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 analytics is the podcast for marketing, communications sales and operations leaders who want to see their business value clearly and succeed, learn how leaders are closing the gap between creative work and business impact through raw conversations. Don't believe me. Check out the show for yourself from the CFO perspective it's value is what type of revenue generation earnings cash flow that is only adding to the growth of the, of the enterprise. You know, another dimension would be how our margins performing are we, you know, we're getting the right value by seeing margin 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, other perspectives, but as a leader, as the finance leader, as you're looking to grow the revenue earnings and cash flow of an organization, it will only create more opportunities for your employees, for your suppliers, for your customers based on those services that you're creating. So to me that's how I view to be value for more. Subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts. Welcome in to be to be growth. I'm benji block one of the hosts here and glad you're tuned in today. We're in the middle of throwing it back. We've spent a few episodes just looking back at some past episodes when you have 2000 plus in the archive, there's so much 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 a look at here as we wind down 2021 ramp up for 2022 highlighting an episode here, an interview that dan Sanchez did with Robin Farman Farman Ian and uh talking about personal branding for thought leadership. So she gives away some practical steps to building a magnetic personal brand, how to find and leverage your personal story. And then also talks about why authoring a book is a really crucial kind of key to thought leadership as well. I think you'll find this insightful. Let's jump in to this interview, our conversation with Robin check this out. Welcome back to be to be growth. I'm dan Sanchez, my friends call me dan says and I'm here with Robin Farm UNb Armenian, who is the author of Thought Leader. Formula Robin, Welcome to the show. I have been so excited to talk to you today. Thanks for having me. Fantastic as the audience knows. I've been on a deep dive in this month of june to talk about thought leadership, marketing and all things related to thought leadership, how to create thought leadership content. What does it mean to be a thought leader and what path does one have to take in order to become a competent and actually well respected Thought leader. None of those fakers that make all of us cringe when they, you know, are you drop in declaring that there a thought leader out there on linkedin, right? How do you actually become an authentic thought leader? And those are the questions we're exploring in this deep dive. I was excited to talk to Robin because she wrote a fantastic book I have here with me now and there was a number of interesting insights I had from the book though there was none more interesting than I think her take on personal branding within thought leadership. So while I want to head into that topic first, I wanted to get your back story for the audience. Robin, if you could elaborate like how did you get into thought leadership, how did that become a thing for you? So what I did is I used to work in both events but also business development and sales and this is all around health care...

...technology companies And when I first got to Silicon Valley the first few years it was kind of tough. I am a high energy, very petite blonde and uh in Silicon Valley which is mostly men and I found myself being sexually harassed, sabotaged at work. I mean it was crazy people stealing my work. And I realized early on you can't fight that directly through something like HR HR is not there to protect the woman, right? And the employee, it's there to protect the company. And so as soon as I realized that I decided to change the game, I went home one weekend and I created a five year project plan for myself on how to become a professional speaker and author in order to have a stronger name and presence than the men that were pushing me down. And let me tell you. It worked beautifully the day my first book published the patient as ceo it was like flipping a light switch on on the sexual harassment and sabotage in the workplace. In fact, it changed the power dynamic so much that I felt like I was in a tank and the men were on 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's that was a big thing. Like we didn't realize it was happening so many other places. So I said, you know what? I have a solution for this instead of trying to fight people directly on this, why don't we raise up the women right and 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 to use 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 a thought leader and having people like believe it and it's not like it was fake that it's real and it's something substantive to believe like repositioned in people's minds and it just had them behave differently for you. It was cause it was for some very practical reasons but obviously it came with a lot more benefits than just keeping men from being jerks. What were some of the other benefits you saw from being becoming a thought leader and establishing that sense of trust and confidence that other people put into you. So really it comes down to when you're going to do something like this and I put a lot of time and money into building myself into an author and professional speaker. You need a multitude of reasons. So I always think of myself, okay so what are those top three reasons. First of all I can, you know, battle against these men don't Right. Second of all I do business development and a lot of the times sales, which means now that I'm an author and professional speaker, I get access to events that people don't even know are going on like internally at some of the big insurance companies or the big device or pharmaceutical companies and I get to meet the ceos of like Fortune 500 companies all the time by being able to be an invited speaker there and so that really helped with the business development and then I also understand that technology is really disrupting a lot of the way we work and so I believe in multiple revenue streams, you cannot rely on anymore. Just one salary from one company over, you know, your career and expect to be able to survive. And so if you have multiple revenue streams you'll be able to turn to one in the case of something like a pandemic or of course artificial intelligence or robotics taking over or displacing your job in some way. And so we saw this this past year because I have so many revenue streams that I was able to set up because I'm an author and professional speaker means I could lean on a lot of them when my professional speaking went away like ma'am overnight, I lost most of my paid talks and I was able to very quickly just rely on one of my other revenue streams. It's fantastic. I've spent a lot of time...

