LionSage: Brand Building for Young Professionals
Summary: The LionSage podcast is dedicated to helping young professionals build a brand, make an impact, and change the world.
Ray Edwards is a speaker, copywriter, and marketing strategist. I had a wonderful brand-building discussion with Ray, and he imparts some massive wisdom on a variety of topics, including: What are some of the important trends that professionals should be aware of as they build their brands? What does PAR stand for? How do you attract a loyal audience? What is strategic influence? How do you overcome the fear of taking a stand and putting your opinions out into the world? How does podcasting and blogging work hand in hand to establish one's brand? What does Ray attribute his prolific volume of work to? What is digital fasting, and why should more of us consider practicing it? Why is it so hard to overcome distractions and focus on one thing at a time? What time management experiment has led to the biggest breakthrough for Ray? Why do we procrastinate on things that are the most important? How can we be intentionally simple? What are you afraid of people finding out about you, and what would happen if you reveal them? What would happen if everything you do was an experiment?
Rivka Kawano is a digital marketing consultant, and in this conversation we talk about some linkedin ninja tricks to you can use to catapult your professional brand. Some of the topics we discuss include: Beyond posting cat pictures, why do most people don't get social media as a brand building tool? Is using social media to build a brand just a fad? Why is it important for young professionals to think of themselves as building an audience? What are some ways to make one's linkedin profile stand out? How can we use linkedin to connect with anyone we want? How can we sift through and prioritize all the people that we should interact with on linkedin? and much more...
Chris is a keynote speaker, publisher and CEO of Owner Magazine, and author of the new book "The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators." In this interview, we get into the guts of his new book, as well as Chris's take on a number of fascinating topics, including: Why did Chris feel compelled to write "Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth?" From a business standpoint, what is around the corner, and how can that knowledge help us build our brands? How would Chris respond to the "I don't have enough experience to do this" objection? Why are we afraid to be ourselves? Why do we hide behind complex descriptions of our brand? Is it possible to choose a brand niche that is too narrow? How can we get ourselves to do the painful things we know we should be doing? If Chris could go back to when he was 20, how would he build his brand differently? What does Chris want his legacy to be, and how would he like to be remembered?
Steve is a blogger and author of 15 Kindle books on topics ranging from blogging, personal development, and kindle publishing. In this interview, Steve and I discuss a variety of topics on how to build your own kindle empire, including: What is an authority and why should a young professional think of themselves as being an authority on a certain subject? Why did Steve start writing books? Why is writing a book a great way to build one's brand? Writing a book is pretty intimidating to most of us. What if a young professional says: "I don't have enough experience or expertise to write a book on anything" Should one start a blog or have a platform before publishing a book? Are there any compelling advantages to traditional publishing versus kindle publishing? How is writing for the kindle format different? What is Steve's writing process? Does Steve get writer's block, and if so, how does he get out of it? Does Steve think that one should wait for the creative spark or muse, or that one should to force oneself to write? If a young professional wants to become an authority through kindle publishing, what is the best way to identify their overall niche? How do we know that our writing is ready to be shown to the world? Why has Steve had so much success with kindle publishing? What advice would Steve give young professionals thinking of writing a kindle book? You know you have a book inside of you. Listen to this interview to get rid of your excuses, and get your book out into the world.
Cliff Ravenscraft is a speaker, podcaster, and the host of the Podcast Answer Man show. I was fortunate enough to catch Cliff during a recent conference, and he was gracious enough to carve out some time to chat. Here are some of the topics we dive into: What is thought leadership? How is Cliff a thought leader, and what is an example of what that means for the influence upon his audience? Many young professional claim that they do not have enough experience to be a thought leader. Should we accept that at face value? Why is podcasting uniquely suited to building thought leadership? What is the future of podcasting in 2014 and beyond?
