the thing with folks like that is that in our society, we're not in the habit of exploiting the Gary V's of the world. And so when the Gary V's of the world are like, here's this free thing that I am offering you. I am being of service. We're all sort of like, amazing. This is so lovely of you. I never would have imagined. Right. I think a really great example might be. Like, just picture a parent and they are preparing lunch for their super rambunctious kids, right? Chances are super high that you imagined a woman as the parent, right? But this isn't even the main point, right? Like, that's just something I point out because like, and now you did. But this, right? That if that parent were a man or a father in this case, right? Imagine what the societal response in general would be to that, right? Just the sort of cooing lovingly over him and just, Oh, he's so supportive. I love Diane: Such a good dad. Chloé: such a good dad. Like the, the, the heavens are open in his eye, you know, like just like tremendous, like love admiration and respect. Right. And, and props, of course. But if it, you know, if it's a woman… I just kind of expected, right? Like, yeah, that's what she's doing, Diane: Yep. Chloé: right? And so this, this tendency, this history that we have societally as human beings, and I won't say that this exists everywhere, right? Because I'm sure that there are small pockets of cultures that worked differently, right? But for the most part, especially in the Western world, We were in the habit or have been in the habit of exploiting women and people of color for unseen and uncompensated labor. And in many forms, we still do that today. And the idea of actually compensating those populations for that labor is kind of unthinkable.[00:22:00] Right? Like compensating a mom for doing mom stuff or in the States here, compensating the descendants of black American slaves for building the country. Right. Diane: So it's almost like we the recognized, let's say the man, doing something and we're like, oh my gosh, over and above. And therefore when he then asks me to pay for something, I'm like, oh my gosh, yes. Chloé: of Diane: Because like, look how much value you've given me. But when I see a woman or a person of color giving me something for free, I'm like, well, yes. Chloé: Well, Diane: Of course they did, and then when they asked me to pay for it, I'm, subconsciously jarred by, well, well, wait a Chloé: why would I do that? For what? What did you give me? Yeah. This is this phenomenon. This was discovered by me . And this phenomenon is a visibility bias that I call the reciprocity gap. And so everybody, most, lots of folks, I will say, are familiar with the whole rule of reciprocity, which is where the whole provide value for free thing comes from. It is, in fact, a cognitive bias, right? So that's another example. That when you provide value of some sort, people feel obligated to respond in kind. There are lots of reasons for that. Read my blog post to find out more, right? But there's a fundamental flaw in that reasoning. And that fundamental flaw is like, well, okay, but there is a gap in reciprocity, right? There's a gap in terms of the rate of return on the value provided by folks like us, essentially. And so someone like us… Yes. Can give more and expect to get less in return. And often we will. And so that's why provide more value for free is such terrible advice for underrecognized folks because it's not a winning strategy for someone that society has already been [00:24:00] conditioned to exploit. Diane: they're just going to continue to look to you for more free stuff while paying somebody for the same thing, So how do we, so how do we change that? Because it's also in the online business world, very expected that you do something for free, whether that's having an opt in, whether that's a free discovery call, whatever that looks like, that's, I completely get what you're that I could put out 10 pieces and somebody else could put out one piece and we might get the same response. But at the same time, it's very jarring to me to think, well, what if I just didn't give you anything for free? I mean, you're talking about someone who has like a 200 plus episode podcast, right? Chloé: Yeah. And Diane: Oh, okay. Chloé: What? Okay. Problem, problem, problem. No. Okay. And Diane: and Converse will now be a subscription model. Chloé: look, if you wanna do that, Diane: I will link Chloe's Instagram so you can go and tell her what you think of Chloé: Bother her, she's the reason, Diane: her Chloé: oh my gosh. So, so what I will say is this, right? That this does not mean that if you're an under recognized person, you never, ever, ever, ever do anything for free, right? What it does mean is that you need to start doing a careful analysis of what reciprocity is going to look like in lieu of monetary compensation. . Diane: for me doing a podcast. I provide content to the world, but I get to interview really interesting guests who share their knowledge with me and to meet that guest's audience. And I get interaction from my audience. I get DMs, I downloads, etc. So Non monetary reciprocity that hopefully eventually becomes reciprocity, but maybe that's an easy example given that we're on Chloé: Yeah, yeah, yeah, no. I think that's, [00:26:00] no, I think that's a great Diane: entire podcast Chloé: No, yeah, like, and I'm freaking out. Yeah, no, so, so, so what I will say is like, yes, exactly that. And, and, what I would say, so like if you, you were my client, Diane: This is now my personal coaching Chloé: If you were my client, I would ask us to, again, list out all, like all the things that you just said and more, right? List out all of those forms of non monetary compensation, right? And then since you are running a business, right? The, I won't