It’s a Thursday morning, and you’re staring at a blank status box wondering what the heck to share.
Those thoughts start buzzing around in your head.
‘No one cares what I have to say.’
‘I don’t have anything good to post about anyway.’
‘What’s the point?’
‘It won’t be as good as theirs.’
‘I don’t have to post every single day.’
‘Another day won’t matter. It’s not like anyone is paying attention to me.’
In the end, you avoid posting for the third time that week.
But you know what, that’s okay because social media isn’t your main focus for making connections and finding potential clients right now.
You’ve got a networking event booked, so you get ready and head off.
You’ve been to a few now; it’ll be easier this time.
As soon as you get there, what’s the first thing you do?
Hide in the toilet.
Eventually, you manage to find the courage to leave your sanctuary (actually someone came in, and you can’t hang around too long because that would be weird).
You pluck up the courage to speak to at least one person.
But when it comes to introducing yourself, you rush through your introduction and start asking questions. Because it’s so much easier when they do the talking, right?
Eventually, you swap business cards, before you rush out the door.
Does this sound like you?
This was me, two years ago.
I knew the benefits of show up and being visible online, but had no direction. I didn’t know how to post content that would engage or how to be me.
I went to lots of networking events. I’d sit in the car practising the answer to the dreaded question ‘what do you do?’, but I’d end up rushing through it to get them talking again.
That was until I found my purpose, took control of my personal brand and gathered a toolkit to help find the courage to show up and be prepared for anything.
I call it the introverts toolkit, because the tools help me navigate through business as an introvert.
My toolkit includes:
- Story/ Anecdote prompts
- Brand Messaging & Voice Guide: with Value Statement
- Brand Blueprint & Vibe Guide
- Brand Identity Guidelines (or Moodboard)
- A 90-day Action Plan
Below I explain each of these so you can put together your toolkit.
Story or Anecdotes Prompts
These are mini-stories or anecdotes that you can share on social media, in email or in-person that help others get to know you, show your expertise or engage your audience.
Stories are the most effective way to be remembered by your audience.
Before I get into the three goals for your content, here are some fundamentals for writing a story that you should try to include:
- Setting – When and where it happened. For example, ‘Last week I popped into the supermarket’.
- Characters – It may be from your perspective or the perspective of a client or a fictional character. Other characters may be involved as well.
- Obstacles – The problem or opportunity that the character is facing. It could be a situation, a person or feeling.
- Goal – What is the character trying to achieve? If they overcome the obstacle, what will they have or feel when they get it?
- Plot – The events that happen as the character tries to overcome the obstacles to reach the goal.
I like to break my stories and anecdotes into three categories or three goals.
Get to Know You
Get to know your stories are about your life and your experiences. They show who you are and help your audience ‘get to know you’.
Here are three ideas to get you started:
- A story about the moment you finally decided to start coaching, consulting or helping others.
- A story about a situation that highlights one of your core values. Think of a time you had a positive or negative experience with a product or service.
- A story about walking away from something or someone for the good of your health or happiness.
Show Expertise & Build Authority
These stories or anecdotes will show your knowledge and also give your audience something actionable to learn from.
Here are three ideas to get you started:
- A story about the day your first client success happened and what it meant to you
- A story about how you handled a difficult client situation
- A story of how you invested in something and how it scared you but worked out great
Engage Your Audience
These stories engage your audience as they invite others to contribute. They’re relatable and ask a question about them.
Here are two ideas to get you started:
- Talk about the best advice someone has given you. Start with the question: What’s the best advice someone has given you?
- I want to get to know you. Here are three things I bet you didn’t know about me.
Brand Voice & Message – Value Statement
Your brand voice and message guide should include a value statement that summarises what you do and who for.
It can be used as you bio headline on social media or made into an 8-second and 40-second statement to say when you meet people.
Using a simple format makes it easy to remember in the situations when you’re feeling nervous.
The format I use is an extension of the method first coined by entrepreneur and author Steve Blank:
‘I help X do Y doing Z.’
My format is:
I help [IDEAL CLIENT] to [GOAL] by [SOLUTION] that [BENEFIT].
I help [introverts] to [get visible online] by [making a plan of action] that [gives them the courage to show up for their audience].
The longer statement starts the same, but I add the how and why.
Through one to one coaching and consulting, I help my clients figure out who they are in business, understand their audience, find their voice and start showing up more consistently to grow their business.
Brand Vibe Guide
Your brand vibe guide is a reference for how you make people feel and the tone of your content. It starts with finding your brand archetype.
The Psychologist Carl Jung categorised human traits and personalities into what he called Archetypes.
These archetypes have been adopted by creative industries to help bring personality to brands, and inform brand design and copywriting.
There are 60 archetypes with 12 archetypal families. The 12 families are and most commonly used today.
To give your brand a balanced tone and personality, you should choose three archetypes. Choose one primary archetype and two supporting archetypes.
Look at the traits below and choose the ones that appeal to you and your brand.
The 12 Brand Archetypes
- Caregiver – Compassionate, patient, empathic and altruistic.
- Citizen – Respectful, fair, accountable, altruistic and a good listener.
- Creator – Creative, imaginative and nonconforming.
- Explorer – Free, independent, brave and self-sufficient.
- Hero – Courageous, strong and has stamina
- Innocent – Pure, trusting, honest, and spontaneous.
- Jester – Original, has wicked humor and irreverence.
- Lover – Passionate, sensual, faithful and sexual.
- Magician – Mysterious, perceptive, intuitive and charismatic.
- Rebel – Risk-taker, brave, is brutally honesty and experimentation.
- Sage – Wise, intelligent, and truth-seeking.
- Sovereign – Noble, stable, and has authority.
You then want to create a list of words and lexicon examples to express these traits in your content.
Branded Moodboard (or Brand Identity Guidelines)
Colours and typography say so much about you and your brand.
I have full brand identity guidelines with my logo, logo variations, colours for print and web, typography and fonts, patterns, icons, photography, web assets and social template styles.
Having this helps me keep my website and social graphics consistent and on-brand.
To create some visual consistency, you can design a simple mood board in Canva to set out your brand colours and fonts.
Make sure these match the tone and vibe of your brand based on your three archetypes.
90-Day Action Plan
The final and most important tool in my toolkit is my 90-day action plan.
I plan my goals and actions every quarter and focus on achieving one goal every month.
Each action has smaller tasks to break things down into bite-sized steps.
Taking these small steps keeps me motivated and moving forward, even if I’m doing something that pushes me out of my comfort zone.
Think about the goals you want to achieve each quarter. Read my blog Visibility goals for introverts in 2020 for inspiration. Then make your 90-day plan!
Create Your Toolkit
Every tool in my toolkit helps me to focus and show up every day. I regularly reference them when creating content or when preparing for a networking event.
I hope this has given you some ideas for what you could include in your toolkit, and hopefully it helps you feel less like a deer in headlights.