“Who am I to stand out? Who am I to show off to other people?” That's the impostor syndrome in many of us talking. Falling for it and then underselling ourselves feels safe because we don't see the value in our skillset.
But how do we discover our potential and build a confident personal brand around it?
Christine Gritmon is joining me today to help you do just that. In this episode, she shares her expert knowledge to supercharge your online presence and take your branding game to the next level.
This is an essential step in your journey to success, so don't miss out on our incredible conversation!
We talk about uncovering the unique value you bring to the table, naming your business, choosing the best social platform for growth, building a reputation in your niche, collaboration and community, and more.
This session will help you create a genuine brand to define and move you toward your goals. Listen in and enjoy!
Christine Gritmon empowers professionals to step into their personal brands in a bigger, bolder way on social media. You CAN do it—she’ll teach you how! She’s spoken on stages worldwide and is a frequent expert guest on podcasts, live streams, Twitter chats, and blog posts, as well as hosting her own weekly podcast, Let’s Talk About Brand, and its companion Twitter chat, #ChatAboutBrand.
- Download Christine's free resources to start building your personal brand
- Find out more at Gritmon.com
- Listen in on the Let's Talk About Brand podcast
- Connect with Christine on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube
- Personal branding—the version of you that lives in other people's minds
- Defining your brand and uncovering the skills that set you apart
- Understanding and overcoming impostor syndrome
- Building a reputation in your niche without getting pigeonholed
- Choosing the best social media platform for your growth
- Why collaboration and community are essential for personal branding
- What to look out for when choosing a name for your business
- Subscribe to Unstuck—my weekly newsletter on what's working in business right now, delivered free, straight to your inbox
- Connect with Pat on Twitter and Instagram
SPI 733 Modern Day Personal Branding Magic with Christine Gritmon
Christine Gritmon:"Who am I to stand out? Who am I to talk about myself?" I really recommend turning the tables on that thought process and saying, "What is difficult for other people that comes naturally to me?" Because a big part of impostor syndrome is we think that the things that we're good at aren't important. Because they're not hard. Because we're good at them.
But there's a commonality to those things that people point out, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. And those things are worth looking at because those are the things that you don't realize stand out.
Pat Flynn: Today I had the pleasure to go deep into branding with Christine Gritmon from Gritmon.com. She's also the host of Let's Talk About Brand and I was on her season three finale, episode number 42. And today we're not just talking about any kind of branding. We're talking about personal branding, but we're also not talking about just personal branding.
We're talking about personal branding in today's modern landscape. Things have changed over time and we're going to go deep into what's working, what's not, and more. So here she is, Christine Gritmon from Gritmon.com and stick around to the end cause she has a really, really cool free gift for you. So here we go.
Announcer: You're listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that's all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he started playing in Disney Lorcana tournaments with his son. Pat Flynn.
Pat Flynn: Christine, welcome to the SPI podcast. Thank you for joining us today.
Christine Gritmon: Thank you so much for having me, Pat.
Pat Flynn: And I also have to thank you because you had me on your show not too long ago, and it's all about branding. And I'm so excited because a lot of people here, you know, we hear that term brand a lot. We're going to define what that is, especially if you're just starting out, but also what brand means today, because branding, especially online has changed over time, but let's go back in time and talk about you real quick.
How did you get started with online business and marketing and why specialize in brand specifically?
Christine Gritmon: Sure, so it has been quite an evolution. I've had a few different careers, but the one that I think is most relevant to this is that I was actually a journalist for my local newspaper. I was a freelance journalist, and then I got an in house job as a full time journalist.
And I realized that if we were going to be covering our communities. And if we wanted to be a trusted source for our communities, we really needed to be known in our communities. And we needed to be kind of having that two way exchange of they know who to come to, and we know who to go to. So I just kind of naturally fell into using social media for that.
I figured it was a very obvious tool to use. And so I made sure that I joined all the Facebook groups for all the towns in the communities we covered because I said, you know, we'll know what matters to them if we know what they're talking about amongst themselves. And this apparently was somewhat revolutionary.