say the ultimate or even the final or turbinous kind of compensation that you're looking for, right, but somewhere along the road, one of the kinds of compensation that you're looking for is monetary, right? And so what we want to do is track out a path from, if, if possible, right, from these other various forms of non monetary compensation to that monetary type of compensation, right? We need to map out that path, and then we need to make sure that the infrastructure is in place to encourage folks to take that particular path. And this is where we get into behavior design, right? Which is one of my favorite parts about what I do, right? That… At the end of the day, as business owners, and I'll just speak to the folks who I know are probably listening to this podcast, right? As business owners, as online CEOs, right, as founders, we are in the business of behavior change. No matter what anybody else says, and so what that means is what that can look like, right? Is someone going from not paying you? To paying you, right, not buying your stuff to buying your stuff, right? Sometimes that can look like the transformation that you provide, right? But because you are running a business that also does need to be tied up with. Money, right? And so I say all of this to say that in order to ensure that behavior [00:28:00] change happens, we can't leave it up to chance. We need to engineer the path from those non monetary forms of compensation to the monetary compensation. So an example for me I used to run, may continue to run, we'll see what's going on, right? But I used to run this thing called a visibility clinic, right? And this was a visibility Q& A, folks could come and ask me their questions, right? And I would answer happily because I am best when people ask me questions. This was free, And One of the non monetary forms of compensation that I got from this visibility clinic is that I got to keep my finger on the pulse of what was happening visibility bias wise in the world, right? So if something in terms of visibility bias came up that I didn't recognize, right, as often happened, I would be like, Oh, okay, here's a new phenomenon that I need to research. Right. A great example of what, and of, of this is I had somebody come to the clinic and ask about, she named it microexclusions, right? Not microaggressions, microexclusions. And I was like, this is not a phenomenon that I've studied yet. This doesn't have a name yet either. You and I should meet so that I can interview you and pull up. More information about this so I can keep an eye on it and see if this is something that's happening systematically, right? That's non monetary compensation, but you can see obviously how that would lead to monetary compensation for me because that then allows me to refine my methodology to account for that visibility bias, come up with methods and tactics and strategies that can help us fix it, right? And then that leads directly to being compensated. Right. And so once you have like traced the path to monetary compensation, One of the things that I did to do that [00:30:00] is when folks were signing up for a signing up for the clinic, I had something that I called a reciprocity release where I explained how very briefly that the relationship between under recognized folks and reciprocity is a bit weird. Linked to my work about why and said that. So when I do something for free, right, I ensure that I'm getting compensated in other ways. For this piece of work, this is how I'm getting compensated, right? And I put that reciprocity release there, right? Just so folks knew, right? And that's just seeding the ground. Just one tiny thing, right? That's seeding the ground, seeding the start of the infrastructure so that's an example of what I Diane: Yeah, so it's really thinking through for everything that I'm going to do for where where am I getting non monetary compensation and how does that lead me on a path to monetary compensation? So it's being more strategic about. What am I doing for free, rather than creating a new freebie for every blog post that we write on the hopes that someone will join our email list, continue to absorb more free content, and never buy anything. Chloé: And this sort of… method, maybe I would say, is, or approach, Obviously I have a methodology, right? That methodology is called visibility engineering, right? And visibility engineering has two primary pieces, right? There's the impression management piece of it where Which is where a lot of like the brand science stuff comes in. And you're like, this is how you know what color to pick because blah, blah, blah. Right. Like all of that stuff that people generally associate with me. And then there's the influence management part of it. Right. And this is the key part that a lot of folks tend to miss when they're talking about brands, marketing, PR, all of the things. Right. And when I'm working with my clients, often Often this piece comes in, yeah, I would say it's in [00:32:00] the the content chemistry kit. That's probably, I think the best place, the best place for it. Right. But essentially what that is, is it says, okay, cool. At this point in the process, you, you know what to say. To each of your various stakeholders at the various parts of your relationship with them, right? You understand what drives them motivationally, right? You understand what those motivations are. A whole bunch of other stuff that we do not have time for me to talk about, right? Right? You understand all of this stuff, right? How does that fit into a visibility pipeline? Right? Where do each of those, like, where do each of those things fit into this? Fit in terms of guiding or motivating somebody towards the end that we're trying to get to, right? Because ultimately visibility has a purpose, right? You are