MYM – Part 8: Choose your own stage

How your brand can speak for you so you can CTFO…

Here’s something you might not know about me; I’m an introvert.

Sure, I can put on a good show. I trained myself to enjoy making videos and when it comes to sharing anything to do with branding, visual persuasion, and design then you’ll have a hard time getting me to shut up! But most of the time I’m pretty happy to fall back into the shadows.

And that brings its own set of problems.

It’s easy to see how extroverted people can have an advantage in business.

If you’re at your best when you’re in the spotlight, speaking out, showing up, leading the conversations, being seen and heard EVERYWHERE! then you can easily create noise and momentum around your message and turn the attention on you FAST.

That’s not the case when you’re an introvert! When you’re at your best in small groups listening, getting involved with conversations, offering advice when it’s asked for and generally making less noise, then it can be hard to feel like you have any chance of competing with your extroverted business pals.

If you’re more at home in your comfy joggers and a large cuppa than you are in a sea of strangers, you may find it tricky to get your message out there to as many people in as fast a time as your competitors.

And if you have big ambitions for your business, then there is a chance this introverted nature could hold you back.

If you let it…

I remember being told when I first started out that if I wasn’t prepared to stand on stage to sell what I was offering then I would never make it. It was a conversation that got me thinking more about what it means to stand on stage.

A platform in front of a big audience perhaps?
A physical stage with a room full of people?
Maybe – if that’s how you like it.

But here’s what’s interesting. The word stage has a much broader definition these days. It doesn’t even have to be a physical location. As a result, being introverted isn’t a disadvantage because… 

 

YOU get to choose your stage

 

And if that stage happens to be one where you can address your audience from the comfort of your home wearing your oldest jeans and that jumper you should have thrown out years back – then GO FOR IT.

You don’t have to become someone else’s idea of success to be a success.

I repeat…

 

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BECOME SOMEONE ELSE’S
IDEA OF SUCCESS TO BE A SUCCESS

 

That’s what I’ve come to realise over my years of working with all sorts of business owners on building their brands. When it comes to Making Your Mark, one of the most powerful things you can do is build your brand around the real you. Which is why CORE is the first thing I teach in the CTFO process.

  • You put YOU at the CORE.
  • You tell people all about who you are and what you’re like to work with through the colours, fonts, and images you use.
  • You use your brand personality to attract your TRIBE and inspire your audience to experience FEELINGS that have them worked up into a frenzy to work with you.

In other words, CTFO branding can help you say everything you want to say – without saying anything at all.

It’s the ultimate attention builder for introverts.

And the best is yet to come.

Design a brand that does the talking for you – and you get to focus on what you do best. From binge watching that new series on Netflix! to drinking coffee while planning world domination, to writing that book you’ve been planning for years…

When you stop trying to be someone you’re not and just express who you are, you can be and do more.

So let your branding communicate that introverted nature. When your brand speaks for you, you don’t have to show up in person tooting your own horn because your brand is doing this for you.

*Hello big win for all the introverts out there!*

This insight takes the pressure off.
You don’t need to fake ANYTHING.
You can just be you.

And when people know what to expect, they won’t be disappointed or expect anything else.

 

Your brand isn’t about you,
it’s about how people experience YOU

 

It’s all about using imagery to stir feelings and emotions in another person – on a subconscious and conscious level. And when your visuals stir the right emotions in the right people, you can persuade your TRIBE to take the action you desire.

So when thinking about the FEELING aspect of making your mark, your job is to unleash the emotions you want to inspire – and allow them to speak through everything you do.

Work so that your brand becomes associated with those feelings.
^ That’s how design morphs into something more than making things look ‘pretty’.

Good design is also a business and marketing tool that help you say everything without saying anything at all. Cue that 90s boy band song!

But branding is more than the optimum use of your fonts, colours, and images.

It’s also about the words you say and use.

That’s why this post is all about your verbal language.

When it comes to your visually persuasive style, you need to consider more than the visuals themselves. You also need to think about the words you use.

It’s true; copy and design are two very different skills.

But the fact is they enhance each other. You can’t separate your visuals from your language. Instead, allow the two to complement each other and you’ll create an immersive experience that just works.

When you think about the way you communicate verbally, you’ll find that you have your own unique style already. There will be phrases you say, words you prefer, and language styles you love.

For example:

  • I LOVE using hyphenated styles in place of commas and brackets – I have an irrational hate for brackets!
  • I’m known to swear a little. In fact, my favourite phrase of all is Crack the FUCK On – it’s where the CTFO process developed from!
  • I prefer beaut to beautiful, lil to little, and have been known to make up a few words from time to time – intentionally or not!. While I may not be grammatically correct all the time, that really doesn’t matter to my creative brand values, making up words is part of my creative process.

You can still be professional while still allowing your audience to hear your voice in everything you do. And that’s why knowing your language matters.

Because when you’re clear on all the idiosyncrasies that characterise your voice, you can ensure they show up in your branding. When you understand the tone in which you speak on a day-by-day basis, you can replicate that in your business.

There are a lot of benefits for taking this approach:

  • First up, it removes the need for fakeness. If you happen to have a very broad Bristol accent, why try to hide it! It’s part of who you are and therefore part of your brand – so incorporate it.
  • When you are who you say on the tin, you make it easier for your TRIBE to trust you. Authenticity is a buzzword right now, but don’t underestimate its power. In an online world when you really can be anything, a lil honesty goes a very long way.
  • Knowing your voice allows you to maintain consistency. And you want to inspire that familiarity. You want to get to a point where your audience instantly knows it’s you when they spot your brand imagery or voice online. This in itself is insanely valuable – so milk it!

Lastly, the words use you and the tone of voice you take will also inspire feelings in your tribe – in the exact same way as your visuals. Yup, we’re back to those FEELINGS again! When your verbal language combines with your visuals, your ability to inspire a reaction just tapped into more senses.

But how do you get yourself in a position of knowing your voice and defining your persuasive language – so you can use it proactively and powerfully to Make Your Mark?

It’s time for another action item!

 


 

TAKE ACTION…
Define your verbal language

Brew yourself a cuppa, grab a big sheet of paper, and give yourself some time to think.

 

CAPTURE YOUR WORDS

Start out with a brain dump. Make a list of all the key phrases and words you like to say. If you get stuck ask someone you trust for some feedback. If you enjoy writing have a read through some of your content and make a note of phrases and words that crop up.

When you’re done take a read through and get your list organised. While you don’t want to be contrived, you do want to ensure these aspects of your spoken personality shine through when you’re making your mark through your brand.

 

DEFINE YOUR TONE

The second part of this activity may feel a lil uncomfortable! After all, it can be weird listening to yourself speak. But that’s what I want you to do. Either record yourself having a conversation or if you’ve done some interviews in the past listen in again.

As well as being mindful of any words or phrases that you use, write down words that capture your tone of voice. For example, are you serious, jokey, upbeat – whatever words feel right make sure you capture them.

Then look back over the words you’ve chosen, choose one or two and own that tone.

It’s yours – it makes you unique – and it’s a core aspect of making your mark.

 


 

Where design brings copy to life

So what’s the benefit of doing all this work?

When you know how you want your brand to sound, you can align this with the way your brand looks.

And if you’ve remembered to put YOU at the core of your brand, it’s all going to tie up perfectly. In this way, your branding can enhance your content and your content can enhance your visuals.

This is a HUGE topic which we’re going to loop back to later.

But for now, get clear on your verbal language – so you can start bringing your voice to life.

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