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  • 3 Themes for Writing Your Brand Story

    Brand photo from ShutterstockBrand story themes

    I previously wrote about the 3 Key Elements to a Brand Story. They are:

    • Strong opening
    • Memorable Label
    • Brand Theme

    The challenge is often coming up with a brand theme. Depending on your particular situation, you may want to tell a story about:

    • How a major event impacted your life and career
    • A common theme throughout your life and career
    • Some talents that you want to demonstrate using a set of proof points

    Major event

    Some of us have had major events that propelled us into a career. In my case, it was a bicycle accident where I had a head on collision with a car and our combined speeds exceeded 50 miles per hour. This led me to teach high school math in an inner city school, develop non-profit fund raising programs, and now, to be a career designer.

    In my post on 3 Key Elements to a Brand Story, I mentioned Tonya Clements‘ story and it was all about mountain climbing and how she trekked Mount Everest.

    Okay not everyone has climbed Mount Everest or survived a crazy bicycle accident.

    I had one client who danced ballet in her younger years, and that shaped much of the rest of her working life. The drive, discipline, and the artistic expression from ballet were what defined her brand.

    Common theme

    There are some of you that have worked across multiple industries and used many different skills. There is usually a common theme that ties your career together. Very often, you will not see the theme, but if you can find a friend, relative, or colleague to help you, it may become evident.

    I had one client who worked across many industries. This included:

    • EKG technician
    • Selling computers for leading technology companies
    • Developing processes and then training sales people in the financial industry
    • Commercial real estate developer
    • Residential real estate broker

    The common theme throughout her career was that it was all about people and processes.

    This works well if you have had a varied career, working in multiple industries or career paths.

    Proof points

    If you have had a very stable career in a single discipline or industry and want to stay put, then use proof points to demonstrate that you know your stuff!

    I am currently working with a product manager in the software industry. We created a powerful opening around the concept that he brings problems into focus.

    He came up with three examples in three different areas where he demonstrated that he could take a problem and make it understandable to his management, team, customers, stakeholders, etc.

    These clearly demonstrate that he knows his stuff. We have now handed the task of writing the story to someone who knows him well.

    Which method will work for you?

    It will depend!

    Do you want to change industries or careers? If so, the proof point theme probably will not work.

    Has a single event or activity had a major impact in your life? Not all of us have this kind of experience. Plus, you might have to do some significant reflection to truly understand the impact of such an event or activity.

    No matter what theme you choose you will want to get some help, either from a friend or a professional. You will not want to do this alone!

    What theme works for you?

    Marc MillerCareer Pivot

    Check out my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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    Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers published in January 2013, which has been featured on Forbes.com, US News and World Report, CBS Money-Watch and PBS’ Next Avenue. Career Pivot was selected for the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at two successful Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.

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