Organisations invest significant time, money and resources into building their brand. They do that to grow awareness of the brand, establish their competitive positioning and to build trust and credibility. And ultimately that leads to increased sales. Personal branding is no different.
As individuals we all need to establish our point of difference within (and outside) the organisation, and grow awareness of our capabilities. We need to build credibility about our skills and experience in order to be considered for a promotion or salary review.
The better you define and manage your personal brand, the more opportunities you will get.
Here’s an outline of what we cover in this episode on personal branding:
- What is personal branding, and why it’s important (6:19)
- Examples of people who have a great personal brand, and why (12:45)
- Joel and I share examples of how personal branding has both hindered, and helped accelerate our careers (20:43)
- How you determine your personal brand (28.07)
- 4 steps on how to start building your personal brand (28.43)
- Tips on how to start building your brand today (35:43)
- Emma Watson – Feminist Book Club, Our Shared Shelf
- Jack Delosa (Instagram), founder of The Entourage
- Radical Candor – Be a Kick-ass Boss Without Losing your Humanity (reference to “Superstars and Rockstars”)
- Joel Norton
- View a full transcript of the podcast at the bottom of the page, or download a PDF version here.
[Full Disclaimer: Some of these links may be affiliate links, which means we receive compensation, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through the link.]
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Tamara: This is episode number five on personal branding.
Welcome to the Females In Tech Show, where we help women in tech deliver balanced and purposeful life through a career in information technology. My name is Tamara and I am the founder of FIIT Collective. In this podcast, I’ll explore the challenges females face working in a corporate environment and how to overcome them. Beyond technology, I will also dive deep into self-care practices, how they can improve your physical and mental well-being, and the importance of balancing work and relationships for a sustainable and rewarding career.
Joining me in today’s episode is my loving partner, Joel Norton. Joel is an entrepreneurial executive, with 30 year’s experience in data driven marketing and in empowering businesses to achieve customer-centric transformation. He’s the founder and CEO of Conversion Rate Optimisation Consultancy, helping establish entrepreneurs to increase and sustainably grow their influence to serve more people.
Joel is also a great supporter and advocate for women in tech. Which is why he’ll be joining me in the first season of the Females In Tech Show, to share his perspective as a male.
In today’s episode, we cover, what is personal branding and why it’s important, examples of people who have a great personal brand and why. Joel and I then share examples of how personal branding has either hindered or helped accelerate our career. We then explore how you can work out what your current personal brand is, and share four steps on how you can start building your personal brand.
Tamara: Good morning Joel. What are three things you’re grateful for today?
Joel: Good morning beautiful. I’m really excited to be doing another podcast with you. Is this number five for us?
Tamara: Yes, this is number five.
Joel: How exciting. It’s great, really enjoying it.
So, my gratitude for today, three things. The first thing would be the yummy breakfast that we had this morning, so good.
Tamara: I swear, we always talk about food.
Joel: Well, I love food. That was super yummy – so we have our brown mushrooms with sourdough, smashed avocado with chickpeas and lots of lemon, and the avocado and chickpeas were on point, and so were the mushrooms. It was beautiful, I really love that breakfast this morning.
Second thing is that I’m really excited to have my son staying with us tonight and we’re doing a camp out, aren’t we? He wanted to do a camp and a tent inside the lounge room, plus build a fort and have a movie night, so I think we’ll have a bit of fun tonight, so looking forward to that.
And the third thing is, I know I touched on this in the last podcast episode, but I’m really grateful that we have somewhere dry, safe and warm to sleep. My daughter had a camp out at school last night and that was all about raising awareness and fundraising for women who live in shelters, and it was cold and wet and rainy in Sydney last night so she was camping out there so, just reinforces how lucky we are to be safe and dry. So grateful for that.
What about you beautiful? What are three things you’re grateful for?
Tamara: Yeah. So, the first thing would be, that we were able to get a coffee this morning. We generally go to our local café and do a bit of work before recording a podcast but their eftpos machine was down so we were a little bit stuck but then realised there was a café across the road that we could go to. So really grateful that we have so many cafes where we live, and have so many different options to get our local coffee from.
