In this starter series of the first 5 episodes of the podcast, we are covering some of the most frequently asked questions we get as producers for influencer content.
One of these is this: “Should I build a personal brand?” And a good follow up question is: “What kind of personal brand suits me best?” These are very important questions to ask yourself as you launch any kind of media project, and we’re here to point you in the right direction.
This episode answers these questions at a high-level and gives you some questions to ask yourself in order to come up with the right answer for you, your show, and your brand. We’ll get into this deeper in later episodes, but we wanted to record the essentials for you right at the beginning.
“People are not necessarily hiring the brand; they’re hiring you.”Tiff Tyler
- (2:07) The biggest pros of having a personal brand
- (8:10) The biggest cons of having a personal brand
- (14:50) Questions to ask yourself when considering how to build your personal brand
- (20:34) Examples of successful personal brands
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- Christine Baird
- The School of Greatness podcast
- Rich Roll podcast
- Ramit Sethi
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Transcription of this episode:
(auto-generated, please forgive typos)
Welcome to Think Like a Producer podcast. I’m your co-host Christine Baird.
And I’m your co-host Tiff Tyler.
We are here to answer the questions we have been getting for years about how to create amazing podcasts, build your brand, create video content.
Now, after five years, being in the podcast industry, being in the content creation industry, this is what we’ve learned, and this is how you can get out of your own way and get started.
You name it. We’ve probably done it. This podcast is about bringing all the wisdom to you. To help you realize that you can think like a producer and you can create the brand of your dreams, but it’s going to take a different level of skills and probably anyone else’s story.
It is time to think like a producer.
Welcome everybody to one of the intro episodes of Think Like a Producer. This is a series of five that we are tackling frequently asked questions that we have gotten so many times we realize this is going to be an answer people are going to look up for years. So today’s question we’re tackling is should I build a personal brand? And the reason why this is so frequently asked, as you probably know, is because everybody’s wondering we live in a decade. And in a time when personal brands have become kind of a buzzword, a mainstream idea, Instagram has obviously been a huge part of the rise of personal brands, but it goes so far beyond that, right? We’re thinking of YouTube stars and people who’ve become podcasts, stars, people who are obviously big influencers on Instagram, sharing pictures of their dogs and their kids and their vacations, as much as they’re sharing, whatever their professional contribution is.
So it’s this concept that’s become very forward in our faces, but it’s something that is important to take a minute and think about before you just dive in and decide, I’ve got to become just like so-and-so because they’re successful and they have a personal plan, got to do it like them. So today we’re going to cover kind of the pros and cons of a personal brand. How to think about it strategically for yourself and your goals. And then we’re also going to talk about just some of the different high level ideas to consider when you’re making a strategy, if you decide to pursue a public personal brand. So this is again, pretty high level. We’ll have future episodes where we’ll get into the nitty gritty, but this is sort of an intro to thinking about. Should I have a personal brand? So first off Tiff, we wrote down some little notes cause we were wanting to make sure we cover the best and most important tip. What are one of the biggest pros of having a brand?
I think, and you think, cause we thought about this together, that you become a thought leader. So I know there’s a lot of words going around that are sort of entertaining for people and kind of making people feel a little sick. Um, there’s entrepreneur influencer. Um, we can say an authority in the space. There’s so many words out there that I think the definition of a personal brand is getting a little interesting that we’re kind of defining it every day or redefining it every day. But the idea that maybe you’ve been working in something for a decade, and now you have some experience in it, maybe even five years and you get to be a thought leader, someone who takes your experience and just talks about it. You may not necessarily have a degree in it. You may not necessarily have the PhD in it, but maybe just from your personal experience, you can support other people who are five years behind you or 10 years behind you or looking for that idea and how to develop it for themselves.
That’s such a perfect way to succinctly explain personal brands. Thank you. I completely agree. And I think just to throw out some obvious examples, so we’re super clear about what we’re talking about. Let’s all think of, I mean like Oprah is an easy one. Like we all know Oprah from her like decades, long media career as a TV show host, but in the last 10 years, really for people like me who kind of never watched her TV show and sort of, you know, I knew who she was, but I wasn’t really, it’s when I started following her on Instagram. And I started seeing her post all of these personal photos from like her kitchen. And then I started following her book club and you know, it’s like beyond her being the maven Oprah, the media mogul, I’m like, Oh, Oprah, you know, is into this and this. And then there’s her partner and here’s like her friends. So that’s kind of the difference when we’re thinking of personal brands. So it’s kind of the personal side of your life mixed in with your business. And a lot of people have two brands, right? They have a personal brand and they have a professional brand, but more and more and more we’re seeing, it’s becoming one and that’s kind of the world we live in. So
Also I just like to point out, that Christine did not grow up watching TV. So for those of you who watch Oprah, that’s not too far past your time or through, you know, whatever. Uh, also that there’s plenty of TV show references and I’m going to make throughout this entire podcast for years and years and years, that Christine will say, “I never watched that growing up. We didn’t really watch TV.”