...thinking about it. And I've also, I mean reading a lot of thought leadership books, a lot of thought leadership books are more geared towards the person who wants to become a thought leader than the marketers who want to position the company as a thought leader, which is kind of two different things. But they obviously overlap because a lot of times the amount of position the company as a thought leader usually taking maybe the ceo of founder, internal subject matter expert and turning them into the the face of the company or faces. Right? So lots of overlap between those two things. But I've certainly thought about how, I don't know, I think this is going to become a bigger part of the future 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 contractors more that a lot of people will essentially become a mix of contractor, thought leader freelancer with probably there are side hustles and businesses going on. Well, I think a lot of people are going to have to diversify income in the future and they're probably more people reading your book and others like it to do so, so it's fun to be on the forefront of what I think is going to be even a more, a larger tidal wave coming in the future. One of the things you dive into in your book is around personal branding. And one of the things that I want to dive into before we even cover, like the things you go into and being, how to build a personal branch, very practical is why personal branding is actually a really important part of building out your thought leadership. You gotta look at it as if you were a company and in fact I call myself Robin ink because I look at it like a company and so you've got to build that personal brand the same way you would build a company brand, what is the voice and I mean by voice, not just the way your voice sounds, but how do you communicate? Is it with, you know, long science words or you communicating to more of a general audience. So really everything that goes into a brand, what you look like right? So for instance, I'm recognized by complete strangers from behind. Like that is kind of crazy. I have people come up to me all the time high you Robin firm information and it is, it's hilarious. So I have so many different aspects of what I look like that are very signature and very, very obvious. So like imagine if you are a guy and a lot of guys in my world are, you know, physicians or they work in pharma or med device and so you know, a lot of the time they'll still dress up to go to conferences and they're like, oh I'm gonna wear a pocket square to differentiate like how is anyone going to see that? Right? Like you want your signature look and I call it a signature look to really be something that's in all the photos. And so that's really anything from your chest up and it's not going to always include a, something like a pocket square. The other thing is, is it visual from stage, right? Like a lot of the times something as small, like a pocket square or even just like maybe the way you 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 because you can do the funny rims or a certain color, right? We were talking earlier that you remember one of the speakers because he wears these bright yellow glasses, yep, all those little things and I find personal brands can be powerful because they're essentially a representation of you, but they're not necessarily the full you, right? And I think I've often often heard advice when it comes to building a personal brand of just be you right, Which I've always kind of felt rings true and at the same time it's kind of frustrating because you're like, well what do I do with that? That's like just be me. I'm a lot of things, it's like, which part of me, like the past me currently or like the me, I'd rather be out in the future somewhere. So it's not, I don't find that it's the best advice when it comes to personal branding. So like one of 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 I say just be used bad, I don't mean to...

