Standing out in the online world can be hard. The ‘look at me’ mentality is definitely in full force, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. It can be hard to find your tribe. I have 5 tips to help you cut through the noise and get your content to your audience. I want you to explore: what makes you different? What makes you stand out in a crowd? What is your vibe? The one key I know to be true is that you can’t fake an online persona for long, you have to do YOU!
First, if know exactly who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are….Good for you! Skip to #2. If not, read on.
If you are like me, you need some direction. Honestly, it took me a good 15 years to really figure out who I was and own it. One thing that really helped was taking a personality test and then discussing the results with my close circle of friends.
I took a test on playbuzz today with these results. It had pretty pictures and took less than a minute. It had the same results that some very official looking hour long tests have taken. So, you choose your test, but the important part is the discussion afterward. I asked my husband and two close friends if the results rang true. All three answered a resounding yes. Compassionate and Understanding. Then, they did something interesting. They went on to describe how that can be part of my downfall also. Compassion can turn to naivete. Understanding can turn to making excuses for people. In short, I tend to have no backbone.
I know all of these things, so I make sure I show my compassion and understanding nature in my online life. I love to listen to people’s stories. I love to see where people are coming from. I am a cheerleader for success. However, I also know to guard myself. I can’t give money to every kickstart I come across, even though I want to. I can’t give free services all of the time or I will make this a trend and not be successful myself.
What makes you unique?
The key to a personal brand, online or brick and mortar, is taking what makes you unique and running with it. I have 5 questions to ask yourself:
What do you value? People want to connect with you, so give them something that you will have in common.
Are you patriotic? Use red, white, and blue.
Love animals? Have an animal for a logo.
Coffee addict? Use coffee memes in your articles.
What are your talents? I love to see what others can do that I cannot. USE IT!
Can you sing? Showcase it in video. Sing your brand. Burst out in song while teaching a webinar (as someone who can not sing, I would LOVE to see this!)
Are you a marathoner? Use analogies in your writing. Use running quotes for inspirational posts.
Super organizer? Show your home, workspace, car...use your organized life in your work. A mommy blogger I know posts about organizing her kids lunches on Sundays for the entire week. It is one of her most popular themes.
What are your shortcomings? This is opposite of the aforementioned. People want to also connect with mistakes and mishaps. They want to see that you are not perfect. Use this to your advantage.
Not a good cook? Show a pinterest fail every once in awhile. Then ask for easy recipes.
Not a beauty buff (like me)? Show your eyeliner mishap, then ask for tips.
What Style appeals to you? Think about your online presence like you do your home. If you were single and could decorate however you want to, what would you choose? Primary Colors, Straight Lines, Flowers, Animal Print, Pale green walls, Hot Pink Accessories….just do you. Your online persona doesn't have to fit exactly to your product, but they should fit nicely together. Get creative!
What do you look like? Do you have a unique quality that you can use to define yourself? Of course you do! Funky glasses, supercool hairstyle, combat boots all day every day, whatever. I have curly red hair. I don’t use it in my branding or title, but I always put pictures of myself out there because I want people to see my picture and say “Oh yeah, she’s the girl with the hair”.
A great example of all of these things together is my girl Erica Amadori. She is a health and fitness coach and my mentor. She is inspirational to the MAX! Her personality is present in everything she does. By visiting her facebook or website, you get these characteristics right away:
She loves healthy food.
Her family is of utmost importance.
She has a talent for making you feel like you are face to face during videos.
She is feminine but strong. She loves pink, but isn’t flowery.
She has 3x as many sweaty workout pictures as she does bikini shots. She is rocking the fit mom persona, not a slinky sexy momma.
Put yourself out there in your way.
Use the medium that is more you most often. NOTE: I am not saying to stick to one platform only. I firmly believe that we should all stretch our comfort zones. However, you would stick with your preferred medium 80% of the time. If you love to write and have a way with words, stick to article writing and graphic quotes. If you are a selfie pro OR like to take pictures of things around you, share yourself on Instagram. Like both still and motion photography, but don't feel like you have tons to say at one time? Snapchat! Do you have lots to say and feed off of the energy of others? Periscope might be for you. Love to tell stories but are shy to show your face? Create a podcast. There are so many different options. Do all of them until you find the one that clicks with you are your audience!
Use your ‘voice’
Funny? Serious? Sarcastic? Sweet?
Use the inherent voice that you use with your friends in what you do. If you try to be funny, but are not actually that funny in real life, it will fall flat. The result is at best being lame and at worst being fake. You don’t want that. Not sure if you are funny, ask someone. They will tell you! If you are naturally sarcastic, use it! Satire as a medium is super popular. Just don’t be a jerk...or be one. I don't know. It worked for Howard Stern, right? If you are a sweetheart who loves to give sugary compliments, then pour them on! If you are not, DON’T! You will come off as insincere.
BEST FOR LAST: Do not be afraid to lose people who don’t get you.
The online world is all about niches. You need to find your people, speak to them, and you will find happiness. The online world is the exact same as your momma told you, “You can’t make everyone happy!”