Whether you’re an employee or entrepreneur, creating your personal brand has grown and become more critical. If you want to start trusting and valuing your instincts more and maybe even advance your career, it’s time to start setting yourself apart with personal branding.

In a tech industry, that’s all about people; the importance of personal branding never goes away.

There are 21 million salespeople in this country, and that number is set to keep growing. What are you doing to stand out in the crowd? Whether you’re looking to strengthen your sales, improve the relationships you have with clients, or leverage your professional network, personal branding is key.

For these reasons, our guest on today’s episode of the Powderkeg Podcast believes in the importance of personal branding and how it’ll play an elemental impact on relationships. Chris Ducker is an experienced serial entrepreneur. And in late 2014, internationally coined the term “Youpreneur” to describe the rise of the personal brand entrepreneur, a new business model that very few people saw coming. 

Since then, the Youpreneur has risen to the top across sectors. The good news is, anyone can be a Youpreneur. 

A Youpreneur transcends the old rules of business and builds a sustainable business from the foundation of their experience, interests, and personality—their personal brand. Youpreneurs draw an engaged, loyal audience even as they pursue varying, changing interests. They play by their own rules, and they reap the benefits. Tune in to learn more!

In this episode with Chris Ducker, you’ll learn:

  • Think critically about what influences your brand
  • Consider how your messaging impacts relationships
  • Understand what it means to have a personal brand authentically

Figuring out your next career move doesn’t have to be so stressful. So why not try Powderkeg Matches?

By joining Matches, you’re joining a community of thousands of top professionals in the Powderkeg community to get connected with outstanding people at the hottest tech companies between the coasts. Get matched with great employers, land your next major opportunity, and get started today!

Please enjoy this conversation with Chris Ducker of Youpreneur!

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powderkeg Podcast.

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Companies and organizations:

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If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Chris Ducker know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

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Episode Transcript

Chris Ducker 00:00
The sweat equity is what will help you differentiate yourself and your company in a b2b environment in a b2c environment, it doesn’t matter what it is. Because if you’re out hustling the next guy, if you’re out working the next guy, then clearly you’re going to be the winner.

Matt Hunckler 00:32
Welcome to the powderkeg podcast, the show that plugs you into the massive opportunities in startups and tech hubs beyond Silicon Valley that are exploding with potential. I’m your host, Matt Hunckler. And on today’s episode, I’m talking with Chris Ducker who is a serial entrepreneur and founder of you printer.com. In this show, we talk all about how you can become the go to expert in your field and future proof your career. Ducker and I met when I visited the Philippines a few years ago, and I’ve been following his incredible career ever since. He’s a highly sought after international keynote speaker, a trusted business mentor, a blogger and podcaster, which I highly recommend you check out and the author of the best selling virtual freedom which has more than 1005 star reviews on Amazon, and more recently, Rise of the you printer The Definitive Guide to Becoming the go to leader in your industry, and building a future proof business. We’ll get more into all of that on today’s show, but first want to discover even more interesting companies stories and strategies to help you reach your full potential. Get the inside scoop with powder kegs hand curated newsletter The spark delivered to your inbox each week with the tech news and opportunities outside of Silicon Valley that you really need to know. Just go to powder keg.com and sign up right on the homepage. Each Thursday, you’ll get an email directly from me with the most important stories, trends and companies in tech is curated by some of the most connected people in tech hubs between the coasts with insights that you’re not going to find anywhere else. So again, that’s powder keg.com p o w d r k e g powderkeg, all one word.com. Today’s guest is Chris Ducker who is a serial entrepreneur. And in late 2014, Drucker coined the term you printer to describe the rise of the personal brand entrepreneur, a new business model that very few people saw coming. Since then you printer has risen to the top across sectors. And the good news is anyone can be a you printer and we’re going to talk about that on today’s show. You printer transcends the old rules of business and builds a sustainable business from the foundation of their experience, interests and personality. In other words, it’s their personal brand. You produce, draw and engage loyal audience, even as they pursue varying changing interests. They play by their own rules, and they reap the benefits. Sounds pretty great, right? I’m glad we’re talking about this topic. I recorded this in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. So we get into a lot of great strategies for building your network remotely, helping build your personal brand, and helping kind of build that sort of business of you that’s going to feed you consistently. I hope you really enjoyed this conversation with Chris as much as I did. Welcome to the show. It’s great to have you here, man.

Chris Ducker 03:11
Thanks for having me. It’s a real pleasure to be with you.

Matt Hunckler 03:14
Yeah, absolutely.

