So What? Personal Brand Strategy

So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live

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In this week’s episode of So What? we look at personal brand strategy. You’ll learn how to think about your personal brand with the Trust Insights 5P framework, looking at the purpose of your personal brand, how to think about the people involved, what processes you need to market your personal brand, the platforms you might want to be on, and how to measure the performance of your personal brand. Catch the replay here:

So What? Personal Brand Strategy


In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • How to decide personal branding goals
  • How to think about your brand, the people, processes, and platforms involved in it
  • How to measure your personal brand

Upcoming Episodes:

  • TBD

Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here:

AI-Generated Transcript:

Christopher Penn 00:24

Hello and Happy Thursday.

Welcome to so what the marketing analytics and insights live show.

I’m Chris I’m here with John.

This week Katie is out sick.

So not being chased by bears anything, just not feeling 100%.

So we’re gonna attempt to, for this, this topic ourselves, the topic this week is personal brand.

So let’s start with that, John, what is a personal brand?

John Wall 00:50

That you know, I always go with Seth Godin stock answering that you know, your brand is the promise that you make to your customers or to other people.

So the personal brand is just what do you stand for who you are, and most importantly, what other people come to you for?

Christopher Penn 01:04

I like that.

I think this past week on the on the Trust Insights podcast, which you can find over here.

Yeah, we talked about personal brand from the perspective of it’s, it’s two things, it’s it is 100%, your reputation.

But it also there’s a component of it, that is marketing, right.

So let’s go ahead and switch to this.

So if you think of reputation, plus marketing, that’s a good way of of sort of encapsulating what a personal brand is.

And then we got to this point, because Katie and I were talking about how you can do great stuff, you can work really hard and create great results.

But that might not be enough to get people to remember you.

So like you said, you know, making sure that people know who you are.

John Wall 01:49

Yeah, having to do marketing behind that is huge.

I mean, that is, in fact, for most marketers, that’s the biggest problem is they’re so busy doing, you know, that is their job, they never bothered to do it for themselves.

Christopher Penn 02:00

So do you think much about or invest much time in your personal brand?

John Wall 02:05

No, you know, most of the time, it’s tied to the organization’s I work with, like, that was a mistake when I was younger, you know, dedicating my whole personal brand, to the products I was working on, it was pretty much laboring under the illusion that, you know, the brands would take care of you if you took care of them, which is not the case.

And then, yeah, pretty much, you know, like starting with podcasting, that was, you know, calculated to work on my personal brand.

Obviously, writing books, you know, is a big part of that getting stuff out and published as a big deal.

And doing promotions, too, is just another part of it.

And that’s probably where we could definitely do more stuff.

I don’t do enough ongoing promotion, you know, it’s hopefully you are able to align enough stuff as far as speaking or just getting content out the door, that you’re hoping the organic is there.

But yeah, it’s like everything else in marketing, there’s an infinite amount of work to be done.

And it’s just a matter of where do you want to prioritize? And a lot of times, you know, creating content takes the priority over everything else.

Christopher Penn 03:08


So, what would you say? Your personal brand goals are like, I know for me personally, nowadays, it’s it’s mainly about getting things like getting speaking gigs stuff.

In the earlier days, it was getting better jobs, you know, not having to go through the laborious dog and pony show pageantry to get an interview and get into a job.

I don’t I think the last job I had to apply to through a normal process was 2003.

Everything after that was networking and and being known for something.

So what about you? What do you use your personal brand for? What’s your goal?

John Wall 03:45

Yeah, you know, the big, the big picture that I always fall back on is to educate and to entertain, you know, I mean, that’s really everything kind of falls under that umbrella.

So whether it’s producing podcasts, or writing books, or doing speaking gigs, and then really, so much of doing sales and company branding stuff is the same deal.

It’s, you know, you do have to educate prospects as to what a product is, or, you know, even in a lot of cases, you’re doing a full on Evan Jellicle sale where you’re having to teach somebody about a market, you know, they have a need, and they don’t even understand what it is.

