When it comes to your content, everyone has stories to tell. What are some of yours? Do you have the story about why you started your business or how you came to be in business on your About Us page or in a blog?
Guess what? While how long you’ve been in business and how many staff you have is important (as a side note), people really want to know the real you; the real story. This has been my mantra for years and the reason why I love being a journalist – I enjoy telling people’s stories.
It’s time to tell yours. It’s time to get a bit personal so your readers get to know you. This goes for all forms of your content.
Do you know how I came to be in business? I’ll tell you my story … I was working for a big news corporation as an editor and almost had a nervous breakdown. I was stressed to the eyeballs and living on coffee (and air) and working around the clock. It’s little wonder I had a complete meltdown – and it scared me.
On this day I had arrived at work in good spirits only to be bombarded by a bunch of people needing stuff from me as soon as I got to my desk. I opened my emails only to see another nit-picking BS email from someone about the gardening section (like, seriously? Are you kidding me?) and then got abused by a head of department in front of the entire newsroom for something I didn’t do. Journalism 101: Get you facts straight, right? I was ropeable, embarrassed, shocked and sad all at the same time. That was all before 9am. Yeah, great start to the day. I sat for about 10 minutes and then basically – without flipping the bird and saying stuff you all, which is what I felt like I wanted to do – I got up, got my phone and walked out.
I kept walking and eventually ended up at a park where I sat down on a bench seat and cried hysterically … I couldn’t breathe, everything started spinning, I started seeing stars and then black, I felt like I was going to pass out, I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t actually move. When I went to get up and go back my legs simply wouldn’t move. I was telling my brain to make them move; to get up and walk, and they just wouldn’t. Of course, I then started panicking more. OMG, I’m freaking paralysed! Great. What the hell am I going to do now? (I’ve always been a bit of a drama queen! But I was actually really frightened). It took about an hour for me to calm down and talk myself through it. Still crying, I called my friend at work to collect my bag (I’d forgotten to take it with me) and meet me so I could go home.
I took a week off on stress leave. I was so exhausted, deflated and defeated. In that week, I decided there were more important things in life than ever having to go through that again and I resigned. I took all my holidays and sick days, and actually never went back to work as I knew it.
I’d already started my biz on the side off the back of an inquiry and thought if I’m ever going to do this now is the time. So I got in touch with everyone I knew in the industry and told them I was out on my own and if they needed any PR or writing work done to let me know.
I knew I was already on to a winner with my business and just needed to invest in it, myself and my ideas.
I don’t regret a single day of my work in the media. As I said, I loved it. I still do and I still edit a magazine called Get it magazine.
So that’s how I came to be in my business. I do share this story openly and it’s in my book WOW Words on the Web. Stories are what people remember and relate to. Why do you think people can tell you the story about Cinderella?
Stories instantly build a connection. What’s your story and how can you inject a bit of personality into your content. Have a think about that and start to work in a few “fairy tales” of your own.
I’ll bet my bottom dollar you get more engagement from your audience.