Episode 6

full
Published on:

7th Dec 2023

Building Your Personal Brand as an Architecture Practice Owner with Bob Gentle | 006

In this episode of Architecture Business Club, host Jon Clayton invites Bob Gentle to speak about the importance of personal branding for architecture practice owners. Bob is known for helping business leaders all over the world build their online presence and grow their businesses. They discuss the fear factor of being visible in the social media scene and the key advantages of having a personal brand. Bob shares the concept of content creation as an investment and how its long-term benefits include building industry authority and creating opportunities for sales conversations.

Today's Guest...

Bob Gentle works with leaders at every stage of business to help them step out in front of their marketing with a powerful personal brand. He does this through his podcast, youtube channel, coaching, masterminds & consulting. His mission?.. Helping business leaders around the world discover, set and achieve their goals online - then build a business they love. Bob is also the author of : ‘The Personal Brand Business Roadmap ~ Everything you need to start, scale or just fix your Expert Business.’

Episode Highlights...

00:00 Introduction to Personal Branding

00:56 Guest Introduction: Bob Gentle

01:58 Getting to Know Bob: Personal Interests

03:30 Understanding Personal Branding

04:44 The Impact of Personal Branding on Business

05:05 Challenges in Marketing for Architecture Practices

12:01 The Power of Personal Branding in Business Growth

17:43 Overcoming Fear in Personal Branding

20:48 Effective Content Creation for Personal Branding

24:23 The Long-Term Benefits of Personal Branding

31:30 Connecting with Bob Gentle

32:37 Preview of Next Episode and Closing Remarks

Key Takeaways...

👉 A personal brand is essential for individuals and can have a significant impact on building a successful business. By intentionally cultivating and amplifying their personal brand, architecture business owners can differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract more opportunities.

👉 Many architecture practices rely heavily on referrals for winning work. While referrals are valuable, Bob suggests that combining them with other marketing strategies, such as content creation and building an audience through social media, can lead to greater growth and specialisation in the industry.

👉 Bob addresses the fear of visibility that many individuals have when it comes to personal branding. He encourages people to understand their fears, write them down, and gradually desensitize themselves to overcome these fears.

👉 It’s important to create valuable and diverse content to engage with your audience. Bob advises against being repetitive and suggests incorporating different dimensions of your life into your content, such as personal interests and experiences.

👉 By positioning yourself as an industry authority and providing valuable content, you can establish a strong bond with your audience and make it a no-brainer for them to choose you over your competitors.

👉 Embrace criticism and the fact that not everyone will like your personal brand. It's okay to repel some people because it allows you to attract the right audience and makes decision-making easier for potential clients.

👉 Personal branding can help architecture business owners grow beyond their local areas and limitations. By establishing a globally amplified personal brand, individuals can gain visibility outside their catchment areas and open doors to specialised projects and opportunities.

Links Mentioned In The Episode...

Get Bob’s Personal Brand Business Roadmap

https://amplifyme.agency/roadmap

Bob’s Website

Amplifyme.agency

Bob’s Twitter

@bobgentle

Bob’s Instagram

@bobgentle

Bob’s Youtube

Youtube.com/c/bobgentle

Bob’s Linkedin

linkedin.com/in/bobgentle/

Bob’s Email

bob@amplifyme.agency

What To Do Next...

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https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/architecture-business-club-5485140

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrjonclayton/

📐Find Jon on other social media platforms by searching for…

@mrjonclayton

📐Subscribe to Jon’s YouTube channel here.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGZOAac4salmSX0wWRT7JUg

📐Visit Jon’s website here.

https://mrjonclayton.co.uk/

In The Next Episode...

Next time, Jon will be chatting with Stephen Drew of Architecture Social about how to find, hire, and retain great architectural staff.

Transcript
Jon Clayton:

his personal branding, something just for celebrities

Jon Clayton:

and social media influencers.

Jon Clayton:

Or should architecture practice owners be building their personal brand to.

Jon Clayton:

That is exactly what I'm going to be chatting about with Bob gentle . In

Jon Clayton:

this episode of architecture business club, that weekly podcast for

Jon Clayton:

solo and small firm architecture practice owners, just like you.

Jon Clayton:

He wants to build a profitable future proof architecture business

Jon Clayton:

that fits around their life.

Jon Clayton:

I'm the host, John Clayton.

Jon Clayton:

If you want to get notified when I release a new episode and get

Jon Clayton:

access to free resources and exclusive offers, then go to Mr.

Jon Clayton:

John clayton.co.uk forward slash ABC.

Jon Clayton:

And sign up to my three weekly email newsletter.

Jon Clayton:

Now let's talk about personal branding.

Jon Clayton:

In today's episode, I'm chatting with Bob Gentle.

Jon Clayton:

Bob works with leaders at every stage of business to help them step

Jon Clayton:

out in front of their marketing with a powerful personal brand.

Jon Clayton:

He does this for his podcast, YouTube channel, coaching,

Jon Clayton:

masterminds, and consulting.

Jon Clayton:

His mission, helping business leaders around the world discover, set, and

Jon Clayton:

achieve their goals online, then build a business that they love.

Jon Clayton:

Bob is also the author of the Personal Brand Business Roadmap.

