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This week we’re joined by Chris Luecke, Account Manager at Rockwell Automation and weekly host of the show Manufacturing Happy Hour!
@MFGHappyHour has been running for over two years – first on YouTube, and now on LinkedIn as well. We got ahold of Chris to ask him how he got started with it; why he got started in the first place; and the results or reactions he’s garnered as a result.
Chris started his own video series after about six years in sales, when he decided to take advantage of his love for performing onstage and reach younger buyers at the same time.
He knew that older buyers prefer face-to-face interactions, but younger generations can enjoy podcasts or videos because it will make you appear more approachable.
Chris also has met many people who like the idea of creating a personal brand, but a number of fears keep holding them back.
1. WE FEAR ORGANIZATIONAL BACKLASH
One of the common obstacles creating your own content, particularly if you’re making it on behalf of your own company or business, is fear of corporate disapproval or non-compliance.
How can you make sure your company won’t tell you to take down the content you’ve started creating?
The reasoning is this: if most corporate content takes months of appraisal and branding before it can finally be approved for launch, it can feel presumptuous – or even professionally rude – to bypass that process.
However, as Chris put it, a company’s salesforce is already supposed to represent their company, and they’re trained for it. They’re already trusted with messaging. Videos, podcasts, or blogs just capture that skill and turn it into a re-usable, evergreen sales tool.
Furthermore, you can always change or take down your content if the higher-ups don’t like it. But there’s an equal chance that what you make…might be just fine.
“The benefit to getting content…out there, I think, really outweighs the risk.”
Chris started out small, just posting video newsletters to YouTube and only sending them to his customer base. It wasn’t a huge operation that was trying to garner a lot of attention: it was customized to fit his needs.
If creating a personal brand meets your specific needs as a salesperson and seems to get results from your customers, your company is less likely to put up a fuss.
Does Rockwell create plenty of branded content for him to use as sales assets? Of course. But Chris still felt like supplementing that with his own content would be helpful…and it was.
So the brand, named Manufacturing Happy Hour instead of something like The Rockwell Automation Show, doesn’t have to be severely micromanaged.
2. WE FEAR A LACK OF RESULTS
Anxiety or hesitation stem from the very common fear of failure. “What if nothing comes of this?”
However, the future is uncertain…good or bad. So ask yourself, “What if something does come of this?
“There have been leads and… wins that have popped up as a result of these videos being out on the internet.”
For one thing, instead of titling his content about “How to Use X Rockwell Product,” Chris focused on solving customer challenges in general…and his viewers love it.
So, having seen his leads reacting positively to his YouTube channel for nine months, Chris moved to LinkedIn. This particular social media platform is valuable because if anyone likes or comments on his content, their entire network will also see the post in their newsfeeds: no sharing required.
But it’s important to note that real momentum and real wins…took a lot of time. Videos don’t get instant success within minutes after he posts them.
The key to garnering results from a personal brand is to play the long game.
A blog or vlog may not bring in new customers in a single month (unless you’re magic). It takes years of regular posts, and building up an entire library of valuable, informative content.
“I’ve got to get a video out every week just so I’m consistent and things stay fresh. It all adds up to being patient and seeing how this plays out over a five-year, ten-year period of time.”
The book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck is a favorite for both Chris and Danny. It’s all about providing value, value, value before venturing any sort of ask from your potential customers.
3. WE FEAR WE’RE NOT READY
As cliché as it sounds, those who wait until they’re ready may never start at all.
“Realize that you have the tools in front of you that you need to make great content… If you just get started, you’ll separate yourself from 99% of people that found lots of excuses to never get started.”
For beginners who are considering creating a personal brand, Chris has a tip for every photo you post or video you create:
- Tell the audience what they will learn
- Share three bullet points
- Include a call to action
Beyond that, the other important step is just to hit ‘record’. “I think people use the equipment as, more often than not, an excuse to never get started,” Chris admitted to us.
“Everyone has the tools they need to [do these things] right away. The first time I did a video…I literally set up my iPhone on a selfie stick that I propped up with some books, and I hit ‘record’.
“Just do something, whether it’s recording that first three-minute video, whether it’s taking a picture of what you’re doing on a daily basis and just posting it to LinkedIn with a story related to that.
“My biggest piece of advice is to just get started.”
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