Bret Shuford 0:08
Hey, listen, it's really hard to build a creative personal brand, especially for so many of us who really just want to be discovered for the thing that we do, right? We want to make shit. And we want people to love it and hire us and pay us. We don't want to have to ask for money. We don't want to have to grow our following. But the truth is, it is really hard to get consistent traction, if you're not building a presence online. It is a saturated world. There's so much content out there. We've all heard stories, though, of people who built successful brands, on social media, but it can be very frustrating when we're just trying to learn how those people did it by watching, observing. Or maybe some of us who, like me have spent years being an actor, we want to be organic, we want to be authentic, we want people to believe our stories, so that we feel like it's true, and it's honest. And yet, there are so many people out there teaching marketing hacks and ways to TEDx your growth and and that doesn't feel organic. So here's the solution. I have built a map that I call the imposter to influencer map, it is totally free. And is it is your guide to building a creative personal brand. And this free download is going to walk you through each step of the process I call the CreatiVisibility process where we can look at those imposter syndrome identities that are coming up. That's basically someone who feels like there are fraud or doesn't belong on social media. And you can actually build your influence and your income with a following that once what you have to offer them. So if you're interested in learning a little bit more about that go to imposter to influencer map.com. And let's move into today's episode. So as a creative, you know that growing your audience can be really frustrating. With so many people doing things in ways that we feel are gross or inauthentic. It's really hard to find a way to do it. But don't worry. I'm going to offer some tools here that I think are really important ways that I've discovered over the years to overcome the oversaturation of our market without resorting to tactics that will make you reconsider what you're passionate about. I mean, so many of us probably have tried things. And then we QUESTION Well, maybe I shouldn't be doing this at all. So I'm going to offer today some strategies. But first, let me just tell you, when I decided to, I've always been an actor, I'd always wanted to be an actor. I was that kid, drama President choir, President High School, Thespian Society, musical theater, nerd 100%. And I didn't really even realize that in order to I was just fascinated by the people in my industry. And the number one thing I did was I had a clear vision of what I wanted. And I think so many of us can get a little bit muddy about our vision. I've learned that and I can do that now. Even right. My, the reason why I think I was able to successfully get on Broadway eight times, was not because of my amazing talents. Although I do think I am talented, I will say and I think it's okay to acknowledge that there are people more talented than me, there are people with better voices, better dancing, better acting, who are more connected, maybe who went to the right schools, right. And yet, I was able to do it not because of those skills. But because I was driven, I was determined. And I really was curious, and not afraid to build relationships. I learned about directors, choreographers, the people who made Broadway run, and I would meet them and I would show up at events and support them and shake hands with them or show up in an audition and say I love your work and not be afraid to put myself out there. And I think so many of us really stepped back in our fear of how are we going to be perceived? Are people going to think that I'm gross? And the truth is, if you're thinking that if you're afraid you're thinking that you're not that person, because we all know those people who think that who don't think, right, they're just the people who just schmooze our kiss bot.
Bret Shuford 4:54
And I honestly wish sometimes I had a little bit more of blinders up and was just not are afraid of what other people think I think there's a little bit of that LGBTQ plus internalized homophobia. Growing up in a very southern Christian background that gets in the way of me, I look at someone like, for instance, Ariana DeBose, who's now and only if you know who she is, she is now going to be a Nita in the New West Side Story of film, and super talented. Not any more talented than some people I know. But she is so competent in her bow and her belief of herself and her ability to charm people and show up and just put those blinders on and do the work and make it look super easy. And there's no, you almost can look at her and think she's not questioning anything. She just totally owns everything she does. And the truth is, I say this all the time to clients, confidence is not the absence of our self doubt, competence is the acceptance of our self doubt. She did, she has just as much self doubt as you, but I think she's just been able to fully accepted, right? Okay, if that self doubt is going to be there, I It's what do I do with it. And so I, I sometimes wish, I didn't allow myself out to come into play as much as I have in my career. But I also think it's what's helped me help so many people as a coach. So today, I just want to give you some strategies that can help you unlock hopefully, today unlock how to grow your following, because we all deserve to be known. And very, very easily, we can give ourselves reasons why we don't deserve to be known, or why other people deserve more than we do. Or we can all give ourselves those things. Right. Here's hopefully some things today that we're going to do to nominee Oh, and by the way, just little side note, if you're not following me on YouTube, there's some awesome content coming out this month on YouTube. So make sure you check out my YouTube channel. And I'm going to be launching a really cool free masterclass this month, so you want to make sure you're checking out the show notes. And you can sign up for that. Now, on to number one, the number one reason I think a lot of us are getting in the way as we are getting in our own way, as far as social media goes is we are looking at what other people are making. And we automatically think that that person has filled the quota of content in that niche or in that market or in that direction. Right? What I mean by that is, and tell me if this is you, you might look at somebody's Instagram, or you're scrolling Instagram, and someone makes them a piece of content maybe or an Instagram reels using an audio. And then you see someone else's made that audio and then you see someone else's made that audio and you're like, Okay, this audio is being over done, right? And you might think, Okay, well, that person's already doing that I got to come up with something totally original, something totally new. Or maybe I had this recent with a client who said, Well, I'm already he's a fitness trainer. And he's looking at some other people's accounts and you think, well, they're making workouts. And they're making reels where they're showing like a five a hit workout. And so I need to come up with something totally different. But the truth is, success leaves clues. Instead of seeing that as competition, right, maybe you're seeing maybe you don't define that as competition, but that's what you're doing. I think, well, they're already doing that I got to do something totally different and better. That is competition, my friend. You want to look at it as collaboration. So collaboration over competition, if you're struggling, look at what other people are doing. Success leaves clues, you can get exposure, not only by working together, maybe DMing. Those people who are who have a following similar to yours are growing, they're engaging with their audience, because their followers could be your followers, they might even connect with you deeper if they know that you exist.
Bret Shuford 9:31
So one of the things you want to really start to look at is when am I seeing this as competition and what if I try actually collaboration, what you could do, especially with Instagram reels, make a piece of content using that audio and credit the person for it. Recently, I made an Instagram reels. I'm going to be totally transparent here. There's this woman named Deanna giulietti. I think that's how you say her last name Who has grown her Instagram volume, I think 280,000 Instagram followers, things like that at this point. All on this idea that she talks to herself in the mirror trying on her outfits, and I learned about her from a client. And she just she just says, I am looking amazing. Today's outfit of the day that OTD that Uzzah doll she does this whole thing and every single Instagram realize that it probably started on Tik Tok. And now it's of course on Instagram reels. That's, that'll be another episode we'll talk about tick tock versus reels. It's been about these outfits, right? And I actually stopped following her because I found it's so annoying. I just found her loud and kind of abrasive, very like jersey, Italian. I don't know that's so judgmental of me. And I'm owning that. But she people love it. And for some reason, I was in Oklahoma recently for an influencer event, and had to get dressed up in a suit for this dinner. And we were staying in his cabins on this ranch. It was beautiful. And I just thought of one of her reels. And I thought okay, I'll make an Instagram reels of me in the suit coming out of the cabin. And I did that on October 30. Literally the week after Thanksgiving, a month after I made that real that really viral and I hit I think last week was almost 1.8 million views on that one Instagram reels a month after I posted it. So why am I telling you this? I used to find her stuff really annoying. But now I'm like, okay, Deanna, you're onto something here because now I have like my third viral reel. Look at other creators understand that creating content is bigger than the sum of its parts. You can build relationships online, by complimenting people by using their content by giving them credit or even just copying, right? The Steal Like an Artist or great book, if you've never read it, until you find your own voice until that one thing clicks, right? So encourage you start to shift or catch yourself. When you get into that competition place. How can you turn that into collaboration? Connection? Okay. Number two, this is a big one that gets in the way of so many of us who are maybe are just starting out, or maybe who've been doing this for a while and are feeling burnt out.
