Remember the Good Old Days?
When it used to be easy to buy the simple things in life…like, say, a notepad and pen…
You nipped down to WHSmiths in your lunch break, looked at the two options sitting on the shelf, picked one and marched triumphantly out the door in under 5 minutes.
I don’t know about you but it takes me at least 2 hours to choose the best pad from the 10,000 options on Amazon. So I either buy nothing or hastily buy the wrong one in a moment of exasperation.
I often hear similar complaints from business owners struggling to share their personal stories online. Each day we’re involved in hundreds of mini dramas, and it can be hard to know which ones to talk about to tie in with your messaging. So you end up saying nothing…or sharing irrelevant stories that confuse your clients.
But there is a solution.
If you build yourself a much narrower story framework, you remove Choice Overwhelm and make it easy on yourself to know what to say. And you create clearer messaging and a stronger brand identity in the process.
So here are 6 simple steps you need to take to find the right stories for your business:
1) Do a brain dump
On a blank sheet of paper do a brain dump of any significant memories that spring to mind when you think back over your life so far.
This could take a few minutes if you’re feeling inspired, or a few days.
The important thing is to give yourself space to let the memories come to you naturally.
2) Rate your memories
Alongside each of your memories, write a score according to how positive or negative it was for you. (Minus 5 for your most painful memories, and Plus 5 for your most positive ones).
3) Choose your Top 5
Look at the scores you’ve given your memories. And from your list, pick the 5 memories with the highest or lowest rating.
Ideally this should give you a mixture of both extremely happy memories, and extremely sad ones.
But don’t worry if they’re out of balance – these are your stories and there’s no right or wrong answer.
4) Ask yourself Why?
Understanding why your Top 5 memories matter so much to you, will help you to see what drives you deep down. For each of your most significant memories, ask yourself these questions:
- what is it about this story that really matters to me?
- what impact did this story have on me and the others involved?
- what was it about the experience that you loved/hated?
- Of all the stories that you could have written down, why did this one stand out?
5) Spot the common themes
Once you’ve answered the questions above, you should start to see some common themes emerging in your answers.
(In my case, my past is littered with stories of bullying, a search for my purpose and a hunger for new knowledge.)
Your stories will also point you towards your core values – things like: courage, honesty, self-awareness…or any other traits that matter to you.
Make a list of 3-4 main themes and 5-6 values that you want to demonstrate through your stories.
6) Check your stories
Now that you’ve identified your key themes and values, you need to dial them up! While they make up only a small part of what makes you YOU, these are the parts of you that you want to show off to your ideal clients.
Because it’s these characteristics that matter most to you, and make up the essence of your brand. They allow your audience to see clearly what you stand for and what makes you different.
So whenever you share a personal story online, refer back to your list of key themes and values and make sure it relates to one or more of them. If there’s no connection – regardless of how good the story might be – toss it in the bin.
Limiting your options makes it easier for you to pick out your stories, and helps keep your messaging clear and consistent. You now have a solid framework of themes and values you can use to select which stories to share, and which to ignore. So you can go out and tell stories that will boost your brand, clarify your message and increase sales in your business.
If you’re not clear on the key stories you should be sharing – download a copy of my FREE STORY DISCOVERY cheat sheet.
Click below and get your FREE copy today.