Storytelling has become a core element of professional brand and branding. And storytelling, we often hear, involves some element of the personal, even if we’re trying to be professional.
“Be vulnerable” has become conventional wisdom. It seems like every day someone’s telling us, “Make sure you come across as human,” or, “They want to believe there’s a real person behind your website.”
Today’s Wall Street Journal included a story about a new graphic trend. Instead of displaying high-powered graphics, firms are finding that they get more sales with images that appear to be taken by a phone camera. These photos seem to humanize the company: they’re more “like us.”
Okay, so they drop a bundle to make their photos look amateurish; most of us get that effect naturally.
But generally we’re seeing that customers and clients want to deal with real people, not bland “service providers” hiding behind a wall of corporate imagery. One hospital here has started putting up videos of interviews with physicians who appear on camera in business casual, minus the white coat.
The truth is, many marketers hate to create content because they’re afraid they won’t achieve the authenticity they know they need. So they hate sitting down to write, because it feels like an exercise in frustration.
For instance, we’re often encouraged to use stories and metaphors. It’s a great idea but I find my clients often feel frustrated. What exactly IS a story? What should be the story’s content? How much information is TMI?
Create a portfolio with three kinds of stories:
Your “triumph” stories that demonstrate how your own clients reached success with your help. You create Social Proof for prospects who (if you’ve targeted accurately) will think, “If he can do it, I can too.” They’ll also give you credibility points for delivering results instead of fantasies.
Your “Origin” stories (you can have more than 1) that demonstrate your ability to empathize with your clients, as well as your qualifications from experience. These stories often become your branding foundation.
Your “Reframe” stories, where you illustrate your concepts and ideas by sharing stories. Chances are you are offering a service that wasn’t available even five years ago – at least in the form you are delivering. You need to communicate exactly what you do.
Learn how to create these kinds of stories to create your own story portfolio –
Through Saturday Sep 6 -this course is FREE when you sign up for an Espresso Consultation.