STOP THE FLUFF! How to Build a Solid Personal Brand - Teacher: Michelle B. Griffin

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Useful Content
STOP THE FLUFF! How to Build a Solid Personal Brand - Teacher: Michelle B. Griffin
Nov 16, 2023, Season 1, Episode 7
Juma Bannister & Michelle B. Griffin
Episode Summary

The buzzwords of PERSONAL BRANDING have exploded in recent years. But if you're someone who uses LinkedIn as your main platform, how do you build a personal brand that isn't just FLUFF? What are some of the important things you need to consider to position yourself correctly? Today in our lesson, we're going to answer those questions and look at some of the other practical things you need to know that will allow you to put yourself out there with a solid personal brand

I have a great discussion with out teacher MICHELLE B. GRIFFIN

Connect with Michelle:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellebgriffin
website: https://michellebgriffin.com


Produced by Relate Studios:
www.relatestudios.com
Music by Relate Studios

Host: Juma Bannister
Connect with me on Linkedin and follow me on X (Twitter)
Linkedin: https://lnkd.in/dNrwSz2B
X (Twitter) https://lnkd.in/dchbxexF

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STOP THE FLUFF! How to Build a Solid Personal Brand - Teacher: Michelle B. Griffin
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The buzzwords of PERSONAL BRANDING have exploded in recent years. But if you're someone who uses LinkedIn as your main platform, how do you build a personal brand that isn't just FLUFF? What are some of the important things you need to consider to position yourself correctly? Today in our lesson, we're going to answer those questions and look at some of the other practical things you need to know that will allow you to put yourself out there with a solid personal brand

I have a great discussion with out teacher MICHELLE B. GRIFFIN

Connect with Michelle:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellebgriffin
website: https://michellebgriffin.com


Produced by Relate Studios:
www.relatestudios.com
Music by Relate Studios

Host: Juma Bannister
Connect with me on Linkedin and follow me on X (Twitter)
Linkedin: https://lnkd.in/dNrwSz2B
X (Twitter) https://lnkd.in/dchbxexF

The buzzwords of personal branding have exploded in recent years. But if you're someone who uses LinkedIn as your main platform, how do you build a personal brand that isn't just fluff? What are some of the important things you need to consider to position yourself correctly? Today in our lesson, we're going to answer those questions and look at some of the other practical things you need to know

that will allow you to put yourself out there with a solid personal brand. 

Hello and welcome to the Useful Content Podcast, and today we have a brand new teacher in the useful content classroom. Michelle B. Griffin. Hi Michelle.

Hello. It's so good to be here. Thank you for having me.

Yeah, it's, it's great to have you. has been a long time coming. We met on LinkedIn and I was on your podcast all of two years ago.

Yes. That seems like forever, doesn't it?

Yeah, and I think at that time we were talking about the colors. You know, I wear red, you wear yellow, and and so

Here we still are yellow and red,

yeah, we still are

Consistency.

consistency. And that's a good, a good segue because today we're gonna talk about branding. Because you are a branding expert. What type of branding do you specialize in, Michelle?

Oh, thank you for asking. Yeah, so I call myself the brand therapist, and I really work with personal brands, entrepreneurs, industry experts, who are just really ready to stand out, step out, stand apart as leaders in their space, but they just need . Someone to help 'em pull it out and then to show 'em the way.

So as a brand therapist, I had this seven step visibility branding framework called Brand, g p S, much like A G P S, that points us to where we wanna go. It helps you build a brand that takes you places and helps you own your future, because that's what I'm really about. Put yourself out there, build that brand and own that future.

And so and so brand g p s is your thing, is trademarked it's special. How did you come up with brand G P S? What was that process like?

It is a process that got me unstuck and outta my job, which I was stuck for five years, wanting to get out to, I had a burning desire to start my brand consultancy, but I was just, as I say, living in professional clarity prison. I was, look, I didn't really know the ways I was consuming content courses, credentials, and I should have been out there building my brand 

but I, I spoke at this conference, this local event, and I wrote this entire presentation back then. It was called, own Your Message, how to Step Out and Stand Apart in Your Industry. And then I realized I could apply it to myself. Those were the exact roadmap and lo and behold, six weeks later, I. Resigned for my job or put the resignation letter in and didn't leave till six months later.

But it put me on the path. And now I'm here to teach people and show them the way, get them unstuck and then get them on their way. Because I know, as we're gonna talk about today, we all have a message. We all have expertise that needs to be out there, that needs to be shared. 'cause you're gonna be able to impact someone and even just one person, but obviously way more people when you, than when you stay silent and stuck.

