Personal Branding 101: What's Your Story?
So you've heard that you need to have a personal brand, but you don't have branding experience and the idea of promoting bragging about yourself brings up bad memories of trying to do that when creating a cover letter.
Ok, don't think about it as building a brand. Think of it as if you're establishing your digital reputation. Wait, haven't you spent countless years building up your reputation with friends, previous employers, colleagues and clients - why do you need a digital one now?
Ok, so let's not call it a brand or a reputation, let's develop your story that will become your digital first impression, one which will empower you and enable you to...
- Share your life journey
- Be the director of your story
- Determine what the cover of your book looks like (for those that judge a book by its cover)
- Highlight the accomplishments in your life that you're proud of
- Give your personal elevator pitch
- Provide the background and contact information you wish you could fit on a business card
- Know what, and if, others are talking about you
You'll notice there's nothing on this list about technology or social media, and we aren't using any fancy marketing terms or cover letters or even asking you to create a new resume. Too often we think of our personal brand as something we have to 'build' or as an 'online persona' we have to create.
Your Personal Brand is who YOU are, YOU must define it, tell YOUR story and share YOUR passions.
And the thing is, everybody has a story...
So before you jump into the slide deck below, first we have to establish your story and what you want others to know, and/or not know, about yourself. Knowing what your story is or how you want to share it can be difficult, so I recommend starting with these key questions:
1. What are 4 things you wish every person you were meeting for the first time either in business or personally knew about you?
2. What 4 accomplishments in your life are you most proud of?
3. What 4 leaders, mentors, authors or people in your life do you look up to or trust the most?
4. What 4 secrets or pieces of data do you hope are never able to be found online?
5. What is your favorite quote?
6. What is your tagline or motto?
7. What are your favorite two pictures of yourself?
8. What did you do or say to create the authentic relationships with your friends today?
9. When you vent or share your ideas do you write them down? Do you call a friend? Do you Skype or use video?
Now that you've answered these questions you have the framework for the story that your digital impression is going to tell. Combine these answers with your resume and cover letter into a story format and you'll be ready to jump into Personal Branding 201.
This Slideshare is the guide to owning your personal brand, which is only possible if you first complete the tasks in this post, as they will form the framework for creating the strategy that your digital first impression will be built upon.
This post originally appeared on Brian Fanzo's blog
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