We talk all the time about writing cornerstone content, building effective web design, and connecting with your community in the social media world. Yessss, it’s all essential, that’s why it’s getting poured again and again into our membranes.
But what about the invisible world behind engagement creation? That special “X Factor” that every great (personal) brand emanates, that elusive awesomesauce that connects them stronger to their raving audience than gorilla glued Lego pieces ?
Danielle LaPorte has it. Chris Brogan has it. Mari Smith also has it. Mark Schaefer? YOU decide 😉
It’s often the invisible part of your online presence that turns visitors into raving fans.
And before I go all paranormal on you, the “invisible” I mean doesn’t include ectoplasma and proton blasters. It’s simply the “byproduct” (ugh, such an ugly world, forgive me) of your intent and THE WAY you create content and products.
It’s the elusive part that people cannot FULLY explain, but that tremendously affects the way they see your brand and interact with it.
For the sake of this post, let’s try to make the invisible visible … and demonstrate how YOU can leverage it to build a more compelling online presence.
Let’s start with…
The reason “why”
A friend of mine tries to buy as many Fairtrade branded products as her wallet allows. Their slogan “guaranteeing better deals for Third World producers” sets her heart on fire like a flame thrower.
Let’s put aside whether they actually do what they promise … it’s fascinating how it attracts a specific crowd that wants to believe in this promise.
And that converging intent binds people closer to the brand than any well-made product could ever hope to achieve on its own.
Heck, my Fairtrade fan-obsessed friend even lights up eating chocolate (and she doesn’t like chocolate) just because it’s under the Fairtrade label. THAT’s the power of the reason “why you do what you do” – a shared worldview that ignites intense passion.
So, the mission and belief you infuse into your brand will directly determine who your customers will be. If you want to attract a kind of customer who rides your wave length, you must put out a message that YOU are 100% passionate about.
Summonin’ some subtext
This looks like it belongs to a self-help book for screen and novel writers, but noooo, it’s relevant to ANY content producer. The invisible lines between your text are just as important as the visible. If you create content that can be enjoyed on many levels (think entertaining / inspiring / informational ), then you influence a reader’s heart in powerful ways:
Not explaining everything in excruciating details, pointing out hints and thoughts, writing ambiguous questions …
This can slam many more dimensions on your content creation and impact your reader even more heavily.
Sure, the average passerby, looking for fast food content to gulp down, will miss it. But the loyal reader, the one who’s deeply into what you offer, will appreciate you for doing this.
Because she will be one of the chosen few who “gets it” what you really want to say. And that will bond her even closer to your brand.
Putting the “you” in your work
Competing corporations battle it out in endless court room wars, because no matter how innovative or fast you can ship a new product, the “rival” is already on your heels, ready to copy your idea if it proves to be successful.
They sue each other because it’s fairly easy to replicate a lifeless product. But it’s super challenging, if not impossible, to copy the “You” in your work.
Material can copied, but how do you copy style and attitude?
When you buy incredible custom (art)work from individuals, or a loved one creates a delicious meal for you, there’s a heavy dose of the creator in there. “Made with love” is not just a truism, it’s something that directly enhances your experience of the work.
It’s hard to tell what exactly it is, because it’s impossible to measure. Put the “You” in your work and make your brand uncopyable.
The state of your creation process
Do you know Anthony Robbins? He’s a self-help guru with a track record that would put Donald Trump and Steve Jobs to shame (well, maybe). Yeah, he did those sleazy informercials in the 90s, but that was BEFORE the Internet, you guys.
What he proclaimed back then (now common sense), is that your emotional state drastically affects the work and choices you make. Wouldn’t that also hold true for your content and product creation? The emotional state you and your team are in will flavor the output of your work.
If you just do the work because you have to do it, people will notice. They’ll even sniff it out on the Internet. Your audience feels, at least on a subconscious level, that your work isn’t as compelling as it could be.
What to do? Exercise, dance like a monkey on fire, sing your lungs out, do whatever it takes to get you in an elevated state before you create your content. The change of energy can directly jump onto your audience and alter the way they choose to interact with you.
All the things I just listed are hard to prove. It’s like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it. But if you’re genuine about your intent, you put yourself into your work and create something that’s enjoyable on multiple levels, you can create a connection with your audience that doesn’t seem to come from this world.
Make any sense to you? What’s the source of YOUR X Factor, your invisible power?
Original illustrations by the author.