It's a brand new edition of Tracks To Success with a man who's found a second career and become an industry expert on the topic of BRAND.
Personal and professional brand expert Gregg Burkhalter joins host Kraig Kann to discuss the career path that's led him to be a sought after speaker and coach in the area of digital brand marketing and become affectionately - and respectfully - known as "The LinkedIn Guy."
Burkhalter grew up in Georgia with the dream of a long-time career in radio broadcasting, only to find his way into a lucrative position in marketing sales. When his company hit the skids, he was off to the races in a new career as a brand expert. But NONE of it was a plan he'd put into motion, it just happened.
Hear how he used his own career turn of events to turn his professional life completely around and how his network of followers has grown beyond anything he'd imagined.
Plus, answers to questions like: What does LInkedIn actually think about his knowledge of the platform and how to put it into motion for professional gain? What do people least understand about building their own brand? And what's the first thing you should do the minute you stop listening to this edition of Tracks To Success? You'll find out!
Welcome to Tracks. To Success brought to you by presentation partners. This is the podcast that brings you inspiring people, and they're inspiring stories. How did they find their way to the top and how can their paths help you do the same? Here's your host network, broadcaster, executive and entrepreneur Kraig Kann right now.
Now on this edition of Tracks To Success you'll meet a man who saw his long and successful career disappear only to find a brand new one in his fifties raised in rural Georgia. He found his way to a legitimate first job at the age of 16, working as a radio DJ, eventually working in radio stations in the Southeast, and then marketing and distribution of music in of all retail places, truck stops and he was killing. Then it disappeared. Next was the second act that's made. I'm a first rate of authority, thanks to a driver and a strategy we can all learn from.
2 (1m 12s):
He never took things personal. He just got personally and focused on business connections and relationships, and is now become a recognized and sought after expert in the world of personal and professional branding. You've heard of LinkedIn right. Approaching 600 million users with more than 40% using a daily. Well, nobody knows it like this guy, a man who was now actually known as The LinkedIn Guy. So how did he become a self-taught expert in social media marketing? What of countless professionals learn from his consulting and speaking services?
2 (1m 53s):
And how can you really flip the career script at age 50? His name is Gregg Burkhalter is inspiring story in this edition of Tracks To Success starts now. Well, Greg, this is going to be a thrill for me, and I think our listeners are going to have a whole lot of fun. Thank you so much for joining me. I've got my pen. I've got paper. I think I've been a learned something. And I think there are gonna learn something. How are you doing?
0 (2m 23s):
I am doing fantastic. Kraig and first of all, a couple of comments, your set looks awesome, man. I can see why you're the pro and I'm the amateur of this video stuff. Great. Sad. And also thank you for the honor of being on your show. I really appreciate you.
2 (2m 37s):
The pleasure's all mine. I'm really glad to have you. And I was thinking about how best to start this thing in the way I look at this whole podcast is a little bit of self, which is you and your story. And a little bit of self-help for all of those who are listening, because I think they're going to get so much out of this. And I think that's the great part of this story. So your path, your journey, and how you can help others. I'm going to start with a very simple
3 (3m 0s):
Question, although it might not be that easy to answer, but I think you can handle it, define the word BRAND
0 (3m 10s):
BRAND your personal brand is what people think feel or se when they hear your name or they see your face or name, that's kind of wordy. That's sorta my definition. Let me cut to the chase. Your brand is not what you say you are. Your brand is what other people say you are. And one of the common questions I get all the time Gregg this is my LinkedIn profile. My BRAND answer to that question is if nobody believes what's on your profile, it's not your brand. Your goal is to make them to believe that what's on your profile is the same person they're gonna meet. And the same person there going to work with
3 (3m 45s):
Good stuff right there. You've already hit on the key to the whole thing to me. BRAND and what I talk about a lot is it's not what happens when your, in the room. It's what happens once you leave the room. It's what people will say about you based on what they noticed based on what they heard based on what they'll share word of mouth marketing bigger than ever today. So you've kind of gone BRAND and you've already tied in Personal brand. Now, what I want you to do is tell me why it's more important than ever to realize that it matters so much.
0 (4m 17s):
Well, right now, most first impressions are digital. So the days of being all nervous about going to meet someone for the very first time and trying to make that good first impression. Don't worry about that. When you meet someone nowadays, it's at least the second impression, people meet more people online these days than they will ever meet in person. So you're a personal brand, your online presence. That is the one optimist working for you, 24 seven, 465. And for most people, it is the first contact they have with you is when they Google your name. In other words, Google Scott, your Google resume. When you got to print it a resume, which your digital resume that you can control, but it takes longer to kind of get in position is your Google resume.
0 (5m 2s):
So your brand proceeds you and your brand can open up so many opportunities for you. In fact, it can change your life and change your career. If you have a strategy on how to build a strong personal brand and professional brand. But one thing that I learned about branding is I don't take credit for building my brand because I can build my BRAND. It takes people around me to do it. So all the credit from a brand building goes to the people around me who believed in me, I will take some small credit for a couple of things. I gave them a concept they could believe in, and I gave a person they could trust to deliver on it. And once I did that, they started building my brand. And now I'm kind of on a new situation, which I had no idea.
0 (5m 45s):
This would be where I would be a nice situation with a lot of responsibility. I have to always deliver on my brand promises. So if you think it's a challenge to get, well-branded get people believing your, and you let them down. It's got to be like people jumping off the Titanic. They're never coming back. The other thing about having a strong personal brand, I didn't know this either in the early years, it is you can help other people. So if you're one of those individuals who enjoys paying it forward and helping other people, I strong personal brand gives you the power to do that.
3 (6m 18s):
Yeah. If you fell off the Titanic and could climb back up and get back up there, you'd have a pretty good story to tell that that would be pretty BRAND worthy. I would say you're a speaker, you're a consultant. You're a coach. You help a lot of people. We're going to get in to all of that stuff. Okay. You are known as The LinkedIn Guy and I'm going to get into that. Cause I think that's pretty cool. I think it's really cool. The reason I think you're an expert in the field of personal branding and business marketing is because of the story that really is yours. I think it's a story that carries. I think it's a story that a lot of people can relate to, which I want to dive into, but it kept really, it really kind of falls into a guy who switched, who pivoted, who changed course and is found success.
