Issue #360

Sent to members on October 11, 2021

What is Your Brand Story (And Personal Brand)?

This article is a snippet of this week’s featured guide on branding. You can read the entire article here.

One of the things that creates the memorable mental image picture and feeling of your brand is its backstory.

Story-telling is an age-old pastime that has been around since before written language even existed. We all love stories. We remember stories. And if you master the art of story telling, but also learn your OWN story, you will be light-years ahead of any other blogger in your niche.

The first component of any story is, of course, it’s character.

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The Importance of Character

When people first come to your blog, they will immediately look for something that catches their attention. Most likely, they will look for a solution to a problem that they just searched for in a search engine. They happened upon your blog. Their attention span is VERY short.

In most cases, the reader will either find value in your post or they will not. Either way, they are most likely going to leave and not come back.

So, what is the difference between that passer-by and the person who will turn into a repeat visitor?

It is the story. Most notably, YOUR story.

What turns a person into a loyal reader is a level of reality or empathy with you. They identify with you. Most importantly, though, they will identify with your character.

This is the living embodiment of your personal brand. This is literally what it means.

Most of the time, the readers of your blog have not met you in person. They have no reality of what you’re like. What they DO come to know, though, is your character. It is the representation of you which forms in your reader’s mind. That character should represent the traits that your reader is after.

All characters have a story. Where did they come from? What happened in the character’s life to bring them to the present day?

The idea of developing your character is another way of saying to develop your own personal brand. The importance of it comes down to the ideas and concepts which you (or your character) represent in the reader’s mind.

Now, there is a VERY important caveat that I have to make sure you understand here…

You are NOT supposed to make things up!

When I say the word “character”, it is easy to assume that I’m talking about just creating the ideal character for your market even if it isn’t the real you.


If you’re lying when you blog, you’re not going to get anywhere. You’ve got to be genuine.

Ideally, you and your character will jive completely and totally. If you’re in the right market for you, then that’ll be mostly the case. However, everybody is multi-faceted. So, I would encourage you to simply play up those strengths that back up your character. And don’t mention the stuff which is irrelevant.

Develop Your Story

Like I said, this is the tip of an iceberg. I can’t make anybody an expert in branding with this post. But, take the concept and think about it for your own blog.

  1. What traits is your market looking for? What in a character would your target market empathize with?
  2. Taking the above into mind, what is your character for your blog’s market? Does it represent you truthfully?
  3. What is your back story?

With that character in mind, your blog should tell your story. Your “about page” should most definitely build up the character and tell the back-story. Your posts can reference the back story to teach and make points.

How Do You Find Your Brand?

It begins with figuring out the idea, the feeling and the mental image picture that you want associated with you.

You want to take into account your own personality and natural talents… as well as your market competition.

  • Your brand needs to be consistent with who you are so that things are congruent.
  • Your brand ideally would also differentiate yourself from your competitors in some way to make you memorable.

You can also look at your competition and zig while they zag. What about you can you amplify that would make you stand out in the minds of your market?

You’ll notice that I make no secret of the fact that I like to travel in my RV. You’ll see it mentioned in a lot of places around this site. Why?

Branding strategy. 🙂

I find, over and over again, that the RV is what people often remember about me most when they don’t know me in person. It is one element of my personal life what is most brandable. It is something I do alot anyway. But, I’m not aware of anybody else in this market who has branded themselves around camping.

In a way, this is my little way of doing exactly what Frank Kern used to do with the “surfer dude” character. It is an aspect of my life which is memorable and serves as a great symbol for the benefits my target market wants.

RV travel also happens to be a big middle finger to the usual stereotype that dumb internet marketers try with their jets and big houses (that usually don’t even belong to them). That stuff isn’t even believable anymore. It is mildly revolting, actually. But, a dude traveling around in an RV with his family and being able to work anywhere is something which is a lot more identifiable.

Tech Talk

Awhile back, I did a full review of Thrivecart. And I was personally using it for quite some time before moving over to WooCommerce.

But, Thrivecart never stopped being a good platform. I just found that doing things “in house” on WooCommerce was a better, tighter option for a membership site.

Well, Thrivecart just got a lot better. Just another move that makes that lifetime purchase option of Thrivecart a seriously good investment. Here’s why…

Thrivecart now includes an online course platform! They call it “Learn”. Unlimited courses, unlimited students. This puts having a Thrivecart account into a super competitive alternative to something like Teachable or other paid learning platforms that come with a recurring fee.

Learn does have a plus upgrade that is a bit of an upsell and it adds some other capabilities. But, the option to have a full online learning platform which is directly integrated with a VERY robust shopping cart (which means no integration headaches) is indeed highly compelling.

Thrivecart has definitely been on the move lately. Did you hear they acquired ConvertBox, too? I expect some interesting integrations there.

Yes, you guys know I’m a fan of doing things on top of WordPress and hosting your own data. But, there’s no getting around the fact that it is definitely more convenient and hands-off to use a hosted service.

And Thrivecart just continues to up the game. And, the fact that it is STILL available as a lifetime plan without any recurring fees is pretty amazing. I have no idea what that will change. But, this software compares head-to-head with other services you’d easily pay over $100/month to use.

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