Marietta Gentles Crawford: Tell Your Brand Story and Transform Your Career | E79

Marietta Gentles Crawford: Tell Your Brand Story and Transform Your Career | E79

#79: Tell Your Brand Story and Transform Your Career with Marietta Gentles Crawford

Becoming a master at the art of self-promotion and personal branding is key to stand out and make a good impression.

Snap judgements are made very quickly in the world we live in, so your personal brand is more important than ever! How do you show up? What do people say about you when you aren’t in the room? 

Today, we are talking with Marietta Gentles Crawford, a personal branding strategist, author, and coach. Marietta worked for Fortune 500 companies for over 15 years before becoming an entrepreneur to help small businesses and freelancers build a personality-driven brand.

Tune in to hear all about Marietta’s bad work experiences and how they helped her become a career change expert, and learn the importance of your brand story and how to create one keeping her WIFM (What’s in it For Me) principle in mind. 

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Reach out to Hala directly at [email protected]

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Show Notes:

 3:31 – Marietta’s Background and Expertise

5:08 – Imposter Syndrome & Confidence

9:35 – Work Breakdown and Learnings

17:10 – How to Make a Career Change 

19:16 – Questions to Ask When Self-Assessing

21:32 – How to Move Forward with a Plan

23:34 – SMART Goals

25:30 – Toxic Thoughts and the Importance of a Good Mindset

27:20 – Importance of Brand Story and How to Develop it 

32:11 – WIFM, or ‘What’s in it For Me?’

36:35 – How to be More Likable 

39:14 – Common Myths about Authenticity

41:21 – Confidence vs. Arrogance

43:36 – How to Share Your Opinions

46:40 – 80% Building Relationships, 20% Building a Personal Brand

48:48 – Marietta’s Secret to Profiting in Life

Marietta’s Book:

Marietta’s Website:

Marietta’s LinkedIn:

#79: Tell Your Brand Story and Transform Your Career with Marietta Gentles Crawford

[00:00:00] Hala Taha: Hey all, it's Hala. I wanna kick off the show with some special announcements. First off young and profiting podcast is now on YouTube for the past several months. I've been recording my interviews on video. So if you wanna see my conversations, as opposed to just listening to them, subscribe to YAP on YouTube and help us reach 1000 subscribers.
Second. I wanna shout out everyone listening to us on Castbox we're almost at 18,000 subscribers on that platform and our presence has been skyrocketing on there. If you're listening on Castbox drop us a comment and let us know what you think about the show. And lastly, no matter where you listen, be in Apple, Spotify or your favorite podcast app.
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[00:01:00] If you tag me @yapwithhala on Instagram or Hala Taha on LinkedIn, I'll definitely engage and reshare the post.
You're listening to YAP, young and profiting podcast. A place where you can listen, learn, and profit. Welcome to the show. I'm your host Hala Taha and on young and profiting podcast, we investigate a new topic each week and interview some of the brightest minds in the world. My goal is to turn their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your everyday life.
No matter your age, profession, or industry, there's no fluff on this podcast. And that's on purpose. I'm here to uncover value from my guests, but doing the proper research and asking the right questions. If you're new to the show, we've chatted with the likes of ex FBI agents, real estate moguls self-made billionaires CEOs, and best-selling authors.
Our subject matter ranges from enhancing productivity. How to gain

[00:02:00] influence the art of entrepreneurship and more, if you're smart and like to continually improve yourself, hit the subscribe button because you'll love it here at young and profiting podcast today on the show we're yapping with Marietta Crawford, a personal branding, strategist, author, and coach.
Marietta worked for fortune 500 companies as a writer for over 15 years before becoming an entrepreneur to help small businesses and freelancers build a personality driven brand. She's also the author of from nine to thrive, a guide to building your personal brand and elevating your career. A book that's been a go-to career guide for both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs tune into this episode to hear all about Marietta's
bad work experiences and how they helped her become a career change expert and learn the importance of your brand story and how to create one, keeping her WIFM what's in it for me, principle in mind.

[00:03:00] Hi Marietta. Welcome to young and profiting podcast.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Hi, Hala. So glad to be with you here today.
Hala Taha: I'm gonna get straight down to business.
You are the author of, from nine to thrive, a guide to building your personal brand and elevating your career. And it's a personal branding book. That's been a go-to career guide for both intrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. So for all of our listeners out there listening, who might not know who you are.
Could you tell us just a little bit about your experiences that make you an expert in this space, in terms of personal branding and helping people land their dream jobs.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Okay, perfect. I actually started as an entrepreneur within multiple companies and I, when I started my career was very ambitious. I was bright eyed and bushy tailed, and then I would be in a role and I'm just like, oh, you know what?
I, I was either underpaid. I was in a toxic work environment. I felt I deserved more. So whatever the

[00:04:00] case was, I often switched careers. I transitioned a lot. And while I was transitioning for different roles, I realized that I had the strength, especially in interviewing, at first it was just like, okay, how do I hop into a new role?
How do I present myself for a different position? I've worked within finance, government agencies, healthcare, retail all over. And I found that it was my personal brand and being able to learn how to communicate my strengths. So that's actually how I started my business and evolved from there. And then we started using LinkedIn to build my brand and then also helping intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs do the same thing.
Hala Taha: Very cool. And so this was your first book, right?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Yes.
Hala Taha: Okay. And so when you were writing this book, did you feel like a level of imposter syndrome? Because you have a super polished, personal brand. You have excellent content. Your articles are great. You've written for very high level publications,

