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This course is a business coaching episode that provides information on personal branding.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Definition Magician: Brand - The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.
  • Notable Quotable: "Branding is what people think about you before they actually know you."
  • Lesson Nugget: In order for people to think about you in the same way you want them to think about you before they know you, your branding must always be consistent.
  • Notable Quotable: "The way you look will create perceptions of who you are."

[MUSIC PLAYING] -What's up, guys. Daniel McKenna here today. Clay Clark will be sitting down with the highly intelligent and successful Bryan Smith. He'll be talking to us about how to develop your personal brand-- the six super moves of personal branding. If you don't know already who Bryan Smith is, Bryan Smith is the owner of one of the nation's fastest growing and top selling insurance agencies. As a result of implementing best practice sales systems, pigheaded discipline, and the creation of successful sales organization culture, Bryan's business continues to thrive. In this lesson, Bryan Smith is going to bring some knowledge about how you develop your personal brand that will set you apart from your competition. Make sure you pay attention in this lesson, take notes, turn those notes in the action items so you can apply what you're learning here to your life or your business. Let's go. -Bryan, I appreciate you for letting me harass you, my friend. -Sure. -This is some exciting stuff, though, in your life right now. You've got the new office location up. Is that right? -Yes. -How long have you been working on that thing? -We've been working on it for about 2 and 1/2 years. -You probably spent, what? 2 and 1/2 years just getting zoning, right? It probably took about a week to build it. -With the city, getting sign zoning and all that, it's interesting. -But business owners who are watching this who are going, man, my city takes forever to get things approved. I mean, that's par for the course, yeah? -Yeah, it's normal. Very normal. -Well, today we're talking about how to develop your personal brand-- the six super moves of personal branding. Now, Bryan, I'm excited to get into this, and I'm going to go ahead and read a definition here from entrepreneur.com brand. Brand says the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. Bryan, you've been very successful at building one of the fastest growing insurance companies in the country. Why does your personal branding even matter to you? Why does it even matter? -I think to me it's always been like this. Branding, to me, is what people think of you before they actually know you. And so what I try to do with my business is I try to create a very consistent message across every avenue, whether it be my picture, the words I say. Every single thing I do is the same thing, so it's very consistent, and by the time people actually end up in my office, they kind of feel like they already know who Bryan is. -What is your message you try to communicate? What is the one you try to communicate? -You know, I'm always trying to communicate to people that we're here to serve 24/7, and the reason why that's big in my particular business is insurance companies aren't that well known for being open after five o'clock or at lunch, and a lot of places around here aren't. And we're trying to break that mold where we say we'll serve you 24/7. You work the night shift. We're here. You get up early, and you get off at 2:00. We're here. We don't close at lunch. -So do you pay somebody around the clock to do this for you? Is that what happens? We have people around the clock answering the phone. We have people in human form, actually there for very extended hours every single day of the week. On Sunday, people just answer the phone. We don't require people to be in the office, but we're accessible in our office more than anyone that I know of in the state. -My brother-in-law needs to talk to you. He had a drive by rock throwing last night. A guy throws a rock through the back of his windshield. -Nice. -It was beautiful, and he couldn't get a hold of people. He needs to be calling you. -Well, that's why we always tell people to CallBryanSmith.com, Clay. -Are you allowed to sell insurance in other states, or just Oklahoma? -You can get a licenses to do so, but I only have Oklahoma. -So if you're in a different state and you're going to-- what website is that again? -CallBryanSmith.com. -Let's say you go there, and you're like, I live in Minnesota. You could move. You just move down into Tulsa. -Well, I think I would. I would definitely move for better insurance. -That makes sense. -OK, now Bryan, I know that research and countless case studies have shown the price, the actual price that someone is willing to pay for something or the amount they're willing to invest in someone is often strongly-- and I say strongly-- influenced by their personal brand and how they're perceived to look in the mind's eye of other people. Have you ever lost a deal because you were dressed to depress? Back in the old school days, back before you had some success, were you ever dressed up like an idiot, running around, doing weird stuff. Was it-- you know? Did you ever lose a deal because of your poor branding when you started? -You know, in our world, the way you look will create perceptions of who you are. So when it applies to your business, you've got to make sure you what you're trying to do, you know what you're all about. I actually and surprisingly-- even though I admitted earlier that I got fired from some jobs, it was never because of how I looked. I've always been a very, very good and understanding in the marketing piece of business. Even before I had one, I understood the look, the conversation, and all that. What I didn't understand was the basics, like actually going there. -What? -Going to the job. -You have to go to the job. So it's weird. I would tell people, though, consistency is so important. This is another one of those things people really think is not that big of a deal, and I'll go to networking events all time or different places, and I'll see someone, and I'll think, you do what? You don't-- you sell clothes? Because those-- that doesn't look good. Or you sell jewelry? You don't even wear any. So I know people in town, though, that are the opposite of that, and one of our friends both of us share is Arthur Greeno. Arthur Is always dressed for his restaurant. He's always wearing his name tag, and he's always talking about what he does. It's consistent. You know that's what you're going to get. No matter where you see Arthur-- name tag, the right clothes, and the conversation. And that's why he is more successful than some of his counterparts, I believe.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Notable Quotable: "Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product."
  • Lesson Nugget: Once you build your branding and get people to your business, do not forget to also give them a quality product or service.
  • Notable Quotable: "Branding is what gives the perception that this is a particular product or service that someone needs."
  • Branding Super Move: 1) Develop a memorable image
  • Ask Yourself: How am I using branding to create an experience with my business before people even interact with it?