Stephen Guise is a writer, a blogger at DeepExistence.com, and is the author of the Amazon best-selling book MiniHabits. In this interview, we discuss productivity hacks that trick your brain into getting rid of the "I don't have time" excuse. Here are some of the great topics we discuss: Why is Stephen so passionate about productivity? What has Stephen's challenges been with regards to productivity? What is lacking in many popular time management systems? There seems to be more distractions than ever. How do we block out the distractions and maintain our focus? What are mini-habits, and how have they impact Stephen's life? What is the difference between motivation and willpower, and which is more important for creating habits that last? Why do we have a tendency to create such high and unsustainable goals for ourselves? How do we stop procrastinating on our dreams? What is a habit that Stephen is currently trying to form? How does one combat the inertia of beginning? If someone wants to build a brand through writing, what advice would Stephen give them? Who are other bloggers and personal brands that Stephen admires in the personal development space?
Richard Rierson is a speaker, trainer, and host of the dose of leadership podcast. In this interview, we go deep into what it takes to lead yourself. Some of the topics discussed include What is leadership? What is thought leadership, and how is it fundamentally different? How important is it to walk the talk when establishing your brand? What has been Richard's the biggest leadership challenge? What is the role of authenticity when building a brand for oneself? Is leadership different for young professionals versus more seasoned professionals? How does one overcome the self doubt of the imposter syndrome? How we bring ourselves to do painful things that we know we need to be doing? Where does courage come from? What is the most interesting project that Richard is currently working on? How do we create an intentional legacy, and what does Richard want his legacy to be? If you want to create a brand based on courage, confidence, and authenticity, you will not want to miss this one.
Dave Delaney is a digital marketing consultant, keynote speaker, and the author of New Business Networking. In this interview, we get into the nuts of bolts of maximizing your networking effectiveness in today's hyper-connected world. Some of the topics we dive into include: Why did Dave write New Business Networking? Why is it important for young professionals to take networking seriously? Why is networking undervalued as a skill? Do we absolutely need social media to be a successful networker today? If Dave could only engage in one social media platform to network, which would it be and why? What are Dave's best tips to maximize the effectiveness of Linkedin networking? If someone is not a natural networker, how good can they realistically expect to get? Is it possible to actually practice for a networking event, and if so, how? Should we target certain people to build a relationship with or connect with everyone we can? When networking in person, what are some techniques to make the interaction successful? How do you transition away from someone when the conversation is winding down? What is the best way to use social media to keep the relationship warm? What are Dave's best tips to network using twitter? Should we create a website to represent our personal brand? How can blogging help build our brand? How can we maximize the interaction between on and offline networking to build a powerful, professional network? Resources Discussed New Business Networking Make Twitter Lists, Not War Many young professionals feel awkward networking, even though they know it is critical for their success. If you want to take your network to the next level, you cannot afford to miss this interview!
Nick Loper is the Chief Side Hustler at SideHustleNation, and in this interview we dig deep into what truly separates successful side hustlers from those who never make it. In this episode, you will learn: What exactly is a side hustle, and why did Nick decide to start a whole community around this concept? Why does Nick believe so deeply in the Side Hustle, and why you should as well? One type of side hustle is to become a thought leader or authority in a certain field. How is this genre of side hustles different from others? How do you build trust and credibility with an audience? Why types of content create the most engagement? What is the biggest challenge of having a side hustle? What is Nick's Full-time Side hustle? Is there such a thing as work-life balance? If so, how do you strike it with a main hustle, side hustle, family responsibilities and so on? When do you make your side hustle your main hustle? What truly differentiates those who create successful side hustles from those who don't? For any given side hustle, how do you know when to be persistent versus cut your losses short? How can one use book authorship as a brand building tool? What advice would you give to an aspiring book author to build their brand? Many young professionals have multiple interests and passions. Is it better to focus on one thing or diversify your portfolio of side hustles? How do you figure out which side hustle fits your strengths? How do you know if someone would be willing to pay for your skills? What is a Side Hustle Scientist, and how do you become one? What is Nick's best side hustle advice for young professionals who are trying to a build a brand for themselves? Resources discussed: Ted Talk on Grit
