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Ep. 93 The Power of Self-Promotion + Personal Branding

by | Digital Marketing, Personal Branding, Smart AF Show

Personal Branding

The Power of Self-Promotion + Personal Branding

One of the most effective pieces of marketing your business is growing your “herd” – the number of people that have heard of you and your business. If you want to grow your business, more people need to know about it.

That means you have to promote yourself and embrace personal branding. In this episode, Torie Mathis and her cohost Sean talk about stepping into your personal brand and becoming the face of your business – with self-promotion being paramount. If you’re not sure where to start or how to do it, this episode is for you.

Listen or watch the full episode below:

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(transcription is auto-generated)

SAF 93

Torie: [00:00:00] Like people need to hear about your business and then they need to know and recognize it again. It’s that know and trust factor so that people know who you are, what you do, they like you, and then they trust you. And they’re going to trust your face way before they’re going to trust your logo.

Hey, what’s up is Torie Mathis, your host, and I’m here with the one and only Sean Mathis, Founder of Miles Through Time Automotive Museum. 

Sean: [00:00:33] Hey, what’s going on? 

Torie: [00:00:33] There’s some things that separate the people, especially in digital marketing that are very successful and people that are just scraping by.

And I think that thing is the ability self promote. Obviously, we all have that ability. Man, there are some people that just do it so much better than others. And I will admit, for example, Sean Mathis does it much better than I do. You’re pretty good at it. 

Sean: [00:01:01] I try it’s a little bit different, like how I’m trying to self-promote verses, you’ve been doing for all these years, always working for other people to self promote has always been put on the back burner.

Whereas like from the beginning of Miles Through Time, it’s always been front and center of trying to promote in every angle possible, really is what it’s about. You can promote your business as the business, but then you representing the business as an owner, founder, CEO, president, whatever you want to call yourself.

It’s a whole nother opportunity to then, not only promote your business but promote yourself, which you never know what that even means. That can be extra mental experimental IX or whatever, blah, blah, blah, blah. It can be like massive growth for your business as well. Or holy cow, that was.

Torie: [00:01:50] Yeah, it really can. And I think there’s, we talked before about self-branding or personal branding, and I think that is something that no matter what kind of entrepreneur you are, you do have to think of yourself as a brand and always promote yourself in that way, in addition to promoting your company.

And then what you do at the company. I think for me, maybe because I came from service and then I went into service because. I was in the army and an army. I was support, I wasn’t the dude doing the job. I was supporting the dudes, doing the job and then becoming like a designer and a marketer. I’m the one that’s doing the marketing for people.

So I’ve never been the doer. I’m always the support. 

Sean: [00:02:33] But we’ve always talked about it. And the thing is it’s, from the beginning of your business, it started with realtors, and we always go back to realtors. There’s so many of them, there’s so many different companies. So what is it that makes you know, that one particular realtor stand out from the other ones. And it’s that personal brand that they create, especially all the realtors that we know that have switched agencies, right? How many do we know that they started at, Keller Williams and they’ve put all this effort into branding themselves as Keller Williams when really they should have been branding themselves so that when Keller Williams is no longer that option and they are ready to switch to Remax or better yet their own boutique office.

There Brandon just transitions flawlessly with them versus, putting it all into that initial brand. That’s not themselves now. They’re going to start completely over from scratch. 

Torie: [00:03:21] It’s easy. I think thinking of it as a realtor is probably easier for some other businesses, especially maybe service-based businesses that are our behind the scenes type of people.

So there’s gotta be a way that you can push out your personality and show who you are. And not just the face of your company, because I know that’s for me when I first started I didn’t even put my name on my website. It was the name of my company. And even though it was always me personally working one-on-one for some reason, I really fought the whole putting my name out.

Like when I first just put my picture of my name, that it was my company. That was like a really big thing for me. But it took me a while and now I think I’m better at it. But man, I see that there’s some people that do such a good job of showing up. And I think part of it is putting importance on the things that you do that even though they’re so ordinary for you, they’re not ordinary for everybody else.

And I think that’s one way that you do really well. For example, like Sean goes to car shows and you might think it’s just another car show. If Sean’s representing himself, The car show from Miles Through Time, he needs to publish and post pictures and things like that because it’s cars that people haven’t seen or cars that people are going to connect with.

