I remember when I started The Know Like and Trust Show, way back in 2016, the tagline was “a show about exploring how to build your personal brand online,” and that, of course, is by building up your know like and trust factor. But today we’ll talk about how to grow your brand on your social media content.
If you have a great personal brand, being authentic isn’t really all that hard. But automating it and finding the systems and processes so that it doesn’t take over your life–that can be hard.
And I’ve definitely moved more in that direction. Because the reality is, content strategy is fantastic, knowing what you’re supposed to say, how you’re supposed to say it, and where you’re going to say it. That is stuff you need to know. But content burnout is also a thing. And when you have a good way of automating how you’re showing up in the world, you are way less likely to have that content burnout, and you’re going to have more time to focus on your personal pleasures, you’re going to have more time to spend with clients, more time to just go take a nap if that’s your deal.
How to show your brand in social media content is going back to the basics and tying into all the other things I’ve shared in the last year.
So a little backtracking before we dive in here, what is your brand? And specifically, what is your personal brand?
I know in the corporate world, they’ll say, “Oh, that’s what people are saying about you before you show up to a meeting, or some people would say how much influence you have in your world.” And there’s a variety of different ways to say this. I still prefer Jeff Bezos’, despite his propensity for wasting huge amounts of money on interesting space exploration. I think he’s described a personal brand in a really easy-to-understand way. And that is that:
“Your brand is what people say about you when you walk out of the room.”
Now, you all also may have heard me say that you don’t get to control what other people think about you, and if your brand is what people are thinking and saying about you, you need to understand you don’t get to control what’s going on in their heads. But you can shape it.
I say this a lot of times when I’m talking about an “About page” on somebody’s website. The best thing you can do when you write your about page is at every sentence on the page ask, “Why does this matter to my best client?” I’m going to drill that down till it’s really clear here: your about page isn’t about you. It’s about what you can do for your audience.
One might assume it’s the easiest place to write about yourself, so let’s extrapolate that a little bit into your social media content.
- Yes, your people, your audience, want to see some of you.
- They don’t always want the polish.
- They want to know who you are and what you stand for.
But, and here is a big but, friends, they only want to know all of that as it relates to them. I know, it sounds a little harsh, right? I understand it sounds harsh. But you know what, it also is harsh? We, humans, are very self-centered—some more than most, right? But we’ve all got it in us.
Answer this quietly, just to yourself–last time you saw a group photo, did your eyes not go straight to your face first, or more to the point–last time it was your cell phone that was volunteered up for the group photo at an outing, and you got the duty to share the photo with everyone else? Did you not make sure it was the one in which you looked good, even if there may have been slightly awkward expressions on some of your friends? It’s just human nature. We all do it, and it is the same with social media.
Your audience will look for themselves in your content, so that is what you need to give them.
How to Create Client-Focused Content
First, what is stopping your best client from hiring you? And don’t say money. Money is almost never the real answer. There are always multiple layers beneath the, “I don’t have enough money”, right? What do I say all the time–is your offer right for them at the right time? If it is, they’ll buy, but that right-time piece is a lot more important than the offer strategy gurus out there are giving credit for.
Let me explain. If you have a fantastic program, but your client’s parent is in hospice and about to die, it does not matter how great your group support is in that program, they are not likely to buy even if it’s a fantastic program. And if it’s a fantastic program but it’s the difference between them suffering through a whole summer without air conditioning and the program, they might choose the “luxury” of air conditioning over your program.
Now, I just gave you two scenarios there, and one of them sounds like it is about money. Do I pay for a new A/C unit for my house? Or do I pay for this program?
But that money answer is always something else. If it’s your program or their air conditioning, the problem isn’t lack of money, but your client’s inability to make money quickly and efficiently so that she could actually accomplish both the programming in the air conditioning. In this case, the first hurdle between them buying from you is helping them generate real cash.
And quickly, even that first scenario, the parent in hospice, could have a solution: a program with less one-to-one interaction and more automated support, less time investment. That might be feasible, even if the person is dealing with a whole lot of personal strife, right? There are possibilities in both of these scenarios that have nothing to do with money. So your content needs to put those solutions forth.