...be someone else, but there's something more to it than just being who you are all the time. So when you say always be authentic, how do I actually go about doing that practically. So first of all don't tell like white lies. So I when networking, I use this kind of an example when you go up to someone, I like to compliment them on something that I like about them. But I will never compliment on someone on something I don't like. Right? And that's just one very simple example of showing you where people will understand that you are either telling the truth or you're lying. You say, oh, I love those shoes on you. It's really obvious when you're lying, right? And so take that kind of situation, but put yourself on stage, if you are trying to tell people something that you yourself don't believe in or if you're wearing something that makes you feel uncomfortable or you're not used to or you've taken someone else's advice on a brand new haircut. Hey, you're not going to be coming across as someone who isn't isn't lying, right? You're not going to come across as if you were telling the truth, you're going to come across as feeling uncomfortable. That is so obvious when someone is wearing something, they don't like, it is incredibly obvious to everybody else that they're uncomfortable, right? And so if you are always authentic, always exactly who you are, you're never put in that position of being that impostor and no one's going to notice that. So there's a little bit more to it than that, I think is even like when you dress up and you're taking photos and you're on stage, you're wearing the same things, but I'm like, even in this book cover, your brain like a red dress and I've seen you another book covers, you're wearing similar type dresses um in different colors depending on the audience, Right? Something you mentioned the book, but you're probably not always wearing that dress. Maybe when you're behind the scenes or it's like a cozy work saturday or something like that, or you just off at the mall, you're probably not always wearing those things, but when you're on brand or you're picking something, you're probably really comfortable in this dress for starters, so it's not inauthentic, but when you're getting in building your brand, you're essentially highlighting 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 Germany and it was at this giant sports conference and I mean like full on like fitness studios, were there giant pieces of fitness equipment and for my main talk, I went in my normal dress and high heels and then the next day I was doing a kind of more of an informal sit down interview. And so I decided to grab 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 people who, who were waiting for me and they had never met me in person? But they were 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 right in front of you. It was hilarious because I was just not even recognized because I was in that sporting uniform. So you feel like building a personal brand is really like just highlighting the parts that you want to highlight in order to essentially, I mean, it's kind of a marketing play, you're, you're highlighting your finding out what the audience expects to some degree and you're bringing the right elements that are true to you, but you're kind of mixing and matching, you're trying to bring the right things so that you're leaving the right impression that you want to leave its designing based on what's already true about you and it's a lot more than clothes, but be from anything from the way you talk to the way you write to, the way you'll take photos 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 a little bit and that you're being specific in the way you're coming across, yep, and consistent. So it's consistency is key. So how do you go about 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 is it something like, what would they expect? Or is it kind of like a blend of the two? It was nothing to do with what the audience would expect. It was 100%. What am I comfortable in and what is someone of my job would normally wear? 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 tailored but it's just so soft and easy to move in and so it's much more comfortable for me than say, a pair of jeans or something like that. And then I'm in sales 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 kinds of 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 means again, you shouldn't be wearing like jeans and sneakers. So that was already off the table and it's just something that I was already comfortable in and I can buy repetitive lee. So I literally do have the exact same dress in like 20 to 25 different colors, patterns and, and fabrics, but it's essentially the exact same dress. Yeah. And that just helps people remember, helps give you a distinct style and your new thing, like if you picture Simon cowell's in your head, 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 he wears. Either he decided that or a brand specialist who specialized in like brand identity told them. Hey, this is your thing, right? Some, some people like steve jobs just decided they like black turtlenecks, but oftentimes celebrities are being told by highly paid individuals what their look 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 a lot of time on dress, but this plays into like, I think most areas of branding, right? Finding that thing that's true to yourself, that's appropriate within the space or maybe strategically inappropriate. Right? Exactly. And then trying to be consistent in it. So let's walk through some of those other elements that you've spelled out, including enhancing your name. Tell me a little bit more about that. Sure. So I'm lucky in that I'm the only Robin Farm in for me in, in the entire universe, but when I google other people's names, sometimes they're not the only name in the universe 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 then you also have a last name that is also a popular last name. You might want to tweak your name some way right. And that might be adding the doctor to the beginning, that if you're, you know, if you are a doctor or it could be adding a middle initial or it could be, you know, using a nickname, but something that will literally differentiate your name and if you can't think of anything and your name is something you know, popular like Michael scott, like just or Michael smith or something like that. You could say Michael smith, technology entrepreneur and like have those two words always appear with your name. So you're essentially branding yourself in a name and that way you can differentiate yourself because let me tell you, there are a lot of speakers and authors where I've tried googling them and I couldn't find them right away. If you're not those first few results for your, not only your subject but your actual name, you've got to differentiate from the people who are the 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 co host of the show, but you may not know that I also head up the sales team here at sweet fish. So for those of you in sales or sales ops, I wanted to take a second to share something that's made us insanely more efficient lately. Our team has been using lead I. Q. For the...

