by Charlotte L. Hanna CMO / Director of PMR / CMBS Global
Your story is your experience. Do you wonder why anyone would be interested in your story? After hearing how someone else has endured and overcome a tragedy of immense proportions, do you wonder how your story could ever be interesting enough to cause others to pay money for it?
Have you ever had a problem that you could not solve on your own? Have you had a question that needed an answer – knowledge that you did not possess? Or how about a situation begging for action, when you were unsure of the next step to take? What did you do?
Years ago, people with problems turned to their faith, family, friends and trusted peers. Though today many may still look to their faith, family, friends and trusted peers – more and more people are turning to the Search Engines for the answers and information they seek. In fact, Google+ recently claimed that 50 million people use ‘Google+ enhanced products’ every day. That’s a lot of people looking for answers and help.
Could you have what some of these people are searching for? What if you have information that could help? Do you think they might pay you for that information?
Okay, so if you know how to boil water…NO…no one is going to pay you for that information. But, what if you had personally experienced a faster, easier way to boil water without the use of fire, gas or electric? Now, that sounds like it might be an interesting story, right? And what if you had stumbled upon this fast and easy way to boil water as the result of a desperate need – perhaps a terrible storm had left your entire city without power. No one could heat water for their basic every day needs – not even a decent cup of tea was possible – until YOU (sound of trumpets here) came up with this miraculous process for bringing water to a boil without the benefit of the usual power sources…and as a result you provided a solution for all of your neighbor’s lack.
Okay, so maybe people would still not pay for your story – BUT your story could compel them to buy your book of complete instructions on “How to Boil Water Without the Use of Fire, Gas or Electric and Other Helpful Solutions in the Aftermath of Life’s Storms”. And that is precisely why you should consider what you know, what you have learned or what you have discovered through trial and error, as something that you can market online that would help others, as well as make money for you.
The Internet is the world marketplace. If you have something to sell, you need to be found on the Internet to take advantage of the most opportunities for sales. That’s good business. But, the Internet is fast becoming a very particular marketplace, as well. A few years ago, it was fairly easy to sell big ideas to those browsing the search engines. People would lay down money for what amounted to nothing but “Fluff”. Not so today!
Today, the demand is for more useful information, knowledge that can be applied with a limited amount of skill by those who want to build clientele for business or repeat customers for their services and products. The online business owner, the entrepreneur with visions for growth and a six figure income – these are the people looking for ways to do more with what they have and provide amazing new solutions to people with problems – and your story combined with solutions can be what helps them to fulfill their vision.
- They have a need
- You had a similar need and discovered a solution to that need
- You share your story of overcoming and realizing success
- You point out the benefit to others, which builds trust and confidence in you
- They become willing to invest in the solution you can provide
Products and services do not sell themselves. Buyers make a decision to buy from an emotional connection. When you share your adversity and how you overcame it – you make a connection.
The answer to, “Why would anyone be interested in MY story,” is this: Your story is their story. If you offer your story in a way in which others can readily identify – you have established an audience (if speaking) or a readership (if writing).
If you are an entrepreneur, you probably already know that your story sells you and creates a connection with those who need your product or services. What you may not realize is that for anyone to be interested, your story must be more than interesting, it must be compelling if you are to get noticed in the online marketplace and standout among those who are peddling similar wares. You will help others and yourself by making your story as interesting and transparent as possible, while serving to satisfy a real need.
Still wondering if your story is interesting enough? I cannot tell you that, but perhaps some of your friends can. Try your story out on someone you can trust to tell you the truth. Present your story in the most interesting way possible, watching their facial expressions and body language for clues as to how they are receiving what you are saying. When you have finished, ask them for their honest input and be willing to hear them out. Then, take stock of how it made you feel to tell your story and whether or not you felt confident about what you were saying and how beneficial to others it actually sounded to you.
Here is a basic checklist of things to consider when composing your story:
- Who would your story most benefit?
- How would your story benefit them?
- Is anyone else addressing this same or very similar problem?
- If so, what does their story sound like?
- What product or services do you offer as a direct result of your story?
- What are the benefits of those products or services?
Your story will be interesting to others if it is has passion. Anyone can tell the difference between a story and a tall tale. Comedians can get away with embellishing their experiences. If you want to be taken seriously, help others, and make money – don’t make the mistake of embellishing your story.
Why would anyone NOT be interested in your story if it is real, has real passion, connects with real people who have real needs, and provides them real solutions. How could your story NOT help others and perhaps make you money, as well.