Thought Leaders Guide to Building a Magnetic Personal Brand with Robin Farmanfarmaian

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez talks to Robin Farmanfarmaian about the importance of personal branding for thought leadership.

They discuss:

  1. Practical steps to building a magnetic person brand
  2. How to find and leverage your personal story
  3. Why authoring a book is key to thought leadership

...accelerating value by proof analyticsis the podcast for marketing, communications sales and operationsleaders who want to see their business value clearly and succeed, learn howleaders are closing the gap between creative work and business impactthrough raw conversations. Don't believe me. Check out the show foryourself from the CFO perspective it's value is what type of revenuegeneration earnings cash flow that is only adding to the growth of the, ofthe enterprise. You know, another dimension would be how our marginsperforming are we, you know, we're getting the right value by seeingmargin expansion by creating products, services that are generating, you know,that incremental value to the organization. And I think from my lens,you know that it's monetary in many dimensions, right? It's not, you know,thinking about, okay, what say from an employee perspective, otherperspectives, but as a leader, as the finance leader, as you're looking togrow the revenue earnings and cash flow of an organization, it will only createmore opportunities for your employees, for your suppliers, for your customersbased on those services that you're creating. So to me that's how I view tobe value for more. Subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts. Welcome in to be to be growth. I'mbenji block one of the hosts here and glad you're tuned in today. We're inthe middle of throwing it back. We've spent a few episodes just looking backat some past episodes when you have 2000 plus in the archive, there's somuch content that can easily be glossed over or maybe lost in the feed, right?We thought we'd bring some back that uh could be great for you to, to take alook at here as we wind down 2021 ramp up for 2022 highlighting an episodehere, an interview that dan Sanchez did with Robin Farman Farman Ian and uhtalking about personal branding for thought leadership. So she gives awaysome practical steps to building a magnetic personal brand, how to findand leverage your personal story. And then also talks about why authoring abook is a really crucial kind of key to thought leadership as well. I thinkyou'll find this insightful. Let's jump in to this interview, our conversationwith Robin check this out. Welcome back to be to be growth. I'm dan Sanchez, myfriends call me dan says and I'm here with Robin Farm UNb Armenian, who isthe author of Thought Leader. Formula Robin, Welcome to the show. I have beenso excited to talk to you today. Thanks for having me. Fantastic as theaudience knows. I've been on a deep dive in this month of june to talkabout thought leadership, marketing and all things related to thoughtleadership, how to create thought leadership content. What does it meanto be a thought leader and what path does one have to take in order tobecome a competent and actually well respected Thought leader. None of thosefakers that make all of us cringe when they, you know, are you drop indeclaring that there a thought leader out there on linkedin, right? How doyou actually become an authentic thought leader? And those are thequestions we're exploring in this deep dive. I was excited to talk to Robinbecause she wrote a fantastic book I have here with me now and there was anumber of interesting insights I had from the book though there was nonemore interesting than I think her take on personal branding within thoughtleadership. So while I want to head into that topic first, I wanted to getyour back story for the audience. Robin, if you could elaborate like how did youget into thought leadership, how did that become a thing for you? So what Idid is I used to work in both events but also business development and salesand this is all around health care...

...technology companies And when I firstgot to Silicon Valley the first few years it was kind of tough. I am a highenergy, very petite blonde and uh in Silicon Valley which is mostly men andI found myself being sexually harassed, sabotaged at work. I mean it was crazypeople stealing my work. And I realized early on you can't fight that directlythrough something like HR HR is not there to protect the woman, right? Andthe employee, it's there to protect the company. And so as soon as I realizedthat I decided to change the game, I went home one weekend and I created afive year project plan for myself on how to become a professional speakerand author in order to have a stronger name and presence than the men thatwere pushing me down. And let me tell you. It worked beautifully the day myfirst book published the patient as ceo it was like flipping a light switch onon the sexual harassment and sabotage in the workplace. In fact, it changedthe power dynamic so much that I felt like I was in a tank and the men wereon horseback. And so when the me too movement happened fast forward to 2016,I realized, wait a second. It's this is happening to other women, like that'sthat was a big thing. Like we didn't realize it was happening so many otherplaces. So I said, you know what? I have a solution for this instead oftrying to fight people directly on this, why don't we raise up the women rightand do what I did for myself, but for, you know, millions of women out there.And so I took my five year project plan turned it into a system for anyone touse regardless of industry. And that's my solution now for the Me Too movement.That's fantastic. That's so interesting that it like positioning yourself as athought leader and having people like believe it and it's not like it wasfake that it's real and it's something substantive to believe likerepositioned in people's minds and it just had them behave differently foryou. It was cause it was for some very practical reasons but obviously it camewith a lot more benefits than just keeping men from being jerks. What weresome of the other benefits you saw from being becoming a thought leader andestablishing that sense of trust and confidence that other people put intoyou. So really it comes down to when you're going to do something like thisand I put a lot of time and money into building myself into an author andprofessional speaker. You need a multitude of reasons. So I always thinkof myself, okay so what are those top three reasons. First of all I can, youknow, battle against these men don't Right. Second of all I do businessdevelopment and a lot of the times sales, which means now that I'm anauthor and professional speaker, I get access to events that people don't evenknow are going on like internally at some of the big insurance companies orthe big device or pharmaceutical companies and I get to meet the ceos oflike Fortune 500 companies all the time by being able to be an invited speakerthere and so that really helped with the business development and then Ialso understand that technology is really disrupting a lot of the way wework and so I believe in multiple revenue streams, you cannot rely onanymore. Just one salary from one company over, you know, your career andexpect to be able to survive. And so if you have multiple revenue streamsyou'll be able to turn to one in the case of something like a pandemic or ofcourse artificial intelligence or robotics taking over or displacing yourjob in some way. And so we saw this this past year because I have so manyrevenue streams that I was able to set up because I'm an author andprofessional speaker means I could lean on a lot of them when my professionalspeaking went away like ma'am overnight, I lost most of my paid talks and I wasable to very quickly just rely on one of my other revenue streams. It'sfantastic. I've spent a lot of time...