Chris Ducker 03:16
There’s quite some time. I think you’re right. I think you’re right about the whole six, it might even be seven years, six or seven years since we were hanging out in my offices there in the Philippines. I remember

Matt Hunckler 03:27
that sounds about right. And you know, one of the people that your company Virtual Staff Finder introduced me to is still an employee of powderkeg to this day. That’s awesome. He’s just running employee. Yeah. And I’ve got my copy of Virtual Freedom here. Which people watching the show can see this. This is a heavily used copy. Very, very highlighted.

Chris Ducker 03:49
Lots of I love it, man. It never, it never gets boring. Like when people show photos of you know them in. It’s one thing to have like a nice photo and your book is next to the Eiffel Tower or your book is on a beach somewhere or something like that. But honestly, what we want to see as authors, we want to see dog eared pages and highlights and post it notes hanging out the side of the book. That’s what we really want to see. You know,

Matt Hunckler 04:15
this one definitely made it around to the beaches in the Philippines. It certainly looks like it. This one I did on audiobook. So my physical copy is looking a little less dog eared. Because I’ve moved mostly to Audible. But Chris, it’s so awesome to have you here. And I think this is such a this topic. Your book is very prescient right now, as people are really learning to adapt to the new economy, the new opportunities that are out there, as well as some of the things that have just popped up and force people to kind of reconsider their personal brand. And I would love to if you’re open to it, just dive right in.

Chris Ducker 04:54
Let’s do it, man. Absolutely.

Matt Hunckler 04:56
Cool. Cool. I’m very much looking forward to it. Can you He talks about just dive into what is you printer? How can you? Can you define that for the audience here

Chris Ducker 05:05
today, I can absolutely define it. I coined the term. So I’d be in trouble if I couldn’t. A up, ultimately, is somebody who builds a profitable future proof business based around themselves, their expertise, first and foremost, and their personality, right. So it’s people like authors, coaches, consultants, speakers, anybody really creating content, YouTubers, live streamers, you name it, anyone building a business based around their tribe, their expertise, what they stand for, and the people that they want to serve.

Matt Hunckler 05:44
I love that definition. And I think it applies. Just in reading through the book again, I feel like it applies more than ever, to just anyone right now, in a career that’s looking to differentiate themselves. I know right now, the talent market has been flipped on its head going, at least in the US from record low unemployment rates of less than 2% to now 20 plus percent of people.

Chris Ducker 06:08
There’s not a whole lot better over here in the UK at the moment, either.

Matt Hunckler 06:13
So no matter where you are, everyone’s kind of a little more entrepreneurial, or needs to be a little more entrepreneurial than they were two months ago

Chris Ducker 06:22
that you would think that but I don’t think it’s happening anywhere near as much as it needs to happen. I think that, particularly with, you know, government bailouts and that and I don’t do politics, that’s not my thing at all. But certainly, it’s certainly seems to me, like a lot of people have given up. And a lot of people are kind of relying on, you know, furloughing their staff, you know, for government handouts, or, you know, closing down for X amount of months, and all the rest of it. And the way I look at this situation, and, again, not getting political, just thinking as a as a 16 year entrepreneur, who’s built, sold, bought, acquired, bankrupted a number of different businesses over the time that I’ve been, you know, learning, right, as a business owner. My take on this is that you’ve really got two options, at least for the next six to nine and maybe 12 months at a stretch, right, we have two options, we can either be very, very reactive to this situation, let it get underneath our skin, let it stunt our growth, let it stop us from launches, let it really hinder us from an entrepreneurial perspective and making money and serving people. Or the flip side to that coin, is that we can actually be very throw active. In this situation, we can almost and we should almost be looking to be the guide for our tribe, for our customers, for our community for our audiences, we want to be in the analogy I keep using because I’m a big Star Wars fan. The analogy I want to be using, don’t try and be Luke Skywalker here. That’s a silly move. You don’t want to be their hero. What you want to be right now is Obi Wan you want to be the old wise guide is what you want. And if you do that in the right way for the right reasons over the next six to 12 months, your customers will not only still be there when we do come out of this thing, but you’re gonna have a lot more people waiting to do business for you or with you. So that’s that’s the goal right there for me anyways, I’m being the old wise Jedi Knight with the hood and all that stuff. That’s what I’m all about right now.

Matt Hunckler 08:42
I’m so happy you’re here today to teach us old Jedi Jedi. This is gonna be

Chris Ducker 08:48
let’s not let’s not keep using the analogy. Let’s just move on from it.