This was something, this was a tool and an angle of community building and social listening that the paper hadn't really been doing. And they said, you know what? You seem to get this, just go for it. So I got to play with a lot of things with using social media and becoming a personal brand myself in order to garner community engagement.
And it was really fun. I got recognized by Gannett corporate wide. I got promoted to engagement editor for branding and events. I kind of felt like a Kardashian cause I was paid to just go to events, be myself and cover it. So it was really exciting. And then after a while, people started asking me, businesses especially, started asking me to, to speak about social media.
I started doing workshops on how small businesses could use social media, and my first reaction to this was, Why are you asking me? I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know anything about this stuff. And then once I started doing it, I said, Oh, really, all I need to do to bring value to these people is to know more than they do about it.
So I had that. And I also said, Well, if I feel like I don't know what I'm doing, I can learn. So I started really kind of hitting it hard, geeking out on it. And after a while, I said, this could be a business. And the only way I was able to leave my position at the paper and start a business in a field I had no professional experience in was by leveraging my personal brand.
People knew, liked, and trusted me. Always have to give that no like trust shout out to Bob Berg. I keep telling him I'm going to get it tattooed. He doesn't want me to. So people. New liked and trusted me. And that's the whole way I was able to even start my own business. And it took several years of being a social media strategist before I realized, wait, the real value here is in personal branding.
That's what has enabled my career. And that's really at the core of everything I was doing with clients. So I do pretty much the same things as a personal brand strategist as I do when I'm, you know, a social media content strategist. It's just kind of putting a different skin on it because it all does start with that personal brand.
Who are you? Whose heads do you want to live in? And what version of you do you really want to live there?
Pat Flynn: I love that. So you've walked the walk, obviously, and know a lot about this from your own brand and helping other businesses. What is personal brand actually mean? I think a lot of people go, Oh, well, that's, you know, I need to make a logo.
You know, I need a, I need a good name, but I know it's a lot more than that. What does it mean to you?
Christine Gritmon: To me, it means well, a couple of different things that my little spiel on it tends to be just, it's the version of you that lives in other people's heads. And, and you want to make sure that they're in the, that it's in the right heads, and that it's an accurate representation of what you want them to think of when they think of you.
But taking it a step further, I mean, the personal, it really has to be genuine, because you don't want to be playing a part. You don't want a whole extra job of being an actor or actress and portraying this role that's not actually you. You want to make sure it's based in you, and it takes the things that genuinely make you special, that genuinely light you up, and that other people genuinely need to receive from you.
And it's rooted in that. It's rooted in how you need to show up in this world, but in a genuine way.
Pat Flynn: What do you say to the person who hears that and goes, you know, I'm just starting out. They have that imposter syndrome. There's nothing really special about me yet, Christine. How, how might I even be able to get into people's heads when I don't even necessarily know what I'm doing.
Christine Gritmon: I hear that all day long. A couple things about that. First of all, you absolutely have special things about you. It's just hard for us to see them. Sometimes there is that imposter syndrome and boy, do I have it too. Trust me. This is me pushing past it all day long. So there's that imposter syndrome in the way, but we all have something special about ourselves, certainly. We just don't see it.
You know, fish don't know they're wet. You know, we're with ourselves. all the time. We don't even know what would read as special. So, and another thing is that people who are in that mindset of, I'm not that special, usually have that companion mindset of, who am I to stand out?
Who am I to talk about myself? Who am I to really, you know, shine that brightly? And so I really recommend turning the tables on that thought process and saying, what is difficult for other people that comes naturally to me? Because a big part of imposter syndrome is we think that the things that we're good at aren't important.
We think that they're not special because they're not hard. Because they're not hard for us. because we're good at them. And so that's where a lot of that comes down to. So I, I, I suggest kind of looking at it from the other side saying, you know, what is something people tend to notice about me or people tend to struggle with that I do not, what is it that people tend to admire about me?
And I say, Oh no, no, no. But honestly, like there's a commonality to those things that people point out, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. And those things are worth looking at because those are the things that you don't realize stand out because you're you, but the other people realize stand out and that, you know, helps other people.
