About The Content Experience Show:
Welcome to The Content Experience Show where content experience is the new content marketing. It’s not only about reaching our audiences where they are, but engaging them with a personalized experience of meaningful, useful content that they’ll take with them over time. The guests on the Content Experience Show share strategies, tips, and real-world examples of how they’re taking their content marketing to the next level and providing their current and prospective customers with a true content experience. This isn’t just a trend. It’s a movement.
Apple Podcast Reviews:
It doesn't get any better for content marketers. They present a balanced, insightful discussion of current trends and ask all the right questions. Their guest list is a "Who's Who" of content professionals. Outstanding.Jared Johnson Piano
I love listening to marketing podcasts and this one is on my must-listen to list. Very knowledgable hosts and topical discussions.The Marketing Book Podcast
Authors Barry Feldman and Seth Price, copywriter and marketing/branding speaker respectively, join the Content Pros Podcast to discuss their debut book “The Road to Recognition” and the intersection of content and branding to achieve marketing success.
Know, Like, Trust… Then Meet.
If there is one thing Barry and Seth understand on a deeper level than most, it’s the powerful relationship between branding, both personal and professional, and content success.
In the current monsoon days of content, an eye-catching byline or intro is no longer enough to move readers deeper into your materials. Many would-be customers stop at the name in their inbox or on their screen and use that to help them decide if they are going to keep reading or throw the whole thing away.
Cutting through the noise with your name alone is possible for any size company. But achieving that level of branding takes two things: practice and passion. Practice ensures your content composition is on point. Passion is what gets you through the beginning dark days where nobody is reading what you are putting out there.
Barry and Seth’s knowledge on the marriage of content and branding as the tool that can overcome content shock will get you in the door with customers long before you even meet them.
In This Episode
- How the power of personal branding leads to getting your name out of spam folder and in front of a reader
- Why building a brand means starting with the foundational platforms that many take for granted
- How passion and zeal lead to tenacity and perseverance through the hard times of content
- Why successful content means an equal amount of time spent on both writing and visual design
Quotes From This Episode
“When you have a company and you don’t have a fully formed product yet, often the way that you build trust is by doing activities in the world to build your brand and your reputation before anyone knows the name of your company.” —@sethprice
“We’ve identified something called “second careerist” where somebody is making their shift in the middle years.” —@FeldmanCreative
“There’s this idea that sunk in over the last decade or so that your name is a brand.” —@FeldmanCreative
“Your leading salesperson, in many ways, has to be a great personal brand because they don’t know anything until they speak to that person.” —@sethprice
“Anybody can make any media. It’s not hard given a little bit of technology and a little bit of knowledge and prowess. That’s the good news, and it’s also the bad news because the noise is relentless.” —@FeldmanCreative
“We get bombarded with so much stuff that the things that we grasp and pay attention to tends to be human-focused and they tend to be really intimately related to our pain and what we need and who we are as individuals.” —@sethprice
99% of the time, consumers don’t need the thing you have until they have this critical moment, the zero moment of truth. Click To Tweet
“You start to hit the touch points that a consumer has on the web so they can know, like, and trust you before they actually meet you.” —@sethprice
“Analog activities that sales people do should not go away. Like you should still call people and meet them face-to-face and go out to coffee with your clients and show up in person if you can, but you get amplification from content.” —@sethprice
If you don’t share your ideas, nobody will know if they are any good. Click To Tweet
“The world doesn’t need another piece of content, for the most part. What the consumer needs is a way to consume ideas so that they can really understand it, they can digest it, and they don’t get taken away by distraction very easily.” —@sethprice
“A website is crucial. It’s hard to build an asset that you can reuse over and over again on a social platform because you don’t control over it.” —@sethprice
“Had one person in that whole interaction said “You know what, this could go bad,” and made a decision on how to represent the company, they could have saved the company hundreds of millions of dollars. That’s brand representation.” —@sethprice
- Barry Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanCreative
- Seth Price on Twitter: @sethprice
- The Road to Recognition: The A-To-Z Guide to Personal Branding to Accelerate Your Professional Success in the Age of Digital Media
- The Point
- The Brand Called You by Tom Peters
- Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
- SEO Simplified for Short Attention Spans
|Randy:||Welcome to another episode of Content Pros. I am Randy Frisch from Uberflip. As always, I’ve got Tyler Lessard joining me from Vidyard, and this is an interesting show even for the two of us, I think. Tyler will be able to pipe in here with his thoughts, but we’re going to talk about personal branding, and it’s a fun topic for me because I’m always trying to figure out what my personal brand is even when I do something like Content Pros. “How am I coming off? What are the things that I need to do to ensure that the people we’re trying to sell to see me in a different way than maybe my kids see me at home?”
Tyler, maybe you can tell us a little bit about the guests that we’ve got brought together, the book that they’ve put together, and everything we’re going to dive into in the next 20, 30 minutes.
|Tyler:||Yeah. I’m super excited to have Barry Feldman and Seth Price with us here today. I think they’ve got some very interesting perspectives on the intersection between content and brand, and whether we’re talking about personal brand, whether we’re talking about our business’s brand. Some very interesting perspectives.
Again, not only are these guys thought leaders in the market, they’re active practitioners, but they are also the authors of The Road to Recognition: The A-To-Z Guide to Personal Branding to Accelerate Your Professional Success in the Age of Digital Media. With that, I’m going to turn it over to you guys to quickly introduce yourselves and your origin stories if you will, and then I want to dive into what The Road to Recognition is all about. Barry, maybe yourself first, if you could introduce, and then over to Seth?
|Barry:||You got it. Thanks, Tyler, and thanks, Randy, for having us. I am Barry Feldman, and I am the founder of a boutique-style agency called “Feldman Creative,” and I have a blog called “The Point.” I have been up to my ear balls in content marketing and digital strategy, consulting for companies of all sizes for many years. I started in the agency business.
I defected, and I went to … I worked for myself in 1995, so I’ve been doing this as long as the internet actually existed, and I write here, there, and everywhere. Some people know me … A lot of people know me, I suppose, from popular marketing blogs including, of course, Convince and Convert where I’m a somewhat regular contributor. Yeah. That’s what I do. I help companies of all sizes. They’re largely marketing companies these days, marketing tech, marketing services, do their digital marketing.
|Seth:||Awesome, and I’m Seth Price. I’m the co-author of the Road to Recognition. I come from a sales and marketing background, so a VP of Marketing, CMO, normally for early-stage technology startups that have raised their angel funding and then we go on to raise an A, B, C, and most recently a D for my recent company Placester. The book came about because I live this. When you have a company and you don’t have a fully formed product yet, often the way that you build trust is by doing activities in the world to build your brand and your reputation before anyone knows the name of your company. It took 3 years until people could pronounce the name of Placester the way it’s spelled and so that’s sort of what I do. I write a lot of content, I speak 35 times a year at all kinds of marketing and sales events to be somebody that spreads the world of digital marketing.|
|Tyler:||The Road to Recognition is focused on personal branding, but one of the things that struck me … that the ideas in this book can be as relevant I think to individuals, right? I think anybody frankly listening to this podcast, and how they’re building their own careers, and the importance and value of their brand I think as it can be to someone who is building and representing a company like you talked about, so I’m curious, maybe to kick this off, is who did you write this book for? Who were you thinking about as your audience, and how did that shape your approach to the actual content, and the structure, and everything that went into it?|
|Seth:||Well I’ll frame this and then I’ll let Barry add the detail. Because there are two co-authors and we were alternating chapters in the beginning, we realized early on that we needed a unified audience to speak to. Barry was the one that said “Hey, we can’t write this for marketing geeks because they’re writing blog posts. We need to write this for our friends and, you know, people that are out there building and representing companies so they can have all of the tactics and strategies in a workbook, or a guidebook, that they can work from”.|
|Barry:||Yeah, and there’s a long list of personas, but I think you nailed it that it’s a business leader, it’s an entrepreneur, it’s a solopreneur. We’ve identified something that is catching on called “second careerist” where somebody is making they’re shift in the middle years. Certainly, we call them “aspiring professionals” on our website, and I think mostly, we’re talking about students there, and so it doesn’t exclude a lot of people.
