One of the most devastating moments of my online career made me a student of branding.
Many moons ago I remember reading a comment on Facebook which pissed me off.
Then the comment made me laugh.
Then the comment gave me an idea. An inspiration.
Then not 2 months later – good thing I act inspired quickly, right? – Blogging from Paradise was hatched from surreally beautiful Savusavu, Fiji.
If I wasn’t preparing slowly and steadily for my next trip – to Jimbaran, Bali – I’d dig deep into Facebook to find the aforementioned comment exchange.
For now you’ll just have to go out on a cyber limb and trust this joker.
A Blogging Failure Turned into a Ridiculously Neat Branding Idea
I fell to the floor in a fit of rage.
After flipping out – I am entitled to 1 to 2 flip out sessions per year, although Thank God the number is falling each year – I crashed to the floor.
Like I’d been shot.
Picture a marionette type doll. Then picture the puppet master letting go strings.
Come to think of it I was a bit like Pinocchio, lying to myself about not so much about my success but that I felt wonderful about the success I was experiencing.
I was utterly disgusted with generating a few sales of my OLD blogging eBook (it shall remain unnamed because I care not to shame the domain).
The unclear eBook. The eBook that generated a nice little comment flurry which changed the direction of my suddenly stupid exciting life.
Anyway, like a child who had his rattle pulled away, I flipped out that one day.
I felt my pure anger, my rage, my hate and my visceral disgust with generating 4 eBook sales in 4 months.
On the upside, I did generate 1 sale a month which pretty much guarantees that 1/3 of my motorbike fuel was paid for (at least in petrol-price friendly locales like Bali and Thailand).
After I whined and cried and flagellated myself with a wet noodle I decided that I had ridded my mind of stinky, “my eBook sucks and has gotta go” energy.
In a split second I hopped on Facebook.
I asked my friends for feedback on my eBook title.
Some good friend suggested that my title was garbage, lame, weak and pretty much cyber skewered me.
After wanting to punch him in the face – for like even a shorter split second – I laughed at good old RB me and agreed with him.
My old title promised nothing of note.
Then this dear friend served up to me the genesis of my current brand.
Like a big old softball, tossed to me, underhand, I set that ball in my sights and after waiting for that sweet, fat ball to show up I freaking socked it about 555 feet, way out into Nagigi, Fiji.
That’s right here (my fave prettiest beach).
I created Blogging from Paradise after a Facebook friend suggested I write an eBook about retiring to a life of island hopping. Or something similar to that.
The devastating part wasn’t really devastating. The good old ego took a massive hit after I:
- Faced my failure
- Admitted my failure
- Asked for feedback
- Receiving stinging (but freeing) feedback
…and when your ego takes a hit it may at times feel devastating.
So in a nutshell I created this brand by being angry and devastated enough to fall to the floor in despair/rage/hopelessness then I went to Facebook to ask for feedback then a friend slapped me around then the same friend served me up Blogging from Paradise on a silver platter.
I acted on that inspired, life-changing idea about 2 months after receiving the inspiring, life-changing idea.
As with everything in my life this was just another routine, ho hum, boring process.
Blogging from Paradise the Brand
Fast forward to now. Today. Present day RB.
My friend Deborah Tutnauer published this comment here on BFP recently.
I am laughing Ryan!! I love when you talk about your selfies and your jaw line!! Classic and so YOU!!
In the short time I’ve known you, what has impressed me most about your blog and your writing is that your brand is so crystal clear. You are you in everything I’ve seen you write and do. It’s a crucial part of marketing and you have nailed it, lived it and shared it.
Wow, thanks Deborah!
I’ll slip you the money later, OK?
Even more exciting? I just released my first paperback on Amazon.
I learned how to brand me by learning how to be me and I learned how to be me by unlearning how to mimic others. Or in other words I learned how to be me by being *how I am offline* in an online setting.
Now I am online who I am offline. Largely.
This one shift in my business and blogging life made me a branding dude.
Or a guy who’s learned a thing or two about branding and who is excited to share his branding insight with you today.
Benefits of Reading this Post
After reading this post you’ll be able to:
- Brand yourself like a superstar (duh)
- Get noticed by famous people through your branding efforts
- Inspire your ideal reader to do what you want them to do (share posts, buy eBooks, hire you, perform stupid pet tricks, etc)
- Add a passive marketing stream to your blog (through genius branding)
- Become memorable and make an impact that few people make online
- Develop brand continuity
- Take over the “best brand on earth” mantle from heavyweights like McDonalds’s, Apple, Nike and Coca Cola (maybe, maybe not, you decide)
The thing that just jumped out at me – as I built this list – was the passive marketing stream angle/bullet point.
