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The other afternoon I came home to a string of tweets and I saw this,
This made me want to dissect what it is that makes someone’s brand addictive: Let’s start with a basic premise for creating an addictive personal brand.
Would you be missed if you were gone?
If you stopped writing, publishing or creating content, would the people who read notice? If they wouldn’t, you’re quite far off from creating an addictive brand. Let’s talk about what it actually takes to create a brand that is truly addictive. There are 5 foundational elements to an addictive brand.
1. Be Consistent
I recently read that Seth Godin published is 5000th blog post. That’s a lot of writing. For nearly 10 years he’s showed up every single day. In fact if a day went by when he didn’t publish, the blogosphere would probably start speculating that he’d been kidnapped or something. He’s conditioned us to expect something from him. And if those expectations aren’t met, we’d notice. We would miss him if he’s gone.
You don’t have to publish every single day to create an addictive brand, but you do have to be consistent. We become addicted to TV shows because we know they’ll be there every Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. If you’re sporadic about your publishing efforts, it’s unlikely you’ll create an addictive brand. Remember, you’re not Ashton Kutcher. Mortals like us have to actually do a bit more. When you’re consistent you also have the opportunity to develop a substantial body of work. Let’s say you write the most amazing blog post and it sends you droves of traffic. But when people get to your site theres nothing else for them to read. You effectively missed the boat. To make your content as addictive as cocaine you need to give your audience their fix and that means having a big supply.
2. Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You
Some of the best writers on the web, Julien Smith, Justine Musk, and James Altucher have worked to become masters of their craft for a very long time. They’re the kinds of people who are so good that we can’t ignore them. They’ve been willing to put their pen to paper and write. You won’t be a master of your craft when you start, but if you make it a point to practice you’ll eventually get there. And when you do, you’ll be so good they can’t ignore you. People will become addicted to your brand. They’ll always be wanting more.
3. Be Insanely Useful
This may be one of the most overlooked aspects of creating an addictive brand. Creating a personal brand that’s addictive is not about you at all. It’s about your audience. If you’re having trouble with this, check out my friend Alex Franzen’s new book 50 ways to say You’re Awesome. She’s a master of being useful while promoting her own work. In my mind there are 3 basic ways to be useful?
- Change Behavior: We’re all trying to change something about ourselves and our lives. If your content helps somebody to do that, they’ll always come back for more.
- Deliver an Outcome: This isn’t always going to be possible. But one of the most useful questions you can ask yourself before publishing every single piece of content is “what’s the intended outcome for the reader?” My outcome with this post was to help you make your brand more addictive than it is right now.
- Educate: This is another way to be insanely useful. All you have to do is look at the success of TED talks and it’s no secret that people are craving an opportunity to be educated. The guys over at ASAP Science realized this and built a Youtube channel that grew to over 1 million subscribers in less than a year.
4. Be Interesting
As I’ve said before your brand must tell a compelling story if it’s going to become addictive. In many ways people who read blogs are voyeurs. Your job is to provide an escape from reality and take people on a journey. Expose them to a world of possibilities. People want to be entertained just as much as they want to be informed.
5. Be Audacious/Bold
Addictive brands are usually audacious and bold. They take a strong stand and understand how to use fascination triggers.
- My friend Meg Worden spent 2 years in a Federal Prison and it’s right there on her about page. Her content is so addictive that I almost always stop what ever working on read it right away.
- James Altucher bleeds on the page every single time he writes. He has just as many people who hate him as love him.
You must take a strong stand, have an opinion and be willing to alienate some people. If you try to be everything to everybody, you’ll become nothing to nobody. Somebody I spoke with once said you personal brand is like an online dating profile. You want to 98% of the population not to be interested so you can build a relationship with the 2% of who will fall in love with you.
With all this in mind, is your brand addictive? Are you missing any of the foundational elements? Let me know in the comments below