#28 The value of marketing your personal brand ft. Tiffany Ricks

Tiffany Ricks, founder and CEO of HacWare, joins Pierce to talk about how her company is helping small businesses protect themselves from hackers. Their AI-first platform sends automated hacking tests to users, and shares educational materials with them if they fail. 

During their conversation, Pierce and Tiffany talk about her experience as a serial entrepreneur, her love for travel, and the role that marketing and communications play in building a successful brand.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

1) How HacWare supports an underserved community of small businesses. 

2) Why it’s so important to mitigate cybersecurity risks.

3) How valuable it is to market your personal brand.

Show Notes

Tiffany Ricks is a serial entrepreneur who has founded four companies in the cybersecurity space. She currently heads HacWare, an award-winning security training platform that allows organizations to build hyper custom security training solutions in minutes. Built on AI algorithms, the platform is constantly learning about what phishing attempts are successful, and using those to test users and educate them around how to protect themselves. 

This is a company that deeply reflects who Tiffany is as a person: a problem solver. Ever since she was young, she’s been determined to bring concepts and ideas to life, solving big and small problems with technology. With HacWare, she and her team are focused on supporting people in becoming more aware of cybersecurity, and minimizing the vulnerabilities around a company’s network. Their primary audience is made up of small- to medium-sized businesses, which represent a severely underserved portion of the market – and a particularly vulnerable one.

Launching all of these businesses and really listening to what her customers are looking for, Tiffany has learned a lot over the course of her career. When asked about the advice she’d give to someone just starting out in their career, she believes that communication is key.

“You need to know how to market yourself. You need to learn how to make yourself into a brand. You need to tell people what you’re doing.”

This is also true for brands. It’s so easy to operate under the philosophy of “if you build it, they will come,” but if people don’t know about the work that you’re doing, they’re not going to come buy your products or subscribe to your services. Marketing is a vitally important function, and you have to do it in a way that engages people, rather than alienating them. 

Email marketing has played a big role in how HacWare builds trust with its existing customers – and attracts new ones. Every week, the team sends out a newsletter that talks about product developments as well as the top three phishing attacks that took place that week. According to Tiffany, they’ve seen growing engagement with this newsletter, and it’s being forwarded to non-customers who are then following up with them. 


Thanks for listening to Unsubscribed! – a podcast created by Knak. If you enjoyed this episode, please do subscribe and leave a review on your favourite podcast player.

Join the Conversation

If you have any feedback, or want to chat, feel free to reach out to Pierce on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @marketing_101.

Pierce Ujjainwalla has decades of experience as a CEO, entrepreneur, and career marketing leader. He has lived in the marketing trenches at companies like IBM, SAP, NVIDIA, and Marketo. He founded Revenue Pulse and then launched Knak in 2015 as a platform designed to help Marketers simplify email and landing page creation. Visit his personal blog, Unsubscribed, or his Twitter for more of the insight he’s gained as founder and CEO of Knak. Marketing is his jam; doing it better with technology is his passion.

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