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APeeling - November

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APeelingWhat is a Personal BrandAnthony GruppoUnPeeledHow to do the ImpossibleCreating MarketAPeelNovember 2019

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You are your brandIs it important for salespeople to have their own brand?ContentsWhat is a Personal Brand?What is a personal brand and how can you dene yours?

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Anthony C. Gruppo UnPeeledWho is the CEO of Marsh Commercial, UK, what story does the internet tell about him, and what can we learn from his ef-forts to build a personal brand? Shannon Peel of MarketAPeel scours the internet to discover the real Anthony C. Gruppo.In their book, Ditch the Act, Leonard Kim and Ryan Foland, explore creating a personal brand based on vulnerabilty, imperfections, and secrets. Find out more about their new book.Ditch the Act

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Publisher: MarketAPeel Editor: Shanon PeelDesign: Shannon PeelAPeeling Magazine is published by MarketAPeel939 Homer Street Unit 411 Vancou-ver, BC V6B 2W6 778-839-0521Copyright 2019 MarketAPeel. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced into any information retrieval systems without the written permission of MarketAP-eel. The publishers are not responsi-ble in whole or part for any errors or omissions in this publication.ISSN: TBDPhoto by Marcy PeelWhen you push yourself you end up in the most awe inspiring places.

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Letterfrom theeditorFor the last ten monthsI’ve worked with AnthonyC. Gruppo, CEO of MarshCommercial, UK, to writeand publish his latest book,Pushers of the Possible.It is about pushingto be the best versions ofourselves so, we can reachheights we didn’t believepossible. During the pro-cess I learned a lot aboutwhat it takes to go aftera dream and succeed. Ienjoyed the project andgetting to know Anthony,as a person and a leader.   AsMarketAPeel pub-lishes his latest book andthe project ends, I wantedto examine Anthony’s digi-tal story. Does it match thestory he told me and hisbehaviour? I nd it frustrating whenpeople tell me one thingabout who they are andbehave the opposite way. Itcauses me to distrust themand wonder what else theyare lying about. I know most peopledon’t know themselvesand it can be tempting touse positive buzz wordsto create an avatar basedon who we wish we wereto attract people to us.However, this approachultimately leads to distrustand failure. Personal branding is abig part of how I help oth-ers. I help them to denetheir personal brand, telltheir stories, and get infront of their ideal audienc-es. Personal branding isimportant in today’s dig-ital world because ourbehaviours outside of theofce will affect our em-ployment prospects, ourpotential friendships, andfuture opportunities.We’ve all heard storiesabout someone who post-ed something on Facebookand lost a job, friends, or abusiness contract. Yet, many people won’ttrust us if we don’t have adigital footprint so, we can-not hide. Decision makersexpect to nd us online. In this issue I dissectwhat a personal brand isand why it is so importantin today’s digital world totell an authentic story theright way.The Apple Peels arelink buttons.

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Pushers of the PossibleAvailable on AmazonPublished!Anthony C. Gruppo, CEO of Marsh Commercial, UK, talks to business leaders who started out with a dream and the determination to build successful companies by Pushing the Possible in both life and business. Join Anthony and his guests as they share their stories, the advice they received from some of the greats, and how they Pushed the Possible in their lives. Discount code: APeelingBuy it Today

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Anthony Gruppo UnPeeled:who is he? A Personal Branding Case Study

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In January 2019, I had the opportunity to talk with Anthony Gruppo and when I did, I discovered a man who is unique and has a lot to teach the world about what it means to be a lead-er. In February, we started on a ten-month journey to construct a book to help others learn the lessons he learned throughout his career. As we peeled back the layers of his story, I got to know a man whom I respect and admire. But, is he the man in his stories or is there a disconnect be-tween who he thinks he is, and the man others know? Too often people tell one story about who they are and behave in a contra-dictory way because they construct a personal brand based on whom they want to be instead of who they are. In the wake of publish-ing his latest book, Push-ers of the Possible, I de-cided to nd out if Anthony C. Gruppo Sr’s personal brand matches the man he says he is. Let’s nd out.Humble Beginnings He started life in a lit-tle backwater town in Pennsylvania, the son of blue-collar workers who gave him and his sister

