Episode 24: Do you not have a story? - Business Bites

Do you not have a story?

Episode 24 on the Business Bites Podcast

The Gist Of This Episode: Having a story to tell is critical in this world of social media marketing…but many of you think you don’t have one or it may not be “good enough”.  Here are Rachel’s steps on how to find it and use it!

What you will learn:

  • How to use your story without overdoing it
  • Identifying your story
  • How to connect your story to your audience
  • and more!

Expand To Read Episode Transcripts

Welcome to the Business Bites podcast, the podcast for busy entrepreneurs. Whether you’re an online entrepreneur, or seeking after brick and mortar success, this podcast brings you quick bites of the content so you can learn and grow anywhere you are. Now, here’s your host, Rachel Brenke.

Happy whatever day it is, wherever you guys are listening. My name is Rachel Brenke, and this is the Business Bites podcast. I have a quick 10 to 15-minute episode. We’ll see how long I actually end up talking today. I wanted to talk a little bit about having a story. I think one of the biggest things that people leave out in their marketing, in their business is this whole idea of sharing the story. Sharing who you are or how your business came about, because the problem is people always go, “I don’t have a compelling enough story.” Of course, yes, we have people on the opposite end of the spectrum who all they do is use their story. They use the most unfortunate circumstances in their life, some that they brought upon themselves, some that they didn’t. It really doesn’t matter either way. They just tend to overuse it.

So that’s my first tip with this before we get into identifying your story, is making sure that you’re not overusing the story because then your audience becomes deaf to it. They become blind to it, and they actually start to be repelled from you for it. No matter how sad or unfortunate it may be. In fact, the sadder and more unfortunate that it is, whether you brought it upon yourself or not, may actually exhaust people from wanting to listen to you, exhaust people from hearing your messaging because they just think is going to be another “sob story.”

Now, I don’t say all this to be insensitive or to devalue situations that have happened in life. I just simply say this to emphasize the fact that whatever story you have in your life, whether you think you have one or not if we’re going to talk about here in a second, use it in moderation. Use it when it’s going to connect the dots for your audience. For example, when you want to show that you’re relatable. Some of you may have a business brand that is you. It is who you are. Much like this podcast for me is kind of pretty much me, because it sits on rachelbrenke.com. Whereas I have other brands such as the Law Tog which is for photographers and it has been developed into a team-based type brand. So yes, it has a flavor of me since I’m the one created it and I’m the front person for the brand, but it’s not necessarily me as the brand over there.

So the story is intermixed but it’s not the front-runner, so either way, depending on if you are a business brand that is separate from yourself, whether it’s just you on the team or a bunch of other people or you’re a brand that is just you. The balance is really important. Use it in order to connect with the audience. Oftentimes, your story’s going to attract that client Avatar. If you don’t know how a client Avatar works for you over to one of the episodes, I will link [inaudible 00:03:08].

One of the very first podcast that I had in this series, talks about me a little bit, but in a nutshell, I am a mid-thirties mom of five. I am a team USA triathlete. I have this podcast. I have multiple blogs, but I am also a cancer survivor. I’m a mom of five and my husband is also a disabled army veteran and we went through lots, and lots, and lots of deployments and so I share all that because all of those together helped to formulate my story. By having all of that going on that is able to develop the insights that I have for you guys. It developed who I am today and the Avatar that I reach out to, in my audience, is a middle-30-something mom that has school age or preschool age kids and she’s much like me. So I emphasize and share my story and this balancing of business being efficient in business. Understanding that you may not always reach your goals on the timeline that you set much to the chagrin to maybe a business coach or a strategy consultant that you have, but the reality is life happens.

So that’s my first recommendation for you guys. Make sure that you use the story with balance and then make sure they’re using it to attract the people that you want to attract or to emphasize the reason for the product or service you have.
Another example of that is I have the book, The Laundry List. It can be found on Amazon and now I feel like this is a whole commercial, but I promise it’s not. I’m just using myself as a case study, but The Laundry List is a business book that arose out of this whole idea in needing to balance business and family life, and like the story in a nutshell that I just told you about me, that is how I bridged the gap for that. I used that story in order to attract other people in similar situations and the solution to some of their problems is the book, The Laundry List, so that’s all how it connects.

So some of you are probably thinking, “I don’t have a story. Nothing unfortunates happened to me.” Not that anybody would wish to have cancer or have their husband deployed to a foreign war for years. That’s okay. You don’t have to have something as extreme as that, but life is life. Life is not fair. We all have troubles and burdens and we also all have strengths that we can share. Those are how you can formulate your story. I know that if you guys look around and make a list of say five of your personal friends. You can probably identify their story relatively quickly, but if you ask them their story, they would go, “I don’t have a story.”
Unless it was something as hard hitting as kind of things that I’ve mentioned. It could be something as simple as having multiple children and trying to balance business. That seems pretty ordinary, it doesn’t seem like a major story, right, but it’s a story that you can connect to an audience, or maybe you are a nine to five professional and already committed career and you’re trying to run your business on the side. What are lessons that you’ve learned out of that? Maybe you have some recommendations for education for fellow business owners? Maybe your people that you’re trying to reach for that side business have a problem that’s very similar to yours in that capacity. So I suggest you guys go and sit and think, what is it in my life there some things that have developed me as a person? Perhaps it is something even initiated this business.

Maybe you have a product that solves a customer’s problem, okay. So one of my favorite people to follow, in the photography industry, is MagMod. It’s MagnetMod and it’s run by Spencer Lum and marketing genius, by the way. I have never shared that with him, so if he hears this high-five to you Spencer, but the way that he does and ties in this idea that photographers are having a hard time with the modifiers on their flashes on their camera. You can see how he connects the story of having that frustration in his own photography business as well as his team and identifying it in the industry and connects that with other elements of his story of being a dad and a husband and connects it, the story, to this physical plastic product, that is amazing, by the way, and this is totally not a paid thing. I just saw him in my feed and thought it was a great example for you guys as someone who has a physical product.

But he took the physical product, connects it with this story to the problem, and that is the solution that he has for his people who are going to be potential buyers. So I suggest that you guys sit down, figure out your story. Again, the formula or the checklist that I want you to run through are what are some tough things I’ve gone through in my life? What are some really good things that have gone through in my life? What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? What have I learned by trying to develop my weaknesses into strengths? Why is it that I started this business in the first place? What is the most pressing thing that my client Avatar has? What about that list of demographics that you’re going to listen to an episode 12 for client Avatar? What are some other demographics and how do I connect? How does my story connect to who they are?

So hope it helps you guys a little bit. Again, I warn you, don’t try to create unfortunate situations. Please don’t exaggerate your life story. Be authentic. Be real people connect to that. Brands are getting way more marketing traction because of the formation of the strength of social media these days by creating stories, connecting it to the problems and solutions that their client Avatars have, as well as the person that is running the brand or the brand itself. All right guys, good-

This has been Rachel, on this episode of the Business Bites. For show notes, a list of recommended tools or referenced episodes, you can find them at businessbitespodcast.com. Until next time.

About the author

Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, author and business consultant. She is currently helping professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.

Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke

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