What 7 Years of Podcasting Has Taught Me about Personal Branding and Thought Leadership with Carol Cox: Podcast Ep. 377

What 7 Years of Podcasting Has Taught Me about Personal Branding and Thought Leadership with Carol Cox: Podcast Ep. 377

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This week is the 7-year anniversary of the Speaking Your Brand podcast!

Thank you for being a listener, for sending me emails when an episode particularly resonates with you, and for sharing the podcast with others. 

Podcasting every week for the past seven years has taught me a lot.

I’m incredibly grateful to all the women who’ve been guests for sharing their stories and wisdom with all of us.

Podcasting has also been hard at times: boredom, burnout, too many ideas, no new ideas. I’ve been through all these feelings at different points.

In this episode, I share with you:

  • 3 big lessons you can use whether you have a podcast or not
  • How podcasting, especially creating all of the solo episodes, has shaped my thought leadership
  • The book I’m working on and how the topic and ideas have come directly from the podcast
  • Why having a regular content creation channel can be helpful to you as you develop your own thought leadership

 

About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals clarify their brand message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power because it’s through women’s stories, voices, and visibility that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com

Links:

Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/377/ 

Discover your Speaker Archetype by taking our free quiz at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/quiz/

Enroll in our Thought Leader Academy: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/ 

Connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolcox

Related Podcast Episodes:

377-SYB-Solo.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

377-SYB-Solo.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Carol Cox:
We’re celebrating seven years of this podcast here. What it’s taught me about personal branding and thought leadership on this episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast.

Carol Cox:
More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses, running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a TV political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker, I interview and coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies, and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is speaking your brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience.

Carol Cox:
Hi there and welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. I’m your host, Carol Cox. We are celebrating seven years, yes, seven years of the Speaking Your Brand podcast. I can’t believe that it’s been going for this long. Thank you so much for being a listener, for sending me emails when an episode particularly resonates with you, and for sharing the podcast with others. Podcasting every single week for the past seven years has definitely taught me a lot. I’m incredibly grateful for all the women who’ve been guests for coming on to share their stories, their insights, and their wisdom with all of us. Podcasting has also been hard at times. Boredom, burnout. Too many ideas. No new ideas. I’ve definitely been through all of these feelings at different points. So in this episode, I’m going to share with you three big lessons that I’m taking away from seven years of podcasting that you can use, whether you have a podcast or not, how podcasting has shaped my thought leadership and strengthened my personal brand.

Carol Cox:
The book I’m working on now, and how the topic and ideas have come directly from this podcast, and why having a regular content creation channel can be helpful to you as you develop your own thought leadership. If you would like to work with us to develop your thought leadership message, create your signature talk, build your personal brand plan, and understand the business of speaking. We do all of those things in our online Thought Leader Academy. We work closely over eight weeks in a small group. Plus you get a one on one virtual VIP day to create your signature talk from beginning to end using our proven framework. Clients call it magical. It is such an incredible experience to spend eight weeks together with a small group of women supporting each other, learning from each other, and having that accountability and momentum. Our next start date is coming up soon on April 2nd, so if you’d like to join us, go to speaking your brand.com/academy again. That’s speaking your brand com slash Academy to get all the details including pricing. You can also then schedule a zoom call with me. Now let’s get on with the show. This podcast launched in February 2017, the week that I was set to speak at Podfest, a podcasting conference. I figured it would be a good idea to have my podcast live by then, since of course it was a podcasting conference and having this hard deadline definitely helped.

Carol Cox:
It was the end of 2016, and I knew that I wanted to launch my podcast in 2017. I knew the event organizers for Podfest, so I reached out to them in probably around November of 2016 and said, hey, you know, I live in Orlando where Podfest is going to be held. I would love to speak at the conference. And they said yes, even though I didn’t have a podcast yet. But I obviously had a background in public speaking and marketing and branding, so I would be able to help other podcasters there with that. But I really, really, really wanted to make sure my podcast was live by the time I went to speak, because of course, then I could get listeners to it. And like I said, having this hard deadline definitely helped. The podcast probably would not have gone live in February 2017 if I didn’t have this conference that I was speaking at. So that’s the very first lesson to take away. Do it before you think you’re ready. Do it before you think it’s perfect. Ty your go live date to a deadline that you can’t move. So an external deadline that someone else has placed, whether it’s a conference or an event that you’re going to. So whether it’s launching a podcast or delivering your signature talk for the first time, or even writing your book, have a go live date tied to a deadline that is external to you.

