In New York on business last week, I managed to sneak away to the Met for a little cultural inspiration.
After checking out the special exhibits, I went on walkabout in my favorite section: the Impressionists and the post-Impressionists.
It’s a little like re-discovering old friends.
And after the second room, I realized why: I’d recognize the artist way before I got close enough to really see any details.
Monet, Van Gogh, Seurat, Pissaro, Gaugin, Matisse.
They each have a distinctive signature that—if you’re clued into them—you recognize.
You don’t have to be an art expert or even terribly knowledgeable.
Just interested in what they’re “saying”.
You know where I’m going with this, right?
It’s exactly the same with YOUR audience.
The more you develop your own style—your signature—the easier it is for your tribe to recognize you.
Even from a distance.
Then as your broad brush strokes pull them in closer, you show them your inimitable style, up close and personal.
Your insights. Your big idea. How your work transforms them in a way no one else can.
You give them a chance to feel you—to experience what it would be like to work with you or buy your stuff.
One person at a time.
Because what most of us want these days is a feeling of access, of intimacy.
We want to feel you, to touch you, to get through to you.
If you translate yourself consistently (and authentically)—via email, your website, your social posts, your speaking gigs—your chances of building a real tribe go up exponentially.
Related: How To Recognize Your Tribe
Think about that.
Picture your favorite idea people you allow into your in-box. Would you recognize their missives without their names attached?
Seth Godin, Jill Konrath, Bob Lefsetz, Marc Maron.
Before you say “Oh no, those are people who’ve been doing this a long time and I can’t compete with them”, just stop a moment.
No one comes out of the box perfectly formed. No one.
The only way to build to instant recognition is to start.
You find your way by doing the work.
And gradually—as you connect with your ideal people—you’ll hone your message and your voice into a consistently authentic you.
The value of a distinctive signature?