Why the Focus/Obsession with Personal Branding? Richard Cardona

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Personal branding is red-hot.

Seemingly, everyone you turn, someone is offering personal branding advice and consulting.

Is the focus/obsession with personal branding due to the gig economy, the ubiquity of social marketing, or the reality that people will work for multiple employers so a personal brand is important, if not necessary?

On this episode of Marketing Spark, Rich Cardona and I dive into personal branding, why it matters, and how to build a personal brand. 

We also discuss the importance of content marketing and why, like many people, his time on Clubhouse has gone way down.

I'm Mark Evans and welcome to marketing spark podcast that delivers insight from marketers and entrepreneurs in the trenches in twenty five minutes or less. Personal branding is redhot. Everyone's looking to stand up from the crowd challenge, of course, because there's a lot of competition for the spotlight. Rich Cardona is not only a personal branding and linkedin coach, but someone who talks the talk and watch the water on Linkedin to keep part of riches brand is his personal life and family. It's what makes rich authentic, real and trustworthy. Before inviting rich to appear on the PODCAST, it felt like a new one. I guess that's the power personal branding. Having to be here, mark, I'm very excited to give any value I'd possibly Kend to your audience. Personal branding, as they set off the top, is something that is red hot these days. Everybody's talking about it. On linkedin you see post after post and video after video talking about the importance of personal branding, why you have to do it, how you have to do it. And the question I have for you, as somebody who runs a personal branding agency, is why the focus on personal branding where did it come from? Is it from the GIG economy? Is it due to Covid is it the fact that everybody wants to be an entrepreneur these days, or even when you work for a company, you want to be an internal entrepreneur? What's driving this fascination with personal branding? Actually, I'm going to work a little bit backwards on that, since you mentioned working out a company. I am such an enormous believer in that. A company WHO's trying to attack attract talent and WHO's trying to attack a attract a little bit more attention are the ones that allow the the people in and on their teams to have a personal brand and rather rather than befen them, being fearful of them cultivating this personal brandon leaving, if Mark Jr is working at rich cardowna media and he's fantastic and he's got a great personal brand, that's going to raise a couple eyebrows and be like wow, what's going on over there? Are I really like the culture, I really like the way they may content and I could tell like this wasn't passed down from above like hey, please share this corporative post of the company. So that's one aspect. The personal brand goes with you. If you're not going to be at a company forever, which a lot of us are not, and you don't choose to be a business owner, that's what's going to go with you. If you are a business owner and you've been a business owner for thirteen years, or at least round that company for thirteen years, and you have to pivot, your personal brand goes with you. It doesn't mean you fail, it means that you probably amassed some sort of loyalty and audience and community that is going to go with you because they have faith in you. Now fully, I certainly believe that the pandemic has certainly played a large role and it because of the missed interactions that we have. There is, there are those moments that are when you're walking out of a meeting and you're already talking about what was just discussed in the meeting with someone and you're going to walk to the count room and talk about it and you're going to have that kind of feeling with them and that trust because you're going to have those kind of mini interactions between the meetings. Now it's just meetings, okay. Now it's just meetings online. They're very scheduled. It's one to two and we're going to cover this and that's so all those kind of mini interactions actually matter. So how do you get a how do you build that trust? It's probably by making content and being a little bit more visible. And without that and without that, the lack of that kind of personal brand, it's going to really extend the timeline for people to really know what you're about, which is why, during the pandemic, all the people who flourish in those kind of social environments realized, well, now I have to get on Linkedin, or now I have to try out instagram, or now gonna Dance and do something stupid on Tick Tock, because I have to be able to kind of get out there. And they probably realize what a lot of us did is you are able to reach a lot more people. You and I met on Linkedin and you know, I would venture to say that we know each other to an extent, but a virtual connection was certainly formed and that's not something that people should...

