Don’t Build a Brand. Build a Movement.
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Melissa Kwan is a 3x bootstrapper who shares her stories and experience growing three startups over 13 years on LinkedIn. Follow her here!
When you're building an online business, you're not just crafting a brand — you're building a movement.
It’s the difference between a solopreneur who's scraping by and a business that grows month-over-month-over-month.
While a decent personal brand makes you recognizable, a movement makes you unforgettable.
Unforgettable is something to strive for.
If you’re wondering what all this “movement” talk is about, think about the stuff you’ve spent money on in your life.
Stuff like paintbrushes and toilet paper exist to solve obvious problems. They're low-cost, straightforward, and can easily be swapped out for another brand. They're commodities. You buy them, use them, and move on. Zero emotional connection.
Now, compare that to something like Red Bull or Nike basketball shoes. These products aren’t about basic functions. They have become symbols for a lifestyle, an aspiration, a statement.
They're not commodities; they're movements.
So why does all of this matter to you, the creator?
With social media becoming more crowded and competitive by the day, you need every advantage you can get. Your business has to be more than just a toilet paper transaction.
And your job is to create an emotional connection that actually sticks.
My mission is bringing Solopreneurship to the masses as an alternative to the traditional 9 to 5 or venture-backed entrepreneur.
Here are four ways I work to build my Solopreneur movement with my audience:
Stand for Something
After four years of sharing content, I’m shifting my message from “how-to” to "movement-based" content, by sharing what I stand for and believe in.
I’m not interested in writing long threads about how to build your side hustle or quit your job.
Instead, I’d rather share content that speaks to how I think about my movement.
The “why” behind my mission.
See the subtle difference?
I’ll continue to share tactical information in my newsletter and articles, but my "big why” has become a cornerstone of my content.
And using my Content OS, I can sync all of my articles, newsletters, and content together to drive my business.
As my content style changes, some people will love it and some won’t. That’s okay.
I’m rolling forward with the people who are drawn to how I think about life and business.
People like authenticity and raw realness.
So, I’m starting to share behind-the-scenes look at how I think, why I work the way I do, what my strong beliefs are, and what my life is like.
But rather than just share a glimpse of me eating a sandwich (boring), I try to make every piece of personal content aligned with my movement.
Like this one:
This Tweet goes along with my movement:
- Less time working
- More time with my family
- More time out in nature
- Less of doing what I hate
It’s intended to show you that I practice what I preach.
If someone resonates with the 4 bullets above, I want them to join my movement.
Engage Your Community
It's not enough to just have followers anymore.
Nowadays, you need advocates. And the more you engage with your community, the more they'll want to spread your message on your behalf.
I recently jumped onto a subscribers-only AMA (Twitter subscribers), and got to know 360+ subscribers by spending some time answering their questions for nearly an hour.
I know, long term, this will be a win/win for both me and the people who are attracted to the Solopreneur movement.
Offer Real Value
In all these years making digital courses, my goal was never to deliver a good product. I always want to deliver massive change.
I want people to take my courses or read my newsletter, apply the learnings, and be stunned by their growth and progress.
I don’t want them to just watch the course. I want them to do the things and get the results that make them feel different about their business and lives.
When I read Tweets like this, I know my courses, newsletter, and content aren't "fluffy".
They are actually helping people achieve their actual goals.
Remember, you’re unique. Nobody else on Earth has walked in your shoes. And your product or service will be a result of your unique thoughts, ideas, and experiences.
That means you have the potential to enrich lives in a way that nobody else can.
That’s a movement.
It’s easy to get bogged down by the challenges of writing content, being active on social media, and engaging with people. I get it.
But remember: You're not just building a business. You're building a movement. And movements change lives, including yours.
When you think about it like that, isn’t it worth the effort?
So next time you're working late, tweaking your content, or perfecting your product, remember that you're not just selling something.
You're making history, one follower, one customer, one advocate at a time.
Good luck out there.
Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:
1. The Creator MBA: On January 16th, 2024, I’m aggregating 5 years of online business expertise, proven methods, and actionable strategies into The Creator MBA. It will set the stage for a new era of lean, focused, and profitable Internet businesses. Join 16,000+ internet entrepreneurs on the waitlist.
2. The LinkedIn Operating System: Join 17,000 students and 30 LinkedIn Top Voices inside of The LinkedIn Operating System. This comprehensive course will teach you the system I used to grow from 0 to 490,000+ followers and $5M+ in income.
3. The Content Operating System: Join 7,000 students in my multi-step content creation system. Learn to create a high-quality newsletter and 6-12 pieces of high-performance social media content each week.
4. Promote yourself to 185,000+ subscribers by sponsoring my newsletter.