I'm Sick of Online 'Authenticity' - Why Don't You Be Memorable?
Over the last few years, we have all seen the power of social media marketing.
We have watched the rise of Influencers. 'Nobodies' became 'somebodies.' Over time, some have amassed an online community of hundreds and thousands of followers. They have forged their audience's trust, in some cases making them as influential as a celebrities. Brands come to them, wanting them to promote their product or service.
Even I jumped on the bandwagon and created my alter-ego and ultimate boss babe, Deals in High Heels.
As a businesswoman and owner of Briar Prestidge - personal brand management agency, everything I do and every move I make has a strategy behind it.
Although I don't have hundreds of thousands of followers like some influencers, you could argue that my online-offline community is just as powerful. Deals in High Heels is marketed towards the woman's business community (YOU GUYS!) which makes us very unique. By combining our 20k+ followers on social media with integrated PR strategy, we reach eyeballs of 150k+.
YES! I've felt first-hand the power that comes with being an online 'influencer,' and we see this repeated with our clients - investors, business coaches, property developers, creatives etc. It doesn't matter what your industry is - you too can craft a brand and executive a content marketing strategy online that gets new clients to come to YOU.
But the BIGGEST mistake I see being made with professionals starting out and also with some established influencers, is that they AREN'T MEMORABLE. They don't think about the bigger picture. They pour their time into making content - videos, pictures, articles or statuses - that have no clear value.
This can be more damaging to their brand than good (think about those selfie videos that everyone is creating on LinkedIn, where they hold the camera so close you can see up their nose...)
That’s not special or creative enough to stay above the 'noise.'
But, they justify it by saying they are authentic.
Authentically boring, I say. :)
WHY NOT BE MEMORABLE? HERE ARE MY TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED
Have an opinion
Too many people play it safe online - I dare you to speak up. The social media algorithms are built on engagement (on Instagram, it decides how many people will see your content based on how the initial 10% of your followers react. On LinkedIn & Twitter, it shares it out to their followers too).
To spark a reaction, you need to evoke emotion.
How do you think Donald Trump won the election? He had a strong opinion about every current event - he stirred the pot and made people MAD. I love studying Trump's brand on social media, although I don't agree with him or necessarily like him, his social strategy is very strategic.
Since I've been in the limelight, I've realised that, even if you try, you can't make everyone happy. So just concentrate on staying true to your values, your mission, and yourself.
Have some personality
Developing your online tone can be tricky when you first start out, but the important part is that you experiment. The social media 'culture' (on LinkedIn, especially) has changed - brands now have a more creative voice, singing true with humour, dry sarcasm etc. This more "human" interaction is now favoured, rather than a bland and serious "white collar" tone.
Deals in High Heels uses pink love hearts as our signature emoji and for many of my clients, we choose an emoji that represents them too! Maybe it sounds a little lame, but it’s a great visual way to distinguish yourself.
Think about your Audience
WHO is it you are talking to with this specific content? The more targeted you make it, the better. Too often, when I ask prospects - who is your target market? They say, EVERYONE!
Everyone..? Please. If you try speaking to everyone then you will never reach ANYONE.
Rather than marketing to the masses, create a very accurate 'avatar'. What is their name, age, how big is the company they work for, what are their hopes, dreams and aspirations?
Network and stand out in the crowds
Relationship building, online or offline, is crucial to your success. When you are perceived as a connector, people will want to know you and work with you, brands will want to partner with you and your community will refer business to you.
If you have a following online but not off then you aren’t doing it right...
Ditch the knee length black dress and bland ol’ elevator pitch. Smile, wear something that makes you feel powerful and let people know what really makes you tick.
Use creative strategies
I love how all of the 'personal brand strategists' are sitting in front of the camera Vlogging "how-to" on LinkedIn. Aren't you guys meant to be leading with your unique strategy in the headlights? There are other ways to showcase your expertise rather than jamming it down people's throat. If you really know your target audience and you are in marketing, surely you can develop something a little more compelling?
Anyway, the moral of the story is we all know the power of having a strong personal brand and we've heard a lot about it. But, now ask yourself -
How can you rise above the noise and be different?
Remember, if you don't have anything worthwhile to say, and there is no purpose to your content... then don't "say it" at all.
Until next time,
Briar Prestidge xx
CEO Briar Prestidge Digital Branding
Get the Look
This outfit was provided by ISAWITFIRST, an innovative brand for ladies that don't just follow existing trends; they set them. They offer 100s of new styles weekly and source the freshest in fashion and accessories from major global style hubs around the world. Visit their website here.