[00:05:00] but at the end of the day, you've got a smaller following than other people who are in your space.
So when you set out on this mission to write this book, did you feel any level of imposter syndrome and how did you get over that?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Oh, I I love this question Hala, because I always say in a way, yes, because even though I was confident in my skills and I'm competent, especially in putting it all together, based on my experiences, I'm a trained digital brand strategist.
I've, not only do it for as something I was comfortable doing, but also make sure I trained under best, which was William Arruda. He has this whole community of free certification certifications, but at the same time, I also had this confidence where I just felt like. I wanted to put a very honest outlook of what it looks like to change careers and to build your brand.
And I think with most of my imposter syndrome, or just a little bit of like insecurity actually came from being very vulnerable. I heard

[00:06:00] experiences that I'm not necessarily proud of, maybe you went off on a coworker was making $20,000 more than me. And it's so funny because I tell that story all the time and just doing things that maybe doesn't seem perfect when people think about building your brand and elevating your career.
But I wanted to show. A different side, because a lot of times when people think about branding, they think about perfection as far as like not having the big following when I was doing it or even now as far as numbers, I never really focused on that to be honest, because even with LinkedIn and that's something that's my main branding platform where I help people as well.
I feel like followers are great. Obviously it shows a good amount of reach. But at the end of the day, I always feel like it's about quality. And sometimes it really is about who is connecting to what your message. And that may not be everyone. So as far as like the numbers, I always say is about quality as well.
And making sure that people, that you're the people that you need to reach your

[00:07:00] message. Here's your message. So with the book, it didn't really bother me as much because honestly, I knew that I had a message that someone was gonna connect with, and that was the most important thing.
Hala Taha: Yeah. It's okay. You remind me a lot of myself because I expected you to be like, yeah, I definitely had imposter syndrome.
It was so hard and I did X, Y, Z to get over it, but you're like me, you just are naive and you're just like, I'm just gonna do it. Here's what anybody else thinks. And you just just went out and did it, and you believed in yourself and really. That's amazing. That's a really rare quality to have most people, if they didn't have, a Harvard degree or a doctorate in front of their name or whatever it is, they might not go after it.
And you ended up writing a really great book that a lot of people love. So kudos to you.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Thank you, Hala. And honestly, that book that I wrote was a couple of years ago, and I still get people that are actively purchasing that book. And I'm so glad that you brought it up and that sense of like numbers and following, because at first, when

[00:08:00] you talk, when you think about publishing a book, everybody wants to say that like their number one best seller and all these things and these hacks, and I really was going to go that route because I'm also
competitive. And I'm like, yeah, but then I just found myself getting really burnt out. And I was just like, you know what? I wanna do it my way. And I really want it to be a quality book for the long haul. Not just necessarily all this hype in the beginning. And like I said, a couple of years later, I still see, I get those notifications that, someone has purchased then
I get the royalty. I'm not sitting rich and buying a guy, but I guess I get people just saying how it's changed them, help them grow their careers, make more money. And that makes me feel good more than anything.
Hala Taha: Yeah, I loved it because it was really funny. Like when I was reading the book, I was expecting something like really serious and it was just like full of jokes.
It was really well written. Probably because you are a writer, and you've been doing this since you're 12.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Yeah
Hala Taha: You know what you're doing in terms of engaging an audience with your writing. So let's talk

[00:09:00] about you and your experiences. You touched on it just a little bit ago that you told off somebody who was making a lot more money than you at work from our research.
I've learned that you've had a lot of bad work experiences. You've changed jobs more than you'd like. And you've had a breakdown at work before. And not a cutesy one, a really tense situation where you didn't bite your tongue. You didn't hold anything back. So tell us about this breakdown at work. I think you had more than one, but tell us about the one that you think is the most entertaining and what you learned from it.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Yeah. Honestly, this is all why I'm an entrepreneur now, because obviously I didn't do well working with people I'm working in, in, within companies at that time. I've evolved now, but that situation was very interesting because when I was working. As an employee. I was very ambitious as I am now as an entrepreneur.
And it was one of those high tense situations where I was working for a the city agency where we were doing trainings. And it's the gift of being like good at what you

[00:10:00] do. The reward is getting more work, so we were doing some new hire training. I was training maybe every single day, nine to five.
I'm thinking about everything. I wanna see my my, they were customer service reps for a call center and I wanted to see them succeed. And then there was like another person. And it's so funny because he must hate me. But he was like there for a while and he was okay, but he didn't have the same workload that I had.
So it was one of those days where it was towards the end of the training and I was trying to be superwoman. So I'm like, okay, I got this, I'm tired. I'm burnt out. I want someone to say, Hey, Marietta, you look tired. You've been training all week. Can we relieve you? And no one said that Hala no one cared in my eyes.
So it was just like that moment of being really tired. And then I look over to my team. They were like in this open area, like called a blue, a bullpen and I see them. Like, giggling, laughing. And in my head is like when you

