Creating A Compelling Brand Story, Leanne Hoagland-Smith, TBJApodcast 241
Listen to the Episode Below (00:23:47)
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We explore the importance of having an emotionally compelling story that differentiates you from all the other SMBs. Leanne Hoagland-Smith shares her tips on creating compelling brand stories.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is the SMB trusted authority for forward thinking sales culture and results. For nearly two decades, she has been solving the real problems of people and processes obstructing sustainable business growth. Through her ACE approach, Leanne assesses, clarifies and then executes what needs to be done.

She has international reputation and has been noted as one of the top 50 women in sales on Twitter and online platforms. In 2015, she was one of the judges for the First American Women in Sales Awards.

Much of Leanne’s expertise has been with SMB under 150 employees led by forward thinking leaders in rapid growth. She also works with top sales performers who want to take their roles to that next level.

Leanne has authored over 5,000 articles and blog postings along with the book Be the Red Jacket in a Sea of Gray Suits, the Keys to Unlocking Sales Success. She is one of the co-founding authors for Worldwide Coaching Magazine, a publication recognized by Sherpa as one of the leading magazines read by executive and business coaches. Also Leanne has written a business column for the Post Tribune/Chicago Tribune for the last 10 years.

Icebreaker: A Quick Fact About You!:
My first major in college was philosophy and I am still a philosopher at heart.

Think Like A Journalist Quote
“Today we’re living in an anti-Waldo world, where you don’t want to blend in and have people struggle to find you. You want your personal brand to stand out like you’re wearing a red and white sweater, and everyone else has on black.”  ―Jarod Kintz

Success Quote
Change your words; improve your results.
Just be valuable.

Career Highlight
Find out how Leanne got into her career and hear her career highlight–a time when she helped someone else become very successful.

When It Didn’t Work!
Leanne learned a valuable lesson about listening to people who she thought knew more than her. Find out what she learned from being authentic and sticking to what works for her.

The Rest Of The Story: Creating A Compelling Brand Story

Small-to-medium businesses have weak to non-existent stories. They sound like everyone else. Having an emotionally compelling story is essential to standing out, to being that Red Jacket in a Seat of Gray Suits.

To begin there are five foundational bricks or footings:

  1. People buy from people: develop interpersonal skills, be present at networking meetings, honor commitments.
  2. People buy from people they know and trust.
  3. People buy first on emotions; justified by logic: don’t start with logic, front-load marketing.
  4. People buy on value unique to them.
  5. People buy from people – Yes this is a repeat, but now if you have the ideal customer or client in front of you, you must remember people buy from people. Too many in sales fail to understand this essential part of the actual selling conversation.


People buy from people.The first four bricks are embedded within your overall marketing plan. This is where your story takes root.

Multimedia Resource


To Sell Is Human, Daniel Pink
Not Taught, keenan



Leanne Hoagland-Smith LinkedIn Profile

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Phoebe Chongchua
Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia Brand Journalist, Brand Consultant & Marketing Strategist who is revolutionizing brand communication with consumers. She makes companies remarkable using brand journalism storytelling to grow their online presence, build a community, and gain greater market share. Phoebe is a former TV News journalist who helps brands gain a competitive advantage by learning to "Be the Media". Phoebe is the host of "The Brand Journalism Advantage" podcast and a "Top 50 Podcaster To Follow". Listen in iTunes or at

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