Big Brands of the 21st Century: Apple, Coca-Cola, and You with Dr. Chaz Austin

Dr. Russell Strickland [00:22:06] And figure out ways to like the process, too. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with your change of heart. Change is hard on everyone, but there’s nothing wrong with looking at what that new world is and figuring out what the benefits are.


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:22:19] You know, in my in my book, there are a number of sections about how to stay sane through all this. And you get to the other side, you know, this isn’t bad. I don’t have to go to my boss. It’s Friday at noon. I finished all my work for the week. My clients are good. I’m going to take the rest of the day off. You don’t have to go to the boss and say, is that OK? Excuse me, it’s noon. You have a lot of work to know and you can get up at ten o’clock and you can work in your jammies if you’re talking on the phone with people or, you know, if you’re on Zoome as long as the top half looks good, that sort of thing. OK, you can take a break for a couple of hours and have lunch with an old friend. These are things you couldn’t do. Your people are so used to the safe harbor of a job and a company that they’re loyal to that this is frightening for them. So I have to work through their anxiety about it and the fact that the I’m asking them to use skills they’ve never had to use before. But what I do is I I was a smartphone and I say you learn to use this, you can learn to self market, too. That’s what’s appropriate given the 21st century workplace.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:23:31] Now, how do you go from developing brand? The message, the bio, all of those things to you called it selling, but but I would just say generally getting the word out, how do people know about your brand, about you, about the fact that they might want to hire you?


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:23:47] Now, depending on what you do, you want to use social media to first contact people. So some I use LinkedIn a lot because it’s the business platform, but it may not be appropriate depending on what you do. For example, graphic designers, not LinkedIn. There’s a Web site called Behance B.H. and see Dot Net. That’s where graphic designers show their work. LinkedIn not appropriate for them. Katy Perry has one hundred and seven. I have 30000 followers on LinkedIn. Katy Perry has one hundred and seven million followers on Twitter. So you have to know where the audience lives and customize your message for them. But a lot so many of the people I work with because I teach business courses use LinkedIn. So it’s a matter of creating a headline that says who you are. And then once that’s all set up and the about sections done and everything’s in the pictures, right, then you reach out to groups and people in your field who ought to know about what you offer because they can use it and pay you. And it keeps it keeps mushrooming. I continue to get work through LinkedIn. My TEDx talk came through LinkedIn. I was contacted by the people at Mount San Jacinto College. And I, I, I didn’t know them. They said, we found you on LinkedIn. We’d like you to do a TEDx talk for us more and more. I get that. So I’m a I’m the poster child for that. I tell my clients and my students, I said, I’m telling you to do what I’ve been doing for years. And it’s the same process. I’m just a few years ahead of you, that’s all. But but you want to once they get a sense of, OK, I see what I offer and I see who would be interested in, interestingly enough, the sound bite, which is kind of the same thing as the headline on LinkedIn, tells you who your audience is. So mine says training people to self market for the gig economy. So who’s my audience? You can you can figure it out. People in education, people in higher education, high school counselors, people who are unemployed, people looking for work, H.R. people. And it’s an endless supply of people. I 30000 is a max. I can’t connect with people anywhere. They have to follow me now. OK, fine. I prefer otherwise, but LinkedIn says no. That’s the rule even for authors, because I have three courses on LinkedIn learning. That’s it. Thirty thousand. But if you if you were to analyze it, I would say ninety five percent of the people on there are people who could potentially hire or refer me for work. And this, this process works.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:26:34] Yeah, absolutely. Now, one of the things that you mentioned in there that it’s important for our audience to understand, you mentioned it very quickly, but it’s the concept of making sure that you’re telling folks what you can do in the context of what’s in it for them. A lot of people like to write about me, and this isn’t about you. It’s about them. But I’m trying to get a job and then they’re looking for help so you can make sure it’s all in the context of what you do for them, how you can make their lives easier, better make them happy.


