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Key Strategies for Successful Brand Partnerships w/ Event & Sponsorship Architect, Jackie Clarke

Krystal J [00:01:06]:

Today we have the incredible Jackie Clark. She is a sponsorship event and pitch deck strategist and founder of The Well Connected. I am so incredibly excited for this conversation because this is something that I've been really leaning into. I'm pretty sure I've said it a million times by the time this episode goes live. But our word for 2024 is visibility, and that sounds like it's completely aligned with what you do. So I can't wait to pick your brain and figure out all of the little tips and tricks that we can share with our audience. But before I get carried away, Jackie, thank you so much for joining us today.

Jackie C [00:01:43]:

Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here. And I love the term and word visibility because definitely that's what is in alignment with where I'm going in 2024 as well.

Krystal J [00:01:53]:

I love it. Okay, so let's just dive into it. Tell us a little bit about your background and how that led you to the point of what you're doing today and what The Well Connected is all about.

Jackie C [00:02:05]:

How much time do you have? No, I'm joking. My background, well, it's really interesting. I actually started in fashion design, so hence the shoes in the background. I actually wanted to be a bridal designer, living my best Disney princess life. And through being just a naturally talkative, bubbly kind of person, it led me to the year-end fashion show, which I ended up on the publicity team. And that kind of sparked this interest in, oh my gosh, like, I can work with brands and kind of help curate their messaging and communication. And I ended up taking a post-grad program where I learned more about public relations, and it was event management and kind of like communications. And that kind of spiraled me into the PR world, and I really had no idea what I was doing.

Jackie C [00:02:51]:

I just knew I was creative and I just knew as being a Virgo and somebody who's just really A-type personality, there's certain things that I'm like, I can do it better or this needs to be done a certain way, and kind of spiraled over there. So for a number of years, I did publicity as a beauty publicist for a while, and then I transitioned into film as a junior promotions publicist. Did that for a long time. But throughout that time, you know, celebrities were coming to Toronto. Cause I'm from Canada and I would go to concerts and I'd meet promoters and realize, you guys need to do things a little better. And then I started outreaching to brands again. I look at my old emails and I'm like, who responded to this? Like, who accepted this? But I got PlayStation, I got Nike, I got Nintendo, we had brand deals. And as I was going through my PR years, I realized I didn't like communications as much as I thought I did.

Jackie C [00:03:43]:

I liked the more activation opportunity area, and then it kind of just transitioned. So The Well Connected, I've had the name for years, it was actually The Well Connected Nobody, because during the time, nobody knew who I was, but people were like, oh, we know who that girl is. But they didn't know who I was or how I did what I did or how I got here. And being a woman of color, being one of the only really black women in this space, it was like, where did you come from? But a mentor and friend of mine named Troy Monaco, he had said, you're not a nobody, you're a somebody. So I had dropped the 'Nobody' and it just became The Well Connected. And through transitioning, just before the pandemic, I would say 2017-18. I was still heavily into publicity, but I just won a trip to Cuba, to Kayoko, and I decided that after that, I was just gonna take my agency seriously. And we transitioned from publicity more into the event management and sponsorship realm.

Jackie C [00:04:34]:

And so here we are a couple years later, doing mostly sponsorship and event strategies. It's a really cool niche. A lot of event planners. Everybody needs sponsorship, but there's not really much on sponsorship other than brand deals, but it's just, it's bigger than brand deals. So I've really immersed myself in that space, learning as much as I can, working alongside brands and just kind of developing this nuance.

Krystal J [00:05:00]:

I love it. Well, first of all, before we dive into all the other things, I just want to shout out my fellow Virgo, because I am also a Virgo, so I love it.

Jackie C [00:05:09]:

When, when are you? August or September? I'm August 31.

