Hello and welcome to this special episode of the Career Success Podcast titled How To Build a Community that builds your brand. I’m Jason Connolly. If you are regular listener, it’s great to have you back. If you new, welcome to the show in this series. Every week we speak to the biggest names in business all across the globe. We talk about their career stories, the lessons, learn how they overcome challenges and what success habits they practice. This is practical advice to help you in your career. If you have a passion for business then this is the podcast for you.
And now in this special episodes I’m joined by ever Ewa Pietreniuk from London ever is a personal brand communication specialist with a passion for helping solopreneurs and service providers leverage their personal brands online to create business and personal success. Ewa believes that having a personal brand is it nice to have anymore? If you don’t want to be left behind, it’s a necessity. She combines both personal brand expertise and communication knowledge. Her work is underpinned by her empathetic nature. And her interest in behavioural Psychology Today she merges all of that to create a unique approach that helps build your personal brand online. Ever has done it for others, she’s done it for herself. And she knows how to teach you to ever thank you for joining me on this special episode. Oh, thank you so much for having me Johnson. I’m so excited to talk about this now. We’re talking today about how to build a community that build your brand. But before we talk about the subject in hand and we’re going to come on to that in some great detail. Tell us a bit about you and your kind of journey to become a personal brand communication specialist. It was bumpy. Like most journeys, it’s needed. So I’ve actually goes back to Uni days. Really, I specialise. I studied politics and I specialise in political marketing, both nonverbal and verbal communication and how to use this along with different marketing techniques to influence political arena is very **** and to be honest that’s nothing different than personal branding. Just for politicians. Ann I suppose we going back to the Times when I graduated University when we. You know Internet was really in its infancy and websites were rubbish so it wasn’t something people used to do. It was still a normal media television press. So personal brand really was something for people who would appear on the television and. And that’s why politicians were the ones to really use it. Mostly because they want it to be seen for and represent it and stand for something. And they wanted to influence quite a huge amount of people. So it makes sense. Now the world has changed a little bit in the last 15 years. Quite a lot, and so this isn’t anymore. Something for politicians or for TV stars is for everyone, personal, brand or leveraging your personal brand online isn’t about creating something that you are not or pretending something. It’s simply leveraging your reputation. It’s controlling your online reputation. It’s about telling people what you do, what value you provide and how you are. Different and that element. What is different about you is really key if you want to build a personal brand that’s going to be understood, that’s going to be listened to, and most importantly acted upon. And that comes down to your communication to your ecosystem, which is what we will talk as well about today. So I guess my journey started when I graduated and when I worked with it, then later I worked in more commercial base in a lot in beauty industry. And then I ventured into working with entrepreneurs. And sort of people providing services and a lot of my clients nowadays is also in like banking or finance industry. So usually people that I work with will be someone who’s got 15 years of experience. They amazing in what they do, but they don’t really feel like they they’ve all they feel that maybe they don’t like social media. It’s not their place where they feel comfortable. However, they understand that today’s world means that. That there is presence online and maybe they should do something about it, so that’s usually the you know, people that I tend to work with. So it sounds like you know a lot of the people you go to. There’s a great you know reluctance as such for them to kind of be engaging with these platforms, but I think what’s interesting is and I know the value of personal brands. You know, I’ve, I’ve been on that journey and you know, I leverage off that every single day. But it’s important that I say to a lot of people now that it’s not sometimes enough to just be good at your job. If no one knows that you’re there, you need to have that personal brands, absolutely. Music to my ears, it’s an I had recent really interesting conversation with a friend of mine who is a scientist and she does. She really is changing the world and it pains me sometimes when people like this. See people maybe less experience than them achieving success and they might feel that it’s vague. That’s not real because they feel like they know more than they should deserve that promotion or take over the project over someone else. The problem is unless you go out there and start telling them the great work you’re doing and it doesn’t have to be bragging, there are ways to do it better, and that’s exactly what I’m teaching people. No one’s gonna know what