Why Personal Branding Is A Necessity In 2023

April 26, 2023

“Recession-proof” marketing is about getting back to basics.

Capturing demand that’s already in the market. But there’s untapped potential in building your founder brand…

In this video, Ed Fry Head of Growth at Mutiny, and Alina Vandenberghe, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Chili Piper, get in to how to make that happen.

They talk about:

  • How to maket to marketers
  • The impact they’ve seen from personal branding
  • How to overcome the fear of building your founder brand
  • How Chili Piper’s co-founder built her brand
  • and so much more...

Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Alina: I'm Alina, I'm co-founder and CEO at Chili Piper and I have Ed Fry here with me from Mutiny. He's a growth marketer, marketing to marketers. And we're gonna talk about things that he is seeing as effective to drive most pipeline, um, within this downturn. And one of the topics that we're gonna cover is also founder.

[00:00:22] It's, uh, interesting to be a marketer, marketing to marketers. Yes. Um, because they know all the things that they do to grab their attention. Do you take that, uh, to your advantage? How do you market? Oh,

[00:00:35] Ed Fry: yeah, yeah, yeah. Like good marketers love to see good marketing, so you can sort of like exaggerate some of that stuff a bit.

[00:00:42] I've, I've done, I, I used to run an online marketing community. It's a group called Inbound org. It's acquired by Hub. Uh, I was employed number one at a another B2B MarTech, uh, company. And the play on, like showing interesting use cases, showing what, uh, people can do, um, really showing what other marketers can do.

[00:01:00] So not necessarily to like strategies and tactics, like what has so-and-so done with, with a particular strategy there. And so one of the things we do at Mutiny, uh, every time you run a successful experiment with Mutiny, uh, we ask you to. And some people do. So we have this big library of people's examples.

[00:01:16] Uh, and so we go and find some interesting ones. We, we write them up on, on our website. And so you go and look at playbooks on, on , uh, that's a bunch of the marketing to marketers about marketing in the

[00:01:26] Alina: past quarter. Uh, what have you learned from marketers around you that they do that's most effective? Uh, right now?

[00:01:32] I

[00:01:32] Ed Fry: think, so one of the things we, we were just talking about this at one of the round tables, is people like getting back to basics. , and like that how you capture the demand that's already in market and really optimize things around that, your high intent, SEO strategy, like keywords, in your seom, your Google, ad campaigns where like clearly they're looking for a solution, but there's only so much of that available.

[00:01:55] There's only so many people in market. and so what are people doing around, digging the well before you're thirsty? How do you go and pull people into market? One of the things we found really interesting is, Uh, so j our ceo, uh, started the quarter being like, I'm gonna go and do Twitter. I'm gonna go and be an influencer.

[00:02:15] I'm gonna go and, um, build audience there. She shared like 800 followers. She knocked it out the park, like consist a hundred percent hit rate, um, of sharing some stories from her time, um, as a marketer, her time as a, uh, as a founder. And then working with, uh, sort of her networking order to drive that initial distribution.

[00:02:35] one of the amazing things we, we, we saw from, from that halo effect. We, this is all on Twitter then, uh, reproduce and LinkedIn not linking back to our, to our site. The amount of direct traffic and branded search that drives. So if you go and Google search console and you zoom out and you look at impressions over a long period of time, you'll see when you have various big campaigns.

[00:02:57] So for instance, a series B announcement like we had in April. Now for that time we had every customer talking. We had a Bloomberg feature, we had the whole potato. , those threads were driving as much, if not more search impressions, more, people looking for mutiny as that level. So I think as marketers, we got taught, that good tactics about moving people from other platforms to your platform, but you lose tons of people in that process.

[00:03:24] So you're basically investing a ton of resource to drive people to click from one place to another as opposed to learning or messaging. And so by focusing on, in feed, focusing on this, keep the message, don't gate it, just put it in their feeds as they're scrolling or whatever. you're able to reach a lot more people, and the platforms value that, drives engagement for them.

[00:03:43] And yeah, you're able to drive significant top of funnel awareness to people, which you're trying to meet. It's hard to attribute. You ask people, why did you hear about me? I saw this thread. I see you guys at this conference. I see you on the podcast. Saw this or that. This whole world of dark social, dark web, whatever you want to call it.

