Some people know who your are, they might remember your name, but they don’t connect a story or an idea or concept with your name. They don’t know what you are about, your special skill, or unique contribution to the world.
Create your story.
It should be so clear that a one sentence description easily comes to mind when someone mentions your name.
Many people call this ‘branding’ but that just sounds like a painful agriculture ritual. Yes, your story is your brand, but I don’t want to overuse that word (oops, too late.) It should be something that you are passionate about, that comes easy to you, that you enjoy learning all the facets and angles about, and that you could talk about all night long. It’s a special skill that you own above others. So when that subject comes up, people will say, “I know who’s really good at that.”
You might say, “But I’m multifaceted. I can do a lot of different things.” Yes, that is true, which is why your defining identity needs to be at a high level. Instead of being known as someone who’s a good pencil sharpener, it would be better to be known as someone who creates beautiful art. There are a lot of details and skills that go into creating great art. Pencil sharpening is just one small part of it.
Once you’ve determined your story, identity, or brand, here are some keys to imprinting it in the minds of others.
In order to have a concept or idea come to other people’s mind when someone mentions your name, you have to do something over and over again, and be pretty good at it. (Unless you’re known as a habitual failure. I suppose then you’d still be good at failing.)
Another word for doing something repeatedly and in lots of different places is ‘prolific’. You have to be prolific with what you do. People need to see you everywhere, doing your thing. Repetition makes things stick, and sink in.
Stay on Message
You also need to be consistent in your overall message. This doesn’t mean sending your words through some internal communications board check before sending them out to the world. It means being consistent in what you provide and making sure the same point gets across each time. You can do a variety of things that communicate the same message. It doesn’t always mean repeating a mantra, although that does help.
Another reason people will remember you is if you are helpful. If you are all about yourself and only concerned with number one, people may remember your story, but they won’t want to be a part of it. And what good is that? You want people to be sharing your story in a positive way, to join you in your cause.
Of course, if you put yourself out there, and have a message, there will be people who disagree or don’t like it. Don’t worry about them. If you have dissenters that means that you have a message worth dissenting, which also means that you have a powerful message worth promoting. If you still offer to be helpful to everyone, the dissenters will know that it is their choice.
I don’t have it all figured out yet myself, but I continue to learn and experiment, and sharing these thoughts with you helps me to crystallize what I need to do too.
So what is your story? Who are you? Tell me in the comments.