Step into the spotlight with Tsufit
Speaking with Tsufit, the author of Step Into the Spotlight, is a ton of fun!
The long-time marketing coach and expert has tons of stories. We began with a hilarious little anecdote about an interview beginning on the wrong food and continued through discussions about how she’s helped entrepreneurs from all walks of life tell their stories with confidence to get more clients and a business they love.
I knew this was going to be an enlightening conversation because I’ve read the inspiring emails and good conversation questions Tsufit offers group members and subscribers for years.
She didn’t disappoint.
If you’re a creator, entrepreneur or business owner, you’ve got to hear our conversation.
I’d love to know how you liked it in the comments below.
In the meantime, here are some of the resource links we mentioned:
The website of Heidy Lawrance, We Make Books.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation.
A Memorable Name
Tracey [00:00:13] And today we are speaking with Tsufit Actually, I should ask you. How do you see your first name? Only we’ve only been speaking to each other online, so I only ever get to see how it’s how it looks.
Tsufit [00:00:26] Well, and how does it look? It looks good. Well, it’s spelled TSUFIT and it’s pronounced two feet.
Tracey [00:00:27] Original and fascinating.
Tsufit [00:00:36] And I’ll tell you, I do a ton of radio interviews, podcasts, interviews in a few years ago, I was doing what they call terrestrial radio–what some people think of as real radio with a radio station.
Tsufit [00:00:47] But it was but it was done by my end by phone. And she asked me before the show the same question. You know, usually people ask me off the air as you did, and I said, save it because I have a story. So anyway, she asked me how you pronounce the name and I said she was calling me “too fit.” And I said, No, no. It’s two feet. Feet. Feet like feet. So she wrote down feet.
Tsufit [00:01:09] Right. So no, no, no. Listen. So. So that’s what she wrote down. So anyway. So we start the show. Hello, everybody, and welcome to the show. And today, our guest is award winning author Sue Foot. So she she remembered. And it was live, by the way. Because this is like radio. So she remembered the feet part, but she didn’t get it completely right.
Tracey [00:01:36] How beautiful. And so where does the name come from, what does it mean?
Tsufit [00:01:40] It’s a Hebrew, a Hebrew name and it means a hummingbird or sun bird. There was once an article in a Canadian newspaper in Ottawa that opened with something like “her name means hummingbird and it makes sense because her wings are flapping so quickly, you can’t even see them move.”
Tracey [00:02:06] And that’s because your specialty is actually getting people to shine brightly. It’s fabulous. Can you tell me a little bit about what got you into your specialty and how you actually became known basically worldwide? I mean, I didn’t even know you were a Canadian until you posted a recent email to your list, because I’ve been following you for years. And you just you said something about being in Toronto. And I’m like, wait a minute, she’s Canadian. I had no idea.
Childhood and early career
Tsufit [00:02:41] So, sure. Yeah. I grew up here. I’ve lived pretty much my whole life here. I was born overseas. I was born in Israel and went to the U.S. when I was about 3. My brother was born there and then came to Canada where my sister was born. And I’ve lived here ever since.
Tsufit [00:02:59] When I was a kid, I used to always to perform with neighborhood kids and then I was in the folk club at the high school Musical and then the city tent theater and musicals and then university and all that stuff. And eventually did a professional music C.D. and ended up on national TV in a Canadian sitcom for four years as the comedically-evil cafeteria lady. Her name was Ludmi Lacropitc. And so yeah, I did that.
And, you know, I had four baby daughters in four years. I had been a lawyer, a civil litigation lawyer before that when I had my kids. And then after that, I thought, you know what, now it’s time for me to go for it. For me to follow my dream. And so I did. Performing on stage and singing at festivals and TV and doing this music C.D.
But then I had four kids and 1500 CDs n my basement. So I had to learn how to market and how to get these CDs out into the world and how to get publicity. So I got a ton of publicity and I was able to sell a lot of the C.D.s and people start to ask me, how do you do that? How do you make top album lists on radio around the world? You know, the folks genre, in the world music genre. And so I slowly started coaching other people.
