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Three Steps to Develop a Personal Brand

Published on: December 5 2022 by Social Media Examiner

Three Steps to Develop a Personal Brand

Three Steps to Develop a Personal Brand

- And I'll go as far as saying,
I don't think you get a choice
on whether or not you have a personal brand.
If someone is typing your name into the search field
in LinkedIn or in Google, what comes up?
Ideally you potentially having control
over that is personal branding.
(birds chirping) (elephant trumpeting)
- Today I'm very excited to be joined by Phil Pallen.
If you don't know who Phil is, you need to know Phil.
He is a branding strategist who helps experts,
build and grow their personal brands.
He's also hosted the Brand Therapy podcast
and his course is called Content Mastery.
It's great to have somebody who teaches mastery
on the podcast today.
How you doing today, Phil?
- I am so good now that my day involves you.
I'm thrilled to be here. Thank you.
- Well, I'm excited to have you here
and today Phil and I are gonna explore
how to develop extreme influence using social.
And take us back, Phil, to a little bit of your story.
How the heck did you get in to
helping people build influence?
Start wherever you wanna start.
I can't wait to hear your story.
- Yeah, I don't think you know this story.
In fact, a lot of people don't know.
I don't dig up this story unless it's a special occasion.
I feel like this is one of those.
I'm originally from Canada.
I studied in the US at Full Sail University in my,
well for my master's degree.
And three months before I was set to graduate,
I entered a competition to become Charlie Sheen's,
social media intern at the peak of his craziness
in the media in 2011.
If you remember the Tiger Blood stuff.
Well, I was hashtag Tiger Blood Phil,
got together with a few friends,
including my greatest colleague now Lauren,
who works with me every single day.
And we came up with effectively
my first ever social media campaign in 2011
to become Charlie Sheen's social media intern.
To enter this competition.
It was just a single tweet that you would send.
And very long story short, I made it from the top.
Well, I made it from 90,000 to the top 50.
Four waves of competition and press.
I was very grateful to be Canadian,
cause Canadians get excited when other Canadians
are successful in sports or entertainment.
So I did over a hundred TV and radio interviews,
a ton of publications, Entertainment Tonight: Canada.
They wrote about it in Ad Week.
This effectively launched my career in,
in this competition, even though I didn't win,
it led to some pretty exciting opportunities
to land another internship.
That was my dream job
and that was to work for Ryan Seacrest.
I was hired as a media intern, yes, back in the day.
But the story doesn't end there.
One week before I was set to graduate and start,
I had another wave of press.
I stepped outta classrooms to like do radio interviews
and one of those calls was from the VP at Ryan Seacrest.
He said, Phil, are you sitting down?
I said, no, but I will.
He said, we have some bad news.
We have million dollar advertisers threatening to drop
because you've stirred up so much media
connecting our squeaky clean brand
to Charlie Sheen's brand of drugs and strippers.
Although we'd love to have you, we cannot hire you.
So you're fired, before you even started.
- Wow.
- I kept my, yeah, that's the story.
I kept my plans. I moved out to L.A.,
submitted my resume for jobs and at agencies
and I didn't get a job.
So I thought, well, I have to pay rent next month.
So what are my tangible skills that I can, you know,
offer to someone that they,
something so good that they would pay money for it.
And that was designing logos and websites.
They weren't great, but it was a place to start.
And that's how I got my first client
and that is all I have ever done
is work for myself almost 11 years later.
- So, when did you move to L.A.,
how long ago was that?
- 2011.
- Okay. So kind of lead us down the story
a little bit further to what you're doing today,
because obviously, so, you know, sometimes I love to say
that Phoenix's rise outta the ashes, right?
I mean, this is such a great story where like,
you want this thing and then all of a sudden
it doesn't happen.
And my guess is it's a good thing it didn't happen
because it led to something more, right?
So tell us what happened when you went to L.A.
and a little bit more about how you've been able
to build this personal brand, you know,
for yourself and how you're helping other people do this.
- It's funny you say that.
I called my mentor at Friday at 10 o'clock at night,
which was just not an appropriate time to be calling,
you know, my literally a teacher from, from my school.
And I said, I described what had happened, I had been fired.
I said, I think this will be funny a year from now,
but it's not funny right now.
And, and Michael, it was, you know, I mean, Phoenix's rise.
My first three clients were a jewelry designer,
a makeup artist, and a real estate agent.
