About This Episode
This week, Meg, a blogger and podcaster, is having some difficulty on the topic of branding. She has several websites, a personal site, several social media channels, and is launching a new podcast, but isn't quite sure how to brand everything. Do her side ventures fit under the umbrella of her personal brand? What implications does her branding have for the future of her entrepreneurial journey, and how does she keep her branding specific without having it become messy? During our conversation, Meg talks through her thoughts around her strategy, and I ask her some questions to help her come up with a plan moving forward.
What You'll Learn: Tactics and a thought exercise for evaluating your branding, now and for the future.
AskPat 1009 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 1009 of AskPat 2.0. This is the show where I invite somebody on to get a little bit of coaching from me. You can actually apply for coaching yourself. If you go to AskPat.com, there's a button right there in the middle where you can apply, and I don't select everybody, but I do select one person a week, and we make it happen, and then you guys get to listen in as if you were in the same room as us. Hopefully, through these conversations, you're able to discover some stuff that can help you in your business, no matter what leg of the journey you're in as well. Again, thank you all, for all of the recent pieces of feedback on iTunes, through the ratings and reviews. That just means so much, especially after this new conversion from the old version of AskPat 1.0 to now, AskPat 2.0.
Before I go on and we have a chat today with Meg Brunson, who is a person who is doing a number of different things—and today we're gonna talk about balancing those things, and branding each of those things, and how all those things work together (or not). We'll get into that in just a minute, but I do want to thank, really quick, today's sponsor for this show, and that is FreshBooks. FreshBooks is an amazing company that I've been working with for, gosh, three or four years now. They've been helping me manage my books, and they do it in lots of interesting ways.
Number one, obviously, it helps us keep track of our invoices, and also the income, so the two “i's” there. But the E—the expenses—they help keep track of that in an automated fashion, which is really cool. Because, then you don't have to worry about it. It's all in the spreadsheets and documents that come with it. Especially, come tax season, which I know is coming up for a lot of us—just makes it really easy for us to print out the forms and understand what's going on, so that we can just create our . . . Just get rid of the headaches, right, in our business when it comes to the numbers.
A lot of people are afraid of numbers. Numerophopia, I think is what it's called. It's an actual thing, and it's a rational fear of numbers. But, it's not irrational, because building a business is hard, right? Check it out, if you want FreshBooks to help you conquer the fear of numbers, all you have to do is go to FreshBooks.com/askpat, and just enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, one more time, that's FreshBooks.com/askpat, and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. That'll get you a thirty-day unrestricted free trial, which is really cool so check it out.
All right thanks so much, and let's just dive right into the conversation today with Meg Brunson. You can find her at MegBrunson.com. She's got a lot of great things going on related to Facebook ads, kid entrepreneurs, which has gotten me really excited. But we're gonna talk about branding, and actually how to organize all this stuff together today. Let's just dive right in, and here we go.
Hey, Meg. Thank you so much for coming onto AskPat today, I appreciate it.
Meg Brunson: Thanks for having me, I'm really excited to be here.
Pat Flynn: This'll be fun. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Meg Brunson: My main hustle is that I run a Facebook marketing agency; I run Facebook ads for businesses on the platform. I'm a former Facebook employee, so when I left Facebook to come home and tend to my family, it made sense to do that. I've had a mom blog on the side for the past four or five years, and that's taken a real back burner. But recently I decided I want to rekindle that, and change it a little bit. I'm rebranding, and it's going to focus on parenting, the mom side of things, but also my journey to entrepreneurship, and the fact that my daughter, who's—my older daughter is 10, I've got four daughters, and she's launched her first business this year.
Pat Flynn: That's so cool.
Meg Brunson: A lot of people have asked me, “What is she doing? Are you just running the business, or how is she involved?” So I want to document that. That leads me into my question. I don't know . . .
Pat Flynn: Yeah, tell me what's on your mind.