It lights them up. Or if you're a service provider, it's a service that they need help with. And so I really encourage thinking from the outside in as opposed to the inside out. Because if you think from the inside out, there's a lot of opportunities to say, who am I to put that out there? If you think from the outside in, it kind of makes you realize The things that really make up your brand and that aren't clogged with all the self doubt nonsense that you may put into it.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't brand from the inside out. I mean, who you are inside absolutely needs to be part of that. But it is. It's just a matter of other people kind of see the poked... Star shaped holes where the light just spews out of you and you don't really see that because you're you know in it I'm kind of losing my metaphor here.
Pat Flynn: Yeah. No, I I get it and I talk about that all the time, too It's like you can't read the label when you're inside the bottle, right?
Christine Gritmon: Oh, that's a good one.
Pat Flynn: You need the outside perspective, right? like and and how might you go and get that if you're just starting out and to further the sort of people that are on the outside of you, like how do you define who it is that you're serving as well?
So let's start with the first one. Like how do you even discover what's unique about yourself that you can then incorporate into your brand?
Christine Gritmon: Well, you can't really gather reaction data until you put things out there for people to react to.
Pat Flynn: Yes. Thank you for saying that.
Christine Gritmon: Yeah. Thing number one is get out there.
You know, whether it's putting content online, which is obviously the first place my brain goes, but that's not the only thing to do. Also, you know, get out there in the world, touch grass, talk to people and, and see how they react to you. See how they react differently to different things. I don't mean like try on different bits.
I mean, be real about it. But the fact is there will start to become commonalities that people express about you. Listen to those. Don't dismiss them. Especially don't dismiss the positives. Pay attention to the reputation you're starting to build. Because if you put yourself out there, you will start to build a reputation.
But you have to put yourself out there first. That is definitely thing number one. And then thing number two, about how to figure out who you want to know who you are, and what you want your reputation to be in that regard, like what the particular flavor needs to be. Again, I think it's good to get out there with a point of view for sure.
You should have your, your passions, your purpose as a human being, the things that light you up as a person and the things that make you feel like you're in your zone, but also do bear in mind that part of this is about existing in the outside world with others and serving others. So again, you should be taking some of that feedback and you know realizing, as I did in my case when I was like, well, you know social media Woo. And then I realized people were noticing my personal brand and wondering how to do that for themselves. Maybe I should switch paths because this is also something that's aligned with me, aligned with my passions aligned with why I feel like i'm here, but this is what people are saying they need.
I mean, you shouldn't entirely change your whole thing based on what other people need. It really does have to be aligned with you to begin with. But I think it is worth kind of doing that almost market research of seeing what people react to. Seeing the parts of what you're doing, the parts of what you're putting out there, the parts of what you want to do that is really catching.
And then maybe, you know, invest further in those parts.
Pat Flynn: I love that. Once you start hearing from others about perhaps what you might be able to serve them with, I think a big brick wall that a lot of people come to at this stage is, well, I don't, necessarily want to be pigeonholed into being known for that thing, right?
Like, I don't want to be the, the PowerPoint guy, right? Like, I like PowerPoints. I can help people with that. But I'd rather be a person who helps like a person's entire career. And I, I happen to be really good at the PowerPoint stuff. I don't, I don't want to become known for that. So I don't want to be PowerPoint Pat.
I want to be, you know, entrepreneur helper, Pat, right? But at the same time, there's a lot of other competition out there for all things business. So where's your head at for people today who have that thought of, well, I'm good at that, but like, I don't want to be that guy or gal.
Christine Gritmon: I like the phrase continue as you mean to go on.
And I actually first heard that when it came to parenting, you know, but it applies to the career as well. A lot of times there's a sense of desperation of like, well, I can do this. So I don't want to not do this because people might pay me money to do this. But at the same time, we don't really want to do this.
I want to steer this way. You have to steer. Earlier in my career, I did websites for people. I'm not a web developer. I never put myself out there as a web developer, but sometimes I'd be talking to a small business and they'd be like, well, I'm not sure about social media, but I do need a new website. And I was like, well, as long as you're cool with it, not being fully custom and just me, you know, tinkering in Squarespace and they're like, yeah, cool.
