Who's telling your story?
(Image source: Code Like a Girl)
"Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter." -African Proverb
Everyone has a story to tell. Whether you are a working professional, a corporate leader or a business owner, your brand defines you. Your brand is who you are. It’s how you look. It’s what you say. It’s how you act. It’s what others are thinking and saying about you when you aren’t in the room.
Public relations (PR) isn’t just for corporations/business, everyone should be concerned about their image. Everyone needs to own their brand by telling their own story. As the African proverb states, when others tell your story, it will not fully honor you. Additionally, when you don’t own your brand you leave the door open for others to misrepresent who you are and what you stand for.
Society initially started using the term ‘brand’ within the cattle industry when ranchers burned a mark on their livestock to denote their ownership. The term was later adopted by the marketing industry to help companies establish themselves as product/service leaders in the eyes of the public. They used logos and catch phrases (slogans) to help consumers easily identify them over their competitors. Consumers purchased products/services based on their affinity with a brand. This allowed the company to beat their competition and own the market share.
Now, branding has evolved into something that isn’t exclusively a concern for businesses. Individuals have to be aware of their brands as well. The online presence is especially important in their efforts to brand themselves. Millions observe online posts and develop perceptions based on the content. Whether its photos, comments, videos or information that is shared…it all adds up to the kind of person/business people perceive you to be. With this said, it is vitally important that one’s online presence matches up to who you are in person.
Social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.) should be used to effectively leverage the brand you want to project. Nothing is ever done online in the dark or in isolation.
Your story is always being told! Wouldn’t it be better if you are the one telling the story? Wouldn’t it be better if everything you did in-person and online fed into the positive image you want others to have of you? Developing a strong brand is a continual process. One detour from this process can destroy your entire story.