Jon Clayton:

Everything that you need to start, scale, or just fix your expert business.

Jon Clayton:

You can grab a free copy of the Personal Brand Business Roadmap at amplifyme.

Jon Clayton:

agency forward slash roadmap.

Jon Clayton:

Bob, welcome to Architecture Business Club.

Bob Gentle:

Thank you for having me.

Bob Gentle:

I'm really looking forward to this.

Bob Gentle:

It's nice to meet you properly again.

Bob Gentle:

I don't do this very often.

Bob Gentle:

It's really nice.

Jon Clayton:

Well, I'm absolutely honored to have you on the show.

Jon Clayton:

I'm a big fan.

Jon Clayton:

So, um, yeah, it's great to have you here.

Jon Clayton:

Bob, I know that you're a.

Jon Clayton:

You're a sci fi fan?

Jon Clayton:

I'm a sci fi fan as well.

Jon Clayton:

Do you prefer books or films?

Bob Gentle:

I guess I don't find the time to watch movies as often as I would like.

Bob Gentle:

And to be honest, there aren't enough sci fi movies made to keep my appetite fueled.

Bob Gentle:

So I read a lot.

Bob Gentle:

I probably read a book every two weeks.

Jon Clayton:

Wow.

Jon Clayton:

Have you got any, have you got any recommendations for me?

Jon Clayton:

I, I enjoy fiction books, uh, as well as non fiction.

Jon Clayton:

So have you got any ones that you could recommend that you've read this year?

Bob Gentle:

Um, there's a really nice series called Red Rising.

Bob Gentle:

Which, well, it's the first book in the series, I think it's called Red Rising,

Bob Gentle:

which is a really nice, um, it's like a space opera, you might call it, um, at

Bob Gentle:

the moment I'm working my way through the expanse on audiobook for when my hands are

Bob Gentle:

busy, um, and then I'm reading a really obscure Amazon only self published, um,

Bob Gentle:

space conquest series at the moment, I'm really enjoying, I'm on book seven.

Jon Clayton:

Oh, wow.

Jon Clayton:

It must be good.

Bob Gentle:

Yeah.

Bob Gentle:

I can't remember what it's called.

Bob Gentle:

That's the problem with Kindle.

Bob Gentle:

You never see the covers really.

Jon Clayton:

Too true.

Jon Clayton:

Um, Bob, well, we could talk about sci fi all afternoon, but today in

Jon Clayton:

the episode, actually, what, what you're here to talk about is personal

Jon Clayton:

branding and, um, what a personal brand can do for architecture business,

Jon Clayton:

uh, architecture business owners.

Jon Clayton:

So for those that aren't familiar with the concept of personal branding, can you

Jon Clayton:

briefly explain what a personal brand is?

Bob Gentle:

So everyone will be familiar with the idea of a brand.

Bob Gentle:

Um, we think of brands all the time, brands like Coca

Bob Gentle:

Cola and Nike and North Face.

Bob Gentle:

We're familiar with them and we're familiar with them because they've spent

Bob Gentle:

a ton of money trying to make that happen.

Bob Gentle:

Um, a personal brand is exactly the same, but it's for an individual

Bob Gentle:

rather than an organization.

Bob Gentle:

When you go to marketing school and the.

Bob Gentle:

They teach you about branding.

Bob Gentle:

They will tell you that a brand is what people say about you when you're not

Bob Gentle:

in the room from a company perspective.

Bob Gentle:

And that being the case, we all have a brand, a personal brand, because we

Bob Gentle:

exist in the minds of other people.

Bob Gentle:

Most of the time.

Bob Gentle:

Our personal brands are established accidentally.

Bob Gentle:

They're not intentionally cultivated and they're not really amplified that widely

Bob Gentle:

beyond necessarily our friendship circle or the people who knows through work.

Bob Gentle:

So my business is really helping people grow beyond the accidental

Bob Gentle:

into the intentionally cultivated and.

Bob Gentle:

In many respects, the globally amplified personal brand and then helping

Bob Gentle:

people build a business around that.

Jon Clayton:

That's a really interesting answer because essentially that's

Jon Clayton:

how my personal brand started.

Jon Clayton:

It was accidental.

Jon Clayton:

I'd love to say it was intentional.

Jon Clayton:

Um, so that's interesting that that's a common theme that

Jon Clayton:

you see with personal brands.

Jon Clayton:

Bob, you've worked with, uh, architecture practices before and many

Jon Clayton:

service based business owners before.

Jon Clayton:

What do you notice about the way that they typically market

Jon Clayton:

themselves and their services?

Bob Gentle:

I think this is really a nice extension of the last question.

Bob Gentle:

So like I mentioned, everybody has a personal brand and what I see in many

Bob Gentle:

successful architecture practices is that they're the leadership.

Bob Gentle:

Are often naturally charismatic, probably quite outgoing, those seem

Bob Gentle:

to be the qualities that unless you're being structured about your sales and

Bob Gentle:

marketing will naturally lead towards, um, a thriving practice because

Bob Gentle:

people like to do people business with people they know, like, and trust.

Bob Gentle:

So if you're somebody that lots of people know, and they know, like, and

Bob Gentle:

trust you by extension, you're naturally going to have a fairly healthy practice.

