Enjoy the elevator pitch cartoon by professional cartoonist Mark Anderson of Andertoons Cartoons. Have a laugh today.
Karen Dietz's insight:
Just for some Friday Fun! It's been along week and I think we could all use a chuckle.
Which one do you have? I think mine is a stairway pitch because I enjoy getting into a conversation with someone (instead of broadcasting to them). Taking the stairs is slower so we get to chat more :)
Having just freshened our own website, we felt it was timely to repost our 10 Commandments of About Us pages. Need a PDF to share with decision-makers at your organization? Glad to oblige. Commandment 1: Know thy ...
Karen Dietz's insight:
LOL -- love these 10 commandments to follow when creating/updating your About Page.
Truly, About Pages are one of the most underutilized parts of a website. But your About Page is a fabulous place to share your story, chat about your products/services, and win more business.
I also like how under each commandment in this post, questions are asked to help you figure out how to apply the commandment.
Now then -- DON'T do what CorporateHistory.net has done on their own website:
Their web pages take awhile to load using Chrome
This post has no author listed (who wrote this post, anyway??). Hey, we want real people behind posts!
Their "Our Story" page is not written as an engaging narrative. Time to go back to the drawing board.
There are no images/visual storytelling in the post -- I had to go find my own. That's not an included commandment, but it should be. Add at least one pic!
Ay yi yi. It's a classic case of 'do what I say, not as I do.' Oops, credibility slips! Since their business is all about storytelling, I hope they make these fixes soon.
There is one other Commandment I would offer:Thou shalt not attempt to write your About Page by yourself. It is just too hard to see the forest for the trees. Always get outside help, even if it is just friends and business colleagues giving you feedback and insights.
Despite these modeling flaws, the list is good so keep it handy for easy reference.
If you want more fab info on creating/updaing About Pages, just use the Filter tab near the top of the screen and click on 'aboutpages'.
Hey -- we ALL need a career narrative! And it is a story that continually shifts and changes over time as we add experience, wisdom, and talent.
I really like this article because it explains exactly what a career narrative is, why we need one, and how to create it.
And there are great examples shared.
I particulary like the point that a career narrative -- or bio or 'About' page -- needs to meaningfully link your past successes with your near + long term goals, AND suggest thekinds of assignments that would help you achieve those goals.
If you have difficulty sharing the story of your career journey, if you need a better bio or 'About' page, then use these tips and examples to craft a better story!
While it may not have been popular marketing theory at the time, the most successful brands figured out decades ago that it takes character to turn a product into a brand. When a brand has character, it takes on an identity of its own. Its every word, gesture, action, became natural expressions which make the brand instantly recognizable.
What is the character or persona of your brand? The company Added Value has a tool called CharacterLab that helps you figure this out.
There is a free demo to try at this site. The demo will give you a series of photos and characteristics to rank. At the end it will give you the character/persona of your business -- if you are a sole proprietor.
Give yourself some time to work through the demo -- it will get you thinking and the sorting isn't easy. But I was very pleased with my results!
Turns out my business is characterized as the Creator/Sage. Just make sure you take notes at the end. I tried to bookmark my results, but when I tried to view that page again, it led me back to the original demo page. Bummer! But understandable.
Once you have your results then the real work begins -- crafting your brand to be in alignment with your character/persona. That includes aligning the language you use, your colors and graphics, web design, and marketing materials to your character/persona.
Knowing your character/persona really takes a lot of the mystery out of creating your brand and telling your stories.
Whether interviewing for a job or making a presentation, weaving a strong personal narrative could be the one thing that keeps you on top. Here are a few tips to turning on your personal branding story without turning off your audience.
Here's what I like about this article: as the author says, "For some, telling your story is an uncomfortable experience. I know I've always strived to keep my personal and professional lives somewhat separate, believing that few really care about where I grew up, how I grew up, and what drives me to succeed in business today...Nonetheless, it's fair to say that in an increasingly wired world, where first encounters are often online, a little personality can go a long way. A great story? Even better."
