Personal Brand Development

Want to know one of the most effective tools to amplify your personal brand, boost prestige, and elevate your brand's value in the marketplace?

It's a simple enough answer – storytelling.

Well-written stories will transcend your brand from empty images and words on a website to a brand that engages, influences, and inspires people. When your brand's story resonates with people, you build trust. Great storytelling creates authentic, relatable experiences with your audience and helps them understand your brand's core and its values.

Stories Connect Us

Humans are emotional and strive for connection. We don't just want relatable content and a relatable brand; we also want to connect with the face and personality behind a brand. Storytelling can elevate your brand's image by building trust, authenticity, and transparency around your brand and your services. Just as patrons revisit restaurants for the service more so than the food, consumers buy your story before they buy your products. If customers leave with a good experience, they'll share it with their friends. They're also more likely to share the positive experience on social media – all because they support you and your story.

But why are we drawn to superb storytelling? And why is it so compelling to us?

At the core, stories are human experiences, and they naturally click with our brains. There is a scientific reason why a great story captivates us, and we get "lost" in the narrative. Stories communicate universal experiences, and they help us find meaning in the world around us. They pull at our heartstrings and cause our brain to release specific chemicals in response to certain emotions like happiness, compassion, and empathy – thus causing our brain to react as if we are in the story.

Writing Your Own Narrative

Now we know why people love great stories, but how do you start to write that great story? This is a moment to take a big step back, perform an internal assessment, and establish goals. Don't write goals that others want you to accomplish. Instead, write goals that convey your personal values.

If you feel stuck and don't know how to move forward with your brand's story, consider asking friends, colleagues, or even loyal customers. Your personal narrative is there, so you just need to find the right pieces to glue together. Use proven methodologies like surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, and social media to ask your audience about what's most important to them. Then, you can weave in your target audience's values, frustrations, beliefs, and interests into your brand stories.

More Ways You can Create and Showcase Your Brand Through Storytelling

Provide some background on your personal journey: What is your backstory – why did you decide to pursue this journey? You could include details about your company's founding, the evolution of your brand from then to now, and highlights about your brand's accomplishments. But don't just bullet-point out words to fill a page; think about the messages you are trying to convey through your brand's story. What have your past experiences taught you? What is the driving force behind your brand?

Discuss the problem your brand is trying to solve: Start with a short explanation of the problem you noticed, your brand's solution, and a review of the successful results. Focus on emphasizing your brand's uniqueness in conflict resolution. What did you notice about the problem? When did you realize there weren't solutions? What's your brand doing to fill this gap?

Style: The story should be well-written but also digestible – too long of a narrative, and people may lose interest. Too short, and people might miss the point. Instead, draw the reader's attention to how your brand specifically resolved this conflict. Be honest and transparent about the experience. While discussing parts of your personal journey, don't forget about your audience! You want to produce stories that will resonate with your target audience, keep them engaged, and entice them to spread the word about your brand.

Tell specific stories of people who your products and services have helped: This is a great way for you to brag about your brand's achievements. Case studies are wonderful tools for spotlighting past successful client stories and highlighting testimonials from happy customers. What was the specific challenge this client was facing that you helped solve? And how did you help them solve that problem? Make the customer and their experience the hero of the story!

Persuasive, well-written customer testimonials, told from the customer's perspective, work to reinforce your brand's story as. As a result, potential customers will read your brand stories through another lens, consider themselves additional characters in the narrative, and feel even more encouraged to work with your brand.

Use social media to help spread your stories: Social media platforms are perfect for showing your audience sneak peeks into more significant stories. A good story will be shared, but that doesn't mean you should copy and paste a story from one site to the next. Instead, use the strengths of each site to promote your stories. For example, pair stunning images with well-written narratives on Instagram, highlight quotable moments on Twitter, and create impressive film stories on YouTube.

Utilize blogs and social media to document the progress of the brand: Instead of flooding the market with just stories, vary your content by posting about new and upcoming projects, events, and collaborations. Some people love the behind-the-scenes look of new and upcoming projects.

If your brand is authentic and a true reflection of yourself and your values, it will naturally change as you change. Don't delete and change your story with each life shift, but update the story to match your current mindset and values. Reflect on your ups and downs, use the changing narrative to connect with your audience, and continue building authentic relationships.  

Storytelling is an art

Storytelling is an art, and even with considerable practice, it can still be difficult to master. However, at Bell + Ivy, we can help you write persuasive narratives as part of our marketing and personal branding online services. Whether you are a solo entrepreneur or part of a larger team, Bell + Ivy will help you curate authentic brand stories, expand your personal brand's reach, and create memorable experiences for your clientele. Contact us for more information about our elite services!