Adding story to my content is something that I am continually working on so I thought it would be a good topic for this week. Maybe you are struggling with his too.
Story has been around since the beginning of time. Story is how we pass along knowledge from one generation to the next. It’s how the bible is written. It’s how your grandparents have shared their history. It’s been around forever and it’s how we connect with people, so why wouldn’t you include that in your content too?
My husband is a really good storyteller. In fact, sometimes his stories are a little too long and I tease him to “stop Honsvicking it”. It really is more of a term of endearment. 🙂 It’s a little bit of an inside joke that his family loves to tell stories. And my kids have picked it up too. They will tell us all about their “dreams” and they include these elaborate tales of what happened in the night.
On the other hand, telling stories is not something that I excel at. It’s something that requires absolute focus from me. I’m more of a get-to-the-point kind of gal.
But I do recognize the value of having story in your business. Why it absolutely should be in your content. Why it’s important to use in your day to day interactions. Story is what keeps your audience engaged and listening/reading to what you have to say.
Benefits of sharing story
There are lots of benefits of sharing a story in your business, but I’m going to focus on just a few.
- Authenticity. When you are sharing a story, when you are opening up and are vulnerable, people have a deeper reason to connect with you. They are drawn into what you have to say. It makes you more relatable. The more relatable you are, the more authentic you will feel. And the more people will naturally want to connect with you.
For example: when I talk about my kids, I always get more engagement. When I tie a story about my kids into my business, I typically get even more. People like knowing that I’m a mom and a business owner and that I’m making it work. So find a balance between your work life and your personal life and share that. People want to be let into your personal life.
- Connection. People want to connect with you. They want to know you. That comes in being vulnerable. It comes when you are telling a story that they relate to.
I was on a call this morning where my business bestie was telling a story about touring with Erasure. Everyone on the call leaned in. I saw people come off camera as she was talking about it. They were interested in it and it spiked their interest. Because come on – she toured with Erasure! She was talking about the euphoria she felt when she was on stage playing keyboard with one of the most phenomenal bands of the 80s.
Now your stories don’t always have to be that big. They can be simple, everyday stories. It’s the connection that you want to seek when telling the story.
So what stories do you have that make people lean in?
- Visibility. We will talk about where to share your stories in a few minutes. But it’s important to know that sharing your story is how you get that visibility. It’s being willing to share more.
It’s asking open-ended conversations to get conversations going. It’s showing up more often and consistently every single day. I’m sure you have heard me say that you have to be showing up on social media and with your content every single day. It’s the nature of the world right now. Why not add some story into those posts?
Where should you share stories?
Short answer – anywhere you are creating content. You know I’m all about creating the content and doing more of it! So you should be sharing your stories in your blog posts, social media posts, newsletters, video.
Where are you sharing your message? That is where you should be sharing more story.
Do you need a blog? I get asked that question all the time. Short answer. Yes.
Long answer: it depends on where you are it in the content creation process. If you don’t have a blog, it should be on your wish list this year.
Your blog is housed on your website and a great way to share your message in written form. If you are repurposing your content from another platform, say video, I would suggest embedding that video into the blog post as well. It’s good to give your audience multiple ways to consume your content.
You need to be active here every single day. And I don’t just mean post and leave it alone for a few days. I mean to post and then engage with your audience. Set a timer a couple of times a day to engage for 15-30 minutes. Social media is not a set it and forget it type of platform.
The way to engage with people here is to be vulnerable. Share your stories. Get them interested in what you have to say and comment on your posts.
If you don’t have your own podcast, look for opportunities to be on other people’s podcasts. There are so many out there that are looking for guests. Take some time to research and find a few to apply to be on. Make sure it’s a podcast that speaks to your target audience.
It’s also a great way to get you comfortable sharing your message. Podcasts are wildly popular right now because they are easy to consume.
How to tell story
Sharing story doesn’t mean it always has to be a long complicated story. In fact, most of the time it shouldn’t be that.
We all have bigger heavier stories. Sharing those on social media and in video aren’t necessarily the best place to share those – unless they are super related to your business.
For example: I placed a baby for adoption 11 years ago. That really isn’t the type of story that I randomly work into my posts because it doesn’t have anything to do with my business and it’s a little bit of a heavier story – even though it’s a good story with a happy ending.
Your story should include an important decision you had to make and then connect that decision to your client deciding to fully commit.
- If it’s a video, it can be a longer story.
- If it’s written, it needs to be a shorter story.
- If it’s a graphic, it better be really short!
Here’s an example of a quick way to build the story into your content:
- Set the context
- Provide a little of the snippet (just a few sentences)
- Connect it to your business
Sometimes it’s helpful to start backward. What is the goal of telling your story? Are you trying to make a sale? Or are you trying to create a connection?
Everyone has more than one story. We have a lot of them actually. And are creating new ones every single day. But here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Why did you start your business?
- How are you pivoting your business and navigating the online world?
- What lessons have you learned along the way or challenges have you faced?
- How have you helped your clients achieve their goals?
One of the most important things to remember when sharing a story is to make it relevant to your audience and not just about you.
I started my business 5 ½ years ago when I had a newborn baby boy and a 2-year-old. Life was crazy! But good crazy. I started as a VA, quickly found a passion and knack for social media and pivoted my business to social media management.
Little did I know, my true love was in content repurposing. About 2 ½ years into my business, I had a client ask me to help her repurpose. She had never done it either.
We worked together to figure out a process, that has since been enhanced and became my signature framework. And now, our clients use that framework to grow their presence and engagement by 1,300% some months.
I also teach people how similar strategies in my Quarterly Content Call. The next one is coming up.
Do you see how I took a story of how I started my business, turned it into my client results, then offered a class at the end? It’s simple but effective.
Sharing story in your content is necessary these days. It shows your authenticity, connects with your audience, and enhances your visibility.
You should be sharing story in your blog posts, social media posts, video, podcasts, etc. Anywhere you are sharing your message about your business, you should be sharing story too.
And finally, your story doesn’t have to be long and complicated. It can just be a few sentences.