Your branding has nothing to do with you.
That's right. I said it.
I wasted so much time trying to "brand myself" and "position myself as an expert" and blah blah blah. Believe me, they're semi-important, but not as much as the marketing revelation my brain finally cracked.
First, a little background story.
Recently, I have been helping a lot of personal trainers build their brand online. (BTW if you're a trainer and you're not on Instagram, what are you doing with your life?)
I have spent months trying to crack the code of what gets a trainer popular online. (Which you could also apply to almost any industry.) Here is what I finally discovered:
Building a brand has nothing to do about the brand owner and everything to do about the customer.
Here is how I wasted my time: Trying to decide my "ideal customer" and "target market". What would they wear? What do they think about? What do they do? What is their personality like?
Fuck all of that. Seriously. Skip it.
"WHAT JACKIE HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT IT'S SUPER IMPORTANT EVERY GURU OUT THERE SAYS SO!!!!"
If it works for you, that's cool. But I would bet that you have followed all these guru's for months, if not years, and it hasn't changed shit about your business.
So, here's how to position it instead:
What does following and supporting my brand give my customer to say about THEMSELVES?
Let me break it down.
So, one huge brand in the fitness world is Flag Nor Fail.
The two owners, Rob and Dana Linn Bailey, are badass as all hell. Alone, they could have built a pretty cool brand. But that is not the secret to getting to the big leagues.
The secret is in what their brand stands for. Flag Nor Fail stands for exactly what it says: You will never fail or surrender, you will work hard, hustle is everything, you will do whatever it takes to succeed, etc.
By following them, sharing their stuff, and buying their clothes, their fans are using their brand to remind the people around them that they also follow those values.
The problem is that too many people try to build a brand around themselves instead of building a brand based on an ideal outside themselves.
People share information from brands that speak to who they are as a person.
When you create content, ask yourself: "What are they telling their social circle about themselves by sharing this?"
This is why your branding has to stand for something big. Freedom. Happiness. Breaking the rules. Hustling. Seeing the world. It doesn't matter what it is, it has to be something.
Think about all the brands you love, something about each one of them SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT YOU. When you support them, you are reminding everyone WHO YOU ARE.
Now that I have helped my clients identify their big goals and values, we focus on building a brand around those goals and values, not around them.
Too many people are on the internet wondering, "Why doesn't anyone care about me?" instead of asking, "What do I care about and how can I create a rally cry to build a mini army to help us all reach our similar goals?"
List your top three values that your brand stands for.
Build your brand around those values.
Create content that speaks to the heart of those values.
BOOM. Raging fans.
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