image for post - FT 082: Build a Personal Brand to Win Clients with Louie La Vella

FT 082: Build a Personal Brand to Win Clients with Louie La Vella

If you feel like you can’t be the one that gets in front of the great clients, if you’re wondering why the heck anyone would listen to you, if you’re wondering how to build up a personal brand from scratch and get it in front of the right people, the ones that can buy from you, this interview is for you.

Louie La Vella has interviewed and sometimes partied with A-List celebrities, built up a consulting practice helping entertainment personalities, concerts, and festivals market themselves, and he built all this with a deceptively simple approach to his career and business.

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Louie shares with us:

Everyone is a normal person:

There is no need to be starstruck or intimidated, even when you are interviewing A-list celebrities like Louie did. All you need to do is approach the person you want to talk to and have the confidence to start a normal conversation.

This does mean leaving your cell in your pocket so you aren't tempted to take a selfie and turn into a fangirl. In Louie's case, he was talking to celebrities like Richard Branson and Lady Gaga on his radio and tv shows, but the same can be applied to that big client that you long to work with. Get in the mindset that they are normal people and that the goal is to build a relationship.

Plus, you have something valuable to offer, you are an expert in your field so you are on a level playing field with that big name client, even if it doesn't appear so at first.

Not getting the sell isn't the failure, the failure is not even trying. So you ave to go for it. Louie got a lot of practice talking to people on planes. You're sitting next to someone who has nothing to do, but talk to you. You never know who that person is, and it is great practice.

How to build your personal brand:

It's all about social proof that you know what you are doing and that you are doing it at all, not just talk.

Louie wanted to get into international radio so he started sending demo tapes to different stations, but no one was getting back to him with an opportunity. Louie decided that he could either sit there and wait it out, or build his own door.

He built his own door.

Louie produced his own top radio show, getting the music from his connections at record labels from his nightlife days, promoting shows. Through more connections, he managed to get his show on 300 stations world wide. Global syndicated radio show host, done.

He did the same thing with tv and ended up hosting an entertainment show.

Louie chipped away at his dream, step by step, making connections and building his own opportunities.

Relationships and connections are central to Louie's success. When he started out, he was a nobody, just like anyone starting out. But over the years (yes, years!), he met new people in the entertainment industry and promoted them on his radio and tv shows, helping them out while pursuing his passion. Everyone knows someone who may know someone and so on, the world isn't that big. Matt call this the sphere of influence – figure out who your connections are and build on that.

Make yourself famous using social media:

Before you can start making content and adding social proof of your expertise, you need to find out exactly where you are and where your audience is. Where do your target clients play and how do they play? LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat? Do you want to reach the CEO or their assistant or the marketing manager?

Share your successes online and go for the like or hearts on social media. Create good content that people can engage with so people will share your stuff because they find it interesting and relevant. Also, share what you are doing and make yourself a real person. None of this is salesy. You aren't selling, you're sharing.

A lot of your followers will discover you and follow you organically, because you are producing good content and proving that you are good at what you do and doing something big. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Once your content starts getting hits and spreading around the internet, you can choose to create ads around that content. A big mistake that Louie's festival and club clients make is not investing in marketing. Even if they have the best acts, no one will know about it if they don't tell people about it. Again, not in a salesy way, but in an honest way.

What you get out of this is brand recognition. You may not see any direct results, even for a long time. But you have to keep producing content, and keep chipping away at your passion. It can take months or years to see results, but if you are consistent, they will come. One caveat, you need to always assess whether it is working and tweek and adjust as you go along. For example, sending out content on social media while your account blocks everyone except friends won't work.

You have to be consistent and keep pushing towards what you want and you will get any client you want.

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