How to Build Your Personal Brand – Amelia Sordell, founder and CEO of Klowt

How to Build Your Personal Brand – Amelia Sordell, founder and CEO of Klowt

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Personal branding expert Amelia Sordell started her personal branding agency Klowt last year and in just over a year they’re a team of 7, serving twenty clients and growing. How come they’re growing so fast? Well, first – Amelia is absolutely amazing! She’s confident, authentic, interesting. She does what she preaches – she has built a strong personal brand. But also – personal branding has never been more important. Personal accounts on LinkedIn have 10x the reach of company pages.

The growing number of people who built their companies on the back of their personal brands is the real proof of why personal branding is the future of branding, or some even say the future of marketing. “People buy from people they trust”, and having a strong personal brand allows you to have a connection with people you’ve never met before. It’s like networking on steroids. 
We discussed:

  • Amelia’s playbook to building a successful personal brand;
  • When and how to start if you’ve never invested any effort in building your personal brand;
  • Amelia’s story of how she bacame a personal branding expert and created Klowt;
  • Why personal branding is the future and why you should be building yours alongside your company brand (especially if you’re a founder or a CEO!)

——————————– Transcript of the full episode —————————————————-

Desi Velikova  00:00

Hi, everybody. Today on the show, we have personal branding expert, Amelia Sordell. And we just started her personal branding agency Klowt last year. And in just over a year, they’re a team of seven serving 20 clients and growing. So how come they’re growing so fast? Well, first, Amelia is absolutely amazing. She’s fun, she’s authentic. She’s knowledgeable. She does what she preaches. She has built an amazing personal brand. But also personal branding has never been that important. LinkedIn personal pages have 10x the reach of company pages. The growing number of people who build their companies on the back of their personal brands is the real proof why personal branding is the future of branding. Or some even say the future of marketing. People buy from people they trust, and having a strong personal brand allows you to have a connection with people you’ve never met before. It’s like networking on steroids. If you’re wondering when to start building your personal brand, the answer is today, or at least that’s what I’m doing. Here is the playbook. enjoyed this episode. And don’t forget to subscribe to our channels wherever you’re watching.

Desi Velikova  01:30

Hi, Amelia, welcome to the Product show. Hi, Desi. Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to have this chat with you. You started appearing in my LinkedIn feed a few months ago, quite a few of my contacts, actually, were interacting with your content. And your posts grabbed my attention, because I think you’ll come across as someone who is really confident, really authentic. And I kind of really love that. And then I was amazed by how your personal brand is growing, but also how your agency personal branding agency Klowd is growing. So can you tell me a little bit more about yourself? And how do you embark on the journey to building Klowd Yeah, God, where

Amelia Sordell  02:10

do I start? I think with most businesses, or at least most successful businesses that I know, not that I’m saying were successful, we’re doing well. But like, we’ve got a long way to go. I always think though, the ones that always do the best are the ones that happened really organically, like I didn’t set out with a goal being like, I want to start a personal branding agency like that was never, that was never really in my design, I guess. But I started building my personal brand when I worked in recruitment. And I really wanted to get the recruiters I was working with building their personal brands, because it made a lot of sense to me that, you know, when people are your product, ie our recruiters, our consultants are working for the business that I was working for. They were our product, they were what we were selling to clients and candidates, it made sense to me that you would empower them to market themselves in order to bring more money into the business. And I was like guys, you should be doing this, like we should be pushing pushing content on LinkedIn, like building your brands, like you got it. Come on, guys like this is going to give you so many more opportunities. And of course, no one listened to me because I wasn’t doing it. So when I was I thought, You know what, I’ll go and build my personal brand around marketing, which is what I did, to show them how easy it is to build their own personal brand. Of course, it wasn’t easy, it was a lot harder than I expected. But what ended up happening was, again, I got like sort of eight to 10,000 followers just really fast just by posting about content that I was interested in. So employee engagement stuff, recruitment, marketing stuff, employer branding, stuff, like all the things that I was working on, basically people taking people on that journey that I was currently going on and talking about the things that I found interesting that I found with working in the business that I was working for. And then I started getting loads of DMS from people saying, hey, like how did you get 10,000 followers on LinkedIn? Like, you know, could you give me some tips on how I can do that. And so being that I’m so lazy, I didn’t want to go back to every single DM that I was getting that was answering the same questions. So I started posting content about it. I was like, Hey, this is like, you know, if you’re interested to know how I built 10,000 followers, like, Here’s how I did it. And that kind of content just blew up. And I was like, oh people obviously really interested in it. So I’m just gonna talk more about it. And so I then started building a brand, I guess around talking about personal branding, specifically within the marketing, like the recruitment space. And so it was a real natural progression for me because I’m just I am, I think there’s a very big difference between being a business owner being an entrepreneur and entrepreneur, someone who was born that way they they, regardless of whether they currently have a business or not, they will always be looking for the next business there’ll be always looking for the next thing that they can, you know, invest in or tweak or whatever. Like that’s an entrepreneurial mindset to me. I think everyone wants to be an entrepreneur but actually the reality is you can be a business owner and not be an entrepreneur. But entrepreneur me I was working for this business. I’m thinking hey, like why are we charging for this kind of stuff like we making money here. So we started running workshops to teach teams how to build their personal brand, then I was like, hang on a minute, I’m getting paid like 50 grand a year to do this for them. And we’re charging like three grand a pop to do these workshops, like that’s crazy, like I should get a slice of this. So in August last year in the middle of a pandemic, like I quit my safe job, and started cloud and literally like, I think I quit my job on the Friday, I started out on the Monday I have my first client by the Tuesday and my second client by the Thursday, like three and a half grand in my bank account by the Friday, like I like literally it was there was no safety net, I was like, I’m going to do this, like it has to be not like no safety net, no Plan B, I literally had like my mortgage payment due in two weeks. So if I didn’t make that money in that first week, I would have my mortgage wouldn’t have been paid. So yeah, that’s kind of how it was very organic. It was very natural. I guess I didn’t set out to start personal branding agency, but I did and now we’re 14 months later on a team of seven. We have 20 clients nearly that we’re working with on a retained monthly basis. Just yeah, it’s been crazy.