3 (7m 6s):
In other words, your story, based on everything I know in what we've talked about, go's from a guy who started young, had a great career company goes bankrupt. Doesn't have a job decides I'm going to do something else. And now a career of helping other people to build their story and themselves. Is that a fair assessment?
0 (7m 27s):
That is fair. But the one thing that I can tell you, a lot of that, that you just described there, it was not scripted. I wished I could tell you I had a perfect plan of how things will unfold. I didn't what I did have a strategy on wor I was headed and I went along and I adjusted it and pivoted as it needed to be to make sure that I maintain my momentum. And once I knew I was on the wrong path, I forged tools to be in my head.
3 (7m 50s):
Forward-thinking is a gift really? And it's not something a lot of people think about. And I a L I actually believe that people need to spend a lot more time thinking about plan B, plan C, where they might need to go spread your wings. Now, just in case you might need it later, but it doesn't always work that way. For most of us, let's, let's drop back to the path of all this new found success. In fact, I want to go way back. It begins on a farm. And Georgia, if I, if I know this story, right, as a young kid, I want you to tell me about who you were way back before you were The LinkedIn Guy cause you weren't the LinkedIn kid.
0 (8m 28s):
I was a small town boy who did not live on a farm, but all of my friends were farmers. So all the guys hung out with were farmers. I was sort of quiet, not very talkative, but I had a dream. I wanted to be on the radio one day. In fact, Iconica said type about a decade ago of me talking as a teenager at about 13 years old, pretending to be a disc jockey on the flight radio station that never existed in my town called w and I found that tight. So I thought it was just a passing team fad. Well, little did I know that my mother was out looking for jobs for me to try to give me something to do after school, the place you went to ask, why would you hire my son?
0 (9m 10s):
What's the local radio station? And they said, yes. So at 16 years old, I got on the air and began my early career in broadcasting. One of my earliest memories. And this is really going to date me. I actually remember being on the air when Elvis died, hearing the teletype, which most people don't know what a teletype, as, as a digital machining that brought you the news, the teletype alarms were going off. I went into the news booth, found the copy that was printing out, brought it back to the turntable, took the record, the needle off the record and said, ladies and gentlemen, Elvis, Aaron Presley, as a dad, that's my earliest memory. So I started working at a small town station, got married about three or four years later.
0 (9m 51s):
And my wife gave me a, a boost of confidence. She says, Gregg, what do you really want to work? I gave her a couple of ideas and I gave him my main idea was a station in Savannah, Georgia who happened to be that happened to be a very popular station. And I thought I was not good enough. Well, she encouraged me to send that type. And I got a phone call from that station, went down for an interview and they offered me a job. But unfortunately it was not a full-time job. It was a part-time job until something full time became available. So I came back to my small town station and begged and pleaded. Could I work at both stations at the same time and try to transition to a better career. They didn't like that idea. They said, you've got to choose you work for us, or you work with the new radio station.
0 (10m 33s):
And so the way I roll the dice went to work for the radio station of Savannah. Probably a month later, I got another great opportunity that station in Savannah had a 50,000 watch district station that was starting America's first disco, radio show. Guess who they asked to be the host, the farm boy. Okay. So that's how I got my first full time gig and Savanna. About six months later, The the FM radio station wide. Originally applied had a full time opening for the overnight shift. I applied for the overnight shift. My boss told me that I did not get the job on the overnight shift. What he told me, you got a bid days. We're move in the mid day, got to overnight. You're a new mid day Guy and we're going to be, we're going to rename you.
0 (11m 16s):
Your name is now captain Kraig Stevens. You are the pilot of the airwaves, my career energized. At that point, I started dreaming again instead of a type two, the number one station in Jacksonville, Florida got a phone call at my mobile home saying, this is the PD at Georgia. I mean, why one to three in Jacksonville, I want to interview you. And I thought it was a friend playing a trick on me. So I asked him all these qualifying questions. You got them. All right. So I drove to Jacksonville, got my job. I came back to Savannah, to them, my boss. She was excited for it. Again, you go in a white party. Now you go out in the Jacksonville. I'm at that point, my father passed away.
0 (11m 56s):
And as a young guy, he kinda took a little wind out of my sails. So I kinda got unencrypted and broadcasting and I kinda got out of it a little bit. So I made one more career move to Charleston, South Carolina, where I did my last midnight show on an FM radio station and then transitioned into the second part of my career.
3 (12m 14s):
Hold, hold on, hold on a second. I got a question before we get into that second part of your career. Yeah. Who was more motivated at age 16? When you, when you started doing that stuff on the radio, cause that's like a professional gig in a way, was it you, or was it your mom that was saying, I need to get this guy out of the house doing it
0 (12m 33s):
Here. Here's the honest answer to that question. Don't tell anybody we're not being recorded our way out. Right? The artist's to answer. He has, my mother was looking for a company that was near my father, who was the teacher's school, where he taught. If she could find a business near where he taught school, then he can bring me home from work. Every day that radio station was right across the street from the school. So once I got into it, by the way you used the term professional, I was far from a professional at 16 years old. I remember my first full shift. I had an incredible shift in a store of the latter. Part of my shift. The boss walks in. He asked me how my gigs go on. I said, man, this was wonderful. And he goes, you realize you've been off the air for the last two hours.
0 (13m 16s):
He says, you see that switch on the rock corner of the board. You must've slipped it off. I've heard nothing for two hours. So I was far from pro, but it, it got better. As I, one thing about broadcasting, I was never the strongest link in the radio station with the stations where I was able to work. There was some incredibly talented people there. And just like in life, the people around you make you better. So they made me sound better.
