Social Selling AMA With Ash Borland

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Ash Borland. Ash, welcome.

Hey Thomas, thank you very much for having me on.

My pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Yeah sure. My name is Ash Borland. I’m a personal branding coach. I specialise really in personal branding, content marketing and social selling in that kind of order. I help mostly coaches, consultants, freelancers to anybody who really can strive and stand out from by themselves. You can fight the David and Goliath kind of corporate cos you know with their own personal brand and I help them clarify the marketing message established themselves as a thought leader in their industry or niche depending on where we’re looking and effectively increase there the impact on income through social selling. So they don’t have to outreach the people, they’re gonna get people coming to them and that is what I do in a nutshell, without trying to self-indulge in my life story too much. Well, it leads on nicely to the next part, which is a topic of discussion today is social selling.

Happy to talk about that. Oh, I love it. Absolutely. So we’re all on the same page. What’s your definition of social selling? My definition of social selling? Obviously there’s the official definitions with stuff but my take on social selling is the idea of creating enough selling through social platforms or through social interaction and not through cold outreach. That’s how I would define it. I’m quite an advocate of trying to separate this idea of social media, I think we’ve focused too much on that, that it’s just social media. I think social selling takes place in marketing networking rooms, it’s about creating relationships with people which then will lead to sales over time, usually have a greater amount, usually much better clients, but it just takes a bit of seeding, you’ve got to plant that seed in. but I think it’s something that is a bit of a buzzword right now. I think it’s a bit negative press as well because a lot of the kind of our our sales you guys have taking it on in their marketing and really push that.

And I think it’s not always as bad as it seems, but I think social selling in its essence is just selling a product of good or a service through socialising wherever that may be. So not social media, but actually social interaction. Yeah. Social media is just at all. I don’t like social media, I do all my business through it, but I think it’s an amazing tool when used correctly. It is an absolute plague when used incorrectly. And I think that social selling itself is relationships. That’s all it is. I mean, we focus now with obviously the pandemic, we’ve had to go on to social media, which is fine, but the rules of the rules of the jungle, so to speak, still apply online and offline. And if you can think that’s where people get wrong, they disconnect the two. Mm So I mean you touched on probably one of the misconceptions there, are there some others that people get wrong about the content of all the topic of social selling? Yes. One thing, I mean I could see her and moan about what people get wrong all the time Thomas a good way, like I try to be positive with it.

One thing people get very, very wrong I think with social selling is they don’t understand that it’s about hitting on influence principles. So you know like Dr Sheldon ease in front of to give him credit because otherwise people give me, people say he’s not yours. I know it’s not mine. But like Dr Sheldon is influenced principles require things like the main one is reciprocity at this idea of if I give you something without any expectation of something in return, you will feel like you have to give me something back. And that is the most important thing when it comes to social selling is we talk about building relationships and people buy from people, but the real nitty gritty is you need to be massively giving more than you take and you have to be building a reciprocity, I would say fill your reciprocity Well, so it’s like trying to create this idea that people owe you and you don’t, you know, they have given without any expectation where people go very wrong with social selling is, but when it comes to reciprocity, if you say by my stuff or download my book or whatever it may be if every post or every interaction you have is trying to move them next rung on your value ladder, which in marketing we want to do if every single thing is like that.

And it’s too to the point, you’re not social selling, you’re just selling and on social media and that, that’s all it is. There’s a big difference. And I think, you know, I work with clients on this all the time and I do talks on this all the time where people will say I do social selling and I can do an order on their kind of grand ecosystem and go, you don’t, you just market online. And so they’re very different things and people miss that one. If you don’t ask for the deal, the clothes, um, you’ll probably find you’ll get more business interesting. Have you done, you know, tests around that particular thing or the other thing I wanted to touch on is uh, is correct me if I’m wrong, it seems like a long term play rather than a short term game. Yeah, yeah. So, uh, long term, it’s a huge long term play. There’s a uh, yeah, it’s not a short term move at all. And actually, um, I love it.

They say it’s the averages 8-9 online interactions before someone will actually buy or even consider buying from you are moving to the next level of the, of the rung before he got in here as a coach and call. That guy had followed me for a year before he even got the call with me. So it is a massively long play and I don’t think it’s very much I do as I say, and not as I do scenario because I always, I don’t do any outbound marketing at all, like only create value. Like I have a value ladder that is, you know, free content, free master class and then it goes up their levels and I don’t have any outreach. Now the reason why I don’t, and I say it’s for my clients and this would be probably, if you’re working with someone, I would advise people they should have, they should have sales messages, they should have normal standard marketing should be like a range of these things. The reason why I don’t is because my job, we talk about tests, my job is to make sure the stuff I teach works.

So if I can sustain my business on purely zero outreach and only using social selling tactics, then I can happen, but it happily comfortably say to clients and I’ve got clients now doing it where I’m like, it’s possible. Do I think it’s easy? No, it’s not? I would say you need it definitely in a anyone who’s listened to this, you need to make sure there’s a range you need to increase your, you know, just like one income stream, you don’t want one lead source But over a long period of time, over a 5-10 year play, social selling in my opinion should be the main source of lead source if you nurture it now but absolutely not. Which is what I hear a lot of people have seen people do I am very openly, I’ve said that when I very first started doing this, you know like no you don’t need to do that when you start to learn less about marketing just about psychology because that’s what I know more about, you don’t need that. and then you start realising you probably do need inbound leads and you do need all that other stuff but you do have to it’s a long play, 100% but I was like hammering at elbow level but I think really give yourself five years and you’ll see the best amount of return when it comes to social selling.

