Personal Branding 101: How to Tell a Better “Story”

As I’ve written before, one of the most important elements to creating a strong personal brand is learning to tell a compelling story. Storytelling is what brings your brand to life, and instead of being “just another business owner”, all of a sudden you become compelling to your audience.

This is a secret that virtually every successful brand has embraced. Nike doesn’t just sell shoes and shirts—they turn their customers into winners. Coca-cola isn’t just a drink—it’s an attitude, fun-loving and community oriented. Steve Jobs wasn’t just a brilliant engineer—he came to stand for innovation, vision, and of course black turtlenecks.

The ability of a brand to grow beyond just the products and services they sell is a major determining factor into the success or failure of that brand. This is true of global organizations and small businesses alike. And it’s true for you.

As I explain this point to clients and friends, the most common response is something like “but Nick… I don’t have a story to tell. I’m just a realtor.” (Or an investment advisor, or a CPA, or a dentist, etc.)

And my response is always “yes you DO have a story to tell. We just have to find it.”

Today, we’re going to discuss how to find (or create) that story. Below are several ideas.

1) Always highlight the benefits of what you do, not the features. Chances are, the actual products and services you sell aren’t that exciting. If that is what you focus on, it’s hard to create a compelling story. Instead, focus on the benefits. You’re not a stockbroker, you’re building a brighter financial future. My business doesn’t just do PR and marketing… we create celebrities. See the difference?

2) Highlight your impact on the community. Another great way to tell a compelling story is to show your audience what you’re doing to help the community. Launching an initiative to support local schools, or something similar, makes it easy for your audience to “buy in” to the story you’re telling.

3) Work your personality into your brand. Even if your business isn’t unique, you still can be. There are lots of wealthy real estate investors, but Donald Trump’s outlandish personality has put him in an entirely different category. Look for ways to incorporate your personality into your brand—along with your hobbies and your passions.

4) Set an ambitious goal. Sometimes, publically setting an ambitious goal can be very effective in terms of creating an appealing story. For instance, you could state that your goal is to sell a specific number of products this year, or have your product featured in a major magazine. Even better, you could combine this goal with a community initiative so that you’re working towards a great cause.

The key to creating an appealing and effective personality brand is to find the right story to tell. And I promise you, you DO have a story to tell. If you’d like some help identifying and communicating that story, please get in touch with me or any of the Agents at our Agency today!