...past few months. And what used to take us four hours gathering contact data now takes us only one where 75% more efficient. We're able to move faster with outbound prospecting and organizing our campaigns is so much easier than before. I'd highly suggest you guys check out lead I. Q. As well, you can check them out at lead I. Q dot com. 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 kind of stumbled into that on accident, hence calling myself dan chess and just said to just dan Sanchez which became, it was it was like a hashtag like even eight months ago I just started doing it on linkedin and people are stuck because there's honestly about, I think there's about 2000 of dan Sanchez is out there, it's a common name so I mix it together and I'm pretty much the only 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 know but 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 less syllables is usually more memorable. That kind of depends right? So I know he 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 names or like they're just names is kind of like, you know, they just don't have a great name. What would you say to people like that? Have you ever worked with customers whose names are just sound not funny, but like they're hard to really hard to say, they're impossible to spell. I could think of like a friend whose last name is like seven check and it's it's literally impossible to spell right and even the way I said it, you would never guess the 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've worked with from china right? And their names started with an X and for an american, anything that starts with the letter X, you say x, x ray, right or something like that. And it's so rare in the english language, I'm like no one can remember how to spell your name and no one knows how to say it. So you need one of your names, like your first name or your last name, but hopefully your first name be something that the audience you are trying to target and reach will be able to remember and spell and remember a lot of Hollywood actors and even authors change their name all the time. Some of them changed their name to be completely brand new and nothing like their old name and some just tweak their names. But really, I mean if you want to go ahead and tweak your name, you're welcome to do that. There's no reason you even have to go through anything legal. You can have that stage name, that name that everyone on social media calls you by and everyone on your email list, but then you know when you pay your taxes, you pay under your normal name, so many different ways to mix and match it could literally be a nickname, it could be, you probably name tied to the industry if you can find some fancy alliteration to make it work or and find the domain name and then everybody kind of knows you is that thing. Think about e patient Dave, right? E patient Dave. I don't, most people don't know his last name is D Bronk something I can't even remember it because it's hard, but I remember e patient Dave right 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 and it's hard to pivot later, right? But I'm sure people have done it. One thing you talk about is having a fundamental truth. Tell me a little bit more about that. It's not necessarily a mission of a kind. But what do you mean by fundamental truth? So what I'm talking about your thought leader formula itself, it is a combination of your y and your fundamental truth and that's really the beginning of your thought leader platform. And so your fundamental truth is something that you believe that either the rest of the world doesn't even know about yet or don't actually agree with you. For instance, my first book and how I...

...launched myself was the patient as Ceo right? 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 to ask questions, they say yes, thank you. And then you're supposed to go do what the doctor tells you to do right? And by saying the patient is the ceo that is a dramatic shift in how people view patients. And so that's my fundamental truth. But it also is something that I truly believe right? Always make sure you walk your talk. I am the essentially ceo of my own healthcare team and I demonstrate that over and over and over again with real life scenarios and I talk about it on stage. So it makes sense. You're essentially like taking what is a long explanation for what could be in finding a very short and distinct way to summarize it into one. A one liner kind of like um Toyota has always better never best right to summarize kind of the lean manufacturing which has a whole book behind it, but you can kind of get the sense 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 to expand the industry? Because I'd say thought leadership is making unique, it's not just being an expert, it's making unique contributions. Right? And these these truths are your unique contributions as a thought leader. Your pillars as a thought leader. Exactly. So thinking about the fact that also many of us have more than one fundamental truth. So it's really targeting it down to that one concept that you can build a brand off of a platform, remember anything you do now doesn't mean you can't do other things next year or the year after, right? You're not gonna pigeon your whole yourself necessarily. I mean if you call yourself e patient dave maybe you don't go into agriculture with that name, but in general like with the patient as Ceo I've done now the healthcare stuff. I've done the thought leadership stuff and I've also done facilitating virtual events. So I've put out a book in the event world right? And now I'm about ready to put out 1/4 book and that's on a I democratizing healthcare. And so really I I decided not to let anything pigeonholed me, but everything just keeps building absolutely. I have noticed that thought leaders who are professional thought leaders often have a specific beachhead that they come in on with one idea, but then afterwards, once you kind of have that established, you can do one after another after another. Hence Gary V started with the wine guy, he was the wine guy and then he became the social media guy and now lately he's been the crypto N. F. T. Guy, like he keeps adding these feathers to his hat, but ultimately it's becoming a truer expression to him and you can continue to add those things. Of course he would say that you only know 5% of who I actually am because I've crafted this brand, but you can do one thing after another though, I'd say usually probably have to pick one thing and stick with it for a while. Yes, and I mean that's that's something from Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, right? When you are first launching a company, you need to be able to do one thing incredibly well with a very well defined vertical, right? And so for instance, I worked at health tap back in 2010 and this is data and telemedicine type platform and when we first initially launched in order to get feedback and really kind of look at the product, we did it just for pregnant women and new moms, even though we were not even remotely going to focus on that later on. Right later on, we were planning on going across all the major diseases from diabetes to cardiovascular health, but we really just launched in that one well defined market so we could get traction and then once we were able to get traction and 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 to build a personal brand and I thought...

