A couple of years ago, I decided to stop going to most of the networking meetings I was attending. Why? Because service professionals are boring. Now don’t get me wrong, I like meeting new people, particularly if they are willing to share something about themselves or their passions.
The problem is when people put their “professional” persona on, they become a much duller version of themselves. That makes them look more or less the same. And I admit I was guilty of this when I started my own business. I wanted to look like a grown up business. However, what I found is that when I am authentic, I find clients who want to work with me and not just want what I provide (of course they have to want that too).
And this is true of my clients as well. Jack Kelly, a sales performance consultant, shared with me the other day that the newsletters we do that share a problem or challenge he faced generate the most response from his readers. They want to hear about the challenges as well as the successes.
Why don’t more people share their stories? One reason is that we think our own stories are not very interesting. And this is simply not true. Yes, it can take a little skill to turn them into a story that others want to hear, so we don’t just ramble on. We just need to figure out the point of the story plus the struggle and the redemption (key parts of any good story).
The other reason is fear. We are afraid that people will reject us if they hear what we are “really” like. This was something I had to overcome, because of the failure of my first business and subsequent bankruptcy (see the blog for more details). It’s still painful for me to even write that sentence. However, what I learned from that has made me a much better marketer for my clients.
So, what is your story? Think about the struggles and challenges you have faced in life. How has it changed you? What would you do even if you did not get paid to do it? That is probably a big part of your story.
Let 2017 be the year you tell your story! You will be surprised how many people want to hear it. I am committed to telling my story more (an updated website is coming soon) and helping others tell their stories. It will make doing business in San Diego more connected and more fun!
If I can help you in any way to capture and tell your story, please let me know. Use the contact us form to schedule a time to talk.