For many competitive careers, having your own personal brand, beyond words on a resume, separates those who have it from those that don't. 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?
Why it Matters
"For many competitive careers, having your own personal brand, beyond words on a resume, separates those who have it from those that don't."
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 effort made by many would-be authors. To be a serious author you need a 200+ 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 to a Personal Brand
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 podcast.
"Think about it, If you don't invest in yourself, no one else will!"
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 recordings 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 22 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 which we deem is the optimal time for listening. Anything longer and you have a webinar type of sales presentation.
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 of prospects, 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 Pipeline Radio with Matt Heinz
CRM Radio with Paul Petersen
Inside Inside Sales with Darryl Praill
Asher Sales Sense with John Asher and Kyla O’Connell
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 to listen to embeddable players the site provides. (Think Podbean, Bluebrry, etc) For $15-40 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. 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 4+ years. At first, the programs were bi-weekly and then weekly after a few months. To date, the has had 242 episodes with 109,353 listeners, with a per-episode average of 451 listeners. Some programs have had 1200+ listeners. He did this from his office or on the road 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.
On another program, with use for 2.5 years, he has had 78 episodes and 61,498 listener downloads with an average of 1008 listener downloads. All of this information is available from public data.
So, you have to ask yourself, is it time to invest in yourself?
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