And that's a good thing because we are gonna talk about, people owning their expertise and sharing knowledge through original content so that they can become sought after in their, industry.

So let's, let's talk about that a little bit. Why the term unstuck in particular.

Because I feel, and I know firsthand that all have something to share, but we are just way too close to ourselves. You know, we have too many ideas. We have that . Crazy imposter syndrome, doubt what we as humans are wired to have. So it's just that vicious inner dialogue. So I always say, look, I'm here to get you unstuck.

First figure out where you wanna go, right? Like on G P S you gotta know where you wanna go. So you set it and it works in the background. And so that's what my process does. But as a brand therapist, I'm here to. Get all the things that make the most sense I'm also a recovering perfectionist because that's also when I was stuck for five years, I wanted everything to be perfect.

I thought it had to be, I guess I was looking for permission to, and so I know that the best and brightest . Sometimes stay on the sidelines because they're looking for the perfect moment and it never comes. So my whole thing is I'm gonna get you this roadmap here. It's your guardrails because you need to get out there, because when you do, that's action breeds.

You know, clarity, courage, all the things that just ramp you up faster. And so if you can get unstuck and then get on your way and then keep going, you're gonna see massive transformation.

You talk about getting unstuck and I think you connect that to having a standout point of view. So what does that mean? What does having a standout point of view, because many people have opinions how do you explain to people when you have to get them unstuck?

What is a standout point of view?

Absolutely. Well before we get there, I wanna kind of backtrack and say, how do, and before you need a standup point of view, you're probably like, wow, that's . That's like overwhelming, right? Well, let's just backtrack because number one on my framework, I'm not gonna detail the whole thing as perspective.

Okay? You need to have that internal clarity on who you are, what you believe in, what you will stand for and stand against, which is almost equally as compelling. And so, In that number one step, I have something called the brand Clarity trifecta. So when people come to me and they're just all over the place in their thoughts, but they really wanna get out there, I have some processes and frameworks, but one of 'em is, I take 'em through this brand clarity trifecta, which is internal.

We have to know who the heck we are. Sometimes, you know, the layers of who we are need to come out, or we're living by the title of who we are. We just don't even know who we are anymore, right? We've been going through motion. So I get, I help you get your beliefs out, what you stand for, what lights you up, what doesn't.

All the things you internally are gonna make you tick because you gotta get that little engine running, and then we go to your external clarity. Who are you gonna show up for now? We're not for team everybody. We're for team somebody. You're gonna show for someone you know, you're here to share your expertise and teach them and just help them get to a better place.

So you need to know exactly who you're here for and all the things that they're going through, because that's that connection. As humans and as brands, we connect. Connection is emotional. We need that first. And then for you as part of the point of view, we wanna know your professional clarity. How are you different?

What are the things that make you and meld you, you know, with your professional expertise, your career, business that are gonna help you stand out. So I, I mix all that in like a mixologist, and we, we get that perfect outer thing to get out there. So your standout point of view. Let's talk about what that is.

Some people say, oh, you mean I have to be like just this anti cranky person, and this is my, this is the way it is, or nothing else. No, no, no, no. Usually it involves like a standout message or philosophy, a belief, something that just lights you up or you see an injustice in your industry, or things are wrong.

That's when people start noticing you. So you're number one, let's go back. You're aligned with who you are, so you're excited to get out there and you're confident you know who you are now, right? Then you who here for and what they need because everything is stepping out to solve problems.

When you're stepping out and people know you're here to help them, they're gonna pay attention because you're now specific to them and all their needs, and then they know how you're different. And so having that point of view comes into that professional clarity. So like for me, I'm all against fluffy personal branding.

I know on, on LinkedIn there are people, especially after 2021, it was like the gold rush everyone through personal branding up, and it didn't even mean it. So I'm really here to bring you a foundational. Foundational strategy and roadmap because I know what it's like to have been stuck. And that's why my battle cry is p y o t, put yourself out there.

There's power and there's payoffs. And you're really not just building a brand, you're really owning your future, right? It's the best asset you will have, and no one will ever take it away from you. So that's my point of view. And so I think that resonates with the right people.

Yeah. Yeah, it does. I want to get to the, connecting that to content, but before we do that, I, you said something earlier about standing for and standing against, and you said that both are important. Two questions. Why is, it important to stand against something and how does one discover what that something is?

