In episode 384, Caro Jensen teaches us four easy steps to build a strong food brand, stand out from the crowd and offer maximum value to our readers.
We cover information about knowing that your brand is not your logo, how individuality is more important than ever in the world of SEO, how to find your brand mission and create a vision board and formalize a brand style guide so you can use it across all channels.
Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.
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Connect with Caroha
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Bio Caro is a seasoned marketing professional who has worked in the food and wine space for over a decade. As a Brand and PR Manager in the wine industry, she’s worked with bloggers directly and via agencies. She also connects bloggers and brands as a marketing consultant and now you’ll find Caro working as a food and wine content creator to build her own brand and channels.
- A visitor to your brand should be able to figure out your brand values and mission quickly and know your “why”.
- Define your vision – your values will help you. Share on your About You page, include a good headshot of yourself.
- Come up with a succinct tagline to use everywhere you share your content.
- Brand Identity – create a mood board, to share the look and feel of your blog. Shapes, colors, textures. This will be made into a brand style guide that’s formal.
- Stay consistent with your brand look in everything.
- Conversion of subscribers is higher when you are consistent in brand.
Click for full script.
EBT 384 – Caro Jensen
Intro: Food bloggers. Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta, and I’ve been a food blogger for over 12 years. I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you know that you are heard and supported.
I love this episode. I think you guys are going to really like it too. I have a chat with Caro Jensen. She is from the food blog caroha.com, and she shares with us how to build a strong food brand and she gives us four easy steps to make that happen. This is episode number 384, and it is sponsored by RankIQ.
Sponsor: Hey, awesome food bloggers. Before we dig into this episode, I have a really quick favor to ask you. Go to your favorite podcast player. Go to Eat Blog Talk. Scroll down to the bottom where you see the ratings and review section. Leave Eat Blog Talk a five star rating. If you love this podcast and leave a great review, this will only benefit this podcast. It adds value, and I so very much appreciate your efforts with this. Thank you so much for doing this. Okay, now on to the episode.
Megan Porta: Caro is a seasoned marketing professional who has worked in the food and wine space for over a decade as a brand and PR manager in the wine industry. She’s worked with bloggers directly and via agencies. She’s also connected bloggers and brands as a marketing consultant and works as a food and wine content creator to build her own brand and channels. Hi, Caro. Thank you so much for being on the podcast today. How are you doing?
Caro Jensen: I’m good. Thank you for having me.
Megan Porta: Yes. Okay. Before we get into it, we would love to hear if you have a fun fact about yourself to share.
Caro Jensen: Yeah, so my fun fact is that I actually met my husband on a train in Portugal. Yes. He was traveling overseas doing his OE and I was studying at the time in Portugal and I was due to go to an internship in New Zealand for an advertising agency, and I saw his passport. I went over and said, hi, which is not really like me.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. So that’s not something you would normally do?
Caro Jensen: No, not at all.
Megan Porta: Oh, so that had to be a sign. Okay, I’m supposed to be talking to this guy for a reason.
Caro Jensen: Yeah. Long story, but three children later. We are living in New Zealand and yeah. So it’s been an interesting journey for sure.
Megan Porta: I love that. I love that. I’m picturing the whole scene in my head as you talk about it. So fun to know that. I always find, I don’t know about you, but I find learning about people’s stories are so interesting, and not just couples, but like friends and people who have strong relationships. I always ask couples when we’re getting to know each other, because I think it’s so fun to learn how people came together.
Caro Jensen: It is. Yes. It tells a lot about them, I think.
Megan Porta: Yes, absolutely. Cool. Thank you for sharing that, Caro. You are here today to talk about how to build a strong food brand in four easy steps, so I’m really excited to get into that. Would you mind starting by telling us a little bit about your blogging journey and your blog.
Caro Jensen: My background is in brand building. I worked for a lot of wineries in different brand roles, and I started being a marketing consultant in 2008, which was Sip and Zit Wine. With the blog I connected wineries with brands. I created New Zealand Rose Day and ran some social media campaigns and that’s how I got my first experience in blogging, connecting wineries to consumers because there was a real gap between wineries producing wine and consumers wanting to know more about it. It was more of a lifestyle category that brands are not so comfortable within the wine space to market to. That was quite a revolutionary thing over here. It was one of the first wine blogs and I partnered up with a friend of mine and together we connected a lot of brands and that’s basically how blogging and branding came about. This year I rebranded Sip and Zit Wine into caroha.com. This is my food brand and my food blog, and I decided that I wanted to create more of my own content rather than sharing winery content. My passion is really also in photography. So I’ve taught myself a lot and really dove head first into photography and videography and creating my own content, and that’s how I got immersed in the food blogging community. Which I really love, that everybody’s so open and helping each other. That’s quite new to me. Yeah, so I thought, what’s one way to give back to the community, which is my background in branding, and I see people not really using branding to their full potential, and I thought maybe I can share some tips from my experience.
Megan Porta: I love that you have a background in branding and that you’re bringing that into blogging and offering it up as a service to help bloggers, because this is something I feel we don’t dig into enough. We hear people talk about it, we hear people talk about the importance of it, but then it’s like one of those things that personally I push aside and I don’t prioritize it. So super eager to hear what you have to say, especially with all of your expertise. So let’s just get right into it. What are your four steps for building a strong food brand?
Caro Jensen: So I just wanted to peddle back, just one thing. The brand is not your logo on the food blog. I think that’s probably the first thing that people sort of do, they create a logo and then they feel like the branding, oh, it’s done. I think it’s easy to forget. The branding has a lot of touch points. You are the brand and most places in the food blog, most people are happy to have a personal connection to the blog. So there are a lot of different touch points and I feel, especially in the moment with SEO being so focused on writing for a toddler and taking all personality out and everybody using their same themes, there’s a real opportunity to set your food blog apart with some branding. I think it starts with number one, which is basically your brand values. When a visitor or reader, somebody from Google discovers your site, they should really very quickly get to know you and your brand. That’s through your brand values and how you get to the brand values is that you first define your brand mission. That sounds very marketing lingo, and quite hard. But it’s really just, why did you start your blog? It’s one part, I guess it’s becoming apparent in the About Us page, but I encourage everybody to just sit down with a piece of paper and just answer these questions whether you have been blogging for a long time or you’re just getting started. So you just write down, so why have I started the food blog? Is it because I was diagnosed celiac, because I went vegan, I got myself an air fryer. I’m just a passionate foodie that loves to share my grandma’s recipes. So that’s a sort of brand mission that you could have. From there onwards, you would create your brand vision, which is what you probably heard of the term, the vision board.
Megan Porta: Yes.
Caro Jensen: Where you sit down and, which is a fun exercise in my view, where you
Megan Porta: Yes, I love it.
Caro Jensen: Sit down on Pinterest and just start pulling pictures, words, and emotions and just start to dream back in five years and 10 years, do you wanna be the go-to place for vegan desserts or are you gonna be the number one site for air fryer recipes, for example. So you start with your brand mission and then you turn it into your brand vision, and out of that you really get to your brand values, and those are your values or beliefs that you are gonna use to get to your vision. So that might be that you have healthy recipes, that you have vegan recipes, that you have simple recipes. So in the food niche it’s quite easy because that’s basically connected to your recipes. What kind of food, what kind of value are you gonna offering to the reader? I guess that’s When people talking about niching down, that’s really, and which niche do you operate? But it really comes back to what are you offering to the reader? What are the values that you can offer to the reader? Yeah. That’s the first exercise that I would encourage everybody to do and to get really a clear idea about what do you stand for, how do you serve your reader? That really gives you the direction of which recipes do I want to keyword research? Maybe you might skip over a few that don’t align with your values.
Megan Porta: Yeah. So it’s building the foundation for everything else that you’re making for your blog.
Caro Jensen: That’s right.
Megan Porta: How do you recommend creating a mission statement? I think hearing that kind of makes me think of the corporate world and I shut down a little bit because yeah. So where do we start with that? How do we go about doing that?
