String, the founder of The Trusted Voice and 3x LinkedIn Top Voice recently jumped on a podcast by The Creator Generation.
There is a bit of confusion regarding her name though. Her real name is Suzanne Nguyen but online she is known as “String”. For String, this is an extension of her brand.
String shares her origin story and her tactics on building a brand on LinkedIn.
So, what is the story behind String?
What really inspired String to be who she is today is her mother. She considers her mum to be her all-time hero. Her mum escaped the war in Vietnam. Being a solo mother, her priority was to provide for her 5 children and ensure they have a good education.
As they couldn’t afford daycare, Suzanne and her four siblings would usually find themselves in a library which sparked her insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge.
Fast forward, Suzanne graduates, and leaves her job as an interior designer to opt for being an online influencer and content creator.
Eventually, Suzanne became “String”, which represents all the string of stories of her life and thus, String Story. She initially spent 2 years as string installation artist. That’s how she originally got the name, connecting people, time, and place.
While being an artist, she became so good at being a creator online that she decided to make the switch to be a content marketer, particularly video. She is convinced that video is the next big thing.
After working hard and creating content on Snapchat, String was realizing that almost every company is hesitant to make video content on Snapchat. When she got the offer to be beta for videos on LinkedIn, she made the big jump.
Now she’s helping other particularly professionals and business owners build their brand online.
String’s vision is to increase the creative vibes.
The authentic personality of String has helped her grow her audience and achieved “LinkedIn’s Top Voice” for three consecutive years.
String shows how to be a storyteller and building a brand on LinkedIn. Sharing tips, hacks and being a channel on LinkedIn.
There are an estimated 660 million users on LinkedIn but only 3 million are creating weekly original content. These numbers inspired String to think that LinkedIn could be a better platform for her to express herself.
Quite surprisingly, people love her content! Through her interactive personality, she was able to amass a great audience in a very short time.
Creating content on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a professional platform so it was never an easy task to start with content creation in such a platform. String has spent a lot of time on LinkedIn and after much analysis, she came to the conclusion that there are three major approaches of how people use LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is moving a CV platform
The first is STATIC – LinkedIn is like a CV for a lot of its users.
People show expertise in order to network with like-minded people or to find a job. This is a traditional use of LinkedIn.
Be A LinkedIn Channel
The second approach, which String has adopted, is to create a CONTENT CHANNEL on LinkedIn.
She introduced a new perspective to the audience that a person’s profile serves as a landing page of a website. It has the power to show others about yourself in a very concise manner. String calls profiles as a dynamic piece of content that can sell you.
The third approach is to build a brand – why?
It’s so you differentiate yourself, branding is all about how the market and your prospects perceive you.
Building a personal brand online
In personal branding, it is crucial to master the skills of positioning and presenting yourself as a brand. String suggests that a self-exploring question like “What do I want to be known for?”, like she did. She always wanted to be known as a go-to guide for LinkedIn marketing and personal branding. Such self-exploration can really help people manage their priorities and achieve the branding goals that they dream of.
How is fried chicken part of String’s brand?
String loves to travel and take on new adventures. She found herself getting obsessed with fried chicken, so decided to express her likings and quickly became known to become a “Fried Chicken queen” by her followers. This really helped her from a branding perspective, she even got a “Fried Chicken Pillow” from one of her friends!
String and her theory of 7Vs
String talks about her 7 V’s of marketing that clarifies a lot of the stuff and provides a roadmap to act upon.
- Vision – have a clear vision in mind by asking self-exploration questions.
- Value – this refers to both personal and business values. Personal values may be to develop your personality to attract like-minded people who can push each other towards success. String’s business values are to have a sustainable lifestyle while doing the work she loves,
- Volks – famously from Volkswagen (meaning people). You have to make an effort to get to know your audience. The more you know them, the more you attract them,
- Voice – it’s easy to be boring on a video. Mix in some turn of voice. Talk in a manner that is not only genuine but is also energetic. A little sense of humour always helps!.
- Visual – be authentic. That’s the main idea of video content. That is how you will represent a brand successfully.
- Validation – your goals
- Victory – how you make money off of it
Does the fried chicken brand work on Linkedin?
Introducing Fried Chicken to a professional platform like LinkedIn could be a hard task, but String did that quite effectively. It literally put forth her brand which made her connect with her audience on a deeper level.
It is often difficult to showcase your personality on a digital screen, but the fried chicken put forth an initiative for a deeper connection, sending a subliminal message “Hey want to know about me? I like fried chicken”. By associating herself with such a simple daily life thing, she was able to build trust with her audience which a lot of people struggle with. So the next time you go to KFC, the fried chicken will make you think of String! This is what connecting on reliable touchpoints is!
How can people determine their own fried chicken?
- What is the thing that you won’t get tired of? Something you can talk about day and night and not get bored of?
- Be creative with what you’re passionate about. Use what you love talking about more interesting to others. For example; String does fried chicken giveaways
Dealing with racism and sexism
String expresses how she has experienced racism and sexism a lot in her career and life but
Now people acknowledge her and treat her like an expert that she is. During her earlier days, she used to get affected by it but now she chooses to ignore it because you cannot ignore people’s ignorance and their biases. She believes that giving something power will only consume you and your energy as you cannot control another person’s mindset but only your own.
How String helped Diana Nguyen build her brand
Diana and String Nguyen, both have the same surname. But they are not sisters, they are actually good friends. It started around seven years ago when they both jumped into crowdfunding and String was just there for Diana to help support her and her dreams and to help her with the funding that she needed to get her work done.
String helped develop the marketing strategy for Phi And Me webseries and helped Diana raise funds since the early days.
String also suggested Diana build her brand on LinkedIn.
Finally, what are String’s three tips for success?
- Think like a business. Creatives usually don’t do this properly,
- Think like a business. Again. Know what product you want to create and how you want to create. You should also learn how to push people towards your product
- Scale properly. There are so many aspects of you that can and cannot be scaled. Focus on what you can scale, like your social media accounts, and create a team and delegate to improve and optimize your brand.