When it comes to tools for growing a business, the most significant one may be your own story. Your story is a powerful tool of influence. Most people think having the right technology or being on the right social platforms are the most important tools, so they invest a lot of money in those things first. And while those things are essential, I submit that one of the best and sometimes underutilized tools for growing your business is your own story.
If you’re running your own business or even thinking about running your own business, you know the importance of marketing. Of the list of things to know, “Know your audience” is at the top of the list. I’d venture to say, that most of know who we want to attract, but how do we go about attracting them?
One good way to attract your target audience is by sharing your own story. It will attract the right people. I’m certainly not suggesting that you air your dirty laundry, but simply share who you are. Share about how and why you started your business. Share your sources of inspiration. Share your routines. Share the lessons you’ve learned along the way - what has worked and what hasn’t. All these things will let people see the person behind the business. Those that your story resonates with will listen and will engage with you.
Though it sounds simple, for many people sharing your story may come with some anxiety. Below are 3 simple steps to take as you get your story out there.
3-STEPS TO EMBRACE FOR SHARING YOUR STORY
Know That Not Everyone Will Accept It, And That’s OK!
“You will be too much for some people...those are not your people.” I love this quote! I would add...And, it’s OK!
For some people, you talk too much. For others, you don’t talk enough. You’re too quiet. You’re too loud. You may be too tall for one and not tall enough for another. You’re too short. Too dark. Too light. Too this. Too that. The list goes on.
We’ve likely all found ourselves in one of these “too this” or “too that” categories. Though we all want to be liked, we need to accept that we will not be everyone’s cup of tea. And that, my friends, is OK! It really is. Because the time we spend trying to “hang” with the group that just tolerates us is taking away from finding the people who truly love and appreciate what we have to offer.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
I probably use this phrase more than any other. That’s because we need the constant reminder to get out of our own way. We all want to do more or be more, but when it comes down to it, most of us talk ourselves out of it.
Start small. Like in any relationship, you want to slowly and thoughtfully share about yourself. Don’t pour your deepest, darkest secrets out day one. That may actually run some people off. But do share something that takes you out of your comfort zone. For instance, I’m not a fan of closeups of myself and even less of a fan of selfies, but since I teach my tribe about moving past our comfort zones to truly show up, I guess I have to practice what I preach, huh? (insert sheepish smile). So, on my personal social profiles, I’ve started posting more selfies. It’s a small thing, but small steps lead to big ones.
That thing called “comfort” will keep us shying away from sharing who we really are with the world. The thought of revealing our true identity can be flat out uncomfortable. Understandably so. What will people think or say? Will we come across as genuine or self-centered?
Yet in a strange turn of events, not showing up and sharing who we are is (at times) being the same thing we’re trying to avoid: Self-centered. That’s because, at that moment, the main person we’re thinking about is self. Our discomfort is at the center.
But oh, the lives that would be touched if we embraced the discomfort and shared who we are anyway!
Find Your People
Finding where you “belong” is a real thing. I’ve recently started having talks with my 5-year-old daughter about it. Wow, this stuff starts early.
There are cliques and then there are clicks. Finding your people isn’t to support excluding others because of differences, but it does mean that there are those that are a natural fit for us. Like meeting someone for the first time and there’s no ice to break because you “just click.” Find those people. The ones who don’t think you’re too much. The ones who you can connect with and share meaning. I mean, that’s the point after all: touching others’ lives. Right?
So, take a deep breath, or several if needed and bravely go where you haven’t gone before! Take imperfect action. Shake off the discomfort, and shift the focus from ourselves to the people who need us. They’re praying and waiting for us to show up. Flaws and all. Real and authentic. Trust me when I say, you’ll be glad you did.
Let me know if this was helpful by commenting below and/or sharing this post on your favorite social media.