Having the wrong story can feel like a complete nightmare! It can feel like being thrown round and round in a spin dryer not going anywhere! For much of my life, I felt that way…
Because I was stuck in the wrong story. As a business storyteller of 20 years, I know that’s not great.
In this article, I share with you the pitfalls of having the wrong story or no story. I show you how to get back to the right business story which helps you access the right clients, partners and conversations. I leave you with questions to focus you on how telling the right story showcases more brilliantly the services you would love to bring to your ideal clients.
1. Tell the right story
The truth is, for years, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t have a clue! Drifting from law to information management, market research and business planning, my heart didn’t sing. Then my soulmate, my brother, said ‘those careers are not creative enough for you, Katherine’.
Stumbling across storytelling, I discovered a natural ability to help a technical sales community in a large telco sell a complex portfolio by marketing with storytelling. Multimillion deals were signed. I tumbled into my vocation! Now my story is about helping clients (particularly technical ones) put their story at the heart of their marketing strategy to attract like-hearted clients. I do love content marketing with storytelling!
Then I took job roles, more to do with traditional content marketing than storytelling.
Later on, tempted back to roles more about traditional marketing than storytelling, I lost my way and I lost my WHY. Something awful happened. I fell off a loft ladder, breaking my back in two places, spending a year recuperating.
Getting sucked into telling the wrong story which attracts the wrong clients is disastrous!
Thankfully, that fall and bang on the head landed me back on my feet! I followed my heart, launching a storytelling company to guide technical and B2B customers to the right clients, through story-driven content marketing.
What do you love doing in life as well as business? What do you truly value? Can you bring the unique personality of the person or people behind your business into your marketing content? To start a conversation with your ideal clients?
2. Have the right content marketing strategy
The truth is, the wrong business story traps us in a living nightmare, with the wrong clients, not going anywhere! But the right story about what we love doing gets dream customers to love us back. Here’s how.
Recently a technology prospect, shaking his head sadly, admitted he’d fallen out of love with his business. He’d spent the last ten years barely scraping by without a Marketing plan or a story.
His heart was missing from his communications.
So, together we brought back the heart into his business through:
❤ a brand story showing his passionate quest to save his struggling clients from financial ruin with a neat solution which addresses the ‘moment of truth’ where they’re losing money
❤ a story-driven content marketing solution to show how he helps his clients to not just survive but thrive
❤ his brand story embedded into every piece of marketing content in every customer touchpoint and conversation
💡 The result? My client rediscovered his smile. Now his story is the beating heart of his business, he’s getting in front of more prospects and his order book is filling.
So, does your story show what you love doing for those you love to serve?
Is your story cutting through the noise and getting heard?
3. Focus on the right client personas
When I began my storytelling business I chose anyone, attracting no one or the wrong ones! Now I niche down to those I care about, in the neck of the woods where I’ll find them.
Because the wrong clients, like hedgehogs, can be prickly!
Here’s one scenario I’ve learned from…
🦔 They want a discount
🦔 They are unavailable for sign-offs
🦔 Instead of 8 weeks, the work might take 8 months
🦔 Goalposts change as well as the brief
🦔 This can turn into a nightmare
The right client relationships are written in the stars and I adore working with them.
⭐ They value us highly and listen to us
⭐ They are generally available when needed
⭐ We stick to the agreed schedule
⭐ They are a dream to work with
Yes, give and take is important. But trapped in the wrong story with the wrong clients is dismal.
So let’s team up with the dream client relationships, written in the stars. Choose the right story with the clients you deserve.
Who is your dream client? Who is it you truly care about and love to serve?
4. Have an authentic story as original as snowflakes or fingerprints.
Even identical twins have different fingerprints! In the same way, every business has a unique story fingerprint.
The truth is, if we’re not authentic, we risk telling a confused story and living a lie. We lose our joy as well as the best opportunities.