All women and they hired me because
I think they saw a combination of someone
that they wanted to work with, young and
excited and eager to get started,
but also someone with tangible skills.
I tok a lot about this for grads that are, you know,
trying to get a job.
It's like, yeah, you can go work for someone.
You could also consider, you know,
take inventory of what your skills are
and start something of your own.
And so I honestly, I never intended to be an entrepreneur.
That was never something I had in my mind.
I figured I'd follow the path that I thought
I was supposed to do, which is go work for someone
and go work up the ranks at a company.
And thank God, thank God, that this unfolded
the way it did because I absolutely love my life.
Those first three clients were personal brands
and I thought, wow, there's really a need
in the marketplace now for people,
starting to learn that, like people are sometimes synonymous
with a brand in itself, a personal brand.
And I thought, I just don't see anyone really speaking
to this partikular audience,
at least in my little locale in, in, in L.A.
My first, you know, those were my first clients.
I started to focus a little more there on, on a niche,
which was TV hosts.
And I worked with a lot of people
that were successful on television,
that were just getting started
and trying to land a job.
And people though, even though it's widened
since those days, my target market now,
it's a lot of coaches, professionals,
media personalities, sometimes companies.
The, the common thread I think in, in,
in the work I've done for over a decade
is it always comes back to people.
- Well, and you started this course, obviously.
So content mastery, tell me a little bit about the, the,
the role of content in all of this, I'm just curious.
- Oh, absolutely.
I mean, come on, if anyone knows this, it's you.
The role of content now, in showing up online,
I think we juggle two versions of ourselves, right?
We have the in-person experience,
which nowadays after what we just went through
over the last few years, we know is a privilege,
you know, to get to meet someone face to face.
We have this version of ourselves, right?
This in-person experience.
We also juggle the online version of ourselves.
So I'm really interested in this idea of
how we can achieve consistency
between who we are in real life, what we say, content,
how we say it, personality.
Juggling or, or really creating a synergy
between this in-person experience,
this real life version of you
and the online version of ourselves.
So to bring it back to this idea of content,
really content is how we show authority,
it's how we build trust,
it's how we stay on people's radar every single day.
And that's the power of it.
And I think especially for busy people, we need systems,
and we need strategies, and we need ways to not
over complicate this or be paralyzed by perfection.
And that is really the area I think of focus for me
across several, a handful of industries.
- All right, well let's address this question
cause there are some people listening right now
who are like, I don't know what personal branding,
I don't know if I want my personal brand out there
and I don't even know why I should have
my personal brand out there.
There's probably people that are skeptikal,
that are either entrepreneurs, founders of companies,
or maybe even people that are working for a company,
but they have the right personality
and they wanna go out there
and represent the company as the face of the company.
tok to me about why personal branding in this era
that we're in right now, right,
which we're recording this in late 2022,
why is it so important now?
Persuade the skeptikal.
- Oh, sure. I, I'll, I, I'm happy to persuade.
I, I mean, I'll go as far as saying,
I don't think you get a choice
on whether or not you have a personal brand.
If someone is typing your name into the search field
in LinkedIn or in Google, what comes up?
Ideally you potentially having control over that
is personal branding.
Yeah. I, I don't, I wouldn't even say
that you get to decide,
I mean, maybe a decade ago this was a luxury,
but now it's not.
It's really, I would go so far to say it's,
it's expected, right?
That you have some, even if a minimal
online presence without one,
I'd say you're at a disadvantage in a lot of ways.
You know, I always thought it was funny that Trader Joe's,
the grocery brand, obviously not a personal brand,
but they stayed off social media for years
and it became a joke.
Trader Joe's is still not on social media
and they eventually caved.
I feel like if Trader Joe's caves,
then you probably have to cave too as a person
or the time will come.
I think when you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
I think it's just really exciting the opportunities
that exist for people to show up online,
to build your business, to have fun, you know,
creating authority and you know,
and showcasing what you know
and inspiring other people to take action on it.
So yeah, I don't think personal branding
is a choice anymore.
- Okay, so let's assume you're correct.
What's the upside when it's done well?
- Oh, there are a lot of upsides
when personal branding is done well.
I would say,
the idea of opening your inbox
and people getting in touch with you
because they're excited to take
that first step in your business,
could be a product or a service.