The second thing would be the ability to work from home this week. I had a lot going on at work, I’m getting more involved in sales conversations and I’m building things that are outside my day-to-day role, and submitting patents, so having that ability to work from home with fewer distractions was really, really valuable to me this week.
And then the third thing would be definitely having Lee here this afternoon and tonight and him being able to wake up with you tomorrow morning on Father’s Day, so that’s super, super exciting, and I know we’re going to have a lot of fun ganging up on you tonight.
Joel: Yeah, I can’t wait. And actually, you’re touching on working from home, that’s sounds like I have to do a podcast on that one because yeah, I think… let’s save that for another day. Lots of benefits out of that one so… but what are we going to talk about today?
Tamara: We’re going to be talking about one of my favourite topics. This is something that I do every single day really, and it’s about personal branding and why it’s so important.
Joel: You are definitely, I was going to say an advocate, not just you… you practice what you preach. You’re amazing at doing this, and you absolutely do. And the fact that you just talked about all those things that you’re working on at work at the moment, you’re getting involved in sales calls, you’re getting involved in doing patents, that is all a result of the great work that you do in creating and promoting your personal brand within the business.
It’s a great topic and I think it’s something, I know myself, historically with my career, haven’t done a great job of it so, it’s a really good topic to be talking about.
Tamara: Yeah. And I think the important thing to note is, I wasn’t always good at personal branding. I mean I thought I was but, we’ll dive into it a bit deeper later but yeah, what I thought people thought of me wasn’t exactly what I was portraying. We’re going to talk about that, and help you define how you can start building that personal brand and ensuring that you have control of what people are saying about you when you’re not in the room.
Joel: All right so let’s dig in. I think the first thing’s probably just talking about, what is branding.
I mean traditionally, branding is businesses or brands or organisations, right? So, they invest time and money and resources, they’ve got marketing teams that are all effectively resources that they’re investing in. Building a brand historically, that brand-building was really around advertising, growing awareness of the brand.
Secondly around establishing a positioning for them so, what do they want to be known for. Sometimes that’s an over-arching brand piece and they’ll also do that for specific products. And ultimately, that’s around building credibility and trust around that brand, which then leads to sales.
Now they do that branding in a number of different ways so, whether that’s around the actual logo or visual brand identity, and also through then doing advertising. Advertising originally was just around broadcast media like TV and magazine and newspaper and radio. And over the years, that’s expanded into all the other channels such as social and email and all the rest of it. They’re communicating and trying to present their brand to the world so ultimately, more people buy from them.
Tamara: Yeah and I think there’s even more type of ways that they promote their brand through corporate culture as well, which is a huge way for someone to showcase what their brand is about and walk the talk. And, as well as… just slipped my mind.
Joel: Well I think you’ve got a lot of… it’s competitive for brands in actually attracting the best talent. Employees have a lot more choice about who they work for so whilst it’s competitive to get jobs, those businesses, in highly competitive markets, want to make sure they’re attracting the best talent. Technology is a big part, Google’s competing with Facebook, who’s competing with technology brand such as Salesforce or…
Joel: Apple. They all want the smartest, the brightest, the best talent so, there’s also massive branding piece around that side of it as well, you’re absolutely right.
So, I think that look, that’s about organisations. There is no difference in terms of what branding is for individuals. So, what we’re talking about is establishing a positioning, so what do you want to be known for?
And there’s different layers to that. So, there’s a professional or business side of that, and there’s also a social side of that as well. And ultimately, it’s around growing awareness about the value that you bring, so again whether that’s internal within a business but also external within the industry that you work in. So, how are you promoting yourself and generating awareness about that.
Tamara: Yeah and things your unique combination of skills and experiences that ultimately make you, you. And the effectiveness of personal branding will help you differentiate yourself from everyone else within your field.
Joel: Yep. Absolutely, so I suppose that leads into why is personal branding important? Do I really need to bother about it?
Tamara: Absolutely. It is so important, and I’ll give a few examples of how personal branding has helped me in my career. First thing is opportunities.
Because I’ve focused a lot of my effort on personal branding, I have been approached by different departments within my current organisation, and they all want to approach me in their role and they’re completely different departments. Four different departments that are looking to take me on board.
