Better Branding: Play Yourself In The Lead Role!

Better Branding: Play Yourself In The Lead Role!

Sometimes I binge watch old TV favorites while I’m doing my nighttime busy work (scheduling posts, connection management, etc.). Recently I started re-watching Scrubs, as I kind of have a thing for Zach Braff’s boyish charm, but I digress. The show’s soundtrack is still awesome and still inspiring, and when Josh Joplin’s “Camera One” came on, I knew it needed to be shared in a marketing and music fashion.

What Role Are You Playing Online?

Many an online marketer, especially those just starting out, feel they must play a role in order to be taken seriously as a professional.

By playing a role, these marketers fail to appreciate the smarts of their audience. The social media follower can small insincerity and fake from miles away.

Authenticity is a term that’s been beaten, battered, used and abused in our industry, but it still plays an important role in the way you and your branding are perceived online.

There’s little value in playing a role you can’t uphold for the long haul. There’s no one correct way to act as a professional, just as there’s no single right way to interact with your client base. It all depends on who you are AND on your ideal client.

Real Me, Real Business

Although I’ve never really been one to suppress my own personality, I too have faced the fear of “feeling” professional. But it wasn’t until I allowed myself to fully embrace all that makes me, well, ME, that I really saw my target niche start to fine down to allow me to work with the very audience I wanted to reach.

I joke that my husband gave me permission to unleash more of the real Mallie, but the reality isn’t silly at all. When you accept yourself and work with what truly makes you, well, Y-O-U, you’re sharing without subterfuge. That earns you plenty of gold authenticity stars!

You’re Playing You Now!

The song says it all, really. I’m just adding my own .02 to the smarts and savvy.

Actors play roles and the accolades they receive for portraying those roles are part of their craft, their excellence, their skill set.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Your skill set, as a #marketer, involves playing only one role. YOURSELF. #brand” quote=”Your skill set, as a marketer or digital consultant, shouldn’t include playing any role except the role of yourself.” theme=”style4″]

Our goal is not to achieve accolades, it’s to help others solve problems and build better brands. However, when accolades are deserved, wouldn’t it be better if they came from branding ourselves in a fashion that showcases who we really are and what we really stand for.

When those accolades come, and they will if you embrace the idea of marketing the real you with the proper intent and purpose, then you’ll very much deserve to take that bow and mug for the cameras!


Marketing: There’s Really Nothing Magical About It!

Marketing: There's Really Nothing Magical About It!

For some marketers, there’s a need to make social media and digital marketing almost anything except what it really is.

Buzz words like easy, simple, cheap, delicious, killer, awesome, and I could go on AND on, are filling our feeds. It’s apparently easy to be epic. It’s simple to succeed in marketing, business, AND life. Working for yourself is delicious and delightful.

Sadly, these simplistic simperings don’t factor in the reality of what it actually takes to create, build and maintain a successful business.

Recently I came across an article discussing the magical nature of social media marketing and I realized I just couldn’t take it a second longer. This marketing myth must be addressed, dressed down and put on a time out.

Magic & Marketing Don’t Mix!

There’s no magic wand being waved over marketing campaigns.

The “magic” you’re seeking actually happens when you put your muscle and your mind behind the project, task or campaign.

That’s right! The main ingredient in any success recipe is hard work. Synonyms for hard work include hustle, sweat equity and perseverance.

Smoke & Mirrors Rarely Reveal Success

When you get right down to it, many of the “magical” musts touted by marketers are simply tricks. It’s tempting to fall for the idea of the time-saving trick, I know. But trickery has a way of turning around on you and biting you in the butt.

Think about Loki, the Nordic god, the trickster. He often found himself in a lot of hot water, or some thunder from Thor, after engaging in his patented trickery.

Loki isn’t someone I’d look up to as a business mentor. In modern times his tactics and tricks would be described as sketchy or shady. You rarely see sketchy or shady preceding success in a description about a business!