The principles I suppose largely apply to any brand today. The book’s got quite a concentration on the creation of content marketing and building platforms to express your ideas, and so it’s pretty portable to a lot of people, but yeah. There’s this idea that your name is a brand. That sunk in over the last decade or so, and the examples are endless. If you’re Placester company … If you’re a Placester client, you’re a real estate agent. Absolutely perfect example of somebody who needs to develop a great personal brand.
|Seth:||And I’ll just follow up on that, one of the co-founders of my company, Matt Barbay, he’s an engineer and finance background, he is just a brilliant guy to be working with, but he does not prioritize personal branding. He doesn’t have a personal brand, it’s just not amplified. The decision that he made was to entrust me as the face of the company. So it can apply in a lot of different places and generally your leading salesperson, in many ways, has to be a great personal brand because they don’t know anything until they speak to that person, even if they’re doing a majority of SAS sales. It’s your customer service team, it’s the folks that answer the phone, it’s the folks that are represented on your site that really show trust in who you are as a company.|
|Tyler:||Right. Going back, and you mentioned the last decade as you think about things that have changed, and I think in those same sort of terms of going back 10, 15 years, personal brand I think meant something very different than what it means today, and obviously, the tactics we use and the opportunity I believe have changed a lot, so I’m curious on your guys’ perspective as to what has changed in the last five, 10 years if you want to use that that has really built the foundation for personal brand not only being a bigger opportunity for all of us, but something that we can really put into practice quickly and have a real impact.|
|Barry:||That’s an interesting question. Many, and I think everybody that’s really paying close attention, attribute the term “personal branding” to Tom Peters because of an article that he wrote and said that term for the first time. Great term, really easy to understand, and he said, “You’re the CEO of a company called ‘Me Inc.,’” and that was 1997. He pointed to one channel, which was a pretty obvious channel to point to, which was email. He said, “You know, when your email box is crowded, how is that person going to decide who’s to open? The answer is those that they recognize and know.”
What’s changed in the last 20 years I guess it is now, particularly the last decade, is that the democratization of media mix so that there are a lot more channels than email, and there are a lot more questions like that. “How do I get somebody’s attention whether that platform be blogging, broadcasting, article writing, speaking, video, what have you?” I think that’s the biggest change. Anybody can make any media. It’s not hard given a little bit of technology and a little bit of knowledge and prowess. That’s the good news, and it’s also the bad news because the noise is relentless.
|Seth:||Yeah, I’d say that goes to the attention piece which is if you look back at the last 16 years there are numerous studies that point to human’s ability to pay attention has reduced somewhere around 30%. And so, you can look at all the devices that we deal with, the “content shock”, if you want to call it that, the ability to reach and capture the attention of an individual is harder and harder, and being authentic and being human is almost an anomaly today because we just get bombarded with so much stuff that the things that we grasp and pay attention to tends to be human-focused and they tend to be really intimately related to our pain and what we need and who we are as individuals. So that combined with what Barry said, I think is just this firestorm right now where without a brand you’re two clicks away from obscurity because there is no way for the consumer to differentiate you from someone else.|
|Randy:||Barry, just digging in on the type of mediums that you described that have made this personal branding phenomenon possible, maybe we can dig in on some examples of people who you think are doing it really well out there, and I’m going to even make it semi-easy for you because you’re someone I think all of us on this podcast can relate to and admire for this, a guy like Jay Baer, right? For those listening to the podcast, Jay Baer is behind Convince and Convert, and Content Pros. He’s part of the Convince and Convert family of podcasts. From that perspective, what are some of the things that you’ve seen Jay do that you think have really set in in terms of building that personal brand?|
|Barry:||What hasn’t Jay done? If there’s a checklist of personal branding challenges, he’s checked all the boxes as far as I can tell. He’s making videos. He’s using every social media platform. He’s written a number of books. He’s on a nonstop speaking circuit. He might be the ultimate example at least to marketers. He’s usually atop influencer lists and has been purported to be the most retweeted guy and all that stuff. I think there.
I always think of it as elevator. I call it the “expert elevator.” I’ve said this a few times, and there are ground floors, and I’m sure Jay considered blogging one of those ground floors, and way up in the penthouse are things that take much more time and ultimately, probably have even larger rewards like being a professional speaker and writing multiple books, but in between are all these platforms. Social media represents a fair share of them, and you can express your ideas in any number of ways.
