Marketers are always looking at how they can stand out so their product is the one seen and purchased. Entrepreneurs do the same thing. You’re always on the hunt for the best strategy to stand out. If you think about it, marketers and entrepreneurs are actually the same, the only difference is that as an entrepreneur, you are marketing your entire business, not just a product. However, one thing brings them together, story. Take this strategy all the way to the bank, telling your story and then sharing it with your audience is the ultimate marketing hack!
Short on time? Download a PDF version of this blog post and go through it at your own pace.
Why Your Story is Important
Before I wrote my book, UN-Market Your Business: 10 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Stand Out, Stop Struggling, and Start Profiting, I had no idea how important telling my story really was. All I knew was that I had an idea and I wanted to write a book around it. It was actually my author coach, Anita R. Henderson and then later my editor, Candice L. Davis who taught me not only the importance of, but also the power of telling and sharing my story.
My book became an Amazon #1 International Best Seller because I took the time to include a piece of my life, my Why, and how I thought and felt into each chapter. I’ve been told over and over again by readers as to how much they enjoyed getting to know me and why I do what I do, through the book. Plus, they get awesome marketing training as well.
But, I learned that my readers learn better when lessons are attached to a story. Research has shown that when you read, watch, or listen to a story that you like, you start to put yourself in the shoes of the character. You begin to see yourself in that situation and start comparing it to your own experiences.
My story is about perseverance, overcoming, acceptance, acknowledgment, and winning, as well as being successful in marketing your business. But, if I had simply presented you with facts, it would have been a very dry, uninspiring read.
StorySelling™, the book written by Nick Nanton and J.W. Dicks explores how using your story throughout your marketing solidifies YOU as the person your audience wants to work with by ensuring that you stand above your competitors. That’s what we’re talking about in this post, selling, and marketing using your story.
How to Craft Your Story
Having a story and putting it together are two different things. But you don’t need someone else to write your story, you can do it yourself.
Here are some prompts to get you started.
- Why did you start your business?
- What makes you different from others who do the same thing as you?
- What have you experienced that makes you qualified to present this material?
- Why is your approach or process better?
- How did you put this all together?
Crafting your story is more than talking about when and where you were born, its about EVERYTHING in between that’s relevant to how you are able to solve your audience’s problem.
Keeping your audience top of mind is key because everyone is always thinking WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) The lessons you’ve learned, the successes you created, along with the mistakes you made are ALL part of your journey and make up the fabric of who you are right now. And THAT is what people crave to know about so they can connect with you.
TO DO: Set aside 2 hours and write out everything that you can remember that has lead up to this point in your life. Don’t edit or worry about grammar or punctuation, just write.
Once you get it all out, on paper. Walk away for a day or so, to allow your mind to rest. Then come back and sort out the parts that are the keys to your success and then build your story around those keys.
NOTE: Keep all the notes because you’ll need them a little later.
How to Market Using Your Story
Now that you have your key points for your story, the first marketing project is to create or re-create your “About” page. Since the About page is the 2nd most visited page on your website, you want it to bowl your audience over with snippets and stories of how awesome you are, without being salesy.
No one wants to be sold, but people wouldn’t be on your About page if they weren’t interested. Now is the time for you to assure them that they are in the right place.
Limit your use of “I,” this is a team effort; you working together with your client to achieve success. It doesn’t matter if it’s a DIY (Do it Yourself), DWY (Done for You), or a DFY (Done for You) project, you’re both in this together. Make them feel that you’re in their corner and that their success is what matters most of all.
Of course, include some accolades and any honors, title, and/or accreditations, but don’t rely on those trinkets. Some people have no idea what they are and others won’t even care. But it’s good to put it out there.
Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about: me telling you that I am an International Best-selling author is great, right? But how does that help you market your business? I have to show you that once you read the book, you will be successful at marketing. That is the piece that will make you dig to learn more about me and how I can assist you.
TO DO: Using your notes and key points, write your About page.
Short on time? Download a PDF version of this blog post and go through it at your own pace.
How to Sell with Your Story
OK, now comes the best part, infusing your story into your marketing strategy. The first project, your about page, is set, so now you need to turn your attention to the other pieces in your business.
Check out the 4 Pillars of Online Business Success that show you how each pillar plays a part in your marketing.
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
I’ll break down how to infuse your story into each of these Pillars.
First, commit to emailing your list (audience who’ve subscribed) at least once per week. Any less and they’ll forget you exist. But even if they forget about you, their problem still exists, so if you’re not solving their problem, someone else will.
Each email should drive home one point and contain one CTA (Call To Action). Your email should follow this template: Beginning, Middle, End. Stay with me, I know it’s simplistic, but this is important. This template showcases 3 things, Problem/Solution/Winning Outcome.
Beginning: Layout the problem, why they’re having it and relate it to something that you’ve experienced, thought about, read about, or have an idea about. This is where your story and a piece of you comes in. It can be a sentence or two, but still a piece of you.
Middle: Irritate the problem a bit by giving examples they can relate to as to how they are feeling. Maybe show some stats that relate to this situation. Showcase a client that experienced something similar and then transition to a solution, your solution.
End: This is where you talk about how you solve the problem along with what the audience will get out of working with you, otherwise known as your Winning Outcome. You can mention the client again and how you solved this problem. Or you can talk about how you solved your own problem. Then comes the CTA.
There you have it! This is a simple, easy way to craft an email so you can get it done and out to your audience.
Everything you create is content: video, audio, cheat sheet, articles, blog posts, graphics, quote posts, etc.
Sometimes you’ll have a great deal of space or time to get your thoughts across as in articles or blog posts. Other times you’ll have a limited about of space as with a graphic or tweet.
No worries, you can study other brands to see how they use their different content sources to get their point across. Marketers “borrow” from and research each other all the time. #NoPlagiarism You’re looking for ideas to use as inspiration.
Social Media Marketing
Look at social media as the road or roads that lead people to your website. Since your website is your business hub, where your audience learns all about you, what you do and how you solve their problem, it’s the perfect pot of gold.
Entrepreneurs often get confused about why they’re on social media. It is NOT to gossip, backstab, rant, or discourage others, your purpose is to create a positive environment where your audience loves to hang out and get to know you better. You can be funny, sad, helpful, hopeful, motivational, and inspirational, but remember to also be promotional and invitational. You’re using social media as part of your marketing tool kit.
Social media is also the perfect place to drop bits of your story, so people get to know, like, and trust you so they’ll buy from you.
You can not only share your story through posts and tweets, but also memes and pins. Use the status/description area to link back to your website so they can learn more.
TO DO: Sign up for a social media scheduler like Post Planner. I’ve used them for years and love how easy it is to schedule content and also share content that’s already gone viral. Click this link to get a free month of Post Planner. Then choose a day to create your posts, and then schedule them so you’re not tied to your computer posting all day every day.
Putting Your Story Puzzle Together
Now that you know how to craft your story, what to put in it, and how to share it so people get to know you and start working with you. What’s next?
The most important piece . . . Taking Action!
Without taking action, nothing happens. No one sees your story, so no one hires you. Not good at all!
If your head is spinning trying to figure out how to get your story marketing started, schedule your complimentary Online WOW! Assessment with me today. Together, we’ll look at your website and social media to see where you’re missing out on clients and how you can insert your story for better marketing.
When are you starting your story marketing journey?