People like people like them, and people buy from people like them – so show them what you’re like.
OK, I’ll stop saying ‘like’ so much now. Sorry.
We need to have things in common with people to form any kind of connection with them. You might have children a similar age, both have dogs, like the same band, etc.
That gives you something to talk about, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to like them.
Can’t believe this is my first time mentioning Frank in a blog
Through going to LOADS of Frank Turner gigs I’ve met tons of other fans – in person and online. But I’ve sought out and stayed in touch with only a small group of them.
We all like the same thing (the lovely, talented and entertaining Mr Turner), but there’s other things about some of those people that I feel a connection to.
What’s important to them, how they see the world, how they treat other people, what they’re doing with their lives… It’s more about what they BELIEVE IN than what they LIKE that I like about them – their values.
Shared values are the quickest way to create a strong like/trust connection with other people, and this is as true in business as it is in friendships.
It’s not just the obvious stuff
For many people, thoughts about what’s important to them and what they believe in refer to things like political activism and charity fundraising. But there’s so much more to it, so much more you can show.
Let’s start with the obvious stuff – Safe Gigs For Women (the tshirt I’m wearing in the pic up there ↑↑).
I’m proud to say that Tracey, who set up SGFW, is a friend. She’s an absolute inspiration, as are the whole team, and I’ll take any opportunity I can to spread the word about this fantastic, hard-working organisation. Sad that they have to exist, but very glad that they do.
Coincidentally, I first met Tracey and found out about SGFW at a Frank Turner gig. Yep, she’s in that small group I mentioned earlier.
So if you see me in a SGFW tshirt, you can start working out something about my values. Add in the stupid coloured hair and the tattoos, and the picture builds – feminist, lefty, sociable (yes, and socialist!), outspoken…
But as I’ve already said, there’s so much more to it. Things you wouldn’t necessarily get from the way I look and dress.
I’m revamping my website at the moment, and the new version clearly says on the homepage:
My Pledge to You – NO STUPID JARGON, NO ‘TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE’ PROMISES, NO HUSTLE OR HASSLE
That’s my values, too!
I get really agitated when people try to baffle others with big words and industry jargon. Why should others understand your stuff, unless they’ve been trained in it?
I don’t know what all the various muscles in my back and shoulders are called, but my massage therapist doesn’t expect me to. They just use words I understand, like ‘get up when you’re ready… when you’re ready… have you fallen asleep?!’
Anyway, I use ‘normal’ words and lots of analogies to explain things – one of my strongest values is being straightforward and understandable, not trying to be clever which can make others feel small.
I don’t wear that on a tshirt. You discover that stuff about me in things like blogs, social media posts, videos and emails. All the times I contact my audience. It’s more than contact, it’s connection.
What’s important to you? Show us!
You don’t have to put a big list of all the causes you support on your website. But mentioning those kind of things at appropriate times will help shine a light on who you are, so ‘your people’ can identify you and identify with you.
People are looking for connection. So give them something to connect with.
Don’t just talk about the things you believe in – show them, live them. Display your values in the things you do, demonstrate them in the way you talk to people and live your life.
Whatever values you identify with, be authentically YOU. Don’t adopt values because they’re ‘the in thing’ or you believe it will make your audience like you more and buy from you. They’ll see through that, quickly.
Think carefully about who you are, how that impacts on your business and your audience.
In Brand Identity workshops we explore all sorts of words and phrases we’d use to define the business. They’re often things like caring, friendly, practical. These help form the values of the business, and you live them through actions like not employing uncaring team members or not selling something impractical.
As my business is just me, a lot of my personal values are also my brand values. I want to work with people who are like me, so I make it clear who I am.
Alongside stuff about brand values and The Golden Rules of Marketing, on my blog you’ll also find an article mentioning Black Lives Matter and one about imposter syndrome. They’re not connected to the services I offer, but they say a lot about who I am.
People will use that information to decide if I’m the kind of person they want to work with. Or just hang out with.
To the barricades! Oh OK, to the bar…