Diving in the Fascination with Personal Brand Branding - DP Knudten

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

When did building a personal brand become so important?

Does everyone need a personal brand?

DP Knudten has some great insight into why a personal brand is a key part of how to operate professionally and personally.

He looks at the keys to success and the mistakes made by people along the way. 

As well, DP talks about his Non-Fiction Brand approach to personal branding.

Hi, it's Mark Evans and you're listening to marketing spark. When did a personal brand become so important? Why does it matter and how do you build a personal brand? For entrepreneurs looking to break through and break out, strong personal brand as it must have, but building a personal brand requires a combination of hard work, creativity, energy and strategy, and it can't be built overnight. Amid the see of people talking about personal branding, DP CANOTON stands out. His nonfiction brand philosophy helps entrepreneurs discover and communicate the completely true and completely you brand. Welcome to marketing spark. Oh, thank you so much for having me, Mark. So let's start with a softball question because it's an obvious question that I need to ask and it's probably one with a multifaceted answer. What's your definition of personal branding? No, it's a really good question because so, so many people that are talking about personal branding are not talking about personal branding. They're talking about becoming an instagram influencer or having brands come to me and where their clothing and that gets my fans and all that stuff to buy the stuff. influencers are a subset of personal brands, but personal branding is much, much bigger, and I only refer back to the very first time I ever heard that phrase personal branding or personal brands, and that is in Tom Peters one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven article in Fast Company magazine called the brand called you. I mean literally go to fast companycom, search for the brand called you and read that article, because that is the that is the Rosetta stone of personal branding and it's not about being an influencer, it's not about wearing a bikini and having your wind blowing in the in the air on a beach in bilize. It's not any of that stuff. It comes down to what Tom Thought was the benefit of packaging yourself and using the same techniques that have been time tested improven of consumer packaged goods, meaning you don't for example, let's take a consumer package goods good that everybody knows wed he's the breakfast cereal right. It is a wheat flake of some sort. I don't know how it's made, I don't know what it is, but I do know this weed's is the breakfast of champions. It comes in an orange box that I can see from across an entire supermarket and if I'm in the market to buy weed he's, I look for that, I grab it and I go because in my mind, Weedie's are going to make me perform better. Why? Because they have created a brand that's all based on that concept, which is we're not some sweet candy like corn flake or wheat flake. We are a performance, serious, adult oriented wheat flake. I'm talking about wheat flakes here. We're talking commodities, and yet this commodity is an incredibly high performing brand. So Tom Peters basically stipulated that everything we these did you need to do for yourself. You need to package yourself, and I saw that article. I still remember where I was when I read that article in one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven, and I've been thinking about it ever since and finally I've come up with my take on it and put it into a book, which you mentioned, nonfiction brand. Discover, craft and communicate the completely true, completely you brand you already are, which is kind of my marketing way of saying, do you see how packaged book title is? That enables you mark to introduce me in a way that gets people going, Huh, what's he got to say? Because that's kind of interesting. And, by the way, nonfiction brand that implies that there is...

