How to Turn Your Personal Brand Into a Business

How to Turn Your Personal Brand Into a Business

Chris Ducker, founder of Youpreneur, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss building a business around your personal brand.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

Tell Us About Yourself!

Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme, Wal Mart or Target, Microsoft or Apple. Many companies offer comparable products yet consumers develop preferences, becoming fiercely loyal in many cases. When it comes to starting a business, chances are there are multiple companies offering a similar product or service, so what makes yours unique?

According to Chris Ducker, founder of Youprenuer, the answer may be easier than you think. It’s you! Rather than building your business around someone else’s model, Chris’ advice is to build around your personal brand.

By putting the unique, human element in front, you can help your business stand out and better connect with the people you wish to reach.

In This Episode

  • What it means to have a personal brand and build your business around it
  • Why a background in sales is an advantage but not a necessity
  • How your business can become someone’s favorite
  • How to balance automation with personal, human interactions

Quotes From This Episode

Whether you are running your own business or helping someone else grow theirs, you have a personal brand. Click To Tweet

“A youpreneur is a professional that builds a business around their personality, their experience, and the people that they want to serve.” — @ChrisDucker

“Everything required to become a youpreneur and to flourish can be learned.” — @ChrisDucker


See you next week!

Episode Transcript

Jay Baer: Welcome everybody to Social Pros, the podcast for real people doing real work in social media. I am as always Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert, not joined today by my special Texas friend Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Adam is off today but that's okay because I have a special guest that's got enough pizazz, enough verve, enough smarts, enough awesome for five cohosts. He is the man, the myth, the legend. Writing a brand new book called The Rise of the Youpreneur. It is my friend, Chris Ducker. Chris, welcome to Social Pros.
Chris Ducker: Yes, thank you for having me back. It's great. I feel like I'm under a little bit of pressure now. That was probably one of the best intros I ever had in my life.
Jay Baer: Well you can take the recording, or go to or wherever you get your podcasts. You can download that Chris, and just use it for whatever need you want. You put it maybe as your voicemail answering or something like that would be great.
Chris Ducker: That's exactly what I'll do. It's good to be back, man. Thanks for having me back.
Jay Baer: It's my gift to you. Brand new book, Rise of the Youpreneur. Available at Also on Amazon, all the other places that books are sold. You've been working this youpreneur thesis for a lit tle while now, and now it has become a book. Tell us a little bit about, when you say the word "youpreneur," which just for folks listening, Y-O-U-preneur. Tell us what that means to you.
Chris Ducker: Well to me personally, it means very seriously, the rest of my career. This is it. I put it out there. When I launched in late 2015 I said, "This is going to be the rest of my life's work." This is ultimately going to be ... I don't necessarily throw the word "legacy" around very often, but I have very, very, very big plans for this as a brand, as a movement, as a business, and so for me it's about as near and dear to my heart as my children and my wife. It's that close to me, but for everybody else in the world it might not be the same for them, but ultimately a youpreneur is a professional that builds a business, builds a Rolodex, builds a career around themselves, their personality, their experience, and the people that they want to serve and sell to.
Obviously it's everything from entrepreneurs to small business owners to speakers, authors, coaches, freelancers, you name it. Anybody really that's doing business in the 21st century, because I strongly believe that whether you are running your own business or helping someone else grow theirs, you have a personal brand. It's your reputation. It's what people say about you when you're not around and so I think it's very, very important to try and tune into this as much as possible going forward.
Jay Baer: Do you think anybody can become a youpreneur? Is it about understanding how to do it and giving yourself permission to do it, or do you need some sort of particular mindset or skillset in order to build the successful personal brand?
Chris Ducker: I don't think you need a mindset. I don't think you need a skillset. Because those things can be molded and learned. I'm a big believer of that. I mean, the book ultimately is the manual to building a business based around your personal brand. I believe that the model from an entrepreneurial perspective, the model is not for everyone. If you're very, very introverted then the chances are you don't want to be at the very center of everything that you do from a business perspective, but based on the people that I meet that are business owners nowadays, that's nobody really.
I mean, I think the web as a whole in the last 10 years or so created a certain type of entrepreneur that just gets it. They've got to be on social. They've got to be on camera. They've got to be podcasting. They have to be at events, whether they're on stage or just attending. So I think ultimately it's not for everyone, but it's almost for everyone, particularly from an entrepreneurial perspective. But everything required to become a youpreneur and to flourish as a youpreneur, well that can be learned. That can be picked up as far as I'm concerned. I picked it up.