you doing. You might as well be playing Angry Birds all day on your computer. How am I supposed to know that you’re actually doing some decent work, right? I’m like bro me, so I think sometimes the reason why those less experienced people are getting their opportunities is because they not scared of. Talking about their achievements, either if they’re smaller than yours, they talk about it, and so that’s what other people more than see. And I think one of the important things is not just an external and I think you just hit on something quite important there. It’s not just about external personal brand to bill clients, you know it’s about your internal personal brands. If you want to get promotion actually yes, and it’s really interesting, because what we’re talking today is actually one of the last part of personal brand, strategy or. Rebranding if I’m doing it with someone, I always call it rebranding because people come to me sometimes and say look I don’t have a personal brand but I know what I’m doing. I’ve went freelance or I’m I’ve started my business and I need to, you know, I need to be seen as an extra there. I am. What do I do? Where do I start? Who do I talk to him? How do I build my networks like wow? Wow. First you need to be get clear on who you are, what people think about you today. How do they see you? Is this perception right with what you want to be seen as? And then what needs to change? So you need to do a little a lot of work on yourself 1st and honestly I worked. I can’t believe I’ve worked with some of the most amazing people you know, running the world and I haven’t met yet. One person who wouldn’t have a single mind-set blog or so or wrong like belief so. No matter what exceptional experts they are and how high positions they help, they all had some sort of false beliefs that hold them back. Things like I just don’t want to brag about myself like seeing that that’s something wrong, but they were often that it’s all about understanding why. What is the purpose of you having a personal brand? What is the change that you want to point to make? Because if you have all those skills, if you’re really good at what you’re doing, imagine what impact you could have on the industry. On peoples lives. If you were not Cheyenne actually told them what you know. I mean, it sounds to me like that must be before you even get to the point of building their personal brand. There’s quite a lot of self discovery that needs to be had, not just about how you internally feel about yourself, but it’s about the perception of what others feel about you. And I can imagine that that’s quite a difficult thing for some people to go through that that process, even with you in those kind of early stages, because. Sometimes we don’t want to, you know, stand still, look at ourselves and start thinking. Yeah, I can imagine it’s a pretty uncomfortable experience I suppose. I mean, that depends what kind of person you been for the most loving life, I guess. I suppose it does, but I think from the point of view.
Yeah, I just thinking that you turn up to somewhere that you’re sort of asking them these, you know, were any different in question and you know I can imagine someone’s having to do at times you know some level of soul searching in order to think. Well, what is my message? I want to send out, you know it well, yeah it is and I think it’s very important obviously to start with. What is the message you need to be clear and then doing the research. And I do make my clients start with the research because you need to know. What people are thinking and telling about you today and that links them back to that community. Because if you want to build a community and the reason why you need to work on yourself, understand the community because then you have to develop messaging and you have to be clear on what you’re going to be talking about and that’s you. Know in all my career whether I worked with brands with start-ups. Whatever you want to do, look for contractors and sell your product. Do advertising and the same to your personal brand when you’re doing it for yourself. You need to have a clear message to people you need to know what is your pitch, how you pitching yourself, how you different, what is your value proposition. If you do not. If you don’t know it off by heart, how on Earth can you do it when you’re having drinks with people so that that person walks out and they can tell another person what you do? Because the reason why is it so important for us and we can message and we can promote our brand, but in the end it’s what other people say about us that’s determine how we’re being perceived. I think the very word perceived and perception is. It was a very valuable business lesson I learned because a lot of people look at the world through their own lenses. But you know, especially when you’re going out there and you know you ever wanting promotion or you know you wanted to get business, you’ve got to be able to see other people’s perceptions and what their perceptions are of you and you know, sometimes I guess. Again, you know I’m not wanting to be negative here, but you know can be an uncomfortable experience. May be thinking that you might be seen as one thing and then realising that actually this is how. People are perceiving me and maybe This is why I haven’t got the job that I want exactly. And you know it does hurt.