...thinking about it. And I've also, Imean reading a lot of thought leadership books, a lot of thoughtleadership books are more geared towards the person who wants to becomea thought leader than the marketers who want to position the company as athought leader, which is kind of two different things. But they obviouslyoverlap because a lot of times the amount of position the company as athought leader usually taking maybe the ceo of founder, internal subject matterexpert and turning them into the the face of the company or faces. Right? Solots of overlap between those two things. But I've certainly thoughtabout how, I don't know, I think this is going to become a bigger part of thefuture for many people, especially as you know, taxes go up for companies,you can't hire as many people, people are going to be leaning on contractorsmore that a lot of people will essentially become a mix of contractor,thought leader freelancer with probably there are side hustles and businessesgoing on. Well, I think a lot of people are going to have to diversify incomein the future and they're probably more people reading your book and otherslike it to do so, so it's fun to be on the forefront of what I think is goingto be even a more, a larger tidal wave coming in the future. One of the thingsyou dive into in your book is around personal branding. And one of thethings that I want to dive into before we even cover, like the things you gointo and being, how to build a personal branch, very practical is why personalbranding is actually a really important part of building out your thoughtleadership. You gotta look at it as if you were a company and in fact I callmyself Robin ink because I look at it like a company and so you've got tobuild that personal brand the same way you would build a company brand, whatis the voice and I mean by voice, not just the way your voice sounds, but howdo you communicate? Is it with, you know, long science words or youcommunicating to more of a general audience. So really everything thatgoes into a brand, what you look like right? So for instance, I'm recognizedby complete strangers from behind. Like that is kind of crazy. I have peoplecome up to me all the time high you Robin firm information and it is, it'shilarious. So I have so many different aspects of what I look like that arevery signature and very, very obvious. So like imagine if you are a guy and alot of guys in my world are, you know, physicians or they work in pharma ormed device and so you know, a lot of the time they'll still dress up to goto conferences and they're like, oh I'm gonna wear a pocket square todifferentiate like how is anyone going to see that? Right? Like you want yoursignature look and I call it a signature look to really be somethingthat's in all the photos. And so that's really anything from your chest up andit's not going to always include a, something like a pocket square. Theother thing is, is it visual from stage, right? Like a lot of the timessomething as small, like a pocket square or even just like maybe the wayyou do your makeup isn't visible from stage. And so things like your hair,your eye glasses, if you wear glasses, that is a fantastic opportunity becauseyou can do the funny rims or a certain color, right? We were talking earlierthat you remember one of the speakers because he wears these bright yellowglasses, yep, all those little things and I find personal brands can bepowerful because they're essentially a representation of you, but they're notnecessarily the full you, right? And I think I've often often heard advicewhen it comes to building a personal brand of just be you right, Which I'vealways kind of felt rings true and at the same time it's kind of frustratingbecause you're like, well what do I do with that? That's like just be me. I'ma lot of things, it's like, which part of me, like the past me currently orlike the me, I'd rather be out in the future somewhere. So it's not, I don'tfind that it's the best advice when it comes to personal branding. So like oneof the things you talk about is being authentic or a B a always be authentic,which I find is really important. It's like, of course it's not like when Isay just be used bad, I don't mean to...

