Building Community: Part 3

 

Amazon Alexa Flash Briefing: We are continuing this Series on "How Your Story Builds Community"....


Today, I want you to consider how to use your story to establish you as the expert in your field. Let’s face it — we all follow people (and buy from them) when we consider them as someone who actually knows their stuff, right?

If you want to learn how to make fancy scrapbooks, are you going to follow your neighbor’s advice, when she only started making scrapbooks yesterday? — or are you going to follow someone who’s been making scrapbooks for years and has tons of ideas and resources to share? 

You have to find ways to share your story from this standpoint… how can you share stories and allow your audience to see you as an expert at what you do?

There are many ways I suggest you do this, but to get you started, try sharing stories of different experiences you’ve had becoming BETTER at your craft, and giving tips and resources away...

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Building Community: Part 2

 

This week on my Amazon Flash Briefing & Blog, I am sharing ways Your Story Builds Community.

I talk a lot about how your story can help you create community in general — but what does that really mean? How does it really work?

Yesterday, we talked about how important it is to humanize your brand, so others can get a sense of the heartbeat behind your business. 

Today, I want to talk about how using your story can help bridge the gap between you the expert, and your audience.

When you share your story effectively, it allows others to see themselves in you; know they are not alone.

So how do you do this? Start by looking for commonalities and life lessons that nearly all of us face, and then ask yourself how can you share a story from this perspective and connect it back to your business.

Here’s an example for you — and one that most anyone can use.

I was listening to The Moth Podcast yesterday, and someone one shared their story by sharing an...

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Building Community: Part 1

 

I’m starting a series this week on this Flash Briefing (and blog!) all around the theme of how Your Story Builds Community. I talk a lot about how your story can help you create community in general — but what does that really mean? How does it really work?

Every day this week, We will dive a little deeper into this.

No matter if you are a business with a tangible product, or a service-based personal brand, it’s important you find ways to share your story with your audience for this reason — it shows you are human. So often, marketing your business can feel sterile and cold, and your potential clients can be turned off by this.

You must find ways to share the heartbeat of your business and brand by showing the humans behind the machine.

In my own business, I use my social media channels to take my audience behind the curtain and show off different aspects of my life — I often will take the time to share bits of my story illustrate the passion for...

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The Vulnerability Hangover

 


There’s a little-known side-effect to sharing your story that not a lot of people talk about — so let’s talk about it!

For a lot of people, the idea of having other people look at them, hear them, and observe them is truly unnerving. Think back to your school years, and the courage it took sometimes to raise your hand in class and answer a question. All of the other students in the classroom would turn and look at you while you spoke. 

Or, if you ever had to get up in front of the classroom to make a presentation — the nerves you likely felt, by having so many people look at you, hear you, and witness you.

As we grow up, that stuff doesn’t necessarily go away — it just manifests into a whole different fear and feeling. I call it the Vulnerability Hangover.

Part of learning how to share your story is learning how to deal with the aftermath of feelings — feeling naked and exposed, feeling raw and tender. When you first get up...

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WHO do you Serve?

 

So often in business, we get in the weeds of the day to day operations, we sometimes loose sight of what we are really doing — who it is we serve, who are we trying to help with our products, our services, our message.

It’s really important that you take some time to think about who it is you serve.

This is your storytelling prompt for the day — it’s a fantastic way for you to share a piece of your story with your audience.

Think about who you serve — write about your audience/ your clientele, your ideal clients. Who are they? Why do they matter to you?

I think there’s a big disconnect in businesses today between their audience and the people running the machine.

The best way I know how to help you solve that disconnect is to get you to #1 — think more deeply about the people you serve…. and #2— get you to share your story with them.

When you can clearly identify and connect with who it is you serve, it becomes so much...

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Your Business is a Mountain

 

I want you to imagine a Mountain-- picture in your head the landscape of this mountain, and imagine what it might look like if you were looking at this mountain from afar. You’d see the base, the peak, and the other side.

The mountain is an image I use in all of my storytelling classes to help people understand their own story, and how to craft their message in a powerful way.

This applies to all great storytelling — for businesses, for people, for analysis of politics — everything.

Here’s how this mountain relates to storytelling.

What makes up a great story is the element of transformation. When people tell stories without this ingredient, the stories fall flat and are very boring. Think of a movie script — can you imagine watching a movie without experiencing the buildup to the climax? It would be a disaster.

For my illustration today, I’m going to use a business as an example — because I think too many businesses overlook the...

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MLK's Dream Sparks the Story

 

I can’t help but think about the power of Story today, as we celebrate and honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here was a man so passionate for civil rights, he rose above adversity and used his voice to openly share his story as a means to blaze the trail for all of his brothers and sisters.

It’s awe-inspiring to think about the journey of Martin Luther King, Jr and how powerful his legacy is to this day.

Can you imagine if he had let all the doubts in his head keep him quiet??

I hear some of the same things over and over from amazing women who tell me they are scared to share their story —

Things like, “What will other people think?  What if they think I’m trying to be somebody special? What if my story falls flat, and it’s not exciting enough?" 

Some of these same thoughts probably went through MLK's head at some point.... Can you imagine if Martin Luther King, Jr had let that fear get to him?

Now, I know...

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# 1 Rule of Storytelling: Know Your Audience

 

The first step of storytelling is knowing your Audience.

Knowing who you are talking to will help inform you on the type of story you share, and the details you need to include.

So many people ask me, “How do I know what’s relevant— which parts of my story should I share?” — and the answer is tied up in “who are you talking to?” — What parts of your story would your audience be interested in? What is relevant to them?

Too many people share their story and quickly get off on a tangent of details that, honestly, nobody really needs to know!  Going off the rails like this makes your story all about you. Remember, your story — and the whole reason you are sharing it — is to make it about your audience.

Knowing who you are talking to will inform you on the types of details you need to share. Asking yourself this simple question: “Does my audience need to know this; Is it relevant to them?"— will help you...

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What is Visual Storytelling?

For most of my career, I’ve worked in the world of Visual Storytelling — as a video producer, writer, and creative director. I love using video to supplement the story and help tell it through moving, visual images.

There are all kinds of ways to incorporate Visual storytelling, including art, photos, sketches/illustrations, music, abstract collages, just to name a few. For some people, Journaling is hard — writing their words down on paper is not something that comes easily. I hear often from clients who struggle with the journal prompts I give — so an alternative is to seek a more visual route to tell your stories. So if you are in this same camp — I encourage you to seek visual options expressing your story. Often times, the words come much faster once the visual is in place.

EXERCISE: CREATE A VISUAL STORY

This time of year — the beginning of a New Year — seems to be a popular time to make Vision Boards — and these are a fantastic...

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The 10 Year Challenge

 

There’s a fun little viral challenge making its way through social media at the moment called the 10 year challenge — where you post your profile picture from 10 years ago and compare it to the one of today. All over the internet, people are posting side by side pictures — some in which there are noticeably drastic changes in appearance, while others look relatively the same. Some people are asking the prolific question, “How well did you age?” This is a golden opportunity to sprinkle some storytelling to your audience by taking it a step further — and instead of focusing on how well you aged, focus on how much your story has changed. This is actually an exercise and story prompt I give a lot of my storytelling students — to look back 10 years ago and write about what their life looked like then, versus what your life likes like now. We often don’t even realize — or give ourselves credit for how much we’ve been able to do...

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