Bob Gentle:

If you're good at what you do as well, the other side of the spectrum is

Bob Gentle:

introverts that may be less charismatic where everything else is equal.

Bob Gentle:

They won't necessarily thrive because they don't have the systems

Bob Gentle:

and processes to market themselves.

Bob Gentle:

So that's really the simple answer.

Bob Gentle:

It's most architecture practices, unless they get to a certain

Bob Gentle:

level are often successful.

Bob Gentle:

Accidentally, and it comes down to this whole thing of hard work beats

Bob Gentle:

talent, where talent doesn't work.

Bob Gentle:

This is the opportunity for the rest of us.

Bob Gentle:

Um, I'm a natural.

Bob Gentle:

Screaming introvert.

Bob Gentle:

I don't necessarily like, I do now, but I had to desensitize myself to

Bob Gentle:

all the anxiety that I had around being a podcast guest or having my own

Bob Gentle:

podcast or any level of visibility.

Bob Gentle:

It's painful.

Bob Gentle:

Um, so I'm not entirely answering your question directly,

Bob Gentle:

but I see most architecture practices don't actively market.

Bob Gentle:

They depend on happy accident.

Bob Gentle:

And sometimes when the odds are stacked in their favor, it can work,

Bob Gentle:

but more often than not, it doesn't.

Bob Gentle:

Um, I hope that makes sense.

Jon Clayton:

Yeah, that makes sense.

Jon Clayton:

I think that is a fair appraisal of how it usually works.

Jon Clayton:

Many, I mean, many successful service based business owners,

Jon Clayton:

they don't, whilst They might inherently have a personal brand.

Jon Clayton:

They might, they certainly might not realize it.

Jon Clayton:

Um, in your experience, how are they usually winning work?

Bob Gentle:

Most architecture practices in my experience, and this is true

Bob Gentle:

of many businesses, will probably have the lion's share of their

Bob Gentle:

opportunity coming in through referrals.

Bob Gentle:

Outside of that, they may dabble with some advertising and get mixed results.

Bob Gentle:

That's probably the long and the short of it.

Bob Gentle:

You can become very intentional about, um, referrals and they can, you can

Bob Gentle:

build a fantastic practice, but from my perspective, it's not a strategy and

Bob Gentle:

it's probably only one of four strands that you should be properly leveraging.

Jon Clayton:

That's really interesting, actually.

Jon Clayton:

Um, certainly when I started out with my own practice, that word of mouth

Jon Clayton:

referrals was pretty much the source of, you know, 90 percent of the.

Jon Clayton:

The incoming work, which can create problems if you do something like

Jon Clayton:

I did, where you relocate, to the other side of the country as

Jon Clayton:

a local service based business.

Bob Gentle:

For me and my business to, to, to, to paraphrase or not to

Bob Gentle:

paraphrase, but to build on that, um, that used to be my business as well.

Bob Gentle:

My business was entirely dependent on my local network.

Bob Gentle:

Um, and before the pandemic, I couldn't have imagined relocating because I

Bob Gentle:

would have been cutting off my own feet.

Bob Gentle:

Um, so I made an intentional.

Bob Gentle:

Step before the pandemic, it was very lucky to stop any form of

Bob Gentle:

business networking and focus on my personal brand in order that I

Bob Gentle:

could become location independent and that people outside my area did

Bob Gentle:

know, like, and trust me at scale.

Bob Gentle:

And I think that's really where the answers lie.

Bob Gentle:

For most people, the

Jon Clayton:

So are there any other problems that if you do grow your

Jon Clayton:

business in that way, where it's typically word of mouth referrals,

Jon Clayton:

possibly a little bit of advertising.

Jon Clayton:

Are there any other potential problems that You anticipate that

Jon Clayton:

business owners might encounter.

Jon Clayton:

I mean, we've highlighted one already.

Jon Clayton:

Are there any others that spring to mind from your experiences?

Bob Gentle:

biggest one for me is if you do business largely in a local

Bob Gentle:

area, that's a limited catchment area.

Bob Gentle:

And depending on the number of people and the associated

Bob Gentle:

economic activity, your number.

Bob Gentle:

Growth is going to be limited.

Bob Gentle:

On the one hand, more importantly, your ability to specialize is going to

Bob Gentle:

be really curtailed because so one of my clients, they just design hotels.

Bob Gentle:

That's all they do.

Bob Gentle:

And they design hotels all over the world.

Bob Gentle:

Now that you can't do that.

Bob Gentle:

If the only people who know about your are in Bradford, because there's a

Bob Gentle:

limited number of hotels being built.

Bob Gentle:

Similarly, if you want to specialize in super advanced green buildings

Bob Gentle:

that are going to be, um, eight figure plus buildings, people who build those

Bob Gentle:

buildings are going to need to know about you and there aren't going to

Bob Gentle:

be that many of them in your area.

Bob Gentle:

So growing beyond.

Bob Gentle:

A, your own limited catchment area and the associated revenue ceilings that

Bob Gentle:

you'll hit or wanting to really become the only person who does that one thing.

Bob Gentle:

That's impossible.

Bob Gentle:

If, if you don't have visibility outside your area,

Jon Clayton:

That's a really good point.

