A while back we collaborated with The Ace Class to run a Personal Branding workshop in Winnipeg. Thirty entrepreneurs and professionals gathered at The Yoga Barre, and together, we worked through the process of building personal brand platforms and social media marketing strategies.
In one exercise, participants chose their Customer Connection Point – one of four ways they could connect to customers through something deeper than a buyer-seller relationship:
Offer the ultimate quality (in a product or service)
Use exclusivity to give the customer special status
Improve the customer’s sense of self-worth
Connect the customer to a community of like-minded people
So, what does that look like in practice? Check out these five social media influencers we admire. They have successfully defined their brand and are now using it to create loyal fans and customers.
Who? Brooke Van Ryssel What’s her handle? @mybodywpg How does she connect with her customers? By teaching self-improvement
Brooke embodies self-improvement. She is the owner of the first body positive-gym in Winnipeg, so it’s not surprising that her social media presence screams #FlawsDontExist. Brooke is funny, accepting, and loving, and she does a great job of reflecting that on her social media.
Brooke uses Instagram to share self-love advice with her followers and promote future fitness classes that her gym is hosting. She has also mastered the art of user-generated content. Through client features, Brooke is connecting with her audience by allowing regular people who go to her gym to do the brand advocacy work for her.
Who? Sarah Delaney What’s her handle? @sarahdelaneyart How does she connect with her customers? By keeping her craft exclusive
Sarah is an artist from Vancouver who has built an incredible following of 32,000 people. Even though she has reached Instagram fame, she has chosen to keep her craft exclusive. If you go to Sarah’s website, you will notice that all her paintings are limited edition originals. Could that be why all her artwork is sold out?
Sarah’s Instagram feed is a combination of her work, creative process, and personal life. While she mainly posts her artwork and the thought process behind her pieces, Sarah doesn’t shy away from sharing pictures of places that inspire her, as well as personal stories from her daily life.
Leandra is the founder of ManRepeller and one of the OG fashion bloggers. Through her then-blog-now-turned-media-company, she has created a safe space for women all over the world to share their thoughts on the latest fashion and lifestyle trends, and everything else in between. ManRepeller’s mission statement completely echoes that.
“[ManRepeller] can mean whatever you need it to mean: maybe it’s a shoulder to cry on, a caffeine jolt on a lazy day… One thing is fo sho, tho(ugh): ManRepeller isn’t just a website.”
Leandra’s Instagram is a breath of fresh air. Her posts are far from what some may consider the average fashion blogger content. Leandra’s feed is a reflection of who she is: fashionable, funny, and unfiltered. She posts everything about her life: from celebrity run-ins, to fashion trends she’s trying, and candid pictures of her twins crying.
Photo credit: @girlwithnojob on Instagram
Who? Girl with No Job What’s her handle? @girlwithnojob How does she connect with her followers? By building a community
Although her Instagram handle suggests that she is unemployed, Claudia Oshry actually has a pretty sweet job. With a global following of almost 3 million people, Claudia is frequently approached for sponsored posts. She reached Instagram fame as a meme account and has since leveraged that to her benefit: she started her own online morning show for Millennials, called The Morning Toast, and became a stand-up comedian with shows all over North America.
Girl with No Job has a great understanding of the high-level of competition that exists in the Instagram meme game, which is why she is trying to be different. She does not shy away from sharing her offline life with her online followers. You can always count on her for videos of her performing an interpretative dance to the iPhone ringtone or Instagram stories of her retaliating against people that call her out on her dirty jeans. She has also built an online community through her morning show. Recently, she organized a camp for viewers of the show, which very appropriately was called the Camp Toast.
Who? Mike Peters What’s his handle? @93mp How does he connect with his followers? Through quality
Mike Peters, widely known as @93mp due to his Instagram handle, is a photographer based in Winnipeg. You can certainly count on Mike for quality, breath-taking pictures. Mike lets his work speak for him, and it seems to be a good strategy considering the fact that he has almost 36,000 followers.
Mike’s feed is a combination of beautiful pictures of Winnipeg landmarks, incredible landscape shots from his travel destinations, and astonishing portraits. Once in a while Mike, will also share sponsored posts from his partnerships. And why wouldn’t he? He has worked with renown brands like Canon, Mercedes Benz, and Air Canada, among many others.
Who are your favourite social media influencers with powerful personal brands? Tell us at @uphouseinc.