As a speaker, you need to go way beyond just telling your stories if you want to be successful. To be a true influencer, you have to know how to deliver your message. Otherwise, even the best points won’t come across the right way.
For the most part, this comes down to your personality. It needs to capture people and make them want to lean in and hear more. It should work like a magnet that attracts people and ensures they stick around.
Mark Manson embodies this. He’s an entrepreneur, author and speaker whose stories have reached millions of people. How did he build this level of success? Let’s find out what makes him unique.
Mark Manson – A Self-Help Author Who Doesn’t Give a F*ck
After graduating from Boston University in 2007, Manson started living the entrepreneurial life. His first couple of business endeavours revolved around content marketing, but Manson found he wasn’t as good a marketer as he first thought.
Wishing to play to his biggest strength, he started blogging in 2009. Words came naturally to him and he felt most comfortable when he was writing. He figured he could monetise his talents, which was when he started blogging about dating.
All of that writing paid off. He released his first book, titled Models, in 2011. The book contains dating advice for men and it became popular. According to estimates, Manson has sold 50,000–60,000 copies.
Upon releasing the book, Manson found his voice and audience. As a result, his email list now has around 350,000 subscribers. Despite the highly competitive market, he has managed to stand out from the crowd.
But the book was just a start for Manson. After self-publishing his first book, he decided to go down the traditional route with his second, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. He retained a New York agency that found a publisher for the book, which soon became a bestseller. It made the Washington Post and New York Times bestseller lists and sold a cool 6 million copies.
Manson decided to transition from dating advice to self-help. He entered another crowded market and conquered it, too. In May of 2019, he released another book, titled Everything’s F*cked, which is already a hit.
Like a springboard, these books catapulted Manson into many speaking gigs. He’s now one of the world’s most famous influencers, with a reach of millions.
But you won’t see him flaunting his wealth and indulging in a luxurious lifestyle. He continues to live a normal life, centred on his devotion to his family. Manson remains humble and continues to work as hard as he did at the beginning.
In today’s market, it’s nearly impossible to have this much success unless you have something unique to offer. Manson has it. His personality and edginess let him stand out from all the other influencers and make him irresistible to his audience.
If you’re wondering just what it is about his personality that people find so appealing, here are five elements that set him apart.
1. Strong Language
Manson knows his target audience. He talks to people who appreciate someone who tells it like it is. No fake politeness or overhyping, just the raw truth. Manson knows how to deliver it too. From his book titles, you can easily tell that he doesn’t shy away from anything.
Most of Manson’s audience members are millennials who connect with him for this reason. They can see that he doesn’t beat around the bush in delivering value.
This doesn’t mean that Manson is vulgar. If you listen to any of his speeches, you’ll see that there’s still a certain degree of professionalism to him. Combined with his raw, edgy voice, he creates a very unique tone that many people respond to.
2. Uniform Social Media Presence
When it comes to building a brand, consistency is key. You must find the thing that sets you apart and stick to it as much as possible. Fortunately, you can build a brand around almost anything.
As for your own brand, your personality is the main thing people will remember about you.
Manson is aware of this, which is why he always makes sure to bring his raw, direct tone to all of his channels. You’ll find the same witty approach everywhere. From his books to his speaking gigs, he stays true to himself.
The same goes for social media, where Manson has a massive influence. He creates high-quality content unified under his unique tone. It’s a perfect formula for online success.
3. Focus on the Right Audience
Many speakers, especially rookies, will accept any speaking gig they can get. They’re also very likely to adjust their narrative, and even the entire story, to fit the audience. This isn’t the way to become a true influencer.
On the contrary, Manson sticks to what he’s good at and doesn’t try to be a jack of all trades. He knows what he does and who he does it for, and he doesn’t care about anything else. He’s aware that his content isn’t for everyone, which doesn’t bother him.
There’s a large audience that follows Manson’s every move, and he focuses all his attention on them. And if someone has a problem with the way he does things, they can go follow or listen to someone else.
This is the mindset any successful influencer must adopt. You can’t be everything to everyone, and you shouldn’t even try. Do this instead: find your audience and tell stories they care about – the heck with everything else.
4. Unique and Evergreen Content
The self-help segment is one of the biggest in the market. Everyone wants more or less of something in life. As long as that’s the case, there will be many openings for speakers and influencers.
Manson’s message is highly popular. He promotes a care-free lifestyle and gives people advice on how to better themselves. However, there are many others who talk about the same thing.
What makes Manson different?
His personal stories. Manson doesn’t just give advice. He shares his own unique stories that apply to each of the lessons he teaches. What he does is add a personal touch to broad and popular topics. The result is content that suits a large audience, though with a unique twist and tone that may not be to everyone’s taste.
5. Strong Connections
One of the reasons Manson is so popular is because his stories are so deeply personal. He shares both good and bad experiences that people can relate to. As a result, people connect with him on a deeper level.
This is possibly the most important thing you’ll have to learn as a speaker. It’s all about building strong relationships with your audience. Your stories don’t have to be full of mind-opening breakthroughs. They just have to be human.
As long as your audience senses your vulnerability, they’ll open up to you as well. Manson leveraged his candour in the best possible way, which shows in his results.
Rise Above the Crowd
The cornerstone of Manson’s success is his unapologetic tone, blended with great stories that offer value to people. Millions have read his books, and it’s safe to say that Manson isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
Does this mean you should take what he does and do the same?
Of course not. Doing so would make you a copycat, and people will recognise this. In a highly competitive market, the worst thing you can do is be exactly like someone else. People will get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again.
It works much better if you build a brand consistent with your personality. No matter who you are, there are people out there who will resonate with your message and the way you deliver it. As long as you stay true to yourself and your audience, your influence will only grow.
Speakers Institute has much to offer professional speakers of all levels. Whether you’re an aspiring or an established speaker, we think you’ll have something to learn from the following: