How do you talk about yourself in a way that pulls your audience in without rambling a long life-back story?
As an online business owner, you have to know (and share) your signature story. It's the difference between that long winded resume style answer that gets people pressing the skip forward button— and your ideal customer leaning in, thinking “I’ve got to know more”.
To help you master this, we’re doing a throwback today to Episode #42 to help you master 5 insights to crafting your signature story.
I hope you enjoy this recast and I can't wait to hear you craft your next version of your signature story.
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Well, hey, friend, welcome back to another episode. It is the spring season. Many people are starting to get their feet underneath them in terms of their business strategy for the year. And I see more and more business owners stepping into the spotlight and speaking on stages, which you know, I love that because that's exactly what we talk about around here on the show is how do you get your message out to more of your ideal clients, so you can serve them not only from the stage, but also through your programs.
One of the big things that people ask me all the time is how the heck do we talk about ourselves when we're on those stages? Do we need to show up with a formal bio? How do we share our, what people in the industry call it, the origin story? The moment of inception for your business, it just sounds so big. And we all have heard podcast interviews or in guest speeches where the presenter just goes on and on and on. Yet, we've also heard stories where people have had these amazing stories that pull us closer to them. We become more curious about their journey. We have a little higher trust in what they talk about because of their credibility and relatability and, and so on.
So the big question is, what's the difference between the speaker who draws on and on and on and the one who shares a story so good, we lean in and want to learn more? Well, the answer is all in their signature story. It's what they talk about in that story determines how you as the listener experienced it. So what I decided to do instead of doing a another episode dedicated to signature story, I thought this would be a good time to pull back out of the vault, one of the more popular episodes, but it's been a hot minute since we've covered it.
Today, we're doing a throwback episode, we're recasting episode number 42 which I mean, at the time of this recording, we're in like the 140s or 150s. So this is over 100 episodes ago, party people. So this came out in June of 2020. So this episode is five essential truths for crafting your signature story. Specifically, I'm going to tell you what needs to happen if you want to tell a damn good story that makes your ideal client lean in.
Inside this episode, if you already listened to it, it probably was a very long time ago and it would serve you to re-listen to it because chances are the way you're telling your story could be improved. So we're going to talk about whether or not your story has to have this big monumental moment. Well, I mean, I'm just gonna tell you right now. It doesn't, right? It really doesn't. You need to have connection with it.
We're going to actually define what the hell is a signature story and why you need one in your business. I'm going to give you five things that you need to embrace when it comes to your story. And specifically what's great about this episode as I make an actual and I give you prompts that you can use to craft your story. So this episode is more than worth a re-listen to, I highly recommend you download this one and save it into your podcast app because you might want to come back to this one over and over. Might I recommend until you frickin nail your story, you're probably going to be revising it over and over again to deliver on podcasts, on webinars, on live streams. This story you should love because friend, if you're going to be successful online, you're going to tell it a lot. And you want to make sure that how you're telling it is not exhausting your audience and making them tune out. It's speaking directly to your ideal client and pulling them in. So, friend, please enjoy this recast of episode number 42. And I can't wait to hear you craft your next version of your signature story.
Well, hey friend, welcome back to another episode. We are diving into one of the topics that I get asked so much about today and that is helping you craft your signature story. Now you've probably heard of the idea of a signature story. Maybe you've heard people reference it to as an origin story, but I think the big question is really, what is it and do we have to have one? Is that really a thing? Do I need one of this phase of my business? How do I make it?
We're answering all these questions today in this episode because yes, friend, you do need to have your signature story. Here's the thing, it can't be something where you just show up on a podcast and answer the question, tell me about yourself and then you word vomit for 15 minutes about your life history. That is not going to position you as an authority.
It definitely is not going to get people interested in wanting to work with you because what most people do is they approach their ‘tell me about yourself or tell me about your history,’ they approach it in a way where it's kind of like, here's my life's resume . That's not serving you because here's the thing, when people are listening to you and they're thinking, well that's interesting, what an interesting set of experiences.
If they're just listening to your life stories and your experiences, but they're not connecting with them, meaning they're not seeing themselves through your story, they are not looking to you as the person they want to learn from and buy from.
When it comes to signature stories, there are some specific things you need to be thinking about. Friend, this is not something that you should be winging. Every business owner needs a signature story and we're going to dive into that today.
We all love a good story. The story of the underdog, the story of the kid who turned into a superhero and learned how to eat his broccoli - a story we read at my house right now. The story of the burnout employee who couldn't take it anymore, so they jumped ship and started their own business. That's one many of us most likely resonate with.
Here's the other couple of stories that I think you might be familiar with. The woman who wanted to help other women feel beautiful so she created a product and then was rejected over and over again by people who were the so called experts of her industry, but she kept her grit and tenacity going, kept standing back up after every single one of those no's and went on to create a billion dollar company.