When your brand makes people say “WOW” you better believe that your blog and brand markets itself. At least through a passive marketing stream.
For example, if I impress the heck out of folks with my bizarre travel pictures, or through my strange travel stories, or if folks just plain vibe with the fact that a former bum(maybe), broke ass security officer can rent serviced villas in Bali after he pretty much knew how to CDM it 6 years ago (that would be “Computer Don’t Move” to my fellow digital retreads of the 80’s crew)….I just opened a passive marketing stream through my branding efforts.
Here’s how it works.
Jane Dough reads my blog. Falls in love with my brand. Promotes the stuffing out of my blog and my businesses and my eBooks to her friends. All while I’m drinking banana shakes on the beach in Fiji.
Jane Dough’s friend, Betty Budzinski, naturally has to keep her nosy self busy by stalking Jane’s social media streams. Betty clicks Jane’s shared Blogging from Paradise Facebook update and reads what I have to say.
She’s taken aback by my chiseled physique. Or more likely she’s like, “Damn, I am disgusted with my 9-5 job and NEED TO FIGURE OUT how to retire to a life of island hopping like that fool. His brand rocks!”
Betty B shared my blog post on twitter. She’s a brand groupie. She’s in. More passive marketing because while Jane and Betty and all their buddies slowly fall in love with my brand they promote the stuffing out of me.
Me? I’m sitting on the beach in Savusavu, Fiji. Still macking. Still chilling. All the while my Blogging from Paradise acolytes are aggressively and quite rabidly spreading the word for me and my brand.
Passive marketing. Courtesy of a branded blog.
This is one glowing benefit of branding yourself intelligently. You’ll make a serious impact on your targeted reader/customer/rabid fan and you betcha they’ll promote you aggressively to their followings.
Ding Dongs in Southern Bali
I couldn’t believe it.
The guy was lazing on the beach.
In his full glory.
Kelli and I were taking our customary afternoon walk on the beach in Jimbaran, Bali.
After wondering why in the heck so many puffer fish washed up on the beach I observed a new type of puffer fish. Or thank the lucky stars, a less puffed up fish.
Some old Balinese guy was sprawled out on the beach. In the surf. Pimp style.
He was desnudo.
In his glory.
This happened over 2 years ago.
2 and a half years ago, to be exact.
The image remains seared on my mind.
In certain spots of Bali we witnessed both women and men bathing in the nude. The body is a body; a vessel, carrying a spirit. Ya know, all that good stuff, all that true stuff, when you get all metaphysical about it.
The concept of Western Shame doesn’t quite pervade Balinese culture so you’ll see the odd naked guy or gal.
Some young folks (although I never notice the younger women, personally) and some older folks drop trousers and lose tops to rub a dub dub.
This guy just lay nude in the surf. Like a boss.
The thing is, I never forgot this guy. He was memorable. He shocked me a bit. He wasn’t even trying.
He was just *being.*
I’ll never forget him nor the somewhat leisurely pose that he struck while he freely macked out in the surf in Jimbaran, Bali, being totally freaking naked.
Branding and Au Natural Balinese
The guy was memorable because:
- He was his true, natural self (does it get any more natural?)
- He went against the grain, not to go against the grain, but because he was being authentic (many older Balinese women go topless until the Boolies/Westerners show up because they regularly went topless when younger….few Westerners around, no Western shame/appropriateness issues in the past)
- He let it all hang out (too damn easy)
- He was relaxed, poised and at peace (i.e., he wasn’t “trying”)
I feel that brilliant brands, memorable brands and pretty much any brand that makes an indelible impact on your mind is natural, is true to its brand, goes against the grain by being authentic in a phony baloney world and lets it all hang out.
Why the Hell Would You Listen to My Branding Advice?
I have spent the past 44 months living in paradise.
I have blogged from Fiji and Bali and Koh Lanta and Quepos and Kathmandu. As a full timer.
Look up again.
Look down again.
I mean, scroll up and scroll down.
Said pro, full-time blogger has created a nice little brand for himself.
Blogging from Paradise™
I enjoy helping you to brand yourself.
I love inspiring my readers to create blogs and communities but creating a brand is the easiest, most direct, simplest way to inspire folks to read your blog and to become a rabid, raving fan of your community.
