Personal Branding to monetize your knowledge

From the chapter 7 from the book "If you don't contribute, you don't matter", I have already discussed in this blog the 7.1 Personal Branding to find work, The 7.2 next to Alejandra Bara, Personal Branding to improve at work, The 7.3 with Nancy Vazquez Personal Branding to undertake and the 7.4, with Alèxia Herms, Personal Branding to Manage Fame

And today it's the turn of the 7.5, Personal Branding to Make Money, Or to put it in a more academic way, Personal Branding for monetize your knowledge or your personal brand. And for that, I have someone who for me is a reference model in productivity, Storytelling and... Content Monetization: Fabian Gonzalez, Author of the books "Your Professional Brand", "The Fourth Generation Agenda" and "The Entrepreneur's Brand".

The biography that you can find on their website is one of the most inspiring I've seen, I invite you to take a look at it. Fabián created the School of Entrepreneurial Experts with a very clear motto: Create, position, monetize. Let's go there.

Here you can see a one-minute video summary:

You can listen to the full interview in the episode 126 of Everything leaves Mark in iVoox, Apple Podcast, Spotify And Google Podcast.

Monetize, Ok, But what do we monetize??

First of all, I would like to clarify that, On an individual scale, We can monetize our knowledge, That's the most common thing, but also our personal brand, That's less frequent and more reserved for celebrities, Proven opinion leaders... The approach we will take here is the majority, that of monetizing our knowledge.

Interview with Fabian Gonzalez

No Productivity, No Monetization

Could you share with us some of the strategies you use to increase productivity and maximize efficiency?, especially for people looking to balance personal and professional commitments? 

The first thing I always think about is: Why I want to be more productive, What is the goal that I want to get out of this, And it's having more free time. It's spending more time with my family, it's being able to dedicate time to projects, Grow my brand, To grow my business. And that was the first approach, After creating the brand, The Entrepreneurial Project: how I optimize each of the things I'm doing.

There are three things that have helped me a lot to drive that.

The first is to keep an agenda. The Agenda, in the end, It's a tool that helps a lot to organize yourself better, to have better planning, to know what roles you're playing, say, even within the entrepreneurial project itself as a writer, as a lecturer, As a mentor, As a content creator. And you have to be very clear about that when it comes to organizing yourself, because there are a lot of tasks and activities that you're doing and that, Surely many of them, If you don't measure that, You could be wasting your time because you're not giving any kind of benefit.

If you don't have an agenda that allows you to look at the time you're spending on these things and whether these things are really having the effect you want, In the end we could be investing a lot of time in things and we are not, that is, We don't optimize, We are not efficient throughout working.

But we're not efficient because we don't achieve the goal. Then, For me, An agenda is a key tool when getting organized.

A second thing is quarterly action plans. I've been making them for a long time 20 Years. What does this mean?? That in a quarter I can know what the projects are, Tasks, The activities, the ideas I'm going to carry out to better focus. There are many temptations when it comes to experiencing what we talk about behind the scenes, to do new things, And I'm not saying you don't have to do them, there's just a time to do everything.

If we were to implement everything we could implement, In the end we would be with our energy very diluted, Proving a Thing, Trying another one, And in the end we wouldn't have any results because we're leaving things started and not finishing them.

Thus, have three-month periods, A year from now, It helps me to have a frame of mind to know what are the four projects that I am going to work on during January, February & March. And when the month is over, I'll see if I renew it or update it to extend it for three more months or just that period of that project dies there, or is updated, or change or whatever.

Knowing that throughout the year I have a vision that is shortened to three months, That three-month vision was shortened to one month, That one-month vision I shorten to four weeks or a week. And in the week I'm running on a daily basis. Then, It helps me to optimize my time more, My energy, Knowing that what I'm doing is going somewhere and that I can measure it.

And a final one would be the fact of working in blocks. This is called the Blocking Time, A technique that consists of choosing tasks that are of the same nature, and put them in a period of time where it's done sequentially. I mean, If I'm going to do commercial activities, to say the least, calls, In that block of time I'm just going to be making calls, or by sending emails, or replying, For example, Social Media Posts, Where I'm going to be dedicated to just that. I'm not going to do meetings, I'm not going to do any PowerPoint, I'm not going to do any book chapters. I'm going to be focused only on that. And then I move on to the next block where I do other things.