Desi Velikova  06:11

Amazing. I’ve heard you saying that you think that personal branding is the future of marketing. And I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing what is happening with all the social media influencers in the last few years and how this is sort of taking over traditional marketing. But can you tell me a bit more why you think that personal branding is the future?

Amelia Sordell  06:31

I don’t know if I think it’s the future of marketing. I definitely think it’s the future of branding. So one of the things I always say to people is like the future of branding is personal. And the reason I say that is because people have always bought from people. But previously that sort of phrase or you know, kind of language that we use referred to having one on one meetings with people or one on one relationships with people. What personal branding does is allows you to have a one to many relationship that’s just as intimate as if you were having it one to one people feel like they know you. Like I have people DM me and they’re like, Hi me, like they speak to me like I’m their best friend, because they’ve been connected to me for over a year. And they feel like they know me and all the things and actually, we’ve probably never even spoken in a one to one basis before. So what personal branding does is it builds that communication, that that collaboration, that kind of feeling of connectivity between individuals, but at scale. Whereas when you’re doing business one on one, you’re making a phone call or dropping an email, you know, usually that one like if that’s one to ones, not one to many. So that’s why I think personal branding is going to be so powerful. And you only have to look at the lives of Ben Francis of Steven Bartlett, Gary Vee, Sara Blakely, to see people who have built businesses basically off the back of their personal brand. Yeah, I just think founders a brands too. And it’s not just for founders, it should be a culture of personal branding within your business. My entire team is building their personal brand. And I’m very free and why, you know, they go well, what can we not sound like? It’s only like, look, I trust you use good judgment. But if you’re passionate about something, you talk about it. I think it’s really important for employers specifically to understand that if you’re worried about what your team is going to say online, then you don’t have a problem really, with what your team is going to say online, you have a problem with your people. And that’s even as you hire the wrong people or because you’re such an egomaniac that you don’t trust them enough to say what they’re going to say online.

Desi Velikova  08:23

Right? This kind of reminds me of a situation we usually have here at pony. So what we do is we build branding for brands for C to CRSA startups. And when we start working on their brand strategy, what we usually realize, especially for b2b, small companies is the founder is kind of the most powerful sales tool a startup could have. So how do I convince them to start building their personal brand alongside their company brand?

Amelia Sordell  08:54

Yeah, it’s a really good question. And actually, I don’t think personal branding can replace company branding, by the way, like, I have to make that really clear. I kind of look at personal branding and company branding, like the forehand and the backhand of a really good tennis player. It’s great. If you have one, like you’re you could potentially still do really well in Wimbledon if you have one. But if you have both like that is you’re going to be unbeatable if you’ve got a Strong 400 Strong backhand and you are going to be unbeatable in a tennis match. That’s literally how I view personal branding company branding is forehand forehand and the backhand strong company. And simply like if you’re struggling to convince the CEO or the founder as to why they should be a brand new, like, you only have to look at the stats. An individual ie the leader of a business has 10x the reach of a company brand online. So if you want your business to be successful, you need to be out there talking about it. You need to be out there, building your brand so that your company brand and your company bottom line can directly be affected by the things that you’re saying. On LinkedIn. Then on Instagram, on Twitter, etc, I built a 100% inbound business off the back of the activities that I do on social media. So where like, you know, year one in business, and we’ll do what most agencies would do in year two or three in one year, because everyone in my business is talking about cloud and what we do.

