Build a Personal Brand to Grow a Community of Clients w/ Mark Lack
Okay, it’s no secret that every industry has leaders who are earning bananapants amounts of dollahs in their space because they’ve nailed down one thing: how to build and leverage a personal brand. Most people think it’s hard to do…out of reach…or unrealistic even to try. But all of which would be wrong! And I’m going to tell you why.
They make it way more complicated and think they need to build out fancy doodle funnels in order to create something that sticks. No way, Jose!
By leveraging your own personal brand in a cool, unique, and highly profitable way, you can not only amplify your success and impact but also transform your life and business. Which is why I got my new friend Mark Lack, who is one of the best in the world when it comes to building and monetizing your personal brand, for reals. We’re going to dig in to exactly why building your personal brand is so important.
Introduction to Mark
Elliott, the CMO on Ryan Levesque’s team introduced me to Mark, and he clearly knew what he was doing when he made that connection. Since Mark’s name is “Mark Lack,” he says, “Is your MARKeting LACKing?” That’s his equivalent of Mollstars, which he loves. We gotta workshop a personal community group member name for him now.
Mark didn’t do well in school. He was labeled as “stupid” and “a failure” early on in his life, unfortunately those assumptions lasted up until college. It was during high school that he got into paintball, and his motivation and passion for it became so strong that he became one of the top 10 players in the world. He made over $300,000 in HIGH SCHOOL! He traveled all over the world, internationally and domestically.
This taught him what it took to become a professional. But, led him down the path of having a weird conflict: “I’m a stupid kid at school who fails all the time, but I’m also the best in the world at paintball and making six figures and traveling all over the place.” On weekends, he was a rockstar, but during the week, he certainly was not. He had to overcome this conflict, which took him down the path of Google.
Searching for solutions, he found Tony Robbins. The student was ready, and the master appeared. He was the spark that lit the fire inside of Mark, leading him to hundreds of other mentors in book form and person form. He went from being uneducated to the most educated, going down a journey of self-discovery and personal development.
Mark is admittedly terrible at a lot of things, but you only have to be good at one or two things in order to be successful at life. He has since gotten incredibly good at sales and marketing, twisting it into personal branding, utilizing those strategies to elevate clients’ personal brands.
Five years ago, social media marketing and personal branding were still new, let alone ten years ago. No one had the credentials to do this; skepticism ran amok. Mark saw people running ads and showing off their money, and as a young person, he knew he wanted this.
He studied everybody, buying all the programs and courses he could find through his paintball money. He couldn’t get into a university due to his “stupidity,” so he went to a cheap junior college and had money saved up. His parents were skeptical about how he was investing his money, but they supported him (he once won $160,000 in a single day through paintball, so clearly his craziness has led him down some good paths, which his parents realized).
- Fun tangent: What are you willing to go in debt for if you don’t have the money? Mark advises parents of young adults that the college system is not for everyone. He instead says that you should invest money into the foundations of how to make money on the internet, figure out what you’re most passionate about, and then go all in on that passion.
What is Personal Branding?
What we focus on is making sure you honor who you are as a human, as well as the humans that you serve. You have to know what makes you special to do that. THAT is what gets people to love you and your brand. Have you ever seen a Lamborghini marketing campaign? It is so interesting because for some reason they resonate with people, even if they aren’t particularly genuine. But, I do believe that, the “Bro- Style” marketing is going out of style, because it attracts more hate than positivity.
I truly think the pandemic had something to do with that switch. We are having to be more honest, and real with our clients, our bosses, and even our families. You may have the kids in the background of a meeting because they have a break from schooling at home. Being honest and yourself, which we have ALWAYS said works best, is becoming the new normal.
Ryan had to reshoot everything for his launch last year, so it felt more realistic and relatable. I may have a pair of pants that was worth $1,000, and I was unwilling to admit that for a while, but I am very proud of those pants and wear them all the time. We can often struggle with the balance of being real with your personality and serving your clients.
