Anthropology Can Help You Tell Stories That Will Resonate On Socials. Here’s why

8th November

Published by Ryan O'Keeffe

8th November

Anthropologists have long been employed by businesses to help marketing and R&D departments investigate customer demographics and motivations. At Jago, we revolutionised personal branding by asking the question ‘if anthropology helps build brands, why not personal brands too?’.

How did we make that leap? Let’s take a look at what anthropology can do.

What is Anthropology?

You probably know anthropology as the study of societies and cultures. This is a good working definition to start from, but it is essential to look deeper. Here are a few types of anthropology you may not have come across:

  • Linguistic anthropology: The study of language, people, and culture
  • Sociocultural anthropology: How culture affects the experience of being human
  • Holism: a holistic approach to understanding what it means to be a person in a given time or place
  • Applied anthropology: Real-world application of what is learnt in other kinds of anthropology. How can the lessons we gather there help us understand one another and ourselves?

Sociocultural anthropology is particularly relevant to personal branding, with linguistic anthropology secondary as a component in self expression, interpersonal understanding, and storytelling. Applied anthropology uses anthropological concepts to solve real-world, real-time problems. 

Applied anthropology is exactly what we use at Jago. Combined with EQ and content creation, anthropology is key to enhancing your personal brand. We believe that knowing yourself, regulating your emotions, showing up consistently, and telling your story brilliantly are a sure fire way to build a personal brand that can’t be ignored.

Anthropology and Understanding Yourself

So, how does this work? Why is anthropology so effective for helping you understand themselves, and through that understand how others see them?

At its core, anthropology is understanding what makes us tick. It shows us the ways in which we exist within and interact with a culture – the culture of our business, for example, or our social media audience. Initially, self awareness allowed us to interact with people who weren’t like us. Other tribes, for example, other villages. As the world has got both smaller and larger with the growth of the internet, smartphones, an explosion in global population levels, and the COVID pandemic, our ability to maintain self-awareness has been tested. 

Because of its roots in self-awareness, anthropological concepts are even being knitted into business school curricula in the modern world. Why? Because understanding yourself means building self-awareness. A skill that’s sorely lacking in many people, particularly those who have power, with only a measly 15% of people actually displaying self-aware tendencies. 

The good news here is that self-awareness can be learned. Through anthropological exercises, self-reflection, and EQ training you can increase your self-awareness and learn how to use it to enhance your personal brand and interpersonal relationships.

Anthropology, Storytelling, and Jago.

Language and the ability to tell stories, is key to being human. That’s why, in addition to self-awareness, anthropology is about storytelling. So is building a brand. That’s because telling stories: our own stories, the stories of other people we relate to, the act of hearing stories and how they affected us, are ancient and essential parts of being human. 

Storytelling is key to personal branding; what is social media, if not a platform for stories?

But unless you understand both yourself and your audience, you won’t know what stories to tell, or how to tell them. That’s why the development phase of the Jago process ends with an ‘About Me’ session, which is a way to help you unearth storytelling seams we will use later. In the activation phase, we build on what we have unearthed when you create your own content and work collaboratively with our professional facilitators and writers in Personal Brand Management sessions. 

The Jago process is about understanding all aspects of what makes you tick, what makes your desired audience tick, and how to reach them.


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  • "I said to them at the end of Phase One, I think you know me better than I know me and that builds real confidence."

    Peter Hoole