November 2, 2018

What’s your story? And why you should tell it

Why is it important for you to know your story? I guess so you can be able to tell it. This is your Daily Development.

Why is it important for you to know your story? I guess so you can be able to tell it. This is your Daily Development.

If you run away from the future man, you’re going to get caught up in the past.

Every Friday our team sits down, and we watch shows about other businesses, other agencies. We watch shows about creative. And what we call it is lunch and learn. It’s our time to get together, we discuss the industry, the things that we’re great at, the things that we’re not so great at, the things we want to be better at, and we learn from other people.

We all combine our stories, we watch shows, we bring together books and articles, any things like that, or different podcasts that we all use to feed ourselves, and we discuss how we can be better. We always talk about how we can improve for the sake of our client. But the one word that just kept coming up was, what is our story? And I went back to it, and I just thought about how important our story is, and I would ask all of our team members on both sides, on the creative side, on the account side, what is our story? And I feel like, if we don’t know our story it’s really hard for us to tell anyone anything about us. If we don’t know our story, how can we tell it? It’s just true.

Now, here’s the truth, now a lot of people don’t know their own stories. There’s some people who’ve been in business for years, and they don’t know their stories, and they have not figured it out yet. Yet alone, there’s some people on the advertising side of the game, who don’t know their own stories. I got to admit it, in the beginning, I didn’t know mine at all. But it’s important for us to know our story, so that we can be able to tell people our story and deliver our message.

I want to take you back, just for a minute here, I had this conversation with a good friend of mine who’s in the media business. You know, I don’t want to pick on media folks, I love them, and we challenge one another, and I feel like they make me better. So one thing I would always ask them is, “What is your story?” Because what they would do is, they would come in and tell me things from their point of view on what they perceive our business as, or our client’s business as, but they don’t know they’re own story. More, importantly, they didn’t know the story of my clients that they were pitching for. Now, this is huge.

If you’re coming in, and you’re going to ask for business, don’t you think it’s important for you to know about the business? I think that’s very important, because what happens is folks like us, or a business owner, they look at us, if we don’t their story as if we’re not educated; or if we just don’t know what we’re doing, or we don’t look like an expert, or a specialist. And what does it do? It gets us shown the door quicker. It gets us not responded to in email a lot quicker.

So now I’m going to jump in the end of the business owner; know your story. It’s very important. I can tell by a lot of the ads that I see, and I’m no marketing guru, but I do this every day. I would say that I’m a marketing practitioner, it’s fair to say that. But I see a lot of ads that people just don’t tell their story. They’re not honest with themselves. I think what they do is they create something that they’ve seen work in another market, and they try and mirror it to themselves. But what you have to think about is whatever you’re trying to mirror to your business that worked in another market, or for another company, that’s for those people. Not everyone can sing a song from Michael Jackson, and it be their own song, or tell their story.

So when you design creative, or when you have creative that runs in the marketplace, it needs to tell a story on your business. Your business, your staff, what you’re doing, and how you can help them, or how you can provide a better service. You have to tell your story. If you don’t know your story, then how can you make me do business with you?

So now I want to challenge every business owner, learn your story. Learn your story, learn how to communicate it, and give me the elevator pitch. When you have my attention, remember that word, attention, you’ll hear it a couple of episodes ago, but when you have my attention for 15 seconds, or for 30 seconds, a minute, give me your story. Let me understand you. Let me know what you’re about, intrigue me, let me want to do business with you. Give me your story, tell me everything about you.

So now I’ve talked to the business owner, so now I’m going to talk to us agency folks, yeah, that’s me included. I’m not perfect at all, and I’ll be the first to admit that, and there’s times where I need to learn the story too. How can I go and advise a client when I don’t their story, when I don’t research them, when I don’t know enough about them, I haven’t read enough about them, or I haven’t done my due diligence and homework about the people that work in that industry, the people that work in that building, or the successful things that they’ve done, since they’ve been in business. I am not educated on their story. And if I am not educated on a client’s story, or a potential client’s story, or a prospect’s story, I don’t deserve your business. Wow, that’s an agency guy telling you he doesn’t deserve your business, if he doesn’t know your story. It’s absolutely right.

Because if I walk through the door, and I don’t know your story, I am just there for a paycheck. I’m not saying it’s me, but all agency guys, and I don’t want to get on the air all the time and talk about how great agency folks are, and how bad media people are, or business people are; it’s not true. Because sometimes we can be the ones that make the huge mistake by not knowing your story. And so what I would challenge every agency owner, before you pick up the phone, or shoot an email over to a prospect, learn their story. Know their story, so that you can better serve them. Other than that, you’re just looking for a commission, or a paycheck, while these people, they show up to work every day, and the money that they give you, they can be putting their kids through college. This is your Daily Development.

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