In the 13th episode of FP Guru Series, we chatted with Nancy Poleon, the Founder and Owner of BrandedU (www.brandedu.nl), a platform and an app where women can learn more about personal branding and sign up for various PB courses with Nancy.
We talked to Nancy about Personal Branding, which has been gaining a lot of hype lately. We asked her the basic, yet the most common questions about this topic.
What this podcast is about:
○ What is personal branding exactly?
○ Why do women need personal branding?
○ How could you identify “good personal branding”?
○ What are the elements of personal branding?
○ What effects can personal branding have on one’s life?
○ Does the number of social media followers matter?
Julia [00:00:02] Hello everyone and welcome to the Fashion Potluck Podcast session. My name is Julia and I'm the chief marketing officer of FashionPotluck.com, the social media platform for women. Today, I have Nancy Polian as my guest. Nancy is a personal branding specialist from the Netherlands. And today we're gonna talk about personal branding especially focusing on first on branding for women.
Julia [00:00:25] Hi Nancy. (Hi). Thank you for being here.
Nancy [00:00:28] Well thanks for having me. Thanks for the invitation.
Julia [00:00:30] Yeah it's great to have you here today also because personal branding as a term has been gaining a lot of popularity lately.
Julia [00:00:39] I'm not sure if it's as popular in all the countries but in several regions such as the United States and maybe Eastern Europe a little bit Western Europe we've been noticing a certain hype about personal branding where people sell services simply because they maybe have 1 million followers.
Julia [00:00:59] So today we would like to clarify a few things about personal branding, but I would like to start with your company first. It's called Branded U. Could you tell us more about how you started it, when you started it and what was the initial idea behind it?
Nancy [00:01:17] Yes. So you know I really the reason I started it I'd like to start about you know explaining to people why I started and I started it because I used to work in the music industry and I was working at a record company and I also managed several artists. I worked here in Holland and I worked in London and I traveled the world with music artists. And the one thing that I learned is that there's no way people are going to buy your music or buy your concert ticket or your merchandise if they haven't heard of you. And the big mistakes a lot of musicians make because there's a lot of artists out there is that they don't know how to basically promote themselves. (All right) And without this promotion nobody's going to know about them if they don't give an interview you won't know what they're about or what their songs are about if they aren't played on the radio. You won't even hear that music. So visibility, being visible is very important. And what I noticed was that a lot of career women, especially women working in the corporate world, have the same problem for some reason, like music artists, they think somebody will come out there, discover them and give them a record deal. Right? Which is what a lot of women do. They tend to say to me "Well Nancy I work really really hard and people should notice that". Well that's not true. People are busy, we're busy on our phones all the time. We're on the Internet. And unless you tell us how great you are, unless you told us what you do what your responsibilities are what you excel in what value you add, how you want people to see you, we're not going to talk about you; and you're going to be this little gray mice that nobody's going to notice. (OK) Now I do believe, because I liked your introduction, that there is a big difference between building a brand and having an image. Because a lot of these women that are out there on the Instagram, on the gram and promoting themselves it's all about an image they're selling. It's not authentic. It doesn't come from the inside out. It's based on what they think you as a viewer is expecting. (Right) But what I'm teaching women especially corporate women is that you can have a nervous breakdown you're going to have a burnout if you keep pretending to be somebody else because you have to put on a mask every single day it's fake it's not real. So what I do with my personal branding program I look at it like a car. If you want a car to drive faster you're not going to just give it a different color. You're going to look underneath the hood you're going to see: maybe the brakes aren't working, maybe the motor isn't good. So with me it starts from the inside. I always ask the question: Who do you want to be? It's about self reflection. What's important to you? What are your core values? What are you good at? What's unique about you? What makes you relevant to people? What value do you add? Why do you want to be that person? Why is it so important to you? How are you going to help people with that product that you're selling, or the thing that you're selling. So it's all about doing internal research: finding out who I want to be in this world, what my value will be before I even go out there and make myself visible. (All right). So that's the first step that you have to take.
Julia [00:04:44] How would you define personal branding? What will be a good definition for it?
Nancy [00:04:48] It's the answer to one simple question: What do you want to be known for? What do you want people to say about you? What do you want people to think about when they hear your name? What qualities?
Julia [00:05:01] Could it also relate to the question "who am I?" Or not exactly.
Nancy [00:05:05] What do you want to be known for you can bring it down to four different questions: Who are you? What do you do? How does that help others? And why do you do what you do? (All right) But it's the first question. What do you want to be known for?. Your name is Julia. Do you want to be known for. For instance you introduce yourself as a CMO of this company. But I know that you're also the co-founder so you have chosen to be known for as a CMO. I would have said co-founder myself too (both laughs) I would have used them both. I would have said "I'm the co-founder and chief marketing officer" because that has a certain weight (right). Regarding your training program how does it work. Why do you only focus on personal on branding for women?
Nancy [00:05:50] Because we don't have enough women leaders. The reason I started the program was because I was inspired by my work that I did as a volunteer. TedX Amsterdam Women, and I just thought you know what, there's too few female stories, there's too few female role models out there, and we're 50 percent of the population. Are you kidding me? It's 2019, And we don't have female presidents, we don't have female CEOs. Not enough. The percentages are shameful. What are we teaching our girls. What do we teach our girls? That they are less than our boys? Is that how we want them to be raised that they don't need this certain self-confidence that boys have? And I just think you know I recently, well a couple of years ago actually, I saw this video of these kindergarten kids in London and they were asked to draw a firefighter a pilot and a surgeon and they only drew men. (Men. Yeah) Sixty one drawings and there were like five women, five drawings as women. And that's the perception that we're leaving in this world and I truly believe that having a more balanced kind of leadership in the world will make a better world. Because I think that the basis of the problems that we have in the world is sexism. And once we've dealt with sexism we can deal with another problem which is racism but sexism is the biggest problem in the world. Everywhere in the world women are still being undermined. Women are still undervalued. So for me, the thing is how can I get more women to become leaders and to rise to the top and I think by personal branding. Women need to be proud. Have self-confidence and show the skills that they have.
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*Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified professional. Statements made by Fashion Potluck's guests and speakers do not reflect Fashion Potluck's views and are shared as personal opinions of interviewed individuals.