And then yeah, just to be engaging is the other part of it.

So, yeah, I think we both reached the point where we’re able to, you know, work within our own network to create opportunities and jobs and to have impacts so we no longer have to, you know, just audition for jobs to get access to somebody else’s audience.

You know, I mean, that’s really what it is until you get to a point where you are able to generate enough income off of your own stuff.

You’re really building somebody else’s dream.

And yeah, that’s definitely the biggest regret for me was not being able to do this sooner.

You know, I did fall prey to the thinking that you could work your way up the ladder and get access to more resources.

and more time, and, but that’s just not the case, you know, I’ve had, we’ve talked about this too, how there’s just been so many people that you’ve made a bundle of money for, and then they just ride off into the sunset and don’t don’t care or give a damn about anything anymore.

And so, yeah, it’s, you really have to kind of pick your battles.

And I would love to hear you talking about you, because you’ve done a far better job than I have going into organizations.

And you’re basically becoming the face of the brand, like, because you were at the cutting edge of what they were doing, you became the face of that technology or service for the org.

And I think you’re actually able to, basically, when it was all said and done, you know, looking back two or three laters years later, your audience is bigger than theirs, and yours is more devoted to you than to them.

Christopher Penn 05:48

Yeah, I have a personal brand.

Until, until Trust Insights, the personal brand was was essentially a life raft, it was essentially, you know, you’re aboard somebody else’s brand.

But you know, we didn’t have ownership of that, you know, to your point we made, it helped make a whole bunch of money for other people.

And, like, the last four companies I’ve worked for all sold, they all and the owners cashed out did really well for themselves.

And, and the rest of us not, not so much.

So, for me, it was always an insurance policy.

It’s like, okay, if this company or this brand, or whatever just blows up and implodes.

I have something to rely on.

So you know, a network to go to that, I can say, hey, looks like I just got laid off from you know, blue sky factory or shift communications or whatever anyone needs help with, with this could bring me out.


That’s no longer the case right now.

Now, Trust Insights, essentially, is part of my personal brand.

And vice versa, because I’m a co owner of the company.

So there’s no longer that concern that the company is going to take off without me because I own half of it.

I would like to see the company take off with.

But a big part of that was figuring out what the personal brand is going to be about.

And so there’s actually, there’s actually a two pronged approach to this.

The first part is doing a lot of homework on on you.

And so I’m gonna go ahead and bring this back up here.

By the way, if you want a copy of this worksheet, I will put this in our free slack group go to trust remarketing, we’ll put the PDF of this up in there, so you can grab a copy of yourself later.

But for things, right, so values, what are the things that you stand for the things that you oppose the stuff that, you know, for example, my most recent email newsletter was on helping restore abortion rights, because it’s something that I personally feel strongly about half of my Instagram is about the war in Ukraine and opposing Russia’s invasion, because those are those values based things.

So figuring that out is going to be important.

Especially because it helps you make decisions.

So when you say something on social media, for example, or an email or even at a conference, and you get pushback, from people who disagree with you, sometimes very strongly, those values will remind you why you did that thing in the first place, not just going with whatever is popular, but like, No, this is what I believe and I believe, you know, for example, I believe that you should have autonomy over yourself and like a government shouldn’t tell you what to do.

Like if the government said we need you to implant the sensor in your in your head like No, I’m not gonna do that.

So values first, then the the usual stuff that actually sounds a lot like a job interview, which which personal brand if you build it right, makes jobs a lot easier.

What are you good at and what are you not good at? Especially with? On the witness side? What are you not good at and you don’t have an interest in improving? I, for example, am operationally organizationally awful.

It’s one of the many many reasons that Katie is the CEO of this organization, because I’m just a disaster at keeping track of where and also the what are the things that either portray negatively or the things that trigger you that your your hot buttons that are weak spots are yours that you know, if if you dig in this hole, you’re sticking your hand into a loss, and that’s when you’re going to do things that will set your personal brand on fire.

I mean, there’s no shortage of CEOs that have done things they shouldn’t.