Matt Hunckler 08:53
I like it. Maybe you could be our Yoda just don’t like him. I don’t know if people are would be able to follow for 45 minutes of Yoda speak. I know you’ve had a very interesting sort of your own quest to becoming a huge runner. Can you tell us a little bit about the shift for you? When did you realize you needed to go all in on personal brand?

Chris Ducker 09:18
You know, it’s funny, it was around about the same time as I got the book deal for Virtual Freedom. Writing a book was not something that was on my kind of radar, right that my goal radar at all. You know prior to 2012 You know, I only really been active online blogging podcasting for a couple years. You know, I started blogging in January 2010. I started podcasting in April 2010. And looking back that’s 10 years of podcasting now, whereas the decade gone, I certainly only had only a little more hair than one I do currently not much more. So you know, 10 years has just flown by. But obviously, I’ve been building businesses for a long time before then. And for me personally, the only reason I really got active online was because I wanted to chart my my course, so to speak in 2010, of recovering from burnout, and learning how to delegate properly and building a virtual team of employees, they helped me do that. And that’s exactly what the book was all about. Little did I know, totally, unbeknownst to me for that first 12 months or so, this shows you how much I wasn’t looking at it. I wasn’t paying attention to my email subscribers, I wasn’t paying attention to downloads, I wasn’t paying attention to website visitors, or I was not getting the content out. I’m just trying to prove, you know, or provide some sort of value to people who would stumble over me. And then sort of beginning of 2012 turned around, and I started to look at things like holy moly, when did I get 8000 people on an email list? Like how did this happen? And so it was from that. And then very quickly, the book deal came. And I was, I was initially approached by a publisher in New York. And we turn that down. And I worked with an agent put together a proper proposal, we shipped it to 16 publishers in the United States and four offers came back for that book. Incredible. And we actually ended up we went with not the biggest advance in terms of offers, like we actually went with the second largest advance. But Ben Gallo, who is the company that we ended up publishing the book with, they really got it. And they, I remember having a conversation with the owner of the books, his name is Glen. And he came, he came back to me and was like, this is like the four out like the outsourcing section of the four hour workweek, but like on steroids. And I said, That’s it. That’s the guy that I’m going to publish this book with, because he got it, he totally got it. And so when that when that deal was inked, and it started to kind of come into my mind, well, you know what, actually, that it’s a good book. It’s a good concept. It’s kind of hot. But they’re not buying that per se, they’re actually buying me and my email list, and my Twitter followers, and etc, etc, etc. And that was when I realized that I already had a personal brand that hadn’t actually gone out to build one. But it was very much there. And from that moment onwards, we leaned into it for pretty much all of our marketing. And we’ve been able to quadruple our business in the space of the last eight years doing so.

Matt Hunckler 12:45
Yeah, absolutely. That’s, that’s an awesome story, Chris, and I think is is obviously hyper relevant to entrepreneurs, and even people that are working at tech companies. Right now I look back and learning from your book and learning from some of our mutual friends like Jay Baer, and trying to imitate the Masters right like yourself, the jet eyes of this entrepreneurial game. Some of my biggest career breakthroughs came from the fact that I was putting out a lot of content, particularly in the early 2010 1112 timeframe. I know the last, at least employee gig that I had, was a direct result of the work that I did on social media, the work I did sort of building a tribe in tech at the time, mostly in Indiana and surrounding states in the US. But joining up with the inventor of voicemail, Scott Jones to launch social reactor, all came because I was following the lead of people like yourself and Jay Baer. And so I’m, I’m really excited that a lot of your wisdom is distilled down into this book, The Rise of the you printer, because not just entrepreneurs can put this to use. And I think anyone can use the tools in his book. And one of those tools that I loved is the self awareness test, which you mentioned, I think in the first chapter or two of the book, do you mind explaining that tool and how people could use that to

Chris Ducker 14:15
better I mean, the the overall premise of that is to kind of just, you know what, I think it was probably a very famous rapper that probably came up with the term you got to check yourself before you wreck itself kind of pretty sure it’s somebody way cooler than me for sure. But really, what it comes down to is figuring out what your strengths are. And then double downing on those strengths and not wasting time on your weaknesses right like figuring out what you’re really good at where can you provide value how can you answer or one particular set of questions around a certain topic or niche or niche for our brothers and sisters over on the other side of the pond? You What? What parts of that world for that person? Can you help the most with? What do you want to be known for? And I see a really interesting comment here from Jeremy. And if you don’t mind, I’ll dip into the chat box every now and then Jeremy says your personal brand is just a fancy word for reputation. Absolutely, everyone’s got it. But very few actually decided to double down on it and build it 100% True. 100% true, couldn’t agree more with that in any way, shape, or form. And that’s why it’s very, very rare to find, unless you’re Sir Richard Branson, or Elon Musk, or someone like that is very, very rare to find someone who is genuinely monetizing in a number of different ways, their personal brand and their reputation, because they don’t double down on it. They just don’t do it. Because actually that self awareness test, they haven’t had the foundational clarity that they need to be able to figure out what they want to be known for, and how they can best serve the people that come into that ecosystem. And that’s what you need to do, if you don’t figure that out. And that’s why it’s right at the beginning of the book, if you don’t figure it out from the outset, the chances of you truly building a future proof business around your expertise is next to zero. Because if you can’t figure out what the hell you’re supposed to do, how’s anybody else supposed to do it? You know what I mean?