...such a thing as fictional branding. Is there? Why? Yes, there is. See how a conversation has started, all based on the fact that I packaged my philosophy, gave it a title that's very similar to wheat he's or fruit loops and then made it a product that people want to know more about and consequently me. So personal branding is about packaging who you are, what you do and how you do it in a way that other people can understand it, prefer it, share it, evangelize become your unpaid sales force, because they know exactly how to introduce you based on who you are, what you do and how you do it. Right. It sounds like a lot of the work that I do with BDB SASS companies when it comes to positioning and messaging. Yes, same fun basics. Right, we're establishing a personal brand, or corporate brand in that case. So I can see, you know, the similarities and how he would approach brand building, both on our personal perspective and corporately. Yeah, well, exactly. Okay, so both of US share a deep marketing background in I understand that you came from the journalism side of stuff and now are in the marketing space. I came from the theatrical side, if you will, because my degrees in theater of all things, but I discovered that I could write well and that people would pay me. Well. Does that make me a writer? Is That my personal brand? It influences my personal brand, but it's not at the core of who I am. Like if I get down to the first principal DNA level of who I am, the first word I'm going to throw out there is creative. I always have to be created, creative, whether I'm writing songs that no one listens to in my basement studio or if I'm presenting to a client, I'm always creative, entertaining and fun. You know stuff like this, that creativity affects every single thing I do. Now, writing is a tool I used to express my creativity and it also provides a handy, what I would call brandle, a brand handle for other people to understand. So if they say, Hey, that DP can Newton Guy, what's he do? While he's a writer and he's pretty funny, or he's really touching, or he understood our difficult concept and distilled it down into nuggets of truth that make it very easy, as very easy for us to go to market. So again, you're talking about working with SASS companies. Right, software is a service. If you got to convince me, because I've been buying boxed software for thirty years, tell me why I should buy spend fifteen dollars a month for your service. And in my mind I'm doing the well, let's see, if I bought that for ninety dollars, that converts to how many months and all that stuff, and I'm if I'm doing that conversation, that calculation, you've lost me. But if you're talking about the benefits that I can get from your service as software, then we can have a conversation, because it if you're talking to me about what I want, which are the benefits, not the features. We can talk about features on our third, fourth fifth date. But branding is about getting that state and then beginning a conversation. That creates a relationship and that relationship creates a lifetime of transactions. Right. I guess what fascinates me about personal branding these days of that it seems to be everywhere. I spent a lot of time on Linkedin and there is post after post about the importance of personal branding how to do it. I do wonder why there's so much fascination and personal branding, because I suspect it's been around for a long time and people have had personal brands for, you know, hundreds of years. I mean Beethoven had a personal brand. But I am curious about why it's become such a hot commodity. Is it a growth industry, so a lot of people have gravitated to being Gurus...

...and consultants? Is it a result of the volatile economic conditions in which we live, or is there something else? Well, I think it's a combination of all those things. You know, the idea, as I said earlier, Tom Peters kind of throw it out there in one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven. It's had a lot of time to percolate through the culture. But a big thing that has happened is, and I don't think a lot of people are consciously aware of this, but there is a fear of commoditization, meaning if I'm a writer, I'm one of many, if I'm not known for anything, I'm just a writer that's easily replaced for someone who's either cheaper, younger, faster, whatever you perceive them to be, and I have less value to you, and you know this from branding you have. Basically, in my world, in the way I think there are two positions in the market, commodity or brand. Commodities are purchased for the lowest possible price, but brands command a premium. Now I all I have to do is is mentioned one company and you'll understand what I mean. Apple. I'm a huge appy of FISSIONADO and, by the way, I own apple stock, full disclosure, because I love that company. I started out on computers with a green screen with an a prompt where I had to type in Park Dot exc to park the heads on my hard drive I which I installed and it was a whopping ten twenty megabyte hard drive. I have photos on my phone right now that are bigger than that entire tire hard drive capacities was. So I'm not afraid of tear and stuff apart. But I've reached the point in my life where I value the apple it just works. I value the apple user experience focus. I love the design esthetic that they create. I don't love everything they do, but they are more aligned with what I choose to align with. Meanwhile, I know people my like my brother, happens to have more of an engineering mindset, and so he was all about what, why are you paying eight hundred dollars for a phone that has two hundred dollars where the components in it? And I said because it just works. It just works with my computers, which are all apple. It works with everything. It just works. I don't have to go into a config dot cisfile ever again in my life right. So that's a value to me and, by the way, I, the consumer, get to determine what is valuable. Right Apple has made it very easy for me to select them by being very clear in what their brand is. And they are a premium commodity, in some cases a super premium commodity. My macbook pro, which cost twozero, is, if you're an engineer, the same as a Dell Laptop. That cause eight hundred dollars, to which I say, Oh, Contrere Moan, for are they are not the same thing at all. Why? For All the reasons I just listed? No, what you're saying is what you're saying is that that a personal branding is important to even necessary if you are going to be if you want to position yourself as more than just a lowcost commodity. Yeah, you you have to, because I look. Obviously, if you're listening to this podcast, you don't know this, but I have this nice salt and peppery gray beard. I've been around this earth for quite a while and twice in my career I was hit with the what I like to call your x years. You're experienced, your expert, your expensive and therefore expendable, and anyone who's reached a certain age knows that if you lose a client, you look at the spreadsheet of how many people are getting paid what and you look for the guy at the top and say, we can have five of those for one of him. Let's get rid of him. And that happened to me twice because I was in an anonymous commodity, not necessarily to the the people I worked with directly, whether they were creatives in my creative group or with clients, but in general is it's easier to...