[00:11:00] watch a sitcom and this whole alternate vision of what you think people are doing versus the reality.
And in my head, I'm just like, they get to have fun and I don't have, I'm, I'm not having fun. This is not fun. Why am I doing all the work? And I somehow went over to the area and he was reading the newspaper. So he was literally at his desk. Legs crossed and reading a newspaper and just like chilling.
And at that moment I just re read and rage and I was just like, everybody's, I'm here working so hard and here it is, you're making $20,000 worth because I knew how much money he was making. And you're sitting here reading a newspaper and it was one of those moments that I wasn't proud of
my BFF now I just knew her at that moment. I remember she still makes fun of me because I stormed off dramatically afterwards and she was like, bye Marietta. And I just looked at her. I was like,

[00:12:00] it was not the best reaction, obviously. But the lesson that I learned in it is that I had to be, when you think about your brand and you think about your reputation, you alsowanna make sure that it is consistent with who you are.
Because like people who know me knows that I'm not they knew that I was a good person. They knew that I was a hard worker, but in that moment, it wasn't a good reflection. So it was one of those things where you also have to learn to measure how you react to something and maybe not do it in the moment.
If you wanna have a positive impact.
Hala Taha: Yeah, I can totally relate to that. I got fired from my first job at hot 97 because I sent somebody a really nasty text that I wasn't going to work that day. I was so young. I was still in college. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, but I, I wrote to him like, I'm not going to work today.
You can learn how to do it on your own. Something really nasty. And I got fired from that. So I totally know what it's like to just be angry and to say something. Before you even really think about

[00:13:00] it. And it's really important to stop. Think about it, sleep on it. And don't say anything when you're angry.
That's one of the biggest lessons I've ever learned in my life is to just not write anything down when you're angry. I think it's safer to even have a conversation than write an email or a text or something when you're angry, because those things can get circulated and then you're cooked. So you learned from that what do you do now so that you make sure that you don't blow up in order to maintain your personal brand?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: It's different now because as someone who is a business owner, I wanna make sure that it's all about my clients at this point. So the key now really is not taking it personal. You don't wanna take anything to heart where you feel like it is about you. You always wanna take that step back and say, Okay maybe it's about me, first of all, sometimes things are like a mirror and it's what could I have done better taking that type of accountability?
I think what I do now is I always think about my name, my reputation. And when you talk about personal branding, it's like what people say about you when

[00:14:00] you're not in the room? So I really am very conscious of that. Cause like I remember one time I was doing some coaching with a client and we had a really rough start.
She, I am very meticulous with how I send emails and we, I accommodated her actually on the weekend. For her schedule. So it was a Sunday, we're doing a session and she didn't follow the instructions. I was waiting for maybe 15 minutes on the call and she didn't. So finally I sent an email to her and I'm like, Hey, like I'm waiting for you.
What's going on. So when she did finally get into the call, it was tense. Like I'm usually a very upbeat person and, good energy. And it's not that. I had that energy, maybe I did, but I wasn't just gonna be like, Hey and reward behavior that obviously she wasn't, doing what she needed to do.
So she sensed that and she was like maybe we need to reschedule because it sounds like you have an attitude. And at first, like my literally Hala, my heart is like beating very

[00:15:00] fast. Cause I'm just like, I like you have the audacity to call me out. But then I had to just say, We're gonna get through this, I need to maintain my name.
I know that she's, I know she's probably feeling bad about it. And I said, no, we're fine. And long story short, we went on with the session. We had an amazing session and towards the end she apologized and she was just like, you know what? I messed up. I didn't read the instructions and she was just like, thank you.
So being really conscious of your name and making sure that even if you're feeling some type of way, you're not letting other people see that where it could be held against you in a way that you wouldn't feel comfortable with.
Hala Taha: Totally. It reminds me of that headline tests that everybody always says, if you read what you did in one sentence and a headline in newspaper would you be proud of it?
Or, and you test the waters that way. If I wouldn't be proud of being positioned this way in a headline, in a newspaper, don't do it .
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Yeah. You though Hala, right? If you, if

[00:16:00] sometimes you can ease tensions just by like not getting defensive, but people mirror that as well. So I think that's being aware of that can even change the dynamic before it even gets to that point.
Hala Taha: That's so true. Just having that aura that like you're not pissed off and calming yourself down. People will feel that. And more of reciprocate. I totally agree with that. All of these different work experiences and having to find new jobs periodically, that really actually helped you to master the activity of landing a new career.
So if somebody listening out there is looking to make a career change, what is the first thing that you would tell them to do?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: I would say, take an assessment of your personal brand. And let's say we strip the word personal brand. Cause I know not everyone loves the word or can connect with it, but I would say, take a look at what you're good at.
What are your strengths and ask yourself? What do people say over and over about you? That are

