Let me guess… You feel like something’s missing from your brand, but you aren’t quite sure what it is. You probably feel like you’ve scoured through 85% of the internet looking for answers, only to be met with a parade of superficial articles, touting advice like:
…and you’re probably thinking:
OKAY, DUH ON THE CONSISTENCY THING, BUT WHO THE HECK AM I?!
I can relate. Once upon a time, I totally felt that way, too.
Everywhere I looked, other online entrepreneurs seemed like they had it all together. They were so settled in their brands; so certain of themselves. They had a message and they weren’t afraid to share it. Perhaps most frustrating of all, I found myself able to explain their brands better than I could explain my own! Try and figure that one out…
After *attempting* to research the techniques, mindsets, tactics, and strategies these successful entrepreneurs were using, I inevitably ended up reading the same bogus advice articles over and over again until my head was spinning.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t being myself; it was that I didn’t know what parts of myself to highlight yet. I wasn’t confident. I didn’t know which side of myself *was* my brand. I had the basics down: a color palette, a logo, some go-to conversational phrases, and a Facebook group called “Business Bombshells,” which I now realize is a cringe-worthy name. I was being consistent; but rather than portray who I was as an entrepreneur, I was picking the sides of myself I thought would most resonate with people.
Choosing how to present yourself within your brand is a tough decision. After all, people are complex. I sat down to make a list of my traits, and ended up running myself in circles…
- I’m a has-been high school athlete with an affinity for anything made of butter and sugar.
- I’m a driven career woman, and a mom who just wants to take a break.
- I’m extremely creative, and also highly analytical.
- I’m warm and bubbly sometimes, and serious and quiet at others.
All the list helped me realize is what a walking contradiction I can be. I knew I couldn’t base my brand around ALL of these ideas. Plus, would anyone really care to hear about the enormous pile of pasta I put away for lunch? Or how I nearly die from my sporadic workouts, as I struggle to sprint uphill, gasping for air, as my superhuman husband bounds past me? How much can I REALLY talk about myself and my life without sounding like a self-absorbed turd?
THAT, my friends, is the question.
One day, as I pondered the relationship between my brand and my audience, a light bulb went off. I FINALLY understood what makes people care about some brands and not others. As soon as I discovered what I had been missing, I did mental cartwheels and danced around the house like I had just scored the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl. (True story.)
What would your social life be like if you chose your friends solely on the shirt they were wearing, or what hairstyle they had the day you met them?
Probably pretty dismal, right?
That’s because the CONNECTION doesn’t come from color palettes, fonts, or your logo – (although those things do help). What really connects people to your brand is the same psychological foundation that is the base of every relationship. And, as it turns out, getting to know your brand on a psychological level – establishing values, personality, voice, manifesto, brand stories, etc. – can be pretty messy without some help.
Enter: Brand Archetypes.
Brand Archetypes are a supremely useful tool to help your brand find FOCUS and FLOW. These basic models have been the basis of people, characters, celebrities, and storylines throughout time. Essentially, they’re emotional Cliff Notes to get you into the hearts (and budgets) of your ideal clients.
Make Them CARE
The power in brand archetypes is that they’re connected to very basic human desires and values. When you adopt a primary and secondary archetype for your brand, you’re anchoring your brand in things that ALL humans care about, such as…
- Learning the truth about the world. (Sage)
- Finding a community of people who understand you. (Guy/Girl Next Door)
- Being better than yesterday. (Hero)
Instead of peppering inconsequential details about your life into your brand, you’re given a filter on how to share your life, your beliefs, and the stories that support your larger movement and message.
Give Your Brand FOCUS
By using your Brand Archetype as a guide, you can quickly make decisions about what “on-brand” does or does not mean for YOU.
You’ve probably found yourself emulating a fellow entrepreneur hero from time to time (for example, those AH-mazing dancing intro videos by Marie Forleo), but found that their technique just didn’t feel true for you. That’s okay! What works for one person’s brand is not likely to work for another. (And ESPECIALLY if they’re a different archetype than you!) The important thing is that you have your own checks and balances to ensure that every message, project, and decision is in constant alignment with your inner-brand.
Oh, and BONUS: Being guided by your archetype allows you to do LESS. I don’t know about you, but that’s something I can get behind. My business-building checklist is long enough; I’m all about making it shorter.
Be More YOU
When I initially began building my brand online, I made the same mistakes I’ve seen so many other entrepreneurs fall victim to. I tried to be what I saw working for others, and showed up on the scene as this bubbly blonde marketing maven using overly affectionate language. (To be fair, part of me definitely IS this way. For example, I’m a total “Wooooo! Girl” when I get together with my childhood best friends.*) But, more often than not, I’m busy thinking, reading, researching, and making lists. It wasn’t until I discovered my Magician/Sage archetype blend that I gave myself permission to show up that way in my brand.
*Bonus points if you got the “How I Met Your Mother” reference.
The bottom line is, you won’t have an authentic brand by being someone that you’re not. It never works. Instead, you need to unlock the strongest parts of you and give yourself permission to FULLY embrace those traits. We have a tendency to downplay our greatest strengths and unfair advantages. Your archetypes flip that script and help you highlight your GENIUS. Yes, genius.
Coming in January…
For the last 3 years and counting, I’ve been pedal-to-the-metal, 1000% obsessed with brand archetypes. While my Brand Archetype quiz is a powerful first step in the right direction, I haven’t been able to develop a helpful next step (with the exception of working 1-on-1 with clients), until now.
After receiving several emails from entrepreneurs excited to know their archetypes, but unsure what to do next, I dove into creating a comprehensive course and workbook for each of the 12 archetypes – Brandfluency.
All together now:
I’m so excited to share all the work that went into the 12 Brandfluency courses (597 hours and counting), and CAN’T WAIT to use Brandfluency to help entrepreneurs better understand the secret language of their archetypes.
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