That's a signature story of Jamie Kern Lima. She's the founder of It Factor cosmetics. You probably heard her recently. She's been on the speaking circuit here over the last year. I've seen her a lot on stages with Rachel Hollis, Brendon Burchard, most recently on Amy Porterfield's podcast. Her story is a good one
What about the woman who used to work for Tony Robbins behind the scenes. Then one day while sitting in a conference room filled with men wearing board shorts and flip flops. She watched them talk about these online businesses they have and they seem to not work but work.
She was so curious and wondering why weren't women doing this? Why not me? So she jumped ship, she went out and started her own digital agency doing social media for small businesses, but pretty quickly realized that she just chained herself to another set of stakeholders. It really wasn't freedom of flexibility.She was just chained to the demands of her clients.
One day, like a punch of the gut, she was deplaning off of a flight and she had this voicemail or this conversation with one of our clients screaming at her about a deadline and she realized, 'Oh, I can't do this one on one work anymore. I need a scalable thing.'
She decided to go all in with digital products. The rest is history. Fast forward, you know her today as Amy Porterfield.
How about Brendan Burchard, the number one most followed and watched personal development figure in the world. In college, he was heartbroken when his girlfriend broke up with him. He became super sad and depressed. He talks about in a moment he wanted to end his own life. He reached over and he picked up a magazine where on the picture, there's like this picture of this tropical Island and the word ‘escape.’
He said, 'Oh man. 'He was on a plane shortly after. He was doing this internship on an island until this day that was the most defining moment of his life where him and a buddy were flying down the highway really late about midnight one night.
He talks about the air being this intense warm but really humid. They're flying down the highway at 70 miles an hour and they missed this hairpin turn. In this flip second, he had this experience where it was all in slow motion, where the car at 70 miles an hour flying off the freeway. It ran straight into a tree.
There's this moment he talks about when he can hear his buddy screaming, screaming, but he was bleeding from all the places he didn't know. He somehow pulled himself through the dashboard, found himself standing on the hood of the car not knowing if he was going to live or not, where he was forced to answer some really tough questions about his life, did I live? Did I love, and did I matter?'
It was in that moment where he had to ask himself those questions where he made a commitment that if he was given the second chance at living, he called it life's golden ticket and he was going to earn that right to continue living. This story became the basis of all of his work to come.
You know, all three of these people. I've talked about them before. They're mentors and influences in my life and my business. Each of them has a story. I'm sure you've heard all of them. I'm sure coming to mind for you or a couple of things you're thinking about, other stories of mentors and influencers you follow online.
I think Jasmine Star's story around she talks about going to law school and dropping out because her mom got sick and then one day deciding that she wanted to be a photographer, but she didn't even own a camera. Her sweet husband bought one for her as a Christmas present. Her story's incredible.
Tyler J. McCall - he talks about working in a nonprofit of the YMCA for 10 years, but feeling burned out and so starting his business with a business partner and then ending that a year later and then having this defining moment where his dad got sick. His dad passed away and he had to figure something else out. He decided to go all in figuring out a scalable option. He started a membership which grew into this multimillion dollar membership, The Followers to Fan Society.
You know the stories of the people you trust and follow. You know their stories. It's easy to hear these stories and think like, 'Oh man, they're so special.' You might even be thinking, 'Oh man, I haven't had anything big and significant happen in my life.' Dare I say, have you had that moment where you thought, 'Man, if only I've had something more significant happened to me then I'd have a story.'
First of all, it's not weird that you thought that. I've heard people say that a lot. Don't feel guilty over that, but also don't discount the fact that you've had many incredible experiences because friend, everything that you've experienced in your life has brought you right now to this moment perfectly preparing for what comes next. You have to give yourself credit that you are exactly where you need to be and your story.
Does it need to be this monumental car accident or like me, the death of a parent or a significant hearing loss? Your story is yours and you shouldn't measure or compare it to anybody else because it's not theirs, it's yours and it matters.
What you have to learn to do is learn to tell the parts of your story, the pieces of your story that connect with other people. Understand that the stories I tell you today, my stories that I talk about, know that these stories have been crafted and finessed over time.
You think about it when an author writes a book, do you think the first draft of the book makes it in front of the editor? Oh, hail to the no. You know authors, they're going through their stuff. They're revising the drafts. That quote unquote shitty first draft, if you've heard that before, that doesn't make it in front of the editor.
They get that draft out for themselves and they go back and finesse it until they get a draft they're ready to show someone. Then they send it to the editor and then the editor rips it apart and tells them, Hey, this is too much here. This isn't really resonated here. Cut this down, develop more feeling here.' And they go back and forth a bit until we have a book.
