Monthly Archives: December 2012

5 Steps to an Irresistible Brand YOU Story

In this year’s last post on my Blog, I am absolutely delighted to spread the inspiring wisdom from my friend and colleague, Jeff Rock-who shares his 5 best story-telling tips to share your Personal Brand with the world!

Jeff Rock

Jeff Rock

About Jeff: Jeff is the Founder and Chief Insight Officer of Swift River Coaching, where he employs Personal Branding & Story-telling as the engines of Personal Development. An Industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in empowering people to discover their gifts, talents and genius, and translating that into their ideal way of work and life; Jeff is an esteemed member of the International Coach federation as well as a Reach Certified Personal Brand Strategist; he also has multitude of certifications from The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) both as a Coach & Energy Leadership Master Practitioner and Genos International Emotional Intelligence Assessments. 

I am working with a client who has a wonderful and mufti-faceted background. Each step in her career progression demonstrates growth, expanded scope, and courage. She recently took a position in a new organization in a different part of the country. Word quickly spread regarding her capabilities and accomplishments. In a matter of days, everyone knew who she was, and a de facto personal brand had taken root.

What’s wrong with that? Being instantly famous is great but the story of her personal brand was misleading. My client has a decades-long track record of successes spanning multiple disciplines. But for some reason, the hiring executive was fascinated with a brief and obscure aspect of her background, and it was that information that he conveyed, and over-emphasized, to his colleagues, and so it spread. It was a positive message, but very limiting. Suddenly, my client needed a personal brand mechanic . Here are five storytelling tips to help you communicate your personal brand effectively.

storytelling

Tip 1: Compose Your Own Story – Make sure you have a personal brand story. It should include key elements of your career progression as well as your brand attributes. The longer you are in business, the bigger your story will be. Your personal brand story is not your life story, but the parts of it that are important for your stakeholders to know.

Tip 2: Make It Easy to Understand – People remember stories, especially if they are in a format with which they are familiar. Use the Circumstance, Choice, Consequence model used in literature. Your personal brand story can illustrate when you were faced with a circumstance or challenge, the choices you made based upon your authenticity, and the resulting consequences and what you learned from the experience.

Tip 3: Use Your Hands – We are hard-wired to pay attention to hands. Use your hands when you tell your story. This reinforces your story in the minds of your audience by adding a visual aspect. Palms should face up when you discuss your struggles and how you sought information. Palms should face down at the end of your story to demonstrate confidence.

Tip 4: Ask Others to Share Their Story – Sharing stories with others creates a connection and helps you to understand them in a deeper way. Asking others for their story shows that you care and builds loyalty and trust Building trust is one of the most important things a leader can do.

Tip 5: Find The Connectors – There are people in every organization that are good at connecting with others and spreading information through the informal communication pipeline. Find out who they are and make sure they know your story. It is the fastest way to get your personal brand story, the authentic version crafted by you, out into your communities.

Think of storytelling as a powerful communication tool for raising your visibility, creating strong connections in your communities, and establishing an authentic foundation as you move forward and grow.

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7 Golden Rules for the Brand N-YOU Year 2013!

The DREAM

With the Christmas carols in the air, and the New Year beckoning us to religiously adopt a resolution list that would change your life forever-at least THE 2 week forever that you can keep up with it- and the infectious thrill for a brand new year that envelops you the moment you step into December; it’s that time of the year again, when we want to not look back to the good, bad or the ugly year (I pray not!) that we have had, but fill up every potent cell of our body with an unabashed optimism for a rockstar 2013 ahead-such optimism that genetically modifies your DNA and actually makes you believe that life will be SIGNIFICANTLY different for you this new year. (Amen!)

But is it really???

The TRUTH

Sadly, it is not. Period. At least not for those who just fill their lives with hollow optimism for a miracle to happen-and then wait for a magic wand to wave off their woes and indulge their whims!  But yes, the year does belong to those who nurture their optimism with honest and sincere DEDICATION towards their goal of desiring a better and transformed life, with but one thing: Dedication.

7 Golden things TO-DO before you hit 2013

7 Golden things TO-DO before you hit 2013

The PROMISE

I Promise you, that if you ADOPT and follow these 7 Golden Rules- My 7 DOs for 2013-before it dawns on you, not only will you stay on-track with your Personal Branding Efforts-day after day, month after month, but by the next December 2013, you will see your SMART Goals yield Substantial Brand Equity for the Brand YOU!

