Can I get something off my chest? Bios are boring. Really, what could be more snooze-inducing than a list of positions, college degrees and awards that many other people in your field likely share?
If you have a bio on your website right now, don’t despair. I’m going to share one of the BEST tools you can connect and build a rapport with your ideal prospects.
Ditch the bio and share your brand story instead.
“But I can’t write”, I hear you cry! I’m not going to lie. Crafting a resonant and relevant story isn’t easy, but it really is worth the trouble. Here’s why:
- Stories are the vehicle through which we connect, create meaning and share values and ideas
- Stories have the power to move, entertain, inspire your tribe
- As business, sharing your story allows prospective clients to get to know, like, and trust you. And people buy from people they know, like, and trust!
Now you know, I’d never ask you to do something without giving you the tools to make it happen, so here are the fundamental pillars of every good story and what you need to do to craft yours:
- You meet a likeable hero
- Your likeable hero encounters a roadblock
- The hero emerges transformed
Let’s start with number 1:
1) Establish yourself as a likeable hero
How do you establish yourself as a likable hero? By sharing a significant and real moment in your life. It could be a positive transformation or a particularly tough time for you, but it’s what led you to where you are now. Either way, it should be real and relatable. I start my story by saying, “I moved to New York almost 20 years ago from London, armed with little more than a psychology degree and an English accent.” It establishes me as a bit of an underdog, and just a little bit scrappy! Think of something you could share about yourself that would engage your listener and have them rooting for you. I recently heard an interview with the founder of Tate’s cookies and she shared that she started her cookie stand as a young child because she had to make money to pay for her school clothes. I was instantly hooked!
2) Describe the roadblock
For me, it was the recession of 2008. For at least 2 of my clients, a jewelry designer and the founder of an artisanal home brand, it was 9/11. I recently heard another story of a fellow business coach who started her business when she was 9 months pregnant and had been passed over for a promotion she’d been long-promised at a company she’d worked at since she was in her 20’s. A good place to start is to cast your mind back to why you started your business in the first place. Change is hard and humans are hardwired to avoid it. We usually only make big changes or take big risks if we are (a) so motivated and excited by an idea that we can’t NOT pursue it or, more often (b) we have no choice. What was defining moment for you? It could be good or bad, but you want the listener to be asking themselves “what’s going to happen to him or her?”. A little drama never hurt a story!
3) Describe your transformation (worksheet)
So for example, the transformation in my story was that I saw a need in the creative community for what I had to offer, I share the ways in which I followed through (I enrolled in coaching program, researched my new industry, locked myself in a room and created a program and started a new business). The jewelry designer I mentioned who started her business after she got laid off after 9/11 started by creating very simple necklaces made out of Afghan buttons which she sold to friends and family. She enrolled in fine jewelry making classes and now creates predominantly gold jewelry accented with precious stones that is sold in Saks, among other places.
What did your transformation look like? What steps did you take to make it happen?
Will your brand story flow out of you overnight? Probably not, but take heart, even the most talented writers have to slog through the muck a little before getting to the good stuff!
To help you stay the course and reap the rewards, here are some tips:
- Work at it
- Keep it short
- Select the highlights
- Use language to create tension and drama
- Write, write, write then edit, edit, edit
- Share it with someone else
If you’re still stuck, I’d love to help! Set up a free 30-minute introductory call with me here to talk about your challenges, ask questions, and talk about solutions.