I kicked off season 3 of the Reputation Revolution podcast back in May with a look at what I call the PERSONAL BRANDING UNIVERSE – a canvas on which I connect the various dots involved in building a credible and sustainable professional personal brand.
These dots, or elements, flow from what I refer to as the four pillars of personal branding for professional people. They are:
- ESTABLISH your voice
- ENHANCE the credibility of your voice
- EXTEND the reach of your voice
- EXTRACT value from your voice.
(This episode of the podcast – number 175 – including key snippets and takeaways from season 3, as highlighted below)
Here on the Reputation Revolution, each episode builds on at least one pillar.
For example, in episodes 150 and 174, I chat with Mark Masters and Eli Trier respectively about the power of building one’s community of like-minded people.
To a lot of people, the whole notion of community is light and fluffy – too much work for too little return. However, today’s savvy thought leader understands that having a community, or a digital neighbourhood, adds depth and meaning to their concepts and ideas; it enables you to bring people along for the journey, and giving everyone the chance to learn from one another.
This results in greater impact over the long term.
YATM started as a weekly newsletter in 2013 and has developed significantly since, growing to include a monthly lunch club event, a blog and podcast combo, an active Facebook Group, plus an annual conference and associated workshops.A constant theme of YATM has been a philosophy Mark has developed around what he calls an ‘owned media mindset’.
According to Mark, everything he stands for is to help businesses take ownership of the spaces that are theirs. Once a business has complete control, they can build an audience and then monetise, he says.
Eli Trier’s approach is different to Mark’s, yet they both use collaborative community to grow their businesses, and the businesses of those who connect and follow them.Eli has developed a concept that she calls the ‘Community Project Model’. It really is the antithesis of many of today’s online marketing tactics!
Community could be included under several pillars of the Personal Branding Universe, although I think it sits in the EXTEND THE REACH OF YOUR VOICE bucket, as it’s all about advocacy and word of mouth.Creating video content, including video live streaming, is all about enhancing the the credibility of your voice.
In short, if you want to build a credible profile and trusted reputation in the marketplace, video should definitely be on your content creation radar. We’ve had some terrific guests in season 3 sharing their ideas and expertise around all things video.
In episode 154, Julian Mather told us the world was “hungry for truth” and explained how “authentic, agile and inexpensive videos” could be used to spark conversation and build trust with viewers.
More recently, in episode 173, live streaming guru Ian Anderson Gray explained why thought leaders and entrepreneurs should get into live streaming.
How to get started if the whole idea of live streaming freaks you out? Ian floated the idea of doing a live video challenge in a group.
Still on live streaming, in episode 152, I was joined by Tristan White, a successful entrepreneur who runs one of Australia’s largest physiotherapy practices, The Physio Co.
Tristan is neck-deep into live-streaming at the moment, and he openly discussed the ups and downs of using such a format to engage with his audience.
I put it to Tristan that many professionals and leaders steer clear of live video because they don’t want to be seen stuffing it up! I love his answer!
If you’ve been putting off using video and live streaming as part of your business and engagement strategy, these episodes with Julian, Ian and Tristan will definitely inspire and motivate you to get going!
Of course, we’ve covered other elements of the Personal Branding Universe in season three – for example, writing a book to build profile and enhance your professional credibility.
Writing productivity geek Bec Evans told us in episode 158 that there are various internal and external roadblocks authors often encounter when writing their book, including:
- imposter syndrome
- lack of confidence/anxiety/self-sabotage
- dealing with distractions … and
- simply getting stuck with the writing process itself.
Meanwhile, book coach and editor, Kelly Irving, explained that writing a book was a thinking process: it’s about learning to communicate who you are and what you do.Kelly, who helps business experts and thought leaders write and publish books, is an advocate of building a body of work that becomes a book.
Writing a book starts with blogging, publishing articles, sharing content … working up to whitepapers, she says. It’s an enlightening chat – check out the interview with Kelly Irving on episode 165.
