The Importance of Purpose: A Message for Brands, Agencies & Bloggers
The following is what I hope is helpful information for not only bloggers, but also for agencies and brands who pitch us.
Brands/Agencies – We cannot, as bloggers, promote what you do simply because you have informed us that you are doing it – regardless of how great it is.
We have to find and feel the reasons WHY you do it. As a travel blogger, my readers don’t care why I went to Vail (to cover their culinary scene) or to Scotland (to highlight the “Brave” film) or to the Dominican Rep (to highlight Puerto Plata or Las Terrenas), they want to know HOW I FELT IT, how I experienced it, how it affected me. Because this much more personal experience, the emotions evoked from it all is what will impact their decision to invest the time, the money on you, the brand – and how they spend their money and time matters to most of us bloggers, because it is how we spend our money and time as well, and because we understand what it takes to get to the point where we are happy in making that investment.
Bloggers – The relationship between bloggers and brands is a delicate one: the best of us are committed to the integrity of our brand and blog. We are committed to providing our readers information that they can trust and use in their decision-making processes. And, as freelancers and entrepreneurs, we are committed to establishing relationships with the brands and agencies, and hopefully solidify them into income channels for our business.
But because our story has to truly be personal for us to evoke the message in a way that would translate beyond the standard marketing and public relations tools, we need to sacrifice and cut off those messages that don’t provide us to the WHY in our stories – regardless of the potential for profit promised from the brand. This is because though we may be able to acquire short term financial gain through business transactions with brands and agencies, our long term success and growth is dependent on our audience. Without their trust, continued following, and demand, we loose any reason to matter in this space.
The social in Social Media is the one most important factor, and it is incumbent upon the brands and agencies to follow and learn, not only so that they can work with us, but so that we can work with them as well.
Providing us with a reason to care, or at least giving us the professional consideration and merit to show them how, is what not only makes for a better story, but also a better reason for us to help share it.
I first saw this video The Culterist, a great site to visit for travel as well as small biz news and advice.
Simon Sinek (“The Golden Circle”) was speaking to the ambitiously talented crowd at TedTALKS. But I think it applies to so many of us looking to grow our blogs and brands through our connection with people via storytelling. It also helps to send the message to brands and agencies who tend to blindly mass email press releases and updates on their products, understand why this mass marketing approach tend to die in the email boxes of the bloggers they want to reach the most.
It is because they are failing to understand how to best connect with us (bloggers). As Mr. Sinek so eloquently states, “The goal isn’t to do business with the people that need what you have, the goal is to do business with the people who believe what you believe.” Find those bloggers. Invest your time in searching them out. Read their stories, hear their voice: does it say what you want people to hear about you? Does it represent you in the way you want to be represented? Does it fit?
As a blogger, you should do the same and not just take whatever comes along to pay the bill. For this purpose, get a job, at an office, where a paycheck is guaranteed and a genuine voice doesn’t really matter. But if your purpose is to inspire and foster dreams, than you have to be willing to hold out for the partnerships that will help you do that in the most transparent and real way possible. Not always easy to come by on either side.
I want to convince people that where I go, what I see, where I stay, what I do and what I learn via my travels matters, not only to me, but to them. And I thought Mr. Sinek explained beautifully on why this approach is not only important, but also why it works.
Watch Simon Sinek’s How Great Leaders Inspire Action for more: