Together Digital Power Lounge, Women in Digital with Power to Share

Personal Branding for Female Executives | Annie Scranton | Power Lounge S2 E35

December 29, 2023 Chief Empowerment Officer, Amy Vaughan Season 2 Episode 35
Together Digital Power Lounge, Women in Digital with Power to Share
Personal Branding for Female Executives | Annie Scranton | Power Lounge S2 E35
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Discover the power of personal branding for female leaders with Annie Scranton, the visionary behind Pace PR.

ABOUT THE LOUNGE 

Looking for more purpose, fulfillment, and professional and personal development? 

Be a part of our LIVE podcast audience and end your week with Together Digital's Chief Empowerment Officer, Amy Vaughan as she hosts authentic conversations with women in digital who wish to see change or be the change within their industry.

Register now and reserve your seat.

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: 

Discover the power of personal branding with the insight of Annie Scranton, founder of PACE PR, and how it can elevate your career to new heights. Annie joins us to dissect the importance of a distinctive personal brand for women in leadership, especially in sectors that have been previously dominated by men. Together, we address the delicate balance women must strike between their work and the art of self-promotion, and we unravel why shaping and owning your image is absolutely essential for climbing the career ladder.

This episode is packed with actionable advice on acknowledging your professional wins and crafting an elevator pitch that truly encapsulates your business's unique value proposition. We share strategies on how to maintain confidence and clarity in your communication, ensuring that your personal and professional branding not only resonates with your audience but also sets you apart in a crowded marketplace. Tune in for practical tips on recording your achievements to boost morale and the secrets to delivering an impactful elevator pitch that leaves a lasting impression.

In the digital age, authenticity is more important than ever, and we dive into how media preparation can bolster your personal brand and leadership style. Our discussion extends to the digital sphere, highlighting the significance of a robust digital presence in today's professional landscape. Annie Scranton leaves us with empowering steps to embrace visibility, connecting with authenticity, and building a community around your brand. Whether you're stepping into the spotlight for the first time or looking to refine your digital footprint, this episode is your guide to mastering personal branding in a way that resonates and connects.

LINKS
Annie's LinkedIn
Pace Public Relations
Annie's X
Earned Media Strategies Enhance
PR Pace Podcast

Sponsored by: COhatch
COhatch is a new kind of shared work, social, and family space built on community. Members get access to workspace, amenities like rock walls and sports simulators, and more to live a fully integrated life that balances work, family, well-being, community, and giving back. COhatch has 31 locations open or under construction nationwide throughout Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Support the show
Speaker 1:

Welcome to our weekly Power Lounge, your place to hear authentic conversations from those who have power to share. My name is Amy Vaughn and I am the owner and Chief Empowerment Officer of Together Digital, a diverse and collaborative community of women who work in digital and choose to share their knowledge, power and connections. Join the movement at wwwtogetherindigitalcom. Let's get started. Today, you all are going to learn about the power of personal branding for female leaders With our guest, annie Scranton. She is the visionary behind PACEPR, a thriving multi-million dollar international business with clients like Hintwater love Hint Fast Company, albert, how do we say this? Consens can?

Speaker 2:

I say that right, yes, right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, annie's expertise stems from a decade in TV production from major networks. She is set to release the Guide to Earned Media, a book, later this year. We'll have to have you back to talk about the book more too, once it's out. A seasoned writer and featured outlets like Ainsbury Park Press, the HuffPost, annie Keeps Pace with Evolving Tech and Media Trends. Let's dive into her insights. The PACEPR podcast you can check that out as well where she chats with industry giants and highlights her client success stories. Annie, thank you so much for being here today. We're excited to have you here. Thank you for having me, of course. Of course, you've been on our list for being a guest speaking in some fashion or another for so long, so really excited to dive in. And I'm a little curious when I read your bio, your background, your history. You started in TV. How did the television world shape your personal, your take on personal branding for women in leadership?

Speaker 2:

Well, tv is very TV news, broadcast news is very fast paced. It is or historically rather was, I think still is pretty heavily male dominated, especially at the top. We've seen some changes in recent years but I think it was just very much the type of industry and environment that had a kind of old boys feel to it, old boys club feel to it. And so, starting out in there at age 22 or whatever, I was pretty much right out of college. I was sort of thrust into a very fun, very fun atmosphere. I loved it, but it was chaotic and it was not polite, shall we say. A lot has changed in workplace dynamics, as we all know, in the past recent years, but certainly in the past 20 years since I've been working. So I think personal branding for me was really important because I really needed to do whatever I could to stand out. I was one of three production assistants on whatever show I was working on, so how can I set myself apart from my colleagues or my peers? But also, I'm motivated to get a promotion, I'm motivated to rise up through the ranks. So I do think it was very important and an early kind of lesson to realize sort of how to make my characteristics well known to the bosses, to the people who matter and everyone. Every woman should be doing that in any level of career that they're at in their profession.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I guess that goes really nicely into my next question is how vital is personal branding for leveling the playing field for women in leadership? As you mentioned, tv broadcast doesn't have a lot of women at the top. Neither does the industries that we support women who work in digital marketing, advertising and tech.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I think it's everything Really, if you don't take agency and control over your own image and how you are being perceived and how you move around in the professional world, someone else is going to put you in a box and then you're going to stay there and it's hard to get out of that box. So I think it's of the utmost importance. I think that women still have a bit of an issue maybe in terms of taking the time or feeling like, well, I should be spending time doing the actual work, not focusing on myself. But actually you have to put in that time because, as I just said, if you don't put it in for yourself, literally no one else is going to do it for you. So it's important in any industry and I think it can yield a lot of really important knowledge about what you want to get out of your career, what you don't want to get out of career out of your career where you see yourself in five, 10 years. I mean, a lot of people just don't even ask themselves that question. They're sort of going along, and it's really important to make it a habit and a practice and a routine to spend time on your personal branding as much as you can.

Speaker 1:

Because if you don't define it, how do you ever get there? You might have dreams and aspirations, but if you're not making the case for it externally, then how is it ever going to come to fruition, how is it ever going to happen?

Speaker 2:

Well, the first step is really to understand within yourself what is? my personal brand. What do I want out of this job, this career path, this role? Whatever the case may be, if you're going for, you know if you're making a transition or you're going for a promotion, you have to put in that work first. I believe so that way, when it comes time to ask for that promotion or to make that pivot in your career, you're feeling as strong about it as possible and as well informed about why you deserve it. You know, or why making a change from one industry to the next makes sense. If you don't know how to adequately answer those questions, why should your boss or prospective boss know how to answer?

Speaker 1:

it. That's a great point, and in a couple of other things you mentioned, like this idea, I think we fall into this trap as women often is that we see doing as leading and oftentimes we are so heads down busy doing we're not taking care of the things, like you said, where we're looking at and taking the time to work on ourselves and to find what is our you know career path, look like, what is our you know personal brand, so that others know what to come to us for and that opportunities that are meant for us come to us, because we've done a great job of you know exemplifying what that is, I think, also to you know. We look for creditations, right. We look for education and titles, and I just read an article yesterday that came through the US Census Bureau saying that education does not close the pay gap for women. We are more of us are going to college and getting degrees, and it doesn't make a difference in the sense of that. We're not making any more than men who have the same degree as I'm just like do does a degree even matter anymore?

Speaker 2:

Right, yeah, I mean like seriously, like I mean I think of my daughter who's five. It's going to be like at least $100,000 a year by the time she wants to go to college. I don't know, is that worth it, like it's? I mean, that's a whole other conversation. But I think women are just inherent nurturers and a lot of us are perfectionists and just you know, and have our to-do list and we want to check things off, et cetera, but at what expense, you know, and to what end, like, to what end of getting the job done, okay, great, but are we making sure that, along the way, the recognition that we deserve is being seen and being valued by those in the company and that we're not just getting more great projects and more work put on our plate, but we're getting those great projects commensurate with appropriate, you know, raises or you know other things that matter to us?

Speaker 1:

I agree. Well, we've mentioned a couple of them, but are there any other unique challenges that you feel women face as you work to support them in building their personal brand?

Speaker 2:

I think that women are just very like we could, like we could do it for each other in like four seconds, you know, and just be like you're awesome at this you're great at this, like here's where you could work on a little bit. you know, I've noticed this whatever, when it comes to ourselves, it's hard, right, it's a little bit harder, I think, for women in particular to to, I think, maybe not even say what we're, what we could improve on, but what we're good at, what our strengths are, and we should really be spending more time celebrating what we're, what we're good at, not in a way that, you know, a lot of people say well, I don't want to seem like I'm bragging, you know, or whatever, and it's not that, it's just that you're doing excellent work. So just keep it about the work you know that you're doing. You're getting the job done in the right way. It doesn't have to be like I'm going to put myself on the bad, I'm the best, I'm the best tech, whatever, no. So I do think that that's a challenge, and so I think, getting into some good habits, like writing down with accomplishments you've done on a regular basis you know that showcase maybe how you spearheaded a big new project, or how you got something done into a really crazy quick deadline, keeping tabs of all the, all the little like accolades and messages that people send to you. All of this is just going to build up a portfolio for yourself. That, I think, will make that uneasiness about feeling as if you might be bragging. It will help with that because it will bring it back to the actual work.