Know that the stories that you hear from the influencers and mentors and thought leaders online, those are curated and well crafted stories that have taken time to tell. Just like you, your story is in there. You have to pull it out and get comfortable with the idea that it's going to evolve and you'll get better telling it. But first you have to believe that you do in fact have an important story to tell.
Thinking about this, you might be saying for a second, 'Heather, I'm not here to be a sought leader or speak on huge stages, to be the next Rachel Hollis, or Brendon Burchard, or whoever it is that you admire. I'm not saying you don't have to have this big story for a big stage. Sometimes the stages that we speak on are much smaller, but significantly more impactful.
I bet you have a desire to be on podcasts, to get interviewed. They're going to ask you a question, 'Hey, tell us how you got into this.' Or, 'Hey, can you introduce yourself?' If you just say, 'Hey, I'm Heather and I'm a speaking coach.' You are leaving room on the table to establish yourself as an authority, and someone that they can trust, and someone they can work with, someone they can connect to.
Understand you have to have a story. Your signature story are your defining moments that led you to do the thing you do today, and it's through the lens of your life and business experience that makes you relatable and a perfect match for someone else.
You're gonna use this, like I said, when you're in interviews. You are going to use this most likely if you do keynote presentations, if you're on virtual summits, even if you're just talking about yourself, maybe in a Facebook live where you're doing more of a connective like, 'Hey, I'm Heather and I do this'.
You're going to want to connect with your audience and introduce yourself every so often, especially as you're growing your audience. You see people do this on Instagram stories every month, or maybe two months or three months, whatever the timing is right for you.
It's good to jump on Instagram stories and 'Hey, if you're new around here, introduce yourself.' But you're gonna talk a little bit about your, like who you are and what you do and having components of a signature story might help with that.
You also most likely are going to be offering training so maybe you're a guest lecture in a membership or mastermind. In fact, I just recorded a bonus for one of my peers in the industry. She asked me to do a bonus for her membership - teachers who are building online courses. I taught a membership there. And of course I had to talk a little bit about who I was and what I did.
Was it a super long, like the story of Heather? No, but it was just enough to give them an essence of who I am, why I do what I do, and why it matters to them, why learn from me and not from someone else.
When you're teaching, when you're doing webinars, if you're doing masterclasses, if you're teaching, if you're speaking on any kind of stage, you need to have that old credibility section.
It shouldn't just be a, 'hello, I've been in business for 16 years doing X, Y, and Z?' That's not exciting to listen to. Let me give you some pieces that I want you to start considering so that you can craft, or if you have a signature store already strengthen your signature story to make sure that it's going to hold up to really connect with people.
I'm gonna share with you here five essential truths for crafting your signature story, to help you tell your story and tell it better every single time. Here we go.
Understand that every business owner needs their signature story. If you're still sitting here going, 'yeah, yeah, yeah, but I don't really need it.' Yes, you do. This is the ultimate why you, why this topic, and why this program or product.
So many times people have the conversations around, 'here's my program, here's my thing, here's why it's so great,' but here's the thing. Remember that you, friend, especially if you're an online entrepreneur with a personal brand, you are the differentiating factor in your business, your programs, your goods, your services.
I know they're phenomenal, but also people can find them in other places. Can you really say that yours are better? I mean we all want to believe that. Trust me, I want to be like I'm the best speaking coach on the planet. But if that were true, like other people get results from other speaking coaches. It would be super egotistical for me to say I'm the best.
Now, let me say I am damn good at what I do, but also I know that I'm not the only one who does this. Here's what we have to think about. If they can find similar products, sometimes cheaper, other places, remember that you are the secret sauce.
You are the differentiating factor, their experience with you, your specific set of experiences, your insights, the way you've gone through business, the way that you've interacted with this topic, the people that you've worked with, the topics that you've worked on. All of this makes you different.
But to other people, like for me, I'm still a speaking coach, right? In their mind they have a way of viewing it, but you have to paint the picture differently. When you understand your signature story, you're able to lead with the value of you, lead with what makes you unique, your experiences, insights and perspectives.
Let me use me as an example. For me, most of what I see online, a lot of speaking coaches have experienced where they have been a speaker and decided, 'huh, let me teach other people how to be speakers,' which is super well and great and I think that's an incredible perspective.
For me, I have been speaking for 15 years, but I wasn't a quote unquote professional speaker. I worked in the business realm. I worked in corporate where I did business consulting with entrepreneurs around the world. I help them become better leaders, become better salespeople, become stronger in their operational systems to grow their business.
How I did that is I had to exercise a lot of persuasion and influence to get people to buy into systems and processes, to buy into the idea of becoming a leader, to buy in the idea that sales wasn't schmucky.
I mastered the art of speaking through business consulting. I led a training team. You know this, I spoke on stages around the world. I led workshops. I led webinars, all of those things. My experience, the craft of speaking, was different than the quote unquote business of speaking.
