#ValuableDiversity (Interview Series) – ep. 09 – Personal Branding


Introducing you to interesting people around the world


 

Meet Quentin Allums

– Personal Branding and Content Strategist (Greater Milwaukee, USA) –

***

1. Hi, Quentin, it’s an honor to have one of LinkedIn’s stars accepting my interview request! You’re awesome! Let’s pretend, for a minute, that people have never heard of you (well, this interview also goes on other 2 websites – afsyn.com and takenofake.xyz, my Facebook page, etc., so there’s a real chance for this to be true 🙂 ). Can you please tell us a bit about Q, before LinkedIn? Introvert or extrovert?

“If you’re being honest to yourself, you will be happy and fulfilled. And, ultimately, that is all that matters.”

Sure! I currently have one of the top LinkedIn video channels and have amassed over 3 million content views. Before LinkedIn, I was a musician, collegiate athlete, worked many in many marketing positions and my first startup failed months before I jumped into LinkedIn content creation. I used LinkedIn to build my brand, influence, launch a new company and I now travel the world speaking and capturing stories full-time.

2. Through all your videos (#justQ) you send an amazing vibe. You’re so comfortable with the camera! (hope I’ll get there one day, ☺))) Was this always like this?

NO! I remember when I was first launching my initial startup and a friend/mentor asked to interview me. That was by far the worst video I ever made. I was uncomfortable… My voice was shaky… And I felt like a fraud! I decided that I never wanted to feel that way again, so I recorded a video every single day – video diary format – and uploaded it to YouTube, for 100 days straight. Then I moved to Snapchat, Instagram, Ask Whale (a Q&A platform that no longer exists) and, later on, LinkedIn. By the time LinkedIn video came around, I have had found my voice and grew to love the camera.

3. An imminent question… How long did it take you to get from Quentin Allums – the newbie – to Just Q – the amazing story teller and brand booster? Tell us about your adventure in the content creation world, please. Preferably something that was never seen on camera 😉

If I’m being honest, I don’t think I’m there yet. I do this full-time. I love it. But I’m not a master storyteller, yet. I have been writing, observing and crafting stories my entire life. I was told I would never be able to make a good living out of it. So I pushed that aside.

” I just tell my truth (…) But I know that I have a long way to go!”

I initially started telling stories on LinkedIn because I didn’t believe that anyone would listen to a 23 year old (at the time) talking about marketing. I knew that, if I branded myself well, then others would want the same. If I could prove I was great at telling my story, then I would never have to tell anyone how great I was, in order to attract leads.

And it really evolved from there. I went with the flow. I learned from my failures and I adjusted, where needed. I don’t view myself as an “amazing storyteller”… I just tell my truth. I appreciate my communities’ support and love, but I know that I have a long way to go. Nonetheless, I have gotten to where I am today simply by taking action. And by taking that action quickly!

4. Though you’ve worked hard to become the CEO of your own dreams, you’re so friendly and approachable! Tell us, please, how do you keep your attitude intact, through it all? 

When I first launched my company, I didn’t have much support. I lost my friends, my girlfriend and there was a lot of tension in my family… I never want someone to feel the way that I did when I chose to chase my dreams. There are times when I am surprised that I pushed through; and I know that, if one thing happened to have changed, I may have not made it here at all.

I never want to be the reason someone quits chasing their dreams for. I always want to be there to help. My time is limited, but I will always help out where I can.

5. I remember that, during our call – back in March – you told me that Quentin the human and Quentin the business man are now melted into one: Just Q. (Sometimes I wonder how do you find the time to sleep!) Genuinity or “fake it till you make it”?

“Don’t allow yourself to get trapped into the idea that you need to be who you were yesterday.”

I sleep! But I just sleep when I am tired and work when I am not. It’s simple, really! I love what I do! 🙂

6. Do you find it helpful to always be yourself, no matter what?

Yes. But, I think, before you can be yourself you have to discover/decide who you are and be okay with not knowing sometimes. Humans are always evolving. So, don’t allow yourself to get trapped into the idea that you need to be who you were yesterday.

7. Was there a time you were supposed to merge the two – genuinity and fake – to come up with a special mask, for an extreme situation?

No.

8. A certain percentage of people may think that entrepreneurship is easy. Let’s burst some bubbles, as you handle several projects and companies. How do you manage to handle everything?

I’m in the process of starting a new company. My body feels like it’s been hit by a truck… My brain feels like it’s been hit by a train… Entrepreneurship is not easy! I get through it and am able to handle everything because I have an awesome team. Plain and simple!