Meg Brunson: I've got this new blog that I've planned on just making a personal blog, so it's gonna be at MegBrunson.com, and I'm torn. One of the things we're doing is launching a podcast that's related to that. It's gonna be called Familypreneur, and it explores the same topics of parenting, entrepreneurship, and then raising entrepreneurial kids. But where I'm stuck is I'm not really sure at what point these side ventures become significant enough, or big enough to warrant their own web presence, so their own website, social media channels, things like that.
How do you determine what fits under this personal brand, and what needs its own thing? At this point, I feel like my marketing, which was established first, needs its own thing, because it's totally separate. But the podcast is so closely related, but I worry abut sending people to my show notes. Is it . . . I just—
Pat Flynn: What are you worried about with that?
Meg Brunson: At the end of my podcast—which, I'm recording my outro and stuff right now.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, yeah.
Meg Brunson: When I'm gonna send them to my show notes, they're joining—I'm welcoming them to the Familypreneur podcast, but then I'm gonna send them to MegBrunson.com for show notes and stuff. Or is that . . .
Pat Flynn: Why are you just concerned about that?
Meg Brunson: I'm just worry that the branding is not consistent, that they should be going to FamilypreneurPodcast.com, which I do own, but I also don't . . . I already feel like I manage a couple different websites. I don't want to have forty-two, do you know what I mean?
Pat Flynn: Right, right. Tell me a little bit about the podcast itself. Are there any other hosts besides you?
Meg Brunson: It's an interview-style show, so I'm the only host. My daughter may possibly join me at some point. She's involved in the intro and outro, but it's only me as the host.
Pat Flynn: First of all, it's super cool that you have your kids involved in what you're doing. I'm doing the same thing, actually. My son and I are starting a podcast together too, and it's the coolest thing to see a little you actually flourishing in the world of business a little bit. I do want to see if we can get the URL for that at some point during this call, so we can have everybody check that out, and see what she's got going on. But I feel like, personally, there is nothing wrong with—if you are the host, and you are the personal brand, even though your show has a different name, to bring people back to your personal brand. I actually think that's favorable, because you are establishing yourself as the authority, and to have people come back to your site, totally okay, and I'll give you a couple of examples.
The first example is Amy Porterfield. Her podcast is Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. She welcomes people to the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast, “thank you for listening to the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, if you want to get the show note for this, go to AmyPorterfield.com/4,” for Episode Four show notes. She brings people back to AmyPorterfield.com, and she wants that because she's the authority and the person behind the brand, and people can get to know her.
I would assume, especially because you are going to be talking about family and such in addition to business at MegBrunson.com, that it would be okay for a person to get to know you better after listening to your show. How does that sit with you?
Meg Brunson: It does make sense, and it's just one those things that's been on my mind, and I just keep going back and forth.
Pat Flynn: Sure. All right, is there any resistance there? Or are you like, “oh, well, now that you've put it that way”?
Meg Brunson: It makes sense, and I always, I think back to you doing it the other way. Because, yours is all Smart Passive Income, so I'm also curious what made you—
Pat Flynn: Well, the name of the show is the same as my domain name. Actually, when I started my blog, I wasn't quite sure how involved I wanted to be. I was actually somebody who was quite shy; I still am quite shy, I'm an introvert. I hesitated to go and get people to a site that had “Pat Flynn” as the thing. I didn't want myself to be the center of it. However, of course, during the years, and hosting the show, and writing the content, not having any other people involved really with that, I just naturally became the person behind the brand.
That's not to say I would do it differently or keep it the same, necessarily. But people know me as Pat Flynn, the guy behind Smart Passive Income, and I think if the name of it was PatFlynn.com, it would be essentially the same thing, and perhaps even a little bit stronger. But I've built such a large audience now that I think at this point it doesn't matter, and I think you're setting yourself up for some major personal success.
But, I want to ask you: Five years down the road, let's say the podcast is doing extremely well, you're getting people who are listening to that coming to MegBrunson.com, and they're getting to know you, and you're getting asked to speak on stage. You are being recognized when you go to the grocery store every once in a while. Is that okay with you? Does that—because that's what you're promoting. Not that you'd ever get to celebrity paparazzi status—I do not ever want to get to that status either. But, do you want to be know as Meg Brunson, the person who's helping bring families together, but is also somebody I can relate to online?
