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Sola Stories Podcast
Episode 78: Branding, Marketing and Creating Connections with Nina Kovner image

Our guest on this episode is exactly what she says she is: a Chief Awesomeness Empowerer. Nina Kovner joins us as someone dear to us at Sola - she was our first-ever keynote speaker at Sola Sessions, and since then we have collaborated on so much education. From webinars, live events, to in-person intimate workshops, Nina has helped us cover so many important topics ranging from branding, social media, authenticity, storytelling, boundaries and mental health. 

Nina Kovner is the founder of Passion Squared, where she turned a challenging experience into one of inspiration for herself and others. At Passion Squared, they go straight to the heart of the matter to help entrepreneurs find clarity and eliminate confusion and chaos around how to create, build, and grow a creative small business. Prior to that, Nina spent 25 years working for John Paul Mitchell Systems and there found herself in marketing, a side of the business she never thought she’d be in.

Nina has been such an inspiration to the Sola family through the years as a coach, mentor and friend; and we are beyond thrilled to have her join us for yet another Sola Sessions on Monday, September 27th! Nina describes her true passion as empowering others, and she does just that in this episode and beyond.


In This Episode

[2:29] - Welcome to the show, Nina!

[5:24] - Nina shares her journey in the industry and how her career evolved.

[7:18] - She was with John Paul Mitchell Systems for 25 years and discovered her workaholism. She checked herself into a program for depression and had to make a difficult decision.

[8:26] - Her experience in marketing and her need to start from scratch led to the creation of Passion Squared.

[11:24] - Nina does not have a degree in marketing but found herself there as someone who is passionate about serving others.

[12:55] - One of Nina’s strengths is her ability to follow her intuition and connect with people.

[14:40] - People don’t want to be sold to. They want to be connected with.

[16:15] - Humans are inherently social beings. Hairdressers specifically are gifted in building relationships. This knowledge made a difference for Nina in marketing.

[17:40] - Passion Squared is celebrating 10 years next year and Nina admits that the first couple of years were a struggle on social media.

[19:01] - Tools and technology are always changing and you have to be where your customers are. But branding can stay consistent.

[21:22] - Word of mouth is a result of great experience. That is the best kind of marketing.

[22:42] - Nina explains the difference between brand and business. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

[24:38] - The industry did not jump on social media early on and Nina explains that it’s because it’s uncomfortable.

[26:07] - Without the foundation of a brand story, you will run into problems.

[27:47] - Be where your clients are and where you can stay consistent. Consistency builds trust.

[29:04] - Yelp and Google Business are sometimes even more important and impactful than social media platforms.

[31:10] - Become clear about your brand in the beginning.

[32:33] - Nina shares the questions to ask yourself when defining the clarity around your brand.

[34:42] - Which is better? The generalist or the specialist?

[36:11] - Nina gives an example of how to find a niche to brand and tell your story.

[38:49] - You can be general in your services, but your story should be focused.

[40:58] - Keep your brand promise which goes back to being completely clear on what that is.

[43:40] - You are not the center of the story. It is all about the client.

[46:14] - Nina shares what she’ll be sharing at the upcoming Sola Sessions.

Links and Resources

Sola Salon Studios' Instagram Page

Sola Salons Studios – Website

Purchase Ticket to September 27th Sola Sessions

Passion Squared Website

Passion Squared on Instagram

Passion Squared on Facebook