Personal branding “is your reputation. It’s how people perceive you.” If you hit Mark up in his email inbox and don’t have a good email signature, his email signature is this professional photo shoot circle of his smiling face, his name, his bio, the link to his website, and links to his social media accounts (he’s verified on all of them with hundreds of thousands of followers). You don’t need to be at Mark’s level to have an email signature like this; go to WiseStamp to buy $10 templates that you can copy and paste into your signature. Something as simple as that will help you be received so much better by folks you email.
Are you serious enough?
Mark gets hundreds of emails and social media messages every week. Something that he notices is that most emails don’t have a good signature. Mark will click on their name, and if it’s from a Yahoo, AOL, or Gmail, he has to assume businesses aren’t serious. He believes you should get a real email account with @ your company’s website. And have an email signature. When you don’t have those things, those are the first indicators to him that you’re not serious.
On social media, before Mark responds to anyone, he goes to a person’s profile. Maybe you’ve shared a political article or talked about your bacon Brussels sprouts you had for dinner but have not posted any original content. You have no bio and no followers. I am using all of these filters as qualification, so even if you think all of these small things don’t matter, believe me, they do. Are you worth having a conversation with?
That’s how Mark is thinking about these things. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk wears a beanie and a T-shirt, he can do that because everyone knows who he is and what he can do. If you don’t yet have your personal brand leveraged, you need to work your way up to that point.
The more successful you can get, the more that you will have the annoying people message you trying just to get stuff from you. The more successful you get, the less people lead with value, which is obnoxious. Because of this you have to be careful who you spend time communicating with. When that one person emails you with a ton of value first, and is trying to establish credibility and trust before asking you for something, those are the people you want to respond to.
You need to build the reputation. Then you need to control the perception so when someone looks you up, be that through your website, social media, or email signature, they will think highly of you immediately. If someone Googles you, what are they going to find? Those results will be proof of your reputation.
New kid at school
The new kid at school that everyone talks about? That’s your reputation. Mark’s reputation early on in school was as the, “stupid kid.” You come up with these labels for people that start to spread around. Ryan and Elliott said great things about Mark, as did the rest of the internet, because Mark is actively working on his reputation and perception in the world. My brand is that I’m crazy, clearly ;), so Mark already knew that about me, too.
People often don’t take time to build these foundational pieces. If you don’t know what perception you want to create, how do you expect anyone else to know how to perceive you? They will make it up as they go along if you don’t build that foundation for them.
We turn all of our videos into gifs. My “That does not work” gif, which was optimized for SEO, went viral on Christmas Eve, having now been shared 60,000 times. This is through Tenor and has my name on it. In order to take advantage of this virality, Mark recommends posting it on our Facebook page. Then create an audience that would be suitable to retarget from. Promote it as a post. As the caption, “Win $500 cash by commenting the best marketing idea that does not work.” Everyone would comment the funniest thing that doesn’t work. You could set up a chatbot to reply to everyone and retarget them. Boom. Telling people it’s gone viral would not make a difference, so don’t even bother.
Every person I’ve asked about this, even Grant Cardone, said to monetize it by creating another product that somehow teaches people a new skill. Mark shakes his head no. Retarget everyone, and reply to every single comment, “Here’s my seven best tips for marketing that does work.” Use it as a funnel. I don’t want to teach people this unless I know how to really do it. Then you have a retargeting audience. The first three seconds of the ad is the gif, and then I should come on camera, “Remember how you engaged with my gif? Here are seven marketing tips that do work.” Use that to funnel them in. I can’t wait to be a case study for Mark.
Don’t be better, but not get a chance
We do a weekly Facebook profile review with our Camera Confidence members because most people don’t even know what’s possible. If your profile is set to private, even if you’re sharing incredible nuggets all the time, then people won’t know what you have to offer. Even if you don’t want to have a profile like mine that is mostly open, pick a few things to share publicly to help you control your perception and build your positive reputation.