...be someone else, but there's somethingmore to it than just being who you are all the time. So when you say always beauthentic, how do I actually go about doing that practically. So first of alldon't tell like white lies. So I when networking, I use this kind of anexample when you go up to someone, I like to compliment them on somethingthat I like about them. But I will never compliment on someone onsomething I don't like. Right? And that's just one very simple example ofshowing you where people will understand that you are either tellingthe truth or you're lying. You say, oh, I love those shoes on you. It's reallyobvious when you're lying, right? And so take that kind of situation, but putyourself on stage, if you are trying to tell people something that you yourselfdon't believe in or if you're wearing something that makes you feeluncomfortable or you're not used to or you've taken someone else's advice on abrand new haircut. Hey, you're not going to be coming across as someonewho isn't isn't lying, right? You're not going to come across as if you weretelling the truth, you're going to come across as feeling uncomfortable. Thatis so obvious when someone is wearing something, they don't like, it isincredibly obvious to everybody else that they're uncomfortable, right? Andso if you are always authentic, always exactly who you are, you're never putin that position of being that impostor and no one's going to notice that. Sothere's a little bit more to it than that, I think is even like when youdress up and you're taking photos and you're on stage, you're wearing thesame things, but I'm like, even in this book cover, your brain like a red dressand I've seen you another book covers, you're wearing similar type dresses umin different colors depending on the audience, Right? Something youmentioned the book, but you're probably not always wearing that dress. Maybewhen you're behind the scenes or it's like a cozy work saturday or somethinglike that, or you just off at the mall, you're probably not always wearingthose things, but when you're on brand or you're picking something, you'reprobably really comfortable in this dress for starters, so it's notinauthentic, but when you're getting in building your brand, you're essentiallyhighlighting certain aspects to you and kind of leaving the rest off the table,is that right? Exactly? To give you an example? I gave this talk in Germanyand it was at this giant sports conference and I mean like full on likefitness studios, were there giant pieces of fitness equipment and for mymain talk, I went in my normal dress and high heels and then the next day Iwas doing a kind of more of an informal sit down interview. And so I decided tograb some workout equipment, like everyone else is wearing workout gear.I threw on sneakers, yoga pants, and one of these energy harvesting shirts,it was, you know, hi tech workout shirt, nobody recognized me, like the peoplewho, who were waiting for me and they had never met me in person? But theywere watching for someone with a dress and high heels on? And they're like,where, where is she, where is Robin? She's late? And I'm like, hi, I'm rightin front of you. It was hilarious because I was just not even recognizedbecause I was in that sporting uniform. So you feel like building a personalbrand is really like just highlighting the parts that you want to highlight inorder to essentially, I mean, it's kind of a marketing play, you're, you'rehighlighting your finding out what the audience expects to some degree andyou're bringing the right elements that are true to you, but you're kind ofmixing and matching, you're trying to bring the right things so that you'releaving the right impression that you want to leave its designing based onwhat's already true about you and it's a lot more than clothes, but be fromanything from the way you talk to the way you write to, the way you'll takephotos to the way you talk on camera, to the way you do a podcast interview,right? It all has to be authentically you, but obviously it is designed alittle bit and that you're being specific in the way you're comingacross, yep, and consistent. So it's consistency is key. So how do you goabout choosing those things? Like how...

