Too shy to share? Here’s why your story counts in business

We’ve all heard that storytelling is an important part of marketing your online business. After all, everyone loves a good story.

But what if sharing your story doesn’t come naturally?

When I tell clients to bring their personal story into their website, some will visibly shudder. ‘No way’, they’ll splutter, before diving behind the nearest (metaphorical) pot plant.

Often they have what seem like convincing justifications, at least on the surface. Perhaps you want to keep some separation between yourself and your business, because you plan to sell it at some unknown future date. Maybe you feel anxious about opening your personal life up to public scrutiny, or feel uneasy about adding to the glossy “she’s-got-it-all” images that fill the internet, when you really pride yourself on being down-to earth.

You could be feeling confused about what to share or how to share it. If you are your brand, it’s not always easy to draw the boundaries between the personal and the professional.

For a lot of entrepreneurs, resistance to sharing their story comes down to a fear of being seen. They feel that if they operate their business at arm’s length, it will appear more professional, or they won’t cop so much personal criticism (otherwise known as rejection).

Here’s the thing – what we see on a blog or website is only a tiny percentage of reality. Telling your story doesn’t have to mean airing all your dirty laundry or making your business “all about you.” The trick is sharing enough of your story to resonate with your customer, while maintaining an appropriate professional presence.

If you’re resisting bringing your story into your business, here’s six reasons why you should do it today.

  1. People buy from people, and friends buy from friends. By and large, people don’t like buying from faceless corporations unless there’s already a significant trust factor there. If you’re not willing to put your name to your business, you risk coming across as clinical or just another generic brand.
  2. Your story helps you build that crucial “know like and trust” factor. If you want to convert your audience into raving fans, and your fans into customers, you’ve got to build the “know like and trust” factor. Persuading people that they can trust you will be significantly harder if you’re not willing to put your face to your business.
  3. Your story builds connection between you and your audience. If your story resonates with your customer, they’ll feel a common bond with you. They’ll know you “get” their struggles, or that you’ve been where they are now. They’ll start to look to you for help and guidance.
  4. Your story is what sets you apart – No-one else shares your journey and no one else can share their truth in exactly the same way.
  5. Your story helps you share your brand values. The story you choose and the way that you tell it communicates a lot about you and your business. It’s a gentle way to let your customer know that you share some of their values. And if your brand values or your tagline is anything to do with being real, authentic or building connection – you had better make sure you are living those values by sharing your story!
  6. Your story will help you overcome objections – You can use your story to gently address common objections and move your customers through them. Perhaps you had doubts before you entered this field, or had to prove to yourself that a particular technique works. By sharing this story you are helping your customer to overcome their own doubts and fears about hiring you, before you’ve even spoken on the phone.

In most cases, it’s easier and more natural to share aspects of your story, than to try and keep yourself out of the picture altogether. Writing in the third person or keeping the ‘who’ behind the brand a mystery increases the distance between you and your customer and often makes it harder for you to blog and share.

I believe that sharing your story is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business. So I’d like to know, what’s holding you back from sharing your story? Comment below and I’ll share tips to help you push through.

Still need convincing? In next week’s blog, I’ll be sharing ways to share your story without making it “all about you”. Sign up for my email list to make sure you don’t miss out.

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