Hey, hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions! I’ve got an incredible abundant thinker on the show today to talk to us about something essential for any entrepreneur: personal branding.

Let me ask you something: Do you solve a very specific problem for your clients? Do you have specific expertise that qualifies you to be the go-to person in your field? 

If you answered “yes” to those questions, great! But let me ask a follow-up: Do your clients know what specific expertise you bring to the table? Do they know and trust that you are going to get results and solve their specific problem?

If you’re going to make it in the business world, you have to make a name for yourself. You have to create a personal brand and a voice that is unique to you. You have to make branding yourself online a full-fledged part of your business.

Nobody knows better than Mary Henderson. Mary and I got connected on LinkedIn, and we’ve developed a great friendship, but I am still learning a lot from her about creating a personal brand! She knows how to capitalize on an entrepreneur’s unique interests and skills and create an online presence that becomes an asset all its own.

Mary has seen incredible results throughout her nearly 20-year career. She is one of the most knowledgeable and efficient people I know, and I’m excited to introduce her to you today! If you’re someone who is ready to take your business to the next level, clarify your brand voice, and start seeing greater results for your clients, this episode is for you! Get ready to take some notes, and let’s get started!

Who Is Mary Henderson?

Mary Henderson is an internationally recognized personal brand expert. She is the founder of Lights, Camera, Action, her personalized coaching program. As a coach, Mary helps her clients clarify their brand voice with an emphasis on their unique expertise, generate high-quality content, and ultimately scale their businesses by becoming the go-to authority in their niches.

And let me tell you — Mary has seen radical results from her unique method of coaching and corporate restructuring. I’ll let her tell you the whole story in a minute, but before she owned her own coaching business, Mary worked in tech sales. There, she grew her company from being a $4 million business to a $54 million business in just 48 months! And by the way, that was back in 2001, before social media was the massive force it is today.

Mary is obviously a leader in her field, and as such, she is a highly-sought speaker. She’s also the creator of Authority5.0 Magazine, which profiles real people who are top authorities in their industries.

Mary’s work is inspiring. She fundamentally believes that coaching that does not provide a start-to-finish solution to a problem is just a philosophy. That’s why her program is specifically designed to take clients all the way from problem to results, and why her results are so consistently massive.

I think you’re going to love this conversation! I know I did. Mary is honest and to-the-point — She doesn’t play around! And she shared a ton of valuable information today. We talked about her story and how she came to realize that specializing people according to their interests and expertise really does bring in better results. We also talked about the definition of a “personal brand” — and why it’s not all about just becoming famous. And finally, we talked about what it means to be an authority in your industry and how you can establish yourself as the go-to person for your area of expertise. Let’s go!

Mary’s Story: From $4 Million to $54 Million

Mary’s journey to becoming the personal branding master she is today began back in 2001. Now, it’s important to note — this was before social media. There was no LinkedIn, no Instagram, and no Twitter in 2001, so when Mary set out to establish personal brands for her team members, she had to do so without some of the most effective personal branding tools we have today.

In 2001, Mary worked for an American multinational company, and she was promoted to a senior role as the manager of the Asia Pacific division.

“So I walked in, and … they said, ‘What do we need to do to actually build this business?’ And I said, ‘First of all, we need a full sales team … that can manage lots of different niches.’ … I built this amazing team, and I said, ‘There’s one more thing I need — I need to get rid of job descriptions.’ … What’s the point of having 35 business development managers? What separates them? Nothing. But now I have 35 specialists.” – Mary Henderson

The company held a sales conference to kick-off Mary’s tenure. During the conference, Mary gathered her new team together and very intentionally got to know each person. She took tons of notes on each person’s unique skills and interests, and then she matched each person to a specialist position and a client portfolio. She would make one person a specialist in networking and another a specialist of peripherals. Then, she’d match individuals with clients who had similar interests — she matched the fashionista employee with the fashionista client.

“And then I gave them full permission. … I said, ‘When you come to work, you must be unapologetically yourself. You are not a job title. You are not in a box. You are not a robot. … You’re a human. Act human, be human, be emotional — give it all.’” – Mary Henderson

By specializing her team and allowing them to show up to work as themselves, Mary did two things: One, she made her team happy. Her specialists were happy to show up to a workplace where they were allowed to be themselves, work within their zones of genius, and express their interests. And two, she allowed each member of her team to have a specific brand voice. Each person grew their reputation for doing their specific work, and each person was motivated to work hard for a company where they could be themselves. As a result, the company saw massive growth, and before long, every member of that team was earning a six-figure salary.

