You’ve nailed your personal brand visuals and I celebrate you for that! Fonts, colors, style – even though it’s not the copywriting – it’s all part of communicating your message to your people. But… there’s something missing. You know there’s more depth to be felt, more connections to be made.
…so I want to help you do just that. To lay a foundation in your brand for the building of more meaning. And more opportunity. More possibility.
In 1999, marketers David McNally and Karl Speak wrote in Be Your Own Brand : “Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you.”
> Total emotional experience <
We’re oh so lucky to be surrounded by beautiful brands. But in order to stand out from the crowd, you have to speak to your client in a way that nobody else is. To be authentic. To be in integrity. To connect not just with the head, but with the heart.
Here are three areas of your personal brand where you can connect with your client from the heart.
#1 Make it more about them than you
It’s all too easy to make a visual brand about you and your product/service only.
But a personal brand, believe it or not, is less about you, and more about them.
When people get this wrong, it’s what Seth Godin describes as the difference between “I made this” versus “What do you want?”
How to overcome this: Ask your ideal client questions, before you try to give them the answers. Ask them what their problems are, before trying to solve them. And ask what pain they’re in, before you try to relieve them of it.
Also, remember that your client is the hero of your story. You are simply the storyteller – there to support them, to serve them.
As Tony Robbins puts it – “I’m not your guru”. Spread this message instead, “We’re all in this together. Come with me.”
Questions to ask yourself:
- What do your audience wish they could see and hear from you? Give them that rather than what you want to show and tell.
- Rather than put yourself on a pedestal or ‘position yourself as an expert’ – how can you talk to people on their level?
- What 5 things set you apart from other experts in my industry? What’s different about you?
#2 Make your imagery match your captions to build TRUST, and get vulnerable
You often speak open and honestly on Instagram stories, but when your candid caption is paired with a perfectly shot and edited image on the feed, you can feel like it lacks… delivery.
In a personal brand, picture-perfect imagery against a raw and real caption can create a feeling of confusion in an audience. If you’ve shown up as a human in the caption, and as some sort of superhero in the image – it can feel like something’s… well, ‘off’.
As Brené Brown says, “For connection to happen we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen. You have to have the courage to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. The courage to be imperfect. Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”
And the more vulnerable you can get – with your words AND your imagery – the better. Try to make the levels of vulnerability match in your captions and images…
…so if you’re getting naked emotionally, might a make-up free selfie feel appropriate? Or a picture taken at home in your comfies rather than out and about in full glam?
You’d also do well to think about ways in which you can communicate the thoughts and feelings you’re expressing with the copy you write through the pictures you post as well.
So if you’re feeling sad, might an image by water work well? Or if you’re feeling happy, a picture of yourself mid-laugh, not necessary at your best angle, but at the angle that captures the joy you were feeling in that moment, the creases by your eyes and the wrinkles on your nose?
How to overcome this: Focus on showing up as 100% yourself to create connection. On making your audience feel what you do or did.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What core feelings are present from start to finish in the transformation you’re offering? Have you been on a similar journey and have a before and after story to share?
- From your mess comes your message – what have you been through that your ideal clients might be going through right now?
- What pictures can you use to communicate a feeling? Ones taken that you weren’t aware of? Ones which make use of light and shade to express the highs and lows, or lightness and darkness you felt? Get creative.
#3 Paint the picture of the journey as well as the final destination
You’re doing what every marketing expert tells you and ‘speaking to the transformation’.
But whilst you show your ideal clients the final destination in your marketing really well which is great (CHECK)… but in just skipping to the good bit – you’re missing an all important step.
The step which makes the end result feel actually achievable. Easily obtainable.
It’s not always the smartest move to bypass the description of the process you went through (or take your clients through) each and every time you show up. Sometimes it’s better to meet the ideal client where they’re at. To speak to how they’re feeling now and the way they’ll feel along the way while they’re solving their problem, rather than just the way in which they’ll feel when their problem is solved.
How to overcome this: Tell YOUR personal story – the one that makes you relatable to your audience because you too have been where they are right now. Tell your audience what you did, step by step, to overcome your own obstacles, and how you feel that equips you to help them overcome theirs. Show up to tell these stories, persistently, consistently and most of all confidently.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What does your audience deep down want to see and hear about what you’ve been through, or what you’re going through?
- What stories can you tell, and how can you paint a picture not just with words, but images too?
- What’s THEIR story? Is it the same as yours or different? Can you put yourself in their shoes and tell their side so they see that you ‘get’ them?
I hope these tips and tricks help you in creating more of a connection with your audience.
The best thing about a personal brand, is the relationships that can be created and cultivated through them.