#51: Putting More “You” in Your Business—A Guide to Building Brand Personality

I have a question for you. What do Seth Godin, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, and Richard Branson all have in common?

If the first thing that comes to mind is that they have millions of followers on social media, you are right about that. That’s definitely true.

But the answer I am looking for is the reason behind their millions of followers on social media. There’s a single strategy they all share, a strategy that drives enormous numbers of people to follow them.

The answer: their brands are big on personality. 

It would actually be truer to say that their personalities are their brands. From their signature look to their unique ways of expressing themselves, these people package their content in a way that sets them apart from anybody else in their niche.

When you have great content, really smart offers, and a foolproof marketing strategy and you are still not getting the traction your brand deserves, what you may be missing is personality.

People respect someone who works really hard. But they love someone whom they feel is real, someone they can connect with. And in a marketplace that’s bursting with hard-working, hustling entrepreneurs, people are more likely to follow their heart than anything else.

What you want is for their heart to lead them to you.

Today’s episode is all about making that authentic connection with your audience by infusing your brand with personality–your personality.

Image for Episode 51

Before I dive in, today’s free download is called “The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Infusing Your Personality In All You Do.” It shows some of the best examples of strategies I am going to highlight for you today. Download it by clicking here.

Believe it or not, there is even an industry term for this way of infusing your brand with personality. Marketing analysts call it the “personality differentiator.” Here’s what it can do for your business:

  1. It demonstrates why you are different from others who provide very similar products or services.
  2. It engages your audience capturing their interest and drawing them into your message.
  3. It establishes an ongoing rapport between you and your audience, creating a bond that will help you convert leads into clients when the time is right.
  4. It proves there is more to you and your brand than just facts, figures, and fancy technology. It shows you actually have heart.
  5. It transforms your message from boring to fascinating, increasing both the impact of your message as well as the quality of the opportunities your messaging generates.

Big corporations recognize the importance of personality in their brand—that’s why so many of them get celebrities to endorse their product, or invent engaging fictional characters for the job. (Think Flo from Progressive Insurance.)

But entrepreneurs like you and me usually can’t afford to hire an outside face for our company…and guess what? We don’t need to. Instead, we get to use our own personality and everything that makes it special, magnetic, intriguing, funny, maybe even a little bit controversial, to help our own brands instantly stand out in the crowd.

Being Authentic and Professional

Some of you may be hesitating, “Are you suggesting that I use Kim Kardashian tactics to increase my brand’s visibility? No, thanks!” Don’t worry—that’s not what I’m recommending here. There’s definitely a fine line between between showcasing your personality and going to unprofessional lengths for attention.

If you look at someone like Oprah, she definitely has the whole look-into-my- real-life thing going for her while still keeping the respect of her audience. Throughout her career she has given plenty of hints as to her real life so that we feel like we really know her. We’ve seen her gain and lose weight. We’ve heard her start and abandon projects. We’ve heard her talk about friendships and politics and everything else in between. Through it all she’s been admirably consistent with her brand.

The key to being real but maintaining respect is found in being relatable.

Relatable = Staying In Your Niche While Reaching Out to Others

To be relatable to people on a wider scale, you have to do two things:

The first thing is to give of yourself. Don’t just tell them what they need to hear; tell them what you need to say. Speaking from your heart shows that you know your stuff and you’re passionate about what you do.

The second thing is to be honest. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. You’ve got to be real about what your life is all about.

Now let’s jump into the various ways that you can start infusing your winning personality into your brand through various kinds of messaging.

Written Content

This applies to blogging, of course, but also to social media updates, email marketing, and anything else your audience might read from you.

It’s a pretty general rule that it’s best to write the way you talk. For some people that comes naturally. For others, it sometimes feels like rocket science.

It can also feel a little bit vulnerable if you want to be taken seriously as a professional. But believe me, it’s always better to sound like you—quirks and all—than to sound like a generic “professional” with nothing unique or charming to make your voice memorable.

If it’s hard for you to write the way you talk, then run your next piece of content by your best friend or spouse, and ask them to tell you honestly if it sounds like you.

Your “About” Page

About Pages can represent over 60% of your website’s total traffic. Sound crazy? It just goes to show that people really want to know who you are. When they click on your About Page, it means they like what they have been reading so far and they want to get to know more about the kind of person you are. Which means you’re more than halfway to getting a new customer!