  1. Decide the goal for your brand: Every year we make new resolutions, for a better job or a better lifestyle, or the worst kept of ’em all a better body! Decide the professional goals for your Brand for the year 2013, RIGHT NOW itself so it doesn’t get lost in the myriad of other resolutions. While goal setting ensure the SMART Test is passed by each and every goal; i.e. they must be Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-oriented.
  2. Divide the goal into sub-goals: If you have enlisted 3 BIG Goals for Brand YOU, then the best approach to achieving them is to break them up into a series of sub-goals which when achieved subsequently conquer the BIG ONE too! It’s a simple historical concept: Divide & Conquer.
  3. Determine the priority checklist for all these goals: Once you have the game-plan of what ALL you want to achieve in the coming year, go ahead and PRIORTIZE Goals. Run your goal-list in your mind and start sorting it in the order of importance as well as FEASIBILITY to be achieved. Use a time frame of ‘in 3 months’, ‘in 6 months’ and ‘6 months+’. At the end of this step you shall have a well planned and prioritized list of activities that you will execute to evolve the Brand YOU from Invisible to Invincible
  4. Develop the list of resources to achieve these goals: A SMART and strategically designed game-plan is only half a battle won; to prepare for the contingencies ahead, one must THINK 360into the future to determine HOW you are going to win the battle. Not all but definitely some of all Goals would demand an additional resource of intervention from an external source, which you will have to foresee and arrange for. For e.g. you might want to move up the ladder of corporate hierarchy, but need an additional skill set to differentiate your Brand from the rest; hence you must evaluate your Goals on what else you NEED to achieve them.
  5. Design an action plan for a monthly basis: Once you pen down, WHAT you are going to achieve, followed by HOW you are going to achieve, it’s time to work on the WHEN. Create a month by month diary of goals, which will elucidate your monthly activities to be completed to move one step ahead in your battle. If you are a control freak like me, you may also further break down the month into a fully organized week by week goal-a-thon to make your life BEAUTIFULLY organized.
  6. Dedicate your mind, body and time to achieve it: Now comes the most IMPORTANT element of your Brand, YOU! After all the aforementioned efforts towards a Brand N-YOU Year 2013, it will be rather sad if YOU are unable to meet up to your own challenges and expectations. In fact it would be tragic. So you need to be mentally prepared and committed to advance upon a Brand N-YOU journey this coming year. Staying physically fit is as IMPORTANT as being mentally committed, ‘coz if the twain don’t co-operate, then we have a serious problem friend. My Word: DISCIPLINE is your new best friend this coming year.
  7. Do it up and do some more: Who doesn’t like delightful surprises? It is CRUCIAL that you do your do, which you have so painstakingly devised, but it is my personal advice, to go ahead and DO some more.  Surprise yourself with a few un-planned goals in the middle of the year, to get you EXCITED and enthusiastic about delighting yourself with some brownie points in your Goal-a-thon.  Trust me it’s a win-win situation for you-nothing more, nothing less.

 

How to make people fall in Love with Brand You: BOOST YOUR BRAND LOVE!

We love some Brands, We hate some Brands, and we couldn’t be bothered by some!

What is the compelling factor of these Brands that evokes such strong emotions within us?

What is it that they are doing fabulously or where are them taking the fall?

What is the secret that some Brands know of, and most others are still struggling to discover?

red brand loveIt is in human nature to fall in love, when their hearts are touched, moved and molten. Some people know how to touch these hearts and live in them forever. And moreover, some People know how to move these hearts, and not only live there, but also dominate their minds-forever. These are the People Brands who have the power to melt these hearts with love and loyalty, time after time-such that the competing brands are rendered immaterial, such that the whole world but that beloved brand-ceases to exist. Do you have it in Brand YOU yet?

The secret that these people or brands or now-a-days people brands know of is the power of EMOTIONS. And the strategy of making your audience feel the emotions you truly want them to feel-results in a checkmate game for your competition. These are my top 5 secrets to BOOST YOUR BRAND LOVE-to evoke such emotions in your audience that fill them up with unconditional love for you and your Brand.

  1. WOW and Entice: Grab their attention by offering a truly unique and exclusive value proposition that is perhaps yet unheard of. Once you have grabbed their eye balls, then you set those brain balls in motion such that they catapult your brand on their most wanted list. They MUST want you, want to work with you and want to buy your products/services-unconditionally. This gets them excited about you.
  2. Envision a Brand New World: If there is a concept called larger than life-imbibe it and embody it. Paint a beautiful vision for them to see their lives being changed for good, by consuming or utilizing your product or services. The key is to make them envision a beautiful new world (or way of life), which is an outcome of your humble contribution. This gets them motivated about you.
  3. Foster exclusivity: Nobody forgets you when you shower them with the VIP treatment. Make your audience belong to you-your brand-like no other. Give your exclusive set of patrons the benefit of being a part of your Brand’s Prive-a private little group which enjoys exclusive privileges and special services. This nurtures loyalty for your brand.
  4. Out-love Competition: I borrow this term from Seth Godin, who recently wrote a beautiful post on how you need to out-love your competition instead of out-thinking them. If your community showers 1X love on you-reciprocate 2X of its worth. Delight them at every possible brand experience of YOU-before, during and after closing the deal. Always scout for ways to make them feel-loved. This gets them passionate about you.
  5. Over Deliver: The best kept secret of world’s most beloved brands-is that they under promise and over deliver. This keeps them in the perpetual good books of their target audience-for being most trustworthy and preferred brands. This nurtures an eternal trust and faith in your brand.

These are my favorite 5’s. I would love to know how you make them people fall in love with you/your brand again and again. Do share your tried and tested Brand-LOVE Secrets in the comments section below…What EMOTIONS do try to evoke in your Brand Community???