Are you a hero? A maverick? A magician?
Perhaps you see yourself as a caregiver, an explorer, or an entertainer…
When David Sharpe sat down during a live interview with brand strategist, Kaye Putnam, she shared loads of golden insights and actionable tips with the audience.
Learn how discovering your online business archetypes can help you attract and serve more of your ideal clients…and give yourself an instant boost in confidence and clarity in the process.
Trying on many different hats
When brand strategist, Kaye Putnam first got started in business more than 10 years ago, she looked to other successful entrepreneurs to get ideas about how to act and what to say:
“I thought that if I could just model what they were doing, I would see some portion of that success.”
For example, one successful entrepreneur Kaye followed was a former athlete and an inspirational, tough-love kind of guy. So Kaye named a video segment, “Your Monday Morning Kick in the Pants.”
Another person she admired was a bubbly, feminine, and incredibly warm entrepreneur. Kaye infused that style into the opening of her website – “Hey, Bombshell.”
Although she admits it's a bit cringy now, Kaye stressed how normal it is to go through this. In the beginning of any business, it often means “trying on” a bunch of different identities and seeing what feels right.
How to get Clarity
Kaye’s background in psychology led her to study archetypes – personas or characters that show up throughout history, literature, and pop culture.
When a brand adopts a particular archetype, people recognize it. The audience can easily understand your brand and know what you stand for almost instantly.
Although there are many different recognizable archetypes, Kaye’s work focuses on these twelve:
- Girl/Guy Next Door
Within each archetype, Kaye describes what it is, how customers feel, and the innate advantages. She also explains each archetype’s villains (or the exact opposite of what the brand is trying to achieve), potential pitfalls, and examples of brand voice.
How does knowing your brand archetypes help you?
Archetypes help us connect with our audience on a gut level. So by leaning into our unique point of view as a brand, we attract clients who also share that value.
Most businesses will identify with two archetypes. Choosing two gives enough clarity to guide decisions while providing enough variety to feel like you’re “fully expressed”.
You simply can’t – nor should you even try – to be everything to everyone. Choosing two archetypes gives entrepreneurs enough “playground to play on” without being overwhelmed.
Just like every superhero has its own kryptonite, each archetype has a set of potential drawbacks.
While recognizing our strengths helps us project authority to our audience, understanding and acknowledging our weaknesses shows our audience that there is a real human being behind the brand.
For example, under the “Hero” archetype, customers tend to feel inspired, strong, and determined. And while the Hero archetype projects competence and courage, some of the potential pitfalls include arrogance and aggression.
As Kaye said, “We don’t necessarily have to overcome our weaknesses. It’s more about awareness.”
In fact, our “weaknesses” can become our greatest strength. As Dave Sharp likes to say, “Take your mess and turn it into your message.”
Archetypes help us do just that.
Once you identify 1-2 archetypes, are you stuck with them forever?
We’re all multi-faceted human beings.
And over time, just as you evolve as a human, your business (and its identity) will likely evolve as well.
For now, remember that the simple act of knowing your strengths and communicating them with your audience is magnetic. This brings the right people into our world.
And as Kaye says:
“When you’re standing in your truth with certainty and confidence and clarity, people resonate with that.”
Find out your brand archetypes
Kaye Putnam is an expert when it comes to archetypes. Over the past 10+ years, she’s worked with huge corporations, solopreneurs, and everyone in between. Her mission is to help companies define who they are at their core. This allows them to show up as their true, authentic selves – building relationships, engaging audiences, and raising revenue in the process.
Which archetypes do you identify with?
Find Kaye Putnam online at kayeputnam.com
On Social: @KayePutnam
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