And so I do it. Or they'd say, well, we need someone to write a blog and you can write. And I'd say, yeah, sure, I'll do that. And then I realized after a time, you know what I did and you know, my power in steering this thing was getting diluted by just saying, yes, I can do that as opposed to no, I want to do this.
So saying no is terrifying. When you're first starting out, especially if you're saying no to things that you can do and people want to pay you money to do. But it really is very important in terms of developing your personal brand, but also in terms of steering the rest of your career.
I like to ask clients who do a multitude of things, if you could wave a magic wand and the opportunities, only the opportunities you really wanted would show up. You'd only be working with the types of clients you really love to work with. You'd only be doing the type of work you really want to do. What would that look like? Forget opportunities. Forget, you know, not pigeonholing yourself or any of those fear based motivations.
You could wave a magic wand and get what you want. What do you want? And then when they tell me that, and a lot of times it's very uncomfortable for them because they haven't asked themselves that nearly enough, or they have, and they're ashamed to admit it because they don't want to cut themselves off from perceived opportunities, but that's what we need to push because first of all, you need to steer that towards what you want, or you're not going to get what you want.
You're going to keep going on these side quests that are siphoning your energy. But then in addition to that, you know, there's the very important fact that people will ask you for that other stuff anyway. You know, you're kind of putting your beacon in the sky for one type of person, one type of service, one type of product, but there will always be those people who ask you for other stuff.
There will always be those people who ask if you do this other adjacent thing. And at that point, sure, it's up to you if you want to take on some of those little side projects, but when it comes down to it, you're not actually cutting yourself off from that extraneous stuff because people are going to ask. What you're doing is defining here's what I really want more of. That's the only thing that's going to make you be able to get it. Because if you don't keep your eye on the prize, people are going to just decide what your prize is going to be. And that's not what you want.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean, that goes deep there, obviously, with understanding what you want and what your goals are and aligning your actions and decisions and the opportunities for that, and we could go a lot deeper into that for sure. However, I know the audience also wants to know, okay, I kind of know what I'm doing. I kind of know who I'm serving at this point, but what I need to know is how to better brand what my package is essentially what are the ways that those of us with a knowledge set or an expertise or even a personality that we know we can bring out there in the world, what's the best way to build that reputation to get eyeballs and actually craft a a reputation in our space?
Christine Gritmon: Again, it's about getting out there. It's about the fact that, you know, people can't react to you, people can't build that reputation, people can't consolidate those brand touches, as it were, unless you give them something to react to, but it has to be very on message. And that can be scary because a lot of times we feel like, well, I don't want to do the same thing over and over. That's going to be boring for people.
They're going to tune me out. Not everyone is seeing everything that you're doing. You are the only person who sees everything that you are doing. What this does, by putting a lot of things out there that are really hammering home the same message and the same overall impression, what it does is it increases the chances that the right person will happen to see it, that it'll happen to catch them.
But even people who I know who follow me everywhere, they don't see everything. So that's a really important thing to remember. Don't be afraid of seeming, you know, kind of one note. Because... you know, it just increases your chances.
Pat Flynn: That's key. I felt that too, with my message. I was like, well, I'm doing all these podcast interviews.
I'm saying the same story all the time. But like you said, like you have to remember, not everybody's seeing everything. You are the only person so you almost kind of discount yourself on that. And what I did was I flipped it and I said, you know what? I'm going to try to tell the story better each time, right?
I like that. And get more defined as far as like where to share these things, right? Like, okay, we want to get out there. What are the ways that we can best do that right now? Is it. LinkedIn? Is it Podcasts? YouTube? I mean, now I'm confused because there's a million ways to go about it in a million directions.
From your perspective, are there any platforms that are more powerful than others for, for building that reputation?
Christine Gritmon: So I go a little bit against the conventional wisdom here. The conventional wisdom of smart marketers who've studied these things, I have not, say, be where your audience is. Do that market research, find out where your audience is hanging out, and be there.
I have a slightly different take. I say be where you won't hate being. Because, if you hate Twitter, And I say, yeah, but your people are on Twitter, you gotta be there. You're not gonna show up your best. Maybe it's X, maybe it doesn't even exist by the time this airs. Who even knows? But, you know, but you're not gonna show up as your best if you're uncomfortable on the platform.
