#244: Why You Want a Strong Personal Brand!

Today, I’m talking about why you want a strong personal brand. Gone are the days when you can hide behind your blog, and just show off your beautiful photos.

And this is why I have Christine Gritmon on as my guest. She is a personal branding expert.

As you’ll see, Christine has a very strong personal brand herself that involves lipstick and nails.

She’s all about tying in your brand with who you are authentically Introvert? No problem. Cheese lover? No problem. Details like this can help you stand out from the crowd and create a strong brand.

We talk about:

  • How a personal brand helps you get noticed in your niche
  • How using feedback from the people around you can help you figure out what makes you unique
  • How a little bit of branding goes a long way
  • How authenticity is key
  • And why you want to tell you audience upfront what they should expect from you

I think you’ll find Christine a lot of fun, and full of great ideas! For those of you worried that you’re going to have to dance to get noticed, you’re in for a happy surprise!

Why You Want a Strong Personal Brand! | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Show Notes:

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Intro 0:04
Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.

Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I am your host, Jillian Leslie. I love building businesses on the internet. And I love helping you grow yours as well.

And before we launch into today’s episode, because I’m building and sharing as we build, I wanted to give you an update on MiloTreeCart.

For those of you who don’t know, MiloTreeCart is this new payment tool that David, my husband and I have launched and it is to help you bloggers and creators sell digital goods to your audiences. If you have an audience remember, there is money to be made by solving problems and selling these solutions to your people.

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For today’s episode, I have Christine Gritmon on the show, and she is a branding specialist. And now that we are all brands, whether we like it or not, I thought Christine had lots of good advice, especially for those of us who feel uncomfortable putting ourselves out there and would rather hide behind our blogs.

That’s no longer possible, as you will hear. But I think that you’re going to get some really awesome tips. I think it’s much less intimidating than you think. So, without further delay, here is my interview with Christine Gritmon.

Christine, welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast.

Christine Gritmon 2:46
Thank you so much for having me, Jillian.

Why You Want a Strong Personal Brand!

Jillian Leslie 2:49
We talk now for just like five minutes before I press record. So, I know nothing about you, except that you came highly recommended, and that you are a branding expert. Could you share a little bit about your background, how you got into branding, and where you are today?

Christine Gritmon 3:07
Well, first, I want to point out one really key thing, which is that because I have a strong personal brand, when you asked our mutual friend Alisa, who would be a good guest, I came to mind.

Jillian Leslie 3:18
Oh, good one.

Christine Gritmon 3:22
That’s a really key thing. The way I define personal branding is the version of you that lives in people’s heads. And you have that whether you want it or not. Ideally, ideally, you do exist in some people’s heads. Whether or not you’re controlling that image is the question.

Jillian Leslie 3:39
I’m going to ask you a question, even though we haven’t gotten to your story yet. But I think that one thing my audience I don’t know if it’s gets confused about or is trying to parse is the difference between let’s say I’m a food blogger.

So, I’ve got my food blog, and then I’ve got me so do I want people to think when they think food or healthy living, let’s say, think my food blog, or think me or think both?

What is a Personal Brand?

Christine Gritmon 4:14
Well, here’s the real key to that. You are far from the only food blogger. You are very deeply not the only one who does what you do. So, the key question to answer with your personal brand is why you? That’s really where the personal branding comes in.

What about you specifically, in the way that you do what you do, in a way that only you do is unique, is valuable, and who is it going to be valuable to? So, food bloggers are actually a great example.

I used to be a food writer myself, and I was I guess a nano influencer that you’d say nowadays, locally in my local area. Got some free meals,

Jillian Leslie 5:00
Which is where? Where are you based?

Christine Gritmon 5:02
I’m in Nyack, New York. So, it’s just about an hour north of New York City. And my personal brand really got started when I was a journalist locally. So, I was known for something very different than what I’m known for now. But it’s been a pretty natural progression. So, my personal brand has really helped me through each transition there.

