MOJO # 8: Do "hot selfies" help you build your personal brand?
Today's topic is:
Does physical attractiveness help build your personal brand?
The short answer is yes.
But not in the way most people think.
Here's how it can help:
1) It grabs attention: You’re more likely to get a distracted stranger to stop scrolling and engage with what you have to say or offer.
2) It creates a Halo Effect: People who are considered attractive tend to be rated higher on other positive traits. “If they look good, they must also be smart and trustworthy”.
Quite significant, but that's about it.
Recently more than one person messaged me privately on LinkedIn about this topic.
One man said:
"I feel disadvantaged. Attractive women can easily use their looks to build a brand and consequently attract leads."
But it’s all stemming from a misunderstanding of what makes a brand.
Branding isn’t about how many people look at your content or follow your social pages.
Branding is about building your presence with intention.
It's about the perception in other people's minds about you. It's the gut feeling they get when they come into contact with you.
Sure, people react to attractiveness, in the same way that they react to any other "hook".
A hook can be a funny joke. A shocking scene. A loud BANG for all I care. Yes, you will get attention... for a minute. But that doesn't mean that people will actually listen, let alone spend their money with you. When used incorrectly, a hook will even backfire.
And even if people do spend money, unless the impressive packaging is backed by real substance, they’ll be gone as soon as the novelty wears off.
SHORT- vs LONG TERM ATTENTION:
In his book Captivology, Ben Parr talks about the difference between attracting short- vs long-term attention.
Short-term attention grabbers such as good looks, or signs of wealth (eg standing in front of a Lamborghini) are motivating enough to drive low-effort, low-risk actions, such as stopping a scroll on a newsfeed for a second.
But they are not enough to retain people’s attention and interest, and that’s the key difference.
The most (financially) successful brands aren’t always famous. They aren’t always the most put together. They don’t have the fanciest logos or Instagram feeds. I have met people with millions of real followers who were legitimately struggling to pay their bills. And I have met people with minimal to no social presence, who were making multiple 6 to 8 figures in their businesses and loving their lives.
It’s easy to get caught up in the illusion, but you have to be clear from the beginning about your goals.
Do you want to build a brand that creates a real relationship and turns strangers into loyal clients and raving fans?
Or do you want an impressive-looking website and social media presence?
Do you want fewer people who love the real you and will support you throughout your journey?
Or do you want “likes” from many zombies who didn't read your content before liking it, and wouldn’t even notice if you disappeared tomorrow?
The point of branding is not to get more “inbound leads”.
That’s only the byproduct of building an attractive brand.
The point is to be so crystal clear on who you are and why you exist that you become magnetic to anyone who resonates with you. And therefore, your "inbound leads" are sold on you, before you even have the sales conversation.
You send a message to the world that you are showing up in your full glory. You are not changing for anybody.
MEAT FIRST, HOOK LATER:
There is a reason why the best advertisers start with the core of the message first, and then add a hook.
It’s why companies create the product first, and then design attractive packaging.
You have to start with the core message, the meat, the substance first. And then, add your attention-grabber.
Ask yourself: What will keep them coming back again and again after all the novelty wore off?
What will cement your brand in their minds and hearts as the go-to solution?
What will make them want to sing your praises to their friends?
Start with that to inform ALL your marketing efforts at any level, even at the awareness stage.
And once you’ve answered those questions, only then ask yourself: Now, what will get a stranger to stop and click?
TIME IS THE GREATEST EQUALIZER:
Investor Benjamin Graham once said: “In the short-term, the market is like a voting machine. In the long term, it is like a weighing machine”.
In the short-term, opinion is swayed by hype, and value is determined like a popularity contest; how many people think a brand is worthy of attention.
In the long term, everything will always, always eventually get weighed based on its real VALUE. The accumulation will tilt the scales in favor of those who have been consistent with this, no matter how small.
What would be useful to your audience? What would help enhance their lives and guide them one step further in their own evolution?
That’s what you have to keep giving, with no expectation, to build a meaningful brand.
And the only way to do that is to love what you do and who you do it for. When you’re doing what you love, there is no resistance. You have energy that naturally attracts people who are aligned with you, and who want and value what you have to offer. Not people who think you’re entertaining to look at and listen to, but would never trust you enough to pay you like the expert you are.
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