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The other day I watched a Baby Tylenol commercial that moved me to tears (I know, I’m a pretty easy target!). The hero of the ad was a baby with an ear infection and, while his mom tried everything to comfort her little one, the only thing that finally brought everyone some relief was, you guessed it, Baby Tylenol.
Now who do you think has a baby who recently had an ear infection? That’s right, me!
Those clever ad people know if you tell a story that resonates with a specific pain point, throw in a cute baby, and heart-string-tugging musical score, the first thing that target customer will reach for next time their baby is sick is Baby Tylenol.
If one of your business goals is to increase engagement, grow your audience, and turn prospects in to paying clients more consistently, here are three powerful reasons why you should right and share your brand story:
1) Stories inspire and build emotional connection
When you’re buying a new computer, tablet, or phone do you gravitate towards an Apple or a Samsung? Chances are you go for Apple. Why? It’s probably not because of the capabilities or features (unless you’re my dad), but because the brand story, or more specifically, Steve Jobs’ story, resonates with you. After all, what design professional doesn’t feel motivated by a creative vision that began its life in suburban garage, and grew into an iconic, multi-bazillion dollar brand? It’s a story that makes us feel ANYTHING is possible.
How to apply this to your business or career: Instead of articulating the features of your work, think about the story of why you decided to do what you do? Was there a particular event that triggered your decision? A teacher or mentor who inspired you? Write down everything that comes to you, regardless how insignificant or familiar it feels. Hold that thought, because you’re going to use that to build your story later! Side note, for more on this check out Simon Sinek’s TED talk, Start with Why.
2) Stories build community
Have you noticed that the successful people you admire, without exception, are founders of, or members of, amazing communities? One example is Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Creative Mornings. Tina’s everywhere; panels, creative conferences etc. and she always shares the story of why she started Creative Mornings and shares the story of its growth. The fact that it’s become so successful only serves to deepen the connection and devotion so many people feel to her community.
How to apply this to your business or career: Brainstorm ways you could build a community around your work and mission. What’s the story that inspires the community? What’s the main purpose of creating that community? Who would you want to invite? It could be as simple as a Facebook group, starting a podcast, or building a platform for people to connect and learn. Don’t worry about the “how” for now, just the “why” and “who.”
3) Sharing your story builds trust
In Timothy Ferris’s new book, Tools of Titans, Brené Brown talks about the decision to stop flying under the radar and share her own story in her infamous TED talk The Power of Vulnerability. Her decision to speak openly about her breakdown, spiritual awakening, and therapy that really catapulted her onto the stage of thought leaders. How many of us would be willing to talk about a deep personal crisis on a big stage?
How to apply this to your business or career: Think of an experience or time in your life that galvanized you around your mission and vision to do what you do. It can be positive or negative. But if it was a negative event, be sure the story has a happy, inspiring ending. You want to take your prospective clients on a journey that lifts them up, not brings them down!
If you feel shy about sharing your story, or don’t know where to start, you’re in good company. Few of us come out of the womb willing to be totally visible and share the ups and downs of our experiences and growth. As the tennis legend Arthur Ashe so perfectly put it, “start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”
If you’re ready to bust out your story, but know you’ll never do it on your own, I can help! During a 90-minute Skype coaching session, we’ll drill down to who your audience is, what matters to them, and how craft a brand story that builds the connection and trust that builds business. Interested? Email me at Justine@justineclay.com to learn more and get your session in the calendar!
I’d love to hear from you. Do you share your story? Would you like to? Please share a comment below!
Justine Clay is a speaker and business coach for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. Sign up for Justine’s free guide: How to Find High-Quality Clients and Get Paid What You’re Worth.