You’ve probably heard of impostor syndrome — the feeling that you aren’t qualified to do something, even when you are (a) fully qualified and (b) recognized by others as fully qualified.
First, we’re going to assume you meet the conditions of (a) and (b). I once heard an enthusiastic marketer say, “You’ve been alive a long time, right? So you’ve learned a lot, right? Now you’re fully qualified to go be a coach!”
That’s truly cringe-worthy, not credible. You’d never do this.
But many small business owners go in the opposite direction, especially when they’re getting ready to make a shift in their business.
Recently someone I’ll call Rita said, “Up to now I’ve been working with individual creatives. I’ve never worked in a corporation. Yet I’m starting to get invited to hold workshops in late companies and executives are coming to me for coaching.”
“So what’s the big deal?” I asked. “After all, most cardiologists haven’t had a heart attack.”
“I haven’t walked in their shoes,” Rita said. “My coach told me to market to people like myself. But in this case, I’m not marketing to me! Why would someone believe I can help them?”
Rita had fallen for the widely reported myth of, “You must tell your story. Clients want to know you walked in their shoes.”
She had a story that resonated with her audience of solo-preneur creatives. After all, she’d started as a creative herself and she knew exactly what it would take to move from struggling solo-preneur to confident, profitable business owner. But she couldn’t tell an origin story about moving from frustrated corporate executive to confident, fulfilled professional.
Rita’s dilemma will be familiar to business owners who experience a shift, or pivot, as they grow. They start to attract clients in new markets, so they need new marketing strategies, new copy, and of course, new stories.
These business owners often believe they need to start with the common definition of rebrand, i.e., a new website, color scheme, images, and slogan. Actually, your first step calls for telling a new story — 3 stories, in fact:
Story #1 – what your business will look like after you’ve made the shift
Story #2 – the new success stories your new customers will share
Story #3 – the new origin story you tell when you’re asked, “Why did you make this shift?”
In my latest training, you can learn more about these challenges, especially writing Story #3.
I’ve been using the words “rebrand,” “pivot” and “shift” interchangeably, because the process will be the same regardless of the words you choose.
And if you’d like to get the lowdown on the different stories you can use during a pivot, check out my book on Amazon – Grow Your Business One Story At A Time. It’s currently in kindle form but you don’t need a kindle to read it — just a computer or smart phone.