Big Question: How to build your Personal Brand (especially if you’re “older”)?
You’re facing ageism, you may be out of date with current job search techniques, or branding yourself as someone self-employed or building a business.
Know this, Personal Branding is a must. In this New Way Forward interview, globally renowned Personal Branding Coach Dr. Natalia Wiechowski will give you the knowledge, techniques, and tips for building an authentic, legitimate, and highly successful personal brand.
Connect with Natalia at https://thinknatalia.com/
Follow her on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nataliawiechowski/
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Podcast Transcript: How to Build Your Personal Brand (especially if you’re “older”)
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: If I don’t understand what you do, there’s no way that I’m going to refer you or when you’re looking for potential client or a job or whatever. I cannot use my network to help you or I cannot use my, my, my knowledge or whatever to to recommend you to to connect you with somebody because I have no clue who you actually are. And I think this is a little bit as if there would be money lying on the road or a street. And we are just too lazy to bend down and take it up by giving your best to really making yourself understandable and portraying your true self or your authentic self or whoever you want to call it. This is what it’s all about. And when you use the right hashtag, when you post it, the right time, when you have the right people in your network, when you tag the right people in this post, it could open doors to so many opportunities,
Paul Long: Helping you find your new way forward to the best years of your life. This is a new way forward podcast with your host, Paul Long.
Paul Long: Personal Branding is an absolute must nowadays. Now, people have so many misconceptions about personal branding. They think it’s for celebrities or it’s being braggadocious. Know it’s a simple. It’s about a letting people know that you exist and b who you are and what you have to offer. So to help you do your personal branding, is this interview with Dr. Natalia Rochinski? She is a globally renowned personal branding coach, and by the way, she became globally renowned because she applied her personal branding methods to her own success. She’s a best selling author, speaker, entertainer, LinkedIn trainer and instructor. So have pen and paper or device ready to take notes to take down these methods and insights that Natalia is going to share with you. And let’s start with one of the most important things, and that is to be authentic.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Yeah, it’s about being authentic is about giving your best to clearly portraying yourself or or being like really making people understand how you are different because there are so many individuals out there who claim that they are great at something or there are so many people with fancy titles and the other individual actually doesn’t understand what it is. How often did you get a business card or receive an email from somebody with the super fancy title? And you think I be task manager? What does that mean if I don’t understand what you do? There’s no way that I’m going to refer you or when you’re looking for potential client or a job or whatever. I cannot use my network to help you, or I cannot use my, my, my knowledge or whatever to to recommend you to to connect you with somebody because I have no clue who you actually are. And I think this is a little bit as if there would be money lying on the road or a street, and we’re just too lazy to bend down and take it up. So by by giving your best to really making yourself understandable and portraying your true self or your authentic self or however you want to call it, this is what it’s all about. I mean, leave the bragging at home, leave the Oh, look at me, I’m the best.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: This is not what it’s all about. Everybody finds their way how to present themselves. And of course, some people say, yeah, but I primarily read about the good things. Well, if you’re a woman, let me ask you this. Do you just go out of the house as you walk up? Or do you put a little bit of concealer here? A little bit of red lipstick there, a little bit of rouge, maybe a little bit of eyeliner. Is that fake? No. For me, it just means you have a beautiful foundation and you and hands and you work with what you already have. And the same is true for a gentleman. By the way, I think that beards are the makeup for gentlemen, because when you just wake up, you have a beard and everything is all over your face. But if you really style it, if you shave it, if you cut your hair, if you maybe wear great glasses, totally different first impression. And we human beings, we are judgmental beings. We have certain expectations of individuals how they should walk and talk or dress or whatever. And if you combine that thought with Shakespeare, who supposedly once said that life is just a stage, I would say go out there and play.
