HOW TO BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND IN 8 STEPS

Whether you are a founder of a business or you are in a job or a freelancer you are a person brand.

You can choose to be a part of the crowd and become a commodity brand.

Being a commodity will make you replaceable with something or someone cheaper.

Being a Commodity is a survival game.

You can choose to be a brand that stands out from the crowd and is valued.

As a person brand you can command a premium.

You need to take these 7 steps to build your person brand.

1. Have a Brand Purpose

Ask the question ‘why’ do I exist ? This is the most important question you will ever ask .

Take a tombstone test “How would you want people to remember you”.

2. Define your Brand values.

What is your true north ? that will not change with time . This is the core of your character.

3. Be Authentic

Be true to yourself , don’t look for approval. Have a point of view and stand for your point of view.

4. Be Different

As a brand you are unique , find your gift, find your niche , focus , stand out from the crowd , do your thing, take risks . Choose a path less travelled , one that gives you joy.

5. Make a Brand Promise

What is your brand promise ? What is the value you add to your clients.

Clearly articulate your brand promise.

And declare your brand promise to the world. Once you put it out there you become accountable.

Clients like those that take accountability.

6. Live your Brand promise

Word of mouth is the best brand marketing.

When’d your clients spread your word your value grows .

And every one you work with is your client .

7. Be ready to be Vulnerable

A personal brand is vulnerable, you cannot win all the time , that is being fake . Be ready to be and share your vulnerability.

7. Be your own Brand Storyteller

If you don’t tell your brand story no one else will .

Every touch point is an opportunity to tell your brand story .

Your network is your net worth.

The social media offers you an opportunity to build your personal brand.

I help my clients build their personal brand in the digital world through personal coaching and workshops.

In case you are interested do visit my website http://www.sanjaymudnaney.com

WHY DO WE TELL STORIES?

There is mystery about life and death , that is how we become storytellers.

That we will just vanish one day without a trace seems inexplicable.

From where do we come and where do we go are questions asked since the beginning of time.

There are no answers , it all seems meaningless, after all nothing matters, and to make sense of our existence we tell stories.

In our stories we create religion , we create God.

Nation is a collective story , there are no real boundaries.

Stories make us more secure in an insecure existence.

We create our villains and we create our heroes.

We create the story of what is good and what is bad.

We create stories of success and failures.

We create stories of bravery and valour and of cowardice and treachery

We are ready to live and die for our stories .

We connect with our stories .

Our fears ,our pains , our suffering, our desires our dreams are similar.

They are universal truths.

Below the layers , we are the same , our stories are similar.

We tell stories because that is what we are – Storytellers.

YOU CANNOT CHANGE WORLD VIEWS , CHANGE YOUR STORY

I have been grappling with the insight , it is difficult, maybe impossible to change world views.

I see this in conversations now in school alumni groups and families.

There are two polarising views.

Each sees theirs as being the truth.

Each is trying to change and challenge the other view.

Only it does not change , there is conflict.

I have seen friends leave groups , stop talking to each other.

What is happening is , you cannot change world views , it’s tough, impossible.

Those that hold a view , connect with stories that fit into their world view.

Rather they always held that world view.

Stories tapped into their world view , made it stronger.

Let’s take the world views on for and against vaccination.

Those who are against vaccination hold their world view.

They find stories and research to support their world view.

Similarly Vegans have their world view .

Any story that taps into their world view resonates.

Time and energy to change world views is inefficient.

As a marketeer I would be more efficient telling a story that connects with the world view of the hero of my story.

Rather I don’t tell the story , the story is already told by the customer, I only tap into it.

Steve Jobs understood this .

He understood who the hero of Apple’s story was .

Those that challenged the status quo , those who think different , those that appreciated clean design were the hero of Apple’s brand story.

The campaign ‘Think Different ‘ tapped into this emotion.

The target audience already held the world view.

As a master storyteller Steve Jobs told them the story they wanted to listen to.

Good marketeers tell stories that their customers want to listen to.

And stories have the power to charge world.

