We’re learning more each day about the power of human connection. People are far more likely to trust a business that has a personality behind it. While businesses may have been able to get away with only sharing their products in the past, I think consumers are getting better at spotting and blocking promotions, paid ads, and sales pitches. It simply isn’t enough to only share your work anymore, you need a brand personality !
One of the biggest things I’ve seen this year is a shift toward more authenticity and vulnerability online and through that, more depth of the connections we’re making with our clients, customers, and followers. If you really want to take people from simply followers to true fans, it’s time to focus on creating a brand that shares more than what you have to sell.
Share photos of YOU:
Want to know something crazy? Most people’s top posts are photos of THEM, not their work. Isn’t that shocking? The truth is, I believe that in order for people to truly connect with the work you’re creating, the first have to know, like, trust, and understand the creator. The more you let people into your life, the more they feel like you are a real human, not just a sales pitch. When you can become a recognizable face, you’ll start to feel more like a friend and less like a marketer. Step out of your comfort zone and in front of that lens and smile… because people are about to fall in love with you.
Hone your personal voice:
If we were sitting face to face, how would you talk to me? It’d probably be casual, fun, and make me feel comfortable – like we’ve known each other for years. But somehow when we go to type or talk about the products we sell or the services we offer, we get all clammy and sound like an awkward TV ad that people want to mute.
It’s because traditional marketing led us to believe that we have to be formal in order to be taken seriously and that in order to sell we have to pitch constantly instead of host meaningful conversations. It’s time to pay attention to the way you speak to your friends and start to use that same voice online so that you become more approachable and your voice stands out in the sea of marketing pitches.
Show Behind the Scenes:
I know, I know, it’s super not-glamorous, but here’s the thing: people love envisioning you working, your life. I never thought people could care about the house I lived in or the trips I went on but when you create a true brand (not just a business) people get invested in YOU and this not just creates loyalty, it also gives you an opportunity to tell a meaningful story in your feed, your posts, and online. Whether you share a raw Instagram story or post a little behind the scenes magic of what you’re doing, you’ll be able to foster more connection and let people feel like they are being let in on the process. (In case you’re wondering: yes, I’ve posted the couch that I’m working on as I create this post and people LOVED it!)
Real > Perfect:
Doesn’t it feel like everyone else has the picture-perfect feed/life/wardrobe/house and you’re wondering how your mess could possibly turn into a meaningful message? Yeah, we all feel the same way. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned running a personal brand is that people are craving real (especially in a day and age where everything looks so darn perfect!)
While I’m no stranger to styling pretty images or fixing up the one bright corner of my home, I’m also not afraid to talk about the real stuff – not just the highlight reel stuff. Getting a little vulnerable makes you more of a human and more relatable and it gives people the opportunity to potentially say “me too.” You can’t expect to create connection solely from what you’re selling, so having touchpoints that make you a real human behind the screen can serve you for years to come.
Don’t be a one-hit wonder:
It’s easy once you start a business to only want to share the stuff you’re selling, but truth be told, you can’t expect your product or service to be that crucial connection point that will take someone from simply being a follower to becoming a true, paying client. It’s important that your brand isn’t just based on what you’re selling (which means your feeds? Well, they need to be multifaceted too!)
Figure out different things that make YOU or your business different and then create a system to share them so that you’re never just a one-hit wonder. I love using the Jenna Kutcher 5 method where I take five categories of my personal brand and just rotate through them including a business thing or two but creating connection points beyond what I am selling. Created a well-rounded brand will give people a reason to follow you even if they aren’t currently on the market for what you’re selling!