The book, to answer your question about who are the rock stars in the world of recognition, the book certainly answers that question perhaps with a little bias towards marketing since Seth and I are marketers and hobnob with speakers, and podcasters, and fellow authors, and so forth. Each chapter of the book begins with one of those. They’re contributors that gave us original content to take on the topic of the chapter, and those include Brian and Clark of Copyblogger, and Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute, and Lee Odden, and Andy Crestodina.
The list is long. I’m not going to hit them all, but this of all people that understand these principles and built in some cases like Joe who wrote about the topic. He built a massive community, a tribe, a following of loyalists before he even figured out what he was going to sell, and so a great example is there from within the book, and then personal branders are everywhere in entertainment. In this post that went up today, I say, “There’s Oprah, and Ellen, and LeBron,” I say, “And Adele. It’s unfair, but these people are so good at it.” Obviously, celebrities. It only takes one name to conjure massively quick response to what they’re good at and what they’re famous for.
|Randy:||Seth, digging back into this idea, starting to build your personal brand. Barry gave us some examples of some of the great names out there, Joe at Content Marketing Institute, Jay at Convince and Convert, who have really taken it to that highest level, but I think the overwhelming part for a lot of us when we look at those people is where do we even start? I’m wondering what your thoughts and what your advice is. Maybe you can even point to some takeaways from the book in terms of where can people get started building their brand.|
|Seth:||It’s the same as when you’re building a product or deciding to do a business, is you’re trying to figure out who is the audience that you’re creating this thing for and the brand is the same way. What is your subject matter expertise and who is the audience that matters to your career or furthering your business? Because when you can start to focus that down into, I’ll call it a “microniche”, you can start to figure out where do they spend their time? What are the key connection channels where that audience is consuming stuff? And then how do you provide value to them when they’re not looking to buy and sell what you have, right?
Because 99% of the time, consumers don’t need the thing you have until they have this moment, this critical moment, the zero moment of truth you might add.. and so if you can figure out who they are, what that connection channel is, and then start with a repeatable brand building activity, and Barry mentioned some of the foundational things like blogging is still really, really powerful if it’s targeted to an audience. Having your own website allows you to control your platform and then you might go into more specialized things. Like this podcast is very specific about folks that are interested in content marketing. They tend to buy products that you and I might sell. They tend to follow not only the podcast but then they might read the content and then they’re certainly going to know more about Jay but maybe Jay’s other podcasts might be something that they consume and so you start to hit the touch points that a consumer has on the web so they can know, like, and trust you before they actually meet you.
So that’s generally a good place to start and then the last cross section there, it’s good to do something there that is part of your passion. So if you like public speaking and maybe you’re not great at it yet but there might be something to lean into there because that’s going to drive the zeal part of it. Z is for Zeal in our book, what’s going to get you to get out of bed and do this when it’s a little hard? Because in the beginning, you start blogging, no one’s really reading it until you build a body of work.
|Tyler:||Something that really struck me when going through the book and thinking about this with you guys is that I think those building a personal brand, there’s such an analogy to content marketing as a whole really, right? It’s about developing the right themes and the right messages being empathetic to your audience and what’s interesting to them.
It’s about using multiple mediums and types of mediums, multiple channels to get that message out there, and to be creative, to be authentic. I could go on and on I think, and so it’s … There’s almost this question of, is personal brand … whether you’re in marketing, whether you’re running a business, whether you’re a real estate agent, is it really an uber content marketing exercise? If so, should we be focusing and following those content marketing practices as a way, as a foundation to build our brand? Right.
|Seth:||Oh I’d say 100%. I mean, Barry… both he and I have built our businesses and the inbound activity from our businesses from doing some form of content marketing. And it doesn’t mean that the analog activities that sales people do should go away. Like you should still call people and you should still meet them face-to-face and go out to coffee with your clients and show up in person if you can, but you get amplification from content.|
|Barry:||Someone in the book says, “If you don’t share your ideas, nobody will know if they are any good.” Yeah. You have to have a platform. Michael Hyatt wrote a book specifically called “Platform” about the idea for which you express yourself. To hearken back to two questions ago, where do you begin? I can tie these two answers together. Seth laid out a great strategic path and mentioned a few platforms, but I’m often asked that question when in front of an audience and the people are indeed overwhelmed.
