Ep22 – Personal branding vs Branding

An Interview with Aaron Ware

What is personal branding vs corporate branding? How can one leverage a personal brand to create more equity through monetisation? Check out this interview with Aaron Ware, who has managed through social media to build a substantial yearly revenue.

Let us know if you have any questions, comments, or if you wish to appear on the show.

[Explicit language]


Welcome to the front line, the sales and marketing podcast.

Hello everyone and welcome to the frontline Sales and Marketing Podcast. We aim to provide entrepreneurs and enterprise leaders with the three T’s tools, tips and techniques that help improve sales and marketing knowledge for better results. I’m joined by my fellow cast member Jeremy piers, sales trainer and coach at outside sales training founder and creator of the mastermind sales methodology. I am forest book marketing strategy, customer experience and digital transformation experts. We are missing However, one of our regular co hosts a one color CRM and marketing automation specialists is out serving the country in his capacity as reserves for the Australian Army in the fight against the novel coronavirus or covid 19. So we wish him good luck and thank him for his service. We also wish to welcome Aaron were serial entrepreneur and serial investor, author and owner of multiple startups to talk about personal branding. Hello, Aaron, welcome to our podcast.

Hey, guys, thanks for having me.

Pleasure. All right, I guess we’ll jump straight into the conversation. The first question would be, you know, we talked about in a previous episode, what branding is in general, can you please tell me what personal branding is, according to you? And why would someone want to brand themselves?

Yeah. I guess personal branding to me is making sure that, you know, we’ve all got a story to tell. And making sure that the story that you’re telling is aligned with the brand that you’re creating for your unique industry. And for me, it comes down to telling the right story, creating that brand around giving the correct advice for that industry


And then also, how do we monetize that? turning it into, you know, our return on investment.

So you are you’re attaching them to brand you’re attaching to an equity, basically, value? And so how would you then make that relationship between the two what is brand equity then?

Um, so brand equity to me is about creating a Hollywood follows. So I’m about giving, giving, giving, giving as much advice as I can, giving advice in my my books, give me advice on my shoutouts my quotes, my videos and stuff. And by giving out that free advice, creating an awesome audience that follows behind me, and then, you know, it’s a lot easier to sell something and, you know, get people to buy it from someone that they trust.

Yeah, trust seems to be in in in very short supply. Sorry, Jeremy, you want to take something?

No, yeah, I was just gonna say that all sort of started. me thinking about the actual topic of the episode, watching a few of your online videos and posts that you’ve started quite recently. And I just thought it was really interesting that you started this. So what made you want us want to grow this personal brand of yours? And where do you sort of see it heading?

Yeah, so I started to really do like a bit of deep reflection on the journey that I’ve been in. And you’ve seen Jeremy come from, you know, 2016, it was just me, and one apprentice driving around in a black band trying to like, knock on doors and drum up work. And I’m looking at that, you know, this calendar year, we’re looking at 10 to 20 mil. So, what I’m thinking is, you know, I’ve got a story to tell. And there’s so many stories out there, people have nightmares where people have tried that, and they’ve failed. And there’s people doing it, but doing it over decades, where I’ve managed to do it in four years, three or four years. So it kind of Yeah, I did a bit deep reflection. And I was like, well hang on a minute. What you’ve done here is kind of, you know, exciting and also special. And so I’ve started to put pen to paper and write down, you know, what were the things that held me back? What were the things that were massive obstacles along the way? What were things that went wrong, what were things that went right, and how can I share this story to help other entrepreneurs so that they can learn from my mistakes effectively?

What do you see, you know, where do you see yourself all the personal brand itself? Where do you see it in the future? Does it how do you have any, you know, goals or is it just, you know, just wanting to help people and see where it goes from there.

