Sell Your Brand through Storytelling
What is it that makes your brand so special? Is it how you conduct business? How about your ability to understand your audience? Is it your superb services and products? The truth is that these are simply characteristics developed from a single source – you.
Every brand started with a story and it is that story which defines the brand you are today and the hopes you have for tomorrow. Stories range from fantasy to fiction, but they aren’t always intriguing or entertaining to their readers. But there is one thing that always interests the reader – the ability for them to relate to the character in their own special way.
A brand’s purpose
So the question is: Why is a story so important to your personal branding strategy? First of all, it sets your brand apart as unique. Every brand has its own story to tell, but yours is the only one of its kind. What drives you? Why did you enter the field that you find yourself in today? You’d be surprised at what details will intrigue the reader and give your audience an idea of what your brand is really about.
Perhaps one of the most effective characteristics of a story is that it humanizes your brand. It’s easy to launch a brand, but the story behind it can leave your target audience wondering where it came from. What is your actual purpose? What drives your actions? Was it the right opportunity at the right moment?
Now consider how your brand has affected others. How have you impacted the lives of those involved with your brand? Has it always gone smoothly? Are you new at this? What’s your experience prior to the creation of your brand? What is the story behind your personal brand? While the story for your brand might satisfy your present audience, the aspects of your personal brand story can turn you from just a brand into the personification they can truly relate to.
The details within your story can tell your audience a lot about what your brand strives to accomplish. Are you all about customer service? Do you know where the audience is coming from? Have you been in their shoes before? These are things the audience enjoys reading about and gives them an idea of what it is to be your brand.
While your story basically gives the audience something they can relate to, it does something a little more. It starts a conversation and motivates word of mouth marketing. What will others say about your brand? Do they support your endeavors? Have they stories they can share with you and others? It’s a great opportunity to not only share your story and increase awareness, but also learn from others that have been there and educate those that are interested in pursuing their own story.
Composing a story
So the next question is: Where do you start with your story? Consider what got you started on pursuing your brand. Not just the launch, but the idea that you sourced your brand from. Another topic that should be covered is what sets you apart within your field of expertise. Are there certain characteristics of your story that have guided the way in which you conduct yourself? Have you encountered any challenges in your endeavors? Mistakes? Successes? Don’t be reluctant to mention mistakes you’ve encountered, as they point to one very specific trait that the audience can appreciate – determination.
But to make the most of the opportunity, you have to ensure that you turn these mistakes to your advantage. What did you learn from them? How have they made you better? The same goes for your successes as well. How did you do it? Was there a special technique? Are you applying it to other aspects of your brand as well? Turn your challenges into something that the audience can not only relate to, but learn from as well.
One of the most appreciated stories you can tell is the one about the satisfied customer. What did you do to accomplish this? How has it affected your business relationship? Be sure that you get permission from your satisfied customers before composing an article around them or using their names. Usually though, most will appreciate the exposure and your gesture.
Your brand’s story isn’t just a side note in your online content. It is the very thing that defines your personal brand, enabling your audience to learn about, relate to, and ultimately share. Share your story with others and they’ll share theirs with you.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand. ...
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