Episode Show Notes:
What do you need to know when it comes to crafting a signature story that inspires and connects the dots for your audience?
Wait, what the heck is a signature story and do you need one?
Short answer yes, because like many entrepreneurs you’re probably making this rookie marketing mistake:
When talking about yourself and your background you rample a laundry list of experiences, resembling more of a resume than a journey an audience can relate to. The no-no is that you think you’re telling your “story”.
It’s ok if you’ve done this. Truthfully, me too.
I mean, it’s hard NOT to when someone asks you “how did you end up in this line of work”, or “tell me a bit about your background”.
But here’s the most important thing to understand when it comes to your role as a marketer using story:
The story that matters most is the quiet one unfolding within your listener as they hear you tell yours.
That’s right. Your signature story is about you… but it’s FOR them.
Let me give you an example of a becoming-well-known Signature Story.
She’s the woman who wanted to help other women feel beautiful in their own skin. When she couldn’t find a solution to cover her own rosacea, she created a product that would be rejected over and over again by “the experts”. Some would go as far to say that women didn’t want to see “regular women”, they wanted to see models with perfect skin… that’s how marketing works. Or the man who rejected a deal with her company because he doubted that women would buy beauty products from someone at her weight.
FACT: you had a visceral reaction to that. You already started coming up with a story in your mind around the kind of person who might say that, and the kind of person YOU are when faced with rejection and doubt when others do not believe in you.
She kept going, fueled by grit, tenacity and strong purpose… and created a billion dollar company.
Hello, Jamie Kern Lima, co-founder of IT cosmetics.
I just heard her live for the second time share her signature story (shout out to the Kajabi Self-Made Summit).
And my GOODNESS, the comment section lit up as people shared how her experiences and insights resonated with them.
Listening to a good signature story gets you fired up, thinking about yourself and your possibility.
Though often when we hear stories of the “big names”, we inevitably think they’re somehow different from us. That they’re special with these big experiences… and we, well we’re just normal people trying to feed our tiny humans!
Does your signature story have to be monumental?
(11:51) Your story is yours and you shouldn’t measure or compare it to anybody else because it’s not theirs, it’s yours and it matters. What you have to learn to do is learn to tell the parts of your story, the pieces of your story that connect with other people. Understand that the stories I tell you today, my stories that I talk about, know that these stories have been crafted and finessed over time.
The truth is everyone has a story.
The secret is knowing what specifically is your signature story.
OK, so what exactly is a Signature Story?
(14:08) Your signature story is your defining moments that led you to do the thing you do today, and it’s through the lens of your life and business experience that makes you relatable and a perfect match for someone else.
You’re gonna use this, like I said, when you’re in interviews. You are going to use this most likely if you do keynote presentations, if you’re on virtual summits, even if you’re just talking about yourself, maybe in a Facebook live.
Here’s a recap of the 5 Essential Truths I share in the episode:
- Every business owner needs their signature story
This is the ultimate, WHY you? Why THIS topic? Why THIS program/product?
Remember that YOU are the differentiating factor in your business. You have to get radically honest with yourself, customers can find similar offerings somewhere else… most likely cheaper. Your signature story starts layering value far before you make an offer.
- Your story is multifaceted and you must be able to tell it like an accordion.
Whether you’re asked about your background at a cocktail party, to introduce yourself on a podcast or share about who you are on a webinar, you’ll want to be able to tell your story at a variety of lengths, expanding and contracting the pieces of the story that are related to the need at that moment.
- It will evolve and adapt – don’t try to get it perfect
The way you tell the story, what you focus on and how you deliver it will change overtime as you get more experience and try on what resonates with you. Don’t try to “get it right” out of the gate, just get moving with it.
- It’s your experiences, but it’s not about you. It’s about how others can see themselves THROUGH you.
Your signature story answers these important questions: Why should I believe you? Can I trust you? Do I LIKE you? Can you really help me? Are we really that different?
- It is a story, not a rap sheet (describe moments, people and emotion)
Contrary to what we think, facts, credentials or work experience isn’t the story that leads to trust. So a list of facts and numbers isn’t going to answer those above questions.
Prompts that you could ask yourself and even use to help your craft signature story
(48:07) These three big prompts: in that moment I realized, that was my wake up call for, there was a decision I had to make. Those are three prompts that you can not only use in your story but can also help you scratch your head of saying, what was it that led me to where I am today? What are the big things that happened that make me the expert, the authority in what I do?
Here are a few of the prompts I use with my clients to determine if something should stay or go:
- What were the moments where you had a big AHA, there was a decision or a key belief you took with you moving forward?
- What led to you looking for a solution?
- When did you find the “thing” that changed everything?
- What do you wish you would have known earlier?