One big thing about the food world is, so many people are in it. It’s a passion topic. And if they’re following one, they’re following many. There’s almost nobody out there who passionately follows just one food blogger, just one food Instagrammer they follow several. So, the key there is why you? Which one are you?

Why You Want a Strong Personal Brand! | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Personal Branding Is the Way You Stand Out From Your Competition

If they see a beautiful picture come across their Instagram feed, how are they going to know that it’s yours beyond the fact that your name is there. In my case, one really small thing that I found is my brand color has always been red, always, always, always with the red.

And so, I got to a point where when I was going to a food thing, I tried to make sure my nails were done. Because instead of just posting that picture of the food, it’d be a picture of the food held with my hand that had red nails.

I didn’t get to the point of bringing my own red napkin with me or anything, I probably would have gotten to that point if I decided I wanted to push it further. But there was red in at least the first picture in the carousel.

If I did a few Instagram pictures and it was packaged together in a carousel, the main picture that appeared on the feed even if it wasn’t the best picture of the bunch had to have some red in it.

Jillian Leslie 6:51
Interesting. I just have to pause for one second. For people who are just listening to this. You have a red background; you have red lips right now. When I went to your site, it totally spoke of red. So that’s interesting.

Christine Gritmon 6:51
Although my nails are not done right now. Because we’re still on summer vacation.

Jillian Leslie 7:10
Got it. But that’s interesting. So therefore, you’re saying it can be just something like a color?

Christine Gritmon 7:17
Yes. A few years back, I got tapped to be part of the judges panel for a local Beer and Burger blast. And I found my most long-lasting transfer proof red lipstick possible.

And people were like, “Wait, did you seriously wear full metal lipstick to a burger eating contests where you’re going to have to eat pieces of like two dozen burgers?”

And I said, “Yes. I am actually.” And in the content that I created around that. I took a picture, not only of every burger, but I videoed me taking a bite of each of them. Because me being there is part of it. And did it look very glamorous? No, I was eating a burger. That doesn’t look glamorous. But I made sure that it was just so clearly me.

I had some pictures, of course of lipstick stains on a burger. I had to reapply. But what is the difference between the content I’m creating and the content someone else is creating. And it doesn’t have to be something like lipstick or nail polish. It can be something totally different.

It can be the way you photograph things. It can be the way you talk about things. It can be the type of things you cover, there are some accounts that I follow that are very devoted to cheese, for example. And that even takes different forms too.

Some of them know about the fancy cheeses and how to combine them. Some of them were just out there eating junk, but they’re getting that nice cheese pull. That’s something that I know I’m going to get if I go to their feed.

And I know that if they have a blog blog, not just an Instagram, I know that if I go to that blog, I’m going to see the type of stuff that I like eating. There are some blogs that I go to for recipes for baking.

And I don’t see that a ton on my Instagram. I don’t follow a ton of baking Instagram, but when I’m baking with my daughter, I know my go to’s or the recipe pages I want to go to because I know (a) it’ll work. (B) it won’t be impossible to do.

(C) I tend to like that particular blogger’s taste everything I’ve made from them has been delicious. But I also know I’ve learned the point at which I need to scroll down to get to the darn recipe. I know that the recipe has a “Print Now” button which I really appreciate.

So, that I have just that. Not their whole life story, being printed out. So, really just have your style, define your style. Don’t be just one of the crowd in this sea of people who do what you do. And even something much more niche than that. There’ are people who do what you do.

So, why you? Make sure that you are what they’re following. Because if they’re just following the stuff that you are showing to them, guess what, you don’t have a brand.

How to Find What Makes You Unique (HINT: It Doesn’t Have to Be Anything Big)

Jillian Leslie 10:14
So, let’s go break this down. Because I could picture somebody listening to this and going, oh, my God, I totally get what she’s saying. And I have no idea how to find what I call somebody special sauce. Because I think I’m like everybody, and I’m an introvert.