Sanjay Mudnaney

WHO IS THE HERO OF YOUR BRAND SYORY ?

I started my career in marketing as a product executive.

AD Narula who was my first boss gave me the appointment letter and said “you are in charge , your neck is on the block”.

And I was truly on my own.

This was my first job.

I had to design and market a computer education product for Chartered Accountants.

Now I don’t have great liking for accounts and here I had to create and sell a product to Chartered accounts.

I did one thing I was good at , listen with ‘empathy’.

I met CAs and asked them their pain.

Accounting was rapidly getting computerised , they were afraid of losing business if they were not ready.

I designed a product to solve their problem and then very clearly communicated the message.

The product was a hit , it surpassed the certified Autodesk course in revenues.

Very early in my career I understood, it is not the organisation or brand that is the hero of the story.

The hero of the story is the customer , always.

This is one big mistake organisations make they focus within, on themselves.

They focus on adding features to make the product better.

You get paid to solve a problem, whether you are in a job or in business.

Who is the hero of your story and what is the problem you are solving in the world?

#marketing #branding

WHEN EVERYONE IS SELLING , TELL A STORY

We get on any social media platform and we find it filled with Advertising.

Everyone seems to be selling something.

We are identified by various data points stored on us by the platform, maybe thousands , some even we may not be aware of.

The trail we leave behind on the digital world is monitored.

Algorithms try figure out what we are most likely to buy.

And the advertisements show up on our feeds.

This is interruption . We switch off.

We don’t come to social media to buy. We come because of our reasons.

It gets irritating, annoying at times .

Like a street Bazar with many stalls each of them tries to grab our attention.

Except we did not plan to come to a Bazar.

Grabbing Attention is critical , there are so many advertisements that throw up .

The algorithms and machine learning are always learning to read our minds.

“What are we most likely to buy” is the key question being asked by the platform.

This is their monetisation model . Nothing comes for free .

The term digital marketeers use is performance marketing. Digital Marketing that drives business and can be measured.

Interruption marketing has now moved from physical to digital world.

The conflict is consumers have a different reason to visit social media platforms .

They visit social media platforms to learn , to get entertained , to get information , to participate in connected communities , to build and be part of tribes.

With the smartphone in hand consumers set the agenda .

The control has moved from the advertisers and sellers to consumers.

Stories are consumed because they are entertaining, they inspire .

Humans are naturally wired to listen to stories, share stories.

Good stories are shared.

Video content is 80% of the traffic on digital.

Visual stories stand out .

Brands need to learn , stop selling and tell stories. Stop interrupting and focus on entertaining .

Because the control has shifted and consumers switch off from interruption.

Real stories well told , inspire, build trust, touch the heart.

Most important, when data is forgotten in minutes, stories are remembered over the years.

Future of marketing is Storytelling in the Digital world.

Every Brand has a story,

Every Organisation has a story ,

Every Cause has a story,

Every Startup has a story,

Every Leader has a story,

Every Employee has a story ,

Every Client has a story ,

Every Beneficiary has a story,

Every Tribe has a story,

Every culture has a story.

Dig deep an you will find each one of us has a story and our stories are common.

As humans our desires and fears are similar.

From ‘Here’ to ‘There’ is the most powerful story ever told.

Stories well told can inspire action , build tribes.

Stop selling, start storytelling.

In the Digital world we are the stories we tell.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Founder at http://www.CrowTales.in

Brand Storytellers

IN THE WORLD OF MEMES AND VIRAL VIDEOS – PR CHANGED

It is a cliche to say PR has changed, we all know that . Internet and smart phones with low data costs changed not only how we consume news and views but what we consume.

Today we use our smart phones for entertainment , education , information, shopping , booking cabs , flights , hotels , food delivery , making payments.. and the list is long . It’s one device that our world revolves around.

And then the pandemic hit us. almost overnight we had to sit at home , locked down . It was this device that saved us , kept us sane , we stayed connected with friends, family , and news around the world .

As the intermediary print media disappeared in the lockdown , the change which was gradual got accelerated. Advertising money moved from print to social media.

The big shifts I have experienced working with clients and also co founding a digital startup that will continue in the future are as follows

1. The Intermediary is less relevant : Earlier organisations would chase media (journalists) , today every organisations can broadcast directly to its audiences. Social media has democratised content production. Anyone can be a broadcaster.

2. Journalists move to organisations: Journalists have a knack for news and storytelling , as jobs become scarce in traditional print media journalists moved to organisations in communications and content writing to tell stories on the digital media.

3. Content becomes Visual : 80% of the traffic online is video content as consumers shift to being entertained on social platforms. Visual storytelling will become greatly in demand in times ahead.

4. Influencers are the new intermediaries : Brands are chasing influencers on social media as they have a fan following which can be leveraged and the association also endorses the brand.

5. 24×7 On the Edge the story of a crisis : As there are advantages of being able to broadcast online there is also the other side , a negative side, in a polarised world news will spread rapidly and can damage the brand overnight . In this scenario reputation management takes a different meaning .

6. Storytelling takes centre stage : Consumers and stakeholders consume content and Brands will become storytellers. Every organisation has stories, stories of the founder , organisation , culture, people , clients and community. The future of PR is storytelling in the digital world.

7. Brands and good : Consumers , clients and employees are increasingly looking at brands to support good in communities . Brands and good will connect with stories of good told in the digital world.

8. Leadership needs to be visible: Leaders need to be visible , vocal and demonstrate character by taking a stand for what is right for their people , clients , community and our planet. Leaders that leverage the social media create a positive brand voice. The social media is also going to be a listening platform for leaders .

9. Leverage social media to build Tribes : Organisations and Brands can build Tribes on social media and engage them . PR is no longer just talking but a two way communication, it is building a community around the brand.

In the very early days of social media I had built an alumni and employees community at a leading Indian IT company on social media . We kept the community engaged with the organisation and it turned out to be the best brand ambassador and PR for the organisation.

I have started seeing many PR agencies aiming to reinvent themselves by training their staff in digital communication but this change is more deeper .

It is a shift that needs understanding of consumer behaviour in the digital world combined with good storytelling.

The digital world offers a level playing field , disruptions can happen overnight. The future is going to be exciting and an adventure for digital PR .

As a communicator I am looking forward to the changes, are you?

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

http://www.CrowTales.in

EVERY ORGANISATION HAS MANY STORIES , TELL YOUR STORIES

Organisation cultures are built around stories,
founders have stories,
organisations have stories,
employees have stories,
clients have stories
communities you work in have stories,
there are stories around work you do , impact you make in the world.

Tell your stories , because stories cut through communication clutter , stories touch hearts , stories are remembered and stories are passed on .

Stories mean business.
Organisations don’t buy , people buy and people buy stories they connect with .

Leaders tell stories, stories that inspire change , start a movement.

In the digital world, you control the stories you tell , no intermediaries ,no barriers ,you can reach your stories without filters to your tribes across the world .

You can build , engage and convert your tribes with stories you tell .

In a world that has just witnessed a once in a century event of the pandemic. There is a nervous uncertainty. Brands have a role to play in healing , comforting and being responsible.

It is time for organisations and brands to tell stories of a better future, for the people , for the community, for our planet.

Let us tell stories of hope , stories of love , stories of compassion, stories that inspire change , stories that make a difference.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Storyteller , #passionproject

Founder , Crow Tales , Heroes of India

http://www.CrowTales.in

I LOST A CLIENT AND THIS IS WHAT I LEARNT

Recently one of my clients backed off just when I thought things were looking up , social media presence was up , engagement was high and now it looked the sales funnel would kick in as we identified the niche and the product offering.

And yet the client backed off , why ? “Don’t have the funds and sales have not yet happened so I am unsure of the future.”

I was disappointed, things were just falling into place and looking up . It had just been three months since we began working on the account and we had even compromised on our fees .

So what did I learn ?

1. WHO : This is the most important question, clearly decide who is your client for the product or service you wish to offer .

In this case even before I took on the client I knew that the budgets were tight and social media needs time to build presence , but I had made the mistake of taking on the business.