I'm also a paid speaker and have been doing that here for quite a while. But my specific angle, when I talk about my signature story, especially with a prospective client, I'm talking about my experiences that brought me to here because my experience being a business consultant and understanding the struggles of an entrepreneur, understanding that when you connect with people and you want to persuade them to take action in their own lives and their own business, there's a different kind of conversation there.
It's not just about being charismatic and structuring a good story. There are some things you have to be thinking about in the context of business and how others view business. For me, I know that insight is unique. When somebody hires me, they're not just getting a speaking coach, they're getting a business coach. They're getting a whole lot extra, which is why my clients pay me top dollar, 'Gosh, I hate that phrase,' but it worked right there. I'm premium pricing for what I do.
I'm comfortable with that because my signature story helps me paint that picture for my clients of why me, why I'm different, and why I might be the perfect match for them. So you my friend, business owner, you also need a signature story. Do not put this on the back burner of like, 'Oh, I'll get there someday. I'll have it when I do something amazing.'
You've already done amazing things, so just accept the fact that you need this. You already have this. It's just now put it on paper so you can make it better. That's essential truth number one, every business owner needs a signature story.
Essential truth number two - your story is multifaceted. You must think of it like an accordion. In my signature program, Speak Up to Level Up. I talk a lot about this idea of an accordion, your signature talk, your signature story.
It's like an accordion, which means you have a longer version. You can squeeze it together and you have a short version. That's as simple as it is. Now I want you to think about your signature story. Just know you might be going, 'Oh man.'.
Just when you told that, with the very top of this episode, the Jamie Kern Lima example. I told you that in one sentence. Amy Porterfield was more like a paragraph and the Brendon Burchard story was like three paragraphs.
Each of those stories could probably fill an entire hour to tell you the full story and even maybe beyond that we can do a Netflix documentary on it. I want you to know your full story. You need to know what your full story is, but you're most likely not going to tell it very often.
I want you to think about, you need to start with that full accordion. Take some time. Brain dump on paper. I pull out a Google doc, start brain dumping. I'm a fan of word vomiting. You know I talk about that all the time. Open up your voice recorder and just start telling the story of you.
Do not do judgment. Do not be like, 'is this, should I include it?' Just include everything for right now. Just get the first draft out and then you can go through and use some of these other truths I'm about to tell you around what you actually should include and what you should exclude, but you have to think about this.
Know you're going to have a longer version and then you're going to push that accordion back together and you're going to have shorter versions. Let me give me just a little visualization of this.
I remember last year, I listened to a lot of podcasts as I bet you do too. I remember I was listening to an episode of Gold Digger. It's just probably a year, year and a half ago. I remember Jenna had asked the question of the guests. She was like, 'Hey, so tell me who you are and what you do,' or whatever the intro, first question is when you have a guest.
I remember the guest talking. Then I remember getting into my car to go to the grocery store and by the time I got to the grocery store, the guest was still talking. I remember I went to the grocery store, I paused it.
Come back out and drove home and she was still talking. I remember going. I am so confused like, it's an interesting story, but also she is still talking. It felt like an eternity. I was confused of going, is this an interview or is this a presentation?
It was a great story but I ingrained it. It really wasn't that long. I live right around the corner from the grocery store, so I think in total it was maybe six minutes, seven minutes. I don't know. I might've been 10 minutes but that my friend feels like an eternity when you are listening. Ten minutes is like an eternity, but also just like a split moment.
Here's what I want you to think about. You have to be able to give your story in like 30 seconds. You also should be able to do it in like two minutes and then of course you're going to have some longer versions. I want you to get comfortable in knowing your quote unquote perfect signature story, it's not going to be the same length every single time.
Even the stories I told you around Amy Porterfield and Brendon Burchard. They tell different facets of their story. I want you to accept this idea that your story is multifaceted and you must be able to tell it like an accordion, but you need to know the full story and then understand which pieces to pull so you can tell it in different ways to different audiences. That's truth number two.
Truth number three, your story will evolve and adapt. Don't try to get it perfect. If I were still trying to get my website perfect or my copy for my program Speak Up to Level Up. If I was still trying to get this podcast focus perfect, they would not be out in the world.
We all know this to be true. We sit on things trying to perfect them and we keep them in our drafts folder forever and ever and we don't ever let the light shine on them into the world. I know it's scary to put yourself out there, friend, but you just have to accept the idea that life is about just changing, adapting and growing. We're never done and neither is your signature story.
Someone like Brendon Burchard, he wrote an entire book called Life's Golden Ticket, which is his story. He wrote an entire book, took him a long time to get there and now he's got it nailed down where he can tell his story so many different ways all the time. He's perfected it, but it took him a long time to be able to do that.
You're most not likely writing a book on your signature story. If you think about the great thought leaders in the online space, their stories are evolving over time. You hear them tell that. It's taken Amy Porterfield 10, 11,12 years to talk about her business and her story the way she does today.
I don't want you to think about like, 'Oh my gosh, my signature story has to be perfect.' It's the same thing I tell my students in Speak Up to Level Up. Your signature talk is going to be different a year from now as it is today and not because you're going to overhaul, but it's you're going to make subtle tweaks and slightly make it better.
Here's an example for you. Right now, you know for the last, well now, 30 days. It'll be more than that by the time this episode comes out. I've been doing a challenge in the month of May and that was the Miracle Morning challenge.
I've adapted a little bit. I'm not doing the quote unquote Miracle Morning every single day. I'm doing my own morning routine, but the commitment was I wake up and start every day with intention through journaling, through visualizing my day, through thinking about the experiences and the emotions I want to have, planning my day with intention, and then working out every single day. I'm now on day 30 of doing this and I feel like I'm getting so much more done. I'm showing up to my days with great intention and a great attitude.
Now for me, one of the things I've been doing the last few weeks is I've been using the BeachBody app. If you're not familiar with beach body, it's a multilevel marketing, an organization that teaches workouts.
I just like their app. I pay like 99 bucks a year. I get access to all of these workouts and I just like them. One specifically, Autumn Calabrese. I like her programs. I like her style. It just works for me. I started, she's got this program called the 21 Day Fix. She redid it recently where it's called 21 Day Fix in Real time where it's 21 videos that you do in 21 days.
Yeah, I have a point with the story where I'm going here. When you start working out, what happens is your body adjusts and adapts. For example, on week one, let's say on leg day we do a series of moves. Then week two, when we go to leg day, it's those same moves, but she ups the ante a bit because we need to up the weights, or adjust the balance on, do now on one leg versus both legs.
Our body adjusts and calibrates and we get better. The stronger our body gets, the more challenged we have to take on so that we continue to grow and adapt. Your fitness levels, your everything about it, it just evolves and grows.
The same thing is true for things in your business like content and d here with your signature story. You're going to get your signature story down, but you're going to continue to evolve it. You're going to find better ways to connect with people, better words to use to describe different experiences.
Accept the idea that it's going to evolve over time. You're not going to get it perfect the first round. In fact, you should just throw that idea out the window. One thing that Brendon Burchard often says is he's like this idea if you say you're a perfectionist, I'm going to call BS because to perfect something means that you have to put it out into the world and then adjust it and then perfected.
It has to already be published in order for you to perfect it. If you haven't published something, you're not actually perfecting it because it's still just a concept. He says that much better than I do, but I want you to get comfortable with this.
Do not sit on a draft. Use the draft and move out and start telling the story and it will get better. Progress over perfection. That's what this is about. And that's truth number three. It's going to evolve and adapt. Don't try to get it perfect. Just start telling your story.
Essential truth number four. It's your experiences - yes- but your signature story isn't about you. It's about how others see themselves through you. It's about the emotions that they feel through your emotions that you share.
This I think is what trips up a lot of people because you hear stories like Amy's, like Jamie's, like Tyler's, like Jasmine's, like all the people that you love and admire and you hear those stories and you think, 'Oh, they're so amazing,' but what you don't give yourself credit for are the experiences and 'ahas' and insights that you have about yourself when you listen to those stories.
The story of the underdog speaks to you going, 'yeah, I'm gritty. I've gone through hard things. I pushed through that too. I'm good at getting back up.' The story of the desire for wanting freedom and flexibility in your life serves you thinking like, 'yes, I'm so sick of other people controlling what I do. It just makes me want to pull my hair out. I want to be in control of my own life. Yes.' The story of the jerk client who's screaming at you at a deadline. Yours hearing like, 'yes, I want to feel respected. I want to feel heard.'
I get that. You do hear that is when other people tell our story, it's easy in retrospection to go, 'Oh my gosh, their story was so good,' but if you pay attention, I want you to notice your inner dialogue because your inner dialogue is telling you that you can do this too. You relate with those feelings. You've been there and you, if they've pushed through, you could do it too.
The inner story that happens, the quiet story that happens in your audience and in your listener. That's the story that matters. In fact, that's my goal. Every single episode on this show, it's not to tell you all the things that I know or exactly what to do.
My hope is that something that I say on the show sparks something in you and you take hold of that spark and you do something with it. That's my mission. That's what I do. This whole thing isn't about me being magnetic and to tell you like, 'look how fun I am. I'm so cool. I talk about weird things every week and have weird jokes and sometimes drill on myself.' Although those things are entertaining.
I'm here for you because ultimately you're the one doing the work. You're the one in control of your business. You're the one who has to show up every single day for your audience. You have to be confident in how you communicate and how you show up.
My job is to help you, like push you, and help challenge you for how you think about yourself, how you see yourself as a leader, as someone who really can impact the lives of others. I'm here to coach you, to cheer you on, but to push you to do better because your goals are much bigger than where you're at right now, and I know that you know that.
