As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you are looking for a way to engage the minds and get into the hearts of your ideal clients. The people you love to work with. The people who just make your heart sing, and you wake up in the morning because you are beyond jazzed to help them do great things.
How do you attract those amazing people? Tell a great story. Create an experience for that ideal client of why they want to be doing business with you.
Let's face it – there are thousands of graphic designers, massage therapists, accountants and speech coaches out there. What makes you stand out? Your story. I've often said personality is persuasive. You show your personality best through the story you tell.
These are the three stories that all small business owners should have in the back pocket at all times. Whether you are at a networking event and someone wants to hear more, speaking to your local Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce, or even on your "About Me" page on your website, tell them!
1. Mission critical story. This story is the why behind what you do. It's the a-ha moment you had about why you wanted to be a small business owner in the first place. My friend, Rebecca, is an interior designer and her "Why?" is: "If you change your physical space, you can change your life." And she's got the stories to back it up. My "Why?" is: "I believe that communication can change the world, but you've got to open your mouth and speak your truth."
I once heard an entrepreneur say "What I'd love to be doing doesn't make me money, so I do this." Yikes! Not a good "Why?" Your clients are going to know you're doing it just for the cash.
People want to know your "Why?" before they buy. After all, they're not just buying your services, they're buying into the mission that is you.
2. Turning point story. This is the how you got where you currently are today. Somewhere along the line this story got bastardized into "I was homeless and now I'm a millionaire." To me, this story exposes a vulnerability and shows how you turned it into a strength that builds your business.
This stories include a financial planner who went from financial mess to success, and how he now teaches his clients to do the same. Or a health coach who had a big health scare, overcame it and now coaches people to lead healthy lives. As a speech coach, I haven't always been a great speaker. In fact, I got a "C" in my first public speaking class and that "C" turned into a Ph.D. in communication. Now, I teach people to find their voice and tell their story.
These stories communicate that you as the business have been where your clients currently are. It allows clients to see their story in yours. Finally, it lets them know you know how to overcome the obstacles.
3. Stunning results story. What results do you produce for your clients? I'm always amazed that small business owners do not have a great answer to this question. As an entrepreneur, this story should always be on the tip of your tongue. Pick one or two of your favorite clients whose problem you helped solve. Showcase that story. Better yet, see if you can interview them to get their perspectives. Get their emotions.
The formula for this is simple. Why your client came to you, the transformation that occurred and the result it produced. Some of my favorite clients to work with are the ones with an enormous fear of speaking. One client had a panic attack during the last presentation she gave and then never got up to speak again. Until she had to for her job. By working with me, busting through her fear and understanding how to prepare for a presentation, she gave a successful presentation that impressed her boss, helped her career and most importantly gave her confidence.
One thing to note: Results must be concrete. As a result of working with you, how did your client make more money, get more clients or get ahead in their career or dream? Also, how did it make them feel? Concrete Results + Emotional Transformation = Stunning Results.
Business owners – get these stories in your back pocket today. You need them for your website, presentations, blog posts, networking, one-on-one conversations and sales pitches. Your story is what makes you stand-out and makes would-be clients connect to you. Need help crafting a story that connects?