So showing yourself in that kind of atmosphere, that you’re going around and promoting is like one of those ways. 

Sean: [00:04:40] And that’s, there, there’s all kinds of things that I can do that anybody could do. And one of them is. I started the museum from scratch twice, essentially, and really trying to let people know what all is involved in that is part of the process of what I do. So I share as the business, but then there’s also people that realize, Hey, this guy, Sean is doing this and then they wind up following them. Personally, and I can start to put out there that I’m doing these kinds of things. This is the amount of work that’s involved.

And I think it gets to a lot, a more personal level when people realize the amount of effort that you put into things, no matter what your business cause from a business, they just like, all they see is where you are now. Where, if you’re promoting yourself as you, you have the opportunity to show people how much you’re actually doing to get to where you are or where you want to be.

There’s so many things that just, it makes more sense when it comes from you personally, when you’re trying to do, 

Torie: [00:05:45] I think that whole idea of transparency, right? Showing the, showing what it’s really like pulling back the curtain quite a bit, not even a little, quite a bit, and showing people, some of those behind the scenes has been.

I think more popular and I think more relevant like that. You almost have to in order to break through everybody else, that’s doing things out there because there’s so many companies that come and go. But when you actually connect on a personal level, I can’t like, I think one of the first times I realized it is when you started working and you would go, the kids were still very little.

So I was still like, at home busy be working and Sean would go out to events. But Sean would almost be like my marketing team out there. And so I would every once in a while, escape the house and go to an event and people would know who I was. Oh, you’re Torie you’re Sean’s wife. We know you, like Sean said all these things about you.

And so like you were out and people knew and connected with me without me even have met them. So that was like a first thing. And now we’ve both gotten pretty good at doing it for both things that we do. And I can’t tell you how many times we go out to things that people already know who we are. And so if you can do that in your community, and I think anybody can, even if you’re putting out videos of yourself or putting out posts of those, like behind the scenes type things and pulling back that curtain a little bit, whatever your business is just doing that is the start that you can start to self promote you because if you don’t promote yourself, like nobody else is going to, and if you do have a career change or a company change or anything like that, It doesn’t matter because people are connecting for you and not for the name of your business or for your business.

So the last year, I think a lot of more flexibility as well. Because I think everybody gets to that point where you have to evolve your business a little bit. And I think growing a personal brand and getting yourself out there is going to give you that flexibility so that you can change and you can do some other things.

Sean: [00:07:36] Plus it gives you like, like you never know who sees that kind of stuff. And when somebody sees something as a business, It’s too broad. Like it could be any number of managers or employees or anything that’s responsible for something that, that catches the eye of, let’s say an invents investor, angel investor or something else, somebody else that’s even in your same industry, that’s like looking for the next, the next one that everyone should know about.

And so if you’re doing it from personal, there’s no other person, like it’s you doing? So they’re easy. They’re able to then come right back to you and go, oh, you’re the person responsible for all this stuff that has then created all this stuff that they’re seeing on the business side of it, but it gives them a window into knowing exactly who is doing what, which, I’ve seen it firsthand on our stuff, I’ve been contacted.

Multiple people wanting to utilize what I’ve that they know that I’ve created for an automotive museum and get my particular input on it and offer me jobs in different places and all kinds of stuff. Production companies talking about yeah, not from the business. That’s from them finding me personally.

Torie: [00:08:50] Do you think you were doing that from the very beginning? Or do you think you’ve stepped into that more lately? 

Sean: [00:08:56] I definitely have progressed towards doing that more. The whole thing is evolved massively from the beginning of when we started this, where really all my effort was put into just people knowing Miles Through Time in general.

Half of it was explaining what the hell we were even doing, because we had the consignment and storage and all that kind of stuff, 

Torie: [00:09:15] Which he doesn’t have anymore. It’s been simplified, which I had the same problem. I was trying to do so many different things. And then people would meet me and they’re like, oh, so what would you do? And I’m like, I do all this stuff. Which I like doing all this stuff, but I realized like you gotta pull back and make it simple. Try to figure out what your one thing is that you’re doing really great. And I think whatever your one thing is, you can definitely highlight that from whether your, a roofer or a dog groomer or a tree trimmer, like whatever it is, your businesses, there’s that thing that you’re bringing to it.

