#TwitterSmarter Podcast: Humanizing Your Personal Brand on Twitter with Leonard Kim [Episode 39]

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Leonard Kim is recognized by Inc. Magazine as a Top Digital Marketer and Top Youth Marketer and by Red Letter Resumes as a Top Personal Branding Expert. He went from being almost homeless to becoming a personal branding expert whose content has been read over 10 million times. He has amassed a social media following of well over 250,000 people. Leonard is managing partner of InfluenceTree. He and his team teach people how to build their brand, get featured in publications and growth hack their social media following.

In this episode, Leonard shares his insights on humanizing your brand by being genuine and real on Twitter as well as all your social media. We have a great discussion on this topic, which I think too often gets overlooked.

Episode Highlights:

  • When you’re creating content, you have to be as genuine and authentic as possible.
  • No one really wants to see the perfect thing, they want to see the flaws and the real side of people.
  • If you want true engagement, connect with people and grow your following, be genuine and be authentic.
  • Stay away from promoting one specific thing. Don’t make it all about one niche. Be multifaceted.
  • Hear the funny story of how Leonard got his Twitter handle @MrLeonardKim.

My Favorite Quote:

“If it’s not humanized then people can’t connect with you, and if people can’t connect with you that doesn’t lead to more business, and if it doesn’t lead to more business then you’re kinda wasting your time on social media.”

Mentions:

How to Reach Leonard Kim:

You can reach Leonard Kim on Twitter @MrLeonardKim, his website LeonardKim.com and by email hello@LeonardKim.com.

Your Call-to-Action:

Your call-to-action for this episode is to review your Twitter feed and see how often you share things that happen in your life. Are you being real and transparent? What can you do to improve your Twitter feed to reflect your personality into your personal brand so that it’s not all business all the time. Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet, @MadalynSklar.

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Want an easy “one-click” way to Share The Love for this podcast? Go here: www.madalynsklar.com/love to tweet out your love.

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Transcript:

Leonard Kim:
Hey, this is Leonard Kim, managing partner of Influence Tree. At Influence Tree, what we do is we teach you how to position your brand, get featured in publications and grow your social media following. You’re listening to the Twitter Smarter podcast with Madalyn Sklar.

Madalyn Sklar:
Hey, hold that tweet! This is episode number 39 with personal branding expert, Leonard Kim.

Announcer:
Welcome to the Twitter Smarter podcast where you get the best Twitter tips from the pros. Twitter expert, Madalyn Sklar, wants to help you take it up a notch on Twitter. In each episode of this podcast, you’ll walk away with actionable tips that you can start using right now. Are you ready to get Twitter Smarter?

Madalyn Sklar:
This episode is brought to you by the Twitter Smarter Twitter chat. Did you know this podcast had a chat? If not, you are in for a treat. Every Thursday at 1:00 eastern, I host the Twitter Smarter chat. It’s a great community of people looking to connect, learn and share Twitter tips. I hope to see you there.

Now, let’s get on to today’s episode.

I have such a wonderful guest for you today. His name is Leonard Kim.

He’s a branding and marketing expert and he’s also the managing partner at Influence Tree where he teaches you how to grow your brand. He’s featured regularly in Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, and many more. Now, on today’s episode, Leonard shares his insights on humanizing your brand by being genuine and real on Twitter as well as all of your social media. We have a great discussion on this topic, which I think too often gets overlooked.

Let’s go ahead and jump right in. Here is my interview with Leonard Kim.

Hey Leonard, thank you so much for joining the Twitter Smarter podcast. I am so happy to have you here as my special guest. My question to you is what are your best Twitter tips?

Leonard Kim:
Thank you so much for having me. I do appreciate it. Some of my best Twitter tips would be to, first of all, when you’re creating content, you have to be as genuine and authentic as possible. That doesn’t mean going out and polishing out the perfect thing to say. I’ve seen people who sit on Twitter for two hours and they’re like, “I need to get this line perfect”, and it’s just like, no one really wants to see the perfect thing, they want to see the flaws and the real side of people.

One of the things that people do on Twitter and other social media platforms is they try to put on this perfect image. The best thing you could do if you want true engagement, if you want to go out there and connect with people and grow your following is to really just go out there and be genuine and be authentic. You don’t have to go out there and polish everything that you’re saying to the point of perfection.

Madalyn Sklar:
I love that. It’s so true, just being yourself, being real, let people see who you are. I find that to be the best way on all social media.

Leonard Kim:
Yeah. I see a lot of people out there with a lot more followers than I have and what they’re doing is they’re trying to create this perfect, polished pitch and no one’s liking their content. You see with some with a million followers and they’re getting maybe five likes per post, and it’s like … how could you be disconnecting yourself from such a huge audience when you’ve already created it?

Madalyn Sklar:
Exactly. I always look at that and I’m like, “Uh, you’re doing it wrong, that’s just not the way”. Social media is all about being social, right? Just being yourself, letting people see who you are and what you’re about.

Leonard Kim:
Exactly. I think one of the biggest problems that most people face is nowadays there’s a lot of people who have the side hustle while they work the regular job and they have the family life outside of what they do as a career.

What I see a lot of people doing on social media is they’re like, “You know what? I’m doing this marketing business but my day job’s over at Walmart and my family and two kids … I’m not going to talk about my day job at Walmart, I’m not going to talk about my family and two kids, I’m not going to talk about any of the things I like, I’m going to focus strictly on marketing because I want to be known as a marketing guy”.

What happens? It’s so hard for other people to just connect and relate to that person because they’re only showcasing one dimension of their multifaceted personality.

Madalyn Sklar:
Right, yeah. With live streaming video becoming such a big deal now, you cannot be that way, you cannot hide and not show your true self.

Leonard Kim:
Exactly. One of the reasons … that recent BBC interview where the dad was on camera and the kids walked in, that was a genuine thing. It was something real, his family was there, accidents do happen even on the air, but that humanized him to the point where that video was shared so much and he became talk of the town when all he wanted to do was report on some expert advice on Korea. More people paid attention to him, he got all this awareness, all this attention because he was genuine in the moment.

Madalyn Sklar:
Exactly, so how do we take all of that and apply it to Twitter? How do we humanize our Twitter account?

Leonard Kim:
Well, what you want to do is you want to stay away from just promoting one specific thing. It’s great to have a niche, but if you only talk about your niche you blend in with everyone else. It’s like, “Okay, what’s the difference between Melanie, with Whitney, with Leonard, with John, with Paul?” All of these people are all creating the exact same content. I can’t really relate and connect to anyone.

Back about 10 years or so ago I used to do sales, and step one was meet and greet, step two was sell yourself, step three was sell your company, and step four and so forth for all the other steps. Step two was sell yourself before you sell your company, so that means you have to sell yourself before you can sell your expertise. That means you have to go out there and make relatable content.

What’s your life … post stuff like that, what you do with your family, post things like that. What you do outside of your marketing career? Post things like that so people can buy into you as a person. Let’s say you’re going out on a sailboat or if you’re going to the race tracks or you’re doing something else you enjoy, you want to incorporate all those things into your brand and post those things on Twitter, too, so people get a full picture of who you are.

Madalyn Sklar:
Right. I think some people get paralyzed by that. They’re not sure what line to cross with showing professional business things versus their personal life. On my Twitter, I keep mine mostly business, I don’t do too much personal but I do a little bit. I think we have to find that balance that works for us.

Leonard Kim:
If you want a clear line, whatever’s illegal you keep it off the Internet. If it’s legal you keep it on. That’s a fine line, but then others … a lot of people are just scared of sharing too much or too little but what I’ve found, to really grow my audience and get all these … and everything, is vulnerability and authenticity. Being out there and just talking about what you truly believe in, how you feel and things like that. Just connecting with people on a one-to-one level.

Madalyn Sklar:
I love that. What comes to mind is Pat Flynn from Smart, Passive Income. He is all about being vulnerable, showing how he’s running his business. I remember, he was the first person … it’s become a trend now, but he was the first one to show his monthly income report online and be so transparent in his business. I think that’s so amazing, I think he is just a great example of how to really humanize your social media.

Leonard Kim:
Exactly. If it’s not humanized, then people can’t connect with you and if people can’t connect with you, that doesn’t lead to more business. If it doesn’t lead to more business, then you’re wasting your time on social media.

Madalyn Sklar:
I so agree. I can be a really goofy person, I just like to be fun and not be so stiff with business. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 21 years and I love that live streaming video is becoming such a thing. I’ll do a Snapchat and I’ll just be a goofball. I’m walking my dog and I’ll just be silly but I’m also sharing tips and being helpful, sharing some Twitter tips while I’m walking my dog, just to be fun and real.

I think you’ve got to find, how can you humanize your social, how can you humanize your Twitter and other platforms?

Leonard Kim:
What you’re doing is the perfect thing to do, but imagine, you’ve been an entrepreneur for 21 years. Imagine if all you did for those 21 years was just talk business and keep it 100 percent professional. Not only would people not be able to connect with you, you’d probably just drive yourself crazy, too, right?

