Who was the storyteller in your family growing up? You know who I mean. The adult all the kids flocked to, the person with an eye for detail and a knack for knowing how to leave you wanting more?
In our family, it was my granddad. From his time in Parchman Prison (he definitely made that up) to his World War II heroics (mostly sure he made about 1/2 up) to the many ways he won my Nana over (she was quick to inform us he made ALL those up), he was full of tall tales that we would beg him to tell over and over again. I couldn’t tell you much else about being six years old, but I bet I could still recite one or two of those stories he told us word for word!
There’s something special about storytelling. It’s in our nature to tell them, and it’s also in our nature to crave them. Even cavemen found ways to connect to each other and the world around them using primitive drawings to record what they had to say!
While an awful lot has changed since then, stories haven’t. In today’s noisy, automated, high-tech world, storytelling is still important and relevant. While we may be more connected than ever before, many of us also feel an undeniable disconnect. Stories are the one thing that can always bring us back together. You only have to look at the kind of videos that go viral to see the truth in that. The stories that move us are always the ones we share!
People talk about the power of storytelling a lot, but what does that mean for you? And perhaps more importantly, what does it mean for your brand?
I know you want to grow your business into something beautiful. That’s why you’re here. That’s why I’m here! You have a vision. You know there are big things waiting for you out there, if you can just connect with your target audience, if you can do something to stand out so they remember you and keep coming back for more. Can you guess the best way to do that?
Have you learned how to harness the superpower of storytelling in your business yet? We might all be born with an ear for stories, but not all of us know how to tell them. That’s okay! Like any new skill, it just takes a little practice. To help you crack it, I’m about to let you in on TWO SECRET WEAPONS when it comes to making your storytelling more engaging and effective on Instagram:
Define your EPS (Expert Positioning Story)
Before beginning ANY self-help, how-to, or autobiographical book, readers want to know who the author is and why they should care about this person and their story. Same goes for you and your brand. It’s not enough to simply reach your target audience. You’ve got to give them a reason to stick around!
This can be accomplished by defining, and then honing, your EXPERT POSITIONING STORY. Consider this as a kind of deep-dive “About Me.” Start by sharing any struggles you have overcome to succeed, which gives people a way of relating to you. Then describe your sources of knowledge to demonstrate WHY you’re considered an expert in your field, including degrees, certifications, years of experience, etc. And finally, share your personal success stories, as well as those of your clients when applicable.
By telling a consistent story about who you are, why your message is important, and what unique expertise your brand brings to the market, you can connect to your audience, establish authority, and motivate action. You’ll even build brand loyalty! Sound overwhelming? Just break it down into an easy writing exercise: think about a pivotal moment that inspired your business. Now break that story down into three parts: the struggle, the search, and the solution. The result? Your story arc! Easy-peasy.
The nearly limitless possibility of Instagram stories
Instagram stories are sorely underused, which is a real shame because they offer SO MUCH potential to build on your brand via personal storytelling! Don’t like being on video? That’s cool! You don’t have to be in front of the camera in order to connect. There are so many ways to work with IG stories that we could make a list a mile long, but a few of our favorite uses for this particular feature include:
- highlighting the main points of your blog posts
- sharing positive or inspirational messages with your followers
- doing “a day in the life” and following your own daily routine, or that of a fellow team member (this is a great way to include your staff and make them feel valued!)
- sharing local stuff you love
- doing Q&A’s
- promoting products you use
There are so many creative ways to use this tool to connect with your followers. They called it “STORIES” for a reason – Instagram knows the power of storytelling and how integral it is to human connection. This is just the latest in a long line of methods promoting our message! If stories are the foundation for everything we put out into the world, isn’t it worth jumping in with both feet and learning how to fully use them to your brand’s advantage?
I’ll even jump with you! 1…2..3…let’s go!