Bret Shuford 12:41
I want you to think about how can you dominate, not dabble. It is so tempting to try to do everything all at once. And you can do everything you just can't do it all at once. And what happens is we get burnout, we spread ourselves too thin. You're not going to have enough time or energy to do it or to do any of it well. So what you want to do is think about how can you focus on one area and become the best at that so that you can quickly move to the next. So you want to be the best at one, maybe two platforms. I've fluctuated over the years through different things right Facebook, of course, before Instagram, I was like really in on Facebook. That shows my age, right? But with Instagram, I love Instagram. I absolutely love Instagram. I for a long time was really into Dubsmash pre tick tock now tick tock is there but now Instagram has real so I just instead of trying to be great at tick tock reels YouTube what I got rid of Snapchat because I was tired of people send me dick pics, to be honest. Because that seems to be all that happens on there. And Facebook I just said okay, I gotta simplify here until you are dominating. Pick one or two platforms Maybe you love Instagram there's like Instagram really is like 10 tools and one right but if you love to talk on it man like just go on tick tock learn tick tock become a tick tock star. No, go live every day, make three or four or five, tick tock the day get on those trends. Go Live and talk to other collaborators creators, you know, if you're on Instagram, follow the people who serve your audience so that you show up in searches, right? dominate, Don't dabble. Right? I'd rather you be really good at one really awesome platform and grow your following there and then try to do all of them at once. All right, and the third thing that I think is really kind of constant for me that I find it's a deadly stating is that so many of us are only sharing what we do. Right? That we're only sharing our skills. And this this for me, I've learned that I call this number three I call credibility versus vulnerability. Because I learned over time, I've tried all of the things, y'all. So if you ever want to try to like, Hey, I tried doing this and you're not going to understand I've done them all. Okay? So you're, you're talking to the right person here. At one point, I had an Instagram account for my coaching, I had an Instagram account for my
Bret Shuford 15:43
acting, I had an Instagram account for Broadway life apparel, I had Broadway husbands, I, I was going crazy, trying to make content for those plus Facebook, I had two separate YouTube channel three separate YouTube channels that account probably husband's I, it was insane. And what I was doing, and what I've learned, and this is what I really love to try to help unlock for a lot of us is we think, Okay, well, I want it maybe you're a multi Heifetz. Or maybe you started your account, while you were in high school, and you have friends or family that follow you. And you're just like, Okay, I have my personal account. And then I have my acting account. And then maybe I have my like side hustle account. Stop doing that. You're basically splitting yourself up in to multiple personalities, you are one human being, do not be afraid to show all of who you are. And this is what I mean, credibility versus vulnerability. It is vulnerable. To make content on one platform that shows all of who you are, if you're a fitness trainer and an actor, and you're, you know, selling apparel, or whatever it is you do. Put them all on one account. Not only is this going to make your life easier, because you're not going to burn out trying to put your platform and we're a bit that's also how people are going to find you. What if you can grow one accounts? Like I want you to think about this. How many people do you think follow the own network versus follow Oprah more people, they're going to follow Oprah. Because Oprah is the person behind the network. Her story, her as a person, her personal brand is so much more compelling. And you have to think about that the same. She's probably going to promote things on her own on the Oprah channel. But we know who she is wholeheartedly full heartedly. And that's how you build a personal brand, right? Trying to split yourself up into multiple personalities, it's going to limit you, it's going to limit your time, your creativity, it's also going to limit your audience. So I encourage you, and you're going to be some people just get very scared of this. Try it. Right this is all an experiment. The vulnerability of letting people connect with all of who you are on one platform. I guarantee you the right people are going to want to connect with you and see who you are. Right. I know for me when I stopped trying to take all of those accounts and split them up and I just said you know what Bret Shuford is the coach Bret Shuford is part of Robbie husband's, we made probably husbands basically as a lifestyle account. And Bret Shuford is a personal coaching account where I really want to serve my coaching community and clients. When I stopped trying to do all of those things and just serve those two audiences is when I actually started to have fun. I started to notice more growth. Not only in my coaching business, but also in my followers. It takes time though. And it takes some strategy it takes understanding that your audience is not everybody your audience's a very specific person. And the more specific you can be about who that is. That's really why I love the course that I teach the CreatiVisibility course because that's where we break that down. How do we get very specific about who it is that we serve? Stop trying to make something for everybody. Our job is not to be known, but to be liked by everybody. Our job is to become known and let people decide. All you're doing is creating an invitation for people to decide if they want to be a part of your world. So there you have it. Three very simple ways for you to overcome any of these oversaturation or imposter things that are coming up for you and grow your audience in an authentic way. Try it out, let me know how they work for you. Number one, try collaborating with other creators to create bigger content. I
Bret Shuford 20:06
want you to focus on one platform one area to become the best at it. I want you to share your story, all of your stories, right? What makes you vulnerable to connect with people on a much deeper level, I promise you, this is going to help you grow your following. Alright, and let me know shoot me a message if this is helpful for you. Also in the show notes, if you have ideas or suggestions of things you would like to hear about on this podcast, there's a link there I would love to hear from you. Keep going out there and being the courageous creative you were meant to be.