...get keep five of those lower cost people than keep one. Right. And the other truism is if you don't own it, it's not yours. They can let you go. Any time for any reason. And again when you reach a certain age, that's another ex year's thing. It's like, you know what, advertising marketings a young man's game and if you have not distinguished yourself in any way. My perception is that a twenty eight year old copywriter is as good or better than a fifty five year old copywriter. Why? Because their commodities. If, however, I had personally branded myself throughout my career as an absolute expert in baby sass companies and we had met and you knew who I was, what I do and how I do it, I would have a career as long as I wanted it to go and I can do things like I'm doing now, which is speaking at conferences and stuff like that, because people seek out the experts in those x years, you know, and I like to call these years also the Yoda years. Yoda was a lightsaber swing and Jedi for a lot of years until he decided, you know what, I'm going to spend the rest of my life in my comfy little swamp on Dagabar, and you all, you Luke skywalkers out there, you come to me when you want to learn really how to do this I can do that now because I have been actively personally branding myself for the past, I would say seven years, seven to ten years. I guess the question, and this is a bit of a provocative question, because you spend a lot of time helping clients develop their own personal brands. But is a personal brand necessary in today's modern business world? I mean, what if you're Super Smart Entrepreneur, you're not a Jeff besos or an Adam Newman or any of those high flying entrepreneurs and you want to you like to operate in the in the shadows, because you're focused on the business, you're focused on doing the best job possible and you don't care about a personal brand. You don't care about being on stage, you don't care about media coverage, you just want to do the job. Are those type of entrepreneurs making a mistake, and are people in general who don't build a personal brand make a mistake? The quick answer to your question is consider your audience, and I don't mean a wide, vast broadcast audience. Every single person on this earth has a niche audience that they want to be somebody to or within, you know, a community. So let's take the smallest kind of communities possible or the most I like to use this example just because it's so extreme, but it really illustrates to the concept. There is somebody, and I don't know who they are, so don't ask me that question, but I am sure there is someone on the face of this earth that is the absolute, one hundred percent recognized expert on civil war buttons and they know what Button was warned by what unit at what Battle and Oh, you know, your your reenactment uniform is in incorrect because you've got the wrong buttons and stuff like that. And I just know that in that very small again picture this ven diagram the entire world. There's a tiny little circle in there about people who give a crap about civil war buttons. But there is one person who is notable and owns the expert levelness of that small niche. You don't have to be hanging with Kardashians, you don't have to be going up on blue origin with Jeff Bezos, you, but you do want to be known within what you do as an...