Meg Brunson: I'm comfortable with that. Some of the roles that I've been in recently, I've worked with local, hyper-local parenting networks where I've been the face of those companies. But they were branded as the business. I feel like I've had some of those situations where I'm out in an event, and people are like, “Oh, I know you; I read your newsletter every week.”
Pat Flynn: That's awesome.
Meg Brunson: That stuff doesn't bother me too much. It's just changing it. Doing it there, it was like I was known for somebody else's business.
Pat Flynn: Right.
Meg Brunson: Because I was a franchise owner, or whatever, but now it's mine. With my experience in Facebook, I then doubt myself, my user name, my Facebook page—do I keep it all as a public figure, and brand it myself? Do I make my user name “Familypreneur Pod”—do you know what I mean? These are the things that keep going through my head, and trying to . . . I want to make the right decision before I launch in two weeks. It's not like I'm on a strict deadline.
Pat Flynn: How. . . So this was mom blog, that was around for a while. Do you happen to still have emails, and an audience there?
Meg Brunson: Very small. On Facebook we've got 500 fans, which—they're all aware of the changes coming, as much as they are with Facebook reach and whatnot. I haven't run ads to them. It's—I wouldn't say it's a strong audience. I've let that go for the past two years.
Pat Flynn: But, it'll get there. It'll come back and be even stronger. There was another example I thought of, it's actually one of the only podcasts I listen to. It's called the Model Health Show by Shawn Stevenson, and his website is TheShawnStevensonModel.com. Again, with the show name, we don't even know necessarily who the host is right away. However, obviously, through the description, and once you start listening, you really start to build a relationship with Shawn, and that's who you know, and then you come back to his Shawn Stevenson website. There's definitely been case studies of people doing that and I don't think it's anything you should worry about. I'm wondering if there's anything, perhaps, that is on your mind beyond that?
Meg Brunson: I don't think so. I think that's the basic thing, is I keep going back and forth between my name and the podcast name. But, I do—ultimately the reason I went with my name was the flexibility to grow and change with me. As my kids get older, the focus may change slightly. I also was thinking about it from an interviewee perspective, if I'm interviewing you on the show, or you as a general person.
Pat Flynn: Sure, sure.
Meg Brunson: Does it seem to provide more or less value as a personal brand than a podcast brand? I don't know, does that make sense?
Pat Flynn: No, it does make sense. I feel like, if they name of the podcast is one thing, but I'm talking to you, it doesn't really matter to me as the person being interviewed. I'm hearing your voice, I'm hearing you, it doesn't matter what the name of the show is to me, and if I ever share it with somebody, I'm gonna say, “Oh, you guys have got to checkout Familypreneur podcast. I spoke with Meg, she was great. We had this great conversation.” Your name is gonna come up anyway naturally.
I wouldn't worry about that at all. You just, you're Meg Brunson at MegBrunson.com, who is the host of the Familypreneur Podcast, and perhaps as a course that has a different name, and has another thing that has another name. I've seen some brands out there who do establish, literally, websites and social media channels for each and every individual thing. Not just channel, but also product.
Meg Brunson: Right.
Pat Flynn: It becomes this crazy mess, right?
Meg Brunson: That's what I don't want.
Pat Flynn: Yes, we don't want a mess, that's for sure. I definitely know you're headed in the right direction with this. I was just trying to dig deeper to see if, perhaps . . . Some people use these back and forth decisions . . . When people go back and forth between something, sometimes—I'm not saying it is in this case, but sometimes that's just an excuse to stall a little bit and not make a decision, because there's still this “what if this,” or “what if that,” and therefore they don't move forward. But, it seems like with two weeks left before launch anyway, that you're not in that camp.
Meg Brunson: No.
Pat Flynn: Good.
