„Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.“
Lately, I came across a very good TEDtalk from Simon Sinek that you can find here. He was talking about how important it is to start with the “why” instead of the “what” when you want to promote your business. Almost two weeks later I got a message from Christelle from Komlebaobab that she was organizing a Meet Up called “Personal Branding on Social Media”. She asked if I wanted to speak there. Of course! So I took this opportunity to meet new people and talk with them about the thing that matters most to me: Making a connection. In this case: Making a connection via Social Media.
The question people asked most.
After the event at the networking party, different people approached me and we talked about their problems with their social media presence. I expected that people would ask something along the lines of “how do I get more followers?” or “how do I get people to engage with me more?”. But I was honestly surprised when it turned out the most frequent question was: “What can I present on Social Media to make my brand more personal?” And no matter if the people were selling “real” goods like t-shirts or if they were selling their work as a coach, the question remained: What could be useful content for them to post.
Useful content in a nutshell
Before I dive into the “what” let’s step back a little bit. As you all might know, probably because you are on social media and maybe because you are already overwhelmed with the amount of content that is out there in the World Wide Web, content is useful when you can give something to your audience. That can either be advice, some inspirational thoughts, give them a glimpse behind the scenes or something helpful. Or something that gives them a good feeling like asking for their opinion. Because social media is a two-way street. And in order to connect with someone you need to listen first and asking and listening to opinions, man, that’s a very good starter.
Where to start to find out what your personal brand is.
Finding your own personal brand can be tricky Business. That’s why I am definitely going to write a longer blog post about this topic. For today and as starting point I will stick with Simon Sinek and start with his question about the why together with the inspirational story of one of the participants at the event. As I wrote I was approached by different people and girl came up and asked for my opinion. She was about to launch a t-shirt-shop with self-designed t-shirts and had trouble coming up with ideas what to show. Of course, she could show her product but she also wanted to find her “real follower”-group, a group of like-minded people that were really interested in her products, her process and herself as an entrepreneur. A group of people that actually had the potential to become the loyal fans of her product. And therefore personal branding was an absolute must for her.
How as a step to getting to your why.
When I try to find out what the personal brand of a person, company or business is I tend to mutate into a cop during an interrogation. Of course the good cop, not the bad one, but I start to ask an awful lot of questions. And if you have already seen the TEDtalk with Simon Sinek you already know: A lot of these questions start with WHY. So the challenge was to get from her “what” (launching her t-shirt-business) to her own personal “why”. So I started asking her: “If you need content are you sharing pieces of your design process?” (Which is basically asking about the how. ) And everytime she answered I asked more about the how like “what was your process if designing?”, “what kind of steps did you take?” and with every question, we got a little bit more of showable content. Because people love to involved in your creative process and want to know more about how you do what you do. As long as you make it as useful as possible. Ask them about how they like your new designs, what they think of your ideas, let them choose between two options and you will win social media hearts as you let people participate and with that make them feel seen and valued. And we all love being seen and feeling valued.
Tell them what drives you.
To brand yourself on social media can easily get out of hand. It’s not easy keeping the focus on the thing that matters most: Being connected. It’s not about follower numbers or likes. It’s about creating a connection and getting in touch. And to make this connection as sustainable as possible you need to show your true side. During the event, we had a huge discussion about what to show on your professional social media accounts, like how much of the real-you should you present to the world. Especially when it comes to personal branding. That is definitely a question for another time and worth another blog post but basically, we could all agree on thing: Showing what drives you is something that is worth sharing with your audience.
Present your personal why.
Finding out what drives you, what makes you get up in the morning and facing all kind of challenges is not an easy task. Some people can easily tell what makes them tick. Others – I included – need some time and good questions to reflect and conclude. Therefore I knew how difficult it was for the t-shirt-businesswoman to get to her why. So I started asking even more questions basically along the line of “why did you decide to start this business in the first place?”, “what is your long-term goal?” and “what do you want to achieve?”. It turned out that the girl started her Business because she wanted to be boss-free and have more autonomy. With that revelation, a new line of topics opened up for her. Remember: You want to find a group of like-minded people you connect with. You also want to provide them with useful content, beyond the mere display of your products. So finding out that she was actually into the topic “female entrepreneurs” and “women in biz” made it possible for her to also create some more content going more into that direction. Especially for this group of people sharing details of the next Meet Up for Female Entrepreneurs can be interesting and make her connect with them.
Find your branding topics
Bottom line: If you start out with personal Branding and you are not sure what toShow or what suits your brand, don’t stop looking at what you are selling. Also, think about what parts of your working process and your personality can be of interest to your ideal client and followership.
And if you ever get stuck on the questions and need some coaching, write me a quick message and let us work together on your personal branding.