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a wonderful life. His lov-ing parents instilled a hard-work ethic into him through example and expectations, which has served him well through-out his career. During our chats, he was quick to give others the credit or remind me, he is far from perfect with many aws to overcome. In an interview with Paul Lucas of Insur-ance Business Magazine, Anthony described himself as, “a small-town person from a working-class fam-ily,” noting, “I am not im-pressed by myself – I am impressed by humanity.” Is this a true statement? I went to the internet to nd out. When I look at his Linke-dIn activity, he is always congratulating others on their successes and praising them as talented leaders, regardless of their position within a company. His posts are not - look at how wonderful I am – posts. They are stories about his visits to the many Marsh Commercial’s branches to get to know the people he leads. His posts celebrate oth-er’s talents and give back to the community by en-gaging with it, both virtual-ly and in the real world. He thanks people for the work they do and for spending time with him. All his posts are simi-lar to this recent Linke-dIn post, “Being with colleagues in Witham is a great way to end the week. A Talented group asking challenging in-formed and thoughtful questions. Well done and thank you for spending time with me.” His posts tell a story about a CEO who stands in the midst of the people he works with and ap-plauds their successes, not his own. When he arrived in Lon-Photo & title page photo by Samuel Norman of White Villa Photography. Click to visit Website>>

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don to take the helm, a young woman at Marsh Commercial, Jody Ox-ford, asked if she could shadow him for two days and write about the expe-rience - “There is no ego, nor selsh motivation – at the core of every decision is the individual’s affected and the effect on our busi-ness. How will it affect them? What can I do to make it easier? Can I do it differently to create less impact?” Her article describes him as a man who cares and is committed to help-ing the people he leads by being open to their opinions, ideas, and sug-gestions. It also tells the story about how he works harder than most, “He was ready to recharge and refocus, but having undertaken ve town halls in less than 48 hours, and travelling over 300 miles, it was intense. Still, Anthony was able to give his all to every meeting, every call, every query without hesitation or lack of focus.” He does not stop work-ing, he gets up early works through his rou-tine, goes to the ofce and works all day, then in the evening, he goes to events to make connec-tions for the good of the company. He never stops. He would call me at a late hour, in NY or London, and I could hear the fatigue in his voice, however, he still moved forward to do what he needed to do to get the book done. Considering his respon-sibilities, restructuring a large organization, visiting all 63 branches, writing a book, and being there for his friends and family, I do not think he sleeps. While working on the project, I noticed he stays focused on what he needs to do at the time. He re-sponded to messages and texts from me after his work day, when he had a moment to answer my questions. If he was with his family, he would get back to me afterwards, to focus on his family time. When we talked, he fo-cused on the project with purpose, rarely straying from the task at hand, and only took a call if it was urgent. Motivational Leader Anthony tweets motiva-tional and deep thoughts, which are insightful, and his followers engage with regularly. When I read his Tweets, I learn even in his struggles and disappoint-ments, he nds the inspi-

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rational lessons to share with the world. However, does he actually keep a positive attitude no matter what? I never heard him com-plain, even when the work-load of writing the book added hours to his weekly responsibilities, which are already beyond most peo-ple’s weekly demands. He might have complained to a trusted friend, but not to me and not online. He ensured I felt secure in my role in the project, even when I made mistakes. He never pointed a n-ger, blamed me, or made me feel I was not good enough to continue with the project. He did what needed to be done and kept moving forward with me in tow. When I look at his so-cial media posts, they are always upbeat, always positive, always motiva-tional. There is never a time of doubt, pain, or a pessimistic outlook. He does not post about nega-tive or controversial topics. He chooses to focus only on positive and insightful messages. I searched the internet to see what others said about his positive outlook and found many people agree, he is inspirational, motivational, and upbeat. Nikoleta Facey posted after her experience at Bristol life luncheon where Anthony was the keynote speaker, “It was an insight into his unique leadership and stimulating thoughts on how we should chal-lenge ourselves delivered with great energy and enthusiasm.” Tom Web-ster mentioned, “Antho-ny Gruppo talked about Marsh Commercial and his approach to leader-ship, really inspirational stuff.” Jody Oxford, in her article, wrote, “Motivation is one of Anthony’s great-est strengths. He has the ability to bring out the best in people and help them to believe in themselves.” Chris Lay, CEO of Marsh UK & Ireland, said in a Anthony with Nikoleta Facey visit Linked Prole >>

