Building Your Personal Brand Story
Telling your story helps you stand out from other people and from those who never figure out the fact that peoples are inherently interested in hearing stories. Philip Pullman once said: “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
Those in sales and marketing have known for a long time that stories trump data when it comes to persuasion because stories are easier to understand and relate to.
How to Tell a Good Story?
Almost all good stories follow one of a few recurring patterns.
A typical example is the challenge, in which a “David” takes on a “Goliath”. Stories like these inspire a lot of people to take action, following “David’s” example. Of course, this doesn’t have to be a story about that time when you defeated a much bigger opponent in a duel, instead, it can be about those times when you faced overwhelming odds against you but managed to succeed in spite of all the obstacles.
Another common pattern is reaching out, in which a “Good Samaritan” helps a complete stranger in need. This story can be about those times when you did a magnanimous gesture or you volunteered for a good cause.
Stories about creativity, such as the apple falling on Newton’s head and inspiring his theory of gravity, encourage people to see the world from a new perspective or think outside the box. This can be about that situation in which you solved a problem by using a creative and innovative solution like that time when you used duct-tap to fix the Apollo module.
Some characteristics that make a story more memorable are: simplicity, unexpectedness, credibility and emotion.
Everybody Has a Story to Tell
The key to successful personal branding isn’t only talking about your self and your achievements it’s also about talking about other people and their achievements. Your personal brand should reflect your personality and talking about other people, events and ideas reflects your way of thinking, in other words, part of your personality. You can imply things about your personality without saying it directly. Talking about something else than yourself also makes you an influencer, you become a valuable resource of information. You have to first offer value before you can ask for something. Also, you don’t want to be branded as egocentric.
Writing Your Personal Brand Autobiography
Your story is part of your autobiography. One of the benefits of developing a good personal brand story is that you can integrate your story into your personal brand statement to make it more memorable. Another benefit is that you can integrate your story into your vision and personal mission statement.
Start with a short bio, 140 characters maximum, how would you describe yourself in a tweet? What defines you? What is your passion? What are your skills?
Your personal brand bio is important because is your personal sales pitch. Always write it in the third person. Make sure your bio is appropriate for the context in which you will use it: formal, funny, professional, or personal.
Now take your short bio and expand it to at least 250 characters, include your name, profession, skills and accomplishments if applicable.
Use your story and brand statement as often as possible, when writing a blog post, an email, posting on a forum or creating an online profile. This helps you to differentiate yourself, maximize your visibility and opportunities. You can start here on your road to broadcast your story and brand.