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Own your story

Your value proposition may change.

Your origin story will not.

While small businesses may not have the resources needed to build huge international brands, we HAVE STORIES.

Use those stories. Own them.

Stories connect. They can rally communities, encourage investment, and help people remember who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Remember: YOU are the secret ingredient as you build your business. Why? Because no one is creating the way you create.

No one builds as you build.

Your uniqueness is an asset.

Want help understanding your story? Reach out.

Your why is your anchor

When clients first come to me, they often have questions about how to run their businesses. They want more sales and want to optimize their websites and want to know the exact number of blogs to write each week.

I begin many of my sessionsby asking my clients if they know their why. I see this as fundamental — before it is time to stress out about the what and the who. Whether you’re building a website or designing business cards, your why anchors your communications. (Don’t believe me? Watch this.)

If you’re not sure of your why, block off twenty minutes to write. Don’t edit, just write. Some prompts to get you started:

  • What do you want to teach or give? What values are most important to you?
  • If you had to choose three words to describe your work, what would you pick? (Write down the first ones that come to mind.)

Once you have your why, you can start thinking about your who:

  • Who is your ideal client? What are they looking for?
  • How do they speak about themselves when no one is around?
  • What do they believe about their world?

THEN you can figure out your what…

  • Where do they spend time online? Are they listening to podcasts or reading email newsletters? Do they Instagram or Facebook? Which apps are their favorites?

If you need guidance sorting out your why, get in touch. I have limited availability but consider new coaching requests.

kettle with plastic cups prepared on wooden box

Your WHY

It’s easy to get caught up in choices that don’t matter: The website design, the colors, the marketing channel, the social media story.

Decisions should evolve from your WHY. If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing (and who it’s for), details are irrelevant.

So if you find yourself focusing on unnecessary fluff, there’s a good chance you haven’t made the real decisions…yet.

Steal skills from another industry

There are certain tools that are transferable, regardless of industry or job title.

Step inside Tiffany’s. You’ll see plenty of couples and women roaming around. Inch closer to the diamond cases and eavesdrop. You won’t hear any hard selling from the staff. The product speaks for itself. If you’ve come to Tiffany’s, you want the name on your finger.

The good sales people say very little. When they do speak, they repeat what information the customer has already provided, using empathy to build rapport with the shopper. Active listening, reframing, and reflecting statements make clients and buyers feel heard, acknowledged, respected.

What is this? Motivational interviewing. The same techniques you might find in a group therapy session, the same phrasing and tools a substance abuse counselor might use with her client, are being channeled onto the sales floor:

  • Pointing out a couples’ ring selection might not mirror their commitment to each other — creating discrepancy
  • Accepting a customer’s reluctance as momentum to move conversation onward — rolling with resistance
  • Supporting the buyer, giving them confidence about their purchasing decision — supporting self efficacy

And questions. Lots of questions. Open ended, asking for permission — questions that help the seller gather information about the buyer and their buying needs, their spending patterns, helping identify the likelihood of the sale.

“Can we look at the princess cut?” “What does that design remind you of?” “Do you mind if we step over to this case to look at our signature bands?”

What could you borrow from a different industry? Could you lend skills to someone in another field?