[00:17:00] qualities that are good. And usually those are your personal bad brand attributes. When someone's trying to transition into a role. A lot of times we focus, they focus on skills, right? So they'll say like I'm detail oriented proven track record team player, like all of these words that are like fundamental skills that at the end of the day, you should be these things.
So when you think about like someone who wants to transition, you wanna think about attributes that are like very specific to you. Is it your humor? Is it your loyalty? Is it your people curse a champion. Those are attributes that really beyond all of the skills they make you stand out as someone differently.
So then I would say at that point, think about what is transferable. People sometimes will think they look in the idea, they look from the concept of titles, right? So don't look at their titles. So for example, if you are a program

[00:18:00] coordinator, you're thinking, okay, and you wanna go into a role of event management, you may think a program coordinator.
So I'm looking my box here is just program coordinator, but you wanna follow skills. You wanna think about what are the skills that you have that beyond the title can be transferred anywhere. And then once you identify those skills, you wanna be comfortable communicating them. So that it's not just a box that you're put in you're put in for yourself more than anything, because you're thinking in terms of title.
Hala Taha: I think that's really great advice. And so what are some of the questions that we should ask ourselves as we start to self assess? What kind of skills and attributes that we have?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: What do you do better than anyone else? So that's a hard, that's like a real ego question. What I do better than anybody else?
But what is it that you do that you're always complimented from, by, from your coworkers your managers, is it like, you're that type of person who is such a connector that you can pick up the phone and

[00:19:00] somebody will do something for you. Are you the type of person that so organized that you can really plan in a way that's different from someone because those are important too.
And then I would say I would, I was another question to ask is for everybody that does the same thing that you do. What makes you a little bit different from them? Because often for example, I was doing a training with engineers and as engineers, they were all, I said, how many of you guys are analytical?
Raise your hand. Guess who raised their hands? All of them. Because engineers are very analytical and I ran down a couple of other skills. So I said, if everyone has those same skills and you're competing with those people, you need to pull out what's different. So for example, if you're an engineer people, prop me they say, okay, you're really quiet.
That means that you're used to working alone. If you're someone who has great interpersonal skills and you love

[00:20:00] working with other people, that's what you wanna focus on. So it's not only focusing on like skills and what you're good at, but compared to everyone else that in your industry or other candidates, what do you do that that they can't do, but as well sought after.
Hala Taha: Really great advice. I love that. So basically you're saying first thing to do is to take a self-assessment and start to figure out what makes you unique? What are the skills that make you unique? What are the transferable skills that doesn't really lock you in a box in terms of the title that you currently have, that you can then go out and try to find a new opportunity, whether that's in a new industry, whether that's a new career title, really great.
So what else do we do? Do you suggest that we have a plan or do we just hit the ground running with our new resume and just go for it.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: You do have, you do have a plan. I'm all about planning, right? So a lot of times when someone is looking, especially now, like we're living we're in times where, the economy is there.
Some people may think, okay, this is, maybe voluntarily looking for a

[00:21:00] new role, maybe it's not. Because for their own choice there, they're thrust into this situation. A plan is always good because we wanna be strategic with your time. So sometimes people will think, okay cause I'm looking for a job, I'm just gonna apply to every single thing.
And it's, at this point, That doesn't serve you when you, that's not gonna serve you good. So the plan would be to really focus on what are you gonna do? So like you just, like we talked about you're assessing your personal brand and then you wanna make a plan to update your resume, update your LinkedIn profile and make sure that it's all a cohesive
brand right, because you don't wanna start looking out here and there, and then someone is checking out your LinkedIn profile and it's not consistent with what you're trying to do. So making sure everything is in order first, before you start looking out for jobs, because people look at your LinkedIn, people are looking at all these things and checking you out first.
And then I would say. Tell anybody and everybody that you're looking for a new role, because

[00:22:00] a lot of times it's not only by, applying for something that you see there. A lot of opportunities are from a word of mouth. So letting people know what you're looking for. Exactly. Don't make them even have to think about what you're looking for.
You tell them, right? And then once you do have that together, then you start targeting these opportunities and being prepared for when someone calls to be able to describe why you should be that person that is for that second interview or that virtual video interview, however it's going, going on right now.
Hala Taha: Yeah. In your book, you mentioned something called smart goals. A lot of people have heard about this, but in case they haven't, what's a smart goal?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Ah, smart goal is very smart and it stands for a specific meaning. So again, you wanna be very specific about what you're looking for. So it's not about, I want a new job now.
I wanna change my career. Now I wanna start a new business or a side hustle now. It's

[00:23:00] okay. I have 60 day 90 day plan. Just to your point, Hala when you said you have a plan or do you wing it? It's here's my schedule for the next 60 days. This is what I wanna do. And my goal is to look for a new opportunity where I can transition my career, where I feel good again.
And you want to have it be measurable. So M is for measurable, so measurable, meaning again, the timeframe that you're looking for, even if you have to adjust it, that's fine. And then you want it to be attainable. So something that, so if you're saying, for example, if the reason why someone wants to transition roles is because they wanna make more money.
I'm saying that you wanna make a hundred thousand more, may not be attainable within 69. It could be more power to them, but maybe not. So you wanna be there and then that's where you have realistic. So you wanna be realistic with what the R's were realistic with. What you can do. What you're able to do.
And then the timetable is the timeframe that we're talking