My goal is to keep you like right there on that line of tension, pushing yourself to reach for bigger because you and your audience deserve it. That's why I'm here every single week. That's why I keep telling the stories that I tell, whether it's in my signature story or this side, little tangents that I tell. It's to spark something in you.
Coming back to the truth, remember, yes, it's about you. You're telling your stories, but it's not about you. You have to be thinking what do people really want to know? They're thinking in their heads, why should I believe you? Can I even trust you? Do I like you? Can you really help me?
These are questions I thought about that you've been thinking. As you go through and make the decision to listen to this podcast episode, or download my free guide on helping you become a more magnetic speaker, or attend my upcoming webinar happening on the four virtual stages that you can be speaking on right now.
I know questions in your mind, especially if you're new around here are but like, 'why should I believe you? Like who are you to tell me this? Can I trust you? Do I even like you?’
Here's the thing. I don't care what your answer is because the main thing is I want you to make one. Jasmine Star talks about this a lot. She's like, 'love me or hate me. I don't care which way you go, but the worst thing that you can do is just be lukewarm about me.' She says it a little bit different, but I don't want anybody in the middle.
The same is here with me. I want you to either be like, 'yes, Heather, you're speaking my language. You're my girl. This is my jam.' Or like, 'this girl is crazy. She rambles a lot, and has a weird story. She sometimes fumbles on her word. She's a speaking coach and she can't even get the words out right in a real sentence.'
Here's the thing I want- that's the reason why I'm not perfect. That's the reason why I don't edit my shows. That's the reason why I show up, not necessarily exactly scripted of what I'm going to say because I'm gonna keep it real for you because I want you to know that that's okay.
If that's your jam, I am your girl. But if you want someone who's perfect, and polished and has this elevated status of coming across in this really well curated feed, I am not your girl. That's the point here. I want other people to hear through my stories that they connect with me. That's the whole point here is, are we good together? You and me, are we a match? And if we're not, beautiful. You can move on to find someone else who is.
I want you to have that level of confidence connecting with your people too. Your signature story can do that a bit. People can gauge your story and be like, 'yeah, Oh yeah, I resonate with that. I've had those experiences too. I get like the beliefs that you have. I understand why you do those things. That resonates with me too -my beliefs, my values, my experiences, or they can go like, 'Hey, good for you. I learned something here today, but you're not my jam. You're not the person I'm going to continue to work from, or work with, or learn from, and that is beautiful.
I'm going off on some tangents here guys, but man, I'm heated today thinking about this. All these things coming together, I'm just going to bring up something around email lists right now. That whole concept around being afraid that what if we get people on our email list and then they unsubscribe? Oh no!
I welcome it. I talked about this a couple episodes back with Bobby Klinck. We welcome unsubscribed day. It's telling you that these people are saying, here's what I want you to do. I want you to consider it. When people realize that they're not for you, you're not for them.
Think about the KonMari method. You know where you hold, like hug your clothes. If you've done this before, where you hug that sweatshirt that you've been holding on for years from college and you say thank you. You thank it for it's experiences, whatever it's brought into your life, whatever moments you had in that sweatshirt, and then you put it in the pile to donate to someone else.
It sounds crazy to say, but honestly, I've done it. I was like, wow, that was kind of weird to say to an inanimate object, but it also worked. It helped me get rid of a lot of clothes that I did not need and stuff in my house.
I think you can do a little bit more of this in your business with your audience. Just approach this instead of saying, 'Oh, but what if they don't like me? What if they don't want to move forward?' Thank them. Imagine they're saying thank you for what you've brought to the table. Thank you for that insight and that story and we're done. I'm going to continue to look for my solution. That's it. It doesn't have to be emotional.
I want you to continually be thinking about that in your business because the more that you are tied to wanting to capture more people and create more leads and have everybody love you, the less it's going to happen. You have to start getting comfortable to know that people are going to be asking these questions, 'why should I believe you? Can I trust you? Do I like you? Can you really help me?'
Your job is to bring yourself, your insight, your realness to the party and be okay with whatever their answers are. I know that it's easier said than done. Friend, trust me. I still struggle with this. I still do. We all do. I think everyone at every level to some degree still wants to be liked, but also I want to make an impact, more than I want to be liked.
I think you need to sit with that for a second. Ask yourself the same question. If you're here, if this is a legacy question for you, if you're here going, I really truly want to help and serve other people and make an impact, you have to ask yourself, are you willing in order to make that impact for the people who want to hear the message, are you willing to be disliked? Because that's the price.
If you're going to make an impact, the price is to also accept what comes with it, which is there's going to be people, people who dislike you. That's what this comes down to. Okay? That's around truth number two. It's about your experiences, but remember it's not about you. It's about how others can see themselves through you. Then a little bonus truth, a little tough love there of knowing that sometimes that's going to mean that you're not for some and that's okay. That's actually good. Okay.