Matt Hunckler 16:20
Absolutely. Well, it can you break that down for me, Chris, how? Let’s say I haven’t done any sort of self awareness test. Is this just Yoda style meditating in the corner and China? Wait two lightning strikes? Are you out socializing this with friends? How can someone right,

Chris Ducker 16:37
I strongly suggest that you know you, there’s a couple of things you can do like first and foremost, I think, after our own opinions, right, we’re more likely to believe and take on board the opinions of those around us that we know love and trust, right? But we need to be happy with this ourselves. We need to be comfortable with what we kind of see from ourselves, first and foremost. So you should absolutely make a list of all the things that you feel, you’re really, really good at. Right? The stuff that you just smash out of the park every single time you swing. That’s the stuff that you need to build your personal brand around. But then you’ve got to do what I call the Keep it real exercise, and make a list of all the stuff that you’re kind of crappy at, quite frankly, because we don’t want to be worrying about our weaknesses. Our weaknesses are delegated will you do what you do best and delegate the rest that was in the book from 2014. Like, just don’t don’t squander valuable time, which is our most valuable commodity as a business owner, know valuable time. Or squander that valuable time by working on your weaknesses, waste the time completely double down on what you’re really good at. And then once you’ve got that list, reach out to half a dozen of your closest peers, comrades, friends, family members, even customers, suppliers, for that matter, half a dozen opinions. When you think of me, what do you what comes to mind straight away? All the things that you’ve seen me do? What’s the stuff that really sticks in your head? When you think of me and what I’ve done, get, though, get that feedback from those people as well. Because that will enable you to be able to see how other people see you. And nine times out of 10, I think you’d be quite surprised that the correlation between the two of what you think and what other people think about you is pretty close to each other. Unless you’re some sort of weird sociopath with like, you know, lots of voices in your head or something like that. But I think genuinely you know, that that that’s a very, very good place to start. And, and an essential place to start, quite frankly.

Matt Hunckler 18:57
Is there any sort of calibration against the market that you encourage people to do? Because obviously, if I’m really good at, oh, I don’t know, underwater basket weaving, but people don’t want any wet baskets. I probably shouldn’t spend my career weaving baskets underwater. What Absolutely. What kind of advice do you have in terms of finding that sweet spot, especially right now. And obviously, the world is getting shifted upside down. There’s a lot of trauma happening in people’s career. But there’s also a lot of opportunity, it’s presenting itself. Any advice for people who are looking to align their strengths with the opportunity

Chris Ducker 19:35
or you sir, you certainly at this particular moment in time want to avoid being seen as a opportunist in this situation? Right? Absolutely. I literally just made an example out of a company that will remain nameless, that we’re hitting me up almost every other day with emails for the last week with and I quote, a co COVID-19 promotion? Like they’re actually calling it their COVID-19. And I’m like, Are you seriously running a promotion with the headline? You know, that’s based on a virus, it’s killing 1000s of people every single day, like, are you actually doing this as a business, it blew my mind. So I made a bad example of them on Facebook. And, but But I smashed out names and whatnot, I didn’t, I’m not that kind of guy. But you know, this don’t become that poster child in your industry. There’s another person right now, in the event industry that has pushed their event from March on to July this year, hey, no one go into a live event, a conference in July this year. But they’re basically saying, Hey, we said we were going to postpone it. While we’ve postponed it. It’s happening in July, if you don’t earn up, you lose your ticket, you lose your money, there is no refunds. Now you’re the perfect example of how not to run an event business. Right? And, you know, so basically get to the point ultimately get to the point where yes, understand that there are opportunities, but don’t jump on it like that, and kind of label yourself like that. What I will say is that, I believe that if you’re going if you’re going to go into this with a proactive mindset, it’s going to be very, very hard for you to lose, regardless of what industry you’re in. And to use your wet basket weaving example. You’re right. Not many people in the world might want a wet basket, but there’s probably a whole bunch of them out there. That would be more than happy to have a dry basket. So get your ass out of the water onto land and start weaving. They’re right. Sometimes it’s the smallest little pivots that you have to make that open up the most opportunity.

