In the business ownership and personal branding space there are two types of people: Those that want to gain higher and higher authority as the expert in their field and those that are lying.
It really is the name of the game for all thought leaders, trainers, mentors, consultants, speakers and any other personal-brand-driven business owners who make a living by pushing meaningful words out of their mouth. Which makes sense really, the more authority we have as people the more we are listened to, so it very quickly becomes the north star for anyone aiming to make a name for themselves in such industries.
Exhibit A and B being the behavioural influence anyone in a police uniform or ‘Dr.’ at the start of their name has over us.
And one of the most memorable ways to gain this elusive authority is to have a story.
We as humans love to follow the stories of their fellow kind – it gives us something to relate to and to believe in, something to get lost in and something to rediscover a part of ourselves in.
We as people love to hear the story of someone similar to us overcoming all challenges and conquering their most pressing internal and external demons to become a better person on the other end. We experience certainty through hanging around others that have solved massive problems and gain a sense of confidence from knowing they have results that do the talking for them.
Where many business owners and personal brands get stuck is believing they don’t actually have a story of their own. They feel their history of the challenges and obstacles they’ve needed to overcome to get to where they are, aren’t valid enough to be worthy of sharing… and even if they were, the destination to which they’ve arrived doesn’t have enough validity of its own yet, either.
‘What story do I have to tell, really?’ they ask, ‘who would even bother to listen?’
And the answer is always: More than you are aware of, or will ever have the chance to be aware of.
You see, there are two things that work strongly in the favour of the modern story teller:
- Stories are all relative
Whenever the belief is raised that a particular story is boring, uninspiring or useless, the response should always be along the lines of ‘compared to what?’. Stories and their importance to the listener are all relative, and every story told throughout history has had a mass of people who have connected with it as well as a mass of people who have ignored it after the first line.
It’s completely normal.
Some stories aren’t inspiring enough, other stories are too inspiring to actually be able to relate to. Some stories can feel like the person they centre around are exactly like us, other stories involve people and environments we simply have no way of relating to.
The story you have to tell will never impact everyone, but that isn’t the point. The point is to tell it for the people that it does impact, however few or many that may be. Those are the people that matter most, because they are the ones who want to follow you and will continue to tell their friends family about you, growing your reach significantly in the process.
- Our opportunity to tell our story has never been more prevalent
The platforms through which we can tell our story as a business owner only grow in both quality and quantity by the week. Social media channels now give anyone with a phone in their pocket a voice where they never had it before, and the reach of such messages can go ‘viral’ in a matter of moments.
Such platforms are also masterful in knowing the behavioural and consumption preferences of their ideal user, and with this comes not only the opportunity to share our story, but also the ability to target that story at the exact market that will respond most warmly to it.
What this essentially means is that the people sitting around the campfire have already been organised and now they’re just waiting for the storyteller to arrive.
And so to be able to tell our story to those people isn’t just an opportunity we now have, its essential if we’re to be the most servitude-based business owner we can be.
Be the brand that is proud of their story – proud of the challenges they’ve overcome, confident in what they’re creating right now and excited by the future that is to come. Regardless of where you are in the journey of building your business, there’s always a story to tell.
And where there’s a story being told, there’s sure to be a campfire of followers listening intently nearby.
Darcy J Smyth is the lead trainer of the Tonal Persuasion Method for Sales, the methodology designed to ensure you’re closing sales without the dreaded ‘Hard Sell’ that urns so many buyers away in the modern business landscape.