Building a personal brand is exhilarating, sometimes exhausting, and then there’s lots of talk about money that might occasionally make you feel a bit cringe!
What do you believe about money? Does it drive you? Is it a dirty word? Do you bump up against limiting beliefs that keep you stuck and stop you building your personal brand and business?
When I think about profitability, Business Coach and Mentor Samantha Hearne springs to mind. She’s passionate about supporting entrepreneurs to develop strategies that create profitability and sustainability in their business.
With an infectious bright, fun energy I could spend hours listening to Sam talk numbers! And, let’s face it, it’s fantastic to build a personal brand, but it’s even better when that brand helps create maximum impact for others, and supports the lifestyle you want!
You can hear our full conversation on the Interviews With Experts podcast.
One of the frequent issues that interferes with people building their personal brand is the belief that the online marketplace is crowded and it’s hard to stand out.
I wanted to know if this is a belief that Sam subscribed to.
Is it true that the online space is saturated?
Sam: “That’s an excuse that people tell themselves to stop themselves doing it. Every market is saturated but there’s still room for success.
There are 12 musical notes on the scale yet we have dozens of new artists coming out every week. There are billions of TV shows and sitcoms and films but new ones are produced and we watch them! No market is too saturated if you’re willing to put yourself out there.
The market isn’t saturated; it’s not too late, but what’s important is that you come into whatever you are doing with a purpose, and the purpose must be bigger than to just make money!”
Is there any such thing as an overnight success?
Sam is adamant that there is always space for new business. I wondered how she felt about getting quick results; it’s easy to look at some of the big names and see tens of thousands of followers and expect the same to happen for your personal brand. Sam had wise words to share.
Sam: “You need to give it time. If you come into the online space and think that you’re going to come straight out of the gate and go viral, that’s a very slippery slope. You have every opportunity to succeed in the online space just as you would in the offline world, it comes down to how much you put into it.”
Sam has always been a hard worker. Even in her teaching career she initially chose to work another job during holidays. She was keen to emphasise that she doesn’t want to glorify being “busy”, because she’s also been highly intentional in her actions.
Sam: “I set up my first business, a happy mind, on Instagram and used that to build my personal brand [Sam uses the same account now]. I self-published a book, wrote for some global magazines, spoke on some big stages and my business kind of exploded through a lot of hard graft, and that’s something that doesn’t get spoken about often enough.
There were a lot of times that I was eating Coco Pops in the bath after a day of teaching and there was no time for dinner. I was working weekends, crying on the sofa because I was so tired! The reality of my business ‘exploding’ is that I put in a lot of hard work. I’d been running the business alongside my teaching career for 18 months before I left teaching, but in that time I had moved away from the anxiety mental health focus and into the business space.”
Although Sam’s level of busyness was untenable long term, it’s refreshing to hear another entrepreneur be honest that she wasn’t an overnight success.
You need to be real about what you want
The way that she “owns” her business desires, and encourages her clients to do the same, is equally inspiring!
Sam: “I take my clients through a process where I ask them what they want their life to look like and what they want to earn. We break down their outgoings such as mortgage, car, student loan, pension and so on. It’s really important that people recognise that their life is more important than what they make in their business but they also have to create a life they want.
Before I left to work solely in my business I was used to going on six holidays a year and I wanted to sustain that. I had an Audi that was on finance, a mortgage, a phone on contract and all the usual bills. I was not willing for my lifestyle to take a hit. The best way to create abundance is to intentionally build it in!”
Entrepreneurs are renowned for being driven by a strong desire to create impact on the world, but business success that negatively impacts on their own quality of life or emotional wellbeing is short lived.
How to live well in life and business
Sam went on to share how she uses personal shares from The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing to help her coaching clients gain perspective.
Sam: “In the online space it can be easy to lose a bit of reality. Money isn’t everything. One of the regrets shared [by author Bronnie Ware] is that people wish they’d ‘let themselves be happier’, and that they ‘wish they’d lived for themselves and not tried to meet the expectation of others’. So, when it comes to money, forget about what other people are making. What do you need to earn to live the life you want? If it’s just a numbers game it’s meaningless.
But, if the purpose of the business is strong and they love it, we also have to have the reality check to see if they’d still love it when it doesn’t pay enough to feed their kids! Passion projects are great but you need to create a quality of life!
I had to have that conversation with myself. I realised the anxiety coaching was hard to scale and wouldn’t support the life I wanted. I still help people, I still do a lot for mental health but it wasn’t going to give me the lifestyle I wanted. Ultimately, I have to be the priority for my life. We need to ask ourselves these questions and give honest answers.”
Accept that you and your business can grow together
When Sam was first coaching she was charging £99 for three private sessions, now her one-to-one coaching package is closer to £15k. Her parting gift is that whatever stage you’re at building your personal brand and business, don’t stop!
Sam: “When I first started coaching I was selling my workshops for £44 and offering three private coaching sessions for £99. Now my one-to-one work is closer to £15k, but that didn’t happen overnight. There was a gradual increase to that fee; we need to stop seeing money as this intimidating thing and start wherever you are.
If you are selling tickets for an online event for £10 don’t get demotivated. How can you make it more fun? It doesn’t always have to be about the next big number; it’s about those small compounding effects because that’s what’s going to make it multiply!”
Likewise, when it comes to building your personal brand the most important thing is to keep sharing valuable content. Don’t get fixated on the number of people who did or didn’t read your blog or listen to your podcast. Keep creating your content in line with what your target audience wants to hear and it will, over time, help you build a community full of your ideal clients.
If you’d love to find out how Write Business Results can help you to create books, blogs and podcasts, get in touch, or you might like to check out your personal branding scorecard for helpful hints and tips on what you can build on to transform your business.