When I tell people to share more of themselves publicly, I’m met with A LOT of resistance.
Because they think I mean they should be on social media sharing every detail of their lives – like, “Hey, this is my lunch” or “Here I am at the dentist getting a root canal.”
But what I ACTUALLY mean is to share your story. Your audience wants to get to know YOU, the person *behind* the business.
But instead of thinking of sharing as spilling the most private parts of your life for the entire world to see (remember The Real World MTV?), go into it with the mindset of starting a conversation and creating connection.
Storytelling allows people to make sense of the world and derive more meaning from their lives, and telling a good story will deepen the connection with your audience.
What personal experiences can you share, in story form, that would move your audience?
One simple topic that never fails is sharing what’s been happening in your life and business.
As a matter of fact, if you write an email with a subject line, “what I’ve been up to” you’ll get a higher-than-usual open rate and direct responses.
Another one that my audience loved reading was called “holiday horror story”.
It was a story about how I was hacked during the holidays, while standing on line to get tested for COVID, and the lessons I’ve learned.
Everyone loves a good holiday horror story.
You could talk about why you started your business, what you’re currently working on, what’s coming up next, why your work matters right now, your plans for the summer, your battle with your landlord in court, a horror story. The possibilities are endless.
The more you share authentically and use your voice to share your message, the more you’ll hear yourself saying, “Whoa, people are responding to my emails!”
Here are my BEST TIPS for sharing stories via email and social media that will create engagement and clients:
1 – Write your story, as you would tell it to a good friend, in a non-formal friendly tone. Sometimes I record my voice and then I transcribe it (lots of free apps for this).
2 – Center your story around a clear message. Thread your message throughout. I shared this holiday horror story once, and it would have been a great piece of drama, but I shared it with a strong message and enrolled a few clients to my program as a result.
3 – Embrace drama and descriptive thoughts and feelings. People love it when the main character of the story struggles with a big challenge. I read somewhere that it’s OK to be cruel to your main character in the story. If you’re the main character, describe all the thoughts and feelings of the struggle in the story. I always get consistent feedback that people love it when I articulate the struggle in detail.
4 – Clear structure – A good story will have a beginning, middle and end. A successful story will start with a little bit of context, transition into an inciting incident, build up to a climax, maybe depict some more unexpected challenges, where the main character doesn’t yet give up, and ultimately arrives at a satisfying ending.
5 – Ask your audience questions throughout the story that get them to think about what it would be like for them in this same situation, once again, threading in your main message – this creates engagement and responses.
Here are some responses I received after sharing my Holiday Horror Story:
We’re drawn to people who show their humanity, who share their journey, unfiltered, mistakes and all.
When you share a story, you’re not seen as just someone who’s selling a product/service, but someone who actually goes out and interacts with the world, has relationships, conversations, failures, wins, and palm-to-face moments.
I’ve been writing emails and sharing videos with my audiences consistently for over a year.
Telling stories has created a lot of engagement and clients.
You’d be surprised how sharing your story will create engagement.
Telling stories doesn’t have to be complicated – just provide an “insider look” into your thinking, your why, your life experiences –
It’ll be a game changer for your business.