AMA (Ask Milly Anything)
The Q: "I'm doing two related but very distinct things -- how do I manage talking to two different audiences at the same time"
We’re going full 90’s! 😃 Depending on where you grew up, Agony Aunt or Dear Abby may ring a bell. They were beloved advice columns in magazines where folks would write in with a question, and could seek advice on their pressing questions. I thought this could be a fun and helpful thing to do for Generalist World, too!
Thanks to Drew for coming up with the extremely fitting name: AMA (ask Milly anything).
Let’s give it a whirl! 🌪️
Our first question is a goodie…
I'm an entrepreneurial generalist, which means I'm starting more than one venture. All the advice about building a professional brand online says to focus on one thing and become the expert / go-to in that specific topic. I'm doing two related but very distinct things -- how do I manage talking to two different audiences at the same time?
Firstly, advice should be a consideration, not a rule. There’s a bazillion blueprints, “thought leaders” and 10-step systems that promise the world and 100k followers in 90 days, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for you.
The thing with building a brand, is there is literally no secret. The most effective thing you can do: is to show up again, and again, and again. And the only way you can do that (whilst keeping your sanity) is to talk about stuff you’re really, truly passionate about.
Building a brand isn’t a quick win. It’s about building a picture of your values, your personality, and what you have to offer. Most of all, it’s building trust. Think of it as a long-game. This is where most people go wrong. They don’t see instant results and they fizzle out. When you’re speaking about stuff you enjoy, and it isn’t a chore — that’s what will make your personal brand sustainable.
Secondly, what makes you different? My hunch is it’s probably the fact that you are a generalist, and have unique insight because of your intersection of knowledge. LEAN INTO THAT! Whilst most are specializing, going deep, and talking about one thing, you have something special. In an economy where everyone’s vying for your attention, being different is a strength.
Own your differences. Proudly and clearly state in your bio that you talk about x, y, and z.
Thirdly, find the common thread. Humans are not binary beings. There will always be overlap in our interests, curiosities and desires. Instead of looking at it like: I have two distinct audiences, reframe it to: my potential audience is 2-3x the size because of my overlap of offerings.
Ever heard the saying, different strokes for different folks? It applies here, too. Across written, audio, long-form, short-form, async and live, there’s a plethora of ways to reach your people. Maybe you find Twitter works a treat for a segment of your audience, and maybe it’s TikTok for another.
Experimentation is your friend. Know that if, and when, something doesn’t land - it’s nothing personal, just a step closer to finding out what does resonate. Play around with formats and platforms until you land on 2 or 3 (max!) that you’ll enjoy using most days.
Lastly, have fun! We gravitate toward positivity, and if you can be that light for someone you’ll have a supporter for a very long time. When I was first starting GW, it was the friends I made organically through LinkedIn and Twitter that became our founding members and, to this day, our longest and most fiery supporters.
The keyword of social media is: social. Be a great supporter of others, and others will return the favour.
Enjoy the ‘messy middle’ of finding your feet, your voice, your platform and your people. Keep consistent. Lean into what makes you unique. You gotta be in it to win it, so the most important thing you can do is to just start, and see where the road takes you.
If you’re a member of GW, check out our Members Lounge for Sakshi’s workshop called Personal Branding 101 for more great, actionable advice.
That’s a wrap, folks! Have a burning question you’d like answered? Send it to [email protected]
As always, let me know what you think ✍️