3 (13m 40s):
Hey, Gregg a little tidbit for you. When it comes to brand awareness and recognition, you got to have the switch on at the radio station for people to be able to hear you. If you're trying to do that, I just wanted to toss that out as well.
0 (13m 53s):
I should say the phone never rang anyway. So how about I know the date.
3 (13m 58s):
Okay. Now let's get into to, to part two of the career. Cause this one, this is actually one of the ones that I find to be a little bit more, even interesting. I mean, you and I have the ties to broadcasting, which was great, but now were, we're talking about music, distributions, sales, marketing, and the whole thing. And I find this a little bit fascinating.
0 (14m 14s):
Okay. Okay. The next part of the story begins in Charleston, South Carolina. When I started working from one of America's largest music, retail chains, I did that to get my foot into the music industry. I worked in Charleston, how worked in Montgomery, Alabama worked in Birmingham, Alabama. My goal was always to get to Atlanta. I always wanted to be in the music business in Atlanta. I got that happened to me and probably I think it was in the late eighties, early nineties. I had got to Atlanta and I have my first opportunity to give in to what I called the real music world. The real music world. It is when you get away from retail and selling music to hanging out with recording artists, being able to buy music on a massive scales, being able to be catered to by the major record labels I got into wholesale music.
0 (14m 59s):
It changed my life, did that in Atlanta for a few years. And then I might a pivot slightly to another facet of wholesale music. That was, I became the Guy the one person in the Southeastern us who might most of the decisions about what music goes into those little spinner racks that you would see a convenience stores in truck stops across America. I decided to what one of those racks were pretty close to twenty-five years. It was my dream job. It was what I always wanted to do. I, like I said, I got to hang out with the recording stars day in and day out. I had a lot of power in the buying department. So that means to the major labels or catering to me after you saw all your major artist in their early years like Garth Brooks, Celine Dion, I've been on the stage of the grand Ole Opry.
0 (15m 44s):
It, it it's just been an incredible fine, but you know what? About six years ago that blissful job that I loved so much went to put their company went bankrupt and you had a Guy where I lost at that point, a guy talk about BRAND hour only had one BRAND I was the music Guy, but I realize that the music industry going forward doesn't have a whole, a whole lot of upward mobility because of downloading and streaming. So I had to make a pivot friend of mine about 10 years younger than me came to the rescue. But before he started talking to me, he actually apologized. So I knew this was going to be a very sensitive topic. He said to me, Gregg please don't take this wrong, but I need to help you. You need to have some strategy on what to do to make this next, next, next mood.
0 (16m 28s):
So what does the house? And I left for two bits of strategy. One was I needed a networking card printed up that looked like he had a job. The other thing that while she says, you gotta be on LinkedIn. A lot of the way I was on no social media at that time, I didn't even know what the word networking meant. So I got the card printed up, which is a networking card, walked into the first business, which was a digital marketing company. Walked inside, said, I'm looking for a job. And here's my networking card. And can be either one of you tell me exactly what networking is. And I could tell their lips were twitching. They were holding back, busting out, laughing. They're like this guy is Tallulah's and they felt sorry for me. So they stopped everything in the lobby. And we talked for two hours. And when I left there, I had a job as a digital marketing consultant.
0 (17m 9s):
And I was so excited. I called my buddy up to tell them what, what just happened? And he was not excited. He threw that question at me. That always made me stand where he goes Gregg are you on LinkedIn yet? I said, no, I'm afraid of LinkedIn. I don't want to be on social media. I've never been on social media. I'm a private person. I don't want to be on LinkedIn. He says, Gregg out of respect for you. I'm going to force you to get on LinkedIn. I'm going to set up your account.
3 (17m 33s):
So he he's the guy, he's the guy that actually did that. But what I hold on, you're you're going, you're going so fast on this story. I got questions for you. Gregg I mean, you, you're not exactly 30 to getting kicked to the curb, having a company go bankrupt. And you got to you're a later in your career. So this is, When a lot of people, right? Go sideways. They lose themselves. They feel lost. They get nervous. They don't know what their next is. And you kind of shared that. So you basically had not only not an understanding of, of social networks or marketing digital in that way, you didn't have a network to lean on.
3 (18m 16s):
Come on. We were you scared to death?
0 (18m 18s):
I didn't know enough to be scared. I was just in a funk. I was at a place where I didn't know how to move forward. I didn't know where to go. Button was this friend of mine. When he reached out to me, if he thinks he knows how to help, please try to help me. So he set up my account. And when I left to the kitchen table, I didn't really have much confidence, but I did have a strategy from day one. And you know what? Yeah, it was right from day one. But I didn't know that until later on, my strategy was, could I build and nurture relationships online? Like I can do in person fast forward one year I'm doing my normal LinkedIn stuff. I've never met one person I could talk to about LinkedIn other than my friend. And he only moderately new it at the time it was, I kept doing what I thought it was. Right. And I get my very first indicator.
0 (18m 59s):
Something magical was going on here. When one of the larger chambers in the Atlanta area sends me an email. By the way, I don't belong to the chamber. I was wondering while they were writing me, send me a note and said, Gregg, we're starting a brand new education Academy. Would you come be our very first speaker and do a LinkedIn workshop? I went, they must have the wrong Gregg. So I wrote him back and I said, please check your address book. You must have chosen the wrong Gregg. I am not a member of your chamber. They immediately responded and said, we've been watching your activity on LinkedIn. We think you're the guy that knows LinkedIn was you come and do it for us. So at that point it felt like the story was being built. The question was, do you have enough confidence to go where nobody had been before?
0 (19m 40s):
Could I do something that wasn't even on the roadmap? Okay. So I played around for about three months to see, is there a possibility that I might become somewhat of an authority on LinkedIn? So in June, 2015, I decided I'm going to roll the dice. I am going for this. So a lot in to my boss, that marketing company, and I said, I'm going to be the LinkedIn guy. He goes, what's a LinkedIn Guy. And I explained to them what I plan to do. And boy, his smile gets bigger and bigger. And then I say, as The LinkedIn Guy I control my BRAND. So you're not going to have access to it all the time. Well, that didn't go over to it. Well, so in June of 2015, the guy you're talking to The LinkedIn Guy was born. And that first year, let me tell you, it was amazing.