Mike Vardy is an author, speaker, former editor of LifeHack, and blogger at productivityist.com. In this interview, we benefit from his wisdom on a variety of topics: How is productivity changing, and why is it as important as ever? With the sheer quantity of information and content out there, how can one make their brand stand out? When building thought leadership in a niche, why is it important to experiment, struggle, and teach from first hand knowledge? How can one create the necessary time and space to be productive? How can we automate habits and create rituals for success? How can we differentiate tasks based on energy levels, and still be productive when we have low energy? What is the one thing that has led to the biggest productivity breakthrough for Mike? What is the difference between a distraction and a disruption? What can we do to strike some sort of work-life balance? Why the ability to say no is critical to keeping your brand focused and on target Resources mentioned: Getting Things Done, by David Allen The Front Nine, by Mike Vardy The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg The Authentic Swing, Steven Pressfield So Good they Cannot Ignore you, Cal Newport Making Ideas Happen, Scott Belsky Asana
In this case study, we explore how to sustain progress to your goals by building powerful habits. Situation Pierre is a diligent young professional that takes pride in his work. He is the most detail-oriented and analytical person on his team. When meeting about another topic, he asks whether we could change gears. I said sure. He mentions that he has fairly ambitious goals for himself professionally and personally. These goals are not just pie in the sky. Pierre has actually created elaborate plans out how he is going to accomplish these goals. His issue, he says, is his plans always start with excitement, but demands of a full-time job and family responsibilities get in the way and throw him off his plan. Root Cause After inspecting Pierre's elaborate plans, it is clear that he is leveraging his analytical ability. The problem is that because these are long-term goals and Pierre's plans are so over-engineered, a slight change or mis-step throws him completely off course. In addition to his plans, he needs to leverage the power of habits to sustain his progress towards his dreams. Strategies Here are the 7 steps that Pierre and I discuss to convert his perfect plans that never succeed to habits that never fail: For every long-term goal, identify the most important recurring action that will move everything else forward Turn the recurring actions into habits. Be sure to specify the regularity you intend to maintain this habit (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly). Establish an embarrassingly small minimum that you cannot go under within that regular time frame. Allow the habit to "groove" into you lifestyle by giving it time on the runway. Intentionally pick the triggers to your new habits, and always do the action after the trigger. Do the habit as early as possible in the day. Maintain the habit for at least 40 days in order to automate it. Result After 40 days, Pierre reports back on his results. One of his long-term goals is to write an ebook, but he was really struggling with making progress. Pierre identifies that he must cultivate a daily writing habit. He first establishes an absolute minimum of 200 words a day, but beats that minimum considerably on most days. He never falls below his minimum. Pierre also starts getting up earlier, and his writing habit is the first thing he does in the morning after his trigger, which is his coffee. Finally, Pierre maintains the habit for 40 days straight, and is now well on his way to maintaining steady progress to his goals. He also applies to same 7 steps to start exercising regularly. What about you? Do you have over-engineered plans, but no intentional habits? If you have trouble sustaining your resolutions, try these 7 steps to making steady, robust progress, even when life throws a wrench into your best laid plans.
In this episode, we interview John Lee Dumas, the host of the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast. John interviews inspiring entrepreneurs doing amazing things, but John also has an inspiring story himself that he shares with us. John went from being a commercial real estate broker to making a 5-figure a month income in less than a year of starting his podcast. In the interview, we dig into: Why is it important for young career professionals to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset? What is the best way to identify one's niche, and to create sustainable success in the niche? Why is podcasting as a medium uniquely suited to positioning oneself as a thought leader? For those of us with full-time jobs, how can we create the time for a side hustle or passion project? What is John's ultimate entrepreneurial vision? and much, much more
In this episode, we interview the co-host of not one, but two of the top business podcasts on iTunes: Manager Tools and Career Tools. Mark Horstman brings years of "in the trenches" managerial and career wisdom. In this interview, we get to the core of Mark's "no-excuses, get results" career management philosophy, and simultaneously challenge some commonly held notions. Some of the topics we cover include: Why do young professionals need to be intentional about building their reputation? How does brand-building relate to getting results and building strong relationships? How does a young professional identify their strengths by experimenting in their current role? Is finding work you love as simple as "just follow your passion?" How can you dig into your current role to get a more nuanced understanding of your natural abilities? What are 3 MUST READ books that Mark would recommend to a young professional? How do we overcome the self-doubt that inhibits us from giving the world our best? Is the millennial generation really different? What are some unique challenges that young professionals face as they enter the workforce? If Mark could learn anything from anybody, dead or alive, who would it be and what would he want to learn? Resourced discussed: Managing Oneself, by Peter Drucker How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie The Effective Executive, by Peter Drucker The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman Intrigued? If you are not willing to have some commonly held notions challenged, this episode is probably not for you.