Desi Velikova  10:21

Yeah, amazing. And ultimately, people are buying from people, right?

Amelia Sordell  10:25

Yeah, so more importantly, they buy from people they trust. And if you’re an if you’re, if you’re a startup, there’s very little trust that people are going to have for you. Yeah, because they don’t know who you are. They don’t know what you do. If you’re a founder going out there and sticking your neck out and saying, Hey, I’m the disrupter in this space, because of XYZ. And I’m really passionate about these things. You build trust at scale, most importantly,

Desi Velikova  10:45

right? So let’s think about what makes personal branding successful. And if you look at you as an example, as I mentioned earlier, I think there are two things here. One is authenticity. You kind of come across as someone who’s super open, super honest, very confident, and you kind of more or less do what you preach, right you managed to build your personal brand. And the next thing, which I think is very important, is being consistent. Because correct me if I’m wrong, but you post content almost every single day. So is that it authenticity and consistency, what else would you add to the mix?

Amelia Sordell  11:24

Yeah, I think I think people spend a lot of time worrying about the branding side of personal branding, and not enough on the personal side of personal branding. So we can all sit there and make things look pretty and like make the perfect copy. And like all the things that people don’t buy that. But there’s a reason why people are attracted to influences and not mass marketing, although we’re kind of going the other way. Now, people don’t really trust influencers anymore, either. But there’s a reason why user generated content works is because it’s trustworthy, right? And if you’re trying to present something that is not really your true authentic self on any in any capacity, whether it’s, you know, in a meeting or on a date, or in an interview or online, you’re gonna get found out. And also it’s really hard to not be yourself. So yeah, I think I mean, authenticity is this buzzword that’s thrown around in marketing, and it really pisses me off. Because it should be like obvious, right? Like you should, like, it should be obvious you just be who you are. But it’s true. Like you if you want to get any kind of following of any kind, like, people can sniff bullshit out in three seconds. If you’re not, if you don’t really believe what you’re saying. People People aren’t, won’t be interested in engaging with it. And I think also on that same point of like, being yourself and being authentic, like that boils down to also things like, don’t be afraid a bit afraid of being dramatic and dramatically grammatically incorrect. Like people spend so much time being like all that full stop, like that shouldn’t be there. You write how you speak, people read it as if you were saying it to them. And so you build this connection with them as if you were having a one to one conversation. People spend so much time worrying about writing copy for posts, just say what you want to say and just get it out, dictate your thoughts into your phone, just post it, because that’s what’s going to make people connected. That’s what people connected with me over and to your point, you were saying you come across as really open and honest, is literally because I write how I speak the things that you’re reading there, in your phone, on LinkedIn, on Instagram, whatever I’ve literally dictated into my phone, I’m speaking to you directly, pretty much. So definitely, that’s an important part. But to your back to your point about consistency, like what it doesn’t matter whether it’s personal branding, or its business, or it’s like achieving your fitness goals or whatever it might be. The people have the rock hard abs, the people who have the billion pound businesses, the people that have the biggest followings on Twitter are the ones that just didn’t give up. Like that. It’s the common denominator between every single quote unquote successful thing business person in the world is that they kept getting up when other people would have just given up. And so consistency is 100%. The most important part of personal branding because 99% of people don’t do that. They will just go three weeks and I’m not getting any results. Screw this. It’s not working. I’ve been doing this for two and a half years, and everyone’s gone. You just popped up overnight. And I’m like, Yeah, I’ve been working on this for literally 24 months. Like it’s not been overnight, but graph every single day, sometimes twice a day sometimes and you say like I post everyday on LinkedIn. Sometimes I post twice a day on LinkedIn. Sometimes there’s three date times a day on LinkedIn, sometimes I post on LinkedIn, Twitter, I post every day on Twitter as well. But LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, I’ve got an article coming out on medium. I’m doing a podcast like all in one day. And that’s because I know the investment of my time and effort in those activities. I can directly attribute to the nearly half a million pounds in revenue that we’re going to do. So it’s really important that people remember what the goal is like if you want rock hard abs. You need to keep going to the gym every day. If you want to lose a lot of weight. You need to stop eating sweets every day you need to start eating Every day, if you want a successful business, you’re not going to get that overnight, that’s going to take years. And you got to show up every day even when it’s shared. And it’s exactly the same as personal branding.

