Do you ever wonder what makes certain business owners successful? It's the stories they tell. Naturally, human beings are storytelling machines because we want to be relatable, we want to connect with each other and find our common ground.
This truth is one that every business owner should keep in mind when creating content that will help turn strangers into clients. When we show up again and again with the same stories and the same messaging, we are practicing radical consistency, which I believe is the cornerstone to every successful business.
So, today on The Rebel Rising Podcast, I'm sharing the three types of stories you need to be telling:
- Your connection story
- A reason to believe story
- An elevated social proof story
Listen in to learn more about each story and how to craft your own because these stories will help you empathize with your audience and with your clients. When you do that, you'll be able to grow that audience and to make sales and to feel good doing it.
Listen in or read through the transcript below
Resources mentioned in this episode
Hey rebels. Human beings are story telling machines. We connect with each other through stories. We share universal truth through stories. Stories take abstract concepts and make them concrete. Stories have the power to persuade. They have the power to make us see the world differently. They have the power to make us see what is possible.
And for that reason, story is something that we, as business owners and entrepreneurs, should take the time to craft for our business. And if you’ve listened to the Rebel Rising Podcast before, you know that I am a fan of the concept of radical consistency. And this is the idea that we show up again and again with the same stories and the same message.
Because when we do that, we breed trust in our audience. And my role model for this is absolutely Brené Brown (you can read why
here). And one of the things Brené does brilliantly is tell stories, and she tells the same stories in the exact same way again and again and again. And you might wonder why she does that well, because it takes a while to find the right story and to deliver it in a way that makes that emotional connection. I call these stories signature stories, and when I work with clients on their 3 Word Rebellion and their client journey, ultimately what I look for our signature stories that are going to turn strangers into fans and clients.
And when you find your signature stories, you want to use these stories everywhere from speaking, podcast interviews, your about page content, Facebook lives, webinar , use them everywhere and use them often because you want to be known for your stories.
There are three signature stories that I think are essential to have in your business’s back pocket at all times.
These are the stories that you should be telling in order to take your clients on that emotional journey with you in order to take them from strangers and turn them into fans and clients. So those three stories are what we're going to talk about on today's podcast.
The first type of signature story is one that I think is often misunderstood, and this is our connection story.
The connection story is important because this gives your audience, your potential new clients a connection to you. But oftentimes we think this connection story has to either be our whole origin story from the time we're born to now, or a rags to riches story, because bro marketer took the story and said, hey, if you want us be credible, then you have to have this rags to riches story. Tell them about how you were living in your friend's basement next to their toilet. And now you're a millionaire with a Tesla living by a beach some place.
But here's the thing about rags to riches stories-- they're not relatable
No one can relate to big stories like that, that, Oh my gosh, you were living in a basement in your friend's bathtub, and now you're a trillionaire. People don't relate to those kinds of stories because they're out of the realm of our normal every day. Life and people have a hard time tracking with the big stories that sound like a list of like, well, I was born in Buffalo, New York at an in 1973 and my mom and dad, blah, blah, blah, blah.
What they're looking for is this moment of transformation that they can identify with.
So what you want to find in a connection story is a story that is relatable. A story that can create empathy with the person that is listening, the story that can create some kind of emotional connection, or the person who's listening to it can think, oh my gosh, I have so been in that situation because our brains are designed to kind of scan and relate and be like, Oh yeah, yeah, me too. I've been there too, and.
You want people to be able to relate to your story.
So those big stories are those stories that sound like endless lists. Those aren't a great way to make connections. So for me, my connection story is the story about getting my first client. About a five-second decision I made to push publish on a super ranty blog post about how not to be a motivational speaker.
And I'm not going to tell this story because I've told it on a million other podcasts episodes and interviews. But really it was that moment of publishing something that scared the crap out of me that was a rant. And in some ways that is the Genesis of my whole business is ranting, right? But it was that moment of decision of taking a leap that people connect with, that I did something that scared me.
And in that moment, people can empathize. People see themselves in my story. So that is what you're looking for, that small transformation. And when you find that type of connection story, you can use that story on stages in a podcast interview, on your about page and basically anywhere people who don't really know about you.
So we're talking about those unaware, people that don't know you at all. Use that to introduce yourself to make that emotional connection. All right, so that's the first type of story, the connection story.
The second type of story I call the reason to believe story.
Now, this is one of my favorite types of stories because for a lot of my clients it's really hard to talk about themselves and this type of story.
Isn't about you. It's actually about your clients and this type of story you get to promote your clients. You get to promote their brilliance. And you get to highlight the work that you do and the transformation that your work has had on your client.
So that's why it's called a reason to believe story because you're showing the results of your work. So this is akin to a case study. And once again, important to show the emotional connection. You want to have that before and after.
Now I do want to make a caveat about results because we do live in this world where it's six figures in six seconds, and results have to be big and have to be an event or a number, and although I think that can be a useful rule of thumb, like how much money did you make or did you do something like, did you publish a book or get a speaking gig or get on a podcast?
