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Rory Vaden, the Co-Founder of Brand Builders Group, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss the key steps you need to take to build and monetize your successful personal brand.
Two personal brand secrets and why reputation precedes revenue
We are surrounded by a constant stream of marketing noise, influencers, and competition. What’s the secret to creating a personal brand that will make you stand out from the crowd and generate revenue?
If you can’t be found, if you have mixed messages, if you have no real solution to a problem people are facing and have a weak reputation – then people are unlikely to buy from you. However, if you want to build a personal brand that grows revenue – then you need to be that person people think about before anyone else.
Rory Vaden, the Co-Founder of Brand Builders Group, believes, that the secret to building a successful personal brand is to do with answering a simple question. What is your solution and your uniqueness? If you can’t answer those two things, then you will find it hard to cut through the noise and deliver effective messages. Your entire branding and marketing strategy must be centered on how you solve a problem and what makes you unique. Only then can you focus on building a rock-solid reputation that will grow your revenue.
In This Episode:
- 8:43 – What approach should you take to showcase our personal brand in social media
- 14:37 – How to craft your personal brand around solving a problem
- 17:06 – How to stand out when other influencers are solving similar problems to you
- 19:19 – Why focusing on your solution and your unique “lens” on the world will help you stand out from the crowd
- 23:06 – How to avoid getting your personal brand wrong
- 25:16 – Why having a “Relationship Headquarters” is important for your brand
- 29:31 – What you can learn from the big brands to apply to our own personal branding strategies
- 34:31 – Why building a “rock solid” reputation must precede revenue
Quotes From This Episode:
“If you feel called to share a message with the world, there’s no more powerful medium to do that than through the personal brand.” @brandbuildrsgrp
A great personal brand is one where the messenger is an ambassador of the problem they solve. The promote the problem, they advertise the problem, they become the problem Click To Tweet
“The single greatest bit of advice was from a guy named Larry Winget…’the key is to find your uniqueness so you can exploit it in the service of others’…that is what we should be compelled to do.” @brandbuildrsgrp
- Get the new State of Marketing report for free from Salesforce
- Find out more about the community at SocialMedia.org with a special form for Social Pros listeners
- To get your free no obligation free call from Rory and his team about how to build your brand and increase your influence go to Brand Builders Group.com/Social Pros
- Learn more about the Brand Builders Group and how they can help you build and monetize your personal brand.
- Find out about Rory Vaden’s Rock Solid Reputation Video Course at RoryVaden.com
- Listen back to Sally Hogshead on Episode 226 of Social Pros for her take on the art of fascination can revolutionize and energize your brand.
For us, uniqueness is an actual part of our process. It is, also, one word. It is the one word solution to the problem. The problem you solve, and your uniqueness, are two sides of the same coin. And so, what we do is we help somebody figure out what their message is, which for us is, how do you solve said problem in one sentence, which is also really, really, really hard. It’s one of the things, with people that are writers, we tell people all the time, “It’s easy to write a book, it’s hard to tell someone what your books about in one sentence.” And, if you can’t tell somebody the premise in one sentence, then your book is likely not going to breakthrough the noise, because the book itself is noise. It’s not clearly defined. You take that one sentence message, and then you distill that down into a one word concept, that’s the uniqueness. It’s the solution to the problem, or it’s the answer to the question. Those of you that are watching the video, like Jay here has glasses on. We think about your uniqueness as lenses. It’s like the problem you solve is one lens, and then your uniqueness, your unique solution, is the other lens.
Adam Brown, I love that analogy. From a guest this week, Rory Vaden, co-founder of the Brands Builder Group, all about personal branding. This idea that uniqueness is critically important, and being able to solve one key question for your audience is important. It’s a really nice way of thinking about it.
And it’s one of those things, Jay, that I think we hear oftentimes. It is marketers, it is communicators, but it’s so simple, but it’s easy to forget that we’ve got to be able to articulate the problem that we’re solving, then how we uniquely go about solving that. One of the really great insights Rory Vaden shared with us this afternoon.
