The psychology of personal brand

Written by Megan MacNeill

The Psychology behind Personal Branding
June 10, 2020

I chatted to Dr Marny Lishman about the psychology behind personal branding.

We chat about how you can’t be everything to everyone and why it is important to be authentic (not just a buzz word) when building your personal brand.

Want to know more about Marny –

Keep in touch and send me your questions.

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personal branding podcast

You were listening to personal branding, exposed with my favorite human Megan MacNeill. Each episode, we’ll explore a different area of personal branding and how you can build, maintain, and leverage off your own personal brand. Let’s put it together. Here’s Megan. Hey, I’m Megan. And we are on episode three of personal branding exposed.

And this is my very first episode with a guest. So I am super excited today and I’ve got dr. Marnie Leishman with me. She is a health and community psychologist, personal coach, author media commentator. And for those of you in Western Australia, you might recognize her from channel nine. She is their resident psychologist. So she works with professionals to facilitate their personal and professional growth, which is completely what you guys are all interested in, which is why you’re tuning in, because you want to build your personal brands, which is part of your personal and your professional growth, and we’d have a chat about why it’s important to have a healthy, mind, to have a healthy, personal brand. You have to be able to know exactly who you are. You need to know what it is that you’re looking to achieve and why good mental health is important to be able to achieve this. So we obviously talk about the psychology behind personal branding, which is really exciting, cause I love all that kind of stuff, but we also get to know a bit more about Marnie and we get to find out what makes her tick. So that’s important. That’s her personal brand. And we are going to deep dive into that as well. Keep listening to find out why you can’t be everything to everyone. This is why we talk about niches so much.

Okay. So I met dr. Marnie Leishman a couple of weeks ago and now I was at a workshop. One of my friends invited me along to, she was speaking to her and her coworkers and a couple of their clients. And it was like, it was as if Marnie was actually talking one on one with me. There must’ve been about 40 people in the room, at least, but she, I was just hooked on every word she was talking. She was, it resonated so much with me. And I was already in the process of starting up this podcast and I thought. Shit. I need to have Marnie on this podcast because she’s speaking my language and I think she’ll be able to articulate to everyone how important your main set is to your personal brand, because it’s very easy for preach about authenticity, but if you don’t actually understand why that’s important and why that resonates with your potential client, your customer and your staff, your friends, your family, everyone, then it’s kind of meaningless.

So let’s get started. Marnie, can you tell us a little bit about what your niche is and what problem you solve? Oh, I’m a psychologist. So I said, ah, I solve all the problems. No, I, I help people solve their own problems that I come and say before. So I guess my niche group of people would be very busy professionals who have got so much going on. They’re very good at what they do. But like anyone who’s very busy and very high achieving, uh, we can’t do everything and we often get very stressed out. We get very busy, we get very anxious, we get very overwhelmed and constantly under pressure. So I try and help people kind of sift through all of that and get on back on that pathway so that I can reach whatever their goals are in their personal lives. And also their professional lives. That’s fantastic. And you do that on a one to one, but obviously not a group setting as well, which is what I fade off. Nice to meet you a couple of weeks ago. So I want my listeners to find out a little bit more about you and your personal brand. So I’m going to have a couple of questions just to find out a bit more about you.

So first up, where’d you hang out online? Oh, I’m online. I’m on Twitter, a lot cracking jokes all the time. Cracking myself up on Twitter. I’m on Instagram at LinkedIn and Facebook as well. So I’m on four different types of social media. So I’m hanging out there quite a bit, but Twitter’s your go to on. Probably probably that instinct. Well, probably it would be Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. For me, anyone who’s linked in with me will know that I’m on there pretty much every day, probably a little bit too much at times. I feel it changes day to day. How I’m feeling well, I want to be on, yeah, it’s definitely those three. And where did you hang out? Offline? Offline. I’m usually at work. I spend an abundance of my time at kids’ sports. So I’m pretty much watching kids sport or sitting at a training seven days a week when I’m not working. Other than that, I’m usually taking my dog for a walk somewhere. Yeah. Peek don’t walk up. So yeah, they’re my three main places. Well, that’s awesome. At least I’m dog-walking, isn’t on the quarantine list at the moment. Not yet. And we don’t want that. We don’t want to be cooped up inside. Oh, absolutely not. I hear it in Europe. They actually have to get, uh, like a little ticket. So if they’re caught outside without a ticket and they can’t walk their dog, so we don’t get there. Oh my God. I’m going to have no shoes left.