And the last part is what you were talking about, which is your reputation.

What have you accomplished what a body of work do you have? You know, and what do you notice were the big one there is asking people, if you’re just getting started out on building a personal brand, ask five trusted colleagues or go Workers Hey, what do you think I’m good at? You know, for example, when we were when we brought you on as part Trust Insights, we knew that you were really good at making networks, building relationships and stuff.

And so a business development role makes perfect sense.

We’re, you’re not in an accounting role, because you’re good at this.

John Wall 10:24

Exceptional math.

Right, right.

Christopher Penn 10:28

So that’s the first part of your personal brand is figuring out these four buckets.

And you’ll notice this follows the the Trust Insights, five p framework, your purpose, people process, platform performance.

The second part of the people is your audience.

And this is again, is part where your personal brand, and your audience have to find a balance.

Jessica Phillips has really great expression, Your vibe attracts the tribe.

So who what kind of person you are, which is why that’s first will determine your audience to some degree, but you also have to figure out like, Who is it is? So look, looking at your demographics? Easiest way for like demographic stuff, install Google Analytics on your personal website, and then just look at the demographic section? See, like, Who are these people? I remember very early on, it was very interesting to see like 70 ish percent of my audience present I always was was female, for example.

I like that’s not what to expect.

I was expecting something more balanced was not the case.

John Wall 11:27

Yeah, no, that’s like classic marketing industry, you know, profile, that’s for sure.

Christopher Penn 11:31


The psychographics the audience, what do they want to talk about what they want to learn about? What do they care about? And what don’t they like? Again, that’s one of those things, it’s super important to figure out.

And that you can get through surveying asking people, either or, you know, the community that you run, if you if you choose to run a community, but knowing Yeah, like, this is a topic nobody wants to talk about.

And then the last part is the place where does your audience spend their time? And that one is, again, surveying, looking at who follows you where it’s like, even if you’ve got like, 20 followers, that’s fine.

Get to know him get understand where they spend a head, talk to them.

And they get that’s a big part where folks who are building or have personal brands don’t spend enough time they don’t spend enough time doing market research with their audience.

John Wall 12:28

Yeah, that’s a challenging space.

For a lot of the stuff that we do.

You know, if you have just audiences, site visits or podcast listeners, you know, you don’t have direct access to that audience.

So building your email list or text list or trying to get more data on them, that’s huge to be able to get a better picture of what’s going on.

Christopher Penn 12:45


So that’s, I would say the second part of personal branding.

The first part is obviously, you know, figuring out why you’re doing it in the first place.

The second part is, who are you? Who is your audience? The third part, unsurprisingly, is your process, right? How do you actually build this? So the first part is your cadence, how much time you’re gonna invest in brand building, this is kind of what you were talking about not spending enough time, particularly in early on, devoted towards building that brand, and instead being made to wear clown pants.

John Wall 13:14

Right? I like to sport the brand of others, you’re the good deal is with cadence.

It’s like, you know, we have media dropping daily, I mean, you know, and we’ve got marketing over coffee guy weekly.

So the cadence, at least we’re strong there, it’s, you know, it always needs to be tweaked and branded, but at least there’s no shortage of volume.

Christopher Penn 13:32


And then, is really important point there.

If you are good at what we call the transmedia framework, which you can find on the website.

But if you’re good at making content in a really rich format, like video, you can then repurpose and reuse that a lot of different ways.

So like this, this live stream will get turned into audio, audio can then be turned into text with transcription, and then that texts can be turned into newsletters and blog posts and things.

And so to your point, you don’t have to like invest hours every day.

I do I do a video a day.

I actually record them all on Sundays.

Now so I record them Sunday afternoon, I spent about an hour recording.

And then they’re about 10 minutes each.

And then they get transcribed to get putting blog posts YouTube, the audio becomes a podcast and so on and so forth.

So it takes about another hour to produce all that so for two hours, they get enough content for something every single day because I start with video first and then it just reuse of of stuff.

So the recipe is important.

