You’ve heard it over and over, storytelling is everything. When someone tells you a story you can relate to, whether it makes you laugh, cry or feel anxious, you instantly feel connected to that person. You relate to them. You want to share your story with them and most importantly, you want to get to know them better. With each story they tell, you feel closer. You trust them more.
Business is no different. Enchant your potential customers with the stories of your why. Allow them to relate to you. Show them through your stories how your product and service are what they need without actually having to say, “BUY THIS!” Make them feel something so they want to get to know you better, begin to trust you and ultimately buy from you because they know, like and believe in you.
The story below was the “About Page” on my blog, Ooph.com, a blog about parenting teens. I grew Ooph into a blog that received over a million clicks per year. I did that with humor and value and by consistent storytelling. I related to other parents who were struggling with entering the teen parenting phase. Just when we all thought we had this parenting thing in the bag, our 13 year olds knocked our rose colored glasses right off our faces.
WAY back in the day, I was walking a friend through the process of setting up a Facebook account and had just said, “The most important thing to know is that everything you post on your wall or anyone else’s wall can be viewed by everyone who likes you.” When my Facebook screen changed because someone had posted a new “status” update. I looked to see who had posted that their kid’s diaper had exploded or a photo of their afternoon snack and was surprised to find that it is was my 13 year old son Keenan who was at school.
His status you ask? “Keenan is … horny.”
I reread his status in a stupified, surely-I-read -that-wrong kind of way and saw that his younger brother’s friend had already read and commented on Keenan’s status with, “Wow.”
Panic set in as I begin imagining all of the parents of our kids’ friends reading about my 13 year old son’s desire to have sex with their daughters.
“DEAR GOD, do something,” my brain screamed.
I started to write a comment of my own that went something like this, “You are soooooo grounded you…”, but remembered reading an article about Facebook no-no’s if you want your kids not to hide their account from you and decided against public humiliation.
Instead, I formulated a brilliant plan. One that would mortify my son beyond words. One that would cause him to think these things through in the future and NEVER embarrass himself or his lovingly, devoted mother on Facebook again.
I picked up my cell phone and with a grin that would make the devil blush I texted him these four words, “How horny are you?”
I could barely contain my giggles.
That’s right, kid. Don’t ever underestimate the reach of your mother’s eyes. I am EVERYWHERE WATCHING.
Within seconds, Quick Draw McGraw hit me back with, “WHAT????????”
I texted him back, “I saw what you posted on Facebook.”
He responded with, “What are you TALKING about???????????????????????”
A little voice started whispering something in the back of my mind. I ignored it and responded, “Your Facebook update says you are horny.” As I waited for his response, that whispering voice got louder.
I looked down at his response, “OMG. I would NEVER put that on my Facebook. My friend did it. I checked my Facebook on his phone and forgot to log out. OMG. I can’t believe you texted me that.”
The loud whisper finally got clear, “He would never type that on his Facebook page, you idiot,” it yelled at me. Sweet blindness causing mother texts. My unsuspecting teen was walking along innocently with his friends, all smiley faced and happy to be alive, when he looked down and without any provocation or warning, received a text from his mother asking, “How horny are you?”
I spent the rest of the afternoon wondering how in God’s name my child would ever be able to look me in the face again without needing to run to the bathroom and empty the contents of his most recent meal. I picked him up at his bus stop and was encouraged to see that he made eye contact with me without turning three shades of green as he departed the bus.
He tossed his backpack into the back of the car, came around to the front, opened the door, took one look at my “I am such an idiot” face and busted out laughing until tears were streaming down his face. This caused me to do the same and we sat there for several minutes laughing so hard we could barely breath. Which was clearly fake laughter intended to ensure we didn’t have to speak to each other.
As I drifted off to sleep that night, I kept thinking the same thing over and over again, “No 13 year old boy should EVER receive a text from his mother saying, ‘How horny are you?’”
Any time I meet someone has read Ooph, the first thing they say is, “OMG the Horny Toad story.” The second thing they say is, “OMG the Shit Flakes story,” but that is for another time.
The power of a good, relatable story is quite literally everything in marketing. It makes you unforgettable. It makes people feel like they know you, that they were a part of something that you went through. It makes them want to keep being a part of your story, if only from a distance.
I could have said on my About Page, I accidentally text my son something stupid and we were both embarrassed and it made me realize how alone I felt as the parent of a teenager which led me to create a blog so I could share my story and find others so we could support each other. I could have bragged about my numbers and my social following. Instead, I told a story that made them feel something, it made them laugh and it promised them the value of a community that desperately needed each other to survive those treacherous teen years. It made them come back over and over, and share and invite their friends. It made Ooph.com a blog registering over a million clicks per year.
This is my current About Page. It’s not all facts and look at what I’ve accomplished. It’s about my WHY. It tells a story. It gives you my reason for getting up everyday motivated to help other women succeed in business.
Your About Page is unique to you, your goals and your business. You have a story to tell. Dig deep. Find that story and then use your About Page to tell it and draw in your ideal customers and keep them forever.