Desi Velikova  15:09

Absolutely. I think by now, no one actually has any doubts in the power.

Amelia Sordell  15:15

I know you say that. But like we live in this world where it’s like instant gratification, and we have Uber, we have Amazon, we have, you know, Deliveroo everyone wants everything now. And it’s ruined us. Absolutely. Yes, it does. It’s made us think that things come quickly, we oh, we completely overestimate what we can achieve in a day and dramatically underestimate what we can achieve in a year.

Desi Velikova  15:36

Yeah. So let’s imagine I am your client. And this is our first meeting. And just to give you to give you a bit of a background, so I’ve managed brands with millions of followers. I’ve been ponies, social media audience to 65 people, or sorry, 65,000 people in a bit over a year completely organically. But when it comes to my personal brand and my presence online, I’m absolutely no one. So I have, I think around 5000 people on LinkedIn which I built, you know, over the years, I have like 1000 followers on Twitter. And I’ve never invested any effort in growing my personal brand, which I know it’s a huge mistake. So where do I start from? Is there a playbook? And what would be your advice to people who are just starting off?

Amelia Sordell  16:25

Yeah, there’s definitely a playbook. And actually, we have a, we have one on our website that’s free. So if anyone wants him, we can give you that for the show notes. So the thing that we normally say is like what you want to be known for first and foremost, like, if you want to have a strong personal brand, you have to be famous. And if you want to be famous, you have to be famous for something like what is the thing that you’re famous for? So it’s identifying the the kind of two to three things that you want people to think of you as an expert in that space. So for me, it’s personal branding. It’s being a strong leader, and it’s championing startups and SMEs and generally entrepreneurship, those are the three things that I want to be known for, and I almost exclusively talk about. The second thing is, what do you want people to feel? When they come across your content? Do you want them to feel amused? Are you funny? Do you want people to feel inspired? Do you want people to feel educated? Do you want to teach them something? Do you want people to feel enraged? Like, are you going to challenge stuff, and maybe it’s all for, but how do you want people to feel when they come across your content is really important in matching your tone of voice to who you are online. And then the final kind of piece of that initial puzzle is, what are the topics that you’re most confident in talking about, we always say to people don’t talk about stuff that you’re not confident in talking about. Because you need to come across, like online. And I’m sure you can relate to this with the kind of work that you’ve done with brand pages, you have to add everything up. Like if you want to be sassy, you have to be really fucking sassy. Like, if you want to be funny, you’ve got to be really funny, if you like, everything has to be amplified in order for it to land in the way that you would have said it even if it’s just one on one, because the nuances of your tone of voice and the body language are missing. Everything has to be amplified. So if you’re not confident in the things that you’re talking about, that just goes to mush. So getting really clear on those first three things is really important. Once you’ve laid those foundations, it’s then like cool, I’m going to start talking about these topics. And I’m going to start talking about these topics in relation to the two to three things that I want to be known for. And so what you can start doing is building out a content plan where it’s literally I mean, that’s very formal, like if you like me, when I first started, I used to just dictate thoughts into my phone, and that would be my post. But if you want to be a bit more organized, you can build a content farmers like right on Monday, I’m going to talk about, you know, leadership and the challenges I’m having and the things that I find annoying. On Tuesday, I’m going to talk about culture and why that’s important to build as a business owner. On the Wednesday I’m going to talk about personal branding, because that’s the thing that I want to teach people. And on Thursday, I’m going to teach people about personal branding as well, I’ll just get a little bit deeper into that niche. And then on the Friday, I’m going to, I don’t know, share the promotion, I just got another promotion, I just gave my team members, or even better, I’m going to share a screenshot of some results that we just got for our clients. And when you do that consistently, you’re talking about the same topics over and over and over again, even if it’s just in a slightly different way, you start to build up this presence to be known for that thing. And people start to kind of be attracted to you because they want to learn about those things. And maybe they agree about with you about those things. And over, as I said back to your point earlier about consistency. If you’re consistently talking about those things, you will begin to be famous for those things. But like I said earlier, like it’s kind of like going to the gym, you don’t go and have the sexiest body of my life, go to the gym for six months, get that sexy body and then go and eat popcorn for the rest of your life. Like you have to keep doing it. So even when you achieve that kind of you know, I guess platform that you’re looking for. You have to keep going you can’t just go cool. I’ve got 70,000 followers now like I’m done. Like if anything you have to amp it up because it’s a lot harder to kind of keep people engaged when you have a bigger following Right. So that’s kind of the very macro bursts of steps of where I would start if you’re one of our clients.

