The Importance of a Brand Story
The lost art of storytelling. Since 15,000 BC, humans have been telling stories as a way to connect to others and pass down important information from ancestor to descendent. It’s become evolutionary, hardwiring our DNA with the power of a good story. Within the power of a good story also comes lessons meant to instruct the audience, whomever that may be. Through story telling we are taught to love, be fair and strive for something better or be part of something bigger than ourselves. Thought leaders use well-crafted stories to influence and inspire their audiences and to teach them their ideals and aspirations that they wish to achieve. From ancient paintings on cave walls to the invention of the printing press to technological advancements of television and now social media. The foundations of the human race rests on the ability to tell stories and communicate with our future. This is who we are.
Every person in the world has a story to tell. Some stories may inspire while others may warn of mistakes not to make. These are their brands, much like any product that you might see advertised on a media platform of your choosing. Your personal brand, is essentially the best of you that you have to offer; from work performance to how well you can contribute, and the subsequent value placed on you by your employer at the start of your future career. The brand that you choose to communicate to others creates your reputation and the promise of the value you bring to the table. Branding also holds importance in resumes. It is influential on the person in charge of making the decision of who’s getting hired and compel them to pick you over other applicants. Through personal branding you’ll have a greater opportunity to land a great career or internship. The best part about it is, is that it’s still a relatively new thing and not a lot of seekers have really taken advantage of it. So if you take the initiative and start now, you can be ahead of the game before it hits the mainstream.
Personal brands usually begin with a brand statement. This is usually a sentence or two that encompasses you. This is everything about you, crammed into a single statement that describes who you are, your values and what you have to offer to your future employers. If you don’t feel comfortable with a standalone statement or if it doesn’t suit your career field, there are still ways to stand out. On your resume and cover letters, you can identify key attributes and weave them throughout your documents. Personal branding works on all professional levels of the job search market, so it can be applied no matter what kind of position you’re interested in. You owe it to yourself to take advantage of branding as it will generate interest about you and open the doors you wish to open.
In order to brand yourself, you can start by answering questions that range from personal to professional:
Once you identify the answers to these questions, write down a personal vision statement. This is a statement that guides your life and provides the direction necessary to chart the course of your days and the choices you make about your career. Next you should consider what you need out of life and wish to achieve. What does success mean to you in the future after college? Your answers will be your goals. If you answer these honestly, then they will direct you on the path to personal happiness. Next, take an inventory of yourself and outline how you wish to achieve your goals. This involves knowledge of your personal and professional experience as well as outlining your strengths and weaknesses so that you may build on them. Strengthen your strengths and weaken your weaknesses. Find what makes you unique and stand out from the pack. Most of all, find out who makes you happy. Once you arrive at understanding your skills, capabilities and what you expect out of life, you can now prioritize characteristics and people who will ultimately help you achieve your goals and how to avoid those who wish only to hold you back.
In the world of marketing, you will come to find that the general public finds advertisements to be intrusive. Most people in the world will go out of their way to avoid these ads by employing ad blockers or sticking to online media where the content is mostly commercial free. Be that as it may, when you’re starting a new career and you’re trying to get yourself out there, you will find yourself getting creative on how to insert yourself under the noses of your newfound audience of employers. This is where storytelling comes in. Everyone loves a good story, because it’s otherwise boring to go down a bulleted list of stats and highlighted strengths. Those are really only the details that can potentially help you close the deal but they’re not going to do the work for you. You have to dig deep into your past and craft a story about how you were integral to changing the lives of those around you or how you served as a key figure in a greater solution to a problem.
Your brand is how people speak about you when you’re not in the room. According to a 2018 survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees. Personal branding doesn’t strictly benefit just you either, it also works out for an employer. It’s really just good business because with good personal branding comes an employer who knows exactly the type of people that they’re hiring into the company. This works out especially if you’re representing the company at a business conference or networking event. It gives you an opportunity develop yourself while giving your company more exposure. Personal branding is a never-ending journey of self-discovery. The sooner you employ it, the sooner you’ll be able to reap its benefits.
If your goals involve looking for a better job or trying to bring more sales to your company, personal branding is becoming ever important with each passing day. You don’t need to be famous to have a good story, you just need a captive audience who recognizes you for the value you bring. It’s a continual craft and curation of your presence within your brand through honesty, authenticity and transparency. To read more informative and helpful articles, please take a moment to subscribe to our page to receive notifications for our weekly blog.