Krystal J [00:05:11]:

September. September 19, for me. Whatever. Virgos rule the world regardless. But it seems like it's been quite the journey for you and you've kind of had your hand in a few different places and worked with so many different, which I think is really awesome. So I am curious, what have been, like, your biggest learnings working with all of these different brands when it comes to, you know, the schooling that you took, like, what were the biggest tips that you got from your schooling and then what are the biggest mistakes that you've seen with the brands that you've worked with?

Jackie C [00:05:49]:

I would say some of the biggest learnings is there's no real blueprint for this. You know, there are in content creation in this creative field, there's a lot of steps, but there's not a hardcore this is the situation, this is how you follow it, because every brand is different, every event is different. So every event needs its own curation, it needs its own communications plan, if that makes sense. Some of the biggest learnings that I've learned is that you can't batch email everybody. You have to be very specific. You have to be intentional. You have to know what you're looking for.

Jackie C [00:06:24]:

In my early days, I remember I sent out batch emails and I would get emails back, "hey, remove me from your mailing list". Even to this day, I do not send batch emails, but I still get asked to remove me from your mailing list. I'm like, sir, like, you're not on a mailing list. It's, it's intended, but it's a lot of research, it's a lot of strategy. I think that's what people don't realize. Like, yes, you can cold call, and I do get a lot of brand leads from just cold calling or cold emailing. However, I've done a lot of research. Like, I've looked at the intention of the influencer they've worked with, the events they've participated in.

Jackie C [00:06:55]:

I read a lot of press releases. I check up on these brands, I really do a lot of deep diving before I really ask, before I say I want you. And it's not about selling, it really is. It's not, let me not lie, it's not about the sale of monetary, it's a sale of exposure and experience. But one of the things that I found, which is big learning, is you have to ask a brand what they're looking for and how do they participate with influencers or how do they work with events. Because every brand has their own KPI, ROI, ROE and endgame. And if you're not asking what their endgame is, you're kind of missing the point. We're both here to solve a problem.

Jackie C [00:07:31]:

I know that they know I need them for monetary gain or just brand alignment or brand name, brand namesake, but also I want to make sure that I could serve a purpose for them. So finding out how they work with influencers or what kind of new marketing initiatives do they have that we can incorporate into our programming helps get a win-win for the client. So it really stems from solving a problem for a brand. And I think that was the biggest learning I took away from all of this is you have to be able to solve a problem, not just for your audience, but for the brands that you're actually aligning with as well.

Krystal J [00:08:03]:

Yeah, I love that. And I love how the intention piece is really prominent there. And it isn't just about, you know, the numbers, right, getting as many brands as possible, you really do want to be able to do your research and know who you're connecting with and know that that alignment is there. So that seems like it was more kind of from your perspective, right, as your agency. So with our audience being a lot of small business owners, I am curious, kind of your take on being your own publicity person. And if you have any tips and tricks for our audience today to take those actionable steps to start being their own publicity person or really putting themselves out there, do you have any insight you can give to that regard?

Jackie C [00:08:49]:

Sure. So I still am a small brand and a small business. Like, I'm not a big influencer. I have what, 6000 grateful for my 6000 on my personal account, maybe 3000 on my business account. So I'm still very grateful for everybody that I have. And I was working with brands when I had 500 followers or less. Like brands were big, brands were supporting me because I was intentional. I had a goal in mind that I really sought out what I was doing and just to double back quickly like, you know, when we talk about intention I get people like, I want Sephora.

Jackie C [00:09:19]:

I'm like, okay, well, what do you want from Sephora? I'm like, well, who do you want? They're like, well, Sephora. I'm like, but what brand? They're like, Sephora. And people look at me crazy, but I'm like, do you want the Sephora brand or do you want Fenty? Do you want Nars? Do you want, you know, Nyx? Like, you have to be that specific in your ask. And when you come back to small businesses, digital communications is really important. And what I tell any small business, whether you're an author, actor, influencer, you know, business coach, whoever, your digital communications or I like to call a digital asset vault, it's super important. So you have to get the right materials in order to pitch yourself. Your communication has to make sense. You have to really understand your brand, understand your audience.