Matt Hunckler 21:47
That’s great. That small pivot and listening to your market is, is definitely good advice.

Chris Ducker 21:52
Always listen to your audience. It drives me nuts. When people particularly people survey the audience’s they asked for feedback on certain things, and then they just ignore it. I’m just like, What are you doing? Like they’re telling you what they won’t? Give them what they want, put a price tag on it, and everybody will be happy, right?

Matt Hunckler 22:12
Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, I want to encourage people who are listening, particularly on Zoom, just a reminder, there is a q&a function down below. I’m gonna move to audience q&a here in just a moment, I want to be able to bring you onto the show. So you can ask your question live, don’t worry, audio only will cover up the cameras for you. But we’d love to have you on the show here. I’d like to ask the next next question, Chris, though, which is, when you’ve done the self awareness test, and you figured out your niche or niche? What if there’s someone already in that niche or that niche? What if you know, what I want to do is I want to be the best, best data scientist that’s focused on the healthcare industry, but someone else already has that spot? Should I give up and find a different place?

Chris Ducker 23:03
No, don’t give up? Absolutely not. Because it doesn’t matter what industry you go into, no matter what niche you’re serving, there’s going to be people that are already in there, like almost every good idea has been taken already, almost every amazing world changing products as we need them right now has already been developed. Right? So it’s not about that. And this is why we call it the business of you. It’s not about being the next data scientist and trying to compete with all the other data scientists out there. It’s about being simply you. It’s about being Matt, the data scientist, right, and leaning into what makes you you and actually doing it very, very unapologetically, as well, very, very unapologetically. If you’re Matt, the data scientists who were who wears weird, you know, Tommy, banana T shirts or whatever the Bahama timer, right, I’m using this as an example, right, or you’re a map a data scientist who has bright yellow, you know, glass glasses on all the time, or, you know, you’re the, you’re the data scientist who owns, you know, eight dogs or eight cats or whatever, like whatever it is that makes you uniquely you use that to stand out in the crowded niche, use that to make it different. Like there’s a lot of different people online talking about personal brands. I don’t talk necessarily about personal brands, I talk about monetizing, and building a business based around a person a personal brand. So that in itself allows me to be seen as somebody a little bit different in the space as it is couple that together with the fact that number one I built and still own and operate several businesses, both brick and mortar as well as online that differentiates me even further, which is why I continue to talk about my real businesses as well as my online businesses. And lastly, I’m one of the proudest Brits you’ll ever come across a period. Right? So I lean into that there’s a Union Jack over here for a reason as well, right? So I lean into all that stuff that makes me unapologetically and uniquely me at all times. And it’s, it’s generally not served me you know, any issues at all. You show up, you do your thing your way. And people, the right people will remember you for it. And that’s why I always say you want to market like a magnet, right? So you attract the best people, the right prospects into your ecosystem, regardless of what you’re selling, it doesn’t matter. But then at the exact same time, just like a magnet, you repel away, the wrong people, the naysayers, the people on day 29 Have a 30 day money back guarantee, want their $99 back, we don’t need those people. In our worlds as business owners, we need the people who are day 29 are going to write us an email and say, that was the best product I’ve ever bought on my planet. You need to figure out a way to give me more money, Chris, plain and simple. I’ve actually had customers say that to me, this was amazing. You need to figure out a way for me to give you more money. I’ve actually had people say that to me. So clearly, if you’re doing something right for the right reasons in your own way, it’s not going to be a bad thing.

Matt Hunckler 26:23
That’s a great story. I would love to ask more about that. But I want to get to our first audience question. This is from Doug Applegate. I want to bring him on here live on the show from a virtual event audience. Let’s wait and see. Doug, can you hear us?

I can. Can you hear me?

Matt Hunckler 26:40
Absolutely. What’s your question for Chris?

