Imagine if you looked the way you really wanted, said the words you’ve been dying to say, and lived out loud with every fiber of your being. What kind of people and experiences would you attract in your life?
You hear a lot about personal branding these days. In fact, our good friend Maria Ross wrote the book on it.
Maria will tell you that one of the first steps to effective branding is to know who your audience is so you can then develop a strategy for finding them, reaching out to them, and interacting with them to sell your product or service.
What we’re selling these days is the idea of personal freedom, playing by your own rules, and living the life that is conventional to you but maybe not to others. The tribe we’re looking for should sound familiar to you, since it IS you, but for those that haven’t found us yet, we have a little work to do.
We’ve been out and about a lot this past month or so promoting Meet, Plan, Go, our upcoming trip, and seeing our friends and family before we go. In fact, this is the most outgoing we’ve been since we started saving for our trip.
Here are a few interesting things we’ve noticed:
- Your appearance should attract your tribe. Tattoos are conversation starters, especially when you just have one fairly big one. The manager of the restaurant at lunch one day this week asked Warren about his as we were finishing up our meal. Warren explained the significance of the tattoo and our trip, and the manager immediately wanted information about our blog. Warren didn’t get the tattoo as a brand, but the fact he has such an unusual one is something that attracts the attention of curious people, which is a defining characteristic of the members of our tribe.
- Living your brand attracts fans. When we told Bill, another customer at the Apple store, about our upcoming trip and why we are considering buying another laptop, he spent an hour helping us find a solution to fit with our budget and lifestyle. Bill was committed to helping us because he loved what we were doing and wanted to follow along. In fact, consider this paragraph a shout out to you, Bill. We are still convinced Apple hired you as a fake customer to rustle up more business, but we don’t mind. 🙂 Bill says he’s going to imagine me typing my blog posts around the world on the iPad we bought.
- Slowing down helps you notice your tribe. We are normally in-and-out kind of people when it comes to shopping and getting everyday errands done. One thing we’ve concentrated on in the last few months is slowing our pace in anticipation of our trip. When we do this, we automatically spend more time talking with clerks, other customers, and people in general. When you spend even a few minutes with people you can learn what interests them and usually find a point of commonality. Time and time again we find people who are interested in telling us their story of personal discovery or reinvention or even travel stories. This has led to quite a few new members of the tribe.
This is a different sort of post than usual – it actually sounds more like one of my old business and marketing posts as a consultant. But it is cool to see that the same rules that apply there also apply here, in that you speak your truth, live your brand, and take time to reach out to people who are a good fit for your tribe.