Storytelling: Your Secret Weapon for Instant Connection

Last Sunday, I arrived home at 1:30am to hungry cats and an empty house.
I had just returned from a trip to Alaska to see my family.
It *could* be the extra caffeine I’m guzzling to counteract jet lag…but I have been on a high ever since I got back.   

While the whole trip was amazing, my final night in Alaska was the most memorable.  But not for the reasons you’d think:
There was no epic adventure.
No fireworks.
No surprise proposal.
No appearance of a long-lost family member.
Nothing of the sort.
It was just everyone. Together.
Storytelling and memory-making.

I still remember the sticky mixture of sweat and bug dope on my skin.  It was the whole mismatched lot of us – family, friends, adult children, and spouses – crowded under a small awning attached to a truly monstrous motor home. Swatting mosquitos and sippin’ margaritas.

Whenever my family gathers in a circle, the story swapping begins. 

I remember the glow of never-ending dusk on our faces as stories trickled in…

Like that one time my sister and I attempted to play “Happy Birthday” on our musical instruments, but I took over with my blaring clarinet solo.

Or about Dad’s close call with a raging grizzly bear while out in the Kahlitna area.

Or speculation on the missing video of our amateur reenactment of the Blair Witch Project.  

Plus more clandestine tales of my parents’ youth that we were not privy to until our adulthood.

That’s when it really hit me:  Stories are everything.  

Stories shape our identity.  Stories are how we relate.

Stories are how we instantly connect to one another.

Stories are how we share the most sacred and vulnerable parts of us.

Stories are how we learn.  They are how we fall in love.

Stories are the invisible thread of connection between two people, a group, or a community.

If human connection is powered by creating & telling stories, we *must* use storytelling in our marketing.

And it doesn’t have to be salesy because it’s the most natural way that we connect with each other.

If you’re ready to better your copy with storytelling, consider these ideas:

What is the *ONE* story that…
  • Shows the power of your work with clients?
  • Offers a glimpse into who you are as a therapist, coach, or healer?
  • Highlights your core values and strengths?
  • Demonstrates the journey that you travel with your clients?
  • Helps people get to know you better?
  • Offers a look behind the scenes of your business?
  • Shares your quirks and unique personality?

You may have one story that covers all of these bases. (Awesome! I wanna hear it!)

Or you may have a different story for different intentions. (That’s great, too!)

However, as a deep-thinking, introverted entrepreneur, a few things might get in the way:

As a therapist, you may feel limited by licensing rules around self-disclosure, questioning what you can ethically share with prospective or current clients.

As an introvert, you may be self-conscious about making your writing about yourselves when it’s been drilled into you that you must always focus on the client.

As a highly sensitive person, your stories are private and sacred, not to be shared with just anyone.
As a marketing newbie, you may not know which story your clients need to hear to take action.

To overcome these barriers, learn how to use stories strategically.

Consider this:

  • Share what you’re comfortable with while pushing yourself to get outside your comfort zone.  Allow yourself to feel vulnerable.  It makes you relatable, which is what folks want from a therapist or coach.   
  • Relate the story back to your client or how you work, in some way.  This helps the client connect the dots about the value you can bring them.
  • Use your stories to make a point.  You can use a story to show (not just tell) your opinion about a topic.  
  • Choose a simple, detailed story over a general or complex one.  (I know this is hard for your overthinking brain!)
  • Stories don’t have to be super long to have an impact.  Sometimes shorter is better.
  • Get opinions from colleagues around which story might work best in your copy.  Ask their honest opinion about what keeps their attention and wanting to hear more.
  • Pay attention to the stories you’re already naturally sharing about your work.  These may be stories that you can work into your copy.
  • Consider a story that is a conglomeration of your clients.  This lets prospective clients get a peek “behind the curtain”, while still maintaining confidentiality.

So, what’s the point?

It may feel easiest to just keep writing how you are.
It may feel uncomfortable at the thought of sharing more about yourself with your clients.
It probably goes against every introverted bone in your body.
However, stories create connection and curiosity. 
They help clients feel like you get them…but also that they *get* you.
It shows your knowledge or expertise in a non-braggy way. 
This allows potential clients to know, like, and trust you.   
Once this happens, they will have no hesitation scheduling an appointment with you.

Start with one story.

You don’t have to completely overhaul your website or social media strategy.

Consider some of the tips I’ve shared or jot down some story ideas you could share in your copy.

Start with sharing *one* story that relates to your work or your ideal client’s journey.

Then, see what happens.

If you need help figuring out how to tell your story in a way that inspires clients to call, consider a cowriting or coaching session.

Schedule an exploration call today.

2 thoughts on “Storytelling: Your Secret Weapon for Instant Connection

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