Four ways to become a spellbinding online personality

By Mars Dorian, Contributing {grow} Columnist

I always try to find deeper ways to connect with my audience and customers. The web can separate your site from your audience by oceans, and to bridge that distance, you have to fight hard to make that connection.

I drew the following cartoons to express what I believe are some of the most effective ways to connect with your audience and build an online presence that is SPELLBINDING!

social media signal versus noise

1) Become the signal. Get rid of the noise

Some people have earned permanent residency in the echo chamber.

After all, it’s a cozy place. Easy to maintain. No extra care required. But I challenge you to ditch that space when you TRULY want to make a difference with your business and marketing. You see, I read Seth Godin, like probably a lot of you. Feverishly. But the danger with admiring your role models is copying them without having their experience. And that’s what is happening — marketers copying Godin left and right.

They talk about standing out, building tribes, and being a linchpin.

You know it’s not coming from them. You know they have NO experience to foster that claim.

Seth Godin says “tribe,” “remarkable,” “linchpin” and they rehash it like it’s the cure to mortality.

It’s noise.

Leverage your OWN experience — if you want spread the idea of being remarkable, standing out and going all the way to the edge with your marketing, then actually do it. Let your actions get the message across because then it will be authentic, and people will learn from your real experience, instead of tweeting some repeated impressive-sounding but ultimately shallow phrase. Instead of adding noise to the echo chamber, become the SIGNAL.

unmask the marketer

2) Uncover the mask.

I recently met an online client in the offline world (still remember how to do that?), and I was FLABBERGASTED to say the least. That quirky, nuclear-powered, vibrant person I met was NOT the stiff and stilted persona that I have known from the online realm.

She later confessed to me that she disguised herself online to appear more professional, putting on a mask every day.  You know the spiel — mission statement with incomprehensible gibberish “I set up system to maximize your online visibility and managementyadadada…”, a stockphoto profile pic and glossy-blue brand design because it feels corporate and professional.  Arghghghhgh.

Like Tara Gentile says, we live in a “You” economy nowadays, and that means you have to bring your original style, beliefs, obsessions, and quirks, combined with your brand promise to form a holistic perception.

In other words, hold your “freak” flag high and proudly. And that’s how you’ll attract like-minded customers who will love to make business with you.

Ditch that mask.

social media storytelling

 

3) Don’t just explain. Tell stories.

It’s hard to write about this because the whole aspect of “storytelling” in the online marketing space has more hype than hyperspace.

But the truth is, storytelling is and ALWAYS will be effective. We have been storying since we were smelly monkeys scribbling pictures of beasts on the cave walls. Stories helped us survive, because we could share life-saving experiences without actually going through them ourselves. We are still wired to prefer stories over any other content form, and that’s why you should use it excessively.

A press release blog post puts us to sleep but tell us a story and we’re engaged like a piñata filled with fireworks.

Look at your brand, your company, your blog, yourself and tell us your stories.

 mesmerizing content

4) Mesmerize me.

Ahhh … I’ve held on to the most difficult thing for last.  Is marketing today anything more than having a good looking website with grrrreat content?

Isn’t everybody going after the SAME THING?  How are you going to cut through the noise and grab your visitors by the throat? Why do you come back to the {grow} blog again and again?  Here’s why.  Mark Schaefer provides mesmerizing content.

How can YOU achieve that? I think it comes from a place of absolute congruence between your personality, your platform, your message, and a certain creative spark.

Another mesmerizing guy is Gary Vaynerchuk. His soul belongs to video. The guy seems like he was born with a video camera in his cradle, and that’s why people watch him, even if they couldn’t care less about wine.  If he tried his hand at blog writing, he wouldn’t be nearly as captivating, because it’s not his domain.

Mitch Joel provides mesmerizing podcasts because he’s a masterful interviewer.

I communicate through cartoons.

It’s all about which style you connect the MOST with, and then conveying that in your message in an entertaining and interesting way.

I know, it’s kind of meta. But don’t you find it mesmerizing 🙂 ?

mars dorianMars Dorian describes himself as a creative marketeer with a moon-melting passion for human potential and technology. You can follow his adventures at www.marsdorian.com/

Original illustrations by the author.

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  • jennwhinnem

    Right on. How did you read my mind with your “Is marketing today anything more than having a good looking website with grrrreat content?
    Isn’t everybody going after the SAME THING?” Lately I’ve been feeling this way. Very few are offering anything new! Thank you Mars & Mark for being a blog I come back to every morning.

  • I think we’re still stuck in the mindset that great content is all we need, when in today’s competitive web world it’s more about bonding people to your site/brand. And it’s harddddd…

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  • This is seriously the kick in the ass that I needed. I am removing the mask, flying my freak flag and jumping into the pool with my clothes on. We get so caught up trying to create an atmosphere of “professionalism” for our business, because who is going to take us seriously if we don’t? But it’s NOT true. We CAN be ourselves *and* have a business that is dynamic, fun and professional at the same time. We are human — we have opinions, we make mistakes and we sometimes don’t know everything. Thanks for the reminder, Mars. I’m going to make sure I am following you and your cartoons from now on! 🙂

  • This is seriously the kick in the butt that I needed. I am removing the mask, flying my freak flag and jumping into the pool with my clothes on. We get so caught up trying to create an atmosphere of “professionalism” for our business, because who is going to take us seriously if we don’t? But it’s NOT true. We CAN be ourselves *and* have a business that is dynamic, fun and professional at the same time. We are human — we have opinions, we make mistakes and we sometimes don’t know everything. Thanks for the reminder, Mars. I’m going to make sure I am following you and your cartoons from now on! 🙂

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  • Hey Tara, following that freak-flag-path was actually even hard for me. I was totally falling for that let’s-be-pro-and-play-it-safe path, and needless to say, it was bombing and I felt terrible doing that. The whole biz world is changing, especially thanx to the internet, and the new rules that apply all favor being our most epic self.

