Are you looking to become someone’s favorite in your industry?
Find out how building a personal brand can help you stand out and create meaningful relationships with your customers.
Chris Ducker is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and author of the bestseller “Virtual Freedom.” He is the founder of the personal branding business, Youpreneur.com, and has hosted the annual Tropical Think Tank mastermind event.
In this episode, Chris Ducker emphasizes the importance of building a personal brand as an entrepreneur. He believes that people want to do business with other people, and by building a personal brand, entrepreneurs can become someone’s favorite in their industry.
Why you have to check out today’s podcast:
- Uncover the Key to Entrepreneurial Success: Discover why entrepreneurs should prioritize building their personal brands and how it can unlock extraordinary opportunities for growth and influence.
- The Game-Changing Strategy: Learn the single most important action you can take to establish and cultivate a powerful personal brand that stands out amidst the noise.
- Monetization Magic: Explore innovative ways to monetize your personal brand once it’s established, opening doors to lucrative ventures and financial abundance.
“Big brands want to do business with big brands. That’s always been the way it always probably will be the way real people want to do business with other real people.” – Chris Ducker
00:00 – Importance of building personal brand for entrepreneurs
05:00 – Defining personal brand and standing out in the industry
11:50 – Monetizing personal brand through coaching, courses, and services
14:14 – Impact of writing a book on personal brand
15:08 – Creating the Youpreneur community to connect like-minded entrepreneurs
18:10 – Enthusiasm for organizing live events and creating relationships
20:12 – Making exceptional speakers accessible to the Youpreneur community
23:14 – Contacting Chris Ducker through ChrisDucker.com for community and events
- People want to do business with other people, so entrepreneurs should focus on building their personal brand.
- To build a personal brand, define who you are and what makes you unique in your industry.
- Content creation is essential for building a personal brand and creating awareness around your expertise.
Connect with Chris Ducker
Full Interview Transcript
(Note: This transcript was created with an AI transcription service. Please forgive any transcription or grammatical errors. We probably sounded better in real life.)
Dr. Katrina Burrus 00:00
Why should entrepreneurs be focused on building their personal brand, mainly because people want to do business with other people.
Chris Ducker 00:07
That’s the real core message here is that big brands want to do business with big brands. That’s always been the way it always probably will be the way real people want to do business with other real people.
Welcome to the excellent international leadership podcast. Your host today works with the world’s leading experts on international leadership, helping them find purpose and implement their vision. She’s a master certified coach and facilitates a mastermind for CEOs of international companies. She is the author of three books and works with Nestle, Novartis and even the United Nations. She’s especially good at helping executives fast track to the C suite. Welcome Dr. Katrina Burrus.
Dr. Katrina Burrus 00:57
I’m your host Katrina Burrus. And today, it’s a very special guest that I like very much Mr. Chris Ducker. Chris Ducker is a serial entrepreneur, a keynote speaker and author of the bestseller called Virtual Freedom. He’s from the UK. And he has lived in the Philippines the past 15 years, where he hosted the annual Tropical Think Tank mastermind event.
I’ve been there. It was awesome. And he also founded several businesses, which combined entailed 450 people, full time employees. He’s also a popular business blogger, a podcaster at Chris ducker.com and the founder of the personal branding business called you printer.com. I’m very excited today to be interviewing Chris Ducker. Chris, welcome.
Chris Ducker 01:56
Thank you for having me. It’s so nice to be here. And I love you equally back. Oh,
Dr. Katrina Burrus 02:01
this is wonderful. So Chris, I’m gonna ask you a few questions about your printer, and you’re an outstanding entrepreneur. So tell me a little bit why should entrepreneurs be focused on building their personal brand,
Chris Ducker 02:16
mainly because people want to do business with other people. That’s the real core message here is that big brands want to do business with big brands, that’s always been the way it always probably will be the way but real people want to do business with other real people. So our goal as entrepreneurs, particularly in the SME environment, is to become somebody’s favorites, right so as to become somebody’s favorite coach or favorite consultant in whatever, you know, niche or industry or in, it’s about becoming somebody’s favorite podcaster, or somebody’s favorite blogger or live video streamer, whatever the case may be.
