Comparisonitis. Does it happen to you?
It happens to me all the freakin’ time. You know the feeling – you log on to your laptop, open up Instagram and there they are. Waving all their Likes and Comments in your face. Taunting you with their 6-figure revenue and content that makes you howl with laughter. Even while you’re stewing in your own green-eyed despair.
That used to be me. I get it. And it SUCKS.
But instead of spending my days seething over how awesome their content was and how sucky mine was…I decided to study. And I noticed a pattern.
There are people in my feeds with crazy followers and obsessive fans – fans who buy everything. And I mean EVERYTHING they sell, even if it means remortgaging their house or styling it out in a crusty old pair of heelless stilettos.
That’s loyalty. And that loyalty was built through sharing personal stories that dial up their Why, their values and the personality traits they want to be known for.
So I’ve broken down the patterns I noticed online and distilled them down into a simple framework you can use to tell personal stories in your marketing. And here it is:
1) Your 1 CORE Story
The top level of the Story Pyramid is your core story – your big WHY. It’s the story that led you to serve your customers in the way you do.
You’ll have only one core story, which should be a story that mirrors the journey you clients are on right now.
It’s a story that explains how you overcame the pain your clients are currently experiencing, and gives them a glimpse of how their future could look if you work together.
Your core story is the one you’ll use for your About Me page, and if you’re looking for coverage in the press.
2) Your 2-3 Story Themes
If you dig in to your more significant memories from childhood right up to today, you’ll start to see common themes emerging.
My memory bank’s full of stories of bullying, performance anxiety and a passion for discovering new knowledge. And these are the experiences that shaped me and made me who I am today.
Once you’ve uncovered these themes, you should use them regularly throughout your marketing. Even if you feel like a bore, spouting the same stories again and again – these are the stories which will connect most deeply with your ideal clients.
In many cases, your ideals clients will have had similar experiences so they’ll identify with yours and begin to trust you more deeply.
Keep the number of story themes small because you don’t want to confuse your audience with too many plots to remember you by. The key here is to create a feeling of familiarity through repetition.
3) Your 5-6 Brand Values
It’s time to step into the PRESENT and share stories that demonstrate your core values.
The thing with values is that it’s super easy to spout things like ‘I believe in integrity’ or ‘I have an open mind.’
You’ve got to show that you’re actually LIVING those values for them to be true in the mind of your buyer.
And the best way to show how you’re living your values is to share stories that demonstrate them from your day to day.
If you say you believe in environmental sustainability don’t – for the love of God – share a photo of you holding a disposal coffee cup while lobbing an empty crisp packet onto the floor. Or joke about how you just drove your gas-guzzling Chelsea Tractor 2 minutes down the road because you couldn’t be bothered to walk.
Share stories about how your family has started composting. Or how you only buy biodegradable nappies. These stories don’t have to be life-changing or super dramatic. But they should act as proof of the values you hold.
4) Your 10 Key Characteristics
Staying in the present, the bottom layer of the story pyramid is all about using stories to show your personality traits, interests, opinions, likes and dislikes.
Think of 10 things that you’d like people to say about you when you’re not in the room.
Perhaps you’re a foodie, or you’re obsessed with I’m a Celebrity.
Maybe you’re a nerd, or you’re super adventurous. Similar to your values, it’s easy to say you’re adventurous but can you prove it?
Sharing little anecdotes is the best way to convince your audience that what you’re saying about yourself is true. It can be tempting to try to list hundreds of personality traits, interests or likes and dislikes. Don’t.
You want to keep this list to no more than 10 items, so you’re constantly telling stories that demonstrate a small number of crucial jigsaw pieces that fit together to make Brand You.
You want to distil your personality down into a potent identity that’s you unmistakably you.
When you’re creating marketing content, the easiest option is to write generic material that’s helpful, yes…but so vanilla even my 6-month old would give you a lick. There’s no soul, no personality and nothing of substance for your audience to cling to when they’re looking for help.
Your stories are the thing that’s going to help you build deeper connections with your audience. And by sharing these 4 types of stories, you’ll soon start to build an army of obsessed customers.
Is your messaging drowning in a sea of BORING content?
Want to find precisely the right stories to help you build an army of raving fans and obsessed buyers?
Download my Super Simple Story Marketing Framework and discover the secret to building an army of raving fans and obsessed buyers.
(I mean, if you’ve got the ammo – it totally makes sense to use it, right?)
Click the button below and download my FREE Super Simple Story Marketing Framework