Sometimes I send a survey to my, usually my clients because I do it every six months at least once a year. But I try to do it every six months that so I can see whether my communication is correct. Or do I need to adjust something? Is something that I’m not communicating in my business to get the better results, both for my clients, better product and whatever that is an. Ultimately clients as well? And sometimes people will reply with like one sentence that really opens your mind and go. Yep, Yep, he’s right. I did not say that, and it’s like it’s usually things that you know. You know your worth. You know your expertise. You know why you know this stuff because you spent X amount of years working in this company X amount of years there you started this. You started there. But this client that’s sitting on your workshop, that or talk that you’re giving him the seminar doesn’t know that. So unless you tell them. He won’t know, and he might be your potential clients, so sometimes it’s that self awareness is really key an it’s the first element to them making adjustments in your communication and then to your network. So yeah, it you know sometimes it does hurt. I’m not going to say that it doesn’t. That’s the you know. You have to be accountable for who you are and what you’re doing. And as much as it can hurt a little bit, that’s the only way you can make adjustment in your communication and come back stronger. So the next time you send the feedback, it’s music to you is, well, exactly. So you kind of go into the nuts and bolts of this episode. How to build a community that builds your brand so we kind of covered off, you know, the early stages of kind of thought process. People need to go to, but you know, we’ve got people listening to this now by saying all this sounds absolutely wonderful. I want to develop my brand and I want to get a community this card with, you know, unpack as much as we can. So I want to help us many people as we possibly can in this episode. Tell us kind of people listening. Now how do they get started on this journey of a OK? So I think the first important element is goal setting, so when it comes to your personal brand, they are obviously different elements of building their brand and your Apple system or your network is one of them. And the key to personal brand is leveraging that the right ecosystem to reach your goal. So therefore your goal is like the beginning to determine what is the right ecosystem. Are you so it could be different for different goals, right? And obviously so. Having a goal what? Where you going? What you’re trying to achieve? Maybe this year? Or maybe within the next three years will help you establish the people who need to appear in your ecosystem. Think about it. Who needs to know what I do and how good I am at what I’m doing? It’s really trying to not put it in the Super Plain English. You start to think about who’s the audience, you know who is it here? But I need to kind of get this message too. Is it internal? Is it client? Is it this particular audience? You know you start to get down on paper who is yes and you can I always say you can do it in two ways. You can do it in like us if you even if you imagine circles coming from a small in the middle and going out words or like Reverse pyramid starting tiny at the bottom and then going up wider at the top. So very often people start thinking podcast. I’ll go on podcasts, but that’s actually like your laugh element nearly on the outer layer because. People very often trying to start big and quite far out and they forget about people close to them. So I always say your inner circle. It starts with you and then your inner circle. People next to you and depending on the situation, if you’re working the big Corporation or if you bought working in a company, it could be your direct co-workers, right? People that work on projects with you people in your next to you and in the desk then will be your Department, then the next layer could be the whole company. And then the next could be external like clients. So you have to figure out an, I guess who matters. So who in that inner circle needs to know what you doing? Maybe what your ambition is and what you’re good at and how are you different from someone else in the company that’s got similar skills? What’s your point of difference? So I always work with my clients on the point of difference. That’s one of the first steps were doing. So you kind of know already how you different at that point then who needs to know in the Department? And the way we do it, I always talk to my clients about something that we call Rule. It basically refers to the fact that generally 90% of the network or people is influenced by and we would call them influencers, right? So huge on building your ecosystems to think who are the 10% of people that need to know who I am and what I do and how great I am at what I do. Oh OK, yeah. So yeah, you can’t be everything to everyone because I guess I agree because you need to pick your target audience and know who it is and also with building a consistent for the business purpose and success. You have to be genuine and authentic in everything you’re doing. And there’s only so many hours in a day and there’s only so much energy you can give so it shouldn’t be only going out to networking events or pitching yourself. I’m just wanting. I want clients or I want attention. You need to think that you also in this ecosystem want to build relationships and have conversations, not monologues and not pitching yourself all the time. Like just think how you feel when someone tries to connect with you, even on LinkedIn and the next thing you’re getting is Ed paragraph page. Yeah, or someone trying to sell you something can. Yeah, it’s endless. Secure exactly well, you have to be genuine in those connections, and sometimes it’s not instantaneous. It takes time to develop those relationships. It takes time to educate people in each of that networks to what you do. But when you do a good job and when you can actually do it, and I’ve done it before. When I’ve been a member of different business clubs and on a couple of occasions you come, you said you have some drinks you eat, you talk. And then you leave the table and then I would leave and behind the door. I would still hear someone saying, oh, you know Everett, she’s amazing in this you should go to her if you need this and this and I was standing there and listen to that. Let’s see if she’s teaching me correctly. Have I got my message out in the right exactly? I mean yes, Larry’s market research, yeah, but this is exactly what it is you want to hear what people say when you’re not in the room, because that’s one sentence. Is someone gonna say about you what you