Welcome to the first Influence &IMPACT email letter, and a big thanks for subscribing. I really appreciate it! Focus of this regular communique is on building, in a thoughtful way, a personal brand that people recognise, respect and trust. How can we establish our public voice, build credibility for that voice, extend the reach of our voice, and finally, extract value from the recognition and reputation we build? We cover that, and more. Onwards!
Sunday, May 24 | Melbourne, Australia
The writing has been on the wall for ages now, and that is, it’s never been more important to build public recognition for your ideas, your insights, your expertise and body of work. Your professional personal brand is everything!
It matters not whether you’re an up-and-coming senior company executive, an entrepreneur, an established business leader, a side-hustler, an academic, a professional consultant, or a former corporate high-flyer-turned-CEO-of-a-company-of-one - fact of the matter is, if we don’t control our own destiny, no-one is going to do it for us.
Now, I’m not here to tell you what “controlling your own destiny” looks like - I’ll leave that to Tony Robbins! (As an aside, have you checked out his Netflix doco? Wild!)
But I do care about good people of substance getting the professional recognition they deserve, and all the benefits that come with that. I care about good people of substance enhancing their reputation, growing their sphere of influence and creating more impact in the marketplace or community in which they operate
Wisdom, stories & ideas
Personally, I think the world today needs more genuine, credible experts and leaders to stand up, stand out and share their experience, their wisdom, their stories and ideas.
And by leaders, I mean thought leaders - knowledge leaders - business leaders - education leaders - community leaders. You get the idea.
Some of you might be wholly onboard with this school of thought.
We live in volatile times. If you’re running your own business, it can be really tough to stand out from all the noise with a differentiated voice. If you’re leading a large organisation or you’re an academic struggling to gain recognition for your ideas, or you’re transitioning from corporate to doing something you really want to do, like running your own personal enterprise, then having a strong and trusted personal brand is critical.
Sometimes the naysayers bubble up, and I get it.
The whole notion of ‘personal branding’ unfortunately gets tarred with the brush of platitudes and shallow self-promotion we see all too often on the web, especially LinkedIn (of late).
There is no escape: We are inundated day and night with self-proclaimed ‘gurus’ flooding our social news feeds telling us they’ll make us rich if only we use their ‘proven system’. They’re easy to spot: They loudly proclaim they are “global authorities” or “world leaders in ...”. Many simply point to dubious achievements as evidence. I actually saw someone last night describe themself as an "entrepreneur, disruptor and innovator" - wait ... what?
(SIDEBAR: If a credible publication has dubbed you a “global authority” in your field of endeavour - by all means, grab it with both hands ‘cos you probably deserve it!)
It shits me, if I’m to be frank. Because the genuine experts - the credible professionals who have toiled away for years but haven’t - for whatever reason - “put themselves out there”, get left behind. They might get some coverage or recognition for their work; indeed, their hard work over the years will see them achieve a decent degree of success. But ultimately, their personal brand doesn’t do justice to the quality of knowledge and achievements they have ratcheted up over the long haul.
Well, I’m hoping that together we all can change that perception.
Okay, let’s switch gears ...
This fortnight’s shout-out goes to the CEO of Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse, Steve Plarre.
A recent rant of mine has been along the lines of: “What is it with CEOs and business leaders and their aversion to being out loud and proud on social media?”
So when I do see a CEO who’s using social media creatively, it really catches my eye because, well, it’s a rare occurrence!
Steve Plarre (pictured below with his children) being case in point.
While in self-isolation, Steve has been producing fun parodies for Facebook and YouTube. They’ve really hit the mark. As Steve said: “Turns out it’s been great. Kind of wish we’d been doing it for the last couple of years.”
I recently interviewed Steve on my Ticker TV show, BRAND BUILDERS. I was keen to hear the backstory to his foray into made-for-social-media video series dubbed ‘Corona-oke Parody Songs’.
You can watch (or read about) my Ticker TV interview with Steve here.
Will this trend continue?
As we emerge from the fog of COVID-19, one theme continues to dominate my thoughts. READ MORE
What I’ve been listening to
In the What Works podcast, Tara McMullin deep dives with a small business owner and asks about how they manage their marketing, money, operations, team-building, growth, or personal leadership. It ticks a lot of the right boxes: it’s practical, useful and interesting!
*** QUESTION: Do you listen to podcasts, and if so, what are your favourites?
ADDED BONUS: I’m enjoying listening to archived video footage from the famous Blue Note Jazz Club in New York.
I was lucky enough to be in the audience for a ripping gig at the club in October last year, and so it’s great to be able to continue that connection with the iconic venue through these archived concerts.
There’s a (small) cost, and it’s for a limited time only. Subscribe via Patreon here.
Tool/app of the fortnight
Do you blog? If so, you’ll love this app! It’s called BingeWith and it allows you to add audio to your articles so your audience can listen instead of read, if they choose to.
And no, you don’t have to record the audio. It’s all done by AI. In fact, you don’t have to do anything but install BingeWith and it automagically takes care of the rest. MAGNIFICENT!
To see how it works, click here and “play” the article.
Did you know?
I have relaunched my podcast Reputation Revolution.
The kick-off episode of Season 3 of Reputation Revolution dropped last week - in it I take a skate across a concept I call ‘The Personal Branding Universe’. You can listen to it here.
Later today I will be publishing episode 150 of the podcast. It’s focused on community, and why it’s important for professional experts and emerging thought leaders to build their own ‘digital neighbourhood’.
I'm really excited to be writing to you in this format. Let’s keep it personal! I encourage you to hit “reply” and let me know what’s on your mind:
Top articles I’ve read this past fortnight
There have been some rippers, but this is my fave currently - 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice, by Kevin Kelly.
Kevin is founding executive editor of Wired magazine and author of the seminal 2008 essay 1000 True Fans, in which he surmised:
To be a successful creator you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur, or inventor you need only thousands of true fans.
In 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice, Kevin celebrates his 68th birthday by dispensing - ta, da! - 68 pithy bits of unsolicited advice “which I offer as my birthday present to all of you”.
It’s a terrific read, loaded with diverse value-bombs that will have you nodding your head at their power and simplicity.
Like this one: “Rule of 3 in conversation. To get to the real reason, ask a person to go deeper than what they just said. Then again, and once more. The third time’s answer is close to the truth.” You’re welcome :)
In Clusters, Seth Godin explains that the “minimal viable audience concept requires that you find your cluster and overwhelm them with delight”.
“Choose the right cluster, show up with the right permission and sufficient magic and generosity and the idea will spread.”
We’re all connected, but the future is local, writes Seth.
This quote caught my attention
"Knowledge is the compound interest of curiosity." – @JamesClear
Thanks for reading! Until next time ...
Trevor Young | PR Warrior | Level 22 / 120 Spencer Street, Melbourne