The one vital piece of information missing in our business conversations that lead to more sales, more partnerships, more funding, and overall more yes’s is: your story. Your story is the single component that allows you to stand out in a saturated market and has the power to create meaningful connection and promote influence in your industry.
Ladies, we are not telling our stories; our personal truth that helps me to know why I should hire or buy from you.
Last week, I was at a networking event for women entrepreneurs in New York City. I met this lovely, stylish lady who co founded her business making high quality nail polish at a fraction of the cost. Naturally, as someone who has her nails done on the regular, I was intrigued. She went on to tell me how her product was featured in top magazines, how they were voted number one against other nail brands, and why their business was the bee’s knees. Her sales game was strong and I could appreciate her passion and energy for the product. Yet something was missing. I probed a little bit and asked her about the backstory of how she came into business. I later learned that her parents were of Caribbean descent and taught her the value of hard work. She shared that when she was little, her mother always had her nails done no matter what and valuing self care was something she admired in her mom. She also shared that her father was an entrepreneur and that she learned so much from him growing up and seeing him run a business.
Her story of what inspires her as an entrepreneur and why she went into the nail business suddenly came to life. I could relate to her story having also been brought up in a Caribbean family. I connected with her values of self care, beauty, and maintaining a positive appearance. Most importantly, after meeting dozens of women business owners that night, she is the one I remember most because of the story she told. Later that night I looked her up on social media and became a follower. She is on my radar now and when I am ready to buy new nail polish, I will think of her.
Our stories give the work we do deeper meaning and adds a dimension that humanizes our business. In our stories, you get to see the real person behind the logo. It provides an opportunity to create real connections, bond over common values, and be a bit more conscious in how we buy and sell.
What is your business story?
· It tells your ‘why’; why you do what you do and what drives you
· It is an opportunity to create a meaningful connection and a lasting first impression
· It is the defining factor that will have you standout
· It’s your sense of purpose or your mission
How do we find our stories and tell it in our business?
5 elements for you to consider in developing your story:
1. How did you come to do this work? Look for the hook that will capture hearts and minds. This can be: defining moments that changed your life, triumphs you’ve had, painful challenges you overcame, lessons learned, etc. Dig deep.
2. What are the top 3 values that show up in your story? Confidence. Spirituality. Harmony. Purpose. Etc. These are the components that create connection and impact for your clients or your audience.
3. What’s the energy behind your story? Inspiring, educational, victim to victory, reflective, visionary, to evoke shock, influence, etc. Focus on the intention behind your story.
4. Be able to summarize and articulate your story in 2-3 minutes.
5. Continually revise and practice!
Remember, your business is an extension of you. Not only do you bring your expertise but you also bring your entire life experiences to the table. Your business is part of your life story; share it freely as you do business. In doing so, you will attract the people you are meant to work with.