do or what you specialise in? Is this correct? Is this where you want to go? And if you maybe sometimes you have to re invent yourself and it doesn’t mean that you pretending that you something different. But you thinking, OK, I had experience in this industry. And now I’m changing to that industry. How I can link my skills and, you know, bring that expertise that I thought was maybe not relevant anymore and actually now it shows that I know more than someone else. So it says sometimes it’s just a little bit of digging in and realising that you draw on experience from all your past, not only one thing that you’ve done, and then yeah, so when it comes back to the ecosystem as well so very often when you servicing someone, you would think of like. Starts with you. They may be like your partners, your key clients. So this is you really close ecosystem? Who from those key clients could be? You’re like a raving fan, so raving fans who really achieved amazing transformation from working with you. They really understand your services. They understand what you doing. They know how to Peach you, they know what type of clients you serving and they sending your clients. That’s a raving fire, right? And you really want. Feel that you have some of those in your in your network and the closer they are, the more people going to trust their recommendation. So if this is something that you if you want to build service based business and you want that you know going on a podcast is great, but it probably helps more. My website ranking on Google than stream of customers because people are personal recommendation a lot more, so I think sometimes being a little bit more aware. What are you doing? Certain things helps. It doesn’t mean that you know you’re not going to convert from a podcast. You will as well if someone really needs your help and they open minded and they want to change and they like your energy there. Like your mind-set, think you know. I know I’m not for everyone because I say as things are. So if my client under doing a great job, I will tell them you know, so it’s tough luck. But that’s not, you know, they’re not paying me to. For me to be nice that’s paying me to see the change in you to be. Yeah, they’re paying you to be honest and to get the job done. And then you go like maybe complementary services, right? If I if I have someone in my complimentary services that knows exactly what I’m doing, could they be a good ecosystem to help me elevate my brand? And then you maybe go like professional organisations and then you go higher. You go for media podcast Press and then your clients, right? So you see how it’s going. Wider and wider Ann and I think the biggest mistake is a people sometimes start from the top so they start media. They start those big organisations which are very important. I do them. I’m on a podcast. I run legra events in the British Library and City business library. I do it, but this is not necessarily that direct. You know it’s not the one that’s going to get you customer tomorrow. No, and I, I think you make a really important point there. Which is, I think. There’s a lot of opportunity all around. There’s you know there’s I know that I get I’m really fortunate I get invited to speak at lots of different events, lots of different things. But you know my thought process is there’s only so many hours in the day and it’s about picking and choosing what you’re going to do carefully because I guess I could accept something. But if I accept all these things, the quality of what I do is going to be bad. And I also look at, you know, I take a view on you know what’s the audience and I think people I think when it comes to personal brand my views on it are you should be starting this. As early as you possibly can, and I know we have graduates who listen to this show and you know you should be starting that in University, even building the brand that I built on LinkedIn. It’s taken me the best part of a decade. It isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s very slow and incremental and you have to give it a lot of love and you have to my experience of you know LinkedIn in particular, and I know that’s where we kind of focusing somewhat with being a business site. But it takes a lot of time. And a lot of effort, and but you know, if you get it right, the rewards can be can be great, and it’s an it’s an. It’s really, really nice. Once you’ve got a strong community behind you, but it’s, you know, I. I think the point you’re trying to make there is you need to sort of walk before you run. As the saying goes, yeah, but I also think I really love that you mention LinkedIn here because LinkedIn is one of the best and most efficient platforms right now to build personal brand online. So if someone doesn’t have a website. Or is not into social media or doesn’t want to do podcasts and it all feels like a bit much what we saying LinkedIn is their place. It’s the biggest professional network. Four out of five or seven mile. Now I’m lying. It’s been a long day. People makes the business decisions online actually on the platform. So one is there people want to do business and they looking for your services there. So it’s silly not to have it. Most people now check someone else online so. When we talk about personal brand and when you talked about starting as early as you can, yes, the first thing I make my clients do is to Google their name. What is what shows up what you want to see? Or can I still find the pictures from where you were on my own? Like you know my space when you were 13 getting drunk? Well, people need to realize that you know employers do look now and I actually had a firm law firm say to me I I remember this vividly. A few years ago they said to me if someone isn’t on LinkedIn and they don’t have, you know, a certain calibre of profile. Don’t bother sending the CV, it costs and I thought, well, that’s very blunt. But you know, I, I did also understand that you know that they said that you know what’s really key to them is hiring people who’ve got commercial acumen. If someone’s got a LinkedIn profile or the LinkedIn profile just has nothing on it, but people do actually now take kind of a judgment from that about you as a kind of individual, and you might be. The all singing all dancing person, but you’ve got to kind of have these online things and you know a lot of people. I guess you know I’m not going to kind of say you know a certain generation or whatever might think you know I don’t want to be online. This isn’t really for me. You know, I don’t want my photo everywhere. But you know what would you say to those people who maybe save it? You know, I just don’t want all of them. And they will fall behind. Simple as that, right? OK.
