One of the things I love about my work is hearing stories from amazing entrepreneurs and business people who speak at conferences when I have the opportunity to either present or attend as a participant.
Everyone has a story to tell.
It doesn’t have to be too personal but sharing a story that says something interesting about you which you can use when doing a presentation in front of an audience; as a background story on your website; to create interest on social media or when pitching to prospects, is a great way to create engagement and build personal brand awareness.
Another way to incorporate your personal brand story is when working with the media to gain publicity.
Mainstream media has changed significantly over recent years but is still a powerful aid to building your profile.
The first thing to consider is, what do you want to say? Or more importantly, what do people want to hear? What is your Unique Shining Point (USP)?
With personal branding and publicity, we are “selling” or telling our idea or story to our target public. And believe me they don’t want to hear about the whiz-bang features and benefits of your product. They want to know about the story behind the scenes. What is it about your product or service or YOU that is going to stand out?
What is unique, different, controversial, exciting, newsworthy? You need to determine your wow! factor. In the media it is often the most interesting, controversial or sensational story that will get coverage.
Think about what attracts you to reading a newspaper, celebrity blog or magazine story. It is certainly not dull, statistical information. More likely it’s the exciting aspects of the person behind the story; their tale of rags to riches success or misfortune. In a sense we are voyeurs – we want to delve in that person’s private life, whether the story is of a high powered entrepreneur or a movie star.
A story that appeals to the emotions is the story that people want to hear about. If that information has some benefit to the reader, viewer or listener, it will have even greater impact and have more of an effect on people’s behaviour.
When coming up with your USP, consider that what most people want out of life is to feel happy, be in a loving relationship, and have fantastic health and unlimited wealth. So if your story can benefit them by helping them to be healthier, richer or more sexually appealing then you are on a winner!
So to help you in uncovering your story, here’s 10 questions you might like to consider.
- What obstacles or hurdles have you overcome to get where you are?
- What achievements in your past can you talk about?
- How can you, your product or service help people?
- Have you done anything different, quirky or silly that may capture people’s attention?
- What is unique about you or your business compared to your competitors?
- What was the reason you began your business or chose the career path you are on?
- What excites you and why are you passionate about your work?
- Are there any business or personal wins that you may have had, such as awards, or securing a major contract or client?
- Do you have any particular talent that adds to your role – for example, sporting prowess or musical talent?
- Do you have any other point of difference that may help publicise or promote you or your business?
Want to learn more about uncovering your “hook”. You can find out by downloading my free video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK – 3 steps to build a stand out personal brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her image management programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs present an influential brand image.
Image courtesy Shutterstock