It might be a cliché, but it’s true: people buy from people. Even when you shop with a big brand, your decisions end up being based on the service you receive. A helpful member of staff could convince you to buy something and have you recommending them to your friends.
What does that have to do with putting personality into your marketing? Quite a lot. The truth is that sharing something of yourself could help to bring new customers your way.
When you think about branding it’s really easy to focus on the visuals. A great logo and eye-catching images will help you to attract attention, but if you want to hold their interest you’ll need a bit more substance.
Your brand isn’t just about visuals. It needs to tell your customers what your values are and what the experience of working with you will be like. Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon said that “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re out of the room”. Your customers’ opinion of you will often carry more weight than what you say about yourself.
If you run a multi-national corporation you’ll have a marketing team and brand consultants to craft your image. You can train your staff to stay on message when dealing with customers, at least in theory. However, if your business consists of just you, your personality counts.
You are your business
The fact is, if your business identity isn’t consistent with your personality it’ll soon get pretty tiring trying to keep up. It may also lose you some customers. It’s a sad fact that people sometimes prefer to buy from big brands rather than a small business. As small business owners we need to show potential customers that we’re trustworthy.
Putting your personality into your marketing helps potential customers to trust you. They can see you as a real person with the same challenges as them. They can imagine talking to you in real life. If the brand image you put across in your marketing doesn’t match how you are in person, that trust goes. Plus, if you’re creating your own content it’s far easier to do it as yourself rather than having to get into character. Unless you’re me, but that’s my job.
How do you put personality into your marketing?
Business owners tend to fall into two separate camps. There are those who have loads of stories that they’re happy to share with their audience. Then there are the ones who would rather hide under a rock.
I spoke at a business retreat recently and asked the attendees to come up with blog topics based on four different areas. Two were quite factual, answering a FAQ or talking about a news story that related to their business. The other two were more personal, sharing a challenge they’d overcome or their business story so far. The difference between the two personality types was quite pronounced.
If you fall into the hiding away camp, don’t worry. I do too, but I’ve come out of my shell a bit more now. You don’t have to share a ‘warts and all’ story if you don’t want to. Just share snippets of your life. I might mention my children sometimes but I’m not going to write a whole blog about them. I’m happy to share war stories with other ex-solicitors but most of you would be bored to tears.
A glimpse behind the scenes is all you need to help your future customers to see you as a person.
Do you put your personality into your marketing or is something holding you back? Leave a comment and let me know!