I say, “Well, raise your hand if you have a website.” Unfortunately, only about half the people raised their hand, and so I say, “All right. You need to go home and make a website tonight,” and then I say, “Put your hand down if you don’t have a blog,” or, “Keep your hand up if you do have a blog.” Then, most of the hands go down, so it doesn’t have to be that overwhelming.
I think you start with a website and a blog, and it doesn’t have to be a blog, some platform that you’re comfortable with. It could be a vlog. There’s a variety of choices that are all addressed in the book. Then, I think while almost everybody is on LinkedIn, I think very few people take good care of their LinkedIn profile, so I think that’s definitely a foundational starting point too.
|Tyler:||Yeah, and I think something that helped me as well in the work I’ve done from a personal brand perspective is having those pieces there, and then having a set of, let’s say, three to four main themes, or topics, or hypothesis that I want to focus on for a 12-month period because I find you can quickly go off on, “What should I talk about next?” and, “What’s over here?” and, “What’s the latest trend?” If you keep true to a few main ideas that you can explore throughout the year, and I think staying focused, building an audience on depth of value as opposed to breadth can have big payoffs and can help you think about, “What does my content roadmap look like?” I think that’s something that’s been interesting.
The other piece which I’m interested in your perspective because you guys do this really well is how to make your content approachable and digestible because we can all ramble on in a blog and be verbal diarrhea writing this big long piece, but if it’s not simple and easy, and I love what you did in the book, you’re using the alphabet as the framework. It was like, “I can tell a content marketer wrote this book.” Right? It’s very approachable. It’s very digestible. I can snack in here and there, and it was really great. Right? It’s like, “This isn’t a writer. This is a content marketer who pulled this together.” Do you guys have tips on … Yeah. When you get started, how do you make your content approachable? Is it chunking it up? Is it using numbers and letters, or how do you approach that?
|Seth:||Barry, why don’t you do the writing piece and I’ll talk about the design piece?|
|Barry:||Yeah, yeah. I was thinking, “How did we get this far without talking about what the book looks like?” Certainly, that’s part of the answer, so we’ll let Seth tackle that. Yeah. You nailed that with your question there. You answered it. I think you make it approachable by injecting your personality. Certainly, I get a lot of feedback about how when people read something by me, they can tell it’s by me even if they didn’t see my name. That takes some work, but I’ve been writing for a long time, and so I think that’s part of the answer is developing your voice, and then storytelling and using examples.
Then, comes what you said, chunking. It’s a new term to me, but I saw a review of the book yesterday about its design, and that person, Roger C. Parker, explicitly called it chunking, so now I know what it means. It is presenting the information in consumable pieces, and so you can say that we did that with each chapter. Like you said, it’s a reference manual. You’re welcome to read the P chapter first if podcasting interests you.
But then, within each chapter is a very structured repeatable process that goes … beautiful spread that introduces the idea with a very small amount of copy and a lot of white space. Then, a two-page contributor spread with a lot of negative space, and then the book itself, which is very clean and has lots of white space, and it has a massive amount of lists or indents where we’re drilling down on an idea. Yeah. I think that’s how you do it as a writer. There’s probably more to that answer, but those are the things that come to mind first.
