person showing bookAre you unsure of where to start to create a unique personal brand? There is one fool proof way to create a completely original foundation for your brand.

Simply start with building your personal story.

Your story of how you got to where you are in your life, your profession, or the place you hold in this world.

I recently modified a post create your personal brand touchstone for the real estate based social network ActiveRain.com. This is a private post so if you are not a member of of Active Rain you wont be able to see the thread.

Our consulting with real estate agent personal branding gave me insight about how many real estate professionals view the process of defining their individual brand.

I received some great comments from real estate professionals who view the task of building an original brand difficult.

Comments such as…

My question is.. how do we find something that we do that is different from everyone else when there are just so many of us in the business?

or

Branding and defining the unique touchstone in Real Estate is the toughest thing in the world. It’s hard to imagine over a million of UNIQUE actively licensed Real estate professionals What a confusing picture for our consumers!

So how do you differentiate yourself and create a unique image amongst a sea of competitors?

One of the quickest ways to do this is create a story of who you are, how you got there, and where you are going.

You don’t think people will care or they don’t want to know this?

A recent interview by Andrew Warner with Bertrand Cesvet about Conversational Capital contained a discussion about myths. I highly suggest you listen to this interview… in it Bertrand goes through myths and showcasing your story. He says that people (your prospects and clients) actually do want to know your story. They want to know how you got where you are, why, when, and where you are going.

While his insights are great and I fully agree there is one other benefit to showcasing your story. Not only do people want to know your story but it immediately helps you flesh out and build your personal brand. Since there is no one with your same story, path, or background  this instantly becomes a unique selling proposition.

Goal of story

Your goal of your story is to create a sense of relationship with your prospect or client. They have to feel like they know you. You want them to be your friend. You must be likable, presentable, and they must feel like they understand where you are coming from and where you are going.

Your story must also create a concise story line.

Start with a situation and a problem to be resolved. Every good story has a problem that needs to be resolved.

Look at the oldest stories of history. There is almost always a hero. Everybody loves a hero. You, the main character, you are the hero.

Don’t think you can be a hero in your industry?

A local baker…

I went to the big grocery chain to buy a cake. It was tasted terrible, plus they spelled my daughters name wrong for her 10th birthday. Her brothers teased her for days. Kids will be kids. I always baked and decided the next birthday to bake the cakes myself. Everybody loved it and in fact…

Real estate agent…

I was a stay at home mom. My husband and I were buying our first house… it was the worst experience i could ever imagine… this experience drove me to change the industry. I didn’t want anybody else go through what I went through.

These snippets of stories give tremendous insight about you. They are unique. The stories engage your prospects or clients on an emotional level. This forms a connection and a bond.

Stories are amazing. Often times your client will remember these stories each and every time they utilize your service or product.

Your story must…

Begin with an arresting first paragraph or lead, enough to grab the readers and make them curious to know what happens next.

The themes and setting must be immediately recognizable.

You story must represent your beliefs and values. Highlight aspects of your story that reinforce what you are about. Think of the underlying messages in fairy-tales or children stories, very often they have deeper meaning and messaging.

You want a similar type of theme throughout your story.

If you’re an attorney you want a theme that highlights your attention to detail, your sound advice and trust. Also how you have saved people from disastrous results.

Don’t Lie and Be Authentic

The story must be true. That does not mean it has to be presented in a boring way. Stories allow you to convey messages and metaphors. Use this to your advantage.

If in your industry it is sought after to be as unmovable as a mountain, say something like…

I simply got sick and tired of my friends and family telling me that I was as unmovable as a mountain and that I should… So I looked into it. You know what I found… they were right… but don’t tell them that.

Inject personality into your story. Your personality. Be careful that you stay true to who you are and you don’t go over the top just for the sake of being creative.

What To Do Now

It’s time to craft you personal brand story. On your first go around don’t spend too much time figuring out the perfect words or the even the right way to say things. Just get it down in writing.

Once you have this skeleton then you can then start improving the copy.

Unfortunately your story wont quite be complete until in you read my next post where I will share with you the 3 questions your personal brand story MUST answer for the reader, your prospect or potential client.

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