I chatted with award winning actor, Rahul Rai, about using TikTok to build his personal brand and using the platform to create content and show casting agents his capabilities.

He used the TikTok to do what he loves best – tell stories.

Connect with Rahul.

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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 is Megan. Hey, welcome to episode four of personal branding and exposed.

And today is very exciting cause I have Rahul Rai with me now Rahul is an award winning actor who’s an LA and he’s been in lots of Bollywood films and he’s been in commercials. He was even on the super bowl and he’s done lots of amazing things. And I’m speaking to him about tik tok because he has an amazing tik tok account and I have been going a little bit crazy lately and watching a lot of his stuff.

If you live in LA, you may have actually seen the whole dancing down the street and you might be in the background of some of these tiko tok as well. So honestly go and check it out. So here we go. Hey Rahul, thank you so much for joining me on the personal branding exposed podcast.

So I want my listeners to get to know you a little bit more. What makes your personal brand? So I’ve got a couple of questions for you first up, where are you most likely to hang out online? Online, uh, you can find me on Instagram and a lot on tik tok, tik tok.

I feel like, um, we’re just at the start of this. I felt like I knew your apartment very well already. Cause I’ve watched so many tech talks of yours so small that there’s literally just one room that, you know, you have to like know and that’s it. Well, that’s the joys of living in LA. Is it not the whole small apartments, joys and the tribulations of living in LA that you spend a whole lot of your money to afford one single room.

There you go. Living the dream when it’s not quarantine time, where are we most likely to find you outside in the real world? Um, probably at the gym or actually, like, I literally love walking down the street. Yeah. Okay. And so you’ll probably see me dancing and listening to music and I look like a crazy person.

You just need to watch your tik toks to know you’re a crazy person. Really. I’m not a different person. I might take dark than I am in real life. More or less. If you had to eat the same meal for the rest of your life, what would that meal be? Uh, my mom makes a really great a lamb biryani. Ooh. Now you’re originally from New York. So when was the last time you had that? Oh man, that’s a good question. I think back in the, the holiday season. So I was there for a, from Thanksgiving to Christmas to new years I was there. So I think I had it. I had had some of it there.

Nice. Awesome. Do you have a favorite book?

Um, there’s a great book. I think that’s had the most impact on me called extreme ownership. It’s by two Navy seals that took a lot of what they’ve learned in Navy seal training, and now kind of apply it to business and leadership. Awesome. There’s loads of Navy seals out there and, um, army professionals that have really gone into the business world and absolutely nailed it. Yeah. Because a lot of what they learn, uh, particularly about like self-discipline teamwork that translates really well to running a business.

Yeah. Well, we’re seeing that over here, some of our politicians that have, um, army experience are actually really stepping up and taking leadership around this whole COVID-19 disaster that the whole world’s having. So that’s interesting. How would your friends and family describe you? One word? They would use

a weird. Weird. Okay. Weird. It’s good. I like weird. It’s a nicer way to put it, but weird as like, if they, they got really honest with you. Yeah. Oh, everybody’s a bit weird. And what word do you overuse the most? Where do I overuse most? Uh, maybe like self discipline and self awareness. One of those two. Oh, yeah.

Cool. Alright. Well, I wanted to chat to you because I’ve been stalking you on tech talk. I’m completely. Um, I thought that I was too old for tech talk, so I was resistant to it. You’re not, you’re not, I will. I know that. No, because some of the people I’m following are like 70 plus, and they’re hilarious.

It’s not too late. No. Well, I’m going to give it a try, but I’ve um, yeah, no, I’ve been following your tech talk. You’ve actually been keeping me entertained during a Corona time. If you’re looking for something to just get lost and definitely check out rules, um, tech talk because it’s, there’s nothing serious on there, which is fantastic.

Uh, yesterday I did a tech talk where I cried and I actually cried because it was an emotional scene. So. Besides that one take talk. Uh, I really think it’s pretty like light and funny, hopefully. So you’re a method actor. Now I get in really good. I tried to have some kind of emotional depths, even when it comes to comedy.

I think it’s very important and I love it. It required some crying. So I had to go to a very dark place and, uh, and, uh, we got done. Thank you. Got it done. So what, what made you go on tech talk in the first place? Um, okay, so long story short, besides the acting, uh, stuff that I do, I do. Um, I try to educate people on the importance of financial literacy.

So learning about money and investing and managing your money and growing it and growing wealth and all that kind of stuff. That’s something I started last year. So a friend of mine off of that profile and that work I do is like, dude, you should be on TechTalk. So I, this was like probably back in October of last year.