Jon Clayton:

And I guess if you, if you do switch things up to grow your business in that

Jon Clayton:

manner, it affords you the opportunity to perhaps be more niche, um, and more

Jon Clayton:

selective with the types of projects and clients that you're working with.

Jon Clayton:

In which case you get to maybe work on more of the things that you really love

Jon Clayton:

rather than having to be a generalist that's doing a bit of everything.

Bob Gentle:

I think I like to think less in terms of market and marketing

Bob Gentle:

and more in terms of audience.

Jon Clayton:

Hmm.

Bob Gentle:

Um, and with audience comes opportunity.

Bob Gentle:

Uh, so if you're really intentional about growing an audience as an expert, then

Bob Gentle:

that audience will serve opportunity where you want to focus on specialism.

Bob Gentle:

Um, the better known you are for a thing.

Bob Gentle:

The more opportunity you'll get to do that thing.

Jon Clayton:

Just bringing it back around to the idea then of

Jon Clayton:

developing your personal brands.

Jon Clayton:

So, uh, if that, if you wanted to develop a personal brand, how, can

Jon Clayton:

you give any other examples of how that would help grow the business?

Bob Gentle:

Um, the examples are so numerous that I struggled to isolate one.

Bob Gentle:

Um, I use the example of the architect focusing exclusively on hotels.

Bob Gentle:

A good example for me is a plumber.

Bob Gentle:

I can't remember his name, um, but there's a plumber in America who I've met a couple

Bob Gentle:

of times, but I'm terrible with names.

Bob Gentle:

If you ask me to name a film, thankfully you warned me with that one.

Bob Gentle:

This plumber.

Bob Gentle:

Started creating YouTube videos and he did all right, that small YouTube

Bob Gentle:

channel grew and what that allowed was for him to move away from simply

Bob Gentle:

being a plumber to somebody who taught plumbers how to market themselves and

Bob Gentle:

that simple plumber is now comfortably sitting on a multi million pound business.

Bob Gentle:

That he doesn't have to get his hands dirty anymore, and he's focusing all

Bob Gentle:

his time and energy into teaching, being charismatic, creating content.

Bob Gentle:

So that's one example.

Bob Gentle:

I think another example might be, um, where to go with this.

Jon Clayton:

I suppose another way I could phrase the question would

Jon Clayton:

be, you know, are there any other benefits from having a personal brand?

Jon Clayton:

That might be another way to phrase the question.

Bob Gentle:

I think.

Bob Gentle:

The core benefit for me is again, where everything is equal, so I have a choice

Bob Gentle:

between architect A and architect B.

Bob Gentle:

Architect A is perfectly competent and has a good portfolio.

Bob Gentle:

Architect B has exactly the same.

Bob Gentle:

He also has.

Bob Gentle:

Potentially a podcast or a YouTube channel, or he's very active on Instagram,

Bob Gentle:

or he's doing public speaking, or he's written a book, or she's a prolific Tik

Bob Gentle:

Tok creator, or she hosts an architecture conference, or I could go on and on.

Bob Gentle:

There is a point of difference here where instead of.

Bob Gentle:

Me having to choose between A and B, I'm now having to decide, would it

Bob Gentle:

be ridiculous for me not to choose B?

Bob Gentle:

I, where everything else is equal, one is an industry authority that's

Bob Gentle:

clear and visible associated with other industry authorities and option

Bob Gentle:

A is a perfectly competent architect.

Bob Gentle:

Which one are you going to choose?

Bob Gentle:

You're going to choose the one with the celebrity x factor

Bob Gentle:

because everything else is equal.

Bob Gentle:

So you move from being one of many to the one of many.

Bob Gentle:

People don't have to decide now whether to use you or not, but

Bob Gentle:

whether to exclude you or not.

Bob Gentle:

It's a very different decision.

Bob Gentle:

So for me, when people decide I need somebody to help me with what

Bob Gentle:

I'm doing, and I'm in the mix.

Bob Gentle:

It's really unusual that somebody would pick somebody else over me,

Bob Gentle:

because pound for pound, we're going to be very similar, but I bring

Bob Gentle:

an awful lot more to the table.

Bob Gentle:

So for me, that's the biggest advantage.

Jon Clayton:

I love that.

Jon Clayton:

I absolutely love that, Bob.

Jon Clayton:

It makes it such that it's almost like a no brainer to go for architect B.

Jon Clayton:

And, and that, that question then of asking yourself, you know, well,

Jon Clayton:

why, why wouldn't I use these people?

Jon Clayton:

Why wouldn't I work with this, this practice, this firm, this person?

Bob Gentle:

A vendor of any kind is a risk, and we're all doing risk

Bob Gentle:

calculations in our mind when we're choosing who we're going to use.

Bob Gentle:

So what can you do to de risk yourself?

Bob Gentle:

Authority.

Bob Gentle:

Influence, competence, connection, all of these things are de risking,

Bob Gentle:

de risking, de risking, de risking.

Bob Gentle:

So, the other person, there's a cloak of risk over them, you've

Bob Gentle:

lifted that cloak of risk away entirely, complete transparency,

Bob Gentle:

and Over authority and competence.

Bob Gentle:

You can't really lose.

