It All Comes From You

Many people struggle with trying to find a balance between authenticity and authority in personal branding.  It can cripple you when it comes to creating content to attract new clients.

However, I believe that authority comes naturally to those who know their topic or specialty inside out.  You may walk into a room or onto a stage quivering like a mouse but get you started on your ‘specialist subject’ and you have an inner confidence that just shines through.  

I’ve talked about authenticity in my previous blog post called A Powerful Personal Brand but briefly, it’s about the importance of not worrying about what people think of you, being radically honest in all your interactions with pen or microphone and showing your own vulnerability at times.

Telling your personal story can help here and you must not shy away from sharing the not-so-great times as well as your successes. But do share how you overcame those challenges too, or it can sound like a pity party.

I’m always talking about the tough times I experienced during the global financial crisis which hit the UK in 2009/2010, just after I’d created my first ever really financially successful business.  My confidence was shot, I had no resources and no idea what to do next.

Just one of the many practically positive things I did to get myself back on my feet again, was to start a podcast, interviewing all the successful people I know and asking them about their story and for their best tips.  I knew something would jump out at me and stick eventually.

It only took 150 odd episodes before an idea came to me but I started to feel better a long time before that.  So I was ready and more confident when the idea did finally strike.

Another story I tell regularly is the about the bad time (in business and life!) I experienced straight after Steve died suddenly in 2016, just as I was building Clicks & Leads, my productised Facebook Ads company.  It was going like a train, building fast to be at least a six-figure business from scratch and then boom!  It completely tanked!  

I never did figure out if it was my grieving process and subsequent shift in my energy, or if people were just embarrassed and feeling sorry for me, metaphorically crossing the digital street in order not to do business with someone who was in pain. In case, god forbid, I tried to talk about it in the middle of an ads consultation.

But telling that story openly and unashamedly will help me to resonate with other people who have lost loved ones suddenly and managed to keep going in life and in business.  Who knew that they had to get through it for the sake of their business or children to set an example of resilience.

None of this is about marketing techniques, you’ll notice.

Telling your story (or those of your clients) makes you stand out from the crowd and helps your potential future client to empathise or understand you more and if your story resonates with them, they’ll feel that you’ll be more likely to know and understand THEM better.

My role is not so much teaching people what to do, in which order, and on which platform.  

While I do know which software to use, which bits of content to create in which order to make the next one easier, which techniques to use to make software and platforms perform better, it’s often not so much about the techie side of things at all.

It’s about encouraging people to be 100% themselves, to remind you that, as Marisa Peer says ‘YOU ARE ENOUGH!’ and that there are many people out there in the world who need you, who need your knowledge, your skills or speciality.

To remind you that, even if your peers might talk about you behind your back and comment on what you are doing on social media, those peers will not be paying your bills any time soon.

Being an expert, specialist or author is only one-third of the game.  

Creating and sharing great content that resonates with your ideal future customer is the second third.  Then creating and running a successful business is the final third.

You bring the first bit, I’ll show you what to do with it, then help you with the other bits.

Together we can make you more successful than you would be, on your own.

In spite of what life throws at you!

To get a feel for what it would be like to work with me, just check out this page, then visit my online diary, to book yourself in for a quick initial chat.

I really look forward to talking to you.

Picture by Dall-e, Prompt by Nicola Cairncross


Authenticity, author, authority, content marketing, expert, good enough, i am enough, speaker, specialist

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  1. Wonderful post Nicola.
    X ps.
    I'm halfway through Key person Of Influence. Some fab ideas and it's (hopefully) going to be a gamechanger for me. Thanks for sharing the info on Daniel Priestley. I'm determined to alter my trajectory (skywards!) this year!
    Following your online 'rebirth' after your Greek sojourn has been so helpful for me. It's given me some structure and lots of ideas. I love your sheer enthusiasm, your 'hutzpah', :-)) even when things are not going so well. You are a force of nature!

    1. Thanks for the comment Caitlin. Just saw today Dan’s got a KPI Netflix series coming out. How good will that be. You maybe want to apply to be a candidate?

      Would you like to take part in the most inspiring, educational and entertaining TV show ever made?

      Netflix presents: Key Person of Influence (6 episodes)
      This series takes you on an exhilarating journey with 12 ordinary business owners who are about to become anything but ordinary.

      Across an action-packed series, witness their incredible transformations as they learn from industry titans, hone their unique value, and elevate their personal brands to heights they never imagined. From securing lucrative book deals to launching groundbreaking products, each episode is a testament to the power of strategic influence and visionary ambition.

      By the season’s end, these entrepreneurs will not only achieve their business goals but redefine what it means to be a leader in their field. Tune in to see who will rise to the challenge and become the ultimate Netflix Key Person of Influence!

      Would you like to be one of the 12 contestants?

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