Well, just kind of piggybacking off of what he was just talking about and becoming uniquely us, or at least being comfortable sharing that with the world. Where is the line between showing that uniqueness versus a gimmick? Or what could be perceived as as a gimmick or as a as a caricature of ourselves? Well, I

Chris Ducker 27:03
think, you know, that’s a really good question. Actually, I think that you know, for a lot of people, something that is you being uniquely you could be seen as a gimmick, right? Like, for example, the yellow glasses, or the fact that you always wear a Simpsons t shirt, you know, it doesn’t matter what it is, some people can see, oh, that’s a gimmick. But if you’re coming from the from a right place, if you’re coming from a place of serving rather than selling, right, if you’re coming from a place of value, rather than wanting to take take take all the time, it doesn’t matter what makes you uniquely you like, there was a lady not so long ago that used to have blue hair, her name escapes me now all the time. Some people might say that, she did that to try and stand out. Or some people might say that that was just her style. For her. It was her style. It had nothing to do with wanting to stand out all the time. But she carried on dyeing her hair, different shades of blue here and there because it was who she was and what she was all about. So for her it wasn’t a gimmick, it was her just being very transparently and uniquely her. So I don’t know, I think the word gimmick gets thrown around quite a bit. And I don’t think it’s something that the true personal brands, business owners gonna worry all that much about to be honest.

Matt Hunckler 28:27
I agree. Our next question is anonymous one. And the question is for someone looking for a new job opportunity, how can they develop their personal brand in order to stand out from the competition of other job seekers?

Chris Ducker 28:41
Well, first and foremost, you’ve already got it is your reputation, it’s online, if you tweeted anything, it’s there. So maybe go back into your social media a little bit if you can, and start deleting from your past if you’re really worried about it. But I think you know, what, one of the things that I talk about quite a bit is P to P or People to People relationship building. It’s in the book. In fact, actually, we featured it quite heavily in Rise of the Eupen urbit p two p was actually born, even before Virtual Freedom, and it’s actually in Virtual Freedom, very, very small amount towards the end of the book. But p2p People to People is my mindset is like, people want to do business with other people, brands, big brands will always want to do business with other big brands thing, it’s a confidence thing. It’s a comfortable thing. But for me, I you know, I’m more likely to buy, you know, a piece of software because I know somebody else who’s using that software already. Or, you know, why do you think Nike signs Michael Jordan, like, you know, they knew that he was a great commodity, that he was going to be flying through the air, you know, X amount of nights a year and everybody wants to be like Mike so they’re gonna go ahead and buy Air Jordans right like people wanted to buy Since with other people, they connect to other people, so one of the big ways that you can stand out, particularly in today’s world is Yeah, for sure, go ahead and actually apply for that job. But when you do it, don’t just send a boring cover letter, shoot a quick video of yourself, talk to the camera, tell people what you’re into, and why you feel you would be a good addition to their company, what you personally can bring to the party for their customers and for their, their, you know, team culture and that sort of type of thing. It’s really utilizing anything that you can to stand out in the in, you know, a line of other people that might be fundamentally applying for that job at the same time. And very quick, little short, direct message type videos on social media work very, very well, indeed. And a lot of the time actually, when I get questions via DM on social, particularly Instagram, which is where I’m the most active, people replied, they’re surprised when I reply with a quick video to them because, like, it’s easier and faster to talk than it is to type. So I’d rather just film a quick 32nd video and reply to a question than, you know, be being all thumbs for a minute and a half trying to correct all my errors and things like that. So I think just, you know, finding those little different things that you can do to kind of stand out is is going to serve you well.

Matt Hunckler 31:26
That’s great advice. And I know so many other platforms are introducing video into direct messaging, even LinkedIn now has some video messaging capabilities. And I know Facebook is doing the same as it’s pretty cool to see that’s a great tip. This next question that people are being shy today, it’s the morning over here, Chris. So maybe people are still waiting for their cover most

Chris Ducker 31:48
scaring anybody or a freaking me out with my weird accent or anything like that?

Matt Hunckler 31:54
I don’t think you are, we’ve got a pretty bold audience here. So if you do have a question, happy to bring you on the show. But this one was submitted by Joe Mills, who is Business Development Manager at element three? His question is, how can you show up as both humble and eager to learn, while having enough strength in your convictions to give valuable insight into your industry, world business or skill?

Chris Ducker 32:20
I think, you know, it comes down to, you know, focusing in on what your core messaging is a lot, I think a lot of people will chase the shiny object, because they feel like the shiny object is going to help them fast track their success or help them make more money or land a better opportunity or whatever it might be, for me, just stay true to your core messaging. You know, like, when when we came out with Virtual Freedom, which was 2014, right? It’s quite a long time ago, the messaging was you can buy more time, become more productive and build your dream business by working with virtual employees. And that was it, I could have had so much more press, I could have got on so many different more podcasts or radio shows or TV spots, I could have done so much more. If I’d have gone into the whole, building a team from working at home, or from, you know, building, you know, building a company with, you know, people based all around the world, like, there were so many different opportunities for me to go down so many different rabbit holes. I could have done it. But I didn’t. I didn’t sway away from the core messaging. And I think that in itself, is enough to be able to continuously with conviction, talk about what you stand for, and the reasons behind it. And if you come from the good, if you come from a place of serving before everything else, you can really screw up like I’m a big believer of that lucky. I think you can very rarely screw up if you come from a place of wanting to serve people and be there for people. So yeah, I mean, don’t don’t stress over it too much. You know, just show up and and stay your course with your messaging.