Jon Clayton:

I guess it's that, um, no like and trust

Jon Clayton:

that people talk about that.

Jon Clayton:

If you are.

Jon Clayton:

Positioning yourself as a leader in your space, an expert, and you've got, well,

Jon Clayton:

you've got the content or you've got ways to prove that you're not just saying it,

Jon Clayton:

that actually there's evidence here that those potential customers are seeing,

Jon Clayton:

whether that's that you are a public speaker or you've got a YouTube channel

Jon Clayton:

or you're prolific on social media and you're a really helpful person of value,

Jon Clayton:

that's immediately going to build far more trust than they're going to have

Jon Clayton:

with any of those other competitors.

Bob Gentle:

I think the thing in the architecture industry is the minimum

Bob Gentle:

effective dose is way lower than it would be in my industry, for example,

Bob Gentle:

because hardly anybody's doing it.

Bob Gentle:

So the opportunities are even greater.

Bob Gentle:

And what I love about.

Bob Gentle:

The personal branding and the content side of it is it's building the low,

Bob Gentle:

the know, like, and trust at scale.

Bob Gentle:

So you can do it.

Bob Gentle:

It'll allow you to build out of your local area where natural social osmosis

Bob Gentle:

would just take care of it for you.

Jon Clayton:

Got it.

Jon Clayton:

Um, is developing your personal brand.

Jon Clayton:

Is that, is that going to be right for every service based business owner?

Jon Clayton:

Remember, don't forget to subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter.

Jon Clayton:

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Jon Clayton:

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Jon Clayton:

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Jon Clayton:

Now, back to the show.

Bob Gentle:

I would like to say yes.

Bob Gentle:

However, if you're listening to this thinking, I am a horrible

Bob Gentle:

person, I'm genuinely horrible.

Bob Gentle:

If being horrible is what you're amplifying, you may struggle.

Bob Gentle:

However, um, I would argue that.

Bob Gentle:

Even people that I find horrible are attractive to other people.

Bob Gentle:

And for me, this is one of the biggest hangups.

Bob Gentle:

You can't be liked by everybody.

Bob Gentle:

And one of the biggest pushback, um, pieces that I find with clients is

Bob Gentle:

if I start creating content, what happens if people don't like it?

Bob Gentle:

And that used to really, I used to, that put me off for years.

Bob Gentle:

But then I realized one third of people are not going to like it.

Bob Gentle:

They're going to actually reject it.

Bob Gentle:

One third of people, they're going to be completely ambivalent.

Bob Gentle:

They won't care.

Bob Gentle:

But one third of people will love it.

Bob Gentle:

And those are my people.

Bob Gentle:

And I find that that rule of thirds is pretty much universal.

Bob Gentle:

So, you'll have, you'll have experienced this before.

Bob Gentle:

You meet somebody, you think, I really don't like you.

Bob Gentle:

It's rare to have that actual visceral, I can't bear this person, I need to

Bob Gentle:

get away, but they've got friends, people like them, weird as it is.

Bob Gentle:

So for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction.

Bob Gentle:

It's basic physics, the principle of magnetism.

Bob Gentle:

You can't attract without pushing others away.

Bob Gentle:

And once you can learn to celebrate that and realize.

Bob Gentle:

It's really important that I do push some people away, everything

Bob Gentle:

becomes much, much easier.

Bob Gentle:

Um, so to come back to the actual question, thankfully I remember it.

Bob Gentle:

Is it for everybody?

Bob Gentle:

Probably yes.

Bob Gentle:

Um, I can't imagine anybody suffering from being better known.

Jon Clayton:

That's a great point that you made there that I just want to pick

Jon Clayton:

up on about repelling people as well as attracting people that by stepping out

Jon Clayton:

in front of your marketing with your personal brands, that you are going

Jon Clayton:

to start attracting people that are.

Jon Clayton:

a good fit that are your people, but also to start to push away those other

Jon Clayton:

people that might have got in touch that you might have been tempted to

Jon Clayton:

work with, uh, ultimately may have led to being, um, a bad client that you're

Jon Clayton:

actually also repelling those people away.

Bob Gentle:

I think the nice thing about it is by the time people come

Bob Gentle:

to you, they've already decided they like you and it makes the

Bob Gentle:

whole sales process much easier.

Bob Gentle:

Um, similarly, if people have had the visceral reaction to you that they don't

Bob Gentle:

like you, you're never going to talk to them, which is also really nice.

Jon Clayton:

That sounds like a huge benefit.

Jon Clayton:

So Bob, what would be the, the top three things perhaps that you

Jon Clayton:

would recommend or, or the first three steps that you'd recommend

Jon Clayton:

for anybody that's thinking, yeah.

Jon Clayton:

This sounds great.

Jon Clayton:

I want to go out and I want to try and build my personal brand.

Jon Clayton:

Could you, could you start us off with some, some tips

Jon Clayton:

to help people along the way?

Bob Gentle:

The first thing that being intentional about building a

Bob Gentle:

personal brand requires is visibility.

Bob Gentle:

So where are you going to be visible and what are you comfortable, what form

Bob Gentle:

of visibility are you comfortable with?

Bob Gentle:

Um, so in fact, I'm going to back up because there's a

Bob Gentle:

more important question here.