And you build that personal brand, because of the relationships that you create, with your prospective customers and your existing customers and everything that comes along with that. I mean, for me, honestly, the way I look at my personal brand is I look at it as being what people say about me what they think about me what they talk about me when I’m not around, right? So if I’m not at that coffee meeting, or if I’m not at that dinner party or at that conference, or that networking, breakfast, or whatever it is, if I’m not there, how are people going to talk about me? What are they going to say about Chris? That’s my personal brand.
So it’s also a little bit of reputation management as well, at the same time, which I think any executive in any role should be very serious about. But at the end of the day, if you are in a position of being in a particularly in management, or any kind of executive level, your personal brand is what your staff will think about you. It’s what your customers will think about you and everything else.
Dr. Katrina Burrus 03:51
So Chris, tell us a little bit about how you build that brand. And how do you make sure that your reputation goes in the direction that you want?
Chris Ducker 03:59
That’s a great question. Because it starts with you. That’s the whole thing. You’ve got to define who you are and what you want to be known for. So for example, I work with a lot of entrepreneurs, not necessarily career people, that people that are actually building their own businesses. So I often say to my customers, well within your market, your industry, you want to become the go to source the go to leader in that industry.
How are you going to do that? What do you want to be known for specifically in that industry? So for example, we might work with a health and wellness coach that wants to be known for helping people overcome chronic fatigue, you know, illness or something along those lines. What are they going to do to build that brand?
Well, they’re going to define who they are first and foremost and figure out exactly who they are, what their experiences like what their personalities like and then how that makes them unique to the other health and fitness or wellness coaches out there that are helping people with chronic fatigue issues. In the industry, right, so what makes you unique? How are you going to stand out because it’s not enough anymore to just be better than the next person, we’ve got to be different to the next person, Sally Hogshead says this perfectly being different is better than being better.
And I could not agree with her more. So that’s where it really starts is figuring out what your strengths are, what makes you unique, and then how you’re going to go ahead and actually start getting in front of the right people.
And nowadays, almost all the time that comes down to content content, such as the content we’re recording right now, a podcast, or a blog, or YouTube video, or something that you might put up on social media, maybe it’s an info great all these different types of online content that you can create and get out there. That’s obviously how you start to build that brand and create that awareness around you and your expertise.
Dr. Katrina Burrus 05:53
So it’s being known as being appreciated as being different and being better and different.
Chris Ducker 05:59
But you know what, more than anything else, and all those things are 100%, right? There’s nothing wrong with all of them. They’re great things to be, but the one thing you must be, is loved. And I don’t throw that word out sporadically here. You know, the old adage of know, like, and trust, you’ve probably heard that you’ve got to be known, like, you know, you got to know somebody liked them, and trust them to do business with them or to get into a relationship with them.
That’s not true anymore. I will call BS on that. I don’t agree with that anymore. Because it takes more nowadays, and in a very noisy, complicated, complex world that we live in, particularly as online as we all are, and connected as we all are. It’s more than just know, like, and trust.
Now it’s know, love, and trust. So it’s our role as personal brand entrepreneurs or as you printers, as I call ourselves. It’s our role as you openers to become somebody’s favorite. And it doesn’t matter what that favorite thing is, you’ve just got to become somebody’s favorite. Have them fall in love with you, what you’re about what you stand for how you help people the problems, you solve the solutions to those problems and all the rest of it. So it’s all about being loved, as well as being different and better.
Dr. Katrina Burrus 07:17
How is being loved and having a group be similar or different.
Chris Ducker 07:23
That one in the same ultimately, but the only difference between somebody loving your blog, for example, and then somebody really falling in love with you is they go from reading that blog, maybe on a sporadic basis, maybe they subscribe and they get emails every time, you might post a new blog post.
But then all of a sudden, based on the feedback that you get from that person, and the rest of the people within your online community, you discover Well, I can actually provide a pretty good solution to this one specific problem that a lot of them seem to be experiencing. So you create a product, or you put on a live event, or you come out with a service that solves that problem.
And it goes from then being just a blog reader or subscriber to a customer. And once they’re a customer, you know that they really get you I often say that your vibe will attract your tribe. Right? It’s a little American sounding a little. Yeah, but But it works, right? I mean, it shows you exactly what it’s all about, we’ve got to mark it like a magnet.