Defining a Personal Brand — It’s Not About Becoming Famous!

Mary did incredible work building the personal brands of her team members before social media was invented. Today, those tools make it even easier to establish a name for yourself in your chosen industry. But there are still plenty of ways we go wrong while defining and growing our personal brands, and I was excited to ask Mary what we can all be doing better.

“If it can’t be commercialized, it’s just another shiny object. I think a lot of people don’t understand that a personal brand is just a business. That’s it — you are the business.” – Mary Henderson

When you are building a personal brand, it’s essential to treat it like a business — the only difference is that you are the product. You’re selling your unique expertise and skills, and you need to treat those things like products you’re marketing.

Unfortunately, too many people are trying to use social media just to become famous instead of actually marketing themselves. What happens is that they might have a post of a video go viral, but then they don’t know how to sustain that level of growth. 

“One video doesn’t cut it. … This is an ongoing process. This is daily. … You’ve got to keep that momentum up. … I don’t work with that scenario of people who want to go viral and become famous. … My tribe of people that I work with — they are super smart. They have exceeded the 10 [or] 15,000-hour rule of working in their specialization, and I need that depth of currency to actually help them commercialize their brand. Otherwise, I’m just working with air.” – Mary Henderson

Personal branding is not about becoming famous overnight. It’s about creating slow and steady growth for your business by marketing your knowledge to the niche market that will hire you.

Being the Go-To Person

Personal branding is never going to be about getting famous! It’s about establishing one thing: authority. You want potential clients, investors, partners, and employees to associate your name with expertise in your field automatically. You want to become the go-to person.

“My personal branding approach is … about making that person memorable, believable, [and] trustable to that they can become the go-to person over time. … It means the person who actually owns that space. … They live, eat, and breathe it. And they’ve done it for so long that it’s not just people on social media that know these people as the go-to [people], it’s [the] industry that actually knows these people as the go-to [people].” – Mary Henderson

The end-game of personal branding is to have your name out there as the authority in your industry. You want industry higher-ups to reach out to you when they’re in need of the services you provide because you are the trusted name in your field.

So how do you establish yourself as an authority? According to Mary, it’s all about clearly defining the exact problem you solve:

“I think the most important question we should be asking ourselves is not what I want to look like on LinkedIn, but rather what problem can I really solve? … If you can’t solve a problem, you ain’t going to be a brand.” – Mary Henderson

What problem do you solve? Are you the best at teaching people how to manage their finances in their business? Do you have 10,000 hours of expertise in nutrition coaching? Are you the best public speaking coach in the business? Whatever problem you can solve for your clients, you want that to be the first thing they see when they look at your social media or website. From there, it’s all about consistently generating content to keep that message in your potential clients’ minds.

“If you are wanting to build a personal brand and you’re not prepared to build content that’s strategic and deliberate, but you just want to curate other people’s content because … it’ll get you 500 likes, that’s not personal branding at all.” – Mary Henderson

Personal branding is all about creating high-quality content that clearly communicates everything your clients need to know about you and the services you provide. Make sure your LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and whatever other platforms you use to promote your business are full of content that clearly explains who you are, what you do, and why your clients should hire you.

Why You Should Listen to This Mary Henderson Podcast Episode Right Now…

Mary Henderson is the personal branding expert. If you have expertise in a specific area, she can show you how to become the go-to person and create massive growth in your business. It’s all about being specific, specialized, and solving problems. If you can emphasize your ability to do those things on social media, you’re golden!

I hope you learned something today! I know I did. If you’re interested in learning more about Mary’s process, make sure to listen to the full episode and check out her website. There, you can learn everything you need to know about personal branding and how you can take your business to the next level. And if you’re interested in working with Mary, reach out to her on LinkedIn or email her at mary@maryhendersoncoaching.com

Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! If you enjoyed this episode as much as I did, I hope you’ll share it on Instagram and tag Mary, @maryhendersoncoaching, and me @andy_neary. Post a screenshot of the episode with your favorite takeaways! I’d love to hear what you learned from this episode.

Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: Number one, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.

You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.

Thanks again for joining me today, guys! Now get out there and be the most successful professionals you can be!

I’ll catch you next time!

Andy Neary Signature