Welcome to the Influence &IMPACT email letter, and a big thanks for subscribing. I really appreciate it! Focus of this fortnightly 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 a wee bit more. Onwards!
"I’ve been saved from this shipwreck by my personal brand." - Mark Schaefer
Sunday, August 2, 2020 | Melbourne, Australia
I've been reflecting these past few weeks on what it means to have a strong and credible personal brand - one that does the 'professional you' justice, not the 'fake persona' influencer-type we hear about ad nauseum. Ugh!
My contention has long been that a strong professional reputation is critical in today's social age, where people are going to check you out before considering doing business with you.
(If I Googled your name, what would I find?)
But with what's going on at the moment, and with the way the future of work is unfolding, having a solid personal brand is no longer a 'nice to have', but an absolute imperative.
Think of it as an investment in your future prosperity.
I was reminded of this the other day when author Mark Schaefer's latest blog post appeared in my inbox.
"I’ve been saved from this shipwreck by my personal brand," Mark writes.
'Shipwreck' being the situation we all find ourselves thanks to the spread of COVID-19, but given that Mark was laid low by the disease personally, things have been pretty rough for him in recent months. Like many, he suffered financially.
"As I started to wake from this pandemic fog, I went through a period of disorientation. What was my place in this new world? I am a speaker without a stage, a consultant who is irrelevant to clients in a deep crisis, a college educator without students, an author with an unbelievable 90 percent drop in book sales when the virus hit in March."
But there is a silver lining.
Mark continues: "Today, a few months into this chaos, my business is coming back in a remarkable way. I’ve had two of the strongest financial months of my career."
Mark's article is an inspiring read.
Shout-out of the fortnight
This fortnight’s shout-out goes to ... a coaching client of mine, who I shall call Bruce.
Bruce is a former corporate heavyweight, a blue-chip C-suite executive who, in the twilight of his impressive career, has decided to eschew the 'safe' corporate life in favour of going it alone as an independent consultant, advisor and board director for entrepreneurial fast-growth companies and social enterprises.
After initial unease at the thought of developing a personal brand, Bruce has 100% embraced the idea. We've had two terrific sessions so far, and making great progress in terms of positioning his brand for what is a cluttered marketplace.
When you've been doing the one thing for decades, it takes a lot of guts to 'flip the switch' and try something new. For me, it's a privilege to be able to work with Bruce as he goes through this reinvention process.
What I’ve been listening to
One of my constant mainstay podcasts over the years has been The Creative Penn, hosted by Joanna Penn, an accomplished author in her own right, but on a larger scale, she's a pioneer of the 'authorpreneur' movement.
The phrase 'thought leader' is thrown around with reckless abandon these days, but if you want to know what a bona fide thought leader truly looks like, check out Joanna's body of work.
She's an amazing woman, and super-passionate about helping writers making a living out of their work.
if you want to write, publish, or market a book, definitely check out Joanna's website, which houses over 1000+ articles and 500+ hours of free audio and video, as well as extra downloads and bonus material.
Oh, and her podcast? Inspirational and informative in equal measure, and clocking it at an incredible 499 episodes, there's no shortage of substance there!
Scrappy is right now. Not tomorrow.
Scrappy is grrr...
Scrappy is grit.
Scrappy is gut.
Scrappy knows you are one idea away, one blog piece away, one article away, one prototype away from changing everything.
Scrappy is right now. Not tomorrow.
What's stopping you from writing a book?
We know that writing a book can do wonders for leaders, academics and professional experts in terms of boosting their authority in the marketplace.
And with all the various self-publishing tools, services and online marketplaces available to authors, there has never been a better time to publish a book.
But getting one written and 'out the door' can still be challenging, especially for busy professionals. Sometimes, the biggest enemy facing the author is the author themself!
That's why having someone like Bec Evans by your side can be advantageous.
Tool/app of the fortnight
Do you want to claim a professional 'stake in the ground' presence on the web but don't want to go to all the hassle (and expense) of creating a website using WordPress or Squarespace?
If you'd be happy with a simple, free, fully responsive one-page website, check out Carrd.
The pitch? "Whether it's a personal profile, a landing page to capture emails, or something a bit more elaborate, Carrd has you covered. Simple, responsive, and yup — totally free."
Not a bad alternative.
Clarity of message
He explained the importance of having a messaging strategy that runs across all of your communications channels.
The segment goes for 1.5 minutes. Watch it now.
This quote caught my attention
“Be the best, it’s the only market that’s not crowded" – George Whalin, retail expert.
I'm 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:
Thanks for reading! Until next time ...
"You've got this!"
Trevor Young | PR Warrior | Level 22 / 120 Spencer Street, Melbourne