This is where the personal branding rubber hits the road. Telling stories is as old as the hills; bizarrely, in our professional lives we are not used to telling stories about who we are, how we show up. We externalize everything. I mentioned before that our business profile becomes an out-of-body experience.
At This Much We Know, visual narrative is our thang. We think holistically, we look for the greatness, your greatness, and we keep it F.R.E.S.H. So let’s consider the next iteration of visual personal branding:
- Automated online tools
- Resume infographics
- Narrative infographics
- Planning tools
Infographics are everywhere. I don’t need to tell you. Open a newspaper; a browser. Big data is here and there and everywhere.
Turning data into visuals is one thing. Change “ten years experience” into: “Years Experience? IIIIIIIII” (where each “I” is a little person graphic, you know what I mean…)
Creating a visual narrative is another matter. Take people on a journey, create an effect, spur an emotional response – that is the work at hand. Suddenly, people ‘get you.’ They are able to say “Yes!”
Maybe, you get yourself (professionally) for the first time. You finally see where and how you add value, and now you can share that with others. Maybe, you too can say “Yes!”
Vizify is a neat tool that takes more of your online data – Linkedin and twitter etc. – and creates a more narrative driven journey through your life (see my version linked above). I decided to go several steps further though, and designed my own…
This is how I first got to that point, where I could say “Yes!” to my own brand value. It was an intellectual investigation to turn my rather dull resume into something that stimulated me first, and by the nature of things (attraction begets attraction), it might evoke a strong (positive) emotion in others.
The product is not brilliant (though it did trend on SlideShare homepage for a couple of days after I released it.) It did, though, take me out of my comfort zone. It took me to a place where I had the stand for something other than a rote set of experiences from my past. It made me promise something. It presents my brand.
- Fun: maybe not “Haha” fun; but certainly “Ooooh” stimulation, so…”Yes!”
- Revealing: wearing your professional life on your sleeve? “Yes!”
- Entertaining: it depends what floats your boat, but relative to every other resume you have ever seen, “Yes!”
- Shareable+Social: People want to talk about it; it gets tweeted by strangers – “Yes!”
- Heartfelt: if you are really telling your story, honestly, then…”Yes!”
Of course, we have been fine tuning this approach over the last many months with the development of the TMWK BrandBoard. Read more about it here.
The final review: how to tell your story and plan at the same time…
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