If I told you that you and a person that was alive 3,000 years ago had something in common like media preference, would you believe me? Well you should. Though it wasn’t called that back then, storytelling was their Twitter. People would gather, they would listen, and absorb. Don’t buy it? How many civilizations can you name that had a strictly oral history until the last few thousand years? I can think of about five off the top of my head. (nerd alert!)
Fact is, whether it was fireside or in 140 characters, human people are biologically wired for the enjoyment of stories.
Now I know what you’re probably thinking at this point. “What does some ancient person have to do with my brand?” Well, pumpkin, sit tight, because I’m going to lay it out and then take all your excuses and go Wile E Coyote on them.
Your brand is more than your logo. Your brand is more than just the tone you use or the way you speak to your audience. It is the evocation of an emotional response that (hopefully) brings your ideal client closer to your brand, building a bond through trust, expectation, and confidence.
Whether it’s a music video (Jeremy…. Right in the feels), a movie (Boy In The Striped Pajamas), a song (Piano Man), or something like a tweet or a wedding invitation, people connect through storytelling in a way that is wholly different from most other connections. We connect at both an emotional and logical response.
So telling your brand story, telling the story of you in your work benefits your brand by evoking that emotional response toward you, your brand, and your product. Now I have heard this argument before. “Isn’t it ick marketing to pull at someone’s heartstrings to get them to buy something?” And honestly, I’d say yes, if you’re coming from the dollar sign place and not a place of giving. This is where intention really comes into play. If you’re just trying to make a buck and don’t care about how your products or services actually perform for your customers in the world, then yeah, that’s shitty don’t tell your story and don’t get people attached to you.
But if you actually care and want to help people (you don’t have to be allergic to money to be this way by the by) then get those connections because you can really help people.
So now that I’ve shared why your story is important, I’m going to demolish your excuses. Ready?
I Don’t Have A Story To Tell
Taking on number one straight out the gate. “I don’t have a story to tell” might as well have subtitles that say “I’m making an excuse.” If you are a living breathing human person, you have a story to tell. And just remember that the magic of this is that you have the means to share your story better than any other species on the planet.
My Story Is Boring
If you feel like your story is boring one of the following two things is happening:
It’s only boring to you.
How you’re telling it is boring. (Sorry, not sorry)
Either way, you have the power to make it better.
One way to do this is start a day behind. So if on Monday, you cranked out blog posts, worked on client work, and sang “Let It Go” with your cat, then share that on Tuesday after taking that beat to really wrap your head around it. If you aren't comfortable sharing that way, then that’s fine. Practice for yourself first. Keep a journal, see where you can craft something that connects you to your audience. It’s seven days. You can do anything for seven days.
I Don’t See How It Relates To My Business
You are your business. It doesn’t do without you and it doesn’t do without your story. Everything ties back. You built this by being you, so share you and the business connections will follow.
I’m Not Good At Telling Stories
I suck at telling stories. My brother sucks at it. My step dad had this way of making you hang off your seat wanting to know what happened next at the grocery store. This can really be a thing. But the really great thing about a brand story is that it’s not an anecdote over coffee. In most cases, it’s not even live. You have the opportunity to craft the story you want to share. To make it work for your brand. Taking full advantage of this by either revisiting content (or having someone else do it for you) is just using the tools that you have at your disposal. Craft it, don’t just tell it.
I Don’t Feel Comfortable Sharing On The Internet
Good! The internet can be a scary place.
But, boo, you signed up for this. There are some basic things that you are going to have to share to make that emotional connection. Am I saying share it all? Absolutely not. It’s all about boundaries. Boundaries can come in lots of shapes and sizes, but really what it boils down to is where your lines in the sand about certain topics are.
For example, you can have boundaries in place around:
- Your family and loved ones (S.O., kids, pets, parents, etc.)
- Your personal stuff (relationships, sex, day to day, travel etc.)
- Certain specific topics (health, politics, religion, etc.)
- One big thing that no one can know (chronic health issues, killed a man in college, etc.)
This looks different for everyone. You just need to set some firm boundaries, stick to them, and understand that over time they can change. You can decide to share something that you never thought you would before. Or you can circle the wagons closer on stuff, like when you have kids versus when you didn’t. That is just fine. Find your comfy spot and stick with it. And screw everyone and anyone who says boo about it. Your boundaries are yours and you don’t owe anyone an explanation.
I’m Just Talking To No One
Well yes. But only if you make it that way. The web is a funny place. Either you are standing out with everyone else, shouting at the top of your lungs like everyone else, hoping you get heard, or your waking up to people pretty much one on one or in small groups and asking if you can share what you know. The internet is a lot like your high school lunchroom was. At the door, it sounds like chaos, but once you get closer, certain conversations and voices start to come through clear. Draw people to you and get heard.
Brutal, I Know
So sorry for sounding like such a dick in this post, but by the time you get here, you should have no more excuses for not sharing your story and creating real emotional connections in your business.
And to make up for not being nice, I want to give you free stuff, so sign up for the VIP lounge below and accept my loving apology for being an ass? Please?