Jackie C [00:09:59]:

And it comes down to, as a journalistic, as a former journalist and publicist, it comes down to these seven facets. Your who, your what, your where, your when, your why, your how, and your value. You have to understand that. And you have to be able to summarize that into a quick elevator pitch. But beyond just that, having professional photos, and I'm not talking about the great selfie where you're cut off here, your arms up here. I can't use that in a promotional photo. So getting real photos done, having a media kit, if you need a media kit or an author kit or a speaker kit, having a proper pitch deck, having all these tools widely available for when as a journalist, I could either be like, hey, here's the link on my Google Drive or my Dropbox or a secured spot on my site where you can download all of these assets and a professional bio. Not the "I used to sing with Patti Labelle and I love dogs".

Jackie C [00:10:54]:

Nobody cares who is the professional of the title that you said you are. That's what we need to know. That's a fact sheet. Cool things about yourself. If you've written a book, let's get a five-page PDF excerpt of the book and cover stills of the book. Like, having those digital assets are so important. I worked for a digital, an online magazine in the US for a couple of years. And I pitched celebrities. They would pitch us, we would do interviews.

Jackie C [00:11:18]:

And I can't tell you the amount of times I'm like, I can't use this photo. It's a Jpeg. It's not even a PNG. Number one. Always have PNGs. You're sending me your logo. Send it as an SVG, bare minimum PNG, like knowing the right file codes and things to send people is so important. And I take, I teach a masterclass on digital asset vault and just setting yourself up for digital communications because it's so important to have those tools because you pitch a journalist or you're pitching somebody and they're like, cool, we'll take you.

Jackie C [00:11:49]:

You got to be able to answer your stuff real quickly. You got to be able to have somewhere to send them. They're not going to wait too long, the beats going to move. And so you have to prepare yourself for success.

Krystal J [00:12:00]:

That's something that I worked on this year as well, that you have these materials already on hand, so you're not scrambling each time, right? You already have this asset or this vault that you're discussing that is there and ready. So as soon as someone is asking you for those things, you're like here, yep, got it all ready for you. And that is reflecting you as a professional, right? Because like, I've been there, I've done that, I'm ready for you.

Jackie C [00:12:23]:

We've all been there. And it's like, and these things, like I say, I'm not paid by Canva, though Canva should pay me. But build these things on Canva because at least like when you upload, update it updates in real time, right? So you're not always like having to download another PDF and have it linked on a Google sheet. Here's a link to my media kit and it's all hyperlinked through Canva. So when you update it, because you should be updating your digital assets at least every three months or every month, depending on how busy you are with new brand deals, logos, press and media. But it should be updated regularly. And that's the same for sponsorship.

Jackie C [00:12:55]:

If you are going to pitch a brand and you're like, hey, I'm doing this amazing event or a podcast, for instance, take the time to build your deck, build your synopsis, build your case, because if you go to a brand and they're like kind of interested and you don't have your things together there, they may not be willing to wait four, five, six months for you to get it together and they may have moved on. Who are you again? What's this? Oh, I forgot about it. So really, before you even pitch yourself for your podcast, for your brand, for your event, have your assets in place or have tools to support until you get the deck finished, be like, hey, here's a sponsorship, one pager that you could use to kind of understand. Here's our sponsorship site. I use rap reports every, every time I do an event. I do an extensive rap report. And so I could use that to sell what my event looked like before I get to the debt to bide me some time. Hey, Nike, I want you to be involved. Here's what it looked like. Here's kind of what we're kind of asking for, and it bides me a month or two before I get my duck dones, but have tools and systems in place to support yourself.

Krystal J [00:14:55]:

So you're mentioning a lot of terminology, which clearly, you know you're stuff, but for the people that are kind of like, this all sounds great, I would love to have it one day. But holy moly, that sounds so overwhelming. That sounds like a lot of things that I need to have. I don't even know where to begin. Like, I don't even know what to say about myself. So when it comes to pitch deck and a rap sheet, can you break that down, simplify it a little bit for us?

