Your personal brand would not exist if you did not get personal on a professional level.
Storytelling is a magnificent method to use in sharing more about yourself as you write like you would when sharing a story of your life with co-workers and family members. The more stories you share the easier it is for potential and existing customers to find you.
— 50% of people are more likely to click on a particular brand name if that brand name shows up more than once on the search results. — Source: Omnicoreagency
It is necessary that stories have structure, but you also need to know how to write personal brand stories that have substance.Without it, your stories are simply empty shells. They need to provide wow, wonder, and evoke thoughts, imagination, and emotions in your readers.
With that said, writer’s block does happen and trying to figure out what experiences or events to share can be an overwhelming task. Knowing what to write about and then making it sound good is all a part of the storytelling journey. By using descriptive words throughout your stories, will provide readers a visual of your experience or life event.
— “The world is shaped by two things — stories told and the memories they leave behind.” ― Vera Nazarian
Your experiences are your memories and when shared, they also become memories of your readers. Stories may cause old memories to resurface, which creates an emotional connection with your readers to your story. Every story you write should have a positive impact on readers and leave them thinking about you, even when you are not around.
This is how you become and stay “Top of mind” and people’s “Go-to” person. You are ultimately creating human-to-human connections from the stories you tell, which are based on having similar interests, open communication, and trust. These qualities are what your audience is looking for to form relationships with you and will ultimately shape their buying decision.
Personal Brand: Story Substance
There are many ways to tell a story. You can choose to write a blog post, create a video, or take real-life photographs. No matter the type of content you choose, your stories must be attention grabbing, have a message to share, and are easy to read.
Do some reflecting and think of moments you wish to share about yourself. Write about why you love your job; which of your brands classic cars is your favorite; and how many years you have been in the automotive industry. Sharing such moments with your audiences gives them another perspective of who you are and provides them the human element in business they desire.
Know Your Audience
It is important to know who you are talking to. Spend time thinking about this, for it is a crucial step in writing your story. It also determines how long the story should be and the style of language to use. Knowing your demographic, will provide vital knowledge about your audience — Will you be speaking to a group of Millennials or Baby Boomers?
Is your audience more female or male heavy? And do you consider your audience, big spenders or budget-friendly?
Considering these important aspects will help you develop and set the right tone for your story. It will also ensure you are writing to the appropriate audience, which will make it easier for them to connect.
Immediately Grab The Audience Attention
The first sentence should make readers to want to read more. To get the attention of your audience is by making the first line in your blog post, video, etc. interesting, unusual, shocking, intriguing, or emotional.
Make Your Audience Care
Emotional content can be either historically, intellectually, personally, or topically. It is very important to make your audience care about the stories you tell.
There is one profound question you should ask yourself before you begin storytelling:
— What makes your story interesting and relevant to your audience?–
If you do not know why the story matters, then neither will your audience.
Engage Your Audience’s Senses
How we experience the world and form perceptions is through the use of our 5 senses. When storytelling, it is vital that you capture your audience’s attention through engaging with their senses due to the verbiage you use throughout your stories. Descriptive writing can provide readers the ability to see, smell, hear, taste, and touch, without physically being able to do any of them.
By tapping into their memories and imagination, you can use the 5 senses of readers to present a better experience when engaging with your stories. They also set the scene and provide context for your story.
By telling your audience vivid details like,
- How heated car seats feel on a cold winter’s day.
- How the smell of brewing hot coffee makes you smile.
- How much you enjoyed receiving a “thank you” picture from your customer’s child.
- How you love listening to the sound of a car’s engine.
These are just some examples in achieving connectivity by using words that wake-up the senses.
Develop A Cool Timeline
You don’t always have to start from the beginning of the story and work your way to the end. Writing stories in chronological order is how some people like to write, while others may enjoy mixing it up a bit, to add tension, curiosity, and suspense. Try starting with the end of the story first or have your audience jump right into the action. With that said, make sure to not over do it. You want to avoid making it too confusing for readers, which will make them not want to continue reading your story.
Know The Purpose Of The Story
Just like every joke must have a punchline, every story needs a purpose. The purpose should not be to sell products and services, to make more money, or gain new customers, etc. This is already a known factor. Instead, refrain from coming across salesy, be relevant, interesting, and informative when storytelling.
Is the purpose of your story to make readers laugh? Become reflective? Feel entertained; or are you looking to evoke emotions or their imagination? What you choose the purpose to be, will alter the way the story is told.
Engage Your Audience
Embrace incorporating your readers into the stories you tell. Ask questions in the centre of the story to create first-hand experience of the narrative. If they feel connected to the event or experience you write about, it may create the desire for readers to take what you have written and to implement it in real life.
Example: You wrote a story about how your customers love it when you pick-up their vehicles when they need an oil change and leave them with a loaner until the service is complete. Readers may take this information and use it or something similar, at their place of employment.
Leave Your Audience With A Sense Of Awe
There must always be an ending to each story, that is, unless you are looking to do a continuation piece. Your readers will need closure from the build up you created throughout the plot. Leave them in awe. Provide an ending that is thought provoking, question-making, or perspective changing.
This will stay with them long after reading your story, thus, you will remain on their mind, which is the ultimate goal.
Go Beyond Just Using Words
Storytelling is about showing people a memory or telling readers about an experience you have had. Words can be limiting at times, but pictures and videos always have something to say.
Photos and videos support your stories and can present a grander vision to the readers. They are also a great way to break up the monotony of seeing only words. Visuals help in providing and keeping the interest of readers. Since your stories are to be about you, your place of work, and customers, you should take photographs and videos to add to your stories.
Use your own pictures and videos to add realness and to continuously brand yourself using your face. Use both sound and soundless videos to capture your audience attention and engage them. However, if you do choose to use a photo or video that you did not take yourself, ensure you know the usage right before adding it to your story.
It is also good to give credit to the creator/source of the image or provide the website name.
Create A Call To Action
Involve your readers by asking thought provoking questions or by informing them on what to do next. Driving your readers to want to take action is what your story should entail as it unfolds. Storytelling is a great way for your customers to get to know more about who you are and why they should do business with you.
Example all to Action:
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How do you make sure your stories always have substance?