You had to eat the same meal for the rest of your life. What would it be? Oh, I’m a pescatarian, but a carrier for the last 25 years. So it would be a salad with some sort of, um, I got on salad, let’s say that. Awesome. And for everyone who’s listening all around the world, we’re in Perth, Australia. So we get some pretty awesome seafood around here being on an Island. So that’s pretty good. Marnie, what’s your favorite book? Well, I’m a big write up, but I have, I’d have to say it would be the Alchemist. Oh, okay. Um, well it’s pretty much what I do on a day to day basis is teaching people to create their own destinies and even particularly in the current climate it’s yeah. We’re going through adversity right now. And it’s like, how do we kind of steer our way around that, learn from it and redirect ourselves. So I think everyone really should be writing that right now. Amazon’s going to have a major downloads of the Alchemist.

Now what’s one word that your friends and family would use to describe you. Busy busy. Yep. Yeah. It’s going to be even more busy just now. Why Reagan? Yes, yes. Yeah, yeah. Tough times for everyone. So, yeah. And lastly, what word do you overuse? Busy. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. All the kids’ sports actually. Um, yeah. Uh, canceled. I am not as busy, so I have more time. To do other things right now. So yeah, but you strike me as the kind of person that will find something else to fill that in and you’ll be busy again. It’s probably, I have written an article about, don’t use that word before Sunday to use to myself. Marnie. Um, it was awesome to find out more about you, but why I really wanted you to come onto the show. And the podcast is called burst. Uh, personal branding exposed, um, is to find out a bit more about how psychology and personal brand and go hand in hand.

Now I actually studied psychology at uni, which is a bit strange. That was, it was a strange mix. I did a geography and psychology and there were my majors and awesome. Well, I have never, never used either of them, but so I love all that stuff. So I just wanted to have a chat about how the psychology that you work on, what you do fits in with personal branding, how you see it fitting in.

Well, Well, wait, we’re human beings out me. And when we think about personal branding, we’re talking about ourselves because we’re all walking brand. Aren’t we really, whether we like it or not. So, and psychology is the study of, um, people, human behavior, human thoughts, human feelings, and for you to be. I guess authentic or be at your best and reach the goals that you want. Um, and just, uh, I guess be successful in whatever area you want. You have to be on point. So I need the best you can because you can’t separate yourself as a, as a person or a personal brand from the life that you actually exist in. So if you can keep your mental health, um, As, as who does it convey through any sort of slight adversity that we’re going through or any kind of challenges that the pathway that you’re on will create, if you can kind of navigate that well, and keep coming back to being your best self, then surely that your personal brand is going to reflect that. Oh, yeah, I can’t agree more. And you touched on that word authenticity, which I think people are a bit fed off of. It’s a bit of an overused word, but it’s, it’s true. And that’s why it’s overused. It’s so true because your personal brand is you one of the things though that, um, I think some people struggle with is that personal branding is egotistic and it’s very self centered when. My feeling on it is you have one anyway, really what you’re doing is serving by telling people what your skill set is and how you can help.