...do you work backwards? Like for example,how did you choose the dress as the signature item? Did you think backwards?It's like, no, like what do I want to look like? How do I see myself? Or isit something like, what would they expect? Or is it kind of like a blendof the two? It was nothing to do with what the audience would expect. It was100%. What am I comfortable in and what is someone of my job would normallywear? Right, So first of all, I'm just really comfortable and sheath dresses,like it's almost like wearing pajamas but they are nicely fitted and tailoredbut it's just so soft and easy to move in and so it's much more comfortablefor me than say, a pair of jeans or something like that. And then I'm insales and biz dev, you know, I meet with sea levels, you know, executives,I meet with investors and so people don't always show up into those kindsof things with like jeans and sneakers on to begin with. So that's first off,and a lot of my paid keynotes are consider business attire, which meansagain, you shouldn't be wearing like jeans and sneakers. So that was alreadyoff the table and it's just something that I was already comfortable in and Ican buy repetitive lee. So I literally do have the exact same dress in like 20to 25 different colors, patterns and, and fabrics, but it's essentially theexact same dress. Yeah. And that just helps people remember, helps give you adistinct style and your new thing, like if you picture Simon cowell's in yourhead, I guarantee you, you're going to think about him in a particular shirt.You're thinking about it right now. It's a black v neck, that's what hewears. Either he decided that or a brand specialist who specialized inlike brand identity told them. Hey, this is your thing, right? Some, somepeople like steve jobs just decided they like black turtlenecks, butoftentimes celebrities are being told by highly paid individuals what theirlook should be and how to be memorable because that's a big part of the game.Things, you need to think about it as a thought leader. I know we're spending alot of time on dress, but this plays into like, I think most areas ofbranding, right? Finding that thing that's true to yourself, that'sappropriate within the space or maybe strategically inappropriate. Right?Exactly. And then trying to be consistent in it. So let's walk throughsome of those other elements that you've spelled out, including enhancingyour name. Tell me a little bit more about that. Sure. So I'm lucky in thatI'm the only Robin Farm in for me in, in the entire universe, but when Igoogle other people's names, sometimes they're not the only name in theuniverse and it can be really hard to differentiate. So if you have, you know,a first name like Michael or David, which is very, very popular and thenyou also have a last name that is also a popular last name. You might want totweak your name some way right. And that might be adding the doctor to thebeginning, that if you're, you know, if you are a doctor or it could be addinga middle initial or it could be, you know, using a nickname, but somethingthat will literally differentiate your name and if you can't think of anythingand your name is something you know, popular like Michael scott, like justor Michael smith or something like that. You could say Michael smith, technologyentrepreneur and like have those two words always appear with your name. Soyou're essentially branding yourself in a name and that way you candifferentiate yourself because let me tell you, there are a lot of speakersand authors where I've tried googling them and I couldn't find them rightaway. If you're not those first few results for your, not only your subjectbut your actual name, you've got to differentiate from the people who arethe first results for your name. Hey everybody Logan with sweet fish here.If you're a regular listener of GDP growth, you know that I'm one of the cohost of the show, but you may not know that I also head up the sales team hereat sweet fish. So for those of you in sales or sales ops, I wanted to take asecond to share something that's made us insanely more efficient lately. Ourteam has been using lead I. Q. For the...

...past few months. And what used to takeus four hours gathering contact data now takes us only one where 75% moreefficient. We're able to move faster with outbound prospecting andorganizing our campaigns is so much easier than before. I'd highly suggestyou guys check out lead I. Q. As well, you can check them out at lead I. Q dotcom. That's L E A D I Q dot com. Alright, let's get back to the show.Hey, that's fantastic. I was just thinking I'm like you know what, I kindof stumbled into that on accident, hence calling myself dan chess and justsaid to just dan Sanchez which became, it was it was like a hashtag like eveneight months ago I just started doing it on linkedin and people are stuckbecause there's honestly about, I think there's about 2000 of dan Sanchez isout there, it's a common name so I mix it together and I'm pretty much theonly one that goes by dan says now and it's awesome, it's cute, it's funny,it's interesting and it's still, I can still go by dan Sanchez and people knowbut it's still just a different naming thing in a way, we know Gary Vaynerchuk.Uh he's got such a long name, he just started going by Gary V because lesssyllables is usually more memorable. That kind of depends right? So I knowhe had shortened it and a lot of I've seen a lot of people play with the name,what would you say to people who have like just really harsh sounding namesor like they're just names is kind of like, you know, they just don't have agreat name. What would you say to people like that? Have you ever workedwith customers whose names are just sound not funny, but like they're hardto really hard to say, they're impossible to spell. I could think oflike a friend whose last name is like seven check and it's it's literallyimpossible to spell right and even the way I said it, you would never guessthe spelling of it. So I would say make sure your first name is easy, right?And so I do have some clients that I've worked with and some entrepreneurs I'veworked with from china right? And their names started with an X and for anamerican, anything that starts with the letter X, you say x, x ray, right orsomething like that. And it's so rare in the english language, I'm like noone can remember how to spell your name and no one knows how to say it. So youneed one of your names, like your first name or your last name, but hopefullyyour first name be something that the audience you are trying to target andreach will be able to remember and spell and remember a lot of Hollywoodactors and even authors change their name all the time. Some of them changedtheir name to be completely brand new and nothing like their old name andsome just tweak their names. But really, I mean if you want to go ahead andtweak your name, you're welcome to do that. There's no reason you even haveto go through anything legal. You can have that stage name, that name thateveryone on social media calls you by and everyone on your email list, butthen you know when you pay your taxes, you pay under your normal name, so manydifferent ways to mix and match it could literally be a nickname, it couldbe, you probably name tied to the industry if you can find some fancyalliteration to make it work or and find the domain name and then everybodykind of knows you is that thing. Think about e patient Dave, right? E patientDave. I don't, most people don't know his last name is D Bronk something Ican't even remember it because it's hard, but I remember e patient Daveright and he's a very famous E patient now just by that name, yep, that works.I think the one scary thing about is you get locked into that one thing andit's hard to pivot later, right? But I'm sure people have done it. One thingyou talk about is having a fundamental truth. Tell me a little bit more aboutthat. It's not necessarily a mission of a kind. But what do you mean byfundamental truth? So what I'm talking about your thought leader formulaitself, it is a combination of your y and your fundamental truth and that'sreally the beginning of your thought leader platform. And so yourfundamental truth is something that you believe that either the rest of theworld doesn't even know about yet or don't actually agree with you. Forinstance, my first book and how I...

