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6 Ways Your Personal Story Connects You to New Clients

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Your Personal Brand Connecting You With Clients

It seems that everyone is looking for ways to connect with customers and clients, but many miss quite possibly the best way to connect with those they want to reach: Their personal story.

Your personal story can be the thing that separates you from all other service providers. It can be just what you need to go from being one of all the others offering a similar service to the only choice for your target buyer.

Many people in business try to hide behind the company brand when they reach out to prospective clients and customers. Their websites are stripped of any reference to who they are personally. Their books focus solely on the work at hand. Their blogs are impersonal floods of facts. They struggle to stand out in the minds of their would-be buyers, not realizing it’s who they are — their authentic, unique selves — that matters to those who want to do business with them.

That is because in our online and offline world, getting to know who it is we are talking to, learning from, and working with is part of how we do business.

When you see your personal story in this way, you’ll look for opportunities to tell it in your life and business.

 

Why your personal story helps you stand out in business

 

1. It reflects your values

When you share your personal story, the fact that you did X, Y, or Z might not be as important as the reason you did it. That reason might resonate with your target buyer.

Your personal story can illustrate your values in a way a mere value statement cannot.

 

2. It makes you human

People do business with people. When someone has the choice between two (or 200) service providers, the one who stands out might be the one who takes the time to show that he or she is more than an impersonal service provider, and is a real person who has a genuine interest in the work at hand and not just the dollar value of the contract. This can be a place where you show your prospect how much you and she have in common.

 

3. It creates an emotional connection

We buy because of emotion. Sure, we want all the facts, but we whip out our cards because of how we feel: Will buying this shirt make me look and feel good? Will this designer make my website look amazing so I feel like a winner? Will eating at this restaurant be a pleasant experience that makes my day?

 

4. It inspires

Your personal story can be a powerful tool when it pushes others to be better versions of themselves. This is especially the case when your work is speaking, writing, or some other expression aimed at moving people to act. But it is also the case when your work is related to a particular challenge that you successfully faced and now can help others face. For instance, if you are a wellness coach, then the fact that you successfully overcame an eating disorder can be incredibly inspiring to your prospects who are struggling with the same thing.

 

5. It shows you get it

Your personal story can be the place to illustrate that you truly understand your client and her problem. The way you express yourself through your personal story shows that you know the challenges your client faces and you have a way to address them.

 

6. It invites others to be a part of something bigger than themselves

Your personal story can even have the ability to help you kick-start a movement or to create something for the common good that is bigger than the individual service you provide.

Look for ways to share your personal story in your business. Maybe it’s in a book. Maybe it’s your website or blog. Maybe it’s in your speaking. Maybe it’s in a sales presentation. Opportunities are all around for you to weave your life into your business to become a standout in the eyes of those you most want to reach.

 

Your Personal Brand Picture Quote

Monica Carter Tagore ghostwrites books for life and business leaders. In the process of building a business around her writing, she has ghostwritten or authored more than 40 books, including her latest, Connect and Conquer: Grow Your Business, Organization, and Career Through Online and Offline Relationships. As the co-founder of Life and Business Tribe, she shares insight, tools, tips, and strategies to help others build businesses around what they love.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Reina

    Feb 1, 2015 at 5:34 am

    This person is correct I help families save and make money. It’s a crusade to help the low i ncome and middle class families. No families left behind is my mission. People join my business or become a client because of me they know my story.

    • Monica Carter Tagore

      Feb 14, 2015 at 5:40 am

      Thanks for the comment, Reina. It sounds like you have a powerful story that you have connected to your work and it is resonating with those you seek to help. Your story shows your clients you care.

  2. Tim Denning

    Dec 26, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Monica this article hit the nail on the head for me. Personal stories are the best way to attract you to new clients. In sales one of the most important traits that you will see in most sales programs is to be able to tell a good story. The more genuine and the more raw it is, the more believable it will be to potential clients. Clients are not just interested in your business, its your personal brand that often does alot of the selling for you. A great example of this is Malala Yousafzai whose tragic story has empowered her and is why people listen to what she says. She now has a career that could go in many different directions and this is all possible because of her story and the way it has connected her to the people she is trying to influence.

  3. Ken Valledy

    Nov 1, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    A great article – very very true…many thanks.

  4. alicia thibadeau

    May 1, 2014 at 6:21 am

    I love this, great tips here, I’m going to start getting more personal in my blog.

