Your Personal Brand

No Story to Tell?

I had coffee with a recent college grad the other day. She was job searching, and wanted some advice on how to break into PR. I asked her why she wanted to get into PR, and she told me it was her field of study. I asked her if she was leaning more toward an agency or an in-house role. She had no idea. She is a bright, capable person, but she didn’t have answers, and she definitely didn’t have a story to tell. You might chalk this up to her being a recent grad without enough experience, but I think there’s something deeper. This wasn’t the only conversation I had in recent weeks that went like this.

I have talked with several other individuals, with varying years of experience, who don’t tell a powerful story about who they are and what they bring to the table.  They don’t advocate for themselves. So I wondered, why is this? Who better to sell ourselves … than ourselves?

I think the solution lies in thinking about our own stories more like how sophisticated brands approach the subject.

Branding Yourself Like the Great Brands Do It

At Winning Presence, when we’re helping clients think through their brand stories, we challenge them to create a brand personality, to think of their brand as an individual who has likes, dislikes, interests, hobbies and other brand friends. We animate the brand so that you can picture it sitting at a kitchen table, having a conversation …

What is your favorite color? What movies do you like? Where do you hang out?

A good brand story knows the answers to these questions. Why do we think like this? Because the answers to these basic questions are an important prelude to a more meaty discussion that follows …

What does your brand deliver? What is your promise to customers? What do you support?

Our process at Winning Presence is unique, and it delivers results, especially when applied to the social media space where your brand must have a conversation with its customers or constituents.

Thinking of Yourself Like a Brand

How does our process apply to individuals who are trying to tell their stories. After all, we ask brands to think about themselves as individuals. Now let’s ask individuals to think of themselves as brands. Ask yourself the following:

  1. What makes you, YOU? How are you different than your competitors?
  2. What makes you happy?
  3. How do you like to spend your free time?
  4. Do your vocation and avocations align?
  5. What people do you admire and why? What are their traits that you aspire to have?
  6. What impact do you currently have or want to have in the future?
  7. How do you play a role in the community?

I studied dance for many years, and entered my undergrad years majoring in it. I ultimately earned a degree in communications, then interned at an agency and took an entry-level job at a Fortune 500 company in communications. For years, I avoided telling anyone that I had studied dance. It seemed out of place and distracting from what I thought was my own brand story. Then one day it hit me. This avocation does match my vocation. I like telling stories!

So now I often say that I’ve been telling stories my whole life. I wrote in journals on family holidays, sketched to pass the time, and created backyard, original plays with neighborhood friends. I danced for many years, and wanted to be a choreographer. Creating and storytelling makes me happy.

Each of us has a unique story to share. Your story should tell your personality, interests, skills, and the value you bring to the table.

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Your Personal Brand

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