-Now I'm gonna read a little notable quotable from our main man, Elon Musk. Now this guy literally employs rocket scientists, OK. He started Tesla, PayPal, SpaceX, Zip2, SolarCity.

I mean this guy's had massive success and here's his quote, "Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product." What does that mean in your mind?

-In my business, brand isn't the driving factor, or why, or how people find us usually, but it's almost always the reason why they stay. And so brand is important. When they talk about branding, it's about consistency. But branding is kind of only, it's just one piece of the puzzle.

And I believe what he's saying is, yeah, you've got to make brand important, but a brand is just a perception. A lot of times you can create a brand, but if you really were to dig in, you'd maybe find out that there were some untruths there.

So I think what he's trying to say is, create a brand, it's very important, the marketing consistency. But once people do actually find you and they come into your office, no matter what avenue they found you with, you've got to there, you've got to show them the service and value.

-How does your brand to really impact your business on a daily basis, like your business success, on a daily basis?

-I think branding is important, you know. Branding is what gives the perception that this is a particular product or service that someone needs, so it's extremely important. I use it daily. I use it with my social media, all the way to my website, to the way I dress, to the people I talk to, to the events I attend. And the people that I choose to spend my personal time with.

-I'm gonna go through these super moves. I'm gonna read the super move and give the Thrivers a few examples, and then I'd like to figure out how you've tried to implement some of these super moves in your own business. So we can give some examples about how people can apply these in their own business.

So one is, develop a memorable image. I guess an example would be Donald Trump. He always has the hair looking the way it does. He always has a suit and tie kind of power combo look, there.

Tim Ferris, he's the guy that wrote "The 4-Hour Workweek." He always has the jeans and the T-shirt, we'll put a graphic of him up on the screen, here. He always looks like he's having success without working hard.

Steve Jobs always had the black T-shirt and the jeans. Kind of had that look of like, hey, I'm a minimalist guy. I don't really need to dress up for you people.

Magic Johnson, retired Hall-of-Fame member, super-successful business guy. He's always got the custom tailored suits, really dressed nice, there. How have you tried to create a memorable look for yourself with your agency? What are some of things you've done, maybe even with a new construction of-- with the construction of your new building. What are things you've done there?

-You know, thinking about the building. The goal was this, like no one else. That was all it was. When I sat down and begin to draw out what this building needed to be like with my business partner we said, it's got to be like no one else.

So my job was to create an experience that started before you came in. When you drive by it, you actually have to look around and make sure you're at 67th and Sheridan, because there's no way in the world that they sell insurance inside that place.

-How would you describe it?

-I would describe it with a very rustic kind of urban feel. When you come in, you're seeing lots of weathered wood. You're seeing steel and metal and iron. It's the kind of place where come in, it's not cooped up.

In our office we sell insurance. We protect people from their everyday problems. We help people plan for their future with their assets. We help people create tax shelters with life insurance. And we do all kinds of different lending-type products.

So when you walk in, I want it to be a very good, wide-open space. There's no stress. You're not on the fourth floor of some building with a bunch of offices and a secretary who's gonna ask you to sit and wait.

When you come into my business, you're important already. People treat you that way. You feel that way when you look around and begin to see it's open feel. There's no stress.

Just the experience is important to me. It smells good. It looks good. People are greeting you.

No one's delegating you to a waiting area, you need to wait. People engage you and begin to have conversation with you. If there is a wait time for us, they still engage you in conversation.

-So you're very intentional though, about creating that atmosphere where everyone feels important right away.


Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Ask Yourself: Am I being intentional with how I portray myself to my customers through the way I dress and how I interact with them?
  • Branding Super Move: 3) Be consistent with your look
  • Branding Super Move: 2) Know what you are about and why
  • Lesson Nugget: By keeping your branding consistent, you create the framework in which people discuss your brand.
  • Notable Quotable: "Money motivates neither the best people nor the best in people." - Dee Hock


-Now as far as your personal appearance, are you intentional about how you dress? Do you have a plan for this?

-This is a funny one, and yes, I do. I've been teased about this for years but I have a closet full of clothes. I'm big on shoes, and shirts, and clothes. I love to look good. I love the style piece of it. It's interesting to me. I'm known for crazy shirts.

CLAY CLARK: Can you show us those crazy shirts?

-Oh, absolutely.

CLAY CLARK: OK, the crazy shirt.

-If I've ever worn a solid shirt, it was a white undershirt. I've probably never worn a solid dress shirt. Not because I don't like them. I've kind of caught traction by people always being interested in what is the shirt Bryan's going to wear today? And I've kind of parlayed that into an interesting piece in my business.

It's part of my marketing deal. It's part of the who Bryan Smith is when you talk about calling Bryan Smith. You're going to get a guy that is stylistically there. I like to engage people on style. I like to engage people on what they're interested in.

At the very same time, if you came in and you were a farmer, Clay, I would shed the jacket. I would probably roll up my sleeves right in front of you, and say, what have you been doing today? Because I want to give the impression that I understand that you've been working hard today and me sitting here in this little bitty office is not important to you. So I'm always going to try to play the part of the person I'm talking to or at least show you that I can identify with who you are.

-Now, the next super move is know what you are about and why. Bryan, we know how important this is from a credibility standpoint, life-balance, and goal-setting standpoint. But in your mind, why is it so important that every entrepreneur takes the time to discover themselves and really understand what they are all about? You know what I mean?

-Sure, Clay. And I read somewhere that money motivates neither the best people nor the best in people-- purpose does. And when I read that, I begin to think about-- and we covered it earlier-- money is a motivator to people because they needed to pay bills. But outside of paying bills and maybe buying a few things that they like, they have to do something for the rest of their lives. And if they don't feel like that they're needed and wanted and that they are a crucial piece of the business, they're outward effort into your business will begin to fade. And so I think offering purpose to people is the most important.

-It seems to me that, did, for you, that's what you're all about. Because every time I talk to you, you're always on that. And I mean this in a sincere way. It seems that that is what you're always about. It doesn't matter what the topic may be at that point, that's what you're always about.

It's you're trying to help develop people. I know you really care about people. I know other business owners they're like, look, I'm all about whatever it may be. Like, one guy I know, he's a very successful guy. He's all about personal fitness.

He's all about helping his employees become fit, getting in shape, being in shape, being in shape, helping the employees get in shape. He's all about that. Another guy I know is really all about, like, excellence. No matter what, we're going to be the best. But you have to know what you're about, right? Before you can start telling other people about it. You can't be changing like the flavor of the week, right?

-You know, and I just decided that multiplication is the best way for me to grow my business and that is for me to try to create in other people what's very important to me. And to us, it's about developing people, giving them a purpose. Every time I recruit or interview someone, Clay, I tell them this-- you're going to have to work for the rest your life. So you have two scenarios-- number one, you turn 65, you retire, and you look back and you go, oh, I'm finally done.

Or the better scenario is that time flies. You get to 65, you look back and go, that wasn't too bad. And when I hire someone, I talk about that because I want to set the precedent that I'd love for you to work here for the rest your life. And I want you to have a purpose and know that you're that important to me that if you work here for the rest your life, there's a lot of value being given to me for that.

-Now, moving on to super move number three. You talked about it a little bit earlier, but it's being consistent with your look. So we think about this. We'll put their images on the screen here. But Donald Trump, Tim Ferris, Steve Jobs, Magic Johnson-- it's almost hard to imagine these people outside of the boundaries they set for themselves with their personal brand.

I mean, it'd be hard to imagine Magic Johnson growing out like an unbelievable mop and starting to rock like an interesting Earth, Wind, and Fire or George Clinton style haircut. It'd be hard to imagine Donald Trump getting a burr cut or a shorter haircut, or Tim Ferris in a suit. It's almost hard to imagine some of these people there. How much effort do you make on a consistent basis to go whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. That is not consistent with my look. How much effort do you put into being consistent?

-I put in a lot of effort, Clay.


-People always know what they're going to get with my look. My consistent style is just another way for people to always be discussing my brand. And what people have to understand about a business or networking or trying to grow their business is the more topics people have to discuss in relation to your brand is always better for you.

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