That allows me to create content, which is one of the things that has helped me a lot with the issue of personal branding. I do it all one day for 3 hours for the whole week. On Mondays normally, in the block from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., I make the newsletter of the week, I make the 5 Videos we're going to post every day, I make the copies, The Images, The Photos, Everything I need to work, That's going to be edited and I'm already forgetting about that because I already have the work of the week done.

It helps a lot that the following Tuesday, to Wednesday, I've already disconnected from social media, Content Creation, And I may be involved in another project.

Monetize for Dummies: Getting Started

What do you think are the steps or principles that aspiring content creators should focus on in order to effectively monetize their own content?? 

I always see content monetization in two ways. One is the direct route, e.g. YouTube, that pays you for the viewing of the contents, And as you get more views, Well, you have monetization of that particular content.

You need to set that up on your YouTube channel to make it monetizable, that doesn't have rights issues, of music and all this. I'm not a YouTuber, I have close to 15.000 Subscribers, But I don't live there creating content, and yet, Every three months I get a commission paycheck for video views.

To me, The part I find interesting, It's the fact that that content can carry with it the invitation to other people to follow you, to be part of your community. And there, For me, It's really where the real power of those social networks really is: Let the people who follow, and finally end up becoming a potential customer, in a person who is part of your community, but a real community.

Yes, We can say that the people who are on our social networks are part of our community, But where a real community lives is the one that's paying to see you. It's the theory of the 1.000 real fans, That comes from the world of music. In 2008, Kevin Kelly, co-founder of "Wired" Magazine, published an article talking about the "1,000 True Fans".

You should be able to have that control, say, From your database, with your email marketing strategy, And that you can nurture those people. I'm now in the book campaign, The new book that is the Fourth Generation Agenda, And I basically have a three-month campaign, in which every week I send an email related to any topic, At the end always throwing an action, An invitation for people to finally buy the book in such a way that that person takes value in the email, even if you don't buy it.

That person comes on a social network where I had invited him to my community with a Lead Magnet, Valuable content for free. And finally, That person is part of my database in which I am communicating every week. And there they can become customers by buying a product you offer. That's the basis of content monetization.

And if you have a budget, You can run campaigns focused on that same community, in audiences similar to your subscribers,to get them to follow you and thus gain more subscribers, More Followers. I only do this when I do specific product launches.

This year, For example, I haven't done any because I'm working that way organically. I think it's a good practice to throw something, but don't release it for everyone, Not for people who don't know you at all, Not for cold traffic, Who Call, but for people who have already seen you, Who know something of what you do, who may have subscribed to your newsletter and see you in an ad on YouTube or Instagram, There's a higher chance they'll stick looking at the ad because they know you.

To be able to invest in that, I think it's a good tool to grow and strengthen the income of this project, of that personal brand.

I used to send newsletters where I proposed the course to my subscribers 18 Productivity Hacks, the book The Fourth Generation Agenda, Subscribe, Follow me on social media. Let's go, that is, I had 7 Calls to Action and End, That was a mistake, I hadn't realized that. It was like trying to show that I had a lot going on, when in reality the message had to be one.

The three main phases of the process are to create, position, monetize.

Anyone can launch an infoproduct

Double Question: What advice would you give to someone who wants to create and market their own info product ensuring its success and profitability?? Do you think that's just a freelance thing or could it also be done by an employed professional?? 

We have always thought of infoproducts as an online course, But all knowledge that can be packaged is an infoproduct. An online mentoring, A Therapy, A consultancy, A course, a book, A membership... Anyone could do it.

In the case of employed persons, In fact, the only factor that can make this not possible is that your company does not allow it by contract. I've experienced cases of people who can't do it, that you can't be visible.

But anyone who knows anything, who has some knowledge, You can package it and form it. To Succeed, The Launch Format, the market, The Niche, There are three things we always do to minimize the risk of failure, more than to ensure success.