...launched myself was the patient as Ceoright? And that is a concept that when you go to places like Germany and Japan,their mouths drop open because it's a very paternalistic healthcare system.And so when the patient goes in to see a doctor, they're not even supposed toask questions, they say yes, thank you. And then you're supposed to go do whatthe doctor tells you to do right? And by saying the patient is the ceo thatis a dramatic shift in how people view patients. And so that's my fundamentaltruth. But it also is something that I truly believe right? Always make sureyou walk your talk. I am the essentially ceo of my own healthcareteam and I demonstrate that over and over and over again with real lifescenarios and I talk about it on stage. So it makes sense. You're essentiallylike taking what is a long explanation for what could be in finding a veryshort and distinct way to summarize it into one. A one liner kind of like umToyota has always better never best right to summarize kind of the leanmanufacturing which has a whole book behind it, but you can kind of get thesense of it and always better never best right your summarizing your truce.And would you say these truths are like the unique things you're doing toexpand the industry? Because I'd say thought leadership is making unique,it's not just being an expert, it's making unique contributions. Right? Andthese these truths are your unique contributions as a thought leader. Yourpillars as a thought leader. Exactly. So thinking about the fact that alsomany of us have more than one fundamental truth. So it's reallytargeting it down to that one concept that you can build a brand off of aplatform, remember anything you do now doesn't mean you can't do other thingsnext year or the year after, right? You're not gonna pigeon your wholeyourself necessarily. I mean if you call yourself e patient dave maybe youdon't go into agriculture with that name, but in general like with thepatient as Ceo I've done now the healthcare stuff. I've done the thoughtleadership stuff and I've also done facilitating virtual events. So I'veput out a book in the event world right? And now I'm about ready to put out 1/4book and that's on a I democratizing healthcare. And so really I I decidednot to let anything pigeonholed me, but everything just keeps buildingabsolutely. I have noticed that thought leaders who are professional thoughtleaders often have a specific beachhead that they come in on with one idea, butthen afterwards, once you kind of have that established, you can do one afteranother after another. Hence Gary V started with the wine guy, he was thewine guy and then he became the social media guy and now lately he's been thecrypto N. F. T. Guy, like he keeps adding these feathers to his hat, butultimately it's becoming a truer expression to him and you can continueto add those things. Of course he would say that you only know 5% of who Iactually am because I've crafted this brand, but you can do one thing afteranother though, I'd say usually probably have to pick one thing andstick with it for a while. Yes, and I mean that's that's something fromSilicon Valley entrepreneurship, right? When you are first launching a company,you need to be able to do one thing incredibly well with a very welldefined vertical, right? And so for instance, I worked at health tap backin 2010 and this is data and telemedicine type platform and when wefirst initially launched in order to get feedback and really kind of look atthe product, we did it just for pregnant women and new moms, eventhough we were not even remotely going to focus on that later on. Right lateron, we were planning on going across all the major diseases from diabetes tocardiovascular health, but we really just launched in that one well definedmarket so we could get traction and then once we were able to get tractionand understand what was going on, then we expanded across diseases makes sense.So just like it's you incorporated, right? You really do have to do tobuild a personal brand and I thought...