The other opportunities I have had is speaking opportunities at conferences. That’s something that I’ve started telling my mentors and people within the organisation that I want to start public speaking. I want to get better at it. I want to excel at it. It’s a way that I can inspire other females in tech, within the industry, to get up on stage and be that subject matter expert.
Tamara: So, opportunities like that. Also, networking.
When you work on your personal brand, you start networking with people who have that common interest and who inspire you on a day-to-day basis, as well as the ability to work on your personal pitch. This is something I’m still working on.
I just flopped on it the other day with a senior executive in the lift, it was so embarrassing. But, once you know your personal brand, you’re able to say that personal pitch to different types of people, whether that’s your family members, your friends, senior executives, people within your network, influencers, you’re able to say that really articulately, is that a word?
Joel: Yes, articulate, yup.
Tamara: Yeah, so it really helps with your personal pitch. It helps build trust and credibility. With your personal brand, when you’ve got those stories from other people who have worked with you, it helps build that trust and credibility. Do you have any other reason why it’s important?
Joel: Yeah, I think ultimately, it’s around controlling your destiny. It’s about… there’s the saying around, “don’t judge a book by its cover” but the reality is most people do. So, whatever the science or the stats are, somebody’s made a decision about you within seven seconds or eight seconds or 20 seconds, whatever it is, of meeting somebody. And that’s just reality.
People meet you or they see you on social or whatever else and they make decisions about you or there’s a perception about you. So, having a personal brand and managing that, and promoting yourself, that’s really around trying to, I don’t want to say control because you can’t control everything but it is about influencing it, and making sure that you’re having some direction and drive around what you want to be known for again.
So, I think that’s it, really around, not leaving things to chance around your career and job. About being intentional but yeah, actively promoting yourself and not leaving it for somebody else, really. Having some form of control or influence around what you do.
Tamara: Yup. So, who would you say does it well?
Joel: Well, I think there’s probably a couple of examples. Probably the best examples are going to be those public figures. So, it’s usually somebody who is an entrepreneur and actively promoting themselves and their business, and or an author.
And we’ll touch on a bit, I suppose, what happens if you’re not one of those but two examples for me, one would be Richard Branson. I’m pretty sure everyone on the planet would know who he is. But yeah, he’s very well-known for being the consumer champion. A lot of where he started was really around the work he did when he launched Virgin Airline in the United Kingdom and he was competing with British Airways. That was all around consumer champion and really, it’s about value. Everyone always thinks it’s about being cheaper, but it’s actually more around value for the customer. He then got into financial services and whole number of other industries which is around giving consumers a better deal, or having better value. So, that’s definitely one person.
The other person would be Jack Delosa, which some people may not know. He is a very successful entrepreneur, he’s created and sold a number of businesses, he’s on the Australian Financial Review rich list. His current business is called The Entourage. So, his business is all around mentoring, influencing small businesses, really. And he has absolute clarity around what his purpose is as an individual, and that’s really aligned with the business that he has created, and he’s consistent in both the frequency of communications that he pushes out there, but also the what he’s say. And he’s a brilliant example of personal branding.
What about you?
Tamara: Yes. So, it would be interesting because the two people that you chose are really based around the clarity of their personal brand and the consistency. And that’s exactly why I think Emma Watson is doing an excellent job with her personal brand.
Essentially, everyone pretty much knows her now, not so much as Hermione from Harry Potter, but as a feminist. And she proves this in so many different ways. So, the first one being, she’s super selective in what movies she stars in. It has to be a strong female lead with conservative clothing that doesn’t jeopardise the brand or the perception of the female.
The second way is being the Ambassador of the UN Women Goodwill. So, she, in this role, led the HeForShe Campaign, which was really calling men to advocate for gender equality. And the other way she does it, is through her social platforms. So, she’s so consistent about standing up for women and their rights and addressing equality and she honestly doesn’t believe that we have equality right now, which is so accurate but she’s really making a stand for it and being quite public about it, and whenever she gets critics against her, she’s even stronger from them, that’s where she gets her energy from.
