How to Grow 10x with your Personal Brand
What’s up y’all? Heading back home to Miami for a quick 48 hours after having the most incredible three days in Toronto. Every year I like to make a quick mini vacation into seeing a band I really love. This year was the Arctic Monkeys! I haven’t seen the monkeys since 2012 when I was a Sophomore in college, so its crazy to see how big they are now selling out venues of 16,000+ people.
I’m sure there’s a comparison between slow and steady growth of CROSSNET and the Arctic Monkeys but I won’t bore you with that. If you missed it, we hosted a crazy get together with 60 founders and I met some crazy new friends from brands like Clocks & Colors, Inkbox, David Kalor, and a ton more.
The travel schedule calls for Vegas & San Diego over the next few weeks so if you’re in town and want to hang, shoot me a note. Also massive shout out to my good friends over at Tapcart for sponsoring this week’s newsletter. Building our apps been a gamechanger and could crush BFCM for you.
In this week's newsletter, I want to discuss arguably one of the most important aspects of being a professional in the marketing space and something I believe has helped CROSSNET do over $30M in revenue - building a personal brand.
Now I can’t take credit for close to everything, we have a ridiculously talented team but the personal brand has helped us lock down incredible retailers like Walmart & Dicks, partnerships with USA Volleyball and massive celebrities, and even advisors and being able to “pick people’s brand” who are way more talented and senior than I am.
Imposter Syndrome & Just Getting Started
I talk to so many people monthly who are nervous or don’t know what to say online. They think they are frauds or don’t have something to say and that could not be further from the truth. Regardless if you’re just launching your brand, doing $100M in revenue, or you’ve been brainstorming an idea for months, you have a story to tell.
Every post will not be a home run. The ones you think are going to do great will be terrible. The ones that you type out on the toilet four seconds before you jump into the shower will go viral.
You have to simply be persistent. Keep posting and don’t give a fuck what other people think.
If you’re nervous about what other people are going to think about you posting, then you’re never going to make it in business. Put in the reps. Don’t give me the bullshit that you don’t have time. Even if you need to calendar out 20 minutes to write down some posts for the entire week and streamline it.
Share your story in every way possible.
Dos & Don'ts - Building Your Personal Brand
Be authentic: Building a personal brand that is true to you and your values is crucial. Authenticity helps you build trust with your audience. I’m not a corporatey guy, hell I was fired from my job for apparently not having enough sales acumen…whatever the fuck that means. Now I’m closing deals with massive retail stores. What a dumbass. Keep it casual and be yourself. There’s only one of you.
Provide value. Find out something good? Share it. Learn a tough lesson? Help the future you not make that same mistake. Providing value will allow you to develop into an industry expert and grow your following.
Engage with your audience and followers. Don’t leave comments unanswered. Ask for feedback. Pose open questions to the community. Ask for help? Some of my favorite LinkedIn posts have been requests to get onto QVC, getting my PayPal unlocked and freeing $150k and quick odd jobs
Consistency is key: Be consistent in the tone, message, and frequency of your content. If you’re serious about this, you gotta be posting daily.
Connect with people that you’d like to learn from, do business with, or could be helpful to you down the road just don’t spam them right away asking them to talk.
Don't be overly promotional: While it's essential to showcase your work, avoid coming across as too promotional. Your focus should be on providing value rather than constantly promoting yourself.
Own one or two platforms! Just like business, don’t try to do EVERYTHING or you’ll suck at it all. I’ve chosen LinkedIn & Twitter as my two social media networks. I don’t have the time to build out the Facebook or Instagram profiles and to be actively doing the whole Chris Meade LLC thing on there. LinkedIn connects me with retail buyers & smarter people. Twitter lets me make friends and follow sports. Pretty compelling stuff.
Give up because you didn’t see traction in the first week or month
Avoid controversial topics. It sucks. You should be able to speak your mind in 2023. Freedom of speech no longer really exists and one stupid tweet could ruin your business. Hold your tongue. Move the post into your drafts. Ask your friends for their advice before you post. But what I have learned is if you have to ask a friend if “this is okay to post” then you have your answer already.
Don’t mass message people your calendar link to chat or send them bullshit spammy messages. Real entrepreneurs can sniff out automated messages a mile away. Be genuine if you’re looking to make a new connection.
Continuously educate yourself: Being up to date with the current trends is the best way to stay relevant and be in the know. The second I stop working on CROSSNET you guys will stop reading this newsletter. Nobody wants to learn from a hasben or somebody who’s living in the past.
