Episode #
021

Building a Unique Online Presence With Christina Voll | TNN21

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Episode Summary

There’s a reason why professionals from almost every industry have jumped onto the bandwagon of internet marketing. It’s because they realized the ability of the internet to build brands. There was a time when only celebrities or big companies had personal brands. A time when famous singers, musicians, and actors got all the attention. A personal brand isn’t that much different from a business brand. Instead of marketing a store or product, you’re marketing yourself. Christina Voll helps people build their personal branding and increase traffic to their sites and pages.

In this episode of The New Nomad, Christina joins our hosts, Andrew Jernigan and Allen Koski, in educating the audience about how important your online presence is whether you’re a business owner or a freelancer. They gave tips on how to thrive in this digital era and discussed the strategies that work for you to better market yourself which is vital for digital nomads. Their conversation about their experiences are value-filled and would certainly help aspiring digital nomads on their journey.

What You'll Learn

Overlooked place:

   Hampi, India - learn more, click here

Timestamps

[5:48] The importance of brand identity

[7:48] Social media: an important avenue for personal branding

[11:15] Getting your message across

[14:44] Believe that it is possible and it will be

[17:05] Keeping everything simple

[23:12] Get off the beaten path

Show Transcript

Allen  

Welcome to The New Nomad. We're really excited today to have Christina Voll here with us of Rising Remotely. She really helps people with their unique online digital presence. She's a digital marketing consultant, many of you out there have made that great move, and understand the importance of that. Me, as somebody who's been a late adopter to this, I've learned so much recently. And this is where I'm going to bring my co host, Andrew Jernigan, into the conversation. Because Andrew, you've opened my eyes so much to the importance of building your own personal brand, being online, being accessible to folks. I'd love your thoughts today. And first off, how are you doing?

Andrew  

Well, thank you, Allen, it's great to be here with you again. And you know, the guests we you bring in on the show. They're fabulous. So it's it's a great day to take a dive into how we communicate. As individuals, I think so many times whether we're, we're loyal to a company, you know, they're giving us many times when you work for a company, you feel like, okay, they're giving me my check. So my presence has to talk about them. But your persona, so many times needs to be about you because you move from place to place. And now as people are working from anywhere, many more people are able to have freedom with where they go, it needs to be top of mind with how they talk about themselves, how they present themselves, that their social media is needs to shout out their, their greatness. And that often isn't something that is done naturally by most people. It takes someone to come alongside and coach through that process. Because other people can see how great you are quicker than you do yourself sometimes.

Allen  

Well, you know, it's interesting, I've, I've taken a peek at your personal website, and Christina's and of course, as one who does not have one right now, incredibly impressive, because you can see the different articles writtens, you know, different talks, you can really get an essence of the of the person. And you know what, you may not get on something like LinkedIn, which tends to be so focused on business. So I'm really excited about the conversation today. I'm kind of almost like building your own personal platform, for lack of a better term. Maybe that's even the right term. But I know I'm one who could stand to learn quite a bit. So why don't we bring Christina into the conversation? And and say hello, Christina. Welcome to The New Nomad. Where are you today? And greetings! Thanks for joining us.

Christina  

Thank you so much for having me. I'm currently I just arrived in Athens, Greece. 

Allen  

Wow. So So before we get into the personal platform, it may things tell us about the transition, because I know a lot of people have been asking us about how easy is it to mobilise between locations? How has been your transition?

Christina  

Um, yeah, it has been, it was relatively easy. There was a little bit of craziness, when I booked my initial flight, and it was cancelled, because there was a ban on flights from Latin America. So I had to book another flight. But luckily now, the policies are pretty relaxed. And so now I have a voucher. And then when I tried to board my flight, leaving Columbia to Europe. Luckily, I have a pretty good level of Spanish. So I was able to negotiate for about a half an hour with them saying that I was allowed in the country. They thought I needed a permanent residency in Greece, they thought that I needed a return flight. But luckily, I had Wi Fi and just read the cover of it. It worked out well. Yeah. But the essence of travelling was was easy. It was like, there was not many people in the airports. It was really relaxed in that sense.

