The Virtual CMO

Why Building a Strong Personal Brand Helps Your Business with Rob Levinson

September 27, 2021 Eric Dickmann, Rob Levinson Season 6 Episode 14
Why Building a Strong Personal Brand Helps Your Business with Rob Levinson
The Virtual CMO
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The Virtual CMO
Why Building a Strong Personal Brand Helps Your Business with Rob Levinson
Sep 27, 2021 Season 6 Episode 14
Eric Dickmann, Rob Levinson

In episode 95, host Eric Dickmann interviews Rob Levinson on the podcast. Rob is the Co-Founder of Leverage Advisors, a company that helps position businesses for long-term financial, operating, and market success. Rob has over 35 years of experience in branding, positioning, and storytelling. He helps companies when they need a laser-focused brand story that aligns with their business strategy.

Prior to founding Leverage Advisors, Rob was a Principal at Brand Blueprint, a brand strategy firm and was a “Marketing Strategies” columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Rob is a guest lecturer at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University and also helps clients and coaches develop their personal brand narrative.

For more information and access to the resources mentioned in this episode, visit: https://fiveechelon.com/why-building-strong-personal-brand-helps-your-business-s6ep14/

A fractional CMO can help build out a comprehensive marketing strategy and execute targeted campaigns designed to increase awareness and generate demand for your business...without the expense of a full-time hire.

The Five Echelon Group - Fractional CMO and strategic marketing advisory services designed for SMBs looking to grow. Learn more at: 

https://fiveechelon.com


Show Notes Transcript

In episode 95, host Eric Dickmann interviews Rob Levinson on the podcast. Rob is the Co-Founder of Leverage Advisors, a company that helps position businesses for long-term financial, operating, and market success. Rob has over 35 years of experience in branding, positioning, and storytelling. He helps companies when they need a laser-focused brand story that aligns with their business strategy.

Prior to founding Leverage Advisors, Rob was a Principal at Brand Blueprint, a brand strategy firm and was a “Marketing Strategies” columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Rob is a guest lecturer at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University and also helps clients and coaches develop their personal brand narrative.

For more information and access to the resources mentioned in this episode, visit: https://fiveechelon.com/why-building-strong-personal-brand-helps-your-business-s6ep14/

A fractional CMO can help build out a comprehensive marketing strategy and execute targeted campaigns designed to increase awareness and generate demand for your business...without the expense of a full-time hire.

The Five Echelon Group - Fractional CMO and strategic marketing advisory services designed for SMBs looking to grow. Learn more at: 

https://fiveechelon.com


Eric Dickmann:

Welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm your host, Eric Dickmann. In this podcast, we have conversations with marketing professionals who share the strategies, tactics, and mindset you can use to improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities and grow your business. This week, I'm excited to welcome Rob Levinson to the podcast. Rob is the co-founder of Leverage Advisors, a company that helps position businesses for longterm financial, operating, and market success. Rob has over 35 years of experience in branding, positioning and storytelling. He helps companies when they need a laser-focused brand story that aligns with their business strategy. Prior to founding Leverage Advisors. Rob was a principal at Brand Blueprint, a brand strategy firm, and was also a Marketing Strategies columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Rob is a guest lecturer at Boston University, and also helps clients and coaches develop their own personal brand narrative. I think you're going to enjoy this conversation with Rob, as we talk about the importance of story, and why it's important to build a personal brand for your business. Please help me welcome Rob to the podcast. Hey, Rob, welcome to The Virtual CMO podcast. I'm glad you could join us today.

Rob Levinson:

Hey, Eric. I am thrilled to be here. Thanks for having me.

Eric Dickmann:

I'm glad you're here today because I think you are now the second or third guest that I've had on this podcast that has actually been a connection from Lunch Club. That has proven to be a very valuable networking tool. How have you found it?

Rob Levinson:

Oh, I totally agree. I've had wonderful conversations with people really all over the world. And because I'm in marketing, such as yourself, I can pretty much connect with anybody because every single person I speak to on Lunch Club either has bought my services before or needs them again. wonderful.