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press release picked up by many insurance publi-cations, “With his strong track record of delivering value to clients in our fast-growing US-based MMA business, I am excit-ed to welcome Anthony to lead our UK commercial and consumer team. His experience and dynamism will help us strengthen and enhance our offering throughout the Jelf net-work,” (Jelf is now Marsh Commercial). The story I found online about An-thony describes him as a motivational, inspirational, and energetic leader.Professional Anthony’s personal brand is 100% profession-al. Except for one special piece of content when his granddaughter was a co-host for an episode of his podcast, the Roots of Leadership, there is not one post about his family or personal friendships. There is very little about his personal life online, in fact, I couldn’t nd any-thing. All of his posts are about work, leadership, and motivation. While working on his book, I learned he has been married for over three decades, he has two adult children, and two granddaughters. Beyond this, he kept his private life, private, and remained professional at all times. The stories he shared were about his career, ser-vant leadership, his phi-losophy about becoming better, and to keep push-ing ourselves to do greater things. Even his digital image is professional, I could only nd one casual photo of him online. All his posted photos are work-related with him posed, dressed Paul Lucas’ Article >>Tom Webster LinkedIn >>Chris Lay LinkedIn >>

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to the nines in a suit with shined shoes, and a smile. His comments are well thought out and all his con-tent is business-related, be it a blog post, his podcast, a tweet, or a Linkedin post. His personal brand is well crafted and he does not stray from it. This does not mean there isn’t personality, the man exudes personality. He has a positive energy, a light-heartedness, and a composed image. The man I got to know during the Video HereAnthony with Jody Oxford. LinkedIn Prole >>Video provided by Nikoleta Facey Click to visit Linked Prole >>

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project and the one I see online are very similar.Servant Leadership As a CEO and leader, he has a lot of people looking to him for direction, ad-vice, and help. It’s part of the job, however, Anthony goes beyond most CEOs. He seeks out those he can assist. As he told Paul Lucas of Insurance Busi-ness Magazine, “I don’t manage from a spread-sheet in London, looking at nancials and making a decision. I sit with people doing a job. That’s when you nd out about organ-isational procedures. I want us to be more func-tional – when you listen to people and you x that, then they really want to help you too. Now there is a groundswell of people across the country offering ideas – after one town hall I had 92 ideas submitted to me.” I know he is busy, but never too busy to be there for others when they need his help because he cares about the people he leads. His dedication to being a servant leader is not lip service, as Jody Oxford discovered when she shadowed him and wrote about it on LinkedIn, “He isn’t afraid to push bound-aries and challenge meth-odology and importantly, gives credit to those that deserve it. He is not here to solve every problem but to empower others to seek solutions and enhance their own personal devel-opment.” This behaviour is exemplied on both Linke-dIn and Twitter in his posts and those posts he engag-es with. Like a true servant lead-er, his ego does not come before those whom he serves. He is cognisant of how everything he does re-ects on his personal brand and is careful with the choices he makes personally and profession-ally, to ensure he protects the image he has crafted. Unlike most, who have a purposefully crafted brand, there is no disconnect be-tween his behaviour and the story he tells about himself. He truly wants to do better every day and works hard to improve himself and support those around him. Being a CEO is a tough-er job than I imagined. De-Discount code: APeelingBuy TodayPushers of the Possible Available on Amazon

Ebook Available now - Paperback Available soon

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Are you feeling lost in thesocial media and digital crowd?Click for infocisions are not made light-ly, carelessly, or without aheavy heart wishing therewas a different way. Itisn’t easy being him, eventhough he makes it lookeffortless at times. I knowthe difcult decisions heis required to make weighheavy on him because hecares and has a height-ened sense of responsibili-ty to those whom he leads.From the other side ofthe world, I watched him,and others, tell his storyand discovered an ex-tremely capable man.Surprisingly, in his latestbook, he admits he hascondence cracks andwill turn to those whomhe trusts to bandage himup and help him get backinto the game. It is hardfor me to believe a man soaccomplished, intelligent,and self-assured has con-dence cracks. It is easyto assume he has all theanswers to life because ofhis condence, his experi-ence, and his values.He constantly asks oth-ers for their opinions andlistens to their thoughts togather the data he needsto make decisions. Hedoes not speak withoutknowing all the facts andlooks at problems from dif-ferent points of view to ndthe best course of action.He can be an effectiveleader because he be-lieves in others to helphim succeed and does notbelieve he is a one-manshow.I am fortunate he be-lieved in me and my abilityto help him with his book,Pushers of the Possible. As happy as I am to see the book on my shelf, withmy logo on the spine, I amsad this project is over. Hemade a big impression onme, helped me to believein myself, and gave mybusiness a new direction.The APeeling magazinewould not exist if it was notfor him, because I came upwith the idea of the maga-zine to promote our projectand give back to him bypromoting his personalbrand to the marketplace.Now, I am able to provideMarketAPeel clients with a product to get their sto-ries in front of global andhyper-local audiences.It is his belief in me as awriter and publisher, whichgave me the condenceto take a step towards myPossible.By Shannon Peel

