Telling your story seems like it should be easy. I mean, nobody knows you better than you, right? But, that’s exactly why it’s actually difficult. Because you just get you. No explanation necessary. So when the eyeballs and pressure are on you, sometimes it can feel like:
How do I put my story into words so others can fully understand my awesomeness? 🙂
I’m going to break down my 5-Step Storyteller Formula for you, so next time you’ll have the answer!
Whether you’re giving an elevator pitch, writing your bio, posting on Instagram, blogging or interviewing -- these five components are crucial for telling a complete and compelling story.
STEP 1: Know Your Intention
Your intention is your desired outcome. Depending on the situation, you’ll either communicate your intention out loud or let it guide you internally. Let’s say you have a meeting with a peer you want to collaborate with on a project. Being clear about your intention is crucial, in this example. In other situations, like let’s say you’re hoping to turn your Instagram followers into customers, you may not share this intention. But in this example, you’ll let your intention guide you. It will help you seek out the right kind of followers and curate your captions accordingly.
STEP 2: Know Your Tribe
The way you talk to your mom, colleague and best friend are all different, right? Your tone, content and word choice vary depending on who your tribe is. If they are carefree millennials, you’ll speak to them in a fun and casual way. If they are corporate America, you’ll speak to them in a more formal and professional way.
Either way, individuals connect with real, authentic individuals. Being specific and personable is key. For example, instead of saying: “next time you watch TV,” it’s better to say: “next time you watch Scandal.” The latter example is specific, personable and shows you know them beyond a general way, helping strengthen your connection. Thank to the internet, learning what your audience likes, values, wants and needs has become much easier!
STEP 3: Know Your Value
This is the most important step! How are you adding value to your tribe? Why should they follow, buy from or hire you?! Do you inspire, entertain, educate or solve a problem for them? Know how you add value most, and do it often!
When it comes to adding value, “showing” is much more effective than “telling.” For example, if you’re a great writer looking for work... it’s one thing to say: I’m an excellent writer who has written for x,y and z. It’s another thing to write an inspiring, educational or entertaining post for them to read. This not only proves you’re a great writer, it also helps them connect with you.
STEP 4: Know Your Uniqueness
It’s no secret, you’re not the only one adding value in the way you described above. But that’s okay! Because there is only one YOU. The key is to show this. So don’t try and be like everyone else in your field. Stand out. People are attracted to authentic and audacious individuals. So all you have to do is: discover your special flavor and unapologetically sprinkle it all over your work, marketing materials, etc.
STEP 5: Know Your Purpose
Your “why” is more important that your “how.” Your why is literally: why are you doing this career, business, project, etc.? Your how is the form it takes: t-shirt company, blog, sales career, etc. Our why is the constant. Our how is evolving and expanding. Our why is what people connect with. Our how is what we sell. Basically you could say: your why is your purpose.
As long as you know your intention, audience, value, uniqueness and purpose, you’ll always get the words out right!