One is Have a minimum viable product that has quality and value conditions. You need to have something you can test before you pitch, Someone can prove it, That you can make sure it has an outlet. Perhaps you can get people who can attest or testify that your product or service works well.

And the other, Know the person you're addressing very well. What do you like?, Where to buy, What clothes she wears, What problems you have. I found it awkward to sit and think about this, But I think it's an important issue because it refines the way we communicate the message. Have that profile, That customer avatar, Who we're talking about.

And third,, Once you throw it, once you try it, insist on it. That's why for me the three-month periods are very important because if I make a first pitch in a week and I don't get results, That's not enough time to know if that really works. Don't throw in the towel. Sometimes you have to fine-tune, iterate, Delete things, Communicate in a different way, Try other types of ads.

You have to give it a minimum of three months, and then assess and define if it has a market, And if you don't have it, You have to forget about it.

I would like those who read us to understand that this works. It's an accelerator. If your financial investment behind an info-product project is zero, It's going to take longer. For example, A book doesn't require as much investment, but if you run ads on Amazon, You're going to get there sooner.

Depending on the product, Sometimes you need to reach a million people to get 5 Sales. Those who have very large communities, They have an easier time launching an infoproduct, It's logical. That's why it's important not to underestimate the idea of creating a good community before launching anything.

But don't let anyone back down, It is not mandatory to invest money to launch an infoproduct, But a small investment always helps. I think anyone who starts from that community is a good fit, It's starting with feet of stone, not mud.

It happened to me. I launched my first book, Your Professional Brand. I didn't know anyone, I didn't have a community, and it cost me sweat and tears every book sold of Your Professional Brand. Now the book is in its sixth edition. But you can't imagine the work I had to do to sell, Make Presentations… 

When you have a base, you've worked on it and you launch your book, Well, you've already done some work to be able to get whatever it is.

Formula for Success: Video + Story

You were one of the first to use video. And one of the things I like the most is how you use the narrative within the video. Why do you think that this binomial of story plus video is so powerful??

I got there by accident. I was making videos, cuts of videos I had on YouTube, Videos giving tips or ideas for personal branding productivity, And that, sincerely, at least on Instagram and YouTube, It had no resonance, that is, It was very low range, Very few views, Likes, And it annoys me a lot because I worked hard, It was a job I did with effort, with dedication, And in the end that didn't work.

One day, I came to the conclusion by trying. I saw that Instagram, For example, It's a network where people go to be entertained rather than educated. And that language of entertainment, if we add a little bit of the educational part, Maybe it could work better than what I was already doing, which were perhaps very flat videos, Boring.

I have three children, And I tell them stories every night. I had a book with simple leadership stories, entrepreneurship. And one day my daughter tells me, "Hey, dad, And why don't you make videos of these stories?? And, Thought, Man, That's nice. Reverse Mentoring. And I said, I'm going to give it a try. Of course, You're a minute and a half long

And I tried the first story, And the truth is, I went from 300, 400 Visualizations to 16.000, 20.000 From one day to the next like this. What happened here?, ¿What is this? From there, I began to realize that, effectively, My theory that entertaining was a priority for the network to keep people there.

I added other video elements, Photos, Prettier subtitles, Backgrounds that were different, Better audio. Improve the quality of both video and content. And I think that's allowed the accounts to (I'm using the same content in YouTube shorts, on Instagram reels and TikTok), stand out and stand out from what was there before.

Video and storytelling is a powerful combination. First, because it entertains, It makes people stay there. What I've done has been a combination of giving a little bit of courage, Entertain with stories, but sometimes I also use videos that are not mine, which are viral videos from other networks, with a message related to the topic I'm working on. That helps the reach of the accounts increase, Even if it's not just me doing the talking.

One day we put a puppy scraping a bone on a plate that was painted, as a metaphor for the fact that we are not always productive.

I think this super powerful combination for me has been a game-changer in the way I manage social media. At the moment it works, And I'm telling you for now because in three months we won't know. Here's how it goes. But, at least, has caused this level of reach to go up, The number of followers goes up, The number of people interacting on the account goes up. So, These people may end up in my community, My Membership, to what we're building into our database.