I guess you can say without even really trying to brand me and my life I kinda did because I didn’t make branding a #1 goal of mind before creating Blogging from Paradise.
I did however take the necessary steps to mould a memorable, lovable, fun brand that helps folks retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
I noted this before but I love when readers share that my blog screams ME and my brand. I love this because that energy inspires you to stand out from the crowd by branding yourself.
Why Should You Brand You
I was so disgusted with all of the branding talk some 5 years ago. Seemed like a waste of time to me.
Only Apple and Coca Cola and Nike and all those corporations with billions to burn build brands.
I have not the money nor time nor knowledge to build a brand and nobody cares if I brand me, anyway.
Or so I thought.
Fast forward 5 years.
I can say that much of my online neat-ness/success/exposure occurred because I was the Blogging from Paradise guy.
Or, before I created the BFP brand I was the island hopping blogger guy.
Whether you like it or not you’re “that guy” or “that gal” in the eyes of your readers.
I’m not so much Ryan Biddulph save on legal documents.
“Ryan Biddulph” is 2 words. First word easy to pronounce. Second word a bit of an adventure for folks from all parts of the world.
If someone reads my name before knowing my brand they’ll likely say:
- Where in the hell is that guy from?
- What’s his nationality?
But if I brand me effectively folks will make an automatic associate between my name and my brand.
Ryan Biddulph will become that:
- Freaking lucky Blogging from Paradise guy
- That guy whose life I gotta live
My brand makes me memorable. My “Hey, that’s the Blogging from Paradise guy!” or the “Hey, that’s the guy who blogged from Fiji!” or “Hey, that’s the guy who retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging!” personas may or may not come to mind after you visit my blog.
Or after you see my comments on other blogs.
Or after you see my twitter stream.
Or after you see me anywhere online or offline. If I’m branding effectively.
If I’m branding effectively a growing legion of folks will know me as the Guy who Blogs from Paradise and who can inspire others to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging (we capitalize blog taglines here folks!).
As more folks know me as that guy I’m able to help more folks Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging.
Which of course helps me sell more eBooks, attract more clients and become freer as I help free more people.
It’s a win-win scenario.
Can you see why branding yourself is absolutely critical if you want to stand out online as a blogger?
You will have a helluva time retiring to a life of island hopping or even making pennies blogging unless you stand out by branding yourself.
When I visit your blog will I say to myself, “Oh, so THAT’S the so and so guy or gal….”?
Because if you’re branding you effectively I’ll automatically know who you are, what you do and why I should follow you.
I’ll know instantly how you can help me live my dreams.
That’s good branding. When I know you’re this guy or that gal and I form an image of you as a branded persona that’s where all the prospering begins for both of us.
Brian Bosworth and Branding
I watched a special on ESPN recently recounting the life and sports career of Brian Bosworth.
He was a brilliant college football player who was easily one of the best f-ballers of all time – in college – and more than anything the dude created the most brilliantly branded persona in American sports outside of Michael Jordan.
Note; injuries and steroid abuse did cause his NFL career to crash and burn but hey, we’re talking branding today.
Brian and his handlers created a brilliant, rebellious, colorful, outspoken character from his days as an Oklahoma Sooner.
Watch the special.
Now again, his sports career and life are both cautionary tales in some ways but his branding was sensational.
At one point in the NFL he talked trash about superstar Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.
Denver Bronco fans bought some 15,000 “Bozo” T-shirts making fun of Bosworth in response to the trash talking.
It turns out that Bosworth’s t-shirt companies MADE the shirts so you better believe that The Boz cashed in at a sick rate, all because he skillfully created a controversy which helped him profit.
Totally against the negative trash talk stuff here but I appreciate his branding to the umpteenth degree.
Before I digress into my love of 80’s college football we best get on with this post.
A coconut water is calling me.
1: Pick an Easy to Visualize Domain Name
Blogging from Paradise.
I think I can see that.
Bloggingfromparadise.com is pretty easy to see and understand.
I can see a suave dude like Ryan Biddulph sitting under a coconut tree in Savusavu, Fiji blogging like a boss.
Or I could see him taking a break from blogging to enjoy a cool, refreshing coconut water, served to him by a village local in Nagigi, Fiji. (this really happened see image below)
You think in pictures.
If you can see yourself blogging from paradise easily after reading my domain name you will likely want to stick around and learn more about blogging from paradise because few folks on earth would turn down the chance to blog under a coconut tree in Fiji.
Just about everybody should experience that. At least once.
