Do you ever have moments where you think, “I can’t wait to share this with my audience?”
You know you want to share an experience or lesson you learned but when you sit down to write about it, you realize you don’t know what to say.
This catches you off guard because you have it all planned out in your head and you know someone can get a lot of value out of it.
But the more you think about it, the more you start wondering if that value is really all that useful for your audience after all. And if the experience or lesson is truly relatable to your audience and relevant to your business.
Let’s talk about 5 techniques you can use to find your most valuable stories to share so you can grow your audience!
#1 Listen to your audience.
The best way to find stories to share and set yourself apart in your audience's mind is to get to know them.
When you really know who you’re talking to, you also know:
what they already know about the problem they have,
What they need to know about solving it,
what kind of transformation they need, want, or desire,
Where they go for information,
and most importantly, why!
Brand Storytelling Tip: Take note of the questions people are asking you and others in your industry. What gaps can you fill that others haven’t? What stories can you share to address them?
#2 Study the brands your audience loves.
A great way to find out what your audience cares or wants to know more about is to study the brands they love so you can better understand who your audience really is, who your audience isn’t, your place in their life, and your place in your niche.
The more you understand who your audience is, the more you know:
how people use services similar or related to yours,
how they really feel about these services (and why they need them),
how they actually relate to other brands in your industry,
and why they’re drawn to one service provider or brand over another.
Brand Storytelling Tip: Make a list of brands that you believe your target audience uses. Put a star next to the ones you think they genuinely love enough to be advocates for.
Check out the Instagrams accounts, websites, packaging, and anything else you can use to see how each brand communicates with its audience and how its audience responds.
#3 Start a journal.
Journaling is the easiest way to keep track of your experience and the emotions you felt during each experience, making it a simple way to recall stories to share with your audience.
Most of us think our memory is much better than it really is. Having at least one journal means all the details and feelings are already stored somewhere when you’re ready to share them!
This is especially important because although a big part of storytelling means being vulnerable with your audience, I believe you should do it on your own schedule. The bigger purpose of keeping at least one journal is that it keeps you from feeling like you have to share in real-time.
Instead of sharing an experience with your audience as soon as it happens or you think to share it, a journal gives you time to
work through the feelings,
decide what’s best for you,
get clear on if it’s right for your audience,
and share it when you’re ready.
And if you realize that time is never, that’s okay too!
Brand Storytelling Tip: Start writing down all your experiences, feelings, and random thoughts. At the beginning of each quarter, think about your current goals and recent accomplishments.
Review your calendar for any special events that made a difference in your life. Revisit your journal(s) looking for opportunities to share an emotionally timely story with your audience.
What was going on in your life around this time in years past? What did you feel when you set your past goals? What were you doing to reach your goals?
#4 Check your old content.
A simple way to find content to share with your audience is to review content you’ve already posted!
What social media posts, emails, blog posts, or videos performed well? Which ones didn’t do well but you still feel were filled with valuable information?
Sure you can repurpose them by sharing them in a new format but did you know 92% of consumers want brands to make ads that feel more like stories? Well, it’s true which means you can also repurpose your old content by adding a story to it.
Brand Storytelling Tip: Review your old content. Brainstorm experiences related to the information you shared.
Think about why you think your audience needs this information and how they can use it to make their lives better in some way.
#5 Look for gaps to fill.
An authentic way to find stories that are relevant to your business and relatable to your audience is to keep track of your own internal processes and workflows.
How do people learn about your industry and your niche? Where are they in their journey when they realize they need your help? When in their journey do you want to start helping them?
When you have well-established processes and well-defined workflows, it’s easy to share how you help your audience. When you’re clear on the stage your audience is in when they come in contact with your business, it’s even easier to guide them to the first step.
Brand Storytelling Tip: Track your processes and workflows. Look for any gaps between what your audience knows now and what they need to know in order to work with you. Think about stories you can share to fill in that gap and prepare them to work with you!
Remember, connecting with and building a relationship with your audience takes time. Sometimes the problem isn’t your content, your story, or even your strategy for sharing it.
Sometimes it’s the fact that you haven’t given it enough time to work before moving on to the next thing.
No matter how you choose to find stories to share with your audience, be patient and give it at least one quarter to see how it works for you and your business!