So you attract the right people to you and your vibe and what you stand for and who you are and how you’re going to help them. But then at the exact same time, you’re repelling the wrong people away, we don’t need the people that are going to go 29 days and the 30 day refund period and ask for a refund.
They’re not our kind of people, our kind of people that are going to go way past that 30 day refund period, take action on whatever product they buy, and actually see the fruits of that labor. So it’s a journey. And that’s one of the reasons why I love doing what I do.
And doing who I do it for with my fellow up earners, like yourself that are sincerely taking action. They’re reaping the fruits of that labor and seeing the benefits of taking all that action and making moves and opportunities and all the rest of it is why I love doing what I do because it’s a nonstop ever evolving journey that you as the human are 100% in control of.
Dr. Katrina Burrus 09:28
So you help people you find solutions for them, you attract the people that are want to do something and put it into action. Absolutely. And it’s all about taking action and developing a long term relationship. Absolutely. So many listeners will want to know how do you monetize brands?
Chris Ducker 09:49
Well, I mean, you kind of do exactly what I’ve just talked about a little bit. You listen to your customer base, you find out where their pain points are, and then you start developing solutions. seems to those those pains to those problems. Now here’s the thing at first, you start creating content, right? So you’d be blogging and podcasting, and all this sort of fun stuff. And when you start out doing that, when you get going doing that, what will happen is, you’re instinctively creating the type of content that you think that’s the key word here that you think people want from you or need from you.
But then as time goes by, and a whole lot of people consume that content, maybe they share it, we definitely want them to share it right to get a viral effect. But as time goes, by relationships will be formed. And they’ll start opening up, they’ll start telling you about their problems and their situations and their circumstances. And at this point, it allows you then to be able to take that information that you gain, and there’s nothing sleazy about this, this is life, this is business 101, you find out what people need, and you provide a solution to that need.
And if you do it well enough, you get the ability to put a price tag on it. And so once you do that, you take that relationship from consumer into then customer. And that’s when you actually start to monetize. So it could be through coaching services or consulting services, that’s kind of like the lowest hanging fruit of any you printer out there.
Because ultimately, they’re trading their time for dollars, people will be happy to pay to access your data vault of experience, right? So that’s the lowest hanging fruit. And then you’ve got things like online courses, maybe a book or two live events, mastermind events, maybe workshops, webinars that you can charge for, there’s a lot of different ways that you can monetize your personal brand and your experience.
Dr. Katrina Burrus 11:50
You’ve written a book called Virtual Freedom, how has that helped you in developing your brand?
Chris Ducker 11:56
Well, it’s been everything. Everything literally, I mean, I, I would not be the entrepreneur that I am now, particularly the personal brand entrepreneur, if I hadn’t have experienced everything that I went through, to get to the point of writing that book, and we’re talking about my burnout and having to remove myself my business and hiring all these people to help kind of do that. But also, since the book came out, you see, when you write a book, it’s like a $20 business card. It’s printed proof that you are an expert in your particular industry, in your niche in your market, in your space.
And so I believe books for the personal brand entrepreneur, having a book is without a doubt, probably one of the best positioning strategies that you can have if you don’t have a book, and you want to be seen as a leader in whatever market for whatever field, you must author, a book. And now you can self published, you don’t have to get a big publishing deal and everything. There’s really no excuse not to have a book with your name on it. And what happened after Virtual Freedom came out? Number one, the book did ridiculously well, right.
So if you take into consideration that 97% of all nonfiction books, obviously this is taken into account, business books, children’s story books, and all that sort of stuff. But if you take into account nonfiction books do less than 1000 copies 97% sell less than 1000 copies, when they’re launched.
That’s horrible. I mean, that’s, you think of the millions and millions of books that are published, you know, throughout the course of a three to five year period, think about how many of those books are not even selling is pretty horrific. But we did incredibly well with Virtual Freedom. I think we’re now up to 60,000 Odd copies sold. We’ve got 850 Plus five star reviews on Amazon.
