Yesterday I got to be in my element talking to other #fempreneurs and #bossbabes who are building the brands and businesses of their dreams.
95 percent of the entrepreneurs came from the wedding industry and I was incredibly overwhelmed with the support and dedication of those who stood in line to talk afterward. The one question that kept popping up in the conversations I was having was: 1) “How do I share more of me in my feeds on Instagram and Facebook without it seeming to be too much? “
Another common theme was:
2) “I’m not interesting enough, besides I wouldn’t know where to start.”
Here was another popular question:
3) “What will people think, won’t they get sick of me?”
No one has your story, your voice, your experiences ..."
When I go over all these questions in my head and when I think about how powerful each story I listened to was (one woman began a shoe business from the back of her car and now has nine storefronts throughout the country), I deeply believe that when it comes to sharing our stories a lot of the barriers we face are self-created.
You see, most of the women who chatted with me after my talk, most of them have amazing stories, content burbling from within, yet because of their mindsets, they had already created barriers to success before even getting out there.
Here’s the one thing I hope everyone reading this takes away:
No one is YOU! No one has your story, your voice, your experiences and all of it, your wonderful, amazing, vulnerable stories should be injected, sprinkled and embedded into 60-70 percent of the posts you share online.
I know already what you’re thinking: “there is no way I can meet that challenge but the percentage isn’t an impossible target. Not really. Once you know your story it becomes easy to share it over and over again in a number of ways: your website, your captions; your images; your talks; your conversations and on every single one of your social media feeds.
I come with specific clarity about this. I know that your story is so individualized and that the deeper you’re willing to get with your own narrative, the more connected your ideal client will feel to you. They will gravitate toward you and your ideas. They will become your raving fans who root not just for your success but also that of your business.
I’m speaking from experience. If you head over to Forward Forty on Facebook or our blog, you’ll see that while I serve up stories that help others; I also speak my own truths. I share my journey, my dreams, and hopes. I have no problem talking about my successes and failures; my fears and my vision. I think this personalization of my storytelling is why people root for my success and the success of my business.
I’ve got a few tips about how to craft yours and it begins with understanding that every single story begins with a “Once Upon A Time”; that every story has some points of tension and then resolves itself with the heroine (you) coming to an understanding of her purpose. Forget Cinderella, this is more real.
If you follow each step below not only will you know your story, you’ll also OWN IT and once you begin to share it, you’ll be amazed at how much your tribe has been yearning to get to know you and the story behind your brand. Here are the mechanics.
Remember that point in your life when you were called to go against the grain, to pursue what your heart wanted? Everyone around you thought you were crazy and your head and heart were in constant battle, yet you understood your WHY. You understood your purpose.
You began to take steps toward your dreams. You may have begun a side hustle. You could have started purchasing stock or setting up a website. Sometimes, you made leaps, other times they were baby steps but you began to act slowly upon your intentions. You began to slowly align your actions with your ambition.
Then, the world around you started speaking up or maybe shouting at you. Maybe it was your partner saying he/she did not agree with your decisions or maybe someone expressed concern about the hours you were devoting to your idea, or maybe those you trust the most started to show doubt. All of this caused you to question yourself. Doubts began to show up everywhere, especially in your head.
You begin to wonder if this is truly what you’re meant to do.
Along the way, a mentor or a message shows up, maybe you read something, maybe you attended a conference (sometimes, this is just pure serendipity and synchronicity telling you to believe your gut and listen to your inner compass). This “mentor” or “message” empowers you to discover yourself in a whole new way.
But, you’re still challenged. You get more tests. You grow and you evolve and then finally comes the big question, “Are you sure?” It is that point you can say, “Hell, yes!” Oh yeah, this can happen even if you are still afraid.
Now, you are changed. And, by your changing, you come back to your original starting point, you can now fully claim your WHY. You are ready to share your story in a really powerful way.
If you can get clear on these seven points, you’ve got the core of your story that you need to be sharing everywhere — from social media to interviews to conversations every day.
Being vulnerable with your storytelling and challenging yourself to share even the messiest parts will cause people to know you intimately and root for you. More importantly, you’ll build connections and trust because you become more relatable. Many will see themselves in you.
Of course, as your brand develops and the directions shifts there will be new stories to tell and as you welcome your audience along for new rides remember that all your new stories are worthy of being told.