I do think it overlooks the long term nature of some of the work that you and I do, because a lot of the work that you and I do, it's a long term play. So don't overlook the smaller results. I don't even want to call them smaller results, but the short term wins your clients get because you don't think that they're big enough because they didn't make $1 million overnight or whatever.
This BS thing is going on currently in the internet marketing bullshit space. So if they get more confidence or they ask for the sale and when they haven't been asking for the sale before, that's a result. If they sit down and they write a page of their book, that's a result. If they ask the girl on the date, that's a result, do not overlook the small results if they feel more confident. If you're a personal stylist and they feel better in the clothes they're wearing, that's a result. Like those are results, and for some of us, our results are more about the long term progress than the short term bigness. Right? So don't overlook your results.
So think about your clients and locate your reason to believe stories. And I'm a big believer that you should have a couple of these instead of just one. I had a
podcast episode where I talked about three different case studies from clients. I always talk about my. Client, Mona Moore, whose 3 Word Rebellion is “calm by choice” and how she used that after our first session and then landed her two big clients and they chose her because of that 3 Word Rebellion.
That is always a powerful story. When I tell it in sales conversations, people are like, hh, they get the power of having amessage. So these reason to believe stories, can use them on podcast interviews, you can use them on stage, in webinars. I use mine in email sequences because I have a pricing and service guide that before you can book a call with me now you can download those and see what Communication Rebel offers to work with, and in that email sequence, we have our reason to believe stories. We have Mona's story. We have Michelle Evans' story, but that's part of the story we're telling in our brand.
So reason to believe stories. It's very helpful when you're talking about the solution and helping people to make a buying decision.
All right, so the final signature story type is elevated social proof.
This is when you are showing people that what you're saying or teaching is real and just doesn't exist in a vacuum or in your head.
So it's showing that it exists in the real world because I work with a lot of people who are very innovative, who are mixing up a lot of different tools. They have a lot of different tools in their tool box. They're changing things in their industry. And when you're doing that, it sometimes feels like what you're doing isn't real or it doesn't really work.
And this is more for you than the rest of the world sometimes, but really there are other people out there who are case studies for the work that you're doing, and you've just got to look for them. You've just got to open your eyes and realize they exist. So where can you find elevated social proof?
One of the best places to find elevated social proof is research studies. Oh my goodness. And this shows my research bias, my PhD background, research studies can be turned into great stories because with a research study, there's a question that has to be answered, which means there is suspense. We don't know how that question is going to turn out. Oh, and there's two sides, and perhaps one side can be a villain. Maybe we're rooting for one side over the other so you can create a whole narrative around a research study
There've been a lot of authors who do it really well. I think of
Dan Pink because some of his books do it really well.
The Heath Brothers do it really well in their book too, but you can turn research studies into compelling stories that make an emotional connection and prove the work that you're doing in the world.
On the flip side of this, theories actually make terrible stories because theories are just explaining. Theories are very logical in a way, and they don't make compelling stories unless you can really contextualize them somehow. Like for instance, the 3 Word Rebellion framework is based on eight different theories, and I don't talk about that much because it doesn't make a compelling narrative. It would get real, real boring, real, real fast.
If I talked about all the different theories and why I chose those theories and explained all of those theories, you'd feel like you were back in college and you'd probably fall asleep on me, so I won't do that to you.
Maybe research isn't your bag and it's not everybody's bag. So, another great way to have elevated social proof is to find public figures, famous people, or I like to think of them as role models of possibility, who really shows your work. So for me, when I talk about the 3 Word Rebellion, I always am looking for 3 Word Rebellions in the wild. So if you've read the 3 Word Rebellion book, you've heard me talk about
Simon Sinek and Start with Why or
Mel Robbins and the Five Second Rule, now I talk about
Marie Forleo and Everything is Figureoutable, and now that it's the presidential election season, I talk about the different political slogans that I see like Elizabeth Warren has dream big, fight hard, and I'll talk about is that a good 3 Word Rebellion? Does it work? And I can analyze that and it makes really great content for me to talk about. It shows that the 3 Word Rebellion exists out in the world.
So who are those people that represent your work in the world and you can tell stories about them and it elevates your work? It says, hey, I am not making this up. And you can use those stories. And I think it's important to use those stories in the more problem aware, solution aware phase. So when you're getting to know people and building your credibility, and you can use them once again in your webinars and speaking and blog posts and social media, but these kinds of stories, the research and the public figures are really good at helping turn the abstract thing that you're doing into something that is concrete.
So those are the three signature stories that will support your client journey, that will help you turn strangers into fans and clients. But now you're probably asking yourself, like, Michelle, how do I find these stories and how do I craft them so that they're engaging? And I'm so glad you asked because next week we'll be diving into how to start finding these stories, and I'll be giving you some tips and some resources on how to craft your story.
Until next time, remember that we are storytelling machines. Stories are persuasive. It is how we connect and we make decisions not just based on logic, but based on emotion.
So how can you empathize with your audience and with your clients? When you do that, you'll be able to grow that audience and to make sales and to feel good doing it.