...kind of you know, you know, look at as as something that's unusual. It's very usual and I think personal branding has a large part in that. There's a lot of people who build a personal brand without thinking about it. They write a lot of content, they speak at conferences, they do videos, they naturally meet people in different situations and they're building their brand unintentionally. On the other hand, there are people who have a plan of attack. They recognize that a key to success personally and professionally is establishing a strong personal brand. So they will put together all the pieces and have almost a program by which they'll follow to build that personal brand. And what I'm wondering about is whether one path, unintentional or the other path, intentional, are the way to go? Are they mutually exclusive? How do you view the different ways that you can build a personal brand? And some people think about it and some people not so much. Here's what I really, really feel, and it is if you are intentional about it, it usually makes you veer off the path the kind of spirit of having a good, cohesive, sought after personal brand or persona, and the reason is you start to tailor what you put out, and it doesn't need to be video and it doesn't need to be a podcast and it doesn't need to be a book. Could just be literally the way you show up. You know, the entire fake until you make it mentality. If something's getting you some of this visibility that you like and it's feeling good, then you might kind of go off to the you know, in another direction a little bit while you're still being intentional about it, and I think it deviates. So at the same time, and this is such a good question for this, because you if you're unintentional about it, then maybe you're going to put you know, I make post about my family on Sunday, but maybe I would just be like, instead of a podcast post today, on Wednesday, I'm or Thursday, I'm going to go ahead and put out a family post and then I'm going to be a little bit sporadics. So now there's no method to the madness. So, while it's unintentional and while it was a creative outlet, I actually might confuse people, especially if I'm a business owner. If you confuse, you lose. So if you are confusing your potential audience, then you're probably losing some of the people that would want to work with you the most. And I'm not even going to really probably fully answer that because it's so hard. You should be intentional, but not to the point where you are trying to exaggerate anything about you. You want to show up exactly as you are. If you and I ever meet in person, I will be superbly disappointed if you're anything different than you are right now, and that's the risk. That's the risk when you go to all in and you have that plan of attack. I agree that authenticity is a key element of personal branding. You know, it's almost like what you see is what you get, and I think that's the the best way to approach personal branding. The question that I have for you, given that you show your wife and your daughter in your linkedin videos, is balancing personal and professional when you're doing personal branding, especially on a platform like linked in, which is supposed to be professional as opposed to personal. I it I feel like I'm chasing my tail when I ask this question, but what's your approach and and how do people marry their personal life and who they are and what they're passionate about with what they do for a living? I use this very simple phrase one of my superiors in the Marine Corps once told me, and he used to say, if you have to look left and right before you do it, you probably shouldn't do it. Well, I think the same thing kind of goes when it comes to content. And again, like this is any medium of your choice, if you're not sure that's something you want to put out there, then you probably shouldn't. Okay, I'm talking about in terms of too much information, the kind of to personal. However, if you had a victory in in, you...

...know, you know, a personal victory, or you had a amazing family moment and you are able to tie that into business, especially on a platform like Linkedin, then that's fascinating to people. But, more importantly, I think what you really have to examine is you said and you said you know you're supposed to be. Like people think we're supposed to be a certain something on a platform or at a certain event or at a networking event, or whatever it is. We think we're supposed to be something. I'm not going to say you should be anything you want to. I'm not. I'm not that up there. There are guard rail, so to speak. However, supposed to be anything on Linkedin is. It's limiting, because our whole selves matter when it comes to a personal breath. Okay, like it's important for me to put out linkedin stories or videos of time to time of my wife and I how much we run together, because it's like mental health. Why does that matter? Because I really believe that that helps give me the clarity and the energy to wake up and do this every day. And you, as a business owner, no better than anyone. If you wake up on those days where you're like, I don't feel like playing today, then it's probably a bad, bad sign. So that's how I keep it related to business. If my daughter is on a pull up bar and trying to do this flip and she's four years old and she's trying over and over and over and I put music to it and there's a business lesson attached to that, then that's pretty good contents. So that, to answer your question fully, is is you. We are all whole people and I think you can pick and choose and I think instinctually you're going to understand like, does this make a point or is this kind of something I would expect to see on another platform, like if am I going to give an update on my grandmother's health on Linkedin? Maybe, maybe not, but I would say probably not. So that the balance is delicate and you could always test things out. You could always test things out. There's nothing that says you can't delete a post and be like, you know what, that's not really in my lane. Over the last year we spent a lot of a lot of us has spent a lot of time building personal brands on platforms like Linkedin and ticktock and our own blogs for that matter, and podcast but how do you see the balance between digital personal branding and in person personal branding when we're allowed to do that again? What I mean by that is a lot of personal branding in the past has been done through networking, getting on stage, going to meet UPS, having dinners with people, meeting up with people for coffee, and that's been very physical, time consuming work and you can't scale that kind of activity. But now we get this completely other medium that we're all leveraging and we're all seeing, I think we're seeing tremendous are align it because it's just so efficient. As we move forward, how do you marry them together? How do you make them work well, still driving efficiencies, which I think is an important element of it? This is you. You. You got a voice message from me recently letting you know that I was coming out with the newsletter and it is. It is completely an unbelievably inefficient for me to do that two hours a day. To people who've engaged with my content. However, the people who have enthusiastically said yes, rich year upcoming newsletter I'm in has been probably ninety nine percent. So I believe the value is in the inefficiencies. But how do you balance something that kind of customized at some yeah, I think you have to have kind of a goal and that goal has to be very meticulous in terms of how you're going to divide your time. So how do you divide your time when it comes to us being able to interact with each other facetoface, when we both know and admit that it's not entirely scalable? You scale it by having what I like to call a high do say ratio. If, if there's consistency and what I'm posting, how I'm posting about it, if I'm educating people, if I start all of a sudden posting very click baity things, you're going to excuse me, you're going to lose trust. Same thing goes for in person meetups or in person in person conversations. To do say ratio do you say where you're going to...