Paul Long: Yeah. And you know, that triggers a lot of thoughts, too. I mean, you’re spot on about that because, yeah, you know, I mean, I put on makeup, I may not have to do much with my hair, but you know, when when you know, I dress nicely inappropriately that. Makes me feel good about myself and optics do matter, you know? Ergo, which will talk about, you know, either in this interview or a second interview that we’ll be doing, which is how to crush it on LinkedIn. You know that that picture, that picture that you have on LinkedIn, as you’ve taught and in so many others have validated that first three seconds that they’re on your site. They’re already forming an impression of you. And that’s just the way the human beings are right or wrong. But the second thing I I’d like to bring up is is that. You know, David Cooley, again in an interview on New Way Forward, talking about how to present yourself to the job market or freelance market or whatever, says that you’ve got to connect the dots for people you can’t just say kind of like the resume I did coming out of college while I’ve done this and this and this and this, and maybe even I’ve achieved this, you’ve got to connect the dots to me to say, here’s who I am, here’s the value I can bring to you, and here’s what I have to offer. And personal branding is a great enabler for that, right?
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Absolutely, I mean, great personal brands, they use content, the art of content, marketing, the art of storytelling, however, you want to label that to show that what they claim is actually true. Everybody can create a beautiful city of any download one from the internet and claim that they’ve done it fantastic. But if you through your podcast, YouTube channel, blog, LinkedIn status update, Twitter feeds and there are so many other ways through every piece of content, you can actually prove and show that you are really the expert of what you do. Are you a great communicator? Well, then write a beautiful piece of communication. Are you great a drawing? Well, then create content that is beautiful, beautifully drawn. Use your skill, your talent, your gift, your wisdom, your knowledge and express that through content, which for me, every piece of content is a little bit like a mini project that you like a pro bono project like make a test work like an like a mini internship that you throw out there to the world. And when you use the right hashtag, when you post it, the right time, when you have the right people in your network, when you tag the right people in this post, it could open doors to so many opportunities.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: And that is also something that a lot of people don’t understand it. The whole job search game, they apply how they’ve applied in the nineteen seventies. Well, fantastic. That worked in the nineteen seventies. And now it’s a little bit later if you sent out two hundred civilians, most probably copy and paste with either no personalized letter. And then you say, Oh, nobody got back to me. Oh, really? You know what? I would change the game in the sense that I go out there with my content, with my knowledge, with my expertise, and I allow. I allow my work and my network to do the work for me. Because guess what? First of all, you’re going to do something different. You’re going to look for a job in a modern way. Plus, there are so many companies out there they actually don’t look for somebody. They don’t have a vacancy. But when they see you and they like you as a human being, they might create a job for you. This is next level job search.
Paul Long: If I’m an introvert or I’m like so many people, I can’t write, I don’t know what to say. You know, I can’t do those things. And of course, you and I always say, Oh, it’s easier than you think it is and you can. And the big thing is to just do. But what do you say to those people who are just like, Oh, I’m no good with social, I’m not a good writer. So what do I do when it comes to LinkedIn or other types of engagements to let people know who I am and what I have to offer, not just what my resume says?
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Mm hmm. First of all, I believe that the concept of being an introvert is totally misunderstood and used as an excuse for not doing the hard and smart work. An introvert, as I understand it, just means that you rather get your energy out of solitude. There are people who go out there, and when they’re amongst people is how to get energized. And this is how they grow. Does how they feel incredible and introverts rather get their energy from spending time at home and alone? And guess what, when you use social media, you can do this out of the privacy of your own home. So don’t use the introvert lame excuse on me because I am more of an introvert than an extrovert as well. Yes, I love being on stages. I love to entertain people. And after that, I need a lot of time. So that’s the first thing. Then if you say, Oh, I’m a bad writer, well, what about your speaking, OK, if you say I’m not a good speaker, what about your drawing skills? If you say, Oh, I’m not good at it as well, what kind of skills do you have that you can use there? Because there is a skill? That’s the first thing. Second of all, you could theoretically hire a copywriter or a social media freelancer or ask a friend who is good with writing or creating content who can help you with that. If that’s also not an option, what you could do is strategically comment on the posts of other people. Google the term Gary V. one point eighty strategy that is a strategy worth a million dollars because it teaches you how to engage with the content of other people. Through that, you will study the content pieces of other people and eventually once understood the game, you can then start creating your own ones. So once again, there is a will. There is a way.