Do you find a lot of people struggle with that? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know whether we used the wrong words or English language. Doesn’t have a better word to express. That I think authenticity and postal branding is what we’ve got. So you’ve got a rating to that, but I think going to the days of where you went, you kind of found a service that you needed just by a sign on the door or a tiny little, um, a small sentence that’s in the, in the telephone book. We don’t that’s, that’s how we found people for, and usually it wasn’t a name. It was an organization. Was it actually rather than a person? And now there’s, you know, Millions of business owners across the world and for people to find the right fit, uh, they need to find someone that raises that they resonate with them. So stand out, I feel you have to just be you. And that does mean that some people won’t like you and that’s like, cause they can go someone else somewhere else. That’s a better fit. Um, but then you’ve got to find the people that work best with you. And sometimes what you say might be a little bit divisive or controversial, or you just, your own personality is not going to fit with people, but we have to kind of. Yeah, but it brought through that and not take it personally. And I think by doing that, we can find the right people to work with and enjoy out, enjoy our businesses more. Yeah, because that is, I guess, one of the downsides of building your personal brand is that it comes with a lot of judgment people. As soon as you put yourself out there, people are actually able to make comment on it. And you do have to have quite a strong character to be able to either work through that or just not care about it. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And that’s quite difficult, particularly at the beginning when you kind of stand out from your profession or do something a little bit different and go against the grain of what everybody else in your industry is doing. Yeah. You do feel very vulnerable. And a lot of us don’t like that and we don’t like the fear of rejection really kicks in for lots of us. But I think what you learned to navigate that over time, you kind of own it a little bit more and you’re like, I can’t, I can’t, I’m helping a lot of people with what I’m doing, so I don’t really care what other people are saying. And I really believe that we both got a group of clients out there. We’ve all got a niche and we don’t want to help every single person. Um, but we can certainly help the few people that want to work with us.

Oh completely. And I think that’s another part of when you build up your personal brand as well, that along with the haters comes the lovers and some of your, your tribe, your fans, your followers, your clients, whatever you want to name them, they’re actually going to be in your corner, fighting for you. So, yeah, and also you kind of can respect more people in your industry. So you’re not in competition. If someone likes to me, I’m always referring to other psychologists. It’s like, if someone doesn’t kind of fit with me very well, I always say to them at the beginning, if I’m not the right person for you, let me know. I’m not going to be offended, but I’ll be able to, to let you know who is a better person for you or, or who fits with what your needs are right now. Um, so I think if we can own. Yeah. Be authentic in ourselves. Navigate the tough times, I guess, have confidence in, in all aspects of ourselves, the less strengths and weaknesses, then you can kind of go, Oh no, you can go and work with that other person, because I know they work better with what you’re talking about or, and it’s all okay.

Oh, I completely agree with that. My motto for 2020 was collaboration over competition, and a hundred percent agree with that because I’m a marketing specialist and our branding and especially personal branding is my thing, but I’m not an expert in SEO or websites or anything like that. That’s someone else’s speciality. I can kind of help you. Know, do the strategy piece, but there are experts in everything and it’s like a doctor. You don’t go to a psychologist when you’ve got sore feet.

Exactly. Yes, absolutely. I think, yeah, particularly, uh, I guess when you initially start a business, because some people are in panic mode that they want to try and help everyone. And by doing that, you’re trying to be everything to everyone. That can be really overwhelming, I think. And you end up not enjoying your business. So that’s why that needs to get you’re talking about. I think it’s very important that you get your head onto that pretty quickly. Yeah. I think one of the best things I did early on was actually say no to a couple of potential clients, just because I didn’t want to go down that road. And that’s pretty hard because you are thinking I need to take on everything. Cause I’m trying to make a living here, but it has served me in the long run, but it’s very, very difficult. Yeah.

Do you have, um, do you have any tips on how people can actually say no, even when it’s this hard. Yeah, it’s a tough one, but it’s just being really honest. I think it’s just like, I’m feeling that we’re not the right fit right now, or I’m actually thinking of my colleague who does a, B and C, perhaps you want to try them. I think just being, like being authentic is knowing where your limitations are as well. Isn’t it?

