When you're striving for a standout impact in the pacey world of brand and personal marketing, it's easy to get swept away by the latest trends and shiniest new tools.
But before you invest in that 'game-changing app' or head off down a cyber rabbit hole on a hunt for an intelligible 'how to' for acing today's hot trend ….. how about we push pause, breathe, and get back to one of marketing's most brilliant, impact-generating basics?
Play to your strengths
Most of us work and play to our strengths without even realising it. Any time you spring out of bed with a pep in your step or lose yourself in an activity so completely you forget to eat, pee, or (horror of horrors) check your phone – you're operating in your zone of strength-fuelled genius. Infuse your marketing with some of this passionate, purposeful energy and watch the wow worthy results start to flow.
Figuring out your strengths
Not sure you know your own strengths or how they might be showing up in your brand?
Try marketing strategist Dorie Clarke's slightly scary but very revealing 3-word exercise.
Ask a random selection of friends, family colleagues and even customers to describe you in 3 words. Typically, there'll be patterns and surprises.
Fun follow up: plug your top 10 words into a word cloud generator and pin the image somewhere you'll see it and smile.
I made this word cloud with kind words from some lovely clients.
7 Ways to do standout, strengths-based marketing
So, armed with the insights from your 3-word feedback, here are 7 ways to put your strengths to work making marketing magic:
Despite being a hot contender for marketing's most overused buzzword, 'authenticity' really matters because, in Dr Seuss's immortal words, "Today you are You, that is truer than true there is no one alive who is Youer than You."
And whenever you're being 'Youer than you', you shine - naturally. People will likely find your brand relatable and trustworthy. You'll be genuinely present and almost always speaking from the heart. 5 Heart-driven ways to sustain the success of your marketing
There are 3 Ps in kickass marketing – passionate, purposeful AND playful. We hear lots (probably too much) about the first two, but about how to be playful …. not so much. You don't have to be naturally, riotously funny to temper your flow of passionate, purposeful posts with the occasional playful one.
If 'funny' is so not your thing, just try being 'shoes off' you and write posts that talk to your audience and customers like they're friends. Play with a couple of 'light touch' social media posts that show what a fallible (albeit expert) human you are.
Finally, on the fun front, make your marketing less of a chore and more of a fun, creative outlet by sharing your strengths, namely the things you love to do best.
Try one of these 10 Tips for reaching your audience's funny bone. I dare you!
Knowing your strengths helps you focus and confidently display your particular talents and personality in the marketplace. If you need to confirm what makes you different and desirable, ask your customers why they come to you instead of .. erm .. your competitors. Then, use this precious social proof to spruik your standout qualities.
Stylish, signature branding that expresses the essence of who you are and what you do is (need I even say this?) essential to making your business memorable and it apart from your competitors. Here's how that can work.
OK, Patience is a virtue as well as a strength and not all of us have it in spades.
As marketing is a long game, even if patience isn't your strong suit, drawing on and describing your strengths will help you stay motivated and committed, and this equals results and longevity.
Because your strengths are not just skills; they're a part of who you are. When you build your brand around your signature qualities, it's more likely to withstand the test of time.
If you feel like your marketing's stuck or sinking, check your reviews and client feedback. You're bound to find lovely shareable stuff there to create some gosh wow content and get people talking.
Lost your marketing mojo? Struggling to stay the distance?
Try new stuff
Playing to your strengths doesn't mean you limit yourself to what you know and do best. Using your strengths gives you a curious,' get better 'mindset and a launchpad for experimentation and lifelong learning. Once you've established a strong presence in your niche market, use your marketing platforms to try and test new products, services and the marketing strategies to support them. Odds on, your loyal audience will be receptive and supportive of your efforts to diversify and expand. Feeling somewhere between 'a bit rusty' to 'totally freaked out' on the 'learning new stuff’ spectrum? Read this: 6 Ways to befriend the wild beast of business learning
The buzz around your brand will grow organically when people sense and see your genuine excitement and energy. They'll want to be a part of it. They'll become your brand's advocates, spreading the word and sprinkling your awesomeness far and wide.
10 rock solid tips for giving your socials a touch of the Blarney Stone (or, in case you're not Irish, 'How to add wit, warmth and charm and win more followers.')
Show up regularly with super strong core messages from the heart and give your ideal customers a sense of who you are, what you stand for and how your product or service enhances their lives.
Understanding how your customers' wants and needs change as they explore what you offer helps you show up in style at every stage of marketing jargon called 'the customer journey'. Want a heads up on what even is 'a customer journey' and what to do about it? Here you go
Swap time-sucking strategies for strengths-based success
If you're dazed and confused after stumbling through yet another Internet 'marketing' maze or you've fried your brain trying to figure out how the hottest trend or cool new tool will give you oomph and impact, enough already!
Take time out to get clear on the traits, talents, and skills that make you 'youer than you' and put them to work making marketing magic.
Keen for more marketing mojo makeovers?