Um, so, it stems from two things. So, number one is, you know, big believer and all the big five viewers out there that have created huge brand, like paying dzong and Gary Vee and all these people that have all these millions and millions and millions of followers. And, you know, it’s easy for them when they do have like an educational thing, or they’re selling a book or something like that, they can sell millions of copies in a fucking heartbeat and be sold out by just directly targeting their unique audience and their followers. So that’s one aspect of it, I see myself, you know, going into the educational sort of side of things, and just providing programs and educational courses and stuff like that to help people. The other side of it is, you know, we’re seeing this huge, huge, huge shift now where people are going away from fucking watching TV, and we’re talking millions and millions and millions of people that are shifting, from watching TV to now people watch Netflix, they’re watching YouTube, they’re on Instagram, and fucking, you know, seven to 10 different social media accounts. And right now, as an entrepreneur, or someone that’s looking at getting into this space, you know, the best time to do it was 12 months ago, the next best time to do it is today. And the reason why I suggest that is because we’re looking at these companies that are still on TV, that are still spending hundreds and hundreds of 1000s, if not millions of dollars on ads, to you know, market their their products and stuff that are seeing the trends, and they’re watching the industry die. And what’s gonna happen when all those industries die is all those people and those big spenders and they’re gonna have a they’re gonna stop spending it on TV, they’re going to start spending it on social media. And what does that mean for people like you and I that are on social media, we’re going to watch the auctions, because it’s a pay to play program. We all pay to play on Instagram, and Facebook and stuff like that, when you want to sell a product. And we’re already watching it on on Google ads and stuff with, you know, a cost per click two years ago was like $1. Today, it’s $5. What’s going to happen in five years, 10 years time when there’s no more TV, and those big players are spending millions and millions on advertising. There’s no going to there’s no good, there’s not going to be such a thing, as you know, being able to afford these $5 clicks anymore, they’re going to be 50 Golden clicks. So if you guys start setting this up now and creating a brand for yourself today, you’re never going to be around you’re never going to have this opportunity in 510 years time when the big players hit the market.

Yeah, so it’s kind of building the well before you need it in terms of for a business to survive. And flourish. This might be a question for you. Where what differences may personal brand have then more so you know, a company brand?

Well, I think it lies in the answer that Aaron gave, which is a personal brand is pretty much about the person, the individual, right, and it’s pretty much about creating a following. It’s not much different than for example, the likes of Apple because Apple as we all know, they have a massive following to the point where in some cases, they might cross the border into fanaticism. But that’s just my opinion. So I think the personal brand is pretty much about the persona of an individual, whereas a brand in the traditional sense is more about the identity of a corporation or an enterprise. We know for example, from the likes of Tesla, for example, that Tesla has a very unique identity and brand in terms of manufacturing of electric vehicles, which is attached also to the brands of some of their other ventures like SpaceX and or a Hyperloop, I think and all of the other ventures they’re doing. But he himself, Elon Musk has his own personal brands. Yeah, and they are kind of separate, but they are intertwined in a way where one cannot live without the other one, because one may do the other one. So yeah, there’s a bit of a difference. What do you think?

Yeah, I 100% agree. So, um, when I first started out of making my videos and stuff, it was all about the company, that’s all I did, I hid. I hid behind my company and just pushed a brand brand brand. But unfortunately, you know, in that, in that space, if you end up putting yourself in a situation where maybe you want to sell the company in 12 months or 12 years time, no one knows what’s going to happen down the track. That’s gone. So all the assets that you build online that I call videos, assets now because that, you know, they have the opportunity to generate generate an ROI. That’s all gone. It goes out the window with the company, maybe the company goes bankrupt, maybe it gets bought out or maybe technology advances and you get pushed out of the market. It’s always better in my opinion, to choose you know, to create that brand. You can cross hire your brand across different companies, but you can’t cross hire a company across Different companies that make sense?

Oh, absolutely. We see it with some of the top executives now or some of the largest corporations out there. And when they move from one company to another, they’re still basically themselves, right? They are the common denominator of the skills that they bring. So, and in recruitment, and I’m sure we’ll have a podcast on this when you, when we talk in recruitment terms, we talked about transferable skills. In other words, your your CV, your resume, sorry, your cover letter, etc. That is a candidates ID. So it absolutely does relate to what you’re saying. And I do agree with you. It is the constant when all else fails, if you still have your credibility and your professional reputation intact, that in itself is your breath. Yeah. So is that is that then what you are focused on? Because one of the things that rang very clearly in my year, you said that you’re running 20 million turnover? in the span of four years, you got to that point? So you mentioned that you are now running a turnover of 20 million, which is a fantastic achievement, especially in today’s circumstances. So what can you tell us about how much your personal brand has actually helped you achieve them? And how they go about helping people build their own brand in order to replicate your success story?

Yeah, well, in, in my industry, I was pretty lucky because not not a lot of people were putting their their name and their face out there, they will get behind, you know, advertising and just selling the product product product. So by me getting out and being the face. And you know, talking to people online and creating these videos of addressing people’s objections and stuff like that, and creating free advice and information based around the products that we sell. He was tremendous. Like, I couldn’t sit here and put together a percentage or an ROI on on what they did. But I can tell you 99% of the people that I spoke to would be like, Oh, yeah, I’ve seen your video. Oh, yeah. You the person from YouTube? Oh, yeah. You’re the person that talks about this. I’m like, Yeah, well, actually I am. So it definitely definitely, definitely helped with creating credibility and trust out there. Yeah, transparency is a massive one. What was the second part of that question, sir?

