Shanee Moret never wanted to build a personal brand, she was forced to. While her daughter was in the hospital, her manager gave her an ultimatum: go back to work or you’ll be fired. As you can imagine, she chose the latter.
To support herself, she offered copywriting services, but she ran into another problem, she absolutely hated cold calling. The solution? Start creating content on LinkedIn to attract inbound leads. They gave themselves 30 days to get it working, and to all appearances it certainly did. Today, Shanee has well over a million followers on LinkedIn and helps other entrepreneurs build their brand and revenue as the founder of The Growth Academy.
Shanee sat down on the latest episode of the Launch Your Business podcast to talk to me about how she built and monetized her brand — and how you can do the same.
Here are a few of my favorite takeaways.
This is how you tell your story
We all have a personal brand. Personal branding simply allows you to have more control over the narrative. The best way to get started is to learn how to tell your story. But your story shouldn’t just be about you, it should reflect how uniquely suited you are to helping your audience.
As Shanee says, “It’s about understanding who you’re trying to attract and understanding what they’re struggling with. From there, you can determine how to use your own story to attract those people.”
One framework I recommend for this is Donald Miller’s Storybrand. In short, position your audience as the star of the story and then talk about how you help them succeed and avoid failure based on your own experiences.
Shanee also talks about why it’s important to be vulnerable and authentic. And look, I know those are both overused buzzwords, but she shared the impact it’s having on her business and how it can help you too.
“I speak to them emotionally, I use my own experiences. But because they resonate with it, they’re drawn to what I’m saying. It will pique their curiosity. It will make them come back to the content, get involved and increase the chances of becoming a customer”
Need more help telling your story? Ask your friends and family what they notice about you. We often overlook the most interesting parts of our own history because we’re too close.
Overcome the fear of building a personal brand
One problem you may have with building your personal brand is that you don’t want to share any personal information. If that’s the case, Shanee has good news for you. “You don’t have to share your personal life to build a personal brand. Look at Gary Vaynerchuk, he doesn’t share much about his private life but he’s visible.”
So you don’t have to share what you ate for breakfast, but you do have to be visible. You can do this through text-based content, images, or videos. I realize I may have lost you on the video portion and I understand your concerns. When I started making videos I looked angry and scared at the same time.
Sharing her rocky start, too, Shanee said: “The first one makes my hands shake. People are looking at me now and they’re like, ‘Oh you’re so comfortable on video’. Yeah. That’s like thousands of videos later. That’s just one I’ve practiced a lot and I’m still not the best. I still get nervous, even before livestreams and masterclasses, but I show up and do it.”
Despite the challenges, she explains why she keeps popping up: “I want the desired outcome of growth. I want to be able to provide for my daughter, my family on a generational level more than I’m afraid to get on video. “
So what will a personal brand do for you? Once you are clear about it, you will have the necessary motivation to overcome all the challenges that come with it.
How to monetize your personal brand
The biggest mistake Shanee sees people making with their personal brand? They have nothing to offer their audience. As a result, once your audience knows, likes and trusts you, there is no longer a journey to continue.
Making an offer can be as simple as encouraging people to join your email list, and that’s what I do on LinkedIn. My weekly newsletter, The Solopreneur’s Shortcut, promises a thought, a time saver, and a tactic to help you grow your business and avoid burnout. It comes out on Friday, and throughout the week I’ll be highlighting newsletter content highlights on LinkedIn. I then encourage people to join my email list so they have access to more detailed information. You can take a similar approach and then promote paid offers as soon as someone joins your email list.
Shanee spoke about how your audience can help you create that offer and why it’s key to monetizing your brand. “I’ve helped people build this offer because over time your community reveals certain things and patterns that you could use to create the perfect offer for them – they’re still ineffective”
Your personal brand can easily become a revenue-generating asset, but that only happens when you expand an offer to your audience.
Those were a few key takeaways from my conversation with Dory. To hear the full conversation and get access to additional resources, tune in to this week’s episode of Start your business podcast.
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