0 (20m 21s):
I spoke to 75 to a, a a hundred groups, and that was immediately starting to try and see Suite executives all across America, that first year. Amazing. How
3 (20m 30s):
Hi, how did you, how did you do this when you basically didn't even know what you were doing? In other words, there are a lot of people who say, okay, this is what I want to do. Next. This is going to be my passion, but I might have to have a learning curve. I might to go to a couple of training sessions, myself. I might have to go to a couple of conferences. I might have to read a few books, all of that sort of stuff. I mean, you went from, you know, kinda being on the road at truck stops and with truckers to be in, you know, on the road or on the map with everybody in this huge landscape without a compass, in a way,
0 (21m 10s):
What I recognized early on is even the little I knew about LinkedIn. It was more than most people I ever encounter knew about it. Like, you know, so I knew I was ahead of them. So as long as I was ahead of them, and that was willing to share content that I could build my business in what I learned early on, he has, like I told you that in our first part of this conversation, I don't control my brand. And I knew the way I could build some social proof and some brand traction was to speak as often as I could. So if somebody would give me an opportunity to speak, I would be there because I knew if I spoke there, I could get a photo of the group. And I could put that on LinkedIn with a thank you to the host who brought me in and people would say, wow, people are sitting around listening to him.
0 (21m 52s):
He must know what are you doing that for the early part of my career built social proof. And I didn't know this at the time, but every time I was speaking to a group, they would talk about it on their social media, on their website. They never took it down. So my digital footprint goes all the way back to my early years as The LinkedIn Guy when you Google my name, you will go through 10 pages of Google results before you ever leave me, which means my website has tremendous SEO because of the quality of back links pointing to it. Again, this was not planned. It just happened to be that the more you speak and the more it's documented digitally, the more your digital footprint is that correct?
3 (22m 31s):
Lily, that part, that part I totally understand. And a lot of people don't realize that you've got to put yourself out there to be recognized and relevant in certain spaces, you became the authority in something The LinkedIn Guy is a very powerful statement. I mean, it really is. Has LinkedIn embraced you or was there any issues at the very beginning when everybody's seeing your name attached to LinkedIn you don't work for them. Were there any trademark issues or what, what happened with that? There had to be
0 (23m 1s):
Okay. Well, yeah, you don't know this cause you haven't seen in my business card, my business cards does not say The LinkedIn Guy and when you look at my LinkedIn profile, it, it doesn't say I am The LinkedIn Guy it just says I'm known by many as The LinkedIn Guy so what people call me? I can't control and I've embraced what they call me. They say I'm The LinkedIn Guy you know what I LinkedIn Guy yeah. I'm The LinkedIn Guy so I embraced that. Yes. I'm concerned. What would Microsoft think about or share? What would LinkedIn think about the being The LinkedIn Guy and when I got my first indicator, about how many years ago it was the, before about one year on to my LinkedIn Guy use, I found out that Microsoft bought LinkedIn and that scared me to death.
0 (23m 42s):
In fact, I'm sitting here at this desk and I'm actually having an anxiety attack because I'm concerned what's going to happen. Well, I'm hoping Microsoft and they bought LinkedIn. Maybe he doesn't know about MI. Well, that, that is not the case. 'cause that very same day. I got my very first email from microsoft.com and it scared me so bad. I sit here for about an hour to get up the guts, to read it. And when I read it, it was not with two eyes, it was one eye open and it was a slow scroll. And what it said was that Microsoft had officially purchased LinkedIn and they were asking me a favor. They wanted to know what I come to the Microsoft store and in Atlanta into a workshop from Microsoft. How about you have gotta be kidding and you know me to do that only do we know You corporates approves.
0 (24m 24s):
You saw the Microsoft relationship grows a little further up in the Microsoft for times to train their people. And most recently I did a regional webinar for 65 people out of their sales team, out of the corporate office in Atlanta, Georgia. So Microsoft knows who I am, but I believe there was a mutual respect and LinkdIn as a company that does not have an office in Atlanta. I'm not sure what the closest office it is, but I would say in LinkedIn my footprint in what I'm doing and the activity, what I'm doing has kept the LinkedIn name alive until they can get here. So, because LinkedIn was not here and they didn't have a corporate presence, that also helped me grow my brand faster because I was not competing with a corporate job.
3 (25m 7s):
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3 (25m 54s):
All right. I know how you felt at 50. You said you weren't scared cause you didn't know any better since you are now that Guy. And since you've made that pivot and since it is a success, number one, hats off to ya, I think it's beyond impressive. And by the way, I'm sure nobody's ever told you that she, you bring a little bit of energy to the entire conversation. Let's let's help some people. All right, I'm going to, I'm going to ask you some quick questions for some fairly quick answers. Here we go. Number one. Why is LinkedIn so important today?
0 (26m 30s):
I just alluded to one of their reasons Microsoft owns LinkedIn. So you can fully expect LinkedIn to be incorporated into the whole Microsoft office environment. Also, I alluded to earlier that your first impression that people have of as a digital. So if you want to see how valuable LinkedIn his go to Google and search for your lane name nine times out of 10, the first website you are going to see above your company page and everything else is your LinkedIn profile.
3 (26m 57s):
Okay? First thing people need to focus on. When building that page for themselves. The first thing they need to attack, what do they do?
0 (27m 5s):
Firstly, I have to realize that it's a general rule. Nobody's looking for you on LinkedIn. They discover you. So you gotta be discoverable. And initially people only see three things. When they see your profile, they see your face, they see your name and they see the words below your name, which is your headline. That has the first thing. They C also what your trying to do on your LinkedIn profile. Once they click on it, you want them to have a conversation with you and not have it not be a real world. Guy, it's a more of a digital company. You want your words to be on that page so you can tell them the value you bring to any situation where your heart is, what your passion is, what your goals are.