Looking back I would rather focus on clients who were in it for the long haul rather than let’s see what happens.

2. EXPECTATIONS : It’s important to set clear expectations . Building a brand on social media is a long term game and if the client was not ready to play for the long run , I could just have avoided taking on the client .

This is also fair for the client as they are clear of what to expect . Being optimist is good but it needs to match reality.

3. LET GO : You could make a mistake in the client you picked up but as soon as you realise that something is not clicking take a quick decision and let go . It saves time and effort for everyone .

Let go of clients ;

1. Who don’t see value and are not willing to pay for the value you add . Better focus on those that see value .

2. Who do not commit to what it takes to succeed . If you are not well and you refuse to take the pill the doctor advised, you cannot blame the doctor. Either convince the client on importance of following the plan and if they yet refuse , just get out.

It is important to FOCUS you have limited time and resources . You cannot be everything to everyone.

I feel It’s a good learning to “LET GO OF BUSINESS/ CLIENTS THAT THAT ARE NOT COMMITTED TO CREATE MUTUAL VALUE.”

#Passionproject

Sanjay Mudnaney

VISUAL BRAND STORY

Visual Brand Storytelling Tips to Power your content Marketing

Interruption advertising as we know it is dead, consumers are in charge of content they now consume through their mobile phones. In India the fall of prices of smart phones and cost of data is driving up usage. As consumers now turn to consume entertainment and information on their mobile devices, advertising will become the entertainment.

Across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube consumers now consume visual content that tells a story and engages them. The new marketing is visual brand storytelling.

With that in mind you need to come up with content that’s well worth engaging with for an extended amount of time.

The question then is how can your content break through the noise?

Visual Storytelling is a powerful answer that results in greater engagement, traffic and sales.

  1. Photos and images are most important element in optimising social media posts.
  2. 93 percent of most engaging Facebook posts include images.
  3. Videos on Facebook are shared 12 times more than text posts
  4. One-third of online activity is spent watching video
  5. 51% of marketing professionalsworldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
  6. According to a report published by Forrester, including video in an email leads to a whopping 200-300% increase in click-through rate.

Visual storytelling technique to gain social media traction

  1. Tell your Story with video : Stories are remembered 22 times more than data. Translating stories into videos is like making mini blockbuster movies that people love to share and comment on . Every story has a hero and it is not the brand .

In a classical emotional story telling of how Hyundai cars are long lasting and carry happy memories this video has gathered millions of views . check this out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=277&v=qSZ4h7YSGnQ

  1. Authentic Story Telling : A brand visual story cannot claim something that it is not .  Visual story telling needs to be authentic and connect with the world view of the target audience.

BlendTech is a good example of simple video story telling that went viral and sold the blenders. ‘Will it Blend’ is a classical success story , the blender is powerful what better way to tell the story then demonstrate it can blend anything from marbles to ipad , capture it on video and just put it out there.

Check this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAl28d6tbko

3.Add Value : Content that adds value to your target audience will be  consumed and will keep them engaged . The length of the content is not as important as it’s ability to add value . It is now seen that people watch long form videos on social media as long as it keeps them engaged.

With no fancy videos and marketing Dr Pramod Tripathi has been sharing videos that help diabetes patients to reverse their disease and he gathers a good amount of viewership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bhe32yWgZ_A&t=336s

4.Protagonist :  Do you have a protagonist , case studies of real people who have experienced your brand and are now your brand ambassadors ?

Land Rover found that there is a city ‘the place where all roads meet’ deep in the Himalayas, and discover why this remote village in the sky is known as the Land of Land Rovers.

Check out the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNXU1IR2LR8

  1. Connect Brand Storytelling with Good :

People like to see stories of hope and these stories are shared with friends and family. Stories that touch the heart can get people to open up their purses.

Here is an example of video story telling , Dick’s sporting goods did short movies around coaches that were making a difference , the result has been spectacular . You can check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuHK-pd_8AE

Visual Brand Storytelling is the future of marketing and is happening now !