Meg Brunson: I'm not in that, but I'm at that point where I'm like, “Should I change everything now?”—which means my next two weeks are gonna be hectic. Because, I've got to change everything to a new name. You know what I mean?
Pat Flynn: Right.
Meg Brunson: I'm just doubting my decision, I think is my issue. We're down to crunch time, and I'm worried I made the wrong one. But I think what you're saying is that I'm on the right track.
Pat Flynn: You are on the right track.
Meg Brunson: Keep it with the personal brand. I still can—would you still recommend redirecting? I own Familypreneur podcast, I definitely don't want to get rid of that. But, I could redirect that to—
Pat Flynn: I would still utilize that for something like, “Hey guys, if you want to share this show, just go to Familypreneur.com/share, or just go to Familypreneur.com, and then you'll get” . . . That basically could take people to a landing page, where it could even live on your website, but it just has the branding of your podcast in there. That creates that connection, it keeps the conversation going. Where it would be weird if—it would be if you didn't mention anything at all about your personal site, and you said, hey guys, go to Familypreneur.com, and then all of a sudden they land on MegBrunson.com, and there's “okay, well, she's the host, but what am I getting here?” You'll have to set it up properly.
Meg Brunson: Right.
Pat Flynn: But if there is some landing page that people land on, or maybe the show notes page, where it's obvious that's for the podcast, and then you have a logo of the podcast there, it's gonna be totally fine. It'll be totally fine. Let's say, for example—let's go the other way, and do a little thought experiment, in terms of, what if you do change it? What if you did change it? What would have to change, and what would that look like? Would that be Familypreneur.com, and that has its own, that's where the podcast lives, and you have Twitter accounts, and Instagram channels for that? Is that what you were thinking?
Meg Brunson: Yeah, the URL I own is actually FamilypreneurPodcast.com, because Familypreneur.com wasn't available.
Pat Flynn: No, it's all good.
Meg Brunson: But, it would be, I think I would still have a personal . . . Sorry.
Pat Flynn: It's already—we haven't even done it, we haven't even created it yet, and it's already freaking you out. That's a sign.
Meg Brunson: My thought originally was, the personal page, MegBrunson.com, could just be a landing page, that in my mind would be a digital business card, or a resume almost, that's like, here are the things Meg does. Obviously, not so like that.
Pat Flynn: Right, right.
Meg Brunson: But, Meg does this, Meg does this, Meg does this, and Meg does this.
Pat Flynn: Here are my projects.
Meg Brunson: Then you click, and you would just get to whatever site you wanted. Because, that's another issue I've had in the past, when I've . . . I feel like I've always been multi-passionate, so I always have all of these ideas, and I want to monetize them. Typically, there is some level of success. It may not bring me in millions, but it'll supplement, fill a void, fill a need in my life.
Pat Flynn: Sure.
Meg Brunson: But I don't want to have 42 business cards, so I'll make one business card and have all four logos on it.
Pat Flynn: Right.
Meg Brunson: So that I can promote all aspects of myself in those situations. I feel like websites are the same way. My thought was to have a site where you could just go and see all the different things I do, and then find whatever fits.
Pat Flynn: I think that can happen on your website anyway, and people are gonna—
Meg Brunson: And host the blog or the podcast.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, exactly. Because it's you. You are the connector between all the different projects that you create. Even though some of those projects may not necessarily 100 percent be congruent with some of the other projects, because you are multi-passionate, you never know. A lot of people who will listen to your podcast will come to your website and go “Wow, look at what else Meg is into. I'm gonna check it out just because I love her.” Not because of the podcast itself, but because, “I love Meg, and I want to see what else Meg is up to.”
Because, I imagine, for example, if you had this separate channel for the podcast and a separate website for it, and a separate Twitter account, it's like it would be weird not to share that you just came out with a new podcast to your personal brand, right? It would be weird to have to post it in both separate spaces and almost take on a new character there. It's all the same, and you're gonna reduce the amount of work.
Meg Brunson: Right.