Readers need to easily see your brand – through its wording and through imagery – and in the case of bloggers you darn well better make sure visitors can easily visualize your domain name. At least if you want to brand yourself like a superstar.
- Pick an easy to visualize domain name
- The shorter the better (unless it’s a super memorable long phrase)
- Ask like 20 folks if they can easily visualize your domain name before you purchase the domain name and build a brand around the name
I’ll get into the whole passionate thing later in another tip. For now I wanted you to start off on the right foot to create a memorable brand.
2: Create a Clear and Powerful Tagline
Visitors to my blog will instantly know that they’ll learn:
How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging
That’s pretty easy to see, right?
That’s a pretty easy brand to understand.
Clear and powerful? Check!
Imagine this: someone visits your blog for the first time. They may dig your domain name. It may even be easy to visualize.
Yet after the initial impact there’s no next step. No tagline. No words. No bringing down the hammer with clarity and power.
Thor is one of my heroes and role models.
I hope to meet him in Asgard but I hear the visa process for non-Asgardians is a real bitch.
Anyway, when Thor brings down the hammer a force field/shock wave extends out violently and powerfully to Kingdom Come.
Picture a reader visiting your blog for the first time or for the 40th time.
Does said reader feel you bringing down the branding hammer with clarity and power?
After crafting a clear domain name do you follow up with a clear, powerful, simple tagline drilling the branding point home.
Blogging from Paradise.
How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging.
I bring da hammer folks and I am not in a gaming mood! (had to use it for those nerdy Marvel fans like meself in the audience)
As for your blog I suggest drilling down by dwelling on both your domain name and your brand message.
For example, if you wanted to build a brand on Christmas tree disposal services for lazy folks who can’t be bothered with burning their trees or hauling their trees to the curb you could choose the domain:
Trashing Your Tree (trashingyourtree.com though I’ve no clue if it’s taken or not)
Then you’d dwell on the tagline for a bit to drill home your branding message, a la the Man Who Brings the Thunder.
Here ya go:
Trash Your Christmas Mess without the Stress
Or pick a tagline along those lines.
How can you do it?
Once you have a domain name and brand in mind drill down a bit.
Think about what your ideal reader/customer wants to do.
They want to throw out their tree in a stress-free manner. Calling or emailing someone to trash the tree for you is about as stress-free as it gets.
So for you and your brand I’d suggest picturing that next step.
What does your ideal reader or customer want to do? Think in terms of action verbs to make your tagline pop.
Example, “Retire” to a Life of Island Hopping.
Or “Trash” Your Christmas Mess without the Stress.
That action verb strategy grabs folk’s attention immediately and what better way to build a powerhouse brand than by grabbing folk’s attention instantly.
Apple, McDonalds, Nike and Coca Cola are kinda good at grabbing attention spans and keeping them, which is why I’m thinking of iPhones Big Macs Air Jordans and ice-cold Cokes in glass bottles as I write these words.
3: Brand Your Passion
I read a few blogs daily where I say to myself,
“Damn I would love to live that person’s life.”
I don’t do this much because:
- Envy is a negative emotion
- I have travelled the world for the past 44 months as a pro blogger
- I just set up a 4 month house sit with Kelli in Jimbaran, Bali
- A bunch of other reasons but mainly I live a really cool life I’d trade with no one on earth
I gotta admit, I live a neat life. I live a freaking amazing, blessed life.
I’ve dipped my toes in the world’s 3 major oceans, I’ve lived in Bali and Fiji for months, I’ve enjoyed Thailand for like a year and a half and I’ve spent more time on tropical islands than Mike and Molly spend in the kitchen. They prefer ham hocks and I prefer Hua Hin.
I am so blessed and grateful to have you guys in my corner because YOU have been a chief reason why I’m blogging from paradise. Without you none of this is possible.
Even though I am in love with my life and wouldn’t trade it for anybody else’s life I spot a few branded superstars each day who make me say, “Damn.”
These branded superstars are branding their passion.
Like, they live their passion, and their light shines show brightly that you’re freaking blinded by their passion and by their brand.
My AHA Passion Branding Moment
I love traveling. I love blogging.
Back in late June, 2014, after my hosting service just b-slapped me down by suspending my old blog I was thinking things through at about 2:30 AM in Fiji.
What do I like doing? Like, what makes me come alive?
Who in the hell thought I’d get jet lag flying from Thailand to Fiji?
Is that a 3 and a half inch cockroach on the wall or is it a small child? (It was a cockroach)
What makes me feel passionate?
