Defining your professional character is an important part of marketing, believe it or not. Without a solid understanding of how you portray yourself to your audience, it's likely your message and tone will be too random to be effective.
Everybody has good days and bad days, right? Sometimes you'll have a day where you're on top of it, and you'll sound like you know everything. Other days will be not so great, and you'll probably feel like nothing is good enough. Whatever content you produce - be it articles, reviews, videos, podcasts, whatever - needs to have more predictability for your followers. Unless you have such extreme moments that the ride is entertaining (and some do), your audience is coming to you for stability. Knowing your character helps you deliver that consistency.
Another thing your character helps with is direction. Like right now, how my character helps me know it's time to just get to the point and stop beating around the bush. Gurus get to have long lead ins, but Noobs you'll only listen to for so long...
It Takes All Kinds
From what I can gather, there's three basic kinds of characters:
Knows stuff and wants to share it.
Doesn't know stuff, but is learning the stuff and sharing it.
Doesn't know stuff, doesn't really want to know the stuff, but might use the result of stuff.
Obviously that's not accounting for the myriad personalities possible. Any of these character types can be snarky, cheery, bashful, arrogant, argumentative, agreeable, etc. and still fit neatly into one of those three groups.
So who are you really? Are you knowledgeable, learning, or just the average person doing random stuff? And be honest with yourself, because trying to be a professional when you're really still learning isn't going to go well (trust me on that). Likewise, trying to be a student when you're really an expert or just an outsider is going to come across badly as well. Figure out who you are and which character best fits you.
That last one, the outsider, often provides insight on alternative or odd ways to use something. Examples of this are Good Mythical Morning, Dope or Nope, and pretty much every let's play ever. They may teach you things sometimes, but it's not really on purpose. They're just entertaining you with their views of stuff.
Wearing Many Hats
I've heard experts say you can be a student but sometimes switch to being an expert or vice versa. I suppose that's true, because over time the student will become an expert at some things. A good guru will forever expand their knowledge and at times be a noob as well. The outsider can easily get interested in something and then be a student and maybe an expert. Life happens, and things change.
However, I don't recommend switching on purpose like that. I think that sort of just happens, and it's ok when it does. You will have one set character type that sets an overall tone to your website, channel or whatever, and any switching that happens isn't going to change that overnight. Once an expert, always an expert - even if you're not.
Think about the last teacher, doctor, lawyer or other specialist you encountered. They weren't all experts of everything, but a specific subject. You'll still expect more from them about things they're not experts about because they have mastered something. That makes a difference. So if you're at a guru status, switching to being a student won't look the same as an actual newbie.
Any questions? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter.
Tomorrow will be the week review, 9a sharp. See you then.
As I begin this anew, I know only one thing: that I know nothing. Learn with me, and together we will figure this out.
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