Speaker 1:

And by you doing that and taking those actions as well, you're helping normalize self advocacy for other women. You know, when you find the ways in which you can kind of do that in a way that isn't earnest, it really does help encourage other women. We have a channel. I don't have to get a digital Slack. That's one of my favorites. It's the wins channel and we encourage people to post anything and everything that feels like a win, and I love seeing it because, again, it's it kind of feeds upon itself. You see, when someone posts a win and you kind of think for a minute, oh, have I had a win lately? What could I post, what could I share, and just kind of taking that intentionality whether it's yearly or quarterly you said to slow down and sort of acknowledge your achievements and the work that you've done. That's a great place to start. I love that advice, Annie. Thank you.

Speaker 2:

I do do that too in our, in my company's Slack. We have like weekly wins, right, and we put in our wins and we all celebrate it. But but have a little notebook on your desk where you know, you write down at the end of every day what was my win, what was my big. A lot of people do that in the morning, right, Like intentions okay, I'm going to do this, that and that, but at the end of the day think back. I mean it's you know, we all are superheroes in our own way and we should remember and acknowledge that.

Speaker 1:

I love that I had that kind of a moment this week. I was driving somewhere with my daughter and I was kind of in my head dogging on myself about just not having gotten enough done in the day and I thought you know what? I'm going to slow down for a minute and I'm going to talk and share with her. She asked me how my day was and my first reaction was I didn't do enough. And then I was like nope, don't let those words come out of your mouth because you don't need to perpetuate that onto your daughter. So I took a moment and thought okay, what are some things that I actually accomplished today? And again, you know you're right, we're all wonder women doing amazing things and you know we tend to kind of overlook even like the smallest accomplishments or, you know, the small steps towards great things that we have to take in order to actually get there.

Speaker 2:

It's hard, it's like it's not a perfect process. It's not. You know you're going to have those moments all the time, but it's just also taking the time to remember all of the good things and really, like you know, feeling fulfilled by everything that you did do and you did accomplish in that day. I think is really important.

Speaker 1:

Let's talk about branding too for a moment, just from a moment for perspective of a business, because we've got a lot of women within the organization and they're listening today that own and operate their own business as well as you own and operate yours. When it comes to balancing the creative and strategic branding, it's not for the faint of heart and, like you said, it's hard to do it for yourself and for your own business. How do you find that sweet spot for pace?

Speaker 2:

Branding pace. So my business is a little different because the branding of pace is a little bit synonymous with me. You know, my name is Annie Pace Granton and so it's, and I started it as a solopreneur almost 14 years ago. There is that, there is a little bit of that, but I would say, you know, we, I know my elevator pitch when I'm going into a new business meeting, right, and that, honestly, if you're thinking about personal branding for your business, you, if you can't say right now, in 30 seconds, if you were locked in an elevator with your dream client, who you are and what your business does, then you have some work to do in terms of figuring that out. And I think that elevator pitch can be like that first kind of portion about it. It's really all about figuring out what does your, what does your business do, how and why do you do it better than any of the others out there, and what's in it for the other person who's listening. You know why should? I care. Why should I care? I think that's like the, the, the biggest thing. People are busy. Nobody has any you know attention span anymore. You know things are hard. You know just in general. And so people, if you get the ear of somebody, make it worth their while. You know what are they going to get out by listening to this conversation.

Speaker 1:

You have any thoughts, advice on, tips on, I guess, best practices for elevator pitches, because I feel like there that is, it feels like so much pressure right, you've got between the floors of one and three to really make people interested in you. So what would you say are some best practices in order to kind of nail that down, because you know I could probably see myself working on that forever.

Speaker 2:

Well, you have to practice. So that's definitely number one, and I think to. I just it was funny. I teach at NYU and I meet all my students to stand up and give their 30 second elevator pitch and the fear interpretation that I'm at the just thought of standing up and talking about themselves was real. It was. It was a little alarming actually. So I would say number one to practice. Literally look in a mirror or record yourself on your phone and then force yourself to watch it back, because you will not like what you say and you will force you to make certain changes In terms of just your sort of like, your stature and everything. Nobody's going to think you're confident if you're not confident, right. So standing up straight, the good posture, projecting, smiling, all of those things which may or may not come easily, you know, to some of us, are important, I think, especially when you're selling your business, you're promoting yourself, right? You have to have that enthusiasm. If you don't have it, why should anybody else, like, buy into it? Um, it's short, it's 30 seconds, it does not need to be a long, huge spiel, but but just say literally who you are, what is your business, what do you do why? Why do you do it better than anyone else and why should the person you're listening to care and how can it help them? I have seen time and time again that when a customer implements my business model, they increase their sales to X. Whatever you know like oh, wow, okay, you know like Results. The ROI is literally everything.

