By Erin Harker
Your personal brand and your brand story are more important than ever in this digital age. Your customers, your colleagues, and your audience-at-large want to get to know YOU. People want to work with people with whom they connect. People who resonate with them. People who make their lives better.
The good news is you already have a personal brand.
The potentially bad news is you already have a personal brand. “What the heck?” you might be asking. There is already a story being told about you. It’s being told by people who know you. It’s being told by people who have only met you once. It’s being told by what you share digitally. It’s being told by how you act and what you do in real life.
The question is: who is driving your story? Who is the narrator? If it’s not you, it’s time to jump into that driver’s seat.
This is not an easy task. Honestly, creating your personal brand – especially from the heart – is going to require you to dig deep and really take a look at what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
These five questions are a great starting point for diving into your brand story:
- What do you do?
- How are you doing it differently?
- Why do you do it?
- Who do you do it for?
- What outcome do you offer?
It’s important to remember that connection is a two-way street, which means creating your brand is as much about your audience as it is about you. While we love to talk about ourselves, it’s also human nature to want to know, “What’s in it for me?”
When you start working on your personal brand, the dreaded “impostor syndrome” tends to rear its ugly little head. This is probably the toughest one for me, and most likely a lot of you reading this. No one wants to see a selfie of me with my dog on a road trip. Wrong. No one cares about the work I’m doing. Wrong. No one cares… Okay. You get the point.
The truth of the matter is that people do care. People are still yearning for that human connection. And the only way to truly connect with people – even in the wonderful world of digital and social – is to be you and be you from your heart. Share your story and make your story shareable.
I can hear you now. “Riiiiiiiiight. Easier said than done.” It is way easier than you think once you turn off that voice in your head telling you that no one cares, embrace a little of your vulnerability, and share the real you unapologetically, and shoot straight from your heart.
Erin Harker is the head of marketing at GMH Mortgage, a family-owned lender that’s transforming the business of mortgages into a celebratory experience for homebuyers. Connect with her on LinkedIn –