...leadership, you really do have to think about 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 your market, who is your audience? What's the solution generally that you as a brand bring to the table like all that kind of like um like steve blank's four steps to the epiphany, the lean startup methodology, you really have to bring yourself, which is probably why a lot of people don't get into it because it'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 to it? Or when do you know, you were able to break away from the first thing you got established and can established another thing. Well, first of all has it fed your revenue stream enough because you shouldn't be launching yourself just as a thought leader and expect money to fall in your lap because it's not going to happen. Right? What is your business model? So looking at your business model, have you been able to feed it correctly? Is it working? And once it started working and really got new traction then, is it time to launch a second brand or vertical? And what is the business model for? That? That makes sense. But you might have to pivot on the way there in case the first one didn't quite, I don't know if I'm ready for whatever reason, just didn't connect the way you wanted it to. So it might be interesting. Moving on. One of the other things you talk about for a personal brand is catchphrases and I loved this. I recently read about even at a different thing, a book called primal branding, I think they caught words or like sacred words, but I'm like, it's kind of the same thing, like what do you mean by catchphrases specifically? And then I'd like to kind of go back and forth on different iterations of it. Sure, so thinking about what are those 3 to 5 phrases and I mean just to start that you repeat over 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 as medical engineers, Right? So I could just say that concept over and over again and all of my interviews and put it in my books and put it up on stage so that these are concepts and phrases that get associated with your brand. What would you think about coming up with phrases that are not necessarily tied to your thought leadership, but tied to just you and your personality or tied to something that's specific about your brand? Have you played with those at all with yourself or with customers? So it kind of blends for me because I do have enough catchphrases now and enough things that I can go into like fundamental truth and your why, Right? That's another one of my essentially catchphrases, so it's just, I mean you can really have as many as you want and they can be related to either just your personal brand or to your business model, but they're really just things that you're going to say over and over again, concepts that Essentially getting your concepts down 3-5 boards, 3-5 words, that's a good rule and it's funny because we can all think of different catchphrases from all popular brands, like Nike is most famous, just do it, right is a catchphrase from their brand and ways to sink your teeth into something, and they could probably be more thought driven or maybe concept driven, certainly more emotionally driven, like just do, it could probably be all over the place. In fact there might be, I'd imagine would be powerful if you can work emotion to it, I don't know how thought leaders would work more emotion into a specific phrase, but I imagine it's possible, the last thing you kind of have in your steps to building a great brand is building your bio or story. So, tell me a little bit more about 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 someone come help you with it, because sometimes you are so close to it that it'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 write my own or or anybody else is in a matter of minutes, but when I first started 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 like a small bio, a medium length and then a super long bio for me and then I just took those and I built off of them, so you kind of build a different backstories for different people depending on their fundamental truths and their audience, I imagine because everybody's everybody's got a really long backstory. If you tell someone to tell you a minute and 20 stories, they can ramble for 20 minutes, but most of it's not really relevant to the audience. So what kind of things are you looking for when you're looking at a story, let's say there, there want to become a thought leader. They sell to SAAS companies, right? And they want to be positioned as a thought leader. They have a new way of running SAAS companies are helping them enhance reoccurring revenue or something like that. Maybe they discovered a methodology that really helps them do it. And they've been pioneering that in the space. Like what kind of things are you looking for in that kind of person's backstory. So something that is personal that can give that emotional 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 a professional speaker. It's because I was so pushed down in Silicon Valley and how that much, you know how that changed the equation. And so there's that story where you can have the emotional reaction and take them onto that success thing. So that's always a good one or maybe some kind of an epiphany, right? So that one works well too. Like you were watching a baseball game one day, you were at work and you know your I. T. Guys said this and then all of a sudden bam the light bulb went off and you had an epiphany and that's why you want to do this. So it could really just be anything that gives that emotional response. It sounds like there's a couple different templates are ways of going about it. Like you just said because you had you had an obstacle that you were facing. You had an epiphany, right? That hey this should be a thing. Like you maybe you connect to different ideas together and you're like what the I wonder what some other common stories are kind of like I guess they this this might be the epiphany but of common origin story