By Anel Martin
You know that awkward moment in the interview when they ask you about your areas of excellence, or that moment you need to introduce yourself to someone new at a business networking event (and your response sounds a bit rehearsed) or you run into the CEO in the elevator and they want to know who you are and what you do at the company.
If you have ever felt vulnerable or embarrassed in these situations you need a Brand Story and Part Two of this series is just for you!
So what is a brand story?
Well, it is like an elevator pitch, just not as robotic or plastic! It is a true story about your talents and gifts. It is something that can be recited at will without rehearsal because it is TRUE and comes from your heart. So let’s get practical.
Step 1 Make a list of what you are really good at/recent achievements (at least 10).
I am being literal here, so write down your areas of excellence and recent successes. Doing this on paper or on your laptop takes it out of your head and makes it more concrete.
Step 2 Stuck? That is totally normal. Time to consult with a friend or colleague.
It is funny (but maybe sad) that I have done this exercise with hundreds of assistants from across the world and writing down their strengths is a major challenge, but on the flip side you can ask them about their development or problem areas and they can give you two dozen without missing a beat. If you are stuck, know that this is normal.
The solution is to consult with a trusted friend or colleague to help you compile your list. This is very useful because they might mention things you have not even thought about and also help you do a reality check on your existing list.
The key is to be open to the feedback.
Step 3 Trim down the list to 6 (but NOT less than 4).
Go through the list and pick your top 6. Trim it down for maximum impact. Eliminate similar skills or merge items that can be grouped logically.
Step 4 Rank from 1 to 6 (1 being best).
As the title suggests look at your list and prioritize. Again the help of a trusted advisor will be valuable if you are unsure.
Step 5 Write a concise, strong, short and clear one-liner about this skill.
Do a one-liner for each of the 6 skills/abilities. Keep it simple and direct (research has proven that people will rate you are more intelligent if you use simple language, so don’t try and be too fancy).
Avoid clichés like I am an excellent team player, I work well without supervision, I am a perfectionist. All of these things may be true but if you can’t find a more original way of expressing the same idea then please omit it altogether.
EXAMPLE OF A BRAND STORY
- If I commit, I deliver.
- I am not shy and I take big risks.
- I am a connector of people and ideas.
- I have passion.
- I am kind and enjoy people.
- I am a time management expert and I get things done.
Step 6 Test this Brand Story on yourself and your inner circle
Test drive your brand story. Does it feel real? Would you be embarrassed to tell someone your brand story, if yes, it needs more work?
It should be true, it should be natural and easy to articulate. Get feedback from others once you are ready to share.
Use your brand story to update your CV, Linkedin or to position yourself for the next opportunity that comes your way. This is a very powerful tool to “sell” your brand in an authentic way and I hope that you find these tips useful.
If you have questions or problems with creating your brand story you are welcome to reach out to me via my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/PA-20-Upgrade-Yourself-530299150373650/ or Twitter @anelmartin I am always happy to help!
Anel Martin is a former awarding winning administrative assistant from South Africa (now based in Dubai) who now works as a full-time trainer and Results Based Coach. Her goal is to help assistants to find their voices and their confidence. She is a published author and the book is titled “The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539535576/ visit her website for more free resources, information, and services www.anelmartin.co.za