Perfect aside. Yes. Thank you for clarifying so that my credibility doesn’t completely go out the window. I literally grew up without a TV in my home. My parents were like, we don’t need that trash. So I just read a lot of books and listened to a lot of classical music as a child, which, you know, as an adult I think is great. As a kid, I was bummed out and went to my friend’s houses a lot to watch TV. But anyway, thank you.
I’ve accepted our relationship that I’ll make references that you’ll never get.
I’ll never get. I mean, I’ve come a long way. As an adult, a lot of friends have taken me under their wing and kind of helped introduce me to a lot of pop culture that I missed out on in the nineties and early two thousands. But it’s a long road, you know, it’s probably going to take me the rest of my life to kind of catch up. Okay.
Let me finish the pros. So we talked about sort of the word influencer, maybe thought leader, brand ambassador there’s things. There’s opportunities that come with that speaking opportunities possibly to be on stage, to have a YouTube channel, to have people kind of see more of your face and what, even if it’s, it could be your thought leader. It could be that you’re selling a certain product that you created yourself. But the whole idea is that people are not necessarily hiring the brand they’re hiring you. So that’s sort of the pro of it is that it could bring about travel and different opportunities for you to go out and engage and the product or the brand may take sort of a back seat that people think about you first and the brand second,
What a perfect way to explain it. And another pro, just to kind of develop, like why would you bother with a personal brand? Like that sounds like a lot of work. Well, there’s a lot of opportunities that come with having a well-developed personal brand, obvious ones, sponsorships becoming a brand ambassador, being sought out as a show host, whether it’s like traditional TV or all the different digital iterations, you know, you can print, priming yourself to become an author, to become a speaker, to become someone that people literally go to the event or buy the book because of you. So if you’re just kind of think with us, if you’re in you, haven’t answered this question for yourself and you’re trying to figure out, do I need a personal brand? What are your long-term goals? Do you envision yourself, you know, 10, 15, 20 years from now being like the celebrity keynote speaker at the event, having the best-selling book, you know, being hit up by Rolex and whatever your favorite brand, that brand, I’m just thinking big picture.
Obviously that’s usually reserved for top athletes, but you know, more likely, you know, if you’re in the beauty and wellness space, you’re going to hit up by a bunch of apparel and beauty brands. If you’re in the tech space, you’ll be hit up by a bunch of, you know, tech companies. But if you want to become that kind of person, a thought-leader sort of label, then the personal brand route makes a lot of sense for you. And that’s why it’s worth it to think about 10 years before you need to be at that status because a good personal brand takes time and nurturing and development and personal brands, even when they seem like they’ve popped up overnight and suddenly you’re like, where did this person come from? They’ve suddenly got millions of followers. It’s, it’s very much a tenure process that you just didn’t see. So those are some pros that are just going to get you thinking. Now let’s talk about the cons Tiff.
Super fun, super fun. Okay. So some of the cons with growing a personal brand is that you may need to stick with it forever. It is your name. It is your government name on this brand. And so the idea of 30 years retiring, letting someone else take over, that’s really tough. And I remember Chase Jarvis talked about this. He’s a photographer I’m obsessed with who built Creative Live. He’s amazing. He is amazing. Um, he built Creative Live and I’ve been obsessed with him since the beginning of my career. But he talked about, you know, B E everyone expects Chase Jarvis. So even if he hires assistants or trains, other photographers, people don’t want to work with anyone else, but him. And so it’s hard for him to kind of take a back seat or take a break because the money is coming in, at least on his photography side when he shows up. And I think that’s where Creative Live comes in. Creative Live, being a bit bigger than him, other authorities, other people who can come in and teach other people who are asking questions, he doesn’t have to show up every day for Creative Live. It has become its own training online program.