Caro Jensen: Yeah, I think you just ask yourself, why does my blog exist and why did I start my blog? It really can come from you. So your mission statement comes from you, which, if you just started your blog to come onto Mediavine and make some money, I hope that’s very unlikely in the food space, but usually have a fundamental reason of why you started a blog and that should be shared with a reader because people connect over personal experience. I think that it’s really important to get to know the person a little bit more as well.
Megan Porta: I like how you said that. So I think it would be easy for me to sit down and think of that fundamental reason I started and why I continue my blog, and I think most of us can probably write that out just right now, right? We wouldn’t even have to give that much thought. We already know it.
Caro Jensen: Yes. Yeah. Okay. I think so. You don’t need to overthink it or start Googling mission statements of Coca-Cola. You’re a personal food brand, so a mission statement really lies within you, and that’s actually quite easy to do. It’s the same with the brand vision. It’s what you envision, want for your blog. It’s not what any external factors play into it. It’s really what do you wanna achieve with the blog, what best case scenario what would that look like? You might have financial goals, but it’s more driven off where do you see the blog and the blogging landscape sit after five to 10 years?
Megan Porta: Yeah. Then tagline too. I feel like taglines come to us even before we do anything. Maybe I’m wrong, but I know when I was starting my blog, I had all of these ideas because I knew the fundamental reason I was starting. You associate like a little snippet of words that tell people, kinda explain your brand or how would you define a tagline?
Caro Jensen: A tagline, really it’s from a branding perspective you share a tagline, everybody knows quickly what you’re all about in a few very succinct ways. That tagline, usually once you’ve done the exercise, especially once you have the values of what you’re standing for, you spin that into a tagline. So for example, for me I make recipes that are from scratch and it’s comfort food and that are reliable. So my tagline is, delicious food from scratch. It might be vegan food in a minute. It might be an air fryer made simple, just to throw some out. So it’s usually a very succinct slogan-like way, but also extra points if it’s keywords researched. So if you use in your tagline that you will use everywhere, which I encourage to use on all the channels which I come to later, but it’s really great if you can also keep some keyword research in mind because yeah, it does help getting picked up in the right place.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh, you said that much better than I did. Thank you for talking through that. Okay. So once we’ve defined our values, our mission statement, tagline, defined our story and why we’re here, why we’re doing what we’re doing, what would be the next step?
Caro Jensen: So once I have a tagline, I usually encourage brands to create a 200 word and a 500 word brand overview. That’s basically your About Us page sorted at that point. But really it gives you a document where you have a brand name, you have your tagline, and then you have your brand descriptions. Once you have them done, you can basically then whenever somebody says, for example, oh, you’re invited on a podcast, can you send me a bio? You just copy paste and it’s always gonna be the same. You add it to your newsletter, you add it to all the different places. So I think that’s where consistency comes in, but it’s just really good to sit down once and write it and make sure it’s very succinct, that aligns with your brand values and mission statement, and then have this go-to place of copy that you can just grab wherever you need it.
Megan Porta: Yeah. So you’re saying put that all on the About page on your blog, right?
Caro Jensen: Yeah. There’s SEO that comes into play. I think I would have it in a document just somewhere on your server and then, but it’s really just a very good foundation for your About Us page. Yes.
Megan Porta: Yeah. I like the idea of just copy and pasting, so you get it all down you, you figure out who you’re serving, why you’re serving, get it on paper, and then you can repurpose it as needed. You don’t have to rewrite it every single time somebody asks you for it.
Caro Jensen: Exactly. Yep.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Okay. Is that all with defining your brand values? Okay. Why don’t you talk about step number two then, Caro?