Christine Gritmon 10:32
And no one thinks they are special, no one seems to be interesting.

Jillian Leslie 10:36
I feel insecure and I liked the idea of start with getting your nails done a certain color, like pick a color, a brand color and just do your nails.

Christine Gritmon 10:44
You don’t have to do that. It’s my image.

I get it. But that might be even just a way to start. Like if you’re going to take photos or whatever. It’s something weirdly subconscious that people are picking up that there’s this weird continuity when you are lifting your coffee mug and your nails are the same color as your blog.

My cup literally has my name on it.

Jillian Leslie 11:07
Absolutely. So tell me though, if I am this person, how do I find that I like cheese and I just want to talk about cheese? How do I find that my perspective? I’m not just like a upcycler but that I’ve got a point of view.

That could be something I talk about, something I write about, and something that’s visual to help me find that when I think I am like everybody else deep inside.

Christine Gritmon 11:42
Absolutely. So step one, the pre-step is put things out there, share things, share your experience, share what’s going on. It doesn’t have to be neat and perfect, because step one is data collection. And you can’t collect data if you don’t give people something to respond to.

Then step two, is collecting data from two key sources. One of them is what posts are doing well, what are people responding to. What’s getting clicks, what’s getting likes, what’s getting comments, what’s getting whatever it is you’re going for.

So, look at that, and see if you can find a common thread, perhaps it’s a subject matter, perhaps it’s the way you’re presenting it, but really try to make those connections and connect those dots. But don’t just let your audience be the sole data point. Also look at you, your favorites matter too.

Why You Want a Strong Personal Brand! | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Use Feedback from The People Around You for Your Branding

So really make sure that you look also at oh, yeah, that post did really well. But it was such a pain in the ass to create, then don’t. You make the rules.

So, do look at what people are responding to and what’s going to get you that traction, but also really look at what you enjoy creating what you personally would love to read or to look at or to experience. And don’t discount that because that actually is a more important data point.

Because that’s what will lead to you actually creating more of it. If you are sticking to a niche if you’ve boxed yourself in on something you’re not super into. First of all, you’re not going to do as much of it you’re not going to do it as well, you’re not going to do it as consistently.

Here’s the other thing if you’ve already done that if you’re if you’re like oh man, I became known as the lobster roll girl, but like I’m getting sick a lobster rolls, you can change it. Say okay, you guys know me as lobster roll girl. I do love a good lobster roll.

But you know what else is amazing? Lobster Mac and Cheese, I’m going to find the best Lobster Mac and Cheese everywhere. And then eventually maybe you become cheese girl who knows. But the fact is keep it aligned with what you are actually enjoying creating what you’re enjoying experiencing.

And recognize that the more honest you are about that journey and the more aligned you are with the journey that you are on, the more flexibility you’re going to have to take it in different directions.

Or even deeper into the same direction because people are going to go with you because there’s something real for them to latch on to there.

And I would add one thing. Pay attention to what people say about you who are close to you in your life. Ask them, what is it about me? For example, somebody recently said, Jill, you’re really punctual. And it’s like, okay, because like I don’t even know that because it’s the water, I swim in.

Who know they’re wet.

If we’re going to meet at 12, I will show up at 12 and I don’t think about it. It’s not like I go see how punctual I am. I don’t know that or somebody said to me, Jillian, you’re really positive. And I’m like, “Whoa, I didn’t know that.”

That’s how you are. It’s how you view the world. It’s like, well, of course I’m positive things are great.

Jillian Leslie 14:55
So it’s just going oh, so understanding. And then they might say something negative or hopefully you’re picking people who will be constructive. But understanding how you present to the world, what are the qualities.

Here’s one. In the podcast, I get this feedback all the time. And I don’t do it on purpose. People will say to me, I will ask the follow-up question that they’re thinking in their head will go. So, for example, you said, in the beginning, I was like, a micro influencer for my time.

