I'm a story teller, always have been. If you give me a list of facts, statistics or numbers, I'll forget them all in about 5 minutes. But, if you tell me a story, a meaningful tale about something personal, I'm gonna remember it. We are all built differently, and I was built to listen to and tell stories.
Writing as therapy
I started writing stories when I was in middle school. Like most teenager, I struggled with middle school and all of the changes that occur during that time period. Writing fictional stories about other teenagers was my therapy. But after middle school, I slowly slipped away from writing. Probably because I was too busy partying it up to take the time to sit down and do anything constructive.
Writing to grow my business and share my message
It wasn't until just a few years ago, that I picked up writing again. I was growing my network marketing business through social media when I started noticing other successful network marketers constantly telling stories on their social media. They were real life stories about themselves- struggles they had overcome, stories about their kiddos, their business, etc. AtI always found myself intrigued and wanting to keep reading. That's about the time it occurred to me that I had a story to tell, well several of them really, and that maybe I should start sharing mine. If I'm being honesty, I struggled at first with being vulnerable and transparent on a platform that would be seen by so many. But as I slowly started telling my story, I began to get messages about how others had gone through similar struggles and fought to overcome them also. I was constantly getting messages about what an inspiration I was- ME?! It was crazy to me at the time! I was just sharing my truth without realizing the impact that my story was having on others. That's the thing about story telling, everyone has a story, and there's always someone out there that can relate to yours.
Story telling for small businesses
Story telling is such a powerful way to share your message, your brand, a little about who you are, on social media. You have to continue to give people a reason to come back to your page, to want to shop from your store, to work or collaborate with you. Does your boutique have a story behind the name, the products, the location? Why did you decide to open up your gym? Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur or small business owner?
The secret to story telling is not in every detail but rather in sharing your struggles and how you overcame/are overcoming them. It's not necessary to list all of the hardships that you have endured and it doesn't have to be overly personal. Your story doesn't have to be revealed in one social media post either. When I was sharing my story, it was slowly and overtime. One week I would might share a flashback of when I was 98 pounds and lived on coffee and cigerettes (true story) with a picture of my healthy self eating a turkey burger with a side salad and sweet potato fries with a caption- "Food is fuel, not the enemy. So glad I finally learned to love myself enough to take care of my body." The next week I might go into a little more detail about self love and how I finally learned to love myself and my body.
Again, your story doesn't have to be as personal as mine if you're running a small business. My brand was me, not a store, not a shop, not a gym. But whatever your business is, there's a story behind it.
Here's some more examples,
Do you own a small boutique? You're probably pictures of some of the items that you sell on your social (at least I hope so). So, why not share a story about those bell bottom jeans! Why did you choose to have those in your store? Do they bring back memories of something? What do you love most about them? Tell us a story!
Do you own a gym? You should be sharing pictures of what's available at your gym, the people that attend, your employees, personal trainers, etc. Why did you choose a Cross fit gym, what do you love about it? How does yoga make you feel? Share stories of the people that attend your gym.
Every post doesn't need to be a story and it shouldn't be. But t keep in mind that story telling can be a powerful sales tool. It can be a way to really connect with your audience and your clients. Don't be afraid to share some of your story.