Speaker 1:

I think, being clear, whether it's prospecting for new business or trying to network with others. When you're clear again, the sooner you can get to the heart of what it is that you're there to either offer or provide and for them to potentially either hire or pay you for, the faster that's going to go. I agree, practice is a very important part of it. It does feel awkward and uncomfortable, but I was a part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program earlier this year. What I loved about it was every morning we had to stand up and, within I think, 15 seconds, actually state who we are, what our business was and what we did. It wasn't a full-blown elevator pitch, but you would be amazed the very first time we all did it. I mean, some people took twice as long and one of the guys the facilitators would just yell time as soon as 15 seconds up and you'd be like and some of us would just be like, okay, I tried my best, sit down and then try to refine it the next time. Other people would just hold on to the mic and keep talking, but by the end of this is a 14-week program but probably three or four weeks in there wasn't a single person that went over time. It really is true that the practice is where you find the progress. It's not about the perfection You're never going to be perfect at it but making progress is through practice. So, like you said, as awkward as it feels, practice, practice, practice.

Speaker 2:

You said something also that was so important, and it's about also listening to the person who you're meeting with and understanding as quickly and as clearly as you can. What are they looking for? What are their goals? Goals, goals, goals that's everything. What's your goal? What's your customer's goal? What's the goal of the company? I'm coming back to that because if you can hear very clearly from a prospective client my goal is to grow my social media 10x in the next year Well, okay, then you know exactly what your response should be. None of this is rocket science, but it's a bit of EQ also mixed into it. But I think just having the connection, the rapport with somebody and getting them to talk a little bit and understand and having them open up will help a lot too.

Speaker 1:

I can look at the end of the day, too. People want to help. I think most people, when they meet you, they want to figure out how they can support and help. So being clear is just another way to make sure that you get the support and help that you need. Awesome, a lot of the work that you do is helping to break down barriers and foster inclusivity. What's your power? Move to get more women into leadership roles through the work that you're doing now.

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean, our power move is the media. So we are very proud of representing over 50% women-owned businesses and female CEOs at our company and what we have found time and time again is that when we are able to position female founders, female CEOs or even female executives who maybe aren't at that CEO level yet, maybe they're a CMO or even more junior roles in some instances, if we are able to help elevate them through thought leadership tactics, that is something that does get noticed by the industry, by their bosses, by their peers, and it sort of just starts to help open them up into thinking about themselves differently in the context of their work and their career, and that has, I think, helped some of our clients to grow confidence, to think outside the box, to be more creative and sort of get reinvigorated in a way about their careers and about options and pass forward. So I would say the media through thought leadership is one way we do that.

Speaker 1:

When it comes to helping women navigate the media, do you find there's any sort of instances or differences of the kinds of questions they're being asked, and how do you help kind of prepare them for what it's going to be like for their first media experience? Because I can imagine there's some folks that are listening right now that are kind of in that place and it can be a little scary.

Speaker 2:

It could totally be scary. I mean there's nobody that's going to say, okay, you're doing your first live television interview, who isn't scared like everybody is. But we provide ample media training beforehand so our clients really feel good about their messaging and also just the sort of like performative aspects of being on camera, what they're going to wear, where they look, how should they speak and project, and all of that kind of stuff. To be honest with you, I don't see I haven't noticed too many differences between like types of questions. Like a female executive versus a male executive is asked, but I would say there are some differences perhaps in the type of responses that they give themselves, which I'm okay with. Like you know, one of my biggest takeaways from reading Lean In a hundred years ago was just that it's so important for women to be authentic to their own voice, right, like I mean, we all, we all need to project confidence, you know, and be at that level where we think we should be, you know, or where we want to be. But at the same time, you know, if you're, if you are not a loud in your face, bombastic saying like really provocative things, then don't do that. You know that's not, that's not you, and that's, and that's sort of okay. But I do think that if you take time to invest in your own personal branding, that will help to inform your responses when you're going on the media, because if your type of branding and leadership is very inclusive, you know, then you, then you'll probably feel more comfortable answering questions with. Well, we at my company engage in this type of things rather than I, you know, and that's okay, that's okay too.

