30 Sep Branding Story Comedy of Errors and How To Fix Them, Act I
There are, unfortunately, a lot of poor examples of storytelling and branding. Distilling who you are and what you have to offer into a package of words that’s easy for someone else to understand is not always simple.
Here are common ways we get off track when telling our stories (and how to fix them):
What’s Your Story?
To tell dynamic stories about you and your business, focus on your client, on the end result that you deliver, on what’s ready and available now (even if you don’t quite feel ready), and distill it into a “holy grail” message that’s easy for someone to take with them.
What about you? What stories have worked well for you? Do you have great examples of tricks and tips you’ve used to craft your message and get what you want?
Do you have relevant examples of what you’ve used to craft your message? Do you have a target you’re trying to reach?
Now, let’s look at a few errors and how to get them right.
Start with the Holy Grail, not every detail it took to get you there. Then work around the details. You want a good hook. Create a magnet to keep you reading and wanting more of the juicy stuff.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and so you want to condense your work into building block progress so it’s palatable for your audience.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall—Highlighting Only You
A business built on highlighting you and you alone is not a business, but an advertising hub that won’t hold attention forever.
To have long-standing followers, you want to build your service on giving back to your customers and adding value to their interactions. If it’s a product, make that product the absolute best it can be, and then polish it up in the selling and advertising process. Remember to always, always, always show value.
Focusing on Timeline and Not Result
Chronology is fascinating, and most of us naturally use a timeline to focus on the how something evolves step-by-step.
Yet, when we feel obligated to fill in each detail of all that has happened to get us from point A to point B, there can be problems.
Here’s an example of pure chronology.
“I started law school and then worked for three different law firms before I made my way into legal marketing. Then, I ran a marketing business, and then I switched industries altogether to work in hardware.”
Instead, focus on the climax of the story, the outcome.
Instead, who are you now? What did the parts of the story do to make you who you are today?
You can add a detail from the past to create drama and prove a point, but don’t get stuck on recreating a chronology of each stepping-stone to get to the prize. Instead, try this.
“Today, I’m focused on visual design and writing, both through teaching and speaking. In fact, when I was just getting started, I was studying psychology and design, and I didn’t think either of those would lead me to teaching communications. Yet it’s all very interrelated, and I’ve been able to use my past design work in my latest projects.”
Find the bait that your audience wants to take. The outcome is far more interesting, although there are essentials points to get you there.
A key way to apply this is on your company’s About page. Rather than structuring your story as a long history lesson of everything you’ve done (such as listing every skill, project, client, or program that you have), be selective, and focus on the end results that you and your company give people. Choose a few details from your past work to support the larger value or key message you’re sharing.
For example, in teaching “Are You Unknowingly Sabotaging Your Life With Too Much Stuff?” , I’m teaching how to declutter and simplify your space visually, and how this impacts your life and business. The article includes a story of how I clear my way to a simpler life, and how minimizing adds value to my business every day, catapulting my organization into more success – through the way that I go about keeping the business simple.
Tune in next time for Act II: Branding Story Comedy of Errors and How to Fix Them, Act II
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Anne Mandler is a speaker, educator, and writer helping you find your life’s work, follow your joy, and know happiness. She teaches business owners and organizations business strategy and how to grow business, communicate effectively, and inspire employees to lead and influence by following their most important goals.
Anne runs 2 successful organizations: Anne Mandler Coaching and The Conscious Living Collective.