"The key is, no matter what story you tell, make your buyer the hero."
- Chris Brogan
Oprah Winfrey needs no introduction. One of the most successful, wealthy and influential business women of the modern world, Oprah can teach us about the power and relevance of story. As someone who has shared her story so publicly, this has been crucial to her overwhelming success. In sharing her story, her audience connects with her instantly and it deeply resonates. Her willingness to be vulnerable touches the emotions of her audience in such a powerful way that has inspired and continues to inspire people from all walks of life, and especially in business and entrepreneurship.
Now we may never be as wealthy, powerful or influential as Oprah (and who is to say you can't be), but this should not diminish our own stories of significance. Our stories of significance that influence others, are too, ones of struggle, conflict, challenges or pain and they are worthy of sharing. They are best divulged when we've come through the other side, to show others what is possible.
Some of our most significant stories are often born when we reach a crossroad in our life and we make a choice and take action. Usually the action leads to a change of direction in our lives for better and sometimes for worse, and eventually they become the patchwork which is our journey.
When it comes to your business or calling and what you are passionate about, more often than not, it has been borne from some moment of struggle, conflict, challenge or at the hands of pain that we've experienced - whether they have been our own, or whether we have witnessed anothers' that has left an indelible print upon our hearts and minds. When we've reached a crossroads.
The thing is, when we look back we find that however we came to overcome that struggle...the path, the process, the solution most probably brought us to where we are now. We feel compelled to help others, and so begins a journey to share with the world something that's touched us...something we've come to love or to be passionate about that has made our own lives intrinsically better somehow.
And as we continue our business journey, we often lose sight of how we came to be here. We forget that how we came to be here...the pain, the struggle, the challenge - is the exact thing that our customer's may be experiencing, and they too seek the answer to their own struggles.
If we only shared our story then maybe they would connect with us, because they may just relate to that same struggle or challenge. And they trust us because we are just like them. And then perhaps, because we have found our own solution, we can then offer that solution to end their pain, conflict or struggle. How powerful then, does our story become?
Because I bet your competitors aren't telling their story, or the stories of their customers. You may have the same products or services as your competitors, but your story is different. And if your story resonates with your customers, and they buy into that and what you have to offer, then your value is no longer purely based upon your product or service. Your value is based upon who you are, where you've come from and what you've brought to the market by the way of the solution you offer.
Kerry :) x