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:27:06] Very good point. As I say, another one of my mantras, you never go wrong. If you focus on your audience, it’s all about them. How can you contribute to what they need to to either save the money or make the money? You know? So so it’s what what do they need? What do I offer? How do I articulate it in such a way? They are OK, we need that. And how do I up skill over time. So if for if, for example, I’m a graphic designer and they’re looking for the next version of Illustrator, I need to learn that because they’re going to demand it for for any field. So if you need an MBA, you get an MBA. And for me it was I need an education, I need a doctor to teach at the university level. I got a doctorate. So on the SWOT analysis, its strengths, and then on the other side, the top right quadrant, it’s used to be called weaknesses. I change it to what’s missing. So if you want to be a nurse. Yes. And you’re really good, you love working in hospitals, you’re good with patients and so on. But in order to be a nurse, you have to have an R.N. period. Yeah. So that’s in the what’s missing territory. You want to be a nurse, get the R.N. then you’ll be taken seriously like having a doctor. If they’re not, I don’t care how good you are without an hour and they’re not going to speak to you and they’re not going to hire you. So once you


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:28:31] Right there, just like the R.N., having your R.N. gets you the interview, gets you in the door, it opens up the opportunity, but you still have to convince them that you’re going to make their life better. Yeah, that’s with the doctor, because that’s where a lot of folks will think. Well, I got a doctorate degree. I’m part of the one percent, educationally speaking. All true. But you could still lose out to someone who does a better job marketing what they can do.


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:28:56] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely right. Well, I used to joke when I got my doctorate, Harvard didn’t call. They didn’t say, oh, my God, he got his doctorate. Let’s know it. It meant I could hustle at a higher level. Yes. So it’s it’s a it’s a combination of having the hard skills and then being personable and people knowing you because people hire who they know and trust. So your job, once you enter nursing school, to use that as an example, you immediately start at the same day you start school. You immediately start to connect with people at the school, staff, fellow students, faculty and through social media. And you start to meet people and develop relationships with them because because once they know you and like you and maybe you do some volunteer work or interning while you were in school, when it’s when they have an opening, they’re going to think of you. And part of your job is to stay in touch with them so that they. Oh, you’re going to oh, you’re getting out of school next month. We have something for you. It’s night shift, but I’ll take it still. And then you’re in and working at the hospital is an R.N. I’ve had so many students I’ve worked with who say, you know, I’ll just deal with my coursework now and when I’m done, then I’ll do the networking. Wrong. You do the networking from the beginning and then you have a job as soon as you graduated, maybe even before now.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:30:22] I think that that’s that’s so important. A lot of folks do try to say, I just want to focus on one thing at a time. But getting out there and being always prepared for the next step is very important, particularly in this gig economy. If you wait until the gig is over, you’re looking for another one. That’s that’s not a very good way to to feed.


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:30:41] That’s absolutely true. You your self marketing, you have two jobs now in the gig economy. One is what you do and the other one is marketing, constantly. The best students I’ve ever had. And this is continuous. The best students are and clients I’ve had or people have worked in the entertainment business because the entertainment business has been a gig economy for decades. So they know I just talked to someone who works in entertainment. They know the moment you get on set, your first job is to make friends with the other people because there’s a limited amount of time they’re shooting. And as soon as it’s over, the people are going to move to another production. You want them to know you and like you. So they say, hey, I’m starting a new movie. I’d like you on my on my crew. Yeah. So there they know how to do sound bites, all that kind of stuff. Coming into me and working with me, what’s happened now is every other industry is starting to mirror what the entertainment industry has been for ever. So so it’s it’s really it’s really easy to work with those folks because they already know how to do it.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:31:51] Yeah. And if you’re in a team sort of collaborative environment, like you mentioned with on a movie set where all the pieces move off to to the next project so that it’s very easy to keep up that networking during the project while you’re on the job. But if you’re not, then social media is a great way to keep up with folks. Those get network all the time together. You’re not you’re not reaching out to people individually, often that you’re usually posting things. And and it’s one too many communication so that all the folks that you’re connected with can you can maintain those relationships in a leveraged way.


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:32:27] It’s one of the things I say. It’s not it’s not what you know, it’s not simply who you know. It’s how well that you know each other and how often you stay on their radar. You have to stay on their radar. Every time I do anything, it’s always promoted on social media because I got to remind people, hey, I’m out here. Remember me? Oh, oh, we need to call him because people are so busy and overwhelmed. They’re not going to think of me first, certainly. Yeah, but you have to remind them you’re out there and they have already have a sense because they have a relationship with you of what it is you can provide. And this is and so it’s this is your new life, doing your job and marketing constantly.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:33:11] OK, like it or not, talk about marketing, one of the things that’s really big for kind of experts these days is producing content, creating platforms. What do you tell folks about that in terms of the gig economy?


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:33:25] Some say a little more about that,


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:33:28] Well, for example, you’ve written a book. Right. And that’s a way for people to connect with you. And one of the nice things about having a platform like that is that you develop a sense of celebrity. And some people think that that sounds crazy. I’m just Joe Blow doing my thing. But to 10 people, to one hundred people, you are a celebrity because they follow you. They like your ideas. You know, everybody outside that little circle, your Joe Blow, Nobody, but inside that little circle when you’ve got people that that subscribe to your platform, whatever that means exactly, they think they know you to an extent that you don’t know them.


