Back when I was 15 living in an orphanage, I would have not dreamed my life would be as good as it is now. All I wished then was that the daily nightmare would be over and that someday I would have a pretty good life. A couple of years passed—what I consider to be the darkest period of my life. And then, when I had reached what felt like the bottom, something unusual happened. Trivial as it sounds, I had a striking realization. An epiphany. If life is on the way to finish me anyway, why not put all my time and energy into achieving something great? Something that’s bigger than my problems, bigger than me. From that day, things slowly started to change…
Catch the attention of your readers and create a bond
Ok. Do I have your attention now? Hopefully, you read the whole paragraph, gobbling up each word, not merely skimming it. That is the purpose of storytelling. I conveyed a real-life situation to invoke an emotional state in you. The reason and motivation to use this technique is very simple yet powerful. Whether you are aware of it or not, people rarely buy things or get involved in something based on logic. It may sound slightly shocking to you at the beginning, but logic usually comes second. First come emotions. Very often it’s what triggers us to undertake certain actions. Which we then need to justify, of course, with logic.
Ingenuity pays off
Research has shown that storytelling significantly increases the effectiveness of self-promotion. Stories stimulate the imagination much more than raw facts do. That is because the human brain isn’t adapted to remember facts. In the context of personal branding, using storytelling is essential for multiple reasons. It enhances image building and helps in creating sales narratives. That, in turn, makes the product or service relate to people’s desires, imagination and leaves them with a brand-mark in their heads. With the help of storytelling, you can improve building long-term relationships with clients. Once you create the association in their heads that your brand = reading interesting stories, it will increase the chances that they come back and interact with you in one way or another.
Make it personal, it’s your story
How to write a good story? The first and foremost rule to follow is definitely this one: stay authentic and true. Don’t make things up. This may be tempting and may give you a temporary boost. It will, however, harm your credibility in the long run. You either risk others finding out the truth, or you suffer a lot of discomfort by not staying true to yourself and projecting a fake image. While creating a captivating story, here are some guidelines to follow:
- Provide your target audience with your “why”. Understanding “how” will automatically follow. That means that people should know what drives you and what are your core values both in life and business. It invokes trust and helps your audience connect on a deeper level.
- As for the technical side of the storytelling, position yourself as a main character of the story. People like to know where you came from. They are curious about your past, what events shaped you and what obstacles you had to overcome. Tie it all together with where you’re going in life and share with your reader your professional goals–your vision.
- Don’t be afraid to include other people in your story. Show your collaborative skills and also other people’s contribution to your success. It communicates connectedness with people.
- Create associations between your brand and items that were or are characteristic to you as a person and to what you do or offer. It may be anything from your laptop or glasses to a specific outfit you like to wear or the brand of your watch. Make those items virtually work for you.
- Finally, remember to include a conclusion, motto, or a call to action. Each story has to have its climax.
See how others did it successfully
A good example of an effective storyteller might be Polish entrepreneur Rob Gryn, founder of Codewise. It’s the second fastest-growing marketing technology company in Europe according to the Financial Times FT1000 report. He perfectly combines personal branding techniques to promote a proactive lifestyle and at the same time increases the awareness of his company and offered products. Through intelligent promotion, he is often invited to different thematical conferences. As of now (June 2018) he can brag about gaining over thirty thousand followers on Youtube, about thirty thousand on Facebook, and sixty on Instagram.
Storytelling age has come
Everyone knows that words can be very powerful. Not everyone, however, knows which words to use. Nowadays, we suffer from information overload and slowly become numb to raw data, numbers, statistics, etc. They are informative but lack emotions. The solution to that is storytelling which puts a friendly face on facts and keeps your reader with you by connecting to people’s feelings. The action they then take may be just a natural consequence of what they felt. And that is as good as having a new prospect for your business and fans for life.