This past Sunday, I had the fortune to attend the BLP ConnectHer one-day conference for Brands & Influencers, along with many of my wonderful SoCal Lady Bloggers. While every blogger event is different, I think I have always found value in each one for different reasons. This conference was definitely geared more towards making your own brand stand out. Yes, YOU are your brand. That has taken me a long time to get on board with, but it’s so true. When you are a blogger, you are selling yourself.
The opening speaker at the conference was Lisa Steadman. I had never heard of Lisa prior to Sunday but she certainly made a major impact on the way I saw myself. I took a ton of notes during her session and I wanted to share what I learned with all of you. I hope you find her information as valuable as I did.
Basically, Lisa shared that there are 4 key parts to what she called Brandemonium. This is the theory behind the “you are your brand” philosophy. We all want to connect to our audience (readers) and to do this we must be consistent in what we do and we must truly BE our brand.
Create a vision for your brand.
Think about what excites you. What gets you up and going in the morning? When you are a blogger, you are also a coach. You are sharing your passion with others. When you aren’t passionate in your writing, others will pick up on that. For instance, if you don’t like doing reviews… don’t do them. With each post, be authentic to who YOU are or your readers won’t return to your blog. If you are in this for the long haul, write about what you love. Others will love you for it.
If you are a hobby blogger, that’s great. If you are a full-time blogger you need to start wrapping your head around the fact that you are now your own business. Your brand IS your business. Start thinking of yourself in those terms and you might be surprised at the opportunities presented to you. You’ve heard the saying, “Do what you love and the money will follow?” I think once you find your true passion, that is completely true. You CAN make money and love what you do.
Cultivate a brand voice that is unique to you.
This might go without saying, but…. don’t sound like everyone else. In order for people to look at you as passionate and authentic, you need to have a distinct voice. Don’t be afraid of being who you are. “Rock the woo hoo that you do.” (My favorite quote by Lisa during the entire conference.) Let your brand fit your personality. If you are funny, be funny. If you are girly, be girly. When people can recognize YOU in what you say and what you write (when your personality comes shining through), it will catapult your brand visibility. You want to stand out among all the rest. Don’t be afraid to show the world who you really are.
Create your value.
Here is where so many of us struggle. We are afraid of showing our true selves to the world. I know I am quite a bit. Until we can take control and recognize that we have value in what we do and what we say, there will always be a missing piece to the puzzle. As women, we really have a hard time with this and blogging and social media don’t help. How many of us have received nasty comments on our blogs or on facebook and twitter? We joke that once we get negative feedback, we’ve arrived. In a way, it’s kind of true. It’s the way we react to that bad feedback that makes us who we are. Stand up for yourself. Don’t hide. Put yourself out there because you are worth it.
“It’s not your job to care what people think.” (Another awesome quote by Lisa.)
Let’s face it, most of us blog because we feel we have something to say that other people might want to hear. And… as much as we might deny it, we’d all like to be center stage at some point. There is definitely a contridiction in my own mind between wanting to be recognized and valued for what I offer and being scared to death to have people recognize me and ask me questions. God forbid someone asks me to speak. I’ve done that once and it was terrifying for me. But… we aren’t going to get anywhere if we don’t step out on the stage.
Lisa made the point that if you are uncomfortable doing something then it’s a sign that you are moving forward. I think that is so true. I’ve been feeling anxious and scared and uncomfortable in a lot of the things I’ve been doing lately. I have big dreams and they kind of stop me in my tracks sometimes. Am I moving forward? I like to think so, but doing something new IS scary. Doing what you’ve been doing the past 10 years hasn’t gotten you past anything and it probably never will. Start being uncomfortable and let’s see how far it can take us.
Dream + Do is how you rock your woo hoo!
Learn more about Lisa Steadman by visiting her website.