Great questions. So sometimes you can stand for something like, you know, it's more generic, like, I'm here from women in business, or women entrepreneurs or working women, or something that's standing for you can go in that camp and people get that. I even think in today's day and age, you almost are standing against something against the status quo.

Something that's just not right at your industry and you know, from inside. Internally, externally in the professional clarity you've dialed up, this is what molds you and you are gonna show up and tell these people, look, you know, not like a cult leader or anything, but like, look, here's the better way.

Here's what I say. This might be how you're experiencing. So it brings different perspectives, beliefs, because at the end of the day, we need that more now than ever Juma with the advent of content that is AI generated. It falls flat, right? So I am feeling like building your personal brand in today's day and age is since you know what?

Fall of 2022, when chat G P T entered our lives. This now is the time to get out there and share your unique voice with your content because we're gonna need it more than ever. We're gonna need to bust through that generic AI generated how to fluff that no one cares about. So if we wanna be human and personalize and build connection community, That's how we do it.

Cause you find that people who have the strongest brands, it's almost cult-like, you know that they engender some level of affinity that people buy into because of the values, because of what they stand for and what they stand against.

So I guess to some degree, it might be a bad word in some regards, but you have to be almost cultish in the way you, share your brand. Would you agree with that or would that's something you would not agree with?

No. Absolutely. As long as they know it's, you know, a cult for good, right. . So, yeah. I'm all for branding for good. Like my whole thing is, look, the brand is just the vehicle that, you know, forms that emotional connection with people and they buy into the right people. But, you know, I'm not selling the branding.

I, I don't even like the word personal branding, but I know it's. The search term, but I'm just truly here. My bigger mission is to help people get out there and just let the right people connect with them, share what they know, because they truly all have a way to make an impact and change someone's lives.

But no one will know you unless you're out there, unless you're sharing your voice and sharing content and expertise. So that's my biggest thing. My battle cry is put yourself out there. You know, forget this fluffy . Personal branding. You're stepping out to help other people, and in turn, of course, it helps you and grows you.

But that's, that's the battle cry I'm here for.

Yeah. And I, I love that. I think I was on a what would've been an audio event with the two Michelles, two Michelles and one

and Brenda Meller.

Brenda Meller and Brenda Meller. Right. And we brought up the whole idea of these LinkedIn articles that were AI generated and no one seemed excited about it.

Is that one of the things that you are kind of referring to when you talk about AI generated content and the fact that it could be commoditized in a way that will work against your, your personal branding?

In a way, now the collaborative articles, I know LinkedIn's really retooling those and trying to change 'em, and they want your but you know, some of those articles, . Can be a little flat. I'm talking about people say, oh wow, AI's gonna write all my content chat, G P T, and I can just put something in.

And there you go. Well, my thing is now look, if chat g p T can generate it or you can Google it, it's, it's a commodity now, right? No one cares. You've gotta ramp it up. You've gotta peel back the layers. You've gotta step out. Share your expertise, share your takeaways, share your stories.

And particularly because there's someone behind you, right? There's someone behind you who's looking to you like, oh, they're ahead of me and I'm gonna learn from them. And not in a conceited way, like, I'm so good and I'm the best. No. It's just like, Hey, I've been on this journey and I see, you know, you're two, let me show you the way, let me, let me shorten the journey.

For you. And so I think that's what we need. You know, I use chat G P T, I'm not gonna lie not to write my content, but sometimes when I'm like trying to outline things or find a better, like I'm a big alliteration nerd, so I'm like, what's another P word that I can place here? So I'll use it as a tool, but it is not the right of my voice and it never will be.

'cause it . It'll, if I ever do that, then I'm just gonna quit because I, I feel like we all have a voice that maybe it helps, but it'll never replicate us. And if it does, like that's not the world I wanna be in.

Yeah. Amen. , I, I agree with that so much. I, I think that that's something that I people, you know, there, there's, there are two camps and that people are divided. It really is polarizing and, and AI is a tool just like any other thing you use to create content. The creativity, the insight, the stories have to come from you, the, the human being who is driving that.

You just use the tool as, as is necessary. Alright, great. So, so that we've established some foundations. Let's talk about the details let's drill a little deeper into the point of view. And you share three things. Clearly say what you do, right?

That's one of the things that you want people to do in order to be able to stand out confidently share what you do. That's another thing that people have to be able to do in order to stand out and then communicate with likable authority. And you made sure to insert that likable there, and I really want to hear about that part so let's start at the top. How do you teach people to clearly communicate what they do?

Yeah, it all goes back to my step one. Let's get the perspective of you. There are people out there that are just going through the motions and sometimes they don't even know who they are or what they want to be or stand out for. They're just doing it.

So my thing is, look, put yourself out there. I'm not telling you to wait for perfection or build that brand. The branding is a journey, right? So have some guardrails, so know who you are and really what stands out. Because you can be good at something, but also the world needs to know, need it and be able to pay you for it.

When you're confident and you know, like I'm here to stand out. This is who I am and I'm standing out 'cause this is what I believe in and there are people out there who need it. So that's what I think a good enough clarity is.

You know, when I work with my clients, we get super clear and well positioned on that. 

But 

second 

thing.

So the second thing you have is confidently share what you do. But let's talk a little bit further about clearly say what you do. Is there any particular structure or language you share with people in order, to clearly share what you do?

Is there a kind of a structure for that?

Make it as clear as possible. Get rid of the jargon on my podcast. Ask the brand therapist talk show. I have a joke, or I, I call it Michelle's jargon jar. When I hear or actually say a jargon word, I say, oh, I'm filing it.

Michelle's jargon jar, because let's not talk and cliche jargon and let's just talk plainly. You know, you can be super intelligent, but the gift of communicating simply is, is truly a gift. And so, I know people try to look all pretentious and stuff, but at the end of the day, we're just having conversations.

So be super clear who you are. Don't lead with your title, like, I'm the VP of this, or founder. Like, what do you do? Like for whom? I mean, I break it down so simply so people remember. I. Remember, because if they can't remember what's the point? Right? But I'm not saying dumb it down, just simple, right?

So my big thing is simplify your message, then amplify it out there because a message is only good if it's out there in bigger circles and continuously evolving, so those who are interested, they see the problem. They're like, oh, I need to do that, or I'm not visible. So when you give them more of a problem facing what you do, that's gonna light a spark in someone's remembrance.

Exactly. So we, we talked about the jargon, so getting rid of jargon, filing that in the jargon jar. So I guess everyone should be given their own jargon jar so they have it for themselves. Is there anything else that we need to note in terms of clarifying the language apart from removing the jargon?

Yeah, talk in the language that your ideal person wants and resonates with. You know, sometimes we all do this, right? You know, we talk in acronyms and all that, but if a person you are truly helped, do they get that language. I always say, listen to the voice, v o c, voice a customer in the so if you're not really sure, go do some research on LinkedIn. Go on Amazon reviews. Just go be like a detective. And how do people say that? Repeat their words back to them, is what I know. Copywriters really do like good copywriters. They'll do research and they're, they're not making up what they, they just repeat back.

And so when you, when you hear it, you're like, oh, wow. That's exactly it, you know? We've all maybe written or we wanna maybe strive for posts that when you know that pain point or the words they say it. I remember I wrote a post this summer and I said something. So I just wrote it out like a kind of a pain point talking about something and someone dmd me and cut and paste everything I said.

She's like, you were reading my mind. This is exactly my problem. And I'm like, wow. And that's what I thought to myself, like, good. That's exactly what I really wanna help people with. So if you can have people nod their head or repeat back to, you know, tell them that you just said what they were thinking.

Bingo. You are truly clear.

Excellent. Is there anything else for clarified language 

You'll get more clarity the more you get out there. You know, don't be like me sitting on the sidelines reading all the books, podcasts, taking all the courses. That's not where clarity comes. Clarity comes inside and out there, you know, out there. Where we're out there is for you, but that's where you get the clarity.

And then also too, you get clarity. When you start listening to the answers inside, if you are going a mile a minute and you never have time to think process and realize, get more self-aware. I know that sounds really woo wooy, but I promise it works because the best ideas start creeping up when you give them that space.

What role does repetition play in giving clarity to your audience?

It's everything, right? We are, we're in the unattended no attention span economy, right? If you're like on LinkedIn mile a minute feeds, you need to constantly. Keep reminding people, you know, they all said, I don't know what study that is.

Like, it used to be like 12 impressions to get people to pay attention. Who knows what it is? I need to go find that study. I'm sure it's through the roof. 

How many times have we heard in our lives the goldfish has only eight seconds and we have less memory, whatever. But it's true. I mean, the concept is true, but let's not be the boring, repetitive robot. Let's just find a new way in our content to say the same meaning and message, but in different content formats.

