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Is Personal Branding Really That Important? | Get Fact Up #69

Chris Hogan: G'day, world. Chris Hogan and Andrew Groat coming to you live from MeMedia studio here at Burleigh Heads, and it's episode 69 of Get Fact Up, and we're talking about ...

Andrew Groat: Personal branding, today.

Chris Hogan: Personal branding. Well, this is going to turn into a rant. Pre-warning, this is one we're probably going to rant.

Andrew Groat: We're going laptop closed today. All right. Let's do it. Rant mode.

Chris Hogan: So, I guess I want to preface it by saying that I see a lot of experts out there, in the world, that are going to teach you and I how to build your personal brand. How to become a personal brand, and they are personal branding experts. So, drives me nuts. Absolutely drives me nuts.

Andrew Groat: Yeah, because it's, let’s be honest, it's fairly narcissistic, the idea of personal branding. I think, why would a person want to be more like a brand? It should be more like brands should become more personable, that's kind of the first thing I-

Chris Hogan: Couldn't have said it better myself. That's beautiful. Yep, and that's exactly right. Brands do need to become more personable, because people like to deal with people, versus dealing with a logo. Knowing the people that work in a certain company is actually really good for business.

Andrew Groat: Yeah, and just knowing who you're communicating with, and knowing that the people behind the brand are going to be really personable, and communicative, and all that sort of thing. I think that's really where the whole idea of personal branding, is where it lies, is putting your face to the content marketing and communication that you're having for your business. It shouldn't be the other way around.

The idea of personal branding, it's about, basically, quantifying that growth thing. It's about instant gratification and the ego factor that we get with all those social media celebrities. But it doesn't necessarily tie into business success, and that's kind of the wrong way to think about it, I think, there.

Chris Hogan: Yeah. You just alluded to, it is content marketing that needs to be produced by brands. We talk about it all the time, we're very passionate about it, ourselves. But, it's the brand being personable, and you're giving value. We always say, "Make it entertaining, educational, or inspirational, the content that you're creating." If you do tie yourself-

Andrew Groat: Your personality.

Chris Hogan: ... to the content that you create too much, and basically say, "Oh, look, it's Chris Hogan's media," Then you've basically built a rod for your back. You're going to have to do it forever and a day.

Andrew Groat: That's right. You brought up a good point with Gary Vaynerchuk, before. Everyone think, "Oh, yeah, the personal branding king." But that's not how he started. He didn't just, he wasn't just born as the social branding king. He built up an awesome content marketing channel. He worked tirelessly on it for a long, long time. Then, once he got success, he started to go into more of the personal branding field.

Chris Hogan: Well, yeah. So he built a wine library into a very successful business. It was his father's business. He built that from a $3 million to a $60 million business. Then he was creating content doing that. He had a YouTube channel on wine tasting. And then he decided, "Well, I'm going to start a media company," and turned that into a $100 million business, throughout the US, in multiple states in the US. It was only after many years of doing that, then he decided, "Oh, yes. I'm going to hire a full time videographer to follow me around the world."

Andrew Groat: Yeah, before it really became about the personal brand.

Chris Hogan: And he does sign everything off, "Gary V." It's all about the Gary V. Show, and whatnot, but he himself, admits that, that's how the story went. He built substance behind his self through having business success.

Andrew Groat: By that point, too, everybody knew him, so why now just making it a little bit more about him, obviously, there. But he earned that by that point. I think that's the problem, is people, when they think about personal branding, they think they're entitled to some kind of growth there, which you kind of know what, you have to earn that.

Chris Hogan: Yeah, so even myself, if I was to say, "I did 58 Get Fact Up videos last year, so all of a sudden I'm a personal branding expert. So, I'm going to teach you how to create your own personal brand." Because I did 50 videos? Or I posted everyday on social media? I did a selfie every day, or photo of what location I'm working from, today?

Andrew Groat: But what would people achieve from that? People should really be focusing on building up a really good content marketing library, well before they think of that. Like you said, delivering substance before then.

Chris Hogan: So much about substance. You cannot create, oh, sorry. You cannot build substance behind yourself, a successful business or whatnot, overnight, it just doesn't happen. You can't do it in a year. Even those successful people out there that have created businesses in record short time frames, lot of luck involved. There is a lot of luck. I talk with some of my mentors about that sometimes, and we just go, "Yeah, wow! Hat off to him, or her. But I think there was a larger element of luck."

And if you actually talk to those people, sometimes they admit it. "Yeah, there was some luck involved."

Andrew Groat: It's not their personal brand that did that. You have to have a hell of a lot of success before your personal brand can carry you into business success, I think.

Chris Hogan: Really, what we're saying is, "Can people stop creating a personal brand? Can people stop focusing on personal branding?" And what should they be bringing it back to?

Andrew Groat: Well, content marketing, obviously. The problem is, content marketing is thankless, tiring work. It's a long term strategy, and people don't really like that. People like the idea of building a personal brand, because you get that instant gratification from all the likes and all that sort of thing you get. But that's not how it works. Focus on content marketing, and if you want to have your face on it, take personal responsibility for your content marketing. But don't expect people to like it because of you, you have to actually have substance. You have to have substantial content coming out before people will even consider you as an expert. At the end of the day, that's what people will start to think, if your content marketing's good, you're going to become an expert on that content, and that's what's going to tie in your personality there. It'll be Chris Hogan, content marketing expert. Or Chris Hogan-

Chris Hogan: And I would never call myself an expert.

Andrew Groat: You can't just say that.

Chris Hogan: I would never do that, because I hate experts. Just so you know.

Andrew Groat: But before you can say that, everyone has to be calling you one. You can't just claim that.

Chris Hogan: We are students. We are students. We are just always students to an ever evolving technological space, the world, the marketing that's going on. Be a student. Be a student to change.

Andrew Groat: Yeah, I think we'd be crazy to call ourselves experts. We're figuring out what we're doing as we're going.

Chris Hogan: Isn't an expert a drip on the pressure, or something like that?

Andrew Groat: Yeah.

Chris Hogan: So, I don't know. I don't know if we've brought any value to anybody out there, talking about this, but I hope we've given it some context in maybe how it's viewed by just two people in the room. And Steve is actually behind the camera, there, and he shares similar views. That's three of us, and I know some of my mentors actually think the same way, so that's four, five.

I think maybe we have given you some context, and some value around personal branding. Anybody that wants to sell your personal branding, or wants to talk to you about personal branding, maybe consider this video as a way to maybe change your mind, and change your perception on what it means.

Andrew Groat: Yeah, I think the important thing is focusing on producing good content. Focusing on producing good content marketing, I should say, and if you want to take personal responsibility for it, comment, personal message people, email, call people, all that sort of thing. Just work on being more personable.

Chris Hogan: Exactly, so make your brand more personable, don't focus on personable branding.

Andrew Groat: Because the growth doesn't mean anything. It's the quality of your communication. It's what's important there, and if people like you, people like you.

Chris Hogan: Perfect.

Andrew Groat: But you have to have good content, first and foremost.

Chris Hogan: Yeah. So on that note, I think we'll wrap it up. You're listening to Get Fact Up, I'm Chris Hogan. This is Andrew Groat. That's our personal brand, haha. So bad. And, we're here at MeMedia, our integrated digital marketing agency on the Gold Coast. We produce plenty of content for our clients, and we can produce it for you too. So, get in touch if you can. Cheers.

Andrew Groat: Thank you.

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