Yeah, I’ll tell you what, Rory and his team are really fantastic at building personal brands and growing them, but a lot of the things we talk about in this episode are just as applicable for corporate brands, as well for big business. You think it’s hard to get attention if you were a software company, like Salesforce, really hard to get attention if you’re one of 16 million personal trainers out there. The competition for attention is universal, whether your a big company or a small company. A lot of lessons here in this show. Great episode from Rory. You’re going to want to hear from him, and hear all of what he has to say here in this episode.
Before we jump into it, just a quick acknowledgment that our sponsors this week are Salesforce Marketing Cloud, who have the wisdom, the foresight, the insight, the fortitude to employ Mr. Adam Brown as their Executive Strategist. They have some fantastic research called The State of Marketing Report, where Adam and his team interviewed some 4000 marketers from around the world to get a sense of what’s on their mind, what trends they’re looking for. How to use social media better. The implications for AR/VR influencer, marketing, all of that stuff. If you haven’t downloaded the research, it doesn’t cost you anything, you absolutely should. It is extremely high quality, very useful. Grab it at bit.ly/jaysays. B-I-T.L-Y / J-A-Y-S-A-Y-S. Bit.ly/Jaysays.
Also, this week, show brought to you by our pals at Emma. Fantastic email service provider. Everybody here listening to this show, either sends email or knows somebody who does, and I think we all want to get better at email. Still, the core of a lot of what we do in digital marketing. But, sometimes you need help to do that. You want your email to look better, perform better, act better, do better stuff. And, maybe you’re not sure how to do that exactly. What I love about Emma, located down there in Nashville, Tennessee, is they’ve got a whole team of real live human beings who answer the phone, and will help you, and will hold your hand to make your email better. It’s not just like, “Hey, check the help docs, or look at our database and sort it out yourself, sucker.” It’s not like that. They actually provide some real topnotch service, and I really do appreciate that. They’re a great partner of ours, we love those guys. Go to myemma.com/jayisawesome. Myemma.com/jayisawesome, to learn more about how Emma can help you make your email better.
Let’s jump into this week’s episode with Rory Vaden from the Brand Builders Group. Mr. Rory Vaden back on Social Pros after a four year absence. He’s the guest on episode 151. He is back and he is all better, baby. Rory is the author of two of my favorite books of all time, Procrastinate on Purpose, and Take the Stairs. Rory is now the co-founder of a relatively new organization that is crushing it, called the Brand Builders Group, working with entrepreneurs and business leaders all over the world, on how to create, craft, and sustain winning personal brand. He is truly an expert on the topic. Delighted to have him on the show. My friend, welcome back to Social Pros.
Hey guys. Thank you. Gosh, I can’t believe its been that long.
Yeah. I had to look it up.
Probably had seven listeners back then.
No. We had a lot then, too, but it was 200 and something shows again, which is a pretty long time.
Gosh, that’s crazy.
And you look exactly the same. For those of you that are watching highlights here on social media, on our YouTube channel, Rory Vaden never ages. He drinks only formaldehyde, which is-
It’s a great preservative.
I’ll tell you about as well. Tell us about the Brand Builders Group and what you guys do.
Yeah. Super simple. We help people build, and monetize their personal brand. We actually don’t work with companies. We only work with people. We can work with an executive from a company, or a CEO from a company, but our unique specialty is working with an individual person to help what we call, find their uniqueness. Really amplify that persons face to the world, and their message, as a means of growing their business, or whatever they’re doing.
Super important in this day and age, obviously of interest to Social Pros listeners. We’ll talk about how you do that here in this episode, but I should mention here at the top of the show, that Rory and his team will do a no obligation free call with any Social Pros listeners, who want to get better at personal branding. Either for themselves, or executives in their company. Brandbuildersgroup.com/socailpros. Brandbuildersgroup.com/socialpros, to sign up for our free call from Rory and his team, which will really benefit you one way or the other. Here’s my question, Rory. Obviously, I care about my personal brand. You do. Adam does. Many of our listeners do. Can anybody do this, though? Could you take anybody off the street and build and monetize a personal brand for them? And if not, what do they have to bring to the table in order for that to be successful?
