Kiri Masters (Pt 2): Personal Branding and Overcoming Mental Barriers

Episode Summary Introduction:

In Part 2 of the conversation, Nick and Kiri Masters discuss personal branding and the challenges that come with it.

Kiri is an award-winning writer and expert in the online retail industry. Kiri shares her insights on personal branding, reframing thought patterns, and overcoming mental barriers to success. They discuss how founders can effectively use social media, the importance of a personal brand, and the resources that can help business owners grow. Tune in to gain valuable advice from Kiri's journey and her expertise in coaching and content creation.

Kiri Masters (Pt 1): The Challenges of Founding, Building, and Exiting Her Marketing Agency in 7 Years

Key Takeaways from Kiri Masters on Personal Branding:

The Importance of Reframing Thought Patterns

Kiri emphasizes that personal branding starts with a mental game. Many business owners have limiting beliefs about themselves or their industry that need to be reframed. She discusses the importance of being seen as an expert without self-proclaiming it, and how humility plays a key role in being likable and trustworthy. Kiri advises focusing on what your audience needs and consistently delivering valuable content.

Leveraging Social Media for Personal Branding

Nick and Kiri dive into the common aversion business owners have towards social media. Kiri suggests that instead of trying to master every platform, business owners should pick one that suits their personality and audience. She shares her experience of using LinkedIn effectively and encourages listeners to learn the platform's algorithms while maintaining a fun and engaging presence.

Identifying Content Opportunities

Kiri explains how almost any interaction or observation can become a content opportunity. By paying attention to common questions and misconceptions within their industry, business owners can create valuable and relevant content. She encourages business owners to build a habit of noting down potential content ideas and staying ahead of trends and changes.

Overcoming Sales and Public Speaking Anxiety

Both Nick and Kiri share personal stories about overcoming their fears and negative beliefs related to sales and public speaking. They discuss how practice, preparation, and mindset shifts can transform these activities from daunting tasks into enjoyable experiences. Kiri highlights that even seasoned professionals can have areas where they lack confidence and that continuous learning and adaptation are crucial.

Resources for Staying Sharp and Inspired

Kiri shares her go-to resources for maintaining mental and physical sharpness, including good sleep, exercise, and diet. She also talks about her favorite podcasts and tools that keep her informed and inspired. For example, she mentions Barely AI, a tool for managing and querying documents, and various podcasts that explore the origin stories of successful people and companies.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Quotes from the Episode:

  • "You need to be likable and humble. People should call you an expert, not yourself." - Kiri Masters
  • "Content opportunities are everywhere. Pay attention to what your prospects are asking and the misconceptions they have." - Kiri Masters
  • "Pick one social media platform and master it. Understand its algorithms but keep it enjoyable." - Kiri Masters
  • "Overcoming mental barriers is key. Reframing thought patterns and focusing on your strengths can change everything." - Kiri Masters
  • "Staying sharp mentally and physically is crucial. Good sleep, exercise, and diet are foundational to maintaining peak performance." - Kiri Masters

Where to Find Kiri Masters:

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The host - Nick Berry
The Production Company - FCG

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Episode Transcript:

Nick (00:00)
would like to have you talk a little bit about, share some of your expertise on personal branding. This is actually how I got to know Kiri is I reached out to her for some input and she, we've had a couple of conversations.

And she's had to kind of slap me around a little bit about maybe some of the beliefs that I have about personal

I'm not sure if I'm representative of most people, but I feel, I think that me getting in my own way is probably something that it to other business tell us what do we do wrong and what should we be doing?

Kiri (00:41)
Yeah, so I've really, really enjoyed doing this coaching. And I would say that for most people, it is first and foremost a mental game and a reframing some thought patterns and beliefs that you have about yourself or what it means to be an expert.