Followers are vanity metrics. They matter to some degree because it leads people to believe you’re worth following. Who is more credible: the person with one post about their Brussels sprouts and their cats and 50 followers, or a person with a verified account, an amazing bio that adds value, and at least 500 pieces of valuable content that are both personal and professional? It’s called a personal brand for a reason, so you have to make sure to add that personal element. Be the real estate agent who is also a mom and a wife, who goes on vacation, who is thinking about the work/life balance.
Social media is supposed to build a relationship with your audience and demonstrate your expertise to build trust and rapport so they feel like they know you and your life without having met you. They should also feel like they can relate to you to help build that rapport. You’re showing that you can get people one or two steps closer to their goal for free, and if they want, they can buy from you to get to the finish line.
Will you eat at the restaurant with 100 people in line or nobody in line? 100 people in line must be good. Nobody in line must be bad. That’s purely a judgment. The only fact you have is a hypothesis about social proof. If you have zero engagement, I could come to the conclusion that what you’re saying must not be good because nobody is listening. It’s a stretch, but it’s a logical stretch. The restaurant with no line might be amazing, but no one is giving it a chance. So if you never get the engagement, you will always have the potential perception that what you’re saying must not be valuable or relevant because if it was, more people would be listening, in line. That’s why social proof is important.
How to Get Engagement
So you need to have the engagement but HOW do you get that engagement? There are three main ways to achieve it (and you have to do all three):
1. Buy it
2. Borrow it
3. Create it.
Let’s talk about these from Least important to most important.
When creating personalized content, you have to create amazing content and hope that the algorithms are in your favor to help your content get pushed out to more people. “Hope” is a frustrating word, but it’s true. You can be strategic in working with the algorithms, but it’s an art because the algorithm can change tomorrow, hence “hope.” That’s why creating, while still important, is the least of the three.
It is things like, interviews or co-creating content (like we’re doing here, which everyone should do). We can turn this into smaller pieces of content to repurpose in the future to help borrow each other’s audiences.
If Mark could choose one, he would choose buying it because he’s in control. Every time he invests $1,000 in an ad, and he knows he could make $2,000 from that ad, that’s obviously worth it. That’s the foundation to a real business because you can grow and control your scale. If you are just using affiliates to borrow people’s audiences, what if they change their mind or flake at the last minute?
So to recap: Creating it, you’re at the whim of an algorithm. Borrowing it, you’re at the whim of someone following through on their commitment. And buying it, you’re in the most control, but you still have to do all three.
Mark suggests that one of the best way to engage and to grow an audience, is to promote your content through boosting subscribed content. You’re creating content telling people to subscribe. The same way you promote and pay for offers, you are paying to promote a subscribe ad or follow you on “X” social media page to find more of the same content. You can boost content for just $1 a day, which we do for that exact purpose. Turning videos like this into an ad is boosting engagement and building retargeting audiences for later.
We are obsessed with GroupTrack CRM, the Facebook tracking program that my friend, and Mark’s Client, Jenna Larson created. If you use the Google Display Network or Facebook Audience Networks, you can be on an almost unlimited amount of websites. You want to be omnipresent to the right person. You don’t want to be a celebrity to the world, but you want to be everywhere your audience is, even if that means a nursing app.
Mark’s favorite platform to use is YouTube, but his media buyers are ramping up on Facebook and Instagram again. YouTube is great because the competition is lower; most people don’t have the camera confidence to be featured in a YouTube ad. Most of what you see is from bigger companies with a serious ad budget, but garbage copy with the wrong hook, a bad frame, and bad lighting. You can click the video and scrape the ID and see how long the ad has been running and how many views it has; if they have half a million views, you know they have bought that traffic. Maybe the garbage could be a good thing, depending on your audience.
Where Mark found he was making the biggest mistake was not focusing on his actual YouTube channel. They always crushed ads, but the channel is a different thing. One way to play the Internet is to sell ads, and the other way is to build a personal brand and audience. Mark thinks you should do both. Most people usually only do one. But when you do both, you can’t not make however much money you want.