...leadership, you really do have to thinkabout all the things that normal business would have to think about?Just like if you were starting up, you do have to think about who's yourmarket, who is your audience? What's the solution generally that you as abrand bring to the table like all that kind of like um like steve blank's foursteps to the epiphany, the lean startup methodology, you really have to bringyourself, which is probably why a lot of people don't get into it becauseit's be honest, like those steps and entrepreneurship are kind of hard,let's say they do find it though. How long do you think you should stick toit? Or when do you know, you were able to break away from the first thing yougot established and can established another thing. Well, first of all hasit fed your revenue stream enough because you shouldn't be launchingyourself just as a thought leader and expect money to fall in your lapbecause it's not going to happen. Right? What is your business model? So lookingat your business model, have you been able to feed it correctly? Is itworking? And once it started working and really got new traction then, is ittime to launch a second brand or vertical? And what is the businessmodel for? That? That makes sense. But you might have to pivot on the waythere in case the first one didn't quite, I don't know if I'm ready forwhatever reason, just didn't connect the way you wanted it to. So it mightbe interesting. Moving on. One of the other things you talk about for apersonal brand is catchphrases and I loved this. I recently read about evenat a different thing, a book called primal branding, I think they caughtwords or like sacred words, but I'm like, it's kind of the same thing, likewhat do you mean by catchphrases specifically? And then I'd like to kindof go back and forth on different iterations of it. Sure, so thinkingabout what are those 3 to 5 phrases and I mean just to start that you repeatover and over again. Right? So one of mine would be the patient as ceo, right?That's both fundamental truth a book name as well as a catchphrase, right,Another catchphrase could be back when I first launched that book Doctors asmedical engineers, Right? So I could just say that concept over and overagain and all of my interviews and put it in my books and put it up on stageso that these are concepts and phrases that get associated with your brand.What would you think about coming up with phrases that are not necessarilytied to your thought leadership, but tied to just you and your personalityor tied to something that's specific about your brand? Have you played withthose at all with yourself or with customers? So it kind of blends for mebecause I do have enough catchphrases now and enough things that I can gointo like fundamental truth and your why, Right? That's another one of myessentially catchphrases, so it's just, I mean you can really have as many asyou want and they can be related to either just your personal brand or toyour business model, but they're really just things that you're going to sayover and over again, concepts that Essentially getting your concepts down3-5 boards, 3-5 words, that's a good rule and it's funny because we can allthink of different catchphrases from all popular brands, like Nike is mostfamous, just do it, right is a catchphrase from their brand and waysto sink your teeth into something, and they could probably be more thoughtdriven or maybe concept driven, certainly more emotionally driven, likejust do, it could probably be all over the place. In fact there might be, I'dimagine would be powerful if you can work emotion to it, I don't know howthought leaders would work more emotion into a specific phrase, but I imagineit's possible, the last thing you kind of have in your steps to building agreat brand is building your bio or story. So, tell me a little bit moreabout that. Well, if you haven't had a professional bio done right, and like,when you're launching yourself as a thought leader, I'd say, have someonecome help you with it, because sometimes you are so close to it thatit's difficult for you to really take out the things that are most important,and so what I did now, I'm an expert of course at writing bios and I can writemy own or or anybody else is in a matter of minutes, but when I firststarted out, what, eight years ago, I was like, I don't know how to do this,and so I brought on a pr company who...

...went and went through and created likea small bio, a medium length and then a super long bio for me and then I justtook those and I built off of them, so you kind of build a differentbackstories for different people depending on their fundamental truthsand their audience, I imagine because everybody's everybody's got a reallylong backstory. If you tell someone to tell you a minute and 20 stories, theycan ramble for 20 minutes, but most of it's not really relevant to theaudience. So what kind of things are you looking for when you're looking ata story, let's say there, there want to become a thought leader. They sell toSAAS companies, right? And they want to be positioned as a thought leader. Theyhave a new way of running SAAS companies are helping them enhancereoccurring revenue or something like that. Maybe they discovered amethodology that really helps them do it. And they've been pioneering that inthe space. Like what kind of things are you looking for in that kind ofperson's backstory. So something that is personal that can give thatemotional response, right? And tie you to that. When we started this interview,we talked about why I decided to become a thought leader, right? Why I became aprofessional speaker. It's because I was so pushed down in Silicon Valleyand how that much, you know how that changed the equation. And so there'sthat story where you can have the emotional reaction and take them ontothat success thing. So that's always a good one or maybe some kind of anepiphany, right? So that one works well too. Like you were watching a baseballgame one day, you were at work and you know your I. T. Guys said this and thenall of a sudden bam the light bulb went off and you had an epiphany and that'swhy you want to do this. So it could really just be anything that gives thatemotional response. It sounds like there's a couple different templatesare ways of going about it. Like you just said because you had you had anobstacle that you were facing. You had an epiphany, right? That hey thisshould be a thing. Like you maybe you connect to different ideas together andyou're like what the I wonder what some other common stories are kind of like Iguess they this this might be the epiphany but of common origin story formost companies is uh I had this problem myself and I was like, huh? How comenobody else does this? Right? Like Uber, that's the story. They were stuck in aI think a snowstorm and Harris and they couldn't hail a cab and had ways to goand they're like, man, wouldn't it be nice if there was an apple, I couldjust summon the cabin, they would come to me right, Uber was born. And Iactually think the real story was a lot more longer complicated but it'scertainly a nice sound bite that they've essentially crafted into astory. Can you think of any other like takeaways or tactics for trying to findthe story? One thing that I find happens a lot is like the story behindthe company is like, well, it seemed like it was a profitable market thatwas kind of interesting to me and therefore I developed a product aroundit and happened to have the right idea. Now the product is pretty good, but Idon't have a really compelling story. It's because they didn't bring on anexpert to help them. Right? So you've got to understand that in the world ofmarketing, you've got experts who have done this for years and maybe have alot of education and then you've got people who are starting companies whomight be an engineer or might be a biologist or you know, might havestudied finance, but not necessarily marketing. And then, you know, they tryto come up with their own personal story and it looks like it's a messbecause they've never tried to do that before. They're not an expert. So Itell people hire a coach for one session, even just one session toreally break it down. Because like I could hear someone's personal story.You know, you could spend three or five minutes telling me and I'll get thatdown to like three sentences in seconds, right? Because I'm used to being ableto do that that is a skill that needs to be learned and actually used notjust suddenly come up with at the spur of the moment when you want to become athought leader, but if you want to try to do your own first thing I tellpeople is no more than three major details, right? So yeah, because a lotof the time someone will tell a story and they go on like have you heard ofan eight year old ever telling a story? Like on this favorite cartoon, have aneight year old living with me right now. So everywhere it takes them 15 minutesto tell you something, that should have...