Well I think in in some instances some people kind of maybe do a bit, you know, dip their toe in Maybe the value is incremental at best, how much value should they be giving over and frequency in relationship to that as well. So it’s really weird like you go full circle, you know, everyone loves, everyone loves and hates a bit Gary v and we all here, you know, do more, do more, do more, do more, do more and then then you kind of realise and you think well maybe less is more quality over quantity and all that stuff. I think when it comes to it though, kind of doing this now for a while and seeing it work and the more you do it is the better, but you have to maintain a clear and consistent message. So I say to the people of the time to build a successful brand, not even just personal brand, you know the same thing, you need a clear and consistent message and you need patients, these are three core principles and the more you put out there, that is clear and consistent, that’s the most important thing.

Not just throwing content out there, showing what you had for lunch, doesn’t help anybody putting up a photo of one of my clients, I did a bit of, we had like a one off session last week and I said you know, her husband went away on holiday, I was gone away for work and I said that’s greatly but on LinkedIn it humanised you absolutely, but it didn’t generate any business, She was like no, I was like, exactly. I was like, it doesn’t, you’ve got to be careful because every step you take is either gonna take you one step closer to being an authority in your space or one step further away. So the most you can do keeping that consistency and that clarity, but also without affecting your, let’s say it’s a very hard question to answer because it is without affecting your day to day job as well. So that’s, it’s, it’s like a real, you want to find this maxim, maximum amount of exposure with a minimal amount of effort that is clear and consistent. It’s really hard and it is trial and error and really like it takes, it takes about six months of figuring that out because you know, do you prefer podcast?

Do you prefer audio? Do you prefer written? Do you prefer, you know, I’m a visual guy, I’m dyslexic so I couldn’t put a blog every single day, but I could do a podcast, do daily podcast. I can do that fine, that’s absolutely fine. But so it’s all about what works best for you. But it’s consistency over intensity every single time. You know, don’t just dive in and I think I’m gonna, you know what as you say they did, they’re towing it. I’m gonna do this for every single day for two weeks and see if I get any results. You won’t get any results. You’ll just annoy a lot of people because that’s what comes at the beginning, because you’re going to annoy people because you go from never seeing their never hearing from you too here from every day. you have to get past that and then it comes from yes, years and years of compounding like, Oh Ashes, the guy that talks about social selling and personal branding every single day, get off my feed, please go away. Actually, I need someone to help me with that five years later, that’s kind of how it works. There is something you touched upon which I think is worth highlighting, which is the subjective nature of I know that your choice of activity and your choice of media because I feel like some, some people jump on a particular media because other people are getting success from that, but it may not be their preference.

You know, you mentioned the fact that you’ve got a best way of doing it and You say six months trying to figure out what’s best for you. Yeah, yeah, I think six months, like I’ve tried every single form of again, because you saw about testing, it’s my job to know what works and what doesn’t work on each platform level. The thing that I has become a real kind of a real kind of fixation of mine over the last maybe four months has been this obsession of understanding high level strategy as opposed to platform level strategy. So you have to think about if you’re trying to build your, say, your personal brand to social sell because that’s what, that’s what I you know, I’m not in here to build personal brands so people feel good. I want you want to make money from it. That’s the end of the day. So and so you have to have a social selling element. Um, too many people exactly what you just said Thomas about the people watch what other people do and they go, that works on linked in all that works on YouTube, that works on here. But if it doesn’t align one with what you like and to with what you’re actually trying to do, then you’re better off sticking with what you like and what you’re actually trying to achieve than going and following what I’m a bit of a video gamer in mind, like nerdiness is what the meta would say.

You know, it’s what the kind of the general consensus, like LinkedIn, the general consensus on LinkedIn right now on filming this is you should do written based text posts. Video doesn’t perform very well. Life doesn’t perform very well. Images perform okay, but written is the one that’s going to give you the most vitality. But if you are somebody who specialise someone who like myself who prefers video. I built studio four video, I’ve been then putting a written post out there might get me a short term win, but it’s going to give me a long term lost because I’m not building my brand around what I want to be known for and also optimising your content for the right people, the people who are watching that content, then you get people who are going to be watching and going, these are actually people who are interested in buying. You want to try and weave them out. So I think sometimes if you focus on what is working, we see this with TikTok right now is what everyone is going to be a Tiktoker because it seems to be the latest gold rush. But when, when that’s over saturated, they’ll move to the next one.