Desi Velikova  20:05

Okay, and how long do you think I should stick to my plan? Until we start seeing results? And the reason I’m asking that is even when you start building the audience for a brand in the beginning, you don’t see any reactions, people are like completely ignoring you. But then over time, at least with brands, you start seeing more and more attention, then all of a sudden, you are getting this, you know, sort of influence over your audience. How long do you think a person should be sticking to this, even without seeing any results?

Amelia Sordell  20:37

is like saying how long is a piece of string? It depends on many, many things. It depends on how interesting you are, it depends on the language that you’re using. It depends on your tone of voice, it depends on whether you’re talking to your audience, you’re actually talking about things that they will all the things, but say you had all the perfect conditions. And you were, you’re very authentic, your copywriting was great, you’re being consistent all the things like typically, we’ve had clients get inbound revenue off LinkedIn as early as 11 days. But we typically will say, you won’t start seeing results from your personal brand for the first six months, because people will sit in your network for six months, just looking and waiting, that they’re just being overly harsh. I’ve seen her a few times, she’s quite interesting. And then they tend to follow up. But the thing is, when you start noticing the difference, it’s kind of like a tap. Like you see a few drips, and then all of a sudden it’s like, and then like everything starts happening at the same time. But it’s normally about six months.

Desi Velikova  21:30

Right? And what would you say to people who feel like I don’t know what to talk about. Everything has been said by people who are more interesting and more influential by me. So how do you overcome the imposter syndrome? When it comes to personal branding?

Amelia Sordell  21:46

99% of people on LinkedIn specifically do not post content, online period. At the end, they don’t post 90% of people on the platform don’t even comment. So chances are people aren’t actually saying what you would like to say. And more importantly, they’re not going to say it in the way that you would say it or communicate it in the way that you would communicate it. What you think is obvious is gold to other people. So just fucking poster, like this whole, this whole thing of like, Oh, what if no one likes it? But what do they do? If the worst thing that could happen is that no one like, makes it great. Now you’ve got it out, and it’s living out there. And you can post something again tomorrow. Like, we all need to get out of this. Out of our heads when it comes to worrying about what people who we’ve like we’ve never met before, think about and I probably like I know this sounds like it’s super easy for me to say because people probably listening to this thinking. She’s so confident like it’s so easy for her to say this. I never used to be confident I used to be so shy. When I was a restaurant, my dad would need to order my food to the waiter because I was so embarrassed to talk to him. I’m so nervous to speak to the waitress or waiter that my father would have to order my dinner for me as a teenager. But over time, I’ve kind of realized that, like this whole thing of worrying about what other people think and imposter syndrome and not feeling like you’re enough. First of all, it’s completely normal. We all feel like that even your most favorite soccer star who’s like, you know, the top of his game or top of her game. She even has or he even has days when she said I’m not very good at this. Everyone does. Everyone has self doubt, it’s part of being human. I hate the word impossible, the phrase imposter syndrome, because it implies that it’s like something wrong with it. Like you’ve got a syndrome. It’s like a medical condition. It’s not self doubt, it’s completely normal. We all have it. However, where that self doubt comes from is, you know, millions of years ago, we were in these tribes, you know, these Neanderthal tribes. If we if we did something that raised the eyebrows of the tribe, or that the tribe didn’t like the tribe could shun us and push us out of the village and we could get eaten by a saber toothed Tiger. That’s not a good outcome. However, we don’t have that risk now, but we still have that same risk averseness because we don’t want to get eaten by a saber toothed Tiger there is very little that you could say or do in life or online that is going to repair any damage to you. If you’re a good person, there is nothing really that you could do or say that’s gonna stop you from getting to where you’re going to go. In fact, most of what you could do and say is actually going to help you get to where you want to go. So this whole narrative of like oh whatever no one likes it or whatever it’s not intelligent enough or whatever it’s not good enough. That’s just you self sabotaging because you’re worried that what if it does go well and then what? So yeah, just fucking post it.

Desi Velikova  24:39

Perfect. So what what are like other common mistakes other than talking to yourself and not be consistent, that you would advise people to avoid when they start building their personal brand?

