10 Questions with Ben Baker

Storytelling has always been a way of life for Ben Baker, President of Your Brand Marketing. From a young age, he realized that through telling stories people listened to him, understood him and engaged. Professionally, this is what he has been doing now for over two decades. He helps brands tell engaging stories that compel their customers to take action.

Why are you passionate about the topic you speak about?

Telling the story of a brand, whether it is personal or corporate enables the right audience to listen, understand and engage. It allows bonds of trust to be formed and enables those whom you wish to influence to understand why you are valuable to them. A story resonates as it tells where you have been, where you are and where you are going. It gives people reason to believe.

What is the best advice you have ever received as an expert, speaker or coach?

Perfection is unattainable, focus on being real and authentic. Audiences want to relate to someone like them. Someone who has flaws, someone who has overcome adversity and someone who can help them because they have already been down the path they are on.

Who do you admire and why?

I admire lots of people. I admire Seth Godin for the breadth of work that he has done, with quality and consistency. I admire Gary Vaynerchuk for his passion. I admire Simon Sinek for the way that he relates to Millennials. However, the person I most admire in life is my father because of his desire and determination to succeed in the face of adversity and his focus on customer experience. He is who taught me "whatever it takes" should be a mantra of anyone who is in the service business. . . which is really everyone.

What is one piece of advice you could share with our readers to uplift them in life/career?

Know your audience. Understand who your clients are and who they are not. Understand why people love you, why others do not, and focus on those who you can serve the best. We cannot help everyone, but those we can help, we should.

What is your favorite book?

I do not have one. I have various books that I love in various genres. My passions are biographies, business, marketing, adventure and historical fiction.

What do you do to relax?

I golf. Not nearly as much as I would love to. . . but I golf.

What are some of the challenges you face as a speaker, expert or coach and how do you overcome those?

My biggest challenge as a speaker is making sure that the talk that I give that day or evening is relevant to that audience. I never want to be cookie cutter and I always want to teach something significant. How do I overcome that? Research and asking the right questions to the right people.

How do you see the world of coaching and speaking evolve over the next 5 years?

I am hoping that the industry does not become devalued and commoditized due to the online nature of everything else in the world. Nothing beats speaking in front of a live crowd. Whether it be from a stage or in a classroom, engagement is key to the learning experience and you just cannot get that through a monitor when there are 100 other distractions coming at the person every single minute.

What technology can't you live without?

LinkedIn and my mobile phone. Both are research tools and communication vehicles that I am constantly utilizing.

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Our 10 Questions is a written interview with experts, coaches, storytellers and thought leaders sharing their thoughts and experiences. We invite you to submit your answers here.