Testament To Time & Tireless Effort

There’s a reason we look up to people who have paid their dues “in the trenches.” We value that effort, that focus, that drive. Tricks and tantalizing tactics aren’t based on drive or effort. In fact, they look to negate the necessity of hard work and hustle.

Crafting quality content, maintaining relationships that matter with clients and peers, creating new relationships and delivering quality customer service … they all take time. Time and effort.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Easy and #entrepreneur rarely go together. #smallbiz #realyourealbiz” quote=”Easy and entrepreneur rarely go together. “]

Passion without perseverance and some sweat brings little reward.

The easy button, the magical “minutes a day” schemes, they’re silly dreams that too often turn into nightmares for those that decide to rely on them.

Learn To Love What You Own

In closing I leave you with this New Pornographers cover of the Destroyers “Hey Snow White.”

[clickToTweet tweet=”Own your efforts and your ethics. Stop looking for the free, easy or quick fix. #realyourealbiz” quote=”Own your efforts and your ethics. Stop looking for the free, easy or quick fix.”]

Prince Charming isn’t waiting in the wings to bestow a magical kiss that will make all your dreams come true. There’s no fairy godmother who’ll change your pumpkin into a carriage that will carry you to business success.

Own your effort, your sacrifice, your blood, sweat and tears. And love that ownership!

You create your own magic through the relationships you maintain, through the effort you expend and with the mind you use to master your craft.

Thank You: Appreciation And Acknowledgment Rock!

Thank You: Appreciation And Acknowledgment Rock!

We all like to feel that our thoughts, our actions, our concerns, our ideas and more … are appreciated and acknowledged. We hope that our questions will receive an answer. We all just want to feel like we’ve been heard and that a response is on the way.

I’m taking a slightly different direction with this week’s Music & Marketing article, looking at the idea of appreciation and acknowledgment and how much they both matter to customer experience and social media satisfaction.

Complaints, Queries & Kudos All Require Response

No matter the method nor the motivation for any social media mention, it needs to be acknowledged. Be it a customer complaint, a warranty concern, or a thank you for great customer service online or in store, it deserves a response.

I’m often surprised how quickly what could be an ugly and disruptive social media complaint can be diffused with a smartly stated show of appreciation regarding the problem.

Acknowledgment and appreciation of the frustration felt when a product or service doesn’t work as promised is a key part of customer service and experience. I’ve seen such situations escalate quickly, becoming ugly, spreading ill will for brands and businesses across the social space.

It doesn’t have to be like that. Taking a few moments to craft a response specific to the initial customer query or complaint is crucial. Canned, copied and pasted, thanks for contacting us messages aren’t going to cut it.

Specific complaints deserve specific acknowledgment. As do specific questions, product and service reviews and even congratulatory messages.

Thank Those You Already Know, Too!

Once a connection is made there’s a tendency to feel safe and secure that nothing can cause a disconnect. But you can’t take your connections, your followers, your online friends for granted.

I’m not saying I expect my connections to thank me every time I mention them. That would be excessive, especially since many of my connections are prolific publishers and often create killer content worthy of sharing.

It’s not about allowing thanks to take over your day. It’s about showing that you’re listening.

Even a quick favorite shows you’ve noticed a share. Being social is about more than scheduling shares. You actually have to engage and even interact with your following. What better way than to thank someone for sharing your articles. It’s simple and it’s smart!

You never know when a connection could lead to a collaboration, right?

No Dead End Thanks In The Social Sphere

It might seem small and insignificant, but each thank you can do so much to enhance your social status. A quick favorite, like, share, pin or repost can be such a boost to an individual’s day.

Just as you sharing another author’s article shows you appreciate their writing skill, your thanks when someone shares your content shows that you appreciate their skills as a content curator and sharer of smart and savvy information.

Ditch The Robotic And Go For Real!

Automation can be a great thing. It can certainly make things like sharing curated content a breeze. But, despite some statements to the contrary, you can’t automate appreciation or acknowledgment. Not without it appearing scheduled, automated and a bit robotic.

