Defining the Meaning of “You are the Brand” with Amy West

July 3, 2019 in Podcast

In today’s world, everyone is their own brand. From CEO’s to students fresh out of school, if you know what your brand is, you can give yourself an advantage in the workplace and life.

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How Amy West defines the meaning of “You are the Brand”

In this episode of the Creating a Brand Podcast, Alex Sanfilippo interviews Amy West about the meaning behind “you are the brand.” In this episode, they dive deep into why it’s no longer enough to have a great product or service; it has to go past that in today’s world.

Amy West shares her practical success and steps for defining yourself as the brand for your business and life. Amy also shares tips for how we can identify what our brand is and hone in on your craft. 🤩 We’re very thankful for Amy West being so transparent with us about her life and her journey. It’s very encouraging and she’s full of wisdom!

Related content: Have you ever wanted to automate your social media while you’re on vacation? Here’s how.

This episode contains a very insightful interview full of practical steps for defining the meaning of “you are the brand.” You’re going to walk away from listening to this episode with great ideas for how you can further grow and develop your brand, product, and life!

About Amy West:

Amy is an accomplished Travel expert; she’s been on Fox and Cheddar news she’s also the CEO of The Hive Society 🐝, a very successful influencer network that is redefining the meaning behind influencer marketing. You can learn more about Amy on her website at

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

  • The Hive SocietyInfluencer Network (North Florida Influencers has renamed to The Hive Society)
  • Neil Patel“Do you want more website traffic?”

How well does your life reflect your brand?

Going from Dreamer to High Achiever with Alex Sanfilippo

July 3, 2019 in Podcast

We all have dreams that we’d like to see come to pass in our lives. However, dreams without goals are simply dreams. Dreams don’t come to pass without self-discipline and taking action.

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Going from Dreamer to High Achiever with Alex Sanfilippo :

➤ In this episode of the Creating a Brand Podcast, co-host Amy West interviews the founder of, Alex Sanfilippo. Alex is also the primary host of the Creating a Brand podcast to talk about what role being a high achiever has played in his life, leading him to where he is today.

In this episode, Alex Sanfilippo shares about setting and achieving goals, time management, creating routines in your life, and how to live a more successful life. It’s a packed episode where Alex Sanfilippo shares his heart!

Ultimately, this episode is going to help you go from dreamer to high achiever which in turn will allow you to live a more fulfilled life.

☑ Note from Alex Sanfilippo:

“I want people to get to know me because I am going to be hosting the majority of the episodes on the Creating a Brand Podcast. I want people to know me and where my heart is – which is to help everyone succeed more in life.”

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Amy WestThis episodes interview host.
BufferPlan, collaborate and publish content for social media.
Ricco Bello Hardcover Notebook – Alex’s to-do list notebook.
FeedlyKeep up with all the topics that matter to you. All in one place.

Are you a dreamer or high achiever? (Alex wants to hear your response!)

Why YouTube Would Never Make it in the Real World

January 7, 2019 in Business

YouTube is the second largest search engine, with over 1.8 billion users per month. It’s obvious why:

  • Everyone has access to YouTube.
  • YouTube has been around since the internet became cool.
  • YouTube is easy for helping grow your brand. (Creating a Brand currently has an active private YouTube community, but we’ll be launching one for the public in 2019!)

Aside from all of the benefits that YouTube brings to businesses and individuals looking to increase exposure and get noticed, it has an even stronger community. Active YouTubers love YouTube! However, that is where YouTube staff has failed.

You’re probably wondering about my title for this post. I want to explain why YouTube would never make it in the real world.

YouTube is as powerful as it is because it has been around since before social media was mainstream. They are (were) pioneers! However, if they were to launch today (the real world), they would fail. They would fail instantly.

Why? YouTube is beyond out of touch with their culture and community.

YouTube released their yearly Rewind video last week. It was awful. It didn’t reflect the community or culture that YouTube actually has. In fact, it is already the most disliked video on YouTube of all time. Every day the numbers increase. But, right now the video has 2.3 million likes and over 13 million dislikes. Way to go YouTube! If you were launching your business today, you would be an instant failure.

Can you guess what the second most disliked video is on YouTube is? (Answer below)**

A YouTube executive issued the following statement, “Honest feedback can suck, but we are listening, and we appreciate how much people care,” the representative said. “Trying to capture the magic of YouTube in one single video is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. We also learned that creating content can be really hard and this underscores our respect and admiration for YouTube creators doing it every day. Keep the feedback coming, and maybe we’ll release a top 10 list of ‘Rewind dislike’ reaction videos.”

First off, if I were in charge of YouTube, I would fire this employee. This statement furthers my point that YouTube has no idea who their community is or the culture they’ve created.

Summarizing YouTube in an 8-minute video would be a simple task for anyone in their community.

I’m done with my rant about why YouTube would not make it in the real world today. More importantly, you need to know that this post is not to hate on YouTube. Here’s the takeaway:

Know that you will never make it in business if you do not know your company’s culture and the community built around it.

Here are three ways to ‘make it in the real world’ when you’re creating a brand:

#1. Be authentic.

There is a lot involved with being authentic, but I want to cover just one part of it. Owning up to mistakes. (We’ll cover more in later blog posts.)