If you are doing stuff like YouTube Live or twitch or something, you can absolutely follow this recipe and you don’t need a team of 27 people to do it and the technologies make it relatively straightforward.

John Wall 14:52

How about for other channels to besides video then I mean to you course I know you’ve got transcripts happen automatically.

So obviously you get blogging too.

text without even trying yet Same deal with audio.

So is there anything else in the mix that you have, you know, cranking out content?

Christopher Penn 15:08

social posts are one I will talk about platform in a bit.

But social posts and emails probably the biggest one, the thing that people miss about personal brand is the promotion.

Right? It is, it’s the marketing of your, your personal brand.

And to what we’re talking about on on Wednesday’s episode of the podcast of the Trust Insights, podcast, it doesn’t have to be promoting you.

It’s promoting the content you’re creating, if the content creating is is is useful, then you know, it’s a lot you feel much less likely to need a shower, after you’re done with the marketing.

But the big ones for personal brand are, you know, doing some advertising, having some inbound presence, you know, SEO and stuff like that.

Organic social posts, but the big ones partnerships, where can you partner up with somebody else to do collaborations to do guest appearances on blogs and podcasts and stuff? Especially since there’s what like a million podcasts now? It’s a crazy number, there is a show that will take you.

John Wall 16:09

Right, yeah, there’s one to get out there.

Well, and that is just especially if you can find the right mix of stuff.

Yeah, you can get easy access to an audience that’s interested in the same kind of topics.

Christopher Penn 16:18

Yeah, one thing that our friend and colleague Tom Webster says, I think is very useful is when it comes to guest appearances on podcasts.

His his rule of thumb is to never say no, it doesn’t matter how big or small the show is, because from his point of view, and I agree with this point of view, is shows spread further and wider than you think an individual episode can spread for much further than you think.

And having yourself be a guest on a show.

Even if you’re like in the first 10 episodes and stuff, you are now part of that shows catalogue, it’s kind of like being a venture capitalist, right? You, you do your guest appearance on pretty much any show that will take you and one out of 100 shows is going to hit it.

But when that, you know, one of those podcasts does hit it, you have that you now are a part of that show’s legacy.

And you can say, I was, you know, I was a guest on marketing over coffee, you know, back when it was in the early days, and now you know, 10 million people listen to it,

John Wall 17:18

ya know, that’s, like, it’s, it’s just like any other channels, you know, you just put more content out there, eventually you’re hit.

And the great thing is all that stuff has long tail, you know, if somebody’s googling you, that stuff is going to show up.

And we’ll just add to the overall number of links for your own name and your brand.

Christopher Penn 17:34

Exactly, exactly.

And then another thing that not enough folks do is the community side, you know, nurturing a community finding some way to build a community that you can retain, especially because as digital marketing in particular gets harder with more and more noise, sometimes the only way you’re going to get attention on something, is by having a community you can reach to it’s one of the reasons why on all of these, the shows that we do, we’re constantly saying, oh, yeah, join the join the slack group, because that slack group has got 2500 people in it, if there’s something that we really need eyes on, or we really need links to, we have the ability to reach out to folks.

And even if 1% of people actually do something that’s you know, 25 grand mentions or inbound links, or whatever, but you need that community.

And I’m amazed at the number of folks that just kind of take community for granted like, oh, yeah, you know, Hey, folks on my YouTube channel, whatever, and don’t actually build and nurture community.

The other thing that community is important for is it allows you to delegate some of the, the brand access because, you know, as as people find out, the bigger your personal brand gets, the less access you can give people because you don’t scale, right.

If there’s people constantly wanting, you know, to spend time with you.

That’s awesome.

But if you do have to do work,

John Wall 19:09

yeah, isn’t it? It seems like we have more and more people we know that just have to go the virtual assistant route or have some kind of framework to filter the inbound stuff because they just get so many requests and spam that it’s hard to separate from that from the legitimate inquiries.

Christopher Penn 19:24


So the third part of this is your platform, and this is exactly what you were talking about earlier.

