Empowering Your Excellence – Your Brand Story
Question of the Blog: Does a room become better or worse when you enter it?
The question of the blog is to encourage us to think about our Social Capital value and our Brand Story.
According to Neck, Neck and Murray (2017) our social capital is defined “as the personal social networks populated with people who willingly cooperate, exchange information, and build trust relationships with each other”. The authors advocate that our social capital includes: bonds, bridges, and linkages. We bond with people who we identify with. This can include family members or friends that share our culture background or ethnicity. We create bridges with people we know, such as our church, school, or workplace associates, and we link with people or groups in our communities both social and extended. The value of our Social Capital depends on how we show up with those we bond, bridge, or link with.
According to Dale Carnegie (1936), “you can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” The point is that our Social Capital value is generated by what goes out and not what comes in.
Dexter and Wilson (2017) encourage that we build stronger connections or networks when we identify shared connection points with others. When meeting someone for the first time talk with them with intentionality to find out more about them. This requires spending time and being curious about the other person by asking questions. Being curious also means listening to others, as they speak, listen with full attention. As you engage look for an opportunity to offer to help the other person. In summary building social capital value requires spending time getting to know someone, listening to them, looking for opportunities, and giving first before getting.
Your Brand Story is your asset! It is what you bring into the room. We become social capital for others by building a value based personal brand. Your Brand Story is your story. It is individual and apart from your company, although you may draw on your company experiences. Your Brand Story explains your Why’s:
Why you have become who you are.
Why you are doing what you are doing now.
Why you give what you give
Why you show up
Your Brand Story includes relationships you have built over time, and opportunities that have emerged from your experiences and relationships. To Empower Your Excellence, we encourage you to write three versions of your Brand Story as follows:
Your Long Brand Story is a fifteen (15) minute speech.
Include all the details about your “whys, key relationships, and opportunities that you encountered on the journey to wherever you are right now. Bring your audience into your world by describing situations or incidents. Paint a picture in the mind of your listeners/readers.
Note: Do not let this story extend beyond fifteen minutes of talking time. Write it and practice it.
Your Summarized or Short Brand Story.
This is your short bio and you are encouraged to develop different variations of this abbreviated version for target audiences. Briefly, share your “whys” and a few accomplishments because of those whys. Your Short Brand Story can be used in your LinkedIn profile, in resume cover letters or for personal introductions when in a job interview.
Note: Do not let this story extend beyond three minutes of talking time or beyond 300 words on paper. You can have different versions to highlight different situations. Write it and practice it.
Your Micro Brand Stories.
Consider these your elevator speeches or networking ice breakers.Micro Brand Stories are the are situational and the windows of engagement are shorter. The point is that they are not preplanned or rehearsed.The secret to great Micro Brand Stories is that as you develop your Long and Summarized (Short) Brand Stories you are self-reflecting about yourself and your why’s. This builds your self-awareness and self-confidence. You enter a room with more self-assurance about you. You enter a room with intentionality to give and not take; which guides your conversation flow.
In summary Empower Your Excellence by writing Your Brand Stories.
References and Great Reads
Carnegie, D. (1936). How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dexter& Wilson (2017). Making Your Net Work: The Art and Science of Career and Business Networking
Neck, Neck, & Murray (2017). Entrepreneurship: The Practice and Mindset