Ever since the cavemen shared stories around the campfire to reading the news updates on our cell screens, story has been at the heart of every transaction. It defines who we are, and it’s the way we connect with each other. It can be profoundly powerful – and transporting – because it takes us to another place. Ahhhh, remember when you last pleaded, in that little child-like voice, tell me another story, please?
Your brand story transforms the way people feel about you.
Telling your personal brand story in the most compelling way is going to make your brand stand out in the marketplace. What’s more, it’ll captivate and transform your world. Just take a look at what’s happening across the social media platforms. What exactly are over one billion people doing on Facebook? Well, mostly they’re sharing their stories in words and pictures. They’re craving that emotional and powerful hit that comes through telling, and then sharing, a story. It’s the ultimate form of creative expression which is an innate desire, and characteristic of humans, by the way. So if you’re haven’t been crafting your own killer brand story, now is a good time to start.
It goes without saying that technology is making sharing stories more fun and more frictionless. Social innovator Rachel Botsman and co-author of the influential book What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption talks about the new ‘trust mechanics’ online, and explores how technology is actually enabling trust between strangers in the new peer-to-peer social revolution.
So how do you start shaping your brand story so it has a distinctive and emotional resonance, shows you to be a real and trustworthy human being and hits home with your audience? Here’s the secret: You start digging deep, and pulling back the layers.
Try this exercise: Identify the defining moments in your life.
Look at the trajectory of your life and/or career and identify which are the defining moments for you. Don’t go overboard. Start with 5 major times in your life. Why do they stand out? What happened exactly, and why are they so significant to you? Let your memory take you right back there and probe a little more. The idea here is to pick one of your defining moments and then weave it right into the fabric of your brand story.
One of my favorite brand stories
This is an example of a compelling and memorable brand story: Jeff Nussbaum is a partner at one of the country’s most prominent strategic speechwriting firms, West Wing Writers, based in Washington, D.C. (westwingwriters.com) If you go to the ABOUT page on their site, look for TEAM and click on Jeff Nussbaum, you’ll see how Jeff has shaped his story by capturing one defining a significant moment in his life. http://westwingwriters.com/team/jeff-nussbaum
Jeff Nussbaum | Partner
The first speech Jeff Nussbaum wrote was to defend himself against suspension from high school. It was unsuccessful. Since that time, Jeff has found greater success helping clients pen and promote bestselling books, prepare commencement speeches and viral TED talks, and deliver winning comedy routines at venues ranging from the Alfalfa Club to the Al Smith Dinner.
Get the idea? No matter how dramatic Jeff’s defining moment might have been, you can see how he has turned it around, and crafted a highly idiosyncratic, captivating and moving personal story. What’s more, he shows his quirky sense of humor. And a vulnerable side. What could be better than that?! If I was looking to hire a specialist in this area, and I had to choose between Jeff and four other recommended experts, I’d choose Jeff, for sure. Because his story resonates with me — and hits home big time.
Just a few more things. Storytelling is critical to your personal brand and business for a couple of other reasons:
An authentic personal brand story makes you totally memorable. (In the best way possible.)
It differentiates you as desirable. (What more could you ask for?)
It brings your brand to life. (Nothing worse than a bland brand — or as I like to call it, a Dead Brand Walking. So this is very good news.)
It gives you a distinct competitive advantage (Not many people out there can tell a good brand story. Seriously.)
Your audience becomes hugely responsive. (Absolutely.)
It lands an unforgettable spot in the psyche of your audience. (More good news.)
Warning: Our brains are constantly on alert, scanning the horizon for insincere messages. Make sure you write your story with absolute sincerity. People out there are savvy. They can pick up on a fake story a mile away. Be exactly who you say you are. Then, watch heads turn!
So start to identify one of your most remarkable defining moments, and see how you can weave it throughout your brand story. Then watch what happens. Does this all feel like too much effort?! It’s much easier than you think. If you want to chat, and see how to get started, let’s chat. Or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Huge success to you on connecting in a much more heart-felt way. Kudos!