0 (27m 45s):
Talk to your people digitally. Your, your online BRAND is out there. 24, seven, three 65. It better be rocking.
3 (27m 53s):
Yeah. I coached presentation skills for people that stand in front of audiences. And I always talk to people Gregg they try to be perfect. They tried to give a speech and I say, we're not giving a speech. We're giving an experience. We want people to feel something it's got to come from your head and your heart. That's what makes people walk out the door, emotionally charged, excited, going to share it with other people on social media. To me is much the same way. You've got to be a storyteller of the things that are tied to you. So based upon what you said, you gotta be discoverable. The question would then be, how do you get noticed?
0 (28m 31s):
You get noticed by But building that digital footprint. Like I told you about, you got to be out there among other people. You gotta be engaged digitally. And in fact, speaking of being engaged digitally, what am I talking points when I speak is this. I don't know if you've recognize this, but the professional toolbox has changed in the last few years. When I came along, my professional toolbox was a little skinny thing. Like you can buy a radio shack. It, it had two items in it. It had my education and where I've worked. That was the two items in it. Well ride. Now everybody has a massive toolbox. This thing is, has two new power tools in it that can change your life. It can change your career. Those power tools are I solid Personal brand and what we were just talking about an engaged professional network.
0 (29m 18s):
I don't care how many connections you have on LinkedIn. If they are not aware of you and they're not engaging with you, then you are not connected with those people who are truly. So you've got to always be strategizing. How do you build and nurture those relationships by the way? LinkedIn and there's no shortcut to LinkedIn Success if you thank you can buy your way to long term success. You can't because the relationships with the foundation of long term success. So if all your doing on hunting only get is hunting for a customer and trying to take a shortcut. You might have some wins along the way, but when that hunting stops, your brand has not moved. One inch, your brand growth is built on relationships and adding value to the LinkedIn community.
3 (30m 1s):
So most people are probably afraid to brag. You know, they, they look at their page like, Oh boy, I don't wanna put this on there. I don't want to put that on it. But they also understand that there has to be key words used, et cetera, that show up in, in searches and what not. What's the biggest philosophical mistake that people make with their page.
0 (30m 20s):
First of all, the talk in third person, w what makes a LinkedIn profile different and a resume is one thing, emotion. I can make you feel something I can make you feel something with my words and with my photos. So if I look at your LinkedIn profile right now, and I ask myself, does your profile look more like a newspaper article or a magazine article? If I say a newspaper article, I am bored to death. This is a multimedia world. I better see photos. I'd better see videos. I better see something to excite me. And I don't want to copy paste paragraphs, read a resume because over a half of everyone who sees your LinkedIn profile for the very first time, he saw it on a mobile device.
0 (31m 3s):
And if your profile is written in long paragraphs, I feel like I just clicked on Wikipedia. It's overwhelming. So we've got to do more of a bullet point highlighting stuff, make it more easily digestible. But again, what your trying to do is get people to feel the person they're gone to meet. When they finally meet that person. When those two things match your profile and the in-person, you you're in the sweet spot.
3 (31m 27s):
You said it's not who you know or what you know, but who knows? You correct. That's, that's one of Greg's things he focuses on. Can you explain that?
0 (31m 37s):
Well, I don't care how many real world relationships you have, how many people, you know, shake hands and tell jokes too, and slap each other on the back. Those are all fine and well, but if you haven't taken your relationships and put them into the digital work day of people who like you, potential clients, people who admire you, if you haven't got your brand in their work day, they don't think about you. So if you have a network of a thousand people that have never heard what from you, those thousand people never think about You during the Workday, you are invisible. So you've got to always be making yourself in front of people. And you're not putting yourself in front of people as a braggart. You're putting yourself in front of people, as someone who always brings value.
0 (32m 19s):
Some of it always has time to turn that helpful ear, to try to help someone puts people first, be a giver on LinkedIn give value, give humble advice, be open to learning from things around you and individuals around you, and you will grow your brand. And also you will grow. You respect from your peers and the community Gregg are a of people don't know
3 (32m 40s):
What value really means. They don't believe that they truly have value. They don't understand their inner strength or inner genius or whatever. So they're afraid to post. They are afraid to put stuff out there. So I hear that phrase all the time. We've got to add value. Heck I use it. What's value
0 (32m 57s):
Value as an item that's out of the beholder, not what you perceive as a value, but what the person who you are engaging with would perceive as a value value is not something that rises your cost value. As something that answers your question for the other person or raises their brand on LinkedIn. Your goal is not number one to build your brand. Your number one goal was to build relationships and to help others build their BRAND bile U, doing that. It creates our relationship of respect. And there going to turn around and do the favor for you. They're going to help you build your brand. And one of the things that I learned early on when you're starting to build your brand from scratch, he is, it takes a while to build it from scratch. If you're trying to blaze your own trail.
0 (33m 38s):
But if you find people in your LinkedIn community that you know who are well-branded people, you respect, if you will help those people get their brand even bigger, you create massive exposure for your brand that you can come up with on your own for six months, two a year. So help others well-branded you can ride their coattails to even wider brand exposure.
3 (34m 3s):
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3 (34m 56s):
I've heard you use the catch phrase BRAND storming. All right. I think that's kind of funny, kind of cool. So could you take me through, and you know, 35, 45 seconds, what a BRAND storming session is all about? Does it include like differentiators or strengths and weaknesses? What is that? Okay.
0 (35m 16s):
Basically when somebody reaches out to me and say, Hey, Gregg, could you take a look at my LinkedIn profile and give you some feedback? What I tell that person initially is I'm not going to look at your profile until we talk step one, a brand storming is hearing that person tell me in their own words, what do they think their brand is? And once I go through that 10 minute conversation for the very first time, I'll look at their LinkedIn and I tell them, do I believe their brand or don't believe their brand based on what I say on their LinkedIn profile. Once I figured out the points of that profile, did it or not connecting with a person that I just spoke with? We start the BRAND storming session of the siding is what you told me, not truly your brand. Did you, did you, did you not represent it?
