Do you feel odd when you write marketing material to publish online? Do you read over old marketing items and wonder why in the world it says what it does? Do you think, “I can’t believe I published that!”? Do you hire a copywriter and just accept whatever they come up with? After all, they are professionals!

If your online marketing material stimulates an image in your mind that is just not you, likely you’ve been trying to model your approach after someone else or you’ve been using work produced by someone else without giving them the benefit of knowing you, learning your approach, sharing your ideas and interjecting your personality into the material.

Let’s admit it. We all do it!

When we get ready to publish something online we surf the net. We look for articles, ezines, web pages or auto-responders that resemble what we are working on, usually those published by direct competitors or sometimes published by mentors that we admire – successful online marketers.

While everything is fresh in our minds, we start to work on our own online marketing materials, thesaurus at hand, and we sometimes use words we don’t even know the meaning of. We end up with something that sounds really good to us because it is comparable to something we’ve read. We publish it.

So what happens?

We end up with a hodge-podge of material on the internet, published in our name, that doesn’t sound a bit like us. What’s really interesting is the mixed image that results. Two articles on the same topic may even reflect different points of view or different personalities.

So, what’s the solution?

The solution to this dilemma is to be ourselves and let our personalities show through in our online marketing materials.

If you are a Texan and the word “ya’ll” is prevalent in your vocabulary, use it! If you are writing a blog entry in the midst of a snow storm and it is “a bit nippy outside” don’t hesitate to say so. When you let your personality shine your image will be your own, not one you have crafted that will change from day to day depending upon what you have read most recently.

There’s lots of talk about branding in regard to online marketing. The basic principles of branding are to decide on the image you wish to portray and what message you want to drive home.

While some people could write a book on how to brand your business, there are really only a handful of factors to consider – 1) your image; 2) your purpose; and 3) your marketing message. The purpose of a brand is to craft something that will stick in the minds of people and help them to remember your business.

Creating and building a strong brand does not have to compromise your personality. The only real decision is whether you want to be casual or professional. We all speak differently when we are in a business setting than we do when we are hanging out with friends, but either way, our whole personality doesn’t change when we walk from one setting to the other.

In the world of online marketing, retaining your personality and your identity will go far in branding your business. You’ll be much happier with the long-term effects of your online marketing if you don’t try to be someone you are not. Be yourself and have fun!

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