5 People Who Shouldn’t Ever Hire a Consultant to Build Their Personal Brand

It didn’t come as a surprise when a VP of one of the fastest-growing companies asked, “Lisa, can I really talk about and promote my new thriller as an author, on LinkedIn, considering I am the head of security and fraud at my company? Another retired CEO of a publicly traded company, now sitting on multiple boards, asked, “Lisa, do I really need a brand consultant to build my personal brand?”

I quipped back, “No you don’t. You can make a million mistakes, throw spaghetti against the wall, and hope something sticks along the way. Or you can be strategic and intentional and hire someone like me with 20+ years of experience doing this to get you there sooner.”

Both had substance to what they were saying:

Wouldn’t it be so much easier to build a company and personal brand all alone instead of hiring someone else? Nope. Because the reality is, if you’re like most executives, you are insanely busy. What happens when you don’t have the time to do this all yourself?

You get lost.

You get carried away by the next big project.

And in some cases, you might even end up suffering from the shiny object syndrome.

But then, should everyone invest in a consultant? Not really, no. In fact, there are 5 types of people who should avoid consultants like the plague.

Who are they?

Let’s find out.

1) The Get Me A Million Views Quick Type

Building a rock-solid business and personal brand takes time. It starts with an audit that takes time. Then a lot of back and forth to get clarity on messaging, what story you will tell others; that takes time. Then a plan of action takes time. Then execution takes time. See a consistent theme? There’s no quick and easy way to build a brand online. If you’re looking for quick results, don’t hire a consultant.

Because no one can build an authentic brand in a day.

2) The I Know More Than You Type

Why even hire a consultant? Because you need help – and why do you need help? Because it’s overwhelming to do it all alone. It’s important to find the right resources to get the clarity necessary to help you attack brand building strategically. That’s why it’s key to understand that help often starts with an acceptance that you need it.

Remember: no one can help you if you don’t allow them to do what they’ve spent 20+ years being an expert at.

3) The I Don’t Have Time to Get The Basics Right Type

Every great branding exercise starts with a detailed audit. Because in this day and age, whether you like it or not, your company, and you, already have an online brand. How is it positioned? What do people feel and think of you when they see you online? Is the message you are saying what you really mean? A confused mind has to burn way too many calories to understand what you are trying to say.

A brand audit uncovers it all. That’s step one.

Remember: unless you have the foundation just right, branding is essentially a futile exercise.

4) The Low Money No Problem Type

Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy your way to a better brand, better features, and better traction for dirt cheap? Nope, it’s a recipe for disaster. Because money’s just a means to an end – and the end, is to build a brand that stands the test of time.

That’s not just authentically you, but the ‘real’ you.

You can get published on Forbes today, but is what you’re writing, publishing, and creating really what you stand for, believe in, and can vouch for? That takes deep thinking, strategy, and long-term alignment with who you want to be remembered as and how you’ve created transformations for others along the way. Experience doesn’t come cheap.

Neither does expertise.

5) The I Won’t Look Within Type

Unfortunately, in this era of incessant noise, we’re at a place where the loudest voice is often considered the most authoritative. Anyone can choose to be someone they are not. But not everyone can be brave enough to be themselves and SHOW UP consistently.

That starts by looking within:

How do you want to be remembered? What drives you? Moves you? More importantly, how can you make transform the lives of others? How can you add value?

Personal branding is never about you, it’s about how you help others. You are just the supporting character in their story. Unless there’s a commitment to work together to figure these questions out first, there’s no point in hiring a consultant.

In fact, there’s no point in building a brand either.

If you’re still here:

Congrats: you thankfully don’t fall within these 5 personalities who should never hire a consultant. That means you understand that building a phenomenal and ‘real’ brand takes time, commitment, and a lot of deep thinking.

Because it’s tempting to believe that the most important question to figure out is: who am I really? And what does my company stand for?

In reality, these questions don’t matter as much. They’re important, sure. But let’s be honest: no one cares why you get up in the morning. People care that you get up, you show up for them, and take them from where they are today, to where they want to go.

Value – and how you can add value to your audience.
Now you must ask yourself: how can I do that in a way that’s scalable and repeatable?

That’s step one.

Something I can help with. Working with executives around the globe for 20+ years, I know how to build a personal and employee brand from scratch. Looking to build one that’s authentically you? First, download this free whitepaper on what employee and personal branding are, what they mean, and how billion-dollar companies build and scale one.

Then, get in touch.

You deserve a brand that reflects who you really are. To leave a legacy behind built on stories others will share about how you made them feel for generations to come.

It’s your obligation to the generations now and the ones that will come after them to share your knowledge with others. It’s your duty to share the experiences you’ve had to make the path for others to thrive, easier. It’s your responsibility to show up.

Don’t settle for anything less.

Be distinctive,
Lisa

What is a Resuable Learning Object?

You’ve just heard someone mention “reusable learning object” (RLO) and you get the idea you should already know what it is, but you’re too embarrassed to ask anyone. Congratulations, this post is for you.

You already know that creating great content is why your audience keeps coming back for more and more, and it’s why they refer others to you. It is also the essential component for a reusable learning object.