[00:24:00] about, whether it's 60, 90 days. So it's a good way to make sure that you have a concrete plan. One of the things, the smart goals is that again, you can adjust so just because you put a goal together, as you're going through the process, you may need to go back, start all over again, or tweak your goals.
But at least if you have a starting foundation, you can feel confident about what your next steps.
Hala Taha: I think that's really good. So one of the things that I feel that really holds people back from making a transition is because they are like mentally not ready and they've got toxic thoughts and there's really a mindset shift that needs to happen.
Could you tell us a little bit about that?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Yes. And I do have a chapter in there that talks about these toxic thoughts. Often the biggest obstacle in our ways can be ourselves. But that little person on your, in your brain, that's who's gonna hire you at this point. Are you really as good as the next person?
And it's horrible because we can almost be our own worst enemy at times and stop

[00:25:00] us. So when you have those toxic thoughts, it's really a matter of really questioning where is it coming from? Especially if you're trying to transition your career at a time where maybe you've been at your job for 10 plus years, that's all, and the fact that there's a part of you that wants to change, but there's a part of you.
That's Hey, I'm a pro at what I do. I hate, I hate when I'm working, but starting all over is like, feeling like I'm a freshman again. And that doesn't feel good. You really wanna take a step back and say, where are these toxic thoughts coming from? Is it fair of change? Is it an insecurity? And if it is some type of
that validity to it, like you're saying I'm not as qualified. People that are in these roles are, have a PMP certification or they have certain certifications or degrees that I don't have. It's fine to be realistic with that. But instead of staying in that negative thought. Change that by saying, what can I do to get myself there?
So maybe you wanna start putting in your goals to get

[00:26:00] that certification so that you feel more confident too.
Hala Taha: I think that is excellent advice. So let's talk about developing a brand story soon. We know this is very important. People call it a brand story. They call it an elevator pitch, whatever you wanna call it.
I think it's the same thing, correct me if I'm wrong. So why is having a brand story so important? How do you develop one? And maybe you could share your brand story with us too.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Okay. So the elevator pitch in the brand story is different in a sense, it's similar, but like, when you think about the elevator pitch, it's about who you are, what you do and who you help in, in, in a summary.
So it's almost like the snapshot or the cliff notes version of what you do that you can say really quickly if somebody really wanted to know, or you're just explaining, or you're in a networking attach when you talk about your brand story, it really pulls more from that elevator pitch into more details.

[00:27:00] And your brand story is really important because again, it's about differentiating yourself from others, especially if you're trying to transition your career. The common mistake is that people wanna show how I'm just like this person, how I'm similar to my favorite entrepreneur. I'm similar to this favorite person was really good at what I do.
And when you think about your brand story, you want to pull out. What is your unique journey to where you are in your career? Because that's where people, they say that the humans, like the best way that people communicate or understand or connect is through storytelling, right? People connect that is the most natural fundamental form of communication and people will connect more to
stories than to just, pieces of like facts or just, worms like detail oriented and proven. So finding your story is important and the way that it should do it is think about what is your evolution? Like how, even when you talk about your own story, Hala, and you'll, you started, you were working in a

[00:28:00] radio station and you've moved up and you've worked in marketing and you worked in different roles.
What is your driving factor? What drove you to doing what you do? What challenges that you have along the way that made you, who you are, what lessons that you've learned. So your brand story is really important because at the end of the day, even if you're in the same place, there were different paths that you took to get there.
And it's important to be mindful of that because sometimes you just oh, there's nothing extraordinary about my story, but it could be. And you're missing out on that.
Hala Taha: Yeah. I think that makes a lot of sense. So maybe just to give us an example of what a good brand story sounds like, could you tell us yours?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Yes. I started out, so I, when I was in college, I went to college for English and I wanted to be a journalist so bad. I really want it to be more on the journalistic side. And I remember my first job out of college was that editorial assistant role. And

[00:29:00] part of that as I was going through, actually, even before that, I thought I was going through the path of becoming a journalist.
I realized that it was a little bit more than I can take as far as like you had to call people and I'll never forget the time. There was a story, a local story where a child passed away in a car accident. And I had mentioned to a colleague that I knew the father. And the colleague was like can you get me that number?
And I was, think, I can call him. And I just didn't feel good about that. So as I went through my career, when I started to realize, okay, I don't wanna do this part of it. I wanna do something else. I realized that I was able to. Still use my writing skills in different roles, like training and technical writing.
So my story came out of wanting to be a writer and it went through different shapes and turns through corporate America. And then at that point, I said, you know what, I'm ready to go out on my own. And a part of my brand story that I always say is that.