Speaker 1:

I love it. I had a. I was having coffee this morning with a friend and fellow member and one of the things that it just keeps playing in my head and I wanted to share it with our listeners because I think personal brand plays such a big part in this. It to me and tell me if you disagree, Annie, but it feels like an exploration and self awareness. Like you said, if you're not a bombastic, a loud leader like introverts, obviously there's such a great place in this world for the introverts of the world, the ambiverts, like they are leaders. But self awareness is confidence. That was my, my takeaway from a conversation I had today. The more you gain self awareness, the easier it is to define what your personal brand is, and it's just that much easier to own it, and then that comes across as confidence 100%.

Speaker 2:

I mean, it's still shocking in this day and age how many people are not self aware, right? And I think the more self aware you are, the more people like you and the more people want to work with you and they want to help you. You know, like if you are with your manager and you're like I know writing is not my strongest thing, but I want to get better at it because I know if I can increase my writing strengths with my presentation skills, it's going to be great for the company. You know it's going to be. Whatever. Someone will value that right, because it's self-awareness leads to being vulnerable and that's part of what I was saying earlier about just having that personal connection to somebody. If you're all, everything is great every day.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

There's no problems Like who needs that? You know that's not, that's fake.

Speaker 1:

Yep, it is. I think authenticity it is. Wasn't that the word of the year for the Miriam Webster's Dictionary, I believe I thought it was Riz. That was the Oxford Dictionary, which I was like that's interesting because I would have thought it'd be the other way around. But yes, I do think it points out the fact that modeling, you know, I think we think in order to be thought leaders leaders, even when we think about personal brands, sometimes it's more of what we see from others versus taking that time to reflect and understand ourselves better. So I'm with you on the self-awareness train. I love it, Can't get enough of it. As much as we can like, learn and grow about ourselves, it just makes us much better humans. Co-hatch is a new kind of shared work, social and family space built on community. Members get access to workspace amenities like rock walls and sports simulators and more to live a fully integrated life that balances work, family, well-being, community and giving back. Co-hatch has 31 locations open or under construction nationwide throughout Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. Visit wwwcohatchcom for more information. Let's chat about your book a little bit, the Guide to Earned Media. Pretty intrigued about that. That's like uh, thank you. Yeah, of course. Could you give us a little taste of some like little maybe golden nuggets about branding that you've got going on in there?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, it's a. It's a lot about what we talked already, but there are some sort of like you know little worksheet examples of kind of like how you can actually go about, because it's very easy. People can end this meeting and say I'm going to work on my personal branding, but then you're just like, well, what does that even mean? I don't know, you know. So I give some examples of different types of personal brands. I give some examples about, like how you can kind of crowdsource in a strategic way If you're just like I don't even know like what brand is or what I'm good at, or whatever. And I give some examples of leaders who I think have very good personal brands. But it's, it's just so important because in this day and age, so many of us no longer buy products just because we like the product. We buy products because we like the branding of the company, like what they stand for, or we really like the founders and their story. And it's no matter how small you may think you are, it still applies to all, to all of us, and I think it it ties into the self awareness, it ties into all of that where understanding the personal brand is going to also inform your decisions about what you want in your personal life as much as it's going to about your professional life as well. So, yeah, there's a whole chapter in there that gives a lot of like tips and tactics that folks can follow.

Speaker 1:

So exciting. I'm looking forward to that. Kaylee was awesome and just dropped the link as well. You all want to check it out and make sure you get yourself a copy so you can read more about it. You mentioned some leaders. I am kind of curious, like if there's one or two that you wouldn't mind just sharing, like leaders that you admire for their personal brand, and what is it about their brand that you admire so?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, sure, I mean there's so many. I mean I mentioned Cheryl Samberg before. I think she stayed authentic and true to herself this whole time and I admire her. I admire Hillary Clinton. I think she's done a great job, all with, not without challenges with her personal brand. There are so many, but those are two that I think come to mind immediately.

Speaker 1:

I think one of the things I think of when I think of both of those women is consistency despite adversity, and that's such a big part. Right, You're establishing as a brand and a personal brand over poor trust, and trust requires that, like, people need to know what they're going to get with you. If they don't and you become completely unpredictable and it becomes out of character, then they start to struggle with do I really know you?