Where is the best thing to do is just stick to the one you enjoy go out every single week, every single day. Whatever frequency you decide add value. Don’t ask for anything in return within reason. You know, you want to do soft Setia as you want to try and get them to keep pushing through two more content, more content, more content and you’re in, get your inbound leads will increase and so will your, you know, bank balance over time. But it does take time. But six months of figuring it out. like I said, I did six months of doing all of it and that’s when I was like, I’m gonna invest in audio-visual in regards to money and setting up a studio and all that stuff. I was like, I’ll do that then, but up until that point, you know, I didn’t know what was going to work, what’s gonna work for me. I thought I liked writing. After many people spell check me, I realised I didn’t like writing and moved from there, but there’s lots of things you can do, but definitely stick to what you enjoy the most because you’re going to have you got to be there when a guy called bob gentle gave me this amazing advice. He came on my show and he said, huh. He said, she said you’ve got to be your you’ve got to love what you do because you’re going to be your number one fan for the first three years.

He said because no one else is really going to care for about three years until you’ve done it long enough for people to really care. And that’s just really important if you wake up every day and enjoy what you do and you’re going to that’s going to show in your content, which is going to increase the chance of people being more related to you or inspired by you, which is going to increase the chances of them buying from you. So yeah, for how far along are you now? I’ve been doing? I’ve been building my personal brain and social setting for six years. I I set up my consultancy business just after the pandemic started. So I mean I originally started in finance, so I originally started in was a performer as an actor. So I learned all about social about performing and presenting the camera and all that stuff. I was a professional actor, work in London and then West End going to finance and started making content around. I didn’t want to pitch so I got made content around how to buy houses and built a built a name in the finance kind of mortgage space that was six years ago.

And what I found though was as it got bigger and bigger and bigger and I ended up having to sell my leads and outsource them to other people because I couldn’t deal with them. I started having brokers, other advisers coming to me and going Ash, can you help me do this? I don’t know how you’ve done it like and they all laughed at the beginning, you know they will laugh, they allow, you know exactly so I can see it. And then part time was a consultant doing this part time for other mortgage advisors for about two years. Then when the pandemic hit, I was like, well okay, I have this finance business that I don’t enjoy and I have these this kind of like the idea of a personal brand consultancy part-time thing. And I said to my wife you know my son was being born, I was like can I go for all the time, you know, can I do it, is there something that’s viable? and we did, and we approached it. We shut down the finance business just became an introducer only. So I outsourced all the, all the leads went to other brokers who were much better than me at the job. I was just very good, I was very good at generating leads, but I’m dyslexic mortgage advisor don’t work well. and then I went all in on this and to be completely honest, in one year, in one year my podcast ranked number 14 and the podcasting charts in the marketing charts, I’ve had met some of the most incredible marketing people, seven figure eight figure nine figure business owners all by just doing this, this is just woke up every day from the moment I woke up to the moment of bed, I constantly tried to build my personal brand and Social cell, made more money in 12 months and I made as a financial advisor.

But the most important thing about it is I enjoyed it because I enjoyed it more people wanted to speak to me and so I’m a year in full timers this and it’s literally like going and if I can do it anyone can do it. The only difference between I say this, but you want to speak to, the only difference between me and someone else had a performing arts background. I do have a deep, deep obsession with psychology have done for a long, long time. So that helps. Um, but six years ago I knew I didn’t know how to record on the phone, I didn’t know how to record in a camera. I didn’t know how to do anything. Just if you want something enough, if you want to find, I didn’t like cold calling and the pain of cold calling was enough to make me go through the pain of learning a new skill to never have to cold call again. And that that’s all that was what it is which state of uncomfortable, which states oven comfort is worse and which one is less. And I think I didn’t at the time. No that it was going to be as important as it is now when covid headed became like everybody all of a sudden it was a resource needed.

So yeah, that’s how long I’ve been doing it for. I can sort of see listening to you explain it. I can see why there might be a bit of a barrier of entry for brands rather than individuals because thinking about the actual cost. So you know if you say for example 55 years doing it frequently. If you do those numbers in your head about what your time is worth over that time period, that’s a lot of money for someone to actually have to pay for that. Whereas if you’ve got, if you’re doing it for free individually, you’ve almost got a slight edge. Being able to do that versus a big company, you have to pay someone or at least, yeah, I think pretty much in, if you’re a big company regardless of who it is, you’re gonna have to pay someone for that time. Right? So I think and you know what, then Thomas I think you’re spot. That’s exactly where it is. It’s a bit of a David Goliath story. I think as time moves on, it might be more accessible to the, to the kind of big brands, but right now you’re so right, the upfront cost of time and resource is so, and financial cost is so high that it’s only really worth it.

If you are the business owner, you are the side hustle, whatever it may be, you have a massive edge. And the reality is it’s the only edge you really have. This is what I said. Well I’m like, that’s what you know, I’ve, I’ve worked in corporate, I’ve done all these different things and when you try to play a corporate game, if you are a creative person, whatever it may be, if you’re a finance, you’re in your design or whatever it is. If you try and play the game with like the same way as these corporate, you will never win, you will never win because they have more money, more research, they can outlast you and they have a brand but if you play a game they can’t play then you have a huge advantage, you have disadvantages as well. But you have this advantage of like, so people always say, do you want to build your brand around your name or a business? I’m like we’ll build around your name if it’s just you and you have no chance of scaling building around your name because that makes you unique. That’s something that people don’t get. I think, I don’t know how they’re going to implement it into big corporate businesses. I’m sure they’ll find a way but I can imagine it’s going to cost them hundreds and hundreds of thousands and a lot of leap of faith and these corporate companies don’t take leaps of faith, they take, they take calculated risks that are that see reward.