You know, first, what media formats are you comfortable creating? Ideally, it’s as rich as possible, like video so that you can then turn it to other forms.

But there’s so many other ways to create stuff to that, that showcases your knowledge, you know, text audio interactive.

There are there are folks who are GitHub influencers, right they are they are checking in and checking out code out of like dozens of repos every month.

They’re and they’re really well known in that community.

The second aspect of platform was where’s your audience? And this was tough, because it can almost be a bit of chicken in the egg, particularly early on, like, do I go with what’s popular? Like, do I start a Tiktok? Because it’s what’s popular right now, even if you don’t necessarily like it? If you do and you take off there, then you’re kind of bound to that channel for a little while? Or do you spend time on the format’s you’re most comfortable in like LinkedIn or whatever, accepting that you’re not going to get as big as quickly because it’s got a different type of audience, but where your audience spends their time is important.

And then which platforms host this format.

So if you want to email, there’s a lot to be said, for putting content up on places like medium or substack, or LinkedIn newsletters, we’ve started putting all of our newsletters on LinkedIn, because it gets read.

About 1% of our audience has converted over to just the LinkedIn version, they prefer the LinkedIn version.

Um, but that’s their choice.

But you gotta you gotta you gotta go where the audiences if you’d like, if, as some people have the opinion that they have a face for radio, makes a strong case for podcasting.

John Wall 21:18

Yeah, well, and the big thing with this is if you you need to reach the point where your brand is big enough that it’s not channel dependent, right? Because we’ve had over the years, so many folks that, you know, we’re influencers on Google Plus, yeah, Google Plus, or, you know, early Facebook, or whatever, or even even Twitter to people that have like a million followers on Twitter from 510 years ago, that now, you know, only get 10 or 20 likes on things when they post because they’re just buried in the, in the in the feed, and we’re just part of the original feed.

So yeah, if you can get yourself known across multiple channels, that really increases your odds of being able to survive once your, your kind of main source of traffic dries up or takes a hit.

Christopher Penn 22:02


Now one things you’ve talked about the past is traction in terms of not doing too many channels, right? What’s What’s the short take on that?

John Wall 22:09

Yeah, well, the the big thing is that you really have only so much bandwidth.

So you want to make sure that you’re taking advantage of learning a specific channel and getting to the point where because all these channels are have a learning curve, and they have exponential returns, right.

So if you’re an expert in Google ads, you know, somebody who does Google Ads an hour a week is, you know, going to be completely unable to compete with somebody who’s doing it for four hours a day daily, you know, for the entire month.

So we normally try to limit to three channels, you know, have three channels going at all times, and continue to test and iterate and figure out which ones work.

And then when you come to the point where you do have three channels that are all working for you, then you need to start adding bandwidth and getting people to help out and jump in on that.

So yeah, it’s you know, the good news is, you can do something like video, post that on multiple, you know, outlets, but it’s really video is the main channel you’re working on.

So you can put that in a bunch of different areas, and, you know, the quality of the video will go across all the different channels.

But yeah, like, if you’re doing, you know, original blogging, content, video and original podcast content, like that’s it, you can’t be expected to do much more beyond that, that’s, you know, three full time marketing campaigns are about all you’re going to be able to handle.

So then look at, well, is it easier, just do the video, get a transcript of that, you know, decode the audio from it as a separate mp3 file, now, you’re actually kind of working on one channel, and just, you know, distributing it in multiple points, which will give you more time to, to work on a couple other fronts, because Yeah, unfortunately, it’s like, you know, you’ve got marketing yourself.

But then you’re gonna have day to day grinder sales of whatever your brand is, you know, you’re going to have to actually be doing some solid work.

And then you’ve got to leave something open for innovation and for testing.

So you’ve got to, you know, execution, innovation, and then promotion.

That’s, there’s your whole life right there.

So you’ve got to get to be a multiple person organization as fast as you can.

Christopher Penn 24:16

The other thing I just add to design here, you need to have something you own.