Look, I think anybody that wants to do, could do it. Because you can learn all of the mechanics of this, but that doesn’t mean I think everyone should build a personal brand, and I think… I know a lot of people listening probably don’t have a desire to be the face. They like being the one behind the scene, pulling the levers and pushing the buttons, which is awesome because many of the people who want to be the face, have no clue how to push buttons-
How those buttons work.
Or pull the levers. I think that’s the balance. Here’s, I think, what it comes down to, is if you feel called to share a message with the world, I think there’s no more powerful medium then to do that through the personal brand. We love companies. I believe in companies. I believe in branding companies, and all that, but I think people want to do business with people. They don’t want to just do business with companies, they want to do business with people. They want a face. And when they call a company, they want to talk to a human. And when they have a complaint, like Hug Your Haters was such a brilliant book in terms of-
The modern era of customer service. They want to feel heard, and people want to feel led. I think that happens through a personality, much more effectively than through a company.
I think that’s absolutely true. Let me ask you a question about personal brands in the framework of social. Even since the last time you were on this show, which was 2015, there are more places that a personal brand could be unfurled. There’s also quite a bit of difference in how social media works from an algorithm standpoint. Is the increasing breadth of channels in social and digital, does that make it easier to create a personal brand, or harder?
Well, I think it could be both, but generally speaking, I think it makes it harder for people. I think people become more overwhelmed so they don’t do it because they feel overwhelmed by everything. Now, you know, and we could talk about this if you want, Jay. We teach a thing called the Content Diamond, which is… Our plan is don’t try to manage multiple mediums, our plan is to create one message every week and just distribute that across all the mediums. From an algorithm standpoint that may not be the best, super best strategy, but most of the people we work with are pretty high profile. We’re trying to get them to focus on something they can do, rather than being overwhelmed with everything. From a personal standpoint, I’ll tell you, this is the dirty secret. Even though we’re in the business of doing this stuff, I struggle with social media. I am just not the guy that wants to be on all day long, taking pictures of every random thing I’m doing. I get nervous about showing pictures of my kids, and showing pictures of my house. I think it has changed, for sure.
I say it’s more daunting, yet the opportunity to reach more people is better than it ever has been before. That’s something, you just got to capitalize. This is what the Take the Stairs book was all about. There are some things that you have to do that you don’t feel like doing. I think people inappropriately conclude that, “I don’t want to do social media because I don’t like it.” I think what they need to figure out is that enjoying it isn’t a requirement of doing it. And that this is the world we live in, and whether you want to be a social pro, or not, you need to be because that’s what the future of your company demands, and that’s what the marketplace demands.
Rory, it’s great to have you on the show. Thanks for coming back. I want to take something that you just said, and I’m going to imply something, and I want you to tell me if I got this right or not. You were saying, listen, folks who want to work on their brand, and have a better reputation, should focus on one message a week. I’m going to imply from that, that you believe that a lot of people out there that are unsuccessful because they are shotgunning. They are putting out multiple messages, and multiple directions, there’s no consistency to that. Is my implication there accurate? And what other advice would you give to someone about distilling that message down and being consistent?
Yeah, thanks for that Adam. That’s a really good catch. I think that, honestly, the single greatest piece of advice I ever have learned about personal branding was not something that is a Rory or a Brand Builders Group original, it was from a guy named Larry Winget. Larry, I heard him say this on an old CD recording. He said, “The key is to find your uniqueness, so that you can exploit it in the service of others.” I think that that is the call here. That’s the bar. That is what we should be compelled to do, is find our uniqueness so that we can exploit it in the service of others. Now, interestingly enough, Larry was not in the business of helping people do that. He told us aspiring speakers they should do that, but he wasn’t in the business of teaching people how to that.
That’s part of why I think Brand Builders came to existence, and I’ll say this is where it starts for us, Adam. One simple question, and most people cannot answer this. With all of our clients, our phase I, our process is four phases. But in phase I, the genesis of a personal brand is being able to answer, in one word, what problem do you solve. Most people haven’t even thought about that question, and when they do think about it they go, “There’s no way I can focus it to one. There’s just too much stuff that we do.” Here’s the challenge. I think it was Scott McCain who said, “Mind share proceeds market share.” He’s another fellow colleague of ours. You have this much time and this much opportunity to occupy some tiny, tiny portion of a persons brain. When they have that problem, boom they need to think of you. If you solve 100 problems, you’re lost in the noise. If you have 100 messages, you’re lost in the noise. And people don’t buy luxuries as much as they buy solutions to problems.
