YOU. FREAKIN’. DID IT.
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You built a successful business from scratch.
Made a name for yourself by putting out awesome content on the reg.
Attracted a steady stream of clients to come a’knockin’ on your (digital) doors.
You’re constantly being asked to speak as a guest expert in summits, podcasts, and interviews.
Essentially, you’re off to an amazing start.
It’s time to bring your brand to the next level.
That might mean expanding your team. It could be tripling your revenue. Maybe you’re looking to reach major press, or form partnerships with industry influencers. Whatever your goal may be, it’s CRUCIAL to be opinionated in your brand as you grow and scale.
Take Ash Ambirge, for example. She’s the talented and feisty entrepreneur behind The Middle Finger Project. Her message is that you (YEAH, YOU) can create your own career, your own rules, and your own fortune. Or, as she lovingly refers to it, become “Unf*ckwithable.”
You might be thinking, “Well, she’s a MAVERICK archetype. Being opinionated is in her nature! It’s on-brand for her, but that isn’t me.”
Okay, fair. Let’s take a look at a traditional, feel-good brand, then. Campbell’s Soup. We’ve all seen the commercials… A shivering snowman enters a warm and cozy home, with a roaring fireplace in the background. As the snowman enjoys a steaming bowl of Campbell’s Soup, he begins to melt, revealing an adorable little boy with a big smile on his face!
Campbell’s is your classic Caregiver archetype. They aim to make their customers’ lives easier with delicious, quick, and easy-to-prepare soups. Their belief is that tasty food doesn’t have to be fancy or take forever to make… and that works for the busy, hectic lives of their consumers. Are there people who wouldn’t think about eating canned soup? Of course! But that doesn’t matter, because those aren’t their ideal customers.
There are lessons to be learned here – whether you’re a Maverick, a Caregiver, or any other archetype.
Further Define Your Ideal Clients
The same way that Ash’s bold branding and risqué copy attracts her best clients, Campbell Soup attracts theirs – busy, budget-conscious families. By sharing your opinions, your intended audience will naturally gravitate toward you. Think of it like the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.”
We choose our friends in a similar way. We find people who we find interesting and share our same values. So when a brand is able to appeal to a consumer on an emotional level, they have the opportunity to build (or break) a meaningful connection.
PSST… It’s OKAY to repel some people. Businesses are not one-size-fits-all, and you wouldn’t do your best work for a client who is outside of your wheelhouse or doesn’t fit your personality.
In fact, working with a client who isn’t the right fit can actually take a toll on your business (and let’s be honest – your mood). Maybe there are tons of communication problems, maybe you don’t understand their style or motivation – regardless of the why, a bad partnership almost always ends in resenting each other.
It’s hard to say no to money, I know. But sharing your opinions straight off the bat is a great way to say NO less, because you will eliminate potential clients or customers of resistance.
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway… there’s a LOT of competition out there. Not just in general – in YOUR marketplace. A LOT. Right now, it’s easier than ever to start an online business, so there are lots of other brands out there singing the same old song we are. (And some of them have bigger budgets for ad spend.)
Okay, now before you get overwhelmed – take a deep breath and ask yourself this question:
What are YOU holding back?
It takes courage to break through the noise and not only find your voice, but let it be heard. It’s scary to be LOUD. But truthfully, these strong, unapologetic opinions are a pattern interrupt in the online space. Imagine how BORING it would be if we were literally all wearing the same mask.
People admire bravery. Don’t be afraid to share yourself in your brand.
What are you NOT?
What are you afraid to admit?
What do you believe in above all else?
These things matter. As humans, we crave connection – and even the tiniest details can help tell your story.
I’ll give you an example. Me.
I’m not just a Brand Strategist, I’m a Psychology-Driven Brand Strategist. That sets me apart from the competition (and gives me an opportunity to get paid for nerding out about psychology).
But it isn’t just a marketing tactic.
I wholeheartedly believe that you simply can NOT build a brand properly without examining the core elements of the brand personality that go beyond your design.
So speak up! Stand out. Voice your opinions, and branch out beyond your direct audience by guest speaking on podcasts or writing guest blogs for other industry pros. It’ll help you gain recognition, and give you an extended platform to share YOUR unique opinion.
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Solidify Your Company Culture
Creating a strong company culture deserves a whole blog series of its own, but as it relates to being opinionated – the success of your company depends on it.
Take a look at Brit + Co, for example. Their entire brand platform is designed to inspire their audience to find their creative side or, as they put it, “use creativity to shape her future.” But that isn’t only who they want to reach – it’s who they want to hire.
They want employees who share the same strong opinions and values as they do… both because it results in highly motivated employees, and because the work will come more naturally to those who share the same ideology.
Having a great company culture encourages people to become fully invested in your company. These die-hard brand fans will stick by your side, even when things aren’t perfect. The connection that they share with your brand makes them feel like they’re part of something greater than themselves. Never underestimate how powerful that is!
Form An Emotional Connection
There’s a big difference between a one-time customer, a return customer, and a brand evangelist. The latter have formed such a connection with your brand that they not only buy from you, they genuinely root for you. They recommend you. They open your emails. They comment on your Facebook posts. They care.
Patagonia is a great example. Patagonia, if you’re not familiar, is a lifestyle and retail brand for the outdoorsy and adventurous. Their brand position is built around the idea of how life should be and how we should treat the environment.
Take a peek at their Black Friday ad from back in 2011. Their “Don’t buy this jacket” ad, placed in New York Times, was easily one of the most clever advertisements in the last 10 years. Why? Because it allowed their values to shine through: Don’t be wasteful. Don’t buy what you don’t need.
This very public opinion made a promise to their consumers (and potential buyers) that their products would help them to reduce, repair, reuse, and recycle. For those with minimalism and sustainability at heart, this bridged a connection between the customer and Patagonia.
Increase Your Credibility
We all want our audiences to be engaged, right? So ask yourself, why should they keep up with you? What do you help them accomplish? What do you help them realize about themselves or their own lives? How do you lead them to success?
In order to be a leader in your industry, team, or movement – you literally have to speak up. With as much information available on the internet as there is, we don’t just blindly buy things or ideas anymore. We depend on credible sources to back up our thoughts and opinions. We want to feel connected and build trust before we buy.
So don’t just show up – be LOUD. Be you. Be consistent. Share your opinions.
By allowing your audience to know you, you’re giving them a reason to like you, to trust in you – and opening up the door for not only a conversion, but a genuine connection.
Just look at Gary Vaynerchuk. Love him or hate him, he’s gained his spot at the top in the marketing world by showing up… loudly… for years. He’s built an empire because of it. And whether or not you agree with him, you have to respect that kind of tenacity!
TL;DR? Say Your Piece.
Whether you’re sharing your favorite dog training techniques or building brands with a psychology-based approach – it’s important to KNOW where you stand and VOICE it.
Don’t shy away in attempt to please everyone. It’s impossible. Instead, tell – no, yell your truth. Be bold, and don’t apologize for it. Ground yourself in your beliefs and build stronger ties to those who share your beliefs rather than trying to appeal to everyone.
With the fierce competition that is the digital world, you need to have confidence and clarity in your message… and if you aren’t there yet, don’t worry. This isn’t a quality that we’re all born with. (I sure as heck wasn’t.) It takes time, process, and patience to draw out your most compelling messages.
Craving Message Clarity?
If you’re struggling to nail down what your message even *is*, let alone share it – reach out to me.
I help clients uncover their strongest opinions and build demand around them all the time! It’s one of my very favorite things about my job and something I feel blessed to do.
So, like I’ve been saying this whole time – don’t be shy.
Send me a message and let’s see what I can do for you and your message!