My videos in Shorts (Youtube) and they are much more successful than on other platforms such as Instagram or TikTok. In Visualizations, It's spectacular. I'm trying another phase of experimentation with LinkedIn because it's a different network, Works Differently. In addition, Everyone has their own style. My sister, For example, It's going to get almost to the 400 Thousand followers on Instagram, She's awesome and she does things that I wouldn't do to me if she did it to me. Not all tips work for everyone, Everyone has to find their own formula.

The membership site, One of the best ways to monetize

We have a project that has been going on for more than six years now called the School of Expert Entrepreneurs, which basically teaches you how to shape your personal brand, Position and monetize it. And that school was made up of a series of courses, from a series of videos, I had a few teachers. In fact, Alicia Rho is part of that group of teachers teaching people how to talk by video. Roger Domingo, For example, He is also part of this group of teachers.

But, ¿What happened? That after the pandemic we began to experience a certain apathy on the part of people when it came to taking the courses, buy the courses and they didn't do them, they didn't complete them. And talking to a lot of people, I realized that it wasn't just me, rather, it is a reality of the market.

It's saturation, It's tiredness, I don't know what the reason is, but after COVID-19, People gorged themselves on consuming a lot of content online.

What we are looking for now is that there can be more interaction, Greater personal involvement, that a sense of community is created with the training and that it is not just an online course that people buy, but an experience, A contact, even something that allows you to see a person in person.

Then, We've gained that experience and learned from all this information that we had in school and we're literally changing the business model in that sense. We went from having an online course school to a membership-based business model, where people are going to have all this content that we had in school, with a few additional updates, Mastermind Groups, mentoring within the group...

That allows them to do two things. First, Ease of access, Do not force the entire "ticket" to be consumed, Create a community and encourage that interaction, let members know who the students are, Share Regardless of Where You Are, but above all, that it allows me to at least keep in touch and know first-hand what the needs of that community are, Know what's going on, the people you need.

And for us, The fact that we have that allows us to do several things, Have a recurring revenue structure, 'Cause that's a thing that used to, When I had the course, I didn't know, I could make a rough projection, But I couldn't have a guarantee of really knowing how much we're going to sell, How much we're going to bring in. And that feeling of the entrepreneur, of the self-employed, of the one who is creating projects, It's horrible. To have that feeling every month. I had budgets based on the historical ones, But I wasn't able to predict what was going to happen, especially after COVID, Everything was unpredictable.

To be able to create this in a way that allows you to have that feeling of having a recurring fee or income, And so you know what you have to feed content to that community. I like the idea that you can promote other types of services and products from that community. I mean, that is actually the effect of the buyback, I see it more as a model of transformation from what the school has been as a course to a much more comprehensive membership model.

There we will have three types of prices. A price that includes all content, A price that includes follow-up and a price that people already work directly with me as if it were a group mentoring. Regardless of, that is, that people can have access to, But as we add more value, As the cost is changing. And what about the minimum price?? We are among some 27 And 37 Euros. For the people who already support themselves, say, with groups, with community, It's more or less between a few 47 and some 67 Euros. And the maximum price we're pricing, That is for people to be part of my community, To be with me once a month or twice a month, It's between 97 And 147 Euros. We haven't even closed it. We are evaluating all options. It's like having a gold version, Silver & Platinum, Kind of.

The only downside to this type of service is the fact that it is constantly feeding the community, having to send information, update. But I think about it, And in the end it's what I do every day. That is, Every day I'm thinking about creating content. What more sense would it make if I did it for people who in the end are paying for it? If I already do it for free. Why wouldn't I do it for the people who are paying for it? 

It's true that we can't require a person who works in a company to become a super content creator, but I do hope that with this after this talk you will be encouraged to be able to create some. Whether it's a book, Whether it's an ebook, Whether it's a course, whether it's what you consider or membership site.

We're going to have to think about things that will allow us to work only three hours a day at any given time. This, to me, would be the goal of all of this. It's monetizing, This is the key.

What did you think? Do you dare to try it??
You can find Fabian Gonzalez H. In your Web, in the School of Expert Entrepreneurs, In Twitter, In Youtube, In Amazon, In LínkedIn, In Facebook, In TikTok.

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