Skip to main content
Reading Time: 35 minutes

Apple Podcasts

Spotify

Google Podcasts

Stitcher

About This Episode

At some point, you’re going to hopefully spend time and money building your organization’s brand (if you’re not already). However, in the beginning, more people will likely know you than those that know the name of your company. So your personal brand will probably carry more weight in your community or network than your business. How do you leverage that reality to support the growth of your business?

 

In this episode, we’ll be joined by Kevin B. Jennings, a personal brand strategist and the CEO of Junction 32, a marketing services firm for small businesses. Specifically, we’ll talk about what a personal brand is, why it matters, and how it can help you gain more clients and better lead your team.

 

Your One Next Step

Download a tip sheet by Kevin B. Jennings titled “10+ Simple Things You Can Do Online to Build Your Personal Brand While Building Your Business.” In it, Kevin gives you a simple overview on how to use online platforms like blogs, podcasts, and social media to build your personal brand. He also includes 10 simple yet effective things you can do on these platforms to engage with current and prospective clients. So, whether you’re just getting started or wants ideas to keep you going, this resource will help you.

 

Download Now

 

In each episode, we highlight one next step for you and provide an activation or delegation guide to help you immediately take action, start applying what you learn, and get your team to help you.

1. With social media, follow the 60-20-20 rule.

Make the focus 60 percent on others, 20 percent on content (tips, behind-the scenes, etc.), and 20% on promotion. Some people feel like social media is all about self-promotion. This little rule helps you stay in balance and actually flips the script. Promote other people, businesses, and causes. Offer helpful advice and showcase your expertise by actually showing people how you do things. Self-promotion has its place, but you want to think more in terms of having a dialogue, not a monologue. Be intentional about what you share and make sure you are focusing on others.

2. What is it like to be on the other side of me?

That’s the most basic question you can ask when you’re starting to develop your personal brand. What do people say about you when you’re not around? Another way of putting it: What do I want to be known for? Once you honestly answer that question, you can begin developing a strategy to build your brand. And remember, especially when you’re just starting, you are the brand. You embody your company’s values. If there’s inconsistency between what you say you are and what you do, your potential customers will spot that from a mile away.

3. You represent the possibility that someone else can achieve what you’ve achieved.

Think of social media as a platform – not to promote yourself, but to prop up others. You’re not building a platform to stand up on and tell everyone “I’m better than you.” You’re building a platform so others can stand on top of you. That’s a major shift from how social media is often viewed, and it really frees you up to take a whole new angle in how you share content online.

What is it like to be on the other side of you?
Based on your answer to that question, how would you describe your personal brand? What do you like or dislike?
What are some of the best branded companies and why do you like them?
In what ways are you, or the people at your company, an embodiment of your brand and values? If you’ve seen inconsistencies, how would you address them?

Allow your platform to be a place of dialogue instead of monologue.

Kevin Jennings

When you are willing to share your story with others, you represent what is
possible.

Kevin Jennings

The definition of branding boils down to reputation.

Kevin Jennings

Use the megaphone that you develop to promote and highlight other people.

Kevin Jennings

People can appreciate what they are receiving from you when they can see how
it’s being made.

Kevin Jennings

(03:55) Kevin shares how MTV and Kim Kardashian helped him get into marketing.

(05:17) What is a personal brand?

(06:49) Why is personal branding so important for a business?

(11:26) The people who work at the company should be the embodiment of the brand itself.

(14:57) What is the ROI on personal branding for a business?

(15:35) Do your promoted values match your behavior?

(19:51) What can business leaders do to build a personal brand? Where do you even start?

(23:09) Highlight causes that you care about and people you believe in.

(28:08) How a social media strategist can help you.

(30:23) Don’t pretend to be an expert in all the things. Find others who can help.

(31:20) You represent the possibility that someone else can achieve what you’ve achieved.

(33:10) “You’re not building a platform to stand up on and tell everyone ‘I’m better than you.’ You’re building a platform so others can stand on top of you.”

(33:52) What’s it like to be on the other side of me?

(39:16) This episode’s one next step: Download a tip sheet by Kevin B. Jennings titled “10+ Simple Things You Can Do Online to Build Your Personal Brand While Building Your Business.” Whether you’re just getting started or wants ideas to keep you going, this resource will help you.

Kevin B. Jennings:

We you look up branding definitions. It’s all going to boil down to one word. Reputation. I think if we can all think about it like that, then it gets really simple really fast. How do I have a reputation? Well, it’s a collection of experiences people have with you, interactions they have with you, stories they tell about you. That makes up your reputation, so that means we all have one. Branding is just the act of trying to influence it.