Matt Hunckler 34:12
Looks like Joe has another question. This time. He wants to come on the show and ask it so I’m gonna I’m gonna welcome Joe to the show. To ask his question. Joe, can you hear us? Looks like you might have your microphone on mute. There you go. There we

Joe Mills 34:28
go. Can you hear me now? Yes. Awesome. Yeah, no, I was just thinking to see the same that. I guess I’d be curious, Chris, to hear your perspective on how an employee who doesn’t own the company isn’t trying to build like a personal brand for for Joe Mills, co but rather for the company that I worked for and care about. How do you feel like those fall together? Or where’s the, I guess, any sort of tactical tip around how to build a personal bond And that is beneficial to an exterior company from yourself?

Chris Ducker 35:04
That’s a good question, Joe, I look, honestly, there’s not a lot of difference between doing it for yourself, compared to doing it for a company that you’re working for everything you do for yourself, it can easily be translated over to working for another company. So creating great content to answer your customers or your prospective customers questions done, you can do that for both showing up and being available for the opportunity to answer questions live either whether it be via live streaming on just, you know, simple teleconference calls, whatever the case may be very easily done as well, spending time to figure out how you can genuinely help people the most, and not spinning your wheels so that you’re wasting your time and those that come into your ecosystem as well. Again, for both both setups, the only real difference is that you will be obviously making money for your company, your employer, rather than for yourself. And by the, by the look of your your avatar there, you’re a young dude anyway. So it’s absolutely fine, you know, make money for a company like I did that for a long, long time before I started losing my hair, and what little bit I’ve got left started going gray. So you’ve got nothing to worry about right now understand something, though, for sure. And I say this to my kid all the time, my 11 year old Charlie, who’s obviously at home right now, you know, schooling from home. And you know, we’ve had some issues in sort of getting comfortable with that, and things like that. And he wants to kind of, you know, screw off a little bit and try and take the easy path here and there. And I keep saying that him exactly same bit of advice I give to you or anyone else. And that is that you put in the hard work now, so that you can reap the benefits further down the track, we’re just on. Imagine yourself sitting on a train, the destination is further down the track, there’s a whole bunch of stops a whole bunch of stations that you’re going to be stopping out. They’re called opportunities. They’re called missed opportunities. They’re called jobs. They’re called partnerships, whatever it might be, sooner or later, you’re going to go past all of those stations, and you will get to your destination and whatever that is for you at the end of your journey. It’s all a matter of doing everything you need to do up to that point to get to where you want to get to. And that’s why it’s so important for for you to just show up the best as you possibly can for the people that you’re working right now. And that personal brand, that reputation will stay with you from one opportunity to another if you do things for the right reasons.

Matt Hunckler 37:41
That’s great advice. Our last question from the audience today is an anonymous one. And the question is personalization is missing in the b2b world where robotic cadences and scripts exist so b2b business to business? What advice have you seen in finding a balance between personalizing yourself in your everyday sales role, and how this can be implemented amongst the sales team?

