May 19, 2016 in Branding
No one has a story exactly like yours. Each person’s story is unique. Today’s article is on why you must become an expert at telling your story. It will build your brand and your business.
When you meet someone new, what is the first thing they ask you?
It’s usually, “What do you do”?
Now what folks are really looking for is a short 2-3 sentence answer AKA the condensed version. However what they usually get is a 20-30 minute long drawn out story about yourself that has details they care absolutely nothing about. It’s just too much history, and you probably lost their interest within a couple of minutes.
It’s safe to say they are probably plotting their escape in less than 10 minutes.
It’s important to understand the people don’t really care as much about you as they do about what you can do for them.
So what they are really saying when they ask you what you do is, “What can knowing you do for me”? Or, “What’s in it for me”?
That might seem a bit cold but it’s the truth.
In order to grow your brand and your business, it’s essential that you become an expert at telling your story. So the next inevitable question is, how do you get to be an expert at anything?
If You Want to Be an Expert….
First you have your compelling story, then you need to deliver it so that people are interested and you and they want to work with you instead of your competitor.
Let’s face it; when it comes to real estate investors we are all pretty much alike. We buy houses. We solve problems. So how can you stand out from everyone else? How can you be memorable? That’s where your story comes in.
People Remember Compelling Stories
People always remember a compelling story. They may forget other details about you or your business, but they always remember a great story.
Who can forget a great story like the one J.K. Rowling told about writing those first Harry Potter books. She wrote the books in a café because she couldn’t afford heat for her home. I’m pretty sure that she never dreamed that living in a cold apartment would be such an essential part of her own story but it was. People could identify with her struggle and they rooted for her when she was successful
What about TOMS Shoes? Everyone knows that for every pair of TOMS sold, they give one away to a needy child. They created their story and made sure everyone knew about it.
Everyone has a story and it’s up to you to create your own compelling story. Your story tells people how you got where you are today and what happened along the way. It also shows people how you got to be the person you are today. All of this helps build your credibility.
Crafting Your Story
Do you remember when I said when someone asks you what you do they are really only looking for 2 or 3 sentences? In order to create your story, you need to answer some basic questions first.
Once you can answer these questions clearly, you can begin to write your story.
- What do you do? Using as few words as possible, describe what you do
- Why do you do it? Why did you choose this “thing”?
- Who is your target audience? Who is it you are speaking to or marketing to?
- Why are you unique? (This is really important)
- Why should they choose you?
Once you have these answers, condense them into 2 or 3 sentences. This is what you will say when someone asks you what you do. Tell them just enough so that they want to know more.
Remember when you are writing your compelling story, it needs to be a real story. People aren’t looking for a resume, or a list of certifications. They want to know YOU. In order to make other people care about you, you must get really clear on who you are.
- They want to know your superpower – what makes you special?
- They want to know your struggles and how you solved those problems so they can better identify with you.
- Your target audience needs to be able to relate to you and your story.
Telling Your Story
When you are telling your story, leave the fancy marketing language behind. Just tell your story in your voice as if you were speaking to one person. That’s how you make an emotional connection with other people. In other words just be “real”.
One place where you need a compelling story is on your “about me” page on your website. Anyone trying to make a decision about whether or not they want to work with you will almost certainly base part of that decision in part on what they learn about you on your “about me” page if they don’t know you.
Carrie Wilkerson is known as the “Barefoot Executive”. For as long as I can remember Carrie has shared her story on her website. From struggling to grow her business with 4 small children (one of which has special needs), to her decades long struggle with her weight. She tells her story, shares her successes and posts pictures to bring more weight to her story. I have never met Carrie but I feel like I know her. Her readers feel connected to her.
Now it’s Time to Write Your Story
I would love to hear your story. Post it here on the blog.
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