Yes, try new things, absolutely, but, you know, for example, I don't have a big business presence on TikTok because I don't want one. And everyone says, yeah, but you can't sleep on TikTok. And I say, well, I'll learn about it. I'll learn about it so that if I have a client who needs to be there, great. So, you know, I'll tinker around with it, but that's not where I want to show up.
I feel comfortable showing up on Twitter, increasingly on LinkedIn and Instagram. I've gotten really into Instagram stories and try to get myself into reels, but you know, people also say, well, if you write, you should blog, but I don't want to blog. You know, it's a matter of if you're going to where your energy is.
Yeah. If you're going to have to, you know, drag yourself into doing it, you're not going to show up your best. You're not going to make the best or the most content. And yeah, maybe your audience is there, but you're not showing up as your best for them. Plus there are advantages to kind of not being in an overclogged space.
I know some friends who are LinkedIn strategists who have killed it on TikTok. They've gotten a lot of their clients from TikTok simply because it was a little bit unexpected and people who were comfortable there found them there and they said, Oh, I'm not comfortable on LinkedIn. Obviously these people weren't going to find them on LinkedIn in that case.
Pat Flynn: Do you know Miss Excel or have you heard of her?
Christine Gritmon: Yes. I saw her speak.
Pat Flynn: At social media marketing world. I think she did, you know, and she was amazing and that, like, I love the branding, you know, Miss Excel, you know, very easy. And we'll talk about marks and other things in just a moment. But for an Excel educator, I would have thought LinkedIn would be the place to go because that's where people who use Excel are.
However, it was obvious, especially after meeting her on stage, it's like, that's not her personality. Her personality is these quirky, fun little things on TikTok. And of course she's got that TikTok energy, man. Yeah. You're right. I mean, follow that energy. And she brought that there and now she's world famous as Miss Excel on that platform.
So I, I really, really love that advice because you're right. Most people say, well, where, where's your audience go there. But if, if you don't want to go there, then they're not going to see the best version.
Christine Gritmon: I will also say, because again, I don't want to get too stuck into the digital thing, even though that's where I spend most of my time.
It applies for real life too. I mean, if you, if you get known within certain communities and get the opportunity to speak at events for those communities, whether live or virtual, that's another incredible opportunity. Opportunity to really kind of get your brand out there, especially early on once you're a little further on with your brand in your career, it's kind of, you know, you want to follow the money and speak at events that are kind of not in your wheelhouse where they need you to come in from outside and give expertise they don't have.
But at the beginning, when your first building, go to events within your field, go to events within your community or adjacent communities. Get to know these people who you can learn from, who you can collaborate with, and who you can give and get opportunities with. I think that that's really important at the beginning.
And again, later, it'll help build your business if you go into more outside spaces, but at the beginning when you're just building your rep, people who believe in collaboration over competition are going to be one of the best tools in your personal branding toolbox.
Pat Flynn: Amen. I plus one, the in person stuff, especially because when you're there and you're meeting people, you're forced to describe what you do and introduce yourself, which is great practice.
And it helps you define a little bit better about what your brand is because you're not going to go up to somebody hopefully and just say, Oh, I'm just like. every other person who teaches the same thing, you're going to talk about what's unique about you. And that's great practice that you can then incorporate into the online stuff, which is fantastic.
Part of a brand as well as sort of the culture that you create around who you are and what you do, the language that you use, certain things that you create, right? You are able to distill what's out there for people. And then you kind of like make up a name for it. And can you speak to like, how can you create a culture so that people can more easily share your stuff, get in tune with your stuff, talk about your stuff. Do you have any tips or strategies for for doing things like that?
Christine Gritmon: I think the most important thing there is engagement. People worry so much about what they're gonna put out there and they don't recognize that actually the thing that's gonna get, first of all, you know, just to look at it in terms of crass numbers, it'll get more people to consume it and more people to share it.
But then in actuality, it'll really get more people invested in you and your journey and your success. Best thing you can possibly do is show up as a human, show up and be like, Hey, I want to share this with you. I hope it will be helpful. Talk to me. Let's get a conversation going around this. you know, what would, what are your insights on this topic?