...say you're going to do? Are you going to be on time? I mean that's one right there, like that's the simplest thing. But the higher the do say ratio is, the better it's going to be, because when your name starts to travel around because that interaction you had, whether it's digital or whether it's in person, that's going to be something that is part of your brand and you want it. You alweys. I always like to imagine as if someone's like watching what I'm doing, not to influence my behavior in a in in a fabricated way, but to and sure I'm thinking of doing the right things for the right reasons. Quick question about Linkedin, because it's been a clear obsession of mine, probably probably more than obsession, over the last year. To get your thoughts on how the platform has evolved and how your own personal use of Linkedin has changed over the last twelve months and, as important, how do you see it moving forward, because a lot of us are going to get back to work, or many of us are going to go back to the office, where we won't have two or three hours a day to spend scrolling through Linkedin and creating content. So provide some perspective. I'm where you've come from and where do you think you're going? Linkedin is so interesting. From the time I started really using it, when I was just connecting with people out of my company, which I never recommend. I mean you have to reach out to now it has evolved in so many ways, obviously in large part due to the kind of increase beef in activity with other social media platforms. Right what when you have tick Tock, when you have clubhouse, all of a sudden everyone, every social media platforms kind of scrambling to get a kind of audio version. or how are we going to I mean linkedin just came out with the Creator profile, the the Creator Boniker, whatever you want to call it, because maybe they're going to pay creators at some point. So anyway. So the point is this. It's evolving rapidly and it's actually distasteful for a lot of people. It's like, wait a second, I thought it was this, but now you're this, like make up your mind Linkedin, and then all of a sudden you see all kinds of different content that you're not used to seeing, and you and I are going to see very different content in two months and six months and if we talk a year from now, work like wow have things changed. So how do you how do you become adaptable to it, especially when you are invested in your personal brand? There's nothing different that you should do, except you can look at some of the other features of a platform like Linkedin, like linkedin stories, and just continue on. I really do believe consistency is what's most attractive. If, all of a sudden, you know there's new features on Linkedin or new ways to use it, are new ways to just really kind of hack engagement, and those are the that's a lowhanging fruit you go after because you want to be a first adopt but you're doing it for the wrong reasons. It's just never going to work. So I think consistency is going to be key. Where do I see it going? It's really, really interesting, especially you and I've spend some time on clubhouse. It's kind of like, you know, people on Linkedin or trying to go to clubhouse, or people on clubhouse trying to get people on the Linkedin and you know, how much time can you possibly invest on social media? There has to be there has to be, I would say, a very defined limit as the amount of time you're going to spend and and I kind of looking at the quantitative Arrow. Why or quality of Arrow? Why they you get from it? So my advice would simply to be this. Just stay persistent and consistent with your personal brand and the type of content that you choose, and I think you're going to outlast everyone chasing for the shining new object because you and I both know, especially as entrepreneurs, those things are always usually lead shortcuts, always lead to a longer way. Quick question about clubhouse. I jumped down, like a lot of people a couple of months ago and I spent too many hours down rabbit holes listening to conversations and then gradually you get busy, you don't have the time. I certainly can't multitask, I can't listen to a clubhouse conversation in the background and I just spent less than last time on the platform. Maybe it's a mistake, given the fact that met that's where the audience could be, where my audience could be just wondering a boy, your own experiences. It's it's funny we're aligned. I...