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:34:05] It’s it’s what you’re talking about is brand extension, yes, which I constantly have to harp on to my clients. Yes. OK, so you’re you’re starting a new business. You’re going to be a consultant. So you need to write a book. Really, once you’ve written the book, you can’t be a link to learning presenter or teacher unless you have written a book. So that would be the next step. Then you need to speak at conferences, then you need to keynote conferences. You need to be on panels. Maybe you need to teach a workshop or a course. How many ways can you get the word out to your target audience? Who could say, Oh, I’m so glad I found out about you now I could use you. I would like to hire you. Our company would like to hire you. So that’s what you’re doing. And you have celebrity matters. It does. And I’m this much of a celebrity, but I have a certain name and standing in my field and I don’t care really in terms of business that the whole world knows me. It’s not that kind of celebrity, OK? It’s celebrity in the education market, in the career market that people or we could use this guy now. So it’s always my job to be present for them using different media use, doing doing a podcast, doing a radio interview, doing a LinkedIn, learning courses, writing a book, speaking on panels, whatever it happens to be. I almost always say yes because it’s a way for me to get the word out. And it’s not about my my celebrity. It’s about I believe I have something to contribute to people out there. It’s just like anybody writing a doctoral dissertation once they get their doctorate. It’s it’s not about the dissertation. It’s not even about the degree. It’s about what you can contribute to the world in your field. They need you to forget about you. It’s about it’s always about them. So that’s what this is for.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:36:02] And one of the ways to to really get over the fact that I don’t like certain aspects of the marketing and so forth is if you really are passionate about what you do and who you serve, then getting them to hire you for work is something we call a moral imperative. You can help them. And if you are standing in the way of them getting your help because you’re not getting the word out, you’re hurting these people that you’re trying to help.


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:36:26] That’s right. That’s right. Get get your nonsense out of the way. It’s all about them. They need you. Yes. So your job is to let them know that you’re available. So I tell people you’re not unemployed, you’re available. It’s so much nicer spin to that. Yes. But really, it’s about other people. It’s about contributing to others. Muhammad Ali said rent a service is the rent we pay for our space here on Earth. Very cool. Yeah, it is about it is about service to other people. So, you know, my my my closing words to people fighting or still struggling with their dissertation, get the darn thing done, OK, because you have more important work to do. OK, once you’re over the hump on that and you’ve got the doctorate, you finish the bloody dissertation. OK, now it’s time to really get to work. OK, it’s a speed bump. Cut it out. OK, do whatever you have to do. Collaborate with other people. But you have a mission in life which is based on the dissertation and all the work you did in your doctoral program. And people are waiting.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:37:36] That’s right. People are waiting, they’re waiting for you to cross. So, Dr. Austin, thank you very much for joining us here today. Tell me if people want to find out more, they are all in the gig economy and they want to reach out to you and add more pearls of wisdom. What do they do to to to find you?


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:37:56] Two ways they can go to my Web site, which is, or find me on LinkedIn again. I can’t connect. But what you can follow me. Dr. Chaz Austin, Ed.D.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:38:10] All right. So we will put the links to both your website and the LinkedIn profile in our show notes. And so if you want to read that, you can go to our blog on and find Dr. Austin’s episode there. Again, thank you so much for joining me here today, Dr. Austin.


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:38:29] Thank you, Dr. Strickland. Wonderful questions. It was great to chat with you. Really appreciate.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:38:33] Thank you. Again, I thank you. And I’ll remind everyone that today’s episode has been brought to you by Dissertation Done. So if you do feel like you are a little slowed, stalled, or just plain stuck in the dissertation process, reach out to us at Even better, if you’re approaching the dissertation process and you don’t want to be slowed, stalled or just plain stuck. Reach out to us ahead of time. And if you want to write that book that Dr. Austin was talking about so that you can really be taken very credibly into this gig economy. Reach out to us at, and we’ll get you in our Expand Your Authority program. Again, Dr. Austin, thank you so much for being here today.


Dr. Chaz Austin [00:39:11] My pleasure. Thank you.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:39:13] And everyone else, have a wonderful day and go out and live your unconventional life.


Outro [00:39:25] This has been An Unconventional Life. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed today’s episode, subscribe now to keep getting inspirational stories of unconventional lives as soon as they’re released. Until then, go out and live your best unconventional life.

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.