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.