A Standalone Identity Projects Your Content Further
Creating a standalone identity for the work you produce that supports your business is a smart move that brings a host of benefits.
Having that separation between your content brand and your business brand proves to your audience and potential audience that you’re not just there to sell your product or service. Your content and the space you create for it becomes a way for people to acquire information, interact with you (and, in time, with other audience members), ask questions and feel inspired and motivated in a no-pressure way.
What matters is making sure that everything you produce is meaningful and offers value to the people you’re trying to reach.
If you also bring something of your personality and unique perspective to this work, it will in time, become all the more powerful and distinctive.
What LinkedIn Has Just Done
At the start of November, LinkedIn rolled out the facility for producing and delivering newsletters on the platform to anyone who’s in creator mode.
This means you can address an audience (ok, it’s a LinkedIn audience) that, when they sign up, will be nudged towards your work through email and LinkedIn notifications whenever you publish a newsletter. The longer your audience stays and engages with your work, the stronger your newsletter, and the name/identity you give it, will become. On a personal note, I’m going to invest time in producing a You Are The Media LinkedIn newsletter to attract new subscribers from LinkedIn, to the YATM space (come and join here).
Trevor Young sounds a word of caution here, “do not publish a LinkedIn newsletter if you’re going to lose interest and run out of steam after a few issues.You’re better off sticking to publishing single articles on LinkedIn, or micro-stories in the feed (you now have up to 3000 characters, which is enough for many people).”
Why Create A Separate, Standalone Identity?
Ego (and commercial logic) may indicate that you should push your own or your company name to the fore. However, keeping the commercial aspects of your operation to one side means you’re more likely to become something people want to read – a “magazine” type of content.
It will also mean your work can branch out and move in different directions in response to your audience’s needs and not just be centred on what you want to say.
That separate identity, away from being all about you or your business, can create the conditions for developing a space for people to connect and become a part of something.
What Changed Things For Me
My creation and the work that I stand behind is You Are The Media.
A few years ago YATM sat against the backdrop of my business so any new subscriber had to come into YATM via the main company page (it was called ID Group back then). All the blog articles were on the ID Group company website and it looked like it was just part of the company.
The ultimate test for this way of doing things came when we trialled bringing a live YATM event to a new city (Bristol) in October 2019. People had to book on via the main company site and the lack of interest meant we had to cancel that first attempt at an event, have a look at the proof, below. You can read the full story on how to get people to come to your event.
When YATM got its own dedicated website and was no longer tucked away in the corner of my company website, the event, rescheduled for February 2020, went ahead and was a success.
The lesson I took from this was that giving my content creation work its own name and brand identity (You Are The Media) distinct and separate from the main company brand, altered people’s expectations. The standalone identity helped reassure my audience that they weren’t going to be sold to and that nothing other than the attention they choose to give was expected of them.
The You Are The Media name always meant independence from the ID Group brand it grew from (it is now called We Are The Media, inspired by YATM itself) but it has, particularly in its “new” guise also come to mean experimentation, curiosity, possibility and potential. And it’s people who share those ways of doing things and values that I want to bring into the YATM fold.
How Giving Your Work A Standalone Identity Can Help You:
🏆 The identity you choose should, in itself, share the benefit you bring to others. You Are The Media is all about making a stand and encouraging people to build their own spaces and get others to join them. The name you give your work can say something of your approach or your values.
🏆 It will help you stand out whenever people receive notifications (it can still come from your email address, but the name is what carries the flame).
🏆 Your appeal will be all the greater because you’re not trying to convince people to buy. It’s better to feel part of a community, rather than just being a customer,
🏆 People will feel like they are a part of something. I like the idea that people who are a part of YATM consider themselves as YATMers. What can you do to create that sense of attachment and belonging for the people who matter to you?
🏆 You can still focus on your industry, it’s just that the magnet won’t be your company name.
🏆 It will give you licence to try new initiatives out. The more credible that content creation name becomes, the easier it will be to experiment. It can also rally your audience around new ideas that you want to play with
🏆 The right name will feed into and enhance your overall identity. It will help people make the decision that they want to be a part of what you’re doing.
A separate identity for your work can inspire, galvanise, lead and make an impact on your bottom line.
It takes everything you do to a new level, as you are not constrained by your business brand/company name. The values that are shared and the community that can grow are all centred on an identity that is more you, but you don’t even have to reveal who you are explicitly.
As new spaces, such as LinkedIn Newsletters, open up and encourage you to step forward to share your message, now is the time to start creating an identity that brings people together through the values you believe in and the value you provide.