How could I brand my passion?
After sitting with these questions for a few minutes and high fiving the cockroach – his wings were that big – I thought of 2 things:
I am in love with traveling. When Kelli and I are planning our next trip I get all giddy, like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning.
When I’m blogging/writing, hours turn into minutes. I just love this stuff. God put me here to write.
Example; I just wrote for the past 80 minutes. OK OK, I broke my rule, missing my hourly break. No worries though because I’m taking a 60 minute exercise break in about 5 minutes.
I figured that I could easily brand my passion if I picked something I was a gazillion percent passionate about.
So I went with Blogging from Paradise and I gotta say, it kinda took off. Just a little bit.
You know all about my endorsements and me cyber speaking at NYU and I’ve been featured on over a 100 well known blogs since I went live with this blog in late June 2014.
The thing is my kiddies, my passion helped create the ripple effect which inspired so many generous folks to endorse me, to promote me and to feature me.
We’ll return to Thor again. Damn this guys’s getting some serious burn on my blog today.
When Thor brings down the hammer the shock waves are felt far and wide.
When you build a brand around your passion(s) the shock/brand waves will be felt far and wide.
Now the Million Dollar Question
I can hear you know. You’re both disgusted with me for mentioning a 3 and a half inch long Fijian cockroach while you’re enjoying a roasted pepper and meatball sub and you’re also so darn frustrated because you picked a blogging niche and brand you feel less than passionate about.
I have an easy answer for you on both counts:
- Don’t eat anything while reading Blogging from Paradise because you’ll never know what I’ll write about next
- Trash your blog completely and rebrand yourself
Here you go folks if you’re all ready to complain to me that I have *no idea what it’s like to start over*….cause I do!
If you don’t feel alive and inspired about your blog and your brand you’ll never brand yourself like a superstar.
You can become a full time blogger and you can make a ton of dough and you can even become a professional, full-time island hopping blogger *without* doing what makes you feel alive but:
- What the hell’s the point????
- Why not enjoy the heck out of the ride and have fun and inspire a whole new generation of your minions to free themselves by branding your passion?
I brand my passion.
I do what I feel passionate about so my creative energies flow and these creative energies inspire me to create a ton of valuable stuff which helps you live your dreams.
I create eBooks and offer my services and do this stuff from an inspired space because I threw away 3400 blog posts and 5 year’s worth of work to let go boring and kinda bland to make space for passionate, fun, inspired and helpful.
Trash the brand guys IF you don’t feel fully passionate about it.
List your joys. Go ahead, do it.
List like 3 or 5 or 10 things you feel beyond passionate about and whittle that list down to 1 or 2 things.
Those 1 or 2 things are where the branding magic is.
This is where the superstars reside.
The branded superstars.
This is where Disney and Apple and Google reside because Walt and Steve and Sergei and Larry built each brand around an overpowering, passionate energy which the world just had to feel.
We really had no choice but to become rabid fans of each brand because unless you are brain dead or soulless you are prone to feeling the passionate energy of a person who’s followed their passionate calling.
Brand your passion.
Be a bright, branded light in the Universe.
Make a ton of dough if you want to.
Change a ton of lives in the process.
4: Speak a Consistent Message
“Whatchou talking ‘bout Willis?”
I can hear Arnold’s voice now.
This iconic question/edict/eternal pop culture line was made famous through the Diff’rent Strokes TV series.
Arnold – played by Gary Coleman – would ask/demand this question of his brother Willis to get real with him.
He’d always speak the line with great ferocity if something happened out of left field.
Perhaps Arnold’s fish Abraham had suffered some malady.
Or Mr. Drummond grounded the kids and news hadn’t hit Arnold yet.
Either way Arnold was stunned/shocked/dismayed/angered and he had to get down to business to find out what was up.
Each time you publish a blog post NOT relevant to your:
- Blog posts
- Blog pages
- Brand image
….your readers will say…
“Whatchou talking bout Ryan?”
If I write a post about the benefits of using sage in Mediterranean dishes my audience is going to say:
“Whatchou talking bout Ryan?”
Or if I wrote a post about how to do anything that isn’t aligned with:
Blogging from Paradise: How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging my readers will say:
“Whatchou talking bout Ryan?”
I couldn’t publish this post without mentioning that phrase thrice.
Anyway, smart branding is consistent branding. You program your audience to respond to your brand based on the consistency of your message.
On a subconscious level your blog readers will get to know you as “That Guy” or “That Gal” based on the consistency of your message.