Oh, that’s such a perfect example. And I’m such a fan of Chase too. I’m so glad we should just reference him in every episode. Pretty much those things. Chase has taught both of us. Okay. That is such a perfect, uh, example. Also, just to give some credibility to this thought, we have personally heard like Tony Robbins has talked about this issue. Like many of the biggest personal brands in this space have talked about this exact issue where yeah, maybe 10, 20, 30 years ago, personal brands were like, you know, the end all be all. And it was reserved for like the very elite. And so it was the biggest deal if you became a personal brand, but fast forward into this century and this technological age, a personal brand isn’t necessarily what everybody’s going to want. And so it’s worth it to think through it.
So another con that’s associated is that if you want to grow a company that’s totally separate from you, that you could sell one day, especially if it became really successful, or if you wanted it to become a much bigger entity than just you, meaning you do a ton of collaborations, you have a lot more contributors. It’s something that maybe makes products, you know, that have nothing to do with you. That’s going to be really hard to transfer the value of your personal brand to a company because people don’t have any association with the name of your company. They have all the association with your name and that’s something we’ve seen time and time again. And it’s related to the first issue, but it’s a little bit separate because if you’re thinking strategically about long-term where I want to go with my career and I want to work my butt off, build something amazing.
And then I’m probably going to want to retire early or take a break or spend less time working. It’s going to be very hard to do that, even if you’ve built a really successful company, if nobody really knows the name of that company and all they know is your name. And that’s just, again, something we’ve seen over and over and over again, an example that we thought of that’s really extraordinary to sit state. The obvious is Gary Vaynerchuk. He has an incredibly successful media agency called VaynerMedia with multiple branches. And he has worked for decades to build a company that’s just as powerful as his personal brand. If you followed Gary’s story, you know, he started off back in the day and no one was doing the meds and he was helping build his father’s wine business. And he was just brilliant at realizing the power of social media.
And so he, he was just selling wine, like a maniac, but people started to over time because he was strategic. They started to associate him with more than just wine. Then he built an incredible personal brand and then he built a company and, and he’s a unicorn and he’s the first to admit like, nobody will do it. Gary does. So he did a successfully, but it’s, it was like incredible effort and strategy that he built immediate company. That’s just as big as a personal brand. And to this day, you know, if you hear the name, Gary V you probably are first thinking of his like podcast or his social media videos and secondarily you’re thinking, Oh yeah. And his company VaynerMedia. Right.
And that’s, I mean, this is the other con too. It’s splitting your marketing efforts. When Gary posts, is he going to post about Vayner Media? Is he going to post about himself? This is something that we are going to run into, once this podcast is up and everything and people are listening to, Christine has her own personal brand. I have my own personal brand and think like a producer will be a brand that is outside of ourselves. You know, me just being like living in the playground of content creation and social media plans and all the things that I love to do my brain being split on. Okay. Today I’m posting for Tiff Tyler today. I’m posting for Think Like a Producer. Am I posting on Instagram, Twitter? What does it look like? What is the audience responding to? And really having two different marketing efforts, because I know that the people that follow me on Tiff Tyler will not necessarily be the same people or the same audiences think like a producer.
So we’re experiencing technically a con, but it’s not. When we say these pros and cons, it’s not about discouraging you from either choice. It’s more. So we just want to give you a full thought process of where we are, what we do and what we tell our clients to do, because this is our whole job. Our whole job is helping to grow personal brands. Our whole job is helping to build small businesses, entrepreneurs, big businesses, all these different things. So it’s more, so we just want to give you all this food for thought, but splitting your marketing efforts could be a con if you are not collaborating with someone else, luckily, Christine and I are collaborating with each other. So we have time to donate to it. But if it was just me and now I’m coming up with this big brand, that’s bigger than myself. Plus my personal brand. Plus maybe I need to actual job to pay bills. I don’t know your life. So you got to think about your time and your creation and your effort, and just understand that maybe one brand at a time, maybe starting with your personal brand or starting with the bigger brand, maybe not having both. So you don’t split your time, energy and creativity into two different places.
Okay. So we want to share some examples to really put this into real terms. And we also want to share kind of the two strategies. If you’re like, I do think I want a personal brand, but I’m not sure how public I want to be with it. So there are, as we all know, people who are just naturally personality wise suited to a more private life, right. It’s a fallacy that everyone’s designed to have like a really public Instagram life and just love posting all the time. Like we know that’s not true. Most people are actually not wired to love that. And so it’s really important to be honest with yourself about like, what am I naturally inclined to do? Do I love sharing, even if it’s just my personal account, can I like not stop sharing every day on Instagram? Do I just love like replying to comments and creating stories?