So then I joined in the nineties kind of fiddled around with it. And then over the months I kind of get, got more Intuit and started understanding that. Kind of, I guess the culture of it and the, and the language of it, if that makes sense. And then things started kind of happening and I enjoyed it more and it just became like this positive feedback loop.

And now I kind of just can’t stop doing it. And the fact that you’re kind of quarantines is helping that I am thoroughly enjoying. I know, I know it’s of course, but like, to be able to, I dunno, give out some form of entertainment and make people smile, because I don’t think like me being an actor and me being kind of an introvert, ironically like me staying at home.

And being alone at home is kind of a, I’m kind of used to it. Like, I, I enjoy it. I enjoy my alone time and I can be by myself for a while. So being kind of self isolated or self corrent, it’s not, it’s not like an it’s, like, it’s not like a new thing for me. Okay. Yeah, that’s interesting. So for me to then be able to take that and have a platform that I can just, uh, sort of showcase my abilities as an actor or, or, or entertainer or what, or my dance ability and whatnot.

And then to just share that with people from my own apartment. Uh, you know, it’s a really wonderful thing. And then obviously the great feedback I’ve been getting is really touching. So I appreciate it. Yeah. And I think that, um, cause like you said, as this is a very tough time and it’s a serious topic and you know, as much as there’s all these hashtags around quarantine and chill and quarantine, this quarantine that.

We are all doing it for a purpose and it’s, it’s, it’s important, but I do kind of love how, um, we’re seeing another side to people. We’re seeing a vulnerable side. You’re seeing the, what makes them tick. And I think that, you know, we’re seeing people’s real personal brands, authenticity, which is a buzz word that everybody hates, but it’s so true because you can’t be anything, but yourself you’re actually.

You’re stuck. No, there’s nothing else, but you it’s time to really like, because you’re forced to be with yourself. It’s time to start dealing with yourself, all the stuff that you may let me run away from all the passions that we didn’t pursue or the hobbies we haven’t gone into, or the businesses you didn’t start and all this, but now.

It’s prime time to get involved with that part of your life. If you choose to, I mean, you can choose not to of course, but Oh yeah, definitely. So talk to me more about tech talk. How did you, you know, so you started it, you know, slowly trying to do some financial advice on there and then it snowballed, how did you, how did you manage to understand it, work out and get into it?

Yeah, well, I started on tic-tac. I started with the sort of, I guess, personal stuff like acting and entertainment and stuff like that. And it just, uh, I think it’s like about a, you keep putting yourself out there, so you keep generating content. I think it’s a, I think it’s a game of volume too. Like right now, at least it seems like a game of volume.

So the more content you push out, the more reception you’re going to get to from, or engagement like comments and likes and followers and whatnot. And then you start to learn kind of what works for you. Uh, and like, to me, social media is. I had a lot of judgment to get over, like personally, like just about social media, that it was like stupid and dumb until like last year that I started really pursuing it.

And again, it comes back to like, self-awareness where you are in a specific line of work and things may not be moving as fast as you want them to. And all these other people seem to be zooming past you and getting all this attention for. You know what may seem on the surface kind of dumb, like taking selfies or posting this and that.

But then if you really understand that, Social media is really just a platform to story. Tell your story. However, that is unique to you. If you like audio, you can podcast. If you like visual, you can take talk and Instagram, if you like visual, in terms of photos, you can take, uh, Instagram and stuff. Like if you like quotes, you can quote, you can go on Twitter.

And that’s what I had to start. Uh, Becoming more self aware of is that it’s all storytelling, which is essentially what I do as an actor. So I’ll just story to now I can, storytell in a way where I have just a little bit more creative control. And I don’t have to wait. I don’t have to wait for you to cast me as an actor.

So that means I don’t have to go on like an audition or wait for an audition. And then I don’t have even that much control in an audition room because I might give a great performance and then, but you’re putting together a product that I don’t fit. Things, when you add more middlemen, you add complexity and you have less control, obviously.

So there’s less middlemen between you and the content that you create on social media, which is why you then have more creative control. And you can control the story that you tell, because you’re going to tell it in the medium that suits you. I love that because you’re so right. I mean, nobody else is going to tell your story for you and whether, you know, you’re an actor or if you are an accountant or a lawyer, or it doesn’t matter what your profession is, it’s just having that ability to be able to tell a wider audience what it is that you, what your niche is, what you’re good at, because that’s where the opportunities are going to come, which brings me back to.

You know, I touched on earlier that I think that, well, I thought that I was too old for tech talk because I thought it was all teenagers on there, which isn’t the, isn’t the case. Are you finding that there are opportunities coming directly out of tech talk from, for you? Or are you finding that once you’ve shared across other platforms, that’s where the opportunities coming?