Speaker 2:

Are you really true to who you say you are no it's so true, I mean not to get political, but there was this clip that was surfacing of Hillary Clinton from like 2007 talking about, like Israel and the situation over there, and it was literally the same thing she said. Now she hasn't wavered, it's just the same. It's that consistency Exactly, and I think that's the other part of it too, and I'm actually really glad that you brought that up, because once you have a good sense of your personal brand and what's important to you to kind of like put out in the world and to emulate, making sure that then you are consistent in that kind of messaging, with every LinkedIn post, with every podcast interview you do, with everything you write for the company or email that you send. Having that personal branding exercise, sort of be your North Star and leading you in those situations, will be great because you'll never waver, because you'll just know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly, you kind of have your answers, you have your boundaries. All of those things are really different when you have a well-defined personal brand and you kind of tip, you kind of started to hint towards this. You know social media and whatnot. Obviously, digital world's been evolving pretty rapidly. How do you imagine personal branding adapting to this kind of ever-shifting digital world that we're living in right now? Because, yeah, there's a lot to consider.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, 10 years from now, we probably won't even be on Instagram, or you know, our TikTok. It will. It will all change, I mean, I think, I think that the pillars that I just described are probably going to stay true, no matter what. You know, it's that consistency, it's being authentic, it's being genuine to yourself and it's also, you know, staying relevant. I would say, is probably the important part of the digital component. You know, like, if you have an Instagram but you that you use professionally but you post like once every two months, well you know then why even bother, really kind of thing. So if you're going to have a presence digitally, I think it's important to keep up with that as much as you as you possibly can. And yeah, I mean it's, it's a lot, it's a lot to consider for sure. But I think LinkedIn is probably one that will like stick around for a while and you know, for me, it's helped me out tremendously in my career and with my own personal branding. But it's not just what I post, it's also being, I hope, as genuine and authentic as I can in my interactions and comments with others, you know, on the platform, because that's that's part of it. And you know I I oftentimes am like is anybody looking at what I post? Like I'm just posting and I feel like, is this even working and like whatever. And we got this really big client a few months ago who said I, annie, I read a post you wrote on LinkedIn about, like, the power of the media. I'm not friends with that person, like I'm not I don't know. You know connected, rather like on LinkedIn, and he saw it and it led to a big client. So you know it does. It does work. People are seeing what you're doing.

Speaker 1:

It really does. I quite agree. It's one of those things you do assume that and then you run into people you haven't seen for a long time and they say oh, you've been up to so many wonderful things.

Speaker 2:

How do you know this Are?

Speaker 1:

you fall. Oh yeah, I've been consistent about sharing on LinkedIn. You could follow me on Instagram, but I'm I'm guilty of being that every year. I'll work on that, annie. Thanks for the homework and I think to you know the digital world is a record, right? So I think that kind of taking the time and the practice and putting what you're, what you're putting out in the world, creating that consistency that helps build your reputation One, so it can precede you, but two, it also can't be leveraged against you, right, because whatever is out there is gonna stay out there.

Speaker 2:

I mean, you got to be careful, you know. I mean, I think we're all probably of an age now where we're not going to be, you know, posting things that can, you know, be harmful to our career. However, we are living in a very, you know, challenging times, where there's different opinions on major global events. We're about to be in another election year and it's important to remember that, in terms of your personal brand, you may know exactly what you stand for. I know what I stand for, but I have 40 clients, you know, and there are nuances for every single one of my clients and their own personal political beliefs and outlooks on the world. And, you know, it is that balancing act of making sure that you're doing the work that is important to you and that you're proud of, but that, at the same time, you're also helping your client with what's most important to their company and to their goals and who their audience is. And that can be a little sticky, you know it's it's, it could be a little sticky.

Speaker 1:

Well, that does lead nicely into the next question with Pace PR's diverse clientele. Knowing that you've got various audiences out there that you're trying to work towards, serve and attract, is there any sort of secret recipe or common thread that works magic for crafting standout personal brands across different industries?

Speaker 2:

I mean tried and true is leaning into the founder story, and so that doesn't matter what kind of company you are man, woman, you know, white, black, whatever I think having and really understanding the founder story and the reason why they started the company is gonna be helpful for almost all of your pitching. But that is one aspect of personal branding that I think people really do lean into, because now in the media there are many reporters that just wanna follow what a founder does you know or hear. You know what was the biggest mistake you made. You know what were the three big things you had to overcome, getting from A to Z kind of thing. So that I would say would be one aspect of it. And you know, just paying attention to the big moments that each and every company has and seeing what's newsworthy you know to pitch, clients will think every single thing they do is amazing and wonderful and deserves to be on the front page of the news, and it oftentimes does not. But it's our job to take the personal branding that we've done with our client and actually see how we can insert that branding, that messaging, that thought leadership into like a current trend within the industry and that can be applied to any, to our tech clients, to our climate clients, to our commercial real estate clients, our lifestyle clients, you know, and it's so you could take that personal branding and very easily kind of help insert your client into the news cycle or, you know, relevant industry news.