And every time I say this next sentence, I cringe a little bit because it’s like I’m almost inviting it. But we have still after three and a half years of that book coming out still not had a one star review on Amazon. Wow, good. She’s almost I know I every time I say it, I celebrate it. But I’m also a little scared. Because there might be someone out there listening say, All right, I’m gonna get your Docker. This is
Dr. Katrina Burrus 14:14
you’ve done the proof of time. So I think that’s, that’s great. And it’s good. Thank you.
Chris Ducker 14:19
But yeah, but no, it’s it’s opened up a lot of opportunities, a lot of doors. I mean, you know, I’ve had the pleasure of keynoting huge conferences all around the world.
Because of it. I’ve had the opportunity to sit and consult with big, big companies on how they can virtualize their workforce. I mean, if you’d have asked me, five, six years ago, if I was going to be getting paid multiple, five figures, to be able to consult with companies just for a day, I wouldn’t have agreed with you even with all my success as an entrepreneur, I wouldn’t have agreed with you. But it just goes to show you what the power of a personal brand can actually bring your way.
Dr. Katrina Burrus 14:59
But you also To develop the you printer community, so where do you get the idea of developing that community and what inspired you to start it?
Chris Ducker 15:08
For the longest time, I think since about 2011 or so, I have been running roundtable mastermind events whenever I travel. So like I said, I’m blessed to keynote and speak at a lot of events. So when I’m at a certain city, I’ll hold a roundtable discussion event. And usually, there’s no more than 10 people at the table. At first, I would charge very little, now I charge a lot more. But the premise here is to ultimately get like minded people around the table for an entire day, where everybody gets a little bit of a hot seat time.
And they can talk about their struggles, their ideas, their concepts for, you know, different things that they want to launch within their industry, within their business, etc, etc, etc. And the whole premise is that when you surround yourself with other like minded people, decisions around all those things become a lot easier to be made and gotten to.
And so I would hold these events, probably six, seven times a year as I traveled around the world speaking. And there was two things that came out of them every single time for a few years. And that was number one. Nobody at that table had a monopoly on good ideas. Nobody. And I don’t care how great you are, how massive assess you are, I mean, you could put Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, you put you put all these hugely successful people at one table. One of them at some point throughout the course of the day will drop a value bomb on somebody else at the table.
And that person will start scribbling down notes and ideas like it’s their job. So that was the first thing was that nobody had a monopoly on good ideas. The second thing that I noticed was that by the end of the day, although at the beginning, we didn’t really know each other that well, by the end of the day, it was like we’ve known each other for years, and we had cured, even if it was just for that one day, we had cured entrepreneurial loneliness, because it is a lonely journey sometimes, particularly if you’re online and you’re working at home.
And so those two main elements were really the Incubus for me to go ahead and create the Eupen, a mastermind community where we get people now hundreds of people from all around the world every single day, conversing within our private forums, consuming our proprietary training content, getting together at live events and meetups pretty much monthly around the world, as well as big, obviously, annual events and things like that. So it really for me, it was about bringing people together not just six or seven times a year, and not just 10 at a time. But hundreds, if not 1000s at a time and throughout the course of the entire year.
And it’s been probably one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my career.
Dr. Katrina Burrus 17:51
Yeah, and you also do these big, big live events. And I’ve been to one the tropical think tank, and I must say it was absolutely fabulous. So tell us what keeps you enthused with these live events that take a lot of organization.
Chris Ducker 18:08
It’s the dance breaks, that’s what
Dr. Katrina Burrus 18:10
it is. That must be it.
Chris Ducker 18:13
So I mean, obviously, as you well know, if you’ve been the tropical Think Tank several times throughout the course of the day, we’ll have a little dance, you know, simple as that. Just maybe after lunch, we’ll dance a little bit. Maybe at the beginning of the day, we’ll dance a little bit. No, I mean, I joke a little bit. But that being said, Chris,
Dr. Katrina Burrus 18:30
it wasn’t only dancing me, it really was an incredible experience. I mean boats and dinners and dancing and shows it was something else.
Chris Ducker 18:41
I like to entertain. That’s the thing I really, really love to entertain, whether it’s just with another couple at home for a dinner party, maybe it’s a group of friends on an anniversary or something. Or maybe it’s 75 odd people on a five star resort in the Philippines for a one week event.
