Coaches, online teachers and personal brands use their personal story to sell their courses and coaching programs. It’s not just what you know, it’s why you want to share it that counts.
If you don’t use your personal story, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to connect with potential customers. And this is super important in the online world. You don’t get to be face to face with your customers so you really need to go that extra mile to connect with them. And build trust.
Storytelling does that. And what your audience is looking for is a sneak peek into your personal backstory. They want to know your motivation. And they’re interested in the journey that led you to be here doing this work.
In this post I share a simple formula for telling your story to your customers. The first step is to know your Why.
Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, says that your Why is what people buy. He believes it’s not your services or products people are paying for, but your reason for offering them.
When you share our Why, then your ideal customers get an insight into who you are. You’re not the only one doing what you’re offering but no one else has your exact story. And because customers are attracted to people with similar values, then it’s up to you to reveal a bit of yourself and what motivates you to do your work.
By sharing what the catalyst for you to be doing this work was, you build trust.
I struggled with debt for many years so I want to help you get out of debt too
I found running an online business really overwhelming so I wanted to simplify the process
Usually your Why is the reason you want to share what you’ve learnt so that it will help your ideal customer.
When you share your story, you need your customers to think: Me Too! They need to be able to relate to your situation or emotions as if you were opening a window into their own lives.
Choose parts of your story that represent common situations or emotions that your ideal customers would share. Think about the challenges and the desires you’ve experienced that may match theirs.
Your story: I’m a corporate escapee who now runs my own business
Your customer’s ‘Me Too’: I’m also considering giving up my corporate job to create my own business
Your story: After working 12 hour days I experienced burnout
Your customer’s ‘Me Too’: I also work long hours and am feeling tired and burned out
It’s a basic human need is to feel understood. That’s why you need to show your customers that you understand them. Then you become a relatable expert. And when you’re relatable, people are more likely to trust you. And want to work with you.
It’s not enough to share your Why and get people to feel ‘Me Too’ when hearing your story. You also need to show them how you’ve turned your situation around.
The turnaround needs be related to your current work and what you’re offering. It is the reason why your customers trust that you have the solutions to their problems. And why they’ll get out their wallet.
Example: I overcame my health struggles and now live an active life
What situation have you turned around or overcome to get where you are? Think about the ‘facts’ and the emotions (because emotions are how people connect with the facts!).
The turnaround in the graphic below gives you a simple formula to share your story. There are 3 parts to the turnaround:
Before – the conditions of your former life, what life was like before your crisis
The crisis – the challenge or problem you faced that forced you to change your life
After – the improved life conditions you now have as a result of overcoming your crisis
Remember that stories are built on emotions. It’s more powerful to share the emotions involved in what you overcame. What was the dominate emotion in your Crisis: guilt, fear, frustration? And what was the dominate emotion in the After stage: hope, fulfilment, excitement?
Think about the previous story: I overcame my health struggles and now live an active life
Now if I add some emotions to the story it becomes: After years of feeling trapped in an unhealthy body I’m now healthy enough to run a 5km marathon
Even though the ‘facts’ are the same, the second version evokes the negative emotion of despair (feeling trapped) and the positive emotion of hope (being able to run a marathon).
Now it’s time for you to share your story. Click on the link below to get your free Cheatsheet download. It’ll help you connect with your audience and turn them into paying customers.