The modern marketplace is growing more crowded every day as people try to carve out their own unique space in a competitive, fast-paced environment. In this highly integrated social media age, everything from the shampoo bottle in your shower to the city you live in has cultivated a carefully crafted persona that lets everyone know who they are and what they’re about.
And at the heart of this persona is a story.
Being able to define your story is a necessity for building and fortifying your brand in this incredibly engaging social environment. It’s not just brands or companies that need to do this, but individuals too.
No matter what industry you’re in, your story is what gives you the opportunity to differentiate yourself from everyone else. Because when you can leverage the power of your story — and craft it in a way that creates a deep connection with your audience and potential customers—people will remember you and return for more.
To do this, it’s crucial to identify what your story is and learn how to articulate it in a powerful way. Here are seven steps to ensure your story is clear, compelling and sets you apart from the rest.
The first step in crafting a compelling and relevant story is to determine what that story is in the first place. Like anything worth doing, this step takes time, effort, and a whole lot of self-reflection.
Begin by asking yourself:
- What is my personal ethos?
- How has it shaped me as an individual?
- What has it led me to accomplish?
- What are some of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn in this lifetime (so far) that I can teach to others?
By starting with these questions, you may begin to discover what your underlying message is. What gives you confidence? This can be a big “a-ha” moment for many people as it often involves the introspective questioning of who you are and what makes you different from everyone else out there.
The next step will be to prioritize those elements you’ve determined as the key components of your story. You can’t fit everything into a 30-second elevator pitch, so it’s crucial to determine which pieces of your persona are going to be the most important to your story.
Some examples of these key pieces could be:
- How you faced adversity and persevered
- The lessons you’ve learned along the way
- The skills and abilities you possess that make you unique
- An event in your life that made a profound impact on who you were and who you’ve become today
Now that you have your key components in mind, it’s time to put them together into a single story. Take your time with this as it can be an overwhelming process. Don’t worry about getting it right the first time. Don’t be afraid to ask those around you for input as well.
Using your key components as a guide, start writing out some short anecdotes that show how these elements played an integral part of your story and why you’re qualified to help others achieve their goals as well. What were some of the challenges you faced? How did you overcome them? What advice would you give to others facing similar struggles?
Write down as much as you can about your story and keep going until you feel that you have a clear and concise telling of your journey.
With your story in mind, it’s now time to take the essential pieces and put them into a short pitch format that can be used at networking events or in reference to your brand when introducing yourself online or in person.
Shorten what you’ve written to about two or three sentences and start to think about how you can work your key components into a catchy line or two that sticks in someone’s mind and leads them to ask you more questions.
With your full story and elevator pitch in hand, start experimenting with different ways you can share your story online.
Maybe you can condense a recent experience that reminded you of your key message into a single tweet. Maybe you reminisce about a particularly tough challenge in an Instagram post. Maybe you record a video discussing how you overcame a major setback.
Whatever your preferred platform is, don’t be afraid to play. It will take some time to see what lands with your audience and what they respond to the most.
That being said, it helps to know who your audience is and what their needs, desires, fears, and dreams are. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you could end up attracting the wrong audience — and that’s not what you want at all.
Target market research is an effective way to get to know your audiences on a more intimate level. You can either conduct the research yourself by using social media, blogs, or websites where you have access to people who are following you. Or if it’s something that needs to be done more thoroughly, hire someone with experience in this field to get an accurate idea of who is expected to connect with your message
Your stories need to feel as natural as possible as if they’re coming from the heart of an ordinary person like yourself, not some “made-up hero” archetype or a celebrity.
How do you achieve that?
By staying authentic to who you are (not exaggerating the truth to get more likes or views), you will be able to share who you are in a way that people can relate to and connect with. When people find themselves wrapped up in your story, they’ll want to come back for more.
Storytelling has been one of our signature methods of communicating for thousands of years. With more content being generated every second thanks to social media, blogging, and video marketing more than ever before, it’s important to find a way to craft your story effectively so people will be willing to take notice of you above all the other internet noise.
Remember that storytelling isn’t just about being creative — it’s also about knowing who you are and what you have to offer if someone takes the time to listen. When you’re telling your story in an authentic yet creative way that people will connect with, it is sure to help you stand out.
Stories share our experiences and offer meaning. Our brains look for the story in experiences to make sense of them. Telling stories is the best way to teach, persuade, and understand one another. We remember and make connections more easily when information or experience is pinned to a story.
Using storytelling create more authentic communication and emotional connections with the target customer and thereby strengthens a company’s brand. Besides, the company needs to clearly determine its brand identity in order to effectively deliver the right message to the target customer.
Brand storytelling is a strategy used in brand marketing to increase brand awareness. Brand storytelling can strengthen and increase your audience by creating an emotional connection to your audience. Today’s audience is driven by personal connections that they make with brands.