And the problem you have right now with definitely a personal branding is the kind of mecca of this and then social selling and content marketing falling underneath that is a very early adopter phase. You know, you have to look at things like google trends and things of that. You can see that the term personal brand, social selling not so much content marketing, but personal brand and social selling. They’ve had a huge hike over the last two or three years where people are people are searching it, they’re Googling it, they’re looking for it on YouTube, they’re looking all over So it’s still the data used about test the data, I don’t think is there enough apart from these massive, you know, Elon musk’s and people like that. But comparing those is like, what’s the point? You know, like you’re comparing apples to oranges, you’ve got the story of your own about that. You’ve got some at least anecdotal tests about building a personal ground for your business. I mean, to what degree I’m interested in knowing. Um, so you build up a personal brand for that company and you started getting leads obviously sustainable leads coming in.

Did that continue regardless of whether you posted content out? Yes, it did. Yes. So the joke of it was when I shut the business down, I got more leads than I did when I was doing it because it compounds. So I made, you know, yeah, I did. But it took, you know, the joke of it, it took like 9 to 10 months to get any real sustainable level of lead, like one a week. You know, like it really took ages. And that’s the hard bit, you know, you feel, I think most people fail because they feel silly, you know, and you do feel, so there was some real lows where you think I’m making these videos every single day and not one person even cares, you know, and I’m like, why am I doing this? It continued, once you’ve got the ball rolling like a flywheel effect, it keeps spinning and it does, it gets easier, it gets a hell of a lot easier because again, with an influence principle of social proof, if more people like it, then more people will like it. It’s really silly like so, and I see that with podcasts, you know, like I watched the analytics of my podcast and I’m like, it worked really hard to get off the ground for like the first 10 weeks.

I worked harder in the 10 weeks and I’ve ever since and it’s like really, really low and then all of a sudden it goes bigger and bigger and bigger and then they eight times 10 times 20 and it’s, it’s, it does work. But if you’re smart with it, this is where you know, that’s a different thing with social selling. You know, you need one thing that people do very not wrong, but they talk about, we talk about strategy level versus kind of like a top level strategy as opposed to a platform level. If you build your brand on social media platforms, you be prepared to constantly have to feed the beast because that’s the way it works. You know, your post is only as good as it was yesterday. But if you build your platform and your, your social selling, we use that, keeping in line your social selling platform on an evergreen search engine based thing, podcasting, YouTube blogging those three really then that’s when you’re going to see an exponential amount of return on your investment. A guy that I know a guy called Nick Newman is a Youtuber, oh come on my show and he’s coming close to a million subscribers like the number one YouTube coach guy.

He uploads once a week now He’s doing it for since 2014 but he was doing it three times a week but he said he said I’ve got so many videos out there now that answer all the questions that people want. But I only have to upload once a week to keep the algorithm happy. But all the content is already there and I make more money now than I ever made when I was doing the other thing. So it is, it’s that initial investment but building on a search engine. So YouTube podcasting and blogging smartly really if you get good at it do all three that’s going to maximise that chance of having that kind of hate passive income because there’s no real such thing as real passive income but like not real passive income, you know, so, but it’s going to increase that lead source all the time if you have the where someone can search that question and that’s the sad thing with something like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, you might answer that question for somebody put it up on their one minute swim in the video. The person who needed that question is not looking on that day and then he goes on to google or YouTube and searches that question six months, two years from now and your video on the surface.

But someone else’s did they uploaded two days ago because you didn’t put it in a place where it could constantly be found to be a resource to people. I think that’s a big it’s a big mistake that people make and they do that because they are that word CEO scares the life out of general people because they think it’s really difficult and it’s really not just use some basic software to buddy. Use some basic software on, you know, just answer the public any basic thing. Just create content and put in a place where people can find it. I’ve heard SEO. Referred to as a labelling exercise. So that’s it. That’s it. Yeah, it’s S. E. O. Is one mistake I’ve done. I said six years I would be so much further ahead. It’s in six years. If I didn’t, I built my brand. Exactly. The thing I told you not to do just then that’s how I know I put my hand in the fire. You know, touched they touch the I didn’t touch the hand held the iron for like four years. Like I know how wrong it is to do that? SCO. I ignored it.

And one of my very close friends and CEO like wizard, that’s what he does. And he was like, you need to do this, you need to do this. And then when I interviewed enough people, these high performers, I said to my wife, I interviewed, I interviewed a range of influences and a range of kind of experts, the influences. I got off the calls and I was like because you know what you think you’re okay, but like you’re just constantly in churning out. And then these experts were people who built brands On YouTube on podcast, three podcasting and they were business people and they were making money and they had teams and they all of them, every single one of them build their platform on SQL based the polite thing created a value ladder that moved them quickly to an email list so they could then re-target them every single day with the content. They were making all of them did that. And so that was where I was like, okay, I need to change the way I work because that’s not smart, as smart and the other one is hard. But if you apply the two concepts, you could, you could do really, really well.

