When are personal stories and experiences relevant to the success of your business?
Once upon a time, businesses had the same templates on their sites: Who they were, their mission statement, and how they contributed to their communities.
Then came the rise of online businesses: Coaches, VAs, Influencers, and many more.
Suddenly, the template of the standard business plan began to vanish and the navigation bar evolved.
Away went the mission statement. Gone were the corporate headshots of individual staff members and the standard (all smiles) corporate family photo (normally shot from above looking down – can you tell I was in a few of these?)
In came the media kits the size of a small novel, about us pages that tell you the most personal (yet compelling) stories of the individual’s rise, fall, and at last triumph; opt-ins to get weekly details of what’s going on in their lives, online courses and consultations where you can work with them directly, you name it.
With one click, you can learn the entire journey of an individual – where they are from, how they were raised, their failures, what they overcame, what makes them tick, what keeps them motivated and finally – how all of that birthed their business idea.
The problem/question is – do you need to know all of this for the design your graphic logo? Was this information relevant for you to make a customize onesie for a newborn?
There is a time and place for deep personal stories. It is more relevant when your potential client needs you to be able to empathize with their struggles and journeys.
You wouldn’t want a woman with biological kids to be a coach for women suffering from infertility.
Now can she, sure!
Anyone with proper training can be anything they want to be; BUT, a woman going through that struggle may want someone who can relate to her on a personal level – having been in her shoes.
The times are changing and we are on a crowded information highway.
With a quick search, you will find hundreds (if not thousands) of individuals in a particular field SO being able to standard out by telling YOUR story may be the way to go.
As Kim Coles said at a conference I recently attended: “Everyone has a story to tell.”
Your story is what makes it unique to work WITH you. Who you are makes an individual’s experience different.
For me, I am a “Navy Brat” (always hated that term). Having not one but TWO military parents, my work ethic is a direct reflection of growing up in a military household.
Do my clients need to know this? No and it isn’t anywhere on my site (OK well now it is within this blog…but you get the point).
We can all provide the same thing (relationship coach, life coach, business coach, virtual assistant, social media manager) but who we are and how we do it is the story we should be telling (to a certain extent).
Again, do we all need to tell the trials and tribulations we went through to get where we are?
Sorry, but that is just my opinion.
If your role does not require compassion to be a staple in your services – your 8 mile walk to school, up hill both ways, isn’t going to land my business if I need my logo on a polo shirt BUT it will if I need a copywriter who can relate to my target audience.
Side story: During my time working as tech support with a marketing agency, I was on a client call with a financial adviser for widows and the staff copywriter.
During the call, the financial adviser (who was already a little uneasy) was trying to convey the importance of creating a story/scene for the reader to understand the importance of what she was trying to promote.
Unbeknownst to the client and myself – the copywriter’s mother was a widow.
She shared the story with the client to explain she understood the significance of how the message was written, having seen what her own mother went through.
The financial adviser’s tone COMPLETED changed and you could hear the ease as she was so happy the writer could write from a place of experience.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours – it is your business and your website.
Whether you choose to make it personal or keep it professional, your story is yours to tell – so own it, tell it, and be proud of it!