You know, there's a lot of like scummy and scammy people out there. You don't want to be someone like that. You don't want to be, you want to, you want to be viewed as an expert and a thought leader, but the trick is like not to call yourself that, right? What you want to get to is to a point where other people are calling you an expert and a thought leader. You don't want to say that about yourself. So, and that, that is, that is true. You need to be, I think to be likeable, need to be humble.

And, you know, there's certainly very successful people out there who have a different type of voice and it's more brash and assertive and maybe not so humble. And that's, that works for them. But, but, and it depends on your personality as well. Like when, when I met you and I was like, I don't think you, if I can, if I can share your concern with, with the audiences, I don't want to come across as, as the guru type.

Nick (01:46)
You're so tactful.

Kiri (02:02)
And I think it would be very hard for you to do that because that's not your personality. You'd have to really be like pushing yourself into some pretty uncomfortable territory to come across that way. So that's one limiting belief is I don't want to be viewed as egomaniac out there trying to...

get famous or something like other limiting belief is I don't have anything interesting to talk about. And this is, this is very common. So what I would say to that is, sales calls with your prospects and they're asking you quite, what are the questions that they're asking you? What are the questions you hear the most often?

what are people talking about? Not really like understand, you know, that, that again, misconceptions about what's going on. What are the changes happening in your industry? for me, once I start talking with people, I can spot it really, really quickly, not because I'm a genius, but because I've been doing it for a long time. And to me,

when, once you have this lens, once you can put this lens on,

Almost anything becomes a content opportunity. And so I'm always writing stuff down that I am seeing or thinking about as like potential ideas, because like I've built that muscle and I can't help it now. Like everything is potentially content. So I, but I wasn't born that way. That was like, that was something that I trained on for a number of years without realizing it because I had to show up and write a blog every week. So that's another thing is.

you do have things to talk about, but it just, it's, it's not going to be necessarily all of the, the standard hooks that chat GPT writes for you. You know, I think as we get more and more into the, to like AI creating more content, try and

zig while everyone is zagging, like that kind of content is going to be so prevalent and it's going to be so formulaic that if you can share real experiences, real opinions, things that like jumping on new changes and trends and things that are happening in real time because AI is not going to be able to digest things that quickly.

Nick (04:10)
Mm -hmm.

Kiri (04:31)
So being separating yourself from what AI can do.

Nick (04:35)
so one of the other things, so you addressed a part of my situation was like, I don't mind putting thoughts out there. I don't want them to come across at this way. Right. So there's you address that part, but then there's also this aversion to social media. And I think that's kind of common also for, for founders who have, you know, started owned operated and, and not had to be at the forefront and they've made it about their brand.

Nick (05:04)
I think that that's not totally unusual, but maybe it is. If so, it's an audience of one But what do you think about that? How do you treat my aversion to social media?

Yeah, look, I think you're right. I think if you can get through your career as a business owner without creating personal brand, there's like, there's some, it's almost like a badge of honor. Like I didn't, cause this is the trap and we're all taught about this in the E -Myth, right? Did you ever read that book, the E -Myth? Yeah. It's like, never make the company all about you. You know, Suzy Pymaker, you cannot be, you cannot be everything.

Kiri (05:47)
And so I think we get it hammered into our heads as entrepreneurs, you cannot be the business. And so that creates, okay, if I'm not the bit, you know, let's create everything on the content and brand side about the company. It's not about me. And that does make, that does make sense. you can't grow beyond a certain point if the business is all about you, but you're coming.

back to this point of like, well, kind of to achieve what I want to achieve or like have the impact I want to have, I'm recognizing I do need to have a personal brand. And it's now that you're a seasoned entrepreneur, you can understand with a bit more sophistication where having a personal impact on the company where it does and doesn't make sense.

Whereas when you're a first time entrepreneur, it's easy to fall into the gap of the business is just you, but like now you have a more nuanced perspective and you understand. So I think that that may be like a conditioning thing that we, that a lot of people need to get beyond is okay. In, in foot for a certain use case, having a personal brand really is the only way. And.

