Who are you and why should anyone care?
“Do you know Brian Mitchell?”
I get asked this a lot.
Not about Brian Mitchell but about lots of people.
The subtext, always, is: “Can I trust him/her?”
We humans need to know about the people around us. We need to know if you’re a threat, if we should avoid you or welcome you. It’s a primeval, survival thing and it’s just as important now as it’s always been.
My response about Brian Mitchell (not his real name) was that yes I know OF him, I’ve met him a few times but I don’t KNOW him. I couldn’t say if he’s trustworthy or not because I don’t know anything about him other than the business he runs.
If I did know Brian Mitchell, I’d be telling his story:
“Sure, he’s a good guy, he worked on the start up project and he was great: reliable, honest, trustworthy and good fun to have around.” Or more likely these days “I’ve never met him in person but we’ve been connected on Twitter for six years and I admire the work he does, I like his values, he’s always helpful and interesting and consistently introducing people who’ll be useful to each other – it’s not all about him.”
Do you know who’s telling your story and what they’re saying about you?
The best person to tell your story is you.
I often meet people who are fascinating. They have really interesting stories to tell about their businesses and how they’ve solved problems and provided solutions and generally made life better for people but none of that comes across in their on-line lives. They sit behind a logo trying to create “brand awareness” and spout marketing drivel that makes your toes curl – things they’d never say in a real conversation.
The Brand Storytelling Report 2015, commissioned by content marketing agency Headstream, revealed that while the call for storytelling is strong, 85 per cent of the 2,000 adults surveyed couldn’t give an example of a memorable story told by a brand.
People do business with people.
The easier we make it for people to go through the process of getting to know, like and trust us, the more likely it is that they’ll feel connected to us and do business with us.
When I first started social networking I resisted the idea of putting my face and my name on my accounts. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would be interested in me and it seemed a bit narcissistic. It soon become obvious that the people I liked to connect with and have conversations with were real individuals. They had opinions, they talked about how they felt, they believed in things and stood for things. I reluctantly decided to try and show the person I feel I really am.
For a deeply private person like me this could have been a traumatic experience but I soon learned the difference between things that I would happily talk about with strangers, things that move me, amuse me and annoy me: music, art, books, and politics, and those that I always (still) keep to myself. The result is that I now have a wonderful collection of people I call friends, most of whom I’ve never shared a physical space with – and yes, they’re people who want to do business with me because they like me and trust me. Apparently some of them also find me funny – who knew? Oh, and yes, I swear a bit – because I like it.
My on-line network has also given me hours of joy and laughter and introduced me to amazing ideas – but that’s another story…… 🙂
There isn’t a scientific way to measure the ROI of telling our stories but you can bet your flashing lightsaber that if big brands are trying to find a way to do it, there’s money in it. If you’d like to work with me on finding how to grow your business using very simple techniques, contact me now and lets talk!
Looking at it another way, a major part of creating success is about the stories we tell ourselves and the belief system this creates for us, so if it works on that deep personal level, it’s worth figuring out the story you want to tell yourself and then sharing it with others.
What’s your story, morning glory?
What makes you look so blue?
The way that you’ve been acting
I don’t know what to do
What’s your story, morning glory?
I’ve got a feeling
There’s a lot you’re concealing
So, won’t you let me know your point of view?
Who are you? Really?