Amelia Sordell  24:52

What should they avoid? Avoid overthinking it, as I said, like just just post it Avoid flip flops, avoid flip flopping about loads of different topics, like just get clear on what you want to talk about and just talk about those things. Be also really kind of mindful that it’s going to take a long time, like what people always give up, like, they got it. Same thing with weight loss, like you do a diet for one week, and then you’re like, oh, it’s not working, screw it, I’m gonna go and eat that cake. And actually, of course, it’s not working. Because we’ve done it for a week, if you want to lose weight, you’ve got to go for like a month or two months, or three months, or whatever. So understanding that Rome wasn’t built in a day is really important. And those little nuances like, you know, understanding how Platt works, the way I sort of see social media is that you are the same person on every platform, right? You don’t change. But the language in which you communicate on each platform is very different. So I might speak English on LinkedIn, but on Instagram, I might speak Japanese. And on Twitter, I’m speaking French. So you wouldn’t communicate to someone in Japanese, if they spoke French, you’d speak to them in French. So understanding what works on what platform and why is really important. And the easiest way to do that as you just go look at bigger accounts and just see what they’re doing and sort of try and mirror, not what they’re saying, but the way in which they’re saying it. So, for example, flipbooks do really well on Instagram, those sort of carousel images that you really want an Instagram, that’s not going to work on Twitter, because number one, there’s no capability for you to do that. But number two, Twitter’s not really a visual platform. It’s a sound bite shower thought, you know, here are my you know, random ramblings about things. So why don’t you turn that flipbook then into a thread? Because that’s contextualized to LinkedIn. And it means you can, you’ve changed the nuance, you’ve changed the language. And now I can understand what the Japanese thing I was saying on Instagram, I can now understand that in French, because I translated it for the platform, which is speaking French, ie Twitter. I think that’s really a really important point is people really miss out on. And I think also to that, and kind of tag on to that a little bit, I think a big mistake people make as well as trying to do too much too soon, like, you just nailed on one platform first, like go way audiences nail that and then start looking at other ones. Like, I got to, I don’t know, 60,000 followers on LinkedIn, before I even looked at Twitter, like I was just like, I want to nail that on one platform. And then once I’m happy with that growth, and that sort of ticking over naturally, I can then go and focus on the next one. And then once I feel like I’m at that point with Twitter, I’ll then start focusing on Instagram. And then once I finished focusing on Instagram, I’ll probably move on to something else. But I think it’s really important that you don’t try and overwhelm yourself. Because if you sit down and go, right, and it’s for my personal brand to be on this channel, this channel, then all of a sudden, it goes from being like this very simple activity of just sharing the stuff that you already know, to, oh, my God, I have all this stuff to do. And I don’t know about you, but I have a whole friggin business to run into children to raise. And I don’t have that kind of time.

Desi Velikova  27:56

Do you think there is a social platform that’s kind of hugely undervalued at the moment, and probably people should start exploring it first.

Amelia Sordell  28:06

From a personal branding perspective, I really think medium. Like I don’t think people had enough attention to medium. So for anyone that doesn’t know, medium is a, I guess, a self publishing platform, you can write an article and you can post up on there. But medium has a huge readership. And of course, when you put stuff on medium, as long as the SEO is decent, it will come up in Google results too. So for me medium is going to be one of my big focuses of 2022 is like getting articles out on there, more long form content, particularly if you want to be taken seriously in perhaps more traditional markets. Like, I don’t know, if you’re a data scientist, or if you’re a Python developer, or if you’re someone who wants to be a CEO, or you are a CEO, and you’re looking to IPO whatever, having having articles that you’ve written on a platform like medium and getting attention on there. I mean, it’s a no brainer. And also it’s probably worth saying a lot of press go to medium to pull out quotes from more famous people as well. So it’s kind of like a two thing. Social media platforms. So what are some of the underrated I mean, tick tock, I mean, people are just I know, I know young people of TiC tock but like, it’s so underrated for brands. First of all brands got no idea what they’re doing on that platform. My social media executive and marketing sector, Danielle is absolutely nailing Arctic top like, and of course she is because she’s 21. And she’s grown up with that platform, but she’s doing an awesome job of understanding what our audience wants and like making sure it was translated into the proper Tik Tok format and working on trends and then how to leverage that with stuff that we’ve already gone repurposing content into video content and, like understanding how to use tic tock as a brand, not a company brand, not just a personal brand, I think is grossly undervalued. But also I think older people you know, when I say older, I mean anyone that’s above like 28 basically He doesn’t really view Tik Tok as like what it is they think at some platform that like teenagers are dancing on. It’s not. It’s the fastest growing the fastest growing social media platform in the world.

