By Kelly Elizabeth Scott Leadership Coach & Story Strategist
In March of 2015, I resigned my position as a Systems Engineer for the Navy and, in April of 2015, I took a $75,000 pay cut and became a full-time entrepreneur. Those first weeks after driving away from the Navy Yard, I experienced this thrill & excitement, a constant hint of un-comfortableness, and pure passion in my bones. It was time to come alive, stop hiding, and embrace all that I am and all that I had learned in service to the world and the people closest to me.
Unfortunately, there was one thing I wasn’t prepared for and one thing nobody seems to tell you before you quit the safe, stable, 75k-a-year-job, and jump face first into uncertainty…
Stepping out under my own name, and with my own story leading the way, brought up every single tiny insecurity I had and ever had.
“This is stupid. No one cares. No one likes you.”
These were the thoughts that ran my show.
“Will people listen? Will they respond? Am I credible? Do I have anything to share?”
At one point, I went to my fiancé, threw my hands in the air, and declared once and for all that I wasn’t cut out for this dream chasin’ life. He slowly turned around, gave me this big, mischievous smile, and said, “Cheer up, Kelly! You’ll be able to turn this into a blog post one day!”
At first, I was shocked (and annoyed) at his less-than-ideal response when I felt like my whole world was caving in. But then, I realized he was right. I realized that as much as an experience I’m in might suck, I would be able to share its story later. I’ll be able to connect with more people, walk alongside a greater population, and turn around to help others following my footsteps.
All of a sudden, a smile flashed across my face and a tiny bit of laughter crooked out of my throat. He was right.
I can turn anything into a story and it’s one of the most powerful tools in our toolbox.
Stories take good messages and make them great. They help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that numbers, statistics, and facts can’t. There’s enough information in the world to last us a lifetime. Billions of links to tens of millions of pieces of content are shared each month through social media alone. But while the content and information available to us is magnifying by the day, the context that connects us to the content is still missing. Those who can create and share powerful stories will build followings, find tribes, and change lives more quickly.
6 ways to use story to become an authority in your field
- Use your story on your about me page. Your story is unique, and part of the reason your ideal clients will want to work with you and only you. When you craft your brand story, and infuse it into your about me page, social media bios, and speaking introductions, you form a deeper connection with your ideal clients, one that can’t be found anywhere else.
Bonus tip: Infuse your “about me story” with photos of your journey to further paint a picture that will resonate.
- Use pieces of your story in everyday conversation. Have you ever shared a story? One that felt vulnerable and raw? It’s empowering. Because when we take ownership of our stories – the good and the work in progress – we stand a little bit taller and feel a little bit more confident in who we are and how we can serve.
Bonus tip: Before sharing any story, make sure you’ve processed the experience and learned any needed lessons.
- Use a story format when writing blog posts to make creating content easy. All you have to do when crafting your next blog or social media post is tell me a story, tell me how that story connects to your message, and then tell me what to do or how I can apply this message to my life. When you use this formula (story + message + takeaway), content ideas are endless and you know exactly how to start each post!
Bonus tip: When you’re thinking about how to connect any story to your message, start by asking the following questions: What’s the purpose of the story you shared? What are you teaching your ideal clients or what can we learn from your story? What’s the one thing you want your ideal clients to take away from this blog post? How does this story relate to your ideal clients or your work?
- Use story in your next email marketing campaign. “Stories work in marketing because human brains are hardwired to remember them. Storytelling is as old as time. They have long been used to hand down history and build community. A great story cuts through the clutter of (too much) information.” (globalcopywriting.com)
- Use story to curate your Instagram feed. When you look at those little boxes on Instagram, do they tell your brand story? Do they give your ideal clients a glimpse into what drives you, what you’re passionate about, and ultimately why you do what you do? Think of your Instagram feed as one big story and take ownership for what type of story you’re telling.
- Use stories in client case studies to showcase the results you help your clients achieve. Share the before and after of recent clients, so that you’re ideal clients can trust you understand where they are and resonate more deeply with where you can help them go.
Bonus tip: When writing stories for your content, and specifically when sharing client case studies, make sure that (1) you have permission and that (2) you are being portrayed as the mentor while the client is being portrayed as the hero.
Now that you understand more about how to use story to become an authority in your field, it’s important to figure out what exactly your story is! Get started crafting your brand story with these three questions:
- Where did my journey begin? What was the “before”?
- What was the turning point? What big challenges did I overcome?
- Where am I now? Why do I do what I do?
About the Author
Kelly is a Leadership & Wellness Coach helping ambitious women dreamers live, lead, and be well. She’s an expert at helping you create the life and body of work that both makes you come alive and is the footprint you wish to leave in the world. Visit http://www.kellyelizabethscott.com/a-free-gift-for-you.html to download her free guide with the 5 powerful questions you need to ask yourself daily.