Paul Long: Yeah, and as we will dig into in the how to crush it on LinkedIn segment. But, you know, even just. As you’ve advised before and as I’ve succeeded with and I’ve seen other people succeed with even, you know, being on like LinkedIn. And so I’m working on the being simple, you know, to just get you started because once you get started, once you start trying it, once you’re like, Oh my gosh, I’m actually doing this and that thing, just do it, just do it, just do it, and you’ll get better and better and better and more comfortable with it. But it’s even just sharing, you know, it’s looking at your sector. So let’s say you’re an engineer. Ok, exactly. And you’re an introvert. But if you’re looking at articles and people in LinkedIn as such that are in your sector and you’re like, I like this article, this is big, I’m going to share it. And I just make a few comments at the top saying I really found this interesting because, right, I mean, it can
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Be really simple. Simple, yes, yes. Just add two or three sentences, as you said, just don’t hit the share button, because then I’ll I’ll be thinking, Yeah, so what? Why did you share it? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Did you write it? Do you know somebody? What is your motivation? So if you start with two or three sentences, that is enough. And if you do that once per week, let’s start with once per month. Let me do it twice per month, then we do it once per week. And guess what? Surprise, surprise. Spoiler alert you’re not going to die. There will be no hater. People will not knock at your door. They will not burn your house down. And once you hit the publish button. Nothing is going to change, the world will keep on turning and all the drama that you have created in your head, it’s just drama.
Paul Long: Yes, it’s it’s like anything the fear of doing it is worse than the doing it, and once you do it, you’re like, Oh my gosh, this isn’t that bad, right?
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Absolutely, yeah.
Paul Long: So, so, so with that said, it kind of characterize for us some of the success stories. I mean, you’ve worked with so many people all over the world, every shape, color, size, you can imagine personality. What have you seen when people have have latched onto this and and gotten the momentum and done it? I mean, give us a characterization or an example.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: So I’m thinking because recently a load of people around their 50s knocked at my door and they say, Oh yeah, there is the social marketing thing or social media thing, and I don’t like it. But hey, we live in these times in which we live, so teach me that stuff. And I said, OK, you’re really willing to do the hard and smart work on and people people say, yes, we do that. So we usually start with their profile sharpening. So we really dig deeper and understand questions like What problems do you solve? For whom? Where is the end result? How do you want to be perceived? How do you want to make people feel? Who’s your target audience? What’s your trademark and all of these things? So we optimize the LinkedIn profile and you won’t believe it, Paul. Some people already get job opportunities just by optimizing their LinkedIn profile because people in their network will see or you change position or you move to New York or, Oh wow, you’ve lost weight or you look so energized because they upload a new profile picture. So just updating their LinkedIn profile can already result in opportunities. So for me, this makes me super happy that they expand their network and they connect with potential clients, with former clients and whatever. And there’s always, always, always at least this one call or catch up or virtual catch up that opens doors to other opportunities.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: People, once they create content, they are found. They are invited to podcast and invited to be a speaker here or there. They get leads, they get clients, they get job opportunities. They funnily enough, one of my clients. She joins me and she wanted to teach her team how to use LinkedIn as a sales tool, and her team was really excited about that. But after less than one and a half months, another company approached her. She wasn’t looking for a job, but a company that was kind of a competitor, and they said, We love what you do, how much money do you make, how we want to offer you more? Come to us because that’s actually what we need. So she left her job, joined this new company and then could really work with LinkedIn and share her content or whatever. And she was welcome and celebrated there, so the amount of opportunities is literally limitless and the majority of us don’t get started because we so scared, especially of the opinions of other people, maybe the people that we love, maybe people who. And this is where I also figured out. Usually, those who criticize you have no clue how personal branding or LinkedIn or content works. So as everything in life really double check if you want to accept the opinion or feedback of people who have no clue what they talk about.