 

Speaker 2:

Welcome to One Next Step, the most practical business podcast in the world, helping you get more done, grow your business, and lead your team with confidence with tips and tools you didn’t get in business school. Here are your hosts, Tricia Sciortino and Lisa Zeeveld.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Welcome to One Next Step, the practical business podcast that helps you run your business and make it stop running you, so you can enjoy your work and your life. I’m Tricia Sciortino, the CEO of BELAY.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

And I’m Lisa Zeeveld, the COO of BELAY. Together, we are T and LZ. We have known each other since 2005 and have worked together for almost a decade, growing a 100% remote business from startup to being recognized on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list for six years running.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

LZ and I have learned a lot a long the way and have made some great friends and partners. For One Next Step, we are cashing in some favors to bring you episodes filled with excellent content, delivered by some talented people. We may have a thing or two to add, ourselves. The One Next Step is here to help you on your leadership journey.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Each week, we release a new episode answering your questions about running an organization. We will always highlight one next step for you to take immediate action and include an activation guide that reinforces what you’ve heard today.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

We are so excited you’re with us today. In this episode, we’ll be talking about the power of personal branding for leaders, and we’ll be joined by Kevin B. Jennings, a personal brand strategist and the CEO of Junction 32, which is a marketing services firm for small businesses. Specifically, we’re going to talk to him about what a personal brand is, why it matters, and how it can help you gain more clients and better lead your team.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

At some point, you’re going to hopefully spend time and money building your organization’s brand, if you’re not already. However, in the beginning, more people will likely know you than those that know the name of your company, so your personal brand will probably carry more weight in your community or network than your business name. How do you leverage that reality to support the growth of your business? Don’t worry, you’re going to find out in this episode.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Our guest today, Kevin B. Jennings, is a personal brand strategist and a friend of BELAY. Now, full disclosure, Kevin at his team at Junction 32 help us produce this podcast, so we work with him. Kevin has had the opportunity to serve influential individuals such as Tony Robbins, Dave Ramsey, Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Jake Roberts, Jen Hatmaker, John Acuff, and worked with several of our previous guests.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

He’s pretty famous around here. His team at Junction 32 helps influencers like bestselling authors and companies, like Inc. 5000 organizations, grow their brands and increase revenue so they can impact people. When he’s not helping businesses grow, Kevin is spending time with his family or DJing at parties on the weekends. Now, enjoy our interview with Kevin B. Jennings.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Hey, Kevin. Welcome to the podcast.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Hey, thank you so much. Happy to be here, for sure.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

So glad to have you here. We’ve done a lot of bragging on you. You have a pretty impressive resume of things you’ve accomplished, and we’re so excited for today’s conversation, but before we get there, I would love it if you wouldn’t mind sharing something unique or personal about you for our audience and our listeners.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Yeah, so I got into marketing in a very nontraditional way. I thought I wanted to be a songwriter and music producer, and I actually studied music business and entrepreneurship in college. In the process of me discovering that, I discovered more about how you promote your music, and that made me fall in love with business and marketing.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

While I was in college, I got a chance to, through an internship, to submit music for television. While I was in college, I got one of my songs placed on MTV Cribs.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Oh my gosh, so cool.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

That’s very cool.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

The episode they chose was a Kim Kardashian episode, so actually, my music’s playing in the background when they went into Kim Kardashian’s house. When she still lived with Bruce Jenner, at the time, and her mom.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Wow.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

It was before she was Kim Kardashian of this fame, so I was still in college, so that’s about over a decade ago, I had music was on MTV Cribs.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

I’m going to have to go see if I can find that. Is that on YouTube?

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Yeah, it is. Yup, yup. It’s on YouTube. If you put Kim Kardashian and MTV Cribs, you’ll find it on YouTube.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Nice.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

That is so fun.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

That could not be a more interesting segue into our topic, because speak of personal brands, I mean, Kim Kardashian is the personal brand, right?

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

That’s right.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

I love how that ties together as we launch into this episode to talk really about personal branding. I think we know that’s really a buzzword, personal brand, but really, what is the true definition? What does it mean? What is that personal brand?

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Yeah, I mean, I love talking about this, because I do feel it really is confusing. It can feel like a code word for self promotion, too. I’m building my personal brand. When you look up at branding definitions. It’s all going to boil down to one word. Reputation, your brand’s your reputation. I think if we can all think about it like that, then it gets really simple really fast.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

How do I have a reputation? Well, it’s a collection of experiences people have with you, interactions they have with you, stories they tell about you. That makes up your reputation, so that means we all have one. Branding is just the act of trying to influence it, and saying, “I want to have it be consistent,” and hopefully scalable, right?

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Reputation is maybe something you feel you can’t scale, but you can scale this. When you think about a logo, in that regard. I’m trying to scale my organization’s brand by bundling everybody’s understanding of what it is and represent it with some symbol, because I can scale a symbol. I can put the symbol millions of places. I can pay for it to be on a billboard, so I can actually scale people’s association with that experience.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Personally, it’s applying that same principle we do our organizations every day to who we are as an individual, and say, “Okay, you know what? I have a reputation, but can I be intentional about how I influence it, so hopefully it can scale?” Because what we’re doing right now with the podcast, we can scale people’s interactions with Lisa and Tricia right now.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, yeah. Why do you feel like that is so important, a personal brand is so important as it relates to a business and the growth of a business?

