Are you good at telling your story? Personal branding provides the focus and energy of your story. If you know who you serve or need to connect with, then your story becomes compelling and interesting.
When I say story, I’m not referring to a long dissertation nor am I describing a keynote address. Your story is told in sound bites and in snippets.
What do you do?
It’s the most asked question at networking events, “so, tell me what do you do?” Or, sometimes they add, “what do you do for a living?” And, our answer normally is in a quick sound bite referring to our title. Sadly, describing yourself by title subjects you to whatever that person’s past experience is of that tile. Positive or negative just by saying your title you might carry on additional “baggage” that you might now want.
Or, sometimes titles are so obscure that the person you’re chatting with can say nothing more than “Oh” or “Oh that’s interesting” and the conversation comes to a stall or stand still.
Now’s the time to tell your 15 or 30 second story and yes, it’s often referred to as your elevator pitch. Instead of thinking about your title – think of what is your “super power”. What do you to that brings benefit to the people you work with and serve? How do you save the day? Now, craft that into your short story.
I delve into this in more detail in my ebook “Crafting Your On-Brand Introduction” which you can get for free and quickly just by becoming a fan on Facebook . Yet, what I’ve outlined here gives you the basics.
So, when introduced to someone or connecting with them and they ask what you do:
First, who do you serve or work with (women with children, women returning to the work force, generation y transition from school to career, people transitioning from one career field to another…answer the who.
Second, how do you benefit those people? Do you help emergency workers have piece of mind by providing stress management techniques? Do you help emerging CEOs stay organized and on time? Do you work provide leadership and accountability to a team? What do you do to benefit those you serve or work with?
Lastly, think of something that you’ve done lately to save the day for a contact. Because, the question that follows “what do you do” is the next question “what have you been up to.” And, if you want to be average with everyone else say “I’ve been busy.” We all say that.
For example, I’m flying back from Boston as I write this post. And, what I did was – work with a dean of large educational institution to kick off their program for mentoring program for women in industry. So, when I was asked by someone as we waited for our flight “what have you been doing” I answered, I’m just coming back to Texas after providing inspiration and word of mouth skills to a group of women in engineering.
So, yes, basically…I’ve been busy. Yet, doesn’t the quick 15 second story say so much more?
Craft your on-brand story! And, leave your on-brand story below.
Maria Elena Duron is chief buzz officer, coach and speaker with buzz2bucks.com. Buzz2Bucks | a word of mouth firm serves as the community manager around your personal or business brand online and offline, and coaches community managers on how to be buzz-worthy. Buzz2Bucks is known for the talk that yields profits. She is author of the book “Mouth to Mouth Marketing” and the ebook “Social I.R.A.” She’s been quoted as a marketing and word of mouth expert by Entrepreneur Magazine and contributes to several publications and is the creator of #brandchat, a weekly twitter conversation about all aspects of branding. She broadcasts weekly as the business coach with CBS7. Duron will speak at the 2009 Massachusetts Conference for Women.