The theory is, if you assemble learning in bite-sized units, rather than weave it into very complex and programs, you later re-purpose the learning video files and assessment pieces (reusable learning object) into other courses, where they can shine anew and in combination with newly created content.

The key to your RLO is the database. Whenever you create learning IP, it must be indexed in a way that lets you find and use it again (or differently), as needed.

Over the course of the past several years, I’ve repurposed 1000’s of video files and testing assessment pieces from one learning program into another. As essential component of that process was how the files we indexed.  With out the proper procedure and system it would have been very difficult to have re-configured them accordingly into new online courses and as reusable learning objects.

When you repurpose learning content, traditionally you split a large course into mini courses, or bundle mini courses into one larger course. No matter the original course of material or purpose, there is absolutely no one saying you can only use it once.

When you are looking at designing your courseware, do not script it with a chronological sequence. I can’t tell you how many times, I have had to look at content and the first thing said by the expert is this:

In this course X, this chapter will talk about y and the next chapter will help you with p. Or within the script of the content, the expert will say, ‘As you can see in this course x, we have demonstrated…’

This will create more work for you or your editing team. DON’T chronological your content. You can always add a buffer on the front and back, but create it with the mind set that you may re-purpose at a later date and use the files as reusable learning objects.

Spending some time thinking about the strategy of how you will use the content as a reusable learning object before you create it will save you time, resources and lots of money in the long run. 

I can recall having looked at content from sales expert and influencer Grant Cardone. Jarrod, (Grant’s President) and I were determining what content that they had already created that would match the core competency of best practices for communication. We could then use as reusable learning objects so we could architecture a course that would be best suited for approval for Certified Financial Planners for continuing education credits.

The Cardone team did a great job of understanding that the chapter video files could be used as reusable learning objects because they were ‘a stand online piece of content about one specific topic.’

We essentially took the one chapter from other courses designed around the topics of negotiation skills, cold calling, and follow up and created an entirely new course with the reusable learning objects.

I then submitted the newly configured online course to the Certified Financial Board and got approval for continuing education credits for CFPs.

I think you’d agree with me that we are living in a content creation world. It always astonishes me when I work with potential new clients and suggest to take sound bites from their already created online course content and re-purpose them for Instagram and Facebook stories or as 1 minute LinkedIn quick video’s that until I uttered the words, they’d never thought of it.

Grant really does a great of this and so does my good friend and long-time client Hall of Fame professional speaker and speech coach, Patricia Fripp.

Here’s an example of content I created for her recently using reusable learning objects from one of her presentation skills online courses in her FRIPPVT and a clip of video I helped her create a marketing strategy for specific to her Fripp Speech Model.

It’s so simple at the video edit production stage before the files become courses to create small 50 – 60 second sound bites that you can then push on social media.

Got old content? Think about adding an up to date front end ‘buffer (a quick sound bite of you to start the video) 

Marketing is key to the success of your brand, which includes products and services. Awareness is the name of the game.

Find absolutely everything you ever created in the past and find new ways to repurpose to drive more social media awareness to you and to your brand.

Remember, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel (but you can update it.) Reusable learning objects should always be part of your marketing strategy when you are creating new online course content.

How to Create the Most Awesome Winning Course Titles

A winning course title is the foundation of a strong message that will build a relationships with your potential audience members. It is the course titles, after all, which compels users to click on your course to learn more.

The language you use in your course titles should appeal to those people and make them want to find out more.

  1. Who will benefit from this content?
  2. How do I help them?
  3. What makes this content special?

The answers to these questions most likely won’t produce the exact headline you’ll use. Rather, they’ll help shape any course, blog, keynote speech, article etc. into a persuasive message that reaches and connects with the people you want to attract.

Unfortunately, you can’t read your potential customers mind as to what content you should create, but you can use some great free tools to help you gain insights on the what and how.

How to Create the Most Awesome Winning Course Titles

These 4 free tools are some of the tools that I use in my CEP Process and system when I’m evaluating clients content determining how to position their courseware, keynote speeches, retreats and conference topics and the course titles to correspond to the content as Edge Learning professional development programs and approved internally as continuing education credit programs.

1. Coschedule Headliner Analyzer

The Headline Analyzer that will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.

Be prepared that the first time you use this tool, you’ll have to give them your email and company information. Don’t be afraid, it’s worth it and they won’t spam you.

This is what you can expect for results generated by coschedule.

2. Hemingway Sharethrough

It is very easy to use headline analyzer and offers helpful tips to improve your writing.

3. Blog Topic Generator

Yes, it’s a popular blog idea generator tool which helps you generate titles for your blog posts. However, use it to generate new topic ideas for your online courses.

Simply add your keyword in the text field and it will show you titles or topics for you to choose from.

4. Tweak Your Biz

https://tweakyourbiz.com/title-generator

Tweak your Biz generates titles based on different categories which will help you identify the right title for your blog post.

BEWARE, TweakYourBiz does generate lots of ideas in one shot.

After all, you can have the best content in the world, but if no one is searching the course titles, then what is the point of spending all the time and money creating the learning opportunity for them. You won’t make any money and you won’t be helping others by using your knowledge to help them achieve more.

Remember to always be learning and always make a connection with someone new. It will lead you to the possibility of a new opportunity and surpass your potential .

XO,
Lisa