And that might be you, but if it’s not, it doesn’t mean you’re just out of luck and like, Oh no, I can’t have a personal brand. So think about all the people, you know, who have a private Instagram account, right? You can’t follow them unless they accept you. Typically they have smaller followings and they kind of keep a close circle. That’s still a personal brand. It’s just a privatized one. And it’s one that’s very intentional. And it doesn’t mean it’s less powerful because you can still have like an extremely high status and be considered an expert and a thought leader, even if you don’t have like a very, very public life on social media, but it pays to think ahead and decide like, am I naturally suited to actually being really public and having a really large following and sharing a bunch of personal details of my life and my business, or am I better suited to kind of keep my cards closer to my chest, but when I do speak and when I do share, it’s very intentional, it’s very curated.
And people automatically are like, Whoa. Yeah, I listen when that person talks. So it’s kind of two different ways to think it’s not exclusive. You can’t, you know, you can be kind of more of an introverted private person and still have a public brand and you can just be a lot more thoughtful and you’ll probably hire people to help you create it. And you probably won’t spend near the amount of time that other people do. But if you have one of those personalities where you’re like, I love talking to people, I love interacting on social. I love making stories. It’s so fun. Like I just want to talk all day, then that’s going to be pretty obvious. Like you’re going to be a good fit for that. So that’s kind of a mindset to try on like, am I more personality wise leaning this way or that way? And the followup question is, am I willing to commit to the process of developing a personal brand that attracts an audience that I’m willing to really interact with for the long haul and be focused on and present to because that’s, you know, the building blocks of a personal brand in the traditional way, we think of it like The Rock, you know, some of these, like c’mon people like that is an interaction that’s very conscious and it’s very dedicated.
So you’ve never watched wrestling, right?
Right. So obsessed. We’ll talk about my experience with wrestlers later, but, um, I will say Christine makes great points. And I also just would like to separate the idea of being an extrovert and growing a personal brand because I think some people are going to be like me. Who’s thinking, well, I’m very introverted. And people don’t think that when you think about me, but I love to talk to the camera cause no one is in front of me. If there were four people in front of me while I did my Instagram stories in the morning, I would be tongue tied. I would not be able to speak. So I think it’s also don’t necessarily put yourself in a category. Well, I’m an extrovert, so I need to build a personal brand or I’m an introvert. So I need to have a private account. There are plenty of actors.
I think Michael B. Jordan and a couple of people who don’t have an Instagram account, they don’t play on social. They stick to their craft and they build an, a different kind of way. I could be wrong about Michael B. Jordan I’ll do my research, but I will say just, we will have followup episodes about this. This is just the initial idea of this conversation. We just wanted to get you to start thinking, but we will talk about extroverts and introverts and omnivorous. Is that how you say it? Ambiverts, ambiverts, ambiverts people in the middle, whatever that word is. Um, and we’ll, we’ll continue to dive down deep, deep, deep, as deep as possible in these episodes so that you can have the clarity and the confidence to start your personal brand or have the clarity and the confidence to start a brand that’s outside of you, a, a bigger brand without your name.
And we don’t mean to say bigger as in that name is going to be bigger than your personal brand. We say bigger, in a sense of you can scale it. More people can work on it. More people can show to show up for think like a producer. It doesn’t always have to be Christine and Tiff. So that’s our idea of this brand as well. And I think that’s important to share. We’re thinking if we make a thing called Think Like a Producer, instead of Producers: Tiff Tyler and Christine Baird, like we can, one day, have someone else host this, we can have bring in experts in different things. And so we can also build our brand. So we’re saying a lot, and I just want to make sure that you all know this is just the beginning of many conversations we’re going to have about this. But the goal is that you’re clear and you’re ready to put in the hard work of what it looks to build either a personal brand or a brand without your name.
Mm perfect. So as we wrap up, we just want to give a few examples and you’re welcome to go do your own research. If this is the first time you’re hearing of these people, but some of our favorites are Marie Forleo. She’s a really well-known business coach in the self-development space. She’s been doing it for over a decade, very successful. She has an award-winning web TV show. She’s got a podcast she’s got best selling book and her most famous well-known product is something called B-School. And that’s a digital business school for entrepreneurs that she launches once a year, super successful, really well done. So Marie’s a great example of personal brand and the power of it because she has always led with her personal brand. Even back when she was like a, I think she was a Nike dance instructor kind of a couple of decades ago is that she started out sort of as a personal trainer dance instructor.