Social media is kind of the way to build a personal brand. I would just say like there are, there is more options with social media now than there ever has been before. And just finding the channel that suits your personality, your subject matter, expertise and where your audience is. Then you just choose one. I spoke with a guy last week who's

trying to do like three different things. and just, just choose one, just choose one and become an expert on that. For me, it was LinkedIn. I just went deep on that. Learn about the algorithm, learn when to break the rules as well. Like I don't do everything that you're supposed to do with the algorithm because I've wanted like, keep it fun. And like, it's, it's supposed to be something I enjoy doing more or less. I don't follow all the rules, but I understand the rules and,

Yeah, just, just choose one. Like it's a necessary evil. Just choose the least evil one for you.

Nick (08:13)
Yeah, I've accepted that it is. I think what I've recognized is it's not as far as personal brand and brand for the company. It's not one or the other. I've got to a place where it now is time for both. The companies each have their own entity and they have their own brand that's out there. I was able to get to.

Nick (08:42)
this point, now it's time for me to have more of a personal brand in addition to those. And it should like the whole is going to be greater than the sum of the parts. And that's, that's the idea in my case. And there, I think, some of this has come out of our conversations, but, part of my version is like, I learned over time how to do my job and I've, and my job did not include being, having a social media presence.

Nick (09:11)
So what I know to do is only I picked up from observing and that's not training for me, right? Like that's not mastery. That's so I don't want to go and just mimic what somebody else has done that that's like flailing. But if I think with a little more familiarity, I think the aversion goes away. And it's I've seen this with not just with me, but with anybody.

Nick (09:37)
anybody, I think a lot of people's aversion to sales conversations is they don't have a meth, they don't know how to do it. So they feel like they're just trying to talk someone into something and that's a crappy feeling. So they're like, I hate sales. And if you can just give them something to go by. So they're like, okay, I understand what I'm trying to do and how I'm trying to do it now. And, and some of you know, their beliefs or their aversion to it starts to like dissipate and.

Nick (10:05)
and you can actually enjoy doing those things.

Kiri (10:07)
my gosh, you are, you are so on the money there. I'm just thinking of, of this situation, someone most recent years, I wasn't a ton involved in sales at the agency. And I started to tell myself I'm not good at sales. I don't like doing sales and, but I would need to get involved every, every now and this is this negative thought patterns running through my head.

And then I, I mean, I've been doing like a weekly podcast since 2017. I do all this content. I do speaking and interviews and stuff like that all the time. Totally comfortable. And one of the head, of the executives in the company is very involved with sales, very good salesperson, very comfortable, natural, been doing it for a long, long time. Excellent salesperson. They get a.

spot on an interview show on a podcast and they are freaking out so nervous. What do I do? How, like, what do I say? I'd like, obviously so uncomfortable. I'm like, you're, you're going to be fine. You're an executive. This is like exactly the converse. This is the topic that you're very familiar with and like trying to kind of get them comfortable with that. And it was such a, an mind opener to me of like having a podcast.

conversation, completely natural to me. Not all the, you know, it's just a freight. It's a mindset thing. Cause a lot of people would say about me, well, I'm sure you can't be that bad at sales. You're the head of the company with the founder of the company. You've been in this space for a long time. You know what you're, you know, the service that you're selling, you can't be that bad. I just told myself a story. I'm terrible at sales. Just like this person told themself a story that I don't know how to do a podcast and I'm not going to be any good at this.

Nick (11:55)
And we do it all day with all these different things, right? I mean, we can be our worst enemy about so many things. I think, yeah, that's just one of the things that's become much clearer to me through my conversation with you. You know, you just kind of sorted it out with the personal brand and like, this is the framework for me, that's important, right? And so you gave me...

Nick (12:20)
some compartments to look at and explore. And so I've started to figure things out a little bit more on my own. And I mean, so to me, that makes you a great coach. And I think you should be helping other people do the same thing.

Kiri (12:34)
Thank you so much. I really appreciate that. Thank you.

