I have recently launched a community dedicated to sharing best practices and thought leadership around employee engagement. The greater impact we can have on the people who work with and around us, the more we can change the world.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jody Ordioni — keynote speaker, author, founder, and chief branding officer of Brandemix, a New York-based branding and communications agency that solves challenges through defining and marketing organizational culture to the people who drive business forward. With experience working across a wide range of industries from retail and tech to non-profit and healthcare, she is best-known for her work in keeping the relationship between the employee and employer authentic, engaging, and true to the company’s brand. Jody is the author of the award-winning book, The Talent Brand: The Complete Guide to Creating Emotional Employee Buy-In for Your Organization (LID Publishing, 2017).
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
I’ve always had a penchant for words and, from the time I was a child, loved writing in all forms, from songs to essays to poetry to screenplays. It made sense that I would love a career in writing and began as a copywriter for an advertising agency. As my career progressed and, thanks to technology, the outlets for sharing content increased, I became a frequent blogger of all things branding, marketing, and advertising. In time, I realized I had accumulated a trove of information that helped me grow my own branding agency into a thriving industry leader, and wanted to give back to the community in the form of a book that would allow anyone to follow the path to creating a true talent brand.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
When I chose to go into business for myself, I was having lunch with a soon-to-be-former client to discuss their account management transition plan. As I described my vision for my own new venture — a branding agency that would support consumer, B2B, internal, and non-profit efforts — he said, “Good luck. Finding clients will be like finding a needle in a haystack.” Fortunately I proved him wrong.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I was trying to connect with someone whom I met at a conference who I felt could be a great prospect for new business. I accidently connected with someone else who shared the same first and last name. I quickly corrected the mistake and LinkedIn with the person I’d actually met, but in a funny twist, it was the mistake that led to a new client and a wonderful long-term partnership. I learned that when you put out any effort towards achieving your goals, the universe answers you in kind.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am currently working closely with a global software company on the cutting-edge of technology breakthroughs to keep the world safer. It is inspiring for me to work on such a great cause. Another passion project for us is working with a non-profit organization facing great challenges in securing funding for women’s health. Through our branding and social outreach, we help them hire the healthcare professionals they need to continue to provide services to the community. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to work on projects of this magnitude.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
Throughout history, there have been some very inspirational role models for me, including Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney, Napoleon, Oprah, and Audrey Hepburn. While the individual reasons are many, the common denominator seems to be people with vision, passion, strength, artistry, and humanity.
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
I am an impatient writer and avid reader. I am drawn to authors and literature that inspire me to not cut corners or assume that people know what I am talking about without adding more narrative or context. A great source of my inspiration comes from Charles Dickens who was paid by the word and therefore his writing and characters are fully brought to life.
How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?
It appears that there has been tremendous interest in my book from people looking to draw attention to themselves, their organizations, or their social causes. Perhaps they have the skills but lack the process. Or, perhaps they want to inspire others in the belief that branding is important. The Talent Brand is validation that this is important work with real demonstrated value. As a student of the world, it gives me great satisfaction to think that I have helped a small number of people in their efforts.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?
I would advise everyone to become an author. They say there is a story within each of us and taking the time to find yours is one of the most gratifying exercises there is. It’s personal, fulfilling, and provides a unique opportunity to teach, help, inspire, and share time with others.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I have recently launched achievEE.org, a community dedicated to sharing best practices and thought leadership around employee engagement. The greater impact we can have on the people who work with and around us, the more we can change the world.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Becoming an author was a passion, not a decision, and as such, I never thought of the outcomes. Here’s what I wish I would have known in advance:
- Love every word: In the digital world, you may overlook the fact that your book is permanent. Don’t let the pressures of the day influence your best work.
- Make sure you have a great headshot: You will become sought after as a speaker and subject matter expert. Look your best.
- Make sure you have a great back story: You will find yourself in interesting places meeting new people who are curious about you. Put your best self forward.
- Don’t compare yourself to others: You’ll be traveling among other authors with incredibly impressive bodies of work. Remember you did your best.
- Make sure you stop to have some fun: The whirlwind of new and exciting things will feel great, but it might be fleeting. Enjoy it.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
I would love to have breakfast with Bob Iger. We grew up in the same town and I would love to talk with him about his vision, his career, and what inspires him most.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
They can connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jodyordioni/
Follow Brandemix on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brandemix/
Join our achievEE community: https://www.facebook.com/achievEEngagement/
Or check out The Talent Brand: thetalentbrand.com
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!
Originally published at medium.com