Unlike YouTube’s executive who made excuses, you need to own up to your mistakes. A great example of this is Epic, the creators of Fortnite. They recently made a mistake. They misunderstood what their community wanted. However, instead of attempting to cover themselves and make excuses, they owned up to their mistake. Here it is: Epic says it ‘messed up.’

When you make mistakes, not if. Own up to them! Don’t cover them up. More than ever, your community wants to see you being authentic. People will forgive you for your mistakes if you admit to them.

#2. Develop Culture.

Culture is important. It starts with you. It doesn’t matter if you’re the leader or not. I’m not going to get too deep into this because it’s a big topic. We all need to know that culture is the most crucial part of creating a successful brand. You can read about it more in one of my recent posts, How to Create Systems to Grow a Healthy Organization.

#3. Understand the wants, needs, and value of your community.

If you ignore your community or misunderstand who they are and what they want. Your customers will leave. They will go somewhere else where they feel valued. At this point in the game, no one is leaving YouTube. But, if YouTube had just started, they would have no one on the platform. Love your community, grow it and be part of it.


Be authentic, own up to your shortcomings. In 2019, people want a community, not just another perfect name to follow. Develop culture. Culture is the deepest part of your business, focus on it and protect it. Be engaged with your community, understand what they want and need. They will love you for it. Get ready to make it big in 2019!

Here’s YouTube’s dreadful Rewind 2018 video… You’re going to hate it. Enjoy!

Why YouTube Would Never Make it in the Real World

** The second most disliked video of all time on YouTube is Justin Bieber – Baby ft. Ludacris. With 10 million likes and 10 million dislikes.

My Prediction for the Future of Google Search Results

July 24, 2018 in Big Ideas

Google is changing. The future of Google search results is unknown by most. In fact, I’m willing to bet that the team at Google themselves don’t know exactly where it will go.

Now you may be saying, “How could they not know what the future of Google search results looks like?”

Great question. Did you know that in 2017 Google conducted over 270,000 algorithm experiments? That adds up to approximately 740 search experiments per day! Out of all these experiments, 2,400 changes became part of Google’s search algorithms. That equals approximately 7 updates every day.

7 changes, every day, to one of the most complex algorithms ever created? That’s impossible to keep up with. Google has a countless number of artificial intelligence systems running these changes.

Related Post: Is Google’s New AI “AutoML” Actually Skynet?

Because of this, Google doesn’t always know what changes will take place. Pretty crazy, right?

Although no one knows the future of Google search results, I want to share a couple of my predictions in this post.

My Prediction for the Future of Google Search Results

#1. Image thumbnails in Google search results = Higher ranking.

I’ve mentioned this before, but now it looks like it’s starting to happen. A recent report by Mordy Oberstein from RankRanger shows that Google’s mobile search results now show image thumbnails 45% of the time. That’s a 183% increase in the chances you’ll see these thumbnails for yourself.

What does this mean? This means that you need to make sure to set a featured image on every page, even if you choose to not make it visible on the page. In the future, content found on search results will rank high if it has a featured image to display as the thumbnail.

#2. The “First page” of Google search results will no longer be a thing.

If you’ve noticed on your mobile device, there are no longer pages of search results listed on Google. Today it’s a button that says, “More results.” Say goodbye to the classic, beautiful search results page links:

To take this a step further, the “More results” button will disappear, and it will turn into an infinite scroll option, more like Instagram. I’ll explain.

People love to scroll, there’s no denying it. As Google prepares to implement thumbnails into the search results, it will look and feel more like Instagram already. By making it an infinite scroll, it will ensure that people find what they’re looking for quickly, efficiently and the way they like to find information. (That is Google’s ultimate goal.)

If you want to have your results show up higher in this infinite scroll Google world, it’s time to learn more about alternate ways to rank; aside from using keywords. I wrote a blog post on this here: It’s Time to Stop Trying to Rank for Keywords

#3. We’re going to see more answers in search results.

This is the greatest feature Google has added in the past few years. Having answers to questions right in the search results without having to visit a particular website or reading through more than a few sentences is a search results game changer!

This feature has changed the way most people search. Actually, my first and second points above do not matter IF the answer you’re looking for is automatically displayed by Google at the top of the page.

We’re going to see much more of this. The answers displayed with get better and better. Make sure you know how to rank for this. I wrote on this topic previously, you can read the blog post or listen to the podcast episode here: How Can My Website Answer People’s Questions on Google?

#4. Local results will become king.

We’re already starting to see local search dominate the results pages. This is especially true with mobile devices. The search results are close to you.

When you search “cool shopping mall” and you’re physically in Florida, you’re not going to see a page that ranks high for “cool shopping mall” if it’s in California. You’re going to see the closest (optimized) malls to your current location. 4-5 years ago, you would have seen results from anywhere in the world.

This is a topic that I am still learning. I learn a lot from Neil Patel and he happens to have the best blog post I’ve ever read on this topic. You can read it here to learn more about ranking for local search.


Google is changing. Stay ahead of the curve.

  • Add featured images that Google can use as Thumbnails in the future of search results.
  • Don’t fixate on the first page of search results; it will be going away.
  • Optimize to answer people’s questions in Google search results.
  • If you’re local, develop your long-term strategy for ranking to be found.

I hope that the 4 predictions I shared above challenge you and help you to prepare for the future of Google search results!

McFly out.