People love a good story. “In Made to Stick, Gary Klein, a psychologist who studies high-pressure decision-making, suggests that stories are often retold because they contain wisdom. A story has the power to provide contextual simulation (knowledge about how to act) as well as inspiration (motivation to act). Both aspects are ‘geared to generate action’.”
Also, “People are bored. And when they’re hit up with standard marketing tactics, their eyes glaze over. Anything that isn’t even remotely interesting gets the delete button […] Humans have been telling stories for thousands of years. It’s the original way to transfer information.”
As an entrepreneur, the stories you share can act as a bridge between you and your customers. Stories will make you memorable and relatable.
As an entrepreneur, the stories you share can act as a bridge between you and your customers. Stories will make you memorable and relatable. Your personal brand story will make relationship building easier as you connect with customers on an emotional level.
The more you can emotionally connect with customers, the more they will trust you, relate to you, invest in you, and recommend you. In a nutshell, your personal brand story will help build your know-like-trust factor.
Building the know-like-trust factor warms potential customers up to you (after all, you have to date before you can get married!). It allows a customer to get to know you on a personal level and relate to you in a way they couldn’t through a professional bio or services page on your website.
The quickest way to build that trust is to tell your story.
The power of a compelling story
Your personal brand story should tap into the emotions of your potential customer and take them on a journey. After reading your story, your potential customer should think, “Wow, that’s so me! I had a similar experience, struggle, or issue.”
Under Armour – #RuleYourself campaign aims to redefine what it means to be successful in training.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and show your true, authentic self. Let your unique personality come out. This reminds your customers that you’re human too!
As you start thinking about your story and drafting the narrative, write using language that feels natural to you. For example, if you don’t typically swear in your every day life, ditch the profanity in your story.
Write in a conversational tone using first-person pronouns. “In the subjective case, the singular form of the first person is ‘I,’ and the plural form is ‘we.’ ‘I’ and ‘we’ are in the subjective case because either one can be used as the subject of a sentence (Grammar Girl).”
Pretend you are talking to your ideal customer one-on-one when writing your story. When they read your story, they will feel as if your message was intended just for them.
Warby Parker – ‘Our Story’ highlights a simplistic and thoughtful voyage of discovery.
If you are better at speaking than writing, you could always use a talk to text feature such as voice typing in Google Docs, speak your story and have it transcribed (just be sure to do a final edit).
Now, let’s get down to the story components!
The 7 components of a brand story
Here are 7 steps to create your personal brand story.
1. Set the stage
Introduce who you are and provide any background details. This would be a place to include your 1-3 sentence elevator pitch, followed by where you were at before a major event happened.
2. Introduce the major event
Provide details on a single major event that sparked the start of your story, which lead to the creation of your business.
3. Build the story
Build momentum and excitement of your story as you get close to the major turning point, or climax, of the story.
4. Detail the climax of the story
This is generally the most exciting part of your story and includes major aha moments, break throughs, changes in perspective, or revelations.
5. Wind down the story
Describe events or details that happened as a result of your aha moments, break throughs, changes in perspective, or revelations in step four.
6. Provide resolution
Explain how you solved the main problem, or overcame that particular struggle or issue. Explain why you do what you do.
7. Finish the story
Close your story by providing any remaining secrets or solutions. If you wish, include information about your vision or future plans. If you want to ensure you’re on the right track, download our brand story checklist to help you write your personal brand story.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Joy Martinez is a personal strengths and brand coach, the founder of StrengthsDNA. She helps entrepreneurs discover and leverage their unique talents, strengths, and personal brand for business success. You can connect with Joy on Facebook, Instagram, or read more tips on personal strengths and branding on her blog. Connect with @strengthsdna on Twitter.