So maybe it's a video, maybe, you know, there's so many ways to change it up, but you stay in that one narrow lane. I don't even like to use the word niche. I say we're gonna get on one lane, one narrow lane to get you faster out there. And so you stay in that narrow lane and people start paying attention.

Excellent, excellent. What is the thing that people say back to you most often that makes them know that they're, they're getting your content.

They, well, they also, they like the brand therapist thing that I rebranded into almost a year ago. That gets a lot of people's questions. Like, that's really cool. I've been spewing the message of P Y O T for like third year now on LinkedIn. I even have it behind me, right? I have a presentation called The Power and Payoff of putting yourself out there in my community, my 365 creators community.

People say it all the time, I get tagged on it. So that is the one message if people associate me with, put yourself out there, then my job is just even better. Like, that's what I want people to do and I'll say another thing that I like to put out there as my battle cry is visibility is not vanity.

Visibility is being valuable, right? All about sharing your expertise. You're, you're valuable, your insights, your lessons will help someone else. So that's how I know it's working. And then of course, when people dmm you and wanna work with you, of course,

Yes. That's, that's important too. , I hear your love for alliterations in that last one.

yes.

Yeah. All right, so let's talk a little bit about how to confidently share what you do. Where do you get people to start with confidently sharing what they do and then we get onto the amplified part thereafter?

Okay, well depending on where you are, you know, we're all, all different. Our goals, our businesses, you know, I know listeners here could be entrepreneurs, self-employed in corporate, whatever, but you know, . Let's, we are on LinkedIn right now, so let's, let's just pretend like this is the place we're gonna have the best idea to get out there.

First, it starts with your, you know, foundation, internal foundation, and then knowing all that so that you can put together your face on LinkedIn, which is your profile page, your personal brand website, if you will, almost in this day and age. So confidently share what you do. Starts with that profile. Let, that's the place people go, right when people Google your name. Your LinkedIn profile is tops, and so you wanna make sure, okay, I know who I am, I know who I'm here for and what I stand for. Now let me make sure that how I communicate it is completely making sense, align and you know, so I can get my message out. And then just continue. So I say start with your LinkedIn profile.

You gotta have that really aligned and make sense. And that's a work in progress too. Like you'll, you'll have it, but it's not gonna be set in stone. You're gonna get a little bit more ideas and aha moments that'll help you keep, you know, just making that even more clear And More interesting and memorable.

But I would say the next step is to start having conversations. LinkedIn's mission statement I think where the world has business conversations, right? So how else can we start sharing who we are if we're behind the scenes? So get out there and start conversations now. I know what you're thinking, Michelle.

Not everyone's ready yet to start sharing content. Yeah. Even though I know that's all what we do, it's a useful content show and that's what you want people to do. Do you know that, and you probably heard me say this, and on those audio rooms I do shout out to Mr. SharePoint Thurman. He said last week, and I think you were at that one too, when he said Comments are content.

Right? And he's so right. So start a conversation means not just liking a post, but putting a thoughtful insight. 'cause that's sharing your expertise, that's sharing your personality, makes you likable and relatable. And so I think that's the baby steps I always tell people to do. Listen, I know because I spent nine months when I left my job and wanted to start posting, I was truly on the sideline.

I'd pull it up every day, like, wow, look at all these people posting content. How did they find ideas to talk about? I told them, I asked myself that daily. I'm like, it was the biggest mystery to me. And so I got so tired of talking about it, and finally on December 31st, 2020, I just said, I'm, I'm all in. I'm an all or nothing person.

So I decided to post every single day of that year. And boy did that change everything for me. Now do I advocate, posting every day? Heck no. But getting out there eventually posting content will change everything for you.

Uh, How many days did you miss in that year?

None. I, I made it like Michelle Raymond, my LinkedIn bestie. Co-author. Co-host. She thought it was crazy because she's like, I never wanted to say this, but I didn't believe in you, I didn't believe you. She says, I didn't believe she did not. She said, I didn't believe you could do it. That's what I should say.

But here's the thing, it took me a public stupid, huge challenge for me to do it. That I was never, I would let myself down, but I'm never gonna let other people down. And then that's when I equate, it's like the Forrest Gump movie. If you ever saw that classic nineties movie. One day, Forrest decides to start running out his driveway, and then he runs for three and a half years across America and back, and people started following him.