being visible for a reason. You are trying to draw more attention and interest to your work for a reason. It's not always money, right? But if you are a CEO running a business, often it is right. And so the content chemistry kit is just sort of saying, right, like we, we, we have all the building blocks. Where do we put them? Where do we put them and in what order and how can we keep track of how effective they are? So, so yeah, I think that's, I think that's what I would say that often that comes in. That piece of sort of building the infrastructure towards that monetary compensation from the sort of non monetary compensation that you might get from the sort of free things that you do . Diane: So I have a really tough question If you could only tell business owners one thing about branding, what would that be? Chloé: Oh, that's so hard. Oh my gosh. Why do this to me? Why? I thought we were friends. Diane: you made me panic about the podcast. This is revenge. Chloé: You know what? You know what? Fully my fault. [00:34:00] You're right. That's on me. Totally on me. Diane: in a way that you don't Chloé: Right? This is just, this is just turnabout's fair play. All right. Okay. So this is, oh boy. About brands, aside from what I have already said. Hmm. I would say, and this is more like an philosophy, maybe., as an under recognized person, don't settle for disrupting the present. You want to focus your eyes on shaping the future. And, ultimately, that's what brands do. Cause that, that's gonna pay dividends. That's, that's legacy building. Right. And I think that one of the things that we get trapped in, especially as underrecognized folks who are like, we get into this hamster wheel of like, okay, well maybe this'll work or maybe this'll work. Or like, ah, I missed a post that day. Darn it. Okay. I won't do that next week. Right. Like this vicious cycle that we get into. And I would say while brands are equipped. To help you make a splash now. I think that they are best leveraged when you are thinking about tomorrow. . Diane: So Okay, remind everybody where they can go and do the assessment, how they can, cause I, I feel like you and I have been everywhere with brands today. So let's, let's like give everyone like one easy next step to take if they're also panicking like I was panicking Chloé: Yeah. Okay. So, so one easy next step I would say is this definitely go watch that video on the four stages of visibility. We will include a link. It will have a quick assessment that will help you figure out which stage you happen to be in. Okay. So that is your easy next step. And Diane: and because Chloe likes to make things a little more complicated, Chloé: I always like, look, things are not, things are multi faceted. Okay. Diane: to make a transformation. Chloé: exactly. Right. So, so I would say [00:36:00] everybody who is interested in this, who feels like this might be something that they're going through, definitely go watch that video. Go do that assessment. Personally. I would love to chat with you and give you a recognition prescription. And so if after watching that video, you're like, you know what? I would love to chat with Chloe about, okay, what do I do now? Then there will be a link under that video. You can follow it and you can sign up. This is free, but. I am in fact being compensated in other ways. Diane: Modeling those teachings for us. So to finish up, I always ask my guests the same two questions. First of all, what is your number one lifestyle boundary for your business? Chloé: I take a week off every month Diane: work at all, or just no calls. Chloé: Well, if you want me to get specific, Diane: Oh, don't Chloé: so Diane: time. Chloé: yeah, right. So the way I have my life set up is that There's one week every month where I the only thing I'm doing is rest and research, right? So I am reading all of the articles and the research papers that I've just been Piling up for me and I'm resting and that's it The week before that I will limit meetings and I will focus on client work Right and I take ten clients a year tops Right. So like, this is more than enough time for me to, to do that. And then the remaining two weeks are sort of open office hours for me. So that's when I'm talking to everybody. That's when I'm doing podcast interviews, teaching workshops, that sort of thing. So that is my number one barrier for me. Diane: Yeah. You definitely need the rest of the research to go together. Cause. If people listening, haven't read a research paper like, It is not like reading a blog. No one, no one is trying to make it simple Chloé: It's so dry. Diane: I'm always like, is there a diagram? Is there a Chloé: I know. Oh my God. No, actually same. I'm like, this would [00:38:00] be very, you'd be better served with a diagram, sir, ma'am, Diane: anything. Chloé: a graph or something, ma'am, anything. Diane: Okay, finally, what is the worst piece of cookie cutter advice you've been given as an Chloé: Ah, niche down. Diane: I I can't believe I opened that door for you. Go Chloé: you did, you really did, you did. I was like, look, this is going to have to be like podcast episode two. Like we're going to have to do a part two for this. Cause this is a whole thing. But I will say briefly that Oh God, niching, niching, People often niche because they are hoping that it will help. Make their wares, their widget, their thing more compelling to the right people, right? The problem is, niching focuses on demographics, and if you're lucky, psychographics. For those who are unfamiliar, demographics are like census level data, right? Gender, age, that sort of thing, right? Psychographics are sort of like habits Sometimes it can be, you know, ways that you would identify yourself or affiliate yourself with things. Right? So demographics and psychographics, right? Here's