She was building a personal brand. And then as she realized, I really want to get into life coaching. She kept her personal brand. So her name was always like the, the feature like her personality was always the center point of her business. And she did build that life coaching business and she became really successful and popular. And then she started this TV show and then she developed this product B school, but by far and away, people know her name more than they know the products. Like she has another product called the copy cure. And you know, she has various offerings, but what people know her for is her name. She’s a TV show host. She’s an author, she’s a coach. And that’s a great example of a personal brand that she saw the power of. She committed to the long haul. She developed it through the years. She does have very successful other parts of her business where she’s collaborated and brought in other people. She has a team. She has an awesome production crew, but she is the center of her business and she’s owning it and she’s been strategic about it. And that’s what her business is.
An opposite of that would be Spanx with Sara Blakely. Spanx has grown to be, I mean, it’s so hard because we watched an interview with her. She was selling like door-to-door fax machines. She was, she is an entrepreneur through and through Sara Blakely, but she developed Spanx. It went mainstream. She has a very, very good story on how this happened. So I’d definitely say, do your research, but hurt that product will live forever live way beyond her. It will bring generations of billions of dollars into her family. And because now people know that that’s her and she’s done a couple of things on Instagram. She shows her four kids. She shows her husband nod Jesse Itzler. She does have her mugshot of the day with her different mugs. Like I love Sara Blakely so much.
But Spanx would be an example of a brand that is way bigger than her name something that has employees. It’s all in. I think she said her factory is all in Georgia or something. That is a brand bigger than the name. She can still pose. People can still know her. She still gets to speak at different events because she’s built such a big brand. She never took a single investor when she was building this brand. So just the way she thinks and how she built it is so interesting for people that she can have that brand live on its own. And she can speak toward the world. Talk about entrepreneurship, help women become business owners. She’s got two separate ones, but Spanx to me will always be the billion dollar brand. And Sara Blakely will be the personal brand that gets to tour and speak about it. But that to me is opposite from Marie Forleo and B-School,
I love these examples, especially because we’re all using, we’re using examples of people we’re fans of, right? And that’s like another really fun part for us. And we’ll get into stories, you know, down the road in their episodes, but because we’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of these people while we’ve been producing podcasts that they’ve been interviewed on, it’s become really important to us to take notes and to follow them and to see what they’re doing because we met them in real life. We’ve seen how they interact off camera. We understand that they’re the real deal and we’ve really respect like the decisions they’ve made and how they’ve built, what they’ve built. So I think we did it Tiff. I think this is a really good intro. Should I build a personal brand? And again, as we’ve mentioned, this is the tip of the iceberg. We’ll get into this more later episodes, but this is an important starter round of questions to ask yourself strategy, to think through. And some examples to look up and steady because once you decide whichever way you’re going to go, it will impact all of your decisions going forward. And it will set you up to win for the long haul.
And you will be constantly thinking like a producer. So if you like this episode, please send us what your favorite part was. Maybe something you didn’t get a chance to think about before when it comes to building a personal brand versus not. If there is any questions you have follow-ups to this, like that is the whole point. Send us questions. We want to continue to answer it for you. And please subscribe to this podcast, leave a review. The more that you tell us, how much you love it, the more we bring more love into the show, and it just becomes this beautiful kar-matic, can I say kar-matic?
Yeah, totally. I love that. I got what you’re saying and then always be sure to check out the other first five episodes of the show. We’re calling that sort of our intro series for the top frequently asked questions. Be sure to check those out and we’ll see you on the next episode. Bye.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Think Like a Producer. This has been a Worthfull Media production, massive things to our team who makes this show possible: Worthfull Media for audio editing, Jorge and Veronica from Mosaico Productions for video editing and effects and Amela Subasic for our amazing artwork and graphics.
If you are ready to launch your podcast. You can check out the Worthfull Media podcast course at worthfullmedia.com and as a special gift to our listeners, we are giving you $50 off the podcast course. All you have to do is use promo code TLAP. If you have launched your podcast or YouTube channel and show, and you are looking for the community to support you as you continue to grow, as well as some Q and A directly from Christine and myself, then please check out our Think Like a Producer channel. The link is in the show notes for more.