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Vancouver is lled with talent and there are many brilliant start-ups here, but they are limited by how much they can grow be-cause the global big mon-ey investors do not see Vancouver companies. We are currently in the fourth Industrial Revolution and Canada has the won-derful opportunity of sec-ond mover advantage in both the Internet of Things and Associated Data Plat-form industries. Instead of starting from scratch or copying ideas which failed in other cities, City leaders can meet with global mu-nicipality leaders to learn what worked and what didn’t because Canadian cities are ten years behind their global counterparts in this technological space. This enables Leaders to nd a new uniquely Cana-dian approach to future in-frastructure advancement. Attracting global in-vestment dollars for local technology companies is possible because Can-ada is an English and French-speaking country with a smart, relatively small population, making it an interesting place to scale things before going to a larger market. When I look at Canada, I can see its similarities to Hungary, which is a technological testing ground for Europe. In Vancouver, TransLink is already utilizing smart technology solutions to improve Vancouver’s pub-lic transportation system. If we create an ecosystem to encourage smart tech-nological innovation for Canadian industries, like natural resources, it will put Canada in a good po-sition on the global stage. To achieve this goal, the local tech industry needs money to attract the nec-essary talent. If we can start to scale some of the local projects, I believe we can create a sustainable Investment fund in BC to foster growth in local technology compa-nies. When I’ve talked with wealthy global investors, they are open to investing in Canadian companies because the market is a decent size, they speak English, and are scal-ly and politically stable. Plus, Canada’s market is made up of different en-vironments, regions, and cultures, which make it a good testing ground for all sorts of Telecommunica-tions, Media, and Technol-ogy innovations in health, nancial services, natural resources, and transporta-tion. The current problem is, Canada struggles to keep successful technology companies, along with investment dollars, in the country. Currently, tech companies can scale to a By Nicholas JefferyCan Canada Appeal to Global Tech Investors

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certain inection point in Canada before they have to leave because there is not enough investment dollars. To scale, tech companies have to fol-low the money. If Canada wants to keep these won-derful companies here, it will take global investors to support the initiative, and this means, the industry needs to foster Canadian talent. Canada and specically BC has some amazing University programs pro-ducing talented people, however, these students leave the country because there are too few jobs and if they nd one, it doesn’t pay enough to keep pace with the cost of living. Canada seems to think not paying talent enough money is a unique selling proposition to attract for-eign companies to oper-ate here, which is one of the reasons big corporate companies don’t move here. If BC’s tech industry trains people but doesn’t pay them a competitive wage, they will leave and go where they will be paid better. This is local business-es’ fault because if they can get away with paying somebody $10 when they should be paying them $20, they will keep paying them $10. It is a short-term gain rather than a long-term benet. It’s like the chicken and the egg because if we don’t have global money coming here to invest in Canada, we can’t afford to pay com-petitive wages. If we don’t pay competitive wages, our talent will leave, limit-ing the industry’s ability to grow. Impressario’s vision is to solve the lack of re-sources by attracting for-eign investment and cre-ating a sizable investment fund with the mandate to invest in local projects worth scaling. We need $250 million Canadian to start developing one of the largest technology funds in Canada focused on the In-dustrial Internet of Things. The fund will put smart technology innovators onto a platform where they can be seen and heard by global investors. Global investors will be able to nd interesting invesment opportunities in smart Ca-nadian tech companies. The fund will have a strong link to local aca-demia and focus on West-ern Canadian opportuni-ties. It is a public/private nance initiative run here for here and has a mentor-ship module to help peo-ple scale their businesses with smart money. We have already creat-ed a prospectus and built a team of leaders who are experts in technology and nance to help develop it. I believe this fund will have a positive impact on the Vancouver tech indus-try and enable it to com-pete on the global stage.Nicholas Jeffery is a smart city expert, a founding member of Impressario Consulting a media man, technologist, and investment banker. Website | Email+1 (778) 628 3664Vancouver | London | Budapest

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Are you feeling crowded in the virtual world? Are your Digital adsnot working?Is your quality content lost amongst the noise?What is the solution?Click to Discover