Tsufit [00:04:36] You know, I thought I would coach people in creative industries like music, whatever. But I ended up by more coaching entrepreneurs, maybe because they had the money to pay for it or were willing to pay for it because it was a business expense for them.
Tsufit [00:04:48] And so for the last, I don’t know, 17, 18 years, however long it is I have been coaching entrepreneurs for the first few few years to follow their dreams like I did. You know, I left law for the limelight. So I was coaching them to figure out what they wanted to be when they grew up. And, you know, often, very, very often a second career. You know, maybe an accountant wants to leave to be a skydiver. Who knows what it is.
Anonymous in Canada
Tsufit [00:05:15] Then it became very clear that, you know, it’s one thing to follow that dream, but it’s another thing to support for a little baby’s doing it right.
Tsufit [00:05:24] Jann Arden, another unapologetically Canadian person, very funny woman, actually, singer said that Canada is the only place where you can headline at Maple Leaf Gardens and still have to take the subway home.
Tracey [00:05:40] Exactly.
Tsufit [00:05:42] You have to explain that when I’m interviewed on American shows. But I think in Canada, we all get it. The Bare Naked Ladies, also Canadian, had to go to the US to get famous. I mean, you could have seen them any Monday night on Queen Street, but no, they had to go and be in the background on Melrose Place or whatever it is that they did to get famous. Blue Rodeo.
Tracey [00:06:00] The Blue Rodeo and Margueret Lawrence. I mean, everything.
Tsufit [00:06:04] Bobby Weitzman used to go to Fat Albert’s where I used to sing a little underground cafe in a church. Yeah. They say a lot of.
Tracey [00:06:11] Yeah, I used to live in Toronto, maybe I saw you sing there.
Tsufit [00:06:22] I did it for the first few years and then people said, well, can’t you just write a book? So I wrote a book called Step into the Spotlight A Guide to Getting Noticed. You know, I was recently overseas and I don’t usually check my my voicemail, my email, whatever when I’m overseas. But I had this voicemail from this very irate Canadian guy. And he said to me, you know, Tsufit. I’m a follower of your work. I’m a big fan and I’m in your Linked In group, whatever. But I have an issue with you.
Relationship to the United States
Tsufit [00:06:49] Why are the spellings in your book, American Spellings? Like this is the issue.
Tsufit [00:06:55] And I had to explain to my brother why I’m calling long distance from Israel to this guy that I’ve never met. I don’t know. I personally called the guy and he was shocked that I called him. He I don’t think he even knew I was calling from overseas. He was shocked that I personally called him to explain why I used American spellings. And the reason I used American spellings is because not everybody in Canada is unapologetically Canadian. You kind of have to get known in the world like like you said, you know, you you thought I was worldwide.
Whatever I am, I do. I do think of myself as, you know, an international person. But you kind of have to get known elsewhere before people in Canada take you seriously. So the spelt color C O L O R. And it’s funny because when I post online, I do use the U. And then in brackets I always put, yeah, I’m Canadian. But in the book I thought, you know what? I want the book to be international and U.S. is kind of considered international.
Tracey [00:08:01] Yeah. Yeah. No. Well, actually, I’m working with a client on a book right now too, and we’ve decided to go with American spellings for the same reason because most of the world will accept American spellings, but Americans won’t accept other spellings. So it’s like it’s easier if you want to be global.
Tsufit [00:08:22] I when I was I was in the States in Grade 9 for a year. My dad was a–may he rest in peace–was a math professor. We were there for a year for his sabbatical. They didn’t know who our Prime minister was. I mean, there were times that I didn’t know who our prime minister were. I mean, I know every you know, I know the senators in the U.S. I watch the Democratic debates in the US. But Canadian, I just don’t know.
Tsufit [00:08:55] We had to have two Americans–I think it was Don Green and the I forget the other guys name, Michael Budman, define Canada for us with Maple Leafs and Beavers, whatever, with their Roots Company. Roots is like the Canadian company. People, they’re from Detroit. I mean, I think they went to camp here or something. Our Canadian identity is formed by, you know, Americans.
Tracey [00:09:15] I know it’s hilarius. I remember the Red Barn. I loved the Red Barn.