You know, just really coming at it less as, here's this thing I'm going to give to you, consume it, and more into a space of, hey, let's have a community conversation around this. Also little things like, bonding when somebody messages you or even when someone mentions you somewhere. I, I, there was some tool on Twitter that could tell you sort of your ratio of mentions to your engagements with those mentions.
And mine was super high. And I was so proud of that because I think one really, really big thing that helps me and my personal brand and my everything is people feel like they know me. And then when they actually get to know me in real life, they're like, Yeah, I did. Apparently. This is exactly what you're like, like it really is.
I actually earlier in my personal branding journey, I used to kind of be a little paranoid and check in regularly with people in my real life, disconnected from my career. And I was like, this is me, right? I'm not, I haven't become some like fake brand version of myself. And they're like, no, that's absolutely you.
So I think inviting people in is, is the most important thing you can do even more important than what you're posting how often you're posting where you're posting when you're posting. The most important thing is that you're giving people a way in to what you're posting they see a spot for themselves to engage with it to offer their opinions, to respond to you, and that's going to make them feel more invested.
That's going to make them share it. That's going to make them look out for the next thing that you're doing because you genuinely cared about engaging back. You didn't just say, here, consume my thing.
Pat Flynn: Do you have a recent example of a way that you've done that and what led to like really good engagement?
Christine Gritmon: This was fun. So I've had my show. Let's Talk About Brand for years. It was a live stream. It's now a podcast, but the whole time I've actually had a companion Twitter chat, Twitter chats have been going by the wayside. I know, but Chat About Brand, because I really wanted to have discussions with people. I didn't want it just to be like, here I am talking about an expert on this topic, consume it.
I wanted to say, okay. Now I want to hear what you have to say on this topic. Every time I talk with people on something, it educates me. It informs me. I'm learning too, and I really, really like that engagement. So I have my chat, Chat About Brand, and I noticed that it wasn't getting as much regular participation as I wanted.
Simultaneously, I noticed that LinkedIn newsletters were getting a ton of reach and because LinkedIn likes pushing the shiny new tool every, every platform does. So I started doing a thing where on Fridays I would put out a LinkedIn newsletter that essentially, again, I thought it was, I'm just showing people stuff they've already seen.
But you gotta realize again, you're the only person who sees all your stuff. So yes, I put this stuff in my weekly email already. Yes, I've been promoting this on social all week. But some people only saw it in this Friday LinkedIn newsletter that had a blurb about the podcast episode. It had, here's where you can listen to the podcast.
Here's where you can watch the video. Here's some of the key points. And here are some of the highlights from Tuesday's Chat About Brand. And I tagged. Every person in their response that I highlighted, and I really did try to get at least one of the responses in there from each person who participated.
Sometimes people, you know, it's not a key highlight and, you know, what can I do there? So I do try to balance, I want to put the best answers to each of these questions with also I want everyone who was gracious enough to participate to have something in there But I would tag them in the newsletter But I would also more importantly when I shared about the newsletter both as Christine Gritmon Inc and as Christine the person I would tag them in the post. This resulted in people Sharing the newsletter themselves because they were excited to be mentioned, it resulted in people wanting to show up for the next week's chat so that they could be mentioned again, and it just generally made them feel more engaged because they were being they were being acknowledged as part of the content.
Because they are. So that was really great to see and I'm wondering how I can push that further. I'm thinking of things I can do with maybe a Patreon or something, but for now, that was a really interesting learning and it came, you know, fairly late in my years of doing this. But it's, I think it's something I'm going to keep going for a little while because it makes people feel acknowledged and valued, as part of what I'm doing.
Pat Flynn: Yeah, I 100 percent agree with you in terms of branding. I mean, we're focused on community now as well. I wrote a book called Superfans, which is all about making people feel something, making people feel like they belong. And as I say in the book, you know, when you get people involved and they get invested.
And I love that very, very specific example. And then LinkedIn newsletter and the tagging. That's a very underutilized strategy I see. And we're doing more of that. Even within our community to encourage more engagement. You can do that on social as well. And so I love that. It's very refreshing, Christine, to hear a person who's an expert on brand talk about community versus here's my thing. Consume it. Like you said.