Speaker 1:

That makes a lot of sense. That's awesome. With the founder story, I'm kind of curious do you ever again? We have a lot of entrepreneurs still open to us within the organization and I know they struggle with that idea of being their brand. What advice would you have for those who maybe could leverage their founder's story as a stronger way to gain, like you know, visibility media, whatnot if they're a little apprehensive about being the face of their brand and their company, I mean you gotta get over it, you know.

Speaker 2:

Like that's just I mean, I mean, there's only one founder right. Yeah, own it Own it. Own it, so own it. I mean, if you're a shy person, then write more. Okay, then write more. Then commit to like posting on LinkedIn twice a week and turning one of those into a longer post that you could pitch for a contributed article or op-ed, you know somewhere. Or having, you know, multiple articles on your website and the blog section that then you invest in SEO, you know, to help boost it so that way people are reading what you're doing. You don't have to, you know, say yes to everything or be like I'm gonna be this like media person, cause I'm the founder of the story. But there are relevant trade publications for any industry that you're in Like if you're in marketing, you know in marketing you're reading, like Martek, you're reading like you know, ad Age and all of these different ones. So maybe there is a reporter or a column or a section that highlights founder stories. You know where you can weigh in. Or maybe one of them has a podcast. You know that you can pitch yourself or have somebody pitch you as a guest to. The thing about it is that it is going to help grow your business If you put yourself out there as a founder. It may not necessarily one to one, be like okay, now I have all these new clients or new sales, but it will open doors, like PR is qualitative, not quantitative, and so you never know who's gonna be listening. I, you asked about my book. The reason I got the book deal is because somebody at the publisher watched a video of a speaking and I did and sent me a cold email and said I saw you speak at this thing. I think you'd be great to write a book. Okay, yeah, so stuff like that really does happen. But you gotta get over it and just put yourself out there, right, it's exposure.

Speaker 1:

I feel like exposure therapy. You know, I many of you maybe know this backstory already or you could go back to episode a, season one, episode one of our Power Lounge podcast where I share my story of becoming owner and chief empowerment officer after having been a member. So I wasn't even the founder and our organization was very much founded on the founder's story and experience of, you know, experiencing sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace and literally that's how it started her going from city to city and sharing that story. So me coming in and kind of being in this new, different position and leaving an industry and owning a business, I mean I can just relate. It's definitely a process and it just takes time, it takes practice, it takes exposure and you're right, I think the we fall in love with the stories behind the brands that we find intriguing and that align with our values, and that includes the people as well. So I agree, I would encourage anybody who's kind of struggling in that space to kind of be more present and share their founder's story, start the work and just start exposing yourself. I love the idea of writing versus speaking if it's not something you're comfortable with.

Speaker 2:

But start doing it. You know like, say like, okay, every week on Friday I'm gonna block 30 minutes on my calendar and that's all I'm gonna do is just try to write Like you can't do it without making a commitment to setting up some time. And we're all busy. I mean some of us have kids and aging parents and this, that and the other. You still gotta make time for it.

Speaker 1:

You do. It's so important and I mean I think that was my move, why, when I started the podcast, it would have been so easy to just start with a guest right. I was like you know what, maybe it's time I own the story, maybe it's time I tell my side of things, and so that was kind of you know the way that I did. It was kind of the exposure was the podcast. All right, I've got a couple more questions for you and then it looks like we might have a question from our live listening audience, so we'll make sure we get to that as well. Have there been any standout PR based speaking of podcasts, podcast episodes that have left you and your listeners with some unexpected personal branding wisdom?

Speaker 2:

Oh, unexpected personal branding wisdom. I mean, there is not a podcast episode that I tape where I don't learn something, so I will put it out here. I definitely learn a lot from each and every one of my podcast interviews. I don't know if there's anything that, honestly, that really stands out to me in terms of like a personal branding story, but there's been some good ones on there for sure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, definitely check it out. We'll include it in the show notes and we'll drop it up into the chat as well. All right, we're gonna get to one of our questions then and again by listening audience. Please feel free to continue. You can direct message me or you can post them in the general chat. We'd love to hear from you. This one is I struggle with social media and even LinkedIn because it is always showcasing the highs and success and feels like it can be exhausting to keep up. I feel somewhat inauthentic when I'm only sharing the positives and just get the ick feeling from trying Any tips for how to get over that and find a way to share authentically when everything isn't always sunshine and rainbows.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, sure, I like crowdsource and ask if other people have gone through this before. I guarantee you're gonna get like a hundred comments. You know people going through this, we're. You know, my industry is PR and we're part of this Facebook group and there are many times where people are commenting and saying like I had this really tough situation with a client and it actually led me to tears Like has anybody dealt with this? Like, how do you deal with something? How have you dealt with something like this? Response after response after response, but also with a lot of encouragement in there as well. So I would turn it into like a crowdsourcing kind of comment and I think that kind of brings in the inclusivity a little bit more and isn't like just like whoa is me, it's more just like hey, like life isn't, you know, a bag of roses. There's ups, there's downs, there's this, there's that and, to your point, I actually think people appreciate when you have those that are a little less sunshine all the time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think I'm a huge proponent for putting the kibosh on the success without strife. I think it sets up unrealistic expectations and puts us all in a place where one we shouldn't be comparing but we can't help but compare right. Yeah, it's what we do, but when we kind of share the strife along with the success in a balanced way, I think we paint a more realistic picture for those who have aspirations of their own or have or facing difficulties of their own. I know I've done a couple of posts this year, one of particular just acknowledging caretakers you mentioned it earlier aging parents and I spent seven out of the last 12 months in and out of the hospital with my mom taking care of her and it just made me really acknowledge, you know, I've kind of gotten past the point of having young children they're six and 10, so they're not fully grown but you know they're not completely dependent upon me anymore at all times, and so the next kind of new phase was, like this year, just kind of being struck with the realization that you know, being within the sandwich generation, that it's like a whole, it's a whole new thing to have to go through this experience of, you know, becoming the parent, of a parent. We have like a whole channel for that too on Slack for our caretaker support.

Speaker 2:

You can have me do it. I hear you. It's, you know. Yeah, it's just, it's this time of life, you know, but it's. I think there is something very special about community, you know, and even if it's digitally and on a social aspect, if you are really being genuine to who you are. Like people are, you know, good and they're at their core, I think, right, they want to help.

Speaker 1:

Well, and I think it shows to how you handle and manage adversity. I think I've seen a lot of job seekers handle this brilliantly as well on LinkedIn, where they're very open and transparent about their need for work, but then also, at the same time, sharing the ways in which they are continuing to network or showing the proof of the work that they've done in the past, and not like in this kind of crazy braggie way, but really in a way that just shows that they're good at what they do, especially if they're in social media. I love the social media managers that have gone through the mill this year and basically leveraged their social media skills to make themselves their client, to find themselves, you know, a new opportunity or an even better opportunity than where they were before. That's right. I think you know, outside of the whole perpetuating success without strife, you're showing others your integrity and your ability to handle adversity, because at some point we're all going to face it. That's true, awesome, all right, does anyone else of our any of our live listening members have any other questions for Annie? Okay, if not, don't worry, you can always connect with her. Annie, what are the best ways that our listeners can connect with you?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely Well, my name is Annie Scranton, so it's pretty easy to find. But I'm on LinkedIn, Annie Scranton, on Instagram, annie Scranton, and our company is Pace Public Relations, and so there's a little contact and touch button there that goes to me and we'd be certainly happy to speak and connect with any of you.

Speaker 1:

Perfect. Thank you again so much. We will include that on all of our you know show notes and we'll drop them again here in the chat as well. We did kind of. We had one more question last second. Drop in, if you want to hang in a minute, any tips to overcome the fear of visibility as the face of your brand. We might have touched on this one a little bit earlier, though, by.

Speaker 2:

You're a visibility. I mean if you're gonna yeah, I mean like if you're gonna start a company, like you're the founder, so you kind of but I would say to just to start small and think about like, well, what are you not afraid of? Are you not afraid of being in meetings, you know, are you not afraid of sending emails? You know we think of those things and then slowly start expanding upon it. And you know there are ways to be visible on LinkedIn and social media where you don't necessarily have to like write this whole thing, but maybe you just signed a new client, you know, or got a new deal and you can share the news of the company through you know, your own and you can sort of sort of grow some visibility and overcome the fear that way.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I agree, it's baby steps. It's gonna take some time, but it's absolute. It sounds like, based on everything you're saying, it's absolutely worth it, so push yourself to get beyond it. Hopefully that was helpful. Thanks for reinforcing the points, annie, and for your time today. We really do appreciate it. Thank you for having me, Of course, anytime. All right, everyone, enjoy the rest of your Friday, get out there and do some reflective work on your own personal brand. Hope you all feel inspired and encouraged and don't forget to check out Annie's book. We'll see you next week. Take care Bye.

Personal Branding for Women in Leadership
Acknowledge Achievements, Craft Effective Elevator Pitch
Navigating Media and Personal Branding
Personal Branding in the Digital World
Share Struggles, Build Community