I hate the term personal brand.
Not that it doesn’t work. I think it works really well for what people use it for.
I hate it because it can be mentally crippling. Building your brand means you need to make concrete decisions and when people need to do that with something new, they panic.
Do I really want my personal brand to be THIS THING for the rest of my life? How will this Tweet affect my personal brand? Can I even talk about my life?
Here is a great example.
Personal brand gurus tell you that you need to label yourself as the IT person for something. Grab the title.
I am the Notion Guy.
Okay, but what happens when you want to expand beyond Notion? What happens if Notion disappears? What happens if something better comes along and Notion becomes forgotten?
There are so many ways to limit yourself with a Personal Brand that you might not realize it until it’s too late.
So what do you do instead?
You Build a World
Before I dive into what this actually means I want you to imagine building a world.
Do you think you have endless possibilities or strict limitations? For me, there are no boundaries when building a world until I start putting them in place.
And that’s the beauty of this mindset.
With world-building, the goal isn’t to let people know who you are (aka I’m the Email Marketing Gal!). The goal is to let people know who you want to build relationships with.
Who are you building the world for?
This way, before you decide on anything (content, offers, etc) you can think will attract the right people to your world.
Here is one of my favorite tweets in the world of how to make money.
If your focus was on building a Personal Brand in the traditional sense, you probably wouldn’t touch a tweet like this. Why would you want to alienate a whole crowd of people?
That can kill your business!
But Erica is building a world. She’s saying if you take this approach to your marketing, then you probably don’t want to be in this world.
And that’s powerful.
Building a successful business is just as much attracting the right people as it is in letting some people know this isn’t for them.
But why is this a more effective approach to things?
People Want a Tribe, Not a Brand
One of the things that we’re good at, whether we like it or not, is searching for others that see the world the way we do.
When we find them it means we aren’t alone.
Building a personal brand often puts you into the silo of thinking about how you can show people what you’re about.
Building a world allows others to see how they can join you and build along with you.
Which one do you think is more powerful in the long run?
When you think like a world-builder it’s easier to see how everything that you do is connected.
There is no separate strategy between social media, blog, podcast, newsletter, and offers. They’re all in the same world so you start to put things together naturally.
When I leave a comment on someone’s tweet, it’s usually an insight into my worldview on the topic. I do this because I want others to see how I view the world and from there they can decide if they want to join.
When you come to my site it should be seamless as it’s the same world. When you go through my offers it’s the same world. When you read my emails it’s the same world.
And I’m not restricted by a specific topic.
I’m not the funnels guy, I’m the guy who sees the world like this. There just happens to be funnel talk within this world.
Apple Is for Creatives
Apple is so huge now that you might not know the time when it was world-building for Creatives. They kind of still do that:
- iPhone is a camera, not a phone
- iPad is a drawing device not a computing one
- iMac is an editor, not a computer
But look at this ad and see how it’s solely focused on building a world.
They are saying we are perfect for you if you see the world this way.
Every other computer company at the time? Look how powerful our machines are.
Why did Apple succeed with the iPod? The iPhone? The iPad? The Watch?
They are built for a world of certain people. You believe in this worldview therefore we have something amazing for you.
How to Build Your World
This sounds like it could be complicated, right? How do you build a world?
You have to start from a single point of reference.
Simon Sinek calls this your Why. If you haven’t seen his amazing talk then here it is. Scope it real quick.
Apple started with Think Different.
Martin Luther King Jr…I Have a Dream.
Now, I can tell you that this isn’t easy. It might not be something that you know right now. It may take a while to figure it out.
Mine is Creation Is the Greatest Joy.
And everything I do, consciously and subconsciously revolves around that premise.
I spend time helping people learn how to build businesses around what they create so they can continue to create.
It means I can teach marketing, storytelling, coding, drawing, or anything I want as long as I can tie it back to the worldview.
More importantly, this means tactically, I’m not worried about my personal brand with regard to business. Sure I want people to like me and not be seen as an asshole, but I don’t have to concern myself with specific things about ME to grow my business.
All I care about is how what I’m doing ties back into that worldview and then how can I grow things strategically from there.
Feel Good Funnels was created because I know people that want to create forever and understand the need to sell, but they don’t want to feel like they are selling.
So creating a Feel Good Funnel allows you to generate money by selling offers without your audience feeling like they are constantly being sold to.
Same with the Customer Content Blueprint. The same will be said for the next offer and the offer after that.
I’m building out Odd Wonderful because it fits under my belief of creation, but it has nothing to do with making money. So does that screw up my personal brand?
Hell if I know. I don’t even know what my personal brand is.
But I know that Odd Wonderful fits my worldview, so it feels like a natural extension of everything I do.
Building a World Takes Time and Understanding of Oneself
The most challenging thing about world-building is that it takes time. You almost never nail it on the first go and you’ll make mistakes.
But it’s important to understand that whether you’re actively trying or not, you’re building a world right now.
If people don’t care about the world then you know you either need to find the people that will or you need to make adjustments to it.
What’s more important is that within the world that you’re building you get to be you. Your personality is just one of the many personalities that will become part of the world.
And that’s a beautiful thing.
If you want to be more strategic about your world-building then check out Feel Good Funnels below.