Branding, Marketing And Worldbuilding, What’s The Difference?
Branding is who you are.
It is what people say about you when you are not in the room. It is the gut feeling people get when they see one of your outposts. They could smile or frown. Feel supportive or be ready to criticise. Invariably, these emotional reactions are tied to one of your products or services.
Marketing is how you build connections.
It focuses on creating new customers by finding out what people want and then giving it to them in a better and more pleasing way by removing the friction in the marketplace.
Worldbuilding is where the brand lives.
Good worldbuilding identifies things in the conventional world that your audience used to see all the time then puts a finger on why they made them feel uncomfortable before reassuring them that your world is more aligned with the values and principles, they aspire to live with.
In so doing, they begin to feel at home in your world as the feeling of being an outsider drops away.
Great worldbuilding goes further. It puts its finger on things people don’t like in their existing world but never realised existed until you identified them and shows them that life does not have to be like that. That there is a better way. That that way is more open and based in integrity.
This gives them hope and encourages new people to your world to explore the various paths that are immediately apparent to them.
It is then that they begin to notice the other people in your world and what they are saying and doing which offers further confirmation that they have finally found a world in which they would like to hang out in because it is significantly different to the world they have emigrated from.
They are ready to freely give you their email address
And incidentally, are ready to open every email they receive from you.
Note: No need for an ethical bribe (lead magnet).
The first thing you should do is confirm the principles, values and beliefs that are the gravity that hold your world together.
Let’s be clear…
We are talking about the outer world you have created. The one that everyone who wants to gets to see. There is another hidden one which is only seen and experienced by the clients/customers you have.
The point here is that to attract high quality customers, you have to first attract high quality prospects which means you have to sort the wheat from the chaff BEFORE any one opts in.
This is not about quantity of leads. It is about quality.
It's not about creating a greased shute in your funnel.
It's about creating friction. it's about making your peeps work.
This could be by reading a 2000 word article.
Or watching a series of videos.
Whichever you prefer.
The first is the outer world for your prospects.
The second is the inner world for your clients / customers.
The inner world your clients or customers see contains courses, books and consulting offers but only for those who have put their hands up to say they want to hear about them.
So an outer world is an ecosystem in which your peeps can get to know you, start to feel comfortable and eventually be sufficiently at ease to buy from you.
And the inner world is where they can continue the conversation and extend their journey deeper and deeper.
Your marketing is the signal you send out to your audience so they know you understand their problem and can help them.
Your brand is the lighthouse that shines out over the stormy sea so sailors can set course to a safe haven.
Your world is the port they arrive at and become so happy there they never want to leave.
Your world is based on three concepts.
- The Gravity to hold your peeps is powered by your beliefs, values and principles and is pulled forward by a common vision. These are your north star by which every decision you ever make, is guided. They are your rules of engagement. They set the tone. Establish the environment. And create the atmosphere in your world. Google gravity 🙂
- The Power to stand against the things you dislike about the ordinary world that you have all escaped from. You express this power by pointing at specific examples of those things and explaining why they are not for you. The ordinary world is populated by those who do conventional things. They follow the crowd and do what the gurus tell them to without question. This gives you the opportunity to compare and contrast. To zig while the old world zags and to zag where the old world zigs.
- The Culture is expressed by what is most meaningful and important to your audience as it relates to the value you create for them. It shows up in the language you use. In the stories you tell. In the examples you give of people/things that inspire you. The common cause you have in the struggle to achieve their vision they have of a better life.
Your marketing helps the people who you want to attract to your world to self identify?
These are the 5 questions you need to ask yourself ...
- What’s important to them?
You need to go beyond the superficial to find answers to this. Some are unspoken first principles.
For example, integrity, authenticity and serving people are primary principles in my world. They come way before any thought of money. I believe small is beautiful so there is no need to 'scale' your business to seven figures and beyond if you are happy being a solopreneur in the same way that I have been for my entire life.
The natural extension to this is that quality matters more than quantity so optimising your business for this one thing influences many downstream decisions.
- How can you infuse your personality into your world in ways that pull the right people toward you?
Your personality comes through in the personal stories you tell. Your lifestyle. Your language and your voice. It's about what's important to you outside your business and letting your people glimpse what goes on in your down time.
I live in the south west of France near Bordeaux. I love the cafe lifestyle. The food. The wine and just taking the time to watch the world go by. I am a confirmed European so could not see myself living on any other continent although I love south America and Asia.
- Who are the people you don’t want as customers?
Just like when you use a negative keyword in your Google Ads campaign to help the algorithm focus in on the people you really want to talk to, it's important to be specific about the people who do not get results using your method.
For example, there's no point in hanging around in my world if do not have a lot of experience serving clients in your area of expertise (ideally years or decades), and already have a pretty clear idea of what problem you solve and who you enjoy helping the most.
It goes without saying you must love writing and sharing your thoughts about the topics you’re an expert in.
- How can you engineer insights and create 'Easter Eggs' to be discovered that builds a ‘sense of wonder’ within the world you’re creating that pulls and tugs at them emotionally?
An Easter Egg creates an inside joke between your and your peeps. It's a nod and a wink between those in the know. It's unexpected. Finding one means they are insiders. Part of an exclusive club. This encourages engagement. It shows you don’t take yourself too seriously. That you’re not above a little joke between “friends”.
They build connection. Create community.
Google the word “askew” and your'll find the entire page is tilted to the right. Who knew?
- In what ways can you engage meaningfully with your audience (email, video, in-person, etc.)?
We live in a multi channel world so the best advice is always - Start on the platform where 80% of your audience is most likely to hang out - testing others may bring surprisingly good results. After all, you assume that your peeps are on Facebook but they could also be on Twitter and Pinterest too.
One sure way of deepening the connection and building community is email so it's a fundamental part of your marketing arsenal. Then it's a question of deciding the mediums you are most comfortable with. Getting outside your comfort zone on video works. It is a conventional marketing tool. if you believe you have a face made for radio, podcasting is for you.
The Youtube (video), Buzzsprout (podcasts) and Medium (text) could all be part of the world you create together with your email autoresponder (ActiveCampaign/Ontraport/Convertkit).
Establish one place in your world before creating another.
Here is the 5 step process required to structure your world
Step 1 - Divide a sheet of paper into 3 columns with titles Gravity, Politics & Culture.
Step 2 - Gravity: List of 3-5 values that guide your business decision-making and put those in the Gravity column.
Step 3 - Power: Answer the following questions for the Power column
- Which are the dominant businesses in your market?
- Who are the most well-known personalities?
- What are their most common marketing methods?
Step 4 - Culture: Answer the following questions for your Culture column:
- What are the significant problems you can help your audience solve?
- What are the meaningful desires you can help your audience achieve?
- What emotions are driving your audience’s decisions?
Step 5 - Continuously evolve: Expand (and refine) these lists over time. Ask questions, solicit feedback, and listen very carefully to what your audience tells you.
The world you create provides the context and the backstory for every piece of content and every offer you create.
It is the fundamental reason your business is the way it is.
It is the foundation on which everything you do is based.
Being intentional about worldbuilding and putting your content in context provides a deeper experience to the people who read, watch or listen to your output.
It gives them insights that were not there before.
Those spark ideas that move their business forward.
You become the go-to authority in your market.
A virtuous circle ensues…
Greater engagement, higher open rates and ultimately new clients showing up on your doorstep unannounced.