From Expertise to Influence: Leveraging Your Brand Narrative on Social Media

A Guide for Crafting a Compelling Brand Narrative

A Guide for Crafting a Compelling Brand Narrative

Much has been said about “writing your own narrative” and attracting the right people to your brand with your brand’s narrative.

But what is your narrative and how do you share it to build your brand, gain visibility, or become a thought leader?

Your brand narrative is a messaging framework that contains your stories and that you use to intentionally communicate with your audience to create an emotional and value-driven connection.

“Writing your own narrative” suggests that storytelling is part of your brand’s narrative and that your narrative should be personal and specific to you. That implies that you must figure out a few things before you start crafting your brand’s narrative.

The “5 Essentials” framework that you can see below, doesn’t only lead to brand messaging clarity, but it also helps you craft your narrative and outline the stories that you need to tell consistently to build your brand.

(You can get access to a workbook that gets you started on this framework by clicking on the image.)

In addition, in this article, I’ll delve into the intricacies of creating your own brand narrative and how to implement it in your daily social media activities so that you can infuse authenticity, your personality, and strategy into your content marketing to attract and nurture the people who need your knowledge and expertise most.

The Power of a Personal Brand Narrative

In the image above, you can see that everything starts with “YOU”. When you dig deep into every aspect of your personality, experience, knowledge, expertise, strengths, purpose, etc. – you can create a holistic and authentic image of yourself, that doesn’t only define your points of difference – it also makes you aware of how you can serve your clients better on the basis of your unique background.

Your brand narrative is based on your values, beliefs, purpose, experiences, vision – and any other meaningful belief that is reflected in your stories and actions.

My purpose words – listen – enlighten – empower – are part of my narrative and they guide my actions. That’s why I listen to my audience and try to understand their challenges so that I can share knowledge that empowers them to overcome their challenges.

My desire for congruence and authenticity stems from many years in corporate, where I felt disconnected because I couldn’t be myself and be aligned with what matters to me most. That’s why I am dedicated to helping my clients identify their authentic selves and the expression of it.

These are just a couple of examples of what flows into your narrative.


Why does your brand narrative matter?

Your brand narrative is the essence of your online presence. It defines how people perceive you. It guides you on how to show up and which messages to share. It also serves as a point of orientation and a framework that helps you to be consistent in your messages, congruent with your beliefs, and clear so that your audience understands what you want to be known for.

Your brand narrative has the potential to:

  • Build your credibility because you are demonstrating your knowledge, expertise, and experience. You show that you are an expert in your field.
  • Connect on a personal level because you are opening up to your audience, sharing personal stories and details that evoke emotions and allow people to see your human qualities. It creates empathy and makes you relatable.
  • Show your points of difference because you as a person are unique and have lived a unique life that has equipped you with insights, knowledge, strengths, expertise, and experience that allow you to help your clients in a different (and hopefully superior) way.
  • Attract the right audience because people resonate with people who have similar beliefs, and values, and share stories that are similar to those they experience themselves. Your narrative gives them hope and shows them opportunities.
  • Be influential because your opinions matter to your audience. By sharing your narrative across many touchpoints, you are building a strong and clearly defined brand image that your audience can identify with.

Writing your brand narrative can, with time, help you grow a loyal community of people who are aligned with you and what your brand stands for. And that can help you grow your visibility and presence to evolve from expert to influencer.

Crafting Your Brand Narrative

Your brand narrative is a complex being. It takes work and time to develop the insights, understanding, messages, and stories that you can share whenever you show up online.

Ultimately, you are writing your origin and brand story as part of your brand narrative. But before you do that, you need clarity on a number of things. Your:

  • Core values and beliefs
  • Brand personality
  • Purpose
  • Mission
  • Vision
  • USP
  • Value proposition
  • Voice
  • Visual identity

You also need clarity on your ideal clients so that the right people can align themselves with your brand.

These insights allow you to craft a professional origin story that matters to your audience because they can relate to your experiences. They can see themselves in your story. And – when it comes to your brand story – they understand why your brand exists and why it resonates with them.

Your brand narrative encompasses the past but also projects into your future. You and your audience share aspirations, dreams, goals, and visions.

Your outlook motivates your audience because you give them the ability to what copywriters call “future casting”. They see what’s possible for them and envision their future. They feel hope, ambition, and the necessity to act and shape their future.

And all that because you share a narrative of who you genuinely are and what you genuinely believe. With your brand narrative, you are painting a picture that shows the best version of who you can be and what your audience could be.

That is a very powerful vision. A vision that is grounded in your authenticity.

Authenticity Is More Than a Buzzword

Authenticity has been used so much that it has almost become a non-word. Many people glaze over when you mention it.

However, authenticity is crucial for brand building because it creates trust, connection, and influence. When you demonstrate to your audience that you have integrity, speak in your own voice, are true to your word, and are transparent, when you show up as yourself without pretense and constraints of how others expect you to behave – then you differentiate yourself from those who follow trends and fashions rather than their internal compass.

We all have taken poor-quality online courses or worked with “experts” and “professionals” who made brand promises they couldn’t keep.

We all have been disappointed, and lost money and trust.

However, when you show up authentically, you can…

  • Build trust – because you prove that you are true to your words every day
  • Be relatable – because your stories mirror those that your audience is experiencing
  • Differentiate yourself – because you are unique and have unique capabilities
  • Develop long-term relevance – because you transcend beyond common trends and norms.

Being authentic doesn’t mean that you need to be perfect. It means that you need to be real.

Bringing Your Brand Narrative to Life

Now that we know more about what a brand narrative is and how you can define yours, it’s time to share how you can use it.

The short answer is – use it strategically!