  • What I see immediately is the persuasion of your images and they effect they will have in the visual mobile world. Small screen great impressions must happen fast. Big images that work, text to support that. The personality can’t be hidden when it must drive the business ideas.
    See you on some mobile screen, somewhere soon. Billy 🙂

  • Definitely – I’m already working on mobile format stories and content. It’s exciting, and you’re right, it must be a fast effect. Supporting today’s ADD all the way.

  • Shelly Cone

    I totally saw my business explode, once I got rid of the “professional” persona I was trying to portray online and let my own quirky personality shine through. People relate to that. They don’t relate to the whole fake, polished act. Be real.

  • @marsdorian:disqus I confess that I haven’t come across your name before, but I LOVE your style! I’ll be keeping an eye on you.

  • awesome, thanx Mark 😉

  • Kristin

    Wow..WOw. WOW. Tara had it right!!!! UNleash that mask…and wave that banner. Otherwise we are a cookie cutter of everybody else.
    Thank you, Thank you…..!!!

  • Kristin

    PS. @marsdorian:disqus – YOU are an amazing talent. Yes, I got it…I got it because of YOU…..thank you.

  • Kristin

    PSS. And not but a week ago I saw a video on Gary Vaynerchuk, and here today I am seeing his face cited by you. Um. Yes, Universe, I am listening.

  • haha, when those signs shows up, it’s always rewarding to listen 😉

  • talktherapybiz

    Hmm…while reading this amazing material, I glanced down and saw two piles of books I’m giving away. On the top of pile #1 is Crush It!, while pile #2 is The Dip. Can’t decide if this is a sign I should re-read them…or not ;). Great art work!

  • I read the article before checking the name of the author and then realized from discussion below that it is @marsdorian:disqus – I love the images and the content in the post. One quick point – The echo chamber is real and it is something that I am personally trying to fix in my digital online world. For instance, I am trying to follow people who I usually don’t agree with on Twitter just to get other side opinion. Perhaps, the best way to fight echo chamber is by commenting because you can always meet an entire new community of online personalities. Second, story

  • I love your article. I am just starting out and feel like have many stories to tell, if I get lost I’ll come back and read this again – thanks

  • As a content marketer by day and a fiction writer by night, I love the idea of storytelling to boost an online persona. You’re right; no one cares about stuffy press releases or self-promotional posts…they care about enthralling and genuine content. I’d say there’s no real trick to being mesmerizing as long as you’re passionate about the subject matter, because it’s easy to tell when someone truly cares and when they’re BS-ing.

    By the way, I dig your illustrations. They’re a refreshing change from the usual clip art-ridden infographics I see every day!

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  • Love this article thank you @marsdorian:disqus . Particularly enjoyed the part where you discuss “unmasking your business”. I agree with you regarding importance of showing the personal side of your brand, people are interested in the people and their stories behind your brand and not necessarily the brand itself. This is something that our business is working very hard to achieve. PS – Love the illustrations.
    Regards
    Steve (Coup Media)

  • Thanx Jill, I always try to create this special little something.
    I’m also into fiction writing right now (doing the night thing as well!), and I think it’s the BEST way to share experiences and content.

  • Hey Steve, yeah, it’s hard of a lot of people. One is so tempted to hind behind pretty images, but it’s the human aspect that can make the biggest impact on a visitor & customer.

  • I gotta say – this was one of my favorite posts over the last few weeks. I loved the enumerated points (become the signal…awesome). Of course, I love to tell stories, I have no mask…and I’m trying like !@#$ to mesmerize 😉

    Great post, Mars.

  • That’s awesome! Good for you. Fiction is an obsession of mine that’ll never go away. 🙂

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  • What first grabbed me what your title. I agree with to be authentic, and people will learn from your real experience, When you put out their your own experiences it will not be boring and most people haven’t heard it before so it will leave an impression

    RudeeG

  • disqus_W4KjfaOksA

    Nice blog, Mars. Yes you do need to be yourself. It often amazes me how many people don’t even show a photo of themselves on their website. In this age where just about anyone can get a website and call themselves a business, it is important to show prospective customers who you are. Hopefully that doesn’t scare them away!

  • Great article on becoming an Online Personality here. It’s very important to put yourself out there in order to stand out.

  • Emiliano Babarah

    Oh my God, I’m so glad to tell everyone the real thing that happen to me…My name is EMILIANO BABARAH. If i refuse to share this testimony it means i am selfish to my self and to people i love so much whom might have similar problems, March 16th about something 7:23pm after taken our dinner my husband got crazy started calling a lady name Melisa I love you, i was so mad and started crying like a baby…then my husband left home for the idiot called Melisa, and never return back home then i believed when he uthen nderstand his self he will surly come back to apology, but instead he left me So i complained to my friend she told me she was having such problems in her marriage until she was introduce to DR ORIOMON who specializes in bringing back broken homes and broken marriages DR ORIOMON cast a spell for me in May 4th surprisingly my husband came home May 6th apologizing that i should forgive him that it will never happen again, i was so glad and gave the thanks to DR ORIOMON who save my marriage, if you are having similar problem you can contact him and His email address is (oriomonspiritualtemple@yahoo.com) you can still save your marriage if u really love your husband.

    Thanks EMILIANO BABARAH_USA…

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