How to grow your business through storytelling: Expert Interview
Learn how using your own personal story can grow your business, blog, or brand!
Are you being shy and trying to hide behind the scenes of your business? Avoiding showing your face or getting personal with your audience? Stop!
Let’s dive into how to grow your business with a storytelling coach by your side to guide you to success.
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As a blogger or small business owner, you don’t always know how to connect with your audience or ideal client.
That’s where a Story Coach comes in.
If you’ve never heard of a Story Coach, or are hesitant to tell your personal story, you’ll be interested to learn all the reasons why you should seriously consider hiring a coach as part of your business strategy.
I’ve invited professional story coach, Kerry Ramsay, who has an impressive list of successful clients she’s guided on their journey, to chat with me a little more about what she does and how she can help YOU grow your business.
Kerry Ramsay is a Story Coach and the host of the Power Your Platform Podcast, a top 10 ranked Canadian marketing podcast for women who are building bold story brands. Her business, PowerHER Platform serves women leaders, speakers and entrepreneurs who are looking to create impact with authentic storytelling.
Many people have heard about hiring a blog or business coach, which is a pretty broad term. You’ve really narrowed down your coaching service (which I love). Can you explain what a Story Coach actually is?
As a Story Coach, I help my clients create meaningful connections with their customers and audience members by helping them weave authentic storytelling throughout their personal or professional branding.
Because I’m also a certified business advisor, I’m able to guide my clients not only in unlocking and sharing their own story with confidence, but also adding in the all-important business elements that help a brand stand out in today’s overcrowded digital marketplace.
Why do you think sharing the personal side of your business is so important?
Behind every business brand is a human being. As humans, we instinctively want to connect with other humans.
So when we share our personal and professional stories throughout our branding (social media, newsletters, website copy, presentations, etc.) we create bridges between ourselves and the audience we’re trying to reach.
This connection can create powerful moments of shared experience which helps lead to long-term relationship building and customer loyalty. When we recognize ourselves in other people’s stories and experiences, there’s an “aha” moment that occurs.
We connect on a human level. And that’s where the magic happens.
How do you help your clients find a balance of sharing enough to help them, vs. sharing SO much, that it turns people off?
Finding the right balance is something a lot of business owners struggle with when starting out with brand storytelling. The key is to, first of all, know your audience.
Ask yourself: what matters most to my audience? How much time do they have? How deep is their interest? And what language would resonate best with them?
Second, what is the purpose of the story you’re telling? Are you explaining how a product works? If so, a step-by-step approach might be required. Are you demonstrating brand impact?
In that case, a brief personal or client case study would make sense. Are you looking to draw your audience into a deeper conversation? If so, consider starting a Facebook group or online community where you can spend more time and go deeper into discussion.
One way you can test if your storytelling content is on target is the amount of engagement you’re getting from your audience. If there’s a low response to your story content, then adjust what you’re sharing and how often.
As you tweak your process, you’ll find the “sweet spot” where you connect best with your core audience and give them the right amount of detail with the right amount of frequency.
Bloggers are often hesitant to share their stories. Many even start their blog anonymously. What advice would you give to a blogger reluctant to share their identity and/or their personal story?
I find that women struggle with this question more than men, mostly for safety reasons. My first word of advice is never to share specific details about your life that could open you or your children to unwanted attention.
If you want to use only your first name, then do that. If you want to refer to yourself as living in a more general region (rather than a specific town/city), then do that. Never post photos of your license plate or home residence or street.
Be wise about the amount of private details you share with a broad audience, because hey, it’s 2022 and we need to be smart.
When it comes to selecting the right stories for public sharing, choose stories that have a universal application. Before hitting “publish” ask yourself: does this story matter to my audience or just to me? If you’re not sure, having a Story Coach can be really helpful.
Being a part of a free storytelling community like the Power Your Platform Facebook group can also be a great place to test your ideas.
What are some common mistakes you see people making while trying to build their brand and how can your services help?
