Leadership

Tell Your Story: How to talk about yourself in a way that makes people care

There is a fine-line between too self-promotional and delivering a powerful, well-deserved description of yourself.

For professionals, self-promotion is critical to success, but doing it wrong can drive away partners, customers, and prospects.

To maintain promotional balance, consider the following exercise:

Step 1: Set the Stage

Before you start, know what you want you to communicate. Specifically, who do you want to target? Who is your ideal audience? What do you want them to learn? What do you want them to do? How do you want them to feel?

I recommend taking the time to answer each of these. The writing process will help unlock what you really want to say, and how you want to say it, in the following steps.

Step 2: The Rough Draft

Compile the important elements of your biography. You should consider collecting:

  • Your important accomplishments
  • Your values and passions
  • Your superpowers and things you do better than anyone else
  • Facts, figures, and statistics
  • Differentiating tidbits or your unique positioning statement
  • External validation / Testimonials

Step 3: Tell Your Story

They key to a successful promotion — whether your LinkedIn Summary, a UPS (unique positioning statement), a brand slogan, or elevator pitch — is storytelling.

Your story should get the reader/listener’s attention with a thoughtful anecdote or punchline that draws back to what you identified in step one. A compelling narrative about your brand, service, or product will keep the attention of the listener or reader longer without feeling like they are being pitched at.

Always include a call to action (a question, statement, or direction towards what you want them to do). And always write in the first person (this means using words like “I” and “Me” rather than your name, as if someone else wrote it for you).

Final Thought & Conclusion

A key component of a brand is continuity – the consistent feel between platforms. If you have just drafted a new promotional piece about yourself, make sure it is reflected on your various social platforms, website, bios, and “About Me” pages.

On the other end of the axis: not promoting yourself enough. It is okay to promote yourself, it is a service. More on that to come.

About the Daily Marketing Minute

The Daily Marketing Minute is my project for the last quarter of 2014. Each day, I will deliver bite-sized, fat-free nuggets of sales and marketing insights.

In an increasingly noisy sales and marketing world, it is easy to lose track of why you do what you do. Ultimately, I believe that relationships will transcend the daily grind we face in sales and marketing. Every day, I’ll share insights and tips to grow your business and connect with your customers in a better (and more human) way.

Thank you for sharing your precious time with me.

Shaun

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