Allen  

Because I know when Andrew you travelled to Brazil, you know, it was it's, you know, with the COVID tests are some of the information you need beforehand. And of course, we talked to more of our friends in the digital nomad community who are taking advantage of those visas. Is Greece one of those countries? Or they not quite on the digital nomad visa bandwagon yet where so you have to stay maybe a shorter period of time.

Christina  

Yeah, I'm not entirely sure if they've issued it yet. Um, but I know there's definitely talk of it. And I've heard about Greece being wanting to be a digital nomad kind of hotspot and everything, and I think it's in the works. I'm just not entirely sure if it's already pushed out yet.

Allen  

That would be a fantastic place for folks to go. So tell us a little bit about kind of how you help. You know, freelancers, business owners, interested parties to really build their their online presence. Because what I've seen, that you built for yourself in others is extremely impressive. And for somebody like myself, it looks like magic almost.

Christina  

Thank you so much. Um, yeah, so about, I guess about seven years ago, I started as a freelancer in digital marketing. And over the last seven years, I learned how to build my clients brands, I was with a client for nearly four years, that was a lot of great experience, I really grew three of his brands, which was awesome. And so from there, I really kind of honed in on realizing that it's really important to be able to have your brand identity as any type of business if you are having a personal brand as a freelance or an online business owner, anything like that, and just for your brand in general. So yeah, I provide digital marketing services for them. 

And then in addition to that, around two years ago, I switched into mentoring others. I first started with mentoring how to become a digital nomad but I realised that that was a little bit too wide of a choice to help people out. People were coming to me with all different types of problems that I couldn't actually help them solve everything. So I, I specified and went into more or less helping people turn their business idea into, like aligning with their passion and then create their their online business, whether they want to be a freelancer or an entrepreneur, or I help established freelancers or entrepreneurs kind of level up their their personal branding.

Andrew  

So when you say level up their personal branding, do you believe that social media is the number one way to do that? Or do you think it means that they need to have their own their own website and unique URL presence that is able to morph and continually grow with that. Because when I think of building your own platform, I think of Okay, I'm gonna build a a deck. And I can't build a deck, I need someone to come in and design it, someone else to hammer the nails, someone else to come stain it or at least tell me what stain to go get. And then I can stain it after they've done the rest. Tell us what what are the priorities in in that process?

Christina  

I think one of the the main priorities, whether you are using social media, or your own personal brand is just knowing more or less what you are delivering as a service to your clients and knowing what makes you unique. So I deal with a lot of kind of just understanding what makes you unique and understanding your messaging, whether you want to be using it on social media or a platform. But I also personally, because I've been a social media manager for the last seven years, I don't really necessarily have the time to be an influencer and show up on Instagram Stories every single day because it's super time consuming. So I totally understand that as well. 

And that's why sometimes I would recommend to you know, have a platform instead have a on your own personal website, because it can sometimes be easier and you can get your point across rather than always having to stick to social media. But of course if you have zero social media as well, that can backfire on you. So it's kind of a combination of everything and whatever you feel is most authentically in correlation with what you want to put out. So if you are not that type of person to show your face on Instagram, then maybe a website is more more fit for you. But if you are really social and you are excited about filming yourself and everything, then definitely social media is super important tool and especially now with with reels on Instagram, with different platforms coming out, it's it's becoming really really important for sure.

Allen  

Is it more important about monetizing your presence or announcing your presence? Or is that really up to the person you know that what they're using their their platforms for?

Christina  

Yeah, I think I think it really depends on the person I'm with me myself, I actually I have so many videos filmed I haven't had the time to even like put them out because I'm helping other people put stuff out for them. But yeah, I think it's I actually made a video about myself neglecting personal branding and everything. And as soon as I kind of started to to go towards my own brand and start. Even if it's just, you know, a long post on Instagram explaining my thoughts about a certain situation, and therefore creating a little bit of thought leadership, just little steps like that really brought me to clients coming in through my Instagram DMs or people approaching me on my website and setting up a discovery calls. So it really is kind of a combination, like you should have something there, it shouldn't be crickets, for your personal brand. 