And the the last way is, it’s so simple but so effective, is having a feminist book club, and this is just on Amazon. So, anyone in the whole entire world can go on to Amazon, follow that book club series and read all the book that Emma Watson is reading.
Joel: That’s great. So, I think like there are a couple of great examples but they’re high-profile public figures so… I think it’s also important to note that when we’re talking about this in the context of personal branding, it’s not just… you don’t have to be wanting to be a public figure, or be a book author or whatever else it is, it does actually apply to everyone, really.
Tamara: Yeah, so it’s this methodology called Rockstars and Superstars. You don’t have to be a celebrity or anything like that to have a personal brand. [Full Disclaimer: We receive compensation as an affiliate, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through this link.]
Superstars are traditionally described as ambitious so, they like to climb up the corporate ladder, they never stop growing, they’re always aiming higher and they really define their success by getting promotions. They really want growth. And that’s more aligned with you and I, I would say.
Then there’s Rockstars and they simply want to stay where they are. They might have other things in life that are more important than work, like a new child or they might have a parent in care as an example. And they really focus on learning more about the role that they’re in, and they really want to be damn good at it and that’s what they’re known for. So, Rockstars essentially want stability.
Joel: Neither is right or wrong, it’s just what your personal preference or what you gravitate towards. We’ve talked about those people who are public figures because it’s easier to use them as examples. I’ve worked with people in an organisation who were great at developing and promoting their personal brand, much the same way that you are internally but people may not necessarily know them, so there’s no point talking about those people.
So, it’s totally fine if you are a Rockstar and you don’t want to be rising to super heights and you want to be great at what you do, and do that day in, day out. Then give you that flexibility to have other areas of your life, that’s fine. But there’s still a benefit in building your personal brand, that comes back to ultimately controlling your destiny because there is an element, whilst you may not want to be a Superstar, I think there is an element, especially in technology, technology is changing every day, there is a danger if you just stay in that same role, so you need to be constantly developing yourself in order to be staying up with technology. You need to be working and learning all those things so you can stay and be that subject matter expert and also, as the business evolves, you are getting opportunities to grow with that.
Tamara: Yeah, absolutely and I think the other thing to make note is, it doesn’t really matter what age you are either. So, you can always change your personal brand, whether that’s going into a different role.
When I was in recruitment, my personal brand was very, very different to now, when I’m working in a technology company. So, you can rebrand all the time, businesses do it all of the time.
You have some more insight into this, so how often do you think business rebrand?
Joel: Absolutely. I mean, there’s a logo and visual identity point of view so a brand like Qantas or CBA, they might do that every five, 10 or 15 years. And then there’s from an advertising point of view, that’s done a lot more frequently so that their positioning of what, where they want to be in the market, could change every two or three years. And that’s usually based on how the market is also changing.
Look at a lot of the insurance brands, or the banks, or Telcos, they have a slightly different positioning for their brand every couple of years. And so, yeah, you’re absolutely right, personally, I’m going through this massive metamorphosis at the moment so having shifted from being in the corporate space to now having a much greater awareness of what my purpose is in life for the last 18 months. And then how do I align that with business, which is little bit different from what… well, it’s aligned but, still developing what that is.
So, it does change and it does morph a little bit and it’s about keeping it refreshed and it’s totally cool.
Tamara: Yeah, and it’s never too late to start working on your personal brand.
Joel: Absolutely not, no.
Tamara: So how about you share a story about your experience through a lack of personal branding, let’s say. Because I think it’s really important for listeners to know what can happen if they don’t look after their personal brand.
Joel: Yeah, absolutely. So, I’ve got two parts to this. So, this is my own personal story. And as you say, through a lack of personal branding, if you like.
My career, for the first 12 years, I was in the same organisation and I stayed there because it was growing. It went from, when I started, about 10 people and it grew up to about 40 to 50 people, and then it was acquired by a multinational business. So, for the first 12 years, I stayed within that organisation and as it grew. I didn’t have to have a personal brand, I was working closely with the two founders, the two owners of the business and so, I was getting opportunities and promotions and growing with the organisation as the organisation grew.
