Every once in a while someone comes along that just blows all the rulebooks out of the water when it comes to building a successful brand. Someone who builds an empire in a ridiculously short time from just completely being themselves.
One of those beautiful, magical unicorns is Sophie Hinchcliffe a.k.a Mrs Hinch - the cleaning mad powerhouse who calls her followers her Hinch Army and loves Zoflora almost as much as her dog Henry.
You might well know of her, but on the off chance you don't, I urge you to take a look at her instagram account and watch some of her stories to get a feel for what we're dealing with here.
Mrs Hinch burst onto the Instagram scene in March 2018 and just a year later has amassed 2 million followers. To put that in perspective, the broadcaster and writer Fearne Cotton has 2.6 million.
Of course, this isn't a game of numbers, it's merely to illustrate how quickly Mrs Hinch has become a household name.
She started off sharing cleaning tips on Instagram stories along with pictures of her perfectly pristine, grey and white home, never expecting for anything to come of it all.
Through a combination of her quirky personality, the frequency and consistency she posts on Instagram Stories, and her pure love of her Hinch Army, she has grown a hugely loyal following. She's appeared as a regular guest on ITVs This Morning, and is due to release her first book called Hinch Yourself Happy next month through Penguin books.
That, my friend, is what's possible when you build a super strong brand and a community around that brand.
I'm not saying that you should try and recreate her success - No one NEEDS 2 million followers. I am here however, to point out the lessons we can learn from Mrs Hinch to apply to our own businesses.
Building a strong brand opens doors for you that you won't previously ever have imagined were possible. That's the long and short of it.
So, let's dive in...
Here are 5 lessons we can learn from Mrs Hinch for building a super strong brand!
1. Do something you are truly passionate about and SHOW people that passion.
Sophie didn't start her Instagram account with the intention of making money or going viral. Instead, she just wanted to show people pictures of her home because she was proud of it.
She suffers from anxiety and cleaning and tidying her home was something that made her feel calm and safe. Once she started sharing her cleaning tips and advice on Instagram stories her community grew swiftly because she showed how utterly passionate she was about the subject and knew that it would help other people in the same position as her.
2. Be consistent with your message.
Sophie was completely consistent from the start. It has always been about her home and her cleaning. Everything she does revolves around that - and in fact at the beginning she didn't show her face at all.
I'm not advocating for you to not show your face - you absolutely should do that! Just try and make sure most of the things you share on social media hark back to your original theme, or closely related themes.
For example Sophie will show snippets of her life out and about shopping, but if she stumbles across a home bargains or savers she'll nip in and buy some Zoflora, or just film something for stories that shows that she's been in to see the cleaning aisle!
She is completely aware of her brand at all times and knows what her audience loves her for and what they want to see. People want consistency, when they love something it will never get old or boring.
3. Be yourself - let your personality shine through.
I think that Sophie's account skyrocketed very quickly because she has a quirky way of sharing her cleaning tips. She doesn't speak in a monotone voice, she has catchphrases and ways of saying things that are distinctive and authentic to her.
She names all her cleaning tools and shares her way of viewing the world with her community. People want to see the world through your eyes, so let them in! Don't be afraid of what other people will think of you for sharing whatever it is that you want to share.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because in the end those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter."
- Theodor Seuss Geisel.
4. Always be grateful for your community.
Sophie always thanks her followers because she knows she wouldn't be where she is without them.
Don't take your community for granted - listen to them and be aware that you are there to serve them. Don't let that hold you back from doing something slightly different or pivoting if that's what will make you truly happy, but always be aware of what your audience wants from you.
5. Have a 'thing' that's distinctively yours.
Having even something simple that is really distinctive to you can go a long way to making you memorable in the eyes of your audience.
For Sophie that's things like naming her cleaning products, the storage cupboard 'Narnia' in her garage, and her love of grey and white. She has quite a few quirks and things that are very distinctive and unique to her, but even having one very 'on brand' thing that you re-iterate over and over will help you to stick in peoples minds.
Whether that's a fave food, a love of music, a beautiful office space, a gorgeous dog - own those quirks of your personality or things that you love and talk about them often.
I hope this article was inspirational for you! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me over on Instagram @lemonandbirch.
If you're looking to brand or rebrand your business I'd love to hear from you! Send me a message here.
If you're not quite ready to dive into professional branding, you can download my FREE branding guide - The Blossoming Brand Blueprint. Download it here.