0 (35m 56s):
Well, this is your brand more like your profile or is what I heard your brand. If it is, we're going to just kind of brand story on how we can present you on LinkedIn and such a way that when somebody comes to your profile, that can start believing and buying into your brand. BRAND storming is a painful process. It's a process. Most people can't do on their own because one reason is they can't be objective. But I have the ability to look at someone's profile and listened to their story and tell them what 90% of the people who see them on LinkedIn think and feel that's one of my attributes. And that's something that I've used all the time. In fact, when I get off of this podcast, someone contacted me 10 minutes before we started asking for that exact same thing, but they didn't know the term, their term was, they said, would you look at my profile and tell me if you feel I have professional strength and I am out of value in this market nowadays, they just asked me to do, to analyze their brand and do a little brands.
0 (36m 51s):
So I'm going to brainstorm with them later.
3 (36m 53s):
Yeah. BRAND analysis, tough thing. And I don't think people necessarily know who they are or what value they truly bring. I've been asked that question. Somebody says Kraig, who are you? What are you do? What does Kann advisory group do? I say we're elevators. We elevate people to become better. We elevate brands to become a bigger, we elevate events to become grander. Come along for the ride. We get people talking, all that stuff. You have to have the answers to who you are and what you are. And in the LinkedIn page, I think you need to be able to share it with people, as you say, not third person, but find a way to connect with people.
0 (37m 28s):
Oh, you're on track. And let me tell you something. The, one of the most important parts when you're a LinkedIn profile or the one that's misused a lot is the words below your name is called the headline. Most people have never adjusted the words below their name. And if you have never adjusted those words, I know what's there. That's your latest job title. And let me tell you this. If you believe your personal brand is tied to your job, you're setting yourself up for a major brand reset. Like I did. When I left my job, your brand is not where you work your brand as the skills and attributes are not only do you bring to where you currently work, but what you would bring into a future employer or situation and the future. So you're a headline should be more than just your job title.
0 (38m 11s):
Tell me some of your strengths. Tell me what your, your focus is. Make me feel something about your direction and why you should engage with You. One of the big mistakes I see on the headline also too, is people ask me how was my brand in my building, my personal BRAND. One of the early warning signs that you're tying your brand to closer to your company is when I look at your headline and I see the company you work for, which by the way, you don't own it, it's a difference. Or if you don't own the company and I see your company name within the first three or four words of your headline, when you lose that job there, you're going to take a hit. So make sure your headline talks about your transferable value, soft skills, hard skills, motivation.
0 (38m 53s):
Just tell me about you and put it in your headline and get that job title out of there as well.
3 (38m 59s):
You and I can travel together. You can come be a part in my workshops. Maybe I could be a part of yours. And I'd say that all the time, the minute you put the company first, that's your experience? That's the experience. That's your resume. It's not you. It's not who you are. It's not what you offer it's to whom you're offering it at the current time. And if you do that, you're cutting your legs out from under you before you even get started in a conversation. And I find that to be very, very interesting. And one of my workshops, we do this thing where we get people in small groups, three or four people, and then I have them write down exactly what they believe, their greatest values. Here we go with that word again, values and strengths are that they offer the organization.
3 (39m 39s):
They write it down. They don't show it to anybody. Then when they're done the other people in the group share what they believe the strengths are of that person. And then what's interesting is if there's commonalities there, then that one person who wrote down their own, all of a sudden you go, okay, I guess I know where my strengths and weaknesses are. I guess this really is who I am, because this is what people say about me, or think about me. And I don't think a lot of people know what their differentiator actually is or what sets them apart. And all of a sudden they lose a job or they get furloughed or they get laid off and they don't even know where to begin.
0 (40m 17s):
Correct. What? I would recommend something. I call it a 3d as a branding. If you want to start the process, the first D is to first be as defined your brand. So the three D's define your BRAND a Google, your name C what's out there and then kind of gauge them. They can also reach out to people around you. What did they say about you? One of the words they're using decides, so take what you C take what they say. Oh, and define your BRAND. Then you get to develop a strategy to grow your brand. Okay? The strategist should be, what am I going to do? In-person and online to grow my brand. In-person you are going to network. So where you're in person, networking, talking about your company, name.
0 (40m 60s):
One of the big mistakes I see when people are networking, is this, you go and meet someone for the very first time. They're only going to remember four things about you, your name, what you do your face and your company name. Guess what a lot of people lead the conversation with their company name. Don't do that lead to the other stuff, your face, your name and what you're about to make that emotional connection or the company name will follow it. So again, to find your brand, develop a strategy to grow your brand, including the LinkedIn, and the third day we alluded to this. Once you get your brand solid in place, you enter the last stage and it's the worst stage You we'll do from now until you quit working, it's deliver on your brand promises, is that it always deliver.
3 (41m 47s):
I find it. And I don't know if you agree with this or not. I, I think people are nervous about what their boss, the CEO or the company might think about them building a quote unquote, or, or taking their brand to another level, putting themselves out there as an industry thought leader or sharing various things like that. They're the expert they're fearful. They might lose their job. And to me, any CEO or boss worth anything is a leader should want the people that work for them to raise their own level. That only helps the company. The bigger the person is the better the company is. If they're recruitable, that's a positive, it shows you're bringing value to the company.
0 (42m 29s):
You agree with that I'll agree. Personal branding having your employees get well-branded as part of professional development. These days. In fact, one of the things has changed in the last decade is your customer and future employees don't really believe the company message anymore. What do they believe? They believe the employee's of your company and the customer of your company. So if you're trying to recruit and hire quality employees, and you worked your customers to, to believe the values in the culture of your company has the only way you can deliver on that. It was your employees, your employees, or your brand ambassadors. And in fact, the employees of a company have 10 times more followers than the company does. And when an employee does something on social media or engages with a comedy company post or something, they get 500% more exposure than the company could.
0 (43m 17s):
So employee branding is a major part of a corporate success. And if you will notice, Kraig a lot of your CEOs now who are working for a very successful public companies, they've come out of the unbranded closet and they're out there building and presenting their brand everyday. And those companies are some of the most successful we have. So the days of being digitally silent, they're over, but from a career perspective and from growing your brand for yourself and your company.
1 (43m 46s):
In addition to hosting this podcast, Kraig leads the Kann advisory group focused on elevating communication for companies and individuals, company consulting, empowering team, and individual workshops, mind altering webinars. And Craig's inspiring keynotes for your conference or company meeting. They're all on the menu of services. Kann advisory helps companies clarify their message, helps professionals build and showcase their brand and helps everyone present their best selves. So if you're the leader of a team or company looking to give your employees a game changing one day experience, or an individual who wants to become a speaker and presenter that gets other people talking visit Kann advisory.com.
1 (44m 36s):
And when you do connect, make sure to mention the Tracks To Success podcast to receive a special discount on any of the Kann advisory services. That's Kann advisory.com. Now back to the interview,
3 (44m 51s):
Give it a four choices. Hear the best way to use LinkedIn is what a build a network, be post your success stories. C put your resume out there for other people to discover D something that I haven't said,
0 (45m 9s):
Something you haven't said, build relationships, try to help other people first, which leads to the first thing you said, build a network. Also, do you want to share a content that shows you as an authority? Yes, you do. Do you want to start out with that as your number one LinkedIn strategy? No, you don't. Here's why say, for example, you're not active on LinkedIn and you hear this interview between us to today and just say, you know what? I'm going to get on LinkedIn. And I'm going to start showing how much on that. Well, if you've not been active on LinkedIn and all of a sudden, I see you sharing these articles and videos showing how much, you know, my first thought is who is this person?
0 (45m 50s):
Because I've never seen you before. And what it really feels like. It feels like someone walking into an in-person networking event, passing out their business card in their flyer and leaving the room without speaking, it feels weird. So you've got to ease your way in the LinkedIn in step one, build a relationship step to start trying to find some content and links to share. And you never really get full steam as to the full exposure are on LinkedIn. And a full activity is going to take you in 90 days to a 120 days. You've got to ease your way into it. And then once you get your system down, the real secret to LinkedIn, couple of things, one is authenticity. People have to believe what you're saying and what you're doing, matches the person they know.
0 (46m 31s):
And also just as important is consistency. If you get on LinkedIn, where they attitude, I'm going to try it for 90 days. Don't even try it. LinkedIn is not a trial platform. LinkedIn is an all-in platform. I'm going to use LinkedIn I'm going to build the relationships. I'm going to grow my network. I'm going to help other people. I'm going to bring value to the community. And I, in my business, as a result of doing this is going to grow up,
3 (46m 57s):
Talking with Gregg Burkhalter halter. He is The LinkedIn Guy and he is sharing some great stuff with us. Greg, how important is it to post be it blogs or a video, or maybe a video messages? How important is that? Because I think a lot of people say, all right, I've got a great page. Let me just let it sit there. How engaged you really have to be.
0 (47m 22s):
As I alluded to earlier, posting is not the number one thing you do. But once you get your legs, your LinkedIn legs and you get your building, your network building going, then you start doing some posting of stuff, but on LinkedIn you don't have to be a writer or somebody who was a wonderful with videos and, and words, to be able to start building your brand exposure. There's so much quality content of the digital world there's value in being a cure writer of quality content. In fact, if Kraig, you've only begun to follow me in the last a month or so, what do you see? My content? You'll see. A lot of my content has curated content, but it's not the same old stuff you see everywhere else. I take a lot of pride in knowing resources where I can find the good stuff.
0 (48m 4s):
So I don't do a lot of rotting. Most of my writing is done like we're doing right now. I do a verbal interviews. I'll do my stuff like that. But when it comes to sharing content, I find quality articles, interject my thoughts in that article. But I do a lot of that stuff. And I spend most of my other time, instead of sitting here writing a three hour blog post, I spend those three hours helping other people and building relationships. That is what guarantees my long-term success. Not be writing a blog post and neglecting every time.
3 (48m 33s):
Yeah. I'm a little bit nervous about you following me. You're going to be analyzing my LinkedIn page every other day. That makes me a kind of edgy.
0 (48m 40s):
I will say one thing that you should know who I am The LinkedIn Guy or at least they say I am, but I also want you to connect with me on the LinkedIn police. Okay.
3 (48m 50s):
Am I getting pulled over? Am I okay if you have you scoured my profile in the last quarter,
0 (48m 55s):
If you had a courtesy warning message inside of LinkedIn. Okay?
3 (48m 58s):
Okay. Thank you. I appreciate that. What's the biggest thing you've learned from all the, you know, consulting that you've done, be it one-on-one or in groups, something that people just don't understand, like something that gets repeated every time you're in front of people that you keep hearing over and over that you're like, man, people just don't get it.
0 (49m 18s):
Well, most people think, as we said earlier, that you, when I say you need to get more active on LinkedIn, they go, yeah. Yeah. I'm not really posting as much as I should. So that's the, that's probably one of the number one things, but from an executive level and some of the flats I coached, what I've noticed is no matter how elite anyone's position is or how entry level their position is, we all need his support and encouragement for other people. And we also need a second set of eyes and ears to give us some input because there's a lot of noise out there. And no matter how successful someone has been in their career, chances are great going forward. This is going to be a bumpy on the road. And when that bump in the road happens, that bump is hard to get over by yourself sometimes.
0 (49m 60s):
So hopefully you are building a network of supporters that are going to be there. Like the gentlemen WAFs for me with advice on how I can move forward, because we're all in this together. We not have the right answer. The career path is no longer straight anymore. Everybody is going to get laid off. Everybody is going to lose it. That's just the way the career works now. So don't take it personally, look at it as an opportunity to maybe make a pivot or to transition into an area that might seem fearful to you right now. But once you take that step on a confidence, it might change your career. If I had not taken that step into the path where people kept saying, can you make a living doing this?