[00:30:00] I left my job when I was three months pregnant to start my own business because that's how passionate I felt about it.
So it's just these combination of events that are very specific to your unique experience. Now, when you're expressing it to people, obviously it's like, how do you condense it? We don't really need like a whole rundown of what was going on since the nineties, but it's about really pulling out key points that would be of interest to other people.
Hala Taha: Yeah. And I it's clear that you didn't memorize it. It wasn't something that you memorize and you also shared your feelings. Like you wanted it so bad. It was, you didn't feel like it was a good fit for you when you needed to call people up. And it got too like personal for you or invasive in terms of being a journalist.
So really cool that you explained it in that way and use stories just like you had mentioned is the best way to connect with the people that you're trying to connect with. Something else that I know is really important when it comes to your brand story or your elevator pitch is making it relevant

[00:31:00] to your audience.
So I think it's called WIFM what's in it for me. Can you explain that principle to us?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Yes the width. I say pin, it's and just the one point to go back to one point that you said how that was so important is that even like when you're interviewing, when you're thinking about transitioning use these stories, right? When you're really comfortable about those things, use stories to, instead of saying when someone says, tell me about yourself or, what makes you good at what you do instead of saying words like I'm detail oriented or I'm passionate use a story that shows that you're passionate without you actually having to say that.
And it really makes a bigger connection. So when we talk about with them, what's in it for me. We always wanna make sure we're presenting information with our target audience in mind. So for someone looking to transition, you're maybe talking to a recruiter, and you may be talking to a hiring manager.
So your key is not to just focus on the fact that I want a job. Cause everybody, like that's the obvious that you

[00:32:00] want to have a job, you wanna make sure that you're touching in what's in it for that other person. So for example, once that recruiters like that first, like the gatekeeper, cause they're trying to see, if you're someone that's, we're passing on to the hiring manager, so think about it from what is the recruiter looking to no? When you have, when you're having that conversation, the recruiter wants to know if you have the fundamental skills. So that's something that when you're communicating and talking to them and answering questions, you wanna bring up experiences and talk to things that you know, that they have the check box that they're looking to confirm.
And then you want to, when you get past that stage to a hiring manager, you wanna look to the other things, besides the obvious, for example, you are you likable. You wanna show that like if you hire me, I won't be a pain in pain. I will be someone that is, can get along with everyone. And a perfect example of that when I think about with them, what's in it for me is

[00:33:00] I remember having an interview for a consultant role in finance.
And at that time I never had a finance role before. And I remember the higher manager said why should I hire you out of everyone else. He's you haven't had the experience before. And so what I did is I put my answer to what I needed. I knew he wanted to know are you gonna be easy to train?
And I said, because at the end of the day, these are skills. That words like you're in healthcare, whether you're in Maine, you're in Macy's wherever you are. They're transferable, but I'm so one that is easy to get along with. I learn quickly and I know that I will be confident to be able to do what, what can be done.
I heard from him that same day, by the time I got back to the job that I was trying to leave, I got a call from him. So when you think about the what's in it, for me, what's in it for that person. Don't come from the standpoint of I need to say everything that I wanna say to let them know how excited I am to have a new job.
Talk to what they wanna

[00:34:00] know, because besides the skills, honestly, people wanna know that you will get along with others. You'll be a good fit you're likable. And you're someone that, they won't regret hiring because you can train anybody the skills. But personality is important.
Hala Taha: I think you hit on such an important point when it comes to gatekeepers and being likable, people are the gatekeepers in life.
Like whether you like it or not, most of the time when you want a new opportunity, there's a gatekeeper. Whether that's the hiring manager, whether that's somebody who's, if you're for me, when I was like trying to get a show on MTV, whether that's the producers, whether whatever it is, there's always a gatekeeper, usually that is gonna open the door for you or close the door for you.
And it really all depends on if they like you. So like you said, telling a story helps you be more likable because they connect with you. So instead of telling people like, I am really smart or I do have, finance skills, tell them a story about how you solve a complex problem with your

[00:35:00] finance skills and make sure that they know that you're, you're approachable, you're likable.
How else can we be more likable? What are some other tips in terms of your personal brand and being more appealing to people being more likable.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Being carefree. So one of the things, they talk about for a branding like I have my framework is the four Cs to brand clarity, which has been. Clear, having a clear elevator pitch, having clear what you do, being credible.
So obviously having the expertise to back up what you're saying, you're able to do, being consistent. So like even when we talked about planning, pre-planning, you're having your resume, your LinkedIn, everything is consistent. Online and offline as far as who you are. And then that lastly is being carefree.
And what's interesting is that a lot of people struggle with being carefree. And when it comes down to being likable, it's really about being who you are, right? Because if you feel like you have to be someone else to fit into a role, then that's going to be a challenge because either,

[00:36:00] A that is not gonna be for you anyway, because obviously it's gonna be hard being somebody you're not, but B you want people to appreciate you for who you are.
And I remember meeting someone, she was a project manager and she was working for the company for she started at the company at maybe 17 years old, at 17, like really young. And she worked her way. Into a, a higher position. And she told me that she struggled with being carefree because she felt like in order to be taken seriously, she had to be that serious person because people always thought of her as the little person that started out, maybe as an intern or, whatever and not really a project manager.
So you have to be confident enough to be who you are, because that's what people are gonna connect with. Even when you mentioned about my book, having, being there was humor in it, like that's, to me is a big compliment because humor, that is my personality. That is who I am. And some people may think that if you're writing a