Eric Dickmann:

No, that's great. You know one of the things that I'm interested in talking to you about today, because we're going to get into this whole idea of branding, especially around personal branding. And one of the things that I noticed on a tool like a Lunch Club, and it could be the same for a social profile on Twitter or on LinkedIn, or whatnot. But there are some people who have nothing. They don't load up a picture, they don't put anything in their description that says what their interests are or who they are, or what they do. They really just have their name, their position, and maybe the company that they work for. Deconstruct this a little bit. That's terrible personal branding right out of the gate.

Rob Levinson:

Well, it's anti branding actually is what it is. And the way I like to talk about personal branding, it is the story that you tell about yourself and you put out there into the world. So if you meet someone who doesn't have a title or doesn't have a photograph, or doesn't have any description, I just see that as a lost opportunity, because you need to do a lot of work to figure out who that person is. Now as a matter of fact, through Lunch Club, you know at the beginning of the conversation, people introduce themselves and say what they do. And I've had many people, successful people who just kind of trip, stumble, and fall when it comes time to talking about themselves, which also gives me a wonderful way to pivot to what I do which is basically helping people create a brand narrative that gives them confidence to walk into any room and feel really good about themselves.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, because a personal brand isn't your job description, right? I'm a doctor, I'm a lawyer, I'm a marketer, that's what you do that isn't who you are. That's not your brand. You know when you look out there and we should probably talk about celebrities because they are brands that many people would know and recognize, but who do you see out there that really has done a stellar job with their personal branding?

Rob Levinson:

Oh, so many people come to mind, but one person I'm particularly intrigued by these days is Lady Gaga. Kind of came on the scene with her meat dress and being extreme, and very outrageous. And over the course of her career, her brand has stood for so much. I mean, she is famously loyal to her fans, has an incredibly loyal fan base, and they will follow her anywhere. So she could be singing at the inauguration, she could be singing at the Super Bowl, she could be singing on the Academy Awards, or she could be singing with Tony Bennett, they're gonna follow her wherever she goes, because she is a very consistent message, she's extremely inclusive, and she has a lot of integrity. And I think people respect that about her. I mean if you can get a hug from Julie Andrews after doing a Sound of Music medley, and then be with President Biden as inauguration, tells us a lot about someone.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, and I love that you focus on the consistency out there and the things that people stand for as a way to really identify themselves to a cause that may be larger than they are. And I think that that's so important too as people cultivate their brand, whether you're posting things on LinkedIn, or you're posting things on Instagram, or whatever, we all know that that content is cultivated. But what direction are you taking it, right? What are you trying to tell in terms of a story? And you know, that gets to the whole idea of building that personal brand story. What are some of the elements that you think make a really strong personal brand story?

Rob Levinson:

