Your Story Matters (and sells) - Here's How to Tell ItAug 31, 2022
You are the founder of your company and a big part of its story. People like to buy from people. They want to know more about who you are, your journey and your why. It’s something you will want to show up with on your social media, your website, podcast, and anywhere you are trying to connect with your audience. Your story matters. It’s important to craft it from the start in an intentional way that makes sense with your brand and attracts your perfect clients.
Take some time and think about why you are building this company, what you want to accomplish on a grander scale, what you hope it brings to the world, who you are serving and why they are important to you. How is your journey relevant? What parts of your life and your journey will connect with, inspire, or entertain your audience?
For some of us it’s uncomfortable to step out into the spotlight, but I promise you, your story will help connect you with your ideal audience, so get uncomfortable and put yourself out there and see what happens.
The first and most basic piece of your story that you need to construct is your bio. You will use this on your site, in interviews and PR, and anywhere you get publicity.
Keep it short – no more than a paragraph or two and highlight your accomplishments that are relevant to the business and are going to help the reader understand what’s in it for them, as well as some more personal notes to make the reader connect and feel like they know you.
Here are some ideas that might get your started:
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
What keeps you up at night?
What sparked the idea or desire to create your business?
What is your big why that drives you?
Who are you serving and why is that important to you?
What impact do you want to create?
What struggle did you go through to get where you are?
What makes your business unique?
Part 2 - Your Story
Now that you have a short professional bio, it’s time to dig deeper and write out your story. Everyone should have a polished personal story that they can tell at a moment’s notice. Tell your story and tell it often.
If your first thought was “I don’t have a story” I promise you that you do - in fact you probably have several. A little secret to figuring out your stories is to look back through your life for the moments where you would say “And that’s when I realized”, because that is a pivotal moment, no matter how big or seemingly small that moment was, it was a moment you learned something you can share and build a story around.
And remember your mess is your message. People connect to your messes, not the perfect version of you or your life. That’s how they will see themselves in your story, and your story becomes the bridge to possibility, and makes them believe they can create the same transformation you did, with your product or service. Your story isn’t really about you – it’s about them. So, get vulnerable and share your messy story.
I suggest that you have a few versions of your story. The shortest will be almost an elevator pitch style, that in a few sentences will get the listener intrigued and asking questions to find out more.
The second is a longer version when you have a bit of time in an interview or conversation to give a quick overview of why you do what you do.
And the third is the fully crafted story designed to draw the listener in and take them on the journey with you.
Part 3 - Show your Face gorgeous!
YOU represent your brand. So, it’s important to have photos of yourself that you are proud to use for your PR efforts, marketing, your website and your social media.
You are a huge part of your brands story and at the very least you need to have a professional headshot. But if your budget allows, you should consider getting some more casual, lifestyle type photos taken by a brand photographer.
If you absolutely can’t fit a professional headshot into the budget right now, get someone to take a photo of you with good lighting (no selfies). Facing a window when the sun isn’t shining right through it is a little hack to get really good, but diffused, lighting. Then upload the image to Canva, and you can drop out the background and replace it with an professional background like an office setting, or blurred outdoor background.
If you can swing a professional headshot, do it. And if you have the budget, go for some lifestyle photos too. These are the types of photos that show you doing the work you do, living your life and capture some of the essence of what your brand is about.
A great place to start planning for lifestyle shots is to think through where you might need to use photos of yourself for your particular business. Some suggestions would be the “about us” page on your website, profile pictures on your social media or media announcements, other pages on your website, in downloadable content you are producing, signs or banners for speaking engagements, podcast or book covers, brochures or flyers, newsletters, Facebook ads, or social media posts.
Once you have a list of the images you need, go through Pinterest and search “lifestyle photos” or “personal branding photos” and start collecting images you like for reference.
Your photographer will likely have their own system to get to know your brand and goals for the shoot, but you will definitely want to give them a copy of your Brand Identity Kit and an overview of your brand aesthetic and locations you might want to shoot in.
Your one step for this week is to take some time to sit down and think through what one of your stories might be. Look for that moments that you would say “and then I realized” and pull the lesson from that moment and decide how to use that story in your business.
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