There is a lot of potential with Clubhouse. When new platforms come up, the algorithm can often be extremely generous with engagement and followers. Clubhouse won’t have that happen yet, but TikTok, the most recent buzzy platform, has the viral aspect. But with Clubhouse it has never been easier to join a room. Mark joined a Clubhouse room and within five seconds was invited to be a speaker and moderator with 2,000 people already in that room. He went pretty hard for his first 48 hours, and finally his wife was like, “What are you doing?” It very quickly took over his life, so he has dialed back his Clubhouse intake.
Here’s the thing. If you’re a normal person, you need to create your own club room. Big people usually want to join a room and start talking. Come up with a catchy title on the top of your room. Curate content. Interview people.
You want to be in the audience of really big rooms, raise your hand, and hopefully get invited on stage. It’s only a matter of time before you do. When you do, use that elevator pitch. A good moderator will tell you how much time you have and ask you to start with your question. You can say, “My question is, for someone like me, [insert elevator pitch bio here], [insert question.]” They will kick you off the stage if you’re being time-consuming and annoying. Make sure you’re prepared and not nervous.
Make sure your question is really great. Mark has done 1,700 interviews and is very keen on questions. “Is Facebook advertising good?” is not a productive question. “What should my advertising budget be?” is also not productive because you need so much information in order to answer that properly.
100 Dream Interview Guests
Come up with some type of show with a fun name. But remember the name won’t matter as much as the execution. Come up with a list of Dream 100 interview guests, starting with guests you can probably get and moving through to names you don’t think you can get at all. Who already built your following? Most of the people on your Dream 100 should already have a large audience that you can target with the interview.
Go to their social media, find their largest platform with the most engagement, which is how you know how many views to guarantee them on the interview. If Gary Vee gets 1 million views on his largest platform, to guarantee you’ll get a Yes from him, you want to double it. “You offered me 2 million views? I don’t even get that.” Reach out to Gary’s team on social media and email. Say, “Let me know when Gary Vee would benefit from getting 2 million views on an interview sometime this calendar year talking about your book.” I don’t care when it happens. They will reply so fast, potentially with some follow-up questions. “How will you get 2 million views?”
Here is the secret: You’re going to buy those views. Just like you can pay social media platforms to promote your offer, you can pay them to get views until you hit the number you need. It will cost several thousand dollars for that number, but most people won’t require that number. Make sure your audience size is adjusted accordingly to hit the number of views you need. If they don’t do an interview with you, it’s because your eyeballs and your attention and your timing don’t all align, and they all need to align.
Start with people you can get a, “YES!” from who need fewer views. You can pre-guarantee thought leaders a number of views at the right time they will benefit most. All you have to do is pay for it. Target that interview to all your Dream 100 so they see you with their favorite celebrity. You are borrowing their credibility, so when I am scrolling and I see you, I wonder who the heck is interviewing my favorite person. Your cost per engagement will drop. Your engagement will increase. They will see you targeting their followers, who are supposed to be yours, so you are ethically borrowing their credibility and audience.
But if you don’t have that kind of money to spend, let’s go to the high school level. Who already built my following? What companies would want to pay to be a sponsor on the interview for that audience? Now you reach out to all these sponsors and tell them who you’re interviewing on your Dream 100. “Would you like to be a sponsor and get millions of small business owners to see your exclusive sponsorship inside of these episodes?” Most sponsors spend $20-40 per thousand eyeballs. Social media is $1-2. It’s a 2,000% discount on ads.
Offer them two slots, right in the middle and at the end of the interview. The sponsor will pay just for the views; they’ll send you a pre-recorded spot or ask you to read certain copy. There could be a promo code if you want. They then wire you the money to pay for the views, and any money leftover is pure profit, money in your pocket.
That was a lot of info but wasn’t it SOOOO GOOD!!! Thank you to Mark for his time, and make sure you check him out across all social media platforms. If you want to connect with us more check out our links below!