However, when it was bought by that multinational, it suddenly went from being a business of about 50 people to being a business of 200 people within Sydney, plus having an office in Melbourne, and then being part of a bigger global network. That was probably the biggest point where actually, it was like when you go from primary school to high school.
All of a sudden, I went from being a senior leader in the business and having a strong personal brand, to all of a sudden being a nobody and an unknown. And I did not develop my personal brand, and because I had that strong relationship with my two… the founders of the business, I was relying on them to promote me internally. I didn’t understand that I needed to be developing and promoting myself within the business.
So ultimately, I left it up to my immediate boss, who I was very close with. But you know what, he was actually busy promoting himself and looking to get his own promotions both internally, and then getting a transfer internationally. He wasn’t focused on me, he was focused on himself, which is totally understandable, but I didn’t understand that so, I suffered through… there were some big changes as the business was bought and merged with this other business but that was a difficult period for me, but it all came back from me not managing my own personal brand.
Joel: The other spin on that was, even in the earlier days, if you like, when I was part of that business. Whilst I had that strong personal brand within the business, it was definitely difficult for me with clients because I had been promoted, quite young for my age, into some of these roles. That was because I worked hard and I was good at what I did.
From a new business point of view, when I met new clients, quite often they say, “oh, who’s the young guy?”, and when we’d start talking about things, they sort of got to understand that actually I knew what I was talking about, I was good at what I did, but it took a bit of time for me to build that credibility and trust with those customers.
And it wasn’t really until I started to get grey hair, that people started, I look quite young for my age but I, even now, when I say my age, people are surprised so, the grey hair definitely helped with my credibility in that corporate life. Before I had the grey hair, it was a real struggle.
Tamara: Fascinating. So yeah, I might share an example of my personal brand. I always thought I was quite good with my image that I would portray to the organisation that I worked for currently, and to the industry itself. But what I soon realised was that I wasn’t really strategic about it, so I did an exercise maybe 12 months ago, not even, and essentially what that exercise consisted of was asking 10 people within your network, so people at work, your family, friends, just 10 people with a good mix to describe you in three words.
Joel: I remember this.
Tamara: Yeah, I think I asked you.
Joel: You did, yeah.
Tamara: And what came back was words like, determined, customer-centric and ambitious, which was a bit of a shock to me because I thought, at least one person would say, “oh, she’s an advocate for females in tech.”
That was a huge shock to me and made me realise that I need to make a shift and make a change in the way that I’m portraying myself to the organisation, and the industry, because I really wanted to be known as this strong female in tech, inspiring other women in tech to live a more purposeful career and life.
So, the things that I did to change that perception was, launching my website. That was one big thing. Launching this podcast is another. I was actively speaking opportunities that were related to inspiring women so, things like, speaking at schools and addressing girls that are interested in going into the tech community. I started mentoring other women within my team. I changed the headline on my LinkedIn page, and the signature within my emails. I started writing more articles and started really working on my personal pitch.
Since doing those things, I’ve had the opportunities to speak at conferences, speak to schools and address the girls who are looking to start a career in technology, speak with Universities.
I’ve met other male advocates who are really passionate about helping females in tech. I’ve been asked to be a part of this research group to change the employee policies at my current organisation to make it more accommodating for women in the workforce, so whether they’re just having a baby, or whether they’re going through menopause, or if they’re got really painful periods and things like that.
I started creating these really meaningful connections on LinkedIn so I do get random people adding me but, I get more people adding me saying, “I love what you’re doing in the female and tech community, I’d love to connect with you”. I get approached now, as I mentioned before, by other people within different departments because I’ve built that personal brand and they can see my potential and see my ambition and they want me on their team.
The last thing was that, I’m very strategic in what I do outside of my work hours. So you’ve got your job description and you have to do X, Y, and Z, but when you have more time on hand, I’m very strategic in those moments. I hold internal training webinars and what I do in that is, I prove that I can learn a new feature of the platform in 6 to 12 months and become a subject matter expert in it, and as a result of that, I’ve been asked to do external webinars with customers.
I’ve really shifted the way that I have started promoting my personal brand and so, I think we can dive deep into how someone can start understanding what their personal brand is and what the steps are in that.
Joel: Yeah, absolutely and I think I have witnessed and seen all those new opportunities come up. It’s definitely because you’ve been more intentional, doing that bit of the market research, which is asking those questions and going, oh wow, that’s not what I expected, and being more intentional about what you’re promoting internally and those opportunities coming up, it’s a great example.
So yeah, lets… what do you do? So how do you start working on or defining or understanding, what is your personal brand?
Tamara: Yeah, I just want to note, this is going to be quite complex, what we go into and there’s going to be a lot of information, so if you want to go back, we’re going to have all of the steps in the show notes so, don’t fret, just listen and take in as much as you can and then come back to the show notes later.
Before you start working on your personal brand, like what I did, I highly recommend taking time to ask yourself some fundamental questions to get clarity on what you want your legacy to be. So, I already knew that, so I knew that I wanted to be a strong female in tech and inspiring other females in tech. So, jot down in your journal and answer that questions like:
- What do you stand for?
- What makes you different?
- What do you want people to say about you, when you’re not there?
- What do you think your personal brand is today? What do you want it to be?
- Who needs to know about it and how are you going to communicate that to them?
And those last two questions were really the two questions that shifted the way that I was really strategic about my personal brand.
Joel: What were they again?
Tamara: Who needs to know about it, and how will you communicate that to them?
So, write down a list of all the stakeholders that need to know about your personal brand that’s going to bring you to that next level up, and how are you going to communicate that to them.
Are you going to email them? Are you going to tag them in posts? What is your strategy with that?
And it can be people you don’t even know, because you can ask people who know them to make an introduction to that person. So, once you’ve done that, the first step would be to start with the end in mind. So, really take some time to think about where you want to be in the future.
So, look at topic areas that really interest you. What are the topic areas that give you the most amount of energy? What are the topics that you can’t stop talking about? What are the topics that your friends are like, “Okay, Tamara, enough talking about that, can we move on to the next topic.”, so yes, start with answering questions like that to really see where your interests are.
Then the second would be, to conduct a personal audit, so like what I did.
So, having those one-on-one meeting with your manager, doing the 360-degree feedback with your peers and colleagues to help understand if the assumptions really match about you. Then I would start asking friends, family members and colleague to describe you with those three words.
Then start building those banks of stories to link what you enjoy in your day-to-day life. Are there success stories that have really aligned to the topics that have a high interest.
Why is there that link?
Is that what your personal brand should be?
Having those stories to build that trust and credibility to help build that personal brand.
And then the third thing is to define your mission statement. So, this is really good one. So, mine is, inspiring and educating females in tech to live a more purposeful career in life.
Use the words and language that are authentic to you and that you can confidently express to your friends and colleagues without feeling awkward. Initially, it might feel a little awkward but it should really be able to roll of the tongue, it should get you excited, and this is what’s going to help you with your personal pitch as well, so if you’re ever in an elevator, you’re not going to flop like I did, and you’re able to say that to the senior executive that’s in there.
It also helps you create a filter, and it starts allowing you to say yes to the opportunities that are aligned with your personal brand. So, once you know what that is, you can say yes to those opportunities and then say no to the projects or whatever else that aren’t aligned with your personal brand that people used to approach you based on what they thought your personal brand was.
Use it on social platforms so, put it in your header on LinkedIn, out it in your CV, your resume, things like that. Put it on all your social channels.
And then the fourth tip is, understand who your target audience is. So just like any brand, your personal brand will not appeal to everyone and it’s really, really important that personal brand that you’re creating appeals to your target audience.
So understand who they are, understand why they’re important to you, understand what they know about you already.
Is it an assumption based on what’s not aligned to your personal brand, how are you going to change that?
And then how does your message essentially need to change to appeal to them individually? So, what you might say to a senior executive might be different to what you say to a family member. So being able to tailor your personal brand to the key stakeholders that need to know about your personal brand.
Joel: Yup, I think they’re all great tips. They really are. I love the one around your personal brand should be around what people are saying about you when you’re not in the room.
At the end of the day, that’s what brings it all down to, and really reinforces the fact that this is about influencing and sort of controlling your destiny. So, if you are having those conversations and talking to people about what you stand for and what you want to be known for, that should be reflected about what they say and think about you when you’re not there.