And so by you becoming more of the face of your business it’s definitely going to help your business grow. 

Sean: [00:09:54] But it gives you a twofer, as far as marketing your marketing, your business, and then your marketing or yourself, which is marketing your business. It’s one of those things that if you’re on social media and you’re doing all these things for your business, you might as well be doing something for your own brand as well.

Just because it’s another opportunity. And a lot of times it’s a free opportunity and, we’ve talked about it on other episodes the difference between a business and personal profile and right in line with that, is that not the same people see all that kind of stuff. So all the stuff that gets posted on your business only gets seen by so many people.

So when you, then, whether you’re sharing your business. On your personal page, it’s getting shown to a lot of times entirely different people. So when you combine that with your own promotion, no, not salesy stuff. How great things are and the things you’re doing. Interesting things that people would want to know.

It’s a whole nother set of people that are getting eyes on that project that then can go straight back into becoming customers. 

Torie: [00:10:53] That’s part of that growing your herd, you have to increase how many people have heard of your business, who have heard of you. So in doing that and doing promotion, I think we’re so afraid of overdoing it, that we don’t do it.

And especially in digital marketing, especially online where there’s so many things happening and there’s so many different channels that I think it’s really hard, honestly, to overdo it. Like the only person that might think that you’re overdoing, it is like your mom. Cause she’s probably going to see every, the single posts that you make, but she’s probably going to think it’s awesome.

Like you really can’t overdo it when it comes to promoting your business and promoting yourself and even cross promoting and doing the same thing. Cause I see Sean does it very well. Personal. And from Miles Through Time doing very similar or the same posts or posting one thing here and then sharing it over here and posting one thing here and sharing it over here.

So that there’s that really great cross promotion between the business and personal. And one thing is that people don’t follow business is like people don’t have a connection to businesses. People aren’t excited to see what businesses are posting. Ooh, what is your Pepsi posting today? But people do want to connect to you.

People, which is why so many of these big businesses get people to represent their business. Then you have the connection to the person you give a crap, like the logo, the business is very recognizable and because they have so much money behind it, like that really helps with the recognition, but that connection is not with the brand is not what the logo is, not what the company it’s with, whoever their spokesperson is, the influencers that are using their products. It’s I’m trying to think, like some of those even like the kids love the name, Geico commercial and it’s, they don’t care about insurance.

They don’t care about they probably, they might not even know Geico, but they’re connected to that damn lizard. And every time they’re watching YouTube videos, I can hear the Geico ads. So obviously this is a cartoon lizard, but talking about, a ten-year-old, but that’s the connection where you can be that connection for your business and have that recognition that these big businesses have you have the same opportunities. 

Sean: [00:12:57] See, and that’s good branding for Geico because whether you, she can’t get insurance now, but when it comes time to her needing to get her own insurance, she knows of one company already.

She might turn into a client. So there’s one day you compound that by millions and you’ve got yourself a golden ticket. 

Torie: [00:13:14] Yeah, there’s definitely some people that you can look on online that have done really well. And some of them might be a little bit, feel a little out there, but I’m sure that there’s people in your own local market or your area that are doing this kind of thing too.

So it’s good to take take a while and go online and see what’s going on in your local area. See what kind of people are doing things that are being the face of their business. And it can start to give you an idea more on a local level, rather than, these really huge businesses the kids go to karate.

And the owner of their karate studio does go online. He does represent the business and he does do actual videos of what’s going on little behind the scenes and things like that. So just doing those types of things for whatever your business is probably a really great way to start.

Plus the stuff you already know about, it’s not like you have to talk about things that you don’t know about and you might think it’s boring, but it’s what you need to talk about in order to connect. What do you think? 

Sean: [00:14:11] I was trying to think of a really good popular example. And I’ve got a couple of them.

One. I said, everybody knows who is behind Virgin, the Virgin brand, Richard Branson. He is extremely popular. He’s probably, he might be more popular than the brands he’s created themselves. And that was by design. He’s like he’s takes it to the extreme as far as what he does to make himself popular.

