Why Telling Your Story Matters
When I started Your Social Statement, I had no idea what I was in for. Like most of us, I was just figuring it out as I go, hoping that something would stick. I had no idea why I thought starting another business after ‘failing’ at my previous online clothing store was even a good idea. When I look back, I was completely naive. That first business chewed me up and spit me out, but I picked myself up and I vowed to do things a lot differently. I knew I was meant for more, and I wanted a life to be proud of. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do anything I wanted and that this time failing wasn’t an option.
The Universe must had been listening and I came across a business coach that teaches women how to launch their own social media managing agencies and was like I could totally do that. So easy! I’m in. My new life awaits… I told you I was naive.
My coach was amazing and was able to refer me to my first few clients and as I was trying to work out how to market them on social media, I was also trying to figure how I wanted to market myself.
I dug deep and I asked myself the hard questions. I was getting somewhere but the one only thing I refused to do was make myself visible. My insecurities got the best of me, I had imposter syndrome, and there was no way I was going to let anyone find out. Oh and telling my story… the truth about how I got here… that failed business? No chance I was telling anyone that.
So I ignored all of the advice. I was determined to figure out how to make this work without showing my face, and without sharing my journey of how I got started. And I did. I hustled non-stop for over a year. I was taking any and every client I could get. I was helping other businesses grow for very little money without any time left over to grow my own. I would feel so guilty giving myself a break because I wasn’t hitting my income goals, and I felt like I didn’t deserve it. I was comparing myself to other social media managers, influencers, brands… at this time just about anyone on Instagram. Why does this poodle have over 100K followers? I was unhappy, I felt unworthy, and over a little over a year into my business, I burnt out.
In January 2018, I decided something had to give. During my hustle, I had isolated myself. The thought of attending a networking event scared the crap out of me. I am naturally very shy and an introvert, and deep down I was really scared that these new people were going realize that I was a fraud. But I was so lonely so I forced myself to find some and go. I gave myself all the excuses not to go, and then when I got there I would awkwardly stand in the corner hoping someone would say hi. When I got home, I was happy I survived and looked for more events. Then it hit me: Connecting with other women was making me full again. Hearing their stories and their feelings made my own feel real and validating. So I leaned into that, and I attended more meet-ups and events and discovered that it was my mission to serve other women business owners.
Running a business is a wild ride. It’s not easy, especially when it is just you. I wanted to build a business where I could be an anchor for women just like you. So that I could snap them out of the go-go-go and do-do-do and tell them that they are not alone, that their feelings are valid, and that there is another way.
I niched down and I had to start walking my talk. I hired a photographer, I started to show my face, I started to tell my story, I started to listen, I started to shift my mindset and things began to change. I began to really connect and have real conversations over Instagram. I confronted my feelings of comparison and sought out ways to fix it, and I began to believe in the value of my message so deeply so that I no longer felt like a fraud. The hustle stopped, and I was getting clients from Instagram. I had time to breathe and think, work on my business, and make a whole new mess of mistakes to learn from. :)
I am telling you this story to help you understand the power of telling your own. I want you to know that your story is important, and your target audience wants to know it, and needs to hear it.
Storytelling builds connection. We crave deeper connection, and we want to be understood. When your audience hears your story and can relate to that story they feel a connection. They’ll start to be naturally curious and want to know more.
Storytelling establishes you as the perfect guide for your audience. Sharing a story about how you overcame something or about how you helped a client overcome something establishes you as credible. Tell stories about how you learned what it takes to guide them.
Storytelling will help you stand out through all the noise. It is so cheesy and I don’t know why I hate saying it sometimes but you have to be you. No one else has your unique perspective. The clients that you are meant to serve need your unique perspective.
We are constantly consuming content, and so is our audience. Our real goal when marketing ourselves is to have them experience our content, not just consume it. We have to take them on a journey and show them that transformation is possible.