You Ask, I Answer: Growing an Ego-Less Personal Brand?

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You Ask, I Answer: Growing an Ego-Less Personal Brand?

Cathy asks, “How do you grow a personal brand without talking too much about yourself?”

Absolutely. One of my martial arts teachers, Stephen K. Hayes, says very succinctly to focus on the work. You are the conduit for the work; make that your focus.

You Ask, I Answer: Growing an Ego-Less Personal Brand?

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In today’s episode, Kathy asks, How do you grow a personal brand without talking too much about yourself? Ah, yes, we’ve all had that experience being at a conference or a webinar or virtual event or something where it’s a 45 or 60 minute help God help you to our commercial for the person who’s speaking.

And every, you know, 20 seconds out of the person’s mouth, like, Hey, you should buy my book, right? That’s no fun.

Nobody enjoys that except the person speaking on stage.

And more importantly, as audience members, we don’t get any value out of that whatsoever.

So how do we, when the tables are turned when we are the ones on the stage or behind the camera or in front of the camera or behind the microphone? How do we do presentations in a way that is not self serving and this applies, by the way to both individuals and companies and companies, corporations, if you’re speaking on behalf of a brand, you have to be aware that you can’t just get up there and make it a 45 minute commercial for your company.

Nobody wants to hear that.

So how do you do this? There’s a very succinct way.

But my one of my martial arts teachers, Stephen Hayes says, and that is you focus on the work, you, as the speaker, are a conduit for the work and so that should be your focus.

What does that mean? When you’re talking on stage onstage in a video series like this on YouTube, the audience is there for the value you provide for the work that you do not for you.

Unless you are perfect, like professional entertainer, and even then it’s not you.

It’s the entertainment value you provide, right? It’s not how awesome you are.

It’s how awesome the music is.

Or the poetry or the art that you create is a provides.

I used to work with a sales guy way back in the beginning of the last decade, who had this great expression.

The radio in your audience’s head is permanently tuned to one station wi I FM.

And he would make the joke, say it’s what’s in it for me.

That’s what your audience is thinking the entire time.

What’s in this for me? What am I going to get out of this? What value can I take from this? And if they’re there for entertainment, you better be entertaining.

If they’re there to be educated, you better educate them.

And you have to know what it is that they are there for.

So when you show up, and you’re talking all about yourself, you are getting value, but the audience is not.


And I realize it runs contrary to a lot of the sort of the celebrity driven culture that we have.

But for the most part, most people don’t appreciate that.

So that means instead of talking about you talk about the work that you’ve done and how that work applies to the audience.

So when I get up on stage and talk about analytics, I don’t talk about me.

I talked about how do you separate out branded organic search from unbranded organic search in Google Analytics, right? That applies to you, you care about that, right? That’s going to help you do better reporting.

I will talk about Markov chain models.

And how Markov chain models are used to develop better attribution because it helps you understand the role each channel plays, as if they were basketball players on a court.

Some players assist some players score but all are important.

That helps you you when you hear these terms, you have more things to research or maybe there’s a technique that you can borrow or maybe There is something that you can, you can learn more about or partner with somebody to implement.

But that helps you solve a problem.

I am not the focus, the work that I do is the focus.

And the same was true for you when you’re speaking on stage when you’re speaking in front of the camera.

What value? Is it? What is in it for the audience? And if you don’t have a clear idea, that’s a really good time to stop and ask yourself, okay, well out of this thing, what value would somebody else get out of this? If I was sitting in the audience and this talk I’m about to give was the one that’s on screen, would I get any value out of it? We all want I know, specially as on the company said we all want one of the values to be Hey, come hire my company.

We I get it right and that’s, that’s natural, and there’s usually a place where you can put in a gentle call to action.

But it should be more than like a few seconds out of the entire talk.

So how do you do that? You You show examples, you walk through case studies and again, the case studies are not, look how awesome we are.

No, we did this thing.

No, this is the problem the person focused.

My friend Tamsin Webster says that nothing demonstrates expertise quickly.

So well as stating the problem eloquently and thoroughly so that people in the audience who are hearing this going, that’s my problem, too.

I have that problem, too.

How do I tell me how to fix it? Because that’s exactly what I’m facing.

So in your talks, you talk about that you say, here’s the challenge.

And here’s the implications of the challenge.

There’s a framework that marketer Dan Kennedy created years ago that I renamed because it makes more sense to have it be a word called pigs.

You state the problem, you state the impact of the problem.

What happens if you don’t solve it, you stick the general solution and then you stay specific solution.

And when you’re adapting that framework for speaking, the problem is what you state the impact.

What happens if you don’t solve this? The general solution is the solution.

Hey, Mark off chain modeling to solve your attribution.

Hey, customization of channels in Google Analytics to solve some of the reporting challenges people have.

And then the specific solutions we can get into the case study.

You can get into, you know, here’s how we solve this for a client.

But here’s what the client did.

And here’s the impact the client had and the results the client got, right.

And that, again, if you’re in the audience, and you said, that’s my problem, and then you watch it and go, ha, that’s how they solved it.

I could solve that.

Or maybe that doesn’t apply to me, and then they raise the hand in QA.

And then they go, Okay, I get that.

But how does this apply to me? That’s, again, where you’re, you’re focusing on what’s in it for them, what’s in it for the people who are sitting in the audience.

That’s being a conduit for the work that’s being encountered? Do it a channel where the knowledge that you want to share is flowing through you, without you being the focus to help the audience.

And the good news is this, it feels counterintuitive.

It feels counterintuitive.

You, especially if again, if you’re speaking on behalf of company, your bosses by saying you got to get up there and make sure you mentioned the company 15 times a minute.

No, that’s not how that works.

But if you do a great job providing as much value as you can on stage, then when it comes time to wrap up, you can absolutely say hey, if you’ve got questions about this, ask them the q&a.

And if we don’t have time with the QA asked me afterwards, give me a business cards.

Let’s stay in touch.

And yes, my company handles this.

If you just don’t want to do it yourself.

We’ll do it for you.

At that point, you’ve proven your expertise.

You’ve proven your knowledge you’ve proven you’ve built your brand by by building the value and giving the value You that you have.

My friend Mitch Joel calls his givers gain from BSI, business, networking international and givers gain the person who gives the most wins.

Because you’re giving away your knowledge.

Again, just because you’ve given the knowledge doesn’t mean the person is going to run off and do it.

Yes, like 1% of the crowd will actually go in and try and do it the other 99% of the crowd be like, you know what, I don’t want to do this, you do it for me, I will pay for it.

So that’s how to grow that personal brand without talking too much about yourself focus on the work focus on the knowledge, focus on the value, what is the value of be crystal clear.

If the person had no intention of ever buying from you would they still walk away happy.

Your goal is to make sure that they would be happy.

At the same time, recognizing that if you give away the knowledge and the perspective and the experience, there’s a very good chance that the vast majority of people in the We’ll say, I don’t want to do that you as the expert you come do that for me.

Here’s a big pile of money.

Got follow up questions about this? Please leave in the comments below.

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I’ll talk to you soon take care.

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