[00:37:00] career book
and you're being an authority and in personal branding that you must be very serious and you must be very shrewd and perfect. And I'm like, no, I don't wanna, I wanna be who I am. So the more comfortable you are with just. Embracing those quirks and embracing, like what makes you, who you are, the more you're gonna be carefree.
And the more carefree you are, the more you're more likable you will be to the people that you're supposed to be cool with or, work with or in know.
Hala Taha: Yeah. So I love that you brought this up carefree. It reminds me of authenticity, right? Authenticity is something that everybody is talking about. Now. It's such a big buzz word.
It's all over social media. There's so many different blogs on it, but aren't, we all supposed to be like genuine human beings. And now it's getting sold as like a hack for personal branding, be authentic, right. Be authentic and you'll have a great personal brand. So what do you think the common myths are when it comes to

[00:38:00] authenticity?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: I love it. I love that. You mentioned that because it is something like a buzz word now it's like, why should that be a hack? But I think social media sometimes is the part of that where we see everyone that looks so perfect. We see sometimes that like the people who are the influencers are so perfect that it puts that thought in everyone that my goodness that's what it is to be authentic.
Oh, perfectly. You know bookshelves. I love that neither you or myself have bookshelves in the background and it's no shade. So anyone who does or who has the perfect bookshelves, but it's like, it's the not the most natural thing should be to just show up as who we are. And I think that the more that people try to shape, their personal brand to be forced to be this fake real, as I would call it, it puts this bad impression that like
real means that I am. I woke up like this and I

[00:39:00] think that's where it comes from sometimes, but you're right. Like we should be authentic. And I think on the another side of it, as you mentioned, that is then people try to be too real. So then everybody wants to out vulnerable someone, right? So you wanna, you wanna out vulnerable the next person and to share all of your stories to connect.
But then is that being authentic? I'm not sure. It's hard to judge, but if it doesn't feel real to you, if you feel like you have to put that much effort, then that's not gonna make you feel comfortable showing up either.
Hala Taha: Yeah. So something else that you brought up very briefly is the fact that you need to have confidence, you need to have confidence in yourself.
There's really a fine line between being confident and arrogant. So how do you walk that fine line and how can we come off as confident, but not arrogant when we're in a job interview or when we're meeting somebody for the first time.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: I think the fine line and the real fine line between confidence and arrogance. I say sometimes you have to be somewhere between mother Teresa and Kanye

[00:40:00] west, right?
So like the fine line somewhere between that is it's humility and self awareness. So I think confidence is really important because honestly, that's, what's going to. Propel you to that next level, prepare you for the nolls as you're transitioning into a new role. And as you may be applying for jobs and trying to transition your career, and it's not happening as quickly as you would like.
So that confidence is gonna be important because you may see everyone talking about their wins and you're like when is it gonna happen? When am I gonna have my win? And so you need to remind yourself that it doesn't have anything to do with you. And that's where confidence is important, but you're right.
There is a line where arrogance isn't good because if you're arrogant, when it comes down to the wisdom and what, someone is looking for, no one wants to work with someone. They feel like they cannot. They're not gonna be at a positive part of a team or that, you can't tell them you can't give them constructive criticism.
They think they, no one wants to work

[00:41:00] with a no at all, either. So the fine line between that is being confident in your skills knowing that your strengths of valuing value, knowing that you're worth that $20,000 that you're asking for, when someone says, what is your salary requirements, but it's also about being self-aware and catching yourself.
If you feel like, okay, what am I being humble? Am I being a sponge where maybe I need to listen more than to talk? So self-awareness is important because it allow you to catch yourself. I find that the people who are not self aware or not humble or that's where they will go more towards the arrogant side.
Hala Taha: Yeah. So when it comes to standing out amongst a sea of people whether it's writing or whether it's just like videos, whatever content you're putting out there, it's really important to have a perspective, to have an opinion, but how can you make sure that you have a perspective, you have an opinion. But you don't come off as being too opinionated or too offensive or too

[00:42:00] biased towards one topic or another. How do you manage that?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: That's a good question, because part of personal branding is having a point of view, right? When you think about standing out, you're standing out because your message is connecting with that specific person. So you don't wanna hide that. And that's where some people who are a little bit hidden gems is because they're so neutral on everything.
You don't really know what they, they mean. But when it comes down to it, as far as, making sure that you're not going overboard or your point of view is that you also have to be open to other people's opinions. So your point of view is important. People should know it. It is going to be a part of your brand, your core beliefs, right?
That's what gets you up in the morning. That's what makes you write into your blogs and do your podcast and write those books. Those core beliefs are important, but when someone else disagrees with you. If they're being constructive, you have to be open to receiving that. And it's how you act in those moments is I think the difference

[00:43:00] between having your opinion be stay there, and open, and also coming off across as someone who thinks that everything that you say is right.
We do, we don't have to. I think that we shouldn't worry too much about making other people mad though. If it's something that you strongly believe in, and I'm talking about something that you wouldn't mind, someone took us a snapshot of, right? Because in the days of social media, there's, nothing is invisible, right.
So if you're writing a comment on LinkedIn, or if you wrote a blog or whatever, you can delete it, but somebody caught it. There's some type of trace of it. When it comes to having your point of view, I would say, never say anything that you wouldn't validate or say yes, I did say that. And I still stand by that.
You never wanna write it. You never wanna say it, but also understand that if someone disagrees with you, how you react to that is also important too. And going back to my point about just not caring sometimes if you make someone mad, It's okay. I think to