...don't know. I know we used to us about moderate on the linkedin room every morning, Monday to Friday, for almost two hours and I was I convinced myself, and I could be wrong and I will say that without issue, but I convinced myself like this is going to be big. But I'm a personal branding agency, I'm not a linkedin agency. So what I was doing was offering up my time to help because I enjoyed doing that and while it might be all truistic, so to speak, that's not an income producing activity. Of course, there's better things I can be doing than answering a lot of the same questions, like how do you think I should start using linkedin? Like, if you want to, that's that's a that's actually a podcast. I have to make the easy to help. But when it comes to the clubhouse, yes, your audience may be there and yes, they just got, I believe, a four billion dollar valuation and yes, it's very hip and you could spend hours there. But you know what, if you're a business owner or you're a professional, you shouldn't look back. You shouldn't look back. I saw I scaled back. I am now no longer doing that. It's been two weeks since I've done it, and you know what, I've been tracking my time. This is kind of crazy to admit. I've been tracking my time as if they were Billa bill hours and I'm looking at all the time I'm spending doing marketing activities, branding activities, sales activities, all of it to see and I'm like wow, I got a haircut yesterday in the middle of the day mark, and I'm like, why did I do that? That actually took an hour and a half out of my day when I could have been doing this, this and this. Clubhouse is the same thing. Okay, if you're not careful, you're just going to go to her room and just go listen. If you're not able to ask a question to get a real time answer without having to wait an hour or forty five minutes or whatever it may be, even you're probably wasting your time. And if you think you're going to help the world, especially as one moderator out of or thirty on a stage, then you're not. So it's really a brand play that I think is going to fizzle out for a lot of people. Yeah, and I think that twitter and Linkedin and facebook will all have audio platforms and their audiences will gravitate to those platforms because you've got a following there already. clubhouse. We'll see, we'll see what happens. Shifting gears a little bit. Wanted to get your take on advised life advice for entrepreneurs, because you and I both know that running a business as a seven activity, when you've got young kids, like you do your you've got obligations, you got responsibilities and you need to be there. You need to be present at the important times in your daughter's life. You know, I have three kids and my wife and I are very involved in lots of different activities and I understand that it's always a balancing act. Any advice, not only as a business owner but as somebody who advises entrepreneurs on building a personal brand and probably in the process running a business, about how we can make sure that the pendulum isn't all will work all the time, because it's so easy, especially now, to be working twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. It's hard to turn it off. Yeah, I think, and I'm not trying to name drop here, but I the last time I interviewed Gary Vanard Chuck, we we talked about this a little bit and he says what he always says about you know, you're worried about what other people think. There is something in our mind that that influences some of the guilt that we might feel when we're very, very invested in our business. Here's how I look at it now, and the reason I brought that up is because I had to have it in the beginning of being prety judgmental about people who are all in the all in on their business or all in on work, and I'm like, when did they sleep or when did they spend time with their families? Well, you know what, that's actually none of my concern, because my wife is unbelievably and authentically supportive of everything I'm trying to do, and what I'm trying to do is build something very, very special so we could be completely and utterly independently wealthy where we rely on no one except ourselves, off of something I built to put my daughters through school, to go on a trip every quarter as a family and provide life experiences that they wouldn't have got otherwise. I'm not interested in an enormous, crazy house or some of the material things that people think about when they think...

