Episode 239: Show Notes
Today on the show we welcome Michelle Knight – mother, wife, world traveler and storyteller. Michelle is also a branding coach and the founder of Brand Merry, where she works with female entrepreneurs to create an authentic, captivating and money-making brands through the power of stories. Today we are breaking down the different types of stories that Michelle sees as most effective in the online space, as well as how you can literally integrate yourself, your background, your purpose and all the little stories that make you an amazing human being – into your brand.
Michelle shares some tricks, tips and tactics on how you can outline really big stories, break them down, share them authentically and how to truly draw a connection between your audience so that you can build trust – which in turn, builds sales and a money-making business! This episode is really actionable and is going to spark a ton of ideas for you and your business. Everyone has a story to tell, right? So grab a notebook and start brainstorming yours here with us today.
If They Like You, They’ll Listen; If They Trust You, They’ll Do Business With You
When you show up as yourself, the right people start paying attention and so if you’re in a position right now where you’ve tried to create a mask of a brand and you’re not attracting the people you want to attract – then you need to get to the root of who you are talking to. There is such a level of distrust when you see one thing and you hear another. If people don’t get what they are seeing of you online, then they are not going to trust you and ultimately, it is trust that builds sales, relationships and loyalty. So, is your brand an extension of your personality, or it something completely different? “If people like you, they’ll listen. If they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” This is the quote Michelle always keeps in mind when it comes to storytelling. We love this quote too and want you to remember that trust should be the foundation of your brand.
Building Connection: Simple Brand Stories You Can Tell From The Get-Go
It can be really overwhelming knowing how to show up online and one of Michelle’s favorite types of stories that people can share right from the beginning of their online presence is how your business came to be. How was your business born? Why was it started? You can start with inviting your audience into that because many people in your audience might be in a similar situation and will want to see what that process was like. This is one of the easiest stories to share. Another story that Michelle loves is the purpose story. Why you do what you do. What drives you? What motivates you? Share this with people. Michelle also loves stories around values and beliefs, the things that you hold dear to you. One of the things Michelle believes in is traveling and this is what she shares online through her content – videos, Instagram stories, photos etc. We often forget that we are talking to humans and they want to connect with you. So why would someone buy your product over someone else’s? Tell people this so that they can connect with you boo! Remember that being unique is great but being relatable is also important. It’s really those real-life moments of your story that make people relate to you most. So, don’t bypass those things that you might deem insignificant in your quest for uniqueness. Another story that Michelle loves is the story of what happened to you this morning. Share something that happened in your everyday life that your audience can relate to. But please note that you don’t have to share everything and there are things that you might want to keep sacred to you. You don’t want to get into a “Dear Diary” type of cycle! Just do what feels comfortable for you and know that you can change it at any time.
The Three Transitions Story: How To Start Integrating Your Story Into Your Brand
If you don’t know what to include or exclude from your story, Michelle recommends “The Three Transitions Story”. So, pick three major transitions. Things that made you change direction, or had you thinking about what you were doing in your life and start to dig deep into those pieces. Who were you before? Who were you after? How did these transitions change you and how do they connect back to your business? And lastly, what is the underlying connector of these three transitions? Was it a desire for freedom? As it was for Michelle. Once you’ve gotten in touch with this story, then start to think about your audience. What are they going to resonate with the most? How can you share this in a way that can be aspirational? Once you’ve figured that out, then you can figure out what piece of your story to share in what type of way. We often miss that piece of, “How does this relate to my audience?” And that is the piece that cannot go missing anymore! No matter what type of business you have, the storytelling process is pretty much going to be the same and trust is still going to form part of the foundation.
How To Share Your Story When You Don’t Have An Audience (Just Yet)
If you don’t have followers or an email list yet, you should still be really clear on who you want to attract. Create that client avatar in your mind, tailor your story for them and then it’s just about testing the waters! Test the waters and tweak your story as you go along. The most important thing is to really just get started. Remember that everyone starts at zero, with no one listening, no one caring, no one paying attention. And it may feel inauthentic to share a story with an audience that you are crafting in your head but seriously, that is how everyone gets started and you have to start somewhere, right? So don’t let perfectionism or insecurity block you from taking that step. You will find your audience. But if you don’t put your story out there, you won’t!
Begin Crafting Your Story By Breaking It Down
The first thing to be aware of is that you are not sharing a story in its entirety. You have to break down your story into bite-sized chunks. So if you have a particular story in mind, then you need to outline it. What are the main points? Can you break that down into smaller pieces? Not only does this help you share the story but it also helps your audience absorb the story. One of the things that helped Michelle break her own story down was recording herself talking about it. So if you are really struggling with writing then record yourself talking it out on a talk to text app. That is a really powerful tool and it also helps you figure out your voice. Something that we do with our clients when they come to us and our struggling with their story, is we tell them to reach out to 5-10 of their friends and family members and ask them the unique way that they show up in the world. “What do you come to me for? What do you think my qualities are? What do you like about me? What do you think I bring to the table?” Knowing this information will help you realize how you can show up for your brand and for your people and will also help you craft a better story that plays to your strengths.
Create Containers And Know How You Want Your Audience To Feel
Michelle loves to create containers for brands. You can have containers based on travel, being a great listener, etc. You can then funnel all your information into these different containers. What information fits into travel, or strategy, or support? Then there’s emotional branding. For example, if you know you are a great listener then allow your audience to speak up and then listen and respond. Give them that platform because a lot of the time people need permission to speak up. Story shows up in every area of our business. It’s not just your actual story, it also speaks through your language, your pictures, your design. So how do you want people to feel? Invited? Warm? Bold? Take those emotions and curate accordingly with your images, words and design. How are those small details sharing your story and your qualities too? So, when people land on your page they really feel like they can have a conversation with you.
- If They Like You, They’ll Listen. If They Trust You, They’ll Do Business With You. [0:04:30.1]
- Building Connection: Simple Brand Stories You Can Tell From The Get-Go. [0:07:30.1]
- The Three Transitions Story: How To Start Integrating Your Story Into Your Brand. [0:15:00.1]
- How To Share Your Story When You Don’t Have An Audience (Just Yet). [0:20:10.1]
- Begin Crafting Your Story By Breaking It Down. [0:22:22.1]
- Create Containers And Know How You Want Your Audience To Feel. [0:28:15.1]
- Start getting in touch with your The Three Transitions Story.
- Get to know your audience and don’t skip this step!
- Start testing. Don’t be held back by perfectionism.