There’s a massive difference between flexing your style and creating a plastic persona. With so much fake news and spin, it’s time for us to clean up our act when it comes to personal brand and social marketing.

AM I the only on who’s sick to the back teeth with Fakebook and Instaglam? What about all those marketing ‘gurus’ on LinkedIn, complete with gleaming, white smiles, open necked shirts and designer jeans… they’re the modern-day answer to the shiny suit men of the 80s.

Joking aside, it’s not really anything to do with what people wear. Jackets and jeans can look lovely. Really. I’m a fan. Not so sure about shoes without socks but, hey, I’m getting on a bit… my ankles get cold.

The real turn off here has nothing to do with appearance at all… it’s to do with the energy, baby!

Of course, when I say energy, in this context, I mean bullshit.

It’s ironic that, at a time when so many are slagging off the concept of ‘authenticity’, we need it more than ever.

The online ‘marketing’ world is churning out an army of highly-polished Barbies and Kens, all with Millionaire Maker Mastermind Memberships and Social Media Succcess Blueprints.

Plastic. Plastic. Plastic.

Have we learned NOTHING about the environment?

Okay, these people might not actually be sending all those deadly little plastic beads to the bottom of the ocean, or choking our baby turtles, but they sure as hell are polluting the environment.

Okay, these people might not actually be sending all those deadly little plastic beads to the bottom of the ocean, or choking our baby turtles, but they sure as hell are polluting the environment.

We’ll all have various people in mind when we think in this way (they’ve probably popped up on a Facebook ad in your feed when all you wanted to do was look at kittens), so I won’t labour the point too much.

Why? Because the real point of this article is a reminder for us all to KEEP IT REAL!

The power of story

Instead of looking at what all those self-proclaimed ‘influencers’ are doing and trying to emulate them, try telling your story.

You don’t need a six pack or bikini shots to draw a crowd.

You don’t need to be filmed coming out of a swimming pool, or using a flipchart in the middle of a huge mansion with a sweeping staircase.

Think about what makes YOU stop and want to consume more on social.

Think about what makes you FEEL something.

Think about what INSPIRES you.

Think about what makes YOU stop and want to consume more on social.

Think about what makes you FEEL something.

Think about what INSPIRES you.

Maya Angelou once famously said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

How do you feel when you see a sponsored post from one of those ‘influencers’?

Be honest…

Does it make you feel inspired?

Does it make you feel that anything is possible?

Does it make you want to engage with them further?

Once that moment of purchase power madness has passed you by and you’ve put your credit card back where it belongs, does it make you feel good?

Or, do you just feel a little bit yucky and, perhaps, as though you dodged a bullet?

Quick… special offer ends in 30 seconds!

So, with all that in mind, why are so many trying to emulate content that, ultimately, turns us off.

Why are so many of you trying to create those American-style squeeze pages (you know — the ones where we get all those ultra special offers thrown at us, thousands of dollars off if we buy in the next 30 seconds, when all we really wanted was the ebook)?

Why are so many of us trying to paint a picture of perfection?

Why are so many of us still buying into the idea that we can shortcut success by getting ourselves further and further into debt by guru-hopping?

What REALLY inspires you?

The litmus test

Are you more likely to buy into something from:

A) The perfectly poised, perfectly lithe, perfectly pert, perfectly made up mum of three, who never has a hair out of place and claims to have bought her first Mercedes S-Class off the back of her successful Instagram career?

OR

B) The really honest mum, with noisy kids in the background, and a bit of Cow and Gate down her boobs, who can tell you how to manage stress and keep on top of your business amid the chaos that comes from juggling motherhood and working from home?

Think about it. Which story is likely to inspire you more? The plastic picture of perfection or the reality of kids and life.

Would you rather take your coaching from:

A) The 20-something in a Ferrari, who can tell you how to make your first million by hustling, grinding and working Facebook’s algorithm?

OR

B) The 30/40-something who burned out running successful businesses, took time to learn techniques to put themselves back together, then decided they wanted to help others to create a better future and learn how to do it without killing themselves in the process.

You gonna believe the one with the shiny photo stream and slick videos, or the one who bares their soul, proves they know their stuff and appears to care about your wellbeing more than their bank balance and social reach?

Wake up, sweet cheeks

I know I’m swinging wildly between polar opposites here. I know I’m creating crazy caricatures that are beyond the scope of reality (or are they?!)

I just want you to stop for a moment. Smell the coffee.

What genuinely inspires you.

If money and fear were no object, who would you want to work with, get coached by, learn from or buy from, and why?

If money and fear were no object, who would you want to work with, get coached by, learn from or buy from, and why?

Would it be the plastic people, or the ones keeping it real and speaking from the heart?

When you’ve had that realisation please, please, apply it to your own content and remember the importance of authenticity when you’re nurturing your own personal brand.

Until next time,

#UnleashYourAwesome,

Taz


Taz Thornton is the author of Awesome Sauce — a free, weekly positive life and business round-up, with good news stories, positivity tips and visibility hacks for your brand. In a few minutes each week, you get a dose of optimism and some awesome advice to get seen and stay happy.

Taz is also a best-selling author, inspirational business speaker and consultant on confidence, personal brand and visibility, award-winning coach (UK’s Best Female Coach 2018 — Best Business Woman Awards), consultant and creator of the #UnleashYourAwesome and #BrandMasterypersonal and business development programmes, as well as #UNLEASHED — an affordable confidence, content and cashflow building programme for coaches, healers and therapists.

She has been featured on BBC, ITV, in HuffPost, Diva and countless other newspapers, magazines and podcasts. Taz is also a regular columnist for the America Out Loud talkshow network. In 2019, she was named as one of the most inspirational businesswomen in the UK.

Find her on FacebookLinkedInTwitter and Insta.