Bob Gentle:

If somebody is completely unaccustomed to being visible on social media or

Bob Gentle:

any kind of content, then there's going to be a big fear factor.

Bob Gentle:

People are going to be scared, whether they'd like to admit it or not.

Bob Gentle:

Uh, fear is probably the number one barrier of entry because

Bob Gentle:

people are worried about.

Bob Gentle:

All kinds of things.

Bob Gentle:

So the first thing I would do is write down all the things you're scared of

Bob Gentle:

because fear shrinks in the light.

Bob Gentle:

So write it down and be specific, be detailed.

Bob Gentle:

Writing, I'm scared of visibility is insufficient.

Bob Gentle:

Why?

Bob Gentle:

Why, why, why?

Bob Gentle:

Because once you've moved through that, you'll realize

Bob Gentle:

a lot of this is irrational.

Bob Gentle:

And, um, and by writing it down, you'll start to understand what

Bob Gentle:

you can maybe put against it.

Bob Gentle:

What I mean by that is...

Bob Gentle:

If you're scared of video, why are you scared of video?

Bob Gentle:

I'm scared of video because my friends and family will make fun of me, or I

Bob Gentle:

don't like the sound of my own voice, or my face always looks weird on camera.

Bob Gentle:

So understanding that is a good start.

Bob Gentle:

And then there's a process of slowly desensitizing yourself to that,

Bob Gentle:

because what you're scared of, Now doesn't have to, I'll tell a story.

Bob Gentle:

It's the easiest way to explain this.

Bob Gentle:

So I was sitting in a mastermind conference and in a conference, in a

Bob Gentle:

mastermind session, in a conference and a mastermind, if you're not familiar

Bob Gentle:

with it, is you sit on a table with a group of five or six other business

Bob Gentle:

owners and you talk about stuff.

Bob Gentle:

And this was a marketing conference.

Bob Gentle:

So I was talking about my own fear of visibility.

Bob Gentle:

And honestly, I couldn't even post a selfie on any social media platform.

Bob Gentle:

And if you know me now.

Bob Gentle:

Many people know me as the selfie guy, so things have changed, but I remember

Bob Gentle:

thinking to myself, why a backup?

Bob Gentle:

Sorry, this is all slightly disjointed.

Bob Gentle:

I spent 15 years working in search and rescue and I was perfectly happy

Bob Gentle:

jumping out of a helicopter, abseiling off cliffs in the middle of a storm at

Bob Gentle:

night, swimming out to sea and raging storms, but I couldn't post a selfie.

Bob Gentle:

And I got to thinking, how do we train people to do scary things?

Bob Gentle:

Because I'd seen people go from person off the street through to somebody who was

Bob Gentle:

perfectly comfortable recovering a body.

Bob Gentle:

And time is the magic ingredient here, a process of gradually

Bob Gentle:

desensitizing yourself over time.

Bob Gentle:

So for me, it was start with just taking a selfie, don't have to post it.

Bob Gentle:

Then it was posted to an Instagram story where it's going to disappear tomorrow.

Bob Gentle:

And you start to get feedback from other people and it's positive feedback.

Bob Gentle:

And you think, It is working.

Bob Gentle:

And then I post a selfie with a little bit of a story under it on LinkedIn.

Bob Gentle:

I have a customer.

Bob Gentle:

Fantastic.

Bob Gentle:

So what was scary becomes normal, becomes key differentiator,

Bob Gentle:

comes competitive advantage.

Bob Gentle:

And it all starts with understanding the fear.

Bob Gentle:

So that's number one.

Bob Gentle:

Number two is, if you're going to show up, don't be a boring, repetitive, I was

Bob Gentle:

going to use another word there, but I won't, don't be boring or repetitive.

Bob Gentle:

So if I ask you, what are you going to post on social media?

Bob Gentle:

The instinctive thing is, well, I'm going to post about

Bob Gentle:

architecture and that's important.

Bob Gentle:

But if you look at anybody who's famous that you know, you know them

Bob Gentle:

because they exist in three dimensions.

Bob Gentle:

So allow yourself to exist for your own audience in three dimensions.

Bob Gentle:

So post what you're doing for fun.

Bob Gentle:

Let people know about your family.

Bob Gentle:

If you're comfortable with that, what are you interested in?

Bob Gentle:

You know, I like sci fi.

Bob Gentle:

Um, there's a lot.

Bob Gentle:

So give people enough to have a relationship with, but also talk

Bob Gentle:

about what you do for money.

Bob Gentle:

Um, I often use the device of what you might call the five themes of you.

Bob Gentle:

What are the five themes you can regularly turn to that

Bob Gentle:

will make you more interesting?

Bob Gentle:

The third thing, and I said, don't be repetitive, but be repetitive.

Bob Gentle:

Um, if you look at any.

Bob Gentle:

Brand that you know, well, you know, well, because you see them

Bob Gentle:

everywhere all the time people pay far less attention to us than we

Bob Gentle:

would like them like to think they do.

Bob Gentle:

And therefore our key messages need to be repeated fairly frequently.

Bob Gentle:

Um, it was one other thing, but I can't remember what it was.

Bob Gentle:

It'll probably come back later.