But also I find a lot of my clients come to me and they are really kind of paralyzed about, you know, trying to not some sort of fuzzy, which is a big, big concept because people are, you know, if they're, you know, selling you online yoga classes, for example, it's totally out of their element, let's say to be, oh, yeah, buy this with this coupon code and 50% off blah blah blah. And so it really just depends on the person. And I think that's why I always try and make sure the messaging in the beginning is so important, because it's whatever you feel is most authentically you. So sometimes I just strip everything down and just pretend like you know, you're talking to a friend or something and explain, explain yourself, explain your brand, explain what you stand for. That sometimes is the easiest way to kind of figure out what you want to say and how you want to position yourself.

Andrew  

You've been living this, this remote work, location independent, digital nomad lifestyle for quite some time now. I think you just came from Colombia into Greece. Where's your next destination?

Christina  

Spain. Yeah, I've actually been trying to live in Spain for the last I think like three or four years now. It's been, yeah, my, my boyfriend and I met six years ago in Spain, we both love the country so much. And now with the way that the world is going, we are thinking of possibly, you know, trying to kind of settle down a little bit in Spain. But being that I'm Canadian, I never really actually went through the paperwork and got a visa. Like as part of me still wanted to travel and everything. And yeah, so now I the visa I was going to get they actually discontinued because of Coronavirus, because it wasn't super necessary. So now I live there long term I'm going to have to find a job offer makes things a little bit more interesting. But But for now, I'm just going to go as a tourist.

Andrew  

Whether, you know, so many people want to start this journey that you've done. And they've come to your company, your course, you know, they've go to other sources thinking how can I do this? They hear you talk about your you know, for three years, Spain and but yeah, then the meantime, you're going all these other place. It seems so idealic for some now that they have the freedom to do this, now that they have the freedom to do the job they were doing without the commute to the office, or they're going to have the freedom in the next season. When you when these folks hear you say this, it I think that many people see it as almost unattainable. It's that rainbow on the horizon that they know it's real but certainly there's no pot of gold at the bottom. Certainly it's not possible for them. What would you say about that? How would you respond to those who really want to do this, but it seems unattainable to them?

Christina  

Um, I think that a really good thing that I did when I was kind of not sure if I needed to go back to a nine, like, I actually never wasn't a nine to five. But if I ever needed to, you know, have my plan B to go to a nine to five or anything in my first couple of years when I was starting out. Something that I did that was actually just a really small thing is that pretty much every single night, before I went to sleep as I was laying in bed, I realistically thought of all of the reasons why this could be possible, you know. Am I doing the work? Realistically? like is this possible for me? Am I trying hard enough to get clients? Am I producing good results in my continuously learning? And you know what I would answer my to myself? Yes, yes, yes. So, all of us, like realistically I would, I would make myself believe that it is possible. And I think that really, really helped me make it attainable. And it's something that is actually so small that you can do every single day and it's kind of rewiring your brain to know that you can do it. And as soon as I took away more and more dropped outs, my career floor, flourished more and more. So it's definitely a lot about mindset, I think as well.

Allen  

So you know

Christina  

of course, the realistic tasks too. 

Allen  

But it's sometimes you have to let a little bit of imagination take over and say, I can do this. And, and to that end, it's, it's interesting. So if I'm sitting out there and listening this podcast, I'm thinking to myself, so I'd like to build an online digital presence. I'd like to have Christina's assistance, how hard is it when you talk to somebody for the first time?To you know, I mean, how long does it take? Is it really expensive and difficult? Is it more about what people have done than what they're planning to do? Help me with kind of like the basics of, you know, if you're talking to somebody about an online presence, kind of some of the steps so if somebody is listening to this, before they reach out to you, they have an expectation of, either it's, it's a long process or a shorter process, etc, or difficult process, or relatively simple when it's with a professional like yourself who's done this before? And, to me, it seems overwhelming, but you, you've done it many times, and you can help people through it.