Jackie C [00:15:15]:

So your digital asset tools are really determined on the type of communication and outreach you're looking for. Not everybody needs a media kit. A media kit is normally a three page digital document that's really focused on your media opportunities, whether that be a particular brand deal. So you'll see a lot of influencers use media kits because it highlights logos of brands that they've worked work with, a couple of case studies, whatnot, as a speaker, as an author, as a coach. You may need a one sheet that kind of really specializes in talking about who you are, the services of what you do, a couple links to some past press, and then, you know, obviously another link to a rate sheet or a rate card. And those are the rates it costs to do a reel or a speaking engagement, virtual in person. But really and truly, a pitch deck can be an abundance of a lot of different things. It could be a digital lookbook.

Jackie C [00:16:08]:

It be a service deck. It could be an actual pitch deck to sell pitcher service to new businesses. It really depends on what it is. So when I talk to clients, and I, as much as I do sponsorship and events, I am a former publicist, so I still do a lot of brand strategy. We really start with a two hour strategy call and we really start defining the goals, the goals of the brand, which if I use me as an example, The Well Connected is my brand, but Jackie Clark is who I am, right? So the organization is The Well Connected, but my personal, personal goals and brand is Jackie. So what are the goals of The Well Connected? So this year we want to do X, Y and Z. What are the personal goals of myself? What do I want to achieve more speaking opportunities, whatever that case.

Jackie C [00:16:49]:

And then how do these goals support each other? And then what are the tactics? So events are normally a tactic of an organization or a person, right? Speaking gigs are a tactic to highlight whatever. We really determine what your goals are and what you're looking to achieve. And once we get clear on that, then we understand what digital tools you need. Not everybody needs a pitch deck. Not everybody needs the media kit. Sometimes that could be wrapped up in just reorganizing your site better or showing up differently on social media. So it's not a hard everybody need author. You need this, this, that, and the third, it really depends on who you are, what your goals are and what you're trying to achieve. And then we can figure out the right communications tools for you eventually. Everybody needs everything nowadays, but you don't need it all at once.

Krystal J [00:17:37]:

Yeah, I think it goes back to just really stripping everything down in the beginning, right? Gaining that clarity and going back to those seven things that you mentioned, the who, what, why, what your values are, right? So that will really be your guiding light when it comes to, okay, what are the things that I actually need as part of my pitch deck, and who are the people that I do want to partner with? So when it comes to pitching yourself and communicating that, especially if you're reaching out to bigger brands that are, I'm sure, inundated with requests of sponsorships and things like that., right? What kind of tips do you have to really stand out in that crowd amongst other people looking for sponsorships?

Jackie C [00:18:21]:

Your subject line, just like media, your subject line is really key. Knowing who you're emailing, you know, doing, digging on LinkedIn, finding the partnership, marketing. First of all, I say the marketing director or marketing person. Next you could do like a sponsorship or partnership. Not every company has a sponsorship or partnership person. And then the PR or PR team, those would be your three, three main categories or archetypes you would look for. Finding them on LinkedIn. Sometimes picking up the phone.

Jackie C [00:18:48]:

"Hey, I'm looking to get in contact with Krystal in the marketing department. Are you able to give me her email?" Sometimes they'll patch you through. Being specific. Like, I would write, "Hi, Krystal". And I think even when I messaged you, hey, Krystal, like, I was very specific. I did my research. I knew what I was looking for because, hi, sir or ma'am or dear, doesn't really resonate. Also keeping your body of your email pretty relative and short, very concise, and being clear with your ask


Jackie C [00:19:18]:

Like, hey, listen, we know you have this cool makeup called Beauty Mark. I'm doing an event called Beauty Mark. We would love to give that out. Like, look, looking like, you know, something that you've been doing some research. Also, I don't attach PDFs anymore in my emails because certain email servers block that. So just hyperlinking the email but not the entire URL, you guys, like, actually writing "view our deck here", or a nice word and then hyperlinking that. So it's a little bit more clean and clear cut, but really it really starts with the subject line and getting right to the point of what you want.