Plus he’s a billionaire, one of the richest guys in the world and all that kind of stuff. So you can’t compare to that kind of stuff directly, but you can still look at it as he has branded himself. Even Elon Musk. You look at Tesla and space X and all these things that he’s done, even PayPal Elon Musk like there, and there’s some big companies out there that multi-billion dollar companies.

They do, they probably do trillions of dollars worth of business. And you don’t know who’s behind them. There’s no break. But these ones that, that they have that personal brand behind it, you, you started to think about it and you know who these people are. 

Torie: [00:15:14] I was thinking another Richard Richard Rawlings, like gas monkey garage. Like you could, if they did that whole show or, he ran his whole business just as, it’s a car shop and showed the cars and things like that. It would be interesting, but he’s got Big personality. And I think that’s what really draws people in and wanting them to know like more about what he’s doing and want to work with him, which means he can charge a lot more for every single project that he’s attached to because people want to work with him.

Like people want to work with companies, but when, like you can work with somebody like that name that you feel like, or that you have some connection to I think that makes it that you could even charge a lot more for sure. It all starts back to self promoting. No, one’s out.

Sean: [00:15:53] No one else is going to do it right. Unless you pay them or,  your business somehow organically made you famous and people just love you for some reason, but the odds are you’re going to have to do it because no one else is going. 

Torie: [00:16:06] I think that a couple of ways to get started with this, if you’re like not really grasping how, like you as a business owner can do it. I talked before about this author that I have worked with and he talked about going to book signings and these were just events that he went to all the time and because he went to them all the time, they weren’t anything special. I told him nobody else knows that. Like to anybody else, like somebody that’s just getting to know you or just seeing you online, if you never posted that you did a book signing, like they would never know if you posted them last week and they found you this week.

They wouldn’t know if you didn’t post another one, because you’re like, I already posted one people don’t know everything that you do. People don’t know the ordinary stuff that you do, and people are always finding you at different times. So it’s okay to keep posting about the ordinary things that you do.

And things that may, like I said before, seem very simple or very monotonous or something that you always do, like a book signing to a children’s author. Like he was just like, I don’t know. But to somebody that’s going to be buying your books. That’s kinda cool. So even though it’s similar it’s common for you to do it.

Those are the types of things that people want to see that people want to post about. I have another coach that I know. Such a fantastic job. She goes around and does some networking events and speaks at some different things. And a lot of them aren’t like these huge events. Like it’s not like there’s thousands and thousands of people there, even if she just goes to something small, she will make and you could just go into canva.com and put your face and put the name in the title of whatever the event is.

And she like says I’m speaking at blah, blah, blah. And even though it’s something that she just normally does. She’s really good about making something out of the ordinary. And then it’s another way for her to just talk about what she’s doing. And so that’s another way that you can promote yourself and get the word out on what you’re doing, because then people hear about you.

People you’re in front of people know you a little bit more. Oh yeah. I remember her that went to, the the networking meeting.

Sean: [00:18:01] Something special out of everyday normal things. Like you do something every day. All you gotta do is emphasize something about it. And that’s it. 

Torie: [00:18:12] And I know people hate talking about they don’t want to post what I’m eating. I want to, and it’s 

Sean: [00:18:15] That is stupid. 

Torie: [00:18:19] It doesn’t have to feel like, cause I understand that, like that can feel like I like taking pictures of food that I make.

Like I get that, but I can understand that, like that feels silly. Like it doesn’t feel genuine. It feels a little, But there are other things that you can do to post just what you have going on 

Sean: [00:18:35] If you’re not at your business every day, but then you wind up going on one day or you’re doing something.

Say that. I do that one all the time. I will let people know, Hey I’m heading to the museum or I just picked this up and I’m doing these. Look for these in the museum or

Torie: [00:18:49] Like all these shots of him, like in the car with whatever it is he’s picking up behind him. That’s a perfect example. You talked about before in a different episode about we talked about being like a mattress company and making sure that there’s always something going on so that you always have something to promote. And you talked about. Carwash that did car of the week. And so they would, pick one of the cars that was coming through, take a bunch of pictures of it, and then they would post it.

