“Purposeful storytelling isn’t show business. It’s good business.” – Peter Guber
What’s your story so far? How did you get to where you are today in business and life? What are the twists and turns you’ve encountered and conquered?
Stories have the ability to paint a picture with words, tapping into the imagination of the listener or reader and allowing you to connect with them.
In my experience, the best way to connect to people is to hear the stories of their lives and to tell our own. Nothing made up. Just the honest truth about who we are, and the journey we’ve had in life so far. That raw, honest truth and vulnerability is what connects us to others and them to us.
The simplest and perhaps the most powerful way to articulate your personal brand is through the art of storytelling.
How can you tell your story to great effect? To build rapport with the community you want to connect with and serve over time?
Your story isn’t your entire autobiography. It’s a snapshot that gives you the perfect illustration in a specific situation. For example, when I teach entrepreneurs how to maximise their profits it helps when I tell them about my own experiences (good and bad, easy and hard) growing businesses to have multi-million pound revenues and profits.
When you begin to articulate the personal stories behind why you do what you do, they add to your credibility, show that you are genuine and have personal experience of your subject. People connect with you, and like you, and they come to trust you.
3 Steps to Great Stories
- Be purposeful with your personal brand stories
Make sure you share the stories according to the requirements of the opportunity you are pitching for. And make sure the stories are not just the glossy tail end of the story. We connect with the struggle. Connection and empathy from others comes from the journey you’ve been on, not just the destination you’ve arrived at. After all, they are probably on a similar journey to the one you’ve been on and they want to know they can travel on towards the end result you’ve reached ; the one they want too.
- Use stories that have concrete evidence
If you have figures such as “improved response time by 15%”, then provide evidence that supports your story and what impact it has had. Make sure you always use both concrete data and stories. The combination of the two will provide you with a compelling case when it comes to someone employing you or being chosen in a business deal over your competitors.
- Ensure your stories are authentic
Stories that are authentic and in need of no exaggeration or embellishment are the most impactful and memorable! In business, if you are being considered alongside other candidates who are all equally as well qualified, what will make you stand out? It’s the connection and impact you make with the experiences you share.
When we are authentic, we are at our most open. When we willing to show our vulnerability, we are seen as being real; being human. Being real gives you your best chance of making the right deals and landing your dream business opportunity. Presenting your own personal and relevant stories when pitching to potential clients to win work will endear you to them. You won’t always win the work but you will be held in high regard for your honesty and authenticity, rather than for delivering a ‘plastic fantastic’ pitch, as often occurs in some industries.
So, what’s your story? What will you share with your potential customers or community to build the beginnings of a long term relationship? How will your story augment the development of Brand You?
ACTION: I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic of sharing stories in support of building our personal brand. How about writing your comments below?