83: How to Win Clients With Your Personal Brand, Plus 3 Live Listener Brand Audits

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jessica lawlorNote: Click here to download Jessica’s top tips on personal branding.

Last month I asked a couple guests, “Who else should I talk to?” (An excellent way to keep your podcast moving forward and expand your network, by the way.)

And both Carrie and Alexis said Jessica Lawlor.

I’d never heard of Jessica before, but she’s an awesome side hustler and I loved the branding on her site and her #GetGutsy message.

Jessica is a PR professional by day, but gets in her side hustle work of freelance writing, blog management, and branding bootcamps primarily in the early hours of the morning. 5:00am wake up call!

During this call we discuss the merits of personal branding and why it’s important even if you still have a day job.

We also selected 3 audience victims/volunteers to have their websites and personal branding audited live on the air, good, bad, and ugly.

I think you’ll enjoy that segment and be able to apply some of the common concerns and issues and apply them to your own site and personal brand efforts.

Free PDF Download:

Click here to download Jessica’s top tips on personal branding.

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Learn:

  • What a personal brand is and why it’s worth cultivating.
  • How Jessica has invested in her personal brand, and why design and first impressions matter.
  • Should you create your website on a personal domain or a “branded” domain?
  • The blogging strategy that reduces the amount she personally has to write.
  • How her personal brand has directly led to side hustle contacts and contracts.
  • Her smart 3-tiered pricing proposal with different package options and obligations.
  • Listen as we critique 3 Side Hustle Show listeners’ personal branding efforts.
  • Jessica’s #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation.

Links:

Are you paying attention to your personal brand? What happens when someone Googles your name?

Thank you so much to Alex, Amanda, and Sage for letting us use your websites as examples!

Contest: 

Enter to win a free Branding Bootcamp from Jessica!

To enter, leave a comment below with your URL and your #1 branding question or struggle, and we’ll pick a winner on December 19th.

Free PDF Download:

Click here to download Jessica’s top tips on personal branding.

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27 thoughts on “83: How to Win Clients With Your Personal Brand, Plus 3 Live Listener Brand Audits

  1. This was a wonderful episode! Appreciate the PDF download, as well :)

    My number-one branding question involves how my website should be set up. The URL is http://kalihawlk.com, and I’ve just rolled a separate blog into my professional site in order to consolidate my web presence.

    Should I keep the blog as my homepage, or should I use a static page for the homepage?

    I don’t know if the blog is confusing — especially right now, as I’m “relaunching” everything officially in January and the content up there is a bit out of touch with the rest of my brand. Would a static homepage make more sense?

    Thanks Jessica and Nick!

    • Hey Kali, thanks for stopping by — been seeing your work everywhere this year!

      When I redesigned my site I went with a static homepage but included links to some recent posts to invite people into the content. I think it comes down to what the #1 goal or action you’d like people to take when they hit your homepage, and your design will work to move visitors toward that goal. For instance, at the moment, the biggest call to action I have is “join the nation.” … though I’m thinking of reworking that to be more value-driven. So we’ll see!

    • Hi Kali!

      So happy you liked the episode! Thanks for the kind words!

      At first glance looking at your site, I prefer to see a blog, rather than a static homepage. I think having compelling and recent content is more likely to keep someone sticking around, rather than standard copy. However, if you haven’t updated your blog in awhile, it might be best to go with the static page, so people don’t think that your no longer active or not doing the work you say you do anymore. See what I mean? In your case, I think it’s fine because you mention that you’re taking a break and why, but in most cases, if a blog is not active, I’ll generally click away, assuming that the blogger is no longer interested or active. (That’s just my opinion!)

      Your site is great though- I can’t wait to see where you take it in the new year!

  2. Hi Nick and Jessica, thanks for this episode!

    I wear multiple hats as a ‘behind the scene’ partner in a food blog (http://kipkitchen.com) and as an online marketer for a SaaS startup.

    My #1 branding question is: How do you reconcile these multiple identities, especially if they are in unrelated industries?

    Thanks in advance for offering your perspectives!

