Session: Creating Your Blogging Superhero
Speaker: Lisa Barone
Hi, I’m Lisa. It’s time for an intervention.
Bloggers and social media-types will stand on their heads to tell you that what your audience really wants is a more authentic, transparent version of your brand. They want you to bare it all on your blog, on Twitter and on Facebook so they can connect with you, engage with you, and so that you can become friends with your customer.
It’s a sham. All of it. And you need to get over yourself.
The truth is your customers do not want to know the depths of your soul or what keeps you up at night. Not even your mother wants to know that much about you, truly. What your customers want is the best version of you. The version of you that allows them to see themselves, where they want to be, and which helps them achieve their goals.
That’s what marketing is — Using yourself to show people their desired outcome. Even if that outcome is just your customer with a finally-working dishwasher.
As a marketer, you provide that experience by giving up the hokey authenticity act and creating a characterized version of yourself that exudes who your audience wants to be.
Whether you want to increase sales, build a community, or find new customers, building a sellable character, a caricaturized version of yourself, is how you do it.
Creating this caricature allows you to do a few things.
- It gives you the freedom to magnify the personality traits you already possess to attract people.
- It allows you to play on your strengths to establish a point of difference.
- It makes your personality appear larger than life.
- It gives you a cushion so that when the Internet gets mean (which it will), you’re not absorbing all the shots with your true self.
Said simpler – It makes your brand magnetic.
The characterized You is a heightened version of yourself. It’s where all the right traits are highlighted and where the ones that don’t fit the brand are simply deemphasized. It’s the You after you’ve had a few too many, when suddenly you know all the punchlines and you’re not afraid to take risks. That’s who you need to be to your audience. That’s who we’re drawn to.
No, you don’t need to be drunk, just compelling.
Wait! How can you relate to customers if you’re not being your “true authentic self” and are acting like a character?! You can’t just MAKE UP who you are!
Sure you can. You do it every day. Only you don’t call it acting. You call it being an adult.
- You show one set of personality traits when you’re working at the office.
- Another set when you’re at home playing with your children.
- A different set when meeting your friends at the bar for Happy Hour.
It’s not deceptive there, is it? You’re not any less you, are you? You’re simply the right you for the right audience.
The authenticity lie has allowed too many marketers to make total blunders of their online persona, encouraging them to partake in Twitter rants, social media flame wars, and constant whining. Your 20 minute Twitter tirade about the bad service you received at your favorite restaurant doesn’t make you “transparent” or “more relatable”, it makes you appear unstable. Actually, sometimes it makes you an a**hole.
Which, fine, you probably are, but why broadcast that to the rest of the world?
Being a successful marketer doesn’t mean disrobing and letting all the nasty bits hang out. It means simply understanding what your audience needs and then identifying which traits that you possess that help you to be that person.
- Blogworld speaker Shane Ketterman connects with people at Rewire Business by being so vulnerable and human that we can’t help but relate and be inspired by his words.
- The Bloggess connects with people by being that person who says what we wish we could and by making us believe it’s okay if we’re a little off.
- Chris Brogan connects with people by laying down in the middle of the road for his audience and being the most helpful guy on the planet.
I can pretty much assure you that there are days where Chris Brogan wakes up and doesn’t want to help or talk to a single person that day. But you never see them. Not because he’s not authentic or because he’s secretly a robot with no soul, but because those days aren’t part of the brand. And because of that, he keeps them out.
What you need to figure out is who YOUR character is. What natural traits do you possess that are helpful to your audience? What can you highlight about yourself that will help someone else achieve something? Because that’s what authenticity really is – it’s undisputed credibility. It’s you giving your audience the parts about you they need, and removing anything else that will distract them or take away from that credibility.
So maybe it’s not authenticity that’s a lie. It’s just our perception of what authenticity really means.
What traits make up your brand’s character?
Lisa Barone if the Co-Founder and Chief Branding Officer at SEO consulting firm Outspoken Media. You can catch her blogging about marketing at the Outspoken Media blog or on Twitter at @lisabarone.