Pat Flynn: You're gonna reduce the confusion on the other end for the people who are listening to your show, who come to your website, the people on your website who want to listen to your show. It's all one entity.
Meg Brunson: You don't think that people … I guess, here's—it just came to me, one of my counter arguments internally . . . Are the people that maybe don't fit with everything? Maybe I've got a friend who is a parent, and she's interested in the parenting side of things, but she has no interest in starting a business (which I think is flawed). But, I don't want to deter her from coming, because she thinks it's gonna focus too heavily on business, which isn't of interest to her. There's that part of it is a fear of excluding people, who could still benefit from aspects.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, but if you are offering things that do help, and that are of interest, I don't really care what else you have going on. I'm gonna follow you, and pay attention to that part of you. If you go do something else, that's okay. Who knows, maybe I will turn after a year, after you talk about it a little bit, and you shared, and your personal posts, and you talk about the success of the podcast. “Okay, you know what, I wasn't into this, but Meg has convinced me,” you could actually help even more people in that way, by not separating it.
Meg Brunson: Sure. No, that makes sense.
Pat Flynn: Tell me where you're at, because I just want to make sure you make a decision and move forward one way or another.
Meg Brunson: No, I think I should just stay on the right—on the track that I'm on and keep, and get MegBrunson.com up and running, and post the podcast there.
Pat Flynn: Yes.
Meg Brunson: Or not so it'll be tied back, the show notes and everything will all be tied back to MegBrunson.com/whatever.
Pat Flynn: Right. That's what people who listen to the podcast—they're gonna end up on “MegBrunson.com/ThePodcast.”
Meg Brunson: Right.
Pat Flynn: They're gonna know that it's the podcast, and then they're gonna see everything else that's there too.
Meg Brunson: Yeah, and I'll redirect the URL, and keep it just in case somebody gets confused and types in—or whatever.
Pat Flynn: Here's the other thing about these decisions: They aren't always permanent. It's not like you make this decision and you can never ever go back. You could if you feel like going down the road, which I don't imagine, but if you feel like this was not the right decision, it doesn't mean that all is lost. You just spend a little bit more time rearranging things, and then you would know that “I tried it that way, no go. Let's go the other way now.” At least you're moving forward, and from my personal opinion and experience, it would be to keep it on your personal website. Cool?
Meg Brunson: That's what I'm gonna do.
Pat Flynn: Awesome. Nice, I like it. Very tactical, and an interesting conversation. I think a lot of people also struggle with that, too. Where I would say no, it would be if there was no crossover whatsoever, or if it was a completely separate thing that—where it wouldn't make sense. That usually happens when it's an obvious boundary and separation, but there isn't one here, and actually it works together in my opinion. Meg, thank you so much for coming on, I appreciate it, and it's gonna be helpful for people. If there's anything I can do for you, let me know, and we'll have to follow up with you later next year to see how things are going, and see if this is the right decision for you.
Meg Brunson: Thank you so much.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, you're welcome, absolutely.
All right, I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Meg Brunson. You can check her out, and all the other things we just talked about, at MegBrunson.com. Meg, thank you so much for volunteering to come on and be coached, and if you are looking for coaching, for those of you listening, you can apply at AskPat.com. Just go right there in the middle of the page, there is a link to apply, and I'm looking forward to seeing that application come in. We don't select everybody, but we do select people, one person a week. Make sure—if you haven't done so already, please subscribe. We've got a lot of great content coming your way. A lot of different kinds of coaching interviews, if you will, coming up in the near future.
So, please subscribe if you haven't already, and please, if you want to do me a quick favor, when you have a moment today, just head on over to iTunes, lookup AskPat, and leave a quick, honest review on iTunes. Even if you listen on Stitcher, or Google Play, or SoundCloud, heading over to iTunes would help out a lot with the exposure, with getting people who are like, “I don't know if this is the right thing for me.” If you think it's the right thing for everybody, head on over to iTunes, leave a review. It would be super helpful.
Thank you so much, I appreciate you, and I look forward to serving you in the next episode of AskPat 2.0. Cheers.
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