Caro Jensen: So that’s my favorite part, when I work with brands. That’s where people when brands come to me it’s usually that they already have something they wanna share. So it’s basically the look and feel and the brand identity. How I go about it is so you already have your vision board, which is great, which is a perfect starting point really. But then you create a mood board and the mood board, you can get inspiration from Pinterest or magazines. Other blogs, social media, but especially in the food space, what I also think it’s a really good source is restaurants and cafes. Because it’s you’re creating a look and feel into space, an online space. So if you think of your favorite restaurants that align with your niche, then that sort of has a lot of cues properly in it. What do the tables look like, what is the decor? What’s the menu written like? So it gives you a bit of a starting point in which direction you might wanna go. And that’s always a bit of a fun stage where you can just really plug everything together. So I just open basically like a PowerPoint blank sheet and just drop everything that I associate with the brand. That’s basically from photos, over fonts and colors. Pinterest is really good to have, if you google color palettes, for example, your primary color is you would like to have your primary color to be an orange, then you do punch in color pellets and there’s just all basically done for you. So they have a lot of examples where they are complimented with imagery. Also shapes you might wanna have a certain shape that’s recognizable. Icons. So just anything that you feel drawn to and that sort of fits your niche. If you’re a healthy vegan food blogger, for example, then you’re probably more drawn to light and bright and punchy colors versus somebody who’s maybe more in the rustic food barbecue area.
Megan Porta: Yeah, so put together a mood board of sorts. You can do that in a variety of ways. Then do you put anything official together as a way to show maybe brands or people who come on board on your team or anything like that?
Caro Jensen: Yeah, now edit it down a little bit to make sure it’s all succinct. So materials and textures as well. But basically what you’re going into then is a brand style guide, and that’s something you would share with external people. I wouldn’t necessarily share my mood board, but a brand style guide is basically where you then formalize everything. Your style guide is anything you are gonna create. Any content you’re creating needs to basically align with your style guide. So usually you have the logo at the top and your icon. You have your logos in different versions. So if a brand partner, if you have a brand partnership and they would like to use it as reversed or on as a horizontal and you use it in a different way on your blog just, to have different options on how to apply your logo correctly. Then you have your color palette which usually has an X accent color and some supporting colors in it. With the color palette you, you would even go as far as having the hex code. So when you are creating a newsletter, for example, and you wonder what color your button on your homepage is, you probably wanna make sure that it’s all consistent. So you just refer to your style guide and just grab the hex code and make sure you have the right font combination, which is obviously limited by your theme, but you could create a majority where you overlay fonts if you want to use a particular font, for example. Yeah. Then what I also include for food bloggers is a portrait shot, which is really important, I think. A lot of food bloggers are really good at photography. So taking a photo of yourself isn’t like taking a photo of a stack of pancakes, but you have the skills. So really I think you should make, if you don’t wanna outsource this, you should make a real priority to create a great headshot of yourself for your website and for other places as well. That really also, again, communicates your brand values. That’s something that I even researched in the mood board stage. Which sort of portrait shots do I like of creative people? What are the poses? What are the props? What do I want people to feel? I think of it as if I meet somebody for coffee and they sit down and see me for the first time, what do they, how do I wanna come across? It’s all part of your branding.
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Megan Porta: I have unintentionally done this. So the color of the Eat Blog Talk logo is like a magenta, like a dark magenta, love that color. I, for the longest time, would wear that color in my portraits, my headshot. I didn’t realize I was doing it and then I was like, oh my gosh, I’m wearing the same color. I should probably wear something different so that I don’t like to blend into my logo. So I started wearing just black because I thought, oh, that can stand out. So it’s funny that you can do that without even really thinking through things like the mood board and the brand style guide and just unintentionally you do these things.
Caro Jensen: Oh yes, definitely. I think people are used to consistency, and I think subconsciously you probably do that already yourself. You’re not starting your brand and thinking, oh, I’m gonna use every color of the rainbow. Very unusual.
Megan Porta: We’re drawn to certain colors. We probably do that in our wardrobes and the way we style.
Caro Jensen: I guess you’re creating look and feel, so how you wanna look and feel, that’s basically how what you already subconsciously do.
Megan Porta: Yeah. So that can lead into styles of photography as well, right?
Caro Jensen: That’s right.
Megan Porta: The style we take our food photos with.