Madalyn Sklar:
Exactly. That is such a good point. Yeah, you’ve got to definitely be multidimensional and let people learn more about you. What’s interesting, on Facebook I share more personal. I think a lot of us do just because that’s how we use Facebook. When I’m on Facebook, I’ll post pictures of my dog, I’ve got a new dog now and he’s this three-legged … I call him Max, the three-legged wonder dog.

Leonard Kim:
Aww.

Madalyn Sklar:
I’ll post stuff about him and when I go and I sit down with somebody, like a colleague, here I’m getting ready to go to Social Media Marketing World and Adobe Summit, people see that and then I’ll sit down with them, the first thing they’re going to say to me next week is, “How’s your dog?” because people pay attention to the personal, that humanization of our social and I think that is such an important thing to really look at and do this in a way where people really connect.

Leonard Kim:
Yeah. I have some thought leadership pieces out there, but I’ve never had someone come up to me and go, “How’s that thought leadership piece doing?”

Madalyn Sklar:
Right, exactly. You’re so right, Leonard, because when we share some of our personal life on our social media, that is what connects us with them and that is the first thing they’ll say to us, something that’s with our personal life. I love that. That then leads to going down the trail for business. The opener is, “Hey, how’s your dog?” You have that little conversation for a few minutes, then it’s, “Hey, I really love this thing you posted about Twitter marketing, tell me more and let me hire you for some help”.

Leonard Kim:
Yeah, that’s exactly how it happens for me as well. People try to connect on the personal level first, then they talk about my other stuff that I create and they’re like, “Let’s do business together” and I’m like, “Sure, let’s do it!” I’ve never seen anyone who went out there and just created purely business content and was able to get those same types of results.

I think one of the most troubling things is there’s a lot of major figures out there, and MySpace who … go out there and they’re like, “Just create the best content you can and just focus on your niche”. What happens is you end up with hundreds and hundreds of thousands of articles all online, basically outlining the exact same thing. I’m like a different person but they all read the same, they all sound the same, they all look the same.

None of them really have any personality to it, so you’re like, “Oh, it’s all the same”, and the only way to really stick out from that kind of crowd is to have a personality behind yourself so people can buy into who you are.

Madalyn Sklar:
Absolutely. That’s such an interesting take on it, I’m looking at your Twitter feed. You have a great Twitter feed by the way, and for those listening, Leonard’s Twitter handle is MrLeonardKim, which I love, I love that. @MrLeonardKim, M-R Leonard Kim. Speaking to the showing different sides to our personality, I saw that this week you were on Winnie Sun’s Twitter chat, which is awesome, I love her.

I love her Twitter chat and I’m looking at … one of the questions she asked was what are the best things you can do with your tax refund? I love your answer because you’re showing your personality through the tweet, and you say, “Spend it on a party!” and a bunch of exclamation points, or a vacation, or a car, or you can just give it to @SunGroupWP to invest into the future, and I love that because it makes you smile.

I can just picture you saying that and it’s so cool and that’s something that’s going to stick with me. That’s why it’s so important to really humanize our Twitter feed.

Leonard Kim:
Yeah, it’s hilarious because everyone else out there is saying invest it or put it in this, put it in that, but you know in their head they’re really ready to go on vacation.

Madalyn Sklar:
Right, exactly. It’s just a fun way to share … that’s what I love about Twitter chats. It’s a great way to see people’s personalities when you’re asking questions and conversing and giving that opportunity to let yourself just shine through and let people learn more about how you are. I like to use exclamation points, so when I’m on my Twitter chat or other Twitter chats, you’ll see me just letting my personality come through with exclamation points and with emojis and with GIFs.

Leonard Kim:
That’s the ways to do it!

Madalyn Sklar:
It really is. This has been really great, Leonard. This is just, I think … a way of looking at Twitter marketing that’s so important with humanizing it, with showing your real side, using that to connect and grow as you were saying before. What are some tools that you like to use on Twitter that helps you manage it better?

Leonard Kim:
I like to use the Twitter app to use Twitter on my iPhone. It’s easier because then you can put those stickers and things on there.

Madalyn Sklar:
Yeah, right!

Leonard Kim:
Everything you need is in the platform itself, I tried using all these other tools and it’s like … they don’t really help me that much.

Madalyn Sklar:
Right, there’s so many tools. It’s really just become so many these days, but I like the Twitter app, too. It used to not be great. Do you remember back in the day it was terrible?

Leonard Kim:
Yeah, it used to be pretty bad but they’ve been investing a lot of time into it. You can check messages by just clicking on them one second at a time, then move up to the next one and the next one. The notifications, they’re all clean now, you have the explorer button and you even have a live button when you post so you can connect it directly to Periscope. You have GIFs there, you could ask questions, you could do everything from the app. It’s not like you really need an outside tool anymore.

