The timing is just…crucial right now. There has NEVER BEEN a better and more important time to suck it up and OWN a personal brand. With all of this coronavirus stuff going around, small businesses are panicking and I get it. A lot of people have been dealt a horribly difficult hand BUT on a positive note (we have to try to find the positive right now) – people are spending a LOT of time online.
People are also eager to support small businesses right now but to be honest – and I know this is pretty straightforward… it’s hard to want to jump to support a small business that shares nothing about who they are because the personal connection is what gets people to want to invest and spend their money somewhere that feels good for their heart. This is why people feel GREAT supporting good causes that they hear so many intimate stories about – they feel like they know the people they are supporting. They SEE FACES. They read PERSONAL STORIES. There never has been and never will be anything more valuable strategy-wise for a small business that making it PERSONAL.
With that said – we already discussed the emotional holdups that keep people from having a personal brand. It broke my heart what people said was keeping them from sharing personally BUT at the same time, I TOTALLY get it! You have to be pretty brave to move past it and Brene Brown the heck outta your life. But what about coming up with the ACTUAL content? Or deciding what is and isn’t okay for your family to post and talk about boundary wise? These are just TECHNICAL holdups and we can DEFINITELY address this today in a way that will enable you to make some choices and move FORWARD on getting that content created and out into the world!
Let’s pull RIGHT from the polling from the Instagram questions and address one-by-one…see below to see which apply to you!
My spouse wants us to stay private & I don’t what boundaries to have with sharing about my family
So, the good news is that YOU CAN still have a personal brand and have BOUNDARIES on what you will and won’t share on social media. For instance, we never share the names of our children’s schools or teachers, we don’t share full pictures of the outside of our home or our address. A simple exercise of writing down “what’s off limits” when it comes to social media will help you to navigate what you WON’T be sharing and as long as those main topics aren’t mentioned, you are good to go with sharing anything else relating to your family, spouse, kids, etc.
Here’s where I get spicy though. When I got married, I married someone who I will never ask permission from to do anything. I am my own independent human being, so I get to share anything I want about myself. When people tell me their spouse is uncomfortable with them sharing about themselves – it’s a red flag for me. Mike and I have all of the love and respect for each other in this world, but it would be unhealthy for him to tell me not to share something about my own life. You are ALLOWED to share whatever YOU want about YOUR life and it doesn’t make you a bad wife/husband – it makes you a human being who wants to share their own story. I am a firm believer in this and I know it’s not for everyone, but if you struggle with this or being “conditioned” to people-please and live your life for others instead of yourself – PLEASE head to Amazon and buy Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Women have a lot of unlearning to do.
My job is pretty boring and repetitive.
Okay.. I’m pretty sure the person who wrote this bakes cakes and I have to tell you – there is SO MUCH POTENTIAL to take something that you find to be repetitive and boring and turn it into AMAZING CONTENT!!! If you don’t already follow Jasmine Star, you HAVE to follow her for business and social media advice. She is SO good at telling business owners tactical ways to go out and share what they do in creative ways! Want some ideas on how to create/share content for a “boring/repetitive” job?
Time lapse videos of you creating/doing what you do
Behind-the-scenes clips of you creating, explain WHY you are making the decisions you’re making while creating/providing a service
Before and afters
Talk about your journey and progression
Talk about what equipment/ingredients/etc you use
Talk about your favorite places to pick up those items for your business
Share your favorite resources/websites for your business
Give advice to people who AREN’T in your field about your field
Talk about who your client is
Talk about your dreams and goals for your business
We could go ON and ON and ON with this list, but each one of these ideas can give you SO much content to roll with! If you’re an artist, a time-lapse of you creating is SUCH an amazing way to share your talent and showcase how much goes into your craft. Talking about the paint and brushes you use and creating an Amazon affiliate account and linking them… or doing a post on which piece of your art is right for which kind of room in someone’s house…the possibilities for sharing about WHAT you do, even if it seems boring and repetitive to you can be endless and SO valuable in creating your personal brand!
I wouldn’t be able to come up with valuable information to share
This simply isn’t true. WHEREVER you are in your business journey, you are higher up than someone else who isn’t there yet or hasn’t gotten started. If you know three things about your craft, you know three more things than those who haven’t begun. See the examples above on how to share about your business even if it’s not super exciting and feels repetitive?
Think about when you were new. What was valuable information to YOU on the subject/business/craft you were studying? ANYTHING… because you knew NOTHING! If you are trying to figure out how to come up with valuable info – don’t assume it needs to impress or match up to super experienced people. The biggest mistake people make is thinking that they need to teach to their peers. They don’t want their peers to think they are less than. But… your peers on the same level as you are NOT BUYING or watching your stuff to learn from you most of the time – so leave that at the door! TEACH WHAT YOU KNOW and the people who NEED IT will come!
From a photographer’s perspective.. here’s what I would share (and have) – take this and apply this to YOUR creative or service-based business:
What camera I use
What lenses I use
What lighting I use
Where I buy my equipment
What program I use to edit
An editing before-and-after
An editing tutorial
My favorite settings when shooting in manual
What website I host my images on
Where I like to buy client contract templates
Five great places to shoot on the Outer Banks
I could make this list 293082032 times longer. ANYTHING you know and have learned is valuable information.
Last but not least…content buckets.
In order to have a personal brand, you have to mix in personal with business. Jenna Kutcher refers to her content buckets as the JK5 and rotates her content posting within these five categories. I have SIX main content buckets and I have SO MANY ideas under them that I can NEVER run out of things to talk about!
My main content buckets are:
PERSONAL (so, me!)
PHOTOGRAPHY (Amanda Hedgepeth Photography)
FAMILY (The girls and Mikey)
THE OUTER BANKS (home!)
NONPROFIT WORK (Homeless Looks Like)
AFFILIATES (Companies I’m an affiliate for like Simplified, Cultivate What Matters, etc)
EACH of these categories has a big list under it with more detail. For instance, under PERSONAL I have anything that has to do with ME (things I love, things I do), from very very shallow things to deep and hard things I’ve shared when connecting with my audience:
Waking up early
My lists are LONG – but I sat down and truly gave it tons of thought. I can sit down once a week and NEVER fail to come up with something to post about when I’m planning my content for social media. Creating content buckets takes the pressure off of coming up with something on the spot and allows you to be intentional about creating a brand that takes turn sharing business AND personal posts!
I know the idea of a personal brand is intimidating and maybe it’s not for everyone, but we KNOW it’s what has helped us to stand out in a sea of so many other people who do exactly what we do. WE are what makes our business different. We are cheering you on! YOU GOT THIS!