Jackie C [00:19:52]:

Miss all the long talking. "Hey, we're looking for brand partnerships. We believe you align in this way. Here's a bit of our audience. Here's a bit of our event. Here's how we believe you benefit. Let's hop on a call." It's really about getting these brands on a call or letting them know if you want any further material.

Jackie C [00:20:07]:

We have our sponsorship deck. We have a one pager or view our sponsorship website to see more about who we are. Like, really having your tools again in place, but being very clear with your ask and your subject line.

Krystal J [00:20:20]:

Those are such great tips. I'm like taking note in my head and I know I'm going to rewatch this. I feel like I'm pretty decent when it comes to pitching myself, but all of those tips that you said are so good and it really is, you know, making everything concise and digestible for the person reading it, who probably has a million other emails to skim through and they're just trying to, like, narrow it down right. In the most efficient way possible. So if we're loading them up with a bunch of things or, you know, attaching PDFs, like you said, that eventually gets stripped anyway because I've come across that too, where they have their server set up, where they don't even allow those to come through. Yeah, it's just, you know, taking up their time that they're not willing to take up and they'll just shoot you off to the side, unfortunately.

Jackie C [00:21:07]:

I would also say timing, your timing is really important. Like, honestly, most brands need minimum six month lead time and so you have to understand the landscape of what you're looking for. Like, I get calls every week, every day, hey, I have an event next month and I thought.... I can't help you because the reality is I can't guarantee sponsorship. I now know you, Krystal. I have access to you, but I can't guarantee that you're going to pitch my or interview my friends or my colleagues or my brands. I can't make that decision for you. I can only guarantee that I'm going to reach out to you, but I can't make a decision for you. I don't know what your life is like every day. I don't know what's happening.

Jackie C [00:21:44]:

Same with a brand, you have to give them time. Also consider it. Be considerate of your budget, know how much it's going to cost you to run this event. And I will say sponsorship is a benefit, it is not the plan. And I know some people would disagree with me, but I get a lot of people call me saying, I don't want to pay for my event, I want it to be covered. It is possible, it is not impossible, but it's possible with time and it's possible with intention and it's possible with a clear goal of how the brands benefit, not how you benefit. A lot of people are like, I'm just tired of paying.

Jackie C [00:22:18]:

Nike has their own event team, they have their own narratives and their own agenda. They're going to focus on their agenda, not yours. So, you know, when we're asking for money, be cognizant of the lead time. Some brands have a net 30, some brands can pay you right away. Some brands, like, one of the biggest questions I ask all the time is what is the easiest amount of money that can be approved by you and a brand will tell me, without going to my boss, I could approve ten k. Cool. I might take the ten k, but if I'm asking for 30, 40, 50,000, how, it has to go through a chain of command. Okay.

Jackie C [00:22:54]:

I said okay. I like this number. Let me bring it by my boss. Let me go talk to the financial team, see which division we could take this from, if it makes sense. What are the ask and give opportunity, it could take 30, 60, 70 days to get approved, then another 30, 60 days to actually get to you. So are you depending on that money? Do you have the money upfront? So there's so many facets of sponsorship you have to think of, and that's why a strategy is so important, because the blueprint can be created and it can be amended, but there has to be a start. And giving yourself that lead time of sponsorship is so important.

Krystal J [00:23:32]:

I love that you also included, you know, aside from knowing your numbers, knowing all the little details, the logistics, the timing of it, the cadence of your ask, I love that you mentioned the give and take, right. Because it really is a give and take. And it's not just about, like, all these people need to come to me and give me stuff and give me money and make me this amazing person. It's also about what can you give back to them, right? Because they're looking for a win-win. They're looking for something. They're also a business, they're running a business, and they're trying to figure out ways that make sense to them, right. They're not just trying to give out free things, free money, all willy nilly. So I love that that was included. That is such an important thing that I think is often overlooked.