Responses targeted to real people, with real needs, are always appreciated than automated blips with anonymous initials tacked on to make it appear we’re speaking to an actual human being.

Ever Feel Unappreciated Online?

Your turn. Ever feel like the authors of the content you’re sharing just don’t get the reality that you’re actually helping them, not just yourself, when you share their content?

How do you show appreciation when you’re mentioned online? How do you acknowledge customer complaints vs. client kudos?

Has failing to acknowledge a social media or other online mention ever come back to bite you in the butt?

Better Blogging With Help From Frightened Rabbit

Better Blogging With Help From Frightened Rabbit

It was inevitable. Eventually I’d have to share blogging tips based on something beyond known hits from the eighties and nineties.

Today I’m taking a chance and sharing my favorite band as part of my Music & Marketing Mondays series. They’re not well known and they don’t have any well-known chart-topping hits.

Swim Until You Can’t See Land

Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith when you’re blogging. Will the topic resonate with your readers? Is it too edgy, too blatant, too controversial? Is it different from anything you’ve published before? Is it a topic that’s new to your blogging repertoire?

You never know what will fly and what will fail. You can’t reap the greatest of rewards if you don’t sometimes take a chance. Sometimes you need to dive in, rather than slowing dipping in a toe at a time. Sometimes you need to start the swim and keep swimming, even when the land disappears behind you and you’re not sure of the way back.

The best bloggers take some chances, hoping to strike a chord, prompt a response or change a mind. It’s never easy and it’s often scary, but it’s these kinds of articles that make the most difference.

Old, Old Fashioned

While your blog can, and should be, the hub of your digital home, not one of us can make the most of our lives and or abilities if we never leave home. There’s more to a successful blog, business and online presence than the online presence itself.

Oh let’s get old fashioned
Back to how things used to be
If I get old, old fashioned
Would you get old, old fashioned with me?

Consider getting old fashioned and going out to network in real life. Be open to real life experiences, relationships and conversations. These will all add to your impact online, too.

My Backwards Walk

In the first song shared, I mentioned taking a leap. The lesson in this song is the exact opposite. Sometimes it’s very important to think long and hard before an implementation, an article shared. Making a mistake with something you publish can be very difficult to fix after the fact.

I’m working on erasing you
Just don’t have the proper tools
I’ll get hammered, forget that you exist
There’s no way I’m forgetting this

While this is a love song of sorts, it’s about feeling the need to erase something, but being drawn back in, unable to escape and start fresh. The singer is knee deep and mired in something less than desirable, yet can’t see any way out.

A poorly written, planned and thought out article can leave you in the same nasty mess. And it can be nearly impossible to pull yourself out of that mess.

Backyard Skulls

Transparency is a term we hear bandied about all the time. When it comes to your brand and what you publish, transparency is tantamount to the trust developed with our audience, whom we hope to make prospects, then, eventually purchasers of our products and services.

We’ve all heard about businesses with skeletons in the closet, skulls buried in the backyard. Consider whether or not you’re trying to keep buried your own backyard skulls. Can you truly keep them buried forever?

Backyard skulls, deep beneath the ground
All those backyard skulls, not deep enough to never be found

Would it not be better to share, carefully, your past failings. To be open and honest about your business past, your product and service future?

The Work

Eventually we’re all forced to make a decision? Are we on the right path with our business, with our brand? Is it time to pivot, pack it in or soldier forward?

When the work stops working
What was light becomes a weight
When the work stops working
Shall we pack it all in
When the work stops working
And the weight becomes an ache
When the work stops working
Shall we pack it all in
Or start again

Sometimes we are forced to contemplate our blogging? Maybe it’s time to change our focus, time to consider new topics. Is what you’ve long been doing still working? Is it time to tweak? Time to take a strong stand? Time to start anew?

Only you can know, and it will not be an easy decision.


So there you have it. A Music & Marketing Monday publish featuring my favorite band. I hope you’ll take a listen to each of the five songs shared and let me know if managed to strike a chord!

Photo Credit:
By Heidi Weber [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons