How to Build Your Brand From Your Story


How to Build Your Brand From Your Story

“It’s all about youuuu! It’s all about you, baby!” Now try singing it to yourself. Not easy to do in a completely non-sarcastic way, right?

Especially if you’re not a natural ‘selfie-Snapchatter’. In which case, it can feel completely self-indulgent and narcissistic to constantly be posing for the camera. Fortunately, you don’t have to take seven selfies a week to develop your personal brand.

Express yourself.

In Hip-hop it’s ‘the come up’. A way for fans to get to know an artist through reflections on their past. The ups and the downs helped them arrive at the present. And the vision of the future cause they represent.

In marketing, it’s your brand story.

I get it. It sounds so arduous to even consider finding the time and inclination to sit down and think about this. I mean most of us aren’t exactly J.K Rowling. So surely no one ‘really’ cares? When in reality, the ultimate benefit you can ever offer, is yourself. Just think of all those times you’ve felt threatened by your competition’s success.

Well, this all stops when you have a brand story. It’ll help you:

  • Build connections with your audience.
  • Convey your values and purpose in a non-salesy way.
  • Become memorable and nurture a loyal customer base.
  • Gain a strong competitive advantage.
  • Develop a brand that’s benefit-driven and customer focused.

At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou.

The ‘accidental storyteller’.

That was me when I hung up my corporate hoodie. Over the past 18 months, I’ve grown to realise and appreciate that ‘I am my brand’. And people want to learn more about why I do what I do. Not just what I do.

This really hit me when I decided to bare my soul on none other than LinkedIn. Why workplace diversity equals business success was an open letter to the corporate world I left behind. A reflection on the tough times, sealed with a call to action to make corporate ambition accessible to everyone. Not just white men in suits! I was in a pretty bad place when I wrote it. And every line came straight from my heart.

My goal was simply to speak out on my experience as a mixed-race, gay woman with ambition. I shared my own accounts of workplace bias and put forward my case for a diverse workplace being good for business.

Then the comments came … I cringed, did a one-eyed squint and held my breath as the page comments loaded on my phone:

Kelly, your personal perspective and experience as a gay, mixed race woman, provides such a powerful real perspective for others on how without any malicious intent people can unconsciously exclude those who are different. – Heather Price, CEO, Symmetra Diversity Consulting.

I was so relieved and humbled to receive such positive feedback, knowing I was inspiring people to share their realities. It felt good knowing I wasn’t alone in the way I felt at the time. My story had connected with people. I was chuffed! It helped me let go of any resentment so I could move forward with a clear mind and help purpose-driven entrepreneurs succeed.

You need to find a way for what you want to say. – Liam Gallagher.

I never thought I’d be quoting a home town hero in a blog. But five years ago, I didn’t think I’d be vegan and living in Melbourne, Australia. It’s funny how life goes. Another day, another hemisphere.

All in all, it’s likely that your brand story already inspires people. It really is just a case of realising this.

It’s important to tell it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Every story has conflict. The story of your business is no different. Share what you’re proud of. Share what you’re ashamed of. – Neil Patel.

So now, over to you. What’s your story? If you’re ready, then share it in the comments below.

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