How to Create Your Personal Brand

This one’s about creating your personal brand as we know No Brand is a brand and we don’t want that. Come have a talk with me as I drop some tips on how to curate your personal brand.

In this edition of the LiveTime with Alec…

  • Your tagline is not your brand.
  • Your logo is not your brand.
  • Your Social Media handle is not your name.
  • The way a customer feels when they see all the above…that’s your brand.

Episode Transcribe

– What’s up everybody? Welcome.

Another Live Time with Alec… I’m Alec and it’s Tuesday.

A lot’s happening in the world out there, isn’t there? Crazy stuff happening in the world out there. Just had a fun podcast with a buddy of mine. So Adam runs an amazing company. I’d love to share some of those clips with you later. I just watched it this morning. I got all pumped up, so it was really fun. Thanks, for doing that. Hey, let’s talk about this guys. If you saw this little clip before and the little image right there, and you’re like, what is he talking about? I really wanna lean into this concept of branding because it’s so buzzy. So buzzy everyone’s like brand, you gotta have brand, personal brand. I’m like running out “personal brand.” And sadly, there’s a huge misconception of what this really means. And so we gotta break it down. First of all, I made a little joke on this. I’m sorry if I offended somebody, but your witty tagline, that’s not your brand. Stop it, like seriously. I know if you like it and it gives you joy wonderful, but the first time as people think brand they’re like, “I’m going to become like a tagline guy or girl.” And I’m like no, that’s not your brand at all, Stop that. Like, no, “I have a logo and a social handle.” By the way, The Fancy Home Financier. Come on, how good is that social handle? It’s not taken by the way. I gotta tell you how hard it was to make this graphic, because every time I would make a stupid tagline or a handle, I’d actually go look and be like, Oh, that’s somebody’s real handle. And I delete it cause I didn’t wanna go live and be just trashing somebody who’s like, “No that’s my handle.” Well there is no Fancy Home Financier. So you’re welcome internet, you can take that one and run, But just stop for a second. I lean into somebody and say like, They’re like “I need to get a logo.” That’s gotta be it, I got a brand I need a logo. Like you don’t, you don’t need the logos, they are absolutely meaningless, they’re meaningless. You know what gives a logo it’s meaning? Your experience with that brand. I’m gonna say that again, ’cause I don’t think you heard me in the back. The brands and the logos you see out there, they are absolute meaningless garbage. What brings them to life is the emotion you connect to that through the experiences you have with it. Does that make sense? So, your cool tagline, and your social handle, and your personal logo graphic from fiber are garbage, garbage. They don’t mean anything. They’re not helpful because what’s gonna happen is, you could have a circle with a thumbs up in it, could be your logo, and that logo will mean nothing, until the customer starts seeing it and experiences it and learning and just to feel what it means. It’s a feeling guys, a brand is a feeling. Your brand is a feeling. That’s what I want you to understand right now. People are like, “I can’t have my URL, which is, Cause I’m like stop, just stop. We talk so much, I talk so much lemme rephrase that. I talk so much about what your authentic self means and how to lead with that, versus lead with some kind of Logan or slogan, Logan slogan or tagline that are irrelevant. Here’s an exercise, here’s an exercise I wanna go with. And I’m just as guilty on this, ’cause in the beginning of the whole process, I did the same thing. Learning of personal branding and I did this exact same thing. I sat down with a bunch of loan officers. And so we’ll do this right now. In fact, if you’re watching this right now, I want you to comment too, you can be part of the conversation. So this is more of a dialogue. But this is exactly what I did. I sat down with a loan professional and said, “Hey look, let’s start working on your brand.” What are the five key adjectives? The five key words you want to be known for as a mortgage professional. Right there, there you go. The five key words and this is what I got and by the way a throw to comment in, if you have an additional one. One of my favorite, I’mma be a professional. I’mma be a professional. Okay, that’s what you want one of your five key brand names to be? Yeah, professional. Great, Well, what’s next? I wanna be honest. I wanna be known as the honest mortgage professional. Okay, what else? Amazing customer service. Right, that’s not a word, but I’ll give you okay, It’s three. Fine, you wanna have Amazing Customer Service. That’s one of your brand ethos, got it. What else? I wanna be kind. I wanna be known as a kind, professional, caring. I got that one a lot. I got reliable. I wanna be known as reliable mortgage, So people would write down the five adjectives to describe what they want their brand to be known for. You get things like I’m gonna be a man of integrity, Professor of integrity, yes excellent, so good, so wrong. None of those are relevant. First of all, let’s talk about brand for a second. It’s an emotion, it’s an emotional connection to a thing, to a person, to a logo if you will but that comes later. It’s an emotional connection. And so when you say the words like, “I wanna be known as a professional” and yet I go look at what you do, and I mean by what you do on the internet, ’cause that’s how we judge people now. I don’t need to frame this up anymore but it’s clear, we judge everybody by what we see them doing on the internet. Yes we do, yes you do. And so the first thing I wanna be known as professional. Excellent, awesome but I can’t find you anywhere. You don’t exist on the internet, so, that’s not helping your brand or I go online and I’m checking out your social media and I see nothing, but I see the absolute opposite of professional. Let’s just take away the drunk, like hitting a beer bong, of course that’s probably not gonna work. But let’s just say I just see a family guy. I just see somebody who