The human brain is wired for stories: we use our imagination to create narratives and meaning (sometimes out of nothing), and it has been like this since our ancestors gathered around a bonfire to share experiences, survival tips, recipes and, above all, to connect with each other.
One important goal of working on your personal brand is to connect with people who matter to you and your business. Telling your story is how you do that.
What is a personal brand story?
Your personal brand story consists of moments you've lived that brought you where you are today. It can be things you've achieved or experiences you've been through, what's important is that you tell people how you ended up doing what you do now and how it connects with your mission/purpose.
How to write your story?
It is important to be consistent when telling your story. Do I need to say that it must be true? No, right? Ok.
Start by writing about your childhood and the things you liked doing when growing up. Write about how you've started on your profession and list achievements that you're proud of. Challenges, turning points, failures and victories are all ingredients of a great story.
Remember that there are no bad stories, only stories that are poorly told.
Where should you tell your story?
The most basic way of telling your story would be in a conversation with someone. From there on, you have biographies, speaking events, interviews, videos, blog articles, the about page on your website, and, of course, social media posts.
Being a good storyteller means you understand your story's turning points and climax, for example. It also means you know how to split the story and tell it little by little depending on which medium you're using. Is it an Instagram post? Well, give your audience a picture of how it all started, or some unexpected event that occurred. Don't give it all at once.
Examples of Personal Brand stories
Jim Kwik is an expert in speed-reading, memory improvement, brain performance, and accelerated learning.
His website tells us "After a childhood brain injury left him learning-challenged, Kwik created strategies to dramatically enhance his mental performance. He has since dedicated his life to helping others unleash their true genius and brainpower"
This is a concise way of showing an event/conflict that was overcome and, as a result, determined a new way of seeing life, a new purpose.
In an interview with Tom Bilyeu, he remembers "I had the brain injury when I was five years old and I suffered all through elementary school, all through middle school, all through high school. [...] Growing up as a kid who couldn’t read, I would pretend I understood things. Teachers would explain things and I didn’t want to be the only one who didn’t understand and I would pretend, but in private I was really suffering and struggling. [...] My two biggest challenges growing up were learning and public speaking. The universe has a weird sense of humor because that's what I do for my mission now."
We connect with Jim's story because of how he overcame a challenging situation. It's an admirable story about being courageous, and it works as an inspiring example for people who didn't suffer brain injuries to explore the full potential of their brains. If Jim can, they can too.
"It feels like my life has got some meaning lately" said Greta in an interview during her boat trip across the Atlantic.
"How dare you? I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you?"
Greta Thunberg is a teenage activist fighting climate change. She became a symbol of this fight after consistently protesting in front of the Swedish parliament building demanding that the government met the carbon emissions target established in Paris, in 2015, by world leaders.
She started the movement called #FridaysForFuture that quickly spread around the world.
“I don’t want you to listen to me, I want you to listen to the scientists.”
Her story is remarkable and brave. She is an example of standing for one's own beliefs and being consistent with message AND action. Although her real enemy is climate change, she had picked up a fight with world leaders that need to "step out of their comfort zones to prioritize the future."