Christina  

Yeah, definitely. So I think that sometimes people, you know, have this never ending to do lists that say, Okay, I need to do this, and this to get to this point. And this list keeps on getting longer and longer, and therefore, what they want becomes less attainable and less attainable in their mind. But actually, one of the first things I do with all of my clients is I get them to literally put their whole life on paper. So their to do lists, like what they think that they need to do to get this location independent lifestyle, their day to day, you know, what they're doing with their time now, they're their family obligations, everything. I get them to just put it all on a paper and it overwhelms them alive. And then from there, then we break everything down, and we look at, okay, what is your day going to be like, so you can take steps to be able to start and to be able to actually overcome that overwhelming feeling of, you know, being having so many resources having so much uncertainty is for you. If this is not Am I going to, Am I making the right decision with starting a business or should I become a freelancer? What's you know, like, there's so much uncertainty in that. So I just break it down. The best advice to kind of start is just to look at your whole life and think about what you can kind of do every single day to try and get you closer to that goal. And also, don't be afraid to pivot later on, if you want to start a business but then you realize freelancing is more for you, it's more just about making those first moves. 

Allen  

It sounds like that just getting started and taking making incremental progress all the way along until you get to where you need to be, which is kind of like life. I mean, every day we're making, trying to make some progress, learn something new, etc. on that. The other thing I noticed, as I've looked at your, your website, and even Andrew's, is it's very pleasing imagery and built in a way. So you know, there's a little bit of discussion on so somebody writes down all the stuff on their life, but the images and things that are that are selected, is that an area that you spent a lot of time on? Because to me just looking at stuff, sometimes if it's pleasant, you naturally have a good feeling. And then you continue on. And what I saw for both of your sites look look really nice. 

Christina  

Thank you. Yeah, definitely, it was a bit of effort. Um, I've had, I've asked my boyfriend many times to take little photo shoots with me. I've done it myself with the tripod as well. Which I actually feel like is a lot more fun. Because then you don't have a time limit. You're not asking somebody else for a favour, and everything like that. But, um, it took it took a while for me to realize the importance of picture is actually in imagery. Because when I was traveling, I there was times when I was traveling, even without a phone and I kind of went through this personal challenge of you know, not wanting to document and all of my life and just live everything in the moment. But then I realized that it's super important that an image you know, does does really help paint the picture. So yeah, so not now. I hope people realize that as well.

Andrew  

Well, you know, when you're when you're looking at this next season and when you're seeing that so many people are going to come into your course. So many people are going to be entering this new, globally distributed workforce around the world. Do you believe that this is going to fade? And companies are going to change their mind and say no, come back to the office? Or it is going to continue in the at the rate it is right now you. I believe you, you have your fingers on the pulse of it in a way that other people don't. You're you're viewing it differently from, you know, people from all around the world reaching out to you. So it's one do you think it's going to continue? Or do you think people will revolt when they hear that? No, I've got to go back to the office and say, No, I'm just actually going to quit now. I'm going to build my own career.

Christina  

Um, yeah, I definitely think that there is going to be a percentage of people that are excited to go back to the office, because realistically, you know, they there are some benefits. You get human interaction. A lot of people are struggling also with working from home. But I believe that just highly due to the lack of education and the lack of the right approach to working at home. For me, I've never worked in a corporate job, I've never gone into an office and worked. So for me remote work is all that I know. So for someone like me to put myself into the shoes of somebody who has been in a nine to five, I simply can't be this, I haven't had that experience. 

But I do think that once people, you know, get their their state of flow when they're working remotely, once teams figure out how to have great company culture, once people you know, perfect the art of working remotely more or less, that I think people will really go along with it. And it will be great. But of course, people wanting to, you know, maybe quit their job if they can't continue to go remote. I think it really depends how travel opens up as well, which I think is going to open up. So I do think there definitely are going to be people that are kind of thinking to themselves, like what was I waiting for so long, I've just been now basically locked down for the last year and a half, I want to take my life back. And I want to do what I want to do. And I see also a lot of people use this pandemic to really work on self improvement. So that's always the first step as well. So it's really exciting, I think, in there are going to be I think a lot of people that are making that switch.