Chris Ducker 38:06
It’s a tough one. Because I think that and you know, one of one of the businesses I own is a b2b business. It’s a call center facility with 350 employees. So you know, the issue with this is that in the b2b world, you expect logo, you expect offices, you expect all those things that come with working with a business, right, or teaming up with a company or buying from a company or whatever it is. And I still feel that the more personnel we can get, the better. And it is about and there was a great comment here. This is one way you’ve been able to put it, I can’t remember where it was now. But here we go from Donna Dana, all about the sweat equity. It definitely pays off. The sweat equity is what will help you differentiate yourself and your company in a b2b environment in a b2c environment, it doesn’t matter what it is. Because if you’re out hustling the next guy, if you’re out working the next guy, then clearly you’re going to be the winner. And if you’re the winner, and you’re working for another company, your company will be seen as the winner as well. I remember many, many years ago, I went back to the UK I was based in the Philippines for a couple years, I went back to the UK for a period of 90 days to handle my divorce. Because it was not happening from a distance. And I have to go back and take care of business as they say and handled the divorce. Right. And when I was there, I had two opportunities. I could either a stay at home watch daytime TV, and you know, there was a lot of like Jerry Springer reruns and everything back in those days, or I could ultimately go out and do a bit of work knowing full well that I was going to leave and go back. But you know what I did? I did exactly that. And I went to an interior design corporate company who He’s doing interior designs for everybody from Google in London to you know, Joe Bloggs and CO printers, you name it. And part of my job was to lean into my old background of tele sales and prospecting. And I hadn’t done it for a long, long time, even though I trained 1000s of people to do it up to that point. And so I start hitting the phones, and I’m making appointments for the sales as you know, the closers to call them, right, the sales associates and whatnot. And, you know, are you thinking about updating your your office facility recently, you know, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah. And I was getting like, you know, eight, nine solid leads every single day. And after I’d been there for about a week, maybe a week and a half, one of the older gentleman, maybe another 1015 years older than me, who’s been in this company for a long time, came up to me at lunchtime, with fire in his eyes, and fundamentally offered to fight me in the car park. After work. I couldn’t make this up. Even if you paid me. He was pissed off with me, because I was out selling him on the appointments side of things every day where he was coasting two or three a day, and I was getting seven or eight leads a day for these guys to call up and close pretty big deals, right? And so it just goes to show you that sweat equity for me. And here’s the thing, I didn’t know how to do it any other way. That’s just the way I am. It wasn’t like I was trying to upset this old dude, it was that I was just being me, I was just hitting the phones knowing full well that if I want to get five leads, I’ve got to speak to 50 people, which means I got to dial 150 phone numbers. The numbers don’t lie. It’s called prospecting. Right? And that’s all I was doing. I was just working the numbers man, I was just doing my job. I didn’t need to be there. But I was in I was excited to do it. And so the sweat equity is what it’s about doesn’t matter whether you’re b2b or b2c, or anything else for that matter. You just got to show up and show that you care and put in the time and the effort.

Matt Hunckler 42:02
Well, and Chris, you’ve been showing up daily, since 2010, you mentioned is when you launched your your email list and started posting content on the internet. Where can people find you today? And what would you encourage them to do to take a next step learning from you

Chris Ducker 42:20
within the independent ones interesting, they find me at Chris ducker.com Or at Chris Ducker on all the socials. And I would say, you know, if, regardless of whether you’re working for a company, or whether you’re going to be doing this for yourself, there’s actually very little difference between the two you but you must, you must, must come from a place of serving. First, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, or whatever. If you don’t turn up, if you don’t show up for the right reasons, then you’re not going to win in this industry in this. This world that we’re in nowadays. I mean, you know, people’s BS antennas are way more sensitive today than they were five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, they can see a mile away, man. So just show up in a place of serving, to provide value to be honest and be transparent. And I just truly believe that if you do that, and you do it on a consistent basis, it’s not enough to do it once a week or a couple of times a month, a year at a shop every single day. You want anything in life, you’ve got to work for it. I’m going to fall on your lap, right to do it from the right place for the right reasons, and it’s very tough to lose.

Matt Hunckler 43:36
That’s a great call to action to end on. Chris, thank you so much for your time today. And thanks for everything you do for entrepreneurs and just people everywhere.

Chris Ducker 43:44
It was my pleasure, man. Thanks for having me on.

Matt Hunckler 43:46
Absolutely. Good to see you again. And best of luck to you. That’s it for today’s show. Thank you so much for listening. Also, a huge thanks to Chris Ducker of your printer. Go check them out at Chris ducker.com. And for links to Chris’s social profiles and the other people, companies and resources mentioned this episode, head on over to powderkeg.com and check out the show notes. We’re gonna be doing a lot more virtual events like the one that you just heard, so be sure to check out upcoming live streams with a community q&a and expert advice at powder keg.com/events. And if you’re currently in the market for finding a new role, powder keg can connect you with some awesome tech companies between the coasts that are growing like crazy and still hiring. Right now you can apply for free to our matches platform at powder keg.com/jobs. Now matches has a specialized focus on the tech hubs outside of Silicon Valley so you can easily navigate this opportunity packed landscape for potential. Our job matching platform leverages 1000s of participants, employers and teams within our ecosystem to get you connected directly to decision makers shortcutting the hiring process apply today for matches at powderkeg.com/jobs. And to be among the first to hear the stories about entrepreneurs, investors and other tech leaders outside of Silicon Valley. Subscribe to us on iTunes at powderkeg.com/itunes. We’ll catch you next time on The powderkeg podcast.