Jon Clayton:

It's fine.

Jon Clayton:

That that's, you've shared, you've shared some, uh, fantastic tips there.

Jon Clayton:

Is there anything else, Bob, that you wanted to share about personal

Jon Clayton:

branding that we, we haven't covered in the conversation?

Bob Gentle:

I'm going to say yes.

Bob Gentle:

Um, all content is not equal would be my fundamental message here that

Bob Gentle:

there are things like TikTok and Instagram and Facebook and LinkedIn

Bob Gentle:

where they are content hungry machines.

Bob Gentle:

And for most people.

Bob Gentle:

That just feels like a hamster wheel lined with crushed glass

Bob Gentle:

and barbed wire on the edges.

Bob Gentle:

You can never get off and for most people, that is their experience

Bob Gentle:

of content marketing and it's soul destroying because you're constantly

Bob Gentle:

having to be content creating always on your game and Then people will ask

Bob Gentle:

you, what about search engine marketing?

Bob Gentle:

What about Facebook ads?

Bob Gentle:

There's just so many places you can go.

Bob Gentle:

So I like to use an investment portfolio analogy in order to help people

Bob Gentle:

understand where to invest their time.

Bob Gentle:

So we have short term investments.

Bob Gentle:

You pay your money today, you get your results today.

Bob Gentle:

This is really ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, whatever.

Bob Gentle:

You create content, you can push it to as many people as you want.

Bob Gentle:

That is a rich man's game.

Bob Gentle:

It's not for you and I, or most people listening.

Bob Gentle:

There is a place for it.

Bob Gentle:

It's not at the beginning of your content marketing journey.

Bob Gentle:

Then there's the medium term investment.

Bob Gentle:

And here we're talking about the kind of things we just discussed.

Bob Gentle:

Social media, social content, social networking.

Bob Gentle:

It's where you create your content today and it's gone tomorrow.

Bob Gentle:

Um, but you can get lucky for me.

Bob Gentle:

This is the medium term investment.

Bob Gentle:

It's the current account, if you like, and.

Bob Gentle:

It's where agencies play.

Bob Gentle:

If you go and hire an agency to do your marketing, they will probably

Bob Gentle:

stick in that medium term investment.

Bob Gentle:

Then we have the long term investments.

Bob Gentle:

This is podcast, blog, and YouTube.

Bob Gentle:

And for me, the podcast really is the product that just keeps on paying.

Bob Gentle:

I call them the long term investment because they pay

Bob Gentle:

compound interest over time.

Bob Gentle:

Every time you create a piece of content, it goes into the bank.

Bob Gentle:

It will generate relationships today and tomorrow and every

Bob Gentle:

day for the rest of time.

Bob Gentle:

Similarly with YouTube.

Bob Gentle:

Additionally, they're creating relationships.

Bob Gentle:

They're creating industry authority by association.

Bob Gentle:

They are creating opportunities for sales conversations.

Bob Gentle:

They are creating.

Bob Gentle:

Content that you can come back and spend in the medium term investment bucket.

Bob Gentle:

Um, but the core difference is the compound effect over time that.

Bob Gentle:

You're building a true content and attention asset.

Bob Gentle:

When you come back to the medium term investment, you realize most

Bob Gentle:

people are just going to the casino.

Bob Gentle:

They're hoping to get lucky.

Bob Gentle:

Um, and when you understand all that, you can look at content creation from a

Bob Gentle:

much more, um, sustainable perspective.

Jon Clayton:

Wow.

Jon Clayton:

That, that's just a massive value bomb that you've just.

Jon Clayton:

Dropped at the end there.

Jon Clayton:

Thanks for that, Bob.

Jon Clayton:

That's fantastic.

Jon Clayton:

There was another question I wanted to ask.

Jon Clayton:

It isn't about personal branding.

Jon Clayton:

Um, I love to travel and discover new places and I just wondered if you

Jon Clayton:

could tell me one of your favorite places and what you love about it.

Jon Clayton:

This could be anywhere, near, far, anywhere you like.

Bob Gentle:

It's a tricky one because everywhere is awesome.

Bob Gentle:

And this is another important message when it comes back to personal branding.

Bob Gentle:

I'll answer the question specifically in a minute, but I have a friend.

Bob Gentle:

Who is a coach and he lives in Hawaii and I look at what he does

Bob Gentle:

and I think it just looks so exotic.

Bob Gentle:

It just looks, it's warm all the time.

Bob Gentle:

I'd love to be there.

Bob Gentle:

He comes to visit me here and in Scotland and he thinks he's arrived in fairyland.

Bob Gentle:

And when I realized that what's ordinary for you is amazing for somebody else, and

Bob Gentle:

this is true of everybody, um, again, it puts a whole different perspective on.

Bob Gentle:

Your brand that if you lean into the mundane, it becomes a

Bob Gentle:

superpower to answer your question.

Bob Gentle:

Specifically.

Bob Gentle:

I love sunny places.

Bob Gentle:

I don't have a single favorite sunny place because I haven't been to enough

Bob Gentle:

places to have settled on a favorite.

Bob Gentle:

I love California because it's always sunny.

Bob Gentle:

A gorgeous day.

Bob Gentle:

There's never a bad day there.

