Using Stories to Connect With Your Audience

 

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I was living what many would call a “picture perfect life.”

I had made partner at a successful management consulting firm after only two years. I had a thriving practice, and I held a lot of influence.

I also have a beautiful family – a wonderful husband and children who I love. And I was in good health. From the outside, everything was as it should be.

Yet, I was deeply unhappy.

You see, my job was incredibly frustrating. Many of the partners at my firm disagreed over their visions for the company. Although I was earning a lot of money I was working day and night and most weekends. And, worst of all, the work was unfulfilling.

Sure, I loved my clients – they were good people who truly needed help. However, I often worked with slow-moving corporations. And often didn't get to see results from the work I put in as many of the projects would go on long past when my assignment was over.

In fact, when I did a focus group at a healthcare organization I worked with, one of the anonymous responses said, “Please don't be another consultant that comes in here, finds out all the things going wrong, and just walks away without making it better. People are hurting. We need someone to make a difference.”

Yikes. Talk about confirming my deepest fears – much of my hard work largely went unimplemented. I didn’t feel that I was helping enough people.

I desperately wanted a change, but I had no idea where to turn. After all, I had job security, and I liked the type of work I was doing.

Well, little did I know I was about to get the “sign” I was looking for…

I had signed up for a three-day workshop on video marketing I was excited to attend. I've always been interested in using YouTube and other video platforms for growing businesses. It's a fun, technology that really gets my gears spinning.

During one of the sessions, I was actively participating in the question and answer and insight portion of the program. So much so, the host eventually called me up on stage to elaborate on my responses!

Much to my surprise, getting up there and talking to so many eager Entrepreneurs really energized me. I felt so connected to both the audience and the subject matter, I was on cloud nine!

Even better, the host came up to me after the event and complimented me on my talk. Suggesting I consider doing it for a living.

You couldn't wipe the smile off my face as I traveled home from the event. My brain was swimming with possibilities of what kind of business I could develop when I could talk on stage and facilitate large group training sessions.

And then reality sunk in…

I already had a job. I was providing for my family. I had huge obligations I couldn't just walk away from. Besides, where would I even begin?

Well, sometimes life subtly lets you know it's time for a change. Other times, it hits you square over the head.

Mine went for the latter…

One weekend after I had settled back into my routine, I was picking up my kids from school. They were excited that morning to bring home their school pet guinea pig “Max” for the weekend.

However, when I pulled up, my daughter ran up to me in tears. She informed me that Max had died. And I was devastated for her because it was her first experience with death.

Then, she told me her best friend's mother had just passed away. She lost her battle with stomach cancer.

Could this day get any worse?

Well, I learned never to ask that question, because by dinner I got a phone call from the hospital where my Aunt was admitted to be treated for a stroke. By the weekend we learned she would survive and were trying to settle back into our routines. But the surprises didn’t stop there.

On Monday my uncle Richard suffered a major heart attack on the way to visit his sister who had the stroke. His heart stopped and was restarted nine times before the doctor was miraculously able to save him. Unbelievable.

You can imagine those events got me thinking about my own life. And all I could come up with is, “what the heck am I doing?”

In life, the only guarantee you have is today. You never know when fate could strike and you lose your opportunity to do what you were born to do.

We were brought here to make a difference in other's lives and embrace our destiny. And
we often do not get a second chance.

Since we're here for such a short time, it's our job to make every day count.

So, I decided to leave my job at the consulting firm and pursue my dream. Although I was nervous, I was confident my passion and experiences would help me land on my feet.

And now, I not only run a successful coaching business, I get to help wonderful Expertpreneurs® like you achieve your dreams. Showing hopeful Expert business owners like yourself how to overcome fear and doubt, make a living (and then some) doing what you love, and live life the way you were born to.

And, finally, I can honestly say I'm living my version of a “picture perfect life.

The Power of the Story

Typewriter close up shot, concept of story, Once Upon a Time

You just witnessed the power of story in action.

When you read the above story, were you able to relate to it? Did it speak to your struggles, your fears, and the true desires in your heart?

Stories have the power to reach an audience unlike anything else. They allow us to connect on a personal level and live through others' experiences.

However, a story is only effective if it's presented in the right way. And all it takes is following a simple formula.

First, you need to talk about your struggles in life. Show how you reached rock bottom, the pain you suffered through, and your desperation for change. Then share how things turned around, giving hope to your readers, showing them that things can improve for them too.

This is your opportunity to grab your audience and engage them. Have them nodding along thinking, “Yes, me too. That's exactly what I'm going through!”. They don’t need to have experienced the exact same events to understand how you felt; they'll relate your story to their own struggles and how they are feeling. In this way you engage them and build a connection.

Next, you show the “key moment” that turned your life around. What got you thinking there's a better way and pushed you to take action.

Typically, this is an event, conversation, or object you stumbled across that had a dramatic impact on your approach to achieving your hopes and dreams. Or overcoming your fears and frustrations.

Perhaps, like me, you experienced death or illness in your family, or lost someone dear to you suddenly. Maybe you came across a letter from a family member that changed your life.

We all experience moments in life that jar us into thinking differently. All of a sudden, you see the light at the end of the tunnel. You run with your new convictions and go for what you've wanted all along.

Finally, you show how your life has changed. You have everything you've always dreamed of. You're doing what you love, you have financial and time freedom, and you're happy. It couldn't get any better.

Because of the gratitude you feel, you now want to share your expertise with the world. Show others they can do it, too. And accomplish it even faster than you did.

You can bet this journey will resonate deeply with your audience. No matter your expertise – health, nutrition, love, business – your target market will feel inspired by a relatable success story.

It's a timeless strategy that works whether you're a “great” marketer and salesperson or not. Everyone has a story of how they got where they are, and if you share it in the right way, your target market will connect to you.

Helping you grow your business like you've never seen before. And finally develop the client base you've dreamed of.

Become an Inspiration

become an inspiration

By sharing your story, you can inspire others to see the potential in themselves and finally take charge of their lives. Ultimately doing whatever it is they were born to do.

So, take the time to craft your story. How did you get where you are today? How did you feel before you discovered the best way to achieve your goals? What was it like when everything finally “clicked” for you?

Finally, what is your life like now? How has manifesting your dream affected you? And why do you want to give back?

If you share your story in the formula I discussed above, you will captivate your audience and transform your prospects into eager clients. All you have to do is put yourself out there.

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About Sheryl Wolowyk

Sheryl Wolowyk is a best selling author, award winning speaker and business coach. She focuses on service professionals and “ExpertPreneurs®." As an income acceleration coach, she helps service entrepreneurs attract more ideal clients, get paid top dollar, increase their visibility and reach. Sheryl teaches her clients how to create lucrative businesses and influential brands by positioning their expertise, and communicating their value in an authentic and genuine way that doesn’t sound ‘salesy’ or feel uncomfortable. Her clients are able to quickly build connection, garner trust, and attract a steady stream of ideal clients without having to work all the time, or sacrifice their true priorities in life.

She has built 4 million dollar businesses, is Executive Producer and host of the “Expertpreneurs®” Radio Show, hosts Expertpreneur® TV, and has been seen on ABC,CBS, NBC, and FOX affiliate stations. Sheryl has provided her insight and advice in Forbes Magazine and as a National columnist for America’s Premier Experts. Sheryl is also editor and publisher of ExpertPreneur® Magazine, a free digital magazine available on the Apple newsstand and Google playstore in 150 countries. She’s also a founder of the XPRIZE Education Initiatives where she works with billionaire Elon Musk and Personal Development coach Tony Robbins to change how the world educates. www.expertelevation.com

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