...expert. How do you become an expert? You could say this is everything about me. Seven I'm sharing what I ate. You know I'm having a bad day to day. You can do all that stuff and you'd be falling into the influencers trap of everything I say is important. It's not. If you are a personal brand, you have to practice what I call selective authenticity, which is, if truth be told, I consider politics ape blood sport and it's my favorite type of sporting event. So I follow politics very, very closely and deeply, and yet I maintain my let's call it, you can't really know for sure. You probably think I'm one party or one blue or red, whichever, but you never really know because I don't rub your face in it. Why? If, in in our culture right now, were I to go stridently one way or the other, I would lose perhaps forty five percent of my potential sales or engagement audience right. So I selectively am authentic by sharing that which I care to share. That is a lustrative of my core concepts, which I like to call the key three. My key three, three words, concepts, are phrases that some you up. My key three are creative. We already talked about that. Collaborative. I work with other people, even when I'm working alone. I have to work with you to get the input, to listen deeply to, then go away and do my writer stuff and then I come back and collaborate with you again to calibrate that and make it great. And I've realized early on I'm not a poet that exists up in a garret writing their own vision on paper. I have to work with other people. So collaboration is deeply part of who I am and what I do write. The third word, and this was hard for me to understand until I talk to enough trusted individuals and they said, you know what, people don't always like what you have to say, but you always make them think, and I went that's my value and that's true. So, taking that value and coming up with the word that best fits it, the word is provocative. So creative, collaborative, provocative. I have got to provoke. You know, I don't go out of my way to slap you in the face and call you an idiot to provoke you, but I do try to bring you concepts that make you think and say, Oh, we could never do that, oh no, we could wait a minute, we could. Maybe we could do that. Because as a creative collaborator, I only bring you value when I give you something you couldn't do yourself. We'll get into your philosophy and approach when it comes to personal branding, but I did want to ask you about some of the mistakes that will make when they're trying to build a personal brand, because there's no lack of advice and guidance out there and there's this feeling that I need to build a personal brand if I don't want to be a commodity. I need to stand out somehow. But what do you see in terms of how people person bill personal brands and you go, man, I wish they hadn't done that. Well, I can point to somebody that I think everybody probably is aware of, and that's Gary Vaner Chuck. You know, and I call it, I think of it as Gary v Syndrome. I love Gary Vaner Chuck for who he is, not all the time, because he's a he's he's pretty spicy a lot and he's a little bit too spicy for my taste a lot of the time, but I love the fact that he is, I think, absolutely authentically Gary Vander Chuck and I followed him all the way since his first wine library video on Youtube. In how I want to say, like two thousand and six, maybe two thousand and five, something like that, and I've watched him grow huge, you know, he drops fbombs. He's in his S, I think now, but he's still dresses like he's...

...a skater boy, you know, all this stuff, and to me, yeah, that's Gary V. He's being authentic. The big mistake, to answer your question, the big mistake is especially a lot of young males. They think they've got to ape Gary V's style, you know, or and they like the fact that he can drop f bombs. You know, I want to be that kind of in your face, F bomb drop in Guy. And and so what they do is they get in front of a Lamborghini that has fat stacks of cash on it and they and they stopped, start posting stuff like ten ways to get to a hundred or six figure income fast, you know, and they all do the same stuff. They are parroting. They are literally a parody of what Gary Vaner Chuck does so well, and again I want to stress this, I think Gary Vaner Chuck is one hundred percent completely true to who he is as a person and he dials it up volume wise, but it's still the same song. You know, it's like ACDC is still loud, even if at very low levels, but the second you amplify it it gets, you know, ear bleedingly loud. Gary Vander Chuck can do that. But he's also starting to show a little bit more selective authenticity, because he was the insurgent leader up in the hills with guerrilla fighters. Now with Vaner media and all the other stuff he's doing, he's kind of mainstream. So he's starting and if you've ever seen him, I saw him once on the Steve Harvey Show when that was on Steve Harvey, the Great Comedian, and there he meets Gary Vaner Chuck for the very first time on that episode and Gary Vaner Chuck was, let's call it, if he's normally at eleven, he was at three, you know, in terms of volume, and I'm like, who is this guy? That's gonna not Gary Vander Chuck. And yet he his volume, or what I would say the song he was singing, was so fresh in exciting to Steve Harvey that at the end of the interview he just turned to him very honestly and said, I think you and I have got to do some work together right and you know that here's Steve Harvey, this big you know, he's got a universe of entertainment that go that's going on, and one interview with someone who is completely true to themselves what they do and how they do it gets the attention to this guy and get them to the point where they say, let's figure out something to collaborate on. So I think what you're saying is be true to yourself. Yeah, present yourself sort of what you see is what you get, John. Try to posture, to position yourself in a way that you think the world should see you. But operate the way that you operate and people will either rally around you and your brand or not. But that's okay because at least you'll be distinct in the marketplace. Well, for example, mark, I'm looking at your website, the about page. It says about marketing leadership for be TOB SASS companies. You know what that doesn't say? Fast fashion. You know what it doesn't say of quick serve restaurant. So you know what it doesn't say? Petroleum stations, cigarettes, tobacco, you know any of that stuff. It's very clear that you are not for for ninety percent, maybe ninety five, maybe ninety eight percent of the things that are sold on this earth you don't want to touch. Why is that? Because I'm guessing and I'm just meeting you for the first time, but based on the personal brand you've presented to me, here's what I'm getting from the personal brand you're presenting. You're a deeper, more thoughtful individual. You've got a background in journalism, which gives you a reporter's nose for news. And, by the way, in the case of marketing, a...