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when it comes to brand storytelling is forgetting to include a call to action at the end of their story.
It’s not enough to share an experience with your audience; you need to tell them what to do next. When you do, make it simple and clear so they know what steps they need to take to lead them to the desired outcome or transformation.
Another common mistake is including too many details in a brand story, so one of my favourite mantras is “Keep It Simple Sister”. Audience attention spans are limited these days, so get to the point quickly and leave them with a key takeaway they can easily apply to their own lives or business.
What can clients expect when they hire you as their Story Coach?
When starting out with a new client, we book a 1-hour, virtual strategy session together. This strategy session allows us to discuss the client’s key challenges and set some goals for moving forward.
Each client determines how often they’d like to meet, but most prefer to book a minimum of six sessions up front (at a discounted price). We then meet on a regular basis (weekly or bi-weekly tends to work best) to ensure they are taking action and gaining momentum when it comes to the goals they’ve set.
If a client would rather book sessions at their own pace, they can do that too!
Who does your business serve?
I provide Story Coaching services to women leaders, speakers, and entrepreneurs who want to create an impact with authentic storytelling. Because my services are virtual, I’m able to serve women all around the world.
I know you wear a lot of hats. Can you tell us more about your other projects and businesses?
I’m excited to have just launched my new 3-Part “Unlock your Story Vault” Masterclass + Coaching Series for Women which begins this fall!
If you struggle to organize the story chaos in your brain and create a regular storytelling schedule that creates impact and influence, then this online learning experience is for you!
Besides working alongside a group of other amazing women as you uncover your story gold, unscramble your confidence code and unlock your story vault, you’ll also receive two one-on-one story coaching sessions with me to get all of your questions answered.
To learn more about “Unlock Your Story Vault”, click here. Space is limited, so register today!
Another one of my favourite projects is the Power Your Platform Podcast which is now a year old. Since launching the podcast, we’ve had thousands of downloads and the response has been so wonderful from our audience.
After more than 100 episodes, I’m learning what my audience is most interested in, which includes interviews with other female storytellers just like themselves, along with plenty of storytelling tools, tips, and strategies.
The podcast has peaked on Apple Podcasts charts at #8 for all marketing podcasts in Canada which is very encouraging!
How do you select your podcast guests and where can we listen to it?
In Season 1 of the Power Your Platform Podcast, I was honoured to welcome 38 remarkable female guests on the show, from inventors and creatives to business owners and athletes. I especially enjoy interviewing my own clients on the air to hear what they’ve gotten out of their story coaching experience!
When it comes to selecting podcast guests, I look for women who are interested in sharing the story of their own life/business journey, and in particular, those who can add value to my audience with insider experience and expertise. There’s a lot of variety, but the common element is that they have a story to share.
The podcast is available on all major podcasting aps, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Stitcher and more.
Do you have any other resources or products you recommend for someone who prefers the DIY approach and may be hesitant to work with a coach?
To get started, I suggest taking our official Storyteller’s Quiz to find out what type of storyteller you are. Once you do, you’ll learn if you’re a Story Starter, a Story Builder or a Story Pro.
For each of these storyteller types, there’s a free digital Story Power Pack to download with multiple pages of resources. I highly recommend this as a starting point for anyone who’s interested in Story Coaching.
Plus, there are plenty of other free resources on our website as well, including our popular Story Fuel newsletter which provides a free weekly story prompt to help you build your storytelling muscle!
Where can people find you?
Web site – https://www.powerherplatform.com/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/poweryourplatform
Instagram – www.instagram.com/poweryourplatform
Twitter – www.twitter.com/powherplatform
Business Growth Through Storytelling: Conclusion
I hope this expert interview gives you a better understanding of why it’s so important to tell your personal story and not be afraid to share let your audience in, with confidence!
If you need help to grow your business with a storytelling coach, don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with Kerry about her services.
P.S. I had the pleasure of being a part of the Power Your Platform Podcast this year. You can listen to it below:
Storytelling Statistics: Why Marketing Storytelling Works So Well
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