And that’s again, coming back to your example, that’s why you’re getting those opportunities because you have been doing a great job on that. You’re not in the room when they’re talking about, we need somebody to talk at this conference so we need somebody to do this. They’re obviously thinking, Tamara would be great for that. And that comes back to the conversations that you’ve been having with those people around and establishing your personal brand.
So, I think that’s a great one. What do you want people to say when you’re not in the room? And the other one for me, I supposed to simplify a little bit more, which is just trying to write a bio.
Writing a bio is one of the hardest things you can do. And it does require some thought but ultimately, what you’re trying to do is a short bio of two or three sentences, and that should encapsulate what you want people to think about you when you’re not in the room.
So, it’s probably a good way to try and get started I think, to show some of that, and again, that comes back to, where do you want to be two, three, five years times. Or maybe it might be 10 year’s time and starting to behave and act and do the things as if you’re already there.
And that doesn’t always mean, like we said earlier around sort of the Rockstars and the Superstars, you don’t have to always be shooting for the moon with that. But just being really clear so, having that writing, that bio, the two or three sentence bio around what it is your stand for.
Tamara: Yeah. So, what are the different ways, I mean, I spoke about a few but what are the different ways that you can start promoting your personal brand to your target audience?
Joel: Yup. I think the first thing is to continue to learn and grow. So, things don’t stand still so, for you to be that person or for you to be that subject matter expert or to be known for something, you have to be continually learning and that comes back to being, as your sort of touched on, being genuine and authentic. So, what is that you love talking about or doing that somebody doesn’t have to remind you or ask you to do something. They’ll be things you do that you love doing so, that’s a good clue around what that should be so, continue to learn in that space because you’ve got an opinion, and you’re learning about that.
The next thing would really be around when you talk about networking, forget about the external stuff for a minute, just focus on what can you do internally. So, that’s network internally with key influencers and stakeholders within the business that you’re working in, and that’s outside of your immediate group. You’ve got to have those conversations with your manager, have those conversations with people in your team but also look outside your immediate circle of influence.
And again, that’s a great thing that you’ve been doing is socialising and networking with people outside of your team, which is why those other opportunities are coming, and being intentional about having that list of people, these are the people that I need to talk to and have that conversation with. So that networking and ask them, hey look, I really want to be doing public speaking or I really want to be doing, X,Y,Z, what should I be doing, ask their advice.
It’s not just a telling piece, it’s actually having the conversation being open saying, this is what I really want to be doing or I aspire to do. Can you give me some tips or advice or what would you suggest? And people will very happily give you some advice around that stuff and it’s a great way for them to then get engaged in the conversation and then think, when those things come up, oh, Tamara would be great for that.
Tamara: Yeah, absolutely and one of our good friends did that really well. She wanted a role within my current organisation and she was working at a competitor, sort of. So, she was fantastic at it.
She connected with so many different people on LinkedIn who had a big influence within the organisation and asked them, I’m super passionate about this product, I really want to go into a role within marketing for this company, how do I get there, what do I need to do, who do I need to start talking to, is there courses I need to be doing?
So, she spoke to the right people and now, I’m not sure how long it took her, but maybe nine months or a year?
Joel: I think probably about a year.
Tamara: Yeah, it took her a year and she went through a few interview processes and unluckily, didn’t get it all the time but she finally got this. That was a really great way, how she spoke to the right people, just asked, had the conversations and now that she’s in the organisation that I work for, she knows more people than I do, which is fantastic.
Joel: Yeah, she did a great job. So, that was where the next bit, which is starting to network externally. So, she was doing that through just initially through direct messaging and connecting with people on LinkedIn. And as you said, actually say, look, I really want to work at the organisation, I’d love to catch up with you for a coffee and have a chat, so she did that with you but she did that with other people within the organisation.
She attended various conferences that the organisation was doing, plus did meetups and stuff, plus did online learning programs and learned from it, so she really invested heavily into the business and the product to really understand it and continually learn.
The key thing of that was around the networking and asking people, what would you suggest?
