Today’s children are three times more likely to aspire to be a YouTuber (29%) than an Astronaut (11%)—and plenty of them have already started working on it. When the pandemic accelerated everyone’s screen time, it also accelerated everyone’s need for connection online, since getting it offline wasn’t going to happen.
It all leads to one fact: getting noticed online is getting harder.
When everyone online is vying for views, likes and comments, how does your personal brand stand out? “What worked in 2019 definitely doesn’t work in 2021, and won’t work in 2022,” says online business coach Jamie Joslin King whose purple hair isn’t the only thing that has helped her stand out in this industry. Purple hair aside, what makes her standout is her results. She has helped her clients gain visibility online so they can reach seven-figure revenue and launch courses generating six figures in passive income.
“This year, in a time when I had triple the competition, I was still able to double my email list from 6,000 to 12,000,” says King. “I also increased the number of students in my programs by 200%.” Translation: She knows what she’s doing. Follow King’s advice for being a standout brand so you can hit your goals—despite the increasing competition.
1. Get Clear On Your Core Values
It’s essential to be able to articulate where you stand as a brand, a human, and a company. You need that clarity not because you fear getting cancelled, but because consumers are becoming more conscious of where they spend their money. “Running a values-based business is like turning on a superpower magnet,” says King. “Buyers no longer care about follower size. They care about ethics, authenticity, integrity and standing for something.”
To find your stance, King suggests asking yourself a few questions to identify three to five core brand values that set you apart from the competition. You might ask:
- How do I want to be remembered?
- How do I want to make people feel?
- What group of people do I identify with?
Brand values that come up for you might be authenticity, kindness, philanthropy, courage, diversity, excellence or creativity.
2. Incorporate Your Values Into Your Content Plan
“Humans bond over tribal beliefs. You can never remind your audience too often what you stand for and what you stand against,” says King. “Tie your values back to an Instagram story, Facebook post or TikTok video so your audience knows you share a common bond. My values are family and freedom, so in a recent post, I mentioned our latest investment was an RV to spend more quality time together. That showcased the flexibility of our business as well as the principles I stand for.
King also suggests making sure that your content educates people on why your company is different from the competition—not just better than the competition. “In the coaching industry, people talk about making money so easily when in reality they’re hustling 24/7 and putting out high ticket offers many people can’t afford,” says King. “Through my social media posts, I make sure my audience knows that I’m not slamming the hustle, but I know there’s a better way to get to financial freedom: passive income and inclusive, ethical pricing. We have one offer that has generated a million dollars, but has a twelve to eighteen month payment plan, so it’s accessible to my customers.”
3. Don’t Be Vulnerable For Vulnerability’s Sake
Being open and honest about some of your biggest struggles will help you create a powerful connection with your audience, says King. But she cautions that there’s a right way and a wrong way to share personal information with your followers. She discourages her clients from sharing private information without having any intention behind doing so.
“My brand value is generational wealth,” says King. “So I share vulnerable stories about the fact that I’m literally a beauty school dropout with no college education that had a baby at twenty. That way my followers realize that no matter where they’re starting from, they can create the kind of financial freedom I did.”
The point of being vulnerable is to be authentic in sharing your life so your followers can relate and see themselves in your shoes. The tricky part about being vulnerable for vulnerability’s sake is it crosses into manipulation pretty quickly. Oversharing to the detriment of the people close to you or your own safety isn’t recommended. Try and share the stories that will reinforce connection with your followers.
4. Double Down On Authenticity
For so long, the perfect aesthetic has ruled the internet. One UK company found that 81% of Londoners would not post a photo of themselves without touching it up first. But that obsession with perfection is starting to crumble in individuals as well as countries. For example, Norway is making it a crime to not disclose that an image has been photoshopped in an attempt to fight body image issues.
“People are getting a little bored with perfection,” notes King. Instead, she suggests focusing on authenticity and personality. “If you’re funny, goofy, weird or obsessed with cats, let people see that side of you instead of hiding it for fear of judgment,” she suggests. “Take ownership of who you are and what you perceive to be a weakness. A few months ago, I posted an anti-hustle story on Instagram about the fact that I am not a morning person. It led to two new students enrolling in my program.”
“The perfect images and videos people post may still get a lot of likes and views but they don’t necessarily get you a customer or a true fan,” says King. “And 1,000 true fans are better than 10,000 semi-interested followers.”