Christine Gritmon 15:36
Nano influencer.

Jillian Leslie 15:38
And I said, “Where do you live?” Because, of course, that was the natural question. Whereas I did have a moment of going like, am I going to interrupt this and ask her? And then I thought, no, no, I’m curious.

Christine Gritmon 15:49
And for those who don’t know, nano influencer is like, the smallest level.

Jillian Leslie 15:52
Okay. The feedback I get is, I’ll ask the question that you kind of go, “Oh, where are you from?” I might not ask the deepest question, but I’m going to go like, because the audience is going well, where is she this nano influencer?

Christine Gritmon 16:07
And that makes them feel connected to you because you’re delivering to them what they want.

Jillian Leslie 16:13
It was only because multiple people have given me this feedback. Do I go? Oh, okay. So, I would say, as advice, pay attention, or ask your mom, ask your best friend or your sister, or your husband, or whomever? What makes me different?

Christine Gritmon 16:32
Absolutely. And I have a story about that as well. So, as I mentioned, my personal brand has been applied to a few different kind of external tasks. I was a journalist, I was a social media manager, content creation.

And I wasn’t known as personal branding girl, I didn’t lean into being personal branding expert person until it was summer 2020. I always take August as a time to pull back and reflect.

So, I have a weekly show every week, let’s talk about brand. I don’t do it in August, I never have. Because it’s my time to reflect and to recalibrate and come back, bigger and better. And summer of 2020, I actually had previously had a totally different show.

And so, during that break, I said, you know what, this isn’t the show I need to be doing it’s too generic. It’s just, hey, I know smart people in social media. Let’s let them talk.

And so I said, you know what, I want to focus on something, what am I going to focus on what’s going to be my thing. I want to be the thing where if someone hears the topic, they think, oh, you know, who’s great for that? Christine Gritmon.

And personal branding chose me because again, I started hearing from people how much they noticed that about me, they’re like, “Oh, my God, Christine, you’re always so on brand.” And by the way, it’s not just the color. My hair was red, the lower half of my hair was bright, freaking red for about five years.

So they said you’re always so on brand. And because my brand is built around who I actually am, I’m even more on brand than person in a lot of ways. I just feel like me through and through. And they loved that. And they were like, “We notice it. We want to know how to do it.”

And it was the most satisfying part of the social media work I was then doing with clients. And so it came to me, I said I’m going to dive into this personal branding thing. And I took that August, August 2020, to conceive a whole new show, Let’s Talk About Brand. And I have a chat, Twitter chat, also chat about brands.

And I conceive that. And I did a whole brainstorming session to make sure the concept had legs and that I had enough guests that I could bring on to keep it interesting. And I did. And I also did a brand refresh on my own. I said alright, I defined the red shade I use. I have the fonts I like using but let’s make them more unique.

I was using a lot of lobster, which is a font that everyone uses now, and I love lobster, no hate on lobster. If you’re using lobster, that’s fantastic. I said no, I have to find it.

So, I spent over a month just geeking out over different font pairings to find and now I use Thirsty Soft. And of course, now I’m seeing that in various places too. But at least you have to buy it. It’s a purchased font. It’s about just everywhere.

So, I had my font family defined, I did some new graphics. I did some new photo shoots. I said this is how I’m presenting this now that I’m leaning harder into being personal branding girl. And I’m going to stop doing a million types of content.

And just do this show and this chat every week and speak on whatever stages or podcasts or live streams that I can about personal branding and this is my gem.

And it’s amazing because first of all, I was doing less better and people thought I was doing so much more, they really thought I was doing like 10 times more than I had been doing before, when I was just doing less better. And it was breaking through. So, people were seeing more of what I was doing.

And it also led to a lot more opportunities. People asked me to come speak, people asked me to write or guest on things, because they know what to ask me for. When someone is thinking about personal branding, they think of me now.

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Jillian Leslie 21:14
Let’s talk about then somebody is listening to the podcast. And they’re like, Whoa, I need to be really thinking about this. So, let’s say they’ve done the thing, which is they’re looking at their Instagram of the post they’ve done.

Let’s do the cheese person. Somehow, I was leaning into cheese. I notices when I do stringy cheese, my posts are good or people like them. How do I become that person? What steps do you recommend? Do I show up on Instagram? Do I show up on TikTok?

Am I doing Instagram Lives? How would you put those pieces together for somebody listening going I want to do this. But I don’t know how?

Your Personal Brand Does Not Have to Be Everywhere

Christine Gritmon 22:05
Absolutely, the first thing I would say is you don’t have to be everywhere. If you try to be everywhere, you’ll have acid everywhere. So, figure out where you need to be.

And just like I talked about with the figuring out what posts do well, versus what posts you enjoy creating, you have to look at what platforms you’re going to commit to in the same way, which is, on the one hand, the traditional wisdom of be where your audience is.

So, on the one hand, where are these posts performing? What do people want to see? What are they proving that they’ll show up for. But don’t let it be only that. Also look at where you enjoy showing up. The different social media platforms and online platforms in general, and blogging and all of these things.

Different platforms have different communication methods. It’s part of why just blasting the exact same post on every network is a bad idea. They communicate differently. They build community differently.

So, seeing which one that you personally vibe with the best the one that you show up to the most gladly and the ones where you have conversations. And you don’t feel like it’s a chore to have those conversations on their plate. You’re not like, “Oh, I have to go do engagement now.”

No, like, where do you where do you hang out? Where do you geek out? Figuring out what you geek out on and where and how you geek out on it is going to be really crucial because if you are enthusiastic enthusiasm is contagious.

So is stress. If you’re stressed out about it and not enjoying it that’s contagious too people will feel that and it’ll leave a bad taste in their mouth. So, figure out what lights you up, do that.

This is a really key thing also, you need to have perspective and patience, because the fact that you love it, if you build it, they will not come.

So, if you start doing the things that you love that you geek out on and you’re like, but it’s not getting the views. First of all, keep going. You may not have been putting this out there for people to catch on yet.

Look for Where People Are Engaging with You Most

But second of all, again, look back at the data of what is performing and you won’t have that data if you’re not putting things out. But look at what does and doesn’t get that for you what does and doesn’t get the right people looking at it or engaging with it in the right ways.

There are certainly programs that can help you out with that, but you can also just kind of do it manually. It can be just take a glance and realize, oh, yeah, people tend to look at the stuff I put up in the morning.

And if I put something up in the afternoon it doesn’t do as well. Okay, well that just told you something. So, it may not be about the content.

Jillian Leslie 24:41
Are you seeing trends like for example if you’re coaching somebody would you say, “Hey, I go to Instagram right now because food is really big on Instagram.”

Christine Gritmon 24:51
Food is really big on Instagram. Food is huge on Instagram and food is good on TikTok. One big thing about food is it’s very visual and it’s also very kind of tangible. And so, video makes it feel a little bit more like you can feel it.

Again, those cheese poles we talked about, a visual of a cheese pole is certainly enticing to those of us who are so inclined. But there’s nothing like a video.

Jillian Leslie 25:18
So let’s say like, I’m a food blogger who has hid behind my food blog, and do lots of different quick meals, but all of a sudden, I noticed the cheese pulls just the photos of them, not me. How do I start to put myself into the story? What would you literally recommend? Let’s start with Instagram.

Christine Gritmon 25:42
What makes your cheese poles different. And that sounds like such a bizarre sentence to come out of someone’s mouth. But honestly, what makes your cheese pulls different, I know that some bloggers, they’ll regularly go out with their friends.

So even if they don’t necessarily want to be the one on camera, we get to know their cast of characters, we get to know who their buddies are, who tend to go out with them.

So, that’s one way the cast of characters, or the setting, maybe this is someone who goes to this type of restaurant, or this is someone who makes this type of thing. And here’s how they present that.

