How and when to tell your story as a business owner?

When I started my business 6 years ago, I often found myself selling my clients on the value of using more storytelling into their marketing.

Thanks to venues like TED and the rise of narrative podcasts, the landscape has been shifting in favor of story.

This is unequivocally a good thing — as stories are the universal language of connection.

But as small business owners wholeheartedly embrace storytelling as a marketing tool, I’ve started to see the shadow side of story.

When the story becomes all about you.

Online, there is an epidemic of business owners introducing themselves not by sharing their work, or their credentials, but by sharing a rags-to-riches story.

It usually looks something like this:

“I was broke, but now I run a 7-figure business…”

You can recognize these stories when, before you’re introduced to what the expert in front of you actually does, you’ve heard how far she’s come.

This trend has become so prevalent that I’m seeing highly credentialed, talented business owners lead with a struggle story, instead of sharing the results they get for clients.

Dr. Michelle Mazur is a speech coach and a master at effective storytelling.

She’s long railed against the struggle story trend is speech-writing, and now that it’s followed her online in the form of Facebook ads, she’s raising the alarm.

Michelle recently released a podcast on the question of whether telling your story is hurting your speaking cred.

Answer: Maybe. Probably.

Michelle is joining me on Brigitte Rants About Marketing to talk about this problem more broadly.

We’ll be covering:

  • When sharing your story becomes a problem
  • The fast and easy way to tell better stories
  • What you should really be doing to stand out and get noticed

When you join us live for this live show, you can ask questions, participate in the live chat and leave feeling energized about ways you can achieve your goal of getting noticed online.

We go live on Tuesday, June 20th, at 11 am Eastern, 8 am Pacific.

Hope to see you there!

Click here to save your spot.

Is the bundle right for me?

As you consider the special year-end bundle that includes the Blog Boost and Press Push, I wanted to give some more context as to who we’ve created these programs for.

Both are created with a similar goal in mind: to remove the barriers that are stopping you from sharing your work on the regular.

There are a million reasons why you don’t blog more frequently or do PR. Some of these reasons are related to process, especially in PR, but most of them are psychological blocks that are holding you back.

You’re scared of alienating people, whether it’s the audience you already have or your favorite blogger. You don’t want to say the wrong thing, break any hidden etiquette rules you don’t know about, and you certainly don’t want to bother people.

What I learned in my PR agency days is that the only way to get past this discomfort is to do the work.

Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action.
You don’t have to wait to be confident.
Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.
 * * * Carrie Fisher * * *

Because what you will find is that your world will not come crashing down if an editor doesn’t reply to your email, and that any reluctance you feel to put yourself out there is far outshone by the feeling you get when your favorite magazine decides to pull your product or interview you for an article they’re writing.

The reason it feels so impossible to promote your work now, whether it’s on your blog or through media outreach, is that you haven’t been doing it with any regularity. When sharing your work and ideas becomes a habit, it doesn’t matter that one particular post didn’t take off with your audience, because you know that next week is another opportunity to connect with them. It’s okay if that website didn’t accept your contribution, because you haven’t put all your eggs in one basket.

The more you share, the lower the stakes for each individual post or pitch become.

This is the mindset Megan and I want to instill in you through the Blog Boost and the Press Push. That sharing your work and ideas regularly are an essential part of running your business, and they’re not a big deal. There’s nothing to dread or worry about, because promoting your work is as natural as breathing.

Now, we might not quite get you there in a 6-week course, but we hope to instill in you the habits and a safe environment for asking questions and trying new things so that you can get much closer to this ideal.

So back to the question — are these programs for you?

If you’re already confident in sharing your ideas on your blog at least once a week and have had success in pitching bloggers and magazine editors, you probably don’t need to take advantage of this bundle. The only reason you might is if you’ve let your good habits slide and want the extra accountability of getting topics (Blog Boost) and pitch angles (Press Push) from Megan and me within a structured program.

The accountability and emphasis on action over planning is the #1 benefit of our Blog Boost and Press Push programs. If you need a little extra nudge to follow through on your marketing commitments, these programs are an outstanding opportunity to get support.