Paul Long: Yeah, and I’m glad you mentioned that. And because also with my endeavor too and what I’ve heard from other people in roles such as yours in mine, that a couple of things in the first place. It’s just like, you know, the life observation that if somebody is mad or mean or harsh or whatever, it’s really a problem that they have within themselves. It’s not about you. And there are going to be people out there who have nothing better to do than to criticize. But the thing is, is that it’s it’s their opinion and it’s their own head and it’s their own thing. It really, in a way has absolutely nothing to do with you. And you know, I’ve gotten some of those comments before, and I just I blow them off because overwhelmingly, I get the positive comments. I get people saying, thank you for sharing this. Oh, I found this helpful. You know, what I’ve learned from you is is that every time I do a LinkedIn post or YouTube or whatever, you know, I invite the comments and I do a specifically. I say, What do you think or do you think this is right or wrong or whatever? And what do people want to do? They want to share their opinion, and it’s not about you. It’s what you’re talking about, which kind of leads to the second thing real quickly is that. And I thought this was a brilliant insight that you gave me when we first met and that. It’s when you start doing things like posting on social media, these articles or thoughts that you have in everything, you are a thought leader and I said, Wait a minute. No, it’s not like you’re, you know, Richard Branson or Steve Jobs or something, and you’re like, No, you’re leading thought. You’re provoking thought and discussion and opinion. And that’s something that even the biggest introvert in the world can do.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Absolutely, I mean, focus on your niche or focus on your target audience, focus on the people that you want to reach. I work with clients who focus on the topic of how do I set up my business in Asia or I want to help mothers start their own online business or I want to help. I don’t know men to become better fathers. So they positioned themselves in a really, really incredible, let’s say, pool or they have designed a target audience that is very, very pointed. So when they have millions of followers, will will their posts go viral? No. But within their audience, within their industry, within their bubble, within their niche, within their however you want to call it. They are seen as somebody who leads thought, who inspires conversation, who connects people, who builds an online community, a safe space where like minded people meet to talk about the things that are important to them and they don’t care about the rest of the world because this is the place where you meet when you want to talk about retirement. This is the place where you want to talk about cigars.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: This is the place when you want to talk about mindfulness. This is the place where you want to meet and talk about dogs or cooking or whatever, and that’s fine. So we build all of these beautiful little bubbles that can coexist. And instead of measuring yourself with people who have nothing to do with, you have totally different targets who are in a different age group. Who, who, who don’t want to live and work like you. Why do you do that? It just creates pain. So understand that you’re allowed to be the queen or the king or the hero in your own world, in your own digital community that you create. And also don’t get how I say that sad or embarrassed or whatever when you just have three hundred followers or just have 90 people engaging with your content. Imagine you would book a ballroom or you would stand on the stage, or you would have 90 people there or 40 people there or 400 people there, real human beings. If you have the same interest, you could create so much magic together.
Paul Long: Boy, yeah, and that well in the first place is Seth Godin says. We often think, Oh, I need thousands of people, I need millions of people and stuff like that. He says What is your minimum viable audience? What is the size audience? You, Natalia, need to succeed at your enterprise? What I need to succeed at my enterprise. If you’re if you’re looking for a job, you need one. You need one exactly the same. And the point is is that when you connect or you’re applying or whatever, that person is going to check you out on LinkedIn and if you’re doing these things. It shows not only who you are, but it shows you’re up to date, you know. There was a survey done on hiring managers that said, You know, I’m not being anxious toward older people. They’re out of date. They’re not going to fit in with this team. This shows that you’re up to date. And by the way, and looking at this stuff and generating conversations intellectually, you’re getting up to date. I mean, it’s a beautiful symbiotic ecosphere of of what you need to do to succeed in what you need to succeed. Yeah. How did you do it? How did you how did I do it? I mean, I always tout the fact that she obviously knows what she’s talking about because she succeeded herself in growing from being unknown to a globally recognized expert. How did you do it?
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Step by step, day by day, post by post. There is no magic formula. I literally woke up one day realizing I’m not happy and I look successful on paper, but I don’t feel anything. I actually feel really sad. I feel empty. And this is when I went on a self-imposed sabbatical to redesign myself to to let go of everything that I thought I always knew and to come up with better answers. And since I’m a kid, I was always fascinated by the North American way of living the way, how you folks market yourself. I was like, Oh, this is fantastic because I’m German. I now live in the United Arab Emirates, and I think there is a big cultural difference in the way how how we present ourselves. And this is when I realized, you know what? Let me learn from the best. So I studied one book after the other. I watched one documentary after the other. I implemented all of the things that I’ve learned in different videos from a Tim Ferriss, from a Gary Vaynerchuk, from a Tony Robbins, from Oprah Winfrey, from a Mel Robbins. All of these people I I didn’t only consume, but it also always applied one thing. And when you apply one thing every day. My goodness. Over a period of seven years, of course, you’re going to be successful in your bubble. And it started with me acknowledging that I could do better and that I am worthy of living a good life and having a job that really makes me happy. So let’s start with that. You deserve to be happy and you deserve to work in your dream job. If you don’t give yourself permission to have that to be that nobody else is going to do it.
