Let’s cut straight to the point: Sharing your story is the #1 thing you can do in today’s oversaturated, digital age. With so many products and services to choose from, people want to connect to one of them in a personal way. When they do, that’s the one they choose.
I’ve been a photography, marketing and business coach for five years now and the number one thing that I have seen in my students is that people don’t know their true story.
Most photographers will come up with something like, “I take beautiful photos of families so they have memories of this special time forever.” They truly connect with the statement, but deep down they know that their clients will not. That’s because all the photographers are saying this, heck I say this. It is a true statement. But it’s not what makes me different. It’s not why people should book with me. It’s not My Why Statement. And it’s not yours either.
A few years ago at a marketing conference I had this epiphany where everything seemed to click. I can hear somebody’s backstory, or origin story, and somehow no matter what industry they are in, I can tell them what the story is that people will truly connect with.
You have an origin story inside of you that is dying to come out, but you have to be willing to let it. Not only that, but you have to understand how to find it.
I have a BA in film and video production. Telling stories has always been a huge part of my life, so it’s no surprise that I suddenly figured out how to merge marketing with storytelling for small businesses.
That’s why I’m glad you’re here today reading some of my secrets. Think about any book you’ve read or any movie you’ve seen. For example: Spider-Man. Peter Parker wasn’t always Spider-Man. Something happened to him. It’s called an inciting incident that changed his path in life forever. Not only did something change his heart (his uncle died), but something changed him physically. All superheroes have an origin story. While we may not all be superheroes and have something physically change us to give us superpowers, we all have had something emotional happen to us, or maybe physically, that has changed who we are and is the reason behind why we do what we do.
My boys and I were watching a parkour show the other day and a girl came on from Germany who is a true inspiration and has an amazing backstory. She got super depressed as a teenager when her parents split up and she developed an eating disorder which almost killed her. Then someone came into her life that showed her that exercise can help her to see food in a different way. Now she shares her story to the world and helps people understand exercise and food with a healthy mindset. She helps girls overcome eating disorders! Oh, and she competes in the world’s biggest parkour competitions against super strong guys…and beats them. Let’s just say that she might actually be a superhero, I can’t quite tell. My point is something happened to her that changed the course of her life. It changed her direction and gave her a purpose in life that people around the world can connect to. She is changing the world, at least a portion of it.
It seems so simple when someone else has a clear understanding of their backstory and their message for today. I get it! It is super hard to figure out what this is for yourself. That’s why I’m here to help!
So how can you help people connect with your products and services? Share your story.
If you are a bigger company and not a personal brand, share how the original person in the business got started. Why did they start the business? What makes you different and what problem are you solving?
If you are a personal brand or photographer, you will have a much easier time with this because your brand is all about you. You can look back into your past and figure out what was it that happened to influence your decisions and bring you where you are today.
If you sell essential oils, why did you get interested in the essential oils in the first place? What was it that needed to change in your life and how did the essential oils make that change happen?
If you are a newborn photographer, what was it that got you started in newborn photography? When you had your first kid did you get newborn photos taken? What was the experience like? Did you take your own newborn photos of your first kid when he was a week old while you were recovering from a C-section? Oh wait, that was me! The photos were beautiful, but it was such a pain that I did not become a newborn photographer. Maybe you had a different experience and you fell in love with working with these tiny, tiny babies and making sure that mom gets to have a break and beautiful memories. Maybe you didn’t get newborn photos of your kids. Maybe your mom didn’t get newborn photos of you.
How did that affect you emotionally and why does that help you do what you do today? Why did you do that first photo shoot and how did you feel about it? How did it make your clients feel? Why do you still do it today?
Let me share my story with you. I have suffered from depression almost my entire life. I started taking photos of children because children light up my soul. Even when they cry, I smile. Their simplicity and beauty remind me of how much God loves me. So when I go out and take pictures of families, I do it in a light and beautifully artistic way that captures their soul. I create moments that bring out natural smiles and joy because I want to spread joy in this world and make others smile.
I know when I look at photos of my kids on my walls, even on my darkest days, my soul feels a little more joyful. I feel a little bit brighter and a little bit better about life. I want my moms to feel this way too. My business is all about bringing joy to other people. Every single thing I do, every decision I make, is about bringing joy to people.
Even on the coaching side of my business, I know that if my students can stop struggling to make bookings or to understand who they are and why they do things that they will be able to take a breath. When you have inquiries coming into your inbox constantly, it’s a little bit easier to go about your day. If I can make peoples lives a little bit easier, then they have more time to do the things that they love. And I spread more joy. The world needs more joy. This is the problem that I solve. This is why I do what I do.
Can you see how your story actually connects people to the products too? They not only need to know what you do, but they need to know why you do it. They need to know the real reason. Not just because products are good and help, but because they changed your life and because you are changing other people’s lives.
Everyone has a reason that people can connect to.
What is your reason?
Are you starting to understand how you can ask questions to find your origin story? I usually do this for people in a zoom call. There’s no set questions that I ask, it’s just a discovery process of me trying to understand who they are and how they got to where they are today. My filmmaking background is in documentaries, so asking discovery questions comes naturally to me. If you need help with this, I’d love to help. I only offer these calls to my year round coaching students and to the photographers that we work with at www.TaylrCo.com. If you are certain you want my help and you are not one of these photographers then shoot me an email.