So one of the challenges with YouTube or Facebook or Twitter or whatever, not only does the channel move and is a moving target, you know, 12 are our friends who are Google Plus experts back in the day, but you don’t own those things, which means that you know, one one change in Facebook’s algorithm and you go from hero to zero, like literally overnight.

So make sure that you have a place that you own like your website like all three of us.

We have our own websites you have what do you sell the show? Or what do you still have

John Wall 24:54

for Yeah, the I’m sure it goes straight to the marketing over coffee newsletter.

I planted that over there.

So that would stick around.

And then JW 5150 is like the site that I use, but pretty much everything I do is go into marketing over coffee or Trust Insights, you know.

So those are, those are really second, that’s just kind of where I’m playing around throwing stuff to prove that I exist.

Christopher Penn 25:14


And Katie has Katie, I have

So we own these places.

One thing that I frequently yell at friends about is not making copies of stuff and putting it up on your own sites.

So our friend, Laura Gassner, Otting, loves to put up these really long, detailed, elaborate, well written Facebook posts.

And I was like, So when does this go on your blog? Like? It’s on Facebook? Like, should be on your blog?

John Wall 25:46

Yeah, no, I am in the same boat.

I have a few influencers that are actually doing like very well on Facebook.

And it’s just, you need to be copying and pasting that because that can all vanish tomorrow.

And it’s even, why are you giving that to those channels to be able to milk when you could be getting SEO value and driving traffic to yourself? Because it’s even? Yeah, if you’re trying to do a speaking gig or get a book deal, you can’t just send somebody to your Facebook page and hope that they’re going to dig through three months of it.

I mean, you need to have a blog up with your top 10 posts.

And that’s going to easily showcase you and drive traffic forever.

Yeah, I hear you on that.


It’s so painful to see somebody spending so much time on social media and not even saving that somewhere.

Christopher Penn 26:28


Even if you’d like even if like Twitter is your thing, you can still export, like your tweets and put them up, you know, copy and paste them all together as a post, just so that there’s a again as a place for it where people can find you.

And it’s a lot more easily searched.

And the last part is some way of retaining your community as can be in a number of forms slack, the the Trust Insights, community and our respective communities are all within within slack.

If I were starting over today, I would not do slack anymore, I would do discord.

Discord is the better system today for managing a community and is a lot more affordable because of their pricing model.

But also there’s a lot more cool fun stuff you can do in discord, this slack simply does not support.

But you can even go old school and have discussion lists, online forums, BBs has, I mean, we have the marketing over coffee text line, people can just you know, text, but you have to have some way of opening it up not only stay in touch with you, but also staying in touch with each other.

John Wall 27:38

That’s excellent.


And it’s just great to have a map like this to make sure you’re kind of hitting on all cylinders, and figure out where your blind spots are.

So you can do a little more work.

And you can see the result from it not just kind of always wondering, how am I going to hold on to this community?

Christopher Penn 27:57

Exactly, especially if you pivot.

You know, we know a lot of folks who in 2005 to 2008 were podcasting experts.

And then you hit podcasting winter, they all vanished, and some of them were never heard from again, like I have no idea.

There’s a whole long list if you’d like whatever happened.

John Wall 28:17

Yeah, well, and you know, they jump on to the next thing.

That’s the biggest thing is people just keep going, you know, I’m sure they were peddling NF T’s six months ago, and now they’re looking at for what’s big in yoga, or what’s going to happen next month.

Christopher Penn 28:34

Okay, so that’s platforms, we’ve covered purpose, people process and platform.

Now, last part is measuring your personal brands performance.

So you go back to those goals.

Right, we talked about the very beginning.

are you achieving those goals? Did you get the new job? Or do you have a network of people that you could reach out to, and get a new job at any time? Like if you if you decided, okay, this is it, I’m just gonna, you know, I want to go work at this company.

Do you have 20 or 30 or 40, LinkedIn connections at that company? Decision makers like, oh, yeah, come on over.