Yeah. Completely. Yeah. Yeah. Totally being honest and just. It in our own feeling way completely. Um, so something else that I think is preying on a lot of people’s minds at the moment is artificial intelligence. And I think that this is another reason why personal branding is so important at the moment because people buy from people and you do have to differentiate yourself from, from other businesses. Do you, how do you speak to a lot of people on that topic as well, where they’re a bit fearful of the future and being replaced? Yes. Yeah. So, um, the acronym is called and it’s fear of the unknown. Yeah. I think there’s a lot of people out there who it’s particularly relevant to a lot of business scientists, I think. But then on the other hand, a lot of businesses when I guess organizational jobs many years ago, it wasn’t that long ago where someone would get a job out of school or at a university, and you’re in it for 25, 30 years. And you get to watch. Yeah, a lot of us don’t work like that anymore. So there’s, uh, even in, in those types of big, big organizations, people are on contracts. They’re on kind of short, they’re freelancing. There’s a lot of small pieces out there. So we all work very differently now. So we don’t, I guess, adapt to the changes that are happening to us so quickly. Um, there’s that fear of the unknown of what’s going to be next. So often talk to people about, yeah. That anxiety that comes over us, that fear of the unknown that comes over us because as human beings, we’re wired to, um, I guess to save anything, threatening our environment and then prepare and predict. Straightaway and do something about it, but at Ryan’s and wide for a, a one threat and then deal with it like a one side to take time we’re running for us. And then we did, we fought a flight that or dot. So, but now my constantly navigating all these changes at a constant, a lot of technology, all of that. And it’s coming to come fast and then where I’m bombarded with it in the media and we’re reading articles. So it’s like lots, you know, thousands of, um, So two tigers running and that’s what ends up getting us quite overwhelmed. And then as humans, we don’t, uh, problem solve and we don’t make decisions well, when we’re stressed out and we make anxious, a lot of people are really struggling. So I would say, get making sure that your mental health is looked after is very important because then when these changes happen rapidly, you can navigate it quicker. Yeah. Yeah. Just feeling too much pressure.

Yeah, I’ve actually noticed, um, a lot of the articles you’ve been posting in the last couple of days more since I’m COVID-19 or coronavirus, whatever anyone’s calling it. Um, and I’ve found them very helpful because I think it has taking stock of where you’re at and how you’re feeling and kind of accepting it because I see a lot of people operating in fear at the moment and going in weird and wonderful directions when really you need to just stop. You do and think and yeah. So your articles have been fantastic. So I would highly recommend anyone to jump onto LinkedIn and follow Marnie, or I presume there’ll be on your website as well. Some of them, yeah. They’re all on that website as well. Yeah. So there’s some good information going out there. Thank you so much money. That was awesome. And I hope that was helpful for everyone else.

Can you tell everyone where they can find you where’s the best place to find you and what’s your details. Ah, well, let’s talk to Mandy Leishman so you pretty much congested. Uh, Google me also I’m on social. Like I said, I’m up all over the place. So if it’s dr. Marty Leishman, if you just Google that to find my website quite easily. Um, it’s my name with a Y. So don’t start talking in the other ways of spending money, spending money. Um, yeah. And I’m yeah, like I said, all over social media, so, um, and our key, right. A lot of people’s other people’s content as well. So if anyone’s having a lot of trouble right now, Um, yeah, just, just spread them out with my, um, social media accounts and you’ll find some interesting articles. Fantastic. And I’ll also put all your details in the show notes so that everyone can look as well.

Wonderful. Thank you. Thank you so much, Marnie, speak to you soon. Thanks for joining me. If you enjoyed this episode, please jump onto iTunes. Leave me a rating or whatever platform you’re listening on. That really, really helps me, especially in the early days. Cause we’re only on it. So three and jump on social media. I’m on everything. Instagram and LinkedIn is generally where you’ll find me. I’m on Twitter now. And again, Facebook, if I have to be tech talk, well, that’s another story, but I am trying my, actually my next guest will give us a bit more insight into how to use tech talk, but yeah, keep in touch. Keep connected, keep your questions coming. And I will speak to you soon. Thanks, bye.

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