Above all else, your personal brand is a story



People love stories.

Humans learn most effectively through stories.

Friends are made by sharing stories.

Sales are closed through stories.

You are missing out on the value of your personal brand if it isn’t a story.

Stories are one of the most effective forms of social currency. They build powerful connections between ideas, people and action. They give context and robust understanding to information. They generate urgency and motivation. And, most importantly, stories create value — a lot of it.

And, to be most effective, your personal brand needs to be a story. But, not just any story, it needs to be a succinct, powerful, captivating story. It needs to make you relevant, make you powerful and inspire your audience to act. No small order.

To accomplish these lofty goals, your personal branding story needs to achieve these six things. It must:

Describe the future

Your story shouldn’t focus on your history, rather it is a story about your future impact. It emphasizes where you are going and why you are the person who will successfully get there.

Convey relevance

Your story isn’t really about you. It\’s about how you are going to help them (or someone). The best stories make the audience’s benefit amazingly clear.

Lead people through a thought process

Your story walks people through a learning curve, where they find out the most important pieces of information and develop an understanding of how that will impact them.

Create an emotional connection

Beyond educating, the best stories forge a bond between the story-teller and her audience. Whether through vulnerability, candor or shared experience, stories where the audience walks away with heightened emotional intimacy are the stories that win.

Differentiate you

No matter what you are selling — service, products or yourself! — chances are there are 1, 5 or 500 competitors who are also “qualified.” Personal brand stories that differentiate, that explain exactly why you are best choice out there, are the ones that are remembered. Your personal brand story changes your personal brand from history and information into a powerful unifying force for the future. It helps people understand how and why you can impact them and motivates them to action.

What is your personal brand story?