Sharing stories is part of who we are. It helps us to connect with others, share our wins and inspire others when needed. It’s no different in business. Using personal stories in your business helps you to share more of yourself, connect with your ideal customers and beautifully illustrate how well you know the people you want to work with.
But mention how crucial it is to be sharing personal stories in your business, and someone will inevitably say, ‘I’d love to do that, but I’m not comfortable talking about myself.’
And that’s a common misconception. Many business owners believe that a personal story means you need to bare your soul or talk about things that are really personal to you.
So if you’re feeling a little uncomfortable at the thought of sharing personal stories, don’t worry! I’m here to show you how you can share personal stories in your business without being an open book.
Personal stories don’t have to be deeply personal!
First up, remember that personal stories don’t need to be deeply personal. You’re a business owner, and, understandably, you may not want (or even need!) to live or share your entire life via your online content.
There’s a lot of personal stuff that you shouldn’t even be sharing online.
Personal stories can cover anything from your hobbies and downtime, right through to your deepest fears and thoughts. You choose how personal you want to get. You choose what is relevant to share and what isn’t. You don’t need to be an open book about your entire life. You’re sharing stories that give your ideal customers a glimpse into you and your life, so they can get to know you a little better as a person, not a business.
Be comfortable with what you’re sharing
The key is to share things you’re comfortable with sharing. For some people, sharing the things their kids, parents, partner or family dog get up to is ok. For others, it isn’t. You may feel uncomfortable sharing your personal viewpoints on something, whilst someone else may find it useful for 80% of their content.
You need to be comfortable with what you’re sharing. If you’re not comfortable sharing something, then don’t. If there’s an area of your life you want to keep private, don’t share it.
Because the stories you’re sharing online are going into the public domain and will be accessible to others long into your future.
As mentioned above, a personal story can cover any area of your personal life. Whether it’s your love of cats or your thoughts on your industry – it’s all personal. You just share things you’re comfortable sharing.
And you’re clear on your reasons for sharing it.
Share stories that matter to you and your audience
Because no matter whether you’re talking about a personal story or a business win, you need to share stories that matter to you and your audience.
The story is not the main focus – the moral of it is.
Your story needs to matter, and the only way it will do that is if it does one or more of the following:
- Comforts or reassures
- Builds connection
- Creates an a-ha moment
- Touches at a heart level
- Triggers an emotion
When you share your personal story, it isn’t enough that it matters to you. It also has to matter to your audience – and be relevant to them.
Understand why you’re sharing the story
When you share a personal story, it needs to have a point. Why are you sharing it with your audience? What do they gain from hearing it?
When you understand why you’re sharing the story, you will find more stories to share. It’s how some people can share what seems to be a completely random story with their audience and be loved for it. One minute they’re talking about losing a toothbrush, and the next, they’re sharing a business insight about knowing the essential elements for your business.
They started telling the story by already knowing the reason why they’re sharing it.
Because you don’t need to be an open book to share personal stories in your business. You just need to be comfortable enough to share stories that resonate with your audience in some way.