loves their kids. I see somebody who looks like they have fun on the weekends, and they like to go hiking. Okay, that doesn’t mean you’re not, did you guys get it? You’re not connecting your content to the ethos, the feeling, the emotion you wanna drive forward into. I’ll give you another good example. In sales today, you gotta be Switzerland. If you want, I mean you don’t have to be, but how many times do you go on somebody’s social media and you see political posts, political posts, excellent. You letting the world know how you feel Woo! And alienating half the population in the process. I don’t know if that’s gonna help to sale. I don’t know that’s gonna help drive, I don’t know what kind of emotion you’re tryi^ng to connect to your brand. But being hyper political probably, it’s an angle. I’ll give it to you, it’s an angle. But this is what I want you guys to hear as you kinda lean into personal branding. There’s a really, really great speaker that I heard in the past. And he said “There is a secret in action.” And he described it like this, he goes look, “I thought that if I went out and loved everybody, “just loved on everybody that I would get love in return. “But the reality is that wasn’t true. “When I loved everybody, I became a loving man. “I thought when I would go out in the world and help people “help, help, help, help, help, help. “I would get help in return. And that’s not true. “What I found was that I became a helpful man. “When I went out and was caring and cared on everybody “and helped other humans through my care, “I didn’t get care in return, “I became known as a caring man.” When you are building a brand, every single thing you do, is going to create a connection with other human beings, a good one or a bad one or a neutral one, but everything you do right now, if you’re watching this, we’re having a moment. Even if you’re just listening to me and you’re already doing emails and whatever, we’re having a connection here and whatever I say next, whatever I do right now is going to pile in, to how you perceive me. The same is true with your brand. As you lean into what you do in your local market. Does that make sense? It sure as hell does to me. And it’s so obvious, but I keep missing it. Everyone starts to focus on the tagline, the logo, the social handle, you are your brand. Hey Dan, what’s up dude? Good to see you buddy. As you continue to show up in the digital space, as you continue to show up in any relationship, you’re building an emotional connection and that is your brand. If you wanna be a man of integrity, of honesty, or a woman of integrity and honesty, then you better show up in such a way that everything I witness doing, builds that definition for me. That’s it. And the other thing that really bothers me is, everyone wants to be professional, good customer service, of course that doesn’t differentiate you. It doesn’t make you special, It makes you decent at your job. But when you start to show me your real human side, when you start to show me what you care about, what makes you tick? What makes you move? I start to get a human connection to you. I’ll give you another gold nugget. It was dropped by Shondell on the podcast we did yesterday. If you missed it, shame on you. It’s on YouTube and it coming out Wednesday, tomorrow. It was an amazing nugget. one of the things she said I resonate with a hundred percent, is that “if you want to be known “as somebody who is reliable, trustworthy, committed, “then you gotta show up every day. “The only way to prove that “is through consistency over time.” There it is, and if that’s one of your brand, definitely the pillars, I wanna be known as a reliable consistent professional. Then you gotta show up every single day, being a reliable, consistent professional. But I also don’t want you to get over mixed on these big words. I put all these words up here, ’cause these are the first ones that pop up, when I started talking to people about, what do you want your brand to be? Who do you want to be known as? Like kind, caring, reliable, integrity, honesty, professional, blah, blah, blah. What about being a good friend? Now you could say that reliable makes you a good friend. And so does honesty and integrity and all that stuff. But if you put out content that shows you’re being a good friend, people are gonna get that ethos and experience. This to me it’s that old saying “your actions speak so loud, “I can no longer hear you talk.” I don’t care about your witty tagline. It doesn’t mean anything to me. What I care about, is how you show up every day on the internet. and locally when we can hang out and hug and all that good stuff, because that is how I’m going to define you and your brand. Do not start with this stuff. The stuff on the screen, That stuff is a trick. It’s a trick on the branding conversation. It’s like you gotta start doing personal branding. And now you need a new website. and no you don’t. No one cares about your freaking website. Dude. Like no one cares. They don’t. People spend hours and hours and thousands and thousands of dollars building out a beautiful personal branding website. Like no one cares, dude. Why would you do that? Do that later. Like this stuff is not how you build brand. It’s not all of a sudden “Hey, I have a logo.” “I have a cool social handle.” ” I’ve got my witty tagline.” “And now I’m branded.” ” I’m a personal brand.” No, no. Your personal brand is developed over time through action. It’s how you show up. It’s how you are experienced. And it’s the emotional connection that happens to you, and the people you’re trying to serve. That’s how you develop and build personal brand. It’s a day by day process where you just continue, Karl’s doing it right now. When you would continue to show up, and you declare to the world why you’re showing up, why does it matter to you that you’re here in this place? And then you will start developing a brand because the emotional connection other people have will define it for you. Now yes, if you show up certain ways, people are gonna have certain reactions to it. A hundred percent. A hundred percent. But they’re not having a reaction to your stupid logo. I’m gonna say it again. They’re not having a reaction to your logo. They’re