  5. George Zhoya

    Apr 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    yo yo yo lm really impressed by your article….thanks for sharing it with us !

  6. Koko

    Apr 23, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Always needs to be watched what’s been spoken and how it’s been spoken, especially with vast audience. Maybe that’s why public speaking is no.1 fear

    • Monica Carter Tagore

      May 28, 2014 at 9:29 am

      You’re right. Public speaking is the biggest fear of many people. Two tricks to make the experience easier and less daunting are to be super prepared and to be authentic. If you are focused on sharing your best self with the audience, then the audience will pick up on that energy. It won’t matter if you stumble over a word or fail to phrase something perfectly. The vibe you give off and the energy will endear you to the audience anyway.

  7. Emily Filloramo

    Apr 22, 2014 at 3:44 am

    My personal story is the reason why people work with me in the first place. It’s on my website and it explains the journey of why I do what I do.

    Simon Sinek has a great TED talk on “Start With Why”. People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it. This is one of the hottest TED talks.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action

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Startups

You Are The Problem With Your Business

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A great way to screw up your company is to get into the habit of blaming your suppliers, the market, your staff or your product for your failures.

I recently heard a story of a business that had set up a website. They sold various products and services focusing on helping people with psychological issues. The business owner was smart. The product solved a problem.

Unfortunately, the company was making almost no money. They’d hired someone to help them with their digital marketing and it wasn’t working.

Plenty of traffic was coming to the site, users were having a look around and then not buying a single thing. Who’s fault was this?

Well, according to the business owner it was the person running their digital marketing. As a result, they wasted approximately eight months marketing a website that couldn’t make any sales. The reason the business was failing according to the owner was because of the keywords that were being targeted in the marketing campaign. This is a horrible excuse.

The reason your business fails is because you’re blaming someone other than yourself. It’s the quickest way to bankruptcy. Don’t do that.


Your company is a reflection of you.

It took me a long time to figure out that a company is a reflection of its founder.

One of the businesses I had, had a toxic culture and a bunch of people that were rude to customers, arrogant and not nice people. That was a reflection of exactly who I was at the time.

The company was reflecting the flaws of my own life and what I refused to admit.

In the case of the business owner above, what was obvious is that they were good at telling lies to themselves. It was easy not to change as a business owner and insist that the change needed was nothing to do with their vision.

The issue of their company was not the digital marketing strategy but their lack of understanding around what their customer wanted.

The thought that their products were too complicated, not solving a real problem or priced incorrectly was an admission of guilt they wanted no part in. Hence the eventual demise of their company.


Take responsibility and it will change.

When you own the business, everything is your fault.

You have the power to solve any problem you choose. It starts with you being brave enough to admit that there’s a problem, and then secondly, being bold enough to insist it’s your fault and that you can change it.

The problems in your business can all be solved. That’s what it took me a very long time to understand. When I changed as a person and faced up to my hidden battle with mental illness that I didn’t want to talk about, the odds turned in my favor.

Had I have not taken responsibility for my mental illness, I would have never become a leader in a business or started another side hustle. I would have been crippled by the big, bad world that I thought I could control.

Control came from responsibility, and responsibility solved the major problem in my business: me.


Change is a must.

Not with your digital marketing strategy.
Not with hiring new people.
Not with developing a new product.

Changing yourself is the *must* because YOU attract the problems and the solutions into your business”

You can’t find the solutions or stop the never-ending problems until you stop the cause of it all: you. You’re the problem with your business. The good news is that it’s entirely within your control to fix.

Change you.

Not the business.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Startups

The Different Ways of Measuring the Success of Your Start-Up

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Image Credit: Unsplash

You’ve probably heard people use the term “unicorn” in a business context. This means a privately held start-up whose value has grown to at least one billion American dollars. Think Airbnb, Uber, and so forth. There is no doubt that some start-ups have been major financial successes. And many smaller-scale start-ups are doing great as well, working hard and turning a steady profit. But that begs the question of whether finances are the only way to measure the success of a start-up. As it turns out, they might not be. At least, not always and not on their own.

How to Evaluate Success

As anyone who’s been involved with start-ups knows, you need a fair amount of flexibility to do well in this environment. Take the division of labour for example – rather than strict roles, you’ll often see everyone do a bit of everything. The same principle extends to measuring success. It can be vague and mean different things to different people, and it can change over time.