If it’s speaking gigs are you getting on stage more are you risk getting at bats, to discuss you being onstage, whatever your goal was, but then there’s the the numbers part and the numbers part is people have a lot of trouble with for personal brand.

And it’s not difficult to do this, you just have to do it.

Invest time, if you have a personal website, and you’ve set up Google Search Console, you then get a good sense of how many people are searching for you by name.

And you know, whether or not they click on your listing in Google at least you can see those searches unless you happen to be named after like a famous NBA basketball player.

John Wall 29:47

Right? There’s no way you can score

Christopher Penn 29:51

or or deceased actor.

John Wall 29:54

Yeah, except we’re both of them.

But we’ve survived long enough that it’s getting to the point where those are not you know, the anoints that they were at least gaining ground back.

Christopher Penn 30:03


In my case, the guy had to die.

John Wall 30:06


But he’s been dead a long time.

Now it’s starting.

There’s a whole generation that has no interest in his movies.

And I have to say with the NBA side, too, he stepped down.

He’s no longer active.

And you know, he’d never won a championship.

Thank God.

Horrible of me to say, Yeah, I definitely wish they did.

It would have been fun if he did.

But yeah, I at least now do cut through the clutter a little bit better than I was five years ago, that’s for sure.

Christopher Penn 30:31


So branded search is an important one.

And so you need something like social media interactions, how many people are interacting with you, but also how many people are talking about you is just easy measure of, of your your personal brand.

If no one’s talking about you, then no one remembers who you are.

Which means that it again, this goes back to what our friend Mitch Joel says, It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you when someone needs an analytics expert, or they need a podcasting expert, or they need a change management expert.

You know, does the name Katie robear, snap to mind immediately? If it does your personal brands working? If it does not your personal brand is not working in those social media interactions? Even if they’re silly, they, there’s still value in them.

Even if you get tagged into a whole meme on, you know, does pineapple belong on pizza? The answer is yes.

It is still showing that you have presence of mind someone remembered you enough to tag you in.

John Wall 31:36

That’s true.

And it’s you know, I’m okay with it ever.

People want another pizza as long as they don’t dictate when I can have on my pizza.


Christopher Penn 31:45

it’s like all politics, you can do whatever you want with your pizza.

Christopher Penn 31:52

Keep your keep your opinions off my pizza.

So that’s the personal branding strategy.

In a nutshell, if we zoom back out here, like I said, this is a lot of stuff that we covered in the last half hour the the PDF of this we’re going to put just in our in the Trust Insights community, go to trust remarketing, you can get a copy of it and not have to try and do screenshots.

That said, I think the caution is that personal brand is like a corporate brand, right? Which means that you get out of it, what you put into it, if you neglect it, you don’t do anything or you do was the infamous infrequent fitness where they could go to the gym once a year.

John Wall 32:37

Right, right.

Injure yourself.


Christopher Penn 32:41

Why Why not shave, because you go to the gym once a year.

John Wall 32:47

It is impactful if you had to, you know, pick off the solid list of thing like what is in the wheelhouse for you what is the thing that delivers the most?

Christopher Penn 32:56

From a tactical channel based perspective? It’s email, no, no question about it.

You know, my personal email list is like 230,000 people, which which can get some very interesting reactions.

Like when I did the political email this past weekend, I got some, some very toasty responses from some folks, which is fine.

But yeah, for me, it’s email.

But also that’s a conscious choice, because the email list is something I own, you know, a short of a radical change in the SMTP protocol itself, the way email functions is not likely to change, it hasn’t changed in 30 years, you have more things, expand filters and deliverability and stuff that you’ve talked about in previous live streams.

But the fundamental underpinnings are pretty much the same.

If you look back five or 10 years ago at Facebook, to what Facebook is today, it’s a totally different creature.

Right? So what works on Facebook in 2012, is dead today.

Even stuff like SEO, what works on Google in 2012? Is is toast today, it’s a totally different game, email, sort of like the last standing channel where there isn’t a way for a corporation to put its thumb on you and say, Okay, this is you can no longer send an email without paying up.

