So you want to engage potential clients and customers with your personal story? This moves you beyond “marketing” which, as we outlined yesterday, is so distasteful and bewildering to many. But where and how do you start?
- After being cut from the USA softball team after the new coach decides she’s getting past her prime, Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) is drawn to cement a relationship with “eternal bachelor” Matty (Owen Wilson), who seems more likely to add to her problems than to help solve them. (How Do You Know?).
- Andy is leaving for college. Instead of ending up in the attic, his favorite toys – including Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head – get mistakenly delivered to a day-care center full of marauding and destructive kids. (Toy Story 3).
- In an attempt to counter the arrogance that re-ignited an ancient conflict, Thor’s father (Anthony Hopkins) banishes the mighty Norse warrior (Chris Hemsworth) to Earth (Thor).
If you’re familiar with movies like these, or books that immediately immerse you in the changing circumstance of a “hero,” you’ll realize that all good stories—being essentially about change—begin with a catalyst for change.
How can you use this information to sell more products or services?
Think about the copy you use to entice clients and customers on your website, blog, or sales page. How much of it is informative but bland? Or sounds like something every other artisan or creative might write? To what extent does this “marketing copy” fail to help anyone get to know, trust, and want to buy from you?
Before you worry about re-writing your promotional materials, take the time to craft the story of you for yourself. We’ll get to where and how you can share it later.
Begin with what screenwriters call “the inciting incident” or “call to adventure,” which is one of the opening sequences of any story that follows the mythic story structure known as The Hero’s Journey.
What single incident, series of events, “aha” moment or other change prompted you to accept your calling as a painter, photographer, jewelry maker, clothing designer, author or whatever? Chances are something happened to you that propelled you, as a creative, into sharing your talent and passion with the world. What was it? Something someone said, or did, or didn’t do?
For example, it was during a career break to raise my two children that I stepped onto the path to becoming an author, a long-held dream.
How did your passion for artisanship get ignited? What story can you share that would be more interesting to read than a laundry list of qualifications and accomplishments? What human experience can you communicate that would make others become drawn to your creative skill?
Write the start of that story now. Then you’ll have something to develop when we address the “meat” of your story that typically gets overlooked, in tomorrow’s blog post.
Main image courtesy of tableatny.
Dr. Liz Alexander, The Insourcer, helps people access their inner storyteller to bring their art to life.