I spend an inordinate amount of time online. I scroll through endless feeds, and click on all the links, and read all the posts… and usually? I end up kind of bored.
I mean, there are so many “experts” out there who know what they’re talking about (or at least who research whatever they’re talking about) – and I say this without a single jot of sarcasm. BUT, I can also count on my fingers the number of these people that actually interest me.
Is it because I’m picky and high maintenance?
It’s because these experts all kind of… beige. The talk about the same things. They make the same points. They rely on the same marketing tactics. They use the same style of imagery. They bring out the same stats and figures. They take the same courses. They use the same colours everywhere. They share the same opinions. They… you get the picture.
Beige. Beige. Beige.
So how do you stand out online? How do you stand out from that sea of mulchy sameness – especially if you’re in the same niche as SO MANY others?
It all boils down to one thing. Passion.
And I’m not talking about passion for your business here (although that is important). I’m talking about passion for life stuff.
Your hobbies. The books you read. Your favourite podcasts. The TV and movies you watch. Your pets. Your favourite comedians. The soundtrack to your life. Your guilty pleasures. The desserts you crave. The colours you love. Your bad habits. Your beliefs. That quotes that touch you. Your random everyday experiences.
This is the stuff that makes you interesting as a person, and more importantly, as the personality behind a brand.
Not convinced? Answer me this. Are you reading this article because I’m the only person yammering on about content creation, or because my rage hilarious, my puppy is cute, and I can’t go a day without making a Buffy reference?Don’t mask your opinions just because some reader somewhere may be outraged. Click & Tweet! It’s the internet, someone will ALWAYS be outraged. Be brave enough to take off that mask, and show the mess that lies beneath. Click & Tweet!
Does that mean that someone might see you drinking out of a mug that doesn’t say #blessed on the side?
Does that mean you can bin off the swamp water masquerading as some sort of trendy smoothie thing?
Does that mean you can spend time doing something you like, instead of jumping on every bandwagon?
Does that mean boycotting the stuff that isn’t your vibe?
Yes, to all of it. And that’s a good thing.
Let’s turn this great principle into something practical, that will actually help you stand out online.
Pull out of 2 sheets of printer paper and tape them to your wall. Top one with a ☺ and one with a ☹, and then set a timer for 10 minutes.
Grab a marker, and without too much thought, start writing down all the things you dislike beneath that ☹ . The things that annoy you, that irk you, that upset you. Be as profound or as silly as you like. When the page is full, move over to the ☺. There, I want you to note down all the things that light you up, the things that make you giddy, the things that make you feel comfy, or joyful, or inspired.
When your timer goes off, stop. Take those pages off your wall, and tuck them inside your planner.
Next time you sit down to create content, pull out those pages again. Use elements or ideas from each one to infuse your copy with a bit of that personal pizzazz.
Before you know what’s happening, you’ll have a hot-shot batch of killer content to help you stand out online, far above the sludgey masses. All through the power of passion.
Looking for even more ways to weave the perks and quirks of your personality into your writing? Grab a copy of the “ME” Maneuver, my knowledge bank + workbook combo designed to do just that… in 14 minutes or less.