...reporter's nose for news means that you've got a nose for the most important things. Not every fact, but the most important ones, because, again, this is so much of what we do. I often refer to it as dating. So much of what we do is merely a first date, which is what's the goal of a first date? To get a second I thin tat right, you know, and the first date is a nice smile and I contact from across the room. That gets you across the room and say hi, what's your name? You've done that to just about any BEAB SASS company out there who may have looked you up on Google. Now I don't know what else you're doing when it comes to social media or or how you're extending your personal brand. But let's say that you do a periodic post on Linkedin. Why? FACEBOOK has no time for you and you have no time for it. I'm guessing, however, Linkedin, where people do business, is a good place for you, not necessarily to go hard on sales, but maybe a little bit of thought leadership, maybe a little bit of curation of Hey, did you guys see this great article? Did you see this wonderful Ted Talk? That relates to something that's going on. Whatever you are demonstrating, and that's the key thing, the word demonstration. You're not just telling people, you're demonstrating who you are, what you do and how you do it, by what you do, how you do it and and all that stuff. But I didn't. I don't want to talk about me and personal brandy, but but there was a post on linkedin recently about consciously building a personal brand versus subconsciously. In my own case, I don't think I say to myself every single day I got to work on building my personal brand, I gotta do something that will make will hands it or make it or amplify it. I just do what I do. I have a focus which is marketing for bbsass companies. I'm active on Linkedin, twitter, I have a podcast and I just do my thing because I'm passionate about it, I'm interested in and I'm curious in it. I am wondering whether that just the way that good personal branding works, as you're not thinking about it, you're just living it every day. Well, it is, but I also I also think that it doesn't hurt to say that, you know what, I'm going to do something just to maybe fifteen minutes a day to focus on my personal brand in one way or another, the same way that people go to the gym. Because, let's face it, you don't have to go to the gym if you eat well and you walk your dog and you go on the occasional bike ride. But if you want to perform at a higher level, you're going to go to a gym and you're going to work out, and anyone who's ever going to the gym, the first day, you know is a very hard day. The next day gets a little better. The third day you're doing better and you're lifting heavier weights, you're doing more cardio, you're doing whatever you do right. It gets easier when you do it every day. So all I'm suggesting is is that you go to the gym every day for even a little bit of time. Because here's the reality of it. And when I go to the gym, the hardest thing about going to the gym is just getting in the car and driving to the gym right once I'm there and I walk in and I say I'm only going to do fifteen minutes, I'll end up doing an hour and a half. Why? Because I'm feeling better the the entire time I'm doing it. And you know, there are some days where the best I can do is just drive the car to the gym, walk in, say hi to the front desk and then turn around and walk out, but at least I made the effort. So and mark, you're doing all the right stuff. The you know, the the king of content when it comes to personal branding, I think, is a podcast because right it puts your ears or your ideas and your voice and your presence in your personality in people's heads. Literally. It's and it...