We may or may not get a new car. We may or may not go on vacation. But, if the water heater breaks, we find the money to fix it. If our kids are sick, we find the money to take them to the hospital. Those are problems. A great personal brand is one where the person, the messenger, is an ambassador of the problem. They promote the problem. They market the problem, advertise the problem. They become aligned with the problem so that when people struggle with that problem they go, “Boom. I need blank.” And that’s, I think, part of the hard… That’s what’s really, really freaking hard to do.
That is… Rory, that’s incredible. As you’re entering that question, I was thinking about what my one word problem is. I’m going to be so bold in to ask you that question. Rory Vaden, what is the one word problem that you solve, to help us all better to understand how this works?
Yeah. I can share you the direct answer today, that’s also interesting to look back on my career to see how its evolved. The answer today is, obscurity. Obscurity means to be unclear, untrusted, or unknown. What we want… We don’t want anyone to be the best kept secret. We believe that reputation is a formula, and that the formula is results times reach, equals reputation. That reach is at least half of the calculation of what reputation you have, even though most of us think, “You should be a personal character. And you should have substance, and experience, and wisdom, and results.”
That’s all true, but if you have all that and nobody knows about you… If I don’t know about you, I can’t buy from you. That’s why social matters so much today. That’s why I think what you guys are doing is so, it’s still so relevant and so important because you have to be known. People have to know who you are. They have to… And then they have to be able to tell what you’re about. They have to know what you stand for, and then, ultimately they’ll make an assessment of whether or not they trust you. Reach is obscurity, and we define that as to be unclear. I don’t know what problem I solve. To be unknown, meaning maybe I do, but nobody knows about me. Or untrusted. I am clear, and a lot of people know about me, they just don’t trust my brand. That’s what we’re digging into.
Rory, what do you do in categories where there are lots of people creating, or trying to create personal brands, but the problem that they solve is perhaps somewhat similar. I think about there are very, very many fitness influencers online. Who are doing, “Here’s my workout on Instagram.” Or whatever the circumstances might be. Is there a secondary or tertiary level of unique positioning that you go to when the core problem solves may be similar amongst a larger group of particular influencers?
Yeah. That’s a great question, and it’s a hard one. I’ll tell you, honestly, the person that influenced me the most in this response is I know someone that you know, Jay, and I’m not sure, Adam, if you’re familiar with Sally Hogshead?
She’s been on the show. We’ve had her on the show.
Yeah. How to fascinate. Sally described it this way, with speakers. This was, obviously that’s the circle that we hang in. She said, “You need to fit in a box. People need to understand what box you fit in that’s clear and simple. But, then you need to be able to differentiate yourself quickly from everyone else who’s inside of that box.” The fitness thing is a good example of a box, it’s a real problem if some days you’re talking about fitness, and some days you’re talking about puppies, and some days you’re talking about business advice, and some days you’re teaching motivational strategies. That is a lot of chaos. You want someone to go to you and go, “This is a fitness persons. They fit into the fitness box.” Or whatever. There’s these different boxes. Now, inside of the box, what we do is when we use that phrase find your uniqueness, for us, uniqueness is an actual part of our process. It is also one word. It is the one word solution to the problem. The problem you solve and your uniqueness are two sides of the same coin. What we do is we help somebody figure out what their message is. For us, how do you solve said problem in one sentence, which is also really, really, really hard.
It’s one of the things, with people that are writers, we tell people all the time, “It’s easy to write a book, it’s hard to tell someone what your books about in one sentence.” And, if you can’t tell somebody the premise in one sentence, then your book is likely not going to breakthrough the noise, because the book itself is noise. It’s not clearly defined. You take that one sentence message, and then you distill that down into a one word concept, that’s the uniqueness. It’s the solution to the problem, or it’s the answer to the question. Those of you that are watching the video, like Jay here has glasses on. We think about your uniqueness as lenses. It’s like the problem you solve is one lens, and then your uniqueness, your unique solution, is the other lens.
