How to tell your personal brand story
In business or personal encounters with other people, we are frequently asked about ourselves, yet many of us don’t have a well-packaged answer ready. By learning to tell your personal brand story – a quick, interesting, emotive summary of who you are and the key things you want people to know about you – you can ensure that you become more memorable.
The most powerful brands are built on emotional connections, and stories help to create those emotional connections. This is why learning to tell your personal brand story is one of the simplest and most effective ways of getting people to buy into your personal brand.
For example, saying, “I’m a landscaper and I work mainly in office parks,” doesn’t create an emotional connection or share many of your personal brand attributes. If, however, you say something along the lines of, “I create beautiful gardens for office parks because I’m passionate about landscaping. I believe that just taking a lunch break in attractive, green surroundings can change someone’s whole day and improve their mood,” you convey your personality and some of your most positive brand values to the person to you are talking to.
Your personal brand story should briefly sum up your background, including any important milestones in your journey to where you are today, as well as highlighting your strengths and your area of focus.
For example, when I interviewed Allon Raiz, the founder of Raizcorp (the only unfunded for-profit business incubator model in Africa) for my book Branding & Marketing YOU, he told me about how he began his career working in his parents’ umbrella factory in Durban.
In 1991, he left the business to work in a friend’s retail business. He tried to turn the business around, and eventually came up with the idea of emptying out the shop window, much to his friend’s horror, and offering a R20 discount voucher to anyone who brought in an old pair of shoes. He put these secondhand shoes in the window, and they started to catch the attention of passersby. He called in the media, who photographed the 5 000 pairs of shoes that had been collected, and then donated them to charity. He learnt the impact of disruption, and how to use the media in his public relations. He used these lessons next in the food and security industries, and then again when he started Raizcorp with the vision of raising up successful and sustainable entrepreneurs. He realized that he was his primary asset, and that his ability to innovate and his reputation were powerful tools to build his business.
This short anecdote illustrates Allon’s skills, interests and interests in a story format, which is far more effective in creating an emotional connection than just listing them.
Make sure that next time someone asks you about yourself you are prepared. Take the time to write down some key points in your brand story and be ready to include them in your answer.
What’s your brand story?