24/06/2011

What’s your story?

By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach at Blossoming Brands

We all love a good story. Stories engage our emotions and arouse our sense of curiosity. When we’ve heard a good story, we can’t help but pass it on. In fact, we’re hard wired for storytelling, so shouldn’t we be looking to use story more often in our lives?

Stories are a powerful way to change minds and to influence, as well as to engage and involve. Businesses use stories all the time to help build their brands. Just like the Innocent story about the founders attending a fete with a their first batch of smoothies. They asked their customers whether they should jack in their jobs to make these smoothies full time by asking them to put their empty bottles in either a YES bin or a NO bin. The rest, as they say, is history.

Have you thought about what your story is? Our lives are filled with stories, many of which will be completely unique to us. Using story can be great way to help us to build our own brands and to be more memorable.

If you were to share your story, what would it be? Are there any recurring themes in your life? Are you on a mission? How did you get to where you are? Is there something that you’ve overcome and it’s informed your life ever since? People are interested in what makes us human, the challenges we’ve overcome and what we’re aiming for. By sharing stories with others that hints to the sort of person you are, you’re creating the opportunity to share common ground with others on the basis of a shared human experience.

It can be too easy when introducing yourself to list your achievements and all the things that make you credible. Unfortunately, this is all left brain thinking. People don’t buy with their left brain. They buy with their right brain; their emotions. And, yes you are selling. If you’re introducing yourself, you want to people to buy into you, the person.

Maybe you want to influence them to hire you, buy your book or accept your ideas. They’re not going to do any of those things, if they’ve not bought into you first. And to do that, you need to get them to like you or respect you. Listing accolades and jobs held is not guaranteed to do that. But sharing a story that demonstrates how great you are and what your qualities are will.

So, next time somebody asks you to introduce yourself, what story are you going to share?

Follow me on Twitter: @AlexiaL or visit my site: www.blossomingbrands.com

Watch the video below featuring Alexia Leachman of Blooming Brands discussing my building a strong personal brand is important.

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