Brand Yourself: How to Use Your Personality to Your Advantage in Marketing
- Peter Sandeen
Maybe you seemed trustworthy. Or your sense of humor made people want your products and services.
Whatever the personality trait, your marketing made people notice it – whether or not you intended it to happen.
When you know what aspects of you people find most positive, you can brand yourself by emphasizing them in your marketing, and making lots more sales.
And if you know what aspects people aren’t as drawn to, you can avoid bringing them forward.
How you present your personality has a huge impact on your results. Yet, few people use their personalities well in their marketing.
Personality as a Deal Breaker
If you notice that a marketer is a liar, how likely are you to buy something from him or her?
Dishonesty is a typical deal breaker. So is blatant egoism.
Still – many less-than-honest, egoistic people build successful businesses.
That’s possible because their target audience isn’t sensitive to “small” lies and egoistic behavior. The self-confidence that is sometimes apparent in egoistic people might even be the reason their audience is drawn to them.
Similarly, if you’re very sarcastic, you repel people who don’t like sarcasm. But at the same time you attract people who share your sense of humor.
Showing your personality is always a risk. But you can’t avoid it.
If you don’t choose what people think about you, they’ll draw their own conclusions, which might be less than favorable for you.
So, you need to consider which of your personality traits are positive in your target customers’ eyes and make those traits clear as you develop your brand.
Your “Simplified Personality”
Humans are complicated.
There’s no way you can make people get a *full* picture of what you’re like as a person without spending a lot of time with them.
Still, you need people to have a sense of who you are. In other words, you need to brand yourself.
Since you’re not going to move in with everyone in your audience, you have to create a simplified persona – an image of you that’s accurate but incomplete.
A simplified persona allows you to create a relatable picture of you without making people read your memoir.
Simply put, you need to pick a handful of aspects of you that you want people to know and believe. If you try to convey an elaborate image of you, people will struggle to get any sense of who you are.
For example, maybe you’re very easygoing, funny, and non-threatening. You could focus on making people notice those aspects of you.
You might also be unusually honest, articulate, and energetic. But if you don’t think those are as important for your potential customers as the first three, you shouldn’t put too much effort into showing them in your marketing.
So, how do you pick and choose which personality traits deserve the center stage in your marketing?
Pick The Right Personality Traits to Emphasize
Don’t pick traits that are “normal” or not especially prominent in you.
If you emphasize personality traits that are clearly present in pretty much every one of your competitors, you don’t stand out. For example, if most of your competitors are very strict and “professional,” maybe you should be easy-going and funny instead.
Out-doing your competitors at something they’re good at is difficult.
And if you try to emphasize traits that aren’t prominent in you, you just make things unnecessarily challenging for yourself. For example, if you’re not a born comedian, trying to brand yourself as the comic of your industry won’t be easy.
So, consider what positive personality traits are prominent in you. Cross off the ones that are very common in your field, and you’re left with pretty good options.
But now you still need to narrow down your list to just a handful of traits. More than three to five traits will be very difficult to communicate clearly.
Consider which of your personality traits are most likely to compel your target customers to pay attention to you and buy your products. Some of your personality traits are likely to be among the key reasons people choose you, so they’re a part of your value proposition. You should consider them the same way as other aspects of your business.
For example, if your astuteness is a key reason people hire you as a coach, that personality trait should get a place in your value proposition (and a big place in your marketing).
But just because some traits don’t make it to your value proposition, you shouldn’t forget them altogether.
How to Get Your Personality Across
Before you consider how to get a specific personality trait across in your marketing, you have to figure out two things about it:
- Is it a key reason people choose you—a part of your value proposition?
- Is it something you can demonstrate clearly without saying it point blank?
These two questions lead to four considerations:
- If a trait is a part of your value proposition, it should be one of the first things people notice about you.
- If a trait is NOT a part of your value proposition, you should make people notice other things first (that is, you should make people first notice your value proposition—the best reasons for them to pay attention to you and buy from you).
- If a trait is something you can clearly demonstrate without simply telling people about it, you don’t have to call it out literally – but you still can.
- If a trait is NOT something you can clearly and quickly demonstrate, you have to point it out literally (at least if it’s a part of your value proposition).
Once you know where a specific personality trait falls, you might already have a pretty good idea about how to get it across in your marketing.
Let’s look at a couple of examples.
Let’s say your sense of humor is such an important decision-making factor for your target audience that it’s a part of your value proposition (the few most important reasons for people to choose you).
You should be able to get your sense of humor across without telling people, “I have a great sense of humor” or “My sense of humor is quite sarcastic.” In other words, you can simply demonstrate it.
However, if sarcasm is an especially important part of everything that you do, you may want state that explicitly. For example, if your sarcastic sense of humor is what makes you stand out from the competition, maybe your business tagline could be “Health advice with a sarcastic twist.”
Or, let’s say your friendly demeanor earns a place in your “simplified persona,” but not in your value proposition. That’s ok, because you’re going to demonstrate your friendliness every time you interact with your target audience. If you use videos in which you talk with someone, viewers will then notice that you’re really friendly (or at least they should).
When people can easily understand the few things you “stand for” and what makes you stand out from the competition, you’ll get more customers.
This applies to your personality, but also other factors about your business; if you don’t know exactly what makes people most likely to pay attention to you and buy from you, you can’t produce effective marketing.
So, figure out what makes you stand out. 🙂
And if you have a question about how to make the most of your personality, leave a comment below.