This Won't Be on a Milk Carton
When the lockdown first happened, I, like so many others, started joining every networking group I could. One such group is called Lunchclub. They match you with someone for a 45 minute conversation and that match is based on your goals and your industries. One of my matches a few months back was a photographer and director. The other day I got an email from him showing me what he’d been working on since we spoke. He started a video series called 6 ft. 1 Question and asked people on the streets of San Francisco what they missed most during the lockdown. Some of the answers were what you might expect - touching people, going to cultural events, dining out, etc. But, when I thought about this question I realized that for me, what I truly miss is being carefree.
Frolicking in the Forest
Now, let’s be clear. I’m not exactly the most laid back, super footloose and fancy free gal on the planet. I’m not scootering down the street with my beret and backpack and flowers in my braided hair. But our lives before March 11 were essentially carefree in that we didn’t have worries about our physical or spatial behavior constantly plaguing us. We had to be aware and alert, of course, because we live in this world, but we were able to walk out of our homes, listen to our music, wander down streets, maybe bump into people, interact and basically not think twice about it. Sure we maybe glanced sideways at the odd person on the subway, or had to be alert for walking texters who randomly stop in the middle of the sidewalk (sadly, I long for those days!), but for the most part we had a routine and how we conducted that routine was the last thing on our minds. We worried about other things in life. Now we worry about Everything. There’s nothing carefree in that.
I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer and make you more depressed than you probably already are, because I do believe we’ll get back to that more carefree state. I know for myself, that things in March, April and May felt stifled and repressed. I felt like I couldn’t be myself. I was constantly on guard. I didn’t know how to behave. And for someone like me, who doesn’t think all that much about how others see or perceive me, that was a new sensation.
But now, I’m starting to feel more comfortable around people (masked people, natch). I don’t worry as much about crossing the street if someone’s coming toward me (before it was a game of Frogger, trying to dash across the street and not get splashed by the one car on the road). I’m not condoning irresponsibility here, I’m just saying that what scared or worried me earlier this year is slightly less so now. And I think with each passing day it gets more comfortable. It gets easier to be more me. Not that I want this to be normal or comfortable, but I can feel that my carefree spirit is starting to peek her head out again.
I See What You Did There
This same holds true for your brand voice. At first it feels uncomfortable to put something out there, unprotected. You worry that you could get hurt. It’s scary and strange, even though it’s you. It’s not natural. But then something happens. The more you develop and deliver content, the more it sounds like you. The easier it gets. And the more it starts to resonate with people.
“I can't thank you enough. Working with you has been an amazing experience and my inner circle is loving your copy. They are reading it all, inhaling it and saying that they can see my personality coming through when reading.” - Anne Blumrich, Founder, Salt & Caramel
Want to know more about Salt & Caramel. Scroll down...
In fact, sooner or later, your content is carefree because you know what you stand for. You have a strong brand positioning. You have content pillars. You have audience personas. You have a value proposition. Maybe you even have an editorial calendar. All of these things help you define who you are, who you reach, how you say it and what you offer that’s different from everyone else. And that feeling, that knowing that your message is truly and positively reflective of your brand, is the most carefree thing you’ll ever know.
Speaking of Knowing Yourself
If you’ve got 20-ish minutes, you can listen to me on Ed Gandia’s High-Income Business Writing podcast talking about, you guessed it, Personality Brand. There’s a few reasons I can’t stop, won’t stop, talking about this. A) People keep listening. B) It keeps resonating. C) It’s MY brand. D) It works. I’d love you to give it a listen and let me know your thoughts.
There's Always Room for Dessert
Recently I had the absolute pleasure of helping my friend and client, Anne, develop her brand for her new Etsy store. Anne knew exactly what she wanted, she just needed help getting her brand there. Together, we cultivated and nurtured Salt & Caramel into an evocative brand for her one-of-a kind wall hangings, including everything from what visitors read on the site to what messaging comes with their purchase. It’s cohesive, consistent and oozing with personality. Stickiness not included.