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What is aPersonal BrandBy Shannon PeelBranding is a vital part ofmarketing because it is theimage company’s projectto the world, but what ispersonal branding?We have all becomeproducts. We sell our timefor a paycheque or ourservices as professionalsand business owners. Likea company selling prod-ucts, we need a personalbrand to attract the bestopportunities.What is Branding?According to, “Your brand is your promise to your cus-tomer. It tells them whatthey can expect from yourproducts and services,and it differentiates youroffering from your com-petitors’. Your brand isderived from who you are,who you want to be andwho people perceive youto be.”According to the Brand-ing Journal, “You can con-sider a brand as the ideaor image people have inmind when thinking aboutspecic products of a com-pany, both in a practical(e.g. “the shoe is light-weight”) and emotionalway (e.g. “the shoe makesme feel powerful”). It istherefore not just the phys-ical features that create abrand but also the feelingsthat consumers developtowards the company’sproduct. This combinationof physical and emotion-al cues is triggered whenexposed to the name, thelogo, the visual identity, oreven the message com-municated.”The Tronvig Groupsays, “Branding is the expression of the essentialtruth or value of an orga-nization, product, or ser-vice. It is communicationof characteristics, values,and attributes that clarifywhat this particular brandis and is not.”Branding is who you are,it’s your story, your image,and your behaviour. It >>The Braning Journal >>Trovig Group >>

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important to understand your brand to ensure your marketing message re-ects who you are. Branding is Your Reputation Your reputation is what people say about you when you aren’t around based on their interactions with you, your company, and your marketing mes-sage. Today, you are able to be part of your reputa-tion’s conversation online. If someone posts a comment on social media about you or your busi-ness, you can address any negative comments and post gratitude for positive comments. By doing so, you are building your rep-utation. Each social media men-tion, online review, and all your digital content works together to build a larger picture of your reputation. The more content, the more complete the picture. Don’t fear digital com-ments, embrace them to build a virtual reputation and enhance your real world one. Your Strengths. Quick, make a list of everything you are good at. You know, those tasks you are passionate about and do better than anyone else. The things people come to you for help with. Focus your market-ing message, business, and services on these strengths to set yourself apart and create a reputa-tion based on what comes easily to you. As for those pesky weaknesses, either hire someone who is an expert at those tasks or nd a strategic partner to work on projects together. If you are not self employed and want a position within a company doing what you love to do, don’t mention the things you struggle with, unless you have found a way to overcome them. If you have found a solution to help you over-come a weakness, post about what you learned.Everyone loves an under-dog story about overcom-ing the odds and nding strength in suffering. Brand Yourself as an Expert What is the one thing you do better than anyone else? Your superpower? Create a marketing mes-sage based on one skill and once you have satu-rated all the media chan-nels, start talking about the next thing you are great at until you have cre-ated a well rounded story of all your superpowers.

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People want to hire or buy from someone they know, like, and trust. Em-ployers hire people who know what they are talking about and are personable. We want to deal with those people who can teach us something, who come across as experts because we want to know we are being taken care of by the best and not having the wool pulled over our eyes by a con artist.Create a Brand Whether you own a busi-ness, are a professional, or on the corporate ladder fast track, creating a per-sonal brand with a website will help increase your chances of being hired. If you are a sales pro-fessional you can trans-port your reputation from one company to the next and benet from having a portable customer base, image, and reputation. By creating your own brand, people will buy from you and not just the company you work for. If you are a Realtor, Insurance Broker, Finan-cial Planner, or any other ‘Agent’ type position, hav-ing a personal brand is vital because it differenti-ates you from your compe-tition, who in essence sell the exact same product as you.Don’t Hide People engage with peo-ple online more than brand logos. No one wants to feel like they aren’t getting person-al service. They want to know they are communi-cating with an individual who cares about them. Whether you are a baby boomer, an x-gen, milleni-al, or z-gener, you want to connect with people, not bots, no matter how many businesses employ them. A bot can only get a cus-tomer so far towards the solution they need. It still takes personalized service to make an impression. Do you need help dening your personal brand?Learn More

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Peeling the layers to get to the core of the storyClick for infoAn Authentic Brand They say the best lies are the ones based on truth because even the best liars can’t keep all the facts straight. It is no dif-ferent with your brand. Customer dissatisfaction is due to brand messages being disconnected from services. No one likes to nd out that the person they have been dealing with isn’t whom they say they are, or worse, whom we think they are. No one likes to feel they’ve been duped by a lie, a con, or a selsh jerk. We all want to deal with a person who provides what they promise in the man-ner they said they would. Manage client’s expec-tations by being open and transparent about what you can deliver. When we receive what we expected to get we are satised. When we receive something we were not expecting to get - we are blown away. If you want your custom-ers to become your cheer-leaders you have to sur-prise them with extras they didn’t expect, either with higher service or product add ons. Managing expectations will make your life easier in the long run, providing a bonus surprise will make growth of your reputation faster because customers will spread the word. Personal branding is not a new concept. We’ve always had a reputation based on who we are and what we deliver. The dif-ference is, now you get a more active role in telling the story to sell yourself as the best option available. Do you have a story to share about mentorship?

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Download a Free PDF Copy Creating MarketAPeel Personal Branding Workbook #1 - Your Values Our gift to youWe created the Creating MarketAPeel Personal Branding Workbook to help you discovery your story, dene your personal brand, and design a plan of action to tell your story to your ideal audience. The workbook is broken into manageable parts to make it easy for you to take the time to invest in your story. Our gift to you is a free download of the rst installment in the series - On Values.Click to learn more

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Until recently, I never realized how much my life revolved around sales, branding, marketing and understanding the needs of my customers. My sales life started from a very young age in Girl Guides. I would go door to door selling box-es of the mint and “Oreo” style cookies. There were no sales goals or targets for Girl Guiders, they just wanted you to do your best to sell one or two boxes. I, on the other hand, would sell cases of cookies. I sold them to students in school, teach-ers, principals, neighbors, my after-school program councilors and of course family members. I created my own ver-sions of sales funnels. I put up printed notices anywhere I frequented stating I was selling Girl Guide cookies allowing anyone to ll in the in-formation, name, phone number, quantity and to sign up for your boxes (Pre-sales). I would revisit the loca-tions every week to count how many boxes were sold and if the area I was selling in had any inter-est in buying the cookies (Metrics & Analytics). I would go door to door with the same forms asking neighbors if they wanted to pre-purchase boxes of cookies (Direct marketing/Direct sales) What does this have to do with my topic? Ev-erything! I was my brand, dressed in the Girl Guide uniform, even though my friends made fun of me all the time. This built trust, I was identiable, in a uni-form, showing that I was not trying to fool anyone. Why is trust the most im-portant thing in branding and sales? People buy from people they know and trust. Now, how do you build trust when you meet com-plete strangers, or even if you are introverted or have little to no con-dence? In this article I’m going to show you some quick steps to start taking to build your authentici-ty and your best brand, YOU. Let’s start with some simple easy tricks… Ready?Language!Yes, you read that right, Language. Building your-self as a brand means ev-erything about you is who you are. Your language speaks volumes to trust and how much trust your potential clients will invest in you. Here are some words NEVER to use in By Hannah CohenYou are your brand – How to build it

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business and denitely not in written correspondence. WE: So who is ‘we’ who has ownership if issues arise? Why aren’t you taking ownership over this? These are the ques-tions that subconsciously run through everyone’s mind when you use WE. Instead replace it with I or whomever will handle the account going forward. Just think you call a com-pany, you are asked ‘who did you speak with’ is your answer I talked to ‘WE’ or someone’s name? Which is stronger? HAVE: Ever hear the saying “There are 10 sec-onds to make an impres-sion?” well, don’t use the word HAVE! It is a weak useless word. Look at a resume, how many times do you need to read I have this talent I have done that task, before you think wow big ego with nothing to show. If the sentence will ow without the word, then delete it. Rewrite what you are trying to convey with strength and power. For example: I have worked with a sales team. I have achieved sales goals. I have increased over-all sales by 70%. V.S. I spearheaded my sales team by setting high tar-gets, developing tactics to motivate my team, the re-sults, we achieved a 70% increase in sales volume. Which is stronger? THINK: No one is com-ing to your business to hear what you have to think. There is google, consumer reports and reviews to hear what people think about you, the product, or the ser-vice. Consumers want to KNOW what you know. To demonstrate, you have to be condent, not just in your products or ser-vices but yourself as well. Instead of saying “I think that’s a great idea” say “That’s a great idea” BIG TIP, if you do not know something, don’t bullshit! Nothing pisses off a cus-tomer more than a liar and a moron. Want to know my rule of thumb? I say “You bring up a great point, I don’t know the answer to that, let’s nd out together” You win way more brownie points with someone if you are humble, honest and demonstrate that you are willing to nd the answer without lying to them. There are many other techniques to convey con-dence and improve your communication in life, but once you get started you will start to see the bene-ts of implementing simple little adjustments when talking to new clients, friends, family and your community. Click apple to learn moreVisit Hannah Cohen’s website>>Do You Want Your Story Featured in APeeling?

