5 Crucial Steps to Make Your Brand a Movement

Note from Corbett: today’s post is by Amy Clover. Amy just launched a campaign in support of a cause that’s very close to her heart. Watch the video later in this post to see exactly how she implemented the strategies she’s about to share with you.

Also, after Amy’s post I want to tell you about a very special live session I’m hosting this week with Derek Halpern, the man behind perhaps the fastest growing blog on the planet (Social Triggers). Read to the end to learn more and register.

Take it away Amy.

Last July, I got a sinking feeling that I wasn’t living up to my full potential.

I was heading up a growing blog (StrongInsideOut.com), writing about things that matter to me (health and personal development), and I was making a good amount of money doing what I loved (personal training).

The brand I had built around Strong Inside Out was thriving, but it needed something more to take it to the next level.

There was this constant voice at the back of my head telling me that my message should be bigger than me.

After a period of assessment, I realized that my brand was just that: a brand. The buck stopped there.

  • I needed a bigger following
  • I wasn’t spreading my message beyond my readers like I hoped to
  • I wasn’t creating change, or helping as many people as I wanted to

In order to take it up a notch and really make a mark on the world, I decided to create a movement out of my brand.

Since then, I’ve developed The 30×30 Project, a 30-city tour across the US and Canada of donation-based bootcamps that will benefit the non-profit, To Write Love On Her Arms. The IndieGoGo campaign just launched Friday!

I’m happy to say that my movement is well under way, and now I’m here to help you ignite yours as well.

You have a unique message you need to get out to the world. If your branding is strictly, well, branding, then you’re missing out on a wealth of community support, momentum, and loyalty that can take your blog or business to the next level.

When people feel like they’re fighting WITH you, instead of watching you fight your own battle, they’re more likely to support and encourage you however they can. When you succeed, they feel like they’re achieving a personal success as well. That’s the key to launching your brand to the next level.

Let’s go through the 5 crucial steps it takes to make a message into a movement.

1: Base Your Movement in Altruism

Before I decided to do a tour for charity, I was superficially altruistic.

I was (and still am) giving 5% of the proceeds from my only ebook for sale to To Write Love On Her Arms. It felt like a measly effort to appeal to people’s charitable senses.

It was only when I stepped back and allowed myself to see the full spectrum by asking myself, “How can I help the most people with my skill set?” did I begin to sense the spark that would light my movement.

When you base your goals in helping others, your tag line becomes your message. Your brand becomes a mission. Your drive becomes a need to help that cause.

When you’re working for more than just yourself, your selfish goals of success become a purpose that other people are more likely to get behind.

Ask yourself: “How can you help the most people with your unique skill set?”

2: Destroy The Box

Thinking bigger than you ever have before takes guts and a willingness to fail. You have to step outside everything you know to dream up your movement.

What matters to you, and what’s the most unique, grandiose way you can accomplish it?

Don’t be afraid to dream too big here. There’s no such thing.

When you have your big dream in mind, map out what it would actually take to achieve it, and if you’re willing to put forth the effort, go for it.

Nothing is too silly or ridiculous as long as you can find an actionable path to it.

Make sure the steps are things that you can control, rather than ethereal steps or hopes. You must be able to DO these things.

3: Be Brave

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” ― Thomas Jefferson

You will be the leader of this movement. You will be the face of your message.

Creating a movement requires an extraordinary amount of bravery. If you want to fuel your cause, you must have the courage to stand out and demand that your presence be known. 

Here’s a secret I don’t tell many people: I’m a recovered shy kid. I grew up quiet and introverted, and now I have to consciously pull myself out of my shell.

If I can do it, you can, too.

Your foundation of altruism comes into play here, as well. Every time I go out and meet new people, or really put myself out there, I remind myself: “My message needs to be heard, and the people I am helping need me to be strong.”

It gives me courage every time, and I bet it will for you, too.

4: Create An Insane Work Ethic

Since you’re a Think Traffic reader, I highly doubt you have anything less than an insane work ethic. Entrepreneurs know that it takes work to earn that 4-hour workweek!

