Whether we like it or not, each of us has a brand. You have it. I have it. This has been my thinking after I came across Tom Peter’s article in The Fast Company, entitled, “The Brand Called You,” where he wrote: “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” In other words, YOU have a personal brand, and for people to resonate with you and remember you, you need to back it up with a story – YOUR STORY.
Now you may be asking, “How can I have a story when I’m all new to this CEO thing?” Trust me, we all have a story. It’s all a matter of bringing it out for the world to know. Gone are the days when you have to be recognized as “The Best,” “The Most Accomplished” or “The Most Admired Company,” or anything in the context of being put up on a pedestal. With information and answers immediately accessible in a single tap or click, people nowadays have tons of options, and it’s just a matter of choosing the one that they can trust.
Let me repeat that: It’s just a matter of choosing the one that they can trust. As trust is the new currency in today’s digital world, the better question that we should be asking ourselves is, “What can I do for people in the internet to trust me?” I’ll lay out the foundation for you: It’s your uniqueness, your humanness and authenticity. These three powerful attributes will pave the way for you to attract opportunities, build relationships and establish trust.
Whether you’re starting a business with a product or service, you need to put yourself out there. This is especially true when you’re offering services. How? That’s exactly what the 4-step process, or what I call the G.I.F.T. Method for You Personal Brand Story is all about.
1. G – Get to Know Yourself
This is the starting point where you get your brand baseline. What are your skills and expertise? Passion and interests? How about core values and beliefs? And your personality. All of these make up your Personal Brand.
2. I – Identify Your Ideal Client.
Who do you want to attract? Better yet, who do you want to help? What industry or niche are they from? What are their challenges and pain points?
3. F – FInd the Alignment and Clarity
Knowing who you are and who you want to help is only half the battle. Good news though is you’re now on your way to creating that alignment and finding the clarity that you will essentially need in building your brand story. The alignment and clarity helps you find a common ground with your ideal client. This will tremendously help you you not only in writing your brand story, but also in adapting to the language and thinking of your target audience. This helps you incredibly in connecting with them, and eventually establish trust through your authentic story.
4. T – Tell Your Story
Now that you know who you are and who you want to help, and have everything aligned, it’s now time to write your story. Using all the important ingredients you’ve gathered from Steps 1-3 (or G-I-F), you are now ready to craft your Authentic Personal Brand Story. Bottomline is, your story has to resonate to the audience you want to connect to. While you may initially be the main character, the story has to eventually be about them. They are the ones with the pain point that you can solve.