Situation Julio is a dependable young professional who is very proficient at his job. He is the go to person for anything that needs to be done on time and with superb quality. Julio recently noticed an open position in his current organization that he thought was perfect for him. He formally applies for the role, but another internal candidate is successful in getting the position. Julio learns that this candidate was not initially aware of the open role. Two other employees who know the hiring manager mentions the candidates name as a potential fit. Root Cause Because Julio is so busy, he spends every lunch hour eating at his desk and working. He feels that taking the time to build relationships is schmoozing and playing dirty politics. After some discussion, he realizes that, other than his boss, he does not have a network of brand advocates that are willing to proactively speak favorably about him. Strategies Julio tries 7 strategies to build his network of brand advocates: Julio makes a list of target brand advocates. He intentionally chooses individuals that have a disproportionate influence on the opinions of others. He shifts his mindset from a purely utilitarian approach to building long-term friendships with the individuals on this list. Julio knows that he must actually care about these people. Genuine care leads to curiosity about their personal and professional lives. Julio must be vulnerable. He cannot project an impervious, bullet proof attitude of perfection. He knows that real vulnerability is endearing. He must be helpful. He tries to listen carefully to the advocates pain points, offer solutions, and deliver on his promises. Julio must be a brand advocate for these people, and expect nothing in return. Julio must maintain these relationships through regular touch points. Results After attempting the above 7 strategies, Julio better understands the importance of building a network of brand advocates. He has also made significant progress on his desired advocates, and finds that he is enjoying the process. He realizes that building professional friendships are fulfilling for its own sake, let alone the powerful side effect of a having a network of people that promote his brand behind his back.
In this episode of the LionSage podcast, we run through case study that goes to the very foundation of professional brand building. As always, names are changed to protect confidentiality. Situation Joe is a 32 year old, ambitious young professional that feels like he has hit a ceiling in his career. He watches as peers get the visibility, growth, and career opportunities that he does not. He is especially confused since he feels like he outworks his peers. After some discussion, it becomes apparent that although he outworks his peers, he is not necessarily out producing them. Root cause In order to illustrate a few points, we swerve into discussing Joe’s favorite superhero, which is Batman. When asked why it is his favorite, Joe responds that he admires that he does not have a superpower. Upon further discussion, Joe agrees that Batman does have, however, a unique advantage over his foes in his technological ingenuity. We connect back to Joe’s unique, natural advantages, to which he says he has none. Strategies Here we go on to discuss 5 steps that Joe can take to find his professional superpowers. Firstly, I ask Joe to think of as many stories as possible of him being at his best. To help jumpstart his brainstorming, I ask Joe 4 questions: Can he think of any stories in which he did something that he thought was no big deal, but someone else thought was a big deal? Can he think of any stories in which he is so engrossed in an activity that time flies by? Can he think of any stories in which he is repeatedly asked to do certain tasks or projects that are not under the normal purview of his job responsibilities? Can he think of any stories in which he worked hard on something, and was physically drained, but emotionally charged up? I ask Joe to email between 10 and 20 colleagues and/or friends that know him well to ask them to write stories of times in which Joe was at his best. Joe then takes all the collected stories, his own and others, and starts looking for common themes and patterns that may hint at unique abilities. Joe then is to combine individual abilities into “superpowers” and to brainstorm what types of problems could this “superpower” solve. Lastly, I ask Joe to put what he has learned to the ultimate test, which is using the “superpower” to solve a problem and to gauge results. Result After completing the above 5 steps, Joe uncovers several potential unique natural advantages that he can use to tip the outcomes of his career in his favor. Specifically, he finds strength patterns in his ability to clearly communicate as well as quickly create trust with people. When combining these two abilities into a “superpower,” he hypothesizes that one application of this combination is the ability to facilitate meetings and events. He tests this hypothesis and confirms that this indeed is a unique natural advantage. Joe is well on his way to creating a powerful brand that is based on understanding his actual professional superpowers.