    • Hey Karen, great question! That’s something I struggle with too since I’ve got so many projects going on that aren’t always 100% related to each other. I think it’s OK to have multiple interests as part of your “brand” and still make it work — though it might make sense to maintain different domains for each … like it would be tough to sell software from the food blog :)

      • Hi Karen!

        I agree with Nick here. Instead of thinking of your blog/site as one business, think about it as representing YOU, and your various businesses/interests fall under that umbrella. To me, this is the key to personal branding: allowing your audience to fall in love with you as a person…and your business/products/whatever next :)

    • Hey Karen,

      I actually help multi-passionate people with personal branding, and reading your comment has inspired me to write a future blog post about this very topic!

      In short, reconciling multiple identities across various industries becomes much easier when you find the unifying theme behind them all.

      My “identities” include: personal branding business, digital marketer, blogger, rapper, podcaster, and motivational speaker, and I’m able to easily convey all of them because I know my unifying theme. Jessica Lawlor’s comment is correct in that it’s about conveying YOU. Everything else are things that you do, but they are not YOU.

  3. Good food for thought – especially the about me page stuff. I agree, when people go to an about me page they are looking to see what they have in common with you and to feel welcome and in the right place. They want to feel understood!

    My biggest challenge currently is figuring out if my brand as a yoga teacher has to change as I begin to specialize more with niche demographics. Currently I teach mostly able-bodied adults, but I’d like to teach more to three unique groups:

    1) Teens
    2) People looking for Therapeutic Yoga (often injured or older)
    3) Dancers

    Right now my brand is kind of general and so I’m not sure if I should just take some time to blog and see if that helps guide me or what. The url is carolinewalthall.com.

    • Thanks Caroline! Made me want to give my About page a makeover too! Because you have a personally branded domain (as opposed to YogaForDancers.com) you have more freedom to experiment with some different niches and see what begins to resonate. And if those sub-niches don’t take off, you can still include them on your site without making them the central focus and alienating other would-be clients.

    • Hi Caroline!

      A fellow yogi :) I love it! I’m beginning my RYT-200 in March and I can’t wait!

      Like Nick mentioned, because your site is under your personal name (as mine is too) I think you have a lot of flexibility to experiment with content geared toward different audiences, all under the umbrella of yoga. Give it a try and see what happens- you may see that one area resonates more with your readers than others- you may see that you want to keep the content more general. For some of the more specific niches (dancers stuck out to me) you may try pitching a guest post to a popular dance blog/publication about yoga for dancers. This may also help you gain some klout as a thought leader on this topic among that specific audience.

      Best of luck!

  4. Thank you so much Nick and Jessica for this great podcast and all of the extra resources you are providing.

    I appreciate you looking at my website http://www.averylearninglab.com. I have already made changes based on some sneak peek tips Nick sent me and I feel so much better about it.

    Like Jessica said I was trying to do it myself with no knowledge of how to build a website, and the tips you guys gave were like someone tossing me a life jacket! I really hope that other members of the nation struggling with this same reality were benefited from these suggestions too!

    My biggest personal branding question would be: As someone who is passionate about their side hustle, but inexperienced at promoting themselves, how do you create your brand to draw people in to the true you and goals of your hustle?

    Thank you again for your review and for all of the resources and follow up suggestions.

    Amanda Avery :)

    • You bet! Really appreciate you volunteering to let us review your site “live on air” … I know I’d be nervous about that!

      Drawing people in is one of the hardest parts, and learning how people got their first customers or first blog followers is always an interesting answer to find out. For the tutoring services I think Daniel’s “Marsupial method” and Ryan’s similar strategic partnerships could help begin to bring customers to your door.

    • Amanda! Thank you SO much for allowing me to audit your brand on air. That was super gutsy of you!

      I’m also so happy to hear that the tips helped. I think you have an incredible amount of potential and making small tweaks and improving your site will only help to uncover that even more. I just took a look at your site and I think it’s already a million times easier to read and consume. Kudos to you for implementing some of the suggestions!

      As for your question, that’s a really good one. I honestly think it just takes time to build and develop. You need to consistently put in the work to build your brand and promote yourself and through that you’ll gain the trust of the people who read. From there, they become fans…and perhaps after that, customers or clients, too. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a quick or secret way to do this. For me, I’ve found that it has just built over time.

