Personal Branding: Why It’s Important and How to Create One

“Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, yet each and every one of us is a brand”, Mashable

Although personal branding has become a household term, few people are familiar with the meaning. By definition, it is “the personal branding - you are your own brand image
process by which we market ourselves to others. As a brand, we can leverage the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others. We can build brand equity just like them.”1 Similar to when a company works to create a memorable impression for itself or its products, creating a personal identity can help establish you as a leader in a particular industry, and lead your personal development path.2

How can you develop your personal brand?

  1. Discover – “Figuring out what you want to do, setting goals, writing down a mission, vision and personal brand statement(what you do and who you serve), as well as creating a development plan”1 is the initial step of the process.
  2. Identify – Determine the characteristics and strengths you’ve built in your career so far. If colleagues consistently describe you as “funny but professional,” that should be a consideration for your personal brand.
  3. Tell Stories – Make a list of your accomplishments and be prepared to share them with others. Each story should include an accomplishment and what you did that made this achievement unique. what you personally did to lead to the accomplishment. Don’t be concerned about bragging, because it’s essential to promote your special qualities.
  4. Own It – Adopting your brand means frequently and consistently inserting key messages into formal and informal conversations as well as interviews, speaking engagements and blog posts.

Spending the time to establish your personal brand can have a lasting impact on your professional and personal reputation. Have you created one yet? How has it evolved over time?

Sources:
1 – http://mashable.com/2009/02/05/personal-branding-101/#NZMDp7DqqEqJ
2- https://www.fastcompany.com/3048401/why-personal-branding-is-essential-to-career-success
3- https://www.quicksprout.com/the-complete-guide-to-building-your-personal-brand-chapter-1/
4- https://www.thebalance.com/creating-and-growing-personal-brand-2295814

By | 2017-10-03T01:32:03+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Storytelling|0 Comments

Cultivating Effective Storytellers

Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released.” Source: Curatti

My last blog post covered how stories are used to inform, engage and inspire their intended audiences. The common thread I’ve noticed over my many years of practice is that the storyteller starts by telling me that they have “nothing interesting” to share. By asking insightful questions and evoking the “gems,” our hour-long conversation yields more rich content than I could have imagined.

Just as one would fit pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together, my gift is manipulating words around the page to create the perfect story. When sharing a draft with the content provider, he/she is amazed by the outcome. It is written using their words and tone, but not something that could be done independently. Storytelling is an art not a science.

I remember helping a senior executive prepare an acceptance speech for a prestigious awards ceremony. She was struggling with where to start or what might be interesting for the audience. We began by discussing her background from the perspective of relatable stories that would stick Problem Solutionwith the attendees long past the event. I was delighted to hear that at the ceremony, she not only evoked laughter and tears, but also others began to share their stories, too. What a memorable moment!

Another client took over the leadership role at a young company that was not meeting its messaging objectives, which directly relates to business success. Vital Link was engaged to determine why the concepts were not resonating externally. After interviewing the senior executives individually and some investors, it became apparent that they each were promoting a different company. Therefore, we created a new company name that better reflected their services as well as a new website and collateral to support this brand. Additionally, I trained the executives and investors to each share the company story their own ways yet communicate consistent stories. The executives noted how the cohesiveness improved their business conversations.

These are just two examples, but I’ve also helped clients with their websites and intranets as the company evolves. Additionally, I’ve helped tell the delicate stories aligned with employee engagement, diversity/inclusion and wellness initiatives. Understanding what is said and how it lands with people to produce a desired action or emotion is the “vital link” that I provide.

What are your stories and challenges? I’m eager to hear from you.

By | 2017-05-24T18:21:47+00:00 January 4th, 2017|Storytelling|0 Comments

How to Use Storytelling Effectively in Leadership

Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. (Source: Curatti)

Storytelling always has been present in the world; starting with ancient drawings on cave walls, to present day Facebook and Snapchat. Unfortunately, the art of storytelling has been absent from business and leadership communications.

Since stories carry emotion rather than just facts, people relate then remember the key information. You’ll be more persuasive and the message will make a greater impression. Well-chosen vignettes deem a leader inspiring and engaging.

A successful story aims to3: Inform: share intellectually what we know, Engage: to communicate in a way that captures the attention of the audience, and Inspire: to stimulate imaginative curiosity. Here are some tips:story telling

  1. Talk about failures as well as successes. Employees can relate better to situations where the outcome was not as intended.
  2. Start with a hero. Whether it’s the company, product, industry or site, a hero can be captivating.
  3. Have a clear main message. Your story should focus on one value or idea with supporting yet simple details.
  4. Relate to existing situations. Your story can be more effective if it relates to current events or popular topics.2
  5. Keep it short. If your story is easy to understand, it will be memorable enough that people will retell it.
  6. Inspire your audience. “End with a resolution that motivates your listeners to action.”1

Sharing facts and figures work in some cases, but not all. Motivating your employees requires a level of sharing that comes from storytelling.

If you enjoyed this post about storytelling, stay tuned for my next blog post for more on storytelling.

 

Sources:
1 – https://www.fastcompany.com/3040709/7-tips-for-great-storytelling-as-a-leader
2 – http://www.krauthammer.com/articles/winning-hearts-and-minds-%E2%80%93-storytelling-for-leaders
3 – http://www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/som/dinamic-content/media/Praxis/Storytelling%20is%20at%20the%20heart%20of%20leadership.pdf

By | 2017-05-24T18:21:47+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Storytelling|0 Comments