The author then goes on to share 3 tips for finding and sharing your story.
Almost every client I work with initially resists sharing their personal business story. They claim "It's not about me!" Ha ha. Your business is all about you. They get over it, and we go on. It takes skill to do this well, but they do master it.
So if you have ever had the same feelings, read this article and start getting more comfortable sharing your personal business stories.
There's debate about the superficiality of personal branding. What works in my book is authenticity. If authenticity is satisfied, you are doing well.
All indicators are pointing to the growing importance of storytelling in the intertwined social media, PR and advertising worlds. In a remarkably clever and practical way, storytelling is a wonderful addition to any deserving CV or résumé.
Hear hear! The author is absolutely correct. Bringing story elements and storytelling into your resume, CV or portfolio makes you so much more attractive as a job candidate because you will be selling YOU and the results you produced -- NOT a description of your last position.
I do so wish more people would 'get' the significance of this shift in thinking and actively bring stories into the job hunting process.
Well, this article should help out in that shift. Enjoy reading it and then start figuring out where and how to bring stories into your job hunt (visit the website A Storied Career for tools).
Video attorney bios for legal marketing and content marketing should focus on visual storytelling, not just cost and frequency...
Corporate storytelling, personal branding, back-stories -- it's all here in these 3 videos about lawyers in a particular San Francisco, CA law firm.
And they really work! Or at least 2 of them do. The last one, not so much. I guess I was looking for more of a personal story like in the first two videos, instead of "This is a nice place to work and we have fun."
What made them work? Sharing a personal story right off the bat. And the first 2 videos were all about the "How I Got Started" topic -- one of the essential core stories to master for any business/entrepreneur.
Each video also had a problem/challenge to overcome and a key message at the end. Do these videos have so much punch they are going to change the world? No -- but they certainly are doing the work they need to do: they are engaging, give us background, and entice us to call these lawyers.
There are good lessons here for us to replicate in our own videos.
Thank you fellow curator Gregg Morris @greggvm for sharing this article!
First Versus Third Person Narrative: Theories on Writing Bios for Fashion Businesses. by annchingwang on Sep 30, 2011 • 2:54 pm 2 Comments. I study marketing and art equally. So something I've always wondered, as I am trying to infuse ...
If you've ever struggled with which voice to use when writing your bio, this article will set you strait. This is a great article that clearly articulates the different benefits between 1st and 3rd person narrative voice when writing your bio or About page. The author definitely favors using 1st person and tells you why (just forget he's targeting fashion -- the rules apply to all of us).
You bio or About page is about you. It should be in your voice. Read this article to know when and how you should be using 1st person, and gain some ideas about better ways to write your bio.
I haven't reviewed this yet, but look forward to doing so soon and posting my comments. In the meantime, check it out.
Storycraft is must read for entrepreneurs, Internet marketers, career-driven recent college graduates, job seekers, and career changers. Storycraft takes the mystery out of writing narrative nonfiction–the type of writing that’s necessary for building strong emotional bonds with readers, telling stories about personal brands in compelling, memorable ways.
Via Gregg Morris
Shari Caudron of The Narrative Group shows how to use your personal story to define and promote your brand.
Karen Dietz's insight:
This is a 1 hour video that is really great. Here Shari Caudron walks her audience through the process of finding a telling their personal business story. And it works. We get to experience the entire process so we can do it ourselves.
Shari tells great stories. She models storytelling. She models her process. She interacts with the audience, answers questions, and asks plenty in return to help people clarify their story.
Thanks Shari for teaching us lots! Watch the video so you can follow her process and tell your personal story. And watch the video to understand more about how to present storytelling and move people through a storytelling process successfully.
Bravo: this is precisely the sort of factual corporate storytelling that might persuade us to buy a bespoke shirt from them. To intrigue us further, we'd love to see diagrams or photos that contrast the details of a shirt from Taylor ...
Karen Dietz's insight:
Examples and reviews like these are so helpful -- I wish I could find more to share with you.
Tauylor Stitch is a company making shirts. They have a website.
