Marketing coaches often advise you to share your story, as part of your “About” page or bio. Some even suggest that you make your story the core of your bio.
As a copywriter, I take a different perspective.
Frequently I write “About” pages for my clients. Your About page will be critical because when you promote yourself as a service business, you are your business. Your story becomes your brand.
Therefore you need to manage your story, just as you would create your logo, colors, and tag line… only more so.
I do not recommend that you lie or falsify your story. It’s too easy to be discovered and your reputation can be damaged. However, you can be selective in the story you choose to tell and the way you tell it. That’s the most effective form of “spin.”
However, sometimes you do need to add a healthy, appropriate spin to your story. Here are 3 challenges faced by some of my clients, at all levels of success…along with the stories we spin to meet the challenge.
Challenge #1: “I don’t have a dramatic story.”
For example, Beth started a business while she was working full-time. She simply put out the word that she was available to organize kitchens, offices, and cluttered closets.
Beth didn’t have much of a story. She’d always enjoyed organizing since she was a child; she didn’t have a story of her own clutter. She didn’t have a business story because her business grew almost effortlessly by word of mouth.
Challenge #2: “My story makes me look bad.”
Stan could be Beth’s shadow self. He was not naturally gifted for business. He spent years floating around, trying different things. Although he achieved moderate success, he realized clients would be unnerved by a story of “struggling for many years… “
Challenge #3: “My story doesn’t have a happy ending.”
Anita was a gifted seminar leader and speaker but her business was growing slowly. She knew she needed a story that ended, “I’m now speaking to large audiences and enjoy a six-figure income… “
However, she was still growing her business and her accountant told her not to divulge her income when she did reach the magic six-figure mark.
Spinning Your Story Challenges
Beth, Stan, and Anita don’t have to share these stories. Here are 2 solutions I recommend often.
Solution #1: Instead of “How I Got Here,” they can write, “What Makes Me Uniquely Qualified To Serve My Clients.”
For instance, Beth might share, “Even when I was a kid, I loved putting my toys away in little boxes. As a college freshman, I was the one who helped everybody figure out how to live in a tiny dorm room — we even found room for our refrigerators.
“My job as a financial analyst called for the organization of 500 separate pieces of paper that contributed to our annual report. So third time a neighbor asked me to help organize her closet, I decided it was time for a business. And here’s what I can do for you… “
Solution #2: Instead of “My Story,” share what you have done for your clients.
Even a few successes will have an impact. For instance, I like to tell the true story of a client who said, “After you wrote the copy for my website, I got more traffic and more revenue.” Another client said, “Clients used to insist on face-to-face meetings; now they feel they know me so we set up a contract over the phone.”
Frankly, in the end, your clients often don’t care how you evolved.
After all, your mentor was different! They do care about the ways you might help them, now, today.
I’m Cathy Goodwin, dedicated to giving my clients an unbeatable advantage by using storytelling as a strategic marketing tool. I’ve got a free ebook about telling stories to build your brand. Click here to download.