having a reaction to you. And that my friends, is how you build your personal brand. Don’t fall into the trap. The trap is that you gotta build this other stuff around it. Nope. The game is you just show up and you play. I have to repeat this quote that Shondell said yesterday on podcast. I have to repeat this quote ’cause it was so good. It’s now burned into my mind. And it’s part of my mantra now I’ve adopted it. It’s so right, because if you’re stuck, if you’re feeling me now and you’re like, okay, I gotta put out content and that will build my brand. Like that’s what I’m trying to do. Lemme just be very clear. You put out content, it will build your brand over time The type of content you put out will make an emotional connection. and it will build your brand over time. And you will become known by something via the emotional connection other humans have to you. And then yes, if you throw a logo there, it will start to mean something too. But it doesn’t mean anything in the beginning. It’s garbage. It’s white noise. Don’t get caught up in that. But if you’re feeling me on this. and you’re like, okay, I’m gonna start showing up. I gotta do it. I’m gonna do it, ’cause I believe in myself and I believe I have a purpose on this earth and I gotta step into this game, but I don’t know what to say. And I’ve teased this before because I’ve sat down with more professionals and even on lives, and said I don’t know what to say. And I go okay, Let’s talk about first time home buyers. How much down payment do you need? What FICO score do you need? Can you get a gift? What’s inspection? What’s appraisal? What’s gonna happen in the loan process. You need to come up with like 75,000 pieces of content. But even then, Shondell went one step deeper. And this is from her brain to yours. You’re welcome, It’s a gift. She mentioned being part of Facebook groups as a start to this. And I was like, okay, that’s a relevant conversation. I mean relevant topic. There’s a million Facebook groups. There’s some in your city right now that you should be a part of. Why? Because there’s thousands of people in there that you don’t have to be friends with and now you could be in a conversation with. You can be connected to. It’s like, Oh crap! That’s pretty cool. Like real estate investing as a group. Pretty good, probably pretty good to be a loan officer being in that group. But she said, “If you’re struggling with what content to put out, “you’re not in the right conversations.” And I was like, go on. And she just started to elaborate using this concept of the Facebook group. Inside this Facebook group, guess what? People are asking questions all the time. All the time. They’re saying things like,” Hey, I found this new house “and I wanna buy it and rent mine. “And I wanna try to refinance “so I can use my VA Benefit. ” Does anybody know what to do? I’m confused. ” And so her comment is so dead on. If you are struggling with what to put out to meet your personal brand, to answer questions, you’re not in the right conversations. Because if you are in those conversations, you’ll know exactly what content to put out because people will be asking those questions over and over again. If you’re, look here’s another, if you’re a Reddit nerd like me, every now and then I go down, like, it’s the dark web, but it’s fun. Whatever I like memes just don’t judge me, but you can go to Reddit and you can go to Subreddits like, mortgage info or real estate info. And Oh my gosh! There’s so many questions being asked there. All of a sudden now, you have the answers. You know what content to post. Go to these big Facebook groups, listen, and watch the questions being asked, now you know what answers to post. Guys this is a game. It’s all a game. It’s all a game, but I’ll tell you how you win the game. You win the game by serving others and being in relationship with them and building up enough of a reputation or a brand with them that as they have mortgage needs and questions, you’re the person they think of. That’s how you win the game and you can do it at scale. You can do it for free. All this stuff right now is at your fingertips. And all you have to do is have the courage to step into the light and share about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. That’s it, and listen, and you’ll find the right questions and you can answer them and you will kill it. But please my friends, do not start the personal brand journey. If that’s you, and you’re like, “I gotta get into the personal brand game.” Do not start with this stuff. It’s a distraction. It’s white noise. You get to start on your personal brand journey by putting out content, videos, pictures, articles, tweets, all the stuff you put out will start creating a human connection and it will start building your brand from the ground up day by day, every day. Brands are not built overnight, they’re built video by video, by video, by video over time. If these things give you joy, just have some fun with it. I just don’t want people to get distracted, that’s my main point. If you love The Fancy Home Financier, clever social handle, great, great, love it do it. But please don’t get distracted by what really creates brand. You could have the stupidest logo of all time, but if you show up and you kick ass every single day and you build gigantic human connection and emotional connection online, through all the content you do through all the engagement you do, they’re gonna see that crappy logo and they’re going to be like, yeah, that’s a good, I like that person. But it’s not the logo that mattered. It’s the experience they had with you. All right, kick some ass today guys, I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday. Join me Thursday, we’re gonna have the Chief Technology Officer of LoanDepot sit here on, to talk about tech and mortgage and what’s gonna happen to change our lives in amazing ways. Hope you guys have a wonderful Tuesday, by the way, if you’re watching this in the future, hit me up with a #bypassed I love seeing those come through on my comments, on my notifications ’cause I’m like, yeah, yeah someone’s watching this, brings me joy. #bypassed Have a wonderful day everybody. Talk to you later. Thanks Justin. See you guys.