John Wall 34:14

Yeah, and that’s just a great testament for why personal brand is important in this day and age because the churn is so fast companies come and go at an astonishing pace compared to 20 or 3030 years ago, you know, there was a time where people could get a reputation within a single org and ride for that their entire career.

And you know, there’s nothing like that now you can be on a VC backed churn and go through three or four orgs in five years without even trying.

So yeah, it’s critical that you do this if you want to survive in the long run.

Christopher Penn 34:45

That’s also a really good point from an expected outcomes perspective to building your personal brand is like building a corporate brand.

It’s not going to happen overnight.

It’s not even going to happen in a year or maybe not even in five years.

But if you spend enough time at all For a long enough period of time, and you’re good at it, it pays off in very different ways.

So one of the things that people make a mistake very early on is trying to get, you know, lots of big names and decision makers and stuff within their orbit.

And that is an exercise in frustration.

But if you have a whole cohort of people that you kind of start out with at the same time, as time goes on, everybody, you know, changes jobs, changes, positions, changes what they do, some people become yoga instructors, that’s totally cool other people, that was, you know, your, your strange friend that you just do weird stuff ends up being the CEO of a massive company.

And that’s, if you, if you keep focused on the brand and your network.

Over time, all those connections start to build and grow.

And a decade later, you may be reaping some substantial benefits.

I remember one example.

We had a client a couple of years ago who said, Yeah, I’ve been wanting to work with you since 2008.

Or like, how do you put this in your attribution model? You know, it took 12 years.


And they changed jobs like 17 times in 12 years.

But they finally landed at a place where they could they could work with us.

You have to invest in in your brand, your personal brand over that time.

So that what whether or not you choose to go out on your own whether or not you want to be an influencer whether or not you’d stay in a company.

If you build that loyal audience, that loyal community, it travels with you.

And like I said, it is your life raft.

John Wall 36:39

Yeah, and it is, you know, it’s definitely the the farming analogy, you know, it’s not hunt, you’re not, you’re not gonna bag that interview with Oprah this week, I’m sorry, this is not how that works, you need to, you know, set it up and a few years down the line, hopefully you’ll see some fruit.

Christopher Penn 36:53


And the other thing is, be very careful about who you who you choose not to let in your community because people of diverse backgrounds go on to do very, very diverse things like we used to go hang out with and, and spend time with, you know, chat and shoot the breeze with a couple of really nerdy guys.

Way back in the day, you know, Oh, 607.

You know, those two guys now are the CEO and the CTO of Hubspot and still answer our emails, which is, you know, again, it’s one of those things you if you maintain your community, and you keep finding ways to provide value to them, that sort of thing can can create long term good results, but you got to be really patient.

John Wall 37:44

Yeah, there’s no, no quick routes to success.

Unless you’re going to become a VC, then you can buy your way into it.

But otherwise, you got to do the work.


And even then, even that is not getting no casualties.


Christopher Penn 37:59


So the sowhat for this week is take the outline that we provided.

And ask yourself a if building a personal brand is something you want to do, because it may not be right for you be if it is something you want to do, follow the plan, go through figure out your purpose, who you are, who your audience is, the process that you’re willing to commit time to, and how much time you’re willing to invest the platforms and the places you need to be and the your measures of success.

Any other final closing thoughts, John?

John Wall 38:31

Now that’s it, you know, swinging over to the analytics for marketers slack group, though, come on over there, because we’re always talking about this kind of stuff.

And it’s great to share tips and tricks about what works or you know, and tap into that network.

It’s a fantastic network of people doing tactical marketing stuff.

So come on in and say hello, we’d love to see you over there.

Christopher Penn 38:48

Alright, so thanks for tuning in, folks, and we will talk to you next week.

Thanks for watching today.

Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it.

For more resources.

And to learn more, check out the Trust Insights podcast at trust AI podcast, and a weekly email newsletter at trust Got questions about what you saw in today’s episode.

Join our free analytics for markers slack group at trust for marketers, see you next time.

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