I created like my creator community. Then I didn't say you have to do it. I just said, Hey, I'm gonna post every day. The three back then it was called hashtag 365 challenge. Anyone wanna do it? And there were a couple hundred people in that group the first 90 days, and many of 'em came close. Like it was on the honor system, but I've had some podcast episodes from some of those who who hit and they told me how much it changed their lives too.

So it's not just me, you know? But yeah, I ended up doing 532 posts that year, so, 'cause I did a lot in the community as well in LinkedIn lives and stuff.

I'm, I'm curious, what, what was the, the major lesson you learned throughout that year?

I should have done it sooner. Like the pain of staying on the sidelines was way worse than getting out there. I remember that first post I actually, I think I put the first post in the book. 'cause the LinkedIn branding book is a lot of that story and, and talking about my apprehension and you know, we have mindset, we have all the ways to get over it and I think I realized, darn.

Had I started this in even 2015, you know, when I got the bug to wanna leave my job. Like that's why I'm, I'm just like, wanna shake people and go, you've gotta get out there. You're missing the best part of life and time and everything. And because I know the opportunities, I know internally I. What it does to you, it fulfills you as a person.

I have three Ps of personal branding. I'll share with you why I think it's so not just for, you know, getting out there and you know, professionally, but it's purposeful alignment. You really get clear on who you are, what you stand for, who you're here for. I mean that if, you know, people walk around their entire lives with holes in their hearts, like, I don't know my purpose.

But that shows you exactly. You get out there and you learn in the trenches, and then it's professional. It's personal development too. You're learning how to communicate, to write succinctly, to share your ideas and, you know, public speaking, all the things. So it truly will hone you. And, and then of course it's professional claim.

The, the glorious stuff we talk about why we do it, but I think the first two are even more important. I. So those are the biggest lessons I learned. I've written about it in a couple articles, like I did the check-in at 90 days, 180, and then of course the 365. And yeah, that's why my battle cry is P y o t.

The world changes for you for sure.

Put yourself out there, man. Put yourself out there. Excellent. This is so good. Let's move on to the last thing, the amplify part, which is communicate with likable authority in your content. Tell us how that goes.

Yeah. So, you know, as personal brands, we wanna be, I work with a lot of entrepreneurs who are coming out of their shells and wanna be the face of their business as the founders and stuff. And, you know, likable, we're not trying to hear, to make everyone like us, right. You know, we wanna like have people, like, I should say the word really

Resonate with us. Like, oh, they get me, they get me. But of course, we wanna like people, we wanna like, and just really like friends. You know, I, I really like them. They're really fun. They know their stuff. But in the business context, of course, you can have someone that I. Knows their stuff, but they're complete jerks.

So you wanna truly share yourself, which I'm sure 99.9% of us are likable, right? , you know, so, but that likability really just means relatability, like they get me and they can solve my problems. And, and that's why I want you to put yourself out there. Keep going in that narrow lane. Then as you, the faster you'll keep going faster, the narrower you are.

But then we need to find ways to accelerate that. And that's where I bring my background in public relations. I know that there are so, especially in this digital age. Amazing ways to, to amplify your message. LinkedIn alone has countless ways and all the journalists are here and all the people that you can be seen and, and the opportunities to be in the media, to contribute to articles, to speak to guest on podcasts and on shows like this.

Juma is probably one of the best ways. To be considered, an expert to likable, and you just build that connection. So thank you for having me, because I'm always happy to share my message and empower more people. That's why I'm here.

So it's interesting, so you want to build authority. All right. Everyone wants to do that, but maybe you don't have a ton of experience. How do you determine where somebody's experience lies and how they can build authority if it seems like they don't have enough of that?

Well, we see where you're best equipped, right? Like, you know, you're, you're not gonna just pop up one day and be x, y, z. You some industries, maybe you can, but you do, like we're talking in the professional setting, you most likely have had expertise. Now, on the flip side, you can have a passion, expertise.

You see a lot of people who've overcome a challenge or something, and now they teach people how to do it. So that can be another idea for you to get expertise. It doesn't always have to be a hundred percent. You know, I went to x, Y, Z comp A university or I worked in this things, but there are clues like you're not gonna just show up and say, you know, for me, I'm gonna be a surgeon.

Right? Like, no one would ever hire me. That's like, so we know in ourselves what we're good at, what we experience in, and most likely what lights us up. I'm always telling people, don't go start building your authority unless this is an area that lights you up. Because I've worked with clients who are like

Really awesome in this area and well equipped, but they don't ever wanna touch it again. And so we have to find some other way to angle that. Or they have a passion expertise that they have helped and seen results in, and that's something. But let's talk about how do you build your authority when you really are an expert, but you've been hidden.