Christine Gritmon: I mean, if you're if your brand is, like I said, the version of you that lives in other people's heads, your brand doesn't exist if it's not in those heads.
Pat Flynn: So powerful. Now, of course, a part of a brand is what it looks like and how like the name of it and how people kind of. You know, the tagline and all that kind of stuff.
How much effort should a person who's starting out put into that? I know it also holds a lot of people back like they need the perfect name. They need the perfect tagline. What are your thoughts? How do you guide a person through that process of selecting the mark, if you will, for for their brand? And obviously you don't want to infringe on anybody's trademarks or anything like that.
And we're not going to get into that discussion. We have other podcasts about those kinds of things. But in general, Choosing a brand name for yourself can be a very difficult decision. Do you have any tips for, for those who are literally at the start of their journey here, they kind of know who they want to serve, what they're about, but they're making that tough decision.
Christine Gritmon: Number one, Google it. Oh my goodness. So many people, part of why I decided not to go with a name for my business, and it's totally fine if you do. But because I felt like, you know, there's nothing new under the sun. There's no cute name I can come up with that will simultaneously be unused and not nonsense.
So, so that was something that I struggled with a bit. In fact, I did use a name for a program that I tried to launch called Strike Up The Brand, you know, like strike of the band. And I did a whole cool photo shoot. That was kind of pin up be with a trumpet. And because I was like, toot your own horn and it was awesome.
I was going to relaunch it, a few years later when my profile was a little bigger. And then I googled it, and by that point, someone else had started doing something called Strike Up the Brand, and they apparently had been doing it first. They were just doing it a lot more quietly. So my first launch for that was extremely quiet.
So, you know, it didn't, you know, it escaped notice. But I was like, if I'm going to make a big thing of this, that person's going to notice, and I actually did write to them. Because they didn't appear to be doing much of anything with it. I wrote to them, and I said, Hey, I see you're using this name, and you know, I liked this name too, and it seems like we're probably not, you know, doing the exact same thing or anything, so is it cool if I use it?
And he was like, no. He said no. Yeah, and A lot of people would say that's a situation where it's much better to beg forgiveness than ask permission, but I did ask permission. I'm a goody good. Yeah, good for you. And so I didn't use it, but I think that one of the things that really frustrates me is I have a lot of friends with businesses where if I want to look up something, like, oh, they have an event.
Let me see when that event is. And first thing I do is I go to Google. I Google the company name. And there's several. And I'm like, wait, which one are they? You know, my Google should know that the one I'm going for is the one I've been to before, but it doesn't always. And, and so I'm just like, there's so many other ones that it's so hard to tell which one it is.
That's another thing where visual branding comes into play, by the way, because at least if I can, you know, identify their logo in that tiny little, you know, icon, that's something. But, Yeah, first thing, Google. Make sure that the name you want is not taken already, or if it is taken, it'll be really obvious which one is you, both for legal purposes and SEO purposes.
You gotta be findable. And then I would say, don't be too cute, because people won't remember it. That's another one. It's very tricky when you're someone who wants to go with your name and it's a common name. I'm extraordinarily fortunate that there's only one Christine Gritmon, which is shocking. I've been Christine Gritmon for 15 years.
Before that, I was not the only Christine Ricardo. There is another Christine Ricardo, and she's a similar age and lived in a similar part of the country, and we get each other's emails to this day. So I was very lucky that I was the only Christine Gritmon. So if you have a name that's pretty common, find some way to always make it clear that you're that one.
Whether that's making sure your content is super branded, making sure you, you know, specialize little, you customize little icons on everything you do, or whatever. Or maybe you have some sort of little, like, nickname, like, Christine Gritmon, brand boss or something. I don't know, find some way to always make sure that it's clear which one you are, if you're going to go with a name that already exists, but part of why I went with my name is first of all, I'm the only one.
So it was good on that mark, but also a lot of why people go with a name name is because they say, well, in case you want to sell your business someday, but I was never going to sell my business. My business is me. I'm the product. People do do that. People are able, I've heard of people who like sell their podcast because they, you know, they've got the following or whatever.