Tsufit [00:09:30] And it’s only very recently that I have come to appreciate that I’m Canadian, because when I was younger, I used to think of us as, you know, the baby brother of the U.S.. Like we didn’t have McDonald’s here. We had the Red Barn. But I used to say that when we got McDonald’s we became legit. When Starbucks came, when Wal-Mart came.
Tsufit [00:10:00] And now I’m thinking, wait a second. Now I embrace it. Now I look out I’m looking out as I’m speaking to you at the most gorgeous green trees. Everywhere I walk is green and big and beautiful. But you know what? This is really it’s interesting because your show is called Unapologetically Canadian. My expertise is branding and Canada had a bit of a branding issue.
Now I think we’re doing great at it. Right. Especially with this whole “not my president” thing. And I’m not going to I’m not going to get political, but and hopefully this will be an evergreen podcast and people will say who? And they will have no idea what we’re talking about. But. But, you know, Canada has recently upped itself on the international marketplace.
Tracey [00:10:31] Oh, yeah.
Tsufit [00:10:49] But when I was growing up, we were like Midge, not Barbie. You know, Midge was the best friend that nobody’s ever heard of. I didn’t appreciate it at the time. There was Ken and Barbie and Midge and Skipper. There was a Skipper.
Tracey [00:10:52] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Tracey [00:10:59] I got made to it like. I got Midge too. I loved Midge.
Tracey [00:11:20] There was probably a sale on. Knowing my family, there was probably a sale on Midges and you could probably get them for cheaper.
Tsufit [00:11:33] Bonding over Midge.
Tracey [00:11:34] I’m in Quebec, too, so having a podcast called Unapologetically Canadian is particularly rebellious here. The last question is, as I think I warned you will be “do you consider yourself Canadian? And not everybody says yes. It always creates an interesting conversation. That’s the last question.
Tsufit [00:11:51] I’ll have to. I’ll have to. Thanks for the warning. I’ll have to come up with a good answer by then, but I’ll forget about it for so quick back. That’s right. Well, you know what, I have to tell you, when I was applying to law school, not law school before law school, when I was applying to undergrad, I got a nice scholarship offer from McGill and did not get initially I didn’t get a scholarship from UofT and my dad said, go to UofT.
Tracey [00:11:56] Yeah. Yeah.
Tracey [00:11:59] It is, and there isn’t there? And my my annoyance is when everyone says the rest of Canada here, I’m really quite annoyed. I’m like, what do you mean the rest of Canada?
Tracey [00:12:31] Yeah, yeah. It’s not unstable anymore. Well, actually, what I want to talk to you about is actually your specialty.
Tracey [00:12:46] Well, it’s fabulous. I do want to talk to you about your branding expertise because I learned about you because of your LinkIn Group, which has been going on for quite a while and isn’t as active now as it was then. But I just found it fascinating, some of the experiences that you talked about on that group. What are your three or maybe. Well, let’s start with your favorite solution that you’ve helped someone find when it comes to making their branding. I love that group. That’s why I think.
Tsufit [00:13:50] We’ve managed to attract the who’s who of Whoville to the group, not just people like you, but, you know, the entrepreneur, Entrepreneur Magazine Editor in chief, and, you know, the award winners. We are active. We you know, we’d like to be to get more notifications sent out.
Tracey [00:14:08] I’m one of those people who doesn’t yet know that’s what I’m one of those people who doesn’t see it often enough because it LinkedIn. I didn’t realize.
Tsufit [00:14:17] You know what our members do.
Tsufit [00:14:18] If any of your listeners who want to join our group go to Spotlight Group.biz. If you tell me you’re a friend of Tracey’s or if you had a Midge doll, you’re right away in. Anyway.
The group is very active. And people what they do is they keep that spotlight group dot biz forward on their desktop and they’re in there every single day. In fact, the Huffington Post business wrote about us as being one of the few LinkedIn tech groups that has not become a ghost town. In fact, LinkedIn itself has contacted me several people at linked to work for LinkedIn and interviewed me about how I keep the group so engaged.
