Writing for Yourself – Personal Brand Development
Building a story for someone else’s brand or company is certainly easier than writing for yourself. Creating a personal brand is a tough job and requires a fair amount of dedication. Especially with the majority of people preferring to watch a short video. Blogs, social media posts and websites need to engage people within the first few words. Give them a reason to want to read further. It is easier with visually stimulating content like video. Yet, everything needs a story. A story that requires you to write clearly to get the message across. So, let’s have a look at mounting the building blocks of your personal brand development and writing for yourself.
How to Start Your Story
Tey advice I typically give people is to begin by taking a step back. When it is your own coming or your brand it is easy to get lost in it. Finding a clear vision of what you are all about is challenging when you are in muddy waters. So start by taking a deep breath and letting go. Imagine that this project is for a client and ask yourself “what advice would I give my client in this situation?”. Then follow your advice. I know, it sounds simple. Often the best solution to a business problem is to simplify the issue.
Now you can take the approach from a more objective viewpoint. Look at what you have, the advice you would give and where you want this to go. Nothing is set in stone. The progression of your personal brand is up to you. at least, how you are going to present yourself to the world.
Assessing the Building Blocks of Your Brand
I like to take the approach of three main pillars. Grab some paper and write down the products/services you offer, words your associate with your brand and the type of audience you are trying to speak to. If you are doing this to get a job, include things like your skills and desired job titles. Essentially everything that makes up your personal brand.
Now that you have brainstormed all of these words and phrases, it is time to narrow down the ones that stand out. Choose the most prominent words for you. Circle them with a different colour so they are highlighted. Make sure the words you choose are ones that truly depict your most important skills and/or services. Take each of these words/phrases and dive deep into what they mean for your brand. Be picky about each one.
Take a hard look at those words/phrases. Write them down again, but this time write them in a list. Prioritise each word/phrase by having the most important at the top and the least important at the bottom. Keep the top three. These will be the building blocks of your personal brand.
What is Your Elevator Pitch?
For anyone new to this idea, an elevator pitch is something you could say to a client, employer or investor that would explain your brand concisely in one or two sentences. It should be no more than a few seconds to get across. Infomercials are particularly good at using quick phrases that get it all across in one sentence. For example, “It dices, slices, minces and is easy to clean – the twister is your ultimate kitchen tool.”.
You want to get a similar kind of sentiment across with your very own pitch. It will be the foundation of your writing, brand voice and marketing strategy. It is what centres your efforts to attract clients, collaborators and employers. This is where the previous step comes into play. use the top three words/phrases to write your very own elevator pitch. This may take some time to find the exact words to string them all together. Don’t worry about that. It won’t just suddenly be perfect. Be critical of the pitch and try different examples to mould it into what is the ideal fit for you.
Here is an example. Let’s say you are a veterinarian. You want to provide services to domestic animals but not farm animals. Just animals that people predominantly keep as pets. Such as cats, dogs, birds and a few common reptiles. You know that there are people without transport so you want to be a vet that does house visits. So our three main words/phrases would be something like:
- Consultation at home
Now we have everything we need to write the elevator pitch. Here is what it would look like:
“I am a vet offering home consultations for your beloved pets.”
Sure, not all offerings or personal brands are so easily brought together. So I will repeat, take your time. Don’t try to rush the idea. This is what will function as the starting point for all your touchpoints.
Writing for Yourself
You have your elevator pitch done and dusted. What do you do with it now? You take that and memorise it. make it part of what you tell anyone who asks you what you do for a living. Make it your professional mantra. One that guides you in your decisions. Whether that is for marketing yourself, gaining investors or landing a job. It is your unique selling point.
When you write something, for social media or a long-form blog or a video script, this is a sentence(s) you must always keep in mind. Make sure that the topics you cover relate back to this core sentiment and that it upholds the values you want to relay to your clients or future employer. The ideology is to reinforce this core offering/value throughout all of your touchpoints. It does this by:
- Keeping your message concise
- Appealing to the right audience
- Maintain focus
- Streamline goals
Using the vet as an example again. This vet could write blogs titled “Who Benefits from Home Consultations for Pets?” and “Do You Have a Pet But Struggle to Travel for Vet Visits?”. For their social media, they could consider a campaign where they give people tips on proper animal care. Each week talk about a different aspect of care and a different animal. The vet could then remind people with the post that if they are struggling with any element of care they could contact the vet for a home consult. While also incorporating social media posts covering topics on who might benefit from home consultations. A streamlined approach that specifically speaks to their audience.
Writing for Your Success
Writing for yourself can be heartbreaking. They say that YouTube videos failing or social media not getting that reach your hoped for is demotivating. Sure it can be. But let me tell you, from experience, I know that few things are as demotivating as writing. There are a few stats that show reading as the preferred medium. Everything is about short powerful videos with trending music/sounds. All your research will tell you that blogs and long-form articles are things of the past. It often feels like you are pouring your heart into your writing for it to be published into a void. It is much more challenging to get people to read well-researched work than it is to get them to watch a funny video on Tik Tok.
One thing that all of these mediums have in common is the story. Nowhere do marketers point out the obvious element of writing. All the videos you watch, all the movies you enjoy, all the series you have come to love and all of the adverts around you are created from a story. You need to be able to write that story before you can translate it into another medium for people to consume. So even if you are intent on making videos. you still need to write that story. You still need to understand its base point to keep it concise. An email or business plan is part of that story. All of it is written work that you will need to do. That is what writing for your success is all about.
Something fantastic to consider is adding visual components to your writing to catch people’s attention and keep them engaged. For any graphic design or content writing, you might like to outsource, book a chat for a virtual meeting at a time that is convenient for you here.