Storytelling About Your Brand Online and Offline left me feeling inspired! Martin took a very large area of knowledge and expertise and condensed it down into something that was information-packed, experience-rich and filled with a lot of examples, exercises and ideas which the reader can apply to his or her own particular set of circumstances.
Very few books that are this length are so rich in value. I think few authors could have expressed so much, so well, and in so few words. With time being such a precious asset to all of us, having a book like this which succinctly communicates the essential elements of what needs to be done and how is highly valued. Martin's format, expert writing skill and layout made this book a joy to read.
What's so impactful about this text is that it covers such an important and foundational part of ourselves - sharing with others our true value in a compelling way. Storytelling About Your Brand Online and Offline can help you create a branded bio that will serve you in so many ways and throughout your life. It taps into your essence and gently leads you along a path to becoming more clear about who you are and what you do. And, more importantly, it provides solid guidance on how to communicate that to others through a variety of techniques.
I highly recommend this book to careerists, entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to unearth their story and get it out to the world in a powerful way. By using this book and applying it to your own details, you can craft a story that not only shares your value in a meaningful and significant way, but which also engages others on an emotional level.
As you grow and understand yourself more deeply and as you add experiences to your life, this book will be helpful in refining your story so that it resonates with your true self. This book doesn't belong on your shelf. It belongs on your desk and in your hands as a useful, ongoing resource that will serve you well for years to come.
Bernadette Martin's Storytelling About Your Brand Online and Offline offers a wonderful starting point for standing out in a world of over 7 billion people. We're all unique. We all have our unique story and this is where you can learn how to tell it.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book and subsequently purchased a copy for my personal use as well.
We all have stories to tell. Storytelling makes your personal brand come alive by allowing you to express your key attributes, values, passions and accomplishments in a relevant and compelling way. "Storytelling About Your Brand Online and Offline" by Bernadette Martin provides tips, tools, resources and examples that will help you decide what you want to say and how you can deliver it through the power of storytelling.
The author begins this book by sharing the "D-words" that are used in the Reach personal branding process. You will DISCOVER and DEVELOP your stories, DISTILL the ones that resonate with your target, DIGITIZE and then DISCLOSE and DISSEMINATE online and offline. Finally, you will DOCUMENT and DESIGN with your unique visual branding.
The author provides several examples of product brand storytelling. Brand stories are designed to create emotions like desire, craving and trust to win the hearts and minds of customers. The Walt Disney Company has used storytelling to market it's brand for many years.
This book features interviews with Susan Guarneri ("Career Assessment Goddess"), Rebecca Castleton (Certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator practitioner), Julie Vetter ("Google Goddess"), Lou Bortone (Founder of Online Video Branding, LLC) and several others. These experts offer a wealth of information about developing your personal story and telling your story.
Ms. Martin offers detailed information on developing online portfolios, summaries and bios. She gives guidelines for creating an "elevator pitch" that can be used online or offline. The book provides some very helpful tips for using storytelling during the job interview process.
This book is a fairly short read but it is packed full of useful information. I am often hesitant to share personal details about my life. The author explains that these stories make you unique and marketable. People will forget your statistics but will remember your stories.
This book provides some excellent information on developing online portfolios, summaries and bios. I learned that I really need to work on my "Summary" on LinkedIn. I also need to work on the "Bio" on my blog and on Facebook. This book provides tips that will help you develop the "brand that is you". I recommend this book to anyone who wants to take their personal brand to the next level.
Bernadette has written a guide for everyone really serious about shaping an authentic, compelling message. Unlike many books written by coaches that leave you a bit hanging with a great idea that's not implementable, Bernadette's book is a good fit for do-it-yourselfers as well as those who would prefer to benefit from her one-on-one guidance. I appreciated especially the Interviews with the Experts and the specific exercises and templates. She also provides many extras with recommendations of additional resources. Bernadette's approach to branding which is built on something as natural as story telling is a breath of fresh air and a relief from stale elevator pitches.