...we can talk for days about why podcasting is a an incredible unlock for personal branding. But you know, I agree with what you said. I I think the key thing is that you make it a little bit more conscious. For that you can say I only have fifteen minutes before the next phone call. Well, guess what, fifteen minutes. That's enough time to go to Linkedin, look at the key people I want to connect with, see that they have a nice post, react to it and, by the way, they're I have a whole technique on I call comment marketing, how to use comments to build your personal brand, and I do want to share this with your listeners. If they're interested, they can go on nonfiction brandcom gift to download three PDFs that can get you started on your nonfiction brand personal branding journey. And but if you have that fifteen minutes, it could be wasting time looking at tick tock or whatever, or it could be going to Linkedin, finding marks comment that he put or post, commenting on it, beginning a conversation with mark so that at ultimately you build a relationship. Right becomes a conscious thing you do the same way going to the gym is about consciously being in better shape, healthier, you know, extending your law, your youth whatever. So we're half hour into our conversation and we even haven't even talked about your nonfiction brand philosophy towards, or approach or methodology towards personal branding. So let's get into that. How does it work? How did you develop it? How is it different providing me with the nitty gritty of your approach to personal branding versus all the other people who are focused on personal branding these days? Okay, well, the first thing is anyone is doing branding right is doing the same stuff. There is no Secrett sauce, there is just expert practice and disciplined to practice. So when I say nonfiction brand, let me tell you the very quickly, the story about that. I was a young copywriter at Mecan Ericson in Atlanta, Georgia, working on Cocacola. I would always have my butt handed to me when I would go present concepts and they'd beat me up on three words authenticity, refreshment and sociability. That's the key three of Koke, or it was when I worked on them. Everything had to communicate authenticity, refreshment and sociability. What does that mean? I could spend two hours talking about that, so I'm going to skip that to except to go on to say one day I got a creative brief that said write some stuff. And again, a creative brief is you got to tell the writer what you're writing, like a TV spot and outdoor board, a brochure, Web page? What are we doing? It's a web page. What do you want to say? Two for one this week only. Okay, supplies are limited. These are copy points. I need copy points. Why? When I got that creative brief that said write some stuff, I walked into the account manager's office and I said, Dude, what is this? I'm not a fiction writer, and what I was trying to say to him was I can't make up stuff. I you at least have to tell me that it's a fourth of July spestral or something. Give me something, Dude, you know, because I'm not writing fiction. Well, we dealt with the situation, but I kept it in my mind. It kept going around in my head. I'm not a fiction writer, and that doesn't mean I can't ride fiction that no one wants to read, because I can, believe me. But I kept thinking, well, I'm not a fiction writer when it comes to advertising, a marketing why? I have to tell the truth. That doesn't mean I'm not afraid to buff things up to a high gloss, but there has to be some truth involved. For example, if I worked on a coke ad and said Coke helps you lose weight, that would be a lie you, a big fat lie. But if I wrote an ad that said Coke remant will remind you of weekends with your Grandpa,...

I would go yeah, that's true, because I would always go to GRANDPA's house and you would have Cocacola, which was and he would sneak it to me because my parents didn't let me drink, you know us sugarase sodas and stuff like that. And all of a sudden I realized, oh, coke was about authenticity and refreshment and sociability, those three key three words. Because their competitor made the same product, commodity, Sweet Brown, bubbly water, Pepsi Coke. Are they that different? Yes, if you're a coke of Facionado or a Pepsi Aficionado, if you've ever been to a restaurant and have the server come up and say, Oh, I'm sorry, we don't have coke here, we only serve Pepsi products, you know exactly what that coke lover feels like when they say oh, I'll just have water. Right. If I can't have Cocacola, I I just won't water. That's when I realized the power of a brand. And so the nonfiction part of it was that, oh, this is not about making something up, it's about taking the truth and enhancing it authenticity. Cocacola one thousand eight hundred and eighty six. It went nationwide a year later. Pepsi did guess what they're. Coke's the real thing because they were the first. They were always the real thing, and we could go into a long discussion about new coke in that mistake. But what that was was the market place telling Coke No, you can't mess with grandma. Grandma is spicy, she's a little bit acidic, but we love grandma and you don't mess with grandma. And if you were old enough to remember the new coke, tobaccle, you know that coke messed with grandma and the market place forced Coca Cola to be true to who they are, what they do and how they do it. They literally they and that's a key thing for people understand stand. When you're doing branding right, you own your brand and they do too, and by they I mean the people who work for you, the people who buy from you, the people who recommend you, the people who are who constantly look to you to be exactly who you are. The nonfiction part goes into the what I would call the deep consideration of who you are, what you do and how you do it. Like I said earlier, I'm a writer, but that's a tool. I can also design, maybe not that well, but I'm a I could be a designer. I'M A bad video editor, I edit my own podcast. So I do all these things and the common denominator of all of them is creativity. You know, I don't follow recipes. I create literally, show me a basket full of fruits and vegetables and protein and I'll make a dinner and it may not be great, but it's creative. A gain to that much. So we don't clients. It's all about finding their true selves or authentic cells, and then packaging that in a way that's believable and authentic, yes, and making sure that they adhere to it because, and I don't mean to pick on people, but I try to to give examples that people can relate to. Okay, you went to high school, you had a friend who's a female and you are close friends, but you're always in the friend zone and never crossed over into romantic or whatever. You don't see each other for ten years, fifteen years, you go to a high school reunion and then you see that friend who now as a totally different hair color, totally different body shape that has been surgically enhanced. And invariably, and this happens, it doesn't matter what gender you are or anything like that. But literally, in your mind, if you don't say it to them directly, you'd be going that's not the Jenny I know. That's not Jenny. I have a friend WHO's male who I, you know, grew up with.

