Share your story to grow your personal brand

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It was such a privilege to be asked by Madalyn Sklar to join her dynamic and fast paced #TwitterSmarter chat for a second time, to explore a topic that many people struggle with: sharing their story on social with behind the scenes content.

Often, either we simply don’t know what will work or our need to be perfect stops us from posting anything at all.

If this sounds like you read on (you might also find my popular vlog 10 easy to implement ideas for digital agency owners useful).

Or watch this new vlog to learn how to share your own story to win new clients. 

And listen to this podcast where Ben M Roberts puts me on the hotseat to explore if behind-the-scenes content actually works.

Check out these moments from the Twitter chat which show you the top tweets from the night.

Madalyn knows her audience super well, and here are the questions that we explored and my tips for each of them.

Q1. WHY SHOULD WE USE BEHIND-THE-SCENES CONTENT TO SHARE OUR STORY?

Behind the scenes content is powerful marketing content that’s unique to you, offers your audience an insight into your world and helps you build a lasting rapport with your ideal customers so that they can fall in love with you and your offering over time.

Q2. WHY SHOULD YOU SHARE WHAT HAPPENS BEHIND THE SCENES?

We all know the marketing cliche ‘people buy from people’. But I believe it needs updating… people don’t buy from people, they buy from people they TRUST!

Sharing content from your day to day working life or even personal life is a great way to show people who you really are and build trust among your audience.

We need to let people into our world to truly connect with them and to be memorable. If we can build trust over time, when people have a need for our service, they remember us.

Whatever we do, we’re likely to face so much competition and a noisy marketing landscape. Effective and authentic behind-the-scenes content helps us to stand out in a good way.

Q3: WHAT ARE SOME REASONS PEOPLE DON’T SHARE BEHIND-THE-SCENES CONTENT?

We struggle with selling ourselves. Hiding away as a business owner is no longer an option! Our audience wants to get to know us so we REALLY need to overcome this fear.

Here’s some more reasons my Wunderstar clients have shared with me:

🙈 We’re afraid of being judged if we share our story

🙈 We fear we have nothing interesting or new to say

🙈 We’re too busy to market our business and to plan for unique behind-the-scenes content

Our need to be perfect stops us from posting anything that showcases our own story and behind-the-scenes life. But remember, people are not looking for Hollywood style production values. We relate more to people who’ve faced real struggles in their journey and have overcome them.

Q4. HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH SHARING OF BEHIND-THE-SCENES CONTENT? 

Social channels are our digital shop windows to the world. Make sure they look great, add value to your audience and are on brand.

How much is too much? Don’t overshare. If you’re having a bad day do consider if you’d want your clients to see your post.

It’s important to balance your content strategy:

⭐️ Sharing your own expertise

⭐️ Content from your network (your audience, existing customer, prospects and influencers) to help you engage  

⭐️ Behind the scenes content that adds value, shows who you are and what you care about.

Q5. WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK OUT FOR WHEN SHARING BEHIND-THE-SCENES CONTENT FROM YOUR OFFICE OR YOUR STORY? 

It’s good to give people an insight into your real world but nobody’s asking you to show the super messy side of your office. I’m not even saying don’t edit your behind the scenes content!

Consider how you can make your posts on brand, for example I often wear bright colours or add lollipops to my photos.

Don’t reveal any client names unless they’ve given their permission. If you ask them beforehand and then tag them, they’re more likely to share post with their network.  

Q6: WHAT SHOULD YOU REMEMBER WHEN PLANNING BEHIND-THE-SCENES CONTENT? 

When you’re planning your behind-the-scenes content, don’t focus on how you’re similar to others (by copying exactly what they do), but find your own style which sets you apart and is on brand for you. 

Own your difference. It’s OK to lean into your flaws. Behind-the-scenes content doesn’t have to be of Hollywood standard production. Remember, people buy from people. Don’t let the need for perfection hold you back and get comfortable with showing your human side. 

It’s a good idea to create a bank of ideas too. Mix planned content with more spontaneous/in the moment posts. I like a mixture and my most successful posts are spur of the moment. 

Q7: HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU POST BEHIND-THE-SCENES CONTENT? 

Aim for consistency and quality rather than quantity. 

How often do you usually post each day? Start by allocating 10% of your posts to behind-the scenes. Be guided by your stats and create more of the posts that are well received. 

Q8: WHAT ARE GREAT IDEAS FOR BEHIND-THE-SCENES CONTENT SMALL BIZ OWNERS CAN IMPLEMENT ON TWITTER?

Give an insight into your WHY with photos, videos, GIFs:

⭐️ Show images of your working space

⭐️ Share photos from meeting your clients (Zoom pictures can be fun too!)  

⭐️ Reflect on struggles and how you’ve overcome them as part of your journey 

⭐️ Share videos and images from virtual events you attend or speak at 

⭐️ If you’re recording a podcast or do a video call, take a screenshot

⭐️ Offer a sneak preview of a service you’re developing by sharing logo drafts and images of you planning 

I invite you to try out behind-the-scenes content to promote yourself and let the stats convince you. 

WHAT’S NEXT 

If you need more inspiration, download my brand new e-book: 30 Days of Content Inspiration for Digital Agency Founders to help you stand out on social media. 

Plus check out these examples from some awesome marketers on a range of social channels.

John Espirian talks about trademark learnings for his forthcoming book Content DNA on LinkedIn, offering us a fascinating insight into the work that goes into creating an on brand book.

Laura Pearman shares behind-the-scenes moments from a personal brand headshot session.

If you’d like more examples, watch this video where I share 10 ideas of behind-the-scenes content which worked super well for me. And I’d love to hear what has worked for you in the comments! 

Updated December 2020.

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