There's nothing better than an acquaintance or customer talking you up. How do you make it happen? Read on for the 3 steps 2 get 'em talkin'.
(This applies to personal branding, in a later post we'll look at ways you can apply this to a product, business or company.)
When you live in America, you're bound to find plenty of people asking, "what do you do?" This is your opportunity.
Before we start, remember your audience (your acquaintances & customer) will have an audience too. They're in conversations all day long, and in each conversation they've got to maintain the attention of whomever they're talking to. So give them something interesting to talk about.
The good news is, you are interesting. You have lots to talk about. Here's how you help the story pop!
#1: Start with the dull bit (your job title).
#2: Twist it slightly for a unique angle.
#3: Stop talking.
The key is to make it interesting & keep it short. One sentence. Two max. If you do it right, you'll get follow up questions and can flesh out details then.
The trick is in the twist. Notice how the added twist refines a job title and turns something dull into delight.
Here are some examples of The Twist:
I'm a financial advisor. -vs- I'm a financial advisor working exclusively with single moms.
I do rock concerts. -vs- I do rock concerts to get kids excited about reading.
I manage a factory. -vs- I manage a factory building transmissions for the highest safety rated minivan in America.
Now here's the tricky part. What to do if your job has no interesting components. What if you've won no awards? What if you're just starting out and don't have a niche (yet!)? With no professional caveats to twist your story, you can go personal. Incorporating your own personal bio into the twist incorporates you even more tightly into the story. The more personal you get, the more likely we'll connect, and we people love to feel like we know who you are. EXAMPLES:
I sell insurance. -vs- I race a lot of sailboats. Between races I sell health insurance.
I'm an accountant. -vs- Math's been my favorite subject since 1st grade. I became an accountant and have loved every minute.
I'm an executive coach. -vs- I spent 10 years as a conflict resolution expert for HP. When I finished my PhD, they began referring me out to coach other Fortune 500 executives and I've simply never stopped.
All it takes is a few words to add that twist. Make your description slightly more specific than normal and you pop!
AND NEXT... DON'T FORGET STEP #3! Once you've given your job description, and the interesting twist, STOP TALKING! If your twist was done correctly, you'll have their mind whirring. Give their imagination a few moments to run with the possibilities. Don't worry, they'll quickly follow up with a question. Now's your chance to fill in a few details.
Luckily, you've got interesting material to work with. You're alive... On the planet earth! You're in the human race, running your own route. It's yours. It's personal. So put your personal into the story, and start twisting it up.
Because the more you twist, the more curious we become. And curiosity triggers our own imagination. As our imagination ponders your story we begin making it part of our own, and we all get to become a bit more interesting ourselves as we're telling our friends about you.