How would you go about helping people? Or what would your advice be for people trying to build their personal brand in order to succeed like you have?

Okay, so the number one thing that I would suggest, is to just get out there and start making videos. The first, the first one’s going to suck, the next one’s going to suck a little bit less, and then the one after that, it’s going to suck even less, and they’re always going to suck, you’re always going to be your own worst nightmare, your own person who’s like, trying to be a perfectionist and pull it apart, the best thing, the best piece of advice I can give is, is get out and start making videos. For me, in my industry of being a trades person, the number one thing that I had to overcome was me thinking that these videos that I was doing was actually helping people had any sort of interest. Because when you’re in your own space, and you’re in your own circle, or you think about the people that are in your own circle, and so all I would think about was like, you know, people that I know, what would they say what would they think they’re gonna say, This is stupid. This is dumb. Why is he doing that? Why are they doing that, which is probably like 5% of the population if it wouldn’t even be 5% of your target market. thing that once I overcame that, and I realized, like, the things that I’m talking about in these videos, they might seem dumb and boring to me. But to a mom sitting at home, she’s gonna watch this and go, Wow, is that how that’s done? Or someone else that’s in, you know, a whole different industry is going to look at that and go, holy shit, that makes sense to me. Now, now I get it. So overcome those obstacles of getting out of your own mind in your own head of thinking, like the people that you think are going to judge you and, you know, have things to say and you’ve already put up this own. It’s kind of like a blind spot that you’ve put on yourself by thinking that isn’t dumb, no one cares. It’s not so interesting. And it could come down to anything like, you know, even an accountant, for example, an accountant would sit there and do agency rules aged payables wages. And an accountant said they’d be thinking this is done it’s just numbers. Who the hell would want to know about payables? Who the hell one about receivables? Who the fuck around? Sorry, I wouldn’t want to know about paying wages. But the truth is, if they broke down a like a manual on a flowchart, or created a system and process on how they did it from start to finish, which saves time, that’s going to be awesome. Other people that aren’t in the space or people that know nothing about it. And it’s the same thing. We talked about it, tracing constructions business, let’s say for example, a painter. Now I know straight away pain is gonna be thinking in his head. I put this brush in a tin and I put it on the wall. And I move it up and down. Who the hell’s ever going to want to know about that. But the truth is, they could be pulling out the products and going, Hey, these are amazing products, they last 25 years in the sun. Quick Tip, don’t leave them in the back, even though only last 12 months in the back event, just little tiny, stupid shit like that they could be creating hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of videos about getting content out there. And fast forward in six months time or 12 months time, Mr. Customer sitting there and they’ve got this paint company a paint Company B paint companies got 120 videos on how to paint, what to look out for problems that have happened and how he’s overcome them. And this person is just pumping out ads on his latest sale. This guy’s always gonna win hands down. He looks like an industry leader is a genius, you know, is this, you know, is that? Because he didn’t give in to the five or 10 people that scene? Is the industry around worrying and thinking about what they might say or thinking? Why are you telling us that that’s dumb. So that’s the probably the best piece of advice I can do is push past those stupid obstacles that you’ve put in your head, you’ve created them. And think about your target audience who knows absolutely nothing about what you do and actually finds you interesting as hell. And start putting the videos together, start with the first one, get the shitty one out of the way, get the next one out of the way did the theurge meshi went out of the way and just start getting in front of the video and pumping out as many as you can.

I truly appreciate what you’re saying, from from a marketing perspective or a marketers perspective, we normally say, you know, always trying to address a problem that your audience or your target audience has in order to then provide them with the solution and therefore they will come to you and either rent or buy that solution whether it’s a subscription product or anything. And but as a marketeer, that’s easy for me to say because I can basically come up with a strategy and a plan. And this is what needs to happen. But it’s fundamentally more powerful coming from for example, people like you who have not only gone and done it, but you have also proven that is a sick successful way of doing it. I know one of our listeners, Wells, he would be extremely happy to hear about the power of video because that’s his entire marketing business, if you wish, and that is to create video content. So back back on that question of video content, then which is absolutely essential, because it’s the most effective way of advertising on social media. And we know that from LinkedIn, and Instagram and all the other platforms. So you said get the less good ones out of the way until you actually start improving your quality and it but is there anything you would not do? In a video? Is there any information you would not share? In the video?