Lots of people talk about fitness, but your solution, what you believe to the truth, is your uniqueness, whatever that is. We all know that the solution to fitness, generally, is the same. It’s take in less calories, burn more calories, etc., etc. It’s the same reason… Here’s the parallel. You can get the news anywhere, but the reason people listen to Rush Limbaugh, because they want his view on the world. They want his perspective on the news. That is his lens. And he has, whether you like him or not, he has an ultra conservative perspective. Everyone knows where he stands, he’s been successful on the radio for years, and years, and years, and years, just in terms of sheer listeners. They want his take on it.
Most people, when they follow a fitness influencer, it’s not like they’re going to hear some Earth shattering advice of some magic exercise that is going to somehow make you magically lose weight. What they want is your view on all the exercises. Your view on the diets. Your view on the habits. And the other thing, the more we’ve done this, the more I’ve been fascinated to see that. Jay and Adam could say the exact same thing, but some people will only be able to hear it from Adam. And some people will only be able to hear it from Jay. If you’re a messenger, this idea that somebody has already said what I would say, I think is an excuse. I think it’s a total cop out. For me, I believe it’s, if you have that message on your heart, it’s because God put it there and there’s certain people that can only hear it from you, and they won’t be able to hear it from somebody else.
That’s really interesting when you put it that way. I guess the good news for us all is that the likelihood that I will become a fitness influencer is low. There’s not going to be anymore competition in the channel, at least from me. Sally Hogshead was episode 226 on Social Pros if you want to hear her take on fascination. And her formula, also. For a free call from Rory and his team on personal branding advice, Brandbuildersgroup.com/socialpros. Rory, would people get this wrong, or that’s probably a mischaracterization. Would people do this suboptimally? And do you think it’s because more often of an inconsistent message, or inconsistent effort?
I think people can get it wrong, and here’s how you get it wrong. You get it wrong by looking at what other people are doing to figure out what your message should be.
Boy, ain’t that the truth.
That is what people get wrong. And they do it all the freaking time. Especially on social media. It’s the natives tongue of social media is comparison. That’s how you get it wrong. The way that you get it right is by looking intrinsically, internally, and going, “What have I earned the right to talk about? What do I feel called to talk about?” And then also an assessment of what your customer needs, and what problem do they have that I can solve? How can I serve them? That’s how you get there, which is what phase I is all about. For us, phase I is finding your uniqueness. Getting clear on what problem you solve, who do you solve it for, what is your solution to how you solve it, and then how do you make money solving that thing. That is phase I. Phase II is what we call brand creation. Phase III is brand optimization. And that then becomes consistency. One of my all time favorite mentors, is a guy who talks about this a lot, and he says, “Media companies don’t run on inspiration, they run on perspiration.” That guy is Jay Baer, who I’ve learned a tremendous amount from, and I fully believe… Here’s what I believe. Once you’re clear, then inconsistency is the kiss of death.
Well said. Credit for that line to my old friend, Roger Hurni, co-owner of Off Madison Ave, who bought my agency many, many years ago. Tip to Roger, he nailed it with that one.
What? The inspiration and perspiration line?
Rory, we’ve talked a lot about social media, and how personal brands can work in different social channels. Do you feel like, to have a successful personal brand today, you need to have some sort of digital tent pole that is the core of all the different little things you do in social? Is it a requirement to have a blog or a podcast, or a YouTube channel, I guess are probably the three best ways to describe that? Do you have to have that, and then Instagram and Twitter, and Facebook and Snapchat, as satellites around that? The embassies and outposts concept that we’ve been talking about here for so long. Do you think you have to have that in social, or are we at the point now where people are like, “Look, I’m only on Instagram, and I’m so good there and I’m so well known there, that that’s just my jam?”
