Interviews are a great opportunity to get to know yourself better. Think about it. Someone else asks you a question, and in real-time you have to answer. What comes out of your mouth is usually what is in the forefront of your mind. And whenever I go back and listen to a podcast where I was a guest, I always learn things about myself. The same is true for virtual interviews like TweetChats, where guests answer a series of questions, and instead of speaking your answers, you tweet them. Recently I was a guest on the #VCBuzz TweetChat, and after the event, someone tweeted the following:
If my answers to the TweetChat were worth a book, I figured it was a good foundation for an article! So I wanted to share my tweets on how to get people to know, like, and trust you.
Where it all started: my story
Looking back on my journey, I can see how all of my experiences connect and have made me a strong marketer today. I did not plan to have a marketing career. I graduated with degrees in Business Economics and Dramatic Art from UC Santa Barbara. I thought I was going to be a TV and film producer, but all the postgraduate programs I applied to rejected me.
When I tried to break into Hollywood as an intern, I ran out of money and ended up in a sales position selling mortgages and learned what it was like to make real money for the first time. Of course, the more I earned, the more I spent. When 2008 hit, I lost everything. I had my house foreclosed and sold it on a short sale at the last minute for ⅓ of what I paid for it. I applied for bankruptcy, but my application was returned to me because I was short on postage.
I knew I had to dig myself out of the hole I was in. I took a series of jobs that I was not proud of but needed to make a living. Looking back, the hustle to find any job that would keep me alive fed my entrepreneurial spirit. I had to get scrappy and creative.
You must consider all of your prior successes and more importantly your failures to help understand who you are. I think my life experience has helped me the most as a digital marketer.
The mistake I made was to use digital marketing to highlight my successes, but it didn’t work. I created a lot of content but saw no traction. It was only then that I realized that faking it was not a clear path to my goals. Good digital marketers speak their truth.As soon as I started to open up and share more of my journey, it helped others see how my downs, lows, and failures built up my resilience, confidence, and experience. It’s when I started to ditch the act that led to traction in my life and career.
In my book Ditch The Act, I outline how one of your greatest superpowers comes in the courage to share your honest, realistic journey. Don’t just post about your shiny highlight reel, but instead share your highlight REAL, so people can see themselves in your story.
Digital marketing has made a big impact on my professional speaking business, as it has helped me grow my personal brand. Digital media is always evolving and allows creatives to use various platforms, channels, and mediums. So much to learn!
Action 1: Make your brand relatable
I think building a relatable brand has to start with letting people get to know you. You can help others get to know you by sharing more than just the good. Your brand is who you are: the good, bad, and ugly. It is what makes you human.
There’s a lot of noise and a lot of people sharing content online. Creating content doesn’t necessarily help people get to know you—it’s the type of content you create that allows people to understand your experience and draw parallels to their own lives.
Oftentimes on social media, I see people showcase the shiny stuff, chase after likes, and downplay, if not entirely omit the challenges and struggles along the way. I found that I can stay interesting by being true to myself and owning my whole story.
When I first started to use social media to build influence, I thought I needed to showcase my expertise. But it didn’t work for me. You may get likes, but that does not translate into a real interest in who you are.
I’m interested in people who are unique and who have interesting backstories. People who have worked through adversity and challenges along the way.
It’s easy to get caught in the trap of seeing what others post and making your content similar. It seems to work for them and you assume it will work for you. But if you were just a copycat content creator, then what’s exciting about that? You have to try harder!
If you want to stand out, you need to remember your uniqueness. No one in this world has the same experience as you, and that’s why as soon as I started to realize the power of relatability I found the power in sharing my own story in all of its glory.
I love to draw stick figures daily and find it’s a creative outlet for me. I’m inspired by what I see when I listen to others and learn new things. I encourage you to document your life in a way that shows people you are unique and that your perspective is your own.
Action 2: Make your brand memorable and likable
The trick to making your brand memorable and likable is to first focus on letting people get to know who you are. If you try to get people to like you without letting them get to know you, then you’re not giving them enough information to remember you.
If you let people get to know you by sharing authentic, true content that is full of candor and real-life experiences, then people have a chance to decide whether or not they like you. And if they do like you, they’ll want to come back for more.
If you’re consistently creating content, you’ll show up in the feed. When you’re sharing things that are both professional and personal, you won’t sound like a broken record.
Another way to become memorable is to not try to sell people all the time. There’s a reason why the boy who cried wolf lost the trust of his community: it’s because he kept saying the same thing over and over.
If your content is repetitive, not fresh, scheduled, and tone-deaf to the environment around you, then you might as well cry wolf with each post hoping someone will listen in when in actuality they’ve already tuned you out.
Another thing that fascinates me when I talk with people who are trying to build a brand or flex their digital marketing muscles is the amount of content they do NOT publish. In my workshops, I play a little game called “When was the last time you…?”