So that was a great example, so I think that that, you had to expand on that a bit further so, externally so, your peers or industry people that you might know is talking with them, it’s going to those events and meetups.
It’s creating and publishing content. So, it could be speaking at an event and it could as simple as doing speaking at a meetup. You may have a blog or it may just be a case if you can publish stuff on LinkedIn or GitHub within your industry. There’s probably some forums or some platform where you can contribute to that, so it’s all about actively being involved.
So rather than that idea, not letting somebody else to control the conversation, jump in. Jump in, be active, have an opinion, and add value to the conversation ultimately.
Tamara: Absolutely. They’re great ways.
Joel: Because when you talk about branding, if I talk again about organisations and companies, branding is all around reach and frequency. So, the reach, which is how many people am I communicating with or reaching, and frequency is how many times am I touching or communicating with them. It’s the same thing with personal branding.
The reach, who are you trying to talk to and how often. And in the today’s world, it does need to be a little bit “always on” so, that frequency and consistency of message and communication is really important so, it’s not just doing it once and then leaving it. It is a constant work in progress and something you need to be working on.
Tamara: Yeah, absolutely. Alrighty. I think we are at the stage where we tell listeners…
Joel: Going to wrap up.
Tamara: Yeah. Our big three takeaways. So, what would yours be?
Joel: I think first one would be really around having some clarity around what you want to be known for. And take some time to actually work that out and a little bit of trial and error so that you sort of touched on that. I sort of call it road testing. Come up with something but then road test it, have the conversations with people and work out what feels right. Sometimes you say something and go, God that was awkward, that’s a good way of working out, oh that’s probably not… it needs to be able to flow naturally. So, road testing is as much about how you road test it, communicate it, but also how do feel when you say that, so getting clarity and that does take a bit of trial and error and thinking so, get that clarity around what you want to be known for is the first one.
The second thing is around writing your bio.
Both those things are organic so, write the bio, try and road test that, tweak and refine it, tweak and refine it. But write that bio, that is a great way to try and effectively get to the essence of what you want to be known for.
And the third thing would be around, based on my personal experience, not relying on other people to promote you. So, start that networking. It might just be networking internally, don’t always have to be doing it externally. Do that networking and making sure that you’re out there promoting yourself. Don’t rely on somebody else.
What about you, beautiful?
Tamara: Yeah, so my first one would be, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are so many people out there who are doing this stellar job on their personal brand and utilise those strategies to help with your personal brand. Like Joel mentioned before, you’re going to have trial and error, see what works for you and what helps bring your personal brand to the next level. So yeah, don’t reinvent the wheel.
The second thing would be, keep updating, refining and tweaking. We are living in a very fast-moving industry and what I am today might not be what I am when go through the next cycle of my life, which might be kids. It’s okay, so keep refining, keep tweaking and make it feel right for you.
And then the third thing is, you sort of touched on it a bit but, was being ready to fail. So, this is, it’s not really a failure this, we have the most amount of learning and growth but, when you have a personal brand, you have to be willing to rise above the rest and with that, you’re going to get some really hard knock backs.
Walt Disney, for example, was turned down 302 times before finally being able to create his well-known brand and creating Walt Disney World. Yeah, be ready to fail, it’s okay, don’t let that stop you from building your personal brand. Sometimes you might put things out there and people are not going to like it. Emma Watson gets that every single day by men who think that we have got equality within our current societies so, be ready for that. I think that’s about it, handsome.
Joel: Well, I’ll think on that, you… if you are being active, you’re having an opinion so you can’t be all things to all people, which you sort of touched on earlier. So, don’t worry about that, as long as you’re being true to yourself and that just about being confident and not being arrogant whatever but, I think they’re really great points.
Really enjoyed today’s session.
Tamara: Me too.
Joel: Thank you very much, I hope everyone got something out of that and we’ll have, obviously you’ll have to check out the show notes.
Tamara: Yeah, definitely. All right, see you later, handsome.
Joel: All right, beautiful.
Tamara: Thank you for joining me today. If you’d like more information about today’s show, you can read my show notes and any relevant links at fiitcollective.com/5. That’s FIITCollective.com/5.
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