Have you ever seen the popular TV show Whose Line is it Anyway? It’s one of the finest examples of Improvised stage acting where characters, scenes and songs are developed on the spot, prompted by audience suggestions.
The skills developed in this discipline of ‘Improv’ are more and more being recognised as sought after approaches to life, and to leadership. As an Improv actor myself, and an individual committed to the development of my personal brand, I am fast seeing the parallels between Improv concepts and brand building. Today I want to introduce you to one of the key Improv concepts that has helped to build my brand– ‘Accept and Build.’
Adding to the list
‘Accept and build’ means that I accept an offer you make to me and I add to that offer by building another layer in the communication, which you accept and build upon. Similar to the childhood game we once played where we ‘added’ to the list of things we bought at the store; “I went to the store and bought an apple.” “..I bought an apple and a pear”, “..I bought an apple, a pear and a banana.”
Makes sense? This concept of ‘Accept and build’ (it’s a little more complex in Improv training) is what allows an Improv scene to develop.
Here’s how I think it’s useful for personal branding.
Don’t miss opportunities
What do you do when you receive a friend or connection request on LinekdIn, Facebook or Twitter? Just accept and continue? Why not ‘Accept and build’? Particularly on LinkedIn (dubbed ‘The daddy’ of social networks and considered a professional platform).
Accepting someone’s request without building on it is a missed networking and branding opportunity. I’ve made some key connections and friends in my virtual networks by building on each request. My ‘build’ goes something like this:
“Thank you so much for your connection request – I am delighted to invite you into my network also. I look forward to the continued networking and possible future collaborations….”
I may add some other questions or detail pertinent to the person’s profile or to mine together with a link to my website. I try to avoid a full-blown sales speech – personal brand building is about developing trust, not hounding newcomers.
I suggest similar techniques for welcoming people into your network and space on the other social and business platforms. You will be remembered for your warmth and your capacity to build on relationship. And personal branding is all about how you are remembered at each point of contact.