One of the common themes you hear repeatedly about marketing is the need to be “authentic”.
But how do you actually do it and why should you?
The most basic answer is because we all do business with people we know, like, and trust. And we can’t know, like, or trust someone who doesn’t share the sort of things we need in order to know, like, and trust them.
The other piece of the answer is, life is just too short to pretend to be someone you’re not.
But as corporate escapees…people who’ve spent decades working for companies…we may not fully know who we are.
It’s why it’s so important to detox from your corporate life as you begin to plan and build your business.
In this Facebook Live, I talked about how to put more YOU into your work and messaging.
You can watch the video below, head over to Facebook to watch and comment there, or you can skip down and continue reading where you’ll get the more organized version of my tips.
So how, exactly, do you add more YOU to your marketing?
Get clear on your POV and share it. I grew up in an environment where it wasn’t exactly safe to voice your opinion. It was a time when children were seen and not heard and you didn’t voice an opinion unless you were asked for it. And the one you voiced better agree with your parent’s. I grew up professionally in a similar environment.
There were times when it was ok to voice an opinion but even then, it had to be worded very carefully in order to get your colleagues or your boss to listen.
That can make voicing a strong opinion in your marketing very difficult. But in order to clearly stand out people need to know what you stand for. And while we all know there are lots of shades of grey in life and business, the best brands are clear and polarizing to a degree.
Remember, marketing is as much about repelling as it is about attracting.
Know what you want to be known for then work to be known for it. Do you want to be known for always being on the cutting edge? Then you better communicate true thought leader ideas. Do you want to be known as a straight-shooter? Then don’t mince words and recognize some people aren’t going to want to hear that.
Create branded content. Branding is all about being easy to remember and about making a promise to the marketplace. The goal with branded content is to become known around a language, a system, etc. It makes it easy for you to begin to be known for that specific thing. My content gets branded around the concept of courage. That also makes it easier to come up with visuals that support the messaging.
On Facebook, my posts almost always include a picture of this little cartoon guy. That helps me build a brand image so when people spot that guy in their feed, at a glance they know it’s me.
Bring things you love into your content whenever possible. My cats often pop into my videos, I make movie and Sherlock references in my posts, and when I do videos at my desk you can see items behind me that support my branding. My little stuffed lion….my violin (which is part of my Sherlock collection)…and sometimes you can see my Sherlock figurine and Sherlock teddy bear. Now that I’m doing videos in other parts of my house as well as outside (when my stupid wifi works) you’ll see my garden and other things important to me. And did I mention my cats? 🙂
Share your story. I know how hard this is. I’m a very private person and an introvert. But people really do want to know how you got where you are and they want to know what you wrestle with. Think of it this way — we want diet tips from Jennifer Hudson. We want to hear from someone who struggled and made it, not from someone who appears perfect and can make us feel like we’ll never be anywhere near where she is.
So share your mistakes….what was hard for you…and what drives you. Tell stories! Those are the things that really raise your KLT-Q — your Know-Like-Trust Quotient.
People want and need to connect emotionally as well as cognitively with you.
Embrace your quirkiness. I take pictures of my crazy socks. I’m a crazy cat lady and proud of it. I’m from Jersey and have giant coffee mugs with the State on them. I know what it’s like to be afraid of showing that stuff. But remember this: fear is just a memory. You’ve already been rejected…your feelings have been hurt….so you’re just anticipating that happening again. This is why it’s so important for you to have a clear POV and share it. When you do, you repel people who aren’t interested and you attract people who love you BECAUSE you’re quirky.
Get a color palette. One of the easiest things to do is get a color palette created. You don’t need a logo (yet anyway) but a color palette helps you create a unified, attractive message and visual identity. Be sure to invest with a good designer who truly understands branding. It’s unlikely you’ll find someone like that on Fiverr.
Finally, take some risks. On the anniversary of my car accident, I shared a very long post on Facebook. (I published it here too) I talked about my long recovery and how emotionally painful it was for me. That post got amazing engagement — more than 90 reactions, dozens of comments, and I had 20+ people ask to join my Facebook group, the Courageous Success Community.
If you’re looking to really have your marketing efforts pay off, no matter what type of content you create or where you share it, you’ve got to bring more YOU into your message so you attract more great clients and opportunities and do it faster.