In developing you personal brand, have you tried to write your brand story? Your brand story should express who you are and not what you have done. It should convey what you stand for, your morals and values.
I have taken several of online programs to learn about the process of developing your brand story. What I discovered was I was really lousy at developing and writing my own brand story.
I had a couple of my client’s work this process and they did not do any better. In fact, most would never finish. Hmm.. why is this?
I work with baby boomers, who want to take a pivot in their career. I use the Birkman assessment to pick their personalities apart and work through what interests them, how they make decisions, how they fit into the workplace, how they behave and more importantly how they want to be treated. I have completed more than one hundred assessments and thorough feedback sessions. There has been one universal theme:
We do not see ourselves the way other people see us!
What I have discovered is, the worst person to write your brand story is you!
Do marketing professionals sit quietly in a room by themselves and dream up brand ideas? No! They collaborate, they brain storm, they bounce ideas off one another.
When working on your brand and brand story it is important to get outside help and feedback.
I work with clients in a very systematic way to develop their brand story.
Almost all of us have a common theme that has played out through out our lives. The problem is many of us have difficultly seeing it. We are just too close to it.
Work with a close friend, relative, or even a career professional to assist you in developing the common theme. An outsider will see this much more readily than you will. This may be a bit painful but often our greatest lessons and later victories can be tied to experiences that came out of dark times.
Work with same people who helped you develop a theme to develop a label that defines you. When I worked for IBM in the 1990’s I referred to myself as an articulate techno-weenie, which is an oxymoron. I now refer to myself as a recovering engineer.
Have fun with this. Ask for feedback from friends. Ask them for words that describe you. Ask them if you were an animal, what animal would you be?
Writing the story
You should not do this final step. Find a close friend or relative who writes well to work on this with you. This should be an iterative process and the final product should be put in the summary section of your LinkedIn profile.
The summary section of the LinkedIn profile is limited to 2,000 characters! This limits you to 4-6 paragraphs. The writing needs to be tight and targeted.
Remember the story should express who you are and not what you have done!
You can look at my LinkedIn profile to see an example. I did not write this but my co-author of Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers Susan Lahey wrote it!
I am the worst person to write my own brand story. What about you?
You ready to give this a try?
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. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at 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.