Take this shit seriously! Build a personal website if you have something to offer. Have a good headshot. Build out the LinkedIn portfolio. Have a graphic designer make your Twitter header look nice. Actively participate in communities
If you’re growing a software brand or a newsletter, leverage testimonials and case studies: This social proof can help build your legitimacy and can go a long way in helping you make connections.
Network and collaborate: Attend industry conferences, participate in webinars, and ask to speak on panels. My first podcast probably got listened to by 3 people (2 if you don’t count my mom). You have to start somewhere. Next week I’m speaking to 1000 people at the Alibaba event on the main stage…. My wife barely wants to listen to me hahha
Put yourself out there! Ask for that coffee or lunch date. I used to hate networking and doing the whole song and dance. I now have a ridiculous list of contacts that I can call on at any moment for anything. Everything compounds.
Balancing Bragging with Educating
Striking the right balance between showcasing your accomplishments and providing value is super important. Nobody wants to see you bragging about how much money you make and it makes you look like a jerk.
Find balance between educating your audience on how you are making money & growing the brand, versus just publically celebrating
Educate your audience: Share informative articles, industry trends, and tips to help people learn. Position yourself as a reliable source of knowledge in your niche.
You lose trust way quicker than you gain it. One shady thing can remove years of hard work. Don’t be stupid.
Share the wins but make the people feel involved! Shout out your team and your employees. None of this happens without them.
Relatability is key to all of this. People who are just starting their own brand want to feel like they are talking directly to you.
Collaborate with others: Invite industry experts for interviews or guest posts to share their knowledge with your audience. This not only adds value to your content but also expands your network.
The Benefits are Plenty
Establishing a strong personal brand as a marketing professional has several benefits and will never leave you worse off.
Increased visibility and recognition: Having a strong personal brand sets you apart from the competition and increases your visibility in your industry. People are more likely to listen to and want to work with someone that is on the ball and constantly sharing versus someone that is not making an effort to be very present in the industry.
Massive press & partnership opportunities for your brand
Retail & distribution leads come inbound more frequently
More opportunities: A strong personal brand can open up new opportunities for speaking engagements, job offers, and collaborations.
You never know whats going to happen. One day everything could be going amazing, the next your company goes out of business and you’re looking for a job. You’re going to be damn happy you built that personal brand to fall back on and help that job search. It’s like why do I pay for health insurance when I’m 30? You just never know.
Using Feedback to Improve Your Products and Company
What better way to improve your products than getting feedback from your audience?
Listen to feedback: Pay close attention to feedback from your audience, and take necessary steps to address any concerns or suggestions they may have. You are never going to be done learning and improving, so it’s important to act like it at all times.
Implement changes: Use the feedback you receive to make positive changes to your products/services or your company's approach.
Show appreciation: Although you may be getting feedback from your audience you’re also showing them appreciation if you’re hooking them up with some products. A complete win, win.
We are less than 80 days until Black Friday. If you aren’t starting now you’re already behind. This is shaping up to be the biggest shopping holiday of all time and our team is going 100 miles per hour to lock down our offer, our inventory and ways to increase order volume.
Tapcart has been a game-changer for Good Sport and also for my friends at Jones Road, Obvi, and Truff. We’re seeing nearly 91% of traffic coming from mobile and the customers shopping from us are looking for a more intimate way to interact with their favorite brands.
We all have them. For me it’s Tenzo, Mad Happy, and Warren Lotas. Whenever one of these brands drops anything my wallet empties and I’m the first to click those push notifications and start shopping. Its essentially guaranteed money and I’m helpless spending it.
I’ve been blown away to see the retention of our biggest customers with our mobile app. Tapcart finds that your most popular shoppers tend to spend way more in-app compared to the website. Plus you get to hook them up with things such as exclusive products, special offers, and much more.
The team at Tapcart wants to hook up any of my readers and will build your app 100% for free in just a few weeks and even give you some free time to test it out. Want an introduction? Just email me or book a demo here.
Enjoy the Short Week
I hope this was helpful for anybody struggling with building a personal brand or looking for the next unlock. There’s no easy way to do it, but I promise you each and every day will get more comfortable. If you enjoyed the long weekend, I hope you had a blast and enjoy an even shorter work week. If you were in the office Monday grinding hats off to you.
Till next week!