4 ways to build a spellbinding online personality

Here’s how your brand can be authentic, show some originality, and attract fans in the noisy online world.

I always try to find deeper ways to connect with my audience and customers. The Web can separate your site from your audience by oceans, and to bridge that distance, you have to fight hard to make a connection.

Here are some of the most effective ways to connect with your audience and build a spellbinding online presence:

1. Get rid of the noise.

Some people have earned permanent residency in the online echo chamber. It’s a cozy place, and easy to maintain. There’s no extra work required.

I challenge you to ditch that space when you truly want to make a difference with your business and marketing.

Like many, I read Seth Godin—feverishly. But the danger of admiring your role models is copying them when you don’t have their experiences.

That is what’s happening—marketers copy Godin left and right. They talk about standing out, building tribes, and being a linchpin. You know this doesn’t come from them. You know they have no experience to foster those claims. Seth Godin says “tribe,” “remarkable” and “linchpin,” and they rehash it like it’s the cure to mortality.

It’s noise.

Use your own experiences. If you want to spread the idea that you’re remarkable, you stand out, and go all the way to the edge with your marketing, then do it. Let your actions send the message. It will be authentic, and people will learn from your experience instead of tweeting some repeated, impressive-sounding but ultimately shallow phrase.

2. Take off the mask.

I recently met an online client in the offline world (remember how to do that?) and, to say the least, I was flabbergasted. The quirky, nuclear-powered, vibrant person I met was not the stiff, stilted persona I knew online.

The client confessed she disguises herself online to appear more professional, like putting on a mask every day. You know how it works. A person’s profile has a mission statement with incomprehensible gibberish (“I set up a system to maximize your online visibility and management, and so on), a stock profile picture, and a glossy brand design because it feels corporate and professional. Ugh.

Like Tara Gentile says, we live in a “you” economy. That means you have to bring your original style, beliefs, obsessions and quirks, combined with your brand promise, to form a holistic perception.

In other words, hold your freak flag high and proud. That’s how you’ll attract like-minded customers who want to do business with you. Ditch that mask.

3. Tell stories.

Storytelling will always be effective. We’ve told stories since monkeys scribbled pictures of beasts on cave walls. Stories helped us survive, because we could share life-saving experiences without actually going through them ourselves.

We are still wired to prefer stories over any other content form, and that’s why you should use them excessively.

A blog post that reads like a press release will put us to sleep, but tell us a story and we’ll be engaged like a piñata filled with fireworks.

Look at your brand, company, blog and yourself, and tell us your stories.

4. Mesmerize me.

I saved the most difficult thing for last.

Is marketing today anything more than a good-looking website with great content? Isn’t everybody going after the same thing?

How can you cut through the noise and grab your visitors by the throat? Why do people go back to the {grow} blog again and again? Because Mark Schaefer provides mesmerizing content.

How can you do the same? It comes from a place of congruence between your personality, platform, message, and a certain creative spark.

Another mesmerizing guy is Gary Vaynerchuk. His soul belongs to video. It seems like he was born with a video camera, and that’s why people watch him. If he tried writing a blog, he wouldn’t be nearly as captivating because it’s not his domain.

Mitch Joel provides mesmerizing podcasts because he’s a master interviewer.

I communicate through cartoons.

It’s all about which style you connect with most, and then conveying your message in an entertaining and interesting way.

Mars Dorian describes himself as a creative marketer with a moon-melting passion for human potential and technology. A version of this post originally appeared on {grow}.

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