Right, OK, what you said? Yeah, think that they might not have a single client. They might. But like you know when you clients going to find you? Yes, that’s a question. Everyone wants some sort of proof and you know you’re looking at the reviews when you when you buying shoes or you know whatever iPad cover from Amazon, why wouldn’t know you do you don’t go for a freestyle. You want a full star plus iPad cover. I know and it is. It is the world we live in now and it is today your reference could be someone else you know leaving a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile, but it’s like it’s a basic. It’s a basic thing, I guess today you know it’s like it became part of our world and it’s, I suppose you making yourself a disservice if you, if you resisting it, it’s a bit like, you know, no one questioned today cars. Whereas when the cars were invented it was a killing machine. How dare you go in the car? I would never go in the car. Do you know what I mean? It’s a lie. Little bit like that. Unfortunately, this beautiful invention of Internet really changed a lot and you know whether it started and when. I also blog. I’ve been writing online for over a decade. I’m not only teaching, I’m actually doing it, and I’m trying. I’ve tried to. I think every single platform out there as well so I know things come and go. But I also I love seeing how it changes people behaviour offline and online. And there’s something that we all cyber psychology Yes, I’m a geek and am happy to announce it. So we embrace that here. We embrace that. It does affect how people work. It’s sort of impact our behaviour offline as well, right? So it’s a fact of the matter that if you completely don’t exist online, people will be suspicious, because if they can compare to you on a piece of paper and there’s no other proof that you do what you say that you do, and then they’ve got someone else with exactly the same skills. But also amazing profile on LinkedIn that’s like a sticky landing page to the ideal clients that their problems that the uglier clients have that shows how he solves those problems shows amazing reviews from other customers and he you can see maybe even someone’s videos when they just jump on and have a chat and talk about different situations that helps people find common ground. Feel like they know you. A little bit helps them to understand you. Endpoint viewpoint and get a little bit of a connection with your personality as well. And let’s be honest, people buy to that as well. Do you think video is the future? I think so, yeah, ’cause they? That’s something that we seem to be in our business be embracing and it’s it seems to be people connect with you. Don’t know. They start to feel that they know you when they don’t know you because they’re seeing you popping up. It’s really interesting because I in lock down. When Lockdown started last year I’ve converted. I started a little bit on Instagram with my presence was always when it comes to my personal brand business. Always, always on LinkedIn and I haven’t really been pushing this, but by all means, if anyone wants to join me there, I tried to jump on video and took quite a lot and actually, even though my audience is quite small, I tend to get quite a lot of DMS from their DMS as direct messages. I’m liking the way you’re so you’re saying what the DM is just for all those haven’t yet. Yes.
Trying to be mindful. Yeah, so it. It definitely does connect. And like I said, I also been having a blog for over a decade, which is slightly different personal and so I I completely agree. The moment you go online, people really connect to in it in a different in a completely different way. And it’s mind-blowing how actually supportive, sometimes your community. Oh, I, I agree. I think that there’s a whole world out there with people who can be behind you but. You know what I’ve realised is if you wait for people to come knocking on your door, that just doesn’t often happen. You need to put yourself in the right place at the right time to get the opportunity, and I think I think everything you said. I think you’ve made some really good points throughout this episode, and I’m sure people are going to take some real kind of Nuggets of lessons from what you have said. If people want to find out more about you ever or they want to connect with you, or indeed I know that you offer a service, then you where you gotta go through. And do some free training. I believe. So occasionally I do some trainings like I’m doing one more. For example notes this week even with the city business library and I always talked about them in my newsletter. But I do have a few things that are. There is a free training on my website and this is something that teaches you a little bit how to start leveraging your personal brand on LinkedIn with somebody. People want to find out about that. Where can they go to you spelled as letter UNDEV ea.com? So that’s on my website and the. And the resource is an is completely free and then you can also find me or LinkedIn and ever perennial and then obviously on Instagram. As I said, I am now on Instagram on the UND as well, but spelled with underscores between U_and_8 and the spell quiz let the you but letter you fantastic well thank you so much every. It’s been really insightful. I’ve really enjoyed the conversation. I’m sure many people are going to take a lot of lessons from what you’ve told us today. Brilliant fantastic thank you so much for having me. And yes, if I was to finish on any point just for anyone to take away is to remember that anytime there is a perceived risk in a decision to hire or to employ someone as a service provider, the ecosystem will play important role in providing that third party feedback. So work on it. Fantastic well thank you ever that’s Ewa Pietreniuk from London. I’m Jason Connolly. This is the Career Success podcast until next time goodbye.