0 (50m 41s):
Who's got to hire. I went down the path where nobody believed that told me that if I went down that path and it worked out to be so far ahead of anyone else in the, by the time copycats came along, I would be well out there. So I kept moving and going. And I knew after about a year in, if this was going to work, I'm telling you,
3 (51m 0s):
Yeah, I only have a couple more minutes left with you. You and I both speak you and I both consult you and I are both in front of audiences. What is it that you love most now about this kind of new career and this new opportunity?
0 (51m 18s):
The fact that I have the impact of the ability to impact people's lives, I really don't even realize how many people's lives on how to impact it because I'm sort of like a radio station. I'm always broadcasting information and I'm always giving him advice, but like a radio station, less than 1% of the people that listen to music on a request. So I never really know who my, who, who I'm impacting out there, but I hear just enough feedback from people who I think I've not had any impact on. They all reach out and just, just make my lip drops up. The fact that I'm having impact on other peoples lives and encouraging people when they get to that mid-career or a ladder career, when they hit that first roadblock say, you know what? There is hope if you build your brand and you grow your network and you step forward with some confidence and trust and just keep moving forward, good things can happen.
0 (52m 8s):
And if they don't reassess and we'll do something else, changing strategies or putting a little does not affect your career, BRAND like it used to, it's not the same thing. You don't want to stay on the same company for 30 years. In fact, right now, the advice to people who were just entering the workforce, it's not to stay in the company for a long time. They will tell you, you have to move around to increase your money and your exposure to opportunities to learn. So for someone in the mid-career like me or a latter career, I just alluded to a point there that's very important. I'm going to stress it for you. You got to always be learning. If you're in transition right now, and you're looking for work, or maybe you're thinking about changing careers, or you're hoping to hold your edge in your current career.
0 (52m 53s):
If you're not learning and maintaining your professional curve, you're not going to get there. Continual learning is one of the strongest attributes of a successful career. Now
3 (53m 3s):
Who has been your biggest influencer in all of this who led the fire,
0 (53m 8s):
Who led the fire? I would say something I had inside. I didn't know it was an incredible desire to help other people. I didn't know that, but LinkedIn brought it out of me. And once it brought it out of me, it allowed me to build confidence because I saw that when you help other people and you share yourself with them to make them better, it creates a impact that really can't be measured. And Spirit's doing that at a time and time again. That is what it is. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed giving to people. If I give first where the ride heart not expecting anything, their awards come back multifold and they might've come back in two weeks.
0 (53m 52s):
They might be two years. But let me tell you, they come back.
3 (53m 54s):
This podcast is called Tracks To Success, we've heard your story and how you got to where you are, which is quite interesting. I'm a big a book reader on things that I think can help me and help me help others. So I want to do that a little bit. One of the books that I read that I think is terrific is actually co-authored by one of the founders of LinkedIn, which is Reid Hoffman. And the book is called the start-up of you. I bring this up because I think a lot of people who might be listening here don't even know how to start, right. Or where to start. What's the first step.
0 (54m 36s):
Yeah. I can tell you the first step for me would be talk to people around you have a good heart to heart conversation with someone you trust. That's the first step.
3 (54m 46s):
That's pretty good. I know this. I trust you. Anything else that I've left off the table that you want to share to our audience before we depart? This has been fantastic. I've loved every bit of it.
0 (54m 57s):
I'm going to repeat the gratitude and say, thank you. Kraig I'm so happy that you and I connected. I look forward to being around you and helping you, and maybe even working with you in the future to your listeners out there. Thanks for your attention today. And if I can ever help any of you in any way, please Google The LinkedIn Guy. You should find me top of Google. I would love to hear from you.
3 (55m 16s):
I was just going to say Gregg thank you so much. And I know exactly where I can find you. I think I could probably find you on LinkedIn. So that's that? And I guess now I gotta go try to find the Twitter Guy in the Instagram. Guy in the Facebook Guy so I don't know. I don't think they'll have your energy. Thank you so much. This has been fantastic. I truly appreciate you being a part of this.
0 (55m 38s):
Thanks again. Kraig and you have a nice afternoon, sir,
3 (55m 43s):
In our conversation, Gregg talked about the line. It's not who you know or what you know, it's who knows you, which leads me to my one last thing. If you want to be an influencer start thinking about how you present yourself on social media and specifically focus on the value you share with each and every post being known. Isn't the most important thing it's being knowable because of the expertise you present and the thought leadership you put forward, building a brand isn't about ego or making people believe your, a big deal. It's about carving out your own niche and be known for something and giving people that something
2 (56m 24s):
They can use and feel connected to millions are spending time trying to get noticed on social media, with their posts or professional achievements. To me, it's doing things that are worthy of attention. That's important, actually not trying to get noticed. Gregg shared some great tips on building a bigger brand, but what stands out to me is the commitment he made to learning something, sharing a lot, helping others in showing people that it's never too late to find your greatest gift and then doing something with it for the greater good. If you do that, you'll get recognized too. And you'll quickly be on the Tracks To Success do me a favor by the way, please take a moment to write a review and rate this podcast.
2 (57m 11s):
And if you have a guest, you think I need to have on the show, email [email protected] until next time I'm Kraig Kann.
4 (57m 21s):
Thanks for listening.
1 (57m 26s):
You've been listening to Tracks To Success brought to you by presentation partners, visual storytellers, passionate about connecting presenters with their audience. Don't forget to subscribe to the show for more great interviews and thoughts on reaching your highest personal and professional summit. You can follow Craig on Twitter and Instagram using the handle at Kraig Kann and for exclusive Tracks To Success content and news about our upcoming guests. You can find Tracks To Success on Twitter. It's at Tracks To Success
4 (57m 57s):