Sometimes people can sell their intellectual property, but really when it comes down to it, the product is me and I'm not selling that. So it was, it was, it was a bit of an easy choice for me. Well,
Pat Flynn: that's cool. And. You got a great domain name as a result of the, the unique name as well, right? Gritmon.Com is where people can go.
In fact, I think you had a special gift for people who were listening.
Christine Gritmon: I do. So first of all, Gritmon.com, my husband owned that before I was even on the scene. He had a business. Oh, really?
Pat Flynn: Well, that worked out. You just married somebody with a great domain name.
Christine Gritmon: So Gritmon.com used to actually be the home base of G Squared Design.
But, G Squared Design didn't really get any traction and he stopped it a long time ago and I was like, I'm going to take your domain now, all right? That's a cool story. You also have ChristineGritmon.com, it just redirects to Gritmon.com. I think that's another thing. Keep in mind common misspellings and just be aware of, of having kind of a redirect there.
But yes, so Gritmon.com is my home base. And if people go to Gritmon.com/spi for Smart Passive Income, I'm going to send you a little goody. I'm going to send you kind of where I start with all my clients in terms of some of the questions you should be delving into yourself if you're figuring out your personal brand and their questions that I go back to regularly and ask myself periodically to make sure, you know, if myself and my brand and my direction has shifted, making sure I'm aligned with things, making sure I haven't strayed too far off the path.
So it's just kind of questions to help guide yourself. And I give these to my clients before our first session, because I really want to hit the ground running with them, and I want them to have asked themselves these things. I describe part of what I do, the beginning part of what I do with people, as almost like therapy.
I'm not telling them, here's what to do, here's the structure you need to fit into. I'm asking them insightful questions that will help them go along the path towards finding the right answers for themselves. That's what I'm hoping to do with this little brand questions goody that I have for people at Gritmon.com/spi.
Pat Flynn: And questions like that that often, sometimes do feel therapeutic. That's a sign of a good coach, right? You're diving into who they are, you're not just kind of telling people what to do.
Christine Gritmon: The work I do is very vulnerable. Because people feel so weird about personal branding. As we talked about earlier in the show, people feel like, who am I to put myself out there?
What elements should I put out there? I'm not that special. And so it's very vulnerable work. People are very uncomfortable with, with kind of showing themselves in this way and showing up in that bigger way. And so I really try to honor that by making it clear that I'm not trying to shove them into a box that's like, not them shaped. I'm trying to, you know, help them bring out what's already there, not invent something new.
Pat Flynn: So awesome. Gritmon.com/spi and then make sure you go and listen to the podcast, Let's Talk About Brand. You're listening to this podcast now. It's very simple to go over there and subscribe to that if you enjoy what you hear.
Christine, thank you so much for today. I appreciate your time and this is going to help a lot of people. So thank you so much.
Christine Gritmon: Thank you so much for having me, Pat. Thanks again for also your appearance on Let's Talk About Brand. And this is awesome. And thank you, whoever you are out there for listening.
Pat Flynn: Appreciate it. Thank you. All right. I hope you enjoyed that episode with Christine. Christine, thank you so much for taking the time today and all of your wisdom. And I just love talking to you because it's so obvious that your values align with the same values that I have about why we're doing what we're doing.
Yes, we want to make money. Yes, branding is important. But it really stems down to who it is that you're serving and how are you making them feel special? How are you them making them feel like they belong? And how do you get them involved? And I absolutely love that. And if you want to get involved, head on over to the show notes page.
We can get all the links that we mentioned, including Gritmon.com/spi, which you can go directly to right now. And also you can go to Christine's podcast, Let's Talk About Brand, which is definitely what she does best. So definitely check that out. And again, I'm on season three finale episode number 42.
If you want to hear her and I talk about business and SPI a little bit and branding from my perspective. So anyway. Really, really good show. Thank you so much for listening and I appreciate you. And again, smartpassiveincome.com/session733 is where you will find the show notes. Cheers. Thanks so much.
And I look forward to serving you in the next episode. Peace out.
Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!