Storytelling Ideas to Connect With an Audience

4 Storytelling Ideas to Connect With Your Audience

Posted on Posted in Career

Nowadays, connecting with your audience and getting noticed by the right people is a challenge—especially when you’re trying to cut through the social media noise. But telling your story is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd.

After interviewing over 100 entrepreneurs, change makers and innovators from around the world, here’s what I know for sure: sharing your story may be a deciding factor on whether a customer chooses your business over the competition. It could persuade a journalist to write about your company and it can make your business more appealing to an investor or sponsor.

Seriously, when I wrote an article on my blog about how I quit my six-figure job because I struggled to fit into Corporate America, it helped me:

  • Build my community online
  • Attract clients
  • Land speaking engagements
  • Build strategic partnerships with a few kick ass women in business
  • Get paid freelance writing opportunities

The thing is, people crave authenticity. My article, which I later turned into an ebook, wasn’t successful because I talked about “what I did,” it was successful because I talked about why I quit my job. The “Why” got people talking. Then, once I turned the article into an ebook, I took it step further and talked about my setbacks, struggles, and failures. Listen, I failed miserably and hit rock bottom, but I knew my story would help people. Sharing my struggles was key to attracting potential clients, writing gigs, speaking engagements, etc.

 
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People don’t want to be sold. They want to feel emotionally connected to who you are. They want to feel inspired. A great story includes your unique voice, a personal challenge, lessons learned, and a call to action for your audience. When it comes to choosing the platform to share your story, you should start with sharing a story on your personal website and then recreate the story in multiple forms across your social networks–mainly, the online places where your audience hangs out.

Here are 4 powerful ways to tell your story and connect with your audience:

 

STORY 1: “Frustration Brings About Change

Many business ideas are born out of frustration. And believe it or not, many people become well-renowned speakers and business thought leaders by sharing their frustrating experiences.

 

Answer the following:  What frustrates you the most about your industry? What’s your insight or perspective about how these pain points can be improved for your target audience? Did a frustrating situation help you to determine your core values– the guiding principles that dictate your behavior and action? What steps did you take to solve this challenge?

 

STORY 2:“Setbacks Lead to Success”

{Cues Drake}”Started from the bottom now we’re here.Started from the bottom now the whole team here.” Ok, I think you get the point.

 

Everyone loves a good old rag to riches story. Describe one major obstacle you faced in your career? How did you turn this setback into success? How did you feel? Were you afraid, confused or angry? Who were the key players? Who was the villain? Who was the hero? Identify at least 6 steps you took to turn things around. What resources did you use? How long did it take for you to succeed?

 

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STORY 3: “Your Mess Becomes Your Message’

I strongly believe that most people have an “Aha moment, a defining moment or an “F” this I’m out of here” moment, which empowers them to take action. Pick your dramatic moment.

  • “An Aha moment” – is inspiration, insight or something you discovered on a whim. For instance, Sara Blakely had an “Aha” Moment That Launched Spanx, a billion dollar undergarment company. “When I was in my mid-20s, I spent $80 of my hard-earned money on a pair of white pants, which I couldn’t wear. It was an undergarment issue: Panties bunched or showed lines, thongs were too uncomfortable, and girdles, or shapers, were made of a thick material that felt like you were wearing athletic clothes beneath your nice ones. So one day, I cut the feet out of a pair of pantyhose so I could wear my white pants. That was my “aha” moment.
  • “Defining moment” – an experience that reveals something bigger than life itself. A defining moment can also be a feeling that it’s all coming together. Sometimes it’s a series of experiences—but typically the moment changes you forever.
  • “F This I’m Out of Here” moment – an experience that forces you to make a decision under extreme uncertainty. Sometimes this experience comes from a place of disappointment, anger or frustration. It’s that moment when you realize your worth and decide to take a leap of faith. While working as a consultant at a major consultant firm my client, who paid for travel expenses like food, hotel corporate housing, etc., requested that I live with a member of my team–that was my aha moment that it was time for me to take my chances.

 

STORY 4: “Before and After”

Tell a customer/client story -Success stories are a great way to engage a potential customer. It’s all about the experience you provided for someone, so  take your audience on a journey by answering the following questions:

  • What problem did you solve?
  • Who did you solve it for (e.g., a busy mom, unemployed college graduate)?
  • What were they struggling with? Identify the mistakes they made before experiencing your products or services. What were the consequences of these mistakes?
  • How did this person feel before and after they invested in your services? Consider emotional triggers and messages. For instances, fear, guilt, embarrassed, frustrated, inspired, belonging, time, etc. Did you simplify things for them,  help them save money, avoid a headache…..,etc.?
  • Describe the process you took your customer through to make their lives easier.

Don’t forget, your story should include the desired action you want your audience to take. For instance, do you want them to subscribe, share, donate, comment, buy etc.

 

Which story will you choose? Drop me a comment below!

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