Jay Baer: Would you say that it was even possible to become a youpreneur before the web and social? I know a lot of listeners can't envision those days but I certainly can and you can as well because we are old dudes, but I wonder how reasonable or realistic it would be to say, "Create a personal brand and build a business around it," in the pre-social days.
Chris Ducker: Yeah, that's a really good question, and I think that clearly it was a lot harder to do it.
Jay Baer: You had to be like, real world famous, right? You had to be in the newspaper, which is a different obstacle.
Chris Ducker: Yes, indeed. You think of somebody like Zig Ziglar for example. I'm sure a very large majority of your listeners and followers will know of Zig. For me, as a young guy from England, I mean none of my friends knew who Zig Ziglar was when I was 14, 15, but I was listening to See You at the Top on audio cassette from the library. I loved Zig Ziglar, a lot. A lot of my early development as a sales pro came from reading Zig's books and listening to his audio cassettes, and so when I think of that, Zig was a personal brand entrepreneur. He was the business and through all the books that he published, all the speeches that he did, all the stages that he graced, I never saw him. I never got the chance to meet him. I never saw him live on stage or anything like that, but I actually don't think that there's a month that goes by, Jay, where I don't read something from Zig, about Zig, or watch Zig in action on YouTube or something like that.
That just goes to show you the power of that longevity of a personal brand, and I truly believe that when you build the business of you, which you've heard me talk about before, it really is original. It's ultimately future-proof, because regardless of what industry you're in, the unique factor of the business of you is you, so it's ultimately 100% original. It's uncopyable, and Zig, he was obviously a little bit of a hop and a skip ahead of his time so to speak in that regards, but could you imagine what Zig could've done if everything that we now take for granted, you know what I mean? If Twitter and Facebook-
Jay Baer: Zig Ziglar on Instagram, baby.
Chris Ducker: Would have been so good, right?
Jay Baer: Your background is in sales, and a number of people who are successful social media fueled personal brands who are youpreneurs to use your term today come from a sales history. Do you think that is an inherent advantage?
Chris Ducker: Oh, without a doubt. Yeah, without a doubt. Because there's a confidence thing I think more than anything else. I have no fear at all of talking to anyone anywhere. Perhaps-
Jay Baer: Even on a podcast.
Chris Ducker: Even on a podcast. I mean, perhaps with taking out the opportunity of potentially meeting Her Majesty in person or something, that might get me a little shaky, but I mean no. Honestly I'm a very confident person because I truly believe because of my sales of marketing background, but sales and marketing is also something that can be learned and can be picked up and grown upon in terms of a skillset. Is it an advantage? Yes, without a shadow of a doubt. Is it needed? Not really, but it can certainly help you get to where you want to go a lot quicker.
Jay Baer: What is the most important element of your personal brand of being a youpreneur? Is it that confidence? Is it consistency? Is it having an area of expertise or a lesson or a message that people actually care about or can benefit from? What's the killer app within the youpreneur system?
Chris Ducker: I think ultimately it's being acutely aware of those that you're serving and what they really need from you. Being able to serve up solutions to problems and answers to questions that get asked on a regular basis. That for me is I think at the very core of the youpreneur ecosystem as I call it, where if you imagine ... Remember the old spider charts? Before it became cool to like MindMeister and all those things.
Jay Baer: Yeah. Mind mapping, yep.
Chris Ducker: Mind maps. There we go. Mind map. I called it a spider chart back in the day, and you draw one thing and then all the little tentacles would come out and all that kind of stuff. For me, I think being super switched on and turned on to what your people want from you, and that's the thing.
Look, as content creators whether it's on social, on our blogs, our podcasts, on YouTube, whatever it is. As content creators, when we get going, when we get started at first, what are we doing? We're putting out content that we think our audience or our prospective customers are going to want to see from us, but sooner or later further down the track, probably around three, four, five months if we're being consistent enough down the track, something magical happens. Little unicorns are born and your audience members, your community, your customers, they start coming to you and they tell you what they need help with, what they're struggling with, and that's when the magic begins.
Then you're no longer creating content that you think they want. You're creating content that you know they need, and that's when you really get the opportunity to serve them so very, very well, and in your words from a video that you and I did on the hop at a conference together. I can't even remember what the conference was now, but I have quoted you so many times on this. At that very point you become somebody's favorite. When you said those two words to me in that video, you have no idea Jay what it meant for me and my brand. It became so clear to me that that's what I needed to become, and I talk about that all the time. I talk about it in the book. I talk about it all the time. Becoming somebody's favorite. It's huge.