...about entrepreneurship and what it'll be like to make it. But I can tell you in order for that to happen, if you are one of those people that want those things, it's going to require far more time than you could possibly imagine, and that's something that's an individual decision. If you don't go all in the way you want and the way that you are able to, then you'll regret it. But one of my most influential mentors always said to me the time you have is the time you need and and I believe work life harmony, I think, is the way Jeff Bezos used to put it, is is your is your work so good that your life is harmonic with it and vice versa. Yes, so if that means, you know, the two hours I get a day with my children is enough, which may sound nuts to some people, and I'm not saying that's what it is for me all the time, then and I'm working in the kind of heads down the rest of the time, then maybe that's okay. If I like it to be a little bit fifty and I want to go to all the soccer games and all that other stuff when it starts, and that's okay, but it's an individual decision. And I think when I said, you know, I judge other people, I realize I was judging myself. I was thinking about if I put this much time into it, what does that say about me? But I now know and my daughter, my older one, now knows. She knows what I'm trying to do and and that makes me feel completely confident in my decision, in the amount of time ile lot to the business and to her. It's interesting that you mentioned Gary V, because he's a very polarizing figure in this entire work life balance conversation. The Guy Arguably works like a maniac because he wants to own the New York jets at some point in time and that's an awesome life goal. But when you look at the time that he spends versus the family, that is God a lot. It's easy for a lot of us to say that's crazy, there's no way I'm working that that number of hours. And but to your point, if that's what he wants to do, not your socks off. But that's not me and and arguably that's not you, and I think maybe that's the point of Gary V. He's he's unapologetic about how he wants to live his life. And I guess the lesson for all of us is that we should embrace the same attitude, is that we are who we are, we live how we work, we work like we work, and so be right. Yeah, and I think. I think one last thing I want to mention on that is he's extremely diligent about making sure his family's never involved in anything that you see. So if that's all you see, it's almost hard to imagine that even has a family. Like when does he go home? When does he do this? But we don't know, and that's okay. But here's one thing I will say, and I've interviewed a lot of you know, like very you know, influencing CEOS is that they've all had that kind of conversation on the Front End, you know, with their family or their significant other, and be like I will never stop working this hard because my goal is not to retire early and sit on a beach that I'm going to get bored of in three days. And and that that makes complete sense. So if you are able, you have no idea that that conversation happened or not. So that's what I would at that. I just saw. It was an interesting perspective because you know that you never see him, so it's almost like does he even have a family? But yeah, a couple of final questions. One is, once you're able to travel outside of North America, where would you like to go? The second question would be a good book that you've read recently. Yes, both great questions. The first I would probably say Cephaloo, which is a beach town in Sicily, and my daughter's name is Sicily, because my my wife and I fell in love with this, this place. We never we never been to Sicily, but we had been Italy numerous times. I would want to go there immediately and relax and eat some ridiculous pasta that are not American sized meals much more and does enjoy...

...the sun sign and get my olive skin back and just just go that. I mean I can just see it in my head of how amazing it would be to just have that time again, especially just the two of us, because you know, it's it's hard. So that's one second. I actually I'm reading it right now. It's called the attributes by rich Di Vinny, and there's he is a former navy seal, but he works closely with Simon Sink and I'm interviewing him, as a matter of fact, in person next week. And it is a fantastic book about, you know, twenty five drivers to optimal performance and it is I'm not really into scientific things and that's not even a good explanation, but it breaks down perseverance and courage and kind of the way the brain interacts and you know, the fighter flight or freeze, like all of these things, and how peak performance is meant. For a certain peak there is a significant drop off. So how can you perform optimally at a regular on a regular basis? So I was fascinated. So I'm reading that right now, but it's certainly engaging and and I'm not like a war I'm not like a special opts, you know, military everything guy. Not Not even close. But he ties in the stories pretty well to kind of apply it to business and both, you know, personal. One final question. Where can people learn about you and what you do? Yeah, Linkedin for sure, Rich Cardona. You could find me there, and then rich Cardona Mediacom. So we are just about done revamping. So hopefully by the time this comes out it will be complete. But we are here for your personal branding need. So please feel free to reach out to me with any question and obviously I'm obsessed with it and I've had a fantastic time here on the show. Hey, we've covered a lot of ground in the last twenty seven minutes, so I appreciate your insight. It's it's great to talk to you in person after all the interactions on linked in, all the comments, all the videos that we've watched of each other, and it's funny. It does feel like I already knew you before and obviously know you better now. So thanks for coming on the show. Thank you. Thanks for listening to another episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, leave a review and subscribed by itunes, spotify or favorite podcast out for show notes of today's conversation and information about rich is a marketing spark dot com blog. If you'd like to learn more about how I help phoebe SASS companies as a fractional CMO teaching provisor and coach, send an email to mark and Mark Evans Dots A. I'll talk to you next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (104)