Tsufit [00:15:03] And in fact, very recently one of them said that she was interviewed for a big US magazine and she mentioned our group as being one that embodies the, you know, the purpose of LinkedIn.
Tsufit [00:15:17] But anyway, to answer your question, you asked about solutions. What you want to just narrow in a little bit?
Tracey [00:15:23] Yeah, I want it. Yeah. Well, what I wanted to just talk about was you, because your specialty is helping people get attention on their brand and get the right kind of attention. And so I just wanted to talk about one of the solutions that you’ve come up with with people because you’re constantly.
I mean, the thing I love about your group is that everybody talks about personal stories all the time. And they talk about how they’ve solved something for themselves or for others. And you’re one of those people who always is mentioning an interesting story. So I thought it would be fun to talk about one of whatever one you think would be fun to talk about for right now.
Tracey [00:16:12] That’s perfect.
Speak or Write a Book
Tsufit [00:16:14] OK, so in general, if you want to get attention for yourself or your brand, obviously the things to do are get out there and speak, you know, speak to networking group, speak to business groups, speak at conferences, whatever, if you want to know how you get speaking engagements.[00:16:29] For me, I went to business networking events, did a really good 30 seconds. I thought of it like a 30 second show. People started asking me to speak, both paid engagements and not paid engagements, depending who the audience was. If it made sense, I did it. Even keynoted a bunch of conferences. Many of those came from just going to the local Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trade, the DNI, whatever it is. I just got up and just did 30 seconds. So that’s one way.
The other way is to write a book, which, as you know, I did. Step into the Spotlight, A Guide to Getting Noticed.
You can also start writing articles to get them on article distribution sites, other people’s blogs or LinkedIn. Be active in social media. Join groups. I’m a member of other groups as well, not only my own. And maybe create your own platform like I did with the LinkedIn group.
So those are kind of general ways that you can get noticed and get known. Make sure when you open your mouth that there’s some that there is a story. You mentioned story, that there is a story to it, that there is some color, some flavor, some humor or something, you know, that makes it stand out.
Tsufit [00:17:37] I have so many clients who are like coaches or financial advisors and the saying the same old boy or boring stuff as everybody else. I’m not gonna get you noticed to get a little more particular. Give you a couple examples of how I help my clients do exactly that.
Tsufit [00:17:50] I had a client who came to me because she had a speaking bureau, but she was not a professional speaker herself. Speaker’s bureau. But she was invited by one of the professional speaker’s associations to come give a speech because she ran this bureau. She came to me because she said Tsufit. I don’t want to look bad in front of these people. And my speech was kind of dry and boring.
Speaker Case Study
And I said her, well, yeah, you’re right. Your speech is dry and boring. Let’s see what we can do about it. I’m not very good at tying up the truth in a pretty red ribbon. I just tell it like it is.
So what we did was I asked her about, you know, her story. I asked her, you know, tell me about you. Tell me about you as a kid. What did you do? How was your childhood?
She said, well, she grew up on a tomato farm and she used to help her dad pick tomatoes and take them to market. And I said, well, that’s interesting. That can help us out some color because tomatoes are colorful. Right? The red, you can visualize them. And so we made this analogy between tomatoes and speakers.
And we said in her speech that some speakers are just seedlings and they’re not ready for market. They’re just growing. Others are still too green to go to market. Others are ripe and plump and juicy and ready for market. And other tomatoes are just plain rot. Just like some speakers. So she used that and she used that analogy. We dressed or up in some red gingham or whatever it was. She went to this thing and she was a hit. She said there was a lineup of people waiting to speak to her afterwards. So any one of us can do this.
Graphic Design Case Study
Tsufit [00:19:26] I had another client who used to go to the networking events and she’d do her 30 seconds and she’d say, hi, I’m so and so. I have a graphic design company. So for all your graphic design needs, whether it’s a web site or a book or a brochure or, you know, we can help you buy our business cards, we can help you. And so finally, one of her friends pushed her to come to me, which took her about two years to get around to doing it.
