DEAR SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER: NO ONE KNOWS WHO YOU ARE
Ready for the truth?
(Warning: it might hurt.)
No one knows who you are.
That’s because you don’t know who you are.
Or at least who you want to be.
When you’re building a brand, a business or have been plugging away but still can’t figure out why you don’t have a following with six zeros attached, there’s usually a reason…
So, let’s get real for a second.
Have you thought about your why, your value and your audience in terms of your brand? Like really written it down, vetted it, researched the landscape, identified opportunities and pain points…i.e. really thought about it?
I see so many entrepreneurs and business owners chasing the next shiny penny or wasting time crafting the next best social media post, never stopping to ask themselves:
Does this align with my overall business objectives of my personal brand?
Um, do you even have business objectives? Do you behave as if your digital world is a place to simply “express yourself” in whatever way strikes your fancy on whatever day, without thinking of the consequences?
If so, a lack of consistency is your digital demise, because everything you post counts.
In order for people to follow you/buy from you/invest in you, they have to trust you. In order for them to trust you, they have to know who you are (which means you have to know who you are). In order to create that trust and understanding, you have to simply be consistent.
That means consistency in the following areas of your brand:
If you’re trying to build thought leadership in the form of a following, PR opportunities and revenue growth, you’re not going to get far if you don’t have your personal brand ducks in a consistent and coherent row.
One day you’re writing about best practices for Instagram Stories on Medium. Awesome!
The next day you’re sharing your favorite Thanksgiving recipes on your personal blog. Cool?
The day after that you’ve re-tweeted HuffPo articles on the latest Trump debacle and re-posted content about your friend’s fundraising gala on LinkedIn. Okay…
A couple days later, you’re giving advice to entrepreneurs on Quora. Huh?
Then, you go silent for a week. Hope everything is okay…
Then you come back, releasing an eBook on the best places to travel in Asia. WTF.
If I am your follower, I have no flipping idea who you are.
The bad news? This is a BIG problem. The good news? You can fix it.
Here are five steps to finding your personal brand consistency:
1. Identify your look and feel.
It’s gotta look good, people, so come up with a Style Guide. Identify your color palette, your fonts, a strong and memorable logo and most importantly (IMHO) your brand personality. That’s four to five descriptor words that define the feeling of your brand. For SimplyBe, it’s “Modern, Bold, Authentic and Fun.” This is expressed through design, content and the way I dress. It’s a holistic presentation, always, and stems from a strong, foundational understanding of how I want it all to look and feel.
2. Headlines, tag lines and #hashtags, oh my!
Find your intro, your outro, your gimmick, your slogan and your sign-off. Think of Gary Vaynerchuk’s “#SelfAwareness” campaign, or Marie Forleo who ends every YouTube video with her signature slogan: “Remember that you have that special gift that no one else has,” or Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why?” TEDtalks, or Danielle LaPorte’s #WhiteHotTruth emails, or Gabby Bernstein’s #SpiritJunkie movement, or even Kanye West’s self-titled nickname ‘Yeezy’… You get my point. What’s your hook? Once you figure it out, play it up like gangbusters and make sure it’s branded onto everything you share, over and over again.
3. Pick your (content) poison.
King Content’s crown is shinier than ever these days, so pay precious attention to your content marketing. There are three ways to talk to the world these days:
- Long-form written content
- Video content
- Audio content or Podcasts
Which one feels the most natural and exciting to you? What could you envision yourself getting up and doing every day with flow, ease and fun? Kind of like finding the ideal workout, if you don’t enjoy it, you’re most likely not going to stick to it. To that end, WHAT do you want to be known for? What’s your subject matter? What’s your X? Combining what you LOVE to create with what you KNOW should make consistency in your content easy.
4. Choose one medium to start with and develop a content strategy and calendar.
Does your audience respond to videos or podcasts? Do they prefer blogs? What’s your actual content about? Go back to your why, your value and your audience. Is it valuable content for them? Start from that place. Then figure out how often you are going to post and when. Two times a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Five days a week Monday through Friday? Sunday mornings only? It doesn’t matter, just stick to it. And then figure out how you will use social media to amplify it.
5. Speaking of social media… Ensure your content is always entertaining, educational or inspirational.
Don’t just add to the noise. Instead, offer relevant content linked to your brand that:
- Answers questions
- Inspires curiosity
- Makes your audience feel something
Every post has a purpose, right? Each one should be reflective of your brand in voice, tonality and look and feel.
Bottom line, the clearer you get about who you are and what you are offering, the easier your job will be.