As someone who loves to write, it’s natural I’d love language. But I love narrative even more, because narrative is story-telling. When we shape, develop and share narrative, we can use language to meet our own goals and serve the needs of the audiences we wish to attract.
Stories are at the heart of personal brands. Your brand should tell the story of why you are here, why you matter and why you care (and, why you want us to care, too). If you aren’t controlling your narrative, you leave too much to chance and speculation. When you control the narrative, you drive the audience to the conclusion you want them to reach.
To effectively build, pivot, or repair your reputation, focus on three distinct aspects of your narrative:
1. what you tell yourself
2. what you tell other people
3. what other people share about you
The story you tell yourself is known as self-talk. Self-talk impacts how you come across to others, and then, ultimately, how others speak of you when you’re not in the room.
For personal branding purposes, self-talk is critical for another reason: Self-talk frames the narrative you’ll build a reputation around. You must believe what will be written about you on the company’s website, in your own books, on your LinkedIn profile, and in your own mission statement. You must be confident in the qualities you’ll be known for and represent. You should be driving the information shared when people speak of you in your absence. You must, above all else, be clear in the values and truth you’ll show to other people.
A powerful part of personal branding is the ability to be referred to others. When someone can introduce or recommend you by speaking about you in a way that is consistent with how you want to be perceived, opportunities abound!
All of this drives the importance of making sure others know what you stand for, want to be known for, and your desired positioning. For professionals seeking to build influence in conversations and communities being perceived for the skills, character traits, and values you offer is powerful.
My latest book, Control the Narrative: The Executive’s Guide to Building, Pivoting and Repairing Your Reputation provides you with in-depth strategic advice and tactical guidance to consistently and confidently create a positive reputation. Learn more today!