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Is it time for you to have a Personal Brand?

Note:  This is an abbreviated article that originally appeared in the Funnel Media Group Blog as Do You Have a Personal Brand?

Invest YourselfFor many careers, having your own personal brand, beyond words on a resume, not only makes sense, but is required and expected. It could be a sales job, marketing (of course), even CEOs and Presidents have personal brand considerations. For your own brand you have to consider how you will invest in yourself.  

I’m not talking about your basic social media activities, that has its place. What I’m referring to is the need to have visibility in the marketplace for your thoughts, philosophies, problem solving, and leadership. What do you stand for, what do others think of you and why should you care?  How can you break away from the crowd?

While not a new subject, personal branding for many people is a career necessity. Branding can start with your blog, speaking, tweets, followers, eBooks, and guest blogging.  These things may make you visible (your brand is being recognized) for publishers and companies and maybe employers to approach you for interviews, for video and radio with resulting podcasts.

Thought leadership has grown not only for companies, but for individuals. In years past thought leadership was driven by writing  a book, speaking, speeches’ bureaus, research reports and PR effort. Today thought leadership and an individual’s brand can be created through the wise use of social media in its broadest definition.

 If someone wants to increase their visibility they can certainly write a book. This is, however, hugely time consuming if it is beyond the self-published, poorly edited, 50-to-100-page softcover efforts made by many would-be authors. I’m talking about a 230-page, professionally copy-edited book from a major publisher, which can take several years of effort. 

Being a speaker at conferences and workshops is often a precursor to book publishing, or often easier once the book is published.  Speakers’ bureaus are great if you already have a recognized name or company, and you have published enough books. They can get you the gig, but it’s still time consuming. 

The Shortcut

There is an easier way to create your personal brand that doesn’t require travel, two years to write a book, mountains of research and article writing. The answer is to host your own internet-based radio program.  

Your podcast can be a simple recording you create and place on a service from a storage site. A radio program/podcast can be broadcast live at the same time on the same day of the week, or on the same day each month, and then follow-on listeners come from the podcast recording posted on a hosting site.  These types of consistent programs create followers and listeners.

At the Funnel Media Group’s Funnel Radio Channel, we have 19 hosts for various programs heard once a month, bi-weekly or weekly.  We call them the Real Personalities of Funnel Radio. Their programs might have a single speaker and topic, or guests with the host.  None are longer than 30 minutes. 

Listeners for these programs varies with frequency, time and how the programs are promoted.  Program startup numbers can be 50-250 listeners  per program (about webinar expectations) to 100-500 listeners.  Programs promoted over time can have 750 to 1500 listeners.  Popular programs with typical social media exposure can have thousands of listeners. The size of the host and host company's database and current followers can make a substantial contribution to the followers and program listener downloads. 

These listeners are unique because they are no longer just at-work listeners; they are at home, walking the dog, climbing mountains, bicycling, exercising, or traveling-listeners at nights and on the weekend. 

The “hosts” of these radio/podcast programs have followers, build database lists of people, and create multi-use  content for books, eBooks, case studies, blogs, articles, and speeches (see the ways to use podcasts here).  The programs are normally registered with iTunes, Stitcher, Blubrry and the B2B Podcast Directory so that they can be found by host name and subject.

Popular programs on the Funnel Radio channel are:

Revenue Rebels  with Rhoan Morgan

Sales Enablement Radio with Brian Williams, Ralph Grimse and Dan Perry

Sales Pipeline Radio with Matt Heinz

WVU Marketing Communications Today with Cyndi Greenglass, Matthew Cummins and Lee Silverman

CRM Radio with Paul Petersen

Ready Set Grow with Laura Peterson

DataDump with Mark Godley

Inside Inside Sales with Darryl Praill

Asher Sales Sense with John Asher and Kyla O’Connell     

Rooted In Revenue with Susan Finch and Lany Sullivan 

Program guests often provide the host with testimonials for his or her services or products, introduce the host and company to potential buyers, and build name recognition (brand recognition) for the host and their company. 

Starting a radio/podcast is easy and inexpensive.   You need recording software, a place to store the podcast so listeners can come to the site or listen to embeddable players the site provides for your own website or blog (or a guest’s website or blog).  For $40 a month you can have all of this and be in the business of podcasting and building your personal and your company’s brand. 

There are radio/podcast agencies, such as ours, that manage all of this for you except the actual host duties.  The agencies offer a range of services including storage, digital streaming and production, a studio and announcer, editing, music and a professional touch seldom found in self-produced podcasts. 

One of our Funnel Radio Channel programs has been broadcasting for several years.  At first, the programs were bi-weekly and then weekly after a few months.  To date, they have 132 episodes with 32,678 listeners, with a per-episode average of 249 listeners.  Some programs have had 800 listeners.  

The fact is, this company CEO and author, and his program, have had 32,678 people hear him speak over 16,339 hours of on-air time (numbers drawn from public data).  He did this on his computer via the net, by phone with the studio.  Guests, customers and non-customers, know his name, what he stands for, his judgement on marketing and sales, and something about his company services.  He has an extensive brand recognition for him and his company.  Of course you can too, should you choose to take the "short-cut" to improving your personal brand by using radio podcasting. 

So, you have to ask yourself, is it time to invest in yourself?

You may also like:

How Internet Radio Reaches At-Work Listeners: The Importance of Streaming Live

The Power of Podcasting Radio: Building Trust, Credibility (and Pipeline)

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