The other day I watched a Baby Tylenol commercial that moved me to tears (I know, I’m a pretty easy target!). You see, the ad’s hero was a baby with an ear infection and while his mum tried everything to comfort her little one, the only thing that finally brought everyone some relief was Baby Tylenol.
Now who do you think has a baby who recently had an ear infection? That’s right, me!
Those clever ad people know that if you tell a story that resonates with a specific pain point, throw in a cute baby and a heart-string-tugging musical score, the first thing that target customer will do next time their baby is sick is choose Baby Tylenol.
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And here’s the great news. You don’t need to have agency budgets to use stories to inspire confidence, trust and action in your clients.
If one of your goals this year is to grow your audience, increase engagement, and quickly turn prospects into paying-clients, here are 3 powerful reasons you should write and share your brand story.
1) Stories inspire and build emotional connection
When you’re buying a new computer, tablet, or phone do you gravitate towards an Apple or a Samsung? Chances are you go for Apple. Why? It’s probably not because of the capabilities or features, but because the brand story (or more specifically, Steve Jobs’ story) inspires something in you.
After all, what design professional doesn’t feel motivated by a creative vision that began its life in a suburban garage, and grew into an iconic, multi-gabillion dollar brand? It’s a story that makes us feel ANYTHING is possible.
How to translate this to your business or career: Instead of articulating the features of your work, think about the story of why you decided to do what you do?
Was there a particular event that triggered your decision? A teacher or mentor who inspired you? Write down any, and all things that come to you, regardless how insignificant or familiar they feel to you.
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Hold that thought, because you’re going to use that to build your story later!
2) Stories build community
Have you noticed that the successful people you admire, without exception, are founders of, or members of awesome communities? One example is Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Creative Mornings.
Tina is everywhere; panels, creative conferences etc. and she always shares the story of why she started Creative Mornings and shares the story of its growth.
The fact that it’s become so successful (with X chapters around the world) only serves to deepen the connection and devotion so many people feel to her community.
How to translate this to your business or career: Brainstorm ways you can build a community around your work and mission. What’s the story that inspires the community?
What’s the main purpose of creating that community? Who would you want to invite? It could be as simple as a Facebook group, starting a podcast, or building a platform for people to connect and learn. Don’t worry about the “how” for now, just the “why” and “who.”
3) Sharing your story builds trust
In Timothy Ferris’s book, Tools of Titans, Brené Brown talks about the decision to stop flying under the radar and she shared her own story in her infamous TED talk “The Power of Vulnerability.”
Her decision to speak openly about her breakdown, spiritual awakening, and therapy, really catapulted her onto the stage of thought leaders. How many of us would be willing to talk about a deep personal crisis on a big stage?
How to translate this to your business or career: Think of an experience or time in your life that galvanized you around your mission and vision to do what you do. It can be positive or negative.
But if it was a negative event, be sure the story has a happy, inspiring ending. You want to take your prospective clients on a journey that lifts them up not brings them down!
Are you ready to write your brand story? Share your ideas in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
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