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!

Photos by Breeana Dunbar


Sunday, February 14, 2021 | Melbourne, Australia


Howdy friends!

A few weeks back I primped and preened for a new set of 'personal brand' photographs that I will be rolling out across multiple mediums over the coming year or so. I mean, I had a whole new set of black t-shirts I needed to show off, why not get some updated photos, right?

As I was preparing a brief for my photographer (the fabulous Breeana Dunbar), I cast my mind back to a podcast interview with Lewis Howes I listened to mid-last year.

For those not aware of Lewis, he's a New York Times best-selling author, 2x All-American athlete, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and host of one of the top audio/video interview shows in the world - The School of Greatness - with over 300 million downloads. His journey from a 'nobody' to a well-known influential figure is pretty inspiring, and comes with lots of insights and lessons.

The six most important things in building a personal brand

I've heard Lewis interviewed numerous times, and usually it's about his story, his podcast, his books, LinkedIn, and other aspects of personal development. On this occasion, Lewis dug into personal branding; one thing he said surprised me (as well as the host, Rory Vaden) - that photography is one of the top most important things in building a personal brand.

When you stop and think about it, it makes sense. But I wasn't expecting it from a non-photographer without a vested interest in the medium.

I also liked his idea that photography captures a state of being that people then remember. The rationale he provides for a photography-first approach is pretty compelling. 

From the podcast's show notes: "Lewis talks about the six things that are key to building a personal brand, and how they are all related to capturing an energy, state, or feeling which one’s audience then internalizes. He talks about the centrality of photography in his brand, letting us in on the intense preparation that goes into the images he uses. From extensive styling and wardrobing rehearsals to flights to exotic locations with a dedicated team, Lewis believes in being extremely intentional with photography. The state you are photographed in orchestrates the image that gets burned into people’s minds of you, structuring how they connect to your brand from then on."

Okay, for my photos, I had no wardrobe rehearsals, and I didn't fly to an exotic destination (although I did travel into the city, which felt pretty exotic after so long holed up at home!).

But I do now have a renewed respect for the photographic process, and the role that photos play in one's brand-building journey.

Listen/watch the Lewis Howes interview here. In a hurry? Fast forward to 4 minutes in to hear Lewis give his take on the importance of photography in building a personal brand.


Mark Schaefer will never let you down

This is a telling story from marketing blogger and author, Mark Schaefer:

The other day I had a phone message from my local pharmacist: Please call me as soon as you can.”

Hmmm … what in the world could this be about? I had only received a direct call from a pharmacist one time in my life and it was because they gave me an incorrect prescription!

When I returned the call, the pharmacist tried to sell me on a new prescription program.

I was disappointed and confused by this. Why is this trusted person bothering me with a sales cold call?

There's a direct lesson for content marketing here, writes Mark. And he's dead right. 


P.S. It's all about #trust.


App of the fortnight

Bit of fun, but also serves a purpose (if it's right for your brand) - helping your profile pic stand out on the socials!

It's called Profile Pic Maker.
Check it out, very simple to use.
Hat-tip John Espirian


Speaking of John Espirian ...

In this week’s episode of the Reputation Revolution podcast, John Espirian - author of the book, Content DNA - unpacks his personal branding journey, explaining how he went from an unknown B2B technology writer to a high-profile LinkedIn expert who has successfully managed to differentiate himself from his competitors in the marketplace. 

PLUS - in what is a bumper episode - John also shares his tips and insights around all things LinkedIn. It's an inspiring and information-packed chat! Listen to it here


This quote got my attention

This really is turning into the John Espirian show, isn't it?

“Your brand identity is like a hook of a great song: get it right and people will echo it back to you.” - John Espirian


Hit “reply”

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:

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Thanks for reading! Until next time ...




Let's rock this thing!


Trevor Young | PR Warrior | Level 22 / 120 Spencer Street, Melbourne
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