Caro Jensen: That’s right. So you have got your brand style guide sorted, which you usually share if you do brand alignments, brand partnerships that people are using your brand, it’s always good to share that. But then being a food photographer and videographer, I recommend creating a head shot just for that. Look at the food photography that you like, that you’re working towards too, and really analyze the photos. I think you had somebody on the podcast recently actually who did a whole episode on it, which was really helpful. Sort of really look at the props and the angles, which backdrops you’re using, what’s the look and feel of the photos, what’s the editing style, and then also in videography, what’s the music that’s being used? What are the editing styles In the video transitions? Is it light and bright versus moody, moody and rustic? Then really, That also a starting point to create your prop collection. It’s easy as a food photographer, I think, when you’re getting into food photography to run to your secondhand shop and just buy anything that looks like food photography, and randomly have a selection of plates that you’re never going to use. I think if you carefully analyze what fits actually into your look and feel, you would be a lot more intentional in getting your prop kit established.
Megan Porta: Okay. Then I had one other question and then I want to go back cause I have an overarching question, but where else does this bleed into as far as creating that look and feel? Can it bleed into Instagram, YouTube, any channels that you have outside of your blog?
Caro Jensen: Yes, definitely. So in consistency, I would touch on where it all goes, but really, if you think of it, your logo is your brand. I think not even your blog is your brand, So you are creating a whole sort of ecosphere of where you are present, and that’s all sort of your brand. It’s your blog. It’s your newsletter, it’s your social media channels, it’s your web stories. It’s your product, if you have eBooks on your site. It’s cooking classes. It’s any service, any pitch decks that you’re putting together. There are so many touchpoints that you have with a brand. You really when you are creating these styles and guides, and you really have to keep in mind that this just needs to apply for all those different touchpoints. So don’t limit yourself just to the photo, the food photo on your blog post. That’s a very small part of your visual identity.
Megan Porta: Yeah, being consistent through all of the things, right? There’s so many things we have to keep our hands in. Then my other question was how much time do you recommend us spend on all of this because we’re all busy and it’s something that we can so easily set aside because it’s not necessary. So break down what you think the time commitment would be.
Caro Jensen: I think it’s easy to overthink it and get carried away and never actually push live on your blog to start with because you’re getting hung up on the complimentary color on your blog. Definitely spend some time on it, but it’s not something that’s set in stone that can, being online, that you can’t tweak and move towards too. So I feel, take a day and try to, before you start the blog or when you are already an established blog, just to do a brand or audit and just run through these and just make sure that you’re on the right path. Then as you are writing, maybe the next newsletter tweaks the button color because it’s actually not on brand. Or when you are working towards photography, a big body of photography work, just pivot into a direction. It’s not something that you can’t change, you don’t wanna change your branding drastically, every quarter with the seasons, but it’s being online, an online content creator, you have the luxury of actually trying a few things out. I think it’s also easy to box yourself into I’m light and bright and nothing else goes. There’s for example, like in the rustic category, there’s rustic that’s quite light and there’s rustic that’s very moody. Don’t make it too narrow because then you’re feeling like you’re just stamping out the same content over and over again, which is very uninspiring, I think, as well. So give yourself some guidance, but don’t overthink it.
Megan Porta: Allowing some margin to, so that you can experiment, right? Because just because you’ve defined your brand doesn’t mean that you can’t, if you have a light and colorful photo style. You can still experiment with dark and moody and see how that goes.
Caro Jensen: That’s right. Yeah. On your blog you are also training your user or your reader. So if you have an accent color that’s your link color or call to action colors that you want them to act upon then it’s good to keep it consistent because the reader will know that, oh, Magento from Megan. You scan the page, it’s oh, here, subscribe to the newsletter, and oh, here’s another button and here’s another link. It’s not just for pure aesthetics, it also has a function.
Megan Porta: Yeah, that’s good to think through too. People associate certain colors and will not knowingly keep that in mind as they scroll through your content, right?
