Offline, you have had your entire life to cultivate your personality. Your personality is a mix of your own emotions, opinions, and quirks, of course, but it is also how you express them to others. You may tell the same story very differently to your mother than you would a new friend you met at a coffee shop or bar.
Online, you don't have the same luxury of personalizing your personality in the moment depending on who is reading, watching, or listening to your content.
Are You Boring on the Internet?
Offline, you can make micro-adjustments to level up or down your enthusiasm, and emphasize (or leave out) different details in your story depending on who you're talking to. Online, you have one chance to create content that captures what you're trying to communicate in a way that's engaging to different types of people who show up.
So how do you create a consistent, believable, snapshot of your personality? Without all the extra nuance you've had a lifetime to develop offline? You need to establish your brand personality.
Pick Your Personality Archetype
There are three brand personality archetypes that work well in various industries, and any one of them may be able to capture your target customer's attention. They are known as the sage, the sherpa, and the struggler.
The key is to pick the brand personality archetype that comes most naturally to you, and then commit to that personality so that your content consistently comes across from the same, or a similar, perspective.
Are You the Sage?
The sage is the voice of wisdom and experience, and gives guidance directly without the need to add a lot of research or explanation for why they recommend what they do.
People trust the sage, because the sage has some external source for their authority that is highly-respected (such as a bestselling author, a Nobel prize-winning economist, an industry-specific endorsement).
Are You the Sherpa?
The sherpa is someone who has "climbed the mountain" and teaches other people how they can climb the mountain, too.
The sherpa speaks from personal experience, sharing what they have learned along the way to a destination that their target audience wants to reach, too (such as paying off debt, losing weight, or growing a business). People trust the sherpa, because the sherpa represents hope of transformation, a few steps farther down the road.
Are You the Struggler?
The struggler shares what they are learning, as they are learning, and rallies an audience around a mantra of "we're in this together." People trust the struggler because they're vulnerable and transparent about the rough stuff they have not figured out yet, but they still continue to try and try again.
Many successful creators have grown an engaged audience with any one of these personality archetypes, which one will you choose? You can start with one and move into another as you develop and grow, but the key is to stick to presenting your personality through just one lens for an extended period of time.
This is how you get people's attention, and present a personality people will latch onto, as you build their trust over time.