But essentially if someone has fallen in love,
maybe they're not quite fallen in love yet,
but if they feel convinced enough
that what they've consumed online resonates,
is exactly what they need to get an email
from someone that it says, yep, you know,
let's take this conversation from, from online to off.
How do we get in touch?
What's the first step? I'd like to work together?
I think arriving at that a lot quicker than,
than pre-social media era is pretty exciting.
And I would describe that as an upside.
It could be not necessarily,
obviously people booking you as clients
or buying your product could also be people
joining your email list.
I had, it's funny you asked this,
I had someone email me yesterday, reply to an email blast.
I thought it was a stranger.
And this person said, Phil,
I've been following you for over a year
and I'm finally ready to take this step, you know,
to do a brand to, to work with you.
What's the next step?
I was like, wow, that person that I might think
is a stranger is actually someone that's been watching
my every move online or not, maybe not every move,
but enough moves to feel confident in my ability
to help them, that is an upside.
And it's my goal that my clients, you know,
experience that as much as possible.
- When I think about some of the people
that have been on this podcast
that have really strong personal brands,
and I think about the things
that they've been able to achieve.
If you have a strong personal brand,
you could write a book and that book could be a best seller.
You could launch a podcast and there's all of a sudden
a lot of people that wanna listen to that.
You could start something on YouTube
and all of a sudden they wanna watch it, right?
They want to be part of it.
They, they want to share the person.
You know, Social Media Examiner
is not a personal brand, okay?
Social Media Examiner is a brand-brand,
but the more that I let my face and my voice
be part of what we do at Social Media Examiner,
the more people are interested in us
because people connect with humans
more than they connect with brands.
Would you agree with that, Phil?
- Yes, 100%.
I insofar as saying Social Media Examiner
isn't a personal brand, I think a lot of us
can connect faces in humans to this incredible brand
that you've built, including you.
So when we're branding companies,
if someone's listening and they're going, ah,
this doesn't apply to me, I'm not a personal brand.
Oh honey, it still applies to you.
There are three, generally three,
unique opportunities for companies to humanize.
And might I add that it can be harder as a company to grab
and keep people's attention when you're fighting
for social media or you know, screen real estate,
against people, against humans.
But we see most companies humanize in three ways.
Leadership, people at the top, the CEO of a brand, right?
To tell that story, to use that person, the founder,
you know, the expert, the person that started it all
as a humanizing agent.
You've also got your customers.
We've seen this, you know, more traditionally,
customers, you know, telling their story on social media.
Going into detail on the types of people that buy from you
and sharing their story.
And then you've got, this one often gets forgotten about
the people on the inside, employees, or contractors,
or people that work for you,
can actually become brand advocates.
It's probably a topic for a whole other conversation.
Really, I mean, that can be incredibly powerful
when you're able to keep the people on the inside happy
and proud to advocate for your brand.
Those are three groups of people
that companies should keep in mind.
- Love that.
So thank you first of all for exploring this
with me a little bit.
Now, what I would love to do is tok about
your strategy or your process, right?
Because obviously you coach, you guide,
you mentor individuals, and maybe all sorts
of different people, frankly, through a process, right?
So tok to me a little bit about at a high level,
like what's your strategy,
what's your process for people that wanna maybe learn,
now how in the world do we do this?
- Sure, I'll give it at a high level,
but I'll get specific and, and pretty,
pretty granular and quickly.
So people know very specifically what these steps are,
that the steps I follow myself regardless of,
of industry or brand.
I typically break the branding process down
into three steps.
Position your brand, build something to show for it,
and then promote it.
Stik a for sale sign out front of that house
that you take to market to sell.
So let's start at position, this is where we, you know,
pick the plot of land, where the house is gonna go,
really to position your brand.
I have a simple formula for this.
Something you love to do,
paired with something others need
and are willing to spend money on.
Those are really the two variables.
If you can plug into that equation,
then I think you set yourself up for success.
Something you love to do,
paired with something others need
and are willing to spend money on.
When we do this with clients, we,
we dig in deeper with questions, self-reflective questions,
and really just giving someone the opportunity to think,
like, what is it I want, you know, from this lifetime?
Like, really take a step back and go,
is what I'm doing every single day, satisfying for me?
I love seeing clients think in that head space
and almost like sometimes I have to give them permission
to actually think about what they want
and dream a little bit.
And I love that part of this exercise of positioning.
- So, so let's dig in on this
positioning concept a little bit.
You mentioned do what you love and do what others need.
If I heard that correctly, can you kind of,
maybe dig in on this a little bit,
explain more about what this means
and how we could apply something like this?
- Absolutely, absolutely.
This is really the formula that I reflect on
and it's one that was born, I told you my story.
So it's one that was born from the very beginning
of my business, landing in L.A.,
giving my resume to agencies that didn't hire me.
I thought, okay, what is it I'm good at, right?
What is it I love to do?
And if it's something I love to do,
then I'll continue doing it.
I'll enjoy doing it and I'll get better at it.
That's really, I think,
a handful of questions to think about, right?
I, I was in a position, I found myself in a position,
yes of urgency but also of excitement
and that I could actually sit and reflect and go,
there's a lot of possibilities right now.
So how do I have a handful of parameters
in mind that help me narrow it down?
So questions like, what do you love to do?
What are you good at?
What are you gonna get better at?
You know, the more you do it.
Sometimes I'll ask people, my goal,
sometimes I'll ask people this question, if,
if you can't summarize your brand in one sentence,
then answer this question.
If you won the lottery today,
what is it you would do with your time tomorrow?
And so everyone has an answer to that question.
I hear a lot, travel, spend time with my family, you know,
spend more time collecting wine.
I heard that one last week.
And, and so I think this question will hopefully
get you in the right head space of self reflecting
on what it is you love to do.
My mission at the end of the day,
or maybe at the end of my life
is that hopefully I've changed some lives for the better
and positioned people to do something
they absolutely love to do as a career.
So that's really that first portion of
what is it I love to do?
That on its own can be just a hobby.
The second part of the variable is absolutely essential to,
to, to think about and maybe do a little bit of research.
Research can be as simple as asking some people around you
for feedback, not just family.
But the second part is what do people need
and are willing to spend money on?
People don't spend money on wants.
At the moment, someone is in the middle of a transaction,
they're buying something,
in their head they've convinced themselves
that that is a need.
People spend money on things that they need.
And so yeah, that's the formula.
Diving in a little bit more, asking prompting questions.
- Yeah, I want ask a couple questions.
Yeah, you've prompted a couple questions in my mind.
So first of all,
do what you love versus what you're good at.
Let's tok about this a little bit because
you might be a really good writer,
but maybe you really love audio, right?
- Yeah.
- So let's tok like, you know, my friend Cliff Ravenscraft
toks about like, there's just zones of genius
versus all this stuff, you know what I mean?
So, so is it what we're good at
that people wanna pay money for?
Or is it what we love?
Because I've seen so many people
that are really good at something
and people wanna pay them for that,
but that's not what they love.
So let's distinguish that a little bit.
- I agree and I love that you reference Cliff.
I, one of my first conferences that I spoke at
was over in the UK and he and I spoke together.
He's wonderful.
I'm totally with Cliff and I think I'm with you on this one.
I think what you love is more important
than what you're good at. Okay?
Because again, we're using this moment to self reflect
and set ourselves up for success.
And doing something you're good at doesn't necessarily
account for something at least that I would measure
as success if it doesn't bring you joy, right?
If it isn't something you love,
I think the more important variable there
is something you love because the more you do it,
the better you'll get.
And I've seen this in my own career.
- So even if we feel like we're not as good at it
as the thing we're good at, and this is the quandary, right?
Like I'm really good at this. - Yeah.
- And everybody wants this, but I,
I love this but I'm not very good at it yet.
You would still go for that,
really because in the long term
you're gonna stik with it, right?
Versus something that you're eventually gonna burn out
if you don't love what you're doing.
Is that what I'm hearing you say?
- Yes. Yeah. That is what you're hearing me say
and I, and I think yes, school can help us,
courses can help us.
I think even education, media and education,
have become so democratized now that I think, you know,
we can learn from watching a YouTube video
what we used to have to sit in a university classroom for.
And I think it's really exciting.
So if it's something you absolutely love to do,
then my hope is that that curiosity and excitement
and knowing that this is something you can monetize
or something you, you can do as a career
is gonna push you to focus and get better at that.
I think everyone can.
- So connecting that with what people need
and they're willing to spend money on
sounds not easy, right?
Cause you said there's research you can do and stuff,
but you have a couple tips on how people,
cause like some people listening right now
are probably like, I'm with you, you both,
and I'm doing something I'm good at, but I don't love
and I would really love to do more of what I love,
but I don't know if anybody needs it
and I don't know if they're willing to spend money on it.
