Building a strong personal brand in a conservative professional industry

charles badenach

Charles Badenach is an award-winning financial adviser with a passion for helping people, a trait that has helped him build his profile through content marketing and the judicious use of social media.

Post-GFC Charles was determined to make himself recession-proof and subsequently set about building a personal brand with a view it would serve him for the rest of his career.

“As individuals in the modern world we need to control our personal brand because … it’s an intangible that’s very valuable for all of us. Using the online forums  it works 24/7, 365 days a year and really enables you to reach out to people that you couldn’t reach out to before,” says Charles.

Trial and error

Started off his content marketing efforts by writing and publishing a book called Old Head on Young Shoulders, which explains in simple plain language what you need to know to control and grow your asset base.

He then started using social media, which he says was very much a “trial and error process”.

When it comes to creating and publishing content, Charles focuses on video – “I’d argue video is worth 10,000 (words)”, he says.

Charles produces three types of videos:

  1. Client testimonials (providing third party endorsement for Charles and his firm, Mainstreet Financial Solutions).
  2. Client stories (shining the spotlight on the interesting things his clients are doing)
  3. How-to tips (e.g. what to look for when reviewing your superannuation fund; should you have income protection insurance; what is the impact of the Federal Budget etc)

In terms of finding your own voice and showing your personality when creating content, especially with video, Charles says it’s something you develop over time.

“It’s always a little bit confronting when you first go on video but what’s uncomfortable to start off with becomes comfortable over time.

charles book“If you want to be different, you need to do different things. I wanted to really stand out from the crowd and make myself in a sense recession-proof and make sure I had a voice and a brand that I could use for the rest of my professional career,” says Charles.

“What I do doesn’t appeal to everyone but there’s a certain segment of the population that I work very well with, and it works well for both parties.”

So how does Charles manage to find the time to create his video content?

Firstly, he blocks out filming days in advance – “proper planning prevents poor performance”, he says.

Every video is quite meticulously planned ahead of time, and discussed with his cameraman/video producer in advance of filming.

On the day of filming, Charles meets his cameraman at 7 am and they adhere to a strict shooting schedule, changing locations every hour or so.

The day involves driving around in a car with 12 suits and shirts – “getting changed like Superman in the back of the car” – and shooting the videos back-to-back.

The resultant footage is handed to an editor who puts the videos together (Charles endeavours to keep them to one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half minutes in duration); the videos are then released via YouTube over time, with one being published every 3-4 weeks.

Charles says it costs him between $1600 to $2000 to produce 10-12 videos – “it’s pretty cost effective way of doing it, and you’ve actually got it in perpetuity”.

In terms of social media, Charles likes to “fish where the fish are”, thus he prefers to focus on LinkedIn because that’s where his clients tend to congregate online.

He’s had instances where providing helpful information via LinkedIn has resulted in “quite a bit of work”.

Charles is also “fairly active” on Twitter, often using the platform’s ‘direct message’ and ‘lists’ functions.

As a rule Charles spends 10 minutes a day on Twitter; he checks it twice a day unless he receives email notification he’s been mentioned personally and then he responds immediately.

He also uses Twitter in the first instance to investigate news topics that are trending.

CONNECT WITH CHARLES:

In this episode of the Reputation Revolution podcast, Charles discusses his approach to content marketing, especially the use of video, and how he uses LinkedIn and Twitter to grow his business.

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