EP78: Crafting Your Story - Part 1
Good to have you back again.
Can't believe it has already been a week since we last were together.
I’ve been diving into a few books on Storytelling.
The first one is, “The Story Advantage: Unleash the Power of Storytelling to Engage, Inspire, and Influence, by L.J. Bloom.”
The second one is, “The Story Factor, by Annette Simmons.”
By the way, you can find each of them on Amazon Kindle.
The truth is that we all tell stories all the time, even when we don’t realize what we are doing.
We tell stories while at work.
…on social media.
And we’re telling stories when we chat with our friends.
Every day we are surrounded by stories from others, and the ones we create on our own.
That’s every day you.
However the businessperson you, you have some hurdles too.
As a new business owner, how do you let people know of the expertise you have?
If you are like MOST entrepreneurs just starting, you don’t know if you’re good enough. Wondering if you can get others to work with you. Doubting your credentials.
It’s normal. Self-doubt affects even the best people online, and offline. Hollywood’s elite are succumbed by it. CEOs of huge companies are among those that feel its effects too.
And yet, they make movies.
They build huge companies.
They tackle and overcome huge obstacles.
And so can you.
Most people don’t like talking about themselves.
But when it comes to running a business, and showing prospective customers and clients what you are good at, and the strengths you have, you must learn how to articulate your strengths. And be honest about your weaknesses too.
Another thing too…
No matter how good you are at the skill(s) you have, no one cares. No one wants coaching, or another product or course.
What they want is transformation.
People want to fix their problems, and move on. Period!
While we need to talk about ourselves, a little bit, the majority of our discussions should be focused on the customer or client, and how they will benefit from your help.
Story is your conduit for change.
Change in you.
Change in your business.
Change in your prospects.
Chances are that no matter what it is that YOU do, many other people do something similar.
They say, "Coaches are a dime a dozen."
There is a story in the book “The Story Advantage: Unleash the Power of Storytelling to Engage, Inspire, and Influence.”
In the story, L.J. Bloom [the writer] said...
“Some time ago, I had a leak in a pipe that ran through my garden. I noticed a massive puddle one morning when there had not been any rain for three weeks, so I called the plumber. He came over, dug a hole, and then disappeared. A few days later he came back to fix the pipe, and then the day after that he came back to fill in the hole! On the third visit, he asked me, “What do you do when you’re at home all the time?” I explained that I have a business working from home as a coach. “Really?” he responded. “So am I.” Turns out that he read a book on coaching and thought he would be great at it. So he now coaches his friends and family. “It’s great,” he said. “We are in the same business.”
As they say - they’re a dime a dozen.
So how do you differentiate your service from others?
No matter what it is that you do, why would anyone choose to work with you?
What makes YOU stand out?
What makes your Expertise stand out?
Why would anyone choose to work with you, being that there are numerous options to choose from?
The answer is YOUR STORY.
This story should include your credentials, the clients you have worked with, your years of experience, or the training you have taken.
Your story, told well, can differentiate you and your services.
There are a lot of people that are good at what they do.
That is just a start.
Everyone needs experience, skills, and expertise.
But that will not make you stand out in a crowd.
Having the ability to articulate what you do, in a compelling way, will do wonders to push you closer to victory.
It would help if you inspired others.
If you can help people see possibility and get them to imagine a future, one that meets their dreams and goals, and inspires them to take action, you will have succeeded.
Unless they take that action, whether it is doing something that is challenging, or hiring you to help them, they will not succeed.
When you master the ability to tell a story that inspires others, you will be able to build a business that thrives, and changes lives.
Advertising executives have always known the power of story.
But times are no longer simple.
Now the consumer has a lot more power.
Buying and selling products and services are relational.
Relationships must be built, along with trust.
When you share an authentic story, a story of your experience, one that moved you, you are building trust.
While listening to [or reading] your story, the prospect recognizes the truth in what you are saying, can feel the emotion of what you said, and can understand the stand you take, and what you believe in.
There is a connection.
In today's online world connection is the “New” currency.
The currency of trust.
Maya Angelou said,
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I have three questions for you. [Think about them before you respond]
Who was your first storyteller, the person who told you stories as a child?
Where did this storytelling take place?
How did you feel when you were being told stories?
This could have been a mother, father, grandparent, or someone else.
It could have been told at bedtime, at a campfire, or even a returning service member telling stories of their military adventures.
While your experience will be unique, overall, most people share the experience as being immensely positive.
Using storytelling in your business can induce and develop trust.
What you say…
How you say it…
How it is received…
Makes or breaks your story in the mind of your reader, listener, or visitor.
Your story, and your delivery mechanism, will make a huge difference every time you have an opportunity to tell it.
Story involves your audience.
Story gives you emotional transparency.
The emotion of the story is transferred to your audience.
Facts do none of that.
Facts tell you things. Sometimes important things, but devoid of emotion.
Everyone has a story.
Your message should have one as well.
It can grab them all at once in the first few lines, or creep up on them slowly.
The development of emotion in a story is where the soul of the story lies.
The story within your message can be a small portion of it, or it can engulf the entire message.
No matter how you use story within your message, it needs to pull the audience from the very beginning, all the way to a natural conclusion.
Whether you gently pull them along or they choose to chase you, will be determined by your story [how you craft it] and it's message.
We will be diving into the WORLD of story.
It will be exciting.
It will change the way you play in your sandbox.
In other words, story will help you create the world you want others to see…
In your life…
In your business…
In your messages, you share with others.
Story is the oldest form of communication known to mankind.
Our history books are chock full of stories we hold dear.
Your life is full of stories too.
So is your business.
With the time allotted, I will help you create a structure that can hold the stories you need to tell.
As human beings, we tell stories.
Why not make the best of them, right?
Have you ever been asked about how your day was by a friend, colleague, or family member, only to say it was “fine” and leave it at that?
Thankfully the other person will usually say something that will get you to share more. To open up and tell more about your day. To share the highs and the lows.
The next thing you know, you have told a story your partner wanted to hear. An engaging story. A story that pulled him/her along without having to ask.
There may have been another question or two from them to dig deeper and deeper until you arrived at a natural conclusion.
Your story now had developed into something much more than “fine”.
You were able to share a part of your day with another human being.
In essence, you were sharing yourself.
This isn't easy for everyone.
It isn't easy for me either.
I grew up quiet most of the time.
I enjoyed watching others.
I learned more by watching others, during their conversations, and their actions.
I got to understand them. I learned how they really were.
Their words and actions told me stories, they never would have ever said to me or anyone else.
Looking back on my life, I can see now that I was a natural storyteller.
It came naturally to me.
I'm sure I am not alone.
Our world is built upon the foundational stories we accept and those we tell. And those we allow to mold us.
We are like clay, in that we are malleable, able to be changed by the stories we accept into our perceived world.
We are not unmovable.
Though some appear to be cast in stone, unchangeable, it is just a perception and not reality.
We are ALL born with the ability to move mountains with the stories we tell.
We can change long-held opinions and form connections with others.
We can create the realities we want and inject ideas that will form the basis of new mountains.
The stories you tell can be mighty tools in your arsenal.
Strap on your belt and let's go.
We've got a fight to win.
This ends another podcast episode.
Next week we will pick up right here.
And begin helping you craft your story.
Talk to you all, next week.
James "Mastering Story" Brown
P.S. - In the event, you DO find that once an episode has been produced and posted, that YOU really would like more information, just let me know. Use the Podcast Questions link, click on the link here. Or you can just leave a voice message here.