Jay Baer: It's the only way you can succeed, especially now when everything is so competitive from a messaging and conversation and communication standpoint. The only way you can have a successful blog or podcast or video series or hot air balloon race is if you're somebody's favorite, and the only way you can be somebody's favorite is to be really specific, which is why this show is about Social Pros and we have a very specific type of show here, and that means that this show will never be as big as some of the other podcasts out there about social media, but that's okay because we're trying to do this in a different way and intentionally be more relevant by being more narrow and specific, and I think that's something everybody can learn from and one of the things I see and I'm sure you do too because you train youpreneurs. You've got a whole program to work with people to help them build their personal brands. Obviously with the book as well now, Rise of the Youpreneur. Get it at or on Amazon.
This idea that I feel like people when they get started with hey, I want to have a personal brand and do this kind of thing, they tend to cast the net too widely. They either have too broad of a topic and/or they try to be everywhere in social. They're going to do everything. They're going to do Instagram and they're going to do LinkedIn. They're going to do Snapchat and they're going to do YouTube, and then they do none of it very well, and that typically doesn't succeed. Is that what you see as well?
Chris Ducker: Absolutely. Yeah, without a shadow of a doubt. I think it just comes down to the same thing that people want to do business with other people. People want to do business with other people. They want to get to know you. That doesn't mean that you need to show your innermost intimate secrets on social, but for example I have a very clear strategy on social across the board on all platforms, and that is I just follow the 80/20 rule of 80% of business value, tips, tactics, strategies, 20% of personal stuff.
So if I'm watching a Bruce Lee movie on a Sunday afternoon, I'll take a shot of the TV and say, "Hey, who's with my man Bruce? Who likes to see Bruce kick a little butt on a Sunday?" And I get all these great comments and funny little comments and things like that, but then during the week it'll be, "Hey, do you know that you need to treasure business relationships? Don't use them. There's a little reminder from Uncle Chris." So people get used to seeing that and they appreciate the fact that I do show a little bit of my personal life and even my kids not so often but from time to time, and they remember it and it makes a big difference. I truly believe it does.
Jay Baer: I want to talk a little bit about your use of social in particular because in content you have tried everything. You said you're not afraid to experiment. You've done a lot of work in YouTube. You have your own podcast, Youpreneur FM. Completely recommend the show. Go get it wherever you get your podcasts. You do a fair bit in Instagram and a number of other tactics to build your own brand. Talk a little bit about your journey through the forest of social media and content marketing plays and what you're liking and what's working best for you today.
Chris Ducker: The funny thing is when I first started on social, like really started on it, it was 2010. I think I registered my Twitter account in 2008 but I didn't use it for like a year and a half or something. When I first started using it, like a lot of people, I kind of just fumbled my way around. I didn't really know what to expect and what to put out, but I remember I became quite addicted to Twitter.
I remember that, and every morning I'd wake up and look. Yes, BlackBerry. I had a BlackBerry. You'd look at your BlackBerry and load it up and say, "Oh, okay. I got three new followers overnight. That's great," sort of thing. I didn't really know. I was fumbling around a lot. It was probably 2012 when I really started to take social media across the board very, very seriously because it was also the same year that I decided that I was going to go all in on my own personal brand development online as a platform as well, so we did this whole big redesign and we relaunched and there was new logos and colors and we made everything match across all of the social platforms with imagery and all that type of thing, and that was when I really started to take it very, very seriously.
Now we fast forward five, six years now and obviously I can't manage all of it myself. I've got a team who manage a lot of it, but I always say if you get a reply on Instagram or if you get a reply on Facebook or if you get a reply on Twitter, it's always me personally replying. I have 30 minutes a day on my schedule to do nothing but reply to comments and questions on social. At all other times however, anything else that you see going out, there's a very big likelihood that it's being run by my team in some way, shape, or form, but if you ask a question it's going to be me that answers it. I'm a big believer in that.