Now work with clients a lot. I look at them and go, oh my goodness. First of all, half the time they're hiding things that . That's just too obvious to them, but to me, I'm like, are you kidding? You did X, Y, and Z, and we need to get out there. So I help them build that authority. Ladder we really start, where are you now and where do you wanna go?

What areas do you really excel in? Like, some of my clients are better writers. Maybe they're better speakers, or maybe they just wanna write a book or something, or a podcast. I help 'em find that angle that works for them. But you also, let me give you the best advice. You don't wait for it to happen. You go make it happen.

Okay? So I realized in 2021, Although I was equipped on paper, you know, I was in another industry, insurance and legal, no one really knew me on LinkedIn. I had to go out there and make my way. And of course, I was a hundred percent aligned with who I am, what I'm here for. But I started a LinkedIn live show.

I started a podcast, I guess the group was one authority, and then that quickly, and I started posting content. Okay. That because this is the useful content show is probably one of the best ways to show what you know and show what, how you can help people and why you're here. And I guarantee you let's, you know, let's just start the process because you know this juma, you don't put a piece of content out and it changes your life over ti over one day, right?

It's a continuous . Process. So I think that's another reason. And then, you know, when I put myself out there, that first month, within three weeks I got invited to a podcast , invited to speak on a summit. So you'd be surprised how quickly it can change as well.

Yeah. Yeah. And I think the process of putting content out there because one, you're building authority, but, but two, you're discovering what works, what actually does work. And so there's a period of time and for me it was like that where you are experimenting and you're gonna make mistakes.

You're gonna put things out there that don't resonate, or maybe you regress back to putting out content that is not necessarily useful that doesn't have a story, that doesn't talk about your expertise, that maybe it's just a personal preference. But all those things, if you're sharing that type of personal story, it has to be on a platform of who you are clearly and in experimentation.

You can discover what content formats work for you. Whether you're better at video or written word, or maybe images and then some text and all those things kind of get sussed out. Is that what you've seen happen with people when they're building the authority? That they go through a process of experimentation and then they arrive at something?

Absolutely. I encourage them to try everything like, you know, and because you just don't know. You know, a lot of times we tell ourselves we're not good at this or we don't like it. Just because we say it, but I'm like, have you, it's like a kid, like, I don't like this vegetable. Well, how do you know you don't like it unless you try it, right?

You just assume things about yourself or whatever. So I encourage people to try it, even try it more than once. I'm like, give it three tries and if it doesn't work, then okay, we'll come back to the drawing board. But you don't know till you test. You don't know. Sometimes you might put a, a topic out that you just on a whim did it, and it just gets all the things.

So life is about, you know, just . Trial and error, and we have to realize content production, content writing, all that is as well. But once you find that Aha lane, you're gonna stay in and start building that expertise and authority, then you really need to own it. And I'll give you an example. So, Back in 2021 when I got in on LinkedIn, I was doing a lot of LinkedIn how to content and my awesome friend Michelle's like, Michelle, you're so good at branding and marketing pr, you're almost getting too much into the how to do LinkedIn stuff.

And I think I, it was 'cause I was excited and stuff. And she's like, you're so brilliant at helping me all this, you know, maybe tail that down a little bit. . And, and she was right. Like, I didn't even realize that. So I went back into my zone of genius and now I just share LinkedIn tips, you know, in my community.

It's easy to see what other people are doing. And realize, oh, they're talking about this. I'm gonna go get a share of that. But that doesn't light you up. It's not really aligned to who you are. And in the end, it probably is not gonna bring you the results you want.

You're just looking for a quick fix. So stay in that lane and stay on your lane. It's so easy to look off and also comparisonitis. But listen, they're, they're not you. There's no comparison if you're in your own lane. So that's my 2 cents on that.

Yeah, I love that. So there are two things that you said that stood out to me. Number one, try it three times. Like, just try it a few times before you give up on it. You never know the first time that you might be too afraid. The second time might be a fluke. Third time might be the charm.

You never know. So I think that's important. If you are experimenting with content, One time does not make or break that experiment. You have to go in a couple times to really feel it out and then maybe have someone help you do it so that they can tell you what is good and what's not good.

Somebody who has experience can point out, do this, do that, and. Don't be afraid to make a mistake and fail. Failing is okay. And then the second thing that I wanted to point out is that I am so sensitive to not sharing LinkedIn content, but because it's my primary platform, and it might be the primary platform for many people, What tends to happen is that you get sucked into the wave of LinkedIn related content.