for most companies is uh I had this problem myself and I was like, huh? How come nobody else does this? Right? Like Uber, that's the story. They were stuck in a I think a snowstorm and Harris and they couldn't hail a cab and had ways to go and they're like, man, wouldn't it be nice if there was an apple, I could just summon the cabin, they would come to me right, Uber was born. And I actually think the real story was a lot more longer complicated but it's certainly a nice sound bite that they've essentially crafted into a story. Can you think of any other like takeaways or tactics for trying to find the story? One thing that I find happens a lot is like the story behind the company is like, well, it seemed like it was a profitable market that was kind of interesting to me and therefore I developed a product around it and happened to have the right idea. Now the product is pretty good, but I don't have a really compelling story. It's because they didn't bring on an expert to help them. Right? So you've got to understand that in the world of marketing, you've got experts who have done this for years and maybe have a lot of education and then you've got people who are starting companies who might be an engineer or might be a biologist or you know, might have studied finance, but not necessarily marketing. And then, you know, they try to come up with their own personal story and it looks like it's a mess because they've never tried to do that before. They're not an expert. So I tell people hire a coach for one session, even just one session to really 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 that down to like three sentences in seconds, right? Because I'm used to being able to do that that is a skill that needs to be learned and actually used not just suddenly come up with at the spur of the moment when you want to become a thought leader, but if you want to try to do your own first thing I tell people is no more than three major details, right? So yeah, because a lot of the time someone will tell a story and they go on like have you heard of an eight year old ever telling a story? Like on this favorite cartoon, have an eight year old living with me right now. So everywhere it takes them 15 minutes to tell you something, that should have...

...been one sentence. Yeah, and that's what a lot of people think our storytelling is. So instead think about what are the three main points you need to get across in the shortest length of time. 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 usually along the lines of like the world was like this, there was a problem and then this Yeah, it's kind of those things, if somebody who actually wanted to hire somebody like what kind of job titles are they're usually looking for in their headline, of course they can contact you. But if they were looking for that one hour, like okay, I want to just be able to tell my story for 30 minutes 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 are marketing coaches, there are companies that just literally work on personal branding a lot of the time, these companies are 2 to 5 people or even just a solo consultant, like I'm a solo consultant and you just reach out to me and 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 the power of writing a book. Now this isn't super uncommon. I've talked to a couple of the thought leaders have pushed that but I want to revisit it again because the more I've read about it, the more I find that this this is the thing, a lot of people agree that the almighty book, despite social media being so popular is still the number one way you become a thought leader why it is better than a degree and let me tell you why. So I'm a chronic disease patient and my whole patient as ceo book is based on that and the fact that I'm a technology entrepreneur, I am called Dr furman for me in more frequently sometimes that I'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 just assume I am and this is a big deal in the world of medicine because most women who spend that 15 years studying medicine, doing residency and fellowship and all of that most of the time are not called doctor, which is kind of interesting that people will just assume like they cannot get people to call them doctor and people just assume I am right. That's the power of a book. Just people seem to think that if you can write a book then you must be the world's expert. It's probably going to go on like this for the next five or six years. If you're trying to speak to generation Z. This is probably not the way. But if you're trying to speak to millennials gen X. Or anyone older than that. Absolutely. A book is the equivalent of getting a graduate degree. Yeah, I mean well even write a book, even if it's an okay book, you still had to do a lot of work. You still have to do a lot of study and you still had to articulate all the things you learned, right. Which is why college has you write papers? But generally you write nonsense of called papers because I have great, I've worked, I've had my M. B. A. And I've totted colleges before and reading papers like worse than writing them right? If you write a book, you actually have to write coherent something in there. Even if it's like not breakthrough, what if people feel like they're not ready to write a book, like they have their an expert, they have some unique ideas, but they haven't like fleshed out their unique ideas, they haven't been practicing their unique ideas, they don't have a lot of evidence that show that you're, their unique ideas are like bulletproof yet and they're afraid that the real experts will come for them. What about those 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 book seriously, like oh no, there are very few people are actually going to read your book instead they are going to hopefully be feeding your revenue streams like my revenue streams. I fundraise for startup companies and healthcare 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 do kind of wants to feed one of those. So...