Even so, a movement requires a similar, yet different kind of work than starting a blog or business might.

A movement is a community-based endeavor; the people you’re helping and those fighting alongside you being your community. You must work at building that following and loyalty by helping them as much as you can, whenever you can.

Again, be selfless here. You’d be surprised how selflessness is the most efficient form of selfishness.

The logistics of creating a movement are just as demanding as starting your own business. The only thing is, this time around, if you fail, you’re letting down more than just yourself… No pressure. 😉

Knowing that you’re working hard for all those people you’re trying to help can be kerosene to your fire if you let it.

Keep persisting. Make the time to make this happen.

For ideas on what to do for the launch of your movement, check out How To Launch With A Bang; it has tons of good advice for getting the word out.

5: Get Over The Fear of Asking for Help

You’d be amazed at the reception of your movement if it’s truly based in altruism and your USP is in place.

Your friends, community and network is there because they like you! They are your support system and they’ll be happy to hear that you’re doing such amazing things.

You still have to make sure, however, that when you reach out, you’re not putting them out.

Every time you reach out to someone else, try one of these two approaches:

  • Offer them or their community something beneficial. If you’re asking to guest post, really think about how you can add value to the site. Same thing with your own community: offer up some way to award them for helping you.
  • Simply share your movement with them. If it speaks to them, they will offer to help on their own or continue the conversation with you in a more open way, giving you an opportunity to ask for help more organically.

All of your networking has been for this moment. All your community-building has led you here. You’re in the big leagues now, guys.

Take these actions, and you’ll be ready to rock your movement in no time!

Speaking of not being afraid to ask for help…

My IndieGoGo campaign for the 30×30 project is running as we speak. I’d be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to check out my video and help however you can:

Find out how you can join the 30×30 movement here

Are you going to take the leap from brand to movement? Take this opportunity to get some readers fighting on your side from the start.

In the comments, tell us about your movement and the first step you’re going to take to make it happen.

Written by Amy Clover, founder of Strong Inside Out and creator of The 30×30 Project. Join the movement on IndieGoGo and become part of the tribe on Facebook.

42 thoughts on “5 Crucial Steps to Make Your Brand a Movement”

  1. In the later part of 2012, I was able to break free from selfishness – I mapped out my plans, and started asking for help from experts. Not as someone who was hopeless at the time, but as an entrepreneur who understands that networking can change a small business into a BIG one.

    I can boldly say that the fear of asking for help has held bloggers and lifestyle entrepreneurs bound, even if they realize it or not. What I’ve been doing this year is similar to my last year’s objective. And it goes in this line:

    “If you can’t or don’t know how to do a thing, ask for help and be ready to get a lot of Rejections. But at the end of the day, you’ll get a YES.”

    Thank you so much Amy for this outstanding post.

    1. Thank you, Michael, for doing what you do and helping us get rid of the fear of asking for help! Fantastic sentiment in that line!

  2. Great 5 Steps and all actionable. Being Brave and Getting over your own Fears is never easy, but each time I think back to a time I’ve faced a fear head on, I’ve put myself in a much better position professionally and personally. Its remembering that & having the courage each new time a “fear” comes up again.

    Great Post Amy and loved your interview today on Entrepreneur on Fire. Good luck with the awesome project!

    1. I like to think of courage as consistent action taken in the face of fear. You’re right on there.

      Thank you very much, Mike! I’m coming at you from all angles today. 😉

  3. loved these tips! i like how you explain how to create a movement around your brand. I think being willing to fail is a big one!

    1. Hey Janet!

      Fancy seeing you here. 😉

      Being willing to fail is one of the toughest to implement, but also one of the most important. You must take risks to achieve epic results.

  4. Altruism is a noble quality, and can often guide you in your goals. It can sometimes limit them
    too, especially if your altruism guides you in the parameters you place on your lifestyle.

    And this can relate to working too. Loving your work can make it less work, more enjoyable past-time. What’s important is knowing what work matters to getting you to completing your goal, or getting you where you want to be.