When was the last time you published a blog? When was the last time you published a video, sent a tweet, created an Instagram story, or posted a tweet fleet? If the answer is a month or two, or even a year, you’re in trouble!
If you’re not creating content, how can you expect people to see you, let alone remember or follow you? Creating content alone is not going to win. Creating content for long periods will. Document your story.
Consistency is what will help people see that you’re not going away and that you’re there to contribute positively to the community and the conversations that are going on.
So if you want people to get to know you for who you are, then share your thoughts and expertise based on your real-life experience, not just some buzzwords, keywords, and hashtags that you think will help you show up in people’s feeds.
Keep things short and sweet on social media. That means spending a few minutes a day on your social feed posting content that speaks to who you are, and a few minutes engaging with other people’s posts. Set a timer if you find yourself lurking for too long. Yes, you can use social media without getting dragged into its depths!
Action 3: Build trust online and overtime
Trust is built over time. Trust is built as a result of people feeling like they know you and as a result, they might like you. If they like you, they might trust you.
The reality is that you cannot download trust. Trust cannot come in the form of a lead magnet, special offer, or discount price.
Trust is built by not being fearful to show people that you are showing up with positive energy and insightful commentary to help others understand how your experiences relate to their journey.If you feel like you’re an expert and you’re not creating content regularly, then you’re not leaving what I call “brand-crumbs.” Brand-crumbs are pieces of content that help people find information about you. They can then decide to engage with you.
The more of your story you make available, the easier it is for people to form an idea of who you are and what you stand for. I don’t use social media to sell; I use it to share my ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
If you think of the friends and family members you trust the most, you know them well. You trust them because they have shared what is going on in their lives. And they trust you enough to be open and honest with you. To build trust online, it’s a similar process.
BONUS: My favorite brand-building tools and resources:
During the TweetChat, I was asked about the tools and resources I use daily to enhance my content, workflow, and creativity. I figured I would include them to help you create and share your own brand-crumbs as you help people get to know, like, and trust you!
- I enjoy using Trello to help organize my list of to-do’s, tasks, and assignments for myself and my consulting clients. It’s like virtual Post-it Notes with email and file attachments I can organize digitally.
- I love my Google Drive and how everything is stored digitally in the cloud. It’s accessible from anywhere. I use Google Docs for all of my content because it allows me to collaborate with others and keep all of my files in one place.
- I enjoy using Buffer because it helps to minimize the effort and maximize the output of content that I want to spread across multiple platforms. I can work seamlessly with my assistant to schedule promotional tweets about podcasts, TweetChats, or articles.
- I use Wavve to create audiograms to make more interactive pieces of content to share from my podcasts, the 3-1-3 Challenge.
- I use YouCanBook.Me for easy calendar scheduling throughout the week. It cuts down the back-and-forth communication between setting up meetings and gives people flexibility.
- I use SpeakerHub as a platform to showcase what I offer as a professional speaker. They have a “call for speakers” search engine that is the best I’ve found to scout out new speaking opportunities.
- I use Bitly which integrates with my ryan.online URL so that I can create custom, branded bit.ly links to share and track the performance of various posts. For example, instead of sharing the full link from my last article as “https://www.influencive.com/identify-your-personal-brand-with-these-7-steps/” I can use my bit.ly and turn that same link into ryan.online/7steps.
- For my at-home multi-camera setup I use the ATEM Mini Pro by Blackmagic Design so that I have four camera angles to help me create dynamic presentations and take control over the web camera input.
- I use Pexels as my go-to for royalty-free stock images. I use them for my clients and my content.
- I love Adobe Creative Cloud; including Adobe Premiere Pro for film editing, Adobe Audition for podcast editing, Adobe Photoshop for graphic design, and Adobe InDesign for multi-page dynamic documents.
- I love using my Apple iPad as a second screen in my multi-camera setup as a way to quickly film and edit videos through iMovie. It’s like having a mobile office that is essentially a giant cell phone!
- I use titlecase.com for proper capitalization of title cases in my blogs and YouTube video titles.
The bottom line
If you’ve made it to the end of this article, I can tell that you want your personal brand to work smarter, and not harder, for you. You take it seriously. While you cannot build your brand overnight, you can see what I’ve learned and double-down on your efforts to grow your influence.
Remember that if you have friends in your professional and personal circles, you already have people who know and like you. The key is to start putting yourself out there in small ways, by creating digital brand-crumbs, so that it’s easy for people to find you online. Those who get to know and like you will trust you over the long-term. You just need to continue dropping brand-crumbs that are relatable! If you want to share your branding goals with me for a fulfilling 2021, so I can help you achieve them, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you need a high energy speaker for your next event, you know where to find me online…at ryan.online.