Shanee Moret never wanted to build a personal brand, she was forced to. While her daughter was in the hospital she was given an ultimatum by her manager, get back to work or you’re fired. As you can imagine, she chose the latter.
To support herself she offered copywriting services but she ran into another problem, she absolutely hated cold calling. The solution? Start creating content on LinkedIn to attract inbound leads. She gave herself 30 days to make it work and by all accounts it certainly has. Today Shanee has well over one million followers on LinkedIn and helps other entrepreneurs build their brand and revenue as the founder of Growth Academy.
Shanee sat down to talk with me about how she built and monetized her brand – and how you can do the same – during the latest episode of the Launch Your Business podcast.
Here are a few of my favorite takeaways.
How to Tell Your Story
We all have a personal brand. Personal branding just allows you to have more control over the narrative. The best way to get started is by learning how to tell your story. But, your story shouldn’t just be about you, it should reflect how you’re uniquely suited to help your target audience.
As Shanee states “It’s all about understanding who you want to attract and understanding what they’re struggling with. From there you can determine how you could leverage your own story to attract those people.”
One framework I recommend for this is Donald Miller’s Storybrand. In short, you position your audience as the star of the story, then talk about how you’ll help them find success and avoid failure based on your own experiences.
Shanee also speaks to why it’s important to be vulnerable and authentic. And look, I know those are both overused buzzwords, but she shared the impact it has on her business and how it can help you as well.
“I’m speaking to them emotionally, I’m using my own experiences. But because they resonate with it they’re going to be attracted to what I’m saying. It’s going to spark their curiosity. It’s going to make them come back to the content, engage and increase the chances of them becoming a client”
Need more help telling your story? Ask your friends and family what stands out to them about you. We often overlook the most interesting parts of our own story because we’re too close to it.
Getting Over the Apprehension of Building a Personal Brand
One issue you may have with building your personal brand is, well, not wanting to share personal information. If that’s the case, Shanee has good news for you. “You don’t have to share your personal life to build a personal brand. Look at Gary Vaynerchuk, he barely shares anything about his personal life but he’s visible.”
So while you don’t have to share what you ate for breakfast, you do have to be visible. You can do this through text-based content, images or video. I realize I may have lost you at the video part and I can understand any apprehension you may have about it. When I first started creating videos I somehow looked angry and scared at the same time.
Shanee shared her rocky start as well “For the first one my hands are shaking. People look at me now and say ‘Oh, you’re so comfortable on video’. Yeah. This is like thousands of videos later. This is just a lot of practice and I’m still not the best. I still get nervous even before livestreams and masterclasses but I show up and I do it.”
Despite the challenges, she explains why she keeps showing up “I want the desired result of growth. I want to be able to provide for my daughter, my family at a generational wealth level more than I’m afraid of getting on a video.”
So, what will a personal brand do for you? Once you get clear on that you’ll have all the motivation needed to push through any of the associated challenges.
How to Monetize Your Personal Brand
The number one mistake Shanee’s see people make with their personal brand? They don’t have an offer for their audience. As a result, there’s no journey for their audience to go on once they know, like and trust you.
An offer can be as simple as encouraging people to join your email list, which is exactly what I do on LinkedIn. My weekly newsletter, The Solopreneur’s Shortcut, promises one thought, one time-saver and one tactic to help you grow your business and avoid burnout. It comes out on Friday and all week I tease out highlights of the newsletter content on LinkedIn. I then encourage people to join my email list so they can gain access to more detailed information. You can take a similar approach and then promote offers you charge for once someone joins your email list.
Shanee spoke about how your audience can help you craft that offer, and why it’s the key to monetizing your brand. “I’ve helped people build that offer because your community will reveal certain things and patterns over time that you could craft the perfect offer for them. And I feel like that mindset, that monetization is bad is why some people have big personal brands but they’re still ineffective”
Your personal brand can easily become a revenue generating asset, but that won’t happen until you extend an offer to your audience.
Those were a few key takeaways from my conversation with Dorie. To hear the full conversation and get access to additional resources tune in to this week’s episode of the Launch Your Business podcast.
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