Your Story

Would you have a personal brand without Facebook or Twitter?

This question was posed by Hajj Flemings on Twitter last week, and it got me thinking.  Facebook and Twitter are really just communication tools.

Strip away the polished delivery methods to tell me about your brand and what’s left? That’s your brand. Not the flash or pizzazz, but the substance.

One of my friends is a physician and he shared this story the other day:

Today at work, Mom A (with three kids) paid the $300 balance for another family. She did not know this family at all. She overheard Mom B talking to our front staff about the balance. After Mom B left, she paid the bill and asked to keep it anonymous.

I don’t know this woman’s brand, Twitter, website, blog or Facebook (or if she even has any of this), but I can certainly infer and make assumptions about her and her brand based upon this story.  All very positive assumptions.  Certainly use Facebook and Twitter to help spread the stories that illuminate your brand, but make sure there is substance and not just marketing polish.

The story above is not from Mom A but about Mom A.  What actions are you taking that are creating the stories, the substance, that people want to share on your behalf that illuminate your brand?  Are you consistent across your audiences – faculty, friends, family and fellow students? What talk are you talking and can your walk back it up?

If you didn’t have Facebook or Twitter would people still tell your story?  Is it a good story?

Make it a good day.


Mike Severy is the Director of Student Life at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He views his work through the lens of student leadership development believing that students are developed over time through a series of meaningful experiences and that his role is to help students create and find the meaningful experiences in their lives. You can connect with Mike on Twitter (@MikeSevery).

Related posts:

  1. Tell Me a Memorable Story
  2. Do You Have A Personal Branding Success Story?
  3. Can You Tell A Good Story?

4 Responses to “Your Story”

  1. Mike,

    What a great post to kick your morning off with. Content within your Brand is King. It is great to hear stories of unsolicited kindness similar to Mom A in doctor’s office. She was not advertising her brand, that is just who SHE is. I wrote a similar post about a couple who “paid forward” for another family’s meal at a diner in Philadelphia ( Great post Mike.


  2. Michael,

    Great post! At some point people will have to meet the real you regardless of how great a presence you have online. When they meet you will it diminish or enhance the image they have of you. Will it create or shut down opportunities. As you sharpen yourself and it is captured with current social tools the sky is the limit.


  3. Mike,
    I believe that Facebook and Twitter are just vehicles used to communicate the
    values and messages one wants to associate with his or her brand. If an individual doesn’t have a clear understanding of the brand they want to communicate, all the tools in the world can will not help them to develop a strong personal brand. So of course, if you don’t have a good story you can’t have a good personal brand.

  4. avatar Mike Severy says:

    Kevin – thanks for the parallel post. Mom A was being authentic and wasn’t trying to put on a show – that was refreshing.

    Hajj – I think you make a great point about meeting the real you and whether or not the meeting will diminish or enhance what you have put forward. I really like how you framed your point with great language.

    Kristen – I absolutely agree with you – the vehicle is not the message.

    Thank you all for reading and especially for your feedback.

    Make it a good day.


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