So you want to shift your sales strategy from pitching hard to telling a great story? There are so many easy outlets for marketing your business in a more natural, non-salesy way. Try them all, and see which ones work out for you.
Sales is essentially a process of inspiring people to take action. When you convince someone that a product or service will improve their lives in any specific area, they take the next step. But in an era where so much “noise” competes for our attention, motivating people to move in our direction is no small feat.
Fortunately, stories somehow manage to whisper above the noise. Your sales story is your most powerful tool for creating the level of 1:1 inspiration and connection that actually move people to work with you. But you’ve got to have places to share that story. Places where your ideal clients actually show up.
So when you’ve gotten clear on what you’re trying to say, which platforms will you choose to step out and speak up?
1) SPEAK TO A LOCAL NETWORKING GROUP
Even if your business is primarily online, don’t discount the power of a face-to-face experience to sell your value. Be it a group of five or fifty, speaking to local audiences is a great way to expand your brand and make valuable new contacts. Your next client may not be sitting in the room, but they might be a friend or relative who hears about you afterward. Try meetup.com or Facebook events if you’re unsure where to start. Join some groups, get to know people, and find out what speaking opportunities exist.
2) CREATE A BRAND STORY VIDEO
This doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. You don’t need a video team to capture your story, although one is certainly helpful. For starters, leverage strong window lighting that flatters you, be sure you’ve got a small flicker of light in your eyes (to help you look lively) and use a good phone camera like the iPhone 7. This is your chance to share how your life has changed, and as a result, how you can help others change theirs. Your video need not be longer than 30 seconds to 1 minute. In fact, shorter is better.
3) DO A VALUE-ADDED WEBINAR
This is the digital version of the in-person speaking engagement. While your story might not be the topic of the hour, weaving your story into the topic is a powerful way to hold your audience’s attention and demonstrate that what you’re teaching actually worked, because you have lived it out yourself. If possible, show photos or share anecdotes that make your story as colorful and specific as possible. You might also consider splitting your story up into “chapters” that you share with each specific content point.
4) REWRITE YOUR WEBSITE COPY
Did you know that your website can be one big story? Your story doesn’t just have to live on your “About” page. It can literally start on your homepage and pull visitors through the site, page by page and piece by piece. Parts of your story can literally work on every page to inspire visitors. The key is to decide which parts of your story will live on which pages, and then work them into the copy accordingly, marrying your experiences with best practices for writing website copy and sales pages.
5) SCHEDULE COFFEE MEETINGS
I started my thriving business with face-to-face meetings at local coffee shops. At each meeting, I shared my story with friends, which naturally led into sharing what I was doing now with my business (essentially, the “next chapter” of the story). My first clients were friends or people referred from these meetings. If you’re just starting out, telling your story this way is the perfect method to get comfortable with this style of pitching your services. Especially if your new story sews together multiple income streams, this is a perfect way to test out your narrative and make sure it resonates.
6) WRITE A BUSINESS-RELATED BOOK
Is your story the stuff of tell-alls? Write a book that relates your whole story of transformation, weaving in your professional expertise as part of the narrative. Before you begin, get absolutely clear on what you want to share, and then plan out the parts of your story that match up with the different aspects of your book’s message. Particularly if you want to hit the speaking circuit and expand your brand platform, this is a perfect way to share your story while bolstering your expertise.
7) VOLUNTEER IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Love to get involved and give back? You might be surprised how much fun it is to discover new relationships (and new clients) through volunteerism. As you work alongside others for a cause you both care about, stories naturally get shared. This often leads to exploring other co-endeavors, trading services or making referrals. Viewed this way, volunteerism is just one of many ways to be involved in the community and expand your business network at the same time. People connect over stories, and your story — well told — can sell.
8) PLAN OUT “STORY BYTES” ON SOCIAL MEDIA
As you’re planning out your social content, consider parsing out your story into tiny byte-sized pieces you share a few times a month. With each byte, include a conclusion or nugget of wisdom that applies to your client’s experiences. If possible, include photos or video to support your story. Ask your audience to respond with similar experiences or other data.
9) PROMOTE A RELATED CHARITY OR CAUSE
Passionate about a need or issue that has directly affected your life? Select a charity or group that raises awareness for something that is part of your story, and then promote the group. You might choose to share the group’s posts on social media, donate a portion of your business proceeds, or even sponsor a special event. In the process, you can share why this cause means so much to you, based on your own experiences. As you and your chosen cause tell your story together, you’ll double your reach — and ensure that they get the help they need.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN …
No matter where you’re at in your business journey, telling your story is the simple, natural and non-salesy way to attract new clients. I encourage you to try all nine of these storytelling strategies and see which ones “click” the most for you. Once you’ve discovered your storytelling sweet spot, make those marketing opportunities a regular part of my business life.
Until next time, speak freely.
What's your biggest challenge with reaching your ideal client? Which of these client attraction methods will you try next? Comment below!
Ready to expand your brand and your audience by crafting a more powerful message? Schedule your FREE 1:1 consultation here.