Nick (12:38)
Yeah, I mean, this, so I'm laughing because I'm kind of teasing Kiri. She is offering coaching. She is working with people on personal branding and I'm some, I'm just joking about me taking credit for telling her that she should do it.

Kiri (12:52)
That's not entirely untrue. Like what would, I hadn't even thought of that before you and I started, started talking about offering that as a, as like a paid service. So yeah, you should take some credit for it.

Nick (13:06)
Really? I did not know that. I didn't realize that. I thought that it was something that was already, you know, your wheels were already turning.

All right. Well, I think you're going in the right direction. I think, yeah, you definitely, you have, you just have a lot to offer in a lot of different areas. That's an area in particular where I think that I might be kind of challenging, but regardless, you know, you handled it really well. I've read some of the other things that you've put together, I think very knowledgeable like that. That those are the things that people

you know, along the journey to help them level


Kiri (13:44)
Well, yeah, thank you for saying that. And it is, you know, it is interesting, like, again, coming back to the stories that you tell yourself, because I tell myself a story of like, well, what this because it because it's easy for me comes like naturally at this point in time, like, why would people pay me to tell them stuff that's so obvious? But yeah, this is I guess it doesn't it doesn't end once you've you've you've achieved you've gone through some.

big journey in life and you start something new. It's not, you, you, you don't just have a magic wand in your hand that turns every problem, that solves every problem for you. There's, there's different things that we need to figure out about ourselves and about our relationships and the next challenge. And it is what makes life exciting and dynamic at the end of the day.

Nick (14:35)
Yeah. I mean, everybody has their, their problems. I mean, Kiri, who is the expert, right? She's the pro here. was just talking about telling herself like these, these things about, well, why would anybody need to hear me tell them about this thing? Like, I, I know a lot of people that I think need to hear the things that you're talking about. there's definitely a place for it. And I think you are the kind of person that.

it that needs to be doing it. So I'm glad that you're going to go down that path and see what happens. I mean.

you're definitely equipped for it.

you have any resources, anything that's in your, like, these are the things that I use every day or that keep me together or that help me do my thing.

Kiri (15:18)

Yeah, I was just, I was, this is interesting. I think that there is the usual combination of like good sleep, exercise and diet and just being as sharp as you can physically really helps with the whole mental game. And what we're talking about here is just, we've spoken so many times already about how much of this is a mental game.

So that's easier said than done. A lot of the time I appreciate that, but, always something that I am prioritizing now. I mean, I'm, I still feel like a complete novice with AI. I'm trying, that's one thing I'm looking forward to digging into a little bit more, but.

There's one tool that I really love called barely .ai barely as in a bear, like a teddy bear, barely .ai. And what I like about this tool is I can, upload a number of different documents and then use that as the sort of basis for queries. So I can get summaries and things like that from it, or ask about statistics and it's all sort of contained in, in like a folder system.

I'm a huge podcast listener. That's why I've like started to podcasts and I love doing all of this. So I, I, I've got a long list of recommendations. I could just share.

Nick (16:42)
Yeah. Yeah. So like who are, what are some of the shows and that are your go -tos and your go -to for what? Like what? Yeah.

Kiri (16:49)
Okay. I actually just did a post about this. Let me pull it up.

Yeah, I had my, okay, this is my hot podcast summer 2024 playlist. All right. So yeah, I've got a graphic I can send it to.

Nick (17:00)
And I missed this post.

Kiri (17:04)
I put it on LinkedIn. Yeah. So, okay. So I'm a big Cal Newport fan. Have you, do you read any of his stuff? So I've been, I've read a couple of his books. I do find his podcast is, you know, if you've got more time to listen than to read, if you just listen, if you, if you do a bit of a Cal Newport binge of his podcast, you'll get most of the information. But I think.

Nick (17:05)
I can't believe I missed him. Okay.

Yes, same. Yep.

Kiri (17:33)
I've got a sort of mixed relationship with his whole thesis. I think he like really overcomplicate some things and to our conversation about social media as a tool. He's like, I think he's the same age as me, but I always assumed that he was like 20 years older because he is such a curmudgeon about social media. And just like he's one of his things is I've never had a social media account. And so there's some part of it, which is like,

Okay. That is a little out of touch at this point. I think most people are way too far, including myself on the spectrum of overusing social media and should come back from it. But anyway, I, I, I'm getting into the Cal Newport deep life framework kind of thing. Some things that I've done are having a notepad at the side of my bed and like getting the phone out of the bedroom.

so that I'm not like shopping on Amazon at 10 PM or whatever. Like what, you know, you have a thought like, I wonder what happened to that person. I wonder what they're up to. You just have a thought and immediately you're on your phone, you're down a rabbit hole and like, especially late at night, that's no good. So I have a notepad and I'm just writing things down. My brain will think I've got to do this tomorrow. Just write it down. And then the next day I'll process that. So that's actually so simple. It's so obvious, but that's been a real.

Nick (18:44)
Mm -hmm.

Kiri (19:02)
good help with sleep, so that I'm not staying up researching whatever just popped into my brain. So that's like a work life one. then, so similar to my podcast obsession, there's this genre of podcasts, which are sort of like, yeah, telling the origin stories of people or companies. Some are very cynical. There's one called profiteers versus the people. That's a very cynical look.

at people who have, or people are companies who've kind of ripped other people off and how they did that. So that's interesting. There's one that's very popular now called My First Million. They do a lot of storytelling. Founders is another one. This guy reads a biography every week and he retells the biography in like a 16 minute podcast. It's great. Another one called Business Breakdowns.

And then another very popular one called acquired, which is stories about companies like Sony, Amazon. They even did one about Taylor Swift, which is sort of breaking with their format a little bit, but very good. Two VCs basically talking about the history of certain companies. yeah, so anyway, I ended up listening to a lot of podcasts and those are sort of.

top of my rotation right now.

Nick (20:25)
So I just found your list on LinkedIn. Are all of the ones that you mentioned on the list? Okay, good. We'll make sure that those are included also.

Kiri (20:30)
Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Okay. Yep.

Nick (20:36)
it is obsessionpodcast .com is the new podcast. The obsessionpodcast .com and kirimasters .com, K I R I masters .com. And that's the link to your sub stack is on a KRI masters. And also you're, you're writing for Forbes still,

Kiri (20:40)
TheObsessionPodcast .com. Yep.


Nick (21:03)
They can find that information on kermasters .com also. Okay, is there anything about your coaching for personal branding?

Kiri (21:05)
Yes. Yep.

I'll put that on, I'll put that on the site as well. I'll put a link to the coaching on my website, kiri masses .com.

Nick (21:15)
Okay, great. Is there anything else that you want to share?

Kiri (21:19)
No, I really appreciate you having me on. I think it, you know, the, this type of content, there was never enough of it for me when I was out on the, on the journey. And so I'm really glad that you're contributing to that corpus of work that other entrepreneurs are eagerly, eagerly eating up.

Nick (21:39)
Yeah, of course. Thank you for sharing. I mean, like I said earlier, and I've told you before, there's just, there's so much to be learned. There's so much needed and there's so much that you have to offer. That's what I want to bring and share and let you shine your light in every direction. So thank you. You've done a great job. We did not get shorted.

Kiri (22:00)
Thank you so much Nick, talk to you soon.

Nick Berry Round Headshot

Nick Berry is an accomplished entrepreneur and CEO, whose track record includes founding and leading numerous companies since 2002.

He is also a mentor and coach to other entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking for a trusted (and proven) advisor.  

Among peers, colleagues, staff, and clients, Nick has been referred to as both 'The Business Guy' as well as 'The Anti-Guru', due to his pragmatic approach and principled leadership.

He shares his insights and lessons learned, along with those of his expert guests,
on his podcast, 'The Business Owner's Journey'.