...been one sentence. Yeah, and that'swhat a lot of people think our storytelling is. So instead think aboutwhat are the three main points you need to get across in the shortest length oftime. You want to write it on the back of a napkin or the back of the envelope?It's your elevator pitch. So three main points. And is it almost is usuallyalong the lines of like the world was like this, there was a problem and thenthis Yeah, it's kind of those things, if somebody who actually wanted to hiresomebody like what kind of job titles are they're usually looking for intheir headline, of course they can contact you. But if they were lookingfor that one hour, like okay, I want to just be able to tell my story for 30minutes and they pull out the three sentences that are just going to work.What kind of person am I looking for that helps with that marketing team,marketing. Yeah, so like there are marketing companies, there aremarketing coaches, there are companies that just literally work on personalbranding a lot of the time, these companies are 2 to 5 people or evenjust a solo consultant, like I'm a solo consultant and you just reach out to meand then you hire me for an hour, a lot of friends who do that kind of thing.So literally just start googling marketing marketing people on linkedin,Fantastic. And the last major part you do a huge push with your book on thepower of writing a book. Now this isn't super uncommon. I've talked to a coupleof the thought leaders have pushed that but I want to revisit it again becausethe more I've read about it, the more I find that this this is the thing, a lotof people agree that the almighty book, despite social media being so popularis still the number one way you become a thought leader why it is better thana degree and let me tell you why. So I'm a chronic disease patient and mywhole patient as ceo book is based on that and the fact that I'm a technologyentrepreneur, I am called Dr furman for me in more frequently sometimes thatI'm called Robin like thanks guys but I have a Bs and management and finance,that's like my education, I am far from being a physician yet. People justassume I am and this is a big deal in the world of medicine because mostwomen who spend that 15 years studying medicine, doing residency andfellowship and all of that most of the time are not called doctor, which iskind of interesting that people will just assume like they cannot get peopleto call them doctor and people just assume I am right. That's the power ofa book. Just people seem to think that if you can write a book then you mustbe the world's expert. It's probably going to go on like this for the nextfive or six years. If you're trying to speak to generation Z. This is probablynot the way. But if you're trying to speak to millennials gen X. Or anyoneolder than that. Absolutely. A book is the equivalent of getting a graduatedegree. Yeah, I mean well even write a book, even if it's an okay book, youstill had to do a lot of work. You still have to do a lot of study and youstill had to articulate all the things you learned, right. Which is whycollege has you write papers? But generally you write nonsense of calledpapers because I have great, I've worked, I've had my M. B. A. And I'vetotted colleges before and reading papers like worse than writing themright? If you write a book, you actually have to write coherentsomething in there. Even if it's like not breakthrough, what if people feellike they're not ready to write a book, like they have their an expert, theyhave some unique ideas, but they haven't like fleshed out their uniqueideas, they haven't been practicing their unique ideas, they don't have alot of evidence that show that you're, their unique ideas are like bulletproofyet and they're afraid that the real experts will come for them. What aboutthose people? So there's two things First to think about, First of all,single digit, hundreds, maybe thousands of people are going to read your bookseriously, like oh no, there are very few people are actually going to readyour book instead they are going to hopefully be feeding your revenuestreams like my revenue streams. I fundraise for startup companies andhealthcare and I'm hired by big companies to come in and give keynotes,right? So those are two of my big revenue strings. And so everything I dokind of wants to feed one of those. So...

...first of all thinking about that, butsecond of all this is a company, you have to get that into your brain beinga thought leader is not an individual side project, you do for fun, you'vegot to think of this as a company and you bring on experts Because writing ingeneral, but then specifically writing a book, this is a big deal, it is askill set and it takes a lot of back knowledge on even how the process works,right? And so if you have never written something more than 20 pages before,you might need to bring on extra help. And there are many ways to do that fromI I refer people to a bunch of my different friends who will ghost offthere for them or they will be that person who helps bring them through theprocess like a coach that stands with them and and does a lot of the editingor helps them with their outline. You can also use companies like ScribdMedia who I used for my first book which is amazing. They spend about 14hours with you, they talked to you on the phone, they help you outline yourbook Then they spend 10 hours just sitting there talking you through youroutlined and everything is recorded, transcribed, edited and then sent toyou in a perfect book, write those kinds of things are very, very priceyobviously. But then there are other ways you can hack it, go to somethinglike scripted.com and order. That's uh It's essentially articles on demandfrom just writers who can do like 800 word articles or something orderedseven or 8 800 word articles put that together as a book, write an intro andwrite a conclusion, smash it together and there's your book, write a book, isa marketing tool, it is not a revenue stream. It's a way, I imagine if youpackage all your ideas in one book, one, you have a really nice little packageto give people your thought leadership ideas two, they may be paid you alittle bit of money for it. So it sets them up for maybe a bigger spendbecause the relationship has changed at some point. You can, you obviously justsplinter out all the different content in the book and all your social mediapost for who knows how long. So it plays a lot of different roles. But why,I guess, I guess the big part about a book more than a podcast, more thanmaybe a Youtube channel or social media of some kind is just the credibilitythat comes with the book, that's what it is, it's the packaging, it's justthe packaging, you could, you could literally, you know, say your entirebook out loud and it's not going to have that same credibility as aphysical book, even if it's just an e book and that's really just thepsychological conditioning we have here in the United States around books. Upuntil now, no one realizes just how easy it is to get it done. I don't know,I mean, it is hard to write a well formulated book. Would you say it'sbetter to write it earlier or later? So, start now. Right. I I published my book,I think about a year, year and a half into my thought Leader journey and thatwas on my actual project plan. So I came out with first a bunch ofdifferent articles that I had, I hired a PR company to place in high endmagazines. So I had that kind of content catalog out there. Then I did abunch of key notes and I hired someone to do like high end slides for me. Andthen I hired a team to come on and help me with my book. This is a company youare building a brand. If you're trying to do it so low, you are probably notgoing to be as successful or it takes longer or maybe you just never get itdone. I could see the point in hiring someone to help and some people haveenough drive to push it all the way through and knock it out in a month orsix months or whatever, whatever it might be. So, this has been fascinating.There's so many other elements elements of this book that we could have divedinto. But if you want to, you're gonna have to go and read the whole book. Ithink we flushed out one chapter pretty well, but that's just one of manychapters in this book. Um, so again, the book is a thought Leader Formula.There's a lot of books with the title Thought Thought Leader. This is the onewith the word formula in it and you'll see Robin right on the cover, Robin,it's been a delight to have you on the...

...show. Thank you so much. If people wantto learn more from you, where can they find you online? What's the best socialnetwork and then what's your website? Sure. So as I mentioned, I'm the onlyRobin Farm and Farm Ian in the entire universe. So you can reach me onlinkedin facebook and twitter are the three that I'm on most frequently andmy website is Robin Fs dot com. Fantastic again. Thanks for joining meon the show. Thank you. What a helpful conversation, loved somuch of what Robin said. One thing that I'm walking away from this conversationwith was her bit about storytelling and when you think of an eight year oldtelling a story and how they ramble on for 15 minutes, that's not the type ofstories we wanna tell. So to just think of three specific Details that you'regoing to highlight and just stick to those three and let that be the storythat you tell, it's going to help your branding, it's gonna help keepingthings concise and it'll make you effective in your communication. If youhave thoughts on this episode, feel free to connect with me over onlinkedin. Just search Benji Block would love to discuss your thoughts, business,marketing, life and as always, make sure if you're not already subscribedsubscribe to the show on whatever platform you're listening that way. Youjust never miss an episode, continue to do the work that matters and we'll talkagain soon. One of the things we've learned aboutpodcast audience growth is that word of mouth works. It works really, reallywell actually. So if you love this show, it would be awesome if you texted afriend to tell them about it. And if you send me a text with a screenshot ofthe text you sent to your friend meta, I know I'll send you a copy of my book,content based networking, how to instantly connect with anyone you wantto know. My cell phone number is 40749033 to 8. Happy texting. Mhm.

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