Paul Long: Wonderful Life advice. And you’re the living embodiment of that success because you’ve you’ve done it and you’ve kept going, you know, you have kept improving yourself, you’ve kept focusing on things because the other thing and I think you’re a prime example of this too, and this gets not just a personal branding, but why you’re doing the personal branding for all of us when we’re trying to find a new way forward. He said, you know, it takes some courage to change. It takes some within ourselves and sometimes you have to confront some things, but the courage builds and I think you’re the embodiment of that. I mean, I have seen you get stronger and stronger and more courage over the years. We comentario to each other and and I think that’s a great life lesson because. It was hard for you at first, and it’s been hard for you sometimes, but as you’ve often characterized, the payoff is phenomenal, right?
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Absolutely. Yeah. And I think it was also Tony Robbins who said that change is pain and we only change when the pain. I hope I don’t butcher it when the pain of staying the same is bigger than the pain of change. So the big question that you maybe have to answer or to to ponder on it might be painful. Have you suffered enough if you didn’t suffer enough? Most probably are not going to change. But you know what? I think life works in mysterious ways. If you don’t collect all of the courage right now in order to make that your life will say, OK, I’ll wait another round. And then she comes and she has a baseball bat, and next time it might be your head. And if you don’t get that one, I’m not putting a spell on you. Think, Natalia. And over two years. What are the three words?
Paul Long: Ok, yeah, the three things. And by the way, I also invite you to connect virtually in a recording to our other interview, which is on how to crush it on LinkedIn, which is so foundational. And by the way, here’s her book Do you have a copy? Yes, you can’t miss.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: I have so
Paul Long: Highly regarded book on how to crush it on LinkedIn. So. All right. You’re right. Natalia, I need to do this. What are the first three critical steps, mindsets, approaches, whatever? What are your top three pieces of advice for me?
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: First of all, we’ve heard this a trillion times, and I repeat again, why, what’s your why? What’s your reason? What’s your motivation if you don’t know why you’re doing this? Are not going to do this? So get clear on your agenda, on your reason, on your target, on your purpose, whatever term you want to use. These are just labels. So know your why. Because when you will be in moments of doubt or moments of and may be when you can always look at this piece of paper, the sentence I want to draw it at the wall and reconnect with. This is why I’m doing it. Fantastic. Ok, then ideally you set up a plan because you don’t need to. You don’t need to create something huge and fancy, and that a business plan and make our strategy. But you know where you want to be. And you know when you want to be there. So plan backwards. What can you do in three months to get there in one month and one week? What can I do today? What is the one little tiny little baby step that you can achieve in order to get there? And I highly recommend you work with an accountability partner, find a group of people who want to achieve the same thing. Find them online. Go to a meeting. Invest in a coach. Just somehow get the accountability. If it’s not positive, accountability in the sense of, Hey, we do this together and what do you think and how have you grown, then use something that I call negative accountability. Each time I don’t do blank, I pay my friend 20 bucks. That’s what also work.
Paul Long: I love that, yeah, an accountability buddy, I love that and, you know, masterminding, teaming up with people, you know, whatever you’re trying to do, somebody else is trying to do it and somebody else has already done it. So I’ll add number four. Number four, get in touch with Natalia. The other option, I mean, just go do it from the best. Natalia, absolutely. As always, phenomenally wonderful. I invite everybody to. In fact, I insist. Check out our discussion on LinkedIn and how to crush it on LinkedIn, because that is, you know, if you think about it 30 years ago, how did you get yourself out there? How did you get the world out there? Well, now, among other sources, you’ve got LinkedIn. We’re going to give you the insights on how to crush it on that. Natalia, thank you so much.
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: All right. Thanks, Paul.
Paul Long: If you like this, there’s a lot more on YouTube. Also, there’s even more on new way forward. That’s new way fwt. There you can subscribe. You’ll get a free newsletter regularly, you’ll get special updates and you’ll get a free download to help you step by step. Get going on your new way forward.