Well, when I work with people to develop their personal brand narrative, the very first thing I say to them is, you're fine just the way you are. So be your authentic self, and if you try to put yourself out there as something that you're not, A it's not sustainable and B it's often not very credible. So the very first thing I tell people to do when developing a personal brand is take a really good look in the mirror. And identify what are my key strengths? What am I really good at? What do people turn to me for? What am I really proud of? List, all those things. And then on the other side of the paper, write things you know about yourself that maybe aren't so flattering. You have to understand who you are to tell a good and a strategic story. So the first thing, take a look in the mirror and really do an honest assessment of yourself. So what you think of yourself is interesting, but even more interesting is how you are perceived by others. Jeff Bezos famously said a brand is what people say about you after you've left the room. So, what I recommend clients do is do a survey monkey. And identify you know, 6 or 8, or 10 people who you really respect and ask them if they will answer some questions about your personal brand. Always tell them they can answer anonymously, but ask them questions like you know, what is Eric best at? If they were to make a movie about Eric, who would play him? If Eric was a car, what model would he be and why? And the reason I have questions like this, these are all associations. Because if it's someone you know, they're not gonna want to say negative things, but if you figure out the car and you figure out what you're best at, and you figure out who will play, a picture emerges of how you are perceived in the marketplace. So then of course you have to say, okay, this is how I see myself, this is how people I respect perceive me, where's their commonality? And where is the areas for improvement? And where can I go with this? So whenever I help people develop personal brands I always say be as aspirational as possible, because you don't want to be judged on who you are necessarily today, but the person that you could be or how you want people to see you. So that's the first thing I recommend is it's basically the same as doing market research. It's the same as I would do for any other client. So that's the first step I recommend. And once you do your research and have your data, the next thing that I suggest people do, and I did this as a very high level. Eric obviously. But there are certain building blocks that you need to tell your story. So what I suggest people do is based on what you've learned in your research and what you know to be true about yourself, what are the top three messages you want to put out there in the world? And I purposely say three, because if you tell people two things, it's not enough and four things, it's too much. People like threes. So what's the first thing you want people to know about you? What's the second thing, and what's the third thing? And once you kind of know those key messages, out of that can come a really terrific elevator speech. I think people still use that expression, but basically it's a short statement to describe who you are. And the reason why this elevator pitch is so important is that it is what you're telling the world you want them to know about you. So for example, when I tell people about my background, there are a couple of key things that I always mentioned. I mentioned having had a career on Madison Avenue, working on high-end lifestyle brands, I talk about being a marketing strategies columnist for the Wall Street Journal, I talk about being an independent art dealer, I talk about being a consultant, and I give them sort of highlights. And all of those highlights that I share are conversation starters, because there's always a point of commonality with someone. So my recommendations when you're developing your messages and you're developing your elevator speech, give people just a little cat nip, give them something that's going to intrigue them and ask them to explain more. And that's when you can tell your authentic story. And once you have those brand elements together what I recommend and I know that you know this because you do it so well is to go go narrow or go wide, but tell your story. So it's all about being extremely consistent. So when I see you on LinkedIn and then maybe I see you on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, what are you consistently saying about yourself? Because if you are putting disparate messages up there, it's very confusing. And here's sort of my premise for doing all of this. You know, we are so divulged all day long with alerts and news and headlines, and all this stuff. People just get news alerts all day long. So you need to tell a story that is short, unique, and compelling. And what I always have to tell people is that even though I'm personally very long winded, my expertise is helping make a long story short. Because that's all people have an appetite for today.

Eric Dickmann:

I love that. And I love the way you frame that because I think that's very digestible to people. And you know you started out talking about asking people sort of what they think of you, and I love the fact that you do that through associations because people don't like to say negative things, but sometimes through an association, you can start to say something about somebody without actually saying it. And I love that. I've also heard from people, why do people call you on the phone? What advice are they asking you? What are you a perceived expert in? And if you start to look at that, even though it may be hard to identify for yourself, there are clues all around you, right? From your friends, from your family, as to what people really think your skills and attributes are.

Rob Levinson:

Well let me give you a recent example. So I work with a lot of financial services professionals and lawyers. They are trying to differentiate their expertise from the zillions of other people that do the same thing. was working with this one guy and he was like, you know late fifties, he had a good business, but he wanted to catapult into a different area. So he said, Rob, my brand narrative is nowhere, can we work together? So a perfect example of what I just said to you is when I asked him, well, if you were an automobile, what make and model would you be? And he said, oh, I'm a Ferrari. I'm fast., I'm sleek, I'm cutting edge, and catch me if you can. Okay, so when someone tells me something about themselves, I tend to believe him. And then we did the survey monkey to some of his clients. They did not see him as a Lamborghini, him as a Toyota Camry, a Honda Accord, you know a Buick Regal, real middle of the road, reliable, get the job done from point A to point B. And I said, okay, you've got a huge disconnect here. You think you're here, your clients see you here. So we need to give them some data points so they see you more as the Lamborghini and develop a narrative that basically markets against what their perception of you is.

Eric Dickmann:

And I think that gets to that whole authenticity as well, right? You can see people, especially online, this is so common, that are clearly trying to portray themselves one way, but it comes across as inauthentic. There's just something that you say, this doesn't match this, isn't a fit for this person that I know, but they're trying very hard to present a certain image that just isn't who they really are.

Rob Levinson:

And it's not sustainable, but you know what, Eric, I got to say., when I turned 50, which was a couple of years ago, all of a sudden, I felt very different. I mean, I'd been in the corporate America for years and years and years and a 50, I just said, you know what, I'm going to be exactly who I am. And my clients will, will find me. And they will like me, or they won't like me. And it's extremely liberating to, to be authentic to who you are and then put that. Unabashedly put that persona forward in areas that you can have your most success.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, there is something very gratifying and rewarding about just being an authentic person, just really being yourself. And that doesn't mean you can't grow or you can'twork on areas of your life that you want to change and make better, but if you are really true to who you are, that doesn't mean you have to show all the bad stuff, right? You don't have to sort of let everything hang out there, but yeah, you, you want to accentuate the things that are truly the best parts of you.

Rob Levinson:

You know, you brought up how people put themselves out there. And I'm a huge LinkedIn user, supporter, believer, because in business, in these times, if you're speaking to someone on the phone, you've already gone to their LinkedIn profile and that tells you everything that they want you to know about you. And what I've discovered is a lot of people are doing a really lousy job of positioning themselves. So for example, we all have our picture right here and behind us is a banner. And I tell my clients, that's your billboard. So you might want a picture of a mountain range that looks evocative about, I don't know what. But instead, you might want to say, this is what. I do. So if you go to my LinkedIn profile, you'll see it says brand strategy, mission, vision workshops, and personal branding. Those are the three buckets of things that I do. And then people also fall down off when it comes down to writing their title. So if you put down VP of Marketing, that tells me everything, tells me nothing. It doesn't tell it. Doesn't tell me how you work, it doesn't tell me what the benefit is I would get by hiring you. It's not clever, it's not interesting. it's completely generic. And then the most important thing is that whole About Me section. Because a lot of times people say, I've done this, I've done that, I've done this, I've done that. And they keep on saying, okay, that's great. We can all read your resume, but we should really focus on is not what you've done. But what benefit do you bring others? Because that's basically what everyone is interested in. What can you provide to me? What can you give to me? And people don't realize that.

Eric Dickmann:

Hey, it's Eric here and we'll be right back to the podcast. But first, are you ready to grow, scale, and take your marketing to the next level? If so, The Five Echelon Group's Virtual CMO consulting service may be a great fit for you. We can help build a strategic marketing plan for your business and manage its execution, step-by-step. We'll focus on areas like how to attract more leads. How to create compelling messaging that resonates with your ideal customers. How to strategically package and position your products and services. How to increase lead conversion, improve your margins, and scale your business. To find out more about our consulting offerings and schedule a consultation, go to fiveechelon.com and click on Services. Now back to the podcast. No, that's such an important point because it really is about giving value and you want your personal brand to be giving as well. And one of the things that you mentioned earlier, as you built that personal story was finding things as ways that you can connect with your audience with people that you're speaking with. I don't know how many times I've been in a networking session where somebody is just going on and on, and there's no opportunity to grab on to anything that they're saying and contribute. It's a monologue, it's not a conversation.

Rob Levinson:

Well, that is a pet peeve of mine. When people, particularly at formal networking groups where people say, get up and introduce yourself. And I'm going to really date myself here, but I think people that slip in that diskette and they just. Blah, blah, blah, all over the place. And it's full of jargon and it's full of platitudes and it doesn't mean anything. And, you know, I'm a reasonably intelligent person, Eric, but I very often find myself in front of people who are going on and on about they do but I don't understand that at all. I can't track.

Eric Dickmann:

Yes.

Rob Levinson:

Just last week I had a new client and she had just made a big investment in having her resume redone. She hands me this resume and it was just, it was a mess. On the left-hand banner, there were her expertise and there were 12, and then were her social skills, and then there were 10, and then there were some education things over here, and then there was her employment over here. And I said to her, okay. I'm reading all your titles, I don't even know what field, I think you're in healthcare? I can't really tell. So I can't tell what you do and I don't know where to look. And so that's an example of someone just throwing spaghetti against the wall and feeling as though they have to mention all the buzzwords or whatever that their industry is looking for. But in the end, it was just a big confusing mess.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, I see that. So often, you know, intentionally on this podcast, we don't open every episode with me asking the guest tell me a little bit about yourself, because oftentimes when I've done that 15 minutes into the show, we're still going through that introductory paragraph of tell me who you are, right? And so we've got to take that offline now because so many people haven't developed that elevator pitch, that good personal brand story to sort of sum it up, get people interested. Instead, they go through a litany of accomplishments and what they've done and where they've worked, which quite honestly is boring. There's a, there's another show out there, it's another podcast, I won't throw under the bus, but it's another CMO podcast. And they bring on a lot of Fortune 500 CMOs. And it's this love fest where they just talk about all the people that they've worked with and name drop this and this company that, but they're not giving anything back really. They're not giving anything of value that people can really relate to. You have to have those openings where people can really start to engage with you.

Rob Levinson:

Well, that's the whole thing, because you made a wonderful point at the top of this conversation is you want to have a conversation starter. You need to give someone something to hold onto. So you give them your greatest hits of your career and help with someone connect on something somewhere.

Eric Dickmann:

I think we're all familiar with branding in terms of what happens for companies, right? What you want to do, your logos, your fonts, your colors, all of this kind of thing. How would you look at corporate branding as being different than personal branding?

Rob Levinson:

Well, personal brand is more personal.

Eric Dickmann:

There we go. Okay.

Rob Levinson:

That's the whole thing, because you know the lion's share of my career has been in corporate brand strategy. And the way I got into a personal brand new was about seven years ago. I had rebranded a executive search firm. And when I was done delivering their brand blueprint, which they were going to use to update their website and sales and marketing materials, the CEO said to me, Rob, this has been super helpful and helping us, you know, move the needle in the company, but I'm having trouble with my consultants because they're on the phone, reading their scripts, and they're trying to connect with the prospects and there it's just not landing. Can you help develop a personal brand for them? So you know, when you're a consultant, the answer's always Yes. So I said, of course I can help you. And then I very quickly realized that the same tenants I use to brand a corporation can be nuanced and refined to to brand individual. So the approach isn't really that different. Um, A company might have to rely more on things like, you know, their logo or their imagery, or their theme song, or their website, or something. But with individuals, it's how you put yourself out there in the world. So, when I work with corporate clients and I give them a brand blueprint, I mean they are worried about things like messaging and positioning which is no different than an individual with corporations, they might be more reliant on things like logos or color palettes or fonts or theme songs. But with individuals, it really is about how you present yourself to the world because people will make assumptions about the things that you intentionally tell them. If you'll just indulge me for one minute, because this really was a mind blowing experience for me. So I have always driven BMW, so it was just my thing. I love them. And then I got divorced, I thought, you know what, I'm over the BMW, I'm going real practical. So I got a Toyota Avanza.

Eric Dickmann:

Okay.

Rob Levinson:

Which I thought was a nice car, it was a new model, that was kind of cool, kind of SUV ish. Anyway, so I was pitching business with an agency and we met at a hotel, we pitched the business, and then we came down to the concierge to get our cars. And my car was the first one that came out. And the president of the agency said, is that what you drive? I said, yeah. She said, don't let the client see that it's not a good look. And I thought, well, that wasn't very nice. And then about six months later, I was picking up a client, a paying client who I just rebranded. We were going to a conference. He got into my car. He said, this is what you drive? I said, Yeah. I really like it. He said, I just don't kind of see you this way. Then the third time, about four or five months after that, I met a client from New York and he took the train from New York to Connecticut and I drove to Connecticut. We had our meeting going out to dinner. I picked him up in front of the hotel. And he said, Rob, I'm really confused. I thought you drove from home. I said, I did. He said, why do you have a rental? And I thought, okay, those are three data points. Three people who work with me and they're looking at the automobile that I drive, and they don't think it's a connect with the value that I'm bringing them. It was a bad reflection on me. So just when you think that people aren't making judgements and assessments on those things, they truly are. And really, well, you know what I did. Eric,

Eric Dickmann:

You got yourself a BMW.

Rob Levinson:

You know, I returned that car for a BMW. But I just, I couldn't believe it happened. So people look at how you present yourself and the things that you surround yourself with the, their, their cues and their clues to who you are.

Eric Dickmann:

It's interesting that you say that because if you're listening to this in audio, you can't see, but I wear a sport coat every time I do one of these interviews. And so far of every podcast that I've been on, I'm the only guy that's wearing a sport coat in 95 degree heat, but nobody has ever questioned it because those people that know me know that that's just very much who I am. That that's just sort of the look that I would have, even when I worked in a very casual office environment, I was the guy who put on a coat every day to come in. And it's just like you said, it does it mesh with who you are, doesn't it?

Rob Levinson:

Well, I'm really glad you brought that up because when we first locked eyes on this podcast, I'm like, Oh geez. I should have won a sport coat. Not that bad. But you presented yourself with such professionalism, and I really appreciated that. It told me something about you without saying a word.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, these are visual cues, right? And when you talk about corporate brands versus personal brands, I've had several guests on the show. I had one young lady who she wore green, that was her color, so everything on our website was green. Every had green. Same thing, I had a guy who was into purple, and so everything that he did, his backdrops, his ties and shirts, everything was purple. He was trying to associate that. You look at somebody like Oprah, she's got a font, right? You know, if you see Oprah spelled out, it's always sort of in that same swirly font. So even some of those same corporate branding tips, you can employ for personal branding because it can help people identify you better.

Rob Levinson:

It helps people to understand who you are and what you're offering.

Eric Dickmann:

Well, and you said it before we live in a sea of notifications, there's so much noise coming at you and little visual cues I think can really help people sort of say, oh yeah, that's the guy. He was the guy wearing the sport coat or, oh he was the guy in the purple shirt or something like that. Little things like that, I think can help make a big difference as you take that to a business card or a personal website, or as you said, your LinkedIn profile and what you're doing on that banner.

Rob Levinson:

Well, you know, what I was going to say that this some congruency between individuals and corporate branding. And this is particularly true after COVID. But you know, people don't want to just support companies that sell them things that they want. They want the companies and the brands they associate with to actually stand for something that actually care about something above and beyond what they're selling. And that is the exact same thing for individuals. So to your point, Eric. If someone goes through a litany of their skillset, well that tells me what you do, it tells me nothing about you. And if you want to be part of my organization or you want me to hire you specifically, you need to give me something more. I think a lot of times people were just sort of genericized and they were trying to be professional by toting the line and using the jargon and all the buzzwords and stuff, but it ends up just being a sea of sameness.

Eric Dickmann:

I think there's also some risk of associating yourself with things that aren't authentically things that you really believe in or support. You know, When there was the protest and the various movements that have been going on. People have supported those. But that literally might be the only time that you ever heard anybody talk about some of these issues. And sometimes I think that kind of branding can come across as being very inauthentic.

Rob Levinson:

Well, if it's a one note or one-off, I should say there's no value to that. But you know, obviously I noticed there's been such heightened awareness of social justice in the last two years or so that I kind of disagree with you in a way of selling, wants to, you know, put a pride flag on something at least they know that they should care.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, well, that's a good point.

Rob Levinson:

At least they said that, okay. I need to at least telegraph to the world that I am aware of what's happening in the world. And I'm just going to raise my hand and say, yeah, this is what I'm going to do. And if it's inauthentic, if it's just a one note, well that's not too good, but I think it's kind of better than nothing. I mean baby steps.

Eric Dickmann:

Baby steps. Right. But it would be great to see people take that to the next level, right? And say, okay, I'm not just going to do it for one month. I'm going to talk about this multiple times during the year or make it part of my profile or whatever. We just keep coming back to this whole idea of authenticity and, and it's so important. So I'd love to know a little bit more about how you help clients. What what's a typical engagement look like? How does somebody come to a personal branding expert and say, Hey, I need your help. What does that look like?

Rob Levinson:

Uh, Usually people come to me. I have sort of three buckets of clients. One, I did not mention to you that when I started doing those personal branding workshops, in one of those workshops, somebody told the professor at Boston University about my workshop and this professor asked me to come and basically teach at the graduate level, which I've been doing for the last five years or so. So what she knew was that she was gonna graduate all these newly minted MBAs, and they were like deer in the headlights. So needed, a lauch story. They needed a launch story that was going to differentiate themselves from the person next to them. So I work with a lot of recent graduates. I work with mid-level people trying to, get to the next level in their organization or to be perceived in a different way. Then I finally work with c-suite executives because I know you know this to be true, Eric. It's lonely to be in the C-suite. And I think it's lonely because people, the C-suite is expected to that's where the buck stops. And a lot of times the C-suite doesn't want to appear vulnerable or appear not to know some thing, because of course that is their responsibility. But in having that wall up, it creates a distance and people don't really understand who they are personally. So when I work with someone, it could be any number of things. I help people to develop those key messages that we talked about, the one or two or three things that they want to communicate to the world, what they're all about, what their value and what it's like to work with them. That's the first thing. And then we do the elevator speech. I know a lot of times there'll be some, either presentation skills training, or mock interview training. So I'll help people prepare for an event. Very often I help people update their resumes, which like the one I explained to you before was just a hot mess. And then I also do LinkedIn profile updates. So it's really how you walk into a room and then it's how you market yourself through social media and your resume. But really, it takes on a life of its own because some people, I have this thing called speed branding. It's 90 minutes. And prior to that 90 minute session, I go through a questionnaire with clients. Then I ask them what are the key areas you want to work on? Now? What's the one question you want answered. A few to feel. So this is not the message was worthwhile. So I have a lot of people doing that because it's not expensive. It's easy, it's fun. But then they're also the multi meeting, coaching that I just explained to you before. And I also have that personal branding workshop that I offer to corporations. So it's you know, it's like a training element for COVID workers, working remotely, talk to them, how to develop their personal brand. So those are the three buckets. And then of course, I'm just available on council when situations come up, a lot of people have social anxiety and I can sort of help talk them off the ledge so they can feel good about that next meeting or that presentation that will have you.

Eric Dickmann:

Well, and We also live in a time when there are some fantastic creators out there, especially younger people. They just seem to have a knack for creating great content and really building a lot of these personal brands. Others, you know have certain demographics, it's a little bit more intimidating to get out there and create that online persona. And we live in a digital world. Now you really need to have some online presence as well. And there's a

Rob Levinson:

God. It's not a nice to have, it's a got to have. if you're not on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or some combination thereof, you don't have a profile.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, That's right.

Rob Levinson:

You don't exist.

Eric Dickmann:

It's like a company, right? If they don't have a webpage, a website, they don't exist because people are going to look for it. It's so important.

Rob Levinson:

Well, this is something I also recommend with personal branding. Always keep your lights bright, always and particularly on LinkedIn. So every week I post something, it's either original content or I'm sharing something that I learned something relevant to what I do. I mean for me, all things, all roads lead to branding and personal branding. So I do that every week and I always comment and follow other people. And I really recommend everybody do that. It doesn't take a lot of time. But it keeps your lights bright and people know who you are and you never know where it's going to go.

Eric Dickmann:

Yeah, I love that. Light's bright. I like it. Rob, how can people get ahold of you?

Rob Levinson:

Well, the best way to reach me is at rob@brandyoubetter.com. That's B R A N D Y O U B E T T E R.com. That's the best way.

Eric Dickmann:

Oh, that's perfect. I'll make sure that we have all that linked up in the show notes so that people can find you there and online. Because they should check out that LinkedIn banner, if you're looking for an example of what you should do with that real estate there and you should take advantage of it for sure. Rob, this has been a great discussion. I love talking about personal branding and I think you've given some very practical advice here today. So thanks so much for being a guest on the show. I've really enjoyed it.

Rob Levinson:

Eric. I thank you too. This is wonderful. Thank you.

Eric Dickmann:

Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Virtual CMO podcast. For more episodes, go to fiveechelon.com/podcast to subscribe through your podcast player of choice. And if you'd like to develop consistent lead flow and a highly effective marketing strategy, visit fiveechelon.com to learn more about our Virtual CMO consulting services.