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Crafting your personal brand story

Often, in business or personal encounters with other people, we hear the phrase, “So, tell me a bit about yourself.” Yet many of us don’t have a well-packaged answer ready. And that means that we miss out on an opportunity to quickly convey all the most important things we want people to know about us. Instead, we ramble and leave out key bits of information.

By learning to tell your personal brand story – a quick, interesting, emotive summary of who you are and the key things you want people to know about you – you can ensure that you become more memorable.

Tell your personal brand story

The most powerful brands are built on emotional connections, and stories help to create those emotional connections. This is why learning to tell your personal brand story is one of the simplest and most effective ways of getting people to buy into your personal brand.

Your personal brand story should briefly sum up your background, including any important milestones in your journey to where you are today, as well as highlighting your strengths and your area of focus.

For example, when I interviewed Allon Raiz, the founder of Raizcorp, for my book ‘Branding & Marketing YOU’, he told me about how he began his career working in his parents’ umbrella factory in Durban.

In 1991, he left the business to work in a friend’s retail business. He tried to turn the business around, and eventually came up with the idea of emptying out the shop window, much to his friend’s horror, and offering a R20 discount voucher to anyone who brought in an old pair of shoes. He put these secondhand shoes in the window, and they started to catch the attention of passersby.

He called in the media, who photographed the 5,000 pairs of shoes that had been collected, and then donated them to charity. He learnt the impact of a disruption, and how to use the media in his public relations. He used these lessons next in the food and security industries, and then again when he started Raizcorp with the vision of raising up successful and sustainable entrepreneurs. He realised that he was his primary asset, and that his ability to innovate and his reputation were powerful tools to build his business.

This short anecdote illustrates Allon’s skills, interests and interests in a story format, which is far more effective in creating an emotional connection than just listing them.

Make sure that the next time someone asks you about yourself you are prepared. Take the time to write down some key points in your brand story and be ready to include them in your answer.