Yeah. I don’t think you have to have any social platform to be successful. What I think you have to have is a deep rooted desire and a God given passion to get your message out to the world. That’s what you have to have. And if you have to have it, you’re going to scratch and claw, and bite, and do everything you can to pump content out into the world in every freaking channel, as fast as you possibly can to reach as many people as you can. But, to the tactical part of it, which I think what you’re asking about. I’ll tell you what we do, and what we think. We believe that you should have what we call a relationship headquarters. You’ve been using the language tent pole, I’ve heard you say that over the last several months. We call it a relationship headquarters. A place where you ultimately are driving people back to. I think it would be a very stupid strategy to only be on Instagram, or only be on Facebook, or only be on YouTube, or to be only on any social media platform. And I, unfortunately, know a lot of people that do that.
You’re building your audience on rented real estate. You don’t own it. You don’t control it. The algorithm changes, and you’re totally hosed. When we do the content diamond, we talk about putting… And, for us, it’s always the blog. There is no question. For us, the blog is the relationship headquarters. It multi-medium, it’s multi-faceted, you own it. You can completely custom develop it, and your goal in our world, should be to get people back to your site, drive your SEO. You create the lead capture, and that’s where you want to host the conversation. But, I think it’s getting harder to do that because the social media sites are aggressively trying to keep you prisoned in to having the conversation on their site.
As I mentioned in my last presentation, you probably saw it in Denver at the speakers conference. We forget that all these social channels are interested in their success more than your success.
They’re all public companies. They have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize value to their shareholders, not pay your rent.
Yeah. Well, and I think the way around that is to do both. Is to play the game, with the whole content diamond is a content repurposing strategy, which is basically create content that is designed natively for the social media, whatever the platform is. But then make sure that that content points back to your relationship headquarters, and then we try to pull all that from one source. The one weekly source. I said relationship headquarters, I just want everybody to know, I’m trying to serve the audience here. And Jay Baer’s typing in brothel in the chat, making us laugh while we’re supposed to be having a serious conversation.
I just feel like relationship headquarters is a euphemism. I know your intentions are good at the Brand Builders Group, but relationship headquarters it feels like something… It sounds like code to me. I like it. I like the idea. Adam?
Oh, great. Now I get to be the segue guy. I appreciate that. Rory, I know speaking of headquarters, you’ll see where this is going, and it’s not going in that direction. I know you focus primarily on personal brands, and so many of the pieces of advice that you’re talking about are applicable to corporate brands, as well. Consistent message. Being humble. Being gracious and authentic. Exactly. My question for you is, are there any things, in your opinion, that we as we’re working on our personal brand, can learn? Good and bad, from the biggest brands in the world? The Apples, the Coca-Colas, the Tom Shoes. The Target stores. Anything that comes to mind as you think about those brands and what they’re doing, right or wrong, that we can apply to personal branding?
Here’s the thing. The question to me is the learning, is the problem is, as the personal brand you have to realize that you are competing with the Nike’s, you are competing with the Tom shoes. You need to do everything that they do, as best you can. It’s like Jay says, you’re not just competing with other people who do what you do, you’re competing for anything that competes for attention. Cute puppies, and babies, and all that stuff. I think that’s a similar parallel here is, as a personal brand I have to think of myself as a media company, and I have to produce content that competes with Netflix. I have to try to have stories that are as engaging as what someone might find as a viral video on YouTube. I need to try to have an aesthetic that is consistent and appealing that somebody sees it and it gives them a certain feel. I think brand guidelines, production schedules, and investing time and money into both the strategy and the design, and the distribution of content, I think that’s it.
And then I think… That’s the hard part for the personal brand. That’s the challenge for the personal brand is we have to learn to do all the things that big companies have done for years. But, the good thing is we’re very nimble, and we don’t have 1000 decision makers that have to sign off on something before we can get it to market. The downside for companies is they have to compete with millions of people who are all encroaching on their space, their territory, their customer base. And they are nimble, and it is an individual person that they can decide if they like or don’t like very quickly. I think it’s a fight that’s going on of who’s going to end up with the attention.
