Episode 80: Harnessing the Power of Personal Branding: Scott Brant's Transformative Journey

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Scott Brant06/20/2024

Building a strong personal brand can be a game-changer for your career and business growth. It can spark from a belief that you can share something with the world that is helpful, more to empower people and make a difference.

In this episode of #shifthappens, Dux Raymond Sy, AvePoint's Chief Brand Officer, invited Scott Brant, Director at Inspire Cloud Technologies and Founder of Your 365 Coach, for an insightful discussion on his personal transformation journey from overcoming self-doubt to becoming a thought leader and an educator.

It took years for Scott to embrace the power of sharing knowledge and leveraging social media to drive his messaging and content. His goal is to address a need, responding to a pain point for people who are struggling to use technology and may not have budget for paid training courses. According to Scott, “Sometimes 60 seconds is enough to share a message on how to do something with technology... I could say, hey! you could do this and save this time.” By sharing a helpful tip, Scott’s content can effectively impact a person’s day-to-day role and make them more productive.

Organizations are now realizing that they can build a product or service, spend money on a great advertising campaign, and roll out a multi-point go-to-market strategy, but at the end of the day people buy from people. They need a face to build their brand, product, or service to influence buying decisions.

Social Media as the Catalyst for Change

Social media has opened unprecedented opportunities for personal growth, brand building, and business development. How did it all start for Scott and what does his transformation look like?

Surprisingly, it was TikTok that served as the catalyst for Scott's transformation. The platform's emphasis on short, one-minute videos allowed him to start small, sharing his knowledge around Microsoft 365 and expertise in cloud-related technologies in bite-sized tutorial content.

As Scott began posting on TikTok, he noticed positive engagement from his audience, which encouraged him to do more. This initial success led him to expand his presence on YouTube, where he could create longer-form of content for a deep dive discussion further solidifying his position as a thought leader.

Scott started his YouTube channel less than two years ago which now has 22,000+ subscribers and over 2.2 million views. He’s also seen good growth on TikTok with more than 26,000 followers.

How to Cut Through the Noise and Amplify Your Voice

Nowadays, there are a lot of content creators doing the same approach. Scott shared that messaging becomes irrelevant very quickly as you compete against influencers in the same market with the same product and similar content strategies.

According to Scott, here are 3 strategies to make you stand out to drive awareness and engagement:

  • Consistency: Posting short content twice a week on TikTok builds up momentum and keeps you, your brand, and product on top of mind. Then, post one long-form content on YouTube catering to audiences who have more than 10 minutes to learn and explore the journey with you. Consistently creating and sharing relevant information not only nurtures lead but also fosters long-lasting relationships for strong personal branding.
  • Authenticity: It is important to deliver on your value proposition and maintain transparency. People are getting smart in their buying decisions and can spot if you can walk the talk. This is where social media can also turn its head — as easy as you can get your message out, one bad testimonial can spread like wildfire.
  • Credibility: Trustworthiness is the currency that takes time, and your audience will see this with your genuine intent to not only sell but help them in their journey. Your target audience will find you through search or whatever means because you have established that you know what you are talking about. You understand their problem, and you have a solution to that problem.

The Real ROI Beyond Monetization

While monetization is often a concern for those considering personal branding, Scott's experience highlights the broader benefits of this approach. Although his TikTok and YouTube channels generate some revenue through advertising, the real value lies in developing confidence and loyalty with his audience.

The biggest win for Scott is when people would seek him out to for help on a problem or on a transformation journey. A takeaway in content marketing is that people want to buy, but they don't want to be sold to. In a buyer’s journey, customers will do their own research and when they come to purchase – they will already have a preconceived notion of the pros and cons. But they can still reach out to people who are knowledgeable for more informed decision making.

By providing valuable content and establishing himself as a Microsoft partner, Scott has gained the trust of his audience, leading to organic inquiries and business opportunities without the need for aggressive advertising.

The Road Ahead: Advice for Aspiring Thought Leaders

There are always people out there waiting to be inspired. So don’t be held back by past belief or negative self-talk, as long as you are willing to discover a side of yourself that can contribute to a lot of good in the community like Scott who has now been recognized as a Microsoft MVP.

Here are some of his tips to individuals, MSPs, and businesses looking to maximize their personal brand and drive business growth:

  • Be willingto transform: Embrace the belief that your message is valuable and worth sharing. You can also think about it as another kind of opportunity to give back and in the process learn more in return.
  • Do it and move forward: Engage with people and build trust. Continue to explore various platforms, such as blogs, LinkedIn, or video content, to share your knowledge and connect with your audience.
  • Make the ‘shift’ happen: Establish authenticity and consistency to get impactful results. There are no immediate results, and you cannot expect instant ROI. But the journey will be worth it because you can get opportunities that otherwise you would not have had before.

We all have the potential to evolve to the next level and achieve remarkable success. Personal transformation is all about getting out of your comfort zone and discovering something new about yourself. This new self may serve as an inspiration to another person also seeking a change, thus creating a ripple effect that may bring positive outcome in the community.

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