Having dedicated a large chunk of my adult life to marketing, I love and appreciate much of it (although by no means, all of it). I understand many people hate it though, and sigh and groan at its very existence. To these people – are you one of them – I say, “tell your story instead.”
Being a writer, and a general creative individual, I get it. I hate marketing my books. I love writing them, and talking about them, and working on the next one, but coming up with Amazon promotions, and blog review tours, and hanging out on the right social media so maybe, just maybe, someone will buy them… not so much.
I imagine it’s the same for painters and musicians, but it isn’t only artists who groan and moan about marketing. It’s a hardship most entrepreneurs struggle with, because you want to create your products, work on new ideas, have meetings with like minded people, and ensure your business ticks along and grows.
I get it. Marketing often stifles this, and costs money. Maybe you can’t afford to advertise or hire an SEO expert. Maybe you like the idea of viral videos and marketing campaigns that rock the socks off of folk, but who has the time? Who has the money?
Well, to these people – again, are you one of them – I say:
TELL YOUR STORY
Fed up of social media and the many options on offer, tell your story instead!
Tired of SEO and a bunch of terms you don’t understand, tell your story instead!
Can’t afford adverts or the agencies who create them, tell your story instead!
Because today’s modern success stories tell their own stories. It’s not to say they don’t have marketers or spend money on advertisements and the like. But when they do, it tends to help expand and share their story, and this is when good things happen.So, if you’d like to tell your story, scroll down, for I have one or two words for you…
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IT’S TIME TO TELL YOUR STORY, KID
Even if you love and understand marketing like a boss, I think you should tell your story, because it’s one of the rare things we actually own. People can steal your ideas, and copy your products, but your story, and who you are, remains 100% YOURS. Oh yes, tell your story and good times are had.
But If you hate marketing like so many do, tell your story instead.
When you tell your story, you’re not marketing yourself in the true sense, rather, sharing important facets into who you and what you do. In my experience, the number one reason people tend to hate marketing, is that it makes them feel dirty and sleazy. You feel like you’re forcing your products on to people, where all you want is for them to want you, right?
Creative people struggle with this. When it comes to my books, I’m terrible. I’m so bad at marketing myself (despite being a marketer by trade) it makes my head hurt. You know marketing’s important. You also know there’s a way to execute it without feeling dirty on the inside.
The bizillion dollar question is, how?
Tell. Your. Story.
LET’S MAKE THIS SIMPLE AND FOCUS ON ONE THING…
I don’t I wish to make your head spin today, so instead I’ll mention one itty-bitty thing you can focus on RIGHT NOW. Are you ready? Are you ready for me to rock and roll your world? Sure… Good…. because here we go:
A story can take on so many forms, and in order to tell your story, who knows what it’ll entail. At this moment in time, I don’t know you, and you more than likely don’t know yourself to truly tell your story like you could and should. BUT, I do know your world – whether you’re a writer, artists, entrepreneur, freelancer, business owner – includes PEOPLE.
People play huge roles in stories. Think about your favourite books or movies, and the characters within them. Not just the main character, but the ones who play smaller roles, or even those that appear once, but leave you laughing, crying, smiling…
If you hate marketing, my advise is to tell your story.
And, if you’re unsure how to tell you story, I suggest you focus on the people around you.
A FEW PEOPLE CENTRIC WAYS TO TELL YOUR STORY
Focusing on people simplifies things a little, but only to an extent. After all, there are many people in your world:
- STAFF MEMBERS
- LOVED ONES
There’s no right or wrong type of person to choose, and there so many amazing brands and individuals who prove this.
DIGITAL TELEPATHY not only share their own Mission and Vision, but their clients’, too. They seamlessly bring their clients’ stories into their own, and portray a unified tale that’s inclusive and caring. CAMIRA FABRICS does this, too, through their amazing Brand Film. They showcase those they work with, and who they help. They share their story, whilst at the same time, sharing other people’s stories as well.
Everyone has a Case Study Page on their website, but XERO take things to new levels by delving into their customer’s stories. By including some of the most important people in their world, you, as the potential customer, learn a great deal about Xero and how they work. It all surrounds people; their people. Important people in their daily grind.
CABOT CHEESE provide an important insight into the farmers they use. These farmers are their suppliers, and play a HUGE role in their story. Again, through people close to their heart (their suppliers), they capture their customers imagination and invite them on their journey.
And some of the most important people ever to grace your day, are your staff members. FUELED has one of the most mind-blowing staff pages I’ve ever seen, and having interviewed Rameet, I assure you, his staff, and the culture they’ve built together, is what makes them unique. I come across other amazing Staff/Team Pages, too, and it’s one of the most powerful ways to tell your story and nurture your culture.
KICKSTARTER do this…
So do MAILCHIMP…
And REVOLUTION VIEWING…
BUFFER’S company cultutre is huge, and their people, everything…
And let’s not forget GOGGLE, and the culture they’ve built along the way…
We can’t forget the founders of the world, either, or the thriving space of solprenuers that use their own self to drive a much larger story. SARA BLAKELY, for instance, or MARIE FORLEO, or NEIL PATEL. People, people, everywhere…
TELL YOUR STORY – START TODAY
It’s time to tell your story, especially if you hate marketing. I understand why you may hate it, because there’s lots of so called ‘gurus‘ who spoil its potential. The thing is, marketing is HUGE, and has so many facets and nooks and crannies. In my opinion, storytelling is the future, and to an extent, the present.
You can tell your story, and you can decide to do so today. It isn’t easy. It isn’t a quick fix. I’m not the type of person who says, “Sign up to this course and I guarantee you’ll see immediate results in 30 days or your money back!!!!“
Hell no. That kind of shit doesn’t work, but when you tell your story… oh yeah, good things happen.
People, more often than not, play a large role in storytelling. Whether it’s your customers, staff, suppliers, YOU, or the inspiring founder who set up your business one-hundred-years ago… simplify things by focussing on people right now.
As the above examples show, there are numerous ways to tell your story by involving people. Big brands do it. Small ones, too. Startups and solo-folk, artists and writers. If you embrace the people around you, and strive to tell your story, bit-by-bit it’ll come together.
And all the while, people flock towards you, and listen to what you say. You won’t have to force products or advertisements down their throats, simply make them accessible and available. Because you tell your story, and they’re able to relate to you, their loyalty grows… and grows some more… and keeps growing until they transform into these awesome endorsers who go to battle for you.
It’s marketing, but not in the sense you think.
WILL YOU TELL YOUR STORY?
That’s my question to you. Will you tell your story? Will you thrust the standard marketing and sales tactics to one side, and begin sharing a more meaningful journey? Will you involve other people, and tell your story through your staff and customers and suppliers and more?
If you hate marketing, this is the way forward.
Because we all need to communicate who we are and what we sell, and try persuade others to hire us and help keep us above the breadline. Some people love to sell and seduce folk with their charming ways. I’m rubbish at that. Most people I know are rubbish at that, too, and if you’ve read this far, I presume you fall into this category.
It’s fine. There’s another way. Tell your story. Embrace your story. Be passionate about it, and see where it takes you. If done properly (and when I say this, I mean if you actually tell your story and provide meaning and value) people do buy your products and hire you and recommend you to their friends.. Maybe not overnight, but it comes.
And that’s all I have to say on the matter, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Hit me up on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and tell me if you agree with my ramblings or not. I’d love to chat, and learn more about you. And, if I can, I’ll help you tell your story and embrace a new world.
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