Did You Know That You Are an Actor in Your Own Story?
You been to the movies lately? You ever seen a play recently? Have you ever seen an actor who’s doing their job? Hey my name is Ryan Foland, I’m a personal branding expert. I help executives build authentic and powerful personal brands, so that they bring business to them and they get seen as the leader that they are in the industry.
Now I have a question for you, whether you’re an executive or not. That question is, are you an actor? That’s right, do you associate yourself as being an actor? Think about it. Okay ready? Answer. Yes or no? Here’s the real answer. You are an actor, whether you know it or not. Now, you don’t have to be classically trained, you just have to be a living human … A living breathing human.
The idea here is that you are an actor. You take on different roles throughout the day. You might be different when you’re around executives than you are around your friends, or around somebody who’s a lover. The idea is that we all are actors. I want you to realize that, and I want you to see that this is going to be the key to understanding how to develop a powerful and authentic brand.
Speaking of brands, I have a second question for you. The question is, do you have a personal brand? That’s right, do you right now have a personal brand? Yes or no? Think about it, and answer. Ready? Yes, you do. Even if you answered no, you have a personal brand. The trick is that your personal brand is what other people describe you as when you’re not there. So if you don’t think that you have a brand, than that means that you’re not controlling the narrative of your brand. That means that other people are doing it for you.
Here’s the thing. I want to help you today with a couple steps to help you learn how to take back the narrative of your own brand, so that you have control over it, and then you can help to build it in a way that is something that’s going to make you be seen as who you want to be seen by. All right?
The first step in this process is to take time in reading your story. That’s right, you have a story. Every word that you say, every conversation that you hear, every experience that you encounter, it is part of a scene that has to do with the story that is you. Remember, you’re an actor. Now a lot of people just focus forward, and they don’t really focus on what has happened. The first thing that you need to do in developing your brand is really take time to read your own stories. Think about your story as a script, and you are the actor that’s been playing it out for years.
So what kind of a character do you portray? What kind of struggles and challenges do you overcome? What is your hero’s journey? That’s something that you need to look at. Where do you find it? In your bio. So if you don’t have a bio, and you haven’t written a bio, now is the time to focus or reread your bio. See if it’s what you want to be reflected into the world. The first part of character development is you as an actor, to control your brand, is to read your own story and develop that bio.
Now the next thing you need to do is you need to decide how you want to be seen. That’s right. You have a choice of how you want to be seen. Basically your choice is the character that you develop. All right? Now, how do we find out the character we develop? You can’t just all of a sudden make a certain character that you want to be. It needs to be who you are, but also it has to take into consideration of what other people think about you.
Here’s the trick. You get two color post it notes. I’m going to get you a visual here. You’re going to collect post it notes from people what they think about you. Then you’re going to have post it notes of qualities and things that you want to be known for. So what you want to be known for, and what people already think about. Really the intersection between what people think about you already and what you want to be known for, that is your brand. So start to poll your friends, your co-workers, people you love, people who you hate, people who are all around in your life that know you, and figure out what they think about you. Figure out what you want to be known for, and it’s the intersection that’s where the magic happens. So now you’re doing your own character development and you’re taking control of your brand story.
Now the third thing that you need to do is you need to start writing scenes, and sharing them. That’s right, every moment in your life, these situations, these ideas that you have, those are really thought leadership pieces that are hidden within scenes in your life. So when you’re encountering different scenes, or you want to be seen in a certain way, help to write those scenes. It could be a video like this, it could be a thought leadership article, it could be a blog, it could be a tweet, it could be a Facebook post. All the content that you create, those are the scenes that help to determine the character that you are in this larger brand story for yourself.
Remember you are an actor, because you take on different roles all the time, but if you’re not controlling and owning your own personal brand, then somebody else is controlling that narrative. What you need to do is you need to look back at your story, focus on your bio so that you have your character developed. Then you need to figure out the intersection between what people think about you, and what you want to be known for. That is your character. Then start taking control of the narrative writing your own scenes. Before you know it, when you go to the movie theater it’s your movie theater, because it’s your movie, because you’re an actor and you get to choose.
What I love about helping people find and take ownership of their brand story is developing those characters and helping them find a way to create these scenes and share that content throughout. Check out more at InfluenceTree.com. If you want to see some courses we have to help you through this, but that’s my two to three sentence in front of a movie theater to convince you that you’re an actor, so that you can control your brand, because you have one. Don’t forget, you have a personal brand. All right, we’ll see you around.