Krystal J [00:24:18]:

So I want to take it back to you running your own business. What are some of the obstacles that you face? I mean, clearly, from us talking, it seems like everything's been, like, awesome. Even with just 500 followers you were still working with these amazing brands, people are reaching out to you every week. But in the reality of things, have you experienced any major obstacles? What did that look like and how did you overcome them?

Jackie C [00:24:45]:

For sure, I mean, the biggest one was I wasn't from this industry. Like when I first started, I had a hard time. I had a hard time getting people to take a chance on me, because I didn't have that journalistic background or I didn't understand it. I'm a fashion design student telling you that I want to do PR and that I want to do events. So I had a hard time convincing people that I fit into this world. And then for the longest time, I was trying to be something I wasn't. I was like, okay, these PR girls act like this. They look like this, they do that. So I was trying to do that. And all of that stemmed from me not being myself in general. And that was the biggest problem, biggest red flag, because you have to be yourself.

Jackie C [00:25:27]:

I believe being yourself is the way to get the success that you need, because you could only fake it for so long until it doesn't show as authentic. And then I started volunteering. I did a lot of volunteer work. So I went from not being able to get into volunteering to getting to the point where I volunteered so much and I had so much connections that I became a conflict of interest because people were like, well, you know this editor, and we don't know how you know her and she knows you, and you go, so what does this look like? So, you know, obstacle there of not fitting in - to be underqualified, to overqualify was a thing. Biggest obstacle, I would say, also was trusting myself in the process. It was like, I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I'm like, girl, I don't know. I had no blueprint.

Jackie C [00:26:10]:

Like, I had no foundation to look at. So I was making it up. I was just like, yeah, we're gonna do this. I'm just like, um, I still that to this day, I'm like, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I'm like, Jackie, how are we going to, but you, I'm just like, I'm going to trust it. I thought of the idea, and I'm going to figure out how we make it work. So I would say biggest obstacles was just leaning into my own intuition, trusting. I'm a believer in God, so trusting the purpose and the passion and the plan God had put in front of me.

Jackie C [00:26:38]:

And, you know, I say biggest obstacle as well was trying not to fail. Being too perfect. I'm a perfectionist. It's a Virgo thing, but I'm a perfectionist at heart. But realizing that failure was probably the best lessons I've ever had because it required me to really think differently. It required me to be like, huh, okay, this didn't work, but it wasn't the end of the world. But what do I learn from that, you know? So I would say for me, it was accompanied a number of things, but biggest thing was trusting myself and, you know, leaning into my intuition and really trusting that I have. I was put here to do this.

Jackie C [00:27:16]:

I don't know how we're going to do it, but we're going to figure it out. That and leaning on your community asking for help, asking for help from people in this industry and taking a chance on yourself. Like I tell brands, yeah, we're going to do this and I'll cold call. Hey, I saw you at an event. I want you here and, you know, nervous on the phone as if they could see me. But really putting yourself out there and doing that has landed me the opportunities that I have, the brand deals that I've been able to cultivate. Traveling worldwide. Like, if you asked me 20 years ago, because I'm 36, but if you asked me, like, 15 years, ten years ago, that I'd be traveling, people would fly me out, people would hire me just to look at their sponsorship strategy, I would build a life of building pitch decks. I'd be like, what? Like, I make money from doing PowerPoint and Canva presentations for the most part. You know, that's the biggest lesson is like, don't think so small.

Krystal J [00:28:15]:

So good. I've been smiling this whole time you've been talking because I love everything that you're saying and I resonate with it so much. And I think all of it is so important, you know, from trusting your journey, from trusting yourself, from just leaning into the vision and seeing where it takes you. Obviously, as a fellow Virgo, I've dealt with the perfection mindset as well. It's taken me a while to get over that. But you are absolutely right. Once you can kind of overlook that and not really take failure as something so personal, but instead as a learning opportunity and figuring out, okay, where can I go from here? You have boundless potential, and now look at you. Okay. 2023, you have been awarded Biz Bash's, top 40 under 40 event professionals. So congratulations to you.