What might’ve been better is that what if the owner of the company, cause who the hell knows who owns it, was like, Hey, it’s blah, blah, blah. From blah, blah, blah, car show. Here’s the car of the week then you know who the guy’s face faces. So when you see him there, you’re like, oh Jim, that owns the car shop, or the.

So there was no personal connection and with cars, especially like there’s so many people that like, that’s their passion and that’s what they’re into. So they want to hear that. But if you put a face to that as well, so not only are you doing the mattress store thing where you always have something to talk about, always have something going on, but then you put that face to it, then you become recognizable.

Then people really remember you. That’s what you like, people need to hear about your business and then they need to know and recognize it again. It’s that know and trust factor so that people know who you are, what you do, they like you, and then they trust you. And they’re going to trust your face way before they’re going to trust your logo.

Sean: [00:20:08] Yup. Another one is then Wiki stories, right? When we, when I was on  YouTube channel. That guy wasn’t really famous by any means he had a lot of subscribers, but by no means like a super Youtuber or anything like that. And then he didn’t even intend to do it initially. But from the course of when I was on there and it’s been two years now, a little over two years, and the dude is straight up YouTube star now.

And it’s still Ben Wiki stories, which is, multiple different people telling their automotive car stories right on his channel. And yet, somehow it bullion has still created a personal brand from this where he himself is extremely famous. In his world 

Torie: [00:20:58] And that’s all you have to do is in your world. And it doesn’t have to be millions of people. You can be very successful over hundreds of people. And I saw that, speaking of him, he had his been Wiki channel and has been Wiki social things. And not that long ago, he did his own personal ones. And now that he’s, has, even him, he has pushed himself even out there and his subscribers for this, his personal went up so fast.

And I could see that it would go even faster because again, people want to connect to the person. 

Sean: [00:21:26] Yeah. They’re there, they’re like, I can see it in everything that he does. They love him, even though he is not the one on the screen every time, like it’s, it was me on one channel. It’s, Christopher Michael’s on another episode and there’s so many different people and yet he is the guy that’s the most famous.

And it’s been fascinating to watch and it’s a perfect example of, really anyone can do that. Just you have to do it, you have to start promoting yourself and that’s exactly what he’s done. 

Torie: [00:21:57] So this might take a little bit of getting out of your comfort zone. I know it definitely did for me, and I’m definitely still shaking through that and working through that.

So definitely, in the next couple. Push yourself a little bit, get out of your comfort zone. Start to self, promote yourself a little bit more, maybe a before and after of a project that you’re working on or introduce something online, like the car, the week that you’re choosing, think mattress store.

What can you promote, you always talk about pizza place. Sean, what do you say? Pizza places. So related. 

Sean: [00:22:28] Talking about pizza shit. I’d make some crazy ass pizza every week and be like, this is the crazy pizza each week, that come in. Like it has crazy toppings or whatever the case, like something.

Yeah. People would be like, what, it’s just quirky stuff that doesn’t, nobody even has to buy that pizza or do anything like that. 

Torie: [00:22:47] I wouldn’t even call yourself like the pizza guy be the guy that does it so that people come to know you as, the car guy or the pizza guy. 

Sean: [00:22:57] And again, you could probably think of some restaurants that are local restaurants. Maybe you got an opportunity to meet the chef. Who’s the owner, that’s come to your table while you’re sitting there eating. And how special did that make you feel that you got to meet the owner even though who cares really? But the fact that he or she, or whoever came over there and it was like, how you like your meal, that kind of stuff.

No, come back. Anytime made you feel special. It does something psychologically that, the next time you go in there, whether you think you’re going to or not, chances are, you’re gonna be like, I wonder if the owner’s here this time, am I going to see that owner, 

Torie: [00:23:30] You can be that person for your business and make other people feel special by representing yourself more?

And all it is a little self-promotion. So if you like this video, why don’t you come back on Tuesdays and Thursdays? When we have new episodes, we would love to see you around here. And if you could leave us a review on iTunes or Spotify, that would be really great too. We’ll see you on the next one.

About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.

Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.

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Torie Mathis HeadshotI help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + to make more money. And I make it easy! 

You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

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