People know they’re getting tips for retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging here.
They’ll get a bunch of selfies, RB’s smile, pictures of me in rice paddy hats, pictures of paradise, travel stories, bizarre parallels between blogging tips and traveling, smart parallels between blogging tips and traveling and a bunch of other stuff that will be consistent with my brand.
The split second I deviate from that message I am toast.
Imagine McDonald’s publishing a news blast explaining how the restaurant chain is becoming a slow-cooking, fine-dining experience.
McD’s fans around the world would toss their chicken nuggets at windows in protest, vociferously destroying every remaining franchise because McDonald’s brand is all about convenient eats. McDonald’s is NOT a slow-cooking, fine-dining experience.
Publish a consistent message to strengthen your brand.
Problogger publishes posts about blogging tips all the time.
Chris Brogan publishes posts about owning your business all the time.
BMW’s brand is all about The Ultimate Driving Machine so you better believe all content/marketing material is all about The Ultimate Driving Machine.
Speak a consistent message to brand yourself like a superstar.
5: Speak a Persistent Message
I was once stalked by an apex predator in Sanur, Bali.
The apex predator was not too cunning but damn was it persistent.
I was so lucky to get out of the situation alive.
The apex predator: the famed Balinese massage tout.
The prey: newbie traveler/globe trotter Ryan Biddulph.
45 months ago our world traveling journey started in Sanur, Bali.
I had never dealt with aggressive, persistent touts before.
Folks who’d ask you 3,435 times daily to indulge in their services.
I do appreciate their hustle though. Big time.
Their sheer persistence created sales for them.
Tourists chilling on the beach in Sanur would either say “Yes” on the first or 115th plea in more than a few cases.
Touts teach an important branding message: persistence plays a role in building a powerful brand.
I’m not suggesting you ask folks from a desperate space to:
- Buy your eBooks
- Hire you
- Share your posts
- Comment on your blog
I’m suggesting you ask folks from a confident, playful, detached space to:
- Buy your eBooks
- Hire you
- Share your posts
- Comment on your blog
….and even more than that I suggest you share immense value with your audience persistently, helping your audience live their dreams, to build a super star brand.
For example, if I published one 7,000 word blog post on Blogging from Paradise some readers may say, “Damn, money can write.”
Then they’d return to their lives and if I never posted a 7,000 word blog post again said reader would be less impressed with me and my brand.
If however I publish one 7,000 word blog post weekly on Blogging from Paradise my readers – and scores of new readers – would soon see me as the “7,000 word blog post a week guy”.
This realization/observation/perception helps me to create a recognizable, memorable brand.
Music Grows on You
Have you ever noticed how some music grows on you?
You may hear a song once. Bleh. Then 2 times. Yeah it’s aight.
Then you hear the song 5 times and it sounds pretty darn good actually.
After 10 plays you’re hooked.
This is branding at its finest. The message is:
…and when the message/song is distributed through the proper channels you better believe the right listeners/rabid fans will fall in love with the song, the performer and the brand.
What’s more, when a performer builds a brand around a distinct persona (se Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Nicky Manaj) the brand becomes more powerful, more memorable, and with persistence and consistency a super star is born.
- Speak your brand message daily
- Speak your brand message by sharing something valuable and inspirational daily
- Use tools (Evergreen Post Widget,Hootsuite, etc) to publish social media updates daily
- Know why you want to build your brand and tie that reason to being free to persistently speak your brand message
On to the next tip.
6: Use Video to Prove that Your Human
Human brands rock.
Human brands make a lasting impression.
Words on a screen/robotic brands/cyborg-like presentations suck.
Example; on first visiting Blogging from Paradise you may note a few things:
- That guy always seems to be cradling coconuts and wearing that same yellow shirt
- He seems to be having a fun time
- Damn I want to slam that SOB into a wall I am so jealous of him
- I gotta do what he’s doing
You’ll see images, words on a screen, and all that stuff but since I’m not sitting in a room with you while I’m conveying my message it may take 2 or 3 visits to my blog for me to be human to you.
Even though you know I’m human on a rational level – I am, I promise, even though I write insanely thorough long posts and pet tigers and feed monkeys and do all that stuff – on an emotional level it takes a few visits to my blog to make me FEEL human to you.
If you want to accelerate that human feeling deal and if you want to make your brand more human and more prospering and more inspiring and more influential…..shoot videos.
