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This week I want to talk about storytelling. Over the past few years I have built an incredible community of followers and subscribers and podcast listeners who have become almost like family to me and have been huge supporters throughout every change that I’ve made in my business. And I have had tons of people tell me that one of the reasons why they continue to follow me and support my brand is because they feel like they know me and can relate to my journey.
Many moons ago, when I launched my blog and started talking more about business one of my goals was to be “your homegirl that can also help you to get your business together” That was literally a goal of mine to come off as transparent and approachable.And over the years that has really paid of massively and I have to thank STORYTELLING for that. Over the past 9 years I have shared the ins and outs of how Ive run my business, the mistakes that I’ve made, the changes that I have gone through and have been really transparent about my mental health journey and how that has affected my business as well. I have laid it all out there on the internet but have received so many amazing opportunities because of it. Keynote speaking opportunities, new clients who have said that they resonate with my story and not to mention this year alone i’ve had more requests to be on podcasts than I have over the past year. It’s not been because im cute or have broke the internet with some groundbreaking never before heard of information. It’s because I have always remained consistent with telling my story and sharing my journey.
So this week I want to dig into the art of storytelling!
STEP ONE: Map out your story. There are a lot of pieces to our stories A LOT but we can’t uncover which parts are most important to share within our brand and content without first laying it all out. So here’s what I want you to do. Grab a sheet of paper and write where you currently are in your life or your business. That could be a six figure fitness coach, new author, homeschooling mom, whatever your current expertise is. From there I want you to write out the steps you took or major milestones you experienced that have gotten you to where you are today. Write everything. the good, the bad, the embarrassing. Don’t worry I will show you how to sort through this in the next step.
STEP TWO: Go through that list and do a process of elimination. Remove any pieces of that story map that does not directly align with where you are today and what you are helping your audience to achieve. For example, no really cares that shortly after quitting my job to work on my business full-time that I blew what little i had in savings on a trip to Miami. That’s irrelevant. People do care though that I hit major burnout from 1on1 coaching and the hustle culture which is what led me to helping other coaches and service based entrepreneurs to building their business with intention. Go back through your list and remove the unnecessary elements.So one of the big questions im often asked when it comes to storytelling is “How much do I share and what should i keep to myself?” If you’re worried about putting all of your business out on the internet, know that you can have boundaries and should have boundaries. If there are pieces of your story that are still really hard for you to speak about , you don’t have to. Or if there is anything that may be too triggering for you or for others its ok to keep that to yourself. I personally will only share my story.
Meaning if it has to do with my husband or my child or any other person who may be negatively affected by me sharing their story online, i wont do it or i will at the least ask for their permission to share. The more intimate pieces of your life or others live should be respected and not shared unless you feel comfortable to do so. So if my husband and i get into a huge argument, you will not see me rushing to social media to share or recording a podcast episode about it.Now if I waste money on a huge business investment that i thought was going to work, then i may share that but again thats because its a piece of only my story and it relates to what I do.
STEP THREE: Now that you have the main elements of your story, you need to be able to know when to use it and how to use it. First let’s start off with practicing. Your story should flow, well like a story.
You also need to know what piece of your story to tell and when. This is going to be really helpful for when you’re being interviewed. If im being interviewed about my journey as an entrepreneur thats when I would share more about my start from making jewelry to how that led to quitting my job and eventually starting my coaching business. if im being interviewed on what im doing today. Thats when i would share more about how 1on1 coaching and the hustle culture led me to burnout and thats why i now focus on building a business with intention.
STEP FOUR: Infusing your story into your brand and content. I mentioned sharing your story in interviews which is great for brand building, but how do people even know about your story before they ask you for the interview? First, start on your website. Pieces of your story and brand message should be all over your site but especially your about page. That’s where you can again tell the more relevant pieces of your story and how that has gotten you where you are today.Also in your content! Ive share bits of my story throughout this podcast episode but you see how you can connect a content idea and then use your story as proof to back up what you’re talking about.
For example if im writing a blog post on “The Biggest Marketing Myths” I could talk about my story and how i thought that marketing meant trying out everything and how following a lot of the marketing gurus led me to burnout which is why im where i am today.When you’re coming up with your topics, im sure and i hope you’re talking about subjects that you can personally relate to or have experienced, so find different ways to infuse bits of your story into that content.Ok as always i want to know what you think about this episode! If you’re listening , take a screenshot and share your biggest takeaway with me over on instagram im thealishanicole. Or if you’re watching this on youtube, leave a comment below! And i will see you next week!