Desi Dobreva – The Branding Queen

Desi Dobreva is a professional creative, specializing in content creation, social media, PR and helping your business reach rock star status. She can be found on a plane, writing the night away, standing up for animal rights or hugging her sloth. Business and Leadership sat down with “The Branding Queen” to talk about being an entrepreneur, growing a team, and fighting mediocrity and creating big wins for her clients’ businesses.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and in what ways does that relate to what you do now?

Words and stories have captivated me ever since I can remember. They’re the reason I speak five languages, the reason I can’t help but read too much (to the point I can’t sleep at night), write too much, and ask too many questions (sometimes annoying the hell out of people).

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. One of my favorite memories is lying on my stomach under my bedsheets as a 10-year-old, mesmerized by the beautiful worlds painted by J. K. Rowling, Shakespeare, the Bronte Sisters.

I’ve been writing for more than 20 years and it all started with fables and short stories. Today it has transitioned into business advice, branding secrets and stories that inspire confidence in others. As a professional in the branding industry, even though I have copywriters on my team, I always create my own content. I am adamant about quality so I’m directly responsible for my clients’ content. Words are what showcases our identity and what shapes perception. Words are essential in branding.

After all, branding is but two things – identity AND perception.

What steps do you take to ensure that your organization’s activities and business practices are in alignment with your core values and overall branding?

A lot of people ask me the question “isn’t authenticity the best brand strategy?” Therefore contribute to my hair going white under all that purple hair dye. Authenticity is not a strategy! – Instead, it is a basic foundation of who you are. There is a lot that goes into building a Powerful, Profitable and Popular brand.

Branding and authenticity go together. If they don’t, you will eventually fail. It’s incredibly difficult to put a mask on every day and maintain your consistency. The same goes for your businesses. If you ensure that every single action you take in your company stems directly from your purpose and from your values, there is no way your business practices will lack integrity.

What I do for my clients to ensure this, is to provide them with a direct outcome of our work together. I create a 10-15 page document called a Brand Roadmap. This contains their entire brand strategy and path forward so they know what choices to make with their content, presence, partnerships, investments, etc.

Name two celebrities or well-known business people you admire, and explain why.

I don’t admire anyone because humans are just humans, regardless of what we’ve accomplished. We are all more similar than we are different. I’ve been around widly successful people and I’m always amazed at how similar we are. In terms of powerful brands, I definitely respect Richard Branson and Jordan Peterson.

What are YOUR main performance indicators? How are they measured and echoed throughout the business?

Audience growth, engagement and sales. Each one comes with a very simplified system for measuring it and ensuring the numbers keep growing every month.

What are the top three things you hope your customers act on after taking your training or consulting?

  1. Becoming confident. A life without confidence seems like the worst fate they can possibly endure.
  2. Never being afraid to share their story. Your origin story is one of your most profitable and impactful assets for making a difference, both for yourself and the world.
  3. Actually selling. Every single person who’s ever worked with me knows exactly what they need to do to build and scale their business to at least 6 figures per year. Unfortunately, as is the case everywhere, not every person chooses to act on what they know. There are many people out there deadly afraid of selling because they have been conditioned to believe it’s sleazy or unethical. It’s not. It’s life. It’s impact.

How do you fight complacency and mediocrity?

With every bone in my body.

I spend insane amounts of time on my content. My content is the only free resource I have, so I ensure it goes deep into concepts that people will never otherwise learn unless they pay thousands of dollars.

What has been the most impactful lesson you’ve learned as a business coach and leader?

I’m a rebel, so here are two:

  1. A business without a team is not a business. It’s a freelancer.
  2. A company without a proper brand strategy will essentially either fail or be stuck with no clear way to growing further.

What’s the most critical piece of business advice would you give your younger self?

Your potential flaws can easily be turned into advantages with the power of branding.

How do you create leadership opportunities within the organization?

Branding is the foundation of any business, because it’s your purpose, your values and the reason your business exists. Every business is built on an idea or intention. Obviously, it’s not enough. The two most important things for any business are branding and sales. One leads to the other. It is a myth that they are mutually exclusive. The way I personally do branding, nobody else does it. It is a mix between branding strategies and business planning that leaves you with a holistic business presence.

Remember this – every single person and business has a brand. The only question is, are you managing it properly or letting others shape your narrative?