You might not know what a brand story is—and if you don’t then you probably don’t know why you need one. If you offer something that you want people to get excited about, then you need a brand story.
People connect with stories because we can relate to them. You need your brand to have a story that people connect with. Lucky for you, you already have experience in telling a brand story.
I have what now?
If you have ever interviewed for a job, you have told your personal brand story time and time again—right at the beginning.
“Tell me about yourself.”
Whether you know it or not, that is your cue to tell your personal brand’s story. Talking about your previous work experience, your skills, your work ethic, and what’s important to you are all factors that make up your personal brand. Your business also needs a story to tell.
Start with why.
Why is your brand in business?
If your first answer to this is “because I want to make money” then nothing I say can help you and I apologize for having wasted your time. Why can’t I help you? Because if you’re only in this industry, which ever industry you’re in, because you want to make money, then your goal isn’t to offer your audience anything special. You could have picked anything in the world to do, but you chose this. Your audience can pick anyone in the world to do business with and you want them to choose you. You better want more than money if you want your audience’s business.
Why should anyone choose you?
Simple. Because your story resonates with the audience you’re trying to reach.
In an over saturated market, like the market of graphic designers, your brand needs to stand out. A potential client can hire from a huge pool of designers, but you will make their choice easy by creating a brand story that speaks to your dream client.
You and 1000 other designers can shoot amazing photos for a customer’s new line of cupcakes, but if you approach them with a story that matches what they’re looking for, or speaks to their story, you become memorable. You give them reasons to work with you. And, best yet, you make their choice easier—which people do pay more money for.
So, what goes in a brand story?
Your brand story tells your audience where your brand comes from, why your brand is in business, why your brand is committed to delivering what your audience needs, and why your brand wants your target audience to be successful. That last part is sooooo critical when it comes to standing out. If your focus is making sure that your target audience wins, they will love and trust your forever.
Your competitors will not have the same story as you (but if it seems like they do, then you’re not telling the right parts of your brand story) so you can use yours to highlight why you’re unique. The intimate details of your brand story speak to your audience in a language that your competitors can’t speak. Seriously, it’s the ways in which we’re different from most people that we keep certain people close to us. Think of your brand like that.
How do I start writing my brand story?
You could try writing it yourself by highlighting the things I talked about. You know your brand, and how you want people to see your brand, better than anyone else in the world. You definitely need to be the one behind this.
If you’re like me, you might have a really hard time writing about yourself, or things you’re really closely involved in, because you know them so well. If that’s you, I’m giving out invitations to a weekend intensive I like to call my Branding Couples Retreat, that will help you and your brand spend quality time together (yes, that’s a thing) so that you can write your brand an amazing brand story that will make your audience fall in love with you. Just so you know, the retreats are usually online, so it won’t matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to participate.
You can grab your invitation here and use it whenever a session still has open spaces.
Already have a brand story? I’d love to hear how you came up with it and what you struggled with along the way!