A few years ago I read This Post and uncovered a damn good story. I’ve followed Jenny Blake ever since, and am lucky to have tracked her down and enticed her to join The Successful Mistake alumni. I fell in love through a combination of awesome website design, compelling transparency, and a genuine approach to storytelling that inspired me to dig deeper myself.
I write about Jenny Blake and her About Page today (and website overall, and general approach to her damn good story) because it struck a chord and inspired me to go above and beyond in what I do. I hope it inspires you too, because brand storytelling’s a buzzword at the moment, and more people and business embrace it than ever before.
Which is great, yet also rather dangerous.
Because I love storytelling. I adore a good story. I sense you do, too, because you trust the art of storytelling. It’s something we’ve done as a species for eons, so the last thing you want is for cold-hearted businesses to destroy it.
I want you to tell your story, and believe you need to in order to grow and thrive. BUT you have to do it properly as too many skim the surface and expect results (destroying the entire premise of brand storytelling in doing so). You won’t, because Jenny Blake and me are here to guide you along your way.
A GOOD STORY DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT
I share Jenny Blake’s good story because a huge chunk of folk who need to share theirs are folk like me: Solopreneurs… Writers… Freelancers… peeps who work on their own, but don’t have an army of staff that builds products.
A lot of the brand stories I love come from those that produce things and fit into the more ‘traditional’ business landscape (you know, companies with offices and factories and employees). I don’t, and maybe you don’t, either. There’s an entire world of bloggers and podcasters and folk who work from their bedrooms and faraway islands.
Jenny Blake proves you can share a good story without needing big budgets and an army of staff. What you do need is the dedication to go deep, and far below the surface.
There’s many reasons to love a good story like Jenny’s, but a single word brings everything she does together…
When you think of transparency, you may consider social media (those who share every aspect of their world), monthly income reports, and people who truly crowdsource their books, products, and services. The thing is, Jenny doesn’t do any of this. She’s present on social media, but not a power user.
She shares a lot, but not as much as many folk you know.
Yet the first thing I noticed when I found this lovely lass was, “WOW, she’s so open and transparent about what she does and how she does it.”
A GOOD STORY BUILT THROUGH QUALITY & TRANSPARENCY
Jenny’s Tool Kit epitomises what I mean. Here is transparency of the highest quality, not just briefly sharing what she does and inviting you to be part of her journey, but HELPING YOU to better appreciate and execute your own.
This all began for me when I read her post about her new website, introducing the team behind it, what she did and what they did, and how they built it… perfected it… launched it…
I soon found similar insights into her book launch, how she organises and runs her business, what she does in terms of money, and so much more. Again, these aren’t brief blog posts that showcase what she did and what she learned, oh no.
These are the genuine templates she uses!! These are in-depth tools folk like you and me can use – for free, anytime, anywhere, all because Jenny decided we can. At some point she said, “Screw it. I’m giving people a true insight into what I do, and handing them the keys to use what they want.“
No email required. No down payment. Simple and 100% genuine.
AND I FUCKING FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS!!!
Ever since, I’ve constantly pushed myself when it comes to transparency. I find it hard, as I’m sure you do. I’m sure Jenny does, because it’s easier to share a little. After all, if you share a little you can choose to focus on the positives and never release the screw ups.
But this isn’t transparency. Social media isn’t transparency. Nor is an email newsletter or anything such…
No, transparency, like storytelling itself, goes deep below the surface until it pushes you to uncomfortable levels. And then you go deeper still, because this is where the juicy nuggets lie.
WHEN YOU’RE TRANSPARENT, YOU SHARE A GOOD STORY (AND AN HONEST ONE)
You can share your story in many ways, and maybe Jenny’s approach isn’t right for you. That’s fine, but I hope you’ll push yourself and force yourself to share more than you feel comfortable with.
Jenny isn’t the only person to have inspired me to go deeper, because I’ve taken a lot from the likes of Pat Flynn, Chris Brogan, and Erin Blaskie. Transparency comes in many forms, but what I love about Jenny Blake’s approach is the quality of it all. She may not share all the time, but when she does… BOY SHE GOES TO TOWN.
When you visit her About Page, you don’t just learn who she is and why she does what she does, rather HOW you can implement what she does into your own story and life. Not a guide. Not a hint in the right direction. The keys to the castle, kid, and I take so much inspiration from this.
I sense Jenny doesn’t even notice she does this, which makes it all the more wonderful.
This isn’t some strategy or tactic, but a way of life. And this, my entrepreneurial brethren, is the point! A good story is born from real meaning, and a good brand story is born from a business wearing it on their sleeve. Each day. Every day. Always!
IT’S YOUR TURN TO TELL A GOOD STORY. YOU IN?
I don’t ask you to copy Jenny. I don’t for a second suggest you create a bunch of templates and give them away.
The point is, a good story doesn’t happen overnight. A good story isn’t forced and strategically planned. A good story begins with a genuine decision to do something awesome, and in Jenny’s case it’s true transparency into what she does.
From here on in it’s simple for her. When she creates a new website or book, and creates various spreadsheets and templates to help her stay on top, she shares it with the world. Not a little. Not for anything in return. She shares it because somewhere along the way she decided to.
It’s not even a question, and it’s this is what makes hers a bleeding good story.
A good story exists 24/7. You never take a day off. It’s your story in the morning and it’s your story at night. When you have a good day it’s your story, and it remains your story when you fail. Whether it involves this type of transparency or not isn’t important.
What is important is the fact you go deep, become uncomfortable, are genuine, and decide to go above-and beyond. You do this and you’ll achieve more than a good story… it’ll be fricking brilliant!
Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit Jenny’s awesome site and send her a hello. She’s a top girl, and someone who continues to inspire me to share more. But what do you think? This is where I share my thoughts, but what matters is how we continue this conversation – which takes place on FACEBOOK or TWITTER where I get to learn whether you share a good story or not 🙂
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