And so nowadays the stuff that I'm really enjoying now is really, I'm really into Instagram. I think Instagram is great. I'm loving the stories. I'm not going live as much as I probably should do and I'm going to change that, but I love Instagram Stories. See, Instagram Stories for me is the behind the scenes channel of me and my businesses and my life and my hardcore fans and followers, that's where they want to be because they want to see what I'm up to. I'll show more photos of my kids doing goofy things there than I will do on Twitter or on my profile, because I know 24 hours later it's gone. You know what I mean? And so it's behind the scenes stuff, and Twitter is still one of my favorite as well. I love the quickness, the speed of it. It's so mobile in every way, shape, or form, and Facebook. I've had a love/hate relationship with Facebook from day one. It's a real time suck but I love those adverts, man. Boy do I love those adverts. So I don't mess around with [inaudible 00:16:55]
Jay Baer: Well that's all we got left now anyways, so it's a good thing you like them.
Chris Ducker: Yeah. Right, exactly. Yeah. But then you start mixing in things like live video. When Periscope came out I was all over it and I loved Periscope. Facebook Live, I'm not feeling it so much. It kind of seems to me like people expect it to be a little bit more professional than what Periscope was. With Periscope it was kind of normal to see a joggy, shaky camera.
Jay Baer: Just turn it on.
Chris Ducker: Yeah.
Jay Baer: Yeah. Handheld, that kind of thing. One of the things that's interesting to me about this concept of being a personal brand and a youpreneur is the transition between what is today and what is tomorrow. So somebody gets the book. It's the manual for building a personal brand and taking control over your life and your business, but many people who listen to the show who are going to read the book aren't ready to do that yet. They have a job, and so how does that work? Let's just take a typical listener of this podcast and thank you to each and every one of you. There's tens of thousands of you in this situation, but a typical listener to this show is the manager or director of social media marketing or content or a similar discipline at a mid-sized company, so they may think, "You know what? I know a lot about these things. I listen to the show. I do social everyday. I read all the books. I go to the conferences. I should build more of my personal brand."
Chris, should they do that inside the walls of their company? Be an intrapreneur? Sometimes people use that term. I think it was coined by David Armano. Or should they say, "You know what? I'm going to quit. I'm going to quit my job and I'm going to take Chris's course, be part of his club, and I'm going to make online courses," or whatever their revenue stream is? Can you be a youpreneur inside an existing organization?
Chris Ducker: It's certainly harder to do it I think, but you can absolutely without a shadow of a doubt start building your personal brand inside of your company, and most companies who are forward thinking and that have their finger somewhat on the pulse will appreciate the fact that you want to do that as part of their firm. I certainly have no problems with my employees having active Twitter accounts and Facebook pages and things like that. It doesn't bother me at all.
In fact actually I kind of want them to do it. It gives them a bit of an inside look in terms of how we market our business and there's certain things that we can expect on a daily basis, and so I think it becomes maybe a little tougher. Particularly if you want to start monetizing and you're going to have to start looking through your employment contracts on noncompete and enticements and all those kind of clauses, but ultimately I believe if you are working on a little bit of a side hustle, I think sooner or later something will happen. There'll be some sort of event, some kind of catalyst where you turn around and ultimately say, "Okay, enough is enough. I'm going to jump ship. I'm going to go and do my own thing full time right now." And at that point-
Jay Baer: Yeah, look at some people who have been on this show. Carlos Gil was head of social at BMC Software. He started his own organization. Scott Monty, famously the head of social at Ford is now part of Brain+Trust Partners and doing his own thing on the youpreneur side, so it's not uncommon for professional social media managers, professional social media directors, the type of people who are guests on this program in many cases to eventually decide to take that entrepreneurial plunge. Now of course not everybody does it and we talked to many, many of our previous guests a couple weeks ago during our series of live shows on our 300th celebration and some of them are still in the same role doing the same kind of thing but other people have taken flight if you will and taken the youpreneur plunge, and some of it depends I think just on your own what you want in your life, right?
Because I don't want to minimize this. If you have a job at a good company and you think, "I want to go do my own thing. I want to build my personal brand. I want to be a youpreneur," that does carry with it some measure of risk. Now, reading Chris's book and being part of the youpreneur community is going to minimize that risk because it's going to teach you how to do it, but let's be honest. If you've got a great gig and they're paying you every two weeks versus, "Hey, I'm going to do it myself," that's not for everybody.
Chris Ducker: No, it's certainly not, and understand though. The flip side of that coin is that it might not be for you now, but it could be for you further down the line.
Jay Baer: Your life circumstances might change. Absolutely.