Just make sure that if you look at one of your posts, think about if this came on someone’s feed, would they know it was mine or would they think it was someone else’s.

And that can be faces that can be people that can be as I mentioned, your hands. It can even be kind of the way you do your captions, maybe you have a certain kind of voice in your captions that not everyone does.

You just have to make sure that voice is clear from the get go because they don’t see your whole caption unless they click. Your method of presentation a lot of times food doesn’t do this. And I’m not suggesting that necessarily should but maybe you have a little border or something that you tend to put around those things.

Maybe you have a cute name for cheese pulls that you came up with yourself. So, the post mentions that cute name for cheese poles. And so, it’s clear that it’s not someone else’s post. So just play with that.

Again, it’s not all about being different and unique. Sometimes, the stuff can shine for itself. But just don’t shy away from making it unique is what I would really say. Don’t think, how can I make this look super Instagram and perfect, like so and so. Make it super Instagram and perfect for you.

Jillian Leslie 27:40
Totally. I talk about this a lot with this designer that I work with. And she makes, like Canva templates that she sells. And she’s like, I know that if you are a social media manager, you want these colors. And she’s like, that is where people get in trouble.

Because everybody wants it to look like oh, these are social media manager colors, and they’re kind of soft, and there’s always like a peachy color. Maybe like a light mint green. You know the colors very feminine. And you go, “Hey, I’m social media manager.”

So in a weird way, you do get tagged as oh, this must be a social media manager. But it’s not saying it is Christine, the Social Media Manager or Jacqueline, the Social Media Manager. We look at stuff that we think is pretty. And you go, “Yeah, I should do that. I should lean into that trend.”

Christine Gritmon 28:24
Trends are tricky. I literally just had a conversation with somebody yesterday about this. I was interviewing for my show, I was interviewing a designer about trends in branding and rebranding.

And she was saying exactly those templates that you’re talking about that are on Canva. They’re on all the apps where it’s kind of like the peach and the terracotta and here’s a bit of greenery, here’s a succulent for you. Here are some arches.

How to Lean into Trends When It Comes to Branding

There are looks that definitely get very in. And it can be very tempting to go along with those, I would say rather than looking at what’s trendy and saying, okay, that will get me in that conversation that people are clearly having. I would say look at what you think is awesome. And perhaps some of that is in the mix.

I remember when owls became really hip. I’m like, “Hey, I like owls already.” Things like that. Things go through trends. Gnomes are really big right now. And my friend Jen has been into gnomes for years. So, she’s happy. She’s adding a lot to her collection. But they’ve been part of her aesthetic already.

So, if she puts a gnome on a post now it’s going to look a little trendy but the fact is, if you scroll back five years, she already had them in there.

So, focus more on what you’re into what you find interesting what you find beautiful what you feel resonance with, and make that your look, regardless of whether or not it’s a trend already. Because trends started somewhere.

Trends started with someone doing it and someone else saying, “Oh, I really like that.” And then they started to be a trend setter more than a trend follower, I’d say. It’s not wrong to like something that happens to be trendy. If that’s true, go for it.

But the fact is, if you happen to be on a trend report next year, oh, that’s not in anymore, are you going to change it or is it still going to be yours? So, I would say focus more on what actually resonates with you what actually appeals to you.

Because it’s your brand and think less about what other people are going to like necessarily, and more about what you like, because there will be other people who like it, I promise you that.

Jillian Leslie 30:55
In fact, somebody said this to me. And I thought this was a really good strategy. Go on to Pinterest and look at pins for a certain topic. And notice the ones that pop out at you, because so many of them are going to.

Notice What Gets Your Attention with Branding

Even if it’s a beautiful food, like some sort of chocolate cake, you’ll look at all the chocolate cakes. And at a certain point, they start to run together. And notice if one chocolate cake pops out, and chances are, it’s because it looks a little different.

