This post is by Nadia Chaudhry of NadiaChaudhry.com.
“Stop! Don’t move!”
The videographer held the camera right in front of the groom’s family. She held them there, in the middle of their progression to the stage, for a sold three minutes. My jaw dropped, eyes squinting, bewildered. And so commenced the world’s most awkwardly recorded night…
If I ever had a videographer like that for my wedding, I think I might have attacked her for taking the “special” out of my special day. It was definitely a potential bridezilla moment.
Your brand’s experience is everything
The experience you bring to the table is the most important thing about your blogging business. The power of the experience determines whether you’ll be praised or moaned about.
So, what exactly is a blogging business experience? It’s the unique personality and vibe of your blog. It includes the feelings, desires, and passions your blog invokes in the observer or reader. It’s the personality of your blog. It’s what makes it human. It’s what makes it relatable. It’s also what makes it unforgettable.
When someone says, “I just want to work with her because I really want that experience,” what comes to your head? That’s what you should focus your blog’s experience on.
Everything you say or do is a reflection of your blogging business. As a photographer, you should let your clients enjoy the special occasion they’ve hired you for. They should forget that you’re even there. But of course, you need to remind them of the pictures they need to post for. Make sure you strike a good balance. Give them space, but delicately guide them in for the shoots they’ll adore when you show ’em off.
Let’s examine two imaginary cases. In case one, we have Melody Pond, the photographer known as sensational snap-snatcher because she captures one-in-a-million moments. She’s fun, flamboyant, and she lets laughter rule her work and life!
Then, there’s Beatrice Louis. She can take some great pictures like Melody, but she doesn’t have the same exuberant personality as her. In fact, Beatrice is dull city, doesn’t talk too much, doesn’t get your humor, and all she does is hover and snap photos.
Who would you choose as a photographer? Obviously, the one who makes you feel like you’ve been best friends all your life.
If the experience around your blogging business is shabby, you’re shabby! It’s really as simple as that. People care about the type of people they work with. People aren’t just looking for good results. They’re also looking for a good experience. Does your blog give that to them?
Your experience should be obvious and infectious
As any type of blogger, the experience you offer should be so blatantly obvious it’s practically smacking people on their noggin. It should be seen and felt everywhere on your site and in the way you work. Its presence should be in your blog title, tag line, footer, about page, your blog posts, and even the page titles themselves.
This also includes behind-the-scenes and in-person business/blog interactions. The experience you bring should be obvious in the way you behave with your clients, when you correspond with individual people about it, and even in the emails you write.
Most importantly, the experience should be infectious and felt in the hearts of your community. They should fall in love with you, and as we all know, true love forms through great experiences and great moments.
Create a persona to help build your brands experience
It’s hard to present that perfect experience. You want it to be fun, engaging, and have a lasting effect. The best way to do this is by creating a persona—literally creating a character. I got this juicy idea from Erika Lyremark of The Daily Whip and Ashley Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project, and it’s shared by countless others.
1. Build your character
If your blog was a person, what type of person would they be? Take a piece of paper and pen and answer these questions:
- What is your persona’s name?
- How do they look?
- What are they wearing?
- What makes him or her so powerful?
- What is her personality like?
- Is she flamboyant or reserved?
- Is she wild or heroic?
- What does she do for fun?
- Is she outgoing?
- How do other people feel around her?
Give your persona the ability to inspire those emotions!
2. Write a bio for your character
Now, pretend you are describing your persona to someone. Write their name down (even turn it into a clever name like I did in my example below) and write a detailed description of her.
Keep this description close to you. Read it whenever you need to be recharged.
3. Become your newly created persona
Once that character is created, embody that character through your blog.
Play pretend and be him or her. Put her on like a pair of perfect jeans and strut. Be her, and mold her into yourself. Do what she would do. React as she would react. Say what she would say. Write blog posts she would write. Show her off in every part of your blogging business.
And bam! You have a bold, unique experience to offer your community.
Beyoncé does this with Sasha Fierce. Lady Gaga does this, well with Lady Gaga.
Do I do this with NadiaChaudhry.com?
Yes, I absolutely use this technique for my blog. I actually use a couple of personas to help me with different parts of my blogging business. The experience I bring with my business is one of spunk, and it emphasizes embracing the weird aspects of ourselves, with a tang of epic adventure.
Blog personas in action
Here’s a specific example of one of the personas I use, to help you to develop yours:
Wild and whimsical Wafa
Wafa is one with nature and the wild. She is lets laughter reign and is a sweetheart to everyone who knows her. She likes to wear long maxi dresses and wooden beaded necklaces, but she’s not too shy to bust out sequins, either. She likes to have a good time and makes sure everyone with her is having a good time too. She is definitely a soul sister. She finds happiness where others cannot, and always stays positive. She turns life into one spontaneous ball of fun and adventure! Her nickname is Waffles!