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Leonard Kim is a personal branding expert, marketing consultant, and writer whose content has been read over 14 million times. Ryan Foland is a communication strategist, speaker, and personal branding expert.Together, they operate InuenceTree, a personal branding accelerator that teaches people how to build their brand, get featured in publications, and grow their social media following. Their clients include New York Times bestselling authors, venture capitalists, and Fortune 500 executivesPurchase the Book

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When brands and products try to hide their shortcomings—a aw in their product, lack of ethical standards, tumul-tuous nancial stability, or other challenges—it never works long term. If the company is already established, spinning the story might work for a while. That is, until some-one calls the brand out on what they are doing, or they face a lawsuit—or worse, they are dragged through the news and their reputations are castrated by consumers who stand up against and boycott them. When the compa-ny isn’t established, con-sumers usually see right through the deceit. That is because they can either see how bold the claims are that are made by com-panies that do not have the history to back them, or they can see through the founder’s inability to be vulnerable and authen-tic when they are wearing masks, pretending that everything in their compa-ny is going perfectly. And instead of working with the brand or using the prod-uct, they avoid it outright. CUSTOMERS DON’T WANT PERFECTION Why doesn’t putting on a mask and portraying a facade of success work? Why do so many people outright avoid or condemn the brands and products that act as if everything is perfect? It’s simple. The marketplace isn’t looking for perfection and brands are beginning to Personal Brands and their secretsLeonard Kim and Ryan FolandExcerpt of Ditch the Act

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understand this. That is why smart companies are doing everything in their power to try to showcase their brands as being real. Brands are creating messaging that’s honest, vulnerable, and really connects with consumers. Rhett Power, author of The Entrepreneurs Book of Actions: Essential Dai-ly Exercises and Habits for Becoming Wealthier, Smarter, and More Suc-cessful, wrote an article in Inc. Magazine titled “Trust is as Important as Price for Todays Consumer.” In the article, Rhett discusses how more than 73 percent of consumers consider transparency more import-ant than price. He states that what consumers are most looking for are brands that they feel they can trust through educa-tion, setting up listening networks to make sure your voice is heard, and that they are owning up to their mistakes. Cheryl Snapp Conner, who specializes in crisis PR at Snapp Conner PR, shared a story of one of her friends who runs one of the most successful technology companies in the United States. The CEO of the company normally discussed busi-ness on his outlets, yet he had been stricken with a huge personal tragedy; he lost his son to suicide. Instead of crawling into a hole (which he probably felt like doing), he made a brave decision to open up about what had happened. When he posted the sto-ry that shared his heart’s deepest feelings, along with what was in his mind, people began responding in droves. Their hearts went out to him. That was probably the most vulnera-ble moment of his life, but speaking from his heart and sharing that moment was truly the right thing to do. Who is bigger, Warren Buffett or Geico? Who can you relate to more? Chances are, you may potentially nd some af-nity when you are think-ing about Warren Buffett eating McDonalds and drinking Cherry Coca Cola. But when is the last time you thought, “I can totally relate to Geico. They completely get who I am as a consumer and they know exactly what I’m looking for!” Geico isn’t doing anything wrong per se, but they aren’t max-imizing what they could do to create a deep level of camaraderie with their audience. If you’re like us and the people we talk to on a regular basis, that thought has never crossed your mind. It’s not just Warren Buffett who stands out