Allen  

Yeah, I think as people now are beginning to head out, you might be able to help them with this question is, is there an overlooked person, place or experience, you would suggest that our listeners discover, obviously, you've been in a lot of different places and a lot of different experiences. We always love to try to share something that might be overlooked or not as noticed your thoughts

Christina  

about other places, I do actually enjoy going to places that are a lot less visit visited. Luckily, I had some experiences where I was able to do so. Hampi in India, for example, is this really rural town with really beautiful nature and mountains around. And I've had some really amazing experiences just like with locals, they're trying to talk with us and, and visiting with us and everything. And it was really nice. So I think just basically, going places where, you know, the culture is completely different. That's going to give you an amazing experience regardless. But also maybe when you go to those places, as long as you feel safe and everything. Also, like go off the beaten track and don't go with a tours, you know, and figure figure things out yourself. Like I went, I went to Jordan and Israel alone, and I didn't even have a phone and I was travelling around there and it was definitely an experience in itself. So I think creating more of those those experiences are great without you know, guided tours without kind of the bucket list of what the average traveller I guess has kind of going off path is really great.

Andrew  

Oh, that's so good to hear. Really good to hear. You know,  it's motivating for people that are hearing it I believe. Can you share with everyone listening though? How can people find you? How, where can they do it? It's gonna be in the show notes, but some people are listening right now and they're ready to just switch tabs on their phone and go straight to your website.

Christina  

Definitely, so my websites pretty easy to remember. It's ChristinaVoll.com. And that's my personal website, and my Instagram is ChristinaVollxo, meaning to change that. But yeah, so that's my that's my personal accounts. And also then if people are looking for more education about how to work remotely about how to get a remote job, how to start, Rising Remotely is a business that I just launched in January. And we offer online education to help you at every stage of the journey to remote work success. So if you want to become a freelancer, remote worker, online business owner, you can you can find a resource there. And that's riseremotely.com. And all of the social media channels are Rising Remotely.

Allen  

Fantastic. Well, thank you for joining us today, I've learned a lot about building a personal platform. And I know those of you listening out there will want to do that. Frankly, having a unique online presence appears to be extremely important. And in frankly, a shortcut, working with somebody like yourself who can really help. Because it seems daunting, but when you have somebody working, who's done this before, also a second set of eyes is always good. And are your thoughts on what we learned today, I feel that it really is important if you're going to go down this path to have somebody who's done this before, because I'm sure there's tonnes of pitfalls as people build personal platforms that might even send the wrong message if done incorrectly or not look great, etc.

Andrew  

Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, many people don't even realize the the ways to optimize and utilize LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for their personal platform. So as well as having your own website for it, all these are channels for your platform. So the micro blogging on LinkedIn, which is article and, you know, establishing your, your credentials, your your voice on these different platforms, it's just essential today. That, you know, as you look at the next steps of your career, whether that is, you know, in 10 years, these things have the SEO value, that when when someone types it into their favorite browser, their favorite search engine and says, okay, who is this person? Or who isn't the insure tech pioneer? Or who is the remote consultant? Who's gonna pop up? Yeah. Will it be you? So those are just some key takeaways that I that I've gathered and listening to Christina and the things that have processed on this call. That's good.

Allen  

Fantastic. Well, it's been a great podcast today. Thanks again for listening. Everyone out there. I just want to remind you that the new Nomad is not just a podcast, it's a community of people, ideas in spirit helping you take advantage of that location, independent lifestyle. We hope you keep traveling. We hope you keep building your personal brand. We're happy to be helpful in that journey. Please look in at TheNewNomad.net or insurednomads.com for more about the new Nomad and we appreciate you listening today. Keep traveling and stay safe.

Building a Unique Online Presence With Christina Voll | TNN21

About the Guest

Christina Voll

Christina Voll helps startups grow by specializing in organic and paid social, content marketing, brand development, and growth strategy. She worked remotely for the past 6 years for various types of clients in many different countries, in which she provides content marketing, Facebook advertising, business development, email marketing, and website design and development through Wix. She helps develop their brand identity and create and increase their brand presence. Christina has worked with a marketing startup as the head of digital marketing, has done growth work, organic, and paid social for several startups and influencers. She has worked on strategy for companies located in 5 different continents, including a leading Growth Hacking agency in Israel. She was a Business Development Manager growing software from Spain into the North American market and helped create a community for a social sharing app in the United States. Christina worked with tech companies, small start-ups, and big corporate companies, giving life to their branding and content marketing strategies. At the time of recording she was based in Athens, Greece.