Truth be told, I *stumbled* across Bernadette Martin in the course of ramping up my job search. Bernadette was featured in a webinar hosted by The Greater IBM Connection, an (extensive) online community for past and present IBMers. I've been fascinated (in a word) by the shift in the attention paid to social media, LinkedIn in particular, since my last full-time job search just 4 years ago. The question still remains today, "What is an effective strategy for using LinkedIn?"
The webinar, "A Brand Called You" reviewed some key points about her book, Storytelling about Your Brand: Online and Offline of course, but also covered 3 LinkedIn *makeovers* which Bernadette had done. All 3 members of the Greater IBM community participated in the webinar as well and offered their perspective on the process and the result. Each had a very different background, which made it clear the approach could be applied to engineers like me. My expectation was that the concept was more for executives and sales folks. I ordered the book immediately.
I'm still working through the questions which start on page 24. At 150 pages the opus seems, at first blush, deceptively simple to breeze through, but a good portion of it is workbook-ish. To get the most out of, I could quickly see I would have to roll up my sleeves and spend some time doing, and for me revisiting the exercises one is guided through. It's a format that works for me and lends itself to being spread out over time, indeed, like *networking*, it seems like one of those things one should intentionally pay some attention to on an ongoing basis.
Much has been written about personal branding in recent years, but Storytelling about Your Brand Online & Offline: A Compelling Guide to Discovering Your Story adds some nuances I haven't seen before. For one, it's the first branding book I know of to overtly connect personal branding with storytelling. (Well, my own book, Tell Me About Yourself, does that, but just in one chapter whereas the theme is pervasive in Bernadette's book). The book is also the first I know of to explicitly break down offline and online personal-brand storytelling. Product brand storytelling; corporate, NGO, and non-profit storytelling; and corporate leadership storytelling also get a meaty mention along with personal brand storytelling.
I have mixed feelings about Bernadette's use of the Reach Personal Brand Process. Founded by William Arruda, who wrote the forward to this book, the Reach process was one of the first to guide folks in discovering their personal brand. Well-respected and widely used, the process is even attached to a certification that enables practitioners to become Reach Personal Brand Strategists. Given that many professionals have advanced their own ideas for processes to develop one's personal brand, Bernadette was wise, I think, not to reinvent the wheel; however, the Reach process doesn't work well for me personally.
I'm always on the lookout for story prompts, especially those that help an individual get at his or her personal story, so I love Bernadette's 35 Storytelling Inspiring Questions and wish there were even more. Emotional intelligence (EQ) stories, personal social responsibility (PSR) stories, and story-building around assessment results are novel and fascinating inclusions.
Bernadette offers a highly useful VISIBILITY BRANDING STORYTELLING TOOL (VBST) that helps users select 5-7 key stories, develop these in more detail and structure them, choosing the ones that will resonate most with the user's target (often an employer). She recommends the well-known Situation-->Action-->Result (SAR), Problem-->Action-->Result (PAR), Challenge-->Action-->Result (CAR) formulas -- but adds Key Attributes and Testimonials to them.
The book's online chapter offers elements I haven't seen in personal-banding or storytelling works: Storytelling on Google, Video Storytelling, and Storytelling in 3D Virtual Worlds and provides samples of storied online portfolios.
The offline chapter echoes the job-interview and networking themes of Tell Me About Yourself, while adding a helpful section on icebreaker stories. That chapter also introduced me to a new term, "verbal graffiti," "the term used for fillers, non-words, modifiers, condescenders, verbal tics ... basically anything that can dilute the message of your storytelling" -- and Bernadette tells readers how to eliminate them. (She recommends Toastmasters, an organization I plan to get involved in soon.)
The book's chapter on branded bios is important because it provides the foundation for effective online profiles. Lots of meaty info in this chapter, which may just be the most powerful one in the book.
The book is also nicely peppered with interviews with experts.
If you are looking for expert advice on how to promote your personal brand then look no further. Bernadette Martin explains, in the simplest of terms, the importance of Storytelling for your personal brand. It is an excellent, easy read and phenomenal resource for those searching to make their brand more marketable and even those just getting started. As a recent MBA graduated, I took Martin's advice on how to use the everyday tools that are available online to my advantage.