Truth number five - your signature story is a story, not a rap sheet. You have to describe a story as moments. There are people, there is a motion. So friend, we're ending on this one because I think this one's very tangible and very practical.
I want you to think about this. I'm going to give you here in a second some statements that you might want to be using in your story or some prompts to be able to go, huh, what should I be including here?'
In contrary to what we all want to do, we know this to be true. People make decisions, people make purchases based off emotion, not logic. I do think you need to have some ration and logic to the party, but mostly it's through emotions.
Let's talk about this a little bit. We talk a lot about this in online marketing where you want to speak to the transformation. You want to speak to what people are really after. And sure you can validate it with numbers and facts.
Let me give you an example here. In my former position, in the space that I used to work with, I used to work with doctors of audiology. Ear doctors, people who test people's hearing and then provide solutions. In the audiology space, it was very interesting and very unique because it was in the medical space, but it was a retail based model, meaning maybe only medical professionals that actually had to sell something or one of the only medical professionals at what they were selling was hearing aids.
The reason why I want to bring this up is, so think about this. You know me, I wear hearing aids. I have a significant hearing loss. I can't function without my hearing AIDS. It's been, Oh my goodness, a decade almost of me wearing them.
I want you to consider this. I know I have a hearing loss. If I were to go in and see an audiologist for the very first time, which in fact this happened to me. The very first time I went in and got my hearing tested, I went in and got the hearing test.
I even worked at the company where I knew I could get access to hearing aids for free. Oh my goodness. I went in and mind you, I didn't really understand the impact of my hearing loss. I went in and I got the hearing test.
The audiologist told me, 'Hey, okay, so you do have a hearing loss. It's more significant in your right ear than your left ear, and here's what that looks like. She went in to talk about what the solutions were and she made some recommendations on the types of technology and the manufacturer and those kinds of things.
Then she said this, 'but honestly, you're young and you said that you're not really experiencing a lot of challenges right now. You're still able to hear people and you're functioning. Clearly, you're functioning. You're great in your job, right?'
I'm like, 'yeah. She goes, 'so if you're doing okay now, I mean, you probably don't want to wear like these things quite yet.' Honestly, your hearing is not going to change a lot in the next year if you want to hang out, like you're going to be fine if you're functioning okay right now, but here's the information on the product so that when you're ready to buy it, it's there for you. Sounds good?'
Okay. When I tell that story in front of other hearing care providers, they cringe and are like, what the heck? Because here is what they know that you might not know, but let me paint it out for you. When someone has a hearing loss, they don't understand how much they're missing.
You see, hearing is not like sight. Imagine you're standing in a room right now. I have a dimmer on the light switch. I'm standing by the door at the light switch and you're sitting in the middle of the room or maybe you're standing across the room in the back corner.
I'm staring at you across the room by the light switch. I slowly start dimming down the lights. As I start dimming down the lights, you start realizing, okay, it's getting dark in here and it's getting dark in here.
As it gets darker, and darker and darker, you can still see me, but soon I just become a figure across the room. You can no longer see the details of the pants that I'm wearing or the messy bun on my head. Like you can't see the expression on my face and as it gets darker and darker, you have to start squinting and working really hard to make out those details. But still you can kind of see a little bit until the dark, dark, dark happens and then it's pitch black.
You see with sight it's very clear to notice what you're missing because you see the outlines, you see the figures. You just might not be able to make out the details, but you know you're missing something because the figures are there.
With hearing, there are no figures. There are no outlines, you just don't know what you're missing instead, it just feels like people are mumbling, but you don't know that it's mumble. You just think of seeing other people. It's not your sound. It's not your gap.
Why am I telling you all about this? Hearing is not just an anatomy function. There are things that go with hearing. There are emotional pieces, and have that person sat down with me that day and asked me, it's just a couple questions and challenged my belief that everything was okay, that I was functioning just fine.
If they would have asked me some questions around my experiences, how I was able to keep up with conversations, how I adapted in situations with my husband not being able to hear, how I had pulled back from social situations, how my husband and I weren't even going to restaurants anymore because we couldn't function during a happy hour because it was so loud.
If she would have asked me any kind of question to help me put myself into a place where I understood what was happening and more importantly how that was impacting me in the emotion, I would've made a different decision and because that didn't happen, I didn't make a,well, I made a decision to do nothing and I sat on that nothing for a full year.
I can never get that year back. I mean, it was a good year, but how much better could it have been if someone would have had the audacity to have a conversation with me about emotion?
Now I know this thing around emotion. You're like, 'okay, Heather, where are you going with this and how does this relate back to my signature story?' Your responsibility in your signature story is to get people to feel something, get them to feel something.