There’s something inside of me that loves to bring people together, loves to create relationships and lifelong relationships, quite frankly, I mean, tropical Think Tank particularly we’ve had attendees and speakers go into business with each other. We’ve had attendees and speakers fall in love with each other at the event. We’ve had attendees celebrate their 25 year wedding anniversaries at the event, lots of birthday cakes, Good gosh, lots of birthday cakes, at the events and and it’s just about bringing people together and creating that family environment.
And again, letting people know that hey, you know what, you are not in this on your own. You don’t need to do this on your own. There are other people that are in the same boat that get it and it’s important to be surrounded by them as much as you can. And Chris,
Dr. Katrina Burrus 19:50
what I would like to also say is that you bring exceptional speakers together, and those speakers you make available to the people that come to the conference and to the tropical Think tanks, to brainstorm together on their personal entrepreneurial issues. So it’s really making them accessible to your, your community as well.
Chris Ducker 20:12
It goes back to like what I was saying I’d become somebody’s favorite, right build the relationship up. I’m walking, talking proof of it, you know, all the speakers that speak at my events, both at Tropical Think Tank and now, the upcoming European summit in London this November, which is sold out already. I mean, these are relationships I forged over years, and years and years, these keynote speakers, they get paid, on average, probably $15,000, for a 45 minute keynote, anywhere in the world, I don’t pay them, they come over to my events for free.
They speak for free at my events. And not only do they speak for free at the events, but they also stick around because they know they’re gonna have a good time, and they’re going to be appreciated. And I think that all comes down to the power of the relationship in our relationships. Relationships have been dragged backwards, along the floor, kicking and screaming, over the last five to 10 years on the internet, particularly, everybody’s trying to use each other everyone wants to get each other’s list. Everyone wants to team up as an affiliate, because of the influence this one person has or, or what this other person’s list can get you in terms of sales. I hate that. I absolutely hate it.
Relationships should be treasured, not used. Because we’re very, very blessed to be in a world nowadays, where it’s about as small as it’s ever going to get. And people remember the right things, and they never forget the wrong things. And so it’s very, very important, I feel that you put a premium on relationships.
And actually, the perfect example is just last maybe two months ago, I was in London speaking at an event, and one of our old Eupen or mastermind, community members who has been with us for a couple of years, and he had decided that he didn’t leave the community more he would got to where he needed to get to. And he wanted some more high level masterminds and things like that he was putting together himself, which is great. I’m happy to shake someone’s hand and say goodbye at that point, right?
If we’ve helped them get to that point, I’m very, very happy. But here’s what he said, when he came up to me, he was like, Hey, Chris, and I gave him a big hug. I said, what’s going on? I was really excited to see him and everything. And later that evening, I saw him at a drinks mixer. And he said to me, You know what surprised me, when I saw you earlier on was that I’m no longer a member of your community. I’m no longer one of your customers.
But when you saw me, you still treated me like I was. And that made an impression on me, Chris, and I wanted to tell you that face to face. And I said to him, You know what, man, once a you printer, always a you printer, I don’t need to get money from you every month or every year for that you’re part of the family. And that’s what it’s about.
And I know now going back to my initial concept of your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not around. What do you think he’s gonna say about me to other people, when I’m not around is going to be nothing but good things.
Dr. Katrina Burrus 23:14
Very good point. So Chris, we’re coming to the end of the podcast tell us where people can get ahold of you. Of course, all the information will be in the show notes. But where can people contact you to become a member of the you printer community? Or come to your show in London?
Chris Ducker 23:33
Well, I wouldn’t be much of an personal brand entrepreneur, if I didn’t say Chris ducker.com. Well,
Dr. Katrina Burrus 23:39
that’s easy to remember. So that’s cool. That is
Chris Ducker 23:42
that’s the whole point. You see, that’s the whole point. So yeah, everything that I do is housed over there on my online home at Chris ducker.com. You’ve got the blog, you’ve got Eupen or FM, which is the podcast. You can get links there to the printer summit to the community and everything else. It’s all there.
Dr. Katrina Burrus 23:56
Thank you so much, Chris.