    This includes working on jobs that need to be done and aren’t on your “hot” list of likes, such as sorting out why you can’t get the Visual editor in your wordpress blog to work all of a sudden! (mmh, been there too:))

    It’s work that detracts or hoodwinks you into thinking you’re moving towards your goals that wastes time, delays and dis-spirits you.

    It’s all about reaching out and not making your work yours alone. It’s about asking for help.

    Asking for help – now, there’s a mission and a half! If only more people asked for help, not only would they achieve more, they’d give value to their helpers and build a iron-clad community. It is all about the courage to ask as I’m discovering.

    That’s the secret. Thanks for showing me. And thanks for bringing living with mental ill-health into the open. Your story resonates with me and my work with people living with mental ill-health. Perhaps more people would ask for help if they knew people cared.

    Cheers Amy!

    1. This part of your comment really spoke to me:

      “It’s all about reaching out and not making your work yours alone.”

      It’s when we find a cause we love, and are able to see the benefit in others that it becomes a passion and a movement.

      I appreciate your kind words. Hopefully, this movement will open up the doors to reaching out for help without the stigma and taboo that comes with the topic of mental health.

  5. I loved that you included “Get over the fear of asking for help.” I think a lot of times, at least for me and my team, we KNOW we need help, we’re just reluctant to believe that someone would actually be willing to spend some time mentoring and guiding us on our path. Especially as we’re wrapping up development on our first product, this is something we have to do. Thanks for this post and best of luck to your journey! I hope my whole team can join in on the webinar as well!

    1. Thank you, Justin! Definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are people out there who want to see you succeed, and will be happy to go above and beyond if you just ask.

  6. My movement is helping folks succeed online. Since I’m booked months in advance for my design/development work (have been for 15 years), I wrote an ebook called Be Awesome at Online Business to reach/help more people with the ideas/skills I bring to each project. I just launched that last week and I’m working on getting over point 5 (since I sometimes suck at that one).

    1. That seems to be the them with the comments, Paul, so you’re not alone! Asking for help is scary because there are so many things to consider.

      Am I putting this person out? Am I jeopardizing the relationship? What if what I’m working on isn’t good enough?

      You must believe that what you have is worthy of attention. If you present it as such, without expectations or assumptions of what will come from it, people will help if they think it is right. That’s all you can ask, really. :)

  7. Great post Amy.

    Corbett I follow your blog as well as the Social Trigger of Derek and I’m very excited to see you both together. I’ll be there with you in your session together. All the best. Hope to learn something great.


  8. Brilliant post, Amy (thanks for hosting, Corbett!)

    I feel like I’ve been following all these steps for a very long time now and simply calling it “branding”.

    In my heart I knew (and demonstrated) that my altruistic desire to help people Ryze Up was unstoppably unfolding, as my ‘brand’ kept running (and growing) throughout all this:

    -being homeless (3x)
    -evicted lost all possessions & ID (3x)
    -being betrayed a LOT
    -failing 8 businesses
    -8 failed LTRs
    -and finally… someone stole my life’s work.

    I’ve had many people jump on board, volunteer, offer help, and beg to wear the Ryze logo/brand.

    Despite all this, your post brings me some clarity to what’s been going on and why, and helps me re-frame some ‘hard times’.

    It also instructs an upcoming generation on how to do something bigger than a blog, and fits nicely with Corbett’s “Blog That Matters” concept.

    Keep ryzin’, Amy!

    1. Wow, what an amazing story you are living, Jason! Get that story out there and I’m sure people will be all over you to help! :)

    2. Thanks so much for this response, Amy!

      And you know, this feels like a good, safe place to share, so I’m gonna ramble a bit if no one minds :)

      As far as I know — I’ve been doing my best to share my story :)

      I’ve given press interviews held on subway platform payphones. I’ve called McDonald’s head office. I was invited to apply for Oprah, so I did :)

      I’ve posted it all over the blogosphere (collection here: http://ryzeonline.com/about/personal).

      Those things worked — a bit.

