Today, we are talking about all things Brand Story.
I have three big ideas for you around your brand story, why it matters, and how to figure it out. I know this is a topic that a lot of people have questions about, and there’s also a lot of fear associated with figuring out what your story is, sharing it, and being vulnerable.
First, your story is more important than your resume. Period.
This one cuts me deep because when I started my business, I started it based on 10 plus years of experience in communications. I had a variety of experience too; big multi-million dollar brands, huge reputational issues to help manage, contentious projects, crisis communications, media pitching, etcetera.
For me, I felt qualified to start my own business.
I thought I would start this business and see how I can bring these same skills to small business owners and be more in my own community. But it’s not just about that. Yes, you do need to create some credibility markers for yourself in your marketing and your communications and as part of your story. But some people have a story that looks a lot different than: I have qualifications. I started a business. Some people’s story is: I had a problem. I figured out how to solve it. Now, I’m going to teach you how to solve it too.
So, we need to include credibility, but we can’t just think about all of the fancy resumes, and letters after our names. We can’t just think about the certifications and all of the qualifications. They aren’t going to be enough for people to want to work with us.
Why? Because people want to buy from people. Human beings – who they know, like, and trust.
Think about that. If we only buy from people who we know, like, and trust, and we care about that, that ends up outweighing the qualifications criteria that we consider in our hiring. How do we know, like, and trust somebody who doesn’t share anything with us? I need to know you. I need to know things about you. I need to know how you got here. I need to know what your favorite color is sometimes. I need to know if you’re obsessed with macaroni and cheese.
Stories are about creating a connection.
What we tend to feel when we’re thinking about sharing our story is that people are just going to think that I’m looking for attention if I talk about myself. Personally, my story is emotionally charged and it involves the death of my mum. So, naturally, there’s a lot of emotions there. I used to think that if I shared it, people were just going to think I was looking for sympathy. But that’s not what I’m doing. I’m not here asking for your sympathy. I’m not trying to get something from you. What I’m trying to do is create a connection. When I share a story, it allows you to think about your version of that story.
Has this happened to you before? Have you thought about that kind of thing before? What would you feel like if that thing happened to you? All of that is what goes on inside of the head of the person you’re talking to.
When you share your story, it’s about creating a connection. It’s not about getting attention. This connection is what makes people remember you and what makes them want to choose to work with you.
Point 3: the importance of knowing your why.
Simon Sinek, one of my favorite authors, says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” People buy into the purpose. People buy into a mission. People buy into a why.
It makes a huge difference for you and your ability to connect with people. And they’re wanting to be a part of what you’re doing. If they see your excitement, they want it. They want to jump in and be a part of that ride. If they see that you’re doing something that means something to them, they want to support it.
The other piece of knowing your why is because YOU need to know why you’re showing up every day. YOU need to know why you’re going to push through the hard stuff that’s going to come across your path daily, if not multiple times a day. As an entrepreneur, you need to be able to say, it’s worth it. It’s worth this challenge. It’s worth this frustration. It’s worth this rejection. It’s worth this learning. It’s worth it because I know why I’m doing it. I know that I’m here running my own business because I want to create a life of freedom and choice for my family.
For me, I want to have the ability to pick my kids up at school early and go camping on Fridays. I want to be able to walk them to school. I want to be able to take them to baseball practice. I want to be able to do it all without having to involve a boss. Spending time with my kids and having a quality family relationship is important to me. I create that life and those options by doing work that I love and being successful at them.
I keep showing up when things are hard; when the client work is hard; when the capacity is high and I don’t even know how I’m going to do it. My family and my freedom is why I keep showing up.
I want you to think about your story and I challenge you to share it. Whether you’ve shared it before or not, it’s time to jump on a video, talk about why you’re doing this thing. Talk about what it means to you and just practice. The more you share it, the more comfortable you’ll get with sharing it and the better you’ll get at sharing it.
NOT SURE WHERE TO START?
Let’s make your passion a success!
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