Whenever I want to write something that’s really fun and whimsical, I read this description (repeatedly if necessary) and let it infect me. When I do this, I feel like I am adding her to myself and she becomes a part of me. Try checking out NadiaChaudhry.com and see if you pick up her vibe.
If you want to be remembered, then you need to be, act, and do things worth remembering with the help of your persona. Take a look at yourself and blog. Are you a version of that loud, obnoxious videographer?
What emotions do you want your clients to feel when they hear about you or work with you? What’s your brand experience? Does this match with what you’re currently showing? If not, it’s time to create your new persona.
Nadia Chaudhry is a clever and mischievous freelance writer and entrepreneur dedicated to female solopreneurs. She holds secret powers to amping up a business’ personality through storytelling. She also re- kindles love between people and their long-forgotten or hidden dreams turning them into an inspiring and bold business. Click here to subscribe. Oh and she loves a game of dare or DARE, check it out.
”If the experience around your blogging business is shabby, you’re shabby!” – sounds quite hursh… :(
I get how it seems harsh. But the only impression people have of you is from your blog and other forms of online presence. You may not be shabby, but if you’re not showing who you really are it may come off like that. Some people have a hard time figuring out exactly how to represent themselves, having a persona is one way to ease your presence, writing, and/or behavior into something or someone closer to who you are. It’s a technique that is really beneficial if you give it a try.
An interesting look into using blog persona for branding. I personally a fan of Ashley Ambirge for her different approach to personal development in her book. She has successfully “brand” her site – from the interesting name and description to her videos (I personally think she was a bit intimidating!)
I tried to create a persona for my personal blog, http://www.aseponde.com (the blog name IS a persona, not my real name like most other personal blogs) but I revamp the use of an “avatar” – reading your post, perhaps I shouldn’t revamp it :)
Great stuff – thanks for the article!
I agree, Ash doesn’t take crap, which is why I adore her! She’s the one who really made me think about what I wanted from life and gave me the courage to go for it.
Definitely don’t revamp it. It’s a powerful tool that helps you transform yourself, your business, and your brand!
Excellent post Nadia,
This reminds me of James at Men with pens. “His” persona is definitely interesting and it draws you in.
Another good reason to start a blog, you can literally be whoever you want.
Why not make it fun and interesting? Plus who knows it could develop into a skit or a character that some movie producer may like, the sky’s the limit.
That’s definitely a cool idea for the potential of a persona.
I personally use personas in order to gear everything I do to be the best. My personas are versions of best self. That way, I don’t feel unauthentic and I still remain in alignment with who I am, too.
But have at it, yo. There are so many freakin awesome ways to use ’em.
They really are some great tips which will put immediately into practice to see how it turn out!
I hope to have good results
Truly thank you very much for taking the time to write all this
greetings and a very strong hug from Spain
*HUG* Thanks so much, Jessica. I’m glad it helped. Follow up and let me know what it does for you!
Whilst putting across your personality is important in blogging – content is equally so too.
And content with personality is what people connect with. Textbook-like Dry Facts vs. Facts with a PUNCH. I’ll take facts with a punch anyday.
Great post Nadia and I enjoyed the photographer analogy, when I was choosing a photographer for my wedding, one of them told me: ‘Basically, the photographer RUNS the wedding!’ Needless to say, he wasn’t hired!
Oh wow, I agree. What a terrible thing to say!
mate, thanks for a great post that gave me great inspiration. Just sat down for 20 minutes and worked through a persona. Now to put it in to action in the blog. Thanks for sharing this approach and perspective with us. I was, at first, put off by Ash, but that in your face style really sticks in your mind – completely unforgettable. I love your site. Really funky and distinct. Keep up the great work.
Your welcome. And I’m so glad you’ve put this information to practice! I’d love it if you’d send me the result of putting it to action. Yes, Ash is def unforgettable.
Thank you Matthew!
Fantastic post! A lot of businesses look at brand experience, of course, but I think examining your blog from this angle as opposed to simply from a style/readership perspective makes a lot of sense. Too many bloggers see their output from a writer’s point of view only. While this makes sense, there is an additional dimension missing from this approach. I was also happy to see this post shared on the BizSugar community! Thanks!
Was it shared in the BizSugar community? I’ll have to check it out! :D
Matthew is right, your blog is super cool. I am totally with you when it comes to making sure my personality is soaked into each and every post, and just everything I do in general. Great philosophy to live by. Just be-you-tiful!
Thanks, Sarah! :)
Definitely, love the image of “personality soaked!”
Thanks for the tip Nadia, I think there is something valuable to be learned here.
Thanks so much, Kent!! :)