...first of all thinking about that, but second of all this is a company, you have to get that into your brain being a thought leader is not an individual side project, you do for fun, you've got to think of this as a company and you bring on experts Because writing in general, but then specifically writing a book, this is a big deal, it is a skill 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 from I I refer people to a bunch of my different friends who will ghost off there for them or they will be that person who helps bring them through the process like a coach that stands with them and and does a lot of the editing or helps them with their outline. You can also use companies like Scribd Media who I used for my first book which is amazing. They spend about 14 hours with you, they talked to you on the phone, they help you outline your book Then they spend 10 hours just sitting there talking you through your outlined and everything is recorded, transcribed, edited and then sent to you in a perfect book, write those kinds of things are very, very pricey obviously. But then there are other ways you can hack it, go to something like scripted.com and order. That's uh It's essentially articles on demand from just writers who can do like 800 word articles or something ordered seven or 8 800 word articles put that together as a book, write an intro and write a conclusion, smash it together and there's your book, write a book, is a marketing tool, it is not a revenue stream. It's a way, I imagine if you package all your ideas in one book, one, you have a really nice little package to give people your thought leadership ideas two, they may be paid you a little bit of money for it. So it sets them up for maybe a bigger spend because the relationship has changed at some point. You can, you obviously just splinter out all the different content in the book and all your social media post 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 than maybe a Youtube channel or social media of some kind is just the credibility that comes with the book, that's what it is, it's the packaging, it's just the packaging, you could, you could literally, you know, say your entire book out loud and it's not going to have that same credibility as a physical book, even if it's just an e book and that's really just the psychological conditioning we have here in the United States around books. Up until 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's better 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 that was on my actual project plan. So I came out with first a bunch of different articles that I had, I hired a PR company to place in high end magazines. So I had that kind of content catalog out there. Then I did a bunch of key notes and I hired someone to do like high end slides for me. And then I hired a team to come on and help me with my book. This is a company you are building a brand. If you're trying to do it so low, you are probably not going to be as successful or it takes longer or maybe you just never get it done. I could see the point in hiring someone to help and some people have enough drive to push it all the way through and knock it out in a month or six 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 dived into. But if you want to, you're gonna have to go and read the whole book. I think we flushed out one chapter pretty well, but that's just one of many chapters 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 one with 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 want to learn more from you, where can they find you online? What's the best social network and then what's your website? Sure. So as I mentioned, I'm the only Robin Farm and Farm Ian in the entire universe. So you can reach me on linkedin facebook and twitter are the three that I'm on most frequently and my website is Robin Fs dot com. Fantastic again. Thanks for joining me on the show. Thank you. What a helpful conversation, loved so much of what Robin said. One thing that I'm walking away from this conversation with was her bit about storytelling and when you think of an eight year old telling a story and how they ramble on for 15 minutes, that's not the type of stories we wanna tell. So to just think of three specific Details that you're going to highlight and just stick to those three and let that be the story that you tell, it's going to help your branding, it's gonna help keeping things concise and it'll make you effective in your communication. If you have thoughts on this episode, feel free to connect with me over on linkedin. Just search Benji Block would love to discuss your thoughts, business, marketing, life and as always, make sure if you're not already subscribed subscribe to the show on whatever platform you're listening that way. You just never miss an episode, continue to do the work that matters and we'll talk again soon. One of the things we've learned about podcast audience growth is that word of mouth works. It works really, really well actually. So if you love this show, it would be awesome if you texted a friend to tell them about it. And if you send me a text with a screenshot of the 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 want to know. My cell phone number is 40749033 to 8. Happy texting. Mhm.

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