Being Irish, I was delighted to discover just how important a brand story is in creating a personal brand strategy. Storytelling is a skill that comes easily to some people even if they haven’t kissed the Blarney Stone. The good news is that even if this is not one of your natural gifts, there are special formulas to build great brand stories that will bring your brand to life.
Promoting Your Business
One of the most intriguing stories that I read recently is the Wolf of Wall Street. It’s a story that many might find shocking in parts and far removed from most people’s experience. Maybe it appeals to our sense of adventure. AlthoughJordan Belfort found himself in prison at one point in the story, like all good stories it has the happy ending where he gets married and lives happily ever after (up until now anyway). This story is earning a second fortune for Jordan Belfort. Not only from the book and the movie, but he has been able to build a consulting and public speaking business on the back of it and is living a life of luxury once again.
Great Brand Stories
Stories can be used to build a brand and there are many examples of brand stories that are know far and wide. Often it’s the CEO of a company who has a great story that many people can resonate with. We have all been through struggles and frustrations in our lives and it somehow feels reassuring to know that these successful people have had similar things happen. We all love to hear the happy ending.
Best Brand Stories
The best brand stories are the ones that inspire and motivate people not to give up on their businesses. The hero’s journey is just as likely to be effective in a brand story as it is in a movie. Stories bring a brand to life and reach people through their emotions.
Describing the laptop lifestyle and sharing the vision and the outcomes of a successful brand spurs the budding entrepreneurs on. A story can build the know like and trust factor much more than a Facebook Ad or a TV Commercial ever could. People can forget tag lines and even testimonials but they will remember your story.
Whether you are trying to get a loan for your business or hoping to make a sale the chances are that you can make these thing happen with a really good story.
Never underestimate the power of stories when you are building your brand. You can have different brand stories for different audiences Long stories or short stories whether spoken or written can work miracles and they do.
A Truly Astonishing Story
I have a very special story, maybe the greatest story to come out of Ireland since the Titanic. It still has not reached it’s conclusion. It is part of my brand. It is a story that no-one could ever have dreamed up in their wildest imagination.
If you are just getting started or haven’t reached the stage where your business is in profit yet, don’t think that you have to wait until you can afford it before you begin creating brand you. There are a lot of things that you can do that are absolutely 100% free. If you truly believe in your business, you may well be the best person to do most of your branding and brand you marketing.
I am a great believer in the idea that everyone knows their own business best. Although it is always useful to get advice and tips from experts, you can actually find most of what you need to build a great brand inside your head and on Google.
There are also a lot of powerful branding videos and Ted Talks on YouTube.
Don’t expect to create the perfect brand – just give it your best shot and you won’t go far wrong if you have done your research and made a plan.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What is the purpose of your personal brand ?
Who is your target audience and how will your brand help them, interest them or appeal to them?
Are you trying to
(a) build an audience around your brand or
(b)create a personal brand that will resonate with your target audience
Your brand will evolve over time and you will become more aware of the needs and wants of your marketplace as long as you keep asking yourself these types of questions. Keep testing and tweaking your brand and you may surprise yourself at the results you will achieve.
Always be on the look out – observe the successful brands – how are they presenting and how are they standing out from the other? What makes them memorable or impactful? What can you learn from them or even how can you improve on their ideas?
There are lots of free tools and smartphone apps to create and edit images, I have lots of them so if you have any specific questions about that don’t hesitate to contact me. You can use Canva.com to create most of the headers, banners, letterheads social media templates etc that you will need. The free version is perfectly adequate.
Some thought and a little bit of imagination can go a long way in branding you. The bottom line is that you need to not only look carefully at what you are posting and displaying online, but also always try to observe it all from the eyes of your target audience. Although you are branding You – the crazy thing is that it’s all about them!
One of my favourite mentors keeps drumming this message into her students – “You sell by listening, you sell by listening” but you must also brand by listening. Unless your brand is appealing to your target audience, it doesn’t matter how professional it looks, it will not produce the results that you need to create a viable business.
The basic tasks that you need to spend the most time and thought on are:
choose a good brand name – preferably with a keyword or keywords that your target audience are searching for. Although it’s fun to be on trend with your posts,
make sure that most of your content is evergreen so that you will be branding yourself on an ongoing basis
a short tagline that instantly makes it clear how you are going to help your audience
.a website which includes an about me page with a summary of your story and your contact details
an effective bio that you can use for most social media platforms (you may need a few tweaks here and there)
lead magnets with freebies/giveaways such as cheat sheets, worksheets, short training videos that act as a hook to get people to opt in and join your email list
landing pages where you can promote and up sell your videos
photos, images ,infographics for your posts
live broadcasts and videos
Once you have got all these things created. you will be well on your way to growing your brand and getting ready for the next stage of branding which is monetising it and here is an excellent tool to help you do that!.
To Brand or Not to Brand? – That May Well Be the Question
I received an email today from a top marketer suggesting that it is a bad idea to start creating a personal brand at the outset of your business, while you may still be on the Struggle Bus. That kind of stopped me in my tracks, as almost all the other top marketers recommend that you should start building your personal brand from day one. So I decided to give it some thought, before continuing to encourage y’all to spread your no results or low results brands
Whenever you are telling your story, it’s not a good idea to share your struggles while they are happening. It’s fine to share them when you have overcome the obstacles and gained wisdom from the failures. Then you will be able to provide the solutions that they can use in their lives or in their businesses.
Unfortunately people don’t want to know about your product or your struggles – they just want to know how you can help them to solve their problems. So, it follows that they may not really want to know, like and trust you if you haven’t already reached your goals. Nobody wants to follow a no results or low results brand. Perhaps a low profile during that period might be a good idea – don’t you think?
Two of the components of a good brand are:
social proof (e.g. testimonials) and
edification (but you can’t have either at the start of your business. You could get someone to edify you regarding your character but not in respect to your business.)
What’s The Answer? _ Do You Create a Personal Brand or Not?
So, what are the choices?
Do you fake it until you make it? ……………………………………….Definitely not!!
Do you procrastinate in building your brand? ……………………..Another No No!!
Do You give up on Personal Branding?………………………………Certainly Not!!
Think of your brand as a Brand Building – you have to start with the foundations i.e :
Your core values
Building Your Brand Brick by Brick
It will be hard work and you will need to be committed to spending the time and the energy to build it. It will be worth it because a great brand can be more valuable than anything else you will ever build in your life. Whatever else you are doing in your business – ALWAYS BE BRANDING.
Every post that you make, every image that you share on social media, every worksheet, landing page, website must be created with your brand in mind. The colors and fonts must be congruent with your personal brand. Your livestreams, your videos and your webinars are all a part of the overall picture. Your appearance, even your voice must all blend in and yet stand out at the same time.
You have to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
Always dress better than the people you are trying to impress. I have seen this work over and over again. You can test this out for yourself. Observe the difference in the way you are treated when you have dressed to impress. You don’t have to be formal conventional in your appearance or behaviour, you can be quirky.
The best part of a personal brand is that you can be YOU, the authentic YOU. It’s all about branding YOU and even if you are building this all in the background, when you are ready you can share your brand and your story with the world.
How Can I Create an Effective Brand?
Some people have a certain look, a certain style, a certain voice or personality that makes them stand out at one glance. Will I Am, Tom Jones, The Kardashians are just a few who come to mind (probably because I was watching TV last night). Success seems to come to them effortlessly, but usually that is not the case . In the background there are branding specialists, stylists, make-up artists combined with a lot of hard work and commitment from them. So it will be with your personal brand.
You will probably have to learn some new skills such as copywriting or even photography to improve your content creation.
Can I Monetise My Brand?
The good news is that you can use your brand to attract targeted followers – some of whom will become fans and these are the people who will buy from you. The brand will become more important than the product and the brand is what will build your long term lucrative business.
The bad news is that the money often comes near the end of the brand building process. So it’s best to hang on to your job or offline business until your brand is well under way and working it’s magic to bring you enough income to become a member of the laptop lifestyle.
What Else Do I Need To Know About Personal Branding?
Perhaps you have decided that you just don’t care anymore about what people think of you. This is how you are escaping from the naysayers and the negative people in your life. This can be a great strategy for dealing with those people, but you need to have a different system for interacting with your targeted followers.
If you have targeted followers, these are like – minded people who are the most likely to buy your products. You need to care about what they think and how they perceive you. They will judge you whether you like it or not, but they also present you with a great opportunity. The opportunity to create a great first impression – with your appearance, your content, your products and whatever else you wish so share.
All you need to do is be the person you would like to follow or as they say on social media -Be the person your dog thinks you are! So I’m asking you now and you need to ask yourself the same question – Can you do that?
Both of us know the answer to that one – Of course You Can!