e-ttraction podcasts - Business Essentials: The power of audio in your brand

Recently I was contacted by the team at Business Essentials to record a podcast about Personal Branding which made me think about the leverage that audio can have in your personal brand.

Andrew Ford, Social Star, Business Essentials.png

I get contacted to do podcasts quite often and enjoy doing them so was happy to share some knowledge and made a time to head out to their Hawthorn studios here in Melbourne.

On arrival, with my son in tow, as it was during school holidays, I was impressed with their full soundbooth and gigantic mixing desk. I realised it wasn't like my podcast which is a Skype interview or in my meeting room in the office recorded on my laptop. This was professional!

The interviewer, Heather Dawson, was very organised and had read my entire book in preparation and had prepared questions relevant to my business. The sound engineer even made me repeat some phrases as they were not 100% clear. This was a quality business and very professionally run. Qudos to Nick for his leadership in attracting good talent.

The real connection with the business, however, was when I read about the company background and discovered that Nick had taken over the business when his father, the well-known journalist, Michael Schildberger, passed away. The personal story touched me and I remembered my advice to my clients to share their personal stories as it connects on a deeper level than business advice.

That's why I was so pleased to be chosen to be on the cover of the March edition for the publication. Great people and respected company, just the type of people I like to be associated with. As I always say, you work best with people who share your values (see my values blog here).

So how does this help you in your personal brand strategy? Just think about the opportunity I have been given. I got it by being a thought leader in personal branding, through my assets like a book, quality LinkedIn profile and personal website. I provided 2 hours of time to be positioned as an expert to over 2,000 of my target market. To get that many people to attend a presentation from me would cost tens of thousands of marketing dollars.

My advice to any small business owner out there is to build your brand and create e-ttraction or inbound opportunities. It takes time and some setup costs, but the benefits far outweigh the effort.

If you would like me to personally review your brand and give you some feedback on how to become influential in your market, just message me on LinkedIn or click here.

You can read the Business Essentials story below...

"Business Essentials Media Production was established in 1984 by acclaimed journalist and broadcaster, the late Michael Schildberger who, together with the highly regarded economist Professor Neville Norman, had a vision to take high quality business information to a wider range of businesses than just the large corporate clients who could afford to pay for personal briefings.

Hence the birth of the monthly Business Essentials audio series - the first subscription-based audio business magazine in the world designed for small and medium-sized businesses. After a first attempt at offering the series in video, Michael and Neville quickly switched to audio. This was what the market told them was needed as a more convenient format for busy business people on the move. Often people would listen in the car.

For 30 years, the Business Essentials audio program has delivered succinct, practical and timely advice and tips to thousands of business operators. Subscribers have described this audio series as "inspirational", "invaluable" and "addictive". Many say their businesses have grown as a direct result of ideas and advice they've received from Business Essentials. 

From the original audio cassette format, the Business Essentials audio program moved to CD and is now also available online.

Like most businesses over the years, the company has expanded, contracted and moved with the times. Business Essentials has had operations in the United States and in the UK. For a short while in the 90s, the business became a publicly listed company Infosentials, returning to its grass-roots expertise in audio and video production as the tech boom crashed. Recently, to re-emphasise its media production expertise, it has emerged from a friendly alliance under the Business Essentials banner to become Business Essentials Media Production Pty Ltd. 

Clients over the years have included the major banks, insurance groups, accounting firms, software companies, building contractors, mining companies, medical colleges and pharmacy groups. We’ve helped Australia’s largest brands – and small businesses looking for greater recognition and growth.   

Professor Neville Norman continues to deliver his valuable economic forecasts to Business Essentials members, and Michael's son, Nick Schildberger, is now Managing Director. The business supports a team of highly experienced journalists, producers and directors. This experience guarantees that every product we create lives up to Business Essentials Media Production's reputation for the highest quality standards, reliability, attention to detail and ability to deliver within budget every time."

Andrew Ford

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.