One thing I am sure of is that I treasure the freedom I have by being an entrepreneur. The freedom of choosing who I want to work with, the freedom from having a boss, for my case the freedom of having to drive to an office every day and most importantly the freedom of being able to set my own schedule. One of the biggest “perks” for me however is that I get to tap into my creative side now and then to find bigger and better ways to gain exposure for me and my business as well as for the female entrepreneurs whom I also support. This is a two-fold effort, because even though I am basically a private person, it is necessary for me to build my own personal brand simultaneously when building DPWN (Dynamic Professional Women’s Network) because people always want to connect to people, not to a business.
A few years ago I was fortunate enough to learn about a creative and very clever way entrepreneurs where getting dual exposure for themselves and their businesses that was getting phenomenal results. It took me only a moment to realize it was a good option for me because although I had to do a little work up front, I could see how the following benefits would unfold for a long time with very little future involvement. To reap the benefits of ingenious marketing strategy, all I had to do was share my story in one chapter of the Dare to be a Difference Maker book and I could then position myself as a published author and my current and future clients could connect with me by reading my story.
So now I teach women how to get more clients using their signature story in our own Overcoming Mediocrity anthology book project, because it DOES WORK! I always, however get pushback from them. The idea of revealing the bare truth about ourselves is something that solo business owners struggle with. After all, aren’t we supposed to be experts in the know?
These women ask..
- How vulnerable should I be?
- How much should prospects know about my story, my “why?”
- In other words:
- If I share this stuff, will I still be seen as professional?
One of my signature stories happened years ago. I was a single mom, going through one of the biggest transitions of my life. My marriage had ended and I had to accept the fact that I had failed as a wife and as a mom at creating the perfect little fairy tale family. Although we had some problems, I always had hope that with enough work and effort, they could be fixed.
I used to sing the Barney the purple dinosaur song (I love you, you love me, were a happy dysfunctional family). Lol!
I was devastated with my new single reality. Being a wife was the role I had lived my whole adult life at this point. But to make matters worse, I had to manage through some very difficult financial realities. All of these hardships, however daunting at the time, are what forced me to make decisions that guided my life to creating this amazing women’s organization.
Now, why on earth would I share this personal story?
Because it was a transitional time for me and a story that so many women can relate to. Plus, it shows that you can always change your life or business regardless of how impossible you think your situation is.
So, when it comes to your story, here’s the million-dollar truth:
You must tell your story.
It doesn’t have to be about a divorce.
But it does need to open your prospect’s heart and give meaning to WHY you do what you do.
As a solo business owner, your signature story builds trust and creates a memorable brand. It positions YOU.
There are three reasons for this:
1. People Remember Stories
Your prospect might not remember the first thing you said with your facts, features or data, but tell her your story of how you lost over 100 pounds and are now a dedicated weight-loss coach who knows how to get proven results because THAT is what she will remember.
Because stories are visceral, stories are universal and they connect with our hearts.
2. People Need Personal Connection
More than ever, we are all seeking deeper connections beyond reading today’s Facebook news feed. When it comes to your marketing materials, always think in terms of connection with your prospects and clients. And make sure you learn how to use your signature story as a part of your marketing.
Your story builds trust. It tells your prospect that you’re real and that you “get” her.
3. People Need Trusted Resources
Knowing how to position yourself is crucial in your marketing. Sharing your signature story will allow you to speak into your prospect’s head and their heart at the same time. When you are honest enough to share your story, they recognize that you are a vulnerable and “real” person and this will help them to feel comfortable working with you (HEART). This, of course, is also an opportunity to share your results, numbers, certifications, publications, sales, speaking dates, etc. in your story and also in your author bio (HEAD).
Both head and heart matter to your clients.
So, when it comes to your work in the world – whether you’re trying to get customers, clients, readers or patients – your story and your vulnerability has to be a piece of the puzzle.
Now, I’m not asking you to share about the time you drank too much at your sister’s wedding and fell down the stairs and broke the heel of your shoes. Nor am I encouraging you to share any of your old dirty laundry as a written therapy session.
I am, however, proposing that you get very clear about the turning point in your life that started you on the path to doing what you’re doing right now.
So, here are some questions to get you started creating your story:
- What were the circumstances in your “before” scene?
- What was your struggle, your low-point?
- What was the turning point?
- What happened after that?
- What made you do the work you’re doing?
In the comments below, tell me the basics of your signature story.
Were you hesitant to use it at first?
Do your clients respond to it?
Let me help you bring it all together by featuring you in our next Overcoming Mediocrity book project. Not only will we do everything for you (except write your story) to publish and print your new book, but we have many avenues that we implement to market you and your brand where we highlight your new “Published Author” status.
NEED TO KNOW MORE?
All of the details for this project are housed in our project website. http://www.dpwnpublishing.com/