How do I connect those dots? How do I find that information?
Do you understand what I'm asking there?
- I do.
I think those dots are the entrepreneurial path described
and I'm not sure they ever changed.
There's always a bit of a risk, right?
Setting yourself up or creating your services menu
for the first time or launching your first product.
So there's no guaranteed blueprint or formula for success.
There's definitely some good resources out there,
but I would say, I think sometimes we overestimate
what's involved with research.
Research at a very simple level,
could be toking to 10 or 20 people around you.
Is this a product you would use?
Is this a service you would hire?
You know, is this something that that you would pay for?
Would you pay this much? If not, how much would you pay?
And I think research honestly is just asking people
around you to get some real time feedback.
People that are not afraid to be honest with you.
That's why I tend to avoid family for this exercise.
Cause that's not always an accurate read.
- Right? Okay.
So the first step of the process is really
what you referred to as positioning, right?
Which is really like figuring out what you're really,
what you love doing.
And ideally if you're good at it and you love it,
that would be the perfect match, right?
Like you're, you, you love it, you're pretty good at it.
And people have told you, hey, you should sell this
because I would buy it, you know?
- Yes. - Now the next thing,
what's the next step in your process
once you've figured out your positioning?
- Sure and thanks for spending time on that stage.
I think hopefully that's prompting lots of thoughts.
Hopefully people are thinking about this,
you know, for themselves.
The second stage is my, is, is
the one I find most exciting and that's the build.
And this is where I spend a lot of time with my clients.
If I had to say any one of these things was my specialty,
it would be this stage.
When we're ready to build something to show for the brand.
Typical steps for this would be photography,
brand identity and website.
Sometimes there's a few other elements in here,
but none, you know, 99% of the time
these are the three main elements of building a brand.
And maybe in that website category,
I'd include updating your social media profiles
as part of that, that exercise, the new look and feel.
So photography is typically where I start,
different from other people who do branding.
I think photography is your secret weapon online.
I think photography is really the effort you put into
showing up in real life, outfit, hair, makeup,
the online version of that is now your photography.
So if you're LinkedIn profile photo is a, you know,
a photo from a barbecue, family barbecue 10 years ago,
pixelated cropped, horrible,
then that's like showing up to a wedding in pajamas.
I think, you know, users nowadays are pretty savvy
and I think, you know, putting some effort into that
and thinking about, okay, how can I show up online?
Each instance of that is like a little mini soldier
out there fending and representing you and so,
or fending for you I think.
And so photography is hugely important.
Ideally we can, you know,
have a quick look at your photos on your website
or on your social media and get a little bit of a sense
of what you're about.
That's typically what I aim to do.
No standard boring head shots that you'd find
on a park bench promoting a real estate agent.
Instead, I, I typically share this piece of advice
with clients or, and or with a photographer.
I say, if you're gonna be photographed for Vogue Magazine,
what photos would they take to tell your story or to,
I should say, to show your story?
Would they capture you in your office with paper all around?
Would they capture you out in nature?
Because that's what inspires you.
Really think about an environment
that we can capture in your photos
that reinforce who you are and why people should care.
Obviously it's gonna be paired with text
and a lot of different contexts, but that's,
that's some advice on the photography.
Brand identity is definitely more than a logo.
Nowadays, it's good to have a handful of versions
of your logo depending on where they're gonna show up
in a physical space in your office.
Right now I'm traveling, but normally you'd see my P
up above my head in my home office.
You've also got letterhead, stationary.
Those things in print still exist.
You've got email signatures, websites,
digital versions of your logo.
So really think about how are you set up
to have your branding in all of those places.
Colors, typography, and I'd say consideration on print
and web, how your brand design is gonna show up.
And then really just to round it off,
it all comes together when you're working on a website,
we see photography, we see copy, you know,
some organization of the brand.
I think, you know, putting together a beautiful website
is great and it's exciting,
but the exercise of creating a website
is almost more important than the output,
than the final product.
Because it helps you organize
the way you describe yourself.
It helps you organize the access points to you,
how you make yourself available, right?
For people to hire you or purchase your product.
Organizing all of that is a really exciting
kind of exercise.
So that's typically, those are the steps of the build.
- I, I like this and maybe you can share an example
of a client that you've worked with and kind of how,
through the examples you're toking about,
what kind of an impact it makes.
Because some people are like, wow, okay,
this is not what I was expecting.
