Personal Brands: Give a Shiver to Your Sliver

SliverMicromarketing is a weapon in the arsenal of most every big brand that distributes products to your supermarket. For example, the flavors of Philadelphia brand cream cheese available in the dairy case differ, depending on what your zip code eats the most.

That means in my local Ralphs, I can’t find smoked salmon flavored spread for my bagel. Apparently, not a sufficient number of my neighbors find it appealing. But I can drive 10 minutes to a sister store in another neighborhood, that stocks plenty of it.

Personal brands, via social media you enjoy an easier, cheaper channel to YOUR highest consuming audience: people who crave and consume what you offer.

Music marketing expert Bobby Borg recently interviewed me for a sliver of the tribe he leads: indie hip-hop musicians with no budget for marketing. Because his people are so committed to their art and so intensely focused on connecting with their audience, he gave rise to my own same intensity for his people. At a past life in business, this serious consulting was once reserved only for big brands and their highly paid consultants. A sliver of our interview  is on Bobby’s channel.

Unfortunately for most of us in business today, our perspective about success is tainted by the pejorative snorts that someone is “big fish in a small pond.” You’ve heard these joy killers’ snarky pronouncements. These couch sitters deride the gymnast who won her country’s competition, and fails to medal in the Olympics. They snarl: “Well she was a big fish in a small pond, but she can’t compete on the world stage.”

Personal brands: Don’t be afraid of being called a big fish in a tiny pond. It is what all successful people are doing.

The web is comprised of a zillion slivers of the market, aka special interest groups. Each sliver is either organically or commercially created. And, unlike a country’s citizens who feel enraged that special interest groups drown out their voices, their sentiment about being in a special interest group is totally different.

What’s so powerful is these social communities provide the perfect forum for you to express your personal brand, lead some portion of your tribe, and at the same time be embraced by advertisers who want to reach the same people you do.

Sunday’s New York Times Magazine devotes a full page-plus to describe the unbelievably rich veins running through one such group. It’s almost impossible to imagine the deep engagement, unshakable loyalty and commitment to sharing ideas within the community they focus on: NaturallyCurly.com.

The site is a perfect icon for micro markets, and a hugely teachable moment for personal brands.

Who knew curly hair was the huge self-identifier for such a disparate group of people? The depth and breadth of relationship curly-haired people have with their hair, and with like-burdened or blessed among us, surpass any demographic, psychographic, lifestyle or behavior that market research trained brains could previously imagine. But we know by the web behavior of the curly-haired: the frequency of their interactions, comments, tips and product evaluations, that this is a defining characteristic for a significant group of them. Obviously, if your personal brand includes a philosophy, tonic, or other reason to seek a leadership position in this tribe of the curly-haired: you’ve hit pay dirt.

Personal brands seek, listen, and lead these relevant slivers. We now see demonstrated and repeated studies that show people with a passionate interest, who have self-identified with a subject, cause, personal issue or a zillion other micro characteristics of their lives, are hungry for the ties that bind them together.

Ignore the naysayers who scream, “Stick the landing” when their national hero falters in the face of world competition. Don’t act as if you only are hugely successful if your being or brand is broadcast to more than a billion passive people.

For example, joyfully create and accept offers for YouTube or Blogtalkradio. Great personal brands treat seriously any opportunity to deliver their messages on a defining point to the silver of people who get shivers or giggles just by its mention.

Come on into the small pond, the water’s fine.

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