What’s your unmistakeable signature?

Gyunyuchan @ Earthen Ring - Game Guide - World of Warcraft

Over the past few years, we’ve all made an incredible point of trying to focus on our personal brands, but to this day, most of us are still writing and communicating in an uncomfortably generic way, so much so that it undermines our efforts to be distinctive. For example, I read a fair number of marketing blogs. Some of the most popular ones, like MarketingProfs, have many staff bloggers and even more guest bloggers. The sad and uncomfortable truth is that the vast majority of the time, I can’t tell who has written a blog post until I scrutinize the by-line because it could have been written by anyone.

One of the Warcraft blogs I read has a particularly distinct style. I’m not a fan of it; in fact, I rather dislike the blogger’s style and writing quite a bit, but it’s unmistakeable, and the moment I see his introduction (which is always the same style) I know exactly what I’m about to read. You could put that blog post in a pile with a thousand other Warcraft blogs and I’d be able to pick it out of the crowd immediately. When you think about it, that’s an incredibly powerful brand statement – to be recognizable even if you’re disliked.

What tells people that they’re about to read your blog? What tells people that it’s you and only you?

Time for a quick test. Subscribe to your own blog in Google Reader (or the blog reader of your choice). Read through your first post. Does it sound unmistakably like you? Or does it read like a generic blog post that could be in any number of your other blogs that you read?

Here’s another example – each of the members of my Warcraft guild have a distinctive way of saying hello when they first sign in. They greet the rest of the team in a certain manner that, no matter which character they’re playing, you know who it is. What’s more telling is that on the rare occasion that they let a friend or kid play one of their characters, everyone else knows that it isn’t them, because the language is completely different.

What topics are distinctly you? What language is distinctly you? What ways of communicating can tell someone familiar with who you are as a person or as a company that they’re on familiar ground? Start assembling a list and use that list to ensure every piece of content you generate is in some way identifiable as you, because if it’s not, your efforts to be known are going unnoticed.

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  • This really resonates with me. I am still trying to find my voice, so when you brought up wow, and made the comment about greetings it really hit the point home.

    • Oz

      Iain … are you following me around the internet? LOL! Brother this isn’t the only place I’ve seen you.,

      Question: how often do you blog? What are you discovering as you find your voice?
      This has been on my mind recently as I’ve noticed how my recent posts feel less forced than they did 9 months ago. Creating a blogpost feels more like a slingshot pulled tight and ready to launch. 9 months ago blogging felt like a chore.

      Over these months, people like Chris Penn and Erika Napoletano, and Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media have reminded me to give myself permission to let go and just be. Erika and her cussing, Chris and his World of Warcraft stuff … it’s all refreshing. For me, their messages come through sharper because there’s personality. So, I strive to bring personality rather than “smart” content.

      • Oz didn’t I comment first lol. I should be asking if you are following me around. 😛

        I think finding one’s voice can be one of the hardest things. It is that fine line between too personal and too professional. Not easy.

  • /g oi oi!

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