Madalyn Sklar:
Right. The only thing I wish is they would put the analytics … well, you can do the analytics individually, one tweet at a time, but I wish they would have … when we’re on a browser, we can click on analytics and it brings up the snapshot of how you’re doing and I wish we could get that on the app. That’s my only gripe, is put that on the app and it would be completely perfect. I agree with you, I think the Twitter app has come a long way.

It’s a great way to really utilize our Twitter, especially on the go. This has been really great, Leonard. How can our listeners get in touch with you?

Leonard Kim:
Well, like you said earlier, I’m on Twitter at @MrLeonardKim. My website’s LeonardKim.com, and my e-mail address is hello@LeonardKim.com.

Madalyn Sklar:
I love that. Tell us real quick the story of Mr. Leonard Kim, how did that come about with that becoming your Twitter handle?

Leonard Kim:
You really want to know?

Madalyn Sklar:
I don’t know, when you say it like that I’m not sure.

Leonard Kim:
Okay, so my … I tried typing in Leonard Kim, but someone else had that. This was back in 2013, so I haven’t been on Twitter that long.

Madalyn Sklar:
Okay.

Leonard Kim:
I remembered my ex, she would put Ms. First Name, Last Name everything, and that was her e-mail, that was her Twitter, that was her everything. I’m like, “Hmm, if she can do Ms., I can do Mr.”.

Madalyn Sklar:
That’s awesome, I love it.

Leonard Kim:
Yeah, it’s pretty simple, right?

Madalyn Sklar:
It is!

Leonard Kim:
It’s not something that’s super creative that came out of a blue moon.

Madalyn Sklar:
It sounds professional. I remember the first time I saw your Twitter handle, I’m like, “Oh, Mr. Leonard Kim”, like in business that’s actually cool, right? You’re Mr. Leonard Kim.

Leonard Kim:
It is cool, but I would’ve just settled for Leonard Kim, it just wasn’t available.

Madalyn Sklar:
That’s funny. That’s awesome, though. I like it, I think that’s cool and what a great story. Well, this has been just really awesome. I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me and the listeners today to just give us some insights on your take on Twitter marketing and I think humanizing your Twitter is such a great topic to discuss. Thank you so much.

Leonard Kim:
Anytime, Madalyn. Thank you so much for having me, I appreciate it.

Madalyn Sklar:
What a great interview with Leonard Kim. I love his take on humanizing your brand. It’s all about being real and transparent, more people pay attention when you’re being genuine. I love how Leonard suggests staying away from promoting one specific thing. Don’t make it all about one niche, be multifaceted. Now, I have links to everything we discussed in the show notes. Go over to MadalynSklar.com/TwitterSmarter39, because this is episode number 39.

Now, your call to action for this episode is to review your Twitter feed and see how often you share things that happen in your life. Are you being real and transparent? What can you do to improve your Twitter feed to reflect your personality into your personal brand so that it’s not all business all the time? Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet, @MadalynSklar.

Now, before we go, I want to thank everyone who’s taken the time to rate and review this podcast in iTunes. It really means the world to me and it helps me show up better in the iTunes search so more people can find this podcast and listen. Hey, you don’t want to keep me all to yourself, do you? I think it’s time that we start spreading the love. Now, I would love for you to post a review if you haven’t done so already.

I’m going to start a giveaway. Let’s have some fun with this. I’m going to start a giveaway for those who share a review in iTunes. Now, I’m going to choose a winner each week to receive a free Twitter Smarter love handle. It’s a cool grip for your phone or iPad, it makes it so easy to do one-handed texting and selfies, you name it. It’s pocket friendly, too. I have one and I absolutely love it.

Now, to win, follow these simple steps. Number one, leave an honest rating and review in iTunes. Number two, before you click the submit button, take a screenshot of your review and tweet it to me @MadalynSklar. Number three, I will randomly choose a winner each week and I will tweet the winner and announce it in future podcast episodes. Hey, it’s all about sharing the love, right, so let’s start reviewing, let’s show everybody how great this podcast is.

If you want to see what the love handle looks like, go over to my website, MadalynSklar.com/LoveHandle. That’s it for this episode, until next time, I’ll see you out on Twitter. Take care, everybody.

Announcer:
Thank you for listening to the Twitter Smarter podcast, where you get the best Twitter tips from the pros. Stay in touch with Madalyn on Twitter, @MadalynSklar, or through her website, MadalynSklar.com.

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