Jackie C [00:29:05]:

Thank you. It's been interesting, and, you know, everyone's like, oh, you should have been awarded a long time ago. I'm like, you know, it's my time, you know, and I had to grow and realize, like, a lot of it was maturity. I think some of the things that I deal with now I couldn't have dealt with even in my early, like, top of 30, late twenties, I didn't have the maturity, the mindset or I didn't have the experience to really handle, like, a lot of things. Now I'm like, it's not the end of the world. Like, certain things happen. If this happened 20, 10 years ago, I would've had a complete panic attack. Now I'm like, ah, we'll survive.

Jackie C [00:29:38]:

Because, it's a different space. I know how to handle it. And I think, you know, all that comes with growth and experience. Like, the person that I am today is completely different than who I was last year. Who I was at 30 compared to 36 is a very different scope for me because I'm like, I've been through, I've been yelled at by celebrities. I've cried in corners, I've messed up royally. I've done really great things. I've done all the spectrum. So now it's like, you know, nothing's of shock value. And you prepare for what you can and you adjust for what happens.

Krystal J [00:30:09]:

Yeah, I think, you know, really being able to own that and come to terms with that really does show, like you said, the maturity not only in your business, but in your personal growth, too. And that's when, like, alignment is really, like, starting to feel good and you're like, yes, this is what I'm doing. This is what I meant to do, and I'm going to keep leaning into it. I want to go back to something that you said at the beginning of the interview where you had originally named your business The Well Connected Nobody. And then you have this amazing mentor who gave you some great advice that was like, you're not a nobody. You're a somebody. And you dropped that. So even though, you know, our time is slowly coming to an end here, I want to dive into your mindset of what that looks like for you to claim that, like, I'm not a nobody. I am a somebody.

Jackie C [00:30:59]:

I mean, it took a while, and I still struggle with it from time to time because, you know, I'm just. I'm in the back burner. I'm in the background of a lot of success for a lot of really cool people, and I have access to a lot of really successful people that I've always, like, sometimes I have to pinch myself. I'm like, yo, am I dreaming? Like, I used to daydream as a teenager about this celebrity, and here I am with this person on carpets or, like, I'd see these people on tv. So still, that, like, that imposter syndrome still comes in, but you have to check it. It's ego. It's fear


Jackie C [00:31:31]:

It's fear of success as well. But, you know, when he told me, you're not a nobody. I was just like, you know, I am a somebody. And when you start seeing the results of your effort, you have to start tapping into yourself and self-checking, like, you know, I'm good. I could go, I got this. And it took me a while. And I remember the biggest turning point for me was I was interning at this agency, which probably one of the worst experiences I've ever had, but equally the best experience I've ever had for personal growth.

Jackie C [00:32:04]:

I remember I was just messing up royally at this agency, like, spelling YouTube incorrectly, like, just small nuances. I didn't know. And I remember I was trying again so hard to be like, what they wanted me to be. And we had a yoga event. And I remember everybody thought I worked for the company because I just was able to just adapt and learn and speak and hand out food and do these things. And I remember my boss at the time, senior boss, she came to me, she's like, unlearn everything we've ever taught you. And she's like, this is you at your best potential. And that also, in that moment, I was like, this is what he means by you are a somebody being you and just authentically you.

Jackie C [00:32:44]:

You are somebody. And that was that. I was 23, 24, I think, at that time. And that is when the switch happened for me. I'm like, you know what? By being me and just being the somebody that I was created to be, this is where I'm going to find success. And then that's when everything unraveled for me in terms of, like, I unlearned everything, and I'm like, I'm just going to do everything my way. It's not the right way, it's not the wrong way.

