What makes YOU special? This is the most important thing to know when communicating to attract customers because YOUR STORY is what distinguishes your business from others. Knowing your story will allow you to authentically communicate with your clients. How? When you know and embrace your story, you speak the truth in everything you say.
Don’t believe me? Try this out:
A. I’m a professional organizer
B. I’m a professional organizer who loves to cook and has tons of gadgets and has spent years coming up with ways to wrangle my gadgets so I specialize in organizing kitchens and I’m REALLY good at getting your kitchen organized and anyone who doesn’t have their kitchen organized by me is really missing out.
Clarifying your story allows you to understand and embrace:
- the value of what you have to offer
- the fact that no one else can offer it (because no one else is YOU)
- that customers need what you’re providing
Finding their story is the first step I take when small business owners want my help with social media and marketing. When I was a newspaper reporter, I had to practice the skills of uncovering someone’s story quickly and then re-telling that story in a compact, compelling way. How do I discover their story? I ask questions.
My Social Media Plan Questionnaire breaks down the difficult “What is your story?” question into four manageable pieces that explore the business owner, her business, her customers and her goals. Instead of asking for a person’s autobiography, I ask a person — metaphorically — where he grew up and who he played with. In this way, we uncover the good stuff that makes a business interesting and indispensable.
First in my Social Media Plan Questionnaire, we explore a person’s business, the reason they’ve called me in the first place. They need to market their business. I ask a lot of questions but listed below are the most powerful in each category.
Next, I ask about a business' customers. We have our own goals and dreams, but we don't build our business in a vacuum. The need we fulfill for someone else is a HUGE part of our story. Who are the people you’re selling to? They define your story as much as your parents and siblings define your autobiography.
Then we investigate you. You're the person who woke up one morning and decided it would be a great idea to open a store or start a solopreneur business or write a book (if you'd only decided to sleep in that morning, amiright?). Why? Explore what dreams, gifts and problem-solving efforts you bring to your enterprise, and you'll be one step closer to finding your story.
Finally, we look at your goals. Our goals tell our stories like nothing else. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" was one of the first questions we were asked as kids. What do you want your business to be when it grows up?
Now take a step back and look at your answers. In repeated themes, in items you got excited about as you answered a question, and in realizations you only had in the process of the exercise, is your story. Embrace your story, include it in your messaging, and your customers-turned-fans will come flocking.