As you begin to establish your personal brand and build a social media audience, it is imperative that you stay you.
You need to develop and maintain a consistent, authentic voice in both images and texts that accurately portrays who you are and what your brand stands for. This voice will be a major factor in determining who your audience is and how receptive they are to your messaging.
A common mantra in the content marketing world is that if you are trying to speak to everyone with your content, you will end up appealing to no one. While you shouldn’t go out of your way to be offensive for the sake of being offensive, you do want to be authentic and consistent. You will find that if you are targeting a specific audience, you will alienate others from your brand or site.
This is perfectly ok.
As you develop a specific voice, people will find you, and your message will resonate with them because it is genuine and they will share it with other like-minded individuals. They will trust you because they see that you are exactly what you say you are. In order for them to give you their time, attention, and business, your audience will first have to trust you since they are buying into your brand before they will ever buy into your product.
Here are some examples of Instagram accounts I follow that have done a great job of creating a unique, authentic voice. These people have all worked hard to create a trustworthy, personal brand that appeals to their ideal audiences.
Fuzzy Nate cuts my hair. Not only is he great at what he does, but he is also a great barber-chair- therapist and person. As you can see from his Instagram account, Nate is very much an individual. His barbershop is located in the front end of a custom motorcycle shop. Everything about his shop is unique to Nate. He is not attempting to emulate another shop, regardless of how successful that shop may be. Nate is unapologetically original. He has his own unique voice and won’t censor himself. If there is something about his shop or his social media accounts that someone finds offensive, he would suggest that person not follow him anymore. He is working hard to build a very niche audience with the understanding that there will be many people turned off by his messaging.
Furiously Fit is very much the opposite from Nate in both industry and messaging. Crystal is a stay at home mom of three kids. In the last few years, she has worked very hard to create a personal brand for herself. Her messaging is very simple and to the point: basically, if she can stay at home with three kids, stay fit, and make money doing it, then so can you. Her target audience is very defined. She is marketing woman, and stay at home moms even more specifically. Her messaging is very upbeat and optimisitic. Crystal’s religious beliefs are also very important to her and she doesn’t shy away from talking about that on her branded Instragram and Facebook posts. It is a part of the culture she is creating, and just like Nate, doesn’t make excuses or attempt to hide her authentic identity. Again, like Nate, there is a “take it or leave it” mentality. Crystal would probably tell you if you don’t like the things she posts, or talk about religion, then maybe you won’t be a good fit and shouldn’t work together.
I was always the one to say I don’t have the money to do that or we can’t do that because funds are tight. We were surviving off of student loans and living paycheck to paycheck. Adam was working hard and I knew that I could achieve success through Beachbody to help out. I knew Beachbody could provide a ton for my family through hard work and efforts. So I DID it!!! But I will tell you I was sooo against joining another MLM🤣 After many thoughts and prayers I know God placed the right people in my life to lead me to do this. I was scared, mostly scared to let my family down and I also cared too much of others opinions. I’m glad I went for it because who knows where we would be. I would probably working for someone else under their management and hours. NO THANKS! ✌🏽
Balm is another entrepreneur who has worked hard to create a very specific, unique brand. This branding is present in every aspect of her business. If you look at her Instagram posts, captions, and products themselves, they all have a very distinct, cohesive voice. The majority of her posts feature a badass, tattooed woman wearing one of Balm’s handmade pieces. Like Nate, she is not afraid to use profanity in her posts, because that is what her audience has come to expect of her. She has built a very specific, authentic persona around herself and her products. If one day she did a complete 180 and changed her messaging to resemble that of Crystal’s, her audience would be confused at first and probably eventually leave. Likewise, if one day Crystal, seeing that Balm has 28 thousand followers, decides that she is going to attempt to duplicate the imagery and messaging of Balm’s posts, her audience would see it as disingenuous and would no longer be willing to trust her with their business or attention.
You in the mood to fall so hard in love? Maybe cry? I for sure cried. @alyona_elena_alekhina is gorgeous, yes. More important, she’s been busy being a boss ass bitch. Click the vimeo link in her bio and go somewhere quiet to watch. We all have our shit. Often, we feel like our shit is shittier than other shit. Sometimes our shit breaks us. Sometimes we learn how to be ok while standing in our shit. And sometimes we rise up, climb up out of our shit, scrub every bit of it off and find out that we’re capable of a helluva lot more than we thought. We really can have and do and be just about anything we want. We just have to want it ENOUGH. Thanks for being you. Thanks for sharing your story. Thanks for saying “oh, hell no” to your particular brand of shit. @alyona_elena_alekhina for #balmapparel BALM.BIGCARTEL.COM wearing Sorry I’m Late/black on black. #sorryimlate #iwasbusybeingbadass Photo @king2dom
Basically, it boils down to trust. Each of these three people are working to create a personal brand in order to sell a product or service. They have decided to be themselves, knowing that there will be many that gravitate towards them and their messaging, but will also be many who disagree and go elsewhere. If you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one. You can’t be all things to all people. In a very politically correct market, it can be difficult to know what to say and what to avoid, whether you should censor yourself, or go all out. Be you. Be authentic and genuine and you will find that you build a much larger, more loyal audience than if you tried to be something you’re not.