When you share those solutions on your social media, you overcome a buying hurdle without them ever having to bring it up to you. This helps them understand that, hey, you’re here for them, helps build trust, and it makes you a more viable option for them.
It’s also going to help your audience associate you with solving the problem when you help them overcome a hurdle. Even if they haven’t brought the hurdle to you personally, they recognize that you are a solution seeker and that their solution is something that you helped them achieve. It’s an early win, a quick win, and it shows them that they can take the next step with you just as easily as the first.
Create Authentic, Personal Content
Once we talk about how to create client focus content, then we move on to creating authentic personal content. I don’t mean authentic in the “hashtag blessed” kind of way. I mean, show your values, show what causes are important to you. People do vote with their dollars–not everyone, but enough.
Case in point, I still won’t eat at Jimmy John’s because of the animal poaching, and I refuse to support that. It’s a very easy decision for me. If I need a sandwich, I go somewhere else. It’s not that hard, right? But people vote with our dollars in much bigger ways as well.
Now, authentic content does not have to be rife with overshares and inane details. I mean, you want a balance. I used to use the old, new, borrowed, and blue social media approach. I don’t talk about it as much now, and I no longer teach it because there’s not enough thought behind it when all you say is old, new, borrowed, and blue. It lacks the strategy unless I really dive in and explain it. But it’s still a decent way to remember people like people.
So here I’m going actually to do that. I’m going to dive in and explain the strategy behind it. If you’ve never taken any of my content courses, the Show Up System, Content Lab, or done the Visibility Accelerator with me, you can still get value out of the old, new, borrowed, and out of the blue, as I like to say it, way of approaching social media.
Revisit Your Cornerstone Content
First, OLD, or revisit your cornerstone content.
If you’ve spent time creating epic cornerstone content, or pillar content, as some call it, you don’t need to recreate the wheel.
Measuring your content means that you know how this content works. It engages your audience, generates leads, and if you’ve done it well, it also clearly shows your brand values.
What is cornerstone content? Each of your content buckets should have a main epic piece of content that encompasses what you want to say or teach on this subject. You can either repurpose your original posts on the cornerstone or multiply your original efforts. Or you can approach the content in a new way with a new story or analogy or metaphor and use that content to address a different buying hurdle. This is what the BE SEEN Method is all about–finding new ways to talk about the same topic so you can multiply your efforts. It helps you also not get bored of your own content and helps your audience find new ways to connect with it.
Basically, you’ve got a few cornerstone pieces. Either repurpose them as they were originally or find new stories to pair with them and give them a way to freshen up their message.
Balance Your Old Content With New Content
Next is NEW or balance your old content with new content.
There are going to be plenty of gaps in your social media if all you’re doing is repurposing old content, even if it’s spectacular. And that, my friends, is where new content comes in. If you follow the system I teach in the Show Up System, you’re creating one big piece of content a week. In my case, that is a podcast. The other two big options here would be video or blogging.
And then from that one big piece, you’re multiplying it into many by parceling it out into quotes, clips, excerpts, infographics, all sorts of different ways, you can repurpose that one epic piece of content each week, into many smaller pieces.
Of course, you want to share your new content with your social media audience. So as you are finding ways to repurpose your old cornerstone content, you’re adding in your new weekly content as well. This new content should all fit into one of your content buckets to stay on brand and keep your messaging consistent as well.
Add New Perspective By Sharing Others’ Content
So we’ve covered old and new next we’re on to BORROW or, as I like to say, add new perspective by sharing others as content.
If you’ve downloaded my Content RX Guide, which is free on my website, https://britneygardner.com/contentRX, you’ll remember I share a bit on those who share someone else’s quote, without sharing why it matters. This borrowed content isn’t a no-no. I don’t rant on it because I never say ever do it. I rant because people aren’t doing it well. So it’s not something to avoid. It is something to do well. And how do you do that?
When you share someone else’s content, tell us why you’re sharing it. I am a big fan of seeing someone else’s words and sharing them. But share why it matters. Share how it affects what you teach, and please, by all means, give them credit.
Their words are what inspired you to post in the first place; don’t pretend it was a brand new original idea that came bursting out of your head. You have great ideas all on your own. You don’t need to take credit for other people’s as well.
I often share others’ quotes or ideas on my podcast, I do the same on social media. But I always tie it into a lesson I’m already teaching, a strategy I like to use, or a reason why I’m making changes. Sometimes other people’s words give you really good food for thought, and sharing them will open up a great discussion if you present it in a way that is conducive for that discussion and conversation.
Mix In Personal Content
So we’ve now covered old, new, borrowed, which means we are back to BLUE, or out of the blue, as I like to say.
This means you can now mix in your personal content. This final content category is where you can be really creative. It’s where you can expand and where you can show even more of your sparkling personality, right? In our old, new, borrowed, and blue, right, this is the blue. And I like to expand it to say out of the blue because sometimes these personal and creative things kind of feel like they’re coming out of the left-field. It is your responsibility your job to make it matter to your audience.
Now, this can be as simple as, “Hey, she likes snarky memes about motherhood too,” or also as easy as, “Ah, she makes a new tea latte before buckling down to do really high-intensity tech work just like I do.” Yes, I have actually thought about things I’ve seen on social media. And those are pretty light, right? They’re kind of surface-level.
It can also be deeper. Your out-of-the-blue content might not have anything to do with your content buckets. But if you’re volunteering time at a no-kill dog shelter, it shows what you value and what you stand for. Now note, I am not suggesting showboating here, where you spend your time shows what you stand for, and it is okay to share that in a meaningful way. We don’t need to all go book volunteer appointments to be, you know, virtue signaling and all that nonsense.
On the flip side, if you’re going to be taking a social media break for any reason, share why–your vulnerability here, might be just the reason that the audience member reaches out and makes a connection with you.
People can connect on all sorts of levels. It’s up to you to figure out who your best client is well enough that you know which out of the blue things will help them connect with you.
If this all sounds a bit strategic, it is–content strategy has to be strategic. Otherwise, you’re just going to sit there spinning your wheels. You’re gonna be wasting your time, you’re going to get stuck in the hamster wheel of constantly, constantly, constantly creating, you’re never going to take a break, and you’re gonna hate your life at some point.
I don’t want to see you do that. One of our recent episodes was how to make your content strategy fit with your life, not control your life. And I share these old, new, borrowed, and blue categories for you as a way to balance your social media.
Repurposing old stuff will save you time, it’s a really great way to make sure your content doesn’t ruin your life. Out of the blue, you can do that on the fly. It doesn’t actually have to be on plan, so long as you just take a second to think ahead of time–how will my audience respond to this? What is in it for them?
Remember, your social media content might not be a group picture, but your audience is looking for their face in the post all the same. Give them a reason to find it.
I did mention a few of my products and services in this article.
- The Show Up System is your template and system for how to repurpose your content. It gives you my actual templates and tasks for either Trello or Clickup, so you can figure out a way to control your content, and have a good way to get it out there into the world.
- The Content Lab is the “done with you course” where I guide you through my content strategy and content planning process. You have WhatsApp access to me, you have a one-on-one appointment available in that course for your usage as well. So you can get your content strategy into a real content plan that works for you and get my feedback on it along the way.
- If you’re looking for more of a ‘”done with you approach”, the Visibility Accelerator is the best option for you. Visibility accelerator includes a content measurement dashboard so you can see which content really is working for you. That’s the content measurement that we’ve talked about and also includes a ‘’done for you’’ content plan.
- Both Content Lab and the Visibility Accelerator include everything you need to know about my BE SEEN Method, which is how you turn one post into many or how you go ahead and approach your cornerstone content from new perspectives, new angles, and new buying hurdles. That course is available in both of the last two options.
- You’re also welcome to reach out to me. My email address is right on my website and I’m only a DM away on Instagram.
Are you ready to create a measurable content plan?