You know, photography and logos and, and website stuff
seems interesting and it definitely seems important.
But like, can you think of a client
or even if someone who is not a client
who you think is doing a good job at this,
so people can kind of look at this
and maybe understand this.
Cause we're presenting this in audio form,
we don't have the visual aids in front of us,
but it might be helpful for someone to kind of imagine
what something like that could look like.
- Absolutely. Yeah. Thanks for this opportunity.
I have over 60 examples on my website,
personal branding and a few companies on there, examples.
But I'm gonna give you one, that includes a testimonial.
I try to, for every single project,
finish the project with an actual testimonial that
that person has given me sometimes six months out,
three months out, sometimes a year out.
Because I am extremely focused, you know, or, or really,
I really care that someone sees a positive result
of going through this exercise with me.
I can't do any of this until I'm crystal clear
on someone's business goal.
You better believe that I follow up with them and say,
hey, this was your goal, are you closer to that goal?
And it's funny you describe, you know, some,
some brands are inherently more visual, right?
And others are not.
So when I told I'm gonna give,
the example I'll give is Kate Payne,
who is a, an executive coach.
When I told her, Kate, as part of this project,
we have to get you photographed.
She was like, no,
that's my least favorite thing in the world.
Can we do everything but that?
And I said, absolutely not.
So she went along with it, took some convincing,
we got some of the most beautiful photos of her,
actually at home, home office,
captured her in her environment.
We had a tapped a few people to be in the
and be in some of the, of the photos to show her,
in her element, in her environment.
Giving a presentation and made some decisions
with her color, her typography,
created a really simple minimalist,
you know, beautiful monogram type logo.
That is something that won't go out of style anytime soon.
I think if I've done my job properly,
then what I give to someone
as an output of that is timeless.
And Kate emailed us about six months after working together
and she said, guys, I just have to tell you
my business is through the roof.
It's at least tripled from last year.
And there's absolutely no other explanation
for this than my website.
Which is really, you know, an instance of all
of these elements we worked on coming together.
People were, you know,
she described that people would land on her website,
know exactly what she was about,
know exactly how to hire her and for what.
And so by the time that email landed at her inbox,
it was more or less when can we get started?
And that's awesome. That's like amazing.
- I love that. Absolutely love that.
And that this is, I'm excited about the last part
of your process because obviously this is where
the social marketing side of this comes in.
But share a little bit about,
so we've got a purpose, okay,
let's assume we've established that, right?
And our positioning really is,
is what we're toking about, right?
And then we've gone ahead
and hopefully gone through some of this,
a building stage with this photography,
and identity, and the website,
and now what's the next part of the process?
- Yes, this is the part that you're gonna get
the most excited about, this is social media.
Really it's, it's promoting your brand
in any way that makes sense for,
for, for, for you and for what you've created.
I'll say with my focus on personal branding, yes,
I do companies and startups occasionally.
Social media is absolutely our focus,
I think in terms of having control
over how to promote your brand
without having to spend a ton of money to do it.
I don't work with a lot of big corporate clients
with cushy budgets.
Most of my clients are people,
not all of them love social media
or every social media platform.
So we'll explore a little bit there
when it comes to choosing the right platform
for someone to be on.
But yeah, social media is definitely for, for me,
definitely the, the greatest focus
in this final stage of the process,
which is promoting your brand,
stiking your for sale sign out front of that house.
It's always my goal that someone,
rather than being average on 10 social media platforms,
nowadays, be a rockstar on three,
or I would say even better yet, you know,
be a superstar on one.
I've got some examples of, of some, some clients
and even some colleagues that have
gone through this path differently.
I, for one was active on every social media platform
and for a long time was not really a superstar
on any of them.
I, I started to kind of balance
where do I enjoy creating with
where does my audience enjoy consuming
and have landed on my priority platforms,
YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest is actually up there for me.
And then I've got, you know, I think of,
when I think about someone focusing on one platform
to start, I think of my friend Lucas O'Keefe.
His handle is .LucasO'Keefe
and grew his Instagram over 200,000 followers
in a year and a half.
Only now is he's starting to branch out
and think about a podcast and a YouTube channel,
he really has built an awesome audience
very quickly by going all in on one platform.
So these are the kind of things we think about
and tok about.
I thought since you asked for examples,
I gave you a few on the fly,
but these are the things we think about
in this final stage, really.