Chris Ducker: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. For example we have some members inside of the youpreneur community who still have full time jobs or at the very least part time jobs, and they're already branching out and doing their weekly podcast and they're putting together their first courses. They're taking the steps that they want to take at some point where they're going to end up taking the big plunge. They're getting to that big plunge point so to speak, and we're there to support them ultimately. That's what it comes down to.
Jay Baer: Friends, do not forget to get a copy of Rise of the Youpreneur. You can get it at or of course on Amazon or any places that books can be procured. Of course all the archives of this show are at This is episode 305, so many hours of enjoyment at Take a second to acknowledge our sister program, the Experience This! show. If you're looking for inspiring examples of customer experience and tips on how to make your customers love you even more, then the Experience This! show is for you. It's always upbeat. It's super entertaining. It's a different kind of podcast. It's not about fails. It's about brands doing the right thing every time. It's hosted by Joey Coleman and Dan Gingiss. It's a weekly dose of positive customer experience stories, and it's a really successful show. It's Experience This! You can find it all the places that you get podcasts or you can go to to listen in. I would love for you to do that.
Also, a quick acknowledgment of our sponsor, Salesforce Marketing Cloud. They've got a terrific ebook that they just published called The Business Leader's Guide to Becoming a Social Business. Your customers expect now one-on-one interactions with your brand everyday. Customer expectations continue to skyrocket. That genie is not going back in the bottle, and this particular book tells you how to make that a reality inside your organization. Tells you what to do when you're trying to assess the skills of your current social media team. Tells you how to track potential missed opportunities. Tells you how to position social for real success inside your organization, even when you've got to go talk to your boss about why social is still important. And tells you how to analyze your results authoritatively and intelligently. Make the most out of your social media especially if you're inside a brand. Go to bitly/socialbusinessguide. That's bitly/socialbusinessguide, all lower case.
Chris, you and I are going to be together this fall at the big Youpreneur Summit which is your incredibly successful event series based on the principles of personal branding and youpreneurism. It's in the UK. Tell folks about the summit so that they can come see you in particular, and if they choose to, me.
Chris Ducker: I think they'll probably come to see you before me. Honestly it was my dream to hold an event like this. I've been holding events all around the world for years, everything from small round table mastermind days right the way up to 100 people one-day workshops, seminars, and obviously a keynote as you know and all that sort of stuff. But for the longest time I've always wanted to do a big business event in my hometown of London, and we pulled it off last year for the first time. The inaugural Youpreneur Summit was November 2017 at the incredible, the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Convention Center right opposite Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, and we sold the event out four months before it was due to take place. I was blown away with it, and we had almost 400 people from 37 countries around the world attend the event. It was unbelievable, and it's going to be even more unbelievable in November this year because we got Jay Baer coming to keynote this bad boy. I can't wait. Are you excited? I want to know, how excited are you?
Jay Baer: Yeah but last year you had ... Didn't you have Pat last year? Didn't you have Pat Flynn last year?
Chris Ducker: We did. Pat closed it up last year. Yeah.
Jay Baer: Oh, Pat's amazing. Pat's amazing. He's so fantastic. He's actually speaking at Social Media Marketing World here in a couple weeks. He's going to be great.
Chris Ducker: He is. He is indeed. He made the audience cry, like full on man tears cry. Yeah.
Jay Baer: Is that your expectation? Is that in my contract? Because if so, it's not what I usually do. It's not what I usually do but for you Chris, I'm happy to make a change. No, I'm going to talk about Talk Triggers at your summit, because my book will be out about a month before the event and it's particularly germane to that audience because Talk Triggers is all about same is lame. That we ignore things that are average and we talk about things that are different.
If you want to try and build a personal brand, the one thing you absolutely, positively must do, and I know this. I didn't write the book on personal branding. Chris did, but the one thing I know is that if you try and play follow the leader and you try and do everything that I do or everything that Chris does or everything that Gary Vee does or everything that Carlos Gil does or everything that anybody else does, you are going to fail. Because you will never be anything other than second best. If all you care about are averages you will never be anything other than an average marketer and you have to have the courage to do something different and it really is about courage, and I'm going to talk about that at the big summit in the UK this fall.
Chris Ducker: I love that, man. I've loved every single one of your books, but I think that is extremely required right now. I think it's bang on the button when it comes to-
Jay Baer: Got to break through, man.
Chris Ducker: Yeah. Without a doubt. I couldn't agree more.