If you want all your efforts to lead to results, then you need to use your brand narrative strategically. Having strategies at your disposal, allows you to take consistent and long-term action.

Here’s what you should consider…

  • Align your content with your brand narrative. Your posts, videos, audio events, carousels, newsletters, etc. should flow from your brand pillars. And your brand pillars are closely tied to your brand and brand narrative. Your content should reflect your values, beliefs, insights, and expertise. That ensures that your content stays distinct and relevant - and takes your audience through their customer’s journey.
  • Know your keywords and hashtags. Don’t overdo it but use some hashtags and keywords to get your audience’s eyes on your content and to stay focused on topics that your audience is interested in.
  • Visuals that are aligned with your brand and content. Finding the right images and graphics is more important than many creators might think. Use images and graphics that support your content and make its comprehension easier. Visuals also help to catch attention and draw people into your posts.
  • Consistency to create and meet expectations. You don’t need to show up every day. You can choose the frequency that works for you. However, when you have decided how often you want to show up, you should keep your promise to your audience and show up with regularity. Your audience expects it from you and will be looking for your content!
  • Engage with your audience. Conversations are more powerful than lectures. They consist of listening and talking, to ensure that you stay relevant and give your audience the opportunity to contribute and voice their opinions. That makes them feel heard and acknowledged. And for you, it’s a learning opportunity. So – don’t forget a call to action that entices your audience to take action.
  • Collaborate and support. People say that your net worth is in your network. There’s truth in that. Don’t shy away from the competition and collaborate with competitors and complementors. That allows you to tap into other people's networks and gives you additional platforms to share value that will draw people into your brand.
  • Value quality over quantity. Your goal shouldn’t be to attract a large following but to attract and engage the right audience.

When you pursue these strategies consistently, you will see that you increase your visibility and impact. You will attract the right audience, and grow your brand, and, with time, you might be able to make the transition from expert to influencer.

Nurturing Your Audience

It is rare that you attract people to your brand and sell straight away. Usually, you need to nurture your audience so that they see the value in your offer, trust you, and understand that you are the right person to help them solve their problems.

There are different ways of nurturing your audience and you may use some or all of the following:

  • Email marketing. People who have subscribed to your email list, see the value in your content and have given you the permission to market to them. Email marketing is a very effective way to nurture your audience and convert them into clients.
  • Freebies & resources. On any social media platform – the platform “owns” your network. With an email list, you “own” your contacts. Freebies and other resources like ebooks or templates provide immediate value but also encourage your readers to become a member of your email list and thus give you the opportunity to turn “cold” connections into “warm” connections.
  • Audio & Live Events. Podcasts, LinkedIn audio events, Lives, panel discussions, or other available marketing tools allow for real-time interaction with your audience. You get the opportunity to share your narrative and get immediate feedback. You can engage with your audience in a conversation and share more knowledge and information than in regular posts.
  • Regular posts. Classical written posts or carousels, polls, and short video posts are ideal to be consumed on the go. They allow your audience to pick up a snippet of your narrative and engage with it in a simple way. It is a good place to pick up conversations and move them to a direct message.
  • Workshops & webinars. Sharing knowledge is a powerful means of forging connections. Your learning is part of your narrative and you can add your perspective, insights, and spin to it. Workshops and webinars are perfect for tailoring information to your audience’s information needs. It is an opportunity to go deeper and provide insights that you won’t provide in regular posts.
  • Direct messaging. Messaging tools are wonderful tools for starting and deepening a conversation with your audience. You have your audience’s attention, can ask them questions, and share the information they are seeking. It is easier to establish a relationship and transition people into a video call where you can meet in a more personal setting. These calls are wonderful opportunities to share your narrative in a way that matters to the person you are having a conversation with. And you naturally talk about each other’s services without having to pitch but just introducing your services and the value they add.
  • Networking calls. Once you have created an online community, you can hold regular networking calls. You can invite people and discuss topics that your audience is interested in and that are connected to your business. If you deliver value, your networking calls will grow through recommendations – which gives you the opportunity to engage with a bigger group of people who show interest in the topics that you discuss.

All these activities are designed to effectively nurture your audience and build relationships that are founded on trust and mutual benefit. By offering value and opportunities for growth, you empower your audience to move closer to their goals and value the connection with you.

Even if people never work with you, often they refer others to you who are ready and searching for the right service provider.

Learn From The Masters

Mel Robbins is only one example of a person who has used her narrative to become a renowned speaker, author, podcast host – and much more. She’s shared her narrative online, in books, and in literally every other channel available.

Many times over, she has demonstrated what it takes to grow, evolve, and build different businesses from her experiences.

She is a person like you and me. She started out at zero but had the tenacity and resilience to grow to a level where she has an impact on millions of people.

And the interesting thing…

Her narrative started in a very ordinary place.

In Closing

Everyone and their poodle are fighting for attention. Not everyone is getting attention and some are blaming it on the alleged goldfish brain and deficit attention spans of people in the online world.

Don’t shift the blame. Your narrative will get the attention you deserve when your narrative transcends from an everyday story to a relevant message. The message matters more than the story. There are many stories that can share the same message. And you have heaps of them at your disposal. There are endless stories that you can tell about your values, beliefs, and AHA moments. And all these stories relate to stories that your audience has experienced. Your aspirations are aligned with your audience’s aspirations, and that’s where you find the connection.

And if you want to learn more about your brand’s narrative and how to put it all together, then send me a message and we can talk about how I can help you develop a narrative that resonates with your ideal audience.

Categories: Attention, Authenticity, Brand Messaging, Brand Promise, Brand Storytelling, Branding, businessfoundations, Clarity

Add your email to subscribe and get my FREE online training "Writing Content for Engagement"