And when she finally did, I said to her, what’s the matter for you? Every buddy has an uncle or a neighbor or a, you know, a friend who is a graphic designer. Everybody. Nobody needs your silly little web sites because everybody’s got some nephew. I mean, my first Web site was made by somebody nephew for a few hundred bucks, right. It was a young kid in high school. OK. And that was then. Right? That was like 20 years ago now. Are you kidding me? I do. You’re all right. So that’s not going to do it. But I said books. Not everybody does books.
So she changed the name of her business to we make books, DOT c.a., she made a plaque for her because she had a brick and mortar business as well. She made a plaque that said we made books .ca for the front door. So that was part of it getting narrow in particular. But the other part of it was telling her story. So I did the same thing with her.
Tsufit [00:20:47] I said, OK, tell me your story. Tell me, where did you grow up? Where were you born? Well, she told me a very interesting story, that she was born in the Swiss Alps. She grew up in a 600 year-old-farm house at the top of the hill and or mountain or whatever it was. It just used to have to go. She loved books, used love to read. She used to have to go down all the way down to the valley to get books from the library because that’s where it was. And I said, you know, wouldn’t be cool if we said that your favorite book was Heidi. And she said Tsufit. It was.
The reason I suggested that way. It would be cool to say that other than the Swiss Alps thing is because her name was Heidi also. Although Heidi with a y. Yes, this is true. You can’t make this stuff up. But the only difference is she was, Heidi, with a Y instead of with an eye like the story. Anyway, so we tell this story. She starts telling it at networking meetings.
Tracey [00:21:29] No, you’ve gotta be kidding me.
Tsufit [00:21:41] It changed everything.
Tsufit [00:21:44] All of a sudden, she wasn’t shy and talking into her lap, you know, when she she she held her head high and she started talking only about books. She started getting known for books. Well, so much that to the point that when I taught the book creation workshop, which I teach people how to write books. I brought her on as a guest for, you know, the part about actually getting it published or self publishing a book. Because she got a lot more confident about speaking. And that came because she was telling a good story that people were interested to hear. She could, she could have gone for the rest of her life telling the same old boring story.
Tracey [00:22:27] Yeah, I know, and That’s fabulous. Those are exactly the kind of examples that I saw you speaking about in the Linkedln Group continually and actually your email list is fabulous too, because you’ve taken to
Tracey [00:22:48] I don’t know what gave you this idea, but lately you’re sending us different ads that you really like and why you like them. And that is a part of why I love it. It’s a spot of brilliance.
Tsufit [00:22:49] Yeah, I’ll I’ll tell you why, actually. I’ll tell you why. First of all, for any of your listeners who want in on this, if you go to WWW.spotlight secrets and put your name, your full name and your email address. A second form will pop up thanks to the Canadian government with anti spam regulations. A second form will pop up and you’ll have to put your name and email again and your country. Once you do that, you’re confirmed and you will get the same series that Tracey is speaking about.
Tsufit [00:23:22] Now how that came about was I decided 13 years ago to share a few tips. It was eleven spotlight secrets. That’s all it was gonna be. It was 11 when I was done. I was done. I wasn’t gonna bug people. I’m Canadian. We’re polite. We’re not aggressive marketers. I wasn’t gonna bug people for the rest of their lives. OK. So eleven tips. And it was over, right?
So I go to this conference in Dallas and one of the loyal people on my list, which has been going for 13 years now. One of the people on the list said to me, Tsufit, how come you stopped sending me emails? And I said, well, there 11 tips. You got them over 11 weeks or so. You know, it wasn’t exactly 11 weeks sometimes or a few days apart, sometimes a week, sometimes ten days. But you got all eleven. I’m done. I don’t want to bug you.
She goes, Oh, don’t bug me. I love your stuff, right? So I came home and wrote a 12th one which said I went to a conference in Dallas. I met this woman. She told me, how come you stopped it? Like I just told you the same on the 12th e-mail, I just told the same story I just told you right now, which was the truth. Right. So that was the 12th e-mail. And I said, OK, I’m going to keep sending you guys stuff. Right. And I thought, well, what am I going to say? Because the first eleven were about, you know, how you stand out in 30 seconds.
