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The Power of Communication and Creating a Personal Brand: an Interview with Ewa Pietreniuk
In this interview we talk with Ewa Pietreniuk about her job, her habits, her LinkedIn Bootcamp, and how she uses Mailbutler for better inbox management.
Ewa Pietreniuk is a personal brand communication strategist and digital content creator. She teaches people how to communicate, and helps them control their online reputation by creating a personal brand. Today she’s with us and we have the chance to ask her some questions about her job, her habits, her LinkedIn Bootcamp, and how she uses Mailbutler for better inbox management.
Ewa, thanks for taking the time for this interview today! It’s a pleasure having you as a part of our #mailbutlerstories. Let’s talk about you, your business and your career. To start with, I’d ask you to fill in the following blanks:
When I was a kid I always wanted to be…
I wanted to work for Interpol or as a travel program presenter. Interpol was a serious obsession. To be fair, if they came to me today, I still would seriously consider it.
My professional role model is….
I don’t have one person, but I love learning about various entrepreneurs. I like to analyze their career paths or the way they do business as well as their day to day habits. I love psychology and understanding some elements of it means that I always look at their habits as well as the work they do on professional mindsets.
One thing I can do better than anyone else is…
I really don’t know. My trainer always says that I’m like Yoda: you can ask me anything and I will quote some research document or have an answer for it. Personally, I think they are exaggerating. I’m a geek, not a genius.
I should put my phone away more often and instead spend time on…
Well, I’m already obsessive about the time I spend on my phone and devices – hence why I use Mailbutler. I am a Personal Brand Communication Specialist and Digital Content Creator. I therefore spend a lot of time on platforms and devices for work, which is why I’m so strict about how much and what I use my phone for.
I also don’t receive any notifications on my phone. They are designed to form a habit of you checking the phone whether there is a need for it or not. So when you hear it beep, you have a dopamine rush and you want to do it more and more often. Before you know it, the day is gone and you haven’t accomplished anything.
So in day to day life, if I were to spend less time on my phone I’d spend it exercising or with friends. However, I’d love more days of full digital detox, where I’d be able to go away to a beautiful and remote destination and enjoy it without logging into my emails or checking social even once a day. I’ve done it before and it was blissful.
The worst I’ve ever screwed up an email was…
I was pitching myself as a guest speaker at the conferences and ended up mixing up names. A typical copy and paste mistake. I’m sure many can relate to it.
This kind of mistake hurts when your receiver is a high-profile target. This is precisely why I love Mailbutler’s function to store email templates. I always use it because it highlights the area where any information needs to be adjusted to make it more personal.
Thanks for answering those, Ewa! Now, let’s dive into your work life. You’re working as a personal brand communication strategist. Please tell us – what path brought you to this job?
I started with a degree in Journalism and PR followed by a Master’s in Politics, where I specialized in political marketing, which is basically personal branding for politicians. Back then there was no need for a personal brand because we’d only just started using the internet. I then worked in a more commercial environment and in the beauty industry for many years.
I spent over a decade learning about digital forms of communication. In the process, I created my personal brand online and started to communicate via social media.
With changes in the market and more and more individuals starting to work for themselves, I started helping my freelance and entrepreneurial friends to control their online reputation so they could grow their businesses.
I knew this was my calling because I know you can create the future you want if you learn how to communicate the value you bring and how you are different. The world has changed with the rise of the internet.
Absolutely, knowing how to communicate is key! Now, what does a typical workday of a personal brand communication strategist look like? What’s your job all about?
I work with individuals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers who understand that people perceive them in a certain way, which creates an online reputation. I help them control it by helping them create a personal brand.
It’s not the simplest of processes, particularly when you are trying to do it yourself. I run strategy sessions that are often one-on-one. I might be working on mindset or communication, while other time we might be analyzing the market and looking at how my client’s skills give them a positioning advantage over the competition. I also run group courses helping people in the process of creating a personal brand. Finally, I often take part in public speaking events and podcast interviews.