“All of my content, comments & emails are my own words… and will always be!”

9. Which one defines you best: brainstorming or “solitary brain”?

I thrive in chaos. In madness. It’s how my brain works. Always moving… Always thinking… Brainstorming, definitely! But I do enjoy a good mental getaway every now and then.

10. Do you delegate? If yes, what is the criteria you go for when choosing the right person?

I actually struggle here. It is very hard for me to give up control in some areas and this is something that I have really worked on, this past year. I choose people that I trust, are passionate and are far more talented than I am, in their respective areas.

My business partner Eric Didier is amazing and takes a huge load off my shoulders, content-wise. We also have one of the largest Milwaukee Instagram influencers on our team, Brema. Having them two, has really helped me when it came to letting go and just focusing on what I am best at, while giving my input where needed.

11. I’m a very curious person :)) So, I’d like to know: do you manage your correspondence by yourself or is there someone else handling this?

I do everything myself. And I will never hand off my engagement! I will be bringing on an assistant soon, to help me manage my inbox/messages/life, but all of my content, comments, emails are my own words and will always be.

12. Do you think that the difference between a content/correspondence handled by the real person and the one handled by a delegate is visible?

I was actually a ghostwriter for two years. I wrote content and managed social media accounts for entrepreneurs. A good ghost writer is rare. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having someone else handling the content/ brand for you, but it needs to be the right person/team.

13. I think this is something everyone would like to find out. What are your flaws?

“He looked at me and said: “Ian [my boss at the time], hired you for you. Be you !”

My ego. I struggle with the belief that I am special and the belief that I am not, fairly frequently. Not sure if that makes any sense, but it is as best as I can explain it. It’s something that I am aware of and have been working on for the past few months now.

14. As this interview series is dedicated to raising awareness on the diversity topic (meant to connect people from all over the world, while acknowledging the human behind the brand/ status/ position within a company), please let us know where you stand regarding diversity. What is it to you and how did it help you, so far?

I have seen hatred. I have seen love. We all have disadvantages. We all have advantages.

But I am a human. And that is all that really matters to me! I don’t look like the people around me. I don’t look like most people. That can be viewed as a disadvantage, but it has also helped me immensely. But only because I owned it.

15. The questions of this interview were built after last Friday’s surprise short appearance during a Zoom call, with Stoddard Worman’s #TeamW. Your intervention, even for a moment, was fun, an energy booster and surrounded by mystery (we couldn’t even see your face ☺)) ).

Now, the question is: do you like to be surprised, as well, or just to surprise others?

I enjoy both! I love surprising other people. I like bringing joy and energy. And I am always grateful to those that do the same for me. 🙂

16. Let’s get a bit emotional here ☺. What’s the closest to your heart advice you ever received in this life?

This was a hard one for me! And I’m sure that, after I write this, I will come up with something better…

But I remember being in college and getting my first internship. It was a position I was way under-qualified for: I met everyone who was someone in the city of Milwaukee.

I remember sitting in a meeting with my boss and the owners/high level execs of the Milwaukee Bucks organization (an NBA team). The meeting was about their re-branding and appealing to Millennials. I didn’t say a word the entire meeting. I wanted to… But nothing came out… My hands were shaking the entire meeting. I went home discouraged. I talked to my best friend and told him how I didn’t feel adequate. He looked at me. And he said: “Ian [my boss at the time], hired you for you. Be you.”

17. I like to conclude my interviews with the most valuable information. Therefore, please close your eyes for a second and picture yourself speaking to the entire world. Upon opening your eyes, please tell us: what would be your most valuable message to send out to everyone?

“Be honest to yourself!”

***

When I sent out the questions, the conclusions area was blank (obviously, as I build it up based on the vibe I get from my guest’s answers). Yet today, I was amazed, as I didn’t even have to do that. Quentin has provided it as well and – no! – I’m not going to change a bit, since I love it. So, here are his words, as a final touch:

“If you’re being honest to yourself, you will be happy and fulfilled. And, ultimately, that is all that matters.”

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement, may become subject of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Quentin Allums*

If you’d like to know more about #justQ, you can follow Quentin Allums through the below channels:

LinkedIn:

Profile page:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/qallums/ or search #justQ

Company page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ie-eg/

Facebook

Page: www.facebook.com/quentinallums/

TV Show: https://www.facebook.com/milwaukeemisfits/

Instagramwww.instagram.com/qallums/

Twitter:     https://twitter.com/QAllums ( / @qallums)

Websitewww.madgenie.io (will be changing in July)

Next week (31.05.2018)Tom Lauwers

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