I think you have to watch… I watch great brands. I want to watch what Taylor Swift is doing. I also am watching what Nordstrom is doing. We’re trying to distill our strategies from both. I think that’s hard. The production value requirements are going up. The podcast medium is a good example. All three of us have pretty high end microphones. I’d say five years ago, you could get away with not maybe having them. Now, just because there’s been such a democratization of the platform, people’s general standards and expectations go up, and so you have to deliver that. I think that’s a big challenge, Adam.
No, I like that. You’re exactly right that production values, so to speak, for personal brands need to be higher because the expectations are higher, but the good thing is, we are our own CEOs. That gives us a lot of authority to do the things that you articulate. One last question and I want to give it back to Jay. One of the things you speak about in your books, one of the things you speak about in your speeches is your rock solid reputation construct. I love what it speaks about. There are words and attributes like kindness, patience, gentle, humble, calm, forgiving as attributes that you need to work on for a successful personal brand. Now, I think about today’s stereotypical executive, and those aren’t the words that typically come to mind. You think of executives having to be ruthless, impatient, unforgiving, to disloyalty. How do you approach it differently, and certainly, I think we would all agree, we would love for people to have more of those attributes that you speak about in rock solid foundation.
Yeah. Well, to us, even though Brand Builders Group does personal branding, our real passion and mission… Our uniqueness, we said the problem we solve is obscurity. Our one word uniqueness is reputation. We’re really hoping to have a higher level conversation and to encourage people towards a higher level conversation of reputation. Not just brand, not just making money, not just Facebook ads, and social media content. But, who do you want to be known as? How do you want to be remembered? To me, that is a higher level expectation to meet of reputation. And those words, Adam, just to list them off. These are the 13 characteristics of a rock solid reputation, which maybe getting worked into a book and becoming our next book. It’s patience and kindness, confidence, humility, gentleness, selflessness, gentle, selfless, and calm, forgiving, honest, courageous, faithful, optimistic, and perseverant. Now, in terms of those words, where do those words come from? Again, just transparently here, those words come from a bible verse, actually. It’s 1st Corinthians 13. It’s the verse you hear at every wedding. Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast.
We go, all right. If love is… Love seems to be the thing that almost everyone agrees on. People don’t argue with that’s what we should do, that’s why we’re here, to love. And then you go, “Where is a good definition of love?” That’s just a definition of love. We happen to like that one. You may not. Regardless of what your spiritual beliefs are, that’s a pretty time tested definition of love that has stuck around. We just took that verse and boiled it down to 13 words instead of the long verbiage, it’s just 13 words. I think to your question, Adam, I think that… Here’s what I know. Reputation precedes revenue. Reputation precedes revenue. If I don’t know about you, I can’t buy from you. And if I don’t trust you, I probably won’t buy from you. Your reputation precedes you. Everyone has a reputation, or they don’t, which means I never found you. You were absorbed in the noise. You never came across my purview.
And I think what happens too often, both with our reputation and with our marketing strategies, is that play the short term game. And we go, “Let me pretend there’s a bunch of people on this webinar chat so that more people will buy. Let me pretend to do some gimmicky thing because it increases my conversions.” We’re all about increasing conversions, we like to make money. We like to teach our clients, help them make money. And also with the CEO, it’s like, “Okay. Sure. Impatient. Yeah, drive people. Drive the heck out of them. You will produce short term profits, longterm you’re going to be gone.” You’re probably not going to be there, because at the end of the day we’re all in the people business. Human beings are human beings, and there’s a way that we were designed for how we interact with each other, whether it’s in a meeting room or it’s on a marketing landing page, and I think the people who win longterm, they are playing the long game. They are playing the long game.
They won’t sacrifice their reputation for revenue, they know that longterm reputation precedes revenue, so if they build their reputation, build their reputation, build their reputation, build their reputation, eventually the revenue shows up as a byproduct. But, if they’re only driving revenue, only driving revenue, only driving revenue, eventually their reputation will take a hit because they won’t give a refund that should have been given. They’ll be righteous about a policy that should have been exploded. They’ll manipulate a prospect into becoming a customer that shouldn’t have bought, and they’ll make money in the short term, and it will cost them everything in the longterm.