If you feel doubts about the value of your content (does anyone care?), or have a hard time following through on your plans, then this bundle is a wonderful option for you. Megan and I are committed, caring teachers, and we are very invested in getting you to take action each week.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what Jill Maldonado had to say after going through the Press Push this summer:

“Worth the price of the course alone, was the ability to participate in the Facebook group. I watched your feedback on other people’s assignments and learned a TON from that. Much gratitude for your generosity of spirit!”

Kick off 2017 right (special marketing bundle)

If you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, I hope you’re having a very wonderful holiday. The little gathering at my place this Sunday was wonderful.

I’m popping in to write you in the midst of my vacation, because Megan Auman and I are offering a year-end special that could be just what you’re looking for.

Through December 30th, Megan and I are offering a bundle that includes our popular Press Push program and the inaugural Blog Boost that we’re running this January.

We decided to offer both programs together, because we know that attracting more people to your website or online store is a huge pain point for you. The question of how you can build your audience weighs you down, often to the point where it’s paralyzing.

Should you concentrate on creating content for your own site and driving traffic there from social media? Or should you be using PR and media outreach to build your profile and leverage other people’s platforms?

PR and your own blog content work together to create results for your business.

The Blog Boost and Press Push work together to give you the support, training and guidance you need to move forward with more clarity and confidence in 2017. That’s because blogging and media outreach naturally complement and build upon each other.

For ideas-driven businesses, blogging and PR both:

  • Establish you as an expert in the eyes of your audience.
  • Bring traffic (aka potential clients and customers) to your site.
  • Help your audience understand what makes you unique, so they’re more likely to buy from you.

While for a product business, your blog and media coverage serve to:

  • Build awareness for your products.
  • Attract more customers to your online store.
  • Raise the profile of your brand, leading to more sales.

A lot of my clients want to know where to start, and the answer I always give them is that your website should be the main portal for your audience to get to know you.

Publishing regular content is the building block of online marketing success.

Not only does your blog content serve as an opportunity for you to share your point of view with your audience, every post gives your audience an opportunity to spread the word on your behalf.

Whether you publish a weekly outfit post, tell the story behind your brand, or give your audience a flash of insight, you are able to powerfully build a connection to the people you most want to reach, all on your own turf.

That’s why the year starts with the 50 Day Blog Boost, a 6-week program that helps you develop a blogging habit while creating (at least) one post a week for your blog and building momentum for your business.

In addition to weekly blog prompts, Megan and I will give you a promotional activity to spread your content and a writing tip that will make you a better communicator and help your content flow more easily.

Then we take a break, so you can keep up your new-found blogging habit with ease.

We come back in May with the 60 Day Press Push.

This year, we’re adding a second track for idea-driven businesses, in addition to the programming that is specifically geared towards artists, makers and designers.

This is because the types of PR opportunities available to these business types are very different, and we want to focus completely on the media opportunities that are right for you.

We’ve taken over a hundred creative entrepreneurs though the 60 Day Press Push, and the skills you learn in the program will help you maintain a publicity program for your business with ease. The core of our method is focused on action — there’s no drawn-out or complicated planning process. Instead we teach a new pitch style every week, so you can try out different approaches and email templates and figure out what works for you.

The hallmark of both of these programs, though, is the personal attention Megan and I provide through the private Facebook group. At least one of us is in there every week day (excepting holidays!), giving feedback on your pitch ideas (and blog posts in the Blog Boost) and answering questions.

If you’re looking for an extra leg up in the new year to grow your audience and customer base this year, this bundle is for you.

We’re offering the Blog Boost and the Press Push together for a $498 — a $200 savings off the full price for both these programs.

Through this special offer, you get access to:

  • The Blog Boost this January and the Press Push in May (you get to choose which track of the Press Push is right for you). All materials are emailed to you, so you can complete the exercises when it works in your schedule.
  • Access to the private Facebook groups for each program, where you can workshop with your fellow participants, ask questions of Brigitte and Megan and get our feedback on your drafts.
  • Access to 4 Q&A calls hosted by Brigitte and Megan.

Click here and sign up now for both programs at this special bundle price.

The Blog Boost kicks off Monday, January 9th. Each lesson is delivered to you via email, so you can fit in the weekly activities into your own schedule.