But after that, I thought, OK, what else can I share? So if I saw an interesting ad or if I maybe reasons to write a book or I forget what I’ve added over it, but now there’s like nine hundred days now they don’t come every day. I think they come more or less once a week. Now the first few days are more like three in a week, and then they’re down to every seven to 10 days. But I’ve got almost two and a half soon to be three years worth of that.
And you know what? I’ve had people on there for 13 years. So when they’re done, they just go back to the beginning and start again because, you know, you don’t get it all at once. Just like I’ve had a woman who told me she’s read my book thirty five times because you see stuff that you didn’t see the first time that you read it.[00:25:21] Now, I’m feeling a little bit of pressure that I have to keep adding because I’m thinking, you know what? Like, I know that a lot of the people are at a certain point where soon they’re going to run out. So I keep thinking, OK, what can I add? What can I add? And so whenever I see something cool, I just, you know, take a few minutes and add another to the series. It works on an auto responder. So I don’t physically send it out because it means that people get it wherever they are in the sequence.
Tsufit [00:25:49] So if you if you start today on day one, you’re not going to get the note that Tracey got today. You’re gonna get the day one note.
Tracey [00:25:56] Yeah. Which is the. But those 11 tips are worthwhile, too. So it’s a worthwhile signing up regardless of when you sign up. I mean, it’s a. Yeah, well, because what you specialize in is important to everybody, regardless of where they are on their entrepreneurial journey. You still need to be standing out for, you know, whatever you’re trying to do. You can’t do anything unless you start with standing out. It’s true, it’s like I read those thoughts that we all have.
Tsufit [00:26:03] Well, thank you, and I’ll just tell you that I’ve had more than one and more than two and more than three, I don’t even know how many people ask for permission to syndicate those first eleven tips on their web site or to put them in their newsletter or in an article because people do want to share them.
Tsufit [00:26:32] That’s well, you know, that’s so true because I was actually watching the tape of the Democratic convention last night because I missed it when it aired, and it really struck me how some people understand the concept of sound bites or 30 seconds or or giving an answer that has an end to it and other people just ramble on until somebody says, OK, that’s enough, we’re moving to the next person. They just don’t get it. The concept that if you know your time is limited. Like if you’re on.
I mean, this podcast is, you know, a long form podcast. So I can, you know, speak a little bit more at length. But when I do radio interviews, if you’re on drive time radio, it could be a five minute spot. It could be an eight minute spot. I’ve done TV where it’s like eight minutes. That goes in a blink of an eye. Like you just open your mouth and it’s done and you’re thinking, seriously, we’re done. You have to learn how to be effective and stand out in such a short period of time. And also to make what you say remarkable enough that people will repeat it, that people will remember you by it.
Tsufit [00:27:46] They may not remember my name. Tsufit is not the easiest name for people in Canada to remember. T.S. U. F I T is not something that you see very often here. But even if they don’t remember the name, they remember me.
I remember I was at a networking meeting once and I gave a business card to the woman in charge of the meeting and she didn’t remember my name, but the card stood out and what it said on the card stood out. She told people about it, even if she couldn’t remember the name. Sometimes now if people forget my name, they say, oh, you know that woman that, you know, talks about stepping into the spotlight or even before I had step into the spotlight, you know, that woman that teaches you how to stand out in public. She’s funny. And people would come up with my name. So you have to figure out what is your branding, what do you stand for?
Tsufit [00:28:31] And you know who’s really terrible about this? Coaches are really bad at this. Financial advisers are really bad at this. Realtors are really bad at this because realtors will say, you know, now’s a good time to buy or sell a house because mortgage rates are low. And what realtor doesn’t say that. And like the graphic designers, everybody has a next door neighbor and an uncle and, you know, a coworker who’s a realtor. So if you don’t do something to stand out, you’re forgotten.
Tsufit [00:29:06] I was speaking at a coaching conference in Las Vegas and I met probably a thousand coaches and 999 of them probably said the identical thing. They all said more or less some version of I helped my clients break through the barriers and I helped them, you know. Is he a bigger vision, a blob above. Above? Well, I don’t remember any of them, but there was one woman, one coach, who said, I help bosses that have been identified as aggressive.