Jay Baer: We just turned in the first draft of the book to the publisher. Daniel Lemon and I are co-writing Talk Triggers. Just turned it in a couple weeks ago. We're super fired up. I think it has a chance to be the best thing I've done and I'm really, really proud of it and can't wait to get it out there.
Chris Ducker: That's awesome. Well we can't wait to have you-
Jay Baer: Oh it's going to be a blast.
Chris Ducker: In London. You must've spoken in London before, right?
Jay Baer: You know, only once as a matter of fact. I don't do that much outside North America because it just takes-
Chris Ducker: The travel. It's a nightmare.
Jay Baer: Yeah. It takes days. I don't mind the travel. It just takes days off my calendar. It's just an inefficient way to do what I do, but for you, I am there. Absolutely. And I was in Prague recently and I loved that and I'm going back, so I do a couple things outside the US every year. My plan is when both my kids are out of the house to do more. To do more oversea, just because a little easier in that regard, and that's not too far. I'm like 18 months away from that happening because I've got older kids, and I want to talk about that. It's a good segue, Chris. You should have a podcast. Oh wait. You do. Youpreneur FM. You live in the Philippines currently. You are not Filipino as folks who are good at accents can probably discern. You are in fact part of the British empire. You have always lived, at least as long as I've known you, either in the UK or in the Philippines. You occasionally come over stateside for a little bit to do some speaking and to see some folks.
To me that is a very interesting and logistically fascinating element of your work, because many of your members, many of your people in your tribe probably are in North America, and so you're doing this timezone dance, and also what is happening in social and digital in the Philippines is not necessarily what's happening in social and digital in the US and vice versa, so talk a little bit about building this entire community and writing books and all that from what is really a ways away from where a lot of us are located and where a lot of the conversations are happening.
Chris Ducker: For me, it's become very, very normal with the ... I mean the timezone is the biggest issue. There's absolutely no doubt about it. Because it means that particularly if I want to have US based people on my show or I want to hop onto other people's shows like I am right now, it's 9:00 PM at the time that we're recording now. It's the beginning of your day, so it sometimes does mean-
Jay Baer: Yeah, it's 8:00 AM here.
Chris Ducker: There you go. So sometimes I batch these what I call international calls quite frankly where I might do-
Jay Baer: It's why Chris is always drunk on podcasts, because it's like 9:00, 10:00 for him, so if you ever hear him on a show that's the key to his enthusiasm.
Chris Ducker: That's it. The problem is when I start getting drunk when I'm doing it the other way around. 8:00 in the morning and it's like 9:00 PM eastern, you know what I mean?
Jay Baer: Seek help.
Chris Ducker: But no, the timezone is a pain in the butt. There's no doubt about it. But you just roll with it. I chose to be here. I've loved my time in the Philippines. I've been here 17 years, but we are moving back to the UK this coming June, and that's a full time, permanent move back. The time is right. The kids are the right age. The businesses are all doing very, very well and it's just something that we want to do more so than any other reason honestly because of lifestyle. Nothing else really. It's mainly lifestyle, but that being said now that we've got the Youpreneur Summit annually in November in London each year and more and more opportunities are coming my way in regards to speaking back in the UK and all that type of thing, the business angle becomes more exciting. Possibilities become a lot easier. Obviously I'm going to be able to hop over to the US and speak more than I have been able to in the last few years, and overall it's just going to be a lot better.
But things like social that you brought up. I have my Twitter trends set to the UK trending list, not the Philippines one. That's how I keep up to date on those kind of things, but honestly I have a very limited peer group here in the Philippines. All my friends are in the US and the UK, and actually probably ... Shoot, probably 90% of my very close friends are in the United States. They're not even in the UK, and that's mainly because of the fact that I've spent more time in the US on business and the holidaying and things like that in the last decade than I have done in the UK, but we're ready to go back it's going to be good.
Jay Baer: I'm looking forward to you getting over there and spending more time with you. It's going to be great for the family I'm sure and you can get back to your roots and dig down into soccer and all the things that it's harder to do over there, right? You can roll around.
Chris Ducker: You know me, man. I'm a hoops guy. I'm a hoops guy. I don't think I'm going to get back into soccer.
Jay Baer: The only hoops fan in the UK pretty much, which is great. You were telling me before we started the show, and I want to ask you about this because we've talked about it on Social Pros in the past with Adam and other guests about it sort of being a positive trend and I've talked about a little bit in my last book Hug Your Haters. This idea of bots, of Facebook Messenger bots and other bots. You're kind of anti-bot, which I find interesting. Why is that? Because you lose the personal touch that you talked about earlier?
