Your brand story is your why. It the thing that motivates you to get up every morning and be an entrepreneur, even when it’s really hard. It’s also the heart of how to grow your brand. Your story is what connects you with people who will love and support you, not just your products and services. We have so many choices when it comes to the purchases we make. Those choices are made easier when we support the who and the what behind the product or service. We want to feel good about what we are supporting with our dollars. Think about a time when you bought a product because you loved the person who made it. What was it about their why, their mission, or personality that made you a fan?
You don’t have to have a huge story like TOMS to be interesting to people. You just have to be yourself.
I noticed that my friend had on a beautiful necklace that looked just like the style of jewlry my maker friend makes. I told her I loved it and she launches into this story about how she bought it at the Farmer’s Market from this girl who makes all of her jewlery at home with her two little boys and sells it on the weekends at the farmer’s market. It was my friend! Valerie was so excited to tell me the brand story of this necklace and its maker. You can have this same kind of excitement from your customers, but it starts with sharing.
How to tell your brand story (not your life story).
Your brand story is telling your why as it is related to the product or service that you offer. We don’t have to share every dirty detail of our life to be authentic and connect with our potential customers, just how our story connects to what we do and how it serves others. Imagine that you are having coffee with a friend who needs to hear your story for some encouragement. What’s the 3-minute version that hits the highlights?
• The problem – What was the thing that was happening in your life, or the problem that you needed a solution for that started you down the path to becomming an entrepreneur? Maybe you had a baby and wanted to be home, or your husband lost his job and you needed to make more money. Did you have an amazing product or service idea because it was something you needed for yourself? Think about people who are reading this and how they may relate to this same problem.
• The struggle – Tell us about the messy middle where you made your idea work. This is the hero’s saga where you bring your ideas to life. This stage of our story involves lessons, failures, and victories. Think about how you can inspire people.
• A new beginning – This is the part of your story where you talk about the payoff and celebrate your success. You have come full circle from having an idea and developing a mission to executing your mission and living our your vision. Talk about how the product or service you have affects people and how the success of this makes you feel.
How to use your brand story
• Use your brand story as your foundation in building your business. Your brand story is how you come up with your mission. You may change your ideal client or how you do things, but your mission never changes.
• Keep yourself in alignment. Anytime in your business when you are not feeling happy with the way things are going, or you are comparing yourself to someone else use your why to check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “Am I living my why?” If your why is to work for clients that you love, and you are, then you are successful! If your why is to spend more time with your family, but you are working all of the time, then you know what you have to change. You can move on to how to make the change.
• Develop social media strategies. Your brand story can become one of the buckets of content that you share on social media and in your newsletters. Maybe every Friday you post a picture of yourself and share a story that relates back to your why. What was it like the first time you got paid for doing what you love? How is going to work now different from before you started your own business?
• Create your about page. Your about page isn’t really about you. It’s about telling your brand story as it relates to how you can help people solve the problems that they are having with some personal details about you sprinkled in.
We all have a story and sharing yours will help you build a brand of loyal fans who support what you do. They will buy your products and services while raving about you to their friends. Don’t be afraid to let yourself be seen. Share your story and watch your business grow.