Um, yeah, I probably wouldn’t glow. Like you wouldn’t see me in front of the camera, talking about my company, like, Hey, we’re crushing it, we’re doing all these sales going for us. You know, look at how much money we’re turning over blah, blah, blah, I wouldn’t use that in a video to promote sales. I’ll use that when brand credibility to show what you’re capable of and what what you can do, but I wouldn’t use that to drive sales. I wouldn’t say, you know, we’ve grown we go month on month a month go fast. I think that’s that’s not a good angle to go down. Example,

an example is, you know, a, you know, big, big national company saying that they’re the biggest company, you know, in Australia, which means nothing. Really. Yeah.

Yeah, exactly. So yeah, probably, probably stay away from that. And yeah, any, anything to do with like, you know, internal internal issues, if you’re having problems with staff and stuff like that, I’d leave all that side out of it. Those are probably the only first couple of things that come to my mind.

So it truly isn’t about trying to wrap your head around what it is that the customers will value in terms of content that you provide and then just drilling down to that and putting that out there.

Yeah, of course. And you know, I’ve got some other little awesome secret ninja stuff that I do with like retargeting videos and stuff. And a huge game changer for me. Oh, just give us a quick little tip is I would have, so everyone knows what retargeting is by now if their pixel tracking and stuff that on a on a website or on their Facebook page or even clicking on their ads and stuff going to the landing pages. I would then create videos that directly target anyone that went to that click on those ads and landed on a page. It would be literally like talking to them, I’d hold my phone up and be like, Hey, what’s up? It’s Aaron way here from blah, blah, blah, I noticed that you clicked on my thing, but you didn’t go through it. Now, there’s only three reasons why people don’t do that. Number one, they’re not happy with the products. Number two, they’re not happy with the price, the number three, they are happy with me, I know you happy with me, because you’re still watching this video right now. And I’m a nice guy. The products you know, blah, blah, blah the best because XYZ price is perfect. Because we’re not the cheapest on the market. We’re not the deers in the market and rip people off with price to be around for the next 40 years. And I address in that targeted video, the main objections I would ever hold anyone back. After doing that, I just noticed the sales are just coming through the door because people are like, well, this person is talking to me, he knows that I’ve been on his page and his address is calling me out. And he’s just address the main reasons why I haven’t gone ahead. And he’s satisfied that for me,

that is excellent tips. Now we can we can drill into that from a digital marketing point of view. And we can have an entire session on how to do these things. But safe to say that when when we talk about digital marketing and retargeting It is about being able to monitor and trace people that travel through that customer journey, if you wish, being able to then monitor them through those touch points and be able to respond to each and every situation or scenario they might position themselves in. That could be in terms of retail and e commerce, there could be a cart abandonment, right, which is similar to what we’re talking here about bounce rates and other metrics. Dell can be followed through fantastic tips. Jeremy, unless you have something else to say, I think it’s time to wrap it up. Do you have any questions?

No, that’s good. Now it’s good time. I think it’s good.

Aaron one last tip, maybe or one last ninja trick if you wish for for our audience before we close up.

Um, I, I think that if everyone, everyone gets out of their own head, and they start to realize that they all have a story to tell whether they came from, you know, a single mom growing up or they’ve they’ve gone through some shitty time, maybe they weren’t an entrepreneur, maybe they were an employee. And they had to deal with difficult bosses. I think everyone gets outside of their head and realize that they actually have a unique story to tell. And start to put pen to paper and share it with the world. Share it with how you overcame this problem, this problem, this problem, you’ll be absolutely amazed to see how many people will connect with you and love to share that story. And you can you can create a monetize channel of anything that you’ve been through or anything that you’ve done. Even if it’s something boring, maybe you’ve never gotten off the couch for 10 years, and you suffer from anxiety and depression. That itself is a story to tell. And in the end the steps that he’s taking to get yourself through that.

Fantastic. Thank you very much for that. Right So one more time. Thank you, Aaron for joining us today to answer some questions and share some valuable insight on the value of a brand. Whether you’re an influencer or other or an organization, and also home how to create a personal brand using content marketing and authority marketing with our listeners and viewers. So viewers and listeners, please make sure you look up Aaron on his Instagram account. It’s Aaron underscore where underscore


in the next episode, we’ll have another interesting topic to cover. So we’ll hope you join us again, if you have any topics you wish to discuss with us or if you wish to actually come on the show and discuss yourselves, please contact us by filling out our contact form on our website, the front line podcast.com and we’ll make sure to respond as soon as we can. Thank you to our listeners and viewers for tuning in on another episode of the frontline sales and marketing. Please follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and on our website. Do Join us next time on the front line podcast. Thank you very much.

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