Desi Velikova  30:10

Right.

Amelia Sordell  30:12

So it’s so undervalue. And the thing is like, it’s not just people dancing, it’s actually like, go there, find information, learn about tax return, go and follow someone who’s a crypto investor and learn how to do that. Like, people don’t understand that. Social media works exactly the same way. Every single channel works exactly the same way. It’s just going back to my point, it’s just a slightly different language. So Tik Tok and media might be the two that I’d be interested in. But again, it depends on your audience. And depends what you’re trying to achieve.

Desi Velikova  30:42

Interesting do have sort of a strategy for generating content ideas will do usually do to come up with ideas for to post about consume. Yeah,

Amelia Sordell  30:54

I consume as much content as I possibly can. Every day, I listen to podcasts, I read the news, I watch the news, I, you know, have stuff on in the background, like you cannot create anything unless you consume. It’s impossible. It’s impossible. So consume as much content as humanly possible. And then also just share, just share everything. Everything like there is nothing that I go, Oh, that’s a bad post. I’m not gonna share that. I’m like, Nope, that was my thought that’s going out. And if it gets 170 reactions, great. If it gets 17,000 reactions, great. I’m completely indifferent. Completely, because it goes back to my point earlier about people spend too much time focusing on the branding part, ie, Look how shiny and lovely I am, versus the personal part, which is actually these are my real thoughts. And if you don’t like them, that’s also fine. Like, I’m 100%, okay, with the consequences of what I post online, what I say one on one, and therefore, to me, it doesn’t actually matter whether I get 50 likes on something or I get 50,000 It’s different because it’s my opinion. So yeah, consume,

Desi Velikova  31:52

right. Oh, absolutely. You can’t write books, unless you read books. Right. And so yeah.

Amelia Sordell  31:59

I mean, some of my favorite places to get information is through books. I try and read a book a week or I’m struggling a little bit now. Kind of doing like a book every month, maybe. But I read a lot of books, I listen to a lot of podcasts, I read medium avidly on my phone, I go on Quora all the time, Quora is a great place to get inspired. Just anything that you find interesting, like if you’re in tech, and you love reading, TechCrunch do that. If you’re someone who’s interested in you know, finance and VCs and you want to read stuff on medium, like do that if you’re into copywriting. And Tim Dennings your guy, like, follow him and read him like wherever you need to get your information and get inspired by or go for a walk. You might not even want to read anything, you might just go for a walk and look at nature and get inspired by the clouds. But whatever it is, you need to be consuming something you can’t just sit sit in front of a laptop, and just magic magic, like it just doesn’t happen.

Desi Velikova  32:49

Absolutely. I think back to your point with repurposing content and recycling content, I often feel that people are not taking enough advantage of it. Because what we usually do on pony, so we will have an article, we’ll make a newsletter out of it, then we will carry on Instagram carousel, then we’ll have a LinkedIn post, then we’ll post something that’s native from Facebook. So from one idea, you can actually generate, like seven, eight posts, which would help you to grow on all relevant platforms. So that’s definitely no, yeah,

Amelia Sordell  33:21

yeah, I mean, that’s how we run our entire agency, we we interview our clients for an hour a month. And from that one interview, we create between 20 and 65 pieces of content. Yeah. And that’s one platform, by the way. So when we start rolling out to other platforms, that then becomes 100 pieces of content, or 2200 pieces of content, all from one interview. And it’s the same premise, you take a long form, or we take we call it Cornerstone content was the cornerstone of whatever we’re going to be talking about this month, we take one piece of Cornerstone content, and then we just atomized that we blow it up into loads of tiny micro pieces of content that get then get distributed on whichever channels they need to be distributed on. But I mean, why wouldn’t you as the same, like not just like doing that, but you know, don’t be afraid of reposting something that did well, five months ago, like it’s the same as like, you wouldn’t buy an amazing outfit that you felt so sexy and and that only were at once. You’d want to wear the outfit, right? Like if you felt great in that outfit, you whatever you wear it. So reuse your content, just tweak it slowly.

