There is no shame in helping others see your value and potential. But it’s hard, right?
I work a lot with female entrepreneurs and business owners helping them create their own brand stories. I am lucky to work with some of the most incredible women I’ve ever met but they all share 1 thing in common; despite how brilliant they are at what they do, they all experience fear when telling others just that.
From those just starting out in business, to seasoned experts, imposter syndrome affects us all, regardless of gender, and rather than telling our real story with confidence, we often end up with a watered down version.
We say all the things we are programmed to think people want to hear, we forget our own voice, we use words and phrases we would never normally use when talking to our friends down the pub, and at the end we might mumble something about our brilliance but in the hope that no one really hears.
If all of this is sounding painfully familiar, it’s time you invested in your brand story.
And here’s why:
- Your personal brand story is much more than just a CV of jobs you’ve had. It tells everyone why you do what you do. It enables you to talk about your ambitions, your vision and your drivers in a more authentic, true way. And it helps you create all-important emotional connections, to give a powerful insight to who you are and the value you offer.
- Your brand story enables others not just to see where you’ve come from, but understand what you’ve learned along the way. And to see how these experiences could help them achieve whatever it is they are looking for.
- Creating your brand story gives you the chance to define what success looks like in the future, giving you purpose and a vision to keep coming back to when the world knocks you off kilter.
A brand story typically is made up of three parts, vision, mission and values. Nothing new or scary there. But rather than thinking about your busines or your team, I want you to just think about YOU.
STEP 1: Your vision
This is your end goal, your legacy, the positive impact you will have on your colleagues, your customers, the wider market, the world, the universe and the overriding believe you have which drives your very being. If any of you are familiar with Simon Sinek, this is your WHY.
For example, my vision is a world where every person has the confidence to speak freely and authentically about who they are and what they believe in.
Why? Because I’ve come from a place where I didn’t think I could speak freely and authentically, and I’ve experienced the pain that causes and I don’t want others going through the same. And also because I have seen the amazing things that can be achieved when you do that.
STEP 2: Your mission
This is how you go about achieving your vision; what you need to do, how you need to do it, who you need to do it for and how it will help them and you.
So again, for me, my mission is to help female entrepreneurs and business owners find their voices and tell their stories. I do this by arming them with the skills, confidence and support through training, coaching and mentoring.
STEP 3 : Your values
This is often one of the hardest parts of your story. Your values reinforce your vision and your mission; you can use them to demonstrate how you are fulfilling your WHY and show others what you believe in and how you operate and conduct yourselves
If you are a leader, values provide direction and support for everyone around you and they are the guiding principles for all major decision you make.
Once you have those three areas nailed, don’t just leave them on a slide or post-note somewhere. Use your experiences, successes, failures, learnings to evidence your brand story, help others understand and feel it and create those all-important connections.
You can use your story to demonstrate how you want to work and how this can help others around you. Encourage others to do the same to create a better, more open culture and make sure you are never left in the shadows.
You have a powerful voice and it deserves to be heard because….
If you don’t tell your own story, you just become part of someone else’s.
And who wants that?
Want to find out why storytelling is so important to business leaders? Check out part 1 of this blog “Whoa there! What do you mean storytelling is just marketing dohickey?”