And, and for me it's, I have to be very, very, very careful about how I share and there will be times when I'll say, okay, I'm, I'm gonna share this about LinkedIn, like, how to download your comments. I. But it's, it always goes back and is related to your core content pillars. And you can express this LinkedIn tip in the context of branding or in the context of company pages or in the context of, of video development or in the context of content strategy.

And so I think having those two things working together that works, but never, ever fall into the trap and the whirlpool of sharing content just because you're on that particular platform, I.

Absolutely, and I think it's like someone once made this comment I read years ago. I feel like LinkedIn is the only platform where we talk about how to use a platform. You don't see that on, you know, Twitter or TikTok really, or Facebook or whatever else. It's just very unique and so, and it's an easy, it's an easy grab and so that's why I see people do it.

But I was getting off my lane. We actually had a podcast episode on the LinkedIn branding show about how I got off track and how she steered me, right? It happens us all. We need, sometimes I talk about, in my framework, on my people section, we need our power partners to help us see what we can't see because I know, you know, it's just impossible.

So content is everything. Content is a fuel for our brands. It definitely needs to be out there. But you're right, it's not a perfect thing, but you definitely gotta get out there. That's why you and I coming together in this topic, I'm all about putting yourself out there.

You're all about, let's make sure your content has a strategy is useful, and it is, you know, doing exactly what you want it to do. Don't just waste your time putting content out there without a plan. Right. And so I think we're so aligned on what, what we're here for.

Excellent. Any last things you'd like to share with the people or with our students about how they can jumpstart building their brand on whatever platform that they're on?

So I, I would say consider LinkedIn as your best place to start. Get really clear going back to that brand clarity trifecta. You know, there are, there's some people you'll see, they say, just get on LinkedIn and do whatever.

I personally say, don't you don't have to have perfection, but have some guardrails, have some least guardrails so you won't fall flat or get off. Know who you are, who you're here for. I think has to be the easiest one because some, it is hard to know who you are and what you wanna stand for, but you can have some semblance of who you wanna help and what their needs are, and that's easy to do by.

Going to do research and all that. So when you know, when you show up to help solve problems for someone, that's gonna help you stand out and, and get clarity faster. And then you can ruffle things and figure out, you'll get more answers as you go, but show up for someone and what you wanna talk about and how you wanna help 'em, and that point of view why it's different and you're gonna start getting the traction that you're looking for.

Excellent. Excellent, and, and let me just add to what you're saying there. I was gonna end it here, but I think it might be important to add to. What you're saying there, and they know who you are. Section 'cause there's something I was thinking I, developed as well, which is your story, your values, your expertise those three things express who you are.

And then there's can go deeper into it, but I think when you're looking at someone and where they should start sharing content from, that, those are generally the major things. Your story, what, what's your process like? How did you get here? Your values, what you believe in the uncompromised things or the things you will never change based on your understanding of who you've been in the past and who you'll be probably be in the future.

And then your expertise. What are you good at? What is the thing that you've honed and built over a number of years? And if you combine those three things generally you get a sense, you triangulate it, you ge generally get a sense of who you are and that's a platform that you can share from when you're creating content.

So I think everything you said, but I'll just . Put that piece in to add to

I love it. No, I, I love it. That's exactly what I'm all about too. You just articulated it so well. That's it in a nutshell. Those three, the top three, so wow, what a wonderful conversation. Thank you so much for having me on the show. It's always fun to talk to you. The time just flies by, so I appreciate it so much.

and Great. Tell the people where they can find you online, Michelle.

Come find me on LinkedIn, tell me you saw me here. I'm at Michelle B. Griffin, and that B stands for brand. By the way, you can visit my website, the brand therapist.io. You can check out my two podcast slash talk shows, ask the brand therapist. And I do have a wonderful way for people to submit questions and be on a guest.

So check that out. And then my community. If you wanna know about how to put yourself out there, this is a safe place of 1600 people plus globally. It's on my featured section, so come check out all the things we're doing there. We'd, we'd love to have you.

Excellent. So thank you so much everyone for joining us on this discussion on how to put yourself out there and sharing your expertise so that you can stand out with your brand and with content. And we are glad to have you and we'll see you again soon on the Useful Content Podcast. Useful content classroom dismissed. Good, and we're clear. Excellent. Exactly.

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