Desi Velikova  34:23

I guess what happens is that content creators are so tired of creating the content, that they don’t spend enough time on distributing it. But that’s equally important, isn’t it? So what’s the point of investing one week in creating something if you don’t go the extra mile to make sure that it reaches as many people as possible, right? Can you give us a few examples of people who are doing an amazing job with building their personal brand? Who shall we learn from

Amelia Sordell  34:53

to can you learn from Leah Turner is really awesome on LinkedIn. She’s the LinkedIn trainer. So if you’re looking to build out your content on LinkedIn, specifically oppa So Wellington specifically, she’s really good. Justin. Well, she’s a big I’m a huge fan of Daniel Murray. These guys are on LinkedIn, Belinda Agnew. And then on Twitter, I’d be looking at people like Daniel Murray again, he’s great on Twitter. He’s actually really interesting because he’s basically built his personal brand on LinkedIn and gone. Hmm, I’ve cracked this right, I’m going to try and do on Twitter. Now he’s done on twit like he is he is like a social media genius when it comes to personal branding. Matthew Kobach really interesting guy. He’s the head of marketing at Fast Company. And what he has done is really interesting on Twitter, you follow him? Who can you learn from? Like, there’s just so many people that I follow? Like, it’s hard to name Dane Walker on Instagram. He’s really cool. He’s a branding guy. And it’s super, super interesting. Yeah, those are the kind of be my top I think,

Desi Velikova  35:57

What would you advise people who struggle to convince their boss that personal branding, could be empowering for the company as well. In the past, I worked at companies where employee social media activity was seen was sort of frown upon, it was seen as a waste of time. And I’m sure that things have changed since then. But we still have many organizations that are a bit more conservative when it comes to personal branding. How can we help them see personal branding as an asset for the company and use it to their advantage?

Amelia Sordell  36:31

I mean, you can do what I did, which is build your personal brand, and then asked permission after. Like, I know, that sounds like really aggressive, but it’s really hard to convince someone who, like, it’s much easier to go with the yeses than try and convince the nose. So if people aren’t on board with you, that’s fine. You don’t do it yourself. You go and build your personal brand. And then you start tracking the impact that your personal brand is having on your company. Look at your Google Analytics, look at the click through rate from your LinkedIn page, go and see how the followers have increased in the LinkedIn page in relation to how well you’re doing on your personal page. Start showing people the views that you’re getting on your posts. That’s what I did. And then people really listen because now you’ve got a hard metrics, hard facts. It’s not just a wishy washy, we should be doing this because someone on LinkedIn or some this girl called Amelia on this podcast told me to do it. No, you go with hard facts, hard evidence be like, Hey, I’ve been posting content every day for two months. And this is the results that I’ve gotten to the website.

Desi Velikova  37:30

Right? And will do say to people who are like, what’s the ROI here? How do I know that I’m gonna see any return on my investment?

Amelia Sordell  37:38

I mean, it’s, that’s again, it’s like a, it’s like a million dollar question, right? Like, why would you know, you’re gonna get an ROI on the other stuff they’re spending money on. Like, you can make an educated guess based on statistics, you can make an educated guess, based on other companies that are doing well, you can make an educated guess based on your audience profiling, but you don’t know. You’re just taking a punt on stuff you don’t know 100%, that that ad that you spent 50, grand creating is going to turn into any business, but you can make a pretty good guess that it will do based on the statistics, right? Personal Branding is just another tool in your marketing toolkit. Like I said earlier, it’s not going to replace company branding, but it’s going to amplify it. And I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be the business. That’s the choice for people because I took that risk. And because I put myself and my team out there, then be just a choice of many. And that’s what personal branding does that the ROI, the ROI is you become the expert in your space. And quite honestly, the way that the world is going and how easy it is to sell businesses and how global we are now, like, can you afford for that not to happen? Right? I don’t know. But yeah, I mean, there are there’s always going to be CEOs, etc, who who are hard asses about this stuff, because it wasn’t relevant when they were, you know, younger, kind of more creative people not to say they’re not creative, but like you get what I’m saying like then it’s not something that was was a thing when they were coming up. But the reality is marketing evolves, people evolve. And you’ve got to go in the way in which the trends are going because if you’re not on up with what consumer behavior is doing, you will be left behind. So I would say yeah, the ROI thing is as much as you put in is what you get out.

Desi Velikova  39:25

Yeah. And I read an interesting study the other day, where only 30% of baby boomers believe that personal branding is important when it comes to buying from someone as opposed to 70% for Gen Z, who are the future right. Thank you so much for your time, Amelia. It was a pleasure to have this chat with you. I’m going to follow your advice religiously in the next year. And I’m going to report the results back to you in 12 months time

Amelia Sordell  39:51

go away. Yes, start now start today. On a good time, a bad time to start. You have to start like if you want to achieve anything you’ve got go with that. Thank you so much for having me. This is really fun.

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