Chris Ducker: Yeah, that's it. That's really what it comes down to. The P2P is what it's all about for me personally and it's what I preach to my youpreneur community. It's what I preach to people that tune into my show. But look, I want to clarify. It doesn't mean that I won't use bots when I can truly accept that they're not going to put me in the you know what. It's just that I've seen too many nightmares already in a very short space of time.
Just over Christmas I saw that somebody had lost their pet. The pet had passed away, and somebody was talking about it on I think it was Facebook. Yeah, it was Facebook, and there was a picture of their dog and this lady was very upset. "My dog has passed away. It's such a lonely time. Blah blah blah blah blah." And somebody decided to just go ahead via their bot and post a reply saying, "Hey, have a great new year! 2018's going to be the best year ever," or something. And I was like, that's douchey. That's stupid. It's a silly thing, and it could've been avoided if that bot wasn't turned on.
So I don't know. I mean, I'm not anti-bot or anti-automation. I just think that you have to be very, very, very careful when setting them up. And obviously, we automate a whole bunch of tweets and social updates and things like that, but true story, when we launched the tickets for the Youpreneur Summit, we were due to launch them last March and I was in the United States.
I was speaking at a conference. I think it was in LA. I woke up in the morning, turned on my laptop, looked at the news, and London had just had a terror threat by somebody driving a car into a small group of people in Westminster, and that's exactly where the Youpreneur Summit is held. It's in the city of Westminster, and literally Jay, the email was about to go out to start to promote the ticket sales in about an hour, and obviously I went into our email service provider and I hit the pause button. So just imagine if I hadn't ... I mean, look. Maybe it wouldn't have been horrifically bad for sales, but why would you even want to risk it? You know what I mean? Give people time to recover from something like that.
So yeah, I'm not anti-bot. I'm not anti-automation. I want to clarify that, but I think that we're a good way off yet before I will start to sincerely use that type of technology to build my business anyway.
Jay Baer: Yeah, you just have to be careful and keep your head up. Absolutely. Well said. I want to ask you a question about the little tidbit that you sent me before the show that you once directed a documentary on Hong Kong cinema. That is a fact about Chris that I did not know. Please tell our audience about that, because next time you see Chris at an event you can say, "Hey, I really enjoyed your documentary on Hong Kong cinema."
Chris Ducker: You can impress me by being one of about 12 people that saw it. In the '90s, actually Jay, I was kind of a big deal in the '90s in the UK when it came to the Hong Kong film world. I've always been a big movie of action cinema and obviously Hong Kong cinema particularly with people like Jackie Chan and Jet Li and those guys, it's always been a big contributor to action cinema worldwide. And so as a fan of the genre I would go looking for ... I mean this is 1994, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Yes, I was on the Internet, but I had a CompuServe email address. or whatever it was, and then you have that and you go around saying, "I'm on the Internet." Right? It's like a cool thing.
So I was looking for information. I would go to ... There's a great store in London. It's still there. It's called Forbidden Planet. It's all movie memorabilia and it's for the movie geeks and the comic geeks and all that stuff, and I would go and look for magazines and VHS and all that type of thing, and there was never really anything out there so I started my own fanzine called Hong Kong Superstars in 1994, and by 1996 it had actually become a full blown quarterly A4 color magazine, and we would print it ourselves in London. We would sell it all around the world. We got our website up and running in '96. We had annual subscriptions. I used to fly to Hong Kong two, three times a year and bring boxes of stuff back to sell at little double bill movie events that we would hold in London's Chinatown.
Then I think in '97, '98 I flew to Hong Kong and I brought a video camera with me, and I just started knocking on all these doors to film companies and I said, "Hey, I'm making a low budget documentary on Hong Kong cinema. I'm from the UK. I know you don't know me. I'm not mental, but I'm a big fan and I want to spread the love of Hong Kong film to the people of England." And they ate it up, man. I got into offices of directors, producers, editors, actresses, actors. I had Jet Li come in 1999 to do a screening of his movie Romeo Must Die, which was huge. It was a big Warner Bros. release. We did stuff with Jackie Chan and all this other stuff.
So yeah, we did this whole documentary. We edited it. It was 90-odd minutes and we released it on VHS to our fans, and honestly I think we ended up selling I don't know, maybe 300 copies or something.
Jay Baer: Well you know what? Today that would be a video podcast, right? That would be the Hong Kong cinema video podcast.
Chris Ducker: And I'll tell you what. One of the guys that I was running around with back then is one of my oldest friends now. We've known each other obviously 20+ years. He's the godfather of my daughter that was just born before Christmas. We've remained very close friends and in contact this whole time. We just actually talked maybe just two or three weeks ago about what it would've been like for the Hong Kong Superstars if we had social and podcasts and video, and we start daydreaming about-
Jay Baer: You'd probably still be doing it because it could've been a job, right? You could've made it a youpreneur success story, and you'd probably still be doing that and not be doing this because you could actually monetize it.
Chris Ducker: Yep, yep. You never know. You never know. So yeah, that's a funny little tidbit of information.
Jay Baer: I think you should dust it back off. I think you should start it again. Now's the time. It's not too late. You need some more projects.
Chris Ducker: I think that's-
Jay Baer: You already own like 114 companies. I think you should start a new project which is Hong Kong.
Chris Ducker: Yeah, I clearly don't have enough to do with my day. You're right.
Jay Baer: Yeah. Babies at home. Millions of companies. Moving to the UK. Running an event. Writing a book. Chris does not let grass grow under his feet. I'll tell you that. It's one thing I love about Chris Ducker. He is always on the move, and I'll tell you. One of the things that you are very I think overt about in your lessons and recommendations for budding youpreneurs is that look, this takes real work. There's no magic beans. There's no magic formula. Now, you're not quite as dogmatic about it as Gary Vee is who ... You're not going to suggest that it's all about the hustle, but this is not an easy path.
Chris Ducker: The way the word hustle and grind gets thrown around nowadays is ridiculous. It's just hard work is what it is. It's just about rolling your sleeves up.
Jay Baer: Right. It didn't need a brand. It didn't need a trademark.
Chris Ducker: No it didn't. It certainly didn't need [inaudible 00:40:44]
Jay Baer: What drives me crazy about that is it's positioned as if that's some new, modern concept. Like, "Oh, you know what the secret is to modern business. Hard work." Hard work, as opposed to businesses in the '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, and '00s where hard work was not really required to be an entrepreneurial success, but now it is. Now because of the Internet you really got to hustle. And I'm like, you know who hustled? People in the 1870s. They hustled a lot because they had to go get their own water, right? So this is axiomatic, they would say. It doesn't even require-
Chris Ducker: Yeah, they hustled or they went thirsty. It was that simple.
Jay Baer: Yeah. It doesn't require a mention I think in many cases, which is what drives me crazy. Chris, I am super psyched.
Chris Ducker: You and me both, without a doubt. I agree with you 100% and I think that at the very end of the day, I think everybody knows ultimately that if you want to be a success it's not going to fall in your lap. You've got to chase it down.
Jay Baer: Folks, make sure you grab a copy of Rise of the Youpreneur. You can go to, or of course Amazon or all the places that you procure books. Chris, can I ask you the two questions we ask everybody here on the show? You remember how this works. First one for you Chris Ducker is, what one tip would you give somebody who's looking to become a social pro?
Chris Ducker: Authenticity. All the way. No smoke and mirrors. Be you all the time. You're the unique factor in everything that you do, and I think that the more unique, the more original you can be, the more successful you're going to be.
Jay Baer: Yeah. As they say, right? Stop trying to be somebody else because they're already taken. That kind of thing.
Chris Ducker: Exactly.
Jay Baer: Last question for Chris Ducker, proprietor of the youpreneur movement. If you could do a Skype video call with any living person, who would it be? Is it Jet Li? Is it Jackie Chan?
Chris Ducker: Sir Richard Branson.
Jay Baer: Sir Richard Branson. Okay.
Chris Ducker: Sir Richard Branson.
Jay Baer: Staying with your people. I appreciate that.
Chris Ducker: You can put it like that. No, but honestly he has been so incredibly influential to me through my career as an entrepreneur. I've learned so much from watching and learning and reading from him. Never had the opportunity to sit down with him or anything. I certainly hope I do in some capacity, but yeah. Sir Richard. An hour and a half. Oh, that would be fantastic.
Jay Baer: Alright, I think you can make that happen one of these days. Here's the idea. If I'm going to be a keynote at Youpreneur Summit in 2018, 2019, Sir Richard Branson.
Chris Ducker: Yeah, because he's going to feel like he's missing out otherwise, right? After you being there.
Jay Baer: I don't know about that, but I think you can do that. Just walk in there with your video camera and say, "Hey, we wanted you to be a part of this event."
Chris Ducker: I'll give it a whirl. I'll give it a go.
Jay Baer: Yeah. I appreciate it. Hey, thanks for writing another fantastic book. People are going to benefit from it all around the world. Thanks for all the work that you do with your community. You are a giver and a fantastic human being so I appreciate you taking the time and congratulations on all the success.
Chris Ducker: Thank you, brother. I loved it very much. Thank you very much.
Jay Baer: You too, buddy. I will see you soon. I'll see you in San Diego soon and then obviously this fall in the UK.
Chris Ducker: It's going to be good. It's going to be good.
Jay Baer: It will. It will be good. Ladies and gentlemen, that is your favorite show, Social Pros. Next week Adam will be back with another fantastic guest talking about real people doing real work in social media. I am as always Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert. You can find all 305 episodes of this program at Tell your friends. See you next time. Thanks so much.
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