Carol Cox:
This is why we always encourage you to get a speaking engagement on the calendar. It forces you to get your talk done, practice, and delivered. Because here’s the thing you’re never going to feel completely ready. You’re never going to feel like your talk is exactly like you want it to be. Or the slides are exactly perfect, but you’re just going to have to get it out there anyways, because that’s where improvement happens. Back in the entrepreneurship world that I’ve been in for the past 20 plus years, there is this philosophy called Lean Startup and their motto is just ship it. And this had to do with software products. Just ship it. Don’t wait for the software to be perfect. Don’t wait for it to have every single bell and whistle. You really need to get it out there in front of users so that they start using it. And then you learn what is working and what’s not, because that’s the only way to improve. The same thing with your signature talk, the same thing with a podcast that you want to launch or a book that you want to write. So do it before you think you’re ready. The second lesson from seven years of podcasting that I’ve learned is balancing repetition with new ideas. And this goes not only for your audience, but also for you within yourself. Your personal brand and your thought leadership will develop the more you talk about ideas related to your topic, so the more you talk about them, whether it’s every single week or every single month on your own channels or on other people’s channels, such as going and doing podcast interviews, the more you talk about your ideas, the clearer they’re going to become to you.

Carol Cox:
Funnily enough, when I first started this podcast back in 2017, I wondered to myself, what am I going to talk about every single week? How can I find enough ideas, enough topics for an episode every single week? Now of course, this is episode 377, so I’ve definitely found ideas to talk about every single week. And I think of new angles all of the time. And this is why having a consistent content channel helps you develop your thought leadership is because you’re constantly thinking of new angles and new perspectives. In fact, the book that I’m working on right now, the topic and the ideas have come directly from this podcast. Back in the summer of 2020, I started talking explicitly about thought leadership on the podcast because the business speaking your brand, we had to pivot from the focus on in-person speaking, which is, of course, what we primarily helped our clients with before the pandemic started, to really thinking about virtual presentations. But even more so, kind of backing up a little bit and looking at this idea of thought leadership. So that’s what I started talking about on this podcast in the summer of 2020.

Carol Cox:
And then we launched the Thought Leader Academy in October of 2020, after we did our first Bravo Beyond Live virtual summit, and then a year later. So this was now September of 2021. I did an episode where that I specifically had the words The Expert Trap in the title of the episode, and that’s what I talked about, this idea of the expert trap. Now, that idea came about within the year 2020 and then into 2021. So because of all the solo episodes I was doing on the podcast and the work we were doing on our summits, and then in the Thought Leader Academy and seeing what our clients were working on and what they were struggling with. That’s where the idea of the expert trap came. And so the book that I’m working on now is about this idea of the expert trap, what holds us back from thought leadership, how we can escape the expert trap and use our voices. So that’s where the balance of repetition with new ideas has helped to shape my thought leadership. Now, there have been times that I have been bored or felt out of ideas, but then I think about what we hear from our clients in the Thought Leader Academy. So if you also have a consistent content channel, whether it’s a podcast or YouTube channel or a blog or so on, and you’re wondering what else that you can talk about or write about, think about what you hear from your clients, the questions that they ask, or things that come up a lot in conversation.

Carol Cox:
And the other thing that it reminds me is that I may have talked about something a year ago or even two years ago on this podcast, and it feels recent to me because I remember that the content, I remember those episodes. But then I remember that for those of you who listening, you may not have been listening two years ago or even a year ago. And even if you were, repetition is good because we forget things. Plus, it’s helpful to hear about similar topics in different ways. And so, for example, I may have done a podcast episode about building confidence with public speaking, but maybe I did that a year or a year and a half ago, and I haven’t explicitly talked about confidence. So then I’ll do an episode related to that with a slightly different angle. Here’s where repetition is important for your thought leadership and your personal brand. You may feel like you’re saying the same thing all the time, and you may be wondering, well, is my audience getting bored with this? Are they wondering why I’m not talking about other things? But it’s the repetition and the focus that builds your thought leadership and your personal brand, because people get to know you for that. You may think feel like you’re saying it all the time, but trust me, they’re getting so much content from so many different people and so many different places that they’re not feeling the same thing that you are.