Here’s why not telling the right story holds us back:
🤐 no-one knows who we are, least of all ourselves
🤐 we lose our joy and purpose
🤐 we don’t attract the right clients or get the right referrals
🤐 we’re not inspired to do our best work
Instead, let’s make our brand story:
😀 visible in all our content and instantly recognisable
😀 part of a consistent, cohesive presence everywhere
😀 the upbeat, beating heart of our businesses, attracting like-minded, like-hearted people
Personally my first love is helping technical and fact-based companies make their story DNA the catalyst for every client conversation.
Are you impressing your authentic story fingerprint upon everything you write, say and do?
Are you being noticed by the right people?
Are you showing the real, authentic you?
5. Make your own lane and don’t obsess about the competition
If we obsess about clashing horns with competitors or copying others, we lose sight of our own story and forget to celebrate who we are, like these two angry male impalas, fighting in a Namibian road, last year, oblivious to the danger of our oncoming car.
The truth is, it is dangerous to copy other people or clash with our competitors because ⚠ Our story becomes a poor counterfeit of someone else because
⚠ We lose our direction
⚠ We miss our true vocation
⚠ Our journey is a struggle not a celebration
Better to bask in the glory of our own true story
💡 The ups, downs, learning and light bulb moments
💡 The unique difference we bring to our clients
💡 The joy and purpose driving us forwards
As a storyteller who loves helping technical and fact-based companies bring to life the true story which sets them apart, that’s my feeling.
Let’s ask ourselves
❓Is our journey completely different from anyone else’s. Should we obsess about or even feel that we have any direct competitors?
❓ Should we be focusing on finding our own unique story and telling it better?
6. Work with the right partners
Like Elmo, the great grey owl in the photo, the wrong suppliers and partners get us facing in the wrong direction! Here’s why:
When I began my storytelling business, I must admit, I held on too long to a partnership and supplier story which didn’t always serve my business
This led me to
🙄 Saying yes to those whose agenda (whether to sell a website, mastermind, online or offline network, community or programme) was to take my money, not necessarily help my company grow
🙄 Doing associate work not focused on the ideal clients I love to serve
🙄 Guilty of a huge error of judgement: staying stuck in the wrong collaborations too long
A flash of inspiration showed me how to make my business fly:
⚡ Acting like a CEO, only making decisions which positively impact the bottom line
⚡ Working with clients who are a joy to serve, with partners and suppliers whose interests and agendas closely align with mine,
Let’s work hand in glove with partners and suppliers who share the same vision as we do. Who are your dream suppliers and partners?
Do they have your best interests at heart?
Are they facing the same direction as you?
7. Avoid having no business story
I find it frustrating to read social media profiles and websites with no information about the people behind their business on their About or Why Us summary.
I wonder ‘are they real? Where’s the story hook to frame a conversation?’.
Here’s why no story is bad for your communications:
😖 We can’t picture the person behind the business or ‘feel’ what you care about, with the face and heart absent.
😖 We risk missing the ideal clients we love to serve or work with the wrong ones.
Here are some ways to let your personality percolate through your marketing messages:
📖 Have a core story that uncompromisingly reflects what you care about, everywhere, including social media. Your LinkedIn About summary allows 2600 characters. Lots of space to share your story!
📖 Use your Website About and Why Us pages to say why you love what you do, making your clients look like heroes too.
📖 Use each marketing message, e.g. a factsheet, video, lead magnet, blog, whitepaper or case study, to continuously evolve your story. Talk about the hard lessons. Vulnerability makes us human and relatable.
In the words of Simon Sinek, author of an awesome book called ‘Start With Why’, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”.
Besides offering facts about your business are you putting yourself in the picture as well?
Getting sucked into telling the wrong story (or no story) which attracts the wrong clients and partners can be disastrous! It’s far better to have the right story, impressed into everything we write, say and do.
Then you will stand out from the competition. Rather than you having to ask your ideal clients for their business, they will be knocking on your door, asking if they can work with you.
If you are trapped in the wrong story, which doesn’t show and tell the difference you make to your clients as well as the depth and breadth of what you do, then let’s have a chat. Let’s talk through a content marketing solution which points the right story at the right people so you are easily recognisable everywhere, through a consistent brand identity.
Contact me on +44 (0) 7703545117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to chat!
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