How do we put our best foot forward
and how do we get the right traffic
and eyeballs on what we've just created?
- Well, yeah, let's tok a little bit about, like,
let's just say somebody doesn't know
which platform they should be on.
Do you have any wisdom or guidance as to
how to decide which platform to be on?
- Absolutely. Absolutely.
In partikular, because I work with
very busy working professionals,
when we make the decision to do something, we have to,
you know, we have to make sure that it's sustainable.
It can't just be something you start
and then end up quitting
because it's not satisfying for you.
So I think the first thing you have to think about
are parameters, there are two.
Time, how much time do you have per week
to spend building your audience online, as well as goals.
So two of the most important parameters,
time, how much time do you have?
Goals, what are your business goals?
That has got to be a consideration before choosing,
you know, a social media platform,
what are your business goals
and is it gonna make sense, that's your goal,
is it gonna make sense to be active on,
you know, this platform that we're considering?
I think also people tend to focus a little too much
on where your audience is.
I posted on Instagram a few days ago, and nowadays 2022,
late 2022 at the time that we're recording this,
I think your audience is everywhere.
I don't think, honestly, now it's like, oh, you know,
TikTok, it's for young people, like that is so passe.
You know, your audience is everywhere now.
So we need to balance, yes, where your audience is,
where you can cultivate an audience
with where you enjoy creating, where do you enjoy creating,
what platforms do you log on and consume content,
because you like being there?
Probably a good sign that it's a platform
that you might wanna start creating on as well.
So those are a few considerations.
I'd say time, goals, where you enjoy creating,
where your audience enjoys consuming.
And the last pieces of advice on that would be,
don't try to be active
on every single social media platform.
Unless you're like Gary Vee
and you've got a whole content team
following you around everywhere you go,
you probably can't excel on 10 platforms.
So choose one, two, maybe three to focus on.
- So let's say we've choose, chosen a couple
and we've decided we like creating content,
maybe long form content.
So we're gonna go with YouTube, for example,
or we like creating sort form content,
so we're gonna go with TikTok or reels.
How do we, what kind of content do we make
and how do we, how do we establish
our influence with the content?
Do you understand where I'm going with that?
- I do. I actually love that you gave an example
of long form content.
I would say for every creator or every personal brand,
if you can throw in the mix one, at least one form of long,
long form content creation, it could be a podcast.
Actually podcasting for me comes before,
YouTube video planning, if you can believe it.
So podcasting really is my long form
method of content creation.
It gives me half an hour to 45 minutes with,
with my colleague Lauren to brainstorm and, and,
and tok in a non-scripted way
about something we're excited
about in that partikular moment.
And hopefully something other people wanna listen to.
That's really, we take, you know,
that's really where it starts.
We take that, let's say half an hour episode,
upload it on auto.ai, get it transcribed for free,
and from there she'll take it and turn it into a blog post.
She likes to write, I do not really like to write.
I will take it and edit it, restructure it a little bit,
and turn it into a YouTube video, which is my area of joy,
I would say in, in the social media landscape for us.
So to take something that exists from an unscripted,
half an hour conversation and turn it into a YouTube script,
I can do that in half the time, it would take me to sit down
and write a script from scratch.
Including the research
and just the organization of the ideas.
So to answer your question, I would say make sure
you've got at least one version
of long form content creation.
You, you know, it could be YouTube as your origin,
it could be, it could be podcasting, it could be blogging.
Just something that's gonna enable you to chop it up in,
you know, easier when it goes
on other social media platforms.
I'm able, for example, to take that YouTube video
with three to five points that I drill home.
I post twice a week to YouTube now, Wednesday and Saturday.
And then I can easily take that content
and throw it up in three different ways
on Instagram over however long.
You know, it could be an Instagram carousel,
it could be an Instagram reel.
I could tell that little lesson in story on feed
with a video, or photo, or pop it into my stories.
Lots of options, but really it'll make your life easier,
especially if you're busy to have one form,
of longer form content creation
that's gonna enable you to repurpose and splice later on.
- I don't know if the three P's
was something we've already discussed,
but I know it was something we toked about in our pre-call.
But the bigger question that I've got is, you know,
personal brand, a lot of days, a lot of times these days
is actually being built almost exclusively
on the social platforms, right?
Because, - Yes.
- So much of the content that is shared
on the social platforms does not allow you
to link out to your website, right?