We’ll come back to social selling for a second because I’m conscious of the question of how would you respond to someone who is like, you know, I’ve got a average following. You know, they’re not necessarily talking about engagement, but they say, you know, how do I turn that person from a follower to a customer or a lead? How do you respond to that question? You have to read, first of all you have to read. If you’ve got a kind of average following, you have to re-educate your audience to see you as one thing and one thing only. So that’s the very first step we do is that if you’re I would look at someone and say okay let’s look at your content and look at your message. What is it you want to be the number one for? So let’s say we’re talking about SEO. So you want to be the number one SCO guy. So if you came to me and said that I’d have to go okay so let’s go through your content and let’s say every single boast. If it doesn’t talk about SEO then we need to stop it. That was the first thing I’d say. That’s how you’re going to get people to buy from you because they need to see you are because people only think about you in one way and I hate this.

This is our biggest floor is that we believe that people care about us and they don’t they don’t there’s not a horrible thing. It’s just that they pigeon holed. So we all have our family friend, our school friends are work friends but to our school friend is not they don’t go wake up in the morning, I’m actually school friend, wake up in the morning and go, I’m this multifaceted being, I have all of these different things going on. And the reality is the first thing. The first way you turn your followers into customers is you become, you make it super, super easy for them to identify you as one thing, As soon as they can identify you as that one thing when they need you not, don’t chase them down when they need you, they’ll come to you because you’re the first thing that comes to mind when they need you. That’s how you do it. It’s all to do with attention span. The average human attention Spanish eight seconds. That has gone down from 12 seconds, 12 seconds in 2002 decades, we’ve gone down to around eight seconds dumbing ourselves down. I think TikTok and things like that is to blame.

That’s for sure. But it is, we’re getting dumber and dumber. So I always say to when I work with people, when the first thing I say, if I can’t tell what you do in eight seconds, jumping on your platform on your social profile, then then that’s, that’s the first, that’s the first fail at the first hurdle. And the problem is a lot of us will look at people who are successful influences, We do what they do, but there years, decades ahead of us, you know, you see someone like Mark Cuban, it’s like in his profile, it might say like I like toast. You see that they do that on purpose. They’re funny, they might can do random things. But if you write, if I jumped on yours Thomas and me and you, we just met each other today through this, we don’t know each other properly. So it’s kind of, this is the thing. So if I, you jumped onto my profile, it said I’m going to touch, you can come on your show, I want to talk about social selling and then you go, yeah, you jump my profile and it says, hi, I’m Ash, I like toast, taking long walks in the park and my three dogs, you can be like okay, I’m not 100% sure.

But if you jump on my Instagram, LinkedIn profile and it’s like which all of mine says Ash ball and personal brand coach, personal branding, content marketing, social selling here is my master class, This is my podcast and every single one of them says that and every single post you click on, it says personal branding, social selling, content, marketing, that’s increasing the chance of you going actually, if you did or didn’t depend on the thing, you know, actually this guy, probably this is someone I potentially would like to speak to. You have to think about that with your when you say you’re a very first person, you have to think about that. If you do like does every single thing show what you do for that one keyword really like that one thing. I can challenge that. Most people don’t know like nine. I’m just picking up numbers here, but like I reckon like 98% of people is no, like because we can’t help ourselves, can’t help ourselves but want to show the world with more than one thing, but just keep that to yourself. Keep that with your family and friends. Use social media, use your networking is at all to make it super easy for the person who needs your service to think about you.

That’s the first thing you can do. All the other stuff is just ways to optimise it. But the first thing is get your ego out the way and decide what you want to be known for. It’s a really good point. I laughed because when I do prep on guests, I kind of look at the profile and I try to categorise what that conversation will be in the way that I talked to you before our podcast. I was like, do you mind talking about social selling? Because I looked at your profile, It’s one of the things that you have expertise in. So I was like, yeah, I’d like to talk about that. But if you sit as you say, if you would saying that you like toast, then I’d be like, well, I don’t know what to talk to you about, I have to look further, I can’t have a conversation about how we both like toast will do, like toast, so we can have a bit of that. But yeah, I don’t know if it’s on target, but that’s the thing. I think that’s where that is. If you can do that and your listeners doing this, if you can get your head around that you will be so much further ahead than anybody of your competitors because your audience will thank you because they’ll go, thank you for giving me the information I need as opposed to trying to work out because if it takes longer than eight seconds to put to put you in that category, we’d rather just not have you in the category.

And this is where if you’ve ever had this, I’ve had it actually very rarely get it. It’s visibility over ability. You ever lost business is somebody who is way worse than you. You know, their words, they were you like, why did I lose to them? It’s because they’re more visible and clearer. That’s it. It’s not that they liked them more. It’s none of that. It’s the thing of it made it very obvious for the person, obviously, personality and things, but it made it very clear. That’s what you do. That’s the simple way. It’s a principle. Also that I try to share with with clients because I do pay per click management or my company does. And one of the things I always share is if someone clicks on an ad goes to your site they need to immediately know what you do as a company and all of the jargon and you know descriptions of stuff which it’s difficult to explain is going to make it that much less probable that you’re going to get an inquiry out of that person. Your line of work. I see I find your line of work incredibly hard. Interesting really interesting but like that is super like important more than anything because you’re paying for them to jump on that site.

