The idea of “The Brand Called You” was introduced 10 years before Mark Zuckerberg launched the first version of Facebook. In it, Tom Peters states, “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc.”
Suppose personal branding plays a significant role in your business, you might be re-thinking of how you can communicate with your followers in a better way right now.
While the pandemic has influenced every area of life, from relationships to technological development, your tribe might be tired of hearing about it.
At the same time, you don’t want to be tone-deaf or ignorant, completely ignoring global events and diving into self-promotion.
As a PR agency founder, I help personal brands navigate their message in this unprecedented time. So here are some relevant topics to include in your content strategy for your personal brand while still staying respectful of what your subscribers are going through.
Turn the camera around
Your classic content strategy is all about giving value: teaching, educating, inspiring, evoking emotions. While all of that still stands solid, now might be the best time to turn the camera around, and build trust with your audience by showing what’s behind all that glitter and shine. Let them know about the challenges you’re going through.
You don’t have to wait for the problem to be resolved before sharing it. In fact, sharing your “work in progress” on social media turns your life into a bit of a series for people to watch and wait for the resolution. It also makes you more relatable in the process.
If you are not quite ready to broadcast all the realness just yet, there is another way to turn the camera around. According to media executive at Scripps Marcus Riley, he was always questioning why reporters have to put on a suit and makeup at six in the morning to go on the morning news, announcing their story that would go live in the evening. Marcus was advocating for a more real broadcast where a reporter would tune in from their home. The idea did not catch up until the global health crisis hit. If a TV reporter can broadcast from his bedroom without glamming up just for the camera, so can you. Ultimately, this premise can be a great inspiration or just a way to build a stronger bond with your audience.
Provide value that is relevant in today’s climate
It makes sense to connect more with your audience during these times by offering some form of free content.
You may initially be worried about this idea. But, during these unprecedented times, free content or that considerably lowered in price has greatly enhanced several major reputable brands.
The concept here is to show your audience how readily adaptable your brand is. Your customers are dealing with all sorts of new challenges. May it be that you have a solution to share? By offering value you build trust and long-lasting relationships. You also generate new potential leads, and most importantly, you reinforce your brand’s loyalty in the process.
Share new business solutions
It’s another take on being honest about challenges you face, this time in business. Not only do you come across as honest, but you also get a chance to support other business owners that are facing similar challenges.
According to Yelp Local Economic Impact Report, 97,966 businesses have permanently shut down during the pandemic. If yours is still afloat, you must be doing something right that others can learn from.
Give insights into the situations you faced in the past few months. It can be done in the form of a case study. Your decision-making process is probably the single most valuable piece of information you can share. What card were you dealt with? Which opportunities have you evaluated and why did you decide to choose one over another?
Help people connect
Community building remains as vital as ever. Perhaps, even more so now with the recent lockdown rules. So, if you have a platform, you have the perfect opportunity to connect people with thought-provoking questions or by opening the floor for opinions.
One of the best ways to encourage a better connection is to allow people to communicate with each other – not just with you.
An excellent example of this is the hugely successful brand, GoPro. With several social media platforms and millions of followers on each, GoPro connects with its customers while encouraging a conversation between customers themselves.
By promoting user-generated posts, customers share their experience while uniting with like-minded individuals. Because of this technique, GoPro has created its very own community.
Perhaps the most challenging advice of all, the classic rule in the book, says brands should stay out of politics. However, such books were written before personal brands came into play.
Today’s study shows that 92 percent of people trust recommendations from other people over big brands. We feel connected to the humanity of personal brands: mistakes, failures, and imperfections.
Distinct opinions on social and political issues are also an integral part of that “human cocktail of real emotions.”
Many personal brands are still cautious about expressing their opinions or even choose silence because of how divisive today’s issues could be.
Yet, even corporate brands are advised to take the stand on societal issues. But, if you’ve stayed silent so far, there’s no need to dive right in. You can, however, consider getting the conversation started.
Talk about the changes that social situations brought into your industry. How do contemporary social issues reflect you and your expertise?
More customers are demanding companies make their position clear. So, it makes sense to state your brand’s beliefs on your own accord, rather than being called out later down the line for it. Undeniably, companies, businesses, and brands are all experiencing a new way of working. Although this may initially seem frightening for some, it may as well just be the best time to work on strengthening your personal brand online.
Thus, what you can do now to move your brand further will stand you in greater stead for what looks to be a new world that lies ahead of us.