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I think, especially for small businesses, which I know from my work on helping with the podcast, I know that’s our heart, to serve those people. When you’re just getting started, people don’t know your business. They know you. For most of us, as Jeff Henderson talks about privately to some of us, a friend of mine, he says, “We ask people to believe in our idea, when they’re asking if they can believe in us.”

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

They key thing is, does someone believe me? Hopefully, my company’s so small, if I’m being transparent, that hopefully the work I’m doing with BELAY is because Lisa and Tricia trust Kevin first. Hopefully, I can do a good job to hopefully help you trust my company, but it started out with we’re betting on the person until we feel confident enough to bet on the business.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I think that’s a big reason why it matters when you’re first starting. Then, when you get larger and the business may have some credibility, now you’re trying to have people bet on individuals because people trust people, and we know that’s always going to be true, but it’s really hard to have one business serve everyone the same, from a brand perspective, especially the larger you get. It’s harder to say, “Hey, one person can attract all of the personalities that we want to hopefully serve through this brand,” so we can deploy different types of people to represent this brand in different communities, so we can still grow small, for lack of a better word, and say, “Hey, we can serve a niche community, because this person helps us translate the ethos of our brand to a community of people.”

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

It’s a way to do that in ways we couldn’t do before. You almost want to add personality to a brand so it doesn’t become so corporate, you almost lose the heart of it, so someone can inject personality back into the brand over time. It almost can be cyclical in that way, right?

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Just really corporate, and grow the name, and then diffuse back out, and then rebuild it, over and over again. It adds a lot of credibility, a lot of cachet, too, because people do want to work with the people. You almost can actually raise your value of the brand to actually increase prices, right?

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I mean, Richard Branson and his personal brand continues to add value to Virgin, despite the fact that Virgin’s a billion dollar company, they really work well together in that way.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Right, because people find him fascinating, innovative, all the things, so they know if his name-

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

That’s right.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

… is on it … Yeah. I love how you actually brought that back to the bigger business, as well. Yes, we cater to the small business, and I totally get that when you’re small, people are buying into you, and so who you are and your reputation is so important, but I think I love what you talked about for the larger organizations, when people may know the brand name or the organizational name before they know anybody who’s inside there. For me, even, and LZ, as officers of a company that’s large and has its own reputation, I love how you talked about how the person’s brands and the leader’s brands inside the organization still continue to contribute to that organizations health and who we can reach. That, to me, is an awesome little nugget.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

I think, too, how you mentioned Richard Branson, Richard Branson is a great marketer. He has a great story, but his values are the same as Virgin values. There’s nothing lost between the two. I think that as a company gets bigger, there’s a lot of curiosity about who leads the organization.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

That’s right. That’s right.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

You want to make sure that they’re together. If Tricia and I did not embody the same values of BELAY, then there’s a disconnect there. Then, people, as you said, don’t want to trust a big company. They start to lose trust in it. Then, they would see us and go, “Well, they’re not who they say they are. If the leadership team is, I bet the rest of the company isn’t that way, either.” I think it’s a great checks and balances. I’m one of those people that if I go to a company website, I want to go to their team.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

That’s right.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Who is their team? I’m checking the team out. I feel like social media has given me an extra layer to investigate that organization before I invest in them, or buy their products, or whatever I’m doing.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Investigate. You mean stalking.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, yes. Yeah.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Investigate, stalk, creep on people.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Exactly. You want to expose discrepancies, right?

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Right.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yes.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

The brand about consistency, you are the embodiment of it, because when I read the values on the page, it says, “Those are great words.” Well, every company is going to have great values on the page. Then, I get to see the person live it out. When Richard Branson’s talking about adventure, and living on the edge, and adding innovation to his company, you see his lifestyle. You say, “Wow, it looks like this. It looks like fun. It looks like adventure.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Right. He just went skydiving. Right. I just saw him go skydiving-

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Exactly.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

… so of course he lives with adventure.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Exactly, so you have this idea, and obviously, for a brand perspective, we do want to make sure we’re not commoditized, right?

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I mean, with what you all do, even at BELAY, someone can say, “Well, I’m making a decision based purely on price, so who can do the job cheaply, affordably, etc.,” but the more that I get to meet the people behind it, I’m saying, “No, no, no, no. I want to work with people like this.” It starts to add personality saying, “No, I’m choosing to align myself not just with a service that provides value, but with people I like, know, and trust,” and it starts to bring a certain level of synergy.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

It’s hard, because the human mind can’t separate the two. They can’t separate the two. It’s like, okay, so it’s really one package deal. I’m actually buying in to be affiliated with these types of people, not just to get that service. I can think about lots of brands that do a great job of that, whether a personal brand or not, that just have done a great job of telling the story, so by the time you’re done, you know you’re buying into more than just getting the service fulfilled.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Gary Vaynerchuck with social media, and he’s charging 1000 X what his competitors are charging to do what he does, but you’re buying to be essentially with Gary Vaynerchuck, and what that might do for you, and how that might make you feel, etc., etc. I’m a straight shooter. I like straight shooters, so I’m hiring his company, whatever you’re telling yourself.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Once again, but it’s to Lisa’s point, authenticity. When there’s alignment, and there’s true, hey, we actually live these values, and we believe them, it’s different. It’s aligned. It’s honest. It’s truthful. Now, it’s scaling, versus disingenuous and feeling like a façade. It can be a prison, if you’re not careful. It can be a prison for you, but when you’re doing it honestly, it’s great.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, sure, sure. Don’t you feel like, at times, like people are also wanting to do business or followings because they’re looking for that same level of success, right?

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

That’s right.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

People are, we talked about Kim Kardashian. They’re going to buy her products because at the end of the day, they want to be like Kim Kardashian.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

That’s right.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

People who join the BELAY, who delegate with the help of BELAY are hoping that they can get to the level that BELAY is at or learn things from BELAY. People who put on a jersey from a sports team are hoping that they can feel like that player. I feel like personal branding plays in that, too. They’re wanting part of you-

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

That’s right.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

They want a little bit of you.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

That’s right.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

For sure.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

And, there’s other BELAY clients that might have referred them.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Right, yeah.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yes. They’re following.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Right? Because now it’s a club. It’s a club now, right? It’s like, hey, my best buddy, his company, her company is doing this and that, and they work with BELAY. I can now hopefully afford BELAY. It’s a status symbol. I have this. You almost want that to happen, but that happens organically. Our job through our personal brands and through organizational brands is to make that a part of the fabric through the intentional act of bringing it in to how we do it, as opposed to it just happening organically, which is great. It’s already happening, but let’s bring it into the fold.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Right, so beyond social media following, and maybe a little fame that comes with really putting yourself out there for a personal brand, what would you say the ROI on personal branding for a business looks like?

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Yeah, and I’ll use you guys as examples. The first thing it’s going to do for you, depending on how you’re building it, it’s going to actually give your team insight into their leader. I think that’s often discredited, but the larger the organization is, the more valuable it becomes, because the organization gets so large, everyone does not have direct access to you. What happens now is I heard the values at staff meeting, and then I get to see how my leader lives it through what they’re showing me publicly, or in a conversation like this one. Now, I get to say, “Okay, so this is the kind of behavior and how it’s lived out. Got it.” It’s a little bit of a checkmark, right?

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Very good.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I follow Tricia on Instagram, so I saw Tricia saying, “I’m taking time during the week to invest in myself. I’m reading a book today, and I’m processing it. I’m preparing for a team leadership meeting, and I got to see Lisa saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to tell my story. I’m going to be speaking at TEDX, and I get to do this.'”

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

If I’m on your team, I can cheat and say, “Okay, what book is she reading?” I can cheat and say, “I’m going to watch the TEDX talk.” There’s a bunch of things you can do to stay engaged and actually let the team be a part of that. I’ve seen leaders where their teams are all engaging with what they’re doing, because there’s a window in.

Kevin B. Jennings:

The other thing I would say is to what you also earlier, investigating a company. People are doing that. They’re going to say, “I heard about this company I should work with. I looked them up, looked up the leadership. I’m going to be spending lots of money with them, and I would love to know who I’m working with.” People are doing that. They’re going to be investigating.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

When you get a recommendation for a restaurant, what’s the first thing you do? You go to Yelp. You say, “Hey, my friend said it’s good. Let me check this out. I’m going to go to Instagram and see what the customer photos look like, not your perfect photos you took. What does it for real look like? What is everybody posting? So I can see what the most popular dishes according to the customers, not you.”

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

It is an opportunity for people to reinforce and verify what they’ve heard, which is also really important. That’s a big thing from a word of mouth perspective. I think the other thing is, you get to nurture your prospective customers and your current customers. From a retention perspective and acquisition, that makes things so much easier, right?

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Imagine when someone says, “Hey, I’m thinking about, at this point, hiring a financial coach from Dave Ramsey’s organization.” Well, I’m like, if you haven’t heard of him, by the way, first of all, you’ve probably heard of him already, so that’s going to make things a lot easier. If you haven’t heard, and I searched his name, the ability to be shown his financial expertise and to verify that someone on his team can serve me is solved within the first two links on a Google search.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Now, you’re in. You’re like, “Well, I’m done.” Everything else that’s going to follow starts to feel very different because of what I’m going to see on my own when I do my own research. That’s the really big part of it, to steward that, and make sure that in those areas of customer service, retention, acquisition, and obviously with leading your team, those are real things that are happening.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I mean, recruiting new team members, they’re going to check you out, too. Who am I about to work with? What does this look like? It starts to pay off really fast, depending on, especially in the scaling season of your business, when you’re trying to scale things, it’s going to really help a lot in that way.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

We all know our businesses have to have a social media presence. That’s a non-negotiable in today’s world. Today, social media moves fast, sometimes at the speed of light if the headlines are compelling enough, so more and more businesses are hiring full-time strategists to handle the 24/7 influx of activity, engagements, and opportunities.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

You know those menacing red number notifications, and deafening pings and dings from your phone, tablet, computer, as prospects and customers alike all engage with your social media? Yeah. A BELAY social media strategist can handle that. What about when you see no new notifications and instead are met with a deafening silence on all your social media accounts?

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, you guessed it. A BELAY social media strategist can handle that, too. Take your social media to the next level with an expert who can manage your social channels, engage with your audience, and tackle your scheduling. Get started by visiting belaysolutions.com/services/social-media today.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

This question is a little personal, but what can business leaders do to build a personal brand? This is really a journey that Tricia and I have undertaken, and it feels a little odd in the beginning, at least it did for me, because there is a level of authenticity, and transparency, and trying to figure out, what’s the appropriate amount of transparency versus not? I mean, gosh, this podcast is for me. I want to know. Am I doing okay? What should I be doing differently? What do business leaders who haven’t even started to build their personal brand, what can they do?

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Yeah. I mean, I quote my buddy Jeff Henderson a lot, but I think he says, “Put the social back in social media,” right?

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yup.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

There’s a little bit of an opportunity to say, okay, yes, it’s become such a platform to broadcast and project an image, but it can still be a place for dialogue instead of a monologue. I think there’s an opportunity to say, “Hey. I have an opportunity. If I’m owning that my team is probably going to check me out, that current customers are going to check me out, that prospective customers are going to check me out, my network, I have an opportunity to serve all of those people while also sharing parts of myself.”

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

What I say is, “Well, what would I want to be sharing?” There is a little bit of, what is your brand, as a person? Not so much of being, I mean, you might ask somebody, “Hey, what do you say about me when I’m not around?” Right?

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Right, yeah.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

You two obviously have each other. You’re such good friends, it’s like, “Hey, when I’m not around, what do people really … How do I show up?” To take Tricia question, “How do I show up?” Because if I like how I’m showing up, now I need to solidify that and start to scale it. What if I was intentional about making sure how I showed up privately, I put that out, and made sure it happened consistently? Social media is a big asset for that.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

That means, behind-the-scenes, a day in the life stuff. People do want to know who you are when they’re not around. You might say, “Well, that’s a little weird thing to do.” I would say, “It is.” It is odd to think documenting some things behind-the-scenes, like I’m not thinking about people on social media when I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I would say, you’re totally right. You’re totally fair. There are ways you can remind yourself of those moments to capture them, but people do want to see that.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

It’s a little bit like when I see the behind-the-scenes of any company, when I see how the team’s together, and they’re having a good time, it makes me believe more that the company’s sustaining, and happy, and that I can continue working here. I can appreciate what I’m receiving, because I’m seeing how it’s being made, right?

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

It’s like this idea of the whole, grass-fed, cage-free, you know the value of what you’re getting, because they’re telling you, so you can see it. Behind the scenes is really important. The other thing is this. If Twitter is like a mixer, and we’re all hanging out, I can just jump in your conversation and inject myself-

 

Tricia Sciortino:

It’s a cocktail hour.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

I’ve never heard it called that. That is awesome.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I can just jump in in a stranger’s conversation, say, “Hey, if you don’t care, I’ll just jump in your conversation.” At any cocktail party, none of us would talk about ourselves, exclusively. We would talk about other people. We would say, “Do you know this person? Okay, y’all should know each other.” You would do all the things you do normally at a party.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I talk about this all the time. It’s really important to highlight causes you care about, people you believe in, because I am going to say, “Hey, I trust Lisa.” If Lisa said this is a really great nonprofit I should consider supporting this giving season, I’m going to go check them out, right?

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I’m going to do that. Hey, this is a really great restaurant in Alpharetta that she told me I should try, I’m going to go check it out. I think we can actually leverage and take that pressure off of feeling like it’s all about us by actually using the megaphone we do develop to promote and highlight other people, right?

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Clients, friends, causes, because that’s what makes us likable in real life. We like that person offline. Bring that online.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

You say, “Well, I only have 1000 followers, 2000 followers, Kevin. I’m just getting started.” Well, if I got 1000 people in the room, and I grabbed the microphone and said, “Hey, my friend Tricia in the back, she’s awesome, and everybody go meet her,” you would be like, “Wow. That was very generous. That was very kind to do.”

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

People receive it that way even when you only have 100 followers. When you tag that person in that post, they’re going to be like, “You didn’t have to do that. Thank you. You took time out of your day to highlight me.” That might seem small to you, but we all know most people are going through life unrecognized, unappreciated. That stuff still matters.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

So true.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I think that’s a big part of it. I think some of those things you do offline matter. Then, there are moments when you need to directly tell people what you do, what you’re up to, how you can help them. The ratio I’ve adopted and took from one of my friends is 60, 20, 20. 60% of the time, we talk about other people, other causes. 20%, you’re talking about behind-the-scenes content, like just, hey, a day in the life, how you do what you do, right?

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Productivity hacks, tips, things that make you function at the level you do, so we can say she’s not holding the secrets to success, all right? She’s sharing them and letting me see them.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Right, yeah.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

The other 20%, you directly tell them, “Hey, I’ve got something I can do for you. I’m giving this free thing away. Check out my podcast.” There’s a direct ask of some kind. It may not even cost them money, but I’m going to directly tell you about the value I’m creating with you in mind. 60, 20, 20. The best part about it is, right, when you keep those ratios close, to talk about yourself more, you have to talk about others more.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Right.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah. Yeah.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Right? Which, people are going to say, “Well, I like this person. Every time, I see them talking about someone else or something they’re doing for other people. It never really feels like it’s about them,” because you’ve chosen to leverage what you’re developing for the benefit of other people.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Like I said, you two are doing a good job of this. I mean, I see that with BELAY’s even lifting up your team members, telling people’s birthdays. That stuff is cool. No one’s going to be mad and say, “here they are talking about happy birthday to somebody again. I’m so angry.”

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

There’s no negative reaction to that.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Well, and I think that’s so helpful, because sometimes people can feel like there’s so much ego in it, so under what you’re saying, it removes all of that pretense, right? It’s like, gosh, my ego has a hard time getting on Instagram all day. Who cares about what I’m doing, right? Sometimes there’s that, I don’t want my ego to be out there. If I follow what you’re saying, and 60% of the time I’m really bragging on others and celebrating others, I love that, because that feels more comfortable, as a leader.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Totally.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah, and then, like you said, 20% tips, which the tips and the behind-the-scenes stuff, which I think is always really fascinating, people always wonder, how do they do it? Who are they? So, I love those ratios. That’s a great little nugget. Take it with me.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Well, yeah, and I think you two are doing that, I mean, like I said. I think it still feels weird, because you’re like, “I have to remind myself that I’m living for an audience a bit.” It’s like, no, no, no. You’re really not, but you are trying to let people understand that, hey, I’m willing to share how I’ve gotten here. I’m not withholding to continue my growth, right?

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Right.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

There is a certain vulnerability, for sure, but there’s also a certain level of generosity-

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Generosity.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

… that comes with that behavior. I use Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt, one of the previous guests here. For me, I trust the two of you so much as productivity people. If you share with me how you used the tools you use, I would want to know, because I know both of you take productivity very seriously and being efficient with how you work.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Seeing something that, say, “Here are the tools I use every day to get my stuff done, to manage my household, my family, my kids, my work,” and lead other people, this is what I do, I’m going to say, “She has shown me,” because you two are engaged with your family, engaged at work with your team, and engaged in this business, and still are taking care of yourselves. I’m asking myself, yeah, how do I do that?

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Right, mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I do think that people would appreciate that kind of stuff. I think the key thing is social media is a big part of it, but online content is what I would probably say starting with, so a blog to share lessons you’ve learned, maybe things you’ve overcome, to catalog some of the stuff. I’m not talking about a journal, per se, but it really is the opportunity to say, “Hey, I’m not going to hoard all of the things I’ve acquired through life. I’m going to do it for the sake of benefiting somebody else.” I think that will go a long way.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

This is why I also, one small plug for BELAY, why I think you all launching the social media strategist role was so powerful. The first thing I thought was, “This is what I’m going to tell every client to check out when they’re getting started with a personal brand,” because it feels like a thing to think about, and it is. Pay someone else to think about it. It’s totally okay for someone else to be prioritizing how you develop your personal brand, or at least making sure what you have, and what you’re experiencing, and who you’re hanging out with, and what you’re learning from these people doesn’t stay locked in your notebook.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

When you leave your next conference, people say, “Hey, Tricia, I want 17 things you learn at that conference. We’re going to trickle it out.” I’m almost going to pay for everybody to go to the conference by me paying, because I’m going to share what I got with everybody. That kind of thing.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Right, right. I love that.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

See, that feels so different, because going into social media, personally, just to have fun is very different, in my book, than when I wanted to start my own personal brand. I feel like I’m humble, and so it was hard for me to go on there and go, “Look at me, look at me. I really want you to look at me.” It’s a very odd feeling.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Like Tricia said, to come at it with a totally different focus, and having a social media strategist just to help guide me makes it much more enjoyable for somebody that this is not natural for them to do, like me. It’s not natural for me to do, and so I need somebody to hold my hand, and give me encouragement, and to say, “Hey, this picture that you posted of you had the most likes, and people do actually want to see you.” I’m like, “They really want to see me?” She’s like, “Yes. They want to see you, so we need to post more pictures of you.” Without having that social media strategist and somebody with that knowledge, I would not have been encouraged to take my brand to that next level.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Well, and it goes back to what we just preach at BELAY generically, which is, work with experts, right?

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Don’t pretend, or try to know, or be the expert in all the things. I’m not an expert in social media. I’m not an expert in a lot of things, but you surround yourself with experts. You hire experts. It’s the reason, Kevin, we work with you and your team at Junction 32. You guys, we mentioned it and teed it up in the intro, but we work with Kevin and his team for the production of this podcast. Kevin and his team are experts. We’re not going to pretend to try and do it as good as Kevin can do it, so finding the right people and resources is so important as a business owner and a leader.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

We leverage Kevin. We hope that you, if you’re looking to launch a personal brand, could leverage a social media strategist or somebody that help you get that started, because it’s so important. It’s unrealistic for you to think that you’re going to be the expert on all the things.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

One more thing about the images. I understand, because for anybody listening, they probably feel the same way. That does feel weird. Why do people like seeing me, right? The first thing is, there is something personal about seeing your eyes, right?

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

There is something that feels, and I know it’s the same way with audio, which is why podcasts are so powerful. At the end of the day, we’re still in somebody’s ears right now. Remember, we’re almost whispering in their ears. It’s almost creepy close, if you think about it, right? You’re not this close to anybody in real life. I’m in your ear.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

True.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

The other thing about it is there’s something about the face and warmth, but what Lisa said earlier about the image of success, I’m not talking about portraying it and faking it, but what I’m saying is, hey, look at this person who’s doing the kind of things I want to do, achieving success. They’re happy doing it. They’re taking care of themselves. They represent an idea, like all good brands do, that I can do this, that it is achievable to be successful as a woman in business at the highest level with a family, and you like them, and they like you. This is possible. When you’re standing there, and they see that image of you, they’re actually seeing themselves.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

I love that.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

They won’t say that, but that is what they see. They see that it is possible.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yes.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

We have to own that we often represent possibilities to people. When they hear your story, Tricia, and what you’ve overcome to be where you are, you represent possibility.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yes.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

When they see you in your house, with your dog, working at home, like this is possible. I think that, when we think about that possibly give hope to people, the personal brand stuff starts to feel a lot different.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yes. I love that.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

You’re not building a platform for you to stand up on and tell everybody, “I’m better than you.” You’re building a platform to give people a leg up to stand on top of you.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yeah, yes. Love that.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

I love that.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

We’ve convinced everybody they need to have a personal brand now, so the final, all right, so to tie all this amazing information in a bow, we are the One Next Step. We are the most practical business podcast. What is the first step somebody can take right now? They’ve just finished this podcast, what can they go do, Kevin?

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

All right, so I’m going to assume you’re starting at ground zero.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Zero.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

So it’s one step, but you’re in ground zero. I need you to answer the question, what’s it like to be on the other side of me? Now, I’m hijacking that question from Jeff and Andy Stanley, but I think it’s, you have to … If you don’t know how people perceive you and what you want to communicate, it’s impossible to have a personal brand that is consistent and scalable.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

It’s okay if you don’t like what you find out. You can change it. You can change your behavior. The key thing is, that is where personal brands become prisons, because you do such a good job communicating something to the outside world that you are not.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

I’m not saying you have to cuss like Gary V. I’m not saying you need to pray on Instagram like DeVon Franklin. I’m just saying that you have to be honest to who you really are, so that someone has the opportunity to actually accept you and engage with you for who you are, so that you can keep being yourself and scaling that. That’s the number one thing. Get clear on what you want to represent. I would even say the other question might be to answer this. If that’s too touchy feely, what do I want to be known for?

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, that’s good.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Perfect. Perfect.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

What do I want to be known for? When it’s all said and done, what are the words that I want said about me at my funeral? What are the adjectives? Kind, warm, friendly, whatever it is, because that’s where you start. Even before, and then we can connect it to the company strategy, but you have to start with yourself. I think that’s what matters most.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

If you’re like, “Kevin, I’m already doing this,” then I have one step for you that might be a little different. That is, start getting on social media. You’ve got to get on social media. You cannot think because you’re the most well-networked person privately is going to matter. That is an opportunity to scale your reputation. You have to take it. It is a time saver. Someone’s going to share your post. That person, if they have 50 friends, you are in front of 50 people while you were at home in your pajamas.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

We’re talking about leverage. If you’re a business owner on this podcast, you get that. You have to lean into the opportunity to grow your network and grow your influence with leverage, with time on your side. Social media is my first step. Do not be okay with having no accounts and never checking it. If you need to pay someone to do it, you need to do it, but get on social media as fast as you can.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Even though it seems like it’s old, no. It’s still new. People are figuring this thing out every day, so I’d say just get on-

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Wow. That’s great.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

If you are investing in your personal brand, then that’s where you need to be going.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

This has been great, Kevin. I mean, gosh, I have a weight lifted off of me. You’ve just given me so much encouragement about how I can show up-

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

… and really show my authentic self, continue to do that. My daughter and I always tease, she’s like, “That’s so on brand. That’s so on brand for you to do that.” You just reiterated so much of that. It has been a joy, like always. Like Tricia said, we have the honor and the privilege of getting to work with you on this podcast, but it was extra special to have you as a guest, so thank you so much for your time today and imparting so much wisdom.

 

Kevin B. Jennings:

A pleasure, and I love working with both of you, as well. Big, big, big fans of you as individuals, and BELAY as a company, as well.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Thanks, Kevin.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Wow, Kevin was such an awesome guest today. It’s so fun that we get to work with him on this podcast, but truly, it was super fun. I learned a ton of stuff. I want to hear your takeaways. What is one thing, I know it might be hard to narrow it down, but one thing?

 

Tricia Sciortino:

I know. Kevin was so much goodness. I literally have a page of notes. I hope all of our listeners have a page of notes, because I do.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yes.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

For me, I really took away the 60, 20, 20 rule. I love how he talked about 60% of the time focusing on others, 20% really about brand tips, behind the scenes, day of the life, and 20% really then just telling people, or promoting your organization, or things like that. I feel like that breakdown really released a lot of pressure from me as somebody who’s out there on social media. I’m going to use that, effective immediately, actually. How about you?

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah. Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. Our listeners, when they all of a sudden see us shift in our branding, they’re going to know it was all from Kevin.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yes.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Watch out, now. I just, I love and care about people so much. I think that’s why I have a hard time with certain platforms on social media. Like you said, the 60, 20, 20 falls into what he says that social media is not a platform to say, “Look at me, look at me, look at me.” Instead, it’s a platform to give others a leg up. That was just, it warms my hard, and I was like, I can do that all day long.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

It’s like a mindset shift.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yes.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

How you look at, how you filter that. I love that.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Yeah, so that was my takeaway. You know what time it is, guys. It is time for our one next step. As the most practical business podcast, we want to make sure that taking action isn’t overwhelming to you. With each episode, we’re going to offer you one next step to propel you and your business forward. Today’s next step is to download a tip sheet by Kevin B. Jennings titled 10 Plus Simple Things You Can Do Online to Build Your Personal Brand While Building Your Business. T, I know you and I are downloading that immediately.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

I can’t wait, yes.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

In it, Kevin gives you a simple overview of how to use online platforms like blogs, podcast, and social media to build your personal brand. He includes 10 simple yet effective things you can do on these platforms to engage with current and prospective clients. Whether you’re just getting started or want ideas to keep you going, this resource will definitely help you.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Yes. I am downloading it myself. I love it. Okay, so to get this episode’s guide, text the phrase one next step to 31996 or visit onenextsteppodcast.com. When you request the guide, you’ll also receive a summary of today’s episode, which will include key quotes and takeaways, and links to resources mentioned in the episode.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Thank you guys so much for listening to this episode. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and that you’ll join us next time for more practical tips and actionable tools to advance your business one step at a time.

 

Tricia Sciortino:

Until next time, own your journey. It’s your life and your business. It’s up to you to create the life and organization you want.

 

Lisa Zeeveld:

Start by making today count.

 

Speaker 2:

Thanks for listening to One Next Step. Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or follow us on Spotify. Then, join us next time for more practical business tips and tools to help you get more done, grow your business, and lead your team with confidence. For more episodes, show notes, and helpful resources, visit onenextsteppodcast.com.

Download a tip sheet by Kevin B. Jennings titled “10+ Simple Things You Can Do Online to Build Your Personal Brand While Building Your Business.” In it, Kevin gives you a simple overview on how to use online platforms like blogs, podcasts, and social media to build your personal brand. He also includes 10 simple yet effective things you can do on these platforms to engage with current and prospective clients. So, whether you’re just getting started or wants ideas to keep you going, this resource will help you.

 

Download Now

 

In each episode, we highlight one next step for you and provide an activation or delegation guide to help you immediately take action, start applying what you learn, and get your team to help you.

Subscribe Today!

To get practical business tips and tools delivered to you each week, subscribe to the podcast via email here or on your favorite podcast platform (which we’ve listed below).  It’s like DVR for podcasts.

 

Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via

Join Us Next Week

Thank you for listening to One Next Step.

Next week we’ll be joined by Steven Carse, one of the brains behind King of Pops, the delicious popsicles. Not only does King of Pops want to provide good food, but Steven and his brother are relentless community supporters and strive to generate unexpected moments of happiness for everyone they encounter. Listen in next week when we talk to Steven Carse about growing a business from the ground up.