Carol Cox:
You also become more multidimensional as a personal brand, as a speaker, because you have to come up with new ways to talk about the same thing. You all know, if you’ve been listening to this podcast that I really am excited about artificial intelligence, about AI, but how it can be a collaborative partner for us. And so when ChatGPT launched at the end of 2022, I knew that I wanted to start working with it and start talking about it on this podcast. So then I had to find an angle that was appropriate for speaking your brand. So I started talking about brand voice and the importance of making sure that we’re maintaining our brand voice even while we’re using AI tools. So the repetition was there because I’m still talking about your brand and public speaking and what you’re putting out there. But now I’m bringing in a new idea with AI, and I’ll say this about the balance of repetition with new ideas is that thought leadership is a long game. I know there are some of you who’ve been listening to this podcast for a very long time. I have those of you who have been on my email list for years and years, even since 2015 and 2016, when the business and the email list started, who have just recently become clients. And I am so grateful for that. For for sticking around, for remembering, speaking your brand, for coming back to us.

Carol Cox:
When you do decide that the time is right to work on your thought leadership and your public speaking, the third lesson that I take away from seven years of podcasting is that you need to have opinions and perspectives on your topic. Your personal brand is about more than what you do. It’s about what matters to you and your thought leadership is about that change, that positive change that you want to see in the world. Women come to us because they know that we stand for something important, for something that’s bigger than us and bigger than the business that we stand for women’s rights. We stand for equality, that we’re feminist, that we want to see more women in positions of leadership. I also have opinions about public speaking, about making sure that women are getting paid to speak and about events, not paying their women speakers, and how I feel about that, about creating talks that are transformative, that are of service to your audience, that are transformative to your audience, but also for you the importance of storytelling and vulnerability. How as women, we shouldn’t try to mimic male speakers, but instead lean into our communication strengths and even the role of social media and AI in our society. I have opinions and perspectives on all of those things, and that is what shapes my personal brand and my thought leadership. So I want you to ask yourself, what opinions do you have about the topics that you speak on? What do you see in your industry or your community, or in society as a whole that needs to be improved or changed? And how can you be part of those conversations? I think about all of the guests that I’ve had on the Speaking Your Brand podcast, and the ones that stand out to me the most are the ones that they have opinions and perspectives on their topic that they’re willing to share it, but they’re doing it in a way that’s an invitation to the audience to discover along with them.

Carol Cox:
So to recap those three lessons. The first lesson do it before you think it’s ready. So hit publish and go live. Go do your speaking engagement. Go start your podcast. Publish your book before you feel like it’s perfect. Second lesson is to balance repetition of your ideas with also bringing in new ideas, new angles. The third lesson is making sure that you’re sharing opinions and perspectives on your topic as well. Now, if you’re intrigued by podcasting, if you. Wonder if you should start a podcast. Here is what I always say. Number one start a podcast because you genuinely love the medium. If you’re listening to this, I assume that you like listening to podcasts, which is great because then you’ll probably enjoy being a podcast host. Podcasting definitely helps you develop your ideas, and you will become a better speaker by podcasting and interviewing and being interviewed every single week.

Carol Cox:
And then set a date for your podcast launch that you can’t move again. Thank you so much for being a listener and for sharing this podcast. Every time I’ve gotten burnt out and thought that I didn’t have any more ideas, I think of you and how I can help you find and use your voice. I asked our current Thought Leader Academy clients what they like about this podcast, and they told me it’s the actionable strategies hearing the client interviews that show their journey of working with us in the Thought Leader Academy. Also, that we walk our talk and share what works, and also share when things don’t go as planned. And they said that if what we give away for free on this podcast is this good, then they knew that working with us was going to be even better. If you like to join our Thought Leader Academy to develop your thought leadership, personal brand and signature talk, our next start date is coming up on April 2nd. Again, we work with you both one on one and in a small group so that you get the best of personalized coaching, accountability, community support, and feedback. You can get all the details and the pricing and schedule a call with me as speaking your brand.com/academy and next week’s episode, we’re going to look at the power of women’s voices and stories to change the world as we kick off Women’s History Month. Until next time, thanks for listening.

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