Self-awareness, and knowing what you stand for, and then developing a message that reflects the ‘real’ you – these are foundational to building a successful personal brand.
Suzy Jacobs, Founder of Activator Academy, took is through the importance of values in episode 155.
Building something of substance off the back of your personal brand – a body of work, a flourishing business, or kickstarting a movement of sorts – takes serious effort.
Yes, creating original content and publishing it on the web is crucial.
Yes, being on social networks and connecting with like-minded people from your city, your country, and around the world – that’s important too.
But most of all – the most critical thing – is to stand for something.
So says Steve Sammartino, a leading futurist, best-selling author, media commentator and keynote speaker, having presented to over 200,000 people around the globe.
“Have an opinion. Something for everyone is something for no one,” Steve told us in no uncertain terms. You can hear more in episode 151.
Meanwhile in episode 166, Hillary Weiss introduced us to a concept she calls the ’statement piece’ brand – an antidote to the “sea of sameness on the internet”.
Hillary is a New York-based creative director and messaging strategist who helps her clients develop big ideas that STOMP off the screen. She stressed the importance of having a clear message and a point of view, and explained that good branding is getting you in front of those people who need your message and are going to resonate with it.
And what of social media? It’s such a critical aspect of building a personal brand, particularly one underpinned by a credible thought leadership positioning in the marketplace.
Just ask California trial lawyer, Mitch Jackson, author of the book The Ultimate Guide to Social Media For Business Owners, Professionals and Entrepreneurs.Mitch is omnipresent on social media, including TikTok, and has some great advice for busy business professionals in terms of creating content that resonates with an audience, and using social media to build strong personal relationships.
If you’re a business professional who is keen to embrace social media but haven’t as yet committed fully to the digital world, you’ll get a lot out of this interview in episode 170.
I’ve long referred to Twitter the ‘influence channel’, and that’s how Dr Emma Beckett sees it too.
Emma is a food and nutrition scientist with the University of Newcastle, who uses social media effectively to generate interest in, and discussion around, all things nutrition.
Her mission is to empower people to make their own decisions around food and nutrition, whether those be healthier decisions or happier decisions. Emma generates heaps of engagement on Twitter.
Interestingly, a key outcome of her social efforts, particularly on Twitter, is interest from mainstream media, resulting in editorial coverage, including interviews on radio and national television.
If you want to build a successful authentic personal brand, it’s critical to show your human side – this is particularly the case for leaders, entrepreneurs and professional experts who are in the public eye and front people for a business, organisation or social enterprise.
Want to see what this looks like?
Look no further than Alan and Emily Braithwaite, founders of several UK-based businesses, including online visibility agency Yellow Tuxedo. I spoke to Alan and Emily for episode 169 of Reputation Revolution.
We covered a lot of topics, including:
- The five principles Yellow Tuxedo works with to help their clients stand out
- What being professional means in 2020, and how it has changed
- The importance of businesses building a PR legacy that lasts
- The story of why everything Yellow Tuxedo is, well, yellow
- Why Alan and Emily believe macro content is king
- How their ‘100 days straight’ vlog was born out of the need for structure during lockdown
If you want to feel inspired about the value of showing up consistently, get loads of ideas about how to maximise your SEO and repurpose your content, and learn how to wrap it all up in a very human way, you’ll love listening to this one – episode 169 of the Reputation Revolution podcast.
Other elements that make up the personal branding universe we’ve covered in season 3 – the state of podcasting (with podcast interview marketing guru, Tom Schwab); LinkedIn marketing in 20 minutes a day with Adam Franklin, Bluewire Media; and public speaking with Yvonne Adele.
In terms of extracting value from your voice – this is the commercial side of thought leadership and personal branding – Leanne Woff talked to us about building an audacious empire around your expertise, while Dr Jen Frahm, a global expert in change and organisational transformation, and branding specialist, Kate Ware, from BuzzPop Brands, joined me for an open-ended discussion about commercialising your personal brand – we covered sideline businesses, sub-branded ventures and product ecosystems. It was a fascinating ’roundtable conversation’.
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