Jackie C [00:33:09]:

It is just what works for me. And as I started doing that, that's why I started seeing the success. I still saw failure and still do see failure, because it is a part of life. But I found that, like, the things that I've been able to accomplish, the people that reach out to me, is because my crazy, wild ideas have somehow been able to transcend and be reciprocated. And it's because it's just who I am. So again, it goes back to what I've been saying this whole time. Is when you really lean into who you are and you really, whether it be wild, kooky, crazy, over the top, dramatic, talkative, when you really lean into your superpower, people can't take it away from you because you own it. And then once you own it and you own yourself, you start owning the things around you and you become confident in what you're doing, because this is your blueprint.

Jackie C [00:33:59]:

It's already written for you. It's just it, they're just waiting, your blueprints, waiting for you to catch up and read and open your eyes and adjust to the darkness. And I think when we adjust to being in the dark and you're not afraid of it anymore, everything comes to light.

Krystal J [00:34:14]:

So good. I am so glad that we made it to that point towards the end of this interview, because that is the most profound statement that you can make, right, really owning who you are and leaning into that authenticity. And you had come from a place where you were trying to make success in your business by copying other people that were successful also, which I'm not saying is a bad thing. Obviously, we need to get inspiration. We need to learn from people who have been where we want to be. But that blueprint that you're talking about, that's already written in your DNA. And the only way that you can let that out is by allowing yourself to break down those walls of the should be right of what you think you were supposed to do versus just allowing yourself to be who you are.

Jackie C [00:35:00]:

Yes. And it's the fear of the unknown. And I think, like, I use this analogy, I tell people all the time, I love the dark. And everyone's just like, no, it's such a negative space. I'm like, here's the thing. When you walk into your house at night, it's dark, but you're so comfortable and you know your space. You can walk into your house and find the light. But once you also sit in the dark, your eyes acclimate and they adjust so you'll be able to see.

Jackie C [00:35:21]:

It's the same thing with who you are. Once you're like, okay, you're fearful of who you truly are because it's not what the world is asking you to be. But once you sit in the dark, if it just takes a few minutes, your eyes will acclimate, and they will adjust, and you'll be able to see in the dark. And then through the dark comes the light, because you'll be able to find the light to turn it on. So once you allow yourself to be comfortable and not be afraid of who your potential is, the light just naturally will come.

Krystal J [00:35:48]:

So good. So good. It really does. And I love the scientific connection to it. But, you know, when you're even just addressing it towards whatever your goals are in life, you know, putting yourself in that space, the path will slowly reveal itself to you as long as you give the opportunity to. Oh my gosh, Jackie, you have been incredible. I feel like we can do a whole life series of you just dropping all of these bombshell like golden nuggets and motivational quotes. So good. But in the meantime, where can everyone find you, connect with you and peer into that brain, if they're trying to work with a strategist for their own pitch deck?

Jackie C [00:36:27]:

Absolutely. So I'm on Instagram, on social, on all accounts. It's @iswellconnected. So @iswellconnected is my personal, @wellconnectedto is my business. is our website. And if you want to hit me up, I answer my DM's. Or you could just fill out our contact form on our website to just have a discovery call. But also in my Instagram, in my link in bio, on my... I think it's my milkshake. I think that's the app I use, milkshake. I have the list of my service decks on there, links to my website, past interviews and stuff as well. But I'm mainly on Instagram as my main account and TikTok as well of the same handles. So yeah.

Krystal J [00:37:06]:

I love it.. I was just making a note to myself, but of course all of those links will be included in the show notes. So everyone that's watching or listening definitely connect, get connected with Jackie. Obviously she is very well connected, but it always is a great thing to keep building your network, right? And then peering into her network and seeing what you can do to really make yourself visible. But Jackie, seriously, you've been amazing. Obviously, you know what you're doing, you know what you're talking about. So thank you so much for sharing this insight and this knowledge with our audience.

Jackie C [00:37:38]:

Thank you for having me. I'm so grateful to be here. Thank you for your time.

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