In this day and age, invoking emotion and curating experience have to be two of the most paramount goals for all businesses and professionals. Creating a true brand connection can extend far beyond simply on-boarding a new customer. Take Apple for instance, their brand has become more of a cultural and lifestyle dependency then most consumer-goods companies out there. Their marketing strategy embraced telling a consistent story and delivering a concise, yet compelling brand to the marketplace for decades.
Telling a great story is one way to foster strong and enduring connections with people. The great thing about storytelling is everyone’s story should be unique. The unique nature of your story is what makes it interesting to others, so really, all you need to work on is your delivery.
Here are a few tips that have helped me over the years in refining the way I tell my own story.
Be Authentic. Delivering an honest story should come naturally as people gravitate towards someone who is genuine. Staying true to who you are and what you are all about can only enhance your story.
Find & Share a Connection. We have two eyes, two ears and only one mouth. We should use them in that proportion. Asking questions and listening can be a powerful facet of storytelling. It allows you to find connection points between you and the person you are telling your story to. Perhaps it’s something in your background you both share, a common personality trait or a shared goal. The ability to cater some part of your story specifically to the recipient is a powerful tool. Additionally, practice observation. It’s very important to make eye contact and take notice to the individual’s mannerisms. They may show you they are very interested in a certain part of your story and perhaps you should elaborate on it or controversially, they could shows signs of disinterest and maybe its time to throw in a light hearted comment or pivot direction.
Practice. The more you tell your story the easier it will be to refine it. Furthermore, the more practice you get sharing your story the more confident you will be in its delivery. I have found that sharing in less pressure filled situations is a great way to get some runs in before you charge the black diamond.
Embrace Failures. Sounds crazy, but its true – everyone fails along the way. When telling your story, don’t shy away from sharing your past failures or challenges. People will appreciate you being real about them and most likely; it will make your story more relatable. Everyone loves an underdog. If your story includes some major successes you have achieved, there is no better way to speak to them then by talking to the failures you endured before reaching the high points.
These are just a few tips to consider when telling your story. Telling a great story leads to establishing a great brand. Ultimately, people want to work with great brands and great people. They want to feel a connection, find a common thread, relate. Our stories are reflections of our experiences and accomplishments so get out there and make shit happen. Your story will thank you.