It’s so it’s so vital that we say about this social selling, social selling is part of it but really the whole thing is that it feeds into all paid ads all organic. So it needs to be clear PPC more than anything. God yeah, you’d be spending a lot of money on a lot of like always love that. It’s like they say you can’t polish a turd but you can roll it in glitter, you know you can’t make it look good if you pay that money and then nobody and then they land on your site then and you might have this with clients so it doesn’t work Thomas and you’re like no it works your sites not converting because it’s unclear that’s all. Well, coming back to you briefly mentioned something about C. T. A. One of the things which I’ve seen someone who is particularly should we say good at being on camera and at the end of like any content or anything like that they’re like you know if you want to know more visit me at extra main and you know I’ll speak to you again soon or something like that and it’s kind of like a most of it is a value add and then just at the end if you want to learn more go here and that’s a type of social selling, what do you think about that approach?

I think it’s brilliant. So that’s where I call them my soft sita’s and hard to. So that’s where like I think that’s exactly what you should have. So you should I would say like sending, you know, Alice further down the rabbit hole. So you want, if someone got to the end of the video, which is hard, very rarely do people ever get to the end of a piece of content anyway. If they get to the end, you should provide them with access to get to the next piece. Whether that’s subscribe, whether that’s check out my free whatever like or you can do that like you can do whatever you want, there’s no right or wrong where the CTs that I find hard, it’s like it’s the hard CT so it takes things like at the end of this if you want to learn how to build a personal brand and you can get your social setting potential, give me a call and we’ll go on a discovery call and you can be a 1 to 1 coaching client, you’re like, no, no don’t do that, don’t ever do that like and I see this all the time when I was a lot of people find, I see a lot with people, but when I worked in finance, you know, work with the finance people, you know, it’s like mortgages will go, this is a fixed rate if you need your mortgage sorted, give us a call, I’m like nobody does that.

Whereas actually you send them further down, further down the rabbit hole, more content, more value, more value. No, you can do, we talk about value ladders, you can push them up the wrong so if you want them off of, that’s what I do of mine, every piece of, of free content podcast YouTube, I think that is designed to push you to the next free run, but it’s a higher level of value. So it’s a, it’s a master class, the master class is free, you know, there’s no, there’s no social selling at the end of the master class but at the end of the master class it does say there are some deals at the bottom if you’ve enjoyed this, you can check them out, there’s no like to come and work with me. It’s just there are things going further up the valley ladder goal though is if you try and get them straight, like trying to take some of the Santa Cruz, I want it too much. But it’s like saying to somebody, you know, take me to dinner before you take me to bed, you know, is that sort of thing, you have to slowly, he’s that client in and some of these people will be in that kind of feedback loop of watching your free content for some of them forever. You know, some of them are gonna be forever.

Some of them will be for a year, some of them, but we want someone watch one video and they’ll go straight to the master class, then they go to the master class and go straight to the, to the page thing or some of them will go that someone will just search you, I’ve had that, they’ll search and they’ll go, I just saw you, you’re a guy in social selling, can you coach me? Do you wanna go, do you see my content this week thing? So not about yourself, you know, but you get your ego gets in the way if you watched my videos, I don’t know, I’ve never do do videos like yeah, but it’s, I just found you and they’re like, okay, so those types of things are great. You know, anyone that does that, you should be sending them somewhere. Otherwise, if you don’t send them anywhere, then you used to be in a really nice person, but you’re not building your business, you need to make them either. So decide, I think the best thing to do though is have one thing you send them to all the time. So like that guy is saying check on my website, that’s really cool website is really good to do that. a course, a master class, but a free thing that’s next level, which is more what I would call active consumption as opposed to passive consumption.

So social media is passive, we do this all the time on social media. We think people are gonna sit, when are we looking at our phones most of the time we’ve got young children, I’m looking at my phone while I’m sat on the toilet. That is when I’m looking on social media, then I’m not watching a master class while I’m sat on the toilet, I’m scrolling through and that’s what we will say or you know, if you’re walking the dog, you know, that’s what we can get their head around is social media is passive so you small black size chunks that’s going to get your, that’s going to increase that that that value to the audience with the option to opt into something that’s larger that’s free. And it should be free. You know, in my opinion, some people will say, you know, charge a small amount of money to get the buy in. I don’t think that I don’t, I don’t disagree with that, but it’s not something that I like, I’m a big, big believer of, you know, give, give way more free than you than you charge because if you do that, it’s super, super obvious why you charge you charge and what your valuable because you’ve given way more than you take.

So yeah, that would be my take on it. We got any thoughts on manufacturing celebrity online. And I feel like a lot of people, as you said earlier, you sort of, you see other people doing a particular type of content and that’s what you try and model rather than if you’re like a business person. It’s almost like a wrong strategy in some sense, what your thoughts on that, I think it’s, I think it’s dangerous. I think it’s really dangerous for yourself and for your mental health. And I think it’s the reason why I talk about social media beginning being a bit of a cess pit. I think it’s dangerous. I think it’s really dangerous. I it’s the bane of my existence with clients. You can weaken all, like I can, you can do with you Thomas, I did anyone like you can manufacture celebrity quite easily, you can make yourself feel there’s certain every social platform has a like a strategy and kind of a formula that makes it go viral, all of them, they all do, you know like I did what I use TikTok, I’ve been on every platform, I use them, you know, I got video mega viral on TikTok because I haven’t had a coach who came in taught me follow this method and you do it, I need to do something to understand.

So I beg the guy to teach me, but it just was so on me, so it doesn’t help and that’s the same thing. I think it’s dangerous. It’s like, and I was talking to some of us yesterday, you need to always anchor to you, why you’re doing it. If you’re if you’re trying to manufacture celebrity, this is the thing, people get wrong, if you’re trying to manufacture this kind of influence a celebrity status, because you think it’s going to help your business, I can tell you right now you’re gonna get business, but you’re not gonna get as much business as you think, and actually it’s gonna do more harm to your business than good because people will see you as an entertainment source influences in their own right and are amazing. And I’ve interviewed a few, I said, they’re good and heard like they are, but like, there are different, an entirely different business model, their entertainment. So when businesses come to people and I want to generate leads and, and, and, and like kind of clients from social media, I’m going to do what Logan Paul is doing, it’s not gonna work, but you’ll get people follow you, you’ll get people and you see all the time, you can say, you can say controversial things, you can say LinkedIn’s ready for that right now, it’s terrible that you can do those things and you might have hundreds of thousands of likes, but I didn’t joke with the client, I said before, I was like, I did a live stream on LinkedIn and I said I did a live stream on LinkedIn yesterday was yesterday and said she did a post on LinkedIn, posted a TikTok post, it did really, really well she had about 500 likes and about 600 comic was massively doesn’t really well and I had like eight likes and two comments in which one of those comments, someone called me Alex, not ash, so that’s always great as well and I said to her, she was like, I don’t know how you do it, I was like, but you don’t realise from that because it’s not the people who like or comment.

So I had six people joined my master class from that live, I’ve had three discovery calls booked in 1-1 coaching, so it’s not about the celebrity status, she didn’t get any business from the video, the post she posted, it’s not about that and actually, but it makes us it makes us feel good and I said to her, I said it’s like this the sugary doughnut versus the salad and the going to the gym, going on the bike, going for a run, one takes time. We know it doesn’t feel great, but it has great results for our life, our health or longevity and the other one makes us feel great because it’s tastes good and it’s all fun. A lot of these and this is the sad thing I think is a lot of these social, we talked about the corporate companies, a lot of these entrepreneurs, solo preneurs, small businesses constantly looking for validation that they’re doing well and this plays into them. So like lures them in like Hansel and Gretel with the witch and the sweets get lures them in and it’s like, look, look how many people like me and I’m like, yeah, but done don’t do that.

Like don’t get lost into because it makes you feel like you’re successful and the reality is the way I would judge success. I’m not financially have to reason finance, but if it doesn’t affect your bottom line, financially all makes you happy with joy, not pleasures and not a dopamine hip actually fulfils you don’t bother doing it. And that’s the issue and that’s why we have a society full of people who take photos of things and like buying new clothes and all that stuff. It doesn’t, it doesn’t help. In fact it will do much more damage to your social selling prospects that’s for sure. I feel like that information is probably highly valuable for people who are considering doing a type of personal branding, it’s going to be a bit of a, you see a generalisation or a vague question, but if someone is talking about like becoming a celebrity or online or something like that, then you’re talking big numbers. But if you’re talking about acquisition of, you know, people on your webinar or people on your email list probably doesn’t need to be that many in order to start feeding that.

So what should people aim for in terms of the following, if they have the right goals, that’s, that’s a great question actually, Thomas and I think it’s right on topic for myself because this has been my pet hate, that’s about four months now the celebrity status is massive numbers. You’re very right for the short stuff. Like you can do it with like 100 followers, you can do it with like 100 people because this is something that like a good friend of mine is a Tic tac coach and he does, he’s very good at TikTok for business. She’s very rare. You know, he’s very reservoir kind of found him, he doesn’t do any of the weird TikTok stuff. He’s a business guy and teaches business owners how to do well on TikTok and he said, we need to get some realism put back into our lives with it. He said, if 100 people follow you, you put 100 people in a room It’s 100 people, he was like a lot of people and but we but we have been disconnected from it so the reality is you can do it with zero followers you just need, you just you just gotta start making content And get one and then two to start to see some feeding in.

You know I would say the follower count. So first thing with that I would say avoid platforms, certain platforms like Instagram or things like TikTok or anything that’s kind of an escapism. They made very much for that type, they’re made for escapism, content, entertainment type of people. So if you try and build your brand on Instagram and your service there’s no indexation, there’s no, no you’ve got to put yourself in the best possible chance to succeed. If you do a YouTube video, you do a podcast, use LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a search engine. It’s very good. If you’re a business person you can see results, you can, you can make a lot of money on less than 500 followers on LinkedIn a lot of money because it shows it to everybody. So I don’t think you need to focus on the following at all. What you have to focus on more than anything though is making sure the right people follow that’s more important than anything and the reason why that is because if you get lots of people to follow you and you and we do this all the time follow for follow or you know, spam it out, tell your friends and family to follow.

You know, used to joke about this with my mortgage content. My sister was, I don’t like the content. I said I’ll follow then why would I follow you? You’re, my brother was like, no, I don’t want you on because if you don’t like it, people who are like, you won’t like it as well. And these algorithms will show it to people who are like you, so you’re doing a favour by on following people. And so that’s what you have to really think of is you’re better off having 100 great people than a million trying not to swear a million awful people. You know what I mean? Like, so that’s the thing you’re focused on. But there’s no number. You are a, you are a social seller at the moment you decide to be, there’s no, and I don’t know if this ever feels like it’s like, you know, your way around a podcast now with podcast is, you know, there’s this thing where you feel like at what point do I, can I call myself a podcaster or a YouTube moment you decided to pick up a microphone talk. That’s when you are and that’s the moment when you start to try and monetise, that’s the moment when you should have a guy called my show called, it’s called nick and he said this Youtuber, big guy and he does this and it’s amazing because what he said was, he’s got this polarising question.

I said to him, when should you start to monetise your YouTube channel? He said, if you have, if you have one video on your YouTube channel, you have monetised one video too late. I was like, oh, he said, absolutely. He said, you don’t, you don’t open your shop front and go, well wait till there’s 10 people out of the front and then we’ll start just stop mm good point. And it goes nicely into what your goals are. Have you got any personal branding goals or business goals? Yeah, yeah, I do have lots of goals. I actually have one. This one goal, that is mine. I have lots of like little, you know, like goals and targets, but I have one overarching goal which is massively bracketed. You know, it’s hugely Large. I want to be the number one person in personal branding as in personal branding. Education in the world In two decades. So that is my thing, this is what people get understand. So I’m 30 And I want to buy time on 50 B The number one world renowned, No, not famous, not at all.

But the people when they think personal brand, they think me And I think that to do that will take 20 years of and this is just hopefully giving some kind of guidance, to how long are my brain, kind of his thinking is That’s 20 years of studying and learning and growing and you know, I was I set this goal two years ago when I started doing this kind of part time In two years I was quite shocked how low the bar was. So I was like maybe 20 years might be a bit easier than thought, but that’s my number one goal, every single thing I do, every single thing I do. Obviously not outside of my fun, but in my business life, It doesn’t take me one step closer to that thing and I have zero interest in doing it and that is that is my number one goal. So every other goal which is being enveloped into that goal. Obviously I break it down into 90 day chunks or all that stuff, but my idea is that and I’m not a celebrity, a scholar, that’s the idea that someone can ask you a question and go, it’s that it’s that, it’s that, it’s that. That’s the overarching thing, which is why I’m coming on your show is why go on shows two other one to spread this information.

Hello, you’ve done a very good job of that. So thank you, I was about to wrap it up, but I just have to ask, What do you think personal branding looks like in 20 years In 20 years, I think personal branding will be a necessity. Not, I think everyone will do it. I think we’re going to move more and more the era of kind of corporate business. I think he’s going to go, I don’t know whether it’ll come back in 20 years, I’m not sure, but I think you’re going to see in the next 10 years this breakdown of these corporate companies. And the reason why I think that is because the internet has levelled the playing field. It makes people, we used to go to corporate and big, big conglomerates because the brand really mattered because we could trust Tesco’s or he could trust because we knew it was a case, but the internet now is connected us all together, that is really the rise of personal brand. People are making their hiring, their buying decisions purely based on the person behind the product, not so much of the product itself.

And so I think we’re going to see that move more and more and more. The pandemic has shifted and sped that up because so many people being made redundant. We had this in 2008 when lots were made redundant. The rise of small businesses shot through the roof. I think that’s gonna be a big part of it. I think maybe in the next 10 years. So like, no, I don’t think for 10 years in 10 years’ time we might start being able to approach the subject of big corporate businesses, building their employees’ personal brands. I think that’s where we’ll go, where we need to talk about when you come into the company, we’re going to build your brand for you, we’re going to turn you into, like, and I’m not, I absolutely can’t stand football, so anyone who hates me for that to apologise, but like, like a football player, you know, like the sports players come in and they nurture that they help the team with their skills, but they also get their brand built by their pr departments and things like that. So I think That any business who isn’t in 10 years, I think it took about 10 years, but 10 years’ time to get to that point where these companies and you see that with things like Virgin, Google, Apple, they already kind of do that, But we’re going to go further. It’s gonna have to be a necessity.

And then I think that’s where I’ll be in 20 years’ time. I think it would just be the norm. It’s just your c they’re really fascinating. I shouldn’t have asked it because I feel like there’s like a new episode there on the future of personal branding, but Ash Borland, thank you very much. And where’s the best place for people to find you?

Best place to find me is you can listen to a podcast, which is personal branding secrets, new episodes Monday to Friday. Or you can go find me on YouTube. That’s where the best content is, which is condensed for you, which is Ash Borland and personal branding coach.

Thank you very much, awesome.