Deb Gabor, CEO and Founder of Sol Marketing (Austin, TX)
As a bestselling author and keynote speaker, Deb Gabor, CEO and Founder of Sol Marketing, has, herself, become a “brand.” She defines Sol Marketing as a brand-driven, strategy-led marketing firm in the business of creating irrational loyalty. Irrational loyalty means people are indelibly bonded to a brand.
When Deb talks about her agency, she does not list the provided services: she feels marketing services have become commoditized. Instead, she presents a passionate vision of what the future could be. She tells people she is on a million-brand mission – to impact a million brands in her career. She believes that the best brands in the world are truly unique – in why they do what they do. Her goal is to strengthen brands: making businesses more sustainable will up-level communities, and, ultimately, help people.
When the Corona virus hit, Deb’s speaking engagements for the next 6 months were cancelled. She is sheltering at home . . . but not sheltering in her mind. The question was: how was she going to generate income when she could no longer speak at face-to-face events? What could she do? How could she help her company? She mobilized her team and made her personal brand a “client” of the agency. “Figure out how this has impacted us,” she told her team, “and then what we need to do.”
Deb referenced an interview with James Stockdale in Jim Collins’ book Good to Great. Stockdale was held for 6 years in a Vietnamese POW camp. When asked how he managed to survive, Stockdale explained that he faced the brutal facts of his situation, but also kept up his hope and optimism. Prisoners who were over-optimistic, but refused to face the “brutal facts,” did not do as well.
Deb’s team identified around eight “brutal facts” about how Deb’s brand was impacted by Covid-19. Some issues were solvable, some were not.
The company pivoted and, got Deb back on track in a new direction – creating information products, building online courses, building sales funnels, and building webinar funnels. Deb identified the assets she needed her team to build, established a schedule, and set targeted monthly income goals for the information products, her speaking, and her book sales. Then, taking things a step further, the company prioritized a something new: authority marketing services for professionals, who, like her, were facing the same challenges. The assets her team built for Deb became a product that could help other speakers, authors, experts, coaches, and consultants.
Deb says she has never seen a better opportunity than now for “smart people with expertise that can elevate other people in their own businesses, in their lives – I’ve never seen a better opportunity for them to share generously that expertise with other people.” She challenges people to think about: “How can I be indispensable to people at this time? How can I share something that I know or that I can do in a way that helps another person?” In reaching out, Deb says “be helpful, be authentic, be true to your brand.” She now spends around 6 hours a day, every day, presenting public or private webinars, and consulting one-on-one with business leaders, marketers, creators, or people with personal brands who are interested in setting up their brands to thrive during these unusual times.
Deb can be reached through social media and on her website at: debgabor.com, where Deb is posting thought-provoking webinars that explore a post-Covid world. Deb’s books, Branding Is Sex: Get Your Customer Laid and Sell the Hell Out of Anything and Irrational Loyalty: Building a Brand That Thrives in Turbulent Times are available on Amazon.