I want you to think about that. Back to those stories I mentioned before with Amy Porterfield, that moment where she was in the room with a bunch of men who were wearing flip flops talking about this online business that just seemed to be so carefree, but they were men.
You felt something. You're going, 'yeah man, there do need to be more women representative business,' or you're going, 'yeah, I want to have that freedom of flexible lifestyle.'
Same thing in that moment where the client is screaming at her, you're like,' yes, I'm so sick of people who just just disrespect my time and all, push all the boundaries, and all the things like I want to be respected.'
You were feeling something. I want you to remember that it doesn't matter how logical things are for you. It doesn't matter how many years you've been in business, how many things you've done. Those are things you can sprinkle into your signature story. What matters more are the people, the experiences, and the emotion in those things. Okay?
That moment with Amy Porterfield, when I talked about her signature story, just noticed, yes, I namedrop Tony Robbins. That's in her signature story, but there wasn't like she worked for Tony Robbins for X amount of years and she had this many clients in our business and this, and this, and all these details and facts to show you how much she knows.
Granted, I'm sure in her full story, she includes a little bit more of that, but the stories of people, sometimes it's more about the experiences and the transformation with those stories that matters more than the quote unquote facts and figures. I want you to figure out how this rings true for you if you're still struggling with this going, 'okay, but what do I include?'
Here's some prompts that I want you to think about. A good signature story has a series of defining moments. Here are some prompts that you might ask yourself and you could even use in your story.
Something like this, and it was in that moment where I realized that blank. So Amy Porterfield, “and it was in that moment where I realized that I didn't want to do one on one work anymore and I needed to figure out a more scalable option through digital products.”
Another prompt, that was my wake up call for blank, let's say Brendon Burchard. “And standing on that, that hood, that was my wake up call and I had to ask myself some really significant questions. Did I live? Did I love, did I matter? That was my wake up call.”
Another one, there was a decision I had to make. So for me, maybe that was for me in my story, there was decision I had to make. "I had to decide was I going to be a full time professional speaker and live my life on the road, in a hotel or in hotel beds, and on stages and be alone on the road. Or was I going to choose to speak when I wanted to speak and build a business online where I could impact as many people if not more than I could on stages, but in a different way?"
I could probably say that a little bit better, but for me that was around the decision for me to be a coach and speak virtually and yes still be a speaker about but be a different kind of speaker, you speaking to grow my digital business versus using speaking as my business.
I want you to start thinking through what those could be for you. What's included in your opening or in your signature story. I'm not going to give you a recipe because I don't think there is one. I think you have to figure out what those components are, but these prompts will help you start getting to that draft I talked about earlier. Just a draft to get it out there, but I want you to remember these truths.
Let's do a real quick recap on these truths before we bring it home here. The five essential tools for crafting your signature story was number one, every business owner needs their signature story. That is your differentiating factor, a pack that value in long before you make your offer.
Number two, your story is multifaceted and you must be able to tell it like an accordion. Remember, there's a long version, probably a medium version and a short version, and there's probably going to be variations for each of what you pull out at which moments, depending on your audience, get comfortable with that. But you have to get started with the full story so that you can know what you're working with and start making a better truth.
Number three, it will evolve and adapt. So don't try to get it perfect. Don't hold onto it in secret. Don't try to get a bunch of people to review it. Just start telling your story. Get it out there and it will evolve over time. It's how every great mentor, influencer, business owner has gotten there is to be so good. I bet they're continuing to make it better.
Truth number four, it's your experiences, but it's not about you. It's about how others can see themselves through you. You're the one creating the experience for them to have their own story within that experience. I know that was kind of wordy, but you know what I'm saying, right?
It's this idea that you're telling the story. You're just the conduit for others to have their own story. So let your story spark something in them so that they take action in their own life and their own business.
Truth number five, it's a story, not a rap sheet. So use those moments. Talk about people and most importantly, talk about emotion.
Okay friend, I cannot wait to hear which of these truths resonated the most with you today. Hey, before you go, could I ask you a huge favor, friend? If you've been enjoying the show, if you found any value in what I taught in today's episode or any of the other episodes, would you be so kind to take a moment, subscribe to the show to make sure that you get the next episodes coming out, including some bonuses coming your way?
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I want my reviews to be filled with different perspectives, different people, different insights, those little sparks that I described today. I want to know what sparks I'm lighting in you. That's what fuels me. That's what keeps me coming back every single week. And I'm just so appreciative that you've chosen to be on this journey with me together as you choose to make a bigger impact in this world. So please, please, please leave that review.
And of course, I love seeing that you're listening to this show, so feel free to screenshot this, share it on Instagram, tag your friends. Let's get more people onboard for the It Factor because I think the more people who are able to light that spark within themselves and get excited, the bigger impact that we can make for good in this world. So friend, I will see you in next week. Same time, same place. Bye!