Imagine tasting a freshly baked brownie by Martha Stewart.
Now, imagine Snoop Dogg offering you a freshly baked brownie.
What comes to mind when you think of each one?
Chances are that each scenario represents different things in not only your mind but that of others too. This is the power of a personal brand.
No matter who you are, building a compelling personal brand is critical. Not only is a personal brand extraordinarily powerful, but it exists whether you plan for it or not, so why not make it very deliberate?
When asked to describe themselves, most people start with what they do, without ever thinking about why they do it. Your personal brand story should be a narrative that answers the “So What?” question. It must give people a reason to care, a reason to pick you, and a reason to stay. There is a huge difference between whether your audience views your story as just another transactional relationship or a story that emotionally connects with them.
Creating a compelling personal brand story can be challenging. It requires honesty, authenticity, discipline, and an artistic eye.
We previously shared six guidelines on how to build a personal brand. Now we’d like to dive a notch deeper and answer:
How do you actually build a personal brand story?
Let’s break this important process down into 3 tangible steps.
1. What’s Your WHY?
First, we start with building a Why statement, which is the single most important element to your brand story. Your why will be the cornerstone of your personal brand story. Here’s a hint: it’s not about making money. This is an exercise that should make you “peel back the onion” and delve into the most fundamental reason for your existence in your role. This is the reason that is right at the core, at the heart of why you do what you do.
Take a look at this example:
“I believe that most of marketing today is broken – overly tactical and generally ineffective. So, I’ve committed myself to bringing transformational change to marketing to create lasting, measurable impact for businesses.”
Do you notice how this has nothing to do with making money or paying bills but rather, speaks to the core of why you do what you do?
2. WHAT You Do
After you’ve disclosed your Why, the next step is to talk about what you actually do.
Here’s an example that flows from the Why above:
“I started a firm that helps businesses transform their marketing, generate remarkable business results and move to the top right quadrant of the markets where they compete.”
This explains what you do and supports what you stated in your Why.
3. HOW You Do It
You’ve now talked about why you do what you do and what you actually do. Now, let’s explore how you do it. Your How statement is the logical next step that follows your What statement and offers the next level of detail after you’ve stated what you do.
Here’s a How that follows the example above:
“I create compelling brand stories, formulate winning strategies to reach the target audience, and put marketing systems in place to execute and measure business impact with ruthless consistency.”
Let’s now pull all three pieces together:
“I believe that most of marketing today is broken – overly tactical and generally ineffective. So, I’ve committed myself to bringing transformational change to marketing to create lasting, measurable impact for businesses. I started a firm that helps businesses transform their marketing, generate remarkable business results and move to the top right quadrant of the markets where they compete. I create compelling brand stories, formulate winning strategies to reach the target audience and put marketing systems in place to execute and measure business impact with ruthless consistency.”
See how this tells a story that is much more compelling than just saying “I’m in marketing”?
While coming up with your personal brand story is not necessarily easy and you should expect to go through a few drafts, it is based on using this simple, yet extremely impactful Why-What-How process. Always remember to ask yourself: does your personal brand story pass the test of simplicity, clarity, and alignment? Is your story so compelling that it can transform your listener into a storyteller on your behalf?
For more information on the process to build your personal brand story, check out our slideshare – Your Six Second Personal Brand Story in 5 Exercises.
So, there you have it. What’s stopping you from building your personal brand story today?
Learn how to bring simplicity, clarity, and alignment to your brand story, strategy, and systems in our ebook Transformational Marketing: Moving to the TopRight. Download it now!
Photo credit: Cashmere