Tracey [00:29:40] Oh, my God. That’s fabulous. Oh, you’ve got to remember that and you know, to refer them to.
Narrow on Topic and Narrow on Audience
Tsufit [00:29:47] Exactly. And and, you know, there are some issues that are more obscure, like there was a guy in my LinkedIn group who coached or taught trained anger management for physicians. OK, so he had two specialties. One is the anger management specialty and the second is for physicians. OK, so that’s double narrowing. That one is to narrow on topic and the second to narrow on audience. You’ve got to do one or the other or you know, ideally to do you should do both.
Most financial advisors don’t do that. Most coaches don’t do that. You know, I saw another I think he was actually a psychiatrist or psychologist. But let’s say it was a coach who coached people who fell in love with inmates. OK. That is not an everyday occurrence. You’re not going to go to your local BNI or your local networking meeting and stand and do your 30 seconds. And they’re gonna say, oh, I fell in love with an inmate. Right.
Tsufit [00:30:45] But but, but, but, but but there are a lot of there are thousands and probably many more than that in the world. And if you can get articles written about you, the word will spread in that small group and you will be the guy. You’ll be the person in that group.
Tsufit [00:31:03] When when my music C.D. came out, it was independently done. There was a graphic designer who wasn’t stupid, like a lot of I should use the word stupid, but he wasn’t like most graphic designers and said, you know, I’m a graphic designer for all your Web site. You. No, no. He specialized in the music industry. So, you know, like my client who specializes in books. This guy made the covers for music C.Ds. Right.
So I would go to music conferences. He would not only be onstage introducing people, but he did the little side things where you get, you know, five free minutes with the thing. So when I went to do my music, C.D., he was the first guy I called. No, I didn’t end up using him, because the truth is, I didn’t love his designs. I used somebody else. And I actually drew the first picture and then had an artist, you know, draw it, design it.
Tracey [00:31:40] Cora.
Tsufit [00:31:51] But he was the first guy I called because he had made a niche for himself, a brand.
Tracey [00:31:52] Right. Yeah.
Tracey [00:31:57] That’s great advice. And and now when your book. When does your book get published? Because now you are.
Tsufit [00:32:04] It came out a while ago, but people are still buying it, they’re buying it by the case and it is spreading to places like, you know, pair. It’s bringing me clients from New Zealand and Hong Kong and France. You know, the good thing about a book is it’s got the pass along value. Right. So, you know, it’s one thing for me to get my message out there. But some of my clients, I’ve never met. They met my book somewhere, you know, they ran it. One of them. He doesn’t even know who told him about the book. But he’s been my client for many years.
Tracey [00:32:41] No way. What I was going to say is the kind of thing that you would actually give out at conferences and things. So that’s why I was asking when it when it came out, because it is the perfect version of what I think of when you think of a book and a brand message all in one, because your brand message is the cover of your book.
Tsufit [00:33:01] The truth is, I don’t recommend that authors necessarily give them out at conferences unless you’ve made some arrangement with the person who asked you to speak at the conference and they bought them from you, or it’s part of your fee. When it first came out, I did give some to a conference of bloggers. Because that made sense, right? Every person there is a blog, especially at that time, it was a form of media. So, you know, I did that.
But generally when I go to a conference, I do something else. I make sure that the store in the hotel has my book on the counter for the week that I’m there. Which I arrange a month or two ahead of time. People show up at the conference. They see my book there. They think I’m super famous. Right. Then they meet me in person. They go, oh, my God, I just saw your book, right. They don’t know that. I arranged for it to be there. They just think it’s everywhere in the whole U.S. and the whole continent. Right. Because they happen to see it. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to arrange, I will tell you that, and I don’t share that very often, actually.
But there is our little secret with you and it because if everybody does it, it won’t be effective. BI do a lot of podcasts, as you know, I told you I’m doing 4 today. You’re the third of four today. And yours is the first today that I’ve divulged that secret on. Because like I said, if everybody does it, it won’t be effective for me anymore. But there you go. You got a golden nugget that most people don’t get.
Tracey [00:33:40] Oh, that’s brilliant. I love that idea.
Tracey [00:34:01] Oh, I’m going to take that on as a mission for. Actually, I have a conference next month. I’m going to phone the hotel bookstores right away. I mean, that’s brilliant.
Tracey [00:34:15] Now, you shared it publicly, but I love it.
Tracey [00:34:37] Well, thank you very much. I appreciate that. We are coming to the end of our conversation. So as you know, the last question in my series is do you consider yourself a Canadian? And if and what does that mean to you, regardless of the answer.
Tsufit [00:34:55] You know, I I totally forgot that you were gonna spring this on me, even though you warned me again. And it’s interesting because I guess the answer is yes and no.
Being Canadian and international at the same time
Tsufit [00:35:08] I’m a lot prouder and happier to be a Canadian now than I was growing up. I mean, growing up, I thought it was you know, we were the no name brand of the U.S. I mean, that’s how it kind of felt, right? Generic. I I now feel we have a stronger, better brand. It’s green, it’s beautiful, it’s clean. And I really do identify with it many ways. So in that sense, yes.
And I remember after 9/11 going to my kid’s school and they played, oh, Canada, it was just like a few days later or the week after, I almost started crying just hearing, Oh, Canada. It just felt so great to be here.
And and I just recently saw the movie based on Come from Away. And you know what happened, out there. It’s very powerful. So, yes, I mean, I love the fact that I’m Canadian. It feels it feels refreshing to travel in the world and and say we’re Canadian, which which is very exciting to me now. And the Roots thing did help. I mean, this identity of being green and clean and beautiful and natural and and polite and nice and all those things are great. So in that sense, yes. And I’m very proudly Canadian.
Tracey [00:35:53] Yeah.
Tsufit [00:36:21] In another sense, I really feel international. I mean, I am a citizen of another country. I was born in another country. That’s one thing. But so I’m a citizen of both.
Tsufit [00:36:32] But the other thing is, I really don’t think of my identity as to do with where I am.
Tsufit [00:36:40] I think of my identity as me, wherever I happen to be. So I do feel like I am international.
Tsufit [00:36:46] That said, this is a great place to call home.
Tracey [00:36:51] That’s it. I don’t. It’s interesting because regardless of whether you grew up here or not, the answer to that question is so diverse. It’s perfect for the person that I’m speaking to. And I cannot believe that you ended on global, when I started with thinking of you as a global brand person. It just gets a little bit deeper about how people really are.
People who are good at being themselves are themselves no matter what they are doing, including answering the question about nationalism, which, you know, people can be uncomfortable. Are you a Canadian is actually a very uncomfortable question. So I appreciate your honesty.
Tsufit [00:37:34] Well, you know, I brag about it now, though, online, I brag about all the time because like I said, I deliberately when I’m posting, I very often use the Canadian spellings and that always in brackets. I say, yeah, I’m Canadian or yes, I’m from Igloo country or, you know, whatever something because again, that makes us stand out.
And and I love the title of your show, Unapologetically Canadian, because the truth is, when I grew up, we were kind of apologetic about it, like we were, you know, kind of the. And now I feel like we’re the superior brand. That’s really flipped for me at least.
Tracey [00:38:11] Well, the extraordinary thing is we are known around the world for saying sorry. Too often. Often. I mean, that’s why I used unapologetically Canadian. So often people say, oh, you say sorry to often, you must be Canadian.
Tsufit [00:38:18] Yeah. Not me, not me.
Tsufit [00:38:26] You know, it’s so funny, you know, it’s so funny. I just got back from overseas a few weeks ago and I was in the grocery store and I said, I don’t know if I bumped into a woman or she bumped into me. This woman apologized to me for something which it made no sense to me at all that she should be apologizing to me. And I kind of joked with her and I said, back in Canada, right. Like you’re apologing. Anywhere else, you’re pushing, you’re doing whatever, but here, like you’re apologizing for that. Like, I must be back in Canada. And we both laughed about it.
Tracey [00:39:03] That’s true. Well, thank you so much for your time, I appreciate it.
About the Author
Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.