[00:44:00] be polarizing it sometimes, there are some times where you do need to take a very strong stand about it, and that's going to be personal for each individual.
As long as you feel like you're doing it with integrity, you're not doing anything. That's gonna jeopardize your brand, your career. Then if some people don't agree with what you're saying, then you have to be okay with that too. And not let that stop you from using your voice.
Hala Taha: Yeah. And I think you have a good point.
Like basically you're just talking about having good character, how you do anything is how you do everything. They say your character is what happens when nobody's looking. And it's the same thing. Like how you act in the comments is just as important of how you act when you were writing that article.
So is to maintain your brand in all situations. So the last question I'm gonna ask before we wrap up is about networking. So you say we should spend 80% of our time building relationships and 20% of our time marketing our brands. Can you shed some color around that and what you mean by that?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Yeah. I love that question because

[00:45:00] there's a difference between personal branding and self promotion. So when people think about, I wanna build my brand, they think that personal branding is about showing everybody how amazing they are. There's it's oh, this is mean look at me. And we both know that there's more to it than that if you really want to connect with people.
So a lot of times when you think about establishing yourself as an expert in the industry and the career. Yes. You do wanna promote yourself, even from the standpoint of looking to change jobs or career, you do wanna let people know, you do wanna talk about your skills, but you also wanna make sure that you're building relationships with people.
One of my favorite quotes, one of my networking, my favorite networking posts is from Dale Carnegie. I use it all the time and he says to be interesting, be interested.
Hala Taha: I love that.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Yeah. And it's we take the time to be interested in others, ask questions, what may ask other people questions like, Hey you

[00:46:00] transitioned in your career.
What did you do? How did you do it? What was your challenge? Meet people, be open to just not asking for something for people, especially like on LinkedIn when people say, okay, you wanna, I'm all for using LinkedIn for personal branding, I think it's a powerful tool. But people think that means that you're just like buy my stuff, right?
Just buy my stuff, because I said it that's good enough. And if you wanna give people a reason to care and you wanna be interested in other people. So there is a place for you to promote yourself. But personal branding is more than self promotion. Personal branding is saying, here's my skills.
This is what I'm good at. And this is how I could use it to help you to make you better to also not, just be about my goals, but how do I help you reach your goals as well?
Hala Taha: Yeah, I totally agree. I couldn't agree more. What is your secret to profiting in life?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Never giving up. Never giving up. It sounds like such a cheesy,

[00:47:00] cheesy answer sometimes, but really I think being able to not be so stuck to as a particular idea.
So when I think that my secret, I would say is not giving up and I'll double it being open to pivot. Being open to change. For example, when COVID hit, it changed a lot of how we're doing it changed businesses. It changed jobs. People are working remotely businesses they're in personal events are there.
So in order to profit, you really have to look at. Where you are now, what is the current situation? And if what you were doing yesterday is not working anymore, you have to be okay with readjusting and always readjusting. So I would say the secret is not being afraid of change, being resilient. And knowing that pivoting is actually a part of the process, because if you're not pivoting, you're not profiting
Hala Taha: I really resonated with that. I just wrote a post about this on LinkedIn. I just wanna share it

[00:48:00] to my listeners in case they're not following me on LinkedIn. And basically I told them that, yeah, this is like my sixth show. This is not my first show. It's my, it could be counted as my seventh or eighth show.
If you count facebook shows or college radio. And so I've been doing this for a long time and trying, and failing and changing and adapting and pivoting. And, I had a corporate career in the middle of all of it. And so what did I do? Like you said, I never gave up and I wasn't afraid to change. And what a great lesson that is.
Thank you so much. And where can our listeners go to learn more about you and everything that you do?
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Thank you, Hala. And I really appreciate all the insights, the questions that you had, www.Mari MARI brandsforyou. And I'm on LinkedIn as well. So it finding me at Marietta Gentles Crawford. I'd love to connect and mentioned that you found me on Hala show Young and Profiting.
Hala Taha: I'm sure you'll get a lot of followers from this especially once we'll be blessing it up. So thank you so much

[00:49:00] for coming on the show. Again, her book is nine to thrive. I can't recommend it enough, especially if you're looking to transition careers, it was a really good read. Like it's super easy to read funny packs with great advice.
It's not just left. So definitely go out and get that book. I highly recommend it and I'll put it in my show notes.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Thank you.
Hala Taha: Thanks so much for coming on. It was such a pleasure.
Marietta Gentles Crawford: Thank you, Hala. Thank you for having me.
Hala Taha: Thanks for listening to young and profiting podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review on apple podcasts or comment on YouTube SoundCloud or your favorite platform. Reviews make all the hard work worth it. They're the ultimate thank you to me and the YAP team. The other way to support us is by word of mouth. Share this podcast with a friend or family member who may find it valuable. Follow YAP on instagram @youngandprofiting and check us out at You can find me on Instagram @yapwithhala or LinkedIn, just search for my name

[00:50:00] Hala Taha until next time, this is Hala, signing off.

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