I think we see that every day, unfortunately, and it’s a path a lot of people have to decide on. Not only personal brands, but real brands, as well. He’s Rory Vaden, co-founder of the Brand Builders Group, back on Social Pros after a four year absence. For a free call from Rory and his team about how to make your personal brand better, or somebody in your organization, how to improve their personal brand, go to brandbuildersgroup.com. Brandbuildersgroup.com/socialpros. Rory, we’re going to ask you the two questions that we ask everybody here. You may not remember your answers to these questions from four years ago, but we will check the database to see how the consistency… You got kids now, so maybe you got different answers. Last time, you did not have any children. Now, you have two wonderful children, and a fantastic wife. You were married when you were on this show last time, I think?
No babies, yet.
No babies. Rory Vaden, as a personal brand expert, I think this is going to be a particularly interesting answer from you. What one tip would you give somebody who’s looking to become a social pro?
I would say, I said it in the interview and I would just reiterate it. Be clear about what problem you solve. What problem do you solve for people? You want them to pay attention, solve a problem for them. Quit thinking about yourself, quit comparing yourself to everyone else. Focus on the person you’re trying to serve. One of the things that we say around Brand Builders Group is, you never feel fear when the mission to serve is clear. Focus on what problem do you solve for the people that you want to listen, and I think you’re going to breakthrough as a social pro. You will. And listen to these guys in this podcast. All the tactical stuff, you guys are the masters.
Thank you very much.
Last question, Rory Vaden, co-founder Brand Builders Group. If you could do a video call with any living person who would it be, and why?
This one is probably a little bit of curve ball. I would love to interview Eminem. Slim Shady. That is not really a personal branding thing, it’s a little known fact about Rory, that I know many, many, many lyrics to Eminem’s songs. And I think it’s not necessarily because we have the same beliefs in life, but because I think the art of what he does is communicate the deepest feelings that he has in the most inhibited fashion. And when you listen, and even though a lot of it is angry and nasty, and probably stuff that you don’t want your kids to listen to, it’s beautiful the way he accesses the emotion, and I think it’s genius the way that he does it lyrically. This is not somebody who’s just an angry person. It’s a genius at work. Somebody who’s been hurt, deeply, and converted all of that emotion and energy into art. I think one of the great calls for all of us is, can we move people emotionally? If you can move people emotionally, I think that you’ll gather a lot of attention, even if people don’t like what you have to say. Anyways, that’s a curve ball. I’ve always been fascinated with him.
Man, I love it. That’s one of my favorite answers ever. Adam, I didn’t know Rory was going to be making rhymes.
That is not where I thought you were going.
That’s really good. And as much time as we have spent together, I have never heard you spouting Eminem lyrics. I now know what we’re doing in our next number. I now have that on my agenda, put it on my calendar.
I will do it for you, but it is not something that will ever be on social.
That’s not true because I’m 100% going to secretly record it. But, that’s all right. That’s all right. It’s going to be great of us all. That’ll be the next time you’re on the show. Secret Eminem-
Yep, absolutely. Rory, thanks so much for taking the time. Thanks for all the work that you and your fantastic wife, AJ, are doing for entrepreneurs and others out there trying to build their personal brands. It’s super exciting. Love to see you growing the company. Brandbuildersgroup.com/socialpro to set up a free call. We will catch you soon, my friend.
All right. Thank you guys, so much. I appreciate the work you’re doing. Keep it up.
You bet. We’ll see you in four more years. He’ll be back on the show in four years. Adam, that was pretty cool, right?
Incredible. Great stuff. Great advice. Great insights.
Yeah, love it. We’ll be back next week with another fantastic episode here on the Social Pros podcast. We would love for you to spend just a second, leave us a rating or a review on iTunes, Sticher, Spotify, wherever you get your podcast, we would love that. Don’t forget each week we also do a highlight reel, five, six minutes on YouTube. Go to YouTube, look for my name, Jay Baer, you’ll find those clips there, as well. Thanks, as always, to our production team at Convince & Convert for putting the show together. Of course, our sponsors, Emma and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. On behalf of Adam Brown, from Salesforces, I’m Jay Baer from Convince & Convert. We’ll see you next week on what we hope is your favorite podcast in the whole wide world, this has been Social Pros.