The most foolproof way to create a compelling About Page is to tell a story. Don’t just state the credits of your resume or the praise you’ve received. Craft a narrative of how you ended up where you are, what you love about it, and what you hope to accomplish in the long run. The silly stuff, the entertaining stuff, the things you think really don’t matter, are what round out your personality and create trust between you and the reader…because they seeing you as a fellow human being.

Melissa CasseraOne person whose About Page helps her stand miles apart from her crowd is publicity expert Melissa Cassera.  Her About Page is so good that I’m including the entire thing in the free PDF that I’ve created for you. Click here to get the download now.


Photos and Imagery

You may already realize the power of Instagram as a messaging tool. But are you using photo sharing to its full potential?

If you narrow your focus just a little bit with the images you post on all social media, this could have a huge effect in terms of defining your brand personality.

Start limiting your brand accounts  to a specific image, or even a category of images, that reflect something true and unique about how you see the world.

A great example of this is Foster Huntington, a graphic designer who created an iconic brand for himself with his photos of camper vans accompanied by the hashtag #vanlife. You can see this and more examples in my free download.

Wondering what to post? The key is not to think about it too hard. Just pare away the number of cute photos of your dog or your lunch, and focus more on images that you really like, the ones that really resonate with you. The pattern will evolve over time, and come to define your brand in an organic way.

Listen to Episode 51 in full to get even more insights…click here to download the audio from iTunes.

Video

If you listened to our last episode, you learned some basics about how to get a lot of compelling lead action into a short amount of video footage. So why not use that same technique to infuse personality into your brand? Videos let your visuals and your words come together with that certain something that makes your personality unique.

A lot of people get really scripted in their videos, because they want to be taken seriously as an authority in their field. There’s nothing wrong with a script, except when it leaks all the real-person charm out of your delivery. Looking like you know your stuff but having a dry, soulless delivery is actually worse for your brand than, say, flubbing one of your lines or having your dog bark in the middle of your recording.

The answer to this is simple: write your script, read it over a few times, and then throw it away before you hit “Record.” Just talk to your audience through the camera about what you want them to understand. (It may take some practice…we’re not all natural players to the camera.)

And no, you don’t have to specialize in videography for your short videos to be a valuable addition to your content. Approach your videos this way: What can you say to your audience that will help or inspire them in 15 seconds?

Network with Your Community (Virtual or Local)

Create a place on your site where you turn the spotlight back on your community.

Poppin imageFor example, the office supply company Poppin has a web page where they feature photos people have taken of themselves with their brand new Poppin products, tagged with #workhappy.

Another example is Zipcar, the rental car company. When you search for cars to rent,  you’ll find little blurbs about iconic local destinations in whatever city you’re searching. This gives the Zipcar brand a well-traveled impression…a very good thing for a transportation business.

The Behind-The-Curtain Approach

Not everything you post has to be about you. If there’s something you’re passionate about, zero in on it and feature it.

Even if it’s something that has nothing to do with your business, maybe a charity project, a certain travel destination, a hobby, a favorite TV show, offering little updates on this throughout your content gives people a sense of who you are.

What you value enough to talk about tells people about you and it will resonate with them in ways you probably can’t even imagine.

Be Yourself

Maybe this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway…

The key to infusing personality into your brand is to be yourself. 

I know that feels scary at times. You don’t want to lose potential customers because you say something one way and not another way. When you take risks and really put your personality out there, sometimes it can be a little polarizing. But that’s okay. All you really need to worry about is that

  1. You are being yourself, and
  2. You’re creating content that will resonate with your ideal audience.

Don’t forget to download the free PDF I’m offering with this episode. It will show you examples of infusing your personality in your brand. I’ve also included some practical steps on how to use storytelling to infuse your personality into your messaging. Click here to get it now.

Links mentioned in this episode include:

LeadPages

Thug Kitchen

Ramit Sethi

Melissa Cassera

Murad Osmann

Foster Huntington

Zach King

Poppin

Humans of New York

Podcast Details:

Click here to download the transcript.

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  • Shelly

    This was really great!!! I had to laugh when you talk about your into – mine is always, “hey guy’s Shelly here.” I try not to do it but it happens. So, like you, I just gotta go with it!!!