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What's the story?

I talk a lot about the importance of sharing stories to help raise the profile of your business. I mentioned earlier this week on Instagram how stories connect us to friends, family and potential clients and customers. When one person shares a story and the other person says “me too” “wow that’s so interesting” or even “oh I’m so relieved I’m not the only one” a connection is formed, in life this moment can help seal a friendship, in business it can be the thing that makes your business stick in the mind of a potential customer.

This is all well and good but you may be like many of the business owners I have spoken to and don’t know what their story is. If that sounds like you you’re in the right place. Here are my top tips for uncovering your story:

  • What's your USP?

What is it about you, your business or your product that is different from the others? Is it the quality? The way you do business. Your customer service? Take some time to think about what is different to your competitors

  • Think about what led you to start your business

Was it your need for something that you couldn’t find? Did an event that happened to you highlight a problem that you wanted to solve? Did a passing conversation send your brain into overdrive and spark the idea?

  • Look at your personal life.

Has something amazing happened to you? Have you overcome a challenge? Does your business help you in some way? For example I worked with a creative business which was started as craft was a way for the owner to deal with her anxiety.

  • Are you solving a problem everybody is talking about?

An example of this is a few years ago I was working with a VA business. The fifth anniversary of the business was approaching. I knew that this in itself was not a story that local media would be interested in but the anniversary happened to coincide with stress awareness month, something that the VA was helping business owners relief was stress by taking on tasks for them. With this in mind we created a free download that would help with the task the VA found most people outsourced, investigated the stats around work related stress and used that for the hook for the anniversary story. This led to lots of local print coverage and some radio interviews.

  • Talk through your answers to these questions with somebody else?

Share with somebody else (or a few people) all the things that you uncover from this exercise. What stands out for them? What makes them say wow? It may not be what you think but it might be the thing that makes your story. If you don’t know who to talk to this is something I can help with in a Dig Deeper session. An example of how a story can manifest from a conversation is I was working with an events coming. They were organising a national cheerleading competition and wanted to raise awareness of it. I was given a list of people who had done well at previous competitions and I set out to interview them and their parents. Sine spoke of how cheerleading had helped them overcome shyness or helped them find friends. They all had lovely stories but the one that made the media was that of a boy who was brilliant at cheerleading (but that wasn’t news) but the fact that when I spoke to him he told me how he used cheer to help him with his school work and had created a periodic table cheer did.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas on how to find your story and remember the stories you uncover aren’t just for the media use them everywhere, share them on your socials or tell them when you have to get up and speak at a networking event. You never know when somebody listening will say “Me too”

Rebecca Slater is a PR Consultant with more than 20 years public relations experience. She is based in Staffordshire and provides support to businesses all over the country.

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