Caro Jensen: Yes. You can even go as far as in color theory, a little bit complimentary colors and the color wheel. But then there are also colors that stand for certain moods. If you wanna look into that a little bit as well, that’s quite helpful as well. Some industries that stand for financial blocks often have a light blue and gray and so there’s definitely also industry standards.
Megan Porta: You don’t have to stick with those, you can be yourself.
Caro Jensen: No, definitely not.
Megan Porta: Be yourself, even though there’s like a norm for some industries. Okay. Anything else on step two before we move on to step three?
Caro Jensen: No, I think that we’ve covered everything there.
Megan Porta: All right. Talk to us about number three.
Caro Jensen: So I guess once we have now the look and feel sorted it goes to the tone. So the written word that you’re using and with a written word similar to the logo and the identity, you just think, straight away, oh, how do I write my blog post? It has to be SEO-friendly and I can’t really do anything else. I think that it’s easy to forget that you are writing content all over the place. It’s not just, it’s not just a blog post. You have your newsletters where you can Inject a lot of personality, a lot of brand values and really reflect that. You have your About Us page where you can still have a keyword research copy, but you can definitely portray a little bit more of your personality. You have your social media captions, your copy that you lay over videos or any voiceover that you’re using on videos. You have got your freebees, any maybe digital products that you’re selling. You’ve got your web stories, you have got your emails that you’re writing to readers that you are applying to comments to. So there’s a lot of room to really be on brand to call it, but just be yourself. I think it’s just always easier when you’re defining your tone to just be yourself because it’s just so much easier than trying to be some sort of different version of yourself where you constantly have to try hard to inject words that you usually wouldn’t use.
Megan Porta: There are so many of us. We need to be ourselves, and that’s going to be one of those things that really sets us apart and makes people like us. We can just drop all of the fronts and stop trying to be like other people and just be us.
Caro Jensen: Yes. Yeah. I think it helps to have a little bit of a word bank, I call it, where when I read copy or anything and oh I really like that word. I might wanna add it actually to my vocabulary, not just to my blog posts where you’re expanding there. Especially me, I’m not an native speaker, so that’s what really helps. But I think generally just be yourself. But just keep in mind that you wanna be consistently yourself across all the platforms and be aware that if you are writing a guest post or you’re writing an email, that’s basically also part of your brand.
Megan Porta: I like your word bank idea. That is so good. Because once in a while I do hear words that I’m like, why don’t I use that more? That’s such a good word. I really like it. Then another thing to go along with setting tone is there’s this new wave of food bloggers getting into podcasting. To support their food blogs. I believe that is a solid, awesome way to set a new kind of tone for your brand to reach people in a new way. Hearing your spoken voice, there’s nothing like it. You can write all day and then have one little conversation with someone verbally and it completely changes their perspective of you. So I think that is another way to set a tone. YouTube videos, like video as well, right?
Caro Jensen: Yes. Yeah. Videos, especially the voiceover, are quite popular. That’s a great way to connect with your audience.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Love it. Okay. What is step number four, Caro?
Caro Jensen: It’s consistency and that’s really the hardest part. It sounds easy, but just staying consistent. So as I said, don’t box yourself in, but you have all these different outlands that I’ve just mentioned and just trying to, when you create this freebie not jump onto Canva and get a completely different template that has nothing to do with your brand and send it out and somebody subscribes to your email address and gets us like, oh, where did I get that from? I guess it’s just really trying to be consistent. You don’t need to have a brand menu like McDonald’s or Starbucks where they really have guidelines around every little thing, in every little usage of their logo. But try to be consistent across your platforms. It’s very important. It comes down to even face-to-face. I heard somebody the other day saying that they’re really aware of how they talk to their team members. It’s just trying to be consistent in how you approach conversation with clients or your peers and your team members. How you present yourself in digital meetings. If you run cooking classes and you mentioned being a guest on podcasts, you wanna make sure that you are just consistent across all those areas. If you are, for example, starting to offer services like photography or blog post writing, that if you’re sending a pitching deck, it should come from you. They should know that it’s from you. Don’t reinvent the wheel there makes it a lot easier too.
Megan Porta: Yeah. I love this. I love the consistent part because I do notice when people are not consistent, when brands aren’t consistent. It’s when one of my boys does something that’s out of character, I’m like, wait, what? That’s not you. That’s not your brand. It’s the same thing with businesses and brands. You notice when there’s not an alignment, right?
Caro Jensen: Yeah. I think it makes me also question what, what are they telling me that they aren’t. It’s trust and you wanna trust a brand. I think it comes down to if you even, if you are a vegan blogger and then you share a steak recipe because it has very high search volume and low competition, the whole trust just goes. It’s an extreme example, but it’s the same as if you were a vegan food blogger and had a leopard pattern in your profile photo. I guess it’s just, you just need to just be aware of what people think of you and if that’s what you are striving for, that you reinforce those experiences.
Megan Porta: That is good. Okay, Caro, is there anything else about your steps that you wanted to say before we start saying goodbye?
Caro Jensen: No, I think that’s that’s all. Yeah.
Megan Porta: Okay. And just one more question for you. Do you feel like getting all of this together and just taking the time to think through it will help our businesses? If so, in what ways will it help?
Caro Jensen: Yeah, I think first of all, if I look for a recipe and I visit a food blog, and there’s this very strong branding approach that aligns with my values, I’m far more likely to subscribe to their newsletter and check out their social media. So I think conversion is a lot higher. You are gonna find your people that are really highly engaged. Once you have a target audience or an audience that is highly engaged, that really aligns with your values and responds to it, then you can create brand partnerships with similar brands that share the same audience very successfully. So when I pair up brands as a marketing consultant, I look at what the brands stand for? Which influencers do we work with? Do they have a crossover in their target audience? Because basically the brand wants to sell their product or service to your audience. So if you are really succinct and have a very strong brand message and a very engaged audience, and you are gonna get the brand deals that you like and that you want. I would just sit down, as part of your mood board or vision board, add those brands that you wanna work with that really are your dream brands that you are fully aligned with and work towards that. When you pitch to them, say, I have an audience that has an affinity with these brand values that we have in common. I would like to introduce them to your products and services. So really approach the brand partnership of what’s in it for the brand and that you understand their brand because you’re talking to the marketing department. So if you talk their language, you’re far more likely to get the brand deal.
Megan Porta: Ooh, that’s a great point right there. Speak their language and you’re ahead of so many other people.
Caro Jensen: Yes.
Megan Porta: What a great conversation, Caro. Thank you so much. This is super valuable. So thank you for being here. It was such a pleasure.
Caro Jensen: I hope it was helpful.
Megan Porta: Yes. To end, do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with today?
Caro Jensen: Yes. So I walked across Spain with my husband on a pilgrimage walk. And you say Buen Camino, which means, have a good way. I think really that sort of shaped my way of thinking a little bit that the journey is a destination. I think in blogging it’s so easy to just focus on that Mediavine qualification or any other ad network and just look towards the carrot and actually not enjoy the journey. I think it’s really important to, when you’re feeling burned out or if you are just feeling not inspired, to just stop and just remind yourself of where your mission statement comes in, why did I start this and why does it bring me joy and what am I trying to do here? Enjoy the journey and then don’t get too carried away with the goal in mind.
Megan Porta: Oh, beautiful. Thank you, Caro. We’ll put together some show notes for you. You can go to eatblogtalk.com/caroha. That’s C A R O H A. Why don’t you share where everyone can find you on your blog and everywhere else.
Caro Jensen: Yep. So it’s caroha.com on all platforms. So I’m mainly on Instagram. I started TikTok, I’m struggling, so please say hi.
Megan Porta: I will do that today.
Caro Jensen: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, my blog, my Instagram is probably the best place you can find me. If you need help or I have a template of how to work through this brand journey. Just send me an email or DM and I’m happy to share my templates with you as well, so I’m happy to help. I got so much back from the community and learned so much, so I’m happy to contribute as well.
Megan Porta: Aw, love that so much. Thanks again for being here and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories. I will see you next time.
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