I scrapped my podcast today. Haven’t listened to my podcast yet? That’s because I haven’t actually released it.
I’ve been thinking about podcasting for a while. I had some cover art made. I recorded some episodes. I edited some episodes. And then they just sat there on my hard drive, collecting cyberdust. They felt so generic. So uninspiring. Like a boring parody of an authoritative podcast.
Here’s the main problem: there was no me in there. It was info, info, info. Good info, actually, but not great entertainment. And no me. So I scrapped it.
In order to tell your brand’s unique story, it’s important to deviate from simple blog posts and regular forms of content. Your story is a compilation of all that you do and all that you are. It starts with your idea, your business card, your website, and every product or service that you put out there. It includes your social media and your blog. Everything taken together tells your story, so it’s important to understand how it all fits together.
Your story separates and differentiates you from everyone else. Otherwise, you’re just one more solution for the same old problem that customers can choose from, and usually without a standout differentiator they’ll base their choice on price. Most of the time, unless you’re Walmart, you do not want customers to choose you based on price alone. You want them to choose you because you’re you.
Telling your unique story starts with these questions:
1) When, Why and How Did You Start?
The best way to show authenticity is to be able to tell your audience when, why and you started doing what it is that you do. If you can tell your story in a way that your audience relates to you, and even roots for your success – even better. If you can become part of the “fabric of their lives” so to speak, you will be able to pull on their emotional heartstrings and almost become part of their family.
2) How Do You Want Customers to View You?
As you write your story, it’s important to convey your values and ideals in a no-nonsense way that isn’t wishy-washy. While you may be frightened of turning off some people, you really don’t need to worry about that. Those people aren’t your audience. Your audience consists of the people who can relate to your story, share your values, and want to be part of it.
3) Where Do You See Your Business Down the Line?
This is where you’ll try to dream big, and let your audience know where you see your business in the future. It also gives you the opportunity to refine consumer expectations toward what you offer rather than what the competition offers. For example, if you donate 10 percent of proceeds to a particular charity, people should know about it.
How you answer these questions is important. You’re going to have many opportunities to do so via every communication you have with your audience—be it your blog, social media or even through the types of products you offer. With the answers to these questions you can start to form your story and weave it throughout everything you do.
* Share through Storytelling – Using an honest, no-holds-barred communication style to tell your story, your customers’ stories, and the story of your products is a good start. Use case studies, interviews, and in-depth relatable blog posts to accomplish this.
* Share through Doing Good – Another way to share (and also blog about it) is to get involved with your community to give back something that is noticeable. You don’t want to do this just to get noticed, but you do want to pick something that helps people understand who you are as a business owner and what your business stands for.
* Share through Experiences – You and your audience likely share common experiences that should be discussed. The more ways you can relate to them, the more ways they’ll see your offerings as unique and different.
* Share with the Truth – Don’t hype, and don’t “blow smoke”. These are old advertising tricks that aren’t needed. Consumers are smart today. They want the black and white truth of the matter. If it takes 20 hours a week to do what you do, and you’re teaching them, tell them the truth. If you’ve had to stay up overnight to work around children’s schedules, say so.
* Share Everywhere – Don’t just “tell” your story on your blog in the “about” section. Tell your story everyplace. Use infographics, memes, blog posts, guest blog posts, articles, testimonials, good deeds and every possible way to spread your story. Be your story by your actions.
Your unique story of your brand is woven through everything you do. It tells your values, your past, present and future, and it makes you stand out from the rest in a compelling, relevant and useful manner. That’s what I’m working on. I would encourage you to, too.
What makes you unique? What’s your story? Feel free to comment and share.