      As always, I learn and refined.

      It feels like my next step is to setup a separate domain and tell people the story there. More focused :)

      Each day I aim to increase my positive vibes so that I can share & contribute & help others ryze, and I know my story will be told as/when the time is right.

      Interestingly, I often feel blessed by angels, or some kind of ‘freakish’ living miracle,.

      How’s that for sharing feelings, lol :)

      Keep ryzin’ Barr-ites!

  9. Amy–I’m gonna keep it brief here, since I left a comment on StongInsideOut. I’m thrilled to support your endeavor and I look forward to paying it forward and kicking some serious boot camp ass with you on the tour.

    My mission for today and for many days to come is:

    “It was only when I stepped back and allowed myself to see the full spectrum by asking myself, ‘How can I help the most people with my skill set?” did I begin to sense the spark that would light my movement.'”

    In the meantime….

    Go mental + physical health!

    1. Woohoo! Glad to have a physical/mental health cheerleader on my movement with me, Linda 😉 Loved your comment on SIO; thank you!

  10. Thanks for a great post Amy and for bringing this to us Corbett.

    It’s a great reminder to have purpose for our work in life. Other than experiencing more success and helping others, it helps us have more meaning to our lives and be happier.

    Being part of something bigger than ourself is a key ingredient for happiness.

  11. Wow, you made this so clear it’s kind of hitting me in the head with a bat (but one of those soft Nerf bats, thankfully):

    When you base your goals in helping others, your tag line becomes your message. Your brand becomes a mission. Your drive becomes a need to help that cause. When you’re working for more than just yourself, your selfish goals of success become a purpose that other people are more likely to get behind.

    I really want to help people with Bite-Size Change. Big Change? Huge Goals? We’ll get there, but starting small can help you, well. start. Thanks to your post above, I’ll be able to frame my message more clearly and how I can help people make what they think is impossible possible again.

    This is a well-written, well-executed post, thanks for taking the time to sharpen it.

  12. Great tips Amy!

    It’s very important to have a good work ethic. Blogging may give you more freedom with your time, but it doesn’t mean that you can slack off. Like you say, we all know that it takes a lot of hard work for the “4 Hour Week”. :)

    Also, I’m always surprised to hear that many bloggers describe themselves as “coming from a shy background” (me too). Blogging is such a great way to overcome that and meet loads of new people from around the world.

  13. Hi, Matt! I’m with you on that; I find that I express myself better in writing than I do with talking, and being an introvert, I find it’s easier to talk to new people via the blogosphere.

    It really helps that everyone is so welcoming and helpful in the blogging world as well. I’m so grateful to have been accepted into it with open arms!

  14. I *love* your energy and passion, Amy. I have read about you and this movement in a few different spaces recently, and I keep coming back to this same simple thought ‘to have a movement, one must move’…a step (or more) each day and most likely one must be willing to be moved. It seems so much in this world comes down to connecting and creating through vulnerability. When you are vesting in something you truly care about, the steps you mention in this article are ‘easier’ than when doing something from obligation or merely “following procedures. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much, Joy. Those words warm my heart.

      You’re right: just move. The movement comes from having the strength to move others forward as well as yourself, so one must begin by taking those personal steps.

  15. Great post, very enlightening, I know one of the biggest hurdles for me is swallowing my pride and asking for help. Funny how certain fears can cripple us from success. Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed it :)

    1. Happy to hear it, David! That seems to be the theme in the comments here: asking for help is not easy at all. We grow up working so hard to find our independence and creating a life in which we can take care of ourselves, then we have to take a step back to go further. It may take some time, but you’ll get more comfortable with it!

  16. Hey Amy,
    Great Article and a Good Work!
    All the 5 points are awesome :) or I should say that this 5 points are Killer Points. Worth reading your article.
    Subscribed the blog. Waiting for the best articles :)

  17. During the last years I’ve learned the “branding lesson” and created my new marketing blogs, working on myself as a brand and my ideas as favourite sayings.

    branding and rebranding can really change your views and your blog story.

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