VLogging from Paradise
Not sure if I’m V-logging or not – what does that even mean? – but you better believe I’ll publish a quick minute long video with each post going forward.
I have to.
I was just gifted a snazzy, new, real camera, with the requisite 30 zooms and 1080 HD videos and all that other techy stuff that I have no real clue about but that allegedly produces eye candy.
Combine that tech with tropical paradise backdrops as well as me wearing local garb – or little clothing is some hot spots – and I must document my travels with video. I gotta do it.
Keep an eye out for more of my videos and:
Creating videos can help you to brand yourself like a superstar because:
- Videos make you human
- Videos allow your energy to infect your audience
- Videos make your brand more believable (I know that guy I like that guy I trust that guy because I saw him yapping…not in person maybe but on video….and seeing someone on video makes me feel like I know them)
Shoot a bunch of inspired videos. Invest in a camera.
Even if you buy a less expensive camera these days you can shoot HD quality videos and upload those bad boys to Youtube.
7: Pay for a TV Commercial During the Super Bowl
This one’s for the famous readers of Blogging from Paradise.
Or soon to be famous readers.
Yeah that’s you!
The Super Bowl IS coming up, isn’t it?
I plan to pitch advertisers on my Nepali Wildman incident.
Perhaps we can tie it in to crunching on nachos? Madison Ave can pick up the bill.
On to the next tip.
8: Do Off the Wall Stuff and Take Pictures of You Doing Off the Wall Stuff
You remember the infamous rice paddy hat images.
And you have ample imagery of the tiger petting incident of 2013. (some would call this the asinine tiger petting incident versus “off the wall”)
Me. Whacky stuff. Weird looking situations. Whatever.
Giving props to pigs.
Off the wall, eye-catching, funny, bizarre, weird stuff works if the off the wall stuff is consistent with your brand.
Off the wall stuff works so darn well because you’re not likely to forget the Blogging from Paradise brand if the brand is consistent with funny/weird/off the wall/silly imagery.
When’s the last time a blogger who blogs from Fiji posted an image of he dressed in 2 anti-bacterial masks and yellow Speed Racer goggles while pointing at a large, smiling, jolly-looking poster board pig?
It probably hasn’t happened too many times in your life.
“Wow, that RB guy is kinda funny or weird or whatever. Gotta visit his blog weekly to see what he’s gonna do next.”
Brand Built??? Check!
Be loosey goosey guys.
Have fun branding yourself.
Be silly, be whacky, be funny, be creative.
Stop taking yourself and your brand so seriously.
Grumpy Cat and her owner grossed $100 million in revenue by being less than serious or outright silly.
Let that one stew in your mind as you contemplate building a super star brand.
9: Make Personal Development A1
Ya gotta love America Joe.
I heard about the legend in Muhamma, India.
America Joe was da man.
I recall seeing a few stunningly large mansions in the little Southern Indian jungle town. My jaw dropped. These cats were some serious high rollers.
My friend Santos told us about one local who ran a prospering business back in the USA. He traveled back and forth throughout the year.
He made American dough and cashed in with a sick currency exchange rate highly in his favor.
Santos pointed out his mansion across the rice fields.
The home appeared to be as big as a small corporate building. It was gargantuan.
The locals called him America Joe because he was a celebrity in the area. An Indian who made a bundle load of dough in the USA yet he traveled back and forth to spend time both in his home town of Muhamma.
I think of millionaire America Joe then I think about the countless homeless people we saw in places like Pondicherry.
Many of the folks relieved themselves in public because they had no home. The homeless lived in mere shanty-towns.
What was the difference? You can dissect and debate and talk about all types of outside influences yet at the end of the day: as within, so without.
The difference between America Joe and the many homeless we saw in India was mindset.
Or more appropriately, America Joe thought, felt and acted like a wealthy person so he naturally manifested wealth in his life.
The homeless people thought, felt and acted like poor people so they naturally manifested poverty in their lives.
The majority of the homeless folks are born into poverty yet a few raise above their circumstances to think, feel and act like wealthy people and subsequently manifest immense wealth.
These rags to riches stories inspire millions (read this story about a guy who went from homeless to billionaire).
How you choose to think, feel and act dictates how you brand yourself.
How you choose to think, feel and act is dictated by how diligently you stick to your personal development routine.
I spend an hour each morning – on waking – working on my mindset. I do a little body work too to raise my vibe.