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though. It’s people like Tony Robbins, Oprah, your favorite YouTube star, the industry expert you follow for insights on Twitter, and the salesperson at your fa-vorite store that you have built a bond with. These are the people whose personal brands you reso-nate with, and whom you ultimately decide to trust or work with. This philosophy doesn’t just involve the CEO of a company and public g-ures. Think about why so many brands like Netix and Spotify want you to login to their platforms us-ing your name. They want you to have a personal-ized experience when you are using their services. They do this by giving you your own custom username, allowing you to attach your own picture to your avatar, customizing their recommendations based off of other content you have already con-sumed, and making each individual’s prole unique to that singular user’s ex-perience.CREATING A RELATABLE BRAND The goal is to create a brand that people can trust, can relate with, and what to go back to. That starts with vulnerability. Think about it, we don’t trust people who look perfect and act as if they have everything together. They put on an aura of un-achievable success and it makes it that much harder to connect at a deep emo-tional level to the people who wear these masks. Instead, look at person who is walking up on po-dium to receive an award. On their way up, they trip over themselves. The peo-ple watching laugh. But that trip and the laughs that come with it do some-thing phenomenal; they humanize the award win-ner to no longer be a su-perior to us, but to be just like me and you. Research from the Annual Review of Neuroscience titled The Neural Basis of Empathy says that our brains are wired to grow a deeper af-nity and liking to this per-son because they aren’t seen as better than us any longer, but that they be-come another human that we can connect with. The study states that empathy is based on the shared representations of painful or embarrassing moments of others, which allows people to see themselves in others. In other words, it drives human connection to a deeper level. It works so well that people have speculated whether or not Jennifer Lawrence has been faking her falls at award shows, since they

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become the most talk-ed about incidents of theevents.This means is that inorder to build a person-al brand that people cantrust, we can’t keep wear-ing our masks of success,happiness, or having ev-erything together. Instead,the only way we can suc-ceed is by taking the maskoff, ditching the act, andexposing ourselves--ourwhole selves. We need toexpose our stories, eventhe hardest ones, to helpcultivate connection, com-passion, and empathy.Chances are, if youare anything like us, youhave had secrets thatyou kept, whether theybe legal issues like Ryan,or nancial failures likemyself, or even problemsin your relationships withloved ones. When youhide your secrets, peoplecan use them against you.If you were paying atten-tion when Meg Whitmanran for governor of Cali-fornia, you can probablyrecall the outrage thatwas cast by the mediaand the public when wediscovered that she didnot disclose that she hademployed an illegal immi-grant, her housekeeperwho she just happenedto re before running forgovernor, for nearly 10years. Because she stoodagainst illegal immigrants,when this news came out,she seemed heartlessand mean. She tried to goon the defensive, but thatskeleton in her closet costher the entire election.If she was forthcomingabout the incident, her$140 million investmentinto her campaign couldhave had an entirely differ-ent result.The truth is that whenyou expose your secretsand your weakest vulner-abilities, something magi-cal happens: you becomeuntouchable. You developan armor where the short-comings in your life no lon-ger become a hindrancethat holds you back fromachieving your dreams—but a foundation that youcan stand on to hold yourground and become im-mune to attacks. Muchlike how Ryan was able tomaintain his spot on thetelevision show, Break-through The Crowd, youwill also be able to showthat you have owned upand grown from the eventsthat once prohibited youfrom moving forward aswell.

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The Last Word on Ditch the ActBy Shannon Peel Let’s get the elephant out of the room shall we, Why am I including Ditch the Act in the same issue I am launching Pusher’s of the Possible? The answer is...drum-roll... It’s a good book and ties in to what APeeling is all about, Creating an appealing brand story. Plus, the topic ts this is-sue of APeeling perfect-ly, wouldn’t you agree?. I wish I had helped them write and publish this book because it reects what MarketAPeel does. Their story of going through the mudpit of life and nding their own unique way to success is the type of story I want to help tell. However, considering Leonard is a talented writ-er and Ryan has the skill to take it to the next level, these two hardly need my help marketing, promot-ing, constructing, or taking the time suck of writing off their plate. They’ve got this - in spades. The book isn’t just their personal stories, it is lled with advice, tips, and ex-ercises to help the reader create their own personal brand story. It is useful. How one tells their story is as important as telling it. I could tell you my sto-ry and leave you in tears from laughing so hard, or, I could tell you the same story and you would only feel pity for me. This book provides guidelines on how to tell the mudpit part of your story without sounding like the pity party victim of the world. As these two explain and exemplify, what makes a story interesting is our ability to move beyond the mudpit of life. To learn from it, share those les-sons, and allow others to relate to us. People feel connected to others when they see common threads in each other’s lives. When I read the biog-raphies of the eonomic leaders of our time, I can-not relate and I learn little from their story because I do not possess the super human qualities they claim to possess. How can I achieve even a fraction of their success? I love how Leonard and Ryan teach about how to create a personal brand by sharing how they found the courage to de-ne theirs beyond a mask of perfection. This is why I loved the book, Ditch the Act, I could relate to them, I saw my own struggles in their stories, and their topic is in line with what I am pas-sionate about. -- Creating a personal brand based on real stories. I encourage you to buy the book, read it, and dene your story. -- After you’ve read Pushers of the Possible of course.

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