Alexis Quintal, CEO and Owner of Rosarium PR & Marketing Collective
Firstly, many people fear the words 'personal brand' as it means going public with your thoughts. I want to know if you have always found it easy to 'put yourself out there'?
I found it easy to speak publicly to a large group of people quite early, but I wasn't comfortable selling myself until I hit my late 20s. When I was in college, I lead campus tours of curious parents and students and although I was selling the college and sharing my experience, it took confidence to get on stage and speak! When I started my business, I realized I had to use a similar skillset, but this time I was selling myself, my services, and the value I can provide to other business owners, and that can be difficult to confidently do!
When it comes to building an authentic personal brand, what advice would you give professionals starting out?
As a PR professional, I always sit down with my clients and learn about their expertise, their hobbies, their passions and their goals for their future. I then use these key ingredients of their personal and professional life to generate a list of topics that they can speak to, sometimes intertwining two topics at once. This allows them to be authentic with their personal brand while also being consistent. Those same topics can be used on their social media channels, websites, in addition to PR!
Do you think personal branding and reputation go hand in hand, and what can people do to maintain a positive reputation while brand-building?
I think personal branding and *perceived* reputation go hand in hand, yes. When crafting a personal brand there are tricks to enhancing perceived credibility that can often shift or improve a persons reputation. However if they already have a bad reputation and plan to use PR to cover it up, we won't work with them. We want to work with good people who have a good story to tell.
Can you share a success story of how you or someone you follow used their personal brand to build business or career?
Yes! I have a client, Eric Ritter, that has worked with us for over a year now and decided to completely rebrand themselves personally outside of their business. We helped Eric tap into his roots growing up in Germany amidst beautiful vineyards, combined it with his passion and profession in SEO/digital marketing, and we relaunched his brand as the "SEO Sommelier" with a wine tasting event! His company, Digital Neighbor, has experienced increased new business opportunities thanks to this strategy and continuous PR opportunities that Eric has uncovered with his new personal brand.
Which platforms do you find most effective for establishing thought leadership and growing professional presence?
Trade and industry publications have been very effective in publishing our clients as thought leaders. But one piece of PR that people often overlook is the promotion that comes AFTER you've been published. So in that case, I'd have to say LinkedIn has been most effective! Every time I get published, featured in a magazine, or offered a speaking opportunity, I post it on LinkedIn and my followers are always commenting on how strong of a personal brand I have. It's opened up new business opportunities for my company that would not have been possible!
How do you ensure your personal brand stays true to who you are and your evolving goals?
I definitely recommend taking a fresh look at your goals and how you've evolved each year. This will help you tailor your personal brand and thought leadership content to stay current and true to who you are. A refresh, rebrand, or a change in content strategy is not a bad thing! It means you are growing.
What are some practical strategies or tactics professionals can use to expand their network and build meaningful connections?
Focus on building relationships, not making sales. After you've met someone that may be a prospect or a partner, set a follow up coffee meeting or Zoom call with no sales message or strings attached, but simply because you want to get to know them better. This will help you build meaningful connections and you never know, you may connect with them enough to get a referral or become a new client!
Along your personal branding journey, have you encountered any common obstacles that readers of this interview should be aware of?
One common obstacle that I've come across is that some people take their personal brand too far, come off too salesy, or simply over-do the amount of content they post. Posting more than once a day on each social platform is more than enough, and can sometimes rub people the wrong way. Find a balance and don't just post to post. Make sure you are adding value to your audience!
Imagine you have a time machine that can transport you to the future. What impact do you envision your personal brand having on the world?
I hope to leave a legacy that changes the stigma against PR. We are trying to revamp the industry and encourage people to try non-traditional public relations strategies with us. They do work, and it's not going to break the bank!
Close your eyes and imagine you're a bestselling author. What captivating book would you write to share your personal brand journey and insights?
I'd love to be a bestselling author one day! My book would share my challenging journey, my life hacks, my mindset strategies, and provide value to other entrepreneurs who are looking to create a healthy life that they love living.