Blog 4 of a ten blog mini series
At the end of February (feels like a life time ago now) I travelled to Belfast to attend the Only Just media Summit. This was just as Corona Virus was starting to become a ‘thing’, before Social Distancing had become a ‘thing’ and the week that Northern Ireland had just had their first case.
The event was a full day of speakers, all experts in their fields, talking to a room full of bloggers, Vloggers, content creators and brands. My plan immediately after the event was to write some blogs on the speakers and my key takeouts. Life then got in the way, CoronaVirus exploded and took up all my time at work and this idea got left in the notes section of my phone. Until now.
Today is the blog four of ten where I want to outline my key take outs for the day.
Why? To be honest it’s probably multipurpose (like that kind of cleaning product you but to clean the kitchen and bathroom if like me you are not a ‘Mrs. Hincher’. Partly I think it will help me solidify the key points I took away from the day, because although I’ve not written about them here until now I have started to take action. But also because I think you as the reader could also benefit from these takeouts. You might not be interested in branding or social media or content creation but some of the ideas I took away could just be useful for your approach to your job or you life in general.
So introductions over today’s blog will focus on the talk given by the creator of the Only Just Media Summit and CEO of OnlyJustMedia, Lucy (OnlyJustLucy).
Lucy put together this whole event. So to convey an idea of how valuable her advice is maybe I could explain the event itself. Held in the Odyssey, Belfast (if you aren’t from Belfast it’s a massive stadium type building with food outlets and a cinema within) there were some thirty sponsors, including massive brands such as The Body Shop, Coca Cola and Estee Lauder. Upon waking in there were impressive displays by all the sponsors and an immense complimentary breakfast spread. There were goodie bags with all kind of things inside, a variety of complimentary lunch options (I went for a quiet simply epic hot dog from Happy Dog but there were also burgers from Tribal Burger) and snacks throughout (I had cupcakes from Hollie Berrie Cakes, ice cream, Red Bull and more!) and the speakers were outstanding.
So when I say this is a woman you should listen to when she talks about branding and building a personal brand this is why. The event showcased her knowledge. More than that is showcased here, who she is. It might sound odd but the look of the event mirrored her outfit choice which mirrored her image. Lucy’s branding and Lucy are essentially the same thing. This to me is why the event felt so successful, because it felt naturally authentic.
I made a lot of notes as she talked, but I want this blog to focus on the one big message I took away from her talk and that is vital for all of us who to remember when selling ourselves, be that personally or as a (fitness) brand.
People need to connect with you before they will buy from you.
Your logo, your adverts, your marketing do not sell for you. For your brand to sell, people need to connect with it. For most fitness professional, that means they need to connect with you. For most people in the world of paid work, for that company to want to hire you they need to connect with you.
It doesn’t matter if you aren’t polished, are a bit different to others, have obvious imperfections. How you connect with and make others feel. The value and content and knowledge you can provide. These are the things that can make you a strong brand.
I’ve written in the last three blogs about the importance of being authentic when you present yourself, whatever the platform may be and this blog is another variation of the same theme.
Because right now that theme is important for anyone in business.
I’ll give you one simple example. Fitness instructors who have taken classes online during lockdown, and who are competing for their clients attention with the bigger names of people like Joe Wicks. You are getting people wanting to do your classes because they value you. The connection to you is worth more than Joe’s well known reputation. If this doesn’t demonstrate to you the power of personal branding and being authentic and connecting with the people in your own ecosystem I’m not sure what will.
So my key message long term would be forget trying to ‘sell’. Instead be the person people trust and want to buy from, then selling becomes a very different ball game, and your business becomes a lot more rewarding (not only financially but what you get out of emotionally).