But amongst all that vagueness, one thing has become clear. Predicting the success of a start-up is very difficult for external observers. As a matter of fact, it’s often impossible. Therefore, in order to evaluate how successful a start-up has truly been, we need to know the goals of its founder(s).

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” – Marianne Williamson

The Numbers

When people think about business, it’s common to boil matters down to the finances. And it certainly is possible to use numbers to measure and predict the performance of a start-up business. Net worth, gross margin, customer acquisition cost – these can all be indicators of success. But, a start-up can post impressive numbers for a while, perhaps even attract large investors, and still shut down in the end. So does this make it a failure?

The answer to this depends. If the founders wanted to start a lasting business, then yes, they failed to meet their goal. However, that isn’t always the case. If they were looking for a short-term solution and came out with more money than they had coming in, a closed-down start-up needn’t be unsuccessful. It can actually be the opposite of that.

So, looking at the figures isn’t enough, and there are different perspectives to consider. When they start planning their business venture, start-up founders may not have any particular numbers in mind when it comes to profit. Instead, they can judge their success according to some of the following criteria.

1. Happy Customers and Solving Problems

The story of a start-up often begins with a problem. The desire to help people overcome a specific issue can be the spark which ignites the creation of an entire business. And in the end, that may be all that matters to the founders.

This is closely connected to the happiness of the customers. If the resulting product or service has made people happy by helping them solve a problem, that is all that may be required for a start-up to be a success. Now, no business wants unsatisfied customers. But in cases like this, happy customers aren’t the way toward the ultimate goal – they are that goal.

In other words, some start-up founders don’t just use financial reports to measure how much they’ve achieved. To them, the one metric which stands above all others is the quantity of positive feedback they’ve received. The main area of focus is customers who use the start-up’s products or services to solve a problem they were having.

2. Impact

Every start-up founder likes doing well in terms of revenue. But for some of these entrepreneurs, the profit is merely a side effect of what they actually set out to do – impact the world in a positive manner. You can see an example of this line of thought with Elon Musk. He said that back in college, he had wanted to be a part of things that could end up changing the world. The continuation of this philosophy is evident in his electric cars (which aim to reduce pollution) and the SpaceX program (which strives to break down some of the barriers of space exploration).

In both cases, the furthering of mankind is the ultimate goal. Many other start-up founders feel the same, even if they have smaller goals in mind. To these people, there is no greater proof of success than if their company has had a positive impact on society or even a small segment of it. In their view, to make a difference is to succeed.

“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” – Tony Robbins

3. Freedom

For some, starting up their own business is less about getting rich and more about gaining the freedom to conduct their business the way they want to. In this case, financial success is just a means to an end. The endgame is to be your own boss.

The fact is, some people don’t do well when they’re constantly receiving orders. They are simply hardwired to be free thinkers and they require an environment that allows them to do things in their own way.

Being in a position where you hold all the cards can be exhilarating. The knowledge that your decisions are final is very empowering, and many strive for such freedom. If a start-up can allow such people to go from being a regular employee to being in charge of making all the decisions, then it has already achieved all the success that it needs to.

4. Time for Friends and Family

As many people know all too well, a job can easily turn into the focal point of your daily life. Instead of being a way to support your lifestyle, your work dominates your time. And when that happens, the time you have to dedicate to your loved ones becomes scarce. Combating this is precisely what some have in mind when they decide to take the leap and start their own business.

Now, running your own company is no mean feat and it will require a lot of effort. But the beginning is the most time-consuming part of the process. Later on, it can be possible to create a system which leaves you with a lot more time on your hands. You can spend this time with your significant other, your children, or your friends. A start-up which gives you this opportunity is perhaps the greatest success of all.

A start-up is an extension of its founders and so are that company’s goals. Some entrepreneurs are in it for the profit, but not all of them. In the end, there is no single way to measure the success of a start-up. It all comes down to the specific aims of those who established it. But if the founders can end their day on a happy note, then the venture is a success even if it doesn’t fit some standard definition of the term.

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Startups

The Problem Is Not Your Website Or Your Product.

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spend a lot of my time talking to business owners. They focus on their product, their marketing channels and trying to make more profit.

I met one such business owner who was in the plastic surgery business. Their product (boob jobs and nose jobs) was not working. Their website sucked and people clicked off as soon as they visited it.

People would call their office, get put on hold, listen to the on hold message and hang up.

This business didn’t seem all that special. I’ve talked to many businesses and didn’t think for a microsecond that a plastic surgery clinic could ever teach me anything valuable.

I’ve been to Hollywood on holidays and the issues of body image are all too apparent to me. Anyway, this post is not about body image.

I ended up losing this business as a customer — not that I would ever have sold anything to them if it were up to me. I sat down one afternoon and thought about why we no longer did business with them.

That’s when I realized it’s not about your product or your website. All the issues with this plastic surgery clinic and a lot of other businesses I’ve dealt with stem from one thing. Let me explain in more detail.


Your Google Reviews say you’re an piece of work.

I looked up their Google Reviews and their customers said they were assholes.

They spoke down to clients, they didn’t deliver their clients what they wanted, they argued with their staff in front of customers and they treated people like they were nothing more than a dollar sign.

All I had to do was read their Google reviews to see that the problem wasn’t their product or their website.


Your clients tell you every day that you suck.

I asked the plastic surgery what their clients said.

Many of their clients told them that their services sucked and they would prefer to go to places like Thailand where they could get a better product at a much lower price.

The business owner made the mistake of thinking it was their product that was the problem and that a new website will tell clients a different message.

That wasn’t it.


You abuse your staff and they consistently leave.

I spoke with many staff that worked for this business.

Every single one of them hated the company and were not afraid to say what they thought of the business owner.

The business owner would sit outside on a nice sunny day and look across the street at all the yachts and the people boarding them.

They’d sit there and think that every lead they got was going to take them one step closer to owning their very own yacht.

“If only I could deliver more boob jobs, maybe I could have one of those,” they thought quietly to themselves hoping that no one else could hear how ridiculous this sounded.

I can remember multiple times being on the phone to the business owner and having one of their staff burst into tears halfway through the call.

The first time it happened I didn’t think much. After the third time, I got the message. During the short time I dealt with this business, people consistently left. If you made it to the six-month mark, you were some sort of hero and would probably be given a free surgery to say thank you for your work and make you feel worse about your own body at the same time.

It was free noses and boobs in return for daily abuse.

The problem still wasn’t the website all the product.


You don’t solve real problems; you solve your own problem.

A good business solves a problem.

That problem typically affects human beings and solving it is how you make money in business. Solving problems can start out with a problem that affects you, but at some point, you’ve got to start solving that same problem for other people/businesses.

This owner of this plastic surgery clinic was only trying to solve their own problem which was making more money to buy fancy items like yachts.

Only solving your own problem is not just selfish but bad business.

Good business is solving a big problem or lots of small problems for entire strangers who you don’t know thus doing something valuable for the human race.

Solving only your problem will make you poor.

The problem still wasn’t their website or product.


Creating more problems.

Everything this business owner sold created more problems.

They’d film videos to purposely make people feel like their body wasn’t perfect.

They’d write articles suggesting that everyone needs botox to feel young.

They’d take photos of men and women who were supposed to be perfect so that young people would dream of looking like them.

Not only was their business not solving a real problem; it was also creating more problems every day that it existed.

If your business creates more problems than it solves, you’re in real trouble.You need to take a long hard look at the business and become obsessed with doing everything you can to change it — and do so damn fast to limit the whirlwind of problems you’re creating behind you.


The heart of the problem.

It’s the business owner.

The business I mentioned will fail. That part is certain. The problem with the business is not the website or the product.

The problem is the business has no heart because the business owner has no heart.

You cannot focus on your own selfish desires, create really bad problems in the world, treat other human beings like garbage and expect to go buy a yacht and live happily ever after. It just doesn’t happen like that.

Whether you are a plastic surgery clinic like the one I described or a solo entrepreneur, the problem with your business is you.

Fix the problem of YOU. You can’t get away with being horrible forever.
Being horrible is bad business.

Being respectful, kind and valuable is the final answer to the problem with your business.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Entrepreneurs

18 Must Read Business Books for Emerging Entrepreneurs and Startups

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business books

Reading is both relaxation and training for the mind. Who reads, dives into another world. Learning, entertaining and breaking out of everyday life for a short moment. One could go even so far as to say reading is the second most beautiful thing in the world! Whether it is non-fiction or a novel of all the world’s man has created, the book is the most powerful tool. That is also, why we wanted to find out which business book you should undertake in the new year. (more…)

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