#53: Matthew Sweetwood, CEO of beBee, gives tips on building a social media based personal brand

It’s true that you can’t be everything to everyone and that you need to have a niche and speak in your own voice. But are you ready to be controversial? In today’s episode, hear Matt’s caution and his advice regarding potentially sensitive topics.

Listen to this episode on iTunes

What was your biggest insight from this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @influencer_inc.


An influencer is someone who can affect a marketplace, a business, a community in any kind of way.

Matthew is CEO of beBee, a professional social network and personal branding agency. They help serve both companies and individuals who want to build personal brands.

Matt reinvented his film business when digital cameras entered the mainstream by opening a camera store. To market his store, he used social media. He found that speaking as the owner of the company drew more attention than discussion around the company itself. He made things personal, even talking about his role as a single parent of five children. His personal following became larger than that of the company. He was able to leverage his personal following to help his business.

Matt works with two other people on his team, but nobody posts for him. All posts on his personal accounts are his own writing. His helpers will re-tweet, prepare emails, schedule posts, etc.

On controversial topics:

  • If you’re going to do something controversial, be ready because people will find it.
  • If you post an article, make sure every statement in the article is true.

Reasons aspiring influencers fail:

  • Inauthentic content
  • Not working at it long enough

The process of writing will help you determine what topics you’re most interested in.

The process of establishing a personal brand:

  • Establish a voice that people are interested in
  • Produce content — pictures, video, articles — and see what is most successful
  • Use social tools to build your audience

Current projects: writing and promoting his upcoming book, My Big Life: How a Single Dad of Five Lost His Hair, Saved His Sanity, and Gained His Soul.

Favorite Five

  • Book: Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh
  • Influencer: Donald Trump
  • Conference, group, or event: Photo Plus Expo and Dad 2.0
  • Preferred social network: beBee
  • Tool that you can’t live without: Fitbit