You know I always bring forward questions that people ask me, conversations that I have, etc. So just FYI, you have been warned that a conversation you and I have together will come up on this podcast (confidentially of course!). That said, I talk about stories a lot, and I share stories, as you already know because you are listening to my podcast. I tell stories because telling stories defines your brand.
Think about it, we watch movies, read books, and listen to other people’s stories because we are interested in the journey, the lessons, and we want the hero to win. We want to see others succeed because we then know we can succeed as well. We know “it can be done.”
When you think about your business or your personal brand as a leader, stories are just as important here as in any other part of our lives. As a leader or business owner, our stories tell our teams or our customer why they can trust us, how we have overcome, that we are credible and experienced, etc. So first and foremost, stories allow others to see us or our brand as the expert. It builds our credibility.
The question I was asked recently was, “Katrina, why do you tell the same stories? Don’t you get tired of telling them? Don’t you think people want to hear different stories about your life?” Great questions, but the answer across the board is: No. Here’s why:
I tell the same stories because they serve a purpose. They focus on a lesson I am teaching in the moment and that lesson is critical to the growth I want my team or my client to achieve. Not only does it show me as the expert or a person who has been in their shoes and can empathize with them, but it teaches them a lesson. That’s the purpose.
I am not tired of telling the same stories because each story I have decided to share, and I have like 5-6 of them, are true life events stories that truly convey the lesson I am trying to teach my team and my clients. The more I tell it, the better I get at conveying the situation, the event, the lesson, and how that lesson will help whomever I am talking to. Repetition makes me better.
People don’t really get offended when you remind them of your life story. When you share the same story, most people are like “Oh, yeah I remember this story, this is when she . . . ” and they fill in the blank. Do you see how powerful that is? They fill in the blank. So because they already know the story, they take my story and associate it with the lesson. I need them to remember the lesson and act on it. And guess what? They do!
Think about that last point for a second. I tell a personal story . . . that story teaches a lesson . . . when my team/a client hears that story again, over and over and over, they associate the story with the lesson and they start to take action. Now they have a success story to tell themselves when they are afraid they can’t do it, shouldn’t do it, or they are afraid. Now they can remember my story and say, “Katrina did it, I can too!”
Just like the kid watching Superman on TV and he starts trying to fly around the room, believing he too can have superpowers and save the world. Just like he identified with that story and started to take action, other people do the same things when they hear my stories, and your stories.
So my question for you today is, are you telling stories? Do you have 5-6 stories picked out that teach fundamental lessons in your business? Have you practiced them, perfected them, and are you sharing them? Remember, telling stories defines your brand. So start practicing, keep practicing, and let’s get good at it!