CorporateHistory.net reviewed their 'About Us' page. And gives the company several grades:
A 'B' for telling their story.
A 'B' for accessibility.
And a 'C' for Personality.
Overall grade: 'B'
Learn what they did to earn a B for telling their story, and what they could do better. And how'd they wind up with a 'C' for personality??!!
Compare your story to theirs to see what grade you might receive!
We use web browsers every day and don’t really think about them until something goes wrong. Google Chrome crashed on me the other day and I got the iconic “Aw, Snap!” page with the unhappy folder icon. Instead of being cross at the error, it made me smile, and I was more forgiving of the browser for crashing. This is an example of how personality can engage customers’ emotions and help them build a stronger relationship with your brand.
What a great article! It is all about the risks and rewards of developing your brand with personality.
Why should you bother? Because once again, it is all about emotionally connecting with your customers/prospects. It is giving them an experience. It is using the 'character' story element for creating effective biz stories to the max.
The authors give terrific examples and lay out for us step-by-step the reasons and actions to take for developing a brand personality.
Oh, and BTW -- it is not about creating a veneer or fakepersonality just to make sales. It truly is all about the authentic YOU.
Enjoy reading this post. I think you will find it enormously helpful as you continue to craft the personality of your business.
The Reinvention Summit2 happened in the middle of April. It was an online conference devoted to the topic of storytelling -- both personally and professionally -- with 20 speakers and 500 participants.
The first Reinvention Summit was in 2010. This year I was able to listen live to some of the presentations and caught up with the other presentations after my client work.
I'm going to curate and review the presentations that really stood out for me. I'll do this once a week and this week will start with the presentation by storyteller Slash Coleman.
Enjoy the synopsis and follow the links to the Reinvention Summit if you want further information plus access to the archives.
Kimberly Bordonaro outlines 12 common leadership brand archetypes to help you discover the unique qualities that attract your audience to your personal brand...
The more knowledge we have about what makes leaders (and ourselves) tick, the better. And this article shines a light on common leadership Personas or archetypes in business.
How would I use these? Well, as a story coach I often engage in a conversation with my client about who they are and how they want to be perceived. That gives us some groundwork for making sure their stories match how they want to be authentically perceived.
Please don't think leadership Personas or archetypes are about creating fake or false profiles. We grow into the Personas and archetypes so we can embody them more fully -- while continuing to show up authentically. It's an essential part of story coaching work. So what is the stories do you want to share that match your Persona?
Anyway, I digress. Enjoy reading these Personas and figuring out which ones you are about! This will help you with your 'About Page' also.
Then read the other article I curated today on social media Personas. They are a good match to read together.
People are people. They aren’t brands. When people become “brands,” they stop being people and become one of three things: vessels for cultural archetypes, characters in a narrative, or products. … Can you realistically remain “authentic” and real once you have surrendered yourself to a process whose ultimate aim is to drive a business agenda?
I'm right there with author Kat Hansen, Oliver Blanchard, Gregg Morris and other colleagues on this topic.
Effective business storytelling is all about authenticity. It is easy to cross the line into fakery when your story is so objectified it becomes disconnected from reality.
Go read this great article, take the insights to heart, and stay real.
When a business person asks you "Tell me about yourself..." what do you say?
Read the end of this article for questions that will spark great ideas for how to answer this question.
I also like the author's additional words of wisdom for how to think about this essential business story that we all need to master telling.
A word of caution: spread the hero stuff around. In your story, how was a customer, family member, staff person, vendor also the hero? This story is about you, but spread the wealth around -- it will make for a better story and keep you on the humble path.
Storytelling isn't just for old folks and kids. It can help you move forward in your career - both by showing what you've accomplished and by persuading employees to trust you.
In business we are either marketing ourselves or transfering knowledge to others. The best vehicle for either is storytelling. This article is about both using stories to advance your career, and also about organizations using stories to teach and train others. Plus it includes some good basic tips for getting started in storytelling.
Even better, the article features friends and colleagues Annette Simmons and Katherine Hansen who are sharing their thoughts on business storytelling.