I think, um, with regards to tick tock, I think it’s more of a question of when, and rather than gifts. So for me, I mean, I’m not like, again, I’m not a social media expert. Things are just kinda starting to happen. But, um, the, uh, I don’t think a lot of the people on Instagram in terms of my industry, like producers, casting directors, directors are on tick tock, but they are on Instagram.

So a, I can repurpose my content from TechTalk and put on Instagram so they can see me in that way. And they can then potentially contact me in DME, on, on Instagram. But I think it will get if, if tick tock lasts and it continues this like really great momentum that it has. And I don’t see why it wouldn’t in all honesty, unless it like really just gets mismanaged.

But I think it’s going to get to a point where people. Are gonna start playing catch up and they’re gonna feel like, okay, now I have a business I have to get on TechTalk okay. So I’m going to do it. It’s it’s kinda like how they probably got on Instagram or they’ve then got on Facebook. There’s always, I think if I’m not mistaken, but I think social media starts off very young and then it branches out to older and older generations because then they start seeing.

The effect that attention, bringing attention to yourself really has on, uh, a, your life and be your business. So I think people will. I think it, I think it’s a question again. I think it’s a question of when, and not if, when they start damning me or emailing me or, or, or whatever, Yeah, and I think that’s true.

Like you said, about all social media. If you think about Facebook, you know, sort of back in 2012, the organic reach was massive. And I go on a lot about how LinkedIn is the, you know, has that organic reach just now it’s the place to be. Um, but obviously that’s for professionals and not too much fun. It’s not lots of jumping around, but you know, if I look at tech talk, what I enjoy about it is.

The lack of adverts and the lack of sailing to me. And that is what’s great. And even the brands that are on there just now in the big companies there, I don’t feel like I’m being sold to it’s very much about that storytelling. So it’s in that, it’s in that nice stage, I think, which is probably what’s going to keep it going for quite awhile.

Yeah, I think, yeah. I mean, I’m sure that was there with Instagram. I mean, I only just really started Instagram like a year ago, but I’m sure it was like getting that organic reach was a lot easier back in the day would take talk. It’s like really easy to get organic reach because I think a lot of people on TechTalk join to consume content.

Oh yeah. Completely. And I don’t know about you, but I, I can’t go on there for less than half an hour. And I feel like it’d been on for two minutes. It’s just, you get lost. Or if you’re a content creator on tick tock, you can get a lot of you just get you. Just get a really huge headstart. Now then fast forward, maybe five years from now.

Yeah, and I totally, so it’s time to get on tech talk right now. So I need to put my girl big girl pants on and actually do it. I mean, it’s always a process of like overcoming fear, overcoming self judgment, overcoming self criticism. I think that’s just the case with any form of any form of platform in which you’re putting yourself out there.

Oh, I’m not too worried about putting myself out there. I do that plenty on other platforms. I, I’m not gonna lie. I find tech dot really complicated because there are so many options, so many options of different filters, different songs and different challenges that I don’t know where to start. I’m the same way, but just kind of.

Pushed through it because like, like it’ll eventually, it just clicks like now it’s I don’t have to. I, because now it’s not, you, you’ve a, you find out what your, um, I don’t know. You’re, you’re your way of storytelling on it is. Okay. And then you, yes. There’s so many options with what you can do, but then you start to see what options you actually like and what actually feed.

The stories you were trying to tell and the way that you’re trying to tell it. So like for me, the, the acting stuff, yeah. I can use a little more of the effects and then the, the cutting in and out and stuff like that. But with like the financial literacy stuff, it’s definitely a smaller niche and it’s a it’s, you know, people are looking for more informative stuff and like, I tried to make it entertaining or I try to make it.

Humorous, because I think money is a very overwhelming a topic for most people. And then it’s also kind of very boring in a way, because it’s just taught in a very boring way, finance or economics, but I can inject some of my dancing stuff for, or, but I don’t use as many, um, like affects. It’s just very straightforward, kind of like me talking to the camera.

So again, you like find your own way. Oh storytelling. So do you have to tech talks? You have, ah, cause I was thinking I haven’t seen any financial stuff. I’ve just seen a lot of, um, a lot of flooding stuff. Yeah, I’m going to have to check that out. You look like this other guy. Yeah. Well, because I am the other guy.

Oh, that’s brilliant. Well, I think that, that’s where that is the beauty of, um, tech talk and social media as a whole, but tech talk, um, where, you know, you can really be your own person and you are to people. And I suppose with the two subjects that you have, they are polar opposites. So being able to have.

And the same platform, but being able to deliver two messages and doing it in an authentic way, which basically combines the two that’s that’s the beauty. That’s what personal branding it. That’s awesome. So that’s, that’s what I’m starting to understand. Yes. Now it’s, um, it’s hard to put yourself out there and I would never put you down as an introvert.

Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think, I think that whole thing, like introvert extrovert for ambivert, whatever, from what I’ve heard, I think it’s like more about how you recharge. So like when you have to recharge your batteries, some people need to be around people. Uh, other people need their alone time. So I think in that way, I’m very much, um, I’m an introvert.

This is definitely like. A skill that I’ve had to develop, like having conversations with people or just like, uh, being open enough to receive people and then being, um, self-aware enough and hopefully self confident enough to share who I am and not have as much self judgment about it. So it’s a lot of stuff.

This has been 29 years of. Yeah, no, it’s, it’s difficult. The last guest I had, um, dr. Marnie Leishman, she’s a psychologist. And we were talking about that, how you really have got to be prepared for the backlash, because if, as soon as you put yourself out there, you’re saying it’s okay to judge me and we don’t like it, but it’s the only way once you get past that, it’s the only way forward.

Really. File and error. And it’s a lot of, again, I think that’s why, like, I think reading certain books and certain, uh, um, um, self development books, like extreme ownership and stuff like that, like, and just observing people, observing like how many people talk and how many, how many people talk about what they’re, what they’re going to do.

And then how many people do what they say they’re going to do. Yeah, isn’t that about the real world? You’ll, you’ll realize that there’s a very, very small number of people that actually can deliver on what they say. And you get to choose which group you’re going to join. Yeah, no, that’s interesting. Yeah.

And I guess, um, you’re, you’re using social media to demonstrate all that as well, which, uh, you’re co kind of counting your S you’re holding yourself accountable by putting out there, because you’ve not just got yourself, you’ve got all of that audience. That’s also going, Hey, you said you do this. And like, also some of the noise in terms of backlash is sometimes going to come from the people that are closest to you, and it’s not going to be like, Sometimes it’s like very, um, ah, what’s the word?

I forgot the word, but it’s very like maybe indirect. Like they might just poke fun at you, but they don’t mean it, but it still can affect you because again, you’re putting yourself right out there and you you’re making yourself vulnerable to any sort of criticism in any sort of just. Yeah, quips and whatnot.

And when they come from people that are closest to you, that can be a little uncomfortable, but that’s, again, what you have to be able to deal with them when you realize that all the other great people that put themselves out there deal with the same thing, it kind of reminds you that, okay, well, I’m on the right track even though maybe having manifested what all these other people expect me to have manifested by a certain age.

Yeah completely. Well, I mean, I think we’re all in our own different timeframes. I think that’s very true. The only thing that’s true in life is death and taxes. Everything else we’ve got to work through ourselves taxes can be negotiated unfortunate. No, definitely not. So what’s next for you? What’s next for me?

Um, I’ve got some ribs in the oven. I’ve got some fries to bake after that. Uh, but, but, but, but, but next next, um, I think it’s just continuing, it’s really just a, uh, just keep doing what I’m doing and then just do whatever I’m doing, just it at a higher and higher, higher, slowly higher, higher level. So to become more self disciplined and to become more self aware and tie myself to those pillars, to build a foundation upon which I can build, hopefully anything I want.

No. That’s awesome. I love it. Thank you so much for having a chat with me and the buffing tech talk and telling me that it’s okay for me to be on there, even though I’m not 15 anymore. I’m totally going to do it. And, um, when the negative reviews come in, I’m going to blame you. You said it was okay to do it.

Okay. Well, how can everybody find you? Uh, okay. So if you want to find me. On the acting side of things, you can follow me on Instagram and tick tock at, uh, the real brothel rye. Uh, that’s R a H U L R a I um, and then if you want to find me on the investment stuff, because you’re curious about money and making money work for you and learning about financial literacy, you can find me on Instagram and on tick tock at the layman investor.

Awesome. And I’m going to put those in the show notes as well, so everyone can find you. Thank you so much. Enjoy your ribs. And I look forward to your next video. I’ll see here. If you wanna check out rattles, um, tech talk, I’m going to leave his link down in the show notes. I’m also going to leave a link to his website, which you must check out.

There’s some pretty awesome man photographs on there, and some pictures from previous work that he’s done. So number one, takeaway. You are not too old for tech talk is the place to be just now because the organic reach is pretty massive. And I go on about that on LinkedIn all the time, but I mean, LinkedIn and tech talk are completely different.

So one might be your jam. And one definitely might not be, if you enjoyed this episode, I’d love. If you would leave me a rating or if you’d leave me some stars or leave me a review, all of that really helps, especially because we’re only on episode four. So the more people that tell other people about the, um, the episodes and the podcasts.

Debater. And I really appreciate that. And yet head over to LinkedIn, if you want to chat to me because that’s generally where I hang out till next time. Bye .

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