Bob Gentle:

Even when it's pouring with rain, it's still lovely.

Bob Gentle:

Similarly, I grew up in Hong Kong.

Bob Gentle:

I love the place.

Bob Gentle:

It's just heaven.

Bob Gentle:

The climate is astonishing.

Bob Gentle:

Um, but I think everywhere is awesome.

Jon Clayton:

It's nice, actually, if you can, um, come from that perspective

Jon Clayton:

where you can sort of celebrate and enjoy the places that are nearby.

Jon Clayton:

You're absolutely right.

Jon Clayton:

We take for granted some of the places that are on our doorstep.

Jon Clayton:

And there are some fantastic places where, where we all live.

Jon Clayton:

Yeah, absolutely.

Jon Clayton:

Bob, that's been absolutely amazing today.

Jon Clayton:

Thanks so much for coming on the show and sharing all of your knowledge.

Jon Clayton:

It's been fantastic to talk about personal branding.

Jon Clayton:

Where can people go to connect with you or to find out more about you?

Bob Gentle:

So I have a podcast, the personal brand business show.

Bob Gentle:

You can just search personal brand business show on any podcast player.

Bob Gentle:

It's easy to find.

Bob Gentle:

My website is amplify me dot agency.

Bob Gentle:

And you can find me on any social media platform, all of them, just

Bob Gentle:

search at Bob Gentle or Bob Gentle.

Bob Gentle:

I'm really hard to miss.

Jon Clayton:

Brilliant.

Jon Clayton:

And would you like to remind everyone how to get the

Jon Clayton:

personal brand business roadmap?

Bob Gentle:

Yeah, you can visit my website, amplifyme.

Bob Gentle:

agency forward slash roadmap.

Bob Gentle:

There will be a giant pop up.

Bob Gentle:

So even if you can't find the page, it's hard to miss.

Bob Gentle:

Um, and yeah, it really does help walk you through all the stages of.

Bob Gentle:

Building the personal brand and then marketing and monetizing that personal

Bob Gentle:

brand beyond simply the services and products that you necessarily have today.

Jon Clayton:

Brilliant.

Jon Clayton:

Thanks again, Bob.

Bob Gentle:

Thank you.

Bob Gentle:

You've done a really good job.

Bob Gentle:

I've had a great time.

Bob Gentle:

Thanks.

Jon Clayton:

Next time.

Jon Clayton:

I'll be talking to Stephen, drew the founder of architecture, social,

Jon Clayton:

all about how to find, hire, and retain great architectural staff.

Jon Clayton:

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Architecture Business Club.

Jon Clayton:

If you liked this episode, think other people might enjoy it.

Jon Clayton:

Or just want to show your support, then please visit podchaser.com.

Jon Clayton:

Search for Architecture Business Club and leave a glowing five-star review.

Jon Clayton:

It would mean so much to me and makes it easier for new

Jon Clayton:

listeners to discover the show.

Jon Clayton:

If you just want to connect with me, you can do that on most social media

Jon Clayton:

platforms, just search for @mrjonclayton.

Jon Clayton:

The best place to connect with me online though is on LinkedIn.

Jon Clayton:

You can find a link to my profile in the show notes.

Jon Clayton:

Remember running your architecture business doesn't have to be hard.

Jon Clayton:

And you don't need to do it alone.

Jon Clayton:

This is Architecture Business Club.

Show artwork for Architecture Business Club - For Architects, Architectural Technologists, Surveyors & Designers

About the Podcast

Architecture Business Club - For Architects, Architectural Technologists, Surveyors & Designers
Helping busy architecture professionals build a better business with actionable tips and tactics.
Architecture Business Club is the weekly podcast to help solo and small firm architecture business owners build a profitable, future-proof architecture practice that both you and your clients love! It’s an inclusive place (for ALL architecture business owners). So whether you’re an Architect, Architectural Technologist, or Architectural Designer…If you sell architectural services and want to improve the way you do things…This is THE podcast for you.

I’m Jon Clayton, your show host, and a Chartered Architectural Technologist based in the UK. I’ve been in architecture for over two decades and running my own (solo) practice for 10 years+.

Each week you’ll hear from inspiring people from the world of architecture and business who share actionable tips to help you improve how you work, save time, or make more money. I’ll also share my own experiences running an architecture business in occasional solo episodes. We cover everything from mindset, money, business strategy, sales & marketing, productivity, systems & workflows, client experience, outsourcing, software, technology, and much more.

Episodes are kept as short as possible by cutting out the fluff and getting straight to the point. So expect interview episodes of around 30 minutes or less, and solo episodes of 5 to 15 minutes.

New episodes are released every Thursday at 6am GMT / 2am EST.

Welcome to the Club!

About your host

Profile picture for Jon Clayton

Jon Clayton

I’m Jon. A Chartered Architectural Technologist and the founder of Architecture Business Club. I've been working in architecture for over two decades and running my own architectural design business for over ten of those years. My mission is to help you build a better architecture business on your terms. So if you're a sole practitioner (or small practice) architect, architectural technologist, or architectural designer, I want to help YOU. I'm a Northerner but now live with my family in Norfolk, UK. Outside of work, I'm a guitar tottin', kayaking, movie trivia buff.