|Seth:||And then on the design side, it was really thinking about this as a product. Which is, as a content marketer, the world doesn’t need another piece of content, for the most part. There is, just, a ton of content. But what the consumer needs is a way to consume ideas that they can grockit. Like, they can really understand it, they can digest it, they don’t get taken away by distraction very easily. So we looked at a lot of marketing books and said “How can we take these complex concepts and make them child-like?” Easily consumable for short attention spans, which is… Barry wrote a book called “SEO for Short Attention Spans” which is fantastic but we wanted to figure out how do we take that and do it in a design way as well. The book doesn’t have a kid-like feel to it but we use those concepts which is, as human beings we process information in very predictable ways and if we can make it easy for someone to visually read something, so the font’s correct, the color scheme is really easy on the eyes, it’s easy to grasp the individual concepts by chunking, that makes it stand out in the marketplace and that was very intentional.|
|Randy:||Yeah. Kudos to both of you guys on that, and we’ll make sure to let people know at the end of this podcast how to find the book, but it really is pleasing, and I think that really speaks these days to that better experience that audiences are looking for as they engage in content. Yeah. It used to be creating content was enough, and then it was creating great content was enough, and then it was, “Okay. Well, how do we wrap this content up?” becomes important too, and you guys have done a great job there.|
|Randy:||I want to ask you guys a tricky question, and let’s not think about the four of us, right, because in the case of both Tyler and myself, we are the voice of our brand. Tyler is very much out there on behalf of Vidyard very often. I’m out there on behalf of Uberflip, and even the two of you were out there either for your own creative agency or as we talked about for Placester, right? What about the people listening to this podcast who are, as we said, trying to build their personal brand and maybe don’t have that place to do so? A lot of us these days hear about things like LinkedIn. I’m going to throwback Thursday if someone is listening on Thursday there that it used to be About.me. Remember that page?|
|Randy:||Where is it that we should repost the content that we may be working on on behalf of a company to showcase our abilities, right? Should we be reposting content on LinkedIn? Should we be doing it and going, as you said, to build your own website or build your own blog? What is your recommendation for best value for the least amount of effort to get started?|
|Barry:||You should be doing it where your audience congregates, right? In Tyler’s case, Vidyard is a video product, and if he approached that strategically, he did a hell of a lot of research to figure out who’s struggling with it, and who are the leaders, and who speaks on the topic, and where do the influencers go, and what channels are they asking questions on, and what questions are they asking, and so it’s a deep dive into identifying your personas and those channels. Then, like I said, the democratization of media makes it easy if you have the commitment to jump in.|
|Seth:||So, one, I’m a firm believer that a website is crucial. Mostly because it’s hard to build an asset that you can reuse over and over again on a social platform because you don’t control over it. But then, choosing the platform that your audience is spending their time. So, you know, if you’re going for millennials or Gen-Zers they may not be using LinkedIn heavily but they may be using Snapchat and Instagram really well so you need to make sure that your content is digestible there and relevant and easily consumed. So it really just depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.|
|Randy:||Another tricky question for you guys that people are probably wondering, and I think, Seth, you spoke about this at the beginning of the podcast where it was decided that you would be the voice of your company, right? Barry, I believe in your case, you were the voice for your own personal company. How many voices do you think a brand can have, and is there a magic number? Does it get to a point where companies are shooting themselves in the foot by having too many external voices out there?|
|Seth:||So… any company, in an ideal scenario, the CEO is the most likely first candidate, right? Because the CEO is responsible for fundraising. The CEO is responsible for fundraising, they’re responsible for recruiting, they’re responsible for the first sales unless they have enough money to have a seasoned salesperson. So that’s a natural extension there. Now, as your company grows and you do have forward-facing people, they are representatives of your brand. So anybody who is in customer service, anyone who is in a sales capacity or business development capacity, anyone who is doing marketing and communicating with people in social, having that person have the consciousness of what the brand, like the company brand, stands for and how to represent it in a human way online, that’s where the power is.
We have shifted from an age where you can just have a Jeff Bezos or an Elon Musk as the sole touch point and brand, where you have lots of microbrands. Because if we look at this United thing that just happened recently, had one person in that whole interaction on that plane and at the gate said “You know what, this could go bad,” and made a decision on how to represent the company, they could have saved the company hundreds of millions of dollars, that’s brand representation. All the time, it happens with every employee. And the risk is and why people tend not to do it, is that they fear that either someone is going to quit and take their brand equity with them or someone is going to misrepresent the brand in a bad way. Well, that stuff is going to happen anyway whether you empower them or not. You should at least have a policy and a conscious effort on training your team, the folks that are forward facing, how to represent themselves and their desires and the brand at the same time so it can be a win-win.
|Randy:||It’s really interesting. Who do you think in that evolution of company growth needs to be the person who almost pleases as you’re describing it, the different personalities, the different personal brands that are out there representing the company? Does that fall on marketing? Does that fall on HR? Whose responsibility is it to ensure that the personal brands coming out of companies align to the company’s overall brand?|
|Seth:||Yeah, so there is, one, as your company grows, early on you don’t have an HR/People Ops person so you just have to decide whether there’s real value in internal influence marketers. Like, the people that if you looked at the networks of everybody on your team and you looked at “hey, who do you know in the world that might buy our product,” you probably have a really great Venn diagram and a mind map of folks that could be great customers for you. And so that’s low-hanging fruit, and so early on it’s sort of a looser decision. If marketing sees the value, then marketing owns it in the beginning. Ultimately, as a company, you start putting together handbooks, which people tend to hate, but it allows you to create some structure as to what’s ok and what’s not ok. Now the downside that I’ve seen with that is sometimes companies put in too much structure so people can’t do anything and that’s sort of like ignoring that they have personal lives and I think that that turns off a lot of employees and misses an opportunity for them to be proud of sharing what the company stands for and the product and what the company’s about.|
|Barry:||It’s a topic that Jay has been tackling lately, and I think Uberflip makes for a great example. Like Seth said, it starts at the top, and to tackle that last question, I think it is a collective of the C suite depending on how the company is structured, but there probably doesn’t need to be some governance, but there has to be also some enthusiasm and buy-in to make it happen, and that’s why I say Uberflip is a good example.
While Randy is the one that’s often on stage, and affiliated with the company, and doing a podcast, and so forth, there are several advocates of the company whose names I’m very familiar with from marketing conferences and great content that I’ve read and seen online, and so I think the boss has to say, “This idea of having personal brands within our company is going to help.”
|Tyler:||Yeah, and I think one of the things that I’ve seen is being conscious about what does that personal brand really mean at different levels because it’s not always about developing somebody into a forefront industry thought leader who’s going to get out there on the speaking circuit, right? There are individuals for that, but here at Vidyard, for example, the marketing team takes lead on, I’d say, brand development for our sales reps, and as part of that, we coach them on how to represent themselves on their social channels in the best light and really best practices.
One of the other things, of course, being a video company is our sales reps are constantly sending personal video messages as a way to communicate with customers or to prospect. A lot of other businesses though are scared of that, and it’s usually, “I don’t know what they’re going to say, and they could say something really stupid. They could have something bad behind them on the wall.” I say, “Well, they could say something stupid on a phone call, right?”
What’s actually interesting about video is that it forces them to be more genuine and authentic because now their personal brand is even more upfront, and they have to have some greater authenticity in what they’re doing, and so I think things like that are … It’s tough to drive into a company, but I think marketing, sales … Adding to your point, everybody collectively has to help, but I think there’s value in saying, “If marketing could champion it and look at it as brand development, not as brand policing, then you’ve got an opportunity to make it something really critical to the business.
|Seth:||Yeah, I 100% agree with that. There is also a great example, we were talking about the airlines, and if you look at the difference between what happened a week or so ago and Southwest, they empower their people to be individuals and create relationship at scale and it shows in their numbers. And it’s not like that’s the way you have to do it but it’s an example of a very large organization that has figured out how to celebrate the people that are part of the machine without squashing them down and making them faceless, voiceless individuals.|
|Randy:||Guys, this has been fantastic, and I bet you people have a million more questions. The good news is, is there’s a source for answers on all this stuff now, and that’s the Road to Recognition, so maybe one of you guys can tell us the best places to find the book, get a copy. Where is that happening right now?|
|Barry:||It’s happening in many places, and we have a website developed specifically for the book. Depending on the timing of this broadcast, it’s conceivable that you get there and find the many bonuses that are offered for free for various levels of sales. That website is The Road … Make absolutely sure to use the word “the,” theroadtorecognition.com, and there is a growing number of assets there, including a slash media page should you want to write about the book or share it.|
|Randy:||That’s great, guys. Yeah. I love how you already alluded to the fact that there’s free assets. It sounds like there’s a content marketing strategy to the book itself, so amazing, and I’m sure something a lot of listeners can relate to here. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, Tyler and I really encourage you to take a look at the other podcasts on our site at contentprospodcast.com. Again, this is part of the Convince and Convert family of podcasts including other ones like Social Pros and Today with Jay. I encourage you to check out all that great content. When you’re there and your place is like iTunes where you can subscribe, leave us a review. Let us know what you’re enjoying. Let us know how we can continue to help you on your content journey. Thanks again for joining Content Pros.|