On your website, I saw you’re offering a “LinkedIn Bootcamp”, your workshop to teach people how to build their personal and professional success. What is this course about and what can people learn from it? Who would you say are your clients? Are they coming from many different industries and sectors?
It’s for freelancers or experts that have vast expertise but feel unsure about self-protection. It’s for anyone who wants to learn basic principles of how to control and communicate your personal brand. Once we lay the foundations, we look at how to optimize and use LinkedIn to leverage personal brand for professional success.
I teach about LinkedIn because this professional platform is the easiest and most efficient place to start controlling your professional online presence. When you use LinkedIn strategically to communicate your personal brand value and positioning, you can see offline results faster than on any other social platform.
It is indeed a very useful tool to communicate your values and present yourself. Are there some mistakes your clients typically make with their LinkedIn before they decide to contact you?
Yes. Quite a few.
First comes the tactic and volume approach. That can create some brand awareness but hardly ever brings opportunities and strong personal brand presence. They jump into creating content, engaging and being present because doing something feels good. False beliefs about the platform often hold my clients back.
I also work on mindset blocks entrepreneurs face when building their personal brand online. I worked with some exceptional experts in my career but I haven’t come across one that had zero mindset blocks or false beliefs.
Where did you actually gain all your knowledge and expertise on Personal Brand and LinkedIn? Is it simply from your experience using the platform?
No, my knowledge comes from my degree in Communications and my Master’s in Politics, where I specialized in political marketing. I later spent over a decade continuing to study and learning about digital forms of communication, while simultaneously practising digital communication. We are going back to the times when people didn’t know what a blog or a blogger was. I saw the birth of many social media platforms and I started using most of them.
I also have an interest in behavioral psychology and cyberpsychology. I combine all that knowledge to create the most comprehensive approach for my clients, helping them communicate and transform their personal brand with ease.
Ewa, you’re working alone and independently. How do you organize yourself?
I’m very particular about the structure of my workday.
Implementing systems was a game-changer for my business growth; that’s why I’m using Mailbutler. I’m also a great believer in developing good habits. All of this means I tend to have themed days; client days, content days, business development days, etc.
Regardless of what type of day it is, I always start with a morning routine, which is designed to give me time to start the day on my terms. Some of the things I include in my morning routine are reading, journalling, and setting an intention for the day as well as my “one thing a day”. The “one thing a day” is my priority that I want to accomplish to feel satisfied.
At 13:00 I will go for an hour-long walk and have lunch. When I get back I deal with emails for another 30 min. Again, I use Mailbutler and schedule emails to be sent at 17:00. Then I move onto further tasks, keeping it all within the theme of the day.
At the end of the day, I spend the final 30 minutes on emails. Anything I reply to I schedule for 8:00 the next morning. However, I do use the “best time to reach” tool from Mailbutler whenever I send emails to clients in different time zones, particularly when I communicate with people in the USA.
I often finish the day with a workout. Then sleep and repeat.
How do you use Mailbutler for better inbox management?
I answer my emails three times a day for 30 minutes. There are days when I only check my mailbox twice. Usually, I work on my email first thing in the morning, after lunch, and in the evening.
This is another reason why I love Mailbutler. When I sit down at 8:00 and write my emails, I schedule them to be sent at 13:00 because I don’t want anyone interrupting me through the first part of the day with replies. I’m most productive in the mornings.
I also love Mailbutler Templates. As I said I love systems. This feature helps me reduce the time I spend on my emails. I have a template for FAQs or any emails that I need to send more than five times. Some templates might need adjusting but using templates not only gives me more time but also gives me more mental space.
Don’t forget to read our interview with Sean Donnelly. In our interview “Small Roundups – Big Impact“, he tells us about his app that makes it possible to donate to charities, schools, and other good causes by rounding up all of your card payments to a whole number.
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