Ends Up. He's had some legal problems and stuff like that, and my response to that is that's not the guy I know. That's not the truth of who he is. He's tried to be someone else. He's putting on brand, I like to say it. Put it this way. A brand is not a pair of shoes you tie on your feet. It's who you are. And when I show a presentation I'll show a Nike ad of the Nike shoes on the runner and then I show the runner the Nike shoes don't make the runner a runner. The Nike shoes make the runner get out there and just do it, whatever that is. In the case of elite athletes it's just do it and win or just do it and perform. The goal is to identify yourself as a runner, not as a pair of shoes that you just tie on your feet and ideally that runner is actually going. You know what, I'm not just a runner, I am an athlete. And what does that mean? An athlete has an entire sensibility that is different than that of a salesperson, that is different than that of a musician. An athlete is understands that things are constantly a opportunity to win. So the question is, are you performing at the highest possible level to be that type of winner? You know and again that this is just kind of what I would call hack psychology. If, all of a sudden you say, you know what, I'm an athlete even though I am a salesperson, what does that mean? Oh, maybe as an athletics oriented salesperson, I need to be more prepared so I can perform at a higher level, that I need to practice as much as I actually perform. You know, the the old Vince lambar already line about there's no practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. If you're someone like that, that will, that quote will resonate with you and and once you understand that, you're not trying to be Gary Vaneer Chuck, you're not trying to be Kim Kardashi and you're not trying to be whatever Berne Brown I mean. Think about that. Berne Brown works at the University of Houston, which I like to a little bit snidly call the great place to be if you're in the witness protection program, as a as a academic, and yet she's that personal brand has enhanced the value of the entire university and that's the goal. That personal brand is now to be treasured by the university. She's no longer a cog, she is irreplaceable. She's one of one. That's the goal, not to be one of many, but one of one. And the only one of one you can truly be is yourself. So have you done the work to figure out the first principle, key three ideas of who you are, what you do and how you do it? That, I think, is a great way to wrap out this conversation and thank you for all the great insight on personal branding, which is a complex and fascinating topic. One final question. Where can people learn more about you and what you do? Well, you there a couple places, but the easiest one to get too, because you don't have to spell my last name, is nonfiction brandcom and if you go to non fiction brandcom gift you can download those three PDFs. You don't even have to give me your email address. I'm really bad at click funnel marketing and stuff like that. So if you want to sign up on my emailing list, please do. I won't send you anything, probably, but it's nice to make that connection. And the other thing is I've got a podcast, the nonfiction brand podcast, new episodes every single Monday. Check that out, where we get fine podcasts for free, and also the books available on Amazoncom. Just look for non fiction brand and Kn you dten, which is my last name, but you should be able to find it nonfiction brand in the book section.

Well, thanks for listening to another episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, give it a five star review, of course, and subscribe by Apple, podcast, spotify or favorite podcast APP to learn more about how I help bb Sass companies as a fractional CMO, streachic, advisor and coach. Send an email to mark at marketing sparkcom or connect with me on Linkedin. I'll talk to you next time.

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