It might have a different color scheme, it might have a different angle, or there’s something about it. That’s making it resonate. And so, there is something to zigging when everybody is zagging.

Christine Gritmon 31:42
Another fascinating thing about a place like Pinterest is it shows you patterns you didn’t even notice in yourself.

So, if you go on and you take note of the ones that are catching your eye, and you repin them, then you go back and just look at that board, you start saying oh my God, everything I pinned shares, these couple of characteristics.

So, even though it was unique when placed within others of its ilk, now that you see it alongside the things that personally appeal to you, you see a different commonality in those things. And those are the things that show that it’s vibing with your aesthetic.

Jillian Leslie 32:19
I like that. So, I think that really what you are saying is, in order to stand out, you need to know yourself. You need to know what you like, you need to know what resonates with you.

So, if for example, you’re an introvert to think you’re going to turn yourself into an extrovert so that you can get likes on TikTok is not necessarily going to work. So if in fact, you know that TikTok is a thing, and you should probably start experimenting with it. What is the introvert’s version of that?

ADVICE: Be Authentic in Your Branding

And again, what is the person who feels uncomfortable hearing their voice, or whatever your own limitation is, and maybe you could push the edge of that, let’s say you go, “I can never hear myself.”

So you do it their ways, you do TikTok or Instagram where you show up on camera, but you’re doing a text overlay, or you’re doing some sort of meme, some version for yourself, where you don’t even have to speak.

But I would say do chip away at that little by little experiment with pushing you beyond your comfort zone, but not to the point where you hate it. And then you go oh my god, I could never do that. What are your thoughts on that?

Christine Gritmon 33:45
You can also point it out. If you’re someone who hates talking on TikTok and you’re doing TikToks you can even do one that pokes fun at that. It’d be like when all you want to do on TikTok is lip sync to other people because you hate the sound of your own voice.

You can do that because guess what, you’ll get comments saying, oh my god, me too. You can be the introvert on TikTok. And your whole thing can be that you don’t show your face. But like call it out.

So, instead of it becoming something that makes you generic, because you’re not putting yourself in there to stand out. It makes you stand out by sheer virtue of calling out and acknowledging the thing you’re not doing. That’s certainly possible.

I wouldn’t shy away from that, because that’s the sort of thing where any struggle we have; any insecurities we have; any discomforts we have. Someone else has them too. And if you’re the person who gives voice to it, that’s an immediate, like direct line to their heart.

They’re going to understand you and get you. I would say rather than seeing those things as limitations, see it as creative fuel, how creative can you get with never showing your face on a TikTok, although that’s not that hard. You can do point of view stuff. But if you’re always doing point of view stuff, that’s a thing.

And maybe you can even call out the fact that I just want you to see what I’m seeing.

Jillian Leslie 35:12
Now I want to turn it 180 degrees. What if I think everything I’m doing is so fascinating, and that you need to see my cat and what I have for breakfast, even though this has nothing to do with what I’m doing, because I see those people as well that go, “Well, I am inherently interesting, and you should follow me.”

Like the people who show their kids all the time when the brand they’re offering has nothing, they are coupon clipper. And yet, like everything, is their kids jumping into the pool, or learning to do a backflip. Where you’re like, “Whoa, I don’t care.”

Christine Gritmon 36:00
I think part of that is the people who are interested in following the you behind the brand can follow that. And the people who are not interested, give them something else to follow, make sure they know that. If you want to see the food stuff, it’s there. It’s in this other place, and it’ll sometimes be here.

Make sure that you’re checking my blog or my whatever, if that’s what you’re there for. Because that’s the thing, not everything needs to be for everyone. Not everything needs to be so narrowly on brand. That’s the tricky thing with personal brands.

Jillian Leslie 36:33
How would you play that? How do you speak to the person who is sharing everything, and it’s boring, and it’s totally kind of like almost as if God, they have the opposite problem of minimizing themselves, they think everything they’re doing is freaking awesome.