the unfortunate thing. Those two details 99 percent of the time will not give you the information that you need in order to change someone's behavior. Sorry. So, and when we're talking about being compelling, we're talking about like, yeah, changing someone's behavior generally as a business is from not buying to actually buying. Right. And so knowing that somebody is a 38 year old woman whose favorite flavor of seltzer is grapefruit is not going to tell you what's going to change their behavior. And, and that is why is on. My shit list, excuse my French and it's not the only thing, but it's the thing that like Especially early on in my career folks were like, oh you just need to niche down and I was like that doesn't sit well with me And I don't really know why until I did the research and I was like, oh, that's why so yeah, if [00:40:00] someone has told you that and you've been struggling to niche for like a Life age of the earth. This is why Diane: you have niched and it's still not Chloé: Yeah. Yeah. In which case, like, yeah, it's cause it wasn't going to, Diane: It was never meant to help, good news. Chloé: it was never meant to help. Yeah. Like, good, great news folks. It was never meant to help. And, and that is, I like, I like to assign goodwill to folks, right? But there are definitely marketers and folks out there who know that niching is not going to solve the problem, but know that you're going to keep coming back to them. To have you ask them for help because this is a thing with an ever moving target, right? Like, they can always tell you that you just need to niche further. And this is not everyone. This is even most people. Diane: And I do think it's kind of like in the beginning, in the beginning, a lot of people need to like niche from, I can help everyone and having the most generic like social media and website of their lives, but as you get more experience. Simply just what's the like niche till you bleed or whatever I'll never forget being told that one and I was like that does not sound like fun to me Chloé: That sounds terrible. Oh my, Diane: be your marketing slogan? Chloé: I hate that. I hate that so much. So I'll, I'll even push back here a little bit and say like, yeah, even at the beginning, I would say that's not going to, niching is nope. No. Yeah. No, I told you, I told you this is episode two. I told you like, this is a whole thing. Um, Diane: everybody in the DMs. Do we want chloe on niching Chloé: Let us know! Diane: we'll give you some time to recover from the fact that all your branding is wrong and that you've given away too much free value before we blow up your Chloé: I'm so sorry. Truly, it's not like everything is wrong, y'all. It's just, so much of what you've been told. Diane: just that like knowledge is power, it just helps you discern the next time somebody tells you something, whether or not that will work for you, which I think is really important. this has been so much fun, [00:42:00] eh? Honestly, like my cheeks hurt from like laughing so hard. Where can people find you? Remind them where they can find you on the web and on social so they keep following you, find out more about you. Also get sore cheeks. Chloé: Yeah, absolutely. So if, if you are interested in just sort of like being in my orbit and like, Oh, she found a new thing. Right. I'm on LinkedIn a lot. And I post there semi regularly. So follow me there at under my name. I'm also on Instagram less often, but I'm definitely there. And I do have like a library of like an insane amount of resources on brand science. So like, if that's something you're interested in, you're interested more in the impression management side of things. Look at my posts. there. I'm sharing lots of things and stories all the time. And I am N as in Nancy, O B for boy, I for igloo, works with an S on Instagram. Diane: I will link all of that in the show notes because honestly, like Chloe's brain is like one of my favorite things to experience, Thank you so much for this. Chloé: Thank you for having me. And for opening up your audience to me. I know, honestly, that your attention and everybody who's listening, I know that your attention is not something to take for granted. So Diane: Thanks so

What if the problem isn’t you being consistent or leveraging your visibility opportunities but a systemic problem working against you?

Chloé Nwangwu walks you through visibility biases that may impact you and your brand and what you need to do to counter them.

Key Takeaway

The value of our free work is calculated differently by the audience in ways they and we are unaware of, and “free” costs us dearly down the line if we do not use it strategically.

We talk about

  • What traditional branding and marketing advice gets wrong
  • Visibility biases and the impact on the brand and business
  • How to assess if this is happening to you
  • Why free value can end up costing you customers – even if it works for someone else
  • Using behavior transformation to craft a path to monetary compensation
  • Chloé’s lifestyle boundary for her business
  • The worst cookie-cutter advice Chloé’s been given on her lifestyle business

About Chloé

N. Chloé Nwangwu, the brand scientist, is a speaker, behavioral strategist, and brand visibility expert. A former international conflict mediator, she is now the founder of NobiWorks, a brand visibility consultancy where she partners with underrecognized brands, leveraging science to ensure they are impossible to ignore. Her clients have included a number of boutique firms, the High Ambition Coalition, and the first refugee delegation to the UN.


This page may contain affiliate links. I earn a commission or reward on all qualified purchases made when you use these links. 


The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.