Obviously you can do LinkTree on Instagram, or TikTok,
or Twitter, or whatever, and allow all these
different destinations to be there.
But I would imagine some of the stuff
that you are doing in these earlier steps,
like the brand identity and the photography stuff,
might work its way into the content
that you're producing on the social platforms.
True, not true?
Help me understand that a little bit.
- Absolutely true.
We did touch on the three P's already.
That's just to quickly review priorities, your priorities,
business and time obviously, or parameters,
I should say, business goals and time.
Priorities, you, where you like creating,
where the audience likes consuming and then platforms.
Just really taking some energy to narrow down
to three or to one, not to 10.
So yes, to answer your question, certainly,
and I can probably give an example with my YouTube.
Some of my best, best YouTube videos
in terms of performance come from me,
screenshotting a question that a real person,
client, or viewer, or Instagram DMer has sent me.
And so I have a folder,
it's the only folder allowed on my desktop.
I'm allowed to keep it there with, it's called questions.
And it's the first place I go,
when I need to plan a new YouTube video.
It's the first place we look when we need to,
you know, get a, get a, a YouTube script on
or get a rather a podcast episode in the calendar
or find an expert for, for that episode.
Super, super helpful to have a folder called questions
where you add screenshots of things that people
are actually wondering and people are actually asking you.
- Yeah, I love that because especially
if you're in the business of creating
and selling information, right?
If you can explain,
if you can showcase your expertise
by answering other people's questions,
it's helpful for everyone who's watching,
but it also kind of imputes in you
a little bit of wisdom because you are hopefully answering
their question in a way that someone else resonates with.
And they're gonna wanna go back and find out,
well what does this person do?
Do they offer consult, consulting, coaches, courses,
all those kinds of things, right?
- Right, right. And I can't, you know,
necessarily guarantee that, you know, the video that's,
or the blog post that's designed around a question
that someone has, I can't guarantee it's gonna go viral.
I often describe to our clients that are
just getting started on YouTube,
I can't guarantee it, but all of my videos,
just as a personal testimony,
all my videos that have performed the best
are rooted or really founded in a question
that someone asked me.
And also, well, I can't guarantee that
the video's gonna have viral success.
It's a little bit like playing the lottery, right?
We can't guarantee that you're gonna win,
but we can maximize the chance by playing and showing up.
I, I think especially for platforms like YouTube,
you really have to be committed
to posting at least once a week.
I started once a week when I felt I was ready,
I went up to twice a week.
I'm not ready to go to three times a week,
I'm gonna sit at twice a week that, that's,
that's enough for me while juggling, you know,
client responsibilities and other things that I do.
But yeah, you gotta play to win. You gotta play to win.
And I think that goes with
pretty much every social media platform.
If it's something you seriously want to grow,
then you need to put in time to show up.
And that's not just posting,
that's also dedicated time and not just consuming,
that's also dedicated time to hanging out
in the comment section of your own posts or videos
and also going to others and making time
to create those new connections one to one.
Very, very important.
- Phil, if people want to discover more
about the services that you offer, do you want,
is there a certain website you wanna send 'em to?
And also if they wanna connect with you on the socials,
is there a preferred platform that you wanna send them to?
- Absolutely. Because you're special,
I'm creating a page on my website for you,
PhilPallen.co/sme.
Thank you for that idea, Michael.
That was, I'm not taking credit over that,
that was totally you, but yeah,
I'm gonna put some resources on this page
specific for this amazing audience.
I've got lots of freebies, single page,
you know, worksheets to help position your brand.
I've got eBooks, my best performers on this page.
It's a hundred ever green content ideas.
I created these myself and I get a lot of joy sharing them,
sprinkle 'em around the internet
and sharing them with people quite literally
all over the world, completely free.
Yeah. On my website, I've got info on my services,
I've got blog posts, my favorite social media platforms,
as you can probably tell are YouTube and Instagram.
If you took the time to listen to this,
pop me a DM over on Instagram.
I would love to meet you and, and, and,
and thank you for your time and for your attention.
- Well, and tell everybody what your handle is
on Instagram if they wanna look you up.
- Oh, that's a good idea.
It's at @philpallen.
Just my first and last name, all one word.
- Yeah. And Pallen is P A L L E N,
for those of you that are listening to the audio.
Phil Pallen, thank you so much for coming on
and answering all my questions.
We're better because of it.
- It is, it's been such a pleasure.
I appreciate you beyond words.
Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity.