Your clients and customers want to know they can trust you. Being authentic with people is the way to help this along.
So, if you want to build your personal brand and be perceived as an expert by your audience, ultimately your expertise has to align with your personality and who you're trying to connect with. Although scary at times, that means you have to let people in on who you are. We've heard it said before that it's 10 percent what you know and 90 percent the other stuff. We're not positive that ratio is exactly right, but it does a great job at making the point that people have to know you before they'll listen to you.
People have to know you before they'll be willing to listen to you because if they don't know who you are then they don't know if they should take your advice. So, you've got to let them in. That also means you can and likely need to show them your quirks and idiosyncrasies. Some experts choose to get into politics, religion and everything else, that's totally your call whether you want to go that far or not, but it is important for you to know that the more polarizing you are, the more magnetic you will become to those who are like you.
It's a really interesting phenomenon that through the things you say and do, the more you let people know who you really are and let them into your innermost being, the more they'll either see themselves or see they're not like you.
And the more polarizing you are, the more you'll push some people away too, but the people who identify with you will be even more attracted to you. If there's any personality that you are aware of right now that you cannot stand, and you can't possibly understand how they have the following they have, it's because of this rule. There are people who feel like them and the more polarizing they are the more they're drawn to them.
Understanding Your Personality Type
Understanding your own personality will help you improve your client relationships in several ways.
Use your personality type to:
- Build your awareness of individual differences. Realizing that there are differences in people is an important first step for gaining knowledge about yourself and others.
- Understand others. Once you acknowledge differences you can begin to learn more about them.
- Understand yourself. By studying and applying the concepts of personality type, you will learn more about your interactions and yourself.
- Appreciate the typical gifts and strengths of others. This fourth step goes beyond understanding. When you appreciate other preferences and approaches you see the gifts and strengths in all of the approaches.
- Accommodate others’ preferences. Customizing your actions and interactions so that others will be comfortable and get what they need from you is a highly developed way of using personality type preferences.
- Develop and grow as you learn from others. Seeing others’ strengths and learning more about alternative approaches facilitates your self-development.
- Resolve difficulties and differences using positive language. In the context of personality type differences you can discuss the merits of different approaches and determine positive solutions to issues.
Social media is an excellent tool to communicate your personality to others. Facebook, for example, is a great tool because you can share literally anything on Facebook--videos, links, pictures, blogs, articles, anything you want. And people can start to understand who you are, even if the information you are posting is not anything that you created on your own! By sharing content that appeals to you, you are becoming a curator of content, and that content will appeal to others who share the same interests with you, people who are like you.
That's ultimately what you're doing on Facebook for your circle of friends-- you're showing them things you think they'd be interested in.
Why is investing your marketing with your personality so important? Because the strongest connection you can make with a customer is an emotional one! Emotional engagement is a critical part of branding successfully to build customer loyalty.
Forbes magazine wrote in 2013 “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll never be able to differentiate yourself on an emotional basis.” In the results they announced for their 17th Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, they revealed that most desire for a brand was driven by emotional engagement and if you could locate where that emotional engagement is in your category, you will be able to create it with your customers.
Watch the following ad from P&G which was shown during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. It's no wonder that the brand turned the emotion levels WAY UP on their spots during these games. P &G is brilliant with these ads. They know whom to target and how to emotionally engage them (read: make them cry while watching the Olympics).
As a result of their emotionally engaging strategy, millions of moms will choose their brands on the supermarket shelf, over and over again. They have earned their customers loyalty by bringing them to tears. But as the following chart also attests, P&G was not the only brand that understands this important element. In fact, all of the top ranking ads during this same period had very similar creative strategies.
ACE Ad Effectiveness Scores
Ace is a TV advertising analytics company. They research the effectiveness of ads with a large panel of consumers along three major dimensions, persuasion, watch-ability and emotional sentiment. Persuasion is composed of six factors including: desire, relevance, information, attention, change, and likeability.
Discovering Your Brand Personality (Worksheet)
Developing Your Brand Personality
It's a fact! People will do more business with other people that they like versus people they don't know, trust or understand. Developing your brand personality is a crucial step in forging those positive relationships.
Finished with the Worksheet?
Having worked through the preliminary questions, now turn your attention to the following system which will further help you crystallize your brand personality for purposes of marketing yourself to your target customers.
The preceding model was first developed by Jennifer Aakers, Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business. You will notice a number of major personality types (honest, wholesome, cheerful etc.) and under each type, there are a number of traits (honest/ honest, sincere, real). Consider the answers to the 20 questions you answered above as you review each of the traits. Write an "x" next to each of the traits underneath each major personality type. As you near completion of this exercise, you should start to see several types that reflect who you are. Very few people will be all one type. Instead, you are probably a combination of several. Place stars next to the personality types that have the most "x's". We will revisit this worksheet later when we consider the creative elements of your branding campaign.
Interested in learning more about Jennifer Aakers' Brand Personality study? Click here.
Describe Your Brand Personality
Now that you've worked through the hard part of identifying your personality, it's time to draft a statement that concisely expresses your brand personality.