If I work on my inner world regularly I’ll naturally develop a prosperity conscious, abundant mindset which will help me to:
- Build a one of a kind brand
- Build an inspired brand
- Build a fun-loving, freeing, feel-good brand
The thing is my kiddies if you don’t do the mental work your brand will almost always be:
- On life support
- Lacking flavor
- Lacking power
Do the mental homework. Brand yourself like a superstar.
As for your choice of mental homework here’s a few blogs you must follow:
If you wanna know how I went from bland to brand here’s a glimpse into my morning ritual. (subject to change)
I wake up. Which is always a good thing.
I meditate for 30 minutes.
I do 100 sit ups and 20 or so slow pushups. (these numbers changed from last week, long story)
I stretch for about 10 minutes.
I listen to a subliminal audio file via my tablet for 30 minutes.
I listen to this guy’s hypnotherapy stuff. It rocks. Helped me brand me like a boss.
10: Do an Honest Assessment of Your Blog Brand-Wise
The most fun step.
The one step that most people HATE taking because it’s the one step that’ll free you, branding-wise, to create something memorable, inspiring and free on the branding front.
Tips 1-9 work damn well after you accept tip #10.
You can’t fix – nor will you fix – that which you believe is working fine.
Ultimately this tip’s up to you.
You know deep down whether you’re branding yourself like a superstar or if you’re not branding yourself like a superstar.
For example, do you still remember that naked Balinese guy story? Or if you don’t remember it is it because you’re trying to expunge the damaging image from your mind? (hey the guy was in good shape for a 70 year old!)
Memorable images or stories stay with you forever.
Memorable brands and blogs stay with you forever.
Or at least for more than a few minutes.
Is your brand memorable?
Is your blog memorable?
A blogging coach can help you answer this question.
More than a blogging coach though your intuition will lead you in the right direction.
Your intuition will tell you whether it’s time to completely trash your blog or brand or your intuition will tell you where and how you need to ramp up your branding efforts.
For example, I actually ran my old blog for a good year or so – since we started traveling the world – without integrating my travel images and stories into my blog and brand.
That my friends was asinine. Perfect, glove-like fit and I missed it for over a year.
After reassessing my blog I saw the missing link.
I ramped things up to the next level after completely trashing my old blog to create Blogging from Paradise.
My old brand didn’t suck it up but it was missing that authentic, overpowering, inspired factor consistent with rocking brands.
So I created Blogging from Paradise.
The truth serum? My old host yanked my site and I had a branding awakening.
Honesty slapped me right upside the head when I was forced to reassess my blog AND to let go my old blog to make room for this tasty little “blogging from paradise” niche.
Pick an easy to visualize domain name to fortify your online brand. Do your fan’s legwork because we do think in pictures, ya know?
Create a memorable tagline. The domain can reel in folks and your tagline drills the point home.
Brand your passion. Have you ever noticed how some bloggers seem to have “it”? That intangible, Beyonce-like, Michael Jordan-like, charismatic, branded energy is the by-product of someone living their passion. Brand your passion my kiddies to make your blog straight up crack to your jonesing readers.
Speak a consistent and persistent message. Program your readers to crave your brand.
Hey, if my next blog post was titled, “Meatball or Cheese Topping: What do Ya Think?”, you’d have either thought I lost my mind or that the Fijian/Balinese/Pan Pacific sun has melted my brain or you would flat out know that I was committing branding hari kari. Stay on topic. Do 1 thing well so folks associate you and your brand with that one thing you do damn well.
As for persistence do you remember yesterday’s news a week or 2 down the road?
Superstar brands are persistently promoted brands. Create your value regularly so that your brand grows on folks.
Use video to drive home a clear, cogent point: you are human. Oh so human. And you just can’t wait to prove again and again that a living, breathing human is the wizard behind the branding curtain. If your readers trust you they’re more likely to trust your brand.
If you have the scratch in this moment to pay for TV advertising during the Super Bowl please get in touch with me.
Off the wall stuff – if it aligns with your brand – is playful, is fun to do and I gotta admit, I’m a sucker for funny images, videos and prose. Guys, that is the Holy Trinity of Branding Humor. Funny images, videos and prose.
Funny or whacky may just equal branding gold.
Ask Grumpy Cat.
Make personal development A1. Do the inner clearing to create the superstar brand.
Be honest with yourself. If your brand lacks cajones you know it. Speak to a coach. Find your branding footing. Make the changes necessary to build a branded, memorable blog.
How’s your branding going?
What tips can you add to this list?
How do you brand yourself?
What makes your brand stand out?
Call to Action
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Until next time….enjoy paradise!
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