      • Thank you Nick and Jessica!
        Nick, I have already started looking at Daniel’s ideas with the marsupial method, and it really is helpful!

        Jessica, it helps to hear that it just takes consistency, effort, and time. You see lots of quick success stories out there and see wonderful hustlers such as you and Nick. Sometimes it is inspiring and sometimes it is downright overwhelming trying to figure out how to get there. I think the important thing to remember is not to compare yourself or your business to others. I have to remind myself that the point is to see how others did it, use that to brainstorm ideas, and choose the things that feel right for my business. Too often i think we see these other successes and try to copy them instead of doing what works for us.

        I know I have to remind myself of that. It’s tempting to try to find an easy route, but the work and time help the business to be strong and stable. It also gives you time to grow as a hustler, and learn how to market your unique self, so that your readers and clients see you as genuine and trust you!

        Thanks again, you guys have been immeasurably helpful!!!

  5. Hello from Lookout Mtn, TN!
    Great episode! Thank you Jessica and Nick.
    My branding related question is how to pull the various parts of my business together to make my brand cohesive.
    I’d like one site (blog), one twitter account, one Facebook page, etc. however, I have three “parts” to my business. I do think they each can complement the other. I need help with a plan to re-brand and get it done!
    With time, I’d like to phase one “part” out but its my bread and butter at the moment.
    I’ve got my fingers crossed you pick me on the 19th!

    Dawn
    http://www.dawnjumper.com
    http://www.theetiquetteco.com

    • Thanks Dawn! I think you can achieve a cohesive brand even w/ multiple parts, especially if they’re complementary under the etiquette niche. Consider Apple … tons of different products but all under the umbrella of the Apple brand.

      • Hi Dawn!

        Thanks for your question- I’m a big fan of having multiple products/services under the one umbrella of YOU as a personal brand. You mentioned you were hoping to phase one of the services out. By making your brand about YOU and not just that one service, you can absolutely slowly phase something out without really bringing a whole lot of attention to it. See what I mean?

        I think you’re on the right track! Best of luck.

  6. Thanks for another great podcast, Nick, and thanks to Jessica for providing lots of awesome tips!

    My blog is http://digitalsharecropper.com

    My #1 branding question/struggle is:

    This newer blog is under my pen name, so should I go with a static front page (or even just a “sticky” post) rather than the blog itself, since I’m building a new audience and might do well to lead with an “about” section?

    Thanks!

    • Thanks for the kind words, Patrick!

      I’m always a fan of leading with a blog, although I can see the benefits of a static page, as well.

      Not a huge fan of sticky posts, because I feel they start to look stale pretty quickly, but I love having an active blog. Believe me, if people are interested, they are going to click over to your about page!

  7. Thanks Nick and Jessica as always for the great information.

    My site’s not live yet but my #1 branding struggle:
    I’m too introverted (i.e. chicken) to be “myself” online and have difficulty being the “other” me on my blog.
    How much of “me” should I be willing to share? It seems to me like I’d be baring my soul to the world …

    • Hi Dawn, thanks for stopping by. Believe it or not, this was a HUGE struggle of mine … and maybe still is to a lesser extent. I was really hesitant to do videos because of what my friends might think, or even the podcast because I didn’t (and still don’t) love the sound of my recorded voice.

      I’m confident you can find a balance between being yourself, showing some personality, and TMI :) After all, people connect with people!

      • Hi Dawn!

        As Nick mentioned, it can definitely take time to fully develop your voice and figure out your comfort level when it comes to what you share.

        The key here is just to GET STARTED. Once you make the site live and put your first post out there, you’ll begin to find that comfort level for yourself. The only way to find that though is by getting started now!

        Best of luck! :)

  8. Thank you all SO much for listening, commenting and sharing your personal branding struggles with me!

    I’m excited to announce that the winner of the free personal branding bootcamp session is: Caroline of http://www.carolinewalthall.com.

    Caroline- I will reach out and be in touch!

    To everyone else: please feel free to head over to http://jessicalawlor.com/sidehustleshow to download your free personal branding checklist and learn more about the topic. I’d love to stay in touch with all of you, as well!

    Thanks again! :) This was fun!

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