I’ve been enthralled by Jacob Aldridge since his entry into this world with an impressively confident, remarkably consistent self image. He is the only person I know who had a fully formed Personal Brand by the time he started infant day care.
I’ve been a willing performer in his many lounge room theatres, have cheered and celebrated his firm and focused path through the world and am proud to be both coaching client and favourite aunt. It was Jacob who helped me galvanise my passion for building Personal Brand websites and helping clients find their individual place and voice online.
An entertaining and sought-after keynote speaker, who self-describes as as “the smart and zany guy who gets sh*t done in business,” a conference MC once introduced him as “someone who lives the life you wish you had.”
“This was amazing, and really speaks to my personal brand as someone who is living their wholehearted, awesome, divine life and is therefore an inspiration (and occasionally a practical help) for others who wish to do the same.”
An international business advisor, who has coached hundreds of people in a broad range of industries across the globe, I asked him for his insights into the value of building a personal brand.
Personal Brand is…
“I think of Brand as ‘How do people describe you when you’re not in the room.’ So, Personal Brand is more than the impact you make when you show up, it’s also the emotions that remain after you leave. What do you do in your relationships that makes sure people talk about you positively behind your back – instead of disparaging you, or worse still not talking about you at all!
I remember talking to someone at a party in my University days, and halfway through the conversation they stopped me and said “Oh my – you’re THE Jacob!” Now THAT’S personal brand. While my brand has consciously evolved from my salad days, there is a continuous thread and it is something I have cultivated to great effect.
Like every strong brand, Jacob knows and is informed by his brand values: ” 4 core values, that transcend both my business and my life.
- Transparency – Lead by Example
- Generosity – Abundance First
- Learning & Sharing – Multiply Your Wisdom
- Pace – There is Always Enough Time
The large volume of information about Jacob online is the result of these values, “because of how I apply Transparency, Generosity, and Sharing.”
“Many people have told me “Pace” is an unusual brand value, but it’s critical to how I manage my energy and my priorities, especially my family. In 2019 I became a father, worked from 21 different countries, wrote my fourth book, and gave myself a payrise – because there’s always enough time.
Critical to the application of his core values is his ‘Client for Life Programme’. “Where many business advisors bounce from client to client, or struggle to make a sustainable career, I have always offered my alumni clients ongoing access and support at no ongoing cost. That may seem expensive, but the right clients have kept in relationship with me, which has led to vastly more repeat and referral work than a less generous decision may have generated.”
To protect his brand, he has set up Google Alerts to ping for his name (and namesakes) around the world. “I also do the same for my clients so I am at the forefront of any publicity for them. I have a “real name” policy on social media, even sites like reddit, which encourages me to always be authentic in my communication. And I publish regularly, either writing or video, which has carried people along my business and brand journey over so many years.”
He’s learned the hard way that certain categories of clients don’t match the strategic, contextual advisory work that he delivers. “My biggest red flag now is “Can we do this on a Saturday?”, because that shows the person doesn’t value my work as part of their normal work week.”
Akin to generosity is his devotion to being a ‘deep generalist, helping small and medium-sized business owners across all the different areas of their company. “I always ask myself “Is there a specialist in one of these areas who will bring more value?” – this means I refer on more work than I accept each year, another way my generosity plays out.”
He’s sharpened and polished his Brand Promise Elevator Pitch to such clarity that it acts as a filter. “It allows people to disqualify themselves fairly immediately – if you have less than 12 staff, if you’re not looking to grow, if you already have one person you trust to guide you, then I’m not going to be a wise investment.”
“Everybody has a personal brand,” he adds. “If you aren’t in charge of yours, then you’re letting other people define your brand for you. In business and in life, it never pays to be at effect of what other people are doing. Still today I talk to people who say “I’m glad we finally had the chance to meet” – my personal brand precedes me, and that makes every aspect of my business and my life so much easier.”
“Brands are built on consistency: consistency of message… and …consistency of communication. Much of my brand is built on the 220+ blogs on my website, 150+ videos on YouTube, several dozen podcasts I have appeared on or conferences I have spoken at. But it’s impossible to write 220 blogs without writing the first one. And then the second. And then the third.
If your first conference presentation is amazing, then you waited too long to deliver it! Your early work is meant to be horrible, or at least naïve. You get better the more you do, and you only improve through consistent activity which is also consistent with the personal brand you wish to portray.”
Brand workshops with Jude Love
If you want help clarifying your brand so it can shorthand the conversations you have with clients and leads, book a call with me below to find out more about my Personal Brand workshop. Over 90 minutes we’ll work through the outcomes you want for your Personal Brand, your brand values, message and audience and set you on the path to a Brand New You.