Christine Gritmon 36:51
Then they’re not for you. They’re for the people who are interested. And that’s another really key thing about personal branding and what you put on there. On the one hand, it is not for everyone, not everything is for everyone.

And if what you want is to share your life and other people find that boring, that’s fine, they can unsubscribe. And if you still want to capture those people, for your professional stuff, maybe even like in your Instagram bio, you could say this is mostly life stuff for recipes, go to blah, blah, blah.

Tell People Up Front What to Expect from Your Brand

Direct them, make sure that they know what they’re in for. And try not to change it up. Don’t have a whole bunch of posts and get into the habit of training people regularly to expect to see a restaurant every Friday, and a recipe every Tuesday or whatever on your feed, and then suddenly have it all kids and backflips.

When someone comes to your Instagram profile, the top nine photos, the most recent nine photos, or a lot of times it’s top six, because you have your story highlights there. It gives people a snapshot of what they can come to expect.

So, as long as you manage those expectations, and again, in some cases, even acknowledge those expectations, like, hey, this is mostly life, food is over here and maybe start a second account. But it doesn’t mean that you have to change what you’re doing. Unless you’re not getting the results that you want.

So, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t be all kid backflips on your Instagram, which shares a name with your blog, not with you. And then get upset the traffic is lagging to your blog, you know what you’re doing is what’s going to get you the result that you want.

And if you’re not doing the thing that gets you the result that you want, look at what you’re doing. So it’s fine. If you want to be all personal, it’s fine. If you want to let people into your life. It’s fine if that’s a really key part of your brand and who you are and you want the freedom to be able to show your chaos.

That’s a valid choice, just recognize that it is a choice. And you’re going to get a different result from that than if you stuck to something else that you want people to follow you for. So, you do get those clues there doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. It just means you may not be doing what you think you’re doing.

Jillian Leslie 39:18
I like that. Christine, to wrap this up, what I hear you saying is keep that humanity and use it as your Northstar.

And you can trust yourself as you think about your own personal brand and do some self-exploration to really figure out what you stand for what motivates you and see if those are the same things that attract people to you.

Christine Gritmon 39:49
Yes, your goal should always be less about what else you should become. And more about how to become more and more aligned with what you are, because it will show; the ease will show; the joy will show the continuity will show.

Jillian Leslie 40:08
I love that. If people want to reach out to you; hear more about you; hear what you’re putting out into the world, where should they go?

Christine Gritmon 40:18
Sure. I’m very easy to find. I’m the only Christine Gritmon and that’s spelt G-R-I-T like when something is gritty like sand. M-O-N like Monday. It’s one word Gritmon. But I’m the only Christine Gritmon there is. I’m cgritmon on Instagram and Twitter. I’m Christine Gritmon Inc, on Facebook and YouTube.

I am both Christine Gritmon and Christine Gritmon Inc. on LinkedIn. Don’t go to my TikTok because it literally says up there in my bio. This is not a business TikTok, it’s personal. You’ll get to see my kids and I assembling puzzles backwards. Yeah, no.

Jillian Leslie 40:56
I have to say I found this grounding, really grounding. So, thank you. I have to say thank you so much for coming on the show.

Christine Gritmon 41:07
Thank you so much for having me.

Jillian Leslie 41:10
I hope you guys like this episode. What resonates the most for me is that branding is important and you can show up anyway that works for you. But you need to show up so you don’t have to be Kim Kardashian.

You can be an introvert, on social media as part of your brand, just get creative, but put yourself out there. It’s always about just putting yourself out there.

So, just to end remember, if you are interested in selling digital goods, digital products to your audience, go check out milotreecart.com. If you’re ready to get serious about growing your followers in your email subscribers head to milotree.com.

And if you’re enjoying the podcast, please do me a favor tell a blogging friend about it, share it, go to iTunes please and give it five stars. It helps people find the podcast I would be so appreciative and I will see you here again next week.

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