[00:04:01] It

[00:04:01] Alina: sounds like you seem to be convinced that founder branding is an important part of marketing now that you've seen success at Mutiny. Yeah. Um, why do you think founders are afraid of it? Why do you think afraid?

[00:04:14] Ed Fry: Mm-hmm. . Um, okay. So, uh, uh, , we're very fortunate to have like a two-time, three-time CMO trained ceo, who's also an engineer.

[00:04:24] I think step one, like work in the valley, in a C-suite, like, uh, for 10 years, step two, go and share those stories within, uh, a few things there. I think, yeah, step two is like, yeah, go share, get your friends to, um, engage with that and then, and then work on distribution there. The, a lot of founders. Value the stories they have.

[00:04:46] I've worked with like 13, 14 founders in, in my career, like oftentimes reporting straight in and trying to extract that story and start to translate that. Um, I think for, for jla, marketing hats is already in there. She already knows like, okay, I've got a story I nowhere can tell it. For people who maybe don't have that, how do you start to, to capture that and start to tell some of those stories?

[00:05:08] Um, uh, more clearly. I think once people see that and then they see. that they've got something interesting and that resonates with their target target market. Yeah. Then, then I think that that confidence issue starts to, starts to resolve itself. Um, some founders start to like it. Some founders hate it. Uh, it's hard work.

[00:05:27] Uh, it's hard work putting yourself out there. It does,

[00:05:30] Alina: uh, take a lot of time for sure. It's, feels like I have another job in addition to my job and my other jobs. Yeah. Um, but I can see that, um, showing the humans behind the, the. It's a lot easier to connect because you know who's there. Like, uh, if you see a, a logo, it's abstract.

[00:05:49] Logo is abstract. Whereas people, uh, you can

[00:05:52] Ed Fry: relate. Yeah. Yeah. I think you really see that when, and so people announce that moving on from the company and actually you've kind of built that association or attachment with, uh, with a certain brand through, through someone else. Um, back in my earlier, earlier career, I said I, uh, I was a big part of the MOS community, so Mars being like the SEO platform, they invested heavily in, in that.

[00:06:12] It would be really sad when people would move on from us and they'd go on doing other sort of things. But, um, yeah, you built that association through people and, and brand is really a collection of those people as well as, um, what it is at a company and a product. When,

[00:06:24] Alina: uh, we hired our first PR company at Chili Piper, I said, I'm completely camera shy.

[00:06:30] Do not put me in front of cameras. Do not put me on stage. Do not put me to talk to journalists. I don't want any attention towards me. I just don't want any attention. And. , I am an introvert. And naturally, uh, am exactly the typical, um, personality that you'd expect from an engineer. From a developer. Yeah.

[00:06:52] Cuz I started in as an engineer and I didn't think I needed the attention. And also it made me feel very uncomfortable and it was like very fearful for me to be on stage or having any of appearances. And that changed in 2000 and. Actually, in 2021, the war was starting to build up the war danger to between Russia and Ukraine.

[00:07:19] And when Putin finally attacked Ukraine, I felt so angry that it was all happening. I said, I have to do something about it. Yeah. And I don't know, in that moment, something broke in me, and then when that moment came to me, when I realized that I have a mission that was a lot greater than me, than I needed to speak.

[00:07:41] The, the fear just like vanished as have zero fear, which is like unbelievable. I would've never thought that I would be able to

[00:07:47] Ed Fry: break that. Yeah. It's almost how the mindset change came in. The mindset came, I think, is that working with founders, if they haven't had that, uh, that sort of change of gear or they suddenly realize that's that's the piece, or they need to hear that story .

Alina Vandenberghe
Ed Fry
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Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson. Join us as we sit down with B2B marketing leaders to hear about the latest tactics and campaigns that are driving pipeline and revenue.
If you’re looking for tactical ways to improve your marketing, this podcast is for you!
About Mastersaas live
MasterSaaS Live is the interview series that seeks to answer the question: What does it take to be a badass CMO? For our host Alina Vandenberghe, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Chili Piper, this question is personal. A CPO-turned-CMO, Alina is on a journey to become a badass CMO — and is building in public as she goes. If you're a current or aspiring marketing leader, this is your only chance to learn from top marketing leaders, innovators, and big thinkers about marketing in 2023 — from CRO to brand to music and so much more.
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